What Flooring to Use in Your Home


This is not a trick question, yet choosing the right flooring can be very tricky for my clients. I’m here to help you figure this out.

Vinyl is Vinyl and it makes me scream inside, when I see people putting this right on top of their SOLID WOOD FLOORS! “But it is easy to clean, fade-proof, supposedly dog proof and doesn’t matter if gets wet. Wait, can it get scratched?” Yes and that removes the top color as it doesn’t go all the way through the LVP/LVT. Many also complain about it looking dirty after awhile.

Everyone seems to be falling all over them selves with LVT or LVP. Oh those silly acronyms! I’m talking about the so-called “Luxury” Vinyl tile and “Luxury “Vinyl Planks.

Does Luxury really mean anything anymore? Same with World-class. Anyway…

This LVP looks nice for sure, though I’m not a fan of the smooth look. Makes it look fake, oh wait, IT IS!

More Important to me for my clients education is that Vinyl flooring is non bio-degradable. The Dioxin and Phthalates in it are harmful to our environment and the Phthalates are known endocrine disrupters, harmful to children. Step on it barefoot and your skin absorbs it. Let that seep in.

There is NOTHING good about vinyl, yet SO MANY things are made of it. If you have vinyl floors and vinyl siding on your house, and fake leather on your sofa? In a house fire the toxic fumes Vinyl releases will subdue you faster then smoke from the fire will.

In design class, we watched “Blue Vinyl.” Suffice it to say, the scene where you see the abandoned dead plant zone neighborhood (lots of Cancers) across from the murky looking poisonous water where the Vinyl factory is? Speaks volumes. Want to know more? Click the blue link to watch it.

Blue Vinyl

Seriously, I’m not trying to put you into panic mode. I’m trying to educate you to make wiser decisions for your family’s health, your home environment and better for everyone outdoors.

Wood WILL BE fade-free if you put solar tinting on your windows, (as will be your drapes, fabrics on furniture, and rugs) which also cuts down on your heating and AC bills. Heartpine flooring looks amazing. Remember very old homes have had wood floors for hundreds of years, and they still hold up. They can also be sanded and restained. Bamboo is another option, as it grows like crazy.

No one knows for sure what wood floors covered in LVT/LVP will look like when it’s removed, as wood needs to breathe, expand and contract.

Hear you see ceramic planks that look like driftwood as flooring, in a humidified and refrigerated 2300 bottle wine room, in a client’s basement. The homeowner hated the installed Berber Carpet. We removed that and used Engineered hardwood flooring on the steps down and the entire basement floor. Much better then LVT.

wine room front view

Porcelain plank tiles are also great in bathrooms, you can have heated floors!

Many carpets are made from petroleum products. All sorts of ick factor there. In an ideal world, carpet stores would have a warehouse where they could lay out the new carpet for your home for a week, to off-gas. This isn’t currently possible, so your exposed to the chemicals while they evaporate in your home. You know that smell. They are sort of stain free.

Can we do better? Why yes, yes we can!

Wool carpet is naturally repellant of stains, soft on your feet, doesn’t off-gas toxic chemicals and for me who can’t wear wool products, my feet don’t itch when walking on it with bare feet. THAT’S A BIG DEAL! Hugs the curves of your stairs really well too.

Of course there are many beautiful older rugs, (always with a very good pad underneath) Persian, Turkish, etc. that work well with today’s interiors and rock bands seem to like them on stages. They also fall under the sustainable label, help cut down on echoing in your home, and create a “room feeling” in larger Spaces.

We also cannot forget marble or stone flooring. Cork and today’s updated linoluem (marmoluem) are great options as well. I’m putting my foot down here and asking Builders to STOP using the same exact beigey stone on everyone’s kitchen floor! Similar to the once ubiquitous Uba Tuba, what all designers refer to as “starter” granite.

My hope is that you will think hard about what you want as flooring in your home, and not always push the easy button for less cost, less hassle. If you need to wait, then wait to do it right for your health. Practice Wellness-Focused Design.

Want more information on flooring options, I’d be happy to discuss these with you.

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