Closet Flooring and Lighting Options

Get tips on finding the right flooring and lighting options for your closet design.

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Photo courtesy of ClosetMaid

Closet Flooring

You might not give a second thought to the floor in your closet but that would be a mistake. The right flooring is especially important in a walk-in closet, since you will probably spend time standing on bare feet in your closet.

A good closet floor should be attractive and easy to maintain. Carpet adds warmth, but can be difficult to vacuum and keep clean. Both wood and vinyl floors are better choices for a closet.

"You could also go with ceramic tile with a throw rug you can take out and clean," says architect Duo Dickinson. "For many people in cooler climates something like stone is unnecessarily cold for half the year."

Closet Lighting

For a closet to be user-friendly, you need to be able to see what's inside. Good lighting helps you distinguish black socks from brown socks, and allows you to find long-lost items in the back corners of your closet. The best lighting solution depends on how you use the space and the size of your closet.

For convenience, consider going for closet lights that switch on and off automatically. Use an overhead motion-sensor light that screws into an ordinary socket, or utilize existing wiring for a spring-loaded automatic light switch in the closet door jamb. Many hardware and home improvement stores also carry inexpensive battery-operated, touch-activated lights that mount on the wall and just require a simple tap for activation.Natural light from a closet window is a plus, because it helps you color coordinate your outfits but direct sunlight can cause fading of dark fabrics. Windows also take up prime storage space on the wall. For closets, consider skylights with UV-protection and clerestory windows nestled under eaves that offer natural light and ventilation.

If using artificial light, remember that the light source should be between you and the contents of the closet. If it's behind you, it casts a shadow on what you're trying to see.

If you want to highlight a purse or shoe collection, LED lights are an efficient solution for spotlighting your accessories, says professional organizer Chris McKenry, owner of Get It Together LA! Used with glass shelves, these fixtures can light up an entire cabinet of items you want to display.

A sparkly chandelier offers illumination and gives your walk-in closet a boudoir feel.

Make sure whatever lights you use are code-complaint. Incandescent bulbs can be a fire hazard in small, enclosed closets. Compact fluorescent bulbs don't generate the same heat and use less energy.

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