Have you found your dream home, but hate the ugly flooring? Swapping out floors might be easier than you think. A few thousand dollars can go a long way in terms of new floors and some paint, and with the right tools you could even do it yourself as your professional movers take care of the unpacking. Here’s the inside skinny on different kinds of flooring.

Laminate. With a few tools, some patience, and a little Youtube tutorial, laminate is actually pretty easy to lay yourself. Laminate is much less expensive than real hardwood in most cases, and won’t have to be refinished. But on the other hand, damaging laminate means you might have to re-lay a large portion of the room, in order to get to the damaged piece.

Real wood. Most folks would prefer real wood to laminate, but it’s usually more expensive. It has a great look and can be stained in a variety of shades. And if you have serious issues with the finish, you can always refinish it. Sanding and staining hardwood floors is a rough job though, and might be best left to the pros.

Carpet. Anyone who’s lived with carpet probably knows the upsides and downsides. It’s definitely soft and comfortable, and not too expensive. But if you have much water or food spills, it can be a real project to clean up. Overall it’s a bit harder to clean than the smooth surfaces of other flooring. Carpet also allows for a lot more traction than hardwood or laminate.

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choosing flooring options