10 Questions to Ask Before Buying a New Floor
Buying new floors for your home is an exciting and worthwhile investment. Ask yourself these 10 questions to help make sure you make the right choice for your space.
1. Where are you installing your floors?
Whether you're installing flooring throughout your entire home, or just a room or two, you'll need to consider your needs for that area. For example, you may want water-resistant flooring in your kitchen or bathroom but may not need it in the living room. Knowing your flooring needs and priorities can help you figure out where to begin.
2. Is my home environment suitable for the flooring I want?
The choices available to you may depend on the conditions in your space. Not all flooring is constructed to withstand high moisture levels or fluctuations in temperature—you'll need to be sure that your chosen flooring is compatible with your home's environment before you commit. Once you've made that commitment, it's a good idea to acclimate flooring made from natural materials to its new setting before you install it. This allows the planks to expand or contract based on your household temperature and humidity. The time needed for this process is variable, depending on your location and flooring type. Give careful thought to the best type of flooring for your climate.
3. How easy is it to maintain this flooring?
Different floors need different types of cleaning. The majority of floors need light sweeping or vacuuming (with no hard bristles) and use a neutral cleaner (such as Bellawood Floor Cleaner) for a deeper clean. Some floors can even be wet or steamed mopped. Always check your flooring choice’s care and maintenance guide or our Floor Care Maintenance section for maintaining specific flooring types.
4. What are your plans for installation?
Easy-click laminate flooring and vinyl flooring are simple DIY projects. Depending on the type of flooring, like glue down hardwood and tile, you may need professional guidance. LL Flooring provides professional installations from licensed contractors.
5. What is life going to throw at your floor?
Assessing the amount of foot traffic you have in different areas helps when you choose your flooring. For parents and pet owners, dent and scuff-resistant flooring is ideal. For rooms like kitchens and bathrooms, waterproof vinyl, laminate, and hybrid resilient floors are good options. In spaces such as an office or dining room, you can consider hardwood flooring with a gloss finish. Regardless of the type of flooring, you need to be attentive to spills and be prepared either to wipe up quickly or to go for a worry-free, waterproof flooring option.
6. What style do you prefer?
Consider your preferences for the design and style of your flooring. Browsing different shades, colors, grains, sizes, and patterns will give you an idea of which style works best for you and your project. Narrow planks give a rustic feel to your floor while wide planks are more contemporary. Dark floors are richer whereas grays and whites have a modern flair. Combining the two will give your room a strong, dramatic feel. And we're happy to help you find the right floor for your space with both our Picture-It Floor Visualizer Tool using any smart phone, or our in-store experts at the LL Flooring location near you. Simply answer a couple of questions to help narrow down your flooring options and find some choices that meet your needs and design.
7. Will your floors match your existing decor?
It can be difficult to picture different flooring options in your home. You want to make sure that it fits with your style and other rooms, but after looking at lots of samples and examples it can become frustrating. Use LL Flooring’s Picture It! Visualizer found on every product page, to try out those potential floors in your home with the push of a button.
8. Do you have a timeline?
Whether you’re hiring a professional or taking the DIY route, setting a timeline helps keep everyone on task. Organize a timeline for the major steps like having flooring delivered and installation times. But try to remember those easy-to-forget factors like how much time your floor needs to acclimate or how long a finish needs to dry. Having these steps laid out makes it easier for you to tackle this project one step at a time.
9. How much flooring will you need?
Measure the length and width of a room and multiply one by the other to find the square footage of a room so you'll know how much to purchase. And be sure to add a 5-10% cutting allowance. Plus, it helps to buy an extra box of flooring to touch up any accidents during installation or down the road. And don’t forget smaller details. LL Flooring offers a wide range of underlayments, molding, baseboards, vents, grills, and treads to compliment your flooring. Buying these at the same time as your flooring saves on trips to the store and helps ensure a seamless installation.
10. What's your project budget?
Creating and sticking to a budget helps you manage your flooring project. Be sure to take into account the smaller parts of the process. This includes installation tools and paints or stains for unfinished wood products. Every project comes with the possibility of extra expenses. Add a contingency fund to your budget or look into some of the easy financing options that LL Flooring offers.
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In this short video below, installation expert Mark takes the mystery out of a common situation that beginners may question in a tricky area, while also showing one of his favorite magic tricks with any installation.