Look down. When you think about it, there are few things you look at--or use--more often than your floors. Flooring is a big decision but one that sometimes takes a backseat to other considerations when we remodel or build a home. You walk on it, sit on it, stretch on it every single day. Your kids play on it. Your pets scramble, sit, and stay on it. There’s a floor for every style and for every room in the house. Here are five essential things to think about before you buy flooring.

Budget


Get a handle on your budget and make it clear to your flooring professional. The good news is, thanks to today’s technology, there are now excellent flooring options for just about every budget.

Hardwood and high-end ceramic tile are gorgeous and long-lasting but tend to be pricier.

Thanks to new technologies, we’re seeing an explosion in high-quality mid-range options like luxury vinyl and engineered wood. Fresh options allow clients to get beautiful wood looks at a much lower price point than hardwood. Even at the lower end, there are reliable options in laminate, value-priced carpet, and even sheet vinyl. Whatever your budget, you want to make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck. An experienced contractor can help you navigate the options and get the most out of your flooring budget.

Applications and Uses


When you’re planning for new flooring, it pays to think hard about the spaces involved and how your family uses them. Are you finishing a basement for a fun living space or tackling a high-traffic kitchen where kids and pets rule? Luxury vinyl may be the way to go. Do you want a great-room that exudes elegance for special occasions and quiet family time? Let’s consider solid hardwood. Are you celebrating empty-nester status by redoing your bedroom? Maybe a splurge on luxury carpet is in order. The way you use your floor can make a big difference in the choices you make.

Durability


As a rule of thumb, more expensive flooring options tend to last longer. But lifespan isn’t always the most critical consideration. Sometimes we’re in a phase of life where scratch-resistance or spill-resistance matters more. If you’re setting up your forever home, investing in hardwood may be worthwhile. Remember, you may be able to refinish engineered wood once, but you can refinish solid hardwood numerous times.

However, if you’re refreshing a rental or fixing up a property to flip in the short-term, attractive, low-cost carpeting and laminate options may be the way to go. If kids and pets make scuffing and spills an issue, luxury vinyl may be the right call.

Maintenance


How much time are you willing to invest in maintenance and upkeep? Think about both longer-term maintenance and routine cleaning. For example, laminate is easy to clean but won’t last as long as some other materials. Hardwood is low maintenance on a day-to-day basis but requires attention, including refinishing, over the long haul. Ceramic tile floors are long-lasting and durable but take more effort than some other materials to clean. Sometimes tile isn’t the best option for busy families with young kids. Carpets may be easy to clean in the bedroom. We typically think another material may be a better choice for high-traffic areas or rooms where spills and stains happen. But today’s hi-tech options can still make carpeting a good choice.

Color

Some of the color trends we’re seeing are just terrific. We absolutely love the dark browns and grays we’re installing all over Loudoun. But remember, color trends come and go. Depending on the flooring material you choose, you’ll be living with your color choices for years or even decades. Ask yourself a few questions before you select a color, and find a contractor who can help you make tough decisions with decades of design experience.

• Does your color choice mesh with your home and style?

• Will your color choice still work if you redecorate?

• Are you choosing a color that works for you or letting someone else’s sense of style call the shots?

• If you plan to sell soon, is the color going to be limiting?

Choosing The Right Flooring with Loudoun Valley Floors


Many of us are spending extra time at home this spring. It’s giving us a better sense of how much our home environment matters. As we give our floors some extra TLC during challenging times, we can see that what’s beneath our feet is truly the foundation of a comfortable home. Flooring isn’t an afterthought or something we can take for granted. The right flooring can truly change the entire feel of a room. It’s an investment in the livability of our homes. The choices we make should be thoughtful, and having a trusted partner to help us make big decisions can make all the difference. Loudoun Valley Floors will help you tackle the Big Five and beyond to find the flooring that’s best for you.