Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Common Flooring Questions

Q: Is laminate resistant to moisture or water?

Laminates are not recommended to be installed in areas where there is high humidity such as bathrooms or steam rooms. This can cause swelling of the planks. Laminate is very resistant to topical moisture, however, any spills left not cleaned up can cause a reaction to you laminate floor.

Q: Can my laminate floor get scratched?

Just like all other floors laminate floors can scratch too. Laminate does have a very scratch resistant wear surface so it is very durable against scratches. A lot of scratches can be prevented by regular maintenance and making sure furniture is protected. Place protective pads beneath furniture legs and feet to reduce scratches and dents.

Q: How does laminate hold up with pets?

It is recommend to regularly keep your dogs, cats, and other pets nails trimmed. This will help eliminate scratches. If a pet urinates on your floor then it needs to be wiped up immediately and cleaned with a hard surface cleaner.

Q: What is the difference between laminate, engineered and solid wood flooring?

Laminate: pressed particle board with a photograph of wood applied to the surface.

Laminate flooring contains no actual wood. It can be installed almost anywhere, using a click together or glue installation.

Solid: generally a 3/4" thick solid piece of wood. It can be installed on or above grade by a staple or nail down application.

Engineered: flooring made up of layers of real wood veneers. The graining of each layer runs in the opposite direction of the layer above and below it, thus acting as a check and balance system, keeping the wood from expanding or shrinking too far in one direction. Engineered floors are ideal for areas of high humidity or dramatic temperature changes. It can be installed above, on or below grade using glue, nail, staple, or floating applications.

Q: What is the difference between unfinished and prefinished hardwood?

Unfinished hardwood is installed as a raw material and then sanded and finished in place. Prefinished hardwood is finished in the factory and is ready to walk on after installation.

Q: What are edge treatments?

Edge treatments are the finishing detail on top of a hardwood plank. the different types are beveled edge, square edge, mirco beveled edge and pillowed edge.

Beveled edge: distinct definition between each plank.

Square edge: smooth seamless surface

Micro bevel: very subtle distinction between each plank

Pillowed edge: soft contoured edge

Q: Can I use a steam cleaner on my hardwood flooring?

Never use a steam cleaner on a hardwood floor, because it will damage the product and could void your warranty.

Q: Can I wax my hardwood floor?

It is not recommended that you wax your hardwood floor. This can possibly damaged the finish and void your warranty. It will also prevent you from being able to recoat your hardwood floor.

Q: Why do I hear popping sounds when i walk across my hardwood floor?

If your floor was just installed be patient because sometimes the wood is just settling in. If the problem keeps up then it can be for a few reasons: 1) poor subfloor 2) improper installation 3) wrong underlayment.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6697939

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bamboo Flooring Vs Hardwood Flooring - What Are The Advantages Of Each?

Each type of available flooring has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. If you are having your house renovated, you might already be confused which one to pick. Currently, there are two leading types of materials used for laying floors. Bamboo flooring vs hardwood flooring - just which one should you pick?

Let us start with bamboo. Compared to hardwood which has been around for many years now, bamboo is relatively a newcomer. Since it has become quite popular lately, many manufacturers are cashing in on it. That is why the quality varies, depending on where it comes from.

First and foremost, bamboo is extremely hard, and can outlive most hardwood counterparts. It is resilient, and can put up with dropped heavy objects. However, as mentioned earlier, this will depend on the manufacturer. To be on the safe side, opt for something that has grown for more than 5 years, as it is likely tougher than a younger one.

Bamboo grows really fast, and has an abundant supply from many parts of the world. Unlike hardwood which takes many years to replenish, bamboo is ready for harvest in as short as 5 years. And it can grow over and over again on the same plant. This is why it has gotten the nod of many environmentalists.

When it comes to cleaning, simple sweeping and occasional mopping is all it takes. Remember that this plant, while growing, is accustomed to extreme weather conditions. And for the same reason, it's very much suitable for use in areas of the house where moisture is aplenty. Try placing hardwood floor in the kitchen, bathroom and the likes.

Now let us go to hardwood. As with its bamboo counterpart, hardwood's quality is dependent on its manufacturer. But generally, many interior designers and homeowners consider this as timeless. It adds a touch of elegance, whether your house is contemporary or traditional looking.

While it is true that bamboo is relatively stronger, technological advancements in manufacturing changes that. Over the recent years, the durability and overall quality of hardwood floors have significantly improved. But remember that many different typed of materials are used for this kind of flooring. There are those that are suitable for high-moisture areas of the house, while there are some that aren't quite.

If your kids is allergic to dust and other irritants, then this material is relatively more suitable for your home. Compared to carpet, tiles and other flooring materials, hardwood has no grout lines or fibers. These areas are where dust and other irritants are likely to collect.

Even with minimal caring and maintaining, this type of floor will retain its beauty for many years. And another thing that's wonderful about it is it ages with grace. Its tone deepens and grain patterns intensify. Its natural qualities will ensure you no other home in the world will look exactly like your floor. That's why going for hardwood material is a great investment.

Now that the advantages of both flooring materials have been highlighted, you can now decide on one. You should consider style, utility and cost when selecting the best one for your home. Knowing their respective characteristics, choosing between bamboo flooring vs hardwood flooring comes easier.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5870674

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Carpet - Benefits and Advantages


Carpet is a popular floor fitting, prized for its warmth, versatility, insulation abilities and the protection it provides unfinished floors. If you're considering installing carpeting in your home, keep reading to learn about the benefits and advantages of this practical and fashionable product.

Safety

First and foremost, a carpeted floor is a safer floor. The soft surface and cushioned under-padding not only reduce the impact of a fall, but also the likelihood of it happening in the first place. Carpet is inherently slip-resistant, meaning it's harder to slip and fall.

Sound Reduction

If you live in a busy home with lots of traffic, you know how loud wood or laminate floors can be. Carpet stifles noise and reduces echoes in three ways; absorbing the impact of foot traffic, soaking up room sounds and echoes and finally, by blocking sound from carrying between floors (especially helpful in condo apartments or multi-family homes).

Warmth & Insulation

Carpet provides excellent warmth underfoot, making it a great choice for chilly bedrooms or stark offices. Carpet also acts as an insulator. The combination of the carpet and its under-padding acts as an additional layer of insulation in your home and - depending on the weight and grade of your carpet - it can even add to the R-value of your home.

Ease of Care

Most carpets made today are made to be highly stain-resistant, meaning clean up is easy. With just a damp cloth or a quick vacuuming, your floors look as good as new. Because carpets trap dust and allergens, they can also improve the air quality in your home as long they're properly cleaned and vacuumed on a regular basis.

Flexibility and Style

Carpet isn't limited to just a few colors or grains. You can get carpet in any style, design, color or pattern that you want. Because of its versatility, carpet fits in well in any design scheme.

Low Cost

Typically, carpet costs significantly less than other types of flooring like tile, marble or hardwood. Even with professional installation, carpet tends to cost much less than other types of flooring options.

Warranty

Unlike many hard surface flooring, most carpeting comes with an extensive manufacturer's warranty that covers pile, installation and craftsmanship.

Because of its quality, low cost, design flexibility, ease of care, warmth, safety and ability to reduce sound in your home - carpet is typically the number one flooring choice for most homeowners.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/958092

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Why Choose Hardwood Flooring

The richness and warmth of wooden flooring is sure to give perfect compliments to your furnishings. As a wide variety of materials and colors of wood are available nowadays, choosing the right type of wood flooring for your beautiful home has never been so easy before. Plus if you know the techniques and tips to follow for cleaning wood flooring, it can be undoubtedly said that wood floors are the easiest types of floors to care for, as it is not only the charm and beauty that is added to your home, but lower upkeep costs. In short, hardwood flooring costs less in the long run when compared to other types of flooring.

Wooden flooring is the best and wisest choice of home improvements that can add beauty and value to your home. Your home can experience rejuvenation with this kind of flooring, plus your home will be more enjoyable with the aesthetic appeal and cosy effect of hardwood.

4 Benefits Of Installing Hardwood Flooring

1. Your home appears and truly becomes much more valuable than it was before when you add hardwood flooring, as the quality products of natural wood are much expensive than the ordinary tile or mosaic flooring products. Yet although it is expensive to add hardwood to your home, it is worth its value in the coming years, because if you buy tiles or carpets for flooring, you would need to replace them after a mere five years because of their drab and dull looks. However, with hard wood flooring, you can get back double the money you spent on it, once you plan of resale of your house, which is not the case with carpet or tile flooring.

2. You have always wanted your home to be attractive, stylish, comfortable, modern, appealing and attractive. All these features come together at the same time once you install hardwood flooring. Wood is of different kinds and colors. Depending on your likes, no matter what kind of wood you choose, your rooms are definitely going to be more wonderful.

3. Another important advantage of installing wooden flooring is that it is far more durable than all other kinds of flooring. With a single spot of any sauce or other item spilled on your carpet flooring, it may appear as if the entire room is ruined. This need not be a worry with wooden flooring, though, which is very apt to handle everyday life. Any juice or liquid spilt on hardwood can be wiped away quickly and easily with a mere towel, leaving no stain behind. So, your pets or kids also won't worry you with respect to cleaning troubles.

4. Allergists recommend wooden flooring for a healthy home, as there are less chances of accumulation of dirt, dust or abrasive sand.

Now, you may have a more clear idea about the advantages of installing wood flooring in your home. Major manufacturers and carpet companies like some online carpeting stores can guide you in all aspects starting from the selection process of wood to the installation of wooden flooring. You can contact them online, select your choice wood, get it installed and sit back with your family to enjoy the comforts and luxuries of hardwood flooring.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6560237

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Many Benefits of Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is one of the most popular floor coverings on the market today, exceeded in sales only by carpet. Originally, due to its durability, vinyl was used mainly in high traffic areas. However, homeowners and businesses soon recognized the many advantages of vinyl, and it is now used in a variety of settings.

Maintenance is a breeze for vinyl flooring, which makes it a good choice for busy homeowners. These floors are durable, stain and moisture resistant, and won't easily scuff or scratch. These features make vinyl ideal for families with children or pets.

Vinyl is no longer limited to the fake-looking tiles or florals of its past. Today's vinyl floors can mimic the appearance of natural materials such as wood or stone. The new texturized vinyls can complete the illusion by replicating the texture of these natural materials. With the look of hardwood, tile or stone at only a fraction of the cost, vinyl is a smart economical choice.

In addition to being attractive, inexpensive, extremely durable and easy to maintain, vinyl flooring is comfortable under your feet. The cushioned backing makes it the perfect choice for rooms where most of the time is spent standing, such as the kitchen or laundry room. Vinyl is also a very practical option for the bathroom because it is resistant to moisture and is much warmer underfoot than stone or ceramic tile.

If you are looking for a floor that is easy to maintain and will look great in your home, contact a flooring specialist today to learn more about vinyl flooring.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5271893

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Laminate Flooring Has Many Advantages


Did you recently drop a heavy object or drop glass which had shattered on your kitchen tiled floor? Did parts of the tile chip away after the accident? Did you spill water on the wooden parquet floor in your den? Did parts of the wood come apart as a result? When you are ready to replace your flooring, you may want to consider purchasing laminate flooring because it has many advantages over other types of flooring.

One advantage of laminate flooring is that it is quite durable. It is made of a tough wear layer and is a lot more durable than vinyl and hardwood flooring. Scratches from accidents and heavy foot traffic will not affect laminate flooring. In fact, it is resistant to scratches. If you have a child that is constantly dropping toys on the floor, and you have accidentally shattered glass repeatedly on this flooring, no one will ever know by looking at it. A good quality one will appear new for many years.

A second advantage of this kind of flooring is that it is not only very easy to clean, but is extremely resistant to fading, moisture and stains. In order to clean this flooring, use a little bit of soap and water, and wipe down dirt or spills. There will be no trace of any of it. Warranty protection is offered by any reputable manufacturers for a long time, ranging from 10 to 25 years on average.

The third advantage of this type of flooring is that it is extremely easy to install. Many top brands of laminate flooring have created a glueless floating floor installation method and process. All that is involved in the installation is cutting the floor, clicking it together, and that is it. Professional installers can complete the simple task in a few days, but if you want to do it yourself, it will take much longer.
Once the flooring has been installed, heavy objects such as furniture can placed on it right after.

A huge advantage of this flooring is that it is highly economical. Carpeting usually needs to be replaced at least twice, especially if there is a lot of traffic. Hardwood flooring needs to be refinished at least four to five times. Laminate flooring does not need to be replaced or refinished at all. Once it is installed, it is in great shape for good.

Last but not least, this floor covering is cleaner and provides a healthy living environment. Carpets and other floorings are not as clean as it accumulates allergens, dust and pet dander. Laminate flooring does not, and it does not hold old stain contaminants on the surface. People who have allergies are not recommended to have carpeting in their homes, and should replace their carpeting with laminate flooring for that reason.

Before purchasing laminate flooring, or any kind of flooring if you decide to go that route, you need to do your research and find out the reputable flooring companies that will offer you not just the best quality flooring but the best service. If you are looking into purchasing flooring, and have a young family, pets and a lot of friends coming over often, it is recommended to get laminate flooring for reasons mentioned above.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6590405

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Increase Home Resale Value With Cork Flooring

After the financial meltdown of 2008 all homeowners look for different methods to increase the value of their home. Let's face it, until things get better this is a different and expensive task. However, there are a few different things you can do to increase the resale value with minor home improvements. Flooring plays a vital role in determining the value of a home. Things like a floors age, condition and type are important not only to buyers but to bank appraisal specialists. They both want to see a new floor, in excellent condition that will last a long time. Luckily we'll be able to teach you about a flooring product that meets all of these requirements; it's called cork flooring.

Cork flooring isn't a new flooring product, in fact it's been used for thousands of years. Government and educational buildings have also used this flooring type for quite a long time. It's in the late 20th century that it came more popular with home owners. A great benefit to using cork as a flooring product is the fact it's a natural renewable resource, making it eco-friendly. That's right, cork is a green product, so if you're into the green movement like many others I'm sure you'd like to know more. Cork is really bark which is obtained from the cork oak tree. The cork oak trees bark is the only species capable of producing commercially viable cork. Farmers will harvest a thin layer of its bark, usually a few inches thick every 9 years. This process doesn't harm the tree and allows it to continue to thrive. Thus, we don't need to cut down trees to obtain cork.

Now, being a green product isn't the only benefit to cork flooring. In fact, you're probably wondering how that increases your resale value. First, this is a very durable floor which is why it's been used in educational buildings, government buildings and libraries for hundreds of years. The durability is due to corks microscopic cellular structure. Cork material has millions and millions of honeycomb shape cells. Inside these cells is trapped gaseous material. This allows cork to absorb impacts, shocks and helps it compress to prevent damage. When properly cared for cork flooring can last virtually forever.

This same cellular structure that we mentioned above has another great benefit. It allows cork flooring to be quite comfortable. You'll be amazed how a wood flooring product can be so gentle on your body, knees and joints. This makes cork an excellent idea for the kitchen where lots of standing takes place. The final benefit of this cellular structure is that it makes cork great at insulation. Since gas is trapped in the cells it prevents temperature change from surface to surface. Making this an excellent solution for the bedroom or bathroom; eliminating cold feet in winter is always a great selling point.

The benefits just keeping rolling out for cork flooring don't they? Well, we're not finished just yet, there are a few more you need to know about. Cork has a waxy substance that naturally occurs called Suberin. This substance make cork resistant to dander, mold, moisture, mildew and bacteria. These benefits again solidify a sound reason to use cork in the bathroom and kitchen. Plus, it can virtually be used in every other room in the household.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5856686

Monday, November 7, 2011

Choosing the Right Carpet Colors For Your Home


Finding a store or flooring company that offers expert installation is a good start since laying a carpet successfully is a lot trickier than it looks. Many flooring companies offer very competitive prices on the service and it is well worth the small extra investment.

Once you have found a flooring company you are comfortable with the real decision making starts. Plush or frieze? Pattern or wool? Texture and brand is a big consideration when shopping for new carpet but the most difficult choice is the color.

If you are standing in a showroom filled with dozens of carpet choices in your chosen texture it can be hard to even begin to figure out which would look best in your home. When choosing a carpet color one of the first things you need to figure out is how you want the room to "feel" to those who might be entering it for the first time.

To add a welcoming sense of warmth to a room such as a smaller living room or den for instance, carpets whose color falls into the "fire family" category tend to work best. These range from yellowy oranges to bluish reds. If, on the other hand, you are going for a sense of cool elegance, water colors - any that might possibly make one think of water - are a perfect choice.

Neutrals and beige colors are a hugely popular choice of course because they can blend in seamlessly with almost any d├ęcor, from the most traditional to trendy and futuristic. The downside is of course that they will stain and show wear far more easily than darker shades so may not be the best color choice for high traffic areas.

How much light a room generally gets can affect carpet color choice as well. In a room that gets very little in the way of natural sunlight choosing a darker carpet color will only add to the sense of gloom bcause it will absorb a great deal of what little light does manage to make its way in. Using a light colored carpet in this situation will, of course, have the opposite effect and actually help brighten the room up, no additional lighting necessary.

When you have narrowed your carpet color choices down to just a few in the showroom, ask the staff for samples of the carpets you are considering so that you can see how they will actually look in the room you are redecorating. The lights in the showroom are probably far brighter than in your house and the color may look completely different when you bring the carpet home.

Almost all good flooring companies have carpet sample squares available and some will even bring them out to your home and offer their expertise to help you make an informed decision about what really works best. Carpeting a room is not a small investment and as with any other home remodeling project seeking help from the experts to get it right for the first time is never a bad idea.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4602115

Friday, November 4, 2011

What Kind of Wood Flooring Is Best?


Modern technology has created new and exciting wood flooring options. Today's flooring stores have a bewildering range of choices. So many choices at so many different price ranges that choosing your new floor may seem unnecessarily difficult.

While there may seem to be many choices, there are really only three main kinds of wood flooring.

Laminate: This type of wood flooring is a completely synthetic product. It's inner core is usually made from melamine resin and fiberboard. On top there is a kind of photographic overlay that simulates the appearance of real wood.

The thickness and durability of the top coat helps determine the quality of the laminate. There are some very poor, very cheap laminates that don't wear well and fail within a couple of years. There are some commercial grade laminates which are very durable, hard to scratch or gouge and last many years of rough wear.

Some of the tougher laminates are harder than wood and less prone to scratching, great if you have big dogs whose nails will often scratch natural wood floors.

This is generally the most affordable type of wood flooring. It's cost of installation is low and it's well suited for many types of subfloors.

Engineered Wood Flooring

An excellent mid-range choice if you're looking for the appearance of real wood while maintaining the flexibility and ease of installation of laminate. Engineered wood flooring is a hybrid product. A top layer of real wood is bonded and glued onto layers of plywood. This flooring is more forgiving to install than a real hardwood floor and more resistant to moisture. The cost is more than laminate, but much less than solid wood floors.

Solid Hardwood Flooring

Solid hardwood floors are the most expensive and most luxurious product on the market. They also have the highest cost of installation and can only be installed over certain kinds of floors. Before choosing hardwood floors get some advice from a local contractor on whether they are a good choice for your property and/or area. Problems with moisture or uneven flooring may make it an impractical choice for your property.

When properly installed solid hardwood floors are beautiful and will truly last a lifetime. When their original finish wears off they can be restained and refinished.

Making the final decision

Before investing in your floors, ask yourself some important questions. How long will I be staying in this property? What will give me my best ROI, return on investment? Are there any moisture issues? Will my dogs scratch a real wood floor.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6639425