How to choose the right flooring for your home renovation

Photo: Menno S. Martin Contractor Ltd.

This is a question we often hear from our Waterloo region home renovation clients, “for flooring, what’s best?”

We are here to offer up some experienced advice, but it really comes down to teaching you how to identify what ‘best’ means to you and then helping you find options within that type or style of flooring. 

Flooring Factors

Here are some immediate questions you will want to answer in order to figure out which flooring options are best for your renovation:

  • What’s my budget per square foot?
  • Where will the flooring be located?
  • What type of maintenance am I willing to commit to?
  • And finally, what is the look you are hoping to achieve?


This can be a deciding factor between what you’d love to pick vs what you choose, especially if you are covering a large space. However, since flooring is, well, foundational, some clients invest happily in this area of their renovation and then meet their budgets with other concessions. 

Good quality hardwood is typically the front-runner in terms of cost, with engineered hardwood not far behind. Of course, there are many different grades of both flooring types, so it is absolutely possible to have beautiful wood floors at a budget-friendly price. 

Tile can also eat up a budget quickly, but again, there are different grades, materials and installation costs that will affect your overall investment. For example, if you are wanting a complex pattern or border it can add significant labour cost, but can be worth every penny when your front hall delights you each time you open your door. 

If you haven’t considered vinyl or linoleum floors, you might want to give them a look. Both materials have come a long way in the past few years and you may find they are the right choice for certain rooms in your renovation. 

Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) flooring is incredibly popular and durable. LVP offers lots of options for the look of wood or tile, and is very easy to care for and of course, forgiving to water spills.

Location, Location, Location

While most of us agree that shag carpets in the bathroom went out with bell bottoms and disco, you also want to be mindful of water management in other rooms when you renovate. A busy family might want to opt for tile near the front door or mudroom, as even the heartiest of wood floors will show wear over time from repeated muddy or snowy boots. 

Hardwood in the kitchen is wonderful for many reasons, easier on your back when spending hours prepping, washing dishes, etc but again, you are contending with the sink, water dispenser on the fridge and the dishwasher. So choose a material that isn’t going to cause you daily stress!

Menno S Martin kitchen renovation showing tile and wood flooring transition.
Photo: Menno S. Martin Contractor Ltd.

Thinking Ahead – Maintenance

Until they invent self-cleaning floors (do Roombas count?) then you will also want to be mindful of how each room is going to be used and what that will mean in terms of cleaning and upkeep. 

  • Hardwood flooring and pets? How does daily sweeping or vacuuming sound? 
  • Carpet in the front hall? You might want to schedule steam cleaning periodically to deal with the effects of dirty shoes and paw prints.
  • Tile floors in high traffic areas? Great choice but be mindful of the grout, which can become stained, etc. 

No floor is without maintenance but of course certain colours, patterns and materials will show dust, pet hair and dirt more quickly. All things considered, most clients go with the choice they love and then deal with maintaining their choices. You know what works best for your lifestyle!

Have Some Fun!

Our clients usually come to us with a fairly clear vision of their completed renovation. But we love it when they are also open to exploring options they didn’t even know were available. 

While many of us tend to go the safe and established route with renovation choices, our homeowners will often comment that the boldest choices they made during their renos are often their favourites, for years and years. So we encourage you to get creative and bring home a few flooring samples that might feel out of your comfort zone, as well as those you went shopping for.

Next Steps

Once you’ve identified your flooring of choice, then what? HGTV has a collection of buying guides based on the material you’ve selected. 

And, of course, we are always here to help, so get in touch! We work with some amazing local suppliers who really know their stuff. Check out our Trusted Supplier page for their websites.

Don’t forget to follow us on social, we are always posting unique design ideas from around the world because we want your home renovation to be fun and inspiring, and for you to love the end results.