Saturday, June 27, 2009

HOST cleaning

The host is absolutely the best way to clean high end carpet.

Here I am going to compare the host with steam cleaning.

HOST Ease of Use:
  • The HOST Dry-Clean Machine simply plugs in and is ready for use.
  • Apply HOST SPONGES, brush in, let dry and vacuum up.

Steam Cleaning Ease of Use:

  • Large machine with multiple attachments.
  • Requires filling and emptying tanks.
  • Chemical mixing required.
  • Improper use could result in streaking and over-wetting of carpets.

HOST effectiveness:

  • Deep cleans and lifts matted pile in one easy step.
  • Spots won't wick back.
  • No sticky residue to cause resoiling.
  • Immediate visual results confirm carpet cleanliness.
  • If needed, multiple passes over heavily-soiled carpet can be made.

Steam Cleaning Effectiveness:

  • Detergent residue and moisture may cause carpets to resoil quickly.
  • Spots may wick back when carpet is dry (and after extraction machine has been returned).
  • Repeated cleaning or multiple passes on any carpet may result in damage from over-wetting.

HOST Drying Time:

  • Ready to vacuum up in less than an hour.
  • No need for furniture protectors.
  • Walk on your carpet during and immediately after cleaning.

Steam Cleaning Drying Time:

  • Extraction method may introduce potentially damaging and unwanted humidity into home.
  • Carpets may take 8-36 hours to dry, depending on indoor and outdoor humidity levels.
  • Rooms virtually unusable until dry.
  • Furniture protectors may be required until carpet is dry.
  • May require fan to speed drying.

HOST safety:

  • Shown to reduce allergens.
  • Never any damage from shrinkage, over-wetting, or mold or mildew.
  • Recommended for all types of carpeting including oriental rugs, wool, sisal, jute and other natural fibers.

Steam Cleaning:

  • Must avoid over-wetting, which may cause mold and mildew, or shrinkage.
  • Hot-water extraction machines and cleaning products are not
  • recommended for use on natural fiber oriental rugs (silk or wool), hand-loomed wool rugs, sisal or jute carpets.

Carpet Cleaning

This is a little guide on how to keep your carpet in top shape.

First off, think walk off.
Place walk-off mats wherever there are entrances to your home from high-soil areas like backyards, garages and so on. A few dollars invested in these mats can prevent a lot of dirt and grime from being tracked across your beautiful new carpet.

Vrooom! Vacuuming is vital.
A good vacuum cleaner can be your carpet’s best friend. Buy a quality vacuum and use it regularly. There have been significant improvements to vacuum cleaners in the past few years, making them easier to use, and better at doing their job. They’ve gotten lighter in weight, stronger in suction, and loaded with convenience features. There are even unattended robotic vacuums that can do the work while you’re sleeping! Sweet dreams.
Thorough vacuuming removes loose dirt and dust from the fibers. Over time these particles dull your carpet’s appearance; frequent vacuuming maintains the beauty of your floor covering and extends its life.

Warning, traffic ahead!
High traffic areas may need more vacuuming more often. Use a machine with a good beater bar and maximum suction. And get attached to using the cleaner’s attachments. They make it easier to clean the tight spots – along walls and up and down the stairs.

Performance is in the bag.
If your vacuum uses bags, be sure to change them frequently for maximum cleaning efficiency. Some newer model vacuums have been designed without bags, making the chore of vacuuming even simpler, and more time saving.

Always cushion the blow.
Remember that padding plays an important role in preserving the look and feel of your carpet. Investing in a good carpet cushion prevents your carpet from matting and crushing underfoot, as well as offering its own level of soil and stain protection. A good carpet cushion also provides ventilation between the carpet and the floor, making vacuuming easier, and more efficient.

Be a weight watcher and sun shader.
Another important and often overlooked way of keeping your carpet in top condition is in the placement of heavy furniture. Heavy furniture can compress, or crush the carpet pile, and leave noticeable indentations that won’t be discovered until you redecorate or move. So rearrange your furniture periodically.

Snags can be a drag.
So treat them with care. Looped carpets can snag, especially at a seam or a carpet transition. Don’t vacuum over loose yarn or try to pull out the snag. Treat it as you would a loose thread on an expensive blouse. Carefully snip the yarn flush with the carpet and without catching any surrounding loops.
Carpet that is near windows and patio doors can be subjected to harmful ultraviolet rays. These rays can deteriorate the carpet’s appearance and ability to withstand wear. If possible, be sure to use window treatments that offer some protection against sunlight.

Get the drop on spills.
Treat them as soon as possible. The longer you wait the more the stain will soak into the fibers. Immediately blot up as much of the liquid or debris as possible with a dry cloth or paper towel. Don’t rub or scrub the area with a rag, this damages the fibers and may create a permanent scar.
Use warm, not hot, water to rinse the stained area completely. Hot water can set the stain and make it difficult if not impossible to remove. Press clean cloths deeply into the carpet to take up moisture until the stain no longer appears on the cloth. If a stain remover is needed, blot up excess moisture before applying, work gently and do not over apply the stain remover.
Next, thoroughly rinse the area with warm water, then absorb the excess dampness with a clean cloth. After your carpet has dried, vacuum to restore its texture and appearance.

The pros. Call them on the carpet.
Unfortunately, time and traffic will take its toll on your carpet. To protect your investment, cleaning by a reputable, professional cleaner is suggested approximately once a year. Call on their knowledge, equipment and experience to do a more thorough job of removing stubborn stains and embedded soil. But only use the pros when necessary as too much commercial cleaning can cause your carpet to lose its built-in protection and damage it.

Get all the answers about your solution.
Keep in mind that carpet should be treated like a textile product. Be sure to read the care and maintenance literature provided by the manufacturer because different fibers, styles and finishes can each have their own unique guidelines.
The regular maintenance and periodic professional cleaning of this flooring solution will insure a home of beauty and comfort for years to come – with and without your shoes on!

Source: http://www.wfca.org/hardwood/care.aspx

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Area Rug Styles Part.2

Tibetan: the height of color, motif and background.
The distinguishing characteristics of Tibetan rugs are their vivid colors, huge and few motifs, and relatively plain and dominant backgrounds.
The motifs are woven in red, orange, pink, yellow, beige, blue, green and white.
The background colors are usually blue, black, red, orange, and less frequently, yellow or ivory.
Their designs are strongly influenced by Chinese and East Turkestan styles and can either be geometric or curvilinear. Take your choice.
The different types of Tibetan rugs include the medallions, the flower and rosettes, the mythological animal and birds, the geometrical designs, and the rugs used in monasteries for ceremonial purposes.
Tibetan rugs are known for their wonderful depth and richness achieved through subtle variation of color and texture.
These rugs are woven exclusively with Nepalese wool, which is characteristically flexible, strong, lustrous and springy.
The bold eclectic patterns and coloration heightened by a rich texture reveal a primitive sophistication unique to these rugs.

Indian: small on motif, big on beauty.
Indian designs were strongly influenced by those of Iran, mainly by the curvilinear styles.
Popular designs of the 18th and 19th century, which Indo-mir is still a remaining example of, were mainly in the all-over layout with very small floral motifs such as plants, palmettes, rosettes and leaves.
Often the same motif was repeated through the entire rug, and borders were very similar to the motifs in the field.
There was not much color contrast in these rugs; the colors were mostly well coordinated to suit the Western taste. Hopefully yours.
Brownish red was the dominant color. In addition to this color, light and dark green and burnt orange were also popular.
Native American: chief
Can you picture one of these rare beauties in your home?

Native American: chief being the Navajo.
Native American weaving is mainly associated with Navajo wool blankets.
These blankets are mostly flat weaves and date back to the late 18th century.
Today Navajo fabrics are woven on reservations in northern Arizona.
Original styles consisted of stripes and simple geometric shapes.
Navajo weaving could be divided into the four types: the Chief blankets, Serape blankets, Eye Dazzler weavings, and fabrics after 1890.
They all had horizontal stripes with wide stripes housing minor stripes at each end of the blanket and a similar wide strip in the center.
These wide end and center stripes were colored in red and brown; sometimes blue was added.
White and brown stripes were woven between the wide center and end major stripes.

East Turkestan: rare and well done.
Prior to the Chinese occupation in 1878, the area in western China above Tibet was called East Turkestan.
Even though the area itself is no longer called that, the rugs of this area are still labeled as East Turkestan rugs.
They may also be marketed under “Samarkand” because East Turkestan rugs used to be traded in Samarkand.
The main East Turkestan sub-styles include Kashgar, Yarkand and Khotan.
East Turkestan rugs have always been rare, and they are still being woven on a small scale.
The layout of East Turkestan rugs can be either medallion or all-over.
Their pattern is mainly geometric and tends to be long and narrow.
A very common design is the pomegranate and vase, which is a symbol of fertility.
The vase symbolizes Mother Earth and the pomegranate is the fruit growing from Mother Earth. Truly a rug for the environmentalist in you.

Kilims: think one of a kind.
Kilim rugs are flatwoven textiles made by nomadic peoples in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Russia, China, Pakistan, India and Morocco.
Turkish Kilims feature Mediterranean colors of gold orange and turquoise.
Iranian Kilims are grounded in burgundy, rust, heavy blues, and heavy greens.
Kurdish Kilims are brighter and sometimes mixed with embroidery.
These textiles are used as rugs to cover doors and windows, for their dwellings, and as prayer rugs.
The Kilim is a major part of a bride’s dowry. The females weave each rug; each piece will contain symbols of the family traditions and tribal identity.
No two hand-woven Kilim rugs are exactly the same in color and size, which give the rugs a unique appeal.
If you seek one-of-a-kind items for your home, a Kilims rug is made for you.

Finally, 3 more categories of rugs that could find a home at your place.
1. Braided. Practical and beautiful, these rugs are constructed traditionally from wool but can be made from nylon, chenille and olefin or polyesters.
Braided rugs can be crafted into any size or shape and are very durable, hard wearing and easy to care for. Features everyone appreciates.
These are rugs made from heavy strips of yarn or fabric that has been braided into thick ropes and are then sewn side-to-side in spirals, ovals, round and oblongs.
2. Flokati. Often referred to as sheep skin rugs, this textile is made of 100% hand-woven New Zealand wool and originated in Greece 1500 years ago.
It’s a “shaggy” looking rug that is very inviting and cozy on your feet.
Flokati are contemporary rug styles with long pile and natural colors.
3. Naturals. These are area rugs made from natural materials and include Sisal, Jute, Seagrass and Bamboo.

Sisal.
This is a strong and versatile natural material. Sisal rug fibers come from the leaves of the Agave Sisalana plant that is grown as a renewable resource. And who isn’t for that?
The useable leaves of the plant can produce approximately a thousand fibers.
These fibers range in color from straw yellow to a creamy white and are spun into yarn and then woven into carpet.
Although Sisal by itself can be a bit tough on the feet, it can be combined with wool or nylon for a softer feel.
Sisal area rugs are durable, provide sound absorption, are anti-static, naturally insulating and fire resistant.
They absorb moisture therefore they are not recommended for use outdoors or in areas of water inside the home such as your bathroom.

Jute.
These rugs are woven with loop or flat construction, and have become popular for use throughout the home.
Jute fibers are stripped from their stalks and can be spun into yarn or rope and woven.
Jute yarns are strong and often used as warps in knotted rugs.

Seagrass.
A product of the paddy fields of China and India, this is a popular choice among designers for its natural beauty and strength.
Seagrass area rugs are durable, stain resistant and come in warm beige tones with undertones of green.
Different patterns are available such as Herringbone and Basketweave making these rugs the perfect accent to any room in your home.

Bamboo.This is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet.
They are plentiful in supply and make strong and beautiful area rugs.
Bamboo rugs are woven from natural bamboo fibers and feature natural variations in color.
Bamboo rugs offer texture and style to your room’s d├ęcor in a simple and understated way.

Source:
http://www.wfca.org/rugs/styles.aspx

Area Rug Styles Part.1

Here is a list of some of the styles that you can find in area rugs.

Persian: lots of versions.
When you think of Persian rugs, you usually think of intricate curvilinear designs; however, Persian styles are the most diverse styles worldwide.
There are over fifty different Persian styles woven in Iran and other countries such as India, Pakistan, China, and some European countries.
However, a true Persian Rug is one that is hand knotted in Iran, formerly called Persia, and features a border to emphasize the main pattern.
Several other narrower borders may also be part of the design and this border motif is the signature of all Persian rugs. Don’t be fooled by borderless imitations.

Oriental: oriented toward the traditional.
Recognized for centuries for their warmth and intricate designs, Oriental area rugs are handmade rather than mass produced and are known to be extremely durable and long lasting. Good to keep in mind.
They are often made from natural fibers such as wool, silk or cotton and become works of art you will cherish for years to come.
You will not find antique oriental rugs made of synthetic blends. No way.
Each one is unique, and playful -- the pattern changes direction without warning. Your Oriental rug will come from India, western China, Central Asia, Iran, the Caucasus or Turkey.

Chinese: the Great Wall of clarity.
Unlike most oriental rugs, Chinese designs are very literal rather than decorative; most motifs have very exact meanings.
Also, unlike most Oriental rugs, the motifs on Chinese rugs do not unite in order to create one design; they stand alone. And will standout in your home.
Traditional Chinese rugs and carpets are immediately recognizable by their simple, classic motifs and unusual colors.
These rugs often feature a center, circular medallion; familiar objects seen in nature such as animals, flowers, and clouds; stylized Chinese ideographs; and even entire scenes.
They’re usually framed with a simple, wide border and many display contrasting colors that meet to provide interest and texture to the simple patterns. These rugs are usually of high quality and extremely durable.

Turkoman: here, beauty blooms.
Turkoman rugs are produced by nomadic weavers of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and the province of Khorassan in northeast Iran.
Turkoman rugs are easily distinguished by their three characteristics of a dominant red to red-brown background color, geometric pattern, and a unique octagonal motif known as gul, which has several versions.
Gul is the Persian name for flower. If you love flowers this is your rug.
The layout is generally all-over and guls are repeated in rows with usually smaller guls of similar, but not exact, geometric designs (minor guls) in between the rows of major guls.
White, beige, black and blue are used to create color contrast in the motifs and the border of the rug.

Caucasian: a lesson in geometry.
Caucasian rugs are woven by tribal weavers of the region south of Russia, near the Caucasus Mountains, between the Black and Caspian Seas.
Caucasian rugs, even though made by different weaving groups, still have very common characteristics.
The patterns are very geometric. The perfect rug if you think spatially.
The designs tend to be stripes, crosses, squares, diamonds, hexagons, triangles, botehs, ’S’ shapes (derived from old dragon designs), some very geometric animal figures, such as crab and tarantula, and even sometimes geometric human figures.
One common characteristic is the positioning of similar shapes in different sizes next to one another.
Another is their colorful and bright palette.
Colors of blue, red, purple, yellow, green, navy, black and beige can all be combined in one rug.

Source:http://www.wfca.org/rugs/styles.aspx

Saturday, June 6, 2009

What is Green Flooring and the factors that determine green?

Green flooring includes any flooring that is sustainable, eco-friendly, contains recycled content, is recyclable, leaves a small carbon footprint or has low VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compound). There are different degrees of green associated with different types of flooring.

Raw Materials


Consider products that begin as a natural product (wool, wood, cork) or are made from recycled materials (carpet)

Soda bottles can be melted down and recycled into carpet fiber

Certain carpet manufacturers have the ability to take post consumer carpet and break it down to its original raw material. The new material can be manufactured back into carpet without any degradation of quality to performance or styling.

  • How products are harvested is critical
  • Try to select sustainably harvested products
  • Consider salvaged products
  • Choose products that are certified as environmentally friendly

Transportation

Be cautious of products that have to be transported long distances

Choose products made or grown within 500 miles

Shop locally when possible from vendors that supply locally

Installation

Use and Maintenance

  • Once installed, some floors continue to give off gas compounds
  • Avoid less durable floors, which have to be replaced more often
  • Avoid high maintenance floors that require use of harsh chemicals
  • Consider floors that don’t have to be refinished

End of Life

  • Ask yourself, what will happen to the floor when it has reached the end of its life cycle?
  • Can the floor be recycled or reused?
  • Can the floor be donated?
  • In general, synthetic products don’t decay, but they can be recycled