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Best Flooring For a Flip Property

Flipping houses is hard work, but the return on investment on a flip property can be worth it. Houses that are ideal for flipping often have an outdated style with damaged materials and other cosmetic issues. Because many buyers prefer to purchase a home that is in move-in-ready condition, properties that are ideal for flipping may be undesirable to others. One of the more common ways that house flippers improve décor and value is by installing new flooring in most or all rooms of the home. This is because flooring has a dramatic impact on decor, ambiance and overall appeal. However, choosing the right materials for flooring and for all other improvement property projects will affect your return on investment.

Choosing a Suitable Property

The best time to think about the materials for a renovation project is before you finalize your purchase plans. Flipping is usually most cost-effective when the property only requires superficial or cosmetic enhancements. This includes replacing the flooring, painting the drywall, and tackling other similar projects. More significant efforts, such as replacing the roof, can dramatically increase cost and may reduce your overall return on investment. When you are touring potential homes to buy, you can also search for homes with materials that may be refinished rather than replaced. For example, refinishing a hardwood floor is often more cost-effective than installing a new hardwood floor.

Selecting the Right Materials for a Flip

Some of the most common types of flooring used when flipping a home are hardwood, carpet and tile. Everything from the color and style of the material to its cost and how easy it is to install should be taken into consideration. Because time is money when you are flipping a home, the immediate availability of the material should also receive your full attention. You also need to focus on the the décor of the home as well as the functionality of each room while selecting flooring. For example, installing carpeting in the kitchen or bathrooms may decrease the home’s appeal dramatically, and this could reduce your return on investment.

Optimizing Your Return on Investment on Your Property Flip

When selecting flooring and other materials for the renovation, your goal is to find the materials that offer the greatest financial return. This does not usually mean that you should install the most expensive materials that you can find. Everything from the appeal that a material has to a potential buyer to its ease of maintenance, its cost of installation and its impact on décor should be considered. Your goal is to choose a material that is desired by buyers and that is cost-effective to install.

Installing the Flooring Promptly

Whether you choose carpet, hardwood or other flooring materials, the installation time and cost must be taken into account. If you choose a material that you can install on your own, such as some types of hardwood or tile, you may save a small bundle on the total installation cost. This directly increases your return on investment. On the other hand, if the carpet or other types of flooring must be professionally installed, the total cost of the project increases. As a result, the return on investment decreases.

Finding Quality Materials with Competitive Prices

When you search for quality materials that bring true value to the home, everything from the cost of labor and materials to how coveted those materials are to prospective buyers should be reviewed collectively and comprehensively. Savings opportunities on different types of flooring materials will vary over time. With this in mind, you will need to conduct thorough research on current deals for different flooring types for each new project that you work on.

Installing new flooring in an older home with outdated style is a relatively fast and easy way to improve its ambiance and to erase years from its visible age. However, the right materials for the home as well as for the target buyer must be found, and these materials must be cost-effective to purchase and to install. You can begin exploring some of the wonderful possibilities available today for your next flipping project by browsing through online inventory.

2021 Home Design Trends

Today’s homes multi-task as offices, school rooms, and play areas. The latest home design trends aim to support these functions while still delivering fabulous style. Top 2021 trends in design cover the gamut from hardwood floors to lighting. If you’re spending more time at home, you’ll love this list of ideas for updating and refreshing your space.  

Go Luxe With Navy Blue

In the past, designers used black accent walls, furnishings, and fixtures to lend glamour and sophistication to a living area. In 2021, navy blue is the new black for interior designs. Navy appears softer than black and coordinates with many colors without looking too harsh.  

Navy blue enhances both contemporary and traditional living rooms. You’ll find the color splashed on accent walls with paint or pretty wallpaper prints. Get a thoroughly modern living room makeover with chairs and sofas that are upholstered in this velvety, rich color. 

Brighten Rooms With Light Floors

You can’t broach the subject of interior design without challenging your flooring choices. If you love modern elements for your home, our designers recommend lighter flooring options. Light-colored floors work well with Scandinavian-style furnishings and fixtures. They also give industrial living areas a more spacious and bright look. 

When creating modern interior designs, hard floors take center stage. You’ll see sealed concrete and natural stone tile floors throughout 2021’s modern homes. Hardwood flooring is a classic option that never goes out of style, and it has a wide appeal with both homeowners and home shoppers. Some hot hardwood species to consider for 2021 include white oak, birch, and ivory maple. 

Modern Rustic Design Combos

If you and your spouse bicker about the benefits of modern over rustic interior design, 2021 can be a game changer for your relationship and your home’s look. Home design experts mix modern and rustic furnishings and fixtures for distinctive design combinations in 2021. There are several ways that you can get the look without making your home a total construction site. 

If your spouse won and you’re starting with a completely modern living area, add some rustic elements to the space such as a sliding barn door, rough-hewn wood sconces, or a hand-made, glass-topped wooden table. Many modern spaces rely on bright, white walls as a backdrop for minimalist drama. By adding elements of dark, natural wood, you give the space a pleasant surprise with color contrasts and texture mixes.

Completely rustic spaces benefit from modern touches as well. The best way to pull off this look is by introducing sleek, natural elements into the space. Consider incorporating things such as stainless steel countertops, shiny metal-framed side tables, and lots of glass.    

Get Glowing With Hidden Lighting

Lighting is the unsung hero of great interior design. With the right lights, you can make a space appear larger or smaller than it really is. You can also create a warm, elegant ambiance for a space, which is desired in both modern and traditional designs. Hidden lights top the list of 2021 trends in home lighting.  

Hidden lighting goes beyond the standard recessed lights of the past. You’ll often see diffused, soft light coming from above a fixture or from its side, but you can’t see the source of the light. Hidden lights such as positional luminaries and multi-level lighting are found integrated into ceilings, walls, and floors. 

Bring Indoor Comforts Outdoors

Our current pandemic situation makes a comfortable outdoor living area a must-have part of any interior design in 2021. Even if you don’t have the space or the budget for a complete outdoor living room, you can still enjoy the trend with a few decorative, weather-proof chairs, comfortable textiles, and some paint. Consider painting your porch a soothing color that you would see in an interior room such as slate blue or one that’s found in nature such as forest green. Adorn chairs with cheerful-looking cushions, lay out some textured throw rugs, and grab a cup of your favorite herbal tea for a delightful getaway without getting away.   

Improve Productivity With More Storage Cabinets

If you’re working from home and/or home-schooling children, your quality of life can be affected if you’re not organized. A top 2021 trend in home design is adding more storage cabinets in your living and work spaces. By installing storage cabinets that match your room’s decor, you’ll declutter, reclaim space, improve your concentration, and increase your room’s aesthetic appeal.   

Indulge in Sustainable Minimalism

Two of interior designers’ top loves have come together to form a leading home design trend for 2021. Minimalism in furniture, fixtures, and architectural design isn’t going anywhere in 2021. However, it’ll have a sustainable twist. You’ll find light fixtures with simple lines that are made of recycled materials. Cork and bamboo floors are set to be favorite options for those who want to incorporate sustainable minimalism design elements into their homes in 2021. 

Conclusion

Quality flooring is the foundation of every distinctive interior design. Whether you’re the parent of a toddler who needs soft carpet for her first steps or you’re a senior who has a passion for exotic hardwood floors, Classic Floor Designs delivers on quality, style, and function. Call us today at 202-872-9860 to schedule your free design consultation

 

Hardwood Flooring Trends 2020

Hardwood remains the most popular flooring choice for homeowners across the country. While other trends flow in and out of style, hardwood has always kept its status as a timeless look. You can count on almost all new constructions and renovations to feature hardwood in a prominent area of the home. It’s just what buyers are looking for! 

So, you’ve decided on hardwood, but what style? There are so many options to consider: the wood, the stain, the finish. It can be hard to settle on the right one. But, you can take comfort in knowing the top home designers today ask themselves the same questions! Let us do some of the work for you as we cover the top hardwood trends of 2020:

Dark hardwood

For homes that prioritize style over maintenance, the trend of installing dark hardwood flooring has been on the rise and doesn’t seem to be slowing down now. Dark hardwood is synonymous with drama and having dark flooring opens up a world of wall color options.  From ebony to deep browns, dark hardwood floors look luxurious. Cool-toned hardwood

Cool-toned hardwood

Cool-toned hardwood flooring is the hottest new trend for many new townhomes and apartment complexes. Aimed at attracting a younger buyer and renter, this trend has been gaining popularity over the past few years. This style of flooring works best with walls decorated in cool tones. And, since dark hardwood is easier to keep clean and maintain, cool-toned hardwood floors make a lot of sense for your home. Consider this cool-toned style, like many designers, and replace dark hardwood with cool-toned hardwood to stay on trend for 2020.

Grey and grey blends

Grey hardwood floors are another popular choice among new homeowners and first-time renovators. Many new constructions go for a grey color scheme to enhance neutral furniture. Certain woods can be stained grey, so refinishing rather than replacing your existing hardwood floor may be something to consider. 

 

Light and natural 

Light, natural hardwood flooring is timeless. And compared to dark flooring, light hardwood floors show less dirt and scratches. Another benefit to lighter floors is that they tend to make rooms look larger rather than smaller. While the trend today might seek to drown out more of the yellowish tint for a contemporary look, it’s still tried and tested. It can also give you more flexibility in the color and style of your furniture than other hardwood.

Solid hardwood

Hardwood flooring, as a rule, increases the value of your home. How much, however, depends on the quality of the wood. Popular types of hardwood flooring include oak, hickory, and maple. Once installed, hardwood is known for its durability and transformative effect on the space. Whether its purpose is a powerful selling-point or revamping the flooring you have always dreamed of, let us help you every step of the way. Solid hardwood can last 100+ years. It consistently holds up to heavy use, and allows homeowners to sand, refinish, and change the colors and styles as their preferences change.

Wider planks

There has been a shift in recent years from the standard size strips of old. Installation is faster since the wide planks take up more room per square foot than a thinner board. Many homeowners appreciate that wider planks make their space look and feel larger, and make contemporary homes feel more rustic and authentic.  

Contact Us

At Classic Floor Designs, we know flooring. We’ve been providing top-notch flooring products and services to homes and businesses in and around the Washington, D.C. area for more than 40 years. We’re always pleased to put our expertise to work for our clients. To learn more about flooring trends or explore our services, contact us today to arrange for a free design consultation.

Flooring Trends for 2020

The past several years have proven to be pivotal in the design and architecture world, and 2020 will be no different. Whether you are planning a renovation for your current home, remodeling to put your home on the market, or just laying out options for your next move, staying on top of the hottest flooring trends will help guide your decision.

Sustainability

Protecting the environment has become an increasing priority among households in the United States. While you may not immediately associate flooring with sustainability, there is a whole subcategory of “green flooring.” Reclaimed hardwood, wool, and bamboo are the most in-style options on the market heading into 2020.

Grey and Neutral Palettes

This trend has been popular for the past several years and it will not be headed anywhere soon. What started as more of a palette for walls or fabrics now includes flooring.  New homes increasingly feature neutral colored hardwood flooring. The look has been associated with elegance and style, and can serve as a great selling point for your home.

Unique Patterns

It is not often a home’s hardwood stands out as unique. Custom patterns for hardwood flooring is becoming a popular option in new homes across the country. Playing around with new color schemes and patterns provides your home with a one-of-a-kind look, leaving a lasting impression with guests and potential home buyers.

Hybrid Flooring

Most homes have different flooring depending on the room. Stone tile for the bathroom, hardwood for the living and dining room, carpet for bedrooms. Consider incorporating various types flooring to accentuate spaces such as the entrance to your home or your living room. If designed properly, this will bring fresh life into your home.

Contact Us

Classic Floor Designs has over 40 years of flooring and design experience in the Washington DC metro area. As industry leaders, you can trust our flooring experts are up to date on all flooring trends heading into 2020.  Our designers are ready to give you a FREE in-store consultation today! Just call (202) 872-9860 and a representative will be ready to get your new flooring project underway.

 

Should you refinish the hardwood floors hiding under your carpet?

Should you refinish the hardwood floors hiding under your carpet?

If you watch home-improvement shows, you’ve no doubt noticed that the first thing renovators look at is flooring. Most of them start tearing up the carpet to see if there’s wood underneath. Carpet isn’t necessarily inferior to hardwood floors. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. If you’re facing this dilemma, our experts at Classic Floor Designs can help. Keep reading to learn more about your options before you decide between carpet or hardwoods.

Lifestyle

Any remodel decision should start with your family’s living habits. Do you remove your shoes when you come in? Do you have a houseful of rambunctious kids? Are your pets house-trained? Do you eat dinner in your living area while watching TV?

If your family tends to track in dirt and frequently spill food or drinks, you’re probably better off with hardwood flooring. Spills wipe right up, so it’s almost impossible to stain.

One advantage to carpet, though, is the cushioning it provides. Parents of infants sometimes stick with carpet or buy plenty of rugs until their children are walking.  Carpet muffles sound, so think about that if your upstairs bedrooms are occupied. Other noises, such as a dog’s bark or loud music, tend to reverberate from a wood floor. Too, carpet is warmer underfoot. That can be an advantage in cold climates.

Again, accessorizing wood with rugs resolves most of its drawbacks.

Aesthetics

Many would argue that there’s nothing more beautiful than well-kept, gleaming hardwood floors.  Wood does seem to be ever popular. Rarely has it gone in and out of vogue as some flooring materials have. For a classic look, it’s hard to beat. Carpet, on the other hand, comes in lovely colors, textures, and patterns. The right choice of carpet can anchor an entire room and lend an inviting warmth.

Versatility

If your carpet has a plain pattern and is neutral in color, it won’t be difficult to redecorate rooms around it. A rich color or complex pattern, however, can pose problems when you want to buy new furniture or give the walls a fresh look. Carpet is somewhat limiting.

With hardwoods, depending on the finish, you typically have more freedom to change your color scheme or incorporate different patterns and textures into your decor. If you’re the type that quickly gets bored with the furniture arrangement, consider the ease with which felt-padded, heavy objects slide over hardwoods.

Durability

Quality carpets are made with better materials and last a lot longer than they used to, but the superior durability of wood cannot be denied. When properly maintained, hardwoods can take abuse for decades or even generations. Sanding down the surface erases any defects. Reapplying a stain or finish completely restores the wood to its original luster. This process can be periodically repeated for as long as you own your home.

Carpet, depending on the traffic at your house, must be replaced every five to seven years on average. The pile eventually wears down and stains inevitably mount up.

Maintenance

Some homeowners prefer carpet because it hides dirt. Others don’t like it for the very same reason.

Whether you go with carpet or wood, floors must be carefully maintained to preserve their appearance and prevent health hazards. Dust balls and pet hair are readily apparent on wood floors, so they require sweeping or dust-mopping at least every other day. Spills aren’t a problem, and even paint is easy to remove once it dries. Carpet should be vacuumed at least once a week to remove dirt and potentially harmful microorganisms. Spills should be promptly attended to, and professional cleaning is recommended at least once a year.

Environmental Considerations

Carpet fibers, carpet padding, adhesives, wood sealants and wood finishes have all been made safer for families and pets in recent years. If you’re concerned about your family’s health, research flooring manufacturers to make sure that they comply with indoor air-quality requirements. Some carpets do contain allergens. Unlike carpet, which is made largely of petroleum, wood is a natural, sustainable, renewable material.

Cost

Carpet is undeniably less expensive than real wood. However, given the cost of replacing it every few years, wood might be a better long-term investment. Refinishing wood doesn’t cost as much as replacing carpet.

Do hardwoods add resale value to your home? Figures are hard to confirm, but many surveys of real estate agents indicate that they do. Also, in a poll conducted by USA Today, more than half of the potential home buyers surveyed expressed willingness to pay more for a house with hardwoods.

With any remodel, decisions about flooring are often the toughest. We hope that we’ve given you plenty to go on and we are happy to help.

 

Keep Your Hardwood Floors Looking Their Best with These 15 Hacks

When it comes to flooring, you’d be hard-pressed to find something that is as timeless or attractive as hardwood. Although it’s among the most durable flooring options around, a hardwood floor of even the utmost quality requires regular maintenance to stay in tip-top shape. At Classic Floor Designs, we have lots of tricks for keeping hardwood floors looking like new. Check out 15 especially useful tips below.

1. Routine Cleaning

One of the best ways to keep a hardwood floor looking terrific is by simply keeping it as clear of dust and other debris as possible. Once or twice a week, thoroughly sweep the floor with a regular broom and then go over it again with a microfiber duster.

2. Take Care with Water

Water and wood don’t mix. When mopping your floor, use a lightly damp mop—not a soaking wet one. Never allow water to sit on your floor for extended periods of time.

3. Ward Off Dings and Scratches

Even the toughest hardwood floor can get pitted and scratched over time. Minimize this by having a shoes-off policy in your home. If you have pets, keep their nails trimmed. Keep felt pads under furniture legs. Whenever possible, lift and carry furniture instead of pushing or dragging it.

4. Act Quickly

When spills and other mishaps occur, act quickly. Sop up excess liquid right away, and then apply a floor cleaner that is specially formulated for the surface with a soft cloth. Have these supplies ready to go at a moment’s notice.

5. Eliminate Dents

Despite your best efforts, your hardwood floors may develop dents from time to time. Repair them by wetting the spot and then laying a dampened cloth over it. Rub a clothes iron on the high setting over the cloth in circular motions until the dent is gone.

6. Wipe Away Marker Stains

If permanent marker ends up on your floor, don’t despair. Both toothpaste and cologne work wonders for eliminating even the toughest marker stains. Gently apply either to the spot with a soft, dry cloth, and then wipe it clean with a damp cloth.

7. Clean Up Scuffs with Melamine Foam

Melamine foam, which is popularly known as Magic Eraser, works incredibly well at wiping away scuffs and other marks. Generic melamine foam is very affordable, so stock up to ensure that you can clean up stubborn marks when necessary.

8. Say Goodbye to Urine Stains

In addition to being unsightly, urine stains give hardwood floors unpleasant odors. Eliminate even old urine stains by pouring hydrogen peroxide directly onto the spot. Cover it with a hydrogen peroxide soaked cloth, and then cover that with plastic. Let it sit overnight, and then wipe it clean with a damp cloth.

9. Use Kitchen Items to Clean Big Marks

If you think that you need heavy-duty cleaner to eliminate that big, stubborn mark, think again. Mix equal parts canola oil and white vinegar, rub it on and then wipe it away with a damp cloth.

10. Restore a Fading Floor

If your hardwood flooring is less bright and vibrant than it used to be, a little lemon oil should do the trick. Rub down the entire floor with it and allow it to dry. You’ll be amazed by how much better it looks!

11. Bid Adieu to Scratches

Are your hardwood floors riddled with scratches? It’s nothing a little steel wool and sandpaper can’t help. For light scratches, use fine steel wool to gently work them away. Use lightweight sandpaper on deeper scratches. In both cases, finish up by rubbing mineral spirits in to smooth the surface.

12. Take Care of Cracks

During the winter, it’s not unusual for cracks to appear in hardwood. Wood expands when it’s warm and humid and shrinks when it’s cold and dry. The cracks should go away when warm, moist weather returns, but you can always run a humidifier to resolve it any time of year.

13. Clean Up Tape Residue

Sticky residue from tape, stickers and the like can be easily and gently cleaned away. Combine two tablespoons baking soda with 1/4 to 1/2 of a teaspoon of water. Spread the paste onto the residue, allow it to dry and then rub it away with a damp cloth.

14. Make a Natural Floor Cleaner

Clean your floors naturally and restore their sheen with black tea. Brew some up, dampen a clean cloth with it and wipe down your floors. The polyphenolic compounds in the tea inhibit microbial growth, so your floors will stay clean longer. The tannins in the tea add a lovely sheen.

15. De-Squeak Your Floor

Finally, if your floors look fine but sound terrible, there’s an easy way to eliminate squeaks. Use a paintbrush to work baby powder in between the floor joints. You can also use powdered graphite, which comes in a tube, to accomplish the same thing.

There you have it! By keeping these tips in mind, your hardwood flooring will continue to look as good as new for years to come. Check back with Classic Floor Designs for more helpful tips in the future!

Photo Credit: C. VanHook (vanhookc) Flickr via Compfight cc

Tips for Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Hardwood flooring enhances the appearance of any room in your home, but these rugged surfaces represent a big investment. Like any investment, you want to be sure that you get the highest returns possible. When it comes to flooring, proper cleaning of hardwood determines your ability to enjoy their beauty for many years without worrying about damage or repairs.

Here at Classic Floor Designs, we recommend a regular cleaning regimen to maintain the original appearance of your hardwood floors. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about what products to use, what methods to avoid and how often to clean. We hope that these tips will help clear up any confusion and guide you in preserving the floors you love.

Know Your Floor Type
There are two types of wood flooring: solid and engineered. Both offer the beautiful appearance that makes hardwood so attractive, but the materials differ slightly when it comes to routine cleaning and long-term care.

Solid floors are made from single pieces of hardwood that are generally about three-quarters of an inch thick. Most come finished with a protective coating that creates a reflective “high gloss” look. Solid wood is available in many common and exotic varieties that can be sanded and refinished up to ten times over the life of the floor.

Engineered flooring is pieced together from three to five layers of high- or medium-density fiberboard with a thin hardwood veneer on top. Because of the minimal amount of hardwood used, these floors can only undergo one to two rounds of refinishing. However, they tend to be more durable than solid floors when it comes to handling high foot traffic and varying levels of humidity.

Invest in Mats and Rugs
Preventative maintenance cuts down on the amount of dirt and grime that comes in contact with your floors. Place a heavy-duty mat outside your front door for people to wipe their shoes on, and position another mat just inside the threshold. Have visitors and family members remove their shoes before stepping inside. Use a boot or shoe tray to keep footwear organized and away from the wood surface.

Area rugs are perfect for high-traffic spots or rooms where kids spend a lot of time. Rugs keep messes off the floor and are generally easier to clean than the wood itself. Use rugs with backings to reduce the risk of slipping, but make sure that the backing material is something that won’t damage the floor.

Grab a Broom
Quick cleaning on a daily, bi-weekly or weekly basis can be done using a soft-bristled broom and a dustpan. This removes superficial dirt before it becomes ingrained in the floor surface. Small brooms and handheld vacuums are useful for cleaning in corners. To get rid of even more dust and debris, try a sweeper that uses electrostatic dust cloths. Pay special attention to areas where dirt is most likely to build up, such as the kitchen, the front hallway and the bathroom.

Take Care With the Vacuum Cleaner
Opinions differ on how often you should vacuum hardwood floors. For high-traffic areas, daily vacuuming may be necessary to remove deeper dirt. In other rooms, bi-weekly or weekly vacuuming should suffice.

One thing that everyone agrees on is to never use a beater bar. The harsh bristles can damage the finish and leave it looking dull. Instead, use the hardwood floor setting or a floor brush attachment to lift away dirt. Electric brooms are also gentle enough to use for frequent cleaning. Don’t be tempted by the “deeper clean” that floor buffers claim to offer. The abrasive pads can ruin the surface of the wood.

Be Smart About Deep Cleaning
Even with preventative maintenance and routine cleaning, wood flooring still winds up with grime, oil and stubborn dirt on its surface. That’s why it’s important to clean the floor more aggressively once or twice a year. However, you have to use the correct kind of cleaning products and tools. Your goal should be to leave no standing water at all and avoid harsh substances that can scratch or dull the finish.

The best cleaning solutions are mild and include mixtures of dish soap and water; a solution of water, olive oil and lemon juice; hot water and borax; and lukewarm black tea. Apply your chosen cleaner using a damp mop by dipping the mop into the solution and wringing it out until it’s almost dry. Finish off by buffing the floor with a towel. Alternatively, you can place the cleaner in a spray bottle and mist the floor as you go.

Never use any of the following cleaning methods or solutions on a wood floor:

• Wet mopping
• Steam cleaning
• Vinegar solutions
• Ammonia-based cleaners
• Furniture polish
• Wax- or oil-based cleaners

All of these can cause damage or result in slick floors that pose a hazard to you and your family.

Spot Cleaning
Diligence in regular cleaning will prevent the most serious messes, but it’s impossible to completely avoid scuffs, marks and spots. If you discover any blemishes on your wood floor, sprinkle the area with baking soda and clean it with a damp sponge. The dirt should lift right off.

Drips, spills, sticky streaks and food that can dry onto the floor should be cleaned up immediately. If you miss something and find an unidentifiable substance stuck to the wood, use a cleaner formulated to remove tough dirt and wipe with a gentle cloth. Deep stains and spots may require sanding and refinishing to remove.

Following these tips may seem like a lot of work, but it’s worth the effort when it comes to maintaining your hardwood floors. As you begin to incorporate each step into your regular cleaning regimen, you’ll see the true beauty of the wood begin to shine through. All it takes to continue enjoying that beauty is to devote a little extra time each day to proper floor care. In our opinion, it’s time well spent.

 

Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/38906013@N05/3577027339/”>Revolution Mills</a> via <a href=”http://compfight.com”>Compfight</a> <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/help/general/#147″>cc</a>

Refinishing Hardwood Floors: DIY or Professional Help?

The great things about hardwood floors: they’re pleasing to the eye and very durable, meaning that if they start getting worn out, they probably don’t need to be replaced. All you need to do is refinish them in order to make them “pop” once more.

Now, we say “all you need to do”, but that should be taken with a word of caution. While it is possible to refinish your floors by yourself, experience is key here. A professional will know how to handle the process from start to finish, whereas someone who is inexperienced may skip some steps or do them improperly. A poor refinish can devalue your home rather than improve it!

A pro can take anywhere from two to five days to complete the task, adding time for complex jobs or poor weather that interferes with drying times. They will typically do one of two things: 1) they will rebuff the finish, or 2) they will sand and finish the floor. The downside to hiring a professional is, of course, the cost. Either of these two jobs can cost you anywhere between $1 and $4 per square foot of floor that needs to be done.

If you don’t want to shell out the money for a pro and you are supremely confident in your DIY ability, here’s what you can do to save some cash.

First of all, make sure you’ve purchased some high-quality dust masks or respirators. You will also need eye and ear protection (this process is messy and loud!). You can seal off doors and other rooms with plastic sheeting to prevent dust from escaping to other parts of the home.

If you’re going to buff the floor, you will need to rent a buffer and purchase about a gallon of floor finish. Make sure you test the buffer and the finish before committing to doing the whole area! Find a small, inconspicuous spot, buff out the old finish, then apply the new one. If it sticks, you’re in good shape.

If your intention is to sand and refinish the floor yourself, you’ll need to rent a drum sander and buy sandpaper, wood filler, and floor finish. We do not recommend using a drum sander unless you know what you’re doing with it, due to its tendency to gouge the floor if left in one spot for too long. Use progressively smaller grains of sandpaper as you go to get a nice, smooth surface.

Be smart about this process! We can’t emphasize enough that this is a job for somebody that at least has experience, if not formal job training. If you aren’t certain of your own ability, it is a lot cheaper to hire a pro than it is to have to redo everything after a mistake. Good luck!

-Kelly Dillon

Four Ways to Protect Your Floors This Winter

Winter brings harsh weather and with all that ice, snow and rain, our floors can take a beating.
Following these four guidelines will help keep your floors in great shape all the way through the season.

  • Line of Defense #1: Keep walkways and driveways clear of snow, ice and debris. The less there is to track in, the less there will be in the house.
  • Line of Defense #2: Invest in a good doormat. A mat with enough friction will remove sand, dirt and salt from guests’ and family members’ shoes. This has the added benefit of keeping your doorways dry and safe.
  • Line of Defense #3: Remove shoes. Even better than simply wiping feet is taking off all shoes at the door. A nice basket or bin can keep footwear organized.
  • Line of Defense #4: Vacuum and sweep floors regularly. It is unavoidable. Some dirt, salt and sand will inevitably be tracked into the house. Being diligent with cleaning will preserve the floor.