Tips For Protecting Your Hardwoods From Dogs

Just because you own pets, it doesn’t mean you can’t also have beautiful hardwood flooring throughout your home. A lot of homeowners believe it is too much work to maintain hardwood flooring and have pets at the same time. Between muddy paws, long nails. and the splashing of water every time your dog drinks from their water bowl, you have to be vigilant about cleaning up behind your dog if you want to maintain the look of your hardwood floors. Having your hardwood flooring refinished can help transform your floors and make them look brand new again, but it can also cost you time and money. In an effort to extend the length of time between refinishing your hardwoods, here are some tips for protecting them against your dogs. 

Keep Your Dog Groomed

When it comes to dog’s nails, they tend to always be out unlike cat nails. Keeping your dog’s nail trimmed can help prevent scratching of your hardwood flooring. Additionally, dog’s have patches of fur on the bottom of their paws. This can cause them to slide around on the flooring. As they slide, they may be eager to dig their nails into the flooring to help get a grip. By keeping the fur on the bottom of their paws, you can help prevent some sliding. If you don’t like the idea of trimming your dog’s nails, you can purchase nail caps that are easy to place over your dog’s nails. 

Clean Up Pet Urine Quickly

Because pet urine has acid in it, it is known to cause staining on hardwood flooring. You want to be sure that you are extra vigilant about cleaning up pet urine. By just wiping it up with a paper towel, you could end up leaving remnants on the flooring causing it to warp over time. Instead, use a damp cloth that will actually remove the urine. During your regular cleaning routine, you want to be sure that you use a cleaner specifically designed for hardwoods. 

Prevent Dirt and Debris

Every time you let your dogs out, you never know what they may bring in. Instead of having your floors filled with mud and other debris, you want to be sure you catch it right at the door to avoid having it scattered around the house. Placing mats at each entrance where the dogs go in and out can help catch most of the dirt. Additionally, you can apply a urethane coating over your wood floors to help add another layer of protection. To learn more, visit a website like http://idahohardwoodflooring.com.

Three Ways To Make The Carpet Installation Process Greener

If you value green living, then you were probably careful to choose a carpet that is made with eco-friendly and perhaps even recycled materials. That’s a great first step towards eco-friendly flooring, but it’s not everything. To ensure your carpeted floor is as green as possible, it’s important that you (or the people installing your carpet) take three steps during the carpet installation process.

Use a low-VOC carpet padding.

As you may know, VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are chemical substances that may leech out of a material as it sits. They include benzene, acetone, toluene, and a host of other compounds. These have been linked to headaches, nausea and dizziness, and they can increase the risk of cancer — not just for you, but for any living being that is exposed to them.

Since carpet padding is a common source of VOCs, make sure you specifically choose padding that is marketed as low-VOC or VOC-free. Your carpet installation specialist should be able to suggest a padding that meets these standards.

Use an all-natural carpet glue.

Not all carpet installation projects require glue. Depending on the layout of your room, your installer may be able to use just tacks to secure your carpet. Ask if this is a possibility. If your installer says that glue must be used for the project, then request that an eco-friendly, natural glue be used. Fewer pollutants are generated when making this kind of glue than when making the adhesives typically used for carpets. If your installer does not typically carry all-natural glue, ask if you can purchase some separately and supply if for them to use on the day of installation. You can find such products at a home improvement store.

Recycle your old carpet.

Don’t just let the installer haul the old carpet away to a dump, where it will add to the mountains of waste. Some great ways to recycle the carpet include:

  • If it is in good shape, look for a carpet recycling center to take it to. Many centers use their donated carpets for charity purposes — like carpeting homeless shelters and temporary housing.
  • Sell it online for a small fee. Someone might be interested in using it for projects like building cat climbing towers or lining a dog house.
  • Use it yourself for a range or projects or to add some comfort to a lounge room in your garage or basement.

With the tips above, you can ensure your carpet installation is better for the environment. Many carpet installation companies have begun to adopt greener practices and will thus be happy to accommodate these requests.

How To Give An Old Hardwood Floor A Weathered Beach Look

If your hardwood floor is starting to look old and worn out, you may be considering replacing it. However, there’s another alternative. If you live in a home with a coastal style, or you would like to adopt the coastal/beachy style, consider refinishing your hardwood floor to give it a weathered, sand-blown look.   

This refinishing method hides wear on your floor. In fact, it makes it look as if the wear is there on purpose. If you have a formal dining room, you’ll probably want to remodel around the floor with new, more casual furniture as the weathered floor tends to have a more laid-back look.  

To refinish your floor, you will need:

  • Coarse and fine-grain sandpaper
  • An electric sander
  • 1-2 gallons of pale gray paint (depending on the size of your floor)
  • Matte finishing spray
  • Large paint brushes
  • A large bucket
  • Water
  • Old rags
  • A shop vacuum

Directions:

  1. Use the electric sander to sand away any finish that remains on the floor. Start with the coarser sandpaper, and then move to the finer sandpaper. Make sure you wear a face mask to avoid breathing in the wood dust. Focus on any areas that seem splintery.
  2. Vacuum up any dust on the floor. Then, moisten some rags, and wipe over the floor to make sure you capture all of the residual dust. Let the floor dry for 1-2 hours.
  3. In the large bucket, combine 1 gallon of paint with 1/2-gallon water. Watering down the paint in this manner makes it look somewhat transparent, like a whitewash, once it is applied.
  4. Starting in one corner of the room, apply the paint to the floor. Remember that the paint is not supposed to cover the floor completely. It should form a thin layer and let the floor shine through in some areas. Keep painting until you’ve completed the entire floor. If you have a large room, you may need to dilute and use the second gallon of paint.
  5. Let the floor dry for a day. If you want to make the floor look even more weathered, you can use the sandpaper to sand away the paint in some areas. However, this is optional.
  6. Put on a face mask, and starting in one corner of the room, spray the floor with the matte finishing spray. Make sure you’re applying a thin, even layer.
  7. Let the floor dry for 1 more day, and then you can use it as you please. 

For further assistance, contact local professionals, such as those from Cooper Floors.

Useful Tips For Installing Floor Tiles

Do you want to try a DIY floor tile installation? It isn’t such a difficult job if you have the necessary tools and knowledge. If you believe in your ability and wish to give it a go, then you should also use the tips below to come up with perfectly installed tiles.

Choose the Right Tiles for the Room

Tiles have different properties that make them suitable for different rooms. They vary in strength, water absorption, scratch resistance and other properties. For example, you need slip resistant tiles that do not absorb water easily for the bathroom floor.

Right Substrate

It’s also essential to install a tiff support on which to install the tiles. Otherwise, you will have to contend with cracks and floor squeaks – the strength of the substrate determines the durability of your tiles. Cement board is a good example of a strong substrate, especially for the bathroom. What is more, it will not warp, crumble or even smell after getting repeatedly wet. Of course, you should also follow the manufacturer’s (of the tile) directions.

Do the Walls First

If you are doing both the walls and the floors, then it is better to start with the walls as you work your way down. This is to reduce the susceptibility of the floor tiles to damages such as cracks and chips that may occur if you start with the floor.

Mind the Bumps

It’s possible that your tiles’ edges may not be perfect; they may have little lugs or spacing on them. For this reason, it’s important to push the tiles against each other (or their spacers) as close as possible to avoid leaving extra wide spaces between them. Of course, any imperfections here will be corrected by the grouting, but you don’t want to leave too much irregularity to start with.

Consider the Temperature

Don’t forget to leave the requisite expansion joints. These joints are necessary where the tiles are constrained, such as the room perimeter and the tub lips (in the case of bathroom flooring). Otherwise, your tiles will have no room for expansion and crack under temperature fluctuations.

If all these seem like too much hard work, then you aren’t ready for tile installation. Why not save yourself all the trouble by hiring an experienced floor contractor, like those at Costen Floors Inc? Going with a professional can be a lifesaver for complicated tiling jobs. 

How To Save A Little Cash On Your Carpet Installation

Having new carpet installed in your home is obviously a major investment. When buying carpet, you usually pay by the yard. One top of this, you need to pay the labor costs. Luckily, it is one easy way to significantly reduce your labor cost. This article will explain how to make your carpet installation cheaper by removing your old carpet and the tack strips on your own.

Removing the Carpet

The first step in removing your old carpet is finding an edge or seam where you can start to pull it up. Be sure to wear thick work gloves when ripping up the carpet because the carpet base can be sharp. You might also need a small crowbar or prybar to get leverage when trying to pry the carpet up from the floor. If you cannot find a seam, you can simply cut directly into the carpet with a utility knife. Then, you can lift up from the hole you just created. The utility knife will also be helpful for cutting the carpet into smaller pieces that are easier to carry out of your house.

Removing the Carpet Pad

Once the carpet is removed, you can also easily remove the carpet pad. On a wooden floor, the carpet pad will probably be stapled into the subfloor. You’ll have to remove the staples with the claw end of a hammer or a pair of pliers.

Removing the Tack Strips

The tack trips around the edge of the carpet might be the most difficult to remove. On a wooden subfloor, the best way to remove the strips is to hammer a flathead screwdriver underneath the strip and pry upward. Try to place the screwdriver near a nail so the nail pops out of the subfloor as you pry it. On a concrete subfloor, the best way to remove the strip is to just hit the edge of the tack strip sideways, right where the nail is. If you hit it hard enough, the nail will pop right out of the subfloor. This might chunk up the concrete a little bit, but it will not cause any serious damage.

Now, all you have to do is sweep your floor and your room will be ready for the carpet installers. Use the fact that your floor is completely ready for the installation as a bargaining chip. You should be able to secure a much more desirable rate for your carpet installation.