Saturday, September 26, 2009

Types Of Carpet

Understanding a few simple basics about carpet will help you make the right choices for your lifestyle and budget.

Cut pile: Still one of today's most popular constructions, cut pile achieves its durability through the type of fiber used, density of tufts and the amount of twist in the yarn. Highly twisted yarn will hold its shape longer, making it a smart choice for high-traffic areas.
  • Textured Plush — Most decoratively versatile. Textured surfaces help hide footprints and vacuum marks. Add causal beauty to any room. Preferred style for busy households. A great “whole-house” carpet.
  • Saxony — Refined surface. Works will with traditional interiors. Ideal for living and dining rooms.
  • FriezĂ© — Forms a "curly" textured surface because yarns are extremely twisted. Has an informal look. Helps minimize footprints and vacuum marks.
  • Plush (Velvet) — Has a dense luxurious feel. Shows footprints and vacuum marks easily. Best for low traffic areas and formal rooms.

Level loop pile: Here loops are the same height, creating an informal look. This style generally lasts a long time in high-traffic areas. Many of today’s popular Berber styles are level loop styles with flecks of a darker color on a lighter background. This is a good choice for contemporary to cottage furnishings.

Multi-level loop pile: This style usually has two to three different loop heights to create pattern effects, providing good durability and a more casual look.

Cut-loop pile: This carpet style combines cut and looped yarns. It provides variety of surface textures, including sculptured effects of squares, chevrons and swirls. The multicolor effects hide soil and stains.

Facts on fiber
The type of fiber used and the way the carpet is constructed determine how well the carpet will stand up to spills, pets and daily traffic. The better the fiber and the denser it is packed, the better the carpet will perform. Approximately 97 percent of all carpet uses synthetic fibers designed to feature style, easy maintenance and outstanding value. There are five basic types of carpet pile fibers.
Nylon: Nylon is the most popular and represents two-thirds of the pile fibers used in the United States. Nylon fibers are wear-resistant, resilient and provide brilliant color. Nylon fibers withstand the weight and movement of furniture and are generally good for all traffic areas. Nylon is also a great choice for the home because it resists soils and stains.
Olefin (polypropylene): Olefin fibers are strong, resist wear and permanent stains and are easily cleaned. These fibers are colorfast. Olefin resists static electricity and is often used in both indoor and outdoor installations because of its resistance to moisture and mildew. Olefin is used in synthetic turf for sports surfaces and in the home for patios and game rooms. Many Berbers are made of olefin.
Polyester: Polyester is noted for luxurious, soft “hand” when used in thick, cut-pile textures. It has excellent color clarity and retention, cleans easily and is inherently stain resistant.
Wool: Wool is noted for its luxury and performance. It is soft, has high bulk and is available in many colors and patterns. Generally, wool is somewhat more expensive than synthetic fibers.
All information was taken directly from

Friday, September 25, 2009

Types of Stone Flooring

Types of Stones Used On Floors

Stone includes any quarried rock such as granite, limestone, sandstone, slate, marble or flagstone. Each of these natural stone choices may be glazed or unglazed.

Some of the most popular stone options are:

marble floor, marble flooring Marble Flooring

Many people don't realize that marble is actually softer than tile.
It is often considered the highest in its class, and has natural "marbled" beauty. Marble, as well as Travertine, is natural sedimentary rock belonging to the limestone family (calcium carbonate). If marble is covered with a stain resistant sealer, it may last for up to 10 years before resealing. As with most floors, its lifetime is measured in decades, not years.

Travertine Flooring
Travertine, sometimes considered to be one step down from marble, does have a couple of drawbacks. It is slippery when wet and it also prone to damage from acid-based products. Yet it is a beautiful product. If it is polished and sealed properly, it can be quite durable.

Limestone Flooring
Limestone is a fabulous floor product with variety in design and low maintenance besides. It cleans up with water and resists staining. Like most of the stone choices, it has fossil like veining which adds texture to its looks.

Slate Flooring is slip resistant.

Sandstone has also gained quite a following.

granite flooring, stone floor granite Granite is an extremely hard, durable surface also
very popular as a choice for counter tops.

Stone flooring will add beauty and value to your home. Many of the options come in a shiny, matte or textured finish. If you can find your materials locally, you will save a bundle on shipping charges, and reduce fuel emissions as well.

All information was taken directly from

History of Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood Flooring has been apart of our economy and homes dating back to the medieval times. Although the history of hardwood flooring has been through many tribulations, today it plays a huge role in the flooring industry. After WWII the numbers were estimated to be over 1 billion. But once carpet was available for homeowners the numbers dropped dramatically. Carpet was introduced being cheaper for buyers and so the demand for hardwood plummeted. Today the majority of homeowners and builders choose hardwood flooring, Not only for the beauty, but unlike carpet hardwood last many years.

There are three main types of hardwood flooring. It’s very important to consider how much traffic you will have on these floors before choosing. There is a layer the manufacturers put on prefinished flooring called veneer also known as wear layer. For a heavy traffic area you want to look for a veneer layer of 1/8 inch or more.

Solid hardwood flooring is non-altered solid wood. The most common solid hardwood flooring species are Red Oak, White Oak, and maple. Solid wood flooring and be refinished several times. This actually adds to their beauty and life. It’s very complex to install, because you have to consider expansion room when installing. During the dry winter months moisture can leave the wood making it change slightly in size, therefore causing gaps between the planks of wood. But during the summer the wood will expand back filling in the gaps. Keeping the solid hardwood flooring away from moisture is a must because it can cause it to buckle. To prevent this, it’s recommended that you do not use it in a room that is underground such as a basement and do not install over top concrete slab.

Acrylic Impregnated Hardwood Flooring is traditional hardwood that has been altered or injected with extreme high strengths of acrylic to improve the durability and the life of the wood. They are known for being strong and resistant to humidity. Because these floors are infused with color throughout the wood planks it makes the color last longer and helps protect against scratches. You can also make unfinished flooring into acrylic impregnated hardwood but skipping the last steps of finishing such as buffing, staining, waxing and injecting acrylic monomers into the woods structure. This will make the wood more durable and ready for any household.

Engineered Hardwood flooring is real wood. But unlike solid wood where it is all one piece, engineered is approximately 3 to 10 layers of wood that are glued together in a process known has cross-plying construction. So the difference between solid and engineered is that engineered is more stable than solid and is able to be around light moisture. So it can be installed below ground and over top a concrete slab. But solid wood can be refinished and engineered with a wear layer of 1/10’’ cannot be. Another advantage is once you receive your flooring and it is installed you don’t have to wait like you would solid wood to be able to walk on it.

All these different types of hardwood flooring come in many colors and shades. It is an investment to put in any home new or old. Just remember to pick the right flooring for you and the space your using it for so it last many years to come.

All information was taken from

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Carpet Textures

Today’s carpet offers much more than a conventional loop pile. To add to a room’s sophistication and interest, consider choosing a textured pattern. New technology can produce multilevel loop and cut/loop patterns. Choose diamonds, bows, pin dots, or fleurs-de-lis designs that "pop out" in sculptured effects. The texture, colors, and pattern of the carpet can be made to complement or contrast with patterns of your furniture and window treatments. Using a solid color, textured carpet is a great way to provide interest and pizzazz, without going to a multicolor, overall pattern.

Textured styles also fit well with today’s active and casual lifestyles. Textured carpet can be created through the use of several construction techniques. Many of these styles are known for their soil-hiding ability.

Cut pile: Loops are cut, leaving individual yarn tufts. Still one of today's most popular constructions, its durability is achieved with factors including the type of fiber, density of tufts, and the amount of twist in the yarn.

Plush / Velvet -- Smooth, level surfaces; formal atmosphere, "velvet."

Saxony -- Smooth, level finish, but pile yarns have more twist so that the yarn ends are visible and create a less formal look. Minimizes foot prints.

Friezé -- In this cut pile, the yarns are extremely twisted, forming a "curly" textured surface. This informal look also minimizes foot prints and vacuum marks.

Level loop pile: Loops are the same height, creating an informal look. It generally lasts a long time in high-traffic areas. Many of today’s popular Berber styles are level loop styles with flecks of a darker color on a lighter background.

Multi-level loop pile: Usually has two to three different loop heights to create pattern effects, providing good durability and a more casual look.

Cut and loop pile: Combination of cut and looped yarns. Provides variety of surface textures, including sculptured effects of squares, chevrons, swirls, etc.

All information taken from Carpet & Rug Institute

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bamboo Flooring Q & A

This is a Q & A that answers most bamboo flooring questions

Q. Is “carbonized” bamboo flooring stained?
A. No. Carbonized bamboo is darker in color because it has undergone a change, not a stain. During the manufacturing of the product, the strips of bamboo are boiled and change color (becoming browner in tone). This process also softens the material.

Q. So carbonized bamboo is softer than natural bamboo?
A. Yes. The process that changes the bamboo to the beautiful carbonized color also softens the product approximately 30 %.

Q. What is the difference between your 10-year and 25-year flooring?
A. The difference between the two floors is in the name of the aluminum oxide finish. The 25- year floor comes with six coats of Klumpp brand finish, which is recognized as a leading brand manufactured in Germany. The 10-year floor has six coats of a generic aluminum oxide finish. Visually, there is a slight difference between the floors. The 25-year floor is a semi-gloss finish while the 10-year is a satin coat finish.

Q. What is the difference between “horizontal” and “vertical” bamboo flooring?
A natural bamboo stock is hollow and the walls of the plant are fairly thin. Strips of bamboo are therefore laminated together to make our 5/8” flooring. The terms “horizontal” and “vertical” refer to the manner in which bamboo strips are laminated together. In the horizontal style, the strips are laid flat so the top surface shows the bamboo’s natural growth rings, or “knuckles.” In the vertical style, the strips are turned on their sides and laminated together in long, slender rows creating a different appearance.

Q. Can a bamboo floor be floated?
A. The bamboo flooring is a four-sided tongue and groove product that can be nailed to a wood sub-floor or glued directly to a concrete sub-floor. A floating installation is not recommended.

Q. How does your bamboo flooring hold up to high humidity?
A. As long as you let the flooring acclimate for no less than 72 hours, with boxes opened and laid flat in the room where it is to be installed, high humidity should not affect the floor.

Q. Is strand-woven bamboo the same product as traditional bamboo flooring?
A. No. Strand-woven bamboo is manufactured differently than traditional bamboo flooring. In the strand-woven process, strips of bamboo are coated with resins and then compressed with heat to form timbers. These timbers are then milled into flooring. This process produces bamboo flooring that is twice as hard as traditional bamboo flooring.

Q. Can I clean my bamboo floor with a mop?
A. Yanchi Bamboo flooring cleans easily with a Swiffer or similar type dry mop. As with a hardwood floor, you should avoid excessive moisture. A slightly damp mop may be used to mop up a spill.

Q. What are the different moldings and how are they applied?

  • The Quarter Round molding is used to hide the expansion gap left during installation.
  • The Tee molding is used as a threshold in doorways or as a transition strip where the bamboo flooring meets tile or carpet of similar height.
  • The Reducer molding is used as a transition from the height of the sub-floor to the height of the bamboo.
  • The Stairnose molding is used to cover the front edge of a stair tread or step. If used on a stair, flooring is installed behind the Starinose to cover the horizontal part (the tread) of the stair.
  • The Stairtread molding is a one-piece molding used to entirely cover the structural stair tread.
Q. Can I install bamboo flooring in a bathroom?
A. Bamboo floors are not covered by warranty if installed in a bathroom. Like hardwood flooring, bamboo could swell if excessive water is left to stand.

Q. What is the difference between bamboo flooring and hardwood flooring?
A. There are several advantages to using bamboo flooring compared to hardwood flooring. First, bamboo flooring is an environmentally friendly product. It takes only a few years for a bamboo plant to grow to maturity, while it takes decades for hardwood trees. And when bamboo is harvested, the root continues to live and produces new stock. Each year, one “mother plant” generates several new bamboo stems that grow to full length in a few months, and to mature hardness in about five years. Bamboo plants are therefore quickly replenished following a harvest. Second, bamboo is actually harder than hardwood so it makes a more durable flooring. Third, in most cases bamboo is less expensive than hardwood while installation costs are the same. Hardwood installers and contractors need no additional training to install bamboo flooring. Bamboo can be installed using exactly the same tools and methods as are used for installing hardwood.

Q. How do I maintain my bamboo flooring?
A. In order to maximize the durability and beauty of your bamboo flooring, we recommend the following practices as part of your floor’s normal care and maintenance.

  • Place doormats or rugs at entrances to collect moister, sand, grit and other potentially damaging substances from being tracked onto your bamboo floor.
  • Dust mop or vacuum with a soft accessory to keep your bamboo floor clean from dust, dirt or grit. Yanchi Bamboo flooring cleans easily with a Swiffer or similar type dry mop.
  • For sticky spots, use a soft damp cloth to gently scrub the floor. If necessary, use a generic hardwood floor cleaner. Do not use steel wool or other abrasive scouring pads.
  • Do not use harsh detergents, abrasive cleansers, or corrosive chemicals to clean your bamboo floor.
  • Avoid excessive water. Use mats in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room to protect against spills. If a spill occurs, blot it up immediately with a dry cloth or slightly damp mop.
  • Use only colorfast and non-scratch carpeting or pads on your bamboo floor.
  • Protect the floor from furniture legs and do not walk on the floor with high-heeled shoes.
  • Although Yanchi bamboo flooring has effective UV inhibitors in its pre-finish, it is recommended that it not be exposed to direct sunlight for long periods.
Q. Where can I install bamboo flooring?
A. Bamboo flooring is an extremely versatile flooring product. It can be installed in virtually any room of your home, above or below ground, over wood, OSB, or existing vinyl flooring. There are several locations that are not recommended for bamboo flooring. Because bamboo flooring is a natural flooring product it is not recommended that bamboo be installed in wet locations such as bathrooms, washrooms, saunas, enclosed porches or verandas, or anywhere that may require wet-mopping. Extended exposure to moisture of this type may cause your bamboo flooring to warp or swell.

Q. What are the benefits of bamboo flooring?
A. Bamboo flooring is rapidly becoming one of the most popular types of residential flooring. Here are a few reasons why you should choose a bamboo floor:

  • Bamboo floors are easy to clean.
  • Bamboo floors are ideal for allergy sufferers as they do not promote dust or harbor dust mites.
  • Bamboo flooring is an inexpensive alternative to hardwood flooring, usually costing 25% to 50% less than hardwood.
  • Bamboo flooring is long-lasting. The laminate floors sold by BuildDirect come with 10-year and 25-year warranties.
  • Bamboo flooring can be installed over numerous types of sub-floors such as: wood, sheathing grade plywood, vinyl tile, or Oriented Strand Board.
  • Bamboo floors are environmentally friendly. They use a quickly renewable crop. Made with safe resins, they have extremely low formaldehyde emissions and make excellent floors for healthy homes.
All information was taken from