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Stepping Out


A new floor is considered a big-ticket home improvement, according toConsumer Reports. It can also be a big ordeal, one best attempted while no one is home. That makes summer vacation the ideal time to upgrade your flooring. Relax and enjoy your retreat while your home gets a refresher. You will be one step ahead for the holidays, ready to greet guests with fresh floors.

Whether you decide to focus on the kitchen, bathroom, living areas, or bedrooms, start by considering the location’s foot traffic, sun exposure, and general wear and tear. Factor in your budget but remember that this is an investment not an indulgence. Then, take a look at your choices. There are probably more than you realized!

Hardwoods: Tried, true, and sophisticated, hardwood floors create a classic appeal. Choose from oak, cherry, hickory, and many others in colors ranging from blonde to dark.

Tile: Ceramic or natural stone tile feels palatial and crisp. Options abound in color, patterns, sizes, and finishes. Tile lasts nearly forever and complements most designs.

Bamboo: An ecofriendly alternative, bamboo grows like a weed, making its harvest less of a strain on the planet. It’s also easy to install and fire resistant.Linoleum: This durable material comes from linseed oil, cork, limestone, wood flour, and tree resins. It’s low-maintenance and affordable.

Laminate: A hardwood lookalike, laminate fits most budgets and gives the look of luxury. It’s often more durable and easier to maintain.

Cork: Hypoallergenic, mold-and- mildew resistant, and a renewable resource, cork works for pet owners as well as tree huggers. It’s soft enough for young children and lovely enough to please the parents.


It’s not shag, but carpeting is back in style with more durable and ecofriendly options, such as:

• Floral, geometric, and animal prints

• Waterproof and stain resistant

• Plant fibers and recycled materials

• Layers of area rugs

• Adhesive carpet tiles you can mix, match, move, and wash

• Textured or ribbed selections that also feel soft


Unique flooring makes a statement while serving a functional purpose. Trends include:

• Rubber or foam • Pennies, yes pennies • Polished concrete • Vintage black-and-white tiles

• Reclaimed wood

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