How Laminate Flooring is Different From Other Flooring

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Laminate flooring is a popular choice for many people looking for a durable, easily-installed, and attractive flooring that is low-maintenance. Laminate is quite a bit different from other flooring options, and those differences could help you decide whether or not this is the best option for you.

Laminate flooring is completely engineered, and the top layer is made of plastic laminate instead of a natural material. It’s resistant to scratches, damage, fading, and wear, which is not the case with many other types of flooring. The plastic laminate layer makes laminate more durable than most other flooring options. If you have pets or a high-traffic area, this feature of laminate may be just the thing you need.

Another difference is the ease of installation. Laminate flooring is engineered with grooves along one side and a tongue along the other. This makes it easy to snap together for installation without nailing or adhesives. Laminate flooring is a version of a floating floor, which means that it needs no adhesives to attach it to the sub-floor. All it requires is a thin, foam-rubber layer to set on. Many other types of flooring will require special tools or materials for installation.

Another quality of laminate is that it is water-resistant, which is not the case with many other flooring types. This makes it ideal for use in just about any room of your home, and a great choice for families with children or pets. With laminate, it looks and feels like engineered hardwood with the water-resistant benefit. It’s easy to maintain and requires only sweeping or vacuuming and cleaning with a mild detergent. Some other flooring options require special detergents, or special types of sealers. Laminate is unique in that it doesn’t require any of those things.

With characteristics like these, laminate is a type of flooring that is different from all others. It is more durable, easily installed, and water-resistant, making it a great choice for many homes.

What is the Easiest Flooring to Install Yourself

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There are so many flooring options available right now that it can be difficult to choose which one might be the best for you. If you’re planning on installing your own floor, the flooring option that is the easiest to install may be the favorite.

Installation can often require specialized tools or materials that increase the cost and difficulty of installation. For gorgeous flooring that requires none of that, floating hardwood options are the best. Available in several different styles and colors, engineered floating hardwood planks are cut with a tongue and groove pattern on the edges. This pattern makes installation literally a snap. Simply lay the tongue of one side into the groove of the next and click together. No special tools or adhesives are necessary, and it can be installed over the top of most flooring as long a thin foam-rubber underlayment is laid down first. Laminate flooring is similar in installation to engineered floating hardwood but is a bit more scratch-resistant.

Floating vinyl sheets are another good choice for easy DIY installation. Simply remove the shoe molding from around the base of your walls and make a template of the floor using paper or cardboard. Lay this template down on top of the vinyl sheet and use a utility knife to make cuts according to the template. Lay the vinyl down over the top of the existing floor and replace the shoe molding. The molding holds the flooring in place, eliminating the need for glue or troweling.

If you really want carpeting in your room, the best option for DIYers is carpet squares. Using squares eliminates the need for so many intricate cuts that can potentially destroy a whole roll. Squares are also easier to get into a room. Manipulating a giant roll of carpet is no easy task. The squares are secured to each other by adhesive dots, and the whole floor floats on the subfloor. No additional adhesives are necessary, and if a piece becomes stained, it is easily replaced.

Installing a floor yourself can save thousands of dollars, and choosing one of the options above can save money, time, and potential headache of self-installation.

Flooring: What Are the Advantages of Linoleum Flooring?

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Linoleum is a traditional, tried and true flooring option that works well in several different situations.  It has many advantages including cost, style, ease of installation, durability, and ease of maintenance.

Linoleum is a very eco-friendly option that is made with sustainable materials such as cork, linseed oil, and wood, and is completely bio-degradable.  In fact, you could chip up linoleum and use it for mulch or compost if you wanted to.

Even though it’s environmentally friendly, linoleum is still quite durable.  Many brands will offer a warranty of 25 years or more, and with proper care, linoleum can last up to 40 years.  Think of all the older homes that you’ve seen with the 1970s-style linoleum that you may have seen. It’s mostly likely still going strong.  Simple upkeep such as proper cleaning will insure that your linoleum floor stays beautiful for years to come.

Beauty isn’t a word that was always associated with linoleum, but recently there have been some wonderful new designs, patterns, and colors that have made linoleum a perfect design choice.  Designers have created linoleum patterns that mimic wood, stone, and ceramic tile looks, as well as some vintage-look flooring options. It’s becoming more of a designer’s choice because of its versatility and multitude of options.

Another reason linoleum is so popular is its ease of installation and maintenance.  Scratches and abrasions can be easily buffed out since the color runs throughout the material and can be prevented with simple sweeping or vacuuming.  Mild detergent and a mop or cloth will keep your linoleum floor looking like new for many years to come. Installation is easier for the click and lock style tiles, due to the difficulty that measuring and cutting can cause for the sheets of linoleum.  Once installed, this water-resistant and versatile material is a great flooring option for any room in the house, and due to its flexible nature, footsteps are also quiet with this option.

With all of these wonderful qualities, you would think that linoleum is one of the costliest flooring options out there, but that isn’t the case.  Though specialty patterns and colors may be a bit pricier, linoleum can be purchased by the sheet at very reasonable cost per square foot.

If you’re looking for a durable, water-resistant, easily-maintained floor that looks great, ages well, and will provide years of beauty and comfort for your family, linoleum may be just the flooring option that you’ve been looking for.

What Types of Materials Are Used for Flooring?

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When choosing new flooring for your home, there are several options available. From the traditional types such as carpet, wood, and linoleum to options gaining popularity today such as vinyl planking and stone, there’s something for every budget, style, and purpose.

Carpet is a great option in many rooms of the house. It’s stylish, comfortable, warm, and available in several colors and styles. If you are looking for a flooring option in your home that will soften up the décor, or absorb sound, carpeting is the way to go. There are lots of options now that are designed for high-traffic areas, are treated to be stain-resistant, or made to be durable and take a beating in a commercial setting.

Linoleum is a cost-effective type of flooring that has been around for awhile but recently has experienced a facelift of sorts. Gone are the linoleum options that you saw in your grandmother’s kitchen – these newer linoleum options have great colors and patterns that work well for just about any décor. They are fairly durable, easy to clean, and fit well inside most budgets.

Vinyl planking has gained popularity recently due to its ease of installation, durability, and pet-friendly design. It stands up to family and pet wear and tear, including all the spills and messes that come with them. With several styles to choose from, including those that mimic stone and wood flooring, vinyl planking is a stylish way to add a modern upgrade to your home without breaking the bank. Textured styles minimize slippery floors, and vinyl planking isn’t as cold to the feet as some of the other flooring options.

Stone is another great choice that has been gaining in popularity. While a bit costlier, it’s durable and a definite statement-maker. When installed and sealed properly, stone can last decades and hold up to even the highest-traffic rooms. It’s a bit pricier than the options mentioned above, and with grout and sealant, it can be a bit more difficult to install than some other options.

Poured cement and concrete are some flooring options that are similar to stone but require no grout. It’s a durable material that will last several decades and resist all signs of wear and tear. It may be a bit cooler on the feet and is not available in as many styles and colors as other flooring choices, but many of those who favor modern styles are enjoying the minimalist look it gives.

Ceramic tile is another choice that’s gaining in popularity. With options for every style and budget, ceramic tile is a durable choice that can add style and comfort to your home. It works well in bathrooms and kitchens due to its waterproof nature, but also works well in other rooms due to its versatile nature. Some tile patterns even mimic the texture and color of stone and wood, so it’s an option that can replace those options easily.

What Kind of Material is Best for the Floor in Laboratories

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Choosing a new floor for your laboratory requires a bit more planning than another room might. Determining the best type of floor requires some thought and planning regarding what types of activities that are being done in the laboratory.

For example, in many laboratories, there may be some spills and liquids that may regularly hit the floor. For this reason, a waterproof option would be best. Some great options that are waterproof are porcelain tile, stone, marble, vinyl, poured cement, and rubber.  Any of those options will hold up to spills and messes that may hit the floor and be easy to clean if that ever happens.

Another consideration would be durability.  What type of traffic would be going through the lab? Would heavy equipment be moved across it regularly, or heavy carts and/or refrigeration units? If so, porcelain tile and vinyl may not be the best choices.  While they are very durable in a home atmosphere, they may not hold up as well in the laboratory environment. Stone, marble, poured cement, and rubber would be the better options in regard to durability and heavy use that a laboratory floor might get.

Price may be another consideration, especially if the lab is a larger.  Marble is durable and waterproof, but it’s a high-end product with a higher price tag.  Marble flooring is really known for it’s beauty and decorative properties which aren’t usually the priorities in a lab environment.  Stone also is a bit on the pricier side and needs to be sealed to render it effective against stains and damage. Poured concrete may also need to be sealed for protection, but has no need for grout, so stains and damage can be kept to a minimum.

Ideally, for the best durability, ease of cleaning, and cost-effectiveness, poured cement would be the best option, with rubber flooring installed in areas that may need more traction, electrical grounding, or support for those standing for longer periods of time.  Cement can be easily poured and installed, is waterproof in case of spills, can be installed with drains for easy clean-up, can hold up to just about any machinery or equipment, and can be a subfloor for other types of flooring if necessary, such as the rubber flooring mentioned above.  It’s also quite cost-effective and should last many years if properly installed and treated.

What is the Lifespan of a Carpet?

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Carpets contend with a lot more than other furnishings in our home – they’re the work horses of interior design!  They’re stepped on, skidded across, and have food, mud and all sorts spilt on them…. With that in mind when is it time to wave farewell to your trusted carpet and look for a replacement?

Well the simple answer is… there is no simple answer. It’s dependent on many contributing factors including:

  1. How many people live in the house
  2. What material is it made from?
  3. Is it in an area of high traffic (e.g. The hallway)
  4. Do you have children/pets?
  5. How often have you cleaned and maintained it?
  6. What level of quality is it?

Bearing the above in mind, professionals generally recommend changing your carpet every 6-8 years for the average household of 2-4 people. That can be greatly extended by looking after your carpet appropriately by doing the following:

  1. Vacuum regularly, at least once a week. High traffic areas should be attended more frequently (every 3 days or so) to extend their lifespan.
  2. Clean up spills as soon as they happen so they don’t get to soak in. Be sure to dab at stain to avoid spreading it around.
  3. Get all carpets professionally cleaned one a year. You can hire the equipment and complete the job yourself, or if you prefer get a company to do it for you.
  4. Use stain remover if necessary, and double check the best way to treat a particular stain.
  5. When choosing a carpet it pays in the long run to go for higher quality – this could be the difference between carpets that lasts for 15 years instead of 5.
  6. Get into good habits such as wiping your feet on a mat before entering from outside or removing shoes.
  7. Change foot traffic by altering the layout. As we know areas which are heavily used are more likely to see damage, moving furniture can help to lessen this.
  8. Avoid excess exposure to sunlight by having suitable window dressings.  

 

Vinyl versus Linoleum Flooring

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Vinyl and linoleum are two different types of flooring that are often mistakenly believed to be made of the same material. Although they do have their fair share of similarities, both floorings have their own unique characteristics. Before opting for either, it makes sense to take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of each:

Vinyl

Vinyl is a type of plastic flooring which rose in popularity in the early 1980s. As it’s a type of manmade material, it’s not the most environmentally friendly choice as it uses a nonrenewable resource and takes a fair amount of energy to make. It lasts for around 10-20 years, making it fairly durable and long lasting. It’s extremely water resistant, making it the ideal choice for bathrooms and other areas that get quite damp regularly and it is simple to install. It’s also the more affordable option of the two, but that’s pretty much offset by the fact it doesn’t last as long. In terms of design the pattern is printed on so there’s a huge range of styles to choose from. As the pattern is only printed however, after a while it can fade.  It’s extremely easy to clean and thanks to its moisture resistance spills are not an issue.

Linoleum

Linoleum is comprised of linseed oil mixed with other renewable materials (cork dust and wood flour for example) making it the more environmentally friendly choice. It’s also just as low maintenance as its plastic partner; however it’s not as moisture resistant. It can still be used in bathrooms but it will need to be regularly resealed to ensure it doesn’t curl up with the humidity.

Installation is a little tougher, but still very doable. In terms of price, it’s the more expensive of the two but it does last twice as long (usually 20 to 40 years). It comes in a large variety of different designs, and when it begins to wear (unlike vinyl) the pattern isn’t lost as the material colorfast (present all the way through as opposed to printed on).

 

How to Keep Your Carpet Looking Clean and Beautiful

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Keeping your carpet in the best condition is ongoing task, but maintaining your flooring well can greatly help its longevity. There are many ways in which you can keep your carpet looking clean and beautiful, try out the following:

Use Area Rugs and Runners

One of the main ways in which you can keep your carpet looking great is to avoid the wear and tear normal life brings. By using runners and area rugs in places that receive foot traffic, you can be sure to keep those problems under control. It also gives you the opportunity to inject some color and revitalize your décor.

Vacuum Regularly

This seems like a no brainer, but in order to keep your carpets fresh you need to get rid of any dirt and dust within the fibers. You should vacuum at least once a week and more so in area of high footfall.

Clean up any Spills Immediately!

The longer you leave a stain, the more ingrained the dirt becomes in the fibers. Dab the stain (don’t scrub!) and then use carpet cleaner if necessary.

Take Shoes Off

This is a good habit to get both your family and guests into, as shoes bring in all kinds of dirt from outside. Just be sure to have slippers to keep your toes toasty!

Keep your Pets Clean

Of course you can never completely control your pet’s behavior and actions, that’s why we love them! You can however try and make sure you clean off their paws as soon as possible – especially if they’re headed onto your new carpet. You should vacuum more regularly to content with their hairs and use repellents if you want to make them avoid areas.

Use Baking Soda

Before vacuuming sprinkle some baking soda on the carpet as it does a great job of absorbing odors, keeping your carpet super fresh for longer. Try not to use carpets powders as they tend to leave a residue.

Test Products Before

Before using any carpet cleaner test it out on an inconspicuous area so you’re sure it’s compatible.  

Get a Reputable Professional Company to Help

Finally, you should look into getting your carpets professionally cleaned once a year. Check reviews online to ensure you’re getting the best service for your money.

What is the Best Way to Install Carpet Over Tile?

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If you’re desperate for a new look but think you’re limited by your tile flooring, fear not. You can successfully install carpet over tiles by following these tips:  

Preparation is Key

The most important factor dictating the whole process of installation is preparation. If you don’t manage this correctly then you’re setting yourself up for failure. Carpet fitting requires specialist tools which can be purchased quite easily or borrowed. You’re going to need a carpet knife, carpet tape, concrete tack strips, carpet seam roller, large weight, trowel and trimmer, power stretcher (these can be expensive so you might want to hire one) or knee kicker, staple, duct tape, hammer, and bonding iron.

  1. Choose the Right Carpet
  2. A thicker carpet will ensure you won’t feel the separation between the tiles after it is laid.  
  3. Fitting the Carpet
  4. Meticulously clean and dry tiles
  5. Cut and remove perimeter tiles so there’s 2 inches space left around the carpet strip
  6. Measure room, cut strips to fit and position around room with tacks facing upwards
  7. Hammer the strips into place using masonry nails
  8. Add nails into joints in corners of the room
  9. Cut and lay under-padding by stapling, then seal overlaps with duct tape. Trim excess
  10. Cut carpet so it has an overhang of around 4 inches longer and lay it into room. Make a chalk line at the overhang and cut accordingly
  11. Hook carpets over strips and use the knee kicker to push teeth into carpet
  12. Use the power stretcher and attach the carpet to the strips, starting in one corner and repeating across all sides.
  13. Trim excess and push carpet into edges between walls and carpet. Re-install trim.

 

If all Else Fails – Use a Professional!

This isn’t the easiest job to do, so it can make your life a lot easier to use a professional. They can ensure the carpet is fitted correctly so you don’t have any issues down the line.

Upcoming Trends in the Flooring Market

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Looking to redecorate your home this year and wondering what direction to go in? Confused about what style and type? No need to panic, take a look at the hottest flooring trends of 2018 and take your pick!

Eco-Friendly

Nowadays environmental consideration is a big part of everyone lives, from your car to your energy provider. Flooring is no different. There are many eco-friendly options available which don’t break the bank and are still super fashionable, including:

  • Cork (can be finished with different paints to suit your home)
  • Bamboo (lots of variety and easy to install)
  • Concrete (this works especially well with industrial styles and can be polished and designed to replicated tiles)
  • Linoleum (long lifetime and durable)
  • Glass tiles (water resistant and easy to maintain)
  • Reclaimed Hardwood (a great option if you have your heart set on traditional wood flooring)
  • Rubber (great for the bathroom)
  • PET Berber (made from recycled plastic bottles)

Textures

Texture is fast becoming one of the most dominant factors in fashionable flooring. Adding additional texture to your room via your rug, carpet, or hardwood changes the entire aesthetic of the décor, and you can contrast the textures with other items such as throws, furniture, and art. Textured floors are all the rage in 2018, choose from the following:

  • Wirebrushed
  • Distressed
  • Hand scraped

 

Patterns

Patterned flooring is back in a big way, so if you love a vintage look then this might be the one for you. It’s funky, cool, and really adds some energy creating a statement in the room. You can opt for graphic tiles, chevron wood patterns, vinyl, or linoleum. Match it with some textured area rugs and you’re onto a winner.

Colors

This summer’s colors tend to be more on the earthy, natural side – think greys, soft mustards, olives, bleached wood, honeys, etc. This gives you free range to be bolder with the rest of your décor, such as your furnishings and décor.

Au Natural

Finally natural materials are another popular choice in the home of 2018 – stone being a primary choice.