"Between me and the life there is a mist of words always." (Oscar Wilde)

Trade Magazine

Floor Fashions, Ontario Home Builder, Fall 1998

Floors - we abuse them and we tend to ignore them. We shouldn’t! According to interior design experts, floors are the foundation for all decorating plans.

With the advent of vinyls and laminates, consumers have a vast array of floor coverings from which to choose. It has been fashionable to select easy-care products for the heavily used areas in the home, while reserving hardwood for the dining room. Now the trend is to a more natural look, and new homeowners are keen to have hardwood floors or some look-alike product in almost every room.

One reason for the change in tastes has to do with the social phenomenon known as “cocooning” - our desire to work, play and socialize at home. This poses challenges for a builder. He has to appeal to a consumer who wants a home that’s both a showcase and a comfortable, relaxing environment...

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood is hot! Perhaps it's the fact that wood floors lend themselves to a variety of decorating styles. Perhaps it’s the texture and the warmth of natural wood that make it so appealing.

Wood is definitely durable. A finished hardwood floor should last for years. If it becomes badly damaged through neglect, sanding and refinishing will bring back the natural beauty...

Resilient Flooring and Laminates

Linoleum, patented in England in 1860, offered an easy-clean, less costly alternative to hardwood flooring. Durable vinyls and polyurethanes have replaced linoleum; they come in a variety of styles, offering the homeowner the look of stone, ceramic tile - even wood! With thicker coatings and heavier backings, the new vinyls won’t show any imperfections in the sub-floor.

But the big news in man-made product is laminates. Laminate flooring was invented by the Swedes in the 1970's, but it is only within the past two years that it has swamped the North American market. Laminate is a plywood base with a top that can be a natural or imitation wood, or other product such as plastic...

Carpet

... New stain-resistant, wear-resistant fibres make carpeting the entire home a real possibility. Synthetics will continue to dominate the market because they are cheaper and easily maintained. `Trackless’ products that don’t reveal footprints or furniture dents are gaining in popularity… Berbers are big..

... Builders would be wise to choose a well-constructed rug with tight, dense matting because it requires less maintenance. A good quality rug laid on top of a heavy pad will result in fewer call-backs. Consider offering a quality carpet as an upgrade; most new homeowners are receptive to upgrades since they find the additional cost easy to handle - it's simply added to the mortgage.

Quality is key with carpet. Today’s homeowners know they’ll be living with their choice for a long time.

Bamboo

It's new to Canada. It's unique, and it has the same warm look as hardwood!

Made by laminating bamboo strips together, either horizontally or vertically, the pre-finished product comes in 2-foot and 3-foot lengths which are 3.5 inches wide and 5/8 of an inch thick.

What really appeals to many, however, is its durability and the fact that bamboo is so environmentally friendly...

Ceramic Tiles

Tile evokes a feeling of brightness and open spaces. It is perfect for high-traffic areas like entrances and kitchens. Since the product is not damaged by water, it's also appropriate for bathrooms and laundry areas. Ceramics are a wash-and-wipe product, requiring no finishes or waxing.

Gone are the shiny marbleized tiles; today’s product is non-slip. Textured tiles, decorative borders (called listellos) and inserts are all in demand. Gone, too, are those toe-numbing cold tiles. The new one-time fired product known as monocutura grows warm with the heat and gets cool in an air conditioned environment

There are a number of framing and installation concerns that must be addressed before laying tile. Most importantly, a proper mortar bed is required, to create a completely level surface area. The builder who meets all building codes and prepares the mortar bed properly will be guaranteed satisfied clients, and will avoid those dreaded call-backs.

Variety of choices is exciting but, ultimately, a builder needs to match the appropriate flooring with the room’s primary function. For today’s active lifestyles, that probably means: durability in the family room, luxury in the dining room, and easy clean in kitchens and bathrooms.

Contact us and tell us what you need.