Adding texture to your floor without the high price

Textured-flooring-vinyl-tile

Yes, the floor of your home can, and in many cases should, have texture. A visually appealing floor with subtle design can add a lot to any room. Many people think of only a home’s walls for adding this level of design, but don’t overlook the value of texture in the flooring to create a stand-out room.

The days of boring laminate flooring that is smooth and all one color are over. Today’s LVT (luxury vinyl tile) and LVP (luxury vinyl plank) have turned the world of flooring around. With a wide variety of textures and colors to choose from, the choices when adding LVT or LVP to your home are endless.

LVT and LVP are manufactured to look like tile, hardwood, and even stone. Each piece features a unique texture       and design, making the installation design choices endless. From checkerboard to diamonds or any other pattern that you can dream up, with LVT and LVP you ultimately end up with a beautiful floor in your home that is truly like no other. 

Just like if you were to install a stone or hardwood floor, each section of LVT and LVP flooring has its own unique personality. This textured surface makes the flooring look even more natural and realistic, making it almost indistinguishable from stone and hardwood planks.

LVT and LVP are both great options to achieve the unique one-of-a-kind look that you want from hardwood and stone flooring, while staying within your budget.

Scratches on hardwood? Don’t panic!

Scratches in hardwood flooring

Everyone knows the list of things to do to keep your hardwood floor in pristine condition, from not dragging furniture across it to instituting a ‘no shoes’ policy. No matter how careful you try to be, eventually something will happen to scratch your hardwood floors. However, this doesn’t have to be the end the world. In most cases these types of scratches are barely noticeable to anyone but the homeowner.

Superficial surface scratches on hardwood, where only the top protective coating of the flooring is scratched, can be easily repaired. In this scenario you should clean the scratched area with a soft cloth and cleaner designed especially for hardwood floors. When completely dry, apply a new layer of protective coating to the scratched area. This can be shellac, sealant or other finish.

If the scratch penetrates the protective coating of the floor as well as the wood, after cleaning you will need to carefully rub steel wool over the area. Always rub with the grain of the wood, continuing until the area with the scratch is smooth and level. To blend this area you will also need to buff the surrounding areas with the steel wool, blending into the edges. You can then fill in the area using a wax wood repair stick that most closely matches the color of your hardwood floor.

For deeper gouges and scratches in your hardwood flooring, the floor will need to be stripped, repaired and refinished. Refinishing hardwood floors is a much more in depth process, and one that is best left to the professionals, like those at Cardoza Flooring.

Indoor Outdoor Carpet

Options for Indoor and Outdoor Carpeting

The weather in New England can be an ever-changing mix, making it even more important for homeowners to take advantage of those beautiful days. Whether a warm summer afternoon or crisp, cool fall day just enjoying some fresh air can be enough to recharge anyone. Many homeowners are turning to their own porches and decks to enjoy the beautiful weather days.

The tricky part for many homeowners is what to turn to for flooring for their home’s three season porch or deck. Standard carpeting could be a recipe for disaster, with shoes tracking all kinds of dirt onto the floor and hardwood flooring may not be an option due to the high moisture. Outdoor area rugs may be a nice touch, but can also be slippery for children running through.

Homeowners have a new option to choose from – indoor outdoor carpeting. When you think about this option you may picture the grass carpeting of long ago. However, indoor outdoor carpet has come a long way since then, with a variety of options available to choose from. 

Indoor outdoor carpeting is an ideal cover for concrete, wood floor or decking, with the carpeting glued directly to the floor. The longevity of this type of carpeting has also improved dramatically over the years, because they are now made with a higher carpet density. Today’s indoor outdoor carpet is also typically manufactured with built-in UV stabilizers, which limits fading from the sun. 

Indoor outdoor carpeting is also a great option for areas where slipping is a concern such as poolside or on stairs. With the variety of color options available, this type of carpeting offers plenty of aesthetic value to your home.

If you haven’t looked at indoor outdoor carpeting in many years, you may be surprised at how far these products have come, deserving another look and consideration for your home.

Reducing New Carpet Smell

Unlike that coveted ‘new car smell’, a new carpet odor is something that many homeowners do their best to get rid of. In most cases that new carpet smell is actually a VOC called 4-phenylcyclohexene (4-PCH). 4-PCH is a byproduct of the latex used to secure the carpet fibers to the backing.  Not surprisingly, the cheaper the carpet, the more noxious the smell can be. In most cases this off-gassing of the carpet does little more than make you uncomfortable, occasionally being an eye and throat irritant for some people.Smartstrand by Mohawk

Synthetic carpets in particular are notorious for this off-gassing because they are made from nylon fibers with a polypropylene backing. Even adhesive used to install the carpet to the floor can contain chemicals that emit these VOCs. The majority of this synthetic carpet’s gasses will be released in the first 72 hours, making it important to allow for maximum ventilation during this time.

Having your carpet installer nail the floor covering down, instead of using a latex glue, will also greatly reduce the amount of VOCs released. Making this request can reduce the amount of chemicals brought into your home, making a big difference in the potency of the smell and how long it lasts.

Vacuuming your new carpet a day or two after installation can also make a difference, not to mention picking up the loose pieces and fuzz at the same time. Continue to vacuum the area every other day to get rid of the smell faster.

Many homeowners may be quick to grab a deodorizer to try to get rid of the smell. However, this will only be masking the odor. Deodorizers can also do more harm than good to your new carpet, leaving behind an unwanted residue.

The easiest way to prevent or reduce the gasses released from your carpet is to purchase low VOC carpet or eco-friendly carpets. These carpets are identified by the CRI (Carpet and Rug Institute) inside a small green house.

The Most Forgiving Flooring for Water

Let’s face it no matter how hard you try the floor of your home will get wet, whether from an over-zealous child in the bathtub to a spill in the kitchen. And quite honestly, some flooring is more resilient to water than others. Another concern that many homeowners have is the best flooring for their entryways and mudrooms, which unintentionally see a lot of moisture, particularly during the winter months.

Tile is one of the most forgiving floors for water, and most commonly seen in bathrooms and even kitchens. Porcelain and ceramic tile options are typically the best option for water-prone areas. These are both great and offer a variety of options for homeowners.

For the homeowner looking for a more budget-conscience choice than tile in a water-prone area, luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) and luxury vinyl planks (LVP) are a great choice. Both of these products are extremely durable in high-moisture areas. These options are also a great alternative for those hard to protect entryways, while still allowing for a wide variety of design choices and aesthetic appeal.

Hardwood may seem like an unlikely choice for an area of your home that is prone to moisture.  However, sanded, sealed hardwood flooring is actually a good choice for entryways. But be advised that this flooring will not be able to hold up to standing water for a length of time, so it is important to remove puddles immediately. Many homeowners with hardwood flooring in their entryways opt for a rug or tray for wet shoes to be deposited into.

Water on the floor of your home is a fact of life, but choosing the right flooring to withstand this can make all of the difference.

Adding A Carpet Runner To Stairs

Carpet-Runner-StyleAdvantages of Adding a Carpet Runner on Your Stairs

A carpet runner, or stair runner, is a section of carpet that runs the length of your stairs but does not cover the entire width. This is an ideal covering for hardwood stairs in a home. Wood flooring can become slippery, increasing the risk of falls, particularly for children and people with mobility issues. Carpet runners provides a safe place to walk on the stairs.

These runners are also easier on bare feet than hardwood flooring, adding some extra cushion to the area. In New England, carpet runners on the stairs cut down on the amount of cold floor that your feet come into contact with during the winter months.

An advantage of carpet runners that many homeowners don’t consider is the reduction in noise. Unlike hardwood flooring and tile, carpets absorb the noise making trips up and down the stairs much quieter.

Like any carpet, these runners come in a wide variety of styles, colors and patterns. Adding a runner to your home’s stairs can create an eye-catching feature in your home. Carpet runners allow homeowners the unique advantages of retaining the beauty of hardwood flooring on their stairs, while also adding the styling advantages of carpeting.

Carpet runners also go a long way in protecting the wood flooring on your stairs from everyday wear and tear. They require little upkeep short of a vacuum once or twice a week, and can be replaced at a reasonable cost if they do become stained or damaged.

Few products allow you to have the best of both worlds – hardwood and carpeting – while adding beauty like carpet runners can.

Matching New and Existing Hardwood Flooring

Matching Hardwood FlooringMatching Hardwood Flooring – Some Helpful Tips

A big challenge for homeowners putting down new hardwood flooring is to match the wood to the rest of your home. This is particularly important if the room where you are installing the hardwood flooring flows into other hardwood areas of the residence. While realistically an exact match may not be possible, with a little attention to detail you can ensure that the flooring is as close to the existing hardwood as possible for a cohesive look in your home.

If the homeowner happens to know the manufacturer of the existing hardwood floor, and it is still available, this can make the job of finding a match an easy one. However, these cases are few and far between. 

One of the most critical factors in matching your home’s hardwood flooring is finding hardwood planks that have the same thickness as the existing floor. You will also want to match the type of wood. If adjacent rooms have red oak or Douglas fir, you will most likely want to stick with the same species for this new flooring.

Color is a huge factor in matching new hardwood flooring to existing and can present the biggest hurdle. Even when the wood is identical, in many cases the hardwood flooring will darken as it ages and as a result of exposure to sunlight. An option that will allow for the best color match is to strip the existing flooring and finish both areas, new and old, at the same time. Alternatively, you can stain the new floor to match the existing wood, but over time this stained floor may age and color differently.

Remember, a professional flooring company skilled in installing hardwood flooring can be your biggest help in matching new with existing hardwood.

Carpet Padding Does Matter! Find Out Why

You have probably walked on carpet that just feels good and comfortable on your feet, even with shoes on. This may not necessarily be because of the carpet itself, but the padding that is hidden underneath. One of the main roles of carpet padding is to absorb the impact walking on the carpet can cause over time by cushioning the blow.  This prevents the carpet from being damaged and deteriorating over time.

Carpet padding is a standard in residences, but not all padding is created equal. Just like the carpet itself, there are many types to choose from.  Most homes have a carpet pad that is 7/16” thick. If it is comfort that you are looking for, don’t make the “bigger is better” mistake when choosing your carpet padding. Exceeding the standard 7/16” thickness in your residence can lead to a padding that is too thick and cause wrinkles in the carpet.

If you want a padding with a little more cushion and comfort than is typically seen, you will want to consider the pads density rating. The higher the density rating of a carpet, the more firm it will feel. Firmer pads provide better carpet support, and prevent any concern over future wrinkling. Of course, the higher the density the cost will increase as well.

Apartment buildings and other carpeted areas that see frequent replacement typically have a density rating of 3 to 5 pounds. Residential carpeting is usually a density rating between 6 and 8 pounds. If you are looking for something a little softer in your home, you may want to try an 8 pound density.

Most residential carpet padding today is rebond pad, which is made from recycled materials. While perfectly acceptable, if you are looking for a higher quality padding, you may have to look beyond rebond. Other options include foam padding, prime urethane foam, wool or fiber pad, and rubber pads. 

If you opt for a pad like rebond, that is made from recycled materials, keep in mind that the higher the quality of recycled materials used, the better the pad.

Take the time to consider the carpet padding now and your feet will thank you for years down the road.

Beware Wet Mopping Hardwood Flooring

Cleaning Hardwood Flooring – The Right Way

Just like the rest of the flooring in your home, dirt and grime can accumulate on your hardwood. From shoes, pets and everyday dust, your hardwood floor will start to lose its sheen without regular cleaning. The good news is even if you have been neglecting the regular upkeep, with a thorough cleaning your floor will be looking like new again.

Many homeowners immediately reach for the wet mop for all of their non-carpet floor cleaning. While certainly an effective choice, a wet mop may not be the best for treating your hardwood floors with a little TLC. Simply put, water and wood do not mix. Wet mops leave the floor just that, wet. Over time this prolonged exposure to moisture can damage and stain your hardwood flooring.

Regular dusting of your home’s hardwood floor with a microfiber cloth or dry mop will go a long way to removing the loose dirt and dust, before it gets caked on. While a broom can be a good choice for this as well, the microfiber will actually pick the dirt up instead of having to maneuver a dustpan as well. 

Depending on how trafficked the area is, once a week your hardwood floor will probably need a deeper clean. Yes, the mop can come out, but do so with caution. Using a dry mop while misting the floor with a cleaner that is made especially for hardwood flooring is your best bet. This will give your floor the cleaning that it needs, without leaving a trail of moisture behind that can cause damage.

Every three months or so you may also want to treat your hardwood floor to a polish. A polish designed for hardwood will reinvigorate your floor, putting the sheen back and making it look like new.

Remember, when cleaning your hardwood flooring less really is more. Keeping excessive liquid off of the hardwood, will keep your floor looking beautiful for years to come.

Keeping Your Carpet in Great Shape

The new carpets have been installed they look, and feel, great.  No eating, no playing, no shoes, no pets on the carpet because you want to keep them looking and feeling like new.  But is this really possible?  Of course not. 

Regular maintenance and care of your new carpet will keep it looking great for years to come, despite the wear and tear from your family.  One of the biggest tricks to keeping your new carpet in great shape is regular vacuuming.  This will remove any dirt and grit before it becomes embedded in the carpet fibers.  If the area experiences heavy traffic, vacuum two or three times each week.  For areas with less traffic, a weekly pass through with the vacuum will suffice.

Inevitably your new carpet will experience a spill.  Addressing the spill immediately is the best route for removing it.  For liquids, dab the area with a towel or cloth to remove as much of the liquid as possible.  Then use a spot treatment designed for rugs. 

While vacuuming is great for removing the everyday dirt that accumulates in your home, rugs still need a good shampooing occasionally.  This heavier duty cleaning will ensure that there is no dirt or dust hidden deep in the carpet fibers. 

There are many products out there for shampooing your home’s rugs on your own, from spray-on foam cleaners to wet shampoos.  However, the best method is to treat your carpets to a professional carpet cleaning.  The industrial equipment that comes with this professional service will ensure that your rugs are kept feeling and looking great.

Another often overlooked key to extending the life of your carpets is to redistribute the weight on the carpet over time.  Consider moving the couch just an inch to the left every month or so, and then back again.  This will make a big difference in keeping your carpet in great shape.

Treating your carpets to a little TLC from day one will keep them in top shape for years to come.