Thursday, April 29, 2010

Area Rug Maintenance – Do's and Don'ts

Smart, regular care and upkeep will keep your area rugs looking great, and your home looking as beautiful, stylish and unique as ever. Check out the following advice and be a little smarter about smart and stylish, colorful and captivating, area rugs.

If the rug is to be stored for a long time in a place without exposure to light or air, first vacuum or broom it.Then use mothballs (sometimes tobacco is also used) in order to protect it against insect damage. It is best to put the mothballs in the middle of the rug and roll the rug reasonably tight against its nap (against the direction the pile faces) so that it looks like a cylinder. Then store the rug in a dry location.

When considering repairing a rug, factor in the cost of repair in comparison to the value of the rug. Repairing a handmade rug, similar to weaving, is very time consuming and labor intensive; as a result, repair can sometimes be costly.Sometimes, it is better if collectible items remain in their original state and not be repaired because their value might actually decrease by any change, even if the change appears good. Getting the opinion of a professional is always a good idea.Most reputable handmade rug retailers offer you repair services.

Do’s

  • Rotate your rug 180 degrees every few months, or every year, depending on traffic patterns. Rotation is necessary for two reasons. First, all parts of your rug should be exposed to light equally so that the colors fade evenly. When colors are exposed to the sun evenly, they become harmonious and the rug ages nicely, but if different parts of the rug receive unequal amounts of sun exposure, over time, one side might look over faded and one side too bright. Second, is traffic. All parts of the rug should be exposed to an equal amount of traffic so that the pile wears evenly.
  • A water spill should be dried immediately with a hairdryer set on a warm temperature. Try to dry both sides of your rug if possible. In case of a soft drink or alcohol spill, apply salt or baking soda to the spot for a few minutes to absorb the color of the drink. Then vacuum off the salt or baking soda. After vacuuming, use a wet towel to gently wipe the stain in the direction of the nap(the direction the pile faces). You can wet the towel with regular or carbonated water. Be gentle; For old stains,take the rug to a professional handmade rug retailer.
  • Have your rug washed by a professional every 2 to 5 years depending on the amount of traffic on the rug. It is important to have it washed professionally because, as the rug is used, dust, dirt and broken fiber get into the foundation.Professionals dust the rug with special equipment to get all of these elements out of the foundation before washing the rug.Then, they usually wash the rug by hand using natural soap. They will also make sure the rug is dried from the surface to the foundation before it is used again. Most handmade rug dealers and retailers offer appropriate cleaning services.
  • Consult with your retailer about the proper padding to be placed under your rug. Padding is an important element and will both stabilize and protect your rug. Good padding also makes it safer to walk on your rug and will protect its value and appearance.

Dont's
  • Don’t avoid walking on your area rugs! Avoiding walking on your new area rug is like keeping a new car locked up in the garage undriven. With usage, as the top layers of pile (in most cases wool) break, the pile looks shinier and smoother, and with light exposure the colors look more harmonious. In fact, with proper use, handmade rugs generally become more valuable.
  • Do not scrub your area rug. You can wet the towel with regular or carbonated water. Be gentle;
  • Do not try to clean old stains yourself. For old stains, take the rug to a professional handmade rug retailer.
  • Do not take your rug to general carpet-cleaning companies because the techniques and chemicals they use for wall-to-wall carpets may not be appropriate for handmade rugs.
This article was taken directly from Floor Talk (floortalk.wfca.org). Also, please visit my websites at www.americarpetfloors.com and www.stylishrugs.com for all your flooring needs.

Americarpet sells this type area rugs among many others. Go to www.stylishrugs.com to see our online inventory of area rugs. Alternatively you can come to the store to find hundreds of area rug samples.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What's the difference between vinyl and linoleum?

What exactly is the difference between vinyl, resilient flooring and linoleum?

There are HUGE differences:

Vinyl flooring is a synthetic product made of chlorinated petrochemicals and linoleum is made from raw and natural ingredients!

All vinyl floors are resilient but not all resilient floors are vinyl. However, the most common type of resilient flooring is vinyl. There are two types of vinyl flooring: sheet vinyl and vinyl composition tiles (VCT).

(According to the RFCI – Resilient Floor Covering Institute)

Resilient flooring refers to flooring materials which have a relatively firm surface, yet characteristically have “give” and “bounce back” to their original surface profile from the weight of objects that compress its surface. It has long been the most popular hard surface flooring in the United States.

Resilient flooring materials are made in various shapes and sizes including both tile and roll form. Common types of resilient flooring include:

Vinyl Composition Tile

Vinyl Tile and Sheet Flooring

Linoleum Tile and Sheet Flooring

Rubber Tile and Sheet Flooring

Cork Tile and Sheet Flooring

Because of its durability, comfort under foot, aesthetic appeal, long lasting beauty, and cost effectiveness, resilient flooring is used in a wide range of commercial and residential applications. The ease of cleaning and removing spills as well as the overall moisture resistance are important reasons why so many homeowners and commercial building owners select resilient flooring.

In residences, resilient flooring is commonly used in kitchens, bathrooms, entryways, family rooms and increasingly in other areas of a house or apartment where rugs are used in conjunction with resilient flooring. In residences occupied by hypersensitive persons, resilient flooring is commonly used because these floors can be easily cleaned and do not tend to trap dust, which when combined with moisture, can produce microbial contamination.

Commercial resilient flooring has long been the most popular flooring used in schools, health care facilities, and mercantile settings. In schools, resilient flooring offers a cost-effective floor, which is easily and economically maintained and can last for many years before needing replacement. In health care facilities, resilient flooring is commonly used because it is impervious to water, resists stains, and can easily be disinfected, thus providing significant sanitary advantages over other types of flooring surfaces. Because of its durability and the availability of a wide range of colors and designs, resilient flooring has long been a favorite of stores and shops in creating design statements.

Because of its performance attributes and wide variety of colors and designs, resilient floors are frequently used in laboratories, cleanrooms, computer rooms, lavatories, super markets, drug stores, lobbies, storage areas, spas, dormitories, libraries and restaurants.

Linoleum’s roots are latin; In Latin, linum is the word for linseed and oleum means oil. (Linseed oil is the main ingredient) It is an extremely durable floor covering. It comes in different grades of quality. The best, most durable type is called “inlaid”. It is made by joining and inlaying solid pieces of linoleum. Less expensive grades are made by printing on thinner layers that do not wear as well as the solid product. It is often used in high traffic areas where other products like tile would crack and not be as forgiving.

Linoleum is also used in commercial applications such as healthcare facilities, schools and hospitals because of its durability and non-allergenic properties. Because of the flexibility of the product, unique patterns and designs can be created.

A unique difference between linoleum and vinyl is that the color is throughout the product rather than topical.

Differences between Vinyl and Linoleum:

Vinyl will melt if a lighted match or cigarette lands on it, linoleum can’t.

Most vinyl patterns are printed into the surface, linoleum’s colors go all the way through.

Linoleum can be used on countertops and backsplashes where vinyl cannot.

Durability – linoleum can last 30-40 years where most vinyl cannot.

Vinyl was introduced in the 1800’s and vinyl flooring came around in 1947.

Linoleum requires an acrylic coating upon installation and then again annually where vinyl flooring does not.

Linoleum has more durable properties similar to those of ceramic and hardwood, but not the cost of those products. The cost is more similar to vinyl flooring which is not as durable.

The manufacturing of vinyl flooring uses highly sophisticated techniques, complex methods and precise systems, linoleum uses a more simple natural process.


This article was taken directly from Floortalk (floortalk.wfca.org). Also, please visit my websites at www.americarpetfloors.com and www.stylishrugs.com for all your flooring needs.
Americarpet sells these type of floors among many others, so if you are considering buying we offer very competitive prices.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

BR111 Flooring

Nothing could be finer for your American Colonial style home (or any other style home) than new floors done in BR111 American Cherry engineered floor planks. They are a sturdy 5/16″ thick and 6.25″ wide. A wider plank was often used back in the day and it gives a home a lived in, period look. This lighter colored cherry flooring is applied by means of glue or a floating floor installation. You can look up a few tips from floormall.com to help you put the perfect floors in your home. The finish is Aluminum Oxide. At 29.2 square feet per box there won’t be very many boxes to buy.

Another terrific look for any floor is Pecan. BR-111 has a great solid hardwood in Macchiato Pecan, which is 3-1/8″ wide. You’ll want a caffeine fix just looking at this macchiato-colored floor. The tree species is Hickory (Pecan) and the installation method is by using glue, nails or staples. This high-quality real hardwood can be sanded and buffed and re-stained several times over, to keep it looking new for generations. The finish is Aluminum Oxide and the length of the planks goes from almost a foot to 88″. They are 3-1/8″ wide and 5/16″ thick, so there’s plenty of wood there. It feels really good when you walk on it as well. The box contains 35.8 square feet so you won’t need too many boxes to finish your floor. If you have any questions about installation of wood floors, check out floormall.com, where you can browse to your heart’s content.

Tigerwood in solid hardwood is quite luxurious, and not only looks good, but it’s a superior floor product. These 3″ wide planks from BR-111 will look fantastic on your floors. The color is warm and inviting. Installation is by nail, so if you aren’t quite confident enough to use a nail gun, there are pros and lots of advice available on floormall.com. The width of these planks is 3″, which is a nice size and it looks good, and the finish is Aluminum Oxide. Thickness is .75″ and there’s twenty-two square feet per box.

If you are looking for a superior quality white oak for your floors, then BR-111’s engineered and prefinished White Oak may suit you to a T. It’s 3″ wide and that looks fantastic on any floor in your period or contemporary-style home. The installation on this gorgeous flooring is either floating or by glue. You can get advice on what type of glue to use from floormall.com. The finish is Aluminum Oxide. Length runs from 24 to 48 inches and the thickness is 5/16″. There’s 33 square feet per box so you won’t need too many boxes to complete your floor in style.

This article was taken directly from Flooring Now (http://www.flooringnow.com/2010/04/07/br111-flooring/). Also, please visit my websites at www.americarpetfloors.com and www.stylishrugs.com for all your flooring needs.

Americarpet sells this type of hardwood floors among many others, so if you are considering buying we offer very competitive prices.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Difference Between Hand Woven and Hand Tufted Area Rugs

Hand Woven Area Rugs

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Although power machinery turns out most of the carpets sold today, it has not eliminated the ancient craft of hand weaving. Rugs were listed as valued belongings in Persian literature as early as the 6th century. They were most likely coarse flat-woven fabrics produced on looms in much the same way that other plain textiles were made at the time. Hand-knotted rugs were created later, possibly by nomad tribes of Turkestan or the Caucasus. The weaving of hand-knotted rugs spread throughout the Orient, and Persia became the predominant center of manufacture. Most handmade rugs are Orientals and are still made in the Middle and Far East.

Oriental rugs are usually classed geographically. They are referred to as Persian, Turkish, Caucasian, Turkoman, Indian, or Chinese. The different varieties within these groups may be named for towns in the various weaving districts and marketing centers.

Hand tied rugs are constructed on a special form of loom which consists of evenly spaced pegs on long, parallel beams. Most hand tied rugs are made with wool which is spun and died to the specifications of the rug pattern and planned color pallet. Some higher end rugs use silk for highlights in the pattern.

The base components of the rug are called the warp, weft, and Tufts. The stands of warp run parallel to the length of the rug and stick out each end to create the fringe. The spun bunches of wool, known as tufts, are hand tied to the warp stands. After a row of tufts are tied, a weft strand is woven perpendicular to and through the warp strands and then pushed together to create a denser pile. This meticulous time consuming process is then repeated until the rug is complete. The tufts (wool bunches) are then trimmed to create an even pile. This whole process can take a small group of people three years or more to finish but the results can be fabulous. There is nothing like the durability and artistry of a genuine hand tied area rug.


Hand Tufted Area Rugs

http://www.arearugfacts.com/images/handtufted_rug_process.gif

While most handmade rugs are of the hand knotted type there is a different weaving process that doesn’t involve any knots whatsoever. It is know as the hand-tufted process. Hand-tufted rugs were very fashionable in the 1920’s and 1930’s and though they are not as popular today they do offer people a less expensive option to hand tied rugs.

The base material in a hand-tufted rug is primarily a pre-woven canvas. The pile of these rugs can consist of wool, silk and synthetic fibers.

Hand-tufted rugs can be mistaken for hand-knotted rugs because they can share similar properties, however they’re not as durable as hand knotted rugs but they cost considerably less. The main reason hand-tufted rugs are cheaper then hand-knotted is they are much easier and quicker to make. Hand-tufted rugs aren’t made by forming little knots; instead they’re made by forming little tufts using specific tools.

The process starts by cutting the backing material into the correct size and shape so that it can be stretched over a backing frame at which point the craftsman can commence. A drawing of the proposed area rug is created so that its image can be projected onto the material and the area rugs design can be traced. Like a paint-by-numbers kit, numbers are given to each area to represent the colors to be used. The correct color yarns are than pushed, with the use of a unique device called a tufting gun, through the backing. Latex glue is then applied to hold each tuft to the backing. The looped tufts are then cut to create the pile. A layer of latex is then laminated on the back of the rug along with a layer of a material designed to protect the floor in the homes where the area rugs will be placed.

While not as durable or valuable, hand tufted rugs do come in similar styles to hand knotted and at a price more consumers can afford.

This article was taken directly from WFCA Floortalk (www.floortalk.wfca.org.org). Also, please visit my websites at www.americarpetfloors.com and www.stylishrugs.com for all your flooring needs.

[ed. note: To summarize, hand tufted area rugs use a pre-woven canvas when making the area rug, making it much easier and quicker to insert the material. Hand Woven on the other hand is made from scratch, which takes much more time and labor; hence the higher cost. ]

We sell both of these types of area rugs among many others at our store. If you cannot make it to our store we have an online one you can purchase these sort of rugs through (www.StylishRugs.com). Moreover, we can make them into any size or shape and use any material you would like.

Sisal and Seagrass Area Rugs

Natural Fiber Floorcoverings – Sisal and Seagrass

Of all the natural fiber materials, sisal and seagrass are the most widely used and well known.

To spruce up your home for spring or summer, try changing out your area rugs to sisal or seagrass. This will lighten and brighten your home for the spring and summer months. You can even use area rugs over your existing wall to wall carpet. There are many different patterns within each category of natural floorcoverings, including colors other than the natural color.

These products can be installed wall to wall, (seams are very noticeable and are simply a characteristic of the product and are to be expected) area rugs and even on stairs. They can also be installed in wet areas such as bathrooms and kitchens provided water is not continuously splashed and left standing.

For installation on stairs, the longitudinal weave must be 90 degrees to the riser and fixed securely. This installation is more labor intensive and may cost more to complete.

clip-image009-thumb.jpgMost natural fiber floor coverings can be installed by gluing directly to the floor or with padding. It is important to check with the manufacturer’s guidelines before making these decisions.

The beauty of these products being installed as area rugs is the different binding options that can be used. These products can be bordered with fabric, leather, and many other textile choices.

The latex backing makes these products easy to care for because the latex prevents the build up of dirt underneath. They can be vacuumed with a regular vacuum with a beater bar. Like any flooring material, spills should be wiped up as soon as possible and treated properly. For a natural fiber stain removal chart, click here.

clip-image005-thumb.jpgMost natural fiber floor coverings are very durable and will wear as well as or better than conventional carpeting as long as they are properly maintained. Many are rated for commercial use!

Warning: If your sisal carpet or area rug stand between you and your coffee pot in the morning, you may want to invest in slippers. Part of the beauty of sisal is its texture. That comes with a price. This is not a product that is soft and soothing under your feet. Although some say your feet will get used to the texture in a few days.

There are sisal and seagrass carpet alternatives that have a similar look that is more comfortable underfoot.

clip-image007-thumb.jpgAnother great reason to choose a natural fiber rug is that they are eco- friendly and sustainable. These products are 100% bio degradable and made from real grasses making them an earth friendly choice you can feel good about making.

So, go to your local floorcovering store [like Americarpet] and check out some samples of natural fiber floorcoverings and see if there is one that is right for your home’s style or lifestyle.

This article was taken directly from WFCA (www.WFCA.org). Also, please visit my websites at www.americarpetfloors.com and www.stylishrugs.com for all your flooring needs.

Americarpet (www.StylishRugs.com) sells these type of area rugs among many others, so if you are considering buying we offer very competitive prices.