Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bamboo Flooring: An Environmentally Friendly Option

When trying to decide on a flooring for their home, most people don't consider the effect that their choice has on the environment. Thankfully, for those who consider the environment when choosing flooring, there's a flooring option that offers esthetic beauty and affordability while still being environmentally friendly.

Unlike other hardwood materials such as maple, pine, and other types of hardwood, bamboo grows extremely fast. Reaching maturity somewhere between five to seven years and growing nearly one foot per day, bamboo is a sharp contrast to hardwoods that often take 50-150 years to finish growing. There's no doubt about it, when it comes to the environment, bamboo hardwood flooring is the way to go.

Not only is bamboo environmentally friendly, it is also affordable and comes in many different grains and types. When compared to other hardwood flooring types, bamboo is equally hard if not harder. When it comes to installation, the superiority of bamboo is no exception; it's as easy to install as any other hardwood flooring type. With its wide array of colors and grains, in addition to the fact that it's easy on the wallet, it would seem that bamboo is hard to beat. No matter what kind of interior design theme you're going on, you can find a style of bamboo flooring to fit your needs.

Available in woven, engineered, and solid hardwood flooring types, bamboo is offered a wide range of prices. Yet, the type of bamboo doesn't compromise the quality. Solid bamboo hardwood flooring is aptly named; comprised of solid bamboo pieces, it is pure bamboo glued together to make a beautiful hardwood flooring. Solid hardwood flooring is one of the best types of bamboo for flooring available.

Engineered bamboo flooring is made up of shredded bamboo fibers. This type of flooring will have the same look and feel of solid bamboo flooring, but will be slightly less expensive. Depending on how the floor has been cured, engineered flooring can have its disadvantages. Due to the fact that the top layer is laminated to a cross-ply core, the layer can sometimes have issues shrinking when exposed to dry air. In most cases, though, engineered bamboo holds up well and looks great.

In contrast to the other two types of bamboo flooring, woven bamboo flooring is very different. Made with shredded bamboo fibers and then mixed with resin before being pressed into solid blocks that are then milled and placed on a flooring profile, woven flooring is actually harder than solid bamboo.

The bottom line is, no matter what kind of bamboo flooring you choose, the environment will thank you.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Bedrooms and Carpets - A Perfect Match

Every room in a house has its function and for this reason it may be argued that there should be a floor to match. A living room will have lots of use and therefore needs a durable surface. A bathroom or kitchen will benefit from something that is hard-wearing and water-resistant. Ideally it will be slip-proof too.

So what of bedrooms? There is a very good case to be made for carpets being the floor covering of choice in this particular room for the simple reason that this is the room, above any other, where comfort is most important.

After all, it may be reasoned, what could be worse than getting up on a cold day and stepping out onto a chilly floor in bare feet? Many mornings, particularly in wintertime, are chilly, wet, dark and generally unappealing. Those who wish to start the day well may consider it important that the first step they take is a warm one. The same thought may apply to the final step before climbing into bed at night. And the cosiness of a room may be all the more valuable for that lovely weekend lie-in, not least as sooner or later one will have to climb out from under that warm duvet to get some breakfast and walk the dog.

Bedrooms are, by nature, places of warmth and cosiness. At the very least, this is a place to be comfortable, to relax and to settle down to a good night's sleep. For a couple, it is also a place of privacy and intimacy, one where the door can be closed on the outside world. Many would consider that this ambience is far easier to achieve if, beside the nice comfy pillows and warm duvet-there is a lovely, foot-friendly carpet.

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Choosing Between Laminate and Hardwood Floors

Lots of people love the look of a wood floor. It has warmth about it that you just can't get in any other way. But if you are considering this type of flooring you have to think about whether you want the real thing or something that looks like the real thing.
We're talking about the difference between a real hardwood floor and one that has had wood effect laminate flooring installed. Each has its pros and cons and you need to think carefully about them before you consider which solution you are going to choose for your home.
Laminate flooring
There are broadly two kinds of laminate flooring you can buy today. The first type is cheap and looks like laminate flooring. It may have a wood effect design on each plank, but you can tell even with just a casual glance that you're looking at laminate and not real wood. The second type is a more expensive laminate that is harder to tell apart from real wood. If you are going to opt for laminate flooring it is wise to get the most expensive and best quality one you can.
However it is popular in many homes and this has made it a popular purchase for many. It also has other advantages. You can drop things and spill things on it and it will stand up fairly well to shrugging them off. You shouldn't soak it or delay in wiping up any spills though otherwise they could blow the boards, i.e. make the planks rise up at the edges.
Hardwood flooring
This is the real deal. If you want the look and feel of real wood you have to go for hardwood flooring. It looks sensational and while it requires a little more care than laminate flooring you can still get the most out of it if you take care of it on a regular basis. Normally this means sweeping it and buffing it every now and then. You may have to apply a protective coating every once in a while, but this is worth doing for the end result you'll get.
Of course the main reason why many people opt for laminate over hardwood is the cost. If you want real wood you can expect to pay for it. However it exudes character and age in a way that laminate never will.
Which type will you go for?
Clearly you have to think about your budget before you do anything else. If you cannot afford hardwood you might decide to opt for a more expensive laminate flooring to get a better look. Conversely if you are doing up a property in order to sell it, laminate flooring would be the best one to choose.
Whatever you decide to go for you can see that each type of flooring has its pros and cons. Which one will do the trick for you, and give you the home you really want?

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

New Flooring For The New Season!

Spring is finally here! Are you looking to for a way to spruce up your home? Try laminate flooring! 

If your looking for some beautiful flooring at reasonable prices and done by licensed professional contractors, call ALL SIZE FLOORING!!! 
707 448-3300 

Laminate is perfect for the kitchen! 
And it looks like real wood! 
Laminate looks great everywhere in the house! 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

12 Things to Avoid For Your Next Flooring Project

Not Working with an Expert
Choosing a floor is a lot more than just picking one and having someone install it. Just like anything else there is a right and wrong way to get your flooring project done. Whether your doing it yourself or hiring a contractor seek expert advice. First off, make sure to choose a contractor with experience and a proven reputation. Working with an expert will save you money not only in the product you want, but the installation process as well.
Be sure to set aside the proper amount of time to educate yourself on the options that are available to you. Poor planning will cause you to rush into a decision and inevitably cost you money. Allow yourself time to choose the best floor for your lifestyle and budget. Getting a rough cost estimate will help you to choose the correct floor for you.
Skimping in the Beginning
Play close attention to the tricky adds that company's have because it will end up costing you in the end. If the price seems too good to be true then it probably is, and expect hidden costs in the end. In flooring what you pay for is what you get, so going with the cheapest route is not recommended. People that hire the cheapest contractors and look for the easy way out, usually end up paying more in the end. Get a few estimates to compare prices, and do not be afraid to upgrade your floor because you will be satisfied in the long run.
Unrealistic Expectations
Getting a new floor is very luxurious and refreshing, but it's important to be realistic about how it will perform. When it comes to flooring there are many options, the durability of each floor varies so being properly educated is vital. The floor is going to dent, scratch, stain, amongst a many things that happen over the life of a floor. Be sure to be educated on what to expect so you will be satisfied with your purchase.
Not Getting Feedback From Friends and Family
Shopping for a floor is not easy and can be overwhelming. It's always good to have some help for a second opinion from someone you know. Today many websites will allow you to share with friends. Utilize these assets and get numerous opinions.
Not Hiring a Licensed Flooring Contractor
Considering the way the economy is this is a very important one. Just about everyone is installing floors these days and it is ruining the industry. Hire a flooring contractor, emphasis on FLOORING contractor. If you're paying someone to do your flooring project make sure to hire someone that does flooring everyday. Not someone who does cabinets one day, frames the next, and also does floors on the side. Make sure that his license, insurance, and workers comp is up to date. Doing this will ensure you a quality product.
Not Understanding the Work that Needs to be Done on Your Project
Remember that you are under construction. Putting in a floor is a minor construction project, but it is important to remember that you will be inconvenienced. It is important to plan installation when you will not need your house or when you have other projects at the same time. Be sure to work hand in hand with your contractor to know what kind of situation you will be dealing with. Get the answers to questions such as how long is it going to take, will there be dust, and can I live at home during the process.
Fighting the Additional
Unfortunately there may be additional charges when dealing with installing a floor. Understand that even the most experienced contractors cannot see what is underneath your floor. They do not know much about the floor until they open up and tear out the existing one. How do you prevent getting overcharged with additional? It goes back to working with your contractor. A good contractor will let you know about the possible additional and give you a rough estimate if one should occur. Read your contract thoroughly to avoid a contractor overcharging you. Unfortunately these kind of contractors do exist.
Lack of Attention to Detail
The flooring material is just part of the project to make it look good. Don't forget about the accessories and other detail. Freshly painted baseboard really enhances the look of the floor. Area rugs complete a room and warm it up immediately. Make sure to pay attention to other details, it's not just about the floor.
Pushing your Contractor
When planning your timeline for the project to allow time for error. It is your contractor's job to give accurate installation time estimates. Don't try to rush the project to meet a precise timeline. Installing floors is a craft and sometimes errors will occur along the way. There is always a chance of unforeseen problems, plan for it.
Not Knowing How to Properly Care for Your Floor
In order to get maximum performance and lifetime you must know how to take care of your floor. All it can take is a chair with no felt tips or a high heel to scratch up your new wood floor. Preventive maintenance is necessary to avoid more serious events. The company of your floor should provide you with the information needed, if not then call them and find out.
Who Are You Going to Call?
Research your local laws and regulations for contractor warranty. See if your contractor offers more than the minimum requirement. Find out who you will contact if the floor has a problem, find out if you contact the company or the actual manufacture. If you ever have to file a claim this is very important.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Vinyl Flooring - Pros and Cons

When its time for a make over of your home, budget is one factor that affects the decision making. Flooring can be the priciest of the materials that you want to upgrade in your home. Some people would rather focus their money on furniture or paintings to upgrade the look in their home. With today's floors their is a solution to this challenge. Luxury vinyl is becoming a popular choice for people. Not only will it help out with that budget, it will still maintain the impressive look of a well chosen floor. Before you choose to pick a vinyl floor it is important to balance the pro's and con's of vinyl flooring.


Pricing- As stated before, vinyl and vinyl tiles are priced fairly to accommodate the tightest budgets. You will be able to focus your budget on other parts of interior design. As you read on you will see how selecting a vinyl floor will save you some money

Installation- One of the great things about vinyl sheet flooring is that it can be installed anywhere. Vinyl sheet and tiles, in most cases, can be installed over the existing floor. This will save you money on installation fees that can add up. Any repairs to level a sub-floor and the cost of tearing out your existing floor would no longer come into play.

Sturdiness- Even in bathrooms or kitchens, where their is a ton of moisture, vinyl sheet performs at a high level. Only in bathrooms you might want to avoid installing vinyl tiles, but anywhere else the floor will be sturdy and last a long time. Because vinyl is softer than real tile or wood, it is ideal for people with young children and pets of any size.

Appearance- Each year the craftsmen that design floors get better and better. The vinyl tiles that simulate tile or stone look identical to the real version. A flooring professional will have a hard time distinguishing the difference when trying to identify which floor is vinyl. Recently added to the flooring industry is vinyl planks, when installed, that look very similar to wood flooring. Vinyl appearance will improve more and more each year.


Real Feel- Even with all the new improvements of the vinyl flooring design, the material is still not the same as the real thing. The feeling of the floor may be too plastic or sticky for some. This may turn away people who enjoy walking around their home bare footed.

Tiles and Solid Pieces- Vinyl sheet will perform well in any room in your home. Vinyl tile is great looking but will not be a good choice for your bathroom. With all the moisture that comes with the territory, the water may slip through the cracks of a tile floor. The moisture may cause the floor to discolor or swell.

Home Value- Vinyl may in some cases lower the value of your home. As stated before the material is not the same as real hardwood, tile or stone. As a result the value increase that comes with an authentic floor will not with a vinyl floor.

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Luxury Vinyl Tile Vs Tile

Tile has always been a popular choice in many rooms of a house, if not the entire house. Today's consumers have become more demanding when it comes to certain characteristics of a floor. Finding a floor that is compatible with a person's lifestyle along with comfort has become increasingly popular in demand. They're many options out there that simulate real products. One of these is luxury vinyl tile.

So what are the benefits of luxury vinyl tile? First off, LVT is more comfortable that regular tile. Vinyl tile is softer under foot along with warmer and quieter. Cleaning grout is a major concern when it comes to Tile. With LVT you have the option of installation with or without grout. Installation with grout will make your floor appear more authentic, but keep in mind that vinyl tile without a grout installation will still fool the average person in your home. Most of the products are stain resistant and durable. They often come with stain, fade, and wear through warranties.

What are some things I should be concerned about? With tile, a major concern is if a chip or crack occurs. With real tile you are stuck with that chip or crack. With luxury vinyl tile it is an easy repair anytime this problem occurs. Even if the chip happens in the middle of the room, it can be repaired with or without grout. Always purchase an extra carton of the floor you select for this reason. If you decide to have a non-grouted installation we recommend you pick at least a medium color. Having a light color with this installation tends to lead to black streaks or dirt around each individual tile. If your confident you will keep your floor clean at all times then pick whatever color that you want.

Designing around LVT will not be a problem when it comes to the brands Congoleum Duraceramic, Armstrong Alterna, and Mannington Adura. These brands do a great job of offering a variety of colors, patterns, and versatility to be installed with other products. For example, you can mix and match colors along with matching luxury vinyl tile and luxury vinyl plank. This gives you a great wood and tile look. Another creative thing you can do is inlays and designs for borders allowing you to get real imaginative with these products. Luxury vinyl tiles are versatile, durable, and eliminate the negative factors of selecting tile for your home. Many of these products have excellent characteristics that make you think that the product is real. The appearance is not cheap or fake looking even if the design is not meant to imitate a tile. These patterns are great to design around. So next time your looking for tile as your next floor keep the option of luxury vinyl open.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bathroom Flooring Choices

With flooring for a bathroom the main concern is moisture. Bathrooms get heavy traffic as well as a ton of moisture, there's great flooring options to choose from to minimize the damage of any problem that may occur. There are several options that we recommend for bathroom flooring; luxury vinyl tile, sheet vinyl, luxury vinyl planks, ceramic tile, marble, porcelain tile etc. Hardwood and laminate are not recommended for a bathroom due to their sensitivity to moisture.


Sheet vinyl is a great product for your bathroom floor. This is the best option when it comes to water resistance for your bathroom. It's also not going to be too cold to walk on for getting out of the shower and cold days. Comfort is a good characteristic when considering a sheet vinyl floor. Fiberglass backs are also available for vinyl sheets that make this floor even more comforting. Armstrong Cushion Step and Mannington Sobella offer a great variety with their stone, tile, and wood looks. Linoleum is another excellent option due to its solid color selections.

Another great vinyl choice is luxury vinyl tiles and luxury vinyl wood planks. Luxury vinyl tiles bring out a tile or ceramic marble look without some of the characteristics that people don't like about tile. Armstrong Alterna and Congoleum Duraceramic are great options for a vinyl that will be good under foot, you will also have the option of with or without grout and still be a moisture resistant surface. Sheet vinyl is the best for moisture due to the fact that vinyl tiles still have the possibility of allowing moisture to get to the sub floor. If your floor is installed correctly then moisture to the sub floor will not be an issue. The design aspect to these products is the best of your selections due to being able to mix and match wood products and tile products as well as colors.

Stone, Ceramic, and Porcelain

These floors are another excellent choice for your bathroom floor. Stone, Ceramic, and Porcelain are extremely durable and excellent against moisture. Ceramic along with other tiles are great to d├ęcor around, so from a designers perspective this is a great choice. Some of the drawbacks for tile are clean ability, coldness under foot, and hardness. We tend to spend most of our time in the bathroom on our feet so comfort is not the best with a tile floor.

Vinyl Products, Stone, Ceramic, and Porcelain are all floors that are a good selection for your bathroom. Be sure to take into mind the positive and negative characteristics when choosing the right floor for your bathroom. Remember that moisture is a key factor for a bathroom. The other factors are all on what you value more, comfort or style.

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Flooring Options for Kitchens

There are a few things to keep in mind when considering a floor for your kitchen. Durability is definitely one of the most important aspects to a floor that is expected to have as much traffic as the kitchen. For the most part, you will be standing when in the kitchen so comfort is another important aspect to consider. Another important thing to consider is clean ability, since typically a lot of debris is spilled in the kitchen. Moisture resistance as well as stain resistance is vital to choosing the right floor for your lifestyle. Last but certainly not least is the style of the floor that appeals your eye. However you want to prioritize, there is a solution for you and your kitchen. Keep in mind that there is no perfect floor for a kitchen, so take note of all the considerations above and choose the best fit for you. Let's take a look at your options.


A great option for your kitchen floor is hardwood. Quality of finish as well as species of the wood should be very important aspects of your decision. Quality finish directly affects the day to day wear and tear. If you decide to choose an inferior finish it will result in traffic patterns and ultimately require you to get a refinish sooner rather than later. The harder the species of wood the less likely of dents or other structural damage their will be to your kitchen floor. Consider the beatings that a kitchen floor will take when deciding on the floor of your choice. Right now one of the more trendy choices is hand-scraped or distressed hardwoods. Not only do these hardwoods look great, but give a worn or beat up appearance so any damage done due to traffic will be less of an eye soar. One of the drawbacks of a hardwood floor is water, water and wood do not co-op well. If a spill is left for a period of time then most likely their will be damage, however if cleaned up in a timely manner hardwood will resist typical moisture. When it comes to cleaning, most hardwoods are easy to keep clean. Try to avoid floors with a large bevel to avoid more work for cleaning.

Top Three Hardwood Recommendations:

1) Indusparquet
2) Kahrs
3) Urban


Whether its sheet, plank, or vinyl tiles all of these are great choices for your kitchen. When it comes to moisture resistance, vinyl is your best option. Upgrading to a higher end vinyl is recommended because durability will be needed. Vinyl is a very comfortable choice for your kitchen. There are products with fiberglass backing which is an even better option for those of you with achy joints. A great alternative to tile or stone is Luxury Vinyl because it will not be as hard on your feet and will also have high durability ratings. These products simulate the look of real tile or stone without the disadvantages of hardness and clean ability. Many of the luxury vinyl tiles have the option of being installed without grout. Most people don't like the idea of cleaning grout so a luxury vinyl tile is a great option.

Top Three Vinyl Recommendations:

1) Armstrong Alterna
2) Congoleum Duraceramic
3) Armstrong Luxe Plank


Laminate floors are an excellent choice for your kitchen floor, but before you pick one there are a few things to look at. Durability of a laminate floor is now measured by an AC Rating. An AC Rating of 3 or higher is recommended when choosing a laminate floor. Anything below 3 will work just fine, but will not last as long and you will notice wear patterns sooner rather than later. Due to most laminates being installed by the floating method, the floor will be easier on your feet. Floating installation has more give which is ideal for the kitchen where you will be on your feet a lot. With the possibility of drips, spills, and floods in the kitchen reaction to moisture must be considered. The core of the laminate will determine how the floor reacts to moisture. Be sure to select a laminate with an HDF core. Laminates are an easy clean which makes it a great option for your kitchen. Similar to hardwood, you probably want to avoid a product with a large bevel.

Top Three Laminate Recommendations:

1) Quickstep Laminate
2) Armstrong Laminate
3) West Coast Laminate


Cork has become an increasingly popular choice because of a few factors. If you select a prefinished cork floor with a quality finish then you will get the durability aspect for your kitchen. Most cork floors are low maintenance when it comes to keeping the floor clean. Durability and low maintenance are vital to picking your floor, but the most intriguing aspect of a cork floor is comfort. With the kitchen being where you will spend a lot of time on your feet, cork flooring will provide comfort for those achy joints. Cork is considered to be the most comfortable hard surface floor on the market.

Cork Recommendations:

1) Wicanders

Now that you are aware of the options for a kitchen floor its time to choose a category that best suits you. Try to pick one type of floor then select a product using the tips that have been previously mentioned. Kitchens get a lot of traffic and abuse, so if there is a room that could use an upgrade in your home this is the one.

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Friday, March 2, 2012

10 Benefits of Cork Flooring

1. Natural Comfort - Without distorting the surface of the floor, cork can compress up to half its size. This causes a natural cushioning. Not only does this make this floor soft under foot, it's also impact resistant. This will be a safe floor for your children and goes a long way to supporting those achy joints.
2. Noise Control - The multi cellular surface of cork makes for a poor sound conductor. This surface is ideal for people that want to minimize sound in a room.
3. Insulation - The multi cellular surface of cork traps air pockets which makes it a natural insulator. This causes the room with this floor to be warm in cold weather along with cool in hot weather.
4. Moisture Resistance- Cork Oak has suberin which is produced by plants to prevent moisture from penetrating its tissues. This causes the product cork to be a natural moisture resister.
5. Unique Design- Cork is made as a conversation piece so no two tiles are the same. Each floor is unique with much character.
6. Eco-friendly- Cork is a completely renewable source and the tiles are made from whatever is left over from cork stopper processing. The bark of the tree Quercas Suber is peeled every 9 years and does not harm the tree at all. All that is leftover from the cork processing is then sliced and baked for durability.
7. Easy Installation- Cork can be installed easy with a cork lock system. One of the major benefits to this installation is that cork tiles can be easily cut to adjust to any wall or shape that may present itself. The fact that they are more compressible allows the floor to be more forgiving when it comes to installation.
8. Versatile Floor- Because of the way it's processed, cork flooring didn't have many natural tones. Even though the floors are still attractive, not having much variety limited the popularity of the product. Manufactures have now become more sophisticated in the process of making these floors, now dye is added to the floor to add multiple colors and designs. Cork flooring now has a wide range of looks for a customer to choose from.
9. Durability- Due to the compression of the product, durability is not an issue. The floor will naturally recover from heels or furniture damage.
10. Easy Repairs- With cork flooring's design minor scratches or damages are not noticeable. Minor divots can be filled with an epoxy and varnished to match the rest of the floor. For more serious damages, each tile can be pulled up and replaced. Although this task is not easy it is manageable.

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