Tips~ How to Choose Flooring for Your Home

This post is sponsored by the awesome  Lumber Liquidators. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

The flooring you choose for your home is an important decision that will impact your life. It will affect the way your home looks and functions, the resale value, and it will even affect your cleaning routine. There are a lot of things to take into consideration before making your choice, which can feel like a lot of pressure! But, don’t worry! Below, I help by listing all of the different things to take into consideration before making your purchase. I even make a little confession so you can learn from my mistake!

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Here are a few things to consider when picking out your flooring for the rooms in your home. These are in no particular order. 
Where is this floor located? A kitchen? A bathroom? The main living area? It is best to do your research ahead of time to know exactly what type of flooring will be best for the different locations in your home. Certain products are better for high moisture areas like bathrooms, and some are more durable for high traffic areas, like kitchens.  After talking with my brother, who is a contractor, and another friend who is a flooring installer, we chose to keep the tile in our bathrooms and laundry room, but replace the hardwood and carpet in our main living areas with laminate. Don’t hesitate to search the web or ask the flooring experts at Lumber Liquidators if you are unsure of the durability of the products you are considering.
I have to admit that most of the time this one is pretty high up on my list… maybe higher than it should be. I want my home to be pretty. Functional and pretty. It is SO important to make sure you are happy with the color and style of your purchase because it is a big purchase and, chances are, you will be living with it for a very long time. 
Which brings me to a funny story and a confession. Well, it wasn’t funny at the time, but I can laugh about it now. If you follow me on Instagram, then you already know my flooring shenanigans. I had made my selection using some of the little samples that I had brought home. It was perfect, had GREAT texture, looked like real wood, was beautiful in a friend’s home, and was highly durable. I sent my poor husband down to pick up the 1,000 square feet of laminate, and because I had a new baby, he even had to unload all of it by himself into the garage. That was over 2,000 pounds of flooring! Afterward, he brought one of the boxes inside and we opened it up to lay a few out on the floor. We were SO excited to see our new flooring! And then….. the pit in my stomach…. it didn’t match! It looked totally different, for some reason, in our home than it did in my friend’s, and we didn’t catch it with the samples. It wasn’t until we laid out the big planks that we could see that. I may have cried. Ok, yes, I did cry. It was really pretty, it just wasn’t the right color.
So, we did what we should have done in the beginning. And, I HIGHLY recommend you do this before making your selection. We bought a box of the planks that were my second choice and laid them out next to the ones we already had. BIG difference. The new box was the PERFECT color! But, we didn’t even know it until we put out the big planks in our home. {Note:It is even a good idea to move the planks to difference areas in your home to look at them in different lights. Also, place them next to things like pillows that are colors you usually use in your decor to see if they stay a nice neutral color, or if they take on a different color.}
While my husband was out of town, I convinced my poor dad to help me load up all of the flooring and transport it back to Lumber Liquidators and unload all of the new flooring back into my garage. I was SO sore after that! The moral of the story: learn from my mistake! Either purchase a big section of flooring or purchase a box of planks to make sure it is right before making your big purchase. The samples are great to narrow it down, but the actual big planks will give you a better idea of what it will really look like.

A big thing to take into consideration is the amount of traffic and abuse your flooring will get, and that can vary in different areas of your home. Do you have kids? Pets? Do you wear shoes in the house? You will want to make sure that the flooring you pick can hold up to your lifestyle.

How long are you planning for your floor to last? We recently replaced the carpet in our bedrooms and bonus room which had only lasted for about 10 years. One of the main reasons we chose to replace the carpet in our main living area with the laminate was because it is more durable and has a 30 year warranty. Every type of flooring has a lifespan, so it is important to do your research to take that into consideration before your purchase.  
Along with varying longevity, every type of flooring has different maintenance requirements, both long and short term. For example, hardwood has to be sanded and refinished every few years. Carpet has to be vacuumed and occasionally shampooed, laminate or wood needs to be washed and dusted. All of these are things to take into consideration. I took my laminate samples home and smudged them with a little bit of food and mud and placed them in different areas in my home to see what the flooring would look like when my toddler tracks mud in the house or smudges the floor with her little peanut butter fingers. I also tested how easy it was to clean each sample. I would recommend doing these things with samples of whatever type of flooring you are considering.  
Budget is a big one. There can be a huge difference in cost between flooring options. It is best to do all of your research and to set a realistic budget before considering your options. In order to know how much flooring you will need, you can try to measure yourself or have a professional come out and measure your rooms for you. It helps to know this measurement before considering your options so you can crunch the numbers and check affordability. 
My last piece of advice is to consider all of your options. When I walked into Lumber liquidators, I could see I had A LOT of different options to choose from. I will be honest; I never thought I would end up picking laminate. I never liked laminate. In my mind, when I thought of laminate, I thought of the gross 1980’s stuff from my childhood friends’ homes. When I saw the modern laminate, I was blown away with how real it looked! The warranty and the easy installation and maintenance were what sealed the deal. It even has wood grain and waves like hand scraped wood!

We chose to go with Rio Grande Valley Oak from Lumber Liquidators. I AM IN LOVE! We are in the middle of installation right now and I can’t wait to show you!!! 

Stay tuned because I can’t wait to share the finished result… along with our newly renovated kitchen!! Our house is a complete disaster right now with everything torn up, but I know then end result will be so worth it!


  1. says

    Amazing tips, girl! After installing LL flooring in TWO of our houses I can vouch for the laminate’s durability. And I love how it looks…definitely check how it looks in different lighthing and different rooms. Just like picking paint, the undertone makes a huge difference. :) Can’t wait to see your new flooring installed.

  2. says

    Great, great tips, Kristen. I love the sample board of what you’ve chosen and really loved reading about your experience. So good to hear that there are “do overs” and “second choices” and that is okay. Can’t wait to see how your floors come out! x

  3. says

    LOVE all your tips. I am like you, I can’t get over all the beautiful laminate wood flooring! You can even tell it’s laminate. The colors & staining are simply gorgeous! I can’t wait to see what you picked!!!

  4. says

    I removed ALL carpet from my house and installed these floors from LL. We have a Love/Hate relationship with each other. Definitely interested to hear any tips to keep them clean!! (and NOT streaky!)

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