A Mindful Moment from Kevin

Kevin Hawley has been with Michael’s Flooring & Cabinets for five years. He loves working with customers to help them reach their renovation or construction goals. “Each customer has different needs and represents a variety of projects, which makes my job really fun,” Kevin explains. “I also love working at Michael’s because I feel like these people are part of my family.” 

Recently, we asked Kevin for some pro advice he wants every customer to know. He says, “I want them to know that choosing flooring is not as difficult as it may seem. While options seem somewhat limitless, we can steer customers to certain products if we know just a little bit of information.” 

When customers come into Michael’s, Kevin asks two pertinent questions relatively quickly. The answers to these questions guide Kevin to a few products that will meet their specific needs. 

Kevin asks:

What type of flooring do you need and where do you plan to install this floor in your home?

Kevin does not want customers to start listing dozens of options; rather, he wants to start with some basics. Are you looking for carpet? Luxury vinyl? Hardwood? Is this floor going in the kitchen? Bedroom? A high traffic area? Are there small children in the home or pets? Is this for indoor or outdoor use?

Kevin might also ask the customer to elaborate on any reasoning for these preferences. “Some customers only want carpet in a bedroom because it makes the room feel cozier while other customers prefer hard surfaces because they tend to be easier to clean,” says Kevin. Once Kevin knows some basics, he is able to guide the customer to some viable options. 

What color do you prefer and why?

Pinpointing color tones is next. “Most customers request grays and browns since these are neutral tones. These are good choices as long as they contrast with paint and fabric colors,” explains Kevin. “If there is no contrast, colors will blend too much creating a very dull space. If you tell me you just painted a room blue and are requesting a blue/gray LVP, I am probably going to steer you to an option with very little or no blue.” You can use contrasting colors to brighten spaces. As a general rule, if the walls are a lighter color, use a darker flooring. If the walls are a darker color, use lighter flooring. “We don’t want a beautiful space to be washed out because the colors are not contrasting,” explains Kevin. Most LVPs and carpets come in a variety of colors.    

Since many customers lean towards luxury vinyl (LVPs) and carpet, Kevin has advice and recommendations catered to those products.

Not all luxury vinyl planks (LVPs) are created equal.

LVPs are not the same everywhere. LVPs range in thickness depending on the manufacturer.  As a general rule of thumb, Kevin recommends using nothing less than a 12 mil wear layer. The “wear layer” refers to the plastic coating on the top layer of the engineered flooring. Some research will tell you that the 6 mil, 8 mil, and 10 mil options are adequate for home settings, but not commercial settings. Kevin recommends using at least 12 mil or higher, whether for residential or commercial use. The thicker options should last longer and will be more durable. Once the top layer begins to peel, the flooring will need replacing sooner than later and is a commonality for LVPs with a 12 mil or less wear layer. For homes with young children and pets, Kevin recommends using LVPs with 20 mil and above wear layers.  

Take me to the carpet!

If you need carpet, Kevin is going to show you the top carpet he recommends: a Dream Weaver Product by Engineered Flooring. He prefers the Montauk Style. Kevin has four bedrooms in his house outlaid with this exact carpet. His color preference is Iron Frost. Kevin’s wife has worked in the real estate field and also highly recommends this product. “We carry this carpet and style in many colors as well as many other style options,” says Kevin. This carpet is known for its durability and comes with stain, fade, and pet resistance warranties. Of course, Kevin will show his customers other options depending on their exact needs.

At Michael’s Flooring & Cabinets, we are here to help you simplify your next flooring project. Each sales rep at Michael’s is capable and ready to help you find the right product for your home. Come see us! 

Kevin Hawley, Project Manager