Don't forget your sunscreen!

Summer is here, school is out, traffic is lighter, and we can all relax just a little bit in general. We love our summertime-- fewer alarm clocks ringing, more casual get togethers, hanging out at the pool with the kids, and longer hours of sunshine. Who can argue with all the wonderful things that sun and summer bring to our lives? Except mosquitoes. Nobody likes mosquitoes.

And for all the fun and comfort that sun brings us, it also can do some damage. We've known for years now that we need to protect our skin from too much exposure to the sun, and even the most devoted sun worshippers apply sunscreen at the beach or the pool. But did you ever think that you need to protect your floors from sun damage?Damage is actually not the right word, it is really sun "reaction." The sun will change the color of your wood floors slowly but surely. How it will be discolored depends on the wood. Some woods bleach out light, and other woods darken from exposure. Some change quickly, others more slowly.  A few will become richer and bolder, and others will look dull.

The real bad guy in the process is UV light, or Ultraviolet Sun Rays. UV light releases free radicals in the wood, which allows photochemical oxidation to begin. The rate of the color change of the wood depends on the species and a few other factors. Including the temperature (too much heat will accelerate the oxidation) and moisture. Certain coatings will also change color over time, sometimes becoming milky white.

Direct sunlight can also permanently discolor carpet and vinyl flooring.  The heat that goes along with intense sunlight can cause the edges of LVP/LVT to curl.  Tile and porcelain is probably the only floor covering that the sun will not damage. So, how can you protect your beautiful new floors? Sunscreen is out of the question, so let's review some other steps you can take that will help:

~~Use window coverings. As much as we all enjoy letting the light in and allowing our furry friends to bask in those golden rays of sun, the very best protection for your floors is to not be exposed to direct sunshine. So, pull those drapes shut or let down those blinds, at least for the sunniest part of the day. This is a good time to mention that we are a Hunter Douglas Window fashion dealer. Call Robin, our certified Hunter Douglas consultant, and come in to talk with her about getting Hunter Douglas blinds,shades, or honeycombs installed to protect those floors. 

Depending on the shade you pick for Ultraviolet (UV) protection, you can block up to 88% of harmful UV rays with vanes open and 99% with vanes closed and also reflect the solar heat. The correct window treatments transform harsh sunlight into beautiful natural daylight by diffusing the light into the room, all while preserving the outside views and offering daytime privacy. Some window coverings also reflect the sun's heat, helping to keep inside temperatures comfortable.

You can also add Hunter Douglas elite operating systems, with PowerView® and the PowerView® App, to quickly create customized Scenes that control all the shades in your home to operate together or in any combination you desire. You can move your shades based on a time of day, your location, or movements of the sun, optimizing your home's energy efficiency. Use the RemoteConnect™ feature on your smartphone or tablet to adjust your shades so your floors are protected even when you are not there.

~~Have UV blocking film applied to your windows and glass doors. This is not a cheap process when done by a professional, but it certainly beats the expense of new wood floors, and is a lot less messy than having your floors sanded and refinished. Doing this may also help bring down the cost of your air conditioning, so that is another plus.

~~Move furniture and rugs around. This is not a total fix, but it will reduce the extreme effects of the sun hitting just one spot repeatedly. And take the opportunity to freshen up your look! We also have wonderful area rugs in stock and by special order. We carry Karastan, Nourison, and Dalyn area rugs, as well as a few custom rugs for sale. Any carpet in the store can be made into an area rug, so there are literally thousands of choices. Change it out with the seasons! Have a special one made for the Holidays!

We carry outdoor rugs as well. This is the perfect time of year to be outside enjoying your patio or deck, before it gets too hot. And what better way to make that outdoor space feel like a room than to give it a beautiful rug? Come and check out our great selection of outdoor (fine for the inside, too!) rugs.  

Now spend some time out of doors, relaxing with the kids or with a glass of wine, enjoying simple pleasures. Eat some watermelon, then bring out the sprinkler and play in it. Find a dry spot and plop down and read a good book. When I was small, the local library had reading contests in the summer. I still remember the pleasure of seeing my name there with the stars beside it.  Look for fireflies (lightning bugs) or meteors at night. We stop being young when we stop being young at heart. Stay young!

And you live in Metro Atlanta---there are a million things to do here all summer!  There are movies under the stars and outdoor concerts. There's every kind of festival. You name something, and we've got a festival for that! There's a Butterfly Festival, an Ice Cream Festival, a Beer Festival, a BBQ Festival. And all kinds of Arts Festivals! And Farmer's Markets all over the place. If you plan correctly you will never need to cook a meal all summer, between the festivals and the markets.

And speaking of free food, come to Enhance on Tuesday, July 10 from 4 PM until 7 PM to enjoy a dinner on us! This year, we've hired a Food Truck to come and serve hot dogs, and we'll also have drinks, chips, and dessert. There will be reps here to tell you about new products and answer questions, and there will of course be prizes. So, plan to join us--one less meal to cook!

Enjoy your summer, enjoy your loved ones, and enjoy your beautiful floors. However you do it, do take the time to protect your flooring investment, and you should be able to enjoy your floors for many many years.

How Much Does It Cost?
Hunter Douglas® window coverings (based on an average 48" x 60" window) start around $199 per window with a 3 window minimum - this is for your traditional metal or wood blinds. The top of the line Hunter Douglas® window covering is around $1,050 per average sized window for Silhoutte® window shadings, Luminette® privacy sheers or Duette® honeycomb shades. These give you more UV protection than  traditional window coverings. You can also go high tech by adding the PowerView® Motorized Operating System at $399 per window. Then use the app and you can program your window coverings opening and closing remotely, even when you are far away.  Of course, there are many style and price options "in between" to fit your lifestyle and your needs.

Design Tip
Looking for a theme for your outdoor room?  Everybody's doing nautical/beachy and you want something different?  Go tropical! Use bright colors like blue, pink, salmon and green, teamed with gold to embrace this happy trend. Tropical works well both inside and out. Layer different colored linen tablecloths and use darker shades for the tableware. Choose tropical leaf print cushions to add a decorative touch. Tropical prints really create that summer party mood, and this season there are some brilliantly bold ones to choose from. Palm motifs are always popular as well as brightly colored bird patterns. Gauzy curtains, teak and bamboo, pineapples, and huge pillar candles complete the look. Elephant ear green plants add privacy. I bet you are already feeling transported!

I Was FLOORED By Enhance
We recently installed new hardwood floors for Karen in Marietta.  She tells us:"Enhance Floors was fantastic. They did a kitchen, a family room, and a hallway. They did preparation work like you wouldn't believe, and they did a phenomenal job putting it together. I had an extremely positive experience. They're an A+."Thank you, Karen! Be sure you have the right window coverings to protect those beautiful maple floors!  Let us know if we can help you with rugs and/or Hunter Douglas sunshades.