On Solid Ground
To ensure that you have good floors in your house, just knock on wood. Nothing rivals the way wood warm ups a room, its classic good looks, or how long it lasts-qualities that earn it the distinction of being This Old House’s favorite flooring.
Yep, from This Old House to Country Living, wood floors rule. From new construction, remodels, to ready-builts…wood floors are the desired footing.
Of course, Bryan and I had hardwood listed top of our priority list when venturing into this new accessible home build. We wanted a house that felt old and lived in. We wanted a sort of historic feel even though the house was new. The day we went into the flooring store to pick our choice, we were dead set- tile in the baths and laundry, but a classic distressed wood everywhere else. We weren’t even sold on the idea of getting our wood from new lumber and were looking into the highly-over budget alternative of reclaimed barnwood flooring.
Wood floors covered the home we recently sold. Sure, Roa’s wheelchair and gait trainer stained, scuffed, and dented it. I thought these nicks added a touch of character and vintage vibe while Bryan stressed over the imperfections. He experimented with all sorts of vinegar, lemon, oil, water concoctions to try and combat the marks. Yet even with our history of bickering over the floors, we still dreamed of hardwood covering our new home.
When you have a child with physical disabilities, the surface you move on is an important one. So much of our day is spent on the floor with therapy exercises. Being pet people, we didn’t like the way carpet collected hair and was a magnet for the occasional doggy accident or cat upchuck. Yet some carpet is nice for rolling, crawling, and other floor work. Area rugs work nicely.
Tile is very durable, easy to clean, and impossible to dent with mobility aids. However tile is cold and hard; not very friendly for lying on. That leaves us with linoleum or vinyl flooring. Linoleum, a natural product made from flaxseed and linseed oil, has a “green” feel to choosing it. Yet, let’s face it. Linoleum tends to fade in color and wear easily and generally not a desired new home product. Then we have vinyl. YUCK! Who likes processed plastic covering their home anymore? Linoleum or vinyl… Don’t they both scream cheap and eclectically gaudy in that 70’s way?
Yet….hmmmmm….think of vinyl and it’s softer surface than tile, easier to clean than carpet, more durable to dents and scratches than wood. It also comes in plank-form, unlike linoleum that is installed in sheets…..it really is a CP Land dream surface right? Especially with a cushy, spongy subfloor underneath?
When Bryan and I entered Superior Flooring in New Brighton, MN….minds already made about our classic hard wood, we never dreamed that we would choose a processed “fake” floor. Yet the skies opened up and the angels sang when we laid eyes on Karndean Flooring. Covering a corner of the showroom floor, the wood-look surface caught our eye.
“I love THAT wood floor!” I said. ” That is actually not wood”, the store rep. told us. We would have sworn it was real wood!
Turns out that this UK based company has been around for 40 years. Their wood-look product is now becoming popular in the US in many upscale businesses and higher end homes because of its durability and reasonable price. Karndean has no idea how great their flooring is for the physically challenged community!
Get a dent or scratch from a wheelchair?
Pull up the plank and replace it!
Need a surface that isn’t cold or hard to work on crawling?
You got it!
Want your home to have the beautiful, flowing grace of hard wood?
Your guests would never guess that it wasn’t actual wood!
Want to use more of the building budget allotted for hefty-price wood floors on other accessible aspects for the home?
Karndean wood-look planks allow that!
We were sold! We couldn’t believe it, but it just made so much sense for our family. We learned so much that day about our priorities in this accessible home building process. Yes, wanting nice things is always on your mind. Demanding the traditional “best” seems the route to go. Yet, sometimes if you open your eyes to alternatives, you gain so much!
Thanks, Karndean, for showing us that!