One thing that has always impressed me about the Casa Marina Key West is the beauty of the Lobby. The architects that designed the Casa were Thomas Hastings and John M. Carrere of New York. They were famously known for designing The New York City Opera House. They were very knowledgeable in Spanish Revival and applied so many timeless and beautiful principles to Henry Flagler’s last hotel that 103 years later it is still a breathtaking property. However, the Casa Marina is closed until December because it is undergoing a major and long overdue renovation. The exterior of the property is amazing, and the lobby is unforgettable. The current flooring of the hotel lobby and grand ballroom is the original hardwood floors from 103 years ago. So, for those out there that think you cannot have wood floors in Florida, I think the Casa Marina has dispelled that myth. When it comes to Florida and flooring it is pretty much like Key West where anything goes. Now let’s talk flooring and discover our opportunities somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

•  Engineered HardwoodLiving-room, vinyl flooring, Home Décor by Ruth Dyer - in the Villages of Florida.
Engineered hardwood is multiple layers of plywood stuck together with a layer of the hardwood, like hickory or oak, as the top layer. Engineered hardwood is glued down to the cement slab 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. Engineered hardwood is still considered a top tier finish and one of the most desirable flooring choices for a home. Hot Tip: Vinyl planking has become so popular that the pricing of vinyl can be more than some hardwoods. So always price out a hardwood that you like before settling in on a vinyl.

•  No threshold
Engineered hardwood, because it is glued down, is the only flooring product that can but up 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.

•  Timeless colors
Grey was very popular for a long time, but it is getting into the backseat for 2023 and beyond. That does not mean that if you have grey floors, you are out of fashion but for those who are purchasing floors, they want to know. The colors that are on the rise again are warm tones, with tans and browns. Tan and warm tones are classics and will always be in style no matter what is popular at the time. Hot Tip: light to medium floors hide dirt. Dark floors show dirt.

•  What about tile
Tile is a fabulous choice, and it comes in all looks. You can find tile that looks like wood or tile that looks like stone. Tile is also a top tier design finish, right up there with wood it stands the test of time. Often, when we have added engineered hardwood to the main body of the home, we will find a tile look alike to put on the lanai. This cohesion makes the house look large and the flooring complete.

•  Luxury Vinyl Planking
Luxury vinyl planking is very popular right now and the look of it keeps getting more and more realistic. The popularity factor of luxury vinyl plank is that it can be put down in every room. This flooring is very durable, easy to clean and performs well in wet areas. This flooring is highly scratch and stain resistant which makes it very appealing. Finally, luxury vinyl plank is lauded as waterproof.
If you read the warranties carefully, they mean if you spill or if water sits topically on the floor for a week it will not hurt the floor. However, if you are purchasing this because you fear a kitchen flood or refrigerator leak, this floor is not covered under flooding. The floor may not get damaged, but it will still have to be removed and the mold cleaned from underneath the floor and then the floor can be reinstalled. The benefit to most of my customers is it sets their mind at ease. They will not have to completely redo the floors if they have a kitchen or washer flood. The flooring pictured this week is Sahara Sand and it is a luxury vinyl. I like this color and brand because it looks so realistic.
Hot Tip: Even though the planks come with an attached underlayment, I recommend having a plastic moisture barrier placed over the cement before you install the vinyl. This is not hard for installers to do, and it adds an extra layer of protection if you have a slab leak.

•  Hard surface flooring over carpet
The choice of hard surface flooring over carpet is very easy when the estimates are returned. In 2023, carpet is often as much as hard surface flooring, and it will not last as long. A good carpet will still get walk patterns unless you are a fanatic about taking off your shoes and very gentle on your carpet. If you are considering getting carpet, then always price out a hard surface choice of flooring so that you can make an educated decision. That being said, if you have medical reasons for needing carpet, then get the carpet.
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