Buying flooring should be a fun experience; unfortunately, it is often exasperating because of the sheer number of choices and price points. Flooring is an integral part of the house puzzle, and can provide an interesting backdrop for the rest of your design project.
Since flooring takes so much abuse, it’s smart to make a wise and thoughtful investment. Paint is rather inexpensive, can liven up your house and easily changed. Installing flooring, on the other hand, should be considered as adding value to the resale of your home. The flooring doesn’t have to be expensive; it just has to be tasteful and of good quality.
As you go shopping, consider that flooring can make a huge impact on the look of your house and your attitude. New floors can provide comfort as well as cleanliness. If you have young children and pets, this is an especially important consideration.
Before you go shopping, here are six tips that will help you make a good decision:
1.Determine your priorities. Decide which floors you want to change and what is important. How much time do you spend in each room? Do you have pets or children, or both? Do you spend time on the floor? Are you thinking of selling your house, and if so, how much maintenance are you willing to do? These days, we all have busy schedules, and spending time housecleaning may not be our first thought.
2. Err on the side of maintenance and performance. Most flooring will last forever, but many types-like carpeting, for example—will not look good forever. Many make the mistake of choosing flooring based solely on how long it will last rather than how it will hold up. Carpet is easily stained and difficult to keep sanitary, although there are new products out there then make cleanliness easy. If you want to be more ‘artsy’, you can add an area rug or two.
3. Go online to check for flooring retailers in your area. Once you’ve found a few retailers, check out their reputation through Yelp, Angie’s List, City Search and social media. What are their customers saying about them Ask? around, see where your friends have been shopping for flooring.
4.Check with flooring retailers to see what type of software they use. Specialized software called 2020 designs is used for kitchens and baths and shows how flooring will look in different rooms. Is the retailer able to bring up his or her website or provide room scenes to show the quality of his work?
Use Pinterest to generate some ideas. It’s likely the retailers or their manufacturers will have a page to show their products in room scenes.
5.Don’t put a maximum on your budget. Before you decide how much you can spend, you need to know what qualities you want. Choosing to stay within your budget may be a short-term fix but a long term headache. Choosing a stain-resistant floor that’s easily cleaned is a smart move. Check with the store to see if they have any financing specials that will allow for monthly payments. This way, you can get what you want and need.
6.Consider your floors as a backdrop for your home. There are great hard-surface, easy-care floors that will stay clean with little work. If you need more pizzazz, bring home different paint colors and try them out.
If you can’t afford or don’t want the real thing, the new stone, tile and wood “look alikes” are beautiful and easy to keep clean.
The main thing to remember is to have an open mind when you shop. As in any industry, things continually change. Your flooring expert will be able to offer you plenty of good ideas.
Lisbeth Calandrino is the Associate Publisher of Fabulous Floors Magazine. She consults with flooring retailers and manufacturers conducting customer service, sales and product knowledge seminars. To find out more about Lisbeth, go to her web site, http://www.lisbethcalandrino.com
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