Tag Archives: flooring

Product Showcases: Flooring

Product Showcases: Flooring

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Product Showcases: Flooring

by Rise Levy

ONE-STOP RENOVATION SHOP

Beyond Marble and Granite is committed to finding the ideal product to suit your budget and lifestyle. Their expertise and personalized approach ensures complete customer satisfaction. Offering a wide range of products from custom cabinetry to quartz and granite countertops to flooring, BMG also has a wide selection of mosaics and backsplashes, porcelain tile, flooring, faucets, sinks, and more.

BEYOND MARBLE & GRANITE
beyondmarbleandgranite.com

LARGE-FORMAT THIN PORCELAIN

Through innovative technology, the people at Factory Tile Depot are offering a selection of 6.5mm THIN porcelain material. With pieces ranging in size from 4′ x 4′ up to 5′ x 10′, this collection maintains the integrity and benefits of traditional porcelain tile while greatly broadening the application options.

FACTORY TILE DEPOT
factorytiledepot.ca

VERSATILE & AFFORDABLE

Using materials that truly stand the test of time, these floors are easily cleaned and are scuff-resistant, keeping the new-flooring look for years after its installation. One of the largest advantages of vinyl is it’s waterproof, unlike many other materials. Vinyl plank flooring is an increasingly popular option for the home because of its versatility, flexibility, affordability, and durability.

ALLAN RUG CO. CARPET AND FLOORING
allanrug.com

FASTER, THINNER FLOOR WARMING

Heating tiled floors increases the need for uncoupling to prevent cracked tiles and grout. Schluter-DITRA-HEAT provides both warmer floors and uncoupling in a single layer. Less installation time is needed and the floors are thinner so transitions to other floors are smooth and level. Wires can be placed exactly where needed.

SCHLUTER SYSTEMS
Schluter.com



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Dekton® by Cosentino

Dekton® by Cosentino

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Dekton® by Cosentino

Introducing Two New Marble-Inspired Colours, Opera and Natura 

TORONTO, ON. (November 1, 2017) – Cosentino, the global leader in the production and distribution of surfaces for the world of architecture and design, introduces two new striking colours for its ultra-compact surface brand, Dekton®.

The new additions join Dekton®’s existing Natural and XGloss Natural collections, offering a range of unique designs boasting excellent technical properties expected of the revolutionary ultra-compact surface brand. Created from a sophisticated blend of inorganic materials using an innovative ultra-compaction process, Dekton® has a high resistance to UV rays, scratches, stains and thermal shock. These benefits ensure its surfaces are durable and very easy to maintain, offering a wealth of possibilities for both internal and external projects, including flooring, façades, wall cladding and countertops.

OPERA:

Part of the Dekton Natural Collection, Opera is inspired by the current desire for marble interiors, taking inspiration from elegant Italian Carrara marble and boasting the extraordinary new soft touch finish from Dekton®, Velvet Texture. Simple, light grey veining adds depth and interest to the creamy white surface for a classic understated finish.

NATURA:

Part of the XGloss Naturals Collection, Natura replicates the style of marble with soft grey veining accentuating the classic white surface, offering a lustrous polished finish. With all the benefits of Dekton®’s technical characteristics, the colour’s reflective nature is due to the nano-technological treatment and mechanical polishing process it undergoes, resulting in a crystal-like shine.

Combined with the strength and stain resistance of Dekton®, the product provides exceptional performance paired with unique characteristics. This includes water repellent properties, ensuring an impressive resistance to stains. The nano-coating process and mechanical polishing also enhances Dekton®’s colour.

About Dekton® by Cosentino

The Dekton® by Cosentino ultra-compact surface is a new and innovative category of surfaces created with the objective of becoming a global leader in the world of architecture and design both for indoor and outdoor spaces.

Dekton® is a sophisticated mixture of the raw materials that is used to manufacture glass, porcelain materials and quartz surfaces. The Dekton® surface can recreate any type of material with a high level of quality. It is manufactured in large format (up to 126 in x 56 in) and thin thicknesses (0.8 cm, 1.2 cm and 2 cm). It as superior technical characteristics: resistance to UV rays, scratches, stains, thermal shock and very low water absorption.

All of these characteristics unique to Dekton® are present thanks to the technology used in its production, which has been developed exclusively by the Cosentino Group’s R&D department. Dekton® is manufactured with Technology of Sinterized Particles (TSP), an innovative ultra-compaction process. This contributes greatly to the fact that Dekton® is a completely revolutionary product; it is durable, very easy to maintain, and has potential for both indoor and outdoor uses including flooring, façades, wall cladding and countertops.

The prestigious architect and designer Daniel Libeskind used Dekton in the creation of “Beyond The Wall”, his only work in the Iberian Peninsula. Dekton® is sponsor of the “Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar”, where more than 430,000 sq. ft. of the product have been used in different areas such as the façades, flooring and other coverings.

Dekton XGloss has obtained Red Dot Award: Product Design 2016



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Hardwood-Flooring_fi

4 Main Options when Picking Flooring for Your Home

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4 Main Options when Picking Flooring for Your Home

New floors can considerably change the look, feel and value of your house, especially if you are dealing with old flooring or need to replace the carpet. The good news is that there are many sweeping trends you can pick from. This article looks at the four main options you will have when picking the right flooring for your home renovation project.

Hardwood

The most prestigious material is definitely the hardwood. Hardwood is usually made from solid lumber that is a natural insulator. It is mostly preferred because it can match with just any interior décor, it’s easy to clean and adds significant structural strength. Oak, maple, and cherry floors are the most popular materials in Canada due to their hardness, thus durability. Hardwood floor will attract and retain less dirt hence reducing molds and allergens from your home.

The problem with the hardwood floor is that it is not moisture resistant. You cannot afford to leave spills for too long because the will be absorbed by the wood. Individual boards may also expand or contract when exposed to varying humidity levels indoors. For the best performance, you will need to keep the indoor humidity at between 45% and 55% throughout the year.

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood is a much better alternative to a regular hardwood, although it is more expensive. These floors are made using the uppermost layer of dried hardwood and the lower layers are composed of solid wood, plywood or HDF. The pieces are pressure bonded.

The good thing about this option is that it is moisture resistant and more durable. You don’t need to keep a close eye on temperature and humidity levels when using this flooring. You also enjoy more flexibility during installation since there are many installation methods. The downside is engineered hardwood is costly.

Cork Flooring

Cork flooring has been very popular in Canada in 60’s and 70’ and up until 2000s was mostly used in commercial buildings. In the past few years Toronto homeowners have begun favoring cork flooring due to its unique retro-look and eco-friendly nature. Home gym, kitchen and kid’s room would benefit from cork floor’s shock-absorbent structure.

This flooring is made from cork oak tree and the tree itself doesn’t need to be cut to harvest the material. It is highly resistant to mold, mildew and bacteria which makes it a good option for people with allergies.

The downside is that cork scratches easily and it is not moisture-friendly. Most of professional contractors do not suggest using cork flooring in bathrooms, laundry area or basements.

Laminate Flooring

The forth option is laminate flooring. This one is gaining popularity mostly because it has longer life span and offers remarkable aesthetic effects; as well as several cost saving benefits. It is easy to install, clean and maintain.

One of the greatest laminate benefits is its versatility. Prints on laminate can simulate any desired pattern and color: from warm wood-like palette to modern grey stone or marble. And it will cost you much cheaper than actual marble floors.

Laminate floors are also a wise option if you are planning on installing in-floor heating. Nowadays homeowners in Toronto are including such floor-heating systems in their house renovation projects by default. First, it adds warmth and a comfort to any room. Second, it increases the house value overall making heated floors a rational investment.

Ceramic Flooring

Ceramic tiles are the best alternative to any other flooring if you need it to be waterproof or easy washable which makes them ideal option for bathrooms, kitchens or outdoor patios.

Ceramic floor is extremely durable and not so easy to crack when installed. Properly installed tiles can serve you for 20 years and even longer when properly taken care of. And even if one tile gets cracked it is pretty simple to remove it and replace with a new one.

In Toronto ceramic flooring would cost you between $1.50 to $6 per square foot depending on quality, tile size and pattern. This makes it moderately expensive option, but will long-term value to a property price.

Marble Flooring

Marble flooring is one of the most expensive, but durable and versatile type of floor. Most homeowners in Canada pay between 10$ to 20$ per square foot for professionally installed marble flooring.

Its luxury look and elegant texture can turn your house into a castle. Marble tiles come is various colors and sizes, easy to install and will last forever.

Another benefit of this floor compared to other soft flooring options is the fact that it’s easy to clean and hypoallergenic. It is also a perfect match for any floor-heating system, as a natural material marble stays warm longer after the heating system is turned off.

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Product Showcase: Flooring

Product Showcase: Flooring

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Product Showcase: Flooring

by Rise Levy

The Look of Hardwood

At X-Tile, get the look of hardwood with this glossy porcelain tile available in 8-inch x 46-inch format in three beautiful colours. X-Tile has three locations in Toronto and Mississauga and offers a wide range of ceramic, glass, metal, porcelain, natural stone and mosaic tiles. Open seven days a week.

X-TILE CANADA

X-Tile.net

Luxury Flooring

American Walnut flooring is making a comeback in luxury flooring. Both in solid and engineered formats, this beautiful hardwood — with natural variations from the light sapwood to the dark core — is impossible to ignore. M2 Flooring & Design Centre is your best source to explore this and other varieties of luxury hardwood flooring.

M2 FLOORING AND DESIGN CENTRE

MSquaredDesign.ca

Delivering Flooring Excellence

With 94 years of innovative crafting and delivering flooring excellence, Satin Flooring, formerly known as Satin Finish, captures the endless possibilities of what beautiful, quality flooring can be, offering an extensive selection of premium Solid, Engineered and Laminate floor products. They are a proud Canadian company committed to providing you with high quality and stylish flooring you can trust.

SATIN FLOORING

SatinFlooring.com

Condo Balcony Flooring

KANDY Outdoor Flooring expands home experiences by providing outdoor flooring for condo balconies, and common areas on multi-unit residential buildings. The unique value provided to its clients consists of service, quality and choice. KANDY manufactures its own uniquely designed and proprietary products right here in Canada. Visit the website today or call for your free, no obligation in-home consultation.

KANDY OUTDOOR FLOORING

KandyOutdoorFlooring.com


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Design: Flooring Inspiration: Design Underfoot

Design: Flooring Inspiration: Design Underfoot

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Design: Flooring Inspiration: Design Underfoot

by Linda Mazur

The season is once again upon us as many of us are feverishly exploring design magazines for inspiration and direction for our next renovation.

As small-space dwellers we have resolved that our renovation options sometimes differ a little because we live in a condo. however not wanting to compromise, we still aim to create a magazine- worthy look in our home. When designing a space many of us look for inspiration in fabrics and colours, why not look down and get inspired by your flooring! It may be a bit unconventional to imagine that flooring could in fact be the root of the design for your room, but with today’s flooring options it’s definitely a possibility.

Whether you reside in a modern new build or a charming vintage walk-up, I think we can agree that when it comes time to renovate, inspiring flooring options that meet condo restrictions can sometimes be sparse. Recently though, we have been seeing a surge in beautiful new luxury vinyl, vinyl composite core and laminate flooring options that are definitely on trend and set to inspire our design creativity.

Laminates have been around for quite awhile and are a hard surface flooring manufactured using material like medium or high density fibreboard which forms the core. Luxury vinyl is a soft surface flooring product that is flexible. It comes in a variety of installation options providing a great look and comfort too. One of my go-to suppliers of high-end luxury vinyl, Evoke, provides many fantastic options that have the look of wood, stone or other natural material. Vinyl composite core is a newcomer to the manufactured flooring world. This flooring combines the best features of laminate and luxury vinyl. The floor boards are rigid planks that click together like laminate, but are constructed from a water-resistant vinyl composite material that gives them the flexibility of vinyl flooring that can be installed anywhere.

So, the question remains, how can flooring be inspirational? Envision a great distressed floor in a weathered shade of brown with accents of ashen greys, reminiscent of aged vintage flooring found in an old Parisian apartment. Add some wonderful custom millwork, beautiful plaster moulding ceiling detail and a charming old chandelier. Play off this vintage look by adding a simple tailored sofa, Scandinavian inspired chairs, perhaps a rustic coffee table and some great pops of colour with accessories, topping it off with beautiful soft billowy linen sheer drapes; creating for yourself an elevated yet relaxed living space all inspired by our distressed looking flooring.

Evoke - EvokeFlooring.com
Evoke – EvokeFlooring.com

But let’s not stop there, this same flooring has many lives and looks to offer us. This same flooring can inspire a typical urban kitchen to have a more relaxed, country-chic feel. When blended with warm mixed metals, a mix of soft grey and wood toned cabinetry and a vintage looking quartz countertop you are on the way to creating for yourself a great kitchen space to enjoy with family and friends.

Inspiration can be found in many different ways. This year is all about colour, texture and pattern, all key elements of good design. Instead of starting your next renovation with a paint colour, fabric or cabinetry, try something a bit different and look to see what’s underfoot…you may be surprised with what you find!

Linda Mazur is a nationally publicized designer and Principal of Linda Mazur Design Group.

With almost two decades of experience this in demand multi-disciplinary design firm is known for creating relaxed stylish spaces and full-scale design builds within Toronto, the GTA and throughout Canada.

LindaMazurDesign.com

@LindaMazurGroup


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Universal Design

Universal Design

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Universal Design

by Samantha Sannella

As our population ages and diversifies, demand on design professionals is growing. The following is an abbreviated checklist for applying Universal Design concepts to your solutions.

Lighting and Electricity

As we age, we need approximately 30% more light to see clearly. Provide an increased number of electrical outlets for extra lighting — especially in bedrooms. Mount electrical outlets at 18″ AFF and switches 48″ AFF. At bedside tables, mount outlets at nightstand height. Consider sourcing lighting that uses the same type of light bulb — ideally an LED one to minimize changing them.

In addition to good quality general lighting in the kitchen, under cabinet task lighting is very important.

Flooring

I cannot overstate the importance of non-slip flooring. While we all love a polished marble entry, an Ontario winter with muddy boots can cause a slip and fall accident. The bathroom is a frequent site of injuries; consequently non-slip flooring is important here as well. Mosiacs can work well in this situation. Between rooms, minimize the threshold as much as possible. Thresholds are difficult to navigate for persons in wheelchairs and with limited mobility. Moreover, carpet can be difficult for wheelchairs and area rugs must be secured thoroughly as they present a trip hazard.

Kitchens

When designing kitchens, ensure that appliances are easily operable and intuitive. Too many options can create problems! Easy to read controls are a must. Make sure that a high level of contrast is provided. Controls should also be glare free. Ergonomic controls that are easy to operate without hand strength are a must.

Induction cooktops are great. They only work via the magnetic connection between the cooktop and pot so when the pot is removed, the heat goes off. A ‘lock-out’ feature is a good addition that prevents children from accidentally turning the appliances on. When sourcing an oven, ensure that the racks are easy to remove and clean. Fail-safe features, such as automatic shut off, is great for cooktops, ovens and other appliances that can overheat.

Appliances that beep and or flash when on or opened are good for all of us, but especially the aged or those with children.

Ovens present a big problem for people without strength. I highly recommend a wall mounted oven rather than a range, as it is easier to control the height and hence, the lift strength needed to place and remove food. As well, a microwave with easy access to a shelf nearby is a good solution. Kitchen cabinets with knee space under sink or cooktop is a great idea. Additionally, an area where food preparation can be performed from a seated position is desirable.

Bottom mounted or side-by-side freezers are a better solution that the top mounted freezer, however, an ideal solution would be a separate fridge and freezer (both full width and height).

Dishwashers with top of door controls are an issue for people with limited visibility. They look great, but can be very difficult to read. When sourcing dishwashers, low decibel dishwashers are good for people with hearing impairments as background noises interfere with hearing aids.

Storage

Bar type pulls are much easier for persons with limited strength and touch-latch opening mechanisms are great options for everyone. It’s a good idea to offer a variety of storage options that are easily accessible. Shelves that roll out and drawers that are easy to pull are good options for all of us. No one really wants to get down on their knees to rummage through kitchen cabinets! For those pesky corners, Magic Corners that pull out and make use of all the space are truly a wonderful invention. There are many new and useful storage options available, included mechanized inserts that lower and raise shelves for upper cabinetry.

Washrooms

The best option for showers is curb-less with sliding doors. Swing doors are harder to maneuver around for the elderly or disabled people. It is always good to provide a vanity cabinet with knee space underneath. Suggest to your contractor to broadly applied blocking around inside walls, toilets, tubs and showers for grab bar installation. There are many new grab bars on the market that don’t look institutional.

Offset shower controls to avoid burning, bending, reaching and stretching. Under the showerhead is not ideal, as hot or cold water may shock the person. As always, anti-scald shower devices on plumbing fixtures are desirable.

Lever faucets in the kitchen and bath are a must. People with limited hand strength (this includes children) find circular dial type handles very difficult.

When renovating, it is common sense to put shut off valves at W/D, sinks and toilets; however, I still encounter many homes that don’t have them. This is a MUST! Relatively new on the North American market are toilet/bidet combination units or toilets that can include a washlet. I highly recommend these, as they make life much easier for people with limited mobility, broken limbs, aging population, illness, etc. And, as always, a 17″ or comfort height toilet is recommended. Especially useful is a wall-mounted toilet, as these make cleaning the floor a breeze.

Laundry Rooms

When planning laundry rooms, front loading machines with front mounted controls are preferred. Pedestal bases are preferable to raise the height. A nearby area for folding clothes and managing laundry is desirable, as is a place to hang-dry clothes.

Using Common Sense

Ease of Use, Size and Space for Approach of Use, Flexibility, Simple and Intuitive are established principles of Universal Design. However, a good dose of common sense will go a long way. Does it work for a child? Aging person? Would it work if you were pregnant? Or had a broken arm? When planning a renovation or new construction, ask yourself about the phases of your life and think forward to what you might require.

SAMANTHA SANNELLA, BFA ID, M ARCH, is a designer, educator and principal at Urban Retreat Homes and an internationally renowned expert in the field of design and architecture. She is a columnist for RENO&DECOR magazine and editor of the Ontario Design Trade Sourcebook.

urbanretreathomes.com


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Mirage casts spotlight on new colours for 2017

Mirage casts spotlight on new colours for 2017

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Mirage casts spotlight on new colours for 2017

Mirage, the hardwood flooring brand renowned for quality, is once again launching new and exciting floors this year, expanding its product lineup to meet ever-more-stringent quality and design requirements.

Mirage gives you the authenticity of wood at its best, breaking fresh ground once again with its new board lengths up to 82 inches. The new lengths make any room in the house look bigger, and because fewer boards are needed to cover a given area, fewer joints are visible, yielding a spectacular, even look. The new lengths represent an average increase of 25 per cent on Mirage Engineered 5-inch (127 mm) and 6-1/2-inch (165 mm) widths.

Mirage has added two new colours, Gelato and Peppermint, to its Sweet Memories Collection, which hearkens back to the charm and authenticity of old-fashioned floors thanks to Mirage’s exclusive brushing and staining processes.

Gelato is a beige-gray that imparts a distinctive, luxurious look ideal for minimalist modern decors.

Peppermint is a pure ash gray that brings a touch of minerality into any home. It’s a fashionable addition that’s sure to be embraced for its timeless, classic style.

Gelato and Peppermint are offered on Maple Character in Classic technology in 3-1/4-inch and 4-1/4-inch widths, in Engineered technology in 5-, 6-1/2- and 7-3/4-inch widths and in Lock technology in 4-5/16-inch width. They are also available on Yellow Birch Character in Classic technology in 4-1/4-inch width with and Cashmere finish.

Red Oak Character in Nightfall
Red Oak Character in Nightfall

The Flair Collection gets a new colour: the rustic chic look of ultra matte Nightfall, which creates a timeless look, exuding rich yet classic beauty. Velvety brown tones with golden highlights make this floor amazingly versatile. It will endure for years without losing its original charm.

It now joins Flair — a luxurious collection of character-rich floors featuring the natural look of oiled flooring without the maintenance hassles, thanks to its ultra matte, highly resistant DuraMatt finish.

Nightfall is available on Maple Character and Red Oak Character in Classic technology in 4- 1/4-inch width and in Engineered technology in 5-, 6-1/2- and 7-3/4-inch widths with DuraMatt finish.

New Cape Cod colour joins Mirage’s Admiration Collection. The creamy beige tone captures the Scandinavian look that lets all the beauty of wood shine through. It evokes the very best in seaside living.

Cape Cod is available on Maple and Red Oak in Classic technology in 3-1/4- and 4-1/4-inch widths, in Engineered technology in 3-5/16-, 5- and 6-1/2-inch widths and in Lock technology in 4-5/16-inch width. It is also available on Yellow Birch in Classic technology in 4-1/4-inch width and in Engineered technology in 3-5/16-inch width. All come in semi-gloss and Cashmere finish.

Driftwood, a new textured colour in the Imagine Collection, a refined and highly nuanced gray that will add structure and character to any decor. With its cork look and textured surface, this new colour is perfect for modern, streamlined interiors.

The Imagine Collection is designed for active families and pet owners with a textured surface to help hide the marks and scuffs of daily life.

Maple Character in Peppermint
Maple Character in Peppermint

The new Driftwood is available on Maple Character and Red Oak Character in Classic technology in 3-1/4-inch and 4-1/4-inch widths and in Engineered technology in 5-, 6-1/2-and 7-3/4-inch widths with DuraMatt finish.

“Consumers and design professionals will find our new products for 2017 just as irresistible as last year’s,” said Brad Williams, VP of sales and marketing at Boa-Franc, manufacturer of the Mirage brand. “Our exclusive, rich colours and longer boards for larger-than-life interiors give you wood at its very best. And with the superior quality Mirage floors are known for-what more could you ask for?”

Mirage prefinished hardwood floors, designed and manufactured by Boa-Franc in Saint-Georges, Quebec, are synonymous with superior quality, beauty, and durability and guarantee product consistency, added value, and lifelong good looks. Mirage epitomizes attention to detail and the desire to create a product in perfect harmony with its environment. For more than 30 years, Mirage has been committed to operating in an environmentally responsible manner in order to ensure sustainable development for current and future generations.

http://www.miragefloors.com/ENG/


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Big Style, Small Space

Big Style, Small Space: Look Down for the space your growing family needs

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Big Style, Small Space: Look Down for the space your growing family needs

by Lisa Rogers

With rising house prices — and the associated closing costs — more people are opting to stay put and create the space they need inside their current home.

One logical place to expand your living space is the basement. Think about it; it’s existing real estate with walls, a floor and plumbing. Even when you spend money to increase light and warmth, it’s still cheaper than an addition.

First step is to think about what the space will be used for. Media room? Home office? Craft centre? Playroom for young children? Teenager hangout? Bedroom for a nanny, in-law, teenager, or occasional guests? The answer will help determine what needs to be done and whether it justifies the extra expense.

Although basements are extra space, they come with challenges, such as low light, colder temperatures and the potential for dampness, so I recommend you get a professional to walk through with you to determine how to address those issues. The main things to cover are moisture, flooring, lighting, extra plumbing for a bathroom, whether the heating and cooling can be diverted into the space and various building code requirements.

In new homes, this isn’t an issue since most are built with basement use in mind. But the low-ceilinged basements in older homes were never meant to be inhabited and may require digging down for sufficient height. They also don’t have a lot of light, but if you’re going for a full-scale reno, it might be worthwhile to incorporate window wells, or to enlarge existing windows. Adding a walk-out to the backyard will dramatically increase the light. It’s also a good time to increase insulation and to improve access to the lower level; the typical narrow stairs are a real deterrent to heading down there.

If your basement is already finished (walls, plumbing, electrical) you’re probably just looking at an update and there is so much you can do, fairly easily, to make a dramatic transformation. The three areas that give the most bang for buck are flooring, lighting and storage.

FLOORING

As much as I love hardwood, it’s not always practical in a basement because of moisture potential. But there are some very good quality laminates and engineered hardwoods that are both durable and water-resistant. To keep things cozy, put down area carpets, which can be switched out when your style tastes change. You could install broadloom, which is warm but does run the risk of mildew because of the basement’s higher humidity level.

If you’re going for a complete renovation, consider installing a thin rubber membrane on top of the concrete slab which prevents moisture seeping in and acts like a barrier between the slab and sub floor.

The one splurge I highly recommend is radiant flooring – it warms the floor while reducing utility bills because warm feet make for warm bodies.

LIGHTING

Recessed lighting was made for basements – they don’t hang below the ceiling line and the light is bright, especially if you use LED bulbs. Just like your main floor, add floor or table lamps for a homey atmosphere and to increase task light for things like reading.

STORAGE

When you’re planning a renovation, use some budget for built-ins, especially if you are planning on an audio-visual media centre. A combination of closed and open storage works well in this area and makes it easy to put games and toys away.

For storing tools, paint and seasonal decorations or sporting equipment, steel or wood shelving systems work best. And if you can tuck them away out of sight of the main living space, so much the better. This is where the area under the stairs comes in handy.

Use stacking plastic bins for storage — just make sure to label the contents so you know where to find stuff when you need it.

If you have some space in the utility room, invest in shelving systems on wheels so you can move them out of the way when you need access to the furnace.

Cubbies are really flexible and easy to build. Line them up floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall. If you’re feeling really creative, attach to the wall in artistically arranged rows. They’re also ideal to fill those awkward spaces, like under the stairs.

Cupboard systems that go right to the ceiling work well and allow you to create zones with like things gathered together — all the holiday decorations, sports equipment, camping stuff and tools.

Some things, such as papers, books, photographs and family ephemera, are probably located elsewhere away from potential moisture.

UPDATING

If everything is in good shape and all you need is a cosmetic fix, here are a few ideas that will transform it into a destination, especially in winter months:

  • Go light, bright and bold with the paint. Even if it doesn’t go with the rest of your home’s style, this is where you can make a radical, fun departure. Deep tones will serve to cocoon the space, but given that most basements lack light, the better choice is to go very light with creams, greys or beiges.
  • Go to town with artwork — the bigger the better. Put down a kilim carpet on whatever floor you have installed — they look great layered on top of broadloom — and make the space homier.
  • Use mirrors to bounce around the light you have. Frame small windows with wide curtain rods and full drapery to give the illusion of a big expanse of glass.
  • Switch up your lights for LEDs, which are much brighter, and last longer. Update the bathroom accessories. Add new pillows to the sofa. Change the bedding in the guest room.
  • If you have outside access, like a walk-out, or you’re in a townhome where the lower level accommodates the garage as well, turn part of the area into a mudroom. A rolling clothes rack is ideal for holding coats and jackets.
Lisa Rogers is the exclusive interior designer for Dunpar Homes (DunparHomes.com).

Lisa has shared her style and design expertise on popular television programs, such as Canadian Living TV, House & Home TV and The Shopping Channel.

Lisa is one of the most familiar faces on CityTV’s Cityline as a regular guest expert for fashion and image, health and wellness and interior design.


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flooring101_as16_ban

Flooring 101 – Aug/Sep2016

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Flooring 101 – Aug/Sep2016

Photography: Courtesy of Ciot

In a vast world of choices, know where to spend and where to save on flooring

One of the single largest design elements, and expenses in your home, will be the flooring. It’s no wonder it is also one of the most difficult for homeowners to resolve. I find the problem isn’t for a lack of options, but rather how many seemingly identical options there are available.

Combine the near-daily addition of new products with the sound bites embedded in our subconscious by our grandfathers noting that nothing is better than a good solid oak floor. Respectfully granddad, you’re no longer correct.

Here’s a quick overview of today’s top options and how to use and combine them to get the greatest impact for your budget.

“There’s never been a better time to make the investment in new floors.”

WOOD

Once the top choice for quality and longevity, solid-wood floors are now quickly being eliminated from the market. Made from approximately ¾-inch solid thickness of high-grade woods both above and below, from the substrate to the finished layers, they waste precious natural resources. Our Canadian climate inherently sees extreme fluctuations in temperature and humidity levels, which also presents big problems, causing gapping and buckling depending on the season. In short, don’t use solid wood if you can avoid it.

Engineered wood is a layer of real wood where the thickness varies depending on the quality. It is adhered to a substrate of multiple layers of alternating directions of wood, much like plywood. This means a far more stable product, which also allows more design freedom with wider plank sizes and lengths.

Where: Opt for engineered wood in above-grade floors, over in-floor heating systems and, if the budget allows, even in basements.

LAMINATE

No longer a dirty word, laminate quality has improved along with printing and production technology in general. Current offerings are near identical facsimiles of the real deal. Better companies offer five or more varied plank styles per box, which creates a very random and natural installation. It’s also extremely hardwearing and über affordable starting at around $2 per square foot.

Where: Perfect for playrooms, and basements and over in-floor heating systems. I like to match a laminate to my engineered wood and substitute the lesser-cost product and use laminate in the basement. Guests will never suspect the change but the cost savings translates to big bucks.

LUXURY VINYL

Laminate’s fancy new cousin, this vinyl product offers all the benefits of laminate with the bonus of also being water-resistant and some are even deemed water-proof. Look for options with a base layer of cork and glue-free click systems that are simply held in place with their own weighted design.

Where: Playrooms, basements and even light, commercial projects. The malleable nature of the vinyl also allows for some forgiveness on unlevelled subfloors.

PORCELAIN TILE & SLAB

Much like the printing process on laminate and vinyl, porcelain floors can now be created to emulate virtually any material. Designers have been singing their praises for years. There is nothing quite like the soft organic nature of marble to elevate a design, however, natural stone is also porous, which means more maintenance and limitations in use, such as wet and high-traffic areas where staining may occur. Opt instead for better-quality porcelain like Maxime from CIOT, which is available in everything from mosaics to oversized slabs for a truly seamless look.

Where: Washroom floors, counters and walls and over in-floor heating systems.

There’s never been a better time to make the investment in new floors. By combining beautiful engineered plank floors with a hardwearing laminating or vinyl, and finishing it off with luxury porcelain, your investment will pay off in durability, looks and value.

Toronto-based designer and contractor Melissa Davis is known for her appearances, creative design and reno work produced for various HGTV shows. Her work has also been profiled nationally in print publications. With almost two decades of reno and design experience her firm continues to service clientele throughout Ontario & GTA, specializing in value-adding ROI and resale consultations.

melissadavis.com

@melissadavis

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