(StatePoint) Whether you’re purchasing a home or remodeling your current one, floors are perhaps the biggest piece of your home investment puzzle. They’re also the literal base from which all other design choices are made.
You may think you know exactly what you’re looking for, but innovations in home flooring have expanded and improved options.
Before making a major home improvement decision, do your research.
Carpets are cozy, but can be difficult to maintain if used in areas subject to stains and moisture. If you have pets or children, consider avoiding carpet entirely.
If you do carpet your home, use dark colors to create a cozier feel and lighter colors to make spaces feel larger. Planning ahead? Strong, bold colors may limit your future options when repainting walls or changing furniture.
Wood-based engineered flooring has come a long way from its mid-1990s introduction to the United States. As recently as five years ago, faux wood flooring looked just that -- fake. Now they’ve actually become a preferred look for many homeowners, thanks to design improvements.
“Today’s engineered floors have the beauty and durability of solid wood, and are available in every color and style you can walk upon,” says Tom Wood, president of Atlanta-based franchisor Floor Coverings International. “For the budget-conscious, they can provide a solid long-term investment and resale value.”
Engineered flooring is comprised of wood layers stacked cross-grain and bonded together under heat and pressure. This process makes them stain resistant and more durable where pets’ claws and children’s toys are concerned. Additionally, they’re built to resist humidity and can be installed on any level of your home -- even a basement.
“There is also a big eco-friendly aspect to newly engineered floors. Wood veneer uses far less wood than solid hardwood floors,” says Sandy Stratton, the franchisee for Floor Coverings International servicing the northwest suburbs of Minneapolis. Stratton has a background in architectural engineering and interior design.
Eco-friendly options on the market include laminate made from recycled wood fiber, bamboo, cork, natural linoleum, sisal fiber area rugs, seagrass and coir mats (made from coconut husks) -- along with stones, tiles, carpeting and natural wood.
Regular sweeping is generally all that’s needed to keep hardwood flooring looking great in the short-term. However, periodic refinishing and repairing may be required. Additionally, footsteps and ambient echoes can cause rooms with hardwood flooring to be noisy. In general, wood flooring is not recommended for rooms subject to moisture exposure.
If you do plan to use hardwood, consider sustainable options. For example, Floor Coverings International offers hardwood flooring that’s certified by the non-profit Cradle-to-Cradle Silver, is eligible for green building Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design credits, and meets Greenguard Environmental Institute’s indoor air quality requirements.
More information about flooring options can be found at www.FloorCoveringsInternational.com.
Floors are a foundation and a focal point in every room. From hardwood and tile to durable engineered wood floors to luxury vinyl planks, there is a beautiful and sturdy floor out there for every home.