Floor Care and Cleaning
It’s just a fact. The longer you live in your home, the more things you accumulate and the less available space to store all your new goodies. Whether you need more storage, an extra bedroom, or a room dedicated to your limited-edition Star Wars action figures, you should consider looking upward.
Think about it—instead of going through the hassle of expanding your home, you can renovate your attic space to fit your needs. Of course, renovating is no walk in the park. Whether you are looking to convert your attic to a storage area or if you want a finished attic, it’s likely the hardest part of converting it will be putting new floors in. Before picking the best floor, here are some things you’ll want to take into account:
Check to see if your attic is up to code
Before you begin, you should confirm with your city, town, or homeowners association (HOA) that you are allowed to convert that space. There are not typically regulations against renovating your attic for additional storage. Where you may run into issues is converting your attic space into additional living space. Keep in mind that if you do receive permission to move forward with your remodeling plans, your attic can be subject to inspections by building officials in the future.
Check the floor space and head space
It probably goes without saying that whatever you store in your attic, it needs to be able to fit. First, think about how you’ll use the space—storing boxes of holiday decorations or setting up your treadmill? Moving in a full bedroom set or just stashing a tent until camping season? Not only do you need to think about your floor space, but you will also need to think about the amount of head space you have. After all, you don’t want any of your belongings or—more importantly—your head to be bumping against the ceiling.
Check your attic’s joists and weight limit
Before starting your journey of transforming your attic, you also need to consider how large your joists are. Joists in attics are typically used to carry the weight of the ceiling in the rooms below it, as well as any utilities such as AC and fans. Some homes (specifically older homes from the 1960s) have small joists that are between 2x6 and 2x8. Unfortunately, if your home has 2x6 or 2x8 joists, it will not have enough strength to support flooring or the weight of what you are looking to move into the attic. However, this does not mean your dreams of refinishing your attic have to come to a complete halt!
Invite an expert to your house to verify that your attic can withstand the weight of floors and whatever else you’re planning to put up there. Additionally, if your joists are visible, you will need to build a subfloor. (More on that to come!)
Check your insulation and ventilation
Heat rises, so your renovated attic space may quickly become the hottest room in your home. Depending on where you live, you may be more than comfortable with that, but it will be important to have proper insulation and ventilation. Much of that can be done along with the flooring you choose, as well as the way in which you install it.
Now that we have gotten those considerations out of the way, let’s talk flooring! The style of floor you should buy is dependent on not only your own personal taste but also your vision for how you’ll use the space.
If you plan to use it solely as additional storage space, plywood is your best option. We recommend going with plywood at least 3/4 inch thick to make sure it is sturdy enough to support whatever is going up there. Plywood will also be used as a subfloor if you are planning to convert your attic into a living space, but for a more finished look, we recommend luxury vinyl, laminate, or carpet. Below are attributes of those three flooring options:
- Luxury Vinyl
- Back in style
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Replicates the classic look of hardwood or tile
- Natural insulator
By utilizing experts, thoughtfully considering what kind of space you want in your newly renovated attic space, and thoroughly reading through this blog, you’ll be able to confidently choose appropriate flooring to transform your attic. Additionally, here is a tool to help you visualize your future attic, as well as a planner to help you keep track of all the necessary steps. Find your local store to speak to an expert that can help you find the best flooring for your attic space.
You love your new floors. After daydreaming of the floors that could be and bringing home flooring samples to see them in your space, you’ve finally installed your beautiful, new floors and made your room complete. But one question keeps floating around in your mind: How can I keep my floors looking brand-new forever?
Fear not; our flooring experts are here to help! By shopping with Flooring America, you’ve already started setting yourself up for success because we specialize in beautiful, long-lasting, durable floors. Next, you can come up with a cleaning schedule that fits your routine. If you need some advice on how to get started, check out our other blog post, “Learn How Best to Protect Your Floors.”
While regular cleanings are vital to maintaining your floors, there’s more to it than just good old maintenance. Floor protectors are an important tool that’ll save your floors from daily wear and tear. Here is a list of different floor protectors and what they are best used for.
1. Moving pads and carpet protectors
These are typically used when moving in or out of a home. Assuming that you plan to stay in your home long term, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll purchase new furniture or décor that could potentially damage your floors when moving it around. Avoid unnecessary marks by using moving pads when bringing new, heavier items into your home.
If you have carpet, you may be under the impression that you don’t have anything to worry about when moving furniture, but that’s not true. Get carpet protectors – plastic film that stands firm against any possible stains and rips. This will keep your furniture from getting caught on the carpet and creating drag marks or indents.
2. Furniture pads
Also known as chair leg floor protectors and furniture floor protectors, these come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, making it easy to find ones that suit your chairs. Instead of putting down a sheet of plastic to limit the chance of scuffing up your floors, this type of floor protector is unobtrusive, made of felt that sticks to the bottom of your furniture, and is a savior for hardwood floors. Traditional felt furniture pads are best suited for coffee tables or dining room tables that aren’t expected to move around much. They are usually sold in packs that run less than $20.
There is a non-slip plastic alternative to felt pads that are slightly more costly but perfect for furniture that is more prone to sliding. If you are struggling to choose between non-slip and regular furniture pads, think of the kind of furniture you are planning move. For example, for furniture like couches or chairs that are likely to shift from people plopping down on them, the non-slip plastic pads protect your floors better against these kinds of scratches.
3. Plastic mat
This option is more or less self-explanatory. It is a thin sheet of plastic that removes any possibility of scratches. It is most frequently found in home offices, as the constant getting up and down from your chair or spinning around can create marks on your floors. You may also find plastic mats in entryways because of the high foot traffic in that area and dirt that’s tracked in from outside. These plastic mats provide a simple solution to eliminate any possibility of scrapes and scratches in that area.
Don’t just yearn for forever young floors; make that dream a reality by getting some floor protectors. Find your local Flooring America store to speak to an expert that can help you find the perfect floor protectors for your home. After all, we enjoy talking all things flooring!
When you’re looking to purchase something that will be a permanent fixture in your household for the next five to 15 years, such as a carpet, you’ll probably want to consider all the factors. You might think about what pattern best complements the couch in the living room, how soft the pile is, what kind of warranty it comes with, and what your next-door neighbor has to say about the carpet she has in her bedroom. Don’t let false rumors negatively influence your thoughts about installing carpets in your home. We’ve compiled and debunked the top five prevailing myths about carpet flooring.
Myth 1: Carpets are hard to clean
Let’s face it—cleaning is never the most exciting thing to do. Just like couches, sheets, dishes, pools, front yards, and more, you have to put in the time, energy, and sometimes even money to keep a carpet in mint condition. However, unlike carpets of the past, modern carpet products are relatively easy to maintain—you will just need to vacuum weekly and do an annual deep clean. If you choose to get a different flooring option other than carpeting, your chores will entail sweeping and mopping regularly and budgeting for the inevitable costs of extra maintenance like waxing, polishing, buffing, and stripping, to name a few. No matter what flooring decision you make, you must put in a little elbow grease to take care of it. But if you’re looking for something that is low-maintenance and already love the look, commit to carpets!
Myth 2: If I have asthma or allergies, I should not even look at carpets
People think carpets are worse for individuals with asthma or allergies, yet modern research has proven otherwise:
- A recent study from Airmid Healthgroup reports that as long as homeowners clean carpets regularly, they do not threaten those affected by allergies or asthma.
- Carpets can trap allergen-causing particles and stop them from becoming airborne, so they’re less likely to be inhaled.
So don’t be swayed by this common misconception about carpets. Conduct your own research or consult with your doctor, but don’t let unfounded fears impact your flooring decision.
Myth 3: There’s formaldehyde in carpets
This is an outdated truth; carpet manufacturers used very low chemical levels way back when but have not since 1987. Any carpet that you buy today will have zero traces of formaldehyde.
Myth 4: Carpets are not environmentally friendly
Across the entire carpet industry, there have been great strides in sustainability and being environmentally conscientious.
- Our Green Select products fit into the strict criteria of being ecofriendly and reflect our commitment to being a part of the solution. Learn more about this here.
- The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), which comprises over 90% of the industry’s manufacturers, has kept over 5 billion pounds of carpet from ending up in landfills.
- Carpet manufacturers have also decreased the amount of water and energy they use to create carpets and use recycled materials to help reach their goal of zero waste.
- Additionally, you will not have to use as much heat during the winter due to carpet flooring’s inherent insulating properties.
Myth 5: Installing carpet is inconvenient
Truth be told, installing any kind of flooring plan can be inconvenient if, and only if, you don’t properly research and prepare for it. We have compiled resources such as:
- How to choose a brand that will work best for your space
- Best practices for prepping your floors before installation
- A do-it-yourself guide
- How to find quality and affordable experts to help you
Better yet, if anything does go wrong, we have a lifetime warranty on carpet installations, so installing your dream carpet will be a stress-free process.
Now that we have disproven all those myths about carpets, let’s focus on some truths. Carpet flooring can be a great fit for your home as it is the safest flooring option due to its soft nature, sound-deadening qualities, and non-slip surface. Interested in learning more? Contact one of our experts to find a carpet that fits your style and complements your flooring needs.
Floor transitions may not be the first thing you think of when planning a home renovation. Most likely, you’re caught up in the vinyl vs. laminate debate or considering whether carpet is too risky for your messy household or trying to pick the perfect tile. We understand! But transitions between floors are an important component in any home to make sure all your floor design choices blend seamlessly from room to room.
Now, what do we mean by floor transitions? Think of a classic door threshold—that raised strip that you step on or over when entering a room. Without floor transitions, we would have frayed carpet edges running up against unfinished hardwood planks or tile grout. Thresholds—the object and the word itself—originated from medieval farmhouse floors, which were covered in straw and hay. That debris (thresh) would scatter when the wind came through the door, so they fastened planks across the bottom of the doorway to keep the thresh out—hence the “threshold” came into existence.
Now our floors may be a little cleaner than those of medieval farmhouses, but floor transitions are still important when shifting between different types of floors.
Gone are the simple days when every room in a house had the same type of floor. With options that match your needs in each and every room in your home, you’re likely to have at least three different floor types, and each of those requires a transition.
The good news is that there are different types of floor transition strips that make it easy to have a safe switch between all types of flooring—no tripping hazards here.
Your first thought might be to choose the least noticeable floor transition so it doesn’t distract from your beautiful floors, but there is a benefit to clearly marked floor transitions. While floor trims may trigger many toddler trips, for the more seasoned walker, an obvious floor transition helps us anticipate a change in flooring texture and elevation, keeping us from tripping.
Transitioning between Floors of Different Heights
When planning a carpet transition to tile (like from your living room to kitchen) you’ll need a door transition with an aluminum strip that grips the carpet and accounts for the difference in height between the carpet and the tile. Floor transition strips can come in vinyl or hardwood –the latter of which can be stained to match the color of the adjoining floor.
There are also transition strips designed to provide a seamless transition from laminate flooring to tile flooring. They feature molding that matches the different thicknesses of the flooring, so you can moonwalk from room to room with ease. Even a transition between uneven floors can be made smooth with the proper floor trim.
Transitioning between Floors of the Same Height
Open floor plans are all the rage these days, which means you might need a different transition between your floors than the traditional doorway threshold. Here are a few ways:
- Perpendicular Planks: It usually just takes a perpendicular plank of wood or tile to make a transition that’s easy on the eye, but when the floors are the same height, there are more unique design options to consider.
- Accent Borders: A thin accent border can help ease the transition between two types of floors. This border can be made of the same materials as one of the floors, or you can add an accent by choosing bold or mosaic tiles.
- Interlocking Floors: Another option is to make an interesting transition from tile to wood—or a wood lookalike—by cutting your wood floors to interlock with the edges of the tile. This works with square, diagonal, hexagonal, and even scalloped tile.
Wood Composite Shutters by Graber
No matter what floors you have, your local Flooring America experts are here to help you create a seamless transition between them. They’re happy to help with all your projects big and small, so visit yours today.
It’s hard to keep your floors clean. Kids are messy, pets (and people) shed, and there’s that one family member who never learned to wipe their feet on the welcome mat. The good news is that it’s easy to clean hardwood floors and keep them in tip-top shape if you know a few simple methods.
Don’t worry; dry cleaning your floors isn’t as inconvenient (or pricey) as dry cleaning your clothes. The first and most regular step of cleaning your hardwood floors should be vacuuming, sweeping, or dry mopping your floors weekly. If you have pets shedding all over your floor or kids making Hansel-and-Gretel-inspired trails of crumbs, you may want to do this more often. These crumby particles are more than just frustrating to feel under your bare feet. They can cause tiny scratches in your flooring, which can wear down the finish on your floor, causing them to look dull over time.
While dust mopping and vacuuming are great for removing crumbs, hair, and dust from your floors, they won’t remove all the dirt built up over time. For a deep clean every now and then, you’ll need a liquid cleaner. One option is to use a warranty-approved store-bought wood-cleaning product. Another solid choice is to make a homemade cleaner using one part vinegar to 10 parts warm water. You could also add a few drops of a plant-based soap like liquid castile soap. Just the water and vinegar mixture alone are sure to make your floor shine, but the added soap is helpful if your floor is especially grimy. If you’re feeling fancy, you could even add a few drops of essential oils to make your floor look clean and smell like a spa.
When using liquid wood floor cleaners, cover a rag or sponge mop in the cleaning solution and wring it out to ensure that it is damp but not wet. If it’s too wet, moisture can seep into the floor and cause it to warp. Once you’ve mopped the floor, rinse the mop, wring out excess water, and damp mop the floor again to remove the cleaner. Make sure there’s no moisture left on your floor by wiping up any excess with a dry towel.
As a general rule, never steam clean wood floors. Steam cleaning can work on floors that are fully sealed, meaning they won’t absorb any moisture, but more often than not, hardwood floors are not sealed and therefore should not be exposed to steam. The heat and moisture from steam mops can cause wood floors to warp and never recover. Remember—moisture is the bane of hardwood floors’ existence.
No matter what cleaning method you’re considering, remember to always check your floor’s warranty before committing to one. Whether you just got new floors and want to keep them in good shape, or you suspect you’ve been cleaning them wrong for years, your local Flooring America experts are here to answer all of your questions. Our flooring specialists are happy to help with all your projects, so visit your Flooring America today to start one.
Oftentimes it seems like you have to choose between having beautiful floors and having floors that can stand up to everything a cat could put them through. If you’re looking for the best in feline-friendly floors but don’t want to compromise on style, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll cover all the functional needs to consider and the most stylish and feature-laden flooring solutions that meet your needs.
Issues to Address
Here are the issues that cats bring to the table (or should we say the floor):
- First and foremost is pet hair. No matter what, you’ll find yourself in a constant battle with pet hair. Depending on your cat’s coat color, you should think about selecting a floor color that could help mask small amounts of fur in between your regular cleaning schedule. You’ll also want a material that is easy to vacuum since that is the most efficient way to remove cat hair.
- Scratch resistance is another feature you’ll want to account for when shopping for floors. Even the tiniest of claws can still scratch your floors, depending on the durability of the material. Many floors these days are designed specifically to prevent scratches, which should help narrow down the options you have to choose from.
- And even the best-trained cats may still be susceptible to the occasional accident. That being the case, looking for a floor that isn’t very porous but also has a waterproof or stain-resistant feature is a good idea. This may seem like a lot of features for one floor, but don’t be discouraged. There’s still a huge selection of beautiful floors that feature everything you need to keep your cat and your home happy. Even some carpets are waterproof now!
Luxury Vinyl for the Win
Luxury vinyl is a flooring material that continues to grow in popularity because of its affordability, durability, and ability to mimic other more expensive floors like hardwood, tile, or stone. Because luxury vinyl is made up of multiple layers and has a thick wear layer, it is waterproof and scratch-resistant. Plus, it comes in so many styles that you can easily find the right design for your home.
Tile’s Unbeatable Durability
Another highly durable option that is perfect for your furry friend is tile. It’s incredibly strength resists scratches and tile’s natural properties make it extremely water-resistant. That means it will last long and clean up easily. Tile does tend to be more expensive than other flooring options but comes in different styles that vary in price. If you can’t afford to replace all the floors in your house with tile, it may be a good idea to just replace the floors in the areas where your cat spends the most time, like around their litter box or food bowl.
Opt for Lighter Hardwoods
If you’re set on the elegance and charm of hardwood floors, don’t worry, you can still shop for certain types of wood floors that lend themselves better to cat homes. Look for lighter-colored woods to better hide cat hair, paired with a low-shine finish to give it more of a rustic look and conceal scratches. The less perfect your hardwood floors are to begin with, the less any cat-based damages will stand out.
If you’re okay going the composite route, laminate and linoleum are incredibly low-maintenance flooring materials. These composite materials offer a little more cushion than some harder surfaces, which can help not only your joints but your cat’s paws as well. They’re some of the most durable flooring options out there, so you won’t have to worry about scratches as much, and they are very easy to clean, no matter what surprises your cat has in store.
If you have any other questions at all about which type of floor is best for your cat and your home, reach out to the flooring experts at your local Flooring America. Some people are cat people, some are dog people, but we’re floor people. Our experts are passionate about floors and making it easy to find the right one for your home and your lifestyle.