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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Never Do This To Your Carpet

Five Things You Should Never Do To Carpet
Carpet isn't as high-maintenance as most people tend to think. However, it still does require some care (like anything) and must not be mistreated.  To protect your carpet and ensure that it stays looking beautiful for a long time, here is a list of the things that should NOT be done to your carpet (and what to do instead).

Do Not Scrub
When you've had a spill on your carpet, it's tempting to attack it with a vengeance.  After all, for so many other tasks we're told that a bit of elbow grease is necessary to get the job done. However, this is one instance in which fiercely scrubbing is not helpful, and in fact will likely be harmful to your carpet.  Carpet is made up of fibers that have been twisted together in order to increase their strength. The twist is then "locked in" with heat. By abrasively scrubbing at the fibers, you run the risk of undoing the lock and having the fibers come untwisted - something known as blooming. This will cause the appearance of a big fuzzy patch on your carpet, which could end up looking worse than the stain from the original spill.  So, when cleaning a spill from your carpet, it is best to be gentle, and blot at the area rather than scrub it.

Do Not Use a Non-Carpet Cleaner
This might seem simple, but it's not so obvious to some people that an "all purpose" cleaner should not be used on carpet.  The only type of cleaning product you should be using on your carpet is a cleaner that is specifically designed for carpet.  The only exception to this, if you are in a bind, is you can use clear liquid dishwashing soap to treat a stain on carpet, but only when extremely diluted.

Do Not Wear Your Shoes
Taking your shoes off at the door - every time - is one of the easiest and most effective things you can do for your carpet. Not only will you avoid tracking in dirt and soil from the outside world, you will avoid also tracking in chemical residue (think driveway sealant).  If you have pets that go outside, consider wiping their paws when they come back in, before they can roam past the entrance.  If this is impractical, use oversized door mats and runners (prints and patterns hide dirt and spills extremely well) at all your exterior doors.

Do Not Drag Furniture
Dragging your furniture across the carpet may be the easiest way to get a heavy item from point A to point B, but it's also one of the easiest ways to cause ripples in your carpet. Dragging something heavy can also create enough friction to "melt" the carpet fibers.  Always lift the item off the carpet before moving it. If the item is too heavy to be lifted, place a sheet of plywood on the carpet in front of the item and "walk" the item onto the plywood. Then, place a second sheet of plywood in front of the first, and maneuver the piece of furniture onto the second sheet from the first. When the item is fully on the second sheet, use the first piece of plywood again in front of the second, and continue in this manner until the piece of furniture has been relocated.

Do Not Use A Beater Bar On Berber
A vacuum beater bar, or power head, is designed to brush carpet fibers as it vacuums. It helps to improve the appearance of many cut-pile carpets such as saxonies and friezes, but can be harmful to looped styles of carpet such as berber.
Generally, the beater bar itself will not cause a snag in a berber. The problem occurs when there is a small snag existing in the carpet that may even have gone unnoticed. The beater bar could grab hold of the loose strand, which could then become wrapped around the rotating bar. The beater bar is powerful enough to continue to pull the strand, which can then unravel from the carpet backing, causing a run in the carpet. Not good.  To avoid this possibility, simply switch off the beater bar on your vacuum head if you have the option, or switch out the head and replace it with a suction-only vacuum head.

Bonus Tip:  Do Not Expose To Excessive Sunlight
Most indoor residential carpets are not colorfast, meaning that they can and will fade due to age, wear, and most of all, strong direct sunlight. If you have a high amount of afternoon sunlight in your room (typically rooms with a southern or western exposure) you will want to take some minor precautions against carpet fading. Generally, this can be accomplished simply by closing your blinds or curtains during the peak sunlight hours.  Another option if you are buying carpet for a space with extensive direct sunlight is to choose a carpet that is fade resistant. Nylonhas relatively poor colorfast properties, so it would likely not be your best option. Triexta has very high colorfast properties - in fact, Mohawk SmartStrand carries a 25 yearwarranty against fading, one of the longest in the industry. Choosing the right fiber type can help to keep your carpet looking its best for years to come.
Design Tip
Does a room in your home feel too stiff and formal? 
Try this: Swap out a hard piece for one that's upholstered. If what you want is a room that makes you go "ah," you need some squashy pieces you can sink into. Trade out a wood coffee table for a plush ottoman, toss a few big cushions on the floor or swap a stiff-backed wooden chair for a comfy upholstered version.
Or this: Add something worn and aged.  A chunky wood coffee table (with a few dings and dents) is an open invitation to kick back and put your feet up. Choose a few pieces that show their age - a vintage trunk, a hand-me-down table, a chipped painted chest - and your guests will surely feel at ease.

What's New at Enhance Floors?

It may have been a while since you have been in to see us. If so, there's a LOT that's new!  We are constantly bringing in new flooring and lifestyle solutions.  Here are some that we are particularly excited about:
U S Floors has introduced new Cork floor styles. Cork is the most environmentally friendly flooring. It is harvested by hand every 9 years, and harvesting does not harm the tree. It naturally resists mold and mildew, pests like termites, and handles moisture well.   Sound and shock absorbent, it is a wonderful choice for rooms with high ceilings and kitchens with master-chef-wannabe.  And the colors---you have to see them---cork floors no longer look like a bulletin board!
U S Floors Bamboo is another eco-friendly choice, highly sustainable and rapidly renewable, as it is harvested from managed forests, and is very fast growing. Strand woven bamboo is 2 times harder than oak, and comes in a variety of colors, textures, and widths.  If you like wood floors, but want something a little different from what everybody else has, consider bamboo.

From Interceramic come new high density ceramic styles Amalfi Stone, Burano, and San Giulio. These beautiful new tiles are produced using Lumen FX ink, which individualizes each tile, adding depth and highlights. The result is more variation and an extremely realistic stone look, without the sealing and maintenance.

Also from Interceramic, we have River Rocks, a beautifully natural addition to your bathroom or kitchen backsplash. It comes three ways: Sliced, mosaic, or in a listello. All three are polished for a smooth and comfortable feel underfoot. These are great on a shower floor, but can also be used on the walls to create a "Zen" feel in other rooms in your home.
American Sanctuary is a beautiful new American made engineered wood floor option from Mohawk, with several grey tones available, the new "in" color. It features gentle scraping on its 5 inch planks, and is treated with both ArmorMax and Scotchgard.   The Burnished Caramel and Antique Beige colors are proving to be extremely popular.
SIDEBAR:  What is ArmorMax?  An exclusive hardwood and laminate finish from Mohawk that is 5 times more resistant to wear than competitive finishes.  ArmorMax repels stains, resists wear, and makes cleaning your wood or laminate floor easy.
We also have Tellaro, Mohawk's new American made solid wood floor, in Oak, Maple, and Hickory. With beautiful 3 ¼" and 5" planks with lots of variation for character, it also is treated with ArmorMax for superior wear resistance.
If you are looking for a laminate, Mohawk has a beautiful style named Huchenson that has been very popular. It offers a variety of colors and looks, all with a very realistic woodgrain appearance. The planks are all 5 ¼ inches, some with warm distressed character.  Butter Cream Hickory, Crisp Autumn Oak, Honey Blonde Maple----one is sure to be perfect for your home!
QuickStep also has a new laminate look. It is Elevae, featuring an aged look in either pine or oak. At 12mm, it is both beautiful and durable.  Our favorites are Tranquil Oak, Antique Pine, and Mineral Oak. 
Somerset's newest introduction is the Seaside Collection. With sea-inspired names such as Driftwood, Sailor's Sky, and Ocean Mist, it features distinctive beachside looks. It is American made, and comes in random widths. If your soul belongs to the beach, this is the floor for you!
DESIGN TIP:  What are random width hardwoods?Flooring with the boards intentionally not all the same width. At least 2 different widths are used in the installation.  Historically, floors were laid with random width boards so as not to waste any of the wood from the log. Wide plank random width hardwood floors are perfect for today's open floor plans. The aesthetic is visually interesting but not too busy, making these wood floors a great foundation for your decorating
If your soul belongs to a big wet dog, then you need Vivero by Armstrong in your life. This new luxury vinyl plank is waterproof and features realistic wood and stone looks. It's Diamond 10 technology means it has an exceptionally durable surface, and is a breeze to clean.
Dreamweaver Carpets has introduced Solution Dyed Nylons to their line-up. The stain resistance is manufactured into the carpet fiber, so it will not wear off or wash out. These are lovely, soft nylon carpets in a variety of colors and styles.
Speaking of soft, Karastan Infinite Touch offers 32 timely shades for today's homes, and is so soft and touchable. It is made from Karastan's Kashmere fiber, and offers a Lifetime Pet Stain warranty, perfect for real life.

Also in Karastan Kashmere, we have a new soft lattice patterned carpet--Classic Couture. It is available in 20 colors, and has 25 year warranties for both abrasive wear and texture retention. Because of its great looks and durability, it is a perfect choice for the stairs.
Mohawk has three new introductions in carpet. The first is a PET product impregnated with a natural odor absorbent volcanic mineral called Zeolite. Forever Fresh is available in 12 styles and over 80 colors.  It is a great choice for homes with animals or kids.
The second introduction by Mohawk is SmartStrand Silk Natural Surroundings carpet. It offers 40 foundational colors inspired by nature. It is soft and plush, but its lower luster minimizes footprints.  Choose from traditional solid cut piles, LCLs, flecks and tonals, and even a Berber style.
In Case You Are Wondering:  An LCL stands for "loop cut loop" (also called a cut and loop) and is a carpet with both looped fibers and cut fibers, constructed in a pattern or design. 
Mohawk's newest product is Vintage Visions, a low pile cut carpet featuring sophisticated patterns. Made of 100% BCF Nylon, and treated with Scotchgard. Beautiful as a carpet, or perfect for a rug, because we all like a pretty rug to complement our wood floors!

So, as you can tell, we have been busy. Come in and let us show you some of these beautiful new styles in person! 

Buyer's or Seller's Market?

Are You Buying?  Selling?
If you are thinking about purchasing or selling your home, it is always good to know if it is a Buyer's or a Seller's Market.  Everything we are hearing is that Cobb County is definitely a Seller's Market.  We thought we'd share this newsletter from our friend Sean Trombetti, a local Mortgage Broker.
"From what I'm seeing and hearing, be ready to offer full price if you are looking at homes this Spring and Summer. As I sit hear writing this article, I can say that maybe half of the pre-qualification letters that I am writing for my clients involve transactions where it's under a "highest and best offer" situation. Homes are moving quickly and in my opinion, if you don't want to lose out on a home perfect for you and your family, be prepared to offer full price assuming the home is priced correctly and in good condition. Sellers are rejecting offers that don't come to their full or close to their full asking price and with school starting earlier this year in some counties, it has created a sense of urgency in the marketplace.

Another area where sellers seem to be reluctant is in handling repair amendments requested by the buyer's agent during due diligence. If the repair is minor and doesn't affect the home's integrity, then most sellers are refusing to address it. So all this leads me to say that currently it is a seller's market."
We are seeing and hearing that if a home is priced correctly based on location, condition, and the updates needed, the house will sell quickly.  Enhance Floors & More can help you update your home so that you can sell for full price.  Or if you found a great deal on a home that needs some TLC, we can assist you in getting it move-in ready. 

Design Tip
Sometimes people opt out of window treatments because they want the maximum amount of light to come through or they don't want to block a view. These are good ideas in theory but it's actually a huge mistake. Window treatments, whether it's curtains, drapes, blinds, shutters, or something else altogether, are necessary decorative elements that help a space look finished. They act as frames for the windows and they provide wonderful decorating opportunities. They can really help set the tone of a room and they should never be left out. Keep in mind there are tons of wonderful options for treatments that allow in light, and when open don't block views, so don't be afraid to include them on each and every window.
Enhance Floors & More is an authorized Hunter Douglas dealer and can help you select the right window treatment for your d├ęcor, lifestyle, and budget.  Our selection of window treatments includes blinds, shutters, and many different types of shades available in a wide variety of fabrics and woods.  Hunter Douglas window fashions have a lifetime warranty and are regarded as the highest quality in the industry.