Randolph Stafford, left, owner of Stafford Flooring, and managing principal of Design Cayman review a sample of Bermuda cypress and Travertine porcelain tile. *Photo supplied
Randolph Stafford, left, owner of Stafford Flooring, and managing principal of Design Cayman review a sample of Bermuda cypress and Travertine porcelain tile. *Photo supplied
Most rooms, on average, present six surfaces — four walls, a ceiling and a floor.

Five of the surfaces are normally painted, easily allowing for design changes with moderate ease.

The floor, however, is usually the biggest investment in the room and in most instances sets the mood and foundation for all other design elements.

There are several options for setting the stage: carpet offers cushion and comfort, and reduces noise; tile is durable and easily maintained; wood offers a richly warm aesthetic and vinyl provides long-term usage and easy maintenance.

The most popular

In general, flooring is installed in these two categories: residential (low to moderate traffic) and commercial/retail (moderate to high traffic).

In choosing a floor covering for a residence, one may consider aesthetics first and then maintenance.

Through 25 years of experience in the business of floor coverings, I have seen the tremendous increase in demand for wood flooring. It is the most popular for residential use.

Manufacturers of other surfaces have recognized this as well and have made great improvements on wood replication.

As a result, many wood floor manufacturers have returned to the traditional method of finishing with oil/wax for clients who prefer an authentic wood look.

The primary focus for commercial venues is durability due to high traffic levels. Modular carpet ranks as the most popular flooring for commercial space because of easy installation and repair, as well as sound reduction.

The new and old

Newly constructed rooms provide more latitude for installing the floor covering of your choice, such as connecting surfaces like a 3/8-inch tile with 3/4-inch wood flooring.

Linking various floor surfaces in one design element, however, should be determined before the structure is built. This will insure the transition between the surfaces is seamless.

But whether it is a new or existing room, the sub floor surface has to be dry and flat to provide the best result for the floor covering. You may have experienced this in a restaurant where a waiter is apologizing while attempting to stabilize a rocking table. This is the result of an un-levelled floor.

In many cases, an old floor would have to be removed prior to installing a new one, unless the old floor is fixed firmly to the subfloor.

Of all the various floor types, wood flooring may be one of the easiest floors to install on an existing surface, because of the range of instalment options for wood flooring which includes floating, gluing and nailing methods.

Present and future

In 24 years, Stafford Flooring, which began its business with a focus on wood flooring, has evolved into diversified flooring specialists with expertise in tiling, carpeting, vinyl and other specialty surfaces.

 In Bermuda, we are contracting a broad range of clients including hospitals, schools, multi-unit developments and single residences.

Stafford flooring has expanded to Grand Cayman where our projects include single residences, multi-unit developments and the construction of the Clifton Hunter High School, as well as a multi-level retail business and a residential development in Jamaica.

We partner with some of the most innovative international manufacturers.

These partnerships will introduce our customers to a variety of new and exciting designs: oversized Italian tiles 3- by 10-feet; solid wood flooring from China that can be snap locked and floated; and Spanish produced gold and silver leaf porcelain tile.

As we continue to push the envelope in floor covering design, we look forward to providing a world of options for our clients.