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10 Questions to Ask Before Buying a New Floor

Your flooring options are endless. Our list of questions will help you assess your home’s flooring needs to narrow your choices quickly.

Flooring Questions

1. Where is the room located and how will it be used?

new flooring below, above and on grade

Ground-level and basement spaces are more susceptible to moisture than those upstairs, so consider the impact on your flooring choice. Also, if the room will serve as an entry area for your home or a play area for pets and kids, look for flooring that can handle wear. If the floor needs to support a wheelchair, walker or cane, make sure the flooring material will allow easy, unobstructed movement.

2. What is your climate?

flooring by climate

Wood can warp and buckle and carpet can mold in humid environments. Tile makes a great alternative, is easy to clean and maintain and comes in a variety of textures, colors and sizes to suit your personal style.

Check out our Tile Buying Guide.

3. Will you have to redecorate?

redecorating around new floors

Color is a major consideration when buying a new floor because it impacts the entire room.  Lighter flooring can make rooms feel larger but show stains and reveal wear.  Darker flooring can make rooms feel cozy but show dust and pet hair.  Neutral tones accommodate colorful décor easily, making it easy to change your home décor down the road.

4. Will your new and existing flooring coordinate?

flooring between rooms

Consider how the new flooring will complement your overall interior style and decorating scheme.  Blending materials and creating interesting transition spaces with patterns or materials may solve your design dilemmas.

5. What level of floor care is required?

new floor care

Are you willing to make the new flooring’s maintenance schedule a part of your life?  Ask what is involved in cleaning and upkeep and factor things like refinishing and steaming into your decision. 

6. Does anyone in your home have allergies?

new flooring challenges with allergy sufferers

Hard-surface flooring collects fewer dust mites and allergens.  Add warmth and visual interest with easy-to-clean rugs. 

How to Choose an Area Rug

7. Do you have, or plan to install, a heated floor?

radiant heat impacts new flooring decisions

Not all flooring options are compatible with subfloor heating.  Consult a flooring expert for help exploring the options best for you.

8. Can you install new flooring yourself?

DIY new flooring

New flooring installation is more than lining up boards and tiles.  Know whether or not you can identify and repair a faulty subfloor, if you know how to safely dispose of old flooring and if you can return unused boxes or pieces to the store. Some flooring may require professional removal.

Lowe's Flooring Installation

9. Have you factored in additional costs?

Flooring trim.

Installing new flooring may also require you to replace your existing trim and thresholds. Also, if you’re having your flooring installed professionally, you’ll need to include this extra expense in your budget.

10. Can you refinish your existing floor?

repurpose or refresh existing flooring

Research your refinishing options.  You may be able to bring your floors up to date with a new stain.

Learn how to refinish a hardwood floor.

For more help, check out our Flooring Buying Guide.