Changing your flooring can change the whole look and feel of your home, so it's important to think through your choices carefully. Deciding on wood floors is a step in the right direction, but there are so many different wood flooring options that this doesn't really narrow your choices down much. If you're looking for something a little different from the laminated wood flooring that you can find in many modern homes, one of the following options might be right for you instead. They may be a little more unusual, but they can really give your home personality and warmth.
Cork may not be the first thing you think of when you think of wooden flooring, but cork is made from trees, just like any other wooden flooring. The difference is that cork is made from the bark of the cork tree, and it can be harvested without doing any harm to the tree. That makes cork a great choice if you're looking for a sustainable wood flooring solution. You can't get much greener than a wooden floor that doesn't require a single tree to be cut down.
Your cork floor can be installed to look almost any way you want it too. It is sold in both planks and tiles, and it comes in a variety of shades and sizes, so you can create a seamless single-colored floor with naturally-colored cork planks, go for an artistic look with multi-colored tiles in a variety of sizes, or anything in between. No matter what your floor looks like, you'll love walking on it – cork is soft and velvety in texture, and it has a give to it that allows it to feel cushioned beneath your feet. And you won't have to worry about replacing it again any time soon, because a cork floor can last as long as 40 years.
Want to make a statement with your wooden floor? Consider etched wood – pre-engraved planks that have patterns or pictures carved into them in order to create a truly unique look for the floor of your home.
While the etchings should be deep enough for you to feel with your bare or sock-covered foot when you stand on them, they should also be shallow enough that any dirt or debris that falls into the etchings can be easily cleaned out with regular sweeping and mopping. You will want to take special care when moving furniture or heavy items across these floors, as scrapes and scratches in the wood won't be easy to get rid of without damaging the etchings. But if you're willing to put the effort into maintaining etched wood floors, they should last as long as non-etched floors made of the same wood, and you'll have an amazing and unique floor that reflects your taste and style.
No two floors made from recycled wood look exactly alike. This is because the wood has already been used, and the air and environment around it may have caused various shadings and imperfections in each plank. Recycled wood isn't for homeowners who want their floors to look uniform, it's for homeowners who want a floor with history and personality. In fact, the variation in color in your floor can give you a lot of leeway when furnishing and decorating a room – you'll have more colors available to match.
Choosing reclaimed wood opens up options that aren't available otherwise. For example, if you want a chestnut floor, reclaimed wood is the only choice that you have. Be sure to find out the history of the wood you'll be getting before you buy it. Not only will this give you a better idea of how well the wood will hold up in your home, it will also give you a great story to tell when someone asks about your floor. A floor made from a defunct railroad trestle or a century-old barn is much more than just a place to stand, it's a conversation piece.
Flooring isn't a blank, neutral slate that serves as a base for decorating your home. Instead, it's actually part of the décor. With that in mind, don't be afraid to choose a floor that's unusual and that makes a statement.
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