Monthly Archives: February 2015

Feeling cold…inside? Warm up with radiant flooring.

20150108_104624We’re not going to lie to you, or try to tell you that our current Wisconsin wind chills aren’t FREEZING! But when your interior rooms feel as cold as the outside, it’s time for a change. In addition to the usual suspects to warm your home like replacing a furnace, drafty windows and doors, consider radiant floor heating. Why?

  1. It’s warm under your feet.
  2. It can be controlled by a thermostat to increase efficiency.
  3. It’s perfect for a small room that you can’t run ducts to, like a bathroom.
  4. Water spills dry extremely fast in a room with radiant floor heating.
  5. Did we mention it’s warm under your feet?  Because that needs to be mentioned twice!
  6. It can be installed in a new home build or retrofitted for an existing home.
  7. You don’t need hydronic heating to install radiant heating. (An electric mat works too.)
  8. You can lay almost any kind of flooring over the top—-but not every kind of flooring.

Have we sold you? If radiant floor heating sounds like an excellent choice for your home (or you just want to warm up from these freezing cold wind chills!), now move on to the next question. What kind of flooring can I install over radiant floor heating? Good question, and the good news is you have numerous flooring options that can be installed over radiant floor heating:

  1. Carpet. That soft and cozy flooring not cozy enough? When installing carpet over radiant heating, talk to the experts to make sure that you use the right pad and carpet.
  2. Laminate. Think beyond laminate wood flooring. Laminate flooring comes in a variety of styles, and can have the look of stone, tile or even concrete. Whatever the look, laminate flooring is a floating floor, meaning it can be installed over a radiant heating system.
  3. Tile—any kind! If you are laying a tile that can be cold to your toes, such as porcelain tile, radiant flooring is your answer. Tile conducts heat naturally, leaving you with an even heat that is easy-to-clean and mildew resistant. Tile is also one of the easiest floors to install over radiant flooring.
  4. Engineered hardwood. With the look of real wood and the floating floor properties of laminate, engineered hardwood is an ideal floor for homeowners that want wood floors and the warmth of radiant heating.

For specific products and recommendations, visit our flooring experts at any Y’s Way Flooring in Watertown, Lake Mills or Oconomowoc. We can tell you what flooring we’ve seen work at other Wisconsin homes, and give you tips so you don’t feel left out in the cold in your own home.

Winter Floor Cleaning Tips

Winter has descended upon Wisconsin. As the season arrives, so does the water, gravel, ice and snow tracked onto your hardwood, laminate, vinyl, carpet and tile floors. You know, the wood floors you just installed or the carpet you’re trying to keep looking brand new for as long as possible. So how do you keep those floors looking pristine—like winter isn’t here? Use these simple steps to fight back against the effects of a cold Wisconsin winter:

  1. Rugs, rugs, and more rugs by all exterior doors. If you have a laminate or wood floor, water from melting snow is the enemy. Keep rugs by all exterior doors for your guests and family to clean off their feet, and make sure everyone’s feet are clean before they walk on your carpet. If you have a dog, clean off paws before they enter the house.
  2. Wipe up water immediately. Don’t let water damage your wood or laminate floors, or seep through your vinyl tiles. Keep paper towel or a rag handy so you can get that melting snow or water cleaned up immediately.
  3. Protect your wood floors from scratches. This is one of the cheapest, and most important, ways to protect your laminate and wood floors: felt pads.  Make sure you have felt pads on the bottom of your chairs and furniture. Use caution when moving anything around to prevent scratches.
  4. Vacuum and dry mop regularly. Keep your carpet in shape with regular maintenance. Dry mop your hard floors, and sweep to keep the dirt and grime at bay. Spot shot any dirty spots on your carpet, and vacuum the area to keep those carpets looking great.

Spring is right around the corner, so plan ahead for a good carpet clean. Call Y’s Way to schedule a whole-home carpet clean to keep those carpets looking like new (you won’t believe the stains that come out after a professional clean!). Once you get through our rough Wisconsin winter, then you can start warding off the mud of our spring showers. That’s a blog post to read on another, slightly warmer, day.

5 Questions to Ask BEFORE You Buy Flooring

It’s easy to fall in love with flooring. We understand, we’ve done it (yes, we’ll admit it!). However, when you have to have that particular kind of flooring, or look, without giving a second thought to how well that flooring fits your home and traffic patterns, you’re just setting yourself up for buyer’s remorse. So we’re here to help you avoid that love-at-first-sight-buyers-remorse flooring purchase. The first step is to ask 5 simple questions:

  • Is there a chance of a water spill (or many spills) in this room? An educated decision now can save you the headache of a warped floor later. Water can be your worst nightmare on laminate and wood floors, so a bit of planning now eliminates the hassle of replacement or repair. If you have a room where water may splash or form puddles, such as a bathroom, mudroom or kitchen, plan ahead. Consider vinyl plank flooring which has the look of wood, or any kind of tile floor which handles water like a pro. A room with the chance of a spill doesn’t mean you can’t get a wood floor—it just means being mindful of wiping up the water as soon as possible.
  • What kind of traffic does this room get? Is it a busy walk through? An area where your family plays, runs and tromps? Is it a room where your pet spends most of their time? Is the traffic that comes through full of mud, snow, sand and lord-knows-what-else? Use that knowledge to determine what kind of flooring would work in that particular area.
  • What kind of maintenance does this type of flooring need? You don’t want to purchase a floor, have it installed and then end up with damage because you don’t care or clean it properly. Find out what kind of cleaning and maintenance the floor needs, what products you need to purchase to keep it in great shape—and realistically how much of that maintenance you can take on.
  • What is my budget? If you have a small area that needs carpeting—a small office, hallway or bedroom—consider purchasing a carpet remnant. Because there is a limited supply, a carpet remnant is discounted. Know the square footage of the room you need flooring for and the price you can afford per square foot. Factor that into your purchase decision.
  • What is under the flooring? Are you installing radiant floor heating under the flooring? Read our post about what kinds of flooring work over radiant floor heating. Are you installing this flooring over a concrete slab, like in a basement? Here’s information on what floors work in basements. Sometimes knowing what is under the floor is just as important as knowing what is going to be on top of it. Make sure you mention what’s under your floor to your sales professional when you get to step two of your flooring purchase.

The second step is to ask the professionals. Stop in at Y’s Way Flooring in Watertown, Oconomowoc, or Lake Mills and ask them the hard questions: what would you recommend? What have you seen work in local homes? What is the price? What is the cost of installation? Once you’re confident you have the ideal flooring that looks good and works in your home, ask for a quote and schedule installation. The last step is to enjoy your flooring, free of buyer’s remorse, and know you made a great flooring purchase decision that works and looks great.