Monthly Archives: September 2015

5 Ways You Can Protect Your Wood Floors

protecting wood floorsWood floors are many things: beautiful, durable, strong. They’re also a long-term investment, both of money and time. It’s true; your hardwood floors require regular maintenance to make the finish last and keep scratches at bay. How often the finish lasts is up to you; a wood floor in a home with two adults can last longer because there is less traffic than a hardwood floor in a home with kids, adults and pets. So what can you do to get a long(er) life out of your hardwood floors? How can you protect your wood floors from excessive wear and tear?

Rugs by all the doors

An ounce of prevention goes a long way to keep your wood floors looking their best. Make sure you have rugs by all your exterior doors to keep the dirt, sand, water and other daily grit off your floors. That daily grit can scratch your floors or wear down the finish, making your job of keeping your wood floors (especially the finish) in peak shape.

Rugs have another way of protecting your wood floors: they protect against water on your floor from snow and rain. Water can cause your hardwood floors to warp, so wipe up water and spills immediately. Keep paper towel or a rag handy so you can get that puddle of water cleaned up immediately. If you have a dog, clean off the pup’s paws before they enter the house.

Chair & furniture protectors

Felt pads are one of the cheapest, and most important, ways to protect your wood floors. Make sure you have felt pads on the bottom of your chairs and furniture. Use caution (and soft padding underneath) when moving anything around to prevent scratches. These pads do wear down with time, so expect to have to replace them on the bottom of your furniture biannually, especially on items that get moved frequently (such as dining room chairs).

Wait before you put an area rug down

As eager as you may be to put down that designer area rug, wait. Don’t put that new rug over your new or refinished hardwood floors immediately; the finish on your floors need time to cure. Putting an area rug down too soon can damage the finish. So how soon is too soon to put down an area rug? Contact one of our flooring experts at Y’s Way because the answer depends on how long since your wood floor was installed or refinished.

Sweep your floors

The gravel and sharp small objects that you track in on your shoes are your wood floor’s enemy. Sweep, dust mop or vacuum (most flooring manufacturers recommend using the wand attachment or a gentle vacuum) to clean up the small particles that can scratch and damage your floor.

Know how to clean your hardwood

Wood floor cleaning is not a time to experiment. Some cleaners—even with common household ingredients—can damage your wood floor finish or the flooring itself. You’ve invested too much into your wood flooring to harm it on a whim. A few minutes of research can save you a lot of time, money and heart ache. If you don’t what kind of wood floor cleaner to use, ask the experts at Y’s Way via email, phone or through their Facebook page.

Be VERY cautious when using a steam cleaner on your wood floors, or don’t use one at all. You can void the warranty on your floor; we checked three of the most common wood flooring manufacturers and found that Armstrong, Mohawk and Shaw do not recommend that their customers use a steam cleaner of their wood products. Before purchasing a steam cleaner for cleaning your wood flooring, consult your manual to see if your warranty will be void if you use a steam cleaner.

What are the best flooring options for your bedroom?

carpet in bedroomWhat kind of bedroom flooring is best for your home? The answer: depends on what you want, and what the purpose for that bedroom is. For example, if you’re using the bedroom as an office with a rolling chair, a hard and smooth surface works best so you can move around at your desk. So what’s the best flooring options for your bedroom? Here’s some of the most common, and a few unique flooring ideas for your bedroom:

Hardwood

Pros: Beautiful, INCREDIBLY durable, perfect for high traffic areas, adds value to your home

Cons: Water spills can damage (be careful if you want to extend the wood floor into your bathroom or in a kid’s room), price, can feel cold on your feet, requires protection on furniture to prevent scratches

Carpet

Pros: Durable, soft to the feet, can take high-traffic areas (make sure you buy the right high-traffic carpet)

Cons: Not as easy to clean as hard floors, requires annual carpet cleaning, can be challenging to clean with pets

Tile

Pros: Can look like wood, easy to clean, durable, can feel very warm if over radiant/underfloor heating, perfect for installing in a master bedroom and bathroom, can take high-traffic

Cons: Very cold without radiant/underfloor heating (would not recommend installation in a bedroom without)

Radiant flooring (underfloor heating that warms your feet under the floor)

Pros: Very warm to your feet

Cons: Price, still have to purchase flooring to put over the top, can be expensive to run

Luxury vinyl

Pros: Looks just like wood, can be installed as a do-it-yourself project, VERY durable, can take high-traffic like a pro

Cons: Cold to the feet

Laminate

Pros: Looks just like wood, very affordable, can be installed as a do-it-yourself project, very durable, perfect for high-traffic areas

Cons: Can scratch, does not take water spills very well

Do you have any other questions or want to see your options for bedroom flooring? Email us or ask your questions on Facebook. You can also visit one of our Y’s Way Flooring location, where our experts can help you decide the best option, and give you design ideas for your bedroom. If you want a flooring product that you can install yourself, visit our Lake Mills location where you can purchase flooring in bulk to install. We’ll give you the information, and the flooring, that’s best for your bedroom and your budget.

Laminate vs. Luxury Vinyl: Which floor is right for your home?

laminate vs vinyl flooringOur “aha!” moment came when we got fed up with the last food stain on the off-white carpet under our dining room table. While we’re sure that the carpeting worked great for the last homeowner, it wasn’t working for us. We were tired of carpet cleaning, sick of worrying about spills, and just done. That spring, the decision to remove the carpet was made, and a new decision presented itself: what was the best flooring option for our space? We knew right away that real hardwood flooring was not the right flooring for our space, because we didn’t want to worry about water or maintenance.

At Y’s Way, we see other homeowners who have to make that decision every day. They want the look of wood without being concerned about water or upkeep. The answer: laminate or luxury vinyl flooring. So what’s the difference between these two types of flooring? And what’s the right floor for your home: laminate or luxury vinyl flooring?

Laminate Flooring Pros

Price. Laminate flooring prices can’t be beat in price per square foot. Have a large amount of square footage that needs flooring? Laminate is beyond affordable, even for the largest spaces.

Durability. Whatever you throw at laminate floors, they can take: high foot traffic, pets, absolute craziness. These floors are built to last in even the most high-traffic areas of your home (even in commercial applications!).

DIY Installation. If you want or need to install laminate flooring, you can. Laminate flooring can easily be installed with the right equipment and a short tutorial. Because laminate flooring is a floating floor, no glue or adhesives are needed.

Easy to clean. With regular sweeping and felt pads on all your furniture, laminate flooring is easy to clean and maintain. Laminate flooring does not require any upkeep or maintenance.

Laminate Flooring Cons

Water can warp your laminate flooring. Water can be your laminate floor’s worst enemy; if water sits on the floor for an extended period of time, the spill can warp the floor. To minimize the risk, use rugs in any entryways and high-risk areas.

Scratches. Even with the strength of laminate floors, they can get scratched. To prevent scratches, add felt pads to the bottom of all your furniture and keep gravel, small stones, and sharp objects cleaned up.

Luxury Vinyl Flooring Pros

wood and vinyl floor

Can you tell which sample is vinyl?

Indestructible. Luxury vinyl flooring is durable and tough, making it ideal for homes with pets and kids. Because it’s so tough, luxury vinyl floors can be installed in high traffic rooms such as living rooms, family rooms, kitchens, mud rooms, foyers…the sky is the limit with vinyl floors.

Affordable. Luxury vinyl flooring is one of the most affordable flooring products in the market, especially when compare to real wood floors. Make sure you do your research when selecting the vinyl product right for your home; there are many different levels of vinyl flooring, or ask the experts.

DIY Installation option. Many luxury vinyl plank products snap together, making it suitable for DIYers who want new, durable flooring they can install themselves. Luxury vinyl flooring can also be glued or installed with grout.

Easy to clean. Have a spill or pet puddle? Wipe up your luxury vinyl flooring with a rag, and mop your messes away. These floors require literally no maintenance. As a bonus, luxury vinyl flooring can handle any kind of water spills, and has even been known to withstand some minor flooding.

Works in a basement. Because luxury vinyl flooring can handle water, such as the water seeping through your basement concrete and humidity, luxury vinyl flooring can be installed in the basement (perfect option for a man cave!).

Luxury Vinyl Flooring Cons

Price (compared to laminate wood floors). Luxury vinyl flooring is more expensive than laminate flooring.

Scratches. Just as with laminate, there is a small chance that luxury vinyl flooring may scratch.

If you have any questions about vinyl and wood floors, ask us via email or on Facebook. Or experience the difference between wood and vinyl for yourself at any Y’s Way Flooring in Watertown, Oconomowoc and Lake Mills. The good news is that no matter what flooring you choose, wood or vinyl, your flooring is going to perform well, and look even better.