Does Your House Need New Shoes?
New flooring ideas for every room
It’s high time to replace that tired old flooring in your beloved family abode. Maybe you have detested that ugly carpeting since the day you moved in, but were unable to spring for the upgrade at that particular point in time. Maybe the once clean and sparkling grout in your tile has seen better days, thanks to your yellow lab and your messy, muddy children. (Or perhaps that’s just me?) Maybe you are looking to put your house on the market, or simply want to make a change. Whatever the reason, you are itching for an update. You follow?
Just like a new pair of shoes can create an entirely different outfit (think Louboutin designer high heels vs. Converse sneakers), new flooring can change the entire look of a room—the entire look of a home. When you are aiming for a fabulous, whole house makeover, stylish new flooring is a great place to start. And the good news? You don’t have to spend a small fortune to get big impact. Unless you really want to, of course. Now wouldn’t that be fun? Here are a few ideas for updating the flooring in any (and every) room of your home.
Addressing the Main Living Areas
Ask yourself, what is this space most commonly used for, and who uses it? If it’s a casual family room or play room, carpeting is an easy choice. Especially if you think people will be lounging on the floor. If you can, spring for a more expensive carpet that will hold up against wear and tear. (Professionally cleaning your carpet at least once a year will also help.) Hardwoods or laminate flooring lend a chic, sophisticated ambiance to a space. Of course, a luxurious area rug can also soften the flooring, and add a little color and pattern to the room.
Going for a more modern look? Stained concrete can be fun, and very durable. Got an open concept living room and kitchen? Laying the same flooring throughout the entire space can give the illusion of a larger room—in this case, you might consider a tile that looks like hardwood, classic ceramic or porcelain tile, or a more durable (or even rustic) hardwood. Keep in mind that super dark hardwood can be challenging to keep clean, and will show everything you throw at it.
The Bathroom: The “Wettest” Room in the House
Much like the kitchen, this is another area of the home where hardwood flooring can be a pretty scary idea—for most families. This is where people shower, take baths, and wash hands and faces. Hardwoods and water don’t mix—kids splash, even if you tell them not to. Ceramic and stone tiling are some of the most durable options available. Linoleum is another durable option, and great from a savings standpoint. If you are on a budget, you will have to decide if the bathroom is where you really want to spend your money, and make a decision that fits your family and your lifestyle. Want to get super glam and fancy? Carrara marble is a beautiful, rich option. Basketweave tile is also seeing a resurgence as a modern twist on a slightly more vintage style. Get creative, and don’t be afraid to step outside of “the square” tile box. Herringbone tile or elaborate mosaic patterns, anyone? The options are endless. In a smaller space, don’t be afraid to try a splash of color—glass tile is a great way to achieve this look. Keep in mind the rest of your bathroom elements (shower tile, countertops, and fixtures). Unless you have money to redo the entire bathroom, you’re going to want to work with what you already have in place. Make sense?
The Kitchen: The Heart and Hub of the Home
When it comes to a high traffic area like the kitchen, you’re going to want something durable. Think water—splashing from the sink, dripping from the ice maker, sneaking out of the dishwasher as you unload it every night. Think about dropping things on the floor—food, silverware, everyday kitchen messes. And that goes double if you have children. Hardwood flooring is beautiful, but not always practical in a kitchen. Tile, or even tile that looks like hardwood, is a great option for most families. You can get as elaborate or expensive as you like with tile; it all depends on your budget and your taste. Laminate flooring is another cost-efficient alternative to hardwoods, and creates a similar look and feel. Most laminate flooring is also pretty simple to install. Always think about your family dynamic before making any important flooring decision.
Don’t Forget the Bedrooms!
Just like the main living areas, hardwoods and laminate flooring can create a more elegant, grown-up look in the bedroom. However, most people like rolling out of bed onto something soft in the mornings. (Of course, you can always create this feeling by putting a large, strategically placed area rug right under the bed.) Carpeting in bedrooms is highly desired in colder climates for sure, but we don’t really have to worry about that here in Texas, so it comes down to personal preference. Besides, isn’t that what slippers are for anyway?
By Jessica Tomes