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tips on how to choose the prfect stain for your hardwood floor
About Floors, Floor Care, How-to, Tips & Tricks

How to choose the right stain for your hardwood floor

Hardwood floors are a beautiful addition to any home. Their timeless and natural look has the power to brighten even the dullest of places. From white oak to Brazilian walnut hardwood floors offer a decent flooring choice for every taste and wallet. However, the species of hardwood isn’t the only thing to determine the appearance of the floor, the stain is just as important.

Not all floors stain the same way

Different wood species come with different natural characteristics. This doesn’t only determine their performance in a certain environment but also dictates how they absorb stain so that using the same stain on two different kinds of hardwood can lead to absolutely non-comparable results. The reason behind this is their contrasting hardness. Some harder woods are denser while others are more porous and soft. This makes it easier for the staining liquid to get into the pores.

To avoid any color inconsistency it’s important to test your stain prior to application. This will give you the advantage of knowing exactly what the stain of your choice will look like on your species of wood. At GC Flooring Pros we test sample spots for our customers to find the perfect match. We only use high-quality wood stains. Some of the colors you may choose from are listed on the DuraSeal website.


Doing a stain sample will help you get the stain color for your specific hardwood species just right without having to play the guessing game.

Stain makes the room

A room is like an organism, it’s an amalgamation of different goods with different purposes that function as one. Ideally, nothing’s out of place and every detail is carefully thought through.
The floor being one of the largest surfaces in a room can greatly affect the dynamics of the space. Wrong stain tone can not only clash with your décor but affect the quality of the time you spend in the room. But the right stain can tie the place together and make your stay more enjoyable. So before making a decision, consider how it will compliment everything else in the room including the wallpaper, furnishings as well as general style and accent colors.

The most popular colors these days are Ebony, Antique Brown, Provincial, Dark Walnut, Medium Brown, Weathered oak and some combinations. If you’re going for a lighter color we suggest using white oak rather than red oak.
To give your hardwood floor an even richer look we use polyurethane varnish.
Keep in mind that the type of polyurethane can affect the color of the stain after application so there is even more reason to do a stain test first. As a general rule, oil based polyurethane tends to darken the wood a bit but it’s slightly better at resisting scratches, moisture and heat when compared with the water-based alternative. Then again, applying a water-based poly won’t lead to any changes in tone and will preserve the wood’s natural tone. You also have to choose a matte, satin, semi-gloss, or gloss polyurethane. Matte and satin are becoming more trendy, we are seeing that wood floor conglomerates do not want as much sheen these days.

Even though choosing the right stain colors can be difficult, there is not much to worry about. With solid or even thicker engineered hardwood floors you can easily refinish them to give the flooring desired tone.
Meanwhile here are some tips to help you find the perfect stain color for your hardwood floors:

Light stain

A lighter stain can help make a dark room appear brighter and more spacious than it really is. If you have dark furniture, installing lighter hardwood with somewhat matching stain will create a beautiful contrast and help your decor stand out. By choosing a lighter stain, you won’t have to clean nearly as often as in the case with dark stained floors since dust is less visible on a lighter surface. However, light stains aren’t as good at hiding hardwood’s natural imperfections as its darker alternatives.
The contrast they create with darker

Medium stain

If you aren’t one for dramatic changes this is the stain for you.
While medium stain won’t really affect the overall colour scheme of the room, it will most certainly compliment many other wooden details in your decor and still help tie the room together. A medium stain is also a reasonable option if you haven’t decided on the look of the space yet and would like to keep as many options for wall & furniture colors open as possible.

Dark stain

Dark stained floors are elegant and will help ground your bright room nicely. The balance between darker bottom and lighter top parts of the room will make the space more inviting and help the accent colors in your interior stand out more. A darker stain is superior for hiding hardwood’s natural flaws but it falls short when dealing with inflicted imperfections like scratches. Pet hair and dust aren’t easy to hide either. In a word, if you have a dog or a small child or expect above average wear because of any other reason it’d be a safer bet to go with lighter stain.

is it worth the money to install hardwood flooring
About Floors

Is installing hardwood flooring worth the money?

Hardwood is one of the most popular natural materials available for flooring purposes. Solid and engineered hardwood floors both can successfully transform any space into a more warm and welcoming environment. Praised for its beauty and richness it also possessed impressive durability capabilities.
Despite being more expensive than most alternative flooring options, hardwood’s ability to be refinished is a convincing argument for many who are looking to install a new floor.

But really, how far can you stretch your hardwood floor’s life? And is it worth it at all?

How much does new hardwood flooring cost?

There are dozens of different hardwood floors available on the market and the prices vary just as much. As a rule, the grade of the wood is one of the biggest factors to determine the price. Higher the grade more expensive the floor. Hardwood of the highest grade comes in a longer boards has no blemishes and is a uniform color. The cheapest hardwood is the least “tame”, it’s rich with knots and blemishes and shows the raw character through the mixed color. The boards of this grade also tend to be as short as 24”.
The species of the wood, as well as your location, also play a significant role in determining the price for your hardwood floor installation. The rare types of wood like Sakura or Kempas tend to be more expensive than Maple or Oak which are more common in the US.
Typically, flooring suppliers quote the cost for installing a hardwood floor on a square-foot basis. The price for a lower to upper-grade hardwood varies between $4-8. Prefinished floors cost on average $2 more than unfinished.
There are other costs to consider In addition to what you pay for the floor itself. The price for installation varies depending on whether the floor needs to be nailed down, glued to the subfloor, or floated. Laying hardwood in a smaller room can also get more pricey since a lot of complicated trimming needs to be done to ideally fit the boards to your room’s borders and around other tightly located obstacles. There are also expenses that have little to do with the actual flooring, including delivery, moving furniture, and preparing the subfloor.

How durable is Hardwood really?

Both engineered and solid hardwood are durable flooring options. Even though they are built differently – solid wood is made from a single wood board while engineered hardwood is a composite product – the surface layer is in both cases real wood and has similar resistance to wear.
Density plays a big role in hardwood’s durability and is directly proportional to the floor’s hardness. Unlike what the name implies, not all hardwood floors are hard. Some are soft enough to get scratched. According to the Janka hardness test, which is used to measure how well different woods can withstand pressure, most hardwood species used for flooring purposes are of average hardness. Hickory, for example, can take 1820 lbf, most types of maple around 1400 lbf, white oak 1360 lbf and red oak 1290 lbf.

How much does refinishing cost?

The cost of refinishing hardwood floors varies based on floor material, floor condition, used equipment and the length of required labour. Usually, a 100 square feet room can be refinished in about 4-5 hours. The average price to refinish hardwood floors lies between $1.50 – $5.00 per square foot. This excludes the more exotic types of hardwood. They are difficult to work with and require extra care when being sanded. Some exotic floors can easily burnish due to their hardness if not treated carefully. Others leave dust behind that can harm people’s health and should be treated by an experienced flooring professional who will take adequate measures when working on such floor. These demands for extra care makes refinishing exotic wood more expensive.

How often can you refinish your floor?

The thicker the floor the more times can it be refinished. On average, solid hardwood floors can be refinished up to 5 times. Engineered hardwood floors with a wear layer of 2mm or thicker can be sanded and refinished as well.
However, thickness isn’t the only factor to be concerned with when refinishing your floor. Who does the work is just as important. Refinishing a floor means sanding off the top layer full scratches and blemishes to reveal new wood underneath and then re-applying color treatments and seal. More precise sanding will leave you with a thicker board and prolong your hardwood floors life.

What floor to install if you have a dog
About Floors, Tips & Tricks

What floor to install if you have a dog

Flooring advice for pet owners

If you are a devoted human to your four-legged friend, you’d want to choose the one flooring that best suits their needs, Preferably, besides offering good enough support (for your pet), it should be also durable and easy to clean (for your own sake).
In this blog, we have set out to help you on this hard but noble quest. To start it off, here are some general tips to help you select the best floor for your furry friend.

Pet nails are a menace

Pet nails can scratch or snag and this can damage some types of floor. So you need to find a solution that’s most resistant to this danger. ing more than others. Trimming nails is not a solution either. Blunt, broad-tipped nails can still gouge the sealer, creating long, shallow dents. Forget floor runners, you definitely don’t have as much power over your dog (even if you believe you do). So it’s better to match your floor to your pet and not the way around.

Bladder control is hard

Once your dog has been trained it’s very rare that you’ll have to face this problem but if your pup is young there is a good chance that it won’t make it outside every time to relieve itself. In addition to unpleasant odor pet urine can leave bad stains. Some types of floors are better at dealing with that than others.

Muddy paws are fun

All that dirt from running through puddles won’t just stay out. No matter how well-behaved your dog is, parts of it will definitely end up on your new floor. You have been warned./Consider yourself warned. So choose the floor that can be cleaned effectively without any fuss.

Dogs can have allergies too

Allergies are a huge topic when choosing a new floor, but rarely in regard to our pets. Sadly, dog allergies are real and could put your four-legged friend in danger. You might not know of any existing allergies if your dog’s never been in contact with the irritant before. That’s why you should test/observe how a certain flooring material affects your pet beforehand.
Still, most floor related allergies in dogs are a reaction to the floor cleaners and the chemicals they contain. Always use cleaning products that have been approved and are safe for your dog’s consumption. Because, you know, dogs like to lick everything.

Flooring Options

Woof, woof! Now that you’ve got an idea what to look for, we can move to selecting that one perfect floor for your little pup.

Vinyl

Vinyl has proven itself as the finest example of resilient flooring on the market today. It’s full of controversies and benefits. Even though it offers soft enough padding to enjoy walking around barefoot, most quietscratches and liquid spills don’t faze it. Vinyl doesn’t trap dust or allergens and all you’ll need to clean it is a simple mop and warm water. Vinyl also happens quietest flooring option after carpet, something dog owners will definitely come to appreciate.
The floors come in sheets and tiles as well as in all colours and patterns including different hardwood species and natural stone. Vinyl flooring is definitely a great alternative for those pet owners, who want to get hardwood floor but would like something more durable.

Pros & cons for human: Easy to clean, can mimic natural materials but real hardwood still looks better.
Pros & cons for dog: It’s soft and warm. No apparent cons.

Ceramic or natural stone tiles

Ceramic and natural stone tiles are hard surface floors that can match your pet’s claws pretty well. They don’t scratch as easily as other floors and if they do the scratches are barely visible and don’t really stand out from the natural pattern. You dog’s mishaps don’t pose any problem either since both products can endure liquid spills when sealed properly and can be cleaned easily. The glazed option with extra protective layer may keep the water out more efficiently but its slippery surface can be somewhat uncomfortable for your dog to walk on. Cold too unless your place has underfloor heating. If you go with tile or stone be sure to put down rugs throughout the house so your dog has plenty of space to relax.

Pros & cons for human: Scratch and waterproof as well as easy to maintain but colder and louder than other floors.
Pros & cons for dog: Less allergenic and pleasantly cool in the summer months. However too hard to sleep on without a rug, requires underfloor heating in the winter.

Laminate

Laminate floor is designed to resist scratches. Its impenetrable clear top layer keeps the high-quality image layer underneath well protected. Like vinyl, laminate can mimic an array of natural materials including wood.  A damp mop can go a long way when trying to keep your floor clean. However, that same wear layer that’s responsible for most of laminate’s advantages can be uncomfortable for your dog. It allows little to no grip and can lead to accidents, especially with older animals.
It’s also louder than natural stone or ceramic tiles. It will amplify your dog’s footsteps like no other solid floor. So if you are an owner of an energetic breed you might want to skip this one.
Laminate isn’t as hard as tile but not as soft as vinyl ether. For better comfort for your dog, you still might consider using rugs here and there.

Pros & cons for human: Easy to clean, can endure scratches but can be loud.
Pros & cons for dog: Warmer and more comfortable than tile but offers little to no traction at all.

Wood

Wood and sharp claws don’t go well together. Resisting scratches and spills isn’t most woods’ strong suite. Trimmed nails can still damage the sealer, leaving behind long shallow dents.
But if you absolutely have to have a wood floor, you could choose from these three options.

  • Go for the super-hard wood species
    Some wood species are naturally stronger than others. According to the Janka hardness test Brazilian Walnut, Hard Maple, Oak and Hickory floors have a better chance against your furry friend.
  • Get already distressed wood
    Get a hardwood floor that has been already distressed. That way you won’t notice any new scratches. If anything they’ll add to the character of your wood floor!
  • Try SoftPaws
    SoftPaws are applicable nail caps for dogs.They cover your dog’s nails to keep them blunt and harmless and protect your floors, doors and furniture from dreaded scratches.
Vinyl tile installation: How it's done
About Floors, How-to

Vinyl tile installation: A comprehensive guide

Vinyl tile is the perfect flooring option for those of us who prefer to do things on their own.
Even though it’s floor installation we are talking here, the simplicity of it all twined with the ready-to-use adhesive backing of vinyl makes it seem more like a game of Tetris or Lego, something DIY buffs can definitely get behind. In addition to upgrading your home, these tiles guarantee that you will have a lot of fun doing it.
Vinyl tile floor has all the same qualities sheet vinyl is praised for. It’s water and dirt resistant, doesn’t stain and offers a pleasantly soft support for your feet.
If vinyl tile is a floor you want in your home, here’s a comprehensive guide to help you get it there.

Do the calculating

First thing on the list is to determine how much vinyl you’ll be needing. To do so, you’ll have to measure your floor. Don’t worry if the room has a complex shape, you can always measure individual areas and add them up.

Once the measuring is over there are two ways to find out how much vinyl you’ll need to cover the entire surface. Either divide the area of your floor by the area of a single vinyl tile to get the needed number of tiles or by the square footage contained in a carton for the number of cartons. Since it’s highly unlikely you’ll be buying the tiles one by one, the second method is more effective and time-saving.

Before you place your order, don’t forget to get some extra. Slip-ups do happen, you might cut some of the tiles too small to fit the borders or lay them down at a wrong angle. It’s always preferable to have some extra vinyl at hand. 10-15% of your estimated amount is usually enough to cover all possible accidents.

Figure out the layout

For a better visual appearance floor tiles are usually centered at a doorway.
When making a layout you want to cover as to fit them in the areas where the tiles meet the walls but try to maximize their size and minimize the number. The goal is to end up with at least half a tile width at those edges. Try to place badly sized tiles as far out of the sight as possible, the trick is to hide them under trims or furniture later. To avoid any surprises and miscalculation on the way, draw a scale plan of your floor on a piece of paper and a scaled grid on tracing paper to correspond the tiles. This way you can place the grid on the plan and move it around to choose the best layout for your room. While you are at it, you might also want to experiment with different patterns by using coloured pencils to color into the boxes.

Arm yourself

It’s always smarter to have all the tools you may require at hand. Vinyl installation is a pretty simple process so chances you already own all the needed tools. To be sure, here’s a list:

  • Carpenter’s square
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife
  • Safety glasses
  • Respirator
  • Chalk line
  • vinyl roller
  • trowel

Prepare your floor

Before you go ahead with actually laying down your vinyl tiles there are certain things to take into account.
Vinyl expands and contracts depending on the environment it’s in. Before you install it, let the open boxes sit in the room for at least 48 hours for the tiles to get acclimated. Also, make sure you follow any product-specific instructions your vinyl manufacturer might have provided.

Clear your floor from all the trim on the edges. If you plan to reinstall them later, make sure to be extra careful with removing nails so there is as little splitting as possible. The safest bet is to pull the nails out through the trim from the back side.

The surface you are lying down the vinyl tiles on should be as flat and smooth as possible. Any unevenness or bumps will cause it to develop blemishes over time. Clean your floor properly, get rid of any debris, grease or wax beforehand.

Subfloor

Vinyl tiles can be installed on pretty much any floor but there are some differences in the process you should be aware of in advance.

Installing vinyl tiles on concrete or ceramic tile

To install vinyl tiles on concrete or ceramic tiles, the surface should be clean, flat and dry. If there are any cracks or imperfections they should be fixed using a sealer.
High spots can be flattened out using a coarse-grit abrasive on a belt or disc sander.
Cold chisel and a baby hammer can be used to remove any minor bumps from the surface.

Installing vinyl on vinyl subfloor

It is possible to install vinyl tiles over an old vinyl flooring as long as the old floor isn’t in too bad of a shape. Any minor imperfections like small dents and dings can be fixed by applying a coat of embossing leveler. This will smooth the surface and prevent the new vinyl from following the shape of the floor underneath.
However, if there is more damage to your old vinyl floor than just some rough patches you should get rid of it altogether.

Installing vinyl on damaged floor

f the floor is far too damaged for any embossing leveler or sealer to do the trick and getting rid of it is too difficult or expensive you can cover it with a layer of plywood.
Needless to say that the plywood itself should be smooth and cleared of any imperfections before the vinyl tile is laid down.

Underlayment

Underlayment can also be used for extra thickness or better grip. Plywood surface as well as glass, hardboard, lacquer, painted enamel, steel, aluminium, and many kinds of plastic offer the best adhesion. When laying down the underlayment make sure to leave a 32-inch gap between the panels and a 1/8-inch gap along the walls to allow the sheets to expand. It can be stapled onto the old floor with 7/8-in. narrow crown staples. For the best stability place staples 4 inches apart in the center of the sheet and 2 inches apart along the seams. Try to use as many full sheets as possible and trim the edges only when necessary.

Fit the doors openings

To ensure smooth functionality of your doors you’ll need to trim down the door opening so the tiles will fit underneath. To do so place a tile upside down in front of the door frame to serve as a height guide. You can use a saw or utility knife and sharp chisel for cuts that are tight.

Divide your floor

Next step is to transfer your desired layout from paper to the underlayment. Chalk lines are the easiest way to do so. The rule is to starts laying down tiles from the centre. To find the center of the room you’ll have to find the centers of both sets of opposite walls. Use these points to snap a chalk line across the floor in both directions. You’ll end up with two lines crossing in the centre creating four rectangles. Use a carpenter’s square to make sure the lines square.
Trial-fit a row of tiles down both lines following the width and length of the room without removing the peel and exposing the adhesive backing. It will give you a sense of what you are aiming for and show if there are any changes that should be made to your original layout. Use a pencil to darken the lines before you sweep the surface one last time.

Install the tiles

Finally, it is so far. Full tiles are installed first. Start at the intersection, peel off the protective backing and lay down the vinyl tiles along the layout lines. Continue to work in a stair-step fashion to keep the tiles aligned. Use a floor roller every couple of rows to apply pressure and attach them securely to the underlayment.
Once you have covered the area with as many full tiles as you can you’ll need to cut vinyl to fit the borders. Use a heat gun for about a minute to warm the tile and make it flexible, then cut it with a utility knife. Then cut the tile using a utility knife.
Vinyl tiles that require to simply be trimmed to length, can be cut easily using his method
You can cut vinyl tiles that simply need to be trimmed along the length by placing the tile atop the last full tile close to the wall, then situate another one to overlap the loose tile. Use a knife to cut the overlapping section off the top tile. Use the trimmed section to cut tiles for the same row. Irregularly shaped tiles can be easily trimmed using a cardboard template.

Let it sit

Once the entire floor is covered, do a couple more rounds with a vinyl floor roller and then let it sit undisturbed for the recommended period of time. This means no walking for at least a few hours, no moving furniture for 2 days and certainly no cleaning at least for a week. This way the adhesive will have time to settle and develop a stronger bond.

why install carpet floor in the bedroom
About Floors, Interior Design

Why install carpet flooring in the bedroom

How you sleep can make you or break you. The quality of sleep affects your energy levels and sets the mood for the day. A good night’s sleep can add to your productivity and decrease stress levels. However, not many people realise that there is a direct correlation between the sleep you’re getting and the environment you are in. Having the right floor in your bedroom can help you relax just as much as a soft pair of night wear or silky sheets.

Carpet has a long history of being an integral part of sleeping arrangements in different cultures.
Today wall to wall carpets is one of the most popular flooring choices for bedrooms all over the world. It has many benefits other flooring choices lack. Here are the most prominent ones.

Carpet is comfortable

No one wants to feel a cold floor under their feet on their way to the bathroom in the middle of the night or even worse, the first thing in the morning. With carpet, you won’t have to. Predominantly made of fibre, natural or synthetic, carpet is the perfect choice for those who enjoy parading around barefoot or only in socks. Its soft surface will make your feet feel loved even after a long and tiring day at work. Available in every color and pattern, it will add warmth and character to your bedroom. And if you like your floors even softer than usual, that can be arranged too: the softness of carpet flooring can be easily boosted by choosing a high-quality cushion underpad.

Carpet is quiet

A quiet room is the best setting for uninterrupted sleep.
The soft surface of carpet flooring is good for more than spontaneous bladder calls.
While it keeps your toes warm and happy, it also allows you to move around the room without making much noise (and could potentially save your relationship).
Wall to wall carpet absorbs sounds up to ten times better than hardwood or any other hard surfaced floor. It’s sound-dampening qualities come in especially handy if you and your family members keep different hours and the noise source is located just below the bedroom territory.
By contributing to a more quiet environment, carpet floors considerably enhance the quality of sleep.

Carpet is healthier

Another factor that affects the quality of sleep greatly is the condition of air in the bedroom.
Studies have shown that carpet floors are indeed a fitting choice for people with asthma, allergies, or other breathing problems. Unlike hard surfaced floors which let the dust and allergens flow freely, carpets trap them in the fibre and prevent them from becoming airborne and being inhaled.

Carper is safer

Slips are a big part of being human and floors.
But not with this floor. Carpet being mounted to all four sides leaves little room for accidents of this nature. So feel safe while you search for the trousers half asleep in the morning haze.

Carpet brings out the best

Carpet’s main competitor on the bedroom flooring market is hardwood. While it’s also a great flooring option for your bedroom it can make shopping for furniture a bit tricky. See, every wood type comes with a natural pattern that’s hard to match. And even if you do, you don’t really want to go over the top with wood everywhere. So, if you are thinking about having wooden or wood patterned furniture in your bedroom in the first place, maybe relinquish the idea of hardwood and opt for carpet flooring instead. Wall to wall carpet will create a pleasant contrast with the furniture and enrich the interior. The endless choice in the carpet department will give you the freedom to experiment with all sorts of colors and patterns to make your bedroom even cozier.

ceramic tile floors versus natural stone floors
About Floors

Natural Stone Floor vs. Ceramic Tile Floor: Which one to install?

Natural stone and ceramic tile floors are quite similar. They are both hard surface floors with comparable characteristics and durability range. Made from natural materials both are installed in form of tiles and demand the same level of care. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks depending on the area of installation. But which one should you choose?

Types of Natural Stone Flooring

The strength and durability of any stone are determined by the formation process it undergoes. The stones used in flooring can be either metamorphic, sedimentary or igneous and each come with a set of unique properties and characteristics.

Granite floors
Granite is the hardest and densest natural stone. It’s so strong that it’s even used for construction purposes. Because of its high density, stains and water aren’t a common problem for granite floors. However, it’s still advised to seal the existing pores as well as the grout lines between the tiles for better protection.
Granite flooring can have different surfaces depending on the treatment process the stone went through. It can be polished smooth, honed flat, or left in a naturally gauged state.
Slate floors
After granite, slate is the second hardest natural stone used in the flooring industry. It’s a combined material and consists of layers of flat, hard packed stone that naturally over time has been pressed into solid pieces under the weight of the earth. This makes slate a strong enough flooring material to resist cracks and breaks when in use. However, there is still a significant danger of chipping. Fortunately, it can easily be avoided with a proper chemical sealing. For the best and safest flooring experience, the sealer should be applied at least once every year.
Limestone floors
Limestone floors are less dense and strong than slate or granite floor. The reason for this is to be found in its formation process. Limestone is shaped through the natural long-term compression process of different fossils. It’s also more porous than all the already mentioned natural stone types and requires a more frequent application of chemical sealer. Over time limestone flooring starts to develop a beautiful aged look that closely resembles the image of classical antiquity.

Sandstone floors
Sandstone probably belongs to the lowest class of natural stone floors. Being extremely porous it’s generally not recommended for humid environments like bathrooms. For the best result, sandstone floors should undergo routine checks and sealing procedures.

Types of Tile Flooring

The main difference between the types of ceramic tile has to do with the manufacturing method.
Glazed tiles go through a more complex making process with an additional firing procedure. This gives the finished tile certain advantages over its unglazed competitor. However, both options have their benefits and should be measured only against the requirements of the environment the floor is going to be installed in.

Unglazed ceramic tile flooring
Ceramic tile is a natural flooring product made from clay and sediments that are mixed and baked in a kiln at a high temperature. This combination is usually referred to as unglazed tile.
Because of porous nature, this ceramic tile is highly prone to staining and can absorb liquids easily. To avoid any of the related risks it’s highly recommended to properly seal the tile floor right after the installation process is complete. For the best protection, frequent re-seals are advised. Unglazed tiles’ characteristics might be nowhere as impressive as its competitors’ but often it’s their natural and robust look they get picked for. Ceramic tiles don’t only make a beautiful floor, but also serve as an impressive decorative option for your walls.

Glazed Ceramic Tile Flooring
Glazed ceramic tiles are made exactly the same way as unglazed, except a layer of liquid glass is added to the top of the tile giving it a more sparkling look and better resistance against spills and stains. The glaze layer already acts like a sealer so there is no need to steal your ceramic tile floor after installation. In addition, the protective layer can be printed to resemble any desired material, including even natural flooring options like hardwood and stone.

Stone floor vs Tile floor: The Differences

Care
It’s fair to say that if you want to get the most out of your floor, stone or unglazed ceramic tile, it’s the smartest choice to apply a sealer on a regular basis. In the case of mid-range natural stones the extra protection will not only successfully fight off the water but it will also save your floor from deep permanent stains if you accidentally happen to use a wrong cleaning agent containing harsh chemicals. However, if you choose granite or slate, you can easily get away with just the initial application. And if that’s too much work for you, go with glazed tile flooring. With its protective top layer, you don’t have to worry about water penetration at all, so there is no need to apply a chemical sealer, except for along the grout lines. Glazed ceramic tile floors are also the easiest to clean. Since there is no danger of spotting, you can use any cleaner to remove the buildup of dirt and bacteria from your floor. Still, try to keep away from grout lines when working with harsh chemicals so you dințt wear them thin. go easy with grout lines The only thing you should look out for when using harsh chemicals are the grout lines and

Durability
The durability of ceramic tile corresponds the temperature it was baked in. Hotter klin makes stronger tile. A rougher surface makes unglazed tile better at dealing with scratches and a safer bet for moist environments where there is a danger of slipping, but the glazed option with its protective layer keeps the water out more efficiently.

Natural stone also differs in strength. Because of their higher density, granite and slate floors are generally better at dealing with different irritants than marble or limestone floors. All stone floors are indeed durable but some of them can chip more than others, mostly because stones are still composite products and can have invisible faults in individual pieces.

Variety
Variety is definitely an advantage when it comes to choosing a new floor for your home. While unglazed tile flooring comes mostly in rich earthy browns, glazed option offers a truly wide range of styles and colors. Even though it can mimic the look of natural flooring materials including stone, it is not fully comparable with the real thing. This lack of authenticity is why some people choose the less reliable natural option over the hassle free glazed flooring.

Advice on choosing the right floor for your child's bedroom
How-to, Interior Design

Choosing the right floor for your child’s bedroom

We all want only the best things for our children. Remodelling a room for your kid is a lot of work, especially if you want to get every detail just right for your little one, from choosing the perfect color for the walls to carefully selecting the toys to decorate the space. However, floor is often neglected and chosen without much consideration – a misstep both parents and children could end up paying for.

Choosing the right floor for your kid’s bedroom will not only benefit your child’s development throughout the years but also leave you with more free time and give you peace of mind when leaving your child alone in the room. Striking a balance between your child’s needs and the floor’s maintenance requirements is easily doable as long as you know what elements to take into consideration and where to compromise.


Before even approaching the topic of appearance, here are the main demands to be met by any floor that’s to be installed in a child’s bedroom:

 

Easy Maintenance

You kids may be the one making a mess of their room but it will definitely be you who has to clean it all up (at least for the first couple of years). Food crumbs and occasional paint on the floor is a common occurrence in a household with a child. Choosing a floor that is easy to clean is the best thing you can do for your future self. But refrain yourself from going straight for the most expensive kind. Children are a force of nature. As charming as it might seems to get the very best quality product for your child, it might be smarter to go for something cheaper, so if it’s ruined for once and all you wouldn’t have wasted all that money. Besides, you can always replace it with something fancier when they are older.

 

High Comfort Level

Comfort is a topic with split opinions. Parents care about a lot when children couldn’t care about it any less. Even if kids are ready to roll naked and run barefoot on a cold tile flooring, it doesn’t mean you should let them. And admit it, playing with your kids on the hard floor would be a lot less nice than a warm cushioned surface.

 

Adequate Safety

For children, the whole world is a playground. They learn by doing and they do it all: crawling, walking, running. They also fall a lot. This is why having a soft surface to break a fall is a recommended feature to have in a kid’s bedroom. The perfect floor would be strong enough to endure scratches from scattered toys and spills of drinks while at the same time being cushioned enough to make tumbles less painful. If you don’t want to risk your child being affected by an allergy, choose flooring with anti-bacterial properties.

 

Multi-Functionality

Being a parent is a lot like being a superhero. You have to plan ahead a lot and come up with solutions for problems that don’t even exist yet. Too bad you can’t time travel. But fortunately, you can consider flooring options that are durable and can endure different age groups.

 

Once you have an idea what the requirements are, you can move to selecting the floor itself.

Here’s an overview of different flooring materials that fit the bill.

 

Hardwood floors

Wood is a natural material. Harvested straight from the forest and having undergone only the very minimal amount of treatment before ending up as flooring boards makes it a highly unlike culprit for any kind of allergies.
Both, solid and engineered wood floors have a hard surface and aren’t as bouncy as other flooring materials. Fortunately, it’s not something that can’t be fixed with a carpet.
Using designated area rugs is also a great solution for common spills. Because of their smaller size, it’s easier to wash or completely replace them. The hardwood floor, however, will keep its reach look well into your toddler’s teenage years.

Highlight: A natural durable material that can be well combined with other flooring options

 

Laminate

If you want your kid’s room to have the rich look of a wood floor but a softer touch laminate is a great choice. High-quality laminate floors can realistically mimic any wood texture while it’s foam underlayment ensures a certain softness or bounce that other hard floors don’t have.

Extra protective surface makes your laminate flooring 10 times more resistant to scratches and up to 100% water resistant. The look isn’t the only thing laminate flooring shares with hardwood floors – it’s also pleasantly warm to touch.

Highlight: Looks like real hardwood floor but feels softer.

 

Vinyl

Vinyl has it all. It’s often referred to as resilient flooring and rightfully so. The main material being rubber it’s  softer and makes walking on them more comfortable (and quieter!). Most luxury vinyl floors are 100% waterproof and very resistant to scratches and stains.

Needing no more care than tile floor, they deliver a much more pleasant flooring experience. There is a great variety of patterns and textures available, some of them as good as indistinguishable from the natural materials they mimic.

Some vinyl floors even offer a special coating that hinders the growth of bacteria and fungi by 99.9% making the maintenance process even easier and guaranteeing a healthier and fresher environment for your little one.

Highlight: Top resilient flooring with a natural look and antibacterial coating.

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