News

how to choose best floors for your basement
House Renovation, How-to

How to choose the right floor for your basement

Choosing floors is hard. Choosing some floors is harder than choosing others.
Basement floors are famous for being the problematic of the lot. Being well below the ground moisture poses a real problem/danger for them, as do concrete slabs that make it hard for wood floors to be set up properly. In the past, all of the above had a hefty influence and used to narrow down the basement flooring choices to mostly manmade synthetic materials. However, thanks to modern inventions and technological progress today it’s possible to install pretty much every kind of floor in your basement. So how do you pick one? No worries, we’ve got you covered.

Before moving on to the actual to the actual floor selection process, it’s important to determine the purpose of your basement. A simple storage room has a very different aesthetical need than a basement cinema. Deciding early on the function of your basement will make it easier to narrow down and will save you some money.

 

Concrete

Use it, it’s already there! There is a very high chance that the subfloor in your basement is made out of concrete. Concrete, once considered ugly and cold, has been gaining popularity as a mean of decor. The plain concrete surfaces in the room make the more warm materials present in the house stand out beautifully. So instead of paying extra for a new floor, consider turning your concrete subfloor into one. A good cleaning and maybe grinding down some rough spots will do it. If you are looking for a better look, try acid staining. Unlike paint, acid-staining is permanent and just looks better. For an even more sophisticated look, you can have a concrete slab polished and sealed.

 

Vinyl

Vinyl is probably the fittest material to be installed in a basement. It’s water resistant and even though it’s synthetic, it can realistically mimic most natural flooring materials including wood and tile. Most vinyl floors are designed to go right over concrete, they come either in sheets or in tiles for easier installation. Vinyl floors can be laid out in one of the two ways, glued down or “floated”. Floating is a flooring installation method used in especially humid environments.

When using the floating method there is enough space for a moisture barrier to be installed over the concrete slab of the basement for a better protection against any moisture. However, vinyl isn’t the only “floating floor”. The same approach can be used with most engineered floors.

 

Tile

Tile has been the go to floor for kitchen and bathroom forever, so it’s water resistant abilities are no secret. It can endure floods and all kinds of abuse, does not require a subfloor and is easier to clean. You can choose from numerous designs, patterns and makes (glazed for a more budget oriented basement transformation and porcelain for a richer look).
The only setback? It will most likely add to the lack of heat that is common to a basement. So you might want to consider some heating options  if you are planning to spend a lot of time in your basement.

 

Engineered Wood

We know what you are thinking, wood and humidity don’t seem like the best of combinations.
But it’s not just wood we are talking about, it’s engineered wood. Engineered wood is a stronger and bolder take on the traditional solid hardwood floors that is just as beautiful as the original. Thanks to its cross-ply structure an engineered hardwood board is 80% less likely to get affected by moisture, meaning that the chance of warping is an all time low among wooden floors.

Typically, hardwood isn’t seen as a suitable flooring option not only because of its bad water resistance but also because of installation related difficulties. However, this is only true for solid hardwood floors that require a wooden subfloor to be stapled down onto. The backing layer of engineered hardwood board can be glued straight to your concrete subfloor without much difficulty.

 

Laminate

Laminate is probably the material most people wouldn’t even consider when they are thinking about remodelling their basement. And they would be right. Regular laminate flooring wouldn’t have a long life 8 feet under the ground. But we aren’t talking regular laminate, we are talking waterproof laminate. The trick is to fully eradicate any moisture related dangers before the laminate flooring is installed. This is achieved by the same ‘floating’ method we have discussed earlier and involves a waterproof barrier between the concrete subfloor and the laminate floor. For really humid basements we would still advise using melamine infused laminate flooring.

Melamine is a moisture-resistant chemical that is mixed into the high-density fiberboard, making the laminate extra waterproof. If you want to go for a warmer feeling floor that is better at keeping out moisture than a carpet and less pricey than engineered hardwood, this and vinyl are your two best options.

 

Whatever floor you decide for for your basement, please keep in mind that right maintenance is half of the deal. Keep your basement as dry as possible and regularly inspect the premises of your house to avoid any accidental leakages.  

House Renovation

How to know what floor to choose for your bathroom

Self expression is important to us humans. We want out space to reflect who we are, be practical and make us feel at home. Today’s bathrooms are hardly just a place to attend to one’s body’s needs but more a relaxation area where you can treat yourself with a warm bath after a long day at work. Fortunately, thanks to innovations in bathroom flooring industry the balance between usability and looks is easily achievable. The most of the flooring products currently available on the market do a great job at enduring the harsh treatment we put out bathrooms through every day. They can tolerate constant water splashes, take on hard chemical spills and fight off spotting while not having to sacrifice the gorgeous look. To help you decide what floor to choose for your bathroom, we are offering an overview of the most popular options.

 

Stone

Stone is just as popular as it was centuries ago. The latest bathroom trends have it cover not only the floor but also the walls, giving the entire room a simple and timeless look.

Natural stone is famous for its durability and variety. Stone flooring generally comes in two forms, polished or unpolished.
Polished stone floor is a beautiful addition to any bathroom but it tends to be slippery and should be used with extra care in families with young children or elderly.As an alternative to polished stone flooring honed and textured stone floors offer a better grip, but because of their raw surface, they may require a sealant to prevent stains. Typically, stone floors come pre-cut in 12 inches square or larger tiles and require a strong subfloor for installation. Unlike soft floors, stone tends to be cold to touch. If you aren’t much for wearing slippers, you might want to consider alternative flooring options for your bathroom.

Vinyl

Vinyl is definitely this decade’s favourite flooring product. The days of cheap sheets with a laughable likeness to wood and stone are long gone. Luxury vinyl flooring offers all the advantages of a manmade product and is hardly distinguishable from any natural material.
Vinyl floors are hard wearing, water resistant and can be installed over underfloor heating. Because of their foamy feel, they are a lot nicer to walk on than stone type floors.

There are two kinds of vinyl floors, tiles and sheets. Sheet vinyl comes in rolls that are 6- or 12-feet wide, providing a seamless look. Vinyl tiles, on the other hand, are typically 12 to 18 inches square and are easier to install – a great advantage for those who would like to install the floor themselves.  Vinyl tiles as well as sheets are available in wood and stone effect, as well as a number or exciting, dynamic patterns.

 

Hardwood

Many people think that choosing a wooden floor for a potentially waterlogged space is far from reasonable. However, the contrary is true.  With engineered hardwood flooring and it’s improved properties over the solid wood floor, water splashes seem less than an inconvenience. The cross layered structure of engineered wood makes each plank 80% better at resisting water than a solid hardwood board.

Floors made out of engineered hardwood are stable and less likely to shift under humid conditions than plain wood floors. They also tend to be a more appropriate option than laminate since the later has a tendency to swell and cup if the water gets through the seams.
Even engineered hardwood with its enhanced water resistance needs right care to live up to its promise. Leaving wet bath mats and towels on the floor or not drying off water straight away can worsen your floor’s look and even shorten its life. Because of this It is not really recommended for families with younger children who may be less attentive when it comes to cleaning up spillages. If  wooden look is something you desperately want for your bathroom, there are plenty of alternatives that mimic wood texture and pattern perfectly.

 

Rubber

Rubber flooring is perfect for families with younger members who are looking for a floor that can take on any challenge. Rubber is durable, easy to clean and can endure constant water splashes. It’s soft and pleasant to walk on, even barefoot. The textured finish prevents slips. Although should those still happen, the fall will be softened by the rubber which also happens to be a great shock absorbent. Available in pretty much any colour, pattern or texture it’s a design-savvy choice for bathroom flooring.

How-to, Tips & Tricks

How to bring your old carpet flooring back to life

Carpet flooring is loved by kids and adults equally. It’s soft and comfortable and in addition to its flooring purposes, it gives you extra space where you can relax. Often it’s the one element of the interior that thighs the room together and makes space feel cozy.

But like any other flooring, it has to endure heavy everyday use including dirt, spills and even pet claws in some cases. All these can make your favourite carpet floor to lose its softness and become unattractive. Fortunately, there is a way to breathe new life into your worn out carpet. Here is how.

 

Trimming

Moving heavy furniture, velcros on your clothing or a curious four legged friend can lead to some threads becoming loose in your carpet making it look shabby. Unlike the popular belief, pulling the dislocated threads all the way won’t solve this problem, quite on the contrary it will only create a carpet run. To effectively get rid of snagging you will need to take a more direct approach … with a pair of sharp scissors. The simple solution to bringing your snagging carpet flooring back to life is to simply trim it.

 

Grooming

You’ll be amazed what a little grooming can do to your trampled carpet flooring.

Carpet rake – basically a rake with small plastic or metal teeth –  is a simple enough tool for everyone to use to make the flattened carpet in high frequented areas look like it was installed just yesterday. Just rake by applying slight pressure in the opposite direction of the pile and watch the magic happen. The results are usually quite impressive: a fluffier feel and fresher look.

 

Fluffing
A little fluffing goes a long way. Over the time, carpet fibres start to sag making your carpet flooring look unattractive and old. Not to worry though, just a sprinkling of warm water will improve your carpet’s beaten look. Spritz a little warm water onto the flattened area. Gently blow dry it while using your fingers or a hairpin to lightly comb the carpet fibres back into place. Don’t walk on the carpet before it’s fully dry.

 

Cleaning

Knowing how to clean your carpet right can save it years in the looks. The safest bet is to use the cleaning products your carpet manufacturer recommends. When dealing with stubborn spots and stains, don’t scrub the stain. For more effective removal lot from the outside of the stain toward the middle. Always use milder cleaners first and test it first on a part of the carpet that’s out of sight. You might think nothing can worsen your carpet’s look in the current state, but a bleached out spot is just as bad as any stain.

Alternatively, you can use baking soda powder to revive your carpet flooring. In addition to having great cleaning properties, baking soda will kill bacteria that nests deep in your carpet and get rid of any odours your soft floor might have. Completely cover your carpet with baking soda powder and use a brush to spread it in all directions. For the best result let it rest overnight. Simply vacuum the powder up the next morning.
Extra stubborn stains can be removed using shaving foam. Shaving foam is famous for being able to handle an array of stains, from grease to lipstick. Apply the shaving cream on the stained area. After 30 minutes wipe it up with a dry cloth. Enjoy your stainless carpet

Floor Care

Floor care tips for laminate flooring

Laminate floors have a reputation for being difficult to mop.
However, contrary to what many say, once you have all the right tools and knowledge, cleaning your laminate flooring is a walk in the park.
To save you time and help your sanity here’s a handy guide to the do’s and don’t of laminate maintenance.

 

Don’t sweep your laminate floor

Yes, you got dirt and dust on your pretty laminate floor. No, you shouldn’t use a broom. Turns out, traditional broom is by far not the best tool to clean your laminate floor. That would be a dry dust mop. Regular broom leaves particles behind that later get mixed with the wet mop and get tossed around leave streaks and residue all over the place. In worse case scenario they might even scratch the laminate’s surface. If you prefer using a vacuum cleaner instead, makes sure you have hard floor setting selected. Just like the leftover particles, the brush roll setting on your vacuum cleaner can scratch and damage the laminate flooring over time.

 

Use less cleaner

The most tips on laminate floor maintenance focus around what kind of cleaner you use. Yes, it’s important that the chemicals you tidy with are compatible with your floor type. What’s a lot less discussed is the amount of cleaner you ought to apply to your floor.

Using more cleaner doesn’t equal cleaner floor. Usually, it equals wasted money and ruined floor. Too much cleaner leaves a residue after that dulls the finish of your laminate. Our tip? Sometimes just a little water goes a long way.