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What is Laminate Wood Flooring & Is It a Good Choice for My Home?

September 12, 2014

Wood floors add charm and warmth, but they can be expensive. Many homeowners opt for wood laminate to get a similar look without the high price tag. Keep reading to determine whether laminate wood flooring is a good choice for your home…

How Is Wood Laminate Flooring Made?

Laminate Flooring America 268x300 What is Laminate Wood Flooring & Is It a Good Choice for My Home?

Photo Credit: Flooring America on Flickr

This synthetic flooring features multiple layers laminated together. The bottom layer consists of melamine resin (a type of plastic) and fiberboard (made from wood fibers). On top is placed a photographic appliqué of wood, followed by a clear protective layer.

The photographic appliqué allows for seemingly endless options in terms of color, grain and texture. Any wood in existence—including cherry, hickory, maple, oak and pine—can be simulated, and recent styles have even included flooring that looks like stone, concrete and slate.

Fun Fact: When shopping for wood laminate flooring, you might see and/or hear it called Pergo. The name refers to the first product of its kind, which was invented by Swedish company Perstorp in 1977. Just like Kleenex, it gets used synonymously.

How Is Wood Laminate Flooring Installed?

The ease with which it can be installed is a major selling point along with the lower cost. The product comes as tongue-and-groove planks that are clicked into one another and placed on top of a foam or film underlay, which goes over the subfloor.

At edges, the flooring gets cut to fit. Baseboards should be removed and reinstalled for the proper finished appearance, or additional trim strips can be used as filler. Installing wood laminate flooring can be done by an experienced DIYer with the necessary tools and time, but if you have never taken on a project such as this it makes sense to assign the work to a professional. Your handyman can get the work done, with each room taking just a few hours after the existing flooring has been removed.

Pros and Cons of Wood Laminate Flooring

The synthetic flooring has multiple advantages when compared to other types. As mentioned, it usually costs less than real wood, with ranges from $0.50 to $3.50 per square foot and $3 to $13 per square foot, respectively. Because of the lower price, you can choose a wood look that you may not be able to afford if it were actual wood. This type of flooring also resists scratching, staining, and fading better than the real stuff.

Many homeowners also appreciate the eco-friendliness of certain products because they use recycled materials. You can also enjoy the look of a gorgeous but rare or endangered species of wood without breaking the law with the faux flooring.

In terms of drawbacks, standing water can damage wood laminate flooring, just as it can actual wood. Unlike wood, though, it cannot be refinished but must instead be replaced altogether.

To learn more about how wood laminate flooring stands up to other types of materials, check out this Wood Flooring Types: Pros and Cons post.

Caring for Wood Laminate Flooring

Regular cleaning simply involves a dust mop. You can spot clean with a damp sponge or mop, the latter for larger spills. It does not require polishing, waxing or refinishing, as real wood floors do. For more advice on how to clean floors of all kinds, check out this How to Mop and Clean Wood, Vinyl, and Laminate Floors post.

Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service in your area.

2014 National Day of Service Projects

September 4, 2014

Mr. Handyman businesses around the country are less than a week away
no date DayOfService2 copy 265x300 2014 National Day of Service Projects from honoring the victims of September 11 on the National Day of Service and Remembrance. Our franchise owners and Home Office team members have donated a day making repairs and improvements in local fire departments, domestic violence shelters, military veterans and charitable organizations.

This year, nearly 800 hours of professional handyman services will be donated, bringing our total to over 4,600 hours since we began in 2009.

Here’s what a few Mr. Handyman franchise owners have to say about participating:

“We are thrilled to be working with Community Housing Advocacy & Development (CHAD) as part of Mr. Handyman’s National Day of Service campaign. We are always looking for ways to give back to our community and we are excited to be a part of a national operation to help others in need,” said Wayne Owczarzak, owner of Mr. Handyman of Wheaton.

When Jo McCabe, Mr. Handyman of Northern Virginia – Arlington to Haymarket was asked if she’s participating in this year’s National Day of Service, she said, “Of course we’re participating! This year’s recipient of our services was recommended by the VFW and is a U.S. Army World War II veteran.”

“Spending a day supporting the Naples Fire Department was a big deal for our team over the past few years. Within our community, there are several fire departments and being able to connect to the people on the front line is pretty moving. They do jobs we wouldn’t be able to do, so helping them with their improvement projects is very gratifying,” said Jay Gravel, owner of Mr. Handyman serving Greater Naples.

Other projects planned in observance of the 2014 National Day of Service include:

  • Cindy Parks-Talley and Kris Talley, owners of Mr. Handyman of Midwest Collin County, are donating their team’s time at the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • In the Orlando, Fla. area, Bob Curley and Michael Slason teaming up to support a woman recommended by Compassionate Hands and Hearts Breast Cancer Outreach, which was founded by WFTV Anchor Vanessa Echols.
  • Long-time participant Chad Olson, owner of Mr. Handyman of SE Orlando, will spend his day working again at the Safehouse of Seminole. He was inspired to help years ago when he saw an abused women come into the shelter with her children.
  • The Garner Road Community Center will have items on their facility’s To Do list checked off by Bruce and Robin Foster’s team at Mr. Handyman of Western Wake County.
  • Michael Carney, owner of Mr. Handyman of the Southwest Atlanta Suburbs, and his team of technicians are planning to install handrails and improve accessibility and safety in homes suggested by Fayette Senior Services.
  • Along with the Mr. Handyman Home Office team, Greg Kemp, owner of My Handyman of Ann Arbor, Chelsea and Saline will paint trim, stain a deck, maintain landscaping and more at the Peace Neighborhood Center.
  • A disabled veteran will receive free handyman services from Mr. Handyman serving S Lee County, which is owned by Allen Furrer.
  • Making a return visit to the volunteer Bowie Fire Department, Kevin Crysler and Diana McKinney, owners of Mr. Handyman of Anne Arundel and NE PG said their technicians have awning and roof repairs and painting projects planned.
  • The Quigley House will be assisted again by Mr. Handyman serving Greater Jacksonville, owned by Mike and Libby McCalley.
  • Ted Tennenbaum and David Silverman will combine their workforce to give a deserving, Los Angeles-area veteran some much-needed assistance.
  • In Arlington, Tom and Suzy Ware, will also support a military veteran by making home repairs closer to Veteran’s Day. 

Curb Appeal Ideas for the Front of Your House: Doors, Yard & Mailbox

August 31, 2014

The front of a house sets the tone for the entire property. Real estate agents call this “curb appeal.” Whether selling your home or planning on staying put, consider boosting its presence in a positive way with these ideas for the front door, yard, and mailbox.

Choosing the Right New Door

glass front door 204x300 Curb Appeal Ideas for the Front of Your House: Doors, Yard & MailboxInstalling a new front door can create a focal point where one did not exist before, drawing the eyes of passersby and welcoming friends and family.

When shopping for a new door, start by considering the architectural style of your home. If you have a California Mission-style house, for example, a wood door with ironwork would suit it well. Less traditional materials, such as steel, suit modern architecture. Look for a door that complements your home.

Whether to include glass is another consideration. The door itself can include glass panels, with glass an option as sidelights and the transom (the area above the door) as well. If your home does not currently have sidelights and a transom, they can often be added by a professional handyman if room exists. These glass elements come in a variety of designs and decorative colors, and coatings are available that muffle sound, block UV rays, and resist break-ins.

Adding Front Yard and Street Side Landscaping

front yard landscaping 300x225 Curb Appeal Ideas for the Front of Your House: Doors, Yard & Mailbox

Photo credit: rpaterso on Flickr

Just as you factor in the architectural style of your home when choosing a new front door, so should you factor in the size and shape of your house and property when designing its landscaping. Keep shrubs and other plants at a scale that does not overwhelm. Also pick shapes from the house and repeat them in the landscaping, such as the curves of a Tudor or the boxy style of modern architecture.

When it comes to color, again choose what complements the hues already on your home. Make trim pop by picking it up in a perennial bed. Or give a home painted in neutral colors a splash of color with landscaping that changes with the seasons. Work in garden accessories if you have room such as benches, water features, and other items.

Above all, match your landscaping to the amount of time you have to maintain it—or the budget you have to hire a service to keep up with the planting and pruning. Some homeowners get in over their heads and find that the burst of energy and ambition that created a gorgeous front yard did not turn into a gardening hobby to be enjoyed year-round.

Upgrade Your Mailbox

mailbox 300x200 Curb Appeal Ideas for the Front of Your House: Doors, Yard & Mailbox

Photo credit: slgckgc on Flickr

Homeowners who still receive mail at home, as opposed to at centrally located boxes in the neighborhood, have the opportunity to make a first impression literally at the curb.

Today’s mailboxes come in a variety of materials. Wood is a durable choice, but keep in mind that it will require a fresh coat of paint or stain to stay looking like new. PVC can mimic the look of wood and needs less maintenance. There are metal options, too. Again, choose the style and color that best complements your home. Just be sure it meets United States Postal Service guidelines so you actually get mailed delivered to it.

If you are a particularly handy homeowner, mailbox installation can be DIY. Check out our post Installing a Mailbox and Post: Should I Do It Myself? to learn more.

And to get more ideas for boosting the curb appeal of your home, check out our post Curb Appeal and Exterior Home Improvements. It also includes maintenance and repair checklists so you can stay on top of the many chores that come with being a homeowner.

Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service in your area.

Outdoor Storage Ideas from Sheds to Containers

August 28, 2014

Fall is just around the corner, which means there will be lots of leaf raking, pumpkin carving, and enjoyment of the last dwindling days of sunshine before winter. Deciding what storage spaces you need can be crucial to organizing your backyard. What better time to do this than before all of the autumn leaves pile up? Remember, defining and organizing your yard can make a positive visual impact on a backyard. Set aside a few hours to try this out and see how much it helps give your backyard a warmer appearance.

Find an old wood pallet to create a garden tool organizer:  Most of you will have pallets laying around your garage and if not, any general store will have these in the back, just ask! Once you have the pallet, all you have to do is flip it over on its side (so that it is standing vertical), then voila! You have a storage unit to hold your outdoor tools. Now, if you want to add a spot for smaller tools, you can drive a few nails into the top of the pallet and loop strings around them so that those smaller tools can hang. Lastly, if this is going on display, all you have to do is grab a hand sander, sand it down, then apply a fresh coat of paint of your choice!

peter kieke 225x300 Outdoor Storage Ideas from Sheds to Containers

Photo cred: Peter Kieke on Flickr.

 

Hanging baskets on a wood pallet: Another way to maximize the utility of a pallet is to hang baskets from it! This is another simple trick for outdoor organization. All you have to do is lean the pallet upright, hammer in some sturdy nails (however many you want), and hang baskets or any other sturdy container which suits you. This way it can be used as storage for toys laying around, pet food, flowers, or even wayward towels.

Storage containers: Storage containers are an efficient and great way to keep the clutter off your lawn and ensure backyard messes are manageable. A simple, yet chic idea for containers is to use simple rounded horse troughs. These are great because they add rustic charm to your yard. They are also reliable during unfavorable weather and can store a surprising amount. Garden hoses are a great way to take advantage of these storage containers too — keep that lawn clutter compacted into one area.

Sheds: If you use your garage for your car and other miscellaneous household items, a storage shed might be the best alternative for you to store your outdoor machines and tools. This way you can keep household and outdoor items separate. A shed provides a special home to store anything you have for your yard (i.e. pallet organizers, large containers, lawn mowers). They are easily accessible and simple to put together. There are many sites online which teach you how to build  for yourself or you can specifically go storage shed hunting until you find the one which fits perfectly in your backyard.

Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service in your area.

Stucco Repair and Maintenance: How to Prevent Problems and Cracks

August 25, 2014

Stucco is a great way to add curb appeal and beauty to the outside of your home.  Stucco is a mixture composed of cement and sand that is commonly used on homes located in humid climates.  This durable material can withstand moisture overtime where other materials would experience mold and rot.  Stucco can be applied to almost any existing material suck as brick, block or a concrete wall.  It is also fireproof and doesn’t require allot of maintenance but is susceptible to cracks as weather climates change.  However, if correctly installed you can minimize cracking and future problems.

Capture1 300x224 Stucco Repair and Maintenance: How to Prevent Problems and Cracks

Photo credit: Edward Ellsworth on Flickr

  • Install a gap between two stucco areas, also known as a control joint, to prevent cracks from spreading over a large area.
  • Apply stucco install casing beads to act as a barrier between dissimilar materials.
  • Reinforce the corners of two stucco walls with corner beads to relieving stress on the stucco.
  • Keep water draining away from your stucco home with weep screeds that are installed approximately 8 inches above foundation.
  • Install soffit drip screeds to keep water that runs down the exterior of home from returning to the soffit and creating moisture damage.

When properly installed stucco is easy to maintain and can last more than 100 years.  We suggest cleaning the stucco with a garden hose from the bottom of the surface to the top.  Pressure washing is usually not necessary and if not done properly can damage the stucco.

Multiple methods can be used to repair stucco. Mainly the process includes removing the damaged or cracked area, applying multiple layers of stucco and adding a finish coat.  If the cracks or walls are extremely damaged you should hire a professional to repair them.

Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service in your area.

Ideas to Organize Your Garage: Shelves, Cabinets & Storage Solutions

August 22, 2014

Just put it in the garage.” How many times has that direction been given at your house? Probably too many for whatever storage you have to handle without overflowing and/or making items impossible to find. Spend a couple of days getting organized and installing the right system for your needs.

Go Through Every Box, Bag, and Cabinet

cluttered garage space 300x205 Ideas to Organize Your Garage: Shelves, Cabinets & Storage SolutionsGet up early on Saturday morning. Divide your driveway into three sections, placing a box in each with the word Keep, Donate or Toss. As you pull items from the garage, place them in the appropriate box/area. Have additional boxes ready for items to donate and bags out for trash. As you add to the Keep section, organize by type, such as tools, decorations, etc.

Finish your tasks for Saturday by taking all of the trash to the dump and the items to donate to your favorite charity.

If you would like to sell some of the items instead of donating them, only decide to do so if you can schedule a garage sale for the following weekend. Tackle two tasks in one effort and price them that same morning.

Choose an Install the Right Organizational System

Once you only have Keep items left, move them back into the garage for overnight storage. You can also start off with the Keep area inside the garage if you have enough room.

Look at what you have and assess what you would need to store everything in a tidy and easily accessible manner. Do you have tons of power tools and yard implements? Is decorating the outside of your home with the changing seasons and holidays your passion? Are you a grease monkey who likes to work on vehicles? Or a cyclist family with more bikes than cars?

Once you determine your biggest storage need, you can choose the right system. It can be a mix of storage options. Here are the basics:

pegboard tool wall garage 300x213 Ideas to Organize Your Garage: Shelves, Cabinets & Storage SolutionsPeg Boards—If your garage doubles as a workspace like for woodworking, auto repair or whatever keeps your hands busy, consider installing a workbench and pegboards if you have not already. Pegboards allow you to keep all of your tools in sight and within reach. You can also install them wider than the workbench to allow for hanging tall items such as yard tools.

Cabinets—If you would like a more permanent solution, one that will add to your home’s resale value and hide the majority of items from sight, consider installing cabinetry. Be sure to choose the material that best suits your environment. For example, wood cabinets might not be the best choice in wetter areas of the country, especially if your area has the potential for even the most minor flooding. Plastic or resin would work best then. Metal is another option. With cabinetry, you also can customize the cabinets, shelves and drawers to suit your storage needs.

storage bins garage Ideas to Organize Your Garage: Shelves, Cabinets & Storage SolutionsShelves—If you use your garage mainly for storage, as opposed to the above, a shelf and bin system may work best. That way, everything gets the protection a closed bin provides and you can organize the bins by how often you need to access their contents. For example, place holiday decorations on a top shelf but tools on the bottom. Use clear bins or labels so you know exactly where items are and can get to them quickly. And if space is at a premium in your garage, there are shelves that hang from the ceiling as well.

Once you decide the best combination, purchase the system or schedule your professional handyman to do the work. Again, just like with the garage sale you want to follow up with part two of this task as soon as possible to organize your garage.

Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service in your area.

 

Creating a Modern Exterior Facade with Slatted Wood Panels

August 18, 2014
1 260x300 Creating a Modern Exterior Facade with Slatted Wood Panels

Photo credit: Jeremy Levine Design on Flickr

If you are looking for an exciting way to update the exterior of your home with a modern look consider adding slatted wood panels. This design option can be used to create a cool elegant look to the front or back of your home. Here are a few places we suggest trying this design option:

Accent Your Siding – Integrate horizontal slats to a traditional home to give it a modern look. Using slates with your already existing siding will give your home texture and curb appeal.

Garage Door – Give your garage a facelift by using slatted wood panels. Incorporate frosted glass windows to contrast the wood and make it even more of a focal point.

Fence or Gate - Instead of opting for a metal or vinyl fence or gate choose slatted wood panels. Using this type of material will provide separation to your backyard and will allow you to feel less closed off from the outdoors.

3 280x300 Creating a Modern Exterior Facade with Slatted Wood Panels

Photo Credit: Jeremy Levine Design on Flickr

Entryway or Balcony – Create shade and solitude in your entryway or on your balcony by adding slatted wood panels. If you have a roof or pergola above you can also consider hanging the panels from a ceiling track to create movable panels.

Porch or Patio – Tear down the walls of your old outdated screened in porch or add much needed privacy to your patio with slated wood panels. This will not only add curb appeal to the facade of your home but it will also create a tranquil space that you will enjoy spending time in.

Adding slatted wood panels to the exterior of your home is an easy way to add privacy and curb appeal. If done correctly, it can take your home’s facade to a whole new level.

Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service in your area.

Walkway and Path Lighting: Great Ideas For Exterior Light Fixtures

August 15, 2014
ICPI Walkway and Path Lighting: Great Ideas For Exterior Light Fixtures

Photo Cred: ICPI on Flickr.

Exterior lighting, and walkway lighting in particular, can often be overlooked. Exterior light fixtures can add a valuable opportunity to enhance and highlight your landscaping, provide texture, uniqueness and depth to your yard, all while increasing your curb appeal. And with proper placements, walkway lighting can provide function without taking away from the natural beauty of your landscaping.

Here are a few of tips we’ve found helpful when designing an outdoor pathway:

1. Keep the eye drifting naturally down the path: Place lights in a way that draw the eye towards the end of the walkway. Lights placed in a methodical, measured way often make the lighted walkway seemed forced and unnatural.

2. Less is more: Don’t overdo it with lights — remember interior and exterior house lights, and sometimes moonlight provide more visibility than you think. The exterior lights along a walkway should be a gentle suggestion, not an airplane landing strip.

3. Choose bulbs with a lower voltage: Balance the softness of light with the softness of natural elements. Make sure the voltage on your light bulbs are not too harsh. The light should feel soft and welcoming, much like the natural light of the moon.

4. Mix & Match: Don’t be afraid to mix styles when choosing light fixtures. It personalizes the walkway to your home and makes an interesting visual experience. Use this opportunity to pick lighting that will accent your home’s style. This will help tie the natural elements of the outdoors with the architectural style of your home.

5.  Highlight your landscaping: Instead of shining your lights on the walkway, try highlighting some of your plants that are planted near your walkway. The light will reflect off the foliage, and add some visual and color for guests to admire on their walk up. Interesting and strategically placed lighting boosts curb appeal and differentiates your yard from others.

6. Highlight your stone work: An alternative to highlighting your landscaping is to highlight your stone work. If you have beautiful stone work, show it off! Lights reflected off the side of your house or the stone pathway create interesting shadows and depth.

7. Safety and security: Last, but certainly not least, keep in mind the functionality of exterior lighting. Adequate lighting not only provides safety to your family and guests, but also acts as a deterrent to intruders.

Walkway and path lighting is a step in landscape design that should be strategic and well thought out. When done right, exterior and pathway lights will enhance the aesthetics of your home, accentuate the design of your yard, and provide safety and security to anyone that comes around.

Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service in your area.

 

Prevent Water in Your Basement: Tips to Stop Leaks and Waterproof

August 12, 2014

The last thing a homeowner wants to find in the basement is water. A leak can cause significant and costly damage, and it also creates health hazards if not addressed. You can prevent water from seeping into your basement with a sump pump or French drain system.

 Prevent Water in Your Basement: Tips to Stop Leaks and Waterproof

Effects of Water Damage

In a basement, water soaks into drywall and causes swelling and disintegration. Wood building materials warp and split. Water tarnishes and eventually rusts uncoated metal surfaces. It starts to smell musty.

Water damage that is not fixed can cause mold to grow. Mold spores not only further break down building materials, but they also can cause health problems. Children, the elderly, and those who already have allergies or asthma suffer the most.

A flooded basement can cost a pretty penny, too. Just 1-inch of water takes hours to clean up and can cause thousands of dollars of damage depending on how you use your basement—man cave or extra bedroom—and what you store in it.


 Prevent Water in Your Basement: Tips to Stop Leaks and Waterproof

Prevention Method: French Drain System

A French drain involves a ditch filled with gravel, rock or perforated pipe. The drain redirects surface and ground water away from where it can do damage. It does so by bypassing air-filled soil that slows drainage and by sloping downward to have gravity help the water along.

08122014 French Drain Prevent Water in Your Basement: Tips to Stop Leaks and Waterproof

The drain should end at a low point on the property where the water does no harm. If using a pipe instead of and/or with gravel or rock, camouflage it with larger rocks or landscaping, with the latter including greenery that appreciates the extra water.

Multiple French drains can interconnect if needed. Any water that enters any drain travels through the system to the low point. This allows for a yard to drain in hours, not days.

Fun fact: The name doesn’t come from the country, but from Henry French, a judge and farmer in 1800s Massachusetts who first presented the idea in a book on farming.

Prevention Method: Sump Pump

This method involves a mechanical pump installed in the lowest part of a basement, typically in a specially made pit—essentially a hole with a gravel base. If water reaches the pit, the pump pumps the water out of and away from the basement.

There are two types of sump pumps: submersible and pedestal. A submersible pump does as its name says, becoming submersed in water. When turned on, it sucks up water through a bottom grate and pumps it through an outlet pipe and away from the basement.

A pedestal pump also does what its name says, sitting on a pedestal that keeps it out of the water. It features an inlet pipe that reaches down into the pit to suck the water up, out and away from the basement.

Most sump pumps automatically turn on when water reaches a certain level, either by it activating a float or pressure sensor. Manually operated pumps also are available but do no good if you are away from home and unaware that the basement is at risk of flooding. Some automatic pumps even have backup and alarm systems.

Installing a French Drain System or Sump Pump

If you regularly perform DIY improvements to your home, this task may be well within your skill set. Keep in mind, though, that proper placement of the French drain or sump pump and pit proves vital to success. You don’t want to find out that the method you hoped would save your from a basement disaster doesn’t work by allowing your basement to flood.

Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service in your area.

Wood Flooring Types: Pros and Cons

August 1, 2014

Are you looking to install wood flooring in your home, but are overwhelmed by all of the styles, materials, and stains…? Fear not! We created a comprehensive list of our favorites, along with a snippet of information about each. This will allow you to feel comfortable about your choices before moving forward and taking your next big step regarding your home renovation.

1. Solid Wood
Pros: The visual appeal of solid wood is undeniable. This timeless look is relatively easy to clean and maintain. Also, because it is one solid piece of wood from top to bottom, it can be sanded and refinished many times.
Cons: Cost can be a big drawback for people. Although a range of cost exists, the better looking woods come with a higher price tag. In addition, solid hardwoods occasionally require refinishing in high-traffic areas.
Costs: Ranges from $3 to $13 per square foot

hard Metro ATL flooring 300x199 Wood Flooring Types: Pros and Cons

Photo Credit: Metro Atl. Flooring on Flickr

2. Engineered Wood
Pros: This flooring is manufactured by using multiple layers of varying wood veneers. The grain of each layer runs in different directions, making it very stable.  The plank width is not as limited as solid wood, and you can often find them as wide as 7 ½-inches.
Cons: One drawback is that, compared to solid wood, engineered wood cannot be sanded and finished as often.
Costs: Ranges from $3 to $13 per square foot (very similar to solid wood)

Engineered Eurotex Flooring 300x199 Wood Flooring Types: Pros and Cons

Photo Credit: Eurotex-Flooring on Flickr

3. Laminate
Pros:
The best things about laminate include the fact that it does not easily scratch, and it is less expensive than solid or engineered wood.  You can also find some that look almost exactly like wood, often fooling even the most seasoned flooring experts!  Like real wood, laminate flooring is extremely easy to clean.
Cons: Standing water has the potential to ruin laminate flooring.  Also, if a section of the laminate does become damaged, unlike real hardwoods, laminate cannot be refinished.
Costs: Ranges from $0.50 to $3.50 per square foot.

 

Laminate Flooring America 267x300 Wood Flooring Types: Pros and Cons

Photo Credit: Flooring America on Flickr

4. Bamboo.
Pros: A very trendy look. Compared to other types of wood, bamboo is slightly more resistant to water damage, stains, and warping. Certain types of bamboo, like strand woven bamboo, can be manufactured to be as durable as red oak.
Cons: Like most woods, Bamboo is subject to becoming discolored, scratched and marred, and must be refinished.
Cost: Ranges from $2 to $8 per square foot.

Bamboo Pape Floors 300x225 Wood Flooring Types: Pros and Cons

Photo Credit: Pape Floors on Flickr

5. Cork
Pros: Cork is an excellent insulator. It’s warm, soft material absorbs sounds better than any other flooring types. Also, it is antimicrobial which means that it is very resistant to mold, and can be safer for the family.
Cons: Cork has been known to have some durability issues, and will fade in direct sunlight. It also has been known to turn yellow over time. Due to the soft nature of cork, it may get damaged underneath furniture pressure points.
Costs: Ranges from $2 to $8 per square foot.

 

Cork Megan Manogue 198x300 Wood Flooring Types: Pros and Cons

Photo Credit: Megan Manogue on Flickr

Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service in your area.

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