How to Clean Your Carpet

Dirty carpets hold household grime, dust and pollutants. As you walk on these dirty floors, you are just breaking down the carpet fibers. That is why it is so important to clean your floors regularly and properly. 

Wool Carpet

1. The best way to keep your carpets clean is to vacuum frequently by pulling the vacuum slowly back and forth. In the average household, this should occur at least twice a week.

2. Professionally clean the carpet once a year. The steam cleaning method lifts the dirt out, but check with your carpet manufacturer to see what they recommend.

3. Throughout the year, if you need a quick clean-up, you can steam clean the carpets yourself. Do not use the solution that comes with the steamer. Otherwise, just use water or a little dish soap if you need some soap.

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Tile and Wood Floor Layouts

When considering new floors, think beyond laying your tile or wood in traditional straight layouts. Both wood and tile flooring can be arranged in different patters that can easily make a statement. Below, we demonstrate a few different ways each material can be installed to make your home pop, or maybe just a specific room.
pattern wood
-tile-floor-pattern

tile design

Wood-flooring

herringbone-x

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Beautiful Floors in the World

Floors can make a statement and add character to any space. Though most prefer to adorn floors with rugs, there some places that let the floors shine and add a stylistic flare to a space. Here are some of most beautiful and unique floors in the world to inspire you to get bold with your floors:

Gaudi Tile:

gaudi tile

Versailles’ Wood design:

Palace-of-Versailles-wood floors

St George’s Hall:

mosaic floor

 

 

Mosaic in Volubilis:

 

mosaic floors

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When to Re-Grout

RegroutBeautiful grout can make your tile floors pop, but how do you know when it is time to regrout your floors? When your grout becomes discolored, craked or chipped it is time to re do it. Discolored grout looks dull and dirty, especially in bathrooms if your grout is white. The sludge can wear away at the color. In this circumstance, you can sometimes bleach the grout, though if this continues, you may want to regrout.
When you absolutely have to replace your grout is when it becomes chipped or cracked. This will allow water to get behind the tile which can cause damage and mold. If there is one area that is chipped, you can replace the grout around that area or specific tile, though it may not perfectly match the rest. For larger jobs, it is best to replace all the grout so it matches and you can be sure there will not be any mildew. Tile floors are extremely durable, but make sure to look for cracks, especially in bathrooms, to ensure your floor lasts.
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Pre-finished v. Unfinished Hardwood

floor-depot-san-antonio-vinyl-flooringDo you want hardwood floors, but don’t understand the difference between pre-finished and unfinished solid hardwood flooring? Here is a break down of the benefits, procedure and costs.
Pre-finished hardwood flooring will have an initial higher cost, but this money can be saved during the installation process as there will be less time and labor. This does limit the color options if you have a particular hue in mind. By having it pre-finished, the manufacturer has already sanded and sealed with a urethane ensuring quality floors you can enjoy the moment they are installed.
Unfinished solid hardwood flooring is a bit more of a process, but if you have a particular look in mind, this may be the best route. It will cost less initially, but after the sanding, sealing and time (normally around 5 days), you could spend more in the long run. You also cannot walk on the floors as they are drying, so make sure you have different accommodations.
Either way, hardwood floors are strong, durable and beautiful and each homeowners desires are different.
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How to Keep Your Floors Clean and Well Maintained.

hardwood flooringDon’t let your floors stay dirty or lose their luster. With these tips your floors will always look their best.

  1. Vacuum floors frequently so debris doesn’t set. If you have tile or hardwood, you should also be mopping to clean up sticky spots.
  2. Clean spots quickly, especially with carpet. The quicker you can get the spot up, the less chance of it staining or setting. If cleaning spots from marble or granite flooring, make sure your products are stone approved.
  3. For carpet floors, professionally clean them 12 months to remove dirt that has been embedded in the carpet.
  4. Wood floors can also be buffed and restained/ sealed when they begin to look dull.
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Best Floor for You

wood-floor-2Are you contemplating a home renovation or pursuing a new build? These tips will help you select the best flooring for your needs and help protect it for a long-term investment:

 

  1. If you go with hardwood flooring, make sure the boards are installed perpendicular to your joist to ensure strength and hinder warping.
  2. If your area is more damp, i.e. a basement, consider engineered hardwood. Engineered hardwood is real wood on the top with multiple pieces of plywood or fiberboard underneath.
  3. Apply protective coating to your hardwood floors, not just stain. Stain merely changes the color, so add a protective coating or polyurethane to ensure a long life for your hardwood.
  4. For areas with lots of spills, tiles are easy to clean and have a variety of looks and price options. Tile can also go beyond the kitchen and the bathroom, so don’t limit yourself if this fits your family needs better.
  5. If you have pets, carpet can be harder to clean, but they also make the room feel cozier, especially in colder rooms and environments.
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Weather and Your Wood Flooring

Wood Floor cuppingAlthough wood flooring is dried, cut and processed, it still responds to moisture by expanding and contracting, which if your home is older, this change may be more noticeable.

During the winter, the weather is drier and the hardwood contracts. In the summer, especially in humid locations, the wood expands. This is all normal for your floors. However, if you wish to reduce this fluctuation, humidity controls can be installed. Optimal humidity levels are 40-60%, therefore, no gaps will appear if you maintain a humidity level within this range.

In the summer, the wood will expand creating a bend in the wood where the edges are higher than the center. Once this cupping occurs, it takes a while for the floor to flatten out again. In extreme cases, the wood can crack. However, both situations can be avoided with a humidifier and occur in areas of extreme humidity hovering 90%.

Wood flooring is still extremely durable, beautiful and easy to maintain. Be aware of the seasonality and your local climate to determine if you need to take additional measure to protect your flooring.

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Protect Your Floors During the Holidays

holiday floorsAre you hosting the holiday festivities, but nervous your floors may take a hit? Have fun this holiday season without worrying about spills or dirt being tracked in. Here are some ideas to help protect your floors during the holidays:

 

  1. Festive rugs: Go to Home Goods or the Dollar Store and purchase a cheap festive rug for the front door so your guests can wipe their feet. You can also find larger rugs for the interior rooms.
  2. Cover the floor with plastic: This is less aesthetically pleasing, but you can protect your floors from all potentially harmful situations whether it is scratches, spills or dirt.
  3. Shoe rack: Request your guests take off their shoes with a shoe rack and a polite sign. Most guests will understand! You could encourage fun holiday socks or slippers to make it fun.
  4. Clean/Condition: If your floors still took a beating, clean and condition them to restore them to their previous beauty. Luckily, wood and tile floors are quite durable and carpet can be cleaned if stained.
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Tile Designs

Floor tile designs can add a unique, personal tough to your home, especially in small spaces or entryways. They can make a small area for interesting or become a focal feature. Use these ideas to play with different tile shapes, colors and patterns:

 

  1. Create a pattern in your shower or your entire bathroom.Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 2.13.20 PM
  2. Use a variety of colors to create a mosaic.imagesScreen Shot 2015-09-18 at 2.17.51 PM
  3. Add contrast with two different types of tile to create a pattern or add a focal point.Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 2.20.16 PMScreen Shot 2015-09-18 at 2.15.18 PM
  4. Make a strong first impression with an entryway design or personalization, such as a family crest, letter or symbol.  Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 2.16.05 PM
  5. Create a vintage aesthetic with classic black and white tiles, great for bathrooms or kitchens!Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 2.16.46 PM
  6. Mix materials for a seamless division or to add a new dimension. Wood can enhance tile flooring, formulating patterns and appearing as a statement grout. Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 2.18.13 PM
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