Mitigation Mondays vol. 1 - Beginning The Flooring Purchase Process
“Flooring: The First Choice Way: Mitigation Monday” is a blog series that takes the customer on a journey through the flooring purchase process, from need recognition to installation to upkeep. The posts made in this series seek to answer questions ranging from; “where do I start when buying flooring?” all the way to “how can I maintain, fix, and clean my existing flooring?”. We hope that you find this series insightful and encourage you, the reader, to provide us with feedback and ask any questions to clarify the content presented.
Today we will be discussing where the consumer should start when taking part in the flooring purchasing process (FPP).
Step 1: Problem/ Need Recognition- you may have done this already but the first step in the FPP is to understand why you are considering purchasing new flooring. By understanding your needs and any problems you are now trying to solve we will be able to identify the correct type of flooring to be considered for replacement. The following section will provide a brief overview of typical problems you will run into with each type of flooring and instances where you may need to change or restore your flooring. Please keep in mind that the average lifespan and typical problems listed below are commonalities and can change depending on the different factors of your space. These factors include climate (temp, humidity, lighting), traffic (busy areas, pets, children, etc.), accidents, etc..
The general lifespan for residential carpet has a tremendous range depending on the traffic and climate of the room that the carpet resides in (ex. A hallway or stairs with consistent traffic will need to be replaced before a bedroom with minimal foot traffic). With that being said, you may NEED to replace your carpet if:
1) It has been damaged past the point of repair; whether it’s a tear or rip, sometimes carpet cannot be fixed and this is a definite indicator that you need to replace it. *Feel free to email or message us pictures of your floor and we will do our best to notify you of the extent of the damage and options moving forward*.
2) Sanitary concerns: Carpets can hold a lot of dust, dirt, moisture, bacteria, etc. that can be harmful to a person’s health. Carpets have the ability to be cleaned but you must ensure that you clean them correctly and often in order to maximize the lifespan of your carpet. A poorly maintained carpet will eliminate the warranty and dramatically shorten the useful lifespan. Making sure to match the maintenance required to your carpet is essential to protect your investment.
3) Carpets can be re-stretched if they become wrinkled due to a variety of reasons. It’s common to have to restretch carpet once or twice over its lifespan. It’s very difficult to quote a restretch without seeing the site as it can sometimes require a tremendous amount of time and effort with furniture and layout. Some patterned carpets are extremely difficult to stretch as you must keep in mind the pattern and how it runs. If seams should need to be broken and re-seamed after stretching then it further complicates the process.
Cork is one of the most ecologically friendly floor types on the market today and can last for many years before needing to be changed. Surface wear and tear is normal depending on your maintenance regime so the cleaner you keep the floor the longer it will last. If the surface becomes gouged, scratched or uneven due to moisture swelling you may need a new floor.
1) We always recommend that you keep an extra 1-2 cartons of the material from the original install. That way your floor can be spot fixed rather than having to replace the entire floor in case of a small accident or unexpected wear on a specific piece or two.
Hardwood has been around for almost as long as the concept of flooring. It can be prefinished, site finished or oiled to provide a lasting floor. The average lifespan of hardwood ranges from 20 to 30 years but can certainly last longer if it is maintained properly.
1) The number one thing to remember when it comes to hardwood is controlling the humidity where the hardwood is installed. Moisture problems are the number one issue that causes floors to have to be replaced before their time. Wood will “talk” to you and let you know how it’s doing. A wood floor that’s cupping either up or down, gapping, buckling, crackling when walked on, or checking are all signs that you have a humidity issue that needs to be dealt with.
2) Hardwood has the ability to be refinished unless it has been damaged to the point of no- repair. Instances, where hardwood cannot be refinished include; mold, water damage, pests, or if it has been refinished too many times. Hardwood can also be repaired by replacing a board(s) as long as you have material left over from the original install.
Laminate flooring is very durable and if maintained properly will last a very long time. Moisture is the number one cause of laminate failure. It is not recommended that you refinish laminate but touch-up-kits are available for minor dings and scratches that you encounter. Laminate is more durable than hardwood but susceptible to the same issues of hardwood (buckling, denting, fading, moisture damage, scratching, and staining. Any damage besides a scratch or dent usually warrants a flooring change. Keeping a couple of boxes from the original install can allow you to replace pieces rather than the entire floor if spot damage happens.
If treated properly, tile is the longest lasting floor type on the market today. The most common problems a consumer will encounter with tiles are; grout issues, cracking of tiles, and loose tiles. You can individually replace a tile if it has been cracked or damaged – this is only possible if you have some material kept from the original install. Tile is dye lot sensitive and is frequently discontinued so do not assume that your tile will be available for purchase any time after the original install. Grout maintenance is specific to the type of grout you have so it’s best to check with us before proceeding. There have been many improvements in grout technology over the past few years which is making grout issues less prevalent than they used to be.
“Lino” which is what some people refer to when talking about resilient sheet vinyl has been around for a long time. Vinyl is a very durable floor but is susceptible to damage like cuts and gouges because it is a softer material. Technology in the wear-layer has come a long way in the last 10 years which makes this product a great choice for areas that need a cost-effective durable solution. Newer styling and patterns have this product making a comeback recently. It is not really practical to fix or repair a damaged vinyl floor unless the damage is minor and is tended to very quickly. A topical seam sealer can be used to conceal and repair some cuts if they are minor. In more serious cases it is possible to splice in a section as long as you have material left over from the original install. If the floor has been exposed to UV and faded it can be a bad idea to put a patch in as it will be obvious compared to the rest of the floor.