Projects You Should Leave to the Pros

DIY projectsHow To: Maintain Your Hardwood Floors have never been more popular than they are now. You’ll find tutorials for almost every type of project online, but unless you’re a professional, there are some projects you shouldn’t tackle yourself.

  1. Electric – Working with electrical wiring can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. You run the risk of electric shock, changing the wires’ polarity and even making your home susceptible to electrical fires.
  2. Plumbing – Simple drainage problems are easy to fix yourself, but more complicated projects like fixing pipes or replacing a toilet, when done incorrectly, can lead to leaks and moisture damage that will be costly to repair.
  3. Hardwood Flooring – There are a lot of factors to account for when installing hardwoods that DIYers might not consider. For example, allowing space for swelling and shrinkage; knowing the correct type of subfloor to use; taking careful and precise measurements; and proper installation techniques.
  4. Replacing Kitchen Cabinets or Countertops – Working with heavy materials can seriously injure you or damage other aspects of your home. Measurements can be tricky for these projects as well, potentially leading to costly mistakes.

There are many other projects that are best left to the professionals, but the best way to judge is to consider the safety of the project and the possible damage that could occur is something goes wrong. Some DIY projects, liking painting, are worth that risk, but for others, give a professional a call.

Green Flooring Options

If you’re trying to be more eco-friendly around your home, consider starting with the flooring! Here are some green flooring options that you should take a look at:

  • Bamboo – Bamboo plants are renewable, making bamboo flooring a sustainable option. However, some varieties of bamboo are better suited for flooring than others, so be sure to do your research and look for certified eco-friendly brands.
  • Rubber –Rubber floors are a great natural option, depending on where the rubber comes from. Stay away from synthetic rubber if you are going green, but natural rubber–produced from the sap of rubber trees–and recycled rubber–made from old tires and other recycled materials–are good choices. However, there are some caveats to using rubber floors that you should consider:
    • Some people may be allergic to natural rubber floors;
    • There is a slight smell associated with rubber floors; and
    • Recycled rubber shouldn’t be used in rooms where it could be subjected to grease, fat, oil or detergent spills.
  • Linoleum – Made out of solidified linseed oil, which is a natural substance, linoleum is non-toxic, asthma- and allergy-friendly, and durable, making it an ideal choice in high traffic areas of the home.
  • Cork – Cork flooring usually is made of material left over from bottle stopper manufacturing. Cork is a great green option because it comes from a renewable source and it has anti-bacterial properties. Cork flooring is also comfortable to stand on, offers soundproofing qualities and retains heat.
  • Wool carpet – The natural fibers of wool make it an eco-friendly choice, but pay careful attention to the backing and binding used on a wool carpet.
  • Concrete – In most homes, concrete already exists as the subfloor, so to get concrete floors, you only need to remove the current flooring. This means no new flooring material needs to be created, making concrete more environmentally friendly than many other flooring options.
  • Wood – Look for wood that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council to ensure it was harvested sustainably, and be sure to stay away from wood that contains formaldehyde.
  • Reclaimed flooring – Reclaimed flooring is a great green option because it utilizes a source that already exists, meaning there is little to no environmental impact in the creation of the floors.

Other things to consider when choosing green flooring include: the installation process, and the adhesives and finishes used on the flooring. These factors can quickly take a green product from eco-friendly to not so earth-conscious. Do your research and talk to experts to make an informed decision on your purchase.

Vinyl Planks vs. Sheet Vinyl

Vinyl flooring comes in two different types – Planks/tiles or sheet vinyl. Which type is correct for you and your home? Here are the pros and cons of each to help you decide:

Vinyl/Tile Planks

  • Come in a wider variety of designs that can mimic stone, ceramic, hardwood and more.
  • Can be configured in any pattern or design you desire.
  • More durable due to their construction methods.
  • Faster and easier installation.
  • Initial costs are generally higher than sheet vinyl.

Sheet Vinyl

  • Fewer design choices, but vastly improved from the sheet vinyl of the old days.
  • Best used for places that require fewer floor seams for safety reasons.
  • Not as easy to repair as tiles/planks. You either need to replace the whole floor or cut out and replace damaged section, giving the floor seams that could compromise its moisture resistance.
  • Has a tendency to curl if not properly installed (because it is stored in rolls), potentially leading to safety risks and appearance problems.
  • More expensive and time-consuming installation.
  • Cheaper than vinyl planks, but it is necessary to take in to account the cost for installation and potentially, repairs.

If you need more help deciding which option is the better choice for you, stop into any of our locations today!