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  • raleightileblog 4:13 am on August 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Super-fast tile installation (hire these guys) 

     

     

     
  • raleightileblog 3:59 am on August 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Seamless stone showers, walls and floors 

    Susan Cassell, of Great Falls Design Build, recalls the chain of events that convinced her some of the fundamentals of bathroom design were about to change.

    “We were remodeling a bathroom that had been seriously damaged from leakage caused by cracked grout,” Cassell said. “This is a common homeowner concern, so I contacted Shawn Daghigh at EuroStoneCraft who had developed some ideas for dealing with this longstanding problem.”

    Cassell had worked with EuroStoneCraft — a local marble and granite importer and fabricator based in Herndon — for many years. But she’d heard that the firm had a new brainchild—a custom-made solid marble shower floor which they were introducing under a new division, Verona Showers.

    Read more: http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/article.asp?article=353045&paper=60&cat=104

     
  • raleightileblog 4:49 pm on August 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Share: Carpet moves boldly back into the house, often as a central design element 

    From the Washington Post:

    After years of being ripped out and kicked to the curb, carpet is making a comeback. And not just the neutral-toned carpets of recent years, but ones that are boldly colored or patterned.

    The softer, cozier feel of wall-to-wall carpet is appealing to homeowners used to treading on tile and wood, said Emily Morrow, director of color, style and design for Shaw Floors, a company in Dalton, Ga., that specializes in carpet, laminate, tile and hard wood flooring. Read More.

     

     
  • raleightileblog 8:01 am on August 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Wood floors are also great for alligators, apparently 

    David Kidwell/Pocono Record

    David Kidwell/Pocono Record

    A knock at the door causes the gators to spring to attention: A loud splash and scraping of claws as the gators waddle in anticipation of food.

    Inside, all the carpeting has been ripped out, leaving bare hardwood floors. Instead of a sofa there are several large, black plastic “ponds” for the alligators to soak in.

    There are eight American alligators in what would have been the living room. The area is sectioned off from the kitchen and a hallway leading to the bedrooms by a chain-link fence.

     

    Read more: http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110730/NEWS/107300314/-1/newsmap

     
  • raleightileblog 3:53 am on August 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Great outdoors: Homeowners embrace ceramic tile for unexpected outdoor spaces 

    If you’re thinking about creating or upgrading an outdoor living space, you’re probably considering what materials to use for your project. You’ll likely weigh concerns of cost and quality, durability and beauty before arriving at a final decision. If an outdoor shower is part of your plan, you’ll probably consider ceramic tile.

    But many homeowners are finding new ways to embrace ceramic tile in their outdoor living spaces, choosing the time-proven material for uses that traditionally have called for wood, stone or even concrete.

    Read more: http://www.lexch.com/ara/seasonal/13592.txt

     
  • raleightileblog 5:04 am on August 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Dirt and Wood 

    So, we’ve covered soaking and burning your new wood floor, perhaps we should also talk about scratching, scraping and grinding it as well.

    Dirt, sand, silt, ice removal material, clay, salt, dust and any other little particulate our shoes tend to pick up outside can do a really nasty little number to wood floors.

    Various types of finishes and wood types can hold up to abrasion damage at varying levels. Of course, various manufacturers will offer varied methods and grades of abrasion resistance. When looking at a specific material, or color, be sure to ask us what can be done to toughen up your chosen material if neccessary.

    Of course, even some of the strongest wood flooring materials will give to poor treatment. That’s not how you’re going to treat your flooring is it? Of course, not.

    There are basically two types of impact damage to wood flooring. There is scratching, which is generally what we are talking about when we refer to abrasion effects from small particles that scratch the floor. When those wounds to your floors go a little bit deeper, it’s referred to as gouging.

    If a scratch is all you are dealing with, here are a few suggestions for fixing it via MyFlooringHelper.com

      1. Rough up the area of the scratch with a fine sandpaper, or steel wool.
      2. Rub the entire length of the scratch, covering both its margins in the process.
      3. Rub in the direction of the grain if possible, otherwise use a circular motion so that you don’t damage the wood and finish too much.
      4. You’ll probably have a lot of dust and wood particles lying around now, so use a cloth dampened with mineral spirits to absorb the particles and clean the “wound” up.
      5. Allow the solution to dry up – it can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the size of the scratch, the solution you used and the amount of solution you used.
      6. Using a fine paintbrush, dip in the floor finish that was used initially and then wipe them with a cloth, until they’re almost completely dry.
      7. Be very gentle when brushing, you don’t want to get too much finish on the scratch. Just enough to cover it and get it to the same level as the rest of the floor.
      8. Allow the new finish to dry out – this, again, can range from anywhere to half an hour to a few hours.

    Several products can limit the amount of surface abrasion on a wood floor. Felt pads or other devices that prevents direct contact from the floor to furniture items is one such item.

    There are also several products available to polish out some of the scratches on the flooring. As long as the floors are used, they are eventually going to gather at least a few tiny scratches. Periodic maintenance will be required for perfectly smooth floors decades after installation.

    A simple method of reducing some abrasion is simply to reduce the amount of abrasive material the flooring is exposed to. Removing shoes and frequent cleaning of the floors will remove most of the abrasion from the equation.

     
  • raleightileblog 3:52 am on August 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Tile: Not Just for the Inside 

    Q. I have been replacing the roofing on most of my house with architectural-grade asphalt shingles, which I hope will outlast me — I’m 75. However, on a recent trip to Europe, I saw no asphalt shingles. Most roofs were red tile. It looks as if tile roofs hold up the best and slate has a few problems. The tile is not fastened; it stays there with its own weight. I started to wonder about becoming the only local resident with a red-tile roof.

    For the answer to this and several other home repair/design questions follow this link: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20110731/entlife/707319925/#ixzz1Tq8tstNK

     
  • raleightileblog 3:45 am on August 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Sunlight and Wood 

    Sunlight can be a tool for growing wood in the forest around us. However, wood and sunlight makes horrible partners in most scenarios.

    Now that you have a great looking hardwood floor, it may be tempting to drag it out into the light of day. While metaphorically, this may sound like a great idea, it is actually horrible for your flooring. We don’t mean you can’t show it off, let’s just take a few precautions against sun damage.

    Exposure to the natural element of sunlight has the potential to cause some very unnatural effects on your wood.

    However, if you follow some really simple steps, your wood floors will be as protected from the sun as yourself when slathered in a healthy dose of SPF 100.

    While waxing the floor with Coppertone isn’t going to do anything but make a greasy mess on one of your favorite new walking spaces, there are some “sunscreens” available for your wood floors. Some finishes will feature a special ingredient that blocks the harmful damage sun may cause to the wood floor.

    While prolonged exposure to sunlight is likely to damage any wood floor given enough time, the effects of the sun can be different. Woods like cherry and oak are like people, they tend to darken from the aging and burning effect of UV light. Other woods are likely to lighten as they are treated by the sun.

    If you want your wood to never, ever change color, eliminate all sources of UV light. That’s hardly practical, but highly effective. If you don’t care about your wood at all, just set it out in the yard. For something a little more middle of the road (but closer to the first scenario), you can use water-based urethane finish that will minimize some of the sun-damage that is caused by oil-based finishes.

    Of course, smart decorating featuring curtains, blinds and other more inventive ways of hiding or masking light can slow the aging of natural wood. You may also considering purchasing window films that block out UV radiation.

    If your new wood floor is aging at an accelerated rate and you’ve accepted that the darkening or lightening of the wood is acceptable, and maybe even desirable, you still may have some other considerations. For example, you may want to rotate furniture, rugs or other objects in the home to be sure that the floor is evenly aged and receives more equal exposure.

     
  • raleightileblog 5:07 am on July 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Water and Wood 

    We all learned the basic life cycle of the plant in grade school. Trees need water to thrive and grow into the tall sorts of things we make into lumber. Once that tree has been cut and shaped into wood flooring however, water — in various forms — takes on a whole new role.

    There are a few basic problems that can occur when water contacts wood. The troubles caused by water-on-wood crime can be easily averted by taking care to properly care for new wood flooring. That’s not to say that wood is a bad choice. On the contrary, wood has a unique and warm feel and look that is worth every bit of the following efforts which you should use to care for your wood projects.

    There are a few behaviors of wood that you are going to encounter due to the very natural behavior of wood. Fluctuations in humidity will expand and contract wood flooring and may cause the wood to expand and contract. Maintaining control of the humidity and temperature of wood installed indoors is essential to fighting against wood floor troubles.

    The simple explanation for water’s incredible effect on wood is to think of the tree as it was when it was alive. The fibrous channels that carried water from the roots to the very top leaf are still present in the wood. Now, though, the wood is dry and the fibers have dried and shrank to account for the water or sap loss. Introduce too much water back into this situation and you can see where rehydration may start causing some issues for your carefully laid wood.

    Here’s how you should clean your wood floor:

    1. The first step should be to prep the floor and remove all of the largest particles with a simple broom sweeping.
    2. Around one to two times a week, use a vacuum to pick up dirt and sand that may be missed by the broom.
    3. When mopping or using similar products to clean up the tiniest or most stubborn dust and debris, be sure the cleaning end is damp and not wet. Excess water introduced in the cleaning process could potentially cause more problems than it solves.
    4. Occasionally you may want to periodically buff and wax your floor. This is fine, but be sure to check with the manufacturer of your specific wood product to determine ideal processes you should use.
    Of course, there are a few things you can consider doing to minimize possible damage to your wood floors before cleaning:
    1. Carpet runners and area rugs to minimize impact
    2. When convenient wear only soft footwear on your wood flooring and avoid high heels or other high-impact shoes
    3. Got something to move? Use sliders on a clean floor. Dragging may seem fast and convenient, but you may pay for it later.
    4. Install floor mats at each entrance so you don’t track in dirt from the bottoms of shoes.
    5. Consider keeping pads under the furniture to avoid scratches or dents from the weight of the furniture.

    A quality installer will be aware of the importance of maintaining moisture content of the wood. Moisture content is defined as the percentage of dry wood material to water material in the wood, which can be measured with special equipment. “Dimensionally stable” wood, or wood that will mostly maintain its shape, is typically at about a thirty percent moisture content. The percent moisture at which the wood is stable is known as the “fiber saturation point.”

    If wood breaks too far away from its fiber saturation point, it can begin to change by shrinking (if below) or swelling (if above). Most flooring, because of the structure of the wood will tend to shrink and swell in width and rarely change significantly in length.

    Most of the time, ambient humidity is not going to be the cause of water-damages to your floor. More commonly, and extensive soaking in water from a spill, leak or other source of water is the cause of your concern. Here’s what you need to do if water soaks into your floor.

    The first thing you need to do is dry the wood and the area beneath and around it. Open a window and point a large fan down at the affected wood to dry the wood out quickly. Speed is a factor, as mold formation and continued warping may be a danger of slow response.

    Cupping, the description of what happens when wood takes on a convex shape can be counteracted with sanding, but it is important that moisture content has returned to normal. If not, after the wood has dried, the flooring may take on a convex shape.

     


     

     
  • raleightileblog 11:26 pm on July 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Okay so you need brand new wood flooring… 

    Okay, so you need brand new wood flooring. Something to be proud of, that’s acceptable.

    If you don’t care for it, though, you could quickly feel that your new wood floor is more of an inconvenience than an extravagance.

    However, with some simple planning and care, your new wood floor doesn’t have to be any trouble.

    That’s why this week we are going to take a look at three of the most common wood disasters and examine the destruction that can come with it.

    Over the next few days we are going to walk you through what is essentially the ultimate quick-guide to stay out of trouble and how to take care of your hardwood floor.

    Stay tuned. The first edition of Good wood gone wrong is coming tomorrow. Then, watch out for our posts over the next few days on taking the absolute best care of your new wood floor. Of course, if you want something more low-maintenance, we offer that too.

    Feel free to come in and ask about all of our extravagant flooring options!

     
    • jen toney 11:37 pm on July 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      will this be for ‘real’ wood or laminate? (sp?) thanks !

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