The Biggest Flooring Mistakes HGTV Stars Warn To Avoid At All Costs

Your favorite HGTV stars know a thing or two about flooring, including the biggest mistakes to avoid. The likes of the Property Brothers, Joanna Gaines, Nate Berkus, and Jenny Marrs have made millions designing and renovating spaces. They've seen their fair share of successful projects over the years, but have also had plenty of flops — some of which were totally their fault. Other times, they've walked into a client's home and witnessed some drastic design decisions as far as the flooring was concerned.

If you are thinking of purchasing a home, want to redo your floors, or are simply feeling ready for a refresh, there are a few common missteps to avoid in most situations. For example, multiple flooring materials will give you the world's biggest headache if you dare to put them in your bathroom. Plus, carpet can be both the best and worst flooring option — it all depends on its condition and how you plan to care for it. It can be easy to make a flooring mistake, so here's what not to do.

Jasmine Roth: putting carpet in your bathroom

Bathrooms are wet places. We shower, wash our hands, and brush our teeth in these spaces. There are many creams, lotions, potions, and plenty of water involved in your daily routine. The last thing you want to do when getting ready for a busy day is worry about cleaning makeup off your carpet. And, you don't want to harp on soaking your rug during Junior's bathtime. To avoid this, Jasmine Roth recommends never mixing carpeting and bathrooms.

"A bathroom is a moist place, and carpet and moisture don't mix," she told her clients during the "Empty Nester's Woes" episode of "Help! I Wrecked My House," per Realtor. "The carpet looks like it's in great condition, but hopefully there aren't any surprises when we rip the carpet up." 

Carpet has a high absorbency, which can lead to hygiene issues like bad smells and mold. This moisture retention can also ruin the carpet quite quickly, leading to expensive renovation bills. Instead, stick to non-porous, quick-to-dry surfaces in your bathrooms, like tile. To help with cold feet, or to sop up any spills, a bathmat will do the trick, and it can be easily laundered.

Drew and Jonathan Scott: using too many different types of flooring at once

Deciding on one type of flooring to install throughout your home can be a tough choice, but it's an important one to make. If you have a tiled kitchen next to a carpeted living room and an entryway with wooden planks, your home's style and function can be compromised by such a visually mismatched selection. "I have a rule: You should never see more than two types of flooring from any one place in your home," Jonathan Scott of "Property Brothers: Forever Home" said in the Season 6 episode "Finding a Positive Balance," per Realtor.

To avoid any sort of mismatch, the designer and his brother decided to keep things consistent. "So we're laying the luxury vinyl flooring throughout the entire main living areas." Vinyl is a great choice as "It looks identical to hardwood," Jonathan said. "It's beautiful, and it's basically indestructible." However, if you prefer tile or real hardwood — the brothers' rule still means you should go for it. But you should reduce your choices to two. Typically this might mean tiling in wet spaces like bathrooms and kitchens, and wood with rugs or carpet in living areas.

Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent: forgetting to double-check orders

When doing any sort of flooring renovation in your home, it's important to check and double-check all orders. This is because mix-ups can happen at any stage of the process and even to the biggest stars. On an episode of "Nate & Jeremiah By Design," the HGTV power couple Berkus and Brent made a major blunder when their crew installed the wrong hardwood flooring. While the pair ordered dark flooring at the client's request, a lighter hickory option was delivered. Contractors installed the incorrect planks before the mistake was caught. But, to avoid wasting more time and money, the crew decided to keep the floor as is. "We're just going to have to roll with it," Nate said about the floor. "But we're going to have to figure out a way to still make it feel like Brandi and Steve," Jeremiah chimed in.

While the clients still ended up loving the flooring after the stars performed a few emergency tweaks, Brent still wasn't too pleased. "At the end of the day, this is a big communication breakdown," he said. "And that changes today." To avoid this flooring mistake, make written records of all orders, so you can refer back to something solid if things go wrong. Plus, if you're not installing the flooring yourself and can't visually check the product, you can ask your contractor to send a photo of what was delivered before they start.

Christina Hall: putting off carpet updates too long

When done correctly, carpet can be a lush addition to any living space, adding comfort and sound absorption. However, it rapidly turns into a problem when you keep old carpet for too long without replacing it. Carpet can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years, and it all depends on how well you take care of it and the level of traffic in your home. But even if you live alone and steam clean your floors often, your carpet from the '80s likely needs to go. And, HGTV darling Christina Hall feels very passionately about the importance of replacing it when it's well past its prime. "If you have old carpet, please get rid of it," she told Distractify

If you don't have the budget for a massive carpet removal, you don't need to worry as the project isn't too hard to DIY. "If I can do it, anyone can do it," Christina told the outlet. If your carpet is worn thin, stained, torn, or bunched up in spots, leaving it alone is a flooring mistake. However, Hall recommends her fans use social media tutorials on YouTube and TikTok to learn the correct techniques for getting rid of dingy carpet.

Mike Holmes: forgetting to level the floor first

Mike Holmes is an expert on fixing the mistakes of others. One he sees all too often when it comes to flooring is installing it on uneven surfaces. "The dips in the floor, that's unacceptable," he shared in an advice video on YouTube. "Any time you're going to tile you want it to be 100% level." 

Although this will take more time at the onset, you will prevent yourself from having to redo your entire project. Holmes' daughter Sherry, a tile expert in her own right, went on to explain why this step is so important. "Starting with a level floor is very important. It helps prevent cracking, dips, and even squeaks," she shared. 

If you use a level before starting your project and realize that your floor is uneven, there is a straightforward way to make it right. You (or your contractor if you are not the DIY type) can use a product known as self-leveling underlayment. You apply it directly onto the concrete foundation or subfloor, but only after you apply the primer as well. This way, you are applying your flooring to a surface that's ready to receive it.

Leslie Davis: thinking your for-sale home doesn't need new floors

When it's time to sell your home, major renovations might not be the first thing on your mind. However, if you want to increase the listing price, you will need to make a few improvements, starting at the bottom, according to Leslie Davis. The "Unsellable Houses" star explained in a Lamb & Co. blog post, "Over the years, I have noticed that homes with new flooring tend to sell for much more! In addition to new paint, I often suggest freshening up the flooring. Replacing carpet, refinishing hardwood floors, or adding luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring will help make a massive difference when selling your home."

Davis isn't wrong in her assertion either as the data backs her up. Homes with new flooring do sell for more. According to data from the National Association of Realtors, 54% of people are willing to pay more for homes with hardwood floors. Whether you choose tile, wood, or even fresh carpet, the newness of the flooring choice can increase your home's overall value by up to 5%! On a $300,000 home, that's a cool 15 grand so it's a mistake not to consider it.

Joanna Gaines: spending more money than you have to

Sometimes you know something's gotta give with your flooring choices, but you don't have any extra room in your budget. What are you supposed to do next? Instead of spending more money than you need to, HGTV veteran Joanna Gaines recommends starting simple. For example, when renovating a friend's living room with a budget of $5,000 Gaines couldn't tear up the existing flooring without overspending. "We knew we wanted to hide the living room's dated tile," she told Elle Decor.

Instead, she chose to be realistic and use the money elsewhere. "Investing in a large area rug was a lot cheaper than installing new hardwood floors," Gaines continued. If you find yourself wanting to redo your flooring, consider the reasoning alongside your budget. If the tile is simply an eyesore, but still functional — or the wood just isn't your shade, but it's warped or rotting — covering it up might be the best solution. Even if you do go on to do a complete renovation, a nice area rug can preserve your sanity until then as you won't have to see the flooring you hate every day.

Dave and Jenny Marrs: writing off carpet as ugly and off-trend

Having carpet doesn't have to be a flooring mistake. In fact, Dave and Jenny Marrs of "Fixer to Fabulous" are insistent that it's anything but off-trend. On an episode of their show, the couple chose to forgo the typical modern option of wooden flooring and instead chose a plush carpet for the client's media room. This way, the floor is included in the entertainment space. Suddenly lying on the ground with a pillow or two during the movie is an option, something that just won't work with harder floors.

Yet the design couple also understands that not everyone will want to commit to carpet all the way. As a bit of a happy medium, they included soft area rugs in a gift guide on their blog. "Mere's "ruggies" are the perfect rug for anyone who is wanting to include a Turkish rug in their home. These are small rugs that are perfect for a bathroom in front of a tub or a vanity," Jenny wrote. This way, spaces that might seem a little cold or uncomfortable can have the benefits of carpet, without the commitment to upkeep.

Mike Holmes: installing new tile over old tile

If you are planning to swap out the tile flooring in your house, you might think you can save some time by popping the new tile right over the old ones. However, this is one of the biggest flooring mistakes you can make, according to "Holmes on Homes" star Mike Holmes. As someone who is always cleaning up after other contractors, his advice is worth heeding.  "Can I install tile over tile?" he shared on Instagram. "No. Always remove the old floor before installing the new floor."

The reasoning behind this is quite simple. "Ceramic is heavy," Holmes wrote. "Add on top of that a completely new floor, and you've got a very heavy load. If your home was built to minimum code it's not built to carry that much weight." If you try to cut corners when installing tile, the weight of the new tile will likely crack what's underneath. This creates a dangerous and uneven surface that is prone to cracking and caving in, which will cost you a lot more in the long run. Instead, it's best to follow Holme's advice of removing all the existing tiles first. While it can be tiring, removing tiles with a hammer and chisel will save you future grief.