The Ugly Truth About Carpet

In today’s economy everyone is searching for the best bang for their buck.  Homeowners are faced with many difficult choices that are often based on price.  While price is a very important aspect to keep in mind, the health benefits and the versatility of some products often times pay for themselves.

When purchasing a home, one of the largest things you will notice is the flooring.  Carpet was all the rage in the 80’s and 90’s, and is now losing popularity among consumers due to the health issues that it creates and it is not as durable as some alternatives. 

Carpet generally has a lifespan of 10-15 years, depending on how well the homeowner takes care of it.  The maintenance level for carpet is often very high because you have to vacuum regularly and shampoo it to remove any stains.  Having your carpet professionally cleaned can be very expensive and time consuming as you have to allow time for the floor to dry completely before allowing any traffic on it.  With hardwood flooring, you will be able to enjoy your floors for many decades.  It is very durable and is a very low maintenance floor choice.  Spills can be wiped up immediately and no residue is left behind, whereas with carpet you have to purchase harsh cleaning chemicals and hope they will remove the stain.  Hardwood flooring can also be refinished should the finish become damaged.

With allergy season amongst us, another harsh fact about carpet is it traps any airborne dust and micro-bacteria.  Vacuuming alone is not enough to remove the harmful allergens from you carpet because they seep deep into the lowest layer, and often times can’t be removed even when the flooring is professionally cleaned.  Hardwood flooring allows you to see clean.  Particles don’t get trapped on hardwood flooring’s smooth surface and this helps you protect your family from any harmful allergens or pests. 

Design trends are constantly changing, and with carpet it is hard to change out your décor to keep up with the current color trends because most carpet color choices are not as versatile as hardwood flooring.  Hardwood flooring adds a timeless elegant look to your home, and often times the stain on hardwood flooring can be paired with unlimited design schemes and décor.  If you need to add a splash of color to a room, you can add a throw rug over hardwood flooring.  Throw rugs are very hard to utilize over carpet because it doesn’t flow well with design schemes. 

If you are considering carpet or hardwood, please consider all of the points we have addressed here.  Flooring is a large part of your home, and with hardwood flooring it can be a conversation piece as well as a time saving effort for mom because there is nowhere near the maintenance required for hardwood flooring as there is carpet.  You can also put your mind at ease knowing that allergens won’t be affecting your loved ones in the home because ridding your home of them is as easy as swiffering or sweeping.  It is a clean you can see and feel under your bare feet!  Check out all of the hardwood flooring options we have to offer on the products section of our web-site, .

Out with the old and in with the new! Flooring Trends for 2013

The New Year is here and 2013 is well underway, and with the New Year comes new trends.  Color palettes change seasonally as color is something that can be easily changed throughout the home.  Flooring is something that is not easily changed, but if you are remodeling your home or purchasing a home for the first time in 2013 you may want to consider the latest flooring trends. 

In 2013, natural hardwood flooring is going to be a very popular choice, and it will never go out of style as the look of hardwood flooring never gets old.  People have been using hardwood flooring throughout their home for centuries, and as the flooring ages it becomes more elegant and beautiful.  It truly is a timeless work of art. 

Natural hardwood flooring, such as Maple and White or Red Oak, are great choices because they are light in color and offer a beautiful grain pattern.  If you want to add a variation in with the natural tones, you may want to choose Hickory as it offers not only blonde color tones, but rich brown tones within the natural wood.  Mullican Flooring’s Muirfield collection has several natural colors to choose from that would be stunning in any home. 

As you are deciding which rooms of the home to install the hardwood flooring, keep in mind that hardwood throughout the home is becoming very popular.  Traditionally, bedrooms were left carpeted, but the growing trend is to have hardwood flooring throughout the home.  It is very appealing to not only the home owner but to future buyers as well.  It gives your home a high quality sophisticated feeling and you can customize each room of the home with a different area rug that will accent each room well.  You are not limited to one color of carpet when you choose to use area rugs in rooms with hardwood flooring. 

Whether you choose to go with the flooring trends for 2013 or you choose flooring that has a darker stain, Mullican Flooring will have something for you.  We have a wide range of flooring products ranging from light to dark and smooth to hand sculpted.  Find a Mullican Flooring retailer in your area by using the dealer locator on the Mullican Flooring web-page.

*Living Room featuring a beautiful area rug to compliment the colors in that particular room.   

Prepare Your Hardwood Flooring for a Real Christmas Tree

Snow is beginning to fall and Christmas tree stands are beginning to pop up in local parking lots.  As we begin to prepare for the holiday, nothing says it is Christmas quite like a Douglas Fir.  For most families the look and smell of a real Christmas tree says it’s the holidays.  If you recently installed or have hardwood flooring, there are a few precautions you will want to take to ensure your live Christmas tree doesn’t leave behind any damage after the holiday is gone. 

Real Christmas trees shed their pine needles and require water on a daily basis.  All of this may not sound so bad, but both of those issues will leave behind damage on your hardwood flooring if you don’t take the proper steps at setting the tree up and taking it down.  The pine needles can leave behind scratches, sap can stain the flooring and water leaks from the tree stand can also leave behind water spots as well as cause your flooring to warp.  

Before you bring the tree into your home, remove the netting that is usually placed on the tree and give the tree a good shake.  This will help any of the loose pine needles to fall out before you take them into your home.  Once you have shaken the tree, it is now safe to place it into the tree stand.  Never place the tree stand directly on the floor.  Doing so could lead to flooring damage.  While you are out shopping for your Christmas tree, stop at Lowe’s or your local big box store and purchase one of the round rubber mats made specifically for Christmas trees.  The rubber mats prevent any water from the tree stand from leaking onto and seeping into your hardwood flooring.  It will also prevent any scratches that could possibly be left behind from the tree stand.  Once you have the mat and tree in place it is time to decorate, and you can rest assured that your hardwood flooring is protected from any moisture that may leak from the tree stand. 

It is important to keep a dust mop handy, as the tree will shed pine needles.  You will want to spot sweep every day to keep the needles from scratching the floor and embedding between the planks in tiny grooves.  After the holiday is over and you go to take the tree down, be sure to remove any water from the tree stand to prevent any unnecessary moisture from getting on your hardwood flooring and causing damage.  Should any sap get on your floors, you can simply take an ice cube and place it on the sap.  This will cause it to harden and you can pop it off easily.  Be sure to go over the floor with Bona Hardwood Flooring Cleaner once finished.  If you follow all of the steps mentioned above, your real Christmas tree will be a memory to remember and not a nightmare you wish you could forget.   

Steps to keep your hardwood floor and table beautiful during Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time that families gather each year to share stories, catch up on what everyone has been doing all year, and most importantly eat!  Often times, home owners get so caught up in planning their menus that they forget to think about the things they can do to protect their hardwood flooring or maybe even the beautiful wooden table that everyone gathers around to eat. 

Protect your hardwood flooring by placing area rugs throughout the home in high traffic areas.  Ask guests wearing heels to remove them upon entering, as high heels are one of the hardest things on your flooring.  Be sure to clean up spills immediately.  After everyone has left or fell into a turkey induced coma, be sure to sweep and mop.  This will help to keep any debris that was tracked in from scratching your floors finish. 

While your floor is important, it is also important to remember to protect the finish on your dining room table should it be wood.  Before setting hot dishes on your table, be sure to remember to place a pot holder under the dish.  This will prevent the hot dish from dulling your finish or scratching it.  If you are planning a large meal like most families it may be a good idea to purchase a table pad and place it under the table cloth.  This will protect the whole table from not only heat and scratches but spills also. 

I hope these tips were helpful and everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!  Everyone here at Mullican appreciates your business and we want to thank you for visiting our web-site and recommending Mullican Flooring.  Happy Holidays!

How to Protect Your Floor From Holiday Traffic

It is that time of year again where you are beginning to plan your Thanksgiving and Christmas menu.  Planning the two largest dinners you will cook all year is a very important task, but you will also want to take the time out to prepare your hardwood flooring for all of the little and big feet that will be crossing them for the next two months as family and guest arrive for the holidays. 

Along with the holidays comes colder weather, and with that colder weather often comes snow.  Snow is a wonderful thing to have on Christmas day when all of your loved ones are gathered around the tree to open gifts, but snow is a gift itself that can keep on giving.  Often times if there is a chance of snow you or your guest may spread rock salt on walkways to prevent slips and falls.  Rock salt can get caught in your guest’s shoes and leave behind thousands of scratches that you will have to live with past the holidays.  To prevent this from happening, it is best to enforce a “no shoes” policy.  Place additional rugs at entryways and inform guests where they can store their shoes upon entering your home.  Some guests may find this inconvenient, but it will save your hardwood floors not only from scratches but from water damage and stiletto heel damage.  Any guest that has hardwood floors will be able to understand why you are taking this precaution as water from snow can leave behind small dark brown spots on your hardwood flooring.  The only way to get rid of those water spots is to refinish the flooring. 

It is a great idea to go through your home before guests begins to arrive and place more rugs in areas that you believe will have higher foot traffic.  This will help to reduce the chances of any unwanted scratches in those areas.  Once your guests arrive there are going to be accidents involving spills and messes.  Make sure to clean up any spills immediately, and often times it is better to do it yourself so that you know it was done properly.  Don’t clean up spills with overly wet cloths.  Dry or slightly damp cloths are the best option when cleaning up spills on hardwood flooring.  Cloths that are too damp can leave behind moisture, and this will cause your hardwood flooring to warp or stain. 

After the holiday celebrations come to a close and all of your guests have gone home, run a dry mop over the floors to remove any debris that was left behind.  This will help prevent scratches from happening. 

As the holidays get closer, try to remember the helpful hints above.  These few minor steps will help to keep your hardwood flooring looking great well into the New Year after the holidays and family members have come and gone. 

Low Gloss Flooring Trend on the Rise

In today’s market, fashion is always changing and evolving.  Things that were popular yesterday are a thing of the past today.  Flooring trends are like any other item being purchased by consumers, constantly changing to reflect the values and styles of that particular time.  Low-gloss hardwood flooring is a trend that is very popular in Europe and is gaining popularity in North America. 

In the past homeowners preferred high gloss flooring because of its high shine finish.  High gloss finishes offer a more elegant appearance.  They have a very polished look but will show dust more easily than lower gloss levels.  It is a very popular choice for gymnasiums and corporate buildings.    

Low-luster flooring has many benefits, and this is why consumers are now beginning to choose and prefer it over high-gloss flooring.  Low luster floors hide the small scratches and dents much better than the high-gloss flooring.  This is a huge benefit for families with small children and pets.  The finish on low-gloss flooring also tends to highlight the color and texture of the wood.  This creates a sophisticated, timeless look that provides a softer, quieter atmosphere in the home.  

*Low Gloss Flooring

*High Gloss Flooring

Prevent your hardwood flooring from changing with the seasons.

The seasons are changing yet again from summer to fall.  As you prepare your home for colder weather keep in mind that your hardwood flooring goes through seasonal movement just like the weather.  You will need to make adjustment to the humidity in your home just like you are making adjustments to your wardrobe to keep warm. 

Wood flooring is a natural product that responds to humidity variations by expanding and contracting.  The air outside is much drier in the fall and winter months.  Your hardwood flooring will go through seasonal movements during this time.  Wood flooring will give up or lose some of its moisture and contract as a result of the drier air.  Often times, noticeable gaps can appear between planks.  This is normal, but can be avoided. 

Installing a humidifier in the furnace or placing a moveable humidifier into a room with good air circulation will help to keep your flooring from developing gaps between the planks.  The optimal humidity level in your home should be between 35%-55% year round.  Keeping the humidity level in this range will help to avoid dimensional change and movement in the hardwood flooring.  You can monitor and keep the humidity level in your home consistent year round by installing a simple humidity meter. 

Out with the Old & In with the New!

The weather outside is nice, and it is perfect weather to tackle that home improvement list you made over the winter.  Many home owners start with the outside of the home and often times overlook the inside.  Take time out to look at your hardwood floors while you are in project mode.  Inspect the finish and look for any deep scratches or finish wear through.  With the economy being tough, some home owners don’t really have the money to spend on new flooring so maybe it is a good idea to refinish the floors.  It can be a bit messy but once you see the end result, you will be very impressed and thrilled with the outcome.   

When refinishing floors, some homeowners choose to do it themselves, but often times it is better to let a professional do the job.  Professional’s can come in and finish the job in a few days depending on how large the job is.  Often times they will take care of moving the furniture and things, but if you are trying to cut the cost, it may be a good idea to move the furniture before they show up.  This will decrease the time it takes to refinish the flooring because they will be able to invest all of their time into sanding and finishing the floors and not moving furniture. 

You can expect a lot of dust, so it is a good idea to cover any furniture with sheets.  You will also want to hang plastic barriers in doorways leading to rooms that are not going to be refinished.  This will help to keep a lot of the dust out of the rooms where the flooring isn’t being refinished, and most flooring contractors now use sanders that have vacuums attached to the sander so most dust is caught before it can enter the air. 

After the mess is cleaned, the contractor or you will apply the stain and a sealant.  Once it is dry, you can admire your newly stained and refinished floor.  You will be amazed with what you see.  It is like getting a new hardwood floor for a fraction of the price, and in this economy that is what individuals are looking for.  If the mess isn’t for you, then you can always look into buying beautiful new prefinished hardwood floors from Mullican Flooring.  Whether you are going for an old world, traditional or a more contemporary look, Mullican Flooring has something for you.   

*How dusty a room can get from sanding.

Keep your hardwood flooring from becoming a claim on a desk at the Manufacturer’s office

When purchasing hardwood floors, we sometimes let the excitement of getting new floors distract us from all of the work and requirements that go into installing it.  We want to see the beautiful new hardwood that was just purchased in our home as quickly as possible.  Often times, what seems like something small, is overlooked just so the flooring can be installed faster.  This will lead to a disaster and you will only be enjoying beautiful hardwood floors for a short period of time. 

Before installing hardwood floors, it is very important that you check to see if there is a crawl space under your home.  This is a space that is often never thought about, but is very important to consider in the hardwood flooring process.  If you have a crawl space, you should inspect it to ensure there is no standing water and it is properly ventilated.  This will help to keep temperatures at a consistent level beneath your homes flooring. 

The most important thing to check for in the crawl space is if there is a ground cover over the soil.  If there is, you will want to check and see what the material is, and if there is not you will need to purchase the proper ground covering to protect your newly purchased hardwood flooring.  Without the proper ground covering, moisture in the soil under your home will rise to the subfloor and cause the hardwood flooring to swell, cup or buckle.  The proper ground covering that is recommended by Mullican is 6 mil. Polyethylene.  This can be purchased at your local flooring dealer or big box retailer.  Once you have purchased it, make sure that the entire ground surface under the home is covered.  Make sure the edges are fastened to the surrounding walls with a strong adhesive.  This will help to ensure the ground covering does not shift or move allowing any moisture to get through to the subfloor.   

The crawl space is just one of the many things that you must ensure is in proper condition for hardwood floors.  Always be sure to read the manufacturer’s warranty and installation instructions.  Often times you will find very important and helpful information there that you may have never thought about when installing hardwood floors.  I will be posting more helpful hints to ensure that your beautiful hardwood flooring does not turn into an ugly disaster.  

*How ground covering should be installed in the crawl space.

Keep Summer Vacations from Turning into Summer Disasters

The temperature is rising, flowers are blooming, the children are out of school and you are busy packing for the first family vacation.  As you check off your list of things to do before you leave for your vacation destination, there may be one box that you will want to leave unchecked. 

When leaving for vacation for a week, many energy conscience people turn the air conditioner unit off to save energy and a little money on their power bill.  If you don’t have hardwood floors, that plan would be a great one, but with hardwood floors you may be doing more harm than good.  Hardwood flooring needs to stay within a specified humidity range to keep it from cupping or warping. 

During the summer months in the south and many other areas across the United States, the heat can reach well into the 90’s, which means your home will be just as warm, if not warmer, without any sort of ventilation or air conditioning unit running.  The excessive buildup of heat or moisture can cause the boards to warp or buckle.  To cut back on electricity while you are gone, set the thermostat at 80 degrees.  This will help to keep the humidity level consistent while you are gone without causing your cooling unit to be on consistently while you are away.  Using a de-humidifier or turning the heat on periodically during the summer months are other ways to maintain the proper humidity level properly. 

*Below are images of instances where humidity has caused a floor to buckle.


April 2014

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