It’s not your grandma’s vinyl.
The flooring product that’s flying off the shelves at Family Carpet One Floor & Home in Longmont is luxury vinyl plank in hardwood or tile patterns. Far less expensive to install than hardwood or ceramic tile, luxury plank has very little vinyl in it, it’s incredibly flexible and durable, and it’s legitimately waterproof. The tile version comes in a click-together format or it can be glued down and grouted to look exactly like ceramic.
So why is luxury plank a good option for a flooring remodel? To answer that, John Martinez Sr., owner of Family Carpet One, provides a little history lesson. In the newly and recently built homes for which his business provides flooring, those floors flex a lot. They’re not as stable as those in a house built 50 or 60 years ago. “In those days, they put solid pieces of wood under the floor, two inches wide, ten inches tall,” he explains. “Nowadays, they use particle board, with a couple of small two-by-three studs on top and bottom, turned on their edge to support the floor. And the result is a lot of flexing.”
Add to that the problem of bentonite clay that houses are built on, which absorbs moisture, drys, and cracks. So there’s ground shrinking beneath the house, which pulls on floor joists. If you’re unsure if bentonite is affecting your home, check the backsplash in the kitchen where the tile meets the countertop. If you see a gap, you likely have an issue. This is why luxury plank is so fantastic in newer homes: It’s neither cold nor hot, it flexes, and it doesn’t break if something hard hits it. On the other hand, if you dropped a typical break-resistant piece of dinnerware on a cold ceramic or porcelain tile, that plate would turn into a puzzle.
Real hardwood has a problem too and we all know what it is: It can’t get wet. You’re not supposed to mop it or expose it to moisture. Well how is a family with kids running around supposed to constantly mitigate that? Laminate? Be careful of big box stores selling you a laminate and claiming it’s waterproof. Water-resistant and waterproof are two different animals. “I can give you a wood look with luxury plank that’s not water-sensitive and you don’t have to leave shoes out on the front porch,” says Martinez. “We’ve seen repair jobs get denied by the manufacturer blaming the installer when in reality the laminate just wasn’t waterproof.” The lesson? Install 100-percent waterproof luxury plank next time.
A second hot item at Family Carpet One is pet-proof carpet. People love their pets but dealing with their messes on carpet can be frustrating, to say the least. Understand first that nothing is completely pet-proof. But if a pet stain happens on your Average Joe carpet, it’s not coming all the way clean. However, on a pet-proof carpet, you can neutralize the stain with one third bleach and two thirds water and it will be gone for good. Lose the stain, not the color. “Most people don’t realize that chlorine chemically alters urine so it’s not urine anymore,” Martinez explains. “So when you clean a pet-proof carpet with a chlorine water solution, it changes the nature of the urine so that the next pet won’t mark on top of it.”
A Word about Quality
Most stores sell luxury plank based on the thickness of the finish. Family Carpet One stocks thousands of square feet of plank in the two highest quality finishes: aluminum oxide and ceramic microbead. Despite the national shortage of such material, the business has invested greatly in inventory and the installers are ready to go. Additionally, the store keeps 5,000 trims and transitions in stock — more than many distributors in Denver — and that keeps the wheels turning when an installer quickly needs a new trim or transition piece.
When doing a multi room flooring remodel, Family Carpet One generally begins in the hallway. It’s the common denominator of all the rooms; starting there ensures smooth transition from room to room. And the great thing about luxury plank is there’s no curing time. When it’s down and in place, it can be walked on.
Orders for flooring in a new home should be placed when sheetrock is being hung. Special orders will require six weeks’ lead time, but if Family Carpet One has it in stock, it’s closer to two weeks.
Family Carpet One won’t rest until you’re happy that the floor you’ve created together is as beautiful as the one in your dreams. Call 303.651.2011, go online to familycarpetonelongmont.com or drop in to the showroom at
1401 Ken Pratt Blvd. in Longmont.
By Darren Thornberry, At Home Colorado