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Working On Your Home Safely

When you are in the middle of replacing your bathroom tile or trying to refinish your flooring, your number one goal might be creating a beautiful area. Unfortunately, if you forget about safety, you might end up sitting in a doctor's office or hospital instead of getting in there and helping out. Equipment like tile saws, drill presses, and adhesives might not seem that intimidating, but construction work includes some inherent dangers. I want you to understand how to work on your home safely and effectively, which is why I made this blog. Read here to learn how you can make our worksite a little more family-friendly.

Working On Your Home Safely

Tired Of Carpet? What Are Your Options?

by Jessica Mccoy

If you're finally choosing to get rid of your outdated carpet, and are tired of constant maintenance and stain removal, you may be looking into some solid-surface options. How can you choose the ideal floor while still remaining within your budget? Read on to learn more about solid-surface flooring types and the factors that may help you make your decision.

What are some advantages of solid-surface flooring? 

In today's busy and hectic world, and with the increasing size of American homes, many homeowners are opting to purchase robotic vacuums to clean up messes rather than sweeping or running the vacuum themselves. Unfortunately, even the best-designed robotic vacuums are unable to effectively clean ground-in soil or stains from carpet. Solid-surface floors are comparatively much quicker and simpler to keep clean.

In addition to being easier to clean, solid-surface floors are much easier to replace or repair when a problem develops. Tile and laminate can be removed one square at a time, while hardwood boards can often be removed in a single layer from the wall to the stain or chip. In contrast, repairing carpet can require the removal of a much larger area of flooring, and your new carpet may never quite match the old. 

What type of solid-surface flooring should you choose?

If you have a plywood or particle board underlayment, you should be able to install any of the following solid-surface floors on top of this layer. The most popular options are listed from least to most expensive.

  • Laminate

Once considered cheap, laminate is now one of the most popular flooring choices for homeowners of all income ranges. 

Laminate is prized for its versatility -- it can be designed to look like hardwood, tile, marble, or nearly any other type of flooring imaginable. Most laminate tiles are of the "click" variety, and fit together by clicking rather than requiring the use of nails or glue. As long as you work carefully and follow manufacturer's directions, you may even be able to install the pad and laminate tile yourself. 

Certain types of laminate tile may warp if exposed to high levels of moisture (like a humid basement), so if you're planning to replace carpet in an area with high humidity or occasional standing water, you may want to choose engineered hardwood or tile instead. 

  • Hardwood

Another popular option for homeowners who want their homes to retain the warmth of carpet is hardwood. 

Solid hardwood is ideal for main living areas or upper stories -- it's generally a bad idea to install solid hardwood directly onto a concrete slab. During installation, you'll need to remove any baseboards or quarter rounds to ensure that you get the proper distance between the boards and the walls. You want to ensure that each board has enough room to expand and contract a few millimeters without causing strain to the surrounding boards. 

Engineered hardwood is composed of a top layer of solid hardwood and lower layers made of plywood or another relatively inexpensive wood. Depending upon the thickness of the top board, engineered hardwood may be able to be sanded or professionally refinished several times over its lifetime. Because the entire board is not composed of the same type of surface wood, engineered hardwood is generally less expensive than solid hardwood, and is much more tolerant of moist spaces -- it can be installed directly over a concrete slab or even in a basement.

  • Tile

Your most expensive -- but longest-lasting -- option is marble or ceramic tile. To install tile, you'll cover your floor with a cement-like putty and place each tile in the proper spot, like putting together a puzzle. After the tiles have been placed, you'll want to apply grout between the spaces to provide a protective barrier against moisture. Once the grout has dried, your tiles will be essentially impermeable -- making them the perfect choice for bathrooms, basements, or other high-moisture areas. Tile flooring may even be a good choice for your kitchen renovation.