You have decided to install new flooring in your condominium or update the flooring before you move in. What to buy?
There is more to consider when dealing with a condominium than simply how the floor will look. First, you have neighbors beside, above and under you, and it’s not just how much they might hear you, but how much you might hear them.
Before you start shopping for flooring, The Graff Girls suggest you check into your condominium bylaws.
“With older condominiums, many Boards will absolutely say no to hardwood floors.” You really need to speak to the Board before you do anything else.”
Noise control is the next consideration. No one likes listening to their neighbors’ pace across a room in high heels or listen to their pounding music. The type of floor and underlay you choose can greatly reduce the sound that travels through the floor.
The key to soundproofing is in the underlay. The Graff Girls suggest you talk to your installer and the sales team if buying a new condo to get their recommendations.
A newer product to the market getting lots of attention is Flexilastic - it is a peel-and-stick sheet coating that reduces impact and airborne sound transmissions. It works great with ceramic, porcelain and natural stone tile where sound absorption is really needed.
Although carpeting will provide your condo with the best soundproofing, The Graff Girls admit most buyers do not want it, too but if they do, customers seem to go for a tightly woven wool carpet.
Manufacturers are also creating synthetic carpeting that is more environmentally friendly and a few are actually producing fabric†combinations that take softness to a whole new level.
As far as carpet color is concerned, condo owners are sticking to the organic neutrals – greys, and whites but no beige, which “is passť.”
Laminates vs. Hardwood
The biggest craze in condo flooring, hands down is laminate. Today’s laminate looks so much like hardwood, many people would be hard-pressed to know the difference.
There are faux-wood laminates, produced in Europe and in China, that you can’t even tell they aren’t hardwood. They look amazing. Most of our clients are going for the long, wide planks.
The faux hardwood laminates come in a huge selection of colors and options.
The great advantage of laminate flooring is that not only does it have the look and feel of hardwood, but it costs a fraction of the price.
In newer condos, engineered hardwood is not the driving force anymore. Hardwood will always require a lot more maintenance. The Graff Girls have had clients who say their first and only choice is hardwood but, when we show them the laminates, they change their mind.
However, some homeowners will never be convinced away from hardwood, the beauty and feel of hardwood are hard to beat.
Tiles that look like concrete are super-hot right now in Europe and gaining momentum here in Canada
These tiles look great and they feature minimal grout joints, so they are easy to clean and almost seamless.
The Graff Girls have noticed the use of tiles that look like hardwood. Another hot trend is decorative tiles for accents.
They look fabulous in larger bathrooms and kitchens. What is vogue right now is moving toward “modular” sizes – rectangular tiles or 12-by-24-inch Size
As a condo owner, you are probably thinking that is way too big for small spaces. Not true. If you avoid dark colors, large tiles can actually make a room look bigger.
A side benefit is that with bigger tiles there are fewer grout joints, so less cleaning.
Vinyl… the word alone conjures up 1950s cheap flooring.† Today’s vinyl is gorgeous and can be pretty pricey.
Although some vinyl flooring choices are quite affordable and look great, others can cost from $18 to $22 per square foot or more.
Vinyl is easy to install and maintain and The Graff Girls recommend it for recreation rooms, offices, gyms or playrooms.
Cork: Yes or No
Made from tree bark, it’s a natural and renewable resource, so it’s environmentally friendly. But is it trendy?
It's not durable at all, and the style is a little outdated.
More questions about flooring? Feel Free to comment below or email or call us here.