Top 4 Tips to Minimize and Prevent Hurricane Damage to your Home

Written by Dolphin Blogger on . Posted in Floors, Hints, Tips and Advice, Vinyl

With Hurricane Florence still underway, the busier-than-usual 2018 hurricane season is officially upon us. If you were fortunate enough to be unaffected this time, you may be wondering what the future has in store.

Luckily, you don’t simply have to wait and wonder. You can take actionable steps now toward preparing your home for the worst. There are many ways in which you can prepare your home for hurricane season, and we’ve gathered together some of the more important tips we’ve gathered over the years living on the Southern tip of Florida.

  1. Tighten the lid & secure your roof

Your home’s roof is its lid – underneath is the largest potential opening on your house, which is the last place you want to expose to wind and water.

If you’re re-roofing, it would be wise to invest a little extra in sealant for the roof deck, whether that be waterproof tape to place over the seams or full coverage with a waterproof membrane. Here in Florida, as in a few other states, we’re required to have our roofs attached to the walls of our homes with metal straps. In other places, roofs simply sit on top of homes, held down by gravity alone.

For existing roofs, ensure that all shingles and tiles are securely in place, with none cracked, damaged or missing.

  1. Batten down the hatches & seal windows and doors

The next most vulnerable part of your home are the smaller openings – windows and doorways. Some simple protection can prevent breaching, and in some cases earn you a lower insurance premium. Check with your provider to see what measure you can take to lower your payments.

Some common ways to secure windows include:

  • Clear plastic hurricane film: This is a non-intrusive way to hold your glass panel in place even if it shatters, and is extremely affordable. The downside? It’s not the sturdiest option.
  • Plywood or other panels: This option is also inexpensive, and very effective at keeping your window in place. While you run the risk of blocking out all exterior light in the event of a power outage, you have options – panels can be made from various types of metal, fabric, or other composites. Just be sure to drill holes in advance so you can screw them in quickly!
  • Storm shutters: Permanent shutters are your best option – they’re more attractive and can be used year-round, and can let in some light if needed. However, this is your most expensive option, so be ready to invest.

In addition to outer window coverings, invest in some high-impact glass if you’re able. These panes look and act like standard windows, with the benefit of being impact-resistant.

Secure your doors in the same way as you would windows – brace all glass panes, and make sure that they’re securely attached. 3 hinges are better than two, and no screws should be loose or missing.

Mohawk SolidTech waterproof flooring

Mohawk SolidTech flooring installed in a beachside home. These durable waterproof floors are ideal for standing up to ocean moisture and gritty sand.

3. Minimize flood damage with waterproof flooring

Flooding is the most common natural disaster, and can have one of the largest impacts on your property. As much as you do to secure roofs, windows and doors, you may be unable to prevent water from penetrating the interior your home – especially if you’re dealing with a high storm surge.

With that in mind, the best you can hope for is minimal damage to your home’s interior. One key consideration is your flooring – this is where water will sit and get absorbed, saturating past the surface and causing irreversible swelling, mildew and more.

You can minimize this damage with 100% waterproof flooring. A few such products are Mohawk’s SolidTech high performance flooring, Mohawk Revwood+ and COREtec by USFloors. These floors are each waterproof, stainproof, and come in a variety of detailed and realistic wood-look, stone and ceramic tile designs.

Mohawk was able to demonstrate how well SolidTech holds up against real hurricane waters during the unfortunate events of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. A Cooking School in Houston with SolidTech in its kitchen was flooded. However, after the storm the planks were removed, the subfloor underneath was cleaned, and the floor was able to be reinstalled, damage-free.

Taking the steps to invest in a waterproof floor today can save you a fortune on repairs in the future.

Mohawk SolidTech reinstallation

Mohawk SolidTech being re-installed after withstanding flood damage during Hurricane Harvey in Houston, 2017.

4. Declutter your outdoor spaces

Once you’ve done all you can to secure the interior and exterior of your home, you shouldn’t forget your yard!

If you’re aware in advance that a heavy storm is approaching, store or tie down any loose objects. This can include, but is certainly not limited to, any of the following:

  • Lawn furniture
  • Potted plants
  • Children’s toys
  • Doghouses
  • Grills & BBQs
  • Bicycles

Any of these can easily be picked up and tossed around by wind, creating deadly airborne missiles that can crash through windows and walls and create openings for water.

The same goes for loose tree branches – keep your trees well-trimmed. Clear any dead sections or broken limbs that could come loose and go flying. If needed, you may want to hire a tree removal service to ensure the job is done thoroughly. Finally, it’s a good idea to clear your gutters of any debris.

As much as you prepare your home, don’t forget to take care of yourself and your family. It may be wise to evacuate once you’ve done all you can to secure your property, and travel to an area more inland until the worst of the storm has passed.

Stay safe this hurricane season! – The Dolphin Carpet & Tile Family

Choosing the right flooring for your home gym

Written by Dolphin Blogger on . Posted in Area Rugs, Carpet, Design and Decorating, Floors, Hardwood, Hints, Tips and Advice, Tile and Natural Stone, Tips and Advice, Vinyl

Looking to furnish your home gym with just the right flooring?

Having home gym can be a great way to save time & money – it’s always open when you want it to be, and it’s a space to work on your fitness in private.

If you’re considering designing a home gym of your own, or simply looking to spruce up your current gym with new flooring, then you’ll want to choose floors that are just the right combination of safe and functional.

There are many options for gym floors, each with pros and cons.  You can tile a gym floor, put down industrial carpet, or even lay hardwood.  Your decision should be based on your space, the type of equipment you use, and how you want your space to fit into the overall design of your home.

Before you make a decision, consider the safety, durability, functionality & maintenance of different gym flooring options so you don’t have to take a leap of faith with your decision.

Safety

When you think about safety, consider the types of exercises are you going to be doing, how experienced you are, and the type of equipment that will be going into your space.

Carpet is one option. A rubber-soled cross-trainer shoe will have a sufficient amount of traction on a carpet surface, greatly lowering your chances of a tumble. Furthermore, the natural cushion of carpeting provides just enough of a barrier between your equipment and the ground to prevent damage.

Be sure to choose a carpet with a lower pile – too much cushion could also result in injury. Commercial or industrial carpet would be your best bet.

There are various hard surface flooring types that we also recommend. Hardwood, laminate & luxury vinyl all  offers a bit of give and can be easier to keep clean. They also feature an attractive, inviting look. You can pair wood flooring with rubber-soled rugs & mats that will grip the floor and give certain areas in your home gym a bit more cushion.

Durability

When considering the durability factor, you have options.

Carpeting provides just enough give in case a piece of heavy equipment is dropped, making it a solid choice. Tile, though durable as well, is also hard and rigid. One slip can cause a serious crack in the flooring, it may not be suited for spaces where you’ll be doing heavier weight training.

Typically your best option is a type of flooring that holds up to lots of movement and deals well with stains. A carpet with a thicker yarn construction will be able to hold up against the pounding and accumulation of sweat that’s inevitable when you’re getting your fitness on! You can also choose from a variety of luxury vinyl tile and laminate options that are designed specifically to resist stains of all kinds!

Both vinyl & laminate flooring are available in attractive wood looks that will give your home gym the warm and welcoming vibe you need to get motivated to sweat!

Functionality

Whether your exercise routine consists of cardio, weight training or calisthenics, you need to consider the functionality of your flooring. Carpet, unlike tile, is inviting. If your program requires you to get down onto the floor it has just enough cushion and support to provide some comfort.

Traditional ceramic can be cold, it is most certainly hard, and is generally much less inviting. A gym space should be a welcoming space to encourage you to work out often. Instead, opt for a softer laminate or luxury vinyl tile in the warm look of natural stone or hardwood.

You may also see real hardwood in your fitness center for aerobics classes, but this type of surface tends to wear easily and could require a special sub-flooring for safety, which adds to your overall cost.

Maintenance

After you have made your choice in flooring, maintaining the cleanliness will ensure an enjoyable fitness space.

To keep bacteria buildup to a minimum, start with a quality dust mop & vacuum cleaner. Weekly cleaning will stave off the accumulation of dust, especially if your routine includes exercises performed on the floor. Be sure to address the nooks and crannies in and around gym equipment as these hard to reach areas tend to accumulate the most amount of dust.

If you go with carpet, shampooing is a less frequent but equally important option. This will also keep any unwanted smells and stains from taking away from the overall experience of working out at home.

Conclusion

When it comes to furnishing your home gym, a carpet with a very short pile is definitely our top recommendation flooring for you. It is safe, durable, functional and relatively easy to maintain. If you’d prefer a hard surface, try a laminate, vinyl or hardwood paired with mats & rugs throughout the room. We carry all types of carpet, hardwood & area rug options to suit your fitness needs!

Flooring Trends To Try This Year

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Floors

When designing the interior of a room you should never forget about the floors. According to the experts, the right flooring can bring both function and style to any space. Since flooring can make a very big impact, when shopping for flooring it’s essential to select a material that’s durable and stylish. After all, you want your home to be stylish for a lifetime.

These days there are increased innovative flooring solution. New flooring trends place emphasis on sustainable and natural materials. If you’re set on swapping out your flooring now is the time to do so.

Below are some of the top flooring trends this year.

Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo flooring has been around for several decades but it’s been becoming increasingly popular this year in a plethora of colors and styles. Traditionally, bamboo is much harder than hardwood especially when. It’s dried. However, new bamboo flooring products have been engineered to be straight woven making it twice as hard. Such bamboo flooring products have been manufactured in wide wooden planks that simulate the look of hardwood floors.

Reclaimed Hardwood

Reclaimed wood also known as antique wood has become popular because it adds character to space. Reclaimed wood is classic and gives off that hand hewn look. The best part about this manufactured style is that it saves you from having to pay the hefty cost of salvaged timber to create this look.

Luxury Vinyl

In recent years, vinyl has come a long way. Luxury vinyl has made its way to the forefront because it can actually simulate the appearance of popular and expensive flooring options. Luxury vinyl has been produced in many different colors and textures. Unlike other types of flooring, vinyl is softer to walk on and it can withstand spills and heavy traffic from pets and kids.

Cork

Cork flooring has expanded its color palette over the last few years. Cork had some amazing benefits. Cork serves a great insulator and it has great acoustic properties making it perfect for individuals that live in apartments or condos.

Before you make the finish decision it’s best to go and look at samples of trendy flooring options.

Flooring Upgrades that Increase Home Value

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Floors

Whether you are moving or redecorating your home, upgrading the flooring is a perfect way to increase the value of your home. Keep in mind that upgrading your floors is always a good thing, but various flooring types increase the value more than others. Go ahead and start increasing the value of your largest investment, your home!

Here are some tips that will not only fit your budget, they will fit your design esthetic:

• Vinyl Flooring– Average cost $ 2.00 – $ 4.00 square foot. With new technology, vinyl floors are quite the rage now. With improved printing processes, vinyl really looks like hardwood and tile. Vinyl plank flooring is installed by the individual planks, just like hardwood. Consider luxury vinyl tile (LVT), it is durable with amazing style. Don’t forget, if you live in a high-end community and are planning on selling your home, buyers will want top of the line products like hardwood.

• Tile – Average cost $ 2.00 – $ 5.00 square foot. The toughest residential tile is color porcelain tile. If you have children and animals, tile is your best bet. It is water resistant and does not succumb to scratches. Tile is also beautiful and stylish. If you choose neutral colors like gray and beige, they will mesh beautifully with your decorating style and other flooring.

• Natural Stone – Average cost $ 3.00 – $ 9.00 square foot. Travertine, slate and other natural stones are stylish, durable and timeless. Not to mention, they are perfect for indoor and outdoor use. Natural stone is a product that blends well with other décor and flooring. It comes from the earth and has been around forever, and will continue to be popular!

• Hardwood Floors – Average cost $ 4.00 – $ 10.00 square foot. Home buyers will pay more for hardwoods, because they are beautiful and timeless. Harwood’s offer many species and styles, even though they scratch. You can choose from Oak, Pine, Maple, Brazilian Cherry, Hickory, and many more. Harwood’s are easy on your back and feet, compared to tile floors, plus they are easier to clean than carpet. Hardwoods are the “king” of floors!

Please let us know your plans for upgrading your floors, while boosting the current value of your home!

Carpet Shopping Tips

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Floors

On the hunt for new wall to wall carpeting? Purchasing the right carpet involves so much more than just finding a style and color that you’re in love with. In fact, you’ll have to consider a number of important factors. It’s best to research the options available to you before you head to your local flooring store. This will ensure that you get the best bang for your buck.

When shopping for a carpet you must first think of function. You’ll have to think about factors such as:

In what room will this carpet be installed?
Does the room receive heavy or light traffic?
Will the carpet be installed near outdoor spaces?
Will I be able to keep up with the required maintenance?

The answers to these questions are essential because it helps you determine what fiber, color and texture carpet you should install.

Compare Shades and Patterns
There are literally hundreds of thousands of carpets featuring different colors, patterns, and styles that makes the carpet selection process overwhelming. If you’re having trouble settling on a shade you can narrow it done by selecting a shade that matches the overall mood and tone of the room it’s going to be installed in. Greens and lighter shades of blue can have a calming effect, while darker hues are great for masking the inevitable.

Warm tones such as red and gold will open up space. However, before you make the final decision be sure to take home a sample so that you can see how it will look in a specific room especially in natural light.

Maintenance Requirements
You should be well informed of the maintenance a carpet will require before you make the decision to buy it. If you have children or pets you’ll want to steer clear from high-end carpets and fibers that are hard to clean. Instead, opt for carpets that are stain resistant. Highly textured rugs will conceal footprints and tracks from the vacuum cleaner.

Don’t Go Over Budget
Found a carpet that you really like but you just can’t afford it? Well, even luxury carpet doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Come see us, we would love to help you can find a carpet that fits your budget, lifestyle and that you’ll absolutely love.

Five Advantages of Laminate Flooring

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Floors

So you are finally ready to update the flooring in your home. While new flooring can transform spaces, comparing flooring to determine what is best suited for your home can be a pain. If you’re interested in flooring that’s attractive yet affordable; laminate flooring may be a great option for you. Here are five reasons why.

  1. Super durable

Perhaps the greatest feature of laminate flooring is its durability. Laminate has a tough exterior, with a resin coating making it resistant to scratches and heavy impact. When compared to vinyl, hardwood and other types of flooring, laminate lasts much longer. The surface makes it ideal for homes that experience a lot of traffic such as households with children and pets.

Also, many manufacturers offer an extended warranty on laminate flooring products that provides protection against water damage, stains and fading.

  1. Style and Versatility

Laminate flooring can simulate the look of your favorite types of flooring including hardwood, stone and a plethora of other finishes. Laminate tiles are available in many different colors, plank styles and thickness. The variety of hues and patterns allows homeowners to match the room style to they’re floors.

Laminate floor products are extremely easy to install. They can be installed over pre-existing sub floors as well uninstalled when it’s time for an update. In addition, laminate floors don’t require adhesive. The simple installation process saves both time and money.

  1. Affordable Pricing

Laminate floor products are inexpensive, especially when compared to hardwood and stone flooring products. There is laminate flooring available for every price range. Although, laminate is cheap it doesn’t fall short of quality. When you take into consideration the longevity of laminate floor it is the best economical choice.

  1. Easy maintenance

Forget about the expensive cleaning products and services. Laminate floors are easy to maintain. They can be cleaned with a simple cleaning solution and standard cleaning products available on the market today.

  1. Environmentally friendly

Since laminate floors are derived from wood by wood products which means that it doesn’t use harvested or endangered tree species. Unlike other types of flooring, laminate does not trap dust particles and other allergens.

Carpet or Hardwood For Bedrooms?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Floors

Are you building a new home, a first time or move up buyer, or simply renovating your current home? The bedroom is your personal oasis and should reflect your style and taste. Often, we are guilty of choosing the perfect paint color, bed, bedding and furniture, but overlook flooring. Technically, choosing your flooring should be one of the first choices you should make. Think of the process as building from the ground up.

In your bedroom, the first thing your feet touch in the morning is the floor, and the last thing they touch in the evening. Floor choices will depend on design, taste and individual life style. Think about your daily life, do you only use the bedroom for sleep, or do you spend a lot of time in your bedroom? Do you have small children? Do you have pets? Do you take meals in the bedroom?

• Carpet – Carpet is still very popular for bedroom flooring. Carpet is soft and cozy with many styles, designs and colors. The choice of carpet padding affects the softness under your feet, while insulating and keeping your feet warm. Carpet is also an excellent choice for sound proofing, especially if the bedroom is upstairs. Some drawbacks for carpet are they get dirty quickly, hold dirt/dander and require frequent cleaning. Carpet is also less expensive than hardwoods, but not as durable and must be replaced periodically.

• Hardwood – Hardwood is a popular choice for it’s inherent beauty and style. Hardwood offers many choices based on type, design and color whether traditional, pre-finished or distressed looking hardwood. To soften the look and feel of the bedroom, placing an area rug in the bedroom is always an option. This allows you to add an additional design element of color, texture and defines the space especially for a large bedroom. Some drawbacks of hardwood floors are they scratch, offer very little padding, do not insulate and can be noisy. Something else to keep in mind is that hardwood does increase the value of the home.

Please let us know if you made the right decision for you and your home. We love to hear from you!

Considering the Advantages and Disadvantages of Flooring

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Floors

Selecting appropriate flooring for your home is no easy task. It requires much more than just deciding what products simply compliments the interior of your house. Durability, costs, materials are additional factors that influence the decision making process. In this article, we’ll consider both the advantages and disadvantages of the most popular flooring options.

Laminate Floors
Laminate floors are a synthetic flooring product that can be found in homes all over the country. What are some of the advantages of having laminate flooring in your home? Laminate floors are super durable. It has tough external layer that is coated with resin which makes the flooring products scratch and impact resistant. Laminate is the perfect flooring option for homes with children. While the benefits of laminate floors are numerous it does have it’s disadvantages. Once laminate becomes heavily worn it cannot be refinished instead you’ll be forced to purchase new flooring. The worst thing about laminate floor products is that water can cause it to swell and buckle. Also, laminate flooring does not add to the resale value of your home.

Carpet Flooring
Perhaps the biggest benefit of having carpet flooring is that it is the most comfortable type of flooring. Carpet can provide additional insulation. Carpet flooring is flexible because they are available in a variety of colors and patterns that add dimensions and warmth to any room. However, carpet has many disadvantages. It requires a lot of maintenance. Carpet is sensitive to moisture and stains. Professional help is necessary to keep carpeted floors in optimal condition.

Vinyl Flooring
Much like laminate floor, vinyl flooring is durable. It’s comfortable to walk on and perfect for households that experience a lot of traffic. Maintaining and installing vinyl is easy to install. You can purchase vinyl flooring in all types of patterns and simulations of natural wood. While vinyl is durable it is susceptible to damage by sharp objects. Constant exposure to sunlight can cause vinyl floor to fade and wither which is why vinyl flooring is not suggested for outdoor spaces.

Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood floor products is manufactured in many different shades and colors. The color tones can be easily updated by refinishing the surface. Hardwood floors can dramatically add to the resale value of your home. Since hardwood floors are derived from natural materials it can be relatively expensive. Also, hardwood requires occasional waxing to keep its shine.

A New Take on Laminate

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Floors

Laminate is no longer just a counter top material, as it was in the past. With new technology in the manufacturing business, companies have found a way to use this material as an affordable alternative to real wood and other types of flooring. This material is very durable and scratch resistant. Read on and find out if this solution is right for you!

First you need to know what laminate flooring is actually made of. There are several layers to this material, which makes it stronger and more durable.

The top layer (which gives it the strength) is melamine resin. Melamine resin is a durable material used in affordable cabinetry. The resin has been treated with high levels of heat, which in turns gives it durability and scratch resistant properties.

The surface of laminate, the part you can see, is a high quality photograph of a particular type of flooring, most commonly wood. The melamine resin is basically a clear coat that is applied on top of the photograph; which is how it is protected from wear.

The core is typically made of high density fiber board. In most cases there is also a layer of plastic, on the bottom, which helps protect the material from moisture.

There are several styles of laminate flooring you can choose from. Read on to find out which type may be right for you.

Embossed surfaces are raised and resemble tile. Normally they are cut into square or rectangular strips. Generally speaking this type of flooring has a very textured look.

Smooth laminate is a kind of flooring that closely resembles ceramic or marble floors.

Patina is the newest type of laminate flooring on the market. This style tends to look like distressed wood, textured natural stone or antiqued metal.

Distressed laminate is also relatively new on the scene. It usually looks like rough sawn or hand planked wood.

Chances are if you are in need of an attractive floor, which is durable and cost effective; this is the material for you. It is available in so many types and styles that the options are basically endless!

8 Unique and Stylish Flooring Ideas

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Floors

We think you’ll absolutely love these suggestions! If you think standard or conservative flooring designs are beautiful, but don’t feel quite like they match your personality, you’re sure to find something intriguing on this list.

  1. Using tape to outline a faux rug on a solid color floor. Say what? Yes, we know it sounds odd but people are doing it and loving it. Talk about versatility! You can pull it up and redesign as often as you like. If you’re not very concerned about versatility but you love this idea, go ahead and use paint instead of tape.

  2. Tinted wood floors. These are far more subtle than painted wood but still provide you with the opportunity to blend in a little color. Indigo, for example is a beautiful tint on a floor and it hides dirt really well.

  3. Polished cement floors. So chic and understated. Looks good in many different environments, such as a city loft or rustic kitchen.

  4. Floral floor tile designs. This is adorable in any room that is very feminine or botanical. To achieve, mix and match hexagonal tiles to create a pattern that looks like you have big beautiful flowers all over the floor.

  5. Weathered wide plank floors. These have tons of character because of their age and size. Perfect in masculine settings or country homes.

  6. Patterned wood floors. Accomplished by using planks all one color, and the staining them in a pattern. Similar to the way tile floors mix tiles to create shapes. So, staining sections of the wood in the shape of multiple squares for example. You can also do stenciled wood floors using a stencil and contrasting color finish.

  7. Antique tiles from around the world. This would require you to be very good at scavenger hunts in order to compile a collection of coordinating tiles large enough to cover a floor. But it sure looks amazing when it’s done.

  8. High gloss wood. This is very glamorous, but also tricky to maintain. So don’t go for this idea unless you are a neat freak!