Dark colors often get a bad rep, mainly due to the fact that dark colors used incorrectly can cause a space to feel small. However, dark colors can also be used to add depth, richness, and a certain amount of coziness to a space. Let's look at some ways to embrace the dark side and add enjoy the richness and beauty it can bring to your home.
When you think of dark colors, you might just think of blacks and grays, but don't limit yourself. There are unending palettes of dark beauty in green, red, and blue shades. Don't underestimate how beautiful your space can look using a dark color as your primary wall color. It's a popular belief that dark colors can make a space feel small and gloomy, but this is not always the case. If used correctly, dark colors can be stunning and make your space rich and warm. If you’re not ready to take the full plunge, dark colors can be incorporated as an accent wall coupled with lighter, neutral walls to add a stunning contrast.
Balance is the key to using a dark color pallet. If your primary wall colors are dark, bring out the contrast with a light neutral for trims and furnishings. Don't over-use textures and patterns because your dark colors are already your contrast. Too many textures or patterns can overwhelm the space. An excellent source of textures is wood, used through wood furnishings and especially hardwood or wood-look floors. Your floors can help balance a dark color scheme by choosing a light, neutral wood or wood-look.
Maybe you’re thinking about neutral walls with deep, dark floors, or maybe you’re bold enough to couple dark walls and floors. Either way, there are so many gorgeous options in dark hardwood and wood-look flooring in vinyl and WPC. Shades range from traditional browns to blacks and ebony. How dark you go really depends on your personal taste. Also consider lighting, both artificial and natural. Lots of light will keep the space from feeling too closed in. Lighter accent pieces and furniture add contrast as well.
Don’t be afraid of stepping over to the dark side. The key is balancing deep hues with light, neutral floors, trims, furnishings and accent pieces. Embrace the beauty you can achieve with deep dark colors.
With fall and winter right around the corner, it's time once again to break out the coats and scarves, cozy sweaters, and our favorite hot drinks. Not only do we want to remain warm and cozy when outside, but we want our homes to be warm and inviting too. Let's look at some tips to keep you and your guests feeling warm and fuzzy in your home.
To start with, home accessories are an easy way to get your space feeling cozy with warm colors and textures. A few fuzzy throw pillows or blankets in rich, fall-inspired colors add comfort and style and can easily be swapped out for different looks as the seasons change. Rugs are also a great way to add warmth to cold floors. Look for shag rugs or rugs with longer fibers and wool which is also a good insulator. You can even get shag carpet in beautiful patterns that add a unique touch of style to your space.
Carpet, of course, keeps your house warm, comfortable, and better insulated, but what about hard surface floors? You might be surprised to know that cork is an excellent choice! Cork is a natural insulator, thanks to its porous cell structure that allows it to trap heat. Cork is a good choice year-round because it insulates and feels warm under foot in the cold months, and in the summer months it keeps excess heat from being emitted into the room. Cork also comes in many colors and patterns, even wood looks.
WPC, or waterproof flooring, with cork backing is another great option. The cork backing offers the same insulating properties as cork flooring. WPC can easily be installed via the floating method, is exceptionally durable, warms quickly, and won't expand or contract.
Tile is a favorite flooring in kitchens and baths, but let's face it: no one likes stepping onto that cold bathroom floor with bare feet on a chilly morning. That's were a heating system like Schluter Ditra-Heat can be installed with your tile to bring you all the benefits of tile with the comfort of heated floors. Most floor heating systems can cause cracks in the tile and grout because the fluctuation of temperature causes the tile to expand and contract frequently. This heating system is unique
because of its uncoupling system which prevents any movement and stress that occurs in the subfloor from cracking the tile and grout above. The Schluter Ditra-Heat system is the only systems that provides floor warming and uncoupling in a single layer, making it a quick and easy installation.
For those that prefer wood floors, Engineered hardwood is constructed so that it resists expansion and contraction due to changing climates. When installed using the floating method, engineered wood is a great heat conductor.
Other flooring like vinyl planks, sheet vinyl, and laminate provide some softness and warmth. Adding an underlayment to these floors also helps provide insulating properties, and they won't expand or contract due to climate. They also warm up quickly.
To keep your home feeling warm and cozy, use accessories like textured pillows, throw blankets and area rugs. Consider flooring options like carpet and cork that keep your house well-insulated or vinyl and laminate with underlayment. Floating engineered wood floors and tile with the Schluter Ditra-Heat system are also great options for cozy feet!
As we've said before, hardwood is a classic, and many love to have it in their homes. Choosing hardwood may seem simple enough, but there are some choices you will have to make other than picking the species. One of those is whether you want pre-ﬁnished or unﬁnished wood. Let's take a look at both options.
Pre-ﬁnished wood means it was sanded, stained and sealed all in the factory, and it’s ready to be installed. What you see is what you get; however, all solid hardwood can be reﬁnished if desired. When it's ﬁnished in factory, it's most likely been ﬁnished with aluminum oxide, which is the hardest man-made crystal in the world! Pre-ﬁnished is also sanded, stained and sealed in a controlled environment, so you won’t have imperfections in the stain and sealer that you might have if ﬁnished on sight. Everything is baked in 450 plus degree ovens, so the seal is strong, making pre-finished wood better equipped to stand up to daily life in your home. And best of all, your warranty will be longer!
Unﬁnished hardwood is just the cut wood planks of the species you've chosen, with all the ﬁnishing done on site. Unﬁnished is better if you want to stain your ﬂoor to match other wood products in your home. With pre-ﬁnished wood, you may not get as close of results. If ﬁnished correctly, your ﬂoor will be totally sealed with polyurethane since it is generally mopped or brushed on in very thick coats. When you stain and seal on site, there will always be some imperfections because it is not done in a controlled environment, and each coat takes long periods to dry. And, let's face it. You may be able to keep your cat oﬀ the ﬂoor, but you can't stop the ﬂy from landing on it or other debris from settling in your sealer.
When sanding your unﬁnished ﬂoor, you can make a smooth ﬁnish you won’t get with pre-ﬁnished, but on the down side, sanding in your home is quite a mess--saw dust, saw dust everywhere. Pre-ﬁnished has less job debris and has a stronger ﬁnish that makes it better equipped to stand up to daily life. Unﬁnished is ready to be customized and can be sanded to a smooth ﬁnish; however, the ﬁnish is not as strong, and there is a lot of job debris to clean up in home.
Be sure to talk with our flooring experts about the look you want and your expectations for your floor and home. We'll guide you in the right direction and make sure your home is matched with a great floor and that you're prepared for the installation process, whichever wood you choose.
Enclosed porches are comfortable spaces perfect for drinking your coffee and taking in the outdoors while, basements make great game rooms or even guest rooms. Enclosed porches and basements are very different spaces, but when it comes to flooring, one thing they have in common is that these spaces need durable flooring. Let's take a look at some options for both.
Enclosed porches are comfortable spaces that bring the outdoors in. Depending on how exposed your porch is, it could contend with intense sunlight, moisture from rain, and even freeze-thaw cycles. Porcelain tile will stand up to most of the abuse the outdoor elements can dish out. Porcelain tile comes in many sizes and styles like wood looks, stone, and even hand- made ceramic looks. Keep in mind if your porch isn't fully heated and protected from the elements, you need to choose a tile that is rated for outdoor use in your climate.
Another choice for the enclosed porch is engineered wood. Engineered wood does not have the cold-to-the-touch feel of tile and adds the appeal of real wood that many love. Engineered wood can usually be installed over a concrete subfloor, but your porch should be weatherproofed and heated. Keep in mind how “enclosed” your porch really is before choosing engineered wood. Engineered wood requires a more controlled environment than porcelain tile.
The basement is used for many different things: game rooms, man caves, guest rooms, or even apartments. However you use this space, all basements are exposed to moisture. Concrete subfloors, especially below grade, might be damp constantly, and these spaces may be subject to flooding. Because of the moisture issues basements often have, vinyl and WPC are excellent flooring options. Sheet vinyl, vinyl tile, and WPC come in almost any look you can think of: wood, stone, slate, ceramic tile and many more. What makes vinyl and WPC great for the basement is that they’re made mostly of plastic, making it very water resistant.
A runner-up to vinyl and WPC for the basement is laminate. Laminate is dense fiberboard topped with an image sealed under clear plastic. Many of today's laminates are also water resistant, but keep in mind that laminate, because of its fiber board material, is not as water resistant as vinyl and WPC. Laminate has beautiful wood looks and plank sizes for an authentic wood look. Laminate is also a very affordable choice.
Every room in your home deserves beautiful, functional flooring that’s just right for your space. Make sure to consider the amount of exposure to the elements and moisture your porch or basement will have and choose accordingly. Porcelain tile and engineered wood are excellent for enclosed porches, while vinyl and WPC products are great for basements exposed to a lot of moisture.
Dining, living, and family rooms are the main gathering places of the home. Since you and your guests likely spend a lot of time in these rooms, a lot will be asked of your flooring in both style and durability. Let's take a look at two popular hardwood flooring options that meet the needs of these spaces well: prefinished and engineered.
Furniture feet, pet claws, and lots of foot traffic are just some of the abuse your dining, living, and family rooms endure almost daily. Despite its greater potential for damage from scratches and moisture, hardwood still takes the cake for one of the most popular floor coverings for these spaces. There’s a reason real estate ads mention wood floors too. Hardwood adds timeless value and aesthetic appeal to your home. While hardwood isn’t the most durable flooring, there are some hardwood options that can help you get the most out of your wood floors.
When it comes to solid hardwood, prefinished has a hand up over unfinished wood flooring. Prefinished hardwood is sanded and stained in factory, and the factory stain and finish comes with a warranty you won’t get with unfinished hardwood. Factory-applied finishes are also significantly tougher-wearing than what a contractor would likely apply. When you have prefinished hardwood installed, you can go back to walking on your floors shortly after installation. Unfinished hardwood takes a sufficient amount of time to dry before you can get back to your regular routine.
Engineered wood floors have a veneer of finished wood attached to the substrate, but it has all the beautiful wood looks of solid hardwood with some advantages. Engineered hardwood is often cheaper than solid wood flooring. Because of this, exotic wood species such as Brazilian walnut or tiger wood are often more affordable. These woods also make a good choice because they are more durable than oak or maple. Although all wood is effected by moisture, engineered wood floors are less susceptible to seasonal shrinking and swelling. In addition, engineered wood floors are more flexible in that they can be installed directly over concrete sub floors and even sometimes over existing flooring.
Dining, living and family rooms take a lot of foot traffic, spills, and scratches, but also are the most seen and used parts of the home. Hardwood is still a popular choice for these spaces for its timeless look and the value it adds to the home. Prefinished hardwood floors are a more durable choice than unfinished wood, but engineered wood floors are a more affordable and durable wood flooring option.
The traditional style is one of the most popular styles used to decorate homes. It incorporates design elements from a variety of centuries (namely Victorian and Colonial) which come together for a classic, elegant, and comfortable look. The style usually boasts a neutral color palette mostly of beiges, whites, and some pastels. Let’s explore how you can create this look in your home.
In the living area, most furnishings and accessories should be neutral colors with the exception of ottomans, throw pillows, rugs and other accessories. This is where you'll bring in color, pattern, and texture. Wood accents and textures such as leather are what you should shoot for. A textured rug and floral or striped throw pillows will bring some added style to the traditional living room with its beige or neutral walls and white trim.
You can achieve a traditional look in your kitchen with light-colored granite counter tops that pair well with either white or dark cabinets. White subway tiles make a beautiful statement in a traditional kitchen, or a white geometric tile can add interest. Need a little more color? Try a pastel tile like light green or blue. Travertine tile also continues to be a classic, popular choice both for floors and backsplashes. Larger tiles will make the space feel more open and add to the clean, traditional look of your space.
When it comes to flooring, wood or wood-look is the obvious choice. Dark or medium wood looks work best. Dark wood will make the space feel warm and rich; but remember, if you’re working with a small space, the medium wood look will keep it feeling open. If you’re worried real wood won’t stand up to your family or lifestyle, wood looks are available in waterproof or water-resistant tile, LVT, WPC, laminate and vinyl.
The Traditional style can best be described as “classic.” It’s a style easily accomplished in any home with the right color, décor, and furnishing choices. The use of neutrals with textured or colored accents creates a warm, comfortable environment and an inviting home.