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Do you love hardwood floors, but hesitant to buy because of the potential maintenance? We encourage you to keep reading and exploring the easy tasks you can do daily to ensure a long life for your wood floor. Major maintenance considerations are always important, however, they aren’t practical for guarding against normal life routines. The following tips are simple enough for even the busiest person and can be performed on a regular basis. We will cover how to protect your floors from outside influences and simple cleanup as well as the proper way to set things on top of your floor and how/when to move them around.
Threats from the outside
- Window treatments are the first line of defense against the UV rays from the sun. Make sure to keep this in mind when purchasing your window coverings. Wood floors are expected to naturally change shades and colors over time due to sun exposure; however, with the right protection, this can be controlled well.
- Mats and small rugs are the trusted guards who protect your floor. These ever vigilant protectors can grab ahold of a large amount of dirt and grime before it ever makes its way into your home. Most of the sand, dirt and gravel that gets tracked in comes in on the bottom of shoes. These are a very real enemy of your floors. These highly abrasive particles will do slow but steady damage to the floor. Mats can be placed at every entrance to your home, outside or inside. Be sure to buy a mat with pad specifically made for wood floors so that the backing doesn’t do any damage.
- The climate where you live can also make a big difference. Wood floors respond best to consistent humidity levels. This helps avoid contraction and expansion of the wood. All air regulation systems can help: humidifier, air conditioner, dehumidifier, or heater.
Gentle Clean-up. Quick!
- A cheap broom won’t save you money in the long run. Buy a high-quality broom. Dust and sweep your floors as often as possible.
- Liquid messes cannot be cleaned up later. Paying attention to small messes can save you heartache down the road. Take the necessary time to quickly blot the mess with a clean, soft cloth.
- Be careful about using a vacuum on your wood floor. Using one without a beater bar is a great option, or your vacuum may have come with a hardwood floor attachment. This is incredibly helpful in removing dirt from crevices where a broom will not reach.
- For candle wax or chewing gum, try using a credit card to remove the excess.
On The Top
- Look out for high heels! While they look great on your feet, they can do serious damage to your wood floors. The heel tips can cause small indentions and divots. Some can be repaired, but not all! Scars can be avoided by either removing shoes when walking on hardwood floors for extended periods of time or by buying heel protectors that slip over the heel tip.
- Does your dog spend time inside? Make sure your pet has his nails trimmed often. Indoor pets can damage wood floors if their nails are too long.
- Protect your wood floors from furniture! All furniture that sits on top of your wood floors needs to have a barrier between itself and the floor. There are several options to choose from so check with the manufacturer’s recommendations for best protection for your floors. Be sure to put protection on the bottom of all furniture with feet.
- Keep your floors dry! Use mats in spaces where water is going to splash like the bathroom or kitchen.
- Your furniture can seriously scuff or scratch your floors if pushed around without proper precautions. Once again, there are multiple products on the market specifically for helping with this. However, be sure to check with the manufacturer to find the best product to use with your floor.
- Keeping the previous point in mind, you should move your furniture around occasionally to ensure even wearing. Just make sure you move it safely!
- A furniture dolly can help with moving larger furniture, but make sure to plan for the weight and wheels!
Your wood floor maintenance doesn’t need to be overwhelming. It’s easy to take care of your beautiful wood floors! Flooring trends may change, as might your taste and style, but your floor is meant to be there for you through thick and thin. With a little care and time, your wood floor will thank you with years of use. Treat them well!
With a new year, new trends are on the horizon. Some traditional styles still have continued to thrive, but new backsplash trends are emerging. If you are looking to add a backsplash in your home, it is key to know the latest styles and trends! Let’s explore some of the new trends on the market to help you decide which styles you may want in your own home. Let’s get started!
Subway tiles had their day, but also at one time became outdated. They are back and here to stay. The simplicity of the pattern makes them timeless and classic. Look for updated subway tiles that have texture, crackle or dimension to get the best this shape has to offer!
Geometrical shapes and bold patterns are also back and HOT! You can see this with encaustic tiles and other bold-patterned tile patterns. These geometrical patterns can become the focal point of any room. Be sure to choose a pattern in which you can complement other areas of your design.
Solid slab backsplashes are another largely trending aesthetic look. These backsplashes eliminate any grout line or separation and are installed as one large piece. This style can create a very sleek and cleaned line look in your home.
Colored tiles are back on the rise. Earthy jewel tones, pastels and color trends from the past like greens, tans, beiges and Santorini blues are making a strong comeback. If colored tiles are too much of a commitment for you, don’t worry. Crisp and clean tiles are also trending.
If you are looking to add some character to the room, consider marble. The Baroque tile trend is bringing back dramatic looks with heavy veining. Marble has a ton of character throughout the intricate veining patterns in each piece. Each marble tile will offer its own aesthetic and unique look to the room. This style can quickly spruce up a dull area and make a stunning backsplash.
To the Ceiling
Backsplashes are also beginning to lose their limitations on height. Traditionally, backsplashes were just high enough for splashes or spills. However, we are now seeing homeowners backsplash the whole wall – all the way up to the ceiling. If you use this look, keep in mind the size of your tiles if you are looking to do this in hard-to-install areas. If you really want to be in the design know and trending – ask your local flooring retailer about murals made from tile. You’ll be the envy of the whole neighborhood!
Trends are significant to keep in touch within the interior design industry. Are you surprised by any of these backsplash trends?
When you think of your dream kitchen, it probably has beautiful cabinetry, a gorgeous sink setup, plenty of counter space, and of course, a backsplash. Backsplashes are the perfect remedy to take your kitchen’s aesthetics to the next level because tile is a timeless home improvement that can make any room feel more luxurious and personalized. Additionally, tile can help tailor the design to your liking.
Think of a backsplash as a blank canvas to express your design theme. From monochromatic tiles to intricate mosaic glasswork, your backsplash can be designed in a variety of different ways to make a statement. That being said, backsplash serves more than just this purpose. Here is everything you should consider prior to adding your backsplash to your kitchen:
Kitchens can get messy, and drywall does not respond well to sticky messes and water. Backsplashes primarily protect your walls and can make messes easier to clean. Think of your backsplash as an extension to your countertops that runs up the wall. They can easily be wiped down and help prevent stains from getting on the walls. Backsplashes work great for behind the sink, range, or countertop where food prep is done. You can even include backsplashes in your bathrooms as well to protect your walls.
Functionality aside, backsplashes are downright beautiful. Adding a backsplash in your kitchen or bath can help enhance your home’s aesthetics. There are many wonderful selections to choose from when choosing your tile. Consider mosaic, handpainted looks, ceramic, subway tile, or even creating your own design by picture framing a design with decorative trim. Your walls are blank canvases for you to create your very own masterpiece. The next step is to find a complementary grout. You can go with a close neutral color or even a contrasting color to help make your tiles pop. A general rule of thumb is to choose a grout color that blends and fades away. Remember that you’re paying for the tile and not the grout.
There are more than just ceramic or glass tiles you can use to create your look. You can invest in granite, marble or other natural stone in slabs rather than tiles. Decide what backsplash will enhance your design the most while considering how messy your walls may get and what application works best. Find the best solution for functionality and then go about the design for your home.
Backsplashes are perfect upgrades to improve your home’s beauty and value. Get inspired on Pinterest, look online or in person at your local flooring store for a style you would like to replicate. If you haven’t shopped for a backsplash, you might not realize how many design possibilities are out there!
If you’re like most families, you probably have a large stack of artwork that your children have created. Many people choose to display children’s artwork on their refrigerators however, this can get cluttered and messy fast. There are several other ways that you can incorporate your kids’ artwork right into the rest of your home’s décor, creating a much neater and more stylish way to show it off.
Find an area in your home that could use some artwork. Rather than pinning or sticking your kid’s artwork directly on the wall which can damage the paint, create a feature wall that will look great on its own or filled with your favorite pieces of your kid’s artwork. Use luxury vinyl planks to create your feature wall. It’s easy to measure, cut and install on the walls. You can do it yourself or hire a professional flooring store to install it for you. You can place the artwork directly on the wall and change it out often. If your home is more modern, you can create this feature wall with tile or natural stone.
Next, let’s look at different ways to display the art on this feature wall.
Picture hanging wire is usually strung across the back of a heavy piece of artwork to enable you to hang it on the wall. This doesn’t mean, however, that this is the only thing you can use it for. By inserting two eyelet screws into your walls, you can string the wire between them. Now just invest in some mini-clothespins or other clips and you can hang your children’s artwork on the wall anywhere in your home. There’s no tape or additional nail holes, and you can swap things out easily once the line gets full.
Purchase several unfinished photo frames. Now have some fun painting them in a variety of different colors. Hang them in a nice grouping on the wall and swap out your kid’s artwork in the frames. This helps show off their current art work and adds to your décor at the same time.
If your kids are particularly prolific, and you hate to take anything down, try scanning everything that they create into your computer. Now head to a photo printing site and arrange all of their artwork together into a large poster collage. Print the poster and have it framed; now you can show off hundreds of pieces of art work all at once. You can make several of these posters to hang around the house, and they all make excellent pieces of abstract and interesting art. Because you can’t quite tell what they are at first glance, they make great additions to gallery walls and other areas. Once you see them for what they are, they also become excellent conversation pieces as you discuss the many different elements within.
If you’re a pet-owner, you’re probably already all too familiar with the wear and tear that our furry friends can cause to your home over time. Scratches, stains, odors and dirt are all common pet-caused hassles that can be especially damaging to floors.
That’s why many pet-owners, whether they’re building or remodeling a home, are cautious about what type of flooring they choose to install in the areas in which their pets live with them.
Before you begin your search, there are 4 common concerns that pet owners should consider when searching for flooring for their next project.
- Scratch resistance: How well does the floor resist scratches and other marks, commonly caused by dogs’ nails as they walk around?
- Damage resistance: Does the floor have a natural resistance to damage from things like pet urine and other accidents?
- Traction & comfort: Does the surface of the floor allow pets to move, walk, run, sit and lay safely and comfortably?
- Durability & ease of cleaning: How easy is it to regularly clean the floor and return it to its original look?
So, with all of that in mind, which types of flooring are best for dogs and other pets? You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that you have a lot of options when it comes to pet-friendly flooring.
Modern innovations have led to pet-focused technologies and warranties across the entire spectrum of flooring categories. We’ll dive into each one and give you our top product recommendations.
Many people prefer soft, warm carpet in their bedrooms, but it’s probably not your first thought when you’re trying to pick flooring for a home with pets.
Carpet feels good for your pets to lie down, but it can be tough to clean and is prone to easy wear and tear. If you do opt for carpet, consider keeping it in low-traffic areas (such as bedrooms) where your pets don’t spend much time playing and running around.
Tile is well-suited to homes with pets in the family. Its hard surface and dense makeup make tile extremely durable and resistant to scratches from toenails.
Tile is also very easy to clean, as soil and pet hair sits on the surface. A routine sweeping, dusting or gentle vacuuming will pick up most solid debris. Wet mop as soon as spills or accidents occur, and you’ll be able to keep your tile looking and smelling as fresh and clean as the day you bought it.
The only significant drawback to having tile in a home with pets is that the surface is relatively cold and hard in comparison to most other types of flooring. You can solve this by laying down area rugs throughout your space, or a soft dog or cat bed or cushion.
Pet-friendly vinyl flooring
Luxury vinyl is arguably the ideal choice for pet-friendly flooring. The list of benefits is long. For example, vinyl flooring:
- Is extremely affordable compared to other flooring options
- Can be installed anywhere in the home, on, above or below grade
- Offers great traction with realistic wood textures
- Comes in a variety of beautiful, natural designs that mimic wood and tile
- Is easy to clean and resistant to scratches and stains
- Does not trap or release allergens into the air
- Is comfortable and quiet underfoot
You may be considering LifeProof Vinyl Flooring. Be sure to educate yourself on the pros and cons before making your decision.
The main potential drawback to vinyl flooring is that it can be susceptible to water or other liquid damage. However, modern innovation has led to a number of waterproof vinyl options that are well-suited to homes with pets.
Pet-friendly laminate flooring
Laminate is similar to vinyl in many ways. It looks like hardwood, is easy to clean, and it resists water and scratches well.
You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the difference between vinyl plank vs. laminate before you start the decision making process.
One drawback to laminate are that it often has a slippery surface that isn’t great for soft paws. You can avoid this by choosing a laminate with a textured surface. These floors are beautiful and are especially good for active or older dogs.