There is one thing about the Emerald Coast that stays with you forever…. it’s not a memory or a picture — its not a t-shirt from Alvin’s or a snow globe.. its sand. Fine, white, soft, grains of sand that sneak into your clothes, shoes, hair, floor-mats, car seats, bathing suits, back packs, towels, blankets, coolers and more — and never ever gets completely removed. Seven months after you’re home.. its still showing up in the darndest places.
Now, close your eyes, and picture yourself walking into your dream home. The wide framed open windows with sunshine pouring in. The open concept kitchen with stunning countertops and glass backsplash and large living room space for all the family. Guest suites with bathrooms attached on every floor…..Viking gas stoves and beautiful stainless steel appliances…walk in showers….Your home shines, and life is good. Then it starts… its subtle at first. A grain here, a grain there…. then more grains begin to show up, and suddenly its everywhere. There seems to be no end or rescue in site. Sand has now become the enemy, and you start looking at the beach a bit difference. But I have a theory — at the end of the day, it comes down to two things, the material you put down beneath your feet and an outdoor shower — this combo will make all the difference. For today – lets talk floors.
Here are our top picks for beach house flooring to support clean beaches and even cleaner homes:
- Porcelain Tile — Don’t underestimate this typically undervalued flooring — especially on the beach. With hundreds of styles and options, this easy to maintain flooring can be a life saver: sand can’t hide and the awesome Swiffer is able to do its job. The downside: it can be slippery when wet, so consider that before you install it in the entire home.
- Concrete — This is definitely a preference – but the end product is super easy clean up, cool to the touch on hot days, no worries of major damage as it s pretty indestructible – definitely pet friendly (Swiffer to the rescue!!!!)! There are also so many choices for finishes and washes, and something for everyone. The downfall, its hard, and can hurt if you have small kids, and when houses settle, concrete will crack, be prepared for that and how to attack it.
- Stone tile — Hard-wearing stone tiles such as granite, travertine, marble, or limestone offer a variety of looks, from refined and elegant to casual and rustic. The clean well and hide that sand that’s missed and fits the beach feel people come to expect here. Brilliant thought was to consider pairing your stone floor with a wood ceiling that will absorb noise in the room.
- Reclaimed Hardwoods — Of course this is ridiculously stunning and amazing and I cannot say enough good things about this, but be sure and have it installed properly, treated properly, sealed properly and as the owner — be ready for sand to hide in the tiny grooves that make the wood so beautiful. But buy a Shark vacuum and go to town!! This is by far my favorite look….
Word of advice… I’m all about green, saving the planet and being smart with resources, but the beach is not the right space for bamboo. As much as I love it, it may not hold up to the humidity, water, sand and harshness our area encounters — especially if its a rental home.
So now you know my flooring choices.. what are yours? Leave a comment, your likes and dislikes — tell me why I’m right or wrong! Lets hear it for the floors!