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Flooring – choosing and Alaska-tough Living Room Floor

So I guest hosted Radio Realty today and I promised an update on flooring

Bill and I have owned our house for about eight year now. Two kids and one dog later, it’s safe to say that the original light grey carpet has got to go.

We’ve been cracking jokes about our carpet for long enough that it’s not funny. Add some seeds and water it regularly, we’re pretty sure we can push a vegetable garden from the growing medium in that carpet. If we pulled it up, would it protest and fight back?

I’m on the hunt for flooring that will withstand my kids, my dog and the new puppy we’re thinking of adding to the mix.

Being a Realtor has its perks. I get to meet builders and tradespeople who can field my questions about home improvements. So after asking around and doing some research, here are my choices for family and pet-proof flooring:

My first choice is Strand Woven Bamboo. It’s durable, has the look of a hardwood and its technology surpasses the standards set by LEED and the World Health Organization for indoor air quality. I have little kids, I worry about those things.

A builder friend of mine is doing some amazing things with colored indoor concrete. I know, concrete! Early on in my flooring experience, I went to see some of his flooring projects and they were impressive. A few throw rugs from Zulily or Wayfair and I’ve got myself something cozy and lovely.

Concrete is everything my carpet is not: its resistant to singing from the fire place, stains, water, bacteria and odors – basically everything plaguing my living room right now. Throw some heating coils in there and you’ve got a toasty warm floor.

Believe it or not, Vinyl is on my list of potential living room floors. We’re not talking your 80’s vinyl here, I’m talking luxury vinyl plank – a product called Isocore Vinyl Plank Flooring.

A friend of mine just finished a new home up on Craftsman and she put in vinyl plank floors. I brought Bill over and he didn’t believe it wasn’t actually hardwood. Her life’s like mine: kids, dogs and plenty of dirt. These floors are waterproof, durable and they now come in styles that look like hardwood. This might come in handy for that new puppy of mine. Best thing about Vinyl is that it’s pretty inexpensive – I could install the floors and once the kids aren’t so busy and the dogs not so leaky, I can replace it.

A note of caution on vinyl flooring – phthalates. There have been warnings not to install vinyl flooring in homes with children. So I contacted the folks at IsoCore to ask them about plasticizers containing Phthalates. They sent me a prepared statement that said that the Allure IsoCore vinyl flooring sold at Home Depot does not contain Ortho-Phthalates – what they didn’t say is that whether Ortho-Phthalates are in vinyl flooring sold elsewhere. This statement could be in response to a 2015 initiative by Home Depot to eliminate in manfactured vinyl flooring so if you’re considering vinyl, ask the questions

No matter what kind of flooring I go for I know it’ll have to match the color of my dogs and have a distressed look so that any added distress doesn’t make us feel so distressed.

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