Renovating your home is an exciting opportunity to express your style and create a beautiful, comfortable living space. You want it to look and feel just the way you envision, whether that means taking an airy, minimalist approach or creating a maxed-out haven of accessories and art. But renovating isn’t just about improving the look of your home—it’s about function and durability, especially if you have a young family. To learn more about what types of flooring work best in different areas in your home and what materials have been trending lately, we spoke to Lee-Ann Paquet at Sunshine Carpet & Flooring in Orillia.
While there are countless flooring options online, it’s best to do your shopping in person where you can touch and feel a variety of materials before you commit, Paquet advises. “It can be difficult to assess quality online. Colours and texture can appear muddied through a screen, and we have a huge selection in our showroom that you won’t be able to touch and feel online.”
Lately, she’s been recommending vinyl plank when a customer is looking for a single flooring option for their entire home. “It’s versatile and water-resistant.”
Designing high traffic areas
Every home has a few areas that end up being used as a family thoroughfare. Foyers, mud rooms and other high traffic areas require durable flooring that’s built to withstand kids, pets and the demands of everyday life. So how do you choose the right flooring for these places?
We reached out to Diana Pique of Grand Floors in Barrie for advice.
“First, you need to assess the lifestyle you live to determine which floor category is the right fit for you,” she says. “Do you enter your home and kick your shoes off? Do you have three kids and two dogs? Or do you enter through the garage, and put your shoes on a mat?
“Luxury vinyl plank provides customers with a seamless floor covering option that can be versatile and used in all rooms,” Pique recommends. “It’s water-resistant, cost-effective and suitable for families with young children and pets. Another recommendation is engineered hardwood that is wire brushed (not smooth and shiny) for the customer looking for a solid real wood feel, with no repetitive prints. This option will also result in an overall increase in your home’s value and is suitable for families and pets—but be aware that attention and care are needed to maintain the floor.”
And while there are excellent materials available, Pique cautions that no floor is completely indestructible.
“Floors are meant to create memories and live on,” she says. “Whether you dragged your fridge across the floor, had a leaky window or hosted the in-laws (plus their hyper dog), each floor covering will react differently to wear and tear. There are products like a low sheen, texturized luxury vinyl plank that will have lower maintenance than, say, a glossy dark solid hardwood. Again, this will come down to your lifestyle, budget and type of install that is appropriate for your renovation or new build when selecting a floor covering.”
The best for the rest (of your home)
What about the other high-traffic area in your home—the kitchen? Paquet recommends vinyl plank. “Tile is beautiful but can be hard on your feet and knees,” Paquet says, “and there is always the possibility that anything breakable could shatter if dropped.” She also recommends using carpet in bedrooms, noting that it muffles noise and insulates the space.
In the basement, again consider a luxury vinyl plank flooring. “They’re 100% waterproof, easy to install and do not expand or contract like traditional laminates that were once popular for basements,” Paquet explains. Luxury vinyl flooring is available in a variety of colours and textures and is the most durable floating floor option on the market, according to our expert.
Love your home
A renovation is a lot of work, but in the end, we bet you’ll fall in love with your home all over again. And if you follow these tips from the pros, you’ll enjoy beautiful flooring for years to come.
Sunshine Carpet and Flooring, Orillia
Grand Floors, Barrie