Choose an Area Rug to Add Accent to Any Room

choosing an area rug

A Nashua, NH homeowner was recently looking for a way to add a “wow factor” to a sitting room in her home, without the commitment of painting the walls. A visit to Cardoza Flooring’s Milford showroom and she knew exactly what the answer was, an area rug. The hardest decision was choosing which rug would best fit her family’s personality and the space.

Area rugs are a great way to add design and flair to any room, without the permanency of wall to wall carpeting. Because they only cover a section of the room, homeowners are freer to play with funky colors and textures, but also with the option to stick with a neutral design.

What was once a limited selection of Persian rugs or classic European styles has expanded greatly to today’s seemingly endless array of area rugs to choose from.

Area Rug Color, Pattern and Size to Consider

The advice we offered this Nashua homeowner was to first choose the color and then the rug pattern that would suit her room. For many rooms an area rug becomes the focal point, setting the tone and feel of the room. The first consideration is whether you are looking for a flashy, louder rug or something subtler in a neutral color.

The rug pattern offers just as many options to choose from as the color. From solid to patterned area rugs, the pattern you choose will also play a role in setting the tone for the room.

Finally, when choosing the rug size, you want to be sure that the rug is neither too small or too large for the room. For an average-sized room a good rule of thumb is 10” – 20” of bare floor from the rug to the edges of the wall. This number can go as low as 8” or as high as 24”.

Ultimately the Nashua customer found the perfect area rug for her, finding the Cardoza Flooring showroom selection and staff a tremendous help in making her decision.

Installing Hardwood as Carpet Replacement

installing hardwood to replace carpet

Many homeowners like the look of hardwood flooring, particularly in the downstairs living space. As a recent customer in Amherst NH expressed, it can be nerve-wracking to rip up the carpet in a room of your home to put down a hardwood floor, particularly when you aren’t sure what condition the floor will be in when the carpet is lifted.

Stripping the Floors to Make Way for Hardwood

If possible, it is helpful to know how the carpet was installed before beginning the removal process. How is the carpet and padding secured? Some products that may be used to remove the glue residue can react differently to a stone floor versus wood flooring. What you find underneath can vary greatly based on the age of your home and when the floor was most recently replaced.

Before installing hardwood floors not only must the existing carpet be removed, but the floors underneath must be taken down to the original sub floor surface. Essentially this removal process happens in reverse, going from the carpet and pad removal to the tack strips around the edges and any nails holding them in place.

The removal of carpeting is a simple process, but the pad underneath can be a bit more complicated, depending on whether it was installed using glue or staples. After the carpet has been stripped back to the sub floor it is important to do a visual inspection. The floor underneath should be solid and inflexible. Walking on every sub floor panel will identify any problems that may need to be addressed before installing the new hardwood.

In the case of the Amherst homeowner, her sub floor was in excellent condition and the hardwood flooring installation was seamless. She couldn’t be happier with her room’s new look and the entire process.

Overwhelmed by Carpet Color Choices like this Nashua Homeowner?

Nashua Carpet Color Selections

A Nashua NH homeowner recently visited our Milford showroom looking for new carpet for her upstairs bedroom. She came in unsure of what carpet color she would choose. This homeowner quickly discovered that the choices for color are as plentiful as the rainbow.

Deciding on a Carpet Color – What to Consider

With so many choices, it is easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to selecting your carpet color. After you have decided on the carpet style, fiber type, and quality you can often feel like your head is spinning, only to also have to make the very important color decision.

To narrow down your options you should consider what room you are carpeting, is there existing furniture that needs to be taken into consideration? Are you open to painting the walls, or does the carpet also need to pair well with the wall color? Typically, neutral colors are a safe bet and are the most likely to match the rest of the room. While great for a smaller room, bright carpet colors in a large area can be overwhelming, becoming the focal point of the entire room.

Popular color choices in carpeting include warm greys and beige shades. You can make these neutral choices more interesting by adding patterns and texture through the carpet style. The more earth-tone neutral colors are better for hiding dirt and stains. This is particularly important in homes with young children or pets.

When choosing a carpeting color, the best tool to aid your decision is to take a look at samples. Seeing the color in person can make all of the difference, and you may be surprised just how easy the decision can be when you find that “right color”, just as this Nashua homeowner found.

Cardoza Flooring’s showroom in Milford features a variety of carpet samples for you to find that perfect color.

Hardwood Polishing Wasn’t Working for this Amherst, NH Resident

Shiny Hardwood Flooring

It is easy to make the mistake of assuming that a shiny hardwood floor is a clean, freshly polished one. However, as an Amherst, NH resident recently discovered, this is actually because of the gloss level of the hardwood floor, and has nothing to do with cleanliness. This homeowner was always frustrated by the lack of sheen of her hardwood kitchen floors. Not matter how much mopping and polish she used, she couldn’t achieve that glossy shine that she had seen in other homes.

It isn’t surprising that this homeowner could not achieve the glossy hardwood look she was striving to achieve, because her hardwood floors were a very low gloss level right from the start.

Hardwood Gloss Level Makes a Difference

When installing hardwood floors, one of the many factors to consider is the gloss level of the floor. The floors of this Amherst resident were a very low luster, at 15% gloss. Growing in popularity, this gives the appearance of an almost oil-rubbed finish. This is a great option for floors that will see a lot of wear and tear, as it is ideal for hiding scuff marks or scratches.

A 50% gloss is considered a high sheen. This creates a sleek, modern look. However, it does show scuffs and scratches more prominently. A 100% gloss is the highest sheen possible, and is not seen in homes. This full sheen would essentially create a floor that would act as a mirror.

When choosing your hardwood floor’s gloss level, you are able to choose any percentage on the scale. If you aren’t sure what gloss level is right for you, samples of the various levels can help to make this decision.

Ultimately, this homeowner installed new hardwood floors with a higher gloss level, and her days of work polishing the floors to achieve that just cleaned shine are gone!

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.