rials. One key advantage of laminate is ease of
installation—all you need are basic carpenter’s tools. Today’s laminate locks to itself
instead of being fastened to the subfloor, so
you don’t have to rip out the existing floor.
Cleaning is vital to protect laminate from
scratches but also easy: Just use a spray cleaner
and a terry-cloth mop, and you can expect it
to last five to 15 years.
Nice on the feet
Carpet is warm, soft and quiet; it is also
forgiving of bumps, cracks or irregularities
in the subfloor. Quality carpet has good
moisture barriers and stain-resistant fibers,
but it is not DIY-friendly to install. It should
be professionally installed, and the out-the-door price includes the cost of the pad,
which is one area to splurge on.
“If I had only one dollar more to spend
and had to spend on better carpet or better
pad, I’d spend it on the pad,” Jennings says.
“Good carpet deserves good cushion[ing].
Inexpensive carpet demands it.”
the right flooring
Conventional hardwood is installed,
sanded and finished at your home and offers
a wide choice of stains. You should have intermediate DIY skills if you want to install it
yourself, as you’ll need a blind-nailing tool
and other carpentry tools. Exotic species,
higher finish quality and wider planks will
cost more, according to Jennings.
By Karen Haywood Queen
Tough and affordable
NEW FLOORING LOOKS great, feels fabulous underfoot and gives you an opportunity
to update your home’s style. Whether you’re
looking for easy care, upfront savings, warmth,
quiet, moisture resistance, ease of installation
or softness underfoot, there’s a flooring choice
that’s right for you, and your budget.
Today’s vinyl, which includes traditional
sheet vinyl and newer luxury vinyl tile (LVT),
is more durable and scratch resistant than
your grandmother’s floor, Jennings says. For
remodeling, sheet vinyl can be appealing
because it’s only one-eighth to one-sixteenth
of an inch thick, which can make a difference
if your dishwasher or refrigerator barely fits in
its space, and it resists moisture, mold and
mildew, making it an ideal choice for kitchens, laundry rooms and mudrooms.
Treated properly, hardwood floors can
last a lifetime. For routine cleaning, sweep
with a quality broom or vacuum using a
cleaner without a beater bar, according to
the WFCA. When the hardwood starts to
look a little worn, screening, which is grinding down the floor’s polyurethane finish,
then applying new coats of urethane, can
rejuvenate it, but when the floor starts to
look very worn, you’ll need to get it sanded
The new kid
“New flooring allows for an updated visual
of both color and design,” says Tom Jennings,
president of the World Floor Covering
Association (WFCA, wfca.org). He says popular choices include vinyl, laminate, carpet,
hardwood and engineered flooring. Some you
can install yourself, but keep in mind that if
you have to buy tools, rent a truck and tear out
the subfloor, your savings may evaporate.
Since it comes in planks or tile-like
pieces, LVT is easier to install yourself compared with sheet vinyl. If you make a mistake, you’ve ruined only one tile or plank—not
the whole sheet.
Finally, engineered wood flooring, also
known as structured engineered flooring, is
all wood with several layers. Compared with
conventional hardwood, engineered flooring is more stable, easier to work with and
can be installed in moisture-prone areas
such as kitchens, basements or on concrete
slabs, Jennings says. Engineered flooring
lasts 10 to 50 years; clean it with a spray
cleaner and a microfiber mop.
The Costco Connection
You’ll find laminate and structured
engineered flooring at your local Costco
warehouse, and vinyl, carpet, hardwood
and laminate flooring on Costco.com.
Expect a vinyl floor to last 10 to 20 years.
Cleaning is easy: Sweep or vacuum often and,
if needed, mop with clear warm water.
“Flooring is not ‘one size fits all,’ ” Jennings
says. “There’s a floor for every place, and a
place for every floor.” C
Walk the plank
Laminate can simulate wood, stone or
other surfaces but costs less than those mate-
FEBRUARY 2015 ;e Costco Connection 37
Karen Haywood Queen lives in Williamsburg,
Virginia. Floors in her home include ceramic
tile, hardwood, carpet and concrete.
2/27/15 7:56 AM