13 Sep

How to find the perfect flooring material for your home

Beautiful Newly Installed Brown Laminate Flooring and Baseboards in Home.

Beautiful Newly Installed Brown Laminate Flooring and Baseboards in Home.

Just a few decades ago, the only flooring options available to homeowners were wood, tile, and dirtFortunately, there are hundreds of flooring options available today.  A homeowner can pick from choices that include laminate, bamboo, tile, and so much moreThat means that it can be easy to get overwhelmed by all the choices.  Fortunately, there are ways to narrow it down quickly

 

Durability

Consider your lifestyle and whether you need floors that can hold up to a lot of traffic. Generally, tile, hardwood, and laminate flooring are the best options for areas that will have a lot of spills and damage.  Tile and laminate flooring are easy to clean and resist absorbing liquids, making them ideal for homes with small children.  Carpet and untreated hardwood, however, are more prone to absorbing spills and showing stains.  Save these materials for rooms where you won’t get a lot of visitors.

 

Installation

Decide if you’re going to install the flooring yourself or if you’ll hire a professional.  If you’re thinking of trying it on your own, look for materials that are easy to install, such as laminate flooring or self-stick carpet squares that can be installed on top of existing flooring.  

 

 If you’re going to hire help, consider your budget.  Materials that take longer to install tend to cost more than those that can be installed quickly.  For example, carpet installation generally involves just measuring, cutting, and tacking. This can make it fairly cheap to install.  Hardwood and bamboo installation is trickier and costlier because it has to be handled piece by piece.  Custom tile floors are some of the most expensive floors.  Their installation can take weeks of a professional tile-layer’s time.

 

Budget

Of course, just about everyone has to consider their budget for a home remodeling project.  There are some general trends when it comes to pricing, such as as carpet and laminate being cheaper than tile and hardwood, but it’s important to realize that there are a lot of good deals out there if you’re willing to look.  If you have a small area, you might find excellent prices on a carpet remnant or a few boxes of tile left over from a large job. If you have a large job, it may be possible to get a discount on the installation cost. Talk to your flooring specialist and find out what he or she can offer you.

13 Sep

Wood vs. Laminate

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Wood Flooring

When trying to create a beautiful, natural feel for a residential or commercial space, it’s hard to go wrong with a wooden floor. However, there are times when a look-alike laminate floor is the better choice. To help with a decision let’s examine the major differences between wood and laminate. 

The difference between wood and laminate

As one can imagine, wooden floors are made entirely out of real wood.  Typically, one will find “solid” wood floors and “engineered” wood floors. Don’t let the latter fool, you. Engineered wood is still real wood, it’s just designed in a different manner. An engineered floor is cross-layered so that each layer is angled to the previous one. This makes the whole board stronger and more stable. 

Laminate floors are quite different. Instead  of using real wood, the face of a laminate floor is a printed copy of wood on top of a strong resin. The quality and realism of the laminate entirely depend on the print. Under the print, there is a MDF or HDF layer that supports the face followed by the resin to keep it all together.

Is wood or laminate better?

There really is no right or wrong answer to this question. It all depends on your preference and the type of space you have. Wood is quite popular as it has that natural and authentic look. Each plank is different, thus giving your room a unique feel. Furthermore, there are many options to choose from and it’s not hard to find a wood floor to match your decor. The main downside here is that real wood damages easily. Over time, UV light will fade the floor and various scratches will accumulate on the surface from pets, furniture and anything else you can think of.

In the last few years, the appearance and quality of laminate flooring have improved greatly. It’s almost hard to tell the difference between laminate and a real floor these  days. In the past, laminate flooring was considering the cheap option for those that couldn’t afford real wood. However, with its rise in quality, this is no longer the case.

Laminate floors are durable and can stand the abuse that comes with everyday home life. Pets, children, furniture, and light are not an issue. However, it can still suffer water damage like real wood can. For those looking for a low maintenance and tough option for high traffic households and work environments, a laminate is a great choice.

Repairing hardwood and laminate

Hardwood floors are easily damaged but relatively easy to repair as well. Just a simple sand and refinish will have your hardwood floor looking great for many years to come.

Laminate, on the other hand, doesn’t repair easily. If you buy laminate flooring that comes in individual pieces and snaps together, you might be able to fix individual boards. Although, sunlight and age can affect how the new piece would match.

13 Sep

Carpet Installation, The Basics

Carpet InstallationWhen it comes to flooring for the home or office there are literally hundreds of options to choose from. That being said, knowing a bit about some of the most common options may help you decide which is right for you and your individual needs. Carpet is among the most popular flooring options and it is easier to understand than you might imagine.

All installations start with your selection of what you want. This is going to be the first step even before the consultation to see how much it is going to cost or how much carpet you are going to need. There are several different aspects of carpet flooring that make a difference when you select it. The first is the overall height or pile of the carpet. This means how long the fibers are and how plush the carpet feels. Most residential carpeting is going to be medium pile.

The second aspect is of course going to be the overall design and type. Berber is a short, tightly woven carpet that is great for homes with small children. You can also get solid colored carpets, patterned, or those that have interesting features like mixed pile. The last factor when it comes to carpet that you may want to think about is what the carpet is made of and if it is stain resistant. Polyester carpet is going to be more stain resistant than natural fiber and you can also have a coating applied that helps to prevent stains.

The second step of installation is the consultation. This is going to look at how much carpet you need, how difficult the installation is going to be, and how much padding, tack strip, and other materials are going to be needed. Your consultant will talk with you about what is needed to get your installation off to a great start. They will tell you what you need to do and how to schedule your installation.

The last step is the installation itself. Your installer will remove old carpeting if necessary and reinforce the floor if needed. A sealant will be applied if it is not already present on the sub floor then padding will be placed. After padding is added tack strip is often added to the perimeter of the room to give the carpet something to be tacked or nailed to. The installer will then place the carpet making sure to pull it tight and affix it properly.

A good installation will take several hours and the carpet should be taught and should fit the room snugly. Carpet is a wonderful option for any room of your home and can add warmth and comfort to a space. Carpet comes in a wide range of colors, styles, piles, and materials so that you can truly customize your carpet according to your room and what you want. Carpet has come a long way and as such there are now more options than ever before to make carpet your flooring option of choice.

13 Sep

Tile Flooring

Tile flooring isn’t just for institutions anymore. Residential floor tiles are now being produced in a wide array of colors, sizes, and textures to provide a durable option to laminate and stone in areas where moisture can be a challenge. You might be surprised at what can be found to work with your flooring project.

Traditional

For basements, work areas and small businesses, the traditional 12″ x 12″ single color tile provides a solid surface that stands up to years of sunlight, standing water and extensive foot traffic while maintaining much of its original finish and sheen.  Easy to care for, it is an economical option that offers more longevity than a cheaper vinyl application. While beige, black and white remain popular, tiles can be found in any shade and custom ordered to fit your decor.

Patterns

For smaller rooms or for  a dramatic courtyard, mosaics and patterned tiles can add a real visual feature to an area, while still providing a long-lasting floor. Your imagination is about the only limit when seeking patterns.  Work with a design specialist to ensure the tile you order will work seamlessly with overall appearance of the area for the best effect.

Wood Grain

If a country kitchen appearance has always been in your dreams, but you don’t want a wood floor in the kitchen, there are ceramic tile options.  The tile looks like wood, yet has all the durable qualities and installation procedures of ceramic tile.  It’s a beautiful way to add depth to the appearance of the most important room in the house without worrying about staining or damage due to grease, spatters and spills.

Outdoor Patios and Pool Surrounds

When adding a outdoor kitchen or entertainment area just off your kitchen, consider using exterior tiling to carry the look and feel of your interior decor into the backyard.  Pool areas can benefit from textured finishes to reduce slippery surfaces while adding attractive finish to one of your most valuable home investments. Play with a wide variety of colors to create a playful pattern that works with outdoor furniture and awnings. There is simply no limit to what you can do with tiles.

Subway Tile

Now appearing in many restrooms and kitchens across America, the subway tile is offered to continue the bright, clean look of flooring tile up the walls for seamless appearance.  Order from the same dealer as your flooring to ensure a match for finish and color.

Professional Installation

The key to having a tile floor that lasts for decades is a solid installation. Experienced and trained tilers will ensure a seamless installation that won’t crack under daily usage as long as the corrent routine maintenance is conducted. While homeowners can learn to install tile, it takes practice to ensure there will be no cracks and heaves as time goes by.