3 Family Friendly Flooring Types

Many of our customers here in Albuquerque are families looking to replace the flooring in their home. They face the unique challenge of wanting something that looks great but can also stand up to heavy wear and tear. We’ve put together some of our favorite flooring types for family homes, and the pros and cons of each.


Carpet is ideal for families with small children because of its comfort. Babies and small children will have no trouble crawling around and playing on carpet and it also provides some cushioning for when falls happen. Carpet works well in bedrooms, nurseries, playrooms, and living rooms. Be sure to vacuum your carpet on a regular basis to remove dirt, dander and allergens.

The biggest downside to carpet is that it can stain easily. A single cup of spilled juice can do some serious damage! Protect your carpet from markers, paint and food stains by cleaning up any spills immediately and keeping messy art projects to the kitchen table!

Laminate Hardwood

If you love the look of hardwood floors but don’t want to subject your investment to years of tough use, consider laminate hardwood. Laminate hardwood looks nearly identical to solid hardwood, but it is more affordable and resilient. Designed to mimic the look of solid wood, laminate hardwood stands up better to moisture (i.e. spills) than solid hardwood. It is also very budget friendly and comes in a wide range of colors and styles. Laminate hardwood may not be the best choice for rooms that are used by very small children because it won’t provide any cushioning for falls and its smooth surface has the potential to be slippery. However, for families with older children and teenagers, laminate hardwood is a great choice.


Tile is another ideal flooring option for families because of its durability. Tile can withstand water, mud, dirt, spills and messes of all kinds! It is also doesn’t stain easily and is very low-maintenance when it comes to cleaning. For families on the go, we recommend tile for entryways, mudrooms, kitchens and any room in the home that sees a lot of foot traffic. Although tile may not have the timeless appeal of hardwood, it comes in a nearly endless variety of colors and styles, so you’ll have no trouble finding a look you love.

Many of our customers here in Albuquerque are families looking to replace the flooring in their home. They face the unique challenge of wanting something that looks great but can also stand up to heavy wear and tear. We’ve put together some of our favorite flooring types for family homes, and the pros and cons of each.

Hardwood Floors – Everything You Need To Know

Hardwood floors are one of the most popular flooring choices for Albuquerque homeowners. They are classic, durable and look great in nearly any home! To help you decide if hardwoods are right for you, we’ve put together a list of the pros and cons of having hardwood floors in your home.


Classic Style: Hardwood floors will never go out of style. Whether they are maple or oak, dark or light, wide plank or narrow plank, hardwood floors add value and longevity to any home.

Durable: Though not as durable as some flooring types, hardwoods are resilient and will last for many years when cared for properly. You can extend their life by protecting them with rugs and runners, promptly cleaning up spills or standing water, and sweeping them regularly.

Versatile: Hardwoods are a surprisingly versatile flooring option. Because they come in so many different varieties and colors, you can achieve many different looks with hardwood.  They work well in both modern and traditional homes, and are a smart choice in many different rooms throughout the house.

Value: In general, hardwoods are considered to be a desirable trait in a home. If you are thinking of selling your home at some point in the future, hardwoods are a great investment that can attract potential buyers and increase the value of your home.

Easy to Care For: Regular sweeping and the occasional damp-mop is all that’s required to keep your hardwood floors in good shape. Depending on the level of wear and tear your hardwoods get, they will typically need to be re-sealed or re-finished every 10 years or so.


Price: While hardwoods aren’t necessarily the most expensive flooring option, they aren’t the least expensive either. Hardwoods are a definite investment but most homeowners find that they are worth every penny! If you like the look of hardwood but are on a tight budget, consider installing laminate hardwood. Laminate looks like solid hardwood but is more wallet-friendly.

Moisture Sensitivity: Because hardwoods are made with solid wood, they are sensitive to changes in humidity and temperature. Hardwoods can warp, shrink and expand in environments where they are exposed to high levels of humidity or extreme changes in temperature. They are not recommended for bathrooms or basements that tend to get damp, and if you have hardwoods in your kitchen, you must be diligent about cleaning up spills and standing water.

4 Reasons You Need To Replace Your Carpet Today

When to Replace Your Carpet

Many homeowners in Albuquerque struggle with knowing when they should replace the carpet in their home. There’s no set rule for when it’s time to put down the vacuum and throw in the towel, so we’ve put together a list of some things to look for if you suspect your floors are on their last leg.

  1. You just don’t like the way it looks anymore. We get it – what was in style when your carpet was installed may not be in style today. If looking at your carpet makes you cringe, there’s no rule that says it needs to be threadbare before you replace it.
  2. It’s got more than a few permanent stains. If you’ve tried every stain remover out there, had your carpet professionally cleaned multiple times, and can’t wrangle your furniture to cover all the stains, it may be time to get it replaced. While there’s nothing functionally wrong with carpet that’s been stained, it can be a bit of an eyesore. If it doesn’t bother you, great! But if it does, now would be the time to start looking at replacement options. If you have a hard time keeping your carpet stain-free, you may want to consider tile or laminate floors, which don’t stain easily.
  3. You or a family member suffers from allergies. Carpet is a wonderful flooring choice for many families. However, one downside to carpet is that it can trap dust, dander and allergens. Even with frequent vacuuming and regular cleaning, carpet can still exacerbate some people’s allergy symptoms. If you or a family member suffers from allergies, consider replacing your carpet with hardwood, tile, vinyl or any other hard flooring surface. These flooring types do not trap dust and dander the way carpet does, and are often better suited for people who have allergies.
  4. You’re getting ready to put your house on the market. If your carpet is dull, dirty and stained, you should consider replacing it before putting your house on the market. Potential homebuyers are often scared away by the perceived cost of having to do a major renovation, so consult your real estate agent if you think you may need to update your floors. Fresh, clean, new carpet can make a great impression on homebuyers and there’s potential to recoup some of cost in the sale price of your home.

Flooring Faux Pas: Carpet in the Bathroom

While carpet is very rarely installed in bathrooms today, you may come across it if you buy or rent an older home. Wall-to-wall carpet in the bathroom may be one of the worst offenders on the list of flooring faux pas because carpet is so poorly suited for high-moisture environments.

If you find yourself in a living situation with carpet in your bathroom (and ripping up the carpet is out of the question), there are a few things you can do to help make the best of the situation:

Bath Mats:

Although putting a bath mat on top of carpet may seem like overkill, it’s a smart move that will help minimize the amount of water that gets absorbed into the carpet. Invest in a couple thick bath mats and place one by the shower and one in front of the sink. This extra layer of protection between wet feet and the carpet will help absorb moisture before it causes too much damage.

Shower curtains:

Ever step out of the shower and realize your curtain didn’t keep all the water inside? Puddles from faulty shower curtains and doors aren’t a big deal when you have a hard-surface floor in your bathroom, but they can cause problems when you’re dealing with carpet. If you notice water is leaking out, it may be time to replace your curtain with one that’s heavier duty. You can purchase interior shower curtain liners that have small magnets at the bottom, which help keep the curtain flush with the side of the tub.


Running your bathroom fan frequently will help keep humidity under control. Repeated exposure to humidity can cause mold and mildew growth over time, so keeping the humidity of your bathroom down is key if you have carpet in your bathroom.


If your bathroom doesn’t have a fan, or if it doesn’t work well to pull the humidity out of the room, consider investing in a dehumidifier. Depending on the size, the dehumidifiers can be costly, so this is a good option if you’re planning to stay in the home long term. You can set dehumidifiers to run when the humidity of the room reaches a certain level, or you can run it as needed.


Any leaks from the shower or tub should be curbed immediately. Even a small leak can turn into a large one over time, so be sure to take action as soon as you notice one. Common places for leaks are around faucets, drains and the bottom of the tub where the seal has weakened.

A Landlord’s Guide to Flooring

As a landlord, deciding when to update the floors in your rental property can be a big decision. If you’re unsure of when – or if – you should replace the floors, here are some questions to ask yourself before you begin the process.

Who is the tenant?

If you primarily rent to college students, now is not the time to install hand-scraped, wide plank, exotic hardwood floors. Chances are, your investment won’t be cared for properly, and you’ll be dealing with damaged floors that need to be replaced much sooner than they should be. If the floors in your rental property see significant wear and tear, you should select the new floors accordingly.

On the other hand, if you have long-term tenants who take excellent care of your rental property, you may feel comfortable investing in a more luxurious flooring choice.

What are your long-term plans for the property?

Take into account your future plans for your property when replacing the floors. If you’re considering selling in the near future, you may want to invest in high quality floors, which will appeal to potential buyers.

What level of maintenance do you want?

As a general rule, flooring in rental homes should be relatively low maintenance. Not only will this make it easier for your tenants to care for the floors, but it will also help limit how often you need to go make repairs. While light colored plush carpet looks nice, your tenants will be constantly walking on eggshells making sure they don’t spill anything, and you’ll need to commit to regular professional cleaning to keep them in good shape. Alternatively, a hard-surface floor like tile or laminate hardwood requires less maintenance.

Also keep in mind long-term maintenance. Hardwood floors will need to be refinished or resealed every 10 to 15 years or so, which can be costly and time consuming. If you select carpet for your rental property, consider carpet squares  – these allow you to replace only the areas of the floor that are damaged rather than having to replace everything. This lowers both maintenance cost and time.

What is your budget?

Of course, budget should factor into your decision. After all, most rental properties are meant to generate income. Don’t break the bank purchasing a floor that is outside of your budget. Find the right balance of function and price so you end up with a floor that is durable, has a long life, and won’t require a lot of maintenance.

Is Tile Right For Me?

Tile is a very popular flooring choice among homeowners here in Albuquerque. However, we know that tile isn’t right for every home. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re considering installing new tile floors.


Climate may not be the first thing you consider when looking for new floors, but it should factor into your decision. Certain floors function better in certain environments than others. Tile is an ideal flooring choice for homes in hot or humid environments. Because tile doesn’t absorb heat the way other flooring materials do, it remains cool underfoot. It also withstands humidity well, unlike carpet or hardwood, which can become damaged from prolonged exposure to moisture.


Tile is extremely versatile, so you won’t have any trouble finding a style or color that fits your home’s décor. If you’re looking for a flooring choice that will let you be as bold or subtle as you want, tile is a great option.

Location in the home

You should also consider where in the home you are planning to install your new tile floors. Because of its durability and resistance to moisture, tile is ideal for kitchens, entryways and bathrooms. However, there are certain rooms that tile isn’t as well suited for. For example, many people prefer carpet in the bedrooms, which provides a more comfortable feel. In addition, we wouldn’t recommend placing tile in a living room/TV room or child’s playroom where people are likely to be sitting on the ground.


Tile floors are a great choice for homeowners with both large and modest budgets. Tile comes in a variety of materials, from natural stone to ceramic, and there are lots of options within any price range. If you have marble tile taste on a ceramic tile budget, don’t worry! Our team at Floor Coverings International and Poulin Design Center can help you find a tile floor that you love!

To learn more about the beautiful tile flooring options we have available, contact us today for a free in-home consultation!

Cali Bamboo: From the Forest to your Feet

All companies have to start somewhere, and our humble beginnings start on none other than the beautiful island of Kauai. In 2004, two college buddies Jeff Goldberg and Tanner Haigwood set off on a year-long surf trip in search of good waves and good times. To help fund the adventure, Jeff took up a part time gig chopping down bamboo in a private estate, where he soon had his ah ah!moment. “After a week by myself in this forest cutting down bamboo, I guess I had nothing else to think about but bamboo,” says Jeff, “the idea just popped into my head one day.”

Jeff figured bamboo could easily be turned into fencing, and because it’s so rapidly renewable, the idea was the perfect embodiment of Jeff’s undying passion for protecting the environment. After a broken foot sent him back home to San Diego, Jeff began selling bamboo fencing and Cali Bamboo was born. From the start, our mission at Cali Bamboo has been to provide alternative building products made from renewable resources such as bamboo to positively impact the future of our planet.

A Culture Built on Values

Cali Bamboo has come along way since 2004, now boasting an expansive product line including flooring anddecking. As Cali Bamboo has grown (and grown, and grown, and grown…), our values have remained the same. Our “family” is built by a team of over 50 passionate employees who value the Earth and all it has to offer, and this shared passion is the foundation for everything we do. For us, it has never been about making an easy buck, and we have never cut corners in terms of safety or quality. It’s clear to us that providing top-quality, green building alternatives that contribute to the long-term sustainability of the planet is simply the right thing to do.

Quality Over Price

Unlike other companies who cut costs by utilizing low quality materials, Cali Bamboo takes great care in our sourcing and manufacturing processes. We carry only the highest quality products- products we use in our own homes where our children grow up. We take extensive measures to ensure that our products are held to the highest safety standards, like conducting regular third-party testing through the leading test company Benchmark International. We are one of the few companies that hold ourselves to transparency by posting all VOC and Janka Hardness test results on our website, which we have done for years. This means that as our customers raise their families on our floors, they have the peace of mind that only comes with a quality product free from harmful additives.

In any industry, quality is reflected in price, and flooring is no different. Many corporate flooring companies offer “ultra-low prices”- but at what cost to the consumer? While we may not have the lowest prices in the business, our hope is that homeowners realize the importance of investing a little more on a lifetime product to ensure it is safe for their family.

Cali Cares

At Cali Bamboo, we know that offering high quality products is only part of the big picture, and the other part is delivering the highest level of customer care. We pride ourselves on our customer service, and always follow through on our promise to put customer satisfaction above our bottom line. It is important to us to truly get to know our customers to help them make a purchase decision that is right for them, and we even go that extra mile by providing services such as the My Cali Dream Floor to help customers visualize new flooring in their home before they commit to a big purchase. Our goal is to be there for our customers through the entire process, and our Customer Service department recently doubled in size to maintain the highest level of service possible. Even years after their purchase, customers know they can call their friends at Cali Bamboo. Can you say that about any big box retailers?

Additionally, giving back to our local community by supporting environmental and humanitarian organizations has always been important to us. We are big supporters of the Surfrider Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, the San Diego Humane Society, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

The Cali Bamboo Difference

We know homeowners have a lot of options when it comes to products for their home, and we know we’re a small company competing with some big corporate players. But at the end of the day, we’re a family committed to offering safe, high-quality products that we feel proud to stand behind. Everyday we’re working to make the world a better place, and we want customers who are excited to be a part of that.

The idea for Cali Bamboo was born in Hawaii, whose state motto is Ua Mau ke Ea o ka Aina i ka Pono or The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness. For Hawaiians, pono means righteousness, always doing what is morally right and selfless. You could say that Cali Bamboo is inspired by the Hawaiian idea of pono because our business operates on the principle of always doing the right thing– for the environment and for our customers. When considering which company to work with for your home improvement needs, we hope you will consider catching a wave with Cali Bamboo.

5 Things You Need To Know To Protect Your Floors

Whether you’re installing new floors in your home, or just want to take great care of the ones already in place, we understand the importance of protecting your flooring investment. Our goal is to help our customers find a floor that they will enjoy for years, so we’ve put together a few tips for keeping your floors looking like new!

1. Use floor mats
This may seem like a no-brainer, but we can’t emphasize enough the importance of floor mats and rugs for protecting your floors. This is especially true if you have hardwoods in your home. Rugs and mats provide an extra layer of protection between shoes and your beloved floors, and can drastically cut down on the wear and tear your floors see. Place doormats on each side of every entrance into your home – this will help trap any mud, water and dirt that may get tracked in on the bottom of shoes. We also recommend placing rugs in hallways and entryways, as well as in the kitchen.

2. Remove shoes
Another simple thing you can do to prolong the life of your floors is to make your home a “shoe free” home. Place a shoe rack and boot tray by your front door and ask family, friends and visitors to remove their shoes when they enter your home. This will protect your floors by reducing the amount of dirt and grit that gets tracked in, which can cause staining and damage over time.

3. Keep pet’s nails trimmed
This tip is key if you have hardwood floors! Too-long nails can scratch the finish of your hardwoods and cause lasting damage. Protect your floors by keeping your pet’s nails trimmed to an appropriate length.

4. Keep up with maintenance
Sticking to a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule is important to keep your floors looking great. Here are some general guidelines to follow:

Carpet: Requires regular vacuuming and professional cleaning on a yearly basis. Spot clean any spills or messes that occur in between shampoos.

Hardwood: Sweep and dust-mop regularly; damp mop when needed. Hardwoods require refinishing or resealing every 10-15 years.

Tile and other hard-surface floors: Sweep and damp-mop as needed.

5. Pick a floor that fits with your lifestyle
This point is something to think about before you decide to invest in a certain flooring type. If you have a family with children and pets, that white plush carpet isn’t going to last long, even if you are diligent about cleaning. Conversely, if you know you don’t want to spend a lot of time caring for your floors, you should pick something that is low-maintenance and durable. If you’re unsure which flooring type will work best in your home, let us help! Our team here at Floor Coverings International and Poulin Design Center can work with you to find the best option for your home and lifestyle.

How to Choose an Area Rug

Sometimes it’s an area rug that really ties a room together. Whether your home features hardwood flooring, laminate, or wall-to-wall carpeting, you may want to consider adding some area rugs. It’s amazing what adding one rug can do for a room! Here are some tips from the Poulin Design Center here in Albuquerque on how to incorporate area rugs into your home’s design.

Evaluate Each Room

Go through your home and take an inventory of any spaces that could potentially use an area rug. Be sure to consider the entryway, the dining room, your living room, hallways, and even bedrooms! Remember, an area rug will help to protect the flooring underneath, so it’s a good idea to add area rugs to high traffic zones in your home. You’ll keep your flooring looking great and add some style at the same time!

Limit Patterns

Sometimes it can be easy to get carried away with patterns. See how many patterns you already have in the room. Is the couch a solid color? Are there throw pillows? Do the curtains have a pattern? You just want to make sure you aren’t overwhelming the design by adding in too many patterns. Remember you can always install an area rug that is a solid color as well. If your current décor is fairly muted and solid in color, then feel free to go for a pattern that will tie in the various colors at work in your design.

Consider Colors

So often with flooring we want to install something with timeless style that will look great for decades to come. With an area rug, you don’t have to make such a long-term commitment. If you feel like adding a bold color to your flooring with an area rug, you can! If you change your mind a few years down the road, you won’t need a team of flooring professionals to change it up! Area rugs are a great way to keep your style current in your home. So add in a beautiful red area rug, a deep blue, or anything in between!

Take a look at your home and see where you could add some serious style with a new area rug! We can help you select the perfect rug for your home. If you feel you may need some new flooring from hardwood to carpet, give the experts at the Poulin Design Center in Albuquerque a call today!

The Best Flooring For Pets

We all love our furry friends! Our dogs and cats are important members of the family so it’s important to include them when you’re in the market for new flooring! Here are some suggestions from The Poulin Design Center of flooring materials we recommend for you and your pet!

Hardwood Flooring

We all love the look of hardwood flooring in our homes especially for rooms like the kitchen, but both engineered hardwood flooring and solid hardwood flooring can be scratched by your pets’ nails. It is possible for hardwood flooring and pets to mix, it simply requires careful grooming and choosing a species of hardwood flooring that is not too soft. Keep in mind, with solid hardwood flooring you can sand and refinish the floor to keep it looking like new over the years, too!

Wood-Look Tile

Maybe you want the appearance of hardwood flooring, but you don’t want to fret over making sure it doesn’t get scratched. If that’s the case you may want to consider wood-look tile flooring. This flooring is super durable and it can handle the traffic from you and your four-legged friend.

Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring can be installed in a solid bright color, or it can mimic the appearance of hardwood flooring or natural stone flooring. Your pets can walk and play on luxury vinyl flooring without causing any damage. Luxury vinyl also comes in at a lower price point than many other options which helps you save on materials!

Natural Stone Flooring

Pets need a durable flooring surface that is easy to clean and a surface that won’t scratch easily. That is why natural stone flooring is the perfect fit for your pets. You and your pets can enjoy stunning natural stone flooring for decades! Consider adding in some slate flooring, granite, travertine tile, or even marble to your home. These flooring options work especially well in the entryway, foyer, or in the kitchen!

If you have pets in your home it’s best to stick with hypoallergenic flooring options like the ones listed above. While carpet may be comfy, it can also harbor allergens and pet hair. Keep your home clean and healthy by installing new flooring that meets the needs of your whole family! Give the Poulin Design center a call today and we can set up a free in-home consultation!

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Founded 38 years ago by Tom Poulin CGR, Poulin Design Remodeling, Inc., has become a mainstay of Albuquerque home renovation.

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