This is the first blog in our series on "Top Flooring Choices for Every Room." Today's post is all about bathrooms, kitchens, mudrooms, and laundry rooms.
Every room in your home has different needs and functions depending on the traffic and use of the space. For instance, carpet isn’t the best choice for wet areas like kitchens and bathrooms or high-traffic areas like mudrooms and laundry rooms that are often subject to outdoor elements. All of these spaces endure a lot of wear, moisture, and scratches. Two of the best-suited flooring options for these areas are porcelain tile and vinyl.
Why porcelain tile? Porcelain tile is denser, less porous, harder, and more stain and water-resistant than ceramics or stone. In addition to being very water-resistant, porcelain tile outperforms other flooring materials in its resistance to scratching and denting. Whether it’s stomping muddy boots, dropping dishes, or spilling liquids, porcelain tile stands up to the beatings. It also comes in so many styles and sizes! Porcelain tile can mimic natural stones like granite, limestone, and slate and is also available in stunning wood looks. Newer designs draw inspiration from exotic locales and fashion runways, with surfaces that evoke leather, fabric, even animal print. Another perk is that porcelain tile is low maintenance, only requiring sweeping and a damp mopping.
Why vinyl? Today's vinyl continues to evolve in trends and technology. It’s water resistant, scratch resistant, and easy to maintain—requiring only sweeping or vacuuming and the occasional damp/dry mopping. Vinyl comes in several forms like vinyl plank, vinyl tile, and sheet vinyl. Vinyl plank and tile are available in beautiful wood and stone looks, but if you’re wanting a less “traditional” look, sheet vinyl has endless styles and patterns. In addition to wood and stone looks, sheet vinyl beautifully displays patterns and vintage tile looks making it easy to use your floor as your “canvas” to express your unique style.
Don’t forget: flooring functionality and durability are just as important as style when it comes to kitchens, mudrooms, bathrooms and laundry rooms. You can get the best of both worlds with porcelain tile and vinyl. Both flooring options offer stylish looks and durability that stands up to the challenges of everyday life in your home.
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.
LVT and WPC flooring categories are rising steadily in popularity. Both types of flooring offer wood and tile looks but with entirely different compositions and advantages. We'll take a good look at both and hopefully help you decide which is right for you.
LVT stands for luxury vinyl tile, also know as luxury vinyl plank (LVP) and luxury vinyl flooring (LVF). LVT is a vinyl based flooring that mimics the look of stone and wood. Let's take a closer look and see why LVT might be the right floor covering for you.
LVT consists of five layers. First is a finish that protects from light scratching and shoe scuffs. Second is a clear film that protects against rips and tears. Third is the design layer--this is your stone or wood print. Fourth is the core, which gives it structure. And finally, the fifth layer is the backing.
LVT captures the realistic look of wood and stone designs with the use of photographic technology. The design options don't stop at color though. LVT also comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Square pieces range from 12x12 to 24x24, and rectangle piece come in 12x24. You can even get LVT in hexagonal shapes!
Besides its design advantages, LVT has many practical angles. Unlike the stone and wood that it mimics, LVT is very water resistant. In fact, it is pretty much impervious to wet spills. While stone is susceptible to cracks if something heavy is dropped on it or if not installed correctly, LVT is very durable, giving it the stone look without fear of it cracking. Tile is beautiful, but many don’t like its cold feel—something that LVT does not have. LVT is very easy to clean: damp mopping is the recommended cleaning procedure for LVT. Because it is very durable, it is not uncommon to see 20 to 25-year warranties on LVT.
WPC (wood plastic/polymer composite) shares many similarities with LVT, but at the same time, they do have some differences. Let's take a look at why you might consider WPC for your floor covering.
There are many different versions of WPC. While the “W” in WPC stands for wood, the majority of WPC-type products entering the market today don’t contain wood. These kinds of WPC are often called enhanced vinyl plank, engineered luxury vinyl, and water proof vinyl. We’re going to focus on the features of these types of WPC.
WPC is like LVT in that it is vinyl based and mimics stone and wood. The core is made of plastic/polymer, which is the same material PVC pipes are of made. When this kind of core is used in WPC, it is totally water proof. WPC can be installed in places with high exposure to moisture, such as bathrooms and basements. WPC’s core is rigid, thus hiding imperfections in the subfloor. The rigid core also allows for longer and wider planks. Like LVT, WPC is very easy to clean and has a lengthy warranty.
If you would like the look of wood or stone but with added durability and protection, LVT and WPC are both excellent flooring choices for your home.