It seems like the blog has taken the flooring equivalent of a post-apocalyptic perspective lately, but thinking about worst case scenarios is how we keep our people happy. I spend a ton of time anticipating issues and helping to solve problems. If I could sum up the reason any customer is unhappy with their floor after a couple months/years it usually comes back to the product not being a good fit in the first place. It's important when choosing a floor to anticipate how it will be used. If this step is overlooked, your floor can fail and it won't necessarily be covered under warranty. Your sales person should be asking you these questions to find the right fit. These are just some things to think about. You can't buy a floor just based on color and expect it to last forever.
1) PETS! Do you have big dogs that jump? Small cats that skid out? Don't go with a soft wood product or a high gloss finish. It will be scratched within a week. It's not just about the performance of the product, the visual is important too. On a dark floor you'll see more pet hair and dirty paw prints.
2) KIDS! Are you anticipating spills, messes, dragging hockey bags? Is the floor you are looking at going to take that kind of abuse? How about babies crawling on the floor? Air quality and off gassing may be may a concern.
3) TIME. How long does this floor need to last? Is this your forever home or a rental property? For a high turnover rental you might focus less on use and anticipate constant repair and replacement instead. No floor can stand up to cigarette burns and dragging furniture.
4) PLACEMENT. Is this floor for your formal dining room used twice a year? Or the mud room with gravel filled boots? Sometimes the same floor can't work through your whole house.
5) MAINTENANCE. Are you prepared to constantly maintain humidity in your home? If you aren't our climate does not suit natural wood floors. Do you clean your floors by dumping a big 'ol bucket of water and scrubbing away? Most laminates specify that no liquids can sit on the surface of the floor. Is that realistic for your space?
No product can check all the boxes for durability, style, longevity, price, but you CAN find something that suits your home the best.