by Christy Heitger-Ewing

When choosing the type of flooring you want to install, homeowners must take into consideration a number of things, including current trends, personal preference, durability, and one of the biggies – maintenance.

If you’re looking for flooring that is clean, versatile, scratch & water resistant, and won’t fade, you may want to lean toward a tile floor. ACo, a Fishers-based remodeling company that specializes in flooring, cabinets, kitchens, and baths, carries a large selection of tile through several premier suppliers.

Tile is ideal for both interior and exterior floors, but is an especially wise choice for high-traffic areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. Whether you opt for ceramic, stone or glass tile, selections in colors, sizes and shapes are endless. Tile is fairly easy to care for and maintain with regular cleanings, though the finish and grout will last longer if you avoid harsh chemical cleaners.

You may, however, have your heart set on a hardwood, and if that’s the case, ACo also has a wide array of options through leading vendors. Just keep in mind that hardwoods require more maintenance to keep them looking great. If you choose the right product and properly care for it, it can stay beautiful for lifetimes to come.

Duchateau, a brand carried by ACo, is known for manufacturing beautiful hardwood floors. Duchateau was the first to bring European-inspired wide-plank matte finishes to the U.S. market. Shannon Roark, a representative with Duchateau, notes that when the owners first started the company and were traveling to Europe, they were blown away by the 300-year-old floors they saw in chateaus and castles that looked perfectly new. That’s what they wanted to replicate.

“The finish of our wood isn’t painted or stained on,” says Roark. “It’s a unique oil formula that our owners brought to the U.S. in 2005 that allows the wood to react to the sugars and tannins in the trees. Our motto is that we let nature be the best artist. In many ways, we unlock the DNA code of all these planks.”

Unlike a polyethene that sits on and creates a plastic-like barrier, this oil penetrates the surface of the wood providing an extra layer of protection. This, in turn, keeps the dirt towards the surface, which allows the wood to stay healthier. According to Roark, the oil creates flexibility so that during the season, as the wood is expanding and contracting, the homeowner may keep the floors cleaner and more easily fix scratches.

As Mia Farrell, a designer with ACo states, “Natural materials are so amazing. That’s why it’s important to work with them.”

The state of hardwoods depends on a number of factors. For instance, do you wear shoes in the house? Do you have pets? Do you tend to open up the house in the summer to let in fresh air (because that also invites variance in temperature and humidity)? Roark suggests performing a simple test that involves bouncing a couple of water droplets onto the wood.

“If the droplets are still sitting and puddling – like on a waxed car, you don’t need to do anything,” he says. “If they absorb over time and create a grey temporary mark, you know it’s probably time to oil. There is no definite mark to put on the calendar. You just have to kind of judge it.”

If you’re still struggling with making a decision on flooring, you can access ACo’s flooring visualizer that lets you “try out” various flooring options, including both tile and hardwood, on your computer, phone or tablet.

“With this flooring visualizer, ACo offers you a real-time augmented reality experience that can completely transform the way you make your flooring decisions,” says David Decker, owner of ACo. With proper care and maintenance, tile and hardwood floors can be a cleaner, long-lasting option for your home. Feel free to stop by the new ACo Design Studio for inspiration and to view samples or take them home to see how they will look in your space. Schedule a consultation with one of their designers to help you coordinate all the selections to ensure you truly love where you live.