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11

What Is the Best Way to Glaze Floor Tiles to Refresh Them?

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When you move into a pre-loved home, chances are you’re going to need to change a few things to suit your personal style. This can be a costly endeavor, especially when it comes to bathrooms and kitchens. Plumbing and retiling can cost a pretty penny, and when you’ve just bought a new home you might not have a great deal of cash to play around with.

A great option for those who aren’t able to retile is to glaze. This is a more affordable choice and the great news is with a little bit of research you might be able to do the job yourself, giving a new lease of life to your bathroom or kitchen. If you don’t feel comfortable completing the glazing yourself, hire contractors to do the job (which is still a great deal cheaper and less hassle than retiling).

Pros and Cons of Glazing DIY

On the plus side glazing tiles is an incredibly cost effective option that can add value to your home. It can help the aesthetic of a room immeasurably. You should also bear in mind that glazing is quite labor intensive and you won’t be able to use the room whilst it’s in transition. Remember to check if your tiles can be glazed, and be aware of the temperature and humidity as this can affect the process.

Method

Prep

Wearing protective clothing (mask, goggles, and gloves) repairs any cracks or damage to the tiles and peel off the caulk, then wipe them with isopropyl alcohol. Next clean them with bleach and rinse, then scrub with an abrasive pad and rinse a second time. Using steel wool move in small circular motions and finally rinse again. Dry the tiles with a cloth and ensure there’s no residue or debris on the surface.

Protect

Use plastic drop cloths to protect the surrounding areas and cover any drains and fixtures. It’s a good idea to remove as much as you can from the room – especially if you’re using an aerosol spray.

Apply

Now you can carefully apply the glaze product with a paintbrush. It will need a few layers, so be patient and opt for multiple thinner layers as opposed to thick, uneven ones. If you have chosen to use a spray, shake and test before applying so you’re aware of how it comes out. Use a steady motion and again apply two coats.

Be sure to leave the protective plastic in place for 72 hours (if not longer), trying as hard you can to keep the temperature between 75-85 degrees and humidity less than 80 percent.

 

12

What Are Some Good Flooring Options for a Restaurant?

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Restaurants have different requirements when it comes to flooring. There’s constant heavy traffic, furniture being dragged around, food and drink being spilled….whatever flooring you choose needs to be pretty hardy. So what types of floor fare best in such a hazardous environment?

Hardwood / Laminate

A traditional choice for many an upscale restaurants, hardwood flooring has many benefits. It’s extremely durable and long lasting, as well as exuding a certain amount of luxury and style. You can choose from a range of woods and finishes to fit your aesthetic, with some products being designed with extra durability in mind so your flooring will last long into the future. Another advantage employees will be happy with is that it’s extremely to clean; just sweep and mop. This can save money in the long run, thanks to low maintenance on a day-to-day basis

You can also look into laminates or wood plastic composites, which mimic the style of hardwood without the price tag. It’s worth noting these types of materials are engineered to be less susceptible to moisture and scratches.

Carpet

Carpet can actually hide a multitude of sins depending on the style and fabric you choose. It’s also a good option because it swallows a lot of the noise, and restaurants tend to rank up the decibels. Additionally carpet has a cozy and welcoming vibe that other flooring types can’t match.

That being said, carpets are an annoyance to clean and are susceptible to wear and tear. Be sure to move furniture around regularly if you don’t want ‘tracks’ to appear, as well as having them steamed regularly.

Concrete

Polished concrete is becoming an increasingly popular choice for many commercial properties; it has a sleek, modern edge and is incredibly strong and durable. It’s also a breeze to clean and maintain, and has an affordable price tag to boot. More and more varieties in color are being offered by companies, so you can match it with your restaurant’s overall décor.

Tile

Tile is another viable option for a restaurant interior. It’s unfortunately not great at sound insulation, however it’s extremely durable and lasts for a very long time. Another great advantage of tile is it’s finish can make it pretty impervious to any kind of stain – red wine included.

13

What Are Some Good Basement Floor Cleaners?

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Your basement is often the most neglected space in your home, but with a little care it can be transformed into anything from a suitable storage spot to an extra room. The first step in utilizing your basement is to keep it clean – as the location is below ground they present different challenges thanks to the additional moisture in the air. Let’s take a look at the best way to keep your floor sparkling clean:

Prepare

As basements are at risk of mold and mildew, they have different cleaning requirements. Some of these products can be toxic and dangerous if used in incorrectly, so ensure you have all the protective equipment you need (such as goggles, plastic gloves, a mask etc.) You should also have some kind of equipment on hand to assist with ventilation.

Sweep and Clear

Next you need to prepare the area by clearing the entirety of the floor space and sweeping. Do this task twice: once to get the main debris up and twice to collect the fine dust. You can use a vacuum cleaner if you prefer.

Scrub

You should now spot clean any troublesome areas – particularly if you can see any mold spots appearing. Mold needs to be cleaned with a specialized cleaner or you can use laundry detergent, trisodium phosphate (one ounce each) mixed with laundry bleach (one quart) and three quarts of water. Use a stuff nylon brush – never metal. Ensure to be careful not to inhale the mixture whilst scrubbing, rinse, and allow to dry. If you have extremely stubborn stains you can use stronger cleaners but be aware this may cause discoloration.

Mop

Make a mix using hot water and floor cleaner, or make your own using dish soap, white vinegar, and a squeeze of lemon for scent. Mop the floor and replace the cleaning mixture when necessary. Clean in small sections. Afterwards you might want to look into re-waterproofing the room if there was more damp than expected.

14

Flooring & Area Rugs, Home Flooring Ideas

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Area rugs occupy a unique place in the world of flooring. They can be more expressive than other items in your décor arsenal, altering the entire perception of space, tying in the interior as a whole, and providing warmth and comfort. In short, the rug area rug has many important roles to fill…

They Can Inspire The Décor

If you’re looking for a decorative muse, begin by picking out a rug. Every project needs a starting point, and an area rug can do better than most at fulfilling that role. The colors, style, and pattern can all inspire the direction the rest of the décor takes.

They Can Be a Statement Piece

With an area rug you can afford to be more daring than with the rest of your décor. Treat your rug as a statement piece, bringing splashes of color and patterns to the room. Being bold with your choice can really pay off.

They Make the Room Comfortable and Practical

Yes hardwood floors look opulent and are classically stylish, but in reality their lack of sound and heat insulation isn’t desirable. That’s where your good friend the area rug comes in. Area rugs warm up a room on a practical and atmospheric level, adding comfort and coziness.

Texture and Character

Another great feature of rugs is the opportunity to being an extra level of texture. Play around with different types, you might surprise yourself. Remember to think about the practicalities of the material you end up choosing – a sheepskin rug is cozy but not a good option for a high traffic area.

Protection

Flooring is not the cheapest part of your home to update, so you want to protect it from wear and tear as much as possible. Rugs can offer that protection with style to boot. Use area rugs to protect high traffic areas – it’s more affordable to replace a rug than a hallway.

Denote Different Spaces

Finally, rugs can be used to suggest different areas within the home. If you have an open plan layout, rugs can visually and decoratively separate spaces, defining them and adding to their functionality

15

Best Flooring for Kitchens

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Kitchens have to content with a lot – they can get all manner of things spilled and dropped on them and are high traffic areas of the home. So what type of flooring best suits the kitchen in terms of not only style, but also practicality? Here are some of the best options:

Cork

Cork is fast becoming one of the favored options for those who are eco-minded, but there are plenty of other beneficial features that make it a great choice for the kitchen. Firstly, it’s naturally springy and softer than traditional hard wood, so if you’re running around and standing on it all day it’s kinder on your body. Secondly it’s a natural insulator, reducing sound as well as your energy bill. Thirdly, it’s even resistant to water and heat. Lastly it comes in a range of different styles – oh and it’s super affordable. All of the above make cork a clear frontrunner in the kitchen flooring stakes.

Linoleum

Another reasonably priced and stylish option is linoleum. People often presume it’s the same material as vinyl; however the latter is much worse for the environment as it’s a synthetic product made with chemicals. Linoleum on the other hand is made using linseed oil, resin, and other natural components, making it biodegradable. As it is not a printed pattern (the design goes all the way through to the backing) scratches are not as visible, making it one of the more durable choices. It is easy to clean and comes in a variety of options including sheets, tiles, and panels.

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain is the hardier cousin of ceramic; it’s fired at a higher temperature making it extremely durable and stain resistant – two incredibly useful features for the kitchen. Not only is it tough, its low maintenance too and mimics the appearance of stone tiles at a much lower cost.

Laminate

Finally we have laminate, which takes on the appearance of stone or hardwood without the price tag. It’s durable and comes in a huge array of finishes and styles – it’s getting harder and harder to tell laminate from the real thing. One thing to bear in mind is you will need to install the correct underlay to protect from moisture.

 

6

How to Remove Sharpie Markings From a Hardwood Floor

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No matter how careful we are accidents are an unavoidable part of life – especially if you throw little ones into the mix. So whether you dropped your sharpie with the lid off or your two year old was getting creative, you don’t need to despair. Despite what the advertisements might declare, sharpies don’t write on everything forever.

So how do you get stubborn sharpie off your beloved hardwood without damaging it? Try and of these methods:

Toothpaste

This one might surprise you, but it works! Mix equal parts baking soda and toothpaste thoroughly then apply with a clean cloth to the stain; use a circular motion to scrub the marker gently. This may take a little while, so be patient. When the stain is removed clean the residue with soapy water and a clean cloth. You can use the original cloth to remove the toothpaste.

Dry Erase Maker

Another unexpected method, you can use a dry erase maker to get rid of permanent pen.  All you need to do is make sure the pen is dry erase and basically ‘color’ over the entirety of the stain. Leave for one minute then with a dry cloth or sponge wipe the marker – it should lift right up.

Magic Eraser

This is a more traditional choice – just wet the magic sponge then carefully scrub the stain in a circular motion (just as with the toothpaste). Continue until the stain is gone, then dry.

Nail Varnish Remover / Hairspray / Hand Sanitizer / WD40 / Isopropyl Alcohol

These options can work, but it’s important to test them in an inconspicuous area first as they can do damage to the wood. Place or spray your choice on a cloth and dab the area until the stain is lifted, rinse then pat dry.

Whichever method you decide, you should try and do it as soon as possible. The longer you leave the pen, the more it will soak into the wood and the more likely it will be to stain long-term.

9

Home Improvement: Hardwood or Carpet on Stairs?

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Stairs are tricky customers in the flooring world: they’re difficult to install, a struggle to clean, and are in a high traffic area. Plus, more than any other area in the home, safety is a concern. Then there’s the question of aesthetic; should you match your stairs to the rest of the house? Should there be a contrast?

With all this in mind it can be a toughie to decide what flooring is best, posing the age old question…hardwood or carpet?

Hardwood

There’s no denying hardwood is visually impressive, but sometimes looks aren’t everything. The big issue with hardwood stairs is they can be dangerous – they’re slippery and there’s nothing to cushion you if you do fall. If your home has sleepwalkers, children, pets, or seniors, it’s probably best to avoid the hardwood.

If your home isn’t host to the aforementioned, you’ll be happy to learn the advantages of hardwood stairs. They’re durable, strong, and have a long lifespan – especially if you maintain them regularly. They’re also easy to clean (just a quick dust and a mop) and hold less dust and allergens than carpet. If you’re concerned about safety but like the look of hardwood, you can purchase stair treads which are easily installed and provide extra grip and cushion.

Carpet

Carpet is an obvious choice thanks to its many benefits: it quiets sound (particularly advantageous if you have people up and down the stairs regularly), insulates, comes in a variety of styles and materials, is less costly, and of course offers a higher degree of safety and comfort.

One big disadvantage of carpet is the wear and tear that happens overtime thanks to its location in the home, so it’s a good idea to invest a little more into your stair carpet. You can get tough, stain resistant materials that will hold the test of time – just remember to regularly vacuum your stairs bi-weekly, steam clean them four times a year, and spot clean regularly to avoid permanent stains working their way into the fibers.

7

Can You Lay Floor Tiles Without Grout?

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As a rule you should always lay tile with grout – if you don’t you run the risk of replacing them sooner than you might think. The fact is even though you might think tiles look better without grout, there’s a reason it’s used universally.

So What Does Grout Do?

The purpose of grout is to not only to secure the tiles to their position, but also to protect them from damage. It keeps the tiles rigid and the entirety of the area strong. Additionally although it may look like all tiles are exactly the same size and will fit together perfectly, in actuality they are often miniscule differences that grout helps to bridge. Grout is also used to ensure no foreign matter get in between the tiles – no matter how hard you try to fit them together there will always be space which will get filled with debris over time. There is also the problem of moisture getting underneath into the subfloor, which grout protects against. Finally, tiles will always move and as they rub together, they run the risk of cracking. In short if you don’t use grout, chances are your tiles will get ruined. Even having an extremely small amount of grouting will help your tiles a great deal, making them last longer and be stronger.

Tile Alternatives

If you really don’t want to use grout there are several alternatives to tiles you can consider. One option is waterproof wall panels, which are incredibly easy to maintain and durable. They come in a variety of different styles to complement your home, and are quick and easy to install. Another option you could consider is waterproof wallpaper – a relatively new product which is making waves in the décor world. You could also look into ‘pee and stick’ self-adhesive mosaics, which are super simple and fast to install, as well as being inexpensive.

 

8

Can I Repair Scrapes in a Hardwood Floor?

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Hardwood floors are the much coveted material of the flooring world. They are durable, stylish, luxurious… and have a price tag to match. This type of flooring is a labor of love, and responsible owners should regularly maintain it correctly in order to ensure its longevity. Unfortunately, no matter how much care and attention you give your flooring accidents can happen – but fear not! A scrape in your hardwood is actually not too difficult to repair, and your beautiful flooring will be as good as new in no time. Take a look at the following methods:

Use a Marker

This option is great for small scratches, and is an easy, inexpensive way to touch up your floor. The first thing you need to do is visit your local hardware store and see what options they have in way of color – be sure to take a picture to compare. It’s important to test the marker on an inconspicuous area first (like the corner of the room or underneath an item of furniture) Next you should wipe the area with a soft, damp, clean cloth to remove any debris, then all you need to do run the marker down the scrape a couple of times to ensure it’s fully disguised. It may look a little lighter than the wood, but don’t worry. To finish saturate the marker stain with a cloth soaked in a little mineral spirits, going with the grain of the wood. This will help the marker penetrate the scrape.

Protective Coating

Another option for minor scratches is to use varnish, sealant, or another type of protective coating. Again, you should ensure the area is clean by wiping it with a cloth (you don’t want to seal any dirt inside the scratch) then wait for it to dry. Finally apply the protective coating and leave to overnight.

Wood Filler

Finally if you have deeper scrapes wood filler is the way to go. Find a suitable product that best fits your flooring, then prepare the area by wiping with a soft, clean, cloth. Fill in the crevice generously using the wood filler – don’t worry if there’s excess filler when you’ve finished. Allow the filler to dry according to the manufactures instructions (usually around 24 hours) Finally use a putty knife to smooth and blend the filler into its surroundings, finishing with a sealant.

10

What Are the Best Ways to Clean Vinyl Floors?

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Vinyl floors are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their reasonable cost and durability. Another benefit of vinyl is how easy it can be cleaned, giving it longevity and meaning it requires little maintenance. That being said, it’s not indestructible and you still need to give it some TLC every now and again .

Let’s take a look at some of the top tips for cleaning vinyl floors:

Prevention is Better Than Cure

If you regularly sweep your floor of any debris or dirt, you’re going to give it a longer lease of live and lower the risk of abrasions. Have floor mats in doorways so dirt doesn’t have the chance to get in, and clean up any spills as soon as possible.

Treat it Kindly

Scrapes and tears can ruin vinyl, so treat it kindly and take precautions when needed. This means if you’re moving furniture ensure to pick not drag, and if you have heavier items try placing them on plywood. You should also invest in some vinyl coasters to place on the feet of furniture to prevent permanent indentations.

Clean it Well

  • Sweep or vacuum regularly. Be sure to get into the corners and close to the baseboards as these areas pick up the most dust. Do this before mopping.
  • Mop with a vinyl floor cleaner or make you own. Making your own eco-friendly cleaner is much cheaper than buying from the supermarket, and it works just as well if not better. All you need to do is combine a gallon of warm water with a cup of apple cider vinegar and hey presto! You have a great, non-abrasive cleaner without any build up that removes all traces of dirt. Add white vinegar if you need to disinfect anywhere, and a few drops of dish soap if you have an extra dirty floor to deal with. A fresh squeeze of lemon is also a nice idea if you enjoy fresh scents.

Stains

If you have stubborn stains that don’t want to lift, use specialized vinyl floor stain removers or try a sponge eraser (just remember to test on an inconspicuous area first)