My wife and I suffer from seasonal allergies. Mine are so bad
that I suffer just about every season. One of the best ways
to combat allergies is to limit the amount of carpet in your
home. The only carpet in our home is in the media room.
Carpet is a good sound barrier. Our home is probably noisier than others. You can compensate with rugs, but that kind of defeats the purpose.
Most of our home has hardwood floors. This includes the bedrooms,
hallways, foyer, game room, family room, living and dining rooms.
If a closet is attached to a room with hardwood floors, the
closet likewise has hardwood floors.
We chose to put down 3/4 inch by 3 inch quartersawn oak planks.
Our floors are hand-scraped for a less-formal look.
Slate and Quartzite
Our kitchen, laundry room, all bathrooms, and one bedroom have
slate or quartzite for flooring. Again, closets have stone flooring
if attached to a room with stone flooring. We like slate and
quartzite because they are natural looking and non-slip.
Our laundry room, mud room, powder bath, kitchen, pantry, and
wet bar all use a diagonal checker pattern of Black Slate 201
from American Tile Supply and White Quartzite from IMC. We used
the Black Slate 201 for the countertop in the laundry room.
In our master bathroom and master closet, we used California
Gold slate from IMC with a broken joint for the floors. The
same slate with a regular joint was used for our shower walls
and vanity countertops.
Our "Jack and Jill" pass-through bathrooms and closets
use White Quartzite from IMC for the flooring and countertops.
For my wife's art room, art room closet, art room bath floors
and countertops, and the upstairs kitchenette, we used CH405
China Multi Slate from American Tile Supply.
Finally, for my daughter's bathroom and closet, we used Yellow
Quartzite from IMC.
Aqua Mix Stone Sealer
For sealing your slate, quartzite, marble, brick, granite or
any other type of stone, I recommend using the water-based sealers
Mix. Their water-based Stone Sealer's Choice has a expected
wear of 15 years and is recommended for food preparation or
We chose this penetrating sealer from Aqua Mix because it has
a no-sheen nautrual look and has low VOC's (Volatile Organic
Compounds). Low VOC's means that the product will be easier
on people with allergies or sensitivity to chemicals. Water-based
sealers are typically low or no odor.
For a great article on stone sealers, go to www.stoneworld.com
and read the article by Bill Tran entitled, "Stone
sealers: function, facts, fallacies."
The technnical service at Aqua Mix is excellent. If you have
questions about which of their products to use, call them.
The one carpet we chose was for the media room. We were going
for an old theater look in the media room. We chose a carpet
Carpet Collection, Tangier, Pattern 9366, Color 618.