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Your Home Remodel Guide to Flooring Finishes

Though flooring sales lagged a bit in 2020, they picked right back up in 2021, leaving little to be desired in the way of profit throughout the market itself. That doesn’t mean homeowners ever stopped needing their flooring replaced, though.

Purchasing flooring can be a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be a scary one. In fact, with a bit of planning and guidance, you’re sure to set yourself up for success. Luckily, we’re here to help you out along the way.

What Does the Room Need?

A bright kitchen with a newly installed vinyl floor
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The first (and most important) thing you should consider is what exactly the room you’re installing new flooring in needs.

If you’re looking for new flooring for your kitchen, then you’re likely to need something durable and water-resistant. If you’re looking for new flooring for your living room, then you’re going to have a bit more freedom with the flooring you choose.

If the room itself experiences a high amount of traffic, then you might want to opt for hardwood or tile, but if you’re going to be standing in it a lot then opting for those two options might be an uncomfortable mistake.

Other Things to Consider

That isn’t all you should consider, though. In fact, that’s just the beginning of where your plans should start. Here are a few more things you’ll need to keep in mind throughout the process.


While you’ll need to keep your budget in mind, you shouldn’t allow it to rule over everything you do. In fact, the less importance you can place on this factor, the better. That’s where only looking at options that fit within your budget is going to come in handy.

No matter your price range, there are options available for you to choose from. You might not be able to get custom stone tile or hardwood floors, but you can find beautiful laminate options in just about every budget.

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The other thing to consider is extra costs. That means underlayment, delivery, installation, and additional materials like baseboards, stains, or even adhesive if it’s needed.


Next, how much time do you have for maintenance?

Any type of flooring can easily last decades under the right conditions, but if you don’t have the time (or you simply don’t like) to follow manufacturer instructions for maintaining your floors, then you’ll need to reconsider your choice. This is especially true if you’re going for high-end or luxury flooring.

What Do You Want?

Finally, what do you want the overall look and feel of the flooring in your home to be like? This is obviously going to depend on personal preference, so it’s essential that you sit down and plan this part out before you buy anything.

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If you’re looking for a modern feel with lots of customization options, then concrete is a great option for this. If you want something cozy that still comes with those customization options, then wood might be best for you.

Here are a few other great options out there.

Concrete Floor

Concrete flooring is the perfect example of simplicity. With the right staining, stamping, and finish, you’re going to find that it’s not only easy to maintain, but it’s stylish in any room you put it in. From inlaid tile to radiant heating, your options are endless.

It also lasts a lot longer than other flooring options, making it perfect for suiting a variety of different styles and needs. With the right sealing, you don’t have to worry about stains, and its drop resistance is out of this world.


If you’re looking for cozy flooring, carpeting is a great way to go. It’s also great for cold areas, as the material can help with thermal insulation and resistance, adding an energy-conserving boost to its properties as well. If you have kids or work from home, carpet is a great way to keep your floors feeling soft and easy to walk across at any hour.

You might not associate carpet with clean and improved air quality, but it actually helps with exactly that. Studies have shown that properly cleaned and maintained carpets can actually reduce symptoms of asthma and other allergies.

It’s also great for keeping mold and mildew at bay, as nothing can grow between the synthetic fibers when they’re kept clean and dry.

Carpet is also great for helping to keep your home quiet. If you have noisy TVs or loud sound systems, carpet actually works to improve those acoustics. The same goes for noise from foot traffic you’ll find on stairs inside your home.

Wood Floor

Hardwood flooring is a great option for a lot of different homeowners. If you’ve ever seen a home improvement show, you’ve likely seen homeowners or renovators rip up carpets and become ecstatic when they find hardwood underneath. It’s a coveted classic, and it’s easy to refinish if you ever get tired of the color you originally chose.

Hardwood flooring brings a level of warmth and character that other types of flooring simply lack. It brings balance to a lot of different rooms, and it’s simple to maintain once you know what you’re doing. 

Potential Pitfalls

While some wooden floors can be easily scratched up by pets or children, if you go for the right kind then you’ll find this isn’t a problem. Even if you do find scratches or dings, wood is easy to sand down and refinish in a pinch.

If you work with a contractor and they suggest mixing different species of wood, just remember to pay particular attention. You want to be sure they have similar cellular structures since this means they’ll have similar expansion and contraction rates.

Tile Flooring

If you take a step back at the sheer amount of options tile affords you, you might realize there’s a lot more there than you initially thought. Not only that, but it’s also readily available, versatile, and definitely cost-effective. There are also a lot of materials you can choose from.

You can also choose from a lot of different options depending on the size you need. Whether it’s small mosaic pieces or large 12 by 12 squares, there’s something out there that can fit into your space.

Linoleum Floor

Linoleum is made of linseed oil, meaning it’s waterproof, and it’s also environmentally friendly. Sheet linoleum is best for bathrooms and kitchens, though you do need to seal around wet areas with caulking, that applies to any flooring you choose.

Standing water also isn’t an issue with linoleum unless it can penetrate the substrate underneath. Then, the water can damage the substrate and cause the linoleum to peel.

What Is Linoleum Best For?

While linoleum is a great option for a lot of different rooms, it’s best for high-traffic areas like mudrooms, entryways, kitchens, and bathrooms. Not only is it easy to maintain, but it’s also easy to repair.

Since the color runs through every layer of the tile, it means that scratches, cuts, and other minor damages can be buffed out and resealed without any noticeable change.

Laminate or Vinyl Flooring

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Laminate flooring is another one of those widely available options that seem to be everywhere you turn. That’s because the material itself is highly durable, easy to install yourself, and easy to clean or repair. There are also a lot of different options out there for laminate flooring, and you can choose pretty much any color or print you’d like.

While it’s easy to maintain, though, it isn’t great for just any space in your home. Vinyl or laminate planks aren’t moisture-proof, so placing them in bathrooms or even kitchens isn’t always the best idea. If you do place it in a wet area, it’s important to keep as much moisture off the ground as possible.

That being said, laminate is still a great option for anyone on a budget looking for luxury inside their home. You can mimic the feeling of wood floors without spending nearly as much money.

Which Flooring Finishes Are Your Favorite?

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A person is standing on a beautifully laid vinyl floor
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Now that we’ve gone over a few of the best flooring finishes, are you ready to get started? Whether you’re replacing the flooring throughout your entire home or just a few rooms, the possibilities are endless. Just remember to keep a few key considerations in mind while making your decision, and you’ll be set to go.

If you’re having a tough time making your decision, Alpha Living is here to help. Our experts can advise you about the different options to make the most informed decision possible.

Tap here to connect with Reliable Local Flooring Experts.

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