WOOD WONDERLAND

by GREGORY RAY

IMPRESSIONS FLOORING COLLECTION has many unique flooring options for those looking to update their floor-ing. Having so many options can be a double-edged sword, though, because it can quickly turn into information overload for someone who doesn’t work in the flooring industry. How do you know which details to pay attention to and which options to choose?

“You can get overwhelmed really fast,” says Matt Young, a representative for Impressions Hardwood Flooring, who recommends pairing up with a company like S&H Flooring that knows its way around the retail side of things.

“They’re going to ask the important questions,” he explains. “Does the homeowner have pets or kids? How much wear and tear do they expect their floor to take? How long do they want these floors to last? Plus, their budget.”

Young offers some considerations to get people started on the right path. Those who expect a lot of wear and tear and have a more modest budget can often achieve the look of wood with vinyl flooring.

“Vinyl is essentially plastic, but with a much more realistic look,” Young says. “It’s a great option for the budget-friendly shopper and offers a unique pattern, unlike many of the other vinyl options in the market.”

For the purist who wants a true hardwood floor, there are great options. Hardwood floors come in two categories: solid and engineered. Solid is what most people think of when they think of hardwood flooring. Engineered hardwoods shouldn’t be overlooked, however. It’s easy to assume that an engineered floor is not real wood. In fact, the top layer of an engineered floor is identical to a solid. Essentially, the part your feet touch is the same when it comes to Impressions Flooring Collection’s solid and engineered flooring; the difference is what is underneath.

“Engineered has that timeless beauty and offers unlimited variation in patterning and grain like any solid hardwood product,” Young explains.

As an added benefit, engineered hardwood is more stable because of its unique construction. By overlapping multiple layers of wood under the top layer, engineered floors are less reactive to moisture-heavy areas, such as kitchens, bathrooms and basements.

“Slab foundations are like a sponge for groundwater, which can have some negative effects on solid wood,” Young explains. “Houston homes almost exclusively contain engineered wood because of the humidity.”

Young is excited about the company’s new Portsmouth series, which introduces multiple textures to engineered floors. Portsmouth’s planks are distressed with a proprietary saw marking process to mimic the look of reclaimed wood. Customers get a historic, distressed aesthetic that’s paired with the newest technologies in manufacturing. Matte finishes, extra-wide plank widths and variable lengths complete Portsmouth’s on-trend offerings.

While choosing engineered wood sounds like a no-brainer for its durability and versatility, there are many reasons a homeowner might opt for solid wood.

“One of the questions your retailer should ask is, ‘Are you going to live at your current residence for 30 years or move after five years?’” Young says. “One of the advantages of solid is that this type of flooring can be sanded and refinished because of its wear layer.”

That’s a huge benefit for homeowners who plan to live in a house for many years and may want to choose a new floor color when redecorating or opt to have dings or scratches removed.

According to Young, between vinyl, engineered and solid, there are hundreds of options. “Whether you are on a shoestring budget, looking for something to withstand your busy family or wanting to upgrade to something atheistically pleasing to the eye, there are many different options to help every homeowner find their perfect fit,” he says.

Young recommends homeowners check out the Impressions Flooring Collection and Hallmark Floors as a good starting place. These manufacturers offer both solid and engineered options with a designer aesthetic. “The stuff you see on HGTV,” says Young.

After perusing some options online, Young urges everyone to stop in at S&H Flooring for expert service and an unmatched experience from the start. The company will help with choosing the right floor, installation and future servicing.

“It’s really important to go to the store and talk to someone, rather than try to dive into the process by yourself,” Young emphasizes. “There are thousands of options, and it’s important to find a great retailer like S&H Flooring that will expertly guide you in finding your perfect floor.”

Offering a cautionary tale, Young says: “A homeowner might choose a certain company to save money, yet if they’re not a good installer or they didn’t check moisture levels in the home, the homeowner might have to replace the entire floor in a few years. It can turn into a nightmare.”

Having a partner like S&H Flooring, which has been operating in the Dallas/Fort Worth market for more than 30 years, and choosing a quality brand like Impressions or Hallmark is a recipe for a great floor-buying experience.

“If someone has an issue with any of our products, we’re here to handle it,” Young says. “A lot of flooring companies ship stuff from overseas, so they’re not equipped to deal with local issues. And some stores are family-owned businesses that can’t take a hit if there’s an issue. We offer a whole lot of support if there are problems or questions. Unfortunately, that’s often lost in how people do business nowadays.” *