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Lighten Up with White Floors

Elegance, expanse, urbanity; there are plenty of reasons why white floors have been popular since the earliest days of manufactured flooring. For one, many natural stones are naturally white or close to it. White marble flooring has long been a symbol of affluence and luxury.

But these days, status and appearance are not the only reasons to choose a flooring material. Today we are more practical and diverse, understanding that luxury and appeal can be dug out of any rock, wood, or synthetic material. That begs the question: How practical are white floors?

Advantages

  • White flooring’s biggest advantage is its ability to open up a room, especially white tile. The reflectivity not only makes the room feel bigger, it also brightens it up, spreading natural light around and saving electricity normally spent on artificial lighting during the day.
  • White floors are also cool. They reflect rather than absorb solar heat pressing in through windows and open doors; excellent for residents of the desert and other hot places.

Disadvantages

  • One disadvantage is cleaning…in that it must be done often. A white floor, while it reflects sunlight well, does not reflect dirt, grime, and stains. Many homeowners become frustrated with the constant feeling that they need to clean their floor—a reason white tile is the preferred white flooring material because it is stain resistant and easier to clean.
  • In addition to showing dirt and debris, a white floor will also show imperfections due to wear and tear more readily. This is where its reflectivity takes on a negative side by bringing out any damage to the flooring. This is not much of an issue with carpet however.
  • Combined with white walls, a white floor works to over-sterilize the room or home. Outside of some modern designs, it is possible to have too much white, creating a hospital-like lack of contrast and substance…not so much a disadvantage as something to consider.

To compromise the pros and cons of white floors, many homeowners simply choose natural stone options that are not quite white. Natural stone and ceramics often have a natural distortion to them, giving the flooring an overall tan or beige appearance. These colors are preferred quite often because they have all the advantages of a white floor but show off less of the imperfections and dirt. Limestone, sandstone, and the like are common choices in “white-ish” stone tiles. Of course carpet, linoleum, and even wood can offer the same color choices. These, however, are not as durable as stone or ceramic tiles—certainly the best choice in white flooring.

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