Fort Bend Publishing Group 2009
An Official Publication of the
Greater Houston Builders Association
Houston Remodeling Guide 2008
Trends in Flooring
Which product is right for your home
By Leslie King, CGR, GMB, CAPS
There are many floor products available today for the discriminating homeowner.
From sheet products, to prefinished hardwoods, carpet, laminated flooring,
tile, marble and granite, and, last but not least, traditional hardwood floors.
The selections can be overwhelming, but each product has a place in today’s home.
Sheet products started out as linoleum, a natural product that needs to be waxed
and polished. In the 1950s, sheet vinyl became available. Most sheet vinyl
available today does not need to be waxed or polished and is typically used in
areas such as kitchen, laundry rooms or bathrooms whes like period homes of the
’20s and ’30s.
Prefinished hardwoods are very popular for remodeling. They are available in 3/8-inch or 1/2-inch thickness. There are a wide variety
of colors and finishes available. The price range for these floors is around
$11 per square foot to over $25 per square foot. Traditional hardwoods are
typically red or white oak, and are 3/4-inch in thickness and placed on screeds
that are typically 3/4 inch or 1 1/2 inches. This means that these floors can
be 1 1/2 inches or 2 1/4 inches thick. They can be sanded and refinished
multiple times. We grew up with hardwood floors that had to be waxed constantly
and maintained, but today’s homeowners seal the floors with a polyurethane finish that requires no
maintenance. The colors for these floors can also vary widely from a beech
blonde look to a dark mahogany or ebony look. The price range for traditional
hardwood floors installed can be less than the prefinished floors at around
$9-$12 per square foot. The prefinished floors are used most often when the
existing home has a slab foundation and the transition from a tile or carpeted
area is only about 1/2 inch. Typically, traditional hardwoods are used in new
homes, since transition areas can be dealt with in the slab stage. Hardwoods
are not recommended in areas where there is moisture such as kitchens or
bathrooms. These floors can swell and buckle when they get wet, and should not
There has been a trend toward laminate floors instead of hardwood floors. These
floors are usually less expensive than hardwoods at around $9 per square foot.
It is not considered an inexpensive product, but it is very durable and can
easily be replaced if there are problems in a specific area such as with a
heavy stain. This product comes in wood grain or a tile look and is an ideal
product for family rooms and kitchens. It is also very low maintenance. It can
be mopped and is easy to clean.
Carpet is still very popular, especially in bedrooms and living rooms. The least
expensive of the carpets is the olefin carpet, which runs around $22 per square
yard. This is used when budget is a big consideration or if there are kids involved
and the carpet only needs to last a few years. The next upgrade is nylon that
tends to run between $30-$50 per square yard. This carpet tends to be more
durable and the appearance has less sheen. At the high end, wool is the carpet
of choice. It starts around $60 per square yard. Wool is very soft looking, is
a natural product and has a very low sheen. This carpet will last a very long
time. The different styles of carpets used today are the cut pile, the berber
and the frieze, which is a short shag look. Yes, we are going back to that shag
Last but not least are tile, granite and marble floors. These floors are great
in kitchens and bathrooms. But the most important aspect is the price. Ceramic
tile can start at $5.50 per square foot installed. Granite and marble floors
start at $12 per square foot installed.
The choices available can be overwhelming. Decide on the budget and then make a
decision on what is the best floor for your application. There is no correct
floor for your home.
Leslie S. King, CGR, GMB, CAPS, president of Greymark Construction Company, has
been a GHBA Remodelors Council member since 1996 and serves on the board as
This Audubon Place home built in 1910 features an ambient and personable
entryway. Remodeled by Greymark Construction Company.
Remodeled kitchen by Premier Remodeling & Construction L.P. features faux painted custom cabinetry, eight-foot ceilings
and stainless appliances. Design by Louis Fernandez Company
This kitchen is a chef’s delight featuring commercial grade appliances including a 60-inch Vulcan
commercial gas range with double oven, convection oven and warming drawer, ice
maker, wine chiller and two dishwashers, granite countertops, wood flooring, a
large center island with sink, custom job-built cabinets with faux finish, wine
bar area, butler’s pantry and large walk-in pantry. Crawford Renovation, Inc.
2008 NAHB Education
- BMC West -
- Building Materials -
- Bohlke Consulting -
- Bolfing Brothers Marble, Inc. -
- Builders Post-Tension -
- DOW, USA -
- DuPont™ - Tyvek® -
- Kimball Hill Homes -
- Pella® Windows & Doors -
- ProSource -
- Wholesale Flooring -
- Sherwin-Williams® -
- Weyerhaeuser Company -
Call Fort Bend Publishing Group
Amy Robinson - 281-240-2445 ext. 117
To find a qualified
in your area, visit
To Advertise in the 2009-2010 Houston Remodeling Guide...