Installing flooring can be tricky. Most people want to save some money here and there during their remodel and choose to install or refinish their flooring themselves. But is that such a good idea?
Whether you choose to install a new hardwood floor, carpet or lay tile, is doing it yourself a viable option? Installing flooring is tricky, no matter which type you choose.
As any real estate agent or construction contractor can tell you, they’ve seen a lot of flooring installation mistakes. Some are just cosmetic problems, others are serious problems. It is so common to see flooring that needs to be removed immediately after a homeowner installation that a new curse phrase has been created: homeowner install.
Everything looks easy to do, if you have little to no experience doing it. Once you get into the job of laying a new floor it is too late to stop. You must hope for the best and continue until it is finished.
Common mistakes laying hardwood flooring is to install all the floorboards in a row. Planks are supposed to be offset board by board but follow a specific pattern. Never should they be laid all in a perfect row. Also, a floor is snapped together tightly. There should be no gaps between planks.
When laying tile, your first job is to make the floor smooth, level and even. Then start in the middle of the room and work your way to the walls, constantly checking to make certain the pattern is still evenly laid.
There are Youtube videos that can help you with installing flooring of any kind. But, there is nothing like decades of experience with flooring. Have a retired flooring installer help you or just pay the extra and hire a professional. It is worth it to maintain your home’s value.
If you love the look of hardwood floors, but they just are not in the budget, you should buy vinyl flooring planks. These are a somewhat new type of flooring on the market that do an excellent job of mimicking that gorgeous look of hardwood floors.
Buy Vinyl Flooring Planks
There are a couple of ways to achieve that lovely look of hardwood or softwood flooring. Both are easy to keep clean and hold up very well for years to come. You can buy vinyl flooring planks or rolled vinyl flooring that has a very realistic hardwood design on it.
Vinyl Flooring Planks
Vinyl flooring planks come in several types in a variety of price ranges. There are the solid vinyl types and the vinyl with a wood core type, which is a lot lighter but might not be as water-tight as solid vinyl.
Snap Together Planks
The snap together planks are like hardwood planks and are laid down in a similar way. The downside is that they must be snapped together perfectly during install. And there is no fixing mistakes or damaged planks once the floor is done without disassembling the entire floor to get to that spot.
Glue Down Planks
The other planks are glue down. These are laid onto a bed of flooring glue which hold them to the floor for many years. These are usually preferred because if one is damaged then it can be replaced at a later time. You can get right into the spot, remove the tile and replace it.
Rolled vinyl has vastly improved in its look and durability over the years. You can get an amazing hardwood look with it. It is easy to clean, it holds up well and it can be easy to repair. The downside is that you’ll see the pattern repeat in large rooms.
Stop by US Hardwood and Carpet to see samples and to buy vinyl flooring planks.
If you learn how to clean carpet stains, you’ll be the most popular person in the neighborhood! These stains have a very time consuming process for removal and there really isn’t a quick fix. So, if you have a stain that needs to be out today, roll up your sleeves and try these methods of removal.
How to Clean Carpet Stains
The first thing you need to remember is to take your time and blot the treatment. If you scrub you will make the stain worse by working it deep into the fibers of the carpet or tearing the fibers apart. So, grab your soft terrycloth rag and start blotting, starting from the outside of the stain and work your way to the middle of the stain.
Various Cleaners to Try
Most organic stains like pet poo, mustard, coffee, etc., can be removed with a mixture of 20 Mule Team Borax and hot water. See package for instruction.
Spray shaving cream on the stain, pat it in a little bit and let sit for 30 minutes then blot it up. Remove the residue with a 50/50 vinegar and water solution. Spray it on and blot it up.
When chewing gum or dried glue is the problem, ice cubes will be your hero. Put ice cubes on the gum for 1 minute to freeze it then bang it with a metal spoon to shatter it. Pick the pieces out. For those pieces still stuck, cut them out as close to the gum/glue as possible.
Call a Cleaner
Sometimes it is best to call a professional carpet cleaner to have the carpet cleaned or repaired. If you need suggestions on the best company to call, give us a call at US Hardwood and Carpet for recommendations.
There are some options for finding cheap tiles for kitchen floors, especially if you have a smaller kitchen. But even with larger kitchens, inexpensive tiles can be found that will make your kitchen look great.
Cheap Tile for Kitchen Floors
If you’re on a tight budget or are doing a needed upgrade just to sell the home, there are deals to be found for cheap tile for kitchen floors.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
A little known place to look for all types of building materials as well as 2nd hand furniture is the Habitat for Humanity store. This store is associated with the famous nonprofit that builds homes for free for the needy. Their store is used as a drop off for building supplies. What you’ll find there is different from day to day, so check often. You can score an incredible deal on floor tiles and many other items like doors, toilets, even beds!
Independent Flooring Stores
Independent carpet and flooring stores, such as US Hardwood and Carpet, will likely offer a far higher quality of goods than the big box hardware stores. These stores are usually very competitive in pricing. Ask for a salesperson when you go in and explain your budget. They will go over all your options to fit your budget and the quality you’re searching for. They can also install your new tile.
Craigslist and Facebook
Craigslist can be a goldmine of building supplies, new and used and worth a look, especially in the affluent towns and cities. Facebook for sale groups are another place to check often for left over building supplies in your area.
US Hardwood and Carpet
We are happy to help you at US Hardwood Carpet and Tile in your search for cheap tile for kitchen floors. We usually have many options that will fit your budget, so stop by or give us a call.
When you notice your pretty peach colored grout has turned black, it is time to learn how to clean tile grout. Tile grout can be fairly easy to clean. You don’t have to rent machines or hire a professional to do it.
How to Clean Tile Grout
Learning how to clean tile grout and doing a great job is easy and you might have what you need in the house already.
Rejuvenating Floor Tile Grout
The floor’s grout usually looks black from improperly mopping the floor. All that dirt gets shoved into that crack where the grout resides. Everyday dirt is a good thing, in this case anyway.
What you need to clean the grout with the least amount of work is Borax. You’ll find Borax (from 20 Mule Team slogan fame) in the laundry detergent isle. It is a mineral that loves to eat up organic stains and break loose dirt.
Mix 1 cup of Borax with enough boiling water to dissolve it and work it into a runny paste. Take that paste to your floor and scrub in a little bit of the paste into the grout with a toothbrush or floor brush. Let it sit while you work more areas. Take a break and wipe up the Borax, rinse and do more grout in the same way.
Cleaning Soap Scum from Bathroom Tile
The best thing in the world to break down soap scum is citric acid. You can buy it from a soap making supplies company or a beer making company. It is the stuff bath fizzies and lemonade are made from.
Put 1 cup of citric acid in a bowl of warm water. Use a floor brush to scrub your tiles. You’ll notice a weird smell as the citric acid breaks down the soap and releases it from the tile. When you’re done, rinse and scrub your tile with cleanser and water.
See? Learning how to clean tile grout is easy!
The hottest thing going right now in affordable flooring is vinyl flooring that looks like it is a hardwood or softwood floor. The vinyl flooring store US Hardwood and Carpet has this type of beautiful flooring made by Shaw.
Vinyl Flooring Store
US Hardwood and Carpet carries the full line of beautiful Shaw flooring at our vinyl flooring store’s showroom. Of course, this is a store that carries hardwood, tile, stone, carpet and vinyl flooring. But one very popular item right now is vinyl flooring that is manufactured in planks, just like hardwood, but so much easier to install and care for.
The installation of this look alike flooring can be a snap together plank floor that floats, as a hardwood floor would. There is another type that is a little less expensive and that is the glue down planks. Either way you’ll have a gorgeous floor that you’d swear was a hardwood floor at first glance.
Shaw is the manufacturer of this very affordable flooring. It is tough, resilient to pets and holds up beautiful for many years. It is made in a nice variety of colors to make it easier to match your wall paint, rugs and furniture.
There is a variety of wood-like styles that are much preferred to wood laminate flooring. Wood laminate has its issues with water, which can ruin several planks. This isn’t a problem with vinyl flooring. It is sealed, made of vinyl on top or solid vinyl which is water resistant.
US Hardwood and Carpet
Stop by our vinyl flooring store’s showroom at US Hardwood and Carpet to see our samples of this amazing new type of water resistant flooring. You’ll be amazed at just how gorgeous it is. We can also schedule a home consultation and bring the samples to you. Call us at 408-987-9610.
Renovations are tough to live with. There is the inconvenience of having to deal with all those strangers in your home – private spaces as well as everywhere else. Then there is the dust, the clutter, the noise and it all becomes a stressful nightmare that has broken up many marriages. There is another way. A fun way. Make that renovation project a free vacation!
There isn’t much worse than living in a home that is torn to pieces. So, turn that nightmare into sipping mimosas on a tropical island. Live in a warm, island hut on the shore of crystal blue waters. And don’t spend a dime to do it.
If you have the cash for your renovations, leave that in the bank. Open up a couple of credit cards that offer huge incentive sign up bonuses and rewards programs. Check those rewards programs very carefully to make sure they offer what you think they do. You are looking for vacation offers, travel agency offers, airline miles and anything else you might need for your renovation vacation.
Then use those credit cards to pay your contractors and purchase any supplies, hardware and equipment that might be needed for the renovation. The more you spend on the credit card, the more vacation you’ll get for free.
Now keep in mind, this is going to be a disaster if you didn’t already have the money for the renovation. You will need to pay those credit cards off before any interest accrues.
So, charge your renovation and then use your bonuses, rewards and points for scheduling your vacation. Of course, you’ll want to take the vacation while they have the house torn up. Have fun and enjoy your renovation vacation!
There are several great choices for flooring tiles for the living room. Each has its own beautiful features that will make this main room in your home gorgeous. Here are a few of the different types of tile you might consider for this room.
Flooring Tiles for the Living Room
Flooring tiles for the living room are a far better and healthier choice than many other types of flooring. Tile is extremely easy to clean, inexpensive to replace when damaged and bugs are not interested in living in it. But, there are a lot of different types of tile from which to choose. So, you’re going to need to do a bit of studying up.
Stone Tile Flooring
Stone tiles are all the rage for the main parts of homes today. You do have your choices of stone: marble, slate, travertine, limestone and granite are among the most popular.
But more than just having stone, there is how this tile is presented. There are some amazingly beautiful tiles made with stone pebbles, for instance. Mosaics are another popular choice in stone tiles. So, you don’t need to think just square or rectangle slabs of stone. There are a lot of possibilities.
Stone that has been imported tends to cost the most. It isn’t that the stone is more durable or even more beautiful, it is the cost of the shipping the stone to your area. So, if you want to keep costs down, sort through your choices of stone tiles that are made the closest to The Bay Area. Your salesperson at US Hardwood and Carpet can help you with that.
ShowroomUS Hardwood and Carpet has many samples we can show you of flooring tiles for your living room. Stop by and we’ll give you a selection to browse.
Prefab hardwood floors are the floor boards that have been prefinished. This is an option for new flooring. You install the planks and you’re done, whereas plain hardwood floors will typically need some sanding, staining and finishing. But, which is best choice for your home?
Prefab Hardwood FloorsThere are advantages and disadvantages to both the regular hardwood planks and prefab hardwood floor planks. Here are some highlights on the benefits for each.
Best in DurabilityWhen the factory finishes the flooring they can use some very powerful sealants. These sealants are extremely durable and are not available to your typical home floor finisher. So, having prefab would be preferred, if you need the warranty to be 25 years instead of 5 years.
Clean InstallThe installation of prefinished planks is a cleaner installation by far. All the sanding and dust in the air was at the factory. In your home it is install and go. For regular hardwood there is going to be a lot of sanding and an incredible amount of dust generated.
SealingWhen the floors are finished and sealed inside the home, the sealant gets between the planks. This seals out the daily dust and grime that will fall between the cracks of the planks.
IrregularitiesIrregularities in the subfloor can show through the hardwood floor. When the hardwood floor is sanded after the installation, sanding will overcome these defects.
RepairsWhen you need to sand out a water stain or deep scratches, it is easy with a regular hardwood floor. A prefinished floor has such a powerful sealant on it that you’d need to refinish the entire floor in order to have the repaired board match.
US Hardwood and CarpetGive us a call at US Hardwood and Carpet. We’ll go over all the advantages of prefab hardwood flooring with you to help you decide what’s best in your home.
There are several different finishes to use when you have a hardwood floor. Which one to use depends upon the look you want and your lifestyle. It might be wax finish hardwood floors, but maybe not.
Wax Finish Hardwood Floors
The wax finish has been popular for ions of time. It is one of the natural choices for protecting the wood. Wax needs many steps to work well and to have a long life. There needs to be several thin layers applied. Each layer needs to dry before the next layer is applied. When that process is complete, the floor is buffed to a nice shine.
Penetrating Oil Sealers
Natural oil finishes for floors are starting to catch on here in the USA. They are a less shiny, but very rich finish for a floor. This type of finish sinks into the wood to protect it. It is not just a barrier that sits on top of the wood. It is deeply penetrated beauty and protection. Scratches tend to just blend in and are not noticeable, unlike a surface application. Oil finishes come in tints, so there is no need to stain the wood first.
A urethane finish is a synthetic finish that is a layer on top of the wood that protects it. One big advantage of urethane is that it will outlast both wax and oil finishes. On the downside, you will need to stain the wood before applying. Caring for this finish is easier, as you dust mop only.
Choosing the Right Finish
Stop by US Hardwood and Flooring and we’ll explain all the details on various finishes to see if the wax finish hardwood floors are best for your home.