Jim Kups, North America Technical Manager for Novalis, shares his thoughts and advice on finding the right new floor for you.

Recently friends of mine (Mr. & Mrs. S) were looking for new flooring for their kitchen. Realizing that I’m in the business, the next thing I know we’re discussing what they should do next. Well, being the sales person that I am, I quickly showed them some Novalis products. This directed the conversation away from me being “Mr. Installer” and to considering the product itself.

Mr. S asked, “Where can we get these?” The samples that I had at the moment were from our NovaFloor line which is sold in specialty retail stores only. This would involve the retailer installing the floor since most do not sell flooring for cash-n-carry customers. Novalis does have some products in the big-box retail market which I did tell them about too, but that would be a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) project where they would install the floor or they would have to find their own flooring installer.

My point is that depending on the experience you want while purchasing new flooring, you do have choices on where to buy. In the brick-and-mortar world of retail, there are flooring stores (what we call “specialty retail stores” in our business) and “big box” retailers. And like everything, they each have advantages and disadvantages, depending on what you’re looking for.

Specialty flooring retailers will usually have a wider array of flooring to choose from. And don’t be surprised if their sales associates will ask you questions like:

  • What type of flooring do you prefer?
  • Where in your home is it going?
  • How long do you want it to last?
  • What type of traffic will be in the room(s)?
  • Pets? Children? Elderly?
  • What’s your budget?
  • When do you need it installed?

Don’t take exception to the inquiry. What the sales associate is attempting to do is to match the perfect flooring choice with your lifestyle, simply because not all flooring is suitable for all situations. Their goal is a satisfied customer — one that will return when they do their next flooring project and even brag to their friends about it. The result from this concern about matching the right floor to you is a more personal shopping experience that ensures you wind up with the right flooring for your home, décor, and budget.

For example, with NovaFloor, there are a variety of styles, colors, installation systems, warranties and more you can choose from to get the perfect floor for just about any room in the house! Choose from Lyndon, Casa, Birkdale, Abberly, Davidson, or our High Performance Core product NovaCore. Each feature planks and tiles that can really set the right mood and feeling for your makeover project.

Big box retail shopping will lead to a different experience. As a rule, you will generally be looking at flooring products on display and making your own decisions based on what they have on hand or can special order for you. Depending on the flooring you choose, you may or may not have the option of getting a professional installation in this type of store. Store associates will be on hand to assist during the process and guide you in some aspects of the flooring they carry, but the assumption in most cases is that you already know what you are looking for in a product for your home.

My best advice is doing what you are doing now … research before you shop. Get to know what’s available for you and what’s right for your home before you hit the road to visit showrooms. It’ll make you a smarter shopper and will make the whole experience a better one for you and your family.

And have a great floor!


Jim Kups, Technical Manager, North America, Novalis Innovative Flooring