If you’re thinking about replacing your floors (whether it’s for yourself or before putting your home on the market), you’ll no doubt feel overwhelmed by the number of choices you’ll have to make. Materials, styles, finishes, pricing, durability—there’s a lot you need to consider. We can’t tell you what color tile will best bring out the blue in your dog’s eyes (we could, but not for the purposes of this article), but we can help you figure out what you should know before you get started.

First things first. Whom are the new floors for? Are you replacing worn down floor surfaces and/or remodeling for yourself? Or are you preparing your house (or thinking about preparing your house) for sale? The choices you make will depend on this answer more than any other question you might be asked.

How long do you plan to be in your home? A high-quality, more expensive choice that’s known for its durability is worth it if you’re hoping to enjoy it for years to come. That staying power for floors you’re likely to abandon in the near future? While the future owners of your home will be grateful, you need to decide if that is the best investment you can make or whether you might be able to choose something equally attractive but that doesn’t have to survive an apocalypse.

If selling is your game plan, buyers often tend to prefer the look of wood (hardwood, engineered wood, or laminate) in main areas, neutral tiling or natural stone in kitchen and bath areas, and carpeting in the bedroom areas. But this isn’t set in stone (see what we did there?).

Choosing a single type of flooring throughout the house makes your home appear larger and establishes good “flow” from room to room. If your house has an open layout, in particular, a single type of flooring prevents abrupt starts and stops from one room boundary to the next.

(If you’re pro-flow but love the idea of using several different flooring materials, you can compromise by choosing a general color family across tile, wood, and carpeting options and achieve a similar result.)

Remember that flooring is very taste-specific. For instance, zebra print carpeting or nautical tiles may be your thing. Fill your whole house with what works for you. Keep in mind, though, that a potential buyer may not share your fondness for animal print or the sea.

If you’re making changes for a sale, it’s always smart to speak with your real estate agent first about any investments you intend to make to increase your home value. There are many variables to consider (e.g., local preference trends among buyers, the price range of your house and neighboring homes, etc.). Ask the questions before you spend the money. Then you can make the choices that will yield your desired results.

If you’re redoing your floors for you, it’s really relatively simple. What do you love? What feels good under your feet? What is aesthetically pleasing to you? What will withstand the abuse your family will inflict upon it? What is within your budget? An experienced team of designers, contractors, and tradesmen can work with you to pick what works best for your specific needs and preferences.

Who lives with you matters. Dogs, cats, rabbits, pot-bellied pigs (no judgment here) roaming freely in your home? Children gleefully dancing around with sippy cups? It’s important to consider who is living in your home and how kindly or unkindly they’re likely to treat whatever flooring you’re putting down. That gorgeous ivory carpeting in the latest interior design magazines does not have to survive pets, toddlers, or adults prone to dropping and spilling things.

Where you live matters. In North Dakota for instance, where you’re stepping onto icicles when you throw back the covers on winter mornings, the idea of your feet greeting warm, soft carpeting is no doubt appealing. That same carpeting in high heat and humidity? Perhaps not so much.

But the hardwood…You’ve no doubt seen HARDWOOD FLOORS emphasized in real estate listings (and mentioned in a bragging manner by that neighbor who drives you crazy showing off all the work she’s had done on her home). There is an assumption that hardwood is a beautiful and elegant solution to all of your flooring needs. While we agree that hardwood floors look beautiful, hardwood is by no means the only viable choice when deciding what’s best for your space. (Check out this great Floor Buyer’s Guide by HGTV to give you a sense of the wide array of materials and styles available!)

 Just say no to carpeting in bathrooms and kitchens. Please. High-traffic areas where children are working on potty training and/or adults are making large batches of marinara? Pick something else. Almost anything else. You’ll thank us later. (Don’t believe us? The Spruce agrees with us and gives pros and cons for alternatives!)

Regardless of your sense of style, intentions for the home, and budget, there’s a flooring choice available to beautify your home. Let HPI help you explore your options. Take advantage of a free in-home estimate on all services. Call 410.757.2658 to schedule your appointment.