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What the heck is Cork Flooring?

When you think of adding new flooring to your home, cork may not be the first material that pops into your head. However, in recent years homeowners have been turning to this eco-friendly flooring option for their kitchens, hallways, and home offices! Here at the Poulin Design Center we’ve put together some pros and cons of installing cork flooring in your home.

Cork is made from the bark of the cork oak tree. This is a sustainable, renewable resource, and can be harvested every nine to twelve years. Because it is harvested from the bark that naturally falls off of the tree, the tree remains unharmed. To create the flooring, the bark is ground up, glued, and then baked into multiple flooring sheets. It is then usually installed as planks.

Pros

  • Cork is durable and flexible, making it the perfect kind of flooring for high traffic areas, such as kitchens and entryways.
  • Cork flooring is comfortable to stand on even for prolonged periods of time! Cork is much softer than natural stone flooring or even some species of hardwood flooring.
  • Cork is renewable and does not harm the cork oak tree. It is harvested from the bark, not the tree itself, so you can get your beautiful flooring without taking down the forest.
  • Cork is hypoallergenic, making it a superb flooring choice if you have any household members with allergies.
  • Cork flooring insulates as well as breathes. In the winter, it will insulate, keeping in the warmth. In the summer, however, it will breathe and keep the floor cool to the touch.

Cons

  • Cork does not always resist damage, and can be damaged by high heels, your pets, or dragging furniture.
  • It is not highly water resistant, so it is not ideal for areas with main sources of water, such as bathrooms or basements with the possibility of flooding.

If you’re ready to get your new flooring installed today, give the experts at the Poulin Design Center a call.  We’ll provide a free consultation to answer any questions you may have. Give us a call today!

Get the Facts on Slate Flooring

When it comes to adding slate to your home it can be hard to know where to begin! The great thing to keep in mind when it comes to slate is that this flooring option has been popular for hundreds of years and it provides unparalleled durability and natural beauty.  Here are some of the styles of slate you may wish to add to your home in Albuquerque!

Honed Slate

Honed slate tile flooring is slate where the surface has been ground to a smooth touch. This way, the uneven texture that comes naturally with the stone is evened out, creating a polished surface. One big benefit honed slate has is that it can be polished and glossed to look as smooth and glossy as marble flooring.  Many homeowners will choose to install honed slate flooring in the entryway, the kitchen, or in the hallway.

Gauged Slate

Gauged slate tile flooring is a type of slate that has been cut or ground along the bottom. This creates a flat surface on the bottom, while the top side stays a bit rough. Gauged slate is a classic look for slate and each tile will bring a sense of rustic charm to your home’s décor. You can install gauged slate in tiles using grout just like many other tile options.

Natural Slate

Natural cut slate tile flooring (also known as cleft slate) is similar to gauged slate tile, but the slates can be different shapes and sizes.  When they are installed they will be pieced together like of like a mosaic to complete the final flooring result.  A natural slate floor can truly be a work of art that will add value and truly unique style to your home.

Think slate may be right for your home?  Call the Poulin Design Center in Albuquerque! Our flooring experts will gladly help you in any way we can, including coming to your door with samples. Call today to schedule a free in-home consultation or visit us at our showroom!

Is Engineered Hardwood Flooring Right for Me?

So you’re looking to add some hardwood flooring to your home in Albuquerque. While this is an exciting time, you may find yourself with a lot of questions.  What plank width should I choose?  Which species will be best? Should I install solid hardwood floors or engineered hardwood flooring?  Let us help you with that last question!  Read on to learn just what engineered hardwood flooring is and if it sounds like it’s right for you!

What is Engineered Hardwood Flooring?

When you started your hardwood flooring search, you may not have even known engineered hardwood flooring existed.  Engineered hardwood flooring is made from several layers of wood. The top layer of wood is the layer you will see and this can be made from any species of wood you would like. This top layer is about 3.5mm thick and it can be sanded and refinished three to five times throughout the life of the floor. The bottom layers are made from plywood, making the flooring more affordable and more eco-friendly.

Where Can It Be Installed?

Tne of the great advantages to choosing engineered hardwood flooring is the fact that it can be installed almost anywhere in the home!  The many layers of wood make the flooring less susceptible to moisture or humidity damage.  That means you can install engineered hardwood flooring upstairs, in the hallways, or even in the basement!

What Kind of Maintenance is Required?

With any type of flooring you install, you want to know what you’re signing up for maintenance-wise. Engineered hardwood flooring is a very low maintenance flooring option.  Its resilience to moisture makes it more durable than solid hardwood flooring in some ways.  All you’ll really need to do for regular upkeep is to sweep, mop, and dry mop.  Engineered hardwood floors will look great for years to come. And if you do notice some dings or scratches, you can always choose to sand and refinish the floors, just like solid hardwood flooring!

Still have questions about engineered hardwood flooring?  Call the experts at the Poulin Design Center.  We’d love to help you find the perfect new flooring for your home.  Call us today, or stop by our showroom in Albuquerque!

A Guide to Solid Hardwood Flooring

Carpeting may be the most popular flooring material in America, but hardwood flooring is coming in at a close second, and it’s easy to see why. From the kitchen, to the hallways, to the living room, hardwood provides a beautiful natural flooring option that is loved by many homeowners.  When it comes to solid hardwood flooring, you may have some questions. Fear not, the experts at the Poulin Design Center here in Albuquerque are here to help you every step of the way to ensure your get the right flooring installed in your home!  Read on to get the basics on solid hardwood flooring.

Selecting a Species

One of the reasons hardwood flooring is used so widely throughout the home is the long lifespan this flooring can have. Solid hardwood flooring that is properly cared for can last for decades.  With that in mind, it’s important to select a species of wood that you’ll want to look at for many years to come.  Hardwood flooring provides timeless style, so you can rest easy knowing your flooring investment will never turn into a cringeworthy fad.  You’ll want to select a species of hardwood flooring that is hard enough, but beyond that, a lot of it comes down to personal preference.  Do you want bright cheerful options like ash, maple, or oak?  Or do you prefer darker shades like cherry or mahogany?

Choosing Plank Width

There are many customizable features of hardwood flooring.  Do you want it installed in a pattern?  Do you want one species of wood or two?  And of course, how wide do you want your planks to be?  It’s important to give this some thought as the plank width can alter the appearance of the hardwood flooring dramatically.  Wider planks are becoming quite popular especially in living rooms and bedrooms, but slimmer plank widths can also offer a unique look.

Finished vs. Unfinished

Think all hardwood flooring is finished in the same way?  Well, it’s not!  There are a variety of ways to finish your hardwood flooring.  Do you want a shiny high gloss finish?  Or are you looking for a more rustic, natural appearance.  Leaving your hardwood flooring completely unfinished may achieve the look you’re after, but make sure you are extra careful when it comes to any potential moisture damage.

Still have Questions about solid hardwood flooring?  Call the experts at the Poulin Design Center.  We’ll listen to your specific needs, show you flooring samples, and help you understand what hardwood flooring is best for your home!

Choosing Flooring for Your Guest Room

The guest room in your home is unlike any other room in your home.  Usually this room will go unused for many days at a time, but when guests are arriving, it’s important to have this room in tiptop shape. To create the ultimate guest room, you’ve got to start with the right flooring. Here are some tips from the Poulin Design Center in Albuquerque to help you select the perfect flooring for your guest room.

Hardwood Flooring

Add some serious style to your guest bedroom with some solid hardwood flooring or engineered hardwood flooring.  Installing bright ash flooring will open up the guest room and make it a bright and inviting place for guests to stay. Another perk of hardwood flooring is the hypoallergenic qualities it offers.  Allergy sufferers will rest easy if you choose hardwood flooring for your guest room!

Carpeting

The go-to choice for many homeowners is carpeting when it comes to most bedrooms including the guest room.  It can work quite well for a guest room as well!  Feel free to branch out from your normal nylon carpeting and go for luxurious wool carpeting that will wow your guest with a soft, cushy feel underfoot. Plush carpeting will also help to insulate your guestroom during the winter months as well.

Area Rugs

Having trouble deciding if you want classic hardwood the warmth of carpeting?  Luckily you don’t have to choose!  Installing solid hardwood flooring and adding in an area rug will give you soft texture you desire.  Area rugs are also wonderful in that you can easily change up the décor of your guest room by changing the area rug.

The best place to start with any flooring decision is a free consultation with a professional at the Poulin Design Center.  We’ll show you flooring samples so you can choose the prefect new carpet or hardwood flooring for your guest room!

Dining Room Flooring Trends

When the holiday season is just around the corner, many homeowners find themselves reevaluating the décor in their dining room. Maybe you’ll invest in a new dining room table or maybe you’ll choose to feature some new artwork.  When you’re reworking your dining room, make sure you don’t overlook your flooring.  Here are some dining room flooring trends from the Poulin Design Center in Albuquerque.

Finished Hardwood Flooring

It’s hard to vote against hardwood flooring in any room.  Many homeowners choose this classic look for their dining room.  With the chance of spilling and the chairs moving on the flooring, you want to be sure you protect your hardwood flooring investment. Be sure any spills are addressed quickly.  Also, make sure to use floor protectors with each chair.

Smooth Stone Flooring

If you think stone flooring is only for the kitchen and the bathroom, think again!  Stone flooring evokes a beautiful elegance that is the perfect setting for your dining room.  You can install marble flooring, or go for natural looking travertine tile flooring.  Stone flooring is some of the most durable flooring you can install, but that doesn’t make it impermeable to spill damage.  However, as long as the flooring is properly cared for, stone flooring in the dining room will last many lifetimes.

Accent Area Rugs

Already have stone or hardwood flooring that you love in your dining room? Want to add a splash of color to your dining room?  An area rug may be just the thing. A well placed area rug in your dining room can help to frame the table in the room.  Be sure to choose a carpet pile that is not too high as you want to make it easy for guests to navigate their chairs easily on the flooring.

Ready to get your dining room ready for the holidays? Call the experts at the Poulin Design Center in Albuquerque.  We’ll help you select the perfect flooring for your dining room today!

A Guide to Carpet Pile

In the winter months, we all appreciate our carpeting a little more.  This warm, cozy flooring option offers the perfect surface for bedrooms and living rooms alike! Here at the Poulin Design Center, we are ready to answer your carpeting questions. Read on to learn the ins and outs of carpet pile and what’s right for your Albuquerque home!

Berber, Loop Pile

If you’re looking for the most durable carpet out there, look no further than loop pile Berber carpeting.  This carpet provides carpet fibers that are not cut, resulting in a low pile, tightly knit, tough carpet.  This works well in high traffic areas and it will hold up quite well over the years. This may not be the coziest option, but many homeowners find it to be perfect for stairs or hallways especially.

High Pile Frieze

If you’re looking for something more comfortable, for the living room perhaps, then you may want to consider frieze carpet pile.  This option uses carpet fibers that are cut to varying lengths, resulting in an informal, cozy result.  This works well in playrooms and bedrooms, but it’s also featured in living rooms, basements, and recreational rooms as well.

Plush Carpet

Much of the carpet you may have encountered in your life has probably been some variation of plush carpeting.  This flooring provides carpet fibers that are all cut to the same length.  You can choose high-pile options or lower pile options of plush carpeting depending on where the carpeting will be installed.  Choose to add this to your dining room, your living room, or your home office as well!

Hopefully you now have an initial understanding of what kind of carpet pile you may want.  The best way to truly make a carpeting decision is to see and feel carpet samples for yourself.  This will allow you to see the carpet piles and make an informed decision!  Call the experts at the Poulin Design Center today to schedule your free consultation!

Photo: Iriana Shiyan

Laminate Flooring: Pros and Cons

Considering adding laminate flooring to your Albuquerque home?  The experts at the Poulin Design Center know the ins and outs of all flooring types including laminate! Here are some pros and cons to consider before you choose to install laminate:

Pros:

Laminate flooring is a very inexpensive when it comes to materials.  You aren’t paying for a solid piece of hardwood; instead laminate mimics the look of hardwood with a high-resolution photograph that is covered with a protective clear overlay.

Even though laminate isn’t solid wood, it can still be made to look more like natural wood. Decorative touches such as beveled edges create a natural appearance similar to what you would find on many hardwood or engineered hardwood flooring choices.

Laminate comes in every color and style imaginable!  Whatever design ideas you have, laminate can provide the perfect flooring component to your kitchen, living room, or bedroom design!

With solid hardwood flooring it’s important to be mindful of moisture and potentially humidity damage.  However, with laminate flooring this is not a concern; the top layer of laminate flooring is water resistant.

Cons:

Laminate is very durable, but after years of regular wear and tear, you may find the edges of the laminate starting to look a little rough.  Solid hardwood provides the option of sanding a refinishing up to 7-10 times which helps to erase any damage.

Some homeowners view solid hardwood flooring as a long-term investment that will offer beautiful flooring for decades.  Laminate will usually last about 20-25 years before you’ll want to replace it.

Warping can be an issue with laminate flooring.  Pools of standing water on laminate can result in the edges of the flooring becoming warped and eventually the flooring needing replacement.  The water resistant layer on top is not impermeable, so you’ll want to clean up any spills quickly.

Ready to see if laminate is right for you?  Call the Poulin Design center today for a free consultation!

Photo: Patryk Kosmider

Tile Trends To Watch

Subway Tile

From businesses to bathrooms to kitchens, subway tiles seem to be popping up everywhere.  The simple and sleek appearance of subway tile makes it a beautiful addition to many rooms.  Consider adding in a classic while subway tile backsplash to your kitchen design.

Natural Stone Tile

Tile is made from all kinds of materials.  You can install ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles, glass tiles and more.  But many homeowners gravitate towards the natural stone tiles as a classic and charming flooring option for the shower, the bathroom, entryways or the kitchen.  Consider adding in travertine tiles, marble or even slate!

Varying Tile Shapes and Sizes

Variety is the spice of life and when it comes to tile and stone flooring, it’s quite popular to choose tile that comes in varying shapes and sizes. For example, your new kitchen floor could feature two tile sizes to form a simple pattern that adds some texture and variety to your design.

Brushed Tile

When you think of tile, do you think of a glossy, smooth finish?  It’s certainly possible to install tile with a high gloss finish, but more and more homeowners are looking to bring in new textures and unique style to their homes.  Enter brushed tile!  Brushed tile provides a surface that isn’t shiny, but instead offers and sleek and modern look.  Grey, brushed tile is quite popular for bathroom remodels and kitchens alike!

Ready to install some tile in your home?  Let the Poulin Design Center in Albuquerque help!  Call us for a free design consultation!

Photo: Elena Elisseeva

Hardwoods: Pre-Finish or Finish on Site?

So, you’re finally installing the hardwood flooring of your dreams!  Once you’ve decided what species to install, what plank width you’d prefer, and any pattern you may want, it’s time to tackle the final question: pre-finish or finish on site?

Here at the Poulin Design Center, we’ve broken down some of the facts for each option:

Prefinished Hardwoods

Prefinished hardwood flooring will be quicker to install.  With the flooring materials arriving ready to go with the finish already there, it simply is a matter of getting the flooring in place.

Finishing a hardwood floor means that you’ll have some fumes in your home for a bit from the stain and finish used on the wood floor.  Prefinished hardwood floors have already gone through the entire finishing process in the factory, so they will not cause any odors in your home.

Hardwood Finished on Site

You’ll find with all real hardwood flooring that some irregularities exist. When you sand and finish the floors on site, you’re able to get an exact seal between floorboards and prevent any uneven edges from cropping up in your new floor!

If you’re looking for the most variety in color options, you may want to choose to have your hardwoods finished on site.  The stain and finish options are much more plentiful when you have the flooring finished in your home.  With pre-finished hardwood floors, you are limited to the stains and finishes the factory has already chosen.

Need more information on your new hardwood flooring?  Call the Poulin Design Center today and schedule a free consultation. We’ll show you flooring samples so you can see what would be best for your Albuquerque home!

Photo: Fabio Sacchi

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Founded 38 years ago by Tom Poulin CGR, Poulin Design Remodeling, Inc., has become a mainstay of Albuquerque home renovation.

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