Saturday, April 26, 2008

Flooring and FLOR

Remodeling of an existing home means there is going to be some mixing and matching and patching. This certainly holds true for the flooring in our project. The majority of the house will have hard surface flooring. The main floor will be refinished hardwood flooring with existing oak hardwood used in the entry, pantry, and new FSC certified oak hardwood at the kitchen. The mudroom has existing maple floors and Kevin’s office has existing fir floors. The dining and living room will be new polished and sealed concrete.

The upper floor is a bit of a challenge, as the existing walls are all gone and none of the new spaces align well with the previous flooring outlines and uses. This meant that spaces like the bedrooms and corridor have only partial existing oak hardwood. We decided to consolidate the existing oak hardwood by salvaging it and using the hardwood flooring from the kids’ bedrooms to piece in and complete the flooring in the corridor. We were told it would be less expensive to just rip out all the wood and start over with new, than it would be to piece in existing wood. But we feel it’s important to reuse the wood from the existing floor, so we'll pay a little more to do so.
We decided to go with carpet in the 2 kid’s bedrooms, rather than hardwood or cork. The use of carpet is a hotly debated topic these days. There is the camp that says that carpet is a source of mold, dust mites, and other critters that are horrible for your health. The other side has evidence supported by the Carpet and Rug Institute (not exactly unbiased) that claim that carpet actually traps allergens that can be removed by vacuuming, thus increasing air quality. If someone in our family suffered from asthma, we might have a different opinion- but we don’t have a problem using a limited amount of carpet. Because we'd likely use area rugs in a hard-floored room anyway, we don’t think a fully carpeted room makes much difference when it comes to air quality.

FLOR is a modular carpet system made by Interface. The modular carpet system idea is certainly not new. As a child, I remember quite a few basements with carpet sample squares as the flooring in the rec rooms. FLOR carpet is that same concept, as it’s a do-it-yourself system that allows you to change and rearrange the tiles. I love the idea of being able to change out just one or 2 tiles if there is a stain, rather than recarpeting the whole room.

Interface is a very progressive carpet company that pledges to eliminate any negative impact they may have on the environment by 2020. They are leaders in industrial ecology, with the goal to be a restorative industry. They have continued to be very successful and are a great example of how a company can be sustainable and profitable at the same time.

FLOR comes in both residential and commericial grade. FLOR carpets for residential use come in a variety patterns, colors and prices. The tiles are 19.7” x 19.7” and range in price from about $7/tile to $25/tile. There are loads of styles from which to choose and I would highly suggest seeing actual samples before ordering, as the tiles range from soft/cushy to rather hard/scratchy. It’s impossible to tell from a picture in a catalog or on the web what exactly the carpet will feel like. The tiles have varying amounts of recycled content, wool, or corn- but all FLOR products meet the Carpet and Rug Institute’s (CRI) Green Label Plus standards for VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emissions, are formaldehyde‐free and contain anti‐microbials that inhibit the growth of bacteria and mold.
This is Toy Poodle, color LaLa Lime. We will use this along with 3 other colors in Mazzy's bedroom. She is excited about designing the pattern.

FLOR is also completely recyclable. You can just call up Interface and they will arrange to pay for shipping costs to send the FLOR tiles back to them at the end of their useful life.

The FLOR website has a great tool to design your own floor or rug. You define the size and then you can place the color/style tile as you wish. After you have designed the floor, it will give you a breakdown of the types and price. Only negative thing is that there is no way to save your pattern.
We will use Straight & Narrow tiles in 3 colors in the boys' room. Declan says he likes everything I design, so he trusts me to figure out the pattern. I think he's trying to score a few points with me......

We ordered our FLOR tiles from Natural Built Home. They offer 10% off and we were able to make the deadline to get free shipping (another 13% savings). This even beat the 20% trade discount that we could have gotten by buying directly from FLOR (available to design professionals only). Stay tuned to see if this product can actually install as easily as they say!


casacaudill said...

FLOR tiles are incredibly easy to install. I hope you have a great vacuum with a lot of suction though because we've found that our old model has a hard time really getting all the dust and pet hair off the rug. Also, we had to wash ours due to a misbehaving pet and now they are emitting an interesting odor. Makes me wonder ... All in all though, we've really liked our experience with FLOR.

Kevin & Roxanne said...

Thanks for the message on your experience with FLOR. We do have a Dyson vacuum and no pets (but if our children have their way, that will change soon). We're going to order extra tiles for replacement- but it's a good point that you make about washing. The tiles are small enough to take up and rinse off/wash in a laundry tub. It's a great advantage over broadloom carpet!

lisa said...

I love our Flor tiles. We actually have been able to keep them cat hair-free with the vacuum. We rearrange them pretty frequently. We just browsed the "E-Catalog" at, and shopped that way, by "ClikPages". Very Cool!

Stephanie said...

I just discovered your great blog and had to add a comment regarding the Flor tiles! We have 4 kids (age 5-14) and 3 dogs. We've used Flor since they started selling the tiles. We have them wall to wall in the kids playroom and my husbands office, as a large rug in our living room and a nook off the lr and in the kids bedrooms as rugs. We have had to pick up and wash various tiles pretty frequently and that has been a life saver! They clean up great and we've never had any odor issues. I can not praise the Flor design enough. By the way, the textured tiles like toy poodle and 'lines' are very easy to keep clean with a vacuum. The trouble with keeping lint and fur off is really only with the velvety smooth/deep pile tiles. The great thing about Flor is, you can replace tiles that don't work for you (in color or texture) as time goes by with very little cost.

Kevin & Roxanne said...

Lisa and Stephanie-
Thanks for your comments on FLOR. We were hoping to install ours this weekend, but it looks like it will be next weekend for installation. We're also considering ordering more FLOR tiles to create our living room rug. It seems like a great option. I'm looking for an orange rug and the only one I've found so far is a mere $5200- not an option for us! I'm just waiting for our samples from FLOR to decide.

Trægulve said...

I like your floor it looks so nice. And thanks for this very excellent and so nice posting.