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With today’s hot Northern Virginia real estate market, the demand for older homes is high. Whether you’ve fallen in love with an 18th or 19th Century historic home or a 50s style rancher with great bones and lots of updating to be done, finding the right flooring is an essential part of a loving restoration. One recommendation for homeowners: allow yourself to be guided by the time period– and work with contractors who get it. It may sound silly, but we often find ourselves asking, “What does the house want?”
When you have a period home, you want the look and feel to be authentic and comprehensive, but there’s still room to express your personal tastes. Meanwhile, with an older rancher or faux colonial, the sky’s the limit in terms of choices. It’s an opportunity to get creative and transform an older home in fun and unexpected ways.
What Are The Steps In Updating Flooring In An Older Home?
- The first step is determining what you’re putting down. Think about materials and colors appropriate to the age and style of the home. What look are you going for, and how will you use each room?
- Remove existing flooring.
- Inspect the subfloor (usually plywood but sometimes wood, stone, or concrete). Check for insect damage and moisture. Make sure your subfloor is clean, dry, and free of cracks before installing your new floor.
- If you have cracking, sinking, or moisture damage, decide whether it’s best to repair or replace your subfloor.
- Once the subfloor is in excellent shape, install your flooring of choice.
Guidelines for Choosing Flooring for an Older Home
When you’re updating an older home, there’s plenty of room for you to express yourself. We’ve created plenty of contemporary looks in historic houses with stunning results. A few rules of thumb can help you achieve a harmonious and fresh look and feel.
- If you’re replacing hardwood in a historic home, ask your contractor for recommendations on wood choices to fit your home. For example, an early 20th Century home or Craftsman-style bungalow may look gorgeous with oak, while a colonial-era home might shine with random-width pine. You may want to consider the original hardwood when updating. But feel free to ask for other suggestions.
- One of our favorite things is helping folks in older homes get rid of outdated carpet. Replacing old carpets with fresh materials can literally transform a home. One trend is replacing carpet with luxury vinyl or laminate in high-traffic areas.
- Waterproof luxury vinyl (LVT/LVP) is an excellent choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas where moisture is an issue. It’s available in a gorgeous range of wood or stone-look styles and fantastic colors.
- You can use wood in the kitchen. Many homeowners are surprised to learn that they can use wood in the kitchen in their historic homes and are delighted with the result. Today’s hardwood is thoroughly sealed and more water-resistant than in the past. It brings a sense of cozy warmth and noise absorption.
- Mix and match flooring materials to correspond with planned use, appearance, and decorative goals. Consider the following:
- Consider fresh, high-quality carpet in bedrooms. Today’s stain-resistant and luxury options give you so many excellent choices.
- Hardwood in foyers and dining rooms gives formal spaces elegance.
- Luxury vinyl in kitchens, bathrooms, and family rooms offers water and scratch-resistance at an affordable price.
- Laminate looks terrific in rooms where moisture isn’t a big issue, including sunrooms, bedrooms, and offices.
Updating Your Older Home? Call The Pros
Whatever flooring materials you choose, professional installation is the best way to achieve the look and experience of your dreams. But when you’re updating an older home, your contractor’s role goes way beyond installation. There are so many decisions to make, and it helps to have professionals who know which materials will work best for your home. Every house is different, and older homes often have quirks as well as treasures. We often deal with uneven floors, walls that are no longer square, and other nuances that make DIY very challenging. It’s so much fun to reshape them to meet our 21st Century needs. At Loudoun Valley Floors, we love a renovation project. Our professional team can help you decide how to tackle your update. And once you determine which materials you want, we offer an enormous range of choices from top manufacturers, from carpeting to hardwood. Let the adventure begin.