How to select flooring for a Coastal Home 

If you’re considering flooring for a new home or remodeling an existing space, sit back and think about how your home will be used during the summer months. Those are the days when flip flops are back on the street and you think about hours to enjoy the beach with family and friends. Then,  at some point you think about that sand and how to keep it outside and away from your floors.

What’s a homeowner to do to keep the sand where it belongs?

  • Install tile floors instead of wood floors?
  • Include an outdoor shower to remove sand from toes, etc.?
  • Inspect everyone’s feet before they return from the beach?

Over the years, I’ve encountered homes that stand the test of sand. Some had tile floors that are easy to vacuum and aren’t scratched by sand. Other homes have wood floors that look as good as new for years. Still others, opted for the new plank look vinyl flooring.

Tile meets Style at the Shore

Coastal blog daltile floor photo

(Photo courtesy of Daltile)

In the northeast, since Hurricane Sandy, one of the most popular Flooring trends is wide plank tile.

Ugh, grout lines to clean, you say! Well that was before. Now, these new tile floors can have smaller grout lines. But wait – it’s cold on your feet! Not so fast – while the temperature of tile is cooler than wood floors, if you must feel warmth, radiant heat can be installed underneath.

‘Wood’ you, if you could, install Wood floors at the Shore?

When I think of wood floors at the shore, my mind drifts to scenes of the homes in Bay Head or Mantaloking, Spring Lake or Sea Girt. In many of those homes, you’ll see wood floors in newly constructed or re-furbished homes. Sold wood floors have that quintessential ‘old money look’ and are timeless vs trendy.

Solid hardwood floors can last for years, be re-finished, stained, painted or whitewashed. The clear top coat protects years of family gatherings. As long as you keep your thermostat and humidity at a comfortable setting, the floors will remain flat (not cupped) for years and years.

While wood floors are tough to beat, I suggest you keep the sand where it belongs, at the beach. This way you’ll avoid scratches and the memories of those that forgot to shake the sand off their feet.

Did you say these are Vinyl floors?

In the ‘before’, my memories of vinyl floors were not good. I never liked the sheet vinyl that was installed in our house 27 years ago. It lasted a year until we ripped it out for tile in our kitchen. I never missed it a day and never looked back.

But, here we are again in a vinyl kind of world. The newest kid on the block is COREtec and similar brands that made their way into many shore homes. The first time I heard of COREtec, I was doubtful. But, once I witnessed the many plusses, I became an admirer.

Coastal Blog OOB Atrium

Photo of the Atrium at One Ocean Boulevard

I really became a fan the minute I saw the beautiful Atrium and halls at One Ocean Boulevard in Seaside Heights, NJ. The new condominium is classic and timeless. And, the vinyl floors in the Atrium and hallways are perfect for easy upkeep and busy foot traffic.

Since I worked on the model at OOB, a number of clients, both residential and commercial have installed and appreciate the new vinyl way of life.

Which way will you go when you select flooring for your coastal home or coastal-inspired home? My best advice is always to do some research, ask a lot of questions, consider your lifestyle, budget and – most of all, select a floor you will love forever.

‘It’s elemental my dear’ – stay tuned for Part II the final series on ‘Elements to Consider when living Coastal’. In this final section of ‘Nitty Gritty Facts of living near the Shore’, we’ll roll out some ideas on using awnings, pergolas and other fun ways to keep your face and furnishings from too much of a good thing.