Miami Flooring: Hardwood Floors vs. Laminate Wood Floors

If you live in Miami or South Florida in general and are considering replacing your floors with wood floors, take the time to do your homework on whether you should choose hardwood flooring or laminate wood flooring. While you may prefer the look of a hardwood floor over laminate wood, there are differences in the installation, maintenance and wear and tear of each type of flooring. Considering the subtropical climate in South Florida, one particular wood flooring option may emerge as the right choice.

Hardwood Floors

It is true that hardwood floors are made out of real wood and therefore have the look of real wood floors. In northern states, hardwood floors work, but the problem with installing hardwood floors in South Florida is the humidity. Hardwood flooring retains moisture, which can cause it to warp. This is not to mention the expense of hardwood floors over laminate wood floors or that installing hardwood floors is more complicated than installing laminate wood flooring. Harder installation also means you’re not only going to pay more for the materials, but you’re also going to pay more for the installation.

Laminate Floors

While laminate wood floors are not real or natural wood, these types of wood floors have several benefits, especially in South Florida. The wood material look alike used to create laminate floors tends to be water-resistant, which is a big bonus in South Florida with the humidity, rain, flooding and hurricanes. Second, wood laminate is easier to install than hardwood floors, so you are not only going to pay less for the materials but you’re also going to save on the installation. The downside of these floors is that the wood laminate can chip, but it does not scratch and dent like hardwood floors do.

Hardwood vs. Laminate Wood Floors

Hardwood

Moisture: Humidity and moisture warps the wood (HINT: South Florida is VERY humid).

Installation: Difficult

Durability: Dents, scratches and fades, but can be refinished.

Longevity: 80 years

Laminate

Moisture: Most are water-resistant, but check with the manufacturer or supplier.

Installation: Easier to install than hardwood and comes with options for installation, including glue-less.

Durability: Does not dent and scratch, but can chip. Refinishing is possible with some wood laminates.

Longevity: 20 years

In less humid and moist areas of the country hardwood flooring is a fine choice. With the high humidity and water issues South Florida deals with on a daily basis, wood laminate definitely pulls out ahead as the leading choice for wood flooring.

Versatile Flooring Inc. brings over 30 years of combined experience in providing quality floor installation and kitchen and bathroom remodeling to South Florida. We are dedicated to providing skilled work and superior customer service to each client we have the privilege of serving. Your house is your home and we enjoy creating floors, kitchens and bathrooms you’re proud to share with your friends and family. For more information, visitwww.VersatileFlooringInc.com.

Tile Flooring Wins Out in Miami

One of the most popular floor types in Miami, Florida is tile. You may see some alternate floor types in certain homes and buildings in the area, but tile of all colors and sizes are the predominant material used in flooring. You may wonder if there is a particular reason as to why this is the case, especially if you are in the process of deciding on new flooring for your home or office. In fact, there are three primary reasons why tile flooring wins out in Miami: cost, density and durability.

Cost

In the long run, tile flooring is more economical because it is less expensive to maintain. Tiles are more stain resistance than carpeting, marble and other types of flooring. If you spill a glass of red wine on tile, you simply clean it up. If you spill a glass of red wine on carpet or marble and don’t get it up fast enough, it’s a stain you may never get out.

Density

Tile is denser than other flooring materials, which helps to add insulation to the floor. This, in turn, can help with the energy efficiency in the room and ultimately reduce your electric bill. Tile tends to hold the coolness of the room as well, which helps to keep the room cooler.

Durability

Because tile is very durable, it is less likely to creak, crack, need repair or replacement over other types of flooring. You tend to have to replace tile flooring less frequently than carpet or other types of floors because of wear and tear issues. Tile holds up much better in high traffic areas of your home or office.

Tile is also easier to keep clean from water activities such as the beach or pool, or from having your family traipse in and out from the outside world. Miami households and offices tend to choose tile flooring for all of these reasons. Tile floors save money in the long run because it is easier to clean and maintain and tile can endure higher traffic and other wear and tear than its floor counterparts.

Versatile Flooring Inc. brings over 30 years of combined experience in providing quality floor installation and kitchen and bathroom remodeling to South Florida. We are dedicated to providing skilled work and superior customer service to each client we have the privilege of serving. Your house is your home and we enjoy creating floors, kitchens and bathrooms you’re proud to share with your friends and family. For more information, visitwww.VersatileFlooringInc.com.

Ways to Find the Right Tile Installer

Installing tile floors is not a home improvement project that just anyone can undertake. You want to make sure that you find the right tile installer, so your home floors are not only beautiful, but are also straight, functional and without problems. Buying flooring materials and installing floors is not an inexpensive venture, so hiring the right floor installation company is the key to doing it right the first time.

Talk to Friends and Family

Start some discussions with family members, co-workers and friends who have recently installed tile in their homes. Find out which installation company they used and what experiences they had working with the installers. People are only likely to refer companies they have had a good experience with and let you know which companies to avoid altogether.

Get Professional Referrals

Think about the other professionals you know that are linked to tile installers. Real estate agents, contractors and interior designers are but a few of the options. Contact people you know who are in these professions and ask for referrals to a good tile installer.

Contact Tile Stores

Area tile stores are another great source for finding quality tile installers. Some tile stores have a list of installers the store representatives refer customers to contact when they need installation. In most circumstances, these installers have been providing installation services to the customers of the stores for years, so you are typically in good hands when the tile store gives you the name and contact information of an installer.

Interview the Installers

Choosing the right tile installer is about more than the price of their estimate. When the installer comes out to your home to do the estimate, make sure you talk with them and ask any questions you may have. Find out how long they have been in the tile installation business and ask to see pictures of their previous work. Also, ask for client references that you can check—especially if the company was not a referral. Ask what type of materials and which method of tile installation the installer is going to use. Inquire about the status of the installer’s license and insurance. After you receive the estimate, re-contact the installer to ask any follow-up questions. In essence, you want to have a complete understanding of what the installer is going to do and what you are being charged for before deciding which installer is the right one.

Doing the legwork up-front on discovering the right installer leads to choosing the right installer. Ultimately, this can save you additional time and money because it helps to ensure your floor is installed right the first time.

Versatile Flooring Inc. brings over 30 years of combined experience in providing quality floor installation and kitchen and bathroom remodeling to South Florida. We are dedicated to providing skilled work and superior customer service to each client we have the privilege of serving. Your house is your home and we enjoy creating floors, kitchens and bathrooms you’re proud to share with your friends and family.

Learn Tile Installation Methods (and How it Affects Cost)

The type of tile installation your tile installer uses directly affects the price of installation. It isn’t only price you need to consider, however. The type of installation your installer uses can also affect how your floor tile stands up to wear and tear and simply the test of time. As a consumer, you should understand the three basic types of tile installation so when it comes time to choose the right installer, you know what type of installation is right for you too.

Mortar and Wire Reinforcement

Mortar and wire reinforcement requires the installer to spread mortar on the floor to create a foundation. On top of the mortar, the installer uses mastic (glue) to adhere the tiles to the mortar. This type of floor installation takes more time than the other two options and therefore is also more expensive. In the long run though, this form of tile installation creates a more level and solid floor as well.

Mortarboard

Mortarboard installation is another option. As far as quality and expense is concerned, this is the mid-level option. It is similar to mortar and wire reinforcement, except that the mortarboard is in pre-cut sheets. Using the pre-cut sheets takes the installer less time and is less expensive, but this installation method can crack the tile in vertical situations where the framing and sheetrock meet at the seams of the tile.

Glue (mastic)

You also have the option of having the tile installer glue (mastic) the tiles directly to the floor. This method takes the least amount of time and therefore is the least expensive way to install tile. The problem with this installation method is it easier for the tile to crack and break.

Other Cost Considerations

It is not just the type of installation method that changes the price of your tile installation. The complexity of the project is also a factor. If the installer has to make a lot of cuts to accommodate for corners, doors and other angles in the room, this adds to the cost. Designs and patterns also increase the cost of your installation. Quality, experience and skill of the installer can also make a difference in how much you pay. Keep in mind that you typically get what you pay for, so if you try to cut corners by hiring the least expensive installer, you may end up paying more in the long run because you have to hire another installer to fix the mistakes of the “cheaper” one.

You should shop around and compare installers. Now that you know what to look for, you can compare tile installation companies the right way and by comparing the right factors.

Versatile Flooring Inc. brings over 30 years of combined experience in providing quality floor installation and kitchen and bathroom remodeling to South Florida. We are dedicated to providing skilled work and superior customer service to each client we have the privilege of serving. Your house is your home and we enjoy creating floors, kitchens and bathrooms you’re proud to share with your friends and family.

Make Your Tile Grout Look Like New

You are most likely in full swing in preparing your home for the upcoming holidays. In Miami, tile floor owners tend to work on cleaning their tile and cleaning their tile grout in an attempt to return their floors and their bathroom tiles back into the look it had when it was new. If you are looking to clean your grout, you have two options from which to choose: do-it-yourself or hire a professional to clean it for you.

Cleaning Solutions

Your first thought is probably to head to the local home improvement store, choose a grout cleaner from the shelf and then head home to get to work. Unfortunately, the grout cleaners you can buy off the shelves do not work, so it simply means you still have dirty grout and now you’re out-of-pocket the cost of the cleaner.

The second option and the solution that really works is to use an acid-based wash to clean the grout. You can buy the acid-based wash from a local tile store and still take on the project by yourself, but you do have to be extremely careful. Since the cleaning solution has acid in it, it can be dangerous to you, your tile and your grout.

Call the Professionals

The second and most logical option is to call a professional tile company that can come out clean the grout for you. Make sure the company uses the professional grade acid-wash, but once they confirm it is what they use, you are well on your way to clean tile grout—the fast and easy way. In the end, you will have clean tile grout and floor or bathroom tiles that look as clean as it did when it was brand new–and, without the hassle of having to take on the project by yourself. This frees up your time to focus on the other areas of the house that you need to work on to get it ready for the holiday season.

Versatile Flooring Inc. brings over 30 years of combined experience in providing quality floor installation and kitchen and bathroom remodeling to South Florida. We are dedicated to providing skilled work and superior customer service to each client we have the privilege of serving. Your house is your home and we enjoy creating floors, kitchens and bathrooms you’re proud to share with your friends and family. For more information, visit www.versatileflooringinc.com.

Install a New Tile Floor over Your Old One

One of the biggest objections many homeowners have about installing a new tile floor in their homes is the mess that tearing out the old floors cause. If the thought of ripping up your old floor is giving you nightmares and is what is preventing you from installing a new tile floor, a new Italian tile—Kerlite—may be the solution you have been seeking. Kerlite is a very thin tile created to install over the top of the old tile floor.Numerous Benefits

This revolutionary tile brings several benefits to the table when considering installing a new tile floor. Since it omits the need to rip out your old floor, it alleviates your home from turning into a construction zone as far as the dusty mess that ripping up an old floor can bring. Because the tile is installed over your old floor, it also makes installing the new floor faster and easier, which means less down time or off limits areas in your home. It can also save you the cost of having to have your tile installers tear out and remove the old tile and the debris.

In addition, the thinness of the tile does not have an adverse effect on the height of your floor. The tile was intentionally created to be thin, yet durable, so that when it is installed over old tile, there is not a noticeable difference when looking at or walking on the floor. Finally, the cost for installing this tile runs about the same as any other tile, so there is no added cost for installing the new floor on top of the old one.

One Drawback

The only aspect of the tile that may cause you to pause is the price. Each tile is more expensive than traditional tile, but the money you save on tear out, and the hassle and mess you avoid may be worth the added expense. It may also be worth finally being able to walk on the new floor of your dreams.

Versatile Flooring Inc. brings over 30 years of combined experience in providing quality floor installation and kitchen and bathroom remodeling to South Florida. We are dedicated to providing skilled work and superior customer service to each client we have the privilege of serving. Your house is your home and we enjoy creating floors, kitchens and bathrooms you’re proud to share with your friends and family. For more information, visit www.VersatileFlooringInc.com.

Two Ways to Add Value to Your South Florida Home

South Florida has been one of the hardest hit areas during the housing crisis. Since the home values leading up to the housing marketing crisis had reached its peak in about 2006, South Florida home values have also seen one of the biggest declines since 2007. The Palm Beach Post reports that during the second quarter of 2010, the home values in South Florida dropped 15 percent more from the home values in 2009. As of the second quarter of 2010, the average home value in Miami-Dade County is $146,500, which is 50 percent below the home values from 2006.
Whether you are trying to add value to your home as part of your investment strategy or are getting ready to put it on the market, two of the primary ways you can add value to your home in South Florida is to remodel your kitchen and to remodel your bathrooms.Updated Kitchens and Bathrooms Add Home Value

Remodeling magazine published a survey produced by Hanley Wood, LLC. The report stated that you recoup 75 percent of your remodeling costs for bathrooms and 80 percent for kitchens. Both of these remodeling projects add value to your home. You may have thought that you would get a dollar for dollar return on your investment, but this simply is not true. While this is not the case, you recoup the most of your investment and increase the value of your home the most with these two remodeling projects. The only other way to add more value to your home is to add square footage of living space.

For example, if it costs you $30,000 to remodel your kitchen then it increases your house value by $24,000. A boost in value of $24,000 takes a sales price from $146,500 to $170,000. It is also a big selling point when a home has a new kitchen and bathrooms, which translates into a faster and more lucrative sale.

In the end, investing your money in upgrading your kitchen and bathrooms goes a long way. There aren’t many investments that net you a 75 to 80 percent return on your costs.

Versatile Flooring Inc. brings over 30 years of combined experience in providing quality floor installation and kitchen and bathroom remodeling to South Florida. We are dedicated to providing skilled work and superior customer service to each client we have the privilege of serving. Your house is your home and we enjoy creating floors, kitchens and bathrooms you’re proud to share with your friends and family. For more information, visit www.VersatileFlooringInc.com.

Flooring: How to Calculate How Much Tile You Need

With some simple measuring and calculating, you can determine how much tile you need for your flooring project. If you are shopping for tile, this will help you get a handle on much the materials will cost you. If you are hiring an installer to do the project for you, you can provide the room measurements as well, to obtain an installation price quote—although the installer typically comes out to take their own measurements.

 

Supplies:

  • Paper
  • Pen or Pencil
  • Measuring Tape
  • Calculator (optional)

Step 1

Measure the length of the room or the floor area where you are tiling.

Step 2

Measure the width of the room or the floor area where you are tiling.

Step 3

Multiply the length of the floor by the width of the floor to determine the square footage of the room. For example, if the room is 12 feet wide by 12 feet long, then you would multiply 12 by 12 to get 144 square feet.

Step 4

Add 15% to the square footage. You should also add 15% to the amount of tile you need in order to accommodate for cuts, waste and breaks during installation. In addition, you want to have extra tile after the project is finished in case you have future problems such as cracks or broken tiles. Also, the tile may go out of the stock, so if you do not have extra tile, you may not be able to replace the broken or cracked tiles.

Step 5

Calculate how many boxes of tile you need. Divide the square footage of the room by the total square footage of tile in the box. For example, if the box has 10 square feet of tile, then you would need 15 boxes of tile.

Tips

A good rule of thumb: If you do not have at least one box of tiles left when your floor is in, then buy one additional box to keep in storage.

If you are installing a diagonal or diamond pattern, then you should buy at least 20% in extra tile than if you are laying a square or straight tile floor pattern.

Versatile Flooring Inc. brings over 30 years of combined experience in providing quality floor installation and kitchen and bathroom remodeling to South Florida. We are dedicated to providing skilled work and superior customer service to each client we have the privilege of serving. Your house is your home and we enjoy creating floors, kitchens and bathrooms you’re proud to share with your friends and family. For more information, visit www.VersatileFlooringInc.com.

Is Home Improvement on Your Holiday Wish List?

If you are like most, you are wrapping up your holiday wish list right about now. Santa takes orders for kitchen remodels and bathroom remodels, so it is not too late to get these projects on your list. Thanksgiving just passed us by so there are still few weeks left before the rest of the holidays make an appearance. With the right kitchen and bathroom remodeling company, it is still possible to get your kitchen and bathrooms together before the holiday rush.

Kitchen Remodel

The kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in your home. Remodeling your kitchen can really give your entire home a major facelift. Whether you choose custom cabinets or ones in-stock, changing out your kitchen cabinets can give your kitchen a new look and organize your space better. Add a granite counter and a backsplash for accent and you are well on your way to beautifying your kitchen. You can go the extra mile by putting in a new floor, adding a coat of paint to the walls, put in new lighting in the ceiling and accent lighting and you have the kitchen you have always dreamed of having.

Bathroom Remodel

After kitchens, bathrooms are some pretty busy rooms in your home too—especially when you have guests visiting or staying with you. Add a new floor, fixtures and a coat of paint and you are well on your way to a stylish bathroom. Put in a new sink base topped off with granite, change out the tub and toilet, if needed, or finally build that stand-up shower you have always wanted to step foot in.

Remember, not only can remodeling these rooms make your holiday wish come true, but it can also boost the value of your home. Kitchens and bathrooms are the two primary rooms in the home that add value. It’s well worth the time and investment Santa has to make to bring you what you want for Christmas.

Versatile Flooring Inc. brings over 30 years of combined experience in providing quality floor installation and kitchen and bathroom remodeling to South Florida. We are dedicated to providing skilled work and superior customer service to each client we have the privilege of serving. Your house is your home and we enjoy creating floors, kitchens and bathrooms you’re proud to share with your friends and family. For more information, visit www.VersatileFlooringInc.com.

7 Steps to a Successful Kitchen Remodel

You have two choices when you remodel your kitchen. You can turn it into a dream or allow it to be a nightmare. With proper planning, you can be proactive about creating a dream kitchen remodel. Follow these seven steps as a guide to help you prepare, plan and install your new kitchen.Step #1 Create a Picture of What You Want

Conjure up a picture of your dream kitchen in your head. Since choosing what you want is only figurative at this point, it’s fine if you go a little crazy. Note the style of the cabinets and handles and the color of the walls and backsplash. Also, keep in mind the layout of the kitchen and if it may require the rearranging of walls, plumbing or other items.

Step #2 Set a Budget

Determine how much money you have to spend on the kitchen remodel. According to the Hanley Wood Remodeling magazine, an average kitchen remodel, with mid-grade cabinets and countertops is almost $21,000. The true cost of remodeling your kitchen can vary greatly, depending on the size of the kitchen, the materials you choose and the professionals you hire. Less expensive isn’t always better, but determine the total amount you have to spend so you can allocate a portion of the budget to each aspect of the kitchen remodel.

Step #3 Match Your Wants with Your Budget

Shop and compare materials and labor so you can match your budget with actual cost. As you shop around, you’ll be able to allocate numbers to the line items on your budget. For example, you may find that a prefabricated granite countertop is $600. Originally, you allocated $1,500 for buying the slab, so you can now reallocate the difference to pay for another item on your list—or save it!

In addition to materials, you also need to price the labor. Price kitchen installation companies and determine which parts of the remodel they handle. For example, some installers will take care of everything from the cabinets and countertops to the electricity and plumbing. Other companies solely handle the cabinets and countertops. Otherwise, you have to hire the other professionals yourself.

Step #4 Assemble Your Dream Team

Interview your kitchen installation team and choose team members according to skill, professionalism and experience rather than the cost alone. Verify licenses and insurance. Check references of past customers that have had their kitchens installed by the same company and professionals.

Step #5 Finalize Everything

While you had drawings of the new kitchen done to shop and compare materials and installers, now it’s time to finalize everything. Work with your kitchen installers to complete the layout and choose the final materials for your cabinets, countertops, backsplash, sink, faucet, cabinet handles and any finishing details of the kitchen fixtures or décor.

Step #6 Pull the Permits

In most cities and counties, you are required to pull a permit for any work that you do on your home, including a kitchen remodel. Talk with the installation company or the individual contractors (plumber, electrician, cabinet and countertop) to determine if they pull the permits or if you have to pull the permits. Ultimately, as the homeowner, you are responsible for having the permits for the work.

Step #7 Just Remodel It

Once you have gone through the pre-planning and planning process, it is time to remodel the kitchen. Keep in mind that you will not have access to your kitchen during the remodel, so plan for food storage and preparation elsewhere.

Remodeling the kitchen in your home can be an exciting time. It can also be a complete nightmare if you do not properly plan. Take the necessary steps to make your kitchen remodeling experience as pleasant as it can possibly be, so it’s a dream rather than a nightmare.

Versatile Flooring Inc. brings over 30 years of combined experience in providing quality floor installation and kitchen and bathroom remodeling to South Florida. We are dedicated to providing skilled work and superior customer service to each client we have the privilege of serving. Your house is your home and we enjoy creating floors, kitchens and bathrooms you’re proud to share with your friends and family. For more information, visitwww.VersatileFlooringInc.com.