Local flooring companies sweeping the old trends under the rug
By Erin Gardner
The flooring industry is an expensive, but lasting one. Consumers have options on a scale from vinyl to carpet and everything in between.
HGTV, the leading network in home renovation and the DIY culture, names flooring trends that have gained popularity. Bamboo is as hard if not harder than most hardwood when dried. Strand woven bamboo is a new concept that uses the inner fibers of the bamboo, making it twice as hard as the conventional bamboo flooring. All wood flooring should be avoided in rooms like the kitchen and the bathroom. Cork is known for its acoustic-insulating qualities and is quite comfortable. It is more durable but is vulnerable to moisture damage and will fade when exposed to sunlight. Concrete is cost effective and extremely durable, but is not comfortable. Comfortability aside, concrete comes in a variety of colors and finishes.
Founded in 1958, Carpet House Flooring Center has been around as a flooring store for 59 years and intends to stay that way. Doug Hall now owns the store where his experience is unrivaled in the Dayton area. Andrew Hall, an employee of Carpet House, says that luxury vinyl plank, or LVP, is popular now because HGTV featured it. It carries a wood look, is waterproof and is the fastest growing in the industry. Rather than sheets of vinyl luxury vinyl plank is easier to manage because it’s realistic, wood-like planks that fit together.
Doug Bockrath of Bockrath Flooring & Rugs agrees that nationally luxury vinyl plank is taking off and dominating the hard-surface market; everybody is selling it.
Bockrath Flooring & Rugs has been around 1959, making Doug a second-generation owner. “I am an individual buyer of small stores. I’m very choosey, that’s what makes me different than Home Depot or Rite Rug.”
Bockrath explains that wood is still a strong contender in the industry. He recommends sawn-face wood, which gives a cleaner, matte look with a 6-7-inch width. “People are toning down on distressed wood that has high gloss,” Bockrath says. “Sawn-face wood is very clean and light.”
Money-wise “anything is a good investment. You have to find the pros and cons and what’s most important for you whether it’s kids or dogs or you are an older person,” Hall says. “Always buy what’s going to last.”
Bockrath adds that Konecto’s luxury vinyl is the way to go for the most bang for your buck. “The labor is inexpensive and it’s a really fantastic product,” he says. Luxury vinyl plank and luxury vinyl tile can go over pre-existing floors, which also cuts costs.
Carpet is eco-friendly. Shaw Contract Group is C2C certified, or Cradle to Cradle where it recycles carpet. Shaw’s carpet tiles retain water, says Hall.
Bockrath says that carpets are gaining popularity with their patterns. In particular, Mohawk has patented its SmartStrand technology, which is spill, stain and pet resistant.
Generally, HGTV agrees on carpet’s popularity. “Carpet remains the market-share leader, accounting for more than 60 percent of retail flooring sales,” says the network. “Manufacturers’ response to the stagnant home market has been to provide more fashion-oriented options at all prices.”
HGTV also provides options that are eco-friendly. Wood flooring certified by the Forest Stewardship Council originated from ethically protected forests. Nontoxic cork is taken from bark of the cork oak tree.
Bockrath agrees that cork is the greenest product in the world of flooring.
Hardwood is in, but it’s expensive and hard to care for especially in Ohio with the fluctuating climate, says Hall. Users should keep the air conditioning on throughout the whole house to maintain the floor’s integrity.
Hard surfaces are definitely in. People are taking out their carpet and putting in wood or luxury vinyl plank with accent runs, says Bockrath. However, use caution when cleaning hard surfaces. Bockrath says that when people clean the floor they sometimes use over-the counter cleaners, which strips the wood. Bockrath Flooring & Rugs offers cleaning instructions. They use Bona Cleaner, which has a neutral PH balance that restores and maintains the surface’s strength.
In the past, there were different flooring looks for the different rooms of the house. For example, vinyl was popular in the bathroom for its moisture-control and easy clean-up. Nowadays, cohesive flooring throughout house is popular.