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Flooring trends in 2012: Tile and scraped wood
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Flooring trends in 2012: Tile and scraped wood

Award-winning interior designer Patricia Davis Brown offers her expertise on the latest flooring trends. Accommodate your family's lifestyle without sacrificing great flooring design.

When we built our first home in 1990 I was young and naive, pregnant with my first child, and we also had a 70-pound Rottweiler. I needed white Berber carpeting like a hole in the head. But love is blind, and if you've been there, you know why there are types of flooring some of us will never, ever fall in love with again.

The flooring you choose not only has to have the look you want: It needs to be suitable for the level and type of activity in your home. It's like a relationship, and if it doesn't fit your lifestyle, you just cannot force it. What is really cool about flooring trends today is that there are so many beautiful choices for every lifestyle and taste.

The latest in tile flooring trends

1. Porcelain tile

As a designer, I think porcelain tile is the star of the decade. It is the most giving product, bringing it all to the table: durability, cost-effectiveness and any look you desire. Hard to believe that any one flooring can do all of that, but it's true.

Porcelain comes in a variety of sizes, colors and finishes. Want the sophistication of marble tiles, but don't want to break the bank? Manufacturers use digital images of marble slabs to create porcelain tiles with a look that is tough to distinguish from the real thing. If you choose tile, the design trend is toward bigger and bigger cut tile. Really big. I am working on a project for a client where I have specified 36-inch-by-36-inch tiles. Fewer grout lines are in. I deal in the high end custom home market and the porcelain tile that we use and spec a lot is called Atlas Concorde and the price varies from $3.00-6.00. If it is a stocked price it is better than a non-stocked item.

Porcelain tile floor

2. Scraped wood flooring

Wood flooring has always been popular, but some people are afraid it won't hold up. One new trend is hand scraped wood flooring. The hand scraped wood finish is popular not only because of its character, but it also can endure a rough-and-tumble household.

handscraped wood floor

3. Engineered wood flooring

One of the latest and greatest advances in wood floors has been the introduction of engineered wood flooring, constructed of sandwiched finished wood and plywood. Forget any long-held concern you may have about wood floors, particularly about their durability in high-humidity areas. Not a problem.

Engineered wood flooring looks identical to solid wood flooring and can be sanded and refinished. But unlike solid wood that can twist and warp, this product stands up well in areas of moisture. My primary design turf is sub-tropical Florida, and even with the high humidity, I have confidently used this product for both kitchens and bathrooms. Engineered wood flooring costs start at 8.00/sq ft. and up.

solid wood floor

Final verdict: Top choices for 2012 flooring are fashionable and functional

The latest flooring does not have to be an either-or proposition. It can be the flooring of your dreams, whether your dreams include a carefree family or a beach house--even both. Go ahead: fall in love again.

About the Author:

Interior designer Patricia Davis Brown has garnered 15 national and several state awards and has been recognized in numerous publications including Florida Architecture, Traditional Homes & Design, Florida Design, Qualified Remodeler Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen and Bath Ideas and The Kids Space Idea Book. You can find her design expertise online at her websites: Digthisdesign.net, ProfessionalKitcheandBathPlans.com and PDBhomestore.com.


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