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1:49 AM Tue, Sept. 25th

Ask the Contractor: For floor remodeling, carpet, hardwood or other?

Hardwood flooring is the top request of homebuyers and renters when looking for a home

This photo from 2006 shows varnished cork tiles installed on a bathroom floor. Sandy Griffis prefers cork flooring because it is comfortable to stand on, environmentally sustainable, won’t hold onto dust and pollen and resists bacteria and fungi. (Photographed by Mike1024/WikiMedia)

This photo from 2006 shows varnished cork tiles installed on a bathroom floor. Sandy Griffis prefers cork flooring because it is comfortable to stand on, environmentally sustainable, won’t hold onto dust and pollen and resists bacteria and fungi. (Photographed by Mike1024/WikiMedia)

We are remodeling our home. I want carpet; my husband wants wood.

We need you to settle our discussion, our dilemma, our disagreement. Sandy, dear, we are putting you in the middle. -- Ed and Nancy, Prescott.

Yeeks! With so many flooring choices and so little time to study and pore over what looks good, feels good and lasts, I had better get busy. Here are a few pointers for you and your hubby to discuss and converse over.

First, consider the layout of your home. If you have an open floor plan, using the same flooring throughout the space will create a clean, continuous appearance.

It is important to make your home a reflection, as they say, of your personal style. It is OK to get inspired by those super-cool floor ideas, but it is also important to stay true to your homes style.

This may be a vote for your husband and hardwood floors, but they are nearly blunder-proof. In my heart of hearts, hardwood is a win-win when it comes to style because hardwood fits classic, contemporary and modern-day homes. One will never regret the choice of hardwood flooring. It is practical and beautiful and even is durable enough for kitchens.

As for as carpet, heavy foot traffic will beat up pretty carpeting, there are issues to consider with spillage, padding, vacuuming, kids and pets.

It is also important to consider comfortable flooring materials, especially in rooms where you spend a lot of time standing, such as the kitchen.

Keep in mind, both traditional vinyl flooring and newly installed carpets can emit high levels of volatile organic compounds, VOCs, for up to 72 hours. There are also “green” products on the market that do not emit VOCs, so do your homework.

There are many new fiber technologies that have made carpet more durable, stain resistant and even eco-friendly. Some carpets are made from recycled materials, like plastic bottles, and natural fibers. Again, the key is picking and maintaining the right carpet for your home and lifestyle. For example, a dense carpet with a short pile height (half an inch or less) is best for high-traffic areas.

I realize that I am just the “middle girl” here, but you asked for my two cents. I love cork. Cork flooring hits the comfort and the environmentally friendly sweet spots.

Cork flooring is a treat for feet and great for indoor health, too. Cork flooring won’t hold onto dust and pollen and also resists nasties like bacteria and fungi. When it comes to VOCs, go with low- or no-formaldehyde content and avoid cork-vinyl composites.

Look for cork flooring products that are either Floorscore or Greenguard certified or that qualify for a LEED point for low-emitting materials. Cork is sustainably harvested; cork flooring is made from cork oak bark and since the bark grows back, the tree is left standing.

Cork should be sealed every few years to help protect it from any standing water; cork is water resistant but not waterproof.

In selecting a carpet with new fiber technologies, keep in mind that these carpets also offer longer wear and superior color-fastness. The key is picking and maintaining the right carpet for your home and lifestyle. For example, a dense carpet with a short pile height (half an inch or less) is best for high-traffic areas.

While it’s been fun for me being in the middle of your hardwood vs. carpet dispute, here is my vote. Although I like cork, replacing carpet with hardwood floors is a smart idea. Hardwood flooring is preferred by home buyers and renters across the United States.

According to HGTV, the top request of homebuyers and renters when looking for a home is hardwood floors. In fact, a study of homebuyer preferences by USA Today using data from the National Association of Realtors found that 54 percent of homebuyers were willing to pay more for a home with hardwood floors.

The return on investment for installing hardwood floors will vary according to your market and other factors, but hardwood flooring can often help your home sell faster.

In more traditional markets, tastes still lean toward oak floors, but some owners of more contemporary homes are choosing to stain their wood floors in different colors. Other trends in hardwood include wider planks and the use of reclaimed wood or hand-scraped wood that looks antique. Hickory and walnut are also popular for wood floors.

Homeowners on a tight budget also may want to look into laminate flooring, which offers the look of wood at a lower price.

Keep in mind, too, that people with allergies typically want a hard surface that won’t hold dust. You should also think about the care and maintenance required for your floor surface since you’ll need to take care of it for years. Hardwood floors last longer than carpet, can be easier to keep clean, and can be refinished.

In the end, though, the decision about whether to install hardwood floor or carpeting in a bedroom should be based on your personal preference, at least if you intend to stay in the home for years.

Happy Spring!

Remember to tune in to YCCA’s Hammer Time every Saturday and Sunday morning at 7 on KQNA 1130AM, 99.9FM, 95.5FM or the web kqna.com. Listen to Sandy to Mike talk about the construction industry, meet your local community partners and so much more. What a great way to start your weekend.