The options for fashionable flooring are endless these days, says designer Brian Patrick Flynn, and even the most cutting-edge styles don’t have to break your budget.
Flynn and fellow designers Janine Carendi and Mallory Mathison comment on what’s new, what’s hot and what’s timeless in flooring:
Flynn recommends prefinished laminate floors that mimic the look of exotic hardwoods.
“These are tongue and groove ‘quick-click’ systems that only require a table saw to cut end pieces to size,” he says. Panels can be installed quickly because they rest over the existing floor (“floating” is the industry term) and don’t have to be nailed down.
“You can do an entire kitchen in three hours,” he says. “The directions are super-easy to follow.”
If you have the money and time, installing hardwood is the best choice, say these designers. Installation and re-staining can be expensive and messy, but the results are worth it.
“You can’t replace the warmth and texture a wood floor gives you,” Carendi says. Many homeowners are now using hardwoods throughout the house, even in kitchens and bathrooms.
In homes with scuffed or faded hardwood, Mathison suggests painting it. Re-staining a damaged hardwood floor can draw attention to imperfections, but painting often brings out the charm of aged wood. Flynn agrees: “If you have tons of dings and divots, paint makes the imperfections look cool.”
One of the things that makes urban loft apartments fashionable, Flynn says, is concrete floors. They can be casual or high-style, and are nearly indestructible.
“I refer to concrete as the ideal floor for the commitment-phobic because the possibilities for customizing it are endless,” he says. “Matte concrete can be absolutely beautiful and really allows treasured pieces to shine, since there is no sheen on the ground competing with sheen on furniture or accessories. Lately, my favorite finish for concrete floors is a high-gloss clear coat. This gives the concrete a wet look that really helps reflect light around the space.”