Floor Care

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Make sure to treat your floor with floor care.How you treat your floors is an aesthetic as well as practical consideration. You can polish, paint, carpet, put down area rugs or lay tiles. The decision is based on the size of the room, how it will be used and the style of the furnishings.

Wall-to-wall carpeting should always be installed by a professional. Wherever you purchase the carpeting, this service is usually included in the cost of the carpet. You will also need an underlay, which may be extra. Ask. Carpeting comes in a variety of colors and textures and the price range is just as varied. As with everything else, quality costs. Some carpets have a stain-resistant coating. This is a good feature to look for.

Sisal carpeting has always been a favorite choice of decorators because it’s good-looking and practical, and pretty much blends in with the floor. It’s a good natural background for most furnishings, is relatively affordable and comes in different shades, textures and quali¬¨ties. Basically it has a flat, matlike feel as opposed to carpeting, which is soft and plush.

If you have good hardwood floors, it would be a shame to cover them with wall-to-wall carpeting. Interesting area rugs would be preferable. Area rugs and carpeting soften the look and feel of a room and help absorb sound.

Area Rugs
Area rugs, such as a good Persian, Oriental, kilim, hooked, or needlepoint, can determine the colors you select for furniture and window and wall coverings.

Rugs come in a variety of sizes and patterns, so know exactly where a rug will be used and the area dimensions before shopping.

If you’ve already chosen a color scheme, take swatches of paint colors, wallpaper and fabrics with you when selecting your floor covering.

Stenciling and Faux Finishing Floors
A floor is the perfect canvas on which to apply a painted design. There are many talented professionals who specialize in this area and can transform a plain floor with a checkerboard pattern, faux tile, the look of marble, a stenciled border, or any number of other patterns.

Whitewashed or bleached floors create a soft film of white over sanded floors, reminiscent of those in country cottages. A thin coat of paint is applied, then quickly rubbed off so the wood grain shows through. Several coats of polyurethane protect the finish and give the floor a nice luster. Floors in many century-old houses are in bad condition and are good candidates for a paint treatment. A decorator with such a home on Nantucket Island painted her floors in a light color, then spatter-painted them with several different colors taken from the wallpaper and fabrics in the room.

None of these techniques is difficult to learn, but all require some patience and practice on a small board before you tackle a large area like a floor. If you want to save money and have a good-looking floor treatment, check out the free booklets offered in home centers as well as some books from the library to determine if this is something you might enjoy doing.


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