This is the first blog in a series about the growing popularity of Hard Surface flooring. We will be going through hardwood flooring, vinyl and laminate trends. Some of the questions will be focusing on is how to choose the right flooring, sales representative, and deciding on which flooring company is good for you.
Popularity of Hardwood Flooring
Hard Surface (or Hardwood flooring) has become more popular than Soft Surface (Carpet) products due to changing fashion trends; whether it be through local designers, home fashion magazines or the HGTV type remodel shows. Most remodels are geared around hard surface products. Carpet has been relegated to smaller sections of today’s homes, bedrooms and family rooms.
According to the American Pets Products Association’s National Pet Owners Survey, 65% of U.S. households own a pet. Hard surface products are the preferred choice for pet owners because of the perceived ease of clean ability. Pets shed and sometimes make a mess. Even though carpet can be easy to clean and some carpet companies provide pet cleaning warranties, people believe that hard surfaces are easier to clean up by wiping it down.
Changing Trends in Flooring
Trends in flooring have changed over the years. In the 1960’s if a homeowner owned carpet in their home, they were considered wealthy. If a person had hardwood, they were perceived to be poor. In the 60’s, Hardwood came in a small variety of 3-5 colors and 2 widths for the average homeowner and builder. Carpets came in 10-15 colors with a variety of texture and plush thickness- the thicker carpet were thought as better products.
The availability of hardwood products has changed in the past 50 years. The variety of hardwood type, style, width, color, texture available can make decision making more difficult than ever. Over 100 different combinations are available in today’s flooring store. More than ever the sales representative, from the flooring store, has become the best asset to a homeowner. The sales representative has direct knowledge of each floor and how they perform in different homes. Salesmen can provide testimonials from previous customers on that product as well. Our customers can learn from other home owner’s decisions on the products, installation type and areas that have new hard surface flooring.
The Internet is an excellent tool to learn and visually inspect the floor of your dreams in a home like yours. Don’t believe everything that is on the Internet! Here are some tips to spot misinformed articles. Often, manufacturers and blogs lead homeowners to believe their floor is 100% impenetrable to all types of scratches, pets, kids and stains. They make it appear as if cleaning is automatic; that robots or little elves come out and clean your floor while you are sleeping. Installation is always shown as that it’s “so easy even a child can install the product.” Again, this is far from the truth. You need all the correct products, the right adhesives, and the proper tools. Most do not have the correct tools and would have to purchase them. This would increase the cost of the floor by $300-$500. Then, the knowledge to work the tools correctly along with the patience and time afforded to install with the right adhesive, moisture tests, expansion joints, correct subfloor and knowing the differences between what is correct and not correct
Why Choose Hardwood Floors over other Hard Surface Flooring?
Hardwood is what people want in their home. Natural beauty, uniqueness, warmth, back to nature, complete neutral decorating (goes with everything) and residual value to your home are some of the few reasons why hardwood is a good choice. On average, hardwood adds an 80% residual value to your home, with every $10,000 that you spend adds $8,000 more to your home value. Real estate agents have also found it easier for people to sell their homes with hardwood floors. Stunning textures, colors and width dominate the home in Oak, Maple, Birch, Walnut, Brazilian Cherry and many other exotic woods. A rustic retreat is accomplished with a hand scraped 7” wide White Oak in a dark color. A modern bright home in a 5” wide natural Maple or Acacia will make any home a showcase. These products are available in solid and engineered with a nail down, glue down or floated installation. An educated sales associate will work with you to review the cost and benefits of each wood and installation.