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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How-To DIY Ceramic Tile Removal + Tools Needed

DIY ceramic tile removalAre you ready for new flooring? Do you have outdated old tile that you hate, but you are terrified of tearing it out?

While removing old tile is not for the faint of heart, with some elbow grease, a few simple tools and some know-how, your diy ceramic tile removal project will be finished in no time.

  1. Remove any appliances or fixtures that will get in the way of removing the tile. Usually your toilet will be installed over tile and dishwashers are often installed over tile. Obviously your refrigerator will need to be moved out. Make sure you have someone to help you.
  2. You will need a starting point, a place where you can put the pry bar under the tile and pull it up. Usually there will be an edge somewhere when you remove the appliances or fixtures, but if not, you will have to break the tile with a hammer to something heavy. Remember to be careful if you are dealing with a plywood subfloor. You don’t want to have to make repairs there.
  3. Start prying up the tile. By now you should know for sure whether or not there is flooring installed underneath the existing tile. Sometimes you will see an underlayment like mortarboard. You can try to salvage this if you want, but often it needs to be removed. Keep a container nearby for disposal of the old tile. A good tip is to make it a medium to small container so you can resist the urge to put too much in the container. Tile is very heavy and it will be easy to make the container impossible to lift.
  4. When all the tile and damaged underlayment is removed, it’s time to clean and prep the floor for new flooring. Whether it’s carpet, hardwood or new tile, the floor will need to be smooth, level, and clean.

As you labor to remove your ugly old tile, remember to be safe. Wear protective goggles since shards of tile or other material can fly up as you work. Wear gloves and shoes that cover your toes, preferably steel toed boots.

Also, make sure you have the right tile removal tools. A pry bar and a good sledgehammer will be very useful to you. Have a stiff broom and sturdy dustpan nearby for cleanup as you go.

This will be very messy. Dust and debris will be everywhere. If you are prone to asthma or bronchial problems, you should wear a mask and keep your windows open, if possible.

Good luck, and happy flooring!

 


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