Am I the only one who gets paralyzed when making home decor decisions?

It’s the oddest experience because when it comes to parental decisions, business decisions or a host of other things, I am clear, concise and the person that others come to if they need help in zeroing in on the pros and cons of something.

But watch me walk into the paint store to pick a color and I just might walk out two hours later still not knowing what I want. It’s like the cereal aisle; please give me a few to pick from not 300 choices.

That’s a bit how I felt when deciding on my final flooring option.

With so many styles, colors, finishes, and sizes to choose from, the decision felt a bit overwhelming. Then take into consideration your overall preference on appearance, comfort, warmth and final function of the floor and it’s brain overload.

I took a lot of time looking at all my choices and asking others for their opinions, so I thought I would share some of the things that helped me narrow down my decision when picking out new flooring.

With a family of seven, who continually has a house full of people, the overall function and practicality of the flooring were of primary importance. If I was making this decision as an empty-nester, I might have approached it very differently, but I wanted to make sure that my floors would hold up under abuse.

Knowing that my flooring choice is a key design element, the appearance was something that took me a long time to finally narrowed down. I spent hours looking at pictures on line, but there is no comparison to getting the samples in your own hands, taking them home and laying them out in your own home.

When I was looking at the samples in the store, I thought I knew what I wanted, but when I took them home and left them out for 24 hours, saw them in different lighting, received input from my very opinionated daughter, I changed my mind. The flooring I ended up going with was actually my third choice. My dream was something even darker, but once I lived with those for a day and noticed our yellow labs hair showing up on just one, small sample piece, I knew that would be a mistake.

I am SO glad I decided against them because I can’t imagine a choice that I love more than our hand scraped laminate.

Here are some of the basic questions I first asked myself when making my flooring decision:

Practicality:

How much wear and tear will the floors receive? Is it a room with lots of foot traffic? Personally, what kind of flooring do you like to walk on? Are you a barefoot in-the-home kind of family? How often will your floors need to be cleaned? Are spills and stains something to consider? Will there be much moisture in the room? How often do you anticipate replacing the flooring?  Initially, I was going to go with varying flooring based on rooms, but decided for ease to just put the same floor throughout.

Appearance:

What color or luster are you thinking? Do you want something solid or with patterns? If going with hardwood or laminate, width and finish is a key decision. Wider planks give a more rustic feel, whereas narrow strips make an area appear larger. Decide if you want textured or a more shiny/glossy finish. Textured flooring gives time-worn character and a more rustic appearance.

Budget

Flooring can be an investment, but one that dramatically increases the value of one’s home. With such advances in technology, there are beautiful flooring options for everyone’s budget, but one thing I’ve learned with renovations to a home is it pays to think long term. Determine your budget, but don’t cut corners. Begin with just one room and do it well.

Before the partnership with Mohawk came about, I had been looking into all my flooring options. While I know that hard wood is the number one choice for resale and long-term home value, as well as the fact it never goes out of style, I knew that was a not a factor for me to consider since we will never sell this house.

With our five kids, dogs and cats, there will be a lot of people using our floors, so narrowing down the perfect balance between practicality, budget and appearance is how I finally made my decision.

My brother installed laminate 12 years ago, long before all the many variations came about, and they still love their laminate, so I knew that it was a great option for our family. It can take heavy foot traffic. While I considered hard wood, I knew that eventually, we’d have to refinish it, and with our dogs, the scratches that they would put in it would drive me crazy. I wanted a no-maintenance flooring and so many recommended a high grade quality laminate.

Mohawk offers so many choices from tile, carpet, laminate and hardwood. When I finally narrowed down my decision to laminate, the design center recommended considering the thickness of the laminate.  He advised picking something that is at least 8 mm thick, which is what I went with in our hand scraped laminate.

Also, no matter if you choose carpet or hard flooring, the padding or underlayment is a critical component. Always select high quality carpet padding or underlayment.  I think one of the reasons our carpets lasted so long  was because our contractor told us that if we needed to save money, to do it elsewhere. Getting the highest quality padding is crucial to sound, durability and appearance. I am so glad I listened.

Yes, picking out the perfect flooring for your home can be overwhelming, but once you ask yourself a few of these questions it really helps narrow down the decision.

Our home looks like a completely new house with just the changing of the flooring.

It’s an investment that is well worth the time and money.

I know many of you gave me great advice when I was deciding, so help my readers out as well.

It’s an investment well worth the time and money.

Based on your experience, what are some of the best tips you can give for those picking out new flooring?

I’ve partnered as a Mohawk blogger and received my choice of laminate, but all installation and labor was at my own expense.

To read this blog post on Beauty and Bedlam, visit Tips for Picking Out New Flooring