Here's an easy way to protect hardwood floors during home remodeling and construction. Recycle used wall-to-wall carpet pieces by turning them upside down on your hardwood floors. Secure the carpet pieces in place with strips of duct tape. The inverted carpet will protect your floors from scratches, gouges, and heavy traffic during remodeling projects.
In kitchen and bathroom areas where vinyl flooring is often used, natural linoleum can be used instead. (Vinyl flooring is sometimes generically referred to as "linoleum," so be sure to request "natural linoleum.") Natural linoleum is made of linseed oil, pine resins, and jute. It was used for decades before vinyl flooring became available, and it's making a comeback. Natural linoleum can be bought at almost any flooring or home improvement store.
Here's how to protect precious woodwork during home remodeling and construction. Recycle used carpet pads removed with wall-to-wall carpet. The pieces are soft and flexible enough to wrap around banisters and other delicate woodwork. Secure the pads in place with strips of duct tape. This way, your wood will be safe from scratches, gouges, and heavy traffic during remodeling.
Many people find bamboo flooring very attractive. It looks similar to regular wood flooring, but it is harder and more durable. Bamboo has a short growing time, so it is a rapidly renewable resource. Most bamboo flooring contains trace amounts of formaldehyde; one brand that does not is Bamboo Hardwoods, and Teragren contains very low levels.
When comparing bids from contractors, be sure that the amounts allotted for flooring and lighting are realistic.
If you plan to replace your floor covering and throw out the old rug you may decide to leave it down as long as it doesn't make it impossible to paint the floor trim. In most cases you will want to use drop cloths and tape them down over the floor covering using removable masking tape.
When installing new carpet, be sure to open your doors and windows. Increasing the amount of fresh air In the home will reduce exposure to most chemicals released from carpet. During and after installation, use window fans and room air conditioners to exhaust fumes to the outdoors. If you have a ventilation system, be sure it is in proper working order. Operate it during installation, and keep it running for 48 to 72 hours after the new carpet is installed.
When shopping for carpet, ask about the "green label" program. According to the carpet Industry, the label tells consumers that this carpet type has been tested and passed emissions criteria. The label, however, is not a guarantee that the carpet will not cause health problems. A toll-free phone number is available on the label for updated information on the industry's program.
If you have pets, consider replacing the carpeting before putting your home on the market. Many people are allergic to pets and extremely sensitive to pet odors, which even a recent, thorough cleaning may not mask. And worn carpeting, even if it is clean, can detract from a home's overall appearance, giving the impression it has not been well maintained.
The most common radiant floor warming systems are either hydronic (circulating hot water in tubes in the floor) or electric (heating cables in the floor). Hydronic systems are more complicated, requiring pumps and valves and modulators and so on, and, as a result, are a lot more expensive to install than electric. Still, for whole house heating solutions, hydronics are a good choice. By contrast, electric systems are inexpensive enough for single room applications and simple enough for do-it-yourselfers. Suitable for new construction or remodeling applications, electric floor warming systems include a network of cables installed in the mortar just below the tiles. These cables gently warm the tiles, operating on ordinary house current. While using a professional electrician is advised for those not comfortable working on electrical installations, these systems are generally easy to install and will not compromise the integrity of the tile installation.