Don't use hardwood floors in rooms where water spills and splashes are the norm, unless the wood is properly sealed and maintained to prevent water damage.
Don't select dining room or kitchen area rugs that are too small for the area. You need a minimum of 36 inches from the table's edge to the edge of the rug to comfortably pull chairs out and be seated without straddling the rug and the floor.
Don't choose large-scaled patterns for carpet used on stairs. Trying to match the pattern, when it's laid on the steps, leads to a lot of wasted rug and money.
Don't allow the repairman to pull out the refrigerator or trash compactor without first protecting the floor covering. Tiles and woods can be scratched, and even super-strong vinyls tear when caught on something sharp and tugging ensues.
Don't forget the thresholds! In adjoining rooms, choose floor coverings of similar thickness or height to prevent tripping or stubbed toes.
Don't choose light-colored carpet for high-traffic areas — no matter how much you love it — unless you can clean it often or plan on replacing it sooner rather than later.
Don't go cheap on flooring. Pay as much as you can afford, because floor covering is the one thing you use every time you enter a room.
Don't forget to include hidden charges in your floor-covering budget — padding for carpets, grout and sealant for tiles, delivery, furniture moving and installation!
Don't use a solid-colored carpet in dining areas or family rooms. Patterned rugs are a great choice because they mask soils and spills.
Don't forget to seal a natural stone floor covering. Avoid water rings and moisture damage by getting the right finish and type of sealant for your surface.