Product Profile: Is L.V.T. For Me?

What is L.V.T. ? L.V.T. is short for “Luxury Vinyl Tile” and it has become a very sought-after material since it’s arrival into the floorcovering scene many years ago. The first L.V.T. began production in the late 70’s but it wasn’t until the last 5 years that Luxury Vinyls have began to take their place among the top choices for material in both remodel and new construction projects.

vinyl_tilesWhy is L.V.T. such a great material for your project? The first reason many of our customer love their L.V.T. are the qualities the tiles themselves. Compared to other harder surfaces, Luxury Vinyls are warmer underfoot and more comfortable to stand on for longer periods of time. Advancements in the industry in the last few years have also played a part in the rise of L.V.T.’s popularity. These tiles can have a photo realistic replication to true natural products at a fraction of the cost.

LVT_installationLuxury Vinyls can be installed to have the look and feel of ceramic, natural stones, and even hardwoods. As with all materials we sell here at Village Home Stores, we offer expert installation for your project by crews local to you and your home. Luxury Vinyls require a specific installation method and materials (see grout portion of this post) so your best result will be to hire a professionals to install. If you are wanting to install your material yourself, there will be some preparation to the space needed.

Village_flooringDiscuss your existing subfloor with your salesperson and find out what needs to be done before installing your new floors. An underlayment may be needed as well so be sure to review your material options with your salesperson.

Vinyl_tile_groutL.V.T. can be installed grouted or without grout. If a true ceramic tile look is desired, a grouted application is recommended. However, L.V.T. can be installed without any grout for a very clean look. photo-replicated wood L.V.T. flooring will look most realistic if installed without grout. The grout used for installation of Luxury Vinyls is a specially formulated acrylic that it will not scratch the tiles. The grout used for ceramic tile is cement based and should NEVER be used with luxury vinyl tiles.

LVT_informationBecause the grout used for L.V.T. installations is acrylic based, it will not absorb stains like a cement based grout will. The grout itself is stain-resistant because of the makeup of the product. Cleanup is also very easy for L.V.T. materials. Simple damp mopping is recommended.

LVT_pricesWhat is the price for this category of flooring? There are obviously many products and styles under the category of “Luxury Vinyls” but we can offer some perspective where L.V.T.s fall into the bigger picture. L.V.T. can vary in price.  Entry level pricing is comparable to entry level sheet vinyl and at the high end it is comparable to a mid-range hardwood.  With pricing everywhere in between depending on product line and brand.

Village_floor_companyWe have multiple brands of Luxury Vinyls on display and also installed in our Geneseo showroom. Call today or contact us via our website to schedule a consultation with a flooring expert at Village Home Store. Let us help you decide if L.V.T. is right for your project. flooring_Quad_cities_phone

Pantone Releases 2015 Color Of The Year: Marsala

Marsala In Your KitchenWith last year’s choice of Radiant Orchid being so bright and bold, we were glad to see the 2015 choice by Pantone was a bit more universal. Because of this color and it’s appeal to warm more tastes overall, we expect to see it make a bigger impact in the Kitchen industry. Not many of our customers were racing in to see how they could include Radiant Orchid into their material choices during their 2014 projects but we anticipate Marsala to be a bit more “appetizing” for an accent. Read more about why Marsala was selected here on the Pantone site.

pantone_color_announcementWith kitchen materials being a very permanent choice we do recommend including Marsala in subtle ways.  Keep your main surface element neutral and timeless. Wood tones pair well of course because of the warmth of the color from the natural wood and grain. In this case we selected a painted finish to allow our accents to stand out.

This painted finish is called “Moonstone” and is available from our Dura Supreme line of cabinetry. This warm gray color can be styled a number of ways and matches really any existing wood trim and furniture.  If you are considering beautiful new wood floors for your kitchen, a painted cabinet can help draw attention to that flooring.

pantone_color_of_the_year_kitchenDura Supreme offers an option to include aluminum-framed doors with decorative inserts onto some of your accent cabinets. Their “Oxide Red” insert is a pretty close match to the warm and rich shades found in Marsala. Consider adding a top-lifting cabinet into your design or even a bi-fold style with this aluminum-frame option. Marsala is the perfect shade of red to be included in a wet bar or sideboard area where you may be storing or serving wine. Many times we include glass-door cabinets above a wine rack or stemware holder and these would also become great locations for the “Oxide Red” or similar inserts to be included. Accent door inserts can be added to any prepared door. If the look of the aluminum frame is too modern for you, your cabinet door style can be used instead.

pantone_kitchenThe best way to tie any overall look together is to find an element that can include your accent color with your main finish choices all in one design. A kitchen counter top finds itself located in the center of your light-of-sight. This makes it the most likely candidate to help an entire project “come together” when selecting your materials. The “Westminster” design available from Cambria Quartz is a great example of this. This design is a subtle way to include Marsala and also allows you to go many directions with flooring, backsplash, and even cabinet selections. With black and grays included in the design, either Stainless Steel or Black kitchen appliances would work well. Or consider the new look of Maytag that offers Black appliances with Stainless hardware.

Dramatic and rich, this red-brown color is nothing new to the Kitchen & Bath industry but we can see why Pantone has selected it for the 2015 Color Of The Year. It will be interesting to see how the many design industries around the world begin to include Marsala in their products and work moving forward. If you have any questions about what you have read here or of 2015 is the year you want to take on your project reach out to us. Contact us to start the conversation or call today to make an appointment. 309 944 1344

The Electric (and Gas) Slide: Whirlpool’s New Full-Depth Ranges

Last week we blogged about our recent trip to the Whirlpool facilities in Amana, Iowa. New product launches were on site for us to get added training and first looks at some products still set to launch later this year. We are excited to announce after many years of development Whirlpool has launched their new slide-in range models!

new whirlpool slide in rangeWe actually already have the new style on display for you to see up in our new showroom space. In the picture above you see a comparison of the old slide-in style of range and the new full-depth premium front-control model. That’s right FULL-DEPTH!

whirlpool slide in range newWhat’s the difference between an old slide-in range and these new “Premium Front Control” models? It means that these new ranges can fit into any existing opening for a freestanding range, even on the end of a run of cabinets! No more “bridge” of counter top along the back edge means the back of the unit butts right up against the back wall.

whirlpool fit systemJust like the wall ovens from Whirlpool these new models come with a Fit System Guarantee to fit your existing freestanding range cutout space. There is even a labor reimbursement program in place until 3/2015 for current slide-in counter tops still installed with the back “bridge” of counter to be modified and removed.  This means current standard-depth freestanding ranges can be upgraded to a premium look without the installation hassle and replacing an existing slide-in unit with a new model is more affordable as well.

You might have notice the sticker on the front of our display model shown above that reads “skip preheating for frozen favorites” Yeah, that is our favorite new feature as part of this product launch!  This means that for 5 types of frozen foods you can skip preheating all together!

skip preheatingPreset “Frozen Bake’ settings for Lasagna, Pizza, Chicken Nuggets, Fries, and Pies allow for your oven to adjust its temperatures to bake while it preheats. This technology has been developed to save you time and get you consistent baking results. When we asked a Whirlpool rep they said items baked with these preset temperatures actually came out better (i.e. pizza crust was the perfect amount of crispy without burning the top).

The new design’s look has been upgraded as well and now includes full-width grates and current Whirlpool controls and handles. As we previously mentioned we already have one of these new models on our showroom floor. These models are available in gas or electric models in a variety of finishes. Don’t hesitate to stop by and see it in person. As always, you can call our knowledgeable and friendly appliance sales staff at 309 944 1344

Invested in America: Our Trip to Whirlpool in Amana, Iowa

We recently had the privilege to visit the Whirlpool factory located just a few miles away from us in Amana, Iowa to get a first-hand look at the location where all bottom-mount refrigerators are manufactured for the entire Whirlpool family of products. We also got to see some of the great new features on many new products being launched right now.

appliances made in the USAWhirlpool is the largest manufacturer of household appliances in the world. Amana, Whirlpool, Maytag and KitchenAid are among the Whirlpool family of products we proudly sell here at Village. Did you know over 80% of the products Whirlpool sells in the US are manufactured right here in the US? That is a huge investment into American jobs and is more than all the other competitors combined. Facilities are in Tulsa,OK (freestanding ranges); Clyde,OH (washing machines); Cleveland,TN (built-in cooking and double ranges); Marion,OH (dryers); Findlay,OH (dishwashers); Ottawa,OH (freezers); Greenville,OH (stand mixers) and the refrigerator plant we visited in Amana,IA.

In addition to our tour of the facilities we also got to see some of the new features being launched on new Maytag, Whirlpool and KitchenAid models. Here are a few highlights from what we saw:

dishwasher silverware sprayNot only are dishwasher models coming out of Findlay, OH quieter and quieter they also work harder for you. Case and point is the new Silverware Spray feature on models like the WDT720PA we show on our salesfloor. 40 spray jets aimed directly at the newly designed silverware basket gets even the most stickiest messes cleaned off your flatware. See it is action over on our You Tube channel here.

We got to see the entire manufacturing and building process of refrigerators first-hand on our factory tour but we also got to see new products fresh off the assembly lines just across the parking lot. We have the Whirlpool WRF997SDDM refrigerator in our showroom and about a month ago played a little prank on one of our designers to show her the awesome new CoolVox™ audio system watch the video here. Stop in today and let us show you this amazing feature that we now convinced every home needs.

The brand new Maytag MFX2875DR french door refrigerator set to ship any day now is quite a powerful model to see in person. Like all new 2014 Maytag appliances models launched it has a 10 year limited parts warranty. On a refrigerator that means the compressor itself has a 10 year warranty. With Maytag we have learned that what’s inside matters and so one of our favorite features that you can see are the new Artic Steel Shelves inside this model.

maytag steel refrigerator shelvesPremium style you can see and feel. These shelves are powder-coated and can hold up to 70 lbs. of weight! No glass in the shelves means you can’t light the whole interior…right? Wrong! These adjustable shelves have LED lighting along the underside of the front edge. This means you can see everything within.

The Whirlpool family of products represents over 23,000 American manufacturing jobs. That is something we truly value here at our store. While we were not allowed to take any photographs or video footage of the factory facilities themselves, we did get to put on a hardhat, vest, and safety goggles to tour the factory. As part of a new product launch training program we were invited in to see and meet some of the many smiling faces that are making the products we sell. We could talk to you all day about the parts and innovation that go into the refrigerators we sell but they are in the simplest of forms, a box that cools things right? A representative from Whirlpool reminded us of this. He also mentioned another very important thing that really struck me, Mike said “there’s people behind these boxes.”

We know a huge reason our customers seek Village Home Stores out is a personal connection from our staff. While we can offer the same products and prices as a “big-box” store we have something that we excel at and it is the largest benefit to you, a real person to connect with you and help you learn about and select the right products for your projects. That same person at Village Home Stores is just a phone call away when you have any questions about your purchase. We got to see some of the people behind the Whirlpool products we sell and trust us when we say you have a lot to be proud of when purchasing items from this Amana, Iowa plant.

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