About Dean Howell

Dean Howell is president of MODA Floors & Interiors, a flooring and window coverings resource and showroom in Atlanta, GA.

Which Type of Hardwood Flooring Should You Choose?

Photo: Shaw Floors

Installing hardwood flooring is an easy way to improve the look, durability and value of your home. Consider these factors before deciding on whether you prefer solid or engineered hardwood flooring.

The location of your hardwood flooring basically falls into three categories:
  1. On Grade – at ground level.
  2. Above Grade – any second level or higher.
  3. Below Grade – any floor below ground level, including basements or sunken living rooms.

Traditional solid hardwood flooring is not well suited for below-grade installations due to the possibility of moisture issues. The construction of an engineered hardwood gives it enhanced structural stability that allows it to be installed at any grade level when a moisture barrier such as Selitac Thermally Insulating Underlayment or Silent Step Ultra 3 in 1 is used during installation.

What type of subfloor do you have?
If you plan to install over concrete, you must use an engineered product to ensure structural integrity. Solid wood flooring or engineered flooring may be used over plywood, existing wood floors or OSB subfloors. Be sure to refer to Shaw’s installation guidelines for specifics on subfloor requirements.
Will there be moisture in the room?
If you’re considering flooring for a bathroom where continuous moisture is expected, you will want to select a product other than hardwood. While the moisture resistance of an engineered hardwood makes it suitable for rooms below grade or ground level when installed with a moisture barrier, it’s not advisable to install any hardwood flooring in a bathroom.
Source: Shaw Floors

Druid Hills: Modern Living in a Century-Old Neighborhood

Druid Hills Tour HomeDon’t you love spring? Trees are blooming, perennials are pushing their heads up from winter sleep, and home tours are bursting out all over Atlanta. One of our favorites is the Druid Hills Tour of Homes and Gardens, which is scheduled April 12-14, 2019. The six homes and one garden showcase the work of master architects, interior designers, general contractors, and landscape designers.

The homes include a 1918 traditional home with a small goat farm in the back, a 1923 bungalow whose owners are avid folk art collectors, a 1919 house with its own ghosts, a 1924 replica of an Italian villa, and a contemporary home with moldings, fireplaces, and herringbone floors that give a nod to the historic neighborhood.

Sponsored by the Druid Hills Civic Association, the tour will benefit historic preservation and green space restoration. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 on tour weekend. Go here to learn more.

What design ideas have you picked up from previous home tours?

Get Revved Up For Your New Kitchen

We all know that the kitchen is the heart and soul of the home. It’s the spot for cooking, socializing and keeping an eye on the kids while they’re completing their homework. But it also can be one of the most difficult remodeling projects to undertake due to the number of decisions that must be made. From choosing the best countertop material to selecting your preferred flooring to picking out a fabulous backsplash, it can be a time-consuming (but enjoyable) part of the remodeling process.

The next Junior League of Atlanta Tour of Kitchens can offer you design inspiration for your new kitchen. Scheduled Saturday, March 23 (10 a.m.-4 p.m.) and Sunday, March 25 (11 a.m.-5 p.m.), the self-guided tour features 14 of Atlanta’s finest residential kitchens as well as culinary demonstrations in some of the homes.

Tickets are available for $35 online until March 22. Tour tickets can be purchased for $40 at the homes on tour days. To download the program, go to https://www.jlatlanta.org/tour-of-kitchens/.

Let the Home Tours Begin!

Although we are a big fan of many of the televised home improvement programs, there is something special about seeing homes up close to view all the details and really appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into them. That’s why spring is one of our favorite seasons.

The Inman Park Tour of Homes, taking place in Atlanta’s first planned suburb, can serve as a stepping-off point for your next decorating or remodeling project. Advance tickets for the self-conducted tour are $20.

Which beautiful homes and buildings can you see? Constructed of Stone Mountain granite by Willis Franklin Denny II, the Inman Park Methodist Church features a large stained glass window commissioned by Asa Candler of Coca-Cola fame as a tribute to his mother. There is a lovingly restored 1890 Queen Anne Victorian home, a three-story Carriage House, an 1896 English-cottage style house, and a classic Sears mail-order bungalow constructed in 1914. Also included on the tour is a craftsman bungalow built in 1909 from a plan by Leila Ross Wilburn, one of the first women architects in Georgia.

The Inman Park Festival and Tour of Homes will take place April 26-28, 2019. For more information, go to InmanParkFestival.org.

What is your favorite home tour?

Keep Your Area Rugs Looking Great

Regular care and upkeep will keep your area rugs looking great and your home looking as beautiful, stylish and unique as ever. Here are some maintenance tips.

  • Don’t avoid walking on your area rugs.
  • Vacuum or sweep your rug as you would wall-to-wall carpeting.
  • Rotate your rug 180 degrees every few months, or every year, depending on the traffic patterns.
  • All parts of the rug should be exposed to an equal amount of traffic so that the pile wears evenly.
  • A water spill should be dried immediately with a hairdryer set on a warm temperature.
  • Have your rug washed by a professional every two to five years, depending on the amount of traffic on the rug.
  • Do not take your rug to general carpet-cleaning companies.
  • Consult with your retailer about the proper padding to be placed under your rug.
  • If the rug is to be stored for a long time in a place without exposure to light or air, first vacuum or sweep it.
  • When considering repairing a rug, factor in the cost of repair in comparison to the value of the rug.

 

Caring for Luxury Vinyl Flooring

A few easy steps and regular maintenance will help keep your luxury vinyl tile and planks looking great for years to come!

Learn maintenance tips in this video.