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room visualizer hardwood kitchen flooring example

How to Use Our Room Visualizer: My Floor Style

Nov 25, 2020

Do you ever wish you could magically see how a new floor might look in your home? Then you’re in luck: Flooring America is excited to announce a brand-new online tool that is sure to make tackling your home improvement projects easier. Introducing Room Visualizer, a thoughtfully designed online tool created so that you can easily preview how new floors will look in any room of your home without ever having to leave your home! Here’s how it works:

Getting Started

First, go to FlooringAmerica.com and click on the Room Visualizer link under About Us. You’ll have the choice to either upload a photo of the room in your home that you’re thinking of re-flooring, or choose one of our preloaded sample room photos. We’ve provided plenty of options if you don’t have your own photo handy: there’s a kitchen, a bathroom, a living room, and a bedroom in our photo library.

My Floor Style Screenshot

A Library at Your Fingertips

Once you’ve uploaded a photo, the real fun begins. The Room Visualizer tool allows you to explore a practically endless number of flooring options, from hardwood and carpet to luxury vinyl and tile. The tool makes it easy—and fun—to play around with how many different flooring options could work in your home. Plus, we all know that once you think about changing up the floors, the ideas really start to flow for rethinking other design options in your home, from a new paint color to a new couch.

My Floor Style Mobile View

Fun Filters

Another great feature of the Flooring America Room Visualizer tool is that it provides you with filters to assist in exploring—and narrowing down—all your potential flooring ideas. You get to filter all the options Flooring America has available by collection, style (ranging from minimalist to rustic, among countless others), color, and lifestyle. The Room Visualizer also allows you to mix and match filters, too. There’s even a handy option to rotate floors! So if you’re wondering, for example, how that tile in the bathroom would look if were laid in horizontally instead of vertically, you can simply make it happen.

My Floor Style Walkthrough Example

Your Room Visualizer: Your Floor Style

Whether you’re looking to just change up the floors in one room of your house, or to do a potentially bigger renovation and style overhaul, it can be hard to know where to start. But with Flooring America’s new Room Visualizer tool, the stress of imagining how your new floors could look is gone. Take a spin around the Room Visualizer and bring on the fun of a virtual makeover. Just click to schedule a consultation or contact your local Flooring America today.

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Travertine tile on the floors and fireplace in this brightly lit home

What is Travertine Tile?

May 04, 2020

If you haven’t heard about travertine tile, you’re missing out on one of the hottest and most elegant interior design trends of 2020! But don’t worry — we’ll have you all caught up in no time. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about travertine tile and stone flooring, including examples of what travertine tile looks like, some basic travertine tile pros and cons to consider, and how to clean travertine floors effectively.

If you’re ready for a fresh home makeover in 2020, travertine tile flooring can give your space a dazzling new look.

What is Travertine Tile?

What is Travertine Flooring?

Travertine is a natural type of stone, like the granite in your kitchen or the marble in your bathroom. However, travertine only develops around certain types of mineral spring deposits, giving this unique type of limestone a distinctive and striking appearance.

Travertine, which is commonly used for both flooring and backsplash, is available in four basic styles or textures:

  1. Brushed: Brushed travertine has a matte (non-reflective) finish due to wire brush treatment.
  2. Honed: Honed travertine is halfway between matte and glossy, creating a balanced, subtly polished look.
  3. Polished: Shiny and glossy, polished travertine is an eye-catching, sophisticated style.
  4. Tumbled: Tumbled travertine is treated to look aged and rustic, opening a style portal to the ancient world.

With this wide range of textural styles, a warm and buttery color palette that ranges from rust to beige, and a durable composition that can withstand even heavy-duty wear-and-tear, travertine makes a timeless yet trendy addition to any home or apartment in 2020. Continue reading to learn about these perks — plus a few travertine drawbacks — in more detail.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Travertine Tile?

Like any other type of flooring, travertine tile possesses a blend of qualities that make it ideal for some settings, but potentially unsuitable for others. If you’ve been thinking about getting new floors for your home or apartment, here are some pros and cons to consider when deciding whether travertine is a good fit.

  • What are some benefits and advantages of travertine tile flooring?
    • Beauty: It’s impossible to deny the lavish, classical beauty of travertine flooring.
    • Durability: With proper treatment and maintenance, travertine holds up against scratching and cracking, perfect for homes with small children (or large pets!)
    • Value: Planning on selling your house? Installing travertine floors can increase the value of your property ahead of a real estate sale.
  • What are some drawbacks and disadvantages of travertine floors?
    • Maintenance: Travertine must be sealed during installation, then re-sealed every three to five years to protect against moisture, staining, and other damage.
    • Softness: Since travertine is a type of stone, it feels firmer than other flooring materials.
    • Temperature: Like other stone floors, travertine tends to stay cool. Though ideal for hot climates, this might be a drawback in cold weather.

If coziness, warmth, and ease of maintenance are major priorities for you, travertine might not be the best material to use for your flooring redesign project. On the other hand, if you like the sound of a trend-setting, damage-resistant material that will elevate both the beauty and financial worth of your property, travertine could be the perfect option. We’re here to help you make the right decision based on your style preferences, lifestyle needs, and renovation budget.

Travertine tile flooring in a kitchen

How to Clean Travertine Tile

Like other types of stone floors, travertine floors contain tiny, porous openings. Even though these openings are almost invisible to the naked eye, they are still large enough to absorb moisture and admit harmful particles of debris. This can damage the floor over time, making it more susceptible to premature discoloration, chipping, or cracking. To reduce the risk of damage, it’s important to properly treat travertine with sealers when the floors are installed. Sealant must be reapplied every three to five years to ensure lasting protection against damage.

Once the sealant has been applied, cleaning and maintenance are fairly straightforward. To get the best results from travertine tile cleaning, simply wipe down or mop the tiles with a gentle, non-staining, non-abrasive cleaning solution recommended by the manufacturer. When in doubt, always consult the original manufacturer for product-specific care recommendations about what solutions you can use to clean your travertine flooring.

Find Travertine Flooring & Backsplash Tile for Kitchens, Bathrooms, & More

Want to learn more about travertine flooring or backsplash tile for your home or apartment? Find gorgeous examples using My Design Finder, start a chat with one of our friendly team members, or visit one of our 500+ retail locations to see our stunning travertine floors for you!

Travertine tile flooringFor backsplash tile and travertine flooring for kitchens, bathrooms, foyers, and more, you’ll find the perfect fit for any room in your home or apartment. Contact us online to get started, or find a Flooring America store in your state today!

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open concept bathroom with porcelain tile flooring

What is Porcelain Tile?

Apr 27, 2020

For centuries, cultures around the world have prized porcelain for its delicate shine, its silky-smooth texture, and its elegant, classical look. But today, porcelain’s uses go far beyond making dolls, decorations, or fine china. It has also become one of the most popular materials for residential flooring, with thousands of homeowners across America choosing porcelain tile for their kitchens, bathrooms, or entry foyers. 

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about installing a porcelain floor, including types of porcelain tiles, what porcelain tiles are made from, what to look for when purchasing porcelain flooring, and where to use porcelain tiles in your home.

What is Porcelain Tile?

How Is Porcelain Tile Made?

Porcelain tile is made by exposing clay to searing hot temperatures — anywhere from around 2,300 to 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit! Unsurprisingly, porcelain is sometimes called a “high-fire” material for this reason. 

The finished product is hard and heavy like stone but also has some noticeable differences. For example, while the stone is highly porous, porcelain contains no pores at all, resulting in superior protection against moisture and humidity.

Modern living room with porcelain tile flooring that looks like real hardwood

What Are Different Porcelain Tile Types?

Not all porcelain tiles have the same characteristics, which makes it important to choose carefully. Porcelain tile is available in several different varieties, with three of the most common including wall tile, floor tile, and mosaics.   

Wall Tile

Porcelain wall tile is perfect for showers, bathroom walls, or even great for a fun accent wall in a living room.  Wall tiles come in such a variety of designs that the design possibilities are endless. Porcelain tiles can mimic wood or stone with exceptional realistic visuals perfect for wall installations. 

Floor Tile

Porcelain floor tile is very popular due to its waterproof and pet-proof capabilities.  It is an extremely durable flooring type.  All durability aside, porcelain floor tile is diverse in design helping you achieve the bathroom or kitchen of your dreams! 

Mosaic Wall Tiles

Mosaics are small pieces of porcelain tile laid out in a pattern on a mesh backing.  The mesh backing keeps the design intact for installation.  Mosaic tiles are eye-catching by design and are perfect for applications such as kitchen backsplashes or accent strips in showers.

Bright and clean bathroom with a light brown wood-look porcelain tile floors

What to Look For When Buying Porcelain Tile

Knowing what features to look for will help you select high-quality porcelain flooring. Here are some simple tips on what to look for when shopping for porcelain tile. 

  • Find the right “class” or category of porcelain. For example, Class 5 is the toughest and most durable category, making Class 5 porcelain ideal for heavy use and foot traffic. Class 1 porcelain, on the other hand, should never be used for flooring because it is prone to damage from wear. 
  • Find the right “grade” of porcelain. Not to be confused with class, which indicates resistance to wear-and-tear caused by abrasion or grinding, grade indicates the porcelain’s overall quality, which is linked to tile thickness. The best or highest grade of porcelain is Grade 1, which is also the thickest variety of tile (up to ¾”). Grade 3, being the thinnest variety (up to ¼”), falls at the opposite end of the spectrum. Grade 3 tile is not recommended for flooring, especially in high-traffic areas. 
  • Find the right color. When you say the word “porcelain,” most people immediately think of the color white. But did you know that porcelain is actually available in a huge range of fun, bold colors and patterns? Don’t feel like you have to restrict yourself to the classics!

Eclectic styled kitchen that has porcelain tile wood-look flooring in varying colors

Where Are the Best Places to Use Porcelain Tile?

Porcelain tile has a smooth, poreless surface that is ideal for blocking out moisture. This non-absorbent, waterproof quality makes porcelain ideal for use in bathrooms and foyers, where steam, water, rain, slush, and melted snow can collect and ruin other types of flooring. Porcelain tile is also an excellent choice for kitchens because it is effortless to wipe down and easy to disinfect. Just remember, be sure to choose the appropriate class and grade for your needs. 

Find Glazed, Rectified, and Polished Porcelain Tiles at a Flooring America Location Near You

Whether you use it for flooring or backsplash tile, porcelain instantly elevates any room. Give your bathroom, kitchen, or foyer a classy, classical accent by incorporating porcelain tile into the design. To see beautiful examples in action, explore My Design Finder, or start a chat with one of our friendly and knowledgeable team members. 

Ready to take the next steps? Then we’re ready to help! Contact Flooring America online today, or visit one of our 500+ retail locations to see our products in person. With stores throughout the United States, it’s never been easier or more convenient to give your home a gorgeous style makeover.

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Durable beige carpet in a living room with a view of the mountains

The Best Carpet Type for High Traffic Areas

Apr 21, 2020

Certain areas of your home, like the living room and staircase, receive huge amounts of foot traffic on a daily basis. When you’re installing new carpets in a high traffic area, it’s important to look for slip-free, snag-free materials that can hold their shape over time. Fortunately, there’s good news for homeowners: with just a handful of exceptions, most modern carpet styles are ideal for heavy traffic areas. That means the decision comes down to factors like your style preferences, your renovation budget, and the amount of cleaning you’re willing to do. To help you make a decision, we’ll compare some commonly-used types of carpet fibers, including nylon, wool, and polyester.

What is the Best Carpet Type for High Traffic Areas?

Types of Carpet Fibers

Carpets are constructed from thousands of fibers, which are attached to a sturdy backing by industrial machinery. These fibers can be stitched into closed loops (“loop carpet”), or can be cut at one end (“cut-pile”) to create a plusher, more indulgent texture. “Low-pile” loop carpets are smooth, firm, and flat, while “high-pile” cuts are taller, looser, and fluffier.

While words like “pile” and “loop” describe the shape and density of a carpet’s fibers, they do not explain what those fibers are made from. It’s important to know what materials were used to construct the carpet you’re purchasing because it will impact how you maintain and care for the carpet in the future. There are four basic types of fibers to choose from:

  1. Nylon fibers
  2. Olefin fibers
  3. Polyester fibers
  4. Wool fibers

Let’s take a closer look at each of these carpet categories, along with some of the pros and cons you should think about when weighing your decision.

Nylon Carpet Fibers

When properly treated, nylon is an exceptionally well-rounded fiber that delivers the best of all worlds: durability, stain resistance, and of course, an almost infinite range of patterns, colors, and styles. Not only does nylon keep its shape, but it also shields against spills, pet stains, and kids’ messes.

Olefin Carpet Fibers

Olefin is another name for polypropylene, which is used to construct both indoor and outdoor carpeting. As a synthetic or man-made material, olefin was designed to deliver homeowners sought-after qualities like stain resistance and moisture resistance. The main drawback of olefin is that it is a less durable option for high traffic areas of your house.

Polyester Carpet Fibers

The technical term for polyester is polyethylene terephthalate or PET. Like olefin, polyester is a man-made substance that, while reasonably durable, is less robust than wool or nylon when subject to years of heavy wear.

Designed to balance cost-efficiency with performance, polyester delivers the luxury look and feel — but without the luxury carpet price tag. We generally recommend polyester carpeting for medium levels of foot traffic.

Wool Carpet Fibers

Wool is a strong candidate for any of your high traffic carpeting needs, such as carpeting for your stairs or living room. A traditional favorite that’s been in use for thousands of years, wool is a timeless and tested standby that never seems to lose its enduring appeal. It’s also perfect for keeping your feet cozy during those chilly winter months!

Carpet on the patio that can withstand outdoor elements

Best High Traffic Carpet Fiber Types

To reiterate, most of the carpet types that are being manufactured today can stand up to years of heavy foot traffic, so try not to feel too stressed while you’re shopping! Thanks to developments in research and production, which have led to technological innovations like waterproofing, stain-proofing, and non-slip surfacing, even the most economically priced carpets offer a solid baseline for comfort and quality.

That being said, several carpet styles and fibers have distinguished themselves as perennial favorites for high traffic areas. Some examples include:

  • Low-pile carpets, which can be made from all types of fibers
  • Nylon carpet fibers
  • Wool carpet fibers

Carpet runner in the entryway of a beautiful home

Find Nylon Carpets, Wool Carpeting, & More at a Flooring America Store near You

No matter what style of carpet you love, you’ll find the right look for the right price at Flooring America. With over 500 convenient locations nationwide, we put thousands of premium quality products at your fingertips. We’ll help you choose the best carpet for high traffic areas, offer carpet care and maintenance tips, and even handle professional carpet installation for you. To learn more about the products and services we offer, contact us online today, or visit a store near you to sample the carpet styles we carry!

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Beautiful ceramic tile in a white kitchen beaming with natural sunlight

What is Ceramic Tile?

Apr 13, 2020

You’ve certainly heard of ceramic tile, but could you define or identify one? Some of you might remember ceramics from high school art class, but for the rest of us, here’s a much-needed refresher course. Follow along and find inspiration as we cover the basics, including the different types of ceramic tile options for homeowners, and some of the best and most effective places to use ceramic tile in your home or apartment.

What is Ceramic Tile?

If you’ve been thinking about redoing your floors with ceramic tile or incorporating ceramics into a backsplash design, talk to our trusted tile experts about getting started today.

What Are Ceramic Tiles Made Of?

Let’s start at the very beginning: What is ceramic tile and what is this type of flooring made from?

In the ancient world, ceramics were simply materials made from clay, such as pottery. A traditional example would be earthenware pottery, which is the result of baking or “firing” clay in a kiln at low temperatures — a cool 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to more than 2,300 degrees for porcelain! 

In the modern world, technological advancements have expanded the term’s definition. Today, materials called “advanced ceramics” are used to make everything from medical implants to refrigerator magnets!

The tiles themselves are generally made from a mixture of water, sand, and clay. However, the spaces between the tiles, known as “grout,” are filled with a separate mixture of water, sand, and “cement” like material. In some installations, the tile grout is made from epoxy instead of cement.

Couple in flooring store looking at samples of ceramic tile in different colors

What Does Ceramic Tile Look Like?

Ceramic tile is very diverse with a myriad of options from natural stone looks to solid colors in a variety of sizes. As you may have found during your search of ceramic tile, there are so many interesting designs that are created with ceramic tile. Here we touch on a few trends in ceramic tiles.

Natural stone is currently trending in designs for kitchens and bathrooms. Stone is beautiful but can carry a price tag that is not for everyone. Ceramic in natural stone looks provides all the design aesthetic of stone without the high price tag. With advanced options for printing on ceramic, natural stone patterns can be extremely realistic.

While hexagons and other tile shapes enjoy bursts of popularity, a majority of tiles come in a linear rectangle or square. To achieve the former, manufacturers use machines that create precise, uniform edges, resulting in a product called “rectified” tile.

In current interior design trends, it is more typical to see large tiles than small tiles. (That’s good news for renters and big city homeowners since large tiles can help make small spaces look larger!) Some common ceramic tile sizes include:

  • 12” x 24”
  • 24” x 24”
  • 12” x 48”

Types of Ceramic Tile

There are three different types of ceramic tiles to choose from glazed tiles, wall tiles, and floor tiles. What are the pros and cons of each, and which is right for you? Check out the comparisons below to find the best match.

  • Glazed ceramic tiles. Glazed tiles are coated with a protective finish which can vary from matte to glossy. Matte finishes are perfect for natural stone designs and are recommended for most applications.  Glossy ceramic tiles are chic by finish, offering a polished look—no pun intended—to a space.  Glossy finishes are recommended for wall installations.   
  • Wall tiles. Wall tiles are used in showers, backsplashes, and accent walls, to name a few applications. With the variety of tile designs, wall tiles can really add an impressive design element to a room. They also come in similar sizes as floor tiles. 
  • Floor tiles. As mentioned above, floor tiles tend to be more on the matte side of finishes. When finding a ceramic tile you like, make sure to ask if it is suitable for floor installation.  Ceramic tile can be extremely durable when installed as a floor.

Slate grey ceramic tile being installed in a home by a flooring expert

Where Are the Best Places to Use Ceramic Tile?

Ceramic tiles are waterproof, which makes them a natural fit for any bathroom or shower stall, including open-concept bathrooms. Since they are non-absorbent and easy to clean, tiles are also popular in kitchens, where you might find them in eye-catching backsplash arrangements. When properly treated and maintained, ceramic tile is also tough enough for outdoor use, with applications for patios, decks, lanais, and other enclosures or courtyards.

Find Glazed, Wall, and Floor Ceramic Tiles at a Flooring America Store near You

Whether you’re looking for glazed, wall, or ceramic tiles for your bathroom floor, at Flooring America you’ll find durable, premium products backed by industry-leading warranties. With more than 500 stores conveniently located nationwide, we carry and install all of the leading tile brands for ceramic floors and walls. We can even help you customize a look with tile mosaics, inserts, borders, and other expressive details. Contact us online to learn more about how we can make your remodel a reality or find a store in your area.

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Beautiful beige carpet in the upstairs hallway and stairs leading to the third level

What is the Best Type of Carpet for Stairs?

Apr 06, 2020

Installing a carpet might seem simple — at least when you have a flat surface to work with! However, thanks to their 3-D design, staircases call for some extra planning. We’re about to answer all of your design FAQs, including what type of carpet is best for stairs, and how to choose the right carpet for your staircase. We’ll also cover options that work well with high-traffic stairs, which call for carpeting that is able to resist matting and flattening. 

No matter what type of staircase (or staircases) you’ll be carpeting, this easy-to-follow guide will steer you in the right direction. If you’re ready to learn the basics, let’s jump in and get started!

What is the Best Type of Carpet for Stairs?

What is the Best Carpet for Stairs?

Thanks to decades of technological innovation, modern carpets are constructed from sturdier, more resilient, and easier-to-clean fibers than were available to past generations of homeowners. Most carpets are suitable for everyday staircase use.  However, we do recommend that you refer to the design of carpet when making a selection.

Beige carpet on stairs leading up to the second floor with tabby cat

How to Choose Carpet for Stairs

When choosing a carpet for your staircase, it’s important to look for textures and materials that will repel soiling and resist flattening.  Also, consider warranty options regarding staircases. Here are a few popular options to consider. 

  • Low-pile A low pile carpet refers to the height of carpet fibers. Carpet fibers can be twisted together to create a cut pile or woven in a loop pattern. A low pile carpet is recommended due to how the carpet is laid on a dimensional surface.  A high-pile carpet will not fold over the curve of a stair the same as a dense, low pile carpet. Our brand, Rival by Resista, has an excellent selection of trending designs that are backed by our 5 Star warranty which includes staircases.     
  • Carpet Fiber.  With the growth of technology advancement in carpet fibers, a strong selection of carpet can be used for a staircase installation.  This can range from Polyester to Nylon to even natural fibers including wool.  

To learn more about carpet pile, carpet loops, carpet blends, and other style choices, check out our comprehensive guide to carpet types.

Blue-grey carpet on the stairs leading to the second floor of a house

Find the Best Carpet for Stairs at a Flooring America Retailer near You

Whether you are in search of a trendy, eye-catching pattern or you’re looking for something simple and functional for everyday use, Flooring America has you (and your staircase) covered. 

With a huge assortment of wool carpets, nylon carpets, low-pile carpets, cut-loop carpets, stain-resistant carpets, soil-resistant carpets, and other carpet styles ideal for high-traffic areas, we carry all of today’s most popular brands for every budget and taste. Contact us online to learn more, or visit one of our 500+ locations to try out our luxurious carpeting for yourself!

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