Happy Holidays area rug used as a front door mat.

Preparing Your Home for the Holidays

Written by Dolphin Blogger on . Posted in 4 Seasons of Decorating, Area Rugs, Carpet, Design and Decorating, Family, Floors, Hints, Tips and Advice, Holiday, Kitchen and Bath, Lighting, Outdoor, Thanksgiving, Tips and Advice, Vinyl

Happy Holidays area rug used as a front door mat.

Greet your guests with some holiday cheer before they even walk through your front door! This Happy Holidays area rug from Liora Manne makes the perfect door mat. Get it online only at Dolphin.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and the winter holidays aren’t too far behind! If you’re expecting holiday guests, it’s good to start preparing your home early for their arrival.

We’ve got some great tips to help you get organized, broken out into 3 phases: Projects & renovations, cleaning & decorating, and week-of final prep!

  1. Projects & Renovation

There’s no better motivator to finish up your ongoing home repairs & improvements than an impending holiday gathering! Get enough of a jump and you may even be able to start and finish a big project before family arrives.

Whether it’s a time-intensive task like a partially painted bedroom or a quick and easy fix like installing some new coat or towel hooks to a wall, intentionally block off some time to finish.

For things you can’t do on your own, call a professional well in advance – specialists tend to get booked up close to the holidays! Make sure all appliances, plumbing & heating are working. Then there’s our area of expertise here at Dolphin – home renovation! If your floors have seen better days, it’s entirely possible to get them repaired or replaced in just a few weeks.

A living room fireplace, with Mohawk brand carpet on the floor.

Nothing is cozier than warming up by the fire on plush carpet!

New carpet is one great choice for the colder months, adding a cozy comfort that’s perfect for large families who spill off of your limited couches onto the floor. Your nieces, nephews, children & grandchildren will also have a soft place to sit and play.

Another option making its way into just about every area of the home is waterproof flooring, such as COREtec vinyl or even wood-based RevWood+. These floors continue the elegant tradition of wood-look flooring in an affordable way that stands up well to messes & wear. Plus, installation is quick & easy! These floors can be laid and walked on in as little as a day or two.

A kitchen & dining area with Mohawk RevWood Plus flooring installed.

Looks like normal hardwood, right? This is actually waterproof RevWood Plus from Mohawk, a revolutionary new wood floor that can stand up to all of your family’s holiday messes!

  1. Cleaning & decorating

Cleaning is an obvious, but important step in preparing your home for the holidays. Since you know your home better than we do, we’ve made a list of some of the key spaces you may want to focus on in anticipation of family arriving:

  • Make space in entryways – these are the first parts of your home that guests will see! Store away your own shoes & coats so that family have a place to put their things when they arrive. Have a clear shoe rack, plenty of hooks, or even a standing coat rack!
  • Organize your kitchen – make sure you have a clean microwave, and consider setting up a well-stocked coffee station in a separate common area so that you don’t literally have too many cooks in the kitchen!
  • Seasonal décor can be simple. Lay or hang some fall leaves or tinsel, harvest vegetables such as gourds, and simple dining set pieces such as a tablecloth, candles & ornaments. Place some nice seasonal area rugs in hallways, at entryways, under tables & in seating areas.
A holiday area rug laid in front of the kitchen sink.

Add a subtle touch of holiday flair to your floors with a seasonal area rug like this floor mat from Liora Manne!

  1. Week-of, Final Prep

It’s finally the week of the holiday, and all that’s left to do is make some last-minute changes to your home’s normal setup.

Make sure you have ample seating for everyone anticipated, bringing out folding chairs if necessary. High-traffic areas such as bathrooms should be stocked with extra supplies, such as towels, soaps, and the all-important toilet paper!

You should also place nightlights throughout your home to guide guests who may wake up to refill a glass of water or use the bathroom in the middle of the night.

The wisdom we shared here today can be applied to your home year-round – no matter what time of year, when you’re planning to have guests, use these tips to get prepared!

What is Mohawk RevWood? The Benefits & More

Written by Dolphin Blogger on . Posted in Bathroom, Environmental, Family, Floors, Hardwood, Kitchen and Bath, Reader Question, Tips and Advice

Mohawk RevWood flooring in a bathroom.

In flooring & home improvement, as in many industries, a common misconception is the need to sacrifice beauty for reliability, performance for low-budget.

With Mohawk’s self-described revolutionary woods, RevWood & RevWood Plus, this is most certainly not the case! Designed by Mohawk to make homeowners, builders and designers rethink wood flooring altogether, RevWood is actually not what you may traditionally think of as wood. 

The Benefits of Mohawk RevWood & RevWood Plus

So if it’s not true wood, then just what is RevWood? Put simply, it’s an eco-friendly product that combines the beauty of real wood with the durability of laminate flooring. Let’s break down the benefits:

  • Waterproof installation means that, unlike 100% real hardwood, RevWood Plus can stand up to spills and humidity without buckling, warping, or being damaged in any way. Note that RevWood Plus is waterproof, but regular RevWood is not.
  • Resistance to stains, scratches & dents is built in to RevWood thanks to a durable wear layer and construction.
  • Mohawk’s All Pet Protection & Warranty gives RevWood coverage against messes from any type of pet & pet-related accident, all the time.
  • RevWood comes in a variety of trending colors and textures, each with distinctive wood knot and grain patterns. These include time-worn looks and planks in varying lengths and widths.
  • RevWood & RevWood Plus are available at outstanding price points compared to their real wood competitors.
  • Finally, Mohawk manufactures RevWood & RevWood Plus right here in the USA! 

Mohawk RevWood flooring in a combination living room and dining room area.

How does RevWood work?

So RevWood Plus is essentially waterproof wood – but how? It’s the result of two main features – a click & lock tongue-and-groove installation with beveled edges and a water-repellant HydroSeal coating developed by Mohawk. The tightly-locking planks block moisture from entering through the sides, and the coating blocks it from the surface.

One final step – a perimeter sealing of 100% silicone – seals the deal on the cut edges of the floor.

This moisture-resistant surface also makes cleaning up a breeze. These are the first laminate floors on the market that can be safely wet-mopped without worry about peeling or damage to adhesives – because there are no adhesives required in installation!

How & where to use RevWood & RevWood Plus 

RevWood is perfect for any part of your home where you wish you could have hardwood floors, but where it just doesn’t make sense to do so. One of the key benefits of RevWood and RevWood Plus is that they can be installed on any level of your home, over nearly any type of existing subfloor.

Hardwood, being naturally porous and flexible, does not handle moisture and humidity well. In areas like bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and even finished basements, it’s best to avoid installing real wood.

Mohawk RevWood flooring in a kitchen.

With RevWood, you get the look and feel of natural hardwood in a form that’s suitable for all of these areas and more. With so many great looks and textures from which to choose, you’ll find yourself with far more design freedom than you’d have with hardwood.

Learn more about RevWood & RevWood Plus on our website, or at one of our 10 convenient locations in the greater Miami area!

Best Flooring Options for Dogs & Cats

Written by Dolphin Blogger on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Carpet, Family, Floors, Hints, Tips and Advice, Tile and Natural Stone, Tips and Advice, Vinyl

If you’re a pet-owner, you’re probably already all too familiar with the wear and tear that our furry friends can cause to your home over time. Scratches, stains, odors and dirt are all common pet-caused hassles that can be especially damaging to floors.

That’s why many pet-owners, whether they’re building or remodeling a home, are cautious about what type of flooring they choose to install in the areas in which their pets live with them.

Before you begin your search, there are 4 common concerns that pet owners should consider when searching for flooring for their next project.

  1. Scratch resistance: How well does the floor resist scratches and other marks, commonly caused by dogs’ nails as they walk around?
  2. Damage resistance: Does the floor have a natural resistance to damage from things like pet urine and other accidents?
  3. Traction & comfort: Does the surface of the floor allow pets to move, walk, run, sit and lay safely and comfortably?
  4. Durability & ease of cleaning: How easy is it to regularly clean the floor and return it to its original look?

So, with all of that in mind, which types of flooring fit the bill? You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that you have a lot of options when it comes to pet-friendly flooring.

Modern innovations have led to pet-focused technologies and warranties across the entire spectrum of flooring categories. We’ll dive into each one and give you our top product recommendations.

dog sleeping on carpet

Pictured: Mohawk SmartStrand Forever Clean carpeting, available at Dolphin Carpet & Tile.

Pet-friendly carpet 

Many people prefer soft, warm carpet in their bedrooms, but it’s probably not your first thought when you’re trying to pick flooring for a home with pets.

Carpet is a soft place to lay, but it can be tough to clean and is prone to easy wear and tear. If you do opt for carpet, consider keeping it in low-traffic areas (such as bedrooms) where your pets don’t spend much time.

To help prevent staining in the event of inevitable accidents, we recommend these two very solid pet-friendly carpeting options:

  • Mohawk SmartStrand Forever Clean: This carpet’s innovative fibers feature built-in protection from spills and stains, with 0% absorption. On top of that, Mohawk’s All Pet Protection & Warranty that covers all types of pets and accidents, all the time.
  • Shaw Carpet with LifeGuard: Shaw’s cleanest carpet features a spill-proof backing that will help you contain all of your pets’ little messes and accidents. It’s protected from soil for quick & easy cleanup, and stays clean for healthier living at home.

Pet-friendly tile

Tile is well-suited to homes with pets in the family. Its hard surface and dense makeup makes tile extremely durable and resistant to scratches from toenails.

Note that this isn’t true for all types of tile – specifically, you should avoid installing soft, porous stones such as marble. These are damaged far more easily than other types of stone or glazed ceramic tile.

Tile is also very easy to clean, as soil and pet hair sits on the surface. A routine sweeping, dusting or gentle vacuuming will pick up most solid debris. Wet mop as soon as spills or accidents occur, and you’ll be able to keep your tile looking and smelling as fresh and clean as the day you bought it.

The only significant drawback to having tile in a home with pets is that the surface is relatively cold and hard in comparison to most other types of flooring. You can solve this by laying down area rugs throughout your space, or a soft dog or cat bed or cushion.

puppy dog sleeping on coretec flooring

Pictured: COREtec by US Floors, available at Dolphin Carpet & Tile.

Pet-friendly vinyl flooring

Vinyl is arguably the ideal choice for pet-friendly flooring. The list of benefits is long. For example, vinyl flooring:

  • Is extremely affordable compared to other flooring options
  • Can be installed anywhere in the home, on, above or below grade
  • Offers great traction with realistic wood textures
  • Comes in a variety of beautiful, natural designs that mimic wood and tile
  • Is easy to clean and resistant to scratches and stains
  • Does not trap or release allergens into the air
  • Is comfortable and quiet underfoot

The main potential drawback to vinyl flooring is that it can be susceptible to water or other liquid damage. However, modern innovation has led to a number of waterproof vinyl options that are well-suited to homes with pets. Our top recommendations are:

  • Mohawk SolidTech: This brand was specifically designed with busy family life in mind, and to withstand kids and pets running around. It’s 100% waterproof and easy to clean thanks to an engineered finish that also makes it resistant to stains, scuffs and dents. Install SolidTech in bathrooms or basements where real wood cannot hold up.
  • COREtec by US Floors: Made with a 1005 waterproof core, each COREtec plank can handle spills, muddy footprints and more without ever warping or buckling – regardless of how wet they get! The cork underlayment also blocks out noise and insulates your home, making it a comfortable surface upon which pets can lay.
a girl and her dog on RevWood

Pictured: Mohawk RevWood, available at Dolphin Carpet & Tile.

Pet-friendly laminate flooring 

Laminate is similar to vinyl in many ways. It looks like hardwood, is easy to clean, and it resists water and scratches well.

One drawback to laminate are that it often has a slippery surface that isn’t great for soft paws. You can avoid this by choosing a laminate with a scraped or textured surface. These floors are beautiful and are especially good for active or older dogs.

One product that fits the bill is the new Mohawk RevWood+. It’s made with natural wood, but is also completely waterproof. Affordable, durable, resistant to all types of damage and wear, and easily installed with click & lock joints, RevWood+ is a terrific option for pet owners who want the look and feel of real hardwood floors without the risk.

Now until October 18th, 2018, save up to $1,000 on Flooring for All Pets at Dolphin Carpet & Tile. Special financing is available!

How to Plan For Your Move

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

Relocating an entire household is a daunting task that will require much of your time, energy and funds. Often, the moving process begins as a long, detailed to do list and isn’t complete until you’ve finally moved the last piece of furniture in your new place. Yes, thinking about moving all the things you’ve accumulated over time can be overwhelming. Preplanning your move can help things flow smoothly. Here are some helpful tips:

 

  • Start off by gathering all of your moving necessities. You can avoid spending unnecessary money by getting boxes from friends and families. Often, they may have empty boxes around from receiving packages or from a previous move.  You can check with retail stores. The manager may be able to provide you with some boxes. You will also need an abundant supply of durable shipping tape. 
  • Old newspapers, tissue paper and bubble wrap can be used to protect items that can break easily. This step is essential because it ensures that your most valuable items are protected during the actual move.
  • Once you’ve packed all of your items, be sure to label them. You can purchase sharpie markers and label the boxes by category in bold lettering.
  • Now is a good time to go through your belongings and determine what items you don’t need and throw them out.  Create a pile of things you don’t need and you can donate them to charity or you can list some of the more valuable items for sale on eBay and Amazon.
  • Determine if you’re interested in painting the new space you’re moving into. If so, contact the landlord and ask if you can go in and paint a few days prior to your scheduled move in date. It’s easier to paint a room when it’s empty and you avoid possibly ruining your furniture.
  • Enlist people to help you with the moving process. You can ask friends and family members to help you move or to borrow helpful things such as vehicles or dollies. To make the process much simpler you might choose to seek help from a reputable moving company. There are moving companies that will pack your items and transport them to your new location. In addition, professional movers are more likely to keep your valuables safe during transport because they have special handling experience.
  • In most cases you have to clean the space you moved out of in order to receive your security deposit back. You should consider hiring a maid service to thoroughly clean your old apartment.

 

Upcycling – How to Reuse and Repurpose Items Originally Purchased for Kids and Babies

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

My goodness! Can we just ALL agree that, for being so small, babies and kids account for a huge part of the family budget? Yes, I think we can! Throughout the course of history one way to overcome this challenge was by gifting or cheaply selling items that one family no longer needs but could be of great use to another family. In 2016, though, the idea of upcycling is hugely popular because it allows you to continue getting value from purchases you already made. Try a few of these neat ideas for getting the most out of the money you spend on your tiny loved ones.

 

  • Swimming arm “floaties”:  Who would have thought there’d ever be any other purpose for these? They’re such a specific thing. But, once your kiddos can swim, use them to transport glass bottled beverages without breaking. Slip the floaty over a bottle of wine, inflate, and rest assured it won’t shatter when your grumpy teenager slings the bag into the car a little too vigorously!
  • Baby food jars:  The number of these a baby goes through is mind boggling! Sure you could recycle, but instead try storage for mass quantities of items that require a good organizational system. Clean the jars thoroughly and remove as much of the label as possible. To rid of the scent of food, soak in warm soapy water over night. Soak again in water/alcohol mixture is food scent persists. Rinse and air dry. Paint all of the lids the same color so they appear to be coordinated set. Label the tops, fill with spices, and place on a lower roll-out cabinet shelf for quick-glance selection from above while cooking. Or place in a deep drawer for the same effect. (It’s fun to paint the lids with chalkboard paint and label with chalk!)
  • Transform a baby crib into a glass-top table:  This turns out really great! So unique, with an airy quality because of the slats. Especially pretty in a sun room! You’ll need some home improvement skills, or a helper. Start by removing one side of the crib railing, flip it on its side (flat) and screw into frame midway up. It is now a shelf! Make a small investment in a sheet of heavy rectangular glass and place it on top of the crib. Voila, a table! (You of course have the option to paint the crib first if you want to customize the color too.)

Fun and Free Toddler Activity

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

This activity is loads of fun for toddlers and even older children. It encompasses finding a hidden treasure and unwrapping a gift at the same time.

Basically a surprise egg is a plastic egg that has a little toy or trinket inside. It is also wrapped in aluminum foil. Start by finding a little fun toy to hide inside a plastic Easter egg. Once the toy is inside wrap the egg in aluminum foil.  Kids seems to love unwrapping the egg the most. It brings them joy just like unwrapping a gift. Younger kids enjoy unwrapping gifts more than getting a new present.

This activity is so fun and exciting for toddlers. Began to wrap other items in foil. Try wrapping snack items that they can later eat, like apples, bananas and oranges. The excitement is seeing the shape and uncovering what is inside. You can wrap all sorts of things around the house. Other items kids like to unwrap are little toys that that they already own. They also enjoy unwrapping several layers. Once they remove a layer of foil (if they doesn’t shred it) save it to reuse later.

Make sure and be involved and present during this activity. Be there to witness the excitement and ask your toddler questions like “What shape is the surprise?”, “What do you think is in there?”. They love for you to be involved and they love to show you what was uncovered. Make sure while supervising that they do not chew or eat on the foil!

This activity is fun because of the creativity when looking for little things to wrap and deciding what trinkets to hide in the plastic eggs. This can also be done by wrapping things in wrapping paper. Toys that have become tired or boring can have new life if you wrap them and let your little one discover it all over again!

The Basics for Making Homemade Granola Bars

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

Do you need a way to keep children busy this summer?  What about snacks for them?  Here’s a recipe that is also a great activity with kids.  They will enjoy being able to eat what they made themselves!

Homemade granola bars are easy to make, require few ingredients and can be customized for your taste buds. Store bought granola is loaded with sugar. Making your own will give you the control to make a healthier version of a favorite snack.

What You Will Need:

5 Cups Oatmeal (do not use the quick serve kind)

1 Cup Honey

1 ½ Cup chocolate chips (this can be replaced with dry fruit if you prefer)

1 Cup of chopped nuts (this could be pecans, almonds or whatever kind of nut you prefer)

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl add the oatmeal. You may want to warm the honey up by placing it in a bowl of hot water for several minutes. The honey should be easy to mix and warm honey is much better than room temperature honey.

Add the honey to the oats and mix well with a spatula. Next add chocolate chips and nuts to the mixture.

Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. Spoon mixture into a greased rectangular pan. Do not skip the step of greasing the pan.

Bake for about 20 minutes. Check the granola to make sure it is not burning at 15 minutes. Cook time is variable to certain ovens and the thickness of your bars.

Cut the granola into bars after cooling for 15 minutes.

 

Experiment with different nuts and dried fruits. This is a simple recipe that can be altered for different seasons or moods. Feel free to add cinnamon to the recipe for an added yummy flavor!

Help Your Daughter to Prepare for a Formal Dance Part 2

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

Okay, so you’ve got everything covered so far because you followed our advice in Part 1. Three months ahead of time you did as much prep work as possible. Now it’s countdown time! Let’s take a look at all of the important consideration you need to make when the dance is just one month away.

1 month

  • Make a salon appointment for her hair and nails.
  • Arrange any alterations that the dress may need, and plan on more than one visit.

1 week

  • Help her and her friends pick a great place to take ‘before’ photos. Typically everyone, meaning all of the kids and parents, meet in one spot so capturing the moment is easily done as a group. Keep lighting in mind too! Outdoors in soft, natural, late afternoon light will provide the best photos.
  • If she’s going to wear heels have her walk around in them at home for a few days so she doesn’t feel like Bambi on the big night.
  • Do a trial run with her hair and makeup. This is a great way to prevent mental meltdowns on the day of the dance.

Day before

  • Take her for her manicure and pedicure. It’s best to wait until the day before because teenagers are active and distracted and there’s a good chance she’ll ruin it ahead of time.
  • Stock her evening bag. She’ll need enough cash for whatever may come up and this should include cab fare in case anything should happen to go wrong and she wants to come home. She’ll also need lipstick, a compact mirror, perfume, blotting papers, etc.
  • Purchase a corsage for her date.

Night before

  • Fully charge her phone because she will be LIVING on it the whole next day.
  • Make her go to bed early, no matter how excited she is.
  • Have her drink extra water so she looks her best on the big night.
  • Create a little itinerary for the next day so time doesn’t slip away too fast for her to be ready.

Day of

  • Keep her phone charging while she’s using it so it has full battery power when she heads out for the night.
  • Make it all come to life!

Don’t forget to go back and read Part 1 – Planning in advance

Help Your Daughter to Prepare for a Formal Dance

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

We know family is important to all of our customers.  We have put together this information to help with this important time of the year.

There are few things as sacred and magical as a formal dance in high school. It is one of our most treasured and timeless traditions. While some girls could take or leave it, most are thrilled to pieces when the time finally comes to be part of something so special.

Their excitement is awesome and contagious, but it lacks one important thing. Practicality! While your daughter’s heart is dreaming of the prettiest night ever, her head is not thinking through the logistics.

This is your chance to be super-mom and prove to her exactly why she couldn’t possibly ever live without you. This will make you feel good too because in just a few short years she’ll leave the nest and need you a little less. Here’s your opportunity Mom! Follow this plan and help make it her best night ever!

3 months in advance

  • Purchase prom tickets and any photography packages that will be offered.
  • Purchase the dress! As well as the bag, shoes, and jewelry to go with it. By getting an early start you’ll have the very best selection.  You might also be able to get the best price because retailers aren’t yet trying to hone in on formal event demand, like they will when prom is right around the corner.
  • Make sure the bag is large enough to carry everything she’ll need that night. (See Part 2.) Function, then form.
  • Be the voice of reason when it comes to the shoes. She may love a pair of three inch high heels, but they may not be age appropriate. Worse, she’ll be totally miserable in them within thirty minutes on the night of the dance.
  • Where jewelry is concerned, let her have fun! It’s not something we get to go crazy with on a daily basis.
  • Have her decide what she’d like her hair, makeup, and nails to look like.
  • Set a transportation plan for the evening. Keep in mind that teenagers often consider a formal dance the ideal excuse to ride in a limo. If this is going to be the case, go ahead and book the limo because they will become scarce closer to the date of the dance.

Next read Part 2 – The countdown

Tips for Misbehaving Pets

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

Pets are like members of our families. If your dog or cat is being destructive or having accidents in inappropriate places of the home; there could be a reason for the bad behavior and most likely you can correct it.

Puppies and kittens are of course supposed to be rambunctious. However if your furry friend is constantly misbehaving take a look into their daily lives and decide if they are getting enough play time. Dogs and cats should have play time each day. They need special attention at least once a day (minimum). Figure out what time works best for your schedule and start penciling play time in every day.  Right before bedtime is a bad time to play, because it gets their adrenaline up and may take a couple hours to calm down after playing. Before dinner is a good time to take thirty minutes and get down on the floor for some special playtime together as a family.

Dogs and cats are typically destructive because they are bored. Make sure they have toys readily available. It is also a good idea to have two dogs or two cats. This way they can play with one another throughout the day. Dogs need to have tug ropes they can toss around and at least one ball that they can chase. Cats need scratching post. If your home lacks a scratching post, they will scratch other things like furniture or walls. Little balls with bells inside and fake mice are great kitty toys!

Dogs need to be a walked once a day. Two walks a day is even better; one in the morning and one in the evening. This allows them to get out of the house and explore the neighborhood. Dogs love to smell everything. This allows them to get their curiosity fix for the day. Daily walks also keeps their nails trimmed. Walking on the sidewalk automatically files their nails down. If your dog’s nails require trimming every couple a weeks, you may not be walking them enough. Start by taking your dog on daily walks and notice the difference in their mood and nails.

Playing and walking your pets once a day will make a big difference in their quality of life. Make sure you are doing your part to keep them happy and healthy!