Weighing cost versus quality is something that consumers are usually always aware of during a home improvement project. On the one hand, they want something that looks great in their homes or offices and will continue to look great for a long time. But on the other hand, unless they have an unlimited budget, they’re likely faced with certain cost limits. While this can make things challenging, it also provides an opportunity for designers, architects and like-minded professionals to aid customers in their quest to stay within their budget and get the look that they want.
Flooring projects, in particular, offer cost versus quality challenges – especially when it comes to hardwood flooring. Hardwood flooring is more popular today than it’s arguably ever been before. People love its look, how long it lasts and how it can increase the value in their homes. But the best types of hardwood are also quite expensive.
So how can you help consumers save money on hardwood flooring? Here’s a closer look:
Looking for real wood flooring but unwilling to pay real wood floor prices? There's a viable alternative that can be presented to consumers - cabin-grade flooring, or rustic wood flooring. In a nutshell, this type of flooring is real, quality wood flooring - it's just that it may have a few defects, hence the lower price point. On most styles of cabin-grade flooring, these defects are imperfections such as knots and holes, among others. While unsightly to some, others actually like these characteristics, believing that they give the floor more character. Choosing cabin-grade flooring can often present a significant cost savings, sometimes up to half of what a conventional wood flooring job would cost. It's not applicable for all jobs, but can present a viable alternative to traditional wood floors for consumers on a budget.
Hardwood flooring is somewhat of a vague term these days, as there are so many sub-categories of the style. Obviously, there's the real deal: solid wood floors made from maple, oak, bamboo and other woods. But there's also the likes of engineered wood floors, which, as the name implies, are created using wood and wood byproducts. Then, of course, there's the cabin-grade flooring. All types have their pros and cons, but one of the big benefits of engineered wood flooring and cabin-grade flooring is a lesser cost when compared to solid wood flooring. Knowing - and analyzing - all of the flooring options is always a good idea.
When you make any significant purchase, total cost of ownership should be on the mind. Take buying a car, for instance. While a new car will cost you more upfront and more for monthly payments, you could wind up saving money in the long-term as opposed to purchasing a used, high mileage car that's likely to need more ongoing maintenance. The same applies to flooring. Is the chosen material easily damaged? Is it expensive to clean and maintain? Will it warp in fluctuating humidity to the point where an investment in a humidifier is necessary? These all factor into the total cost of ownership and should be considered prior to purchase. Saving a few bucks on a style of flooring now could cost consumers much more down the pike. Know - and weigh - all of the options.
Smart measuring can save money. For instance, while it may seem common sense, it's not necessary to order flooring to cover the entire space of a kitchen. Measurements should be based on where cabinetry, islands and other big appliances or features are arranged to be installed. Obviously, this won't apply to all rooms of the home, as the kitchen is the prime example of such a situation, but you'd be surprised at how many people neglect these details. Additionally, it's smart to order some extra wood flooring for the project in the event of potential defects or wastage. Generally speaking, anywhere from 15 to 20 percent extra should be included with the order. While this may increase the initial cost, it can save consumers money throughout the course of the project, as no return trips to the store are necessary. Nor is special ordering. Plus, in some cases, you can even return extra or defective materials.
Hardwood flooring doesn't have to break a consumer's bank for them to get the look they want - there are several workarounds that can be explored. For more information and resources, contact us today.