PicMonkey Collage Hard Surface Floors on a Shoestring Somewhere between having a baby 9 years ago and getting a dog this spring, I have come to realize my house is a little tired. Usually this can be remedied by rotating art on the walls, adding new throw pillows or a purging visual clutter. This time however, my problem lies beneath my feet…How I yearn to   swap out my wall to wall carpet in favor of something a little more modern, sophisticated and anti-microbial. That’s right I want hard surface flooring. When I first bought my house, Jackson was 6 months old, so having a carpeted family room and basement made sense, but now that Jackson is older, we seem to be spending less time on the floor. Add the addition of Tucker who seems to only have accidents in areas where there are carpets and you probably understand why I want new floors. But adding hard surface flooring can be problematic as it can be costly both in terms of money and time. I want to make sure I am replacing my carpet with materials that are beautiful and long lasting, will serve us well but can also be a selling point should I ever decide to sell our happy home.  I also want to make sure the flooring matches the aesthetic of my home and flows nicely with the hard surface flooring I already have. To help me on this journey I consulted with Cyndy Alvarez of Floor and Decor. Here are a few of Alvarez’s top tips.

Hardwood or VPF?

Hardwood or LVP?

Think Outside the Box

“Hardwood flooring is beautiful and can last a lifetime,” says Alvarez, but it can also be expensive so it’s a good idea to look at other, less-expensive options that can give you a similar look. For example, There is LVP which stands for Luxury Vinyl Planking. Like the name suggests, this flooring is made from vinyl but looks similar to high-end hardwood flooring. LVP is great as it is comfortable to walk on, easy to clean and anti-microbial. Most LVP’s are stain, scruff and water resistant making it the sensible option for basements, family rooms  and kitchens.

Exotica Wood Look Plank and Travertine and Slate

Tiles are more durable than hardwood floors but offer a similar aesthetic.

 Tiles aren’t just for Kitchens

Tiles; What was once considered a staple in bathrooms and kitchens has blossomed into an multi-purpose flooring option. Both porcelain and ceramic tiles come in many shapes, sizes and colors and can even offer a  “hardwood” floor look. One thing I learned from Alvarez is that ceramic tiles are great for indoor spaces, but if you are trying to create a seamless indoor / outdoor look, use porcelain tiles as they are more durable and can stand up to all types of weather (even Chicago winters).

Gray Tiles help create an elegant, industrial look

Gray Tiles offer an elegant sophisticated look

Reconsider Color

“50 shades of Gray” is not just a novel it’s also a movement. These days gray flooring is all the rage as it offers a sophisticated and industrial look. When choosing the best flooring for your home, get inspired with color. Just because flooring isn’t brown doesn’t mean it’s not neutral. Think about your lifestyle and the aesthetic  you want for your home, then talk to a designer (Floor and Decor offer complimentary design consultations) to come up with a look that fits your budget and your lifestyle.

Note: This is part 1 of a 2 part sponsored post for Floor and Decor (which is opening a new store in Skokie on September 12). Although I was compensated for my time, all opinions (and photos of my tired, stained carpeting) are my own. Be sure to check back on Friday where we will be discussing DIY flooring.