Have you ever taken a look at your hardwood floors and wished that you could change their color? Or perhaps you’re looking into buying a house, but you want the hardwood to be darker or lighter than the current floor is? Good news: you may not have known, but when you refinish a hardwood floor, you can absolutely change the color of it! It doesn’t matter if you’re going light to dark, dark to light, or anywhere in between: if you can sand and refinish your floors, you can change the color of them.
The process for sanding and refinishing is simpler than you might think. This first step is to purchase or rent a sanding machine and sand down the floor that you are refinishing. Do about three sandings, moving from coarse grit down to your finest grit for best results. This should give your hardwood a smooth surface that will readily accept any stain that you add. Your floor should look basically like brand-new hardwood once you’re done.
With that step out of the way, now it’s time to choose your stain. There are many, many different options ranging all different colors, so try picking out a couple of choices and testing them on your own floors first. This is an essential step because every floor is different and may take different colors differently than another. You may be hesitant to stain over a large area if you’re just testing it out, but we can assure you that this will give you the best visuals and is well worth the time spent.
The last step is to add two to three coats of polyurethane. This coating will take about 24 hours per layer to dry, assuming you’re using an oil base (water based polyurethane dries faster but isn’t as durable). Make sure that after every coat application, you buff the floors in order to smooth them out and help the polyurethane last longer. 90-95% of people select a satin finish for their hardwood, but don’t let that stop you from checking out some of the other choices: you can look at matte, gloss, and semi-gloss, as well!
When it comes to laying down flooring in your kitchen, your first instincts may be to prioritize design and color. However, make sure that you aren’t overlooking other important qualities such as durability and ease of care! Here are some of our favorite ideas for long-lasting, aesthetically pleasing kitchen flooring:
- With new advances in wood manufacturing and sealants, wood still reigns supreme in the household. Hardwoods are easy to clean, hard to permanently damage, and bring a sense of tradition and warmth to any household.
- Cork flooring. This option is slowly becoming more and more popular in the American household, and it’s easy to see why. It feels great underfoot due to its slight cushioning, it is easy to clean, and can be purchased in a wide variety of patterns and colors. Simply seal it to prevent water damage and your kitchen it ready to go.
- Natural stone. It doesn’t get more durable than this timeless flooring choice: stone is very resilient and isn’t going to need replacing every time you drop a dish on it nor a full cleaning if you spill food or liquid upon it. Similar to hardwood, stone gives any space a older, antique look that so many people find appealing. The only cons are its cost and the fact that you’ll need a strong subfloor to be able to handle its weight.
- Bamboo. This choice gives you all of the benefits of a traditional hardwood floor with the added bonus of being environmentally friendly, as it comes from a highly renewable source. It is naturally water-resistant and durable, making it a prime choice for any kitchen.
- Vinyl. There isn’t much to not like about this flooring option: it’s budget-friendly, one of the easiest floors to maintain, and is soft to the foot. You may consider this option if you’re not looking to break the bank, you cook a lot, or if you simply want a floor that doesn’t require much more cleanup than a simple sweeping and mopping at the end of the day.
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.