Carl’s Flooring Tips

Carl’s Hardwood Flooring and Carpeting Tips

40+ Years of Experience in Staining Hardwood Floors

Carl is the guy to ask when it comes to flooring. He started in hardwood refinishing 30-plus years ago, earned his stripes and used what he’d learned to become an expert on hardwood refinishing, solid and engineered hardwood installation, carpet, ceramic tile, laminate and vinyl flooring installation.

You’ll find his work in universities, hospitals, professional sports venues, state museums and theaters, pubs, and of course homes throughout the state.

Check out what interests you. And if you don’t find it, please ask. Our Tips page might even be better than picking Carl’s brain. Especially if it’s after midnight.

Tip One: Carpet – Pet Urine Stains

A lot of my homeowners have pets and they’re part of the family. And we all know that being family requires a lot of forgiveness, right? Puppies and older pets can have accidents, and when it comes to carpet, you can forgive but sometimes it’s hard to forget.

I tell people to ask about a carpet pad that’s made especially for pets. It has a plastic, antibacterial film over the pad that won’t let urine permeate the pad. When you hot water extract it, the urine will come out much easier and the hot water and antibacterial coating will kill the bacteria below the nap of the carpet. The pad also holds up well to hot water extraction and spot cleaning.

Tip Two: Hardwood – Height Variance

If you’re thinking of replacing your flooring with hardwood, I really can’t think of many better investments in your home. We’ll talk about your home, your lifestyle and more to make sure hardwood is right for the space (we wouldn’t recommend for your basement, for example).

We’ll also talk about the kind of adjustments that will need to be made to make sure your doors will swing freely and that your trim, base and shoe mold is flush, without gaps. We normally recommend that you keep the thickness of the flooring as close as possible to the original to avoid too much retrofitting, something you might want to keep in mind while looking at new floor choices.

Tip Three: Hardwood – Contrast

I’ve seen a lot of homes in transition. And it can make people second guess their choices. And their spouse’s choices, but that’s a different set of tips! What I can tell you is this: don’t try to match your hardwood floor to your kitchen cabinets, built-ins or furniture. It will never match perfectly and then the variance will be obvious, like you tried but missed the mark.

Go instead for contrast. A deliberate contrast that makes each material pop and play off the other. The combinations are endless and so are people’s tastes and styles. I like to tell people to hop on or to gather visuals that fit their style and taste, then narrow them down and bring them with you to our consultation. We can help you achieve the look.

Tip Four: Hardwood Refinishing – 10-Point Inspection

Everyone’s anxious to get started on a project. So are we. But before we do we always take stock of the current space by doing a full 10-point inspection. Why? Because we don’t want anything to be a surprise down the line, to us or to you.

For example, we don’t want to be mid-project and discover there are rotted or sagging boards. We won’t just sand and refinish them. That’s not how we work. We’d need to stop the project, make a recommendation for replacement, give you an estimate and pick up or order the materials. All things that would cost precious time and money.

So here’s what we look for, measure and address before we begin your hardwood refinish job. Your only surprise should be how it looks even better than you thought it would.”

  • Ambient humidity
  • Moisture in the floor (tested with a moisture meter)
  • Termite damage
  • Broken or insecure boards
  • Sagging
  • Home settling
  • Subfloor settling
  • Subfloor creaks
  • Pet stains
  • Water stains

Tip Five: Ceramic Tile – Grout

Don’t you hear the word ‘grout’ and think of tough-to-clean white shower grout? I always do. But here’s the thing about the newest types of grout for your ceramic tile: they are made with an acrylic polymer that make them much more stain resistant. I know you’ll appreciate this.

Darker grouts will always be more forgiving, too, but it’s nice to know you have a first line of defense, especially in high-traffic areas like bathrooms and kitchens.

Tip Six: Luxury Vinyl – Why?

I personally love luxury vinyl. The thing is, a lot of people don’t know what the name means exactly. They still see the old, flimsy sheet vinyl in their minds. Luxury vinyl is a totally different animal.

This is thick and can be made to look like real stone or plank flooring. There’s generally a lifetime warranty (lifetime!) and our installation is always guaranteed for life on any floor. And, luxury vinyl is water and chemical proof. Not resistant, but completely impervious to water and chemicals like bleach.

It’s also 30% more than laminate. But you can see why, right? Take a look at some of the luxury vinyl that’s out there—ask us for samples—and you will be amazed.

Tip Seven: Carpet – Restretching

I’m going to be biased here, but I think you’ll cut me a little slack. Do not have anyone install your carpet without a lifetime stretch warranty.

What does this mean? It means that when someone offers a lifetime stretch warranty (and we do!), they will come out to your home at any point in the life of your carpet and move furniture, restretch your carpet to remove any lumps, bumps or gathers, then move your furniture back. Free of charge. You want this.