When choosing flooring for a new home, it’s important to think about the entire floor plan. This way, you can ensure the floors will work together well in the space and play into any decor you’re considering for the home.
Also, remember to clear out any extra closets and storage areas where the installation company will be working. It’s easy to overlook these tucked away spaces during hectic preparation.
1. Look at Inspiration from Entire Spaces
When shopping for flooring, look for inspiration from entire spaces to get a sense of how the floors will play into decor that you love. This is especially important if you’re considering a hard surface floor, like tile or vinyl. Many interior designers will showcase whole rooms in their portfolios, and home decor magazines often create articles that tour an entire house with photos of the various flooring options. This will give you a much better idea of how your new floor will look in a large, multi-functional space.
The Rule of Two
It’s tempting to find a dozen different flooring options that pique your interest, but you should stick with the principle that “less is more.” Too many different floor materials can feel disjointed and out of place in your new space. Instead, select a couple of different styles that you love and then use rugs to divide the space into different zones.
Tile can add a touch of personality to your entryway, bathroom or powder room and you can choose from a wide variety of colors and patterns. You can also try a bold, graphic print for your dining or living space, and then break it up with a more neutral rug.
Carpeting can add a nice, cozy feeling to any space and is available in a multitude of hues and textures. Modern designs tend to shy away from fully-carpeted spaces, however, and opt to use rugs to define zones and offer pops of color and texture.
While you’re scouring the web for inspiration, make sure that you’re looking at reviews and recommendations of the best brands on the market. There are so many options out there, and the latest innovations in flooring materials can last up to 20 years without showing signs of wear and tear.
2. Think About Transitional Spaces
With open floor plans becoming more common in new builds, the opportunity exists to make a big impact on your flooring in rooms that were once separated by walls. If your kitchen, dining room and living room all share a large space, consider flooring that spans these spaces to give them all one cohesive look. Laminate, vinyl plank and engineered wood are popular choices that allow for wall-to-wall coverings. If you prefer natural materials, choose reclaimed teak or another rich hardwood that will warm the space. If your cabinetry and kitchen flooring lean traditional, offset them with a modern slipper tub or a clawfoot tub that blends well with other transitional elements.
Likewise, if you have an entryway with tile and want to incorporate some natural wood into the space, consider using a stair nose or end cap to bridge the gap between the two floors. This provides a smooth, safe and visually appealing transition that accentuates the different areas of your home.
In this mudroom, a wooden stairnose is used to connect the tile and hardwood flooring, creating a clean transition that looks like it’s always been part of the space. The use of a neutral color palette and classic furniture shapes helps to tie these elements together into a functional space that will not go out of style quickly.
If you have two hard-surfaced materials of the same height, it may be possible to skip the transition piece and simply overlap them — but this is generally not recommended. A transition strip offers a cleaner appearance and allows for expansion and contraction of the two materials.
In a space that will be mostly or solely used for entertaining, opt for wood floor transition ideas with hints of red or orange to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere. This is ideal for family rooms and living spaces, where guests will gather to relax in a comfortable environment. The natural tones will also help bind the lighting in the space, ensuring that all corners of the room get ample sunlight. Consider reducing the number of items in this space to keep it feeling clean and organized, and opt for art that makes a statement.
3. Think About the Future
As you select flooring, keep in mind the long-term use of your home. The newest floor-covering materials are durable and can often last more than two decades – sometimes up to half a century – meaning you’ll be able to enjoy your floors for a while.
Also consider comfort. In rooms where you will be standing for long periods of time, like the kitchen or laundry room, you’ll want a material that feels soft underfoot. Look for options like cork or vinyl tile.
Once you have an idea of how much your new floors will cost, figure out when you want to get the project started. Then set a goal and do the math to determine how much you need to save each month to reach your target date. Comb through your household budget for areas where you can trim expenses until you’ve saved enough to start the project.
4. Plan Your Installation
When choosing flooring, you need to make sure that the product you choose will work well in your home. You also need to consider its performance capabilities and how it can be maintained over time. Finally, you need to be sure that the flooring is affordable and within your budget.
One of the most important things you can do to ensure a successful flooring installation is to prepare for the project ahead of time. This will save you money and time during the process.
Start by removing any items from the room or rooms where you will be installing your new floors. This includes everything from curtains and picture frames to beds and aquariums. This will help keep your belongings safe from damage and clean, and it will give you the opportunity to refresh any decor or accessories that don’t match your new floors.
It is important to clear out a workspace for your installers, as well. This can be a garage, an empty driveway, or any other area large enough to accommodate the installers’ supplies and equipment. A clear workspace will make it easier for the installers to work, and it will keep any potential debris from making its way into your other areas of the house.
Another important thing to do is to make sure that all gas appliances and electrical outlets are disconnected before your flooring installation begins. This is particularly important in kitchens and laundry rooms, but it’s also a good idea to do so with any major electronics that you have in the room. If you are not comfortable disconnecting these yourself, you may need to hire a professional for this step.
Once you have cleared out your workspace, it’s time to think about the installation itself. Your installers will need to remove any existing floor material and prep the subfloor if necessary. They will also need to make height adjustments. Depending on the type of flooring you are using, they may also need to add underlayment and adhesives.
Most flooring professionals will charge an extra fee to move your furniture, but you can eliminate this cost by moving your own belongings before the start of the project. Additionally, be sure to clear out closets and other storage areas so that your new floors can be installed correctly.