HOME & FAMILY BLOG

Spring Refresh: The Latest Style & Flooring Trends

The arrival of spring is always an exciting time of year. Warm weather, longer days, and plenty of sunshine are just around the corner. It’s also the perfect time of year to refresh your home by updating your flooring with new materials or trying out a new layout design. Whether you prefer hardwood, laminate, carpet or tile, these types of flooring offer big style in a variety of ways. Here are some ideas for how to incorporate the latest trends into your home.

Hardwood/Laminate

When it comes to hardwood, the possibilities are endless. Laminate is a great budget-friendly option, but more people are craving real hardwood floors. Although they present a higher upfront cost, real hardwood can be refinished over time and restained to match the ever-changing trends. They’re incredibly durable and add more value to your home as well.

Furthermore, homeowners are passing up the immensely popular warm, reddish toned hardwood floors for richer, darker, and cooler colors. Blends of ebony and dark walnut are quickly becoming all the rage along with rich browns and dark grays and in some cases, solid black. While these colors look great, they do require a dedicated amount of maintenance as dust and any scratches or imperfections are easy to spot. Conversely, going dark is a great way to cover up any differences in flooring materials, creating a smooth, cohesive look.

If the darker shades are a little too intense for your taste, not to worry! The two hottest flooring trends in 2018 cover both ends of the spectrum: very dark and very light. Grays, gray blends, and white washed hardwood flooring is also very popular and of-the-moment. However, achieving this trendy look can be difficult. The process of staining wood floors gray is tricky and time consuming and white washing floors have a tendency to blow the budget.

The happy medium would be light, natural looking floors with more muted colors that avoid the yellow undertones that typically come through. The benefits of this type of hardwood include easy maintenance and several environmentally friendly and practical options. Go with a flat finish, such as matte or satin, for a low sheen and more sophisticated feel to avoid looking outdated.

Carpeting & Tile

Carpet can feel just as luxurious and high-end as hardwood with the right combination of pattern, color and texture, the three biggest factors that play into the hottest trends for spring 2018.

Nature-inspired patterned carpet along with carpet tiles and geometric patterns can add visual interest and eclectic feel to any room. Statement walls and art pieces have been popular for some time, but now your flooring can also share in the spotlight. Geometric designs are wildly popular among tile designs and are not limited to flooring. Most common in kitchens and bathrooms, funky and unique tile designs can go beyond flooring and used for backsplash and wall designs as well.

Despite the popularity of white kitchens, bathrooms, and walls, pops of vibrant colors all across the entire color wheel can be unexpected, funky, and fresh. Taking a risk with colored carpeting could have a big style payoff, so don’t be afraid to mix bold colors with different patterns or stripes. A brand new trend for 2018 is carpet with a hint of shimmer and shine, a look that takes an otherwise neutral color to the next level. Perfect for blush, grey, and lilac tones this style adds a touch of vibrancy to a sophisticated feel. Pair it with shimmery wallpaper or decorative paint for an even more glamorous aesthetic.

Getting out of bed in the morning might not be your favorite part of the day, but having your feet land on soft, touchable carpet can make it a little better. Soft carpeting is making a huge statement in looks and practicality all while adding extra character to your home. This trend offers silky-smooth materials and durability with convenient built-in stain resistance, an exciting added feature for households with kids or pets.

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.

How to Style White Flooring

white flooring

It’s no secret that the color white has been an ongoing interior design trend, and the trend only seems to grow. If you’re in the market for new floors, and are looking specifically for white floors, our Rusmur Floors team can help narrow down the options. Picking the color or shade for your floors is half the battle, now it’s time to pick which type of white flooring you’d like for your home, as well as how to style it. Continue reading for advice on how to design your rooms around each kind of white flooring, whether you choose carpet, hardwood or tile.

White Carpet/White Area Rugs

White carpet is the perfect choice if you’re searching for a fresh look while focusing on comfort. Another bonus? With bright white carpet, you have endless options for styling the rest of the room! If you’d like to keep your color scheme neutral, stick to shades of beige, olive green, and dark brown for your furniture and decor to pair with the white carpet. You can also pair the white carpet with bold colors of bright orange, yellow, or pink if you would rather display a stand-out design. If you don’t want to commit to an all white carpet in the entire room, a white area rug is a great option to cover less square footage, yet still be on-trend.

White Hardwood

White hardwood, or white wood flooring, is a more contemporary way of participating in the white flooring trend. This type of flooring would be especially great for kitchens and dining rooms. To create a more elegant look to your interior, install accent marble countertops or decor to compliment the white wood. White plank wood floors can also be styled as a rustic cozy room, by adding faux fur rugs, grey decor, and other wood features.

White Tile

White tile flooring is best for bathrooms to give the illusion of more space. Glossy white tile combined with all white countertops will make the most out of the square footage you have in your bathrooms, whether it’s a powder room or an en suite! Gold or copper accents would pair perfectly with white tile in this room.

If you want to discuss more white flooring options, or check out what we have available at our stores, visit us at any of our locations!

Upkeep/Maintenance for LVT Floors vs. Hardwood Floors

cleaning hardwood floors

Now that you have your hardwood or LVT floors installed, it’s time to focus on the upkeep and maintenance of your floors. Taking care of your floors is important, and ensures that your flooring can be the heart of the home for many years to come. Since hardwood floors are a natural source and are known to last longer than luxury vinyl tile, they requires more upkeep over the years. LVT on the other hand, is popular because it’s cheaper and not as high maintenance as hardwood.

Everyday Care

The day-to-day care for hardwood flooring includes vacuuming and sweeping regularly with a broom. Avoid using a vacuum with a power rotary brush head on the floors, as it can be too rough. It’s also a smart idea to move the furniture in the room occasionally, to help the hardwood age at an even pace. Try to prevent extreme daylight from shining on the hardwood for long periods of time, as this can cause uneven fading and aging.

LVT is more durable than hardwood, and it’s also waterproof. The durability and low maintanence of this type of flooring results in little daily upkeep. The basic everyday care for luxury vinyl tile includes sweeping with a soft-bristle broom to clean loose dust or dirt, as well as mopping with clean water and gentle cleaner. Unlike hardwood, you don’t have to worry as much about direct sunlight fading or aging LVT floors. If there is a stain on your LVT floors, use 1 part bleach and 10 parts water to spot-treat.

Prevention

There are various ways to prevent speeding the process of aging, scratches, dents and other damage to your hardwood or LVT floors. For both types of flooring, it’s best to avoid wearing heeled or spiked shoes while walking on the floors. Avoid dragging heavy furniture on the floors, instead pick up the furniture to prevent scratches and dents. If there are any spills, you should not let them sit for long periods of time and instead clean them up immediately. Although it is possible to clean LVT floors with a damp mop, you should avoid using a damp or wet mop to clean your hardwood floors to prevent any liquid damage.

Refinishing Options for Hardwood

Although LVT floors are low maintenance and require little to no upkeep overtime, choosing hardwood floors allows for future refinishing options. These refinishing options can take your flooring from tired and worn out to looking better than when they were first installed! Refinishing hardwood can also extend the longevity of hardwood floors and help you get the most out of your investment. There are three types of refinishing services: sanding, screening, and staining.

  • Sanding: Sanding is when the floors are completely sanded down to the raw wood to start fresh with the refinishing process.
  • Screening: Screening is the process of lightly sanding or “screening” the top layers of the floor. Then, covering it with a polyurethane top-coat.
  • Staining: This process requires sanding the floors, then staining them the color or finish of your choice, then topping them with a coat of polyurethane.

Want to learn more about the similarities and differences between hardwood and LVT floors? Download our Hardwood vs. LVT guide and check out our previous blog comparing the installation process for hardwood and LVT floors.

 

How to Use your Sunroom During Fall & Winter

Fall Winter Decor

In Western Pennsylvania, sunrooms are valuable spaces as the weather starts to cool off. These rooms can provide warmth in the cooler hours of the day while still allowing you to bask in the sunshine of midday, regardless of the temperature outside. The sunroom is perfect for easing you into autumn’s brisk temperatures, especially if you have the right flooring and a climate controlled room.With the right decor and flooring choices, you can use sunrooms 365 days a year, not just in the summer!

Vinyl, sometimes referred to as LVT, and carpeted floors are the best choices to use  for your sunroom if you want to use it year-round. These floorings options are most tolerant to Western PA’s extreme temperature changes and humidity swings. With the right flooring, it is easy to transition your sunroom from fall to winter.

Add an Area Rug
When you want to change things up for the colder seasons, an area rug can be a great complement to your flooring choice. It’s an easy way to incorporate new colors into the room. Not only a good source of color and themes, an area rug can help warm up the room as well. For any parts of the room not covered by the rug, keep your favorite slippers by the room’s doorway and don’t forget to bring a hot cup of your favorite tea in with you!

Decorate with Holiday Pieces
As the holidays get closer and closer, it is a good time to break out the holiday decor and to remember your sunroom while you are decorating! A few holiday decorations can be placed around the room will help to make it seasonal. Your decor choices can be as simple as a pumpkin as a centerpiece, a wreath on a wall, or a vase of fall foliage placed somewhere you can enjoy it.

Bring out the Pillows and Blankets
Consider investing in a few decorative pillows and throw blankets that would make your sunroom cozy for the cooler months. These items could be holiday themed or just colors and patterns that you find pleasing. They will help to make the room more inviting and tempt you from the rest of the house to enjoy the occasional balmy winter day from your sunroom.

These little decor ideas will transition your sunroom to the perfect cozy autumn space that you will keep enjoying into the winter months.

Reach out to us today if you have any questions about what flooring would best suit your needs and don’t forget to check out our collection of floors suitable for sunrooms at any of our 5 locations!

Ways to Use Leftover Wood and Tile Flooring

Do you have leftover wood or tile from a flooring project you did? You can put those flooring scraps to good use with some fun DIY projects. With this compilation of suggestions, you’ll have fun getting in touch with your creativity:

Wood Flooring

You can use leftover wood floor scraps in a number of ways. Here are eight ways you can use them up:

  • Wainscoting
  • A doormat in a sheltered area
  • Cabinet doors
  • Smooth out wallpaper
  • Cover the ceiling
  • Photo frames
  • Coffee tables
  • Level soil or sand

Tile Flooring

Here are six ways to use that extra tile:

  • Coasters
  • Frame a mirror
  • Cover a tabletop
  • A serving tray
  • Hang artwork on the wall
  • Decorate large pieces of tile with photos

 

You can easy find step-by-step instructions for many of these projects! Next month, we’ll offer suggestions on how you can use leftover laminate and vinyl flooring pieces, so stay tuned.

Do you have other suggestions on how to use leftover wood or tile flooring? Share with us in the comment section below!

Hardwood and tile floor in residential home kitchen and dining room