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How to Select the Best Flooring For Your Home Workout Room

The decision to install a home gym can be life-changing in any number of ways, but it also involves a lot of decision-making. The physical location of your personal workout space will influence its actual square footage as well as the floor plan, layout, and specific finishing materials. Basement gyms, for instance, might accommodate heavier fitness equipment, but can also present a logistical challenge for installing large equipment. A yoga studio, on the other hand, might occupy only a sliver of space in a seldom-used second-floor guest room.

In addition to basic decisions about space and use, you will want to consider privacy, convenience and finishing materials.

One of the primary considerations for any gym is the flooring type that will best suit your needs. Fitness flooring varies, and your decision must suit not only your particular needs but also your room décor or design style and your budget.

No matter what your exercise preferences might be — from Zumba to incline walkers or rowing machines, some common flooring choices are carpet, foam, vinyl, and rubber. Here’s how to evaluate the pros and cons of each:

Carpet

Carpet tiles are used in both commercial fitness facilities and home gyms. Commercial grade, low-pile carpet is soft, resilient and comfortable underfoot, all pluses for a workout room. Carpet absorbs some sound and is as suitable for yoga and karate routines as it is for exercise machines. Carpet provides a non-slip surface and offers some insulation against cold or extreme heat. Carpet tiles, which are easy to install, may also be easily replaced if they become damaged or stained.

Overall, carpet is durable, versatile, cost-efficient, child-friendly and easy to care for. It is available in a wide range of colors, and individual carpet tiles can be mixed to create a custom design or to designate specific exercise zones.

On the minus side, however, carpet is not water resistant. It is subject to mold and mildew if used in a damp area, and can harbor pests and insects. Carpet also is more difficult to clean than other flooring types. Wall-to-wall carpet may stretch over time, unless it is a glue-down variety, and may require professional re-stretching.

Foam

Foam is a popular and playful choice for family-oriented exercise. Available in bright colors and sometimes sold as interlocking “puzzle pieces,” foam is comfortable, cushioning and extremely lightweight. A foam pad, or blanket, is a highly functional and economical alternative in a part-time workout room. Because foam is so flexible and absorbs the impact of physical activity, it is a good choice for a stationary bicycle, a lightweight rowing machine or for strenuous movement, including jogging in place or punching bag workouts.

It is soft and resilient for floor stretches, and for all age groups. In addition, foam allows the greatest creative flexibility for color and pattern.

The only reported downside to foam is that it is not usually considered the best option for extremely heavy exercise equipment. If your gym will have weight benches, elliptical machines, or heavy treadmills, another type of floor might be more durable.

Vinyl

Modern vinyl is as functional for a workout room as it is for a utility room or child’s bathroom: It’s easy to clean, resists mold and mildew, will withstand heavy use and some abuse. This category of resilient flooring comes in an array of products including planks, sheets, and tiles and allows extensive customization through color and pattern. Vinyl is flexible, easy to install with minimum preparation, and can be used directly over a slab, as well as over sub-flooring or an older wood floor.

High-quality vinyl will be durable, while low-quality material will be susceptible to rips and tears. Unfortunately, vinyl flooring cannot be refinished, so when it is damaged it needs to be removed and replaced. This is easier in a tile and plank installation than with sheet materials.

Vinyl flooring is also offered in three different types of wear surfaces, offering a full range of protection against scuffs and stains—from entry-level (Vinyl No-Wax) to Urethane and Enhanced Urethane, which offers the most protection.

Finally, a vinyl floor is only minimally shock resistant. Over concrete, as in a garage or basement, it will still be hard, and perhaps cold during the winter.

Rubber

A fourth popular option for a home gym is rubber flooring, with all the best qualities of a flexible and easy-to-care-for floor and few of the disadvantages. It is available in rolls or tiles, is comfortable, shock resistant, durable and easy to keep clean. While economical color options are limited, it is extremely practical. If used as area matting or a temporary surface, it can be moved and stored easily. Rubber does not absorb odors, is anti-microbial, and will not be damaged by water.

However, like vinyl, rubber has little insulating quality and will be colder in the winter than carpet or foam.

When you’re ready to move forward with your plans for a home workout space, Riverside Construction stands ready to help you decide which type of gym flooring will best suit you. Contact our team at your convenience for additional information.

Popular Kitchen Appliance Trends for 2019

Not only are modern kitchens more attractive and more functional than their older counterparts, but the possibilities for personalization are almost limitless. Convenience and design combine to make a new kitchen remodeling project an adventure in individual expression. No matter how you plan to enhance the heart of your home, you’ll want to investigate exciting new appliance options before finalizing your plans.

Appliance innovations have made cooking, cleanup, and food storage easier and more stylish than ever before. The kitchen of your future will be nothing like your grandmother’s kitchen. Instead, it is likely to be a model of efficiency and high-tech design—and they generally fall into these three categories:

Technology and Smart Options

Photo courtesy of B2B News Network

State-of-the-art technology has made possible new options that range from touch controls and smartphone integration to alternative cooking methods. Talk to your appliances or control them via a smartphone from across the room or across town, or choose to let your appliances communicate wirelessly with one another. Home assistants like Alexa or Google Home are a welcome addition to a kitchen as well.

Connection Is Key: Bluetooth sync-ability between appliances has recently been introduced by GE. Your new oven can communicate with your microwave; a washer might “talk” to its partner dryer, and a dishwasher will interact with the power company to ensure low-rate usage times. You don’t even have to be there for it to happen. Why is this important? These connected appliances can respond to signals from your energy provider to avoid using energy during times of peak demand (when rates are higher) and ultimately save you money on your home energy bill.

Finger Touch and Swipe: Say goodbye to clunky knobs and pushbuttons. Adjust settings on your future refrigerator or cooktop in much the same way you use a touch-screen tablet; soon, a whole host of major appliances will boast touch and swipe control pads.

Appliance Design and Placement

Photo Courtesy of Arizona Wholesale Supply

Options include under-counter, fully integrated into surrounding cabinetry, or built-in placement that emphasizes sleek lines and seamless appearances. There are numerous ways to personalize your appliance — including color, material, and design.

Column Refrigeration: They’ve been around for some time now, but slim refrigerator and freezer columns are hot in kitchen design circles for 2019. The separation allows placement for maximum convenience, or to save kitchen floor space by locating a freezer unit out of the central workspace. Tall wine coolers and dedicated beverage refrigerators are also extremely popular with owners who entertain frequently.

Appliance Drawers: Installed under the counter, in an island, peninsula, or at any convenient point in the layout, small-size refrigerator and freezer drawers, as well as drawer-style dishwashers and alternative ovens or warming drawers, are the wave of the future! They are often supplementary appliances in large kitchens but also function well for primary use in a small kitchen. Placed near a central point of use, such as a bar or prep counter; they are easy to reach and accessible by residents with mobility issues.

Contemporary Built-Ins: Sleek, modern ovens look seamless when installed flush into a wall of cabinets; the blend of style and function is smart and practical. Other popular built-in choices include coffee-makers, espresso machine, and toaster ovens.

Alternatives and Specialties

Some of our favorite specialty appliance offerings for 2019 include:

  • Double door ovens
  • Induction cooktops
  • Steam and radiant-light ovens
  • Variable temperature refrigeration
  • Indoor grills and pizza ovens
  • Glass door refrigerators
  • Retro appliances

If you’re considering a home remodel, make sure to take full advantage of all of the fantastic appliances available as you develop your design plan.

Whatever your preferences, the team at Riverside Construction is equipped to help you with forward-thinking advice, spatial planning and kitchen remodeling ideas. Need some kitchen design inspiration? Visit our Kitchen Design Portfolio. Or for more insider tips and remodeling education, make sure to sign up to receive our monthly newsletter, or sign up to attend our popular home remodeling seminars.

 

Other Articles You May Like:

6 Revealing Questions to Ask Before Remodeling Your Kitchen

11 Kitchen Remodeling Ideas to Add Long-Term Function and Value to Your Home

Kitchen Remodels: 3 Budgets, 3 Kitchens

Five Home Renovation Projects Perfect for Summer

While summer is the unofficial time for vacations and BBQ’s, it is also a popular time for home remodeling projects. The warmer drier weather makes it ideal to make changes to your home both inside and out. With that in mind, here are five home renovation ideas that are fit for summer.

Refresh or Remodel Your Bathroom

Your bathroom can be a refuge from a stressful day at work, and you’ll find it easier to relax when the bathroom works for you both functionally and aesthetically.

Consider who is going to use the bathroom the most before you start your remodel. For example, if your children mostly use it, you’ll likely want to keep the bathtub instead of switching to a shower. If this is a bathroom used more by guests, you may consider making this room as luxurious as what they’d find when staying in a hotel. If you have an older bathroom, upgrade the shower head and faucets with water-efficient plumbing fixtures to conserve water while improving the look.

Other popular upgrades include heated flooring, a new vanity or sink and extra storage in the form of shelves or additional cabinets. Room for extra towels and other amenities is an especially good idea when remodeling a bathroom with guests in mind. Changing out the tile and painting the walls is a great way to breathe new life into a tired and dated bathroom.

It’s always a good idea to consult with a professional to develop a design plan to help you tie the whole look together.

Give a Room New Purpose

Vigo West Lafayette Craft Room Remodel

Perhaps there is a room in your home that you barely use. It could be repurposed into a much-needed home office or a guest room. If a child has moved out of the house, now could be the perfect time to build yourself a media room outfitted with the latest technology, or an inspirational arts and crafts space.

Do you have an unused room in the basement? Transform it into a fun rumpus room for your kids and their friends to play in. Some homeowners are content to turn an old bedroom into a woman cave or man cave when there is no real need for a home office. Depending on your interests, you might want to turn an unused room into a home recording studio for budding musicians or even a meditation room or home gym.

Install a Sunroom or a Screened Porch

Wouldn’t you like to take advantage of the beautiful weather this summer by spending some time in a space that’s a mixture of outdoors and indoors? You can make this happen by installing a screened porch or adding a sunroom to your home this summer. Make sure to work with a design professional to determine the visual details as well as the construction approach, which could involve glass walls or a traditional framing method.

If you just want to upgrade your patio, enclosing it gives you an ideal place to sit and soak in the view, from bird watching to socializing, all year long.

Change Your Home’s Siding

The siding that shields your house from harsh elements must be inspected regularly for any needed maintenance or repairs. Older siding that has fallen into disrepair should be replaced as soon as possible, and summertime is ideal to do this work before inclement weather returns.

Fix or Replace Your Roof

The lack of rainfall and pleasant temperatures makes summer the best time of year for most roof projects. If it has been many years since your roof was installed or last repaired, now might be the time to hire a professional to fix it. But if you already know you have a leak or you know there has been some storm damage, set aside some time this summer for repairs. For older roofs or those with significant damage, the time to replace it is now.

A benefit of completely replacing a roof instead of just making repairs is that you can also change the entire look of your home by incorporating other exterior improvements. Be sure, however, to consult a design professional to ensure any improvements are made to look like they were originally part of your home. Updating your home’s curb appeal may be just what you need to fall in love with your home all over again.

For assistance in carrying out an upcoming home renovation project this summer or at any time of the year, please call us to schedule a no-pressure in-home consultation. Or, sign up for our monthly eNewsletter to stay up-to-date on remodeling tips, design ideas, and the latest in remodeling trends in Tippecanoe county.

Other Informative Articles You May Like:

2019 Basement Design Trends to Watch For in Tippecanoe County

Your Lafayette Home Addition Guide – How To Add Lifetime Value to Your Home

Bathroom Remodels – 3 Budgets, 3 Bathrooms

Local Designer at Riverside Construction Earns Industry Certification Recognized for Expertise in Kitchen & Bath Design

Kelly Grish, DesignerWest Lafayette, IN (May 2019)—Kelly Grish of Riverside Construction announced today that she has earned certification as an Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer (AKBD) from the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the world’s leading trade association for the kitchen and bath industry.

The hallmark for kitchen and bath professionals, NKBA certification is based on continuing professional development, comprehensive exams, and industry experience. Its purpose is to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

The Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer (AKBD) certification recognizes extraordinary experience and achievement in kitchen and bath design, with specialized qualifications in product selection, space planning, materials, and finishes.

“Having a Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from Purdue University gave Kelly a broad knowledge of residential and commercial design,” said Andy Haste, owner of Riverside Construction. “The AKBD certification indoctrinates her into an internationally recognized group of proficiency experts, providing our clients extra assurance and confidence in our space planning and design capabilities.”

Proven to be an exemplary designer and professional in general, Kelly demonstrates the utmost dedication to the kitchen and bath industry. With all requirements met for trying out the next level of certification (five years of experience and sixty hours of NKBA education units), Kelly plans to keep climbing the ladder, applying for a Kitchen & Bath Designer (CKBD) certification next. The CKBD certification would further validate Kelly’s specialization in the design, planning, and execution of residential kitchens and bathrooms.

About Riverside Construction

Serving West Lafayette since 2008, Riverside Construction is an award-winning residential design/build firm that specializes in kitchen and bathroom remodels, basement renovations and room additions. Riverside Construction provides personalized, home design and remodeling services that promise an enjoyable, smooth remodeling experience, delivered on time and on budget.

For more information, visit https://www.riversideconstruction.com/

About NKBA

The National Kitchen + Bath Association (NKBA) is a non-profit trade group that serves and represents the firms and individuals involved in all aspects of the residential kitchen and bath industry. Established in 1963 as a network of kitchen dealers, it has evolved into the premier association of designers, retailers, remodelers, manufacturers, distributors, fabricators, installers and other industry professionals.  As the only trade association dedicated exclusively to this industry, the NKBA is the leading source of information and education for consumers and professionals alike. For more information, visit https://nkba.org/.

Riverside Construction Makes General Contractors Magazine List of the Best Kitchen Remodeling Contractors in Indiana

 

GC Magazine is a web-based magazine dedicated to celebrating the best general contractors in America. Comprised of construction experts, researchers, and writers they highlight the best general contractors by city all throughout the United States. They produce annual ranked lists using criteria such as a history of quality service and the ability to work within the specified budget and timeframe. All the firms listed have been evaluated based on their business affiliations, portfolio, years of experience, track record, and customer service.

In 2019, Riverside Construction has made their list as #2 of the #15 top kitchen remodelers in Indiana.

View the full list here.

Why Thinking Through a Design Plan for Your Remodel Is Important

A home remodel typically requires a large amount of creativity and imagination to get the process started, and homeowners will experience a range of emotions as they begin. You may feel a combination of happiness and excitement combined with a bit of uncertainty about how everything will work out, especially if you have limited experience with home remodeling projects.

Taking feelings and creativity into account is only part of the job, though. To ensure the best possible outcome, it’s essential to allow for some time and energy to think through a space design plan.

This is where an experienced design-build remodeling firm can really make a difference. A qualified designer can help homeowners transform an idea into a reality for projects of varying complexity. Spending time on a design plan upfront is well worth the time and effort and you’ll feel more confident about moving forward. Here are just a few reasons why:

Benefits of Extensive Planning

Your first task after brainstorming with your design-build team will be to make sure the plans and scope of work are detailed so that everyone concerned will have a clear idea of what the remodel project entails.

It has been said that “if you fail to plan you plan to fail.” This is especially worth keeping in mind before embarking on a serious project like a home remodel. After all, building the house in the first place required blueprints and plans, and so does a remodeling project.

Without plans in hand, you won’t be able to estimate the number of materials, how much space you will have for new furniture or appliances, or even determine just how much paint, carpet or flooring you will need.

It almost goes without saying that a remodeling project must have good plans for the project to go well. Better plans come from well-prepared experts who have undergone extensive training and have participated in many home remodeling projects. You can ensure high-quality plans when you work with professional design builders that have experience working on projects similar to the one you envision for your home.

Using the Right Tools When Thinking Through Design Plans

Plans are an excellent tool to communicate effectively between the remodeling company doing the work and the homeowner. You can actually see what the finished project will look like using 2D plans as well as intricate 3D modeling before the heavy lifting begins.

When planning out a project, many details must be addressed to get the details of your space plan just right. For instance, if you are designing a kitchen, you usually need:

  • Existing Plans
  • 2D Plans
  • 3D Plans

A design-build professional will create these plans with all of the details you need to see before signing off on the actual construction project.

The design plan should begin with an in-home consultation, where the design team can discover more about what you like about your dwelling and what you want to see in the remodel.

All of this planning helps to make sure your remodel runs smoothly and finishes on time, and within the budget, of which you established at the beginning. But 2D plans are only going to show you part of the picture. To really get started in earnest on the remodeling project, sophisticated computer systems come into play, by letting you envision your project in three dimensions.

3D Renderings

3D renderings are a powerful tool that can help you envision what your finished living space will look like and enable you to, make customizations to fit your family’s needs and desires.

It’s one thing to spend hours cutting out photos from actual magazines or clicking through images online for inspiration as you prepare your remodeling effort. You can rearrange these images and hold up different color samples as you contemplate the hues of your home’s interior and exterior. That’s a good first step.

To really get a good idea of what it will look like, you can take advantage of advanced 3D renderings for your remodel. You’ll have a much more precise view, and you can make changes to the design as you explore options and compare different ideas with your designer.

With a 3D design, you can see how one change will have an effect on other aspects of the house, from how you balance windows and skylights to adding another room. What’s more, details such as the color schemes flowing from the kitchen area to the dining room or living room are easy to envision when you have an accurate 3D model in front of you on the computer screen.

Creating and refining a 3D design is an excellent way to think your way through the remodel process well ahead of the date when the construction actually begins. It’s like rehearsing for how your home will wind up looking now, so you can anticipate problems and make changes before they become more expensive and time-consuming to solve. Setting up “what-if” options in your digital plans may inspire you to consider a change that you previously thought would be too difficult.

Could you use some help thinking through the way you will utilize space in your home remodeling project? The professionals at Riverside Construction are standing by to guide you through the process from beginning to end. Please contact us today at 765.838.1644 or complete our on-line consultation form to start a conversation.

Not quite ready? Sign up for one of our free home remodeling seminars packed with information on how to get your home remodeling project rolling. Or, sign up for our monthly eNewsletter with additional tips and design inspiration for all things home remodeling.

6 Revealing Questions to Ask Before Remodeling Your Kitchen

Do you ever dream about what it would be like to have an unlimited budget and lots of space to design a new kitchen? The sky is the limit! Unfortunately, for most of us, we are constrained by a budget and square footage. The good news? Even under constraints, you can plan a successful kitchen remodel—one that dares to deliver in style and function. To guide you and your decision making, we have put together a few questions that will help you plan a successful kitchen remodel.

1. How do you use your kitchen today?

Look at your current kitchen and consider: What gets in your way? What irritates you most? Do you feel cramped in your kitchen when you prepare meals? Do your guests congregate in the kitchen with no place to sit? Does your kitchen lack storage space, or are frequently used items difficult to reach? List your pain points and discuss them with your design-build contractor. These will be critical items to discuss and incorporate into your design plan.

Also, beyond today, how will you be using your kitchen? 5 years from now? Ten years from now? How many family members will be living in your home? Will you have accessibility needs? Forward thinking will help you make design choices that keep your kitchen working for you well into the future.

At the same time, ask yourself what’s already working well in the kitchen. Are there aspects of your kitchen that you love that you wouldn’t want to change? Add these important items to your list as well.

2. What’s your balance between day-to-day living and entertaining?

Whether you’re feeding a family of four, or just two; entertaining once a month, or once a week; it’s important to think of how you want traffic to flow through your kitchen. Even if you only entertain a few times a year, designing a flexible space that makes you and your guests comfortable can serve your needs long into the future, particularly as your family grows.

3. What is your price vs. value considerations?

There are so many decisions to makes in a kitchen remodel: from sinks, faucets, hardware, and cabinets to countertops, appliances, storage solutions, flooring, and light fixtures. And, every decision comes with a host of product quality and pricing options. Each also come with specific benefits and limitations. So, refer to your list of needs and wants, and ask yourself:

Will splurging on a particular item improve my daily life?

Will the item resolve a long-standing irritation?

Will purchasing one item over another add value to my home?

Ask these questions for each kitchen remodeling item you’re considering for your new space. Then, evaluate this list to conclude where you should invest more money, or where you can save. For example, you may be able to cut back a little on the flooring (there are so many quality, economical options these days) to spend a bit more on high-end appliances.

4. Form vs. function?

Consider this question as an addendum to question 2. If you do a lot of entertaining, having a kitchen that is designed to comfortably cook and serve a party of people will be more important than aesthetics. You may want to redesign your existing space to achieve the right functional layout; choose upscale appliances in exchange for a less expensive countertop or backsplash material. Fortunately, there are several fabulous countertop, backsplash, lighting and hardware options to choose from. So, saving on a few selections doesn’t have to mean sacrificing beauty or style; and smart design never goes out of style.

5. How fast do you need your kitchen remodel completed?

Patience is a money-saving virtue you need during a kitchen remodel. Don’t let the noise, dust, and inconvenience of the job tempt you into unwise choices just to speed up the process. Take time to evaluate and research your options. If you have questions, utilize your design-build team to better understand the benefits and drawbacks of each decision.

6. How wide is the gap between your “dream kitchen” and reality?

Is a kitchen remodel going to change the way you use your kitchen? Likely, yes! Your kitchen remodeling project should incorporate your lifestyle needs into the design, not someone else’s—not a friend’s, neighbor or even a lucky homeowner who received a home renovation on HGTV. If, for example, you need a place to store coupons and bills, a homework station for your kids, or counter space to bake, build those elements into your design plan. Don’t remodel based on someone else’s “dream kitchen”—renovate based on how YOU use your kitchen.

Expert Help with Questions about Your Kitchen Remodel

Each of these questions requires thought and consideration. And, they’ll help you arrive at a kitchen remodeling project you will love for years to come. For inspiration, explore many of the beautiful kitchen remodeling projects in and around West Lafayette.

If you’re ready to dive into your kitchen remodeling project now, schedule a conversation to get the ball rolling: 765.838.1644.

6 Popular Flooring Trends in Tippecanoe County for 2019

Homeowners in Tippecanoe County who are looking to replace their floors are in for some fun this year. There are so many new and exciting options on the market today that span a wide range of colors, shapes, and materials. Here are 6 popular flooring trends we’re excited to share with you at Riverside Construction:

1. Wood Flooring Choices

Wood really never goes away as a durable, beautiful, lasting flooring option, so it’s no surprise that it’s still a homeowner favorite. What’s new are the colors, types of wood, patterns, and sizes that homeowners are choosing.

Fumed Wood—This flooring comes in rich, dark, natural and variable color tones that are achieved in a special chamber where ammonia vapor is released, changing the color of the wood without directly staining it. Source this one carefully; ammonia should never be applied directly to this product.

Bleached and Blanched Wood—Think sun-bleached, weather-worn, oceanside boardwalk-style flooring for the living room, kitchen or entryway. Woods of this type come in blond, gray and off-white natural tones that will brighten any room.

Distressed and Reclaimed Wood—That shabby chic look of distressed wood is becoming more and more popular, with homeowners able to choose the degree of distress applied to their flooring. It has character and a historical, rustic feel to the planks. Some distressed and reclaimed wood actually are historical; taken from older buildings and barns and re-purposed as flooring. This beautiful flooring option has less gloss and more wire brushing, hand-scraping, gnarls, knots and even mineral deposits left behind to add plenty of character.

Wider planks and pretty patterns—Homeowners are opting for plank widths between 5 and 8 inches this year, or they’re choosing to lay out smaller planks in interesting patterns.

2. Realistic “Wood-Look” Flooring

Homeowners can’t get enough of wood, even if they don’t actually use real wood. Wood-look ceramic tiles, laminate, and vinyl are on the rise, mostly because they’re so durable and look like actual wood, but don’t require the same kind of ongoing care and maintenance that real hardwood requires. This makes it possible to use “wood-look” flooring in bathrooms, for instance, to create the warmth and look of hardwood without worrying about water damage. This flooring option comes in all colors, textures, and styles and looks just like the real thing. This year’s go-to colors are lighter: grays, whites and cooler, natural wood shades.

3. Tantalizing New Tile Patterns and Sizes

Tile continues to be wildly popular, particularly for bathrooms and kitchens. However, newer large-format tiles (for example, 12 x 24) are working their way into living rooms and entryways as well. The materials can vary from ceramic and concrete slabs to natural stone, and stone or wood-look tiles. Also, a popular European style that’s hitting West Lafayette right now is tile with a wide footprint.

In addition to the new large-format craze, vintage black and white patterned tiles and tiles with exciting colors or textures that stand out from the norm are gaining popularity, as are hexagonal-shaped tiles.

4. Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)

Photo Courtesy of HGTV

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) is a real star for 2019, as it was last year too. This flooring option comes in many designs—from wood-look to all kinds of natural stones like marble, granite, etc. It can even be engineered to look like concrete tiles. It’s got heavy-duty durability, so it’s excellent in high-traffic locations, yet it looks luxurious and resists scratches, dings, and nicks. It can also fit into a vast array of patterns and formats (think large-format tile again), giving designers a lot of creativity to come up with stunning, custom looks.

5. Mixed-Media Flooring Trends

Some adventurous homeowners here in Tippecanoe County have been trying out mixed-media flooring ideas where they may have tile sections cascade gradually into a hardwood (or wood-look) section. When this is done with design in mind, it can be an eye-catching conversation piece that lends drama and excitement to areas where you want some pizazz.

6. New Carpet Comforts

A carpeted bedroom is still a necessity for homeowners because it provides the cozy, sound-muffling character you want in a quiet room. Living rooms are also favorite locations for new carpet. In 2019, two-tone carpets are on the rise, and not just because they hide stains better, some of the patterns are truly beautiful and add character to whatever space they’re designed in.

Learn More about Flooring Trends

If you’re thinking of a remodeling project, but aren’t quite sure where to go with the flooring yet, sign up for one of our free home remodeling seminars (space is limited, so make sure to sign up early).  Our newsletter also has excellent tips and insights for every aspect of remodeling, including flooring, so sign up for that as well. And if you’re ready to discuss your ideas with a professional designer, sign up for an on-site consultation or give us a call today: 765.838.1644. We’ll help you choose the right flooring for your project.

Kitchen Lighting 101: 4 Essentials to Consider in Your Next Kitchen Remodel

Homeowners choose, as priority number one, to remodel their kitchens every year, and it’s no surprise why. Every member of the family spends significant time in this room. It’s where we prepare meals, gather for games, congregate for chats, get work done, discuss family plans, snack, laugh, talk and make all kinds of daily decisions. And yet, as popular and as often-used as this room is, it’s surprising that lighting becomes an afterthought in the remodeling process. Instead, kitchen lighting should be an integral part of the entire design process, right from the start. It needs to be layered and carefully planned to effectively illuminate all the various activities your family enjoys in this space. As you plan your next kitchen remodeling project, keep these four lighting design essentials in mind:

1. Know Your Lighting Types

There are four basic types of lighting that can be used in any room. The utility and high-traffic areas of the kitchen demand using all four of them in various ways. These lighting layers include:

Ambient Lighting—This is broad, general lighting that should illuminate most of your living space. It’s not too bright, but it provides enough light to enable you to perform tasks and move safely about the room—a necessity for any space, and especially the kitchen. You can choose from a host of different light fixtures to include recessed lighting, track lighting, chandeliers or other ceiling-mounted fixtures.

Task Lighting—While ambient lighting provides general illumination of a large space, task lighting highlights specific areas where work needs to be performed. It illuminates focused beams on specific areas, removing unwanted shadows, making slicing, mixing, kneading and reading ingredients on food packages or a recipe a breeze. For example, puck or strip lighting placed under cabinets are used to illuminate countertops for food preparation. You can also consider adding task lighting inside of cabinets to make it easier to locate rare spices (or essentials) hiding in the back.

Accent Lighting—These bright beams are used to throw flattering light on a specific design element in a room. While they are par for the course in living rooms and dining rooms, they can also be used to highlight some lovely aspect of your kitchen design. For example, a shelf in a cabinet or island can be highlighted by accent lighting to spotlight a unique heirloom or art piece. Highlighting an accent fixture that is 4 to 5 times brighter than ambient lighting can really set off the space.

Decorative Lighting—While accent lighting focuses your eyes on a particular design element or piece of art in your kitchen, decorative lighting is the design element itself. A dramatic pendant or chandelier can really complete the look of your kitchen and make visitors take notice.

As you work with your design/build team on a kitchen remodel, make sure to discuss these kitchen lighting essentials from the outset and not as a last-minute decision.

2. Understand the Sources of Illumination: Think LEDs

In addition to the four different lighting types above, you’ll want to consider the ways in which lighting works and how much it might cost you. In the past, homeowners had to choose between fluorescent, incandescent and halogen options. Recently, however, LED lighting has taken kitchen lighting by storm with its bright adaptability and its very low electricity draw. LED lights last longer and they don’t heat up like other light sources. This makes them a safe, stable source of illumination that comes in almost any form.

Important Note: Don’t count out natural light in your kitchen design. Explore ways that you can increase it and add to the ambient lighting in your living space.

3. Design with Light: Think Spacing and Proportion

It’s easy to get all excited about light fixtures, even adding more than your kitchen really needs. But going overboard on lighting is just as bad as leaving it to the last minute. Think balance and proportion to get the right look, along with the proper illumination. For instance, island task lighting has very specific space and proportion guidelines you should follow:

Above island pendants should have between 30 to 32 inches between them and hang approximately 30 to 36 inches over the island, with a 6-inch clearance from the edges. Depending on how long your island is, you may have room for 2 or 3 pendants.

If you have a higher kitchen ceiling, consider a linear suspension light fixture over the island. This should hang about 40 inches above the workspace.

Recessed lighting, puck lights, track lights, and chandeliers also have similar spacing and proportion rules, something you’ll want to consider as you plan your kitchen remodel.

4. Ask a Kitchen Design Expert about Your Kitchen Lighting

Lastly, don’t let decisions about kitchen lighting overwhelm you. If you’re struggling to choose between pendants and chandeliers, track lights or recessed lighting, or any other aspect of the lighting in your kitchen, take a look at our kitchen remodeling portfolio for some ideas. You can also sign up for one of our free kitchen design seminars where you can discuss your ideas and questions with other homeowners and our design experts. If you’re ready to dive in and get started now, schedule a personal consultation and begin the process of upgrading your kitchen with light: (765) 838-1644.

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