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Friday, March 5, 2010

Choosing Flooring in Kelowna

So you’ve finally decided to tear up the orange shag carpet in the basement and are wondering what to replace it with. A walk through a flooring store might not diminish any of the confusion. There are many flooring options on the market today. Gone are the days when your choices were carpet or linoleum. These days the choices are far more overwhelming. With factors such as durability, price, and environmental aspects to consider, style and colour can seem like the easy part.

Here is your guide to the most common types of flooring on the market today.

Hardwood – Seen as a luxury item, hardwood floors give a space a sense of grandeur and can raise resale value. Styles can range from formal to rustic depending on the finish and width of boards. As a natural product, wood varies in degrees of durability depending on the type of wood. All types are prone to scratches and dents and none are water resistant. Check with your flooring supplier on the durability of your particular type of wood.

Cork – Environmentally sound option. The cork is harvested from the bark of the tree without cutting the tree down. The cork bark will also regenerate in about 10 years time. Very soft and warm to walk on. Very forgiving to dishes that have been dropped in the kitchen. Cork also absorbs a lot of sound so acts as a very good option in open floor plans or in areas that need sound damper.

Bamboo – Bamboo is actually a grass, not a wood product and it can be harvested every 5 years. As a result, no forests are destroyed to make bamboo floors making it a renewable resource. Bamboo is as durable as the most durable hardwoods and costs about the same as premium wood floors.

Engineered Hardwood – Has a layer (approx 1/8”) of real hardwood on the surface of a more inexpensive softwood or laminate. Uses less wood than traditional hardwood floors making it more environmentally friendly and is slightly more resilient than hardwood at a lower cost.

Laminate – Dent and scratch resistant. Higher priced laminates can look like real hardwood while lower priced options often have the unmistakable synthetic look. A good option in high traffic areas.

Tile – Broken up in two categories – Ceramic and Porcelain. Ceramic is generally less expensive but is more vulnerable to cracks and chips. Porcelain has a very high durability rating and the colour runs all the way through the tile so if it does chip or crack it will be difficult to see. Tiles are well known for being cold on the feet, consider under-floor heating.

Carpet – Various styles and colours. Everything from plush to berber to the new shag. Creates a warm and cosy atmosphere. Great as a sound absorber. Not a good choice for anybody with allergies.

Vinyl – Good quality vinyl is scratch and dent resistant. Comes in various styles but more limited colours. Known environmental hazards during manufacturing and disposal make it a low “green” option.

Knowing what factors are important to you and your family will help to narrow down the options in flooring. Talk to your designer or flooring representative to learn more about potential options.

Nadine Andrews D.I.D.
Commercial and Residential Interior Design
Kelowna BC
Ph 250864-9848
Fax 250469-9411

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Residential and Commercial Interior Design Kelowna