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Flooring in Florida

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“So if we take this wall down, we will have to replace this flooring. Do you have any more of this?” The Kitchen guy looked at me as if it was unlikely. “I do! We have extra boxes in the attic!” I said my memory finally jarred. I pulled the creaky fold up ladder down and climbed into the darkness. Flipping the switch to illuminate the space revealed three boxes of bamboo and one long plank lying on the top of the boxes. I pulled it down and took it to the kitchen guy to show him that I really did know what I was talking about. “This has been in your attic?” He said looking doubtful. “Yes! It is in great shape and I have three usable boxes.” I said with excitement. While he took measurements and made notes I sat on the couch with my fantastic piece of bamboo and wondered to myself, why anyone would doubt that hard wood can be used in Florida when it holds up so well. I have had bamboo in my house for fifteen years and it still looks great. For those of you who are trying to pick out flooring and have been bombarded with what you can and cannot have in Florida, I will try to answer some of the most asked questions. So look at the picture for today and focus in on the flooring. It is a beautiful engineered hardwood in an Iris somewhere in the heart of The Villages.
• Hardwood Tile-next-to-the-Wood
Hardwood is a big block of wood like Oak, Pecan, or Hickory and is not for use over a cement slab because it has to be nailed down. Since most of the homes are cement slabs we need a product that can be glued down to the cement.
• Engineered hardwood
Engineered hardwood is multiple layers of real plywood stuck together with a layer of the hardwood as the top layer. The layers of plywood keep it from expanding and contracting too much and the layer of real hickory on top looks as if the entire plank is a rich block of hickory. My flooring is engineered bamboo and it has been great for fifteen years as well as the boxes stored in the attic. The engineered hardwood is glued down with an adhesive that works as a moisture barrier as well. Since the product is glued to the slab there is no hollow sound. One benefit of engineered hardwood is that it stays warm unlike tile that takes on the cool temperature of the slab.
• Who should consider engineered hardwood
If you have a Gardenia, Lantana, Iris, or any of the spinoffs of these models hardwood is a great choice for you. The majority of these models from 466 over to 42 had a combination of tile and carpet. Engineered hardwood, because it is glued down, is the only flooring product that can but to tile without a bumpy threshold. The wood can be planed down to meet the height of the tile or the area can be built up to meet the tile. Having no threshold is great because it keeps the floor smooth and is less of a tripping hazard.
• What color of engineered hardwood
Many of my customers like light and bright homes. If they have a creamy carpet and creamy tile then I will bring them lighter hardwoods to blend with the tile. This keeps the house light. I do have customers that want the wood to be darker and that is fine but not too dark. We don’t want to darken the house and on really dark floors you will see all the dirt and dust. Also, stay away from shiny flooring or you will see the dirt and oily footprints.
• What about tile
Tile is fine but I personally prefer hardwood because though tile is pretty, it is so hard on your feet and joints. I can tell at the end of the day when I have been working on tile but nothing bothers me when I am working on engineered hardwood. However, if you have areas with lots of water tile is your best choice.
• Hard surface flooring over carpet
I have no wall to wall carpet in my home. I encourage my clients not to reinstall wall to wall carpeting. The reason is traffic patterns. I hate traffic patterns because I was raised with traffic patterns and the trauma lives on to this day!
Also, I don’t like spending money on something that can get dirty so quick. Hard surface flooring everywhere is the best choice moneywise and then lay down area rugs.
• Value
In The Villages everything sells so it would difficult to make a claim that hardwood raises the value of a home. So I look at it this way, pretend you were comparing two homes side by side. They are the same models and have the same view on the water and they are the same exact price. However, one of them had carpet and vinyl and one of them had engineered hardwood and tile throughout, which one would you pick? The one with engineered hardwood and tile of course!

P.S. –Attention, club presidents! I give free decorating programs! It is lots of fun and very informative. Call and schedule your club today or call Ruth your full service decorator at 352-804-2056

P.P.S Be sure to visit our home decor store, "The Finishing Touch" for your home good needs.

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