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Stunning interiors enhanced by a gleaming new floor

Stunning interiors enhanced by a gleaming new floor

Stunning interiors enhanced by a gleaming new floor

By Rachel Naud, For Postmedia News September 26, 2011

 

A gleaming new floor can not only update a space, it can actually transform it and make it feel like an entirely different room. If you want your home to make a big impact, look down and assess what you see.

A gleaming new floor can not only update a space, it can actually transform it and make it feel like an entirely different room.

“If you install one type of floor throughout, it can make the space seem larger and more warm,” says Miranda Richardson, interior designer with Premise Design Inc. in Calgary. “When you feel like you have more space, you can just relax better. A new floor can really give new life to a space.”

But before making a decision homeowners will be living with for years, they should take into consideration their lifestyle and needs.

“Your flooring is something that is an aggressively used element in your home,” says Peter Fallico, host of HGTV’s Home to Flip and Home to Stay. “Think about who’s using it and what room it is in. You want something with great wear and tear.”

Fallico says on-the-go families, for instance, will appreciate the durability of a laminate floor. The synthetic flooring that often mimics the look of real hardwood is fashionable and functional. And the best part for families with young children and pets is it’s easy to clean.

“There are really good quality laminates out there,” says Fallico. “And the best part, you can sweep it up with your Swiffer and it cleans up beautifully.”

For those who prefer hardwood, Fallico says engineered hardwoods are an innovative option for their style, ease of installation and their environmentally friendly benefits.

“There’s a real direction going towards engineered hardwood because of the scarcity of wood,” says Fallico. “They’re also easy to install. They can be applied over an existing floor and some can just be glued on or float like a laminate.”

Fallico also says there are more varieties of engineered hardwoods on the market now than ever, including all wood species from maple to mahogany. “And they’re offering different wood plank sizes, too,” says Fallico. “As opposed to skinny two-inch strips, you can go up to six-inch planks. There’s a lot more selection.”

In addition to engineered hardwoods, homeowners who want an eco-friendly flooring option should look for FSC-certified products, according to Ian Jackson, president of Nadurra Wood in Toronto.

If you purchase a FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)-approved product, you can rest assured that the product is sustainably harvested and forests haven’t been cut down, therefore encroaching on any natural habitats.

Although bamboo flooring is a popular eco-friendly choice, since it’s a renewable product harvested every five to seven years, Jackson says homeowners can get almost any type of wood they want with an FSC certification.

Having made a choice, the next step is installing the new floor. Trying to do so yourself without the right tools or skills can be a costly and frustrating mistake.

Stefan Haag, a contractor with Haag General Contracting in Toronto, says one of the most common mistakes homeowners make is not giving hardwood enough time to acclimatize before installing it.

“With any type of hardwood, homeowners should bring it in their home and let it sit for at least a week so that the wood can get up to room temperature,” says Haag. “The wood will expand with heat and if not given the appropriate time to acclimatize will cause buckling.”

He also sees many homeowners using the wrong installation tools, which can cause them problems down the road.

“If they don’t use the proper tools, such as staples, they’re going to get a lot of squeaking. Also, if the floor isn’t nailed down correctly the nails will release and the floor will come apart.”

Haag advises any homeowner with doubts about his ability to do the job right to call a professional for any floor installation. Although it will be more expensive up front, it could save them a lot of money in the future.

“If you mess it up once and it all has to be redone, you’re going to have to pay someone to remove it and fix your mistakes,” says Haag. “It could end up costing you twice as much.”

 

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