Saturday, March 28, 2009

How To Select Hardwood Part 2

hardwood floor care

Width?
Yes, believe it or not, it actually matters.
When shopping for a hardwood floor you will see boards in various sizes.The narrower board widths are referred to as “strips” and the wider units as “planks”.
You should be aware that board width can visually impact a room.Narrow width boards will expand a room, while wider boards work well in a larger room or area.
Knowing this can give you an edge. Different hardwood floors have different edges. Hardwood floors come in either a beveled edges, or a square edge Today, most hardwood floor manufacturers are calling their beveled edge "eased edge" because the tapered edge is dramatically reduced from the old deeply grooved edges.
The beveled edges do serve a purpose. The manufacturer can produce beveled edge planks faster than square edge, which in turn lowers their production costs. Also, a beveled edge floor is more forgiving when installed over irregular subfloors and you don’t have the problem of overwood (uneven plank heights abutting each other).

Square Edge
plank wood flooring
The edges of all boards meet squarely creating a uniform, smooth surface that blends the floor together from board to board. The overall look of this floor gives a contemporary flair and formal feeling to the room.

Eased Edge
wood floor
Each board is just slightly beveled. Some manufacturers add an eased edge to both the length of the planks as well as the end joints. Eased edges are used to help hide minor irregularities, such as uneven plank heights. Eased edge is also called microbeveled edge.

Beveled Edge
hard wood floor

These products have a very distinctive groove in them. Beveled edge planks lend themselves to an informal and country decor. With the urethane finishes applied at the factory today, the beveled edges are sealed completely, making dirt and grit easy to be swept or vacuumed out of the grooves.

Hardness:
Below are listed the relative hardness for numerous wood species used in flooring. These ratings were done using the Janka Hardness Rating, which measure the force needed to embed a .444 inch steel ball to half its diameter in a piece of wood.The higher the number the harder the wood. Although this is one of the best methods to measure the ability of wood species to withstand indentations, it should be used as a general guide when comparing various species of wood flooring. The construction and finish also play an important role in the durability and ease of maintenance of any wood floor.

Wood Species /Hardness Rating Douglas
Fir /660
Southern Yellow Pine (short leaf) /690
Southern Yellow Pine (Long leaf) /870
Black Cherry /950
Teak /1000
Black Walnut /1010
Heart Pine /1225
Yellow Birch /1260
Red Oak (Northern) /1290
American Beech /1300
Ash /1320
White Oak /1360
Australian Cypress /1375
Hard Maple /1450
Wenge /1620
African Pedauk /1725
Hickory /1820
Pecan /1820
Purpleheart /1860
Jarrah /1910
Merbau /1925
Santos Mahogany /2200
Mesquite /2345
Brazilian Cherry /2350

How To Select Hardwood Part 1

hardwood styles
Why hardwood?
It’s not hard to answer. This flooring product offers many features and benefits to the home. And, perhaps, to your home.
The elegant look of a hardwood floor can add warmth and character to any room. In fact, the natural characteristics of wood add depth and a visual appearance that many other types of floors try to duplicate. Running the boards on the diagonal, or creating a border are just some of the design styles one can consider.

Today you can choose between a pre-finished hardwood floor and one that is unfinished. Pre-finished hardwood comes ready for installation in your home. The hardwood boards have already been sanded, stained and finished at the manufacturing plant. In many cases this can provide a harder, better-protected surface.

Pre-finished floors offer a wider variety of wood species and save hours of labor and cleanup. But unfinished wood floors allow you to have a custom job – you choose the wood species and it’s sanded and the stain is applied on site. With unfinished you also have the chance to level the surface of the entire floor after it has been installed.

Grain:
Hardwood styles are the result of the wood species available. Some of the more common species are red oak, white oak, maple, cherry, white ash, hickory or pecan.

Each species has its own unique graining and texture. The graining on the boards is determined by the way it has been cut.

There are two cutting processes. “Sliced Cut” shows a more uniform pattern, whereas “Rotary Cut” displays a larger and bolder graining pattern. graining pattern.

Colors:
Within each species of hardwood you will have a choice of color and finishes. Here’s where it pays to shop carefully.

When selecting a color, choose one that either coordinates or contrasts with your cabinetry and furniture.
Also keep in mind that darker woods tend to be more formal while natural colors are more casual.

Now don't forget, you're not finished yet. You should be aware that there are different types of finishes depending on whether your hardwood floor is pre-finished or job site finished.

In general, lower gloss levels are better suited for active rooms. This is because lower gloss or matte finishes help minimize the appearance of dirt and scratches. Consider the elegant look of the high gloss finish for a more formal decor.

Upkeep:
The days of having to wax and scrub your hardwood floors are pretty much gone forever. Manufacturers of pre-finished wood floors have developed sophisticated techniques to quickly apply hard, durable, urethane-based finishes right at the factory.

By using ultra violet lights, the pre-finished wood planks can have several coats of urethane applied within a matter of a few minutes. This is helping make hardwood floors both more affordable, and much easier to maintain.
Recently, the hardwood flooring manufacturers have began to add small chips aluminum directly to the floor’s finish which dramatically increases the life of the urethane finish.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

How To Select An Area Rug


What is a good rug?
There are no bad rugs. Rugs have no moving parts. Most of them last longer than the people who buy them.The parts that might require repair, after 10 years in normal use, are the fringe or the edges.What you are paying for is a particular "look". A certain type might only be available in a more expensive hand knotted construction. However you might get that expensive "look" in a somewhat less expensive hand tufted construction or even a good machine made rug. Buy the rug that you want to look at for a long time. A cheap rug will probably last at least 10 years or more in residential use.

Color is number 1:
This really is a matter of personal taste.Pick your rug first when you are starting fresh. It is easier to find fabrics, wallpapers, and paint that will go with your rug than finding a carpet that will go with your fabrics, wall coverings and finishes. Professional designers usually start with the rug.One way to select your carpet for a furnished room is to find a color combination that will tie all of the colors together. Fabrics, wallpapers, draperies, wall color, and floor color and type are important considerations.Another way is to pick one major existing contrasting color that will set off the others. Another possibility is to select the colors of a favorite flower, picture, or fabric? Look through magazines that have rooms pictured and you will get some ideas of what can be done. It is relatively easy to copy a color combination.Visiting a fabric store and finding a fabric that appeals to you is another way, then buy a piece of the fabric that makes you feel good and build your color scheme around it.


Design is number 2:
All rugs can be divided into three major designs: all over patterns without a central medallion, patterns with central medallions, and asymmetrical patterns. Complicated patterns or less busy designs. Border types and solid colored carved ones.Will it have flowers? Will it be traditional, contemporary, Country French, abstract, southwestern, or tribal? Pretty much anything you can imagine. You should also be aware that an animal print rug, cowhide rug, leather rug, sheepskin rug, and wool rugs will cost you more on average then a contemporary rug. Same goes for round rugs. Outdoor rugs tend to cost less right along side plain color rugs. Such as white area rug, black area rug , red area rug, and so on.


Size is number 3:
The space that you want covered is more important than the size of the room. Measure the space with a tape measure. Place four pieces of paper where the corners will be and you get a visual impression of the area. Should the furniture be on the entire rug or all off the rug? This is a matter of opinion. There is no right or wrong answer. Sometimes the furniture is partly on and partly off. You may have to compromise because the rug you select may be available in a limited number of sizes and shapes.The correct size for a dining room table and chairs is found by getting up from the chairs on both ends and sides of the table leaving the chairs out. Then measuring a few inches past the spot where the back legs of the chairs are. The rug should be large enough so that the chairs back legs stay on the rug. As I said earlier, a round area rug and a square area rug will cost you more than a traditional rectangle area rug. So always consider that.
-taken from 1001arearugs
I sell the area rug in the picture, by the way. If you want that one or hundreds of other ones just go to http://www.stylishrugs.com/

Saturday, March 14, 2009

How To Select Carpets Part 2


How to select colors


For: Carpet With Patterns, Print Carpet, Carpet Tiles, Berber Carpets, Plush Carpet, Kids Carpets, Bedroom Carpets, Dense Carpets, Designer Carpets, Dining Room Carpet, Heavy Traffic Carpet, Luxury Carpet, Modern Carpets.

Field Colors: Field colors refer to the dominating color of the color scheme. Once this is established, work with three suggested types of color schemes:

A. Monochromatic- A color scheme which uses one color in various shades- the same color, but different hues of it, such as light blue, medium blue, and dark blue.

B. Complimentary- A colors scheme which uses colors opposite of each other on the color wheel, such as mauve and teal. Generally speaking, one color will be the main field with a complimentary color used as an accent.

C. Analogous- A color scheme which uses colors adjacent to each other on the color wheel, such yellow and green or blue and purple.

Accent Colors: Accent colors refers to those in furnitures, draperies, upholstery and accessories.

Neutral Colors: Neutral colors coordinate with almost any color. They are: beige, light shades of blue, mauve or gray.

Pastel Colors: Pastel colors are soft blush colorations of peach, coral, seafoam green, soft blues or dusty mauve. These colors provide good decorating flexibility and can be as adaptable as any neutral color.

Ice Cream Colors: Ice cream colors are the bright colors of sherbet, raspberry, watermelon, peach, cherry, etc. Are usually used in bedrooms or in very upscale contemporary decor.

Pottery Colors: Pottery colors are of the rust, yellow and orange family. it is a newcomer as a direct result of the Southwestern influence on the industry.

Jewel Tones: Jewel tones are a deep rich colorations of emerald green and ruby red, pearlwhite, turquoise, etc. Used in areas where a certain degree of sophistication and elegance is needed.

Color Tips:
Lighter colors give the impression of bigger sized rooms.
Warm feeling colors are: red, yellow and orange.
Calm feeling colors are: light green, blue and purple.

How To Select Carpets Part 1




Before selecting carpets decide whether the architecture or furnishings will be emphasized.




Assuming the architecture will be the focus point, we will select carpet early on and work it into the plan. You might choose one with unusual characteristics, then find fabrics and leathers to complete it. But, if you have an art collection with great furnishings, you will buy a carpet that is subordinate.




Types of Furniture: 




Traditional:  Traditional decor is very formal and consists of either antiques or replicas which represent the French and English influence of the 18th century. A lot of deep, light wood tones were used during that time period. Overall it is a very stately, conservative look. Generally speaking, a carpet which is formal and elegant, with a slight lustrous elements , may be what is needed to create a rich look.




County: Country decor can be either formal or informal. Overall, the furniture will be plain and simple in design. Light to medium shades of pines and oaks are used in this style. Although this style can be more formal, it is primarily on the causal side, so a carpet in a more subtle color and texture will work best. It would be best to implement a berber carpet with or without patterns.




Contemporary: This is more of a high fashion look with lots of glass, chrome, laminates, leathers, and bright neon colors- of which are used as accents throughout. The only carpets which will accentuate  this style are those with dense, rich high luster finishes in an upscale color such as mauve, teal, or coral, amongst others. The look here is sophistication. Carpet with patterns and texture patterns and dense low pile carpet with patterns are very popular now.


Consider This


One of the main things you always have to consider is, how much traffic will be wearing down that carpet. Do you want a high traffic carpet for the kids or would you want a designer luxury carpet?

Some carpets sustain much traffic without showing marks of "wear and tear". These effects mostly depend on the brand.



Another thing you might want to consider is how easy it will be to remove stains should the carpet be stained. It is of much importance to take pets and kids into consideration when purchasing ones carpet. In the case in which neither of these are factors, a carpet with less stain fighting action may be in the cards for you! 


There are many characteristics of carpets to choose from: Carpet With Patterns, Print Carpet, Soft Carpet, Berber Carpets, Plush Carpet, Dense Carpet, Heavy Traffic Carpet, etc. The most popular brands and also the most reliable are Shaw, Mohawk, Masland, Royalty, Couristan, Stanton, Fabrica, Fibre Works and lastly, Fabrica.

Introduction

First of all, I want to thank you for coming to my blog. My purpose here is to give you fundamental knowledge on how to choose flooring. Wether it is carpet, laminate, commercial carpet, wood flooring, synthetic grass (fake grass) or area rugs, I want you to be informed. If you happen to be in the Miami area, come see my wide selection of flooring choices at great prices. I've been in South Florida selling flooring since 1985. So I know a thing or two. My store is located on 364 NE 167th St Miami, Fl 33162.