September 17, 2020

Whole House Flooring Options

Open Kitchen

Looking for a whole-house flooring solution? Keep these tips in mind as you weigh your options.

Think about the seamless, uninterrupted beauty of sand on the beach or a fresh blanket of snow on a hillside—without footprints to spoil the pristine view. These flawless scenes evoke a sense of calm. 

I’ve had a lot of customers visit the store to ask for my opinion about running one type of flooring throughout their entire home to create that same sense of natural harmony in their living space. Using flooring to blur the lines between rooms is on-trend in home design. But there are a few things to keep in mind as you contemplate your flooring choices:

Consider everyday applications. If you’re one of the many homeowners who love the look of hardwood flooring throughout the entire home, take into consideration those areas that pose potential threats to the longevity and wear-ability of hardwood: I always caution homeowners about using hardwood products in master bathrooms and laundry rooms. 

In the master bath, even if you’re diligent about not getting the floor wet, the humidity is constantly rising and falling with everyday use. This can cause the hardwood to warp or damage the wear layer over time. In laundry rooms, there’s the obvious caution about using wood in a space where a laundry sink or washer could overflow. Again, that moisture can affect the hardwood’s appearance and performance over time.

Remember that even laminate flooring is primarily wood at its core. While the surface of a laminate product is waterproof, the inside is not. So, for these areas of the home that could be affected by water, I advise a high-quality porcelain tile or luxury vinyl as a better (and worry-free) choice.

Consider your lifestyle. If you have three young children, two dogs and enjoy entertaining in your home, then it’s safe to say you’d likely need a more durable flooring option than would a retired couple. The most durable option for a whole-house installation is porcelain tile. But remember that durability requires that you choose a quality tile product, follow professional installation guidelines, and have no structural issues in your home. Laminate or luxury vinyl tile/planks are very durable and come in at a close second behind porcelain tile.

If you’re a fan of hardwood, don’t despair: Even in a busy, active household, using hardwood in the kitchen can give you both the look and performance that you’re looking for—if you choose the right product. Many oak and hickory flooring products have a heavier grain; hand-scraped wood plank flooring offers a bit of texture, and most products today come with a low-luster finish.  One of these traits, or all three combined, can do a great job of disguising the naturally occurring “character” we as homeowner add to the floor over the years. Be sure to look closely at these details as you consider product options for your home.

PRO TIP: If you’re installing hard floors (hardwood, tile or vinyl), the best practice is to remove the old flooring.  It’s important to assess the existing floor height as you are considering new options. If the new floor is thinner than the old flooring removed, you may end up with an unsightly void under the door frame and/or door casings.  Correcting this issue after the fact can be challenging and expensive.  Accounting for an additional layer of subflooring (for added height) prior to installation is a good solution, and a great finish to your project. 

Many people desire a more comfortable, warmer option for their family room flooring. Carpet is softer underfoot—and depending on the type and quality you choose it can be forgiving and long-lasting in high-traffic areas like family living spaces. If you’re going with carpet, nylon is the best option for durability: It has natural memory and if cleaned and maintained properly, nylon carpet will last longer, and hold up better over time than other types of carpet.

Consider your location. If your home is in a high-dollar neighborhood, most buyers will expect to find hardwood, porcelain tile or marble in your home. These long-lasting flooring options are often marketed as attractive amenities to potential home buyers. You don’t want to under-value you home by selecting a lower-grade or less-expensive flooring product.

If you’d like to discuss your flooring selections for your home renovation, stop by the Dover Floor & Tile Center in North Olmsted. We’re here to help!

Tschaun Procaccini