These days, the "new normal" is constantly changing as we navigate life amidst a global pandemic. Many of us have traded in our dress clothes and brief cases for sweats and house shoes. While working from home does have its advantages, it can also be filled with distractions. If you're carving out a home office space to give you some solace from the chaos, make sure you choose the right flooring.
Hardwood is a warm and inviting choice that never goes out of style. Engineered wood is your best bet. It's more durable and resistant to moisture/humidity changes than solid. While you should shop for products with an aluminum oxide finish to protect against scratches, it's a great idea to buy furniture protectors and desk chair pads to help minimize damage. Engineered hardwood is also available in a variety of colors ranging from blondes to ebonies and also comes in various plank widths and textures to suit any decor. Hardwood is also easy to keep clean with regular sweeping and damp mopping.
Looking for a beautiful, durable, and healthy choice for your work-from-home space? Tile is an excellent choice. It's hypoallergenic (doesn't harbor allergens), doesn't scratch, and is easy to clean with regular sweeping and mopping. Tile has so many beautiful designs and styles from which to choose. Want wood without the worry? Get wood-look tile! Want stone without the stress? Get stone-look tile. There are even vintage and decorative choices. The possibilities are endless. Whether your style is modern or classic, vintage or trendy, there's a tile for you.
Looking for a space that's a little more cozy? Then of course, you want carpet! You can choose a neutral shade that provides a calm canvas for your work area, or opt for a patterned carpet that exudes style and energy! Brands like Mohawk's SmartStrand are excellent choices because they repel stains and dirt; great if you've got kids and pets underfoot. Carpet's soft surface is also ideal for pacing during those important conference calls, and it's easy to clean with regular vacuuming.
Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP)
One of the hottest flooring categories today is Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP). LVP is a fantastic floor that is waterproof and comes in a wealth of wood and tile looks. It's an excellent home office choice, especially if you're prone to spilling your coffee when you're just not quite awake for that early Zoom meeting. LVP is very durable, but we do recommend having a pad under your office chair to minimize scratching.
Still not sure which choice is best for your home office? Give us a call! We'll be glad to come out for a free estimate, free samples, and design advice. Call today: 256-231-0008.
The word “waterproof” is one hot topic in the flooring world today. Along with that label comes the acronyms LVT (luxury vinyl tile), WPC (wood plastic composite), and SPC (stone polymer core). This leads customers to ask a lot of questions: What does that mean? What's it made of? Is it wood or plastic? Is it waterproof? Let's take some of the mystery out of these flooring categories.
Good: Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)
LVT is a vinyl-based plank flooring that mimics the look of stone and wood and consists of several layers. The top layer consists of a finish that protects from light scratching and shoe scuffs. Next is a clear film that protects against rips and tears. Then comes the design layer--this is your stone or wood print. Under all that is a flexible PVC core and then the backing. The PVC core makes LVT waterproof, but there are a couple of drawbacks. Because of its thinner, flexible nature, LVT can often reveal any imperfections in a subfloor. LVT is also more susceptible to dents or damage from heavy objects like furniture. For installation, LVT can be glued down or “floated” with a click-together locking system over an existing hard surface floor or subfloor.
Better: Wood-Plastic Composite (WPC)
WPC is also a vinyl-based flooring that mimics stone and wood. Like vinyl, WPC consists of a protective wear layer, decorative layer, vinyl layer, and core. The core is made of a wood-plastic polymer, making it stronger and denser than LVT, and also waterproof. The stronger core found in WPC makes it more rigid and less susceptible to dents and damage. Another advantage of this type core is that it conforms less to a subfloor, making it softer under-foot while concealing subfloor imperfections. WPC is usually installed as a click-together locking system and can also easily be laid over an existing hard surface or subfloor.
Best: Stone Plastic Composite (SPC)
SPC definitely comes out on top for durability in the waterproof flooring category. The core is literally made of a stone (usually limestone) and plastic composite. This hardy core makes it highly impervious to dents and damage and hides imperfections in subfloors. SPC also consists of a wear layer, style layer, core, and some products come with an attached backing. Like its LVT and WPC cousins, SPC is waterproof and comes in a variety of wood and tile looks. It too can be installed with a click-together locking system over existing hard surfaces.
Whether you choose LVT, WPC, or SPC, they’re all easy to clean and relatively easy to install if you’re a do-it-yourselfer. They all come in a wide variety of realistic tile and wood looks to suit any décor. Our flooring professionals can help you decide which one is right for you.
Muddy shoes and backpacks with overflowing school supplies--is this what you see when you walk into your house? Entryways and mudrooms can get messy and cluttered, especially with school back in session and kids coming and going. In this blog, we’ll look at what you can do to make either your entryway or your mudroom stylish, durable, and functional.
Mudrooms are usually a small room or area near an entryway where people generally tend to discard their items in a hurry. So, how can you foster tidiness in this space? Functional storage is the key, one of the most useful mudroom items is a bench with cubby storage. A bench makes it easy for all to remove their shoes, and hooks and cubbies are perfect for hanging back packs and helping keep items off the floor. You can really express yourself in these little areas of the house because they are generally separate from the rest of the living spaces. Use your imagination and make a fun and welcoming space with lots of color, accessories, and even a fun rug.
Not every home has a mudroom but still has a need for a functional entryway. Just like mudrooms, your entryway needs storage too. You can use a small bench with decorative storage baskets underneath and hooks on the wall above to create useful storage in a smaller space.
In addition to storage, both entryways and the mudrooms need durable flooring because these areas are subject to a lot of foot traffic and outdoor elements. A favorite flooring option for these spaces is tile because it’s durable, easy to clean, and comes in many styles.
Tile is not your only option though. There are so many flooring types now that can handle heavy traffic and even water, just as well as tile. Two very popular alternatives are WPC (waterproof or rigid core flooring) and luxury vinyl or luxury vinyl tile. Both of these options come in wood and even tile looks. If you do decide to use hardwood, consider investing in a stain-resistant or outdoor rug to protect your hardwoods from damage in this area of your home.
If you’re ready to give your mudroom or entryway an overhaul, stop by our showroom, and one of our flooring advisors can help you pick out the perfect flooring for your space!
It’s getting closer to summertime, and many of us are dreaming of blue oceans and sandy beaches. While we can’t always make it to the beach, we can bring summery, coastal vibes into our homes by incorporating an Old World, Mediterranean style.
Mediterranean décor consists of bright colors mixed with Old World elements. It’s basically the opposite of modern, with lots of textures, colors, and curved shapes. The general color scheme for this look utilizes Terra cotta, turquoise, rust, and yellow all contrasted by bright, clean whites. You can find many elements of Mediterranean décor in tiles like terra cotta, hand-painted, aged, and Moroccan tile. While some may think these materials can be expensive and hard to find, we have several products that offer the perfect match.
Tesoro’s Grunge Oxid, Cuba mix, and Havana series of tile make a great combo for backsplashes or even accent walls that exude Old World charm. In addition, Mannington’s Deco Steel luxury vinyl is a beautiful option for kitchen or bathroom floors to give a space the look of unique, hand-painted tiles at a fraction of the cost. Aged or distressed wood also plays a part in Mediterranean design. A flooring like All South Floor’s Gulf Coast Driftwood is an excellent option for an aged wood-look to give your space an open flow and balance out high-patterned tiles. Finish off your look with European style accessories, and don’t forget to throw in some wrought iron.
These floorings and tile offer just one example of how to achieve a Mediterranean look in your home. Keeping these design principles in mind, you can explore other options in our showroom or on our website at shopabbey.com that work together to achieve your desired look.
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:
If you own a business, you know the effect a first impression can have, whether you’re a retail, medical, or service-based establishment. People are drawn to and enjoy being in a business that is clean, comfortable, and appealing to the eye. Flooring plays a big part in that aesthetic, but in addition to looking good, businesses experience a lot of traffic and need durable flooring.
Commercial flooring is often thought of as generic and bland. There hasn’t always been a wealth of options for durable flooring that could meet a business’s needs and be stylish. These days though, there are a lot more options as the flooring industry is revolutionizing flooring to be both durable and beautiful.
A go-to for commercial flooring is often carpet or carpet tiles. One of the many brands we offer is Mohawk’s ColorStrand SD which is equipped with colorfastness to sunlight, atmospheric contamination, and harsh cleaners. It’s also great against stains with its Protection Plus Soil and Stain Resistant Technology. ColorStrand is guaranteed not to wear more than 10% of its surface pile weight for the life of the carpet (it lasts!), and it’s also equipped with Weldlok Plus backing. Weldlock Plus is an advanced, high performance backing system designed to provide long-term carpet durability while delivering sustainable benefits. ColorStrand SD is also an easy, direct glue down or stretch in installation. To see more of the ColorStrand line, click here.
But, let’s not forget about hard surfaces! You can always go basic, but hard surface commercial flooring features many options in resilient sheet flooring and luxury vinyl tile. Resilient sheet flooring and luxury vinyl tile are both perfect for the commercial scene in durability, maintenance, and style. Hardwood and tile are beautiful but can have a hard time standing up to the high traffic needs of commercial areas; whereas resilient sheet flooring and luxury vinyl tile you give the best of both worlds. So many styles are available in wood and stone looks and even patterns. We are also proud to be able to offer a vinyl heat welding procedure, often used in medical areas such as labs and imaging rooms.
The appearance of your commercial area can bring in more business and make a better environment for your employees. With today's floors you don't have compromise style for durability. To see more of our commercial jobs and what we can do for you, click here.
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.
Whether you call them pets, fur-babies, your children, or grand-pets, your pets are a part of the family. If you have indoor animals, though, you know the struggle of keeping your floors clean and in good condition. We love our pets, but we love our floors too. Let’s look at some flooring options suited for furry friends.
Hard surface floors
It’s hard to beat the look of a beautiful hardwood floor, but it’s not the best choice for families with pets. Hardwoods are very susceptible to scratches from claws, and pet urine can soak down into the wood causing odors and damage. Moisture from water bowls is also another potential problem that is often overlooked.
Luckily, vinyl, LVT, and WPC can fill the need for a wood look and pet-friendly durability. LVT (luxury vinyl tile or plank) and sheet vinyl are great options because both come in stylish wood and stone looks and are scratch and dent resistant, perfect to stand up to your pets’ claws. Sheet vinyl is virtually waterproof, and LVT is water-resistant. So, if your pet has an accident, it’s not the end of the world for your floors. WPC has many of the same features as LVT, but due to the makeup of its core, WPC is virtually impervious to water damage. Vinyl, LVT, and WPC are easily maintained with sweeping and mopping.
Tile and stone are also excellent choices for pets. Neither floor scratches easily, and they are both easy to clean and maintain. The only drawback is that tile and stone are often cold and hard. Consider adding a few rugs or a pet bed to give your pet a comfy place to relax.
Many people love the softness and comfort of carpet but have given up on having carpet due to their pets. However, carpet has changed the game in recent years with options like Mohawk SmartStrand. SmartStrand is literally one of the most durable carpets on the market with features like:
The great outdoors is amazing, especially when you have your own little piece of the outdoors at home. Maybe it's sitting on the patio or balcony reading, fun times by the pool, or a welcoming walkway in a garden or court yard. Either way, it's these outdoor spaces that really bring something extra to our homes. Let's take a look at how to make a welcoming outdoor space and the flooring you can use to do this.
One of the most popular outdoor spaces is the patio. These usually consist of a concrete slab off the house, sometimes with a roof to provide shade. A sliding glass door connecting your living space with your patio will make your living space feel open and add lots of natural light. You can take your patio to another level by continuing your flooring in the home out onto the patio. To do this, though, you will have to choose a floor covering that is suitable to be outdoors.
Floor coverings like hardwood, vinyl, ceramic tile, and carpet are not ideal for outdoor use or in any areas that are not regulated. (Some hard wood can be used outside but requires an extensive of amount of maintenance). If planning on using these kinds of floor coverings, keep in mind they are susceptible to moisture damage and not recommended for outdoor use. Still want to carry your wood or tile flooring outside? Well not to worry. There are several options available.
The WPC flooring category offers wood and stone looks that are perfect for indoor or outdoor spaces, allowing you to continue your look from the inside out. You may love sipping drinks and relaxing on your porch but hate the maintenance that comes with wood. The porch is a prime example of an area WPC wood-look flooring can bring a new look and more comfort to your outdoor space with less maintenance.
Tile is beautiful outdoors, whether it's on a patio, porch, walkway, or poolside. When opting for tile outdoors, stone or ceramics are not ideal because they absorb too much moisture. Stone and ceramic tile is also susceptible to cracking and breaking when the temperatures rise and fall. However, slip-resistant porcelain tile that is rated for outdoor use is perfect. Slate is also a great choice for outdoor spaces. When properly sealed, this natural stone is a champion of beauty and durability. Keep in mind that using larger-sized tiles can make your space feel bigger, and wood-look tile will add texture and warmth.
So, when looking to expand your home to the outdoors, remember to keep the space open to allow the outdoors in. Think outside the box when it comes to the walkways and floors. Remember the maintenance that will be needed for the flooring you choose and be sure to pick a floor covering that is not only beautiful but durable and meets your needs.
Two of the hottest products in the flooring world today are LVT and WPC, but they lead customers ask many questions: What does that stand for? What's it made of? Is it wood? Is it waterproof?--the list goes on. Let's take some of the mystery out of these flooring categories for you. We'll start with LVT.
LVT stands for luxury vinyl tile, also know as luxury vinyl plank (LVP) and luxury vinyl flooring (LVF). LVT is a vinyl based flooring that mimics the look of stone and wood. LVT consists of five layers. First is a finish that protects from light scratching and shoe scuffs. Second is a clear film that protects against rips and tears. Third is the design layer--this is your stone or wood print. Fourth is the core, which gives it structure. And finally, the fifth layer is the backing.
LVT captures the realistic look of wood and stone designs with the use of photographic technology. The design options don't stop at color though. LVT also comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Square pieces range from 12x12 to 24x24, and rectangle piece come in 12x24. You can even get LVT in hexagonal shapes!
Besides its design advantages, LVT has many practical angles. Unlike the stone and wood that it mimics, LVT is very water resistant. In fact, it is pretty much impervious to wet spills. While stone is susceptible to cracks if something heavy is dropped on it or if not installed correctly, LVT is very durable, giving it the stone look without fear of it cracking. Tile is beautiful, but many don’t like its cold feel—something that LVT does not have.
LVT is very easy to clean: damp mopping is the recommended cleaning procedure for LVT. Because it is very durable, it is not uncommon to see 20 to 25-year warranties on LVT.
WPC (wood plastic/polymer composite) shares many similarities with LVT, but at the same time, they do have some differences. Let's take a look at why you might consider WPC for your floor covering.
There are many different versions of WPC (wood plastic/polymer composite). While the “W” in WPC stands for wood, the majority of WPC-type products entering the market today don’t contain wood. These kinds of WPC are often called enhanced vinyl plank, engineered luxury vinyl, and water proof vinyl. We’re going to focus on the features of these types of WPC.
WPC is like LVT in that it is vinyl based and mimics stone and wood. The core is made of plastic/polymer, which is the same material PVC pipes are of made. When this kind of core is used in WPC, it is totally water proof. WPC can be installed in places with high exposure to moisture, such as bathrooms and basements. WPC’s core is rigid, thus hiding imperfections in the subfloor. The rigid core also allows for longer and wider planks. Like LVT, WPC is very easy to clean and has a lengthy warranty.
If you would like the look of wood or stone but with added durability and protection, LVT and WPC are both excellent flooring choices for your home.