How to give your home a new look by changing the floors
Few things improve the feel of a room like new flooring. As time goes by, the first thing in a home that wears or fades is carpet or even tile and wood floors. So when the time comes to redecorate and give your home a new look you should literally start from the bottom up. So how do you go about choosing and installing your new floors? It is always easier to have a professional come do the job for you, but it is more fun and satisfying to do it yourself. So how do you do it your self, well it is really a matter of three simple steps. First you have to choose what type of flooring, and what design fits the room. Next, the old flooring has to be removed. Finally, it is time to install the new flooring. Sounds easy right?
The first thing you have to do is decide what kind of flooring you want to install. Carpet is always nice for certain rooms, but that is the easy, often less attractive approach. Hard wood floors are beautiful, and can make a living room or dining room light up. Tile floors are nice for bathrooms and kitchens. A bedroom is versatile, but this is often a room best left with carpet. There are many different types of tiles and wood to choose from, and carpet choices are endless. There is also the option of stone floors, such as granite or marble, these are very nice in a bathroom or kitchen. When choosing tile or stone floors, keep in mind there are optional heated floors, for those cold winters.
Next it is time to remove the old flooring. This can be messy, and strenuous, but it is the hardest part of the job. Carpet is easy enough to tear up, roll away, and carry to the dump; but what about tiles or existing stone floors? This is a bit harder because these floors are sealed to the ground. You will need a wrecking bar and a scraper. Pull the tiles up one by one, and sand the floors to level. After removing the old flooring, be sure to clean the area well and level things out.
Now you are ready to install the new flooring. Many types of flooring will come with an overview style instruction manual. You will need to know all the right measurements and angles in the room. Some types of flooring require a layer between the floorboards and top level of flooring. This will help to be sure your floors are all level and protect the new material. Each type of flooring has it’s own tricks and styles for installation, and you can usually get tips from the inter-net or a flooring dealer.
New floors will give any room a great new look. Shop around to find the perfect style for your individual rooms. Rather you choose carpet, tile, stone, or wood floors, you can be sure that a new floor will be what you need to renew a homes beauty.
When we moved into our house, about 20 years ago, we really loved everything except for the floor coverings. Most of the house was filled with a green, medium shag carpet almost certainly installed in the 1970’s when such was all the rage. Being first time homeowners, and not having much money, we ended up living with that for several years.
The one exception to that, which my wife insisted on fixing, was the kitchen. Even there carpet was used. Carpet in a kitchen is just a bad idea. Stained by spills throughout the years, and having absorbed decades of cooking odors, something had to be done. Within a few weeks of moving in we pulled and replaced that carpet.
After laying down a thin underlayment of plywood we installed industrial-grade vinyl tiles on a Saturday. At a total expense of less than two dollars per square foot our kitchen was transformed into a functional and practical workspace. While the appearance was somewhat utilitarian this upgrade worked for many years. With little cost and a bit of work we had a durable and easily maintained floor that easily stood up to the heavy traffic and minor calamities that are inevitable in any kitchen.
After a few years, as our situation improved and our tolerance dwindled, it was finally time to do something about the rest of the carpet in the house. Exploring our options we decided that new carpet was definitely out. Carpet being difficult to maintain, impossible to ever really get clean, and relatively expensive, we decided to look for other options.
At the time laminate flooring was fairly new and much more difficult to install than today. However, we found a really good sale on some high-quality brand-name laminate, and decided to go for it. With a few evenings of preparation; moving furniture, pulling up the old carpet, studying the installation instructions and getting materials and tools together, we tackled the job of installing several hundred square feet of laminate flooring in a weekend. Mistakes were made and lessons learned but we ended up with a durable and even easier to maintain floor than the vynil tiles we had installed previously in the kitchen.
Advances in laminate flooring design since then have made the same job in our newly-married son’s house much easier. Unlike the earlier flooring we had installed in our home, today’s laminate simply snaps together. No more gluing and tapping with blocks, all you need do is cut to fit and the interlocking designs go right into place. With a bit
Windows may be the jewelry of a house, but the floors are the workhorse of a home. No other surface sees as much wear and tear, and still must be so becoming that people want to walk barefoot on you. This is a tall order, and one that I address often as an interior decorator and licensed realtor.
Flooring, along with color selection, are the most frequently asked topics, especially in staging a home for sale. By improving the floors in your home, you will increase the monetary value as well as the aesthetic appeal of your dcor. The most common forms of flooring are carpeting, tile and linoleum, and hardwood. Each type brings its own beauty and versatility to a room- what type works the best in each situation? Remember, staging a home for sale is much different than living in a house- clutter needs to be banished, that includes your floors. Too many different types of flooring will make any floor plan look choppy and appear smaller than it actually is.
Carpeting will be the least costly flooring that you have. By re-carpeting a house before the sale, the buyer’s are getting a clean slate and new look. Keep carpet in the same type throughout the home for a good walk through flow. When carpeting for resale, pick very neutral, medium-toned beige; skip the baby pink in your daughter’s room. You want to make the house appear as large as possible and as neutral as possible for your potential buyer or for future decorating plans that you may have. Do not carpet bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. These are rooms that receive a lot of traffic and moisture and a hard surface is much better.
Tile is a great solid surface that will last for years. Many options are available such as ceramic tile, natural stone, marble, man made stone, and linoleum. These surfaces are very durable and can take a beating. Use them in kitchens, bathrooms, and other heavy traffic areas. When using tile, make sure that you seal the grout in between, or it will stain. Tile and stone’s one drawback is that it is extremely hard (a dish will break if dropped), and somewhat cold underfoot. Soften the look of tile in living areas by using decorative rugs to define your conversation areas.
Hardwood is right now the trend to follow in flooring, whether you are selling or staying and decorating. If you have existing hardwood, make sure it is in good shape and has been recently sealed. If not, have it professionally sanded and resealed before you start the selling process. This is a messy and dusty job, but worth the effort. Hardwood flooring is very popular right now for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it’s attractive, maintainable, and easy on the feet. Secondly, there are «green, eco-friendly» options available like bamboo, a sustainable wood product. And finally, hardwood flooring is recommended for anyone with allergies, for its clean look and lack of dust.
Flooring is very important in the look of your house. Choose flooring that works with your lifestyle, budget, and dcor- you may fall in love with your house again, and not want to move! If selling, how you showcase your floor, tells many people how you have lived in the house. Potential buyers want a house that is move in ready and was lovingly cared for. Take the time to pick out the floor that is right for you, and your bare feet will thank you!
Have you been floored today?
Do you tread softly or walk with pride? Is it time to revamp or resale? Changing the flooring in your home will positively increase its financial and aesthetic value by ten to fifteen percent.
First of all, are you a DIY or will you defer to the professionals? If the former, do your homework and find out the proper installation techniques to ensure that the warranty will apply. Also consider availability of the product. If the latter, obtain at least three estimates with references and confirm that the contractor has the proper insurance and licensing. Time spent in the R & D’ stage will always save you time and money.
So put your best foot forward and let’s look at the flooring options:
Hardwood & Softwood Types: — Oak, maple, walnut, cherry, birch, bamboo, pine, fir, spruce, redwood, hickory, and cork. — Prominent grain patterned woods in mid-toned colors will hide scratches and dents easier. Wood is a natural product and will be affected by traffic and pets.
Options: Install new or have existing wood re-finished. — Engineered made of a top layer of hardwood fused with bottom layer of plywood composite; various widths and colors available; recommended for concrete sub-floors. — Prefinished considered by many to be more durable to up to ten coats of coverage; various widths and colors available; recommended for wood sub-floors. — Site Finished custom stain matches are possible; normally fewer coats of coverage; drying time and odor are considerations.
Tile Types: — Natural ceramic, porcelain, quarry, brick. — Stone granite, marble, slate, sandstone, limestone. — Available is durable and available in various sizes, colors and thickness to complement any room. Neutral colors should be considered to coordinate with a wider range of color schemes and to increase the longevity.
Laminate Types: — Can imitate the look of wood, tiles, stone, brick, and granite. — Is the most cost effective alternative and relatively simple to install. — Gaining popularity now as a sustainable and earth friendly’ option.
Lastly, it is important to not lose perspective. Budget, ultimately has the final say on which product or process chosen will best suit your given situation.
If you’re getting tired of your well-worn carpeting and you’d like a change of pace, a world of flooring options lies just at your doorstep. From hardwood to tile to stone, you can select the flooring that best suits your taste for fine decor. And if you’re about to sell your home, it just may prove an added value that could put more cash in your pocket.
It wasn’t too long ago when linoleum sheeting was popular in kitchens.
In recent years, however, ceramic tiling has become all the rage due to its durability, longevity, resistance to moisture, and ease of cleaning. Many new homes today boast ceramic tile kitchens and entryways.
Wood floors have always been very popular, giving the home’s interior an elegant, stately look. As opposed to carpeting, wood floors don’t wear out. They may become slightly scratched or dulled in high-traffic areas over the years, but unlike carpeting, they never require regular shampooing or vacuuming. Often times homeowners will purchase decorative rugs to enhance the decor, for example a large oval-shaped rug placed underneath the dining room table. Decorative rugs can also hide defects in the wood floor such as scratches, dents, and discolorations.
The term «wood» actually encompasses several different types of flooring material. The most expensive is solid wood flooring which is popular in luxury homes and older residences. Depending on the finish, solid wood floors may need an occasional waxing to keep them clean and attractive. However, if you prefer the look and feel of a wood floor and you have pets and/or children, you might want to consider the other option: laminate flooring.
Laminate wood flooring is commonly used in newer homes and is generally made of a blend of natural and synthetic materials. While the wood floor purists in our midst would cringe, laminate is popular due to its durability, wear, and ability to resist stains and moisture. Almost glassy in appearance, laminate wood flooring is very easy to install (just click pieces together) and needs no glue or nails.
In addition to solid wood and laminate flooring is a third option that truly goes hand in hand with today’s growing focus on environmental awareness and sustainability. Bamboo is not derived from trees, but rather is a tall, stiff plant that is so fast-growing that it needs annual trimming if grown in a smaller area such as a residential yard. This valuable resource can be grown in most places across the United States, giving it much potential to reduce harmful carbon dioxide emissions through local production and distribution. Bamboo flooring is coated with a laminate that makes it not only attractive, but also highly durable and moisture-resistant. It is truly eco-flooring at its finest.
Wood flooring is attractive and easy to care for, but you probably won’t want it for your entire home. For example, you may want a ceramic tile or marble entryway for easy cleanup of dirt and mud stains. If you have a sunporch attached to your home, you may want to use stone flooring.
Keep in mind also that health considerations play an important role in your flooring selection. Carpeting is popular due to its plush, soft feel on one’s feet; yet it can harbor dust, fungi, bacteria, pollen spores, dust mites, even fleas if you have pets. This makes carpeting a poor choice for those with allergies or compromised immune systems.
If you feel your home needs a new look, changing your flooring is a great place to start. You’ll be amazed at the results!
Easy Hard Wood Floors — Without Breaking the Bank!
Are you tired of looking at your worn-out carpet? Or maybe you’re stuck with old school laminate flooring? It’s time to think about replacing your floors. I’m here to tell you that yes, you can afford real hard wood floors for your home, without major damage to your pocket book! Wood floors can do wonders for a home. From raising home value, to giving seasonal allergy relief from all that carpet dust, wood floors are a big trend today.
If your wallet can’t bear the burden for real hard wood flooring, today’s go-to choice is engineered hard wood. You get a similar look and feel, without the high price tag or worry about buckling from moisture and temperature. Real hard wood floors only work in certain spaces anyway. If you have a concrete sub-floor, basement or live in an area with major climate changes throughout the year, then engineered hard wood is the choice for you! But what does engineered mean, you ask? Here is an explanation in simplest terms:
Engineered hard wood contains two layers in it’s planks. The top layer is real wood: Real colors, real grain, real texture. The bottom layer is a composite of other materials, designed to contain and adapt to any moisture or temperature your home may have. Common thickness of engineered hard wood planks are 1/2 inch or 9/16 inch. You want to look for planks that have at least three or four millimeters of real hard wood as the top layer. Since this is the layer that will bear the brunt of wear and tear, the thicker the better. Most engineered hard wood planks can either be glued to your sub floor or floated with click and lock capabilities. Some can also be nailed down, just like real hard wood is installed. Engineered planks these days also come in a huge variety of woods. From maple to cherry, oak and mahogany, there is a great variety and selection to match any home palette. The planks generally come in two styles: Flat or hand-scraped. The hand-scraped planks have a more vintage or worn charm to them.
To save the most money, I recommend shopping wholesale for your flooring. Many major metropolitan areas have wholesale districts. Prices here are generally a dollar to two dollars a square foot less than regular retail outlets, including the big home stores. Do an Internet search for your area. A lot of these local wholesale outlets offer use of their knowledgeable and trained installers for a good packaged price. If you’re handy around the house, you can do the floors yourself, but I always recommend using a professional for jobs like these. As far as time is concerned, most professional installers can get a 500-700 square foot job done in a couple of days. A few tips when contracting flooring installers: Ask if they’ll charge for tearing out and hauling away your own floors. Ask if any glue/parts/tools are included in their pricing, sometimes it’s cheaper if you buy the glue from the wholesale team when you put in your order for the wood.
Beautiful hard wood floors are a smart and relatively easy renovation project for you home. Whether you’re looking to spruce up your own style, or need to give your home for sale that extra punch, look at engineered hard wood as an easy, affordable choice. Good Luck!
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