Flooring experts agree that hardwood is long lasting and versatile, while carpet is cost effective.

Flooring experts agree that hardwood is long lasting and versatile, while carpet is cost effective.

Photo provided by Corie Conroy

Flooring options abound as experts have their say on styles

By: Sherri Kolade | C&G Newspapers | Published August 28, 2018

 Whether choosing hardwood floor, carpet or something else, flooring experts suggest sticking with what is durable and what works best for your living arrangements.

Whether choosing hardwood floor, carpet or something else, flooring experts suggest sticking with what is durable and what works best for your living arrangements.

Photo provided by Bob Mazey


METRO DETROIT — You can’t really shove it in a corner or hide it in a closet till next spring. 


It has no choice but to take center stage — or cause stage fright — in your living spaces, but experts are here to help yours make a grand entrance. 

When it comes to flooring options — carpet, wood, vinyl tiles and more — there are endless styles and suitable prices to match. 

Christina Sullivan, who has been in customer service and sales for a little over 30 years at Troy-based United Flooring, said that many times when people walk into the store, they don’t know where to begin.

“I remember when I first walked into a floor covering store and it was very confusing. … I try to keep that in mind when people come in and they are lost and they need some guidance,” she said, adding that they won’t be lost for long.

Sullivan said that customers eventually take samples home and see what looks good with the “personality of the house” and the lighting. 

“If it doesn’t work out, you come back and look with a little different eye and adjust your product,” Sullivan said, adding that hardwood is very popular these days. 

She has seen people have the entire flooring in their homes covered in hardwood, where years ago it was different. 

“You were lucky if people did one or two rooms, let alone the whole main floor,” she said, adding that wood can scratch more easily than some other styles of flooring, but wire-brushed hardwood flooring “camouflages” a lot of traffic and makes it more livable with pets and the like.

Corie Conroy, a professional home stager and interior decorator in Bloomfield Hills and owner of First Impression Home Staging, said that wood is classic, especially if wood floors have the same material.

“They kind of marry each space to one another and it kind of makes it look open,” Conroy said.

Conroy added that when opting for hardwood floors, think about how hard the floor is and compare it to oak and cherry. Dark wood is also pretty popular, as is gray wood.

“I am also seeing ebonized wood, a black-colored wood floor that looks great in a bright room (with) a lot of windows,” she said.

Sullivan said that newer products like individual vinyl tiles have come out that look like a real tile floor. 

“A lot of people like that look,” she said, adding that today, what is very popular is the click-together vinyl floors that look like wood or tile. “Many people are putting those through large areas of their house.” 

Bob Mazey and his brother Dave Mazey, co-owners of Service Floor Covering in St. Clair Shores, agree on the vinyl floor plank trend.

Bob Mazey said that they are very easy to take care of and install. He added that technology has come so far in recent years, because the plank visuals are much better.

“They are somewhat handy,” he said. “You don’t have a lot of rip-outs to do, or a lot of subfloors — a lot of times it keeps the expense down.” 

Conroy said what is also in style is large plank flooring that she described as a “barn look” where the wood looks more distressed.

There is just one caveat.

“Make sure when you lay that floor down that you don’t have large seams that dirt can get stuck into,” she said, noting that ceramic tile has come a long way.

“It seems like it is getting bigger as far as size,” she said, adding that ceramics are becoming more like porcelain, and they mimic different materials like fabric and wood. “Some of them even look like stained concrete — a great material for a kitchen as well.” 

When talking carpet, Sullivan said you’re talking changes over the years, especially with the advent of Smartstrand — a type of yarn that helps prevent staining — which she described as “revolutionary,” but it does show more footprints than other carpets do. 

“So you do want to keep that in mind if you don’t like a lot of footprints,” Sullivan said.

She added that, naturally, when choosing carpet styles, consider how much foot traffic there actually will be in that carpeted area.

“It depends on what you think you would like in the house to live with,” she said.

Also, Sullivan said that proper maintenance can be a big challenge, especially when one has hardwood floors throughout. But a good sweep and some elbow grease, or robot grease of a robot vacuum, will do the job. 

“Even hard-surface floors throughout the whole house, most (people) end up putting rugs or a soft surface down in sitting areas,” she said. “So you usually have a combination of the two.”

Bob Mazey said that if customers are looking for long-term, durable flooring options, then they might want to stick to hardwood floors.

“Hardwood is forever — once you put it in, take care of it,” he said, adding that carpet is still the most popular. “You can do more with your money when you are working with carpet. People like warm and soft and quiet.”

Conroy said that if clients opt for area rugs on hardwood floors, it is all about placement.

“I like to put area rugs in conversation areas,” she said of living rooms and beyond. 

Conroy added that there are a lot of recycled material area rugs that are made from recycled plastic and different materials, beyond traditional area rugs or floor tiles that could be put down like an area rug. Even bound carpet could work.

When it comes to rug placement, Conroy said legs keep the rug on steady ground.

“I always try to put the legs of the sofa and the chairs — the front legs, at least — on the carpet and in the conversation area,” she said, adding that she does not want to cover up a wood floor with an area rug, just accent it. “You want to make sure you show off that wood floor.” 

Farmington resident Jeff Blackmer is indeed showing off his floors. After he and his wife replaced their beige carpet — after living with it for two years when they purchased their house — they put a dark wood floor down in their house.

“The wood floor looks better in the house — better choice,” he said, adding that their old, light carpet “showed everything.”

Blackmer said that, much like Conroy’s advice, the area rugs in his home are in the living area and dining area, underneath a dining table; others rugs are placed in entryways.

He said that he and his wife received help from their friends, an adjunct professor in interior design at a university and her husband, a carpenter.

Bob Mazey said that when people are interested in redoing their floors, some know what they want and others don’t.

“We show them their options. There are advantages, maybe some more than others — a lot of it is initially coming by and walking in the store. … We can be their tour guide,” Bob Mazey said.

For more information:

• www.first impressioninterior.com

• www.unitedflooringcenter1.com

• www.servicefloorcovering.com