In recent years, we have seen a wide variety of flooring materials become available, offering new possibilities in flooring design and durability in different environments. Carpet is still a favourite for many living areas, with new carpeting styles and design on the market that offer a more modern, sophisticated finish than before. However, there are also many new and innovative flooring trends to consider for your next home improvement project. Below, we have highlighted some of our favourite flooring to incorporate into your renovation project:
Solid Hardwood versus Engineered Hardwood
Solid hardwood has been a favourite in interior design for many years for a sleek, luxurious finish. It can be refinished several times, sanded and re-stained, and this can make a very good long-term option in a home. Undeniably, a home with any hardwood will generally sell faster and for a higher price tag than any other home without it. However, there are 2 sides to the coin and having hardwood, and the level of hardness in the species of wood chosen, must also suit your lifestyle. Solid Hardwood flooring is susceptible to moisture damage, and its applications are limited. Solid hardwood must be installed above grade only (limiting basement use), and common problems after installation is movement in the wood with swelling and shrinking due to the drastic temperature changes in our climate, and exposure to any type of liquid spills if not addressed. Of course the later only occurs when the humidity in the home is not maintained properly by the homeowner so with hardwood, one must take absolute care in adjusting the home humidity seasonally as required to ensure its lasting beauty. For the most part, solid hardwood is gorgeous and having an on-site finish in the stain and sheen of your choice is appealing to those who want their own customized stain to specifically match existing furniture pieces as an example, or to simply have this in-depth process completed in home from start to finish. The primary downside of having a solid hardwood site finish is the limited width of the boards that the installation company may allow to maintain warranty, as well as the amount of time required to have this work done. Depending on the size of the home or area of the work to be completed, homeowners generally need to allow a minimum of 2 full weeks and with that said, no one can be in the home while this is done.
Engineered hardwood is the trending customer preference in flooring boasting the luxurious finish of hardwood with most often better pricing options, and significantly less down time for the installation of it. While it can only be refinished one or two times in its lifespan (as we say this, keep in mind we are talking specifically about reputable engineered hardwoods from North American manufacturers like Mirage, Lauzon, Appalachian and Vintage), it still offers the beautiful finish of solid hardwood, great selection of wood species and the Client can select any width for installation with this product as well. Homeowners must be cognisant that engineered hardwood is still sensitive to moisture, or lack thereof so again, the humidity in the home must be adjusted seasonally (although its ability to hold up to limited moisture helps bring up its durability rating in comparison to solid hardwood). Engineered hardwood has a plywood base that is dimensionally stable, meaning that it warps and flexes less easily upon contact with moisture than solid wood. Fibers in plywood run in cross-wise layers, a far more stable structure than solid wood’s parallel fibers.
Regardless of whether a homeowner selects a solid site finished hardwood or an engineered hardwood for their home, hardwood flooring is an excellent choice for those with allergies, and let’s not forget, a higher resale value on your home.
Tiles offer superior durability and water resistance as well as a wide variety of options in styles, patterns, and finishes. New trends in tiling are offering a unique take on the trusted flooring material since tiles are now being made in a gamut of different sizing options. The original 12 x 12 tiles that were once our only larger tile size option are becoming obsolete and homeowners can look forward to a more unique tile finish in their homes away from the mundane common tiles we all had. Larger format tiles are being used in flooring, wall and shower wall applications offering an impactful design element. Wood-grain ceramic and porcelain tiles have also become a popular choice in interior design projects for the look of wood but with the durability and water resistance of tiles. Tiles are always the go to flooring material that is great for entryways, mudrooms, laundry rooms, bathrooms, kitchens and of course those homeowners with dogs.
Cork flooring in commercial applications has been around for about a century in Europe and yet it has not found its way into mainstream applications and design trends here in North America. With our need to go green becoming more prevalent I’m not sure why this is the case because the beauty of cork flooring is that it too, comes in a wide range of design patterns and colours. Taking it one step further, cork flooring also offers warmth, sound absorption, easy maintenance and it is an eco-friendly flooring choice. I would say that speaking ergonomically, cork flooring rates the highest out of any flooring material because it offers the most ‘give’ when walking and standing on it as well. To all the cooks out there who spend hours in the kitchen and who go to bed with sore or swollen legs and pain in their lower back from standing, there is a better flooring alternative to help you! So why aren’t we installing cork flooring in our kitchens at the very least? I would say that for the most part, homeowners think of cork boards when they hear the word cork and with that said, they believe the cork will be thin and brittle like the cork boards we all had on our walls. That is not the case. The cork used for the flooring applications is very dense, and it has the stain and the polyurethane coatings just like hardwood. Another possible reason cork flooring installations are not common may be that homeowners believe cork flooring is more expensive, but I’m here to tell you that it is not. Cork flooring supply and installation is basically the same pricing as engineered hardwood supply and installation. For those with allergies, cork flooring is an ideal product because it is antimicrobial and is less likely to be affected by mold and mildew. Like hardwood, cork flooring does not absorb dust or pollens, but the benefits of cork go beyond hardwood and here’s why. The bark contains a substance called suberin, a waxy waterproof substance present in the cell walls of cork tissue and a natural insect repellent. Suberin also protects cork from fire and when cork is burned, it does not release any toxic gasses – hmmm, now doesn’t that sound appealing when all the talk lately is about reducing our carbon footprint? Since cork flooring is not a common choice, it also makes it a unique addition to your home and it will definitely be a conversation piece as you tell all your friends about all the bonuses to having cork versus any other type of flooring.
“Drop and Done,” LVP, and LVT Flooring
“Drop and done” flooring options are by far the best flooring option for quick installation and low-maintenance. The luxury vinyl plank (LVP) or luxury vinyl tile (LVT) flooring options are constructed of a flexible fiberglass core and a durable topcoat. This unique construction allows these planks or tiles to be laid quickly and easily directly on top of old flooring. As well, this flooring can be removed and washed if necessary, and then re-laid without replacing the whole floor. Having an option such as this is great for areas susceptible to water damage, moreover for basements as we all know too well what happened in 2013 here in Calgary. LVP and LVT come in a wide variety of styles and finishes, and offer the look of a wood grain, leather, or tile without the fuss.
Are you looking for a Contractor or Interior Designer in Calgary? Prism Interiors specializes in home renovations and design projects. Along with our sister company TriLink Builders, we provide expertise in home building, interior finishing and other unique design and installation services. Contact Prism Interiors for a free consultation today!