Category: Flooring

You Don’t Have To Be An Expert To Choose Your Hardwood Flooring

You Don’t Have To Be An Expert To Choose Your Hardwood Flooring

Storing Your Hardwood Flooring

For the do-it-yourself crowd, there’s a difficult balance between what you want to do, getting the materials to do it, and finding time to do the work. When you buy hardwood flooring to install later, you can store the materials indefinitely. However, without a bit of preparation you could ruin the wood before it ever leaves the box.

BUT DON’T I NEED TO ACCLIMATIZE THE WOOD?

In the past, acclimatizing your wood by leaving it for days or even weeks in its new environment was standard practice; with earlier manufacturing processes, this actually helped the wood dry out. Modern hardwood flooring is often kiln dried, however; this means that when it’s boxed it’s ready to install, and should be installed as soon as possible. Ask about the specific recommendations for your hardwood product because details can change depending on the process and type of wood. Generally speaking, if you need to store your hardwood flooring for a period of time the wood should be exposed to as little change as possible from the warehouse.

HARDWOOD FLOORING STORAGE: WHAT COULD GO WRONG

The National Wood Flooring Association recommends keeping the humidity in your home between 30 and 50 percent, and the temperature between 15C and 24C (60F and 75F). These same guidelines apply to the location where you will be storing your hardwood. Most problems that you’ll encounter with hardwood flooring are related to water. Keeping your your wood away from leaks or potential flooding is pretty straightforward, but keeping it away from humidity requires a bit more planning. Everything from poor ventilation (i.e. in a crawl space) to washing and cleaning activities can add humidity to the air or even prevent moisture from evaporating.

Going back to the old argument for acclimatizing, working with wood that’s had time to absorb extra moisture can cause a variety of problems:

The planks could become warped. Each individual piece will react to moisture independently, which could cause difficulty when it’s time to install; the wood could, for example, expand on one end but remain the same on the other.

Every piece could expand slightly. Once installed, when the seasons change and the humidity drops, each plank will shrink back; this is what causes gapping.

Other damage could occur. Staining, splitting and cracks can derail your re flooring project before you even start

ONLY UNLOAD WHEN CONDITIONS ARE GOOD

When the weather is wet due to rain or snow, or if it’s particularly humid, avoid loading or unloading hardwood flooring. As noted above, any moisture can damage wood in different ways like changing its shape or developing cracks as it dries. However, wood that actually gets wet must be allowed to thoroughly dry out or it could also develop mold or mildew. If you manage to avoid damaging the wood outright, drying wet hardwood is a slow process that can take weeks.

 

Everything You Need to Know About Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are one of the most popular flooring choices because of their durability and timelessness. Not only do they look great, but who doesn’t love sliding across a polished hardwood floor in their socks from time to time? Hardwood floors can make a house feel like home.

Thinking about installing hardwood floors in your own home? You’ve come to the right place. Our guide to hardwood flooring will tell you everything you need to know about hardwood floors before you commit to a purchase. Also, we have licensed, bonded, and insured contractors to help you with your decision at any time.

Types of Boards

There are two main types of hardwood used to make hardwood floorboards: solid and engineered. Both types are made from 100% wood, but each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Solid Hardwood

As you might have guessed, solid hardwood floors are made of solid wood. One board of solid hardwood is made from a single piece of wood. A solid hardwood board is typically about ¾ of an inch thick, but it can be sanded and refinished as often as needed. A solid hardwood floor is permanently affixed to a subfloor made of plywood or a similar material.

Engineered Hardwood

One board of engineered hardwood is made from several pieces of wood, typically three to five, which are bonded together into layers. The top layer of the engineered hardwood is usually hardwood with cheaper layers of plywood or other types of wood underneath. Engineered hardwood is cheaper and easier to install than solid hardwood.

 

Things You Can Do to Prevent Damaging Your Hardwood Floors

Chances are you have hardwood floors somewhere in your home. While they may seem durable and long-lasting, they will last better with proper care. Aside from sweeping, cleaning, and mopping, there are more ways you can protect those floors.

Have a welcome mat

With the front door being the heaviest traffic area, it is more prone to damage from the outdoors and weather conditions. Protect your flooring with rugs in areas around the house that receive the most foot traffic. Set up an entry mat or rug right at your entrance door to protect your hardwood floors from any dust, dirt, or grime.

Remove shoes when inside

The easiest way to take care of your hardwood floors is to remove your shoes at the entrance door. By not wearing shoes in the house you eliminate all the tracked-in dirt that can damage the wood floor’s finishing.

Clean messes right away

Spills happen, and when they do it’s important to clean them right away. Leaving liquids of any kind on a hardwood floor can cause the finish to dull over time, and leave a residue on the surface. For an effective clean, use a microfiber cloth to gently wipe the surface dry.

Polish the flooring

It’s important to give your hardwood floors some love and attention. Wipe down your floors when they start to look a little dull and it will go a long way. Pay close attention to the flooring and determine if the hardwood is covered in polyurethane or wax. For wax surfaces, use a cleaner that’s specified for wax-coated floors. For polyurethane flooring, try using good old fashioned vinegar and water to clean.

 

How to Care for Hardwood Floors

Taking proper care of hardwood floors is essential if you want them to last a long time. Routine cleaning is the key to protecting and maintaining your floor’s appearance. Particular cleaning protocols need to be followed to prevent damage to the floor’s surface. Aside from regular cleaning, damage can be minimized by observing a few maintenance and prevention measures. The longevity and durability of your hardwood floors can be preserved with routine cleaning and proper maintenance.

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Dust every day with a microfiber mop or Swiffer. Microfiber cloths trap dirt, particles, pet hair and other household allergens with static electricity. Microfiber mop pads are more effective than sweeping with a broom. They’re also safer, since some broom bristles can scratch the floor’s surface.

Vacuum every week with a soft-bristled floor-brush attachment. Dust the floor with the microfiber mop before you begin. If you leave a lot of debris on the floor when you vacuum, this can scratch the floor’s surface. After using the microfiber pad, carefully vacuum the floor using a floor-brush attachment.

Damp-mop once per month with a hardwood floor cleaner. Use a damp flat mop with a microfiber head. Do not dampen it with water. Instead, mist the mop head lightly with a cleaner made specifically for hardwood. Use the minimum amount of cleaner required to get the floor clean.

Follow a regular cleaning routine to maintain your hardwood floors. Regular cleaning is the most effective thing you can do to keep your hardwood floors looking great and damage-free. Create a cleaning routine and stick to it. For best results, dust every day with a micro-fiber cloth. Vacuum biweekly with a soft-bristled floor-brush attachment. Damp-mop once per month with a hardwood floor cleaner

 

HELPFUL TIPS TO PROTECT YOUR HARDWOOD FLOORS THIS WINTER

There is no doubt about it, this winter has been one of the colder ones in recent memory, and while there are no doubt many things that need to be done around your home in order to keep your house in good shape this winter, it is important that you don’t forget about your floors when doing so. If you have hardwood floors in your home, you might be surprised to find out just how rough the winter months can be on them, and how easy it is for them to sustain damage in that time. Hardwood flooring is a major investment, and with the right care, it can be one that you and your family can continue to enjoy for many long years to come. In an effort to make sure that is the case, our team of professionals have taken the time to put together this short list going over a few helpful tips that might help you better care for your hardwood flooring this winter and keep it well protected going into the spring.

Use Protective Rugs & Covers

As anyone who has lived in the area for any length of time can tell you, during the winter months, the entryways of your home are going to get dirty. Between snow, dirt, and salt, there is going to be a wealth of that nasty slush that is going to be tracked into your home during the winter months as everyone comes and goes on a daily basis, and it can really take a toll on your hardwood floors over time if you aren’t careful. Salt in particular can leave behind a white residue that is highly abrasive and can scratch up your floors very badly. Using rugs and covers around these areas of your home will help to reduce how much of this is tracked in throughout your home, helping to spare your hardwood floors from the worst of it, as well as reducing the chances of slipping and falling.

Sweep & Clean Your Floors Regularly

As we stated above, there is no shortage of filth and debris that is going to be getting tracked into your home during the winter months, and one of the best defenses against these is just to make sure you are regularly sweeping and cleaning your floors to remove it. Puddles of water from melting snow and ice can be particularly destructive to your hardwood floors, and as such, it is important to make sure you clean them up immediately. After absorbing the moisture with a towel or cloth, it is a good idea to give your floors a good mopping to remove any abrasive debris that might still be in place before drying the floors once more. Be careful when mopping these areas, however, as if you have debris that gets mixed into the water, you could actually wind up causing damage.

Keep Your Home At The Right Temperature & Level Of Humidity

Lower temperatures and drier air can both be rough on your hardwood flooring. The lower temperatures of winter, combined with the drier air can actually cause your floorboards to shrink or otherwise warp out of shape. This makes it extremely important to ensure you are maintaining the right temperature in your home, but also the right level of humidity. As your boards shrink and dry out, it is very easy for them to warp out of shape, crack, or split, causing irreversible damage to the wood itself. Making sure that you are running your homes’ heating system will help to prevent much of this shrinking, and by running a humidifier in your home, you can ensure that your home has the right level of moisture in the air to keep your hardwood floors from drying out and becoming damaged.

Must Choose The Best Carpet Flooring For Your Livingroom

Must Choose The Best Carpet Flooring For Your Livingroom

tips for choosing carpet

A good-quality carpet takes a floor from workable to homely. It instantly transforms a space, softening the look of a room and absorbing noise to create a cosy environment. But choosing the best carpet for your home can be somewhat of a minefield, from pile types to colours – the options are seemingly endless.

CONSIDER THE WAY YOU LIVE

If you have a young family and pets then look for a hard-wearing carpet in a forgiving colour, such as a textured loop pile or a quality hard-twist cut. If you’re a couple looking for a touch of luxury, you might opt for a plush pile in a flat colour. If you’re an entertainer, a combination cut and loop pile in mid-to-dark tones or a stippled cut pile would suit

THINK ABOUT PLUSH PILES

Cut piles include plush piles, which are super soft and look like velvet. If you want that squishy, luxurious feeling then dense, plush-pile carpets are lovely, but bear in mind they show footprints.

TAKE A LOOK AT LOOP PILES

Loop piles are exactly that; the yarn is formed into loops. There are lots of variations: some have a formal, linear look, some have a ribbed pattern, giving them a sisal look. Random loop piles give the carpet a textured, casual look.

MIX IT UP

Combination cut and loop pile carpets, where the contrasting textures create a light and dark pattern are less likely to show footprints and have a lovely texture underfoot

 

Carpet Selection: Things You Must Know

Carpet dealers usually carry samples of many carpet lines from multiple mills and manufacturers in their showrooms. You’ll see a range of quality when you begin your carpet search. Your best bet is to educate yourself and research your options before you head to the store. Then, you’re sure to get a quality carpet that provides comfort, durability and beauty far into the future

What You Should Know:

By asking these questions, the dealer is trying to gauge which grade and style of carpet would work best for your home

Try to give a detailed picture of your expectations for the carpet. Is it important that the carpet stand up to pets, running children and bustling activity? Or are you mainly concerned about how it will look and feel in a formal living room that doesn’t get a lot of use?

How much use will the room get? (This is a consideration because a heavily used room may not be the best place to install white or very light-colored carpet.)

Are kids going to be playing down on the floor? Or is it a formal room that doesn’t get much use? (Again, lighter colors my create more maintenance but another factor the dealer is trying to consider is whether you should choose carpet made with BCF fiber so that children playing on the floor will not find themselves covered in loose fibers shed from staple products.)

 

Unbiased Carpet Buying Guide

A little background: It began as a project to help my father’s carpet cleaning customers when it came time for them to buy new carpet. He wanted a website to recommend to his customers when they were shopping for carpet, but all the sites we found either were incomplete or biased (trying to sell you a certain carpet, pad, or stain treatment).

So we decided to create our own site helping people buy carpet, and here it is. It’s been edited over the years to respond to our readers feedback, include new carpet technology, and just be more helpful.

Of course, this is all for free.  The site is supported by advertisements, and it can be assumed where there is a link to a product or service, I make a small commission. However, I only recommend products and services I believe in and apreciate your support. If you’d like to help out in any other way, I’m trying to get Pinterest off the ground, and more followers = more motivation.

Get estimated initial projects costs. You can start planning financing and budgeting. This step comes first because you need to know what you’re getting into financially. If you don’t, it will be difficult to determine what type of carpet you’ll need, when to buy, etc.

Plan the perfect carpet and pad for your home. This is the “meat and potatoes” of carpet shopping. You’ll learn what makes durable carpet and padding, and based on your home’s needs, what you’d be over-paying for. You’ll know what matters in carpet better than 90% of salesmen—and promise no sales pitch.

 

Wall-to-Wall Carpet Buying Guide

Buying the right type of carpet for a room in your home involves more than finding a style in the color you like. You first will need to consider your lifestyle—what you typically do in that room—location, material, construction, and upkeep. Carpet manufacturers have responded to homeowners’ desire for great looks, value, and easy maintenance with many innovations and options in recent years.

Selection

When shopping, think function first. Ask yourself a few questions when choosing your carpeting type

Answers to these questions will help you begin to determine the best fiber for your carpet as well as texture, construction, and even color.

Fiber Facts

The type of fiber used determines the basic performance and appearance of the carpet. The biggest trend today is: soft. Homeowners seek comfort, and carpet offers a cushion underfoot. It also suppresses noise. The fiber content is usually listed on a specification sheet on the back of the sample. While names may differ among manufacturers, products still fall within one of five basic categories.

Wool

Wool, the granddaddy of all soft floorcoverings, retains its legacy of luxury. Natural and made from woven construction, it offers a greater range of designs, detail, and color than a traditional tufted carpet. Expect good stain resistance as long as you treat it as soon as something is dropped on it. It also has inherent flame retardant characteristics

 

Carpet Buying Guide

How to Choose the Best Type of Carpet for Your Home

Carpets are part of what makes a home truly feel like a home. The flooring of a house says a lot about it. The right balance seems to give each space that cozy, comfortable feeling. When you are building or remodeling your home, your flooring choices can easily become overwhelming. You have to consider things like allergies, pets, your family and which rooms get the most traffic. As you browse, how do you know which material or style of carpet is right? This guide covers several factors you should consider to help you make the best choice

What Are Piles?

Piles describe how manufacturers use the fibers to make the carpet. The yarn is usually looped or cut to a certain length and twisted to stay in place. There are several pile styles with different textures. Some will hide dirt more easily, while others track and wear down quickly. When you choose one for your home, consider the amount of traffic and how you plan to use the room.

Cut Pile

A cut pile carpet has straight strands that are cut and twisted. It tends to be fairly soft, which means you can see marks such as footprints and vacuum streaks.

Low Pile Carpet

The height affects the wear, appearance and feel of the material. A short pile carpet has yarn cut to 0.25” or less.

Plush Carpet

The plush style is trimmed off so that yarn ends poke up. Saxony plush, one of the most popular varieties, has short tufts that are densely packed to look like a thick carpet. It doesn’t tend to wear as well as loops.

Find The Way To Make Tile Flooring

Find The Way To Make Tile Flooring

How Long Does It Take To Install Tile Floors?

How long it takes to install a tile floor depends on several things, including the skill level of the worker, the material and the size of the room. According to experts, it takes a beginner about 16 hours to lay ceramic or stone tiles in an average room. A person with intermediate skills takes about 12 hours and experts, such as our Lewisville professionals at Pro Flooring, take about 10. This doesn’t even add in the hours it takes to prepare a subfloor, which takes a pro about 4 hours.

The right way to buy tiles is to measure the area of the floor, and add about 10 percent to the number to allow for the inevitable broken tiles. Also, we tell our customers to make sure that all of the tiles have the same dye lot number, if that’s appropriate.

 

Subfloor vs. Underlayment

It is important to distinguish the components of a flooring system in order to understand the best installation practices for ceramic tile. Except for slab floors, any flooring system consists of three primary components: the joists or structural support component; the subfloor, which is usually a layer of OSB (oriented strand board) or plywood; and the underlayment, a final layer that lies just beneath the surface flooring and which is selected to match the needs of the flooring material. Not every floor has all three components. In a home with a concrete slab foundation, or in basements, ceramic tile is often installed directly over the concrete slab.

In any flooring installation, but for ceramic tile in particular, the success of the flooring depends largely on the quality of the underlying support system. There are six subfloor/underlayment structures that are widely accepted for ceramic tile floors.

 

Tiling Challenges

  • Dry thinset mortar is cheap, but it is also difficult to mix. The solution is to buy pre-mixed mortar. While significantly more expensive, pre-mixed thinset saves you from the aggravation of getting water-to-thinset measurements correct. Plus, mixing up dry thinset is physically difficult.
  • Your tile work is only as good as your substrate or subfloor. If you do not have a good subfloor, your tile will not lie flat. Lippage will occur—adjoining tile edges that are not the same height. Even worse, a base floor that is not solid enough will eventually cause the tile to crack.
  • Perimeter tiles will need to be cut. You can use either a wet tile saw or what is often colloquially called a snap tile cutter for this. More likely, you will want to use both types of tile-cutting tools. If you happen to have any bad cuts, you can position them so that the ragged cut falls under a baseboard or under a cabinet toe kick overhang.
  • Even tiles within the perimeter can be difficult. They do not automatically fall into straight lines: you need to impose this.
  • Laying tiles on a diagonal. Diagonal tile cutting can be a frustrating experience for the novice tiler.
  • Spacing tiles correctly is hard. Be sure to use plastic tile spacers to impose the correct distance. While spacers are a pain to remove, they ensure perfect spacing of tile seams.
  • Constantly being on your knees on a hard surface can affect the quality of your work. For this reason alone it is worth purchasing an inexpensive pair of tiler’s knee pads.

 

How to prepare a plywood subfloor

Measure the space and cut cement backer board to fit. Adhere the backer board to the plywood with thinset adhesive, leaving a 1/8” gap between the sheets, and a 1/4” gap around the edges of the room. Make sure the seams of the backer board don’t align with the seams of the wood subfloor.

Next, fasten the backer board to the floor with screws spaced six to eight inches apart. Set the screw heads beneath the surface of the board to ensure that it’s completely level.

Use glass fiber tape specifically made for backer board to reinforce the joints. If the tape is non-adhesive, fill the gaps between the boards with mortar before applying the tape. Finally, cover the tape with a thin layer of mortar and allow it to dry completely before proceeding.

 

Why are tiles soaked in water before use?

Soaking the tiles isn’t always what you want to do. If you are using an epoxy or some other kind of mastic adhesive, soaking the tile will just weaken the adherence. However, if you are using Portland cement based mud-set or thin-set mortar, and your tile is stone or unglazed ceramic, then by soaking the tile, you ensure that it doesn’t weaken the join between itself and the cement by pulling water from the cement.

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