Issue 27

Mar/Apr 17 Home & Garden Guide



When starting to hammer out your home remodeling goals, it’s natural to start with the flooring. Years of wear and tear can be especially obvious on old carpets or tiles. So what can you do to revitalize your look?

First off, there are several floor types offered out there: hardwood, both solid and engineered, finished and unfinished; luxury vinyl flooring, both glue down and click system; WPC flooring; and carpet, wool and nylon as well as other synthetics.

Typically, the best idea is to vary your flooring throughout the home. This isn’t a new concept: tile for bathrooms, carpets for bedrooms is a common idea in many homes. But, of course, the trends are changing.

“Hard Surface, specifically hardwood flooring, is what all of the designers are putting into homes today,” said Tom O Mathews, RMO of Shelton Lee Flooring. “There is a move toward carpet again, in one common area, but other than that, all of the common areas are usually hard surface and the private areas, like bedrooms, are usually carpet.”

Other trends happening right now is an overtaking of WPC flooring—a virtually waterproof floor with both stone and hardwood renderings. The flooring is even more forgiving than glued-down vinyl-type floors, seeing as its installed as a floating system, or “click.”

Your best value, however? Is carpet.

“Although there are some carpet that will install at the same price as a hardwood floor,” said Mathews, “usually you can use carpet as a way to help with the budget in terms of swapping out some areas of hard surface for soft surface.”

But if your heart is set on hard surface flooring, the new WPC flooring is a good alternative to some of the higher-priced hardwood floors or ceramic tile/stone floors. And if it’s refined you want, try white European Oak— 7 inch plus width planks is the go-to for refined and inviting.

When looking to replace your floors, try giving Shelton Lee Flooring, Inc. a call at 209-491-0310.


Tile is beautiful, durable, and long-lasting—when it’s properly installed. Your tile can be the highest quality with the best waterproofing attributes, but to make sure you stick the landing, what really matters is the installation. The experts at Tribute Tile & Stone have given us three tips for nailing your next tiling project.

1. Picking the Right Tile
There are so many options when it comes to tile, and many homeowners don’t take size, color, and texture into consideration for their projects. Don’t end up putting porous materials in wet areas or large format tile in a medium-to-small bathroom: Visit a showroom and plan ahead.

“Ultimately, a color board should be created with the tile desired for each area of the room, the cabinet color, paint color and other floor materials such as wood or carpet so that a uniform design and color palette can be created and approved,” said Brett McBay, CEO of Tribute Tile & Stone.

2. Make the Time
Tiling takes time. Mortars and grouts tend to vary in their curing times, most set up sufficiently to walk on in 24 hours and are fully cured in about three to five days. Additionally, cement based grouts need to cure up to five days before being sealed. Not to mention that these grouts and mortars have a specific temperature they cure best in. Ignoring the rules can be disastrous.

“When tile has pressure applied such as foot traffic, or accessories being installed it can debond from the mortar if not fully cured,” said McBay.

3. Preparation is Key
“The number one dilemma we see homeowners face is the improper preparation of the area to be tiled prior to hiring a licensed and experienced tile contractor,” said McBay. “Many times we have been asked to tear out jobs that have been started and cannot be completed because the area to be tiled is not even, level, or waterproofed correctly.”

Floors, showers and counters need to be level, plumb and structurally sound. Good tile setters use a mortar installation method called “floating.” This method applies waterproofing paper, lathe, and mortar to your shower or countertop and creates a smooth, level and plumb substrate for a long lasting and durable tile installation.

In short: tiling is a process. Make sure you’re prepared by arranging a consultation with an expert. Several tile distributors in Modesto have showrooms and staff to assist in the process—like Tribute Tile & Stone.

To talk to the experts at Tribute Tile & Stone, just call 209-575-5940. 


What kind of countertops do you have in the house of your dreams? If you’re like most people, they’re made up of the gleaming, glittering swirls of granite that so many associate with luxury. And for good reason. The specialists at Brazilian Stone Imports weighed in on three reasons why granite is the best choice for your countertops.

1. Durability
This beautiful igneous rock has a holocrystalline structure—this means that the crystals making up the stone don’t fully develop, instead growing into each other. The interlocking nature of the crystals makes granite durable and gives it that beautifully textured look. Not to mention, if you want to start seeing wear and tear, you practically need to take a sledgehammer to it. It’s as low-maintenance as it is beautiful.

2. Versatility
Granite is composed of many different types of crystals, giving the color and quality of granite a delightful variance. Brazilian Stone Imports offers a myriad of stones, from White Dallas to Ubatuba Green. Whichever crystal makes up the majority of the stone is the one that determines its color: be it white, gray, black, pink, or orange.

Quartz, the most common, can be either clear, smoky, or reflect the color of the crystals around it. It also adds to granite’s resilience.

Feldspar is the second-most common and responsible for the more vibrant colors like yellow, orange, pink, and blue—although darker feldspar makes black granite. Mica’s metallic luster adds to granite’s just-polished look and contributes the silver, black, brown, and pink shades to granite.

3. Affordability
Although it may not seem like it would be, granite is surprisingly affordable. In fact, the most famous granite—the salt-and-pepper stone that immediately pops to mind when anyone mentions “granite”—is also the most commonly available. Not to mention, granite can sometimes imitate more expensive counterparts like marble.

And best of all? We have an exotic granite seller that’s close to home. Brazilian Stone Imports is specialized in granite stones from Brazil, producing beautiful stones that are works of art.

For more information, call 209-232-5381 or visit 717 N. 7th St. in Modesto. 


Let’s say you’ve decided enough is enough—it’s time for new flooring. And there’s no flooring with the best value and comfort as plush carpeting. The idea of replacing flooring and putting in carpets can be daunting, however. Your floor spans your entire house, after all! So, with the help of House of Carpets, we’ve put together an easy list of tips to tackle your floors.

1. Start with Inspiration.
Not only can you check Pinterest and Houzz for ideas that might be perfect for you, but you can also refer to the floor masters, themselves. House of Carpets has a comprehensive website for those who want to do a little planning beforehand. Of course, to get the best advice, stop into a showroom. “What’s really important is to come to a nice showroom where you have lots of choices and there are trained floor design consultants to advise people,” said Jeff Cowan, longtime Co-Owner of House of Carpets. “There are thousands of options in floor carpeting today.” A trained professional can help narrow that list down!

2. Make a To-Do List.
Replacing a floor is a big endeavor, and it’s important to keep everything in check. Your first order of business should be evaluating all your choices and making a selection. If you’re doing other remodeling—like painting or other preliminary work—then save floor carpeting for last.

“We come out and do an evaluation, take measurements, and give a very detailed estimate so people know what they need to invest to improve their home,” said Cowan.

3. Figure Out Your Budget and Timeline.
If you’re going to be in a home for a long while, then you might want to invest in a good carpet. If you’re just fixing the carpet up with the intention of moving, however, then a cost-benefit evaluation should be in order.

4. Use the SELECTAFLOORTM Finder.
This unique, Carpet One-exclusive system assists with carpet selection, breaking down the various carpet options by style and look. And they offer warranties rated anywhere from bronze to titanium. And Carpet One has the Beautiful Guarantee. Let’s say you purchased the titanium warranty—with the Beautiful Guarantee, if you don’t like your carpet for any reason, then for up to four months after purchase, they’ll change it for free.

For more information on choosing, budgeting, and replacing your carpets, visit


Sure, we have a few more months until summer—but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some time outside. Fire up a brand new grill, or enjoy some quiet time by a romantic outdoor fireplace after a much-needed visit to Valley Fire Place, Inc.

So, how to choose the grill of your dreams? John King, Co-Owner of Valley Fire Place, has some luxury recommendations—starting with the Twin Eagles line of products. These grills are manufactured using premium-grade materials and designed in the USA.
“Twin Eagles offers a variety of freestanding or built-in grills as well as accessories such as side burners, a warming drawer, refrigeration, and access doors,” said King. “They also manufacture the Delta Heat and Del Sol line of products.”

Valley Fire Place also sells Memphis Wood Fire Pellet grills that are great for searing, smoking, grilling, and convection baking. They have a one-touch Intelligent Temperature Control (ITC) that automatically maintains the desired temperature, just like an indoor oven.

Want to make your garden really pop? Try an outdoor fireplace or firepit for the ultimate in summer evenings.

“Outdoor fireplaces and firepits are hot features and are available in a large variety of options,” said King. “We offer outdoor fireplaces manufactured by Montigo, Fireplace Xtrordinair, Regency, Valor, Kozy Heat and IHP. Firepits are available in round, square, or linear shapes—or they can be custom-made to fit individual designs.

For more information about your hot, new backyard experience with Valley Fire Place, visit 4524 Salida Blvd, Salida, call 209-543-9800, or visit their website at


There’s nothing like relaxing in a garden under a tree—throw in a book and some iced tea, and you have a whole day planned out.

But what if your backyard is currently barren? Planting a tree isn’t just great for the environment: it’s great for you, too. Thankfully we have a number of nurseries in the field, like Morris Wholesale Nursery, to offer some advice.

“The best time to plant a tree is from November through March because the trees are dormant so they have no leaves to support,” said Ron Hoffman. “This allows the roots to establish properly before the big spring growth push.”

You can pick up bare root trees with substantial savings in January and February—not to mention, the lack of soil and pot makes transportation much easier. You might also consider planting a fruit tree in very early spring seeing as the selection of varieties is at its peak.

“Japanese maple trees I would plant in March or April so you can choose according to leaf color as well as size,” said Hoffman. “This is when we have the greatest selection, at over 200 in stock.”

But Japanese maples aren’t the only good option for this area. For shade trees 35’ to 50’, Hoffman recommends the October Glory Maple, Frank Jr. Maple, Red Sunset Maple, Autumn Fantasy Maple, Keith Davies Chinese Pistache, Raywood Ash, Chinese Elm, and many others. The best shade trees from 20” to 30” are the Oklahoma Redbud, Flowering Cherries, Crape Myrtle, Tulip Magnolia (multi trunk), Little Gem Magnolia, and the Marina Strawberry Tree.

Want to spruce up your garden? Visit 1909 Patterson Rd., Riverbank or call 209-869-4111 for more information about what Morris Wholesale Nursery can do for your planting needs. 


At Direct Appliance and Direct Flooring & Home in Modesto, owners and staff have more than twenty years of experience at sourcing, planning and constructing dream kitchens. But over the last two decades, the specifics of that dream kitchen has evolved.

Today’s trends in kitchens are favoring convenience and usability, according to Colleen Winter, who owns Direct Appliance along with her husband, Ron. “People are actually coming back to cooking,” says Winter. “Sub Zero has a campaign going on called Reclaim Your Kitchen and that’s what people are doing. They’re going back to the kitchen and rediscovering the joy of cooking fresh and local foods again!”

The appliance superstore’s offerings reflect this trend toward cooking and health-consciousness. For example, convection steam ovens—which make it easy to prepare meals in a healthy, fast way—have gained tremendous popularity in the last few years.

“People are making kitchens more of a central gathering place in their homes,” adds Winter.

Samuel Garrett, CEO of Direct Flooring & Home, says that one of the hottest trends he sees in kitchens today are painted cabinets.

Functionality is also on the rise in kitchens. Quartz countertops have now surpassed the popularity of granite, says Garrett, driven at least partly by their ease of upkeep. “Homeowners like them because they’re low to no maintenance.”

Garrett adds that budgeting for your dream kitchen may be easier than you think.

“We do two things here at Direct Flooring & Home,” he says. “People know that we do new kitchens where we start from scratch, but we also do facelifts, where we’ll put all new doors and drawer faces on your existing cabinets. It takes half the time, half the budget, and most people will never know that it’s not something completely original. If you’re happy with the layout of your kitchen this is a great option that can save you a lot of time and money.”

For more information and to find out how to get your dream kitchen, visit

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