From floor to ceiling, homeowners and renters are on the cusp of completing their long overdue home improvements. Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies forecasts double-digit gains in home improvement spending for 2014—$144.7 billion, up from $127 billion the same period in 2013.

Most notably, finding a floor that's the perfect fit for your family's lifestyle can be a challenge. Whether you have pets, children or are looking for a budget-friendly upgrade, understanding the pros and cons of popular flooring options can help a buyer feel confident in their investment. The following three tips can serve as a jumping off point for the many types of families looking to upgrade their flooring:

For families with small children, consider carpet
Floors are made to be durable, and certain types of surfaces such as stone, concrete and tile can hold up for many years—but these surfaces can be painful to hit if your child falls. Wall-to-wall carpeting in a child's bedroom can provide a safe cushion to those inevitable tumbles. If you already have hard-surface flooring throughout the house, a simple area rug can also provide an instant, safe play area for young children in any room.

For the best return on investment, choose luxury vinyl
According to the marketing research firm IBISWorld, flooring installation is a $14 billion business—but which type of flooring deserves your hard-earned dollar as an investment? When it comes time to sell your home, luxury vinyl flooring is a budget-friendly option that gives floors a pristine finish to impress prospective buyers. Less expensive than hardwood flooring, luxury vinyl can yield more than two times the value of what it costs to initially buy and install, according to some estimates.

For homes with pets, consider bamboo, hardwood flooring
Stone and tile flooring may not always be kind to your pets, as they can slip and slide on the surface. Bamboo and hardwood flooring can be much better choices because they are stain resistant and can stand the test of constant foot traffic. Cleaning up pet hair and dander is also made easy with hardwood and bamboo floors, as it does not require a vacuum.

Want to find the right flooring for your needs? The Advantage Carpet team has more than 33 years of experience. For quality flooring at warehouse prices, call 708-496-8822 or visit their website.