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The floors of Diamondleaf Cottage are unsightly. I had intended to finish them last year, but a proposal threw a wrench in my plan. As priorities shifted, the cottage floors were put aside for later. As it happened, I am no longer getting married at this time, so the priority pendulum swung back the other way. Later is now. My floors are getting redone. Finally.

Currently, the place is covered in contractor’s carpet and basic-blah tile in the high traffic rooms. But I have a vision! At some point in the next 5-10 years, I would like to rent out the cottage to a very special tenant. With this in mind, I am slowly creating a rental friendly cottage as funds allow.

The Victorians had hardwood floors, tile, and area rugs. If they were well-to-do they used higher end and rare materials such as teak and imported marble. Their floors were elaborate inlays of pattern using multiple species of woods. Their treatment of marbles and granite was dually impressive.

This is all well and good, and as much as I’d love to emulate them, it simply isn’t practical for a rental in this neighborhood nor this dusty town in the Southwest. When it comes to flooring in Sunbelt of Arizona, tile is the way to go. It is easier to maintain. The dirt and dust simply sits on top and does not get imbedded in any fibers which can also wreak havoc for people with allergies. Tile is also very cool to the touch and if your air conditioner is set just right, it can feel like you’re walking on a block of ice. Also ideal for Arizona! Oh, and cost. Your “average tile” is more cost effective than your “average hardwood.” Of course, you can get eye-popping beautiful tile laid in insanely intricate patterns that will jack the price up. . .

There are drawbacks, of course. Chipping. Low traction can be a safety issue, although tile now has various textural options. Grout can also be problematic if completed incorrectly or if the color is far too light.

Now, personally, I hated tile, up until about a year ago. Mainly due to temperature reasons. I became reformed when I began looking into “wood tile.”

Square wood tile

Square wood tile

Wood tile is the way of Arizona’s residential flooring! I’m telling you, mark my words! It’s the way to go. While purists are sure to scoff, which I completely understand since it’s practically gauche to use “imitation.” However, wood laminate has made huge strides to being accepted in the housing industry. Wood tile, is next in line. Aside from the ceramic v. porcelain debate, there are two shapes. One looks indeed like a rectilinear wood plank, being long and skinny-ish. The other is a square with numerous ‘strips/planks’ depicted upon it. This is the more cost effective one, typically, but not always. Best yet it has traction/slip resistance built into the design.

Where the pony wall used to be. Ugh! Ugly!

Where the pony wall used to be. Ugh! Ugly!

I had the pony wall between my dining area and living area removed, which left a hideous concrete scar in my floor, which I have pointedly ignored for the better part of a year. Before I host Christmas again, I pray the tile will be finished throughout the cottage. Yup, one type of tile throughout the entire house! My father wrinkled up his nose. I told him I plan on purchasing area rugs for the winter months (or maybe all year round??) to create rooms/spaces within my home’s open layout plan.

After copious research, I decided on Daltile Modern Outdoor Living in Natural. Daltile continuously came up on lists for reputable cost-effective tile brand with wood tile options. It is the square tile version. I will have the plank-pattern laid in one continuous direction throughout the whole house for continuity. Starting from the front door the wood pattern will run vertically. This is a little known design tip that elongates the house. This direction psychologically invites you into a space, as oppose to placing a horizontal feature which psychologically intimidates and bars people from entry.–Not very hospitable.

I understand the trend is grey or black floors, however I decided to go with a blond ‘wood’ to fit my over-arching “princess cottage” theme. Originally, I had planned for a white-wash laminate wood, but if I ever want to rent or sell this property again, I mustn’t do “too many” distinctively different things. The white-washing effect does not fit this track neighborhood. My crazy walls I can always repaint, but the big items, like floors, appliances, and cabinets should probably stay as neutral as possible. . . .and fit my theme.

My tile of choice used for a covered porch floor

Daltile Modern in Natural used for a covered porch floor

I shall return with updates and pictures on the completed project next month!