How to Inexpensively Add Elegance to Your Home

by c21commonweath_ldowling 9. January 2019 12:16

Making your home look effortlessly elegant is a task that is usually expected to be expensive. However, with the right creativity, placement, and vision you can make your space a timeless and stylish space without breaking the bank. Create your own personal style to incorporate pieces that speak to you and add intentional intrigue. Trick your visitors with a few key elements that can fake the fanciness of your home without looking cheap.

Pick a Color Palette

The most luxurious rooms all have something in common, a cohesive color pattern with coordinating pieces. Choosing a specific color palette for each room is essential as it creates a vibe and aesthetic to match furniture and décor. Select the tone for the room and whether it is going to be a bright and lively space with patterns or a dark and cozy space with regal elements. A unified palette will allow you to add inexpensive items at any time to continually increase your intentional elegance. Picking the overall color palette will help you add accents that seamlessly match to build a classy and exquisite elegance.

Less Is More

As the minimalist design trend is embraced, the fewer pieces you need to make your space stand out. Using less décor is an obvious way to keep spending costs low while still making your space unique. Buy items that have a purpose and are needed for functionality and comfortability in each room. Choose simple pieces that have the ability to stand out and tell a story on their own. Avoid clutter by choosing a few key elements of décor that are both elegant and inexpensive. Don’t overdo it, as a clean space with intriguing aspects will create a fancy and fashionable style.

Intentional Style

One of the most important ways to make your home feel more elegant is by making it a space that is designed uniquely by you. Your intentional style should be incorporated into each room to create an authentic and meaningful mood. Guests and visitors will be captivated by your creations that speak for themselves and artistically show your vision of what elegance means to you. Art has the ability to make your space a personal expression. Use old memories, photos, frames, and refurbished antiques to tell a story. Filling your home full of fascinating pieces with meaning will keep guests busy talking about the stories behind them and will give insight into your personal, intentional style.

Designing your home with an intentional style will create a unique space that feels like home. It's important to incorporate personal elements to make your home look attractive and expensive. Decorating with functional, meaningful pieces will create an intentional look of luxury that money can’t buy.


New Year, New Color Palettes

by c21commonweath_ldowling 7. January 2019 10:54

The start of a new year is the perfect time to try new things. The new year is filled with resolutions of improving all aspects of your life, so why can’t your home be on the list too? Get a fresh start this year by adding some color to your living spaces. Brighten up the start of the year with brilliant color palettes that will flawlessly add character and color to your home. We’ve compiled our list of the best color palettes the new year will embrace.

Electric Ambiance

A popular color palette that will be used this year is deep and energetic tones that create an electric elegance. Colors such as turquoise, jade, and charcoal grey are a color palette that can be used in any room to give it a captivating charm. These warm tones transform any space into a room of relaxation. Dark blues and deep greens create the perfect pop of color, while still looking sophisticated and stylish. Utilize this color scheme in rooms that were once white and boring by adding a mix of electric furnishings, rugs, and décor.

Neutral Never Fails

The traditional color palette of light neutrals never goes out of style. White, tan, nude, grey, and light brown are always the perfect background colors for living rooms and kitchens. A neutral color palette makes the room seem brighter, more open and inviting. Neutral is easy to pair with fun accessories in different and brighter shades to execute different looks. Create a calming look this new year by using a neutral color palette with lively décor to create the perfect atmosphere to unwind.

Rich and Rustic

Design a room that makes a statement using rich reds and rustic elements. Wine-infused whimsical colors such as dark reds and deep purples are colors that can flawlessly add elegance to any room. Perfect for libraries, offices, and living rooms, using rich colors make the room feel luxurious with little effort. To keep the room from looking too dark, incorporate bright lighting or flooring to add contrast. Embrace the rustic elegance this new year with dark colors and industrial décor.

Breezy and Bright

Create a relaxing and contemporary space that looks like it’s fit for a beach vacation home. Use a coastal color palette such as light blues, seafoam greens, and nautical navies to achieve a breezy and beautiful style. Add accents of cool blues and bright whites to add intrigue and brighten up the space. You’ll be ready to relax in a room designed for the ultimate vacation.

Add interest and intrigue into your living spaces this new year by incorporating new color palettes. Have a vision for each room and add your own style by mixing in elements that create a cohesive vibe. Dare to be different this year and design a room with a new color palette that speaks to you.


How to Create a Contemporary Look

by c21commonweath_ldowling 2. January 2019 11:53

With a bit of work, a small, potentially outdated home becomes a modern sanctuary. Contemporary and chic places like these are made with a bit of dedication – and a dose of imagination. So, strap on your design caps and consider all the ways your space can be transformed into a modern space you love.

Start with a Plan

Coming up with a plan before diving into remodeling projects is key. Draw things to scale in each room to see how furniture pieces and décor fit together. You’ll avoid running into any surprises down the road by mapping things out beforehand, saving yourself time, money, and a major headache.

Consider Color Carefully

Earth tones like black, grey, white, brown, and green make small spaces seem bigger and effortlessly create a modern look. Plus, if you incorporate these colors into your design scheme and keep decorations to a minimum, your space will appear clean and peaceful. Sometimes, modern is synonymous with tranquility – and who doesn’t want to wake up to a calm and relaxing space?

While earth tones create a clean, sophisticated atmosphere, adding splashes of vibrant color to the mix works, too. This is easily done with accent chairs, pillows, and accessories. Add depth and character to any room by layering bright colors on top of neutral ones. When guests are captivated by your beautiful armchair, they won’t focus on the square footage of the room!

Make Rooms Spacious

Modern homes call for open floor plans, making any room feel bigger. This is an especially handy trick for small spaces, as you don’t have to add any rooms to the house to make it feel more spacious. One common trick is opening the kitchen up to the living room. This expands the space while allowing for easy entertainment and supervision of little ones. Instead of walking through hallways to reach guests, host the entire evening in the same open space. Continue conversations with guests from the kitchen as you open a bottle of wine or supervise your child at play while cooking dinner. Opening these spaces is handy for playtime and dinner parties alike.

Aim for simplicity and tranquility when designing your modern bedroom and dining room. When you think about it, bedrooms are mostly used for sleeping, so why keep any clutter around? Create a clean and sophisticated bedroom with earth tone paint and décor to feel centered and relaxed.

The dining room will use the same strategy, so choose a set that doesn’t take up too much room but still fits all your favorite people. Knocking out a wall to connect the dining room to adjacent kitchens or living rooms visually creates a larger space. Lastly, select sleek furniture pieces without too much frill and use neutral colors with some fun accent pieces.

Make Use of Your Hallway

Why should you decorate your hallway? It’s the first point of contact for anyone entering your home and serves to warmly welcome guests. Make use of this small space by asserting your chic and modern taste. Keep it clean, minimal, and add contemporary touches like mirrors, art, and plants to create a contemporary look.

Enjoy Your New Space

Your hard work has paid off and all you have to do is kick your shoes off and relax in your clean, modern home. Keep these design tips in mind to create a modern home you and your guests love.


How to Protect Your Precious Valuables During Moving

by c21commonweath_ldowling 27. December 2018 11:40

Nothing is more disappointing than moving into your new home and unpacking something you love only to find it was broken or damaged in the process. Protecting your valuable items is an important precaution to take as it’ll likely preserve sentimental value and money spent replacing beloved items. While accidents happen, there are some few extra steps you can take when moving to protect the things you love most. Follow these steps to help keep your valuables as safe as possible during your moving process.

Assign Value

One of the most important first steps to protect precious items during moving is to make a list of everything most valuable to you. The list can include anything from beloved pearls to a child’s favorite stuffed animal. All of these things should be written down on a checklist, so they can be accounted for and their location is known. Assigning items value ahead of time will also help keep you organized and prepared for when the move comes. If you categorize your valuable items into their own separate moving box, they’ll be easily accessible, and it’ll be recognizable to remind your movers of the box’s importance.

Take Photos of Items for Evidence

Another key way to keep track of important items is to take photos of your valuable inventory. Once you have created your checklist of what’s most important, take pictures of each item and write it all down. Having written and visual evidence of what you were supposed to have and where it is will be a great help if anything goes wrong. Be sure to keep track of important paperwork and prescriptions during the move and take pictures of important documents in case any papers get lost during the process.

Pack Particularly

Packing smartly and efficiently is easier said than done. To be honest, it's easy to get disorganized and want to throw everything in one box and call it a day. However, you’ll be grateful you didn’t when it comes time to unpack and your valuables are clearly consolidated into identifiable locations. The most obvious rule when packing for a move, label every box clearly with the contents of what’s inside. As a reminder, be sure to stop by your local hardware or supply store to buy packing materials to protect the fragile valuables you have.

Keep Small Items with You

A very important tip to never lose your most loved little items is to keep them with you. If you are responsible for them and not the movers, it ensures you have peace-of-mind knowing their location. Keeping small valuables with you is also a great way to know they won’t get lost in the bottom of big boxes or accidentally forgotten about. Toss your precious jewelry and fancy camera into a backpack that you can grab and take with you conveniently on moving day.

The key to protecting your valuable items during a move is to keep a detailed list with pictures of all the items most important to you. This will help you be able to document clearly if anything goes wrong that wasn’t your fault. Once your belongings are delivered to your new home, be sure to do a walk-through check of all your inventory before the movers leave. You’ll be thankful for your itemized list of important things if you have to make a claim for missing items.


Creative Ways to Meet New Neighbors

by c21commonweath_ldowling 26. December 2018 10:18

Moving into a new house is an exciting time as you anticipate the new people you will soon call your neighbors. Will they be your new best friends or an eyesore who doesn’t water their lawn? Either way, it’s worth the effort to introduce yourself and say hello. Meeting neighbors is a great way to become included in your new neighborhood community and create a connection with those who will be living close to you for years to come. Your introduction doesn’t have to be elaborate but should simply be a kind gesture to let them know who you are. Try these tips for the most creative ways to meet the new neighbors and initiate a lasting relationship from the first knock on their door.

Have a Housewarming Party

It might seem like the most obvious solution to meeting the new neighbors but having a casual housewarming party is a great way to welcome new friends into your home. Inviting neighbors over for cocktails is the perfect chance to introduce yourself and show off your new home. You can even slip cute initiations into the mailboxes next to yours that state you’re new and would love to meet over drinks. Provide a date and time and to increase attendance, be sure to make it possible for those who work during the day to attend. It doesn’t have to be a fancy or over-the-top event but opening your home to new people can go along way. Extend an invite to the neighborhood for a housewarming party and you’re likely to meet quite a few new friends and faces.


It doesn’t have to be Halloween to knock on the neighbor’s door with candy or treats. Everyone loves sweet treats and it's likely your new neighbors do too. Pop over with popcorn or a bottle of wine in the evening and include a little note stating your name and new address. Share your skills. If baking is your specialty, whip up a tasty treat as a sweet reminder that you’re new to the neighborhood.  Leaving them with a delicious dish is a great way for them to remember who you are, as they’ll likely think of you every time they take a bite. There are even free printable greeting templates that are a great way to creatively introduce yourself and make a fun first impression.

Get Involved and Lend a Hand

Similar to starting a new job or school, one of the most effective ways to build lasting relationships is to get involved. Join the neighborhood association to stay up-to-date on relative information while gaining a greater knowledge of the area. See if your neighbors are involved in any volunteer opportunities for a chance to bond over a common cause and simultaneously give back to those in need.  People often remember you more by what you do than what you say so it's important to be an active neighbor when first relocating. If you notice one of your neighbors could use some help with something, such as mowing the lawn or hanging holiday lights, offer to lend a helping hand. Giving back and getting involved in the community is a great way to immerse yourself in a new area while sharing your talent with new friends.

Meeting your new neighbors doesn’t have to be an intimidating task. Simply introducing yourself is a great way to start off in a friendly manner. Continue to reach out by offering to get together over drinks or coffee and you’re likely to form friendships faster than you expected. Be approachable and never underestimate the power of a genuine smile when passing people on your street.


Is Selling Your Home on Your Wish List?

by c21commonweath_ldowling 17. December 2018 11:38

Just because the holidays are right around the corner doesn’t mean you have to pause on your house-selling efforts. After all, Santa’s not the only one who’s busy this time of year.

If you’re ready to move, and the packing is well underway, consider the following pros and cons of putting your house on the market this time of the year.

Don’t Let Santa’s Little Helpers Decorate

Too many decorations, or any for that matter, are distracting. When potential buyers enter your home, they want to see possibilities. They need the space and clarity to imagine making your house their home and forcing guests to stumble over Mr. Snowman in the in the entryway won’t help. Remove most (if not all) signs of Santa, your menorahs, and woodland kinaras. People carry their own prejudices, and the last thing you want to do is offend potential buyers with your décor this holiday season.

Plus, when your space is free of distracting clutter, prospective buyers have the freedom to start envisioning a life in a home that’s not adorned with decorations. For this reason, it’s a good idea to make sure pathways aren’t blocked with unnecessary holiday objects as buyers tour the place.

If selling your home is on your wish list this year, consider the following tips and tricks.

  • Don’t’ block important fireplace mantels, stairs, or stained-glass windows. Important selling features like these should be visible for buyers to see.
  • Place a smaller tree (think 4 feet) on a table instead of a 10-foot tree in your living room.
  • Choose red decorations instead of green ones – red is an emotionally appealing color.
  • Place wrapped presents out of sight by moving them into a closet or in a corner of the house.
  • Display centerpieces made of pine cones and other natural elements.
  • Don’t walk away from candles that are burning.
  • Do bake cookies for guests to enjoy.

Why You May Want to Think Twice

While selling your home this time of year may end up being a pleasant experience, understand there simply aren’t as many buyers in December. The holidays are a busy time of the year, and everyone has plans of their own. If you’re bent on selling your home this time of the year, consider why you may want to think twice.

  • First-time home buyers may think you’re desperate and try to negotiate a price.
  • It may be inconvenient to show your house while cooking, cleaning, and wrapping presents.
  • You may receive a lowball offer.
  • Financed transactions are more difficult to close in the middle of December, and buyers will make offers in January if they want to close after the beginning of the year.
  • If you relist your house on the market after the beginning of the new year, it will appear fresh and exciting – and that’s appealing.
  • Real estate professionals might be on vacation and unavailable when you need them!

Every Town Is Different

Deciding whether you’ll put your home on the market at the end of the year may come down to local customs, what neighbors are doing, and how real estate activity is viewed by those in your area at this time of year. Consider also, regardless of whether you celebrate any holidays, that this time of year is cold in many parts of the country, and buyers won’t want to trek through the snow to attend an open house.

When putting your house on the market this holiday season, weigh the pros and cons. Think about buyer behavior in your neighborhood and, if you can afford to wait, how you may make more money off a sale at the beginning of the next year. Most of all, don’t forget to enjoy yourself, your family, and your friends this holiday season!


Remodel Your Home While Staying on Budget

by c21commonweath_ldowling 12. December 2018 11:48

Renovating your home is usually synonymous with spending a lot of money. However, you don’t need to go broke trying to renovate rooms of your house. Planning a home remodel is an exciting time to spruce up your living space. There are plenty of ways to get a new look without tearing down every wall. The cost of materials and labor can creep up quickly, usually skyrocketing your price of renovations over budget. Don’t commit to renovations that can easily be done at a cheaper cost. Here’s our list of the top tips to remodeling on a budget.

Leave the Bathroom Be

When planning a remodel, it’s important to envision the floor plan of the entire house. Don’t forget to consider the cost of moving sinks, bathtubs and toilets. Instead of moving your bathroom to another room entirely, leave the plumbing where it is. There are other great ways you can renovate your bathroom without tearing down the shower. Spend your money on switching up the style of your bathroom and get a new decorative mirror or extra shelving for toiletries. If it's in your budget, consider getting new tile for a fresh, bright look. It’s much less expensive to add new decorative elements to your bathroom than to relocate it entirely. Fresh paint, tile, and décor can give your bathroom the makeover you’re looking for on a budget.

Make Use of What You Have

It’s tempting to want to rip everything out to start over but before you do, look at what you already have. It’s a lot cheaper and feasible to touch up existing features rather than to buy brand new. Chips and dings in your kitchen cabinet are easy to fix without replacing them. If you like the style of your cabinets, update the finish with a fresh coat of paint. They make cabinet paint kits that include paint and a glossy glaze, for usually around $75. Beat the price of installing new cabinets by retouching up your current design. Nicks or scratches in coffee tables or kitchen chairs are easily fixable with a wood scratch repair pen as cheap at $5. You simply draw over the scratch and watch the wood restore to its beautiful original color. When renovating your home, look for ways to repurpose what you already have to save money.

Use a Few Fancy Materials

When renovating, it’s a smart idea to plan ahead of time what big renovations you want to do that will cost the most money. That way you know how much money you have to redecorate each room with the remaining budget. Instead of buying entirely new furniture or remodeling the whole kitchen, try using expensive materials sparingly. A handful of expensive touches can go a long way if done right. For example, instead of splurging on a new granite countertop consider adding new colorful and elegant tile squares for your backsplash. Your guests will still be drawn to the new design and never know how much money you saved. Plan your remodel ahead of time so you know where to add a few new aesthetically pleasing aspects without breaking the bank.

Remodeling your home doesn’t have to leave you crawling around for quarters. There are many ways to renovate your home that can give you a fresh look without an empty wallet. Get creative and look for ways to use what you already have beforehand. Spend some time on the weekends doing DIY projects or repainting and repurposing your favorite elements. Adding a few expensive features will add elegance without going over budget. Transform your home into the space you’ve always wanted, while being financially responsible planning renovations.


Increase Curb Appeal for Cheap

by c21commonweath_ldowling 10. December 2018 14:42

The exterior of your home gives off the first impression to friends, neighbors, and potential buyers. Especially important when selling your home, the outside of your house should be inviting and welcoming to anyone that walks by. Buyers searching for a new home will likely judge the exterior of your house in photos, meaning it could make or break you during the selling process. However, cleaning up your curb appeal doesn’t have to cost you much. Check out our quick tricks to transform your home’s exterior to maximum potential for minimum cash.

Clean like Crazy

It might seem like the most obvious, but cleaning up your yard, bushes, and windows is one of the easiest and most profound ways to get your home looking sharp from the sidewalk. Dedicate a day over the weekend to do a deep cleaning of your exterior. Trim the bushes, mow the lawn, and sweep the leaves to get your beautiful landscape looking lush. Use your garden hose to spray down your driveway, sidewalk, and fence. For maximum shine, wash your windows to get them glimmering and giving off the best impression both inside and outside. Since you typically have the most common cleaning supplies, this task will be cheap to start and have lasting effects once you finish.

Add Shutters and Increase Size

A simple and inexpensive way to increase the size of your house is to accentuate your windows by adding shudders. You’d be surprised how much shudders can liven up the outside of your house. They make your windows look larger and add visual interest by adding depth against the bland exterior. Shutters are relatively cheap and easy to find within your budget. Pick a color for your shudders than contrasts the tone of your siding, paint, or brick. Adding a splash of color with your shudders is a great way to make your home look bigger and adds a pop from the first glance.

Dare to Paint Your Door  

Even if you don’t love your front door, that doesn’t mean you have to throw tons of money into getting a new one. Be bold and choose a new color to paint your front door with. Pick a color that contrasts the rest of your house to make a statement. Dark rich tones will add a sense of elegance while a brighter color could be helpful to add attention and catch the eye. A bucket of paint is cheap, all you have to do is pick the color. You can also think outside the box and add interest with new molding. New molding is a great way to add a decorative frame to your door and make it a welcoming grand entrance for everyone that knocks.

There are lots of ways to increase your home’s curb appeal without breaking the bank. Most tricks to clean up your exterior require more effort than money. Spend some time making a few improvements to your exterior and see the difference first hand. You’ll be thankful when it comes time to sell and the front of your house already looks picture perfect.



Creating the Ultimate Playroom

by c21commonweath_ldowling 5. December 2018 14:50

There are many reasons why investing in a playroom for your little one is a fabulous idea. Playrooms inspire creative play, relationship building, cleanliness, and encourage important developmental skills. Having a dedicated space for creativity and play keeps kids’ minds active, an important part of your child’s growth. Plus, all the playing can be done in a designated area so you can keep close tabs on your little one while still providing privacy. Here’s how to create the playroom of your child’s dreams.

Decide on the Room’s Purpose

Playrooms are great for storing toys, but they can be used for so much more than keeping all dinosaurs and dolls safe (although, they do need a nice place to live)! Consider ways in which your children may use the room and interact with it. If they’re old enough, ask how they’d like to use their playroom. They may have some brilliant ideas up their sleeves, and if they have a say in the matter, they’ll develop a stronger connection to their play space. 

Focusing on a theme may be a helpful strategy. For example, did your child express an interest in arts and crafts? Or do they need to burn off some energy by tumbling around on play structures? There are many ways kids play but focus on how your kid plays. Develop their interests by setting up play stations tailored to their unique hobbies.

Playrooms are also perfect for good old-fashioned reading. That’s right. Consider taking away electronic devices and installing several attractive and colorful bookcases by craft stations and jungle gyms. Encouraging reading at an early age is easy by filling bookcases with kids’ favorite books. Just make sure to find a well-lit place with the appropriate lighting so your little one won’t strain his or her eyes. Incorporating comfy seating options helps too – and it never hurt to invite your kiddo’s favorite teddy bear to the reading club.

Focus on Furniture

Deciding on the appropriate furniture is an important part of building a fun yet functional playroom. Adjustable play tables and regular-sized desks are perfect for young and growing children. Swapping out new furniture every couple of years may be burdensome, so consider purchasing pieces your child can grow into. Furniture should also be fun and comfortable, which is why we suggest investing in colorful bean bags, plastic chairs, or poufs. If furniture is light and easy to use, kids can set it up themselves, incorporating a bit of responsibility into their everyday routines.

Storage Is Key

Toys are all fun and games until they’re scattered about the floor in a chaotic mess. You’re going to want several accessible storage bins and drawers to hide toys with many tiny parts. Glitter containers and Legos are neatly stored in tasteful storage bins, while more attractive toys are showcased on top of dressers and desks. Displaying toys like this adds a bit of character to the room.

Pay Attention to Lighting and Flooring

More than entertaining, a playroom needs to be comfortable and safe. Installing the appropriate lighting fixtures and making use of natural light helps. A table lamp placed near a comfy armchair offers a warm glow and works well in conjunction with ceiling and overhead lighting. Placing chairs and worktables by windows is another good strategy. This setting allows for greater visibility while kids work on homework and projects.

And don’t forget to install the appropriate flooring. After all, kiddos spend quite a bit of playtime on the floor. They may even ascend play structures and scale a climbing wall made just for them. It’s important, then, to create a safe landing spot in case someone tumbles. Padded flooring with carpet works well in active settings. Vinyl floors are another good option because they’re easily cleaned with a broom or mop. Adding comfy rugs on top of hard floors still provides comfort for your little one as they build forts and bounce around. If play structures with high access points and bunk beds are a part of the scene, consider opting for carpet. It may be the safer option.

Don’t Go Overboard

It’s easy to get caught up in all the decorations by incorporating your kids’ favorite cartoon characters in the mix of things – but, don’t. Children outgrow their favorite storybook characters quickly. Opting for general characters like farm animals or fairies may be the best bet. If your child must have Woody and all his friends included in the design scheme, consider gluing all characters on one wall in case these characters loose popularity in a couple of years. Opting for a simpler design theme is easier when you don’t have to paint over an entire wall of outdated play characters.

Keeping things simple can assume adopting a minimalist attitude. Periodically go through all toys to determine which ones can be donated. If they’re not being used, why keep them hidden away? Another child will be ecstatic to receive a toy your little one no longer uses. You’ll feel great about donating toys to a deserving kiddo – and your playroom will stay tidy and clean!

Cherish Playtime

Create the ultimate playroom to experience ultimate playtime. Kids are only young for so long, so cherish every moment and have fun while playing with your little one and their friends. Kids will remember all the fun they had in a playroom made just for them.


Everything You Need to Know About Laminate Flooring

by c21commonweath_ldowling 3. December 2018 14:09

Laminate flooring was introduced to markets in the 1970s, providing a cost-effective alternative to traditional wood flooring. Due to its durability and affordability, laminate flooring quickly became a popular choice among homeowners remodeling kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms alike. While the quality and appearance of laminate flooring continue to improve, natural wood flooring remains a popular choice. Consider these factors when deciding on a new flooring scheme before the installation begins.

There Are Many Options 

Unlike natural wood, laminate flooring is comprised of several synthetic layers. A core layer rests beneath an image layer containing a digitally enhanced photo of a natural material. It can be designed to mimic exotic hardwoods, concrete, and natural stone and comes in many colors, lengths, widths, and textures. The result is flooring that’s tailored to your unique taste.

You Decide on its Durability

Laminate manufacturers will have an AC (abrasion criteria) rating assigned to each floor, allowing you to decide on its durability in relation to foot-traffic levels. Higher AC ratings are more resilient, while lower AC ratings are less tolerant to external forces. Common AC ratings are as follows:

  • AC1 – moderate residential use (bedrooms & closets)
  • AC2 – general residential use (living rooms & kitchens)
  • AC3 – moderate commercial traffic & heavy residential use
  • AC4 – general commercial traffic
  • AC5 – heavy commercial applications

It’s important to consider the placement of laminate flooring to determine if will see light, moderate, or heavy use. After all, you want to install a floor that’s attractive and stylish but long lasting too.

Laminate Flooring Is Easy to Install and Take Care Of

Laminate flooring is easy to install – a common reason DIYers prefer to work with this material compared to traditional wooden pieces. Instead of being glued to the subfloors, laminate flooring connects to adjacent pieces using with snap-and-lock or tongue-and-groove joinery. No glue is involved in the process, only a bit of effort by handy homeowners.  

It’s also quite easy to take care of. Simply sweep or vacuum and mop lightly. Too much water can warp or stain laminate floors, so be careful when applying cleaning solutions. Commercial laminate cleaners and acetone-based solutions more aggressively combat tough stains from heavy use.

But be careful. Laminate’s synthetic material and piece-by-piece installation process leaves room for damage and wear. Laminate wood is particularly prone to damage during the installation process if not done correctly. The edges of planks can easily become damaged, making the wood susceptible to water seepage. In addition, laminate flooring can’t be refinished like natural wood because its top image layer can’t be sanded down.

Deciding Between Laminate and Natural Woods

Laminate is an excellent option for attractive flooring that’s also affordable (it can run about half the price of natural wood flooring). It can be designed to mimic a variety of materials, due to digitalized technologies that comprise its top layers. It’s easy to see why homeowners choose laminate flooring for their DIY projects. However, natural wood is still worth considering if you’re aiming for longevity. Wooden floors can be sanded down and refinished after years of foot traffic. So, if you’re looking for a floor that lasts through generations and grows with the house, consider installing a wooden floor. If laminate’s your final choice, you’ll get a floor that looks just like wood – and for half the price.