How to Choose Between Hardwood & Tile Floor

kitchen floor

Our last post discussed whether you need to install new carpet. But what if you prefer a hard surface floor instead?

The hardwood floors are a traditional choice for home finishing, they give it a rich and beautiful look. These floors are being used for many years in the U.S. but now they have gained huge popularity in other countries as well. They add a seamless, stunning and warm appearance to the rooms. Most of the homeowners these days prefer to use Hardwood floors for their kitchen.

On the other side, the modern house designers are considering tiles as the best choice for refinishing floors, especially bathrooms and kitchen. The fact is that both these flooring options have their unique pros and cons. It is good to make detailed comparison before you make the decision to install any of these.

Cohesion in the House:

Tiles are a great choice for the kitchen because it is much easier to clean the mess created by sauces or during cooking. You can maintain its texture and shine for years with basic cleaning efforts. People who are more attracted towards open concept design for the home will find tiles best choice as they can easily create a sense of separation between rooms.

However, this feeling of separation is suitable only for those homeowners who are new to this open floor concept. In case if you are the one who is already bored with the open concept will find hardwood floors best choice for flooring. They can create cohesion in different rooms with an attractive finish.

Cost Effective:

The great news for homeowners that are already frustrated with too many expenses involved in home designing is that hardwood floors are the most budget-friendly choice for your home. They can save you much amount of purchasing material as well as for installation because they can be installed without professionals. Also, if you install them with special wood floor oil, they will add more beauty to your living space. Indeed, hardwood floors will help you to complete the installation without frustration. But in case of tile floors, you have to be careful at every next step, during the selection of colors, textures, for installation and for maintenance as well. Tile flooring is a costly affair for your expensive home designing project.

Maintenance:

If you want to save more on maintenance also, hardwood floors will definitely be a great choice for your needs. They rarely face critical damage and are often easier to fix with DIY techniques. Homeowners can simply replace the damaged planks with new ones and then coat it with desired oil to make a perfect match with the older one. But the tiles demand more efforts for maintenance and replacement. You may have to tear entire floor even if only one tile is damaged in between.

However, if you are more curious to add unique appearance to your home with a modern look it is good to choose latest colors, styles, and textures of tile flooring. But if you prefer a warm and comfortable look then hardwood floors are the best choice for you. Considering all these facts prefer to choose your flooring wisely.

Do You Need New Carpet?

new carpet

Our recent series of posts have tried to help homeowners understand if it is time to purchase new utilities, appliances and other features throughout their home.

We’ve covered water heaters, furnaces and air conditioners and today we will discuss something of a more aesthetic nature. Today we will help homeowners know how to decide if they need new carpet or not.

There are signs to be aware of that will help indicate if you need new carpet. Here is what to look for in your home:

(1) Carpet Bubbling

One sign it is time for new carpet is if bubbles, hills, bumps or lumps start to appear in the center of wall-to-wall carpet. This tends to happen immediately after improper installation of the carpet and sometimes if a carpet cleaning service uses too much water in their process.

But if the carpet is old and you haven’t hired a carpet cleaner in many months and bubbles and hills appear, it is a sign the carpet is wearing down. Such wear is irreversible and one sign it is time for new carpet.

(2) Color Fade

New carpet has bright and bold colors that help to decorate a room. The color fades in carpet over time and if routine cleaning and vacuuming does not restore the original color or come close than it is a sign that there is color fade and it won’t return again.

If you want colorful carpet to decorate a room in your home, you will need to purchase new carpet and then care for it properly.

(3) Flattened Surface

New carpet is buoyant and resilient. The carpet fibers stand straight up and return to form after traffic and indentations. Over time a carpet loses its resiliency and remains flat 100% of the time.

You cannot reverse this trend. Once a carpet loses its resiliency and plush feeling it will not return and you will need to decide if you want to remove it and install new carpet or replace it with a hardwood floor.

(4) Burns & Rips

You cannot repair a rip in carpet. If there is a rip in your carpet you will need to replace the entire wall-to-wall carpet in order to get rid of the defect.

You can repair a burn in carpet but it is a bandage and not a permanent solution since the repair is temporary and won’t stay in place for too long.

If there is a burn or rip in your carpet you will need to consider replacing the carpet or hiding the defects under a rug or furniture until you are ready to buy new carpet for your home.

(5) Carpet Stains

There are some carpet stains that cannot be removed and will often cause permanent damage. We first recommend you hire a local carpet cleaning service to attempt to remove the stain. We use Qualls Chem-Dry in Salt Lake City for all of our professional carpet cleaning.

If the service cannot remove the stain, there is a good chance that it is permanent. You can attempt to hide the stain under a rug or furniture but eventually you will need to replace the carpet in order to remove the stain from your home.

We hope these signs provide a good idea for homeowners on when it is time to buy new carpet for their home.

Do You Need a New Air Conditioner?

air conditioner unit

Our last post discussed signs you might need a new furnace. Today, we’ll do the same for your air conditioning unit.

Can you tell when your HVAC system needs replacement? When is the right time to get one?

Replacing your HVAC isn’t a decision that always happens when you plan for it to. If lately, the HVAC system has been malfunctioning, getting a replacement early may be the right call and the best decision.

Do not wait for it to fail completely, hence forcing you to make hurried decisions. Considering carefully the HVAC system’s lifespan can help you to make a cost-effective and appropriate decision.

To help in your decision making, the listed factors below are necessary to note:

Utility Bills Gradually Get Bigger

An increase in the utility bills says a lot about the system’s inefficiency. If your air conditioner is starting to develop problems, its efficiency will reduce and this will have an effect on your increasing bills.

When there is a sudden fluctuation in your utility bills, it may be as a result of your air conditioner that may need repairs, maintenance or a complete replacement.

The System is Old

All products have their lifespan including HVAC appliances. The life spans could vary due to local conditions, but air conditioners generally last for about 7 to 14 years. Boilers and furnaces last for about 15-20 years.

Appliances that are old are only one repair away from being done. Even maintaining them could be expensive as the products may be off market. If old appliances are beginning to cost more, it is time for a replacement.

The Unit Often Breaks Down

Breaking down or total failure is a terrible issue. Any system that often breaks down or are problematic may need costly repairs to work properly again. It would be better to go for a new appliance altogether. The unit’s life may be extended a little after the repairs but buying a new one will help to avoid problems in the long run.

The Home isn’t Comfortable Anymore

Your HVAC system is meant to increase the comfort in your environment. But if your system is doing the opposite, it needs to be replaced. The reason for the decreased functioning could be lack of proper maintenance services which would require the services of an expert to resolve the issues. But if that doesn’t work out, a replacement should be the best decision.

The Appliance Smells and Produces Noises

If your HVAC system produces odd odors and noises, it’s an obvious sign that there is something wrong and a part of the appliance may be malfunctioning.

For example, a wire could be burning or leakage issue. It would be a right approach to do an immediate inspection to prevent the issue from increasing to a more dangerous level, hence taking a timely action to avoid trouble. You may also need a replacement afterwards, depending on the condition of the system.

You could attempt DIY installation of a new HVAC air conditioner but we would recommend you hire a local professional.

Do You Need a New Furnace?

We provided a few signs to watch out for concerning whether you need a new water heater or not. Today, we will do the same concerning the furnace in your home.

Is your furnace making some funny or clanking noise? Does it look like it is slowly dying slowly? That is a simple indication that you need a new furnace.

There are certain questions you need to take note of: how old is your furnace? Is it still under warrantee? Is it in good shape?

Your answers to the above questions will aid your decision on getting a new furnace. Below are noticeable signs that you need to have a need furnace installed:

  • On average, the lifespan of a furnace is between 16 to 20 years, while the cheaper ones have a lifespan of about 10 years. How old if your furnace? If you’re not sure of the age of your furnace, look around to see if you can find any pilot light. If you find one, it’s a sign your furnace is over 25 years old. The newer versions don’t usually have pilot lights and you might want to change your furnace and invest in an appliance service plan if your furnace is 10 years old. You can find one at heating and cooling company or any local utility company. This will protect you on the long run and help you save money. You should start saving money for a new furnace if your current one is over 15 years.
  • Do you notice any sudden increase in your heating bill every single year? It is another sign that your furnace needs to be changed. The efficiency of your furnace reduces depending on its age. It is advisable to get a yearly furnace tune to ensure your furnace is running efficiently. You might as well want to contact your heating and cooling guy to check on your furnace if your heating bill starts to increase.
  • If you happen to have fixed your furnace within two years, you need to start considering getting a new furnace. The furnace is synonymous with a car, the older it gets, the more repairs are needed to keep it going. If the need to repair your furnace keeps arising, then you should start planning to have a new one.
  • Is your home comfortable enough? Is there a situation where you have some rooms hot while some are cold? That means your furnace is not distributing air proportionately, and this is an indication that you need to change to a new one.

Now you need to evaluate the options above. If your answer to the questions above is positive, then you need to contact your local heating and cooling repair service. They will observe your furnace carefully, assess it and determine what the problem is.

By investigating your furnace, if you observe that it has few years left, you need to start saving money for a new one.

Do You Need a New Water Heater?

hot water faucet

A lot of people don’t really know when they need a new water heater. There are lots of signs indicating that your heater needs to be replaced. The most common sign is that your heater does not heat the water at all or no longer heats as rapidly as it does in the past.

However, if you observe your heater getting colder on the outside, it might just be that you need to adjust your tank’s heat setting. It is common that cooler weather usually results in your heater working harder to retain its current temperature than in the warmer months. But if your adjustment stops working or fails to work, you might need a need water heater.

If you notice that you have to wait longer than usual for your water to heat, this is a good indication that you need new system.

You shouldn’t have the impression that the problem will correct itself or wait too long for some miracle, especially if your heater is really old.

Another good indication is if there is a leak on the tank itself. If it is a tiny leak, you can easily repair it yourself, but if it is a seam leak caused by rusting, weatherization or damage; then they are always difficult to repair and you will need to get a new system.

If your unit needs just little patching, make sure you keep an eye on the tank as time goes on to be sure the patch doesn’t come off.

You might have to even weld your system to ensure perfect solution in some cases. If you’re to follow this step, please ensure to seek a professional so that there is no further damage.

Another good indication letting you know it is time to change your water heater is the age. Water heater units are designed to last an average of 15-20 years. So if your heater is getting beyond that age, you should start setting aside some money for a new one.

Water heater systems above this age may start misbehaving, the efficiency will start to reduce. It is simply reminding you it’s time for a change. However, you should not consider age as the main factor for changing your water heater, you should always check other things like the plumbing pipe coming from you water heater unit too.

Types of Pipe for Plumbing

copper pipe

Do you know what type of plumbing your home uses? You can often identify the pipes if you venture down to your basement. There you will see pipes leading from utility sinks as well as laundry machines and hot water heaters.

There are a few common pipes used for plumbing. You should know which type your home uses in case you are ever attempt a DIY plumbing repair or want pricing information from a plumber over the phone.

Here are the common pipes used for residential plumbing:

STAINLESS STEEL PIPE

You will find that stainless steel pipe is the most visually appealing of all of the residential plumbing pipe on the list. Some homeowners will confuse stainless steel and galvanized but galvanized pipes are much more resistant to rust. Stainless steel pipes require custom couplings in order to attach to different plumbing in the walls or beneath the floorboards.

COPPER PIPE

Copper pipe are the most common types of pipes for plumbing in homes. You should familiarize yourself with this type of pipe if you intend to try DIY plumbing projects on your own. Copper is very durable and rust-resistant. The material is also excellent for both hot and cold water. The downside of copper pipe is that they must be soldered together periodically throughout their construction.

Learn how to solder copper in the video below.

PVC PIPE

PVC pipe are often reserved for sewage and drain plumbing and not standard plumbing in a home or business. The size and width of PVC pipe vary based on their application. You do not need to worry about rust or soldering when it comes to PVC pipe in your home.

GALVANIZED PIPE

There was a time when galvanized pipe were the most common types of plumbing pipes in homes but their tendency to rust led to other alternatives gaining in popularity. You will notice rust in the water in homes with very old galvanized plumbing.

BRASS PIPE

Brass is the highest quality of plumping pipe. The material is extremely rust-resistant and easy to work with. Brass pipe will last a very long time in a home and are a very good investment if you don’t want to deal with plumbing issues very often in your home.

PEX PIPE

PEX pipe is the newest offering in home plumbing. The material is plastic and flexible and there is no risk of rust. PEX pipe is very easy to install and it won’t leak near as much as copper pipe. The initial cost of PEX pipe can deter some homeowners but we feel it is worth it. The only downside of PEX pipe is that it cannot be used outdoors as it is not UV resistant.

We would recommend copper, PEX or brass pipe for the plumbing in your home. Plumbers and local hardware stores are familiar with copper and can help you with a project whereas PEX is a new material that not all stores will be familiar with. Brass is an upgrade of copper and is an excellent invest for your home.

Plumbing is an important aspect in the construction of the home and the plumbing pipe is something to consider before repairs and new projects.