Courtesy Congoleum Corp.

KITCHEN DUTY: Congoleum Corp. recently launched K-Tech for Kitchens, durable, stain-resistant flooring made especially for kitchens that offers the perfect combination of beauty and performance. K-Tech's wood vinyl collection, Retreat, comes in three styles—natural timber, maple syrup, and burnished oak—and contains silver, nature's own antimicrobial protection against bacteria, mold, and mildew. It also features advanced stain and soil repellency for cleaning ease. For more information, call Congoleum at 800-274-3266 or visit

No flooring other than hardwood can be traditional while contemporary, cozy and cool, stylish yet staid. But hardwood floors are just not practical for most multifamily properties. Not only are they too expensive, but maintenance and durability can also be major concerns. Fortunately, multifamily owners and developers can get the look of hardwood floors by installing wood laminate or vinyl tiles or even vinyl plank flooring.

Across the country, multifamily developers and owners are installing these faux wood flooring products in their communities for both convenience and cost savings. From clubhouse common areas to apartment kitchens and living rooms, wood laminate and wood-style vinyl are appropriate for almost any room of an apartment or condo community.

“We're seeing less carpet and more hard surfaces for multifamily properties,” says Adrienne Faulkner, president of Faulkner Design Group, a Dallas-based interior design shop that works with a number of apartment owners and developers. “The trend toward hard surfaces is related to maintenance and cleanliness.” Faulkner says apartment owners and developers should consider cost, durability, ease of installation, repairs, and life cycle costs when choosing flooring. Luxury vinyl tile and planks are much more durable than the cushioned-back sheet vinyl of the past and have a longer life than carpet, she adds. Moreover, using tiles and planks—instead of replacing vinyl or carpet with professional crews—makes repairs much more cost-efficient and can be performed by on-site maintenance personnel. Gary Finseth, director of marketing for Tarkett Residential, a Houston-based flooring manufacturer that sells wood laminate products, says the trend toward hard surfaces that mimic wood grew out of the residential market. “These products had resurgence in the remodeling market as a lot of homeowners ripped out their carpet,” he explains. Like many other trends that started on the single-family side, faux wood has made its way to multifamily. For example, Tarkett's wood laminate product Escapade was recently installed in all 38 units at The American Loft, an 11-story condo project in Philadelphia developed by locally based Creating Real Estate Innovations.

Faulkner Design chose Parterre Flooring Systems' luxury vinyl wood plank product in several of its projects including JPI Development's Jefferson at Texas Street in Dallas, Legacy Partners' Sunset Lofts in Los Angeles, and Trammell Crow Co.'s Alexan Fitzhugh in Dallas. “Using a luxury vinyl plank throughout a multifamily unit makes the unit look larger and feel better,” Faulkner says. “It can be used easily and safely in kitchens, baths, living rooms and laundry rooms, and if installed properly, it can last up to 25 years. The right choice of vinyl plank can increase the marketability of a multifamily asset immensely,” he says.


Parterre Flooring Systems' wood vinyl plank and wood vinyl tile are ideal for apartments and condos. Both planks and tiles are available in more than 35 colors and exotic and aged woods. Its Reside wood plank is manufactured with 45 percent recycled content and is 100 percent recyclable. For more information, call Parterre Flooring Systems at 888-338-1029 or visit


HARO's TRITTY wood laminate floors, available in 30 styles and colors, now feature six surface designs including classic, untextured surfaces, textured surfaces that feel like real wood grain, and pore-structured surfaces that show tiny regularly spaced depressions. The wood laminate is also available with an “authentic” surface design, which makes the planks or tiles feel like they look. For more information, call HARO at 49 8031 700 or visit


Tarkett Residential features five collections within its wood laminate line: Trek, Escapade, Cross Country, Journeys, and New Frontier. All wood laminate products have backboards that are made of 100 percent hardwood and are available in a variety of wood grains. The products are available in 4-inch-wide to 8-inch-wide strips. For more information, call Tarkett at 800-366-2689 or visit


Armstrong Grand Illusions Premium Laminate floors were recently introduced in four new exotic hardwoods: walnut, tigerwood, afzelia and cherry. Grand Illusions is available in 5-inch-wide planks and a “kissed-edge bevel” that is half the size of a standard bevel and helps to accentuate each strip. Each plank is a full 12-mm thick for greater sound reduction. For more information, call Armstrong at 877-ARM-STRONG or visit


Mannington Laminate Floors' Time Crafted Maple line combines the essence of beautifully age-worn hardwood with the performance of laminate. The new line comes in four colors. Featuring ThermoComposite construction, which fuses five distinct components together in one single step to create an extremely durable floor, the collection offers a 25-year warranty. For more information, call Mannington at 800-482-9527 or visit