6 Things You Should Know Before Buying Your Floor in Hawai'i
How is the climate like where you live?
While we do not have extreme changes in our climate like the mainland has, where seasons and heating and cooling are a factor when deciding the type of flooring best for your needs. Having said that, Hawaii does have some unique factors that do need to be considered. Consulting your flooring professional can help you make the right choice in getting beautiful lasting flooring.
Laminate flooring is well known for its durability; however, it can also absorb moisture. Some of them can expand or contract with high temperature or humidity. Be aware that laminate floor warp when exposed to standing water. If you want to have a durable flooring material in a humid climate, choose high-pressure laminate. This material is made with a special glue that reduces moisture absorption, making it more impervious to humidity. However, the trend has moved away from these types of flooring in Hawaii due to our high humidity both from the ground and in the air.
Luxury Vinyl flooring is great in many types of climate, especially homes in a humid climate. It works well in kitchens and even bathrooms. It can fade when exposed directly to sunlight for long periods. Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) or Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) is the first choice for Hawaii’s climate. Plus, with always advancing technology in imagining and production LVP has by far surpassed all laminates in look, feel, and sound, making it the prime choice for all of Hawaii’s applications.
Hardwood flooring is more affected by extremes of dryness, which means it is good to keep your indoor humidity between 35 and 60 percent. Wood flooring installation in the kitchen, laundry, or bath, could be a problem due to its moisture. Direct sunlight can also be harmful to your hardwood. You could close the curtains when the sun is coming into the room, or for a long-term solution, apply UV-absorbing film to the windows.
There is also Engineered Hardwood that is made with many different layers, making it more resistant to moisture, and even decades of durability. It is ideal for homes in a humid climate such as Hawaii.
Carpet adds warmth and comfort underfoot. It is long-standing as an affordable, quick choice as a flooring option. Opposed to hard surfaces, the carpet does not require its subfloor to be as level and stable as the above mentioned, often making it a less expensive, simpler option.
Moisture Level: Ground-level, basements, and bathrooms need flooring that can support the temperature and humidity. Vinyl flooring is a great option.
Traffic Areas: Rooms that serve as entry area or a playground for kids or pets, you should look for flooring that can handle wear, solid hardwood floors and laminate options are durable and long-lasting. To support a wheelchair, walker, or cane, make sure the flooring material will allow easy movement.
Sunlight: When have many windows and high sun exposure, choose fade-resistant laminates and engineered hardwoods.
Hardwood floors are more popular among the most allergy-friendly choices on the market. If installed and sealed with an allergy-friendly polyurethane-style clearcoat, it doesn’t harbor microorganisms like dust, trap dirt, or other tracked allergens.
Luxury Vinyl is another healthier option to keep free of dust, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens.
Carpet has a misconception that is not a wise choice for people with allergies. And if you are not the type to regularly vacuum your carpet this could be true, on the flip side carpet often “traps” allergens and holds it until it is vacuumed filtered into a vacuum bag till ready for deposal, as opposed to hard surfaces that has a habit of being pushed around and more airborne in-between cleanings.
Pets: Great flooring options would be vinyl and laminates because they are scratch-resistant and water-resistant or waterproof flooring. They also have the same visual look as hardwood floors including distressed, wire brushed, rustic wood styles, or natural patterns. It is more resistant to damages.
Kids: For dedicated areas such as mudroom or entryway, consider using durable, waterproof, or water-resistant flooring. Luxury Vinyl has a beautiful look and it will stand up to years of activity. Furthermore, it is easy to clean and maintain.
5. VISUAL APPEARANCE
The new floor will impact your entire space, so the color you choose is a major consideration.
Lighter colors make rooms feel spacious and bright. On the other hand, it shows stains and reveals wear.
Darker colors make rooms feel cozy and warm. On the other hand, it shows dust and pet hair.
Neutral colors are versatile and accommodate colorful decorations. It facilitates changes in the future.
Moreover, another important consideration is the size of the planks.
Thinner planks work well in traditional spaces.
Wider planks are recommended for contemporary and rustic spaces. It can make a small area feel bigger.
LVT and Laminate flooring are the most affordable options.
Regardless of the material you are going to choose, measure the square footage of the room, then add 10% for flexibility during installation and future repairs.