Monday, February 27, 2006

Choosing the Right Pattern for Laminate Flooring

Anyone who has ventured into one of those huge home improvement warehouses lately, or flipped through the flooring book at the local flooring center, knows just how many patterns of laminate flooring there are to choose from these days. With this many styles, colors and patterns to choose from, making a choice can be difficult.

There are a number of pointers that can make choosing laminate flooring a bit easier. These tips include:

Ø Be sure to go shopping with an overall look and feel in mind. Before you leave home, take a good look at the room. Decide whether light, medium or dark flooring would be best. Think about other options as well, such as stone, pine, oak, etc.
Ø Make your choice based on the type of mood you want to create with the flooring. Do you want a light and open tone, or do you want to create a warm and cozy atmosphere instead? Virtually any mood can be set with the right flooring, from light and playful to formal and elegant, and everything in between.
Ø Remember that although stone and wood laminate flooring is made to closely approximate the genuine article, it can look fake when contrasted to the real thing. For instance, you would not want to place a marble laminate floor in a room that abuts genuine marble, just as you would not want to install a faux oak laminate flooring next to a genuine oak floor.
Ø Pay careful attention to the patterns with grains. These grained patterns will be better able to hide dirt. Very light patterns and very dark ones will need to be cleaned more often.
Ø Laminate flooring patterns with light textures, such as those that are made to look like stone or wood, will be less slippery when wet than real stone or wood flooring.
Ø Pay attention to optical illusions that can be created by certain laminate flooring patterns. For instance, a laminate floor that uses a single long strip pattern may not look good in a long and narrow room. When laid down in a square room, the long strips can create the illusion of a rectangular space.
Ø Keep in mind that laminate flooring is designed to last for many years, so it may be best to avoid a trendy pattern that may not last. It is also best to avoid matching the laminate flooring with draperies, wallpaper or other materials that may be replaced more often. It is a good idea to choose more classic patterns and colors for such a long lasting flooring material.

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