Seven Reasons Why You Should Use Granite Laminated Flooring

Granite is an igneous rock that is relatively hard thus making it resistant to scratches. Granites are usually used as flooring because of its characteristics. This is widely preferred by interior designers and home builders everywhere.

Now laminate flooring gives a different dimension to hard-surface flooring. It is a technology currently employed to give floors a shiny, protective finish against sunlight, burns, and stains.

The granite is placed at the image layer of a laminated flooring, to make it a granite laminated flooring. This is where you integrate the hard-stone look of granite. And the effect of a granite floor is achieved.

Granite laminate flooring is simply a good alternative to the real thing. Authentic granite flooring can be costly. It has an average cost of $80 per square foot. Laminated flooring is also durable.

With the need to cut costs on the current market’s soaring prices, granite laminate flooring equally gives the same ambiance real granite gives. And it has features and benefits of its own to boost. Let’s take a look at those.

1. It won’t budge. Granite laminate flooring is made up of high density fiberboard or simply, HDF. The board makes it tough and resistant to outward or inward moistures and indentations.

2. It has laminated backs. The bottom of granite laminate flooring is thermo-fused so as to provide additional protection against bare floor. Bare floor could build-up moisture pushing to the outside. But because of the laminated back, the flooring is protected. The moisture cannot cause the tile to shift or bend.

3. It is economical. Granite laminate flooring gives you a very realistic look of the natural stone at a fraction of the cost. With your current budget, you can cover twice as much if you settle for the granite laminate flooring against granite stone tiles.

4. It is easy to clean. Because of its smooth laminated surface, cleaning is reduced occasional to sweeping and mopping. It is very easy to maintain compared to a stone tile which you need to polish regularly.

5. It is durable. Granite laminate flooring defies dents, scratches, dings, and moisture. It is not easily worn out. You can maximize its lifespan through proper care and maintenance. Simply follow tips and advices on how to clean stuck dirt and stains and you’re all set with it.

6. It is versatile. Granite laminate flooring works everywhere. You can use it for your kitchen, for your living room, or even at the patio. It goes well wherever your creativity lets you.

7. It is easy to install. Unlike stones where you would need to hire professional builders and installers, granite laminate flooring is so easy to install you can do it yourself. Just glue it in and it is done. You don’t even have to wait for the glue to dry!

If you want to remodel you house or build the house of your dreams, you can choose to install granite laminate flooring. By doing this, the flooring will become your least concern. You can focus more on some other areas and specifics other than the floor, because laminate flooring will already take care of that.

Granite has been a current favorite when it comes to floors. Because the trend today is old is new. Granite gives the room an old but trendy look against modern furniture. Granite used to be for the rich and wealthy alone. Well, not anymore. Not with granite laminate flooring around.

Carbonized Bamboo Flooring

Carbonized bamboo flooring is a type of flooring with carbonized finishing, offering a dark amber shade on the surface similar to the color of young teak. Usually, bamboo flooring is available in two colors: natural and carbonized or caramelized.

Carbonized bamboo flooring is obtained through a process called carbonization. The longer the process, the darker the bamboo flooring will be. Dark color on the bamboo flooring is acquired when bamboo undergoes pressure heating, which is a part of the process. During pressure heating, the sugar contents in the fiber darken and attain a coffee-colored tone on the surface. However, this pressurized heating might weaken the bamboo flooring from 20% to 30%.

If the freshly cut bamboo strips are carbonized within two hours and are not exposed to treatment with boiling water, the flooring gains 8% more hardness. Boiling water treatment is, however, used in the normal carbonization process.

Carbonized bamboo flooring is available in two varieties: vertical carbonized bamboo flooring and horizontal carbonized bamboo flooring. The difference lies in the alignment of the bamboo strips.

Carbonized bamboo flooring is not used in places with heavy traffic such as shopping complexes or office buildings. This type of flooring is best suited for use in residential buildings. Mishandling of this flooring can cause scratches and denting on the surface. Proper and timely maintenance is required for carbonized bamboo flooring.

The finish applied to the surface has to be durable and capable of protecting the flooring from scratches and other damages. All edges are to be sealed so that moisture content does not accumulate beneath the flooring. It is ideal if the room moisture level can be maintained using a dehumidifier or humidifier.

Rates for installation of carbonized bamboo flooring are similar to that of common hardwood floors but will vary from one region to another.

How To Install Flooring In Your Basement

It can be a challenge to turn that hard, cold concrete floor in the basement into a floor that is warm and inviting. The good news is that there are several different options including painting the floor colorful patterns. This isn’t a good choice though if moisture collects on the floor. This will result in the paint peeling and it won’t look nice at all. Another option is installing soft carpet but again it won’t work well if you have the water issue to deal with. This will result in the carpet becoming molding and eventually rotting.

Since moisture is such a big concern to deal with it is a good idea to try to eliminate that issue to begin with. This can be accomplished by laying covering from felt or polystyrene over the concrete. It can be rolled out to about four inches extra on the sides that can be trimmed away later. Add a sub floor or either wood or plywood on top of it to prevent the moisture from getting in. This will allow you the freedom to do what ever you want with the flooring in your basement.

Some people enjoy using ceramic tiles because they look very nice but they will leave the floor feeling cold. Laminates work quite well for basement floors because they keep the moisture out and they are offered in a variety of finishes. If your basement doesn’t have heat then a radiant floor heating system and a wooden floor may work well for you.

Linoleum Flooring: The Truth about Today’s Linoleum

If you’re someone who loves to go barefoot around the house, think about adding linoleum to your kitchen floors. There are a number of reasons, but in a nutshell, linoleum is warmer on bare feet, easier on ankle and knee joints than tile, comes in a huge variety of patterns and colors, is cost-effective, water-tolerant, and is a natural product.

I know, your grandmother’s house had linoleum, and it was dull, cold, lifeless, and hard to keep clean. But that’s all a thing of the past. The new linoleum has a great deal to offer. Let’s look at some of linoleum’s advantages.

First, let’s examine the composition of linoleum as opposed to vinyl flooring. Vinyl flooring is made of chlorinated petrochemical materials, while linoleum is made from linseed oil combined with wood flour or cork dust, ground limestone, and color pigments, over a burlap, jute, or canvas backing. In fact, the very name linoleum is derived from the Latin names for two natural materials: flax (linum) and oil (oleum).

Given their difference in composition, vinyl flooring will melt if someone accidentally drops a cigarette or a match on it, but linoleum won’t. The pattern on vinyl flooring is imprinted onto the top surface of the material, but a linoleum pattern goes all the way through. That means that as a vinyl floor wears down, the pattern gradually disappears. However, the same amount of wear to linoleum only reveals new color, since the color goes all the way to the bottom.

Linoleum is also very durable and can last up to forty years, even in tough, high-traffic commercial situations. Ironically, it was that very durability that led to the decline of linoleum use in homes. People simply got tired of it long before it had outlived its usefulness.

Over time, vinyl flooring, which came in many more patterns and colors, made serious inroads into replacing linoleum as America’s favorite kitchen flooring material. But that didn’t mean it was superior to linoleum. Since it had a cork backing, linoleum was quieter, provided insulation that made it warmer on bare feet, was more forgiving if someone dropped a dish or coffee cup, was easier on the legs and backs of women who spent lots of time in the kitchen, and was easy to keep clean.

If you’re an environmentalist, linoleum wins over vinyl, hands down. It’s made of completely renewable natural materials, and no toxins are released into the environment during its manufacture. That’s one major reason why linoleum is making a strong comeback in new construction and remodeling projects.

It’s not the same stuff your grandmother had on her kitchen floor. It’s vibrant, dust-resistant, environmentally friendly, and will probably outlive the people who install it. What could be better than that?

Wooden Flooring and Laminate Floors Add A Natural Touch

Wooden flooring has many benefits over the use of carpets. Laying a wooden floor can set your home apart from the rest and increase its value if you come to sell the house. Each floorboard is unique making the effect of a wooden floor very attractive. Unlike carpets, wooden flooring does not trap dust and mites and is therefore highly recommended for allergy suffers. Wooden flooring is extremely hard wearing and will last considerably longer than even the highest quality carpets available. It is easy to keep clean and is stain resistant to food and drink. Any spillages can simply be soaked up and wooden flooring can be easily swept to remove dust and solid matter.

Wooden flooring is widely available from all good hardwood flooring suppliers. You can buy wooden flooring in various thickness and widths. Some wooden flooring products are even available in random lengths to add to the natural look of the flooring. A range of finishes is also available including unfinished, lacquered and oiled, which gives a durable protective layer whilst maintaining a natural finish. There are various grades of wooden flooring available with the higher grades having less knots and colour variation. Generally speaking the younger the wood, the lighter the colour. This can mean that even wood from the same tree can have variations in colour depending on how old the wood is. Older wood is found at the centre of the tree whilst the younger, lighter wood is found around the edge. This younger wood is known as Sapwood.

Oak flooring is widely used in North America and Europe for both residential and commercial flooring. Both continents are major producers of the flooring with the USA producing Red and White oak flooring and European oak flooring on this side of the Atlantic. An incredibly rich colour can be achieved by polishing oak flooring. Red oak flooring is noted for its warm tones with pink tinting whilst White oak flooring is often lighter with grey tones. Most oak flooring produced in North America is made from trees sourced on the Eastern side of the Rockies whilst European Oak is made from timber found all over Europe. All these different types of oak vary in colour; hardness and grain however all give a stunning finish to any room.

Walnut flooring is also heavily produced in North America where the Walnut tree is most common. It is an extremely tall and fast growing tree that produces a varied grain of warm and rich coloured wood. Walnut flooring is generally darker than oak flooring and is incredibly hard wearing. It is commonly used in offices, libraries and dining rooms where a warm yet classic look is required.

There is very little that comes close to the look and feel of real wooden flooring however the cost to buy flooring like this is not affordable to every budget. Engineered hardwood flooring is available and can be cheaper than solid wooden flooring. It comprises of a layer of hardwood on top of a plywood base. Alternatively laminate flooring is a good cost effective solution to real wooden flooring and is available in a range of wooden and ceramic styles. Since its introduction the improvements in laminate flooring has been outstanding. Nowadays most laminate flooring does not require glue and simply clicks together. This makes laying laminate flooring faster, easier and much less messy, With such high quality laminate flooring now available it can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between laminate and real hardwood flooring and its popularity for use in homes and commercial properties is growing all the time.

Ten Things You May Not Know About Selecting Hardwood Flooring

1) Red Oak is not the only choice

If you want your home to look like everyone else’s, this is a great choice. If you want your home to be unique try hickory, cherry, walnut, white oak, maple or many others. Go to flooring retailers or search the Internet and see what is available. If you really want red oak try using wider widths or character grade for variety and uniqueness.

2) 2 1/4 inch is not the only size available

If all you ask your builder for is a hardwood floor – you are going to get a 2 1/4 inch red oak floor. Why? It is the most common, most produced, most stocked, cheapest option available. You can buy sizes in 3″ through 12″. You can put down a single width for a uniform look or multiple widths for a more random look. Typical random flooring patterns are 3″-4″-5″, 3″-5″, 4″-5″-6″. Have fun! Make your home unique! The wider the floor the more seasonal separations between the flooring planks can occur.

3) Import Species don’t support jobs in the United States

While there are vast amounts of imported species available, there are fantastic, interesting species of flooring available right here in the United States. Not all countries have managed forests and renewable resources. This is an important time to support our own economy.

4) All flooring is not select (clear) grade

The most common floors are select grade. These floors contain none of woods naturally occurring character marks. Look around your flooring showroom, almost every display is showing clear flooring. There are warm and inviting options. Look at a character grade or other grades. Make sure to see a photo of what the floor looks like, not just one piece.

5) Prefinished flooring is convenient

Have you ever been forced to leave your home for three days while the flooring contractor sands, stains and recoats your floor? If not ask a friend who has had it done. A professional flooring contractor will leave your home spotless, others can leave dust on all your furniture. Today’s factory finished flooring can be installed today and entertained on tonight with very little mess. With prefinished flooring each plank is allowed to move independently with humidity changes in your home. This makes those seasonal separations (cracks) in your floor less noticeable.

6) Colors can be cool – but mother nature is hard to beat

Some species of flooring are so beautiful in their natural color, they do not require any added color. Look up hickory, cherry or walnut flooring on the Internet and you will see what I mean.

7) Prefinish warranties are a gimmick

50 year warranty – WOW! Lifetime warranty – fantastic! Oh really? These are wear-through warranties only. Your floor will loose its “sheen” or luster and require refinishing long before you ever wear through the finish. The best way to make a floor last is to vacuum it often to keep away abrasive material that might scratch your floor. Remember a lower sheen floor shows less wear.

8) Not all flooring is smooth – texture is popular

Hardwood flooring does not have to be smooth. Many companies are offering hand scraped, distressed and reclaimed flooring. These floors have a classic look and add great value to upscale homes. They do not show much wear or scratches since they have a great deal of character interest to draw attention to different parts of the floor. These floors will be a guaranteed conversation piece with your friends and neighbors and are often the focal point at luxury home tours.

9) In a basement use engineered flooring

Most people use engineered flooring to glue down to concrete or in higher moisture areas. This flooring has a thin layer of hardwood with a cross banded plywood base. This makes the flooring more stable and does not require nailing like a solid hardwood floor.

10) Laminate flooring is not Hardwood flooring

A great steak does not taste the same as a picture of a great steak. If you want the beauty and warmth of hardwood flooring in your home – buy the real thing, not a cheap imitation.

Selecting a Carpet that Suits Your Lifestyle

When selecting carpet, one must consider many aesthetic as well as technical issues; and with over one hundred thousand styles and colors released by manufacturers every year, selecting the carpet that matches your needs can be a daunting task.

Carpet is available in a myriad of textures, constructions, colors and designs, opening the doors to countless interior design possibilities. The combination of color and texture, will compliment the décor of both casual and formal environments, while bringing continuity to the overall design of the rooms.

The most important factor to consider when shopping for carpet is the amount of foot traffic prevalent in the area in which the carpet is to be installed as well as the areas intended use. Carpet construction and texture are the key aspects when selecting a carpet for a specified area and use.

Polyester, nylon and olefin are the most widely used fibers in the manufacture of carpet, each displaying certain inherent characteristics which lend themselves well to distinct applications. Although the most expensive of the fibers, nylon is the softest and most resilient, making it suitable for all rooms in your home, including high traffic areas.

Polyester is less resilient than nylon, but is more cost effective and offers a higher level of stain resistance, making it an attractive option for areas such as bedrooms and dining rooms that are not subject to high foot traffic.

Olefin fibers are solution dyed, resulting in a highly stain resistant carpet that can be cleaned using a bleach and water solution, without the loss of color. Unlike the other fibers, olefin is fade, mold and mildew resistant, resulting in a carpet that performs well in indoor/outdoor areas. Olefin is however not very resilient and therefore should only be considered in a berber construction.

Carpets are available in either a berber or plush construction. Berber carpets are constructed with a continuous level loop, while a plush carpet is constructed of loops that have been sheered, resulting in the strands standing upright.

Berber carpets do not matt and crush, due to their level loop construction; however they are harder underfoot, uncomfortable to sit or lye on, and can be damaged by pets with long nails. Berbers are very well suited to high traffic areas such as walk ways, living rooms and entrance halls, however their hard texture makes them a less attractive option for bedrooms.

Plush carpets are softer to walk on and offer better sound and thermal insulation, however they tend to matt and crush when subjected to heavy foot traffic. The use of a nylon fiber coupled with a tight low pile construction will limit the matting and crushing, due to the resiliency nature of the nylon fiber and the additional support gained from a tight construction.

Carpet warranties range from 5 to 30 years, and as general rule, do not cover stairs and are not transferable. Most warranties require the installation of new carpet padding at the time of installation in order for the warranty to be valid.

Following the manufacturers maintenance instructions and using only approved cleaning chemicals will ensure that your carpet will perform for years and years.

Guide to Finding the Best Hardwood Flooring, Bamboo Flooring, or Bruce Hardwood Flooring

It was “in” in the 60’s, out in the 70’s and 80’s and came roaring back in the 90’s and hasn’t looked back. Hardwood flooring is more popular today than it has ever been. With so many different choices out there such as carpet, tile or laminate, most new home builders are sticking with today’s popular choice, you guessed it, hardwood flooring. People are looking for comfort and versatility in their homes. It comes in a variety of styles and colors such as maple, cherry, oak, pine, teak only to name a few. One of the most popular manufacturers is bruce hardwood flooring. I will give you more details about them below. Another option to consider is bamboo flooring.

Health professionals conclude that traditional hardwood flooring or bamboo flooring is helping people with respiratory conditions live healthier lives. Carpets contain amounts of dust, dirt and bacteria which contribute to serious health problems. For over 100 years, bruce hardwood flooring has been the most recognized name in the industry. Their most costly “best” collections will give you a more uniform appearance in color with less character. The lower you go within the line, the more character you will see so product is very popular with vacation homeowners. As you move up in grade, the warranties are longer and the grading is enhanced. Product available include French White and Red oak, teak, Brazilian cherry and mahogany to name a few.

The one challenging thing about traditional hardwood flooring such as bruce hardwood flooring is the installation process. It is important that you use a professional to do your installation in order to get great looking results. You need experience to laying and finishing it so don’t cheap out and try to do it yourself. A fantastic product is bamboo flooring. It is distinctive and unique and uses the latest technology to turn a plain room into a conversation piece. The grain comes in either medium or soft brown shades.

Designing With Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are suited to both casual and formal environments; they feel at home with modern or traditional and will compliment the decor of both minimalist and eclectic designs. Hardwood can be classic, rock, jazz, country, or hip hop. Today’s State-of-the-art technology coupled with an almost limitless choice of stains, finishes, styles and designs makes hardwood flooring one of the most practical and versatile floor coverings available. Their beauty is enduring and like a fine wine, they mature with age.

Nature provides the inspiration when designing with hardwood floors. The abundance of natural hardwood species provides a plethora of wood grain structures, each unique and each matching a particular décor. Oak woods contain a lot of growth ring patterns and knots, and are best suited to traditional and rustic decors. However, adding a high gloss finish can make them elegant enough for any formal dining room. Woods such as Maple, Walnut and Birch contain very little graining and lend themselves well to contemporary and modern designs.

The aesthetic appeal of hardwood is also influenced to a large extent by mineral streaking, the presence of knots and shade and color variation. These features are also used in the classification of hardwoods.

Clear – This grade of hardwood is free of defects though it may have minor imperfections. Flooring in this category tends to be very consistent with little mineral streaking and knots, also making it the most expensive grade.
Select – This grade is almost clear, but contains more natural characteristics such as knots and color variations.

Common grades (No. 1 and No. 2) have more markings than either clear or select and are often chosen because of these natural features and the character they bring to a room.

No.1 Common has a variegated appearance, light and dark colors, knots, flags and worm holes. No.2 Common is rustic in appearance and will show all wood characteristics of the species. These grades have always been the least expensive, but the recent revival of the antique rustic look has resulted in prices skyrocketing.

Performance is a very important aspect when selecting a hardwood floor. Some hardwood species are less porous than others, making them harder and less susceptible to staining. The Janka Hardness Test provides the relative hardness of numerous wood species used in flooring. This rating should only be used as a general guide, as the hardness is also affected by growth region.

Plank construction and finish are also important factors when determining the durability of any wood floor. Plank construction comes in two forms, solid and engineered. Factors such as type of existing subfloor and relative air humidity will determine which floor is best suited to your needs.

Great advancements in finish technology have resulted in floors that are less susceptible to scratching, denting, fading, and are easier to maintain. The addition of Aluminum Oxide to the surface finish has added a measure of performance resulting in a hardwood floor that, maintained properly, should never have to be replaced.

American Cherry Hardwood for Flooring Projects

Floors made of hardwood will always make any home look elegant no matter if the home is not as big as a mansion. These kinds of floors are suitable for all kinds of homeowners no matter what their lifestyles are.

Hardwood flooring can evoke timeless beauty and warmth in any room. And unlike other flooring materials that depreciate in value after a few years, hardwood flooring provides more value to any real estate property. Realtors also admit that properties with hardwood flooring do not only command higher prices but they sell easily.

The growing demand for hardwood as flooring materials has resulted to an increase in hardwood varieties being sold in the market. While this is advantageous to homeowners and contractors who now have more hardwood choices, it also poses a problem as to what hardwood would be best suited for a certain type of property.

New properties being constructed have taken advantage of the availability of wood like oak, bamboo and pine not only for their walls but more importantly for their floors.

The reddish and finely grained American Cherry hardwood has often landed on the top list of homeowners and contractors on the lookout for quality hardwood for their flooring projects.

American Cherry hardwoods can age in a short period from weeks to several months. The American Cherry can change color from pinkish-red, a light shade of red or dark red.

Benefits of using American Cherry hardwood on floors

There are number of reasons why homeowners and contractors prefer to use hardwood, particularly American Cherry hardwood for their flooring projects and one of the top reasons is its durability.

American Cherry hardwoods age beautifully and any homeowner who has tried this kind of hardwood can attest to its sturdiness and beauty. It is also easy to maintain provided the property owner use the proper product suggested by the wood flooring experts or professionals. Wooden floors are also favorable for those with health problems like allergies because wooden floors do accumulate dust.

Hardwoods are also more affordable compared to other flooring materials. Using hardwoods for flooring projects will be more cost effective in the long term because it adds value to the property. Floors made of wood can be made to look brand new again just be sweeping them and then keeping them shiny and clean.

Homeowners and contractors can choose from different types of wood flooring materials like solid type flooring which is ideal for any area in the house; engineered type flooring which is suitable for kitchens and similar areas and the acrylic impregnated type floors which is suitable for commercial floorings.

Hardwood can be used as flooring material not only in residential projects but also in commercial projects like gymnasiums. Wood is the top choice material for gymnasiums because it is not only durable but also promoted better healthcare for athletes. Wood floors for gymnasiums have proven to be flexible especially with the demands of athletic use.

Homeowners should always consider the price of the wood they will be choosing for their flooring project. While a cheap wood material could mean savings, it could also mean lesser or substandard quality. Also consider the type of room where the wood material would be used. Whatever type of hardwood you will choose for your flooring project you can be assured that it will last for a long time.