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Living room with an area rug

How to Choose An Area Rug

May 20, 2019

Previously, we talked about the benefits and advantages of area rugs, which include warmth, comfort, noise reduction, and protection for your floors. This time, our flooring experts are sharing a few simple tips on how to choose an area rug for your living room, your dining room, your bedroom, or any other space in your home or apartment. Whether you’re a renter or a homeowner read on to get helpful, practical design advice on selecting the right color, pattern, and size for your new area rug.

How to Choose an Area Rug for Any Room in Your Home

Choosing a Rug Size for Any Room

The beauty of interior design is that no two homes — or homeowners! — are exactly alike. Everyone has their own unique idea of what makes the “perfect” area rug, depending on factors like cost, brand, and style preferences. To find the right area rug for your space, you’ll need to pay careful attention to three important details: 

  1. Rug Size
  2. Rug Color
  3. Rug Pattern 

Let’s get started by taking a closer look at how to choose the right size area rug for any room in your home. 

The first step to finding the perfect rug size is to get an accurate feel for the size and dimensions of your space. However, it’s not necessary to measure the entire room from wall to wall. Instead, a good tip is to simply measure the area around the seating arrangement (or other area where you plan to place the rug). If you don’t have a tape measure, there are plenty of phone apps to help out in a pinch!

Generally, it is good to round up from the measurements of your furniture when choosing an area rug for any room. For example, if you measured roughly 5’6” x 7’4” around your chairs and table, look for a rug with dimensions of at least 6’ x 8’. 

A good rule of thumb when measuring a rug for dining room seating, is to choose a rug by the dimensions of your table. If the space in the room allows, try to purchase a rug that is the size of your table plus three feet. This ensures all legs of the table are on the rug and stable, while also accommodating pulling chairs in and our without catching the rug. 

When measuring for a living room, you may also want to make sure the rug is large enough to touch the pieces around it. The furniture around the rug should appear to come in contact with the rug so that it anchors the entire room. For example, unlike the dining room, the couch does not have to sit completely on the rug. 

At the same time, be sure to leave at least one to two feet of space (or more, depending on your personal preferences) around the outside of the rug. After all, it’s meant to be an area rug — not wall-to-wall carpeting! If a wall-to-wall look is what you prefer, there are plenty of plush, comfortable carpet options ready to be professionally installed in rooms of any size. No matter what style of carpet you are looking for, the experts at Flooring America are always here to help. 

Dining room with a plush area rug

Choosing a Rug Color

Now that you know how to choose an area rug size, the next step is learning how to choose an area rug color. Sure, you could simply go with your favorite shades — and if that’s your style strategy, more power to you! But for those who prefer a more toned-down or color-coordinated look, it helps to follow a few simple design rules.

For example, many style experts suggest following the “60-30-10 rule.” Here’s how it breaks down: 

  • 60 — Roughly 60% of your room should be the “main” or “theme” color. 
  • 30 — About 30% of the color in the room will usually be a minor or secondary color. For example, if the room’s main color is blue, the secondary color might be grey or white. Choosing an accent rug with a color from this group is usually a safe bet. 
  • 10 — About 10% of the color in the room comes from little touches and accents, such as decorations, wall art, or lamps and light fixtures. You can draw on these colors for inspiration in your area rug, too. 

If that seems like a lot to remember or keep track of, don’t worry. With My Design Finder, personalized style inspiration is just a few stress-free clicks away — no math or memorization required! 

Seating area with an area rug 

Choosing a Rug Pattern

Last but not least, you need to know how to choose an area rug pattern. Just like fashion mistakes, rug patterns can get way too “busy” — especially if there are clashing themes. To avoid visual chaos and give your eyes a break, check out the patterns, fabrics, and prints that are already in your space. If the room already incorporates patterns, it’s probably best to take a muted approach — or to steer clear of prints altogether, opting for solid colors instead. 

On the other hand, a bold pattern can breathe life into a space that feels like it’s “missing something.” If your space feels like it’s lacking spirit, a fun pattern might be perfect to spruce things up while adding a personal touch. Go bold, understated, or somewhere in between. The sky’s the limit with options like stripes, plaid, polka dots, and patterns inspired by nature, like bright floral patterns or faux tiger stripes.

Dining room with a classic rug

Get Area Rug Design Ideas from Our Carpet Guide

Whether you’re looking for wall-to-wall carpeting, stain-resistant carpet, eco-friendly carpeting, or other plush flooring options, you’ll find it in Flooring America’s comprehensive carpet guide. We can guide you through every step of choosing the perfect carpet, and can even help with design and style ideas.

With convenient locations, affordable options, and quality brand-name products, your home flooring project is already off to a great start when you choose Flooring America. Contact us online today, or call us at (866) 439-6743 for friendly assistance.

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Golden retriever on hardwood floor

What Is Pet-Friendly Flooring?

May 13, 2019

As a homeowner, you want flooring that provides comfort, offers durability and expresses your personality. But when you own pets, choosing the right flooring materials can be a real challenge. How do you keep your pet safe and comfortable, while simultaneously protecting your floors from moisture, staining, scratches, and damage? 

Fortunately, the friendly flooring experts at Flooring America make it easy to find materials that are compatible with every member of your family — including Fido and Fluffy. Whether you’re in search of the best flooring for pet urine, scratch-resistant flooring for dogs, or other pet-proof flooring options, read on to learn the basics and get some design ideas your furry friends will love. 

What is Pet-Friendly Flooring and the Different Types of Pet-Proof Options

What is Pet-Friendly Flooring?

There are a few different factors to consider when shopping for “pet-friendly” flooring. Think about the following questions when you’re comparing options:

  1. Is it resistant to other types of damage or wear-and-tear? Scratches aren’t the only source of pet damage. Stains, mud, and moisture can also take a toll, especially on hardwoods. If urine or moisture is your main concern, consider a line of waterproof products, like luxury vinyl.
  2. Is it resistant to scratches? Scratch marks are often a major concern for dog owners. Some scratch-resistant options include hardwoods (for example, cherry and walnut rate high on the Janka scale, read on for more details), stone tile, and luxury vinyl.
  3. Will it be comfortable for your pet? Pets appreciate a soft landing just as much as their owners — especially ones that like to jump! Plush, flexible flooring materials like carpet and cork offer more cushioning and support than hard materials like stone or wood.
  4. Does it offer traction for your pet? Both dogs and cats need adequate traction, or the ability to “grip” the floor, to ensure that they can safely navigate your house. Some types of flooring provide more traction than others.

 Samoyed dog on beige bedroom carpet

What Does it Mean for Flooring to Be Pet-Proof?

The phrase “pet-proof flooring” means that it has to be tough enough to withstand damage from urine, scratching nails, tracked-in mud, and other hazards to your home. Durable, waterproof, and easy-to-clean are the qualities in flooring that essentially make it “pet-proof”. But pet-friendly flooring should not only satisfy your needs as a pet owner, but as a homeowner as well. Luckily there are plenty of flooring options that can satisfy every need, whether it is style or durability.

Brown mixed dog on dark brown hardwood

Scratch-Resistant Flooring for Pets

Pedicure, anyone? The wear-and-tear from scratchy dog nails can scar your floors for life — and burn through your wallet in the process. But don’t worry: there are flooring options that are specially designed to withstand pet damage from those scratching, clacking nails. If you’re searching for a scratch-resistant product, here are three options to consider: 

  1. Hardwood Flooring — Certain species of hardwood are more resistant to scratching and denting than others.  A good source to determine the hardness of a species is through the Janka scale.  The higher the rating on the Janka scale the more likely the species is to hold up to pet scratches. 
  2. Luxury Vinyl Flooring — Luxury vinyl is waterproof, scratch proof, dent proof, and with the correct backing—sound dampening.  This is the perfect flooring for pet owners.  An embossed surface allows for traction under your pets’ paws.
  3. Stone Flooring — Stone is another easy-to-clean yet scratch-resistant flooring option, providing an elegant alternative to luxury vinyl.

 Black and white cat with two toned eyes laying on hardwood floor

Waterproof Flooring for Pets

Accidents are a fact of life for many pet owners — especially those with new puppies or kittens. That’s why all pet-proof flooring options are waterproof! Not only is this ideal for accident-prone pets; it also helps your floors withstand all those little spills and dribbles from the water bowl.

For waterproof flooring options, consider a product made with luxury vinyl, which comes in a huge range of colors and patterns. Luxury vinyl is tougher and more durable against moisture from urine, water, and other pet spills. With that being said, there are plenty of other water-proof and scratch-resistant flooring like treated hardwood, tile, and stone for every pet owner’s budget and style.

Small terrier mix dog sitting on hardwood floor 

Types of Pet-Proof Options

When it comes to pet-proof flooring options, there are pros and cons to different materials. Our knowledgeable flooring experts are here to help you find the perfect balance. Depending on your needs and preferences, potential options include:  

  • Hardwood floors
  • Laminate
  • Luxury vinyl
  • Waterproof carpet

Pet owner and husky puppy laying on hardwood floor together 

Pet-Friendly Flooring Options for Dogs and Cats

At Flooring America, we understand that your pet is like a member of your family. We’re dedicated to helping you find a safe, comfortable, and attractive line of products that meets your needs — and your fluffy friend’s. Whether your primary concern is preventing water damage, staining, claw marks, or all three, count on our friendly team of experts to deliver top-quality flooring for every room in your home. 

You can find more information on our Best Pet-Friendly Flooring page, which will give you some pointers and tips for getting started. You can also contact Flooring America online, or give us a call at (855) 352-2837 to ask how we can help.

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Area rug in dining room

What is an Area Rug & Its Advantages

Apr 29, 2019

If you love the softness of carpets, but aren’t a big fan of that “wall-to-wall” look, an area rug might offer the perfect design solution. In this article, the flooring experts at Flooring America explain what area rugs are, the purpose and advantages of rugs, and some helpful information about decorating with area rugs on hardwood floors.

What is an Area Rug and its Advantages?

What is an Area Rug?

An area rug is simply a carpet, often much smaller than the dimensions of the room. Unlike wall-to-wall carpeting, which stretches across the entire room, area rugs come in a variety of sizes, such as 5’x8’ and 8’x11’ being some of the most popular sizes. Some area rugs are geometric (often rectangular or circular in form), while others come in irregular, organic shapes (such as sheepskin or cowhide area rugs).

Another major difference is that wall-to-wall carpeting is fixed to the floor, requiring serious effort to remove and replace. In contrast, area rugs can be easily picked up and carried from one room to another. This lightweight, portable quality — plus their huge variety in colors, patterns, and textures — makes area rugs a great design fit for spaces of every shape and size. Many people use area rugs to help “tie a room together,” instantly creating a focal point.

Plush area rug in cozy bedroom 

What Are the Advantages of Using an Area Rug?

Now that you know what an area rug is and how it can be used in your home, it’s time to learn about some of the design benefits it can have for your space. There are a lot of advantages to using area rugs, and here are just three of our favorites: 

  • Make your space quieter. Rugs have a sound-dampening effect, which means that they help to reduce noise. That’s a major bonus for families and pet owners — especially if there are downstairs neighbors! After all, who wouldn’t enjoy some extra peace and quiet? Plus, having a quieter, more tranquil space makes it easier for you to relax, recharge, study, read, and sleep. 
  • Protect your floors from damage. Furniture, pet claws, and other sharp or heavy objects can gouge deep, unsightly scratches into your floors. Area rugs offer a simple, attractive solution. Since they’re also lightweight and portable, they’re easy to remove at any time. If scratch marks are a major concern for you, consider flooring materials like stone or luxury vinyl, which are more durable and damage-resistant than wood. 
  • Warm up your space. If you live in a cooler part of the country, you know how much that heating bill can hurt your wallet — especially during those brutal winter months. Heat your home more efficiently and affordably by using area rugs, which help to trap warmth and make your space feel cozier.

 Small area rug in office space

Do You Need to Use an Area Rug on Hardwood Floors?

The short answer to this question is no, you don’t have to use an area rug on your hardwood floor if you really prefer not to. Just remember: even though you might not need area rugs on hardwood floors, there are plenty of practical and aesthetic reasons to consider purchasing one. If you’re still on the fence, just think about the advantages we discussed in the last section, like warmth, noise reduction, and — maybe most importantly — protection against damage.

Find Hardwood, Vinyl, Tile, and Carpet at Flooring America

Not sure whether an area rug is right for your space? Then head over to My Design Finder, where you’re sure to find inspiration. Simply answer a few quick questions about your taste and style in interior decorating, and My Design Finder will give you customized room design ideas almost instantly! To learn more about hardwood floors, carpet, or other home flooring products, contact Flooring America online, or call (855) 352-2837 today.

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Living space with Waterproof Tile

What Is Waterproof Flooring?

Mar 18, 2019

We get a lot of questions about waterproof flooring, and with good reason. It can be confusing to read between the lines of “marketing-speak” and really understand what you’re getting when you purchase a specialty waterproof product.

What is Waterproof Flooring and Where Should I Put It In My Home?

There are many waterproof flooring options out there, but it’s important to know what you’re looking for and what you’re looking at. But first, it’s important to understand what exactly makes a flooring product waterproof and what that means for your home.

Kitchen with Waterproof Tile

What is Waterproof Flooring?

When it comes to flooring, waterproof means waterproof -- no water or moisture can penetrate the material, soaking it to its core.

With waterproof flooring, the waterproofing is “baked in”. Rather than being treated with a special coating to protect it from water, the flooring is made of a fully waterproof material. No matter how long water stands on top of the flooring, it will never soak through and the flooring will never be damaged by water.

For example, you can take a piece of waterproof vinyl or tile and fully submerge it in a tank of water for days. When you take it out, it will be as good as new.

It’s worth noting that while a flooring product may be entirely waterproof, that doesn’t mean that your subfloor is, too. Water, especially in large quantities, can still seep into cracks, whether that’s along the wall or between floorboards, and cause damage to the subfloor below. Even with the very best waterproof flooring, if you are the victim of a major flooding event, you probably will not get away without some damage.

The good news is that when the time comes to clean up and repair your home, you can take up the waterproof floorboards and tend to any damage that happened to your subfloor. You can let your carpets dry out and replace the flooring. That’s a big win over having to invest in a whole new floor.

Where Should I Install Waterproof Flooring in My Home?

From a spilled cup of coffee in the bedroom to an overturned glass of wine in the dining room, there’s endless potential for stains and liquids to permeate and ruin your carpeting or flooring. Waterproof flooring to the rescue!

Waterproof flooring is especially good for any area where there may be frequent spills. Luxury vinyl flooring in the kitchen may be just fine -- even if you accidentally drop a whole gallon of milk one morning.  Waterproof stone tiles or luxury vinyl may also be an ideal choice for the bathroom where the kids regularly splash at bath time. They also provide an added layer of relief in the event of an overflowed toilet (ugh) or any leaks from the sink or other fixtures.

Bathroom with Waterproof Tile

Top Flooring Options for High Moisture Areas

Areas that see a high degree of moisture, such as bathrooms and mudrooms, can benefit from flooring designed for wet areas, such as waterproof luxury vinyl or tiles.

If you’re installing tile flooring for a shower wet room, your flooring will need to stand up to water, condensation, and steam on a regular basis. With this in mind, there are additional waterproofing steps that must be taken to protect your subfloor -- even if you’ve chosen waterproof tiles. Using waterproof grouting and laying a waterproof membrane beneath the floor are two steps that must not be skipped if you want a truly waterproof area.

Once you understand the terms and know what you need for the different parts of your home, shopping for waterproof flooring becomes a whole lot easier. Of course, if you ever need a bit of extra help, the smart and highly trained staff at any of our locally-owned stores would be glad to give you some advice. Find your store today so we can steer you in the right direction, no matter what you need. Stay dry!

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Hypoallergenic Carpet in Family Room

Hypoallergenic Carpet Options for Spring 2019

Mar 04, 2019

Whether you suffer from seasonal or year-round allergies, stepping outside can expose you to pollen and other common irritants that trigger a sinus flare-up. While there’s only so much you can do about the allergens floating around outside, your home should be a sanctuary.

Hypoallergenic Carpet Options

Many people with allergies worry that installing carpets in their house could make their allergies worse, but the good news is that doesn’t have to be true. If you have allergies but crave the cozy feeling of wall-to-wall carpeting, there are hypoallergenic options out there. 

Here at Flooring America, we’re proud to carry leading carpet brands with hypoallergenic qualities. When you’re shopping for a carpet for allergy sufferers, it helps to have a wide range of choices so that you can find a carpet that looks amazing and will play nice with your sinuses. Here’s what you need to know:

What is Hypoallergenic Carpet?

There is no formal industry standard for hypoallergenic carpet, so it’s worth talking to a flooring expert and also doing your own research on carpet brands you’re interested in to see if they will meet your needs. Carpet is inherently hypoallergenic, but there are types of carpet that enhance the hypoallergenic environment. 

What your carpet is made of

Some carpet materials are more hypoallergenic than others. Certain man-made fibers (such as nylon, olefin, and polypropylene) are naturally mold- and mildew-resistant, which can help cut down on allergic reactions.

Some natural fibers, such as wool, may have a natural hypoallergenic effect (if you are not allergic to wool!). Wool is kind of a wonder fiber that counteracts allergies in several ways. It creates a hostile environment for dust mites, and it creates less dust particles than other fibers as it wears. It can also potentially absorb harmful toxins and VOCs. (More on these later!)

● The tightness of the weave and the length of the carpet fibers

A tightly woven carpet is easier to clean than looser, shaggier carpets with thick piles. Carpets with a tighter, denser weave will trap less dust and harbor less dust.

 ● The amount of VOC emissions

One of the worst, and most often overlooked, allergy issues with new carpets is the off-gassing of potentially harmful chemicals produced by the manufacturing process. These chemicals, known as Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs, can be serious triggers for people with allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions.

To avoid carpeting that may potentially contain VOCs, look for carpets with a GREENGUARD rating for low emissions. GREENGUARD is an independent VOC emissions standard and testing protocol that can help you choose the safest carpets for your home.

Hypoallergenic Carpet Options for Bedrooms

Carpet Care for Allergy Sufferers

It’s important to note that any carpet -- whether it’s branded as hypoallergenic or not -- must be regularly and properly cleaned in order to cut down on the presence of allergens in the home. Unlike the smooth surfaces of wood, linoleum, or vinyl flooring, the fibers of a carpet can trap and hold dust, dander, and pollen. These substances are then released back into the air when you walk over your carpet.

A strict vacuuming schedule (at least twice each week) can help, but you need a vacuum cleaner with a good filter, or you may just end up making those allergens airborne all over again. Adding regular carpet washing and shampooing to your housekeeping rotation is another great way to cut back on the amount of potentially irritating particles in your home.

Hypoallergenic Carpet in Living Room

Where to Buy Hypoallergenic Carpet

Brighten up your bedroom, living room or den with a brand new floor. Choosing the right carpet can help make your home a hypoallergenic haven while completely refreshing your decor.

Discovering the best carpet for you and your family may require a bit of research, but you’re not on your own. The friendly experts at your local Flooring America store will be happy to help you out: all you need to do is ask! Find your store here.

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Kitchen backsplash with decorative grey tiles

What is Backsplash Tile

Feb 04, 2019

It is the little details like a tile backsplash that can make a kitchen. With some careful planning and a creative, exciting design process, you can add a splash of character and claim precious wall space with an eye-catching backsplash that’s as functional as it is fashionable.

What is a Tile Backsplash & Where Should You Put It?

Backsplashes are an expanse of material that typically fills the gaps on a kitchen or bathroom wall between cabinets and a countertop, spanning the length of the countertop. Traditionally, these have ranged from small patches of backsplash that stretch above farmhouse sinks to the pre-2000s mosaic-style backsplashes that were often meant to match kitchen flooring.

Done well, today’s tile backsplashes are a brilliant accent to one of the most trafficked rooms of the household, rounding out the space with interesting textures, colors, and design patterns. Ideally, they can be installed simultaneously with the countertop, but can become a professional or do-it-yourself project at any time.

 Kitchen backsplash made with neutral toned tiles

What are the best tiles to use for a backsplash?

Ceramic, porcelain, cement, stone, marble and even glass are all common styles for today’s backsplashes.

Determining the best tile for a kitchen backsplash is a matter of preference and willingness to experiment. However, there are some things worth knowing in the search for your dream home’s dream tile.

One thing you should understand before installing a backsplash is that not all tiles will cost the same. Tiles are priced by square foot and the cost can vary depending on the type of material. Some materials (like marble) are more expensive than others, but shopping smart and mindfully can give you the look you want at a price that’s comfortable for you. Here are some tips to keep in mind when shopping for a backsplash:


  • The look of marble for less: To mimic the look of expensive marble go for a glazed porcelain tile, with high gloss coated over its surface for shine.
  • Porcelain and ceramic tiles: These types of tiles have many options to make your kitchen traditional to contemporary. With endless designs and options – you’re sure to find a tile that makes your kitchen unique.
  • Stainless steel and natural stone: This material offers a wealth of warmth to your kitchen space. Used together, these materials can create one of a kind looks. 
  • Mosaic tile: Mosaic tile packs in smaller patterns and seemingly offer more bang for your buck. Depending on the range of materials – this can be an easy way to turn your kitchen space into a work of art.
  • Sheet glass: A trend that has been growing in popularity as a great backsplash material for the kitchen is sheet glass. Sheet glass is very low maintenance and incredibly easy to clean, which helps tremendously in an area of the home sure to see its fair share of spills and splashes.  Glass can add a lighter look for your space to compliment any style.
  • Wood: While this material is not typically used for a traditional backsplash, it can be used to establish a rustic aesthetic, but, as might be expected, make a less functional backsplash without proper care, sealing, and enhancements, and may require some additional research to know what varnish to use for your intended effect.

How much does it cost to install a Backsplash?

How much a backsplash installation costs will depend on square feet used, but bear in mind that kitchens come in all shapes and sizes with awkward angles, making professional installation costs subjective.

In general, marble, ceramic, and porcelain all offer versatility with design, well-suited to evergreen backsplash design styles like subway tiling. Play around with grouts to change the mood of the kitchen when working with these materials, which can offer a dark glow or further enhance the brightness of the backsplash, especially when working with whites.

When selecting the best tile for your backsplash, it’s always worth considering what your design goal is. If you’re looking for a more elaborate design, like a hand-painted Moroccan-style backsplash, you’ll want to weigh heavily what material produces the effect you want and will keep you satisfied for years to come.

Where is the best place for a backsplash?

Home base for most backsplashes will be a kitchen, especially surrounding sinks and stoves. Pragmatically speaking, the backsplash protects the wall from water stains and damage—or, marks from tools and gadgets that live on the counter.

Still, many creative locations make sense to add a backsplash. Tile backsplashes can be added to bathrooms, behind toilets and sinks, and even surrounding showers. Recently there is a trend to install backsplashes on the ceiling to clearly define a shower alcove, and to prevent water damage.

 Newly Renovated bathroom utilizing subway tile

In spaces where you want to try an unconventional approach to shaping a space with tiling, or rein in the effect, try using clearly defined borders. This can create a sort of rail for the eye to follow to contain the tile material and to ensure tiles are placed at an even level in the actual tiling process.

Where exactly should you put backsplash tile in a kitchen, though? In general, tile backsplashes will serve as an approach to coloring in the lines of the kitchen’s busiest area, easing anxieties by being a protective barrier while also “wowing” yourself and others as a statement piece for the room.

Kitchen with a classic white subway tile backsplash

Of course, these projects go most smoothly when you know what you want. Find your style today with our My Design Finder tool.

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