Wooed Away in the Flooring Aisle


I went shopping today for flooring for the studio, dragging Dave and Matt along with me. I started out with two options in mind: 1) real tile, or 2) commercial vinyl tile. In both cases, I was taken by the idea of black and white tile, installed on the diagonal. I thought that would look so pretty! Earlier today, a friend said to me, “If I came to your studio, dropped something, and broke your floor, it would ruin my entire time.”

Hmmm. There are a lot of negatives to real tile. Cold, hard, potentially slippery, and it can crack–and will certainly shatter anything breakable dropped on it. And I wouldn’t want anyone to feel bad if they dropped a heavy pot during a cooking class and broke a tile. Back to considering the commercial vinyl option. I was torn between the two options. Torn, I tell you!

Of course, once I was in the flooring department, I was overcome by so many other choices, and of course, I ended up choosing neither of the original options.

As it happens, real tile in solid colors isn’t easy to find these days. Solid colors aren’t that popular, so they don’t carry them in in stock. Everyone wants pattern and texture. Solid black and white tile is a special order. That’s almost hard to believe, but I’ve been to the store, people! You can’t find it!

Already wavering on my real tile desire, I decided to check out the commercial vinyl. Here’s the closest I could come to my black and white tile dream in vinyl.

Everything has pattern to it. No solid colors. Close, but…. I just wasn’t excited by the black and white in vinyl. It made me feel like I was in an elementary school or a hospital.

Then I was sucked in by the vinyl plank flooring displays.


I chose the dark one in the middle.

It’s not at all what I went to get, but I fell in love with it. It looks very much like real wood, but it’s not. It fulfills the health department requirements. (Relatively smooth, durable, and non-absorbent.) It didn’t cost very much more than the commercial vinyl, and it was a lot less expensive than real tile. I think it will look gorgeous in the studio.

My photographer friend Jerry lives near there and sneaked up on me in the flooring department.

This is me telling Matt and Dave, “Here’s my latest greatest idea!”

Matt and Dave: “We’re never gonna finish this project, are we?”

That’s how most of our conversations go.

(I’m just kidding.)

Anyway. I have a floor!

Well, not exactly, but I have a floor in boxes!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on April 13, 2012  

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32 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 4-13

    Great choice. I think it will look very warm and welcoming. Can’t wait to see it in September!

  2. 4-13

    So glad you made your choice for wood-like vinyl. We put that in our house – kitchen, dining room, living room, hall. We did put carpet in the bedrooms. We love our floor. It is very easy to maintain and is very tough. After 5 years it still looks like it did the day we put it in. I am sure you will be happy with it. We put little padded cups under the couch legs and I can slide it all over the place for cleaning. We have an area rug under the dining table and under the coffee table. It all works wonderfully well.


  3. 4-13

    love the dark wood look. Great choice!

  4. 4-13

    This is what I had in mind when I commented on the other post! :) I think it looks so much “warmer,” and it should be a lot easier on anything dropped.

    Lovely choice!

  5. 4-13

    Perfect choice! It satisfies all the prerequisites, AND it’s beautiful!

  6. 4-13

    OMG…you sound like me when I go shopping for this kind of thing.
    Can’t wait to see a photo of how it looks in the studio!

  7. 4-13

    A friend of mine put similar flooring in her hair salon at least 10 years ago. It held up well, the only negative for her was the “grain” color wore off in certain places but I am sure the manufacturing process has come a long way since then and you aren’t going to be walking the same path every single day, day after day after day like she did.

    The product, in general, is used in a lot of retail stores. (we are in the construction busines)

  8. 4-13

    Interesting, my husband was trying to talk me into this for our kitchen just the other day. I didn’t know how it would hold up but I’m game for anything that isn’t holes in white vinyl with the old original flooring showing through. The only question I have is what about the water that I invariably slop all over the floor, no matter what I am doing. Oh, and the cats do, too, when they knock over the dogs water dish. Does fake wood get those ugly white spots like a wood table when you don’t use coasters for your coffee cup? Ask me how I know about those…

  9. 4-13

    I love laminate. I have it through my entire house, including the kitchen. I’ve had no issues so far. Great choice Suzanne!! It’s super easy to clean too!

  10. 4-13

    You will LOVE it! We have it in about half our house and are slowly working the way over to the whole house being that with area rugs. SO much less dust and dander, easy to clean, isn’t hard on the joints when you stand on it a lot,and looks SO beautiful! Good choice!

  11. 4-13

    That’s terrific. I think you will love that. And it would look great!

  12. 4-13

    :butterfly: :butterfly: :butterfly: :butterfly: :butterfly: :butterfly: :butterfly:
    Suzanne, good choice on the flooring, I have seen this type of flooring, my vet has it, and it is beautiful, it looks so real, and the clean up is easy.

  13. 4-13

    The same thing happens to me. Unforunately I/we already purchased ceramic tile a year ago for our kitchen floor (installation to take place next week).

  14. 4-13

    Beautiful choice, Suzanne.

  15. 4-13

    My boyfriend had this in his old house and it’s great! I love the look of stone tile, but it is hard as hell on my old bones, I can tell you. In our current house, the previous owner replaced the vinyl flooring with stone and I can really feel it in my feet, knees, and back when I cook for a long time. I hope you’ll be happy with the laminate–I wish we had laminate here!

  16. 4-13

    This is one of the better recent pictures of you. So, believe this or not, your choice, but …

    If you dye your hair strawberry blonde with lighter highlights and don a pair of wire-rim glasses you could be a stand-in for Mia Farrow circa 2012.

    The Farrow family lives near my mother and they share hospital facilities by dint of locality. On one recent occasion as I waited for my mother in a doctor’s waiting room in that hospital, Mia came in with one of her adopted children to wait as well.

    No, I am not that rude. I said nothing, nor did I gawk. Living in this area one adapts to occasional brushes with celebrity by “taking no notice” and remaining cool throughout.

    Just thought you might be interested, though.

    No, she ain’t Rosemary’s Baby’s mom no more.

    (PS A “Stand in” is someone who resembles the actor in size and coloring and is used to set up lighting and camera angles for a shot while the actor relaxes in his/her trailer learning the lines.)

  17. 4-13

    I’ve been looking at the vinyl plank flooring too! It is supposed to be durable and easy to care for – weatherproof too. I would think it would be easier on the legs and feet than standing on a tile surface. It will be beautiful!

  18. 4-13

    Great choice Suzanne.
    I wanted wood floors in my kitchen, bathroom, hallway and laundry room, but knew it wouldn’t hold up in all those “water” areas. The salesman talked me into the vinyl wood-look, and we’ve had it for 5 years now. Love it!! I love clean floors, so I mop these rooms at least once a week, and its held up great!

  19. 4-13

    Thats so wonderful Suzanne, she has a floor.

  20. 4-13

    I know I should be commenting on your flooring but all I could think about reading this post and looking at the pics was ” wow, she’s really short!” lol I don’t mean to sound rude, and I apologize if I am, but in all the time I’ve been a follower of yours I never noticed! AND, BTW, I love your choice in flooring! (please keep in mind that someone doesn’t have to be very short to look short to an Amazon woman, which I am!!!)

  21. 4-13

    I love your choice!

  22. 4-13

    We put this same flooring in our master bathroom and we love it. It was reasonably priced and we could install it ourselves. It’s going to look fantastic.

  23. 4-14

    That black and white vinyl tile I am in the process of stripping and re waxing. Yes it will last forever but it is such a pain in the **** I want to desperately replace it with the vinyl plank flooring but we installed some in the the kids room and it is scratch badly and quickly. It was clearanced so it may have been an old style or had major complaints so they were discontinuing it. So happy you didn’t settle and found what you loved. Now to drive the boys batty installing it.

  24. 4-14

    What a great choice! I love it! Good for you.

    And by the way, you look MAHVELOUS. Just saying. =D


  25. 4-14

    We’ve had this type of flooring in our kitchen for 8 years and it is still perfect (we were worried about scratching when we bought it, but we tested a piece, tried to scratch it up and it withstood our efforts). It’s also very easy to clean. Congratulations on taking the next step toward completing the studio!

  26. 4-14

    We have an almost similar flooring in our kitchen and both bathrooms. We love it! Great choice!


  27. 4-14

    My best friend just had this installed in her kitchen…she loves it!we are thinking about this for our whole house (except bedrooms).This is so much better than the laminate wood flooring…you don’t have to worry about water spots… or water damage when the drain pipe burst while you are on vacation (yes it happpened).
    Very good choice.

  28. 4-14

    The local restaurant just installed the same flooring. It looks nice and is easy on the legs according to the waitresses. They did have a problem of it scratching until they cushioned all the table and chair legs. A lot of mechanics and farmers visit this restaurant in the mornings, so right at the door and the path to the bathrooms gets dusty. It is easy to wipe up. They put it right over the old ceramic tile with a waterproof cushion between the two floorings. Great choice. You will love it.

  29. 4-15

    Great choice!

    Short women rule!
    The only thing I was EVER too tall for was joining the (now defunct) American Midgets and Dwarfs’ Association. No, I am NOT making that up.


  30. 4-15

    I definitely think you made the right decision. I like the wood plank looking flooring way better than the white and black checker. I had a flood in my kitchen and they had to rip everything up down to the plywood. I wanted tile too. Then my husband reminded me how many times I drop stuff. Between then and now, I would have definitely cracked the tile and broken half my casserole dishes! I picked the super thick 16×16 super thick vinyl tiles that are actually grouted in like tile. You can’t tell the difference until you drop something on it :)

  31. 4-16

    Great pictures Suzanne!!! I have the same flooring in the same color in my bathroom. It was easy to install!!!! It has been down for about 3 years and I love it!! A few months ago, I put the same kind of floor in my kitchen (the color is Apple Blonde), and I love it too. It cleans up so well and it also seems to help reduce noise. The rest of the house has white oak floors…which I love too….but this works great in the bathroom and kitchen. The only thing that I have heard is that it doesn’t like extreme heat for any length of time..(95 + degrees). I found that info on the internet. Great choice!!!!

  32. 4-19

    Late contribution to this post, but yesterday when I visited my local neighborhood grocery store I noticed that they (in the midst of a remodel) are putting in this same flooring. An upvote for sure.

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