Flooring is usually considered a relatively unimportant aspect of house decoration and is often overlooked but it is actually a very important factor in transforming the look of your house. After all, floors cover the largest surface in every house. Moreover, with so many materials and designs available, it might seem like a daunting task to choose one that’s perfect for your particular needs.

Right flooring infuses your home with a sense of comfort and class, while simultaneously also fulfilling its utilitarian purpose. Homeowners look for a variety of things when choosing to floor—from resilience to the price factor and everything in between. If you’re planning to renovate your home, and looking into buying new flooring, here’s a helpful guide of some common mistakes you should NOT make.

Not Doing Your Research Beforehand

Before going shopping for flooring, it always pays to do a little research on the different types of flooring available in the market. Going unprepared, it’s easy to get confused and overwhelmed by the wide variety of options out there.

First things first, you need to set your budget and look for options within that budget. It’s tempting to splurge, but don’t go overboard. Durability and longevity should be your primary focus, not adornment.

Read about the different categories of flooring, the features, benefits, and costs of installation of each kind on the internet, and then decide for yourself which flooring would be best suited to meet your particular needs. If you rely only on the salesperson to provide you with the necessary information needed to make your purchase, you can be tricked or pressured into buying more expensive options that don’t even match your needs. Unfortunately, most people don’t take the time to research beforehand and are coerced into making hasty decisions. But if you’re going to be investing so much time and money into the whole process, from buying, to installation and maintenance, you might as well carry out the proper research into it, so that you find the flooring that’s right for you.

Not Taking Lifestyle into Consideration

As much as you might be tempted, don’t choose a flooring based solely on looks. Choose one that is compatible with your particular lifestyle, because that is what’s ultimately going to decide the longevity of flooring in your household. If you go for a flooring that’s easy on the eyes but isn’t meant for your particular lifestyle, your investment is going to go down the drain. You don’t want that. That’s why you need to consider all lifestyle factors when shopping for flooring.

For a household bustling with the activities of small kids or pets, fragile flooring like ceramic is a big no-no, as it gets easily chipped. Flooring that can sustain high wear and tear and won’t be easily gouged, scratched or stained, like bamboo or cork, would be best suited for such a household. Cork, in particular, is perfect for households with small kids, as its microscopic air pockets give it a cushioning feel, so if kids fall, it will reduce the impact. If you’re planning on keeping heavy furniture, avoid plush carpeting as it can sag. If any household member has allergies, you should again stay away from carpeting, as it can trap dust, pollen, and other allergens, thus aggravating allergies.

Not taking Room Factors and Climate into Consideration

It is of paramount importance that you also take into account room factors and climate when choosing flooring. For rooms that see a lot of foot traffic and wear and tear, choose a durable material like laminate flooring. It is also vital that you keep in view the general layout of each room, as well as the interior style, in making your final decision.

Generally, humidity can shorten the lifespan of flooring, for example, it can cause hardwood to wrap. Floor coverings made from inorganic materials, such as synthetic plastics, are better suited to handle moisture and dampness. So, opt for materials such as porcelain tiles, concrete and sheet vinyl for your washrooms, kitchen and other areas that are susceptible to wetness.

Selecting a flooring that’s suitable for the climate you live can help prevent problems after installation, such as buckling, cracking or swelling due to extreme weather conditions. People living in hot climates may want to go for tile, as it doesn’t expand or contract and also feels cool under foot, while cold climate peeps might prefer carpeting.

Buying Without Sampling First

Often, people make the final selection of flooring design and style without first trying out what it would look like in their homes, only to later find out after installation that the flooring doesn’t look like what they had in mind. Certain floors often look better when you see them on display at the store, or on a website, but when installed on the actual space in your home, they look entirely different because of different lighting. Therefore, it’s always a wise move to ask your supplier for samples to take home before buying. This gives you a chance to see how the flooring looks with the rest of your house décor, and see if it compliments your walls and furniture. This stops you from making a purchase you’ll regret later on.

Going Cheap

It might be tempting to save a few bucks and opt for a cheaper material for your floors, but it’s honestly not worth it. If it’s currently not within your budget, consider saving up for a good quality product. Because, while there are many good options available on the market for people on a tight budget, more often than not, cheap flooring translates to poor-quality. The whole project of putting in new flooring is a hefty investment, not only money wise, but also in the sense that it takes a lot of your effort and time, from the selection phase to buying and then installation. Investing in a high-quality product now will save you from the costs of having to do it all over again further down the road. So you’ll ultimately be costing yourself more if you decide to go down the cheap route now.

Putting Too Much Importance on Warranties

Getting a warranty is no doubt very important, but you should not be making your final decision based solely on a warranty’s lifespan. A warranty is not meant to cover damage caused by abuse, neglect or improper use—in short, the normal wear and tear of a floor. It is mostly targeted on defective or faulty products, for example, loose linoleum floors, or carpets that are coming apart at the seams. Manufacturers are now beginning to sell more extended warranties on flooring as a means to get more customers. But what people who fall for this advertising gimmick don’t realize is that there’s actually no point in getting longer warranties—the defects in your flooring, if any, will become obvious within the first few months after installation. A 20 year warranty is just as useful as a 5 year one. So, while these protection plans should be considered when making a purchase, their longevity should not be the determining factor in your final decision.