Category Archives: Flooring

Top 15 Flooring Materials: Costs, Pros & Cons 2018

With so many flooring options to cater to your personal style and preferences, you will have no problem choosing a floor type that is durable, affordable and attractive. Investing in any of the choices below will increase the value of your home and your level of enjoyment, guaranteed! 😉

Let’s first examine the options and the decisions you should consider when choosing the type of material for your flooring. Flooring materials come in many different styles, colors, durability and costs.

Knowing what your budget is will pave the way for you to decide on what you can afford. Don’t worry if you have a low budget, you are in luck. Today’s manufacturers have come up with some creative and durable products for consumers.

If you are remodeling or building a home from scratch, the choices are endless. There is an enormous assortment of colors and textures for wood grains, tiles, glass, linoleum, concrete and more. Whether the project is a DIY or done by a licensed contractor, the project will be fun and creative.

Consider Laminate and Pergo for Style and Durability

via Pergo

If you are looking for a very affordable option, consider the unique qualities that laminate flooring has to offer.

Besides being a low cost option to the higher-priced genuine hardwood, certain types of laminate can make your home quieter with the ability to reduce noise, be durable in the kitchen for liquid spills, and stand up to super high traffic areas in your kitchen.

Laminates can be created to look like stone tile, distressed wood and can be designed in many shapes to your liking. Laminate tiling can even duplicate the look of travertine floors. The designs are endless.

Caring for laminate is easy. Laminate is pieced together with a tung and groove system with no nails or glue. It’s an easy and fast install. This type of flooring cannot be stained and finished.

And while the cost is cheaper than hardwood, if this is going into a home that will eventually be resold, the resale value may be lowered as opposed to placing higher priced wood flooring choices.

A disadvantage to this flooring is that it cannot be repaired. The actual damaged piece will have to be replaced.  It is quite durable and a cost effective option for those on a budget.

It can also be a cost cutting option for sections of your home where don’t warrant the cost of hardwood throughout the home.

For example, you may want to use real hardwoods in the living room and choose laminates in the playroom or kitchen area. Laminate flooring is an excellent choice for rentals because replacing damaged areas are not expensive.

Costs: The cost per sq. ft. can be $1.30 to $4.00 for the material and $1.50 per sq. for labor costs.

Tips for Laminate Flooring

  • Place furniture protectors on the legs to protect from dents in the floors. Never refinish or sand.

Vinyl Flooring – Not Your Grandmothers Flooring Anymore

via DIY Network

Versatile and economical, vinyl flooring has been revised and has made a comeback. Matt finishes offer good durability and many designer-friendly designs, consider vinyl flooring. Inlaid vinyl floors go through a process that places tiny vinyl granules on the backing, placing closer to the wear surface, creating a more durable floor.

Vinyl is used throughout the entire thickness of the flooring. Scrapes and chips are less noticeable as the color is from top to bottom. Vinyl is sold in rolls and tiles. Rolls are the most common. Vinyl is a fairly easy DIY flooring project.

Three types of vinyl are sheet vinyl, modified loose lay, felt-backed, and vinyl-backed. It is common and better to use a felt- backed sheet as this type has an added layer of felt for strength and comfort.

Adhesives are used for this process. Vinyl-backed, the least common, it is glued only at the edges. Modified loose-lay flooring, which includes a fiberglass backing for increased strength and is typically installed using double-sided tape.

Consider luxury vinyl tile, it’s a high-end vinyl flooring option. It can be an affordable alternative to costly flooring materials such as natural stone and wood. Installation is less costly. It can be purchased in a roll or tiles.

Installation costs can vary as with any flooring project. If buying tile, you may want to consider purchasing a roll out underlayment, which gives you a grid pattern to lay out the tile with. Adhesives and cutting materials will be needed.

Costs for a decent quality purchase are about $2.00 to $5.00 per sq. ft. Installation costs usually average about $2.00 per sq. ft.

Real Hardwood Floors – They Will Last a Lifetime

Sturdy and impressionable. Natural wood has its own natural variations. The floors need to be nailed down; therefore making this project better suited for a professional as using saws, drills and hammers are needed for the install of hardwood.

If you are going to perform a DIY hardwood floor installation, consider renting the tools instead of buying them. The floors can be stained to your taste. Solid wood can be purchased unfinished or finished, and can be stained anyway you like it over its lifetime.

Solid wood floors that feature solid wood all the way through work best in bedrooms and living rooms or anywhere moisture will not occur.

Avoid solid hardwoods in bathroom and kitchens.

Narrow strips, narrow planks or wider planks are the way it is sold. Solid hardwood can be laid on existing floor boards, but you should choose solid wood flooring that is 18mm thick at the minimum, if you’re laying it over the existing floorboards, so you get a more even installation.

Make sure to open your boxes and lay out the hardwood so the air gets to the wood for a few days before installation. This way it acclimates them to the air. It will make the installation a better one.

Tips for Real Hardwood Floors

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Top 11 Smart Home Improvements, Plus Costs & ROI 2017 Update!

Billions and billions and billions of dollars. That’s what Americans spent on home remodeling projects in 2016. More like hundreds of billions. And 2017 has certainly been following the suit so far! Major home improvements and significant additions to a home are key factors in why that figure is so astronomical! But, if we’re all honest, remodeling is the type of project we all consider doing or want to do.

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According to the National Association of Remodeling Industry (NARI), around 50% of homeowners surveyed in suburban and urban areas say they are willing to remodel their living space, and over two thirds of rural home owners convey that willingness. While a third of all home owners consider it easier to just move to a new home than tackle a remodeling project.

People remodel for many reasons, and 75% of us report feeling a major sense of accomplishment as a result of a completed project. Better functionality and livability, or what we will refer to as the ‘enjoyment factor’, is generally cited as the top reason for why remodel at all. Other factors like knowing better materials are in place, appreciating the beauty of an upgrade and making changes to fit the owner’s feeling of their living space are considerable factors. But it is the joy factor that we wish to emphasize.

Above that however is the overall cost value. Also known as ROI, or return on investment, this factor is our primary consideration. Money spent for home improvement is usually seen as an investment that is recouped at the time of sale. For our purposes, it works out best to understand that as if the home is being sold within a year of a remodeling project. Yet, certain improvements have lasting value, of more than 1 year. So longevity is certainly a consideration for all home remodeling considerations.

Our top list is intended to be easy to read, simple to understand and intending to provide advice should you be considering any of these projects going forward. Or perhaps you are wondering which one(s) may be better to tackle than others. As this isn’t the only list of its kind, we chose to go about things a bit differently than others. Here is the basic scale of what into which items made our list and the order in which they appear:

Cost value (or ROI) is the most weighted factor. A few items on the list will actually return more in terms of recouped value than what you, the owner, put into it. Pretty sweet, huh? Unlike some other lists, we’d rather not overwhelm you with a long list of percentage points and so instead we go with a scale of:

  • 100% or higher ROI = Supreme (cost value)
  • 90% to 99% = Great
  • 75% to 89% = Very Good
  • 67% to 74% = Good

Anything lower than a return of two thirds the cost you put into it, was not good enough for our list.

Enjoyment Factor is second highest consideration. This is the element that makes homeowners want to be in their home environment more as a result of the completed project. NARI and other organizations will survey homeowners periodically to check on such data and ours comes from December 2015, or later. This scale is:

  • 100% = Top Notch (rare, but it happens)
  • 95% or higher = Great
  • 90% to 94% = Very Good
  • 80% to 89% = Good

Curb Appeal is what prospective buyers are going to notice about a home from the street. If the home upgrade is an item that fits into this category, we decided it deserves to be considered third highest factor in terms of overall value. This is essentially a yay or nay type notation.

Energy Efficiency is a trending item in recent years and 2017 is certainly continuing on that trajectory. Some items on our list have very little to no impact on energy savings, but most do. This is the 4th most important factor we make note of.

Cost – inexpensive (lowest) to very expensive (highest) is something we chose to make note of as a factor that at least some owners would wish to consider. As cost value is already being considered, and most weighted, we decided to keep this as the lowest factor, while still realizing for some homeowners, it may be what is most doable for them.

We’ll also make notes regarding what each project entails, the longevity you can expect from completion of the upgrade, alternatives to the entry on our list, and some advice from us in how to implement the project or weighing of pros and cons among the entry item and its alternative(s).

An added note regarding cost. The ROI is our primary focus, as this means whatever the cost you actually spend on materials and labor, is what you can hope to get back at time of sale, but this does assume the sale is done relatively soon after the job is completed (generally within a year). We also indicate a cost range and median pricing point, or national average for the remodeling project. There are many factors that go into pricing any job and so the averages are likely best taken with a grain of salt, which is why the range is meant to provide a decent estimate of what is low and high end for the costs. This assumes a professional contractor is in charge of the project, and in general it assumes the house is around 2000 square feet. Where applicable, we all add in a price per sq. ft., which ought to help with realizing the price you can expect to pay for materials/installation of the work.

For the fun of it, we’ll go in reverse order. Our highest value item will be at the end and we’ll start with an item that is actually highly coveted by many home buyers. Cue up the gong sound, the top 11 list starts…. now.

#11 = Major Kitchen Renovation

rustic-kitchen

Originally, our list was going to be 10 items, but in paraphrasing the wise words of Nigel Tufnel (Spinal Tap), “this list is better than the ones by those other blokes, because this one goes to eleven.” Actually, it goes to eleven for another reason, as a complete kitchen renovation is the third highest item on our list in terms of enjoyment factor. Usually, when any homeowner considers a first project for improving their living space, the kitchen is most desired. It is also the type of remodeling that prospective owners report as top consideration for what they look for inside a home; a well designed kitchen with all the modern conveniences.

The alternative to this project is a minor kitchen upgrade. The difference between the two is the renovation will physically change the design of the room, whereas minor upgrade will not. Both will address and refinish any surface in the room that needs a makeover. And both projects will likely replace older fixtures and appliances with up to date, energy efficient products. With a room redesign comes additional energy efficiency concerns that any professional home designer is fully taking into account. The complete renovation though is overall more costly, and is tied with most expensive item on our list (see #9). A minor upgrade, if truly an upgrade and not just a superficial upgrade is going to cost about half the total price of a major renovation, or at a median price point of around $30,000 (for upgrade).

ROI = Good

Enjoyment Factor = Great

Curb Appeal = Not Applicable (N/A)

Energy Efficiency = Yes, but minor

Cost factor = Very Expensive

Cost range / median price = $50,000 to $80,000 / $60,000

Cost per sq.ft. = Not available

Longevity = 20 years or more before minor upgrade would be considered

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Engineered Wood Flooring – The Best Compromise for Wood Flooring?

floors5 The main difference between solid wood flooring and engineered wood flooring is the composition of the wood panels. Solid wood is wood cut from a tree and then cut to size into flooring panel dimensions, while engineered wood flooring is composed of several layers of wood pressed and glued together to the desired thickness and then cut to the specified dimensions.

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Engineered wood flooring is a man-made product that is made from natural materials. Commonly made up of layers of ply that are bonded together, engineered wood flooring is always topped off with a layer of solid wood. This layer of solid wood is called the Lamella or top layer and it’s thanks to this solid wood finish that engineered wood looks so convincingly like solid wood.

Engineered wood flooring has the advantage over solid wood that its stable structure means that it is much more resistant to expansion and contraction than solid wood. What this means is that it can safely be fitted in rooms where temperature and moisture fluctuations are significant, like bathrooms and kitchens. Engineered wood flooring can also be installed over under floor heating.

Tradeflooring Co is a company that has developed an engineered wood flooring range that will improve the aspect of your home space or the working area of an office or building, adjusted on the customer’s needs. All the products manufactured by the TradeFlooring Co are made out of natural hardwood, designed at a high level of quality, the scope being long lasting and robust flooring.

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