People across the globe are staying at home on the advice of the CDC with regard to the ongoing Coronavirus situation. While non-essential travel is discouraged, trips to the pharmacy, grocery store, gas station, and doctor’s office are currently permitted. Venturing out of your house offers plenty of opportunities for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to be brought back into your house. Recent studies have shown the Coronavirus lasts up to 72 hours on surfaces, so anything you touch out in public is potentially contaminated. Remember to wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds upon arriving home, and make a daily effort to clean and disinfect your surroundings until the virus has run its course. Below are some helpful tips to accomplish that goal.
Clean your car
If you’re traveling anywhere, your car is the most likely mode of transport for the virus. You can use disinfectant wipes on high-touch areas such as car door handles, controls, steering wheel, keys or start button, touchscreen, seatbelts, and cup holders. The virus can also attach to your clothes and spread to your seats. Lysol and similar disinfectant sprays can sanitize your seats when given time to dry.
Wipe down surfaces at home
Think about the high-touch areas of your home: doorknobs, refrigerator handles, tables, counters, light switches, and remotes. Especially when living with others, germs can accumulate quite quickly on these surfaces. A daily wipe down of these areas will go a long way in prevent the spread of any illness.
Spray areas that cannot be wiped down
Spray your carpets, couches, and other seating areas with disinfectant spray in a sweeping motion, then wait for it to dry. If you run out of wipes for your other surfaces, you can always spray disinfectant into paper towels to achieve the same outcome.
Clean your floors
Your shoes can easily bring the virus into your home. Remember to remove your shoes immediately upon entering your home to minimize the amount of flooring you need to disinfect. For non-porous flooring, use a mixture of 1 cup of bleach to 5 gallons of water. For porous flooring such as hardwood, use a half cup of white vinegar and 1 gallon of water. A disinfecting mop cloth works as well.
Use hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide can kill the coronavirus within 8 minutes. It’s recommended to pour the chemical directly on surfaces like your sink, countertops, toilet, shower, or bathtub. Allow 10 to 15 minutes to soak, then scrub the area and rinse with water.
Other items to remember
While cleaning all the things around us, we often forget the highest touch area of them all, our mobile phones. We touch our phones more than any other item during the day, yet we never remember to disinfect it. A few swipes a day using a disinfectant wipe should do the trick. Similar items include our wallets, money, and credit cards, laptops, and keyboards.
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Vacuuming is a key component of carpet and flooring maintenance in any home. Besides the obvious cosmetic benefits, carpets are home to unseen dust mites, pet hair, mold, dead skin cells, insect feces, and other particles. And for hardwood, a simple sweeping isn’t always enough. Something else you might not know? There is, in fact, an art to vacuuming. Below are some tips you might want to add to improve your vacuuming skills.
Don’t wait until it looks dirty
It’s important to stick to a schedule to prevent the aforementioned gunk from accumulating. By the time your carpet looks dirty it’s probably time for a deep clean, not just a simple vacuum job. Dirt on hardwood and tile is a lot more noticeable, but it’s still important to stay ahead of things.
Vacuum in multiple directions
Dirt and dust do not come out easily. Vacuuming in every direction will help loosen things up and get the job done. You’ll find it also saves you time whenever you vacuum next.
Don’t let your vacuum bag fill up
Many folks let their vacuum bag fill up fully before emptying it into the trash. This adversely impacts the vacuum’s efficiency and can release dirt right back into your home. Instead, make sure to empty when its halfway full and remember to never reuse the bag itself.
Use the crevice tool!
We often forget about the corners of the room when we start vacuuming. The crevice tool is key to fully cleaning your carpet and preventing a buildup of gunk in the corners of the room. These areas tend to be neglected, leading to more cumbersome cleaning months down the road.
Take your time
This tip goes hand in hand with keeping a schedule. It’s not a great idea to start vacuuming when you’re in a rush. Dashing the vacuum across your floor for five minutes before heading out the door will do next to nothing for its health and cleanliness.
Use the right vacuum
Some vacuums are superior to others. A low-cost or smaller size vacuum will take twice the amount of time to get the job done, so consider looking for high-quality and durability when making a new purchase. Also, if you have both carpet and hardwood in your home, make sure to either purchase a specific vacuum for each or one that is labeled multi-use.
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As consumers become more environmentally savvy, designers have come up with plenty of ways to incorporate eco-friendly materials for their clients. Gone are the times when environmentally responsible designs were labeled as bland or boring. Consider some of these exciting options and our flooring experts will be sure to make it work for any space!
Deadset on getting a traditional hardwood flooring look but want to limit your impact on the environment? Reclaimed hardwood uses wood from trees that were chopped down decades, or even centuries ago. First used as a beam in a farmer’s barn or a supporting joist in a warehouse roof, reclaimed hardwood can come from many sources. Going the reclaimed hardwood route is a great way to bring environmental sustainability into your home.
Most carpets are made with compounds and toxins that are harmful to the environment. Luckily, wool carpet is an eco-friendly option that is readily available and can be dyed the color of your choice. Wool is one of the first materials ever used for flooring and has proven to be extremely durable. It is a perfect fit for heavy use areas in a family home.
Cork is more commonly known for its use in wine bottles and as a wall covering in office spaces. Although in recent years, it has risen in popularity for traditional flooring. You may also be surprised to learn that cork is a renewable resource. Cork comes from the bark of the cork oak tree, and its harvest does not require cutting the tree down. The bark will grow back every few years. In your home cork flooring is anti-microbial, fire retardant, and a natural insect repellent.
Bamboo is a grass that shares similar characteristics to hardwood after manufacturing. It is sustainable and only takes three to five years to reach maturity, far less than the two decades it takes for trees. Other than reclaimed hardwood, bamboo is the closest to hardwood-eco-friendly flooring can get. You will be surprised by the wide array of colors available to choose from.
You can group cork and leather together as the two flooring options that surprise and delights first-time buyers. It has a soft, warm feel that fits naturally in a personal space like a bedroom. While it does wear over time, it is extremely durable and can develop a personality of its own over the years from scratches and age.
Classic Floor Designs is committed to fulfilling your flooring vision in an environmentally friendly fashion. Our experts have decades of experience in the Washington D.C. area and are waiting to give you a complimentary consultation! Call us at (202) 872-9860 and we’ll be more than happy to set up your FREE in-store design consultation.
The organic material in hardwood flooring makes it much more susceptible to damage than other floorings. Instead of focusing on what you can do to increase the longevity of your hardwood, look to what to avoid. In fact, it is often the most common of practices that can end up ruining your hardwood. Below, we have compiled a list of what to avoid in order to preserve the beauty of your hardwood for as long as possible!
Don’t wear your shoes in the house
This one may seem obvious, and a rule prohibiting this is already in place in many households. In addition to scuffs and scratches, moisture and dirt brought in by your shoes can seep into the floor, causing noticeable damage over time.
Don’t use harsh cleaners (including vinegar!)
Cleaners that are not specifically designed for wood flooring can cause serious damage. Many households report using vinegar to clean their wood floors, believing it is a natural alternative to the harmful chemicals found in synthetic cleaners. In reality, the acid present in vinegar will eat away at the protective finish covering your floor over time.
Carefully move furniture and appliances
Professional movers take moving client’s furniture very seriously. Any damage caused during the move will come right out of their pockets. Use the same caution they do by using felt pads or furniture straps when deciding to move any heavy furniture and appliances. Those dents and scratches are not easily fixed and can end up costing you big. After moving things around, always remember to use protective padding.
Don’t steam clean
Steam cleaning your hardwood can cause water damage and warping. Use a damp mop or cloth if necessary, but try to avoid any water contact unless necessary. A microfiber pad or dry mop pad such as a Swiffer will do fine for normal upkeep.
Don’t forget about the dog
Your dogs, as cute they may be, can cause a lot of damage to your hardwood floors. The only effort you can make to mitigate this is by keeping his or her nails trimmed. This will limit the scratching when the dogs run around the house. If you have a puppy, you’ll want to have house training done as soon as possible. A urine stain is one of the worst for the health of your floor.
Don’t forget to refinish
No matter how careful you are, the time will come for a refinishing. Reapplying a protective finish smooths out any imperfections and gives your hardwood its shine back.
Need help picking out your new hardwood flooring? Already have an idea in mind? Give us a call at (202) 872-9860 for a FREE consultation. Classic Floor Designs has over 40 years of experience in the Washington DC area, and we are proud to be a premier flooring expert for our clients. Let us get you started, call today!
Hardwood is the most popular flooring option in the United States for a reason. Its durability, beauty, and versatility instantly make your home look great. Hardwood is highly sought after by home-owners and potential home buyers, and offers a look and feel that other types of flooring simply cannot provide. There’s more to simpling picking a type of hardwood for your home. The options available to homeowners may turn out to be a taller task than previously imagined. Here are a few things you should know before making the leap to a hardwood home.
Two types of hardwood floorboards
Each board of solid hardwood is made from a single piece of wood. It has a beautiful appearance but comes with some drawbacks. The single piece of wood will expand and contract based on temperature and humidity in the room it’s been placed. Avoid installing solid hardwood in a basement or kitchen as it may be damaged easily. The hardwood flooring will also need to be acclimated.
Engineered hardwood is made up of several pieces of wood, bonded together in layers. This allows for a much simpler, and cheaper, installation. Engineered hardwood will not expand and contract due to temperature and humidity
Finishes and species
Two huge considerations for new flooring in any home is the finish and the species of wood. Popular options for wood species include oak, birch, cherry, maple, bamboo, walnut, and hickory. When it comes to your floors finish, you can opt for a factory finish or site finish.
A factory finish will limit your options, but the installation will be much faster and less expensive than a site finish. The world is your oyster with a site finish, but the drying and curing process could take days or weeks. For a brand-new home, this is a more popular option. For a renovation, which is usually time-sensitive, a factory finish usually makes the most sense.
Check out other articles on our blog for tips and tricks on hardwood care, flooring trends for 2020, and signs that it’s time to replace or refinish your hardwood flooring. We cover refinishing, remodeling, and more!
Classic Floor Designs has been Washington DC’s premier flooring source for over 40 years. Our experts are here to help you tackle your project no matter the size or scope, and we are proud to have earned the trust and respect of our clients when it comes to hardwood. Call us at (202) 872-9860 to schedule your FREE consultation. Let us help make your flooring dreams become reality today!
Hardwood flooring is a beautiful addition to any home and certainly adds a lot of value, but it’s no secret that its value decreases over time. Proper care and maintenance can extend the life of your hardwood floors, but how do know when the time has come to hire a professional to refinish your hardwood floors? Here are the top five signs to look for!
Water is no friend to your hardwood floors. Quick spills in the kitchen or dining room are usually no big deal, but we’ve all had the problem of catching a leak or spill a little too late. For severe cases, such as a storm causing a large leak, a professional service should come in as soon as possible to attempt to save the wood from buckling or warping. A dark stain may be all that’s leftover for a less severe case. Nevertheless, whether it be extensive water damage or just a few stains, a full or partial refinishing is worth a look at.
This is most common in homes with pets. Large dogs may seem like the most likely culprit, but smaller animals, like cats, can also damage your hardwood. Dragging furniture over your hardwood is another common way for scratches to appear. Most scratches only impact the stain and not the actual wood itself, making this strictly a cosmetic issue. Sanding and restaining may be all that’s required, but deeper or extensive scratches may call for a refinishing.
Natural light is considered a desirable feature of a home, though your hardwood would disagree. Sun exposure can damage your hardwood flooring over time. Reapplying stain to discolored areas is only a temporary fix. Classic Floor Designs recommends a full refinish when the damage becomes too noticeable.
Some boards are turning gray
You may be wondering why some of your hardwood is turning gray. As the polyurethane wears off, your hardwood absorbs water much more easily. Water dragged in by your shoes, spilled drinks, or even water from cleaning products during normal maintenance, all speed up this process. If not addressed, the wood will eventually turn black. Refinishing is the only way to fix this issue.
Change in style
A refinish is a perfect opportunity to change the style of your flooring. If you have been pondering a change and have damage or discoloration, refinishing your hardwood floors kills two birds with one stone. Especially if you are putting your home on the market, a new style can be the perfect way to increase the value of your home to potential buyers.
Think it’s time to refinish your hardwood floors? Give us a call at (202) 872-9860 for a FREE consultation with one of our flooring experts! With over 40 years of experience, we are proud to be one of the most trusted names in flooring in the DC metropolitan area. Our team can help with your new construction, home improvement, restoration or maintenance project.