Choosing Flooring for Bedrooms
For most people, the bedroom serves as a private sanctuary – a place to relax and escape the stresses of the day. To help set the tone for this room, flooring should not only be luxurious, but it should also be aesthetically pleasing, matching your vision of comfort and style.
Here are just a few great flooring options to consider when creating your cozy retreat.
Perhaps the biggest reason carpet has long been a popular option in bedrooms is its softness and warmth underfoot. A natural insulator, carpet also helps keep bedrooms warmer and serves as a barrier to outside noises. Carpet is available in a diverse range of fibers, patterns, textures, styles, and colors, making it easy to find a look to fit your décor.
Choosing the best carpet for a bedroom often depends on the room’s use and your budget. In a master bedroom or guest room that gets minimal foot traffic, just about any carpet fiber in a plush or textured style works well. Wool carpet is a perfect option for adding a soft, luxurious look and feel to a bedroom. This natural, breathable, hypoallergenic fiber can also help better regulate room temperature and humidity levels. But wool can be a bit pricey. If you have a large space to cover, carpet made from synthetic fibers is generally a more budget-friendly option. Nylon is a highly durable and plush synthetic fiber – making it a great choice for master bedrooms or children’s rooms, in which wear may be a bigger concern. Polyester is another synthetic option that is less expensive than nylon and non-allergenic – a good choice for allergy sufferers. Polyester is also inherently stain resistant. However, polyester carpeting tends to shed or pill more often than carpet made from more expensive fibers.
Hardwood floors are a classic option for bedrooms that will add value to your home. Hardwood’s rich grains and color variations lend a unique character to bedrooms that is unmatched by most other flooring types. Today’s hardwoods are available in solid or engineered planks and come in a variety of plank sizes, stain colors, gloss levels, and wood species, including traditional domestic woods, such as Oak, Hickory, and Maple, or exotic woods like Tigerwood, Brazilian Cherry, and African Mahogany, which are certain to add the “wow” factor to any bedroom.
In a master bedroom with an adjoining bathroom, hardwood offers a cohesive look. Here, consider factory-finished engineered woods, as these are more dimensionally stable and will withstand moisture better than solid woods. Because of its durability, hardwood is a good choice for children’s rooms or guest rooms. And the timeless look of wood means you won’t have to replace this flooring as your decorating tastes evolve. For more texture, warmth, or softness underfoot, consider adding area rugs, which can easily be replaced. While hardwood generally costs more than other flooring types, when you factor in its long wear life, it can be a great investment. When determining your total costs, remember to account for removal of the existing floor or installation of a subfloor, if needed.
Laminate flooring is a great way to get the look of real woods, but at a much lower cost. Like real hardwoods, today’s high-end laminates include beveled edges, textured graining, and come in various lengths and finishes. While laminate flooring can impressively capture the look of real wood, this floor’s true advantage comes from its wear layer, which is easy to maintain and highly resistant to fading, denting, scratching, and scuffing. Laminate floors can be floated over a variety of subfloors, and many products include easy snap-and-lock technology for DIYers. When installing laminate in master suites, look for products with sealed edges for added protection against moisture.
When walked on, laminate floors can be a bit noisy. Installing padding underneath helps reduce this noise and gives flooring a softer feel. Adding area rugs will also reduce noise while providing more warmth and comfort underfoot. Over time, laminate’s wear layer can degrade and show scratches. Since laminate flooring cannot be refinished like natural hardwoods, repairing damage to the wear layer means replacing the individual affected pieces. Based on the quality of the material used and the thickness of the wear layer, laminate has an average wear life of 10-20 years.
Luxury Vinyl Tile
Long associated with flooring for kitchens and bathrooms, vinyl has gotten a bit of a makeover in recent years, making this flooring a worthy contender for today’s bedrooms. With the introduction of luxury vinyl tile (LVT), vinyl now better mimics the look and feel of real woods and stone – often with amazing realism. Topped with a specialized wear layer, LVT is much more resistant to scratches, scuffs, indentations, and stains than traditional vinyl flooring. With tiles as thick as 20 mm, LVT is also far softer underfoot than conventional vinyl, and the design options are limitless. Tiles come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be laid with grout, for a more authentic look, or without grout for a sleeker, seamless look. For more customization, many manufacturers offer coordinating design strips and borders. You can even mix and match – a stone tile with a wood border, for example – to create a unique designer look. Design strips generally offer the same stain resistance as the tiles and won’t discolor like grout can. LVT is also slip-resistant and generally easy to install and maintain.
Another beautiful option for bedrooms is flooring made from eco-friendly bamboo. Bamboo looks like wood and can be installed and maintained in the same ways as wood, but it is actually a grass that when harvested will regenerate much faster than wood. But what truly sets bamboo apart from hardwoods is its rich tones and exceptional durability. When harvested at its peak, bamboo is extremely strong, often making these floors harder and more resilient than popular Oak and Maple wood flooring. Bamboo is also resistant to fire and will repel mold, mildew, and moisture, especially when a protective topcoat is applied. And the decorating options include a large variety of colors and finishes that will definitely add an element of luxury to any bedroom design. While bamboo can be installed in many different locations and climates, not all bamboo floors are of the same quality. Before making your flooring purchase, it’s important to discuss your specific flooring needs with your flooring retailer to help ensure you choose the correct product for your use and application.
Looking for something a little more unexpected in your bedroom design? Why not consider cork flooring? Available in a variety of colors, stains, and tile sizes, this environmentally friendly flooring offers many interesting design possibilities. Well-suited for bedrooms, cork flooring is highly resilient and offers a spongy comfortable feel underfoot. Cork also absorbs room noise and provides good thermal insulation, as well as being resistant to fire, mold, mildew, and moisture. Cork can fade over time, however, especially if exposed to direct sunlight, so it may not be a good option in rooms that get a lot of natural light. Cork can also scratch and puncture, so a protective polyurethane topcoat is recommended.
Get expert flooring advice for creating the bedroom of your dreams. Contact your local flooring store.