Pick a floor, any floor
Choose from a full range of options

Sarah Holland
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Feb 28/00) - Choosing flooring may seem like an easy task, but when you take into account all the materials, brands, colours and patterns, it can get overwhelming.

When it comes to carpet, durability depends on a number of factors, including pile fibre, weights of fibre and the density of the pile.

A high-density pile with a heavier weight will last longer than a lighter weight or looser pile.

Keep in mind location when choosing your carpet. Use heavier weight and denser pile carpets for high traffic areas, while a lighter carpet can be used for lower traffic areas such as bedrooms and bathrooms. Most carpets have a suggested location use, but it's a good idea to check with your retailer before you buy.

Texture is an important quality of carpet. There are five basic textures of carpet: twist pile, which is tough and durable with a rough, tight texture; velvet pile, sometimes called velour for its smooth surface; shag pile, which has longer yarns and a heavy feel; loop pile (an example of which is berber, carpeting with a slightly knurled surface); and saxony.

Gerry Black, the general manager of Arctic Interiors in Inuvik, says that saxony is the basic and most popular carpet.

"Saxony carpet is a standard pile, brush-cut carpet, with a smooth surface and twisted yarn," he said.

Berber is another type of carpet that sells well in Fort Smith, according to Linda Germo, owner/operator of Kozy Karpets.

"Berber is another popular choice, it's very durable. And for colours, burgundy and green are becoming quite popular, instead of beiges," she said.

Aside from carpet, Black says linoleum, made from synthetic finishes such as vinyl and urethane, is the most popular floor covering.

And what about hardwood flooring?

"Well, simulated wood floors are more common than hardwood. It's a little bit cheaper to install and it's very durable. There's straight or engineered (wood flooring). Engineered is like plywood, the strands alternate," says Black.

He adds that one reason hardwood floors aren't more common is the high-maintenance required.

Germo says that wood flooring is becoming more popular in the South Slave area, especially in kitchens and dining rooms.

"More and more people are using a laminated wood floor. It looks like wood, it doesn't burn, it doesn't scratch, it's very durable and easy to care for."

And that's what consumers like to hear.