I hope you are having an amazing summer and have spent many hours out in the sun. I think this may have been a banner summer for temperature records and not since living in Medicine Hat have I experienced so many +30 days. It is a treat and I have consumed my weights worth in iced coffees this year trying to beat the heat.
Living on different types of flooring in different seasons always has me considering what my preferences are. I have lived on hardwood, tile, vinyl plank, cork and of course carpet. While I can see the benefits of each one there are seasonally better options for each product. I think of all the product I have owned, the new vinyl plank has to be my favourite.
Tile is of course a welcome foot treat in summer months as it always stays cooler than the air temperature around it. Many nights I have walked into my bathroom and have enjoyed the chilly feeling on my toes – fast forward to December and I’ll be scrambling for socks so I don’t have to walk on cold tiles! Of course the lucky ones have the adjustable heated flooring which keeps things perfect all year. Me, I must rely on seasonal bath mats and slippers.
Cork and hardwood are perfect year-round companions as they seem to be the most temperate floors. They are comprised of cells which respond to air and moisture and as a result will always be a perfectly balanced temperature underfoot. They are the only flooring products on the market that ‘breathe’ with your house responding to temperature and relative humidity.
Warming up a room is easy with carpet and a wonderful underlay. If you have drafty spaces and cool basements then an investment in a solid material (or rubber) underlay will cut the drafts down much more efficiently than a chip foam pad which can let more air drafts through. Carpet has the highest ‘R’ value of any flooring per inch and is the perfect solution for warming up and making a space feel cozy.
I’ve always thought resilient (vinyl) floors have gotten a bad rap. They have been relegated into the ‘cheap’ category when in fact they are now being produced with some of the most realistic patterns available. The new vinyl plank and vinyl tile offerings are simply amazing and I can personally say that this product is a joy to maintain. I’m a barefoot girl and only wear socks or slippers in the house in the very cold times but I don’t think I will have to with the new vinyl plank! This floor seems very temperate and stays the perfect temperature even on extreme days.
If you need new floors but aren’t yet ready to take the plunge, do not despair. Invest in some inexpensive area carpets to throw over those problem areas until you are ready to make the change. Buy some thick padded slippers to stave off the cold and you won’t notice your drafty floors one bit. The time will come when you can change your floors so they have exactly the feel and temperature which is perfect for you. Until then you might have to use a little imagination and improvisation to alter those spots you may not love as much.
Kim Meckler is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre.