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Flooring is a major part of any home. It is important to carefully select the material that best suits your needs. Start by considering these three things before making your choice – how will the flooring fit into your design; what are your needs for durability and maintenance; and what is your budget?

First consider your design. Do you want the floor to make a statement or blend into the background? Do you like a casual or contempory look or is your style more formal?

Next, durability and maintenance are very important. Kitchen and bath floors get heavier use than any other floor in the house. They are subject to all kinds of spills and potential water damage. Family rooms are often subject to heavy usage also. Do you have a large family? Pets? Or just one or two of you? Do you enjoy cleaning your home or is it just another chore?

Finally, the budget is always a consideration. Today, there are so many flooring options that everyone can find a product to fit their budget.



Carpet is an option that can make a room feel warm and comfortable. Carpet is very warm and soft on the feet, muffles sound and is slip-resistant. Carpet comes in a huge number of styles, fibers and colors. It can be installed wall to wall or as an area rug.

See Our Shaw Carpet Catalog



Wood is a classic choice. Its many types and colors work well with a large variety of designs. Wood floors are long lasting, warm and comfortable and fairly easy to keep clean. Solid wood can be installed unfinished or pre-finished. Pre-finished has a stronger coating and wears better than wood that is installed and finished on site. Engineered Wood Flooring is made up of several layers, rather than being cut from one piece of wood. The top layer is a veneer of the hardwood. The other 2-4 layers are made of a different wood laid in opposite directions for added strength and stability. Engineered Wood comes pre-finished in strips or planks. They are usually installed as a floating floor (the boards are glued together rather than being nailed to the subfloor). You will need to choose a satin or gloss finish. The satin finish will hide dirt better. The glossy finish can be slippery when wet and will show scratches. Wood floors can be susceptible to water damage and darkens with age. The softer woods can dent easily. Water and spills need to be cleaned immediately. Hardwood floors are also subject to expansion and contraction in our Minnesota climate.



Vinyl floors are a good choice for heavy use areas. They are comfortable on the feet, easy to clean, water and stain-resistant and easy to install. Vinyl comes in sheets or tiles. Vinyl is prone to dents and tears. Glossy finishes are slippery when wet and may need to be waxed regularly. Moisture can get into seams leading to mildew and lifting. Sheet vinyl installation is best left to professionals.




Laminates: Laminates are an option that has gained popularity in the past decade. They are durable, scratch-resistant, and easy to clean and maintain. They come is a wide range of colors, designs and textures that can imitate wood, stone or ceramic. They can also be installed over old flooring and are a good choice for do-it-yourselfers. Laminate flooring is available either in planks or tiles. It consists of a laminate surface glued to a fiberboard core. When used with underlayment, laminate is a good choice for damp areas and below grade installation. Many click together styles require no glue. They can’t be refinished if damaged.



Tile & Stone
Tile: Tile is another popular option. It’s durable, water and stain resistant. It’s available in a large variety of colors, sizes and shapes. There are many different types of tile. Ceramic tile is the most common. It is machine made tile that comes in many different styles and colors. Porcelain tiles are made of high-fired refined clay. They are more durable than ceramic tiles. They are available glazed or unglazed (which has better traction). Quarry tiles have a rough texture. They are very durable, low maintenance and affordable. They can be sealed to be moisture and stain resistant. Terra Cotta Tiles are made of low-fired clay. They are either hand or machine made in Mexico or Europe. They are beautiful to look at but they aren’t very durable and have to be sealed every year. Tile is cold and hard on the feet. They can crack or chip and are difficult to repair. Glossy finishes are slippery when wet. Grout can discolor and is hard to maintain.

Stone: Stone is another popular option for flooring. It comes in a wide array of colors and patterns and has a natural, timeless beauty. It is nearly indestructible and can add an elegant or rustic look. Granite is probably the best choice because it’s the hardest stone. Look for a honed, non-glossy finish for better traction and lower maintenance. Marble floors need to be sealed regularly to protect it from dirt, stains and moisture. Slate is a natural looking stone that often comes in irregular shapes. Slate also needs to be sealed to repel dirt. Stone is cold and hard on the feet. It can be very expensive. Slate is more affordable but can be rough and can peel. Glossy finishes are slippery when wet and must be polished regularly. Honed stone must be sealed regularly. Stone is heavy and may need a stronger subfloor. Marble will be damaged by chlorine and harsh cleaners and can absorb dirt.


 Cork, Bamboo and Marmoleum are all made of sustainable materials.  Cork is a natural material that has a lot of texture and color variations.  It is soft to walk and stand on and has good traction.  It won’t rot or absorb dust and is stain resistant. Cork is a natural insulations system for both thermal and noise. Cork comes in sheets or tiles.  It is available unfinished or sealed with polyurethane.  It is not as durable or as easy to clean as vinyl.  Cork may not be a good choice for “rough” families.  Bamboo has all the beauty of wood and is more durable and sustainable than wood.  Marmoleum (Forbo’s linoleum) is made from linseed oil, woodflour, pine rosin, jute and ground limestone.  It is hygienic, anti-static, durable, biodegradable and comes in a wide range of colors. However, it may need to be waxed or polished occasionally.  It is difficult to repair.





When you choose your flooring, it will look different in your home than it does in the showroom.  It is a good idea to work with your salesperson and bring home a sample that will work in your home.   Remember, the floor is a part of the room.  Make sure it serves its purpose in conjunction with all the other elements of the room. 

Learn More About Floor Options:

Carpet & Rug Considerations

Area Rug Construction

Area Rug Tips

Some Of Our Suppliers


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