Renovate from the Ground Up: Options for Flooring
When preparing your home for sale, in addition to de-cluttering, painting the walls, and sprucing up the landscaping, it's also important to look at the condition of your flooring.
Most of us grew up in homes with lots of plush carpeting. Cozy looking and soft to walk on, carpet is still an extremely popular choice in residential spaces. There are however, a few downsides to carpeting, including the fact that they emit chemicals like formaldehyde into the air. They also get stained and dingy looking fairly quickly, and become mildewed and musty-smelling if liquids come in contact with it.
Because they absorb things like smells and moisture, carpets that aren't cleaned regularly can really make a room appear lackluster. Even when buyers are purchasing a resale home, they want to think that the house they're buying is brand new. They don't want to step on rug that another person's been tracking dirt all over or dropping food on. This is part of the appeal of smooth flooring options like hardwood or laminate. Spills can be cleaned up quickly and effectively, and chemicals from things like synthetic fibers, padding, and carpet backing are a non-issue.
Style is also a factor, with hardwood or laminate flooring options appealing to more buyers than carpet. Hard flooring options tend to be more flexible than carpet, and look great with a variety of furniture styles and color schemes. They can also be covered with area rugs wherever necessary.
Over the past ten years, laminate flooring has become one of the most popular options for homeowners. Inexpensive, low maintenance and extremely durable, laminate flooring is a great alternative to stone or hardwood floors.
Laminate flooring is built out of melamine resin and can be designed to resemble natural wood grain, stone, marble, or granite. It can make a room appear larger and more modern, holds up extremely well in high traffic areas, and is very easy to install.
has also garnered a lot of attention in recent years. Bamboo is a great hard flooring material for homeowners who are looking for environmentally conscious materials.
Bamboo floor materials come from Moso bamboo stalks, which grow back very quickly. The fact that the plants themselves don't have to be destroyed in the harvesting process is part of the reason that these types of floors are considered eco-friendly. Bamboo is also very strong, insect resistant, and attractive. It can mimic the natural grain patterns of hardwood, or you can choose to buy classic bamboo style with its characteristic "knuckles".
Like bamboo, cork is another environmentally friendly flooring material that has become quite popular with homeowners. Cork grows as bark on the Cork Oak tree, and can be harvested every 10 years or so. Cork can be taken without harming the tree, and the bark eventually grows back, making this type of flooring very earth-friendly.
In addition to being produced from a natural resource, are also very practical. Cork is fire and water-resistant, retains heat and reduces noise. is also affordable, and available in a variety of stains and designs.
Ceramic tile is a popular sight in and bathrooms, as it is water-resistant and affordable. Ceramic can be a little chilly underfoot, and becomes quite slippery when wet, but buyers can find slip-resistant styles and install in-floor heating.
Hardwood has long been a classic choice for flooring, though its cost can be prohibitive. Hardwood also requires more maintenance than laminate, and has greater impact on the environment than bamboo or cork.
When choosing a flooring material, take into consideration the size of the room, the costs of the materials, and their ease of care. Make sure you don't install something that will require a lot of scrubbing or refinishing to keep looking nice. You want your home to put its best foot forward-without breaking the bank.
Top Furniture Buying Mistakes by Abe Abbas
Forgetting to Measure Your Furniture: Don't neglect to measure the room ahead of buying to see if your new furniture will fit. You will be amazed at the number of furniture purchases that never make it into a home because the buyer neglected to measure the furniture or forgot to take into account hallways, doors, elevators and stairs.
Ignoring Scale:A sofa that looks just right in the store, might look too big in your room or not big enough. It is hard to judge when you’re looking at a picture or seeing it in a showroom. Also measure to make sure that your new piece matches the scale of the furniture you already own.
Not Paying Enough Attention to Color:A color that doesn’t look very overpowering in the showroom, could do so in your home. You should also bring home a color swatch or a pillow to see how it would look in your own home. Also, when buying on the internet, be aware that the color on a monitor looks different on a real sofa. Request a fabric swatch as many companies will provide one if asked.
Paying Too Much Attention to Fads: It is best to buy a piece of furniture that you will feel comfortable with for years to come. That goes for color as well as style. Fads can come and go very quickly, so look beyond a few months of excitement. Instead, buy furniture that truly appeals to you and will look good even years later.
Ignoring Who Will Really Be Using Your Furniture: Before you buy furniture, make sure that you know how it will be used, and who will be using it. If you forget to factor in small children, pets, and snacking while watching TV, you could be heading for disaster. Your fabulous cream colored sofa will be no match for grubby hands, or muddy paws. An absolutely gorgeous coffee table with a delicate finish will not last too long when you have people putting up their feet on it.
Selecting the Best Upholstery for Cat and Dog Owners
Not Testing Your Furniture Before You Buy: When buying a sofa, recliner or chair, you should always test it, and judge for quality. What if that very stylish sofa turns out to be so uncomfortable that you never want to sit on it? Your furniture should always make life more comfortable and easier. Try out your sofa in the store the way you would use it at home, and yes, that means lying down on it, too. If you are buying furniture on the internet, go to a store and try it out first. Also, open and close drawers and doors on casegoods to see if they function properly. Furniture for Quality
Buying Furniture on Impulse: Impulse buying is one of the biggest mistakes people make when shopping for furniture. Sometimes the price seems irresistible, other times the piece looks just too good to pass up, or you might be in a hurry to make your place look good in time for the impending arrival of guests. Resist the impulse to make a hasty decision.
Asking for Too Many Opinions: When you consult too many people, you make it harder to narrow down your choices. Never take along an entourage when shopping for furniture. It drives the salespeople crazy and you don’t benefit from five different people offering wildly divergent views. If you don’t want to go alone, go with your significant other, or just one other person whose judgment you trust.
Not Asking for Help: The salespeople are there to help you, and they might be able to offer advice and suggestions which ultimately help you make a better buying decision. While the ultimate buying decision will be yours, but by not consulting them you might not even get a good idea of all the options you have. Incidentally, it is a better idea to go shopping on a weekday so that you can get a salesperson’s full attention.