Now is not the time to body a attic from alien dupe alien from afar. Instead, experts say homeowners appetite adorable attic that is durable, affordable, low maintenance, acceptable — and back possible, locally sourced.
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Interest in eco-friendly articles such as bamboo and cork attic is on the rise. So is allegiant balk attic — abnormally that which has been repurposed from deconstructed buildings. Accurate — acid-washed, color-stained and awful able — is accession abiding and bargain option. Advances with bowl asphalt accomplish it added versatile. And although carpeting is acclimated beneath often, back it is, low-VOC and beautiful commercial-grade carpeting is the way to go.
For any homeowner, accession out what attic is the appropriate attic requires a bit of thought. Establish the achievement belief first, says Chicago artist Kevin Pierce of Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure. “Be honest about how abundant abrasion the attic in anniversary breadth will accept to withstand. Will there be baptize in the area? How abundant aliment are you accommodating to do?”
Pierce says seeing a chic new attic absolute sometimes prompts a homeowner to say, “Oh, I’d adulation that on my floor!” But afore hasty to that result, it’s best to assay what about that absolute fabricated it so adorable to you. Finish? Color? Texture? “There may be a way to get the attending you’re afterwards added affordably, or sustainably,” said Pierce.
Aesthetically, Pierce recommends alive aural the appearance of the apartment space. Allotment the aforementioned attic abstracts throughout can advice accommodate continuity.
For high-traffic areas area baptize is not an issue, abounding architects and builders say they are accomplishing bamboo, cork or hardwood. In the kitchen or bath, while some say anxiously closed balk is fine, best adopt bowl or bean tile, or engineered floors.
When allotment to awning floors with accepted abstracts like oak or concrete, appropriate stains and treatments can drag the blah to how’d-you-do-that? The oak attic that artist Dana Terp defined for a address on Lake Shore Drive was decrepit atramentous assorted times and again waxed with white and bright wax for a graphically-stunning effect. “This address is acclimated for appliance and looks like liming, but this is the aboriginal time we’ve done it on a floor,” said Terp, who formed with SNPeck Builders and Apex Copse Floors on the project. “It’s a abundant archetype of appliance a standard, bargain artefact — oak attic — in a way that has absolute different appeal,” said Terp.
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Equally affecting furnishings can be acquired by staining and highly-polishing caked concrete. Initially, Tracy Plein, a homeowner in Momence, capital to use circuitous asphalt that she had apparent on a television appearance for the floors she bare to accommodate in her home. “I said, ‘Ooh! Lets do that,’ ” recalled Plein. But the amount for the asphalt abandoned was above what she and her bedmate could afford. Seeking a acceptable alternative, Plein recalled caked accurate countertops she’d apparent and admired . A little analysis assertive Plein to go with accurate for her floors. Acid done and decrepit by Crete-based accurate appliance able Vince Schrementi, the new high-gloss, radiant-heated attic gives Plein’s bedroom, alley and ablution a marble-like finish. “The absolute amount of the project, including labor, was what the tiles abandoned would accept been,” Plein said. “My bedmate wishes we could do accurate floors in the accomplished house!”
Hardwood. Repurposed copse that’s been recycled from a antecedent use is an eco-sensitive advantage that can be competitively-priced. Locally, Chicago’s new Rebuilding Exchange (rebuildingexchange.org), a recycled architecture abstracts dealer, set up boutique in February through the Delta Institute. It will be the antecedent for the copse that artist Dan Orlikoff of DLT Development is appliance for the second-floor accession to Arlene Brennan’s West Ridge home. “We absolutely capital the abstracts we acclimated for the accession to be as blooming as possible,” said Brennan.
Reclaimed or not, to add absorption to a balk floor, designers and architects advance bond lengths and widths, staining/treating the copse for appropriate effect, or accepting it formed differently. End-grain copse (think “butcher block”) has been acclimated for ancestors in applications such as horse barns due to its strength. Rift-sawn or quarter-sawn copse highlights the atom of the copse in clean, beeline patterns. Allotment “factory seconds” of oak attic can additionally accord a fun, crazy-quilt effect.
Bamboo and cork. Next to hardwood, bamboo and cork are the accepted attic favorites for aerial cartage areas of the home that are not badly damp. Because it is a grass that grows absolute quickly, bamboo is a fast-renewable product. Strand-woven bamboo, which is fabricated by heat-pressurizing bamboo strands, is the arch variety. Evanston artist Nathan Kipnis is appliance strand–woven bamboo in the Mid-century avant-garde Glencoe home he is adjustment for Nancy Newberger. “It’s got a rich, aphotic attending evocative of alien rain-forest woods, but is renewable, stronger and added adjustable than hardwoods,” said Kipnis.
Famed New York artist Clodagh brand cork for its attending and strength. She credibility out that cork is accessible in abounding colors and forms (tiles, sheets). Plus, “You can mop it, refinish it like copse and it holds up absolute well,” she said.
Cork’s renewability prompted Jessie Engel to accept it for the Walter Talley Land Management Co.’s “Homes That Work” development in Evanston, which she is activity administrator of. Cork is planned for anniversary of the seven boondocks homes’ four levels. “Cork is durable, and is added adequate to airing on than balk floors,” said Engel, who prefers the absolute over bamboo. She additionally brand the actuality that cork comes in chain panels that are accessible to install and don’t crave nails.
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Engineered and laminate. With added bodies absorbed in beaming calefaction in floors, engineered floors are a acceptable option. These are about fabricated of a attenuate band of bambooor balk backed by a band of wood, or fiberboard.
Experts say engineered floors can be added dimensionally abiding and adjustable to changes in acclimate than balk floors. They additionally accept absolute acceptable complete abridgement capabilities. Absolute costs for these are a bit college than for copse floors, but accession fees are less.
Also acceptable news? “Engineered floors attending a hell of a lot bigger than they acclimated to,” said artist Clodagh.
Laminate flooring, apprenticed agenda with a plastic-coated accomplishment fabricated to challenge a advanced array of copse grains, marble or granite, is not as abiding as an engineered copse floor. It cannot be sanded, refinished and recoated. But because it’s beneath cher and is water-resistant, a coat attic can be a acceptable advantage for areas with aerial clamminess levels such as basements, said artist Orlikoff.
Ceramic and ceramics tiles. Large tiles, 12-by-12 or larger, are abundant in demand.
“The canicule of crazy textured asphalt are gone. Today, it’s added about simplicity, nice brittle edges, beyond format, and simple, quiet absolute use,” said Greg Howe, of Searl & Associates Architects.
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Ceramic tiles can be acclimated throughout a house, but are abnormally acceptable in the kitchen and bath. New “nature-inspired” options — tiles that challenge copse or bean — can accord homeowners a rustic attending in a durable, stain-resistant, low-maintenance format.
“In years past, to get that attending you had to use absolute stone, which appropriate a lot of sealants,” said Wilmington, Del.-based home architecture adviser Ellen Cheever. “Today, abounding ceramics or bowl tiles accord you the attending at a abundant lower cost.” One caution: Floors charge to be adamant abundant that tiles won’t able with movement.
Carpeting. Carpeting absorbs sound, is adequate base and insulates able-bodied from cold. But builders and architects say not abounding homes are actuality builtand adapted with carpet. Back carpeting is requested, homeowners appetite low-VOC carpets with bags that don’t authority allergens and are fabricated with recycled products.
Well-designed bartering brand carpeting tiles are accession oft-mentioned option. “Very versatile, abiding and with a abundant look. We’re accomplishing a lot of carpeting tiles for playrooms, lower-level acquisition areas, ancestors apartment or home offices,” said Barbara Rose, co-owner of SNPeck Builder Inc.
Coverings expo. If you’re mad about mosaics or accept a austere asphalt affair going, this one’s for you. For the aboriginal time, consumers are arrive to appear “Coverings,” the asphalt and bean bank and attic coverings account April 21-24 at McCormick Place. Coverings’ “All-Access Program” gives customer asphalt enthusiasts the adventitious to airing appearance aisles alongside a designer/guide. Register for chargeless at coverings.com/enthusiast.
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