Archive for the ‘Floor Shopping’ Category
If you follow the latest decorating trends, you may know that textures inspired by nature are popular in home design today. Some designers even consider texture the new “color”. They suggest that bringing the textures of nature indoors has a positive effect on people. I’ve even read that homeowners are happier and healthier because a bit of nature inside their home creates a calming environment.
Armstrong has responded to this trend with a truly beautiful new hardwood collection that embodies both texture and nature. It’s called American Scrape™.
An American Tradition
The new American Scrape collection features wide plank floors with a hand-scraped look, designed to look like vintage floors from long ago. This unique collection got me thinking about the history of scraped floors, and after researching the topic, I discovered that wide-width scraped floors were an American tradition as far back as the 1800s – when most homes had solid wood floors. Back in those days, the boards were scraped to even out the differences between the planks.
If you haven’t looked at vinyl sheet floors lately, you may be pleasantly surprised. Vinyl sheet has come a long way since the days when patterns looked fake, and the floors were super-shiny and plastic-y. Today’s vinyl sheet floors are produced with state-of-the-art, 3D print and embossing technologies that allow manufacturers to create realistic images and textures, so stone patterns feel like real stone and wood patterns feel like real wood.
Last month, I started shopping for a new floor for my home. Of course, being the Manager for the Armstrong Flooring Customer Relations & Technical Services Team, I have masses of information and samples to review at my fingertips to help me in making my flooring decision.
Like most consumers, I looked for color, style, and most importantly, the value I would get out of my floor. Now when I say value, I’m not talking about the amount of money I would spend on the floor, plus the cost of an installer; I’m talking about value in the form of a warranty. A flooring warranty is an important consideration when purchasing a floor.
When you’re trying to find the right flooring for your home, it’s fun to browse all the room scenes on websites and social media sites like Pinterest. Of course, professionally photographed room scenes probably aren’t going to match your space, but it’s fun to look and dream.
As a new mother, I am never at a loss to find something to worry about. Is the baby eating enough? Is the baby cold? Why is the baby crying? Why did the baby cough? The list goes on and on.
And now that our baby, Mia, is starting to crawl, I find even more things to worry about. Are the outlets covered? Are the cabinets childproof? Is the basement door closed? Are the dog and the baby in the same room? Like all parents, my constant concern is: am I creating a safe environment for my baby?
Are you in this group? While cooking dinner for your family, you spill tomato sauce on the floor. When you bend down to wipe it up, you notice that your kitchen floor looks old, dingy, scratched, dull, ______ (fill in the blank). That prompts you to think: I need a new kitchen floor!
Okay, you’ve got the motivation. Now comes the obvious next step: finding the right floor for your kitchen. First, ask yourself: what do you want and need for your new floor? After design and color, you might choose moisture resistance, durability, stain resistance, or easy maintenance. Armstrong has a variety of floors in several categories with the design options and performance features many homeowners are looking for in their kitchens. more ►
What do you do when you need a new floor, but you want it to match an old house? My parents ran into this dilemma when they moved to Lancaster, PA, also known as the home of the Amish and whoopie pies. Many homes in the city of Lancaster were built in the 1700′s. While my parents’ house is not quite that old, it still dates to the late 1800’s.
Although the house had tons of charm, it also had the original floor, and no amount of refinishing was going to restore it to its glory days. My parents decided to replace the floor with another hardwood floor, in keeping with the character of the house, but they didn’t know exactly which hardwood floor to choose. They had ruled out a floor with a smooth, glossy finish, but they still had to pick the color, surface texture, gloss level, etc. Fortunately for my folks, I know a little something about hardwood floors.
Since 2011 has come to a close, “trend-spotting” for 2012 has moved into full gear. This is when designers like me are looking for flooring trends for the year. What’s hot? What colors are in – which are out? Typically, the first quarter of each year is the time when trade shows related to flooring are in full swing – both domestic and international. This is where we find out about new products and show many of our own. In fact, most of the new flooring products you will see in 2012 are being developed and finalized as I type this blog post. It’s exciting to see the floor styles that will be coming to your local flooring store soon!
It’s always nice to “know” someone…
When you’re in the market for a new car, it’s helpful to have a close friend or family member in the auto business. They can give you the “inside” information you’re looking for and you know you can trust their recommendations. Same goes for just about any large scale purchase that you’re planning to make that will change your home or lifestyle. For the people close to me, I am their “friend in flooring”.
A few months ago, my brother-in-law (David) and sister-in-law (Vicki) were in the process of building a new home and came to me when it was time to choose a floor for their kitchen. Since they have two small children and another one on the way and a very large Doberman, they were looking for a floor that would accommodate their active lifestyle, but still look high end. David would not stop talking about ceramic tile and how “there is nothing like the look of natural stone in a home.” But Vicki was fearful, like any expectant mother, and kept talking about her new baby crawling around and “cracking his/her head open” on the ceramic tile.