Category Archives: vinyl plank flooring

Laminate vs. Luxury Vinyl: Which floor is right for your home?

laminate vs vinyl flooringOur “aha!” moment came when we got fed up with the last food stain on the off-white carpet under our dining room table. While we’re sure that the carpeting worked great for the last homeowner, it wasn’t working for us. We were tired of carpet cleaning, sick of worrying about spills, and just done. That spring, the decision to remove the carpet was made, and a new decision presented itself: what was the best flooring option for our space? We knew right away that real hardwood flooring was not the right flooring for our space, because we didn’t want to worry about water or maintenance.

At Y’s Way, we see other homeowners who have to make that decision every day. They want the look of wood without being concerned about water or upkeep. The answer: laminate or luxury vinyl flooring. So what’s the difference between these two types of flooring? And what’s the right floor for your home: laminate or luxury vinyl flooring?

Laminate Flooring Pros

Price. Laminate flooring prices can’t be beat in price per square foot. Have a large amount of square footage that needs flooring? Laminate is beyond affordable, even for the largest spaces.

Durability. Whatever you throw at laminate floors, they can take: high foot traffic, pets, absolute craziness. These floors are built to last in even the most high-traffic areas of your home (even in commercial applications!).

DIY Installation. If you want or need to install laminate flooring, you can. Laminate flooring can easily be installed with the right equipment and a short tutorial. Because laminate flooring is a floating floor, no glue or adhesives are needed.

Easy to clean. With regular sweeping and felt pads on all your furniture, laminate flooring is easy to clean and maintain. Laminate flooring does not require any upkeep or maintenance.

Laminate Flooring Cons

Water can warp your laminate flooring. Water can be your laminate floor’s worst enemy; if water sits on the floor for an extended period of time, the spill can warp the floor. To minimize the risk, use rugs in any entryways and high-risk areas.

Scratches. Even with the strength of laminate floors, they can get scratched. To prevent scratches, add felt pads to the bottom of all your furniture and keep gravel, small stones, and sharp objects cleaned up.

Luxury Vinyl Flooring Pros

wood and vinyl floor

Can you tell which sample is vinyl?

Indestructible. Luxury vinyl flooring is durable and tough, making it ideal for homes with pets and kids. Because it’s so tough, luxury vinyl floors can be installed in high traffic rooms such as living rooms, family rooms, kitchens, mud rooms, foyers…the sky is the limit with vinyl floors.

Affordable. Luxury vinyl flooring is one of the most affordable flooring products in the market, especially when compare to real wood floors. Make sure you do your research when selecting the vinyl product right for your home; there are many different levels of vinyl flooring, or ask the experts.

DIY Installation option. Many luxury vinyl plank products snap together, making it suitable for DIYers who want new, durable flooring they can install themselves. Luxury vinyl flooring can also be glued or installed with grout.

Easy to clean. Have a spill or pet puddle? Wipe up your luxury vinyl flooring with a rag, and mop your messes away. These floors require literally no maintenance. As a bonus, luxury vinyl flooring can handle any kind of water spills, and has even been known to withstand some minor flooding.

Works in a basement. Because luxury vinyl flooring can handle water, such as the water seeping through your basement concrete and humidity, luxury vinyl flooring can be installed in the basement (perfect option for a man cave!).

Luxury Vinyl Flooring Cons

Price (compared to laminate wood floors). Luxury vinyl flooring is more expensive than laminate flooring.

Scratches. Just as with laminate, there is a small chance that luxury vinyl flooring may scratch.

If you have any questions about vinyl and wood floors, ask us via email or on Facebook. Or experience the difference between wood and vinyl for yourself at any Y’s Way Flooring in Watertown, Oconomowoc and Lake Mills. The good news is that no matter what flooring you choose, wood or vinyl, your flooring is going to perform well, and look even better.

Wood vs. Vinyl Flooring: Which works best for your home?

wood and vinyl floorFlooring products are continually evolving, and so do our customers’ questions. Most of the recent questions we’ve heard have revolved around one of the newest products on the market: luxury vinyl flooring. Now we know you’re envisioning those cheap-looking vinyl floors your grandma used to have. You know, the ugly patterned flooring that just looked, well, cheap.

Get rid of those pictures. Vinyl flooring has come a long way, with new luxury vinyl floors challenging the traditional flooring favorite: wood flooring. Part of that challenge comes from the similar look; you’ll do a double take when trying to distinguish between wood and luxury vinyl flooring. There are advantages to both floorings, as well as a few disadvantages of wood and vinyl. With the looks (and the pros and cons) being equal, how do you decide between wood and vinyl flooring for your home?

Wood Flooring Pros

  • wood floorDurability. Want long lasting? These floors can take it and make it for a long time. Some wood floors have even celebrated century birthdays. If you have kids and pets, hand-scraped floors can hide the wear and tear that come with an active household, and laminate wood floors are known for their durability. When solid wood floors or engineered hardwood do scratch or fade, they can be refinished and look like new—for a long, long time.
  • Easy to clean. Wood floors are easy to clean and require few cleaning products. Beware of steam cleaning your wood floors, though, as there are some definite reasons to proceed with caution.
  • Warmth. Engineered hardwood can also be installed over radiant heating. Radiant heating is energy efficient and gives any room an even heat, along with other practical advantages.
  • Increase the value of your home. Because of all the advantages listed above, wood floors are highly sought after by buyers and can increase the value of your home.

Wood Flooring Cons

  • Water. Water is a nightmare for wood flooring, and can cause warping and water stains. Damaged wood floors need to be repaired, boards replaced or the worst case scenario: sanded down and refinished. Because wood and water don’t mix, hardwood floors are not recommended for bathrooms and basements. Homeowners with wood floors in the kitchen need to be careful to clean up water spills as soon as it hits the floor.
  • Professional installation. Most wood floors need to be installed by a professional.

Vinyl Flooring Pros

  • Indestructible. Vinyl plank flooring is durable and tough, making it ideal for homes with pets and kids. Because it’s so tough, vinyl plank flooring can be installed in high traffic rooms such as living rooms, family rooms, kitchens, mud rooms, foyers…the sky is the limit with vinyl floors.
  • Affordable. With a low price per square foot, vinyl plank flooring is one of the most affordable flooring products in the market. Make sure you do your research when selecting the vinyl product right for your home; there are many different levels of vinyl flooring, or ask the experts.
  • DIY Installation option. Many vinyl plank flooring products snap together, making it suitable for DIYers who want new, durable flooring they can install themselves. Vinyl flooring can also be glued or even installed with grout.
  • Easy to clean. Have a spill or pet puddle? Wipe up your vinyl plank flooring with a rag, and mop your messes away. These floors require literally no maintenance. As a bonus, vinyl plank flooring can handle any kind of water spills, and has even been known to withstand some minor flooding.

Vinyl Flooring Cons

  • No refinishing. Vinyl floors cannot be sanded down and refinished like wood and engineered hardwood products.
  • No impact on home value. Sorry homeowners, vinyl floors are not going to translate into a higher resale price.

If you have any questions about vinyl and wood floors, ask us via email or on Facebook. Or experience the difference between wood and vinyl for yourself at any Y’s Way Flooring in Watertown, Oconomowoc and Lake Mills. The good news is that no matter what flooring you choose, wood or vinyl, your flooring is going to perform well, and look even better.

5 Home Projects You Can Get Done in a Weekend

kitchen backsplashWe don’t think we’re overreaching with this title. Believe it or not, there are home projects you can get done in a weekend—and from start to finish, so get those pictures of torn apart, half-finished rooms out of your head. Then take a deep breath and start weighing your options. Which project makes the most sense for your home? Which home project is top priority? Don’t know where to start? Here’s five suggestions to help you decide which weekend home project should be at the top of your list:

  1. Backsplash. A backsplash is one of the most budget-friendly and economical ways to update your kitchen without a major kitchen remodel. With a million different options, it’s easy to choose a backsplash tile that matches your countertops and flooring. A backsplash is also an easy weekend home project that doesn’t require too many tools. For complete instructions, check out this article we found on the subject. Or, if you don’t want to deal with the hassle, contact us about a professional backsplash installation.
  2. Bathroom remodel. Time to get rid of the pink tiles? Visit Y’s Way Flooring to see the latest styles of bathroom tiles and find out what other Wisconsin homeowners have done. If you’re on a budget and have a small bathroom to remodel, ask about ‘leftover’ tile that you can get for a cheaper price.
  3. New floor. Has your bathroom flooring seen better days? Was it a mistake to put carpet under your dining room table? Is your kitchen flooring a retro embarrassment? Check out new vinyl plank flooring which has the look of wood or stone, is water and stain resistant, and is easy to install yourself. If you’re not handy, turn your home project over to the professionals. With just one call, you could have new flooring by the time you get home from work. For other flooring options, come see wood flooring options, tile and carpet options that give your room a whole new look.
  4. Clear out a room for carpet cleaning. Okay, so this isn’t technically a remodeling project, but it is the key to giving a room new life. If you have carpeting that saw better days before your kids or pets started tracking through, give the carpet a new lease on life with a professional carpet clean. We’re not talking about those cheap carpet cleaners you rent at your local store, but a real professional carpet cleaner that can get rid of deep stains while using green cleaners. If you message us on Facebook, you can even coordinate your carpet cleaning project so you can clean out the room over the weekend and we can come Monday morning.
  5. Tile your front steps. We’ve written about the fantastic properties of porcelain tile before, but one of the most eye-catching is the ability to use porcelain tile outside. Easy to install with the proper equipment, porcelain tile can make a back patio or front step a show stopper. Best yet, there’s a million different color options of porcelain tile, so you can match your porcelain tile choice with the exterior of your home and dress up your exterior with earth tones or grey tiles.

If you need any help with preparing for your weekend home projects, want to see your options or are interested in carpet cleaning, contact us online or send us a message on our Facebook page. We can’t help tear out walls, but we can help with information on your options or with scheduling a professional to tackle those weekend home projects so you don’t have to.

Beginner’s Guide to Choosing the Perfect Floor

wood floorsJust bought a new house? Is the flooring you picked out when you built your house finally ready to go? Or have you finally saved up enough to replace the last homeowner’s flooring mistake? If you’re a rookie to choosing the perfect floor, it’s wise to do your research. Choosing the perfect floor is not a small purchase, or something you want to screw up. On the flip side, choosing the perfect floor isn’t complicated—and it’s not something you have to do alone. Even a beginner (like yourself) can choose the perfect floor by asking a few simple questions:

  • Do I need to worry about water spills? An educated decision now can save you the headache of a warped floor later. Water can be your worst nightmare on laminate and wood floors, so a bit of planning now eliminates the hassle of replacement or repair. If you have a room where water may splash or form puddles, such as a bathroom, mudroom or kitchen, plan ahead. Consider vinyl plank flooring which has the look of wood, or any kind of tile floor which handles water like a pro. A room with the chance of a spill doesn’t mean you can’t get a wood floor—it just means being mindful of wiping up the water as soon as possible.
  • How much traffic comes through this room? Is the room a busy walk through? An area where your family plays, runs and tromps? Is it a room where your pet spends most of their time? Is the traffic that comes through full of mud, snow, sand and lord-knows-what-else? Use that knowledge to determine what kind of flooring would work in that particular area.
  • What kind of maintenance does the floor require? You don’t want to purchase a floor, have it installed and then end up with damage because you don’t care for, clean or vacuum it properly. Find out what kind of cleaning and maintenance the floor needs, what products you need to purchase to keep it in great shape—and realistically how much of that maintenance you can take on.
  • What is my budget? If you have a small area that needs carpeting—a small office, hallway or bedroom—consider purchasing a carpet remnant. Because there is a limited supply, a carpet remnant is discounted. Know the square footage of the room you need flooring for and the price you can afford per square foot. Factor that into your purchase decision.
  • What is under the new floor? Are you installing radiant floor heating under the flooring? Read our post about what kinds of flooring work over radiant floor heating. Are you installing this flooring over a concrete slab, like in a basement? Here’s information on what floors work in basements. Sometimes knowing what is under the floor is just as important as knowing what is going to be on top of it. Make sure you mention what’s under your floor to your sales professional when you get to step two of your flooring purchase.

If, even after asking all the questions, you still don’t have a clue about choosing the right flooring, or you’re trying to choose between two options, come into Y’s Way Flooring or ask us on our Facebook page. We can tell you what has worked for other Wisconsin homeowners and help you narrow the options in your budget. Best yet, we can help you choose the perfect flooring—and you don’t even have to tell anyone we helped.

5 Perfect Floors for Your Bathroom

Vinyl floors are just one option for your bathroom.

Vinyl floors are just one option for your bathroom.

If you fit into any of three categories: 1) you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to get rid of that old nasty bathroom flooring, 2) you have given up trying to clean the grooves of that old bathroom floor, or 3) your bathroom needs an inexpensive update to bring it into this era; then you’re on the hunt to find the perfect floor that is ideal for the unique challenges that come with bathroom flooring. Because of the moist environment, bathroom floors need to be mildew resistant and tough enough to handle water spills. Here are the top contenders ideal for your bathroom:

  • Tile. Ceramic or porcelain, doesn’t matter. Both kinds of tile are mildew resistant. They are also easy to clean and look beautiful. Ceramic and porcelain comes in virtually any color, and can be installed in a square or diagonal pattern.
  • Slate. Slate is a stone with a variety of colors and strengths. It also comes in large and small square tiles, and as long rectangular tiles for a modern look. Best yet, slate is durable and stain and water resistant, making it ideal for your bathroom.
  • Vinyl plank. Want the look of wood without the fear of a water spill? Vinyl plank flooring is your answer. With the durability, affordability and water resistance of vinyl, and the look of a wood floor (you can’t tell the difference!), vinyl plank flooring has a lot of benefits for any room in your house—including the bathroom.
  • Vinyl sheet. We would recommend vinyl sheet flooring in lieu of stick-on tiles. If water gets under vinyl stick on tiles, mold can form. Vinyl sheet flooring is water resistant, extremely affordable and durable. In addition, vinyl sheet flooring comes in almost any shape and color, and can mimic tile flooring so closely you almost can’t tell (until you touch it).
  • Radiant floor heating. We know radiant floor heating is not technically a type of flooring, but radiant floor heating is ideal for Midwestern homes. Radiant floor heating keeps your feet warm, and can be installed under almost any kind of flooring. If you want tile floors that are warm in summer and through our cold Wisconsin winters, radiant floor heating is right for you.

When you are ready to purchase your bathroom flooring, or if you have any questions, stop in at one of our Y’s Way Flooring locations in Watertown, Oconomowoc or Lake Mills, email us your questions or ask us your questions on our Facebook page. We’ll help get you set up with new flooring that’s perfect for your bathroom and lifestyle.

The New Hot Trend: Why Vinyl Plank Flooring is the “Right” Wood

Do you worry about water spills on those hard wood floors? Consider vinyl.

Do you worry about water spills on those hard wood floors? Consider vinyl.

Love the look of wood and laminate flooring but hate dealing with water? If you have a solid wood floor or laminate flooring, you know what we’re talking about: it’s that terrified dive for a towel or rag any time you see water near your wood floor. The hot new flooring trend, and answer to homeowners’ fears of water damage on wood, is vinyl plank flooring. With the look of real wood, and immunity to warping from water damage, vinyl boasts many more advantages:

  • No one realizes it’s not wood until they practically lie down on it. We’re serious. We recently installed a new vinyl plank flooring at a customer’s, and unless you physically lie down on it, it looked like wood.
  • It’s indestructible. Vinyl plank flooring is durable and tough, making it ideal for homes with pets, kids and messy cooks.
  • Vinyl plank floors are affordable. With a low price per square foot, vinyl plank flooring is one of the most affordable flooring products in the market.
  • You can install it yourself. Many vinyl plank flooring products snap together, making it suitable for DIYers who want a new, durable flooring they can install themselves.
  • Easy to clean. Have a spill or pet puddle? Wipe up your vinyl plank flooring with a rag, and mop your messes away.

Because you don’t have to worry about water, you can put vinyl plank flooring in the kitchen and entryway without worry while enjoying the look of real wood. But don’t just take our word for it. Stop in at any Y’s Way Flooring to see the new vinyl plank flooring products. We’ll even let you lay on it so you can tell it’s vinyl, and we’ll keep it a secret from all your guests that come in oohing and ahing over your beautiful, new wood floors.