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Sneak Peek into the Fall 2021 Design at Home Issue

Sep 03, 2021

Upcoming: The 2021 Fall Issue of Design at Home

As summer fades away and we enter the season of pumpkin spice and big sweaters, it’s time to infuse our home with warmth and prepare for the cooler weather ahead. While we often reminisce on those hot summer days and our fun in the sun, we can’t forget that fall has plenty to offer too, especially when it comes to making fond memories with family and friends. Celebrate this season in style and catch up on the latest design trends as you delve into the 2021 fall issue of Design at Home.

7 Tips for Styling Your Mantel

Decorative mantels are a staple of the holidays –and what makes them even more appealing is that they can be switched out seasonally! But how do you design a beautiful mantelpiece that strikes that perfect balance between height, texture and personal touch? In this article we explore seven simple steps to create the coveted mantel of your dreams.

styling your mantel

Holiday Tablescapes

Prepare for the holiday season by refreshing your dining room table and elevate your space for family gatherings. In this spread, we showcase four tablescapes from classically Christmas to delicate dining that feature all the comforts of home with an emphasis on simpler times.

An Inspiring Q&A Session

Written by Sara Bederman, Design by Sara Bederman Designs, Photography by Stephani Buchman

Learn how designer Sara Bederman uses cool gray tones and soft textures to transform a space into a comfortable urban home. This uncomplicated design has a luxurious touch that still remains functional for the clients’ needs. Bederman shares tips on everything from how to incorporate wood elements to designing kids’ rooms to maximizing household storage.

simple, luxurious design 

Styles We Love: The Evolution of Autumn

This fall our hearts have been captured by three styles: Drama and Depth, Japandi and Glimmer and Glam. Beginning with deep, dark tones that feature the mystery of grand drama, Drama and Depth flawlessly showcases the spooky season. As we move through autumn into natural hues, we pick up a blend of Scandinavian and Japanese elements to create a minimalistic appeal with Japandi. Our last style, shows off glitzy winter tones with glittering diamond studded décor and a touch of holiday cheer.

The White Oak Look

It’s no secret that the look of white oak elevates any room with its sophisticated and simple charm. This is why white-oak has been trending for some time now and we’re happy to report that this trend is fit for families! Whether you’re in need of engineered hardwood in the kitchen or waterproof luxury vinyl in your master bath, we have you covered. Read more about our Flooring America white oak product recommendations.

white oak flooring 

Creating Cozy Family Living Spaces with Carpets and Rugs

In this flooring feature, we explore what makes carpet such a family-friendly option and how to elevate your home with cozy materials this fall. Just like each family has their own holiday traditions, each family has different needs for durable flooring. We believe that our activity levels should be mirrored by our floor’s performance and in this seven-page spread, we recommend several carpet and area rug options for your family. 

Infusing Warmth with Trending Neutrals

Written by Michelle Berwick, Design by Michelle Berwick Design, Photography by Larry Arnal

Learn how to use warmth by adding elements like patterns and shelving to your home’s cool, neutral palette. Michelle Berwick walks us through how to infuse trending neutrals in her latest design of Brooks Howard to reveal a stunning home that isn’t as monochromatic as one might think.

Modern Mountain Farmhouse

Written by Christa Pirl, Design by Christa Pirl Interiors, Photography by Lucy Call

Explore the calm and inviting beauty of a modern mountain farmhouse that’s full of perfectly polished finishes in this feature by Christa Pirl Interiors. Pirl has a way of working with textiles and natural lighting to create a stunning space that feels emblematic of its natural environment.

modern mountain farmhouse

Designing a Functional Kitchen

Written by Kate Davidson, Design by Kate + Co Design, Photography by Lauren Miller

In this kitchen spaces feature, designer Kate Davidson shares her expertise on how to design a kitchen that fits all of your family’s needs. She walks us through everything from floor plans to picking out the perfect kitchen island, while explaining the key points to storage space and functionality.

functional kitchen design

Style Watch

Here at Flooring America, we are the flooring experts and we’ve carefully curated a list of ten top flooring trends for 2021. Our Style Watch includes a collection of flooring solutions including carpet, luxury vinyl, tile and more that takes the guesswork out of selecting a floor that fits this year’s top trends, features and technology. 

If you’re looking for more design inspiration, check out our Flooring America blog.

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bedroom with white oak flooring

Which Oak Floor Is Right for You: Red or White?

Aug 30, 2021

Choosing the Right Oak

Oak flooring is a go-to choice for many people looking to install hardwood flooring in their homes. It’s widely available, extremely durable, and an attractive option for anyone considering hardwood floors. Plus, it’s pretty affordable as far as hardwood goes. If oak floors are installed correctly, finished with expertise, and well maintained, they can last a lifetime. Many people who know this about oak are drawn to the material, but what they don’t know is that there are actually two different types of oak: red and white.

living room with white oak flooring

A Green Choice

Yes, there are red and white types of oak, and they are both green, not literally, but environmentally. Both red and white species are grown in the United States, making oak an affordable option by avoiding international shipping costs and environmental hazards. Additionally, U.S. forestry management enforces sustainable forestry practices, which reduces the environmental impact when harvesting the wood.

Seeing Oak’s True Colors

Color seems to be the obvious difference between these two types of oak, but to the untrained eye, you might not be able to tell the difference. Contrary to how it sounds, white oak is darker in color than red oak. White oak has a tan, beige, and yellow tone. In contrast, red oak is a bit lighter in color but has a rosy undertone.

living room with red oak flooring 

Go with the Grain

The grain is a clear differentiator in red and white oak. Red oak has a wild or varied grain pattern. Each grain is thicker and can run in zigzags. The color of red oak also makes the grain more visible. White oak is not as wild and instead has thinner, more uniform grains. The grain of each type of oak distinguishes the two, and if you are repairing an existing oak floor or continuing an oak floor into another room, you will want to make sure the type of oak is consistent. Meaning if white oak is already in your kitchen and you want to add hardwood flooring in the connecting living room, make sure the new flooring is also white oak. Otherwise, you’ll see the difference in the grain.

 bedroom with white oak flooring

Worry Less about Water Damage

White oak is often used for boat building because it’s a closed-grain wood, making it water-resistant. Red oak has open cells, which means it lacks this water-resistant quality. White oak might be a better option if you’re putting oak flooring in a more water-prone area like a kitchen or an entryway. Plus, it can endure the daily wear and tear from messy pets or children.

kitchen with white oak flooring

Factor in Floor Cost

In any home improvement project, cost, of course, is a factor. Red oak is more abundant than white oak, making it slightly more affordable. It is also important to note that the pricing of oak floors can fluctuate. So, if you are worried about budget, red oak might be the better option.

 bedroom with red oak flooring

Talk to an Expert

Need help deciding between white or red oak floors? Talk to one of our experts at Flooring America and get all the answers to your questions. Plus, when you stop by your local store, you’ll find samples to help you see the difference between the two.

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how to design an outdoor oasis

How to Design an Outdoor Oasis

Aug 18, 2021

We all know that summer is about making the most of your time outside. With those sunny days and warm summer breezes, work from home never looked so good —especially if you have a four-season patio or a beautiful outdoor space to work from! 

Finding solace is simple when you're surrounded by plush furnishings, warm throws, and the great outdoors. Create an inviting outdoor space with an abundance of seating and conversation pieces. We've assembled three essential tips to consider when you're designing your outdoor oasis. And, if you play your cards right, you can extend your outdoor space into the fall just by layering in a couple of extra blankets or some standing heater lamps.

backyard furniture setup

Elise Indoor/Outdoor Throw from McGee & Co, Artificial Paradise Palm Tree by Nearly Natural, Bleecker Wood Mango Drink Dispenser from Pottery Barn, Cadenza Indoor/Outdoor Sofa in Neutral by Lulu & Georgia, Marin LED Light Fan by Hinkley, Dolce Bamboo Frost area rug by Couristan, Outdoor Basket Chair by CB2, Daltile Industrial Park colorbody Porcelain available at Flooring America/Flooring America, Orb Watering Can in Cashmere available at Burke Decor, Nana Ditzel Exterior Hanging Egg Chair available at Scout & Nimble, Rectangle Natural Gas Firepit by Arhaus

Tie in Natural Elements

outdoor oasis blog furniture

Keeping things natural in your outdoor space is key to creating an organic oasis. Simple ways to do this include planting trees, designing an herb garden, or simply scattering flowerpots throughout the area. Tie in natural elements like clay pots, ceramic tile, and botanical-themed prints with blankets, pillows, and outdoor rugs.

Couristan's Dolce Bamboo area rug in frost is the prime example of a botanical printed piece that will add color and functionality to your outdoor oasis while also sticking to a nature-inspired theme. Woven out of fiber-enhanced polypropylene, this dynamic area rug is mold and mildew resistant with UV protection.

Create Gathering Spaces

outdoor patio

Probably the most significant element to designing a functional outdoor space is creating conversation areas. You can easily do this with a firepit ring, a coffee table, or an outdoor dining area. Make sure you pick out practical seats that are both comfortable and able to withstand the outdoor elements. 

The Cadenza Indoor/Outdoor sofa in neutral by Lulu & Georgia is the perfect piece to cozy up on. With its slim wood frame and low-slung profile, this is the ideal sofa to relax on your terrace. Created with performance fabric upholstery, this couch was made for the outdoors as it's durable, fade-resistant, and easy to clean. If you're looking for some timeless chairs to set around your dining set, try the Outdoor Basket Chair by CB2. This modern statement chair is made of faux rattan weave with a powder-coated frame built to withstand the elements.

Consider the Flooring

slider with patio chair

When selecting flooring for your outdoor space, consider your specific spaces' needs and the climate you live in. For instance, if your home is located in sunny California, you can probably afford to install white-washed wood decks and grassy turf; however, if you live in the Northeast, you'll need something that can hold up to harsh weather winters. Porcelain tile is one of the best flooring solutions for outdoor areas, as its strength is unmatched, and it comes in a variety of design options.

Daltile's Industrial Park porcelain tile is inspired by Terrazo and concrete and will give any space a contemporary feel with its solid colors textured with colored flakes. This durable tile has super-slip resistance, making it an easy choice for outdoor areas prone to moisture, like the pool deck or your kitchen space.

Finding outdoor flooring to suit your needs can be tricky, but our experts here at Flooring America are here to help! Feel free to contact us or stop by your local Flooring America store today. If you're still unsure about your outdoor space or looking for more outdoor design tips, check out our latest issue of Design At Home.

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bathroom floor porcelain

What Are the Best Bathroom Floor Options?

Aug 16, 2021

Make a Splash with Your Bathroom Floors

Choosing a new bathroom floor can be a bit slippery, not just because of dripping towels and bubble baths, but because there are so many styles to choose from. In other rooms of the house, using carpet or hardwood is a popular option, but in a bathroom, it’s clear that those materials can’t handle the moisture. Despite ruling out those types of floors, there are still more options than you can imagine. Depending on the style you want to achieve, you might consider stone tiles, porcelain tiles, ceramic tiles, vinyl plank, glass mosaics, and engineered hardwood, which, unlike solid hardwood, is water-resistant.

bathroom floor ceramic

Go Au Naturel

Natural stone tiles are a fantastic choice for your bathroom floor, shower walls, or backsplash. Natural stone has been used for centuries. The variety of natural stone ranges from marble to limestones to granite and beyond. Although other materials may be more durable than natural stone, it offers a luxurious feel that comes with a price tag. When you choose, natural stone will leave your morning bath routine feeling like you have your own luxurious spa –plus, you up the resale value of your home.

bathroom floor colorful

Ceramic and Porcelain Are Powder Room-Ready

Ceramic tiles are popular, affordable, and come in many different styles and sizes. Ceramic tiles can be painted or glazed in various patterns and colors, leaving you the ability to truly customize a space that you’ll be using every day. Porcelain tile is a type of ceramic tile. The main difference is that porcelain is made with more refined clay and baked at a higher temperature. This makes porcelain more durable, more water-resistant, and, of course, often more expensive than ceramic.

bathroom floor porcelain  white colors

Mix It Up with Mosaic

Small mosaic tiles are often used on showers and backsplashes. These small tiles are excellent for shower floors because their size makes them easy to angle and create proper drainage. They can also bring joy as they add personality through a pop of color and totally transform your bathroom design. And what’s even more incredible is that glass mosaic tiles are effortless to clean, which makes maintaining your new bathroom easy breezy.

bathroom floor porcelain

Lock Moisture Out with Vinyl

Luxury vinyl plank is an excellent option for bathrooms because it is entirely waterproof. This means, with moisture locked out, you can lock yourself in for some well-deserved self-care in the form of a bubble bath. It is easy to install, inexpensive, and comes in a variety of styles. This material imitates other costlier flooring options like stone and can give you the look of hardwood without the constant anxiety over water damage and rot. Luxury vinyl plank can handle all the soap, shower water, and dirty towels you throw at it. It also provides comfort as it is warm to the touch and a lot less slippery than tile, which is a bonus, especially when you forget to put a bathmat down.

Love the Look of Hardwood?

If you truly can’t part with the look of hardwood and want to use it in your bathroom, the best option is engineered hardwood. This flooring is constructed with a plywood-like base and a thin layer of hardwood on top. It is more suited for a bathroom as it is water-resistant. An added plus is that it is easy to install and easy to clean. Although this floor is water-resistant, it does require a bit more care, meaning you shouldn’t allow wet towels to lay on the floor, and you should try your best to clean up any puddles right away.

Consult an Expert

If you still feel overwhelmed with all the different options for your bathroom, stop into your local Flooring America. One of our experts will happily help you find the flooring that is right for your bathroom. Plus, seeing options in person and taking samples home can help you discover your true vision.

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bedroom potential allegies from flooring

Carpet Recommendations for Indoor Allergies

Aug 09, 2021

Got Allergies? We Have Carpet Recommendations.

Those of us with allergies know that they are no joke. We all dread when springtime rolls around bringing with it a coat of pollen and the ever-so-triggering grass clippings, but we often overlook allergies that live inside our homes year-round. The most common indoor allergies are dust, dust mites, mold, pet dander, and cockroaches. Some people think that having carpet in their home would only worsen their allergies, but in reality, there are some options that work great. The key is learning which carpets are best for those with allergies.

Wool for the Win

Despite being a natural fiber, wool has hypoallergenic qualities, making it an excellent option. Plus, wool carpets improve the air quality by absorbing common airborne contaminants such as cleaning chemicals or cooking fumes. Wool is a very dry material and has coil-shaped fibers, making it hard for dust mites, bacteria, and mold to survive on it, which is excellent for those with allergies.

kid's room with flooring allergies free

It’s All about Finding the Right Fibers

Synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester are great options for allergy-prone homes. Although nylon can be more expensive than other types of carpets, it is durable, easy to clean, and considered to be the most effective anti-allergy carpet on the market. The synthetic blend of fibers that make up nylon carpet is resistant to mold growth and pollen. Polyester is a synthetic material, like nylon, that is an excellent option for those with allergies. It is less expensive than nylon, but in turn, not as durable. It is also important to note that both fibers are hypoallergenic, making them the perfect option for allergies.

living room flooring allergies free

Leave Lush Options Behind

Although lush, long pile, soft carpeting is often quite alluring, it isn’t the best option if you are trying to avoid common household allergies. Instead, opt for a short pile carpet or carpet with tightly woven fibers, making it harder for allergens to grow and get caught. Plus, shorter piles and tighter weaves are easier to keep clean.

carpet floor

Unpacking Carpet Underlay

Carpet underlay is thin padding placed underneath the carpet that creates comfort and prolongs the life of your carpet. Underlay can be made from various materials such as foam, cork, rubber, jute, or felt. Although you won’t see this layer, it can easily trap common household allergens. We recommend opting for a synthetic underlay material treated with an anti-microbial agent.

bedroom potential allegies from flooring

Keep it Clean

Keeping your home clean is super-important if you suffer from allergies, and the same goes for keeping your carpets clean. In addition to regular vacuuming, seasonal carpet shampooing, steaming, and professional cleaning are great ways to make sure you are keeping your home and carpet allergy-free.

Get an Expert Opinion

If you want to learn more about the best carpets for those with allergies or see some hypoallergenic options, stop into your local Flooring America. When you come to your local store, our experts will be happy to answer any of your questions and show you the options best for your specific concerns.

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children room with laminate floors

Laminate vs. Vinyl Flooring: Which Is Best?

Aug 03, 2021

The Battle of Luxury Vinyl vs. Laminate

Luxury vinyl and laminate have a handful of similarities. They are both affordable, available in endless colors and styles, and are known for their durability. Despite these similarities, the two flooring options also have a lot of differences. Understanding what materials make up each of these flooring options and their benefits will help you decide which flooring is right for you and your home.

laminate floors with pots

The Variables behind Vinyl

Vinyl is an entirely synthetic material made from melted down polyvinyl chloride resins (PVC). The PVC is combined with other elements such as stabilizers and fungicides, which create this durable and resilient material. These materials are combined to make luxury vinyl planks and tiles, which are composed of four layers. The first layer is the backing, which is waterproof, keeping the floor resistant to mold and mildew. The second layer is called the core, which is durable and flexible, making up most of the volume of the plank. The third layer is a high-resolution digital image that gives the flooring its look and texture, which often mimics wood or stone. Last, a wear layer is applied on top, a transparent layer that protects the vinyl flooring. The thickness of vinyl can range from 1.5 mm to 5 mm thick.

vinyl floors in laundry room

Learning about Laminate

Like vinyl, laminate is constructed in a series of layers. In contrast to vinyl, these layers are made from wood byproducts that are bonded together with resins. The bottom layer is responsible for protecting the plank against moisture and balances the floor. Next is the core layer, which accounts for most of the floor’s thickness. This layer is composed of compressed woodchips, making the floor durable and dense. Next up is the design layer that uses a high-resolution digital image to create the look and feel of the flooring, which is most commonly a wood look-alike. Finally, the wear layer is a transparent layer made of aluminum oxide that protects against fading, stains, and surface burns. Laminate ranges from 6 mm to 12 mm thick.

laminate in open kitchen

How to Choose

When it comes to choosing between luxury vinyl or laminate, it can be challenging. The best tactic is to determine what features are most important to you and see which flooring type performs better in that category. Luxury vinyl and laminate cost about the same—they are both easy to install and are equally stain resistant. Laminate takes the cake for best-looking flooring because it does a better job of mimicking other materials such as stone or wood, and it is softer underfoot. On the other hand, luxury vinyl performs better in durability, heat resistance, and water resistance. This is because luxury vinyl is not just water-resistant but waterproof. Plus, it can withstand all types of cleaning methods.

children room with laminate floors

See for Yourself

If you still feel torn about what floors are best for your home, sometimes the best thing is to touch and feel flooring samples. Head on over to your local Flooring America to truly feel what these different flooring materials are all about. While you are there, ask one of our experts any questions you might have and let them guide you to your perfect floors.

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