Flooring Options for which you dont need an expert

hardwood flooring, hardwood care products,  Cork Flooring, Laminate, laminate cleaners

A common practice seen nowadays is that most of the homeowners have started doing repair, renovation and up-gradation of their homes on their own. Homeowners are less dependent on the experts for these jobs as the market is flooded with products that are easy to use, irrespective of the skill set they possess. A common task which has gained immense popularity among DIY enthusiasts is floor installation. Proper floor installation is vital to enhance the aesthetics and render a completely new look to the abode.

There are several flooring options available in the market, amongst which there are few that are easier for homeowners to install. The flooring options that most of the homeowners opt for while doing installation on their own are laminate, engineered wood, cork and vinyl.

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Laminate flooring is generally chosen by DIYers as it is quite simple to install. Most importantly, it does not require removal of the old flooring, which is quite time-consuming. Laminate flooring is popularly known as floating floor as it floats above the floor and is not permanently attached to it. These are available in a wide range of choices that suit the budget and preference of almost every homeowner. Besides, laminate flooring can be engineered to resemble wood or stone flooring that are quite time-consuming to install as well as expensive in comparison to the floating flooring.

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Another flooring option that homeowners often choose for their homes while doing the installation themselves is the engineered wood flooring. These come as tongue and groove installation system that is extremely easy to install and does not demand any expert guidance. Homeowners have to install this flooring over an underlayment that is mostly rubber-foam. This type of hardwood flooring is considered durable and comprises three layers. The wooden cross-band is sandwiched between the veneer bottom layer and pre-finished hardwood exterior layer.

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Cork flooring has also gained immense importance as a preferred DIY flooring option as it is not only easy to install but offers various advantages as well. It is soft, long-lasting and natural insulator, along with being resistant to irritants like mold and mildew. Besides, homeowners can render a unique look to their flooring with the help of numerous stains and finishes. Many homeowners think twice before using this flooring option as it is one of the most expensive flooring options. However, it is one of the flooring options that actually add value to the house and is thus considered as a profitable investment.

With the coming of vinyl flooring in the floating floor format, vinyl sheet flooring has become one of the preferred choices of DIYers. Homeowners just have to lay the dimensionally correct sheets and install shoe molding at the meeting point of the wall and sheets. This is so simple that every homeowner can install vinyl flooring over the old flooring without any hassle.

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Thus, homeowners who wish to change the look of their house, but do not want to spend money on seeking professional help can do this easily by installing floor on their own.

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Laminate Flooring Advantages and Disadvantages

hardwood care products, hardwood flooring, Laminate, laminate cleaners

Laminate flooring is fast becoming a preferred choice of most of the homeowners. If you are contemplating to install this flooring in your home, it is advisable that you know all about it. Like any other flooring option, laminate flooring also has its share of advantages and disadvantages. Knowing about these will help you make an informed decision.

The biggest advantage of laminate flooring is its toughness and durability. Irrespective of the amount of foot traffic, it can stand all the wear and tear without any scratch. In addition, laminate flooring is also resistant to stains and impacts. Unlike wood and marble, the laminate flooring does not fade when exposed to sunlight; thereby retaining its original look. Moreover, laminate flooring is the easiest to install and can be conveniently done by ‘do-it-yourself enthusiasts’ in no time. Laminate flooring is primarily available in the form of ‘snap together flooring planks’ which can easily be installed without any need for nailing, stapling or gluing to the sub-floor.

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One of the biggest assets of the laminate flooring is its resemblance to real wood. The texture and color of the laminate flooring is of such high resolution that it is difficult to differentiate whether it is real wood or laminate. Moreover, unlike wood, laminate flooring does not contract or expand. Another important advantage of laminate flooring is its versatility. It can be installed over any substrate, be it wood or concrete. This makes it a preferred choice for homeowners, especially those who are looking for durable flooring option. It is also an affordable flooring option, compared to its other counterparts such as marble or hardwood; which can be quite expensive.

Along with these advantages, there are certain disadvantages which do not make laminate flooring an ideal flooring option. A major flaw of laminate flooring is its susceptibility to moisture. Laminate is made from ‘High Density Fiberboard’ (HDF) which can be damaged by moisture. On prolonged exposure to standing water the HDF breaks down and expands; the only solution to this problem is replacement. Once damaged, it is hard to repair and replacing the flooring in such cases is always an expensive option. Hence, if your house is susceptible to moisture, you need to avoid installing a laminate floor.

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Another disadvantage of laminate flooring is that though it is recommended for “do-it-yourself enthusiasts”, it still requires some amount of skill. Along with having all the necessary instruments and skill to install it, you need to exercise some patience. The installation needs to be done properly where the initial and the final phases of installation are the most important as well as difficult. If the installation is not done properly, the place looks untidy and unappealing. Laminate flooring also tends to be quite slippery which can sometimes result in serious injuries.

Therefore, it is advisable to gain ample information on laminate flooring before going in for it. Weighing all the pros and cons of laminate flooring will help you make a wise decision.

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Difference between glued laminate flooring and non glued laminate flooring

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Out of all the flooring options, laminate flooring is probably the most popular choice. Laminate offers the same visual effect as hardwood flooring, but with enhanced durability. Other benefits associated with laminate flooring are its low cost, ease of installation and ease of maintenance. Although laminate flooring was quite easy to install earlier, recent advancements have further simplified this process.

Traditionally, laminate flooring used to be glued to the sub floor of the room. Now, you can find no-glue type laminate flooring that can be installed in a much easier and timely manner. No-glue laminate flooring locks together without the use of glue, which makes it much simpler to install.

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Apart from the ease of installation there are a number of other factors that make no-glue flooring better than traditional laminate flooring. One such benefit is that the simple installation reduces the chances of anything going wrong during the process. Traditionally, installing laminate flooring required strapping until the glue dried. Furthermore, the installer also had to ensure that the flooring was being laid down in an accurate manner. With no-glue laminate flooring there is no requirement of using strapping, and the chances of the floor’s shape being disrupted are also eliminated.

Generally, the joints of no-glue laminate flooring are made to fit tightly in order to make the flooring stronger. Along with making the flooring structure stronger, this also reduces the chances of moisture seeping through the floor and damaging it.

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Although installing traditional laminate flooring was quite inexpensive, getting it repaired in case of any damage can be a costly job. Generally a professional would have to be called to cut out the damaged piece from the flooring and replace it with a new one. No-glue laminate flooring removes all these hassles. All that is required to replace a damaged portion is to unlock it from the rest of the flooring and replace it with another one. This process is quite simple and can even be undertaken as a ‘Do It Yourself’ project.

Although no-glue laminate flooring has numerous distinct advantages, a number of people still prefer the traditional form of laminate flooring. One of the reasons for this is that since no-glue laminate flooring is not attached to the sub floor it would make a loud noise when walked upon. This noise could be a cause of constant disruption in the house. Another reason is that no-glue laminate flooring is not considered to be as strong as traditional laminate flooring. The strength so achieved by gluing the flooring can add a few years to your flooring.

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All in all, both glue and no-glue laminate flooring has specific advantages and disadvantages. Prima-facie there is no difference in the cost of these two variants; however, you can save with the no-glue flooring by installing it by yourself. Furthermore, maintenance of no-glue flooring is much easier, and any repairs can be undertaken as a DIY project. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the specific advantages and disadvantages of each type of laminate flooring before selecting one.

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Bamboo as an effective flooring option

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Bamboo flooring is fast gaining popularity as a flooring option due to the various advantages offered by it over other flooring material. Although bamboo flooring is a variety of grass and not wood it still displays characteristics similar to hardwood. Some of the factors that account for the popularity of bamboo flooring are its strength, moisture resistance, durability and environment friendly nature.

Floors made out of bamboo are generally considered to be stronger than hardwood due to their high fiber rating. Properly cured bamboo floors have very high tensile strength and offer high durability. Along with high durability and high tensile strength bamboo also offers high moisture resistance thereby enabling you to maintain your flooring without any maintenance worries.

Bamboo flooring can generally be installed more easily as compared to other flooring options. One of the easiest ways of installing bamboo flooring is by using the floating floor method. This method involves fitting the bamboo planks together like a puzzle without the use of any adhesives. This not only ensures that the flooring is installed quickly, but conveniently as well. Thus, homeowners can finish their bamboo flooring job themselves without the help of a professional contractor.

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Bamboo flooring is also ahead of a number of other flooring options, on count of its style and finish. From light colors to different grain sizes, bamboo flooring can match almost any interior décor. Although bamboo is generally found in light colors, dark bamboo flooring can also be found easily. Furthermore, bamboo flooring is found in high gloss finish, matte finish as well as semi gloss finish. Such a wide range of options to choose from ensures that different rooms can be decorated with different types of bamboo flooring.

Another benefit of bamboo flooring is that it is a green flooring material. As compared to hardwood, which takes 15-20 years to mature, bamboo matures in less than 3 years. This makes bamboo a readily sustainable flooring material. Furthermore, the entire bamboo plantation does not need to be uprooted to create flooring material. Only part of the entire structure is taken, thereby making it environment friendly.

Even though bamboo flooring is hard and durable it is more comfortable to walk on as compared to hardwood. This feature makes bamboo flooring ideal for areas such as the kitchen where you are required to stand for a long duration of time.

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Along with other numerous benefits, bamboo also acts as a highly adaptable and flexible flooring material. Bamboo can be laid over a wide variety of sub floors, thereby removing the hassles of preparing the sub floor prior to the installation.

Although bamboo offers a number of benefits most homeowners refrain from using this option due to its high cost. However, bamboo flooring is available in a wide range and in different price range, thereby making it easier for you to choose from. Furthermore, the option of self installation makes this flooring option much affordable and cost effective as compared to other options that require the services of a professional contractor.

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Tips to clean laminate flooring

hardwood care products, hardwood flooring, Laminate, laminate cleaners

Laminate is a popular flooring option due to the fact that it is highly durable and has appealing aesthetics. A typical laminate floor consists of a top wear layer, a printed image of hardwood and an inner layer of fiber board. The effective composition and construction of a laminate floor makes it one of the easiest flooring options to take care of and to maintain.

One of the most effective ways of keeping a laminate floor clean is by understanding its limitations. Although laminate is a tough material that is not easily stained or scratched, there are certain items that could significantly damage your laminate floor. Water puddles, abrasive cleaning solutions and wax are some of the items that can damage your laminate flooring and can cause it to lose its finish. Further, rearranging furniture and pets with untrimmed nails can also scratch the laminate surface. Therefore, it is important to protect your laminate flooring from these items in order to ensure high durability.

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It is important to keep the laminate flooring free from dirt and other impurities; therefore you should mop it with a dry cloth, or vacuum it regularly. However, one of the common problems faced by people is that of dirt getting trapped in between the seams of the laminate floor. It is therefore advised to mop or sweep in the direction of the seem to ensure that no dust or impurity gets trapped in between. You can also damp mop the laminate floor occasionally in order to restore its shine. However, excess moisture can cause the laminate to swell so it is important to be careful while mopping the floor with a damp cloth.

In case you spill high staining substances, such as wine, coffee or orange juice, on your laminate floor you should immediately wipe it off the floor. In order to remove such tough stains you can use acetone based solutions such as nail polish remover on the laminate. However, such chemical based cleaning solutions can discolor the laminate so it is important to test the cleaning solutions on a hidden portion of the flooring first.

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Another effective cleaning idea for your laminate flooring is to use a solution of vinegar and warm water. This is an inexpensive and a natural way of removing tough stains from your laminate floor. For maximum effectiveness you can use this solution by spraying it from a bottle and cleaning with a mop.

In case of scratches or dents to your laminate flooring you can purchase a touch up to maintain its finish. A typical touch up kit would consist of either a filler material or crayons & color pencils. When used properly, such touch up material can easily hide the damage to your laminate floor, and can maintain its finish and durability.

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With a little care and effort it is easy to ensure that your laminate flooring looks like new for a long duration of time. Laminate does not require much maintenance and care, and is therefore preferred over natural wood flooring by a number of individuals.

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