There are so many things to love about fall and winter: changing leaves, colder temperatures, hot chocolate, and roaring fireplaces; however, with this seasonal change, we often find ourselves spending more time indoors and trying to stave off allergies, the flu, and of course, the common cold. If you find yourself stuck inside a lot, you need to make sure your home is healthy place in which you and your family can thrive. Today we’re going to look at some ways to make your home a healthy haven.
First of all, let’s go ahead and talk about flooring and floor care. Hard surface flooring products (hardwood, tile, vinyl, laminate, etc.) have long been the darlings of homeowners (and allergy sufferers) not just because they are beautiful but because they are easy to keep clean and free of allergens. Carpet has thus gotten a bad rap, but according to the Carpet and Rug Institute, studies with allergy and immunology physician Dr. Bruce Mitchell, prove that carpet IS a good choice for asthma and allergy sufferers when it’s properly cared for:
“These studies challenge the long-held belief that carpet must adversely impact indoor air quality as it pertains to asthma and allergy sufferers,” Dr. Mitchell is quoted in the press release. “Effectively cleaned carpets have the capacity to trap allergen and microbial particles, making these particles less available to become airborne and thus maintaining indoor air quality. This makes regularly cleaned carpet a choice for families impacted by asthma and allergies.”
Whether you have carpet or hard surface flooring, vacuuming/sweeping and dusting are key components to improving air quality in your home. For allergy sufferers, a vacuum with a HEPA filter is ideal, and make sure to replace vacuum bags or empty the canister when they’re 2/3 full. For dusting, using a dry cloth often stirs up dust and dander. Use a damp cloth or one treated with a dusting product to wipe surfaces clean.
While air purifiers are a great way to improve indoor air quality, another wonderful option is house plants! We all know that plants take in carbon dioxide and give back oxygen. Did you know that many plants also absorb harmful pollutants and gases? Check out HGTV's "Top Ten" of houseplants that promote air quality.
Next, make sure to check your bathroom for mold and mildew. Shower curtains should be washed or replaced regularly to prevent and remove mildew buildup. Also, check your wallpaper (if you have it). Wallpaper can foster the growth of mold if a bathroom isn’t properly ventilated with an exhaust fan. Install a fan, and consider replacing wallpaper with mold-resistant paint or tile. Invest in a good mildew remover or tile cleaner, or make your own if you’re sensitive to chemicals. Many great household cleaners can be made from vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. Check out some homemade cleaning recipes HERE.
For the kitchen, the same cleaning rules apply. Wipe down surfaces to remove grease, dust, and mildew. An often-overlooked item that can go bad fast is the trash can. Make sure to wipe it down regularly to remove stains and buildup and prevent mold growth.
If you have pets, all these cleaning tips are going to help with keeping hair and dander at bay, but there are a couple of extra points to consider. Bathe your pets once a week, and keep them off furniture and out of bedrooms.
Speaking of bedrooms, wash any linens you’ve had in storage before using them, and don’t forget that dust collects on curtains! They should be washed too. If allergies are a big problem for you, you might even consider hypo-allergenic bedding like this collection from Pottery Barn. Find tips on choosing hypo-allergenic bedding HERE.
Putting these tips into practice as regular habits will have keep your home healthy for fall and winter “hibernation.” For more cleaning tips and tricks, check out our Keep It Clean Pinterest board.
Tile has long been a crucial element of home design, whether it’s utilized on the floors or walls. What was once perhaps more of a utilitarian choice for kitchens and bathrooms, tile is now in high demand for the color, style, shape, and texture it can bring to any room in the home. Let’s look at what’s trending in tile today, featuring products from Emser Tile.
Whether your bathroom is large and spacious or cramped and cluttered, storage sometimes presents a problem. Larger bathrooms tend to accumulate more stuff, and small ones, well, they often can’t handle the bare minimum of bathroom essentials. Today we’re going to look at some organization hacks that will change the way you look at and function in your bathroom and hopefully shave minutes off the morning mayhem.
One of the most obvious choices for bathroom storage is containers and baskets. Glass, metal, wicker, plastic, modern, or vintage: there are so many options depending on the look you’re going for. If rustic farmhouse style is your thing, check out these super cute DIY mason storage jars.
Another look we love is baskets! They’re so versatile, whether you’ve got them tucked in a cabinet or on full display. Makespace.com has some amazing organization ideas using baskets like the one pictured below, as well as other organization tips you may have never thought about (think cake stand caddies and magnetic makeup boards!).
In smaller spaces, it’s often easier to go up than out. This is where floating shelves and over-the-toilet pieces come into play. We love this ingenious wire contraption that couples a basket with a toilet paper holder! Another great idea is utilizing a wine rack for towel storage. Check out this link for more ideas on utilizing the spaces you have overhead.
This look incorporates several methods at once with floating shelves, baskets, and glassware. Learn how to get this look HERE.
Love floating shelves? You can learn how to make these beautiful floating shelves from Shanty Chic!
Let’s not forget about that void that often becomes a cluttered catch-all: under the bathroom sink. This space is actually ripe for organization and storage! Better Homes and Gardens has some great ideas (including an instructional video) on making this space cute, functional, and clutter free!
If you have kids, no doubt you have bath toys. Rather than shoveling them out of the tub every time you need to shower, you need a storage solution that makes them easily accessible to your little ones yet also easy to put away. This idea from The Inspired Home will make everyone happy.
Last but certainly not least, keeping those beauty products and tools under control can be a nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be. Check out this link at m.design. They offer basic, streamlined products, everything from drawer and cosmetic organizers to trays and trash cans.
If you still don’t see what you need, take this quiz to find out exactly what type of style and organization you need for your space. You’ll be organized before you know it and shave time off your morning routine! Happy organizing!
With school back in session, you might be going through the hassle of getting your kids back on their school schedule. Getting your kids ready to go to school in the morning and then later to do their homework can be a challenge. Today we’re going to offer some ideas on how to make a multipurpose space that your kids (hopefully!) will want to study in.
Not every home has the space for a whole room to be devoted to a homework space, but regardless of the size, you can create a welcoming study area. A study space should be quiet for focus, colorful for inspiration, and organized to reduce distraction and be efficient. Start with the color scheme; color sets the mood for a room. Some color options that inspire focus and keep attention are bright shades like greens, blues, and yellows, especially when they’re mixed with a stark contrast and clean lines. You can add bright color to the space using an accent wall or pieces like shelves and accessories.
A proper study area isn’t complete without a desk or work table, and the options are practically limitless, no matter what size space you have. A desk with cubby shelves is perfect for easy-to-reach organization and can be customized with paint and decorative baskets or bins for supply and book storage. Another option is a table with comfy chairs or multiple seating options for study group friends. You may also want to add a push pin board or even a cork wall for papers, posters, and charts. Hanging a dry erase board in front of the desk area is perfect for notes and helps to keep the space free of scrap paper. Another option we love for brainstorming and creativity is a chalk-board wall. Whatever size space you’re working with, organization like this will keep your space functional and inviting.
As for flooring, make sure you have something comfortable and easy to care for. Vinyl planks, laminate, or WPC resists scratches from desk chairs and other furniture and are very easily maintained. Low-pile carpet, carpet tiles, or a fun and functional rug allow for a comfortable space to stretch out on the floor for “brain breaks.”
Spaces like this are fun to put together and can make a big difference in your kids’ study habits. Whether you have a whole room or a small niche, consider carving out a study space to help foster your kids’ creativity and concentration. So many areas in the home can easily be repurposed and made more useful with a little imagination, organization, and TLC.
Sometimes at the end of a long day, there’s nothing more relaxing than a good soak in the tub or a long, hot shower. Is your bathroom a place of rest, renewal, and relaxation? If not, it should be! In this blog we will explore some ideas and tips to turn your bathroom into an oasis.
When it comes to comfort, functionality, and style, custom, walk-in showers are the way to go. Many people choose to lose the tub and opt for a walk-in shower only, featuring glass doors, wall to wall tile, built-in benches, niches or shelves for toiletries, and even multiple shower heads and massaging jets. If you’re not ready to trash your tub though, another popular design is a walk-in shower/bathtub combo. Sometimes you may need pulsating jets on your skin, but other times all you need is a long, hot soak. A shower/tub combo is the perfect mix. If you really want to make a statement, try a freestanding tub in the center of the room. While this option is better suited to larger bathrooms, it really adds an elegant, contemporary look and is perfect to showcase a beautiful bathtub.
Of course, if we’re talking about bathrooms, we have to talk tile and accents. For the nature-lover, a look that incorporates natural stone or wood-look tile along with organic colors like greens, browns, and blues provides calming, earthy vibes of the great outdoors. If you prefer a more industrial style, consider brick or concrete-look tiles for the walls and shower with a free-standing metallic bathtub. Large format tiles are also well-suited for a contemporary or industrial look. In addition, shapes like hexagons, chevrons, and fish scales are re-emerging not only in floor tiles but also as intriguing accent walls and backsplashes that can really give your bathroom a personal touch.
A custom bathroom can really add to the design elements and value of a home. It’s a place to relax and offers much to express your personal style. Of course, the best way to get the bathroom of your dreams and keep it looking beautiful is to have it professionally installed and waterproofed with the Schluter Shower System. The Schluter System has multiple drainage options, and they also offer radiant heat flooring systems to keep your toes toasty! Call us today for your free estimate and professional installation! 256.231.5600.
In today’s home buying market, the biggest selling points are often kitchens and bathrooms! Whether you’re buying a home or looking to upgrade your own, installing granite countertops in these spaces is one of the best ways to add beauty and long-term value to your investment. Let’s look at what makes granite so desirable.
Granite is a natural stone available in an extremely wide variety of patterns, shapes, and tones. Each slab of granite is unique, ranging from soft and neutral to dark and dramatic. Some slabs feature subtle flecks of color. Others features large, dramatic veins or designs throughout the slab. Variation can also occur in the same slab, such as one end may have more color, pattern, or design than the other. Some people prefer uniformity in the countertops, but others like a statement piece. With granite, there’s something for everyone!
Granite is also extremely tough. Typically, the only thing that can scratch it is another piece of granite or rock. It’s so tough, in fact, that using a cutting board in the kitchen is recommended to protect your knives. If you slice food directly on the surface, you run the risk of dulling your knives. Granite is also tough against heat. It won’t bubble or blister if a hot pan or pot is placed on it.
To take care of your granite, first and foremost, make sure it’s professionally sealed when installed. Granite is porous, so it must be sealed to keep liquids from seeping in and staining or harboring bacteria. Once sealed, granite can be easily cleaned with warm, soapy water. Glass cleaners, bleach, and abrasive pads and cleaners are not recommended as they may cause the sealant to weaken. It’s also a good idea to have your countertops professionally sealed every two to four years to keep them in top shape.
So, are you ready to get going with granite? At Floors to Go, we offer a wide selection. Don’t see what you want in our store? We can even take you to our supplier to help you pick out your own slab. Stop by our showroom today, and let’s get started! shopfloorstogo.com
In this blog we will examine a flooring type that many have seen before but might not be very familiar with: parquet. Parquet flooring was very popular in the 60’s and 70’s, and it has started to make a comeback. Let’s look at what parquet flooring really is and its appealing features.
Parquet flooring is made from wooden blocks or strips forming a geometric pattern, often triangles or squares. One particular pattern that has become very popular and fits a range of décor styles is herringbone. Herringbone is made up of a broken zig-zag pattern of planks, whereas a chevron pattern is continuous with planks coming together at a sharp point. These parquet flooring patterns have been around since the 1700’s and are a trade mark of grand European homes and buildings. Today, you can bring these grand patterns into your home through options such as engineered hardwood, tile, and even wood alternatives like vinyl, laminate, luxury vinyl tile, and waterproof plank flooring.
Over the years, parquet flooring has taken on new looks, giving it a more flexible and modern range of styles. The most common parquet styles that we tend to deem as old fashioned are oak and cherry wood in a square pattern. Lighter and gray toned woods along with chevron or herringbone parquet patterns are popular now. These parquet styles give a unique patterned look that also allows for more flow in your home. Design opportunities are limitless with parquet patterns and different flooring options. The only limit is really your imagination.
Our homes daily 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 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 people are shopping for floors for their homes, they most often browse hard surfaces like laminate, vinyl tile, wood, tile, or carpet. While these flooring options come in a wide variety of styles and are made from many different materials, most share a common factor: they all have seams, grout lines, and other design details that add texture, depth, and interest. If you’re looking for something more streamlined or that mimics these floorings at a fraction of the cost, sheet vinyl may be for you.
When we talk sheet vinyl, we’re not talking about that avocado green and yellow paisley or white and blue diamond pattern you grew up with. We’re talking gorgeous solids and patterns that can give your space a unique look not easily achieved with other products. Maybe you need a simple floor to keep your space feeling open, or maybe you want a patterned floor that is stylish and highly durable. Flexitec sheet vinyl has some great options. Flexitec’s Vanderbilt Muse lines are two sheet vinyl looks that have no seams or high patterns but mimic the look of fabric. For a modern look, the Previa line comes in four colors and looks like stained concrete.
If you’re looking for something with more visual interest, sheet vinyl also offers unique patterns. Patterned flooring can be a fun twist in design. Flexitec’s Sadako, Polygon, and Raeburn lines are all different patterned floors that can add flare to the right space. If you’re still interested in a wood grain but would like something unique, Flexitec’s Bamboo and Dulcinea offer just that.
When shopping for flooring, today’s looks in vinyl might lead you to think outside the box. Streamlined or low patterned vinyl can help make a space feel more open and is well-suited for modern décor. For something more interesting, patterned vinyl can add a unique look and flare to your space. Sheet vinyl has come a long way in both looks and durability making it a perfect option for almost any space.
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: