By Annette Callari, Allied ASID; CMG

Drifting sand, rhythmic waves, sea grass rippling in the wind, even fragments of driftwood—all lend inspiration to interior design goods that interpret into coastal design. Interiors have been favoring coastal influences for years, but this design theme has gathered momentum in the last two years. The charm of coastal living is magnetic. Lazy days soaking in sun and sea are the real-life inspiration. Organic shapes, natural materials, restful color schemes all add to the draw of Coastal design.

With this in mind, I set out on a hunt to find amazing floor coverings that fit the coastal design theme. A multitude of options were available, which tells me manufacturers are responding in force to this design trend. Here are some wonderful choices for your consideration:



SHAW ASHFORD VERSAILLE LATTE TRAVERTINE | floortalk.wfca.orgThe unpredictable patterns of wind-blown sands are echoed in Shaw’s beautiful travertine stone. The variety of sizes offered adds to the creative options: 8 x 8”, 8 x 16”, 16 x 16” and 16 x 24”

…with the chiseled edged pattern and honed surface, Ashford emanates a luxurious and organic feel. Soft and earthy hues offer a unique, individually exclusive floor as each stone reflects its own natural characteristics.


LSI FLOORS BEACH LVT | floortalk.wfca.orgLSI is noted for photo-realistic films used to create 3-dimensional flooring looks in luxury vinyl tile. Beach is a 24 x 24” smooth tile that vividly recreates the textures of a sandy beach.


NOURISON SUN & SHADE AREA RUG | floortalk.wfca.orgNourison never fails to disappoint when designers are looking for a themed broadloom or area rug. In this instance, my search for sandy beach designs led me to discover the “Sun and Shade” area rug. Constructed of 100% polyester in three sizes, this artistic rug brings the look of intricate seashells washed ashore. The colors are nautical and this lively area rug can steal the show (focal point!).

Reader Question – Beach House Flooring


What type of flooring do you recommend for a beach house to prevent scratching from sand and warping from dampness?


You posed a very good question. Beach houses are unique in their flooring requirements. You have multiple conditions to consider: sand being tracked in, excessive moisture in the air, and possible ground moisture from below. The fact that you’ve ruled out stone or ceramic is interesting, because either one of those choices would actually have been a great solution. Before you rule out porcelain or ceramic all together, did you know that new tile designs include leather-simulated looks, and even some wood parquet looks? Unglazed tiles offer slip resistance as well. Care and maintenance of a porcelain floor for a beach home would be minimal, and that would be a huge plus.

But here are some other options to consider: Historically speaking, real hardwood floors have not been ideal for beach climates because the moisture in the air can cause excessive expansion of the wood. Expansion and contraction of hardwood floors can result in warping and splitting–never a good thing. However Shaw Industries has a line of hardwood floors called “Epic” that have been engineered to overcome extreme climate conditions. It is a tightly milled product line that has a 5-ply, cross-core construction. This gives the product excellent stability. It’s important to note that only oak is used in the core (for its exceptional hardness), as the core is compressed under extreme heat to produce the stability you are looking for. That process should eliminate entirely the problem of expansion and contraction. If you are environmentally conscious, an added benefit is that Epic hardwoods take half as many freshly cut tress to produce. Look for a wood within this line that has an aluminum oxide top coating to guard against scratching, and always place walk-off mats at each entrance to the house to capture as much dirt and sand as possible. Choosing a lighter toned wood with a low sheen will do well against sun-fade.

One more alternative: laminate floors give the look of real hardwood, but are much more family-friendly. If you like the look of wood for your home, this may be the solution for you. You need to be sure that you choose a laminate that has a moisture resistant core (your local flooring retailer can help guide you) so that it is dimensionally stable. Laminate needs to be installed as a floating floor, with a moisture barrier material beneath, to protect it from ground moisture seeping up. With minimal care, laminate floors will look good for many years to come AND they have superior stain and fade resistance. I hope this helps.

Annette Callari, ASID; CMG