Claire Rainville, Broker Associate, REMAX



 

Flooring is a significant part of your home interior decor. It bears the brunt of your daily activities and is always the first surface to reflect wear and tear. With that in mind, consider installing high-end flooring that is durable, lasts longer, and of course, makes your home more appealing. Luxurious flooring can boost your home value tremendously when it is time to sell. Here are top luxury flooring options that are the perfect combination of affordable luxury:


Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring has features that bring a natural flair of luxury into your home. Categories of top, quality, hardwood flooring are exotic hardwoods and reclaimed woods. Upgrading from carpeting to hardwoods adds value, decreases allergens and takes your home up a notch.

Reclaimed hardwoods: Reclaimed hardwood is recycled wood from old barns, industrial buildings, and other teardowns. They come in a plethora of species including: walnut, oak, pine, hickory and elm.


Exotic hardwoods: Exotic hardwoods are a great value because of the scarcity of the wood types in demand. Exotic wood comes from continents like South America and Africa, and the species of wood used include: Brazilian TigerwoodBloodwood and Cumaru.

Natural Stone Flooring

Natural stone flooring is an option that oozes beauty and adds class to your home. However, stone flooring is one of the most costly options on the market today due to the processes involved with quarrying and transporting the stones. Before you install natural stone flooring, it is important to remember that the harder and denser the stone, the more costly the floor will be per square foot. Also remember that the features of the stone tile influence a homeowner's buying decision. Such features include the color, rarity and, most importantly, the kind of stone used. With a dizzying world of options to choose from, you may want to start with some samples of natural stone flooring such as cobbled stone, Jerusalem stone marble and granite.

Luxury Vinyl Tile 

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) is one of the most popular options for many homeowners who want to have a taste of luxury but remain within the realm of affordability. LVT is durable and injects a feeling of affluence with its natural wood or stone look. It is resistant to dents, chips, moisture damage and heat. Luxury Vinyl Tile flooring is perfect for those who want high-end flooring at a guilt-free price.

Mosaic/Designer Ceramic Floor Tiles

Bring a touch of style and luxury into your home with mosaic floor tiles. This type of flooring comes in a wide range of options to choose from such as Italian tiles, antique reclaimed tiles, pebble mosaics, custom mosaics, glass tiles and handmade tiles.


Visit your professional flooring store and consult with a designer on some of the best flooring options to consider for your home and office space. If you plan to sell, check with your real estate agent to see what's going for top dollar in your current market.


Home improvements are a vital part to keeping your home up-to-date with the times and also to ensure that it doesn’t lose value when it comes time to sell.

To save money, many homeowners take the do-it-yourself route and use the tools at their disposal to upgrade their homes. Sites like YouTube have made it easier than ever to follow step-by-step tutorials that show you how to make substantial repairs and upgrades to your home without having to pay a professional.

The down side, however, is that when you choose to DIY, you take on the risk of going over budget by making mistakes. You also risk stretching out your project weeks or months longer than necessary due to a lack of time to work on it.

In today’s post, we’re going to talk about how you can stay on budget and on track to finish your home improvement project without bringing in the professionals.

Making a timeline

Let’s start with the big picture for your home renovations. When deciding which improvements to make, it’s important to know your limits in terms of the work you can do.

Set a reasonable number of hours you can work on your projects per week. Go easy on yourself. Most of us are already tired when we get home from work and probably won’t be able to start tackling big projects in the evenings. Rather, try to give yourself one weekend day to work on your projects and one weekend day to relax.

The most important aspect of creating your timeline is to try and keep your schedule open. So, write down the time you want to work on your home in your calendar, planner, or whichever app or tool you use to plan your time.

This will help you to avoid creating conflicting events and obligations, and help you stay on track to finishing your improvement projects.

If you’re looking for an evening activity related to your home improvement projects, it’s a good idea to start watching some video tutorials of people doing the same renovations as you. This will help you avoid mistakes and look out for common obstacles that you’ll face along the way.

Budgeting your improvement

You’ll want to save up for your project in advance, if possible, to avoid accumulating credit card debt. Your home improvement project should, in effect, gain you money by increasing the value of your home, not make you lose money on credit card interest payments.

Budgeting in itself is an art that few of us are taught in school. Fortunately, there are several free budgeting apps available. Or, you can simply draw one up yourself.

The key to creating a home improvement budget is to know how much of your monthly savings you can devote to this project without having to dip into other funds. To do this, you’ll need a clear understanding of where your income goes.  

Once you have a budget and a timeline for your home improvement project, you’re ready to begin. Just make sure you check in on your timeline and your budget throughout the length of the project to make sure you’re meeting your goals and aren’t overspending.


Many homes, new and old, do not have a ton of storage. More modern open floor plan spaces leave a great blank canvas for you to work with, but require you to bring in your own shelving, hutch, dressers, etc. If you're looking for additional storage options in your home and are either working with a smaller space, or desire to keep your area open and free of heavy furniture, consider what vertical storage solutions might work for your home.

Shelving

Take a look at your space and think about what shelving additions might help you. Installing a shelf up high around the ceiling of a room might give you great space for displaying home décor and knick-knacks without cluttering up coffee tables and nightstands. A narrow floor-to-ceiling bookshelf creates a ton of space in an office or living room without taking away your floor space.

Built-in Furniture Storage

When purchasing new furniture pieces for your home look for opportunities to use these pieces as storage solutions. A bed with drawers underneath or built-in headboard shelving and coffee tables with shelves, drawers or hidden compartments are easy to find in different styles and prices. Hollow ottomans are wonderful for housing blankets and other linens. Try office solutions with desks that mount on the wall and have built-in drawers and shelving. 

Hooks

Hooks are affordable, easy to install and can be used in a variety of places throughout your home to create storage. If you are dealing with a small closet or don't have a coat closet in your entryway, you can install hooks on the back of your closet or bedroom door. Try installing hooks or a combination shelf with hooks piece in your entryway or your bedroom for coats and purses. Small hooks placed on a wall or attached to a decorative board can replace the need for a vanity or large jewelry armoire. Use a combination of hooks and nails to hang all your tools and reduce space (and cost) used by a large toolbox.

Not all solutions are beautiful and fit seamlessly with your décor, but if you're in a pinch, there are some quick and affordable things you can do. Hang a plastic shoe-rack on your closet or bedroom door. Hang towel and bath-robe hooks on the back of your bathroom door. Install basic wire racks and drawers in your laundry room, above your machines, to use the vertical space instead of using floor bins and baskets. Whatever your space there is an upright storage solution for you, from pre-fab pieces you can buy to DIY solutions you can put together next weekend. 

 If you're starting your home search and built-in storage is a feature you'd like, speak with your real estate professional before you start house hunting. Work together to find a home with the features you desire, or to find a space that allows for seemingly built-in storage solutions to add before you move in.


If you've ever wondered about renewing tile in your home wonder no more, it is a process that most of us can accomplish and have a beautiful finished product when done. Following the correct steps ensures lasting beauty and quality. 

Cutting it out

To begin with, you will need to cut out the old grout. Removing it can be accomplished with a utility knife if it is a small area. As this can be a complicated method, if the surface is a little larger, there are circular cutting tools that are available to rent or purchase at your local home improvement store. 

Match it or go all the way

After you get the old grout cleaned out, you will want to make sure that the grout you are replacing it with is the same color as the existing grout unless you want to cut all of it of the area that you are working. Replacing an entire area (for example a shower or bathroom floor) is something that you may or may not want to do depending on the condition of the existing grout. 

Getting it on

When you buy your grout, it will come as a powder that you will mix up and then smooth into the spaces between the tiles. When purchasing it make sure that you have enough to complete your project, better to return some then not have what you need ready to use when you are in the middle of the application. Once you have filled in-between the tiles, take a wet sponge and clean it off of the tile surfaces. 

Curing and sealing are essential

Grout typically takes 2-3 days to cure and then it will be necessary to seal it, primarily if it is a surface designed to get wet and used. Once the manufacturer's cure time has been met for the grout apply the sealant. Again this must be allowed to cure which can take another couple of days. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for cure time as this part is crucial to the quality of the finished product. 

Improving the looks of your home

All in all, this may take some time to finish, but you will be delighted once completed correctly, and you have the assurance that it will last for years to come- improving life in your home and its value in the process. If you get into this process and find you don't want to finish it, or don't even want to get started because this already sounds like more than you want to do, contact a local tile professional to come out and take a look at it for you.