When Edie and Gary Anderson walked into a flooring store in Jasper, Georgia on a spring day in 2021, they were just browsing. They were considering updating the flooring in their condominium at Long Beach Resort in Panama City Beach. When they mentioned where the condominium was located, the staff at the store, referred them to Flooring Depot of Panama City.

“They raved about the owner, Barry McEntire, and said they could order the floors, but logistically it would be easier for us to work with Flooring Depot here,” says Edie. “It turns out that Barry used to own that flooring store in Jasper and that’s why they were familiar with his store in Panama City. We decided to visit the showroom and once we did, we never went anywhere else. We worked with Sean, and he did an excellent job for us. He was patient with me as it took me a while to find something I really liked. We were able to bring samples back to the unit and put them on the floor so we could see what they looked like in our space. I was picky, but I knew how I wanted the condo to look and feel. We couldn’t be more pleased with the products, service, and the end result.”

The Andersons knew that the flooring purchase was a long-term investment in their condominium, especially since their family plans to not only use it more often but also rent it out for vacationers. “We bought the luxury vinyl plank. We purchased a step down from the highest grade—the only thing higher was a commercial product,” says Edie. “We wanted it to last for years to come and we hope to have both rental traffic and families visiting the unit a lot. So, we needed it to be durable.”

Luxury vinyl plank/tile, or LVP/LVT, is one of the most popular flooring products on the market today. The reason for its popularity is simple—it’s durable, affordable, and a great alternative to traditional hardwood flooring. According to an article published in Floor Covering News, dated May 17, 2021, 2020 sales for rigid core and waterproof core flooring (WPC), which are part of the resilient market, account for a little more than 80 percent of all residential sales. The popularity here in Florida is evident as homeowners and renters look for durable and long-lasting products just like the Andersons did.

The Andersons went with a rigid core product. They purchased Mannington’s Adura in Aspen Frost and used it throughout the main living area and bedrooms in their 1,800-square-foot condo. Rigid core flooring is 100 percent waterproof, which was important for the Andersons since their condo is beachfront. It’s also easy to maintain and install. It’s tongue and groove and a floating floor so it’s perfect if you love DIY.

Rigid core is engineered and solid, giving it added strength and stability. It’s made of several layers with the top being a wear layer that helps protect the product from scratches and stains. Next is a thin layer of vinyl (this is the graphics layer that makes it look like wood) placed over the core. Then the core, which is made up of wood or stone plastic composite (WPC/SPC) gives it its strength. It’s often recommended to add an underlayment that offers cushion and sound-absorbing qualities.

“Luxury vinyl plank/tile is a great product for our area because it holds up well to the elements of Northwest Florida,” says Barry McEntire, owner of Flooring Depot of Panama City. “It’s great for families with kids and pets because of its durability. It also comes in beautiful color options, anything from traditional to coastal looks based on your home and the design you are trying to achieve. It truly mimics real wood at a fraction of the cost.”

The Andersons are so glad they walked into that store in Jasper, Georgia. “It’s funny when you think about how we got to Flooring Depot of Panama City, but we are so glad that we did. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience, and we love the finished product,” says Edie smiling. “I even convinced my brother to redo his floors in his condo and he’s already called and talked with Sean. I wanted our condo to feel like you had already stepped out onto the beach as soon as you walk in the door, and I think we did that thanks to Flooring Depot of Panama City.”