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Flooring Ideas

Flooring Ideas​

Are you preparing for a renovation or getting ready for a new home build? It’s an exciting time, to be sure. But it can also be challenging, because there are so many flooring and decor choices today, and you want to choose something that will look good and work for your lifestyle for decades to come.

We understand how challenging it can be to figure out what flooring is best for you and your home. That’s why we’re here to share some of the most popular options with you. But as always, there’s nothing like coming into our showroom to talk with us face to face. We’d be happy to outline the best options for your needs.

Styles and trends can come and go, but the appeal of wood flooring remains — it’s the most consistent and proven choice to add beauty and value to your home.

Things to consider

As you dive in to pick flooring for your home renovation or new build, it’s easy to get caught up in all the materials, colours and patterns. But don’t forget about your budget and try to anticipate all the expenses — our flooring experts can also help you with this.

 

Your budget also depends on your goals for your home. As you explore your flooring options, be sure to consider,

There can be a trade-off between design choices and the return on your investment. You want flooring that is attractive and appealing, but also practical. You certainly want to decorate and enjoy your home while you’re living there, but there should also be some thought given to resale value. Studies show the average Canadian will own 4.5 to 5.5 homes and move nearly 12 times in their lifetime. While we might plan to be in our “forever” home, life and circumstances can change at any time.

Open Concept vs Traditional Floor Plans

In the closed floor plans of the past, we could find a wide variety of flooring textures and materials throughout a typical home, with linoleum or tile in the kitchen and bathroom, carpet in the living room and bedrooms, hard surfaces in some hallways and carpets in others.

 

That prevailing design style where each room is separated from the others by walls has given way more to open floor plans today. It also means flooring choices that are more reflective of open floor plans, with a look that’s more uniform and cohesive throughout your home.

That’s not to say you can’t choose different flooring for different areas of your home, but if you’re not careful, trying to break up flooring in your home can look chaotic.

Timeless appeal of Solid Hardwood Flooring

For decades, hardwood flooring has remained the most sought-after option for homeowners and designers.

There’s no doubt about it — hardwood floors make a lasting impression. New hardwood floors will dramatically transform the look and feel of your home, ranging from cool, contemporary and modern, to warm, rustic or traditional.

With proper care, hardwood floors can bring beauty to your home for generations. They can be sanded down and refinished multiple times during its lifespan, with many century-old hardwood floors still retaining their beauty today.

Hardwood floors are low maintenance. It’s easy to clean hardwood with a simple sweep or damp mop. Unlike carpet, hardwood doesn’t harbour dust, pet hair and dander, particulates and other common allergens. They can remain fresh and clean and don’t retain odour — if you’ve ever smelled a musty old carpet, you’ll know what we mean.

Wood also adds incredible value to your home. Home buyers are willing to pay more for solid hardwood floors.

Carpet is Waning in Popularity

While carpet remains popular, the stats show a steady decline in carpet use over the past decade, from two-thirds (66.6%) of the housing market to just over half (52.9%). Until relatively recently, homes would feature a typical hard entry and walkway to the kitchen, with carpet in the living room and bedrooms.

Wall-to-wall carpet throughout the home used to be popular in the past, but keeping carpet clean and free of stains and odours in a busy home is problematic. With more awareness of allergies and the health hazards of mold in the home, carpeting can be considered downright unhygienic unless they’re professionally cleaned on a frequent basis. A home full of carpeting is also one of the major design choices that’s guaranteed to turn-off a large segment of potential home buyers. 

A preference for a cleaner, more natural look is also reflective in the materials, colours and patterns that people are choosing. Wood floors have proven to deliver the kind of simple, clean, fresh look as a single flooring option installed throughout the entire home.

People still love soft flooring in their bedrooms and living rooms, but instead of carpeting the whole room the popular choice is hard flooring covered by a large new rug. Rugs can nearly fill a room to within inches of the walls, offering the warmth and comfort of a soft surface while maintaining a cohesive look and flow to your home. And if you have a rug that’s dirty and dated — or you simply want to try a new look or feel — it can quickly be swapped out for another one in no time.

That isn’t to say that different flooring choices in different rooms don’t happen. But transitions from one space to another — and from one flooring type to another — can be thoughtfully and elegantly achieved, instead of the choppy, haphazard approaches of the past.

Ceramic and porcelain tile

Despite the timeless appeal of hardwood flooring, it traditionally hasn’t been a choice for kitchens due to the high risk of damage from water, spills and dropped tools. Hardwood scratches more easily than other materials and can warp, buckle or crown if it’s exposed to too much moisture. Instead, the waterproof and highly durable nature of tile makes it the preferred choice in kitchens and bathrooms. 

Tile’s hard surface is probably the most durable option for your kitchen, especially colour body porcelain (the top color of the tile runs all the way through the tile). It doesn’t scratch or damage easily and should last for as long as you decide to live in your home, for decades or even centuries. It’s also the easiest floor to keep clean, really needing only water and a mop, and a mild detergent if you choose. 

Today’s porcelain tile selections include the subtle, natural appearance of wood or stone, with the timeless appeal of marble, limestone, or slate. Ceramic tile — while slightly less durable but just as water resistant — features glazed tiles, terracotta, and many classic, traditional patterns.

As durable as tile is, with a smooth finish it can get quite slick when wet. Prolonged standing on the solid surface of tile can create discomfort, especially for older homeowners or people with foot, knee, hip or back problems. 

For a contemporary look that offers more comfort underfoot, another resilient option is vinyl flooring. Today’s luxury vinyl planks (LVP) and luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) can look and feel nearly indistinguishable from real wood or stone, for a fraction of the cost. If maintained properly, many vinyl flooring products can last up to 25 years. Some varieties are made thicker than others, or have underlays to provide even more cushioning.

LVP flooring is realistic, wood-like planks that are highly durable and scratch-resistant, with many waterproof and water resistant varieties. LVP offers an incredible variety of classic wood colours and natural-looking or distressed textures. Many options also come with the natural slight variations and diversity that you would see in real hardwood. Not only is LVP a less expensive product than hardwood, but they’re also easier and less expensive to install.

LVT flooring is also a durable option made to look like ceramic tile, porcelain tile, or natural stone. It’s also softer and more comfortable to walk on and tends to be warmer to the touch than tile or stone. Options include semi-translucent appearance of marble or the foliated texture of slate. Others mimic porcelain or ceramic tile in solid colours, subtle variations and bold patterns. Durability can vary but some LVT is so tough you can drop a kitchen knife and not see damage. As always, it’s important to tell us the most important qualities you’re looking for so we can help you find the perfect fit.

As a warm, affordable, durable and stylish option, vinyl is expected to continue its upward trend in the years and decades to come.

Like vinyl, laminate flooring is also a budget-friendly alternative to hardwood and tile, and is comparable to vinyl in cost, lifespan, durability and stain resistance. Laminate flooring also closely mimics hardwood but has a tough exterior layer and resin coating that makes it easy to maintain without any special cleaners, waxes or varnishes. Though not necessarily the best choice for high moisture areas like kitchens and bathrooms, laminate is a budget-friendly option with many beautiful choices available for most areas of your home.

Flooring colours

Your choice of flooring colour will always have a major impact on the feeling of space and the atmosphere you’re trying to create in a room — and throughout your home. In addition, every room has its own unique lighting that can influence your choice, and that lighting can change during the course of a day.

Bold, rich and dark colours might work well for larger spaces, especially if you’re seeking to make them cozier and warmer. But those same colour choices can make a small space seem even smaller and more cramped. Likewise, lighter, more natural floor colours can help to really open up a room. Dark colours are generally a more traditional and elegant feel, adding a touch of formality to a room. Lighter wood floors are considered brighter, fresher, more casual than darker colours and a more contemporary choice.

While dark finishes have their place, neutral warm and cool-toned flooring is the choice for many homeowners these days, preferring the light and bright feel that can be found in more natural and neutral wood tones. Whitewashed hardwood and gray hues have also been among the most popular interior design colors over the last several years

Light and natural colours

Many designers feel that the trend of keeping it natural and simple will be a continuing feature of the foreseeable future. An increased focus on sustainability will contribute to the trend for natural colors will continue for some time to come.

The trend towards natural wood tones has made blonde wood flooring a popular choice. Blonde tones have a lighter finish and more natural, realistic appearance. They provide a classic feel that suits a variety of home styles, from contemporary to rustic. Many homeowners with contemporary spaces are opting for smooth, light, wide plank hardwood floors. Instead of a floor that naturally darkens as it ages, a floor that’s been bleached helps to brighten up a space while still showcasing the natural wood grain.

Gray and smokey tones have gained in popularity over the last few years, bringing an appealing, unique look with a warm undertone and a rustic nature. Most types of hardwood species can go through the process of creating a smokey look. Instead of being stained, wood planks are placed in a chamber where ammonia is released and reacts with the wood, causing a slight darkening that enhances the natural grain of the wood.

Add some texture

Texture is that little extra something that can make your floor stand out and really pop. 

Textured floors undergo artificial styling or aging processes to give them a slightly worn finish for spaces where a beautiful rustic look is sought. Swirl and cut marks can be added to mimic aged wood, and planks can be brushed to remove sheen and give them a more weathered texture. A rustic texture can add depth to a room and work particularly well in older homes, cottages, and farmhouses. Distressed flooring can create an authentic look of subtle cracks and lines (without damaging your flooring) that recreates the flooring of an older home.

In contemporary homes, the popular choices are smooth and bevelled. For a smooth wooden floor texture, the boards are sanded down until they achieve a uniform thickness and flatness across the surface of the floor. This sleek effect makes the floor easier to clean and buff, and the less dirt and grime that will get trapped. A bevelled floor texture removes the sharp edges of a floorboard by slightly shaving the sides of each plank to create a sloping edge. These edges form an angle when the floorboards are put together to create the bevelled look.

In kitchens and bathrooms where water can get spilled or splashed onto the floor — and even entrances where water and snow can be tracked inside — a textured floor might be the way to go for its better grip and slip-resistance qualities. There are textured tile options that are designed with precisely that in mind. Small tiles, both square and hexagon, with their numerous textured grout lines are also a great anti-slip option. 

Vinyl flooring products also come in different textures. Vinyl with wood-grain embossing, for example, provides anti-slip protection.

Sustainable and eco-friendly

Eco-friendly wood flooring options are becoming more popular, and there are many exciting and beautiful products to choose from.

First, wood floors are already the most environmentally friendly flooring option available. Domestic woods such as oak, walnut, hickory, and cherry are grown and harvested in North America, with forests being replenished at a rate that’s outpacing harvesting. A species like birch is a fast-growing tree and harvested areas can replenish even quicker than average.

Engineered hardwood is a very popular flooring choice in part because it’s more sustainable than solid hardwood, as fewer trees are used and less waste is created during the manufacturing process.

Cork is a relatively new flooring option and growing in popularity. The unique nature of cork is that it is harvested from the bark of cork oak trees. The trees don’t actually get cut down. The bark is stripped off the tree (stripping the bark does not harm the tree) and regrows after a few years to be harvested again. Cork flooring comes in many different patterns and colours and has a softer surface than other hard floors, making it much more comfortable to stand, sit and walk on.

Bamboo is another emerging eco-friendly option. Bamboo is a type of grass, which reaches maturity in a quarter of the time of trees. It will continue to grow after it is harvested, and can be re-harvested just a few years later. Bamboo floors are just as strong and durable as hardwood floors and also come in several different colours, from natural and white-washed to deep dark, and walnut stained bamboo flooring.

XPression: Expert Guidance

If you’re thinking of getting new flooring, but don’t know where to begin, we are happy to help. From choosing an eye-catching stain to helping you find foot-friendly textures, we know what flooring styles are big hits. Our flooring experts are highly knowledgeable and always happy to answer your questions. We can also help with flooring installation.

Simply drop by our showroom or give us a call for a quote at 613-688-2080.

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