Monthly Archives: July 2016

Wood Floors & Humidity: How to Protect Your Floors

wood floors in front of a fire place that needs to be protected from high humiditySteam bath. Sauna.  There are certain times of the year (like now) when our Wisconsin weather certainly fits these terms to a T.  You know what we mean: when you just step out the door and start to sweat, and your clothes end up a sopping mess after a short walk.  Your wood floors go through the same struggle, except a sopping floor can’t just be thrown in the dryer; actually the “soppiness” (moisture) from high humidity or spills can damage your wood floors.

While we can’t do anything about your sweating (except recommend air conditioning or a good fan), we can give you tips to keep your wood floors from damage from the high humidity:

Track your home’s humidity.

Just as the weather forecasters track the humidity outside, you can also track the amount of moisture in your home’s air with a humidistat.  The ideal humidity for wood floors is between 35-55%.  Higher levels of moisture in your air can cause your floors swell and warp.  Low humidity can make your floors crack and splinter.

Keep your humidity at an ideal level.

wood floor in a kitchen that needs to be protected from water on floorOnce you’ve started tracking your home’s moisture level, now is the time to control it for the good of your floors.  Make sure you don’t go too far by drastically increasing or decreasing your home’s humidity. If your humidity level is too high, a dehumidifier or air conditioner can resolve your moisture problem.  For a low air moisture reading, a humidifier can add the appropriate amount of water to the air; monitor your humidifier to make sure your moisture level is between 35-55%.

Minimize the amount of water on your floor.

In addition to monitoring your home’s humidity level, you can protect your floors from water damage by keeping your floors as dry as possible:

  • Wipe up any spills as soon as possible.
  • Never use a steam cleaner on your wood floors (it can also void your warranty).
  • Use only a damp mop to clean wood floors (and approved cleaners, again for the sake of the warranty).
  • Use rugs and mats (with protectors under) to keep water from getting tracked on to your wood floors.
  • Request that your guests take off their shoes at the door.
  • Ask local flooring experts for advice on how to keep your wood floors in peak condition.

4 Home Design Trends You’re Going to Want in Your Home

home design trend laminate flooring on wall

Courtesy Armstrong Flooring

There have been some really neat home trends that have come out lately—all related to flooring, and all really beautiful trends that even the most “non-trendy” homeowner is going to want in their home.  From carpet upgrades to design ideas, here are four of the most beautiful and practical ideas to add to your home ‘to do’ list this year.

Laminate flooring on the wall

Courtesy Armstrong Flooring

Courtesy Armstrong Flooring

We know this sounds crazy. Who puts laminate flooring on their wall?  The pictures show otherwise: laminate can be a beautiful accent wall, mudroom accent, and chair rail.  For the right look, visit a store to choose a laminate with different tones that accent your room color.

One of the best part of this idea: laminate is just as easy to install on wall as it is on your floor.  We found these easy instructions for installing laminate on the wall, and you can find your laminate at discount prices if you buy in bulk.

Indoor tile outdoors

front steps with porcelain tilePorcelain tile can be more than a beautiful kitchen or bathroom floor.  Want your home to make a statement? Start with your front walk, any pathway around your property, or make your patio a conversation starter with a beautiful porcelain tile.  When shopping for flooring for your patio, balcony or steps, make sure you tell your salesperson that you are looking for tiles to use outside to make sure that you get the best outdoor product. Then, set up an installation date and sit back and admire your fantastic outdoor space.

Carpets that are able to handle…well LIFE

living room carpet Carpet that freshens the air.  Improved resiliency to stains.  Carpet that keeps liquids from leaking through to your pad and subfloor.  Carpet manufacturers like Beaulieu, Shaw, Armstrong, and Mohawk are always improving their carpets to deal with high levels of traffic from paws and feet.  Use these tips to determine what carpet’s best for your high traffic area, and then visit the experts for products they’ve seen work (and look beautiful) in local homes.

Luxury vinyl

luxury vinyl flooring that looks like woodLuxury vinyl is one of the most versatile and resilient floors on the market today—and they look great!  Get rid of those pictures of the ‘old’ vinyl floors your grandma used to have.  Today’s luxury vinyl products mimic the look of tile and wood, without the maintenance and, in the case of wood, water worries.

Best yet, luxury vinyl flooring products now come in planks that can be done by any homeowner who wants to tackle a do-it-yourself project. For more information on how to install your new luxury vinyl flooring, talk to the experts so you can add this new home design trend in your home.

5 Cleaning Tasks to Get Done this Summer

couple enjoying summer kayaking on lake before heading home for summer cleaningWe can hear your reaction to this title, “Cleaning?! Who wants to worry about cleaning during the summer?” We understand. Summer is the perfect time for swimming, vacations, camping, grill outs…and some very strategic summer cleaning tasks.  That’s right, there are a few cleaning tasks to tackle during the warm summer months—cleaning tasks that are easier to get done during the warm summer months.

Carpet cleaning

There are so many reasons to schedule a carpet cleaning this summer: open windows can dry out the carpet faster, you don’t have to worry about school schedules, and a good summer carpet cleaning rids your home of the mud and salt from spring and winter.  A “good” summer carpet cleaning is a professional cleaning, which can remove stains and allergens that rental carpet cleaners can’t.  Because this summer cleaning task is better tackled by the professionals, schedule your carpet cleaning well in advance on a day that works into your busy schedule.

Light fixtures

Those pesky bugs that are buzzing around your head all summer tend to end up in your light fixtures.  Take a few minutes and clean any uplighting fixtures especially, where they tend to build up and cause problems.  If you can, take your light fixture apart, dump out the bugs, and wash the globe or lighting cover.

Window cleaning

That beautiful summer sunlight that we crave also shows off pet nose prints, little finger smears, and, well, dirt.  Take a few minutes this summer to clean down your windows and patio doors with a soft cloth and window cleaner. Remember: as tempting as it is to wash those windows when the shining sun reveals the fingerprints and streaks, the sun is also the enemy as you wash windows, drying out your cleaner before you get the job done.

Washing bedding

If you haven’t already, summer is a great time to wash quilts and mattress pads and hang them out to dry.  This is especially true if you have only one quilt for your bed; if you wash them in the morning, the warm sun and wind can have them dry by bedtime that night!

Cleaning off fans

Your summer fans should be going all summer long to improve the circulation in your home and aid with cooling.  You don’t want dust to rain down in your home during the process.  Turn them off on a cooler day and tackle your fan cleaning with a soft cloth or duster.