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Monday, December 19, 2011

Quick and Easy Holiday Decorating

~~Display colored glass ball ornaments, beads, or peppermints in bowls and scatter around the house.
~~Tie bows around door knobs.
~~Remove your mugs from their cup hooks and hang Christmas ornaments in their place. You can do the same thing with spoon racks or key racks.
~~Snip greenery from your yard. Spruce, holly, fir, camellia, magnolia, and arborvitae can stay green for weeks in a house that's not too hot or dry.

5 Minute Room Makeover

If you ran out of time before the holidays for that much needed room makeover and need to do something quickly, get a new area rug and matching accessories (candles, pillows, throws, etc.) You can have a brand new look in just a few minutes! Enhance Floors & More has dozens of in-stock rugs that you can take home that day!

What's New At Enhance

We just got in the "third generation" of SmartStrand Ultra with DuPont Sorona. You will love these new styles and colorations, as well as the denser and softer hand of these beautiful carpets. Did you know with SmartStrand Ultra you have 69 fashion forward colors to choose from, plus the strongest warranties in the industry? SmartStrand Ultra with DuPont Sorona carpets feature lifetime stain and soil resistance, 25 year texture retention and full pet warranties, plus are transferable to the next homeowner. We did not think it was possible, but the best just got better!

Nothing Lasts Forever

Prices have been at rock bottom lows for the past two years in the flooring industry. Savvy consumers have taken advantage of these great deals and have made intelligent (and beautiful!) upgrades to their homes. However, most of our manufacturers have stated that they can hold prices no longer and have announced January price increases. Now is the time to order at 2011 prices and then have your new floors installed in 2012. Enhance Floors & More can warehouse your purchase until you are ready for the installation.

Do Not Use This Product

We had a customer call this week with questions about cleaning her laminate floor. She said she had been using a steam mop and was experiencing problems. Your new floors can be destroyed by repeated steam cleaner use. Peeling finish, whitening finish and cloudy finish are just some of the side effects being reported after steam cleaning. These steam cleaners should only be used on vinyl and tile floors. Please help spread the word.

Did You Know?

Enhance Floors & More posts decorating tips several times a week on Facebook. If you like creative design ideas, go to Facebook, search for Enhance Floors & More, and "like" us. See you there!

Monday, November 14, 2011

In The News

The Atlanta Business Chronicle recently had a feature section on local residential real estate. We thought we would share some of the interesting findings with you.

~~Now is a great time to buy! Prices are in bargain territory and interest rates are at record lows.
~~First-time buyers and investors are the majority of today’s purchasers.
~~A home that is presented well in a solid neighborhood and priced correctly will still sell in less than 90 days.
~~Tastefully updated, well-cared-for homes can be in high demand as the only alternative to subpar, bank-owned and distressed properties that come with a difficult, frustrating, and time consuming negotiating process.
~~Nancy Aroneck, an Associate Broker with 24 years in the industry, states that we are now out of the “buyers’ market” in homes of $250,000 and under, and well into a “sellers’ market” in that price range. She is also seeing the market pick up in the area of over $800,000.
~~Areas less impacted include Buckhead, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, South Forsyth and East Cobb.
~~The market is dragging in Gwinnett, South Fulton, and Stone Mountain.
~~The biggest glut is in the $400,000 to $750,000 price range. Sellers in that range are still having a difficult time selling their homes and many are still refusing to believe that their homes have lost as much value as they have actually lost.
~~Some of the homeowners that cannot sell are focusing on smaller remodeling projects to sustain the value of their homes. Those interviewed state that kitchen and bathroom updates, universal design (aging in place) and in-law suites are today’s smart investments in your home.
~~Those considering a remodeling project are cautioned against going with the lowest quote just to save money. Many have seen contractors quoting low prices out of desperation, and then cutting corners, which leaves the homeowner at risk or unhappy with the results.
~~Now is a great time to invest in real estate. Dan Forsman, president of Prudential Georgia Realty reports “investors are taking money out of the stock market and acquiring properties at prices substantially below historical values and then leasing them and enjoying a superior return on investment compared to stock market returns.” According to the NAR, investors accounted for 22% of purchase activity in August.
~~In an economy where down payment funds are scarce and lending is tight, houses for rent are hot. Many listings are rented in a couple of days, some before they even get on the market.
~~Rental rates for homes with three or more bedrooms were commanding an average of $1,637 per month in September.
~~2012 should bring some stability to the market, but it will take another two years before we see the end to the large number of foreclosures. The market is getting better—it is just taking very slow, small steps.

For more information, please see the entire section, dated October 28, of the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Now Is The Time To

Look at your guest bedroom as if you were the one spending several nights there. Some things to consider include the mattress, pillows, and linens. Be sure there is a place to set down the suitcase. Clear the room of collections and clutter. Your guest needs space for their things. Be sure there is a clock and a comfy place to sit in the room.

Make sure there is plenty of hanging clothes storage, a supply of 6 to 8 hangers and adequate drawer space. Check out the lighting in the room. Is there a light control near the bed so your guest does not have to stumble around in the dark? A light to read by? A night light?

Also consider your window coverings. Be sure to provide privacy as well as light control. A nice blind is an inexpensive solution that allows your guest to determine how much light to allow into the room.

Necessary basics include paper and pen, scissors, tissue, and a hair dryer. Lighted make-up mirrors are always nice. Be sure your guest knows where your iron and ironing board is.

Update Your Home With New Rugs

Nothing changes the look of a room as quickly as a new area rug. We have just received a new collection of Karastan rugs. We also have Christmas rugs here in time for your holiday decorating.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Don't Miss Out

If you are ready for new floors in your home and like the idea of affordable monthly payments with zero interest charges, now is the time to buy. During Mohawk Anniversary Month we are able to offer our clients 36 month interest free financing on Mohawk products.

We did a little math and discovered that if you purchase $5,000 in beautiful new floors and take advantage of the three year financing, your payment is only $4.57 per day. You can spend that at the convenience store on coffee and a snack!

You will be surprised how much floor $5,000 will buy during this big sale: your entire house in new carpet, two to three rooms in hardwood floors, even a complete bathroom makeover in tile! Hurry in —the 36 month special financing and sale prices absolutely end Monday, October 31.

The Schedule Fills Up Fast . . . .

There is certain work that we do (sanding and finishing hardwood floors, staircase renovations, bathroom makeovers) that are very difficult to complete with a family living in the home while the work is being performed. Many clients choose to undertake these projects while they are on vacation. For this reason, our installation calendar fills up very quickly during school break weeks. Cobb, Cherokee, and Fulton Counties are all on Thanksgiving Break the week of November 21. If you are planning on having an involved project done while you are away, we encourage you to schedule your installation dates as soon as possible.

Thinking About Painting?

Is painting on your “to do” list of tasks to complete before the holidays? A recent study of Interior Designers reveals today’s “in” colors are:
~greys (dark, stone, charcoal)
~greens (teal, blue-green, olive, sage, pale)
~earth tones (camel, taupe, tan, natural)
~blues (turquoise, green-blue, bright, tropical)
~browns (chocolate, dark, mushroom)
~fire colors (reds, oranges, gold, copper, magenta, pink, yellow, coral)
~barely colors (white, ecru, cream)

There are a few of these colors that are seldom used as paint colors. If you are drawn to colors like bright blue or magenta, use it as an accent color in a rug, pillow, throw, or accessory in the room.

As you select your new paint color, if you will also be changing your flooring in the future, please choose the flooring before you select the paint. Start where you have the fewest choices (flooring) and work up to where you have the most (paint.) We unfortunately see clients every week who have already painted that have a very difficult time finding a flooring color that works with their paint choice.

You can avoid this dilemma by selecting flooring and paint at the same time. Just let us know that you will not be able to have your new floor installed right away and our Design Consultants will suggest newer styles that should not be discontinued in the near future. (Unfortunately, this is the fashion industry and there are no guarantees.) Be sure to keep a small swatch of the new floor you selected in the event the product is discontinued you will have the sample that your paint selection was based on. That will assist your Consultant in finding a new style that will blend well with your paint color.

By the way, Enhance Floors & More has a great painter on staff. We can assist you with home improvement projects all around the house!

Friday, September 2, 2011

What's Hot At Enhance?

We are installing a lot of distressed and handscraped hardwood floors this year. You may be wondering what the difference is and why these looks are so popular.

Distressing a wood floor is using one or more of a variety of techniques to intentionally give the floor an imperfect look. The hardwood floor is gouged and nicked and basically given the look of a much older floor. Characteristics include intentional sanding and chatter marks and uneven sanding to create a worn look. Some manufacturers dent, scoop, and rough the floor. Still others are scraping the entire surface to create a unique, handmade look. Wormholes, splits, and other natural character marks are not considered imperfections but instead are highly desirable.

Scraped and distressed floors come in designs and colors so rich that they seem to be the main feature of a room. Distressing wood flooring makes scratches and dings not show as readily. The floor is very low maintenance and is a good choice for homeowners with children, pets, and a lot of foot traffic.

Handscraping is done to add texture, richness, and uniqueness to the floor. Scraping is duplicating a very old floor that, from years of traffic, as people walked on the wood the softer grains were worn away, leaving a distinct pattern. There are varying degrees of scraping available, from heavy to light.

Distressing and scraping is done by machine or by hand. As you can imagine, machine scraped floors are less costly than true hand scraped hardwoods. With machine scrapes, sometimes the pattern can become repetitious if you look closely enough

Handscraped and distressed floors are primarily available as prefinished (also called factory finished) hardwoods and are made in both solid and engineered construction. There are many species as well as stain colors to choose from. Most of these looks are in wide plank (5" is the most prevalent) format.

Techniques used include using wire brushing to bring out the grain in the hardwood and using a lower grade of hardwood and darker colored stain to bring out the highlights of the grain. In this case, lower grade does not demonstrate lower quality, but more color variation and character. A newer design option is called French bleed. These floors have a deeper beveled edge (sometimes pillowed) that was treated with a rich black or dark colored stain prior to the staining process so that the side and end joints are darker than the plank face.

Distressed and scraped flooring complements any interior design. These floors offer a unique, one-of-a-kind look that holds up well to the normal wear and tear of every day use.

How Much Did It Cost?

We thought it might be helpful to share some recent typical installations with you. We installed 1034 square feet of Bruce hickory handscraped in a family room, hall, foyer and three bedrooms for $10,507. Another Bruce hickory handscrape, 924 square feet, was installed for $7,610 in a living room, dining room, family room, foyer, and half bath. These are all "turnkey" prices that include everything needed to complete the project.

A Mohawk maple handscraped was installed in a large (472 square feet) master bedroom for $4,280 and a Mohawk oak handscrape in a den and hall for $4,585. A Mullican distressed maple was installed in a family room and hall in Woodstock for $3,336.

Another Bruce hickory distressed was installed in a living room, dining room, and hall for $3,444. A Mohawk handscraped eucalyptus was installed in a large (644 sq ft) living room, dining room, foyer, and powder room in a home in Roswell for $4,610. A solid oak hand sculpted floor was chosen by a Woodstock family for their family room, dining room, hall and foyer and their investment was $5000.

Remnant Pieces

Odds and ends and leftover thoughts:

~~Financial experts have cautioned homeowners and homebuyers that a house should no longer be considered a high-performing asset, but rather a place to enjoy living over a long period of time. As you update your home, do it for you, not the next homeowner.

~~For the economy to improve, a meaningful rebound in housing is needed. Each new home built creates the equivalent of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in taxes, according to the National Association of Home Builders. So smile when you see new home construction beginning around you.

~~Sales to look for in August and September: computers, Labor Day weekend appliance and furniture sales, china and flatware (know anyone getting married?), and patio furniture.

~~Thinking about remodeling this fall? A major trend is the vanishing living room. The room most likely to be featured in the average 2015 home will be a great room that's combined with the kitchen. Is there a way to merge your living room with your kitchen or some other room by knocking out a wall? If not, can you repurpose your living room to make it a more usable space?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Painted Or Stained Risers?

Thinking of changing your staircase from carpet to wood? One of the decisions you will have to make is if you want the risers (the part of the step you do NOT step on) stained or painted.

This picture shows painted risers.


This is a picture of risers stained to match the tread(the part you step on.)


Which do you like best? Of course, when we come out for your in-home estimate for your staircase makeover, we can discuss these choices in greater detail with you.

We Haven't Gone Anywhere!


A few clients called last week panicking that our Warehouse Clearance Sale meant that we were no longer around. No! We merely relocated our warehouse and were selling some discontinued and odd lots of products that we were not moving to the new warehouse.

Our showroom is still located in East Cobb County, at the intersection of East Piedmont and Sandy Plains Road, in the LA Fitness Shopping Center.

What's New At Enhance

We are pleased to announce that we are now a certified dealer of Karastan's Studio Collection of rugs. These chic and livable rugs are woven in the U.S.A. of premium quality two-ply nylon yarn. They combine Karastan style with durability and easy maintenance.

Choices include the Knightsen Collection, timeless designs in today's fresh new colors and the Artois Collection. Artois rugs feature more modern looks in fashion colors: clean-lined geometric, painterly abstracts and mid-century designs.

Also consider the Carmel Collection, a diverse collection styled for relaxed living with decorator-friendly fashion-inspired colors. A selection of floral motifs, sophisticated graphic patterns, and modern damasks offer you easy decorating choices.

These Karastan rugs are available in the following sizes: 2'11" x 4'8", 2'4" x 8'3", 5'6" x 8'3", 8' x 10', and 9'6" x 12'11". Enhance Floors is stocking the 5'6" x 8'3", the other sizes are available special order. Retail price for a 5'6" x 8'3" is $399.

Stop by today and see these beautiful new rugs.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How Much Does It Cost?

It is now much easier to determine how much a flooring project will cost with Enhance Floors & More's exclusive "Buy The Room" specials. Now until the end of July.

$699 buys three rooms of new carpet (three 10' x 12' rooms) installed including new pad, OR 100 square feet of porcelain tile (cement slab installation) OR a 30 square foot tumbled stone backsplash for your kitchen.

$799 gets you 200 square feet of kid and pet friendly laminate flooring installed in the room of your choice.

$1199 is the price you will pay for one 10' x 20' room of hardwood floors.

There are many great styles and colors to choose from at these super low prices, not just one or two colors. Many of the customization details to complete your installation details are also included. Save now with these "Buy The Room" sale prices.

Summer Is A Great Time To

Refinish your hardwood floors. During the process, there will be certain days and times that you cannot walk on the floors at all, so why not do this while you and your family are away on vacation? For some of us, school starts back in a little over four weeks, so now is the time to get your refinishing project scheduled.

Should I Fix Up My Home

We thought this was a great article written by Elizabeth Weintraub. She states that in today's market, fewer buyers want fixer upper houses, and those that do want a deal. Buyers who gravitate toward fixers are those who either don't qualify to buy a more expensive home or those who want to make a profit by fixing the house themselves.

Fixer-upper buyers will discount the price of the home to allow for the repairs plus, for the inconvenience, a bit more. Say, a home is worth $100,000 fixed up, but it needs a new roof. A new roof might cost $10,000. A buyer will most likely not offer $90,000 for this house. Otherwise, they could buy an identical home with a new roof for $100,000 and avoid the hassle.

A buyer for this type of home might offer $75,000, or even less. In this scenario, a seller would be smarter to pay for a new roof and sell the home for $100,000.

Moreover, many buyers will not buy a home that needs a new roof. They will worry the work involved will cost more than anticipated. Most buyers want a home that is in move-in condition. By not making repairs, you will limit the number of buyers who may be attracted to your home.

We are also hearing more and customers say that they do not want to spend the money upgrading the home and not get to enjoy it. Many of our clients who plan on putting their home on the market in the next few years are replacing their flooring now and stating that they plan on taking advantage of their investment. Our Design Consultants will help you select the right products that you will love now and that will help you later when it is time to sell your home.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What's New At Enhance

Some of our most popular carpets are featured on our new Bliss Magic Fresh display. Many of these Magic Fresh styles are Stainmaster carpets, and all are very durable as well as extremely stain resistant.

What is Magic Fresh? An odor reducing treatment exclusive to Bliss products that works to reduce common odors in the home, like pet, cooking, and smoking odors. When odors come into contact with Magic Fresh, they are broken down and released back into the air as harmless and odorless carbon dioxide, a lot
like how an open box of baking soda absorbs odors. And, with proper care, this treatment lasts the life of the carpet!

When you see these great new carpets, you will also find the newest decorator styles, colors, and textures. Plus, many are on sale this month during our "Buy The Room" sale. If you are thinking about new flooring for your home, be sure to look at these beautiful Bliss carpets, especially if you have children and pets.

"Buy The Room" Sale

We are excited to tell you about our first ever "Buy The Room" sales event. For the month of June, you can have installed in your home -- 3 rooms of carpet for as low as $699, or one room of laminate flooring from $799. One room of hardwood floors starts at $1199. There are many styles for you to select from, not just one or two colors!

Thinking about tile? One room of ceramic or porcelain tile is as low as $699 installed this month only. You can also purchase a tumbled stone backsplash for your kitchen starting at $699.

These prices include many of the items that are needed to complete the installation, though size limitations and some customization charges apply. Ask your Enhance Floors Design Consultant for details. Save big this month when you Buy The Room!

How Much Does It Cost?

Our customers sometimes tell us that they put off various home improvement projects because they thought the price was going to be so much more expensive than it turned out to be. These are not everyday purchases and many times you have no idea if something will cost $200, $2000, or $10,000! We thought it might be helpful to share some recent typical installations with you. We think you will find that many projects are surprisingly affordable.

We recently installed Golden Garnet granite countertops, 48 square feet, in a kitchen in Marietta for $2700. Tropic Brown granite was installed in a Roswell kitchen for $2800, and Uba Tuba in a kitchen and bathroom of a Marietta home for $2800. Other recent installations include Santa Cecilia granite, 43 square feet for $2800 and Giallo Fiorito in a Powder Springs kitchen for $2700.

Did You Know?

Enhance Floors & More posts decorating tips several times a week on Facebook. If you like creative design ideas, go to Facebook, search for Enhance Floors & More, and "like" us. See you there!

Our Clients Are Telling Us

Elaine and Tom in Marietta say that their new carpet is wonderful and that the installers were excellent and did a very nice job. Mary Alice in Marietta loves her new tile floors and adds that our guys were great. Steven in Marietta wrote that his experience with Enhance's workmanship and customer service is "beyond words" and that he looks forward to working with us on future renovations

About Enhance Floors & More

Enhance Floors & More was founded by Don and Elisabeth Stubbs in 1985, Enhance Floors is your full service flooring source, with the Design Center conveniently located in East Cobb County, at the intersection of East Piedmont and Sandy Plains Road, in the LA Fitness Shopping Center. Enhance Floors & More is your one-stop shop for minor to major home improvement projects, including kitchen and bathroom updates and staircase makeovers. The showroom is staffed with highly trained, experienced and helpful Design Consultants and is open Monday through Friday 9 am til 6 pm, Saturdays 10 until 5, and Sunday afternoons 12 until 5. Excellent customer service, the best installers in Atlanta, great prices, and greater quality-
--expect all of this and more at Enhance Floors & More

Friday, May 13, 2011

Hardwood Floors

First, check the legs of all furniture to see if the floor protectors need to be replaced. Replace as needed. It is now time for a thorough sweeping or vacuuming of your floors. Do not use a vacuum with a beater bar or hard head on hardwood floors. The plastic and/or metal parts can scratch the floor. The vacuum head should be brush or felt; a wand attachment is preferable.

Be careful as you move furniture and appliances. Do not drag heavy pieces. You may need to use large pieces of cardboard or something similar to move the heavier items onto to protect the floors underneath. Many people move the refrigerator to clean behind and under it as part of their spring cleaning. Do not merely roll the refrigerator out. The weight of the refrigerator can easily indent the floor. You need to move the refrigerator onto something so that you are not rolling it directly on the floor. Use a large piece of cardboard, a thin piece of plywood, or a piece of carpet with the fiber side down. We have seen more damage done to hardwood floors from moving a refrigerator than from any other cause.

Damp mop as needed using a hardwood floor mop and approved hardwood floor cleaner (do not use oil, wax, or ammonia based cleaners as they will dull the finish and performance of your floor. These products will also affect the ability to recoat your floor later.)

Since wood naturally expands when it is wet, never wet mop or use excessive water to clean your floor. Large amounts of water can cause the wood to swell and may cause your floor to crack or splinter.

TIP: Just because something says it is for hardwood floors does not mean it should be used on the floor. Read the ingredients carefully. We are amazed by what various internet sources state to clean wood floors with. Do NOT use Orange Glo, Goof Off, steam mops, Windex, ammonia, dish soap, Pledge, vinegar, Pine Sol, Mr. Clean, Mop and Glo, bubble bath, Rejuvenate, tea, Simple Green, or similar products. Only use cleaners made by wood flooring manufacturers like Armstrong, Mohawk, or Bona.

Use good quality doormats at all of your exterior doors. Replace as needed.

Now is also a good time to look closely at your hardwood floors to determine if it is time for another coat of polyurethane. Start with the areas that get the most foot traffic. Are these areas duller than the wood in areas that do not get as much traffic? Do you see light scratches in the finish? If you can see superficial scratches and the traffic lanes are visible, it is time to recoat your wood floors. Most floors are in need of another coat of polyurethane every five years or so; in some homes, another coat may be needed every 12-18 months. If you wait too long, a screen and coat will not be effective; the floors will need to be refinished.

Laminate Floors

There is not much that you need to do to a laminate floor as part of your spring cleaning. Vacuum thoroughly and clean using the product made or recommended by the manufacturer of your floor. Check the felt tips on the legs of your furniture and replace as needed. If you are moving the refrigerator or other heavy pieces, do not drag or roll the items. This can damage a laminate floor. Be sure to use a large piece of cardboard, a thin piece of plywood, or a piece of carpet with the fiber side down. Replace your exterior door mats if needed, and just enjoy how easy it is to maintain your laminate floor!

Exterior Doors

At least once a year, check your exterior doors for possible water penetration. Check the weather stripping for tears and deterioration. Check the sills and exterior thresholds for damage. Is caulking needed? Can you see daylight through the door? If you can see light through the door, water can also get through, especially with a blowing rain. Sometimes this water gets under your floors without you noticing it until the damage is done. Thousands of dollars in damage can be caused by water penetration.

Ceramic & Porcelain Tile

Ceramic tile and porcelain are very easy to clean. Sweep or vacuum as needed and mop with a mild detergent (like Spic-N-Span or Mr. Clean) or ceramic tile cleaner. Don't use harsh abrasives.

Now it is time to seal your grout. Sealing your grout will make the grout less porous and more resistant to discoloration. Manufacturers recommend sealing your grout once a year to keep it looking its best. You can purchase grout sealer at Enhance Floors & More.

Also check any caulking. Caulking is used where the tile is exposed to water. Caulking prevents expensive subsurface damage. Recaulk wet areas as needed.

TIP: Don't use bleach or ammonia based cleaners, as these products can discolor your grout.

Natural Stone Tile

Natural stone (travertine, marble, etc.) should be cleaned with neutral cleaners. Never clean with any product containing acid, lemon or bleach. Acids, even a light solution of vinegar and water, will eventually etch and damage natural stone

At lease once a year you need to seal the tile and grout. Some products are multi-purpose, meaning you can use the same product on the stone and the grout. Others are just for either the stone or the grout; be sure to read the instructions well, to make sure you are using the proper product.

TIP: Don't use generic cleaning products such as bleach, glass cleaner or degreasers. Don't use vinegar, ammonia, lemon or orange as cleaners. These products that you buy at your local store contain acids, alkalis, and other chemicals that can etch marble and degrade the sealer, leaving the stone more vulnerable to staining. Trying to save money by using these over-the-counter products only ensured that you'll send a lot more time and money in the long run!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring Cleaning Tips

Carpet

Move your furniture so that you can vacuum under it. Wipe down your baseboards and crevice vacuum while the furniture is moved. Do not drag heavy furniture across the carpet; Berber carpet could snag and run; the heat and friction generated by the dragging of the heavy pieces can burnish the tips of the all carpet fibers, leaving a permanent mark.

The warranties on most carpets require the carpet to be professionally steam cleaned (hot water extraction) every 18 months. Many people do this in the spring to rid the home of all the winter grime that has been tracked in. Make sure you are choosing a reputable carpet cleaner and save the receipt. If you ever have to file a warranty claim, the manufacturer will require proof of regular professional cleanings.

TIP: When you need to spot clean your carpet, first call the manufacturer of your carpet or the Carpet and Rug Institute to find out the appropriate product to use.
Carpet and Rug Institute 706-278-3176
Shaw Industries 800-441-7429
Mohawk Industries 800-266-4295


Many cleaning products can set in the stain, or worse, damage the carpet. You will find that if you have a relatively new carpet most stains come up with just plain water.

Check your exterior door mats and replace as needed.

Also check for any wrinkles, ripples, or buckles in your installed carpet. Call to have the carpet restretched as soon as you begin to notice any ripples.

TIP: Filtration soil is the dark or grayish lines on carpet along walls, stairways, or under doors. Changing the filters regularly on your HVAC system and using vacuums with good filtration systems can help prevent this problem.

Rugs

Have your area rugs professionally cleaned, either in your home or at the cleaner's facility. If you are having your rugs cleaned at your home, be sure they are moved onto your driveway, garage, or deck for the cleaning so that the floor underneath is not damaged.

Granite Countertops

It is time to seal the granite. First clean your countertop thoroughly using a neutral cleaner. Never clean with any product containing acid, lemon, or bleach. Acids, even a light solution of vinegar and water, will eventually etch and damage natural stone. Do not use scouring powders or creams; these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface. Now apply the stone sealer. Stone sealers will need to be reapplied as soon as you notice water no longer stands (beads up) on the surface.

TIP: While dish soap will not hurt your granite, repeated and excessive use of soap will cause build-up and dull the shine. Also, don't use bathroom, tub and tile, or window and mirror cleaners. The powders and even the "soft" creams contain abrasives that will scratch and dull surfaces. Use only cleaners made specifically for granite and stone.

Vinyl

Many people move their refrigerator to clean behind it as part of spring cleaning. If you are doing this, be sure your first lay down a sheet of plywood and roll the refrigerator onto the plywood. This keeps you from tearing or indenting the vinyl.

Now is a good time to vacuum and thoroughly clean the floors. Do not use a vacuum with a beater bar. Be sure that the product you clean the floor with is the cleaner made by the manufacturer of the vinyl.

Stainless Steel Appliances

The grocery store is filled with products to use on your stainless steel appliances. Not to tout the virtues of specific products, but we can recommend the ScotchBrite Stainless Steel Surface Cleaning Kit. We find it to be easy to use, does the job well, and is very long lasting. It removes and resists fingerprints, cleans sticky spots easily, and the handle makes the product easy to use, even in awkward and hard-to-reach places. You do not have to buff off excess cleaner, as you sometimes have to with other products.

Do Granite Countertops Emit Radon?

Some granite countertops do emit elevated levels of radon, a radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. The Environmental Protection Agency says homeowners should take action if radon gas levels in their home exceeds 4 picocuries per liter of air, and some granite countertops have been found to let off far more than that. However, it is not true that all granite countertops emit alarming amounts of radon. Most countertops tested for this emission either registered no release of the gas or such a small quantity that it was statistically insignificant when compared to ordinary background radiation all of us live with. Just how much of a health risk this phenomenon truly poses to homeowners is still a matter of debate, with some researchers pegging the cancer risk from granite countertops at "one in a million." Regarding the question of radon in granite countertops, the EPA said, "Some granite used for countertops may contribute variably to indoor radon levels. At this time, however, EPA does not believe sufficient data exist to conclude that the types of granite commonly used in countertops are significantly increasing indoor radon levels." Inexpensive kits that test for radon (running about $20 to $30 each) can be purchased at hardware stores or bought online through the National Safety Council.

(This report is courtesy of Snopes.com.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring Is Here!


Finally! Flowers are blooming, birds are singing. Everything just feels better. Spring is "out with the old, and in with the new." Happy spring, everybody!

What's New At Enhance?

2011 flooring updates are arriving daily. See the newest styles and colors at Enhance Floors & More. Recent additions include new Mohawk ceramic and porcelain tiles selections (be sure to see the beautiful glass mosaics!) and QuickStep and Mohawk wood laminates. If you are ready for your new floor, you'll want to consider thses great new looks.

How Much Does It Cost?

We are seeing renewed interest in kitchen and bathroom remodels. WE thought we would share with you some typical costs so that you have a realistique budget if updating your kitchen or bath is in your plans. These figures are from REMODELING magazine's 2010--11 nationwide survey.

The average cost of a midrange bathroom remodel was $16,34. This includes new fixtures, a new vanity cabinet, faucets, coutnertops, tile and labor (plumbing, electrical, etc.) An "upscale" bathroom remodel was $53,759.

You may be wondering what the difference between midrange and upscale. The quality and cost of the materials used is the main factor to determine if the redo is considered midrange or upscale.

A minor kitchen remodel averaged $21,695. A major kitchen remodel was $58,367. An upscale kitchen renovation averaged $113,464. Again, these are all-includsive 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 either refacing or refinishing the cabinets, or painting, faux painting, or glazing the existing cabinets.

Can I Use One Of Those Steam Cleaners Advertised On TV On My Wood Flooring?

No, no, no. We average at least one call a week from a client asking this question. As per the National Wood Floor Association: "Everyone has seen the commercials showing a steam cleaner magically sanitizing, disinfecting, deodorizing, and cleaning a wood floor. But that doesn't mean that wood flooring manufacturers or finish manufacturers think steam cleaners are appropriate for a wood floor; in fact, some have begun to specifically mention steam cleaners in their list of don'ts'. Inspectors are also starting to come across floors that appear to have been destroyed by repeated steam cleaner use. Pealing finish, whitening finish and cloudy finish are just some of the side effects being reported by people looking at floors after steam cleaning. In general, the oft-repeated industry saying "Water and wood don't mix" holds true.

Our Clients Are Telling Us

Marcia and Rick in Kennesaw are enjoying the minor midrange bathroom redo we just completed for them. They say "very good job!" and added that our guys were great and very professional.

Kreig in Marietta is very happy with her new carpet and says that our installers were gentlemen.

Anne in Marietta mentions that the lovely lady in our showroom was very helpful in selecting the matching wood and that she was delightful to talk with. Anne noted that our installers were professional, courteous, and respectful of her home and cleaned up completely when they were finished.

Call, Click or Come By

To learn more, please give us a call at (770) 565-3808 or visit our website ww.enhancefloors.com. You can also go to our product gallery directly from this newsletter by clicking on any of the pictures on the left (example, Hardwoods.) Our Design Center is conveniently located in East Cobb County, at the intersection of East Piedmont and Sandy Plains Road, in the LA Fitness Shopping Center. We are open Monday through Friday 9 am till 6 PM, Saturdays 10 until 5 and Sunday afternoons 12 until 5.

We Encourage You To

Let us know how you like this newsletter. Send us a quick email with your feedback---features you like, or don't like, suggestions for future topics, even questions you're seeking answers to. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please make us aware of how we can better serve you!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

An Easy Way To Add Color To A Room


is flowers. Add flowers to any room and you’ll notice an immediate difference. Flowers add life in a way that nothing else can. They’re also a great way to experiment with color to figure out which one looks best before you commit to something larger and more long lasting.

When Does It Go On Sale


February and March are the months that cameras and camcorders are historically at their lowest prices of the year. Televisions are also on sale in the spring. (Maybe because everybody is outside and not thinking about TV?)

Did You Know

that Enhance Floors & More is open on Sunday afternoons? For those of you who find that the weekend is the only time available for shopping, don’t forget that our showroom and Design Consultant are available to you from 12 until 5 pm on Sundays.

A Great Idea to Update Your Home That Will Cost You Less Than A House Payment

Revive your old cabinets with a fresh coat of paint, faux finish, glaze, or refinish with new stain and polyurethane. Enhance Floors & More can give your cabinets a new life with these easy updates that cost substantially less than new cabinets. Call or stop by our showroom today to find out how we can help you give your kitchen (or bathroom) cabinets a brand new look.

How Much Does It Cost

Our customers sometimes tell us that they put off various home improvement projects because they thought the price was going to be so much more expensive than it turned out to be. These are not everyday purchases and many times you have no idea if something will cost $200, $2000, or $10,000! We thought it might be helpful to share some recent typical installations with you. We think you will find that many projects are surprisingly affordable.

Many of our clients take advantage of school breaks to refinish their hardwood floors while the family is out of town. Sanding your hardwoods is certainly an inconvenient process, but that is the value of wood: for far less than a new floor would cost, you can totally refinish the floors for a brand new look. Yes, the furniture will need to be moved totally out of the rooms, there will be a little dust, and there will be certain times that you cannot walk on the floors at all. But these customers say it was well worth it.

What does it cost? A few typical jobs from our 2010 files:
--a home in Marietta with wood floors in the kitchen and breakfast room, hall, foyer and bath, 600 sq ft, cost a little over $1500 to refinish, including moving furniture and the refrigerator, and new shoemold. A similar layout in Cumming was 696 square feet and cost $2000 to refinish the foyer, halls, closets, kitchen, pantry, breakfast area and half bath. These prices include three coats of polyurethane and the use of our Dust Containment System, which helps greatly with the dust.
--a larger job in Alpharetta involved the kitchen, breakfast area, sitting area, pantry, closets, hall, foyer, bath and dining room. The $2500 price tag included new shoemold and moving the furniture and refrigerator. The square footage was 1064.
--$2900 was the cost to refinish these areas (1210 square feet) in a Marietta home: foyer, living room, dining room, hall, half bath, closets, kitchen, breakfast area and family room.
--The kitchen, utility room, bath, family room, dining room, foyer, bedroom, vanity area, and closet (1450 square feet) of a large home in Powder Springs were $2700 to refinish.

If you are thinking about having your wood floors sanded, stained, and polyurethaned during the upcoming Spring Break week, we encourage you to get on our schedule now.

Our Clients Are Telling Us

Heather in Marietta is enjoying her new soft carpet very much. She says it is beautiful. Greg, also in Marietta, says his new bamboo floor is beautiful and exactly what he wanted. He added that our installer was spectacular. And John and Margie in Lilburn tell us their new oak floor installation was outstanding and our installer was great and very courteous. Thank you, everyone. We appreciate your business!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wallpaer -- It's Back!


Trend forecast indicate that wallpaper is "in" again. Expect to see entire rooms covered in bold, beautiful designs as well as softly textured papers. Check out Shelter Pop to see what will be hot for walls over the next year.

Limited Time Offer


Don’t miss out on our lowest prices of the year during Enhance Floors & More’s “New Year ~ New Look” sale AND take advantage of One Year Interest Free Financing on any purchase over $2000! You can get the new floor you’ve been dreaming about (or new granite countertops or a bathroom or kitchen makeover) and take until 2012 to pay off your purchase.

Hurry—the 12 month no interest financing offer absolutely ends February 15.
(Subject to credit approval, 3% monthly minimum payment required)

Is Hardwood Flooring Environmentally Friendly?


Yes, if it has the seal of approval from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Like the “organically grown” sticker on produce, forest certification is a means of notifying consumers that certain wood planks come from forests harvested in a sustainable manner. Consumer demand for certification creates a powerful incentive for retailers and manufacturers to seek out environmentally friendly wood suppliers. This in turn prompts forest managers to adopt ecologically sound certified practices and to move away from destructive techniques like large-scale clearcutting. To ensure the flooring you are considering is certified, look for the FSC seal of approval. The FSC is an independent, international nonprofit organization whose membership is comprised of more than 500 environmental groups and forestry professionals. If the product you are not buying is not clearly marked (this is possible on older flooring samples), you can visit the FSC website to be sure.

By the way, the manufacturers that you will find at Enhance Floors & More: Mohawk, Mullican, Armstrong, and Somerset, are all FSC certified.

Things You Will Be Paying More For Soon

As per WalletPop, buyers who are holding onto their money waiting for lower prices, may want to start spending now. The
U.S. Bureau of Statistics’ Consumer Price Index shows prices are on the rise and they are going to continue to climb

Here are several things you may want to buy now. The prices of these items are going up and soon will be costing you plenty more:
~Coffee
~Cotton
~Health insurance
~Bacon
~Gold
~Utility bills
~Airline tickets

Add carpet and vinyl. The major vinyl manufacturers have announced price increases effective March 1, and new carpet has already gone up this year. There increases are based on higher petroleum and chemical costs, and we all know what gas prices are predicted to do over the coming months. If you are thinking about new carpet for your home, now is truly the time to buy.

How Much Does A New Kitchen Floor Cost?

Our customers sometimes tell us that they put off various home improvement projects because they thought the price was going to be so much more expensive than it turned out to be. These are not everyday purchases and many times you have no idea if something will cost $200, $2000, or $10,000! We thought it might be helpful to share some recent typical installations with you. We think you will find that many projects are surprisingly affordable.


We recently installed medium quality vinyl flooring in a small (168 square feet) kitchen and breakfast area for a little over $700. A “good” quality vinyl in a much larger (507 square feet) kitchen, breakfast area, hall, laundry room, and bath was only $1300.


¾” solid prefinished hardwood floors were installed in a small kitchen for $1300. An Armstrong laminate tile was installed in a 275 square foot kitchen for $2100.

Porcelain tile was installed in an average sized kitchen for $2400 and ceramic tile in another kitchen in a much bigger space that included the dining room for $2700.

As you can see, there are a wide variety of flooring choices for kitchens, and you do not have to spend thousands of dollars on a beautiful new floor for your kitchen. Discuss your project with an Enhance Floors Design Consultant and make a small investment in your home that you will enjoy for many, many years.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Our Clients Are Telling Us

Sue in Marietta tells us her new handscraped hickory floor is beautiful and that our installers were great. She added that the outcome was even better than she expected. Ernest in Smyrna is very happy with his new carpet and said our installer was great. Robert in Kennesaw says his salesman was excellent and his installer was fantastic. He will recommend Enhance Floors to everyone. Thank you for the great feedback, everyone.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Call, Click or Come By

To learn more, please give us a call at (770) 565-3808 or visit our website www.enhancefloors.com. You can also go to our product gallery directly from this newsletter by clicking on any of the pictures on the left (example, Hardwoods.) Our Design Center is conveniently located in East Cobb County, at the intersection of East Piedmont and Sandy Plains Road, in the LA Fitness Shopping Center. We are open Monday through Friday 9 am til 6 pm, Saturdays 10 until 5, and Sunday afternoons 12 until 5.

Our Clients Are Telling Us

Barbara in Woodstock rated her carpet and wood floor installation “AAA.” She added that the entire experience was very professional. Kelly in Marietta says her new carpet is awesome and that we did a fantastic job. Jeff in Cumming says his new carpet looks great and that the installers were nice and did good work. Thank you everyone for the feedback.

Did You Know?

That we offer in-home design consultations? If you need help with paint colors, fabrics, and product selections, an Enhance Design Consultant can come to your home and work with you one-on-one to help you put your new look together. Prices start at $75 for this helpful service.

How Much Does It Cost?

Our customers sometimes tell us that they put off various home improvement projects because they thought the price was going to be so much more expensive than it turned out to be. These are not everyday purchases and many times you have no idea if something will cost $200, $2000, or $10,000! We thought it might be helpful to share some recent typical installations with you. We think you will find that many projects are surprisingly affordable.

Many of our clients are considering bathroom updates. The average cost of a bathroom remodel is $9,720 according to figures from Remodeling magazine. This is a project with an average return on investment of 80 to 90%, sometimes higher. Why such a high rate of return? Because home buying is an emotional decision. When potential home buyers walks into a home that has ugly bathrooms, all they think of is the time, money, and headaches they will need to invest to get the room up to their standards. On the flip side, when homebuyers walk into a home that has fresh, updated bathrooms, it can get them very excited. They know they won't have to lift a finger in these rooms, thus they can afford to spend a little more on the purchase price of the home. Remodel your bathroom now, enjoy it, and know that it will pay off when you go to sell your home.

The biggest cost in most bathroom remodels is in tile. Some recent projects we have completed include:
--an upstairs hall bath with new porcelain tile on the floor and shower surround with a border for $4600. This included adding a custom shower niche and bench and new baseboards.
--a master bath installed with new porcelain tile on the floor, shower stall, and tub surround. This client had a shower bench and 3 niches created and used glass mosaics as a border in the shower. This custom project was $4400.
--another $4400 installation consisted of porcelain tile with an onyx/glass border in the master bath floor, shower, and tub surround.
--ceramic tile was used in a guest bathroom floor and shower and tub surround. Two shower niches were added; cost of this tile work was $2700.
--a $1900 project utilized ceramic tile with a border in a hall bath floor, tub surround, and shower stall. This client added a shower niche and new baseboards.
--also for $1900 was a hall bath floor and tub and shower surround in porcelain tile.

Home Decorating Tips

If you are a Facebook user, please follow Enhance Floors & More on Facebook. You’ll receive weekly design tips and decorating ideas. Don’t know how? It’s easy! Do a search for Enhance Floors & More and once you find our page simply click the “Like” button.

What's Hot At Enhance


Strand woven bamboo. We have completed two beautiful installations of strand woven bamboo already this month and our clients are thrilled. This bamboo is very different from the bamboo flooring that you are familiar with. Strand woven bamboo is gorgeous, durable, and green, and at incredible sale prices during our "New Year ~ New Look" flooring sale.
Strand woven bamboo has a unique manufacturing process, one that is different from all other bamboo flooring types. In addition to using 100% of the bamboo stalk, thus creating no environmental waste as a byproduct, the creation process also uses environmentally friendly adhesives. Bamboo also represents sustainability-it not only regenerates naturally, but also quickly, as it can be harvested every 5 to 7 years.
Choose from amazing colors such as Chestnut, Rustic Baked Natural, Light Ebony, Warm Cherry, and Warm Chocolate, some with the popular handscraped finish. Plus these strand woven bamboos come with CrystalShield aluminum oxide matte finish with a 25-year residential warranty to withstand the rigors of high-traffic for years to come. These styles are truly the perfect combination of style, performance, price, and environmental benefit! If you are thinking about hardwood flooring, these products are a "must see!"

Thursday, January 13, 2011

How Long Do Appliances Typically Last?

From a 2007 National Home Builders Association report:
Compact Refrigerator -- 9 Years
Dishwasher -- 9 years
Microwave -- 9 years
Gas Dryer -- 10 years
Gas Water Heater -- 10 years
Washer -- 10 years
Electric Dryer -- 11 years
Electric Water Heater -- 11 years
Freezer -- 11 years
Garbage Disposal -- 12 years
Electric Range -- 13 years
Standard Refrigerator -- 13 years
Range or Oven Hoods -- 14 years
Gas Range -- 15 years
Furnaces -- 15 to 20 years
Tankless Water Heater -- 20+ years

How Much Does It Cost?

Our customers sometimes tell us that they put off various home improvement projects because they thought the price was going to be so much more expensive than it turned out to be. These are not everyday purchases and many times you have no idea if something will cost $200, $2000, or $10,000! We thought it might be helpful to share some recent typical installations with you. We think you will find that many projects are surprisingly affordable.

In November, we installed a popular medium quality frieze carpet with a top-of-the-line pad in the family room for a client in Marietta. The room size was 333 square feet, and the price included moving furniture and pull-up and

disposal of the existing carpet and pad. The total was a little over $1200, including sales tax.

A larger carpeting project in November was an installation in Woodstock consisting of 4 bedrooms, closets, vanity area, family room, hall and 2 staircases. Our client chose a best selling medium quality frieze with 8lb padding. The installation included furniture moving and removing the existing carpet and pad. The square footage was 1642 and the total cost was approximately $5700, including sales tax.

When Does It Go On Sale

January is also a traditional sale month for furniture and linens. Save money by timing your purchases to the biggest sales events.

Did You Know?


January is traditionally the month for Enhance Floors & More's biggest sale of the year. 2011 is no exception. During our "New Year ~ New Look Sale" you can receive an 11% discount on almost everything in the store! Plus ask about the "Deals of the Week." These featured products, which change weekly, offer savings up to 40%. Now is truly the time to buy!

What's New At Enhance


Now is the time of the year that manufacturers are introducing new products. At least once a week something new is arriving in our store. Recent introductions include a very well-priced line of natural stone, the Artisan Collection, including Tumbled Stone (which is great for backsplashes!) Other new products include super soft Wear Dated carpets in the latest colors and a value priced solid oak prefinished hardwood floor called Foundations. Stop by and see what's new. Our manufacturers are really focusing on value, and all of these products offer great styling and performance at excellent price points.