The primary enemy of hardwood floors is grit - usually grit that gets tracked in from outside the home. Do whatever you can to reduce the amount of grit that comes into contact with your floors. You can accomplish that by having doormats outside your entrances, by having a no-shoes-in-the-house policy, by having carpet runners in high traffic lanes, and sweeping and cleaning your floors frequently. Be sure to follow manufacturers' directions for your choice of floor cleaners, to avoid any substances (such as ammonia) that might cloud the finish.
You are right to be concerned, but there are a few things you can do. Consult your vet about keeping the dog's toenails trimmed. Also, check with your Royal Flooring about hardwood choice that have aluminum oxide or other hardeners added to the finish to enhance scratch resistance.
Not really. In fact, there are several measures for which engineered hardwood outperforms solid hardwood. Engineered hardwood is more stable - reacts less to changes in humidity - so it doesn't gap, warp or otherwise react as dramatically as solid hardwood. This quality enables engineered hardwood to be installed in settings for which solid would be risky - over concrete slabs, for example. One point in favor of solid hardwood - it can be sanded and refinished after decades of use, sometimes repeatedly. But that is seldom a meaningful distinction for homeowners.
You'd think that might be true, but it isn't. While the underlying wood might be the same, the quality control at one manufacturer can be superior to the next one. Specifications vary for what is allowable as a "good board" versus what is kicked out as a defect. Many customers prefer seeing long boards in their installation, and some brands accommodate that preference better than others. Your Royal Flooring associate is your best resource for ensuring you find a choice with which you will be happy.
Installing hardwood flooring in bathrooms has never been recommended due to the amount of water and water vapor that are present in this room of the home. This is an area where other hard surface flooring materials would present a better alternative.
Exposure to ultraviolet light (part of the sun's light) will definitely affect the color of woods - some more than others. The colorant in the stain on your hardwood floor is lightfast, but the wood itself changes. Cherry darkens with exposure to sunlight; maple can take on yellow tones.
Never, for most modern hardwood floors. Prefinished hardwoods are by far the most common form of hardwood being installed these days. Those finishes are hard, and form a complete seal between the top of the plank and the world above it. Such finishes repel water, oil, and wax. So, no more waxing, thankfully.
You should vacuum, sweep or dust-mop your floor once a week or more, if needed. The vacuum head must be brush or felt, and a wand attachment is preferable. Do not use vacuums with beater bars or hard heads. Your flooring specialty retailer has a selection of cleaning products specifically designed for your hardwood floor.
Do not use sheet vinyl or tile floor care products on wood floors. Self-polishing acrylic waxes cause wood to become slippery and appear dull quickly.
Do not keep wood floors vulnerable in high-traffic areas. Use throw rugs both inside and outside doorways to help prevent grit, dirt and other debris from being tracked onto your wood floors. This will prevent scratching.
Do not wet-mop a wood floor. Standing water can dull the finish, damage the wood and leave a discoloring residue.
Do not let spills linger. Wipe them up immediately with a slightly dampened towel.
Do not over-wax a wood floor. If the floor dulls, try buffing instead. Avoid wax buildup under furniture and other light traffic areas by applying wax in these spots every other waxing session.
Do not let naked furniture legs stand on your wood floors. Put soft plastic or fabric-faced glides under the legs of furniture to prevent scuffing and scratching.
Do not slide heavy furniture on wood flooring. It is best to pick up the furniture completely to protect the wood flooring.
Do not (if you can help it) walk with heels, cleats or anything with a pointy heel on your wood floor. According to the National Wood Flooring Association, a 125-pound woman walking in high heels has an impact of 2,000 pounds per square inch, and an exposed heel nail can exert up to 8,000 pounds per square inch, denting any floor surface.
For wood flooring in the kitchen, place an area rug in front of the kitchen sink.
Do not let it get too dry in a room that has wood flooring. Use a humidifier throughout the winter months to keep wood movement and shrinkage to a minimum.
Laminate is manufactured flooring that most often resembles the look of natural hardwood but is made from layers of material pressed together.Basically, laminates are the result of a direct-pressure manufacturing process that fuses four layers into one extremely durable surface.
Yes, laminate flooring has become the flooring of choice for many homeowners due to its ability to closely emulate today's most popular hard surfaces. Using photographs, laminates lock in the realism of a hardwood strip, weathered or natural stone and traditional brick. When these floors first came to the U.S., they were often simple looks and patterns. Today, laminate floors offer an unparalleled level of realism heretofore unattainable. With embossing and now embossed-in-register technology it's getting more and more difficult to tell the difference.
Laminate's real claim to fame is its durability and ease of maintenance. Since most come with an aluminum-oxide wearlayer - one of the hardest substances known to man - it can stand up to kids, pets, traffic and more. Plus, the great thing about laminate flooring is not only does it closely emulate other hard surfaces, but it does it at a fraction of the cost and with no natural material drawbacks.
With proper care and maintenance, a quality laminate floor should last 25 to 30 years, which is on par with other types of manufactured flooring, but considerably less than that of genuine stone, ceramic and other natural materials.
There's one thing you should be careful of when buying a laminate floor: quality. Unfortunately, there are a lot of cheap laminate products being imported from countries such as China, so it's important to buy from a reputable and reliable retailer and to buy the best you can afford, depending upon the setting.
Aside from sparing the life of trees, particularly rare, exotic species, laminate flooring has several advantages over real hardwood flooring. First, comparable visuals and designs can be achieved at a fraction of the cost to the end-user. Secondly, laminate flooring can be installed both above and below grade, where hardwood flooring can only be installed above grade. Another big advantage is that laminate flooring is installed without nails or glue, making it a perfect choice for do-it-yourselfers. Lastly, laminate flooring is extremely durable, easy to maintain and can be easily replaced.
A clear surface layer protects the pattern of the laminate underneath, making it highly resistant to wear, stains and sunlight fading, and most household cleaning chemicals will not harm it. And because laminates are specially engineered with layered construction, they can be installed almost anywhere in the home. One caveat: unless specially treated laminate floors are very reactive to water. Otherwise, performance and cleaning should be a breeze.
Sweep, dust, or vacuum the floor regularly with the hard floor attachment (not the beater bar) to prevent accumulation of dirt and grit that can scratch or dull the floor finish.
For tough spots, such as oil, paint, markers, lipstick, ink, or tar, use acetone/nail polish remover on a clean white cloth, then wipe the area with a damp cloth to remove any remaining residue.
Periodically clean the floor with cleaning products made specifically for laminate floor care.
For spots such as candle wax or chewing gum, harden the spot with ice and then gently scrape with a plastic scraper, such as a credit card. Be careful not to scratch the flooring surface. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
A more frequent dust-mopping or vacuuming schedule may be required in very sandy areas such as a beach home.
Porcelain is actually a type of ceramic tile. It is made with the mineral feldspar added to the mix, and fired at a higher temperature. The result is a harder tile, with almost zero water absorbency. Porcelain tiles hold up to the heaviest foot traffic, and can be installed outdoors as well as in.
There are just a few things to keep in mind. Nothing matches the natural stone look, exactly, but some manufactured flooring comes pretty close. Don't use natural stone, including marble, for shower floors or surrounds, or any place where they are likely to be subject to prolonged contact with water. This is because natural stone is too porous, and the water will eventually cause staining and problems with the grout. Natural stone can be sealed, to improve stain resistance. Some styles of stone tiles have a highly polished surface and can be slippery. Expect stone tiles to cost more than most ceramic tiles. Watch the potential for sharp edges and corners for you installation.
Absolutely. Pay attention to the traffic rating, sometimes called the PEI rating, for each type, to ensure it will perform properly in your space, and pay attention to the thickness of the tiles, to ensure they will produce a consistent surface height. Otherwise, measure your floor space, lay it out on a piece of graph paper, and get creative!
If installed properly and maintained, ceramic tiles can last many, many years. There are slight differences in the durability of different kinds of tile. Glazed tiles will wear more easily than unglazed tiles and porcelain tiles will last longer than other ceramic tiles.
Grout requires regular cleaning - mopping with a mild soap-and-water solution, then rinsing with clear water. Regular cleaning helps prevent dirt from being ground into the grout. You will find products on the market for sealing grout lines, making them more impervious to water and staining, but there are different points of view about when and where that is a good practice.
Darker grout colors are easier to keep clean than lighter ones
Small grout joints (1/4-inch) have a more contemporary feel and are easier to keep clean. A larger grout joint (1/2-inch) feels more rustic.
Choose the right size tile for each application. Large rooms will benefit from bigger tiles, such as 16 x16 inches, 18 x18 inches or even 20 x 20 inches. Smaller spaces, such as bathrooms, will look best in tiles 12x12-inches in size or smaller.
Ask your local flooring dealer for advice on coordinating different types of tile and mixing tile with other flooring materials.
Use a reputable installer to ensure the look and longevity of your tile installation.
Carpet makes sense for the comfort and quiet. Ask your Royal Flooring associate for help selecting carpeting with a high rating for stain resistance. Another approach to consider would be luxury vinyl tile, along with an area rug. That would give you an easy-to-clean hard surface for the messier activities, while still providing the warm soft area.
Most of today's carpets are made from harmless materials found in clothing and other everyday fabrics, such as polyester, nylon and olefin fibers, which don't trouble most people.
Carpet is also wrongly linked to high VOC levels. Studies show that new carpet is one of the lowest emitters of VOCs into the indoor environment, and that these emissions dissipate very quickly. The low-level VOC emissions and the harmless odor from new carpet disappear within the first 48 to 72 hours after installation with proper ventilation.
The cushion under your carpet is one of the most important considerations when buying new carpet. It is the base that helps the carpet retain its texture and appearance. A cushion is sold by its thickness and density. A pad that is too soft will adversely affect the performance of the carpet, and a pad that is too thick interferes with the anchoring of the carpet. For residential installation, a cushion of no more than 7/16-inch thick and no less than 1/4-inch thick with a 6 pound per cubic foot of density or equivalent is recommended. (A cushion of 4/8-inch thickness with a 6 pound per cubic foot of density or equivalent is recommended for berber style carpets.)
Of course, it is, and if it's snowy white you want, snowy white you shall get. However, you should know that light-colored carpets will show more soil and require more maintenance than darker colors, which are more effective in high-traffic areas. Also, multi-colored and patterned carpets are especially effective in hiding soil.
There are a number of things you can do to make sure your carpets are properly cleaned and maintained. Consider placing mats or throw rugs near entrances to catch dirt. Purchase a good vacuum cleaner and use it often; if it has bags, makes sure you change them regularly. Clean up spills as soon as they happen and use a professional cleaning company at least once per year to give your carpet a deep clean. And, as with any flooring product, be sure to consult the manufacturer's cleaning and maintenance suggestions
If you spill something on carpet, it's important to clean it up right away. First, pick up any solids or debris and use a clean, dry cloth to soak up as much liquid as possible. Then rinse the area with warm water, blotting with your cloth or towel. You shouldn't scrub or use hot water because you might damage individual fibers. Once the area has dried, you can vacuum over it to help restore the carpet to its original appearance. If you're considering using a carpet cleaning product, be sure to follow manufacturer guidelines or consult with our flooring professionals for a recommendation.
While shading is simply the result of the change in direction of the carpet pile due to pressure from footsteps and vacuuming, color fading is more serious. Color fading of carpet occurs when particles of oily soil deposited on carpet fibers cause gradual but significant dulling of colors - the color is not lost, but hidden under the film. Cleaning your carpet regularly will help avoid color fading.
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