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Living rooms are typically designed and furnished to create an atmosphere of elegance or sophistication. Prominent formal styles include traditional, colonial and Victorian. Flooring and furnishings often emphasize symmetry and balance, using orderly geometric shapes and patterns. Examples are parquet floors, striped upholstery and diamond-patterned wood inlays. In most cases, floors should not introduce dramatic or wildly different patterns or colors.
Living rooms generally have low traffic and wear, making durability and resistance to stains and soiling somewhat less important than appearance and feel.
Choosing the Right Floor
Carpeting, especially soft and plush varieties, brings luxury and warmth to a formal living room. Wood and laminate are good choices for a traditional appearance. And the bold designs of ceramic tile can turn a formal living room into a work of art.
Luxurious carpets like plush or textured plush are great choices for formal living rooms. Patterned carpets in particular can give a room a formal look. Carpets with higher durability and greater stain and soil resistance will look beautiful longer.
Wood is traditionally the top choice for formal living rooms (though not all wood floors are formal). Formal wood floors are frequently made from either parquet or thin strip planks and given a highly polished, reflective finish. Area rugs and inlays are used for comfort and detail. Although wood is not as warm and comfortable as carpet, it's easier to clean and maintain.
Laminate floors look remarkably like wood or tile, and work well in formal living rooms. Unlike wood floors, laminate floors never need refinishing. Laminate is more resistant to dents and scratches, easier to install and less expensive than wood. Laminate is also supported by a layer of cushioning, so it offers greater comfort than wood or tile.
Ceramic tile lets you create the exact look you want for a formal living room - from subtle, polished elegance to dramatic colors, rich textures and bold patterns. A ceramic floor is more durable than any other type of floor, so it can set the style of your living room for decades.
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