Ground Floor of Authenticity - Page 2

How investigating Eichler roots led couple to VCT and cork tile as their flooring picks
Ground Floor of Authenticity
The cool look of VCT tile. Photo: courtesy Joe Barthlow
Ground Floor of Authenticity
Designer Severine Secret of Go2 Design Studio.
Ground Floor of Authenticity
Variations on cork tile (left - top and bottom) and VCT tile (right).

Karen and John are dedicated do-it-yourselfers on a budget, and the low cost of VCT was also attractive. Cork is in the higher price range of appropriate flooring materials for Eichlers, along with concrete, bamboo, and wood. Natural stone and porcelain are on a middle tier, and the cheapest are vinyl, ceramic, and laminate.

"Bamboo is a very 'green' material because it is rapidly renewable and needs very little energy to grow. It is much greener than wood," Secret commented. "It is strongly encouraged to be used in construction and can contribute to LEED points.'

"Natural cork is generally not stained and is very durable," she said. "There are lower-cost versions that have been surface-stained and will scratch."

Secret said her favorite flooring design for Eichlers is "a mix of cool materials" (like concrete or linoleum) and warm materials (like cork).

"The materials themselves are not where the cost is—the labor that it takes to install them is the factor that affects pricing," the designer cautioned. "Concrete is more expensive than any other materials because it is labor intensive."

"Your preparation on the floor before you get to the VCT can cost you," admitted Karen. "You have to have a perfect floor. Otherwise, you're going to have bumps and cracks. It's still the lowest-priced option."

"Some people put carpet down," she sniffed. "That's not anywhere close to original."

Two years after installing their floor, Karen and John and their children are comfortable and pleased with their selection of VCT and cork.

"Both of them for cost, durability, and functionality," said Karen, adding that their bathroom floors are actually a third material, porcelain tile. "We're really happy with our choices."

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