9 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing Flooring

No one likes to make mistakes, especially in their home. After all, you’re bound to spend a lot of time in this space — it’s essential to get it right. But the reality is you can make a few blunders along the way.

Picking the right flooring is a big decision, especially for first-time homeowners who don’t have experience with the shopping process. Mistakes can make your home seem odd, so pay attention to these tips to prevent the potential eyesore.

Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Ventura, San Diego and Orange County with reliable flooring contractors, we help homeowners navigate their home remodeling projects every day. Contact GreatBuildz today at (818.317.3567) or visit our website for more information.

1. Skipping Research and Comparison

Flooring in dining room

Some people may settle for the first flooring they see because they think it looks great, but it’s important to look at its pros and cons first. For example, marble tiles are quite durable, making them ideal for high-traffic areas in your household.

But while they are functional in that regard, they are quite expensive. If you wanted the same function without the price tag, it would be better to use porcelain tiles instead.

2. Fumbling Measurements

Size matters when you’re choosing your flooring. Take your pick between smaller or larger planks or tiles when shopping. Aside from that particular decision, you also need to consider the measurements of your home.

Back in 2022, the average floor area size of single-family houses was around 2,522 square feet. However, each space will have different measurements depending on its construction. Ask a professional for help or manually measure how many feet the length and width of each room is.

3. Forgetting Subfloor Planning

With a subfloor, your flooring is much more stable, so it’s important to sort this foundation out before you buy and install your flooring. Unfortunately, most homeowners forget about it, which can cause sinking and noise issues in the long run.

To avoid this, figure out the layer beneath your flooring. Some homes utilize plywood to support their floor, while others use concrete. No matter which subfloor you choose, ensure it’s in mint condition. Run an inspection to see if everything is dry and leveled.

4. Not Taking Notes About Maintenance

Some homeowners might pick out flooring without understanding how to clean it. However, it’s important to know about these facts early on in the shopping process, especially if you’re looking for an option that’s easy to clean.

For instance, some wood flooring options can be tricky to maintain — they can take quite a while to dry up when mopping, even taking in water damage. If you want something easier, tile is more suitable.

5. Failing to Consider the Room

Some people pick the same flooring for every portion of their house. While it can seem aesthetically pleasing, it might not be ideal in the long run. Some options don’t do well in certain rooms due to the activities and conditions there, so it’s vital to determine what materials and finishes work with a specific space.

Here are some flooring options and the type of room they’re compatible with:

  • Hardwood for bedrooms: Dark hardwood flooring can appear attractive and cozy thanks to its natural look. Having it in your bedroom is ideal since you prioritize relaxation and comfort here.
  • Porcelain tile for bathrooms: It’s crucial to pick bathroom flooring that can withstand liquids and moisture. Luckily, porcelain tiles have strong water-repelling properties, making them ideal for even the longest of showers.
  • Luxury vinyl for kitchens: In case of spills while cooking, luxury vinyl tiles and planks can be quite a good option. They’re durable and easy to clean compared to other materials.

6. Ignoring Installation Specifications

Flooring installations are a delicate process, especially for certain materials. Unfortunately, some homeowners may ignore these intricacies to get it all over with faster. However, you have to look out for these specifications when you’re shopping.

For instance, wood flooring must acclimate since it contracts depending on your home’s temperature. Some variations can take a couple days to a week, which you must not rush to prevent warping and gaps that can cause accidents in the future.

7. Forgoing Floor Sealing

Flooring with dog

After the installation, it’s important to add a floor coating, as certain materials like natural stone need sealing because of their porous surface. Some homeowners may skip this step for various reasons, but doing so can cause more harm than good.

When people skip adding sealer, cracks and gaps appear more often. The material itself is also more susceptible to damage throughout its use, warranting replacements sooner rather than later. Take the extra step to lengthen your floor’s life span.

8. Refusing Floor Coverings

While choosing your flooring, you might also come across different mats, carpets and rugs. Some people decide not to get one, thinking it’s solely for decoration. However, floor coverings also work as protection against food traffic.

For instance, if you plan on working out, training mats can make landing jumping exercises easier while keeping your floor in good condition. Don’t skimp on buying these for your home.

9. Misestimating Your Budget

It’s essential to be frugal where you can as a homeowner. However, it’s another thing to settle for low-quality flooring that will endanger you and your loved ones. Don’t go an option just because it’s cheaper — ensure you evaluate its strength and ask questions about its longevity.

At the same time, avoid going for flooring materials beyond your budget. When you find one you like, try to gauge the average price for that material and check your finances to see whether it’s doable. Alternatively, use price filter tools to avoid viewing options outside your limit.

How to Choose the Right Flooring

Now, you might wonder how to choose the proper flooring for your home. Avoiding the mistakes above is the best prerequisite, but there are other actions you can take to make the right decision.

Flooring at home

1. Know Your Preferences

When you go floor shopping, knowing what you already like is essential. Ask yourself what colors and tile shapes you prefer for your home.

Maybe there are certain features you want as well — for instance, if you prioritize sustainability in your household, look for materials milled or created locally to lower your carbon footprint. You can also consider recycled flooring options.

2. Seek a Contractor

Homeowners often DIY smaller-scale home improvement projects like lawn maintenance and painting. However, it may be ideal to get in touch with a contractor when it comes to flooring projects.

Some hand-done projects don’t go to plan, which can harm your safety. It could also become money down the drain since some home insurance policies don’t cover damage you might accidentally create. Get in touch with a service provider to get it right.

3. Take Your Time

Try to give yourself as much time as possible when shopping for flooring. A lot of mistakes can happen when you try to rush through the process, so give yourself permission to slow down.

Finding the option that suits you best is more important than buying one fast.

Pick Your Flooring Wisely

When thinking about the comfort and functionality of their homes, most people imagine interior design features like furniture and decor.

While those are significant factors, your flooring can make a world of difference, so give yourself enough time to choose one wisely.

Finding a contractor on your own can be an involved, long process. Don’t have the time? Let GreatBuildz do all of the hard work for you. Just reach out to us to be matched with one of our trusted, pre-vetted flooring contractors in the Los Angeles and Southern California area. Contact GreatBuildz today at (818.317.3567) or visit our website for more information.

Hi, we're Paul and Jon - Co-Founders of GreatBuildz. We believe everyone deserves to find a great contractor, have a stress-free renovation, and enjoy their beautiful new space. There are so many contractors out there and it's often hard to tell the good from the bad... until it's too late. We started our company to help simplify your contractor search and help you have a stress-free renovation experience. We're always available to help, no matter where you are in the process. Click here to learn more about our story.

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