By David Decker
Carpet may be the biggest overall seller in home flooring options, but hard surface floors are the favorite in trendy home improvements.
Long-term wear, a fashionable look and dependable function lure homeowners to hard surface flooring. It is easier to clean, healthier in the house and easier to maintain than carpet or many of the popular, pliable and much more inexpensive linoleums.
And while hard surface floors typically require a bit more cash up front, surfaces like wood, tile, stone, glass and laminates can be an ultimately economical “forever floor.” This flooringoften pays for itself many times again.
I’d be the first one to tell a customer trends should not govern a flooring decision. Utility, comfort, style preference and budgetare the proper parameters. For example:
Utility – Is the flooring for a high-traffic walkway area? Are there special needs in the home (wheel chairs, walkers, scooters, etc. … or asthma, allergies)? How much moisture (or spillage) will the floor need to endure?
Comfort – Walking barefoot on soft bedroom carpeting is wonderful; walking barefoot on soggy bathroom carpeting is not.Are there noise or acoustic concerns from annoying echoes?
Style preference – Midwestern styles tend to lag a little bit behind big city trends, but I say, “So what?” The most important ingredient in making sure a customer is satisfied with a flooring decision is to provide professional flooring and design advice.
Budget – Quite often, customers know they want new flooring before they know what it will cost, and that’s OK. Needs, wants, and affordability form a triangle that develop best when customers know their finances, and the home improvement professional knows flooring.
It’s not hard to remember styles and trends come and go, but a good flooring decision can last (almost) forever.