Our extensive buying guide to the primary bedroom flooring options cover the different types, materials, styles, installation tips and other key factors.
Table of Contents
The Primary Bedroom Flooring Buying Guide
The style of your primary bedroom can offer an excellent guide to choosing the best flooring option. Often, certain flooring types work better with some styles because they complement the underlying theme. Let’s review the options and how they can work for you.
A. Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors offer a classic option with so much going for it. It works with almost any primary bedroom style from traditional to farmhouse to contemporary. You have numerous options, especially if you begin with unfinished wood. You can stain it to match the color scheme to create a unified design. To save time, you can also opt for prefinished hardwood.
Aesthetically, you can use any type of flooring. However, there are practical considerations that make one a better choice over another. While it’s not the best selection for a bathroom, hardwood stands out as an excellent pick from the types of primary bedroom flooring options. Its smooth surface is easy to clean and resistant to allergens.
1. Types of Hardwood
You can choose from a variety of hardwood types. Popular choices include oak, maple, and walnut. You can also opt for exotic woods with stylized finishes. You have choices with the type of flooring, engineered wood or solid flooring. As the name suggests, the former consists of several layers of different wood veneers. The latter is one piece of wood.
2. Styles of Hardwood
You’ll also have your choice of hardwood style. These include planks, strips, and parquet. Plank widths vary from 2 ¼ to 5 inches. Strips are an older style of flooring that are similar to planks with narrower widths. Parquet has a geometric design that has a decorative effect more often seen in other rooms in the house such as the kitchen.
Opinions are divided on the use of light versus dark woods. Some prefer light-stained woods because they are less distracting and tend to blend in with the decor. Other like the contrast that dark-stained woods offer. You’ll find that your choice of primary bedroom style will lend itself to certain choices.
Generally, timeless styles like traditional and farmhouse work best with the latter. However, there are no set rules when it comes to decorating. Choose what works best for the design of your room. A bedroom, after all, is a place to relax and unwind no matter what style you choose.
Like other wood floorings options, you should allow hardwood to sit out in the installation area for a few days before work begins. It’s necessary so it can acclimate to the humidity of the room. Since wood can expand, it’s best to install hardwood in the spring or fall rather than during the humid summer months to avoid unpleasant surprises when the wood contracts.
Installation requires precisions with measuring and cutting as well as placement of the boards. You’ll need to stagger the lines for a more natural appearance. The process requires nailing the hardwood into the subfloor. Accuracy is essential. Of all the flooring options, you might want to consider contracting this job out to a professional because of the precision involved.
Another consideration involves the hardwood itself. You can choose prefinished or unfinished wood. The selection is important since you’ll need to follow up with staining and sealing your floor. It’ll add time and money to the project. Prefinished hardwood puts you a step ahead in the game. And you’ll be able to move into your upgraded bedroom right away.
This video from Lowe’s Home Improvement covers the basics of installing hardwood floors.
B. Laminate Floors
Laminate flooring provides the look of a hardwood floor at a fraction of the cost and labor. It is a facsimile of wood or stone rather than the real thing. Instead of wood or stone, the flooring consists of fiberboard with an image of the motif protected by a clear coating. It’s an affordable alternative to more expensive materials like stone or hardwood.
It comes in a variety of colors and textures so that you can easily match it with your primary bedroom’s color scheme and style. Quality brands of laminate flooring could easily pass for more expensive exotic woods like teak or bamboo. Also, it’ll hold up well to the typical bedroom traffic, making it a sensible option if you’re on a strict budget.
You can match laminate flooring to a specific type of wood for coloring and grain. You can also choose a level of shine and thickness. You’ll find surfaces from smooth to textured to wire brushed for different effects. Widths vary as well from 1 to 20 inches. There are also eco-friendly options so that you can feel good about your purchase.
Installing a laminate floor is a similar process with hardwood. However, it is a much easier task. Pieces fit together in grooves which seal them in place instead of nailing the floor to the subflooring. That’s why you’ll often hear it referred to as a floating installation. The same precision and attention to detail are required as with hardwood floors.
The challenges for laying any flooring are the obstacles such as vents and angles. If you can, remove vent covers and baseboards. Otherwise, you’ll need to cut around them and wedge the flooring underneath them. As with any flooring, you should make sure the surface is clean before installation begins. If there is a risk of moisture, you should install a vapor barrier under the flooring first.
Tiled floors are popular choices for many rooms in the house. They can add welcome color and a unifying design element that works best with certain styles or in combination with other flooring options. While attractive, you may find tiled floors too cold for bare feet or too noisy without area rugs to absorb some of the sounds.
However, if your primary bedroom style features bold colors and patterns, they offer an excellent decorating option. For example, you could use it as an accent to create a splash of color for a focal point in a Mediterranean or eclectic style bedroom. Stone tiles could even add the right rustic touch for a French country bedroom.
1. Materials and Types
Tiles come in a wide variety of materials each with their pros and cons. To narrow your choices, consider what each one brings to the table. For example, stone floors offer an attractive natural look but require additional work cutting and grouting to fit the pieces together properly. Some common tile options include:
You’ll find them in a variety of shapes with square and rectangle the most popular. Tiles also vary in the type of finish and mosaic pattern. Many types are very decorative and striking on their own. Consider the impact of choosing a pattern for a bedroom to avoid picking something that is too distracting for a relaxing environment.
Tiles come in interlocking and thinset/grout. The latter is the most common and the most involved when it comes to installation. Unlike other flooring options, you should lay tile on cement board rather than a wood subflooring to ensure proper adhesion. That will require mortaring it into place and finishing it with mudding and taping.
Installation of the tile follows a similar process of laying mortar. Unlike wood flooring, you’ll lay tile with spacers to create the lines where you will follow up with grout. As you may guess, installing tile is more involved. It also is a multiple-day project with plenty of down time for everything to dry.
D. Cork Flooring
Cork flooring offers an interesting option that brings some added features to the mix. It is made from ground cork that is shaped into tiles. It has a natural look with a pleasing texture that can strike the right note with an Asian or contemporary-style primary bedroom. While it’s typically used in kitchens, it works just as well in the bedroom.
On the positive side, it has a softer, springy feel unlike the hard surface of wood or stone floors. That’s why it’s a popular flooring for the kitchen. Cork flooring also has sound buffering properties which make it an excellent alternative for the bedroom. It is an eco-friendly material that is biodegradable. Its texture also offers insulating properties that make it a smart choice.
On the downside, heavy furniture will leave permanent dents in the flooring. If you like switching your floor pattern occasionally that could present an issue if the marks are noticeable. The same thing applies to pet claw marks which can damage the surface. Fading from sunlight may also present issues. And despite what its name implies, water or even high humidity can warp it.
You can install a cork flooring as tiles or in sheets. While tiles are easier to install, sheets are more durable in the long run. Before installation, you’ll need to leave the cork flooring in the bedroom to adjust to the room’s conditions as you would with most other flooring. Humidity will affect the shape of the tiles and, thus, the installation.
The process is straightforward with laying tiles in place. The challenges are similar to any other flooring option with odd cuts or obstacles where you’ll need to fit the tiles into place. You’ll also have to seal the floor perhaps a few times when you’ve finished the installation. You will also need to follow up with a polyurethane or a polymer sealer to prolong its life.
This video by Bob Vila talks you through the steps involved in installing a cork floor.
E. Bamboo Flooring
Like cork, bamboo flooring offers another eco-friendly material that brings a natural element to your primary bedroom. Even though bamboo is a grass, the flooring is harder and stronger than hardwood. It’s no wonder why it makes a good material choice for a cutting board. The flooring is an attractive option with a lot of added detail from the grain and texture of the wood.
1. Materials and Types
You’ll find bamboo flooring as solid wood or in manufactured pieces. It varies in plank width, gloss level, and thickness. You’ll also see a range of surfaces from smooth to distressed to textured. This small details can make a big impact on a room, so they’re worth considering. Like other natural woods, there are variations in the grain which can add interest.
The one caveat with choosing a bamboo floor is the moisture of the subfloor. It has a low tolerance for moisture which can cause it to warp. Considering its cost, you should make sure the conditions in your room are suitable before going this route. You should get a moisture test kit for the subfloor. The upper threshold for moisture is 12 percent for a wood subfloor.
There are several ways you can install a bamboo floor, depending on the product. You can nail, staple, or glue it to the subfloor. It’s worth noting that the planks can split, so you’ll need to take care extra when installing it. Your other option is to install click-together floorboards over a foam underlay.
F. Vinyl Flooring
One of the more affordable types of primary bedroom flooring options is vinyl tile. It is also one of the easier floors to install, making it a good project for the DIYer. Vinyl tile has come a long way since its early days. In fact, the vast array of selections and styles may surprise you. Vinyl flooring is no longer the cheap alternative, but a fashionable statement of its own.
1. Materials and Types
You’ll find vinyl flooring sold as sheet, tiles or planks. The choice is purely aesthetic. However, high-quality planks have an attractive finish that replicates hardwood well. It’s an excellent option to get the look you want without the added expense and labor. You’ll see many other options for the look including stone, ceramic tile, marble, and slate. There are also numerous color choices.
If you like the look of grouted tile, you can get a similar option with vinyl flooring. Textures vary from smooth to embossed to textured. You can get planks with distressed wood as an option for a coastal style bedroom. You’ll also find engineered stone tiles which would add a nice touch in a French country style bedroom. The options are endless.
Peel & stick is by far the easiest vinyl flooring to install. As long as the subfloor is in good shape, you’re ready to go with a clean, dry surface. If you need to repair or replace it, use vinyl floor grade underlayer plywood as a subfloor. Bear in mind that it will add time and expense to the installation. The process is similar to laying a wood floor with time for the wood to acclimate.
You’ll also find vinyl flooring that requires adhesives or glue for installation. Of course, that’s a more involved process. You may find interlocking or floating vinyl tiles as well. Installation is similar to other types of flooring. The only hard part about installing vinyl flooring is following the correct pattern. You’ll find tiles marked with an arrow if there are a top and bottom to the design.
One of the nice things about installing vinyl flooring is that it’s easy to cut. It’s a simple process to cut around obstacles. The one thing you should do as you install the tiles is to pay attention to the corners. Be sure and return any tiles with chipped corners since they won’t fit properly. If you’ve used an adhesive to install the flooring, you’ll need to allow extra time for it to dry.
This video from Lowe’s Home Improvement explains the installation process using vinyl planks.
Carpeting is the quintessential choice for many styles of primary bedrooms. It offers warmth, a soft walking surface, and an endless variety of choices to fit any decor. It is often less expensive than hardwood or other flooring options. Perhaps one of its greatest advantages is that it deadens noise, a definite positive for a primary bedroom.
Carpets differ in the way that they are made. You’ll find woven, nonwoven, and tufted types of carpet. Materials also vary from luxurious wool to practical cotton as well as an array of synthetic materials. Key features to consider are the durability of the fiber and stain resistance. Generally speaking, natural fibers will stain more readily than synthetic ones.
You can contract installation, but you can also lay carpeting yourself as it’s not the most difficult DIY job. The keys are a clean, dry surface for installation and attention to detail for measurements. You’ll begin by laying tackless strips around the perimeter of the room about ½ inch from the wall. Then, you’ll lay the underpad to the tackless strips.
Now, it’s time for the carpeting. You should allow for a few extra inches at the end of the roll for trimming. You’ll attach it using a knee kicker and a carpet stretcher that you can rent from an equipment rental store. You’ll then need to tuck in the edges around the perimeter. The hard parts of the process are meeting the edges and seams properly.
This video from Better Home and Gardens explains how to lay carpeting from start to finish.
H. Combination Styles
You can combine the best of both worlds and use more than one flooring option to create your personalized look. For example, you can capture the classic appeal of hardwood floors and add area rugs near the bed to keep your feet from getting cold when you get out of bed. You can use them to protect places that receive more traffic to maintain the unified appearance of the floor.
It’s also an opportunity to add accent pieces for color and interest. Imagine a vintage area rug with an interesting design that brings the underlying theme of your design together. And you can add more than one, depending on the size of your space. It’s an excellent option for an eclectic or contemporary-style primary bedroom.
1. Area Rugs
Area rugs function a lot like carpeting. They provide a softer walking surface that will deaden noise. But you can use them for decorative purposes as well as functional ones. You can lay an area rug to group chairs and sofas in a seating area. It creates a visual space that is separate from the rest of the room, creating its own niche.
You can also use them to add color and unifying your decorating scheme. The advantage that area rugs offer over carpeting is cost. They are less of an investment and require no special tools to install. They also allow you to use bolder patterns or colors that would overwhelm a room if you laid carpeting with such a design. Less is more as the saying goes.
2. Layered Rugs and Carpets
You can also layer area rugs on top of an existing carpet. It works much in the same way as using area rugs with a hardwood floor. It’s an excellent option for using an area rug with a pattern over a neutral-colored carpet. They can serve a practical purpose too by offering a bit extra warmth or noise control in a problem spot in a room.
You can use them to prolong the life of your existing carpet by placing them over areas that receive a lot of traffic or where children play. After all, it’s considerably easier to wash an area rug than an entire carpet if accidents happen.
II. Where to Buy Flooring Online
Many online stores offer primary bedroom flooring options. Here are some of the sites which have a wide selection at affordable prices.
III. More Details
Pricing for most types of primary bedroom flooring options is by the square foot. Therefore, the first thing you need to do is to measure your space. Allow for about 10 percent additional square footage to account for pieces you’ll have to cut and for the occasional error along the way. Bear in mind that some materials like tiles and hardwood floors are sold in cases or lots.
You can expect to pay anywhere from 50 cents to over $20 a square foot for flooring, depending on the material. Generally, exotic woods with specialized finishes and designer types of tile will cost more than other materials. If cost is an issue, don’t forget to explore more affordable options with vinyl flooring that can achieve a similar look.
2. Other Expenses
Don’t forget other incidental costs of installation. For example, you’ll need grout and other supplies if you go the tile route. Also, think of what you want out of the final product. For a softer walking surface, you may need extra padding for your carpeting. Likewise, you may want to opt for area rugs to cover high traffic areas or to absorb noise. Think of the entire design.
Likewise, you may need to prepare or even replace the subflooring if there is a lot of damage or uneven areas. These costs add up. And depending on the state of the existing installation, they are costs that apply no matter what flooring option you choose. A good rule of thumb is to understand what’s involved with the installation of any flooring so that you can correctly estimate costs.
3. Key Features
Don’t despair if you can’t get the precise product you want because of budget constraints. Laminate flooring and vinyl tile, for example, are often less expensive alternatives that can replicate just about any look you want. And consider the type of installation too. Peel & stick tile saves time and effort versus the precision involved with laying a hardwood floor.
While some jobs are tougher than others, it’s essential to begin with a clean surface before installing any type of flooring. Take the time to prepare the surface so that your flooring will lay right and, most importantly, stay in place. And don’t forget aftercare. You should avoid cleaning the floor right after you install it. And manufacturers often recommend dry mopping for maintenance.
Finally, there are many choices when considering the types of primary bedroom flooring options. While price is usually the top concern, also research the installation process and factor it into your costs. Your budget will take a hit if you have to put down a new subfloor, for example. Flooring is a large investment in time and effort. Make your choice worth your effort and time.