You can whittle down all flooring to one of these two categories: floor coverings or structural installations. It’s easy to know if the floors you have are just floor coverings by process of elimination, because there are only three floors the industry considers structural installations. The three are solid hardwood, ceramic tile and stone. If you don’t have one of those floors, you don’t have a structural installation.
Structural installation flooring
Solid hardwood, ceramic tile and stone flooring all become part of your home’s structure. They are considered a permanent floor. They add a structural value to your home, too.
Engineered wood, laminate, luxury vinyl tile, luxury vinyl planks, carpet, vinyl and everything else — all of these flooring types are considered nothing more than floor coverings. They are not part of the home’s structure, even if you nail or staple or glue them in. They may add an aesthetic value, but that will never be considered permanent flooring.
The importance of knowing your flooring
“So why does this matter at all?” you might ask. Well, first off, it matters when you are purchasing a flooring product. There is value attached to real, solid hardwood flooring and tile installations that you will never get out of engineered wood or laminate. You should also expect to pay more for the permanent flooring products and the process of installing them.
On top of this, there’s a rumor floating around that engineered wood flooring gives up nothing but the bottom half of the product, so it’s a structural installation, too. There are many differences engineered and solid hardwood flooring, both pros and cons, but that’s a different article. The bottom line is: Engineered hardwood is the same as installing carpet from a structural standpoint, because it’s nothing more than a cover for the plywood subfloor.
Don’t let anyone mislead you. When in doubt, check this guide to decide whether a type of flooring will add structural value to your home or just look nice.
Getting Your Home Ready for Winter Traffic
Winter is here and Jack Frost is knocking on the front door! Don’t let him in without taking a few precautions. We’ve compiled a list of easy ways to keep your investment looking great all winter long.
Walk-Off Mats – Get a sturdy mat for both outside your entry doors and inside. Good outdoor doormats will not hold onto moisture (think moldy mildew) and will act as your first line of defense for keeping out mud and muck.
Water/Snow on Shoes – Some moisture is bound to get in. Keeping another doormat INSIDE the door for wet or snowy boots is a great way to keep the moisture from tracking into your whole house. Look around at a home goods store for hard plastic boot trays. They give you great place to leave wet shoes to dry. If you are using a fabric or carpeted area rug, be sure that you don’t let those wet mats sit on your floor for too long. Once boots are dry enough to move, pick up wet mats and allow them to dry off the floor, if possible.
Vacuum the Salt – Salt is about to line the streets; don’t let it line your floors! Salt can scratch even the toughest of hardwood finishes. Our suggestion? Sweep or vacuum the salt often. Be cautious when using “Swiffer” type dusters; grains of salt can get trapped under the head of the Swiffer and too much pressure can add to the scratching.
Cleaner – Get a strong floor cleaner for hard surfaces. This time of year, even with the best efforts, you can see spotting on ceramic, hardwood, LVT, etc. A good spot cleaner (we recommend a product Squeaky Clean, sold in our showroom) will allow you to easily keep floors looking great in-between deep cleans.
Get Carpets Cleaned – Most carpet manufactures will require your carpets to be professionally cleaned once every 18 months or so to avoid voiding warranties. A great time is NOW. Winter months often leave us stuck indoors, breathing in the dust and dandruff left behind in our carpets (YUCK!) Professional carpet cleaners use hot water extraction to get your carpeted areas clean and will keep you breathing easier, too.
These simple steps will keep your floors looking great all winter long. For those of you with floors that may need some work to begin with, give us a call for a free estimate. We can tell you if it is time to replace your flooring or if just a good scrub is in order.
A lifelong St. Louisan, Ralph has spent a majority of his career in the flooring industry. He and his wife started Champion Floor Company over 25 years ago and never looked back. Not only has he built one of the most respected hardwood flooring companies in St. Louis, but he has also been able to keep the business family-oriented and quality-driven. If you are looking for answers to your flooring questions, you have come to the right place.