New flooring can be just what you need to make your entire house seem fresh and new; updated timber floors can add a modern touch to a home, while stone tiles can make a space seem rich and elegant. New carpeting can also add warmth and comfort. When you are ready to choose new flooring, note a few important features you don't want to overlook, so you know you're happy with that choice for years to come.
Do you want to install the new flooring yourself? If so, be careful of solid hardwood that needs gluing and fastening, as this can be a very difficult job and may take more skill than you realize. A tongue-and-groove, floating floorboard that snaps into place and doesn't get glued is a better option.
If you prefer tile, look for peel-and-stick backings so you don't need to worry about adding grout, adhesives and other materials that also take some skill and expertise. If you opt for carpeting, note that some delicate fabrics used for the fibres may be more difficult for a contractor to install, so your installation costs might increase significantly; ask if a more durable wool or cotton blend would make the installation easier and, in turn, more affordable.
If you want an eco-friendly choice for flooring, consider the manufacturing and disposal processes, and the materials themselves. For example, you may not think carpeting is bad for the environment as it doesn't meant harvesting natural materials, but carpeting is usually made with petroleum and other chemicals that make it very unhealthy for the environment when you dispose of it.
Bamboo is very sustainable as it grows very quickly, so it can be a good choice for wood floors. If you prefer stone, see if you can find reclaimed or recycled stone taken from other projects. You might also look for a porcelain substitute, as this material is made from clay and other materials that are abundant and which don't involve blasting to harvest.
If you have children and pets, or if anyone in the home suffers from allergies, carpeting is probably not a good choice; it wears quickly and holds lots of dirt, dander and other irritants. Stone, timber, poured concrete or tiles are a better option. If you do a lot of cooking on the stovetop that produces steam and condensation, this can settle into timber and concrete and eventually cause damage; linoleum tiles are a better option for the kitchen. Opt for those with a soft rubber underside so they're comfortable for standing over the stove while doing all that cooking.