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  • 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 !

  • raleightileblog 1:24 am on July 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Laying it Down: Basic Considerations for Installing Your Tile 

    Sure, there are professionals who decide to lay their own tile. Some of you out there, however, are do-it-yourselfers. We salute you. This is by no means a complete guide to laying your tile, but here are some special considerations you should make when placing the tile for your own project.

    Here are some of the basic tools you may need:

    Hammer

    Chalk line

    Level

    Rubber gloves

    Tile mastic

    Tile grout sealer

    Tile

    Edging cap

    Outside corner edge caps for ceramic tile

    Paint stirring stick or old toothbrush  (optional)

    Grooved trowel  (optional)

    Tile nippers  (optional)

    Tile cutter  (optional)

    Rubber squeegee   (optional)

    Saber saw with carbide blade (optional)

    Pre-gaming your tile

    First, you need to check your walls to ensure that everything is smooth, fairly level and free of debris that could interfere with the adhesion of you tile material. Additionally, you should read all the instructions that are provided with your tiling materials and tools.

    Laying the tile

    Be sure to have spacers on hand that evenly and purposely space the tile that you are laying. When laying the tile out before placement, try to be mindful of edge cuts and other awkward tile placement that could arise from edges or other obstructions to laying a full piece of tile before any tile is laid or cut.

    When placing the tile, try to ensure the adhesive is not pushed in a way that causes “bunching” or otherwise may cause difficulty in creating smooth and even grout lines. Before completing any stage of the project, be sure to give the tile adhesive plenty of time to “set” before continuing to grouting or other steps.

    Grouting the tile

    Remember, do not start the grouting process until the tile adhesive has dried completely. Before beginning the grout process, be sure the grout is thoroughly mixed and ready for application. Wetting the placed tile will help prevent the tile from pulling moisture from your grout material.

    A rubber squeegee can be used to even the grout and a sponge should be used to wipe up any excess grout from the tile. A blunt stick can be used to push the grout further into the joints of the tile.

    Once the grout has dried, the thin film of grout that has formed over the tile needs to be cleaned from the tile. For some projects, this can be done by simply polishing the tile. Others may require some other materials. Stop by the store and we can help you out if you are having troubles.

    If any areas need to be caulked around the tile edges, now is the time to do so. Once all of the above is complete, apply a grout sealant, per the manufacturers instructions.

    Most important tip

    The most important tip of all is to consult us for any problems! We can answer many questions online, but we invite you to stop by the store any time during our business hours to ask any questions you may have about your project. We have decades of experience and want to help you create the very best project possible!

     
  • raleightileblog 1:28 am on July 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Big, Small, Round and Square: How Size and Shape Affect Tile Design 

    When choosing a tile for your project one very important aspect is the tile’s shape, size and the resulting pattern. Just like any other factor in your tile project, the ultimate decision as to what size, shape and tile pattern you will use is up to you. That doesn’t mean, however, there aren’t a few rules and guidelines to ensure that your tile project is pleasing to nearly everyone.

    Patterns

    Here are a few examples of tile shapes from the folks over at World of Tile:

    Familiar grid patterns convey a strong, solid look.


    Rotate the Straight Layout to a 45-degree diagonal and you’ve created a diamond pattern with added interest.

    Achieve two different looks with a Pinwheel Layout:
    Mix two tile sizes for a cobblestone feel that emphasizes areas, rather than straight lines.

    Combine large tiles sprinkled with much smaller ones…decorative dots create a distinctive appeal.

    A Herringbone Layout creates more movement…and utilizes new and increasingly popular rectangular tiles.

    The Brick Layout pattern also uses rectangular tiles…an easy way to break up grout joints.

    Take your Brick Layout a step further and use the Offset Stagger layout. Since no two grout joints line up, even the simplest tile looks more interesting.

    The Versailles Layout incorporates four sizes of tile in a fascinating, more intricate pattern.

    Shapes

    Tiles, typically thought of four-sided coverings, have not only expanded their repertoire to other common shapes such as the circle or triangle. Now, tile is available in any shape imaginable and can be custom-cut to deliver on your needs.

    The square and rectangular shapes are definitely the most common and offer the advantage of easy and quick installation and layout. The square, like all patterns can still very its shape in subtle manners such as the thickness of the tile, the amount of bevel in the tile and other edge effects.

    Simple tile shapes can be as beautiful as the most intricate designs, but likely will distract from the overall feel of the room much less. Custom shapes can be used as unique shapes without meaning, or to fit very specific room themes. Be sure to ask us what kind of tile shapes are available and how to fit that into your project.

    Shapes are one of the things few people ever question. Tile is not and should not be limited to what you see on a store’s wall’s and samples.

    Size

    Tiles come in just about every size and makes most tile projects and patterns easily scaled to fit your project and needs. Large tiles can be used in large spaces to cover ground quickly, but in small rooms, larger tile can make a big statement and appear to open the room. Small tile allows intricate designs and accents in otherwise solid swaths of tile or the smaller tile can be used in it’s own right to create a heavily texturized look in a room.

    Like any other facet of selecting tile, shape, size and pattern is something we can certainly help you with here at Raleigh Tile. Seeing projects year after year, we know what works and what will not. Again, this is your home-design decision, and tile is one of the most versatile and potentially beautiful materials you could choose.

     
  • raleightileblog 11:20 pm on July 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Color and Shade: What Color Can Do For Your Project 

    Picking out the best color for your flooring project is not as simple as just picking out your favorite shade.

    Color in a room can transport, immerse, change or utterly shatter a room’s design. Choosing colors that “gel” in your home and fit the existing schemes and locations is essential when choosing the color of a project. When choosing which color will fit best for your individual project, keep in mind these considerations.

    Matching Elements

    What else is going to be in the room? If you are working on the walls, but have already chosen the floor or ceiling, or vice-versa, you need to match to existing elements. Of course, smooth visual movement from one room to the next is also essential. It’s not just about the basics of the room either. Consider rugs, furniture, fixtures and the colors of all of the items that will be in the room. Sometimes different designs or texture can be used to weave similar or complementary color patterns throughout a room in a way that will be aesthetically pleasing.

    Color Schemes

    Take a look at the color wheel below for a quick cheat sheet. The wheel below consists of complementary and analogous colors. Complementary colors are across from one another on the wheel. For example, blue and orange. Analogous colors are adjacent to one another, for example yellow and green. Tertiary colors are generated by combining colors such as yellow-green.

    The color will below illustrates color triads, three colors that work well together. Following a triangle from one of the three points on a triangle in the wheel below produces a great color scheme consisting of three colors.

    Once you have chosen three colors, it is then easy to vary their shade and intensity to achieve your own personal look. The great thing about the color wheel is that you can pick a color and follow the triangle to identify two color matches, or you can look at your choices as triplets. Complementary colors are a little bolder than triads, but both can be utilized differently depending on your project.

    Monochromatic color schemes are another option. The most simple of the patterns, it involves simply using multiple shades of one color to achieve a pleasing color effect.

    Other Color Scheme Combinations

    Not Using Color

    Of course, in designing a space, not using color is also an option. Blacks and whites can be commonly used to expand rooms and increase the flexibility a designer has in other elements of the home design. White or black space can also give a very “clean” or modern appearance that was more difficult and expensive to achieve in older materials.

     
  • raleightileblog 12:00 pm on July 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    The Way It Feels: The Role of Texture in Home Design 

    For some, the way it looks is all that matters. But if you’re going to live, to work or to exist in a space, one of the most easily identified aspects of a space is how that place feels.

    Texture is about character. It adds a level of depth to the design of an area that is not always immediately recognized, but always remembered.

    In a world of smooth, technologically designed surface, a weathered, rough surface can provide a sense of character and depth that many materials glaze over. Ignoring the feel of a space can do a great disservice to an otherwise well-designed home. So, after you’ve chosen your material, what role does texture play?

    In many ways, texture connects us to our past. The ruggedness of a worn fabric, the ridges of an aged wood or sharp coolness of fresh stone transports us to another world. A world outside of the smooth metals and soft manufactured fabrics of modernity. Texture can be reintroduced into the modern home in many ways.

    Rough paint jobs, old wood, woven materials and other carefully thought-out textures can add a depth and purpose to an otherwise sterile home.

    Texture can add a sense of ruggedness, sensuality or even warmth to an otherwise smooth-felt environment. Introducing texture, whether it is from ceramic, stone, wood or other methods is one of the many ways floor, wall and ceiling coverings can be used as a means of adding additional character to your home.

    HomeDesignFind.com makes three excellent points on texture in home design:

    1.) Texture dictates weight. Rough, coarse textures tend to make an object feel heavier, while smoother textures will make it feel lighter. So as odd as it may seem, a polished marble floor (quite heavy in reality) may feel lighter than a rough wooden one. Any object that reflects light — polished stone, chrome or glass—  is going to feel lighter than objects that don’t — unpolished stone, iron or brick. The key is balance. Too much rough wood, stone and brick and a home can feel heavy and laden-down. Too much chrome, glass and stainless steel, and a home can feel cold and one-dimensional. A mix of the two and you’ve made an interesting, and surprising statement. Below, a thick wooden barn door adds textural interest when paired with white walls, white-washed floors and a smooth stone vase. Behind the door, the bathroom floor is rough granite, which balances out ceramic white tiles.

    2.) Texture is a great way to keep monochromatic environments from getting boring. All white interiors can feel pretty stagnant without texture to create interest.  (Think how boring shabby chic would be without the distressed wood.) However, an all-white color scheme with a little wood, shag carpets, moldings, and a few natural textured surfaces suddenly has pizazz. Witness the excitement, below, created simply by placing a rough organically-shaped wooden dining table alongside smooth fiberglass dining chairs. A ceramic sculpture adds more contrast against white-washed floors and walls.

    3.) Art can be an easy way to add texture. If you’re looking for ways to add a little texture to a space that is already largely in place, one easy way to do so is through art. You can find texture in sculpture, paintings and various wall hangings. Below, an eye-catching wall sculpture above the fireplace provides instant texture to a monochromatic space. Other textural elements include the wooden beams, the organic wooden dining table, sisal carpeting, leather chairs, and blocky, sculptural wooden stools which contrast against white-washed floors, a white ceramic lamp, and fiberglass chairs.

     
  • raleightileblog 12:00 pm on July 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    What Your Made Of: Advantages of Common Floor Covering Materials 

    When you are looking to choose a floor covering for you home, there are several options to choose. What fits your needs best? Hardwood, laminate, ceramic, carpet, vinyl, concrete, linoleum, cork, bamboo or palm covering? The array of floor covering can be stunning. Here are a few of the qualities, considerations, advantages and disadvantages of each that may make that decision a little easier to make.

    1.) Ceramic Tile Floors

    Ceramic tiles are a hard floor covering that offers a wide variety of color, shape and texture for your design project. A good selection of ceramic tile floor, available at Raleigh Tile, could be the focal point, or the perfect accent to your dream room or rooms. While it can stand out and jump out to visitors as the loudest feature of the room, it can also blend and tie together the overall design. Diagonal patterns can widen a narrow room and provide similar “tricks of the eye” to visually morph the spaces of your home. Varying colors and textures can be utilized to add character and uniqueness to your home project.

    Ceramic tiles are durable and handle high-moisture and high-traffic situations well while offering some of the lowest degree of maintenance of any floor covering material. Ceramic will resist fire, scratch and even water damage in situations where other materials will yield to outside forces. Though it is at times more expensive than other floor coverings, it’s versatility and durability make it hard to match.

    2. Carpeting

    Carpeting is a natural and comfortable look that is easy to live, walk and lie upon. While it can be a little high maintenance and require more extensive attention when it comes time to clean, it’s a tough contender in the comfort category. While textures do vary somewhat, most carpet is largely similar in feel. Where carpet can shine is in it’s ability to offer vibrant and interesting colors and patterns.

    In addition to its natural “feel” comfort, it will also absorb sound.Carpet’s major downfall is typically in it’s higher maintenance values and in the fact that is not always as durable as other materials. This can be overcome with attention to high-quality materials that compensates for the needs of a given room design.

    3. Wood Flooring

    Wood flooring has been and is a very popular option for luxurious flooring. The natural look of wood, compared with some modern materials, can be used to achieve a more rustic and comfortable look. While it is often viewed as traditional, it can also be utilized in modern designs due to a variety of wood source, texture, color and other options. Its relatively simple method of installation makes it an easy-to-install method of adding character and warmth to any room in the home, or as a full-on renovation toward a more natural-looking home.

    The size, shape and coloring of the wood is highly variable and offers the customer many more choices than most would assume. Coupled with careful design and use of accouterments such as area rugs and complementary furniture, wood flooring is often used to create an incredibly classy environment.

    4. Laminated Flooring

    Laminated flooring offers many of the advantages of wood flooring, with some cost and durability advantages. While offering a similar look to hardwood, laminated flooring gives the customer an added sense of security in high-traffic areas. Laminated flooring can provide some of the same look as wood, but with less hassle and maintenance. While it will not be as durable, replacement costs are typically much lower for laminated floors.

    Laminated floors are typically stain and fade resistant and some high-quality laminates are available to the home designer. One of the most attractive features of this flooring option is that it is incredibly easy to clean.

    5. Vinyl Flooring

    Vinyl flooring is an option for creating a ceramic look for people who do not necessarily want the feel of ceramic flooring. Colors and shape are highly variable and offer a lot of options for the consumer who investigates their options. The material is highly versatile and incredibly flexible to be used in a variety of home design scenarios. Vinyl can offer the look of all types of flooring, from stone to ceramic, without the cost and disadvantages of some of those materials.

    While the material is highly versatile, it is not recommended for areas that will be exposed to high levels of moisture, particularly if the flooring will include many seams. It’s multitude of colors and patterns are also relatively easy to install.

    6. Concrete Flooring

    Concrete, typically thought of as an outdoor material, also provides a number of options for indoor design. It can be dyed and styled to give the appearance of numerous floor covering materials. It also gives the customer a lot of options for later changing their materials as many materials can be installed over the concrete floor.

    Cement floors are popular for their anti-allergenic qualities as well as its ability to stand up against areas that will attract a heavy traffic of snow and sand. While the material does not do well in absorbing sounds, it is very easy to maintain in most situations.

    7. Stone Flooring

    Stone flooring offers a timeless and incredibly durable design option often found in only some of the most carefully designed projects. It is a beautiful and unique option in home design though it can be more difficult to maintain. While offering a wonderful look, over time the material can absorb dirt and other staining contaminants. It is also difficult to repair any problems that may arise over years of wear.

    Most of the problems with stone can be overcome with careful planning, installation and sealing of the stone. Working with a professional provider, stone flooring or other covering can be effectively utilized in many home design projects.

    Comparisons of various floor coverings from the World Floor Covering Association (Prices Highly Variable):

    Pros Cons Care Cost
    Carpet Soft, quiet, warm underfootEasiest and most cost-effective floor covering to replace and upgrade

    Brings in color and texture

    Stain-resistant fibers available

    Can StainLow-quality carpets may quickly show wear Clean spills immediately.
    Place walk-off mats at entries to catch dirt; frequently shake mats.Vacuum low-traffic areas at least once or twice a week.

    Vacuum high-traffic areas more often.

    Use a deep-cleaning hot water extraction cleaning system every 12-18 months.

    $3-$10 per square foot, installed
    Stone Extremely durableTimeless and classic design

    Beautiful, natural aesthetic

    Higher cost than many flooring materialsSome varieties, such as marble and limestone, readily absorb stains and dirt

    Difficult to repair

    Dark, glossy surfaces show footprints and can be slippery

    All stones should be sealed

    Place walk-off mats at entries to catch dirt; frequently shake mats.Regularly dust-mop the floor with a clean, nontreated mop or broom. Or use a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar.

    Wipe up spills immediately.

    Damp-mop floors using cleaners recommended by the manufacturer.

    Avoid cleaners that are abrasive or contain vinegar, lemon juice, or harsh chemicals.

    $8-$50 per square foot, installed
    Ceramic or Porcelain tile DurableWater and stain resistant

    Wide choice of colors, textures, and shapes

    Porcelain color through tile body-scratches or damage less likely to show

    Grout lines can be hard to cleanLow-quality tiles may chip

    Fragile items dropped on the surface probably will break

    Glossy tiles can be slippery when wet
    Difficult to repair

    Place walk-off mats at entries to catch dirt; frequently shake mats.Regularly sweep tile or use a vacuum without a beater bar.

    Regularly damp-mop the floor with a cleaner recommended by the tile and grout manufacturers. For more shine, rinse with clear water and wipe dry.

    $3-$20 per square foot, installed
    Laminate Durable, affordable
    Easy to clean and maintainResists stains
    Wide range of colors and designs

    Resembles natural materials

    Excellent choice for do-it-yourself applications

    Can be scratchedCannot be refinished

    Be cautious when purchasing off brands; the top layer may peel or separate from the core

    For installations in high-moisture rooms, select laminates designed for this use

    Place walk-off mats at entries to catch dirt; frequently shake mats.Place protective pads on the bottoms of chair and table legs.

    Regularly sweep or dust-mop the floor, or use a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar.

    Don’t refinish or sand

    $3-$10 per square foot, installed
    Wood Wear-resistantLong-lasting

    Provides a warm look

    Can be refinished

    Vulnerable to moistureSofter woods, such as pine, may dent easily

    May darken with age
    Some finishes wear unevenly and are difficult to repair

    Can shrink and expand, creating gaps or warping

    Place walk-off mats at entries to catch dirt; frequently shake mats.Place protective pads on the bottoms of chair and table legs.

    Regularly sweep or dust-mop the floor, or use a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar.

    Remove scuffs and heel marks by lightly rubbing the spots with a soft, clean cloth sprayed with hardwood floor cleaner recommended by the flooring manufacturer.

    $6-$20 per square foot, installed
    Engineered Wood Shrinks and expands less than solid woodQuicker installation time

    Some can be installed below grade

    Comes prefinished so the stain and protective finishes will be more consistent and harder

    Typically can be refinished only once or twiceOff brands may have voids in core, which weakens wood surface

    Ends may split on off brands

    Place walk-off mats at entries to catch dirt; frequently shake mats.Place protective pads on the bottoms of chair and table legs.

    Regularly sweep or dust-mop the floor, or use a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar.

    Remove scuffs and heel marks by lightly rubbing the spots with a soft, clean cloth sprayed with hardwood floor cleaner recommended by the flooring manufacturer.

    Never wax or use oil soap.

    $4-$18 per square foot, installed
    Bamboo More quickly renewable resource than woodStrong

    Clean, contemporary sensibility

    May darken or fade when exposed to sunlightShould not be left wet Place walk-off mats at entries to catch dirt; frequently shake mats.Place protective pads on the bottoms of chair and table legs.

    Regularly sweep or dust-mop the floor, or use a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar.

    Use only cleaners recommended by the flooring manufacturer.

    $4-$8 per square foot, installed
    Vinyl DurableWater-resistant in sheet form

    Easy to clean

    Comfortable

    Less expensive than most flooring choices

    Difficult to repairLess expensive grades may discolor

    In tile form, moisture can get into seams between tiles

    Place walk-off mats at entries to catch dirt; frequently shake mats.Regularly sweep or dust-mop the floor, or use a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar.

    Clean up spills immediately. Damp-mop when needed using clean, warm water. Use only cleaners recommended by the flooring manufacturer.

    $1-$7 per square foot, installed
    Linoleum Made of natural raw materialsMore durable than vinyl

    Color extends through entire material

    Can be hand-cut for intricate patterns and installation artistry

    Should be resealed annuallyCannot be left wet
    May scuff if not well polished
    Place walk-off mats at entries to catch dirt; frequently shake mats.Regularly sweep or dust-mop the floor, or use a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar.

    Clean up spills immediately. Damp-mop when needed using clean, warm water. Use only cleaners recommended by the flooring manufacturer. Polish periodically to bring back shine and protection against stains.

    $6-$9 per square foot, installed
    Cork Soft and warm, naturalResists mildew

    Sleek, contemporary look

    Stain and water resistant

    Easy to clean

    Polyurethane finishes typically last up to seven years before refinishing is required

    UV-cured acrylic finishes are not as long-lastingWax finishes need reapplication every 6-12 months Place walk-off mats at entries to catch dirt; frequently shake mats.Place protective pads on the bottoms of chair and table legs.

    Regularly sweep or dust-mop the floor, or use a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar.

    Clean up spills immediately. Use only cleaners recommended by the flooring manufacturer. To restore luster, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for refinishing.

    $4-$9 per square foot, installed

     
  • raleightileblog 12:06 pm on July 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    By the Square: How Tile is Measured and Sold 

    Legend has it, any member of the Brush family can walk into a room and instantly calculate exactly how much tile you’re going to need. Since we can’t always travel to everyone’s house (though we may if you ask nicely), we wanted to provided with a few of the basic measurements we are going to need to make sure you don’t run out of tile, or have way too much. This is particularly important for some of our more unique products where obtaining a certain amount of material from the same “batch” could mean just one chance to land the perfect match. So, let’s get to measuring that room.

    The measurement we are trying to obtain in fixing up your project is the “square footage.” It is the best number we can obtain in trying to figure out exactly how much tile we need to have ready for a project.

    It’s all about the rectangles

    So, we need to find the square footage of the area you need tiled. To do this you only need a few things: a tape measure, a writing utensil and something to write it on (calculator optional).

    Now imagine your looking at the area you want to tile from above. Let’s take a look at a very simple example room:

    Spaces marked by the letters “A,” “B,” and “C'” represent areas of a room that will not be tiled. This may include cabinet areas, bath fixtures or other items where tile is not laid.

    Now, let’s divide that room into manageable rectangles so that we can easily calculate the necessary square footage for your project. There is more than one way to do this for every project, but here is an example.

    Now, you can see, we have seven rectangles. Rectangles 1-6 are very simple and obvious rectangles. Because of the unique shape of this room, rectangles 6 and 7 will require some special treatment. Let’s take a look at the simple rectangles first.

    The area, in square feet of each your rectangles is the length of the rectangle (inches), multiplied by the width of the rectangle (inches), divided by 144. For example, a rectangle 20 inches by 30 inches would be: 20 times 30 = 600 then divided by 144 would be about 4.17 square feet.

    Once you have calculated the area of each of your rectangles, simply add them all together for the total square footage of tile needed. In rectangles 6 and 7, we will simply add only half of the calculated area.

    Not all spaces will be perfectly divided into rectangles. For any job, we welcome you to bring in the floorplan and let us take a look at what you need. Of course, in completing the project there will typically be some “wiggle room” added to most orders to accommodate any problems that may come up. Extra tile is also sometimes needed to fit aesthetic needs of the tile as well.

    So to summarize, the square footage of our room above will be the combined areas of all of the rectangles we drew, each of which was obtained by multiplying their individual lengths and widths. Of course, two of our rectangles were divided in half to accommodate an unusual shape in our room.

    If you know your square footage of the room, and the size of the tile you are interested in, here is a nice tool for determining the quantity of tile needed to fill your project. 

     
  • raleightileblog 4:14 pm on July 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Educational Series: The Basics of Tile – Which Tile is Right For You? 

    Our new series:

    Every few weeks, we will be presenting a week-long series of modules that will help our customers learn a bit more about our business, what we do and how that knowledge can be used to improve your own home design efforts. Here’s it how it works. Saturday, we will announce what our topic will be about, in this case, The Basics of Tile: Which Tile is Right For You? Over the next seven days, we will include among our posts, a daily lesson on the topic of choice.

    We will also present you with an agenda of what will be discussed each week. Once the seven-day cycle is complete, we will link up all the lessons and put them on a page where you can easily navigate and locate the information when needed.

    Here are the seven lessons we are going to be going over this week:

    Sunday

    By the Square: How Tile is Measured and Sold

    Monday

    What Your Made Of: Advantages of Common Tile Materials

    Tuesday

    The Way It Feels: The Role of Texture in Home Design

    Wednesday

    Color and Shade: What Color Can Do For Your Project

    Thursday

    Big, Small, Round and Square: How Size and Shape Affect Tile Design

    Friday

    Laying it Down: Basic Considerations for Installing Your Tile

    Saturday

    Keep It Clean: How to Perform Basic Tile Maintenance

    Please tune in tomorrow for the first in our installment of basic instruction on tile. The more you know about the materials involved in your project, the easier it will be to accomplish your dream home.

     
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