Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Floors

Updated: April 10th, 2024

Picking out new floors is a big deal and can potentially be the single most important decision you’ll have to make in any home renovation. They’re the one thing that you and every guest in your home are guaranteed to see and interact with every single day. So, they need to look good and hold up to daily traffic—and should do both of those things for a very long period of time. When you have a new floor installed, you literally have to live with that decision for years. New floors are not something you want buyer’s remorse on, or to get stuck wondering after the installation if you made the right decisions. The best way to avoid post-installation regrets when getting new floors installed is go into the process with as much knowledge as possible. At Empire Today®, we seem many common mistakes when selecting flooring. Here are some that you should be aware of and know how to avoid.

Not Matching Flooring Type to Your Overall Needs

Aesthetics will almost always be a top criteria when shopping for new flooring, but it’s important to not let your style desires overwhelm your practical needs. Durability and maintenance requirements should always be top considerations when selecting the types of flooring for the common rooms in your home. And, of course, adhering to a budget is a major part of the equation. Each of these factors carries a different significance to each shopper, and to maximize your long-term happiness with your new floors, it’s critical to find the products that check all the boxes on your list. Here are some common scenarios flooring sales professionals see:

  • Hardwood and high traffic: You may have your heart set on genuine hardwood floors, but you need to be realistic about whether they are a good match for your home. Have pets or active kids who run though the house in their soccer cleats? A laminate flooring for a wood look with added scratch resistance or engineered hardwood to handle potential scratches and scuffs will likely be a better option, without giving up your style goals.
  • Carpet in heavy traffic areas: As a way to save some money, you may be considering carpet for a heavily trafficked den or hallway. But even the most durable, stain-resistant carpet can quickly begin to show wear in extra-busy households. Instead, you may be able to find an affordable laminate or vinyl plank that fits your style wants and can better handle the traffic.
  • Tile in large spaces: You might be in love with the easy maintenance of porcelain or ceramic tile in a large living space, but that tile can make the space noisier and colder than you’d like. Depending on your durability needs, the right carpet or a vinyl plank floor may be a better option.

Bottom line: consider your needs both from durability and style standpoints, then weave in budget realities, too. There’s likely a perfect type of flooring for your unique situation, but sometimes it’s easy easy to overlook it by focusing on a single aesthetic characteristic you’ve fallen in love with.

Flooring Mismatches

If you’re choosing new flooring for just one room, you’ll want to consider the existing floors that will be staying in the home. Generally speaking, most interior designers will caution against installing too many different types of flooring in a home—especially in adjacent rooms. For example, if you have a tile foyer that connects to a hardwood-floored hallway, which in turn leads to a den whose floor is done in a plush carpet, the overall space might have a patchwork look. Not only can this undermine an otherwise beautiful, cohesive design scheme. mismatches like this can often be a turn-off to prospective homebuyers. Two different types of carpet butting up to each other is another situation that interior designers might caution against.

While interior design is all about personal taste and bending the rules, there are always common guidelines that are worth sticking to. In general, a smaller home should have fewer types of flooring installed throughout its space to keep things looking well thought out. In fact, sticking with one dominant floor throughout most of the home may even help make a small rooms look bigger. This suggestion mainly applies to each level of a home, as different stories offer a natural separation between flooring types.

Forgetting About Tomorrow

We know it’s easy to get caught up in the vision you have for your home today, but it’s also important to consider tomorrow’s needs—especially if you’re shopping for your forever home. A child or a new pet a few years down the line could drastically change your flooring needs, and going back to the flooring drawing board in a couple years is something you’ll want to avoid. If any major life changes are on the horizon, even years down the line, they’re worth thinking about when floor shopping now.

Choosing Trendy When It Doesn’t Work

Sometimes the hottest flooring trends of the day just don’t fit your situation. You should never feel like the current popular option is the right floor choice for your home. More and more interior design today is transitional, merging traditional and contemporary elements. Contemporary design trends are always changing, but you’ll find many classic flooring options never really go out of style, even if they do slightly decline in popularity. These stalwart styles could be exactly what your home needs.

Attempting DIY Flooring When You Really Can’t Handle It

Flooring installation is best left to experienced professionals, for a variety of reasons. In addition to having honed their installation skills through in-depth training and constant practice, pros need to be up to date on building codes and other industry best practices that you might not find in a DIY book or blog. If you decide to give it a go on your own, you take on all of the responsibility for any installation errors. While some mistakes may only be visual, others can result in floors that are dangerous or more prone to premature wear.

For most homeowners, the cost of hiring a flooring installer is worth the added peace of mind in knowing the installation has been done by a licensed professional who carries the appropriate insurance and qualifications to perform the work.

Considering new flooring for your home and want to make sure you avoid the mistakes common to first-time shoppers and do-it-yourselfers? Schedule a FREE In-Home Estimate today.

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