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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

DO this, DON'T do that!

Very rarely does a day go by at our store that we don't hear a "floor story" that makes us cringe:
~People had a party to show off their newly remodeled kitchen with hardwood floors, someone wore stilettos and ruined their brand new floor!
~Someone used that "new, wonderful" shine product on their laminate floors, and now they're all hazy!
~Lady got brand new LVP floors in the kitchen and when the plumber pushed the fridge back in place, he scratched the vinyl!
 
Yes, these and many more. All new flooring products have protectant, are "scratch-resistant" or "stain protected" but that doesn't mean they are impervious to damage. Nothing is 100% damage-proof!
 
Part of our job here at Enhance is to guide you to making the best choice for you and your family. Needs and situations vary, there is no perfect floor for everyone. And sometimes we are asked "What's the best?" Well, there's not one answer to that question! There are five different answers for every five customers. And sometimes a customer has to weigh and balance what they want against what they need.
 
What floor is the easiest to maintain? For most people, porcelain or ceramic tile.
 
What floor is the least expensive? Either carpet or sheet vinyl.
 
What floor gives you the most return on your investment? Wood, for sure.
 
What floor feels best under your feet? Definitely carpet.
 
What floor is best in a basement that tends to flood? Luxury vinyl with a waterproof core.
 
What floor is best for senior citizens? Consider cork- easy maintenance, antimicrobial, and softer that other "hard" surfaces in case of falls.
 
SO many variables, so many choices! No "one size fits all" answers.
 
Next, we're going to list some "DO's & DON'Ts" for all sorts of floors. Maybe by reading the list, you will find the factor that helps you decide, or tips the balance between Need and Want! When choosing any new floor, take samples home, look at them in all the rooms where you plan to have it installed, at all different times of day, drapes closed and open, daytime and nighttime. We strongly advise against making a final decision without ever having the sample in your home for several days!
 
If carpet is your choice-
~DO consider polyester carpet if you are on a budget.
~DO consider upgrading your pad. The standard pad included with purchase at Enhance is an 8-pound rebond pad. We have several upgrade options, some for practical reasons, some purely for comfort.
~DO treat any stains or spots immediately. Spills are going to happen. Just get them up as soon as possible!
~DO vacuum regularly. Dirt and grit deteriorate the fibers and even the backing on carpet, and the damage starts from within.
~DO use the appropriate vacuum cleaner, set at the correct height for your type carpet. Beater bars should not actually touch the carpet, but should create a wind tunnel effect pulling dust and dirt up and out of the carpet.
~DO have your carpet professionally cleaned on a regular basis, with hot water extraction. The carpet manufacturers require documentation of this in order to honor a future warranty claim, so save your receipts.
~DO rearrange your furniture periodically. This allows furniture marks to dissipate, and traffic patterns to even out.
 
For hardwood-
~DO expect color and grain variations, as wood is a natural product.
~DO keep your hardwood floors clear of grit- this is one of your floor's biggest enemies.
~DO clean your hardwood floors with a manufacturer approved product for wood, without wax or harsh soaps.
~DON'T install hardwood floors in a space where they will be exposed to excessive moisture, and DON'T allow damp items (such as used towels or wet bathing suits) to be left on your hardwood floors.
~DON'T allow stilettos or cleats on your hardwood floors!
~DON'T allow your wood floor to be exposed to direct sunlight. It can fade it.
 
If you're jamming on laminate-
~DO be sure your installer uses a quality underlayment to quiet the floor and protect your laminate from beneath.
~DO clean up any spills just as soon as they happen.
~DO sweep, dust mop, and damp mop with the manufacturer's recommended cleaning product.
~DO use felt pads (we sell Flexi-Felt at Enhance) on your furniture feet to protect your floors from scratches.
~DON'T install laminate in an area with excessive moisture.
~DON'T use mop-and-shine products on your laminate.
 
If you choose vinyl flooring-
~DO wipe up spills as soon as possible. Vinyl is very resilient; however, it can be stained.
~DO use plywood sheeting when moving heavy furniture or appliances to protect your vinyl from being scratched.
~DON'T use any abrasive cleaner on your vinyl floor.
~DON'T use rolling casters on vinyl, use chairs with felt tips instead.

 
Or if tile completes you-
~DO use stain resistant grout.
~DO remember that while tile is very durable, it isn't indestructible and can be chipped or cracked.
~DON'T get hung up on the differences between ceramic and porcelain. In a residential installation, either is perfectly fine used indoors.
 
 Some rules that apply to ALL floors:
~Get spills up as quickly as possible.
~Use protection on furniture feet.
~Use the manufacturer's recommended cleaning products.
~Always consider buying extra product for any future repair.
~DON'T wear shoes inside your home (see our article from March 2017)
~DON'T invest in new flooring without analyzing your window treatments, or lack thereof.  Direct sunlight can fade carpet, bleach out wood floors, and cause certain luxury vinyls to curl up on the edges.
 ~DON'T use the wrong vacuum on your floors.  For example, a vacuum with a beater bar can cause permanent scratches and chips to your hard surface floors.
  
If You Need It Now....
We have 18-month interest free financing on Mohawk products (carpet, hardwood, tile, laminate, luxury vinyl) purchased by Friday, July 21.  You don't need to have it installed by the 21st, just ordered.  Here is an idea of the monthly payments on some recent installations with the 18-month financing option:
 
~~Master bedroom with sitting area, two guest bedrooms, playroom, office, closets, hall, landing and stairs 1855 sq. ft. (huge area!) in a medium quality Mohawk carpet with upgraded pad $398 per month

~~Family room, kitchen, breakfast room, hall and foyer 849 sq. ft. in a Mohawk distressed engineered wood $452 per month.  These are big rooms and there was existing wood to pull up

~~Kitchen, breakfast area, pantry and utility room 446 sq. ft. in Mohawk SolidTech luxury vinyl plank $211 per month

~~Family room, dining room, living room, kitchen with breakfast area, hall and foyer almost 1100 sq. ft. in Mohawk Huchenson laminate $425 per month

~~Master bathroom floor 92 sq. ft. in an 18 x 18 Mohawk porcelain tile installed with Fusion stain resistant grout $84 per month
 
Design Tip
Trendy versus Trending?  There is a big difference.  It sounds like minor semantics, but in the world of home design, it's important.

Trendy is a moment in time.  It can be here this season and gone the next.  Trending, however, is taking part in a much wider and lasting movement. 
When we make big decisions for our home, such as flooring, we don't want to make a decision based on what is trendy.  "We want to make a decision by what will have lasting appeal," says Emily Morrow, Shaw's Director of Style, Color, and Design. The major flooring manufacturers have designers and trend experts that study the global design marketplace to find the styles, the patterns, the textures, the materials, and the colors that will have lasting impact and timeless beauty.

Is there room for trendy in our lives?  Absolutely. Trendy items in our wardrobes and in our home accessories (pillows, throws, candles, artwork, even rugs) can provide lively updates for a season. But when making the significant investments for your home like new floors, choose a style and color that will make your home beautiful this season and many, many more to come.  

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