Picking the Perfect Floor: Carpet, Tile, Hardwood

Picking the Perfect Floor: Carpet, Tile, Hardwood

Deciding on the right flooring for your home can seem like an overwhelming decision to make. You’re likely drawing from your personal tastes, while at the same time tempering them with practical thinking. As you are probably already aware, flooring can become quite costly --depending on your choice. To help make this process a little easier, let’s try to break it down with a few simple questions:

Who, and how many?

Who will be spending most of the time on this floor? If there are children and/or pets in your home, this will have a huge effect in terms of durability and safety. How much traffic can be expected? These questions will help determine your choice regarding resistance to wear and moisture, as well as setting your expectations on how long this floor will last.


The largest part in choosing what type of flooring is the best option can be the location in which it will be used. In kitchens, durability and ease of cleaning are most important. This is a surface your family will be spending a lot of time on. Most kitchens have outdoor access, which means that you can expect muddy feet and a lot of traffic. You’ll also need an easy-to-clean surface for the spills that will no doubt occur. Lastly, you should consider a floor that will not absorb odors. For these reasons, ceramic tile would probably be the best choice. A quality hardwood with a resilient finish can also serve quite well. For carpeting, however, this would not be a good location. One thing to keep in mind though, is because the kitchen floor can often be wet, you’ll want a surface that is less likely to be slippery. There again, ceramic tile (which quite often is available with a textured surface) could be the safest choice.

In the bathroom, once again you will want a surface that is easy to clean and resistant to moisture. Of the three, ceramic tile once again is the most practical choice. If budget is a concern, vinyl flooring is also available. Though it is highly resistant to moisture, vinyl is less durable than ceramic tile.

For the general living areas of the home, the criteria are much less stringent. It more or less comes down to personal choice. Wood flooring has many benefits, including warmth, a timeless beauty that is always in style, and hardwood is always a sound investment towards the value of the home. An area rug on a hardwood floor can be an effective accent to the decor which also provides additional comfort and warmth to walk on.

For bare feet, carpeting is the pinnacle of warmth and comfort in the living room-- though considerations must be made in terms of traffic, children, and pets. Be sure to choose carpeting that is as stain resistant as possible in those situations. Carpeting is an ideal choice for bedrooms and anywhere else you intend to spend time without shoes on. Carpeting is also a good choice in rooms that do not have heating below them, because it also serves as an insulator. Along with carpeting, comes the pad beneath. The quality and thickness of the pad that you choose can play a big part in how comfortable your carpet will feel.

How much are you willing to spend?

No matter what your decision, keep in mind that choices in high-quality flooring can have a positive effect on the value of your home. Also, don’t skimp on the underlayment material for your flooring. Whether its tile, linoleum, or carpeting, a high quality underlayment can make all the difference in how long your flooring will last.