Vinyl has been around for a long time, and like most flooring, it has gone through many changes in both looks and durability. Vinyl is one of the fastest-growing flooring categories on the market, yet it is still plagued by many misconceptions. You might be surprised at what you don't know about today's vinyl.
Myth 1: Vinyl is outdated and unattractive.
Today’s vinyl is not like that of the 70’s vinyl: picture one giant, seamless sheet of vinyl rolled out on the floor with an unrealistic wood or tile print. Vinyl today has far surpassed that! It now comes in three different forms: planks, tiles, and sheets. Vinyl plank is perfect for mimicking wood plank looks. Vinyl tile comes in many of the same sizes and styles as real tile. And lastly, sheet vinyl is available in very realistic textures and colors of wood or tile. Vinyl also comes in so many different prints like wood, ceramic and porcelain tile, stone, concrete, and even metallic looks. The printing technology vinyl uses today reproduces these looks so well it's hard to tell the difference from the real deal.
Myth 2: Vinyl is not durable.
Today's vinyl is some of the most durable flooring on the market, but not all vinyl is created equal. Some of the most durable vinyl brands are that of US Floors’ COREtec vinyl plank, Mannington’s LVS Gold tile and sheet vinyl, and IVC’s Goliath tile and sheet vinyl. These brands have great warranties and stand up to moisture, scratches and tears. They’re durable and stylish and perfect for spaces like kitchens, bathrooms, basements, etc. When looking for durable vinyl, be sure to look at the thickness of the vinyl and its finish. Some vinyl comes with only a basic, buffed PVC finish that isn’t as durable to wear; others have a urethane finish; and the most protective finish is called enhanced urethane.
Vinyl has become a popular flooring choice because of its huge advancements is styles, sizes, textures and durability, coupled with its affordable price point. Vinyl stands up to the need for style and durability for active families as well as commercial spaces. So, throw out your doubts about vinyl and take a fresh look at whether or not it might be right for your space.
Laminate has been around since the 1970’s. Like all popular flooring, it has gone through many changes over time, and consumers still maintain many misconceptions about laminate. Let’s take a look at some of the facts and features of laminate to help clear up theses common myths.
Myth 1: Laminate and Vinyl are the same.
It's easy to spot the differences between laminate and sheet or vinyl tile, but others find it harder when it comes to LVP (luxury vinyl plank). The main difference between laminate and LVP is the materials they’re constructed of and how they’re layered. Laminate is made up of several layers with a rigid fiberboard core, design layer, and a top wear layer. LVP is also constructed in layers but is made of more flexible, resilient, and water-resistant materials. Laminate is not as water-resistant as LVP and generally is not recommended for high moisture areas like bathrooms.
Myth 2: Laminate flooring doesn't look as good as real wood or stone floors.
Today's laminate is not your grandfather’s laminate. Laminate has made great advances in styles, textures, and designs. New technologies have enabled laminate to have an almost endless selection of wood and stone looks with textures and grains that make it difficult to spot the difference from real wood.
Myth 3: Laminate floors can't be repaired.
This myth may spring from the fact that some people confuse laminate with sheet vinyl. But since laminate comes in interlocking planks that are installed by the floating method, it’s easily repaired. If a plank is damaged, it can simply be taken up and replaced with a new one. Because some laminate is not as water-resistant as other flooring, it is not a bad idea to get an extra box of your flooring in case repairs are needed.
If you've been thinking about laminate floors for your home, you can now have a clearer understanding of the product with these myths and misconceptions out of the way. Stop by our showroom to see the many styles we have in stock. Our flooring experts can help you choose which one suits your style and needs.
Purchasing new floors can start off fun and exciting, but oftentimes, the options become overwhelming. So many questions pop up like, “What kind of flooring do I want? What style am I trying to achieve? Will it match my cabinets? How durable does my flooring need to be?” Let's take a look at some tips that will help you have a fun and enjoyable buying experience.
Step 1: Get inspired
Maybe your inspiration is something already in your home like a piece of furniture, your cabinets, or maybe you want to match flooring you already have. If so, bring pictures or maybe even a cabinet door or piece of your flooring from what you’re trying to match. If you don't have any inspiration at home, search through magazines for inspiring pictures or web sites like Mohawk Floors, Shaw Floors, HGTV, or Pinterest for good ideas. Brining your pictures, samples, and color swatches will make shopping much easier, and if you think you've found what you’re looking for, ask your sales representative if you can take a sample home. Seeing the sampled flooring in your home can help you know for sure if it’s the one for you.
Step 2: Think about what will fit your lifestyle.
You want your new flooring to be durable and suitable for the level of traffic in your home. Examine how your previous flooring has performed: did it work well, or do you have some concerns with that kind of flooring? In addition, you should consider the following: Do you have kids or pets? Are you empty nesters? Is this your forever home or are you fixing it up to sell or rent? Keep these things in mind and share them with your sales representative so you can find the flooring that best fits your wants and needs.
Step 3: Figure your budget.
The above tips will help in picking the right flooring for you, but you’ll also need to know your budget. Figure a budget for flooring that you’re comfortable with and be sure to take into account costs for installation materials and labor.
Buying new floors should be a fun and exciting experience. Don't let the options overwhelm you. Preparation is key. If you follow the above steps and share your thoughts and ideas with your sales representative, getting your dream floors can be as easy as 1, 2, 3.
As we've said before, hardwood is a classic, and many love to have it in their homes. Choosing hardwood may seem simple enough, but there are some choices you will have to make other than picking the species. One of those is whether you want pre-ﬁnished or unﬁnished wood. Let's take a look at both options.
Pre-ﬁnished wood means it was sanded, stained and sealed all in the factory, and it’s ready to be installed. What you see is what you get; however, all solid hardwood can be reﬁnished if desired. When it's ﬁnished in factory, it's most likely been ﬁnished with aluminum oxide, which is the hardest man-made crystal in the world! Pre-ﬁnished is also sanded, stained and sealed in a controlled environment, so you won’t have imperfections in the stain and sealer that you might have if ﬁnished on sight. Everything is baked in 450 plus degree ovens, so the seal is strong, making pre-finished wood better equipped to stand up to daily life in your home. And best of all, your warranty will be longer!
Unﬁnished hardwood is just the cut wood planks of the species you've chosen, with all the ﬁnishing done on site. Unﬁnished is better if you want to stain your ﬂoor to match other wood products in your home. With pre-ﬁnished wood, you may not get as close of results. If ﬁnished correctly, your ﬂoor will be totally sealed with polyurethane since it is generally mopped or brushed on in very thick coats. When you stain and seal on site, there will always be some imperfections because it is not done in a controlled environment, and each coat takes long periods to dry. And, let's face it. You may be able to keep your cat oﬀ the ﬂoor, but you can't stop the ﬂy from landing on it or other debris from settling in your sealer.
When sanding your unﬁnished ﬂoor, you can make a smooth ﬁnish you won’t get with pre-ﬁnished, but on the down side, sanding in your home is quite a mess--saw dust, saw dust everywhere. Pre-ﬁnished has less job debris and has a stronger ﬁnish that makes it better equipped to stand up to daily life. Unﬁnished is ready to be customized and can be sanded to a smooth ﬁnish; however, the ﬁnish is not as strong, and there is a lot of job debris to clean up in home.
Be sure to talk with our flooring experts about the look you want and your expectations for your floor and home. We'll guide you in the right direction and make sure your home is matched with a great floor and that you're prepared for the installation process, whichever wood you choose.