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Do It Yourself

Floor Bored?

April 17, 1999

Is something nasty underfoot? Is it your flooring? Maybe it's time for a change. Here are few options:

This Floor Will Fool You

The Formica Ceramix Collection ($5 to $5.50 per square foot) really passes for ceramic tile; even the simulated grout inspires a double take. Combining the performance benefits of laminates with the visual appeal of ceramic tile, this flooring is warmer and softer underfoot than tile and more resistant to chipping and cracking. And because it's a floating floor, it can be installed over existing surfaces without heavy preparation.

A 15-year warranty covers installation--even in wet areas like the kitchen and bath--when it's installed by a professional. The 24-inch-by-24-inch modules are available in nine colors and three styles.

Formica, (800) 367-6422; http://www.formica.com.

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Flooring With Flair

Amtico high-end, commercial-grade vinyl tiles come in more than 200 colors, patterns, mosaics and textures in sizes ranging from 1-inch square to 36 inches square.

Three of the products stand out. The Metallic Collection is a line of tiles in seven subtle steel colors. The tiles are available in Lunar (an uneven beaten-metal finish) and Treadplate (a diamond plate-like finish). Firestone Slate, molded from real Tibetan slate, features a wide range of sand-colored shades and earth tones.

The Stardust Collection offers 22 dazzling colors. Each tile is sprinkled with thousands of silver sparkles.

The price for each line is $8 to $12 per square foot, installed.

Amtico, (800) 268-4260; http://www.amtico.com.

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Hard-Wearing Hardwood

Award Hardwood Floors ($7 per square foot) combine the warmth and beauty of real wood with the durability of a nearly indestructible finish. This engineered flooring comes prefinished with WearMax, a topcoat that carries a 20-year wear-through warranty. That's five years longer than the warranty on most laminates, and 15 years longer than the warranty on many prefinished hardwood floors.

The finish is also highly stain-resistant, easy to clean and never needs waxing. The floors come in 24 styles and 10 wood species, including, maple, walnut, Brazilian cherry and white oak.

Award Hardwood Floors, (888) 862-9273.

Reprinted from the pages of Today's Homeowner magazine. To receive more expert advice on improving your home, call (800) 456-6369 or visit the Web site at http://www.todayshomeowner.com.

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