Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tile floors for your home - the distinctive and durable approach.

Have you ever wondered why we call the houses we live in as ‘Sweet Homes’? We will tell you why, our residence is named by ourselves as the sweet home since this is the place that not only possess infrastructure, walls, doors, windows, roof etc. but also it is fully occupied with the essence of love. The love which the parents have for their children, the love which the children hold for their parents, the love for guardians, the love for pets, and to much of love for everything. Your sweet home always remains bright and lively, is one of your intense prayers from the Almighty. Thus to let it stay distinctive and durable you need to think for the perfect flooring option for it.

It is significantly stated that the best way to floor your house in order to make it appear pulsating, appealing and sturdy; tile flooring is an ideal and supreme choice. Tiles highly contribute to the finish and immersion of the floor and also make it strong and rigid enough to last un-tampered for decades. There is no doubt with the fact that your next two generations will also find your tile flooring in an appropriate and non-fatigue manner if the quality of tile utilized was acceptable. Tile flooring eminently works to replace the carpets from the house which is a fruitful deed since carpets are the root cause of dust hoardings over the floor. Dust pollution is a severe and unconditionally fatal menace which can initially make you allergic and cause asthma and related ailments in its ultimate application.

Tile flooring is not only healthy for the surface but also it is a shield and luster for the walls, ideally of the kitchen, bathroom and the laundry room. One should get tile flooring for their ‘sweet home’ if they want to keep it sweet for many ages.

At Your Door Floors flooring store
Burleson, TX
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Monday, November 14, 2011

Species of Hardwood: Red Oak

Description of Red Oak Flooring
Red Oak is not as fine as White Oak and has a rougher feel due to the larger pores. Depending on the sawn boards the grain can have a plumed or grainy appearance, low figuring, tight patter, or a flake appearance that is also known as tiger oak.

Red Oak has a distinct reddish tones, hence the name. The wood is stiff, dense and is durable but not as much as White Oak. It is easier to finish than the white Oak since it is also softer, which also makes it easier to work with when you are nailing it down.
The pores on Red Oak Flooring make it suitable for staining to your favorite tones.

Benefits of Red Oak Flooring
The greatest advantage is the natural red color. Any room that spots this color looks classy and fit for a king. When you want a home that looks like a classical home, then Red Oak Flooring is the best for that old fashioned feel.

Red Oak is also strong and can withstand heavy usage. You can be sure that you will get several years for service from it without any major maintenance. However, due to aging and usage, it can tend to lose its red luster, but this can easily be corrected by applying hardwood polish.
Red Oak is also hypoallergenic and therefore a good addition to homes that have children.

Potential Disadvantages of Red Oak Flooring
Most hardwoods are difficult to maintain and red oak is no exception. Red Oak cannot be exposed to excessive moisture. This can cause serious damage to it which may lead you to change the flooring even before it gives you the required service period.
How to maintain Red Oak Flooring
One should avoid dragging things on the floor or excessive rough treatment. Given that it is not as strong as the white variety, more caution should be exercised. It is important that you wax the flooring every couple of months. This wax polish also helps to protect the wood from moisture and spillages. Should any spills occur, all you have to do is mop it up.
Installation of Red Oak flooring

Depending on the kind of base that you have you can choose to use prefinished hardwood, unfinished red oak or the engineered red oak. Red Oak is easier to work with and its pores make it easy to stain. If you want to have a high gloss finish it may be necessary to use pore filler on these pores before you do the finishing. Prefinished wood is ideal if time is a factor and engineered flooring is best for concrete based houses. If you want to match new flooring to an old one then the unfinished flooring is usually the best.

Price of Red Oak Flooring
Red Oak ranges in price from $2.25 for unfinished to $10 per square foot for prefinished. One may consider this a little on the higher side but given the fact that it will probably outlast your lifespan, then it is a wise purchase.

At Your Door Floors flooring store
Burleson, TX
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info for this blog post from :http://www.hardwoodflooringinfo.net/page/2/

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hardwood flooring for your home

A lot of home owners and interior decorators are setting a new trend with beautiful hardwood flooring. There are many reasons to go with hardwood floors, such as the permanent value they add to your home, the easy care and easy cleaning, great style and durability and they’re natural and safe for the environment too.

The cost can vary depending on whether or not you can find discounts or can buy it wholesale. If you know a building contractor or hardwood floor contractor, they may be able to help you get a nice discount where they buy their materials even if you do it yourself. Installing hardwood flooring in your home should be considered a long-term investment that will hold its value, or even increase the resale value of your home, well surpassing the installation cost of the hardwood floors.

After all, wood is wood, and what can be more ecologically clean than natural wood planks after very little chemical processing? For the healthy minded, there are much lower levels of chemical emissions from natural wood products. The cost of hardwood flooring depends on what type you choose.

Many of the hardwood flooring retailers and manufacturers offer good discounts if you have a lot of square footage. If you’re thinking about a do-it-yourself project and you’re handy with tools, you can learn how to install hardwood flooring with a few of the proper tools like sanders, nailers, or nail guns, etc. which you can easily rent or borrow. However, keep in mind that if you fail to properly install your hardwood floors, it can be a very costly mistake. Some benefits of using a professional contractor to conduct the installation is that you will know that it will be installed correctly and if you select the right installer then they often provide a warranty on their instllation services.

Some of the most popular hardwood floor manufacturers include Johnson, Regal, Bruce, Shaw, Mohawk, Mannington and Armstrong. There are also other manufacturers but make sure to do your research to learn the quality of their product.

Besides the floor coverings that have been traditionally used in the past, there are now many new styles and materials of flooring to choose from that can definitely add to the style of any room. Hardwoods can give a room an expensive and high quality finish that’s usually only connected to higher-end apartments and designer homes. But first of all you need to find a reputable hardwood floor company to help design and create the type of flooring that you want, unless you’re experienced enough to forge ahead.

Most hardwood floors almost never need replacement and can add thousands of dollars to the value of any home. And hardwood flooring is the healthiest choice for interior living, especially if you have children in the home.

And with today’s advanced wood flooring stains and finishes, cleaning your wood floors has never been easier. If you’re looking for a great way to improve the look, the durability and the value of your home, hardwood floors are definitely the way to go. And wood is a wonderful natural resource that is both renewable and recyclable.

At Your Door Floors flooring store
Burleson, TX
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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Home Remodeling Forecast for 2012

With the housing industry still lackluster, many people are staying in their homes longer than usual rather than trading out for a new one. However, with lending still tight and decreasing home valuations, some people are finding it hard to get a remodeling loan. Here is an excellent article from Mark Newman of Remodeling Magazine on the outlook of the home remodeling industry for the upcoming year:

Home Remodeling to Remain Weak Through First Half of 2012

Thanks to a lackluster economy and a housing market that continues to limp along from quarter to quarter, home improvement spending will remain tepid through the first half of 2012, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released today by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

These new numbers echo the last set of LIRA data released in July, which projected remodeling activity could be down as much as 4% through the first quarter of 2012. The latest data indicate that there will even be a slight decline in home improvement projects over the next several quarters, which will likely prompt belt-tightening among most, if not all, remodelers.

“There’s a lot of volatility in the market with a bit of random, non-seasonal bouncing around,” says Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center, adding that the “bouncing around” is due to replacement projects that are typically weather-related, and those numbers are getting mixed into the data. “It’s weak enough that the noise sort of dominates from what the trend is. Our indicators tell us that the trend is flat when we were hoping there would be a more clear sense of a recovery.”

Homeowner Reticence

As for how long this lackluster market will continue, Baker says to count on a fairly bleak outlook at least until the middle of 2012. “After that it’s a little too early to tell,” he says. “We’re not seeing anything that would indicate a dramatic turnaround. Quite frankly, it depends on what the economy does over that period.” Key indicators will not only include consumer confidence but also any periods of sustained job growth or a more stable housing market.

Baker adds that in terms of remodeling projects, homeowners are holding off because the equity that a new addition or an updated bathroom would bring to their homes would be negligible at best, especially considering the current market. “There’s just not a sense that if they invest in any home improvement projects that it would increase the value of their home,” he says, adding that financing is still difficult to obtain. “There are enough economic headwinds present that are keeping back any more significant growth.”

For remodeling to see a significant uptick, it’s really going to take a sharp increase in consumer confidence in the economy and housing market. “If you live in a market where prices are trailing down, it’s a more difficult decision to pull the trigger on that upscale remodeling investment,” Baker says. “You’re going to do the roofing and siding stuff that you need to do but the discretionary stuff is a harder sell in this market. It’s going to take some sense that things are getting better. And there’s enough uncertainty that people don’t feel that way at present.”

One of the big problems on the home building side is the amount of distressed housing inventory that’s available and is much cheaper than new homes. To that end, Baker says there’s tremendous remodeling potential for these homes because the owners are investing in remodeling them for resale to the tune of several thousand dollars. “That’s a pretty serious chuck of change in terms of potential for the market,” he points out. “There are some sectors that are doing well but there’s enough nervousness that’s holding [the market] back.”

One of the reasons for the state of the industry is largely due to the types of projects that were popular in the boom years but are not as prevalent during lean times, mainly upscale additions and high-end kitchen and bath remodels. “[These projects] were driving the market, and that’s the piece that’s still relatively weak,” Baker says. “Most of the other pieces have come back pretty well. This last block hasn’t quite fallen into place yet. As the economy recovers I think it will, but there’s enough nervousness that a lot of people are foregoing that piece at the moment.”

Here is a link to the original article:

Brian Heltzeljavascript:void(0)
At Your Door Floors flooring store
Burleson, TX

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hardwood Flooring cleaning tips!

The Do's and Don'ts of Hardwood Flooring Care

Hardwood floors are best when maintained because it keeps its original state. Aside from its strength, durability, and its benefit our health, it also has an ageless quality. Which means the more you take care of it, the more it will look beautiful even as it age. Maintenance of hardwood floor is the easiest there is in all the flooring types.
 Know the type of finish your hardwood floor has, use the proper maintenance for that finish.
 Regularly sweep the floor to remove dirt.
 Use professional hardwood cleaner to keep its luster.
 Clean sticky spots with damp towel or sponge then dry it immediately using a dry-mop or cloth.
 Clean water spills immediately using dry cloth.
 Protect floors from heavy furniture by placing glides made of felt or fabric.
 Lift the furniture if you can to prevent scratch.
 Use rugs on areas where you are to expect water spills.
 Be aware that high heels can cause dents, rubber shoes with deep threads can have gravels stuck in to that may cause scratch.
 Let the floors be exposed in direct sunlight, use curtains or drapes
 Use vinegar or any solution containing acids.
 Move heavy objects without a rug or padding beneath it.
 Use upright vacuum with beater bars, it will scratch the floor.
 Mop the floor with water, it will ruin the floor finish and cause the wood to warp.
 Treat the floor with cleaning solutions not made for hardwood, ask for professional help first.
 Use dust treatments not made for your floor type.
 Repair the gaps by your own either, let the professionals do it.
 Wax urethane floors.
How to Clean Hardwood floors every day
1. Sweep the floor to get rid of dust and other particles.
2. Vacuum the floor edges and other hard to reach surfaces.
3. Buff the floor using a dry cloth, rub the floor gently and in circular motion. Use floor cleaners recommended by the manufacturers to make it shiny and protected.

Just obey the do's and don'ts of hardwood floor care and everything will be perfect. Keep in mind to protect your floors from dirt, abrasive and sharp objects, and water because this will degrade the quality of the floor. If you are remodeling and have plans to put hardwood floors, do not place it in areas where you expect the floor to be wet at all times. A good location is in the living room to keep acoustics in, and in the bedroom so it's less messy compared to carpets. It is ok to install hardwood flooring in your kitchen, providing that you stay on top of cleaning your floor and prevent any pooling of water.

At Your Door Floors
Putting On The Fix

Sunday, August 21, 2011

How To Remodel Your Kitchen

How To Remodel Your Kitchen: 5 Tips

Kitchen remodeling is putting your creativity in mind to work. Do not make it look like everyone else's kitchen. Make it unique, make it stand out, unleash your true self.

Although kitchen improvement is an arduous task, it's worth the hard work. To lessen the burden, here are the things that need to be done for kitchen remodeling:

Things to do:
Select a theme.
Of course your old kitchen theme will work just fine but since you are planning for kitchen improvement, you will have the chance to make it look better.

Pick a kitchen layout

Shaped like a letter L, containing a very flexible layout design. We can place anything in any area using this layout and the space between storage, cooking, and preparation area is close enough for an efficient work space.

Layout is shaped to form a letter "U". It has adequate counter space, and an efficient working environment.

Island Option
Designed to meet modern homes because there are plenty of counter space and prevents traffic within the working area.

Galley Kitchen
Most preferred layout for smaller kitchen space. Appliances are close to one another so its perfect if only one member of the household cooks.

1. Keep It Simple
The kitchen is designed to be a working area so avoid any clutter. Do not decorate furnish it with useless items as this will only hinder the efficiency of the kitchen.

2. Spacious and Clutter-free
Kitchen layouts are for different kitchen spaces. Choose a layout fit for your kitchen space. The Island layout looks functional and is an effective working space. But it will just be a clutter if installed on small kitchen spaces.

4. Use whatever you have
Our goal is to remodel, not to construct a new kitchen. Make use of old materials like wood, metal, plastics. etc and turn it into a new one. One good example is to repaint and fix old kitchen cabinets to use with your kitchen remodeling.

5. Hire contractors
Although it may be a good idea to do it alone, contractors still does it better. They are experienced in doing these jobs and can put your ideas into reality.

Why go for kitchen improvement?
Simple. For increased productivity. How can you work well in your old kitchen when you hear cracks on floors, holes in the ceiling, and a very dark room. Additionally modernization keeps us away from obsolete kitchen methods, ideas, and design to give way to a new and improved kitchen.

The goal of kitchen improvement is not only for aesthetics but for improved functionality. Before you decide if your kitchen needs it, plan about it first. Will it increase productivity in the kitchen and lessen your cooking time? Is it different with the current theme of your home? If yes then it's time for to remodel your kitchen.

For the latest in tile selections for your kitchen remodel, contact At Your Door FLoors.

At Your Door Floors flooring store

Saturday, August 13, 2011

How to Find the Right Contractor for Your Remodeling or Flooring Job

How to Find the Right Contractor for Your Remodeling or Flooring Job

Contractors can make or break your remodeling job. So it's best if you choose the most appropriate contractor for the job. So how can we get your perfect contractor?
1. Check within your area, experts for the remodeling job. You can check for local trade associations too. List them all up.
2. Check your listed contractors if they have complaints. A good way to check for it is to look it up in your local Better Business Bureau office. To be sure, call the agency the contractor is licensed to double-check the contractors record. Remove those that have a proven history of complains.
3. Prepare the questions to ask with the contractors. Call every contractor left on the list then set up an appointment. Ask all the questions you prepared, what he has in the local building community, and his experience in remodeling. Additionally, ask if he had done similar home remodeling job as yours, ask about the estimate initial cost for the plan, and how long will the project take. Don't forget to ask his contact information so that you can contact him immediately if he's hired.
4. After the interview, further shorten the list by crossing out contractors that are not fit for the job. Check the credentials of the remaining credentials. See if he is in a remodeling association by contacting the organization for verification. Ask his references about performance of the contractor(how he utilizes the budget,how he was able to complete the project in time, etc).
5. Compare information you have gathered to all the remaining contractors. The best way to select a contractor fit for the job is the contractor should have a proven record of success. Pick a contractor that can turn your visions into reality.
6. Get a contract to your chosen contractor so remodeling can begin. Pay attention to every detail he said specially on the work that he is agreeing to do with you. Once satisfied sign the contract.
Additional Tips:
As much as possible, look for remodeling contractors within your area.
Some contractor offers are way too good to be true, if you encounter one, immediately cross them out in your list.
If you want long-term results, don't get too tight with your remodeling budget.

Contractors are like the fishes in the sea. There are so many of them, different kinds with different functions. To get what you want, you need the right net for it.
Arnel Y. Colar is a freelance writer, expert in Home Improvement. He writes articles for PuttingOnTheFix and AtYourDoorFloors.
Putting On The Fix is a remodeling company that specializes in bathroom and kitchen home improvement projects. They service the Dallas and Fort Worth metro area. At Your Door Floors is a flooring store that sells and installs floor materials like tile, hardwood, carpet and laminate.
If you are in need of an excellent and guaranteed service from professionals at a price that is within your budget, visit their websites at http://www.puttingonthefix.com and http://www.atyourdoorfloors.com. Free consultations are also available.

Brian Heltzel

Monday, August 8, 2011

How To Install Flooring

For home improvements, hiring a contractor just to install tiles for flooring is inappropriate if you consider yourself a handy person and are adept at following instructions or tutorials. It also is true when you are dealing with small rooms. So before wasting more money than your actual remodeling needs here is my guide on how to install tiles:

1. Clean the base floor. Make sure that the floor is free of dirt, grease, or oil. Clean it with environmentally safe chemicals or alternatively we can use detergents.
2. Flatten the floor. Remove any unnecessary spots that can appear through the floor tile thus ruin its appearance.

1. To locate the center of the room, first mark the center of the walls. Disregard any offsets or irregularities.
2. Locate the center of the east wall and west wall, then make a line starting from the center of the east wall until it reaches on the west wall. Do the same for the north and south walls.
3. The intersection of the 2 lines that you have just created is the center of the room.

1. Begin by laying loose tiles on the guide that you just created.
2. Start from the center of the room then follow your trail until you reach the walls.
3. The distance between the tile and the wall must not be less than 2 inches nor more than 8 inches. If this happens, readjust the center line that is parallel to the wall by 4-1/2 inches.

1. Open all the cartons of tiles to use.
2. Create a pattern by laying 4x7 tiles, in this way you will get the whole idea of the floor. You can choose whatever pattern you prefer.
3. If tiles are in one color, plan the pattern by the grain. If there are more than 2 colors, carefully design your pattern to prevent similar colors lying next to each tile.

1. Follow the instructions of your tile cement product. Spread a coat of the cement or adhesive on one-fourth of the floor. Use a notched trowel,brush, or roller for this step.
2. Most cement will dry for about 15 minutes but it still varies depending on the temperature and humidity in the room that you are applying the tile.
3. After 15 minutes, feel the cement by placing your thumb onto it. If it is tacky and not sticky, the cement is ready.

1. Begin to lay the tiles at the center of your markings. The first tile must be exactly square with the lines. All other tiles will line up incorrectly if the first tile is wrong.
2. Do not slide tiles into place. Make sure that tiles are butted firmly and does not have any gaps.
3. Lay the tiles according to your pattern. Lay it alternatively toward each wall.
4. For a border tile, place a loose tile on top of the last tile. Add another tile and place it against the wall. Mark the tile. Cut the marked line.
5. For Obstructions: Create a paper pattern that will fit around obstructions then trace the pattern on the tiles. Cut the traced pattern.

Installing flooring tiles is easy, just follow the instructions listed above and you'll get a tiled floor in no time. So you see, not all your remodeling needs require contracted work.

At Your Door Floors flooring store

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Story of one flooring manufacturer's effect on it's town

This blog post is a follow up story to my last blog post about the impending tariff on imported Chinese hardwood.
Mannington is a family owned, fourth generation, flooring materials manufacturer. It is one of the most recognizable brand names in the floor industry. They manufacture tile, hardwood, laminate and carpet products.
However despite producing quality products and having a very recognizable brand, they were just one of the many U.S. based flooring companies that were deeply affected over the past decade by the Chinese hardwood flooring importers. Not only did the unfair advantage the Chinese companies have affect Mannington, it affected its employees and the communities their plants were located. The following link shows a video of how they all are starting to rebound after the good news of the impending tariff:

Brian Heltzel

Sunday, May 15, 2011

U.S. vs. Chinese hardwood flooring, who will win?

U.S. vs. Chinese hardwood flooring, who will win?
Many people are speculating how the new tariff on hardwood flooring importerd from China will affect the current industry. Many people are excited to see the playing field leveled for U.S. based hardwood floor manufacturers. Some consumer hate to see the low prices of Chinese hardwood flooring disappear.
With the details of the tariff rumored to become more clear in the next 7-10 days when the regulations are expected to be inforced, many people are waiting impatiently to see how they will be affected. Whether they are a manufacturer, distributor, dealer or consumer, every player in this industry will have to make changes.
Here is a link to an article published by Hardwood Flooring magazine that goes into more detail of the investigation and outcome of the practices of the Chinese government and hardwood manufacturers:

Brian Heltzel

Saturday, May 7, 2011

How To Choose Your Remodeling Contractor

As anyone who has any experience working with a Home Remodeling Contractor will tell you, finding the RIGHT contractor for your project is never as simple as just finding the lowest price. Less tangible items like your ability to communicate and feel comfortable working with your contractor will inevitably be much more important in determining your eventual satisfaction with the job – particularly if it’s a large renovation project.

Ask Your Friends,Family & Neighbors

More often than not, we have someone close to us who has remodeled his or her home in the past. Ask around to your friends and family to see if they have any recommendations for a Remodeling Contractor they had a positive experience with.

You can also start your search with local building associations, like the Building Industry Association of Lancaster, PA, the National Association of Home Builders or the Better Business Bureau for accredited contractors in your area. First and foremost, you want to make sure the contractors you find specialize in Home Remodeling and not Home Building. While they sound similar, they are VERY different.

After you get a few names, find their website online to do a little beginning research.

Get Several Specific Written Estimates

Different contractors can vary widely on pricing and level of detail even when bidding for the same job. Make sure and get several estimates (at least 2 or 3), especially if it’s a big project. As much as possible, make sure that you explain the job fully to each of the contractors to ensure each one bids on the same exact job so that you can compare the estimates more effectively. You may consider brainstorming or jotting down your own ideas for the project ahead of time so you are prepared. You also want to make sure they are professional contractors who guarantee their estimate. You don’t want to find out after that fact you owe them A LOT more than you were told!

Can They Provide References?

A true professional Remodeler should be able to provide you with references of homeowners they have worked with. Talk with these past clients of your prospective contractors’. Some good questions to ask are: Were they satisfied with the work? Was the job site kept clean? Did the contractor keep to the agreed-upon schedule? Did the contractor return their phone calls and/or emails?

DO NOT Automatically Accept the Lowest Bid

The old saying “you get what you pay for” applies here. A higher bid may be worth the price in better materials, workmanship and reliability. A large number of complaints filed against contractors are the result of homeowner taking the lowest bid and then being unhappy with the low quality of work. Even when the contractor promises to do the same job, be careful – often unprofessional and inexperienced contractors will bid a job extremely aggressively in order to get it. If the work takes longer than originally planned, the contractor can feel ‘squeezed’ by the budget and try and cut corners. What you ‘save’ up front could easily cost you when they don’t guarantee the estimate and charge you much more then promised. It could also actually DECREASE the value of your home because of unprofessional work.

Is Your Contractor Properly Insured?

Always ask your contractor for a copy of his proof of liability insurance and workman’s comp insurance or the name and number of his/her insurance agent to call and verify proof of coverage. A short phone call can save you hours and hours down the road, as well as A LOT of money.

Most Importantly… Do You Trust This Person?

When it comes down to it, the most important thing to check is your own instincts. How do you feel about this contractor working on what is probably your single largest investment – your home? Do you trust this person inside your home? Around your children? Can you communicate well with this person about the project? Are they ‘in tune’ to your needs? Are they an expert and experienced in the type of project you’re looking to get done?

I hope you found this information useful. Choosing the right contractor for your project is the first & most important step to guaranteeing your satisfaction, and will make all the difference in the long term. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at brian@puttingonthefix.com

Brian Heltzel

Monday, May 2, 2011

National Remodeling Month!

May is designated as National Remodeling Month because more people begin remodeling projects in May than any other month.
Have you been thinking about remodeling your home or business?
Many people are asking themselves the question on whether or not they should remodel with the current economy and housing market. We find that many people are finding it difficult to sell their homes in this economy so they are making the decision to stay put in their home and make improvements. Not only will these improvements generally improve the value of your home, but presumably your quality of life as well.
The average American home is over 30 years old, and more than 80% are over 16 years old. An older home may need considerable repairs, or just revamped with modern amenities. Remodeling may be a component of good maintenance, providing an opportunity to improve and upgrade as needed repairs are made.
When looking for a qualified contractor for your next home improvement project, start by asking friends or family members who have had a good working relationship with a remodeling or flooring contractor. Contact your local BBB or NARI organization. Taking these steps will help ensure you find a quality contractor to help protect your investment in your home.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hardwood Flooring industry seeing changes!

It has been long sinced believed that some of the larger Chinese hardwood flooring manufacturers had been subsidized by the Chinese government. So the United States Department of Commerce launched an investigation that led to a law that will place an additional on tax Chinese hardwood importers.
The Hardwood Floors Magazine recently wrote an article going into more depth about the issue:

Brian Heltzel

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Beware of Directbuy membership

A scathing article in the Star-Telegram about Direct Buy:
I am still baffled that people pay $5000 to just obtain a membership. It is sad to see people be decieved and duped out of their hard earned money.

Brian Heltzel

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Home improvement grants

A question I here often is are there really grants available for home improvement projects. The answer is yes. However they are not plentiful and it takes some work in applying for them, but if you and your home meet the the Federal or State guidelines then you might just be able to afford some repairs that your home desperately needs.
Here is a good article that provides some steps on how to apply for the grants and what to look for so you do not get scammed.


Brian Heltzel

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hardness of hardwood floors

When a person decides to purchase hardwood floors for their home or business, there are many factors that one takes into consideration. Some factors are more important to one person than they are to the next. For example, one buyer might have a predetermined budget that he needs to stay within and another buyer might not be concerned about price at all.
In addition to price, other factors one likely will consider is the stain color, the wood's country of origin, the plank size of the wood, handscraped or smooth finish, and the hardness of the wood.
With many different native and exotic hardwoods, it is difficult for most to decide on which wood is best for them. Luckily the hardwood flooring industry has adopted a scale as the universal reference for hardwood flooring hardness. That scale is called the Janka Hardness Test.
The Janka Hardness Test measures the capacity of a wood to withhold pressure. This is done by measuring the amount of force required to insert an 11.28 millimeter (.444 inches) diameter steel ball half its diameter deep into the wood. Doing so creates a circular indention with an area of 100 square millimeters.
These particular data are expressed in pounds-force (lbf), and are side hardness data. This means that the testing was done on the surface of a plank, with the force exerted perpendicular to the grain.
Here is a link to a photo of the Janka Hardness Scale (copy & paste the address in your internet browser):

Brian Heltzel