Courtesy of Kathy Passarette, another great blog posting in her "Time to Come Home" series.
One of the largest single surfaces in your home is the floor. This article will take a look at the many options available in flooring and which one, or combination of choices, will work best in your home.
Wood ~ There is nothing that evokes warmth and timeless appeal more than wood floors. Wood does not harbor allergens, is renewable and easily recyclable. Many decorating magazines show homes that utilize reclaimed or salvaged wood. You can add stencils, borders or medallions (or a combination of the three). Wood floors are favored in living rooms, dining rooms, and family rooms. The addition of an area rug can help define seating areas and break up a large expanse of wood flooring.
Laminate ~ Laminate can mimic hardwood, stone or tile. There is a backing layer, a composite fiberboard base and a printed pattern. It cleans up easily and can be vacuumed. It cannot be refinished like hardwood. Most laminates snap into place avoiding the need for glue. Because it is moisture resistant, laminates can be used below or above grade.
Carpet ~ Nothing feels better on bare feet than carpet, especially in a bedroom on a cold winter morning. Carpets come in a variety of colors, textures and patterns. With a pad installed underneath, carpets absorb noise and provide some insulation. Carpet is, however, a high maintenance choice as far as wear and tear (especially in high traffic areas), as well as dealing with stains. From plush to berber there is a carpet for just about every room. Area rugs are an option for those who want the feel of carpet, but don’t want to do wall-to-wall. Carpet is mainly used in bedrooms and living rooms.
Natural Stone ~ Stone provides a timeless look and is a hard surface that does not trap dust mites or bacteria (as carpet and rugs do). Many popular natural stones are Slate, Marble, Granite, Limestone, Soapstone, and Concrete. Many of these stones are not just limited to flooring either. Natural stone is great for entries, bathrooms, and mudrooms. Some natural stones require sealing.
Ceramic Tile~ For a durable, low maintenance floor ceramic tile is your choice for bathrooms, kitchens, entries and mudrooms. Unlike natural stone, ceramic tiles are dependably uniform, although you can find ceramic tile in a "natural stone" look at a less expensive price tag. Using different shapes and sizes of tile can make for a pleasing visual impact, such as laying tile on the diagonal or using a larger tile for the main part of the floor with smaller tiles around the outside as a border. Ceramic tile comes in unlimited colors, patterns, sizes and shapes.
Vinyl ~ Is also called resilient flooring because of its flexibility and softness. Vinyl flooring is durable, affordable, easy-care and easy on your feet. Vinyl works wonderfully in kitchens (especially if you do quite a bit of standing), bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms, etc. There are many designs and colors in vinyl flooring, which comes in sheets or tiles. The picture below shows some of the varities of vinyl flooring, that give the look of ceramic tile, natural stone, and wood.
This series of articles is intended for entertainment purposes. Any resources listed are not an endorsement, but resources I have researched personally and professionally for ideas, trends and client projects. I welcome comments, e-mails or questions about the articles, or even your own home décor dilemmas.
Copyright 2009 Kathy Passarette, Creative Home Expressions
Kathy Passarette and Creative Home Expressions are located on Long Island, New York, and offer interior decorating, home staging, interior redesign, color consultations and more. For more information on our services and fees please visit our website at www.creativehomeexpressions.com.