Which Flooring is right for you?
When it comes time to replace the flooring in a condo, my clients always ask me what is the best choice. Because condo floors are all concrete, it becomes a matter of the price of material and installation. Harwood is the most expensive choice as it requires a sound proofing material like cork to be glued down first, and then have each individual board glued over top. The final look is stunning but the cost of labour can often rule this option out. The cheapest option is always laminate. In the past, I have always steered my clients away from this product because the end result is not one that is very desirable. Often, a buyers' first complaint is the look of cheap flooring and can turn the buyer away completely. It does have the plus of easy installation especially over concrete and wears really well especially in high traffic areas and stands up to animals. Nowadays, you can find some better quality laminates that are individual plank boards with grooves and texture to give it the look of real wood. This is something that I recommend for rental properties as it is cost affective and durable. Spend a little more than the basic laminate, and you can achieve a good look you want for a geat price.
The middle option and my most preferred is engineered hardwood. The base of the wood is a press board wood to give it strength and the top is finished with a this layer of real wood that can even be sanded down and stained later if it should become scratched or worn. It offers the same ease of installation with the click together boards requiring no glue. Engineered wood comes in a wide variety of finishes and great for condos as you get the look and finish of real wood, without the high installation cost.
Lastly, I want to briefy touch upon carpet in condos. Carpet seems to be a thing of the past as it collects dirt very easily and does not wear well. It may feel comfortable under your feet, but buyers always look at it as an immediate extra cost they have to spend, and in most cases unless newly installed, the carpet is hard to keep clean and you don't want to turn buyers away.
Whatever flooring you choose, consistancy is important to keep the flow of the unit the same. Condos tend to be on the smaller size, and having one continuous flooring allows the eye to carry around the unit without having to stop at each new floor.