The Ultimate Room-by-Room Flooring Guide
Whether it’s a recently built house or an older home in need of some renovations, homeowners are often faced with the decision of selecting flooring for each room. With countless options available–because not all flooring is alike–it can be a daunting process and difficult choice to make. After all, it’s a long-term home investment that you’re making.
It’s easy to grasp that carpet’s a huge no-no for moisture-prone areas, but do you truly know what type of flooring is best for each room? Here is the ultimate room-by-room flooring guide to help you navigate and confidently install the appropriate underfoot that will last for numerous years.
Join us as we walk through flooring options for each room of the home. While a flooring selection is much more straightforward in some areas, in those high-traffic common areas, we’ll offer several options from which to choose. That way, you can decide which best suits your family, home and lifestyle.
The kitchen is considered the heart of the home. The kitchen also sees lots of traffic and tons of spills, so it’s especially important to choose and install the proper flooring for this area. So what is the best type of flooring for your kitchen?
Laminate offers an easy to maintain, water-resistant flooring surface, which is great for busy households with kids and pets. Perfect for home chefs who love to cook, high quality laminate flooring also offers an incredibly durable surface to handle mishaps in a busy kitchen, where gourmet meal prep and entertaining are happening. It’s also quite affordable in comparison to other kitchen flooring options. Beauflor’s Hydrana is a water-resistant laminate that makes a fantastic kitchen option and includes extra details like an attached pad that provides a warm underfooting as well as some acoustics and sound absorption.
Before you balk, it’s important to note here that sheet vinyl flooring has come a long way. Given quite the makeover, sheet vinyl now comes in a wide array of colors and patterns resembling anything from genuine stones to stained concrete. Also great for chefs, it offers a soft material that you can stand on for hours without tiring your feet. Some sheet vinyl options are even durable enough for light commercial applications.
Sheet vinyl is also a breeze to install and offers both a loose lay or glue down option. However, keep in mind that for larger kitchens the seams might be inevitable, which can invite moisture if installed incorrectly. If this is the case, best to leave it to a professional.
For kitchens, be sure to select a textured vinyl to prevent slips and add a bit of safety. Sheet vinyl is also a great option for spill-prone areas because it is waterproof to topical moisture and incredibly easy to clean. Beauflor's BlackTex HD and SmarTex Pro offer all of these benefits in stylish, modern and realistic visuals.
With premium-quality UV-cured urethane finishes, long-lasting sealers and the durable stains available today, hardwood floors can be durable and moisture-resistant enough for a kitchen’s everyday use. With proper care, solid hardwoods and engineered hardwoods can last for decades in the home. Simply be diligent and wipe up spills as they happen. If you have real concerns about frequent moisture and spills, choose to install waterproof hardwoods, which we’ll dive deeper into later on.
Bathrooms are a frequently used room in the home. As such, they see lots of heavy foot traffic and humidity, which is why bathroom floors need to be long-lasting and easy to maintain. While most rooms in a home are perfectly fine with water-resistant flooring, this is not the case for bathrooms. Bathrooms require a waterproof flooring to protect against mold, mildew and trapped moisture, which cause even more serious structural issues such as buckling or swelling.
As you seek out the best flooring for your bathroom, you’ll be surprised to find more advanced options than just ceramic tile to protect those splash zone areas around a tub or shower. Today, we have choices of vinyl flooring, laminate flooring and waterproof hardwoods.
Vinyl flooring is offered in several styles, such as vinyl sheet and vinyl plank and tiles. And many manufacturers have perfected the natural look of authentic hardwoods, stones and ceramic tile, but at a more budget-friendly price. Vinyl flooring is also quite easy to install for our DIY homeowners. Should an accident occur, a single plank or tile can be easily replaced.
Vinyl sheet is a wonderful bathroom flooring option that can take on lots of water splashes and spills. Due to their 12- to 13-foot roll widths, the vinyl sheet also eliminates the need for seams in rooms with smaller floor plans.
Vinyl plank and tile flooring offer similar qualities to a vinyl sheet, but with the advantage of a composite core that is more dense and can hide subfloor imperfections. Luxury vinyl planks and tiles also offer a wide range of styles, colors, sizes and textures like rustic planks and even stained concrete.
If you prefer the organic, natural beauty of hardwoods, waterproof hardwoods are a wonderful option for bathrooms. This revolutionary new flooring offers the durability and performance of an SPC-based rigid core flooring, but with a 100 percent authentic hardwood veneer.
Raintree is a fantastic waterproof hardwood flooring option. With its NINJA H2O Core technology, it’s completely waterproof and able to resist indentations from heavy objects and high traffic areas.
Living Room Floors
Today, living rooms are often a part of an open floor plan, connected to a larger and more spacious common area which includes the kitchen and even dining room. Because of this, most living rooms cater to the kitchen’s needs and continue through with the same flooring mentioned above.
However, this is not always the case. When moisture and water are taken out of the picture, let’s discuss some of the more common living room flooring options.
The living room or den area is a communal space that invites the entire family to relax. But these areas are also parts of the home where you entertain, often designed to impress, which means these floors need to be durable while also looking their absolute best. Most homeowners prefer the look of hardwoods, which have over a 70 percent popularity rating, according to some sites. Engineered and solid hardwood are really both hardwood floors. The differences are quite simple, but sometimes one is preferred over the other due to the environment.
With engineered hardwoods, homeowners can enjoy cohesive visuals on all levels of the home. Due to the structural stability, engineered hardwood can be installed in basements, and wider widths are also more stable in higher humidity environments. Engineered hardwoods are also less susceptible to shrinkage and swelling due to seasonal changes. Hardwood flooring will also increase your home’s resale value should you decide to sell anytime soon.
Vinyl sheet and vinyl plank and tile make a wonderful option for living rooms. This is a great option for homeowners who want the look of hardwoods but at a more affordable cost.
As the living room is one of the most frequented rooms in a home, vinyl is also low-maintenance and has an inherent ability to resist wear and stains from everyday traffic and use. For this reason alone, vinyl flooring is perfect for households with children–plus the fact that it has a softer surface material that’s kinder on feet and little heads.
Carpet is still considered a desirable choice for bedrooms. However, this flooring does come with disadvantages. One major drawback is that carpet traps allergens and, since you spend many hours sleeping here each day, this can become bad for allergy sufferers and even worse for those with respiratory issues. Also, some new carpets still have off-gas chemicals like formaldehyde, which can be a serious health concern.
At Twenty & Oak, we recommend hardwood flooring instead. It’s relatively warm and provides extra benefits. Unlike carpet, it’s easy to sweep up dust, pollen and allergens. While hardwoods are a bit trickier to maintain, your bedroom is not typically prone to moisture, so there’s less worry. And as we mentioned earlier, hardwood flooring also improves your real estate value.
Many homeowners will also argue that carpet provides a certain warmth as you walk around the bedroom in bare feet. However, it’s important to remember that you can always roll out rugs around the space to achieve the same desire.
Vinyl plank tile is the ideal flooring option for sunrooms. It’s long-lasting and has the benefits of being waterproof, which is especially useful when your sunroom is used as a greenhouse of sorts. Should you accidentally overwater a plant, causing a spill, this rigid core, vinyl plank flooring can withstand the puddle until you find it, without causing damage.
Even if you lack a green thumb, you’ll want this waterproof feature to at least withstand the fluctuation in humidity that sunrooms experience. Because sunrooms have a lot of windows, this area could use some help with acoustics. Installing vinyl plank and tile can help absorb sound and make a sunroom a bit less echoey. Beautiful, realistic visuals are plentiful and many Palmetto Road Waterproof collections are perfect sunroom solutions.
However, not just any vinyl plank tile will work. Select vinyl tile with UV inhibitors to protect against all the natural sunlight exposure. Vinyl products that are approved for sunrooms have a particular core construction and wearlayer that make them suitable for thermal stability to withstand temperature swings. Lastly, always check with the manufacturer to ensure sunroom usage is stated in the product’s warranty.
Basements are a unique area of the home–below ground level and prone to high levels of moisture. Not to mention, they have a concrete subfloor that may have grading imperfections and, over time, may even experience water seepage and humidity fluctuations through the seasons. Plus, the water tanks and septic connections have the potential to flood.
Basements make wonderful extensions to a home, offering space for an entertainment room or a separate bedroom suite with a kitchenette. It’s a shame only to use them as a laundry room space. So with all these considerations and challenges, how do you choose the best floors for your basement?
We’ll make it simple for you. Twenty &Oak’s top pick for your basement is vinyl flooring, and here’s why. It offers the best water-resistant properties as well as sound insulation and durability. Plus, vinyl can resemble anything from textured woodgrains to high-end stones and marbles. It also offers comfortability with a warmer material than tile or simply stained concrete.
Mudrooms and Laundry Room Floors
For mudrooms and laundry rooms, you need something that can withstand high humidity and is easy to maintain. If these areas are entryways and foyers, which also see lots of traffic, consider scratch-resistant flooring as well.
Two fantastic options for these areas are vinyl sheet or vinyl plank and tile. In general, vinyl flooring offers exceptional durability and is water-resistant, if not waterproof entirely. Can you install something high-end like waterproof hardwoods? Absolutely! But unless it’s an extension of a high-traffic common area, like a small laundry room attached to a kitchen, it’s probably unnecessary.
Once You Select Flooring for Your Room
When you’ve chosen your flooring for a particular room, and whether you decide to DIY install or not, make sure to obtain proper measurements! Otherwise, you may find that you ordered too much or too little material. To ensure you have accurate measurements, contact a local dealer. Many of Twenty & Oak’s dealers offer free measurements and estimates, as well as financing options.