for your home
With minimal maintenance,
hardwood, bamboo and
laminate floorings can add
color and warmth to a room.
hardwoods. Technology has made designs
better than ever—choose anything from a
whitewashed wood look to a natural limestone look.
Cons: Laminate cannot be refinished like
wood; once it’s worn or damaged it will need
to be replaced. Laminate doesn’t have as good
a resale value in the home as wood.
Choosing the right floor—be it hardwood,
By Gretchen Roberts
bamboo or laminate—for your home
OF ALL THE ELEMENTS that make up a
room, floors work the hardest, bearing traffic,
spills and the weight of the furniture.
Aesthetically, floors can bring a room to life,
adding color, tone, texture, warmth and style.
Flooring comes in so many types and styles
that it can be harder to choose than to actually
install it. So where to start? Consider these
factors when selecting a wood or wood laminate floor.
Cost: Take both the short- and long-term
price tag into account when choosing a floor.
Bamboo and hardwood flooring cost more
than laminate, but they can last for many
years and increase the value of your home.
Houses with wood flooring tend to sell faster
and for higher prices than those without
Maintenance: Laminate floors require
no special maintenance; hardwood and bamboo need occasional refinishing. All are easy
to clean and keep clean.
Durability: Hardwood floors are generally very durable and can last for years if
Ease of installation: Laminate is easier
to install than wood, but experts generally
recommend using a professional installer for
most types of flooring unless you’re willing to
assess your level of expertise and do your
Location: Form often follows function
in flooring: You wouldn’t want a deep pile
carpet in the dining room, for instance, and
a wood floor with some give would work
better in the kitchen than a stone floor, which
is hard on the feet and dropped objects.
If you’re flowing a new floor into an existing
floor, the floor height and color must be
taken into consideration.
Pros: Bamboo is a tough material and
comes in many different stains, from its
naturally light color to a darker finish,
giving homes a contemporary, elegant look.
Bamboo is classified as a hardwood, although
it’s actually a tough grass. To make floors,
bamboo is harvested and cut into strips, which
are glued to engineered boards, or mixed with
resin and pressed into extremely dense blocks,
which are then sawn into boards. This second
method creates flooring that is comparable to
the hardest hardwood flooring available. Bamboo is the most environmentally friendly
Pros: Elegant, beautiful hardwood floors
are available in a wide variety of species, colors and finishes. Wood floors are good insulators, helping to keep heat or cooled air inside
the house, and have more give underfoot than
a harder material such as concrete or tile.
Solid hardwood floors can be sanded and
refinished multiple times, and they stand the
test of time in homes several centuries old.
Engineered wood floors, which are made
with a thin layer of real wood on top glued to
a layer of engineered board underneath, can
be installed in a basement area below the
grade of the house.
Cons: Solid wood floors can’t be installed
below grade, because solid wood can’t be
nailed to a concrete subfloor. Engineered
wood floors usually can’t be sanded and refinished as many times as solid wood floors,
since the veneer, or top layer, is thinner.
COURTESY OF J.SONIC SERVICES
More on floors:
; National Wood
; North American Laminate
; Wood Flooring Manufacturers
Pros: Laminate is economical, one of the
easiest types of flooring to install, extremely
durable and environmentally friendly, since
it’s made from paper rather than old-growth
hardwood floor, since it’s a natural, renewable
resource. Because bamboo is grown in a tropi-
cal region, it’s naturally moisture resistant.
The Costco Connection
Bamboo and laminate flooring is available in
most warehouses. Hardwood, bamboo and
laminate is available at Costco.com.
JULY 2012 ;e Costco Connection 37
Gretchen Roberts lives in Tennessee in a
112-year-old Cra;sman home with original