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Google’s Star Wars and More Fun

It’s making the rounds. If you do it exactly right, this is pretty fun. Copy the following and paste it into a Google search.

a long time ago in a galaxy far far away

I say copy because it has to be exactly right. No commas, two ‘far’s, all of it just right or it won’t work. You can also just click it to see the results, but that’s not as fun.

Pleasant Time Passers

So while you’re waiting in line at 4am in the freezing cold on Black Friday so you can buy a $2,000 tv for $599 (in which case I’ll be right behind you in that same line), have some fun with these other Google gimmicks (Easter Eggs, for the cognoscente):

In the Google search bar, type the phrase, “do a barrel roll“.

Or, in a fresh Google window, search for the word, “askew“.

You can search Google in Klingon, and find all those Shakespeare quotes in their original language. Finally.

Type “zerg rush“. Wheee! The O’s can be destroyed with a few clicks each, otherwise they’ll eat up all of your search results and win. It’s got progress bars and everything! A fully playable game, like when they put Pac Man up as one of their Doodles.

Speaking of those, if you open a fresh Google window and hover over the “I’m feeling lucky” bar, it will rotate to a variants on how you might feel. Hover off and back, and it will select another. If you click the ‘doodley’ version without any search text, you’ll be taken to their museum of all of the doodles, and any variations on the Google logo.

Google stuff

More searches? Paste in the answer to life, the universe and everything. Or have it look for the number of horns on a unicorn. It’s the loneliest number. For assurance, they provide a calculator.

Google’s “is this what you meant?” things can be funny too. Try searching the word anagram. Or have it look up recursion. Their suggestion and definition are both good.

One of Google’s early April Fool’s jokes is still intact, and fun to go through.

These aren’t on the Google site itself, but check them out anyway.

Google Anti-gravity (Click it, then hit ‘refresh’. Not sure why that’s necessary, but it seems to be.)

Google Sphere

(You should know what to expect here.)


Fun. Hoo-ahh.

This message is sponsored by Buy some floors!

Because we sell them.


– – – –
W. David Lichty is the Content Guy at Floors To Your Home (.com). In my spare time I shoot and edit video, explore film history, mix music (as in ‘play with Beatles multi-tracks’) and write non-fiction for my friends. Connect with me on Google+

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Posted in Z-Level: Our Odds & Ends

5 Great Thanksgiving Laughs

Ah, the Internet. How I love the trove of GIFs, memes, puns, and distractions. Because I’m thankful for every single one of you, dear readers, I’ve decided to share some of my favorite bits of Thanksgiving whimsy so you can giggle before you gobble.

The incomporable Julia Child starts us off:

Shake your groove thing, shake your groove thing!


If you haven’t seen any of Liz Climo’s adorable comics, let me fix that for you:


Your faithful bloggers are nerds, in case you hadn’t noticed:


These kind pilgrims aren’t here to steal your land or your crops. They’d just like a delicious meal and some walkies:


Somehow I don’t think this is what the recipe called for:


Have a marvelous holiday, friends!

Posted in Z-Level: Our Odds & Ends

Black Friday Deals All Week Long!

Pssst…Black Friday is coming up! Since it’s hard to get decent internet when you’re living under a rock, I’m going to assume that yes, you know Black Friday is on its way. But. But.

Did you know our great deals are going on all week long through the end of Cyber Monday?

Yes, really!

At Floors To Your Home, we pride ourselves on our unbeatable discount prices that help you and your budget get a great new floor at 50-75% off the retail price. This Thanksgiving week, we’re taking that one step further by offering an additional 15¢ off per square foot of everything online and in our retail stores. This even includes our Buy One Get One Free items!

Mohawk Eastridge Hickory Chocolate 5 1/4″ Click Together Hardwood is Buy One Carton, Get One Free!

Did we mention you can shop online? Skip the crowds and treat yourself to some effortless browsing in our online store. Chat with our flooring experts, browse our incredible selection, even design your own room, all without having to take off your PJ’s. Saving big on Black Friday has never been easier.
(we ship a lot of floors free too)

(we ship a lot of floors free too)

Posted in Ceramic, Hardwood Flooring, Laminate Flooring, Vinyl Flooring

The Time We Rented An Elephant

Here at Floors To Your Home, we take great pride in a few things: great flooring, amazing discount prices, and our unbeatable commitment to top quality customer service, just to name a few. We also take pride in creativity, innovation, and knowing how to have fun.

Case in point: our first-ever TV commercial back in 1988.
Yes, friends, that’s our very own President and co-owner Dan Kahn at the Indianapolis Zoo, putting vinyl flooring to a unique test. Dan doesn’t like to make statements he can’t back up, so when he announced that Floors To Your Home’s vinyl floors were strong and resilient enough to handle an elephant, he decided to prove it.
So, how did the vinyl do? Did it pass the test? It absolutely did!

If 1988’s vinyl flooring can handle plucky pachyderms, imagine what 2015’s can do. There have been a lot of advances in flooring technology over the past 27 years, especially for materials like vinyl. Let’s look at some of these improvements:
Click Together

Vinyl floors with click together installation are great for the weekend DIY warrior. It also makes repairs a snap.

It clicks right together!


Loose Lay

Loose lay vinyl really is the ultimate in flooring convenience! No glue. No locking mechanisms. No muss and absolutely no fuss!

Luxury Vinyl Plank & Tile

With Floors To Your Home’s fabulous discount prices, you can have the luxury you deserve at a price you’ll love.

Mohawk Prospects Chocolate Oak Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring


Wood Plastic Core is a patented hybrid composed of wood and plastic that adopts the best qualities of both vinyl and laminate flooring. Some of our WPC floors feature premium cork underlayment for maximum sound reduction. This is the closest thing on the market to waterproof laminate!

Do you have questions about vinyl flooring? Our flooring experts are standing by! Call 1-800-804-5251 now or click on FloorsToYourHome.com to chat live!

(We make no promises about elephant questions, but we’ll do our best.)

Posted in Z-Level: Our Odds & Ends

5 Times We Loved Reading The Comments

What’s the oft-repeated mantra of internet sanity?

It’s for your own good.

Well, friends, unlike some well-known dens of iniquity on the World Wide Web, our blog is a great place to read the comments! We get great questions and we love hearing from you; it really is a delight to chat with our lovely readers and help them make their flooring visions become reality. In that spirit, here’s a roundup of some of the queries we’ve gotten recently, collected here for your reading pleasure. Answers courtesy of Meredith and David.
Do I need the expansion gap on both walls or should I butt the flooring up against one wall and leave the gap on the other end? -Bill

You’ll want the expansion gap to come between the floor and every wall, or any vertical surface, such as a fireplace or a pillar.
I have a question regarding water resistant vinyl plank flooring. How much protection would I have against water? For instance, the cat knocks over my son’s glass of water onto the floor and I didn’t find out till I got home from work (8hrs later), would there be any damage? -Daniel

Hi, Daniel! As a cat owner, I feel your pain.

To answer your question, all of our vinyl plank is waterproof, not water resistant, so if your cat decides to do what cats do and knock the glass over, your flooring would not suffer any damage. However, if the water seeps through the seams between planks and gets down to your subfloor, you could have some issues with the subfloor, particularly if it’s a wood subfloor. Hope that helps!
We are putting a log cabin up in Ohio and need a durable flooring material. What do you recommend? We have a large dog and winters are sometimes bad. –Pam

Pam, we asked our specialists. Our very own Jeff replied, “I would recommend loose lay vinyl. It won’t really be affected by tough winters, especially if you glue down some or all of the flooring. Big dogs may scratch it up a bit, but the planks are extremely easy to replace, and you can choose to purchase the 20 mil wear layer option for more durability. And if you glue it down then the dogs will probably affect the flooring even less. It is waterproof, so it won’t be affected by spills or pet accidents.”
I’m a realtor in Brevard County, Florida. When I show houses almost everyone notices, in a negative way, when a floor is a laminate. They want “real wood.” Some laminates are better than others. People do seem to desire “hand scraped” wood floors. But now that I’m looking for myself, I hesitate to get hand scraped as what comes into fashion also goes out (think avocado green bathrooms). What do you recommend as a good wood floor that would retain its value and stand the test of time but not break the bank? –Karin

Hi, Karin, I asked my guy Adam about this. Here’s what he said:

In response to the questions, if you do want to go with a hardwood make sure to go with a species of wood that has a higher Janka rating for durability. We do have several woods that are hand scraped hickory species that are good in that way. I get what you’re saying about fads, but I don’t think the hand scraped look falls into that area. What will fall out of fashion is exactly what you used for your example – color. With hardwoods this might be something like a deep, red Brazilian Cherry coming into favor and then falling back out, or a wood that is almost black. Those are still stretches – with hardwood not much really enters that fad area. We have had hand scraped hardwoods for years, and they have always sold well. I don’t see that ebbing, as some trends do.

I would still recommend trying to go with a laminate over hardwood to get the durability. For laminates whose looks shouldn’t alarm a prospective buyer, I would recommend going with one of our Cumberland Falls laminates. They have a deep, hand scraped textured surface and come in and 5″ width planks. They give a very good appearance of real wood. When showing a home with a standard laminate, the kind you see everywhere, such as a 3-strip oak design with only a lightly textured surface, it’s easy for the customer to assume that the homeowner went with a cheaper priced product to save on money. These shouldn’t do that, and in certain rooms, laminates really are better suited to the needs of the room. They should be considered a positive in a kitchen or a heavily used walkway.
What about installing waterproof vinyl in an RV? We are considering our options and I ran across this post. We hve been considering the pros and cons of the grip strip type and the clic lock, but this product is intriguing. Thanks. -Kathy

Hi, Kathy! You can indeed install waterproof vinyl in your RV, however there’s a caveat: Installing it outside of a climate-controlled environment (i.e., not in a house) will void your warranty. That said, vinyl floors can put up with quite a lot, and some, especially those designed for heavy traffic, have wear layers for extra protection.

So, short answer: Yes, but be aware of the warranty issue. Don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any more questions!

Do you have flooring questions? Do you have questions about flooring questions? Do you just want to say hello and tell us about your day? Whatever you want to talk about, we’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Customer Q & A

Easy Ways to Winterize Your Home

Ah, winter.

Whether you love it or hate it, preparation is essential to ensure the most hassle-free season possible. Getting ready for winter doesn’t stop at checking your car’s fluid levels, stocking up on blankets, or buying gifts early. You, your home, and your floors all need some specialized seasonal care.

Why Winterize Your Home?

One word, friends: Money.

Energy costs are notoriously high during wintertime, but fortunately they can be tamed. Here are some easy ways to cut your utility costs:

Turn the Thermostat Down The Department of Energy recommends turning your thermostat down 10° to 15° whenever you leave the house. Putting in a full day at the office? Setting your thermostat back the suggested amount can save 5% to 15% a year on your heating bill – as much as 1% per degree over an eight-hour period.

Bundle Up Flannel sheets, heavy blankets, comfy sweaters, long underwear, thick socks…let layers be your friend!

Get an Audit Put aside that instinctive (and totally natural) fear of the dreaded IRS audit! An energy audit won’t probe through your finances; instead an expert comes to your home for a detailed look at your energy use and provide you with personalized insight on how to reduce it. Some energy companies offer audits for frees, so be sure to check with your provider to see what kind of promotion they’re running.

Keep It Clean Proper maintenance of your furnace and vents is an easy and low-effort way to keep your heating bill down. Move furniture away from vents and give them regular once-overs with your vacuum (I use my brush attachment) to clear off dust and pet dander. Check your furnace filters once a month and replace them when they get dirty.

How Does Winter Weather Affect Hardwood Flooring?

As we’ve talked about before, both solid and engineered hardwoods are natural materials and are subject to environmental conditions like moisture changes. Winter’s damage to hardwood normally takes place over a period of years; barring any Hollywood-esque natural disasters most issues will accumulate instead of appearing all at once. Hardwood’s natural contraction due to winter’s low Relative Humidity factor can lead to shrinkage can lead to cracks, gaps, and other issues over time.

How Can Winter-Related Damage Be Prevented?

There are a few ways to stop winter hardwood damage before it starts:

Start with the Right Hardwood Due to its layer-based construction, engineered hardwood flooring is considered more stable than its solid counterparts.

Do It Right the First Time Proper installation will save you all kinds of problems down the road.

Consider a Narrower Plank Thin planks mean more joints, which more room to distribute gaps in the event of contraction.

What are your best tips for winter preparation, friends? Let us know in the comments!

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

Introducing New Backsplash Tile

For weeks at Floors To Your Home, we’ve been gearing up for our Next Big Thing, and we’re proud to announce it’s here! We’ve built our reputation on offering great flooring at unbelievable low prices. Now, we’re expanding to include beautiful backsplash tiles! A superb upgrade to your kitchen or bathroom, still at the unbeatable discount price you expect when you buy from from Floors To Your Home.
Glass Banner
Mango decorative glass tile is available in a stunning array of patterns, textures, and colors, ranging from the ethereal to the traditional. Even burnished metal gets in on the fun to create a clean, modern look like the Mango Stainless Sparkle Penny that’s ideal for those who favor a more minimalist aesthetic.

Mango Stainless Sparkle Penny Tile Sheet

Ideal for kitchen and bathroom backsplashes, each Mango decorative glass tile sheets feature mesh backing and uniform design for easy installation. The variety is undeniable! Matte textured tiles are reminiscent of sea glass collected by the shore, while lovely prismatic hues shine through others, reflected delicately through their crackled pattern. Still others, like the Denver Grey (bottom left), have rough-hewn stone, while the Bristol Snow (bottom left) features touches of marble. Of course, variety isn’t just limited to color or texture! In addition to the strip pattern, Mango tile sheets come in herringbone patterns like the black Sherlong Night Herringbone (top right) and the Sherlong Cream Herringbone (top left) that add an extra final touch.
The possibilities start with your imagination!
Marble Banner
Mango’s range of tile sheets includes more than just glass. Few building materials give off a luxurious aura as effortlessly as marble. It’s smooth, timeless, and beautiful. We’re delighted to offer a selection of genuine marble tile sheets that are durable and versatile enough to be used as flooring or backsplash tile. From left to right: Mango Milton Mountain Herringbone, Mango Flowerpot Island White, Mango Miami Sands.
Do you have questions about how Mango tile sheets can enhance your home? Visit FloorsToYourHome.com or call 1-800-804-5251 to speak with one of our flooring experts today!

Posted in Laminate Flooring

Green Cleaning For Floors

There’s never been a more critical time to be environmentally conscious. With a skyrocketing global population, rising temperatures, and increased pollution, every small step towards reversing our carbon footprint counts. There are a lot of ways to integrate a more earth friendly approach into daily life, like recycling your shredded junk mail, refilling your water bottle instead of just tossing it in the trash and getting a new one, and turning the water off when you brush your teeth.

“Green Cleaning” is hardly a new trend. It focuses on using products that are better for you and the environment and employs eco-friendly cleaning practices. So, how can we turn floor care green? Let’s look at some options.

Eco-Friendly Floor Cleaning Tips


Ditch the Dyes

Artificial colors in your floor cleaners don’t serve any actual purpose other than to make it look prettier in the bottle. Do you really need your floor cleaner to match your crown molding? I didn’t think so.

Take a Tea Break

Not only is tea delicious, refreshing, and nutritious, it also carries huge cultural significance across the globe. From rize in Turkey to masala chai in the Indian subcontinent to South African rooibos and Irish breakfast blend, tea is a hug in a cup no matter where you go. But, since this is a flooring blog, we’re going to talk about using tea to…you guessed it, clean your floors!
As always, be sure to do a spot test if you’re unsure about a new cleaning method.

Bid Farewell to Fragrance

Artificial fragrances are unnecessary. All too often their attempts to mimic soothing scents like lavender and fresh laundry go awry, resulting in a harsh, cloying facsimile that’s far from the real thing. In addition to being unpleasant, artificial fragrances in your floor cleaners can act as irritants for those with allergies or chemical sensitivity. Be on the lookout for labels that are marked ‘unscented,’ as they may contain artificial masking fragrances to conceal the smell of other ingredients. Likewise, labels marked ‘natural fragrance,’ or ‘natural scent’ are no guarantee that a product does not contain artificial scents.

Viva La Vinegar

Who here loves a vinaigrette? *raises hand* Who here enjoys vinegar on their French fries? *raises hand* Who here knows some of the wondrous ways vinegar can clean your home? No one? Well, friends, you came to the right place!

Vinegar is one of nature’s ultimate multi-taskers. Not only is it organic, non-toxic, and safe for use around kids and pets, it’s also a natural antibacterial that makes an excellent combatant in the fight against mold and bacteria. In addition to keeping your floors clean, both distilled white vinegar and apple cider vinegar have a myriad of other uses around the house:
•   Once a month, run a half-and-half mixture of white vinegar and water through your coffee pot. I have a 12-cup maker, so I use 6 cups of vinegar and 6 cups of water. I let the mixture run all the way through, then I brew clean water until the vinegar smell is gone. Works like a charm.

•   Add ¼ cup of white vinegar to 1 cup of water and heat in the microwave until boiling. This is great for loosening spatters and stuck-on food particles.

•   Wipe down your wooden cutting boards with non-diluted white vinegar for a quick, non-toxic disinfectant.

What about floors? Why yes, vinegar can be used to clean your floors too!

There’s a bit of debate floating around the Internet about exactly how much vinegar should be used in homemade cleaning solutions, so it’s advisable to do a spot test in an out of sight area like inside a closet or under a throw rug. Here are some recipes we’ve found from across the web:
What are some of your favorite green cleaning tips, friends? Share them with us in the comments!

Posted in Ceramic, Hardwood Flooring, Laminate Flooring, Vinyl Flooring

Dishing on DIY

I’d like to start this post with a dedication. That’s right, we’re going to join our metaphorical hands, enjoy some togetherness, and give a loud proud shout out to everyone who wades into the sometimes-murky waters of DIY to do their own home repairs.

We recently received a question on our “Laminate Flooring Installation Tips: Best Way To Start, and Handling Problems” video from intrepid DIY-er Bradley K. over on our YouTube channel:

How do you measure it to make sure you don’t end up with a very small width piece at the end of the room? Should you rip down the starting row width to try and match it up with your last row’s width? And how can you measure for this to work out?

This is a great question, Bradley! Our very own David offered this answer:

You’re right, you often do want to cut the first and last rows widthwise to keep from ending up with a narrow row at the end. Here’s the process:

Measure the distance from your first row’s wall to the last row’s wall, subtract out the expansion gap (usually 3/8″ at each wall), then divide that number by the width of your planks.

Let’s say you have a roughly 10 foot long room. You measure and get 126″, then subtract the 6/8″ for two expansion gaps. Your planks are 6″, so you divide 125 1/4 by 6 and get twenty 6″ rows plus one of 5 1/4″.

A rule of thumb is that if the remainder is less than 3 1/2 inches, you do want to divide that between those two rows, but if the remaining width would be greater than that, then you wouldn’t need to do this, though you certainly can.

But let’s say that your remainder wasn’t 5 1/4″, but instead just 2″. Why would you divide that into two 1″ rows? You wouldn’t, of course. Instead, you add a full plank’s length to the remainder before dividing. You’re dividing this difference between two rows, you see. So you add the 2″ to the 6″ of your plank’s width, then take that 8″ number and divide it in two. You would start with a 4″ row, install your other rows, and then end with a 4″ row.

We love answering your flooring questions. In addition to YouTube and here on the blog, you can also reach us on Facebook, Twitter, Houzz, and Pinterest. Don’t be afraid to drop us a line or pop in to say hi!

Posted in Customer Q & A

Fall Trends 2015

Confession time, friends: I LOVE AUTUMN.

Best time of the year, hands down.

I love sweater weather, crunchy leaves, warm beverages, and the magic chill in the evenings. I love Halloween. I love blue skies, shorter days, apple cider, and that beautiful time before winter’s chill takes over. I could write an entire ode to all the reasons why autumn is the best, but we’re not here for my seasonal soapbox. Instead, we’re here to look at how you can bring some of fall’s best trends into your home.

Go Grey

The silver fox of neutral tones is a popular choice this season. Think frost on branches, wood smoke floating from a chimney, coins jingling merrily in your pocket. Think timeless beauty, like the Armstrong Timberland Collection Shell White Walnut Engineered Hardwood Flooring.


Make a Statement

Statement colors are huge right now: think opulent jewel tones accented by subtle metallics. All it takes is one bold choice to add a real pop to your décor! The ruby-hued Supreme Click INNOcore WPC Cherry Spice Vinyl Plank Flooring shows how much of a difference a shot of color can make:


Rustic Rewind

Let’s get one thing straight: rustic doesn’t mean old-fashioned! This fall’s rustic flooring styles feature modern touches like hand-scraped finishes and ultra-realistic weathered hues that bring the past straight into the present. Cumberland Falls Amarillo Barn Laminate Flooring hearkens back to sturdy homes and windswept fields:


Back In Black

While black is a perennial favorite in fashion, this season takes a softer approach. Interior design accents like chunky knit afghan blankets and plush throw pillows offer a cozy balance to dark floors like the Natural Elegance Elite Waterproof Click Together Onyx Slate Oak Vinyl Plank:


Total Texture

Autumn is a time to return to nature. The very season itself conjures tactile memories like leaves underfoot, rough logs for bonfires, and warm mugs cradled between chilled hands. This fall, textured finishes add character and subtle depth that enhance a look without overwhelming it. Kingsmill Sonoma Butter Rum Solid Hardwood Flooring is a beautiful mix of texture, personality, and durability:


Spice It Up

Celebrate the season by taking décor cues from some of fall’s classic flavors: rich pumpkin, savory herbs, warm cinnamon. These are great color choices for infusing a year-round sense of coziness into your home. The Cumberland Falls Shiraz Spice Maple Laminate Flooring features russet hues and dramatic French Bleed edges:

What are your favorite trends for fall? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to follow us on Pinterest, Twitter, and Houzz for more ideas!

Posted in Laminate Flooring

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