Flooring is one of the most important features of any home.
There’s no doubt about it: Flooring is one of the most important features of any home. From hardwood and laminate to tile and carpet, flooring not only serves a functional purpose, but it also helps establish the style and “feel” of a room. Luckily, there are incredible flooring options available today to ensure that you can find exactly what you want while staying within your budget.
As you design your new custom home, you want to ensure that you select flooring that will wear well over the years, especially if you have young children or pets. You’ll also want to choose materials and colors that complement the rest of the home and will maintain their beauty for years to come. Easy maintenance and durability are also factors to consider, especially if you live a busy, active lifestyle.
At Adair Homes, we emphasize customization in nearly every step of the design process. When you’re considering flooring, keep in mind that some flooring options are hard to change in the future, so be sure to choose carefully for your forever home.
If you’re not sure where to start in your choice of flooring, consider the following factors:
- Your budget
- Cost of installation
- Style and aesthetics
- Return on investment
- Some rooms might be better served with carpet while others with hardwood
- Your family situation—whether you have pets or kids—might mean you need a more resistant type of flooring
- Higher cost and quality often means it will last longer
We consider these factors as we highlight five of the best flooring options for your new custom home.
Rich, warm, and inviting, hardwood flooring has a classic look that suits any style of home. Hardwood is durable enough to be installed in nearly every room of the house, including high-traffic areas and kitchens. Best of all, it’s available in a wide variety of finishes, which gives you plenty of options to choose from.
At Adair Homes, we offer a range of hardwood options, including:
- Birch: A naturally light wood with a tight graining
- Hickory: Natural color variation with a striking graining
- Kupay or Brazilian cherry: An exotic species with a reddish-brown color
- Maple: A medium shade with broad color variation and occasional knots
- Oak: One of the hardest woods with a heavy graining
Each wood offers its own unique color, style, and slightly different price. Many species of wood are also available in a variety of board sizes, including wide planks. Today, manufacturers offer both solid hardwood and engineered hardwood floors. Engineered hardwood gives a bit more durability because the wood itself is more resilient against temperature and humidity changes. Our flooring partner, Shaw Floors, takes durability a step further with ScufResist, a proprietary process that makes its engineered hardwood up to seven times stronger than solid hardwood.
Additional Positives of Hardwood Flooring
As we have mentioned, hardwood flooring is one of the most visually appealing flooring options, and it’s available in a variety of colors and styles. It also has a very high return on investment because of its incredible durability, which makes it great for shared living spaces. If it does get a bit beat up from natural wear and tear, it can be resurfaced every 3-5 years.
Negatives of Hardwood Flooring
While there aren’t really any true negatives of hardwood, there are considerations to be made. Hardwood can be more expensive than other top flooring materials. It can also develop scrapes, scratches, and dents and incur moisture damage over time. However, all of these can be fixed, so be sure to account for this in your budget.
Caring for Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood floors are more susceptible to scrapes and dents because, even though the wood species that are typically used are relatively hard, they are one of the softer flooring materials. Avoid dropping or dragging heavy objects—such as furniture—across them or walking in heels on them, and keep pets’ nails trimmed. Regularly sweeping with a soft-bristle broom will prevent small, hard particles from damaging floors. Placing mats or rugs in high-traffic areas will keep hardwood floors looking like new for longer.
Because hardwood floors are more susceptible to water damage, be mindful of how you clean the floor. Be sure to keep water from pooling, and dry it immediately after cleaning. When removing stains, use natural cleaning products to keep the color from fading or changing.
Today’s high-quality laminate flooring looks and feels like real wood but at a much lower price than hardwood flooring. It’s also extremely durable and resistant to dents, scratches, and stains. Plus, it’s easy to clean with a vacuum or broom, so pet hair and dust aren’t an issue.
Laminate comes in even more color and texture choices than hardwood, and newer options convincingly mimic the look of stone, brick, or tile. It can even be textured to feel like wood grain or the surface of stone, making it look more realistic while still being durable and easy to clean. This gives you plenty of flexibility to find exactly the look that works best for you.
Additional Positives of Laminate Flooring
The durability of this flooring makes it great for nearly any room of the house, especially high-traffic areas. If you’re hoping to save a bit of money, this flooring can be easily installed, which decreases labor costs. Or, if you have the DIY spirit, you can install the flooring yourself.
Negatives of Laminate Flooring
Like hardwood, laminate flooring can be prone to moisture damage, which means cleaning processes need to be considered. Laminate flooring can also be very difficult to repair because the installation process requires each floorboard to directly follow the next. For these reasons, this type of flooring isn’t ideal for kitchens or bathrooms.
Caring for Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring should only be mopped every two months. By going light with the water, cleaning with a soft mop will help prevent scuffs and scratches from dirt and other particles. Cleaning up spills and puddles immediately will prevent water damage and staining.
There are several things to avoid when cleaning your laminate floor. Avoid applying cleaners directly to the surface of the floor. Most manufacturers recommend avoiding steam cleaning, buffing, or wet mopping. Avoid abrasive tools, such as steel wool and vacuum attachments. And be sure to trim your pet’s nails frequently. Direct contact with the floor can also be mediated by adding carpets, rugs, and furniture pads.
Although hardwood and laminate flooring have grown in popularity over the last few decades, carpet is still an important material in many homes. Carpet provides a feeling of warmth and coziness in a range of colors and materials. It also helps minimize noise, which makes it perfect for second-floor rooms, hallways, and kids’ play areas. Many people also appreciate having carpet in the bedroom for those cold winter mornings.
Of course, you always want your carpet to wear well, which is what makes quality so important. The material you choose also matters. If stain resistance is important for your family, polyester carpet will naturally resist stains better than nylon. You can also get treated carpet to make spills easier to clean up. If you’re considering incorporating carpet in certain areas of your custom home, be sure to select a manufacturer that provides extremely high-quality, well-wearing materials, such as those offered by our flooring partner, Shaw Floors.
Additional Positives of Carpet
Carpet varies in type, color, and design, but it remains fairly cost-effective. There are so many options available that even stain-resistant varieties exist. Regardless of the type and function, carpet is an excellent option for helping to soundproof a home running wild with kids. And did we mention that it’s the coziest of all flooring?
Negatives of Carpet
While most issues with carpet can be amended, it’s important to know what to expect if you floor your home with carpet. In part, carpet can be difficult to maintain. The naturally occurring wear and tear can be a bit more visually present than other options. It can also absorb smells more than other types of flooring. And one of the main causes for dirtying a carpet is pets.
Finally, it’s not recommended that you carpet moisture-prone areas, including the kitchen and bathroom. If you’re concerned about any of these factors, you always have the option of carpeting the rooms you prefer to rather than the entire house.
Caring for Carpet
To avoid staining, clean up spills as quickly as possible with water or with a spot cleaner if needed. Regular vacuuming will prevent dirt from building up in the fibers, and high-traffic areas can benefit from strategically placed area rugs or mats to prevent them from wearing more quickly. Consider a professional deep cleaning once every year or so to keep carpets looking clean and bright. You might also consider investing in area rugs either as an alternative to carpeting or in addition to it.
Finally, sometimes the best solutions can be applied to our own habits. To keep your carpet in prime condition, establish rules in the house: No outdoor shoes in the living room, and keep foods and liquids in the kitchen.
Tile and Stone
Indoors and out, tile and stone are beautiful enough to transform a space while still having the rugged durability that homeowners require. Today’s options include mosaic, glass, ceramic, travertine and porcelain tile, antique stone, sandstone, and nearly everything in between. Even with just a few accents, tile can add a touch of elegance and style to any room.
Many of today’s stone products celebrate the natural beauty of the material, creating a gorgeous and unique floor. Meanwhile, a big trend in tile is planks that are designed to look and feel like wood. Our tile and stone partners Emser Tile and Shaw Floors offer nearly any texture, color, and style your heart may desire. Whether you want a traditional square tile in the kitchen or a modern polished concrete look in the great room, you can do it more affordably with tile.
Additional Positives of Tile and Stone Flooring
It might be obvious, but stone is fairly durable, which means your flooring will be resistant to significant damage. This quality of flooring makes it a good option for homes with children and/or pets. Stone is also great for heating and insulating warmth. And since tile and stone come in many styles, colors, and shapes, it’s pleasant to both the eyes and cold feet.
Negatives of Tile and Stone Flooring
For those under a tight budget, tile and stone might not be the best option since it’s one of the most expensive ones. While this type of flooring is resistant to significant damage, it can experience chips or scratches, and repairing these damages can be very costly. It’s also good to be aware that some stone tile types are porous, which means water accumulation can cause interior damage.
Caring for Tile and Stone Flooring
Use felt pads to prevent scrapes. Daily sweeping can help prevent the floor surface from becoming dull over time, especially in high-traffic areas and regions with a lot of sand. Use an appropriate hard surface cleaner that won’t stain grout between tiles or discolor the stone surface.
The floor should be mopped frequently with mild detergent or stone soap. Once it’s thoroughly cleaned, remove any remaining soap with clean, clear water. Then be sure to dry the surface. Accidental spills should be blotted rather than spread. To protect the floor surfaces, apply nonslip mats or area rugs and countertop surfaces with coasters, trivets, or placemats.
Luxury vinyl flooring, such as Floorte from Shaw Floors, has emerged as another exciting way to enjoy both durability and style. Today’s vinyl looks modern and sleek, making it perfect for a wide range of styles. Floorte comes in a variety of style and color combinations, all of which are waterproof and resistant to damage. It’s no wonder we’re seeing growing demand for Floorte in high-traffic rooms, kitchens, and homes with kids and pets. With Floorte, you can get the rustic look of cross-sawn barn board, naturally grayed hardwood, modern light-stained wood, and more.
Additional Positives of Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl is one of the more affordable flooring options. Plus, it’s very versatile, meaning it can be applied to any room in the house and especially to high-traffic areas. This easy-to-maintain flooring option is great for those interested in DIY installation.
Negatives of Vinyl Flooring
Compared to wood, laminate, and tile and stone flooring, vinyl doesn’t have the best return on investment. This is in part because it can be damaged easier than other options. It also tends to be a bit less popular because it doesn’t have the high-end appearance of the other options. Luckily, there are plenty of options when it comes to color and style.
Caring for Vinyl Flooring
Without proper care, vinyl floors can start to look dull or flat over time. You can avoid this with regular sweeping to prevent tiny scratches and by rinsing the floor after mopping to remove any detergent residue. Scratches aren’t easy to remove on vinyl, so avoid dragging furniture across it, and don’t use abrasive cleaning materials.
Excessive amounts of water can be incredibly damaging to vinyl flooring, even when cleaning the floor. Rather than leaving spills on the floors to air dry, always wipe up spills as soon as they occur to prevent any damage. Avoid using soaps or detergents because they will leave a dulling film on the surface of your vinyl floor. Also be sure to avoid using any cleaning methods that aren’t recommended by the manufacturer to maintain your manufacturer warranty. Finally, never steam clean your vinyl floors, even if they are waterproof.
Be sure to avoid any potentially abrasive tools when cleaning. Always turn the beater bar off the vacuum. Be sure not to scrub vinyl floors with steel wool to remove stains.
How to Decide Which Flooring is Right for Your Home
For many people, the budget is a significant factor when deciding what type of flooring to include in the design. Fortunately, with a custom home, you have the freedom to incorporate multiple types of flooring throughout the house. To maximize your budget, you can put premium flooring in the areas that are most important to you and use more affordable options in other areas. When you build with Adair Homes, you can do this with the confidence that no matter what you choose, the quality will be great.
Another major factor to consider when choosing your flooring options is how you will be using each space. For example, carpet might not be the best choice for high-traffic areas such as the entryway or mudroom. Kitchen floors often get more spills and are cleaned more frequently, so think about this when choosing the materials for this space.
It’s also important to think about current trends versus timeless looks. If you plan to sell your home eventually, a more classic aesthetic may be more appealing to more people. However, flooring is also an opportunity to make your home truly unique, so make the choices that will make you smile every day in your new custom home.
No matter which flooring option you choose, taking the time to regularly clean it will keep it looking newer longer. Fortunately, most modern flooring options are designed for easy maintenance. Ready to find the perfect flooring for your dream home? Download our free Design Guide or visit the nearest Adair Homes Design Center to see, touch, and compare all of our flooring options in person..
About Adair Homes
Adair Homes has been building dream homes across the country for the last 50 years. In that time, we’ve helped more than 20,000 families achieve their dream of homeownership, and we take pride in making sure our customers find the perfect home that not only fits their lifestyle but also fits their budget. For more info, get in touch with us here or call 1-844-518-7072.