Ultimate DIY Flooring

By Steve Cooper


ManningtonSuppose you’ve got a floor problem in a guest bathroom. The current look is very mid-1980s—not your style. And the subfloor seems to have been installed by contractor who didn’t own a level. Time for a change, but what’s best the best choice for a contemporary look on a tight budget?

The answer used to be traditional sheet vinyl, which was felt-backed and fairly rigid. But for many the better choice is now fiberglass-backed vinyl. This newer flooring will give you enticing color and design choices, is nicely cushioned (as your feet will notice), and is moderately priced. The biggest advantage, however, is that in many situations, you can probably put the floor in yourself and save big. 

Traditional sheet vinyl needs to be glued to the floor, which is a job best to left to professionals. Also, vinyl made the traditional way resists flattening out after it comes off rollers, making large installations difficult for the inexperienced.

When vinyl is backed by flexible fiberglass, it is almost like a rug. It goes down flat and stays put. Though it can be glued in place, permanent installation isn’t required. A fiberglass vinyl floor can simply be cut to size, placed over the old floor, and held in place with tape around the perimeter.

Because installation is a relatively easy task in many rooms, fiberglass vinyl has proven a huge hit in the marketplace. While it may not be first choice for every room in the house, it is an excellent pick for bathrooms, laundry rooms, small kitchens and utility rooms. It’s been a real discovery for renters, because they can pick their own design, then take it along when they move.

Cutting the sheet for a small rectangle is probably within most homeowners’ abilities. Professional installation may be required for rooms with complicated perimeters, which makes cutout a challenge. Also, because vinyl comes in 12-foot sheets, there must be a seam in larger rooms. Seams are also a job for the pros.

Image: Mannington’s Sobella™ – Colorado Forest

For more information on flooring visit the World Floor Covering Association’s Consumer Carpet & Flooring Guide.

Marquetry—A Lesson In “New-Stalgia”

Submitted by Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID; Chair Holder, CMG

SURFACES-2011-013_smI just returned from one of the most important trade shows of the year for the floor covering industry—Surfaces/Stone Expo in Las Vegas.  I work my way through this show every year with a keen eye for products that fall into the category of being a ‘true discovery’.  Amidst all of the me-too products, there are a handful of gems that truly are discoveries, and it’s pretty exciting to be the first to bring this one to your attention.  Before I do, let me share something with you that I learned in my college History of Furniture classes:

……..The amazing technique of veneered marquetry had its inspiration as far back as the 16th Century in Florence, Italy.  These early techniques employed marble (and the inlay of intricate semi-precious stones) to create masterpieces in floors, religious altars, and even columns.  At the same time, cabinet makers in Antwerp adapted marquetry techniques to wood, to create furniture of unprecedented luxury.  By the mid 17th Century, the craft migrated to France and was employed to decorate Versailles and the royal residence of Louis XIV.

Now why am I giving you a history lesson about this? Because you will better appreciate the finely-crafted products I am about to share.

Yarema Marquetry and Parquet floors are crafted by YM Floors, a domestically-based company located just north of Detroit, Michigan. The lost art of parquetry (marquetry applied to floors using contrasting woods) has been resurrected by this company and translated to masterpieces that can be called works of art. Their product line includes stunning designs in wood parquet floors, creative medallions, and intricate borders. I’ve not seen anything like this in the twenty years I’ve done interior design!

Brilliantly conceived, the Yarema portolio of products translates well to both traditional and contemporary interiors. Finding a wood floor medallion to suit a contemporary interior is quite a challenge, but here is a company that effortlessly met that need. Custom designs are available, just in case you want a creation that is a true original.

Let’s talk about the parquet floor selections. The term “parquet floor” simply does not do this line justice. Abstract, asymmetrical designs are non-existent in hardwood applications, right? Wrong. Yarema identified a void in hardwood flooring designs and filled it beautifully. Take a look at their Portfolio Collection (ymfloors,com) and you will see exactly what I mean. The interplay of light and dark woods gives some of their more contemporary designs a three-dimensional look. When you walk into a room designed around one of these floors, you realize that the floor takes center stage as the natural focal point.

Other winners in their line-up of styles include: Skyline, Classic, Journey, Vineyard, and Centerpoint. This roster of names will come alive for you once you log on to their website and look for yourself. Request a catalog and you’ll get an even better feel for the richness of these floors. White Oak, Wenge, Cherry, Maple and Walnut are used like colors on an artist’s palette, mingling and harmonizing, to produce a singular work of art for the floor.








In the Color and Marketing classes I taught at Surfaces, I identified key marketing trends that are making headlines in 2011 and 2012. One of those emerging trends is called “New-Stalgia” (as taken from research from Color Marketing Group International). Consumers are searching for new products built on heirloom designs and fine craftsmanship. That’s New-Stalgia in a nutshell. What’s old is new…but with a twist! I cannot think of a better example of this prediction coming true than what I see from Yarema designs. They’ve resurrected a delicate craftsmanship rooted in the 16th and 17th centuries and have translated it to modern, relevant flooring. It doesn’t get better than that, and all that’s left to say is well done!

For more information on flooring visit the World Floor Covering Association’s Consumer Carpet & Flooring Guide.