July 23, 2008

Flooring


Today I had a happy alignment of the stars/schedules that resulted in 40 minutes with no children, so I ran over to look at flooring samples for our new dining room. We're converting a porch (i.e., "junk dumping ground"), and when I say "we" I mean "my dad and various hired professionals," because between us Paul and I have JUST enough do-it-yourself talent to plug in our own appliances without requiring outside assistance.

These seven samples are just a starting place. It's the "I don't have any idea what I'm looking for, and I have less than half an hour to look, so let's get a little from all over the spectrum and see what opinions start to emerge" run. But all of them are from the more expensive section of the vinyl racks, because I always want to impress the salesperson with my refined taste.

B is my clear, hands-down favorite. I lovvvvvvvvve it. It is so gorgeous. The colors are gorgeous. I feel like I could just stare at it for years and never get sick of it. Each square is different colors and patterns.

But as my dad points out, it's important not to confuse "the one that would look best framed as wall art" with "the one that would be best as a floor"---and B is very dark and very dramatic. Sometimes what's best for a floor is "the one that disappears and you don't notice it." Especially if you are not much for keeping floors clean (*ahem*).

This photo is a little unfair, because more flash got on the lower three, and so they look cheaper and shinier. It's also unfair because from this distance A, F, and G disappear completely: you can't even see that A has a very pretty leaf-imprint pattern and that G has a very pretty vintage-y light green vines-and-leaves pattern (maybe if you click to see it bigger?). Well, and F really IS that boring, but I thought it was a good one for a "disappearing" option.

C and D look a lot like real stone, but I'm worried that will be too cold-looking in a room that doesn't get much light. My dad's favorite is C; he says he thinks D looks fake: it has "shadow-effect" (deliberate dark line along the edges of the stone) that doesn't succeed and instead makes it look fakey.

The woman I talked to at the flooring place said E is the one that ends up looking really good almost no matter what. It comes in a number of colors, and she says she always thinks "meh" when someone chooses it, but then when she sees the finished job it looks terrific. Of all seven, it's the one that most bores me. Well, no, I guess F is a little more boring, but at least F has the "look, ma, no lines!" thing going on, and I'd be interested to see how that would work out.

Well, I'll be interested to see what Paul thinks. Or I will be, until he says "blech" about all the ones I like best. Right now, B is the one that makes my heart pound faster (it's even more gorgeous in person), and none of the others seem right---but some of them seem CLOSE and I'd want to go back and see if I could find "something like this but darker" or "something like this but less cold-looking" or "something like this but more interesting."

Let's vote! What's your favorite, and why?


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Pay-it-forward updates:

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Moo's Moo is showing the giftie she got, and posting a new contest.

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83 comments:

Miss Grace said...

I get to vote first and I vote G!

Christina said...

I really like both B and C. I do sort of agree with the sentiment that B could end up being a little busy and dark, once applied to an entire floor - but I still love it. I have something exceptionally similar to C in my kitchen, just a different color - and EVERYONE thinks it's real stone. Even as they walk through my kitchen, they do not notice the total absence of the "click, clack" noise that one makes when walking on REAL TILE - and they still can't believe it's linoleum. That said, I think either B or C would be fabulous!

Pickles and Dimes said...

I also love B. I guess it would depend on how big the space is and what colors the walls are, but I love it.

Otherwise, I also like C. It's dramatic enough without being boring and it looks like it would hide all kinds of Kid Disasters.

Jess said...

I like B a lot! It's pretty and also, dark is a GOOD thing when you don't wash your floor often. It hides dirt! We used to have a light blue kitchen floor similar to G, and it was SUCH a pain. We had to wash it ALL THE TIME because every little thing showed on it.

-R- said...

C is my favorite. B and D are my second choices. And maybe E too.

Meredith said...

F looks great BECAUSE it will be good for hiding stains, dirt, footprints, etc. It is also kind of light so it won't darken your room.

I hate doing home improvement projects, but I am always so happy I did when they are finished.

ColorCodedC said...

I definitely like D the best! It's a little darker than the other choices (except for B, of course), but not "busy" at all. Very sharp.

moo said...

I think I like E the best, actually.

It's interesting, right, because you'd think a darker floor would HIDE dirt and flaws.

What I like about E is the pattern of the squares ... it's very visually appealing to me.

Good luck with your choice!

Anna said...

First: B. I LOVE this one.
Second: D.
Third: E.

I like the darker b/c I think food, dirt and grime doesn't show up as easily on the darker floors..the lighter floors show everything.
B. is GORGEOUS! :o)

Maggie said...

I like C, but my second choice (especially if there isn't much light in the room) would be F.

Amanda said...

I like C best. It looks the most real.

Gina said...

In order, I like B, C, then D. We went with something very similar to B for our new bathroom and I love it.

MaryB said...

C and F. this hole dark floors look less dirty is bogus! Just like black cars are actually the hardest to keep clean, so are dark floors, especially in the kitchen where thre are lots of cumbs!

C is interesting, but neutral enough to go with a multitude of ecor and style chioces.

Same with F, although, less interesting, butit is eaxctly like you said - a floor that will just disappear and let you make a "statement" somewhere else!

i'd post pics of my floor for you, but they are currently still covered with paper. (and, disclaimer: I like tham, but I didn't pick them. they kinda resemble your choice F)

Snoopyfan said...

Love B, but C and G are more practical for a dining room. Better for hiding crumbs for sure.

Saly said...

I actually really like E. The different sizes and shapes in the pattern take it over the top for me.

The floor and backsplash are the last things to be done in our kitchen and I just can't decide. I want it to be over the top and fancified.....but that just is not practical. I can't wait to see what you decide!

Elizabeth said...

We have C, or something very similar to it, in our kitchen. (It was here when we bought the house).
Pros - it never ever ever looks dirty, and I like the color and the general style - it doesn't seem dark to me, but the kitchen does get a lot of light. And really. It never never ever looks dirty.

Cons - you would never in a million years fool anyone into thinking it was real stone or tile whatever it's supposed to be - and we will be replacing it. However, keep in mind I'm not a vinyl floor person, so I'd be putting down slate regardless of the pattern - so maybe don't listen to me as much on that one. And if I was doing vinyl tile, I would definitely pick this one, just for the "never gets dirty and looks nice" factor.

elckd said...

Oooh - I love this game, MUCH easier than "where I'll be in a year" which I haven't replied to yet because I am still pondering.

ANYWAY - definitely C. It does look like real stone, yet will be warmer and softer underfoot than stone. I also think the colors are warm enough to not make the room "look cold". Having a little bit of pattern is very forgiving and won't require much upkeep, as some of the more solid ones will.

While I like B a lot, it is a little busier, and you'd have to be very careful about everything else you put in the room to pull it off.

All that being said, if B really makes your heart pound - it's not a bad choice, just a little harder to work with.....Maybe you could save it for the new bathroom?

Erica said...

I think C would hide a multitude of sins while still looking nice. And that's really important to someone who mops maybe three times a year. *ahem*

Amy said...

My vote is for B or C.

jen said...

I like c, d and e. b is gorgeous but I don't think I'd do it. e is "safe" and I'm sure it looks nice down, though. E is my favorite of d and e, but the fake black shadow doesn't bother me in the least.

Betty M said...

D or E for me.

Hillary said...

1. c
2. e
3. f

That marble swirling pattern hides lots and lots of things. My floors are like that and they look much cleaner than they are.

On e, the key is the dark lines. I have real tile (that we did NOT choose) and the grout is white, or was white. You don't want white grout.

And f, though boring, is a good color. My tile is about that color, but with the swirly, fake stone look. The floor does disappear, you can do any other colors with it and most crumbs don't show up on it.

Mama Leone said...

First Choice: D
Second Choice: E

Mairzy said...

Once I could see the leaf design, G made me say, "Oooh!" It's light and won't scream at you when you walk into the kitchen early in the morning. Nor will it brood on grey days, which I'm afraid B will do.

Raven said...

B.

It is dark, but that is going to hide all kinds of dirt and scuff marks successfully. I have BIG DOGS and they make BIG MESSES. I have slate tiles in my bathroom and I LOVE them. I have lighter accessories to counterbalance the darkness of the floors.

nonsoccermom said...

I like C. It looks the most versatile and also very forgiving.

Tina said...

I have C in gray tones in my kitchen/foyer area and I love it. It doesn't ever show dirt - in fact I can't remember the last time I mopped! :-)

Melissa said...

I like B

Than E

Astarte said...

I like D in the picture, but if it looks fakey in person, then I like C.

I can see why you would love B, but on an entire floor I think it has the potential to be tremendously overwhelming. My thought on that would be to either do a border of the room in it and then use a complimentary, more plain selection for the main part of the room. That way you could look at it, but not feel like you were lost in a sea cave.

Safire said...

I loved E, it really struck me as something that would look good and not too busy. I do like the dark one, but it may just be too dark...depending on how big your floor is. Good luck deciding!

PS- A pay it forward update...
http://livinginmaryland.blogspot.com/2008/07/package.html

Bethtastic said...

So will your floor determine your wall color, or do you have a wall color that you love and you'll pick a floor to coordinate?

I like E best, then D...but it all really depends on what color walls you want.

Welcome to our World said...

I like B first and foremost but E is a close 2nd. I think I like B because it IS dark and different. It would hide dirt and be easy to clean (see hide dirt meaning you would NEVER need to clean it ;)

Cherish said...

I immediately thought E, then C. I thought B was too dark for a floor so I stayed away from that one but I agree that a lot of the others are boring.

distracted by genius said...

I vote for B because we have a floor that looks a lot like that in our kitchen (my father-in-law installed slate tile that looks like B the time they stayed with us for SEVEN WEEKS) and it's so loved by both my husband and me that it's one of the things we'd be most hesitant to leave if/when we move. Also, the pattern hides dirt and pet hair really, really well. Not that I don't vacuum at least twice a day...

Kristi said...

I'd go with C as looking the least "linoleumly" and easiest to hide food stains/spills! How many kids do you have again?! lol

My ultimate vote, however, is Pergo which can oftentimes be procured for the same price as linoleum and is easy to install yourself.

Good luck - I hate choosing flooring! Everything looks the same, and NOTHING like what it will be in an entire room!

Shannon said...

We put F in our rental because it would hide stains, etc.. It looks really nice, really. I prefer C, though.

Misty said...

I love B. B is just gorgeous. It jumps out at you the most. I love that slate look.

E is not my favorite. I just. Really don't like it. I can't think of something to say that isn't really...unkind. So I shall keep my mouth shut.

All in all, I would choose C. Because it is beautiful like B, but has more of that "hide the dirt" function that I know I need.

Tessie said...

I picked B RIGHT AWAY as my favorite too. I think you could hide a DEAD BODY on that floor and it would blend right in, which is totally my criteria for a tile floor of any kind.

Plus, it's very stylist and pretty!

clueless but hopeful mama said...

I also totally picked b before even seeing your thoughts. (GO ME!). I could possibly be talked into c or d or e but I would never forget my true love forEVAH B!

aoife said...

A F and G will look filthy all the time. You will see every single freakin' speck that falls on it and will have to clean it so it doesn't look grubby. I love B too... but I would probably pick C or D. They look nice and will disguise small amounts of dirt that are not worth sweeping.

I have a mostly white tile linoleum floor that has to be swept at least three time a week.

Kristi said...

Before I started reading I fell in love with B. I love love love it. C and D are nice too, but I can't stop thinking about B!!

HollyLynne said...

B! B! B!

OOH how I love it! Looks like it belongs in a CASTLE! Who says your floors can't resemble wall art? Why can't EVERY part of your new dining room be really extra special? If you've got to build the whole dining room around the flooring pattern then so be it, but that B is KILLER and you must have it! :D

Banana said...

B was my favorite first off too, but if it's a dark room, it might not be the best fit. My second favorite is G - I think it is pretty and understated. I also think it looks less "fakey" than the others.

Jill said...

I like C the best so far.
May I suggest leaving them all out so they get dusty/dirty, spilling stuff on them to see which ones look the cleanest over time? We put in darker wood floors, which I love in theory, but hoo boy do they show cat hair and paw prints and dust and on and on.
So I would definitely leave them lying around just to see which samples end up looking the best with some wear.

Lizzie said...

I like C. It's interesting and pretty without being over- or underwhelming. And you can still do a nice color on the walls without overkilling the room.

Tracy said...

for someone who inherited a white (almost)tile floor, I would reccommend staying away from A and G. The darker they are, the less they show. Also, what color are the walls and table? Did I miss that somewhere?

bunnyslippers said...

We have something like C. It has to be absolutely, revoltingly, my-mother-would-never-return-to-my-house-if-she-really-knew level of dirty before it looks a little bad.

We two shedding cats and a furnace that blows buckets of dust around in the winter, and I would choose that flooring again in a second.

The colours that go with it can range from cool tones (blues, greens and purples) to warm ones ('dusty tomato' and taupe).

Emblita said...

C is beautiful... looks like natural stone- which I always like. But I also really like E both because it is light - ergo brighter room- and looks natural.
I guess I like the natural look huh?!

carrie said...

Okay...first instinct after looking at it bigger - how cool and "vintage-y is G!!" But then, it is really, really light...and from someone who hate, hate, HATES to scrub floors...that might not work out in the long run for the best. Then I decided I liked C (go, Dad!) since it is lighter and will help with the "little" light situation, but still looks natural and like real stone! What are you planning on the walls? Paint? What kind of windows does it have?

Ooooh! This is FUN! I can't wait to see the progress.

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

E was my favourite choice when I first glanced at the picture. LOL.

I also like C though, since you don't really like E.

Best of luck!

Bea said...

I like C and D. On the other hand, I like them because they look a lot like the ceramic tile I chose for my bathroom, which was put down on Monday and looks horrible - so much darker and warmer brown than I thought it would be. So my opinion is not much to go by. The vinyl in my back hall went down today, and it looks pretty good - it's exactly like D only in a lighter shade.

squandra said...

B! Or C. But I would get B if I were you, because I always just get what I like best, and try not to worry about the other implications too much. I figure that's the one I'll enjoy most, in the end. Life is too short. And matchy-matchy is too daunting.

And I'm sure the Flooring Store Lady is very nice, but I have to tell you, I have lived in a lot of cheap-ass apartments, and E looks awfully familiar.

Nowheymama said...

I like C. And I'm not just saying that to kiss up to your dad.

Swistle said...

Bethtastic- I don't have a wall color (or, in fact, dining room furniture) yet, so it's all wide open---which is one reason I'm so paralyzed! The walls, I'm thinking I might do a cream color, or maybe something deeper, one of the biscuit-like deep cream type colors? And maybe...maple-colored wood? I'm not sure. I'm not good with this decorating stuff. I always end up going with Safe, which of course ends up looking like Rental.

Crystal said...

Do not under any circumstance go with C. Please. We are closing on our house tomorrow and therefore this will no longer be relevant to me personally....but the house we live in today is one that we rent and we rented it 1 day after it was fully remodeled (Hurricane Rita, thx.) and they used that exact vinyl for the kitchen, laundry and foyer. For the purpose of neutral and disguises dirt. Well, other than those two properties, you can add busy and cheap looking. Truly, its just not pretty on a whole floor.

In contrast, we are buying a house that currently has vinyl flooring in the kitchen and its a very large fake tile look with the actual grooves and I tell ya, I had to actually reach down and touch it before I could decide if it was actually tile or not. And I stood there for a whole minute staring before I touched.

In conclusion, I'd go with D or E from your current swatches, unless its a very large area and then I predict that those will look very busy with their tiny "tiles". Otherwise, go back and look at some more samples that are a much larger "tile".

MzEll said...

So I'm for B or C as well. B is really gorgeous, and C is still very pretty without quite as much color. I think B could be great though if you just wanted a really warm, bold dining room. You wouldn't even need a rug, unless you used it to tone down the floor!

Erin said...

I like D. In the photo it looks warm. It looks like stone yet resembles hard wood. It appears to be the best of both worlds.

However, I also like E. In a way that I can imagine it would look nice anywhere, kind of like the sales lady said.

Dr. Maureen said...

I think I like B and G. I don't know why. B seems bold to me somehow. But is it too dark for the room? How much light do you get?

zellmer said...

I like D. It just seems the classiest, and looks like it would feel good on your bare feet.

Leaf, probably... said...

I think B and C are very pretty, and who says wall art isn't the next big thing for floors?

B, Esq. said...

I love the assymetry of E. Clean lines and an interesting pattern. Since you're looking for "safe" decor, there are lots of neutral tones and neutralish accent colors you could pull out of E.

Jennifer said...

You've got five kids. And pets. And Paul. Gotta go with B as it will hide dirt, pet hair, and any future tears/punctures.

Black Sheeped said...

SWISTLE. THESE ARE THE DECISIONS I MAKE FOR PEOPLE, AT MY JOB.

That being said: go with what you like, go with what you like, go with what you like. It always, always goes best when people stick with their gut instinct, because it makes them happiest. There is a REASON you are drawn to C, so go with it. I am always so sad people choose things because they are 'neutral,' even if they are drawn to something completely different. Life is too short--if you would be happy staring at that floor, DO IT. Heck, if you love it that much, it'll just be motivation to keep it clean. :)

B won't be as dark as you suspect--there will be enough variation that it'll give sort of a medium to medium dark impression, rather than a dark feeling. There are enough tones in it that color options will always be flexible. I see warm and cool tones, which gives a lot of wiggle room, a lot of options. It is dramatic, but easy to work with.

My personal favorite is B. My second favorite is C. My least favorites are F, G, and E.

Lippy said...

I like C. It is pretty and will hide the dirt, as mentioned above. But, as Crystal said, if it is a big room, you may need a bigger pattern. I think that is why B would be great in a bathroom. Do they have something like B in a large tile? I just pictured it in my head, it would be beautiful.

Bird said...

B was my immediate favorite because it's so pretty. I love slate and also faux-slate in its many varieties. Barring that, I'd go with E because I can see how it's not that great, but would somehow look good on a floor and in a decorated room. I'm not a fan of the no lines--makes me think of garage floors.

Michelle said...

Alright, my two cents.

For a dining room, I like more formal and somewhat darker. I love the pattern of A, but I don't think for a dining room. B is gorgeous, and I like it. It you have a more plain rug, e.g., blond?, and simple furniture, it could be perfect. I like C a lot, as well. Texture is good.

Swistle said...

Carrie- The room has a lot of windows but they face a not-very-sunny direction and have tons of trees around them, so the room is...well, it isn't DARK, but it's never SUNNY. The walls will be painted, and I'll take my cue from the floors: dark floors, light walls; light floors, more wall choices.

Swistle said...

Tracy- Walls and furniture still up in the air, which is one reason I'm a Little Scattered about this decision: NOTHING to guide me! I'm THINKING, though, along the lines of cream (maybe one of those deep creams that have names like "Biscuit" or "French Linen") walls and maple-colored furniture.

Jen said...

I like B, C or F. I wouldn't go with ones that have a 'pattern' to them, like imprints of leafy things, because I think they will become dated quickly (if they have not already blown through their shelf life). I don't like the pattern/layout of D or E. I like the simplicity of the layout of B and C, and F reminds me of that hip new concrete flooring? Hard to tell from the pic.

Amber said...

Here is my expert opinion. In that I am not an expert at all, please take advice only as needed. Ahem.

C is my favorite. Although G is cute and vintage-y, it's white and therefore harder to keep clean and also you might get tired of the cute eventually. F and A are boring and again my issue with A is the light color. I dismissed D as you said it looked fakey. My second favorite is E because it has some warm colors, it will hide dirt better, and has a nice pattern. B is cool, but since you mentioned that the room is low on light, it would really darken it up and limit your wall paint options (if you're planning to paint).

I have white tile in my kitchen and I curse it every day.

Mairi said...

D is my clear favorite, with C being a close runner up. I think B would be great in a smaller area--say an entry way? It could be a little too much for a bigger room. And G? Very '80s to me....

Ginaagain said...

B! I like it so much I actually have it in my kitchen and dining room! You would not believe how easy it is to pretend the floor is clean when you can't see the dirt.

Pann said...

I really like E the best.

Liz :) said...

I am TOTALLY with you on this.. I vote BBBBBBBBB!!!! Why? Because I have a similar tile in my kitchen, the only thing is that it's larger squares... but it's soooo easy to keep clean and if it gets dirty you CAN'T TELL! :) yay... but of course I'm always scrubbing floors (cough) so I don't know what it looks like dirty... (cough) :) BBBB all the way!

EMama said...

I tell you what, B is gorgeous. I would marry it. I think C will do a great job of hiding any messes.
We have cork flooring that is browner but has a C-ish feel, and I can't find hotdog chunks and goldfish crackers on it even though I KNOW they're there.

Erin said...

I love B, too, but I have to go with the poster above who suggested Pergo. Everywhere I've seen it, it looks gorgeous, and I think it's just as easy to care for as vinyl. And when the kids get older, you can put a nice area rug under the dining room table and give it a more elegant, formal feel. My two cents!

G said...

C, because it's so pretty and made me say "ooohhh".

mypieceoftheworld said...

I like C & D, because they're the only ones that don't scream "LINOLEUM" to me. My opinion should be taken w/ several grains of salt, though, as my kitchen linoleum and I have a hate-hate relationship.

Julie said...

I LOVE B. B! But I could also live with E.

d e v a n said...

I love B and C, especially B.

Fiona Picklebottom said...

I like B or C.

Leticia said...

C or F.

anna said...

Ah, I waited too long to comment on this.

I like B and C, but I think D would also look good.

B: is so beautiful! The only drawback for that one is I think it might be harder to find things like curtains and etc. that match it. C looks a little more flexible that way.