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Phase 1: Getting Started

Thinking about updating your flooring? Unsure where to start? Congratulations! You’ve come to the right place.

We get it. Upgrading your flooring is overwhelming. But, it doesn’t have to be.

Over the years, our customers have told us—over and over—that the more they know about the what goes into getting new floors, the easier the whole process is. That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive reference as a way to demystify the process.

The more you know about what goes into getting new floors, the easier the whole process will be.

Understanding everything that goes into finding perfect new floors—from planning to installation—is less overwhelming when you’re armed with practical advice from pros.

Look no further for the info you need. We’ve got you covered.

Why upgrade your floors?

So, if you aren’t an expert, where do you even begin? How do you know if you need to upgrade your floors? Good questions.

If you’re unsure and still thinking about whether or not investing in flooring is worthwhile, consider the perks. New floors can:

Add value to your house

New floors are a great long-term investment that often makes your home easier to sell when it comes time and you’re ready to move.

Lower your heating and cooling bills

Technology continues to improve over the years, and that includes breakthroughs in flooring, too. Today’s environmentally-friendly flooring options are longer-lasting, easier to recycle, and feature proven insulation properties.

Redoing your bathroom? Warm the floors with radiant heat »

Simplify maintenance

Tired of trying to bring a shine back to your dingy tile? Ignoring deep scratches in your dull hardwood? Many contemporary flooring options offer no-hassle cleaning, potentially saving you time because upkeep will be less tedious.

Improve air quality

If you or others in your home suffer from bad allergies, older flooring—especially carpet—is notorious for trapping dirt and dust. Upgrading to non-toxic, allergy-friendly flooring just might ease your allergy symptoms.

Learn which floors are the best to combat allergies »

Help the environment

These days, many stores offer flooring options that are recycled, sustainably harvested, or created from eco-friendly materials, making it easier than ever to “go green.”

Convinced? Ready to push ahead and take the first step? Then it’s time to start doing your homework.

Read about the process one busy professional went through to transform her family’s house with new hardwood floors »

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Phase 2: Planning

Figuring out what you need and want

So you’ve decided to get new floors—great! Now what?

As with most complicated projects, the first phase is crucial. It’s when you do all of your initial prepwork—like planning and identifying your goals—and, it sets the stage for how successful you’ll be later on.

What type of floor will work best for your project? Select the right kind by doing research based on your wants and needs.

During this research and consideration part of the process, focus on the following factors:

  • Location in home
  • Usage
  • Style (e.g., color, texture, and finish)
  • Price and warranty
  • Maintenance
  • Design tips and trends

Location

Among interior design consultants, the general rule of thumb is to use just three different flooring materials throughout your home. By limiting your choices, it will help you avoid a haphazard look, create uniformity, and make it easier to match when doing other decorating. How that mix of different flooring types breaks down within your house is up to you; however, in some rooms certain floors are more fitting than others.

Check out our room-specific flooring guides to learn more about which choices work best based on different locations in your home:

Usage

Don’t forget to think about how you will be using the room where you’re getting new floors. Usage factors in when you think about durability. Factor in special considerations, such as:

High-Traffic

Are you getting new flooring in a well-used room and need to find an option that can withstand the stress from frequent footsteps?

Check out which flooring is best for a busy home »

Stains

How likely is it that you’ll have to deal with spills in the room you’re remodeling? Is it near an entryway in your home? Will you be eating and drinking in the room? Do you have pets?

Dealing with a tough carpet stain? Read what experts recommend »

Water

Humidity, moisture—it’s crucial to consider environmental factors like these, and whether your room is prone to dampness, as you evaluate options. Is there potential for big water messes or tiny spills? Do your new floors need to be 100% waterproof or just water resistant?

Updating your bathroom? Why waterproof flooring is a smart choice »

Children

Do you have kids and need kid-friendly floors? If so, how old are your children? Is safety a concern because they are learning to walk and need soft and forgiving flooring if they fall? Is comfort a priority because they are older and love playing video games while sitting on the floor? Is their health your focus because they have allergies and require easy-to-keep-clean or naturally antimicrobial floors?

Redoing a child’s bedroom? Get more tips »

Noise

Is noise reduction one of your priorities with new floors? Do you need flooring that helps with the absorption of sound waves?

Energy efficiency

Are you thinking about adding radiant heating under your floors? Are you interested in flooring that keeps drafts at bay during the cold winter?

Style

When thinking about your new flooring, focus on your big-picture style goals as well as your lifestyle. Even if a floor looks good, that doesn’t mean it will be the best fit for how you use your home.

Do you want floors that are timeless or trendy? Subtle or eye-popping? Sophisticated or casual? Formal or cozy? Taking into consideration additional factors like color, texture, and finish will help you get the look you want.

Renovating a cramped space? Discover the flooring installation tricks that the pros use to make small rooms look larger »

If interior decorating isn’t your area of expertise and you need guidance breaking down the pluses and minuses of all the options (like whether or not you should go for dark hardwood or choose solid wide planks), you’re in luck. Many fine flooring stores offer free design consultation services.

These experts can help you understand the benefits of different style features and work with you to prioritize your needs. That way, when the time comes to make a purchasing decision, you’ll have all the information you need to make the best selection for your budget and goals.

Flooring makes a big difference when it comes to keeping your home up-to-date. Learn more about what’s on trend this year:

Price & Warranty

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to how much money you should budget for new floors. Costs can vary based on quality, type of flooring, installation requirements, and more.

In general, when you start your shopping, you can expect to pay less for carpeting and resilient than you will pay for tile or hardwood floors.

While you're thinking about how much you’d like to spend on your remodeling project, keep in mind that your flooring choice has the power to dramatically change the overall look and feel of your room. Budget accordingly.

Learn the three things to consider before making your flooring budget »

Here are some additional questions to keep in mind when planning your budget and how much you want to spend on new floors:

  • Do you want the floor to last for the lifetime of your home, or do you plan to update again after a few years?
  • What kind of coverage do you need in a warranty?
  • Will you need to purchase new tools or equipment to keep your floors clean?

Picking out flooring for a newly constructed home? Make a smart buying decision with our tips for finding budget-friendly floors »

Your new flooring budget will need to cover more than just the materials. Don’t forget about installation-related labor expenses during your estimating, too:

  • Do you live in a remote area, far from your vendor and requiring special travel?
  • Does your project necessitate involving a general contractor?
  • Are you removing the old flooring and disposing of it yourself? (E.g., some older homes may have lead or asbestos issues requiring testing and remediation.)
  • Who’s doing the work to add the finishing touches? (E.g., who’s handling mounting the room’s woodworking or transitioning between rooms with different types of flooring?)
  • Have you saved for any unexpected prep work that may be necessary to prepare the subfloor before installation? (E.g., your subfloors should be level; dips and high spots are non-starters that can hold up your installation.)
  • Will any permits or inspection fees be applicable? Are there any special building code regulations that you’ll need to follow?

It’s also a good idea to keep the warranty in mind. Some homeowners find that warranties offer peace of mind by guaranteeing some protection. As you weigh the pros and cons of different choices, you may want to go with the flooring option that comes with a warranty that best matches your needs.

Once you’ve finished your planning and you’ve identified your goals, you’re ready to head to the stores. Keep reading to learn more about what you should know during the selection process.

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Phase 3: Selection

Making the right choice

The good thing about buying new flooring is that there are so many choices. And, the bad thing about buying new flooring is also that there are so many choices. However, the selection process should go smoothly since you identified priorities for your new floors during phase one.

So, back to those material choices.

Not only are there many different types of flooring materials, but there are many different options for each of those materials, too.

Learn more about each of the basic types of flooring materials by checking out our exhaustive guides:

Before you get ready to head to the store to view their large selection of flooring products and talk to a design consultant, prepare by completing a few additional steps:

  • Take a rough estimated measure of your room (and snap a photo, too).
  • Start to finalize your remodeling budget and come up with an idea of how much you’d like to spend on your flooring purchase and its installation.
  • Gather up some inspirational pictures to help you communicate your sense of your style. Magazines, Houzz, and Pinterest can be invaluable resources for this type of research.
  • Write up the list of your new flooring must-haves that you determined while planning. Your design consultant will want to know more about your lifestyle, budget, room size, color scheme, and flooring material preference.

Planning to buy carpet? Learn which four questions you should consider before shopping »

Choosing a Retailer

Where you buy your new flooring makes a difference when it comes to selection, service, and more. So, how do you find the best flooring store for your needs? Here are some things to take into consideration:

Pricing and Selection

Are their prices affordable? Do they have a wide variety of choices? Are their products up-to-date? Does the store just sell flooring or is it a big box store where flooring isn’t its main focus or primary area of expertise? Does the retailer offer measuring services to help you order a precise, accurate amount of flooring materials for your project?

You don’t have to spend a fortune to get great new floors. Learn how to get the most out of any budget »

Friendliness and Professionalism

What’s the store’s customer service policy? Is their staff friendly and helpful? To make sure you get what you need and want, speak up! It’s crucial when you’re picking out a retailer that you feel comfortable enough to ask questions (and get the information you need) to make a confident decision.

Now, you’ve found a store and you’re ready to place an order and schedule a time to have your new flooring put in. Keep reading to learn more about how to prepare for installation day.

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Phase 4: Installation

Laying your flooring

After you’ve found the perfect flooring for your home, it’s time for installation.

Although some homeowners are industrious and choose to put in their new floors themselves, professional installation can make a big difference in how long your flooring investment lasts. Plus, they’re the experts when it comes to finishing touches.

Experience makes a difference. Hire professionals to install your new floors when greater accountability, the likelihood of fewer mistakes, and having warrantied work are some of your must-haves.

Installed properly, a budget-friendly hardwood can look great. Alternatively, bad installation can make even the most beautiful tile look terrible.

Most flooring stores work with seasoned installers. Many of these pros have over 10 years of experience, which means they have—along with the right tools—all the essential know-how to ensure your job gets done right.

Discover what time of the year is best for scheduling hardwood installation »

Preparing for installation

Though installation steps vary by type of flooring material, preparation tips are universal. Follow this general checklist of tasks to do your part to prepare and make sure the installation goes off without a hitch:

  • Disconnect and remove all computers and other electronic equipment from any rooms where new floors will be installed.
  • Remove all breakable items from areas where new flooring will be installed and store those items in a safe location.
  • Remove all items from tabletops and desktops, too.
  • Empty and store the contents of bookcases, entertainment centers, armoires, dressers, nightstands, etc.
  • Most installers request that a space approximately three feet above the floor be completely cleared so that they have enough room to move around. This includes the floor space in closets.

Check your subfloor

You may never see what goes under your flooring, but the subfloor—found at the bottom-most level of your floor—will have a definite impact on both your budget and the longevity of your new floors.

To prevent issues with your new flooring, make it your end goal to install the new materials over a subfloor that is dry and flat.

This means you can often install carpeting over hardwood flooring if is not loose and no nails are missing. However, if you’re replacing carpet with new carpet, you’ll have to remove the old first. Changing out tile? Same thing goes. Remove the old tiles and tile backer board. Fill any big cracks and make sure depressions are leveled.

During the installation

The type of flooring material you’ve chosen will dictate what happens during the actual installation process.

Learn more about what to expect if you are installing:

After installation is done, the fun part starts: you finally get to enjoy your new floors! Keep reading to find out how to make your new investment last.

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Phase 5: Care & Maintenance

Protecting your investment

You’ve spent a lot of money on your new floors. Make sure they last! Get some care tips from experts on how to protect your flooring, no matter what kind of material you decided to go with.

Carpet

The most useful thing that you can to do extend the life of your new carpet is to make it a habit to vacuum regularly and thoroughly.

Rooms with carpet that gets a lot of heavy foot traffic would benefit from daily vacuuming. The pros also recommend that you have your carpet professionally cleaned every 12–18 months.

Learn about how to keep your carpet looking great »

Hardwood

Modern finishes make today’s hardwood floors easy to maintain. To keep your floors looking great, sweep daily to remove any debris or dirt and establish a no-shoes-inside house rule to prevent damage from grit. Also, invest in a good microfiber mop and give your hardwood a proper cleaning weekly.

Read tips on maintaining your hardwood floors »

Tile

As a durable flooring material, tile is also one of the easiest types of flooring to take care of. Wipe up any spills and sweep your floor regularly as part of your cleaning routine. When your grout needs attention, get it to look good again by mixing a capful of rubbing alcohol with a gallon of warm water and then applying a little elbow grease.

Extend the life of your tile with this advice from flooring specialists »

Area rugs

To keep your new area rug looking good day-to-day, give it a regular vacuuming. (See the carpet care tips above). When it needs a deeper cleaning, bring it to the experts.

Discover even more ways to keep your area rug looking beautiful »

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Get Design Help

Today's flooring manufacturers offer a wealth of options to help you make your home better.

When you’re shopping for new flooring, making an informed choice without guidance is tricky. The best way to get all of your questions answered and find new floors that work with your lifestyle is to work with a committed design consultant.

Ready to talk?

Kermans’ friendly and knowledgable designers are here to help guide your project from start to finish, assisting with everything from estimation and selection to order management and installation scheduling.

Schedule a time to talk with one of our experts. Our team is here to help you learn how new flooring can transform that room you’ve been wanting to update.
Schedule a consultation