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North Hills

Hardware man learns about flooring the hard way

| Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, 1:33 a.m.

For the bulk of my adult life I have boastfully claimed that I am good at making decisions. Unfortunately, being good at making decisions and making good decisions is not the same thing and, although I am good at making them, my decisions are not always the best. I do try to make the most of the wreckage though — I learn from my bad choices.

One of my more memorable errors occurred years ago when I decided to take an undrained water heater out of a second floor apartment. It was a really bad decision and, looking back on it, I cannot fathom my logic. The tank weighed somewhere north of 250 pounds and I was less-strong then than I pretend to be now so the whole thing made no sense.

But, thanks to my vast experience in failure, some good came from my poor judgment. Shortly after descending the stairs while I sat, with ice on my hip, in a local hospital’s nicely appointed emergency room, I noticed their newly installed floor covering. It was a wood-grain vinyl plank and it looked good, really good.

I liked it so much that I decided upon my release to expand my store’s offering of vinyl plank. By the time my limp was gone I was selling vinyl plank in large quantities and, in the years since, it has become one of the most popular floor coverings available. I’m not glad I got hurt, nor am I particularly proud of the fact that I made such a stupid decision. But in the end, this whole thing worked out.

Vinyl plank or, pardon me, luxury vinyl plank (LVP), as it is appropriately known, is a no wax vinyl floor. As its name indicates, it’s manufactured in the form of planks as opposed to sheet vinyl. It looks like real wood, complete with imperfect grain lines, knots and texture. It is extremely durable, easy to clean and, in most cases, simple for the do–it-yourselfer to install.

LVP comes in a variety of qualities which, consequently, is reflected in the price. But as a rule, these floors are affordable and, considering their overall value, are a bright choice for everything from bedroom to boardroom with more options on the horizon.

Manufacturers, seeing the future in the LVP category, have jumped at the opportunity to innovate and bring better and better products to market. Some of the new stuff has incredible temperature stability and water resistance. Some of it looks so real you can almost smell sawdust when you cut it and some has a wear layer thick and durable enough to achieve a 30-year commercial warranty.

As always, there are garbage products and bad information out there so it pays to do your homework. Oh and by the way, don’t bother injuring yourself and making a trip to the emergency room to learn about flooring. Instead, visit your independent local flooring store for advanced advice and quality offerings.

Now that is an undeniably good decision.

Ed Pfeifer is a Tribune-Review freelance columnist and owner of Pfeifer Hardware Inc. If you have hardware-related questions, call the store at 724-625-9090.

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