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6 Common Mistakes People Make When Buying Flooring

Thinking about upgrading your home with new flooring? That’s exciting news! But you need to be careful. People can make a lot of floor buying mistakes they end up regretting in the long run.

Good news! You don’t have to be one of those people. We know all about the most common mistakes that people make when shopping for flooring, and we want to help you out by sharing them here. 

So avoid the regret and shop smart by learning from these six big mistakes people make when buying new flooring.

Buying Flooring Before Ordering Samples

Flooring Inc Samples

Many people fall into this trap. They see beautiful imagery of a floor that would look perfect in their home, and they buy it straightaway, only to find when it arrives that it’s not what they expected.

Maybe the color doesn’t exactly match the pictures they saw, or the texture looks cheap up close. Or perhaps the flooring is too thick to fit under the doorway, and now they have to make cuts to the door so their floor will fit. 

A picture is worth a thousand words, but nothing beats the value of actually holding the flooring in your hand before you make a purchase. That way, you can test it by answering these questions.

  • Does the color match your decor?
  • Does it feel comfortable?
  • Will it fit under doors and trim?
  • Is the surface scratch resistant and durable?
  • If you spill something on it, is it easy to clean?

Making these considerations beforehand will prevent a lot of headaches later on. Fortunately, we offer free samples to help you find the perfect choice.

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Choosing a Floor Without Considering Lifestyle

Anderson Tuftex Faux Paw

Another problem people run into is buying a floor that doesn’t work with their lifestyle. They fall in love with the look and feel and make a snap decision to buy it without considering how it will hold up in their home.

For example, do you really want ultra-plush, wall-to-wall carpet if you have three dogs in the house? Probably not. No matter how soft and comfortable the carpet feels, trying to remove pet hair will be a constant struggle.

So make sure to keep your practical needs in mind as you shop. Here are a few considerations to get you thinking about it.

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Not Buying Enough Flooring

Woman Installing Laminate Flooring

It seems simple enough. Measure your room, find the square footage, and purchase that amount of flooring. 

But in reality, that strategy will lead to some problems. What happens if some of the flooring is cut incorrectly during installation? Or what if you bought a patterned floor and the pattern doesn’t line up? Now, you don’t have enough flooring to finish the project.

We always recommend purchasing at least 5% more flooring than you think you’ll need. For patterned flooring, it gets even more specific. We recommend purchasing rolled goods following the appropriate pattern repeat 

Buying extra flooring gives you a bit of insurance during installation. The amount of cut waste during installation can be more than you think, especially if you have to make specialty cuts. Plus, there’s always the chance that something goes wrong or is cut incorrectly during installation.

You should always keep the leftover material in case part of your floor becomes damaged and needs to be replaced in the future. This is called Attic Stock.

It might seem unnecessary but trust us. You’ll thank yourself later.

Related Content >> Flooring Pattern Repeat and Drop Matches Explained

Thinking Underlayment Isn’t Necessary

Silent Silver underlayment

Underlayment is a crucial accessory that most people overlook and only buy as an afterthought. You might look at your flooring budget and then ask yourself, “Do I really need underlayment?” And the answer is yes! Here’s why.

Underlayment can determine the acoustic quality, insulation, and durability of your floor. It helps reduce impact noise like footsteps between floors of a building. It adds thermal insulation and cushion so you stay comfortable on your new flooring.

Most importantly, underlayment increases the durability and lifetime of your flooring by reducing the chance of cracks in tile floors or carpet matting. If you cut corners and install your floor without underlayment, it’s going to wear out faster and may even become damaged. 

The only time when you don’t need to buy underlayment is if it already comes preattached to the bottom of your flooring. You’ll find a lot of attached underlayment with luxury vinyl, engineered wood, and sometimes laminate. 

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Forgetting to Buy Trim and Molding



COREtec Pro Plus .39" x 94" Baby Threshold

Lots of people forget this final touch after the floor is installed, which leads to an unfinished look. You need trim to create smooth transitions from one floor to the other, and to protect the edges of the floor from wear and tear, especially on stairs.

Fortunately, hard surface flooring often has matching trim that you can purchase along with it to make your installation look complete. So make sure not to forget about it!

On the other hand, some people deliberately choose not to have moldings. This is often a mistake in the long run. That’s because moldings are designed to act like a bumper between the floor and the wall. For example, with baseboard moldings, you won’t damage the wall if you bump against it while vacuuming. Without it, there’s more of a risk.

Floor trim also creates a more polished look while also functioning as a way to hide the expansion gap around the floor’s perimeter.

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Forgetting Installation Tools

Installation Tools

DIY projects are incredibly popular these days, so it’s no surprise that more and more people are installing their flooring themselves. In response, manufacturers are coming up with innovative products that are more DIY-friendly than ever.

If you’re a proud DIYer, we have tons of flooring that is easy to install on your own (even tile!), but your project won’t be a success if you don’t have the right tools.

Lots of people have this problem. They’re unboxing their flooring, excited to transform their home with a new look, and then they realize they don’t have the tools for the job. 

You can save yourself time and hassle by researching what accessories you’ll need and having them ready to go when your flooring arrives. 

Shop Installation Tools

Related Content >> Best DIY Flooring Solutions


Congratulations! Now you’re in the know about the most common floor buying mistakes people make. You can avoid all the hassle and headaches, and skip right to the fun part – enjoying your new floor.

Are you ready to start shopping smart?

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About Chelsi Hewitt

Chelsi Hewitt

Chelsi Hewitt is a Phoenix-area content marketing professional. She joined Flooring Inc. to teach people about flooring, interior design, home trends, and more.

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