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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Which Floor is Best for Allergies?

My Child Has Allergies! Should I Pull Up My Carpet?
The good news is that people with allergies and asthma can have carpet. Most fibers used in mass-produced rugs and carpets today are harmless materials like polyester and nylon, the same stuff clothes and bags are made from. These synthetic blends are constructed out of lab-developed fibers that repel allergens, in part because they are nonorganic and offer an inhospitable climate. For example, mold has nothing to eat and particulate (pollen, dander, etc.) can be easily vacuumed.  Wool should be avoided because allergens and mold can thrive in it. Regardless of material, avoid shag -- the longer the strands, the more places the pollen can go. Also choose carpet that is tightly woven for the same reason.
But no matter which carpet type you choose, dust, pollen and other allergy-aggravators are still in there, so get rid of them.  Vacuum regularly and have your carpets professionally cleaned (hot water extraction) on a regular basis.  Invest in a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter, which traps allergens; some vacuums are even equipped with them.
Allergens sink into the carpet and out of the air, but even with frequent vacuuming, they're still down there. Hard floor coverings offer no haven for allergies -- they just sit on the surface.  They're easier to clean than carpets -- a simple sweep and vacuum quickly gets rid of allergens.  If you opt out of carpet, however, note that hard surfaces require more frequent cleaning. If not maintained, the result will be a dusty, sneezy environment that is inferior to the allergen-trapping properties of a carpet-covered room.
In short, if you want to sweep/vacuum more frequently, a solid surface may be better. But, if you aren't able to maintain the flooring almost daily, carpet may actually serve you better.



  
Party Animals!
If you attended our latest event, you already know how much fun they are! We had a great time, with good food, fun games and prizes, and tons of useful information from our vendor reps. We LOVE getting to play and have fun with our customers! We are so proud of our new Rug Shoppe and Bathroom Gallery. If you couldn't make it to the Grillin' Up A Good Time Event, please drop by to have a look at what's new. And plan to come to our next event- The Flooring Fiesta- where we'll have Tacos and Margaritas and Mischief!
What? Are You Speaking My Language?
There is lots of new "language" flying around: LOL, BTW, IMHO, OMG have become common everyday abbreviations for many of us. Sometimes we need an interpreter (usually under the age of 20) and the world of luxury vinyl flooring is no different. We have our own acronyms- LVT, LVP, WPC, to name a few. Here's a handy dandy little explanation to help you navigate these terms:
LVT: Luxury Vinyl Tile
LVP: Luxury Vinyl Plank
WPC: Wood Polymer Composite
Huh? Still lost and confused?  Well, you're in good company! This industry is evolving so fast, even some insiders get tongue-tied and twisted up remembering the differences.
LVT stands for luxury vinyl tiles and LVP stands for luxury vinyl planks. Sometimes you will find LVT/LVP that are also waterproof/WPC, but not always. They mean two different things.

Typically, all WPC products will be considered luxury vinyl tiles or luxury vinyl planks, but not all luxury vinyl is WPC. Kind of like how all golden retrievers are dogs, but not all dogs are golden retrievers. It's a specialty in the luxury vinyl market.
The term "luxury" can be a little misleading. While it can be more expensive than traditional sheet vinyl, LVT/LVP is not only affordable, it can be an incredibly far-sighted smart purchase.  Usually, a luxury vinyl product consists of multiple layers, realistic 3D printing, a tough wear layer, a textured surface, and sometimes, an attached underlayment (pad.)  Planks typically are 5 to 7 inches wide and 24 to 72 inches long, resembling a plank of wood. Tiles are more square or rectangular, and usually mimic a stone look.
WPC stands for Wood Polymer Composite.  It's 100% waterproof. This is the trademark of WPC vinyl.  Coincidentally WPC is also called Water Proof Core.  The only other floor that can claim to be 100% waterproof is glazed manmade tile. Also, because WPC vinyl is so thick and durable, it can minimize pull-up charges and imperfect subfloors.
There are beautiful wood and stone images to choose from.  These top-end vinyl floors are able to more realistically mimic natural materials better than ever before. WPC vinyl is the best of the best, which means the looks are usually incredibly convincing and beautiful. It is more comfortable than tile. It's true, you could just get a wood or stone look tile and it would also be waterproof. But tile is hard. Standing on a tile floor all day isn't great for your joints or feet. Vinyl is more resilient and much more comfortable. And finally, easy maintenance. All you need is the occasional vacuum and damp mop to keep your WPC looking fabulous.

Rigid Core Technology is another term that you will hear when vinyl shopping.  This refers to a rigid composite core with an acoustic backing, and a locking technology that secures the planks together.  Again, all Rigid Core is WPC, but not all WPC is Rigid Core.
If you think luxury vinyl is the right choice for your home, the Enhance Design Consultants will help you find the perfect look and style for your décor, lifestyle, and budget.



How Much Does It Cost?
We recently installed luxury vinyl plank (LVP as you just learned!) in a large Marietta family room and hall for $3400.  We installed Shaw Floorte---a premium quality line, and this price included removal of the old carpet/pad/tack strip, moving furniture, and new shoemold and transitions.  Our client is thrilled with this beautiful, easy care floor!
Design Tip
A few easy summer projects:
~If you have hydrangeas blooming in your yard, bring a few indoors and enjoy the splash of summer color!
~Replace your heavy winter bedspreads and comforters with thin throw blankets.
~Give you bathroom a refresh with new towels and a fun shower curtain.
~String lights are functional and add an element of coziness and whimsy to your space. String lights up and around trees or over your patio, garden and other outdoor space. They can also be easily stored away or repurposed for holiday décor later in the year. Candles and glass lanterns cast a warm glow over your patio or backyard that will last late into the summer night.
I Was FLOORED By Enhance
From John in Marietta:
"Enhance just refinished a floor for us.  It's been a great job. I'd recommend them to anybody. As a matter of fact, they corrected a lot of errors from the last time we had these floors finished by a different company. The Enhance guys are friendly, and they're very helpful. They take their time to explain things and do good, quality work. They're professional. Excellent work."
Thank you for the review, John.  Call us anytime with questions about how to take care of your wood floors. 
Tip: Vacation time is a great time to have time consuming work like refinishing done in your home.  You're out of the house anyway, so consider getting some not-so-convenient projects completed while you are away.

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