Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Prepare Your Home For Resale By Replacing Outdated Flooring

When preparing a house for a sale, many homeowners choose to take on some remodeling projects to make their home more appealing to buyers and increase its resale value. If you are preparing your home for resale, you want to be sure you are choosing improvement projects that will give you the best return on investment. One of the first improvements you should consider is replacing your old or out-dated flooring. This will make your home much more attractive to potential buyers, and has the second-highest ROI, after repainting.

Just like clothes, hairstyles, or any other aesthetic statement, flooring styles can go in and out of fashion. Chartreuse linoleum and deep shag carpet are no longer in style, and potential buyers will be unimpressed by outdated flooring. These days, natural looks are in. Hardwood flooring and tile are very popular, and high-quality vinyl flooring realistically imitating these looks at a fraction of the cost is also in vogue. Even if your flooring is not out of fashion, if it is old and no longer in good condition, you should replace it before attempting to sell your home.

If you floors are covered in carpet, find out what is underneath. If the carpet is covering hardwood flooring, pull up the carpet and have the hardwood refinished for an entirely new look. Hardwood flooring is easier to clean and maintain than carpet, and is very stylish. If cement or plywood lie under your carpet, however, it will probably not be cost effective to replace all of the carpet with hardwood flooring unless you are planning to stay in your home long enough to enjoy the new floors.

If you cannot afford to replace the flooring in your entire house, there are still some steps you can take to prepare your home for resale. If you have hardwood floors, have them refinished or stained to give them new life. If you have carpet, have it professionally cleaned. Another option is to replace the flooring in just one or two rooms, such as the kitchen and living room. No matter what your budget, there are many flooring improvement options to help you prepare your home to be sold.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5106279

Friday, May 27, 2011

How Often Should I Replace My Carpet?

The decision to replace your carpet should be made after using the services of a professional carpet cleaning company. This will tell you if your current carpet and padding can be restored. If, after a thorough professional cleaning, you find that there is mold, worn fibers, or dirt and stains that simply cannot come out, it is time to replace the carpet, and usually the padding, too. A high quality carpet that receives regular care and maintenance will last anywhere from five to fifteen years, depending on the amount of usage and foot traffic it gets. It is inevitable that certain parts of your room will get walked on more than others, and if you have pets, mold is a definite possibility. When it's time to replace the carpet, you should be aware that you can get discounts on carpeting if you buy it by the foot.

A good carpet should add to as well as blend well with the decor and surroundings of the room, so bear this in mind when shopping for your new carpet, and don't be afraid to choose a new color. Consulting a home decoration company or consultant is a good way to make a good choice when you're looking to show your best, as would be the case if you are planning to sell your home in the near future.

Finding a dealer for your carpet is at least as important as your decision on what style and material to buy. Many wholesalers will offer you discounts, and some will even install it for you, saving you the trouble of having to look for a contractor after the carpet has been purchased. If you choose a retail store or home improvement outlet over a wholesaler, you may still be able to find a bargain. However, don't sacrifice quality for cost. It's important that your home looks good and that you select carpeting that can last for a good many years, particularly if you wish to sell or rent your home.

Evaluate the quality of your existing carpet before you do anything else, and if you find mold or signs of mold, stains that cannot be removed or eradicated, and other problems, it is a good idea to replace the padding underneath the carpet along with the old carpet. With a fresh installation of new carpet with new padding, you will have both a fresh look and smell for your room, reinvigorating it with a sense of newness like the day you first moved in.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5191298

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Why To Use Cork For Your Floor

Tim Taylor of Seattle's Environmental Home Center showed us some cork flooring, as well as some recently harvested cork and explained why it's one of the most sustainable ways to cover your floors (cork forests are not only renewable, but are home to many endangered species like the Iberian Lynx).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

How To Choose The Best Flooring For Your Kitchen

Just bought a new house and you want to change the flooring of your kitchen? Well, in the current market for home d├ęcor, customers have a wide range of flooring choices to enhance their kitchen's appeal. Wood, ceramic, laminate - you name it! The ease of installation, appeal and maintenance are primary factors that will help you determine the best flooring for your kitchen.

The most recent flooring option is cork flooring, a recyclable, environment-friendly alternative that not only has a great appeal, but is also ideal for people that have problems with the feet and the legs. Its soft and smooth surface helps to reduce stress on knees and ankles. The tongue-in-groove design of most cork flooring makes the installation process pretty easy. This amazing and robust product is available in a variety of colors, but should be avoided if you have pets in the house that may scratch the flooring surface.

The amazing appearance and the non-artificiality of hardwood flooring is the main reason why more and more customers prefer it as an ideal flooring option. Compared to ceramics, it is warmer, easier on ankles and joints, and can be cleaned easily using a plain wet mop. Your kitchen floor can now complement the most used room of your house, e.g. the dining area- thanks to the variety of wooden flooring available on the market!

Another increasingly popular form of reusable, eco-friendly product is bamboo flooring. Apart from its environmental contribution, its warm and beautiful wooden outlook greatly enhances the look of your kitchen area.

If you already have a wooden kitchen cabinet, it is better to choose some other alternative rather than hardwood flooring because it will give a monotonous look to your kitchen.

Some wooden flooring comes with excessive graining patterns that may depreciate your design. Hickory and Oak are obvious examples. However, you can always minimize the graining effect and give a more neutral look to your kitchen using darker-stained floors and contrasting furniture. For instance, lighter cabinets contrast well with darker floors and medium-to-dark counter tops. With dark floors, the visibility of dirt and dust is very low and with light floors, your kitchen will appear a lot bigger in size. Hence, it is better to choose a color that is neither too dark nor too light in combination with a dark cabinet and medium/light counter. This provides a rich and balanced look to your kitchen.

Ceramic tiles are another popular flooring choice for the kitchen. It enhances your kitchen by offering an assortment of decorative looks by integrating different interesting colors and patterns into your design, that remain tied into the floor through tile backsplashes. The major drawback, however, is the hardness of the ceramic surface, making it harsh on your feet, and the difficulty of removing food stains from the grout lines of the floor. However, the hard surface, especially the ceramic backsplash, is easy to clean. Ceramic tiles are ideal for Southwestern kitchens, giving them a local and traditional feel.

Laminate flooring is another excellent flooring alternative available at an affordable price. Like cork flooring, it comes with an easy-to-install and easy-to-clean feature and a variety of tongue-in-groove designs ranging from wood to stone. With a vapor barrier installed below, the flooring looks and works amazingly in your kitchen.

Even with the alternatives, you should consult a flooring expert before you make a final choice. The location and the type of your house are important determinants of your selected alternative. Hence, choosing the best flooring not only enhances the look and feel of your kitchen, but also eases the installation and the maintenance of your kitchen flooring for years.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5997575

Monday, May 16, 2011

Floor Care : How To Clean Finished Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are usually finished with polyurethane, which is a surface finish, meaning that this type of flooring should never be waxed. Find out how to clean hardwood floors with a vacuum cleaner and a floor mop with help from a member of the National Wood Floor Association in this free video on cleaning hardwood flooring.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

All About Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring makes a great choice in building material, when choosing to put in new flooring in a home or commercial building. Many people decide to install this flooring because of its long lasting quality and that it is more affordable then tile, carpet, marble or wood. Vinyl is becoming more popular among those that are looking for a vast variety of choices in color, textures and styles.

For those of us that are not in the construction field, many are not sure exactly what this kind of flooring is. It is made out of the building material polyvinyl chloride or also known as PCV. Vinyl is similar to linoleum but is more durable when exposed to everyday floor traffic.

Because of the durability of vinyl flooring, it is a wonderful choice in flooring for heavy traffic areas in a building. This material will also add extra insulation to a floor and gives comfort to the foot unlike marble or tile flooring.

There are two different types of this flooring available. Printed vinyl contains a sheet of printed-paper that can contain almost any type of design that the manufacture chooses to use. Inlaid vinyl is where the design is stamped into the tile. This stamping process not only adds a design to the flooring, it also adds texture to this durable building material.

Unlike wood, tile, marble or carpeting, vinyl flooring is very easy to take care of to keep it looking shiny and new. One of the most basic ways to clean vinyl is with just plain water to remove the dirt that can collect on a floor. Others prefer to use cleaning products that can be found in the cleaning isle at many stores. When using any type of cleaning product on vinyl, it is important to follow the manufactures directions. These cleaning products can also insure that the shine is maintained on the flooring to keep it looking new for years to come.

Many like the ease of care having vinyl flooring used in their home or commercial buildings. The inexpensive price tag of these building materials has also added to the popularity of this product. With many choices in styles, textures and colors have made vinyl flooring, one is sure to find the perfect flooring for their individual needs.

When building a house, get your vinyl flooring from a well established company. Make sure you educate yourself before purchasing.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5471492

Monday, May 9, 2011

Wood Flooring Benefits

No one will argue about the beauty of wood flooring. In fact, the rise in affordable options that look like old-fashioned hardwood has made the look even more common in today's homes, yet something is to be said for the beauty of a genuine hardwood floor. Outside of its beauty, however, this floor option carries several benefits.

Easy to Maintain
Hardwood is much easier to maintain than carpeting. Stains are far less common, as most spills can be easily mopped or wiped up without leaving behind any residue. In the past, hardwood was considered difficult to maintain, but new technology and new finishes make it one of the easiest options for your floors.

Wood flooring is affordable for several reasons. First, the variety of hardwood styles, colors, and materials make it possible to create a few very affordable options for the budget conscious homeowner. Second, these floors hold their value well. They stand the test of time both in durability and style, which means the need to replace the floor covering regularly is removed. When hardwood starts to lose its shine, simply refinish it to restore it to a like-new look.

Real Estate Value
Because of the popularity of hardwood and its durability, homes that have hardwood floors get a better price on the real estate market than those that just have carpet. Even homes with carpet covering hardwood can get a better price, as the new homeowner knows that a little refinishing will make those hidden floors shine again. Installing wood flooring today will increase your home's value later when you are ready to sell.

Wood flooring comes from a natural, renewable resource. Not only can more trees be grown to replace the floors, but your current floors can also be recycled one day. Some hardwoods actually come from recycled buildings, barns, or other sources. Hardwood floors do not collect allergens in the same way carpets do, making them an excellent option for those who struggle with indoor allergies.

If you are considering carpet over hardwood because of the plethora of colors available with carpet, you should know that wood flooring also has a wide range of styles and colors. Not only can you choose your color, but you can also choose the size of the planks, the actual wood they are made from, and the finish. All of these options allow you to customize your living space while still benefiting from the look, durability, and affordability of hardwood.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4813305

Monday, May 2, 2011

Caring For Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo flooring requires some special care. Start by using a cleaner that will not leave a residue that will inhibit bonding and re-coating. While bamboo is more resistant to moisture than most woods, never use a wet mop or sponge to clean the floor. When using any wood flooring cleaner that requires mixing with water, follow the mixing directions precisely.

A cloth that you wet with with water and then squeeze dry can be used to wipe up simple spills, provided the area is buffed dry immediately. Never rub and scrub the accident or you will be massaging it into the wood pores which can result in staining of the floor. Once all of the mess is wiped and lifted off of the wood, dry the area with a paper towel. Heel or scuff marks and stubborn stains may be removed by lightly rubbing with a cloth and a wood floor cleaner.

It is pretty important that you try to dust mop or use a soft bristled floor vacuum on the bamboo flooring daily if you can. You never want to allow dirt, dust, pet hairs or other grit that is tracked into the home building up on your bamboo flooring.