Monthly Archives: July 2016

Factory or Self Done Finish?

Each method has its own benefits and advantages, and choosing the right method will depend on the level of customization you want to achieve, and your personal preference.

A job-site finish is one that applied on the job site, in the room where the flooring is being installed. With a job-site finished floor, you can choose the type of finish to be applied to your floor, which will impact maintenance, as well as the stain, if any, and sheen of the final product. In other words, a job-site finished wood floor offers you unlimited possibilities for customizing the final appearance of your floor.

However, because your floors will be sanded and finished in your home, you should expect noise, dust, and some disruption to your home. In the past few years, many dust containment systems have been developed to help control dust and debris, so be sure to ask your contractor if one can be used for your installation. You also will need to allow time for the finish to dry on-site, during which time you will not be able to walk on your floor.

With factory-finished wood floors, the finish is applied at the factory, long before it reaches your home. While many options are available with factory finished floors, you will not be able to achieve the same level of customization as you can with job-site finished wood floors.

A major benefit of factory finished floors, however, is that there is minimal dust and noise during the installation process. You also will be able to walk on your floors immediately after they are installed.

If you want to get new flooring in your home then call or stop by Home Select today and get your FREE flooring estimate! Servicing the Danville, Alamo, San Ramon, Walnut Creek, Blackhawk and Diablo area.

Solid or Engineered

That depends on where you want to install it. Both solid and engineered wood floors are made using real wood, so both are environmentally friendly.

Solid wood flooring is exactly what the name implies: a solid piece of wood from top to bottom. The thickness of solid wood flooring can vary, but generally ranges from 3/4” to 5/16”. Solid wood can be used in any room that is above grade (above ground). One of the many benefits of solid wood flooring is that it can be sanded and refinished many times.  Solid wood floors are ideal in family/living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, and even kitchens and powder rooms. About the only place you can’t use solid wood flooring is in the basement, but there’s a solution for that area too.

Engineered wood floors are real wood floors that are manufactured using multiple layers of wood veneers.  The layers that you can’t see can be of the same species, or of different species. The grain of each layer runs in perpendicular directions, which makes it very dimensionally stable. This means that the wood will expand and contract less than solid wood flooring during fluctuations in humidity and temperature.

Engineered floors can be nailed or stapled to a wood subfloor, or glued down to a wood or concrete subfloor. This makes engineered wood floors ideal for slab and basement installations, but they can be used in any room above, on or below grade. While this type of flooring can be sanded and refinished, it cannot be done as many times as solid wood flooring.

If you are looking into getting new floors call or stop by Home Select today and schedule your FREE consultation! Now servicing the Danville, Alamo, San Ramon, Walnut Creek, Blackhawk and Diablo area.


The FYI on Carpet

Density. The closeness of the yarns in a carpet. Denser pile translates into better quality.

Fiber. The basic material in a carpet, fiber is either manmade (nylon, polyester, polypropylene/Olefin, acrylics) or natural (wool, sisal). There are five fiber types:

  1. Nylon. The most common fiber, nylon is durable and resilient. When treated, it offers good stain resistance and camouflages dirt. It is prone to static, however.
  2. Polyester. This hypoallergenic fiber is resists fading, withstands stains, and offers a variety of textures and colors. Some fibers are recycled from plastic bottles. However, it is susceptible to crushing.
  3. Poypropylene/Olefin. This carpet stands up to sunlight, bleach, and stains, but it is less resilient, which can cause crushing. Color selection tends to be limited.
  4. Wool. Along with lending a luxurious look and feel, wool purifies indoor air, inhibits dust mite and bacteria growth, and possesses inherent hypoallergenic properties. It is the most expensive type of carpet.
  5. Acrylics. Known as man-made wool, acrylic fiber offers the look and feel of wool at a lower cost. It resists static, moisture, mildew crushing, and stains. However, it is not durable enough to withstand heavy traffic.
Pad. Also called “cushion” or “underlay,” carpet pad is the thin foam, fiber, or rubber layer beneath carpets. It prolongs the life of a carpet, serves as an insulator, and adds comfort.

Pile. The visible surface of a carpet, pile consists of fiber tufts in loops that are either cut or uncut. Also called “nap.” There are four general types:

  1. Cut and Loop Pile. This style combines lower loops and higher cut piles on one surface, producing pattern, textures, and sculpting.
  2. Level Loop Pile. Short, even, densely packed loops create a durable, easy to clean surface. Berber, one type of level loop pile, typically contains flecks of dark color on a light background.
  3. Multilevel Loop Pile. Two or three varying levels of loops produce patterns both geometric and abstract.
  4. Cut Pile. Featuring loops cut to the same height, this common construction encompasses five styles:
    1. Saxony features tightly twisted cut piles standing straight up.
    2. Plush has closely packed tufts all the same length (longer than Saxony) for a smooth, luxurious surface. Also called “velvet.”
    3. Textured carpet mixes twisted and straight piles for a nubby look.
    4. Frieze is highly twisted with fibers curling in different directions for a highly textured look.
    5. Shag is a deep pile carpet with long strands that are slightly twisted and set farther apart for a shaggy appearance

The Lowdown

When it comes to the environment, carpet manufacturing has come a long way. Consider this: Some manufacturers are making carpet fibers from recycled soda and water bottles. The bottles are sorted, ground into chips, and cleaned; the chips are then melted, extruded into fiber, and spun into carpet yarn. Other carpet fibers are crafted from corn sugar. Plus, manufacturers are taking steps toward greener production, from reducing greenhouse emissions to extending carpets’ longevity to reduce waste. The industry is also minimizing environmental impact by recycling carpet at the end of its life, whether into new carpet or other products, such as roofing shingles and automotive parts. Ninety percent of the U.S. carpet market is supplied by mills in Georgia.

Carpet is a good thermal and acoustic insulator. It’s slip-resistant, easy to stand on, and great for children to play on. It’s available in a wide variety of colors, patterns and textures. Carpet can help trap allergens, and some styles are eco-friendly. Be aware, though, that some carpets can soil easily, and loops can be snagged. Carpet is a relatively high-maintenance floor covering, and it doesn’t last as long as hard surfaces.

If you want to get new carpet in your home call or stop by Home Select today! Servicing the Danville, Alamo, San Ramon, Walnut Creek, Blackhawk and Diablo area.

Creating a Wine Cellar in the Basement

Two questions: Do you have a basement? Do you love wine?

If you answered yes to both and you have been dreaming of building a wine cellar, why not turn your basement into a lovely wine cellar? Most basements are made into storage rooms for old items – clothes, appliances, furniture, toys, etc. If you have another place to store all that stuff, put your basement to good use by converting it to a wine cellar.

Why the basement, you may ask?

Well, a basement makes a perfect room to efficiently store and keep your vintage collection, not to mention boost the market value of your property.

So how do you turn your basement into a wine cellar?

As with any project, start with a plan. First of all, set your budget. The budget will determine how large your cellar will be, whether you only need a portion of the basement or transforming the entire area. The budget will also determine what type of wine racks you will use, and other storage features you will install. Would you like a tasting area, step stools, an ornate wine cellar door perhaps?

You will also need to consider your wine cooling and insulation system. This is very important because a certain level of temperature and humidity has to be maintained to ensure that the quality of the wine is maintained while it is stored. The insulation system is crucial in the preservation and aging process of your wines.

Remember, the proper cellar environment is the key. Early this month, we wrote about refrigerated wine cellars which can go anywhere in your house and passive wine cellars must be located in a subterranean basement. To create the latter in your home basement, that passive wine cellars post is definitely a must-read.

Finally, you also have to consider having durable and strong flooring system, as well as lighting fixtures. You want to establish an excellent preservation environment for your wines, so make sure you take note of these basic things when building your basement wine cellar.

Restyle Your Home With A Hardwood Ceiling

Wood is a popular surface material for floors and walls. But it can make a big statement if you use it on the ceiling. Here are five types and methods for consideration.

1. Reclaimed and Distressed

Reclaimed and distressed wood planks have been popular in interiors for years now. True recycled wood has a one-of-a-kind charm to it, especially if you know the story behind all of those scrapes, dings and dents. Prized for its warm and rustic character, it works well as a ceiling cladding in a variety of interiors, from contemporary to traditional.

2. Plywood

If your budget is tight and your tastes run contemporary, go for a finished plywood ceiling. It can really warm up an otherwise sleek and minimalist space. A glossy finish can also help bounce light around a room.

Plywood, as well as veneered particleboard and MDF, are available in a variety of grades and finishes, many of which can be successfully stained to achieve your desired look. A veneer with a simple grain pattern adds subtle texture to this contemporary dining room.

3. Tongue and Groove

These tongue-and-groove wood planks have a smooth surface and a nice linear quality, which can help elongate a room.

For a charming cottage-y feel, install tongue-and-groove boards with the beveled edge facing out. Here the boards on the wall are painted white, which helps the ceiling planks to really stand out.

4. Logs and Beams

Another way to showcase wood on the ceiling is to expose your ceiling joists. Just be aware that there are often lots of unattractive wires, conduit, pipes and so on nestled up there, so you’ll need a strategy for hiding those.

Early wood-frame construction often used entire logs. I’d definitely expose these beauties if I had them in my house. I like the mix of modern and rustic in this beautiful dining room.

Of course you can always add logs as a decorative element. These end-cut logs are a unique and eye-catching addition to this bathroom.

5. Porches

Wood ceilings need not be limited to indoor spaces. A wood-clad porch ceiling has a wonderfully cozy and inviting feel. Just be sure to use a material that can withstand exterior temperature and humidity levels, such as cedar or cypress.

One last tip, if you opt for a variety of woods in a space — wood floors, furniture and ceiling: Think about whether you want the woods to match exactly, or make them very different from one another. If they are somewhat similar but not an exact match, it can look like you tried and failed to make a match. This space uses a variety of wood types and colors, which keeps it from having a monotone look.

If you would like to do hardwood in your home then call or stop by Home Select today! We service the Danville, Alamo, San Ramon, Walnut Creek, Blackhawk and Diablo area!

Choosing the Best Commercial Flooring

When chosen and installed correctly, your commercial flooring can create the ideal space for both employees and clients, blending design with practicality. Choosing the best commercial flooring for your business will depend on factors such as budget, foot traffic, care, and maintenance.

Some of the most popular types of commercial flooring include carpet and carpet tile; vinyl flooring; rubber flooring; and wood flooring. The most important tip to consider for your commercial flooring is to choose the type that best suits your commercial interior space.

Warm Up the Room with Carpet or Carpet Tile

Tip: Choose carpet or carpet tile for your commercial interior space if you need commercial flooring that will provide noise and sound insulation, while also being soft to walk on.

Carpet or carpet tile is ideal for businesses that need some type of noise insulation, such as hotels and offices. But, it is important to remember that carpet can get stained and may require maintenance over time. Installing carpet tile provides more flexibility in that respect since each tile can be replaced individually. Carpet tile also comes in many different styles and patterns, so that you can choose flooring that reflects the brand and aesthetic of your business.

Get Style and Affordability with Vinyl Flooring

Tip: Looking for durable, resilient, low-maintenance commercial flooring? Vinyl flooring is probably your best bet.

Vinyl flooring offers long-lasting performance, making it a popular commercial flooring type for businesses with high foot traffic, such as hospitals or retail stores. When properly installed by professionals, vinyl flooring is resilient and resistant to damage, including dents and scratches. Not only that, but vinyl flooring can also be stylish, coming in many different colors and designs.

Resilience and Easy Maintenance with Rubber Flooring

Tip: Consider rubber flooring if you need something that will resist stains and wear and tear.

Like vinyl flooring, rubber flooring is ideally suited for high-traffic commercial interior spaces, such as airports, offices, health care facilities, and restaurants. The benefits of rubber flooring include its durability, its resistance to water and heat, and its easy maintenance. Rubber flooring is also slip-resistant and sound-absorbent, while being comfortable to walk on.

Rubber flooring also offers uniformity in both construction and color. And, it comes in a variety of textures and colors so you won’t have to sacrifice style for functionality.

Get a Classic, Timeless Look with Wood Flooring

Tip: For a classic look with great aesthetic appeal, wood flooring is your answer.

Wood flooring never goes out of style. It can elevate the look and feel of any interior space, such as office and hotel lobbies or retail stores. Wood flooring is also easy to clean, strong, and durable, making it a great commercial flooring option for interior areas that experience a lot of activity.

Wood flooring can get damaged by moisture, but choosing a prefinished floor can help to maintain its appearance. And, if damage does occur, wood flooring can often be sanded and refinished to repair the look.

When choosing the best commercial flooring for your business, keep in mind factors such as the type of business you have, the type of foot traffic and wear the flooring will receive, and the budget you have to spend.

And, remember that proper floor installation will ensure that you get the most use out of your commercial flooring, no matter what type you select.

** If your business needs new flooring then call or stop by Home Select today and check out our huge selection of flooring! We are now servicing the Danville, Alamo, San Ramon, Walnut Creek, Blackhawk and Diablo area!