Many of us are feeling the effects of Tropical Storm Alberto in our area. Powerful rains such as these can often cause serious damage to our homes, especially our floors. In this blog we will discuss some maintenance and easy ways to help prevent water damage to our floors and also offer a few options in water-resistant flooring.
Our homes already endure many spills and liquid-related accidents, especially if there are kids or pets in the home. With these accidents, generally just being attentive to spills is all you need, but with these rain storms you may have an abundance of water finding its way to your floors. Your entry way may be taking the most damage from family and friends coming in from the outdoors and tracking water and mud all through the house. Having super absorbent mats near entry ways and a space for visitors to remove their shoes at the door is a big step in the right direction for preventing water damage. When using absorbent mats, be sure to not let the mat hold too much water as you could be redistributing your water problem under the mat.
Another simple tip that is especially helpful if you have wood floors is air flow. This can help keep moisture build up from the atmosphere at bay. Another important maintenance tip is to watch for roof leaks in your home. If you see cracks, sagging, or discoloration in your ceiling, you may need to check your roof for damage.
If you’re tired of having to worry so much about water damage to floors, there are some good water-resistant and waterproof flooring options to consider. One of the best options is ceramic tile. We use it in our kitchens and bath rooms for a reason: it’s very water-resistant. But, you don’t have to limit yourself. Ceramic tile is perfect for any room in the house with endless styles available, including wood-look planks. The next option might surprise you: laminate now has some very water-resistant options, such as Mannington’s SpillShield technology that allows it to be used in any room of the house. The final flooring option is WPC which is a vinyl plank product that is completely waterproof. Many manufacturers like Mohawk now offer this flooring in a wide variety of wood and tile looks.
The first step in water-damage prevention is to make sure there isn’t a structural problem like the roof or leaks allowing moisture in the home. If your problem results from normal every-day traffic bringing in water, liquids, and mud, a waterproof or water-resistant flooring may be just for you! Call us today for a free estimate! 256.231.5600
It’s that time of year again! Time to work in our yards and gardens and freshen up our outdoor spaces. Whether you’re building a palatial patio, outdoor kitchen, or a gathering spot around a firepit, the right tile will help turn your backyard into an outdoor oasis.
Maybe you never thought about using tile outdoors; it can add beautiful, eye catching features to your home. Opting for slip-resistant tile around your pool area instead of concrete really adds polish to a design. The tile surrounding your pool can carry over into an outdoor fireplace or kitchen and patio area. If you really want to get fancy, you can use tile to surround your outdoor fireplace or as an accent wall in your outdoor grilling space.
Whatever space you design, the type of tile you choose is important. Natural stone tiles like slate are often used outdoors, but natural stone does require more maintenance and can be susceptible to discoloration overtime. Porcelain tiles are one of the most durable and well-suited tiles for outdoor use. If you’re set on a natural stone look but don’t want to deal with the upkeep, you can find porcelain tiles that emulate natural stones like slate and travertine.
Outdoor tile tips:
Color is often used to express our personal style and feelings, whether it be through art, home décor, accessories, or clothing. When it comes to home décor, color is all about the mood you want to set in your home. Do you want your space to be bright, vibrant, and energetic, or cool, calm, and collected? Today on the blog we’ll examine two different color schemes in regard to home décor: earth tones vs. bright colors.
Earth tones are just what their name implies: a color scheme made up of natural colors found in nature. This color scheme is particularly popular in many homes and businesses because these colors are neutral, calming, and flow well with a variety of styles and spaces. When you think of earth tones, you might generally think of colors like tan, beige, gray etc., but earth tones also encompass so much more. In nature, there is a wide variety of colors and earth tones that include muted greens, oranges, reds, blues, and yellows.
Bright colors on the other hand, are not as commonly found in nature. Bright colors consist of primary colors (along with their bolder and brighter variations) and are known for conveying a sense of energy throughout a space. Vibrant hues are most commonly used in contrast to neutrals for an eye-catching contrast. There are many fun ways to use bright colors in a space, and while flooring is mostly in neutral colors, there are some fun options in tile that can be used for floors, showers, walls and backsplashes. Carpets and rugs are also an area you can be creative with your bright colors. Keep in mind that bright colors can be used to add a stunning pop or focal point but can become overbearing if used too much.
There is no right or wrong color palette for your space. It’s all about personal preference. If you prefer a calming color scheme that evokes thoughts of nature, then earth tones are for you. However, if you want your space to be full of energy with eye-catching colors or a focal point that pops, go for more vibrant tones. The right flooring can provide a neutral backdrop for any space, or you can create stunning tile combinations on floors and walls to really make your home unique.
All the changes in weather have us dreaming about spring, longing for consistent warm temperatures and the chance to see the world bloom out of winter hibernation. The changes we see outside during the spring often lead us to make changes in our homes, whether it’s doing a little spring cleaning or home maintenance.
During the cold months we tend to seek out cozy, warm areas, breaking out the fluffy rugs, pillows and throw blankets. Storing these away for next winter is an easy place to start freshening up your home for spring. Refresh your space by minimizing clutter and brining in brighter colors through accessories like pillows, artwork, and lamp shades. Even swapping out a cozy, wool or shag area rug for a lighter, earthier woven rug will bring a breath of fresh air to any room. For an even bigger refresh, a fresh coat of paint can do wonders. Changing out darker colors for lighter neutrals or bright colors can breathe new life into your home.
Spring is also a popular time for home maintenance projects and renovations. Maybe you’ve noticed all the winter weather has been less than kind to your floors, and it’s time for something new. Spring and summer months also mean more time in the great outdoors, and those outdoor activities often find their way back into the house with water and dirt. If you don’t have a space already, consider carving out an area as a “mudroom” or organized entryway with cubbies, hooks, and durable flooring. Excellent flooring choices for these areas are ceramic tile, LVT (luxury vinyl tile), and WPC (made of wood plastic composite and waterproof). All of these come in wood and stone looks and are very stylish and durable. Whether you’re resurfacing one area or want to give your whole home a new look, never underestimate the value of new floors. Floors also add a wealth of color and texture and can be the foundation for your spring home makeover.
With spring right around the corner it's time to freshen up our homes. We can start by swapping out those dark colors and fluffy textures for fresh and smooth colors and textures. If you feel like it’s time for a bigger change with new flooring or even kitchen or bathroom tile, call us today for a free estimate! 256.231.5600.
As we head into the dreary month of February, many of us are longing for the great outdoors. Sunrooms are a comfortable space in the home where you can enjoy the outdoors, no matter the weather. When choosing flooring for your sunroom, you will have to consider the needs of your space since it will likely be different from the rest of the home. Let's consider three options in flooring that are perfect for sunrooms.
Sunrooms are an indoor-outdoor space, so the temperature of your room usually varies somewhat by season. Two flooring options that can help insulate the room and keep your feet feeling warmer are indoor-outdoor carpet or carpet tiles. These kinds of carpet are good choices because they are durable and easy to maintain due to their short, tight bristles. Another benefit of carpet tiles is that they are easy to replace if damaged and also come in a wider variety of colors and patterns than that of indoor-outdoor carpet. When considering carpet, keep in mind sunrooms may let in outdoor elements like water which could cause some soggy carpet.
If you want hard surface flooring, porcelain tile and WPC (waterproof flooring planks) are excellent choices. Porcelain tile is often used both indoors and out for its water-resistant properties and durability. It also comes in a vast array of looks and styles, anywhere from traditional tile and stone patterns to more contemporary concrete and wood looks. Another option to consider with tile is a radiant heating system to keep those tiles from getting cold in the winter.
If radiant heating isn’t in your budget, and you don't want the hard, cold feel of tile or the maintenance of carpet, WPC is a great option. WPC is a luxury vinyl plank product that is waterproof and can easily stand up to the elements. If your sunroom takes on water sometimes, it would be best to install your WPC with a vapor barrier underlayment to prevent trapped moisture under the planks. WPC also comes in a variety of stylish tile and wood looks.
When planning your sunroom, consider not only syle but the form and function of your floors. Increase the longevity of your space by installing a floor that holds up well with changing climate and suits your decor style. With the proper flooring installed, you can be sure to have a room that is perfect for all seasons.
Carpet is a flooring favorite, loved for the softness, warmth and style that it brings to our homes. There are many options to choose from in carpet brands, styles, and colors, but let's consider the difference in just two options you have with carpet: multicolored or solid?
Regardless of the kind of carpet you’re looking for, there will always be the option for multicolored or solid. Multicolored can refer to patterned carpets or the more common lightly-speckled carpet that is subtler. Solid-colored carpet generally refers to no pattern or speckle. What pros and cons should you consider when deciding on carpet color? Both carpet styles come with different attributes that will really just depend on the needs of your space.
One advantage of multicolored carpet is that it hides those little stains our carpets always seem to acquire from daily living. Because of the small, speckled pattern of multicolored carpet, it can better hide a stain, whereas a solid carpet will usually show a stain in stark contrast. As far as the differences in looks go, that really just depends on the style of your space. Multicolored carpet (especially the neutral colors and patterns) is perfect for traditional, contemporary, rustic--any style that calls for subtle patterns, depth, and texture. Solid colors give a smoother, continual feel to a space, perfect for modern, minimalist styles or if you want a blank canvas ready for any décor or color scheme.
Both multicolored and solid carpet have their pros and cons, but in the end, it depends mostly on the needs of your space and personal preference. If you have kids, pets, or a high traffic area, multicolored may be the better option for you because of its neutral style and stain hiding ability. If high traffic is not a problem for you and you'd like a smoother look, solid color carpet is the way to go.
There are many great options to choose from when it comes to wood-look flooring. Today we want to introduce you to AtroGuard. AtroGuard was specifically developed to combine the natural wood elements and rigidity of laminate flooring with the water resistance of luxury vinyl flooring.
AtroGuard is a multi-functional, 100% natural wood fiber flooring with no plastic elements. Unlike regular laminate flooring, AtroGuard can be wet-mopped and installed in kitchens, bathrooms and basements. Its “2 pass power sealing process” and extra tight lock-click installation system give it the ultimate protection from humidity. This flooring also features “SureCore” technology which means it can be installed without transition moldings, up to 4,000 sq. ft, creating a clean style especially good for open floor plans. In addition, AtroGuard flooring stands up to stains, cigarette burns, and scratches with ease. It’s also Greenguard certified to ensure there are no unhealthy emissions in your home.
In addition to being a champion in its technical aspects, AtroGuard is quite the contender in style. It offers up to 32 unique, textured planks within one style for an authentic wood look and feel. A favorite of ours is Misty Hollow, a beautiful blend of grey wood tones. The River Crossing line embodies subtle tan notes overlaid with dark brown and black grooves, perfect for traditional and classic designs. For a lighter wood look that encompasses many styles, Sunkissed Acre is an excellent choice.
AtroGuard offers many more unique styles with brushed, hand-scraped, and embossed details, making it difficult to tell it’s not hardwood. It’s easy to install, durable, and resistant to scratches, stains and water. Stop by our showroom to see our selection, or learn more at atroguard.com.
Sheet vinyl has been around for decades, but you can no longer think about it as your grandmother’s linoleum. Advances in technology have given Mannington the capability to create sheet vinyl flooring featuring the best styles and durability on the market. If you’re looking for a durable, stylish floor that’s also a great value, look no further.
Mannington’s vinyl floors are sensible and carefree floors that are easy to clean and maintain, durable and stylish. Aside from the durability you receive from their Guardian Protection and ScratchResist, Mannington's Resilient comes in many beautiful styles with amazingly realistic 3D designs and even textures! Mannington categorizes their vinyl into quality groups starting with Good-Benchmark and Duration, Better-Audra and Jumpstart, Best-Realistique and Premium-Naturals. All of these categories have different styles and features, but all of them feature beautiful, durable designs in wood, tile, and stone looks. They all carry varying versions of Mannington’s warranties and scratch protection, depending on which style you choose. (All images from Mannington. To see more or for specific warranty information, visit their website.)
Duration: Features the best value in the industry with competitive pricing, gorgeous styling, and urethane wear layer.
Benchmark: Features major style and major protection with NatureForm, Guardian Protection, and Never-Yellow Warranty.
Jumpstart: Attractive patterns and attractive durability with NatureForm, ScratchResist, and Guardian Protection.
Aurora: Features NatureForm, SurfaceGuard and Guardian Protection for contemporary looks and easy maintenance.
Realistique: exceptional style and ability to withstand heavy-duty traffic. Also features NatureForm or NatureForm Optix, ScratchResist, and Guardian Protection.
Naturals: Features amazing style and durability with the “Gotta Love It Guarantee” with NatureOptix, ScratchResist, and Guardian Protection.
If you’re looking for a floor with style and durability that won’t put a dent in your wallet, sheet vinyl is definitely not to be overlooked or viewed as outdated. Advances in technology have moved Mannington's Resilient sheet vinyl to the forefront of the market, creating a floor that will give new style and life to your home. Stop by our showroom to see our entire collection of in-stock and special-order sheet vinyl from Mannington.
Water can be a very destructive force when it comes to our homes. Not only do our homes face risks from the outside elements, water leaks inside the home can wreak just as much havoc. Today we’re going to talk about how to spot water damage inside your home and what to do about it.
As home owners, one of the biggest threats to our homes are things we can’t see. It’s much easier to spot water damage resulting from a natural disaster like a storm or flood, but what are some signs to look for that could indicate water damage from a hidden source? Water damage can take on different colors, textures and smells. So, look for things like water accumulation, discoloration, changes in texture on floors and walls, or buckling and cupping on wood floors. If you see any signs like this, be sure to investigate the source of the water. If it’s on the floor, this can mean your subfloor is damaged, and that can cause safety issues.
Whether your water damage is from a roof leak, leaking appliances, or a natural disaster, steps will have to be taken to repair the damage and get your home back in order. The first step is to check with your home insurance agent for coverage and be sure to take pictures of the damage. Your agent will let you know what’s covered and what to do to get started on repairs.
If you’re faced with replacing your floor, you’ll first want to make sure you have a sound subfloor without any mold or damage. Next, you may want to consider a flooring with water-resistant properties, especially for areas prone to water leaks, like kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.
An excellent choice for water- resistant flooring in any of these rooms is tile. Tile is very durable and handles water well if installed correctly. It also comes in many beautiful styles in both stone and wood looks! Another excellent choice in resilient flooring for any room in the house is WPC planks. WPC is totally waterproof and also comes in beautiful wood, tile, and stone looks.
If you’re not ready to give up hardwood, consider engineered hardwood over solid. Engineered hardwood is made up of layers that are more flexible and moisture resistant than solid hardwood. Often if only a section of hardwood is damaged, we can match the original wood and only have to repair the section where the damage occurred. Engineered wood can often be installed as “floating,” making it easier to replace planks if any future damage occurs.
If water damage has occurred on carpet, your next steps depend on several things. Consider the source: is it clean water or the result of sewage backup? Are the carpet and pad saturated down to the subfloor? Is the damage confined to a small area or the whole room? You’ll want to talk with a professional cleaning service that specializes in water damage to determine if your carpet can be cleaned and salvaged or if it needs to be replaced completely.
When your home faces water damage, detecting it then taking the right steps to get it repaired are crucial in avoiding mold and further damage to your walls or subfloors. If your floors have been damaged and you’re in need of new flooring, give us a call for a free estimate and to help you select durable flooring for your needs.
With fall and winter right around the corner, it's time once again to break out the coats and scarves, cozy sweaters, and our favorite hot drinks. Not only do we want to remain warm and cozy when outside, but we want our homes to be warm and inviting too. Let's look at some tips to keep you and your guests feeling warm and fuzzy in your home.
To start with, home accessories are an easy way to get your space feeling cozy with warm colors and textures. A few fuzzy throw pillows or blankets in rich, fall-inspired colors add comfort and style and can easily be swapped out for different looks as the seasons change. Rugs are also a great way to add warmth to cold floors. Look for shag rugs or rugs with longer fibers and wool which is also a good insulator. You can even get shag carpet in beautiful patterns that add a unique touch of style to your space.
Carpet, of course, keeps your house warm, comfortable, and better insulated, but what about hard surface floors? You might be surprised to know that cork is an excellent choice! Cork is a natural insulator, thanks to its porous cell structure that allows it to trap heat. Cork is a good choice year-round because it insulates and feels warm under foot in the cold months, and in the summer months it keeps excess heat from being emitted into the room. Cork also comes in many colors and patterns, even wood looks.
WPC, or waterproof flooring, with cork backing is another great option. The cork backing offers the same insulating properties as cork flooring. WPC can easily be installed via the floating method, is exceptionally durable, warms quickly, and won't expand or contract.
Tile is a favorite flooring in kitchens and baths, but let's face it: no one likes stepping onto that cold bathroom floor with bare feet on a chilly morning. That's were a heating system like Schluter Ditra-Heat can be installed with your tile to bring you all the benefits of tile with the comfort of heated floors. Most floor heating systems can cause cracks in the tile and grout because the fluctuation of temperature causes the tile to expand and contract frequently. This heating system is unique
because of its uncoupling system which prevents any movement and stress that occurs in the subfloor from cracking the tile and grout above. The Schluter Ditra-Heat system is the only systems that provides floor warming and uncoupling in a single layer, making it a quick and easy installation.
For those that prefer wood floors, Engineered hardwood is constructed so that it resists expansion and contraction due to changing climates. When installed using the floating method, engineered wood is a great heat conductor.
Other flooring like vinyl planks, sheet vinyl, and laminate provide some softness and warmth. Adding an underlayment to these floors also helps provide insulating properties, and they won't expand or contract due to climate. They also warm up quickly.
To keep your home feeling warm and cozy, use accessories like textured pillows, throw blankets and area rugs. Consider flooring options like carpet and cork that keep your house well-insulated or vinyl and laminate with underlayment. Floating engineered wood floors and tile with the Schluter Ditra-Heat system are also great options for cozy feet!