One of the biggest reasons people buy homes is because they want to raise a family. And these considerations are at the top of their minds when remodeling the home. You want to make sure that you don’t make any decisions that you might regret when you have several toddlers running around making a mess and climbing on everything they see.
Do I have to worry about my child falling?
The good news is that any decision you make will likely be fine for your child. If you go with a hardwood floor, yes, it will hurt more when (not if) they fall off the couch. But these accidents happen no matter what and children have survived far worse.
Do I need to consider how to clean this floor?
If you’re thinking of how a child might affect your floor, you’re really going to be focused on cleaning. Your children will drop stuff on the floor and there will be stains. So how do you handle those stains?
Is carpet a good idea?
For carpet, it’s a soft surface ideal for kids that like to jump off surfaces and fall to the ground. But carpets are all pretty tough to clean. You need to get them professionally cleaned twice a year and any spills need to be treated immediately.
What’s a good alternative?
We might suggest a harder surface that’s easier to clean. Maybe a cork or bamboo floor if you want something a little softer. And then put a large rug around the room. It’s stylish but also easier to clean.
Remember that you can always call us to make sure that you get the perfect floor for your needs.
Flooring is not just about aesthetics or design. It’s mainly about what you need. While hardwood or tile might be beautiful for some, you might find that you really need something a little different.
Carpet is an excellent option and alternative to hardwood floor for many practical purposes, and we’re going to share 3 with you today. So let’s jump right in with 3 reasons why you might need a carpet.
Carpet that’s well kept is easily the most comfortable to walk around on. For any home, we recommend a no-shoes policy indoors and it really does wonders for the cleanliness of your home.
Inside, many shoeless homes either wear flip-flops while others remain barefoot. Either way, hard-surface floors are either uncomfortable for bare feet, or they are easy to slip on flip-flops. While this might not sound like an issue for anyone who doesn’t have their bare feet on hardwood right now, we can assure you that this is a consideration you would be grateful for.
Soft material absorbs sound. The softer it is, the more it absorbs. The opposite is also true, the harder the surface, the more soundwaves are going to bounce off and reverberate. This is why cathedrals have delays of up to 30 seconds – the sound waves just keep bouncing off of all those surfaces.
If you are in a room that’s going to be very noisy – LOOKING AT YOU MUSICIANS – then you carpet might be the way to go. It’s not going to soundproof the room by any means, but I’m sure you parents out there would much prefer your teenager’s drum set to be muffled instead of amplified.
Finally, the last reason why you might need a carpet is cost. Carpet remains one of the most affordable flooring options out there. And there has never been this much variety in options.
If you’re worried about spilling, there are now water-proof carpets. If you’re worried about design, there are some beautiful and luxurious design options that rival the traditional hardwood or tile. Also, if you get carpet tile, it’s much easier to replace.
With this much customization at a fraction of the cost of hardwood, carpet ends up being a pretty good deal.
While flooring trends are always changing, hardwood flooring is consistently the most desired flooring for the average living space. Its combination of durability and elegance, along with the fact that it’s easy to clean has kept it desirable as flooring trends change. But there are some situations where hardwood flooring might not be the best option.
We have 3 situations here where you might want to use an alternative to hardwood. So let’s jump in with 3 reasons why you should consider using a Hardwood Alternative for your Floor.
Cost is too High
Hardwood is expensive. In fact, it is easily one of the most expensive flooring options out there. And many families have better places where they can put their money, or they might not have that kind of money at all.
But that doesn’t mean you have to lose that hardwood elegance. Material like vinyl, cork, bamboo, and laminate can be designed to look indistinguishable from hardwood. You can literally invite anyone who’s not a home renovator to your home and they will be convinced that your Vinyl floor is actually hardwood.
High Moisture Area
Wood absorbs water, and can tear down very easily when exposed to excess moisture. While you can lessen the damage with certain types of wood and coats, hardwood floors remains a risky option if you live in an area with high moisture or high risk flooding.
In these situations, we recommend laminate or tile flooring as a substitute. These types of floors are highly customizable and can bring a unique look to the home while still having the beauty and elegance that a hardwood floor would bring to your home.
Believe it or not, wood comes from trees. Trees we have to cut down. While climate change is caused mostly by large corporations, there is a real benefit to being ecologically mindful in all of our purchases. Even if the impact is minimal, the constant mindfulness can inspire those around you to demand more from their corporations, their communities and their politicians that can create a ripple effect.
Hardwood flooring actually takes up a lot of wood, and many sellers source their wood overseas, and it can be hard to regulate. With the threat of climate change getting worse each day, we have to put an end to these practices and start using environmentally friendly alternatives.
Bamboo and cork flooring are great environmentally friendly options, as long as you get them from an environmentally friendly, and reputable seller. You want to be careful because sometimes the emissions it takes to transport these materials from other companies can be worse than getting plain hardwood, so do your research.
You can also get rid of the hassle and ask us about our green flooring, which we can guarantee is environmentally beneficial and will look lovely in your home.
Picking a floor is the most basic, but also most important decision for anyone starting a home renovation project. If you’re shelling the money for a hardwood floor, then you want to get really good quality wood that is worth its price.
So we created this guide to help you find the best quality hardwood for your floor. Now let’s jump right in.
Only Purchase From a Reputable Seller
The first and most important step is to do your research. It can be too easy to be tempted to go for the cheapest seller but they usually have lower quality wood, shady business practices, and environmentally harmful production that makes the planks not worth the discount.
You’re literally buying the floor you walk on, so make sure that whoever you buy your planks from comes from a high quality and reputable seller.
Engineered vs. Solid Wood
Once you know where to buy your wood from, you need to start making some decisions about the kind of flooring you want on your home. The first choice you need to make is whether you want engineered or solid wood flooring. Here’s a breakdown of their differences:
- Thin layers of wood on top of each other
- Prevents natural movement
- Keeps its shape
- Can be placed directly on top of concrete or other subfloors
- Just one straight plank of wood
- More traditional
- A little lighter
- Needs something below it, is usually a bit higher
This is the second most important decision you make. While you will be doing a finish to get the wood exactly how you like, you do want to pick a type of wood that is as close to your desired finish as possible.
In North America, you generally have two options, oak and walnut. Here is some info to help you decide which one is best for you.
- By far the most popular for North American hardwood
- Takes stains well
- White oak in particular is very popular because it doesn’t have the pinkish tones other oak has
- Darker than oak
- Great for a darker finish
- Has a richer, warmer tone
The last choice you need to make is the grain pattern. There are three types you can choose from, each a fine decision on their own. The choice here depends entirely on the kind of style you’re going for. So without further ado, here are the grain styles:
- Traditional woodgrain
- Creates these patterns called “cathedrals”
- Is the pattern on plain old normal wood
- also known as flat-sawn
- Long, linear, consistent grain
- No cathedrals
- Similar to rift-sawn
- Additional, irregular patterns
- Almost a 3D effect
- Good for a modern look
And there you have it! Everything you need to make a confident purchase on hardwood planks.
Cleaning your floor might sound as easy as just waiting for it to get dirty and then grabbing the vacuum, but that’s very far from the truth. How often you clean your floor and how you should clean it depends on the type of floor. We have a lot of ground to cover so let’s get right to it
Carpet is the floor that can be the most work to take care of. And it’s one of the most necessary since a clean carpet is beautiful and a dirty one is, well, hideous.
How often you clean your floor depends on how much use your floor gets. So we broke it down into rare use, light use, and heavy use. We will use this metric for all our floor types.
Rare use – vacuum once every 2 weeks, deep clean every year or maybe once every 2 years
Light use – vacuum once a week, deep clean once a year
Heavy use – vacuum 2 – 7 times per week and deep clean twice a year.
Hardwood is a little easier to abuse, but regular maintenance is still crucial for longevity. For heavy use floors, you want to sweep and vacuum daily while mopping once or twice a week. As long as you do this regularly, your floors don’t need any extra cleaning. If you find that they start looking really dirty, they might need repair or a tune-up.
The good news for most other floors is that they are very similar to hardwood, you just might want to make sure you’re more gentle with the sweeping and vacuums. This goes for cork floors, Cork floors should get a more “hands and knees” deep scrubbing about once a year and should be refurbished every 5-7 years or so. Same goes for bamboo flooring.
And that’s it! Vacuum or sweep once every 2 weeks for rare use, once or twice a week for light use and every day for heavy use. Mop once or twice a week, deep scrub every few months and refurnish every few years. Obviously, please don’t mop a carpet ;).