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Friday, August 24, 2012

Pets? Kids? Finally --- The Perfect Floor!
We all want beautiful floors that are easy to take care of and that will look good for many years. Hardwood floors are very popular, but for some of us they are just not a practical choice. Wood scratches, indents, changes color over time, and requires a little more maintenance than some of us are able to give, especially those of us with kids and animals.

If it is time (or past time!) for new floors for your home, consider laminate floors. Laminate flooring has become a popular choice for many homeowners due to its ability to closely emulate today's most popular hard surfaces, especially hardwood planks and ceramic or stone tiles. Besides the great textures and designs, laminate flooring offers improved durability, easier maintenance and affordability compared to other types of hard surface floors. These floors are extremely resistant to wear, stains and sunlight fading. The beautifully rich textured finishes make these floors a great alternative for most areas in your home.

Call or come by and discuss your flooring makeover with your Enhance Design Consultant. We'd love to show you these floors that are made to handle your lifestyle!

Can You Tell Which One Is A Laminate
and Which One Is A Hardwood Floor?
(see answers below)




Ask The Experts

Each week we will answer a flooring question from one of our readers. Please email us your questions; we are here to help!

I have been told that laminate floors are not good for resale. Why?
Elisabeth answers: I think that most people saying this base their opinion on first generation laminates and on bad do-it-yourself installations that they have seen. I will agree that when laminates first came on the market, in the 1990's, they did not look as good as they do today. You could see the seams, there was no texture, and the visuals weren't great. As with everything, technology has greatly improved the appearance and realism of laminate flooring. There are many higher quality laminates that I would challenge an expert to say with a quick glance if it was real wood or laminate.

Also, to be honest, most DIY installations are not good. Just because it looks so easy to do on the home improvement shows does not mean it is. If the installation is not properly done, the floor will be much noisier, move when you walk on it, etc. Floating installations have very stringent installation requirements, and the floor needs to be installed correctly in order to look good and to perform well.

That being said, if your prospective home purchaser is the perfect candidate for real hardwoods, meaning no animals, empty nester, Mrs. Clean, etc., they will probably want the hardwoods. If your subdivision trends towards families, laminates will be a good selling feature for your home. Just buy a good quality laminate and have it professionally installed.

Did You Know?

Cherokee County School Fall Break is fast approaching---it is the week of September 17. This is a week that many clients use to undertake big projects in their home (bathroom remodels, staircase makeovers, refinishing hardwood floors) while they are away enjoying vacation time with their family. If you are planning on having work done that week, please get on our installation calendar. We are already filling up for that week, so don't miss out on the dates you need.

A. Laminate    B. Wood     C. Wood    D. Laminate
E. Laminate   F. Wood

Friday, August 17, 2012

Are You Ready For Some Football

I hope you have been enjoying our recent newsletters about pretty stuff like kitchens and decorating. I think it is now time to talk about something really important---getting ready for football season! I gave Elisabeth the week off from writing the newsletter, so here goes my first attempt, hope you enjoy it!

One of the first considerations is if you are able to have a dedicated man cave or will you be using your existing family room. This determines the seating. If you are going to do a dedicated room it would probably work best with theater chairs. These come in a wide range of styles from love seats to individual recliners. If you are going with your existing family room then you will want seating that is multipurpose, like couches and loveseats with a couple of chairs. Choose super comfortable pieces, and be sure your have plenty of places to set drinks (cup holders are awesome!) and snacks. Consider adding remote control dimmable lighting for convenience. Your furniture arrangement influences the type and size of the television you need. Measure the distance between the seating and the TV before you go shopping.

   Do you want LCD, LED, or plasma? What are the differences? Very simply, LCD stands for liquid crystal diodes, a technology that is commonly used in everyday items like digital clocks, car dashboards, calculators, and stereos. LED is a type of LCD television. LED (light emitting diode) TVs use a different type of backlighting, which makes the picture brighter and more luminous than a traditional LCD. Plasma TVs are a technology that utilizes small cells containing electricallychargedionizedgases. LCDs tend to be the least expensive and plasmas the most costly, with LEDs in between. Plasmas use more electricity than LCDs and LEDs, up to 50% more energy,
   What size? You need the biggest, best TV you can afford. Many of the best buys seem to be 42". If you are going above 50", experts tend to recommend the plasma, though in a bright room the LCD will have less glare. A 46- or 50-inch set is often preferable in rooms where you'll be sitting 8 to 10 feet or so from the screen. Just don't buy a jumbo set and sit right on top of it; you will notice the picture elements (pixels) which can be distracting. Front projectors are a great choice for home theaters-the best choice for a truly big-screen experience-but they're less practical for everyday use.
    Many new LCD and plasma TVs are Internet-enabled (Wi-Fi) sets that can stream online video and access popular websites. Your screen resolution choices are 720p and1080p, the higher the number the finer the detail. Consensus is that unless you are a serious gamer or Blu-ray DVD watcher, you will not see the difference between 1080p and 720p, plus most satellite and cable TV is still being sent in 720p. If you want3D (for movies and games) look for Full HD 3D or stereoscopic 3D, which is the best form of 3D TV currently available, though you will still need the special 3D glasses.

   Many man caves are in the basement, but any unused room in the house will work. Some guys convert their garage into their man cave. In addition to the TV, important "toys" to have include a dart board, pool or foosball table, and video games. Consider a game table for poker and playing cards. A bar can be very easy to add---you can check Craigslist for something that might work as a bar, like a cool old piece of furniture. A mini-fridge is great, too.
   Man caves are usually dark. Bright and airy just does not say "cave"---think darker paints (deep blue, brown, green) and darker woods. Use wooden blinds instead of white for a rugged look. Hang long, thick curtains on the windows, with "blackout" backing, to block out all light, for complete darkness in the room during daytime TV watching.
   Be sure to have access to additional seating for all your buds, like folding chairs or large bean bags. A large, sturdy coffee table in front of the couch is great for a place to put your feet up.
   Oh, I almost forgot. What is the best floor covering for your TV watching room? The consensus is carpet, for sound deadening and reflection reasons. If your man cave has hard surface floors, then adding a thick rug near the TV is a must.
   Hope this helps you get ready for football season!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Carpet. . . .It Just Feels Better!

There are certain rooms of your home that you know you want carpeted.

Bedrooms, cold damp basements, the kid's playroom: you want something comfortable and soft!

If you have not shopped for carpet in a few years, you will be surprised at how SOFT new carpet is. But that's not all that has changed and improved. Today's carpet is more stain and soil resistant than ever, and more durable, too.

SmartStrand Silk and SmartStrand Ultra

And let's talk about stain resistance. SmartStrand carpets are perfect for today's active lifestyles. SmartStrand Ultra is easy to clean with just water, no chemicals necessary. What could be easier? Our very best selling carpet is part of the Ultra series of 9 styles and 60 colors. Prices start at $3.90 per square foot installed with brand new 8 lb padding and installation including furniture moving and removal of your existing carpet and pad. (Yes! We move the furniture!)

SmartStrand Silk by Mohawk is the most advanced soft carpet in the flooring industry. Available in 4 textures and 40 colors, one will be perfect for your home and d├ęcor. You will not find a carpet that is more luxurious, softer, or more durable. Come in and feel Silk---you'll love it!