What kind of flooring would best suit my needs?
Choosing flooring is all about lifestyle and value. When choosing a floor where family and friends most congregate, consider aesthetics, durability, comfort and maintenance. Then factor in your lifestyle; for instance, do you have children or pets, will there be a good deal of traffic in this area, and last but not at all least consider value, not just cost. Sometimes spending a little more can add years to your flooring and save you money in the long run.
Carpeting is perhaps the most widely used form of flooring and is offered in the widest variety of colors, styles and textures.
Color: The selection of carpet color is a very personal choice. You will want to select a color that unites your décor and creates the atmosphere you desire. Lighter colors make the room seem larger; darker colors provide coziness. There are also practical considerations in color selection. New stain and soil resistant technology makes today’s lighter color carpet much easier to clean, allowing more decorating options. Medium and darker colors, tweeds, and textures will help disguise common soil in your home’s high traffic areas.
The type of fiber used and the way the carpet is constructed (loop, cut, etc…) determines the basic performance of the carpet. Quality can be enhanced by the way the fibers, or yarns are twisted and heat set, and by the density of the tufts.
Textures: Carpet construction – how the yarn is “tufted” into backing affects its texture and ultimately, the long-term durability and appearance of the carpet.
Level loop pile: Loops of equal height. Generally offers long lasting wear for high traffic areas. Many of today’s popular Berbers are level loop.
Multilevel loop pile: Usually have two to three different loop heights to create pattern effects. Provides good durability.
Cut Pile: Loops are cut, leaving individual yarn tufts. Still one of today’s most popular constructions, its durability is achieved with factors including the type of fiber, density of tufts, and the amount of twist in the yarn.
· Velvets – Smooth, level surfaces; formal atmosphere.
· Saxonies – Various surface finishes; versatile performance and appearance.
· Textures – Informal atmosphere; suitable for whole house application. Minimizes footprints.
Cut and loop pile: Combination of cut and looped yarns. Provides variety of surfaces textures, including sculptured effects
The Clean Up
There are many kinds of carpet and new carpet stain resistant fibers… It would be best to ask one of our consultants about the best care solution for your style of carpeting.
Your budget and your needs are two key elements in selecting carpet. There are a wide range choices and costs from which to make your selection. Ask yourself how long you expect to keep your carpet before replacing it. A better grade of carpet will give you a greater length of service than one of lesser quality. Buy the best carpet you can afford for the heavy traffic areas of your home – halls, stairs, and family rooms. A Medium grade will provide good service in rooms with less traffic—bedrooms and guest rooms.
Sheet vinyl comes in a vast array of colors and patterns. It remains the backbone of kitchen and laundry room flooring. New realistic stone patterns, soft wood textures along with the traditional kitchen prints make vinyl an ideal choice for the discerning consumer.
Most vinyl floors come in 12 ft. widths which make it ideal for wet areas. Technological improvements have strengthened the wear layer on new vinyl floors enhancing durability and tear resistance.
The Clean up
Vinyl flooring is one of the easiest floors in the industry to clean. Just vacuum or sweep with an occasional washing. Looks like new without waxing, buffing or polishing.
Wood has become extremely popular as homeowners are increasingly drawn to natural materials. It’s also becoming more widely used in kitchens.
Hardwoods are a practical choice for durability as manufacturers are using aluminum oxides to create harder finishes.
The key to a woods durability is its thickness and its polyurethane finish. The typical ¾ - inch-thick flooring contains three to seven layers of wood and the top should be at least 1/8- inch. That’s so the floor can be lightly buffed after loosing its luster, typically in seven to ten years.
Wood is a middle of the road – softer than stone or ceramic tile, harder than vinyl and laminate.
The Clean Up
Easy. Grain hides spills and some scuffs.
Laminate is a hard synthetic material affixed to a layer of wood or particle board. Its durability, and range of colors and styles are its best features.
Laminate floors are extremely durable and wear resistant. Easy installation, quick and simple cleaning. Laminate is sold in planks that snapped together and can be laid over most other existing floors (excluding carpet).
A hard surface, not unlike hardwood, but some textures and finishes will have a different feeling.
The Clean Up
Clean up is easy and like hardwoods, the finish hides a lot. Laminate cleaning products are readily available.
Natural stone is the craze, but at about one third the cost, ceramic tile can provide a similar look. Large tiles 18 by 18s and 12 by 12s are more popular than smaller ones. In addition to smooth glazed tiles, there are ones that simulate stone. A variety of grout colors also provide different looks.
In Kitchens and baths, ceramic is more practical than stone because advances in fired-on finishes have made ceramic impenetrable. While chipping does occur, the grout makes tile more forgiving of wear and tear than stone.
A hard surface.
The Clean Up
Damp mopping is best. (Make sure Grout is sealed to prevent stains.)
Area rugs are ideal for small to large areas with plain to intricate patterns in a variety of colors and or textures.
While having some of the stain resistance as carpets one of the strengths of an area rug is that it is a portable surface and can be cleaned separately, it is an ideal addition to a high traffic area.
The Clean up:
Area rugs have some of the stain resistance of carpet; they should be vacuumed weekly and professionally cleaned seasonally.