Flooring – Always Underfoot
Seems like there are constantly new options for flooring, so we are going to discuss the tried and true products that we love.
Performance is the major factor in flooring.
Keep a good eye on the “wear factors” for whatever product you select. Anytime you do room additions, remodeling kitchens or modifications to your home, flooring issues impact the adjacent areas. So plan carefully with those areas in mind.
Always a winner. Put it everywhere, except of course the bathrooms. You can never go wrong with hardwood. We have clients hesitant about putting it in the kitchen, but after many years of personal use and installing it for clients, it has worked out beautifully. Just make sure you’re getting the right thing. Kraus wood is our top favorite. Great product and a great price-point. (We have put it thru many of our on-site tests.) There are many variations of hardwood, just as there are many species of wood. Woods have a hardness factor that you can check out thru the Janka Hardness Scale, select what suits your purpose. Size: years ago, solid hardwoods were 3/4″ thick wood. Now there are many different sizes for different applications. For solid hardwood, we would not recommend anything under 3/8″ wood.
Engineered Wood Flooring
Are getting better all the time. Just make sure its got a solid wood veneer on the face and a UV cured urethane and aluminum oxide finish. For me, I always get samples, and it also has to pass the water test. Get a sample with at least three boards together, pour a cup of water on top of the finished surface and let it sit there overnight. Take a look at how the edges of the individual boards did and how the backing did. Someday you may have a puppy or baby that will give your floor a “water” test, and you want to find out how it reacts first. I tried many engineered woods with this test, and the one with the best passing grade of my particular test was Kraus.
Laminate floors are getting better. But they are still facscimilies of wood. They are a great price point, but depending on the room application, you might want to look at carpet.
Technically, not wood. Bamboo markets heavily in the “Green” arena as being an economical sustainable resource. But I’m not sure they ever factor the fuel waste in the shipments. Just not a big fan, for a couple dollars more, I would recommend an engineered wood, much more sustainable in design.
If it’s aesthetically pleasing to you, it’s a pretty good product. I tend to think it may be a bit on the trendy side. Cork again is big with the Green Market. It’s best property is that it is soft under your feet and therefore easy on your legs if you are standing for long periods of time.
Ceramic, Porcelain, and Stone Flooring
Any one of them is a winner, especially in kitchens, baths, and sunrooms. Especially grout. Do grout lines as small as recommended with the best stain retardent grout you can get, and even at that, still don’t do light colored grouts on the floor. Florida Tile is again a great source for floor tile.
Luxury Vinyl Tile
It’s not Grandma’s vinyl anymore. The new luxury or “high end” vinyls are hard for some people to distinguish them from hardwoods. They are even made to reproduce stone. They not only look great, but wear like iron. Kraus Flooring has a great line of these marvelous vinyl’s that are worth a look. In our opinion, a far better option than laminates.
There are thousandsssss. It truly seems like it’s never ending and we don’t use it much. There is not a lot of value in it for resale purposes, and most people tend to go for hardwoods when they remodel. We use it primarily in bedrooms or family rooms if we need to and then we lean towards berbers with a high density pad. Kraus also carries lots of great carpeting.