Ground Floor of Authenticity

How investigating Eichler roots led couple to VCT and cork tile as their flooring picks
Ground Floor of Authenticity
Light and airy VCT tile (as pictured above) was the main flooring choice for Karen Nepacena and John Shum, East Bay Eichler owners who have been documenting the impressive, mostly-DIY transformation of their Rancho San Miguel home for the past few years. Photos: courtesy DestinationEichler.com
Ground Floor of Authenticity
Karen Nepacena of DestinationEichler.com
Ground Floor of Authenticity
Two of the Nepacena-Shum flooring choices: dark-colored cork for the hallway and bedrooms (left) and porcelain in the bathroom.

Everybody comes in on the ground floor in making a decision about reflooring his or her home. But it's important to realize, you don't have to stop there.

The price elevator goes both up and down and has numerous levels, some definitely more appropriate for modern homes than others.

Take Karen Nepacena and John Shum. They're the Walnut Creek couple behind the engaging blog site DestinationEichler.com, which chronicles the remodel of their Eichler home and has now spun into an interior design service. In 2013 they moved to their Rancho San Miguel neighborhood from a non-Eichler home that had a flooring material to which they had grown accustomed.

"We were considering hardwood originally," Karen said of their old home's flooring that they thought might also work in their Eichler. "The more we researched about Eichlers…[the more] we personally wanted to go more authentic."

On their blog, Karen and John list five key factors for choosing Eichler flooring: budget; durability and maintenance; preferred style; current flooring; and condition of radiant hearing, if any.

"We chose vinyl composite tile [VCT] for a bunch of reasons," Karen explained. "One of them was that it was [very similar to] an original flooring that Eichler used…We have VCT in our main living spaces."

Severine Secret, owner of Go2 Design Studio in San Jose, wholly concurs with the couple's decision to stay with one material throughout the kitchen, living, and dining rooms.

"Because of the open plan, the space will feel bigger and consistent with the pure, simple design aesthetic of Eichlers," the interior designer said. Secret, who has aided in this decision by many Eichler owners, added, "The bedroom materials can be different, as well as the bathrooms."

"We have cork in our private spaces, bedrooms," said Karen. "We really like how cork feels on our feet. It's much softer."