Choosing Flooring for Your Family Room
The family room is the focal point of the home, where family members gather to relax and literally kick off their shoes. When choosing flooring for this room, it’s important to not only focus on design style, but also consider your lifestyle. Does your family room get a lot of foot traffic? Will snacks and beverages be consumed in this room – opening up the possibility for spills and stains? Do you have pets? Will young children play on the floor? Ultimately, the flooring choice for your family room should be one that best matches function and style.
Here are three popular flooring options for family rooms.
Family room décor typically focuses on casual comfort. And nothing adds warmth and coziness like the look and feel of carpet underfoot. With today’s diverse range of fibers, patterns, textures, and styles, you are sure to find a carpet to fit your needs, style, and budget.
Wool has a natural warmth and soil resistance making it easier to clean and eliminating the need for pretreatment with stain protectors. The natural curliness of wool offers great crush resistance. Wool is also hypoallergenic and soft underfoot, making it perfect for families with small children. Although wool can be a bit pricier than other carpet fibers, this is often outweighed by its durability and long wear life.
Nylon, today’s best-selling synthetic carpet fiber, is generally less expensive than wool carpets. Continuous filament nylons will not pill like wool carpets do. Nylon carpets are extremely resilient and crush-resistant. Nylon is very absorbent, so to prevent spills from getting sucked deep into the fibers and leaving stains, it must be pretreated with a stain protector. Solution-dyed nylons, in which the dye color goes all the way through the fibers, will not fade when exposed to intense sunlight, bleaches, or other harsh chemicals.
You might also want to consider a carpet fiber made from recyclable materials, such as polyester carpet produced from PET (polyethylene terephthalate), the plastic used in water bottles. PET type carpets have exceptional color retention, fade resistance and are naturally stain-resistant, making chemical pretreatments unnecessary.
Worried about hard-to-remove stains such as those from red wine or coffee? Triextra fibers provide permanent stain protection that is literally built in to the fiber so it won’t wear off or clean off. Tough stains are easily removed with a simple mixture of hot water and detergent.
Carpet construction is equally important. In terms of durability, dense textures and loop piles generally hold up well. Multicolored, textured-looped carpet styles are a great choice for family rooms because they help camouflage tracked-in debris and everyday wear.
Note that no matter which carpet you choose, if a low-quality carpet cushion is installed underneath, your carpet will quickly look worn out and crushed from daily foot traffic. A quality carpet cushion may cost a little more, but it will go a long way in helping maintain the look and feel of your new carpet.
While generally more expensive than carpeting, hardwood never goes out of style – so you won't have to worry about updating your flooring as your decorating taste evolves. In fact, as wood ages, it often gains more character. As with carpet, the decorating options are abundant. Choose thin strips for a more traditional look, or go with longer, extra wide planks for a sleek, modern look to visually open up a small space. Woods can be stained in a variety of shades and colors – from light neutrals to deep browns and ebony tones for a bolder statement.
Softer woods, such as American Cherry or Pine, may not be the best choice family rooms, as they scratch and dent more easily. Instead, consider harder woods such as Oak, Hickory, or Maple. Woods with smooth grains will also show more scratches. Distressing techniques such as hand scraping will better hide possible scuffs and scratches from daily wear and can add rustic character to the room.
High-quality urethane finishes also help protect the wood’s finish from scratches and stains. Many high-end engineered wood floors include a durable UV-cured polyurethane wear layer that can last for years. Keep in mind, the higher the gloss level, the more the floors will reflect light and thus show more scratches. So satin finishes, may be a better option in well-lit rooms.
Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)
Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) has quickly become a popular flooring option for family rooms due to its stylish designs and enhanced durability. Applying the latest imaging technology, LVT impressively replicates the look and textures of high-end flooring, including ceramic tile, limestone, marble, slate, and hardwood. Tiles come in a variety of shapes and sizes that can be laid with grout for a truly authentic stone or ceramic tile look. Or you can choose to forgo the grout for a seamless effect. And much like real woods, luxury vinyl planks come in varying widths and lengths and feature rich colors, finishes, and textures. But perhaps the biggest advantage of LVT is its protective wear layer (also referred to as mil layer), which makes this resilient flooring not only extremely durable, but also easy to maintain. LVT is typically thinner than other hard flooring surfaces, which means it’s easier to install over most existing flooring. And it works well for floors that transition to adjoining rooms. While LVT is often more affordable than the real materials it replicates, the more realism and durability a product offers, the higher its price tag.
Find Out More
To find out more about thet flooring options for your family room, contact your local flooring retailer.