Team FMM

shutterstock 1932372179

Best Flooring Materials for Colorado Springs

shutterstock 1932372179

Best Flooring Materials for Colorado Springs

Colorado climates are some of the trickiest to prepare for in the nation. Its combination of low humidity, high elevation, and cool and dry seasons paired with cold winters creates some of the most extreme weather events in the world. 

Any Coloradoan knows that being prepared for any season at any time is smart. The same can be said for your home’s interior floors. Being prepared for any season at any time in terms of flooring allows you the benefits of lower maintenance, maximum lifespan, and functionality just as choosing the wrong materials can be frustrating. 

If you have been wondering about the best flooring materials for your home, here are 4 styles to consider. 

1. Engineered hardwoods

For those who are looking for the feel of hardwood flooring but are concerned about the cost and maintenance of solid wood, engineered hardwoods offer the best of both worlds. These multi-ply materials come prepared with a realistic wood veneer. Engineered woods are pre-stressed, which produces a stronger finish that stands up to wear and tear.

Colorado dryness plus snow melt from boots can be brutal on natural wood floors.

Engineered hardwoods consist of numerous layers of shaved veneer that sit on top of multiple layers of plywood backing, adding a stable and finished look to a composed multi-piece plank. The manufacturing process for engineered woods is less intensive than lumbering for solid woods, and it’s much easier to find a replacement that matches your current finish should a plank warp or bubble. 

Additionally, because of its veneer composition, there is a greater variety of widths in plank. In larger open floor plans, wide plank engineered hardwoods, sometimes up to 8”-10” inches wide, are the flooring of choice. These wide planks add a look and feel that rivals solid wood but is less labor-intensive in the installation. 

While price points are similar to solid wood planks, for the customer who wants the look and finish of solid wood flooring but wants the greater footprint and adaptability not found in solid woods, an engineered hardwood floor may be a great option. 

2. Solid Wood Flooring

In contrast to engineered hardwoods, solid wood flooring is exactly what you would guess from the name. Solid wood pieces have a measured thickness, usually derived from cherry, oak, maple, birch, or pine trees and come in long planks. Solid hardwoods are either site finished or pre-finished to an average depth of half an inch. While not as durable as engineered wood, this finishing allows for some wear and tear without noticable damage. 

These flooring boards are lumbered and cut to a specific thickness and width, and on average tend to be more narrow than engineered hardwoods. Because of this, there is usually a need for a little bit more solid wood than engineered woods when flooring your home. This additional price increase is typically offset, however, by the resale value that is associated with hardwood flooring should you ever choose to pull it up and replace it. 

While solid woods have a greater propensity for warping in moisture-rich environments because of their single-piece composition, the lifespan of solid wood can be two to three times longer than engineered hardwoods for the same reason. Solid woods are still the preferred product for those seeking to add long-term value and durability to a home making it a worthwhile option if you are seeking a long-term solution.

If you plan to include an effective mudroom or entryway in your Colorado home, you can protect your wood floors from snow and dirt.  

3. Luxury Vinyl Plank

Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) is the most versatile and often most affordable of all the flooring types we will discuss. Vinyl plank flooring is a great option for customers who like the look of solid wood or engineered hardwoods, but don’t mind the lack of natural feel that comes from a vinyl plank. Most LVP clicks together for easy installation.

For Coloradoans, vinyl planks make sense if your home is prone to water deposits (via tracked snow, muddy conditions, or a dog’s water bowl that is constantly being overturned) because of their waterproof construction. Additionally, vinyl planks, unlike wood, are less prone to expand or contract in adverse temperatures, and more and more there are varying color and pattern options coming into the market. 

The look of vinyl that mimics real wood is getting closer and closer. 

4. Laminate

Much like vinyl plank, laminate flooring might look like wood, but it’s actually a combination of wood and melamine, a type of plastic. The top composite layer is usually printed to make it look like wood but is actually much cheaper than the woods that were previously mentioned. Much like vinyl, the prints that are available are getting closer and closer to a wood look, but at a far cheaper price point. What you save in price, you lose in quality. The feel of natural wood and laminate flooring aren’t similar. Most people prefer the feel of natural wood.

Laminate flooring is known for being the easiest to maintain and for having the greatest variety of finishes. While it’s known to be the most scratch resistant of the woods mentioned in this post, it may not perform well if left in wet conditions for ovr 72 hours. Thankfully, the cost and labor to repair laminate flooring is typically less than hardwood or vinyl replacement. 

What does Lifestyle Floors recommend as the best flooring material for Colorado Springs?

If your home is a long-term investment or you are looking for optimal resale value, then solid wood or engineered wood flooring would be your best bet. 

If weather and climate conditions are of chief concern or you have many pets or children, vinyl plank flooring may be a great cost-saving option. You won’t have to make a significant sacrifice in look and feel. 

Lastly, if there’s a short-term fix needed, and you know that the floors are going to take a beating from the weather, a laminate floor may be in order. 

Regardless of the type of flooring you want or think you may need, give the professionals at Lifestyle Flooring of Colorado Springs a call. Our expert staff can help you make a decision that meets your needs and your budget. 

shutterstock 373186708

What to consider when installing a hardwood floor

shutterstock 373186708

Hardwood Floor Installation: What You Need to Know Before Buying

Maybe you’ve reached your breaking point with carpet cleaning and sheet vinyl floors. Maybe you’re thinking of installing a hardwood floor in your home. While the task can seem daunting at first, a firm idea of the process, costs, and some technical know-how will put you well on your way to a seamless install. 

At Lifestyle Floors in Colorado Springs, we help people navigate the process of installing hardwood floors every day. Whether you try a DIY project or hire us to install your floors for you, here are a few tips to consider. 

Know your hardwood floor types

First and foremost, there are four basic types of hardwood floors you can install: 

  • Nail down/Staple – Often used for solid wood floors.
  • Floating – Often used with engineered hardwood, luxury vinyl planks (LVP), luxury vinyl tile
  • Adhesive – Often used with solid wood floors, engineered woods, luxury vinyl plank, luxury vinyl tile, vinyl sheeting

The type of floor you choose usually depends on your budget since the types of hardwoods that are available for each type vary significantly in cost. Because of the various installation methods, you should consult a professional before doing this project yourself.

Prep, measure, and fix 

Once you have determined the type of floor you want to install, you should measure out the square footage of the area you are wanting to refloor. You can do a simple calculation of length by width for square footage calculation. 

Once you know the square footage, it’s important to know what is under the floor you are replacing. Depending on the condition of your home, you may want to inspect the existing subf

Examination of the entire subfloor is essential because installation of a new hardwood floor on a broken or structurally unsound subfloor could lead to expensive repairs down the road. Planks may warp, crack, or become dislodged. Take the time to ensure subflooring is intact, water spots are remediated, and the wood planks are in good order. This will give you the peace of mind to know the newly installed flooring will be supported for the long term.

Additionally, when inspecting the subfloor, take a look at the floor joists and the direction they run. Knowing the direction of the floor joists gives you an idea of which direction the installed hardwood flooring should run. Ideally, you run the hardwoods across the floor joists, not along them. The cross-hatching method adds strength to the floor structure and allows for greater weight dispersion across the surface of the floor itself. Of course, hiring a professional means that they will take all of these steps. Remove a section of flooring to expose what is underneath, taking note of the type and age of the subfloor into consideration.

Hardwood preparation and underlayment

Depending on the type of floor you purchased, it’s recommended to let the wood sit in the environment in which it will be installed for a few hours to a day. Wood by nature expands in heat and is affected by moisture in the air. Your home environment is unique and letting the wood adapt to the environment before installation will help you during the installation itself. Check with your manufacturer for the proper acclimation time. Some solid hardwood may take weeks to acclimate, whereas engineered and vinyl materials might only take a few days.

Once you’ve prepped the subfloor and know your hardwood type, most contractors recommend installing a specialized underlayment. These can be made of rubber, foam, or a material similar to roofing felt. The type you need depends on the flooring you have chosen, but remember that if you choose a nail down floor, the underlayment cannot be too thick or else the nails won’t be able to grab the solid subflooring beneath. 

The underlayment also serves the hardwoods well during heat and cold snaps as the expansion and contraction of the wood are supported by a flexible layer, reducing friction between the floor and subfloor and between the flooring connections.  

When rolling out your underlayment, you should practice the same cross-hatching method, working against the lines of your floor joists, and you should let the layer creep up the wall a few inches since you will trim down the underlayment before re-installing hardwood floorboards. The underlayment will likely have adhesive strips on the edges, so when you have laid down the line of underlayment, peel off the adhesive and attach it to an adjacent piece. Easily done. 

Installing the hardwood flooring

Once the floor has been prepped and your underlayment installed, you are free to install the flooring itself. 

Some types of flooring may be constructed with a built-in locking system. Determine the non-locking side before you start and place that side toward the wall. Since you will be starting at the wall and working away from it, you should mark a line one or two inches from the wall itself. These expansion gaps will help you during installation since you will need to put spacers against each side of the hardwoods so as to not damage the walls during the snapping-in or setting process of the wood planks. Baseboards will eventually cover this expansion gap.

Once you have laid down your first line of hardwood, depending on the type, you can nail down the wood to the subfloor, putting a nail in every 6 to 8 inches. After setting your primary plank line, you need to make sure the separations in the wood are staggered so the separations in the planks don’t line up with separations on the next line of woods. Having lined-up seams will reduce the structural integrity of the floor and look unappealing, so be sure to avoid lined-up end segments. 

As you progress to the far wall, you will likely have to blind nail the last two boards or make cuts to a hardwood piece to fit the final few inches of flooring. The same process you used for installing the pilot line you should use here, nailing down the boards every 6 to 8 inches along the wall, leaving a few inches for the floorboards to be reinstalled. 

Lifestyle Floors is your destination for hardwood flooring installation

Hardwood flooring installation can be a complicated process. Without proper preparation, you may find yourself ripping out newly-installed boards due to human error. When in doubt, reach out to the professionals at Lifestyle Floors, your hardwood flooring installation experts in Colorado Springs.

We are happy to answer your questions and set you on the path to success!

$100 OFF your project when you allow   us to visit your home for a FREE measure and consultation. Simply click the box.