Make Home Improvement Pay Off When Selling a home

If your home needs some tender, loving home improvement then you’ll get a higher price for it if you invest in improvements. However, not all improvements will pay off. Some are a real waste of money and others pay off big. Make sure you only spend the cash for what will give you a return on the investment.

Home Improvement before the Sale

Maybe you’ve heard the saying “It’s all about kitchens and bathrooms.” And it is. People want to see a nice looking, updated kitchen and a pretty bathroom with a new tub, shower, sink and tile. These are two things that can sell a house.

But then there is the wow factor. If a potential buyer walks in and sees gorgeous, brand new flooring throughout the house, that can sell them on your home right then and there. Flooring is a real hassle to install and nobody wants to do it. So, if your flooring is in poor shape and you want to sell then this might be the only upgrade you really need to focus on. Sure, it is going to cost several thousand, but it could get your home sold fast and sold for a far higher amount than a home with an average floor.

Things that will not give you a return on your money are things like putting in a pretty garden, installing a fence, investing in nicer furniture or appliances, replacing the furnace, upgrading windows or doors. The cash you invest in these types of things will never be recovered or help your home sell.

A new roof can help your home be picked over another, but unless your roof is leaking, that upgrade is a cost that won’t help. We hope these home improvement tips for selling your home helps you spend your cash in the right places.

How to Clean a Shag Rug or Shag Carpeting

Shag was the big thing in the early 1970s. Everyone simply had to have shag everything, shag haircuts, shag rugs and shag carpet. But you need to know how to clean a shag rug. It isn’t at all like berber or plush carpet.

How to Clean a Shag Rug

Shag has a super nice, long and fluffy pile. Sometimes it is very long loops and others are not, but it is always very long. It is easy for a vacuum cleaner with a roller to destroy shag or get caught in it, depending on the length of the pile. So, how to clean a shag rug?

A shag rug is easier than a shag carpet, because you can pick up the rug and move it. The safest way to clean this type of rug is to take it outside and beat it with a broom. This is how carpets were cleaned in the old days and it still works great today. Put it shag side down over a porch rail or fence and beat the dirt out of it.

If asking your rug to step outside for a beating isn’t going to work for your rug then you will need to vacuum it. However, do not use the roller brush. Use the attachment that you would use on drapes or furniture. It is a lot of hard work, but you’ll get it cleaned up. Sprinkling it with baking soda first and letting it sit for a few hours before vacuuming helps freshen it up by removing odors.

When you need new floor covering for a room or an entire home, remember to give us a call at US Hardwood and Carpet. We hope we’ve helped teach you some tips on how to clean a shag rug.

Home Improvement Increases Your Home’s Value and Lifts the Spirit

Home improvement is something that home owners will jump on as soon as they decide to sell, but it should be done long before that. Living in a freshly updated home makes for a better outlook on life and happier days. One of the fastest ways to update your home is to replace the old worn carpeting or tile.

Home Improvement

Flooring is usually put last on the list to replace. There are a couple of reasons for that. First, all the painting and wall repairs might damage your floor. So, the flooring is the final inside improvement. Secondly, who wants to move all that furniture in and out of the house? Nobody! So, an improvement that can dramatically change the look of the rooms is put off.

Once you’ve had the walls replastered or repaired and painted, it is time to start thinking about flooring. There are many ways to go. These days with allergies and other environmental concerns, hardwood or softwood flooring is the popular way to go. However, tile and rolled vinyl is still a valid option for many home owners and it is less expensive to install. Some homeowners will go with a mix of various types of flooring throughout the home, such as tiled floors in the kitchen and bathrooms, carpeting in the bedrooms and hardwood flooring in the rest of the home.

When you’re changing the flooring, give a great deal of thought to your lifestyle. Carpet might be best for a person who is retired and has no pets. Tile and vinyl will hold up well to lots of pets and children running about. Hardwood is an excellent choice for someone who has many allergies or chemical sensitivities.

Browse All the Options

Stop by US Hardwood and Carpet to discuss your home improvement ideas. We’re happy to share our expert knowledge with you on flooring choices.

Waxed Floor Care for Your Hard Wood and Soft Wood Flooring

Waxed floor care is very different than caring and cleaning tiled floors. Like caring for cast irons pans, it is a whole different set of rules. Be strict about your floor care plan, if you want to keep them rich and beautiful looking.

Waxed Floor Care

The good news is that waxed floor care typically means no mopping with water! Yay! No more scrubbing floors on your hands and knees. There are times when it needs to be done, such as when the floor has an oily residue all over it or the kids came in with muddy feet. However, those days are rare.

Typical daily care is dust mopping with a very soft dust mop. Shake it out frequently outside to get rid of the dust. A lot of people are very happy with their Swifter mop for a daily dust mopping. If you have a pet parrot that loves to throw seeds all over the place, then you might have to vacuum to get the floor clean. Use your vacuum attachment that doesn’t have the spinning bar in it. You want just the soft brush attachment.

Water Spills

Water is a waxed floor’s worst enemy. You must dap up that spill immediately to keep it from damaging the wax. If the liquid is allowed to sit then it’ll leave a white stain.

Water stains are best handled by a professional floor finisher, but you can try a quick method yourself first. Dab a #000 steel wool pad in floor wax and rub it out. If that fails, then call a professional. Don’t do make the situation worse by trying to fix it.

Hardwood Floor Care

Waxed floor care is far less time consuming than tile or even carpeting. We hope you enjoy your beautiful, shiny hardwood floors for many, many years to come.

Wet Wood Floor Damage – Not as Hopeless as You Think

It’s easy to panic when discovering wet wood floor damage. Whether you witness standing water or discover the damage months or weeks later, dollar signs likely flash in your mind. However, this initial reaction may be way off base, depending on how you approach the situation.

First Steps in Addressing Wet Wood Floor Damage

Wet wood floor damage should be approached similarly, whether dealing with a spilled soda, a leaking door or busted pipe. Your first move is always to dry out the surface as quickly as possible. This can range from mopping with an absorbent towel to bringing in a wet vacuum. Whatever the damage, the quicker you remove standing liquid the closer you are to a happy solution.

Once the surface dries, you must immediately clean the entire surface. This sounds counterintuitive to scrub with cleaning solution a floor you just dried. However, this step is not negotiable. Any traces of dirt or other organic materials must be removed from crevices. Failing to do so can lead to the material absorbing leftover moisture, resulting in bacteria growth.

Once the area is mopped and cleaned, it’s time to really dry. Bring in fans large and powerful enough to address the area. Complete drying may take days. Conduct periodic inspections along the way, and call professionals if you see anything that potentially looks like harmful mold.

After a section feels dry, you need to confirm this with a moisture testing meter. Remember, this may take longer to register dry than a simple touch test. When dry, assess for long-term damage or decline in appearance.

Wet wood floor damage doesn’t have to equate disaster. Follow these steps to put yourself in the best position for a full (and less inexpensive) recovery.

The Best Way to Dust Hardwood Floors

People constantly ask about the best way to dust hardwood floors. What they truly mean is, “how can I clean my floors without eating up a lot of my time?” Many seek hardwoods for their beauty and for easy cleanup of spills and materials such as pet hair. However, regular maintenance and dusting keeps floors from needing more laborious cleanings.

Why Prevention is the Best Way to Dust Hardwoods Floor

Sure, prevention’s an easy out … but it’s also the best way to keep floors clean. Simple tasks like removing shoes at the door go a long way. Not only will you keep dust, stones and other items from coming in on the bottom of your shoes, you will avoid unsightly scuff markets from shoe soles. Also, do whatever is needed to keep scratches and gouges from floors – especially when rearranging furniture. Deep grooves trap dirt requiring even deeper cleanings.

When you are ready for dusting – this should occur every other day if you have pets – moisture is not your friend. Maintenance dusting should be done quickly and dry. Avoid brooms in day-to-day cleaning, also. These simply push dirt and dust around the room. A soft cloth works just fine. If you don’t want to invest in a branded microfiber cleaner, cloth diapers do an excellent job.

When deeper cleaning is needed, a damp – not wet – mopping is all that’s needed. Use a mild liquid cleaner that is specifically designed for wood floors. Remember, less is more. Too much cleaner can result in creating a bigger mess. Dirt plus water equals mud, right? Too much cleaner also results in an unsightly buildup that dulls a floor’s beauty.

The best way to dust hardwood floors is with small investments of cleaning time, saving you from time-robbing, higher-maintenance scrubbing.

How to Clean Mildew from Wood Flooring

Here is a step by step guide on how to clean mildew from wood. There are times this will work and other situations where it isn’t worth the effort. And there are some other considerations in mildew removal that must be done before you even try to remove the mildew from the wood.

How to Clean Mildew from Wood

If you notice you have some mildew on your wood flooring or wood furniture, you’ll need to jump on this problem immediately. It is not something you should ever put off. Here is a brief primer on the steps you should take in how to clean mildew from wood.


Mildew doesn’t grow in dry places. If you see mildew on wood then there is a big moisture problem in the room. Your first step is to find the water source and stop it. Then step up a dehumidifier to help dry out the room.

Assess the Wood

The wood floor or furniture must have a finish on it. The reason being raw wood will have the mildew’s tentacles deep within the wood already. There is no point to trying to stop mildew on raw wood. It will only come right back as soon as you have a moist day. That wood must be removed and replaced.


Clean the mildew from finished wood by using brown vinegar. Spray it on and let it sit for one hour. Then wash it off with a soapy solution. This should kill the mildew that is on the finished wood floor or painted furniture and remove it for good.

Get Help

When you see mold, it is best to contact a specialist to get their assessment. If you want to try your hand at this How to Clean Mildew from Wood method, it just might work for you. But you need to stop the room’s moisture problem first.

Real Hardwood Flooring is the Way to Go

There is nothing that truly compares to real hardwood flooring as far as the overall warmth, the look and feel and the durability. When you’re planning to live in your home for many years, it is the best choice when you’re shopping for new flooring.

Real Hardwood Flooring

There is a situation when using artificial wood flooring is a better choice. If you are planning to sell your home in the next year or two, it is best to choose laminate wood flooring. Even though the real hardwood flooring has that something special in the warmth of the look that no laminate can match, you will never recover the money you spent on real hardwood. So, in the situation where you’ll sell the home soon, laminate is definitely the way to go.

Other Artificial Wood Choices

Besides artificial wood flooring like Pergo or some of the other brands, there is one other way to go for the look, but not the price of real hardwood flooring. This choice is the least expensive and that is vinyl flooring. There are some brands of rolled flooring that looks so real at first glance that you’ll think it is a real hardwood floor! It is easy to clean and it holds up well to pets. This is a flooring material you need to see in person to believe.

When you have your heart set on real hardwood flooring, you’ll be so happy with your choice. There are many options such as installing new planks or you can opt for reclaimed flooring. The latest look in flooring is to install barn wood as a hardwood floor. Give US Hardwood and Carpet a call today to go over your budget and all the different choices.

Surprising Floor Options for Kitchens for Your Home Upgrade

When you’re updating your home, floor options for your kitchen is likely on the list to consider in your revamp and update. While most people will install vinyl flooring or tiles in the kitchen, you can dare to be different. There is a new and surprising choice that is the hottest thing going for kitchen floors today.

Floor Options for Kitchens

Tile always looks beautiful, even throughout the entire house. Vinyl is inexpensive, durable and easy to clean. But what’s the latest and greatest in today’s kitchens? Cork! Yes, cork. As trendy floors go, this is the one that everyone wants right now and they want it for some very good reasons.

Sustainable Building Materials

Cork is a natural, sustainable material. It is harvested from the cork tree and this will replace itself in only nine years, making it very sustainable in the environment. There is no rainforest clearing or horrible chemicals that will make you sick. It is natural and environmentally friendly. But, its virtues go well beyond that.

Install it how you want it. Cork flooring is available in the form of glued down tiles, planks or floating floors. You won’t have to go with a form of flooring you don’t want, all choices are available.

Durability is its #1 feature. Cork flooring can hold up to high traffic, which makes it perfect for kitchens. A kitchen needs to hold up well in those spots where someone is typically standing like in front of the sink or stove. Its natural nonskid properties also make it perfect for the kitchen as grease and spills won’t be slippery. It is also lightweight and comfortable.

When you are looking for floor options for your kitchen, let us know. We’ll be happy to show you samples of the newest types of flooring for your home today.

Causes for Wrinkles in Carpet and How to Fix It

Wrinkles in the carpet are not only annoying, but it is a sign something is terribly wrong. Carpet doesn’t just get larger on its own. There is a direct cause for this to happen.

Wrinkles in Carpet

If you are home shopping and see a house where the carpet is bunched up or doesn’t quite fit, you should suspect an underlying water problem with the home. Carpets will stretch when they get very wet. Wrinkles in the carpet don’t happen as a normal course of carpet life.

There may be a water leak, possibly a broken pipe or a roof leak, that is causing the floor to stay wet. As the carpet sits in the very high room humidity or with water soaking it, the carpet will get bigger. This causes the carpet to no longer fit the room. Before you do anything to fix the carpet, you’ll need to find the source of the moisture. A home with a water leak or humidity problem will have a musty, mildew smell.

Once the source of the water has been found and repaired, allow the room and carpet to completely dry out. Once you’re sure the carpet and floor beneath it is completely dry, you can rent a carpet stretcher. Stretch the carpet and tack it down. Use a utility knife to cut away the excess carpet.

It is important that you stretch the carpet properly or else you’ll have wrinkles in the carpet again. There are lots of you tube videos that will teach you how a carpet should be stretched, so that problems don’t arise later on. Of course, be certain to find the underlying cause of the carpet wrinkling and have that problem fixed. If you’re lucky, it is because the original installer didn’t properly stretch it on installation.