Open floor plans continue to remain a popular interior design element. They allow for a seamless flow throughout a home and lend themselves well to a feeling of unity, conversation, and fellowship with family and friends. Whether you have a home with a large, open space or a smaller home that is cozier, the right use of flooring can open up your design.
One way to achieve this is by installing the same flooring throughout your space. For some, this may seem unusual because we are often accustomed to tile in the kitchen and bath, hardwood in the living room and hall, and carpet in the bedrooms. Good flooring choices to take throughout the whole house are LVT (luxury vinyl tile or plank), WPC (wood polymer composite), and sheet vinyl. These flooring choices, depending on brand, are either waterproof or water resistant and very durable, making it possible for them to be installed anywhere in the home. Each of these products are also able to be installed without transitions, thus creating a continuous flow. In addition, these products all come in wood or tile looks, perfect for whatever design you’re going for.
Tile is also an excellent flooring choice that can literally be installed anywhere in your home. Today’s gorgeous, stylish wood-look varieties go with any décor from rustic to modern. The options are pretty much endless with tile, whether you’re looking for a natural stone look, classic design, or something sleek and bold. Tile is easy to clean and maintain, no matter where it’s installed.
Laminate and hardwood also lend themselves well to open, common areas of the home, with certain considerations. Engineered hardwood is a better choice than solid if being installed in potential wet areas like kitchens. Any spills or leaks should be cleaned up quickly, and you should only use a damp mop when cleaning. Many types of laminate now come with water resistant properties, but care should also be taken in not exposing laminate to large amounts of liquid. We do not recommend laminate or hardwood for bathrooms, but they’re great for the main living areas of a home.
So, our takeaway tips are:
Textures are an important element in home décor. Accent pieces, artwork, throws, pillows, and even flooring can provide texture, warmth, and style, helping to transform your house into a home. When it comes to textures in flooring, most people immediately think of hardwood or tile. Today though, other flooring options like vinyl and laminate are engineered with distressed and hand-scrapted looks that make it hard to tell the difference from real hardwood or tile.
Most people think of laminate, vinyl tile, sheet vinyl, and vinyl plank as being smooth with little to no texture and limited patterns. What you may not realize is that today’s vinyl and laminate are very realistic with looks that make it hard to tell they’re not the real deal. Depending on the look you want to achieve in your space, you may want more or less texture. Wood and tile looks with more grooves and textures tend to look more realistic and are often used in rustic design schemes. For a modern, streamlined look, go for less texture.
Some examples of textures are:
When you’re looking for a wood or tile look in vinyl or laminate, remember smoother and lighter textures lend themselves well to an open, modern designs with clean lines. More textured planks or grout grooves will add realism and complexity to your décor for a rustic look. There's a whole new world of vinyl and laminate, come see what we have in store for a beautiful look in your home.
LVT, WPC and laminate flooring are durable and come in many different hardwood and stone looks that make any space look beautiful. But is flooring just for floors? Not necessarily. Let's look at some ways to think outside the box with you flooring.
You might have recently had flooring installed, and you have some extra left over. What are you supposed to do with it? Don't underestimate the style and texture a wood or stone-look accent wall can bring to a space. In addition, wood planked ceilings are stunning and easy to achieve with lightweight materials like LVT, WPC, and laminate. Hardwood can also be used for ceilings and accent walls, but it’s just a bit more labor-intensive because of the weight of the wood (want to make sure it’s secure to your surface).
If you don’t have enough excess flooring for an accent wall, what else can you do with it? Wood or stone-look picture or mirror frames are a stylish and easy way to use up those extra pieces. How about a wood plank headboard? Since LVT, WPC, and laminate are lightweight and very durable, they’re easy to work with and can be used almost anywhere. You can use those extra pieces on the walls in other ways too like funky wall art or floating shelves. LVT, WPC, laminate, and even tile are perfect for covering shelves and tables, giving them a stylish wood or stone look. Another benefit to using that extra flooring to make accents in your space is that it draws the look of your space together with the color and texture of your floors.
Maybe you've already had your floors installed and have extra flooring, or maybe you’re about to buy new flooring. Either way, don't forget the other uses for the leftovers that can really draw your space together and make it unique.
Laminate is a popular floor covering that mimics natural materials like stone and wood. Laminate flooring is just as strong and scratch resistant as vinyl and much more resilient than the wood and stone it immitates. Like every floor covering, laminate has its pros and cons. Below are some things to consider when buying laminate flooring.
Laminate designs are printed in high definition allowing it to capture a stone or wood look almost perfectly. Laminate comes in many different plank sizes. It’s resistant to wear and won’t fade from direct sunlight or any kind of artificial light. Due to its durability, most laminate has a warranty of 15 to 30 years. Installation is easy with a locking system that is nail and glue-free. It can easily be floated over any non-textile sub floor or existing floor, even concrete. Laminate is easy to clean, and in general just requires regular sweeping and dry mopping. For a deeper clean, a cleaning solution like Bona Hard Surface Cleaner that won’t leave a filmy residue is perfectly safe.
Even with its foam underlay, laminate is hard under foot. It also doesn’t insulate a room like carpet or cork flooring would. If damaged, laminate can’t be sanded or refinished like the hardwood it mimics. The damaged planks have to be replaced. Laminate is not as moisture resistant as other floor coverings. If there is a wet spill, it should be cleaned up immediately so your floor isn’t damaged.
Think about the specific needs and lifestyle in your home when looking over the pros and cons of laminate. But all in all, laminate’s pros outweigh the cons and might be just right for your home.
The rustic look is a very popular décor style and for good reason. The look feels homey and welcoming with an aged style. You don't have to live on a farm or in a cabin in the woods to have a beautiful, rustic home. Follow these design tips to bring this style into any space.
Garage sales and thrift stores are great places for finding furniture and treasures that can be repurposed. You can easily turn an old window into a picture frame or even a table top with a new coat of paint, some sanding, and a little hardware. For more window ideas click HERE. Find an older-looking piece, such as a dresser, and paint it a creamy white or beige, and then stand it down to create a gently-worn look. If you prefer a pop of color, you can use just about any color you like if used correctly. The most important thing to do when using a bright color such as red or turquoise is to sand off some of the color, making it look worn. For more inspiration, click HERE. A little paint and a sander make it easy to turn something into a beautiful rustic piece.
Other rustic touches are old clocks and woven baskets for storage. Textures are another quality of the rustic look, like old metal, rope, burlap and maybe one of the most important, wood. Another key component is the color pallet: creamy whites, beiges, and browns are the primary colors of the rustic look. If you’re looking for even more projects and décor ideas, check out our Farmhouse Pinterest Board.
Your floors will be an important factor to your rustic-style home. There are a variety of rustic, weathered looks available in hardwood, LVT, WPC, tile and laminate. The color of wood flooring you will use depends a lot on the color of wood used in the furniture in your home. Do you want to coordinate or contrast? Many hard surface floorings come with aged features like wire brushing and distressing in any color from black to blonde. In addition, there are many selections in rustic, wood-look tile that make it difficult to tell tile from wood.
When designing your rustic home, don't be afraid to bargain hunt and break out the sander. Keep your colors rustic by giving the surface a worn look. Find flooring with distressed features and a color that complements your décor. Before long, you’ll have your whole design put together and can enjoy the farmhouse life!
Tile and laminate are very popular and durable flooring choices for active homes. However, they must be taken care of properly for them to last. Following these tips and any additional manufacturer instructions can help increase the life and beauty of your floors.
Tile is often mistakenly thought of as waterproof; however, it is a strong material and will last a long time if cared for correctly. For general maintenance, sweep or vacuum the tile regularly to remove any loose dirt or grit. When a deeper cleaning is required, mop with water and an added tile cleaning solution. Be sure to follow up with a rinse using fresh water; this keeps the cleaner from building up or leaving a film. It’s not recommended that you use any cleaners that are oil based or have a wax polish as these can cause a film to build up.
Never use cleaners containing acid or bleach for routine maintenance. Don’t use harsh cleaning tools such as steel wool or scouring pads that contain metals. These can scratch and damage your tile. Also, be careful not to use ammonia because this can discolor your grout. Make sure you don't clean your tile for about a week after installation so the grout will have time to set. After installation, grout joints should be treated with silicone to insure they do not chip.
Laminate is a great choice for active homes because it has superior scratch and stain resistance. Laminate is not indestructible though and does require regular maintenance. Dirt that goes unattended can be very abrasive to any floor, and laminate is no exception. For routine maintenance, just use your vacuum cleaner. Make sure to use the hard surface setting on your vacuum and turn off the beater bar.
For both tile and laminate, an excellent cleaning solution is Bona Hard Surface Cleaner. Bona cleaner is easy to use and effective. Bona Kemi Pro Series Hard Surface Cleaner is a Greenguard Certified solution with pH balanced formulation to thoroughly clean grout, laminate, and stone surfaces without dulling finishes. It's also non-toxic, so it safely cleans hard surfaces without leaving behind any residue. Even though the Professional cleaners from Bona Kemi are more aggressive than the original strength Bona cleaners, it is safe for use around children and pets.
If you ever have problems or questions about caring for your floor, consult your flooring specialist or the manufacturer’s instructions. With proper care, you can keep your floors sparkling and looking fresh for years to come.