When you are in need of new flooring in your home, it can be a real task to figure out what your best option is. There are so many choices today, that when you get to the store, you just sit there scratching your head.
Doing a little research before ever entering a store and figuring out what is best for your needs vs what do you like, can make the whole process easier.
Many factors to consider are:
Tile and stone are hard and cold. They can also chip and crack. Easy to clean.
Hardwood is warm and smooth. It can scratch and needs occasional maintenance. Nice warm look.
Carpet is nice and soft under foot. It gets dirty and hold allergens. Comes in many colors.
Sheet Goods such as Vinyl and Linoleum are inexpensive. they cut easy and require maintenance,
Exotic Flooring like bamboo or cork are soft. They are not cheap. They can fade in bright sunshine.
Stephanie has worked for Cancork Floor Inc in Canada since 2011 has this advice for her customers:
Homeowner Know Thyself
Take stock of what is needed for your home, your family and your lifestyle. Make a wish-list of characteristics you want in a floor. List what it MUST DO versus what it CANNOT DO. List special interests such as allergies, chemical sensitivities, asthma, COPD, aging in place, young children, etc. Work with the characteristics you must have, then go shopping. Ignore the trends. Find the list of materials that will offer the characteristics you require. Now that you know the materials to shop, you can find the look you are after.
Personal Preferences: Cleaning, Maintenance and Appearance
Personality plays a huge role in how a person reacts to the look of a floor. There are many people who believe shiny = clean. These shiny people enjoy the look of a newly cleaned floor because it offers a glorious, mirror-like finish when they are done. They feel happy and content when they see their floors shining like the sun. The personality that likes high-gloss will never be happy with a satin or matte finish. Today’s trend towards low-gloss flooring is a nightmare for shiny people. The hardest part of this is the homeowner maybe unaware of this themselves. Not until they have purchased, installed and cleaned their matte finish laminate do they realize something is missing – the glossy finish. Heartache ensues. New flooring is purchased quickly afterwards; often causing financial distress to those who can least afford it.
Expectations and Wear
Each floor material has different characteristics as they age. If you must have “perfection” for 20 years, then porcelain tiles are the perfect option. If you must have a soft floor then carpet, cork or rubber is the direction you must head. Expecting carpet or cork to appear perfect for 20 years is an unrealistic expectation. Expecting laminate to work well in a kitchen is another unrealistic expectation. Getting upset with hardwood floors that scratch is like getting upset with a baby who cries when hungry.
To Trend or Not to Trend, That is the Question
Purchasing flooring for resale value is not always the best route to take. Resale value should be looked at only when a 5-7 year plan is in the works. That means you KNOW you will sell your home inside 5-7 years. This is the short-term time frame that requires resale value to enter the conversation. Trends change and they change quickly in many areas of North America. Trendy areas will change their preferences in a heartbeat. More conservative areas will take a decade to change styles.
If you plan to live with your floor for more than 7 years, please purchase what you like/want/require for today. Tomorrow is too far away to make an informed decision. Solid hardwood, glue-down cork, stone and ceramic tiles are all long term products (20+ years of service) and should be viewed with that permanence in mind. Floors such as laminate, vinyl, floating cork, bamboo and engineered floors can be viewed as short-term (5-7 years) or moderate term investments (10-20 years). Carpet, sheet vinyl and linoleum all have their fingers in each pie with products capable of lasting 5, 10 and 25 years depending on type and style purchased.
To see more advice from Stephanie check out Thefloorpro.com