Anyone in the Bay Area willing to let us see their cork or concrete floors? Or another flooring option (ex wood or carpet) that you may be pleased to show off? We'll also be visiting the LA area next month...
We have been living in our original 1957 J&E with mahogany walls and working radiant for a year. Before we put much more inside it, we want to replace floors throughout. We read nearly ever post on "the great flooring debate" but would like to actually see some of the options in real life Eichlers.
I have never seen a residential concrete floor -- particularly in an Eichler with original walls. Am slightly concerned about cracking, noise and leg pain, but the design/color options give me great hope.
Our living area has its original cork and although dented, there is no noticeable fade in 45 years. We have been researching cork products -- particularly the lighter tones -- but have not yet landed on a pattern or design that seems quite right. I like the monochromatic look (which can be attained with many of the natural toned cork and broken up with area rugs), but am not sure it will bring in enough light with the walls. The lighter tones of cork also seem a little harsh/cold, but what can you really glean from a few samples?
So, I am also torn about the final effect of a darker flooring vs. lighter toned floor when paired with the original walls.
Oh, yes -- our ceilings and beams have been painted white and this isn't likely to change anytime soon.
Thanks in advance to anyone who would let us visit their Eichler and check out the floor. We have an original kitchen and bathroom vanity that you are welcome to check out if it would help with any projects.
Ami & Kristian
Since no one has responded, I will jump in. Our floors are ceramic tile, so that won't help you. However, one of the advertisers on this site, Diamond D, specializes in concrete flooring (as well as anything else you can imagine with concrete). He (Dave) does beautiful work and has done several Eichlers. You may want to contact him, as I am sure he could arrange for you to visit some of his jobs.
Cork flooring is also beautiful, but it has a fading problem. They say that even with UV protected windows, you will still get fading, just from interior lighing's effect on the cork. We were considering cork but decided against it, due to this and the considerable expense involved.
We've had cork throughout the entire house (including laundry room, bathroom, kitchen) for over ten years and it is wonderful. It's extremely easy to care for, warm, and durable. It does fade, but it's natural, not ugly. I'm going to call in a floor care specialist about re-installing some areas that have taken a beating from extreme exposure to heat, sun, and condensation moisture adjacent to sliding glass doors. There are some faint "traffic patterns" at the doors and hallways, but I've never done anything buy dry-wipe or vacuum the floors, never really cleaned or resealed them, and I'm a notorious clean freak. During a hot, dry Santana, the cracks in the tiles are more obvious. On a cold, rainy day the tiles "cup" a bit at the seams, as they should when set tightly.
We are considering going to a darker flooring because the house is very brightly lit from the southern exposure. We may wax/stain the cork.
Linoleum is a wonderful material, made from linen actually, and available in a wild and wide range of colors and patterns. It comes as roll goods and wears even better than cork, I understand.
I'd be wary of concrete. Acoustics are harsh. I teach in a lab with stained concrete floors which look cool, but my legs kill me after a few hours. The room always seems a bit dank. Whatever you drop, breaks.
We're in San Diego but you'd be welcome to visit.