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Beauty from the Floors Up!

Home Design and redecoration isnít just wall color, trims, and furnishings. Your room can be changed with one simple change Ė a different floor. With the great variety available out there, you no longer have to decide between a wall-to-wall carpet or hardwood floors, each with advantages and disadvantages. You can now choose laminate flooring, giving you the look and feel of hardwood at the fraction of the cost and maintenance, ceramic floors for that warm, old fashioned feel, more durable carpets for those who suffer from cold feet, and even Vinyl is an interesting option for floors, especially in kitchens, since its so easy to clean, and now comes in a variety of colors and designs. In fact, there is so much choice out there, that you may get confused.

Here is a quick guide to floor styles and types to choose from, and as easy as one-two-three, your room can be transformed!


Hardwood and Hardwood Look-alikes

Hardwood floors have always been a favorite classic in homes. They are warm, inviting, and beautiful, lending any room in the house grace and style. However, they also require constant care, special oils, and can be very difficult to clean.

Hardwood floors are usually offered in a variety of species, such as Oak, Maple, Birch, Cherry, Hickory, and Pecan. The natural wood sheen warms up any room instantly, and the range of delicate, natural coloring allows the flexibility to reach a color palette that suits you.

Hardwood look-alikes are the latest rage for those who just love their hardwood floors, but donít want to deal with the hassle of maintaining them. Laminate floors, for example, come in a variety of hardwood designs, including Maple, Oak, and Cherry. That they are easily cleaned with regular floor detergents, donít need sanding down or lacquer, and are low cost are a big boost for Laminate Hardwood look-alikes. Some are actually so realistic, that itís hard to tell that they arenít real hardwood! Can you tell which is the laminate and which is the hardwood?


A Carpet Tale

Wall-to-wall carpeting has always been a favorite in American households. Soft on the feet, the right kind of carpet can last a long while, and the range of color and textures can transform your room from bland to spectacular in an instant. If you think that wall to wall carpeting is bland and boring, think again! New looms and fabrics make wall-to-wall carpeting an exiting new option to decorate your home with! Like everything else for the house, carpets have gone high-style ó not to mention high-tech.

Synthetic yarns, advanced dyeing techniques, and new manufacturing processes now produce carpet with more texture, color, durability, and stain resistance than ever before. The result is carpets that are not simply backgrounds for the rest of your decor but focal points in their own right.

Nylon carpeting is usually best, softest underfoot and lasts the longest, but it does need to be cleaned and vacuumed regularly. Polyester is slightly cheaper, but weaker and isnít quite as durable. Discover the new carpets out thereÖ itís a whole new world of softness and color for your floors!


Creamy, Dreamy Ceramic

Weíve all heard of the terra cotta look that was all the range last decade. But Ceramic tile flooring is much more than brown terra-cotta these days, expanding its repertoire in color and design. Ceramic Tiles used to be limited to bathrooms and kitchens, but now, they are used in every room. The unique beauty of ceramic, the delicate shades of its natural color, allow your room to shine. Ceramic floors enhance the natural beauty of wood furniture, and give a classically rustic feel to your home, without feeling too ďcountry.Ē Quite the contrary, even, as ceramic tile is sophisticated and urban, and very easy to maintain in city apartments.


Like a rolling Stone, Like a Floating Slate

Stone floors, once popular in country kitchens with Aga stoves burning merrily away, have made a comeback in interior design. Since stone is not very practical to floor your living room with (think about walking barefoot on it during winter!!), stone look-alikes have been recently developed, usually laminate based, to give you the look of stone, but with the feel of warmer, more practical laminate. Stone is excellent for high-traffic floors, since itís easy to clean, and its darker palette hides all sorts of smudges and tracks. Dark stone or stone look-alikes is best for light rooms with light colored furniture, while the lighter shades are better with heavier, darker furniture.

An alternative to a Stone finish is the slate finish, either in real slate, or in the laminate variety. Very often, the texture of slate give a room that extra va-va-voom!