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Choosing a floor

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

Pairing quality with expertise means a successful project.

Trending now: Hardwood, Engineered hardwood - light colored stain.

There are a handful of prominent flooring types for Residences these days, including Carpet, Hardwood, Engineered hardwood, Laminate, Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT), and Cork. Technology has leaped forward and prominently so in the last 10 years, that the products available now are better than ever before. For example, Mohawk's Smartstrand line now includes the Silk line, of which the manufacturer joins 700 ultra-thin fibers to compose one strand. The result is the quality of the Smartstrand technology (which consumers have known about since its launch in 2004) now with the added softness which is produced from ultra-thin fibers. Walking barefoot on your carpet has become an even more comfortable experience.

Carpet is softer than its ever been and the fiber is better than its ever been.

The two biggest manufacturers of carpet are Mohawk and Shaw, both located in Georgia. These domestic powerhouses produce almost every design and color imaginable. The Tuftex line of Shaw carpet is manufactured in California and features a large line of solid, fleck, and patterned carpets up to very intricate designs. Many consumers are looking for carpet in bedrooms and lounging areas of the residence, including the Living Room, Family Room, and potentially the Dining Room. This is where the majority of the time is spent at home and entertaining and carpet introduces a comfortable and calming tone to the space.

The Flooring for the Room

That said, each room is its own space and each owner has their own style. While tradition has shown the above for living spaces, there has been a prominent uptick in hard surface flooring in the majority of a home, if not throughout. Hard surface, such as solid hardwood, affords not simply a level of luxury, but a longevity and a durability which show in its beauty and proves itself over years and decades. Solid hardwood, of course, has been around for a long time. Engineered hardwood, rather, is a relative newcomer to the game, and quite the forerunner at that. With its roots in Nordic countries, the wider plank flooring is a fashionable trend in American homes as of the late 2010's and continues today. While solid hardwood (in the raw state) maxes at 5"-wide boards, engineered hardwood allows for up to 8" or wider planks, for quite the grand room appearance. While both solid and engineered hardwood are well worth the extra investment, other consumers are looking for the economically-priced options, and that's where Laminate and Luxury Vinyl Tile come in.

Soft surface, like carpet, or hard surface, like hardwood, perform well in any non-wet environment (Bedroom, Hallway, Living, Family, Bonus, Office, and possibly Dining room), whereas water-resistant hard surface, like laminate and LVT, will do well in wet environments such as Bathrooms, Utility rooms, Entry areas, and Kitchens. Note: Hardwood also performs well in Kitchens and Dinettes where water contact is incidental.

Special Considerations

In the search for flooring for each space, every customer has a specific set of needs which make their search unique. So, in a way, its important to think of your project like a blank slate. You get to be the designer. You get to pick the color, the texture, the pattern, the stain, etc. For those who get stressed out at that thought, then forget I mentioned it. But seriously, that's why our team is here. We'll ask you simple questions like: if you have little kids, teenagers, or animals in the home. We'll ask about your preferred flooring, your preferred color(s), and what's important to you, and then we'll bring samples for you to review.

If you're an artist, you're likely looking for a durable floor that's easy to clean. If you're a parent of little ones, you're likely looking for carpet in prominent areas like stairs and bedrooms because it's a lot softer when they land on something soft. If you have a big dog or other pet, that could be a factor, and with the new carpet fiber technology, you can sleep more soundly by choosing a specific Tuftex or Mohawk "pet-rated" carpet because those have more stain-resistance for the use. If you entertain often, you may want the durability of a solid or engineered hardwood. And the other benefit of choosing a hard-surface such as hardwood, is you can actually have the best of both worlds by adding carpet rugs or runners on top of the hard-surface in areas.

Whatever the choice, quality is the name of the game. Sure, there are many "places to go" or "webstores to purchase from," but what you want to do is be sure you get a quality product and have it installed by a qualified professional. Flooring is a specialized trade and not just any labeled handyman or generic installer can do it well. (Note: Some homeowners can install Laminate and LVT, but it takes a good amount of skill and experience to do it well. Carpet and Hardwood, conversely, are highly specialized skills always best left to professionals). And when you see an "LVT is 75 cents a square foot" online, though it may look like "a deal," I can tell you it's not. LVT is quite cost-effective, even for a quality LVT, but that would not be quality.

Give us a shout if you have questions.

And happy shopping.

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