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floors and interiors

7 Steps to Create a Budget For Kitchen Upgrades

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Remodeling your kitchen is a very big undertaking. It takes a large amount of planning, time, energy, and of course, money. One of the most important (and frustrating) parts of updating your home is budgeting. Without an accurate budget, you could wind up in serious financial trouble. Here are 7 steps to creating a precise budget.

1. Come up with a total maximum cost

And stick to it! This is the baseline for the entire process. Figure out how much money you have coming in, and how much you can afford to spend based on your means. It’s important to be honest and accurate about this number, as the entire budget depends on it.

2. Create a spreadsheet

Meticulous detail is the best way to make sure you’re sticking to your budget. If you don’t have a spreadsheet, and just try to keep a number in your head, it’s likely you’ll lose track or forget about things. Documenting every cost negates this possibility.

3. Break down the costs

Do research on each project and familiarize yourself with the total percentage of costs associated with each job. Get quotes from multiple contractors to get a sense of how much you’ll be paying for labor. 

4. Set aside 20% for surprises

You’ll encounter plenty of surprises when remodelling your home. And it’s never a buried treasure. It’s usually outdated electrical or hidden rot. Be sure to leave some wiggle room to cover the unexpected. 

5. Prioritize 

What is most important to YOU? What projects will give you the most satisfaction and happiness upon completion. These are the tasks that should be done first, in case you max out your budget, you’ll still have the top things accomplished.

6. Know exactly how you’ll pay

There are several ways to pay for a kitchen remodel, from cash to credit to loans. Figure out a plan that works for you effectively and efficiently and don’t stray from the plan.

7. Factor in additional costs

You’re going to be eating out a lot more. Some people even leave their home and stay somewhere else while their home is under construction. Be sure to prepare for all of these additional factors.

If you have any questions about kitchen remodels, feel free to stop into one of Naffco’s 3 locations and speak with a friendly and knowledgeable staff member today.

DIY Countertop Mistakes To Avoid

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DIY culture has been on the rise in recent years. More people than ever before are taking to online forums to try to do as much remodeling as possible on their own. When done properly, this can save you a lot of money, as well as add a feeling of pride and accomplishment in your home. However, if you try to undertake a project that isn’t within your abilities, you could wind up wasting a large amount of time and money, and still have to hire a professional to do it.

Countertops are one of the more expensive items when it comes to home renovation. Which makes the idea of installing them yourself very attractive. If you can manage to pull it off, you can save a pretty hefty chunk of change. However, with such an important and big-budget project, any mistake could wind up costing you even more than if you had just had a professional install them. We advise not to try this at home. Here are a few mistakes that could wind up ruining your remodeling budget.

Mismatched materials

When ordering materials yourself, from cabinets to countertops to sinks to dishwashers, it can be a bit overwhelming. Especially if you’re trying to do it all yourself. There’s nothing more frustrating than finally having all the components you need and realizing that they don’t match or fit. Professionals know exactly what to buy and what to avoid and will save you the headache of hours of research and failed attempts. 

Wrong measurements

Countertop installation requires a number of very precise measurements. One mistake and they won’t fit. Then you need to return the entire slab and get a new one, costing you a lot of money and effort.

Dropping the slab

This is a worst-case scenario, and it’s far more common than you think. Countertops are heavy, and without the proper transportation, strength, and knowledge, it’s easy to drop and break your material. Not only is this an extremely expensive accident, but it is also incredibly dangerous. 

When it comes to countertops, it’s best to let the professionals handle it. Call Naffco today at (813) 254-4066 to schedule a free consultation or stop into one of our stores to speak with a friendly expert today.

Protecting Countertops In Your Bathroom

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Of all the rooms in your home, your bathrooms are one of the most susceptible to damage. This is due to the high contrast of temperatures and the intense amount of moisture in the air. They also are high traffic areas that get used multiple times every day. Without proper care and maintenance, your bathroom can become a hotbed for germs, bacteria, and even toxic mold. It’s important to have a regular cleaning schedule in place and take certain steps to make sure that your bathroom stays clean and healthy.

If you have countertops in your bathroom, or plan on installing them, you should definitely focus on protecting them. They are a costly investment, and you don’t want to have to repair or replace them. Here are some tips to make sure that your bathroom countertops last for years to come:

Seal them properly

When purchasing countertops, make sure that they come pre-sealed. If they don’t, and you don’t immediately seal them, it could lead to long term damage. Porous materials like granite may be naturally water resistant, but if moisture does get trapped in them it could be bad news. Be sure to talk to an expert to determine whether your new countertops are good to go or need to be sealed. They should also get resealed about once a year, depending on wear and tear. 

Clean them properly

Be sure to use low acidic cleaners, and never use bleach or ammonia. Usually warm water and soap will do the trick. Be sure to have a dry towel around to wipe up excess water so that it doesn’t soak into the counter.

Install proper ventilation

This is a good idea if you want to protect your countertops and literally everything else in your bathroom. Steam, drips, and spills are a part of daily life in your bathroom, and they can all have an adverse affect on your counters, flooring, walls and cabinetry. Ventilation, whether it’s a high power suction fan, or a small window, will help make sure your bathroom stays dry.

If you’re looking to install countertops in your bathroom, or have any questions on how to maintain them, stop into one of Naffco Flooring and Interiors 3 locations in Tampa Bay, or speak with a friendly professional by calling (813) 254-4066. 

Is White A Good or Bad Color For Kitchen Countertops?

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When it comes to kitchen countertops, white can seem a bit counterintuitive (pun intended). Why would you choose a color that would show every spill and crumb that gets away from you. Your kitchen counters are one of the most used features of your home, and they should be designed with function in mind.

However there are a number of varieties of white countertops, and they are actually some of the most sought after materials. There are many reasons people absolutely LOVE white kitchen countertops.

  • They make the room extra bright. White countertops reflect natural and overhead lighting like nothing else. 
  • They make the space feel bigger. The additional brightness creates a feeling of openness in the room that can turn even the smallest kitchen into an inviting space.
  • They are elegant. If you want a luxurious look in your kitchen, this is the way to go. 
  • They are modern. If you have a modern or minimalist style, white countertops look absolutely stunning.

If you decide to go with white countertops, you have a number of options to choose from. You can go with a pure white design or a softly veined and flecked finish. You also have a number of materials to choose from:

Quartz

Quartz countertops are definitely one of the most coveted types on the market. It’s gentle, multi-tonal gray flecks are absolutely stunning. It’s also one of the most durable materials, being naturally heat and scratch resistant.

White Marble

White marble is probably the most luxurious type of countertop available. It is the lightest white stone, and is naturally cool to the touch. If you’re looking for elegance, white marble is the way to go.

Laminate

Laminate is the most budget-friendly option when it comes to white counters. In the past, laminate countertops were scoffed at, however modern laminate options have come a long way. A good laminate brand will be able to mimic the look of quartz or marble. They are not as heat or scratch resistant, but they can give you a luxurious look for a lower price.

If you have any questions about white kitchen countertops, feel free to stop into one of our 3 locations in the Greater Tampa Bay Area to browse your options and speak with a friendly professional. Or you can give us a call to schedule a free, no obligation consultation at (813) 254-4066. 

Affordable Countertops That Look Expensive

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Your countertops are a big budget item that will have a huge affect on the overall look and feel of your kitchen. They also see a ton of daily use. They should be built to last, and are one of the most common “splurge” purchases when it comes to a home remodel.

In the past it was heavily advised against to go with cheaper options for countertops. Granite, marble, and quartz were the epitome of design due to their elegance and durability. However, in 2019, design technology has come such a long way that there are a number of less expensive options that look just as luxurious as their more expensive counterparts. Here are some new options that are becoming more and more popular:

Laminate

Many people tend to shy away from laminate options when it comes to choosing their countertops due to the stigma that they are cheap, flimsy, and tacky. However new laminate countertops have come a long way. They are often nearly indistinguishable from granite or quartz, and the plastics used nowadays can last for decades. True, they aren’t as scratch or heat resistant as granite or quartz, but a nice cutting board, hot pads, and pan holders can easily solve this problem at a much, much lower price.

Wood

Wood usually isn’t the first material you think of when it comes to kitchen counters. But these days butcher block countertops are rising in popularity. If they are installed and treated properly they go well with any type of kitchen from farmhouse chic to modern. They offer a large variety of shades to match all colors as well. The elegant look you get for such a reasonable price makes wood counters hard to resist. The main drawback is that they do require a fair amount of maintenance. They need to be washed and oiled monthly if you want them to last for years.

If you have any questions on how to achieve a luxurious look at an affordable price, stop into one of Naffco’s 3 locations, or call us at (813) 254-4066. You can schedule a free, no obligation consultation to learn everything you need to know about kitchen countertops.

When To Splurge And When To Save on Countertops

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If you’re remodeling your home, you’re in for a number of big decisions. Each change adds up, and they add up quickly. Deciding where to splurge and where to save is hugely important and will determine whether you finish right at, under, or over your budget.

Your kitchen is one of the most important  parts of any remodel. Kitchen’s are referred to as the “heart” of the home. They should reflect you and your family’s personality and lifestyle. It’s important to follow your heart when designing your ideal kitchen. However, this is often the most expensive room to remodel, and it’s equally important to follow your budget. 

Countertops are a hefty investment, and you might be tempted to try to find something cheaper to save a chunk of your budget. However, your kitchen counters see more wear and tear than almost any other feature of your home, and are often used as the main focal point of the room. So our advice to you is to splurge when it comes to countertops.

Your countertops should be one of the first investments you make when it comes to your kitchen, and be the baseline for your other purchases. Cabinets, furniture, and paint colors can all be based on your decision. Because they are such a big budget item, you should choose a countertop that is going to last.

Granite, marble and quartz are the most popular and luxurious options. They are strong, durable, scratch and heat resistant and have a timeless elegance that cannot be matched. However they are quite pricey.

Laminate countertops come in at a much lower cost than granite or quartz, but are not quite as durable. You will not be able to put a hot pan on these countertops. However, modern laminate has come a long way. They look almost indistinguishable from quartz or granite, and also can be purchased in a number of different colors and patterns. If you do need to try and stay budget friendly when it comes to countertops, go for a high end laminate option.

Naffco Floors and Interiors is here to answer any other questions you might have about countertops, cabinetry and flooring if you’re looking to remodel your kitchen. Call us at (813) 254-4066 or stop into one of our 3 locations to talk with one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff members. 

 

Best Wood Types for Flooring

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We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: hardwood floors are one of the best types of flooring. They are elegant, durable, easy to clean and go with every style of decor, from vintage to modern. In a word, they are timeless.

But how do you know what type of wood flooring to go with? There are a huge number of options on the market, and buying all new hardwood floors is a large investment. There are several options to consider, such as your style, budget, and future plans for the house. Here are some of the best wood types for flooring, divided into domestic and exotic species.

Domestic

Oak

Oak has been one of the most popular flooring choices for centuries because of its durability, stability, and moderate graining and color variations. White Oak has golden brown and gray undertones, while Red Oak has pinkish undertones. Because it’s so hard, Oak takes color stains very easily. 

Walnut

Also referred to as Black Walnut or American Walnut, this species is a beautiful, rich, brown color close to chocolate. It features a fine, straight grain and often has lovely grain variations and knots in it. It is a bit softer of a wood, so there might be better options for high traffic areas.

Maple

Maple is pale and creamy, and often has slight shade variances in each board. It is known to be very hard, but if it’s not conditioned, it may take a stain unevenly.  But no worries, you can always buy pre-stained maple.

Hickory

Hickory flooring is hugely popular because it is exceptionally hard, and has a unique look. This species hosts a very unusual type of graining and varies vastly in shades.

Exotic

Bamboo

Bamboo flooring is quickly becoming very popular. It is considered environmentally friendly, and has a beautiful light to medium tone. However the quality can vary greatly. Be sure to do some research and find a reliable bamboo flooring brand.

Mahogany

Santos mahogany is a very popular exotic choice. It features a wide color variation with hints of orange and red. Exposure to light makes the colors even richer, and the wavy grain patterns make this a truly unique species.

Any one of these options is a great choice. And of course there are even more species of hardwood flooring that will make your house the perfect home. If you have any questions about hardwood flooring, give Naffco a call at (813) 254-4066 or stop into one of our 3 locations in the Greater Tampa Bay Area to talk with one of our friendly experts.

Best Flooring for Kids’ Bedrooms

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Kids grow up so fast, and with every new year comes a new passion, obsession, and need for redecorating. Designing your child’s room is always a compromise. You want it to be comfortable, inspiring, and cute, but you also want to make try to pick something that will last for a long time. Luckily, even if you have to repaint the walls, buy new decor, and replace the bedding, if you make a good flooring choice it can last for years. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of some of the most popular flooring choices for kids’ bedrooms.

Hardwood

If you want a floor that’s going to last until your child has a home of their own, hardwood is the way to go. Oak flooring is a very neutral choice that can go with nearly any style of decor and still add a warm feeling to the room. Hardwood is susceptible to scratches from toys and chair legs, but adding comfortable area rugs, soft chairs and cushions can prevent this and make the room cozy for your child. Hardwood flooring can be a bit pricey, but in the long run the investment is worth it. 

Carpet

Carpet has been a top choice for kids’ bedrooms for years because it’s the softest, warmest, and most comfortable option. With a nearly limitless number of colors, patterns, and lengths it can match any style. However, carpets are prone to catch and trap dust, dirt, and other harmful allergens. If you choose carpet, be sure to maintain a regular deep cleaning cycle to protect your child’s health.

Laminate

Laminate flooring is becoming hugely popular these days. It’s affordable, easy to install, and durable. It’s made of particle board and topped with a photograph of hardwood, stone, or any other number of style coated in a clear, protective layer. It is also more environmentally friendly than most other types of flooring. The manufacturing process releases less harmful toxins into the atmosphere, and laminate flooring can be recycled at the end of its lifetime.

If you have any questions about choosing the best flooring for your child’s bedroom, or need advice on flooring, cabinetry, or window treatments, stop into one of Naffco Flooring and Interiors 3 locations in the Greater Tampa Bay Area, or give us a call at (813) 254-4066 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

Best Flooring For Your Master Bedroom

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Your bedroom is the most personal room in your home. You should design it to be welcoming and cozy. When it comes to the flooring, it should complement your style, be comfortable for bare feet, and be durable enough to last for years.

There are nearly endless amounts of options when it comes to choosing the flooring for your master bedroom. Each one comes with it’s pros and cons. It really comes down to your personal preference in terms of aesthetics, functionality, and budget. Here are some of the most popular types of flooring used in master bedrooms, along with pros and cons of each.

Carpet

Pros

Carpet is warm and soft, making it one of the top choices for master bedrooms. It is incredibly versatile, as there are hundreds of colors, cuts and patterns to choose from. It also is sound dampening and helps to insulate your room, providing increased temperature control. 

Cons

Carpets trap dust, debris and other allergens in their fibers. Without regular cleaning these can lead to unhealthy air quality.

Hardwood Flooring

Pros

Nearly everyone agrees that hardwood flooring is the most elegant type of floor. The beautiful colors add a level of warmth and depth that enhance the aesthetic of nearly every room. They are easy to clean and give your bedroom a feeling of elegance.

Cons

One of the most common issues is that hardwood can be more expensive than other types of flooring. It can also get scraped if you have chairs in your bedroom, or if you’re not careful with your bedposts. 

Laminate Flooring

Pros

Laminate flooring is a budget friendly alternative to hardwood. It looks just like hardwood, but is actually particle board covered in a photograph of wood, stone or another type of flooring. It is cost-effective, easy to install and incredibly versatile.

Cons

Laminate is not quite as durable as hardwood, carpet or other types of flooring. It can scrape relatively easily or buckle if it gets water damage.

If you have any questions about what type of flooring you should use in your master bedroom, give the professionals at Naffco a call at (813) 254-4066, or stop by one of our 3 locations to talk to an expert.

When To Not Install Carpet

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Carpet is one of the most popular flooring options because it is soft, safe, easy to maintain, versatile, and actually helps to insulate your home. With hundreds of colors, patterns and cuts to choose from, it can match the style of decor. Some people think that carpet is the perfect choice for any room in the house. However, there are certain places that carpet should not be used.

In the bathroom, and other high moisture areas

Carpet and moisture do not get along. Carpets are the most absorbent type of flooring, and the more water they absorb, the more damage is done. If water gets trapped it can create an ideal environment for germs and bacteria. If it is not cleaned consistently this can lead to mold. A wet carpet is a health risk.

High traffic areas

As we said above, carpets are very absorbent. Not only moisture gets caught in the pores of the carpet. Dust, dirt, grime, food and other harmful debris/allergens can get trapped in the fibers. Without regular vacuuming and steam cleaning, these harmful substances will remain in your home. We should also mention that carpet is less durable than other types of flooring, such as hardwood. If your carpet gets a lot of traffic every day, and you do not keep up with cleaning, you’ll need to replace your carpet every few years.

If you have pets

If you have pets, you know the struggle of trying to keep your home clean and in order. While you might think it’s a good idea to get a carpet, because it is soft and comfortable, it could actually be a nightmare. If your pet sheds, it’s very difficult to get all the hair out of the carpet, even with regular cleaning. Also, the number of allergens in your home increases significantly when an animal tracks mud, dirt, and grime over a carpet.

While there are certain times you should not use a carpet, there are plenty of instances where carpet is the best choice for your home or room. If you have any questions about carpet, or any other type of flooring give Naffco a call at (813) 254-4066, or stop into any one of our 3 locations in the Tampa Bay Area.