Flooring is one of the most important aspects of a house, so knowing the ins and outs of its design and impact is crucial to getting the right floor for your home. One of the first decisions to make is should flooring be the same throughout the house? Many people choose to have different flooring in different rooms. For example, carpet in the bedrooms, wood floors in the living areas, and tile in the bathrooms.
However, we shouldn’t overlook the advantages of keeping the flooring consistent throughout the entire house. There are many features you should pay attention to when seeking out whole house flooring ideas. Durability, for example, is definitely a major factor to consider, especially if you have children or pets. In this article, we’ll go over a few of the most important factors when it comes to selecting a flooring style, as well as why you should pick one material for all of your floors.
What Makes a Good Floor?
The question “what makes a good floor” is easier asked than answered. Mostly, the answer will depend on what you want to get out of your floor. After all, different flooring materials exist for different reasons. For example, tile floors work well in situations where waterproof flooring is needed, like an outdoor mosaic patio or as kitchen countertops that match the appliances, but they would make a dining room feel too cold. Here, we’ll go over some of the major considerations that go into picking the right floor for your home.
Perhaps the most obvious concern about choosing a floor is what it will look like in your home. For example, contemporary vinyl floors may look out of place in a house that is otherwise full of architectural character and antique or vintage design. Neutral colors are probably the best choice for a cohesive design. That way, you can use your furniture and décor to make the room look unique. One of the main advantages of having the same flooring throughout the house is that you only have to pick one that makes a good base to design off of, leaving you with plenty of options for interior design.
Depending on what room you are decorating or remodeling, you’ll have to think about a few things to design your spaces well. For a kitchen, consider coordinating with the cabinets and fixtures. If you’re redecorating the office, think about adding a rubber or cork mat to the floor to protect it from rolling chairs.
When you’re redoing a floor, it’s also a good time to think about making improvements to the rest of the house too. Try adding some new custom paint for the walls or doors. Getting new curtains for the windows is also a great way to brighten and freshen a room. Another easy thing to do is to upgrade your rooms with a new luxury furniture item.
Depending on what type of subflooring your house has, it may be better suited to a specific type of flooring. The subfloor is the material that your new floor will be placed on top of. They can be made in quite a few ways, depending on the age of the house and when it was last updated.
In older homes, you may encounter wood plank subfloors, which while long-lasting and durable, can warp with age, and the nails used in them can loosen over time, causing creaky floors. If you have this type of subfloor, you may consider having it covered with something like plywood. This can help even it out, making it more suitable for carpet flooring or tiles. Otherwise, wood plank subfloor is best suited to hardwood or laminate flooring.
More modern homes will often have subfloors made of plywood, oriented strand board, or concrete. Oriented strand board (OSB) subflooring is one of the most common because it performs similarly to the plywood at a slightly lower cost, but all three are regularly used in modern construction. They can all be fairly versatile, but you should check the thickness of your subfloor before installing any new flooring.
For example, thin plywood subfloors are great for floors like vinyl or linoleum, but not ideal for something that needs a more stable anchor like a nailed hardwood. For both hardwood floor and tile on top of a plywood subfloor, you’ll want to make sure that the plywood is thicker.
Concrete is another popular choice, and it comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. It can have stone or tile floors installed directly on top of it, but it can also be susceptible to water damage. Concrete is porous, so it can be a risky choice for humid areas like basements where it can absorb water. To protect the concrete, a floating subfloor made of plywood is often used. This essentially creates an extra barrier between the concrete and the actual flooring.
Climate and Humidity
One of the biggest factors in deciding should flooring be the same throughout the house is what climate you live in. Specifically, what kind of humidity is common where you live. Water is one of the worst things for any type of floor, especially hardwood ones. When hardwood floors get wet, it can damage the grain and cause the planks to swell and bend. Water and humidity can also soak in the subfloor where it can eventually cause rotting, mold, and mildew.
For those who live in consistently humid conditions, there are a few steps you can take to protect your floors and subfloors. The first solution is to carefully consider whether your home or room is suited to hardwood floors. Some rooms have a higher risk of water damage, for example, a laundry room or bathroom. Rooms not only have higher natural humidity, but they’re at a higher risk for spills. Another option is to buy a dehumidifier for your home. This can help especially in places like the basement that have poor circulation and high humidity.
Location and Lifestyle
Another important thing to think about when it comes to picking a floor is what your location and lifestyle look like. For example, if you live near the beach, a carpet probably isn’t the choice for you. Likewise, pets are an important factor in lifestyle, and they’ll affect what type of flooring is best for your house. Softer wood floors like bamboo are easily scratched by running animals, and carpet can be torn up by pets that are not well trained.
Pets like dogs and cats that shed can also influence what kind of floor you get. Depending on what color fur they have, a darker or lighter floor might be better to hide the excess dust. Of course, the best way to keep your floors clean when you have pets is by using the right cleaning equipment. Daily cleaning with a dust mop like the Champion Old Fashioned Dust Mop will go a long way to keeping your floor clear of dog fur, hair, dust, and other debris.
Another consideration to think about is what your floor is for. A commercial building, for example, may not have the same flooring needs as a residential property. Restaurant flooring may need to be more equipped to handle food and wine spills and stains than the flooring you would get in a home.
Pros and Cons of Having the Same Flooring Throughout the House
A cohesive look – While not having the same floors in the entire house isn’t necessarily a bad thing, keeping them all the same can make the home look more cohesive. Different floors can look good together, but they have to be well planned and different enough not to confuse the eye. Having two different wood floors next to each other, for example, can create a jarring appearance at the transition points. This problem is erased, however, if you stick to only one flooring.
Easy cleaning – Another advantage to only using one flooring type is that you can cut down on the number of different cleaning supplies you have to stock. Once you find a system that works for your one flooring type, it’s much easier to clean all of the floors in the house quickly and efficiently.
Increased Value – If you’re looking to make an investment in your home, getting new, continuous flooring is a great way to add value to the house. Many homeowners do renovations before selling, and getting new flooring is a popular choice. It’s an especially good idea if the home already has mostly continuous floors. For example, if all the living areas have hardwood, but the bedrooms have carpet. Switching out the carpet for matching hardwood can be the ultimate way to increase the market value of the home.
Price – If your home needs renovations in order to have the same flooring throughout, then the cost is an important factor to consider, especially if you have other renovations in mind as well. Depending on the square footage of your home, what type of floor you’re installing, what kind of subfloor you have, and whether you’re hiring a contractor or installing the floor yourself, getting new floors can come with a serious price tag. However, as we went over above, it can also give you a serious return on investment.
Too cohesive of a look – Too much of a good thing can become an issue if you aren’t careful picking your floor. When picking a floor to put throughout your entire house, make sure that it is one you like enough to see in every room. If you make a bad choice with your whole house flooring, it can be hard to undo, so make sure you can picture how the house will look before taking the plunge into continuous flooring.
It can be hard to find the right one – Finding the right floor for your entire house can be a project of itself, and many people simply don’t have time to go through with it. Finding a floor that works for every room in the house, is durable enough to make it worth the investment, and falls within a reasonable price range can be a lot to handle alone. To help with any feelings of being overwhelmed, it may help to talk to an expert like a contractor to help find the best option for your home.
Solid or Engineered Wood Flooring
Solid wood is a very popular and traditional, timeless, and durable flooring style that looks incredible. The excellent longevity of this beautiful flooring will last a lifetime! It’s also great for people who don’t want to worry about changing trends. Despite its durability, solid wood tends to scratch easily. For this reason, putting a rug or mat down in high traffic areas like entryways and hallways can be a benefit to the longevity of the floor.
In order to prevent scratching, you will want to refinish every 5 to 10 years or so depending on the brand. If solid wood ends up being your choice, make sure to check your home’s “sub-flooring” first. Fluctuating heat levels and moisture do not go well with solid wood floors. Underfloor heating can cause natural wood to expand and contract as the temperature changes. Hardwood installation can also be a bigger project than others on this list, especially if you have to get it cut to fit somewhere like a staircase.
Laminate flooring is one of the cheaper whole house flooring ideas for homeowners on a budget. While laminate flooring is 100% synthetic, it seamlessly imitates the look and texture of solid wood. While laminate isn’t quite as strong as solid wood, it will still last you many years. Laminate flooring does happen to have far greater heat and moisture resistance than solid wood flooring.
So, this style would be a better choice in rooms with underground heating and high moisture levels. Due to this high water resistance, it’s no surprise that laminate floors are generally much easier to clean than solid wood. All you need is a high-performance floor mop made with non-woven fabric like the Champion Super Yellow Mop and a high-quality Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner.
Don’t confuse vinyl flooring tiles with ceramic and porcelain flooring. As opposed to classic tile, vinyl offers a softer and warmer feeling when you walk on it. The amazing thing about vinyl is that it is very time and cost-effective. There is no need to worry about scratches or dents, as vinyl is very scratch resistant.
If any damage occurs, instead of replacing the entire floor, all you need to do is remove that individual tile and replace it with a new one. Vinyl tiles are made from plastic and as a result, are very durable, hygienic, and water-resistant. They can also be changed out easily if you want to change the theme or pattern of your floor.
Taking Care of Your Floor
The best way to make new floors worth the investment is to take care of them well. This means cleaning them regularly (and with the right tools), doing regular maintenance to prevent larger issues, and taking care of repairs as soon as they are needed. Here, we’ll go over some of the best ways to keep your floors healthy for as long as possible.
Cleaning is important not only for the health of your floors but for the health of your family as well. Dust on the floor can easily be kicked up into the air, aggravating allergies. A dust mop like Champion Supplies Old-Fashioned Dust Mop is the perfect way to keep your floors dust free and sparkling clean with minimal effort. It has a reusable shag head with excellent motion control, perfect for all those hard to reach corners. For the average household, dusting every few days is enough, but if you have pets, you may want to up that number to every day.
Wood floors may need a little extra care compared to something like vinyl or linoleum. You may need to invest in a wood floor cleaner, but those can be used sparingly. An all-purpose cleaner like the Best Kitchen Degreaser from Champion Supplies can serve you well for most of your everyday cleaning needs, and it can be used on a variety of services, not just your floor. You also only need a light solution to clean the entire floor, making it a long-lasting product. Simply mix with water and spray a gentle mist onto the floor. Then you can use the Champion Super Yellow Mop for a thorough cleaning job like no other.
Maintenance will mean different things depending on what type of floors you have. Solid hardwood floors will need to be polished, so they don’t lose their shine. You can do this fairly easily with some floor polisher on your own every few months. Around every decade or so, they should also be refinished. This will be a bit more labor-intensive, as it involves sanding down the existing surface and then reapplying a fresh coat which then seals the floor to protect it from damage.
Laminate floors are similar to hardwood ones, and so taking care of them is almost the same. They should be gently mopped (with an all-purpose cleaner and floor mop) every few months and dusted or swept regularly. Other than that, laminate floors don’t need much work as long as they’re kept dry. The same goes for materials like vinyl and linoleum.
Tile floors can be cleaned like the others on this list with one important note: don’t use a polishing liquid. Polishing liquids can make tile floors too slippery, turning them into a safety hazard. Occasionally, you’ll also have to go into the grout with a scrub brush to remove extra dirt.
Repairs come into play when you need to significantly fix or replace parts of your floor. For laminates and hardwoods, this can mean cutting out and replacing a damaged section of the floor or filling in a damaged board with a material like wood putty if it has been scratched or gouged.
For linoleum and vinyl, the most common repair is needing to replace stickers that are peeling up or have otherwise been damaged. This is a fairly straight-forward process that’s normally not too expensive. The downside to floors like these is that they typically have a shorter lifespan, meaning you may need to make repairs like this more often.
Tile repair can be a bit trickier, but it can still be done pretty easily. For small cracks or chips, you can use a ceramic filler and a varnish that matches your tile color. A broken tile can be replaced by either you or a professional, depending on how confident you are with DIY. If you have worn out or faded tiles, they can be easily refreshed with a quick coat of paint. Make sure to use a paint meant for heavy foot traffic though, otherwise, it won’t last very long.
So, there you have it, all the best tips on deciding if you should have the same flooring throughout your house! Flooring is a major aspect of interior design, and picking the right one for your home, family, and lifestyle is an important decision. As you have observed in this article, there are numerous whole house flooring ideas for you to choose from. Whatever your budget, there is a perfect flooring match for everyone!