Taking Flooring Back to School
It’s always an honor to be invited to speak to interior design students. Orange Coast College in Southern California was my destination last week to give a presentation to the Design Department Materials and Resources class. As these students are broadening their knowledge in so many areas of design, I recommended that they start a personal “resource file” to organize their material discoveries from A to Z. “F” being the focus of the day, I did an in-depth presentation on floor covering materials (of course) addressing both features and benefits of the various product categories.
I realized that this exercise of putting together a flooring resource file was a great idea not only for the students, but for future home buyers, soon-to-be-remodelers, and anyone considering new floor coverings. The choices in flooring today are staggering, and unless you are willing to do a little hunting and gathering of information, you will be overwhelmed. So invest in an expanding folder (not everything has to be filed on your lap-top, you know) and start collecting.
First and foremost, start gathering pictures of room scenes that have the look that you want. Start by sorting information by flooring type: carpet, tile, luxury vinyl woods & tiles, cork floors, hardwood floors, etc. As you visit retail flooring stores, gather more information—manufacturers’ brochures, warranty information, care and maintenance information, and add that to your resource file.
What begins by casting a wide net will then take on a more directed focus. You get to see all your options, and then narrow in on what really appeals to you— and from a functional standpoint–what suits your lifestyle. This tangible file helps you sift through a plethora of options to drill down to the ones that fit you. It’s fun, it helps you get focused and organized, and the end result is that you can make an educated, well-informed decision about what flooring you want to live with.
With your homework done, your retail flooring professional will take it from there and find exactly the products that suit you. If this sounds too much like being back in school—if you aren’t a hands-on, research-savvy kind of person, that’s okay too. Find a reputable flooring retailer (wfca.org, click on “Find a Retailer”) and he (or she) will give you a crash course in what you need to know to get you walking on just the right floor.
There is no denying that floor coverings are the foundation for your home and your lifestyle. It’s important, and it’s an investment. None of us can afford to make a mistake, so if you are up to the task, get started on your very own resource treasury. I promise, it will be well worth the time and effort.