If your home has a basement below ground level, or if you are planning on purchasing a home with one, then it’s important that you put some thought into potential flooding risks. Being the lowest level of your home, your basement is ground zero for water damage from plumbing problems or rainfall. Luckily for you, there are several different options that you can consider to help make the floors waterproof, ensuring that your foundation doesn’t get eaten away over time.
- A simple concrete sealer is not only a quick and easy solution, but it has the added benefit of being cost-effective. Most of these sealers are acrylic liquids that will flow easily and fill up cracks without giving you too much trouble. We recommend that you clean your concrete floors before applying the sealer so that you maximize its adhesive properties.
- Another cheap and easy solution to waterproof flooring is an epoxy paint or coating. Epoxy is a simple polymer resin that will provide waterproofing qualities to the surface it is applied to. You can also get epoxy in multiple colors to correctly match the look of the room. If you want to go the extra mile with epoxy, you can also choose to go with an epoxy coat and hardener rather than a simple paint. Epoxy coating is more expensive, but it provides you with a larger range of coloring options.
- You can even go all-out and get Place N’ Go waterproof basement flooring. This flooring option is an easy-to-install covering that can be placed directly over top of any existing basement flooring. The covering using interlocking mechanisms, meaning that there is no need for adhesives or moisture barriers. All that you need to do is snap it all together and your basement floor is waterproof and ready to roll.
If you have any questions regarding waterproofing your basement, don’t hesitate to give our professional installers a call!
Asbestos flooring was a popular installation of choice up until the 1980s, with it being used most predominantly from the 1920 to the 1960s. Therefore, on many older models of home, it is still fairly common. Now, having asbestos tiles in your own home is no cause for alarm, but it definitely does pay to be able to identify and remove them if necessary. As is the case in many situations such as this, your number one choice is to have a professional remove them for you, but if you wish to take them out yourself, here’s how to do it safely.
Firstly, you need to know how to identify asbestos tiles. There are a few handy tips you can use:
- If the building was made between 1920 and 1960, you have a higher chance of finding asbestos tiles. Take a look into your home’s history.
- Asbestos tiles came in three sizes: 9”x9”, 12”x12”, and 18”x18”. Measure the tiles and see if they fall within this range.
- Make sure that you handle disintegrating tiles with care. Intact tiles shouldn’t be an issue and can even be left in place if they are covered with other flooring materials.
- Asphalt was a primary ingredient in asbestos tile manufacturing, and the oil from it can discolor floor tiles. If your tiles show discoloration, they might contain asbestos.
If you have successfully identified asbestos tiles in your home, you have two options: cover them up or take them out. Concrete and rubber-backed carpeting is the way to go If you wish to cover them. If you want to pull them up, follow these steps:
- Seal off the work area by closing doors, windows, and air vents.
- Always wear a respirator, safety goggles, and thick clothing including boots.
- Try to keep the floor space wet to minimize airborne asbestos particles.
- Use either a floor scraper or a flat shovel to pry the tiles out of the floor.
- Place the removed tiles in specially-made asbestos bags and make sure that the bag is properly sealed shut.
- Upon completion, mop the area where you were working.
- Dispose of the bags in an appropriate landfill. Keep in mind that not all landfills are equipped to handle asbestos, so check with them ahead of time before driving out there.
The great things about hardwood floors: they’re pleasing to the eye and very durable, meaning that if they start getting worn out, they probably don’t need to be replaced. All you need to do is refinish them in order to make them “pop” once more.
Now, we say “all you need to do”, but that should be taken with a word of caution. While it is possible to refinish your floors by yourself, experience is key here. A professional will know how to handle the process from start to finish, whereas someone who is inexperienced may skip some steps or do them improperly. A poor refinish can devalue your home rather than improve it!
A pro can take anywhere from two to five days to complete the task, adding time for complex jobs or poor weather that interferes with drying times. They will typically do one of two things: 1) they will rebuff the finish, or 2) they will sand and finish the floor. The downside to hiring a professional is, of course, the cost. Either of these two jobs can cost you anywhere between $1 and $4 per square foot of floor that needs to be done.
If you don’t want to shell out the money for a pro and you are supremely confident in your DIY ability, here’s what you can do to save some cash.
First of all, make sure you’ve purchased some high-quality dust masks or respirators. You will also need eye and ear protection (this process is messy and loud!). You can seal off doors and other rooms with plastic sheeting to prevent dust from escaping to other parts of the home.
If you’re going to buff the floor, you will need to rent a buffer and purchase about a gallon of floor finish. Make sure you test the buffer and the finish before committing to doing the whole area! Find a small, inconspicuous spot, buff out the old finish, then apply the new one. If it sticks, you’re in good shape.
If your intention is to sand and refinish the floor yourself, you’ll need to rent a drum sander and buy sandpaper, wood filler, and floor finish. We do not recommend using a drum sander unless you know what you’re doing with it, due to its tendency to gouge the floor if left in one spot for too long. Use progressively smaller grains of sandpaper as you go to get a nice, smooth surface.
Be smart about this process! We can’t emphasize enough that this is a job for somebody that at least has experience, if not formal job training. If you aren’t certain of your own ability, it is a lot cheaper to hire a pro than it is to have to redo everything after a mistake. Good luck!
Occasionally, a given living space will need a change of some kind. Perhaps the walls need to be painted a different color, or those drapes need to come down and be replaced with blinds, or maybe all you need to do is rearrange things a little bit. Moving the furniture in a room can be a daunting task, but if done properly, it can make your space look new and exciting without having to spend money on paint or blinds.
The great thing about furniture rearrangement is that there is no set-in-stone rule for how it’s supposed to be done, so you can afford to be a little adventurous. There are only a few tips that you need to get started:
1) Find the focal point of the room and build around that. This is likely either a television or a fireplace. All you need to do is orient everything so that it draws the eyes towards that centerpiece.
2) Don’t place too many items in the room. This creates a cluttered, overloaded look and can appear uninviting. If a piece isn’t being used for comfort, utility, or storage space, consider moving it elsewhere.
3) Try to avoid placing too much along the walls of a room. This looks very stagnant and leaves a lot of open space in the middle of the area. Obviously, entertainment centers and couches can go on the perimeter, but try and break things up with some armchairs, a coffee table, or an ottoman.
4) Think about the function of the space and how you intend to use it. One of the key things you can do in any room, regardless of its intent, is to encourage conversation. For a living room, point two chairs at one another. For a kitchen, add some bar stools to the counter so you can talk while you cook.
5) Last but not least, take accurate measurements before you start going to town on this project. You don’t want to move your couch and then discover that it doesn’t fit where you wanted it to go! Try taping out the dimensions of your furniture to get a better idea of how everything fits together. Keep in mind that you’ll need walking room and space to pull out chairs.
When you compare it to any other type of flooring material, hardwood is unfortunately the most susceptible to scratches from moving furniture such as chairs and tables. If you intend on keeping your hardwood floor for any considerable length of time, it’s important to keep it properly maintained and for potential damage to be minimized. Here are some simple solutions to prevent the majority of scratches in your flooring:
The first and most obvious solution is to just not move any furniture. This is likely for large fixtures like dining tables and heavy coffee tables. Pick out the spot where you want the table to go, place it there, and then don’t shift its position. Of course, there is always the possibility that someone will bump into the furniture at some point and leave scratches anyway, so keep that in mind. If you are worried that an accident will move the furniture, place some kind of barrier between the legs of it and the floor. Felt, cork, or rubber pads will protect your floor while allowing you to move the table if necessary. If you are confident that the furniture will not have to move, you can go so far as to add carpet tape or velcro to the bottom of the legs to secure it in place.
We understand that never moving a piece of furniture is unrealistic, especially if you have chairs that need to be pulled out and pushed back in. Luckily, the same rubber pads that can be used for tables can work just as well on a chair! You can also look into either adding wheels to the bottom of chairs and tables if they’re going to have to move, or buying furniture that already has wheels.
What if you have a piece of furniture that needs to move around the house, but you had never intended to move it after setting it down the first time? Not a problem: if you’re moving anything heavy across hardwood, you can prevent scratches in the floor by folding up a cotton towel and slipping it under the legs of the furniture. Just make sure that you have a helper to tip the furniture for you so that you don’t risk getting your fingers caught under something heavy!
– Kelly Dillon
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If you own a home, chances are that you have either carpet or hardwood flooring. To the layman, it might even seem as if these are the only two options available to any homeowner. At Classic Floor Designs, however, we offer a host of other choices, one of them being cork floors. What is a cork floor, and what is it good for?
Cork has a very soft and warm appearance that is pleasing to the eye. On top of that, it is incredibly soft and yields easily to the touch, making it feel great underneath your feet. This makes it a popular option for areas where people do a lot of standing, such as the kitchen. The softness also acts as a cushion if your family has children who like to play and are prone to falling down!
The interior of a cork consists largely of air-filled chambers that not only retain warmth, but noise as well. This makes cork a great insulator and will keep noise levels down (useful for upper floors). This can help save you precious money on energy bills!
The one cautionary word that we have on cork floors is that they aren’t the most durable option that is available. Pets can easily scratch it up, furniture and dropped objects can cause punctures and tears, and heavy set pieces will leave dents in it over time. However, cork is very easy to maintain and refinish if necessary. A correctly installed cork floor should only require a regular vacuuming to get rid of dust and small particles, and any spills that occur are easy to clean up since the cork is sealed on installation. Just like a hardwood floor, all that a cork floor needs for refinishing is a good sanding and either staining or resealing.
So what are your thoughts? Does a cork floor sound like something that you could use in your own home? Give Classic Floor Designs a call today to schedule a consultation!