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Living space with Waterproof Tile

What Is Waterproof Flooring?

Mar 18, 2019

We get a lot of questions about waterproof flooring, and with good reason. It can be confusing to read between the lines of “marketing-speak” and really understand what you’re getting when you purchase a specialty waterproof product.

What is Waterproof Flooring and Where Should I Put It In My Home?

There are many waterproof flooring options out there, but it’s important to know what you’re looking for and what you’re looking at. But first, it’s important to understand what exactly makes a flooring product waterproof and what that means for your home.

Kitchen with Waterproof Tile

What is Waterproof Flooring?

When it comes to flooring, waterproof means waterproof -- no water or moisture can penetrate the material, soaking it to its core.

With waterproof flooring, the waterproofing is “baked in”. Rather than being treated with a special coating to protect it from water, the flooring is made of a fully waterproof material. No matter how long water stands on top of the flooring, it will never soak through and the flooring will never be damaged by water.

For example, you can take a piece of waterproof vinyl or tile and fully submerge it in a tank of water for days. When you take it out, it will be as good as new.

It’s worth noting that while a flooring product may be entirely waterproof, that doesn’t mean that your subfloor is, too. Water, especially in large quantities, can still seep into cracks, whether that’s along the wall or between floorboards, and cause damage to the subfloor below. Even with the very best waterproof flooring, if you are the victim of a major flooding event, you probably will not get away without some damage.

The good news is that when the time comes to clean up and repair your home, you can take up the waterproof floorboards and tend to any damage that happened to your subfloor. You can let your carpets dry out and replace the flooring. That’s a big win over having to invest in a whole new floor.

Where Should I Install Waterproof Flooring in My Home?

From a spilled cup of coffee in the bedroom to an overturned glass of wine in the dining room, there’s endless potential for stains and liquids to permeate and ruin your carpeting or flooring. Waterproof flooring to the rescue!

Waterproof flooring is especially good for any area where there may be frequent spills. Luxury vinyl flooring in the kitchen may be just fine -- even if you accidentally drop a whole gallon of milk one morning.  Waterproof stone tiles or luxury vinyl may also be an ideal choice for the bathroom where the kids regularly splash at bath time. They also provide an added layer of relief in the event of an overflowed toilet (ugh) or any leaks from the sink or other fixtures.

Bathroom with Waterproof Tile

Top Flooring Options for High Moisture Areas

Areas that see a high degree of moisture, such as bathrooms and mudrooms, can benefit from flooring designed for wet areas, such as waterproof luxury vinyl or tiles.

If you’re installing tile flooring for a shower wet room, your flooring will need to stand up to water, condensation, and steam on a regular basis. With this in mind, there are additional waterproofing steps that must be taken to protect your subfloor -- even if you’ve chosen waterproof tiles. Using waterproof grouting and laying a waterproof membrane beneath the floor are two steps that must not be skipped if you want a truly waterproof area.

Once you understand the terms and know what you need for the different parts of your home, shopping for waterproof flooring becomes a whole lot easier. Of course, if you ever need a bit of extra help, the smart and highly trained staff at any of our locally-owned stores would be glad to give you some advice. Find your store today so we can steer you in the right direction, no matter what you need. Stay dry!

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Hypoallergenic Carpet in Family Room

Hypoallergenic Carpet Options for Spring 2019

Mar 04, 2019

Whether you suffer from seasonal or year-round allergies, stepping outside can expose you to pollen and other common irritants that trigger a sinus flare-up. While there’s only so much you can do about the allergens floating around outside, your home should be a sanctuary.

Hypoallergenic Carpet Options

Many people with allergies worry that installing carpets in their house could make their allergies worse, but the good news is that doesn’t have to be true. If you have allergies but crave the cozy feeling of wall-to-wall carpeting, there are hypoallergenic options out there. 

Here at Flooring America, we’re proud to carry leading carpet brands with hypoallergenic qualities. When you’re shopping for a carpet for allergy sufferers, it helps to have a wide range of choices so that you can find a carpet that looks amazing and will play nice with your sinuses. Here’s what you need to know:

What is Hypoallergenic Carpet?

There is no formal industry standard for hypoallergenic carpet, so it’s worth talking to a flooring expert and also doing your own research on carpet brands you’re interested in to see if they will meet your needs. Carpet is inherently hypoallergenic, but there are types of carpet that enhance the hypoallergenic environment. 

What your carpet is made of

Some carpet materials are more hypoallergenic than others. Certain man-made fibers (such as nylon, olefin, and polypropylene) are naturally mold- and mildew-resistant, which can help cut down on allergic reactions.

Some natural fibers, such as wool, may have a natural hypoallergenic effect (if you are not allergic to wool!). Wool is kind of a wonder fiber that counteracts allergies in several ways. It creates a hostile environment for dust mites, and it creates less dust particles than other fibers as it wears. It can also potentially absorb harmful toxins and VOCs. (More on these later!)

● The tightness of the weave and the length of the carpet fibers

A tightly woven carpet is easier to clean than looser, shaggier carpets with thick piles. Carpets with a tighter, denser weave will trap less dust and harbor less dust.

 ● The amount of VOC emissions

One of the worst, and most often overlooked, allergy issues with new carpets is the off-gassing of potentially harmful chemicals produced by the manufacturing process. These chemicals, known as Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs, can be serious triggers for people with allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions.

To avoid carpeting that may potentially contain VOCs, look for carpets with a GREENGUARD rating for low emissions. GREENGUARD is an independent VOC emissions standard and testing protocol that can help you choose the safest carpets for your home.

Hypoallergenic Carpet Options for Bedrooms

Carpet Care for Allergy Sufferers

It’s important to note that any carpet -- whether it’s branded as hypoallergenic or not -- must be regularly and properly cleaned in order to cut down on the presence of allergens in the home. Unlike the smooth surfaces of wood, linoleum, or vinyl flooring, the fibers of a carpet can trap and hold dust, dander, and pollen. These substances are then released back into the air when you walk over your carpet.

A strict vacuuming schedule (at least twice each week) can help, but you need a vacuum cleaner with a good filter, or you may just end up making those allergens airborne all over again. Adding regular carpet washing and shampooing to your housekeeping rotation is another great way to cut back on the amount of potentially irritating particles in your home.

Hypoallergenic Carpet in Living Room

Where to Buy Hypoallergenic Carpet

Brighten up your bedroom, living room or den with a brand new floor. Choosing the right carpet can help make your home a hypoallergenic haven while completely refreshing your decor.

Discovering the best carpet for you and your family may require a bit of research, but you’re not on your own. The friendly experts at your local Flooring America store will be happy to help you out: all you need to do is ask! Find your store here.

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Kitchen backsplash with decorative grey tiles

What is Backsplash Tile

Feb 04, 2019

It is the little details like a tile backsplash that can make a kitchen. With some careful planning and a creative, exciting design process, you can add a splash of character and claim precious wall space with an eye-catching backsplash that’s as functional as it is fashionable.

What is a Tile Backsplash & Where Should You Put It?

Backsplashes are an expanse of material that typically fills the gaps on a kitchen or bathroom wall between cabinets and a countertop, spanning the length of the countertop. Traditionally, these have ranged from small patches of backsplash that stretch above farmhouse sinks to the pre-2000s mosaic-style backsplashes that were often meant to match kitchen flooring.

Done well, today’s tile backsplashes are a brilliant accent to one of the most trafficked rooms of the household, rounding out the space with interesting textures, colors, and design patterns. Ideally, they can be installed simultaneously with the countertop, but can become a professional or do-it-yourself project at any time.

 Kitchen backsplash made with neutral toned tiles

What are the best tiles to use for a backsplash?

Ceramic, porcelain, cement, stone, marble and even glass are all common styles for today’s backsplashes.

Determining the best tile for a kitchen backsplash is a matter of preference and willingness to experiment. However, there are some things worth knowing in the search for your dream home’s dream tile.

One thing you should understand before installing a backsplash is that not all tiles will cost the same. Tiles are priced by square foot and the cost can vary depending on the type of material. Some materials (like marble) are more expensive than others, but shopping smart and mindfully can give you the look you want at a price that’s comfortable for you. Here are some tips to keep in mind when shopping for a backsplash:

 

  • The look of marble for less: To mimic the look of expensive marble go for a glazed porcelain tile, with high gloss coated over its surface for shine.
  • Porcelain and ceramic tiles: These types of tiles have many options to make your kitchen traditional to contemporary. With endless designs and options – you’re sure to find a tile that makes your kitchen unique.
  • Stainless steel and natural stone: This material offers a wealth of warmth to your kitchen space. Used together, these materials can create one of a kind looks. 
  • Mosaic tile: Mosaic tile packs in smaller patterns and seemingly offer more bang for your buck. Depending on the range of materials – this can be an easy way to turn your kitchen space into a work of art.
  • Sheet glass: A trend that has been growing in popularity as a great backsplash material for the kitchen is sheet glass. Sheet glass is very low maintenance and incredibly easy to clean, which helps tremendously in an area of the home sure to see its fair share of spills and splashes.  Glass can add a lighter look for your space to compliment any style.
  • Wood: While this material is not typically used for a traditional backsplash, it can be used to establish a rustic aesthetic, but, as might be expected, make a less functional backsplash without proper care, sealing, and enhancements, and may require some additional research to know what varnish to use for your intended effect.

How much does it cost to install a Backsplash?

How much a backsplash installation costs will depend on square feet used, but bear in mind that kitchens come in all shapes and sizes with awkward angles, making professional installation costs subjective.

In general, marble, ceramic, and porcelain all offer versatility with design, well-suited to evergreen backsplash design styles like subway tiling. Play around with grouts to change the mood of the kitchen when working with these materials, which can offer a dark glow or further enhance the brightness of the backsplash, especially when working with whites.

When selecting the best tile for your backsplash, it’s always worth considering what your design goal is. If you’re looking for a more elaborate design, like a hand-painted Moroccan-style backsplash, you’ll want to weigh heavily what material produces the effect you want and will keep you satisfied for years to come.

Where is the best place for a backsplash?

Home base for most backsplashes will be a kitchen, especially surrounding sinks and stoves. Pragmatically speaking, the backsplash protects the wall from water stains and damage—or, marks from tools and gadgets that live on the counter.

Still, many creative locations make sense to add a backsplash. Tile backsplashes can be added to bathrooms, behind toilets and sinks, and even surrounding showers. Recently there is a trend to install backsplashes on the ceiling to clearly define a shower alcove, and to prevent water damage.

 Newly Renovated bathroom utilizing subway tile

In spaces where you want to try an unconventional approach to shaping a space with tiling, or rein in the effect, try using clearly defined borders. This can create a sort of rail for the eye to follow to contain the tile material and to ensure tiles are placed at an even level in the actual tiling process.

Where exactly should you put backsplash tile in a kitchen, though? In general, tile backsplashes will serve as an approach to coloring in the lines of the kitchen’s busiest area, easing anxieties by being a protective barrier while also “wowing” yourself and others as a statement piece for the room.

Kitchen with a classic white subway tile backsplash

Of course, these projects go most smoothly when you know what you want. Find your style today with our My Design Finder tool.

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Foyer with modern waterproof sheet vinyl

What is Sheet Vinyl Flooring & What is it Made Of?

Nov 19, 2018

What is Sheet Vinyl?

When it comes to waterproof flooring, vinyl is a top choice. From sheet vinyl to luxury vinyl, your flooring will boast waterproof, durable, and stylish qualities. We’ve already touched upon luxury vinyl, so let’s jump into what sheet vinyl is and why you want it in your home.

Foyer with modern waterproof sheet vinyl

Is Sheet Vinyl Waterproof?

Sheet vinyl is made with waterproof materials, such as PVC, which makes this flooring option perfect for water prone areas of the home. Sheet vinyl is a great fit for any room in your home, but it exceeds expectations in the kitchen, laundry room, basement, and the bathrooms.

Bathroom with waterproof sheet vinyl

What is the Difference Between Sheet Vinyl and Luxuy Vinyl?

Sheet vinyl is made in large sheets, while luxury vinyl comes in tile or plank sizes to mimic the types of natural flooring that is being produced. While both are durable, luxury vinyl is virtually dent/gouge resistant, making it more durable of the two.

Modern living room with sheet vinyl

Schedule a free room measure and start renovating your home with sheet vinyl today!

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Hardwood Flooring Option for a renovated basement

The Best Basement Flooring Options for Your Home

Nov 05, 2018

When it comes time to redo your basement, it’s important to consider what the best basement flooring options are.

The Best Basement Flooring Options for Your Home

There is a lot to keep in mind when deciding on what flooring to use in your basement, so follow along as we give our advice for choosing the best flooring for your basement.  A wide variety of flooring is available for basement use with the proper preparation of the concrete slab.  Whether you’re installing over concrete, or in a damp area, we have you covered.

What Should I Consider When Finishing My Basement Floor?

There are several major factors that you need to consider when it comes time to install new floors in your basement. A key factor is the condition of the basement floor. Is it a dry area or do you have issues with flooding every year? Is the floor level and ready for installation? Addressing these factors is crucial before determining the flooring you want to use.

Waterproof Flooring in a Finished Basement

The Best Flooring Options for a Wet Basement

There are many flooring options available, but the slab should be treated or addressed if moisture is an issue. LVT, ceramic tile, carpet, and engineered hardwood are all great choices for basement flooring; however, the type of flooring you choose should be factored by the moisture protective measures you need to incorporate. 

Carpet flooring in a finished basement

What is the Best Flooring to put on a Concrete Floor?

There are amazing selections of flooring that can be used in finishing a concrete basement floor.  Carpet, engineered hardwoods, resilient, and ceramic are all viable options.  As always, other factors such as lifestyle, traffic and usage plans for your new finished basement will help drive selection.

For best results, find a store today and consult with your trusted Flooring America representative.

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Increasing the Property Value of Your Home

Oct 15, 2018

How to Increase Your Home's Value in 4 Steps

There are many ways you can increase the property value of your home in the event that you ever want to put your home on the market. From small remodeling jobs to full-on rebuilding, there are many components that can double the value of your home. Below are a few ways that you can increase the property value of your home.

Beauty on The Outside

The outside of your home is a big contributor to the overall value of your home. Make sure to always prune, limb and landscape to keep your yard looking as beautiful as the inside of your home. Another often overlooked element of the home is the front door. Having a welcoming and beautiful door is the first step in helping increase the property value of your home. Little details like this are the most often overlooked.

What’s Under Your Feet?

Flooring is a huge factor in determining the property value of a home. The type of flooring throughout your house can raise the value of your home by thousands. Hardwood flooring is an extremely popular flooring style that is coveted by many potential homebuyers. Because of this, hardwood flooring is known to increase the value of your home. Of course, other flooring styles like tile and even carpet can raise the value of your home as well. If you want to install a floor that holds value, the perfect choice is hardwood flooring, as hardwood flooring is timeless and doesn’t go out of style. Be sure to properly care for your floors to help them hold their value.

Keep It Neutral

Using neutral colors throughout your house helps ensure a higher property value. Neutral colors allow buyers to be able to envision what they can do with the room, without being distracted by loud or abrasive colors. Keeping color schemes toned-down helps maintain a timeless and elegant aesthetic that can appeal to everyone.

Working Order

From leaky faucets to creaking floor boards, it’s important to perform maintenance on every part of your home to help increase its value. Regular maintenance ensures your home will hold its current property value as well as even raise the overall value of your home. When it comes to maintaining the overall integrity of your home, it’s important to pay close attention to every element of the home, from flooring to the front door.

If you’re looking to increase the property value of your home, choose Flooring America for amazing floor selections! From carpet to hardwood, we have the flooring needed to make great improvements to the overall look of your home.

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