High-quality floors can tie a well-designed room together. But they can also be expensive.
Wood floors look gorgeous but they’re not cheap. Even if you choose lumber that supports sustainable forestry initiatives, the cost can quickly add up.
A less costly alternative is to have your floors screened and resealed. This fills in light scratches and gives a new level of sheen to the surface.
1. Luxury Vinyl Planks
Luxury vinyl planks, or LVP, have become a popular flooring choice for many home designs because they offer the visual appeal of wood floors while being able to handle heavy foot traffic and resist scratches, spills, stains, and other common household damage. They can even be used in areas of the house that would normally require the use of a waterproof product, such as a bathroom or a kitchen.
One of the biggest benefits of this type of floor is that it can be installed either as a click-in or glue-down product, depending on your needs and the type of subfloor under your current floors. Both installation options are incredibly easy and are a quick way to upgrade the look of your entire home. However, it is important to note that a glue-down install may not be appropriate for some homes and will require professional installation.
This is because some glues contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) which can be harmful to your family’s health if they are in contact with them for long periods of time. A click-in LVP, on the other hand, can be installed over most existing flooring with a simple locking system that eliminates the need for adhesives.
While both styles can be found in a variety of different finishes and colors, the rigid core option is especially attractive for its ability to ward off scratches, scuffs, and stains, all while remaining water resistant. It also masks any imperfections in the subfloor, making it a great choice for high-moisture rooms like bathrooms and laundry areas that can’t support real hardwood floors.
Rigid core vinyl planks are typically made with four layers, including a wear layer that is designed to resist scratches and other forms of damage. The thickness of the wear layer is often measured in mil, with products having a higher number of mil generally performing better and standing up to more severe abuse.
In addition to the wear layer, this type of vinyl is also abrasion-resistant and features an embossed surface that adds strength and texture. Additionally, many of these floors have a layer of cork or felt underlayment that acts as an extra cushion for your feet while also helping to reduce noise and reducing temperature fluctuations throughout the home.
2. Luxury Vinyl Tiles
Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and plank flooring are great for active homes with kids and pets or in high-traffic areas that you want to keep looking stylish. They are also a more cost-efficient option than hardwood and real stone floors, although installation will add to the overall price of the floor. There are two main ways to install LVT and planks: glue-down or self-adhesive. Both have their pluses and minuses, so it’s important to talk with your installer about which is the best choice for your home.
The key feature of LVT is that it mimics the look and feel of real wood, tile or stone floors but at a lower cost. Thanks to advances in printing and photographic technology, this faux-flooring is now very convincing – some even have limestone composite added for texture for increased authenticity.
Some brands also offer a cork underlayment layer for sound-muffling and comfort. These features make the floors quiet to walk on and can help reduce moisture in the air, which is why they are especially good for basements or laundry rooms.
In addition to the aesthetic benefits, these floors are extremely durable and easy to maintain. They resist stains, mold and mildew and are water-resistant. They can be cleaned with a mop or steam cleaner, and they don’t need any wax sealants or sanding, like natural wood floors do. It’s best to wait at least 24 hours before cleaning, though, to let the floors dry completely.
Many manufacturers offer a wide range of styles and colors, including traditional wood, ceramic and stone looks. Some are able to mimic real tile, while others offer more unique designs such as indented steel panels and mosaic pebbles.
When choosing a LVT brand, it’s best to consider its reputation for quality. Some big-name brands that offer high quality include Mohawk, Karndean and COREtec.
In general, look for LVT and planks with a thicker wear layer (5 mm or more) than standard sheet vinyl (2 mm). A higher thickness is better for standing up to heavy foot traffic. In addition to the wear layer, a strong core and print layer are important for durability.
Stencils are a versatile tool that can be used to create various artistic creations. They can be applied to a variety of surfaces, such as canvas, walls, paper, and other materials. Stenciling is a popular technique among artists and designers. It is a great way to add texture and a unique touch to your designs. The process is simple and can be completed in a short amount of time. Stencils can be used to create a wide range of patterns, from floral designs to geometric shapes.
Whether you’re looking to decorate an old dresser, make a set of unique thank you cards, or simply add some personality to your home decor, stencils are the perfect solution. They come in a wide array of sizes and shapes, making them suitable for any project. Regardless of your project, you need to properly prepare the surface before stenciling. First, clean the area to be painted with mild soap and water. Then, use a foam roller or spray painter to apply the desired color. Once you’re finished, carefully remove the stencil and enjoy your new design.
The earliest known stencil is a hand print that dates back to 66,000 years ago. The Egyptians used leather or papyrus stencils to dye fabrics, and the Chinese pioneered the stenciling of silks around 105 A.D. Stencils can be made from metal, plastic, or cardboard and are available in a variety of sizes. The most popular types of stencils are those that are pre-made and available for purchase.
Modern stencil makers often use the laser-cutting method to produce high-quality stencils. This technique allows for quicker manufacturing and a more precise result. It’s also more environmentally friendly than traditional methods. Stencils can be created using a variety of materials, but the most common are vinyl and etching metal.
Depending on the type of stencil, you can also add textures to your work by applying embossing paste or blending inks. You can even layer stencils to create a more intricate design. However, it’s important to secure the stencil properly to avoid any bleeding. You can use washi tape or a strong, repositionable adhesive to ensure that it stays in place while you’re working on your project.
4. Painted Plywood
Plywood is an inexpensive and versatile material that is widely used in home improvement projects. It can be stained or painted to create a natural look or a customized design. It can be used for walls, floors and cabinets. To achieve a high quality paint finish, proper preparation of the plywood is important. It should be cleaned and sanded to remove any dirt or debris. It is also a good idea to apply a primer to the surface before painting. Once the primer has dried, it is a good idea to sand the surface again to remove any roughness. If desired, wood putty can be used to fill in any holes or non-uniformities in the surface of the plywood before proceeding to the painting process.
When painting plywood, it is a good idea to use a high-quality latex paint. This type of paint is easy to clean and provides a high-quality finish that will hold up to normal wear and tear. Depending on the desired result, it may be a good idea to choose a satin or semi-gloss finish rather than a flat paint. It is also a good idea to purchase a good-quality brush or roller, and it may be helpful to have some wood filler, painter’s caulk and sandpaper on hand.
If you are painting an entire room, it is a good idea to start by painting the edges of the plywood first. This will prevent you from having to go back over the edges after you have finished painting the rest of the surface. It is also a good idea to paint any larger areas last, as it will be easier to catch any drips or sags before they become visible.
Another tip for painting plywood is to use a lighter touch when sanding the surface. It is a good idea to use a fine-grit sandpaper and to avoid going overboard with the sanding. This will ensure that the sanding doesn’t damage or mar the surface of the plywood. In addition, if you have plywood with knots or grain patterns, it is a good idea to seal these surfaces before painting. A shellac-based primer or a knot sealing product will help prevent the knots and grain from bleeding through the final coat of paint.