Whether you’re remodeling to increase the value of your home prior to listing, building a new
home from the ground up or giving your home a facelift for the fun of it, it’s important to know
what kind of flooring you want. There are dozens of choices out there and it can become
overwhelming at times. Here are some of the choices you will face when talking to your
contractor or going to your local home improvement store.
Carpet – A classic and versatile choice, carpet can give you a variety of different looks for your
home. Carpet comes in all sorts of colors and textures. If you want to install good quality carpet
in your home, ask about the density of the fibers used to make the carpet. More durable carpets
will have more fibers per square inch. Most carpets, with the exception of indoor/outdoor
carpets, are installed with pads underneath to add cushion to the floor and extend the life of the
Carpet made of nylon is resistant to wear, but you want to make sure nylon carpets are treated to
reduce static electricity. Acrylic carpets are resistant to wear, mildew and crushing and are
inhospitable to insects. Polypropylene olefin is primarily used for indoor/outdoor carpeting and
resists moisture, mildew and stains. Polyester carpets can be brightly colored and resist moisture
but can stain easily. Consult your realtor if you are selling your home and are choosing carpet.
Your realtor can recommend the type and color of carpets that will help sell your home.
Wood – Hardwood floors give your home a classic look and can create a visual room-to-room
continuity if your home has an open floorplan. Domestic hardwood floors can be made from
maple, black walnut and oak, while regional varieties like pecan, mesquite and chinquapin can
be harder to find. You can also get exotic species like purpleheart, African pedauk or Brazilian
cherry, but if you go for these options, make sure you’re buying from sustainable, managed
forests. You can find out if hardwood comes from a sustainable source by looking for
certification from the SFI or FSC. Solid wood needs to be nailed to a subfloor, but can be
refinished many times over its lifespan, offering longevity in a flooring option. Again, if you are
changing out flooring and plan to sell your home, consult your realtor first.
Engineered wood – This flooring option gives you the look of solid hardwood floors, but it is
more stable and less susceptible to humidity and temperature changes than solid hardwood.
Engineered wood gives you a veneer of real wood backed by either cheaper plywood or recycled
wood fiber mixed with stone dust. This type of flooring is great for basements and kitchens or
rooms with in-floor heating systems. This type of flooring is also great for the DIY-er, as there
are many self-locking options that are fairly simple to install yourself. Just be sure, if you are a
do-it-yourself kind of person and you plan to sell your home, that you have the right skills to
make the job look professional.
Laminate – Laminate flooring comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns and is structured
similarly to engineered wood. It has a top layer of plastic coating applied over a photograph with
lower layers of plywood or compressed fiber. The finishes are very realistic, and you can choose
from finishes that resemble wood, ceramic tile, stained concrete or stone. Most laminates can be
installed over existing flooring without tearing it out. This is also a great DIY project, but
installing around corners and between doorjambs can be tricky, so take your time or consult an
Remember, if you are having a home built or are renovating your home to put on the market,
your realtor can help you make the kinds of decisions appropriate for your situation and budget.
The Chris Colgan Team has years of experience coaching clients through the home buying and
selling processes. While we aren’t interior decorators, we can put our practical knowledge to
work for you, too. Contact us today.
Chris Colgan is the CEO and Team Leader of the Chris Colgan Real Estate Team. Chris was
born and raised in Gainesville, Virginia and has been in real estate for 10 years. He is a member
of the Re/Max Hall of Fame and is in the top 25 for sales in the state of Virginia out of all
Re/Max agents. He has been recognized as one of the United States’ and Canada’s Top 500
Marketing Experts by the National Association of Expert Advisors.