When doing a complete room makeover, decide on the floor material while you are making other major choices. Less obvious, but equally important, are then textural characteristics of floors and how they affect the overall ambiance of the room. Most floor coverings requires maintenance, and with proper care they will last for years. Floor coverings range from practical to whimsical. Both make strong designs statements if they work with the rest of the room.
Another way to categorize floor coverings is formal or informal. This may be a little more complicated because most flooring materials can be either; wide-plank wood floor, which are informal, but add an oriental rug and you’ve changed the equations. Inlay strip flooring is unquestionably formal. As you narrow your choices, think about maintenance and life span.
Floor coverings are either hard or soft. Carpet and floor cloths are soft, while tile and laminate floors are hard. Wood floors fall somewhere in between. Soft floor coverings absorb sound and tend to be warm, while hard ones reflect and amplify sound and tend to be cool. Combine both surfaces with an area carpet over a tile or wood floor.
Ask your supplier the hard questions when you’re narrowing down your choices. Will the grout in the tile need constant cleaning? How do I prevent water stains on my marble tile? Will gaps open between wide- plank floorboards? What kinds of carpets are best for growing families? In general, you’d like what’s on the floor to hold up longer than the paint, and perhaps longer than the decorating scheme itself.
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