Tile Vs Vinyl Flooring

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If you’re thinking of getting new tiles in your home, you might be pleasantly surprised by the variety of materials available to you. In the past homeowners were often limited to ceramic or stone, but thanks to advances in the interior design and engineering world, a new type of flooring is fast becoming one of the major players – vinyl.

Vinyl is becoming increasingly more popular as it’s strong and versatile without having a large price tag attached. So which is right for your home? Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of both to help make your decision…


In terms of lifespan, ceramic is the winner. Quite simply it lasts forever. This means you won’t need to worry about replacing it anytime soon. This is a major selling point for a lot of people, but if you enjoy changing up your style often to match current trends, it might not be the right choice for you.


Both of these materials don’t lack in the strength department. Ceramic is both durable and stable, especially when looked after and regularly maintained. If ceramic tiles are damaged it can be difficult to repair, but it takes a lot for it to get to that point. Luxury vinyl is equally as strong and has a cushioned layer underneath to protect it.

Water Resistance

Ceramic is incredibly resistant, with water having virtually no effect on the material. This is why it has been one of the most favored materials for bathrooms going back centuries. Vinyl is also quite water resistant, although it can be impacted by moisture eventually.


Luxury vinyl is often seen as the more affordable choice for those who want a premium product that will stand the test of time. Ceramic has a higher price tag, but it can be preferable to homeowners due to its timeless style.

So which is the better option for your home? Well as with all flooring and decor choices, it often depends on a balance of both your taste and requirement.

3 Signs You Need New Cabinets

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Cabinets have a long lease of life, but like everything in your home they have an expiration date. So how do you know if your cabinets are on their last legs? Take a look at the following:

  1. Mold

Mold is a huge warning sign anywhere, but most especially in your cabinets. It can be caused by any number of things – from water damage to bed ventilation. Before replacing your cabinets, find the source of the mold so as to avoid it reoccurring.

Initially, you can treat your cabinets with specialized cleaners – but you still run the risk of the mold returning. If you left unattended, it greatly affects the structure and can result in health problems. If the problem seems to be serious, it’s advisable to get new cabinets as soon as possible.

   2. Water Damage

Another sign to watch out for is water damage. Due to cabinets being in high areas of            moisture (such as the bathroom and kitchen) they’re more prone to damage over time. You can prevent water damage for some time with sealants and regular maintenance, but eventually the moisture will often start to affect the structure of the cabinets. This can result in mold and (depending on the material), warping.

  3. Structural Issues & Functionality

If the structure and functionality of your cabinets has become affected, that’s a surefire sign you’re in the market for an upgrade. Minor issues (such as handles falling off) can be fixed very easily, but when the sides of the units are going soft, that’s a much more serious matter.

Other signs to keep an eye out for are if the finish is peeling or damaged, if drawers and doors are broken, or if your current kitchen layout is not designed with your needs in minds.

What to Do if Water Damages Your Hardwood Floors

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Hardwood floors and water are not compatible, in fact enough water can cause irreparable damage. So what do you do if you find your hardwood has been subject to moisture mishap? Take the following steps….

Find the Culprit – and Act Fast!

The first thing you need to do is find the source of the water spillage and attempt to stop it as soon as possible. The faster you act to address the problem, the better. Time is certainly of the essence. Hopefully if you act quickly your wood can be saved.


Use a shop vacuum to suck up as much water as you can on the correct mode, using a squeegee to pool the water. The more you can suck up, the better.


One issue that wet hardwood faces is mold due to the increased moisture. To avoid this, clean with a mild detergent and disinfectant. Ensure to test on an inconspicuous area first to avert any potential damage caused by the cleaning products. Use the mixture on the entire area (including baseboards etc.) using a brush. Try not to put on an excessive amount of additional liquid on the area. Mold growth can start within 48 hours of water damage, so start the cleaning process as promptly as you can.

Dehumidify & Fan

For the next few days use a dehumidifier for two or three days to assist in the removal of moisture. If the damage is bad, leave it in the room for longer. Place clean fans around the room, facing the affected subfloor is applicable.


As the wood dries out, try and avoid stepping on the affected areas. This can be difficult, but it helps the flooring dry more evenly.


After a 4-6 weeks, asses the damage and see if the flooring needs to be replaced, sanded down and refinished – or if all your hard work has paid off. If the wood buckles during this time, remove a few planks in order to lessen the stress and allow the area to dry out.

Matching Your Carpet to Your Walls

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Your carpet and walls are two of the most important and visually demanding elements of any rooms’ decor. As such, it’s integral your walls complement your carpet so as to create a cohesive look. But how do you find a great color scheme for your walls and carpets? Follow these steps and you’re room will be complete in no time:

Match Your Walls with the Carpet

Carpet is generally tougher and more demanding to change than your walls, so you might want to stick with the carpet as the focal point and match your wall color appropriately. If you feel like changing the room up further down the road, just pick a new wall shade to accompany it.

Neutral Shades

Neutral carpets are always great for working with a variety of colors (for both the wall and furniture). By opting for a less conspicuous carpet, you’re allowing yourself to be more daring when it comes to the rest of your decor. Experiment with different shades, or even have a feature wall or strikingly patterned wallpaper. Remember neutral doesn’t have to be boring – opt for a carpet with some depth to in terms of texture and flecks of darker shades.

Color Wheel

If you haven’t discovered it yet, the color wheel is your new best friend. It’s invaluable when it comes to any to any decor taste, helping you to pick colors to contrast and harmonize. You can opt for colors in the same family (side-by-side in the wheel), or those that complement, (opposite sides). You can also find many different color formulas online to provide you with sufficient inspiration.


The best thing you can do to find the right color scheme for your home is to experiment. Get testers and paint them on the wall to see how they look in relation to your carpet. See how the colors sit together and make an educated choice.

Can You Restore Light Color Carpets?

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Our poor carpets go through a great deal in their lifetime; trod on, stamped on, spilled on, and generally subjected to a daily use. This can be even further exacerbated if your color scheme is on the lighter side of the wheel. Lighter colored carpets are more susceptible to stains and general wear and tear, meaning in theory they have to be replaced more frequently. But can you restore them to their former glory using the correct methods? Let’s take a look….


Carpets are often aged by certain spots being noticeably more stained than others. When restoring your carpet, look closely at the different areas and identify the parts that seem more worn and dirty than others. This allows you to focus on these areas and really makes a difference to the carpet overall.


After identifying these areas, focus your energy on restoring them to match the surrounding carpet. Use a dedicated spot cleaner, or make your own using a mix of borax, salt, and white vinegar. Ensure to test any cleaner in an inconspicuous area first, and leave the solution on for a long period of time to allow it to work its magic. You should scrub the area after the soaking, but gently so as not to damage the fibers. Finally rinse and allow to dry.

Clean (again)

Next, you should vacuum the entirety of the carpet. Pay close attention to every inch of the material so no debris is left behind. You should then make another mixture – this time with white vinegar, salt, and warm water. Use a sponge to scrub this mixture into the carpet, then allow it to dry before examining to see if any areas need a little further attention. Finish by vacuuming & your light color carpet should be looking a great deal healthier than before!


If your still unhappy with the state of your light carpet, look into dying the fibers. You can choose powdered or liquid dye depending on the end result you require. Rent the equipment from hardware stores – the type you use should be informed by the size of the room. Be sure to protect the baseboards with tape and vacuum the room thoroughly before applying the dye.


Stain Resistant Carpets

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Investing in a stain resistant carpet might be a smart choice for your home. If you have pets, children, or are in the process of decorating a room which has a high risk of becoming ruined by spills or dirt, stain resistant materials should certainly be favored.

When it comes to stains, the material of the carpet is the most important factor. Some fibers are likely to soak up stains and become permanently ruined, whereas others have a resistance (either naturally or man made) which helps to avoid stains become lodged.


Wool is an expensive option, but it has a natural resistance to stain that many man made fabrics and treatments envy. It’s resistant to both water and oil based stains and spills, making it a front runner in the stain resistance and longevity category.


Nylon is a popular man made material used for countless applications. It’s also designed to be resistant to stains, especially with the right coating. It doesn’t repel oils as readily as wool however it doesn’t attract them like other fibers do. It’s important to note that resistance isn’t natural like wool, it varies from brand to brand, so be sure to do some research into the coatings available.


Polyester is constructed using oils, and as such they do a great job at repelling water based spills. When it comes to oil however, they have little to no resistance. It is a very inexpensive choice, but it’s not likely to last long.

When it comes to keeping your carpet clean, you should always be proactive in order to avoid permanent stains. Clean up any spills as soon as possible – dab first, then apply cleaning product and rinse. If you’re using a new carpet cleaner, ensure you test an inconspicuous area first, and speak with your manufacturer’s to see if they have any recommendations. Also endeavour to vacuum your carpet regularly (at least once a week) as well as having it cleaned professionally once a year. This will prolong its life span considerably.

Understanding Carpet Specifications

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If you’re in the market for a new carpet or rug, you might be a little confused as to what specifications you should be on the lookout for. Luckily it’s not as difficult as you might think – on every carpet there should be an easily locatable manufacturer’s label. This label varies in terms of what information it provides, but in general it should show the type of fiber, pile density, face-weight, and finally pile height. All the aforementioned will affect your carpets lifespan, strength, and overall appearance. Let’s take a look at at each one in detail so you can make the best choice:

Type of Fiber

This is the material the fibers of the carpet are constructed out of.The first decision you need to make is whether to go for natural, man made, or a blend. You can choose anything from wool to nylon, seagrass to silk. Blends are a good choice if you want to make up for any weaknesses a fiber may have.

Pile Density

The density of your carpet or rug will give you a good indication of its durability. It’s calculated by multiplying the carpet face weight by 36, then dividing that number by the pile height. The more dense the carpet, the stronger it will be. Other factors will affect the fibers’ performances of course, but this should still give you a good idea. Your ideal density should be 3000, with higher trafficked areas needing more in the region of 5000.

Face Weight

The face weight of a carpet is the weight of the material per square yard. It does not include the backing material, (the total weight). A heavier pile doesn’t always mean a high quality carpet, but it should still be an informing factor. It’s most useful when comparing two carpets which seem comparable in every other way.

Pile Height

Next you should look at the height of the pile. This is the length of the fabric, with shorter fibers being stronger and longer being more comfortable.

The label will additionally show the color, manufacturer, as well as any stain treatments.

How to Choose the Right Carpet

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Not sure which carpet to choose? Follow this easy guide to help you make the right decision for your home!

Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. How long do you want it to last?
  2. Where will it be in the home?
  3. Will it see a lot of foot traffic?
  4. When do you need it by?
  5. What is your budget?


The first decision you have to make is what material to buy. Carpets come in a huge range of different options – all varying in price, benefits, and drawbacks. You can also get blends of different materials which can help to make weaker fibers stronger, and bring the price down for more high cost options (like wool for example).


Heavy weight is a good indication of quality of your carpet, however it shouldn’t be relied on independently. Weight is measured in ounces per square yard, and will be either the face weight, or include the backing too (be sure to check which you have been provided with)


Pile  refers to how the fibers in the carpet are constructed. This is one of the most important factors, excluding the actual material of the carpet. You can opt for high or low, dense or loose, looped or cut. Each of these will affect the behavior and longevity of your carpet. The pile may also be textured, which again impacts on how strong it will be.

Carpet Pad

This will be installed at the same time as your carpet, and will cushion underneath. A good pad will not only be soft and comforting underfoot, it will also aid in durability.


Many carpet providers will offer certain treatments which protect your carpet from soiling and staining. If you’re installing the carpet in an area that’s likely to have to contend with a lot of dirt (such as a hallway) it makes sense to invest in a treatment.

Judging Quality in a Carpet

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Buying carpets isn’t something we do regularly, so it can be difficult to ensure you’re picking a good quality carpet. Buying a higher quality carpet gives you peace of mind – you’re hopefully  getting a carpet that will last many years into the future, and won’t succumb to wear and tear easily. This can mean spending a little more – but it all depends on how often you want to redecorate.

Let’s take a look at some tips:

Don’t feel Pressured by Weight

You might be under the impression that the heavier a carpet it, the better its performance. This is a common misconception. You should only use weight as a comparative if all the other factors of the fibers are similarly matched.

Calculate Correctly

Not only do you need to calculate your square footage, you’ll also want to figure out your pile density. The latter is easily worked out – all you need to do is multiply the carpet face weight by 36, then divide it by the pile length. Double check your calculations so you have a good indication of what quality your prospective carpet may be.

Carpet Fiber Twist

Quite simply, the greater the twist, the higher quality your carpet will be. Many people disregard this factor, but it actually impacts more than you might think. The twist number (TPI) is informed by how many times the fibers have been twisted together per inch. The higher the number, the better the quality.


Density is how close the fibers have been stitched together – as with weight, density should not be the defining factor in your choice. It should be used when two carpets seem extremely similar in terms of fabric, pile, and twis,t and you want another mode to compare them.


Finally, and usually of most importance, is the type of fabric you choose. Natural fibers tend to be more expensive and vary in terms of their advantages – silk is ornate, wool is strong and contends well with stains. Nylon is a great all round option; a man made fiber, it copes well with  high foot traffic and adequately with stains. It comes in many varieties and has different treatments available. Fibers like polyester are cheaper, but not as high quality.

Low Vs High Pile Carpets

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One of the most common queries when choosing a new carpet is what is pile and why does it matter? There are many differences between the many pile styles available – it just depends on your requirements. If you’re a pet owner and are shopping for the hallway, your pile choice is going to be different that if you’re redecorating the barely used guest bedroom.

What is Pile?

Pile is a way of describing the fibers (either synthetic, natural, or blend) in a rug or carpet. The pile of a carpet may be short or tall, and may be tightly wound or loosely. That (combined with the material used, the color, and pattern) affects the overall look, strength, and feel of a carpet. It’s important to consider what your new flooring will have to content with – your choice of pile is a part of that decision.

Low Pile

So is low pile the right option for your room? Low pile has many advantages, especially for areas that tend to see more footfall than average. Additionally, if anyone in your family suffers from allergies but still likes to have comfort underfoot, this length of pile doesn’t trap allergens as readily. Then there’s the advantage of robotic vacuums – they cope and clean low pile efficiently. If you don’t like spending your time cleaning generally, low pile is the right choice as it traps dirt less and is much easier to maintain.

High Pile

High pile is a great choice for rooms that need a little more comfort and plush. The higher length of the fibers mean they’re softer to the touch – making them a great option for the bedroom. High pile immediately imbues a room with a sense of warmth, coziness, and luxury. It does come with challenges – mainly in terms of keeping it clean and ensuring it doesn’t get damaged. However, it certainly makes up for it in terms of aesthetic and touch. One thing to be aware of is higher pile rugs are more fragile, so should be vacuumed and treated with care.