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
When it comes to home projects or repairs, there are those people that would never even consider a DIY project, but then there are those that love the satisfaction of finishing a project with their own two hands. If you fall into that second category, this blog is for you! Today we’ll discuss a couple of different flooring options that make for easy DIY installation.
The first option for ease of installation is laminate. Not all laminate is created equal, but brands like Mohawk, Quick-Step, Mannington, and Armstrong are all reliable brands with good quality. Laminate is easy to install because it can be installed as a floating floor. This means it can be installed without adhesives or nails due to its click-together locking system. The planks are constructed so that they fit together and lock in place to form a solid surface floor.
Other flooring options that install similarly to laminate are LVT (luxury vinyl tile) and WPC (wood plastic/polymer composite). These are also rigid plank flooring options equipped with click-together locking systems. LVT and WPC can be installed as floating floors over plywood or concrete subfloors, or even right over previous flooring like tile or sheet vinyl. LVT and WPC do have an advantage over laminate in that they have very low maintenance requirements and are either waterproof or highly water-resistant, depending on which brand you choose.
If you enjoy a good project, we would be happy to supply you with what you need to get the job done right. Look for our regular specials and pricing on “U-haul” products. Also check out our closeout and clearance sections for fabulous deals for the do-it-yourselfer!
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!
Laminate has been around since the 1970’s. Like all popular flooring, it has gone through many changes over time, and consumers still maintain many misconceptions about laminate. Let’s take a look at some of the facts and features of laminate to help clear up theses common myths.
Myth 1: Laminate and Vinyl are the same.
It's easy to spot the differences between laminate and sheet or vinyl tile, but others find it harder when it comes to LVP (luxury vinyl plank). The main difference between laminate and LVP is the materials they’re constructed of and how they’re layered. Laminate is made up of several layers with a rigid fiberboard core, design layer, and a top wear layer. LVP is also constructed in layers but is made of more flexible, resilient, and water-resistant materials. Laminate is not as water-resistant as LVP and generally is not recommended for high moisture areas like bathrooms.
Myth 2: Laminate flooring doesn't look as good as real wood or stone floors.
Today's laminate is not your grandfather’s laminate. Laminate has made great advances in styles, textures, and designs. New technologies have enabled laminate to have an almost endless selection of wood and stone looks with textures and grains that make it difficult to spot the difference from real wood.
Myth 3: Laminate floors can't be repaired.
This myth may spring from the fact that some people confuse laminate with sheet vinyl. But since laminate comes in interlocking planks that are installed by the floating method, it’s easily repaired. If a plank is damaged, it can simply be taken up and replaced with a new one. Because some laminate is not as water-resistant as other flooring, it is not a bad idea to get an extra box of your flooring in case repairs are needed.
If you've been thinking about laminate floors for your home, you can now have a clearer understanding of the product with these myths and misconceptions out of the way. Stop by our showroom to see the many styles we have in stock. Our flooring experts can help you choose which one suits your style and needs.
The traditional style is one of the most popular styles used to decorate homes. It incorporates design elements from a variety of centuries (namely Victorian and Colonial) which come together for a classic, elegant, and comfortable look. The style usually boasts a neutral color palette mostly of beiges, whites, and some pastels. Let’s explore how you can create this look in your home.
In the living area, most furnishings and accessories should be neutral colors with the exception of ottomans, throw pillows, rugs and other accessories. This is where you'll bring in color, pattern, and texture. Wood accents and textures such as leather are what you should shoot for. A textured rug and floral or striped throw pillows will bring some added style to the traditional living room with its beige or neutral walls and white trim.
You can achieve a traditional look in your kitchen with light-colored granite counter tops that pair well with either white or dark cabinets. White subway tiles make a beautiful statement in a traditional kitchen, or a white geometric tile can add interest. Need a little more color? Try a pastel tile like light green or blue. Travertine tile also continues to be a classic, popular choice both for floors and backsplashes. Larger tiles will make the space feel more open and add to the clean, traditional look of your space.
When it comes to flooring, wood or wood-look is the obvious choice. Dark or medium wood looks work best. Dark wood will make the space feel warm and rich; but remember, if you’re working with a small space, the medium wood look will keep it feeling open. If you’re worried real wood won’t stand up to your family or lifestyle, wood looks are available in waterproof or water-resistant tile, LVT, WPC, laminate and vinyl.
The Traditional style can best be described as “classic.” It’s a style easily accomplished in any home with the right color, décor, and furnishing choices. The use of neutrals with textured or colored accents creates a warm, comfortable environment and an inviting home.
Laminate is a popular floor covering that mimics natural materials like stone and wood. Laminate flooring is just as strong and scratch resistant as vinyl and much more resilient than the wood and stone it mimics. Like every floor covering, laminate has its pros and cons. So, let's talk about some things to consider when buying laminate flooring.
Pros: Laminate designs are printed in high definition, allowing it to capture a stone or wood look almost perfectly. Laminate comes in many different plank sizes and often costs less than real wood or tile. It’s resistant to wear and won’t fade from direct sunlight or any kind of artificial light. Due to its durability, most laminate has a warranty of 15 to 30 years. Installation is easy with a locking system that is nail and glue-free. It can be floated over any non-textile sub floor or existing floor, even concrete. Laminate is a breeze to clean, and in general just requires regular sweeping and dry mopping. For a deeper clean, we recommend a cleaning solution like Bona Hard Surface Cleaner that won’t leave a filmy residue.
Cons: Even with its foam underlay, laminate is hard under foot. It also doesn’t insulate a room like carpet or cork flooring would. If damaged, laminate can’t be sanded or refinished like the hardwood it mimics. The damaged planks have to be replaced. Laminate is not as moisture resistant as other floor coverings. Wet spills should be cleaned up immediately so your floor isn’t damaged, unless you purchase a laminate like Mannington's line that's available with SpillShield technology. This product is moisture resistant up to 72 hours.
Think about the specific needs and lifestyle in your home when considering laminate. If the pros outweigh the cons, laminate might be just right for your home.