Choose Tile Flooring: Sophisticated and Appealing

Since earliest society tile flooring has been widely used because of its durability, beauty and practicality. These days, tile still personifies these practical and artistic properties.

Use it for old world appeal or for a post-modern feel and look.

Tile Flooring For Your Home

Basics of Tile Flooring

Whether you’re into DIY or plan to hire out your project, these basics will help you bring your new living room floor to life.

Most tiling projects start with a well-finished subfloor. Generally, there are three common subfloors: concrete, vinyl, and plywood. A word of caution, if your floor is linoleum, you cannot put tiles over the top. Get that vinyl floor out of there before you get started. In order to give the tiling mortar a better grip, tiles should always be placed on top of a rough surface.

By far, the easiest subfloors to work with are concrete because you’ll get the best adhesion. First, you must clean the concrete floor thoroughly. Adhesives, paints, fillers, sealers and cement substrates that are chemically composed are inept surfaces for ceramic tile flooring.

Next step, check for gaps and cracks. Revamp all cracks, or at least every one you can. Cracks, if too big to repair, may need a replacement of the damaged floor segment with a fresh concrete and it must be dried for not less than 24 hours before starting to tile over it.

Before tiling, take out your level and look for humps and dips to the concrete floor surface. Humps and dips create hollow points on the tile flooring and can cause damage later on. After all these, you can now start to bond the tiles to the surface of your subfloor.

Drying is a vital step in tile floor installation. There are two setting periods; the first being after you’ve layered emaciated set mortar on our tile and joined it to thesubfloor. The second is after applying the grout, but before applying the sealant. Each of these setting periods should be at least overnight, and sometimes up to 24 hours. When everything has dried, you’re done.

Tile Flooring: What’s Good About It?

Ceramic tiles and natural stones are both very easy to maintain. Putting walk off mats on every entrance, regular sweeping and if tile flooring is stained, using an approved stain remover will do. That’s ll you need to do to maintain the tile itself.

You get a lot of design flexibility with tile. They come in a wide array of sizes from 1 x 1 up to 24 x 24 and many in between, along with octagons, circles, and rectangles. These shapes and sizes can be used alone or mixed together to come up with the design that’s best for you. Combines many sizes and shapes with a variety of color choices and tile flooring becomes one of the most flexible and designer-friendly flooring alternatives available.

Tiles make for a great living room floor, but can be installed in many other areas of your home, like walls, tubs, showers, ceilings, backsplashes, and even outdoors. Tile installations also work in countertops, fireplaces, hearths, tabletops, columns and more. Unlike wood, you won’t have to worry abot tile on wet surfaces. Installed correctly and over the proper subfloor, tiles go anywhere.

Cost effectiveness is another great benefit. Tiles don’t need any kind of refinishing, reglazing, resurfacing, or recoating. It is the most cost effective flooring in the market right now. Once installed properly you won’t spend anything on it again for its lifetime.

Repairs are simple. In most cases, it should be done by a professional, though. Professionals can repair a broken tile precisely without damaging other tiles around it, causing a bigger problem.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Tile Flooring

To give you a little to ponder about, here are a few of the Pros and Cons of tile flooringcontrasted with hardwood flooring and laminate flooring.

The Pros

  • Relatively inexpensive compared to wood flooring
  • Requires less maintenance because stains and dirt are relatively easier to remove and does not dent as easily as woods and laminates
  • Unlimited design options with shapes, sizes and colors
  • Repair is less expensive than hardwoods
  • Upscale perception that enhances the value of your home; laminates look good, but are often looked at as budget flooring
  • Moisture has less of an effect on tile than on woods/laminates

The Cons

  • Cold to the touch most of the time; your unshod feet will need to get used to this vs wood that regulates temperature better
  • Professionals need to repair damage and sometimes replacement is more practical; laminates are easily repaired or replaced with matching boards
  • Redesigning tile flooring generally means starting over with new while wood can be refurbished and/or refinished to a different color
  • Wood and laminates install faster and with fewer steps

Buying Tips

Number one, look for slip resistance when choosing a tile living room floor. Companies that produce tiles use rating systems to identify the level of slip resistance. The rating is based on coefficient of friction; the greater the number, the greater the resistance.

Number two, check the rating, which pertains to its scratch resistance. A rating of 5 is the strongest in terms of scratch resistance, traffic, and dirt. Of course, 1 is lowest rating, signifying the most fragility.

Time to Go Shopping

The fact that stands out with tile flooring, more than any other type of flooring, is the design flexibility. Tiles or natural stone have numerous outlines, sizes, shapes, profiles, installation patterns and colors, giving you an infinite number of design choices. Have fun, sounds like you’ve got a lot of choices to make

Frieze Carpet – Plush, Gorgeous and High Quality

Frieze carpet! We have to have it in our house. Nothing else will do.

That’s what I heard from Jen when we started to look for houses in Texas a few years back. Back then, I didn’t even know what it was.

What’s the big deal? Why it is so special?” I asked.

Then I saw it at the design store and it was pretty obvious why it was the only type of carpet for our brand

Frieze Carpet

Frieze Basics

You have flooring choices aplenty in your living room. Carpets are diverse, practical and quite stylish. Floors not so hot? Carpet is where it’s at. You probably knew that already, though.

Frieze carpet is a type of twisted cut carpet that is made of dense yet short, separate fibers. What’s really wonderful about it is the homespun tweedy and nubbly look to it. Ranging over a numerous variety of densities, each tuft of fabric has an individual look to it.

The Good Stuff – Features and Benefits

Frieze carpets feature thick wool and can take the high traffic of your most popular rooms, like your living room. Footprints? Dirt? No problem. It won’t get matted down.

The thick wool provides another distinct advantage. It can hide marred or deformed floors or hallways. Combine the thick wool with a naturally higher cut and every floor it covers looks plush and inviting, not to mention level.

Frieze is also soft and comfortable. Kick off your shoes and walk across a frieze-covered floor. You will instantly notice the difference.

Lastly, the quality of the wool makes it durable. When we left Texas, almost 3 years after our arrival, our carpet looked brand new. All we did was clean it and vacuum it.

What Sets Frieze Apart – Advantages

Remember, your living room flooring is your choice and your choice alone. Your needs have to win out, in the end.

You can use hardwoods, laminates, tile or other types of carpet. But, with frieze carpet you can count on the following advantages over other types of flooring.

  • Noise reduction – the thickness of frieze gives it great sound absorption qualities
  • Safety – get other types of floors wet and they get slippery, not frieze.
  • Warmth – the thickness and height hold in heat well, that saves you on your heating bills
  • Health – the high quality of the wool and it’s unique cut makes it easier to clean


While frieze carpet is easier to clean because to the quality of the wool, it does grab and hold more dust and particles. More frequent vacuuming is required to keep it clean and plush.

Because the quality is higher, so is the cost. The wool used is of a higher quality and the manufacturing process is more involved, in order to get that homespun look.

I will say this though…you get what you pay for. Our frieze carpet served us well for 2 ½ years and made our home look and feel that much more special.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Your vacuum is your best friend to keep your frieze clean. I recommend you use a beater bar because it shakes up the fabric, loosening the fully absorbed dirt within.

Professional cleaning is essential to keep your carpet in like-new condition. I suggest a professional cleaning every 6 months. This keeps dirt and gunk from getting too ground in and too dried out.

Let’s Wrap it Up

Crimped and twisted into a unique look, frieze carpet is one of the most durable, high-quality carpets money can buy. Its wild and squiggly appearance, along with it’s comfy thickness is perfect for you if you want an upscale look and feel. You’ll pay more, but it will be worth it.

I was a skeptic, at first, but one thing I now know for sureis that when it’s time to buy new carpetfor our current home, it will be frieze.

Return to Flooring Main from Frieze Carpet

Laminate Flooring: A Modern Look That’s Easy to Install and Maintain

Laminate flooring is very popular among homeowners, especially those who love the modern look. Flexibility is a big advantage because you can choose a wood look or a stone look, depending on your preference.

Advantages of Laminate Flooring

Laminates are durable and cost-effective. They’re designed to be tougher and stronger than most other types of flooring. It’s scratch-resistant, making it perfect for areas with heavy foot traffic, like living rooms. Since it’s highly resistant to UV rays, sunlight won’t cause it to fade, resulting in a like-new look, all the time.

Installation and repair is a breeze. Break a board? Take it out and replace it with a new one. The color and grain will be the same. These floors have great warranty protection, as well. Want some more info about DIY laminate installation? Check this out…Do It

Laminate Versatility

Laminate floors are a great choice for the living room. However, you can install them in the kitchen, bedroom, or even the bathroom, as long as the area has a level floor. They last longer on a level surface because they fit together better.

A great use of this flooring is in a high traffic room because it helps keep the home cool. Did someone say, “Living Room?” Not only does it keep your room cool, it keeps you and your guests healthy because it doesn’t absorb dust, dander or other harmful allergens. For more information on laminate floors visit…

Buying Laminate

You may also want to consider having your new floor waxed with Paraffin. This water-repellent wax will keep the floor from absorbing moisture. This site is about living rooms, but just so you know…certain warranties do not cover laminate floors when used in bathrooms or kitchens.

When buying laminates, you should consider a few factors. Although they have great warranties, generally 10-25 years, they will show wear and tear within 3-5 years, especially in higher traffic areas. Also, they come with cores from 6mm to 12mm thick. The thicker the core, the more stable it is, and the more it will cost.

Last, but certainly not least, you should consider glueless installation. It’s quicker and easier to install and repair because anyone can do it, without any special tools.

Proper Laminate Floor Care

Cleaning laminates is a breeze. What a relief, especially with children and pets around. Messes are easy to clean and the floor is damage resistant. Result? No worries!

Because the floor won’t trap dirt, you can clean it using only a damp mop. Look for citrus-based cleaners, which are very compatible with laminates and smell great. Mopping the floor with a vinegar and water mix works well, too.

Whatever you do, please don’t apply lacquer or wax to the surface. If you are unsure of how a particular cleaning product will affect the floor, try it on an unnoticeable area, like underneath the fridge.

To Sum It Up

Choosing the right flooring may be a chore for most homeowners, but an investment of time can save you a whole lot of money. Laminate flooring is great for busy and growing families, because it’s so easy to install, maintain and care for. Consider it an investment in your peace of mind.

There are other types of flooring out there and we want to make sure you know a little something about the most popular styles. Laminates are great for durability and cost-savings, but some folks just love the look of hardwood flooring.

For an elegant, upscale look consider tile flooring. It’s not just for bathrooms and hallways. Some folks just love the feeling of carpet under their feet and for them there’s beautiful frieze carpet.

We wouldn’t put this type of carpet in our living room, but berber carpet is a great option for some living rooms and works great in the family room. If you have hardwoods or laminates, you may want to use carpet runners to protect your floors, add warmth and tie together your hallway and living room decor. Last but not least, everyone gets a little frustrated when stains and dirt end up in their carpets. We understand. With kids and pets around, it’s inevitable! These are our best carpet cleaning tips. We’re sure you’ll find some information you can use, possibly today!

Have fun with flooring!

Curtains And Drapes Let The Sunshine In

Ready to learn how curtains and drapes can become a part of your dream living room?

Curtains are functional, but they also add a great deal to your decor. How about letting the sun in when they’re open? What about keeping light out and cool in?

The wide variety of colors, patterns and styles makes them key accents, helping to unify your color scheme. In your living room, curtains and drapes take on their greatest importance.

The style you choose helps solidify your overall design style. The colors you choose support the mood you’re conveying. The fabrics you use create function in their ability to help regulate heat and cold. Your decisions, with regards to your wall coverings, are very important so you need to spend some time defining what exactly you want.


When you moved into your first home, we bet you put up some curtains and drapes almost immediately. You wanted privacy and you wanted to keep some light in and some light out. Perhaps there was an eyesore just beyond your window and you didn’t want to look at it day and night. Maybe it was a little noisy outside and closing the drapes filtered out just enough noise. All of these are important functional uses for curtains and drapes.

The light you allowed in helped create or enhance the mood you were conveying. By closing the curtains or using a sheer behind them, you blocked out some of the outside world that didn’t exactly flow with your design. There you have it, curtains and drapes provide some very basic functional and décor elements…

    • privacy
    • controlling incoming light
    • controlling heat and cold
    • supporting and enhancing your design style
    • adding another element to your color scheme

Within your chosen design style, you have a multiple of options so here’s some advice on how to choose the curtain style that works best for your living room.


First of all, let’s limit our discussion to the most basic of curtains and drapes those that hang straight down from curtain rods. Usually, with this style, you’ll use two to four panels across a window, depending on size. To shut them, simply pull the middle panels together ’til they meet. Vice versa when it’s time to “let the sunshine in!” On wider windows, you’ll probably use a cord to open and closes your drapes, while with narrow windows, opening and closing by hand is sufficient.

Two of the more popular styles to consider are pinch pleated and tab top, or grommet top. Pleated curtains and drapes are fuller in appearance as the fabric is gathered together at the top into pleats. These pleats enable the curtain to move back and forth across a traverse rod quite easily. Pleated drapes provide a more traditional look, using the more traditional traverse rod with a cord to open and close.

Tab top, or grommet top curtains and drapes use a stationary rod with tabs built into the top of each panel. Grommet top drapes actually have holes cut into the panel versus an extra tab on top. The stationary rod slides through the tabs or grommets, allowing you to manually open and close your curtains. Understand that many variations exist, like pocket rod drapes, for example. In addition, drapery hardware can be used to modify pinch pleated drapes for use on a stationary rod, while tab and grommet top curtains can be hung on a traverse rod, as well.

Window valances are another popular type of covering you’ll find these days. I know we weren’t supposed to talk about them here, but since they do integrate very well, it’s worth a brief mention. These are short panels hung at the top of the window to provide a décor enhancing effect. Valances are often matched to bedding, but in living rooms they can be used as an accessory of the curtain panels you’re hanging.

Curtains and drapes come lined and unlined. Lined drapes definitely have some versatility advantages, which we’ll discuss further down, but personal preference and the needs of your room will always determine what type of drapes you use. Sheer drapes are also very popular, either as an inside drape to the main panels you’re using or by themselves, when you want to obstruct, but not totally eliminate the view from outside.

Now that you’re starting to think about curtain and drape styles, let’s spend some time on their advantages over other window coverings.

Advantages Over Other Window Coverings

Window covering options are fairly simple.


  • Curtains
  • Drapes
  • Shades
  • Blinds
  • Blankets and sheets


There are others, but in most homes you’ll visit, one of these is probably on the windows.

So why would you choose curtains and drapes over other window treatments?


  • Privacy – no gaps like in between the slats you find in blinds
  • More design options – just mixing and matching your hardware and accessories can spruce up your curtains. Your choices with shades and blinds are far fewer
  • Insulation – lined drapes are far superior to the average blind at keeping the elements outside
  • Coziness – there are some very nice blinds out there, but your guests may just feel like they’re in an office
  • Easy to clean – dust gathers on blinds and looks nasty; draperies show dust and dirt much less
  • Long lasting – lined drapes lasting 10-15 years? Believe it.


You know about the basics, the styles and the advantages so let’s decorate a little.

Decorating with Curtains and Drapes

Start with your design style. More formal living rooms will lend themselves to pleated drapes, swags or pocket rod curtains, accented with valances. However, that’s not to say you can’t use an ornate stationary rod with different drapery accessories to accent your formal, or traditional décor.

With the move towards more contemporary and casual living rooms, stationary rods in wood and decorative metal poles are popular. Casual pleated panels are now available and grommet panels work very well in more modern rooms. Just be sure not to mix and match your woods and metals. Wood rods should have wood hooks. Also, keep in mind to increase the size of your poles and hardware, the higher the ceiling and the longer the drapery gets.

Your design style is established and you know the basic type of curtain rod and drape you’ll use. So let’s cover a few basics on how to hang curtains, from the design perspective.

One of our most basic curtain ideas is using decorative tie backs, or hold backs to keep your open drapes in place. You can use just about anything for a tie back, like wreaths, belts, chain, or ribbon. The main rule of thumb is that the tieback should be 62% down from the top of the window treatment to the floor or 62% up from the bottom to the top of the rod. Either location is referred to as the Golden Mean.

What you use as a tieback is very important in the overall room décor. Be sure to match, or complement the living room’s design style. You can also match them to the curtains or to other colors in the room. Matching them to brighter or more prominent colors will give them more visual weight. Before you get started, decide how much you want your tiebacks to stand out.

Another idea to think about is layering. Will you use a sheer panel behind your curtains, perhaps mounted on a traverse rod to keep the main curtain stationary while the sheer panel opens and closes? Maybe you’d like to create multiple tiers, with and outside mounted rod and an inside pole with sockets.

Want some more ideas? Our friends at Window Treatments Made Easy have some great window treatment ideas for you take a look at.

Proper Care

Curtains and drapes can last a long time when cared for properly. Here are some great tips for keeping your panels looking great for a very long time.


  • Periodically take your curtains outside for a good shaking. Hang them out in the fresh air for a little bit if you’d like. (not too long, to prevent fading)


  • Vacuum your draperies to get rid of dust and dirt and clean all the surrounding surfaces. Then, use a clothing steamer close to the surface to freshen them up.


  • Sort your curtains by cleaning methods before any washing takes place, making sure that heavy, or stiff fabrics stay together first.


  • Sheer, or knit drapes should be placed in wash bags first, to keep threads from pulling or tangling.


  • Only machine dry on the lowest settings. Ironing will almost certainly be a must.


  • Delicate fabrics (like lace) or your heaviest floor to ceiling curtains need to be dry-cleaned for their protection


Buying Tips

Curtain and drape pricing varies widely. Getting a great deal on what you want is important. How do you do that?

First of all, measure your windows before even setting foot inside a store. Buying the right size saves money and, even more importantly, time. Grab a measuring tape, paper, pen and maybe some help depending on the window width. Think about width of the rods and how high you’d like the rod to sit before you measure. Odds are you won’t be measuring just the width and height of the window itself.

When buying pre-made panels, consider purchasing one panel for every 25-30” of width. If you’re having them sewn for you, take into consideration the fabric width after it’s pleated. You lose a little more than half in the pleating process of each panel.

Plan for that when it’s time to buy the fabric. It’s always OK to have curtains that are wider than the rod. If they’re narrower or shorter, you won’t like the result, trust us. They’ll look funny and they won’t keep light or heat out as well as fuller drapes.

Your accessories are important to the overall look of your curtains, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank on them. By all means visit the discounters like Target, Wal-Mart and Bed, Bath and Beyond. Hit the internet too. There are lots of choices on sites far and wide, including eBay and

Here’s the bottom line on curtains and drapes. They’re versatile, stylish, functional, and relatively inexpensive. They come in a wide variety of styles, they’re easy to care for, and you can either buy them pre-made or just buy the fabric and make them yourself. Accessorizing them can be fun and it’s easy to match your rods and tiebacks to your living room’s overall theme.