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What Can I Do With Leftover Flooring?




Did you know that flooring isn’t just for floors? Leftover flooring doesn’t have to go in the scrap heap or, as my mom would say, “To the happy hunting grounds.” Instead, it can be used as a great DIY home décor project! Let’s look at a few ways you can re-use that material and revamp your room.
 

Accent Walls

Accent walls are huge in the interior design world. They’re a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to transform your room without overhauling your entire décor plan. While paint is the classic medium used, you have another choice with, you guessed it…flooring!

Wood paneling on walls isn’t a new idea. In addition to bringing warmth to dens and family rooms, it’s long been popular in commercial spaces like restaurants and hotels. Now, we’re not talking about your great-aunt Shirley Jeanne’s wood paneling – we’re talking variety to suit any style! Clean modern lines, cozy rustic aesthetics, whatever says ‘you.’
 
retro-or-not
 
Do you have leftover laminate flooring instead of hardwood? No problem! It can be used in the same way as wood to panel your wall.
 

Art

Leftover hardwood pieces can be trimmed, joined together with wood glue to form a desired size or design, then painted with whatever you want! For example, this dandelion-themed piece found on Pretty Designs.
 

 
Is whimsical nature not your thing? No problem. How about some state pride? Modish & Main opted to show off their love for California with this lovely stenciled piece:
 

 

Utility

Scrap flooring doesn’t just make great art. It also makes great storage space! Do you have only a single plank left? No problem. Go to your local hardware store or search online, pick out some hooks you like, drill them in, and you’ve got a new coat rack. This can be done with laminate as well as hardwood, as this great example from DIY Inspired shows:
 

Shabby chic and very cute.


 
If you’re like me and you’ve got a house full of books and knickknacks, then you know there’s no such thing as too much shelving. Flooring scraps can easily be upcycled into wall shelves. This is another easy DIY project; a free afternoon, a few basic tools, and a trip to the hardware store are all you need to make some unique and inexpensive new shelves, like these from the DIY Network:
 

 
You’ve got options, friends! How have you repurposed and upcylced your leftover flooring?


Posted in Hardwood Flooring, Laminate Flooring, Z-Level: Our Odds & Ends

How To Define Your Decor With Hardwood





First of all, let us offer our sincerest congratulations on your new hardwood floor! Whether you chose solid or engineered, you’ve made a great investment in a quality material that never goes out of style. So, how do you help your hardwood stand out and integrate into your home while retaining the room’s unique flair? We’ve got a few tips to remove the intimidation factor and give you some quick and easy tips on how to define your interior design style with hardwood flooring.
 

Switch It Up

There is no edict, no rule, no law of the land that says your woods have to match! Quite the contrary, in fact: modern design dives right in and mixes stains, species, textures, and finishes for a look that reflects a lifetime. You and your style evolve over time. Let your flooring show that.
 

Mixed colors & materials from Vered Rosen Design.


 

Go Natural

Natural light is great for so many reasons. Nothing brings out the beauty in organic materials like natural light, but did you know that long-term exposure to natural light can gradually change your wood’s color? No, not like a fading dye job or washed out posters; rather they age like fine wine. This is a very desirable trait! Different species age in different ways. Some, like oak and maple, tend to show much less color change over time, while American cherry and most imported exotic woods can undergo a very noticeable change. Here’s an example of how your wood might age:
 
hardwood-color-changes
 

Opposites Attract

Embrace the contrast of light and dark in your interior design play for a look that never fails to catch the eye. Both light and dark are valued for their optical abilities and both can have a real effect on your room. It’s a great way to do a lot with a little.

If you’ve got dark floors, you can brighten up your room with a lighter wall color (anything from a pastel to a neutral or even classic white will do the trick here – it’s up to you) and lighter-toned décor pieces like area rugs and furniture pieces.
 
light-n-dark
 

Embrace Neutrality

Think of neutrals like the foundation pieces for your wardrobe, like your favorite black blazer that can go casual with jeans or professional with a collared shirt. Neutral floors are an ideal building block for any color pallet. Bright accents and eye-catching textures get to do their thing without being overshadowed by a bright floor.

Notice how that floor doesn't distract from the bright red wall?

Notice how that floor doesn’t distract from the bright red wall?

How have you decorated to show off your hardwood floors? Let us know!

Posted in Hardwood Flooring

The Spam Chronicles: Part One




Spam is a fact of online life, and our blog comments are no exception. While the endless stream of advertisments touting male enhancement, discount cremation, psychics next door, mail order brides, and everything else under the sun get old fast, they can also provide unrivaled hilarity. Here’s a look at some of the funniest, strangest, and most “HUH?!”-inducing spam comments the FTYH blog has had the pleasure of getting:
 
 

“Make your artwork appear to be junk.”

Hey, Steven Moffat’s made a career out of junk…
 

Yeah, I said it.


 
 
“He explains top secret data on father christmas’s airfare as well has reported on any kind of extra conditions may standing in front of this year. regarding, obviously you can fit stuff on it! the thing that strong become hot cakes without possessions included? Blueberries, chocolate chips, Raisins, Escargot.”
 

 
 

“Skip oxygen conned bad thick mulch of the fact that smells like ammonia or simply bad ova.”

Ew.


 
 
“An admirer says that ‘cosmic cowboy’ Doug Sahm’s problem is that he could ‘never stay in one bag long enough.'”

where my anime nerds at? come thru, fam.


 
 
“Tells the story of Brad and his fiancée Janet, two squeaky clean college kids who meet Dr. Frank’nFurter by chance when their car breaks down outside his house while on their way to visit their former college professor. It is an adventure they’ll never forget, with fun, frolics, frocks, and frivolity, bursting with timeless songs and outrageous outfits…”
 

 
 

What’s the funniest spam message you’ve ever gotten? Sound off in the comments!


Posted in Z-Level: Our Odds & Ends

When Not To Buy Hardwood




We talk a lot about how important it is to understand your lifestyle needs when choosing a new floor. After all, flooring is an investment that’s meant to stand up to a home’s demands with beauty and durability for years to come. You wouldn’t want to be stuck with a lemon car. You don’t want to be stuck with a lemon floor!

Last weekend I went to one of the local malls here in town and went into an electronics store that had light-toned flooring. Now, retail and commercial spaces take a bit of a beating due to high volumes of foot traffic, so I didn’t think anything of seeing scratches and scuffs on the floor. That is, until the sales associate mentioned they’d just had the store’s hardwood floors refinished. For the second time. In less than five years.
 

 
Hardwood is great. It’s beautiful, it lasts a long time, it’s a classic that even interior design novices have a hard time messing up. It’s also a poor choice for heavy traffic areas like, say, a world famous technology magnate’s retail store. As a result, they’re spending a lot of time and money on frequent refinishing. Whoever chose hardwood was not being realistic about their flooring needs.
 

How Can I Be Realistic While Floor Shopping?

Do your research. I might sound like a broken record here, but I can’t stress this enough. Look up the pros, the cons, the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between.

Don’t get stubborn. It’s not a character flaw or a symptom of shoddy design if hardwood isn’t the best choice for your room.

Do understand your lifestyle. Look at what factors in your life are likely to impact your floor’s health. For example, big dogs. Excellent cuddle buddies, bad for hardwood. If you have anything larger than, say, a Pomeranian, its claws can do a lot of damage to hardwood.
 

What Are My Alternatives?

Have you checked out enduring laminate? 100% waterproof vinyl? WPC that combines the best of laminate and vinyl? Trendy new wood look porcelain tile? There are plenty of gorgeous alternatives that will mimic hardwood’s beauty while still meeting your needs.

Laminate: Maximum durability, particularly laminates rated AC4 or above

Vinyl: 100% waterproof

WPC: The love child of laminate and vinyl

Wood Look Porcelain: On trend for years to come

Here’s a quick look at all of these beautiful hardwood alternatives:
 
no-wood-
 
Are you on the fence about the best new flooring for you? Call our experts at 1-800-804-5251! They’re standing by to answer all your questions and help you meet your flooring needs at an unbeatable discount price.
 

Posted in Customer Q & A, Hardwood Flooring, Laminate Flooring, Vinyl Flooring

Laminate Safety: What You Need To Know




There’s been a lot of conversation over the past year about the safety of laminate flooring. 60 Minutes ran a feature in March 2015 calling into question the levels of formaldehyde present in a competitor’s Chinese-made laminate flooring; earlier this month the CDC issued a report stating they had miscalculated and underestimated the cancer risks posed by the competitor’s laminate.

Transparency and honesty are two of the core values that have allowed us to stay in business for over 90 years. In that spirit, we put together some fact sheets and FAQ’s for concerned customers. Whether you’ve ever shopped with Floors To Your Home or not, it’s our sincere hope that we can cut through the jargon and offer some peace of mind.
 

The California Air Regulatory Board (CARB) Compliance Standards

 
CARB 1

CARB 2
 

Frequently Asked Questions

 
Laminate Safety Questions
 
As always, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-804-5251 or click on FloorsToYourHome.com. Our flooring experts are standing by.
 
– – – –
Meredith Foster is a content writer at Floors To Your Home. Away from the office she’s a published author, hockey fan, music lover, and mom to a vampire-fanged rescue cat.
 
 
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Posted in Customer Q & A, Laminate Flooring

How To Pick The Right Wood Filler




We’ve talked at length about what you can expect from hardwood floors. A big part of its appeal comes from variations that provide such a unique look. Occasionally, though, you can run across natural characteristics like voids or knotholes that present an uneven surface.

This doesn’t mean the piece of wood is bad! Remember, hardwood is a natural material, and just like no two trees are identical, neither is the wood they produce. Surface characteristics are more prevalent in Cabin Grade hardwoods; they’re part of its rustic charm. So, how to even up your surface and maintain the aesthetic you love? Easy! Fill it in. This is a great project with options for DIY novices and gurus alike. All it takes is a few inexpensive household items and a little bit of elbow grease!

It’s important to note here that your repair procedure will be a little different for prefinished wood rather than an unfinished piece. Part of the appeal of prefinished floors is that they don’t need to be sanded after installation, so why would you break out the electric sander and risk damaging a whole plank after filling in a tiny imperfection? You wouldn’t! Be sure to always do your research and check your manufacturer’s specifications prior to choosing a wood filler.
 

What Types of Fillers Are Available?

 

Epoxy

Available at your local hardware store, epoxy is a nice choice because it’s clear and will retain the knot’s look. Epoxy normally comes in two parts that will need to be mixed prior to use. Since it’s not water-based, epoxy is much less susceptible to temperature fluctuations and moisture changes than other options. It bonds nicely to wood and won’t expand or contract.
 

 

Latex Filler

If you’re looking to cover your knothole rather than just even the surface, latex filler might be a good choice for you. Available in a variety of colors, latex filler can be matched to your floor. It’s important to note that latex filler won’t always accept a stain, so make sure it matches your finished floor color before you apply it!
 
wood filler
 

Burn-In Sticks

Burn?! Yes, you read that right. The words ‘burn’ and ‘hardwood’ are normally kept far, far away from each other, and in this case burn is a little bit of a misnomer. The sticks in question are made of shellac, resin, or lacquer, and are melted- not burned!- with a heated burn-in knife.
 
burn-in
 
Novice DIY-ers may not be as comfortable with this option due to the use of heated tools and the need for more materials to prevent the burn-in knife from damaging the existing hardwood. Burn-in sticks provide more accurate color and sheen matching than latex fillers, but they’re also less durable. If you opt for burn-in sticks, use them for shallow scratches and small holes only, as they’re not suitable for deeper voids.

Do you have questions about the right wood filler for you? Our flooring experts are standing by! Call 1-800-804-5251 or click on FloorsToYourHome.com now to chat with a professional.
 
 
– – – –
Meredith Foster is a content writer at Floors To Your Home. Away from the office she’s a published author, hockey fan, music lover, and mom to a vampire-fanged rescue cat.
 
 
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Posted in Customer Q & A, Hardwood Flooring

The 4 W’s of WPC




Gather around, friends. It’s time to talk about innovation!

*gasp*

Innovation? In FLOORING?

It’s here. And it’s spectacular. Let’s get into it!
 
what-is-wpc
What Is It?

“Is there such a thing as waterproof laminate?”

This is by far one of our most frequently asked questions. Laminate floors are a very popular choice for pet owners and families with children because of their extreme durability. However, they are water resistant, not waterproof. The core board that composes the bulk of a laminate flooring plank is absorbent, but it’s made with compounds to increase its moisture resistance and is protected by layers both on the top and on the bottom.

Which brings us to WPC.

WPC stands for Wood Plastic Composite, a hybrid material composed of wood or wood flour and plastic that highlights the best qualities of both materials. It’s a 100% phthalate free virgin material.
 
Where Can It Go?

Most flooring materials require transition pieces and expansion gaps. Not WPC! Eliminating these needs allows for large interrupted areas of flooring, so WPC is a nice choice for bigger spaces like open-plan rooms and commercial areas.

One of WPC’s most sterling advantages comes from its versatility. Unlike laminate’s core board, WPC’s wood plastic core is dimensionally stable when exposed to moisture and temperature fluctuations. It’s 100% waterproof! WPC floors are an excellent way to break out of the ordinary options for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and other moisture-prone areas.
 
When Can It Be Installed?

We’ve talked about acclimation before. Different materials need different acclimation times, and WPC is no exception. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions and information to see how long you’ll need to let your new WPC floor acclimate.

WPC doesn’t need much in the way of subfloor preparation. Cracks? Divots? No problem! Unlike laminate and vinyl floors, WPC’s rigid core allows it to go over uneven plywood or concrete subfloors without the extra work of leveling or repair. Of course, always read the manufacturer’s specifications about subfloors prior to installation.
 
Why Should I Care?

Do you have children? Pets? A busy household that sees plenty of foot traffic? Then you need a flooring material that roll with the punches, stand up to the hard knocks, and come out swinging. WPC can do all of that and more! It’s highly resistant to impact, stains, scratching, and wear, designed to look beautiful and stay beautiful.

The layered structure of WPC ensures the vinyl layer takes the impact for maximum sound reduction capability. No squeaking or that cold, hollow echo from laminate floors. This is one quiet material!
 
BUTTON - Green Room Green-ish Swath
 
– – – –
Meredith Foster is a content writer at Floors To Your Home. Away from the office she’s a published author, hockey fan, music lover, and mom to a vampire-fanged rescue cat.
 
 
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Posted in waterproof, Which Floor for Which Room?

The Anatomy of Cabin Grade





We get a lot of questions about Cabin Grade hardwood. It’s one of our bestsellers and we do our best to offer as much information as possible about what to expect from a Cabin Grade floor. Here’s our President and co-owner Dan Kahn saying a few words on the subject:
 

 

What Will My Finished Cabin Grade Floor Look Like?

This is a tricky one. Part of Cabin Grade’s appeal is the variation present in the flooring. Since we purchase all of our Cabin Grade flooring sight unseen and don’t open the boxes prior to selling them, it’s impossible for us to say exactly what the variations will be on a specific flooring order.

Many of these imperfections come directly from the original source: the tree itself. For those who want a hardwood floor that’s unique and distinctive, this can be a good thing! Here’s a finished Cabin Grade project chock full of variety and character:
 
cabin-grade-1
 
Meanwhile, other finished Cabin Grade projects can look more uniform:
 
cabin-grade-2
 

What Types of Imperfections Might Be Present?

The most common imperfections in Cabin Grade flooring are surface imperfections that present an aesthetic issue instead of a structural one.
 
cabin-grade-actual-pic
 
Exactly what it sounds like, color variation is a difference in color that’s outside the manufacturer’s stipulation for that particular shade of flooring. Color variation in hardwood comes straight from the tree, because no two trees are the same.

Pinholes and wormholes tend are the result of insect activity before the wood is harvested. They tend to be very small, and may or may not be noticeable. Knotholes, by contrast, are more visible. All three of these are natural occurrences and have no effect on a board’s structural integrity.

Some Cabin Grade pieces may have surface splits. The boards themselves shouldn’t be damaged, but a visible crack to the very top layer may be noticeable. If desired, these can easily be repaired with wood filler, available at your local hardware store.
 
crack
 

What About Short Boards?

The most common issue we hear about from customers who purchase Cabin Grade flooring is the amount of shorter length boards. A short board is just that: a flooring board that is shorter than expected. Short boards can still be installed as part of your flooring project! They can also play an integral part in giving your floor that unique and characterful look our customers love.

Designer and blogger Jenna Sue of Jenna Sue Design Co. ordered a cabin grade floor from us in 2014 and had this to say about the short pieces:

“I was pleasantly surprised to discover that everything just blended together and the board length was not a big deal at all.”

Since many Cabin Grade products are random length designs, there’s no way to predict how many shorter pieces will be present per box. Short boards are another trait that adds real personality to Cabin Grade hardwood. They’re great for lending a rustic look.
 

So What’s The Bottom Line?

We cannot estimate exactly how much of the flooring will contain surface imperfections or short boards. We can, however, say with certainty that 95% of our customers who order fifteen to twenty percent overage on Cabin Grade hardwood are able to complete their flooring project. That doesn’t mean that 80% of the flooring is perfect. It means that the material can be installed as a floor and you can finish your project.

Here’s a finished Cabin Grade project from happy customer Jen C. Thanks for the great photos, Jen!
 
jen floor 1
 
jen floor 2
 
Want to talk all things Cabin Grade? Our flooring experts are standing by! Click FloorsToYourHome.com to chat or call 1-800-804-5251 today!
 
BUTTON - Blue Swath Guitar Room
– – – –
Meredith Foster is a content writer at Floors To Your Home. Away from the office she’s a published author, hockey fan, music lover, and mom to a vampire-fanged rescue cat.
 
 
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Posted in Customer Q & A, Hardwood Flooring

Does Your New Floor Need Accessories?





What a long, strange trip it’s been: you’ve done your research, decided on a material, set your heart on a color, and then, oh, and then…you bought It. Your perfect floor, from Floors To Your Home, of course!

But wait. There’s more.

Think of it like buying the perfect outfit: the clothes are important, but what about the finishing touches? Just like that great new ensemble needs the perfect pair of earrings, your new floor might need some accessories.
 

What Kind of Accessories Are Available For Flooring?

The most common accessories that may be needed for a successful flooring project are trim and underlayment. These are two fairly broad categories; both include a wide variety of options designed to suit a project’s individual needs.
 

What’s the Difference Between Trim & Molding?

Although there’s some debate about what exactly the difference is between trim and molding, the general consensus is that trim is there to be practical, molding is there to be pretty. Trim is used as a universal term for everything from baseboards to crown molding, but it does serve a very practical purpose alongside its aesthetic value. Trim is often used to hide joints, expansion gaps, seams, and other surface imperfections.

Types of molding vary depending on where the molding is going to go. For example, crown molding is a decorative transition piece between a wall and a ceiling. Conversely, a baseboard is a decorative transition piece between a wall and a ceiling.
 

What are the Different Types of Trim?

Quarter Rounds live up to their name! A cross-section of a quarter round looks like ¼ of a pie chart, 25%, or, you guessed it: one quarter of the whole.
 
Quarter-Round-Drawing

Designed to disguise expansion gaps, quarter rounds are sold finished or unfinished and can be customized to match your floor. Read more about them here.
 
T-Molding is shaped like the terrific, towering, and transformative twentieth letter of our alphabet, drum roll please…
 

 
T-molding serves as a transition between two level hard surfaces, usually from room to room or between a room and a hallway. In addition to providing a smooth transition between rooms, t-molding also gives room for the floors to expand and contract.
 

Read more about them here.
 
End Caps indicate a floor’s definitive end. They’re used wherever a floor meets with anything vertical other than a wall, such as fireplaces or sliding door tracks, or a higher surface such as a high carpet or a very thick tile. It is also used to border off where the floor ends, such as at a doorway.
 
end-cap-laminate-flooring-selectsurfaces
Read more about them here.
 
Reducers are a more subtle type of end cap and are designed to remove gaps between different-leveled floors. Instead of taking that sharp 90 degree drop like an end cap, a reducer tapers off at a gentle angle to provide a smooth transition.
 

Read more about them here.
 
Thresholds are used when two floors with different heights meet. For example, a threshold would be great between a laminate floor and a plush carpet. Read more about here.
 

Underlayment

Underlayment is a term used for the padding placed above your subfloor and underneath your flooring material. It protects against moisture, absorbs sound, and decreases subfloor imperfections. Some floors feature pre-attached pad. Read more about the different types of underlayment here.

Do you have questions about what accessories might be right for your floor? Call 1-800-804-5251 or click on FloorsToYourHome.com to chat with our flooring experts!

 
– – – –
Meredith Foster is a content writer at Floors To Your Home. Away from the office she’s a published author, hockey fan, music lover, and mom to a vampire-fanged rescue cat.
 
 
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Posted in Basic Installation Tips

Preventing Winter Home Damage

Ah, winter. It’s pretty to look at, but it can be pretty awful to clean up after. We all know how important it is to keep ourselves and our pets warm during the cold months, but what about our houses? Let’s take a look at how you can keep snow and ice from damaging your homes through this winter season and into the spring melts.
 
Don’t Pile Snow Against Your Home.

Sure, it’s snow now. But what about when it melts, or melts and refreezes? Melted snow can leak into your home as water, or refreeze to form ice dams, which can weaken structures over time.
 
Use Floor Mats.

We’ve talked at length about how moisture can impact flooring, particularly hardwoods. Nice bristly mats outdoors and thick doormats at every entrance indoors do a nice job of catching clumps of unmelted snow so they don’t track into your home. Remember to wipe your feet!

For areas with heavy foot traffic like offices and businesses, consider laying down plastic runners.
 
Wipe Up Snow and Ice Right Away.

Like all common sense, this bears repeating every now and then. One of the great things about waterproof flooring materials like vinyl and porcelain is knowing they can stand up to moisture. That said, wet floors are a slip and fall hazard, so be sure to get any tracked-in snow, slush, or ice swept up as soon as possible.
 
Vacuum Road Salt.

Salt is essential for keeping roads and sidewalks free of hazardous ice during winter, but it can do a really nasty number on hardwood floors. That same gritty quality that adds to traction can scratch even the strongest hardwood finishes, so use care when removing it. A vacuum or a broom are your best bets; dusters that rely on pressure can lead to more scratching if the salt is pressed against the wood.
 
Maintain an Appropriate Humidity Level

Yes, the weather outside is frightful, but to keep your hardwoods looking delightful, your home’s humidity levels need to be monitored a little closer this time of year. Too much dryness in the air can cause your hardwood floors to contract, so try to maintain an optimal humidity level of around 30-60%.
 
What steps are you taking to protect your home this winter?
 
Green-Room-Green-ish-Swath-VINYL-

Posted in Z-Level: Our Odds & Ends

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