Category Archives: Interior Design

Realtor.com: Cheap Flooring Ideas

Cheap Flooring Ideas: 4 Attractive and Inexpensive Alternatives to Hardwood

 | Jul 27, 2018

New floors do a lot for a home. They can brighten up the darkest of interiors and are all but guaranteed to add value to your property. Most homeowners consider installing new floors a huge renovation project that comes with a correspondingly huge price tag. But laying down new flooring doesn’t have to force you to break into your 401(k).

You can make a big impact on the design and worth of your home for a relatively small amount of cash. How? You need to think beyond standard (and standardly expensive). Instead, opt for a flooring material that is just as attractive—just without all those extra zeros.

Here are the four most popular inexpensive flooring ideas, including their advantages and disadvantages. Go ahead, pick your material!

1. Cork

Cork flooring is so much more than the stuff you see on your office bulletin board. In fact, it’s a very popular choice among homeowners looking for a soft flooring alternative to carpet.

Price: $2 to $4 a square foot

Pros: “Cork floors provide warmth and comfort underfoot,” says Mina Fies, founder and CEO of Washington, DC–based Synergy Design & Construction. “They’re also sustainable, since cork is a rapidly renewable resource that doesn’t harm trees when harvested.”

Cork also emits few volatile organic compounds, which means it won’t harm indoor air quality. Also, the softness of cork is good for your legs, back, and ears.

“Not only is it considered resilient flooring, but it also has acoustical properties that can help mitigate unwanted sound,” says Claire E. Tamburro, interior designer at Tamburro Interiors in Arlington, VA.

Designwise, Tamburro explains, cork floors can be charred to make unique patterns, and colored and finished in several ways. For example, you can create wide plank-style cork boards in gray or brown tones to resemble hardwood flooring.

Cons: Since cork is porous, it will need to be regularly sealed to maintain its clean finish, Tamburro says. The amount of foot traffic will determine the frequency of sealing.

“Cork is a bit fragile and will show wear patterns in heavy traffic areas,” she says.

Also, some cork floors are hard to clean and prone to fading. They can also stain easily, Fies says. Alas, cork is not so ideal for red-wine drinkers or families with young kids.

2. Bamboo

Photo by Mark English Architects, AIA

Bamboo floors are prized as an eco-friendly choice because bamboo grows at a much faster rate than wood.

Price: Approximately $4 a square foot

Pros: Like hardwood flooring, bamboo is long-lasting and sturdy.

“It’s a sustainable, eco-friendly hardwood alternative that’s easy to clean,” according to Matt Michael with Lowe’s in the St. Louis area.

Cons: While bamboo flooring is more water-resistant than hardwood flooring, you should still avoid placing it in high-humidity areas since it can warp. Also, the bamboo is not one of the hardest wood flooring options, so it can be more susceptible to scratches than, say, maple hardwood.

3. Concrete

Photo by bg architecture

Concrete moves indoors! You’ve seen how durable it is for your driveway, so why not take it for a spin in your kitchen, living room, or any space that gets a ton of foot traffic?

Price: $2 to $6 a square foot

Pros: One of the biggest advantages of concrete floors is—you guessed it—durability. It’s tough and low-maintenance.

And concrete floors make a strong aesthetic statement.

They “provide a modern, clean, urban feel to a room,” Fies says.

Cons: Concrete lacks the warmth of, say, honey-colored hardwood floors. It’s a very hard surface, which might be tough for families living with kids or elderly folks. It can be porous and susceptible to moisture if it’s not sealed properly.

Also, due to weight restrictions, Fies says installation is usually limited to the ground level. So if you want to avoid defects, you’ll need to hire someone who can provide expert workmanship.

4. Vinyl

Photo by All About Flooring

Vinyl flooring may have gotten a bad rap during the ’70s, but like many design trends from that era, it’s now making a comeback.

Price: 50 cents to $5 a square foot

Pros: Vinyl may be one of the cheapest flooring options out there, but that doesn’t mean it lacks style. Luxury vinyl tile is particularly impressive.

“LVT is long-lasting, hard-wearing, easy to clean, and gives a modern look to any space,” Fies says. “It can mimic wood effectively, even including texture and plank style.”

Vinyl is highly resistant to water, which makes it a great alternative to wood in a basement level, where moisture may be a concern.

“As a longtime interior designer, I was recently sourcing material for a client and accidentally picked up EVP thinking it was hardwood,” says Kristin Davidson, an interior designer at Kristin Davidson Interiors in Palm Beach, FL.

Cons: Vinyl floors may require waxing every couple of years to maintain their luster.

Terri Williams is a journalist who has written for USA Today, Yahoo, The Economist, U.S. News & World Report, and the Houston Chronicle.

Is Colorful Grout the Next Big Trend in Title Design?

See how grout in 7 eye-catching colors is spicing up kitchens and bathrooms abroad

May 31, 2018
Houzz Editorial Staff; writer, design enthusiast, reader, softball player.
You may already know that grout comes in shades of white, gray and beige and that it can change the look of tile. For example, pairing white tiles with a similar white grout makes grout lines virtually disappear and tiles blend together. Conversely, pairing white tiles with dark gray grout reveals the shape of each tile more clearly. 
You may not know that grout also comes in a variety of other hues. Colorful grout is showing up in many European and Australian kitchens and bathrooms lately, and it soon may take off in North America too. Here are seven grout colors that are attracting attention.

Highest-Rated Bar Stools for Every Budget

Because the times shared together in the kitchen make for some great memories. Houzz pieces together some great bar stools for the kitchen island for every price point! 

Before and After: 9 Small-Bathroom Transformations That Wow

January 10, 2018
Houzz Editorial Staff. When I’m not writing about cool homes and the talented people behind them (and their pets), you can find me practicing calligraphy, taking photos, watching gymnastics and sending lots of snail mail (see: @brennamedia on Instagram).

How to Get Your Home Back in Shape After the Holidays

Putting your home in order can be a great way to transition from the holiday season to a fresh new year
December 27, 2017
Houzz Contributor. Jeanne Taylor is a professional home organizer in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the co-owner of Tailorly with her business partner Patricia Lee. Together they create beautiful homes through decluttering, organizing, and styling. For more information visit www.tailorly.net.

 

Wrap Presents! And 6 More Ways to Make the Most of This Weekend

Wrap Presents! And 6 More Ways to Make the Most of This Weekend

Light up the night, add a special touch to gifts, plan your holiday table and more

December 19, 2017
Houzz Contributor. I cover topics ranging from decorating ideas, product picks, Houzz tours, and interviews with designers and architects, to the monthly home maintenance checklist. My favorite pieces to write center around the emotional aspects of home and savoring life’s simple pleasures. 12 Days of Holiday Hygge (free course) enrolling now:https://www.lauragaskill.com/holiday-hygge

How to Care for a Freshly Cut Christmas Tree

How to Care for a Freshly Cut Christmas Tree
Keep your tree looking lush until the last ornament is packed away with these tips for watering, stands and siting
November 24, 2017
Houzz Contributor

How to Get Your Range Hood Right

How to Get Your Range Hood Right

Get a handle on the technical specs, and then learn about fun design options for creating a beautiful kitchen feature
September 11, 2017
Houzz Editorial Staff. Writing about the cost of renovation and what it takes to remodel. Former Forbes real estate reporter. Fascinated by cool homes, watching the bottom line.

Holiday DIY: 25 Ideas for Make-Your-Own Decor and Gifts

Holiday DIY: 25 Ideas for Make-Your-Own Decor and Gifts

We show you how to create cute and clever Christmas and Hanukkah gifts, ornaments, wreaths and more
November 4, 2017
Houzz Contributor. I cover topics ranging from decorating ideas, product picks, Houzz tours, and interviews with designers and architects, to the monthly home maintenance checklist. My favorite pieces to write center around the emotional aspects of home and savoring life’s simple pleasures. 12 Days of Holiday Hygge (free course) enrolling now: https://www.lauragaskill.com/holiday-hygge

Houzz: Decorating Master Class

Didn’t get your decor right the first time around? No problem — you can turn your styling errors into successes

August 7, 2017
Houzz Australia Contributor. Former NZ House&Garden writer and stylist, and avid interior design enthusiast. Ex-restaurateur and caterer, with a Professional Certificate in Gastronomy, University of Adelaide.

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