Not long before Christmas of last year, I received a request to help make some flooring decisions for the family of one of my daughter’s classmates. The cry for help came after several weeks of indecision and staring at a concrete subfloor was no longer appealing (I can’t say I blame her!). After all, Christmas was looming near and Santa needed a nice, cushy floor to land on once he slid down he chimney! However, selecting a color wasn’t the only task at hand. There were a few challenges with the project, including:
- The previous engineered hardwood floor had to be pulled up because it was lifting and gaps were appearing in between the slats and along the wall base.
- Hardwood wasn’t an option because the entire main floor of the home is on a concrete slab, so no way to nail in the hardwood.
- While the original contractor was “making good” on the labor of the re-do, there were still budget constraints.
- Time was also an issue, as this flooring ran through the entire main floor of the sprawling ranch, including hallways and the master bedroom. The only room within the main area that wasn’t affected was the kitchen, was is dead center of the space and already had tile.
The homeowner brought me in to help decided between the following options:
- Going with another engineered wood floor and risking the same issues as the previous floor
- Installing porcelain tile that looked like wood OR
- Installing laminate
After a bit of back and forth, the homeowner decided to go with laminate flooring throughout. Of course, if hardwood were an option, that would have been the best bet hands-down. But since that wasn’t viable, Mohawk brand luxury vinyl laminate was chosen. Laminate is a good alternative to hardwood when there is a concrete subfloor, and it’s more budget-friendly. It’s also durable and able to withstand kids and pets. The homeowner liked the porcelain tile choices, but that was eliminated from the running because of the massive amount of work that would go into a tile job of that size, from mortar to grout. And, it was a lot more money. Laminate is also installed using a heavy-duty adhesive, so the homeowner wouldn’t have to worry about the floor boards lifting or separating like the previous floating floor did.
The homeowner chose the Mohawk brand of vinyl laminate for a few reasons, including color selection, look and feel of real wood, and its “made in the USA” labeling. And, since most manmade materials emit some amount of chemicals into the air, this laminate seemed to have lower emissions, which made the homeowner feel more at ease with her two young children and three cats in the home.