your source for contemporary designs

« Samburu | Main | Spray Action »

November 29, 2005

Contemporary Flooring Dilemma Solved

Readers often come to us regarding what type of flooring to install in their contemporary home. We've contacted three experts to lend their advice on several flooring options.

My 1960s, modern home has a black granite fireplace suspended between the LR/DR. The floors are currently covered with wall to wall carpeting over concrete. This home is also 70% glass with rosewood and black lacquer furniture and neutral upholstery. What flooring material and color should I use to UPDATE this area?

A former materials curator at the Parsons Department of Interior Design, Emily Stevenson's area of expertise includes design, culture, and materials technology:                                                            

The simplest and least expensive way to handle the floor would be to polish the cement (this entails grinding it down for a smooth surface if it doesn't already exist), and use a pigmented finish. The least amount of doctoring to alter the nature of the concrete the better. Visit Concrete Network, a good general information site.

With a concrete floor you can put down area rugs -- Orientals, vinyl flooring for high traffic areas like Chiliwich and Bolan, animal skins (very 1960s), or my current favorite -- a looped suede carpet (found at Patterson, Flynn & Martin, NYC). Leather carpets are incredibly durable and look good with age.

Concrete is also a good base for a poured floor, allowing you to use a mat, semi or high gloss finish – a compliment to your furniture. If you are afraid to use a high gloss black then red is a great alternative. I used a red poured floor on a project that made the room incredibly inviting. Take your cues from your black lacquer furniture and the reflective surfaces of your granite fireplace.

Nancy Epstein, founder and CEO of Artistic Tile, an importer and distributer of tile and stone to over 120 luxury showrooms nationwide:

Use flooring that will make the space more transitional and warm. With a black granite fireplace and so much glass, the use of a warm, neutral stone on the floor will help the space feel comfortable while upholding your contemporary aesthetic. Try “Smoke” limestone, a rich grey-brown with a smooth, waxed finish and a slightly rolled edge. You can use this very new finish in a very old pattern, such as a modular format in which stone tiles of various shapes are set in an interlocking pattern. While ancient in origin, the modular style will look right at home in a contemporary setting.

Another old-plus-new effect can be achieved by using porcelain mosaic tile in a new, contemporary size, such as Artistic Tile’s “Live” mosaic in a one half inch by sixteen inch stick shape. The linear shape in a field across the entire floor gives the room a contemporary and clean look while employing the ancient technique of mosaic. You can achieve the desired effect of drawing the eye across the entire space, uniting living room with dining room by combining ancient themes with modern ones, ideally complementing a contemporary home.

A design consultant for The Anderson Family of Fine Hardwood Floors , Joe Tice has a master’s degree in interior design and is an Allied Member of ASID. Tice has owned Joe Tice Interiors in Memphis for 20 years:

For a more conservative option you can choose a light wood floor, such as natural bamboo. This material keeps in line with the sleek airiness of a 1960s ranch style home.  Add an animal skin rug atop the bamboo flooring. Flokati or Zebra skin will stand out next to the blacks and neutrals in the room.

The second suggestion, which is my preference, is a darker wood. Because the home is 70 percent glass, you don’t need to worry about getting enough natural light and take a chance by going dramatic. A teak floor with a high gloss finish would be beautiful. Most wood floors use a satin finish, but a higher gloss can give your floors a more contemporary look. Use an area rug, but be careful not to cover the floor completely. This will give you some texture on the slick surface. Use a high-nap shag in a neutral color to compliment the upholstery.

Tell Us Your Thoughts Here!

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Comment on This Article Here! Contemporary Flooring Dilemma Solved:

try teak for good

Posted by: teak lumber | Jul 16, 2008 12:37:59 PM

I just built a new contemporary home. I wanted a simple waxed concrete floor as I installed a geothermal radiant heating system. Problems with the pouring of the concrete led to having a topping poured over the concrete. This topping bubbles where there are crackes in the the concrete and chips white. How can I cover this mess and keep a contemporary look and still have my radiant heat work to its fullest?

Posted by: tammy tallent | Jan 13, 2010 5:56:01 PM

Kitchen Cabinets offered by Cabinet Giant, bathroom vanities, wholesale cabinets and factory direct cabinets.Discount cabinets, free kitchen cabinet design help are available.For more details follow the Link:

Posted by: cabinetgiant | Jan 27, 2010 3:50:48 AM

Can you show some pictures of the flooring?

Posted by: laminate flooring | Sep 24, 2010 12:00:10 AM

Your idea is a vast! Thanks for sharing me your insightful thoughts for solving the flooring dilemma. I never thought it would be that easy to fix flooring problems if I only knew. I'm very glad to hear that from you.

Posted by: Bamboo flooring Perth | Jan 22, 2011 10:59:37 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

Pure Contemporary on Facebook

your source for contemporary designs