Leave expectations behind when shopping for flooring

This is an exciting time of year, the annual Surfaces flooring show has just wrapped up in Las Vegas which means we will soon be seeing the newest innovation in flooring.

The reps will be coming to visit to show us recent colour enhancements, nothing gets a designer more excited than new product!

When you work in the design industry, product lines and colours get mundane very quickly.

We are like kids on Christmas morning when one of our sales reps visits and shows us new offerings, it is a great deal of fun. I always enjoy seeing how companies are working to improve themselves by expanding their brand and by innovations in products.

To see how flooring evolves from year to year is so interesting, the product choices just keep getting better as the industry responds to customers wishes.

The greatest innovation in my mind is the vinyl planking, made to replicate hardwood.

I realize that I have written about this product in the past but I really can’t say enough about it. The hardwood industry has been struggling for years to provide a quality, sustainable product for its customers.

The cost of hardwood is rising and customers are finding out that hardwood is a lot of work! Combine this with the expense of a natural hardwood floor and you have a high maintenance, expensive, limited product that needs help.

Vinyl planking is the solution for those who love the look of hardwood but dislike the maintenance, cost or durability.

Sheet vinyl (resilient, linoleum) is another product that has truly pulled up its socks in the areas of improvement and sustainability. Not only have the manufacturers made this product greener and more durable, they have worked on the VOC’s of the adhesive to make the overall installation safer for the consumer.

Glueless flex vinyl is also available for clients who do not want additional chemicals put into their homes. The products I have seen in the past few years are visually stunning and some products look so much like tile and wood it is hard to tell the fake from the original when it is installed.

Companies who care are working to provide incredible innovations for their clients addressing the concerns of air quality, durability and style.

If you compare even a simple can of paint from 10 years ago, the changes are phenomenal. Paint companies have reduced bad smells, long drying times and have managed to make the product more colourful and easier to use than ever before.

Primer and paint combined, white ceiling paint that turns white when it is dry (allowing you to see where you left off) and primers that stick to ANYTHING allow you to give new life to any surface.

If you are working on a renovation or building product and you haven’t shopped for flooring or housing products for a few years, you are in for a real treat!

The biggest obstacle clients face is their own interpretation of how things ‘should’ be or ‘used’ to be – it is a good exercise to leave expectations and history at the door when you shop for flooring because things have changed so much.

You will be delighted at the options for you home that have surfaced in the past few years – I would love to show them to you!

Kim Lewis is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre.

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