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Thursday, February 27, 2014

How Much Does It Cost?

Hardwood floors are a "must have" in most Atlanta homes.  And many of our best sellers are on sale this month.  Handscraped hardwoods are as pretty as they are practical.  The scraping, distressing, and color variation hides scratches and wear well, so these floors are great for an active family.  Our River Ridge 5" wide handscraped birch is only $5.77 per sq ft installed during our New Year New Look flooring sale.
Traditional ¾" thick by 2 ¼" wide oak hardwood floors are perfect for almost every home.  These solid hardwoods can be sanded and refinished numerous times.  This Mohawk prefinished floor is an incredible value this month.  Regularly $6.99 per sq ft installed, now $5.68.  Popular colors include Red Oak Natural, Butterscotch, Gunstock, and Winchester.

On a cement slab and can't have solid oak?  (Not sure why? CLICK HERE to read our Frequently Asked Questions about hardwood floors for more information.)  Never fear.  We have a great engineered oak wood floor on special this month.  It is available in some of our best-selling colors (Chocolate, Cherry, and Natural, to name a few) PLUS has the 50 Year ArmorMax finish, the industry's most durable coating system for hardwood.  Combined with Scotchgard™ Advanced Repel Technology, ArmorMax serves as the ultimate barrier against staining and abrasions that come with everyday life.  The 3" width is regularly $6.40 per sq ft, now on sale for $5.25 per sq ft installed.  Want a wider plank?  The 5" width is now $5.68 installed, regular price $6.70 per sq ft. 

Maybe a wide plank hickory wood floor is more to your liking.  Hickory is one of our best-selling species.  The variation from board to board gives you a truly distinctive floor, and there is sure to be a color that will complement your wood furniture tones and decor.  If you can have the solid hickory, our ¾" x 3 ¼" plank is on sale for $7.31 per square foot.  Need the engineered?  How about a 5" wide style that is regularly $8.35 per sq ft sale priced for $6.80.
Maybe wood floors are just not for you.  You love the look, but worry about the care and upkeep.  Consider a laminate.  The realism is incredible, yes, a laminate can fool an expert!  The durability is unmatched.  We love this Mohawk distressed laminate.  Styles include Barnwood Oak, Country Natural Hickory, Bourbon Hickory, and Southern Autumn Hickory.  And the price is almost unbelievable:  regularly $5.60 per sq ft, this month only $4.48 per sq ft with installation.  That's right, with installation, not plus installation!

You do not want to miss out on the lowest prices of the year.  Come by today and let the Enhance Design Consultants show you these great buys.  We are here to help you create beautiful rooms!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Do You Like To Save Money?

Did You Know
that the lowest prices of the year for the flooring industry are in January and February?  You may wonder why.  This is because new flooring products are introduced in December and January, and our manufacturers offer special pricing on some of the older styles to make space and capacity for the new items.  Another reason is that there is not as much traffic in the stores this time of year.  The weather is usually cold and yucky, and bargains are an incentive for us to brave the elements and go shopping.

Why are we telling you this?  Because now is a great time to buy, and there are only a couple of weeks left for you to take advantage of these great prices.  These are some of our best-selling floors and very best buys.  Hurry in, we can’t wait to show them to you!

Carpet…..It Just Feels Better
Patterned carpets are very popular.  These subtle designs add pizzazz to your rooms, and are very easy to decorate around.  Several beautiful styles are on sale, including two Karastan patterns made from SmartStrand Silk, a carpet that is so very soft, durable and stain resistant.  Regularly $5.90 per sq foot installed with new padding, now on sale for $4.78 per sq foot.  Tuftex of California is offering five different patterns, all Stainmaster nylon, for $2.93 per sq ft. installed. These prices include the removal of your existing carpet and pad and furniture moving.  The beautiful patterns include geometrics, pin dots, and scrolls.

If your preference is for a more traditional carpet, you will love this Mohawk WearDated Embrace style.  Embrace features exceptional softness and the durability you expect from nylon.  Regularly $4.45 per square foot installed, now on sale for $3.57 per sq ft.  The beautiful color choices include Grey Flannel, Hazelnut, Shoreline, and Champagne Bubble. 

Carpet with color flecks is also very much on trend.  These carpets are super practical, because the flecks hide stains and dirt.  We can install this Lexmark carpet for $2.50 per square foot, and guess what----the fiber is solution dyed which means you can spot clean the carpet with a bleach and water solution.  What could be easier?!!

Maybe you are only going to be in your home for another year or two and you do not need top-of-the-line carpet.  No worries, we have some great options for you.  We have two great styles from Mohawk and Beaulieu that are much better than “builders grade” carpet, on sale for $2.28 per square foot installed.  There are plenty of colors (70) to choose from, and with an 8 pound pad (included), no one will think you skimped on the carpet.

If Tile Is Your Style
Tile that looks like wood is perfect for those that want the look of wood but are concerned about scratches, indentions, and moisture.  When these looks came out a few years ago, the styles were all super expensive.  Now the prices are coming down, in most cases about the same as hardwood floors!  We have a beautiful style from Interceramic that we can install for $7.06 per sq ft (cement slab installation) or $9.42 if you need an underlayment.  Choose from four colors:  Birch, Maple, Cypress, and Sequoia.

Large format tiles are also hot sellers.  As our Design Consultant Jim says “more tile, less grout!”  Be sure to look at this incredibly priced 20” x 20” Mohawk porcelain tile.  Regularly $7.80 per sq ft with basic cement substrate installation, now on sale for $6.32, or $8.69 per sq ft with backer board.  Another great thing about this tile is that it is rectified, which means you can use a minimal grout joint.  This Travertine-look tile is available in your choice of four designer colors!
Next week we will share our best deals on wood and laminate flooring.  If you just can’t wait, come into the Design Center and we’ll be glad to show you what else is on sale this month.

And There’s More!

You can also take advantage of 18 Month Interest Free financing on all installed purchases over $1500.  That’s right, get your new floor today and take until August of 2015 to pay it off.  Hurry, this special financing offer ends Sunday, February 23.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What Is Wrong With My Floor?

Our winter weather has certainly been wild, wacky, and extreme.  Let’s review:  in December it rained (almost) every day, in January we experienced unseasonably low temperatures (single digits and teens) and then Snowpocalypse 2014.  Our heat is running 24/7 and some of us have had busted pipes and water damage.  Unfortunately, this extreme weather is taking a toll on our flooring.  We are getting lots of questions about hardwood floors and how to correct and repair these problems.  Here are some of the most common questions and our answers:

Why is my hardwood floor buckling?
Buckling is the result of wood floors swelling and having nowhere to go but up off the subfloor.  Like a lot of problems with wood, moisture is to blame.  Flooding is the easiest cause to detect because it is easily seen.  Sometimes you can avoid buckling in these situations if you dry the floor out quickly but allowing water to sit for any length of time will cause damage to the wood.  Another reason for buckling is high humidity.
Solution:  Replacement.

Why are my hardwoods cupping/warping?
When the edges are higher than the center of the boards this is called cupping.  This is caused by moisture.  A leak, flood, or large spill will cause a wood floor to warp.
Solution:  Maintain recommended humidity levels (more about how to do this later) and wait and see if the floor will correct itself.  If not, refinish or replace.

Why do I have gaps in my hardwood floors?
It is normal for a home to become drier during the winter months, causing wood planks to shrink.  Properly made and installed hardwood floors can be expected to have normal gaps during the winter season and close back up during the summer.  However, large gaps in wood floors that do not close up in the summer months could be related to a faulty install or faulty job site conditions.  When gaps like these exist the moisture content of the floor is significantly lower than when the floor was installed.  As this excess moisture is lost, shrinkage of the floor occurs. 

Solution:  Maintain recommended humidity levels in the home.  If this does not solve the problem, replace.

Why do my hardwoods squeak?
Squeaks are created by movement.  It is usually not your hardwood floor that is squeaking, it is the subfloor.  Your subfloor (plywood or particle board) is separating from the floor joists. The subfloor squeaks as it moves up and down. 
Solution:  Sometimes a repair (shimming) is possible.  Otherwise replacement of subfloor and flooring.

Why are my hardwood floors dull?
Improper cleaning is usually the cause of hardwood floors starting to dull.  Areas that are high traffic are more prone to dulling, especially if they are not swept regularly.  Grit can definitely dull a floor’s shine.  Harsh cleaners can also dull a floors finish.  Avoid “all purpose,” wax and vinegar based cleaners on a hardwood floor.  A build-up of cleaner (especially Oil Soaps, but any cleaner will leave a residue if you use too much of it) also dulls the finish on the wood floors.
Solution:  Have the floor professionally cleaned and buffed.  If this does not improve the appearance, recoat or refinish the floor.

Why is my hardwood flooring scratching?
Wood is not immune to normal wear and tear, like scratching.  Scratches in the wood can be caused by a number of things, like pets, furniture, high-heeled shoes, etc.  Some finishes are more scratch resistant than others, and higher gloss finishes will show scratches more easily than satin/matte finishes.  Scratches in wood are almost inevitable, but steps can be taken to avoid them.  The use of walk-off mats at all exterior doors, keeping dog’s nails trimmed short, putting felt tips on furniture legs, and decorative area rugs will all help with keeping scratches to a minimum.
Solution:  Recoat or refinish the floor.

More About Humidity
You probably noticed that many of these problems are related to moisture and humidity and wonder why.  Wood is the only thing that we install that was once alive.  Wood is a porous material with a natural cellular structure that expands and contracts depending upon the amount of moisture and relative humidity present in the surrounding atmosphere.  Even after a tree has been cut and milled into planks, the vessels are still present in the wood. It's this quality that makes hardwood floors so absorbent.

The more moisture there is in the air, the more moisture hardwood floors can absorb. When hardwood planks soak up moisture, they expand and swell up. When the humidity level drops below 35%, any moisture within the hardwood planks dries up, consequently causing the planks to shrink. You can safeguard your floors from this predicament by maintaining a steady indoor humidity level. 

If you have hardwood floors in your home you should also have a hygrometer.  This is a device that measures the relative humidity in the area.  Prices average around $15 for a basic model at stores like Walmart and Radio Shack.  You will need more than one if you have hardwood floors in multiple rooms or levels of your home.

Humidity levels affect your health and comfort, as well as your hardwood floors.  Fortunately, the recommended humidity levels are the same for you as for your floors.  The ideal indoor humidity level range is 35% to 55%.  Avoid fluctuations in relative humidity of more than 10 to 20%. Also maintain consistent room temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees.  The important thing is to avoid extremes.