In Bend homes, floors are mostly hardwood in the living areas, usually carpet in the bedrooms and tile in the bathrooms. Floors are the hardest working part of our homes — but they’re also the easiest part to forget about.

A home remodel, however, can bring the focus back to those hardworking floors. After all, they’re the canvas on which the rest of your remodel will sit. They need to be beautiful — but functional.

If the living room, dining room and kitchen are the focus of your remodel, hardwood or a great wood look-alike tile will probably be the right answer for your needs. What to choose? If you have large dogs or rambunctious kids, think about putting down tile that looks like hardwood, it will pay for itself quickly — no dog nail marks, no dents from dropped jars of peanut butter and no refinishing costs! Tile, these days, can look like barn wood or a wire brushed oak, mahogany or anything else you can think of. The up front cost will be greater than hardwood, but so much less in maintenance on the back end.

If you have your heart set on real hardwood, you’re in luck as the selection has never been greater. There are wide planks from 9 inches to 12 inches of every conceivable type of wood. You can choose from solid wood (which, in our climate, is good only up to about a 5 inch width) or engineered wood which is real wood but layered on a substrate that creates a more stable base. Engineered wood is less likely to torque and separate with our extreme climate changes and lack of humidity.

Another choice is reclaimed wood, though its use comes with a caution unless you like the look of nail holes and battered floors. I love that look, myself, and have it down in the Complements Home Interiors showroom. But it is Douglas fir and is very soft, and it dents quite easily. To me, that adds to the charm of the overall look.

When remodeling, flooring will be one of your largest expenses. So, carefully consider your lifestyle and how you will be using the space. Talk with knowledgeable people who know both the variety of tiles available as well as the wood flooring available to help you choose which flooring will best suit your lifestyle and your home.