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4 Reasons Why Vinyl Floors Are the Best Choice for Your Home

Attention Dog Owners: 4 Reasons Why Vinyl Floors Are the Best Choice for Your Home

 

 If you’re in the 44% of American households that owns a dog, you might be looking for a floor than can stand up to your pup. Should you go with the safe bet of a durable laminate, or take a gamble on a beautiful hardwood that’s more vulnerable to stains and scratches?

 What if you could have the best of both worlds? With a vinyl floor, you can! Not only does vinyl look and feel more realistic than laminate, but it’s also practical for dog owners. Here’s why vinyl is the best Fido friendly floor for your home.

 

#1 Accident Resistant

 One of the biggest advantages of vinyl floors for dog owners is that they’re waterproof. Luxury vinyl planks are constructed using a waterproof core, which prevents swelling if liquid gets between or underneath the planks. Some brands, like COREtec Plus, even have an attached cork backing that naturally resists mold and mildew. The wear layer of vinyl floors is also specially designed to resist stains.

 

While hardwood can stain or retain odors from pet vomit or urine if it seeps between the planks, this isn’t a concern with vinyl. There’s also no need to worry about swelling, which is an issue that can occur in laminate floors if an accident isn’t discovered and wiped up right away. The waterproof and stain resistant qualities of vinyl allow for complete peace of mind when it comes to pet accidents, and cleaning up is a breeze!

 

 #2 Scratch Resistant

In addition to resisting stains and accidents, vinyl floors can also stand up to wear and tear from your dog’s claws. Vinyl is an extremely durable material, so much so that it has become popular for commercial use in high-traffic buildings like restaurants, shops, and offices. Hardwood, on the other hand, is far more prone to scratches. If you have a large dog or a younger dog with lots of energy that likes to romp and run, they can do so to their heart’s content on a vinyl floor without causing damage.

 

 

#3 Quiet

Another great advantage of vinyl floors is that they’re quieter compared to their laminate counterparts. Laminate floors are notorious for their hard, unforgiving wear layers that create an amplified, hollow clicking sound when pets and their people walk across them. On the other hand, the material of vinyl is a little softer, which provides a feel closer to hardwood without compromising on durability. This also greatly reduces the clicking sound of your pets nails when they walk across the floor, creating a quieter and more relaxing environment!

 #4 Comfortable for Fido

Finally, perhaps one of the best benefits of a vinyl floor is that not only is it a wonderful choice for you in terms of durability and care, but it’s also a wonderful choice for your dog’s comfort. While you might be considering a laminate floor as a comparable flooring option, you should keep in mind that the same wear layer that gives laminate floors their durability also makes them very slick. This offers no traction for your dog’s claws, causing them to slip and slide. In older dogs, especially, this can pose a risk of injury.

 

The slightly softer material of vinyl, however, allows your dog to gain traction when walking or playing, which creates a safer and more comfortable environment. Some styles of vinyl even have textured surfaces that mimic the distressed or wirebrushed surfaces found in hardwood floors, providing even more traction.

 

Vinyl Flooring Costs

So how much will a vinyl floor cost you? Vinyl floors are very affordable compared to hardwood, and you can expect to spend around $2-$5 per square foot.

 

Because they’re designed to be installed directly onto the wood subfloor, you won’t need to purchase an underlayment, and some brands already have a foam or cork backing attached. If you plan on installing vinyl over concrete, however, you will need a moisture barrier.

 

Additionally, most vinyl floors are designed for click lock or loose lay installation so you likely won’t need to purchase adhesive. Vinyl floors are also very easy to install unlike hardwood, which takes a trained professional, so you might consider installing your floor yourself for more potential savings.

 

Are you ready to start searching for a dog friendly vinyl floor for your home? Browse these top brands below, or give us a call at 888-633-6505 with any questions!

 

Choosing Trims For Your Floor

How to Choose the Right Trims for Your Flooring Project

 What is a Transition?

 A transition, also referred to as trim or molding, is a finishing piece used to conceal the exposed edges between two different, adjoining floors. This creates a clean, aesthetically pleasing “transition” from one floor to the next, as well as a safe walking path.

When you purchase coordinating transitions with your floor, they are typically made from the same material as the floor you have chosen (hardwood, vinyl, or laminate). They are also made to match the color of the floor.

Which Type of Transition Should You Use?

“Transition” is a broad term; there are many different types of transitions, each designed to perform a specific task. Choosing the right transition depends on what types of surfaces you’re working with and what you need to accomplish.

Transitioning Between Two Level, Hard Surfaces

If you are transitioning between two level, hard surfaces such as hardwood, laminate, stone, or tile, you will want to use a t-mold. As the name suggests, this trim is shaped like a T and is inserted into the seam between the two floors.

Transitioning Between Two Uneven, Hard Surfaces

To transition between two hard surfaces that are uneven, such as from hardwood to tile, you will need to use a reducer. This trim is shaped with a gentle decline that either overlaps or fits flush with the higher level floor and slopes down to meet the lower level floor, hiding the seam where the two floors meet.

Transitioning Between a Hard Surface and Carpet

When transitioning between a hard surface and carpet, you will need to use an endcap. Often, you will see an endcap also called a threshold, baby threshold, or square nose. Despite the different names, these trims still perform the same function. The endcap is shaped to overlap the hard surface and fit into the seam between the two floors to butt up against the carpet.

Transitioning to An Exterior Door

Besides transitioning to carpet, an endcap (or threshold, baby threshold, or square nose) is also used as a transition to an exterior door such as a sliding glass door.

Transitioning Around a Fireplace

You do not need to use transitions around a fireplace, but you may choose to do so for aesthetic purposes. The trim most often used to conceal the raw edges around a fireplace is an endcap (also called threshold, baby threshold, or square nose). When used for this purpose, the end of each endcap will be cut at a 45 degree angle so that the pieces meet together cleanly without exposed edges to form a 90 degree angle. This type of cut is also called a miter joint.

 Transitioning to the Front Edge of a Step

If the floor you are installing meets a landing or step down in your home, you will need to use a stair nose (also called stair nosing or bull nose) to conceal the edge of the top step. If you are continuing the floor down an entire staircase, you will need a stair nose to cover the edge of each step. A stair nose is shaped with a rounded front edge and can either overlap the floor or butt up flush against it.

 Multipurpose Transitions

Some flooring manufacturers offer multipurpose transitions with their floors. A multipurpose transition combines several trims into one. Its designed with interchangeable parts that can be added or removed depending on how the transition will be used. Usually, a multipurpose transition can be used as a stair nose, t-mold, reducer, and endcap.

Made in America Floors

We are asked often about floors Made in America. It can be a tricky topic for several reasons. We want to explain to you what Made in America specifically means when we say it.

*American Trees

*American Mills

*American Distribution

Some brands that deal exclusively in these terms are Somerset, Anderson, and From the Forest. 

There are several other brands who product most of their products in America- those are Armstrong, Bruce, MaxWoods, and Mullican. We get questions a lot about American Made floors vs. Imported Floors.

What are the benefits of a Made in America floor?

*Ensuring American jobs are secured. Keeping money local.

Should I only look at American floors?

*No. There is so much oversight now with compliance and the Lacey Act that imported floors are a great choice as well. It just comes down to preference and your level of comfort.

How do the costs of American floors vs. Imported floors compare?

*Typically there is a little bit of a premium on non-imported floors but there are several brands that still are able to provide a great value for American floors. These companies understand that consumers are on a budget so do their best to keep their costs competitive.

Here are some popular designs that are Made in America that we love!

From the Forest Northern Exotics Traditional Walnut- Natural 5"

Picture of From the Forest Northern Exotics Traditional Walnut- Natural  5"

We love Walnut floors for their unique variations, smooth textures, and overall gorgeous durability. This is no exception. From the Forest products are made and milled right in Wisconsin. Be sure to check out the full line available here on our site.

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Modern Floor Styles For Your Budget

Contemporary Design choices can be tricky. Sharp lines in art and furniture with lots of metal and glass accents can make it seem like wood or wood look flooring would not be a great option for this style. More interior designers are lending their design to accommodate wood flooring though to lessen the "coldness" factor that comes along with so many Modern and Contemporary Design. They do this by associating all neutral pallets together, or by stark contrast of extremely dark or extremely light floors. Here are just a few options that we sell that would inspire warmth in a Contemporary Design Pallet.

Armstrong Century Farms Maple Peppercorn-5"- $$$

This floor is nearly black. It gives texture because it's handscraped but is still cleanly dark with almost no variation in color. This with bright white walls and sleek furniture would fit into the Modern Contemporary Design family very easily. At less than $6.00 a square foot this is easy on budgets too.

US Floors COREtec Plus -9" Mt. Pleasant Pine and 7" Ivory Coast Oak-$$-$$$

These products are both light nearly white colored floors in traditional pine and oak look patterns. The dark walls, cabinets, and furniture are stark contrasts to both of these floors. These have been used in many contemporary designs, and are perfect in wet spaces because they are waterproof. Great in beach houses, lake houses, basements, kitchens, bathrooms, and commercial locations.

Home Legend Nu Elements Oak Gray- 7"-$-$$

A modern and contemporary style is wide plank gray floors. Smooth or rustic style creates a clean palette starter for any contemporary design. This floor is a vinyl product by Home Legend. It's a nice creamy gray that is not too light or dark and is a very pure gray which is perfect for matching other grays to if you were to go with an all neutral palette. There are several styles of floors similar to this, but this one is a great value and perfect for rental properties, beach houses and basements.


Home Legend Coastal Collection Bamboo Natural- 4 3/4"-$$$

If you've watched HGTV in the past 10 years, you know about Bamboo. It's been branded the "ECO-Friendly" abd "Green" flooring option, (so modern) and the cost, versatility, and durability have made it a popular option in the past few years. It's often coupled with the contemporary design style of a neutral pallet. Be sure to do your research on the specific type of bamboo - brand, construction, even color when you are deciding on a floor. Darker bamboos are typically heat treated to get that tone which makes them softer than other bamboos. Also keep in mind, bamboo is not a hardwood. It's a thick grass. That fact alone can sometimes deter or encourage a choice so please be aware of that.

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Waterproof Vinyl Flooring- Is It A Good Choice?

Ask anyone in the flooring industry, "What is the hottest flooring product right now?" and anyone will tell you. Waterproof Luxury Vinyl.

VINYL??? You might say. YES. Vinyl.

About two years ago, US Floors stormed onto the scene with their premium waterproof vinyl product, COREtec Plus. This floor hit the market and hasn't stopped since. Its patented waterproof technology, easy locking system, and realistic wood and tile patterns make it a wonderful option for anyone with high traffic areas or tough-on-floor situations (kids and pets). Our customers have loved this in their beach houses, lake houses, basements, cabin homes, kitchens, bathrooms, hotels, offices, and retail stores. It's really a winner for all kinds of circumstances. The waterproof vinyl floor gives durability with style. Anyone who has experienced a broken dishwasher, flooded basement, or leaky toilet know how valuable a waterproof option can be!

Options...

US Floors COREtec Plus-$$-$$$

As I mentioned, COREtec Plus lead the way in this category. It's got an attached cork underlayment which gives it warmth and cushion and you can combine steps in that you don't need another underlayment down like you would on some other vinyl products. The wide range of colors are in 5", 7" and the XL 9" planks. Soon to be COREtec HD and COREtec Design lines are highly anticipated with even thicker vinyl layer and more realistic patterns.

Pictured here: COREtec Plus 5" Carolina Pine 50LVP501. Growing in popularity due to its warm rustic feel that goes with all kinds of decor styles.

Bliss COREtec One- $$

In the past year and a half, a new line of COREtec called COREtec ONe was introduced by Beaulieu Bliss and US Floors. This product is also waterproof, but does not come with any attached underlayment and is 6" wide and about 5.5mm thick. It has the same waterproof core as COREtec Plus, just without the cork. It's a great option that's more affordable than the Plus and you can choose your underlayment thickness and type.

Pictured here: Bliss COREtec One 6" Hatteras CT101-955. The distressed look makes it great in lots of spaces and the gray makes it very neutral.


Aqualok- $$

Aqualok is a relatively new product that is slightly slimmer at 7mm than others but is great like the COREtec one because you can put your own favorite underlayment beneath it. It's at a great price point and has several great colors. The most popular is the French Oak. They show great character in the planks despite still being vinyl. We think this product can really take off in the WPF world.

Pictured here: Aqualok 7" French Oak- AQA1208. While grays are big right now, this floor is great for it's neutral oak coloring but distressed look.

Hydra-Shield by Vallaria- $$

This brand has some very unique patterns and does not have an attached underlayment so you can choose any pad that works best for you. It's 6.3mm thick and has a very realistic depiction of wood across all of it's pattrens. All of their patterns are very rustic and "homey" feeling. While it's not as thick as COREtec Plus or Aqualok, it makes up for in aesthetics and is still very durable.

Pictured here: Hydra-Shield Tuscan Lucca 7" wide WP709LC. Distressed with white marks really makes for a durable looking floor.

Home Legend Syncore X/ Eagle Creek Syncore X- $$

One of the most popular lines we have is Syncore X. It's 6mm thick with 1.5mm attached foam underlayment pad. It's at a great price point, is easy to install and has some great patterns. This is definitely a great product to consider for basements, rental properties, and beach homes.

Pictured here: Home Legend Syncore X Windsong Oak- 7" DV750. Rustic grays and browns make this a really great neutral floor.

So to get back to the main question- Waterproof Vinyl Flooring- Good Choice? We say YES! There are so many circumstances that make this a great option. Kids, pets, beach homes, lake homes, basements, kitchens, and bathrooms. While they aren't indestructible, they are definitely going to give you a nice look at an affordable price point without the stress and cost of hardwood floors. Hardwood will always be #1 in our hearts, but don't shy away from vinyl. See the value in the waterproof vinyl floor.


For more options be sure to check out the entire category here or call us at 1-888-633-6506 or email info@nicefloors.com

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Get the Look- Reclaimed Wood Floors

Photo credit: Magnolia Home

Does anyone not love the Gaines family? Chip and Joanna are taking over the country with their brand. Their names have become synonymous with style, charm, and fun. Whether you like their flare for the rustic and reclaimed or not, the creativity they put into their projects is evident. This photo is from their own home's "coffee bar". We love the way this floor looks and how natural it seems in this cute, cozy, and functional space. If you love this flooring look for your own home - coffee bar or no coffee bar - we've put together some options for you to check out in hardwood and luxury vinyl tile.

Photo credit: Johnson Hardwood

Johnson English Pub Maple Moonshine- 7-1/2"- $$$

Johnson Hardwood is a wonderful brand of flooring. They produce technically sound and beautiful patterns of hardwood floors. The English Pub series is a handscarped series at 7-1/2" wide giving new floors and old world look. Like something you may find in an English Pub! We love this look and it is very popular. The handscraping is charming and as a 1/2" engineered hardwood it can be installed easily over several types of surfaces.

Photo Credit: Somerset Hardwood

Somerset Character Collection Hickory Ember- 5"-$$$$

This Somerset Character Collection is a great option for if you like the reclaimed look without the feel of the distressing or hadnscraping. It's a smooth face and comes in either engineered or solid. It can go in a rustic, traditional, or even a contemporary space very easily.

Photo Credit: Urban Floor

Urban Floor Composer Maestro Oak Strauss- 10-1/2"-$$$$$

 This. Floor. Wow. Urban Floor has found a way to make old, look new, look old again. This is a very wide plank floor coming in at 10-1/2" wide. In most confined or smaller spaces a wide plank is hard to pull off, but this floor has so much character, texture, and color variance you can weave this in and out of large spaces throughout any home and it will work. With an extreme matte oil finish, this floor is the reclaimed floor you need in your home. 

Photo Credit: Home Legend

Home Legend Syncore X Long View Pine- 7-1/16"-$$

Love the reclaimed hardwood look but not the maintenance or the price? Luxury Vinyl Flooring is your best bet. This Home Legend Syncore product has realistic wood patterns, and this top-selling Long View Pine is a fantastic option for waterproof flooring. Customers all over the US have adopted this type of floor for bathrooms, basements, kitchens, and even entire homes. This Long View Pine gives you the look without the price or upkeep. It's durability and waterproof nature is a great solution for families with kids or pets.



Gray Floors. What Makes Them A Good Option?

In the past year our phones have been ringing off the hook for all kinds of floors. One trend we can’t ignore is the clamoring for gray floors. From straight gray to smoky gray tones on brown floors, the desire for gray is strong.

If you watch much HGTV or look at the Good Housekeeping magazines, almost every room is flooded by shades of gray. It gives an opportunity to bring a lot of color in to your schemes. The growing trends are neutrals in various shades of gray (or a new color “greige”) which make it easy to swap out throw pillows, frames, wall décor and other furnishings. It’s the new blank canvas that isn’t white. It’s clean, but can be made to seem warm despite the typical coldness gray can portray. Gray is the new white!

Some of our favorite floors and top sellers are gray. Some hardwoods we love are:

http://www.nicefloors.com/p/6189/nicefloors-signature-coastal-winds-oak-destin-beach-7-12

 Our Signature Coastal Winds Oak Destin. It’s greater than ½” thick, Classic oak but the wide handscraped boards give it unique character. And the smoky gray gives it just enough for it to strike the eye of anyone who enters your home. $$$

http://www.nicefloors.com/p/8314/reward-hardwood-flooring-balboa-maple-stone-5

  This floor by Reward Hardwoods is a beautiful brown with slight gray overtone. It’s a strong engineered product with a 2mm wear layer. Its tone is very warm and really is a perfect crossover of the dark brown trends and gray trends we see right now. $$$

 

 

 http://www.nicefloors.com/p/7882/vallaria-pacific-pecan-solid-urban-grey-4

This beautiful floor by Vallaria is one of my favorites. The French bleed is subtle yet gives it a lot of character. It’s a solid smooth floor that will be around for awhile. The watermark look of it makes it a calming floor. Gray tones are light but you know they are there. $$$

http://www.nicefloors.com/p/8499/urban-floor-villa-caprisi-european-white-oak-brindisi-9-12

One of our newest floors is the Urban Floor Villa Caprisi European White Oak Brindisi. At 9-1/2” wide it is the perfect floor for the open spaces found in new and remodeled homes. It has a thick wear layer at 4mm, and the beautiful handscraped marks make it a secure and durable floor. It’s a floor that can easily be warmed up or cooled down with the right furnishings and décor.

http://www.nicefloors.com/p/8006/us-floors-castle-combe-grande-wilton-10-14

The reclaimed trend look is in full swing and this floor covers all the trends. Wide plank, oiled finish, long boards, gray tones, and the look of olde. It’s a pricey floor but at 13/16” thickness it’s worth it. Especially with all of the character it brings to any style home.

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