Refinish Your Own Floors? No!

By Steve Cooper

wood floor2Though there are many home improvement projects that the average homeowner can tackle, refinishing your wood floors should be removed from the list in most cases. Putting life back into hardwood flooring can challenge the skill and experience of most DIYers.
Not convinced? Here top five reasons you shouldn’t attempt refinishing floors yourself:

1. Clueless about wood flooring. If your floors are less than 20 years old, chances are good that they are engineered wood. This means that they were made like plywood, with a series of substraits topped by a beauty layer that may be too thin to sand.

2. Struggling for time. It takes time to prepare and refinish a floor. It’s tempting to think that the drying of finishes will take up most of the time. However, there’s also moving furniture, cleaning floors, repairing flooring flaws, restaining, and putting down mutliple layers of clear topcoats.

3. Dangerous with a sander. You’ll probably feel in control right up to the moment that the sander digs in and gouges your flooring. Even if you use an well-worn sander belt to rein in the machine’s strength, it takes just a split second to ruin a job.

4. Mystified about stains. In a perfect world, getting the stain color you want requires making samples on small pieces of flooring material. But your house didn’t come with flooring samples, so all you can do is try out stain colors on a closet floor. Does this seem professional? Will the results be?
5. Confused by oil-based vs. water-based finishes. One smells more than the other—so what more do you need to know? But there may be a problem with the consistency of the finish. What do you use to dilute it if it seems too thick? Oh, yes, and what’s too thick?

There are more reasons, too. They add up to one obvious conclusion: Hire a professional to refinish those floors. This is a job that is definitely tougher than it seems.

To find a professional who specializes in cleaning and restoration, click here.

For more information on flooring visit the World Floor Covering Association’s Consumer Carpet & Flooring Guide.

New Year—New Floor

Submitted by Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID; Chair Holder CMG

MAGNOLIA-CHRISTOPHER HOMES 012 (2)The floor covering industry is gearing up for one of the major trade shows of the year—Surfaces 2011–to be held in Las Vegas in late January.  I observe this trade show with a reporter’s mindset, so I can discover the best new products and bring them to you via FloorTalk.  Manufacturers are excited about the debut of their new products, and sometimes they are willing to give me a sneak peek as to what’s coming.  Good news for us that Emser Tile has done just that.

Stone and porcelain floors have a natural beauty that is unique and singular only to them.  The clean, concise looks are the reason why consumers gravitate toward these materials.   The longevity of the product is a secondary benefit, as these floors maintain their good looks for decades.  But I don’t want you to overlook a way to personalize your choice of floor.  Listellos are a designer’s best friend when it comes to customizing floor designs for our clients.  The extraordinary beauty these tiny accents can add to a floor is staggering.  You can take a travertine, limestone, or porcelain floor to a new level, simply by using your imagination and putting listellos to work for you.  Design a perimeter border, create a faux ‘area rug’ in a room; surround a treasured piece of furniture with an artistic listello.  All of these ideas are the way to create a room with character.   Here are a few extraordinary possibilities:

Introducing TEXTILE from Emser Tile.  These high profile listellos can support both contemporary and classic interior design.









Here we see PIEMONTE, a stunning mosaic of natural stone and polished accent stones. There are even matching corner pieces to complete your design.





STRANDS is one of my favorites.  The linear design in pencil thin strips gives an urban chic finishing touch to your beautiful hard surface floor.  This pattern is available in both the dark (shown below) and a light version as well.





ECLIPSE offers two well-designed choices:  Sun Listello pictured left, or Moon Listello shown below.  Again, corner pieces are available to handle right angles with grace.  The combination of smooth, solid color tiles with a patterned inset adds high style to this choice.







I truly hope you are as captivated by these designs as I am–something truly different and well crafted to inspire you.  If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to install new flooring in 2011, well I can’t think of a better starting point than right here, right now, with one of these “made for you” listellos.  Happy New Year!

For more information on flooring visit the World Floor Covering Association’s Consumer Carpet & Flooring Guide.