There’s a lot to consider when planning a tile project in your home. While color, size, and style are important, there are two key features that can dictate the look and feel of your space: glossy finish or matte.
The word “glossy” is often equated with “shiny.” Glossy tiles have a smooth, light-reflecting glaze that renders any imperfections in the tile microscopic. Because of their light-reflecting qualities, glossy tiles can make small rooms appear larger and dark rooms appear brighter. They are very easy to clean, which is good because they are better at showing dirt, smudges, and smears than matte.
Something to consider, though, is that because of their smooth finish, glossy tiles are slippery. They’re not always ideal as floor tiles in high-traffic or wet areas like hallways, foyers, kitchens, and bathrooms. Glossy tiles are well-suited for backsplashes, fireplaces, and small or dark rooms.
When it comes to matte tiles, obviously, they do not have a shiny glaze applied, making the imperfections in the tile more pronounced. Matte tiles, therefore, don’t reflect as much light and aren’t an ideal choice for trying to “open up” a room. They are good, however, for creating a rustic, homey, more natural feel in your space. The matte finish offers better traction, so matte tiles are a good choice for flooring in any area.
As far as maintenance, stains, smudges, and smears are better concealed on matte tiles than glossy, so there’s less cleaning involved. Keep in mind, though, that stains are harder to remove from matte tiles. If your matte tile is in a high traffic area, be sure to monitor the space regularly for any dirt and grime.
The good news is, you don’t always have to choose one tile finish over the other. You can have a fusion of both styles in your space. For example: whether in your kitchen or bath, glossy tiles are excellent choices for your shower walls and backsplashes. Coordinate your wall tile with a matte floor tile, and you have a beautiful, cohesive look.
What would you say are the most heavily-trafficked rooms in your home? The majority of you would probably agree that it’s the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room. These rooms are the troopers. They handle the dirty work, so it’s important that they have a flooring that can stand up to spilled food, overflowing bath tubs, pet messes, and dirt and grime. Today, we’re going to take a look at the best flooring choices for these rooms.
Both porcelain and ceramic tile are resilient and long-lasting when they’re installed and cleaned properly. Tile won’t expand and contract with changing temperatures, and it’s impervious to moisture and stains when properly sealed. Food, dirt, water, and pet messes clean up easily, and many grouts are now stain-resistant. Tile is also green and promotes good air quality because it contains no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). And yet another reason to love tile is that design innovations allow tile to mimic just about any surface, whether it’s wood, marble, or slate. So, you can create whatever look you desire. There are also plenty of decorative tiles with patterns and shapes ranging from retro to modern to help you really personalize your space.
Waterproof Flooring (WPC)
The WPC (wood-plastic composite) flooring category is the hottest thing in the market today. WPC is luxury vinyl tile (LVT) taken to the next level. WPC flooring has all the beautiful looks, durability, and ease of installation of LVT, but with a secret weapon: a waterproof core. YES, it’s completely waterproof! It will not buckle, bow, mold, or split from water damage. The layers of WPC are what make it so effective. In addition to its waterproof core, WPC has a “printed layer.” This is the pretty part. WPC is known for its realistic wood, tile, and stone looks. All of these layers are protected by a wear layer that prevents scratches, dents, and beatings. WPC is also very low-maintenance.
Sheet vinyl is also low-maintenance and water-resistant. If installed correctly, vinyl is one of the most durable flooring materials. It is scratch and stain resistant due to a clear wear layer. This wear layer allows vinyl to be more flexible and softer underfoot. Keep in mind not all vinyl is created equal and some brands will be more susceptible to scratches and stains than others. Vinyl has almost every style in wood, tile, and stone you can think of. Vinyl is also easy on the wallet, generally costing considerably less than other options.
So many designs, looks, and patterns are at your fingertips to make your home your own. Come by our showroom or visit online at shopfloorstogo.com.
2018 was quite a year! From hardwood and tile; to carpet, laminate, and vinyl; and all the way to waterproof flooring and countertops, we installed it all! Bathrooms, living rooms, kitchens, hallways, laundry rooms, and bedrooms galore! Here’s a look back at some of our projects from 2018.
If 2019 is the year to get your project going, give us a call at 256.231.5600 for a free estimate, or check out more projects and products online at shopfloorstogo.com.
Tile has long been a crucial element of home design, whether it’s utilized on the floors or walls. What was once perhaps more of a utilitarian choice for kitchens and bathrooms, tile is now in high demand for the color, style, shape, and texture it can bring to any room in the home. Let’s look at what’s trending in tile today, featuring products from Emser Tile.
In this blog we will examine a flooring type that many have seen before but might not be very familiar with: parquet. Parquet flooring was very popular in the 60’s and 70’s, and it has started to make a comeback. Let’s look at what parquet flooring really is and its appealing features.
Parquet flooring is made from wooden blocks or strips forming a geometric pattern, often triangles or squares. One particular pattern that has become very popular and fits a range of décor styles is herringbone. Herringbone is made up of a broken zig-zag pattern of planks, whereas a chevron pattern is continuous with planks coming together at a sharp point. These parquet flooring patterns have been around since the 1700’s and are a trade mark of grand European homes and buildings. Today, you can bring these grand patterns into your home through options such as engineered hardwood, tile, and even wood alternatives like vinyl, laminate, luxury vinyl tile, and waterproof plank flooring.
Over the years, parquet flooring has taken on new looks, giving it a more flexible and modern range of styles. The most common parquet styles that we tend to deem as old fashioned are oak and cherry wood in a square pattern. Lighter and gray toned woods along with chevron or herringbone parquet patterns are popular now. These parquet styles give a unique patterned look that also allows for more flow in your home. Design opportunities are limitless with parquet patterns and different flooring options. The only limit is really your imagination.
Our homes daily endure many spills and liquid-related accidents, especially if there are kids or pets in the home. With these accidents, generally just being attentive to spills is all you need, but with rain storms you may have an abundance of water finding its way to your floors. Your entry way may be taking the most damage from family and friends coming in from the outdoors and tracking water and mud all through the house. Having super absorbent mats near entry ways and a space for visitors to remove their shoes at the door is a big step in the right direction for preventing water damage. When using absorbent mats, be sure to not let the mat hold too much water as you could be redistributing your water problem under the mat.
Another simple tip that is especially helpful if you have wood floors is air flow. This can help keep moisture build up from the atmosphere at bay. Another important maintenance tip is to watch for roof leaks in your home. If you see cracks, sagging, or discoloration in your ceiling, you may need to check your roof for damage.
If you’re tired of having to worry so much about water damage to floors, there are some good water-resistant and waterproof flooring options to consider. One of the best options is ceramic tile. We use it in our kitchens and bath rooms for a reason: it’s very water-resistant. But, you don’t have to limit yourself. Ceramic tile is perfect for any room in the house with endless styles available, including wood-look planks. The next option might surprise you: laminate now has some very water-resistant options, such as Mannington’s SpillShield technology that allows it to be used in any room of the house. The final flooring option is WPC which is a vinyl plank product that is completely waterproof. Many manufacturers like Mohawk now offer this flooring in a wide variety of wood and tile looks.
The first step in water-damage prevention is to make sure there isn’t a structural problem like the roof or leaks allowing moisture in the home. If your problem results from normal every-day traffic bringing in water, liquids, and mud, a waterproof or water-resistant flooring may be just for you! Call us today for a free estimate! 256.231.5600
When it comes to home projects or repairs, there are those people that would never even consider a DIY project, but then there are those that love the satisfaction of finishing a project with their own two hands. If you fall into that second category, this blog is for you! Today we’ll discuss a couple of different flooring options that make for easy DIY installation.
The first option for ease of installation is laminate. Not all laminate is created equal, but brands like Mohawk, Quick-Step, Mannington, and Armstrong are all reliable brands with good quality. Laminate is easy to install because it can be installed as a floating floor. This means it can be installed without adhesives or nails due to its click-together locking system. The planks are constructed so that they fit together and lock in place to form a solid surface floor.
Other flooring options that install similarly to laminate are LVT (luxury vinyl tile) and WPC (wood plastic/polymer composite). These are also rigid plank flooring options equipped with click-together locking systems. LVT and WPC can be installed as floating floors over plywood or concrete subfloors, or even right over previous flooring like tile or sheet vinyl. LVT and WPC do have an advantage over laminate in that they have very low maintenance requirements and are either waterproof or highly water-resistant, depending on which brand you choose.
If you enjoy a good project, we would be happy to supply you with what you need to get the job done right. Look for our regular specials and pricing on “U-haul” products. Also check out our closeout and clearance sections for fabulous deals for the do-it-yourselfer!
When it comes to wood-look floors, LVT and WPC have changed the market. The flooring category continues to improve on visuals and durability. LVT and WPC offer realistic wood and tile looks but with easier maintenance and installation. Today we’re going to look at one flooring in particular: Market Place’s Rigid Plus Flooring (RPF).
Market Place engineered vinyl flooring is designed for use in commercial and residential spaces. For residential applications, Market Place Flooring supplies a lifetime warranty for residential floors and a 15-year warranty for commercial. RPF’s durability makes these excellent warranties possible. Each plank is topped with a UV-cured ceramic finish which permits maximum durability without the use of floor finish. The top layer is made of PVC, and the extruded core is made up of 85% PVC and 15% limestone. RPF therefore has maximum resistance to chipping, scratching, and dents. As if that weren’t enough, it’s also waterproof, making it great for basements, bathrooms, kitchens, or anywhere else in your home or office space.
Market Place’s RPF doesn't just have high function, it also has high design. RPF comes in eight different unique wood-looks. Our personal favorites are Catawba, Southport, and Whispering Pine. Catawba and Whispering Pine are both variation wood-looks that make the appearance of reclaimed wood with different plank sizes. Southport has the color of white oak reclaimed wood with a wide plank look.
These are just a few of the wood-looks Market Place offers in their RPF series of flooring. RPF flooring comes in unique and realistic wood-looks and is also very durable, even 100% waterproof. If you'd like to see more of this flooring, click here, or stop by our showroom.
Slate is a natural stone made by the compression of certain minerals and has been making its way into home for centuries. Slates has been used for roof tiles, fireplaces, walls, showers and floors. Let's look at were slate comes from and some of its qualities as flooring.
Like mentioned above, slate is a natural stone made from the crust of the earth. As is the case with most natural products, not all slate is created equal; the deeper the slate is in the ground, the better the quality. This is due to how our earth makes slate. The earth’s natural elements compact and compress the minerals that make slate, so the deeper the slate, the denser and more compact the slate will be. Higher quality slate is more expensive than slate mined closer to the surface because of the cost to harvest it. Slate in general is a high-quality stone with good durability.
Since slate is a natural product, its colors will vary, and no tile will be exactly the same. Slate does not come in as wide of variety as manmade products like porcelain and ceramic tile. Cleaning and maintenance for slate is pretty easy. It requires general sweeping and mopping (*note do not use harsh cleaners or vinegar to clean natural stone) and periodic sealing with a stone sealer.
Slate is a wonderful organic product that's made to last and is naturally beautiful. It’s great for both outdoor and indoor areas and offers a natural, earthy, and unique look to any space. Some of the most popular areas slate is used today is in outdoor patios, porches, pool settings, kitchens, and bathrooms. Slate is a good quality product for these areas because it is generally textured which makes it slip resistant and fairly water resistant. Slate offers a classic design that is very versatile and can be used on both floors and walls.
We love the softness and comfort of carpet and also the colors, textures, and style it brings to our homes. Carpet often comes with a choice: softness or durability? You don’t have to compromise on either with Mohawk SmartStrand Silk.
SmartStrand Silk is one of the most durable carpets on the market. It's nearly impervious to stains, crushing, fading, and absorbs 0% of moisture. Now imagine all that durability coupled with one of the softest, comfiest carpets you can imagine; that's SmartStrand Silk. Each strand of SmartStrand Silk has 700 Silk-like, stain-resistant fibers. That's 3X more individual fibers then that of the average nylon carpet.
What Mohawk has achieved is a carpet that is both durable and luxuriously soft to the touch while maintaining performance. SmartStrand Silk carpet has features like:
In 2017, Mohawk took SmartStrand Silk to the max by testing it in the Birmingham Alabama Zoo where it was installed in the habitat of a 5,400 pound rhino. The results are shocking! After a general cleaning, SmartStrand Silk came out looking like new.
If you want luxuriously soft carpet and unbeatable durability SmartStrand Silk is an excellent choice. There are also so many styles and colors that there is a perfect look for everyone.