Updating your flooring will instantly transform your living space -- and make it more appealing to potential buyers when it's time to sell. Here are five of the hottest trends in floor treatments that are eye-catching and enduring.
If words like sleek, modern, industrial and minimalist appeal to you from a design standpoint, stained concrete may be the ideal option to update your flooring. Stained concrete is a relatively low-maintenance and cost-effective solution if your floors have been carpeted or covered with linoleum. When you remove these dated floor treatments, you will likely find a concrete foundation beneath them. After the concrete is sanded and smoothed to remove adhesives and debris, you'll have the ideal blank canvas for staining.
If you're eco-conscious as well as design-conscious, bamboo may be your ideal flooring. Bamboo looks similar to wood, but has appealing nuances. You can purchase unstained natural (blonde) or carbonized (dark brown) bamboo flooring, or you can have it stained virtually any color.
Depending on the manufacturing method, bamboo flooring will feature a horizontal or vertical grain, or strand planks that are constructed by compressing bamboo strips. Strand planks most resemble hardwoods and are the most durable. Considering that bamboo is one of the world's most prolific plants and it provides nutrients to the soil as it grows, it's a beautiful, affordable and guilt-free flooring option.
Hardwoods are beautiful and complement most design styles. They're also expensive, difficult to install and prone to staining, cracking, warping and splintering. If you love the look of hardwood, there's a less expensive, more durable alternative: wood-look tile. Available in an array of hues and finishes, each individual wood-look porcelain tile is neither square nor rectangular, but actually cut in the shape of a wood plank. The best wood-look tiles are so stunningly realistic that, after installation, most people have no ideal they're actually standing on a tile floor.
If your home has hardwood floors that have seen better days, one option is to have them sanded down, repaired and refinished. That's a messy, expensive undertaking. An easier, more affordable option: Paint your wood floors. A bonus of this approach: Before you paint, you can use putty to patch any splinters or gouges. Depending on your personal style and design scheme, you can opt for a solid color (neutral ecru or robin's-egg blue) or use masking tape to create a pattern (like black-and-white checkerboard or zig-zag).
When painting floors, make sure to apply multiple coats of polyurethane over the final product to protect the paint from foot traffic. By simply sanding off the polyurethane layer, you can repaint to accommodate your changing design palette over the years.
Wallpapered Stair Risers
One area of flooring that most people don't consider: Stairs. This flooring component is full of angles that would make tiling or carpeting a difficult undertaking. You can paint them, of course. Or you can consider your stairs an opportunity to make a bold statement by wallpapering the risers. It's unexpected, interesting, and an endless opportunity for design options, because wallpapers come in myriad colors and patterns. Perhaps the biggest benefit of this treatment is the ease of removing and changing it at any time.
If your home is your castle, your flooring is your red carpet (figuratively, not literally). Add value to this prime square footage by thinking outside the box and going bold with unique choices.