A recent column about kitchen flooring options reaped these pieces of reader advice.
From Janice Wolf: In the past year, I replaced my wood kitchen floor with a product by
(DuraCeramic). It looks like tile, feels like tile and it's not hard under your feet. My guests always comment how nice it is and they can't believe it's not regular tile.
It comes in 16-inch-square tiles and many different color combinations. I had it laid on a diagonal and then grouted between the tiles.
My home has all the different flooring materials (ceramic tile, hardwood and also Pergo). I do love this floor, and it doesn't show the dirt and cleans easily and is not as expensive as other flooring.
From Joe Waldenberger: I had our kitchen remodeled in September 2007 and wanted a different flooring.
My daughter in the design field suggested PermaGrain. The local contact was kind enough to send me a sample kit of the various flooring products offered.
The contractor's carpenter said it was the easiest floor he had installed. We are very pleased with the floor. There is a 10-year limited warranty and a 10-year limited manufacturer's defect warranty.
From Lea Bellis: We just installed Armstrong Alterna, a vinyl tile measuring 16 by 16 inches. I didn't want real ceramic or natural stone tile because I didn't want a hard, cold floor, nor a floor that shatters my dishes, should they fall, or alternately that can chip.
Alterna is warmer underfoot and not hard as rock. These tiles are installed like ceramic tiles, individually glued in and grouted. My husband had no trouble installing them.
After shopping around, I found these to be the most realistic-looking "fake" tiles on the current market.
When we had our kitchen backsplash installed, the tiler also couldn't get over how real the vinyl tile looked. The only thing I don't know is how they will wear.
From Debbie Zimmer at the Paint Quality Institute, five tips to quickly beautify your house:
Accent wall. Instead of painting an entire room, paint just one wall in a different color. An accent wall can add visual interest and create an opportunity to introduce another hue into your color scheme.
Above (or below) a chair rail. If your home is blessed with chair rails, think about repainting just the wall area above or below the rail. The natural break created by the trim provides a boundary for the new paint color.
Interior trim. Choose a complementary color for windows, molding and trim. This can produce dramatic change in almost any room, but especially in those where the walls are painted in a neutral color like beige or off-white.
Front door. Ask any real estate agent and he or she will tell you that the front entrance is what creates the first impression about a home. By adding a fresh coat of paint to the door, you can ensure that first impression will be favorable.
Exterior architectural details. Even if you don't have to paint your home exterior for maintenance reasons, you could paint a few architectural details for appearance's sake. Shutters are one possibility. But if you are lucky enough to own a house with some ornamental fretwork, flaunt it by painting the trim in a strong color that contrasts with exterior walls.
E-mail questions for Al Heavens to