When is it Time to Replace Flooring?

when is it time to replace flooringAs homeowners, we tend to hold off on major home improvement projects for as long as possible. These projects are expensive, time consuming, and can be extremely inconvenient.

When your kitchen floor is torn up for a whole week, the room that is most often used in your home is out of commission, that’s stressful. But, sometimes we let our old flooring go too long without being replaced.

When is it time to replace flooring? Here are some ways to gauge whether your flooring really needs to be changed.

Carpet- The Allergen Collector

Carpet, while inexpensive and comfortable to walk and sit on, has a shelf-life. Every day, the people who come into your home are tracking dirt from outside, and not just dirt from the yard. Shoes carry dirt from the bus station platform, the public bathroom at the junior high school, the cafeteria, and other grimy, bacteria-ridden places.

Also, carpet collects dander, dust mites, and hair and skin particles, making it a veritable smorgasbord of allergens. Vacuuming frequently and having a carpet cleaner come in occasionally can help with this, but carpet should be replaced every five years. If you want a real visual of the dust and particles that your carpet is collecting, watch old carpet get removed. There are literally drifts of fine dust particles under your carpet pad.

So, if your carpet is more than five years old, consider having it changed. Or better yet, try hard flooring. With sweeping and mopping, almost every possible allergen is removed and you won’t have to worry about asthma or allergy issues from your flooring. Also, if you take care of tile or stone or wood floors, they will last you four times as long, or longer.

Tile-When it Breaks, it’s Time

Tile is incredibly sturdy. It doesn’t stain easily and can be cleaned quickly. The problem with tile is when it breaks or when the grout starts to get dingy and cracks. Over time, you may start to notice that an edge of

your tile has cracked or that the grout is splitting. This is often because the subfloor is shifting underneath the tile. Once this starts happening, the tile will continue to shift and may become a trip hazard. To make matters worse, dirt and moisture starts to build up under the cracked tile and grout, often becoming moldy and developing an odor. When this happens, it’s time to replace your tile.

Also, because tile does last so long, usually you don’t need to replace it until the style trends change. Many will replace tile floors simply because they have outlasted home décor trends. If your floor is avocado green with brown grout, it’s from the 70’s and it will certainly affect the value of your home. It’s time to put something more modern in.

Wood Flooring- Water is the Enemy

Wood flooring, believe it or not, can last a very long time. Old historic homes often have their original wood floors intact, a demonstration of how durable these floors are. The biggest enemy to wood is water. If water sits long enough on hardwood, it will warp. And usually it will warp beyond saving. This is an obvious time when your flooring needs to be replaced.

But there are other situations as well. The finish on your hardwood will eventually start to fade, and that wood will be exposed to the elements. It will start to turn gray and will be hard to clean. Eventually that unprotected wood will crack and even break. If this happens you may be able to just refinish your wood floors. A good sanding, staining and sealing will give your wood floors new life.

Lastly, termites have been known to attack wood floors. In this case, the entire floor should be totally replaced and the subfloor should be treated with pesticide to ensure the little critters are really gone.

Sometimes it’s obvious when your floors need an upgrade. But sometimes we wait too long, which can be a detriment to our health. Allergens and mold, when inhaled, can inhibit the immune system and cause serious respiratory problems. Also, in the case of wood floors, early intervention can save the floor from irreparable damage. So know when it’s time to make the switch.

Top Five Most Durable Flooring Options

You may be looking for attractive flooring, or the most durable flooring options for pets and children. You may be looking for scratch resistant, waterproof and easy-to-clean floors.

Carpet has its advantages, it’s difficult to clean, traps allergens and dust mites, and stains easily. If carpet isn’t your first choice, one of these five options might be just right for you.

Durable Flooring OptionsLuxury Vinyl Planks

This flooring is the new rage in commercial and domestic interiors. It’s super durable and waterproof, making in an excellent choice for kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms. Wood-look vinyl plank flooring is difficult to differentiate visually from real wood and will not warp in the event of a flood like hardwood. The finish is also scratch resistant, though it can get scratched if something heavy is dragged across it.

Most luxury vinyl plank products are made to be easy to install, though this often depends on your skill level. It’s best to hire a licensed contractor to assure that the subfloor is level and the flooring is installed appropriately.

High Quality Laminate

Cheap laminate will chip, warp, stain and easily scratch. All laminate is actually made from a high-density fiberboard, which is like a cross between paper and wood, and covered with a thin layer of printed plastic. In this higher quality, laminate flooring durability is higher and more scratch-resistant.

The benefit laminate flooring is that it’s cheaper than a luxury vinyl plank, easier to install (since it’s a “floating” floor and not glue down) and there are many options in finishes and styles. It also feels and sounds a lot like real wood, because it’s essentially made from wood—derived material.

Whatever your budget, there are many options for flooring that may work for you if you need something durable. Some are more resistant to water and some more resistant to cracking, so choose your flooring based on the type of use the room or rooms will get.

durable tile for bathroomCeramic or Porcelain Tile

Porcelain is slightly more durable flooring option than ceramic, but it’s also slightly more expensive. The two flooring types are both excellent choices when you need something that is resistant to scratching and water damage. Ceramic and Porcelain tile is easy to mop up and, if the grout is properly sealed, will resist staining as well. However, tile can crack if something heavy is dropped on it, though this is very rare.

Natural Stone

There are different types of natural stone, and some are more durable than others. Slate requires a diamond saw blade to cut, while sandstone will wear with time and natural erosion. All in all, though, natural stone, if cared for, will last a very long time. Sealing your natural stone floors every 2-3 years will help them retain their original beauty and luster. Also, watch out for grit and staining and mop up spills quickly.

Hardwood

While natural wood gets a bad rap in terms of durability, it’s important to remember that some historic homes that are 100+ years old have their original hardwoods in-tact. Yes, a flood will warp the wood and yes, it can be scratched, but a quality hardwood will not only last, but can be refinished and restored as needed. Also, if the dishwasher floods and the water is cleaned up quickly, your wood floors probably will not warp. The only real threat is standing water comes after a flood in an unattended area.

 


Looking to install new flooring in your home?

Starting your next flooring project with Gainey Flooring Solutions is easy, just three steps:

  1. Free design consultation  | This includes a design consultation to discuss what materials are best for durability and cost, popular plank sizes or colors, and flooring showrooms to visit.
  2. Starting your project | The project starts with the installation quote, the job costs from floor prep to transitions. If the materials were purchased from our preferred flooring showrooms we’ll deliver your materials.
  3. Full 2 year warranty | We stand behind our work and offer homeowners a full 2 year warranty.

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Cleaning Natural Stone Tile

 

Cleaning Natural Stone TileThe contractors have gone home, and your house is finally put back together after installing new stone flooring. Now the question is, what do I know about cleaning natural stone tile?

If you have natural stone in your house, you may be intimidated by the care of it. Since natural stone comes from natural materials, it does act differently than other hard floors. There are some things you should remember when cleaning and caring for your travertine, slate, granite, or marble.

Removing Dirt & Stains from Stone Flooring

Dirt is your number one enemy. Dirt, sand and dust grind under your shoes and into the floor, gradually “sanding” the protective finish off. Avoid this by putting rugs near all the doors, dust mopping the floor often, and keeping the floor clean in general.

Enemy number two with stone floors is staining. The porous nature of the stone causes it to absorb liquids like urine and red wine and to cause staining that is almost impossible to get out. Avoid this by mopping up messes as soon as possible after the spill.

After sweeping or dusting the floor, mopping helps get what was left behind. Using the cleaner you have chosen or a mild dish soap and warm water, mop your floor with a soft mop. Then, rinse the entire surface with water alone. Allow it to dry. Be careful, wet stone (especially granite and marble) is very slippery.

Stone Floor Cleaner Products

Look for the right cleaning agent. Some stone, like granite, slate, sandstone, quartzite, are SILICEOUS. Siliceous stone is very durable, and you can use a mildly acidic cleaner on it. Marble, travertine and limestone is CALCAREOUS. These stones are not as durable, and you should avoid any cleaner that is acidic. Check the bottle of any stone cleaner to see which stone types it is safest for, and consult with a professional to find the right cleaners for your floor type.

Sealing Stone Floor Tiles

Get it re-sealed. Natural stone needs to be sealed before use, and that sealer can wear thin and get permeated by use. Once it wears off, your stone will start to get stained and scratched, sometimes beyond repair. Get your stone sealed every three years by a professional. The cost of this varies, but you can expect to pay about $1-2 per square foot. This will extend the life and beauty of your stone dramatically.

Repairing Natural Stone Floor Tiles

Get it repaired. Sometimes your flooring will become uneven or cracked. If there are cracks or unevenness in the tiles, dirt will collect and be hard to get rid of. Have a flooring contractor come and fix the damage as soon as possible after you notice the crack or raised tile.

Make sure it’s installed correctly. A bad install will lead to cracking and lifting tiles, which means excess dirt collection and eventually, the need to reinstall the entire floor. Avoid this costly repair by hiring the right contractor in the first place.

Caring for your stone floor takes a little research and some time, but if you do the work, you will enjoy your stone for years to come. It’s one of the most beautiful and durable flooring types in the world, and because it’s natural, it’s always one of a kind.