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The holiday season, followed by winter, is when homeowners spend the greatest amount of time gazing around the house. At the same time, they realize the wear and tear the interior has suffered over the years. In reality, we don’t often look up at ceilings or down at the floors, but, when we do—oh my—the truth is ever-present, and so we scramble to figure out our next steps.
Regardless of the home improvement project you’re considering, and whether you’re handy enough to embark on the ‘do-it-yourself’ journey, or hire a professional, it makes sense to have knowledge of the products available, how they are used, and the proper installation of each type of floor covering.
Then there’s the aesthetics; those sensitive to trends, and in particular a plethora of finishes, will reap greater benefits by being involved in the process. Deciding on floor coverings can be overwhelming and unnerving (this insight comes from first-hand experiences), but with some help, the results will produce enormous satisfaction.
In the last few years, terms like; sustainable, non-toxic, luxury vinyl, engineered woods, even water-proof carpeting—and not the green-faux grass type at grandma’s pool have popped up into the vernacular when discussing flooring options. Depending on the use, location, budget, and styling, it isn’t wise to go into this type of project without first-hand knowledge. The question then becomes, “Where do I find someone to talk to?”
Some in need will jump onto the internet, and without a doubt, they’ll become armchair quarterbacks on the subject within a few hours or days; but, it often becomes an issue for those with busy schedules and need to get the short-story recited to them, and then offer guidance through the forest of options.
For this information, we turn to Scott Holihan, proprietor of Wilmot's Decorating Centers in Middleboro and New Bedford. We asked our expert to give us an overview and some pointers about how those of us who are uninformed should decide on what products are best for our needs.
We began with the most obvious question, “Scott, please explain some of the most significant improvements in flooring options for consumers, and give us your thoughts on the business of flooring.”
“Hands down the Luxury vinyl plank and tile is the best new change to the flooring industry. The products have come so far in quality and performance [with] Shaws and Mannington [being] the industry leaders in quality flooring products.”
Another important factor consumers need to consider is installation, while some manufacturers claim ‘anyone can do it’; here, Scott was clear on his view of the matter. “It’s key that a quality installer performs the install,” he explained, “I hear all the horror stories of jobs gone wrong. When making selections in flooring, it’s so important you go with a reputable company and installer, [they] are aware of ever-changing options in the flooring industry and will assure you make the best choice for your home.”
Are there other considerations or advice you have for homeowners? “Designers help tie all the elements of your project together. From paint and window treatments and everything else needed, it’s important that you choose the right flooring for your needs [considering] it’ll be there for a while.”
There are many choices, with new products being introduced regularly. In terms of durability, water-resistance, and the ability to be substituted both inside and outside the home, it makes perfect sense to go to the people who specialize in flooring.
Below, we’ve listed just a few pointers that will get you started and begin to clear a path in understanding what is going to be in vogue for 2020.
1. Luxury Vinyl
It is a great deal better than the often-made fun of, ‘Lick & Stick,’ type of tile. Great wood grains, amazing marble looks for the bathroom; and an array of all-natural colors (by way of photo technology). A good value all around.
Patterns, sculptured looks, and better wear while offering wonderful softness that lasts, are trending. Additionally, recycled materials are getting into manufacturing standards.
Finally, it’s being used in kitchens, and it looks great. With great rooms in combination with open kitchens, the continuation of the same floor covering meets ‘form & function’.
As a cost-saving measure, the influx of this product (a thin piece of wood placed on a core) remains a staple; color and texture options continue to expand.
5. Ceramic Tile
The bigger, the better, seems to be the look for 2020; the 12" x 12" is okay, but the size is creeping up into even larger formats. Patterns are also changing based on consumer’s expectations. Believe it or not, tile is mimicking wood, concrete—even an assortment of fabrics.