Inside the Innovation House

We pulled out all the stops to bring the latest home tech features to our Innovation Home. See the 16 coolest things from the home and be amazed by how smart one home can be.

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Bathroom Countertop Ideas

Good-looking countertops -- whether made of marble, limestone, or concrete -- create high-functioning bathrooms that spill over with style. These popular countertop materials are sure to inspire a bathroom remodel.

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Find Your Dream Backyard

Whether you dream of sunning by a state-of-the-art pool or strolling through a simple cottage garden, there's an outdoor oasis with your name written all over it. Take this quiz to find out where you really belong.

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DIY Patio Ideas

Want to boost the beauty and usefulness of your outdoor spaces? Put one of these inspiring DIY patio ideas to work in your landscape.

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Easy Fireplace Upgrades

Does your fireplace need a facelift? Check out these 20 ideas for updating your fireplace with easy-to-apply embellishments and simple-to-make constructions.

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8 Cutting-Edge Exterior Features

The wow-factor of the Innovation Home starts with great curb appeal. See the eight things that make the home's exterior stand out.

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Budget Curb Appeal

Be the best home on the block for less. These budget curb appeal updates will show you how.

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Popular in Home Improvement

Ultimate Guide to Tile and Stone Flooring

Ceramic tile and natural stone are timeless flooring choices that bring a touch of class and easy care to the home. Consider our decorating and shopping advice to enhance your rooms with tile.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Tile Offers Form and Function

      In the kitchen and bath, the potential for messes and moisture requires a flooring that is high in function, durability, and water-resistance. Tile and stone meet this challenge and bring with it handsome design choices from traditional to contemporary.

    • Living Room Likeability

      Don't pigeonhole tile as just a kitchen and bath flooring. Tile makes a beautiful statement in living and dining spaces, too, thanks to its timeless and natural character.

    • The Tradition of Stone

      Natural stone presents a striking, upscale look in any room. Consider it an investment in your home as it is one of the more expensive flooring choices. Natural stone is a fashionable compliment to traditional style with its classic, and sometimes old-world, look.

    • Use Stone in Moderation

      Do you love the look of natural stone, such as marble or granite, but laying it across an entire room isn't within budget? Use it in a smaller space, such as a powder room or entryway. Or use stone to create a dramatic hearth for the family room fireplace. Add a stone border or inset to another flooring material, such as wood, in a spacious great room.

    • Contemporary Choices in Tile

      Various tile choices offer sleek, contemporary styling for rooms with a modern approach. Try large concrete or irregular slate tiles to make a substantial statement. Or use glossy ceramic tiles for a backdrop to clean-line design.

    • Design with Ceramic Tile

      Ceramic and porcelain tile is a versatile and decorative option that is also less expensive than natural stone. Mix and match tiles of different colors, patterns, and sizes to create custom designs, intricate borders, and one-of-a-kind floors.

    • Foster a Healthful Home

      Like wood flooring, tile and stone offer a healthy benefit to your home. The super-hard surfaces won't trap allergy-ridden dust mites or troublesome bacteria.

    • Design Tricks with Tile

      You can use tile flooring to impact the space in your home. Large pieces of tile tame an oversized room by keeping the eye moving. Lay tiles diagonally, instead of perpendicular to the walls, to make a space appear larger.

    • Tile Material Choices

      New materials continue to present themselves as flooring options with environmental advantages and design savvy. Consider these hip newcomers:

      -- Cork (shown) -- The bark of the cork oak tree offers a cushiony, quiet, and comfortable flooring material that resists moisture and germs.

      -- Bamboo -- This fast-growing grass is a surprisingly hard and stable sustainable material that is being formed into wood-like strips and planks.

      -- Rubber -- This quiet, resilient material resists dents and stains and comes in a variety of solid colors for a modern, commercial-like look.

      -- Metal -- Steel and aluminum tiles and planks sport a low-maintenance satin matte finish with industrial styling.

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      Shopping Tips

      Consider these tips and resources as you set out on the adventure of shopping for flooring.

      -- Take along paint chips and fabric swatches to narrow down the vast array of color and pattern choices. You'll still want to bring home samples to make your final decisions in the space and lighting of your own home. But having these elements along in the showroom will help you weed out absolutely "won't work" options from the beginning.

      -- Take rough room measurements ahead of time. Although you'll need precise measurements before installation, estimates will let you get a quick cost figure in mind as you shop. You want to know if a certain material you fall in love with really is within your budget.

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      Next Slideshow Living Room Flooring Ideas

      Living Room Flooring Ideas

      Your floor covering can be the star of the show or an understated background.
      Begin Slideshow »



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