Beyond the Basics of Hardwood Floors May 18th, 2014 While hardwood flooring is certainly a classic and modern aesthetic that works well with any home, there are other options out there besides this. If you’re looking to renovate a room or two in your home and you want to incorporate alternative flooring options, you’re in luck. From carpet to tiles, there are many ways to go beyond the allure of hardwood and try something different. Traditional CarpetingCarpeting, a classic flooring option for any room, gives you that soft cushiony feel that’s warm on the toes—especially attractive in the winter months. You can choose wall to wall carpet or a large area rug, or you can even cover most of the room with carpet but leave a border of hardwood or tile along the perimeter for a textured feel. The best type of carpet to choose is dependent on foot traffic level, budget and style. If you have kids or pets, a Berber may be the best way to go thanks to its ability to hide stains and handle a lot of wear and tear. Other types include textured cut, saxony cut, frieze cut, plush, loop pile, wool and nylon, all of which have distinct advantages. Carpet TilesIf you’re looking for more versatility and depth to your space, check out textured carpet tiles made of recycled vinyl and nylon carpeting. These are generally better for the environment, provide better indoor air quality, and offer increased longevity and design flexibility. They’re also a cinch to install and switch out in case you ever get stains or damage confined to one tile. Mix and match the design and color combinations any way you want to really get creative. VinylWhen you think of vinyl tiles, you probably conjure up images of flimsy yellowing tiles reminiscent of your childhood kitchen. But the truth is, vinyl tiles have come a long way since then. Today’s luxury vinyl tiles are damage-proof and offer an affordable option over hardwood floors or stone tiles—all while looking stylish in their own right. You can install vinyl with grout or without it for more of a ceramic appearance. You can also go with plank-cut vinyl that gives you a beveled hardwood look for a fraction of the cost. CementHuh? Cement—inside the home? Sure! Don’t think of the drab gray slabs of concrete like you’d find outside. Instead, think bold, decorative, colorful cement tiles that can be stained, painted and personalized with bold motifs perfect for a kitchen or living room. Its versatility makes this a flooring that can be used indoors and out, such as within a screen room or patio area. Thanks to advancements in concrete tools, stains, dyes, textures and patterns, concrete tiles are making a splash on the home improvement scene thanks to their durability and cost-effectiveness. LeatherWhile par for the course on your handbags and shoes, leather is rarely thought of as a flooring material, but it can be! Splurging on leather flooring is all the rage right now in modern flooring options. Choose from cool designs and patterns like metallic rattlesnake and antique brown crocodile. Natural leather fits a variety of moods and styles, while offering a softer, warmer feel to your flooring, perfect for home libraries, dens and offices. It normally comes in tiles which look great and are easy to install at home. Go beyond the possibilities of hardwood and explore all the flooring options available today.