Choosing flooring for your new home can seem overwhelming—there are so many materials, designs, colors, and options in general. We would like to help simplify the process because there are key factors that should be taken into consideration before setting your heart on a specific material or wandering around frustrated at the local Home Depot. Keep these thoughts in mind so you can narrow the search quickly and find the perfect flooring for you.

What Room Is It? Does It Make Sense To Put That Flooring There?

There’s an enormous difference between picking flooring for a living room and a bathroom. The bathroom will need to cater to higher levels of moisture, even pooling water. A fancy hardwood oak floor could potentially be ruined, despite how pretty it looks with that claw-foot tub. Expectations of high to medium moisture in a room only leave certain options: concrete or vinyl, ceramic, or porcelain tiles. This doesn’t mean it can’t have the appearance of wood; it just won’t be true hardwood.

Where Will The Flooring Go?

Floors below grade, or below ground level, tend to attract more moisture, limiting options. Rooms with significant levels of natural light may change color. Sometimes the color change is wanted with certain types of hardwood, while other kinds of wood and some linoleum can fade or turn yellowish.

Consider Lifestyle Needs

If you have three cats roaming around and someone has allergies, it might be difficult to get all the fur out of the carpet. However, if there’s a puppy, it would be ideal to have something durable, like plank vinyl or laminate flooring. Small children are prone to spills. If there’s carpet in the dining room, how likely are stains from mealtimes? It’s important to keep in mind how much effort you want to spend cleaning the floor. Some of us like low-maintenance floors that are more resilient, like vinyl.

The Material

Naturally, this is part of the thought-process all along, but it should be taken into its own consideration at some point. First of all, the vibe is important. The flooring should match the style of the room, coordinating with the walls, trim, and the furniture you plan on placing there. The texture is essential as well: carpets are cozy, hardwood floors can be rustic or elegant, and bamboo can subtly brighten a room. Mainly, however, you’ll be considering the budget. This includes whether or not you plan on putting in the floor yourself and how much you’re able to spend on the material itself once you consider the installation prices. Ability to afford a specific material will also be dependent on the square footage of the room. It may be within range to put hardwood in the dining room, but the large kitchen would be difficult to cover.

Remember to be flexible! Look online, negotiate prices, and put a solid effort into finding the right home remodeling contractor. There are also advantages and disadvantages to every type of flooring, so get on your computer or smartphone and research before deciding on anything. Take your time choosing the perfect flooring—you’re going to see it every day.