Best Carpets for Homes with Kids and Pets

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Beautiful, bright floors no longer have to be a pipe dream for homeowners with pets or kids. While designs of days past may not have stood up to the dirt and traffic that come with children and pets, today’s parents don’t have to sacrifice their beautiful floors for their small or furry family members. The key is knowing which features to look for when picking out carpets and flooring.

Stain Resistance

Dogs happily bound inside after romping through mud puddles in the yard. Cats drag in unwelcome “presents” in the form of rats or mice. Even young children have unavoidable accidents, so it’s important that floors have an element of stain resistance to avoid making those “oh no” moments permanent memories. The best stain resistant carpets are those that contain nylon or polyester, but the real deciding factor lies in the type of animal living in the home.

Kids, Dogs, and Other Large Animals

In many cases, dogs are actually heavier than children and contribute more to the wear and tear of flooring than kids do. So when considering types of carpets, it’s best to choose ones that offer extra resilience and other features specially designed for use in homes with kids. Nylon and Smartstrand are two types recommended by many suppliers for their stain resistance and durability.

Cats and Other Small Animals

These animals don’t carry as much weight, so the carpet doesn’t need to be as durable. But small animals like cats, puppies, and small dogs still make a mess, so we at Speedwell Design Center recommend using affordable options in rooms frequented by these critters. It’s most cost effective to buy and replace cheaper floors every five to ten years as needed. Polyester and olefin carpets, particularly those with low-to-medium face weight or density, are recommended in homes with cats and other small animals.


To keep floors looking bright and clean, install moisture barrier padding beneath them. This helps absorb waste, which can seep through standard pads and into the floor board. In this way, moisture barrier padding can help contribute to a cleaner, neater home no matter what type of carpet is chosen. Whether their children have two legs or four, homeowners can maintain beautiful floors by vacuuming regularly and hiring a professional cleaner once or twice a year to keep carpets looking fresh and new.
July 26 2016 Read More

Remodeling 101: Focus on the Floor

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When undertaking a bath, kitchen, or whole home renovation project, there’s one age old question of which element to focus on first. Some contractors always start with the floor, some always start with the cabinets, and some always start with the wallpaper or wall color. But, the design specialists at Speedwell Design Center recommend focusing first on the flooring during most remodeling projects.

Starting from the Ground Up

Why concentrate on the flooring first? Because the floor is the most commonly used surface in the home. Think about it. The walls support the home but aren’t generally touched much, and the cabinets are used regularly but not continuously. The floor, on the other hand, is always in use, so it’s important to start the renovation literally from the ground up.

Managing the Dust Issue

Even when a meticulous process is used, flooring installation can create a film of dust and debris that can alter the quality and appearance of paint. That’s why many contractors and flooring suppliers prefer to install and sand floors first in order to prevent complications caused by the dust issue. Additionally, if floors need to be stained, this step should also be taken prior to painting the walls to avoid having to repaint baseboards that will inevitably be affected by the stain. Once the floors have been installed, the contractor should carefully cover them with dust sheets and keep them covered until the paint has completely dried.

Considering the Design Element

For some homeowners, the floor may be the focal point of a room. For others, the focal point may be the wall color, the cabinets, the backsplash, or some other design element. Homeowners who want the focus of their new room to be on intricate flooring that makes a statement should pick out the floors first, then design the rest of the room around them. It’s a lot easier to find paint colors and countertops that play off complementary colors in the flooring than it is to pick out cabinets, countertops, and other features before looking for a floor that ties all those elements together. Every renovation project is different, so it may not be appropriate to begin with the flooring in every situation. But starting a project by first installing that beautiful, intricate floor can pave the way for a smoother, less complicated renovation project for many homeowners. Special thanks to CJ sorg for the image.
July 15 2016 Read More

The Biggest Tile Flooring Trends of 2016

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When it comes to tile flooring, manufacturers inundate the market with endless new designs, styles, and colors every year. In fact, Speedwell Design Center offers hundreds of different styles of glass, ceramic, porcelain, and other tiles that fit the tastes of even our most conservative and our most stylish clients alike. These are our designers’ picks for top tile flooring trends in 2016.


Piggybacking off last year’s wildly popular hexagon designs, it seems like virtually every manufacturer has created brick-inspired tiles this year. Brick tiles are low maintenance, and they offer that same warm and cozy feel offered by traditional brick walls, but in a slightly different format. Perhaps best of all, brick tiles can completely transform a room whether they’re used on the floor, on the wall, as a backsplash, or as some other creative design element. The most popular brick tile designs for 2016 include aged brick, polished brick, rustic brick, and brick-like marble and wood designs.


Wood-like tile flooring has been around for years, but it’s become even more popular this year as manufacturers have incorporated all new styles and patterns, like herringbone, into their designs. Reclaimed wood is another favorite, as more and more homeowners switch to tile to get that rustic, weathered look. Cross grain tiles are also having their moment and painted wood tile flooring is gaining momentum for its unique look and feel. What’s more, designers are even using wood-inspired tiles to dress up the walls.

Mixing and Matching

Fragmented patterns in bright, vivid colors create a kaleidoscopic effect on floors. Mixing and matching geometric shapes and patterns creates a unique look that channels stained glass with a more modern, stylish application. More and more homeowners are choosing fragmented floors to give their kitchen or bathroom a real “wow” factor.

Wall Tile

While it’s not actually a type of tile flooring, wall tile has exploded in popularity in 2016, so it’s important to include it as a design trend this year. Wall tile is no longer limited to the backsplash, as more and more interior designers are using it to cover the walls, similar to paint or wallpaper. The most popular styles are large format tiles with metallic, mosaic, and geometric styles and patterns. Textured, three-dimensional designs are also gaining popularity among both designers and homeowners. Check out our gallery for design inspiration, then tell us: What’s your favorite tile flooring trend for 2016 and why? Special thanks to rickjohnson75 for the image.
July 06 2016 Read More