How to Choose a Good Quality Vinyl Floor

How to choose a good quality vinyl floor

With the surging popularity of vinyl floors, there are dozens of brands to choose from with more popping up every day. The variety of options can be overwhelming. How do you know which brands offer a good quality vinyl floor and which brands might be overcharging for a low quality product? Here’s how to determine the quality of a vinyl floor so you get the most bang for your buck!


How is a Vinyl Plank Constructed?

Before we get into what makes a vinyl floor good quality, we first need to understand how a vinyl floor is made. A vinyl plank is constructed of 5 layers:

1)      A coating or urethane to enhance durability

2)      The clear “wear layer” that protects the printed design

3)      The printed design

4)      The vinyl core

5)      A backing, which consists of vinyl, cork, or foam


What is a Wear Layer?

A “wear layer” is clear layer made from PVC film that protects the printed design of the floor. As the name implies, it shields the floor from everyday wear and tear. The wear layer is a huge factor in determining the quality and durability of a vinyl floor. The thicker the wear layer, the more durable the floor will be and the longer it will last.

Keep in mind that the thickness of the plank itself does not mean it will be more durable. In a vinyl floor, the thickness of the wear layer is ultimately what determines durability.

Wear layers are measured in ‘mils,’ which are equal to one-thousandth of an inch. This is not to be confused with millimeters, which are equal to one-thousandth of a meter. Typically, the thickness of a wear layer averages 6, 12, or 20 mils. The thicker the wear layer, the greater the durability. However, the price on products with thicker wear layers will also be higher because of the increased quality.

But how thick of a wear layer do you actually need? Wear layers of 20 mil or higher are perfect for commercial environments. For a high traffic home, a wear layer between 12 and 20 mil should be suitable. If you are installing the floor in a low traffic area of the home, you may only need a floor with a wear layer of 6 mil.


Enhanced Coatings and Urethanes

When selecting a vinyl floor, check the product’s specs to see if it uses a special coating or urethane to provide additional protection to the wear layer. This can help extend the life of your floor and increase durability. For example, aluminum oxide is a highly durable coating.


Virgin Vs. Recycled Vinyl

Another spec to check to ensure the quality of your vinyl floor is the vinyl content used in the core and backing of the planks. Some cores and backings contain recycled content in addition to the vinyl, while others only contain 100% virgin (non-recycled) vinyl. Virgin vinyl will be more durable than recycled vinyl and will hold up better over time.


Don’t Overlook the Backing

Though the wear layer and core of the floor are important, you don’t want to overlook the backing either. For a higher quality product, choose a vinyl that offers an attached cork or foam pad. This pad will provide more resistance to moisture and mildew. Additionally, a pad will offer more of a cushioned feel underfoot and help make the floor quieter. A vinyl floor without a pad may be cheaper, but it may also require purchasing additional underlayment.

Which Vinyl Floors Are Similar to COREtec Plus?


While COREtec Plus is one of our favorite vinyl products and one of the highest quality vinyl floors on the market, sometimes we are asked what other products can compare to COREtec. There's no denying that COREtec Plus is an excellent choice for your home, but you might be looking for a different style than what COREtec has available, or something at a lower price point. So which vinyl floors are similar to COREtec Plus? Here are 5 quality brands that will give you a wider range of options!


1. Home Legend Syncore X

"Our luxury vinyl floors combine performance, design and value along with easy installation. Styles range from traditonal to exotic and come in varying plank widths and lengths, and is suitable for either residential or commercial applications. Luxury Vinyls are naturally water resistant and our SyncoreX Collection is 100% waterproof." (

COREtec Plus Syncore X
Wear Layer: 20 mil Wear Layer: 20 mil
Plank Widths: 5", 7", & 9" Plank Widths: 7"
Pad: Attached cork pad Pad: Attached foam pad
Special Features: Green Guard Gold Certified Special Features: Wire Brushed, handscraped, distressed, and embossed textures available
Price Range: $3-$4/sf Price Range: $2-$3/sf


2. AquaLok

"AquaLok is a wonderful waterproof vinyl alternative to the more expensive options on the market. With a 12 mil top wear layer and textured finish, this product is durbale, attractive, and affordable."

COREtec Plus AquaLok
Wear Layer: 20 mil Wear layer: 12 mil
Plank Widths: 5", 7", & 9" Plank Widths: 7"
Pad: Attached cork pad Pad: NONE
Special Features: Green Guard Gold Certified Special Features: Virgin vinyl top layer
Price Range: $3-$4/sf Price Range: $2-$3/sf


3. Dixie Home Stainmaster

"Of course, STAINMASTER PetProtect™ luxury vinyl flooring is durable and easy to maintain, but this pet-friendly flooring also resists pet claw scratches, and has pet-action traction. And since it’s 100-percent waterproof, worrying about pet accidents is a thing of the past. Choose from a wide variety of styles designed to complement any décor." (

COREtec Plus Stainmaster
Wear Layer: 20 mil Wear Layer: 12 & 20 mil
Plank Widths: 5", 7", & 9" Plank Widths: 7" & 9"
Pad: Attached cork pad Pad: Attached cork pad
Special Features: Green Guard Gold Certified Special Features: Pet Protect 2 coat urethane
Price Range: #3-$4/sf Price Range: $3-$4/sf


4. Mannington Adura Max

"Adura Max is available in today’s most popular decors and features our innovative HydroLoc™ waterproof core—making it the perfect choice for your most challenging rooms. Thicker and more rigid than ordinary vinyl, Adura Max is available in easy to assemble 6” x 48” locking planks that include our premium, Ultra-Quiet™ attached pad for superior sound reduction and greater comfort underfoot....Featuring our patented ScratchResist™ with aluminum oxide surface protection, Adura Max can stand up to the most active households and offers the industry’s best wear, scratch and stain resistance." (

COREtec Plus Adura Max
Wear Layer: 20 mil Wear Layer: 20 mil
Plank Widths: 5", 7", & 9" Plank Widths: 6" & 7"
Pad: Attached cork pad Pad: Attached foam pad
Special Features: Green Guard Gold Certified Special Feautures: Scratch resistant urethane with aluminum oxide
Price Range: $3-$4/sf Price Range: $3-$4/sf


5. Happy Feet

"Put performance to the test with Extreme Cork. Its 22mil wear layer and an eco-friendly cork backing for comfort underfoot and sound abatement are designed for today’s active residential lifestyles. With its beveled edges and wide array of color choices, Extreme Cork is right at home in today’s family environments." (

COREtec Plus Happy Feet
Wear Layer: 20 mil Wear Layer: 10 mil, 12 mil, 22 mil, & 30 mil
Plank Widths: 5", 7", & 9" Plank Widths: 6", 7", & 9"
Pad: Attached cork pad Pad: Varies; some products have an attached crok or foam pad
Special Features: Green Guard Gold Certified Special Features: Polyurethane UV finish on most products
Price Range: $3-$4/sf Price Range: $1-$3/sf


Check Out These Styles Similar to COREtec Plus!

If You Like COREtec Plus Blackstone Oak You Might Also Like...

  1. Syncore X Longview Pine
  2. Stainmaster Rustic Oak
  3. Mannington Lakeview Cabin
  4. Happy Feet Mt. Everest Harvest Gray


If You Like COREtec Plus Carolina Pine You Might Also Like...

  1. Happy Feet Extreme Cork Reclaimed Pine
  2. Aqualok Cedar Chest


If You Like COREtec Plus Gold Coast Acacia You Might Also Like...

  1. Happy Feet Extreme Cork Acacia
  2. Happy Feet Extreme Cork Saddle

Wire Brushed vs. Hand Scraped Flooring

Textured floors are a wonderful way to bring character and rustic charm to your home. Two of the most common flooring textures you will see are hand scraped and wire brushed. Which is the right choice for your home? Here are the advantages and disadvantaged of these popular styles!


Hand Scraped Hardwood

Hand Scraped floors use traditional tools and methods to recreate old-world character. This gives the planks the appearance of having been shaped and smoothed by hand rather than run through a power sander. In some floors the scraped texture is subtle, while in others it is more pronounced.


Left: Authentic hand scraped hardwood from Bella Cera. Right: Machine scraped hardwood.


Hand scraped floors are a great choice for homes with pets or areas in the home with high traffic because the textured, rustic surface helps hide dents and scratches.


Be aware that some floors might be labeled “hand scraped” but have actually been scraped using a machine (see above photo for comparison). Machine scraped floors create a look that’s more repetitive and less authentic. Additionally, hand scraped floors can often be difficult to sand down and refinish because of their texture.

Browse Hand Scraped Floors!


Wire Brushed Hardwood

Wire brushed floors are created by lightly scraping a bristled wire brush over the plank to pull out the softer wood and emphasize the grain patterns. This gives the floor added texture as well as a more weathered, aged look. Wire brushed texture provides a great middle ground between hand scraped and smooth surfaces.


Above: Bausen English Forest European Oak Thetford 


Like hand scraped floors, wire brushed floors are also a great choice for homes with pets or high traffic because the textured surface helps conceal daily wear. The surface is also more durable because the wire brushing technique removes the softer wood from the planks, leaving the harder wood.


Dirt tends to collect within the textured wood grain of the planks, making wire brushed floors more difficult to keep clean.

Browse Wire Brushed Floors!

Do Janka Ratings Matter When Choosing a Floor?: Truths You Need to Know About the Janka Scale

What is the Janka Scale?

The Janka Scale was developed as a way to standardize the hardness of different wood species. This allows consumers to have an idea of how well a floor might hold up to denting, scratching, and other wear. A Janka rating is calculated by measuring the amount of force it takes to embed a 0.444 inch steel ball halfway into a solid piece of hardwood.


How Important Are Janka Ratings When Choosing a Floor?

While Janka ratings can be helpful for determining the durability of a solid hardwood floor, don’t choose your floor based solely off these ratings. A higher Janka rating does not equal a higher quality floor. Additionally, no wood is completely indestructible—even the hardest species can scratch or dent.

When choosing a floor, consider aesthetics and price as well as species. A hardwood floor is a big investment for your home, so you want to choose a floor you will love, not just the hardest species! The finish of a floor can also improve its durability despite its Janka rating. For example, Armstrong’s Performance Plus line is infused with acrylic, making species like Walnut and Cherry harder than they would be normally.

If you have kids or pets in your home, then you may want to give a durable species more consideration. However, keep in mind that how well you care for your floor after it’s installed will also have an impact on how well it looks over time. A softer floor such as Black Walnut (Janka rating of 1010) could potentially last longer than a harder floor such as White Ash (1320) if the former is cared for carefully while the latter is cared for poorly.

Armstrong Performance Plus Walnut in Shell White


What is a “Good” or “Bad” Janka Rating?

Red Oak is a popular hardwood choice and is considered the industry median for hardness on the Janka scale, with a rating of 1260. Species with a lower rating are “softer” woods (ex. Black Walnut, 1010), while species with a higher rating are “harder” woods (ex. White Ash, 1320).

However, a “softer” or “harder” species isn’t necessarily “worse” or “better.” The purpose of the Janka scale is simply to help consumers see which species resists scratches and dents more than others. A Black Walnut floor might be the perfect choice for one household, while a White Ash floor might be the more appropriate choice for another.

However, the species of wood is only one factor in the overall durability of a floor and how well it will look over time. Other factors to consider include:

  • The type of finish
  • The floor’s construction (engineered vs. solid)
  • The traffic level in the home (kids, pets, etc.)
  • How well the floor is cared for and maintained

You won’t typically find hardwood with a “bad” ranking because industry standards require that wood species used for flooring must be durable enough for this purpose. Extremely soft and flimsy woods like Balsa (ranking of 100), for example, are reserved for crafts or furniture. What makes a species a “good” or “bad” choice for your home really depends on your personal needs and preferences.


Where Do Engineered Floors Rank on the Janka Scale?

Engineered floors are an exception to the Janka scale. Unlike a solid hardwood, engineered hardwood is constructed by layering softer wood under a veneer of the chosen wood species. Because of these different layers of wood materials, which vary across flooring brands, it’s difficult to determine an industry standard of hardness for engineered hardwoods using the Janka scale.

If you are shopping for an engineered floor, don’t focus on Janka ratings. While the Janka ratings may give you some idea of how well the top veneer of an engineered hardwood may hold up against denting and scratching, you need to remember the test was performed on a solid piece of wood. Therefore, this rating will not be completely accurate when applied to an engineered hardwood of the same species.

Even if the Janka scale can’t be used to accurately measure the hardness of an engineered hardwood, this does not make engineered hardwood a “bad” or “less durable” choice. Engineered hardwood actually has wonderful advantages over solid floors:

  • Because of their layered construction, engineered hardwood expands and contracts less when exposed to humidity and temperature fluctuations, making for easier maintenance.
  • Engineered hardwood is more resistant to moisture, and can be installed in bathrooms, kitchens, and over concrete where solid floors are not recommended.
  • Engineered floors are less expensive than solid hardwood because only the top veneer is the chosen wood species.


Armstrong Performance Plus Low Gloss Maple in Mist Forest 


How Do I Choose a Durable Hardwood Floor?

If you are looking at a solid hardwood, you may want to take the Janka rating into a little more consideration if you intend to install the floor in a high traffic area or if your home has kids or pets. (Remember, Janka ratings don’t apply to engineered hardwoods because they are constructed differently).

Red Oak is considered the industry median for flooring hardness with a Janka rating of 1260. If you are looking for extra durability, consider Red Oak or a species that ranks higher on the Janka scale. Readily available and popular species include White Oak (1360), Hard Maple (1450), and Hickory (1820).

If you want a species that’s even harder, look into exotics such as Santos Mahogany (2200), Brazilian Cherry (2350), and Brazilian Walnut (3680). Hardwood is priced based on the availability of the species, not it’s Janka rating, so exotic species will run at a higher price tag.   

No matter what type of wood species you choose, however, your floor’s finish will also play an important role in its durability. The finish is your floor’s first line of defense against dents and scratches and will bear most of the wear and tear from daily use. Whether you’re considering a solid or an engineered hardwood, finish will be a huge factor in overall durability.

Durable finishes to look out for include: aluminum oxide, urethane/polyurethane, and acid-cured finishes. Certain flooring brands might also have specially developed finishes for their products, such as Armstrong’s Performance Plus and Diamond 10 lines. When in doubt, ask your flooring retailer which hardwood products have durable finishes to suit your needs. 

Still have questions about hardwood floors? We're here to help! Get in touch and we'll be happy to answer your flooring questions!

Flooring Spotlight: Bella Cera Hardwood

Who is Bella Cera?

Bella Cera is a manufacturer of premium hardwood. Their trained artisans craft every plank by hand using traditional methods to create stunning floors in modern fashions. Despite the painstaking care that goes into creating these high quality products, Bella Cera’s prices won’t break the bank. Bella Cera explains, “Our goal is to make it affordable for you to own a wood floor that’s truly a work of hand-made art.”

You can see Bella Cera’s passion for old-world craftsmanship in their hand-scraped floors. Their artisans use a variety of tools and techniques to scrape each plank by hand for an authentic look, whereas many manufacturers use machines for a “hand-scraped” appearance that ends up subpar and repetitive.

With Bella Cera’s process, “There are no machines, no assembly lines, no large quantities being pushed through quickly to save time and money. Each flooring plank is individually inspected for its unique patters, gran and colorations, and hand-carved and scraped to complement its beautiful marks of individuality. No two floor boards are the same!”


 Left: Hand scraped hardwood from Bella Cera. Right: Machine scraped hardwood.

If you're looking for a hardwood floor for your home we highly recommend Bella Cera. Bella Cera's products are some of our top-selling hardwoods, and with their combination of beauty and quality it's easy to see why. Here are 4 of the most popular collections customers love!


1. The Villa Bocelli Collection


 Left: Villa Bocelli Mombello. Right: Villa Bocelli Turate.


  • Engineered French Oak or Hickory
  • 4 distinct saw mark textures
  • 3 plank widths of 4”, 5”, and 6”
  • Stunning color variation
  • Low gloss finish

Why We Love It:

The contrast of light and dark color variation combined with the rugged saw mark texture creates a unique, reclaimed look unlike any other hardwood product currently on the market.

View the Full Collection!


2. The Tissino Collection

Left: Tissino Briscoe. Right: Tissino Waggoner.    


  • Engineered Hickory
  • 4 distinct saw mark textures
  • 3 plank widths of 4”, 5”, and 6”
  • Stunning color variation
  • Low gloss finish

Why We Love It:

Similar to the Villa Bocelli collection, the color variation and saw mark texture makes this floor stand out. The Tissino collection features a color palette suitable for a more timeless, contemporary look.

 View the Full Collection! 


3. The Bergamo Collection


Left: Bergamo Mist. Right: Bergamo Coppertone.


  • Engineered French Oak or Hickory
  • 2-Tone dual stain
  • 6” and 7.5” wide planks
  • Boards up to 72” long
  • Distressed, wire brushed surface
  • Matte finish

Why We Love It:

The Bergamo collection uses a dual staining process to create two separate hues that play off each other for a stunning effect without the stains blending together. This technique creates unique, layered shades you won’t find anywhere else.

 View the Full Colleciton!


4. The Bernini Collection


Left: Bernini Santoni. Right: Bernini Lawrence.


  • Engineered or solid French Oak
  • Saw mark “snake skin” texture
  • Distressed surface
  • 5” and 6.5” wide planks
  • Boards up to 72” long
  • Super low gloss finish

Why We Love It:

The Bernini collection uses saw marks to create a captivating “snake skin” texture. Combined with a palette of trendy colors, these floors effortlessly capture modern elegance.

View the Full Collection!

Should You Refinish or Replace Your Hardwood Floor?

If your hardwood floors are looking shabby, it might be time for a fresh look. But should you refinish your floors or replace them completely? Here’s what you should consider when making your decision.

When It’s Best to Refinish Your Hardwood Floor

If your hardwood floor has minimal wear and you want to restore it to its former shine or change the color of the stain, then refinishing the floor is likely the best option. If you have a few boards that have damaged spots from water or pet accidents these can easily be replaced during the refinishing process and stained to match the color you’ve chosen.

Refinishing your floor is also a good option if you’re on a tighter budget. The cost of replacing a floor will often run higher. If you decide to replace your floor, you will need to consider the cost of having the old floor removed as well as the cost of the new materials and installation. If you want to save on labor costs, it’s easier to refinish a hardwood floor yourself rather than trying to install it. This is because hardwood installation requires specialized skills and knowledge.

Above: A solid hardwood floor can be refinished many times.

When It’s Best to Replace Your Hardwood Floor

While refinishing your floor allows you to change the color if you desire, you may want to give your space an entirely different feel. If you want to make significant aesthetic changes to your floor such as the species of the wood, plank width, or the layout of the planks, then you will need to replace the floor entirely. For example, if your floor is laid in a parquet pattern and you want the planks to be arranged in a herringbone pattern instead, the entire floor will need to be pulled up and replaced.

Another instance when it’s better to replace your floor is if the hardwood is old and has extensive damage that refinishing won’t fix, such as warping. In some cases, an older floor might also have been previously refinished many times to the point where the wood is no longer thick enough to be refinished again.

Finally, you may not want to deal with the mess and hassle of refinishing a floor. Refinishing can take up to four or five days, and during this time you can’t walk or place furniture on the floor. The refinishing process will also create a lot of dust from sanding down the floors as well as strong odors from stain and sealers. On the other hand, a new floor can be installed much more quickly and with less mess. It will also cause less of a disturbance in your home since you are free to walk on the floor as soon as it’s laid down.

Thinking about replacing your old hardwood floor? Browse our selection of hardwoods!



How to Incorporate Barn Wood Inspired Floors into Your Home

If you’ve been on Pinterest lately, you’ve probably noticed that barn wood is everywhere. It’s a hot design element that’s especially popular in farmhouse décor. But what is barn wood exactly? Well, it’s just what the name implies—wood salvaged from old barns. This sort of wood is loved for its weathered, aged character and is usually found in shades of grey, though it can also appear in a variety of faded brown hues.

Though the look of barn wood is popular, the real stuff is hard to come by. As its popularity increases it becomes even more difficult to find, and in some cases, can be pricey to obtain from those who have caught on to the trend.

What you will most often find in retail stores is décor, furniture, or flooring that has been designed to look like aged barn wood while not having actually been pulled off the side of a barn somewhere in the countryside. Most barn wood style floors are vinyl.

But barn wood isn’t just limited to farmhouse décor! If you’ve fallen in love with the look of barn wood but your tastes don’t lean towards farmhouse style, you can still incorporate it into your home. Here are five ways you can incorporate barn wood inspired floors into your interior design for an eye-catching effect. 


1. Farmhouse Style

Barn wood is most popular in farmhouse décor. The white shiplap or board and batten walls commonly found in farmhouse décor pair beautifully with barn wood style floors. Any shade of weather-beaten gray or brown will create a warm contrast against white walls and add a touch of rustic charm. Accents like sliding barn doors and antique furniture also help pull this look together.

Find more flooring inspiration for farmhouse style!


Above: Mannington Adura Max Margate Waterfront


2. Industrial Style

A barn wood floor that strays more into tones of worn brown is a great match for an industrial style home. Industrial style incorporates elements like metal accents, natural color tones, and exposed brick walls to create the feel of an urban loft. Reclaimed materials like old crates, spools, or barrels are often used as well. A barn wood floor is a wonderful way to bring rugged character to an industrial space.

Find more flooring inspiration for industrial style!

 Above: Shaw Floors Hickory Alamo


3. Scandinavian Style

A barn wood style floor in a shade of gray can also work well with Scandinavian décor. Scandinavian style uses lots of white and gray shades paired with modern furnishings and plush textiles. A rustic gray floor not only fits the color scheme of Scandinavian style but also creates textural interest.

Find more flooring inspiration for Scandinavian style!

 Above: Stainmaster Exposed Oak


4. Coastal Style

If your décor style leans more towards coastal, a barn wood floor can finish off your room for a stunning look. Weathered gray floors give the appearance and feel of ocean-tossed driftwood. This blends well with the shades of white and light blue often found in coastal style, as well as décor elements such as seashells, glass, and wicker.

Find more flooring inspiration for coastal style!

  Above: Mannington Adura Seaport Sand Piper


5. Modern & Contemporary Styles

You might think that a barn wood floor wouldn’t work in a contemporary or modern home, but that’s not the case! An aged, rugged floor can create an unexpected and visually interesting contrast to a room styled with modern, sleek furnishings. This helps bring a more relaxed, lived-in vibe to the room as well as a layer of texture.

 Above: Mannington Adura Max Aspen Drift


Want more flooring ideas for your home? Follow us on Pinterest and stay inspired with the latest flooring trends!

5 Things to Consider Before Buying New Floors

Replacing your home’s old floors can be a huge undertaking, but it’s also exciting to have the opportunity to choose a fresh look that will transform your space. However, you will need to consider more than just interior design elements when choosing a floor. You will also want to choose a floor that’s practical and fits your lifestyle needs. Here are five factors you’ll want to keep in mind when shopping for your new floor.


1. Use of the Room

A key factor in choosing a floor is how the room will be used. For example, a water-proof vinyl will be best suited to rooms where water damage might be an issue, such as the bathroom, laundry, or kitchen. If you have a high traffic area in your home such as an entry or mud room, you might want a floor that is more durable like laminate or vinyl. Or, you might want to choose a hardwood to give your living area or bedroom a relaxing, natural warmth.


Above: Quickstep Silver Lining Oak

2. Durability

Another factor to consider when choosing a floor is durability. How tough of a floor do you need for your lifestyle? If you have pets, kids, or areas of your home with high traffic, you will likely need a floor with higher durability. Vinyl and laminate are great choices when durability is needed. For hardwood, consider a more resilient species like Hickory or White Oak over softer woods like Walnut or Pine.


Above: Armstrong White Oak Limed Winter Pastel

3. Care & Maintenance

When choosing a floor, you should also think about the long-term care it will require. For example, hardwood requires more maintenance than vinyl or laminate. Because wood expands and contracts when there are seasonal changes in temperature or humidity, you will need to be vigilant about regulating your home’s environment to prevent damage.

If you have pets, you may also want to keep in mind that hardwood is more susceptible to stains, warping, and retaining odors from pet accidents. On the other hand, this isn’t a concern with vinyl or laminate, and clean-up will be far easier.


Above: Shaw Mineral King Bravo

4. Cost

Cost will likely also be a significant deciding factor in your search for a new floor. What is your flooring budget? Vinyl floors will cost you about $3-$5 per square foot, while hardwood averages about $4-$8 per square foot or more. Laminate runs around the same price as vinyl, averaging about $2-$4 per square foot.

Don’t forget to factor other costs into your budget, such as any adhesive or underlayment the floor might require, trims, and the cost of installation. Vinyl floors can offer you additional savings here. Because most vinyl comes with a foam or cork pad already attached, they do not require an underlayment. Most vinyl is also installed as a floating floor, which means you won’t need adhesive either. And, since vinyl floors are very easy to install, you can even do your installation yourself if you’re handy!


Above: Bella Cera Tissino O'Conner

5. Aesthetics

What is the current design style in your home? Unless you plan on redecorating the entire room, you will want to choose a floor that coordinates with your current décor scheme.

Do you want a warm-toned floor to match the yellow hues of your walls and furniture? Or a white-washed floor to create a chic Scandinavian look? Or perhaps a rich brown to warm the cool color palette of your décor? Keep in mind that lighter colors will also make your space appear larger, while darker shades will shrink your space.

Besides color, you will also want to consider texture and style. Do you want a floor that is more modern and trendy, or traditional and timeless? Do you want the weathered, rustic look of aged wood, or something smooth and sleek? These design elements will set the tone for your room, so be sure to choose a floor that suits your personal style and blends with the space it will inhabit.


Ready to start searching for your new floor? Browse our selection of hardwood,vinyl, or laminate!


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.


Above: Dixie Home Stainmaster Country Oak with Pet Protect

#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!


Above: US Floors COREtec Plus Carolina Pine

 #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 888-633-6506 with any questions!

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.


1. 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.



2. 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.

Flush Reducer


3. 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.

Endcap (Threshold/Square Nose)


4. 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.


5. 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.


6. 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.

Flush Stair Nose


7. 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.


Keep in Mind

Transition moldings are designed to complement a floor, not to match the floor exactly. Before installing the floor, open the box of moldings and several boxes of flooring. Choose a few planks of flooring to match each molding and set them aside together for later use at installation. This will help ensure the best transition blending. This is especially important for floors with high color variance that are particularly popular with current trends.