Best Bedroom Flooring
When choosing your bedroom floor, you can stick with tradition or go with the newest trends, depending on your needs.
Tiffani Thiessen and her husband, Brady Smith, want to update their original 1923 guest room with an eclectic style and eco-friendly materials. Lonni uses a printed grasscloth to create a focal wall behind the new headboard, which is made from a reclaimed piece of wood.
Deciding on the best floor for your bedroom is as personal a decision as anything else you choose for your retreat. You might consider traditional choices like hardwood or carpeting, but the best choice for your bedroom will depend on the look you want, the size and layout of your bedroom and the climate where you live.
Any type of floor covering will work in this area, since most people wipe their feet off on a mat before entering the house. "If it's a high-traffic house with several kids and pets, I'd be more concerned with scratching (the flooring) than moisture," Jennings says. "Hardwood's still a good look for many homes, as well as ceramic tiles."
The most private room in the house is still the domain of carpet, which dampens sound and feels softer underfoot than other floor coverings. "Carpet is textile for the floor," Jennings says. "The construction of the fiber itself dictates how it performs underfoot. Choosing plush pile versus Berber is a cosmetic choice. Someone older, who's more tentative on their feet, wants a firm feel underneath, so a harder finished carpet is best to avoid slippage." Image courtesy of Shaw Floors
While carpet is a popular choice for the bedroom, wood flooring, whether hardwood, engineered or laminate, can be a great alternative for a guest bedroom if you're looking to add style. Choose a warm color and a defined texture to up the coziness factor. Add a premium underlayment for maximum sound reduction. Image courtesy of Pergo
Water splashed from the tub or shower and the high humidity in this room require flooring that won't be affected by moisture. Laminates and hardwood floors, which absorb moisture, aren't recommended, but ceramic tile is a good choice. And if you use natural stone or marble, seal them with a protective coating. Image courtesy of Daltile
When watching television and movies or listening to music, the acoustics of a room are a factor. You don't want to disturb others in adjoining rooms, and at the same time you want to enjoy hearing what you're listening to. Carpet and cork are good choices where acoustics count. Avoid hardwood.
Basement and Below Grade
Before installing any flooring option, make sure there are no moisture issues with the concrete slab. If there are, laminate and wood wouldn't be good choices, because they tend to absorb water. Resilient vinyl floors are often used in basements because vinyl is unaffected by moisture and is low maintenance. Engineered wood or laminate flooring, above a moisture barrier, will also work. If moisture isn't an issue, carpet will help keep the room warm.
Wood flooring and tile are popular choices for the kitchen, which may be affected by liquids hitting the floor during cooking, but Tom Jennings, technical adviser and former chairman of the World Floor Covering Association, recommends cork for those who cook a lot. "Cork has a similar finish to laminate but has resiliency, which matters if you're going to be on your feet a lot," he says. Cork is virtually nonabsorbent and moisture-proof, and it won't burn. It comes in many patterns, making for a unique look. Jennings says the problem with using ceramic tile in the kitchen is that it adds weight and thickness to the floor, which can cause clearance issues with the refrigerator or stove areas.
Hardwood floors are a classic choice for bedrooms; they add both beauty and value to a home. In a master bedroom suite, hardwood can be used throughout, including the bathroom. Wood is also a good choice for kids' bedrooms, because of its durability. In the guest bedroom, a beautiful wood floor creates a warm look.
In addition to traditional hardwoods, many homeowners are choosing bamboo and eucalyptus for their durability, sustainability and relatively low cost. Another economic alternative is cork, which is both durable and easy to install (you can put it down over an existing floor). Cork's resilience provides built-in cushioning, a nice touch when walking across a bedroom in bare feet, and it's an environmentally sustainable product.
Tile might not be a type of bedroom flooring you've considered, but it's worth taking a look at. Whether or not it's right for your bedroom depends on your decorating style and the climate in which you live. If you live in a warm environment and prefer a Mediterranean style of decorating, tile may work for you. There are many choices, from ceramic to travertine, and you can use the same tile throughout your suite, including the bathroom. Tile is also a good choice in children's rooms, because it is tough and easy to clean.
Concrete is a very durable floor for any room in the house, including the bedroom. Concrete accepts color well and can be polished to a glossy sheen. It's a good choice for warm climates and more modern styles of decorating. It is also a low-maintenance material, making it a good choice for kids' bedrooms.
Many homeowners still choose carpet for their master bedrooms. You can have wall-to-wall carpet installed, or choose a large carpet with bound edges that will let some floor show around the perimeter of your room. Carpet provides both warmth and noise absorption, and it can make a large room feel cozy. You can choose from a wide range of colors in either a loop or cut weave. A reputable carpet dealer can help you determine which type of carpeting is best for your room, depending on your tastes, traffic level and budget. You can choose from several synthetic fibers, or select a natural wool or silk for a touch of luxury.
If you choose a hard surface for your flooring, you may want to add an area rug under your bed, or place smaller rugs on either side to give your feet a warm place to land on cold winter mornings.
See Also: How to Buy Flooring