Monthly Archives: October 2014

The BEST Floor for Your Kitchen

What's the best floor for your kitchen?

What’s the best floor for your kitchen?

The kitchen is the heart of the home—and better be, if you want to eat. Even if microwave cooking is more your chef style, with today’s open home designs, your kitchen needs to look like the heart of your home.

Start with your flooring. Why? It covers a majority of the surface area, is a major part of your kitchen design and it’s important. Whether you have kids running through, dogs begging at your feet or a spouse sneaking late night snacks, you need a durable, beautiful floor that can withstand continual traffic, food spills and puddles. The good news: you have a lot of options that fit the criteria. The bad news: there are a lot of options.

Wood flooring

Pros: Beautiful, durable, easy-to-clean, long lasting. We’ve all seen century-old hardwood floors that held up through the ages. With a variety of finishes, wood flooring is stunning and easy to clean.

Cons: Water & scratching. If you’re a messy cook or dishwasher, think twice. Any sitting water on hardwood flooring can cause damage and staining. Have a high traffic home with kids or pets (or both)? Consider hand-scraped hardwood flooring, which hides the dings and scratches that come with busy households.

Tile

Pros: Beautiful, durable, easy-to-clean, loves radiant floor heating. Available in almost any color, tile is a beautiful option just begging for radiant floor heating. Easy to clean, tile flooring requires only a daily sweeping and an occasional mopping. You don’t have to worry about standing water with tile flooring, as most tile floors are mildew and water resistant.

Cons: Cold without radiant floor heating, hard to stand on, can be prone to dings. Many kinds of tile can take anything you throw at it—except your dishes. Because of the hardness of tile, any plates or cups dropped on the floor are prone to shattering. The hardness can also be hard to stand on for long periods of time, and tile can feel cold to the feet without radiant floor heating.

Laminate

Pros: Tons of options, durable, easy-to-clean. The days of your grandmother’s boring laminate flooring is gone, replaced by laminate flooring in almost any color that can fool your visitors. While laminate flooring may look like wood, laminate flooring is tougher while still boasting the easy-to-clean quality of a wood floor.

Cons: Water & scratching. Homeowners with laminate floors have to be on the watch for water; any standing water can warp laminate floors. Laminate floors are tough but can scratch, leaving visible damage on the floors.

Vinyl

Pros: Indestructible, beautiful, tolerates water well. Vinyl floors can take standing water without any problem—even if you have a foot of flooding in your kitchen. Today’s vinyl floors have the look of stone, wood, any look you would want.

Cons: Scratching & glue. Vinyl floors can be scratched, leaving your floor with visible damage. Do your research when shopping for vinyl floors; there are many different quality levels of vinyl flooring. Vinyl floors also are glued down, making it a long-term flooring solution that is difficult to change frequently if you tire of your flooring.

So what’s the BEST floor for your kitchen? The answer is different for every home. Do your research, and talk to your local experts for flooring recommendations that have worked in local homes. If your kitchen has an exterior door, take that into account when selecting your flooring, or find a rug that won’t damage the floor.  Looking for the warm benefits of radiant floor heating? Tell your sales associate so they can show you flooring that works with radiant flooring. If you are still undecided about what is the best option for your family, visit your local flooring experts and talk to your friends and family.  Find out what flooring they would (or wouldn’t) recommend for one of the most important rooms in your home.

Your (Easy) Guide to Basement Flooring

Kids_carpetWith winter fast approaching, many Midwestern homeowners are looking for more space; more space for fun and relaxing during those cold winter days or for guests or kids who want their own bedroom. The answer for many homeowners lies in a finished basement with shelving and storage options, finished walls, lighting and comfortable, durable flooring. When researching flooring options for your basement, the discussion should always start with the factor that dictates basement flooring decisions: moisture.

If your basement is like most American homes, your basement walls and floor is concrete. Though durable and affordable, concrete is porous, allowing moisture to seep through the floor and walls. If your moisture problem extends beyond your porous concrete slab and is a reoccurring flooding issue, rectify your flooding problem before finishing your basement to avoid losing furniture and costly clean-ups.

One flooring not recommended for basements is solid wood flooring. Don’t fret; there are other options with the look of wood, without the buckling and warping that can occur because of moisture in a basement. Engineered hardwood and laminate both can be installed in basements without the warping. Both flooring options are durable and beautiful but should be avoided in basements prone to flooding.

Vinyl also has the look of wood, stone or any other modern design and is durable enough to handle moisture—even flooding—in a basement. Typically glued down, vinyl is nearly indestructible and is ideal for basements where the threat of flooding is never completely gone.

Ceramic flooring can be laid directly over your basement slab and comes in almost any look you want. Typically, ceramic tiles are better for rooms with moderate traffic due to durability, but if your basement rec room or bedroom is used infrequently, this is your flooring. Ceramic tiles can also be cold to the feet, but is one of the ideal floors for laying over radiant floor heating.

If you want a softer feel in one of the typically coolest rooms in your home, carpet is affordable, durable and comfortable. Want to avoid carpet installation costs? Consider carpet tiles which are easy to clean up, but not as soft as traditional carpeting. Traditional carpeting is installed over a pad, making it cushy and making you forget you are on top of a concrete slab. If you have a small basement, inquire about carpet remnants. Though the selection is limited, carpet remnants cost less and are ideal for small spaces.

Want to see your options? Visit your local flooring store. Be sure that your salesperson knows you are researching flooring for your basement; they can recommend flooring that they have seen work well in local homes. They can also give you an idea about pricing, since the cost varies based on your selection. Start your research now, so you have that extra space ready when the snow falls and cabin fever sets in.