I had so much fun earlier this year designing two rooms in the Living By Design Virtual Showhouse! The resulting interiors were so inspiring that I’m excited to dive a little deeper into some of the materials I used—by starting from the ground up and taking a closer look at the floors. Because I was responsible for designing the mudroom and adjacent laundry room, I knew I’d need to select extra durable flooring for high traffic areas. After all, these spaces see a ton of messy action!
The flooring sponsor for the showhouse was AHF Products®, and with literally thousands of flooring options in their product catalog, there was plenty to choose from. I pretty quickly narrowed in on Armstrong Flooring™ Alterna® Kalla Travertine Engineered Tile in Cream Buff. It checked all my boxes for style and function, and it literally set the foundation for a stunning final design!
Choosing Durable Flooring for High Traffic Areas
When I started this project I knew I wanted the look of stone floors for the natural, organic beauty they’d bring to otherwise utilitarian spaces. Veining and striations bring so much earthy texture to a room! But natural stone can be cold and hard underfoot—something that’s increasingly on my mind now that I have children running around and my own joints are getting creakier!
Since I knew the occupants of the home would often be barefoot in these spaces (removing shoes in the mudroom, doing chores in the laundry room, etc.) I wanted to ensure a comfortable experience. Which is how the Alterna® engineered tile collection first caught my eye! It boasts the sophisticated look of natural stone, but with a warmer, more comfortable surface that’s kinder to the feet.
Benefits of Engineered Tile for the Entryway and Laundry Room
Of course, durability was a huge concern for me when choosing floors for my showhouse spaces. As beautiful as natural stone can look, it can also be prone to chipping and cracking over time. If you’ve ever dropped a heavy object in your entryway or mudroom while unloading the car, you know how easily a floor can be damaged in a high traffic area!
Alterna® engineered tile boasts a long list of durability features that immediately caught my attention. Firstly, it resists cracking from subfloor movement and accidental drops. Next, it’s waterproof, which is key in rooms with plumbing like a laundry room. Add to that the fact that it’s easy to clean—hello, dirty shoe prints in the mudroom!—and I was sold.
From there, I ordered a sample of the Cream Buff colorway so that I could see it in person with the other materials I was eying for the space. It fit beautifully into my vision, as you can see in the mood board above!
How to Design Stylish High Traffic Areas with Durable Flooring
Of course, durability was only part of the equation when it came to selecting flooring. Whatever I chose needed to satisfy the high-end design look I was trying to create. One thing I knew I wanted to avoid was a gloss sheen on the floors in these two rooms; a matte sheen is much more understated!
Thankfully, the Armstrong Flooring™ Alterna® Kalla Travertine Engineered Tile in Cream Buff has a low gloss finish that whispers quiet luxury. It’s also quite customizable, given that it can can be installed with or without grout. As well, it comes in three sizes! I used the 12×24 in size for my rooms, but 16×16 and 8×16 are also available. Above, you can see how smoothly the engineered tile transitions from the mudroom and down the hallway into the laundry room. Dreamy!
A few more important details that made me fall for this flooring: It’s made in the US and is backed by a Lifetime Limited Residential warranty. There’s a helpful color quiz available online if you need help honing in on the perfect product for your next project.
Plus ordering samples is super easy at this link, and you you can also learn more in person your nearest Hartco Flooring retailer. Stay tuned for more close-ups on the products that came together to create these gorgeous spaces. And in the meantime, I just can’t get enough of these images, can you?!
Credits: Thank you to Embello for producing and including me in the Living By Design Virtual Showhouse, and to YouSee Studio for bringing my designs to life with these stunning renderings! Head over to the showhouse for an interactive tour of my rooms as well as those of all the other talented designers!