The Fifth Wall



One of the single largest design elements and expenses in your home is the flooring. Because of this, it’s no wonder that it’s also one of the most difficult for my clients to resolve. I find the problem isn’t for lack of options, but rather how many seemingly identical options exist. Here’s a quick overview of today’s top options and how to use and combine them to get the greatest impact for your budget.
Our Canadian climate inherently sees extreme fluctuations in temperature and humidity levels, which are big problems with solid wood material. It can cause gapping and buckling season- ally. Solid wood floors, though once the top choice for quality and longevity, are now quickly being eliminated from the market. Beyond the practical reasons, they waste precious natural resources being made from solid thicknesses of high-grade woods. Engineered wood is a layer of real wood the thickness of which varies depending on the quality, which is adhered to a substrate of multiple layers of alternating directions of wood, much like plywood. This means a far more stable product, withstanding more environmental fluctuations. This added stability also allows more varied plank sizes, widths and lengths.
WHERE: Opt for engineered wood in above-grade floors, over in-floor heating systems, and if the budget allows, even in basements!
No longer a dirty word, laminate quality has improved along with printing and production technology in general. Current offerings are near-identical facsimiles of the real deal. Better companies offer five or more varied plank styles per box, which creates a very random and natural installation. It’s also extremely hardwearing and uber-affordable.
WHERE: This option is perfect for playrooms, basements, and over in-floor heating systems. I like to match a laminate to my engineered wood and substitute the lesser in the basement. Guests will never suspect the change, but the cost savings translates to big bucks.
Laminate’s fancy new cousin, this vinyl product offers all the benefits of laminate with the bonus of being water-resistant or even waterproof. Look for options with a base layer of cork and glue-free click systems that are simply held in place with their own weighted design.
WHERE: Playrooms, basements and even light commercial projects.
Much like the printing process on laminate and vinyl, porcelain floors can now be created to emulate virtually any material. There is nothing quite like the soft organic nature of marble to elevate a design, however natural stone is also porous, which means maintenance and limitations in use. Instead, opt for porcelain.
WHERE: Washroom floors, counters and walls, and over in-floor heating systems.
There’s never been a better time to make the investment in new floors. By combining beautiful engineered plank floors with a hardwearing laminate, vinyl, or luxury porcelain, your investment will pay off in durability, looks and value!
This passion for sharing led me to an exciting partnership with Carpet One Floor and Home. There are so many options today, and as a designer, part of what I do for my clients is narrow those down. I am pleased to announce the Melissa Davis Signature Collection will be available across Canada in all Carpet One stores. The program includes everything from engineered flooring, to tile, to broadloom, curated into the three design categories most of us can relate to.