With most of us spending more time than usual at home during the days of Coronavirus and #juststayhome, many homeowners have opted to put their down-time to good use by picking up a home improvement project or two. Some of the most popular options, according to social media accounts I’ve seen, seem to involve replacing flooring. When you’re updating your home, flooring is just as important as paint and furniture and can set the tone for the whole house. And when you’re deliberating between choices, price point and appearance matter, but so do factors like durability, quality and over all value. With thanks to Home Depot Canada, what follows is a flooring guide to help you make the best choices for your home and lifestyle.
BAMBOO – As durable as traditional hardwood, bamboo flooring comes in a wide variety of colours and textures, cleans easily and can even be refinished. And for the eco-minded among us, bamboo is a renewable resource.
CARPET – Wall to wall carpeting provides a seamless look on floors and stairways. A huge variety of choices are available so make sure to consider key elements such as the amount of foot traffic each space will see (is it an entry point to the house or a room that will be used less frequently?), the purpose of each room (relaxing, eating, etc) and how often you’re likely to clean the carpet, which could help determine your style, material or pile length choices.
ENCAUSTIC TILE – Trendy and eye-catching, encasutic tile is an age-old option involving the layering of different coloured clays, often used in areas where bright colurs and bold patterns are desired. These ceramic tiles are very durable and can be used to make patterns on floors, walls or even countertops.
HARDWOOD – Solid hardwood flooring is popular because it provides beautiful finishes, durability, can be refinished rather than replaced and is easy to clean. These days, options extend into engineered hardwood (a solid top and bottom with a plywood core), bamboo, cork, all of which are available in affordable, hard-wearing and sustainable ranges.
LAMINATE – Laminate floors look just like wood, tile or stone but at a much more affordable price point. Couple that with the fact that laminate floors stand up well to wear and tear and require little to no maintenance and many home owners feel it is the best way to get more bang for their buck. And there’s an added bonus: laminate flooring is scratch and water resistant and is usually available in an easy-to-install click-and-lock design that even us amateur DIYers can handle.
TILE – Sometimes the most practical choice, tile flooring provides durability, low up-keep and a ton of style and colour choices. The most popular tile choices are ceramic and porcelain.
VINYL PLANK – Vinyl plank flooring is popular as it is relatively easy to install as a “floating floor” over most existing surfaces, therefore removing the need to rip up old linoleum or other materials. Similar to laminate, it is also installed via a click-and-lock system, making it easy to transform a room in a few hours.
Other elements to keep in mind…
GROUT – The right grout will compliment and enhance your tile floors, not just hold things in place. Good quality grout should be stain-proof, water-proof and available in a variety of shades.
MOULDINGS – Baseboards and room dividers help to create a finished look while providing coverage around the perimeter of the room or flooring project. For best results, make sure your moulding covers all gaps between floors and walls and remains constant throughout your home.
UNDERLAYMENT – This material is laid underneath flooring to provide a smooth, cushioned base layer. It can also help to reduce sound and dissipate moisture, lengthening the life of your flooring.