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Flooring Guide

How to pick your flooring:


There are many different types of flooring with a tremendous amount of choices at our store so we are here to help you through that journey of making your home beautiful again. Flooring takes up the most square footage in your home after paint and it makes a world of difference to the feel and style of your home. Flooring is also something that you will use and step on every single day so it is an investment that you want quality proven products that will last you a lifetime.

LUXURY VINYL

Vinyl is a plastic based flooring product that is a picture of what it is trying to mimic. Quality is based on the company manufacturing it and the wear layer.

Thickness does not equal quality and durability for luxury vinyl. The wear layer (the top protective layer) is what takes all the wear and tear, and provides the quality and durability. Most Heave Commercial rated luxury vinyl (best commercial warranty available) will be a 20 mil wear layer. Quality will also depend on the company that manufactures it.

Feature: Made of plastic (PVC)
Benefit to you: Easiest hard surface flooring to maintain period!

Feature: Water resistant or waterproof.
Benefits to you:

  • You don’t have to worry about water damaging your beautiful floor, especially for the place we call home, Hawaii.
  • You don’t have to worry about your babies, kids, pets, and yourself making a mess. No need to shame anyone.
  • Spills are very easy to clean up, even if left sitting for a while.
  • Better solution to wet areas than wood based flooring.
  • Easiest hard surface flooring to maintain period!

Feature: Little to no acclimation needed.
Benefit to you: No need to wait the recommended minimum of 5-7 days with no maximum stated by most hardwood manufacturers so you can enjoy your new beautiful installed flooring and home right away.

Feature: Multiple installation options.
Benefit to you: You can choose the correct type of installation for your home to make your flooring is more likely problem free.

Feature: Ease of installation for looselay and click-and-lock flooring.
Benefits to you:

  • Because it is easier to install, the installation will be faster so you can enjoy your flooring right away.
  • Another plus is that if you are a handy person, you may be able to install the flooring yourself and we can supply you with all the installation instructions and do-it-yourself videos if available.

Feature: Beautiful looks (wood, stone, tile, and texture).
Benefits to you:

  • You get the same elegant, timeless, and unique looks and colors of all types of flooring without all of the maintenance required.
  • Maintenance is so easy with vinyl.

Feature: Softest on the feet, knees, and back, in hard surface flooring.
Benefit to you:

  • Vinyl is not as hard on the body as tile, stone, hardwood, and laminate so you can enjoy your flooring for longer periods while cooking and standing for extended periods of time.
  • Vinyl is the quietest hard surface flooring and will not have the same kind of hollow sound that hardwood and laminate will have.

Feature: Warmer underfoot
Benefit to you:

  • You won’t have to wear house slippers because the floor is too cold (like tile and laminate) walking around the house, especially barefoot in Hawaii.

Things you may not like about luxury vinyl: Although the quality of the looks of luxury vinyl have increased greatly and some people cannot tell it is not real wood, luxury vinyl is still a picture of what it is trying to mimic.

WATERPROOF VINYL

Waterproof vinyl is a rigid core plastic or plastic hybrid based flooring product that is a picture of what it is trying to mimic. Quality is based on the company manufacturing it and the wear layer.

Feature: Made of plastic (PVC)
Benefit to you: Easiest hard surface flooring to maintain period!

Feature: Waterproof.
Benefits to you:

  • You don’t have to worry about water damaging your beautiful floor, especially for the place we call home, Hawaii.
  • You don’t have to worry about your babies, kids, pets, and yourself making a mess. No need to shame anyone.
  • Spills are very easy to clean up, even if left sitting for a while.
  • Better solution to wet areas than wood based flooring.

 

Feature: Little to no acclimation needed.
Benefit to you: No need to wait the recommended minimum of 5-7 days with no maximum stated by most hardwood manufacturers so you can enjoy your new beautiful installed flooring and home right away.

Feature: Ease of installation for click-and-lock flooring.
Benefits to you:

  • Because it is easier to install, the installation will be faster so you can enjoy your flooring right away.
  • Another plus is that if you are a handy person, you may be able to install the flooring yourself and we can supply you with all the installation instructions and do-it-yourself videos if available.

Feature: Beautiful looks (wood, stone, tile, and texture).
Benefits to you:

  • You get the same elegant, timeless, and unique looks and colors of all types of flooring without all of the maintenance required.
  • Maintenance is so easy with vinyl.

Feature: Softest on the feet, knees, and back, in hard surface flooring.
Benefit to you:

  • Vinyl is not as hard on the body as tile, stone, hardwood, and laminate so you can enjoy your flooring for longer periods while cooking and standing for extended periods of time.
  • Vinyl is the quietest hard surface flooring and waterproof vinyl will sound like a mix of luxury vinyl and laminate.

Feature: Warmer underfoot
Benefit to you:

  • You won’t have to wear house slippers because the floor is too cold (like tile and laminate) walking around the house, especially barefoot in Hawaii.

Feature: Rigid core design
Benefit to you: Your flooring can hide more of the imperfections your subfloor may have, which will make your floor look better.

Things you may not like about waterproof vinyl: Although the quality of the looks of luxury vinyl have increased greatly and some people cannot tell it is not real wood, luxury vinyl is still a picture of what it is trying to mimic.

CARPET

Once the most popular type of flooring in Hawaii and still a very popular type of flooring in Hawaii because we go barefoot in the house. Carpet is now mostly continuous filament, which eliminates continuous shedding. Advances in carpet have given us the most stain resistant carpet and softest carpet to date.

Feature: Softest installed flooring you can get.
Benefits to you:

  • The most enjoyable type of flooring to lay on, sit on, and play on for your family.
  • The most forgiving flooring when someone falls, making it good for babies, young kids, and elderly.
  • The most forgiving flooring when it comes to imperfections in your subfloor. Carpet almost always looks good no matter the condition of your subfloor.

Feature: Passive Filter (carpet fibers can hold dust and allergens until you vacuum them up).
Benefit to you: There will be less dust and allergens in the air if you vacuum regularly so people sensitive to dust and allergies will enjoy your home more.

Feature: Most economic prices for products and installation.
Benefit to you: If you are looking to sell a house or looking for something temporary then this may be a good fit for you.

Things you may not like about carpet:

  • Harder to clean stains and spills.
  • May not be resistant to fading or other stains.
  • May need to be re-stretched over time.
  • Much higher maintenance needed than hard surface flooring.

CERAMIC AND PORCELAIN TILE

Still a long-lasting flooring, tile has seen a rise in popularity, especially with the introduction of wood looking tile. Tile is a natural product but similar to vinyl, it is only a picture of the type of floor it is trying to mimic.

Feature: Ceramic tile, especially porcelain tile has a very low water absorption rate.
Benefit to you:

  • Although not waterproof, tile does very well with handling large amounts of water. This is the reason you can install it in your bath or shower with the right kind of waterproofing underneath it.
  • Easy to maintain, second to only vinyl.
  • Spills are easier to clean up.

Feature: Porcelain tile is very dense.
Benefit to you:

  • It will be a floor that can last you a very long time.

Feature: Tile is colder underfoot
Benefit to you: If you live in a hot area, having something colder underfoot can make a hot day more bearable.

Feature: Extremely customizable
Benefit to you: Because tile is laid by piece, you can mix and match many different types of tile and you can choose from many different patterns to create a unique floor.

Things you may not like about tile:

  • Cold underfoot so may have to wear house slippers.
  • Tile can crack and chip from dropping items on it or from subfloor movement.
  • Grout may need to be sealed and not resistant to staining.
  • Grout can be intensive to clean.
  • Tile can be hard on the body if standing on it for extended periods of time.

ENGINEERED HARDWOOD

Nothing is as unique as hardwood. Every plank is different from each other. Hardwood will ding, scratch, squeak, and change color. This is also what makes hardwood beautiful. Engineered hardwood will be better against expansion and contraction than solid hardwood. Engineered hardwood can have a plywood core, or HDF (high density fiberboard) core.

Feature: Natural product
Benefits to you:

  • Every plank will be unique and different which will give you a one of a kind floor.
  • Will bring value and quality to your home.

Things you may not like about hardwood:

  • Hardwood will ding, scratch, squeak, and change color.
  • Not good with water.

LAMINATE

The flooring category that Luxury Vinyl replaced is still very durable. Although it doesn’t fair well with water it is still pretty low maintenance. It is a wood based flooring that is a picture of what it is trying to mimic.

Feature: Made of High Density Fiberboard (highly compressed wood)
Benefit to you: One of the more durable flooring options.

Feature: Beautiful looks (glossy, matte, wood, stone, tile, and texture).
Benefits to you:

  • You can get the high end look of woods and stones but at a much lower price.
  • You get the same elegant, timeless, and unique looks and colors of all types of flooring without all of the maintenance required.

Things you may not like about laminate:

  • Bad with water.
  • It makes a hollow sound when walking on it.
  • It is not real wood or stone, just a picture of what it is trying to mimic.

Q&A/FAQs

Q: Where can different types of flooring be installed?
You can install any type of flooring with the right kind of prep and expectations. In general, we would recommend not putting carpet and wood based products like laminate and hardwood in wet areas like the kitchen, bath, and dining room. Products like vinyl and tile that are water resistant or waterproof would be able to go everywhere, even throughout your whole home.
Q: What kind of installation options are there?
The main types of installation are click-and-lock, full spread glue down, and looselay. Click-and-lock is a floating system based on a female/male locking system. Full spread glue down is spreading glue on the floor to permanently adhere the flooring to the floor. Looselay is a floating system with no locking joints.
Q: How do I find a good installer?
You can find good installers on a list that we provide as a courtesy to our customers. They do not work for our company. The installers will have their contractor’s license and are proven to do good work. As a last resort you may even search online for installers that may be good.
Q: What are the different tiers of durability?
The durability of flooring depends on the category.
For vinyl the durability depends on the wear layer (measured in mils) and the company who is manufacturing it.
For wood the durability depends on the type of protective layer is on top and how high the wood is on the Janka scale (wood hardness scale).
For ceramic and porcelain tile the durability depends largely on installation and partly on the quality of the manufacturer.
Q: What’s the difference between the old vinyl and new vinyl?
Most vinyl today will have a layer of fiberglass in it to make it more dimensionally stable and prevent it from curling. A big difference is that vinyl looks are much more sophisticated and real, which makes today’s vinyl look so much more like real wood or stone.
Q: What do I do about steps?
Flooring gets glued on steps and the end of each step will need a stairnose to cap off each step. We stock coordinating stairnose for most of our stocking products.
Q: Going over existing flooring?
This may be a possibility depending on the type of existing flooring you have, the condition of your existing flooring, what is underneath, and how it was installed. Our flooring specialists will be able to assist you depending on the situation.
Q: What are transitions?
Transitions are the in-between pieces that go in-between two different types of flooring to create a good transition.
Q: Can I install myself?
If you consider yourself a handy person then you may be able to install it yourself. We can supply you with the installation instructions and any videos from the manufacturer that is available.
Q: Installing carpet over tile?
You can install carpet over tile if the tile is not popping out in any areas and since tack strips are installed your tile will be permanently damaged.
Q: What are the different types of carpet?
Nylon: The most durable type of carpet fiber out there is Nylon 6.6, which is a high performance proprietary nylon associated with Stainmaster carpet and high-performance applications (some products made with nylon: seat belts, parachute material, firefighter suits). The predecessor to Nylon 6.6 is Nylon 6 which is a durable but not as durable as Nylon 6.6. Nylon is durable and can be very stain resistant if solution dyed.
Polyester: The newest type of polyester is Triexta and is an upgrade to regular Polyester fiber. Polyester is not as durable as Nylon. Polyester is very resistant but does not fare well with oil based stains.
Olefin: Olefin is a low-cost fiber that does well with stains and low traffic. Olefin has a low melting point.
Wool: Synthetic fibers started by trying to imitate wool, the original carpet fiber. Wool is the most durable type of fiber but requires special maintenance with stains. Wool is also a staple fiber so though shedding will be minimal at some point, shedding is natural with wool fibers.
Q: What kind of warranties does flooring offer?
There are many different lengths of time that warranties are offered. In order of most common are: lifetime, 25 years, 20 years, 15 years, 10 years, 5 years.
Q: What are things I need to consider when selecting flooring?
There are many things to consider but these would be some important things to look at:

  • What kind of lifestyle do you have?
  • How much traffic does your home have? Number of members in your family? Ages of your members? Do you have a lot of get-togethers and how many people come for your get-togethers?
  • How is that room most used as?
  • What type of flooring do have existing?
  • What is the condition of your subfloor?
  • Does your home have a moisture problem (in the subfloor or the environment)?
  • Who is installing?
  • Why are you changing your flooring at this time?
  • What else are you renovating?
  • What kind of colors were you considering?
Q: What are some suggestions and tips you have for someone considering flooring?
A lot of information is online but not everything is true online. Find a Flooring Specialist and let them educate you and guide you to the perfect flooring for your family and home.
Q: What is the different types of hard surface?
Please consult our flooring guide for in-depth looks at the flooring categories.
The main types of hard surfaces are:

Luxury Vinyl
Waterproof Vinyl
Ceramic & Porcelain Tile
Hardwood
Laminate
Natural Stone