Monthly Archives: July 2018

Cabin Floor Cleaning Tips

home on lakeHomes on the water have a lot going for them: breath-taking views of the lake, wonderful opportunities for beachfront (and boating) fun, and endless days of waterfront dining. Waterfront property does come with some maintenance, both on the property and on home floors.

The truth is that water can cause premature wear and damage to floors (especially flooring in the room adjacent to the lake). Water can warp floors, cause permanent stains, and wear down flooring. To avoid all of those scenarios, use these tips to keep your lake house floors lasting longer and looking like new.

Choose the right water-resistant flooring.

The first step in avoiding water damage is prevention. When choosing flooring for rooms adjacent to water, ask the floor salesman to see water-resistant flooring. Unfortunately, wood floor does not fit into this category. However, there are many floors that resemble wood that are good choices for rooms adjacent to the lake. Luxury vinyl flooring is water resistant, resemble wood or stone, and newer products are produced for hotter and cooler temperatures. Tile and sheet vinyl are both water resistant, incredibly durable, and easy-to-clean. For a softer feel, choose carpet tiles which can swapped out with new tiles when the tiles are dirty.

Place rugs and towels by all doors.

After a day of fun in the sand or boating, it’s natural to track in sand and water. Stem the flow at the door; keep a rack or bin full of towels for family and guests to dry off. Also, place rugs by the exit to ensure that all water, gravel, and debris is not tracked on to the floors. Make sure that the rug is big enough for everyone’s shoes to keep cabin floors clean. Ask a local flooring salesperson for tips for putting down rugs without worrying about fading or yellowing to the floors. Often, a mat can help prevent any discolorations under rugs. For a personalized look, order a custom rug specifically designed to fit with cabin décor.

Do a daily sweep and vacuum.

Sand and water can accumulate over time, scratching floors and leaving puddles that can lead to water damage. Clean up puddles as soon as possible and do a daily sweep and vacuum to keep water and sand from being tracked into the home. Use this guide to choose the best vacuum for a lake home.

Regularly dry mop floors.

To prevent residue and build-up, mop all your floors—especially in rooms adjacent to the lake. For a deep clean, schedule a professional cleaning that can keep all your cabin floors looking new and as beautiful as the lake view.

6 Ways to Add Character to Your Home

front steps with porcelain tileUnique. Charming. Warm. Homey. Cozy. If you want any of those five words to describe your home, it takes time and effort; not every home is built to break the traditional mold (unfortunately!). The good news? Adding character to a home is an effort that is worth the time AND it doesn’t always take a lot of funds.

Tile your front porch

Start your effort at the front door with an appealing porch that practically invites guests to enter. Tile your front porch for a unique look; coordinate the look of the tile with an attention-getting door or a distinct planter. There is one note of caution, however; when shopping for the right tile, make sure you let your salesperson know the tile is for exterior use. Not all tiles can be exposed to the elements (like during our cold winters) and still look great.

Install crown molding

Crown molding is an expensive way to add character to any room. Search carefully for the right crown molding; if you want to make the room an unexpected pop of color, paint the crown molding a unique color. Once you’ve chosen the right crown molding and color for the room, use these instructions for installing the crown molding or hire a pro to complete the room.

patterned tile in bathroom

Add interest with patterned tile

Nothing spruces up a room and catches guests’ attention like a patterned tile. Use the patterned tile as a backsplash, around a fireplace, or in a bathroom. Choose patterned tiles in colors that accent other elements in the room, such as the flooring and window coverings. To avoid creating a room that appears too “busy” or “cluttered,” pair patterned tiles with neutral window coverings, furniture, and paint colors.

Consider beadboard.

Beadboard on its own can make a statement; where you choose to add beadboard sets a room apart. Add beadboard to the ceiling for a cottage feel. Beadboard in a bathroom can make the room feel fresh and bright. In a dining room, adding beadboard can add a hint of formality or give the room a traditional look.

wood floors in front of a fire place that needs to be protected from high humidity

Warm up with hardwood floors

Wood floors may feel cool underfoot but they can make any room feel warm and cozy. As an added bonus, wood floors come in a variety of styles, widths, and colors. If you want a practical reason to add wood floors (and the character that comes with it), wood floors can increase home value. In a basement, choose an engineered hardwood which can withstand the moisture of a porous slab without warping.

Be interesting with tile

If patterned tiles aren’t your first choice for adding character to your home, install tile in interesting locations (or hire the pros and take the credit), such as behind the vanity, or in unusual ways, such as in a herringbone pattern. Your guests will ooh and ah over your modern twist and classic choice of tile.


4 Floors that Keep Your Home Cool (and Look Great)

kitchen and dining room with island, table, and laminate floorsWarm and cozy may be fine in the winter, but this is Wisconsin. Our summers get hot and humid. When the mercury rises, warm and cozy goes right out the window—especially under your feet. You want coolness all around you; that’s why we’ve put together a list of floors that stay cool under foot during the summer AND a solution that’ll adapt your floors to the winter.

Luxury Vinyl

Luxury vinyl floors are durable, beautiful, versatile, and feel extremely cool under foot. These floors come in styles that resemble stone or wood, but with the added benefit of being water resistant. Because of the water resistance, luxury vinyl can be installed in kitchens, bathrooms, mudrooms and in rooms near pools and lakes (which keep us cool on the hottest summer days!). New luxury vinyl products also boast an incredible temperature tolerance, making it possible to install in rooms that experience the hottest and coldest temperatures. If you are handy, luxury vinyl plank floors can also be installed as a do-it-yourself project; talk to the flooring pros about your flooring options and installation tips.


patterned tile in bathroomWhen thinking about tile floors, get those old visions of traditional square tiles out of your head. Today’s tiles come in all shapes and sizes, and many products even mimic the look of wood floors (while being fairly water resistant). Tiles also come in unique patterns that can add character and charm to a bathroom, kitchen or mudroom. Most tiles can be installed with or without grout and are durable and easy-to-clean. In fact, the only hesitation most customers have with this product is that tile is cool to the foot, a problem that can be resolved with radiant heating.


cherry colored laminate floor in kitchenLaminate floors are incredibly durable and cool to the touch. These floors also resemble the look of wood—so much so that some people think they’re real wood. With regular sweeping and felt pads for protection, it’s fairly easy to keep laminate floors looking great. When the coolness of laminate floors are not as appreciated (like during the cold winter), laminate floors can be covered with an area rug that warms up the space and the toes.


Even when the weather is simmering, wood floors can feel cool underfoot. Hardwood floors are durable and in demand; installing hardwoods in a home can even increase the home’s value. These floors are long lasting that can be sanded and refinished as needed. To compensate for the cool feel during winter, order a custom area rug that can feel warm and cozy. (Ask flooring professionals for tips on how to add a rug to a room without damaging or fading the floors.) While these floors feel cool even on the hottest of days, wood floors can add a warm feel to any home.

Radiant Heating

Radiant heating is not a flooring, but it is a mat that can heat a floor during the cold winter months. During the summer, a thermostat can be used to control the temperature of the radiant heating and keep the floor cool. If the home is heated with a boiler, radiant heating can be installed under the floors. In a home with forced heat, electric radiant heating mats are laid underneath the flooring.