Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Condo Flooring Options

The floor may be the one thing you use most in your condo. Unless you can fly, your floor is in constant use when you are home. Given the large amount of use it gets, it is worth spending some time thinking about your floor, whether you are buying or selling, or just thinking of ways to improve your condo. The four types of flooring we will discuss are carpet, hardwood, laminate and tile.

Carpet - There are few homes that do not have any carpet in them; it remains one of the most popular floor coverings available today. Available in a huge variety of colors, quality and styles, many people have carpet in areas like living rooms and bedrooms. Carpet is cozy and exudes a feeling of warmth. At the same time, it may not be the best option in high-traffic areas like doorways, as it will become worn and dirty. And in places like kitchens and bathrooms, carpet gets dirty, and sometimes ruined, rather quickly.

Hardwood - While hardwood is one of the most expensive of the floor-covering options, it probably is the most desirable. If you are selling your condo, replacing the flooring with hardwood is a great way to catch the eye of potential buyers. One of the best aspects of hardwood floors is their durability. Though it is a large initial investment, hardwood can last for decades. It also is easy to clean and maintain. If something spills, simply sweep or soak it up. Hardwood also is available in a variety of colors. It naturally reflects light and lends a more open feeling to your condo, and choosing a light color can actually make your space appear larger. Some people have nothing but hardwood hardwood floors and put down area rugs in places like bedrooms and living rooms.

Laminate - Laminate flooring is designed to look and function like hardwood, but at a cheaper price. It is a good option for people who do not want carpet, but cannot afford hardwood floors. It does not last as long as hardwood, but most laminate floors have a longer useful life than carpet. Like hardwood floors, laminate floors can make a room seem larger.

Tile - For many people, tile occupies a small flooring niche. This floor type is a good option in bathrooms because it is not sensitive to moisture and water. Many people also like tile in their kitchens because it is easy to clean up spills. And tile is especially popular in high-traffic spots like doorways. One of the main drawbacks of tile, especially in cooler climates, is that it does not retain heat well. But if you really want tile, and you have a healthy budget, you can always have heating elements installed underneath it.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Floor Wax for Hardwood Floors: Protecting Your Investment

The beauty, elegance and grace of a hardwood floor can only be described with the warmth an inviting nature that is reflected. Adding significant value to the interior or any home or place of business, hardwood floors are rapidly becoming the flooring selection of choice, replacing its predecessor, the carpeted floors.

Hardwood floors, un-finished, finished or engineered, require daily cleaning with a periodic annual maintenance program to retain the luster, deep rich tones and the overall beauty of any wood floor. Contrary to popular belief, these floors do require occasional waxing, depending on traffic flow across the floor, with specialized cleaners designed to seal and protect the floor from scratches and abuse. In the past, presumptions have indicated that all the maintenance that is required for a wood floor is light sweeping and mopping. Although, there is some truth to this theory, depending on the selection of flooring material, failure to provide adequate protection to any floor will result in deterioration and damage of the flooring surface at an accelerated rate with possible replacement in as little as five years.

Water and sunlight is a wood floor's worst enemy causing more damage to all layers of the flooring material than all other elements combined. Mopping wood flooring surfaces with excessive water in the mop head, allows water to seep in between the seams of the flooring material gradually but eventually destroying the substructure of the hardwood flooring material. Mopping a wood floor with excessive amounts of water also institutes possible mold infiltration under the flooring surface, which will continue to grow unnoticed, a major health hazard in any home. Application of a manufactured recommended sealer and wax combination, seals all joint and seams, preventing water damage to under layers while adding brilliant luster to the finished top layer.

Ultraviolent rays of the sun exposed to hardwood surfaces for long durations, fade and dry-out, crack and cut wood flooring material at accelerated rates. Direct rays of the sun often produce extreme temperature build-up on hardwood flooring material surfaces not blocked by modern advanced engineered glass of today's windows. Closing of drapes to protect wood material contradicts the original intent of installing such flooring material, to reflect light in an otherwise dull and dark room. Adequate application of an approved wax, protects the top and under-lying surfaces, blocking all harmful expose to sunlight, maintaining and protecting the flooring surface with an coating of the top layer continuing the warmth and relaxing nature that hardwood floors provide to any interior room.

Choosing the correct hardwood floor wax is best determined by the composition of the hardwood material installed. Using an unapproved wax with harsh cleaners creates counter- productive results damaging hardwood flooring material surfaces, of which may become permanent. All floor waxes and cleaners are not designed for all wood floors. New wood floors are often sealed with urethane, polyurethane or polyacrylic sealers designed to protect the top finished surface. Application of an inappropriate or unapproved hardwood wax/cleaner combination will damage the manufacturer applied sealer dulling the luster, leaving steaks that are clearly noticeable. Seek out professional experienced advice when selecting a hardwood floor wax and cleaner designed to protect and beautify the particular hardwood material installed prior to application of any such substance.

hardwood floors, regardless of finish or manufacturer's specifications require periodic maintenance including the application of an approved wax/polish designed for a particular wood flooring material species. hardwood floors left unprotected will in time, fade, discolor revealing signs of visible deterioration under normal daily use. With proper care and maintenance of all hardwood material, the original beauty and luster can be maintained with reflections of pride in your home while protecting your investment.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Bathroom Flooring: Making Choices in Flooring

Picking out flooring for your home is always a bit tricky. There are so many different factors to take into consideration when looking into what is right for your home. It is also important to realize that each room needs to be considered separately when making flooring decisions. It is important that each factor be taken into consideration and ranked by importance then a determination can be made on what flooring is right for your home.

For instance, if you're budget is the most important consideration than hardwood throughout your home is obviously not really a viable option. The same is true for safety. If you need assistance from a walker to move about your home it is not wise to think about flooring option have a large gradation between them. An example of this is linoleum to shag carpet the threshold would create a sizable difference making it hard to maneuver a walker. It is best if you have special issues to take them into consideration BEFORE the new flooring is in place.

Another thing I like to remind people is to gauge the amount of traffic that will be on any given floor. Bathroom flooring and kitchen floors remain the most highly used areas within households. It is important to use materials that can withstand the wear and tear of your household traffic while maintaining the original look and feel. Laminate squares might be okay for a house without a lot of traffic but in a house that maintains a constant flow they the squares will begin to separate overtime.

Special conditions may also exist in certain rooms. For Instance, it is important that kitchen and bathroom flooring are moisture resistant. Getting out of the tub onto a carpeted floor is going to create mold and mildew underneath the carpet surface sooner rather than later. My parents have always had a carpeted kitchen and dining room. It is always in need of a cleaning especially with six grandkids and a grandmother that loves to make cookies with sprinkles.

It is important that the flooring type fit all of the conditions the room and home owners present. Remember that just because one floor works in a certain room for one homeowner it might not be the right product for you. Different households create different situations. It is important to look into your needs before spending money on flooring.

Flooring options are so wide and very in material, style, color, durability and cost. Determining the needs of your family before you install flooring materials will help save you money in the long run. Really looking at your needs might make you realize that it is worthwhile to save up for a more durable, but more expensive option like hardwood. Or it might make you realize that you really need to create unity throughout your home and are ready to do that using a different variety of materials within the same color family. Flooring is one area that can really make or break a home's feel so make sure you choose something that is consistent with your homes look and feel.