Shopping for Flooring

By Maryann

So I’ve finally caved in and agreed that putting off the kitchen and dining room remodel is not really an option any longer, it simply needs to be done. I’m calling it the project from hell and already have anxiety from it and it hasn’t even begun. Yesterday I ventured out to start doing some research and gathering some ideas on what might be possible. The countertops and cabinets aren’t the issue. The problem is the choice in flooring materials.

The worse part is that we’ve already been out looking and discussed the options for years and I still don’t know what to do. The only thing I do know is that I don’t want tile. I have tile now and after a day in the kitchen my back is killing me from standing on it. I also hate the dirty grout, everything shatters on it when dropped and that it is so cold.

I had managed to narrow it down to linoleum, vinyl sheeting or hardwood, but this is where I got stuck. I’m a ‘tree-hugger’ and in all of the decisions we make I take into consideration the sustainability factor, hence the metal roof and solar panels. Linoleum wins for the ‘green’ factor and I’m not opposed to it. The floor is going into the kitchen, dining, mudroom and entry. It’s going to see plenty of abuse.

The warranty on linoleum is the weakest of all the options and I’m not positive it will hold up to the abuse although I’ve heard stories of it being found in applications 60 years old and it still looks good. The color choices are limited and it does need to be sealed every year and I’m just not sure I need any more annual projects.

Vinyl would be the best option when it comes to possible water issues, comfort level and low maintenance but it is worst for the ‘green’ factor and will possibly need to be replaced at some point.

Hardwood is somewhere in between. Not as hard on my back as tile, durable and should last forever. I’d need to make sure it blended with the existing wood floors and of all the options it is probably the most expensive. Whatever I choose, I want to make sure I do this once and it outlasts me.

So what to do? I took a ride back down to the flooring store today to see if I could get some more answers. I didn’t have much hope of accomplishing anything by it since I had my 5-year-old sidekick along, but for once I lucked out.

First the owner’s daughter was there today and she had her dog with her, otherwise known as instant entertainment, so I actually got to speak to someone and hold a conversation, which is no small miracle when shopping with a child. Thank goodness for that big bundle of fur!

The trip got even better because her dad, the owner, came in. I’m assuming his name is George since the shop name is George’s Floor Covering, but I could be wrong. Well, George learned the trade from the bottom up by starting in the business working for someone when he was 16. He’s seen it all and done it all, and it was so nice to actually talk to someone who knew their trade instead of some chirpy sales guy who’s full of lip service and can’t truly answer a thing.

While the giggling child was entertained by the big wonderful fur ball, I managed to have a substantial conversation and make a decision on what to do for the floor.

Engineered hardwood was the winner when it was all said and done, and I even found one that will coordinate perfectly with the existing wood floors. Not the cheapest of the options but one that will last my lifetime and I’ll never have to do this again.

I love shopping the small local businesses. Chances of finding someone who knows what they are talking about are worth the added cost. It’s harder and harder to find the old-school kind of knowledge I lucked out locating today. As the older generation retires, we are losing so much knowledge that can’t be replaced. Hopefully someone will care enough to learn the trades and preserve the knowledge before all is lost to the big box do it cheaper way of thinking.

  • Published on Nov 21, 2014
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