Today is a meat and potatoes kind of day. I adore discussing my home shopping addiction, but we gotta go back to basics. Flooring. It’s sort of like two women going clothes shopping. One is a perfect size 4 without a drop of flab in sight, ( yes we hate her!) Then, of course we have the woman most of us will identify with. Some leftover baby belly flab, a bit of extra insulation in the rear…yes she enjoys life, but not when she’s in the 3-way mirrored dressing room.
Skinny size 4, the one we hate, just looks amazing in everything! She can shop Forever 21 and look like a million bucks. Her friend, the cookie lover, is a bit more limited. Instead of just buying what she likes, she needs to shop for clothes that flatter her. She’s way more limited, and probably has to spend a bit more.
Enter flooring. Choosing flooring is one of the most important aesthetic decisions you will make over the course of building a home. That’s because the flooring is the basis of all your decor. A home with great flooring is like a skinny girl who looks great in everything. You can shop well without breaking the bank and still have a chic home. A home with a neutral, authentic looking tile is a blank slate with limitless options. Even a simple hardwood floor leaves you open to endless color options and styles of decor. Few things pain me more than walking into a home I was hired to decorate only to be greeted with ugly, cheap looking tile. (Cue my fave eye-covering monkey emoji.) That’s the heavier friend, where I find myself spending so much energy and money trying to decorate the home well around that ugly-fugly floor.
So to get specific, an overview of different flooring options and where to use them.
Wall to Wall Carpeting
Please, please try to limit this only to bedrooms! It will inevitably get dirty and gross and is definitely not your friend if anyone in your home has asthma, as it is a serious dust catcher. Even in bedrooms, I am a huge fan of area rugs on top of hardwood flooring, as they can be removed and spot cleaned and the room can remain fresh and clean. Definitely not a fan of this one.
Tile is the optimal choice for all high traffic areas, such as a mudroom, entry, and kitchen, and of course, bathrooms. You will be hearing a lot more from me in the future about the importance of choosing the right tile for your space, but tile is definitely the most long lasting, no maintenance flooring available. Unless it is highly polished, in which case you do need to proceed with caution in regard to scratching, tile is pretty much bulletproof and won’t scratch, stain, warp, or do anything you don’t want it to do. It is waterproof and a worthy investment. There are people who worry about tile being cold in the winter and that it is very hard if you fall or drop a dish. To which I reply put on some slippers! How often do you drop plates on the floor? And in general little children are the ones who fall, and their bodies are designed to handle the falls. No worries.
Hardwood is dear to my heart. I adore hardwood in living and dining rooms, on stairs, in playrooms, and always in bedrooms. Hardwood tends to be soft underfoot and warm in the winter, and gives a room a cozy feel. It adds lasting value to a home as it can always be refinished after years of wear and tear and the new stain can instantly add an affordable update. It is absolutely timeless. Be aware that in the afore-mentioned high traffic areas it will scratch easily, and is not as easily cleaned as tile. For that reason, in a busy home I would stay away from hardwood in the entrance and kitchen/dinette. Big but. If you do not have room in your budget to choose a great tile and have it installed well, I would always prefer hardwood to bad tile! It always looks great and will not destroy the rest of your decor like a bad tile will.
Vinyl and Laminate
Vinyl and laminate flooring have come a long way. There are fantastic hardwood look-alike options available today. They are affordable and fantastic for retail spaces, but although it is undoubtedly a better alternative to carpet, I would advise against using them in your home, as they just don’t have the solid presence underfoot of tile and hardwood and are definitely not something that I would consider to be very long-lasting.
Stay tuned for more in-depth discussion about tiles.