Do’s & Don’ts of Granite Countertop Care

Installing granite in your kitchen is a great investment in the value of your home, but it’s an expensive one. Therefore, it’s important to take proper care of them to ensure they stay in brand new condition long after they’ve been installed.

It’s a common misconception that granite countertops are effortless. In reality, granite countertops in Lewisville, TX require regular maintenance to keep it looking beautiful. Besides just cleaning, you’ll need to make sure the granite is sealed periodically to protect your investment.

Heed these tips on how to care for your granite countertops so you can keep them looking wonderful for years to come.

Do: Blot spills immediately – Acidic substances like wine, coffee, fruit juices, tomato sauce and sodas can potentially stain the surface.

Do: Clean the surface with a soft cloth or sponge – Clean daily with a few drops of dishwashing soap. Rinse with clean water and then dry with a soft cloth. There’s no need to use chemicals or specialty cleaners every day.

Do: Use coasters, trivets and hot pads – You can take a hot pot off of the stove and put it directly on granite countertops, but it is possible for granite to suffer thermal shock and crack, so it’s best to take precautions to avoid it.

Don’t: Clean with generic cleaning products – bleach, glass cleaners, de-greasers or other common household cleaners that you buy at your local store contain acids, alkalis and other chemicals that will degrade the granite sealer (and will etch marble) leaving the stone more vulnerable to staining.

Don’t: Clean with vinegar – Fans of ‘green’ cleaning may rely on vinegar for cleaning most household items, but when it comes to cleaning, skip the vinegar. Vinegar and other highly acidic substances can actually etch the surface of your granite, stripping it of its shine and leaving etch marks in it.

Sealing is a regular maintenance task for granite that cannot be ignored. There is a simple test that you can do to determine if your countertops need to be sealed again. Splash a little water on the surface of the countertop.  Watch to see if the water sits on the countertop in small bead-like shapes or flows freely. Re-seal the countertop when water splashed on the surface no longer beads up.


Planning a Bathroom Reno?

Is your bathroom feeling a bit drab? If that outdated medicine cabinet and vanity, dull wall coloring and dingy flooring is an eye sore, than it’s time to update with a renovation!

A bathroom remodel in Flower Mound is the perfect way to not only increase value in your home, but will also add value to your life! A lush and sophisticated new bathroom space will leave you feeling pampered in the luxury of your own home.

As you begin to consider a remodel and start the planning process, you’ll need to decide what you do and don’t like about your current bathroom. Most importantly, decide what you can and can’t live without. Even though it may seem like a small room, there’s a lot that can go into a bathroom remodel. Between a new tub, sink, toilet, medicine cabinet, tiling and other fixtures, a small renovation can balloon into a big project. Decide on a budget and settle on what’s most important to you and plan the project around that.

Do you want to alter the layout? If the bathroom seems too crowded, it might be worthwhile to move some fixtures around. Be careful, though – moving around plumbing and electrical fixtures will take a lot more labor than just installing new ones and that means more time and money. Keeping the original layout may be for the best, especially if you’re upgrading to more high-end fixtures.

Whether you decide to just update one or two things, or completely redo your bathroom, be sure to plan ahead and work around a budget that’s affordable for you and in the end you’ll be able to enjoy some R & R in your beautiful new space.

 


Unique Features of Granite Countertops

Granite. It’s one of the most popular natural countertop surfaces for kitchens and bathrooms. And for good reason – it’s durable, easy to maintain and above all else, it elevates the beauty and sophistication of a room. Designing with it is also one of the easiest ways to update a dull kitchen or bathroom and improve your home’s value instantly.

There are many variations of granite, and each provides a modern, yet timeless look to the space in which they are used. One feature of granite countertops are their pattern diversity. Some granite patterns look like marble, while others resemble sand. Various vein patterns, swirls, and specks can be found across different types of granite. Each slab is uniquely different, allowing it to seamlessly blend into your overall design.

The variety in color choices also makes granite a particularly unique design option. The color of granite is dependent on the crystal that makes up the majority of the cut piece and it comes in many shades of white, gray, black, pink, orange, green, brown, and blue.

For the on-the-go-family, ease of care is also an import feature of granite. It offers the perfect combination of beauty and durability. With proper care and sealing, which will help keep counters from staining or absorbing liquids, granite will hold up well and last for many years.

With granite, you’ll always have a unique feature in your kitchen or bathroom, as no two slabs look exactly alike. Transform your kitchen or bathroom with sleek, sophisticated and seamless granite countertops in Flower Mound, TX.


What’s the Difference Between Hardwood and Laminate?

In a recent blog post, Hardwood vs. Laminate Wood Flooring, we discussed some of the pros and cons to consider when choosing between solid wood flooring, engineered wood flooring or laminate wood flooring for your home. While solid wood was a staple in older homes, today, many homeowner’s have the option of choosing between solid wood, engineered wood, and laminate wood flooring depending on variables like durability, style, and budget, just to name a few. If you haven’t read it, check it out here.

Pros and cons aside, that still leaves us with an important question: what is the difference between solid hardwood flooring, engineered wood flooring and laminate flooring? Allow us to sort out the facts.

Solid hardwood flooring: This one is pretty straightforward. Solid hardwood is 100% sawn wood. Solid hardwood flooring planks are produced from single pieces of wood and can be purchased unfinished or prefinished.

Engineered wood flooring: This flooring is most closely aligned to solid hardwood. It consists of several wood or plywood layers. Bottom and middle layers are manufactured from cross-laid solid wood or plywood planks. The top layer consists of a solid sawn wood lamella, often stained and prefinished.

Laminate flooring: Laminate is a multi-layer synthetic flooring product. This type of flooring is made of thin, pressed wood board with an image of wood on top covered by a clear coating to protect it. It is designed to imitate the appearance of real wood. The core layer of laminate flooring is manufactured primarily from melamine resin and fiber board material.

Deciding on which floor is best for you depends on your needs. Ease of repair, ease of maintenance, longevity and durability will play a large part in deciding which fits best in your home and works for your lifestyle. For advice on hardwood flooring in Highland Village, contact the team at Design Floors.  We’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have and find the right flooring for you.


Why Chose Carpeting for Your Home?

Are you trying to decide on flooring for your home? Whether you’re remodeling, bought a new home or just need a change to your floors, you have several options. And with lots of choices comes indecision. Do you want carpet? Or would you rather solid wood, laminate flooring, tile or natural stone?

Carpet is a home flooring standard for good reason. It can add warmth, comfort and personality to a room in the same way that paint, throw pillows and décor can. It is known to have several benefits over its hardwood and tile counterparts. So, why choose carpet?

Here are just a few reasons why you may want to install carpet in your home:

Comfort – Carpet is soft! It provides a soft cushion for your feet. Plus, if you have small children, carpet is best for crawling and rolling around on.  Carpet is also warm! Keep your toes warm in the winter and create a cozy atmosphere in any room.

Options – There is an abundance of color, texture, pattern and style options to choose from that will allow you to create the perfect space in any room.

Easy Cleaning – Carpet can be easily maintained with a good vacuuming once or twice a week, and a thorough carpet cleaning once per year, or as needed.

When it comes to your new carpet installation in Flower Mound, TX, you want to choose a company that will get the job done right the first time. For beautiful carpet that stands the test of time, choose Design Floors.


Choosing the Right Fireplace to Match Your Lifestyle

It is said that a fireplace makes a house a home. It makes for the perfect, cozy spot to relax after a long day or on a particularly cold and snowy night. Even in the summer months when you aren’t using the fireplace as a heat source, it’s still a focal point of the room that adds warmth and beauty to the space. Whether it’s a custom mantle beautifully decorated, or a sleek marble or stone surface, all eyes are drawn to the fireplace when one enters a room.

If you’re building a new home or remodeling your existing one to incorporate a fireplace, not only will it add beauty and comfort to your home, but it’s also a wise investment for your home’s value.  No longer is incorporating a fireplace a luxurious extra that only the wealthy can afford. With so many options and styles to choose from, there is a fireplace to fit your budget.

Above all, the fireplace you choose should be functional, as well as beautiful. However, with so many options available, choosing the right fireplace for your home can be tricky. Here at Design Floors, we have the experience to help you select the right fireplace materials and design and can install it in your home. Here’s the scoop on selecting the perfect model for your home’s needs.

  • Wood, Electricity, or Gas? Your fireplace design and style is completely dependent on the fuel you’ve decided to burn, so tackle the question before you’ve even considered the idea of installing a fireplace.
  • The Look. There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all fireplace, since everyone has different preferences and needs. Do you want a mantle, do you prefer stone, wood, metal for the exterior, etc.?

Whether you have a design in mind or need a professional opinion, we are always happy to provide free estimates. For fireplace, stairway, carpet or hardwood floor installation Lewisville, call on the experts at Design Floors.


Choosing the Perfect Granite Color

Selecting the perfect granite countertop color is an important and long-lasting decision. Not to put any pressure on you, but once it’s installed you’re stuck with it for the foreseeable future, so you’ll want to be sure it’s the perfect shade to match your style and kitchen décor.

Doing some online research and visiting showrooms to view actual slabs of granite is a great first step in remodeling your kitchen or building a new home. There are so many colors and styles to choose from today that the task can seem overwhelming. You’ll need to coordinate the cabinets, floor color, granite, and other aspects of your kitchen, like appliances and hardware, to create a perfectly harmonious space.

Let us help you in your quest for the perfect granite countertop in Lewisville, TX with these helpful tips:

Dark Spaces – Choosing a lighter color or speckled granite is an excellent option for darker spaces that have little to no natural light.

 Busy, Busy, Busy – If you’re a parent or someone who is always on the go and concerned about dirt showing, darker granite is an excellent choice in a kitchen with an abundance of natural light.

 Samples – Instead of guessing which wood tone you have, what shade your flooring is, or the exact color of your walls, ask for a sample of the granite you like and take a few home so that you can see what it might look like in your kitchen.

Pick Two – Can’t decide between two granite colors? Why not use both! Selecting a lighter color for an island and a darker tone for the surrounding cabinets creates a beautiful contrast.

Whether you prefer a lighter or darker shade, or solid or marble granite, create your dream kitchen with the perfect countertops with the help of the experts at Design Floors.


Hardwood vs. Laminate Wood Flooring

One of the most popular flooring options, and really a sought-after amenity in every home, is hardwood flooring. With its sleek, polished appearance and natural beauty, it’s easy to understand why so many homeowners prefer wood flooring throughout their home.

In older traditional homes, original, authentic hardwood floors are a norm. But today, with the high costs of home construction, homeowners are looking for ways to still add all the bells and whistles while being economical. The lower price point of laminate flooring is the perfect solution to remodeling or constructing on a budget. Whatever your preference, there are pros and cons to both hardwood and laminate wood flooring.

Wood-look laminate flooring boasts UV protection and is resistant to scratches and dents, making it perfect for placement in high-traffic and sun-drenched areas. Today’s laminates can hold their own against their pricier hardwood counterparts.

Cost is easily the biggest selling point of laminate flooring – it typically runs half the price of hardwood. But, before you spring for the best-priced laminate you can find, bear in mind that lower-quality (read cheaper) laminate often looks less realistic. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

On the other hand, some homeowners swear by hardwood’s character and refuse to settle for anything less, particularly when remodeling an older home. But the same organic attributes that lend warmth and character to hardwood can be a turnoff for some – specifically the effects of long-term wear and aging of wood. Unlike laminate, hardwood reacts to intense sunlight and is sensitive to high-heeled shoes, pets, kids, and furniture, all of which can dent and scrape the wood.

Making a decision to buy either hardwood or laminate flooring can be confusing. Contact our team today to learn more about laminate flooring in Lewisville versus wood flooring and which better suits your needs.


Selecting the Best Carpet for your Home

part_1469203589885Does this sound familiar to you? You head to your local carpet store in order to pick out a new style for your home. You convince yourself it will be a quick trip – in and out! Pick out your favorite shade, pay, done! Except that never happens! Once there there’s a mountain of details to sort through – do you want Nylon or Polyester? Shag or solid cut pile? Do you prefer cut and loop? And the colors. So many colors! How does a person narrow it down to one choice?

Shopping for carpet is a lot like shopping for a car. It involves a huge financial investment, plus all the different styles, colors and brands can make your head spin. With so many different colors, materials and designs available, it can be difficult to choose the best carpet for your home. Some materials may require frequent cleanings that simply won’t fit into your busy schedule, while the wrong carpet may wear out quickly, fade or show stains.

Having an idea of what to look for and what will work best for your specific needs will save you a lot of stress while shopping. Here’s some food for thought that will be beneficial in helping you make a decision.

Padding – Don’t be tempted to skimp on carpet padding to save a few dollars. Carpeting relies on a layer of padding for support, strength and a bit of extra cushioning.
Colors and Patterns – Narrow your search by choosing shades that match the overall mood or tone you want to set for each room. Try cool blues or greens to create a calm, peaceful setting; while light colors can make small rooms feel larger and more open, so try cream or tan.
Stairs – It’s critical to select the right carpeting for your stairs. A cut-pile carpet is a better choice than a looped pile.
Maintenance – Stick with carpeting you can maintain easily. Homeowners with young children or pets may want to avoid hard-to-clean shag or high-end rugs. Stain-resistant carpets can eliminate the frustration associated with spills and may cut your cleaning time.
Carpet Installation – The quality of your carpet’s installation is just as important as the quality of the carpet itself. A second-rate job can leave you with obvious seams, lumps, bumps and other issues. For the best experience and selection for flooring Lewisville, TX, Design Floors is your store!
Budget – Even the most luxurious carpet doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Shop around to find carpet that fits your lifestyle and budget.


Tips for Choosing Natural Stone Finishes

natural-stoneChoosing the right flooring for your home is a big commitment. If you’re looking for a type of flooring that will last longer than a carpet and that is easy to maintain, natural stone is an excellent choice.

Natural stone flooring is beautiful, durable, and versatile. As its name suggests, natural stone comes from nature, so each and every tile is distinct and unique. No two tiles are the same.

Choosing the right slabs, or tile, to incorporate into your interior deserves careful consideration. Before you buy, here are a few things to consider.

Showrooms and home-design centers have lots of samples and can order similar stone for you. But if you go to a stone yard, you’ll have your choice of native materials. Plus, you can pick out the pieces that will actually be used in your home, which is an advantage since no two are the same.

Ask an expert if the stone you’re interested in is right for your needs. Your first consideration will be how it looks, of course. But while most types of stone are durable and stand up to a variety of uses, each has its own distinct qualities.

Select a finish for your stone that suits how you plan to use it. A highly polished finish, for example, is perfect for a countertop but too slippery for a bathroom floor.

Finishes
Honed stones have the most natural-looking finish. After the stones are cut, they are sanded with a coarse abrasive to create a smooth, matte surface.

Buffed and distressed stones are first burnished to remove imperfections. Their surfaces are then weathered to create an aged look.

Brushed and hammered stones are first treated with stiff bristles, which give them a moderately rough finish. Hammers similar to pick axes are then used to create a pocked effect.

Satin brushed stones are treated as brushed ones are, but with softer bristles. This method results in a smoother finish.

Highly polished stones (like onyx) have a glassy look. Fine abrasives smooth the surface in the same manner sandpaper is used on wood.

Weigh the price of stone against its longevity. The material will last a lifetime, so it’s worth the investment. Plus, it will likely add to the value of your home. To learn more, contact Design Floors for flooring in Lewisville, TX.