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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Should You Have Carpet If You Have Allergies?

Many people believe that if you have allergies you should get rid of all of your carpet.  It actually depends on what you are allergic to. Some of the most common things people are allergic to are airborne (carried through the air) including:~~Dust mites are microscopic insects that live all around us and feed on the millions of dead skin cells that fall off our bodies every day. They're the main allergic component of house dust. Dust mites are present year-round in most parts of the United States and live in bedding, upholstery, and carpets.

~~Pollen is a major cause of allergies (a pollen allergy is often called hay fever). Trees, weeds, and grasses release these tiny particles into the air to fertilize other plants. Pollen allergies are seasonal, and the type of pollen someone is allergic to determines when symptoms happen. 

~~Molds are fungi that thrive both indoors and outside in warm, moist environments. Outdoors, molds can be found in poor drainage areas, such as in piles of rotting leaves or compost piles. Indoors, molds thrive in dark, poorly ventilated places such as bathrooms and damp basements. Molds tend to be seasonal, but some can grow year-round, especially those indoors.

~~Pet allergens are caused by pet dander (tiny flakes of shed skin) and animal saliva. When pets lick themselves, the salivagets on their fur or feathers. As the saliva dries, protein particles become airborne and work their way into fabrics in the home. Pet urine also can cause allergies in the same way when it gets on airborne fur or skin, or when a pet pees in a spot that isn't cleaned.
Most carpet sold today is made from harmless materials like polyester and nylon, the same stuff clothes and bags are made from. These synthetic blends are constructed out of lab-developed fibers that repel allergens, in part because they are nonorganic and offer an inhospitable climate. For example, mold has nothing to eat and particulate (pollen, dander, etc.) can be easily vacuumed.  Wool should be avoided because allergens and mold can thrive in it. Regardless of material, avoid shag -- the shorter the strands, the fewer places the particles can go. Also choose carpet with tightly woven strands for the same reason.

But no matter which carpet type you choose, dust, pollen and other allergy-aggravators are still in there, so get rid of them. Vacuum regularly and have your carpets professionally cleaned (hot water extraction) on a regular basis.  Invest in a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter, which traps allergens; some vacuums are even equipped with them.

Allergens sink into the carpet and out of the air, but even with frequent vacuuming, they're still down there. Hard floor coverings offer no haven for allergens -- they just sit on the surface. They're easier to clean than carpets -- a simple sweep and vacuum quickly gets rid of allergens.  If you opt out of carpet, however, note that hard surfaces require more frequent cleaning. If not maintained, the result will be a dusty, sneezy environment that is inferior to the allergen-trapping properties of a carpet-covered room.

In short, if you want to sweep/vacuum more frequently, a solid surface may be better. But, if you aren't able to maintain the flooring almost daily, carpet may actually serve you better.
But maybe you have chemical allergies.  There are carpets that are low/no VOC. First, you need to know exactly what chemical(s) you are allergic to.  It is usually the latex that is used in carpet construction that a client is allergic to. Air.o by Mohawk has no VOCs and is latex free.  SmartStrand Forever Clean carpets are made with Dupont Sorona which is OEKO-TEX® certified free from harmful substances. The SmartStrand fiber is also made in part with plant-based materials.  A wool carpet with a woven (axminster) backing is also extremely low in VOCs, as there is no secondary backing and wool is a proven air purifier. A synthetic fiber pad or a rubber waffled pad is usually your best choice for carpet cushion when VOCs are a concern.

Most clients need assistance choosing the best product for their situation.  Enhance Floors & More Design Consultants are trained in the questions to ask to guide you to the right product for your home.  Come see us today!

Design Tip-Transitioning Into Fall
It is still late August, and we just enjoyed a brief moment of cooler weather, and it was wonderful! The kids are all back in school, so our thoughts are turning to making some changes in our homes: putting away all the swim paraphernalia, finding your fire bowl, and making the house generally feel a little more "Fallish."

Image result for fall decor dried hydrangeaThere are several small steps you can take that won't scream autumn, but will start to welcome the season. Start bybringing some natural elements inside-- dried hydrangeas if you have those in the yard, interesting small branches and berries, acorns if you can find some (or were smart enough to snag a few last year and put them away).
Use some of those same items to put together a fall wreath for the front door or a tabletop bouquet. Create a display of acorns, pine cones, pretty leaves, and maybe small pumpkins. You can definitely find artificial ones at the crafts store if there are none in your yard or market.

Next, add a few layering pieces in the house-- a cozy throw on the sofa or over the foot of the bed. Other ways to bring in texture and warmer colors are with linens, pillows, dish towels, and place mats. Little touches in the main rooms of your home can add up to a big "feel" in the whole house! Be sure to also include a small number of metallic accents and deep, saturated color touches.

The last and most all-encompassing element to add is something that evokes the smells of Autumn. Candles, candle warmers, pot pourri, or wall plug-ins-- make them spicy and fruity. Think cinnamon, apples, that fall leaf smell. Not too floral or minty. And just a hint of a scent, not too much. But remember, it's still too early to buy that turkey!

Labor Day is a celebration of the American worker---a tribute to the contributions and achievements of our workforce.  We will be open Saturday, September 1 from 10 until 5. We will then be closed Sunday and Monday.  Enjoy your well deserved holiday!

You Don't Have To Lift A Finger
I listen to a radio commercial most mornings as I drive into work that brags about when this shop-at-home flooring dealer  installs your new floor, you don't have to lift a finger.  That sounds wonderful, doesn't it? Unfortunately, it's not entirely accurate. Per their website: All you have to do is move your nick-nacks.  What does that really involve?

You will need to move small items (decorative items, lamps, plants, TVs, DVD players, and fragile, irreplaceable and/or sentimental items) out of the area being done.  Please clear out closet floors. Strip beds.  Hallways that have hanging or breakable items should be cleared.  Remove any pictures andwall decorations in the area being done, as well as in adjacent areas and rooms beneath the room being covered.  Remove light globes or fluorescent tubes in the areas below the rooms
we are working in.  (Much of our work requires hammering and these items may be jarred and break from the vibration.) If you have a grandfather clock, pool table, piano, organ, or aquarium that requires special handling, please make arrangements to have them moved before the installers arrive. Wall units and entertainment units should be emptied and separated if they are bolted together.  We do not move computers, televisions, stereo systems, and similar items. If the china cabinet or hutch is to be moved, please remove all dishes, crystal, etc.  

Flooring installers are prepared to move furniture, not empty out a bookcase filled with books or unload your china cabinet so that the new flooring can be installed.  Yes, there is prep work that you will need to do prior to your installation. We will tell you what you need to do to get ready, and not surprise you the day of installation by telling you what you must hurridly do before we can get started.  

I Was Floored by Enhance
Stephanie in Roswell writes:
"We used Enhance Floors nine years ago to put hardwood floors in our home. Most recently, they did granite countertops and a backsplash for us. They were on time and cleaned up, and I would say they are excellent."
Thank you, Stephanie.  We are very grateful for our repeat clients.  Enjoy your "new" kitchen!

How Much Does It Cost?
We recently installed a new quartz countertop in a smallish Marietta kitchen with a simple subway tile backsplash for a little less than $4400 for both.  We installed new luxury vinyl floors in the kitchen last year, and the cabinets still looked great---the new countertop and backsplash truly made our clients kitchen look brand new!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Holidays Are Just Around The Corner

No, we are not confused, and that was not a typo. Believe it or not, if you are thinking of making any changes to your home anytime soon, and want them finished before the holidays--NOW is the time to act! Our installation calendar is already filling up for August and September. We understand, it is hard to think in those terms when it is 90 degrees outside. We're still thinking swimming pools, and the TV is full of commercials for Back to School Savings.

Before you know it, Labor Day will have come and gone, and you will be buying Halloween candy. And just. like. that. Thanksgiving! The whole family will be there, gathered in your living room. There you are in your kitchen, pulling that big perfectly browned turkey out of the oven. And you will be so proud and happy that your home is so beautiful and looking its' best, because you thought ahead to call us in August and get started on that new wood floor.  And countertop.  And backsplash. What a perfect moment! Kudos to you!

Flooring and remodeling are not changes that happen overnight. There are so many choices to be made. You put a lot of thought and effort, and hopefully research, into making these decisions. They are big ticket items, and disruptive to your life, so a mistake is a very big deal. We make an extra effort to educate you on your choices when you are here at Enhance.

Our skilled installation teams are wonderful. We only hire the best, men who we have worked with us for years, and who know how to maintain our high levels of quality. The real estate market is booming, and the down side of that is that there is a scarcity of qualified service contractors.  For our customers, that unfortunately means a wait to have their remodeling done, or their new floors installed. And that is true for most reputable companies right now. If you do speak with a contractor who is available immediately, that should raise a red flag. Why aren't they busy?

Please Be Careful
And speaking of raising flags- our children are all back in school as of this week. I don't know about you, but I had definitely gotten used to not having to stop for the school buses, or slow down for the school zones. Traffic has really increased this week. Plan accordingly-- allow more time for your commute, and be sure to watch out for the buses! Here are the rules:

It's Crazy How Time Flies By

And yes, school is back in, but while the weather is still cooperating, make the most of these last few beautiful hot days of summer. Go to the pool, go on the picnic, take that last weekend getaway. Because soon enough, the fun will be over, and the mornings will be frosty again. We'll be roasting marshmallows and carving pumpkins before you know it!
Our schedule is filling up with customers who are making plans and getting their flooring and remodeling projects started now. Call us, and let's get your project started!
Are you hoping to get new carpet in before the in-laws come to visit? That is certainly do-able.  We have some beautiful new styles just introduced by Karastan, and this month, Karastan is offering an Instant Rebate on all their SmartStrand carpets.  .33 cents of each square foot of carpet!

If you have been thinking about putting in new hardwoods, we have some wonderful looks for you, as well as some wonderful
pricing. And we have recently added new wood lines by Anderson Tuftex, U S Floors, and Fabrica.  All very different, and all gorgeous! The Fabrica line includes patterned wood floors, and some great wall treatments, as well. Come in and let us show them off! And in case you're concerned, there is still time to have them installed before the Holidays, so don't worry, but don't wait!

And if you're wondering when our next event is- stay tuned! Announcement coming soon ☺ Our events are always fun and loaded with good food, cold drinks, and great prizes!

Design Tip
What is NEW and popping up everywhere? Hexagons! Referred to as Nature's Perfect Shape, we are seeing this shape on everything in design--floor tiles, wall tiles, on vinyl, in porcelain deco tiles for the shower and bath. So, whether you call it honeycomb, beehive, or hex---plan to incorporate it in your next design project!

How Much Does It Cost?
A recent total kitchen makeover in Smyrna featured new cabinets, new lighting, and new counter tops. The customer had beautiful wood floors which did not need to be replaced.
The total of $42,000 included all new KitchenCraft cabinets with under cabinet lighting, a whole new pantry with pullouts, Quartz countertops, and a glass backsplash. The customer is thrilled with her gorgeous new kitchen!  Look for more pictures on our Facebook page and on Instagram and get inspired.

I Was Floored by Enhance
Nancy in Roswell tells us:
"Enhance did a great job. We've had them several times. They're very good, and they follow up. We were very pleased. The first time they carpeted our whole downstairs and did a good job. But the second time was much more extensive. They totally redid a bathroom and painted the bedroom and re-carpeted the floor and tiled the bath. We had an old bathtub; they had to rip out the bathtub. They put in a beautiful walk-in shower. We'd had a hole in the floor where we used to put dirty clothes through like a chute, they had to go in and fix that, and they had to move the toilet over. It was an extensive job, and it was beautiful. Great job. Very pleased."

Thank you, Nancy! And Thank you for being a repeat client!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Have A Better Summer

Kitchens Are Made For Bringing Families Together
Thanksgiving is less than three months away.  Can you believe it? Time flies! Is your entire family coming to your house this year?  And if so---is your kitchen ready for them all? If you are ready for a new kitchen, NOW is the time to get started.
A kitchen makeover can be as easy and affordable as painting your existing cabinets, updating your cabinet hardware (knobs and pulls), and adding new flooring, countertops, and a custom backsplash.  Or as complex and expensive as a complete remodel: new design, cabinets, appliances . . . .a brand new kitchen! We can assist you with either scenario.
To help you get started, here are some of the most common questions our clients ask about Kitchen Makeovers.

Will a kitchen remodel add value to my home?
Breathing new life into an outdated or inefficient kitchen can be the smartest money a homeowner spends. Kitchen remodels deliver more bang for the buck than any other home project, offering 80-85 percent return on investment. When planning your kitchen redo, the first step is setting a budget.

What is the average cost of a kitchen remodel?
REMODELING Magazine does an extensive survey every year of recent kitchen remodels in Atlanta.  In 2017, a minor kitchen remodel averaged $21,230.  A major kitchen remodel was $64,074. An upscale kitchen renovation averaged $127,292.  These are all-inclusive prices, including new appliances, countertops, sink and faucet, flooring and paint. What is the distinction between a minor and major kitchen remodel? Primarily what is done with the cabinets.   A major kitchen remodel includes new cabinets. A minor remodel does not include changing the cabinet boxes, only refinishing the cabinets, or painting the existing cabinets.  

One of the biggest cost drivers for a kitchen remodel is structural issues. Changing the footprint of your kitchen in any way will bump up your budget. Moving the kitchen or building an addition involves major construction as well as new electrical, plumbing and flooring.   Opening up to another room could require structural work and unforeseen costs if load-bearing walls are involved. Even relocating the sink or range would mean moving the plumbing or gas lines.

Every remodeling project is unique, and costs vary depending on the homeowner's budget, tastes, and priorities.  In general, however, materials account for 80 percent of the budget, while labor costs represent 20 percent. According to the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the largest expense in a kitchen remodel is cabinetry, which can 
account for up to 50 percent of the budget. After labor, appliances are the next biggest expense, eating up about 15 percent of the budget. Countertops are about 10 percent, and flooring makes up 7 percent. The smallest expenses, at about 5 percent each, are lighting, plumbing fixtures, doors and windows, and walls and ceilings.  Understanding that there are no standard costs for a remodel -- every home is unique because of its age, layout and construction type -- will help you be more realistic about the potential costs of your project.
What are some trends in kitchen design?
~Today's kitchen looks less like the mechanized, high-tech kitchen of the Jetsons and more like your Grandma's kitchen--homier, more organic, less angular, like a comfy sitting room where you happen to cook

~Emerging trends include wall-mounted flat screen televisions in the kitchen, induction and steam cooking, more color, and French door ovens

~Social kitchens with adequate and comfortable seating

~Open floor plans, kitchens that are open to the family room

~Cabinets installed all the way up to the ceiling

~Black stainless steel appliances (white appliances are "out")

~Cabinets that look like furniture

~Farmhouse kitchens featuring natural materials, lots of wood (usually rustic), unpretentious design, and cooking spaces that can accommodate large meals

~Clean lines and simple designs

~Touch activated faucets, pull-out faucets

~White and grey are the most popular colors for the kitchen, followed by blue, black, and beige.  

~Per a recent Houzz survey, the most popular cabinet color choices are white (34 percent), medium to dark wood tones (27 percent), and gray (9 percent)

~Under cabinet lighting, task lighting

~Best-selling hardware finishes are chrome and nickel (both available polished or brushed), oil rubbed bronze, and black. Gold and rose gold are coming on strong

~Smart storage solutions like lazy Susans to make potentially wasted corners fully functional, pull-out drawers, customized drawers and cabinets

~Large sinks with deep bowls

~Barrier-free design and products:  they make life easier for children, pregnant women, and seniors as well as individuals with disabilities

How long should it take from showroom visit to finished kitchen?
It can take several months, even after the design is finalized.  Custom cabinets usually take around four to six weeks for delivery.  The extent of the job, the contractor's workload and the availability of materials also have an effect.  Once the materials have been delivered, installation can often be completed in as little as two to four weeks.
Where do I start?  What do I need to be thinking about?
Start by putting together a detailed wish list indicating your goals for remodeling. Do you want more space? More storage? More style? A built-in dog bed? Organize it 
by priority, from the "must-haves" to the "in our dreams."
Use websites like Pinterest and Houzz to view and collect pictures of rooms, products, materials, and architectural details that appeal to you. Visit model homes and vendor showrooms and make pictures of what appeals to you.  Make notes on what you like about friends' kitchens (and hate about your own) and general concepts translated from other areas of your life. For example, glass-front cabinets and open shelving are very popular, but if you are not a cleaning fanatic you may be happier with solid doors that conceal clutter.

What makes a kitchen remodel more or less expensive?
~Structural changes can be minimal or extensive.  Cabinets account for about one-third to one-half the total cost of a typical project and range in price considerably based on quality, the type of material they are made of, and whether they are stock (ready made in specific sizes) or custom (produced specifically for your kitchen in whatever sizes and finishes are needed).

~The material you choose for surfaces including counters, backsplashes and floors can also account for variations in price.

~Other key elements that factor in to the equation are talent and workmanship.  In the remodeling business, you tend to get what you pay for.  An accomplished designer, skilled tradesmen and expert installation crew will cost more.  But you'll appreciate their ability every time you use your kitchen.
What is a Kitchen Designer?
A Kitchen Designer is a professional, qualified by education and experience to research, design, plan and supervise the installation of residential kitchens.  Enhance Floors & More uses a Kitchen Designer as part of the renovation process, particularly in the design and layout of the cabinetry. Our Kitchen Designer will meet with you and survey your existing kitchen to develop the design plan for your new kitchen. There is a fee for this service, however, it is well worth the nominal charge to meet with a true kitchen expert.

What is the kitchen "work triangle" and why is it important?
The "work triangle" is the kitchen area from the refrigerator to the main cooking area to the main sink.  Connect the three and it should form a triangle (unless you have a 'one-wall' kitchen).  It's important because at or immediately adjacent to the triangle's points, all the key kitchen activities - food preparation, cooking and clean up - take place.  The work triangle helps to ensure that your kitchen will be functional.  It keeps cooking activities centered in one area, with all the necessities close at hand. Whatever your plan, the sink should take central position if at all possible, as it's used more often than either the refrigerator or the stove. If you locate the sink on the same wall as the stove, with the main work area in the middle, you won't drip water on the floor when you go from the sink to the cooktop. When placing the refrigerator, make sure the single-door model, when open, faces into the work triangle, not out of it.

What types of kitchen counter tops are best?
Replacing counter tops is a great way to update your kitchen. Hard surface counters such as quartz, granite and marble are the most widely used at this time. Their price varies depending on your stone selection. Quartz holds up as well or better than granite, never needs sealing, and costs a little more than granite, but usually less than marble.

What are pull-outs?  pot drawers? appliance garages?
These are just a few of the specialty features that increase the functionality of your cabinets.  If you have not looked at new cabinets recently, you will be amazed at the options that are now available.  A pull-out is a shelf that can be independently extended from the cabinet for easier surveying and retrieval, like a drawer.  Waste cans are now often on pull-outs. Pot drawers are an upgrade from shelves that pull out. They lend themselves nicely to storing all types of kitchen cooking and storage necessities. As they are full extension drawers, you will have maximum storage and complete access to items in the back of them with no digging to the back of your kitchen cabinets.  An appliance garage is a general term used to reference any number of customized countertop compartments that are specifically designed to house and conceal large kitchen appliances. The appliance garage will usually be on the countertop and will match the facade of the existing top cabinetry. Within the compartment, there is typically a dedicated electrical outlet for the assigned appliance. Appliance garages will usually house appliances like coffee pots, microwaves or other large movable kitchen machines.
How many electrical outlets does my kitchen need?
A guide is outlets every four feet along your kitchen counter tops and at least one on the side of a kitchen island or peninsula. You will also need outlets for your stove, microwave, garbage disposal and dish washer. If you want less clutter on your walls above your kitchen counters, power strips can be installed under the wall cabinets. The strips will create convenient locations to plug in your kitchen appliances without the clutter of wall outlets.  Many clients are adding charging stations (usually drawers) as part of their kitchen renovation.
Do all my new kitchen cabinets need to be the same style and color?
This is personal preference.  Depending on your taste, your new kitchen can be designed with contrasting cabinets. Unique looks can be achieved by contrasting the kitchen island cabinets from the wall mounted upper and lower cabinets. Contrasting upper cabinets from the lower cabinets will create a custom look.

Contrasting countertops is another design tool used to customize kitchens and create unique looks.

What is installed first-my new cabinets or my new flooring?
Floors are almost always installed after the cabinets.  We will go over the timeline once we have visited your home and your product selections have been made.

What is the process?
An Enhance Design Consultant will meet with you in the showroom to discuss the scope of your project.   We will assist you in our Design Center with the preliminary selection of cabinets, countertops, backsplash and flooring.  We will schedule appointments for you to meet with our Kitchen Designer and to visit our vendor partners for fixture and appliance selection. Remember, the best-case timeline for a kitchen remodel is three to four months start to finish, so if there is a deadline for your new kitchen, be sure to begin the process well in advance.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Summertime, and the Living is Easy

The lazy hazy days of summer are here. Temps in the 90's and pop up storms.  Swim team and ice cream. Life just takes on a whole different rhythm. And moms love it as much as the kids do.  But summer will blow by before you know it--the first day of school is fast approaching!

So, what are some of the things you could (and should) do to make summertime last a little longer, and taste a little sweeter?

First, plan your meals around what is so abundant over the summer! Gorgeous tomatoes, green beans, corn, yellow squash, peaches, and blackberries- YUM!  Plan an outing with the kids to a U-Pik-Em place. There are many within an easy drive of where you live, in pretty much any direction. If your kids have a part in picking the veggies and planning and prepping the meal, they will be much more open to eating something they otherwise would decline. And it's a day in the sunshine without electronics. Win/ win.

Planning meals in the summer is easier because there's no homework, no band practice, just less demands on our time in general. My routine especially this time of year, is to make a list once a week of 6 meal ideas- real basic, like "salmon, rice, fresh green beans" and then check the list every morning, and decide which works best for that day. No hard and fast rules. I have a structure, I've done whatever shopping needs to be done, and then after I make that meal, I cross it off. This helps, too, I find to actually use what's in the fridge. I discover those old tired overlooked squash less often, because I have made myself a list that includes them, and then followed up on the list. Really, no reason this wouldn't work all year!

Dinner doesn't necessarily mean you have to "cook" either. Plan a great cold soup- we love both gazpacho and borscht- and a loaf of fresh sourdough- great way to end the day! Or a gigantic salad- I make these huge salads I call "everything but the kitchen sink". Recently I was reading a recipe for something called a Buddha Bowl, and I realized I've been making super-duper Buddha Bowls for years!   Greens, beans, cheese, nuts, something crunchy, some sort of meat if you want, and even a little fruit- some diced peach or blueberries- and then a little something to moisten- a little vinaigrette, or just some honey, or lime juice, DELICIOUS! And light, not heavy, but healthy and filling. Best part, the kitchen stayed cool, and only a salad bowl and a cutting board to wash up!

See the beautiful kitchen here? Want yours to look like that? Enhance Floors & More can help! We have had a flurry of kitchen remodels this year, and we are loving it- so fun, and creative, and it is so rewarding to see our customers in a new space that we helped them bring into reality. If your kitchen needs a makeover- big or small- come in and bring us some pictures and your wish list, and see what we can do!

What's Trending?
It is TILE! People are learning that tile is a great alternative for floors! Easy to care for, cool underfoot, and with beautiful visuals. We are installing lots of wood-look tile, and we have a lot to choose from, greys to browns to chestnuts to ebonies.

Tile in the kitchen, tile in the bathrooms, tile in the laundry room. And we recently installed a wood-look tile in the doggy room for a customer. It coordinates beautifully with the wood in her adjoining rooms. She has multiple dogs and wanted the easy care of tile floors. Aren't they great?

We also carry a huge selection of wood look vinyls. These are not your mama's vinyl! Vinyl floors are so realistic looking, and so practical. We are installing them in kitchens, basements, playrooms, and family rooms.

The colors that are selling these days are cooler-tones no reds, no yellows. Pretty mid-browns and grays. Dark floors are becoming less popular, as busy moms and dads are learning that they demand a bit more upkeep than a medium color. But if you love dark floors, and don't mind dust-mopping frequently, buy what you love!

What Comes First?
We are frequently asked this question when we are doing a kitchen remodel for customers:  Which should be installed first- my cabinets, or my floors?

While it is fine to install cabinets on top of glued down or nailed down wood floors, we still usually recommend cabinets first, then floors. Why? Well, for one thing, you will have to purchase less wood for the floors that way! Also, if you are having solid wood or tile with a cement backerboard, it will change the height of the cabinets if you install on top of the new floor.

Cabinets absolutely should not be installed on top of "floating" floors, laminate, wood, or luxury vinyl, as these floors need to be able to slightly shift and expand from time to time, and cabinets will hinder that.

Let us help you pick out your new floors and answer any other flooring questions you have! We are here 7 days a week, and we love making your home look beautiful!

School Bells Will Be Ringing Soon

Yes, school starts early these days.  The trend is more frequent breaks during the school year, resulting in a shorter summer holiday.  School is back in session in Cobb and Cherokee Counties on Wednesday August 1. Fulton County commences on Monday August 6.  

Unfortunately, some families need help getting ready.  Here's what you can do so that all children start school with all the supplies they need to succeed.  Purchase items like:
--new book bags 
-- 3 ring binders
-- colored pencils

-- college and wide-ruled paper

-- rulers
-- highlighters

There also prepackaged supplies at office supply and grocery stores. Kroger is taking donations from July 15-28 and WSB-TV is sponsoring Stuff the Bus on Saturday July 21 from 10 to 3.  Here's the link for the locations for Stuff the Bus:  Please contribute what you can!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

How Much Does It Cost?

One of the very first steps in shopping for new flooring is deciding what TYPE of product you should be considering.  Not the style or the color. Not the texture or finish. Not even what price range. The very basic starting point----do you want soft carpet for your family room?  Or super durable porcelain tile?  Or shiny elegant hardwood floors?

Sometimes knowing the price of different flooring options makes the choice easier.  And there is certainly a wide range of prices based on the type of floor you select. As an example, let's assume you have a 400 square feet family room that is currently carpeted, and that you are on a wooden subfloor (i.e., over a basement or crawl space.) If you were to choose a medium-priced product, your typical professionally installed price for each type of flooring is approximately:

Carpet                  $2000
Laminate              $2800
Luxury Vinyl Plank $3000
Hardwoods 3/4"    $4000
Tile                      $5200

The type of flooring makes a difference on your budget, doesn't it? Of course, there are many other things to consider, for instance, the average person replaces their carpet every nine years.  So, if you are in your home for twenty years, you will replace your carpet at least once, maybe twice.  But you will almost certainly have the same wood floor for twenty years.  Over time, the higher priced options tend to pay for themselves because of the longevity of the product. However, this doesn't necessarily make you feel better when you write that initial check to pay for it!

Up Up and Away
While on the subject of prices: if you are planning on adding new hardwood flooring to your home this fall, you need to be aware that we already have notices of price increases from many manufacturers effective over the next 30 days.  Demand is up, and materials are in limited supply.  These increases are averaging around 6% or more. 

Maybe you don't want to have your new floors installed until after the kids are back in school. No worries, you can purchase now to lock in your price and Enhance Floors will warehouse your product until you are ready for installation in August or September.

July Best Buys 
We are all about saving you money.  Here's a quick list of what you need to be stocking up on in July:

~~Clothing--Look for 4th of July sales and 50% off specials at your favorite stores.  If you're willing to stock up on some heavier denim and khaki for fall, jeans will sometimes be available for as little as $10.  Even summer clothes will see good discounts.  July is the midway point for the retail season, so stores are already starting to clear out the inventory for fall.

~~Outdoor Gear-- Bikes, biking gear and apparel will be on sale, plus you'll see good deals on camping and fishing equipment.

~~House Paint-- Too hot to work outside?  That's exactly why stores will be discounting house paint, as it just sits on their shelves while homeowners wait for cooler weather.  That means if you plan ahead, you can save.  And don't worry about the paint spoiling-- it can last for ten years unopened, so it will definitely be fine this fall.

~~Computer Games-- For a title from the last year or two, you can probably hope for a discount between 20% and 50% off.  Meanwhile, older hits can reliably be expected to drop to 75% off or more at some point during any major sale, and a few titles have dipped to as low as 95% off.

~~Christmas in July-- Marking the halfway point to the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, stores have increasingly tried to bring a bit of the holiday to summer.  Watch for this type of sale, plus the ever-popular Black Friday sale at your favorite retailers for big savings on a wide variety of products.

And 2 things to avoid:
~~ Laptops-- With some college students headed to campus in just a few weeks, it's true that back-to-school sales heat up this month.  However, data shows that laptop deals are much better in August-- prices consistently drop as much as 25% further.

~~Grills-- Sorry, but it's not a good time to buy a grill! You probably want to buy one for the 4th of July, but so does everyone else, which is why stores will offer minor discounts at best. Wait one more month for prices that will be 40% less than at the beginning of summer.

When You Just Can't Deal With It Anymore

We all do it.  We open that closet in the hall or junk drawer and can't believe how much stuff is crammed in there. TODAY is the day we are going to get organized!

Here are a few ideas to help you tame that closet or "catch all" room in the basement.  These tips are sure to help you detect and use overlooked corners and surfaces, especially for hard-to-store items.

The over-the-door shoe caddy
The inside of doors - the surface you see when you're inside the room - are blank slates for storing small unbreakable items. An uncannily useful piece of gear is the inexpensive over-the-door shoe caddy, which is a hanging panel of small pockets.

While it's smart to avoid heavy and breakable items on a moving surface like a door, these caddies can corral a multitude of small things in nearly every room. 
In the bathroom: Store cotton swabs, specialty combs, cotton balls, specialty towels, facecloths, unopened toiletries such as toothbrushes and razors.

In the hobby or craft room: Store interfacing, patterns, rolls of binding, skeins of yarn, bags of floss, packets of needles and small quilting templates and tools.

On the back of a pantry door: Store rags, clean towels, plastic grocery bags, specialty cleaning cloths like silver polishing cloths, new sponges, rolled-up placemats, folded cloth napkins,

On the back of a laundry or utility room door: Store folded clean microfiber floor-mopping pads; feather dusters, dust cloths, mini-blind cleaners, boxes of dryer sheets; specialty ironing supplies such as press cloths.

On the back of a coat closet door: Store gloves, mittens, earmuffs, small scarves, and winter socks.

Slivers of space in the bathroom
Declutter the medicine cabinet by finding a new home for small or rarely used items.

Slip ring-and-clip curtain rings onto the shower rod and hang small bottles of specialty products, such as shaving cream, inside the shower.

Install slide-out drawers beneath the bathroom sink to easily access cleaning and paper supplies.

Install plastic hooks inside the vanity doors and hang rarely used appliances and tools, like specialty brushes and curling irons.

Install inexpensive wire spice racks inside the vanity door and store bandages and first-aid supplies.

More space in the kitchen 
Kitchen gear can overwhelm counters and drawers. Move some of the clutter out of sight to simplify work surfaces.

Install a wall-mounted paper towel holder inside the sink cabinet and use it for rolls of trash bags.

Create note-boards inside kitchen cabinets by sticking on magnetic strips to hold pens and clips for grocery lists and freezer inventories.

To free up the junk drawer for more kitchen gear, attach magnetic strips to the insides of several cabinet doors and use small clips and bins to hold keys, markers, tape, and other useful items.

Use rollout shelves under the sink to store cleaning supplies.

Mount small bars on the exposed sides of cabinets and hang tools from the bars.

Hang it up
A rod and a hook: This simple combination can transform closets, garage and basement space. For the bars, use tension rods (as for curtains or shower curtain); inexpensive towel bars; or storage rods supported with hooks.

For the hooks, use S hooks from the hardware store; shower curtain rings; or clips.

Things to hang from utility hooks on garage or basement walls: Wreaths, umbrellas, brooms, mops, rakes, loops of holiday lights.

Things to hang from S hooks or shower curtain rings in clothes closets: Daily lingerie, tank tops, bathing suits, belts, scarves, lightweight purses and totes.

Things to hang from S hooks in the laundry room: Lingerie (by straps), hose, yoga wear - all items that should air-dry.

Book it with custom shelves
Books and decorative items add warmth and style to rooms but can quickly overwhelm. Here are three ways to merge in more shelf space for functionality and fun.

Build in bookshelves overhead: Run a single shelf around the perimeter of a room, eight to 10 inches below the ceiling. Make sure it is sturdy enough to hold books. Make sure that only unbreakable, light things are above doors, just in case an item falls when a door slams.

Triangular shelves set in corners of hallways and entryways can hold an astonishing number of things: keys, mail, lists, sunglasses, gloves, hats.

Install a shelf above the bathroom door, inside the bathroom, to hold towels.

Corral toys

Toys are only fun when you play with them, which is why they are always underfoot. Use these techniques for quick pick-up.Use large plastic picnic tablecloths (from the dollar store) as play mats. Kids can scatter Legos, blocks or puzzles across the mats; when it's time to clean up, pick up the corners of the tablecloth, folding the little pieces inside, and drop the whole thing in a plastic bin.

Store library and borrowed books in book bags that belong on the coat closet door knob; it will be easier to remember them when it's time to return them.

Lay old open-wire CD racks on their sides to organize children's picture books.

Craft creative storage
Craft and creative inventories need to be clean, easy to find and ready to use when inspiration strikes. These tactics open the way for crafting success.

Stack spools of ribbon on an inexpensive freestanding paper towel holder.

If you need to store fabric in bins where it's hard to see and access, create a quick-reference swatch notebook. Staple a swatch of each fabric to pages of the notebook and jot down how much of each fabric you have. Take this with you when you shop - so you can buy complementary fabric or yarn and won't buy more of what you already own.

Hang a tension rod in your craft closet and use S hooks or shower curtain rings to store clear ziplock bags of fragile

supplies, such as bead making wire and beads, templates and patterns, and specialty rulers.

Pick up a wine rack at a thrift or dollar store. Nestle found and repurposed containers into the rack and use them to sort and store buttons, beads, notions, markers, stickers, tools and other crafting and sewing supplies and tools.

Design Tip
Hanging a flag or two for the 4th? Here are a few rules of proper flag etiquette:

Custom says you display the flag from sunrise to sunset. Alternatively, you can illuminate the flag and leave it up all night, but it should be taken down in inclement weather.
When hanging an American flag from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from the window sill, balcony, or front of a building, the union (rectangle with the stars) of the flag should be at the peak of the staff.
When the flag is displayed rather than flown from a staff, it should be displayed flat, and the union should be uppermost and to the observer's left.

Bunting of the blue, white and red should be used, never the flag. There are rules of etiquette for displaying bunting, like the blue stripe should be on top.

The flag should never touch anything below it, like the ground or floor indoors