Product Profile- Self-Stick Wallplanks

We are thrilled to introduce this new product to our customers! While we have built the reputation for being your main source for complete remodels, we also provide quality products and expert design to empower our customers to do the work themselves. At Village Home Stores we value a customer who wants to invest their own time into a project that they will enjoy for years to come. It is not breaking news that shiplap, barnwood, and reclaimed woods of all styles and finishes have become very popular in kitchen and bath design. That is why we are very excited to launch this new self-stick wall plank product that is easy to install for an incredible impact! It truly is a DIY project that is NOT intimidating to take on.

wallplank-DIY

What do we mean by a DIY project that is not intimidating to take on? The day our new display arrived for the showroom our owner Jim decided to just install it right away in between appointments. He had it finished well before lunch! Take a look at this video of some of that installation (we admit that did speed it up just a bit for your own sake).

This product is meant to be installed by the homeowner. So much so that you can install it using just a measuring tape, pencil, and utility knife. Much like many of our other products at Village Home Stores, these wall planks are made in the U.S.A. The 1/4″ thick panels are sustainably sourced and processed with real North American hardwood. keypoints

The boards are stained using a patent pending process of infusing stain pigments into the veneering process. The result is the illusion of exotic hardwoods and rustic and reclaimed characteristics on a smooth, easy to clean surface.  A UV cured low-gloss finish is applied on the top of the planks and is wiped clean with water and a damp cloth. Let us walk you through the process step by step:

Plan & Measure Space:

Before installing it is recommended that you allow the wood planks to acclimate to the climate on the interior of your home. This helps to prevent any gapping or cracking in the planks if the humidity changes once installed. Carefully plan your space before you make your first cut. When this product says “industrial-strength adhesive” that translates to “once I’m stuck on the wall I won’t come off without a fight” adhesive.

measure-and-plan

Measure & Mark Your Cut Lines:

Be sure to measure your planks and mark on both sides of the material before scoring. Double check your wall dimension and your marked material one last time before scoring the plank.
Wallplank installation- Measure your cut line on both side of plank. | VillageHomeStores.com

Score the Planks:

Using a straight edge firmly placed along the marked lines, score the planks with a utility knife. You will want to do this on both side of the plank to achieve the cleanest break in the product.
Wallplank installation- Using straightedge score your cut line on both side of plank. | VillageHomeStores.com

Oh Snap!

Once both sides have been scored successfully, snap at the line firmly securing each side of the plank. Keep your hands close to the line to get the cleanest break.snap

Clean Up Edges:

Using your knife or a sanding block, clean up the splintered edges from your snapped planks.Wallplank installation- clean up the edges of your cut boards to remove any splintering. Use sanding block if needed. | VillageHomeStores.com

RECOMMENDED CUT METHOD:

It only took a few rows of the utility knife method for Jim to switch to using a saw for the rest of the cuts. This made for quicker and cleaner cuts of the material. If you have access to a saw for use you will be thankful for this option. For areas like outlets and airvents, you can make these cuts using a drill first as a starter hole. Then use a jigsaw or scroll saw to complete the cuts. Always use eye protection when cutting materials with a saw.
saw

Peel, Place, THEN Stick:

Remove the adhesive tape backing from the plank and place your first plank. Using your marked guidelines on the wall place your first plank. As your move along with the installation you will want to but the seams of materials together at a slight angle first before allowing adhesive to touch the surface. Wallplank installation- slide ridged edge into seam area before allowing adhesive touch wall surface. | VillageHomeStores.com

Press Firmly:

Once in place, press firmly to allow the adhesive to make as much contact with the surface as possible.  If you have one, A “J-Roller” helps with this task. Trim pieces are available if the look of the cut edges isn’t desired. Ask a salesperson about these trim options. Wallplank installation- Press adhesive into place firmly. - | VillageHomeStores.com

For Ceiling Application:

Yes you can absolutely use this wall plank system on your ceiling! It is recommended that once installed, you add small 18 gauge finish nails to help secure to the ceiling and take some strain off the adhesive being pulled by gravity.

Where can you use these wall planks? They can be installed on any structurally sound, clean, dry, and flat surface. Accent walls, decorative headboards, adding style to the back of an open shelf, the possibilities are endless and we can;t wait to see where our customers use it! It should be noted that this product is NOT recommended to install planks in any high moisture areas such as bathrooms or steam rooms. If you want this wood plank look in these areas ask us about the wood look tile options available from Village Home Stores.

finish-options

This self-stick wall plank system is available in 9 different finishes all of which you can see on display in our Geneseo, IL showroom. Because this product can be installed by you without any added labor charges it is sold by the square foot and our sales team can help you estimate how much you will need for your project. We are offering this product at an introductory sale price! wall plank price

Please contact us, stop in, or call us with any questions about this great new product! (309) 944-1344.footer

 

 

Road Trip! Our 2016 Visit to Whirlpool in Amana, IA

Village Home Stores is proud to offer Whirlpool appliances to the Quad Cities region. We are able to say with great confidence that we carry products that are backed by U.S. manufacturing and jobs. Did you know that:

Whirlpool Corp. is the only full line appliance manufacturer based in the United States. They operate 9 US manufacturing plants in 5 different states.

Our staff  is so lucky to be located just a short drive away from one of those plants in Amana, Iowa. We have been able to participate in a product training and plant tour now for the past few years. Please excuse our attire for the factory tour, this is not a fashion blog folks.
tour1

The plant we visited last week is home to all of the bottom-mount refrigeration operations as well as built-in refrigeration. This 2.1 Million square foot facility is huge! We clocked 1 3/4 miles on our factory tour alone. The water treatment facility for the plant also supplies the entire Amana Colonies with water. Whirlpool provides back-up power when needed for the region as well. This Amana, IA plant produces roughly 6,400 refrigerators a day! Pardon our pun but that’s pretty cool!
tour2

First of all, say hello to Seth (shown above on left). He is our newest member of the Appliances staff and was able to join us this year for this Whirlpool training and tour event. In addition to our tour, we received product training on many new models and features being introduced in laundry and kitchen appliances. Shown below is one of those new features called an “under-shelf prep zone” which utilizes an un-used space for for marinating or other storage needs in this new refrigerator model. This same new refrigerator model includes TWO ice makers, each with the ability to produce 4.6 lb.s of ice. Just get a text that you are entertaining guests after the work day? No problem! You can program to have plenty of ice by the time you get home right from your mobile phone. We saw so many amazing new products! Many of these models are already at our store or on their way. shelf

View this current US Manufacturing Map from Whirlpool showing the locations and products represented in the 9 manufacturing plants in the US. Whirlpool Corporation currently employs 22,000 manufacturing workers. Whirlpool truly believes that “there is no right way to do a wrong thing” and has committed to this opportunity to stay in the US. For example, instead of moving freezer manufacturing to Mexico or China, Whirlpool has recently purchased an vacant factory in Ottawa, Ohio keeping thousands of jobs in Ohio and allowing another category of product manufacturing  to remain in the US.interior

10000cupcakesNo complaints that we were greeted the morning of training with cupcakes alongside our breakfast (see our Instagram post on the right when we caught Rob with a cupcake at 8am). We were thrilled to hear that KitchenAid is hosting their #10000cupcakes campaign again this year to benefit Susan G. Komen. You can help make a difference for this cause! Share a photo or video with @KitchenAidUSA on Instagram or Twitter and include #10000cupcakes and #donate. For every original photo or video posted KitchenAid will donate $1 to support the fight against breast cancer, up to $10,000. Join us in store Thursday October 27th from 4:30-7pm as part of our annual “Witches Night Out” celebration and decorate your own cupcake to snap a photo of. Be sure to follow us on Instagram here to see our own cupcake posts.vanilla_latte_cupcakes

Do you have a recent model of a Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, or KitchenAid bottom-freezer refrigerator in your kitchen? That unit was made just a short drive past Coralville in Amana, Iowa and we had the privilege to see the smiling faces that assembled it for you.Read about our trip to Amana last year here at this link. If you are interested in purchasing appliance brands that help support jobs in our own country, our expert sales staff is ready to help find the right product and features for your lifestyle and budget. Shop our products online anytime here on our website. Then give us a call or stop in the store to experience the award-winning customer experience at Village Home Stores.Village_Home_Stores (1)

 

Get a “Load” of This: Top Load Laundry Tips

With all of the industry changes that have been made in the category of top-load washing machines it can be hard to know what is the right model for you and your loads. While a front-load washer can be an excellent choice for cleaning if you have heavily-soiled items, don’t count top-load washers out! Many of our farming and machining customers still select from our HE top-loading models for their toughest loads. These models can still get you great results and save you energy as well. You may have a longer wash time but these models will use less water and spend less time and energy in your dryer. As this article from Consumer Reports states, high-efficiency top-load washers can and be an ideal choice if your laundry is near bedrooms or a family room as they cause less vibration and noise. 

The Whirlpool®, Maytag®, and Amana® top-load laundry options you find at Village Home Stores try to make things simpler on you the customer every time they launch a new model. It can always be difficult to adjust to a new machine and all of it’s functions but after your few few loads you will begin to get more comfortable and start to see the wash results right for your own lifestyle. To get the best results from your high-efficiency washer we recommend you are sure to select the right temperature for your wash, use the correct detergent (and recommended amount of that detergent), and select the best cycle for your load.

wash_timeThere are really just two simple questions you need to answer when selecting your wash cycles on a top-loading machine. What you are washing and how you want your garments to be treated during the wash cycle. Many of our top-load washer models now offer an estimated time display for you to see how your selections effect your wash time. Some of the newest models of top-load washing machines even have an added feature that can remember your recent settings from previous loads to make it even easier on you. 

Image Courtesy of Whirlpool®
Image Courtesy of Whirlpool®

If you haven’t shopped for a washing machine recently you may be surprised when you open the lid and find no agitator in the center. This is due to the water usage regulations and HE standards now put into place as these machines are manufactured. When you stop in to shop for a new washer and dryer from Village Home Stores our staff can show to you and explain how these new HE washer operate and wash your garments. How these machines now wash compared to the “older” methods is a large subject in itself and our staff has been heavily trained on all of these changes. This same staff is just a phonecall away when you are learning how to use your new HE washer from Village Home Stores.

whatThis is where you can select from options like “delicates”, “whites”, and even “bulky” or “sheets” settings on some models. Maytag® offers their award-winning PowerWash® system with the best cleaning in its class to remove everyday tough stains in a single wash using PowerSpray, optimal dispensers and the PowerWash® cycle. This PowerWash® cycle is ideal for farmers and work clothes that may get soiled with oil or grease. 

howThis is where you will select your soil levels, temperature, rinse, spin speeds, and any pre-treatment options for your load. Lower water usage is one of the main goals of these newer models. Because these machines use an impeller to move your garments in the wash basin and not an agitator, a full basin of water doesn’t allow the movement needed for the best wash. Millions of dollars have been invested by Whirlpool®, Maytag®, and Amana® to perfect this new system of washing. Trust us when we say that the testing behind the best fabric care and best cleaning for you has been invested into these washers.

full_laundryThere may be times that you may feel you want more water to be used during your wash cycles and there are ways to achieve this. Adding an extra rinse can of course help achieve this added water but selecting features like a “Deep Water” wash can also be a great choice. When this option is selected, it still uses the load sensing technology built into the machine so the water levels will vary based on what you loaded into the machine. If you want a full tub of water, you can select the “Bulky” Items cycle which will give you more gallons of water in the wash followed by more gallons in the rinse.

presoakSelecting the “Presoak” option is also a great choice when you have a heavily soiled garment. This Presoak option that lets you skip soaking outside of the washer. It works by adding extra time for it in the washer before the wash cycle starts. This is a feature available on even some of the entry-level models of high-efficiency washers. Other options like the ColorLast™ option from Whirlpool® can help you combine your wash selections with the right temperatures to keep your garments looking fresh and not faded.

With so many options from all of our brands there is a model just right for you and our expert staff can help you find it. Shop all of our top-load washer selection by stopping in to talk to a member of our expert sales staff about what machine is best for your lifestyle. Laundry_Geneseo

Product Profile: Natural Soapstone

Natural stones have been mined from the Earth for centuries to be used for decorative purposes. Each natural stone that is formed has unique qualities from every other. That is why you may find certain materials recommended for specific locations or uses. For example, marble is ideal for  pastry-making because of the temperature the material maintains among other reasons. While the common use for Soapstone may not come to mind right away, chances are you have work on a Soapstone surface before. Think back to your Chemistry class or any lab course you may have taken…remember the lab tables?

soapstone_on_islandThose dark green chalky tabletops? There is a very good chance those tops you are picturing  were Soapstone! But why? Many of the same reasons why Soapstone has been used in labs for hundreds of years are why you may want to consider it for your kitchen counters.

soapstone_benefits

The first reason you see listed we will touch on when we talk about care and maintenance for Soapstone. The second item listed is that Soapstone is a naturally non-porous material. Nothing will absorb into the material itself. This means it is completely stain-resistant! A fantastic quality in any kitchen countertop!

soapstone_on_white_cabinetsBut why is Soapstone so great in a lab? Soapstone is also an inert material. This means that it is impervious to acids, heat, and chemicals. Bottom line, not a thing in your kitchen can change the makeup of this material once it is installed in your home. While Granite and Marble are extremely durable materials to install in your kitchen, you do need to be cautious of some things that can harm them. Read more about this here on our blog. Another interesting characteristic of Soapstone is that it can absorb, store, and even radiate heat. In fact it is still used as a material in some heaters. Native Americans and Vikings used soapstone and shaped it into cooking-vessels because of these characteristics. 

soapstone_maintenanceBut didn’t we mention above that Soapstone “builds character over time”? Soapstone (also known as steatite, or soaprock) is made up mainly of the mineral talc. This is what gives Soapstone the chalky and “soapy” feel and appearance.   While Soapstone is inert and non-porous, it is a soft material. In a kitchen countertop application this means your Soapstone counters will develop surface scratches. These surface scratches and worn areas are what tell the story of your stone once it is in place. If this is not a look you are after, then discuss with your designer at Village Home Stores what materials can give you this same look but in a harder surface. How do you get your Soapstone to have that darker look with less talc? You oil it. Take a look at this image of an un-oiled Soapstone countertop:

beforeIf a more traditional Soapstone patina is what you are after you will want to oil your counters. Note below the same top with an oiled section in the center:

oiled_imageSee the natural patina that comes out of the stone when an oil is applied over the material? Applying mineral oil (NOTE: not mineral spirits) to Soapstone brings the natural beauty out of the material. The mineral oil will not absorb into the top it just enhances the surface of the material. Many times a coat of mineral oil can also conceal the appearance of surface scratches. If you still have surface imperfections on your Soapstone you can remove them by hand with a fine-grit sandpaper before oiling.

clothKeep your mineral oil and a designated cloth for oiling with your other kitchen cleaning supplies. This way you can continue to use the same cloth and not confuse it with others used for food prep. Because the oil will not absorb into the Soapstone, you may have some non-uniform oiled areas on your tops for a few days as your oiled tops “dry”. These can be wiped clean with a dry cloth. This oiling process can be done as often as you would like. Oiling your Soapstone tops is not a mandatory maintenance. It doesn’t have to be done at all, just often enough to maintain whatever patina and look you want your tops to exude. Many customers oil their tops once a month for a year and get the overall look they desire. They then may oil it once a year or never again as it builds its character.

howto_oil_soapstoneWe are so lucky to have a local source for natural stone material right here in the Quad Cities. Epic Stone LLC in Davenport, Iowa is our local source for Soapstone and other natural stone materials. Epic is the warehouse facility where the fabricators used by Village Home Stores will be picking up the material for your project. Read more about what you can expect from a visit to pic here on our blog.  If Soapstone is what you have selected for your project you can pick the specific slabs of material your project will use. Your designer at Village Home Stores can help coordinate an appointment for you to visit Epic to tag your material. Are you considering Soapstone counters for your kitchen or bath project? Make an appointment today to discuss your options with a designer at Village Home Stores. Call or click here to make an appointment. soapstone_counters_quad_cities

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