Handyman: Myriad new flooring options to choose from

Glenn Haege
Special to The Detroit News

Your floors are one of the most visible items in your home, so upgrading them with can really make a statement. But remember, just like any project, you have to do your homework to determine which product makes the most sense based on your budget, decor and maintenance requirements.

“Carpeting has been losing market share over the past 10 years, and homeowners have a lot more options when choosing flooring these days,” said John Greenough, Owner of Fairway Tile and Carpet in Clawson, (248) 588-4429,

“We have more than 4,000 display options customers can look at when they come to our store, so they can come in with a blank slate to determine what works best for their home,” said Adam Reid, assistant manager for the Tile Shop in Bloomfield Hills, (248) 239-1551,

For example, hardwood, engineered hardwood and laminate flooring still remain popular choices because of the look, especially in areas like a foyer or great rooms. But today’s homeowners are also making flooring selections based on other factors.

“We have many customers who want something other than carpet or hardwood, but they also want to make sure what they choose is durable or easy to maintain, such as ceramic or porcelain tiles,” Reid said.

While ceramic and porcelain tiles are still very common in today’s home, especially in kitchens and bathrooms, Reid said hard flooring made from rock and stone is also starting to become more popular.

These products include granite, marble, onyx, quartzite, slate and travertine. He said the natural look is what attracts many customers to these products, and homeowners are starting to put these flooring products in the master bath to give it a luxury feel.

If you want the look of ceramic tile or hardwood, but want something that is easier to maintain with a softer feel, you can consider luxury vinyl tiles.

This luxury vinyl is priced similar to ceramic or hardwood, but Greenough of Fairway Tile and Carpet said the price for installation is less expensive. Some manufacturers of this type of flooring include Armstrong,, Mannington,, and Mohawk,

In addition to these trendy and popular flooring options, there are also some unique types of flooring that may be applicable for certain situations. Greenough said he sells three different types of flooring products that are popular with people who want to be earth friendly, including floors made from bamboo, cork and leather. Bamboo and cork are renewable materials, and leather floors are made from 100 percent recycled leather. Torlys, (800) 461-2573,, manufacturers both cork and leather flooring, and Cali Bamboo,, makes bamboo flooring.

Deciding what type of flooring to put in a finished basement has always been a challenge due to the moisture and cold floor. But two newer innovations greatly improve your flooring options.

One is the floating floor, a type of engineered hardwood installation system where the floor “floats” over the subfloor. A properly installed floating floor should not bow or buckle in a moist environment like a basement.

Another innovation is DRIcore,, which is an engineered subfloor specially designed for basements. You can put most types of flooring on top of DRIcore, including engineered hardwood, laminate, carpet, vinyl or ceramic tile, and it will provide a moisture barrier that will insulate and cushion your floors.

So think about what floors you want to improve and then visit a showroom to get a closer look at all the options available. That is still the best way to make sure you get exactly what you want.

For more home improvement advice, call “The Handyman Show with Glenn Haege” on WJR-AM (760) at (866) ASK GLENN, (866) 275-4536 between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. “The Handyman Show” can also be heard on more than 135 radio stations nationwide.