Selecting the perfect flooring for any particular room in your home can be quite a process. As you decide upon options that match your personal tastes along with the flooring’s practicality, you may find that it isn’t as easy choosing the right flooring as you thought it might have been. But choosing the materials for your flooring is a major decision; your family and friends will use it every single day. Let’s take a room-by-room look at some of the best options for you and your home.

The Kitchen

Our kitchens are by far some of the messiest rooms in the household. From cooking grease on the stove top to spilled drinks on the counters to muddy foot prints from your beloved pets, the kitchen floor gets a good amount of wear and tear. That said, you need your kitchen flooring to be easy to clean, and most of all, water-resistant. Two of the best options that meet these criteria are linoleum and vinyl.
Vinyl flooring is flexible, non-porous (so it’s great against spills), and extremely durable. Unlike hardwood flooring that may require maintenance throughout the years, such as resurfacing, vinyl flooring only requires a good cleaning to keep it looking new. Available in more colors, textures and patterns than one could possibly list, vinyl flooring makes it possible to make your kitchen space reflect your inner interior designer. Linoleum is a great eco-friendly option as well. However, because linoleum is made of renewable materials, it does tend to cost more than vinyl, though to be fair, it is just as durable as vinyl flooring.

The Bathrooms

As you might expect, your bathrooms are areas in the home that are often hot and muggy, which leads to your flooring needing to be able to handle a good amount of heat and moisture. Many homeowners find that tile flooring is their best bet to combat the elements in the bathroom. Tile comes in just a many unique patters and designs as vinyl and linoleum, and it can be installed by you or by a professional. While some suppliers may charge prices that could run above $10 per square foot, you can find 12 inch-by-12 inch marble tiles starting around $2 each. If you come to realize that marble and granite tiles are out of your budget, there are plenty of ceramic and porcelain options that will help keep your costs to a minimum.

The Living Room

If you’re tired of carpet getting beaten up by high traffic, look no further than hardwood for your next living room flooring. Wood floors can not only last for decades thanks to refinishing, but they also add warmth to your room. Unfortunately, hardwood flooring is rather difficult to install properly, so you’ll most likely need to hire a contractor to help with this remodel. In order to avoid a contractor from hell, make sure to conduct a thorough background; ask your potential contractors about their training, insurance, and any licenses they have obtained.

The biggest issues homeowners must overcome when they have hardwood flooring installed are protecting it from dents, scratches and moisture build up. Traditional hardwoods such as white and white oak and hickory are easier to stain than some other hardwoods, and are reasonably priced. However, if you don’t want to stain your floors yourself, there are pre-finished options available; though they often are more expensive than those options you would stain yourself. However, it should be noted that pre-finished flooring is significantly more difficult to resurface down the road, so while it may seem like a better solution now, it may create a serious headache for you later on.

It may be tempting to try and tackle your flooring installations on your own, but where you think you might save a few bucks, you could end up ruining your flooring in the process. If you need to have your project redone, not only do you end up needing to pay a contractor anyway, but you’ll also be out the additional money for any necessary flooring to replace what you may have damaged. No matter the room you’re looking to re-floor, there’s no better way to go than to have it installed properly.

Rachael Jones is a blogger for where women aren’t afraid to use power tools in a dress.