Enhanced and upgraded lighting and flooring are two more popular and cost-effective home remodeling projects. Here are a few basic guidelines for each:
Lighting: Proper lighting can add beauty and drama to any area. Often, it's the final touch that creates the perfect feel for any room. There are three main types of lighting:
- Ambient–Provides the overall illumination for a room or area.
- Accent–Creates mood and helps shift visual interest in a room (to highlight artwork, antiques or indoor plants, for example).
- Task–Lamps, track lights, and pendant lights help you perform specific tasks like cooking, reading or working at your desk.
Flooring: For many homeowners, new flooring offers the most bang for their decorative bucks. In most homes, the floors set the tone immediately–whether it's warm and rich hardwoods, soft and elegant plush carpeting, or light and breezy ceramic tile.
- Carpet–While plush or cut-pile carpet may be attractive, it often doesn't wear as well as more sturdy loop carpets like Berber. Also keep in mind that your choice of padding can be as important as the carpet itself.
- Hardwoods–Most hardwood floors are clean, simple and durable. However, remember that they usually amplify and echo sound throughout the house, and they also tend to accumulate dust and pet hair.
- Tile–While ceramic and porcelain are the two most popular kinds of tile material, there are many different varieties of tile to choose from. Keep in mind that different kinds of tile have vastly different levels of durability. Tile ratings (ranging from Group I Light Traffic to Group V Extra Heavy Traffic) gauge a particular tile's ability to withstand wear and water absorption.