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:
Slate is a natural stone made by the compression of certain minerals and has been making its way into home for centuries. Slates has been used for roof tiles, fireplaces, walls, showers and floors. Let's look at were slate comes from and some of its qualities as flooring.
Like mentioned above, slate is a natural stone made from the crust of the earth. As is the case with most natural products, not all slate is created equal; the deeper the slate is in the ground, the better the quality. This is due to how our earth makes slate. The earth’s natural elements compact and compress the minerals that make slate, so the deeper the slate, the denser and more compact the slate will be. Higher quality slate is more expensive than slate mined closer to the surface because of the cost to harvest it. Slate in general is a high-quality stone with good durability.
Since slate is a natural product, its colors will vary, and no tile will be exactly the same. Slate does not come in as wide of variety as manmade products like porcelain and ceramic tile. Cleaning and maintenance for slate is pretty easy. It requires general sweeping and mopping (*note do not use harsh cleaners or vinegar to clean natural stone) and periodic sealing with a stone sealer.
Slate is a wonderful organic product that's made to last and is naturally beautiful. It’s great for both outdoor and indoor areas and offers a natural, earthy, and unique look to any space. Some of the most popular areas slate is used today is in outdoor patios, porches, pool settings, kitchens, and bathrooms. Slate is a good quality product for these areas because it is generally textured which makes it slip resistant and fairly water resistant. Slate offers a classic design that is very versatile and can be used on both floors and walls.
Spring is nearly here, and summer will shortly follow. Spring and summer inspire us to be outdoors again and to do spring cleaning and home projects. So, with spring and summer projects in mind, let's see how to turn your bathroom into a beachy getaway.
We’re going to showcase four tiles you can use in your bathroom to achieve a beach, oasis-like style. Daltile’s Glass Horizons Sky Blue ¾” tile is a great choice for a shower wall. Daltile’s Sky Blue tile has a subway tile shape with an opal-like iridescent surface. Installed in a vertical pattern, this beautiful tile gives a look reminiscent of a waterfall.
For the shower floors, Daltile's Stone Mosaics Creamy Sand adds texture and a sandy beach feel to your shower floor. Add a backsplash above the vanity or an accent wall covered with Glass Horizons Caribbean Blend random mosaic. To finish up your beach theme, use a gorgeous wood-look tile for your floors for a “walking on the dock” feel. Daltile's Season Wood Winter Spruce has a distressed wood-look that looks like it was stained by the sea sun and salt. The iridescent shower and backsplash tiles flow like waves while the mosaic pebbles look like sand underfoot.
Spring and summer are in the air and the beach awaits. While you can’t always make it to the beach, you can combine all of these tiles together for a beachy getaway right in your own home.
We love tile. There's so much you can do with it and so many beautiful ways to use it. Tile is especially perfect for kitchens and bathrooms, whether it’s on the floor or the wall. Renovating or updating these spaces not only adds style but also value to your home.
Tile for walls, backsplashes, and floors are great to mix and match; they don’t have to be the same. Mix and match different colors, textures and shapes of tile to create totally unique looks in any room of the home. Two tiles I'd like to feature in this blog are Bliss Element Glass tile and Daltile Bee Hive tile.
Bliss Element Glass tile are 2” x 6” or 3” x 12” smooth glass subway tiles. They have a smooth, shiny surface that lends itself well to many different styles, and they come in 6 colors. Daltile's Bee Hive tile is a 24” x 20” hexagon porcelain tile. It comes in colors similar to that of Bliss Elements Glass tile. This tile’s hexagon shape brings new visual interest to any space, but its large size and neutral color gives you the visual interest without a busy look.
Daltile's Bee Hive tile and Bliss Elements Glass tile are beautiful by themselves but also make a great combination together. Use Bliss Elements subway tile for your kitchen or bathroom backsplash, then combine that with Bee Hive’s neutral hexagon tiles on the floor for a stunning look. You can mix and match colors in both kinds of tile or go with solids to make a unique space perfect for you.
Daltile's Bee Hive and Bliss Elements Glass tile are just a few of many unique tile combinations. Stay up to date with the blog for more tile and other home renovation ideas and inspiration.
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.
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.
This is the first blog in our series on "Top Flooring Choices for Every Room." Today's post is all about bathrooms, kitchens, mudrooms, and laundry rooms.
Every room in your home has different needs and functions depending on the traffic and use of the space. For instance, carpet isn’t the best choice for wet areas like kitchens and bathrooms or high-traffic areas like mudrooms and laundry rooms that are often subject to outdoor elements. All of these spaces endure a lot of wear, moisture, and scratches. Two of the best-suited flooring options for these areas are porcelain tile and vinyl.
Why porcelain tile? Porcelain tile is denser, less porous, harder, and more stain and water-resistant than ceramics or stone. In addition to being very water-resistant, porcelain tile outperforms other flooring materials in its resistance to scratching and denting. Whether it’s stomping muddy boots, dropping dishes, or spilling liquids, porcelain tile stands up to the beatings. It also comes in so many styles and sizes! Porcelain tile can mimic natural stones like granite, limestone, and slate and is also available in stunning wood looks. Newer designs draw inspiration from exotic locales and fashion runways, with surfaces that evoke leather, fabric, even animal print. Another perk is that porcelain tile is low maintenance, only requiring sweeping and a damp mopping.
Why vinyl? Today's vinyl continues to evolve in trends and technology. It’s water resistant, scratch resistant, and easy to maintain—requiring only sweeping or vacuuming and the occasional damp/dry mopping. Vinyl comes in several forms like vinyl plank, vinyl tile, and sheet vinyl. Vinyl plank and tile are available in beautiful wood and stone looks, but if you’re wanting a less “traditional” look, sheet vinyl has endless styles and patterns. In addition to wood and stone looks, sheet vinyl beautifully displays patterns and vintage tile looks making it easy to use your floor as your “canvas” to express your unique style.
Don’t forget: flooring functionality and durability are just as important as style when it comes to kitchens, mudrooms, bathrooms and laundry rooms. You can get the best of both worlds with porcelain tile and vinyl. Both flooring options offer stylish looks and durability that stands up to the challenges of everyday life in your home.
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.
The great outdoors is amazing, especially when you have your own little piece of the outdoors at home. Maybe it's sitting on the patio or balcony reading, fun times by the pool, or a welcoming walkway in a garden or court yard. Either way, it's these outdoor spaces that really bring something extra to our homes. Let's take a look at how to make a welcoming outdoor space and the flooring you can use to do this.
One of the most popular outdoor spaces is the patio. These usually consist of a concrete slab off the house, sometimes with a roof to provide shade. A sliding glass door connecting your living space with your patio will make your living space feel open and add lots of natural light. You can take your patio to another level by continuing your flooring in the home out onto the patio. To do this, though, you will have to choose a floor covering that is suitable to be outdoors.
Floor coverings like hardwood, vinyl, ceramic tile, and carpet are not ideal for outdoor use or in any areas that are not regulated. (Some hard wood can be used outside but requires an extensive of amount of maintenance). If planning on using these kinds of floor coverings, keep in mind they are susceptible to moisture damage and not recommended for outdoor use. Still want to carry your wood or tile flooring outside? Well not to worry. There are several options available.
The WPC flooring category offers wood and stone looks that are perfect for indoor or outdoor spaces, allowing you to continue your look from the inside out. You may love sipping drinks and relaxing on your porch but hate the maintenance that comes with wood. The porch is a prime example of an area WPC wood-look flooring can bring a new look and more comfort to your outdoor space with less maintenance.
Tile is beautiful outdoors, whether it's on a patio, porch, walkway, or poolside. When opting for tile outdoors, stone or ceramics are not ideal because they absorb too much moisture. Stone and ceramic tile is also susceptible to cracking and breaking when the temperatures rise and fall. However, slip-resistant porcelain tile that is rated for outdoor use is perfect. Slate is also a great choice for outdoor spaces. When properly sealed, this natural stone is a champion of beauty and durability. Keep in mind that using larger-sized tiles can make your space feel bigger, and wood-look tile will add texture and warmth.
So, when looking to expand your home to the outdoors, remember to keep the space open to allow the outdoors in. Think outside the box when it comes to the walkways and floors. Remember the maintenance that will be needed for the flooring you choose and be sure to pick a floor covering that is not only beautiful but durable and meets your needs.