When renovating a property to prepare it for market, few qualities are more important than the condition of its floors. One of the first things any buyer will notice when entering a room are stains dotting the carpeting or large gouges marring the hardwood or linoleum. What you need to determine is whether damage to the floors is beyond repair, or if the cost of a complete replacement project is too high to dismiss fixing the flooring already in place.
In the process of answering those questions, Toucan Homes – in pressing one of its company missions to better the world while bettering our neighborhoods – urges renovators to take environmental factors into consideration when embarking on a floor rehabbing project. We call it ‘green habbing’. Gone are the days when builders can simply gut an entire home and send countless Dumpsters to the landfill in the process. There are smarter ways to renovate a property, and they benefit not only the environment, but your bottom line. Depending on the type of materials with which you’re working, be sure to educate yourself on all of your options and understand how each will impact your budget before proceeding.
Before you decide to completely remove and replace carpeting, determine if it’s salvageable. To eliminate odors left behind by pets, smoke or mildew, sprinkle baking soda on the carpet and let it sit overnight. Then simply vacuum it. To remove stains, hire a professional carpet-cleaning service. Often, the costs you’ll incur are much less than the expense of removing and replacing the carpet.
Before you make your decision, check beneath the existing carpet to see the condition of the floors. In many homes, particularly in older homes, you’ll find a beautiful layer of hardwood just waiting to be exposed. With many home buyers today, hardwood is preferred anyway.
If the carpet must be removed, explore environmentally friendly ways of disposing of it. Recycled carpet is used in multiple ways these days. Ford Motor Co., for instance, recently announced that in 2010 it spared more than 4.1 million pounds of carpet from reaching landfills by recycling it to make a nylon resin that, in turn, was used to make cylinder head covers for its F-150, Escape, Fusion and Mustang models.
If your project involves tile in the kitchen or bathroom, cleaning and re-grouting can often make it look like new.
If tile is in good condition but its colors or patterns are dated, look into modernizing without replacing by applying ceramic tile paint.
Hardwood floors are resilient, so even if a floor in your property appears faded, scratched or damaged beyond repair, explore whether it can be professionally refinished before assuming that it has to be removed and replaced. You might be surprised by what a thorough cleaning, sanding and coat of varnish can do.
If you find that it is necessary to replace a wood floor, or you’d like to install a wood floor to capitalize on its popularity in today’s market, make certain the manufacturer uses wood that is recycled and reclaimed. Ideally, the wood you purchase for your floor has been harvested domestically and follows the Forest Stewardship Council guidelines. Visit www.fscus.org for more information.
Linoleum / Marmoleum
For reasons that range from relative low-cost and ease of maintenance, to its environmental benefits, linoleum remains a popular choice for many homeowners. According to www.greenfloors.com, linoleum is made from all-natural materials such as linseed oil, rosin, wood flour, cork flour, limestone, pigments and jute, which combine to give it high life-cycle assessment scores. Linoleum can be produced with relatively little energy consumption through a process that doesn’t generate great amounts of greenhouse gasses.
Expanding on the color and pattern offerings of linoleum, marmoleum is another all-natural flooring that appeals to homeowners for its green-friendly makeup and attractiveness. According to www.jimsimcoe.com, homes that feature marmoleum floors often benefit from being marketed as having ‘hypo-allergenic’ or ‘all-natural, non-toxic’ floors.
Image via (tricky)