Step into Flooring
The latest flooring options for our multi-faceted homes
By Elizabeth Sugg
Francy Thompson, owner of Total House + Flooring in Southern Pines, “loves where flooring is going.” An interior designer with an accounting background, Thompson added the sale of flooring to her design business when she went into “survival mode” coming out of the market crash of 2008. Now this nimble owner who also once repped 12 different home accessory lines when she was first out of design school has found a special niche in the Sandhills area. She calls her blend of design and flooring projects a “bespoke” showroom, a one-stop-shop.
The intense focus on home improvements throughout the Covid-19 pandemic continues with intensity and has businesses like Total House + Flooring still ramped up with helping customers fix areas of their houses that may have languished before an owner became housebound. Rather than simply nesting, the pandemic created the need for home to become not only a safe haven but a sanctuary for families, even if the sacred space includes pets that shed, active children, a kitchen open 24/7, office space and a workout area.
When someone comes in with a project in mind, Thompson asks a multitude of questions about life around the customer’s house to get to the flooring options that make sense. “A young family with kids and pets is going to have very different needs than an older couple,” explains Thompson.
Color. Usually the choice made comes down to a color a customer has fallen in love with, and with so many types of flooring, finding the right material and texture is the exploration part of the design puzzle.
Just back from attending a large surface show in Las Vegas, Thompson shares where the next trends will be taking us. Phasing out is the distressed farmhouse look being replaced with lots of natural earth tones and stone. When paired with touches of rattan, wicker and shiny accessories such as a high gloss gold or copper, or even an accent wall of shimmery wallpaper, the overall feel can become one of airy elegance yet with great comfort.
“We are seeing a wingback chair with exposed wood on a wide-plank, low-sheen natural hickory floor or maybe a white-washed French Oak,” describes Thompson. So a touch of elegance is in, but are all the flooring options in stock? Supply chain has become everyone’s bug in the ointment, so Thompson has been pointing customers in the direction of Mohawk brands which are American-made, with one of their leading lines RevWood being made 75 miles up the road in Thomasville, N.C.
Akin to engineered wood flooring, RevWood has a real wood core, made of fast-growing southern pine. It is similar to laminate in that it features a high-quality image layer and super-durable wear layer but in RevWood’s case, the image is actually embossed. The colors range from shades called the “outer banks” to “kindling oak”.
The other reason Thompson is a fan of Mohawk is that about three years ago, they introduced an American-made luxury vinyl plank. That became a “gamechanger” according to Thompson, “when the L.A. ports were backed up with shipments from Indonesia, Korea, Vietnam, etc.”
These are just some options. For Thompson herself, she appreciates the toughness of ceramic and porcelain tile, saying, “you can’t beat it.” She also understands that the continued interest in sustainability may move people away from man-made products to consider hardwoods and natural stone.
Trending now though is a European oak look with a rattan elegance, and no
gray – “gray is on its way out” says Thompson. Popular hues in flooring almost have a “blond look” now which mixes well with trending colors that include an abundance of earthy clays, warm neutrals, and jewel shades. If this has inspired navigating a flooring project of your own, Thompson explains that they will be “with you the whole way.”