From traditional hardwood planks to intricate tile displays, the possibilities for floor and wall coverings are virtually endless
Deciding on new floor or wall coverings can easily become overwhelming. Not only are there multiple coverings to select from, there are numerous styles and finishes to go along with each. Luckily, experienced flooring experts can help you streamline the selection process to determine which options best harmonize with your personal preferences and family dynamics.
“When starting from scratch, start with the floor,” says Nelson Green, owner of Great Southeast Flooring America. “Floors represent one of the largest areas in your home. By selecting the right flooring, you create a canvas for all your furniture, paint and decorative items.”
Green originally came to the Space Coast in 1953. After graduating from Satellite High School and the University of Florida, he ventured into the flooring business, holding various marketing positions at leading flooring companies around the country. In 1979, Green and his wife, Karen, decided to return to the Space Coast and open Great Southeast Carpet Gallery, which eventually became known as Great Southeast Flooring America.
Today, the Greens’ two sons, as well as Nelson’s brother and sister, all work for the company, making it a true family business. Great Southeast Flooring America offers over 17,000 products on display including laminate, carpet, tile, vinyl plank, area rugs, wall and window treatments, and of course, hardwood.
THE WONDER OF WOOD
“Generally, today’s homeowners are incorporating hard surfaces with a natural look and feel. Hardwood and laminates, for example, create a timeless look that goes with everything,” says Green.
When it comes to hardwood floors, Green says that more and more people are trending toward wide, antique planks, particularly those with an oiled finish. “This style allows you to easily repair minor scratches and dings without having to call a professional. All that is necessary is a light rubbing with fine steel wool, and a reapplication of the oil treatment. It matches up perfectly,” he explains.
“Homeowners like hand-scraped and more rustic looks because they’re attractive and show less wear,” he adds. “Exotics like Jatoba and Brazilian Cherry are also in high demand, as is reclaimed wood made from turn-of-the-century warehouses.”
For those who want the look and feel of hardwood in wet areas, such as bathrooms, high-end luxury vinyl plank is a good option, according to Green. This material closely mirrors its hardwood counterpart, yet can be installed as a “floating floor,” and is basically waterproof in case of floods or spills. Meanwhile, porcelain plank is another in-demand, hardwood look-alike item.
If you’re in the market for natural, sustainable flooring, cork and bamboo are your best bets, according to Green. “Cork comes from bark and never requires a tree to be cut down,” he says. “High-quality bamboo is a fast-growing ‘grass’ that can create a beautiful floor.”
Flooring America ensures that all of its suppliers purchase their wood from sustainable forests. In fact, some of its hardwood manufacturers use a new high-density core that eliminates the need for millions of trees to be cut down. It also allows for a more stable, indent-resistant hardwood.
SET IN STONE
Natural stone floors – like slate, travertine granite and marble – are also popular sustainable options, not only for ground floors, but for walls, backsplashes and more. “Probably the hottest stone trend is modular rustic-edge marble patterns that install without the need for an expensive ‘mud-set’ installation,” explains Green.
Perhaps natural stone, along with other tile options, like glass and porcelain, allows for the most creativity among the different floor and wall coverings. Intricate custom tile installations allow homeowners to turn their surfaces into one-of-a-kind works of art. Tile also easily blends with other materials, like hardwood, pebble and river rock, to create additional visual interest.
And while hard surfaces may be a more desirable option, don’t count carpet out. From nylon to woven to wool, all types of carpets today can be ordered with stylish motifs to enhance a home’s décor. People who appreciate the warmth and quietness of carpet now can have one-of-a-kind looks that can really jazz up a home.
“With carpet, it is the incredible styling and patterns available from companies like Masland and Fabrica, particularly those featuring Stainmaster UltraLife nylon, that are making a splash,” says Green. He takes pride in the fact that his company is the only Stainmaster Flooring Center in the county, and the only one to sell Stainmaster UltraLife, the only Stainmaster carpet with a “No Exclusions” stain warranty.
“No matter the material, though, installation is the most critical component,” adds Green, explaining that all of Flooring America’s installers are licensed, insured and are subjected to a criminal background check.
Without a doubt, flooring is one area of your home that allows you to be as timeless and traditional or cutting-edge and creative as you desire.
Great Southeast Flooring America is a floor and wall covering sales and design company offering thousands of carpet, hardwood, laminate, tile and vinyl options at its showroom located at 2780 N. Harbor City Blvd., Melbourne. The company is part of a nationwide group of 550 Flooring America stores that are all individually owned by local entrepreneurs, and collectively comprise the largest floor covering dealer in the world. For more information, visit www.SEFlooringAmerica.com.