Think about the flooring in your home. You might not give much thought to this feature on a daily basis, but it’s essentially the foundation of your property. The way it looks and feels underfoot is critical to your comfort.
Whether you’re building a new house from scratch or remodeling an existing structure, it’s important to know the facts about residential flooring. Thanks to the Digital Age, we’re more connected to one another than ever before, but there’s a ton of misinformation swirling around on the internet.
Today, we’re here to separate fact from fiction. In this guide, we’ll debunk some of the most common myths in this space so you can feel confident about the flooring you choose.
Engineered Hardwoods Are Sub-Par
Do you love the look of solid hardwoods? If so, then you might be bent on installing them in your home. While they can be gorgeous and certainly hold their value over time, there’s no denying that their price tag can also be a little higher.
In addition, real hardwoods can are also susceptible to expanding and contracting as the humidity levels in your home fluctuate.
For these reasons, many flooring professionals will recommend engineered hardwoods instead. These planks include layers of real hardwood, as well as plywood. Conversely, solid hardwood contains no plywood.
That extra layer makes engineered hardwoods incredibly durable, and more resistant to changes than the solid varieties. These floors are designed to wear well, last for decades, and retain their appearance. Typically, most designs are also more cost-effective.
The bottom line? If you want the look of solid hardwoods for less, then don’t discount the value that engineered hardwood flooring can provide. This type of flooring is ideal anywhere in your home but works especially well in areas that typically see a good degree of moisture, such as your basement.
Laminate Flooring Looks Fake
Laminate flooring has come a long way since the brightly colored geometric designs that graced your grandparents’ home. Modern versions are sleek, seamless, and available in a wide range of finishes. In fact, you can find laminate flooring that looks like hardwoods, tile, and even stone!
That said, you might still be concerned that laminate floors will look cheap compared to the rest of your finishes. If that’s the case, then take the time to visit a local flooring showroom. There, you can see for yourself how realistic and beautiful laminate can be.
Newer laminate floors are more rugged and longer-lasting than their earlier counterparts. Plus, they’re also refreshingly versatile! This type of flooring is perfect for a kitchen, bathroom, or sunroom. It’s a cinch to keep clean and shines up easily.
All Solid Hardwood Is the Same
Is your heart set on solid hardwoods? If so, then you might think that you can simply visit your local flooring store, choose a plank size, and walk out in a few minutes.
In reality, there are hundreds of different varieties to choose from, though some are more popular than others. Some of the most common choices include:
- Red oak
- European white oak
- American walnut
As you can see, these hardwoods vary greatly in terms of color and finish. Some are also longer-lasting and easier to clean and maintain than others. It’s best to visit a flooring store in person to get a true vision of how the planks will look in your home.
Carpet Is Outdated
If you hop online to search for house design inspiration, it doesn’t take long to realize that the modern farmhouse aesthetic is everywhere. As you click through Pinterest or scroll Instagram, you’ll be inundated with images of hardwood floors, white walls, and stark interiors.
This might make you re-think your dream of installing soft and cozy carpets in your living and sleeping spaces. Though you love how luxurious carpet can feel, you might worry that it’s outdated and not on-trend anymore.
We’re here to help ease your mind! Today, you can find tons of carpet styles that are absolutely stylish, comfy, and designed to elevate the look of any room. The key is to choose a pattern that you can design around and that you’ll love looking at for years.
It’s also important to use the right accessories and hire the right team. Carpet that’s incorrectly lined up or installed can look sloppy and out of place. Simple additions like carpet gripper rods can make all the difference in the way your carpets and rugs look in a space.
Vinyl Flooring Is Obsolete
When you think of vinyl flooring, your mind might immediately go to your parents’ old bathroom. You likely have visions of the cheap vinyl bubbling up in the middle of peeling away in the corners. You may also remember it staining easily, and discoloring over time.
Thankfully, newer vinyl is much more trendy, durable, and tough. Like laminate, it’s available in many different finishes. One of the most common ways to incorporate it into your home is to look at Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) flooring.
Designed to mimic the look and feel of hardwoods at a fraction of the price, LVP is quickly becoming the go-to flooring of choice for many budget-conscious homeowners. Not only does it look very similar to the real thing, but most LVP floors also resist water and wear better than solid or engineered hardwoods.
As such, they’re a great fit in bathrooms and laundry rooms. They sweep up in seconds and give your home a fresh, modern look. So, rid your mind of those outdated versions, and look into this type of flooring as you plan your project.
Carpet Will Bother My Allergies
If you suffer from any type of allergies, then you might worry that carpet will aggravate them and worsen your symptoms. If you were to install carpet 10 to 15 years ago, then this might be the case.
Whether you were near rugs or wall-to-wall carpet, older versions were known to trap dust and debris in the air. If you hung out or slept near those surfaces, then you might notice that your eyes began to water or your nose started to run.
For that reason, you may be tempted to squash the idea of carpet altogether in favor of smooth vinyl, laminate, or hardwood flooring. While those are great options in their own right, it’s important to note that some newer carpets can actually help your allergies.
Advanced designs work to trap and eliminate allergens floating in the air. This improves your indoor air quality and can make it easier to breathe well at home. Plus, they also feature anti-bacterial and anti-stain features that make it easy to keep them clean.
All Engineered Hardwoods Are the Same
When it comes to different types of flooring, you might think that all engineered hardwoods will look and feel the same. After all, they’re modified versions of solid hardwoods, so shouldn’t they all have the same properties?
As you begin to shop around, you’ll find that this isn’t the case. In fact, engineered hardwoods vary greatly in terms of finish and appearance. You’ll also discover that the top layer (or wear layer) is available in varying degrees of thickness.
In general, engineered hardwood planks with a thicker wear layer will last longer than thinner varieties. They’re designed to retain their look for years, even with daily wear and tear. The only caveat is that these varieties will also be on the higher end of the pricing scale, though the durability is worth the investment.
Solid Hardwoods Are Hard to Maintain
Once you invest in solid hardwoods, you naturally want them to last as long as possible. Yet, you may worry about the costs involved with their upkeep.
Will you have to refinish them every few years? Do you have to buy special cleaning products to help them look their best?
Truthfully, all you have to do to keep your hardwood floors looking great is to dry-mop them every few days with a soft, microfiber cloth. As long as you don’t apply any wax or use a wet mop, they should last for years. While you may require periodic refinishing, the upkeep associated with solid hardwoods isn’t any more extensive (or expensive) than any other type of flooring.
Concrete Floors Just Go in the Basement
When you think about concrete flooring, you may just envision it in your basement. Or, you might see it in your garage. However, did you know that it can also look warm and inviting in other areas of your home?
There are many polishes and epoxy finishes that can turn concrete from an industrial material into a residential one. It looks gorgeous in kitchens, patios, and even family rooms when done correctly. Think outside the box and look into concrete if you need an economical yet sleek flooring solution.
Choose Your Best Residential Flooring
When it comes to the best home flooring, the optimal choice is one that you’ll love to look at every day. While there are several different myths floating around about the flooring industry, there’s no right or wrong type to pick.
However, you should be well-educated about the most popular and modern types of residential flooring available today. Modern floors are more durable and longer-lasting than most older varieties.
As you shop for your new space, we’re here to keep you updated on all of the lifestyle news you need. Check back often for more advice and buying guides!