We're happy to be seeing customers in-store again with some updated procedures.

blog

Touching up Laminate Flooring

Touching up Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is a great addition to any home. It’s durable, versatile and one of the easiest types of floors to clean. But, as they say, nothing’s perfect and laminate is no exception. It’s plastic sealant (the stuff that makes it shine) scratches easily making floors look unkempt.

Luckily, there are Longwood laminate specialists who’re willing to share some tips on maintaining these precious surfaces seamless.

Color Pallet

There are two main tools you’ll be using if you’re patching up a scratched laminate floor: wax and putty. Both items come in a variety of colors so that you can easily match one with your laminate. It’s crucial that you find a color that’s as close as possible to your flooring, otherwise the “cover-up” might be worse than the scratch itself.

Many manufacturers have repair kits that you can buy directly from them so, if possible, keep in mind where you got your flooring from and give them a call for help. If not, take a sample of your floor to the store and get a kit there.

Small Scratches

Wax pencils are like little wands. With the right color in hand, you can fill a scratch easily. Gently pass the pencil back and forth across the scratch (opposite to the way the scratch is moving) and use a soft cloth to buff the edges out. Take your time and be patient, the repair will get done but it shouldn’t be rushed.

Small Scrapes

Deep scratches or wide scrapes really don’t take well to a wax pencil. Floor repair putty is more suited for this particular task.

With a putty knife, spread the putty across the gash. Holding the knife at a 45-degree angle, make sure you’re pressing the mixture from different angles so that the scrape is totally filled. Scrape the putty with the side of the knife across the newly filled area and the surrounding floor to make it level. Wait about a day and the repair should be complete!

Big Scrapes

For big boo-boos, the best option might be to simply replace the slab of laminate all together. While yes, there are tools that can help, if the damage is too large, it’s easier to remove the piece all together and avoid the risk of damaging more then one or two panels.

Laminate an awesome, family friendly flooring that adds a sleek touch to any home. Being watchful of scratches is expected, but know that fixing them isn’t impossible. All it needs is some TLC.

No matter what your flooring needs may be, there’s a local Longwood laminate specialist that’s ready to help you find solutions. Don’t hesitate to call or come by and we’ll be glad to talk it over.

Which Flooring Types Are Easiest to Keep Clean?

Which Flooring Types Are Easiest to Keep Clean?

This time of year in Florida can really do a number on your floors. The grass starts to dry up and the leaves and berries start to fall from the trees. Depending on your flooring type, you could end up having to sweep everyday just to keep your floors looking clean! If you are selecting new floors, knowing the following about flooring options and cleanliness could help you to save time and frustration.

Linoleum or Sheet Vinyl

Linoleum and sheet vinyl have no grout lines to trap dirt and debris, so they can be cleaned quickly with a damp mop, Swiffer, or even a washcloth. While some prefer dark floors and others prefer light floors because of perceptions that one will appear cleaner than the other, patterns actually tend to provide the best coverage. Of course, you will still need to clean the floors regularly regardless of the pattern.

Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors can be easy to keep clean, as long as they have been properly maintained. If there are no deep groves in the floors and they have been waxed or finished regularly, you can clean up messes easily with a dust mop. The whorls and patterning in hardwood floors may also help to prevent dirt and debris from immediately showing.

Oversized Glazed Tiles

Glazed tiles will not allow dirt or spills to penetrate into the flooring, so it is easy to wipe messes from the surface. Unfortunately, grout lines can still trap dirt and liquid. Going with oversized tiles can help you to minimize the amount of grout scrubbing that is required to get the floors clean, while allowing you to enjoy the look of the tile. As with other flooring types, patterns will mask dirt and debris best.

Certain Carpet Types

Carpet is not known for being easy to clean, but any carpet with a pattern will not look dirty immediately, which may be desirable. Nylon and synthetic fiber carpets that are made for high traffic areas will also come clean relatively easily with a vacuum. Using a carpet cleaner for spot cleaning periodically can help to keep carpets even cleaner.

Carpet tiles may also be a favorable option. Carpet tiles can be mixed and matched to décor and purchased with regard to the amount of traffic that will move through the area. Most are made with short fibers that are easy to clean with a vacuum. If carpet tiles begin to look worn, it is also easy to replace a few.

If you wish to replace your existing flooring with something that is easier to clean, stop by Flooring HQ and talk to one of our flooring experts today!

Benefits of Luxury Vinyl

Benefits of Luxury Vinyl

Luxury vinyl is a flooring option that can fit most homes and commercial buildings. Luxury vinyl comes in dozens of different colors, textures, patterns, and shapes, allowing a wide range of options that can transform a space quickly and easily. Luxury vinyl is resistant to stains, scratches, moisture, and fading, so it will look beautiful and last a while. If you are considering installing luxury vinyl in your home, the following are a few benefits of choosing this material.

Replicates Natural Materials Well

Many types of luxury vinyl are made to look like natural hard wood, but the material can also be made to look like slate, marble, and other types of stone. Luxury vinyl is much easier to work with than these options and is often a fraction of the cost. Luxury vinyl can make a room or a home look lavish with minimal time and cost.

Affordable Flooring Option

As vinyl goes, luxury vinyl is more expensive than other types of vinyl, but is on the inexpensive side of flooring options. The durability of the product also helps to mitigate the need to replace the flooring every few years, as with many inexpensive options. Additionally, the flooring is easier to install than most options, which may help to save on the costs of professional installation and even flooring installation tools.

Environmentally Friendly Options Available

Luxury vinyl is available in options that meet Green building standards for sustainability. This can help to reduce the impact to the environment and may make the home eligible for certain certifications, if combined with other sustainable practices and construction elements. Professionals at your local flooring store will be able to help you find environmentally friendly options that meet your preferences and budget.

Easy to Clean and Maintain

The recommended cleaning for luxury vinyl tile is damp mopping, a faster and simpler solution than the cleaning procedure for many types of flooring. Simply sweeping will generally make the flooring look clean and it is easy to sterilize as there is no danger in getting the flooring wet. As long as the flooring is properly installed, no seepage will get beneath the protective top layer, so water and spills will be easy to completely dry.

Comfortable and Functional

Unlike concrete and ceramic tile flooring, luxury vinyl tile is a resilient material that is comfortable to stand on for long periods of time. The multiple layers of vinyl, backing, and foundation provide “give” that can act as a cushion for feet and ankles. Adding underlayment beneath the flooring may help to reduce sound and protect the flooring while further softening the impact of the flooring on the feet and ankles.

In you are considering installing luxury vinyl flooring, visit Flooring Headquarters today to review your many options.

Tips for Installing Laminate Flooring

Tips for Installing Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is a popular choice for flooring. It is typically inexpensive, mimics the beauty of hardwood flooring, is “softer” than tile or hardwood, and is relatively easy to install without the help of a professional. There are only a few tools that are needed and just watching a tutorial about how to cut the pieces and following the directions may produce outstanding results. Simply follow the steps listed below to install beautiful laminate flooring.

1. Clean the Subfloor

If there is carpet or another type of flooring in place, remove the old flooring. Be sure to remove tack board, nails, and wall baseboards that may get in the way of installation. Thoroughly clean all of the debris off the floor so it is completely flat.

2. Put Down Plastic Underlayment

Plastic underlayment acts as a moisture barrier and helps to provide a softer feel to the floor. Lay plastic underlayment that is specifically designed for laminate flooring directly on the subfloor. Bring the underlayment out and up the wall about two inches to provide plenty of excess. Tape the underlayment to the wall with painter’s tape that can be removed easily. Overlap the underlayment where necessary, making sure to allow about six inches of overlap and taping the sheets securely together with duct tape.

3. Begin Laying Flooring from One Corner

Use spacers to hold the flooring away from all walls about a quarter of an inch so that the flooring has room to expand. Lay the flooring, snapping the pieces together according to the directions. Be sure to alternate long pieces and short pieces as you move from one row to the next so that the joints between pieces are staggered from one row to the next. When you reach the end of each row, cut the last plank with a saw to fit perfectly, leaving a quarter inch gap away from the wall marked with a spacer.

4. Tap Planks Together

A tapping tool and hammer can be used to fit planks together properly as you move down the length of the room. Scrap wood can be used to tap rows together, so that the grooves do not become damaged. If grooves or planks become damaged, be sure to remove the plank and use a fresh, undamaged plank. When you get to the last row, cut the planks lengthwise to fit, again leaving a quarter inch gap away from the wall.

5. Install Transition Strips

Transition strips fit laminate flooring together with other types of flooring, creating a smooth and polished look. Be sure to remove transition strips from packaging and figure out exactly how they will fit so that you can cut planks to fill in gaps as necessary. Wood putty may also help to perfect the look of flooring around oddly shaped doorways.

6. Complete the Finishing Touches

Remove spacers and replace baseboards to cover the gaps between the flooring and the walls. Trim underlayment to fit under baseboards. If baseboards are very thin, quarter round may be necessary to completely cover gaps while still allowing room for expansion.

If you are thinking about installing laminate flooring, visit Flooring Headquarters today to begin the pricing and selection process.

Laminate Pros & Cons

Laminate Floors Pros & Cons

Nowadays, more than ever, people are concerned not only with finding the right floor for their home but also finding one that is economical as well. The two most economical flooring choices today are carpet and laminate. Laminate floors are designed to be less expensive than most hardwoods and natural stones while giving you the same realistic look. These floors can be more practical for your home and lifestyle but before purchasing a laminate floor, here are some things to consider:

 

Advantages:

  • There are many different styles, colors and patterns of laminate to choose from
  • Laminate flooring can be significantly less expensive than real hardwood, tile or natural stone.
  • Laminate can withstand water and moisture better than hardwood
  • Laminate can withstand pets and  scratches better than some species of hardwood
  • Laminate is softer than tile and natural stones so items are less likely to break if dropped on a laminate floor as opposed to tile or natural stone
  • Laminate is resistant to sunlight fading and staining unlike hardwood flooring.
  • Higher quality laminate has the look of real hardwood or stone but without the cost or maintenance that can be associated with natural products.
  • The durability and low maintenance of laminate make it a good choice for those who have a busy household or a home with children and pets.
  • Laminate is stain resistant
  • Laminate is one of the most simple floors to install
  • Laminate flooring can be installed over many types of existing floors since it is never secured directly to the subfloor but is floated over the subfloor.
  • Laminate floors are easy to clean and maintain.

 

Disadvantages:

  • Not real wood or real stone
  • Can be slippery
  • Some people don’t like the sound of walking on a laminate floor because it has more of a hollow sound. With technology and the advances made in newer laminate products (and more premium laminate products) and better underlayment, this is less of a problem.
  • Lower quality laminates and laminates of the past look cheap.
  • Use of multiple cleaners can leave a build up of residue and a film on the surface.
  • Laminate flooring is not a “green” product.
  • The life cycle of laminate floors is typically going to be shorter than the life cycle of a wood floor (depending on maintenance).  
  • Lower-end laminates may last only 10–15 years
  • Can not resand or refinish.
  • Lower resale value when selling your house

Laminate Flooring a go to Solution

Laminate floors have come a long way since they first appeared on the flooring scene. From the once drab almost wall paper looking patterns to what we have to choose from now is an unbelievable transformation.  Piano finish, beveled edges, hand scraped, textured graining are just a few of the choices available to today’s consumer. When you add to that the realistic wood and stone patterns we find in laminates today coupled with durability and scratch resistance it makes laminate flooring a go-to solution for many people.

Along with the great look and value laminate floors afford today’s consumer, you have to add the ease of installation. Laminates can be installed over concrete and wood floors and a number of pre-existing floors with the use of a laminate cushion and a moisture barrier. This ease of installation makes laminate a great Do-It-Yourself project. The basic installation steps include:

1.) Letting the flooring acclimate to the room temperature (generally 48 to 72 hours)

2.) Laying your moisture barrier and cushion. Most quality laminate cushions come with the moisture barrier attached.

3.) Laying your floor leaving a gap between your new floor and the walls for expansion and contraction. These gaps are to be covered by ¼ round molding or baseboard molding.

4.) Finishing the job off by trimming the exposed ends of the laminate with the appropriate transition molding. If your new laminate floor meets a carpeted area or a sliding door, use an end cap. If it adjoins a tile, wood or other laminate floor, use a T-mold.

At all times follow the manufactures installation instructions.

Laminate floors are available in a number of different colors, styles, textures and finishes. In addition, Laminate floors are easy to install, maintain and a great value and choice for your floor covering dollar.