Category "Flooring"

Stylish Ways to Go Green During Your Building or Remodeling Project

June 16, 2017

Are you planning a home building or remodeling project? If you’re like many homeowners today, you might be looking for ways to not only build well, and with style, but also build responsibly. Awareness of the shortages that many natural materials and resources are facing has made “going green” appealing on multiple levels.

This growing, positive trend has opened the doors to numerous alternatives that maximize your home’s style while minimizing its impact on the environment. And, in many cases, these options will also minimize the impact on your wallet. Who doesn’t love that?

Let’s take a look at a few popular alternative building materials.

Alternative Flooring Materials for Your Home

Hardwood is a limited resource. And, while some manufacturers are dedicated to ethically sourcing materials, not everyone is.

What are your options?

Renewable Resources That Are Perfect for Your Remodeled Kitchen

  • Butcher-block counters are an attractive, sensible option. The materials used range from reclaimed/recycled lumber to lesser-known types of trees that are harvested in a sustainable way
  • Bamboo countertops
  • Stainless steel countertops
  • Concrete counters
  • Recycled glass countertops
  • Bamboo cabinets
  • Wheatboard cabinets, made from compressed plant fibers
  • Check to see if your kitchen’s wood is FSC-certified, guaranteeing that it’s being sourced responsibly
  • Eucalyptus (grows at 4x the speed of traditional hardwood options!)
  • Recycled metal tile for your backsplash
  • LED lights are a bright idea, offering decreased costs, efficient energy usage, and practical power

Talk To an Experienced Home Builder

The key to successfully building in a green way is to work with an experienced professional who shares your values. Ask what they suggest, what they have seen work in the past, and how you could think outside the box during your project. The results will be stunning, and one of a kind, adding a unique flavor to the colors and textures within your home.

How Can You Protect Your Hardwood Flooring This Winter?

December 21, 2016

In many of the homes we work in here in Westchester and Fairfield Counties, hardwood flooring is one of the great focal points. It connects us to a rich history of local craftsmanship, and provides an unparalleled level of warmth and character.

Even if the wood was laid recently, perhaps as part of an addition or flooring replacement, it’s a long-lasting, beautiful investment that deserves to be cared for and properly protected.

As lovely and durable as it is, wood is still susceptible to damage, and especially so if your house is a busy one. Pets also are another factor (claws and hardwood just don’t get along well). All of these hazards are compounded during the winter season as sand, salt, and elevated levels of moisture are added into the equation.

Never fear. There are simple steps you can take to help protect your beloved flooring, preserving its beauty, value, and condition.

Are You Cleaning Your Hardwood the Right Way?

While tile can be easily washed with your favorite high-test cleaner, hardwood needs a lighter, gentler touch. Harsh products can damage the finish, and applying a wet mop can leave puddles and drips that compromise your wood’s integrity and health.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Vacuum and sweep to pick up any loose debris that might be ground underfoot into the surface (this is especially important around doorways where sand and dirt can collect).
  • Never use harsh cleaners.
  • Keep the cleaning process as dry as possible, ideally mopping with a microfiber mop designed specifically for hardwood (you can find these at your local home improvement store).
  • Use cleaner formulated for hardwood, spraying it on and wiping with your mop (again, no wet buckets need to be involved).

How Else Can You Protect Your Hardwood Floors This Winter?

Beyond cleaning properly, these tried and true methods will also contribute to your floor’s long and happy life:

  • Protective Rugs By the Door – Where do your family’s muddy boots and wet jackets tend to land? The ideal scenario is to have a mudroom to collect winter gear (and dirt!), but if that’s not possible just be sure that heavy floor mats are by the door to catch the mess. It may not be aesthetically pleasing, but it will protect that beautiful hardwood.
  • Take Your Shoes Off – You may already have a shoes-off household, but, if not, winter is certainly the time to start.
  • Puddles Are the Enemy – Immediately wipe up any drips or standing water.
  • Avoid Excessively Dry Air – Running the heat can keep you nice and comfy, but it’s not the best for your floors. If your environment is extremely warm and dry (perhaps you run a supplemental heat source like a fireplace insert), you may want to invest in a humidifier to balance the environment.
  • Periodic Refinishing – If your finish is worn down, contact a professional to help you bring fresh life and protection to the surface.

These extra steps and products may be easy to overlook or consider unnecessary, but they truly will pay you back handsomely over time. Hardwood is a real investment, and with the right care and love it can be enjoyed by generations to come.

What’s the Best Flooring Option for a Dog Owner?

September 29, 2015

You love hardwood, and you love your dog… So, what should you do?

There are really few downsides to owning a dog. What’s not to love about unconditional friendship, a buddy who is perpetually in a good mood, and having a great listener around the house?

One important thing to be sure of is that your home is as ready for your four-legged friend as you are, and that the existing materials are conducive to paws and claws. We recently discovered a fantastic question on from a homeowner who has multiple large dogs, loves hardwood floors, and needs to find a new flooring solution that meets the needs of everyone involved. After all, hardwood and pet claws typically don’t get along very well, and few things are more sad than watching a beautiful surface be slowly taken over by scratches and gouges.

Since this is a common question, we thought we’d share a unique solution that we suggest to building and remodeling clients of our own.


Using Ceramic Tile Instead of Hardwood

When it comes down to it, the primary benefit of hardwood is the unique, aesthetic beauty it offers. From rich, nutty browns to warm amber planks, the appeal is easy to understand.

Have you considered a ceramic tile that mimics wood?

More than ever before, wood-grain tile offers a stunningly accurate aesthetic. And, if you specifically look for options with “rectified edges,” there will be minimal grout visible between the sections. This makes the look even more authentic. For more information about common wood-grain tile misconceptions, and for beautiful examples to browse, take a look at this article: 4 Myths about Wood-Grain Tile.

What Are the Benefits of Tile Flooring?

  • Durability – Claws are no match for the rugged surface
  • Easy to clean – Many wood floors require specialized cleaners, but tile does not
  • Pairs beautifully with radiant heating – Under-floor heating systems work very well with tile, creating an efficient and comfortable space
  • Huge variety of styles – From sleek and modern to distressed country flooring, there are options available to suit your taste

How Else Can We Help with Your Building and Remodeling Needs?

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions! Or, for a better feel of the work we do, you can browse our portfolio here.

Stone Tile Installation in Westchester, NY

January 30, 2015

When you think of ways to add style to your home, what comes to mind? Interior paint colors? Architecture? The quality of your kitchen cabinets, appliances, and fixtures? These are all good and valuable answers, but here’s another one to consider: stone tile.

Hardwood Flooring Options

October 1, 2014

When it comes to  flooring options for your home, there are clearly many choices available. While some homeowners prefer the soft feel of carpet, or the look of tile, most homeowners choose hardwood flooring. Hardwood flooring is not only the easiest to maintain, but it is also the most versatile and is suitable for almost every room in your house.

Two types of hardwood flooring installed today are: pre-finished hardwood and engineered hardwood.

Pre-finished hardwood is the most common type of wood flooring. It is milled from a single piece of hardwood depending on which type of wood you are using. When the factory applies the finish treatment to the wood, they are able to use very powerful chemical sealers, which are applied by a commercial processes not available to on site installers.Typically this consists of aluminum oxide crystals embedded in a UV cured urethane coat. While site applied finishes warranty for 3 – 5 years, factory applied treatments will often have warranties of 5 – 25 years or more. The only downside to solid wood flooring is that it expands and contracts with changes in your home’s relative humidity. However this is easily compensated for by leaving an expansion gap between the floor and the wall, which is then usually covered by base molding.

Engineered hardwood flooring is quite different than regular wood flooring and is more popular especially in areas like New York where temperature and humidity are constantly changing. Contrary to pre-finished wood, engineered wood flooring is comprised of three to twelve layers of hardwood. Each layer is stacked in a cross-grain configuration and bonded together under heat and pressure. As a result, engineered wood flooring is less likely to be affected by changes in humidity and can be installed in all levels of the home. Engineered wood floors are also generally easier and less expensive to install.

Because of these properties, engineered wood flooring is a great option to lay over radiant heat if wood is your choice of flooring. While tile flooring can crack and become displaced due to the heat produced by radiant heat, engineered wood can better sustain the heat and moisture.

Below you can see the difference between the two types of hardwood flooring:

Here is a recent radiant heat project that is nearing completion in Larchmont, NY. These homeowners decided to install radiant heat flooring in their kitchen and lay engineered hardwood flooring over:

Learn more about our flooring installation, refinishing and restoration services here.

Radiant Heat Flooring – Add Warmth & Value

September 10, 2014

Today for the first time in months there’s a chill in the air. We all know what that means – Autumn is coming. Properly preparing your home for another long and cold winter can save you and your family lots of money on heating expenses as well as discomfort. One of the best investments you can make for your home this winter is by installing radiant heat flooring.

If you’re not familiar with how radiant heat floors work it’s is actually quite simple. Hot water tubes or electrical wires are snaked across the floor and then hidden underneath your floors– tile, wood or even carpet. Contrary to conventional air heating systems, radiant heat warms your room in a more comfortable and cost efficient way.  When hot air comes out of a heater in your home, the air immediately rises and then sinks while cooling off. Radiant heat on the other hand, comes directly from underneath warming up any objects (or people) they strike which then radiates the captured heat in return. And depending on how well insulated your house is, radiant heat floors can be up to 30 percent more efficient than standard forced air heating systems.

Over the summer, we have been working in numerous homes preparing them for the winter. Here are some photos we took of tube installation from a recent kitchen project in Chappaqua, NY:


Contact us today to get a quote on radiant heat for your home this winter.