In flooring, a product that stands up to lifestyles | CraigDailyPress.com

In flooring, a product that stands up to lifestyles

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Waterproof vinyl flooring is surging in popularity thanks to its Colorado-friendly durability

By Lauren Glendenning
Brought to you by Cramer Flooring

The climate in Colorado's high country can wreak havoc on homes, especially when temperature fluctuations can lead to the expanding and contracting of various in-home materials.

Flooring is one area where this frequently occurs, especially when water is involved. From using a mop that's too wet to tracking in snow from outside, water and flooring materials often don't mix. That's one of the big reasons why waterproof vinyl flooring has become one of the most popular flooring products in the region.

Materials like wood or laminate flooring can't stand up to a lot of water, be it from kids splashing in the tub or a seemingly minor dishwasher leak, said Jessie Cramer, who co-owns Cramer Flooring with her husband, Tom Cramer.

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The Cramers try to help their customers come up with flooring solutions by assessing their lifestyles and needs. People often come in looking for one product but then determine it isn't the right fit for their lifestyle or budget. The waterproof vinyl flooring tends to be the product that can meet just about any person's needs, though, Tom Cramer said.

"Everybody has always wanted a floor that's cheap or less expensive, and yet easy to install and will last a long time," Tom Cramer said. "This product truly is the closest thing that meets all of those needs."

What is waterproof vinyl flooring?

Many people confuse waterproof vinyl flooring, which is also called luxury vinyl flooring or enhanced vinyl plank, with laminate flooring. These products are not the same. In fact, the Cramers aren't selling much laminate anymore due to the popularity and durability of the waterproof vinyl flooring.

Waterproof vinyl flooring is an exceptional product that can be used in the whole home. It performs especially well in areas with potential moisture infiltration, such as kitchens, bathrooms and basements. "People do not have to worry about their lifestyle with this product," Tom Cramer said. "It's so little maintenance — it's almost worry-free."

Because of its natural look, waterproof vinyl floors are really beautiful, too, Jessie Cramer said. There are stone, concrete, rustic and contemporary wood looks that can elevate the interior design of any room.

Installation is relatively easy for homeowners, too, with the proper education. That's something the Cramers often provide to customers interested in doing the installation themselves — Tom Cramer has 35 years experience installing flooring. .

"We're good at giving tutorials to customers — we can teach them how to do it," Jessie Cramer said.

The Cramers said it's important to learn from experts because there's a ton of misinformation online. Jessie Cramer said she's seen articles about waterproof vinyl flooring on professional, big-box store websites that are full of incorrect information.

"Customers have to be really careful about the information online and the lack of knowledge at some big box stores or general merchandise stores where flooring is not their specialty," Jessie Cramer said. "We understand you can buy this stuff anywhere, but we back it — we're knowledgeable."

Durability and cost

The different wear layer options for the product are associated with its overall durability and cost. Jessie Cramer said it's important to get a good wear layer.

"If you're going with a cheaper product, the wear layer and density can be inadequate for the customer's needs. That’s where a customer can run into trouble trying to save money but getting a product that doesn’t perform, and that's where cost comes in a lot," she said.

Like any product, this flooring ranges from low-end to high-end. Tom Cramer said the sweet spot is somewhere between $3 to $5 per foot.

"You can go above that, but at some point it's like driving a Mercedes when a Chevy will work just fine," he said. "For people that are looking for the value price, we tell them not to go too low because then you're giving up a lot of the good things that make this a good product."

The Cramers can help customers understand why one version is $3 a foot and why another might be $4.50. The technology in flooring products just keeps getting better, and they're really excited when customers take an interest in learning why some products fit certain lifestyles better than others.

Perhaps one of their favorite waterproof vinyl flooring attributes is that it's a warm floor, so it's great in Colorado or especially in off-grid or seasonal homes.

"When you heat a house that's been cold, a lot of other flooring products won't react well to that," Jessie Cramer said. "This does very well. It's super stable, doesn't have movement and doesn't swell or shrink like wood would."

The benefits of waterproof vinyl flooring

  • Kid-proof and pet-proof
  • Fast and easy to install without acclimation
  • Installs in large rooms without transition strips
  • Installs over existing hard surface floors
  • Installs with minimal floor preparations
  • Resists water without damage to flooring
  • Dimensionally stable — will not expand or contract
  • Adds warmth to the floor
  • Reduces noise/quieter floor
  • Hides subfloor imperfections
  • Resists subfloor mold and mildew
  • Source: COREtec Floors