Q. Can you recommend any resources to help us get something unusual going for our kitchen and mudroom floor? (Mandy in Toronto, Canada)
A. Mandy, you're not alone with this question. Many homeowners are looking for something new and different when it comes to flooring. There are the usual suspects, but our friends at the World Floor Covering Association have a great website that can help educate you about your different options.
The WFCA organization's website offers in-depth information about each category of flooring -- carpet, hardwood, laminate, outdoor flooring, green options (like teriffic bamboo, for instance), and others. You'll be able to learn about the pros and cons of each category. Check out the "Designer's Corner" area of the site and read what interior designers have to say about flooring, too. That might give you and your designer some brainstorms.
Here's something nifty, Mandy -- the WFCA's site has a tool you can use to view hundreds of types and colors of flooring in rooms that resemble your own. You can update these rooms right down to the color of the window coverings to mimic your home's look!
Here are some other tips and resources we would like to recommend:
- Kitchens and mudrooms need not have laminate or "expected" surfaces. If appropriate, we like the use of antique hardwood floors. They add warmth and lustre to any room. Salvaged wood floors and antique wood, along with reclaimed brick and stone and barn siding, is available from Longleaf Lumber at www.longleaflumber.com.
- Sylvan Brandt is another great resource at www.sylvanbrandt.com for old flooring, beams, and doors from 17th and 18th century barns and houses.
- Paris Ceramics is a great resource at www.parisceramics.com. They specialize in limestone and terra-cotta flooring reclaimed from private homes, churches, and public spaces in Europe. You can find some 17th century beauties, ancient Jerusalem limestone, and other one-of-a-kind floors. Be sure you are careful about how much material you will need for your job and check the quantities that are available.
- L'Antiquario at www.lantiquario.com specializes in flooring once found in castles, palaces, and church buildings and include their own certificates of authenticity.
- Check out Country Floors at www.countryfloors.com for a great collection of reproduction tiles in styles like delft, Portuguese, Moroccan, English, and Spanish. Their old-world techniques fashion gorgeous final products. They also offer reclaimed terra-cotta tiles.
- Artistic Tile features their Marmo Antico Lucido collection of antiqued stones, made to look 100s of years old (fabulous Italian reproductions). Go to www.artistictile.com to check them out.
- Carlisle Wide Plank Flooring is exquisite at www.wideplankflooring.com. Their antique wood floors and reproductions are lovely. (We have them in our living room; white oak, beveled edges, and wire-brushed to make them very interesting.)