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Macomb County

July 31, 2013

Flooring: the ins and outs, maintenance and cost

By Sarah Wojcik
C & G Staff Writer

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MACOMB COUNTY — When it comes to flooring, there are several avenues down which to tread.

Hardwood, laminate, carpeting and tile are the four main categories of flooring. With the economy picking up and homeowners spending more money, the industry is booming, said City Flooring owner Joe Fillo.

He said the Macomb Township-based company has seen an exponential rise in business, especially in the category of hardwood flooring, with new housing popping up around Macomb County.

“The most popular is oak — just regular finished,” Fillo said. “It’s the cheapest, got less movement to it, as far as scratching, and it’s a little harder — not too soft like pine.”

Fillo said hardwood prices also are skyrocketing, up 30 to 40 percent this year, due to supply and demand. When the recession hit, he said many mills went out of business and the ones still open keep raising prices.

As for maintenance, Fillo said to clean hardwood with a shot of white vinegar and cautioned against products that “renew your floor,” because they spread a permanent waxy film over the wood.

Fred Schlaupitz, owner of Pro Quality Flooring at Hall and Hayes Roads, also cautioned against washing wood floors.

“Real wood flooring has a urethane surface, but you have to treat it like a beautiful piece of furniture,” Schlaupitz said.

Schlaupitz said that water is the biggest hazard to laminate floors. He said laminate is extremely wear-resistant, but it is important not to mop it or it will swell.

“Laminate is becoming more and more popular, while carpet is fading out,” Fillo said. “Laminate looks like real wood and it looks better than it used to, plus it’s a lot cheaper.”

But Fillo said people will always buy carpet.

Schlaupitz said it is important to choose the right kind of yarn when it comes to carpet — namely nylon.

“Nylon is the strongest and most resilient. It fights to stand up and repels stains and soils,” he said. “You end up paying less for it in the long run.”

Polyester, Schlaupitz said, although economical, is often not tufted properly and will snag, fray and look dirty.

“Multicolors are very popular,” Schlaupitz said. “It helps hide things, so after you vacuum, you don’t see a piece of lint all the way across the room.”

Fillo advised homeowners to get their carpets cleaned every six months.

Tile is another flooring option.

Schlaupitz said Pro Quality Flooring carries two types of tile that do not need a cement foundation — and can even cover vinyl floors — for a “beautiful looking floor that will last a very long time.”

He said no-wax vinyl sheet flooring is the least expensive purchase, but that if done right, it will be good-looking and durable.

“Flooring itself is very reasonable when you look at it in the long run,” Schlaupitz said. “You buy a refrigerator, could cost you $1,000, but it lasts you 10 years — how much does it cost you a month to keep your food cold or frozen? Virtually nothing.”

Fillo said oak and tile range from $8 to $10 per square foot, and carpet is generally $1.75 to $5 per square foot, but it depends on the material.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Sarah Wojcik at swojcik@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1029.