Find Flooring Ideas for EVERY Room
The best feature of current flooring options is the wide variety of types, colors, styles and materials from which to choose. Unfortunately, all that variety can get very confusing, so it makes sense to approach your flooring decisions by first looking at the function of the specific room you’re going to floor. After you determine the function of the room, you will be able to narrow down the type of flooring that will go best with that room.
Let’s take a tour of your home to recognize some of the practical and aesthetic factors that should influence your flooring choices.
Begin at the entryways to your home. Whether the front hall, or a mudroom off the kitchen, these are the places where steady traffic brings dirt, moisture, salt and just about everything else mother nature has to offer into your home. Any stains or wear-and-tear are going to be far more evident here, so choose a sturdy material that can withstand a lot of pounding. Vinyl or laminate are good choices, as they hold up well in high moisture areas. For more formal entryways, choose ceramic tile or even wood parquet. And don’t forget that a well-placed area rug not only traps dirt and moisture, but also adds style and warmth.
Next, move into the living room, which, along with the family room, is typically the focal point for family activities, and also the areas you are most likely to entertain guests. Here you want flooring that is more formal, yet comfortable. The ideal solution for these rooms is carpeting, which has styles and fibers that range from the very formal to casual. Another good choice, hardwood floors add elegance and warmth, and an area rug helps to soften the room.
The dining room is often an extension of the living room, but with a difference. There is always the concern of food and liquid spills, so you need a wear-resistant and stain-resistant flooring. Fortunately, most carpet styles now offer stain and moisture resistance, so that the same carpeting used in the living room can flow through to the dining room. Another option is the durability of wood, laminate or tile in the dining room. As long as the choice complements the styles of adjacent rooms, and your furniture, then you can choose whichever flooring best suits your own fashion sense.
Now let’s move into the kitchen, where there is usually high foot traffic, more spills than you may care to admit, and generally more cleaning required due to cooking. In addition, this is an area where you want to minimize the possibility of slipping. Wood laminate, vinyl or linoleum has traditionally been the best choice in the kitchen. Recently, ceramic tile has gained in popularity, but keep in mind that tile is harder on the feet, and can be colder in the winter months. On the other hand, ceramic tile makes a dramatic statement in the kitchen, and works in both contemporary and traditional homes.
The bathroom is an area where your flooring must be waterproofed, washable and non-slip. Here you can use vinyl, ceramic tile and even some of the newer laminate and wood products that are specifically designed to hold up in high moisture areas. Again, area rugs add a soft touch, and are much easier to clean than wall-to-wall bathroom carpeting. Be sure any area rugs or mats are non-slip.
Finally we come to the bedrooms, where the furniture and coordinating fabrics may take precedence over the flooring. Because foot traffic is less of a problem here, stains and wear are minimal. Carpeting is the traditional choice in bedrooms, but wood or laminate floors can also be a good choice, again enhanced with matching decorative area rugs. The key is to choose neutral flooring that doesn’t distract from the room décor. Any good hardwood flooring contractor can point you in the right direction on which to choose. You want to be able to change the colors and textures of your bedroom as often as you want without having to change the flooring as well.
In general, choose your flooring to follow the function of the room, but always keep in mind that your house is not a group of separate rooms, but a home. So whatever your flooring choices, be sure to blend them with the style of your home, and the overall decorating theme of your furniture and accessories.