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Far-Out Flooring

PhotoIs the ground beneath your feet looking a little (or a lot) worse for wear? Is it so outdated that stepping across the threshold feels like stepping back in time? Below are five unconventional flooring options you may not have considered for your home – but perhaps it's time you did!

Bamboo
Bamboo has recently been gaining traction as a viable flooring option. If you're unconvinced, or just unaware, consider this: bamboo floors offer the warm look of hardwood, are comparably priced, and equally low maintenance. Where bamboo differs from hardwood is durability. Harder than oak, a properly maintained bamboo floor can last a lifetime. As bamboo stands up well to traffic, and is stain, impact, and moisture resistant, it's a great choice for any room. What's more, bamboo floors are environmentally friendly as they're made from a highly renewable resource.

Carpet Tiles
Who hasn't wished they could just replace that one part of the carpet with the stain? Carpet tiles let you do exactly that, making them ideal for homes with children or pets. Highly versatile, you can also rotate them for more even wear, and customize your floors by using tiles of different colors and patterns to create borders and other designs. A great solution for small or irregularly shaped rooms where sizing traditional carpet is more difficult, carpet tiles are easy to install and easy on the budget.

Cork
Harvested from bark and made from materials leftover from the manufacturing of wine corks, cork floors are another green alternative. Easily cleaned and highly durable due to their elastic and moisture-resistant nature, cork floors perform well in high-traffic areas. With a honeycomb-like structure full of air, cork feels softer underfoot, is naturally insulating, and provides excellent shock and noise absorption, making it particularly well suited for condos, basements, and homes with children. Choose from a variety of colors and patterns, including those that look like marble or hardwood.

Recycled Glass Tile
Glass tile is just as tough as ceramic, and can be installed anywhere ceramic tile would be. It's less porous, however, meaning greater moisture and stain resistance, which is why it's most commonly used in kitchens and bathrooms. Offering a unique translucent look other tiles can't offer, recycled glass tiles are made from post-industrial and post-consumer glass that's been crushed and melted down; the result is tile that's even clearer than brand new glass, making for more bright, brilliant flooring, available in a variety of dazzling colors and finishes.

Rubber
Like cork, rubber is forgiving, feeling softer underfoot and absorbing impact; plus, it's anti-slip, making it a safer choice for children and older adults. Sound-dampening and designed for heavy wear, it's ideal for high-traffic areas; its non-porous surface is stain and moisture resistant, making it suitable for kitchens and bathrooms, too. Think it only comes in black and has treads? Think again! Rubber flooring comes in a wide selection of colors, textures, and patterns, including marble. Floors made from natural or recycled rubber provide an eco-friendly alternative to synthetic rubber.

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