How to Care for Your Hardwood Flooring

How to Care for Your Hardwood Flooring

The beauty of a new hardwood floor is undeniable. This creates all the more reason to care for it in order to preserve its quality. Looking after your hardwood floor doesn’t need to be difficult. A few simple steps and some know-how and it’ll stay good as new.

Preventive

There are a few simple preventative measures that can be maintained throughout the life of your hardwood floor. The main goal of hardwood floor maintenance is to prevent damage and scratches. This can be done by placing felt stickers on the base of furniture legs and picking furniture up to move it, as opposed to dragging it across the floor. A well-placed mat at sinks in the kitchen and bathroom will prevent water damage and mats at the doors of the house will stop scratches from dirt. Furthermore, if you live in an area with humid summers or dry winters, you may notice bulging or spaces between the floorboards. This can be rectified by using a humidifier or dehumidifier if so desired. 

Daily

There are also some daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that can go a long way in maintaining the wood. Daily dusting or sweeping will stop particles from scratching the surface. Dusting can be done with any microfiber cloth. Alternatively, sweeping with a soft bristle brush will keep your floors beautiful.

Weekly

Vacuuming can be done on occasion. Use a bare floor setting or the vacuum wand and avoid the beater bars. Vacuuming will also remove all those unsightly dust balls and make your stunning wood floors look even more appealing.

Monthly

In order to keep that sparkling clean appearance, washing your floors monthly is best. Make sure to use a wood floor cleaning product. Avoid oil, wax, detergent, vinegar, and bleach as these can harm the wood. It is very important to note that water tarnishes the flooring. Only use a damp mop and wipe up any spills as they occur.

 

There you have it, only a few simple steps and an occasional clean will allow you to easily maintain your hardwood floors.

How do you take care of your floors? Share your hardwood floor maintenance tips with us in the comments section below.

 

An Introduction to Natural Stone Flooring

An Introduction to Natural Stone Flooring

 

Stone flooring is sourced straight from the Earth so there is nothing more natural than that! But that is not the only reason we love natural stone flooring. Since it’s not artificially made, each piece of stone is unique and unlike any other. Stone flooring keeps your feet cool in the summer, and with the help of heated floors, it expertly transmits heat in the winter. Stone is also fire and water resistant, providing safety to you and your loved ones, and because of its texture, stone leaves no space for nasty dust or allergens to hide. And, did we mention how beautiful it looks?

Stone flooring is an environmentally conscious purchase

Current advances in stone quarrying have significantly reduced the negative environmental impacts of sourcing stones. Because stone is taken from the Earth, it doesn’t require other materials or chemicals to produce it. When it’s available locally, it reduces the need for further transportation and supports local businesses, and its incredible durability will see to it that it lasts for years to come. Some say their floors will outlive them! Stone is also reusable and recyclable so you needn’t fret about where it will end up.

Granite

Advantages: Granite is the hardest and most durable option. It can be polished smooth or left as is, depending on your preference. Furthermore, it is highly resistant to stains and scratches and absorbs very little water, not to mention that there are so many colors, textures, and patterns to choose from!

Disadvantages: It must be properly sealed or else it will wear quickly.

Slate

Advantages: Although not as hard as granite, slate remains very tough against breaks. Slate’s strength comes from its numerous layers that have been pressed together during its formation. Slate is available is a number of dark, rich colors giving it a very clean and crisp look when installed.

Disadvantages: It is possible to break slate; however, this remains unlikely because slate is often stronger than anything it encounters. As with granite, it too must be properly sealed.

Marble

Advantages: Often seen as the most luxurious of stone choices, marble provides homeowners with a sense of elegance due to the timeless beauty of the stone. It is available in unique colors with stunning patterns that often resemble graceful waves.

Disadvantages: Despite its beauty, marble is far softer than other options and can be prone to scratches. That being said, tiles can be replaced if needed.

Limestone

Advantages: Limestone is like a fine wine; it only gets better with age. When properly cared for using limestone-specific products, over the years limestone begins to take on a gorgeous antique appearance, setting your floors apart from the rest. Used for centuries to build timeless monuments, this stone will surely look ravishing in your home or business.

Disadvantages: Limestone is a relatively soft stone so it is not recommended for outdoor, kitchen, or bathroom use. Its tendency to scratch and stain makes it more delicate than other stones on the market.

 

Are you planning on using natural stone flooring for your renovation or new construction? Share your experience with stone flooring with us by commenting below!

What do you use for the sub-level? A guide to basement flooring

What do you use for the sub-level? A guide to basement flooring

Flooring usually goes by some rules but when it comes to basement flooring, most of those rules are thrown out of the windows. The reason for this is that basements usually are subject to completely new environmental threats. Even in spaces were weather isn’t an enemy, at least not in the usually way, basements can produce a rather moist environment where certain floors don’t prosper.

So what should be done in this situation? That’s what we’re here to help you with, as we will go over the fundamentals of basement flooring so that you have a better idea of what you should use for your own instance for example. Of course, each individual might have unique circumstances which would make the entire operation more complex for them. For example if you have a basement heating oil tank, you might have to consider other flooring options simply because of the potential leaking and whatnot. Although the best course of action in such a scenario would be to call some oil tank experts and maybe tway lifting to help you get it out so you can enjoy your basement properly.

What is the grade and what does it mean to be below or above it?

You might be confused if you talk to a constructor and they start talking about below grade or above grade materials. They are not referring to material quality and they aren’t suggestion that you should invest in cheaper or more expensive supplies. They are simply stating whether or not the material in question is designed for below or above ground level.
The former category isn’t safe from water vapors and similar threats whereas the latter, above ground level category can withstand such dangers.

Understanding the necessities of basement flooring

When you’re talking about below grade materials for your basement you have to abide by a different rule set if you’re going to get a long lasting job done. It’s important to keep these things in mind when proceeding with the flooring of your basement or otherwise you will most likely have to revisit it in the not so distant future.

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Look for the hardest materials

The hardest materials prosper best in environments such as the basement. Tile will always outperform carpeting for the basement, but there are also other options out there such as concrete. It also depends on what your design or style plan may suggest, so that it’s not just efficient but also in tune with everything else in the basement.

What happens when there’s a flood?

Flooding is one of the permanent concerns that you will face regarding your basement, regardless of your flooring option. Yes, flooring helps one way or another but it won’t stop actual flooding from happening in the eventuality of there being one. When it comes to flooring, ceramics are great because they dry out in the eventuality of a flood.

You ca also go for a laminate or wood approach but this implies a while other cause and effect. It is possible to install laminate flooring in the basement with the help of a foam underlayment, so if you really aren’t a fan of tiles or plain concrete, you can do that too.

Flooring your basement remains a tricky job simply because of how many things you have to keep in mind at the same time. However, it is far from impossible to pull off. It is however very important that you do it right the first time so you don’t have to come back and revisit the project every so often.

Myths you Should Stop Believing in Concerning Tile

Myths you Should Stop Believing in Concerning Tile

Are you coming up to a Home Improvement project soon where you will be replacing your flooring but are weary of choosing tile? Maybe it’s because you have heard some things about it that sound horrifying, you are now against the very idea of even considering it. Maybe you don’t hate tile that much, but today we will go through the 6 most common myths about tile and show you the truth. This way you can make an educated, well thought out decision. Here are the myths, and why they aren’t true.

Myth: Tile is boring

Reality: Nowadays with the multitude of different flooring options available tile seems boring and difficult to customize. Hardwood is available in so many different grains, styles, & colors. Carpet has been expanding to include a wider variety of texture than ever before and vinyl now can be created to mimic any natural material out there. What many don’t realize is that in the last decade imaging technology has greatly improved, now tile can be customized to mimic hardwood, natural stone, or a completely custom pattern. Today you have more opportunity for tile customization than even your choice of hardwood.

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Myth: Tile flooring is cold

Reality: This myth is true in some sense but not entirely. It is portrayed much worse than it is in reality. Tile is a conductor of temperature and holds a certain temperature for a very long time (kind of like stone). Taking this into account, during the winter if you live in a cold area tile that is exposed to the cold will retain the temperature and remain cool for long periods of time without warming up. Not always though, there is such a thing as radiant heat mats that can be installed directly underneath the tile. These can be controlled by a thermostat and will often actually help you save money on your heating bill (although they are pricey to install in the beginning). Another factor to pay attention to: the location where the tile is being installed and the material underneath. Above a well insulated area that is not directly perpendicular to the outdoors the tile will not have as a great a source of cold temperature as tile installed directly over concrete.

Myth: Wood alike tile looks fake

Reality: Maybe at first, but today wood look alike tile often times looks better than the real thing. With advanced imaging technology wood textures are printed directly onto the travertine creating not only a beautiful look but an authentic feel. If you are worried about the grout lines that will give it away, don’t. You can purchase tile that is finely cut to match the surrounding pieces requiring little grout and almost no transition.

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Myth: Tile flooring is expensive

Reality: Every valuable investment is made with hope that it was worth it. Although tile is significantly more expensive to purchase and install than vinyl or carpet it can last for much longer. The most durable vinyl won’t last longer than 20 years. Carpet, you’ll be lucky if it lasts 10-15 years. Tile on the other hand will last a lifetime, if not longer. There’s a reason it has been the go to flooring material for thousands of years. Spending double what you would spend on carpet or vinyl will pay off in the long run. Even if you aren’t planning on selling your house in the short term: if done right, tile will increase the monetary and visual value of your home.

Myth: Tile breaks easily

Reality: Tile; porcelain, ceramic, & travertine are much more durable than you imagined. Yes it is possible to chip or crack tile, but much less so than majority of other flooring materials. Tile is the only material that water will not damage, as well as the only material that you can be sure will not face scratching or denting from a pets claws. If one tile is damaged it can easily be taken out and replaced by a new one. Vinyl on the other hand requires repairing the whole section.

Myth: Tile requires little or no maintenance or care

Reality: Although tile is plenty more durable than most other flooring materials, it still requires upkeep and maintenance. A properly sealed tile floor requires much less maintenance as it will not be affected as much by daily wear and tear. You must periodically reseal the floor to ensure that it is protected as well as picking up stains and moisture as soon as it happens. Although ceramic and porcelain are considered strong materials the grout in between them will give way to acid and erosion, thus should be avoided.

Credit Visit our company blog at www.divinehns.com/news for more flooring industry news.

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Tile tips for your kitchen design

From ceramic to marble, slate to stone, with so many tiles to choose from, tiling your kitchen can be daunting. If you’re completely redesigning your kitchen, it’s tempting to focus more on choosing appliances than the small details like tiles, but they can be the key to your kitchen’s new look and if chosen correctly, will enhance your kitchen beautifully. Here are some things to consider when shopping for kitchen tiles.

Different materials have different qualities

Ceramic tiles
One of the reasons ceramic tiles are so popular in kitchens is their durability. Dropping plates or cutlery, for example, won’t leave a mark. Ceramic tiles withstand lots of traffic and don’t soak up moisture. They can even be slip-resistant with the right finish. Another huge benefit of ceramic tiles is that they are fireproof, which is particularly important in the kitchen.

Porcelain tiles
Similarly to ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles have low water absorption which means they are less likely to be stained. Typically a popular choice for bathroom floors, porcelain is a popular choice for bathroom tiling, although the fact that porcelain tiles are easy to maintain with no polishing or sealing means they are great for kitchens.

Natural stone tiles
Natural stone tiles are popular choices for kitchens due to their wild variations in color and quality. Each tile is completely unique and can look really beautiful as a surface, but it’s important to do your homework when looking for colors. Granite is a popular choice for kitchens, the hardest natural stone and a good natural water repeller.

Color

Create a color scheme
When choosing a colour scheme for your kitchen, a good rule of thumb is to aim for two dominant colors and one accent color, which will enable the room to become whole with separate pieces of color and adds depth to the composition. You may also consider painting your kitchen cabinets or furniture, such as a wooden table and chairs, to match your tile choices.

Choose countertop first
Before choosing your floor or wall tiles, you should first pick out a material and color for your countertops, since they are usually what people notice first when walking into your kitchen. When you come to choosing your flooring, take a sample of your countertop with you to ensure colors are coordinated.

Create contrast
The best kitchen designs have a balance of tones and materials. For example, white is a popular color for cabinets and tile backsplash, but by also using white tiles on your kitchen floor, the room will go from feeling light and fresh to institutional. Try to use a combination of light, medium and dark tones, for example, by matching floors and countertops and having cabinets as a secondary color, or vice versa.

Style

Retro
Retro style kitchens are quickly coming back into fashion and can be the key to making your kitchen pop. Classic and sophisticated, black and white floor tiles are a must-have in retro decorating and also have a timeless appeal that can be paired with more contemporary and traditional style accessories. You can also add a hint of colour by choosing a contrasting tile backsplash.

Modern
If your preference is a modern kitchen, emphasizing grey, black and white in your tile choices will keep your kitchen looking sleek. Pairing granite or marble countertops with stainless steel appliances creates an elegant feel. If you want to design a modern kitchen with a little more color, add a bright mosaic tile backsplash or pick out a vibrant floor finish.

Traditional
The traditional kitchen design is warm and classic and can be interpreted according to your taste. Shades of chocolate brown are a popular choice for floors and countertops, while deep blues and rich reds give a hint of colour on cabinets or accent areas. You might see marble, brick, stone and even wood on the backsplash.