Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cork Flooring and Tile

With the increasing focus on environmental friendliness more and more people are looking towards natural, renewable materials for their flooring options. One of the most popular choices is cork, which is incredibly eco-friendly and one of the most easily Renewable Resources in the world. It also has a host of wonderful qualities which make it an ideal flooring choice in many situations. So here are some frequently asked questions about cork:

What is Cork?

Cork comes from the outer bark of the cork oak tree, which is indigenous to Portugal, Spain, Italy, Southern France and Northern Africa. This tree is unique in that the outer bark (cork) layer can be stripped off several times in a 200 year lifespan with no harm to the tree, thus providing a steady supply and a completely renewable resource of raw material.

What is so Special About Cork?

Cork is unique in so many ways: it is light, buoyant, compressible and elastic, rot-resistant, fire-resistant (in its natural state), impermeable and yet soft. Yet it is a completely natural material which cannot be emulated by any synthetic material. It is no surprise that it is highly sought after in a variety of applications, in particular stoppers and floats, due to its honeycomb structure, flexible membrane and lightweight properties.

Why is Cork Suitable as Flooring Material?

In many respects, cork is the perfect floor, in particular for families with pets and children:
  • It is soft and warm.
  • It is durable enough to handle wear and tear and heavy traffic. In fact, cork floors are more durable than many other flooring types. One reason is because of its elasticity and its ability to recover well from compression. This means it has the ability to spring back and regain its original size and shape. Having said that, the use of furniture pads is recommended and a polyurethane finish will help protect the cork floor further and make it easier to maintain.
  • It insulates against both temperature and noise: the honeycomb structure of cork provides tiny cell-like compartments which seal bubbles of air; these in turn provide a layer of insulation which means low conductivity for heat, sound and even vibrations. This makes cork one of the best insulating substances in the world.
  • It is easy to clean and maintain and beautiful to look at.
  • Ideal for people with allergies as it does not absorb dust and is also anti-static.
  • It is environmentally-friendly and cost-effective.

Can you use Cork in Kitchens and Bathrooms?

Yes, cork can be used in all rooms and in both residential and commercial settings. In fact, kitchens are one of the most common rooms to install cork floors, in particular because it is comfortable to stand on and very easy to clean. Although cork is absorbent, Surface Spills will not penetrate cork floors and can wiped off, in the same way as any other type of hard flooring. Cork can be used in the Bathrooms and is especially good for providing a warm surface underfoot, compared to tiles. However, if there is likely to be heavy water spillage (e.g. children splashing in the bath), then special precautions are needed during installation to make sure that the room perimeter is caulked before installing the moulding or base boards.

Is it True that Cork Does not Rot?

Yes, cork contains a natural substance called suberin which enables it to be impermeable to gases and liquids. It is therefore also naturally anti-bacterial.

Can you Still have a Choice of Colours with Cork?

Of course – cork can be available in its natural honey tones (and remember, as with all natural products, some variation in shades or texture is normal and part of its inherent beauty) or stained in a variety of colours, from red to green to chocolate to black.

How do I Install Cork?

You can call upon a professional manufacturer and installer or for DIY enthusiasts, cork tiles are easily installed using any water-based contact cement. For cork floating floors, normal carpenter glue will suffice. These types of cork flooring will usually come with detailed manufacturers’ instructions for installation.

Where can I use Cork?

Cork can be used anywhere in the home, from the child’s bedroom to the kitchen, living room to the bathroom. Because it is so abrasive-resistant, anti-allergenic, insulating and resilient as well as being naturally anti-microbial, cork is frequently used in public buildings, such as schools, hospitals, restaurants, hotels, shops and even offices.
Cork has been used since the early 1900's, with Europe having a long history of using this product as flooring while North America and Australia are more recent converts. The popularity of cork has now spread around the world.
Article was taken directly from http://floortalk.wfca.org/
Americarpet sells the floor mentioned in the article, for more information go to www.americarpetfloors.com or visit us at 364 N.E. 167 St. Miami, FL 33162. 3a

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Designing With Stone

If you are in the market for natural stone flooring or counters for your home, this brief compilation of stone factoids is going to be very helpful. Just a little knowledge, before you narrow in on what’s right for you, may point you in the right direction. You’ve all studied the types of rock the earth renders, but it could be you haven’t had need for that information in a long time. So here is a brief refresher.
SEDIMENTARY – Igneous rocks make up the majority of the earth’s crust and are covered by a thin veneer of loose sediment. It’s this loose sediment that gets compacted and cemented together to give us sedimentary stone. Travertine and limestone fall into this category. Natural, unfilled travertine has tiny holes throughout the surface, indicative of sedimentary formations. Both travertine and limestone are very porous and will require continuing maintenance to keep them looking their best. Keep in mind, because they are so porous they are prone to staining so may not be the best choice for countertop applications. For floor applications, Torrean travertine is less porous and gives a more uniform surface texture.
METAMORPHIC – The metamorphics get their name from “meta” (change) and “morph” (form). Any rock can become a metamorphic rock. All that is required is for the rock to be moved into an environment in which the minerals which make up the rock become unstable. Extreme temperature and pressure are the catalysts in forming metamorphic rocks and produce stones with exceptional beauty, such as slate, marble and quartzite.
IGNEOUS – Igneous rocks are crystalline solids which form directly from the cooling of volcanic magma. This is an exothermic process (it loses heat) and involves a change from the liquid to the solid state. The earth is made of igneous rock – at least at the surface, where our planet is exposed to the coldness of space. Granite is an igneous rock and you can tell how near to the earth’s surface (or how deep within the earth) the granite was formed, based on its composition. Smaller particulates in the granite indicate it was formed closer to the surface. Larger particulates are the clue that it was formed deep beneath the earth’s crust. Given the process by which granite is formed, it is an extremely hard stone, second only to diamonds. It does well for countertops or flooring.
The inherent beauty of natural stone is what draws us to it. Every piece of granite is a unique work of art. The unpredictable range of colors in slate makes every installation a masterpiece. Marble transforms surfaces into statements of timeless beauty. I’d say Mother Earth wears a mantle of treasures, and it’s always a privilege for us to have a small piece of that treasure grace our homes.
Article was taken directly from http://floortalk.wfca.org/
Americarpet sells the floor mentioned in the article, for more information go to www.americarpetfloors.com or visit us at 364 N.E. 167 St. Miami, FL 33162. 3a

Friday, November 25, 2011

Best Flooring Options For Children's Playroom

If you are creating a children’s playroom in your home and you have free reign in thinking about a new floor, you could really have some fun with it. There is a wide range of options available – and you don’t have to settle for just one of them. Instead, be a little creative in your approach.

Playroom Uses
It may be obvious that a children’s playroom will be used for playing but this is not such an unusual consideration when you think about it in the context of the rest of the house. So, for example, will children be snuggling down to watch DVDs or television in the room? Will there be a space in which they could do painting or messy play? Perhaps the room is large enough that they might be riding indoor bikes or scooters in it or it is sizeable enough for you to consider setting a small trampoline or other such piece of equipment from time to time? Or will some of these other activities be taking place in their bedroom, in the garden or in the kitchen?

Playroom Position
Consider the position of your playroom in the house as well. In many cases a playroom will be on the ground floor or perhaps even in the basement. If, however, you plan to set up your playroom upstairs or you live in an apartment then you may well have to opt for some sort of Carpeting to help dampen the sound from the room. Noise from singing, dancing, playing musical instruments and general jumping about will be magnified if you have a hard floor. Have a look at easy clean carpets or consider Carpet Tiles which can be replaced individually if there is a spillage.

Messy Play
If you are expecting messy play to happen in the room, then a wipe-down flooring option is preferable. Think about having a Vinyl or Linoleum Flooring laid. For extra comfort under foot, particularly if you have little ones, try a padded or cushioned lino. Stone or tiles would be an easy-clean option but are not the safest option for a playroom. Remember, anything dropped on them will just shatter and little ones could hurt themselves if they fall – a stone floor will also be very cold underfoot. Wood could look fantastic but if you choose a new solid floor you are likely to worry about stains and spillages. For a wood-look, a Laminate Flooring could well be the best option.

Have Fun
If you are converting a garage or basement in to a playroom, or you have an old hard floor in the room that you no longer wish to keep, why not have a bit of fun? Use floor paints to create a space that is brightly colored underfoot – you could opt for one color, paint a pattern or even paint games like snakes and ladders and hop-scotch on to the floor. Alternatively, if you can afford it, book a mural artist to come and create a wonderful under-foot image for your children – soon they could be imagining themselves on the beach, on a ship or in the wilds of the jungle…  2a

This article was taken directly from http://www.floorideas.co.uk. Americarpet sells all the flooring mentioned in this article, so visit www.americarpetfloors.com for more information.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

New Floor Fashions

It’s time to talk about the trends shaping the color palettes for 2012 and 2013. Working closely with Color Marketing Group International provides great insight as to what designers are seeing across the country as to color “drivers”.

1. “The Good Old Days”
The post World War II era represented a period of growth and patriotism for Americans. Happier times and bluer skies are associated with the colors from that time. With positive associations tied to them, colors popular from the 1940’s through the l960’s are selectively reappearing in the coming palette.

2. “Eco-Friendly Lifestyle”
We’ve already established that personal recycling and preserving the earth’s natural resources are high-priority choices for most Americans. Now a lifestyle (rather than a trend), colors will reflect our commitment to sustainability. Natural hues in their purest form will influence the new color palette. Aqueous blues, botanical greens, earthy browns will anchor the palette and convey the “green” message.

3. “Caution and Care”
We are barraged daily with economic news that is enough to make you want to hide your head in the sand. Hard-working Americans are not to blame for the economic messes our country needs to clean up, but just the same, politicians are laying the sacrifices to be made on our shoulders. No wonder there is such low consumer confidence. No wonder the stock market has resembled an out-of-control roller coaster for weeks on end. And no wonder we are searching for colors that will stabilize our psyche and give us some comfort. Beautiful, tailored shades of gray will be a staple in the color palette for that very reason. It is just the prescription we are looking for as we swing towards conservatism on all fronts.

4. “A Global Perspective”
Most of us are proficiently cruising the internet on a daily basis. We are also devouring HGTV programs with a vengeance. With that said, we are being exposed to color like never before. Global fashions, exotic destinations, luxury interior designs are all available to us now. Because of that, we have developed an appetite for stronger colors. The new color palette will be a genuine mix of safe, comfort colors, punctuated with these global stunners.

5. “The Affordable Luxury”
So maybe we aren’t “trading up” our homes, or buying new cars every two years. Maybe the wardrobe has to last a little longer, and our vacations are closer to home. But we can afford a can of paint or a bolt of fabric, and that means our luxury du jour is COLOR!!! The immense satisfaction we get from surrounding ourselves with a new color goes a long way in making us feel happy. Color in times of stress and economic down-turns is a huge refuge for all of us. So roll up your sleeves, put down those drop cloths, and create something colorful!

That’s where we are headed as to the key color drivers for 2012 and 2013. If you had any doubt that color trends reflect exactly what is happening in our lives, our country, our world, we (CMG) can safely attest to the fact that color is historically the mirror of our society. We are headed for better times (albeit ever so slowly), but we can start the process ourselves, at home, with paint brush in hand.

This article was taken directly from http://floortalk.wfca.org/. Visit us at www.americarpetfloors.com, www.americarpetcommercial.com, www.stylishrugs.com and http://www.alfombrasypisosamericanos.pe/

Saturday, October 15, 2011

How to maintain stone floors

Unwelcome guests may be entering your home and damaging your stone floors. Small stones, tiny pebbles, sand and stone-hard grit sneak into your home on the bottom of shoes. These little invaders are your floor’s No. 1 enemies because they can easily scratch and mar elegant-looking stone.
Protect against such attacks by putting up defenses outside your front door. Put down industrial-strength mats with tough ribbing, which encourage visitors to scuff dirt from their shoes before crossing the threshold. Purchase mats that are 4 to 6 feet long, allowing guests ample opportunity to leave grit behind before they enter. Typical 2×3-foot doormats are too lightweight to handle the job. Put them at all entry doors and add a smaller mat inside as an added precaution. The best mats will also absorb significant amounts of water, so that isn’t tracked into your home either.
Having kept most of the worst outside, you also need to keep a close eye on the inside entrance area. Wet mop this area whenever dust, dirt, pebbles or stones collect on the floor. Mopping frequency depends on the amount of foot traffic and how well shoes are cleaned off at the entry. Tackling this as a once-a-week task is common.
When mopping, use a microfiber mop, instead of rayon. The newer material does a much more effective job taking up grit and water. Neutral pH cleaners are recommended for most stone because they will not harm the stone sealer. Remove as much of the water as possible to avoid streaking and clouding. Never use acidic cleaners containing lemon juice, vinegar or ammonia. Also avoid abrasive cleaners. All these may damage stone, particularly the softer varieties such as marble and limestone.
This article was taken directly from http://floortalk.wfca.org/. Visit us at www.americarpetfloors.com, www.americarpetcommercial.com, www.stylishrugs.com and  3a

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Carpet Style

Color Marketing Group International recently hosted a successful West Coast color forecast meeting in Irvine, California. The stunning twelve colors decided on by the design professionals in attendance will make their debut in 2012 and 2013. Now that’s exciting stuff in itself, getting twenty-five creative opinions to come to a consensus. But even more stunning is the fact that 80% of the final colors projected paralleled those forecasted at the New York City regional meeting just a week earlier—especially since attendees on either side of the country had not shared any prior research or projections. What that proves is that CMG’s processes work and produce valid results—nationally!

I can’t tip my hand to clue you in on those projected colors just yet, but I can tell you that one design-conscious carpet mill is on to something with the color palette of two new products. That would be Shaw/Tuftex and the carpet styles are “Rush Hour” and “Tumbling Dice”. First of all, I love the product names. You have no idea how difficult it is to appropriately name carpets and colors. To describe “Rush Hour”, picture an aerial photograph of city streets forming an imperfect perpendicular grid. Shaw Tuftex Tumbling Dice - Apricot Passion
It reads ‘softly contemporary’ with its cut/uncut loop patterned look. “Tumbling Dice” is also a cut/uncut loop, constructed in tiny squares (yes, exactly the shape and size of dice). It, too, is a subtle pattern that can satisfy a number of design styles.

It’s the color palette shared by these two products that brought me to feature them in this blog. Tuftex has long been a leader in color technology and fashion-forward palettes. “Rush Hour” and “Tumbling Dice” continue that legacy. They share a palette of 24 livable colors. The three blues featured are green based, hitting the light, medium and dark range. Half the palette is dedicated to interesting neutrals that are bound to complement a huge percentage of interior color schemes. Add to that colors like Riverbank and Sleek Suede, and you can picture how browns were interpreted. One of my favorite colors in the palette is Apricot Passion. It validates one of the key color drivers identified by CMG (colors that identify closely with health and well being). Flower Pot is the strongest color in the palette, looking exactly as it sounds (a new twist on terra cotta).

Shaw Tuftex Rush Hour - Flower PotDefinitely worth a good long look if you are searching for new carpet, these two styles represent a winning roll of the dice. Just as important as the aesthetics is the fiber system. Both are constructed of StainMaster ExtraBody II Ecosoft nylon fiber. This is an interesting combination of regular 6.6 nylon fiber with a bio-based nylon derived from castor beans (a high-yielding, renewable resource harvested annually). Tuftex uses is a dual extrusion process that produces a nylon fiber with exceptional strength and improved fiber bulk. Now that’s quite a story! I’d say hats off to Tuftex Carpet Mills for delivering something unique AND beautiful for the soft floor covering market.

This article was taken directly from http://floortalk.wfca.org/. Americarpet carries Shaw, Tuftex and several other brands here, including the specific designs mentioned in the article. Visit us at www.americarpetfloors.com, www.americarpetcommercial.com, www.stylishrugs.com 2a

Saturday, September 24, 2011

How to Choose Laminate Floor Color

Laminate flooring is a fashionable household feature. Praised for its stylish, contemporary feel, laminate can add an extra dimension to any room, making it feel cleaner, brighter and airier, even in the darkest of rooms. Here are the benefits of laminate flooring for your home, and the important factors to think about when choosing laminate floor color.

Benefits of Laminate
Laminates are increasing in popularity, and this should come as no surprise. Seen as the pinnacle of contemporary interior design, laminate is available in a number of different finishes and colors, although most popularly with a wood-grain appearance of some description.

Laminate flooring is firstly advantageous due to its highly polished surface, which makes cleaning it easy. Rather than hovering, all that's required is a quick sweep with a soft bristled brush which will pick-up the majority of debris.

Secondly, another positive element is the hygiene factor. Unlike carpet, laminate cannot harbour dust-mites, which have been linked with a number of allergies and asthma. Furthermore, laminate flooring can make a room seem more spacious, due to its hard, smooth nature, and can help you turn even the modest of rooms into an interior focal point.

When choosing a color, it is important to bear in mind the design of the room, and the overall decor of the house to ensure it fits well, and provides you will all the above benefits.

Choosing Floor Color
Due to its ever increasing popularity, the range of laminates available is now enormous. Ranging in both style and price, you can find samples at any DIY or furnishing store. When contemplating color, it is important to think about the overall decor of your home: is your home brightly colored, or more subtle?

From a sales perspective, neutral coloring can add value to your home and make it seem more homely to prospective buyers. It is important also to consider the style: does the wood-grain finish correspond with other design features, or should you go for a fully colored laminate?
There are many different options and it can sometimes be hard to choose. Even when it comes to wood-grain there are numerous tones to select when choosing laminate floor colors, ranging from pine to mahogany, so it's definitely important to have a think about what your house requires before committing yourself to anything.

From a sales perspective, neutral coloring can add value to your home and make it seem more homely to prospective buyers. It is important also to consider the style: does the wood-grain finish correspond with other design features, or should you go for a fully colored laminate?

There are many different options and it can sometimes be hard to choose. Even when it comes to wood-grain there are numerous tones to select when choosing laminate floor colors, ranging from pine to mahogany, so it's definitely important to have a think about what your house requires before committing yourself to anything.

Laminate flooring is not only stylish, but it can also be relatively cheap. When you are selectively choosing color which suits, also retain the price in mind, and remember to measure up before you go in. Prices are often quoted per square foot (or sq. ft.) and if you don't have a clue how much you'll need, you'll be struggling to put a price on it.

Another good tip to bear in mind is that it is always better to buy too much than too little. You should aim for around a ten percent excess, that is ten percent more flooring than your measurements suggest. This will help cover any errors in calculation, and also any manual errors when fitting the flooring. Laminate flooring is great for any home, leaving a feeling of contemporary designed fused with comfort, why not try it next time you're looking to replace that carpet?

Article taken directly from www.onlinetips.org. Americarpet sells laminate flooring. Visit www.stylishrugs.com for area rugs and www.americarpetcommercial for commercial carpet. Lastly, you can visit www.americarpetfloors.com for all your flooring needs. 3a

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What is congoleum vinyl flooring?

Who would ever have thought that vinyl could make a floor look so good? It seems to be the stuff of yesteryear, which we accepted on our floors until we could afford better. Not so with Congoleum vinyl flooring. With so many designs and colors to choose from, you are bound to find something that appeals, and you'll be pleasantly surprised at the quality.
It is not often you find a retro product made over to suit the present day, but Congoleum vinyl flooring has been designed to take care of the issues that existed with the old style, and brought it into the new millennium where it has been embraced by homeowners for its affordability, comfort and good looks.
Congoleum vinyl flooring is known as resilient flooring because it as tougher than you would imagine. It's easier to walk on as it's slightly cushioned, by comparison with concrete or tiled floors. It features excellent durability, even in high traffic areas. This means you can install it in corridors, in the kitchen and living room and not have to worry that your adorable family will tread a worn path in the floor. You can drop things onto it and there won't be any chips as with tiles.
In winter, Congoleum vinyl flooring is much more comfortable underfoot, whereas ceramic tiles can be downright chilly. And because you can use it effectively in any room of the home, you can save on heating costs throughout. A lot of people comment that if their feet are cold, they're cold. Having Congoleum beneath your feet is a sure fire way of avoiding those frostbitten toes!
Have you ever noticed, either in a home or a restaurant or store, how noisy tiled or laminated floors can be? This is because the surfaces are somewhat harder and the sound ricochets off and fills the room. Congoleum vinyl flooring is more absorbent of noise, which can be a relief if there are lots of kids scampering through the house.
Speaking of kids, Congoleum vinyl flooring is ideal for households with children. Considering the messes that they make, spilling food, running pets through on their way to the yard, and traipsing dirt over the floor, it's nice to know that all that's needed is a quick mop over.
No steam cleaning, no special equipment required. Just a basic mop; and Congoleum also makes a range of cleaning products especially for use on their vinyl floors. You can, of course, use other products but keep in mind that if they cause any damage to your floor, the damage will not be covered by the warranty.
In case you're wondering how well Congoleum vinyl flooring performs in wet areas, you'll be happy to learn that it is extremely moisture resistant. Sure, go ahead and spill a jug of juice on the kitchen floor. Enjoy a splash in the bath tub? Go right ahead. It won't be a problem.
With a broad range of pricing options, Congoleum vinyl flooring suits all budgets. Take a look at their website and you can even browse the many styles and colors, and you can even customize a range of virtual rooms with their interactive Room Vision system.
So don't be put off by the words vinyl flooring. If it is Congoleum vinyl flooring, it has come a long way and you'll be very impressed with what you see

Article taken directly from www.onlinetips.org. Americarpet sells congoleum flooring. Visit www.stylishrugs.com for area rugs and www.americarpetcommercial for commercial carpet. Lastly, you can visit www.americarpetfloors.com for all your flooring needs. 3a

Friday, August 19, 2011

How to Choose Commercial Flooring?

There are many things to consider when choosing commercial flooring: what the use is going to be, the color, type of floor, etc.
Gathered below are some of the most helpful tips gathered from around the web to help make this choice much easier for everyone involved.
The look and feel of your place of business – whether a retail shop, corporate office or even leisure center – can have a significant impact on the mood of your customers and clients and therefore the profitability and success of your business as well. Research has shown that how a retail outlet looks and the ambiance it creates can affect the length of time a customer spends in the shop and even their inclination to make purchases. It is also essential in helping to attract a customer into the store in the first place. Similarly, the aesthetic environment of an office can have a big influence on the productivity of staff.
The right flooring speaks volumes and this can depend both on type, such as carpet, tile,
laminate or vinyl, and also on styles and colors. Some popular choices for office flooring include:
  • Broadloom Carpet
  • Carpet Tiles
  • Laminate
  • Vinyl tiles
  • Wood-effect vinyl
  • Ceramic Tiles
  • Marble

Creating Ambiance
With shops, in particular, it is important to create an inviting atmosphere and even corporate environments need to balance the professional look with a welcoming ambiance. The use of more luxurious flooring materials, such as carpet, can go some way towards creating a warm and relaxing ambiance or conveying a sense of prestige in a professional environment. Even the presence of a good-quality rug over harder flooring can give the illusion of class and quality. Similarly, using laminate can give your premises a stylish and sophisticated look for a fraction of the cost of real hardwood.

Choosing Color
While it is tempting to stick to a neutral palette and bland furnishings, a complete lack of color and design can make a workplace or retail unit feel cold, clinical or even just plain boring. Conversely, the correct use of colour can boost creativity and output as well as reduce levels of stress – in fact, the creation of “mood enhancement environments” is very popular now in the commercial sector. Since the flooring covers a proportionately large area of the workplace, its colour can have a major effect. Avoid bright, jarring colours which do not exist in nature, such as fluorescent pinks and greens. Similarly, avoid saturating the area with a strong colour – instead, choose shades which are soothing to the eyes and perhaps save the more dramatic colours, like red, for occasional accents – e.g. a patterned carpet in muted shades of browns and oranges, with occasional flecks of red, is better than a wall-to-wall expanse of bright crimson. Pastels are often chosen to create a cool, refreshing appearance and natural, earthy shades are generally considered more comfortable.
Having said that, use of color does not mean that a work environment should be bombarded with brilliant hues at every turn, with flooring in multi-colored tiles or psychedelic carpet patterns. In many cases, particularly with corporate environments, simple, clean lines work best and flooring styles which tend toward the minimalist approach are ideal. This means colors in contrasting tones of black, grey, cream, white, stone, beige and taupe and not too much variation in texture. Avoid “busy” patterns in the design, especially with carpets and vinyl.
Another thing to consider is the incorporation of logos, creative borders and other graphics into the flooring, particularly in client focus areas such as meeting rooms and the reception. Done well, this can give the premises a unique look and improve professional impact.

This article was taken directly from www.floorideas.co.uk. Americarpet sellsall the flooring mentioned in this article with many different colors and styles to choose from. You can see some of our ccommercial carpet at www.americarpetcommercial.com. For more information visit our main site at www.americarpetfloors.com.
1a 3a

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

How to Clean Laminate Floors

Laminate flooring is beautiful, but it can be tricky to keep clean. Use the wrong cleaner and it can leave your floor looking blotchy and even cause some damage. Here is some advice on cleaning laminate flooring.

Some people say that using a solution of vinegar and water does a great job at cleaning their laminate flooring. One suggested use is to add 1/4 cup white vinegar to a spray bottle filled with water and spray on the floor. Wipe off the vinegar- water solution with a mop that has a terrycloth head. This will leave your floor looking clean and shiny.

If the thought of cleaning laminate flooring with a solution that is water based leaves you a little squeamish, consider purchasing a mop made of microfiber. These are designed to pick up dirt and grime and create a shine without the use of added products. You can also purchase a special laminate floor cleaner to use when the laminate flooring needs extra cleaning.

If you want a method that is a little simpler, you can actually use a cloth dampened with a little warm water to clean the laminate flooring, or dampen a terry cloth mop slightly. However, this method requires that you go back over the floor with a dry cloth to get rid of the excess moisture. Water shouldn’t be left to evaporate because it can leave splotches on the floor and cause damage.

Another method to clean laminate flooring that works well is to purchase a cleaning kit. These sometimes come with a cloth to fit over the mop, a floor cleaner, and a polisher. Kits vary so you may want to do a little research to make sure you are finding the best one.

Cleaning laminate flooring can be challenging. There are a few different methods. You can clean the floor with water and a little vinegar or you can use a microfiber mop. You an also clean laminate flooring with warm water, and a purchased floor cleaning kit also works well. Choose the method that works best for you. Everyone’s cleaning style is different. 3a

Article taken directly from www.onlinetips.org
Americarpet sells many different types of flooring, including laminate flooring. Visit us at www.americarpetfloors.com , www.americarpetcommercial.com , or www.stylishrugs.com

Friday, July 22, 2011

Carpet Spot Removal Chart


Key to Cleaning Methods:

1. Dry Cleaning Fluid: a nonflammable spot removal liquid available in grocery and hardware stores.

2. Nail Polish Remover: Amyl Acetate - often has a banana fragrance. Do not use if it contains acetone.

2. Detergent Solution. Mix 2 cups of cold water and 1/8 teaspoon mild liquid detergent (no lanolin, non-bleach).

4. Warm Water: Lukewarm tap water.

5. Vinegar Solution: One part WHITE vinegar to one part water.

6. Ammonia Solution: One Tablespoon household ammonia to one cup water.

7. Spot Removal Kit: Available from retail carpet stores or professional cleaners.

8. Call a professional: for additional suggestions, special cleaning chemicals, or the possibility of removing and repairing damaged areas. 1a 2a

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Steam Cleaning Vs Dry Cleaning

This blog post will be about steam cleaning vs dry cleaning for carpets, rugs and the like.

Specifically, we will be comparing steam cleaning to the HOST dry cleaning system.

Ease Of Use

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


Effectiveness

HOST
  • 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
  • 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.


Drying Time

HOST
  • 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
  • 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.
Safety

HOST
  • 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. 1a 2a

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Kitchen Floors

For the room that is the “heart of the home” the choice of flooring can be especially important. Your choice will depend on many things, from ease of maintenance and cleaning to the way the floor looks - plus, of course, budget and cost.
With the development and refinement of flooring materials, the choice today is endless. So what are the main types and which one is best for you?

Vinyl (PVC)

Despite its reputation as a dated choice from the 1960s, Vinyl remains a popular flooring for the kitchen, as it is low maintenance, tough, hard-wearing and generally resilient. It also feels comfortable to walk on and suits a large variety of sites, as well as being available in an enormous variety of colours and patterns. It is inexpensive as well as having a good product life expectancy – for example, modern versions often have inlaid patterns which endure longer than old versions where patterns were only printed onto the surface. As it is water-repellent, it is easy to Keep Clean with a simple sweep and damp mop. However, it can be scratched by grit and pebbles (or become embedded) and the colours and patterns can fade with time. Nevertheless, it remains a top choice for kitchen floors.

Linoleum

Although largely replaced by vinyl flooring in the 1960s because of the hassle of having to wax it, this type of flooring is enjoying a revival today as new versions come pre-sealed and do not need to be waxed. Because Linoleum is made of natural resources such as ground limestone, wood flour and linseed oil, which are renewable, it is therefore more environmentally-friendly. Even its maintenance is eco-friendly as it only requires a pH-neutral cleaner. Its components also have anti-bacterial and anti-static properties and is anti-allergenic. Like vinyl, it is also comfortable to walk on, hard-wearing and comes in a large variety of colours. However, it can be more expensive and it can be more difficult to find good professional installation.

Tile

It is hard to match this type of flooring for durability, as evidenced by the countless historic buildings across Europe. Tiles are hard and resistant to water, making cleaning and maintenance easy, usually just with dilute all-purpose cleaner and hot water, although it is important to rinse thoroughly. However, this hardness also means that anything dropped can easily break and it may not be so comfortable underfoot, especially if you are standing for hours by the kitchen sink! The other disadvantage is that tiles can become dangerous and slippery when wet – in general, unglazed tiles have better grip and you can also choose a tile with a textured surface to provide more traction. Another thing to consider with tiles is maintenance of the grouting as staining of this is very unsightly. And lastly, tiles can be very cold!

Stone

This is a similar option to tile, although it retains heat better and gives a unique appearance, depending on the stone you choose – for example, black granite gives a look of elegant sophistication whereas uneven limestone gives off a rustic air. Whether it is granite, soapstone, slate or limestone, this type of flooring is very durable, hard-wearing and low-maintenance. For best results, the surface should be sealed (except soapstone) and only pH-neutral cleaners used, as anything which leaves a soap film will only encourage dirt to stick.

Wood

Especially for older homes, it is hard to beat the beauty of Solid, Hardwood Flooring. Oak is a popular choice, although other types of wood used include beech, walnut, maple and ash – and pine is often used to create a vintage look. Wooden floorboards have a tongue-and-groove design which enables them to interlock securely and usually only require regular sweeping and vacuuming, with any additional maintenance depending on the floor’s finishing. In general, this is a form of water-based polyurethane. Aside from their beauty, wood floors are warm, comfortable, extremely long-lasting (properly finished and cared for, they can last the life of the structure) and have good resale value. However, maintenance of the finish does need to be taken into consideration and some will expand and contract depending on dampness and humidity. In addition, solid hardwood is very expensive.

Laminate

This type of flooring looks like solid wood but is actually made up of multiple layers of processed wood, such as M.D.F. (medium density fibre board), topped by a photographic image of wood and then all covered by a clear layer of melamine which is hard-wearing and water-resistant. As it is installed over a flat “sub floor” (e.g. a layer of plywood or pre-existing vinyl or tile), laminate is often called the “floating wood floor”. While older versions of laminate may have required glue for installations, new models have tongue-and-groove mechanisms similar to traditional wood planking which makes it even more attractive for the DIY market. Laminate is an extremely popular choice nowadays due to its ease and speed of installation and the low cost, compared to traditional hardwood floors. It will not fade or yellow, like vinyl, and yet is also scratch- and water-resistant. It is also comfortable and requires only simple maintenance. However, colours and styles can be a bit limited and the surface can dent if care is not taken; in addition, the fibreboard core can actually trigger some allergies.

Other Options

There are several other types of flooring that are gradually gaining in popularity, such as cork which is an Environmentally Friendly, natural product and is warm, comfortable, hard-wearing and easy to maintain. It is also hypoallergenic and relatively affordable. However, it can still fade and dent and you will need to take care of the finishing. Also, because of its strong ability to absorb water, damp and humidity is a serious issue – in fact, most manufacturers recommend installation during the drier months and finishing carefully with a recommended sealer. Cork also gives off a distinct odour which some people may find offensive. Bamboo is another type of flooring that is gradually finding favour, especially because it is an environmentally-friendly choice. There is limited choice in colours and styles, however, and it can also be expensive.
Whichever type of flooring you choose, make sure you faithfully follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and maintenance, to ensure maximum longevity of your product.
Visit out main website at www.AmericarpetFloors.com for all your flooring needs (including area rugs). Visit www.stylishrugs.com for area rugs specifically and www.americarpetcommercial.com for commercial carpet specifically. This article was taken directly from http://www.floorideas.co.uk/
3a

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Color Compromise

http://floortalk.wfca.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/color.gif
It happens all the time. Color preferences that are so divergent there seems to be no happy medium. So how does a married couple (or a designer consulting with them) find a harmonious solution? What I have found in many years of color consultations, is that there is more than a little competitiveness between husband and wife on this subject. And both want to get their way on color choices. You would be surprised to learn that husbands are just as adamant about their preferences as wives are. They are looking to the designer to take sides, be a tie breaker, (or in some cases, referee), and that is something a professional can not do. It’s the designer’s job to create a total environment, including the right colors that will reflect the overall ambiance they are trying to achieve.

There are some key clues that couples give during the initial consult, and it’s their words, rather than specific colors, which helps determine the final color palette. For instance: cozy, homey, warm, inviting are words that indicate the predilection for warm colors: red, orange, yellow, warm neutrals and any secondary combinations of those colors. Conversely, relaxing, restful, calming are words that convey the need for cool colors: gray, blue, green, purple, and any secondary combinations of those colors. A third hugely popular category uses descriptives such as timeless, understated, earthy, natural, and that’s where interesting neutrals come into play.

What I have found is that, given the clues any married couple provides me, we can come up with a palette that accomplishes the ultimate goal of their interior design, and incorporates individual color preferences–either in one room of the house, or as an accent color in a main living area. I have yet to work with a couple that feels their preferences were disregarded or that their designer “took sides”. So how do you find this middle road on your own? Exactly the way a professional designer does. Make a list of adjectives (that you both contribute) to define the ultimate look of what you want your new design to achieve. Based on those descriptives, match the feel of what you want to accomplish to the colors that historically can pull that off. I have researched color associations thoroughly (with the help of Color Marketing Group International) and devised a chart that will help you make those color connections (see lead photo).

As long as you remember that color choice isn’t a contest between spouses, you can incorporate the best of both your preferences and (with luck and a bit of compromise) live happily ever after.

Article and photo taken directly from http://floortalk.wfca.org 1a 2a
Americarpet carries all of the color palette mentioned in this article.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Marble Flooring Pros and Cons

There is no doubt about it, marble flooring has become one of the hottest new materials on the market for those wanting a sleek, elegant surface on their home floors. But before you make the financial commitment to this beautiful and pricey flooring material, take a look first to see exactly what you are getting into. Along with the benefits, a few disadvantages also appear immediately and with the long-term use of that gorgeously stylish marble floor.

Hard, Cold, Beautiful
The first thing to consider when going over marble flooring pros and cons is its hardness. Of course, that's one of it's attractions: With this type of floor, you won't worry about the dog's paw nails scratching the surface like you would if you selected a wood flooring surface.

But then again, if you're thinking about using marble as the material in a kitchen, don't ever plan on dropping a glass dish. That good, hard marble surface will most likely cause even the toughest types of glass to shatter if dropped from any distance at all.

Another thing to keep in mind when evaluating marble flooring is their warmth, or rather, the lack thereof. If you habitually run around the house in bare feet, better buy some house shoes if you're seriously considering marble floors.

Especially in winter, those tootsie toes will absolutely freeze when you walk across the floor in the morning for that first cup of java. Conversely, however, cool is downright, well, cool, if you are thinking hot summer days/evenings when a nice, cool floor would be welcomed.

Cost
Marble flooring runs on the expensive side. Pricing, at anywhere from $4 to $8 per square foot, makes this type of material one of the most expensive. You can purchase vinyl tile that looks remarkably like marble for a fraction of the cost of real marble. You also get some of the benefits marble doesn't offer like a softer feel, ease of maintenance, and simplicity of installation. The fact that marble flooring does cost so much puts in the getting ahead of the Joneses category, however.

Maintaining Its Beauty
Probably one of the biggest reasons marble should be re-considered is when it comes to keeping it shiny and clean. Marble does not hold up well in heavily trafficked areas. You will need to regularly polish it to maintain its beautiful sheen.

Also, marble cannot tolerate cleaning products with chlorine, which is guaranteed to ruin its gorgeously shiny finish. The rebuttal to this con is that if someone can afford to have marble flooring installed, they can afford to have it cleaned and maintained properly, a good, logical argument for those who heed it.

Marble makes one of those flooring materials each homeowner must decide for him- or herself whether or not it's right for their particular home. It's beautiful, hard to keep that way, hard, cold and inimitable in its league as far as imparting elegance and class. But only you can decide if it's the flooring for you.

Americarpet carries marble flooring. Visit out main website at www.AmericarpetFloors.com for all your flooring needs. Visit www.stylishrugs.com for area rugs specifically and www.americarpetcommercial.com for commercial carpet specifically. This article was taken directly from http://www.onlinetips.org/marble-pros-cons 3a

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Armstrong Floor Tile

Armstrong floor tile is one of the most easily recognized brands of tile on the market today. This particular brand of tile is known not only for its strength and durability but also for its beauty and elegance. The Armstrong floor tile brand is expansive enough to offer many selections that suit many budgets from the low economy range to high society range and has every kind of taste in between well represented as well.
Armstrong floor tile caters not only to the single home consumer but also to much larger corporate consumers as well. Commercial flooring by Armstrong is made to stand up to more rigorous use and abuse than traditional home flooring and commands a higher price tag for that benefit. These floors are often quite lovely but their prices do not accurately convey the price of Armstrong flooring for the home. Be sure you are comparing apples to apples when price shopping and not apples to oranges.
Benefits of Floor Tile
When searching for the perfect flooring for your home I am sure you have come across more than one sample of Armstrong floor tile. What you may not know is the incredible value you are holding in your hand at the time. The fact is that vinyl tile is much cheaper than many flooring options on the market today.
Another great thing about tile is the fact that modern tile is easier than ever to install. You simply peel and stick (once you have painstakingly measured and have the perfect starting point that is). All that considered it is one of the easiest floors in todays market to install. If I was able to do it on my first try, anyone can do it.
Another great thing about tile, particularly Armstrong floor tile is the vast selection. You have a lot of options with tile from which to choose and define the look of your room. This of course, can apply to any room. Tile is not limited to kitchens and baths, especially the tile of today.
Tile is a durable alternative for entryways, dining rooms, living rooms, utility rooms, bedrooms, basements, and any other room I may have left out of the description. Perhaps my favorite reason to install vinyl tile in the home is the fact that it is very low maintenance. All you really need is to sweep and mop regularly (paying occasional attention to scuffs) in order to keep your tile floors looking nice.
Cons of Tile Floors
It would be rather remiss to mention the many benefits of installing flooring such as an Armstrong tile floor without also mentioning some of the less than favorable consequences. The first of these consequences is the fact that tile has a much lower life expectancy than hardwood, ceramic tile, or granite flooring would have. There is also the fact that there are many seams in which dirt and moisture can creep that will create issues over time.
Vinyl tile is somewhat susceptible to gouging and tearing than ceramic tile; even Armstrong floor tile despite its extraordinary strength is more fragile than well-installed ceramic tile. Vinyl tile is also less likely to raise the value of your home than stone, granite, or hardwood flooring. No matter what type of flooring you choose for your home, the important thing is that you make an informed decision and have all the facts before you.
Americarpet is an official carrier of Armstrong flooring products. Visit out main website at www.AmericarpetFloors.com for all your flooring needs. Visit www.stylishrugs.com for area rugs specifically and www.americarpetcommercial.com for commercial carpet specifically. 3a

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Best Carpets for Homes with Pets

Many of us are pets lovers but keeping animals in the house and ensuring our carpets remain looking their best do not always go hand-in-hand. Some people are tempted to give up, and simply choose hard flooring instead, finding it easier to maintain when animals are about. But for those who do like to feel the soft warmth of a carpet under foot, there are options.

Think About Color
The color of your carpet is perhaps the first place to start. This will need to tie in with your overall color scheme while also being a sensible option with your pets. Firstly, think about the animal traffic in and out of the room you are designing. Will you have pets – particularly dogs – that might, despite your best intentions, be coming in and out with muddy paws? If so, you will have to go for a darker shade – try blacks, chocolate browns or even deep terracottas.

Next, you need to consider coordinating your pet with your home! Having a carpet that is constantly covered in obvious animal hair results in a lot of work with the vacuum cleaner. If you have a long-haired dog, cat, or even rabbit with dark hair, then do not lay a light carpet. Similarly, white or gray hairs will be far more noticeable on a darker carpet. To overcome the problem of grubby paw prints from a light-colored animal, choose a patterned or multi-colored carpet.

Carpet Quality
With regard to wear and tear, always take advice from your carpet retailer or manufacturer. Also, consider the pile on the carpet. Although long-pile may be warmer and more comfortable underfoot, choosing a shorter pile may wear better and less likely to encounter paw damage. Look for a non-looped pile as this is likely to pull on nails and to be loosened by playful cats.

Preventing Stains
If you have a puppy or kitten and are worried about house training stains, then once again take advice from your supplier. Some carpets have been treated with special chemicals and therefore come with a certain degree of built-in protection. These carpets come in a range of twists, piles and colors, so you should be able to find something that broadly meets your design needs. If not, research just how easy it will be to clean the carpet you really desire, should the worst happen. Some carpets, such as those made from man-made mixes, will be more suitable for Home Cleaning with a vacuum, gentle rubbing or carpet shampoo. Others, such as those made from natural fibers, will need more careful handling.

Animal Allergies
Finally, there are a few people who despite their animal allergies just cannot resist keeping a pet or two. While many of these owners will opt for hard flooring in a bid to be able to keep their home hair-free, others many still wish to have carpets. Options for those householders would be to have as short a pile carpet as possible or to have the carpet cleaned with a product that works to break down pet allergens.

Americarpet sells carpet that is pet friendly and can guide you in choosing a carpet for your pet-friendly needs. Visit our main website at www.AmericarpetFloors.com for all of your flooring needs. Visit www.stylishrugs.com for area rugs specifically and www.americarpetcommercial.com for commercial carpet specifically. 2a

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sphinx Options - Reversible Rugs




Change your decor at the flip of a rug

Area rugs have always been essential to completing the look of a room, but never before has it been so quick and easy to modify the feel of your space.

From a traditional design perfect for your next dinner party, to a fun, casual pattern for everyday living. Options gives you twice the design possibilities in one incredibly soft, hand-tufted wool rug. A revolutions in area rugs is here. One rug, double the fashion... You have Options.
  • Personalize your home for any season, mood or occasion with the simple flip of a rug.
  • Coordinating colors tie together the styling and contrasting designs offer versatility in each piece, allowing both sides to enhance the surrounding decor.
  • Textures, such as contrasting loop and pile and hand-carved details, add interest to many of the patterns.
  • Options rugs are handcrafted of 100% wool. Options Sylk rugs are handcrafted of wool with accents of faux silk for an elegant appearance and luxurious hand.
Sizes available
2'3" x 8' - 3'6" x 5'6" - 5'8" - 8' x 11' - 10' x 13'

Americarpet carries Sphinx area rugs. In our collection we also carry Options, the rugs seen above. Visit out main website at www.AmericarpetFloors.com for all your flooring needs (including area rugs). Visit www.stylishrugs.com for area rugs specifically and www.americarpetcommercial.com for commercial carpet specifically. This article was taken directly from http://www.onlinetips.org 4a

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Armstrong Vinyl Flooring

There are two types of Armstrong vinyl flooring. These are Vinyl Sheet and Vinyl Tile. You can purchase Armstrong vinyl flooring sheets in sizes of both 6 and 12 feet widths. Vinyl sheet flooring also may have one of two backings. These are felt and fiberglass. Felt backed vinyl flooring is the most popular choice and the fiberglass backing offers greater cushion to the floor.

Vinyl Sheet Flooring
It is important to know the difference between the two backings because each backing has its own installation procedures. Vinyl sheet flooring has a protective top coating of Urethane that makes the floor highly durable and resistant to scratching and scuffing.

Along with the Urethane layer, there is also a protective clear vinyl layer that protects the floor against ripping. However, it is still a good idea to use protective pads for the legs of your furniture and to limit high heel shoes on the floor.

You will find that Armstrong vinyl flooring sheets are a wonderful addition to any room, and since flooring is a vital component of your homes decor, that vinyl flooring will bring out the best of your decorating scheme, that you will want to avoid using sheeting on stairs. However, due to the fact that vinyl sheeting uses a water repellant, it is perfectly suitable for use in your bathroom and kitchens, two rooms that homeowners often have a problem with.

Due to the high humidity and water levels, choosing flooring may be a difficult task for these rooms, but this is not the case when it comes to vinyl sheeting. Using a thick sheeting, such as 65 mils and higher, is a great way to ensure the longevity and beauty of your flooring.Some things to look out for when using vinyl sheeting include the fact that thin vinyl sheeting is more prone to ripping and tearing. Therefore you should opt for the thicker sheets. If you are not experienced at do it yourself projects, you may want to hire a contractor to install the flooring for you. Vinyl sheeting installation is not as simple as installing a laminate floor and will require the preparation of your subfloor (underlayment) and seams will need to be sealed.

Vinyl Tile
The other type of Armstrong vinyl flooring is vinyl tile. Vinyl tile is designed in a similar fashion to vinyl sheeting however, it is much simpler to install. Vinyl tile consists of the first layer, the Protective Wear layer that is fashioned from Urethane.

The Urethane coating protects the floor from scratching and also makes it very easy to clean. This is different from vinyl that has not protective coating, and Urethane coated vinyl is durable and easy to maintain. You can also purchase Enhanced Urethane Vinyl tiles for even greater durability and strength. The next layer of tile Armstrong vinyl flooring is the protective clear film. This adds more strength and helps protect the floor from additional gouging. The next layer is what adds the beauty and realism to the vinyl tile. Using advanced photographic techniques; the tile displays a beautiful array of designs and patterns. Some tiles feature a wood grain pattern while others may have an intricately arranged ceramic tile design.

Colors, styles, and designs abound and choices are virtually endless when choosing vinyl tiles. The final layer of vinyl tiles is the backing. The backing may come in various layers of thickness. Generally, the thicker the backing of the tile, the stronger and more durable the floor will be.

You can install vinyl tiles in every room, but due to the excessive water usage and high humidity in bathrooms, you should take extra care to ensure that the floor is well sealed.


Article Source: www.onlinetips.org

Americarpet sells both vinyl sheet and vinyl tile. To learn more about us or if you wish to purchase go to our website at www.americarpetfloors.com and also visit us on www.stylishrugs.com and www.americarpetcommercial.com 3a

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cork Tiles



Cork is made from ground up outer bark of the Cork Oak. It is considered an environmentally friendly product. Cork Oak has two layers of bark, the 2nd outer layer is for protection and can be removed without harming the tree. The inside layer becomes the outer layer and is then removed in the next harvest. Many other trees will die if their bark is removed. The Cork Oak should not be confused with the “cork trees“. The Cork Oak is the only one used for the production of cork.

Cork is made of tiny cells that are full of air. Over 50% of the volume of cork is air. This cell structure is responsible for some of the unique and useful properties of cork. Cork is lightweight, porous, buoyant, absorbs sound, is a good insulator, highly compressible, resistant to moisture, a low thermal conductor, stable and resilient.

In addition to the above mentioned benefits it is also chemically inert and reasonably priced. Using high heat and great pressure cork shavings are able to be fused together into tiles with no binders or chemicals whatsoever. It is often sold as is and is then finished with a protective coating by the installer.

Uses for Cork
There are many uses for cork. Two of the obvious uses that one thinks of is of course corkboards and wine stoppers.

Commercial and residential flooring are two more popular uses for cork. It is also suitable for wall finishing. Classrooms, libraries, museums, auditoriums, hospitals and anywhere else where cork’s ability to absorb sound, it’s durability and the ease of it’s maintenance is beneficial. When intended as flooring, cork is usually treated with several coats of polyurethane. This can be done prior to installation or afterwards. It is usually applied by the installers or it can be purchased from the manufacturer pre-treated.

Cork tile for flooring and walls comes in many vibrant colors and shades. It can be glued over concrete, wood and many other existing floors. It is also available with an interlocking system that can be installed without adhesive.

Properly treated and installed cork tiles will last for many years. Wear and tear from normal use can be maintained by screening and reapplying the polyurethane coating. This should be done by professionals to insure satisfactory results. Make sure that whoever you hire is experienced with cork tile re-finishing.

Cork is also used as a tile adhesive and rubber cork underlay. It can be used to reduce sound from traveling to lower levels of property. Cork tiles are often installed as insulation. Cork’s buoyancy makes it an ideal material for life preservers, fishing rod handles and floating boat key chains.

Possible Problems in Use of Cork
Due to cork being a natural wood product, shades of individual tiles are naturally varied. Exposure to sunlight and UV rays over time will cause fading. In addition the cork will become brittle and frail. Prolonged or excessive exposure to moisture can cause the binder to deteriorate and eventually break down and crumble. This is more common when a wax-based binder is used.

In high traffic areas, abrasion will occur over time. This is especially true when the protective polyurethane coating has worn off. Dirt and grime left on the floor increases this abrasiveness. The porous property of cork makes it naturally prone to staining.

Spills should be cleaned up immediately with water and mild soap. The use of certain cleaners will contribute to the further deterioration of cork tile flooring. Ammonia and hydroxide-based cleaners will damage cork. Solvents, abrasive and caustic cleaners should never be used.

Prevention of Damage
Casters and gliders should be used under furniture, felt and rubber pads are recommended. Although cork flooring is kinder to our feet and posture for long periods of standing, high heels will dent cork and really should be avoided for any extended length of time.

[Americarpet - Truth be told, cork flooring is one of my favorite type of floors, if not my favorite. When put underneath the foot there is a certain feel and warmth (not to be confused with heat) other floors cannot replicate.]

Lead shot taken from: http://www.bamboofloorings.org/
Article Source: http://www.onlinetips.org

Americarpet sells cork flooring. To learn more about us or if you wish to purchase go to our website at www.americarpetfloors.com and also visit us on www.stylishrugs.com and www.americarpetcommercial.com 3a

Saturday, April 30, 2011

How to Maintain Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile requires very little maintenance, which is what attracts many homeowners to use it. If you follow a few of these Do’s and Don’ts your ceramic tile can keep is shiny and smooth look for many years to come.

Do’s
• In very soiled areas use a cleaner that is made specifically for ceramic tile.
• Clean tile with a damp sponge. (A very small amount of soapless detergent in warm water only)
• In the event you do use a cleaner make sure it is non-acidic, non-alkaline and a neutral base.
• Wipe the surface softly, never scrubbing as this will scratch the tile and ruin the finish.

Don’ts
• Don’t use soap (it will leave a film on the finish) • Use harsh cleaners (these will scratch the tile)
• Use scrub brushes
• Do not use bleach as a cleaner as this will begin to eat away at the finish • Wear rough or hard sole shoes on the tile if at all possible, this too may scratch it.

Other Tips
The grout will need to be re-grouted and sealed again. This will help protect your tile from mold. To do this; you simply need to clean out grout joints and apply a silicone or water based sealer. If you are re-grouting, be sure to keep a wet cloth with you to wipe away the excess quickly so it does not dry and damage the tile.

This article was taken directly from www.onlinetips.org. Americarpet sells all the flooring mentioned in this article. You can see our websites at www.americarpetfloors.com - www.americarpetcommercial.com and www.stylishrugs.com. 3a

Monday, April 25, 2011

Strand Woven Bamboo

Bamboo is a woody plant that has become very popular for use in hardwood flooring for several reasons. It is the fastest growing woody plant in the world and is actually considered a grass. At its optimal height it can grow over 24 inches in a single day. Bamboo’s growth rate is one of the main reasons for the plant’s popularity in flooring. A single bamboo plant can reach maturity in only four to seven years. This makes it easy to quickly produce and profit off of bamboo plantations. This growth rate is the reason why bamboo is considered a renewable resource and green flooring. But what’s the difference between regular bamboo flooring and strand-woven bamboo? The answer lies in the way the two types are engineered.
Regular bamboo flooring is made by combining strips of bamboo together. This is usually done by utilizing various adhesives such as formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is one of the most well known volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Cheaper bamboos usually include more formaldehyde in order to make up for the stalks having been harvested early or being of low quality. Bamboo produced in the traditional way will have a hardness of about red oak, which is one of the softer trade woods. What the engineering process does is form homogenous, solid pieces of bamboo flooring. With strand-woven bamboo flooring you get flooring that is actually 154% stronger than red oak and 126 % stronger than North American maple. This places the hardness of strand-woven bamboo near the extremely hard, exotic hard woods like Brazilian walnut and Ipe. Bamboo grows much faster than these woods and actually costs less as well. Strand-woven bamboo is strong enough to stand up to the rigors associated with commercial environments, giving business owners the option of going green without sacrificing durability.
Americarpet sells bamboo and other flooring mentioned in this article. This article was taken directly from www.jankahardnessscale.com. 3a

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Buying Wood Flooring

engineered-wood-flooring
In today’s market, there is no shortage of sellers trying to put new wood flooring into your home. There are flooring retailers, online outlets and big-box stores, each promising the best material. If finding products is easy, how will you know what to buy? Consider these three characteristics of wood floors as you shop:

How is it made?
Real-wood flooring materials are either solid or engineered wood products. Solid flooring is simply that—each piece is solid lumber all the way through. Engineered wood is more like plywood, with a top beauty layer sitting on a foundation of several plys. Generally, two pieces of oak flooring—one solid, one engineered—will perform about the same until it is time for a refinishing. Then, the solid wood can be sanded as needed, but the top layer of an engineered wood is so thin, it may only allow one or two sandings.

If you are thinking about engineered wood flooring, be forewarned about one thing. Purchase only name brands that you trust. This is not a product to buy on price alone because some low-cost import products are poorly assembled, which means you could be facing costly repairs or replacement when the material can’t stand up to household traffic.

Is there a cost difference?
There won’t be much difference in purchase price between a solid wood and an engineered wood floor, if both are the same common species. But the engineered floor may cost substantially less if it is a less-common species. Engineered may also cost less for installation. If you are investing for the long haul, however, look seriously at solid. Remember, it can be refinished many times through the years.

Will it last?
Your new floor may look wonderful on the day it is installed, but if it won’t hold up to foot traffic, you’re probably not going to be a satisfied customer. Durability is a key factor. There are two chief considerations: hardness of the wood and hardness of the finish.

The Janka Hardness Test (JHT) was invented to determine wood hardness. JHT is a scale that puts hardness into number form. The higher the number, the harder the wood. Generally, any woods in the 1000 to 2000 range will give you many years of good performance. But make sure you know the specifics of the species you consider. For instance, Black Cherry has a hardness of 950 and Brazilian Cherry has a hardness of 2350. The former may get damaged by constant heavy traffic, while the latter should stand up well.

The other factor is the hardness of the finish. For an active household, shop for a baked-on clear topcoat. Purchase from a brand name and get products with warranties of 25 years or longer.

Source: http://floortalk.wfca.org/
Americarpet sells solid hardwood and engineered hardwood. Visit our website at www.americarpetfloors.com for more information and to contact us. 3a

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Vinyl Tiles or Vinyl Sheet?

With its durability, comfort underfoot, stain resistance and easy maintenance, not to mention availability in a range of colors, patterns and even realistic replications of other flooring materials, it is not surprising that vinyl is a popular choice for flooring, particularly in the home. It is ideal for active families and those with pets, as well as being a good choice for many commercial settings. Vinyl comes in two forms: sheet and tile, each with its own pros and cons.


Vinyl Sheet
Vinyl is a multi-layered form of flooring, with a protective top layer usually made of urethane, a protective clear vinyl layer, followed by the printed vinyl design layer and then finally the backing. The top layer helps to protect against scratches and scuff marks while the clear vinyl layer helps to protect against gouges, rips and tears. It is also the thickness and quality of this layer that most determines the floor's durability and appearance retention.

Most vinyl sheet sold is constructed with a felt backing but a small minority has the new construction format using fiberglass backing, resulting in a more cushioning floor and more installation options.

Vinyl sheet's popularity stems largely from its adaptability for use in any part of the home, from high traffic areas such as hallways and family rooms to wet areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. It is also a popular choice for laundries and basements.

One place vinyl does not suit is stairs, as it is only designed for flat, level surfaces. Remember that if choosing vinyl sheet for high traffic areas, try to opt for thicker versions which will stand up better under constant wear and tear. In addition, while it is effectively water-proof and therefore an ideal choice for rooms with high moisture, the installation adhesive is still water-soluble and therefore, beware of exposing the seams or perimeters of vinyl sheet flooring to water.

Vinyl sheet flooring is expected to last 20-30 years if it is of good quality and properly installed and cared for. It does not need waxing, buffing or polishing; simply a regular sweep or vacuum, backed up by an occasional mop with a special vinyl floor cleaner. Unlike many other types of flooring, because of its waterproof properties, there is less urgency in cleaning up any liquid spills on the flooring.

Vinyl sheet is not one of the more DIY-friendly floors. The biggest problem is cutting the vinyl sheet to the correct size. Sheet vinyl is heavy and extremely bulky to work with. Some DIY kits do contain tools to help you pattern and cut the vinyl but in many instances, it may be better to resort to professional installation.

In all cases, ensure that the subfloor is flat and dry and most of all smooth. If not, an embossing leveler may need to be used to smooth over textured surfaces, patch irregularities or fill in grooves. Providing it is smooth and resilient, the sub floor can be concrete, hardwood or plywood. Sealing a vinyl floor seam successfully is the other challenge and unless you are an experienced DIY enthusiast, again, it may best be left to professionals.


Vinyl Tile
As would be expected, vinyl tile shares many of the same properties as vinyl sheet. It is identical in construction except that it often comes with a ready peel-and-stick adhesive backing which is ideal for DIY installations. It offers all the same benefits of durability and versatility, stain-resistance and water-proofing, as well as the multitude of colours and designs and simulations of other flooring materials. In addition, the module tile format gives you even more flexibility in design options, allowing you to use different colours in a combination of different tiles to create checkerboard looks and other visual effects. Modern vinyl tiles are even available in different-sized squares and as luxury vinyl tile plank shapes which replicate the look of hardwood flooring with amazing success.

One of the key differences between vinyl tile and vinyl sheet is that the modular tile format results in seams in which dirt and moisture can accumulate whereas sheet vinyl is virtually seamless and therefore has a much more uniform appearance. This means that when vinyl tile is used in places of high moisture, such as in bathrooms, it is important to wipe up any spills or pooling water promptly so that it does not seep between the seams and damage the adhesive bonds and floor substrate.

Another key difference is that vinyl tile has a lower life expectancy, from just 5 to 20yrs, depending on the initial quality of the vinyl used and the level of care and maintenance it receives. Like sheet vinyl, the thicker the tile, the more durable and long-wearing it will be. However, note that although tile has a lower life-expectancy, it is much easier and cheaper to repair as only the damaged or stained portion needs to be replaced.

Probably the biggest differences between a vinyl sheet and tile is in the installation. Unlike vinyl sheet, vinyl tile is very DIY-friendly and thus can be a huge cost saver in renovation and building projects by saving you the need to hire a professional installer.

Most vinyl tile will come either in the 'glueless' form, with adhesive tabs or spray adhesive, or in the peel 'n' stick self-adhesive form which also does not need glue. You can also get full-spread 'luxury' vinyl tile which needs adhesive and trowel for installation but these types are not recommended for DIY projects.

The glueless form is the easiest and allows for easy placement and removal. It even comes with a roll-out underlay that is pre-marked with a grid pattern to help you with installation. Peel 'n' stick tiles are also easy to install but the self-adhesive is very strong and therefore it is wise to measure thoroughly before laying the tile down as it is very difficult to remove once stuck. Just like with vinyl sheet, it is very important that the subfloor is properly prepared and is dry, flat and smooth. If you are using self-adhesive tiles, a latex primer applied to the subfloor before installation is a good idea.

this article was taken from floorideas.co.uk. Americarpet does sell the vinyl mentioned in the article. Visit us at www.americarpetfloors.com 3a

Friday, January 28, 2011

Flooring for a Newly Built Home

Buying a property off-plan can be a fabulous way of having a huge input into the fixtures and fittings of your newly built home. Developers and contractors could well let you have a say in the style and make of your kitchen and bathrooms, as well as your paint and wall paper, and, of course, your flooring.

Equally, you might be buying a new build home, which is either sold ready for you to finish yourself with flooring or you might have cut a deal with a developer and bought your newly built home with the whole interior still to complete.

Whichever position you find yourself in with your new build home, do consider your flooring carefully and make the most of any opportunities afforded to you. Think about what you would like now style-wise but also consider the future. Consider practical options as well as aesthetics – and save yourself cost, effort and worry in years to come.

Living Spaces
First of all, give some thought to your living spaces. Do you want your reception rooms to be soft, warm and welcoming in their style? If so, going for a fitted carpet is probably the best option. Think carefully about color if you already have children – or are planning to start a family in the near future. Choosing a stylish cream or off-white, might look good in your gleaming new build but will have the shine taken off it as soon as muddy feet and food spillages start to do their worst.

Clean Reception Rooms
If a hard floor seems more sensible or you want a minimal, clean style to go with your new modern property, then explore the options of wood and natural stone. If your developer won’t run to this, then look at the next best flooring solutions. Laminate flooring can create that wood look and is ideal for a family with young children. Try linoleum or other man-made tiles too. There are some fabulous styles out there that will give your sitting room, dining room or kitchen a fantastic finish.

Bedroom Flooring
Next you’ll want to consider flooring for your bedrooms and bathrooms. Fitted are carpets are likely to be the best option for bedrooms, keeping them cozy and warm and making it pleasant to step out of bed on a winter’s morning. Think about whether you want to give each room an individual identity with a different color of carpet – or whether you want the new look of your home to flow easily from room to room, in one simple shade.

Bathroom Style
To bring together the whole interior design of your new build home, you may wish to create a connection between your bathrooms and kitchen. Consider either using the same flooring, or at least working along a similar theme. If your kitchen features slate or another dark tile, for example, echo it in your bathrooms or at least replicate the style by choosing something non-slip and water-proof that gives a similar look and creates a sense of unity within your new property.

This article was quoted directly from floorideas.co.uk. Moreover, Americarpet sells carpet, laminate, hardwood, natural stone, linoleum and all of the others floors mentioned in the article. Come see our website at www.AmericarpetFloors.com. 3a

Friday, January 7, 2011

How to Restore Quarry Tiles or Stone Tiles

Stone or quarry tile restoration needs care and time if the original surfaces are not to be damaged. As stone and quarry tiles are not made of the same material, there are different ways of treating them so they will be dealt with separately.

Warnings About Restoring Floor Tiles
One thing that stone and quarry tiles have in common is that , when trying to restore them, you should try the least harsh treatments first, then go on to more dangerous ones if they don't work or have not worked completely. It is easy to go from a soft treatment to a hard one but if a harsh treatment damages a tile then it will be much more difficult to save it.

It's also worth trying any new products or treatments in an area where they won't show, such as a corner, behind a door or under a piece of furniture. Then if there is an adverse reaction it won't ruin the look of the whole floor.

Quarry Tiles Versus Stone Tiles
Stone tiles are, as the name suggests made from stone taken from a quarry. Just to confuse the issue, quarry tiles are not stone and are not taken from a quarry, at least not a stone quarry. Quarry tiles are made from clay using a very similar process to terracotta tiles, but are thinner and less porous, being denser.

Stone tiles can be subject to harsher treatment than quarry tiles although that's not giving license to treat them badly. It's just recognition that stone tiles are not as porous and are harder wearing than quarry tiles.

Paint Removal from Stone Tiles
If you have paint on stone tiles then chip the bulk of it off with a plastic or wooden scraper and then use a paint remover that's designed for stone tiles for the rest. Try and find one that forms a poultice, then dissolves and lifts the paint, rather than a liquid.

If you have small bits of paint left in the crevices of the stone surface, use a liquid paint remover but don’t leave it on any longer than the manufacturer's directions. Scrub it with an old toothbrush before removing the product and the paint as well.

Stone can then be polished with an abrasive compound but make sure it's one that's recommended for your particular stone, as there are many different types. Sealing can help prevent staining and damage from spills but again make sure that it's the right sealant for your type of stone and the mortar or grout that was used when the floor was laid.

Quarry Tiles
The same advice applies with the paint removing tactics but look for a paint remover that's rated for use on terracotta or quarry tiles. With stains and residue, perhaps concrete, old sealer or grout, use a proprietary stain remover.

Although you can rub away at stains and residue, it is imperative not to use any abrasive substance or method on quarry tiles. The shiny surface on these tiles is the 'face' that is created when the tiles are fired in a kiln and if that protective and decorative top layer is worn through then the tiles will very quickly deteriorate.

Linseed Oil for Quarry Tiles
Once the major problems have been removed most people recommend scrubbing with linseed oil to clean and protect the tiles. But it takes a long time and frequent applications to build up a protective layer and some companies say that it attracts dirt. These are however, usually companies that sell alternatives so you can take their advice with a pinch of salt.

Sealants and Cleaners
One final word about sealants, and this applies to both quarry tiles and stone tiles. If you do put a sealant on over the tiles after restoring them then make sure you use a cleaner that won’t destroy the sealant. The easiest way to achieve this is to buy both the sealant and the cleaner from the same firm. Bear in mind that sealant won’t last for ever as well, in high traffic areas three years is a good lifetime for floor tile sealant.

This article was quoted directly from floorideas.co.uk. Moreover, Americarpet sells natural stone tiles and quarry tiles. Come see our website at www.AmericarpetFloors.com. 3a