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!
When it comes to wood-look floors, LVT and WPC have changed the market. The flooring category continues to improve on visuals and durability. LVT and WPC offer realistic wood and tile looks but with easier maintenance and installation. Today we’re going to look at one flooring in particular: Market Place’s Rigid Plus Flooring (RPF).
Market Place engineered vinyl flooring is designed for use in commercial and residential spaces. For residential applications, Market Place Flooring supplies a lifetime warranty for residential floors and a 15-year warranty for commercial. RPF’s durability makes these excellent warranties possible. Each plank is topped with a UV-cured ceramic finish which permits maximum durability without the use of floor finish. The top layer is made of PVC, and the extruded core is made up of 85% PVC and 15% limestone. RPF therefore has maximum resistance to chipping, scratching, and dents. As if that weren’t enough, it’s also waterproof, making it great for basements, bathrooms, kitchens, or anywhere else in your home or office space.
Market Place’s RPF doesn't just have high function, it also has high design. RPF comes in eight different unique wood-looks. Our personal favorites are Catawba, Southport, and Whispering Pine. Catawba and Whispering Pine are both variation wood-looks that make the appearance of reclaimed wood with different plank sizes. Southport has the color of white oak reclaimed wood with a wide plank look.
These are just a few of the wood-looks Market Place offers in their RPF series of flooring. RPF flooring comes in unique and realistic wood-looks and is also very durable, even 100% waterproof. If you'd like to see more of this flooring, click here, or stop by our showroom.
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.
If you’re preparing to welcome home a “bundle of joy,” you have a lot to consider regarding baby clothes, supplies, nursery furnishings, etc. A lot of thought is put into safety and practicality, and nursery flooring should be no exception. Today we’ll look at how to choose a stylish, safe, and comfortable flooring that can grow with your child.
Usually, the first question regarding nursery flooring is whether to have a hard or soft surface. If you prefer hard surface flooring, a waterproof WPC plank like our All South Flooring Gulf Coast line is an excellent choice over hardwood. It comes in several stylish wood looks with textures and details that give it all the beauty of real wood but with the industry’s best durability, waterproofing, and stain protection. WPC is also softer than real wood and extremely easy to keep clean (a must with children).
Let’s say you already have hardwood in the space you’ve selected for your nursery. For added style, warmth, and softness and to protect it from stains and scratches, simply add a colorful rug. There are a few ways to add a rug to your nursery. If you’re going for maximum coverage, make sure the legs of the furniture are at least a few inches on the rug. If your rug is smaller and is merely an accent, it can sit independently of the furniture. Or, if you’re settling on a focal point like a crib, recliner, or play area, place your rug so that it highlights that space.
Rather than rugs and hard surfaces, many people prefer the warmth and softness of carpet in bedrooms and nurseries. However, there is always a concern about keeping carpets clean and stain free, which can be hard to do with young ones. Enter Mohawk SmartStrand Forever Clean carpet. SmartStrand carpet is soft and durable with built-in stain and soil protection. The Nanoloc spill technology and soil shield makes for quick cleanup and 0% moisture absorption. This carpet has it all, the comfort of carpet with the easy clean up of hard surface flooring.
Another great flooring choice for nurseries is Mohawk’s latest innovation: Air.o Unified Soft Flooring. It’s more than just a carpet. This 100% recyclable flooring is made with inherent stain and soil protection in its fibers that don’t absorb moisture, thus preventing the growth of allergens and microbes. It releases dust and dirt easily when vacuumed and contains no harmful latex or VOC’s. Another huge plus is that it’s hypoallergenic and odor free. Air.o is also constructed with an integrated pad, eliminating the need for a separate carpet pad. This cuts down on installation time, which is great if baby is arriving soon!
When you add a baby to the family, your life and your home go through some changes. Nurseries should be safe, functional and beautiful. WPC, SmartStrand carpet, and Air.o USF are excellent flooring options that are perfect for the needs of your nursery and can grow with your child.
Dark colors often get a bad rep, mainly due to the fact that dark colors used incorrectly can cause a space to feel small. However, dark colors can also be used to add depth, richness, and a certain amount of coziness to a space. Let's look at some ways to embrace the dark side and add enjoy the richness and beauty it can bring to your home.
When you think of dark colors, you might just think of blacks and grays, but don't limit yourself. There are unending palettes of dark beauty in green, red, and blue shades. Don't underestimate how beautiful your space can look using a dark color as your primary wall color. It's a popular belief that dark colors can make a space feel small and gloomy, but this is not always the case. If used correctly, dark colors can be stunning and make your space rich and warm. If you’re not ready to take the full plunge, dark colors can be incorporated as an accent wall coupled with lighter, neutral walls to add a stunning contrast.
Balance is the key to using a dark color pallet. If your primary wall colors are dark, bring out the contrast with a light neutral for trims and furnishings. Don't over-use textures and patterns because your dark colors are already your contrast. Too many textures or patterns can overwhelm the space. An excellent source of textures is wood, used through wood furnishings and especially hardwood or wood-look floors. Your floors can help balance a dark color scheme by choosing a light, neutral wood or wood-look.
Maybe you’re thinking about neutral walls with deep, dark floors, or maybe you’re bold enough to couple dark walls and floors. Either way, there are so many gorgeous options in dark hardwood and wood-look flooring in vinyl and WPC. Shades range from traditional browns to blacks and ebony. How dark you go really depends on your personal taste. Also consider lighting, both artificial and natural. Lots of light will keep the space from feeling too closed in. Lighter accent pieces and furniture add contrast as well.
Don’t be afraid of stepping over to the dark side. The key is balancing deep hues with light, neutral floors, trims, furnishings and accent pieces. Embrace the beauty you can achieve with deep dark colors.
Vinyl is loved for its durability, look, and low maintenance, thus it continues to grow in popularity. Vinyl comes in several different forms like sheet vinyl and LVT (luxury vinyl tile or plank), and now there's a new vinyl on the scene, WPC. Let's look at what WPC is and why it's so popular.
WPC is LVT taken to the next level. WPC vinyl flooring has all the beautiful looks, durability, and ease of installation of LVT, but with a secret weapon: a waterproof core. While LVT is water resistant, WPC is completely waterproof. The layers of WPC are what make it so effective. WPC is typically comprised of 4 layers:
For even more on WPC, check out our own video series on what happened when we had a water leak under the WPC on our offices.
As you can see, not all vinyl is created equal. WPC is quickly becoming one of the most popular flooring choices on the market. One reason for this is the fact that it’s waterproof. Want to know more about WPC? Come by, and our sales representatives would be happy to show you everything WPC has to offer.
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!
If you have an active home with children or pets, you understand the struggle to keep your home, especially your floors, clean and in good condition. When considering new flooring, you may also be concerned about how safe your flooring will be for your family and pets. Let's take a look at some floor coverings that are all around child and pet-friendly.
When you have children, accidents happen. With rough-housing or running through the house, someone is bound to take a spill. Carpet is obviously an excellent choice for fall protection, but keeping carpet clean around children and pets can be a hassle. One trait that can help with this is choosing a carpet that is speckled, making it harder to see stains. Also, lighter neutrals like beiges and grays, rather than darker colors, will show more stains and spots.
If you’re looking for superior stain protection, an excellent carpet is Mohawk’s SmartStrand. SmartStrand Forever Clean has permanent, built-in “Nanoloc” stain and soil protection that won’t wear or wash off. It also features a zero percent moisture absorption rate to reduce odors and an exclusive All Pet Protection Warranty. SmartStrand is made from the only renewable carpet fiber, certified free of harmful substances, with exceptional durability and luxurious softness.
Dream Weaver also has a carpet line that is perfect for family homes. PureColor carpet features solution-dyed fiber, meaning the color penetrates all the way through the fibers so it won't fade, wear off, or stain. Dream Weaver’s PureColor also has built in soil and stain protection that is applied on the inside and outside of the fibers.
For hard surface flooring, many people are passing up wood for LVT or WPC products like COREtec from US Floors and SolidTech from Mohawk. While wood floors are often hard to maintain with pets and active families, this is no problem for LVT and WPC products. Wood and stone looks are available in a variety of shades and color patterns that are not only beautiful and realistic, but also very durable. They’re scratch and stain resistant and stand up to spills and moisture, allowing them to be installed in wet areas without any worry of damage. COREtec Plus has an attached cork backing that makes it quieter and warmer. SolidTech also has styles available with a premium urethane backing for sound, mold, and mildew resistance. With SolidTech’s “Uniclic MultiFit” technology, the floor planks lock together, creating a surface impenetrable by liquids, thus keeping moisture on the surface for easy cleanup.
Don’t let your lifestyle limit your flooring choices. With today’s advances in technology, it’s easier than ever to achieve the look and function you desire from your floors.
Enclosed porches are comfortable spaces perfect for drinking your coffee and taking in the outdoors while, basements make great game rooms or even guest rooms. Enclosed porches and basements are very different spaces, but when it comes to flooring, one thing they have in common is that these spaces need durable flooring. Let's take a look at some options for both.
Enclosed porches are comfortable spaces that bring the outdoors in. Depending on how exposed your porch is, it could contend with intense sunlight, moisture from rain, and even freeze-thaw cycles. Porcelain tile will stand up to most of the abuse the outdoor elements can dish out. Porcelain tile comes in many sizes and styles like wood looks, stone, and even hand- made ceramic looks. Keep in mind if your porch isn't fully heated and protected from the elements, you need to choose a tile that is rated for outdoor use in your climate.
Another choice for the enclosed porch is engineered wood. Engineered wood does not have the cold-to-the-touch feel of tile and adds the appeal of real wood that many love. Engineered wood can usually be installed over a concrete subfloor, but your porch should be weatherproofed and heated. Keep in mind how “enclosed” your porch really is before choosing engineered wood. Engineered wood requires a more controlled environment than porcelain tile.
The basement is used for many different things: game rooms, man caves, guest rooms, or even apartments. However you use this space, all basements are exposed to moisture. Concrete subfloors, especially below grade, might be damp constantly, and these spaces may be subject to flooding. Because of the moisture issues basements often have, vinyl and WPC are excellent flooring options. Sheet vinyl, vinyl tile, and WPC come in almost any look you can think of: wood, stone, slate, ceramic tile and many more. What makes vinyl and WPC great for the basement is that they’re made mostly of plastic, making it very water resistant.
A runner-up to vinyl and WPC for the basement is laminate. Laminate is dense fiberboard topped with an image sealed under clear plastic. Many of today's laminates are also water resistant, but keep in mind that laminate, because of its fiber board material, is not as water resistant as vinyl and WPC. Laminate has beautiful wood looks and plank sizes for an authentic wood look. Laminate is also a very affordable choice.
Every room in your home deserves beautiful, functional flooring that’s just right for your space. Make sure to consider the amount of exposure to the elements and moisture your porch or basement will have and choose accordingly. Porcelain tile and engineered wood are excellent for enclosed porches, while vinyl and WPC products are great for basements exposed to a lot of moisture.