living room hardwood floor
There are a multitude of types of hardwood that you can experiment with. Laminate and Linoleum will give your floor a nice glossy finish and keep it protected. Photo by Bret Gum.

When it comes to Midcentury Modern flooring, restoring original materials is always the ideal situation. But if that’s not an option and you want to bring your home back to its former glory, a renovation might be in your near future. Don’t fret, because Atomic Ranch has you covered. Here is everything you need to know about replacing and restoring your midcentury floor.

Stop right there!

If you own a home with original midcentury flooring in great condition, then you are one of the chosen ones. However, a floor like that is hard to come by and renovating is not always a bad idea. It’s important that you weigh the option of restoring your floor before you take off on the journey of renovation.

Troy Kudler, founder of KUD Properties, Inc., advises, “If you already have that original floor, then you need to consider if you like it and what direction you’d like to go towards for an update.” Some floors may just need a new finish or some cleaning up. Troy advises that you consider how this floor is going to look up against walls, door frames, and other areas that may clash with your finish. The material really affects the transition between the floor and door openings.

The next step before you start renovating is to look for hidden treasures. “My first thought that comes to mind when renovating a mid century floor is, know what’s underneath your floor. I’ve been in so many homes where the iconic and glorious original flooring is covered by carpet, wood or some other material,” Troy says. If you find that you hit the jackpot, make sure that this hidden floor is salvageable and fits your vision. You may need to talk to an expert to see if the floor is livable, but either way, “it can give you a great starting point for bringing back what may have been originally intended.”

What’s your type?

Tile, wood, carpet galore! If you’ve decided to redo your floors, your next decision should be your material. Of course, you will need to look at your home and see what matches best, but here is some essential information about each material:

slate flooring living room
Slate has great texture and each tile is unique. Photo by Jim Brown.

Slate

Natural slate is one of the most durable and texturized flooring options on the market. This material does need to be sealed from stains every once in a while, but it is almost indestructible. It has a very fine grain and comes in a multitude of colors. However, if you’re looking for something bright and bold, slate might not be for you. The most popular of the slate options is a dark gray or a sand stone. Slate has all the benefits of a stone and a tile combined and really adds some texture to any room.

Price per square foot: $4-$20

travertine flooring living room
Travertine provides a sleek clean look and it looks great with colorful furnishings and patterned rugs. Source.

Travertine

Travertine stone flooring is a little pricier than some of the other options, but it’s for good reason. This tile has a very elegant and fresh look. It comes in a variety of neutral shades—from dark gray to brown to light tan. This style is also very durable and will last you for years, if it’s installed correctly.

Price per square foot: $2-$30

Terrazzo flooring living room
Terrazzo will give your home a midcentury look. Its speckled grain and glossy finish gives that perfect ’50s vibe. Source.

Terrazzo

One of Troy’s favorites is terrazzo tile. This tile has a very specific look and is very customizable for your midcentury home. The tile contains small flecks within the material to create a unique pattern. What’s so specific about this tile is its finish. It is similar to linoleum in the fact that it has a glossy finish. This type is often seen in commercial buildings, but looks magnificent inside a home. Although the tile itself is durable, there are sometimes issues with sealing and keeping the tile protected.

Price per square foot: $20-$100

 

cork flooring living room
Cork flooring adds just enough texture without competing with your furnishings. Source.

Cork

If you’re looking for a bit of contrast from your typical textures, cork is a perfect interruption to your normal flooring. This flooring was very popular in Eichler homes and is easy to install and replace. Because of its specific texture, it is important not to expose the flooring to too much moisture. If you live in a very dry climate, this floor is perfect for your home.

Price per square foot: $3-$8

Bamboo flooring kitchen
Eco-friendly and stylish? Sign us up! Bamboo makes every floor panel unique. Source.

Bamboo

Trying a new trend can be scary, but bamboo makes it easy. Bamboo is a simple flooring option that’s both affordable and durable. It’s easy to clean and did we mention it’s eco-friendly? Bamboo has a light wood style and gives the feel of hardwood with that midcentury look.

Price per square foot: $2-$8

hardwood flooring living room
Keep your space warm and clean at the same time with a dark wash hardwood. Source.

Hardwood

You can never go wrong with some good ole hardwood. Although hardwood is popular in almost every type of home, you can customize the texture and shade to match the Mid-century modern look you’re striving for. For 50s style homes, go for a wood with a subtle grain. If you’re going to be living in your house for a few years and you want the best resale value, hardwood is the way to go. It’s going to last you while you’re living in your home and is desirable for many homebuyers. If you want the style of hardwood without the price tag, opt for laminate or linoleum. Both of these options are very durable and are virtually scratch and damage proof. Laminate also conducts heat better than most flooring options.

Price per square foot: $3-$14

stained concrete flooring kitchen
Concrete does’t have to just be gray. Try out some different stains for your concrete floor. Photo by Bret Gum.

Concrete

Another one of Troy’s favorites and a very unique option is concrete. While concrete may feel a little “unfinished,” its popularity is rising with modern and industrial looks. The great thing about concrete is that it’s simple enough to match with any color palette or pattern. There is hardly anything more durable than concrete and if later on you change your mind, a new flooring option can easily be laid on top of it.

Price per square foot: $2-$8

ceramic tile flooring bathroom
Get creative in your small spaces with ceramic tile. Choose a funky pattern or go with a bold color. Source.

Ceramic Tile

One of the prettiest options, but maybe not the most sustainable, would be ceramic tile. These tiles are delicate, so they can easily be cracked and damaged. However, this option is worth the risk. Tiles are very customizable in the fact that there are so many patterns and colors to choose from. You can switch up the colors and the patterns from room to room, or even use two different tiles in the same room. The choices are endless and it’s all up to you.

Price per square foot: $0.49-$15

colorful carpet bedroom
Carpet makes it easy add a pop of color. Warm up your bedroom with dark hues or match your patterned furnishings with a neutral shag. Source.

Carpet

Carpet has been the flooring plan of choice for decades. If you want to warm up your space and make an area cozier, carpet does just that. It will last you a while if you keep it clean and continuously check your carpet for water damage and mold. Neutral furnishings and walls look awesome against a bold colored carpet. This is a great way to get creative and it can easily be removed when you decide to change it up.

Price per square foot: $1-$3

But wait! There’s more.

Make sure your installer goes over the price for everything. And when we say everything, we mean EVERYTHING. The price of flooring installation can have a lot of hidden costs and when you’re budgeting a renovation, you don’t want any surprises. Ask about installation costs, existing floor removal, floor preparation, moving furniture and appliances, and anything else you come across in your research. Installation is very important when you’re paying top dollar for a new floor.

There are always a few things you should consider before tackling a remodel of this size. First, take a look at your floor plan and determine what will look best. If you have an open floor plan, it might be best to go with one material for the entire floor. Concrete is a great option for open floor plans and rugs can separate each area of the floor. Picking your material is the most important part of the process. Look closely at your colors and your furnishings and make sure that your floor will match everything. Also, if you’re not one to do a lot of up keep on your floors, you may want to choose a material, like hardwood, that is easy to keep clean. If you’re working with a smaller budget, hardwood and carpet are also great because they can usually be laid on top of existing floors. Whatever you choose, make sure that it feels right for the space, and most importantly that it feels right for you.

Troy’s Top 4 Tips for a Floor Renovation

1. Seek a professional. Research is always important before tackling a renovation, but talking to a professional is going to be very helpful and can be critical to the result of your floors. Troy says that a major problem in floor renovations is to have leaks under the floor and cracks in the foundations. He advises, “Hire a professional to analyze the situation and repair it correctly the first time.”

2. Be cautious with demo. If you’re renovating other parts of your home, it is important to be careful not to ruin the original floors. If you are also redoing your flooring, it is smart to renovate the rest of the house first and then install your floors. Paint and tools can really damage your fresh new floor.

3. Research your home’s period. “Know the appropriate finishes if you’re leaning towards the restoration side of a remodel,” Troy says. Keeping your home period correct is a huge part of renovation. While some people want a complete change of environment, most MCM homeowners want to preserve the originality of their home. Start searching the web for the original vision for the home.

4. Have fun with it. A remodel is nothing if you can’t try something new. Renovating is all about experimenting and jumping in head first, so pick a color you’ve never used before or go all out with patterns. Troy says, “Especially in small spaces, be creative.”