Nov 17

Revamp Your Home With This Easy Guide to Granite Tile Installation

granite tileGranite is an igneous rock, absolutely strong and durable (normally built to last long). They are highly water resistant, hence used in kitchens and bathrooms more commonly. These tiles are spill proof and scratch proof as well. Granite tiles are also great in keeping away the growth of bacteria, so are absolutely hygienic. Granite is one of the hardest and strongest stone used in the construction business. They are available in all varied colors, designs or just plain, hence, matching with your wall color and decor. They also come in all sizes, and you can also cut them as per your convenience and need. Polishing granite tiles is a very good idea since it adds that extra shine making it lustrous and amazing looking. Here is more information on granite tiles and its installation.

Granite Tile Installation Instructions
Granite is a strong and heavy stone, you have to be very careful during the process, for a good finished work. Identify the area you are going to install the tiles on, also make up your mind for the size of tiles. Large tiles are very difficult to deal with, so, the medium sized ones are usually recommended. Figure out the proper measurements of the area and order for the tiles, things are more organized and easy then. Now, inspect the area of installation for moisture and unevenness. Once the sub-floor is made even, dry and moisture resistant, install the tiles using cement based mortar. This thin set (mortar) is sticky and bonds really well with the tiles and the wall or floor surface. Use the white thin set mortar (they come in two colors, gray sand white), buy it from a

Nov 10

Oak Flooring Grades

oak wood flooringOak wood is an excellent type of hardwood flooring due to its inherent properties. Oak wood, both red and white, is quite sturdy, water resistant, stiff, dense, and has coarse grains. This wood thus, is an excellent hardwood flooring material as it is durable, magnificent to have in the house, charismatic, and provides a great feel to the room and your bare feet. On the whole, it’s a great flooring material. There are three primary variants of oak wood that are used in hardwood flooring: White oak, Northern red oak, and Tasmanian oak. Out of these, the first two are commonly used for flooring. There are individual characteristics of each variant of wood such as a hardness scale, which is determined by Janka. As per this scale, Northern red oak is the softest, with a hardness grade of 1290, then comes the Tasmanian oak, which has a hardness of 1350, and lastly, the White oak which is the hardest, with a grade of 1360.

Parameters for Grading

There are several parameters that are taken into consideration while grading any type of wood. The National Wood Flooring Association (NOFMA) has defined certain grades for wood types which are conventionally adopted in the United States for flooring. The most common parameters are mentioned below.

– The first important parameter on the basis of which the grade is decided is the color and grain. The plank of wood used for flooring is cut out from a tree trunk. The innermost wood, which has a very dark color, with dense and sturdy properties, is called heartwood. This wood is dense, strong, and the most durable. The outer wood, called sapwood, is

Dec 06

Hickory Flooring Pros and Cons

With such a high Janka rating, it is but natural for the flooring made of hickory wood to be very hard and resilient to daily wear and tear. Although hickory wood is often recognized for its characteristic brownish red tones, there is white hickory as well. The quality aspects will vary depending on the type of hickory (common hickory, pignut hickory, shagbark hickory, pecan, and calico hickory) and grade you choose for making your flooring. This guide discusses the various pros and cons of hickory flooring so as to help you make a more informed decision.

PROS

High Shock Resistance
Hickory is one of the hardest domestic and commercially sold wood species found in North America. This wood is also highly resistant to shock, which is why it is often used for making baseball bats, furniture, golf clubs, etc., in North America. This wood is, therefore, also suitable for being used as flooring, as it is able to withstand the everyday wear and tear, heat, weight, and pressure of the household.

Durable
This wood is harder than other flooring options such as oak, maple, teak, and pine. Although this wood may be hard, it too can develop scratches and dents if excess force is used. It is very likely that the floor may develop scratches after prolonged use and if heavy objects such as tools and utensils were to fall on it. However, this specific problem can be rectified by opting for hand scraped hickory floorboards that expertly hide such scratches and blemishes. This wood is both sturdy and durable, and is able to resist blemishes to a large extent.

Extraordinary Grain Pattern
The grain of hickory wood is indeed extremely attractive and is enhanced manifold when laid out as flooring. This wood is known and highly sought after because of its exceptionally beautiful

Dec 06

Installation of Mosaic Floor Tiles Explained in Detail

Mosaic tiles are highly popular in the world of flooring. These are commonly used for gracing interior and exterior areas. While you plan to use these for covering your house floors, there are an array of options in terms of types, colors and design patterns in mosaic tiles which you can explore. These are commonly found in 2 inch or smaller pieces and in square shape. You can also find odd and uneven shapes in these in the crafts and hobby stores. You can opt for ceramic or porcelain material in these tiles as both of them offer good flooring surface. Mosaic tiles come packaged on paper or mesh sheets which help hold the small tiles together in a properly design pattern. The ready design patterns make it easier to form the same designs while installing these tiles on the floors. Very small pieces of mosaic tiles in odd shapes or single color, these are packaged in large bags.

Install the Tiles
Well, installing mosaic tiles, is a procedure which is much similar to installation of any other type of floor tiles. If you are wondering about working on the mosaic floor tile installation job then here are some tips to help you in the same.

Preparation
The very first step which needs to be followed while laying a mosaic tile floor is to removing the existing floor tiles and ensuring that the sub floor is clean and flat without any indentations and cracks. You can level the concrete floors using a leveling compound if required.

Dry Fit
While you install mosaic floor tiles, setting them right can be quite tricky due to their smaller size and a huge area to be covered. A smart way to do so is to opt for a dry fit and get an idea of how the

Dec 05

Gripping Floor Tile Design Ideas You Can Use for Different Rooms

While wooden flooring or carpet tiles are a good choice of flooring for a living room, linoleum is one of the most recommended options for the kitchen. Stone and carpet are good choices for the bedroom flooring, while the use of ceramic tiles is well suited for bathrooms. There are some basic criteria to be considered while choosing floor tiles for any room.

The choice of flooring for bathrooms and the kitchen should be based on factors like resistance to stains, water, and the ease of cleaning. Aesthetics and comfort are of prime importance when choosing floor tiles for the living room or the bedroom. Bright colors can be used in the kids’ bedroom, thus adding vibrancy to the room. Cool and soothing colors are better suited for the master’s bedroom, where comfort and elegance are of importance.

Floor Tile Design Ideas for Different Rooms
How do the floor tiles in your room look? Do they look old and tired? Perhaps, you have been walking over them for quite some time now and they need replacement. You must think of installing new floor tiles and give a new look to your rooms. Here are some floor tile design ideas for the different rooms of your house.

Living Room
Usually, your living room is the area where people get together. In some homes, the living area serves as a formal reception room while in others, it is treated like a family room. It is the face of your house and so, it should reflect your personality, taste, and social status. Wood flooring is a good option for the living area. You can also think of laying carpet tiles or ceramic floor tiles in the living area. Be it any kind of flooring, the tiles should be of muted colors and not appear very glossy.

Kitchen

Dec 01

How to Test Wood Floors for Moisture

Testing the moisture levels is one of the vital tasks, as far as installation of hardwood floor is concerned. This has to be performed before and during the installation process. Even after installation, moisture levels have to be checked at regular intervals, so that any drastic variation can be controlled. This will prevent the ill effects that can be sustained by the wood. So, you have to test wood floors for moisture, on a regular basis.

How does Moisture Affect Hardwood Floors

Moisture control plays a key role in installation as well as maintenance of wood floors. It is a common fact that shrinkage and swelling of wood depends on the moisture content. As the moisture content drops, the wood starts shrinking and with increase in moisture, the wood swells or expands. So, the wood shrinks during dry environment and expands in wet conditions. This is applicable for wood floors too. It has been observed that the swelling or shrinking of wood flooring is also affected by factors like, the type of wood species, type of cut, cutting season, weather of the place, etc. The most common effects of moisture on hardwood floors are cracking, cupping or buckling. So, moisture level testing is very much necessary before, during and after hardwood flooring installation. It has been observed that engineered wooden floors are more resistant to the effects caused by moisture.

Moisture Testing for Hardwood Floors

– As mentioned above, testing hardwood floors for moisture starts right before the process of installation. Before the installation, both the wood as well as the subfloors must be checked to find out the moisture levels. It is always advisable to use some kind of moisture barrier, as per the material used in the subfloor.

– First of all, you have to check the moisture levels of the concrete subfloor

Nov 29

Staining Wood Floors

Wooden floors are expensive and changing it involves a huge investment. To avoid such high expenses, you can opt for staining the wood instead. This process is often adopted by people for changing the interior d�cor of their house or to match up with the newly bought furniture. Staining is comparatively cheaper than complete replacement of the flooring. Moreover, it renders a fresh look to your house that will definitely appear more beautiful and luxurious. Usually homeowners hire professionals to stain their floor, but knowing the process will help you to understand the techniques implied.

An Overview

Before choosing the specific color you should keep certain things in your mind. The color of the stain must complement other elements inside your room. Choosing a dark color is the most easily available option as a texture of black or dark brown can be applied over any form of pre-existing hues. Things are a little difficult if you wish to create a lighter tone for your floor while it has been stained dark previously. You must also know the nature of the flooring and the quality of wood before applying the coats of color.

The first step involves treating the wooden floor so that the stain gets absorbed perfectly. The pretreatment process also depends on the type of flooring and the quality of the wood used. Go for a premium quality of wood conditioner for this purpose. This step is important for wood that absorbs stains in an uneven or different fashion. Read the instructions on the leaflet provided along with the pack. First the varnish is removed with the help of remover that is applied for at least 15 minutes. You can remove it either with a towel or a putty blade. Let the wood dry overnight before applying the stain. You can either

Nov 29

6 Best Eco-friendly Flooring Ideas for Your Home

Having a beautiful and stylish home without harming the environment is amazing, right?, With the abundance of green products available in the market, using eco-friendly products is the ideal way. These products are made from sustainable, recycled, and non toxic materials. Eco-friendly options don’t cost more than normal options either. In fact, they give you more benefits in the same price. You can be proud that you are not damaging the environment. Flooring is the best place to start your green remodel. We have come up with some eco-friendly flooring options so that you can flaunt these with style.

1. CORK
Cork is obtained by peeling the bark of the Quercus suber tree, commonly called cork oak tree. It can be harvested every 9 years once the tree matures, without killing the tree. Cork that used for flooring is recycled, as it is mostly acquired from the wine stopper manufacturing process. Suberin, a waxy substance present in the cork tissue, makes it waterproof. It is antimicrobial, fire resistant, and also provides thermal insulation. Cork flooring is aesthetically appealing as it is available in various colors and styles. It is very durable, resilient, and has natural elasticity.

Care
Clean up spills immediately. Choose a cleaner, which is safe on cork. Every few years, cork flooring needs to be sealed.

2. BAMBOO
Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world. It is highly renewable and a sustainable source. Mostly, Moso bamboo species is used for flooring. It can grow up to 47 inches in 24 hours and 78� feet high in 40 to 50 days. Also, the root is left intact after harvesting. This makes bamboo an ideal option for flooring. Hardwoods take a long time to mature, whereas bamboo matures quicker. Bamboo is very sturdy, in fact it is 3 times

Nov 28

Creative Flooring Ideas

If you want to create a lasting first impression of your beautiful interiors, you need to start with the entryway floors and weight up the hallway which is the area where your guest will first step into. Of course you can continue the lovely flooring to the other rooms as well. Let me tell you that adding a unique touch to regular flooring is the trick to making it look the best. There are a number of creative flooring ideas which can be considered to make your interiors look appealing and truly unique. Even with the most common floor tiles you can create an uncommon and appealing space that spruces up your interiors. Let’s move on to find out the unique ideas.

Lovely Layouts
Before you explore the various ideas and use new tiles to cover up your interior floors, you can stick to the basics and still create an eye catching floor surface. Let me tell you that nothing can replace the charm of natural tiles like stone, granite, brick and marble. These give a warm and rich touch to your interiors without much effort. Further tryout various layouts and design patterns to have creative floor designs with these plush tiles.

Add Inlays
No matter which tiles you are use, adding inlays is a great way to add interest to the plain and simple floors. Also, consider adding inlays to create lovely borders, round or square patterns which rest a few inches away from the walls or any other patterns that you find interesting. Use inlays of the same material as that of the floor or use inlays of another material, the right combination is sure to create a beautiful looking surface. Patterned wood laid in simple wood floors, wood laid in tiles, tiles laid in tiles like mosaic in ceramics,

Nov 28

Pros and Cons of Resilient Flooring

If your home space is a center to juice spills, skateboard activities, pets, damp footwear, and a host of other such trying elements that put your flooring’s durability and strength to test, then resilient flooring is your benefactor. Cork, rubber, vinyl, and linoleum are the common types of resilient flooring that are specifically engineered to withstand the test of time without compromising on your aesthetic needs.

Since your floor is the most visible part of your interior space, it is but natural to consider a flooring option that offers the best of both style and flexibility. Resilient flooring offers all that you need without costing you an arm and a leg. But, at the same time, there are some factors that you may want to consider if you are planning on installing it. Through this Buzzle article, we narrow down the pros and cons of resilient flooring in order to help you make a prudent decision for your home.

Vinyl Flooring

Advantages
– Endless design options: Vinyl flooring materials run a gamut, they come in a plethora of color, texture, pattern and finish options. These materials can simulate varied materials like wood, mosaic, ceramic, marble, etc., and are so faithful to the real materials that one can’t tell a replica from the real one.
– Fuss less maintenance: Vinyl floors are amazingly durable and do not require frequent fixing, which makes it perfect for active households. They are dust and dirt resistant and make cleaning a cinch.
– Water resistant: Vinyl’s water resistant property makes it a hygienic alternative to rivals like wood and carpet. This property also helps in keeping mildew and mold growth at bay.

Disadvantage
Vinyl flooring are manufactured using volatile organic chemicals (VOC) that are known to give off toxic compounds, which can lead to respiratory problems and irritation of

Nov 26

Hand Scraped Wooden Floors

Also referred to as hand sculptured hardwood flooring, this flooring type has been popular among the masses since the 1800s. It is loved for its resilient urethane finish, that imparts a traditional wooden floor appeal. Although expensive, they are worth the cost due to the elegant and extravagant look they impart to a house or establishment.

Before the modern sanding techniques came about, wooden floors were hand scraped to attain a flat and even finish. Only then were they installed at their respective locations. However, with time this hand scraping method is used more as a fashion statement, and is installed in opulent homes and commercial establishments.

What’s Special About Them?

These wooden floors are handcrafted by traditional techniques employed by expert craftsmen. The wood emanates timeless beauty in each contour of wood. Hand scraping gives the wood an older look, thereby imparting a rustic and naturally worn out look to the wood. While some craftsmen may use denting, scooping, scraping, or roughing methods to scrape the floor, others may just sand it unevenly to achieve its rustic finish. In fact, some of the dexterous artisans are capable of creating the most reclaimed floors with splits, wormholes, and other such naturally appearing markings on the wood, giving it the most natural appeal whatsoever!

How is Hand Scraping Done?

Available in heavy, medium, and light scraping, these floors are subjected to a sanding process, which involves the use of a 38 grit disc floor sander. After this, it is subjected to a 60 grit disc sand scraper. The stained edges can be a challenge to get at. For this, use a 6 inch spinner. Once the floor has been sanded, a vacuum cleaner is used to suck out all the dust off the floor. Now comes the most important part, the scraping!

After wetting a small portion

Nov 26

Drum Vs. Orbital Sander – Which is Better for Floor Finishing

A sander is an electric device that helps smoothen a rough surface. There are several types of sanders, like belt, drum, orbital, random orbit sanders, and so on. But the common property among all is that they operate by using an abrasive surface that rubs on the floor. The difference between various sanding devices is in the method by which the abrasive surface contacts the floor.

Sanding is used to remove earlier coats of finish, or to remove bumps and depressions from the floor, before a new coat is applied so that it adheres well. This process may also be performed on a newly laid hardwood floor, before the initial coat of stain is applied.

Two of the most commonly used floor sanders are drum and orbital sanders, and they are routinely confused with each other. As its name suggests, the drum sander operates using a high speed rotating drum, while the orbital sander uses an oscillating pad which moves in an ‘orbital’ fashion. While the drum sander is a piece of heavy duty equipment, the orbital sander is mostly used for light finishing tasks. A more detailed comparison between drum and orbital sanders follows.

Purpose

Drum Sander
A drum sander is used to remove thick layers of finish from a wooden floor, and can even re-level an uneven floor which has swellings or depressions.

Orbital Sander
An orbital sander is used for dirt removal or light sanding, such as removing the top coat of finish, or a layer of putty. It can be used where sanding has to be done across the wood grain, and in narrow spaces like hallways, entryways, edges, and corners. Orbital sanders are also used for screening and blending of the floor before the first coat of finish is applied.

Working

Drum Sander
The drum sander consists of an 8″ wide rotating

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