As you may or may not remember, Jeff and I are in search for our first family home here in South Florida. We’ve made some friends with real estate agents along the way.
And this time, we got the chance to connect with Jeremy Lewin, Sales and Estimating Manager at East Coast Flooring & Interiors, to discuss tips for do-it-yourself projects and more.
East Coast Flooring & Interiors is a family-owned company. Lewin is the second generation, leading the company’s sales and marketing initiatives.
One of the biggest differences between homes in North Jersey and those in South Florida are the floors. Most homes in North Jersey have wood floors. That’s not always the case here in South Florida.
There’s one thing — and one thing only — that ruins wood, according to Lewin, and it’s not scratches or dents. “Although those can become unsightly, they can also add character,” he explained. “The nemesis of wood is moisture, something Florida has a lot of. Water in the concrete or from above can buckle wood and warp it causing it to be irreparable. There needs to be a vapor barrier or some sort of moisture mitigation accounted for when installing wood over a new slab or in wet areas such as kitchens.”
An Alternative To Wood
For those of us who love the look of wood floors and don’t want to deal with the repairs while living in Florida, there’s an alternative. Laminate floors.
Laminate floors look like wood, but doesn’t have the issues that came along with it.
“Laminate is not wood at all,” noted Lewin. “It is made of a sort of plastic with a wood look copied onto the wear layer.”
According to Lewin, there are additional benefits to using laminate floors in warmer climates. Below are just a few of the benefits highlighted by Lewin:
– Laminate is nearly scratch-proof and waterproof;
– It can be installed in bathrooms;
– Laminate usually comes with a lifetime warranty proving its durability; and
– It’s man-made so it comes close but does not have the natural look or feel that real natural wood has.
DIY Floor Tips
It’s no secret that YouTube saves lives, but oftentimes it’s better to leave it to the professionals to work on certain projects. And still, there are those who prefer to use various methods to make do-it-yourself projects look professional.
For those handy parents looking to install floors for the first time, Lewin suggests they make sure they have the time to do it. “Installing floors, especially for the first time, will be a long process, Lewin explained. “There will be more subfloor preparation than you would think, depending on the floor you are putting down. You will need the right tools, and probably a helper. It may cost more to do it yourself the first time but if you have the skill and plan on doing this sort of thing again, the initial investment may be worth it.”
Choosing The Right Fit
East Coast Flooring & Interiors has worked on commercial, residential and hospitality projects. On the company website, visitors can get ideas for the type of floors that work well in specific settings.
Deciding on the right flooring can get a bit overwhelming. “There is no limitation on residential flooring options in today’s market,” noted Lewin. He then continued: “Vinyl plank has become popular. Plank tile has become very popular as well. Wood is always and continues to be a staple of a high-end home, as well as large format tiles and stone. Carpet is great for its durability and comfort but seems to be taking a back seat to all the new, modern options, the wood-look tile and plank tile provides.
It’s not enough to install great floors. Maintenance is critical to keeping your floors looking brand new.
Light floors can be a mom’s worst nightmare, especially when you have a toddler. There are a variety of beautiful customer photos on the East Coast Flooring and Interiors Facebook. For Lewin, the best way parents can maintain their home’s beauty is by using pads on all the furniture to help with scratches. He added: “Rugs and entrance mats will help contain the dirt and moisture. Regular mopping of tile and sweeping of wood should keep the floors looking like new.”