Hardwood and laminate flooring are the top choices for modern-day homeowners, with over 19 billion square feet of these kinds of flooring laid during 2019.
They aren’t the only option available when you’re investigating flooring ideas for living room floors though. As one of the busiest areas in your home, your living room needs a floor that can stand up to a lot of wear and tear during its lifetime.
So, deciding on the right type of flooring at the outset can save you a lot of expenses down the line.
Let’s take a look at all your top choices when it comes to upgrading the floors in your home.
Carpet for Your Living Room Flooring
Carpet offers luxurious warmth and comfort underfoot and has a few other benefits as living room flooring. It’s one of the cheaper flooring options, is easy to install, and can hide flaws in your home’s original flooring.
You can also choose from hundreds of different colors and designs when you opt for carpet in your living room.
Unfortunately, carpet isn’t particularly hard-wearing and soon becomes worn in high traffic areas. It also needs regular vacuuming to look its best all the time.
If you feel the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to hardwood flooring, these are the things to consider before choosing the right type of carpet for your living room:
When shopping for the best carpet for your living room, you can test the durability of a sample by bending it backward. If the backing shows easily, this indicates a low-density carpet that’ll crush quickly underfoot.
Manufacturers rate carpet according to face weight, density rating, and tuft twist. A 34- to 40- ounce face weight is best, density should be around 2,000 or higher, and 5 or more’s a good number for tuft twist.
Always choose a carpet with bulked continuous filament (BCF) instead of staple fibers.
Type of Fiber
Fibers affect the look as well as the density of your carpet. Nylon’s a good choice for soft, strong carpet while polyester feels good underfoot but doesn’t last as long as other fibers.
Olefin and inexpensive type of carpet that resists staining, fading, and mildew but don’t last as long as nylon.
‘Soft’ carpets have finer fibers than other types of carpet.
How the Carpet’s Made
The pile and style of a carpet will affect its final look.
Cut piles a have plush look and come in several styles like textured, smooth, twisted, and shag. Uncut piles have a looped appearance and include level loop, or Berber, and patterned loop.
Bold colors are fun at first but you may soon tire of them and they can put potential homebuyers off if you decide to sell your home.
It’s best to opt for neutral-colored carpets like beige or grey when carpeting your living room. These timeless shades never go out of fashion.
Wood Flooring Ideas for Living Room Floors
Hardwood flooring’s a supremely durable choice for high traffic areas. It’s easy to keep clean and extremely hard-wearing.
The only drawback of hardwood flooring is that it’s not particularly resistant to moisture. This isn’t a major concern in living areas as long as you wipe up spills quickly.
If you’re shopping for new hardwood floors you’ll find plenty of elegant options to choose from:
Classic Solid Hardwood Floors
The main difference between these types of floors is the species of wood they’re made from. The most popular and abundant type of wood used for this type of floor is oak.
Since it’s easily obtainable, you can find high-quality cheap oak flooring if you want the luxury of hardwood floors at the best price.
Other popular hardwood flooring options include walnut and teak.
Reclaimed Hardwood Floors
Reclaimed floorboards can add rustic appeal to your living spaces. These floors retain natural warmth and have an aged lived-in look, perfect for creating an old-world ambiance.
Mixed reclaimed hardwood floors featuring boards of different colors add a unique charm to any room.
They’re an eco-friendly option that suits the latest trend toward sustainable, eco-friendly choices.
Distressed Hardwood Floors
If you like the weathered look of mixed reclaimed hardwood but supplies seem to be running low in your area, you can create the same look with new hardwood boards.
Manufacturers make distressed hardwood floors that mimic the aged appeal of reclaimed wood. You’ll pay a little extra for this special effect.
Most solid hardwood floors require expert installation which makes them an expensive choice for any home. However, these types of floors can last for 100 years or more.
Patterned Hardwood Floors
These are one of the most impactful flooring choices if you have simple furniture with clean lines in your living room. This makes it a good choice to complement a modern or Scandinavian look.
Although this is a difficult option for DIY enthusiasts to install, the final result can make the extra installation costs worthwhile.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring for High Traffic Areas
Engineered hardwood flooring’s a popular modern alternative to the real thing. This type of flooring consists of a thin layer of hardwood glued onto layers of plywood and high-density fiberboard.
These layers make engineered hardwood more durable than solid hardwood when it comes to moisture resistance. That means there’s less maintenance involved in keeping these floors looking their best.
Engineered hardwood’s available in all the most popular species and shades of hardwood but it’s slightly more eco-friendly since less wood’s used in producing these boards.
It’s still one of the most expensive flooring options, second only to solid hardwood but it can last for 40 years or more if you choose a good quality brand at the outset.
Laminate Wood Flooring
Laminate flooring’s other type of flooring that’s designed to imitate hardwood floors. However, there’s no hardwood involved in producing these floorboards at all.
Like engineered wood floors, laminate flooring consists of layers of plywood or fiberboard, except the top layer’s made of a sheet of plastic printed to look like a particular species of hardwood.
Laminate flooring’s the cheapest way to get the appearance of hardwood and it’s resistant to stains. However, it feels fake underfoot and doesn’t stand up to moisture very well at all.
With careful maintenance and regular cleaning, laminate wood flooring can last from 10 to 15 years.
Vinyl Flooring Options for Your Living Areas
Vinyl flooring’s a distant relative of linoleum that offers excellent water and stain resistance. It’s reasonably durable when you take costs into account and this type of flooring’s undergone several advancements over the years.
Vinyl tile’s most common in areas where water resistance is a priority but it’s perfect for high-traffic areas like living rooms too.
Nowadays, you can buy vinyl flooring in a wide range of styles to suit both modern and traditional living rooms.
Types of Vinyl Flooring
The two main types of vinyl flooring are sheet flooring and tile flooring. Installers lay sheet flooring in large sheets up to 12 feet wide while the more versatile tiles are usually 9″x9″ or 12″x12″.
Of the two, sheet flooring offers better water resistance, and easy installation but tile floors are best for replicating the look of expensive ceramic tile.
Vinyl tile’s manufactured in two different ways.
Inlay vinyl tile has many layers of the same colored vinyl fused together, with the pattern going all the way through to the backing. This means the color or design of the tile stays the same even as the top layers wear away.
Rotogravure tiles are the cheapest type of flooring. Thye have a thin top layer of vinyl colored with paint and a protective coating. As soon as this veneer wears off, the color’s compromised.
It’s best to hire a contractor to ensure your vinyl tile has an attractive, smooth finish.
Some of the more elegant options when it comes to these types of tile designs include wood-look, intricate patterns, and those that mimic Redondo-style tiles.
Making the Best Home Design Choices
If you’re embarking on a major refurbishment for your home, coming up with the best flooring ideas for living room floors can impact your comfort and enjoyment every day.
Take the time to consider all your options carefully when it comes to cost versus durability and appearance. Remember, you’ll have to live with your choice for years to come.
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