Choose the design
Each floor has a design that, along with its color, will make a big difference in your room’s final effect.
Calm looks. If you want a floor that doesn’t assert itself too strongly, focus
on birch, maple, European oak and exotic wood designs with straight grain
patterns and lighter colors.
Stronger looks. If you want your floor to make a statement, look at red oak,
hickory, antique maple and walnut designs that have stronger grain patterns
using medium to dark colors.
Flooring width. The plank or strip width will have an impact on the look of
your floor. Don’t worry so much about the actual size of the plank. Instead,
focus on the size of the plank in the design.
• Narrow strips. Small strips range from 2 to 3 inches in width. Reminiscent of traditional strip wood flooring, these designs are perfect for
rooms where the floor should be secondary to its surroundings. They
tend to be calmer and more sedate than wide plank looks.
• Wide planks. Large planks range from 4 to 6 inches in width. Wide
plank designs use everything from sophisticated exotic wood looks to
rustic hand-scraped looks to traditional oak and cherry designs. They
tend to be more dramatic and add character wherever they are used.
Choose a surface and edge treatment
Once you’ve narrowed down the color, design and strip width of the
flooring, think about the surface and edge details.
Surface finishes. Choices include smooth finishes with light grain texture,
medium grain texture and heavily textured hand-scraped and soft-scraped
surfaces. Combined with the color and design, the surface finish will determine whether your floor plays a background role or is a starring player.
Edge treatments. There are three primary edge treatments:
• Square edge. This is the most traditional edge effect. With
this treatment, the color and design create the biggest impact.
• Micro-beveled edge. These planks have a small amount of
the edge removed, creating a more distinctive look and making
the individual planks stand out more. These floors have a more
sophisticated appearance than traditional square-edge looks.
• Rustic edge. This is the most dramatic edge. Its wide beveled
edge is ideal for rustic hand-scraped designs and soft-scraped
designs. These floors have the most character and are perfect
for rooms meant to hearken back to earlier times.
Have fun and remember that the only rule you need to follow is this: Pick
the floor that makes you happy! A
AN OLD STANDARD
WHY CHANGE THE BROOM, one of
humankind’s oldest tools? Today’s modern
synthetic bristles have several advantages
over traditional straw bristles.
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what nature can provide. That means extra
durability to sweep light outdoor debris
from sidewalks, porches and garages, while
being gentle enough for indoor surfaces.
• Some synthetic bristles are made from
recycled plastics, commonly from plastic
bottles. The ones made from recycled plastic
bottles retain their original shape and don’t
curl over time.
• Synthetic bristles are a smart use of recycled