So you’ve just bought a new home, congratulations! You’ve burnt a hole in your pocket doing the general repairs, painting the walls, purchasing matching furniturelandscaping the garden, renovating the children’s room, and building a dog house, but you decide to leave the shag carpeting as it is. Why fix it if it ain’t broke right?

Wrong- your choice of flooring is possibly one of the most crucial decisions you have to make in a new home as it will be the choice which is the hardest to modify in the long run. With the wide array of flooring options available to you, be sure to maximize your choice to best suit your lifestyle and needs in the long run.

Money Talks

The very first step is to only consider materials that are within a reasonable price range for you. Work out your budget, and the amount of money that you have allocated to flooring, then search for and evaluate only the options that you can afford.

Flooring for your lifestyle

The next step is to consider your lifestyle – if your home experiences more traffic than a highway at peak hour, then you should be looking for durability in your flooring and also one that’s a breeze to clean.

Also, do you have pets and children who might inadvertently (and most probably) be the main cause of spills and stains on the floor? If so, you probably need a hardier and more stain-resistant form of flooring. For instance, carpet is a big no-no unless you’re very keen on shampooing it very often; soft laminate flooring may be easily dented by the clitter clatter of dog’s nails or children’s toys.

Always bear in mind the final objective for your flooring – what is the room’s main purpose? If it’s a family room, you probably want to make the floor comfortable enough to sit on; if it’s a hallway or kitchen then more durable flooring is needed.

Watch those allergies

If you’re allergic, avoid carpet at all costs. Carpet is usually a breeding hotspot for dust, mites and moulds. Flooring choices that would more greatly benefit your health would be tile, vinyl or wood.

Think about future value

Bear in mind that wood or laminate flooring may actually increase the sales value of your home in the long run, whereas carpets are more prone to devaluation as they older, dirtier and more run down.

Flooring Price Ranking
(out of 5)
Pros Cons
Bamboo 1
  • Hard and stable
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Durable
  • Stain-resistant
  • Long lifespan
May darken in color when exposed to sunlight
Engineered wood 2
  • Has the look and feel of solid wood
  • Easier and less pricey to install
  • Adds stability below grade
  • Only can be professionally refinished about once
  • Shorter lifespan than hardwood
Hardwood (oak, maple, cherry)
  • Have a long lifespan – can be continuously refinished
  • Increases value of home
  • Needs to be sealed or finished in damp conditions
  • Cannot be installed below grade
  • Easily damaged by spills
Stone 3
  • Has a natural and earthy look and texture
  • Adds value to your home
  • May be slippery when wet
  • Porous materials may need to be sealed to protect against stains
Laminate 4
  • Looks almost like real hardwood and stone!
  • Durable
  • Stain-resistant
  • Easy installation
  • Water-resistant
  • Very easy to match
  • Makes a hollow sound
  • Short life – surface cannot be refinished
  • Not suitable for bathrooms
Cork 5
  • Natural insulator
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Long lasting
  • hypoallergenic
  • uneven shades needs professional installation
Ceramic 6
  • great range of patterns and colors
  • cleaning is easy
  • water resistant
  • stain resistant (if glazed)
  • can match almost any space
  • can be cold
  • requires periodic re-sealing
  • needs a perfect subfloor
  • can be self-installed
Linoleum 7
  • environmentally friendly
  • great range of colors
  • antistatic
  • durable
requires professional installation.
Vinyl 8
  • water resistant
  • durable
  • resilient
  • hygienic (no pores)
  • fire resistant
  • possibility of tears, dents and discoloration