FLOORING is an important component to our home environment. We live on it day in and day out. It needs to be durable, easy to maintain, attractive and affordable. Durability may be a top priority for a family with children and pets, but may not be for a couple who jet sets and is only at home on weekdays. Maintenance is usually an issue for all of us, but some individuals may desire a particular look that can’t be achieved unless a higher maintenance material is used. Last but not least, affordability! We are all drawn to images we see in fabulous design magazines, not realizing that what we are seeing can cost thousands, or even hundreds of thousands to actually buy and install. On a positive note, you can achieve a similar look for less, but you may purchase a ceramic or porcelain instead of a high priced natural stone. That is where a professional flooring sales representative or interior designer truly comes in handy.
Durability. If there was ever an indestructible product to enter the market – concrete may be the closest thing, but it surely isn’t the most cozy for your home. My first question to a flooring specialist would be, “what’s the length of the warranty?” This will tell you what the manufacturer thinks of their own product. Is it a 15, 25 or 30 year warranty? Typically this applies to hardwoods & carpets, as they will show wear and tear more than any other product. Wood is not indestructible! My favorites, with a twenty five year warranty, are the engineered woods by Anderson Floors, which we carry in our showroom.
Maintenance. Where’s the maid? We all can’t afford a maid to clean our houses everyday. Everyone should look for a product that is as maintenance free as possible. We all have busy schedules, and who wants to spend more time cleaning? Here are some key things to ask when purchasing floors: How often do I need a professional to come in and steam or clean my floors. What will regular cleaning entail? What type of cleaning products will I need to use to clean my new floors? Be sure to check out some of our links to find out how to clean and maintain different types of flooring.
Attractive flooring. I don’t know if most people do the ceiling to floor look when they walk into a room, but that’s the first thing I do. Your floors are the foundation to your home’s appeal. Your walls wrap those floors creating the space or room that holds all your furniture and belongings. It is crucial to have a floor that can tie in your home décor, personal style and how you live. Don’t ignore your floors! It is a good idea to look through design magazines and see what you’re attracted to. Just don’t feel like you have to buy the same exact thing. You may be surprised at the cost.
Value. We all want a good deal. Most of the time we aren’t really getting one. The old adage, you get what you pay for, is so true in flooring. If a product cost less, there is definitely a reason. In ceramic or porcelain tile, the thickness can vary so greatly from one piece to the next, that your installer can have a difficult or impossible time setting your tile so that it is level. Another problem with second goods or poor tile manufacturing is that each piece may slightly be a different size; or, it is not square, again making the completed installation poor quality. There are good buys out there; you just need to have someone inform you of what you are buying. You don’t want a sales person selling you their “in stock” product just because they need to move inventory. Make sure you are getting a good buy for the type of product you need.
It has amazed me over the years that particularly in residential construction customers will cut costs on their flooring. Your floors get ten times the abuse any other surface gets in your home and they can be very difficult to repair and replace. If you don’t buy quality products the first time you may end up paying more in the end by replacing your flooring because it didn’t hold up.Why is it that we are drawn to historic homes, but yet our sensibilities about new homes are quite the opposite? We all want the character of older homes because they show the scratches and dents from living, but most of all they were built with quality materials. It is obvious that the materials they used were made to last a lifetime. And they have. Let’s keep that in mind when buying flooring. It should last a lifetime. Not just a period of time.