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two people on bare feet floors

Floors for Bare Feet

Jul 28, 2021

What is the best flooring for walking barefoot? And why does it matter?

Shoes are often a hot topic, from the freshest sneakers to cozy slip-on slippers or fashion-forward fall boots. But walking barefoot and the benefits of barefoot walking dont seem to get as much attention. Although your bare feet might not be glamourous, walking barefoot has many benefits. So do certain surfaces that you walk on, which is why the floors in your home should be supportive, feel good under your feet, and look just as stylish as this season’s latest shoe.

Feet Freedom

There is a theory that barefoot walking helps adults return to a natural pattern of walking. Of course, the support that we get from shoes can be beneficial, but often shoes are over-padded and can weaken muscle as the shoes are doing the work our bodies should be.

How Do Floors Fit In?

Walking barefoot has benefits and can be great, but how does this relate to flooring? Uneven or rough surfaces can be tough on your feet and lead to injury if you walk barefoot. In addition, hard surfaces can be rigid on your joints. When it comes to flooring, especially professionally installed floors, they should be smooth and even. Thus, you shouldnt have to worry about your floors being a danger unless you have small children leaving LEGOs® around. Flooring that is easy on joints should be your number one priority if you love walking barefoot and are looking for supportive floors.

bare feet floors

Pop Open an Unconventional Flooring Option

Cork floors are a fantastic eco-friendly flooring option for those who like to pad around barefoot. Although it is an uncommon flooring type, it provides many benefits and a beautiful natural look. Cork is a softer type of wood, which makes it shock absorbent, and it is a natural insulator, which means it won’t be cold on your feet like other floorings, such as tile. Plus, it absorbs sound, which means walking across it won’t be loud.

kitchen bare feet floors

Get a Bounce With Bamboo

Bamboo is also an eco-friendly option that is softer than traditional hardwood flooring but harder than cork flooring. Fun fact, the bamboo plant is considered grass, not a tree. This flooring option will give you the look of hardwood but a softer, more forgiving feel, which will be easier on your joints.

two people on bare feet floors

Carpet—a Cozy Classic

Carpet is another excellent option for joints. Due to the padding installed underneath carpeting, it has a soft, forgiving bounce. Plus, you could even opt for extra-thick padding to make your new carpet even cushier. Similar to cork flooring, carpeting will not be cold to the touch, which means that your bare feet will be nice and warm even in the winter months. Plus, carpet is also a quieter flooring material, making it great for bedrooms, offices, and playrooms.

bedroom bare feet floors

For Those Who Can’t Part With Hardwood and Tile

If you love the way hardwood and tile look but still seek a more forgiving floor for your joints, you can also purchase small area rugs or flooring mats. Like wall-to-wall carpeting, thicker pads placed under these free-floating area rugs can make them even more forgiving. When placing down small mats or rugs, you should consider areas where you stand a lot, like in front of the kitchen sink.

study bare feet floors

Learn More from the Experts

If you want to learn more about the most supportive and cozy floors for barefoot walking, ask the folks at Flooring America. Plus, when you stop in a local Flooring America store, you can touch and feel sample flooring, which, with the help of our experts, can help you find the perfect floors for you and your feet.

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hardwood floor in the open space area

Hardwood Vs. Carpet

Jul 26, 2021

Hardwood Floors or Carpets?

Weighing the pros and cons of carpet versus hardwood floors is an unfair comparison because the truth is these two materials are total opposites. Despite them being so different, they are also the two most popular types of flooring. There are several critical factors to consider when deciding between these two types of flooring: budget, property value, location, maintenance, and style.

Dream Floors on a Budget

Budget is a significant factor to consider, but buying new floors doesn’t have to be stressful or cost a fortune. Researching which floors cost more and how different flooring options compare will help you stay on budget. When comparing hardwood and carpet, hardwood flooring is usually the more expensive option. The average cost of carpet per square foot is $3, whereas the average price of hardwood floors per square foot is $8. It is also essential to recognize that carpet is cheaper but not as long-lasting as hardwood.

Additionally, there is a wide range of carpet and hardwood flooring options. Meaning that you can get carpet even cheaper than $3 a square foot, or you could splurge and spend $20 a square foot. Similarly, hardwood floors come in a range of prices as well. For example, oak floors could be as cheap as $3 a square foot or as expensive as $14 a square foot.

carpet floor in the living room

Invest with Flooring

As a homeowner, improving your property value is always an appealing goal to strive for, especially if you are planning on selling in the near future. In terms of resale, hardwood is a better option than carpeting because hardwood is far more desirable, long-lasting, and easier to keep clean. If hardwood isn’t in the budget, we recommend neutral carpeting, as this will also appeal to buyers.

hardwood floor in the open space area

Choosing Floors Is All About Location, Location, Location

The differences between carpet and hardwood floors make each of them more suitable for specific locations. Carpets are cozy and soft to the touch. It can make spaces both feel and look warm. It is also quiet when it comes to foot traffic. These factors make carpets great for bedrooms, living rooms, basements, playrooms, and offices. Carpet can be more challenging to clean, which means you should not use it in high-traffic areas or place it in more messy water-prone rooms like the kitchen.

bed and bedroom stand on carpet floor

Hardwoods, on the other hand, are cooler to the touch but also very loud. If you have hardwood flooring on the second floor, those on the first floor may be able to hear everything from a wild dance party to someone tiptoeing for a late-night snack. Hardwood floors are much easier to clean and maintain, making them excellent options for kitchens, entryways, high-traffic spaces, dining rooms, and anywhere in between. To make hardwood floors warmer, you can always install heated hardwood floors, which of course, will be more expensive. To make them a little quieter, you can always add an area rug. If hardwood floors are well taken care of, they can last a lifetime and then some.

hardwood floor in the living room

It is also important to note that neither of these flooring materials would do well in areas where water sits on the surface for a prolonged period. For example, bathrooms stay damp and are more prone to puddles, which is unsuitable for carpet or hardwood.

Strut on Style

Both hardwood floors and carpeting come in thousands of options. There are so many different species of wood, finishes, and patterns when it comes to hardwood. In addition, the color options and material choices for carpets are endless. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all flooring option, which is part of what makes designing your space so exciting. With the help of Flooring America experts, you can easily find what works best for your home.

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Kitchen floor in a beach house

What's the Best Flooring for a Beach House Vibe?

Jul 21, 2021

The Beach Is Calling. It Says You Need New Floors.

The beach is a fan favorite for many, and you know what the beach has a lot of? Sand. Sand is excellent when it’s on the beach but not so great when it’s on your floors, which is why finding the right flooring for your beach house can be a bit tricky. In addition to sand, water, salt, and other summer fun can come stomping onto your beach house floors, so it’s always better to be prepared with the right flooring solution. But what kind of floors are best for a beach house?

beach house floors with armrest

Dip Your Toe in a Pastel Color Scheme

A light color palette is an obvious choice for a beach house. It opens the space and brings a bright, cheerful summer mood into your home. Plus, lighter floors will make dirt, dust, and wear less visible, creating a low-maintenance floor option. By choosing light-colored floors, the baby pinks, sea-foam greens, and cheery yellows that are introduced in your décor are more likely to fit in --plus they can bring an uplifting aura to your space.

living room wooden floor

Hardwood to Complement Your Driftwood

Hardwood floors are an excellent option for a beach house, especially hardwood with a weathered finish. Distressed-looking hardwood floors will not only tie in with other nautical elements, like a rowboat oar or surfboard hung on the wall, but the wear from sand and wet feet won’t be as noticeable. Another benefit of hardwood floors is that they are easy to clean and sweep, making cleaning up after summer feet easy. The downside is that hardwood floors can be pricy and more easily water-damaged.

kitchen floor in a beach house

If you love the way hardwood floors look but can’t afford them, laminate is a great budget-friendly option. Laminate comes in many styles, including wood lookalikes. Plus, it is more durable and water-resistant than traditional hardwood floors.

The Tide Is Turning on Vinyl Flooring

Luxury vinyl flooring is an excellent option for those who live by the sea. This flooring is affordable, stylish, and durable. The vinyl that stole the show in the 1960s is the flooring of the past. Luxury vinyl flooring comes in a large variety of styles, such as planks, sheets, and tiles. Plus, different colors and textures are also available, making it easy to find a style that you love. PVC and other synthetic materials are used to create luxury vinyl flooring, making it scratch- and stain-resistant. The icing on the cake is that luxury vinyl is also waterproof and slip-resistant, which means that it is a perfect flooring choice for a beach house.

Make Waves with Tile Flooring

A unique quality about tile is that it is cool to the touch, and as we all know, summer gets hot, especially when you are at the beach. In addition to its cool temperatures, tile is also durable and holds up well to moisture. From porcelain to ceramic, there are endless options to choose from, which means you are limitless in your beach house design. Due to the wide variety of sizes, styles, and materials, it also means that tile is suitable for any budget or design dream.

bathroom tiles in a beach house

Don’t Let Your Beach House Flooring Dreams Drift Away

If you are looking for the perfect floors for your beach house but don’t know where to start, reach out to a Flooring America expert. These experts can help you find functional, stylish, and affordable floors for your beach house that are ready to take on all your summer fun. Give them a call, or stop by your local Flooring America store today.

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Ceramic b/w room with chairs and table

Porcelain vs. Ceramic

Jul 19, 2021

Choosing Between Porcelain and Ceramic Tile

When it comes to installing new tile, both porcelain and ceramic are excellent materials. They are both durable, long-lasting, and come in an assortment of colors and styles. But, of course, there are some key differences and benefits of both materials. So, identify your top flooring priorities and see what material will work best for your next project.

bathroom with porcelain floors

Clay-Based and Kiln-Fired

Despite their numerous differences, ceramic and porcelain tiles are both clay-based. Porcelain tiles are considered a sub-type of ceramic tiles. Although both tiles are fired in a kiln, ceramic tiles are fired at a lower temperature, making them softer, less dense, and more porous. Porcelain tiles are the most durable type of tile as they are fired at a higher temperature.

ceramic floor in a study

The Fired Finish

When it comes to the finish of porcelain and ceramic tiles, there are options. If the tiles have gone through the kiln only once before installation, they are considered unglazed. However, both of these materials can be glazed, which means they will be fired in the kiln a second time with glaze applied. Glaze can be used to create different colors, patterns, and textures.

 ceramic floor in the living room

In addition, glazed, porcelain and ceramic tiles can be coated with sealants and finishes once they are installed in your home. Although this is not necessary, a penetrating sealer might help keep your tile lasting longer. Talk to Flooring America professionals and ask if they think an additional sealant is necessary after their expert installation.

Breaking Down the Pros and Cons

Ceramic tile is hands-down the more affordable option. Plus, it is easier to install due to its soft surface, and it’s more readily available. However, the soft surface can also be a bit of a concern as it is not as durable as porcelain. Ceramic should not be used in areas that are more exposed to water, like showers and patios, because it has a high absorption rate. Another point to consider, is that ceramic tile is naturally cool; it’s excellent for warm climates but might be uncomfortable in winter months or colder climates.

porcelain floor outside the house 

Porcelain, on the other hand, is more expensive. In fact, it can cost up to 60 percent more than the average ceramic tile. However, this cost doesn’t come without some fantastic benefits. It is durable, versatile, and is water-resistant, making it an excellent choice for bathrooms, patios, and laundry rooms. Although the durability is a terrific benefit, especially if you are installing in a high-traffic area, a wet saw with a diamond blade is necessary to cut cleanly through the material. Due to the tricky installation process, professional installation is the best option for porcelain tiles, which will add to your budget.

Let an Expert Help You Make a Choice

Sometimes it can be hard to choose the right flooring materials, especially when the options seem endless. Your local Flooring America experts are here to help, so stop by today, and let us find a floor that fits all your needs without compromising any of your style.

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Open Concept Room with Hardwood Floors

Floors for Your Open Concept

Jul 14, 2021

Floors That Keep Your Concept Open

The desire for open concept homes exploded in the 1970s and is still sought-after today. An open floor concept is a dream for homeowners who love to entertain, as it allows guests and conversation to keep flowing throughout a home. In addition, the aesthetic of an open concept space gives a light, airy, and sun-soaked feel that makes people who enter feel uplifted and connected. So, when it comes to choosing floors, you will want to make sure they enhance all of the excellent benefits of an open concept layout.

open kitchen concept

Materials for Your Open Concept

When designing big spaces, you need floors that can compete in the open area they are covering. Hardwood or tile are two of the best options for open concept designs. When you have ample space, you have the freedom to use longer and broader wood planks when working with hardwood floors. Similarly, larger-sized tiles will work best in an open concept space. Choosing larger materials will help match the grandness of the space, allowing for a more cohesive look and feel.

If you love the look of hardwood, but it’s not in your budget, laminate can be a less expensive alternative that still provides the same elegance you are looking for without the price tag.

Keep Your Open Concept Flowing

When choosing floors for your open concept space, consistency is critical, meaning it’s best to choose one flooring material to run throughout your space. If you have tile, carpet, and hardwood floors all in one open area, your room can lose the benefit of having flow. Multiple types of flooring in an open concept space will leave it feeling choppy and disjointed.

open living room floor

Keep Transitions Smooth

If your open space moves into a different “room,” you will want the flooring material to transition smoothly into a new area and not feel abrupt. Therefore, it is essential to take advantage of the flow and make it feel like it is all just one big room continuing rather than a whole new space.

The transition between materials is also equally important. For example, if you distinguish between the kitchen and the living room and want the material change to help express that, make sure the two surfaces smoothly and evenly flow into one another. Do this by pulling different floors with the same undertone or complementary colors. Again, it is vital to make the transition seem natural, not to create a jarring or pieced-together aesthetic.

open kitchen floor

Color for Open Concept

When it comes to floors in open concept designs, it is wise to pick neutral colors. This is because, in such a vast space, there will be that much more flooring material. Thus, finding a neutral color that works in the kitchen, living room, and dining room will be essential. In addition, as the floors flow through your space, you will want it to be a perfect fit for each area.

kitchen floor with open space

Get Concepts for Your Open Concept

If you need help finding the perfect flooring to keep your open concept space flowing, your local Flooring America store is here to help. Envision your new floors with our Room Visualizer where you can pick out the exact flooring you want to install and see it in your room. Our Flooring America experts can help you decide on the best flooring sizes and colors for your room. So give them a call or stop by your local Flooring America store today.

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Guide for measuring flooring

What Does the Average Flooring Project Cost?

Jul 07, 2021

Make Sure Your Budget, Estimate, and Final Cost All Add Up

The thought of installing new floors can be daunting. Not only does it turn your house into a construction zone, but the cost is always top of mind and a factor that might hold you back from getting the floors of your dreams. The truth is, installing new floors doesn’t have to be a hassle, and it doesn’t have to break the bank either, especially when you have experts on your side. The key to a smooth installation is going into the floor shopping process informed. And luckily, with Flooring America, you have the tools to do just this.

Get Familiar with Your Space

Getting familiar with the ins and outs of your current space is a great starting point. Once you know the flooring section you are ready to replace, it’s time to take out your measuring tape to see how large the space is. It is important to remember that flooring is sold in square feet, and it is best practice to purchase extra flooring. The additional flooring will give you wiggle room for any errors and make for an easy replacement or repair down the road if any damage occurs.

flooring in the house

Tearing Down Can Add Up

The demolition of tearing up your old floor comes at a cost, and so does the disposal of your old flooring materials. Therefore, to make sure your estimate is as accurate as possible, don’t forget to include the cost of demolition into your budget. Of course, you could also do the demolition yourself, but be sure to dispose of the old flooring properly according to the rules of your city or town.

flooring installer

Don’t Forget the Installation

If you plan on having a professional install your floors, obviously, there is a cost to consider. However, it’s also essential to recognize that other installation factors can also affect your budget. For example, if you are planning on installing wood or laminate flooring, installation options to consider are nailing, stapling, gluing, or having it be a floating floor; each may vary in cost. Similarly, for carpet, you can’t forget that the type of pad you choose to lay under your carpet will factor into the total price. Fortunately, you can track all of these items in My Project Planner on Flooring America’s website which helps you create your project, save your inspiration, connect with experts and track previous projects.

flooring installation

A Range of Floor Choices and Prices

Last but certainly not least, the flooring type you choose will play a role in the cost. Not only does the type of material you choose affect the price, but also, of course, there are high- and low-grade options under each category of flooring you’ll want to consider. For example, luxury vinyl is much less expensive than hardwood flooring, but there’s also a price range within hardwood floors, some costing much less than others.

flooring types

If you have a dream floor in mind but are budget conscious, we recommend talking to an expert at Flooring America. Our specialists will be able to give you insights into what floors fit your budget and design vision. Even better, our estimates are free! Come into your local Flooring America today, and let the experts help you find the flooring that’s right for your budget.

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