Now a days, people seem to have one room in their house devoted specifically to a home office. But what does that mean? Is it a room where the computer is or is it where the kids to their homework? Is it a place to do crafts or is it truly a home office because you telecommute? Whatever your office's function is, it doesn't have to just be a place where you play on the computer or where you work on scrapbooks. Your office could be made to fit the rest of the decor in your house to be contemporary, modern, or traditional.
Do you need more storage space? Add some woven baskets. Not only do they look good, they're a great way to hide some of that extra stuff you have lying around. We use baskets on a book shelf and they hold games, sewing supplies, and old CDs. Plus, they match the colors on our couch. Are there a couple of school aged kids in your house? Try a long desk against a wall where two can work simultaneously. Do you use a rolling chair to get from your desk to your filing cabinet 72 times a day? Consider putting down a bamboo floor for easy rolling and a zen like atmosphere.
The reason that this thought popped into my head is because I was on HGTV.com this morning looking for ideas to freshen up our office. Some of the ideas were really great. If it would fit our decor (and budget!) here are a few that I would love to have.
What would be some of the things you would have in your perfect office? If I could build a home office from scratch, my wish list would be at least a whole wall covered with bookshelves, enough space for two computer work stations, plus enough room to work on my sewing projects but also storage for the sewing machine and table to be hidden away when I'm not using them. Hmm, maybe that's asking a lot. One can always dream.
Recently, many people have asked how to properly measure their home for flooring. I talked to Bob, our in-house installer, for his expert advice on how to measure for flooring. I'm hoping that you find this useful in determining how many square feet you will need. Remember, if you ever have any further questions, you can always check our Flooring 101 section or contact Bob and his team.
Sample Bed room - measures 13’8”x 15’2”
When measuring for square footage, the simplest method is to measure a room’s length x width (L x W). Use a tape measure to measure from wall to wall or baseboard to baseboard, ignoring built-in cabinetry. Using this bedroom as an example, if the room measures 13’8″ x 15’2″ round up the measurement to 14′ x 16′. The room area will now be 224 sqft. Measuring for kitchens? Most dishwashers can be pulled out or have adjustable front legs or panels to allow the flooring to be installed underneath about 3-4 inches. Don’t forget the closets!
Many older historic homes have irregular shaped rooms making accurate measurements more difficult. If this is the case simply break-up rooms into more manageable squares or rectangles. Circular and triangular rooms are a little more challenging. Below are examples of how this can be achieved.
The measurement around a circle is called its circumference. The measurement across a circle through its center is called its diameter. Commonly the Greek letter π pronounced Pi is used to represent the ratio of the circumference of a circle to the diameter, or = 3.14. The measurement from the center to the edge is called its radius; the radius of this circle is 20’. The area of a circle is the number of square units inside this circle - the area is our focus. Follow this equation for the area;
Area = π x R x R
= 3.14 · (20’) · (20’)
= 3.14 · (400’)
Area = 1,256 sqft
The area of a triangle is the number of square units inside that triangle. It is
always half the sum of the height and base..
Triangle area = 1/2 b x h (base 10' x height 20')
(10' x 20') = 200 sqft
1/2 of 200 sqft = (100sqft)
Total Triangle sqft area is 100 sqft
Transitions and Trim moldings
Just as a new suit needs new shoes, don’t forget the matching trim pieces for your new flooring. We offer transitions and moldings to color-match most flooring. Trim moldings are not only decorative but also functional, hiding perimeter expansion gaps and even speaker wiring! Transitions also offer décor plus safety while moving or transitioning between varying floor heights. When measuring for quarter round or base moldings, measure along the floor at the wall-base the perimeter of a room, this will give you the “linear feet” (Lnft). For example a 12x12 room would measure 12+12+12+12 or about 48’ Lnft of base moldings. When measuring for transitions there are only 4 basic styles, each designed for special purposes; T-molding, reducer, end-caps, and stair nosing. Keep in mind that these basic styles will work for about 95% of most applications, about 5% will need to be modified slightly by the installer to accommodate unique job site considerations.
Waste Factor and Placing the Order
Using the bedroom as an example, if the room measures 13’8″ x 15’2″ round up the measurement to 14′ x 16′. The room area will now be 224 sqft. Add a typical waste percentage for cutting, defects or damages to complete the project. When placing the order, round up to the next full box/container. Waste percentages are related to the selected product, for example; Laminates usually require about 8% extra be added to the square footage totals. Corks, bamboo and most exotic hardwood need about 10-15% extra. Add about 5% extra for domestic hardwoods.
It is beneficial to know that some wood species may require additional percentage be added to an order to account for such factors as shading, hardness or brittleness like Australian Cypress. These traits are considered species characteristics not defects. When ordering, don’t forget to keep an extra box of material on hand for future repairs if needed.
Last but certainly not least, it’s worth noting that “special buys”, “close-outs” and “odd-lots” are usually one-of-a-kind deals with no way to order extra product! Make sure to get what’s needed at the time of purchase.
This past weekend I was up in Charlottesville, VA to do a little sight-seeing and to get away from my broken AC (our house was over 90 degrees!). I have never been there before, but found it to be a very charming town. Besides being the home of the University of Virginia and Monticello (Thomas Jefferson's home, which was beautiful by the way), it also has a very nice, historic downtown area. After dinner at a lovely steakhouse, we wandered down the street to meet up with friends for drinks. We went to a restaurant called "Ten". Besides serving delicious beverages and modern Japanese cuisine, they also had a very cool atmosphere.
By working at Lumber Liquidators, I notice flooring everywhere I go. I notice hardwood, distressed boards, handscraped, laminate, tile, marble, just about everything that comes under my feet. This place was no exception. They had cork flooring and it was one of the first things that I noticed. I probably looked silly as I was being led to our table, I couldn't help but admire the floor. It took me a few minutes to look around at the rest of the atmosphere. The dining room at Ten was designed by Formwork of Charlottesville and I think they did a great job (if you click the link, you can take a look at what Ten looks like). The flooring went seamlessly from one side of the dining room to the other. The reason I found this interesting is because one half of the dining area is very dark, emulating the night. The other side, a very light, cloud-like atmosphere, also had the cork and it looked great in both settings. It was definitely very versatile. I am not positive what type of cork they used, but it looked very similar to our Van Gogh Cork by Lisbon Cork.
As I commented about the floor to the friends we were with, we started to discuss how it was probably also insulating from noise. Unknown to me, there was a club downstairs (you have to climb an indoor staircase to get up to Ten). You couldn't hear a noise from below. While the cork may have not been the only contributing factor, however, cork does have noise reduction qualities. I could definitely tell this because while there were many people at the restaurant when we arrived, you could barely hear any of the conversations going on around us. Although the restaurant was very modern, it also had a very cozy feeling. I was surprised at this since most modern designs feel very sterile to me. I definitely think the natural cork floor helped in the comfort factor.
I definitely think the cork gave Ten a very warm feeling and I give a lot of credit to Formwork. The fact that the floor worked so well in two very different design schemes and helped make the restaurant feel comfortable (without having to yell over other conversations) really capped off a great weekend.
Hello out there in the blog-o-sphere. This post is for you. Actually, all of these posts are for you, that's why I'm here!!! This blog has been around for a few weeks now and I've had a lot of fun deciding on topics and posts. However, I want to know what YOU want to hear about. Leave some comments and let me know what you'd like to get out of this blog. Want to hear about products? Installation techniques? Happenings around the Lumber Liquidators offices? Customer Interviews? The recipe for my world famous Texas Sheet Cake (well, it's my aunt's and it's not world famous...yet)? I really am here for you and I will try to respond to suggestions and incorporate them into the blog over time. And please be nice, we do moderate the comments that come in so don't put anything that is spam, profane, or nonconstructive.
And in case you love the blog the way it is, here are some fun sites that I love that you may enjoy too!
http://www.lumberliquidators.com/ (<--You knew this would be at the top of the list!)
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/ (My dad watched this show when I was a kid and I find myself watching too!)
We love to hear from you and to see your pictures. Make sure you take before and after pictures and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a FREE Bellawood Floor Care kit.
Many of our customers are the DIY type. Hopefully this guide will help you with installing your new Dream Home flooring. This can also be found in our Flooring 101 section for an easy-to-print document.
Before you get started, make sure you have carefully prepared your floor (concrete, wood, sheet & tile flooring, carpeting, or radiant heat) properly for smooth installation and that the subfloor requirements have been met.
PRECAUTIONS, STORAGE & HANDLING, ROOM PREPARATION
TOOLS AND MATERIALS
Undercut Saw, Table Saw, Miter Saw, Circular Saw, Jig Saw, 1/4" or 1/2” Spacers, hammer, tapping block, tape Measure, T-square, PVA laminate glue as needed, tape, safety glasses, broom/vacuum, underlayment, 6mm-8mm Polyethylene sheet plastic as a moisture barrier over concrete (Do not use plastic over bare wood subfloors).GETTING STARTED
WHEN INSTALLING PLANKS1. The tongue side of the plank should face the starting wall. To get the laminate row closer to the wall you may remove the tongue from the starting row of planks only. Begin laying planks on the left side corner of the starting wall and work to the right side. When cutting planks, make sure the teeth of the power saw blade is cutting into the decorative surface. Best results are achieved when using a thin carbide tipped cutting blade.
2. Example of incorrect board placement.
3. Example of board placement sequence during Layout. Note how board #6 is installed with a slight gap (1/8”-3/16”) in-between #6 and #5 board. The gap is then gradually closed as board #6 is lightly tapped with a (tapping block) against board#5. Do not over-tap.
4. Adding additional spacers to the (beginning and ending rows) will help hold installed planks together during installation. Remove spacers when finished.
5. If the starting or ending wall is irregular, scribe or trace the contour of the wall to the row of boards.
STARTING THE FIRST ROW
1. Start by placing/tapping spacers against the wall at the short and long side of each plank and at a seam where two planks join. Double this spacing for larger room areas over 20’ in any direction.
2. Complete the first row progressively locking the shorter ends of the planks.
4. Fill-in planks can be cut with a jig saw, power saw, or hand saw. TIP: Clean cuts are achieved using a thin kerf, carbide tipped saw blade. Blade cut rotation should cut into the décor or finished side of the plank.
6. Stagger new end-joints from previously installed rows a minimum of 6”-12” to avoid seam line-up.
7. The last board of each row, under cabinets or other difficult areas can be tapped-in using a tapping bar.
b. Gradually lower the plank down flat until the joint closes, locks or clicks.
c. Using a tapping block, gently tap to close any gaps between boards - repeat procedure until completed Note how board #6 is installed with a slight gap (1/8”-3/16”) in-between #6 and #5 board. The gap is then gradually closed as board #6 is lightly tapped with a (tapping block) against board#5. Do not over-tap, repeat process until finished.
10. Last rows. Measure and cut to sufficient width to allow for the recommended expansion gap. Use a table saw to rip planks to the appropriate width. Planks less than 3” would also need to be glued at the edges.
Removing the Lip or Locking System
FINISHING THE INSTALLATION / FLOOR CARE
Do you have concerns about a damaged hardwood board? You are not alone. Everyone who owns a hardwood floor will probably have to do a board replacement at some time. Board replacement is a normal part of the hardwood flooring industry, in fact up to 8 percent of your flooring can be replaced and your floor will still have its integrity. Most boards need to be replaced due to events that are out of our control, for example: environmental factors, objects that fall, or damage from furniture, shoes, children, and pets. A board replacement will have your flooring looking like it was never damaged and you will never know that it has been done.
Here are the steps on how to replace a damaged board.
Tools needed for Board Replacement
***Installation Tip #1: Due to natural color changes in wood species, the new board may not
match the shade of the old flooring. If this is the case, let the new board sit
in the home for a week in a spot where it will receive the most light. Direct
light will quicken the color change, allowing the new board to blend in better
with the old flooring. This will also help the new board acclimate to the environment
of the home.
***Installation Tip #2: Measure the width of the old board to see if it is equal to the width of the new board. If the old wood has expanded due to moisture, the new board may not fit and the board replacement should wait to be done during a drier climate.
Step 1 – Cover the bottom of you circular saw with blue tape so it will not scratch your flooring. Set the depth of the skill saw to the thickness of the board being replaced. Apply blue tape around the board that is being cut so you don’t mistakenly cut into another plank. Cut down the length of the board on the groove side and on the tongue side and then make another cut diagonally across the first two cuts.
Step 2 – Take a hammer and pry bar and pull up the 2 halves in the middle of the board. Then chisel out the remaining pieces around the edges.
Step 4 - Measure the area that was cut out.
Step 5 - Measure new board and cut it to desired length needed. Use a sanding sponge to create a slight bevel on the cut edge. Also cut the bottom groove off the length and width of the board.
This picture shows the groove cut off the width end, do the same for the bottom groove down the length of the board.Step 6 – Apply a 100% urethane adhesive in a snake like pattern to the cleaned subfloor and place new board in sliding the tongue of the board into place first. Take a block of wood and tap down gently on the new board to knock it in place.
Step 7 – Apply weight to the board until the adhesive has time to cure. You have now finished your board replacement.
If you ever have any questions about installation, you can also contact the Lumber Liquidators Technical and Installation Department at email@example.com. Good luck with your project!
Many of you are probably familiar with This Old House. We are too and we love them! One of their Twitter/Facebook posts pulled me in this morning and I couldn't resist sharing it with you. Their "Team Saturday" built several backyard games. How much fun would that be for this upcoming holiday weekend? Plus, it could be a great family project with a backyard game to last years and years. Have fun, and thanks to This Old House and Team Saturday.http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/team-saturday
Games included are:
Ladder Golf Game