Monthly Archives: December 2016

Kitchen Flooring Design Ideas

5 Kitchen Flooring Options

Hardwood – A premium choice, hardwood flooring is durable enough to last a lifetime, while adding real value to your home. Most homeowners prefer hardwood floors for their striking natural colors, richly detailed grain patterns and their one-of-a-kind elegant style. Hardwood alone contributes a variety of unique kitchen design ideas – exotic tropical and traditional domestic species, wide-plank, authentic hand-sculpted and distressed planks – all with the richness and character you demand for your home.

Luxury vinyl – Achieve high-end looks with two kitchen design ideas in luxury vinyl. Luxury vinyl tile in our Alterna and Alterna Reserve collections captures the realism of beautiful, natural stone and ceramic, while providing a soft surface that feels warm and comfortable underfoot. Luxury vinyl plank accurately represents real hardwood colors and textures in a vinyl product that’s easy to install and waterproof.

Vinyl sheet – Innovative print technology in our Duality™ Premium Plus and Duality Premium vinyl sheet floors captures realism so true to nature that floors look like actual stone and hardwood. When you factor in excellent durability and superior stain protection, it’s no surprise that vinyl ranks high among great kitchen design ideas.

Laminate – If low-maintenance and durability are important in your floor-buying decision, then explore the many options available in laminate floors. Not only is laminate highly durable, it offers real wood and stone looks at a fraction of the cost of the real thing.

Vinyl tile – a DIY favorite, vinyl tile comes in an amazing assortment of patterns and styles that make it easy to customize the floor you want. Vinyl tile has a long-lasting finish that resists scratches and scuffs, plus a protective layer that guards against rips, tears and gouging. It’s affordable and easy to maintain, making vinyl tile a great value.

In all of these kitchen design ideas, you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect floor to complement your cabinetry, countertops, appliances and, most importantly, your lifestyle and budget.

Basement Flooring Options

Remodel Basement

Ready to remodel your basement? Finishing your basement can add both extra room and value to your home. Regardless of what your vision is for this untapped space – guest room, home office, exercise gym, family room – we offer basement flooring options best suited to your lifestyle.

 A Few Things to Consider When Choosing a Basement floor

With the exception of solid hardwood, nearly every type of flooring can be installed in your basement. However, to complete the project you may have to deal with an uneven subfloor or problematic moisture. If your basement is out of level, you can use a self-leveling cement to create an even subfloor or purchase a flooring product that “floats” above the subfloor.

The vast majority of basements are constructed using concrete, one of the most durable materials available to home builders. One of concrete’s few weaknesses is porousness, meaning it allows water to seep through the slab floor and foundation walls. Particularly in older homes, moisture can also enter the basement through cracks in the foundation or at the joint between the foundation and exterior walls.

The easiest solution to combating moisture is to install a waterproof underlayment above the subfloor to ensure your new flooring doesn’t suffer from water damage. You can also opt to raise or “float” your floor off the concrete. The air gap between the installed flooring and foundation slab encourages moisture to dissipate.

Here are a few of your best basement flooring options:

 Luxury Vinyl Tile with Stone Visuals

The cool floor that is warm underfoot. Luxury vinyl tile comes in a variety of stone designs in slate, marble, ceramic and travertine that reflect the coolness of a sub-level space. Unlike traditional stone and ceramic flooring, luxury vinyl resists breakage when items are dropped. It also absorbs sound to give your basement a quiet, peaceful vibe.

 Luxury Vinyl Plank with Wood Visuals

Get the beauty of natural hardwood that is both waterproof and easy to install. Luxury vinyl plank is an ideal choice for those seeking a rustic, classic look for their basement. Choose the installation option that “floats” above your subfloor to avoid adding a protective underlayment. The great advantage of luxury vinyl plank is that it molds to the floor underneath and is very forgiving to uneven surfaces.


Durable, resilient laminate can be placed anywhere in your home, including basements. Laminate maintains its beauty even in high-traffic areas and through normal changes in temperature, light and humidity levels. Choose from a variety of striking visuals including hand-scraped wood, stone and other natural designs. DIY-easy laminate boards simply lock and fold together directly over concrete with no special tools or adhesives.

 Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood allows you to enjoy the beauty of wood flooring in your finished basement. The multi-ply construction of genuine wood over a stabilized core makes engineered hardwood less susceptible to shrinking and expanding. Like all Armstrong hardwood floors, engineered hardwood flooring comes in a wide variety of domestic and exotic wood species, stains and surface treatments.

 Vinyl Sheet/Tile

Versatile vinyl sheet flooring is an ideal option for finished basements. It performs beautifully in both high-traffic and moisture-prone areas. Vinyl sheet with fiberglass backing lies perfectly flat over a concrete slab without adhesive. Out cutting-edge print technology produces beautiful vinyl flooring with realistic-looking designs that replicate woods, stones and other natural materials.

 Want more basement flooring ideas?

Not sure what flooring type is best for your basement? Use our Floor Finder tool to help you choose the best flooring based on your lifestyle. Answer a few simple questions about durability, design, installation and budget and we’ll match you with the flooring that’s ideal for your basement remodel. With these basement flooring ideas, you’ll love entertaining family and friends in your beautiful, new lower level room.

Hardwood Edge Styles

Edge Types for Hardwood

Before selecting a hardwood floor it’s important to understand the various edge styles, which will help determine which one is ideal for your space. Edge treatments refer to the shape of the edge on the floor board and the appearance that’s achieved once the planks are together. There are four common of styles of hardwood edges that influence the overall style of a hardwood floor.

 Square Edge

Square edge flooring gives rooms a traditional, upscale look. The seamless edge treatment resembles hardwood flooring that was finished on-site. Square edges also blend well with other flooring pieces and help direct focus to the overall pattern of the floor. This is also the easiest of the edge styles to maintain since dirt and moisture will not fall between the boards.

 Micro Edge

Hardwood flooring with a micro-edge has a more pronounced edge treatment. This popular edge style “frames” the individual wood pieces emphasizing the texture of each plank while creating a more relaxed, casual style.

 Beveled Edge

Beveled edge flooring has very distinct grooves that impart a casual, rustic appearance. Beveled edge flooring typically has a urethane finish that allows dirt to be easily swept or vacuumed out of the grooves. A floor with a beveled edge can also be more forgiving when installed over irregular subfloors or uneven plank heights.

 Eased Edge

Eased edge flooring – also known as micro-beveled – features a mini-bevel (about half the depth of a beveled edge), but with the same benefits of beveled edge flooring. Each board has a slightly beveled edge to help hide minor irregularities. Eased edge treatments are a bit less casual compared to flooring with a completely beveled treatment.

The Differences Between Hardwoods and Softwoods

What Makes Hardwood Different From Softwood?

You might think that hardwood is more durable than softwood simply because of the contrast in their names. But the truth is the terms “hardwood” and “softwood” actually refer to a tree’s structure and origin, not its density – although most softwoods are more pliant than hardwood..

The differences between hardwood trees and softwood trees begin with a tree’s origin and its structure.

 Wood Origins

Hardwood comes from angiosperm trees – or trees with enclosed seeds, like apples or acorns. These are also called “flowering plants”. Examples include ash, aspen, balsa, birch, cherry, elm, mahogany, maple, oak, and walnut.

Softwood comes from gymnosperm trees – or trees with uncovered seeds. Think of cedar, pine and spruce, with exposed seeds that blow away to germinate and needles they keep year-round.

 Differences In Structure

A primary difference between hardwoods and softwoods is the presence of pores. Hardwoods have pores ranging in size and shape. The pores allow water to travel from the roots to nourish the wood. They also contribute to a hardwood’s grain pattern. The hardwood’s structure also makes it more dense and more resistant to fire

Softwoods have a system of straight, linear tubes (tracheids, not pores), which transport water and produce sap and provide strength to the stem.


Every wood species has something unique to offer in color and grain pattern. Hardwoods typically can be white, dark red, rich brown, and variations of those colors. Most softwoods tend to be yellow or reddish in color.

Grain patterns can also vary and have nothing to do with a wood being hard or soft. For example, fir is a softwood and has a very pronounced grain, but so does oak, which is a hardwood.

 Hardwood and Softwood Uses

Hardwood species provide wood used for durable construction projects, hardwood flooring, decking, and high quality furniture.

Softwood trees generally produce a less expensive wood used for timber, paper, Christmas trees, and mineral density fiberboard.

 Hardwood or Softwood Floors?

When it comes to wood flooring, hardwoods are typically more durable and more expensive than softwoods. Hardwood flooring tends to be better suited to withstand heavy foot traffic and last longer overall.

When choosing a species for your hardwood floor, there are many factors that will play a role in your decision. If you’re not sure which hardwood floor is right for you, contact our Customer Care reps for assistance. They can help you find a wood flooring option that matches your decorating style and lifestyle.