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Traditional Eichler flooring consisted of cork or tile. This material was originally utilized in Eichler homes for aesthetic, cost and functional reasons.
As Eichler owners look to replace or upgrade their flooring, there are many options now available (which work well with all Eichler floor plans!) including tile, stone, concrete, concrete-staining or painting, hardwoods, bamboo, cork, linoleum and carpet.
To inspire fellow Eichler and mid-century modern homeowners, we've included a variety of flooring photos from Eichler homes our team has helped clients buy and sell. CLICK on any flooring photo to enlarge.
"Going back to the basics" with a concrete floor can present Eichler homes with a very clean and industrial (yet still cozy) minimalist feel. In recent years, there has been a surge in the number of products available to soften and enhance a concrete floors appearance, including concrete-friendly paints, stains and dyes. Some of the potential disadvantages of concrete floors include its hardness on the feet and knees, as well as its unforgiving nature since anything semi-fragile you drop on it is likely to break. Concrete floors also show cracks and other slab imperfections, however some people feel that this adds to the floors "personality" and uniqueness.
Originally utilized in many Eichler homes, natural cork flooring continues to be a popular flooring option for Eichler owners because of its aesthetic appeal, walking comfort, good heat-transfer and retention capabilities, and easy maintenance. One disadvantage to cork is its tendency to fade over time, especially in a sun-drenched environment which is common with Eichlers. The picture on the right illustrates this effect as a dark cork floor has lightned considerably over time.
Harwood floors can provide an Eichler home with an updated, contemporary look however in most instances, Eichler homeowners achieve the hardwood flooring look thru the installation of laminate flooring (see below) designed to resemble wood because of its improved compatability with radiant heat.
When installing actual hardwood flooring in an Eichler, special care must be taken because of the in-floor hydronic radiant heat system & the moisture level content of the concrete slab found in Eichlers. Prior to selecting and installing hardwood flooring in your Eichler home, make sure that you are working with a vendor experienced with these specific types of installations. Also make sure that adequate moisture level testing is performed prior to the installation since it may impact the manufacturer's warranty on these types of installations.
While probably not the preferred material for Eichler or mid-century modern 'purists', Bamboo is a flooring material which has increased in popularity for the past several years because of its aesthetic appeal, reasonable cost and reputation as an eco-friendly, "green" alternative to traditional hardwood floors. Some of the potential disadvantages of bamboo flooring include durability, compatability with in-floor radiant heat systems, and also fading over time (as illustrated below in the picture to the right).
Installing wall-to-wall carpeting throughout an Eichler home is rare however many owner choose to install carpet in specific rooms of their homes. Carpet is often selected for use in rooms where comfort and acoustic dampening is desired. One signficant disadvantage of carpeting an Eichler home is that it can dramatically reduce the effectiveness of an in-floor radiant heat system.
Fortunately, there are carpeting materials and padding/underlayment materials that exist which can provide a good balance between comfort and function. Additionally, there are newer "modular" carpeting systems, such as the FLOR™ product, which can quickly and easily be installed and removed in Eichlers by anyone.