This year, we have seen an influx of homeowners and DIYers updating their interiors. In fact, Houzz, an online home remodeling platform, reported a 58% annual increase in project leads for home professionals. While many home products are shopped for online, homeowners still prefer to consult with a flooring specialist when buying a new floor for their home. So, I recently partnered with one of our Flooring Specialists, Dave Buck, and a customer, Erik Warren of America’s Floor Source, to determine an easy three step process to discover the perfect flooring for any space.
1. How long do you plan on using it?
First, to determine the right flooring for the application, it is important to determine how long you plan to use it. When we look at flooring, soft surfaces do not have nearly the lifespan of a hard surface, which makes it a good option if you don’t plan on living in the space very long. Although carpeting may make the home feel warmer, it is less durable in high traffic areas and will likely need replaced more often than a hard surface. Therefore, for a short-term need, carpeting is a comfortable flooring choice that is easy on the wallet. For many shoppers, the space they are updating is one they plan to use for 2 years or more, which leads us to our next question.
2. Why are you updating it?
If you are updating the space to make it market ready, Erik confirmed, “people love hard surface flooring”. He went on to say, “Right now, if you poll our customers, most want their home to be all hard surface and all the same style. Additionally, if you are looking to increase the value of the home, we know that homeowners have an insatiable appetite for hardwood floors and it will, in fact, raise the value of the home.” If you are remodeling your home for you and your family to enjoy for years to come, you might consider luxury vinyl flooring since it can offer that wow factor at a fraction of the price of hardwood. Generally speaking, many consumers want a hard surface flooring to greet them at the door and pull through to the main living spaces. So, how do we know which material is best for us? To determine more closely if your home would be a better fit with solid hardwood, engineered wood, or LVT, let’s look at your lifestyle.
3. What’s your lifestyle?
The final step is determining your lifestyle. “We’re talking about pets, water, kids, high heels, and foot traffic,” Erik explains. “We can easily offer options after we know more about how the home is used and who it is used by. For example, adults with smaller animals like cats will easily pair well with a traditional hardwood flooring like Somerset. In our market, we see the 3-1/4” solid is chosen most often – and wide plank is also fantastic. For some homeowners, the inability to mop a hardwood floor is troublesome, so we would recommend an engineered hardwood like Raintree.” Engineered hardwoods are easier to install and can be cleaned by more traditional methods.
With engineered hardwoods, there is a “real” wood top layer that typically can be refinished. Every board is distinctly different and adds much more value to the home. While most hardwoods warp or cup when exposed to water, engineered hardwoods, like Hearthwood and Raintree, are protected by spills and moisture with water-resistant technology that can prevent moisture absorption. Engineered hardwood flooring is a great option when you want to enjoy the beauty of true hardwood floors without worrying about everyday messes.
Luxury vinyl flooring is a recommended option for homes with large dogs and small kids. Especially with more foot traffic in the home, as parent and children continue to work and learn remotely, you may need a flooring that is more durable and suitable for the new lifestyle. Although luxury vinyl flooring is a print replicating wood or tile, it is waterproof and has the stability and wear qualities to hold up to your home’s environment.
There are many options available in the luxury vinyl category. However, Dave Buck, Flooring Specialist at Palmer-Donavin, shared, “Not all luxury vinyl flooring is the same. It all comes down to the core material and wear layer. Happy Feet Flooring offers different types that are organized into four categories which are defined by core material (what it’s made of) and wear layer (protective surface). See each category in the chart below.”
When looking at the different categories, we would recommend options in the Gladiator or Extreme Core Plus to those who prefer a softer, warmer and quieter feel. For spaces that require a rigid floor that can withstand varying temperatures, options in the Stone Composite Core category will work best. This is also a great category for those who maybe be installing the flooring over uneven subfloors or existing flooring.
There’s more to a floor than color and price. Flooring is a major part of your home and we want you to enjoy them for years to come. And although you’ve done your research online, we invite you to further your flooring discussion with a Flooring Specialist. So, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and our friends at America’s Floor Source to discover which flooring is best for you.