Monthly Archives: June 2015

Ultimate Flooring for Every Kind of Man Cave

man caveWikipedia defines a man cave as: “a male sanctuary, such as a specially equipped garage, spare bedroom, media room, den, or basement.” However, many of our male customers use other words to describe their man space: “it’s my hideaway,” “my place where I can watch the game in peace,” “my hangout with my buddies,” and “a place where men can be men.” Whatever your definition of the ultimate man cave or man space is—a game room, grilling station, theater/media room, garage, game room, sports room, music space—don’t forget to research and select every detail for your man space, including the flooring. You don’t want to just slap down any flooring in your man space, you want flooring that can handle what, ahem, men do in their man cave:

Grilling station. A proper grilling station is more than a patio, it’s a man space suitably equipped for barbeques with your family or your entire neighborhood. You’ll need a surface below the grill that is easy to clean after the party’s done and you’ve produced a gourmet grilling feast. Porcelain and slate tile fits the bill, as does stained concrete. Make sure to tell your salesperson that you are using tile for outdoor use, so they can point you to a tile suitable for the Grillmaster’s man space.

Theater/media room. A media room needs awesome audiovisual equipment that can give your man cave the theater feel—and also flooring and wall coverings that can give you the optimal effect from that amazing sound system. The top-recommended flooring for theater/media rooms is carpet for acoustics, but other flooring can be used as long as you use area rugs and soft wall coverings. If your theater/media room is in the basement, avoid wood flooring. Use these tips for selecting the right flooring that works in a basement.

Garage. If your garage is your man room, choose flooring that is easy to clean and fits your needs. Epoxy coated floors, mats and vinyl flooring give you the look you want, and a functional space where you can work on your beloved automobile or create a masterpiece from wood. All of these garage floors are easy to clean and sweep away small pieces and parts, while mats can keep you comfortable as you spend time in your shed, workshop, or man space.

Game room. If you need sound deadening flooring or want to match the felt on your pool table with your flooring, consider carpeting. For a game room in a basement, avoid hardwood because of moisture issues. You can use engineered wood flooring, tile or vinyl flooring instead; each of these floors can handle the moisture levels that come with Wisconsin basements. For the look of wood, consider one of the luxury vinyl floor products that look like wood, can be a DIY project and is known for durability (even during the most heated game battles).

If you have any questions, ask the experts at Y’s Way Flooring on Facebook, via email or in person. They can recommend flooring that gives your man cave the manly feel you want, and the functionality you need in your male sanctuary.

Home Upgrades That Won’t Break the Bank

living roomWe’ll never forget our recent conversation with a woman who informed us that it took 37 years to get her home just the way she wanted, and now she was done. We were dumfounded, but she’s right; unless you take on a full home renovation down to the studs, customizing your home to your needs and taste happens slowly, home improvement project by home improvement project. Even with a full renovation, there are always upgrades that need to be done to update your home over the life of your home.

If you’re like most people, you’re also updating your home on a budget and continually looking for home upgrades that won’t break the bank. Or your need for home upgrades is based on a pet, kids or, well, life.

  1. tile flooringTile flooring. Tile flooring, such as porcelain, ceramic or slate, is a DIY project or low-cost home project if you want to hire the pros. It’s also incredibly durable, water-resistant and can be installed over radiant flooring (which is incredibly nice during our cold Wisconsin winters). Because it is water, odor and mildew resistant, porcelain tile flooring is ideal for laundry rooms, bathrooms and kitchens. It also comes in a variety of colors and updated looks, giving you a beautiful, updated look—among other benefits of tile flooring that we’ve written about.
  2. Refinishing floors. Give those old, hardwood floors a whole new life without having to pay for new, hardwood floors. We’ve written about the advantages of wood floors in your home before: wood floors are durable, long-lasting, easy to clean and capable of being refinished many times over the life of your floor. They’re also stunning, and can be refinished in any color you choose.
  3. Carpet cleaning. If you’re giving your wood floors a new lease on life, why not grace your carpets with the same? Carpet cleaners can get out the biggest of stains and remove allergens. To be clear: we’re not talking about those rent-a-cleaners. Contact a professional carpet cleaner. Professional carpet cleaners can give you a better bang for your buck just by giving your carpets a deep (with an emphasis on deep) clean that makes them look new again.
  4. backsplash tilesKitchen backsplash. A kitchen backsplash can make your kitchen look finished without having to remortgage your home. The other advantage of a kitchen backsplash is huge amount of options: subway tiles, mosaics, combinations of metal and tile, glass backsplash tiles—the list of backsplash tile options can go on and on.
  5. New countertops. There are so many options for updated, budget-friendly countertops on the market today. Everyone’s idea of the definition of “budget-friendly” is different, but a little bit of research can go a long way. High-definition laminate countertops give your kitchen the look of stone without the price—and with less maintenance and solid durability. Stone options, such as granite, that fit within your budget and give you a high-end look. Wood countertops that give your kitchen a rich or rustic look, and a unique appearance that you don’t see everywhere.
  6. carpet remnantsCarpet remnants. If you look in the Y’s Way Flooring dictionary (okay, we’re making this book up), a carpet remnant is defined as, “a section of carpet leftover and available for sale at a discounted price, perfect for smaller rooms such as hallways, offices, bedrooms and basements.” That definition says it all, and makes sense for a small room that needs new flooring. Ask about the carpet remnants at a Y’s Way Flooring, and know that the supply is limited—carpet remnants are sections that are left over so what you see is what you get, but the supply is changing regularly.
  7. Curtains and window coverings. Outdated curtains and window coverings are one of the easiest home improvement projects that can give your room a whole new look. Even renters can update curtains and window coverings since they are home project that won’t endanger their security deposit. In addition to aesthetics, curtains and window coverings also have other advantages and require far more thought and measuring than the average homeowner gives them. If you need assistance with choosing curtains and window coverings for your home, consult the professionals for their recommendations.
  8. Light fixtures. For us, it was the ugly glass ball light fixture over our kitchen sink. That outdated fixture had to go. And once it was, our kitchen took on a whole new, updated look. Light fixtures are a home upgrade that won’t break the bank, especially if you do your homework and look for deals.

Don’t feel you need to upgrade your home alone. Stop in at a Y’s Way Flooring in Watertown, Oconomowoc or Lake Mills to look at carpet remnants, tile options and to ask their professionals questions. Or schedule a carpet cleaning appointment or ask questions about your next home project via Facebook or email. Whatever your home upgrade is, we’re here to help as long as you’re working on your home—even if it’s for 37 years like the woman we talked with.

Common Home Cleaning Mistakes

clean floorsWe can hear the exasperated, “It’s just cleaning my house. How hard can it be?” As simple as cleaning may be, it’s easy to make these common home cleaning mistakes. We understand. We’ve, ahem, even made some of these mistakes ourselves…and we’ve certainly seen the effects of common home cleaning mistakes. There’s the customer who used a steam cleaner to clean her wood floors and was left with water damage. The carpeting that doesn’t need carpet cleaning, it needs fibers back because of an overambitious vacuum cleaner. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of common home cleaning mistakes, so you can learn from some of the most frequent errors made in the name of cleanliness:

  1. Scrubbing carpet stains. Do you apply some serious elbow grease into scrubbing those pet stains, spilled juice or muddy footprints? You may be damaging your carpet fibers. Next time you need to clean up carpet stains, blot at your carpet with a moist cloth to remove the spill.
  2. Mopping (or steam cleaning) your wood floor with water. Repeat after us: water and wood do not mix. Sitting water is the enemy for wood floors, causing water damage and warped floor boards. To clean your floors, use a cleaner and soft dust mop to clean up spills and give your floors a new shine. Please don’t use a steam cleaner on your floors. If you want to know why, read our recent post on steam cleaners and wood floors.
  3. (Sort of ) deep cleaning your carpets. It’s so tempting to rent a cleaner and declare your carpets clean. Unfortunately, very few rent-a-cleaners can get your carpets as clean as a professional carpet cleaning.
  4. Being unintentionally abrasive. Is that sponge the right tool for your cleaning? What effect will that cleaner have on the tile you’re cleaning? Don’t go into a cleaning job without knowing if you are going to damage that flooring, countertop, table or other surface you’re cleaning.
  5. Using a vacuum cleaner that damages your new carpet. Today’s vacuum cleaners are all about increasing suction, and that’s not always a good thing. Are you unintentionally damaging your carpet with a vacuum cleaner with too much suction—and voiding your warranty? Read our blog post to make sure you’re not making this common cleaning mistake, and getting yourself into hot water with your carpet manufacturer in the process.

If you don’t know how to clean your new flooring, or your new-to-you-flooring, don’t be afraid to ask. Send us a message or post on our Facebook page, send us an email, give us a call or stop in at a Y’s Way Flooring in Watertown, Oconomowoc or Lake Mills. We can help you clean your floor—without causing damage or making an unintentional common cleaning mistake.

Floors Perfect for the Laundry Room

laundry room floorIf you fit into any of these categories:

  • have a family with little kids that spill, spill and spill some more,
  • a family of older “kids” who need a different jersey for every game, practice and, well, that favorite shirt that makes them look “just right,”
  • a house with four-legged kids who somehow seem to always need blankets and other favorites laundered,
  • you have a messy job or occupation that dirties clothes CONSTANTLY;

there’s a good chance you probably feel like you spend most of your life in the laundry room, making it one of the most important rooms in your house (even if it’s not always the most fun). It’s also the room that you should think the hardest about flooring, because the laundry room is a high-traffic room with a high moisture level and water spill potential (or even flooding, yikes!). So what are your options?

  1. Vinyl. Get rid of those ugly pictures in your head of nasty, patterned cheap-looking vinyl. Today’s vinyl has the look and appearance of wood (really!) and stone, and comes in almost any color you can imagine. Vinyl is also easy to install, durable and handle any water spill you throw at it.
  2. Tile. Ceramic or porcelain, doesn’t matter. Both kinds of tile are mildew resistant. They are also easy to clean and look beautiful. Ceramic and porcelain comes in virtually any color, and can be installed in a square or diagonal pattern with any color of grout you choose.
  3. Slate. Slate is a stone with a variety of colors and strengths. It also comes in large and small square tiles, and as long rectangular tiles for a modern look. Best yet, slate tiles are durable and stain and water resistant, making it ideal for your laundry room.
  4. Radiant floor heating. We know radiant floor heating is not technically a type of flooring, but radiant floor heating is ideal for Midwestern homes. Radiant floor heating keeps your feet warm, and can be installed under almost any kind of flooring. If you want tile floors that are warm in summer and our cold Wisconsin winters, radiant floor heating is right for you.

If your laundry room is in your basement, and you are installing the flooring over a concrete slab, be sure to mention that to the flooring professionals when you check out your flooring options for your laundry room. They can give you tips specifically for installing flooring over a slab, or can suggest flooring that can handle the changes concrete goes through as our Wisconsin temperatures rise and fall throughout the year.

Don’t feel like you can choose the right flooring for your laundry room? Or do you want to hear what laundry room flooring works best for other homeowners? Contact Y’s Way Flooring via email or on their Facebook page, or stop in at any location in Watertown, Lake Mills or Oconomowoc. Their flooring professionals can tell you what they’ve seen work best, set up installation or give you tips if you are a do-it-yourselfer. If nothing else, they can give you flooring that makes all that time you spend in your laundry room a little more bearable.