Carpet is perhaps the most universal floor covering. The comfort it provides and the wide range of color tones make it a great choice for most buyers. Our carpet selection generally includes many different styles, fibers and colors and offers a large range of stain and soil protection, anti-static control, fade resistance and texture retention.
Here's a quick reference to some key terms you may see on carpet samples.
- Face Weight - More ounces per square yard is preferred, but at additional cost.
- Twist - Higher twist helps resist crushing and matting.
- Density - Higher density improves comfort and performance. Depending on the carpet density, bending of the carpet on stairs can sometimes expose the backing of the carpet.
Hardwood floors are a popular choice to add a warm and natural touch to your home. Wood floors may be available in several species and styles. As a natural material, wood is affected by moisture and temperature changes that can cause the floor to expand and contract with the season. These changes may produce squeaks and hairline cracks. These, along with slight height variations in the wood are considered normal and part of the character of a wood floor.
Softer woods can easily dent or scratch when exposed to pet's nails, furniture legs, high heels or other sharp objects. It's also not a good idea to "wet mop" wood floors. Wood can and will warp, cup or deteriorate from excess water and moisture.
Natural stone will make an elegant statement wherever it is installed in your home. It is important to understand that no two pieces of marble, granite, limestone, travertine or slate are alike. The stone examples in our model homes or design selection centers may differ slightly from the stone installed in your home. In fact, it may have quite different veining patterns, texture and color variations. All natural stones start out as giant pieces of rock that are removed from the earth and are then cut into thin slabs. As you look at stone samples you will see irregular markings, lines, veins and crystallizations. These markings are not cracks or imperfections, but rather are part of the beauty of natural stone. Different stones have different levels of hardness and porosity.
Ceramic and porcelain tiles are some of the most popular floors today. Tile can be used in just about any room in your home. There are many sizes, colors and styles available. Tile can be installed in creative combinations and patterns to create a unique look. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are manmade products that are colored and sectioned into individual dye lots during manufacturing, which means there will be color variations between dye lots. Some tiles that are designed to mimic natural stone are intentionally made to have increased amounts of variation.
Sheet vinyl products have greatly improved in construction, style and maintenance over the years, but they are still susceptible to scratching and denting. Sheet vinyl manufacturers offer different quality levels of vinyl with a variety of patterns to choose from. Some of the most popular are patterns inspired by nature, including patterns that replicate the beauty found in natural stone. Sheet vinyl products are produced in 6' and 12' widths and, like carpet, may require seams in your floor. Certain patterns are better than others for hiding seams. For example, a pattern emulating natural stone with several colors and varying detail will disguise a seam better than white patterned vinyl.
Alder is a common wood known for its natural pale yellow to reddish brown tint. A relatively soft, straight-grained, even textured wood commonly used to make furniture and toys. Alder will display some roots and knots within its grain. Nicks and gouges will show, so care should be taken not to damage the soft wood.
Cherry is a close-grained hardwood with occasional pine knots and fine grain variations appearing as curls and waves. The natural color of cherry ranges from pale yellow sapwood to deep reddish brown heartwood. Staining reveals subtle variations and colors that typically darken over time.
Hickory is a very tough, dense hardwood, making it an extremely durable choice for cabinets. However, it is known for very dramatic color variation, ranging from deep reddish-brown heartwood to pale-white sapwood. Darker stains moderate the color variance in hickory. Knots and streaks are considered an inherent aspect of the charm of hickory cabinets. Unlike with other hardwoods, wood selection for hickory cabinets does not attempt to minimize discrepancies in wood color tones. Because of this, we recommend you always view hickory samples before choosing hickory for your home.
Maple is a finely grained and extremely hard wood. Natural colors range from creamy to light blonde tones to dark reddish-browns. The natural color variations will be reduced somewhat by darker stains. Maple may display some wavy, curly or bird’s eye characteristics. It may reveal occasional dark mineral streaks and cross-grained tracking. These markings are natural occurrences in the wood and give maple its unique character.
Oak is a common hardwood known for its strength and visible grain pattern, which ranges from straight grains to arcs. Natural colors range from light tans to deep reddish browns. When a light-colored stain is applied you will see noticeable differences in color between the open and closed grain areas of the wood. A darker stain will provide a more uniform appearance. Oak is durable and usually forgiving of nicks and bumps, making it an ideal choice for cabinetry.
This man-made finish is generally used to produce white cabinet doors with the same styling and detail usually found in solid wood cabinetry. Thermo-Foil finishes are durable and easy to clean. The finish on the front of these cabinets is produced by bonding a PVC molded plastic to a pre-machined material, using heat and pressure. The core of a white Thermo-Foil door is typically a medium density fiberboard with a white melamine back.
Countertop & Backsplashes
Laminate countertops are available in an abundance of colors, textures and patterns. Known for easy maintenance and affordability, laminates are typically a resin-impregnated paper bonded to plywood or fiberboard substrate. Laminate, particularly dark and high-gloss colors will show scratches and may de-laminate over time and/or break or chip. Laminates partnered with a decorative tile backsplash can create a very stylish look at a great value.
Manufactured Quartz Countertops
Manufactured quartz countertops offer elegance and beauty. Quartz has unique characteristics of depth, clarity and radiance, with the cool solid feel of natural stone. The quartz used in countertops is naturally scratch-resistant and generally will not scratch from a knife like other countertop surfaces; however, it is not scratchproof and could be damaged by excessive force and pressure. Only three other natural minerals (diamond, sapphire and topaz) are harder than quartz. Manufactured quartz countertops are non-porous and are resistant to stains from coffee, wine, lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, cosmetics and many other household products. Unlike natural stone, manufactured quartz countertops do not need to be sealed regularly to prevent staining. Available in a variety of colors, natural quartz products are manufactured in a highly controlled environment ensuring uniformity and color consistency.
Granite is the most popular of the natural stones used in decorative backsplashes and countertops. Granite is known for its timeless performance and beauty and is a great way to add sizzle to your home. Granite is found in an extraordinary palette of colors ranging from subtle tones to dazzling intensity. Some granites exhibit "movement" or a pattern like a wave of color. Granite comes from magma, which eventually cools and crystallizes to form a very hard rock consisting of primarily quartz and feldspar. The Earth is constantly revealing ever-new variations of this age-old material.
Solid surface countertops, such as Corian® and artificial stones are known for their durability, easy maintenance, and their ability to be restored. Solid surfaces are smooth and nonporous and will not promote the growth of mold, mildew or bacteria. The beauty of solid surface countertops can be greatly complemented by a decorative tile or natural stone backsplash.
A popular choice, especially for decorative backsplashes - due to its varied colors, sizes, patterns, textures and accent pieces. Tile can make a strong statement paired with laminate, solid surfaces, or natural stone. Finishes range from matte to high gloss, with some finishes more suitable for specific uses than others. Tile may be either heat, stain or scratch-resistant, but all tile can chip or break if abused or hit with heavy objects.
Window coverings can be a great design element with a big impact on the look and feel of your new home. However, they are frequently overlooked during the design selection process. It is important to keep in mind that your new home will need, and benefit from, some sort of window coverings for privacy, temperature and light control. In some locations, community Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions include guidelines for the types of window coverings accepted in the community and timeline requirements for installation. Check with your Community Sales Associate to see if this might apply to your home.
Additional Design Selections
The Final Touches
In addition to flooring, cabinets, countertops and window coverings you may select lighting, faucets, appliances and many more items for your new home, depending on your community and the options available.
We hope you found this quick reference helpful. But we recommend visiting your specific Design Center designated for your community to make your final selections. And of course, you're welcome to visit our model homes for designing ideas or inspiration. If you have any questions, our Design Centers are always happy to help.