Creating the Perfect Farmhouse-Style​ ​Kitchen

Creating the Perfect Farmhouse-Style​ ​Kitchen

There is no one, right way to creating the perfect farmhouse kitchen, but certain materials, aesthetics, and accessories will give you that desired rustic yet elegant look. From Tuscan or French to All-American, this classic style draws inspiration from a variety of styles. Here are a few tips and trends to follow when designing your new farmhouse kitchen.

Cabinets

Traditional farmhouse kitchens have light base colors such as white, cream, or gray. If you are going for a more modern look, navy and sage are also popular colors for cabinets. According to hgtv.com, shaker style cabinets are the most universal, making them easy to customize to your tastes by incorporating unique hardware and adding glass-front doors, a popular design feature. You may also choose to extend the cabinets all the way up to the ceiling for extra storage or do floor to ceiling cabinets for an accent wall.

Open shelving is also an option common in farmhouse kitchens, allowing you to showcase kitchenware or accessories that will accentuate the space. If you opt for this more open feel, look for materials such as natural woods that bring the outside in.

Islands

Kitchen islands can provide additional countertop space as well as seating, but are not necessary to making your kitchen complete. Deborah Pierce, Principal at Pierce Lamb Architects in West Newton, Massachusetts says “kitchens should have an extra 11 x 11 feet of space to accommodate and island.” She adds that islands should be “no smaller than 4 ft long and 2 ft deep”. If your dream farmhouse kitchen allows for an island, you can use the same cabinetry as your wall cabinets in the same color for a more cohesive look.

If you like to mix it up, an island in a contrasting or accent color adds a more modern element to the farmhouse style. If you do not have the room for an island, but want additional prep space, a peninsula or a moveable cart are great options as well.

Countertops

Kitchen countertops should be functional and durable, but that doesn’t mean you should sacrifice style! To achieve the farmhouse look, there are many different kinds of materials to choose from. For a more rustic and lived-in feel, butcher block countertops are popular and ideal. They can withstand any chopping or cutting and can easily be repaired using mineral oil to buff out any scratches or burns.

Marble and soapstone countertops fit nicely into a more classy farmhouse style kitchen, depending on the specific look you are going for. Marble is beautiful, light in color and perfect for baking enthusiasts, but much more expensive. Soapstone is easy to maintain, dark in color and will continue to darken over time, creating the perfect contrast to lighter cabinets. If your taste is more modern, concrete countertops are also a great option. They can be created in a variety of colors, have a sleek finish and will last a lifetime.

Flooring

The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, so it’s important to make sure your floors can withstand all the wear and tear of heavy traffic. Houzz.com offers two basic options that will create the perfect farmhouse-style kitchen are wood or tile. Solid hardwood floors can be sanded down and refinished to eliminate any scratches, but are not the best option for kitchens as they’re not as water-tight.

Engineered hardwood, or laminate, is a less expensive option and more water-resistant, but any imperfections the incur cannot be buffed out. To really capture the rustic farmhouse look, barn plank floors are a budget-friendly choice and very authentic. The planks are generally wider and offer unlimited styling options.

Tile floors are popular in slate or ceramic and the colors are endless. Slate tiles can be randomly placed for a natural cobblestone effect, but prone to scratches and stains. Ceramic will be your best option if you want low maintenance and foresee lots of wear.

Vinyl is cost-efficient and offers a wide variety of looks such as tile, wood, or stone. If you’re feeling adventurous, cork or brick floors will be a standout feature sure to set your kitchen apart from all the rest.

Sinks

You can’t have the perfect farmhouse kitchen without a farmhouse sink! This is what ties the entire look together and is often a standout piece. The apron on the front is what distinguishes it as farmhouse-style and is much deeper than the average kitchen sink. They are available in single or double-bowl and come in all kinds of colors and textures. Porcelain is the most popular material and goes well with light or dark cabinets but tends to show discoloration after time. Fireclay looks like porcelain but is more durable and resistant to chipping. It’s also pricey, but there’s a good chance it will never need replaced.

If your kitchen has more of a modern farmhouse vibe, stainless steel is clean and sleek yet affordable. If you’re going for a mix of rustic and modern, copper is a fun twist with its hammered finish and natural patina coloring. Per houzz.com, copper sinks can be created with a patina finish, or you can have it installed and let the finish develop on its own over time.

Farmhouse style can be interpreted in many ways and customized to individual tastes. However, there a few universal guidelines to keep in mind as you begin your kitchen remodel. First and foremost, the space should be functional. From the layout to the design, keep in mind how you use the room you have and go with what works best for you. Additionally, it’s important to be cost-effective, but not cheap. Investing in high quality materials will keep your kitchen looking nice and in good condition for many years to come.

Finally, to stay in line with the farmhouse look, incorporate accessories that will add to it such as mason jars, glass canisters, and galvanized metals. At the end of the day you should have fun, showcase your personality and enjoy your brand new farmhouse kitchen!

Help Your Carpet Survive a Pittsburgh Winter

pittsburgh winter

Pittsburgh’s winter season is in full swing! Between the frigid weather and the yo-yoing temperatures, it feels as if there are natural forces working against us all this time of year. But there’s another silent enemy of winter home care we must be mindful of: rock salt.

Not only can the chemicals in this ice-melting tool wreak havoc on your shoes and tires, they can also cause damage to your carpet and other flooring. Another issue that can arise is subpar air quality in your home, as soiled carpet can spread allergens and pollutants throughout your home by releasing them into the air.

But this isn’t the time to give up! There are many steps you can take to care for your carpets during the winter here in the Pittsburgh region.

Make a “No Shoes” Policy

We’re sure you’ve visited a friend or relative’s home and been asked to remove your shoes upon entering. While it may seem like a pain in the moment, this action can really help maintain your carpets and avoid any unnecessary damage year round, but particularly during the winter months.

There are a few easy ways to ensure this happens when a guest enters your home. First, find a specific area near your entryway for the shoes to be places. You’ll want to be sure that any wet footwear is placed on flooring that can withstand the wear, on a small, durable area rug, or on a rack of some kind.

You also may want to add a small sign asking guests to remove their shoes, just in case.

Clean Your Carpets Regularly

Ideally, you already vacuum your heavily traffic carpet areas twice each week, but for areas with less traffic, weekly is just fine. Pro tip: always use a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar or rotating brush and with a strong air flow.

No matter how often you vacuum in the winter, your carpet will still need heavy-duty cleaning from time to time. We recommend hiring a trained carpet care professional to perform this service at least once each year to refresh the texture and rejuvenate the fibers. If you worry your carpet is beginning to show wear during the winter, now is the perfect time to have your carpets cleaned.

Do you have any winter carpet care tips? Feel free to share them with us in the comments!

How To Clean Your Carpet, Tile, Hardwood, and LVT Floors

cleaning carpet

Have you had trouble keeping your floors clean in the past? No matter what type of flooring you have in your home, it certainly requires some type of care and maintenance. Whether it’s carpet stains or dirt in your tile grout, we have cleaning solutions to keep your home fresh and clean!

Cleaning Carpet

If you clean your carpet floors yourself instead of hiring professionals, there are a few best practices to follow. First, you can clean carpet by water extraction, commonly done with steam cleaners. Steam cleaners work by releasing a cleaning solution into the floors, then extracting the now-dirty solution back into the appliance. Water damage is a risk when using this method, especially when handling a steam cleaner on your own, so make sure there’s not an excess amount of water being injected into the floors during this process.

An alternative way to clean your carpet is the dry extraction method. Dry extraction works by using a dry absorbent compound. After the compound is fully spread, vacuum the floors with a carpet cleaning machine (such machines are available to rent).

If you’d like more carpet cleaning tips, we have a curated list of carpet cleaning solutions to help you tackle the spots and stains that inevitably appear on your carpet from years of wear and tear.

Cleaning Tile

Tile is extremely durable, which makes the cleaning and care process easier and less involved. One way to consistently ensure your tile floors look fresh is to vacuum or sweep, then use a sponge mop to clean your floors one to two times a week. The most important part about keeping tile clean is keeping the grout clear of dirt and buildup. To extract dirt from your grout, use a grout cleaner spray or a mixture of baking soda and water. Apply the spray or paste to the grout and let sit for ten to fifteen minutes. Use a small brush to scrub the spray or paste out of the grout, bringing with it the years of buildup and grime.

Cleaning Hardwood

To begin to clean hardwood floors yourself, you will first need to sweep the floors to remove excess dirt. This will take care of the recent buildup, but not the dirt that has been on your hardwood floors for a long period of time. You’ll need a wood-cleaning product to clean the long-term buildup. As a precaution, make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully on the cleaning products you plan to use before spreading them all over your hardwood floors. Use a sponge mop to spread the cleaner on the floors, making sure you don’t put too much product on the floor. Clean the mop and dampen it with clean water before using it to remove the cleaner. After you completely remove the cleaner, take a dry towel and gently dry the hardwood.

Check out our Hardwood Care & Maintenance page, or learn more about our refinishing services to ensure the longevity of your hardwood floors.

Cleaning LVT

Cleaning LVT, or luxury vinyl tile, is very similar to cleaning tile or hardwood floors. As with hardwood, you want to watch out for excess moisture during the cleaning process to reduce the risk of water damage. Vacuum and sweep LVT floors weekly to keep them in great condition. For a deeper clean, use the same process as you would with hardwood floors, except replace the the hardwood cleaning product with a cleaning product that is made specifically for LVT.  LVT floors are very durable however, they still need to be maintained properly to ensure they continue to look pristine for years to come.

Learn everything you need to know about maintenance and care for carpet, tile, hardwood and LVT floors on our website, and be sure to stop by any of our Pittsburgh flooring locations for more information!

 

Installing Hardwood Floors vs. Installing LVT Floors

laminate flooring

After you have spent time researching types of floors and looking through our samples, it’s time to install the floors into your home. Rusmur Floors has a team of experts who will install your hardwood and luxury vinyl tile (LVT) floors. Before the installation process begins however, there are a few things to consider. Some aspects of the installation process for hardwood and LVT are similar, and some are very different. Below are three categories of price, timeline, and  preparation where we compare the two kinds of flooring in regards to installation.

Price

Hardwood floors in general are more expensive than LVT floors, and that also applies to installation. The price of hardwood installation comes in at about twice as much as luxury vinyl tile installation. This isn’t necessarily because of the way they install it, but because of the source of hardwood versus the source of LVT. Hardwood is a natural source and LVT is not, so therefore hardwood is more expensive to buy, install, and upkeep than vinyl tile.

Timeline

From selecting the floors up until the installation process, both hardwood and LVT floors take 2 to 3 weeks to complete. Once the floors are selected and delivered, they need to be left alone for an estimated 48 hours to acclimate to the environment. Installing the hardwood floors takes about 1 to 3 days and then up to 2 weeks prior to sanding for hardwood floors. This timeline includes the time it takes to prepare for installation as well as cleanup after installation.

Preparation

Remove any furniture, decor, and valuables from the walls of the rooms you will be having the floors installed in before your scheduled appointment. As mentioned before, make sure the floors have arrived at your home at least two days prior to starting the installation process, to be properly acclimated to the environment. Once your floors arrive, make sure they do not have any damages or defects. For both luxury vinyl tile and hardwood flooring, make sure you read the warranty, installation instructions, and manufacturer’s instructions prior to when the installation team arrives. It is also good to prepare for the post-installation clean up. Prior to installation, have a plan in place to clean any leftover dust, dirt, or extra materials that can pile up during this process.

Want to learn more about the similarities and differences between hardwood and LVT floors? Check out our Hardwood vs. LVT guide and stay tuned for our next blog that discusses in-depth the upkeep and maintenance for both types of flooring!

 

2018 Marble Flooring Trends

marble bathroom floor

The Marble Trend

You may be aware of the marble trend hitting department stores and home decor aisles, but did you know marble flooring has been around for hundreds of years? It has been an elegant and timeless flooring choice since the middle ages. Although marble may not be your go-to option for everyday flooring (versus carpet, hardwood, or LVT), it is a great choice for people who prefer more luxurious stone flooring.

Marble Flooring Positives

Marble may not be the right option for everyone, but it has its benefits. Starting with the obvious, marble is made out of natural stone, just like our hardwood floors are made from natural wood. Marble is also extremely durable, and can last a lifetime without much upkeep or maintenance. Marble is an investment, more so than other floor types, which in turn can increase the value of your home for resale down the line. It also pairs well with many different color schemes, and even a number of different design styles. There are a variety of options to choose from depending on your personal interior style.

How To Incorporate Marble In Your Home

If you do want to make the investment in marble floors, here are a few interior design styles you can incorporate them into:

Minimalist Style

The best way to imitate the marble trend for people who favor minimalist design is to stick with a neutral color scheme so it looks like the marble veins and colors. Shades of white, tan and greys will look the most natural with this theme and tie the overall look together, creating a crisp, fresh and clean space for all to enjoy.

Modern Style

Modern style tends to border on the edge of eclecticism with an assortment of shapes, colors,  and sharp lines. One way to incorporate marble flooring into this modern style is to use a geometric marble tile pattern. Another way to add some geometrical elements to the marble floor is to use marble tiles with different shapes. Unlike minimalist style, modernism is all about pops of color and showing your bold style through design elements, so adding bright colored decor accents would also pair nicely with marble flooring.

European Style

It’s no secret that European style is for those who favor luxury decor. If you like leather sectionals, fur rugs, and gold accents, a European-themed room is perfect for you. Glossy and pure white marble tiles work best with the European look. Consider pairing the marble with antique decor pieces.

There are many ways to incorporate marble in your home if you don’t want to invest in marble flooring quite yet. For example, you can buy marble counters, backsplash, and decor and pair it with more traditional floors, like quality hardwood flooring.

What do you think about the ongoing marble trend? If you’re not ready to commit to marble floors but are still looking for new floors for your home, check out our online catalog, stop by any of our locations, or call us today at 1-800-278-768.