Selecting the perfect flooring can be challenging because it’s a significant part of the overall design and there are innumerable options available. Choosing flooring is not just about a selection, it’s also about combining materials to complement your style and balancing your budget to create a cohesive polished look. But the right flooring can make all the difference, enhancing the look of any space and adding value to your home’s overall value.

Selecting flooring is also difficult because it’s a sizable investment, the largest only after kitchen and washroom renovations. Plus, products now are spectacularly well made, which means they can in theory last 25 years. 25 years! My god, our bodies will completely regenerate three, almost four times before our floors need redoing. How will I know what the 2040 me wants my hardwood to look like?

As a designer when I’m helping a client make a more permanent choice, like deciding on flooring, I give them one option. To some that may cause you to break out in a nervous sweat, but hear me out.

I have created the perfect way to choose flooring, which involves running all the available options through a 3-step process. The three steps are Motivation, End Game, and lastly, Style. By first knowing why we’re shopping, and what you want/need from the floor today and in the short and long-term, it truly does quickly narrow that search. Let me break it down for you, step by step.


Why are you shopping? Ask yourself what made you decide to change the floors. This can be a number reasons some practical, some emotional. Is it to improve the functionality for your family (practical)? Or simply to make the space more stylish and impress your friends (emotional)? Maybe it’s for resale, because you’re selling the property (practical)? As you can imagine, the floor you might select for the kids to drive their Tonka trucks on, versus the elegant magazineworthy living room that makes your snobby sister-in-law jealous, will vary greatly. One may be cost-effective, but hardwearing with a finish that is forgiving to scratches and dents. The other, a pricier more precious floor that in itself becomes a noteworthy feature.


What is the intent for the property? Not all property investments are the same, in fact I find there are four typical investments types. I always determine what that is before recommending the type of flooring, no less the style. The first two types of investments are income property and force equity. If you’ve purchased a property for these investments, you’ll want practical and neutral flooring that will last the test of time and appeal to many tastes. The third type is the fiveyear flip. Invest in modest flooring that will offer a healthy return on the investment. The last type is the dream home. You’ll want to pay top dollar and invest in the best flooring products that appeal to your aspirations.


Now to the fun stuff. I’ve found there are 3 catchall style categories that can be used to categorize the style of your flooring: Classic Contemporary – Traditional Flavour, Tailored, Hotel Finishes and Elegant Lines Natural Organic – Authentic, Natural Materials, Soft Warm Finishes and Rustic Modern Industrial – Youthful, Modern, Functional and Edgy Search through designer inspiration or browse sites like Pinterest and Houzz to find out which style category appeals to you and your home. Then use this inspiration as a jumping off point to select the detailed elements of your flooring like colour, finish, material and tone. By breaking your flooring selection into these three steps, the shopping process can be much more enjoyable.


Toronto based celebrity and contractor Melissa DAvis is known for her appearances, creative design and reno work produced for various HGTV shows.  Her firm continues to service clientele throughout Ontario Greater Toronto area. @melissadavis


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