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General Home Improvement Hardwood Flooring Uncategorized

The Benefits of Hardwood Floors vs. Other Types of Flooring

When it comes time to remodel your home, one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is what type of flooring to install. Hardwood floors are a popular choice, but there are other options available as well. In this blog post, we will compare the benefits of hardwood floors vs. other types of flooring. We will also discuss the pros and cons of each option so that you can make an informed decision about what’s best for your home.

Hardwood Floors vs. Carpet

[Image source: Unsplash]

There are several benefits to hardwood floors when compared to carpet. Carpet can be difficult to clean and is stained easily. Hardwood floors are much easier to keep clean and they don’t show dirt as easily. In addition, hardwood floors last longer than carpet and they can be refinished if they become scratched or damaged. Not to mention, the beauty of shiny hardwood floors are unmatched!

Carpet does have some advantages over hardwood floors, however. Carpet can be softer and more comfortable to walk on than hardwood floors. In addition, carpet is usually cheaper than hardwood floors. But overall, hardwood floors are a better choice than carpet in most circumstances.

Hardwood Floors vs. Vinyl Flooring

[Image source: Unsplash]

Another popular option for flooring is vinyl. Vinyl flooring is available in a variety of colors and styles, and it’s easy to install. However, vinyl is not as durable as hardwood floors and it can be damaged easily. In addition, vinyl flooring is not as easy to repair as hardwood floors.

Hardwood floors are a better choice than vinyl flooring in most cases. Hardwood floors are more durable and they can be refinished if they become scratched or damaged. In addition, hardwood floors add value to your home, while vinyl flooring does not.

Hardwood Floors vs. Tile Flooring

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If you’re trying to decide between hardwood floors and tile flooring, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option. Hardwood floors are classic and elegant, and they can be refinished if they get scratched or damaged.

Tile flooring is less expensive than hardwood, and is more resistant to water damage. However, it’s also less comfortable to walk on, and it can be cold in the winter.

Ultimately, hardwood floors are the better option for most homes. They’re more durable and stylish than tile, and they offer a level of comfort that tile can’t match. In addition, hardwood floors can be refinished if they become scratched or damaged.

Hardwood Floors vs. Laminate Flooring

[Image source: Unsplash]

Anyone who has ever had laminate flooring knows the struggles. They’re constantly making that tell-tale laminate flooring noise, no matter how many times you ask your kids to take their shoes off. And forget about ever having a pet with laminate flooring, unless you want to constantly be cleaning up their little accidents.

On the other hand, hardwood floors are classic and timeless. They never go out of style, and they can actually increase the value of your home. They’re also much easier to clean than laminate floors – a quick sweep and mop is all it takes to keep them looking shiny and new. So when it comes to hardwood floors vs. laminate floors, there’s really no contest – hardwood floors are the clear winner.

Hardwood Floors Vs. Stone Flooring

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If you’re considering a new floor for your home, you might be wondering whether to choose hardwood or stone. Both have their pros and cons, but overall, hardwood floors are the better option. Hardwood floors are more comfortable to walk on, warmer to the touch, and easier to clean than stone. They also add value to your home and can be refinished if they become damaged.

Stone floors are very durable and easy to care for, but they can be cold and uncomfortable to walk on barefoot. They also have a tendency to show dirt and dust more easily than hardwood. So, if you’re looking for a classic look that will add value to your home and will stand up to heavy traffic, go with hardwood. But if you’re looking for a low-maintenance floor that can handle anything life throws at it, stone is still a decent option.

Hardwood Floors Vs. Linoleum

[Image source: iStock]

There are two types of people in this world: those who prefer hardwood floors, and those who are wrong. Seriously, hardwood floors are superior to linoleum in just about every way. They’re more durable, more attractive, and easier to clean. Let’s take a closer look at each of these points.

When it comes to durability, hardwood floors are in a league of their own. Linoleum is no match for the heavy foot traffic that hardwood floors can easily handle. Not to mention, if a linoleum tile is damaged, you have to replace the entire floor. With hardwood, you can simply sand down and refinish individual boards as needed.

As for attractiveness, there’s just no comparison. Hardwood floors have a classic look that never goes out of style. Linoleum, on the other hand, well… it looks like linoleum. And finally, when it comes to cleaning, hardwood floors win again. Linoleum is a dusty nightmare, while hardwood floors can be easily swept and mopped.

Final Thoughts

Hardwood floors are a classic choice for many homeowners. They add beauty and value to your home, and they are also very durable. Hardwood floors can last for decades with proper care, and they are easy to repair if they become damaged. While other options are on the market, hardwood floors are still the best choice for many homes.

And best of all, MacDonald Hardwoods is here to help. We are a leading provider of hardwood floors in the surrounding Denver area, and we can easily help you find the perfect floor for your home.
Contact us to see how we can help!

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General Home Improvement Hardwood Flooring Uncategorized

The Best Hardwood Floor Options For Your Kitchen

When it comes to renovating your kitchen, the floor is an often overlooked aspect. Many people simply choose to go with whatever is cheapest or easiest. But when you put in a little extra effort, you can create a beautiful and unique floor that will really stand out.

There are many different hardwood flooring options available on the market today. You can choose from a variety of colors, textures, and finishes. But with so many choices, it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you choose the best hardwood floors for your kitchen.

Engineered or Solid Hardwood Floors

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether to go with engineered or solid hardwood floors. Engineered hardwood floors are made up of a core of plywood or HDF, topped with a thin layer of hardwood veneer. Solid hardwood floors are exactly what they sound like – they’re made entirely of solid wood.

There are a few things you’ll need to consider when making this decision. First, engineered hardwood floors are more stable than solid hardwood floors. This means that they’re less likely to warp or cup over time. If you live in an area with high humidity, this can be a big advantage.

Second, engineered hardwood floors are often thinner than solid hardwood floors. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your needs. If you’re looking to install the flooring over an existing floor, thinner floors may be a better option. However, if you want your floors to have a more substantial look and feel, you may prefer solid hardwood floors.

Finally, engineered hardwood floors are typically more expensive than solid hardwood floors. If cost is a major consideration for you, solid hardwood floors may be the better option.

What Type of Finish Should You Choose?

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Once you’ve decided on engineered or solid hardwood floors, the next step is to choose a finish.
The type of finish you choose will have a big impact on the overall look and feel of your floors. It’s important to take some time to think about the style you’re going for before making a decision.

Because a kitchen’s hardwood flooring has above-average exposure to frequent use and abuse, the finish you pick is particularly vital. Since there’s a high chance water will get on the floor, your finish has to be waterproof. It also must be strong enough to endure the heavy foot activity that a kitchen receives.

Oil-Based Finish

One popular option is an oil-based finish. Oil-based finishes give hardwood floors a natural, warm appearance. They’re also easy to touch up and repair if they get scratched or damaged. Another advantage of oil-based finishes is that they’re very durable. They can withstand a lot of wear and tear, making them a good choice for high-traffic areas.

Water-Based Finishes

Another popular option is a water-based finish. Water-based finishes provide a harder, more durable surface. However, they can be more difficult to touch up and repair than oil-based finishes. Water-based finishes are also easier to apply than oil-based finishes and are less likely to yellow over time.

Wax Finish

If you’re looking for an old-fashioned look, you might consider a wax finish. Wax finishes are easy to apply and provide a beautiful, natural sheen. However, they require more maintenance than other types of finishes and can be difficult to repair if damaged. Wax finishes are also more susceptible to scratches and scuffs.

Polyurethane Finish

For a high-gloss, durable finish, you might want to choose a polyurethane finish. Polyurethane finishes are more resistant to scratches and stains than other types of finishes. However, they can be more difficult to apply and may yellow over time.

Moisture-Cure Urethane

If you’re looking for a finish that’s extremely durable and resistant to moisture, you might want to choose a moisture-cure urethane. Moisture-cure urethanes are more difficult to apply than other types of finishes. They also have a strong odor and can be dangerous if used improperly.

Shellac

Shellac is a type of finish that’s made from lacquer. It’s easy to apply and dries quickly. However, it’s not as durable as other types of finishes and can be difficult to repair if it’s damaged. Shellac is also more susceptible to scratches and scuffs.

Penetrating Oil Sealer

A penetrating oil sealer is a good choice if you want to protect your floors from water damage. Penetrating oil sealers soak into the wood, creating a barrier that prevents water from damaging the floors. However, penetrating oil sealers don’t provide as much protection from scratches and scuffs as other types of finishes.

Acid-Cured Finish

An acid-cured finish is a good choice if you’re looking for a durable, high-gloss finish. Acid-cured finishes are more difficult to apply than other types of finishes. They also have a strong odor and can be dangerous if used improperly, as well as being more susceptible to scratches and scuffs.

Prefinished Flooring

Prefinished flooring is a great option if you want to avoid the hassle of applying a finish to your floors. Prefinished flooring comes with a factory-applied finish that’s already dried and cured. Prefinished flooring can be a bit pricier, however you save time and money with flooring that is already finished. This option allows you to enjoy your new floors immediately.

Which Type of Flooring is Best for Your Kitchen?

Now that you know a little bit more about the different types of hardwood floors available, it’s time to decide which one is right for your kitchen.

If you’re looking for a durable, easy-to-maintain floor, engineered hardwood or a water-based finish might be the best option for you. If you’re looking for a more traditional look, solid hardwood or a wax finish might be the way to go. And if you’re looking for a high-gloss, durable finish, polyurethane might be the right choice. If you’d like to be able to enjoy your floors immediately without the hassle of applying a finish, prefinished flooring is your best option. It all depends on what you’re looking for in your kitchen’s flooring.

Chances are, you probably don’t know exactly what you want yet. The best thing you can do in this situation is to contact our team for a custom, free consultation. We would love to help you.

Should You DIY or Hire a Professional?

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Once you’ve decided on the type of hardwood floors you want, you’ll need to decide whether to install them yourself or hire a professional. If you’re handy and have some experience with home improvement projects, installing hardwood floors yourself can be a great way to save money.

However, hardwood floors can be tricky to install. If you’re not confident in your ability to do it yourself, hiring a professional is your best option. Not only will they be able to get the job done quickly and efficiently, but they’ll also be able to offer advice and guidance if you run into any problems.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to choosing the best hardwood flooring for your kitchen, there are a lot of factors to consider. But with so many great options available, you’re sure to find the perfect floors for your home. Just take your time, do your research, and pick what works best for your unique needs.

Now that you know more about the different types of hardwood floors available, you can start planning your kitchen renovation. With a little bit of research and planning, you can create the perfect space for cooking, entertaining, and spending time with family and friends. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!

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General Home Improvement Hardwood Flooring Installation

Tips to Save Money on Your Next Flooring Job

Tips to Save Money on Your Next Flooring Job

With the daily cost of living continuing to rise at a record pace, many households are budgeting more cautiously. Maintaining your home is the best way to protect your investment and add to your equity. With that in mind, your floor is something that has a major impact on your property value. So, what steps can you take to save money on your next flooring job?

Get a Few Different Estimates

Many of us are guilty of not familiarizing ourselves with the median cost of a job before hiring someone to do it. You can benefit from detailing your needs in writing and then articulating these needs over the phone or by email to several different companies to get quotes. In addition, you should attempt to find information online about the average cost for the type of job that you need.

Avoid creating a bidding war between several different companies as the process can become complicated. However, companies often have a little bit of wiggle room on pricing. Getting a few different estimates can help you make an informed decision about what company you want to proceed with.

Don’t Simply Pick The Cheapest Option

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It’s definitely tempting to get your estimates and then immediately gravitate to the cheapest option. Do some digging on the companies that you’re getting quotes from and make sure that they are all highly rated with a proven track record. The last thing you want is a poorly done job that could cause more harm than good, requiring additional costs.

Another risk associated with selecting the cheapest option is low-quality materials, unskilled and/or underpaid installers and questionable work ethics. It’s important to understand the value of what you are paying for and make wise decisions. When your floors aren’t properly installed with quality materials, they aren’t going to last very long.

Use a More Affordable Wood

While we talked about the importance of quality materials, there are lots of types of wood out there that cost less and still last for years to come. Many types of wood look very similar and are of similar thickness but cost less than the original type of wood that it is imitating. It’s something that more people can benefit from exploring. Options like engineered wood, luxury vinyl plank, and plywood look great and don’t break the bank.

Remove Carpet and Move Furniture Yourself

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If you currently own a carpet, part of a flooring installation job will involve ripping up your carpet in addition to clearing the room of furniture. Since these are things that you can do yourself, you can save some money here.

No, it doesn’t take any special skills to rip up a carpet. Moving your furniture is easiest done with the help of a few friends. You simply need some determination and strength, and time of course. Staples from your carpet can have a frustrating way of sticking around so try to pick them all up to make the job as easy as possible for contractors who later will install your floors. Carpet on your steps is harder to remove and will take a bit longer.

Remove The Existing Floor Yourself

If you do decide to rip up the carpet and clear furniture out of the way, you might as well get rid of the existing floor. The amount of work that this will require is dependent on the state of your home and the size of it. Make sure you watch a DIY guide or two on this first so that you don’t damage anything. To make things easier, a lot of people in this position will rent equipment to help with the process. It depends on what type of floor you originally had. Doing all of this can seriously help with lowering the cost of your next flooring job.

Set a Budget

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If you set a budget for yourself and stick to it, you can ensure that you don’t spend any more money than you are comfortable with. Sure, it takes a lot of self-discipline, but that’s always a given when it comes to taking steps to save money with anything.

If you aren’t in a rush, you can start by dividing your home into several different zones. Using your budget, schedule a timeline for when you expect each zone to be finished. Start with one at a time so it’s less of an impact on your savings at any given time. Maybe you can learn a thing or two during the completion of each zone to make the next one more affordable.

Other Alternative Materials

Don’t overlook this one. There are actually a lot of alternative materials that you can use to save money on your next flooring job. For example, you can use reclaimed flooring. Some of the best-looking homes out there use reclaimed wood in their floors.

If you’re ordering materials yourself, it’s best to look at websites where the company has a bulk amount of a certain type of wood in stock. Companies always want to move inventory, and if they have an excess amount of a certain type of wood, a cheaper price can often be negotiated.

In addition, a lot of factories sell their lesser-desired wood for a much lower price. These “manufacturer seconds” are perfectly fine most of the time. Just be sure that you order extra product because it’s possible that you might be given some unusable boards.

Final Thoughts

Your next flooring job doesn’t have to break the bank. If you follow the tips in this blog post, you are sure to make some breathing room for yourself. 50% of our floors are sold to contractors or families who will install their own flooring. We love helping DIYers and can assist you throughout the installation process. If you’re in Colorado and are in need of services relating to hardwood floors, we are here for you. You can talk to us about your budget and our team will help find a solution that works for everyone.

Reach out today.

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General Home Improvement

Should You Use Waterproof Flooring?

Should You Use Waterproof Flooring?

When it comes to flooring, there are a variety of different options to choose from. Waterproof flooring is a great option for bathrooms and kitchens with a high risk of water damage.

Typically made from either laminate or vinyl, or a combination of the two, it’s not really known for being high quality. It can get the job done, but there are reasons why you are often better off going with something else. In this article, we will go over both the positives and negatives of waterproof flooring and if it’s something you should be using in your home or business.

What is Waterproof Flooring?

As previously mentioned, there are a few different types of materials that it can be made from, but they’re all constructed similarly. They’re a type of multi-layered synthetic flooring that usually comes in the form of planks or tiles. Due to the floor being synthetic, the design on the top doesn’t have to resemble wood at all. Anything can be printed on them. This print layer has a wear layer over it that prevents the design from being worn off and provides most of the actual waterproofing.

Positives of Waterproof Flooring

There are a few different positives that are worth mentioning about waterproof flooring.

Resilience

Hardwood Flooring

source: unsplash

This type of flooring can be very resilient, at least in the medium term. As long as you’re regularly sweeping, using a mop when needed, and maybe the occasional cleaning solution to return the shine to the boards, you will find that waterproof flooring is rather durable.

Comfortability

To some, the flooring is more comfortable than stone or hardwood, having a more padded feeling to the foot thanks to its construction usually including a layer of foam or felt. This same construction also allows the floors to maintain a more even temperature throughout the year. It can also be easier to stand on for long periods of time. You won’t be freezing your feet if you decide to walk to the kitchen in the middle of the night in the winter.

Affordability

It is surprising how affordable and easy it is to work with. In most cases, it’s the cheaper option to go for as opposed to traditional hardwood. You can scale your costs to your needs, buying anything from simple peel-and-stick squares, all the way up to high-quality luxury vinyl tile (LVT) that’s almost indistinguishable from what it’s imitating. If you’ve never installed flooring before, laying down vinyl flooring and the like can be much easier than installing wooden planks.

Negatives

Unfortunately, waterproof flooring does have its disadvantages.
Resilience (Again)
The previously mentioned resilience of waterproof flooring is a double-edged sword. While it indeed does last a good number of years, it has a rigid lifespan that cannot be extended by much.

The condition of it can really only go down until eventually it completely deteriorates, requiring the need for you to replace your floors entirely. Unlike wood, you can’t do anything like sanding down a scratch or making a new layer, as you would be cutting past the wear layer and destroying the design underneath it, as well as exposing it to the elements and defeating the waterproof aspect of it.

How long waterproof flooring lasts can vary wildly depending on a good number of factors. It depends on how well it was installed in the first place, the thickness of the wear layer, how regularly used it is, and the quality of the vinyl in the first place. This can be anywhere from 5 to 25 years. In a home with a lot of activity, expect to be on the lower end of this range. Remember that if you damage the flooring, you need to replace it. It’s unlikely that you’re going to be able to completely repair anything more than simple scratches without making it worse.

Resale Value

Hardwood Floor Grain

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This leads into the next point, that there is next to no resell value to be had for reused vinyl, let alone for the value of the house itself. Unlike hardwood and tile to a point, once vinyl is past its life span, that’s it. It needs to be thrown out. As a result, you may find that it may even decrease the value of your home by having it installed.

Buying more expensive vinyl with thicker layers and better materials can help, but at a certain point the cost benefits just begin to wear out and you’d be better off just buying stone flooring or the like.

Environmental Impact

Another complication with waterproof flooring is the negative environmental impact the manufacturing process has. They use toxic chemicals that may even stick around in the plastic afterward. These can then create harmful gases right into your living space. It should be noted that the companies manufacturing the flooring are aware of this and have taken many steps to reduce the number of toxic chemicals.

If you decide to get waterproof flooring, you will want to make sure you get ones that have low concentrations of these gasses, though none of them will be completely free of them. You will want to look at the FloorScore certification to see what flooring has the lowest VOC, or Volatile 5 Organic Compounds.

Subfloor Complication

Subfloors are another issue to consider. In an ideal scenario, vinyl can be installed right over the subfloor without any need to modify or remove anything. However, this can often be difficult, and a subfloor that is more aged may need some repairs and other extra maintenance for it to support the vinyl’s adhesive.

Care should be taken for the subfloor to be completely free of any loose particles over where the adhesive will go, as these can easily weaken the glue. Even worse, you will likely see those particles straight through the vinyl due to how thin and flexible it is.

Final Thoughts

Waterproof flooring certainly has its uses. It is cheap, easy to install, can come in just about any shape, color, and design, not to mention its namesake of being waterproof. That said, there are quite a number of tradeoffs that should give you a pause. It often doesn’t last as long as you’d want it to, there’s no easy way of repairing it once damaged to any significant degree, and it generally doesn’t offer the same value to your home that something like stone or wood does. You may find that a different type of flooring would give you a lot less of a headache.

If you’re in Colorado and in need of anything to do with hardwood floors, we are here for you.

Contact us here to get started.

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General Home Improvement

Carpet vs. Hardwoods – Which Is More Sanitary?

Carpet vs. Hardwoods – Which Is More Sanitary?

Carpet versus hardwood: it’s a debate that feels as old as time. New homeowners have dealt with this issue for ages now and people come down hard on either side of the debate. 

When you are trying to decide between carpet and hardwood, you need to ask yourself one major question: which is more sanitary? Are hardwood floors or carpet more sanitary for your home and the people living in it? This is a vital question to answer because if you end up with the option that is dirtier and more prone to getting messy, you will have to clean it more often. Over time, this will cost you a lot of time, energy, and money. Additionally, you want the option that is going to be cleaner because that is better for the health and well-being of everyone living in your home, especially children or pets. 

At the end of the day, there is a cleaner, more sanitary choice, and it might surprise you.

Sanitary Properties

We all know what it’s like to get stains on our carpets. Not only is there the problem of getting the stain out, but it’s almost impossible to completely remove the effect that takes place within the fibers themselves. Dirt, urine, smells, and funkiness are brought out even more when stepped on, so the issues are never actually completely resolved. 

What’s more, the bigger problem is the allergens that come from infected carpets. Even if your family has a tolerance or lack of allergies from these things, the guests that you bring into your home may experience them. 

If you insist on carpeting part of your home, the best thing you can do for safety is using a vacuum that has a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Note that you will need to vacuum every week or two regardless of visible pollutants to maintain your carpet and enable the ability to get rid of major issues when they do arise. 

Steam cleaning is a popular choice, and this is an okay option, but it’s very important to dry the carpet after use. Opening windows and using fans are great tools at your disposal here. If the carpet isn’t dried, mold and pests show up. 

The beauty of hardwood floors is the ease and effectiveness of cleaning. A simple mopping gets the job done for good. No more dealing with things like nasty pet dander or dust mites. Bacteria is not a joke.

Visible Messes

One of the benefits of having a hardwood floor is that you are able to see messes on it much easier. If you stay on top of cleaning, that means that a hardwood floor will be a cleaner floor because you will quickly take care of any damage or mess that you see.

vacuuming dirt on hardwood floor

[Source: Unsplash]

Keep in mind, hardwood isn’t always the best choice when it comes to this aspect. There are times when you might not see a mess because it is on hardwood. A liquid spill, for example, often shows up easier on carpet, which means you will notice it sooner and clean it up faster. Depending on the coloring of your hardwood, you might not see a spill of any liquid and that might lead to it sitting, drying, staining, or doing long term damage. 

However, most messes will be much more visual on a hardwood floor. Whether it be a dropped piece of food, mud and dirt, or a mess from your pet, it will show up clear as day on hardwood. If you clean your floors once a day – even if it’s just a quick sweep – you will see the latest mess that needs to be addressed. 

For this reason, hardwood floors are often cleaner simply because the messes that end up on them are so much more obvious and don’t fall into the many nooks and crannies of a carpet, forever lost below the surface. 

Which Costs More to Clean?

This is a tricky aspect of the debate between carpet and hardwood floors. Many people want to know which one is more expensive when it comes to professional cleaning. Will you be spending more money on a hardwood floor or will you be spending more on a carpet? The answer isn’t that surprising: hardwood floors will set you back far less than a carpet.

Just because cleaning a hardwood floor is cheaper than cleaning a carpet doesn’t mean that tending to hardwood won’t be cheap. It will still cost you a pretty penny. Actually, it can cost a lot because most people will clean their hardwood floors far more often than they clean their carpets. Many homeowners who have hardwood floors keep a bottle of wood cleaner handy and pour a bit on the floors and mop it up at least once a week. The best wood cleaners that will really get the job done don’t come cheap. So while hardwood floors are going to cost less than carpets when it comes to cleaning, it will still cause a hit to your wallet. But staying clean is always worth it.

Cleaning a carpet is much more expensive than cleaning a hardwood floor for multiple reasons. For one, you will need a vacuum and those are usually quite expensive if you are looking for one that will actually achieve everything it’s supposed to. A vacuum is vital for a carpeted floor, otherwise your home will soon be filled with germs, dirt, grime, and other things that can do long term damage to the carpet as well as to the people living in your home. 

However, everyone who owns a home with carpet inside also knows that there will come a time when you will have to purchase the services of a professional carpet cleaner. Whether you are renting the tools yourself or hiring a firm that will do it for you, professionally cleaning a carpet is quite the process. First of all, it can cost more than $100 per visit. Secondly, you need to be home when the professional team arrives to clean. Thirdly, you need to do a lot of prep before someone comes to clean your carpet. Generally, you need to remove all of the furniture from the floor and have it totally bare so that the cleaning can take place. Plus, after your carpets are professionally cleaned, they can remain damp or wet for about a day more. 

The truth is that carpets get dirty much faster and much easier than hardwood floors and the cleaning process to take care of them is a lot more of a hassle too.

dirty carpet

[Source: Unsplash]

Dirty carpets are breeding grounds for allergies. For those reasons alone, buying a hardwood floor over a carpet is probably the right approach when you are trying to choose the more sanitary option. 

Final Thoughts

Of course, you can still have a very dirty hardwood floor, even if it is usually cleaner than a carpet. However, carpets are higher maintenance and it’s harder to tell if they are actually clean or not. Hardwood floors are more sanitary and cost-effective when considering the time and money that goes into most carpet-cleaning products. 

The truth is that no matter which option you choose, you need to make sure that you are always attentive to your floor and buy the right products and spend the appropriate amount of time making sure it is as healthy, bright, and clean as it can be. Cleaning a floor, whether it is hardwood or carpet, is an essential part of owning a home.

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General Home Improvement

5 Tips for an Open Kitchen Layout

5 Tips for an Open Kitchen Layout

Many of us have been working from home for over a year now due to COVID-19. Even if you don’t actually work from home, chances are you’ve spent a lot more time at your house than years past. With all this time spent indoors, a lot of us are thinking about ways to improve the functionality of our homes. From smaller DIY projects to full-on home renovations, one of the most popular places to start a home design project is in the kitchen. Gone are the days of closed-off rooms and instead, design is trending towards more open-concept spaces, especially between the kitchen and living room. Below, you’ll find 5 tips for an open kitchen layout. 


Source: Unsplash

 

1) Plan The Space in Advance 

If you’re doing a full renovation and tearing walls out, you’re already in contact with a contractor. Even if you’re doing it yourself, take the time to really think about planning your space in advance. How does the room transition into other rooms? Remember to leave enough room in your living room – too big of a kitchen can result in a cramped seating and living area. 

Don’t forget the kitchen triangle theory of design. This theory states that the three main workspaces in the kitchen should form a triangle, making the room flow. Typically, the stove, refrigerator and sink should form this triangle, although design can vary from space to space.

2) Utilize Flooring

Open kitchen layouts make your home look larger. However, since you are combining two rooms, you need to ensure that the spaces flow together well. It’s fine to utilize different, complementary paint and finishing between the two rooms, but one thing to note is the flooring. 

The best way to get a cohesive look is to utilize hardwood flooring – it’s a great way to transition one space to another. One common mistake by homeowners is to use a combination of flooring in an open concept space like hardwoods and tile. This can look disjointed and a bit odd, since the point of an open concept is to have one open room. Hardwood flooring is durable and can be easily cleaned, which works well for both living rooms and kitchens.

Whether you choose oak, cherry, pine or even bamboo, hardwood benefits far outweigh alternatives. Check out this blog post that explains 7 benefits of installing hardwood flooring in your kitchen

3) Organization is Key

One of the main benefits of an open kitchen layout is the way your space effortlessly flows from one area to the next. However, this doesn’t come without some limitations. Instead of simply closing the door to a messy kitchen, with an open concept, everything is on display for guests. As with designing the space with intention, planning ways to remain organized is key for a functional and inviting space. 

Organization can be achieved through a variety of factors from large, floor-to-ceiling cabinets to separate pantry closets. While it may seem obvious, taking the extra time to really plan where all of your items will go will save you the clutter headache in the future.

Open Kitchen Layout

Source: Unsplash

4) Don’t Forget Lighting

Lighting is a crucial aspect to designing any room, but especially an open concept kitchen. Your lighting will need to allow you to cook safely while also doubling as a way to create ambience in the living part of the space. 

In addition to ceiling lighting, hanging lights may also provide a stylish and effective way to appropriately light your space. While you want your hardwood floors to seamlessly connect the two areas of your space, oftentimes a kitchen requires different lighting than a family room. Direct lights over a kitchen island or sink might work better for the kitchen area of the space, while floor and table lamps work well in the living space. If your budget allows, dimmers are also an excellent investment.

5) Have Fun

At the end of the day, most design advice is not the end all be all. Pinterest and other forms of social media are great places to look for trends, but there’s also something to be said about following your gut. After you have the foundation in place (layout, hardwood flooring, etc.) it’s ok, and even encouraged, to play with aspects of the design like color and furniture that speak to you. After all, you’re going to be the one spending the most time in the space, so it’s important that it’s a reflection of you. 

Categories
General Home Improvement Hardwood Flooring

Do Hardwood Floors Increase Home Value?


Every home is different, but most will agree that any type of flooring plays a huge role in the look and function of a house. While you may not pay much attention to it at first, you definitely notice when the flooring is bad. You might not think twice about bamboo hardwood flooring or oak hardwood flooring, but you’d definitely notice shag carpeting circa the 1980s or laminate and vinyl flooring like you had in college.

If you’re considering hardwood floors and wondering whether they’ll be a good investment for your home, we’ve outlined the research and included a few best practices to make sure you’re making the best decision for you and your family.

Are Hardwood Floors Worth the Money?

Because your return on investment depends so much upon the size of your home, your location and the type of flooring you choose, there isn’t a ton of data on the correlation between home value and flooring. In fact, it’s almost impossible to calculate an exact number. However, most research finds that overall, hardwood flooring will increase your home value. While in some places, hardwoods are still considered a “nice to have” for prospective buyers, in a lot of places, hardwood floors have become essential.

Realtor.com reports that the average ROI for installing hardwood floors can range anywhere from 70-80%, depending on location and flooring layout. Money.com also reports that hardwood floors can increase your home value by 3-5%.

Again, while these numbers may vary from house to house, it’s safe to say that hardwood floors will never decrease the value of your home, while carpeting could.

Why Are Hardwoods So Great, Anyway?

We know that hardwood flooring will increase the value of your home, but what if you’re not looking to sell your home any time soon? One of the benefits of hardwoods and what makes them so appealing to buyers goes far beyond aesthetics.

Yes, in our opinion hardwood floors are timeless and never go out of style. But perhaps the best feature of hardwoods is their durability. Hardwood floors are built to stand the test of time and that is why they remain the king of flooring. If you’re curious about the range of durability in hardwoods, check out our guide here.

Not only are hardwoods durable, but they’re also much easier to clean than carpets. If you have toddlers or pets, you know just how hard removing a stain from carpeting can be.

Final Thoughts

While hardwood flooring costs may be more upfront, it’s safe to say that the overall investment of hardwood flooring is worth it. Whether you’re hoping to sell your home down the line and know that buyers are expecting hardwood floors or looking to put roots down in your home and know hardwoods are more functional, hardwood floors beat the rest every time.

If you’re curious to learn more about the different types of hardwood floorings available, check out our post on the top flooring trends of 2020 or the main differences between solid and engineered hardwood.

Categories
General Home Improvement

7 Benefits of Installing Hardwood Floors in Your Kitchen

For most households, the kitchen is a high foot-traffic zone. From mom’s movements during meal-making to the continual pitter-patter of hungry children searching through kitchen cabinets, your kitchen floors rarely get a break. And with having to endure the spills, stains and scraps that accompany the breakfast, lunch and dinnertime rush, your kitchen floor will likely be the dirtiest in the house too!

As such, when it comes to this area, selecting the right kitchen flooring takes thoughtful consideration. Think durability, sustainably and easiness to clean and you’ll find yourself a floor that suits your kitchen’s unique needs. It’s perhaps the reason that so many people turn to hardwood flooring as the perfect long-term solution.

So, what makes hardwood flooring so desirable in your home’s food hub? Here are 7 benefits of installing hardwood floors in your kitchen.

Elegant Look

The overall look of your kitchen can influence the vibe of the rest of your home. When you’re thinking about interior design, it’s often difficult to balance style with functionality; sometimes the most practical solutions aren’t the prettiest! But that’s where hardwood flooring really shines. 

Hardwood floors have the ability to completely refine and transform a space, making sure this general meeting place feels both warm and inviting. No other material can quite emulate the homely feel that the natural tones of hardwood flooring exude. With tones ranging from dark to light, each style of hardwood has its own unique character and can fit with your own personal aesthetic.

Durability

 As the kitchen is considered a major hub in any household, scuffs and marks are to be expected. That said, it is vital that you consider a flooring product that can stand the test of time while taking a daily beating! With hardwood’s strength and durability, you can be assured that your kitchen floors will keep their beautiful appearance for years to come.

When it comes to durability, it’s best to research wood species that have a high ranking on the Janka hardness chart. This rating provides an estimate of both the hardness and durability of your chosen wood style and will help you make an informed decision unique to your personal circumstances. To help you determine which style is best for your home you can use this guide.

Easy To Clean

Undeniably, kitchens are prone to mess. Not to worry, though. Hardwood floors take the chore out of cleaning as stains and dirt won’t stick to this material’s surface the same way as it does with other flooring options.

When it comes to day to day maintenance, hardwood floors are mostly hassle-free. To maintain the fresh appearance of your hardwood floors, you may want to have them refinished periodically, but when it comes to regular care, your weekly clean routine is quite simple. All that’s needed is a quick vacuum and sweep with a mop and your floors will be back in tip-top shape. 

Softer & Warmer Than Tile

Inevitably, natural wood exudes a feeling of warmth, both in an aesthetic sense and also in a physical sense. In fact, hardwood floors actually feel warmer underfoot. Often, tiles retain coolness which can be refreshing in the summertime but can feel unbearable when the winter rolls around. Hardwood floors, on the other hand, sustain their comforting feel throughout all times and seasons.

Adds Greater Value To Your Home

It’s true, wooden floors add value to your home. If there comes a time where you’re looking to sell your home, potential buyers often prefer a timeless wood over chipped tiles. Investing in decent hardwood floors now will pay off in the long run so if cost is your deciding factor, maybe you should reconsider.

Better Air Quality

Hardwood floors do not trap dust, pollen or other common allergens. This means that installing wooden floors in your kitchen will promote significantly better airflow. Often, people who suffer from allergies choose hardwood flooring as it allows them to breathe comfortably. So, ultimately with wooden floors, you won’t need to opt for an outdoor kitchen to get a breath of fresh air!

While you might think the same can be said for tiles and laminate, this is not completely true. Even though these alternative options do not have fibers like carpet, dust can still collect inside their grout lines and embossing. 

Hardwood Floors Can Make Your Home Seem Larger

No one likes feeling cramped, especially not in the kitchen. Most of the time, your kitchen is your general meeting place so you not only want it to feel inviting but also accommodating too. Given that hardwood floors are laid vertically they help create the illusion of length in even the smallest of kitchens.

 Images: Unsplash

Categories
General Home Improvement

7 Benefits of Installing Hardwood Floors in Your Kitchen

For most households, the kitchen is a high foot-traffic zone. From mom’s movements during meal-making to the continual pitter-patter of hungry children searching through kitchen cabinets, your kitchen floors rarely get a break. And with having to endure the spills, stains and scraps that accompany the breakfast, lunch and dinnertime rush, your kitchen floor will likely be the dirtiest in the house too!

 As such, when it comes to this area, selecting the right kitchen flooring takes thoughtful consideration. Think durability, sustainably and easiness to clean and you’ll find yourself a floor that suits your kitchen’s unique needs. It’s perhaps the reason that so many people turn to hardwood flooring as the perfect long-term solution.

 So, what makes hardwood flooring so desirable in your home’s food hub? Here are 7 benefits of installing hardwood floors in your kitchen.

  1.     Elegant Look

The overall look of your kitchen can influence the vibe of the rest of your home. When you’re thinking about interior design, it’s often difficult to balance style with functionality; sometimes the most practical solutions aren’t the prettiest! But that’s where hardwood flooring really shines. 

Hardwood floors have the ability to completely refine and transform a space, making sure this general meeting place feels both warm and inviting. No other material can quite emulate the homely feel that the natural tones of hardwood flooring exude. With tones ranging from dark to light, each style of hardwood has its own unique character and can fit with your own personal aesthetic. 

  1.     Durability

 As the kitchen is considered a major hub in any household, scuffs and marks are to be expected. That said, it is vital that you consider a flooring product that can stand the test of time while taking a daily beating! With hardwood’s strength and durability, you can be assured that your kitchen floors will keep their beautiful appearance for years to come.

When it comes to durability, it’s best to research wood species that have a high ranking on the Janka hardness chart. This rating provides an estimate of both the hardness and durability of your chosen wood style and will help you make an informed decision unique to your personal circumstances. To help you determine which style is best for your home you can use this guide. 

  1.     Easy To Clean

Undeniably, kitchens are prone to mess. Not to worry, though. Hardwood floors take the chore out of cleaning as stains and dirt won’t stick to this material’s surface the same way as it does with other flooring options.

When it comes to day to day maintenance, hardwood floors are mostly hassle-free. To maintain the fresh appearance of your hardwood floors, you may want to have them refinished periodically, but when it comes to regular care, your weekly clean routine is quite simple. All that’s needed is a quick vacuum and sweep with a mop and your floors will be back in tip-top shape. 

  1.     Softer & Warmer Than Tile

Inevitably, natural wood exudes a feeling of warmth, both in an aesthetic sense and also in a physical sense. In fact, hardwood floors actually feel warmer underfoot. Often, tiles retain coolness which can be refreshing in the summertime but can feel unbearable when the winter rolls around. Hardwood floors, on the other hand, sustain their comforting feel throughout all times and seasons.

  1.     Adds Greater Value To Your Home

It’s true, wooden floors add value to your home. If there comes a time where you’re looking to sell your home, potential buyers often prefer a timeless wood over chipped tiles. Investing in decent hardwood floors now will pay off in the long run so if cost is your deciding factor, maybe you should reconsider.

  1.     Better Air Quality

Hardwood floors do not trap dust, pollen or other common allergens. This means that installing wooden floors in your kitchen will promote significantly better airflow. Often, people who suffer from allergies choose hardwood flooring as it allows them to breathe comfortably. So, ultimately with wooden floors, you won’t need to opt for an outdoor kitchen to get a breath of fresh air!

While you might think the same can be said for tiles and laminate, this is not completely true. Even though these alternative options do not have fibers like carpet, dust can still collect inside their grout lines and embossing. 

  1.     Hardwood Floors Can Make Your Home Seem Larger

 No one likes feeling cramped, especially not in the kitchen. Most of the time, your kitchen is your general meeting place so you not only want it to feel inviting but also accommodating too. Given that hardwood floors are laid vertically they help create the illusion of length in even the smallest of kitchens.

 Images: Unsplash

 

Categories
General Home Improvement

5 Tips For Keeping Your Commercial Property In Customer-Ready Condition

 

Most of us are well-versed in the best ways to keep our homes in good condition. From weekly cleaning to routine maintenance, keeping on our homes in ship-shape is second nature.

But when it comes to commercial properties, a whole new list of maintenance-related issues come to the fore. Whether your business is customer-facing or otherwise, many business premises undergo much rougher wear and tear than a residential property would ever be exposed to. From high foot-traffic to a lower level of vigilance to keep things in great condition, the task of keeping a commercial property well-maintained is a tedious, yet essential one. 

So, how can you keep your commercial property not only looking great for customers but safe for visitors and staff too? Here are the top 5 most important things you should consider.

 

  1. Look After Your Floors

Commercial floors take a beating, and it’s not only retail stores which are subject to extreme wear and tear. The impact of rolling of computer chairs, staff movement and other related occupational hazards in office environments must not be underestimated.

When renovating your commercial property, it’s essential that you consider the material you use to ensure it is fit for purpose. One great option is hardwood flooring if you’re looking for a real “wow” factor in your property, but it does come with certain considerations. If you have hardwood floors in your property, it is absolutely vital that you protect them from moisture and keep them well-maintained. Choosing a wood that is hardwearing and durable is also essential.

 

  1. Service Your HVAC

Nothing irks staff and customers more than being uncomfortably hot in your premises, and it’s something that will impact your business on a level you may not have considered. Employees lose productivity while you lose customers! 

With that in mind, getting your air-conditioning unit serviced by a professional HVAC servicing company will undoubtedly help you avoid such an impact on your business. You must make sure you’re diligent about scheduling this in too. Regularly changing filters and having your unit serviced annually (at least) will protect your HVAC and save you money in the long run.

 

  1. Don’t Forget To Look Up

While you’re looking at what’s right in front of you, don’t forget to look up! Keeping your roof and ceiling well-maintained will inevitably safeguard you from potentially property-ruining leaks. Plus, while your ceiling isn’t the make or break of your business, ensuring the upper echelons of your property don’t leave your customers with a negative impression of your business is important.

If you have a commercial metal roof, your maintenance schedule will be less rigorous than if you have an asphalt or single-ply roof. That said, all roofs need routine maintenance and they should be checked annually for early identification of any problems which may become costly down the track.

 

  1. Make-Over The Right Way

Sometimes, you’ll want to freshen up your space to give it an update and present a professional look to your customers and staff. When a complete makeover is out of the question though, there are a few small things that you can do to make a huge difference. 

Firstly, look at your windows. They’re often an underestimated element of interior design but by simply changing your window treatments, you can change the whole vibe of your space. If you have the budget to take things one step further, considering new flooring, such as hardwood, vinyl or carpet can transform your property from bland to grand in an instant. 

On a budget? You can still make a difference with a splash of paint, some decorative items and indoor plants.

 

  1. Remember Your Exterior

First impressions count, and that goes for your staff and your customers. So, what is their first impression of your commercial property? Is the paint on the outside of your building faded or flakey? Does your landscaping look like you care? Is your storefront inviting? Stand and look at your property as your staff or customers would before they enter and ask yourself, “Am I portraying a good impression of my business?” If the answer is no, fix the issues you identify!