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