Care and Maintenance of Luxury Vinyl Tile

Luxury vinyl tile comes in a variety of styles, shapes and colors. The different types of styles include:

  • Planks
  • Tiles
  • Wood looks
  • Decorative borders
  • Geometrics
  • Tile and stone looks
  • Grout option or no grout option
  • Overall patterns

An advantage to Luxury Vinyl Flooring is the ability to install modular patterns. Different tiles can be combined, different planks can be combined as well as tiles and planks can be combined.

Floors should never be flooded with water or be allowed to have standing water. This can loosen the adhesive.

Care should be taken with heavy furniture and appliances. Furniture protectors should be used that are at least two inches in diameter. The hard and small buttons sometimes found on the bottom of chairs and other pieces of furniture should be removed. High-heeled shoes also apply here.

Protect the floors from dirt and grit that can be tracked in by using walk-off mats at every entrance. Don’t use rubber-backed mats. Certain rubber compounds can permanently stain vinyl.

Never use vinegar, acetone or lacquer thinner to clean these floors.

For extreme staining like nail polish, paint, dye and permanent markers, try applying fingernail polish remover that contains acetone (but is not pure acetone) with a soft cloth and gently rub.

Spills should be removed immediately.

Sweep, dust mop or vacuum the floor on a regular basis.

Stubborn rubber heel marks can be removed with a soft cloth dampened with mineral spirits.

When the floor gets build up, consult the manufacturer’s recommended cleaner system to see if a stripper is available.

Measuring and Installing Window Coverings

    Window covering products must be measured precisely for a successful installation. This often seems easier than it actually is. Each window covering product has its own installation method and if they are installed incorrectly, they will not operate properly.

    Different window covering products require different measurements for an accurate installation. Small measuring errors can result in the window covering not operating properly; unwanted light shining through on the sides, top or bottom; or the covering not fitting the window casing at all.

    Since no two window openings will be exactly the same size, you should measure every window. Only specialty or odd-shaped windows require making a template in the measurement process.

    Different window covering products require different measurements for an accurate installation. Window sheers can be installed with an inside or outside mount depending on the window molding and sill construction. The depth of the window casing determines whether or not a window covering can be installed with an inside mount. Mounting bracket sizes vary so this must be checked accurately.

     An outside mounted window covering should be considered if you would like the window covering to completely clear the window when open, allowing for more light or a better view. This product is often desirable on patio doors.

    For an inside mount the installer will first check to make sure the inside top of the window casing is level. If necessary, the installer will level the headrail using shims.

    An inside mounted window covering houses the window covering inside the window casing.  An outside mounted window covering fits around or outside the window casing.

    With an inside/outside mount the mounting bracket and headrail are installed inside the window casing, but they are not fully recessed. Thus, a portion of the headrail will not be completely flush with the face of the window.

Photo: Hunter Douglas

Stain Removal Tips

Oops, sorry! We all know accidents can happen. Especially as we invite more guests into our homes over the holidays. If you notice a stain on your flooring, act quickly! Delaying may cause the spill to become a permanent stain.

Here are a few helpful maintenance tips.

  • Blot liquids with a dry, white absorbent cloth or white paper towels. Gently scrape up semi-solids with a rounded spoon. Break up solids and vacuum.
  • Pretest any spot removal solution (for color transfer to the cloth or damage to the carpet) in an inconspicuous area. If a change occurs, select another solution.
  • Apply a small amount of the solution to a white cloth, and work it in gently (do not rub), working from the edges of the spill to the center to prevent spreading. Allow it to remain on the spill a few minutes. Be patient. Blot.
  • Continue to use the first agent as long as there is a transfer of the spill to the cloth. Be patient. Complete removal may require repeating the same step several times. Or, you may need to move to the next solution.
  • When the spill is completely removed, rinse the area with cold water; blot with a dry cloth until all moisture is removed.
  • A dry, absorbent, cleaning compound may be used as a substitute to minimize drying time.
  • Residue Precautions: Many spot removal solutions leave residues in the carpet that may attract soil. Thoroughly rinse the area several times with lukewarm tap water. A mist-type sprayer is recommended to prevent overwetting. Blot with paper towels and pat dry after each rinse. Several rinses are often necessary to thoroughly remove residues. Never use any of the solutions in concentrations stronger than those recommended.

For a comprehensive stain guide, go to https://www.modafloorsandinteriors.com/stainguide.

What’s Your Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dish?

Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays each year. It’s the time when we gather with friends and family to celebrate all the good things in our lives, including food. This year, are you preparing all the food yourself, catering the meal or asking guests to bring a favorite side dish?

According to Grill Cook Bake and The Daily Meal, it turns out that where you live often determines which side dishes you prefer. Based on Google research, the top side dish for Georgia — along with most of the East Coast — was macaroni and cheese. In all, 10 states prefer mac ‘n’ cheese, which equaled the number of states that picked mashed potatoes. Midwesterners love their green bean casserole, and no New England table is complete without Parker House rolls.

Which side dishes get top marks nationally?

1-Mashed potatoes and gravy

2-Thanksgiving stuffing made with bread and herbs

3-Macaroni and cheese

4-Rolls

5-Cranberry sauce

After saying farewell to your guests, you may notice a few stains on your carpet. Here is a link to a brief video MODA Floors & Interiors and Johnny Loggins of Clene Start prepared on how to get several types of spills out of your carpet.

Now, equally important, what are you having for dessert?

Jazz Up Your Home With A New Area Rug

Choosing the best area rug for your home is really about knowing the right combination of characteristics, aesthetics, performance and budget to best meet the needs of your lifestyle.

Size and Shape:

  • Rugs are available in different sizes and in different shapes.
  • The most common sizes are 2’x3’, 4’x6’, 5’x8’, 6’x9’, 8’x10’ and up. Custom sizes are also available.
  • Shapes – rectangle, round, square, oval, octagon or runners.
  • Choose the correct size depending on the dimensions of the room or space.
  • Measure the size of your room and measure the space you want covered.
  • Place pieces of paper where each of the corners will fall.
  • Adjust the “corners” as needed to make the space larger or smaller.
  • Re-measure the area.
  • To cover the majority of the room, leave a 12”-15” border.
  • Under the dining table, select a rug that is large enough so that when seated at the table the back legs of the chairs are on the rug with enough space to push back and get up from the table.

Color:

  • Think outside the box.
  • Vital element – machine made or handmade.
  • Select a rug with colors to visually enhance the decor.
  • The rug colors don’t have to match other colors in the room.
  • Choose colors that either contrast or complement a color scheme.

Pattern:

  • Pattern is the way lines are used to form shapes on a rug.
  • They are divided into three categories: curvilinear, geometric and pictorial.
  • Woven with curving lines (curvilinear) or straight lines (geometric).
  • Pictorial refers to rugs that portray people and/or animals.

Need help selecting the perfect area rug for your room? Please visit our showroom and talk with one of our dedicated project consultants.

Photo: Shaw Floors

10 Home Design Trends in 2021

As we hunkered down at home during the pandemic, we had the opportunity to look around and observe the things we liked and disliked about our dwellings. The demand for home improvement projects surged. So did home prices. With life hopefully returning to a more normal state, we are seeing certain trends that occurred as a result of our spending so much time at home. Will they continue during the second half of 2021 and even show up in 2022? What do you think?

  • Even when the pandemic is over, there still will be a lot of people working from home. Working from your kitchen table didn’t seem so bad … at first. But as time went on, we craved a dedicated home office space. Newly created nooks and remodeled basements and guest bedrooms became our go-to spots.
  • Forget the clutter. More people are gravitating toward kitchen designs that incorporate storage for all sorts of appliances. Think custom storage and drawer pullouts for microwaves, toasters and coffee pots.
  • Many designers say homeowners are becoming more open to deep, dark pops of color in their home design. Adding pops of a deep color in small doses can make your space a lot more visually interesting.
  • Towel heaters are taking their place in bathrooms because they dry up your towels quickly, which means you don’t have to wash them nearly as often.
  • Pocket doors (rather than barn doors) are increasing in popularity because they don’t block an entire wall and can create a better seal for privacy.
  • Free standing soaking tubs, big rain showers and bidets help you create an in-home bathroom oasis.
  • While the open floorplan isn’t disappearing anytime soon, installing sliding doors, partitions and soundproofing create privacy for family members.
  • Outdoor spaces have never been more valuable. Consider adding a deck or patio, building a pergola, enclosing a porch or upgrading your old patio furniture.
  • An outdoor kitchen can be as elaborate or as modest as you like. Some homeowners may simply add an outdoor refrigerator and dining area to the backyard to create an expanded entertaining space. Others may invest in a stovetop, ample counter space and appliances to create a fully equipped outdoor kitchen.
  • Touchless appliances, including motion sensors for lighting and smart temperature control for bathroom floors, are expected to be more popular this year.

What trends are you observing in your community?

Boost Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

Window treatments can go a long way toward boosting your home’s energy efficiency. That’s because compared to insulated walls and ceilings, windows easily allow more heat to escape from a room in winter and more heat to enter a room in summer.

Window treatments help with a home’s energy efficiency by providing insulation, controlling solar heat gain, and by using natural light to reduce the use of electric light (called daylighting), which saves energy. Here’s a look at each—and how they help create your comfort zone.

Providing Insulation (Winter/Cool Climates)

In winter, or if you live in a cool climate, window treatments help insulate at the window, preventing heat from escaping and keeping a room warmer.

Open your window treatments during the day so that free solar heat from direct sunlight will warm your home.

On cloudy winter days, close your window treatments to add an insulating layer to your house that will keep warm air in.

At night, close your window treatments to add that insulating layer.

Controlling Solar Heat Gain (Summer/Warm Climates)

During the day, close your window treatments to prevent the sun’s harsh rays from heating up a room, keeping it cooler (so your A/C doesn’t have to work as hard).

At night, keep your window treatments closed to keep the cool air in.

Using Daylighting

Natural light illuminating a room can make it more inviting, and may even boost your mood at the same time. You can maximize natural light with window treatments that draw it into a room, reducing the need for electric light, which reduces energy use.

Source: Hunter Douglas

11 Things To Consider When Choosing Window Treatments

Choosing the right window treatment for your home might seem overwhelming. But when you consider a few important factors, you’re sure to find the solution that will work best for you and your family.

  • How your space is used helps define the ideal design style for your window treatment. Do you use the space for working, relaxing or entertaining?
  • What feeling or mood do you want to create in the room? Is it soft and elegant, casual and comfortable, classic and traditional or clean and contemporary?
  • Will you be working with electronic screens in the room? This includes televisions, computer monitors or other devices that are sensitive to glare.
  • If there are children or pets in your home, look for a window covering with safety features (such as motorized lift and cordless lift). Are the materials easy to clean and maintain?
  • Is privacy a primary concern? This is a key consideration for bedrooms and bathrooms.
  • What is the window’s exposure? A window with a southern or western exposure can cause fluctuations in temperature within the room. Direct sunlight also can bleach textiles unevenly.
  • How much light control do you need? For maximum shading at your fingertips, consider horizontal or vertical blinds. You can easily redirect the light or change the complexion of a room by rotating or tilting the slats or louvers.
  • If you want to maintain a view, consider the bottom up/top down option.
  • Do you open the window frequently or do you need easy access for cleaning? If you are opening and closing the window often, you may want to consider a lighter blind or shade.
  • Are you comfortable with color? Today’s window treatments are available in a multitude of colors.
  • Be sure to examine the backside of the window covering so you will know how it looks on the outside of your home. Some communities have covenants against visible window coverings in non-neutral colors.

Photo: Hunter Douglas

Choose Pet-Friendly Carpet

Feeling isolated or just craving companionship? While we are working from home, our pets have become our company mascots, sitting at our feet or nudging us playfully to take a break for a short walk. PetPoint, a software program shared by some 1,200 shelters nationwide, reports fostering and adoptions are up 700 percent over last year.

Even when or if we return to on-site work, a survey by Banfield Pet Hospital found that 57 percent of pet owners say they’ll be most happy returning to work if they can bring their pets with them. Additionally, 71 percent of Gen Z’ers and 48 percent of Millennials have or plan to ask their employer to start a pet-friendly policy.

When we renovated our home many years ago, we never imagined that our dog would accompany us to our work space and become an indispensable part of our work routine. So the choices we made during the renovation project weren’t based on our pet’s needs. Here are some things we have learned over time that we wished we had known then.

Look for high-performance carpet to stand up to the wear and tear of active pets. Carpet constructed with nylon fiber is widely considered the most durable and resilient fiber. High-performance polyester is also a good choice due to its inherent stain resistance.

Built-in stain protection provides peace of mind. Since accidents are inevitable, easy-to-clean carpet is a  must. Cleaning any mess as soon as possible will help prevent stains and soiling from damaging the look of your carpet. 

Vacuum your carpet thoroughly to extend the life of your floor. It also helps keep pet hair at bay.

Consider a low-pile style with a textured look. A style with a textured visual or fleck of color can hide dirt or debris tracked in by little paws until you are ready to clean.

Do you have a home office? What type of flooring do you have in it?

Photo: Shaw Floors

How the Pandemic Altered the Way We Live

“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” – Charles Dickens, “A Tale of Two Cities”

If the pandemic has changed the way you feel about your home, you’re not alone. We have missed celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and graduations with friends and family. We long for the time when we can safely travel to the destinations we have been dreaming of. It’s nearing time to replace those well-worn take-out menus with fabulous sit-down meals at our favorite restaurants.

Sequestration has made us realize the true meaning of “home.” It is a place where we can feel safe, comforted and inspired. We have truly learned during this stressful time what we like and dislike about our living spaces.

Here are some of the changes we have been seeing:       

  • During the last 12 months, paint and new furniture have often replaced travel and eating out in family budgets.
  • People who had never bought anything larger than a book online ordered rugs and refrigerators they had never seen in real life. Online Christmas shopping took priority over visiting local malls.
  • Sales for nearly every category of major home appliance were up last year, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. Manufacturers are adding new features that were inspired by the pandemic. Some manufacturers are adding UV lights to refrigerators, either to combat the growth of bacteria in water-filtration systems or to sanitize shelving. Vacuum manufacturers are building HEPA filters into a wider variety of models.
  • One of the least expensive home improvements is a new coat of paint. Paint industry revenue was up 13 percent.
  • The spread of the novel coronavirus unleashed an “unprecedented, never-before-seen-in-modern-times demand for everyday cleaning products,” according to the American Cleaning Institute. As the pandemic unfolded, Lowe’s (as well as other stores) moved cleaning supplies to a more prominent position near the entrance of its stores, so consumers could quickly pick up what they needed.
  • Our homes are no longer just a place to eat, rest and sleep. Many homeowners have transformed some areas into makeshift offices, gyms or movie theatres to better accommodate their lifestyles.
  • While open floor plans aren’t falling entirely out of fashion, they’re no longer as practical and desirable as they once were. People are using everything from divider screens to curtains and partitions to carve out dedicated zones.
  • The demand for private outdoor spaces has increased over the past year. Between travel restrictions and closings of community pool facilities, homeowners are taking the plunge and installing swimming pools, hot tubs and ponds in their backyards. 
  • Homeowners want to work with an outdoor connection. When asked where survey respondents prefer to set up their home offices, one of the most popular choices was at the back of the house with direct access to the yard or patio. 
  • Since people are making fewer trips to grocery stores, pantries will be more necessary than ever. With the rise of the hands-free mindset, kitchens are being designed with voice-activated technology to control light, faucets and appliances.

Do these trends resonate with you? How are you and your community adapting to the “new normal”?

Photo: Shaw Floors