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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

How Do You Know?

 Has your carpet seen better days? Are you putting rugs all over it to cover wrinkles and tears, or rearranging furniture to cover stains? Are your kids scared to lay on it? Matted carpet, unravelling and significant wear on the main walkways are major signs your carpet is on its death bed.  We came across this helpful article on Angie's List to help you know for sure if it time for new carpet for your home.

Its Old
Are you still using the 1970s shag carpet that came with your house? Have you had it cleaned many times? Believe it or not, carpet doesn't last forever, even with good care. The average person replaces their carpet every nine years. When signs of wear are showing on the major walkways and the carpet fibers start losing their texture and tuft, it's time. If you find yourself cleaning the carpet over and over and not getting the results you want, it's time to lay the carpet to rest. Signs of old carpet include color loss, fading, matting, ripples, wrinkles and lack of padding support.

Condition of carpet padding
Carpet padding is like the shock absorbers on your car; the carpet is nothing but a layer of fabric without the padding. Carpet padding helps support the carpet, working as a foundation and making it comfortable to walk and lay on. It buffers sounds and keeps a room quieter and even improves insulation.  However, carpet padding also absorbs many spills, and cleaning the carpet doesn't clean the padding. Signs of old padding include unevenness, wrinkles and a very hard feeling when someone walks over it.

Stinky carpet
If you own a pet or haven't cleaned your carpet recently, you may notice a lingering smell on your carpet, but the odor should be gone or noticeably diminished after a professional cleaning. If it doesn't, this means that the odor has penetrated deep into the carpet fibers, the carpet pad or the subfloor, and it may even indicate mold and mildew growth.  In cases like these, it's often more cost effective to replace the entire carpet completely in order to fully eliminate the odor or odors.

Increased allergy symptoms
Often, older carpets catch and retain more allergens and particulate matter, which may cause your allergies to act up. If you notice an increase in allergies, one source may be your older carpet.

Outdated style or color
Sometimes you are ready to get new carpet because you don't like the style or color any more.  Berbers tend to date your home and feel very 1980s.  Mauve and deep, dark greens are colors that were popular in the 1990s and aren't in vogue today.  The good thing is neutral plushes never go out of style, but maybe you are tired of "builder beige" and are ready for change.

One thing you will find as you begin considering new carpet is the tremendous improvement in clean-ability and quality.  Today's carpet is so much easier to take care of than older carpet.  And there is a huge selection of styles and colors to choose from.  There is something for every lifestyle, budget, and décor.  Stop by today and let your Enhance Floors & More Design Consultant assist you in selecting the perfect new carpet for your home!

Karastan:  Buy Only The Best
If you are ready for new carpet and want a top-of-the-line choice that will look great for years and years, Karastan is for you!  The premier brand in high quality floor coverings, Karastan is known for innovative style, quality, and craftsmanship.  And guess what----select Karastan carpets are on sale now until September 8.  Consider these beautiful carpets during the Buy Only The Best sale:

If a super soft, luxurious, thick carpet is what you're looking for, Indescribable is perfect.  It is made from SmartStrand Silk fiber, making it super soft and super easy to take care of.  The regular price per square foot is $6.40, it's now on sale for $6.07.

The Vienne line offers a very unique visual.  If you are looking for an asymmetrical pattern with bold color striations, then this carpet is for you!  The Kashmere Nylon makes it soft and durable. 

~Fashion Icon
If a geometric pattern is more your style, then Fashion Icon is a great choice.  Also a SmartStrand Silk carpet, it is a classic look that is very soft on your feet and easy to care for.  Regular price is $5.90, now on sale for $5.07.

A classic look that will never go out of style. 
Maison is a 70 oz solid color cut pile.  The KashmereNylon fiber adds extra softness, so if you want a plush, long lasting carpet,   Maison is the one.

~Worsted Weave
Wool is a timeless fabric.  It is a natural product and incredibly durable.  The Worsted Weave line offers a classic hand-knotted look in many different colors.  Nowon sale for $10.66 per square foot installed.  A great deal on a 100% wool carpet!

Fleck carpets are very popular today.  Churchill is a 55 oz Nylon cut pile with a fleck color line, offering a great price for a popular style.  Perhaps a neutral color such as Champagne Bubble would suit your taste.  If you like the greys, consider Stone Sculpture. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

To Help You Beat The Holiday Rush

 School is back in session and the temperatures are slowly getting a little cooler.  Labor Day is only a couple of weeks away and the stores are full of the newest fall fashions.  This signals that the holidays are not that far away.  Now is the time to beat the holiday rush and get started on your home improvement projects.  And so much is on sale this month!  Don't miss out on great prices on some of our very best selling products:
 ~~The Mohawk All American Sale offers great prices and instant rebates up to $500 on select carpet and hardwood floor styles.  Many of our popular carpet "blankets" are part of this sale, with prices as low as $3.15 per sq. ft. including 8 lb. pad  and installation,  plus the instant rebate.  Choose from a variety of easy-to-care-for fibers, including SmartStrand Forever Clean, Silk, and Wear Dated Nylon.  Great colors to choose from, fantastic low prices, plus all are made in America!
In wood, all of the styles with the industry-best ArmorMax finish are on sale.  Rockingham offers traditional looks in oak, hickory and maple.  The Austin Casual line features a wire brushed, rustic visual, just what you need if you have kids and pets.  Northfield is a ½" x 7" wide plank engineered hardwood floor, perfect for big rooms and open floor plans.  Sandbridge is a random width design, featuring 4", 6", and 8" widths.  And all are made in America----what's not to love?

~~Need new window treatments?  The popular Silhouette line by Hunter Douglas is on rebate this month:  buy 2 and get $100 back!  We also have a wide selection of custom window fashions for your home as low as $199 per window.  Choose from blinds, pleated shades, even honeycombs!  Come in today and see the newest styles and colors sure to update your home, and save you money on your utility bills, too.

~~Armstrong has a new luxury vinyl line called Luxe.  Luxe is 100% waterproof---perfect for baths, kitchens, basements and laundry rooms.  The durable 10 year commercial finish (yes....commercial, not residential) offers superior scratch, scuff, and stain resistance, and is $5.75 per sq. ft. with basic installation.

~~Tuftex offers a carpet perfect for pets.  The Stainmaster PetProtect carpet styles resist even the toughest pet stains and easily release pet hair when vacuumed.   Choose from a wide variety of solid and tonal colors, plus the sale prices INCLUDE a pet-proof pad with liner.

~~Ceramic and porcelain tile wood looks are not a trend, they are here to stay.  Come in and see the wide variety of looks available:  traditional wood looks, contemporary greys and whtes, rustic textures, and tiles with dramatic variation.  There is truly something for every décor.  And did we mention the great sale prices on these popular tiles, as low as $2.30 per sq. ft.!

~~If you love the exotic and varied look of an Acacia wood, the Palmetto Road Highland Park is on sale this month for $5.99 per sq. ft. installed.  It is a 5" wide knotty Acacia with a soft scraped look.  It is both rustic and beautiful, not to mention has a lot of character.
~~Maybe you don't want something different.  Mohawk Woodleigh is a traditional solid oak hardwood in popular colors and traditional widths.  Choose from Gunstock, Winchester, Red Oak Natural, Butterscotch, Chestnut, White Oak Natural, Saddlebrook, and Cherry stain colors.  This month you can have the classic hardwoods you've always wanted at a great sale price.
~~In laminates, the new Chesapeake line from Palmetto Road is a great look at an unbelievable price for a 12mm product---$4.20 per sq. ft.  Four classic colors to choose from, 5" wide planks, and heavy distressing make this laminate a "must have" for those with an active household.

Kitchens and Baths
Many clients are pursuing their dream of renovating their kitchen or bathroom.  One of the first questions is always "How much will it cost?"  REMODELING Magazine does an extensive survey every year of recent kitchen remodels in Atlanta.  In 2014 a minor kitchen remodel averaged $18,889, and a major kitchen remodel was $54,798.  An upscale kitchen renovation averaged $109,672.  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 either refacing or refinishing the cabinets, or painting, faux painting, or glazing the existing cabinets. 
Every remodeling project is unique, and costs vary depending on the homeowner's budget, tastes, and priorities.  One of the biggest cost drivers for a kitchen remodel are 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.
Is your bathroom in need of an update?  REMODELING Magazine reported that the average cost in 2014 of a midrange Atlanta bathroom remodel was $15,941.  This includes all new fixtures, vanity cabinet, frameless glass shower doors, faucets, countertops, tile, and labor (plumbing, electrical, etc.)  An "upscale" bathroom remodel was $50,772.  An industry average price per square foot for a professionally done bathroom remodel ranges $175 to $225 per square foot on the low end and over $600 per square foot for a luxury bathroom. For a 5 x 8 bathroom (40 square feet) that is a range of $7,000 to $24,000. 
You may be wondering what the difference is between midrange and upscale and why the price range is so great. The quality and cost of the materials used is the main factor to determine if the redo is considered midrange or upscale. There are many components to a bathroom remodel, and each item has a wide range in quality and price.    For example, a toilet can cost $100 or over $5,000, tub prices range between $125 to over $10,000, and even something "simple" like shower heads vary from $5 to $10,000.
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.  Come in today and talk to an Enhance Floors Design Consultant about your plans for a kitchen or bathroom remodel.
Design Tip
A quick and easy room refresh is changing the color scheme of your bedding.  Shades of grey, taupe, and beige have a soft, elegant look.  Navy blue and white create a beachy, nautical look.  Pale blue and cocoa brown is another trending color combination.  Also, adding metallic embellishments is a great way to bring "bling" into your bedroom

Friday, August 7, 2015

Flooring DONT's

We had a first this past week.  We were working with a client who was using her own decorator.  The designer told us exactly what she wanted, not just the look of the carpet but the exact style and color.  We ordered the carpet based on her specification, but when we arrived to install it, the client did not like it, because it did not look exactly like the picture on the Internet.  Neither she nor her designer had ever seen the sample.  We worked through it and all is well now, but our bad, it never occurred to us to ask if they had seen the actual sample.  Lesson learned:  don't assume. 

Selecting your new floor from pictures on the Internet is definitely a flooring DON'T.  Here are some others that we have accumulated over the past 30 years:

DON'T forget to inquire about upgraded padding options.  Many times a small investment will help your carpet keep looking "brand new" for many, many years and will more than pay for itself in the added lifespan of the carpet.  This is also true for other upgrades, for example, stain resistant grout and the padding used under floating hard surface floors.

DON'T think you have to use a small tile in a small space.  Larger format tiles expand the area visually and make a small room feel larger.  This also applies when deciding the width of hardwood flooring planks, too.

If moisture and cleanliness are your big concerns, DON'T forget about good old sheet vinyl.  These seamless floors (in most rooms) are impervious to topical moisture and can be cleaned very aggressively.  We install a lot of sheet vinyl in pet rooms.

DON'T put too much emphasis on the warranty in your decision making process without requesting and reading the printed warranty.  Pay close attention to the exclusions.  If something that you are very concerned about happening, for example damage to hardwood floors from high heels, is excluded, the 50 Year warranty from the manufacturer won't be real helpful, will it?

DON'T select your new floor from a tiny sample swatch.  Ask to see the largest sample size available, or multiple small samples.  There may be a nominal charge for this, but seeing more of the color or pattern or variation always helps you know what to expect your new floor to look like once installed in your home.

DON'T put your house on the market without taking a critical look at your flooring.  If the carpet is worn or smells bad (or both), replace it with a neutral color.  Same with vinyl and hardwood.  It may be expensive, but you will get it back in a higher price and a faster sale.

DON'T paint and then try to find the perfect floor color.  There are thousands and thousands of paint color choices, but nowhere near that many flooring color choices.  Make both decisions at the same time so you do not give yourself a much harder task when choosing your new floor.

Please DON'T wait til the last minute to decide you need new floors.  This happens all the time around the holidays.  Someone decides the Monday before Thanksgiving that they want new carpet installed that week.  The best companies are already booked up and will have no installation openings, and in times of high demand, it is very common for there to be product shortages and delays in getting the floor you selected.

DON'T use just anything on your hardwood floors. Always read the label carefully before you buy a new product.  Words and phrases to watch out for include Polish, Finish, Glo or Glow, Fills in scratches, Shine, Protects from water damage, Leaves a long-lasting brilliant shine, Oil soap, Wax, Refresher, Rejuvenator.  These words and phrases are telling you the product is more than a cleaner. There is some type of wax or dressing in the product which will almost certainly cause problems. Either it will not adhere (will peel or flake off) or there will be an unattractive residue on the surface of the floor. Please only use cleaners made by wood flooring manufacturers like Armstrong, Bona, or Mohawk.
DON'T think that do-it-yourself carpet cleaning is the same as a professional cleaning. The warranty on your new carpet requires hot water extraction cleaning by a professional at least every 18 months.  And be sure to keep your receipts, as they are required if you ever need to file a warranty claim on your carpet.

DON'T use the wrong products on your granite countertops.  Do not use bleach, glass cleaner, degreaser, vinegar, ammonia, lemon or orange cleaners.  You can cause damage (etching) to the stone with these acid or alkali cleaners.  Use neutral cleaners made specifically for granite and stone.  And is water no longer beading up?  That means it is time to seal the stone.

DON'T ruin your wood or vinyl floor by moving the refrigerator out to clean behind it.  First lay down a sheet of plywood and roll the refrigerator onto the plywood. 

DON'T believe everything you read on the Internet.  There is a lot of misinformation about flooring on various websites, and also conflicting and confusing information.  We sometimes have clients come in with very strong opinions about something, like prefinished wood floors are not real wood, and when we ask why, we are told that's what it says on the Internet.  The Internet is a great source of information, but take the time to educate yourself and learn facts versus opinions.

If ease of maintenance is a concern, DON'T choose the very lightest or the very darkest color available.  It is logical that snow white carpet is hard to keep clean, but really dark colors provide their own challenges.  Dust, lint, and pet hair shows more easily, and scuffs and scratches are more visible, on dark hardwood floors.

DON'T forget to protect your flooring investment with specialized window treatments designed to protect from sun fading. 

DON'T use a steam mop on your hardwood or laminate floors, ever. Think about it---wood and steam---this combination can ruin your floor! Plus many manufacturer warranties are void if you use one on your floor.  These mops are OK to use on vinyl and ceramic tile, but never on wood.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

Atlanta Home Improvement Magazine has announced the "Best of 2015" contest winners and we are thrilled to announce that we won Best Place to Shop for Floor Coverings.  We had some very stiff competition; most of the companies we were up against are much bigger than us, and thanks to YOUR votes, we won!  Thank you for voting and letting all of Atlanta know where to come for new floor coverings!

Design Tip: Tried and True
It is easy to find out the latest decorating trends, just pick up a magazine, see what is displayed prominently in the stores, or check out internet sites like Houzz and Pinterest.  But maybe you don't want something that is "in" today and "out" tomorrow for your Living Room or Family Rooms.  You want something that will not go out of style, simple pieces that stand the test of time. Here's a list of items that are never in or out of fashion, are classically chic and tasteful, and eternally look good (so you won't be forking over money to replace them in two years' time.)

Plantation shutters.  These elegant window dressings have become the perfect solution for metropolitan homeowners who don't want sheer curtains but aren't keen on passersby snooping, either. The other plus, of course, is undeniable curb appeal. If shutters are out of your budget, wood blinds (real or faux) give you a similar look for less of an investment.  NOTE:  Enhance Floors & More is a certified Hunter Douglas Window Fashions Dealer.

Tripod floor lamp.The architectural lines of the tripod floor lamp have made it a living room staple in recent years, and it looks set to stick around. As well as adding atmospheric pools of light, these cool pieces make a statement in their own right. Place one at either end of a sofa for oomph.

Chesterfield sofa.  

It's an ongoing favorite in  fashionable bars and boutique hotels, and no wonder. With their clean lines and comfort, button-backed chesterfield sofas are truly timeless, and look as good in a modern warehouse apartment as in a grand country abode.  (What is a chesterfield sofa?  A sofa with a tufted or buttoned back with curved arms.  Can be leather or fabric.)

Retro sideboard.  
It might not feel as key as a coffee table or sofa, but a stylish vintage sideboard transforms the look of a living room (and keeps clutter at bay, too). A midcentury number adds a quirky retro attitude and provides a handy surface for showing off precious ornaments and pictures. For a timeless look, stick to warm woods, such as teak or rosewood.

Leather club armchair.  A classic, deep-seated leather armchair is comfortable and adds a masculine touch to your décor.  Add a contrasting accent pillow, then sit back and relax.

Decorative over-the-mantel mirror.  It's the oldest interiors trick in the book. A striking over-the-mantel mirror gives even a supersnug living room a sense of space and light. However, don't settle for just any old mirror. For old-school elegance, go for a Shabby Chic-style French-looking piece with an ornate white plaster or gilt wooden frame. If you can afford to, get an original vintage mirror, complete with authentically aged silvering. If not, consider reproductions - they work a similar magic for less cash. 

Picture cluster.  OK, you've seen a thousand feature walls with multiple frames and artworks. But there's a reason this idea has stuck: it works. A cluster of pictures turns an ordinary living room into a home. This is an easy way to reflect your personality, and whether you line up or misalign the frames, mix or match, somehow everything always hangs together.

"Persian" rug.  Their intricate patterns and warm colors give any space a homey feel, as well as a touch of exoticism. Plus, these traditional rugs work equally well laid over wood floors, stone or carpet. Period settings are their natural habitat, but they can also cozy up a modern space.  The most skillfully handwoven rugs can be pricey, but purse-friendly machine-made designs are very affordable

How Much Does It Cost?

It seems like everybody is updating and improving their home.  You probably have some projects on your "to do" list.  Sometimes the hardest part is getting estimates to find out how much something costs.  Can you afford to do it now or do you need to save and budget for it?  To make your life easier, and maybe inspire you, we are sharing some of our most recent installations and how much it cost to get it done.

A high quality soft plush carpet with an upgraded SmartCushion Memory Foam padding was installed in four bedrooms, sitting room, hall, closets and stairs in a Smyrna home for $4,100.

Thinking of updating your staircase?  A client in Marietta totally redid her staircase:  new treads and risers and brand new balusters for $6,100.  This included the custom staining of all the stair parts plus painting the risers.

A new backsplash is a great way to instantly upgrade your kitchen without breaking the bank.  A 2" x 4" subway tile with an accent strip was installed for $1,200 in a large Marietta kitchen. 

Luxury Vinyl Tile is growing in popularity.  It is one flooring option that is very resistant to water; a client in Marietta chose a grouted tile for his kitchen for $1,300 installed.

Want a bigger shower?  We can help.  We recently removed a prefab shower and replaced it with a larger shower, including a frameless glass door, for $7,400.  This included all the plumbing and painting the walls, ceiling and trim in this bathroom.

Granite is the go-to for elegant and functional kitchen countertops.  New Ashen White granite countertops were installed in a kitchen in Marietta for $2,600.  DESIGN TIP:  Lighter colored granite is much more popular today than dark colors.

A high quality plush SmartStrand Forever Clean carpet, along with the upgraded SmartCushion Memory Foam padding, was installed in a large basement for $3,400.

Rustic hardwoods with wider plank widths are a growing trend.  We just installed an engineered 5" plank hardwood in the downstairs area of a Marietta home for $6,300.  These floors are wire brushed.  You may be wondering what that means.  This is a distressing technique utilizing wire bristles to remove the sapwood (soft wood) and open and enhance the wood grain, adding texture & character. The matte finish hides scratches and wear particularly well, making it a perfect choice for heavily used areas like the kitchen, family room, and foyer.

Porcelain tile is an excellent choice for kitchens.  A recent installation in a kitchen, breakfast area and utility room was $4,700.  The client chose an 18" x 18" tile installed on the diagonal.

Wanting a super soft, thick carpet?  A Mohawk SmartStrand Silk was installed with the upgraded SmartCushion pad in 4 bedrooms for $6,900.  Most people still want soft and warm carpet for their bedrooms. 

Wanting wood but think it's too expensive?  We have a value line of prefinished solid oak hardwoods.  A client in Marietta just put them in his large living room and dining room for $3,300.

Laminate is a great alternative to wood for an active family.  A recent installation in Woodstock consisting of 600 sq. ft. was $3,400.

A recent large job (1,600 square feet) of engineered hand scraped hickory was $11,800.  Hickory is a beautifully varied wood and runs a little higher in price than the more common oak.

A client in Atlanta recently put the popular size porcelain tile of 12" x 24" in her sunroom.  The installed cost was around $2,000.

We removed a tub and installed a large shower in Sandy Springs for $8,000.  This included a frameless glass door, floor and wall tile, new plumbing fixtures as well as a large niche with a shelf.

Giallo Ornamental is one of our more popular granites.  One slab installed in a kitchen in Marietta was $3,300.

Everything in your bathroom looking great except the flooring?  We replaced the flooring in a master bath and hall bath in a home in Marietta for just $2,500.  Our client chose a wood-look ceramic tile for both bathrooms.