Bark up the right tree

So which Oak is right for you? The growing popularity of European Oak has people wondering what to buy for their home. European Oak is a beautiful floor and extremely versatile. But what are the differences between the two oaks?
American oak flooring typically has much larger grain and growth rings in its boards and a much lighter tone compared to European Oak Flooring. Due to the amount of different variations there are of American Oak, the boards also tend to have more of a color variation across them.
European Oak is typically light to dark brown in color and is a particularly hard, strong, and heavy wood. One of the major benefits of European Oak is that it doesn’t expand and contract to any great extent. It is a sought after flooring option because it is so hard wearing as well as stunningly good looking. Because the sap wood in European Oak tress is relatively thin, you can typically expect to find long lengths and wide widths.

Another significant difference is that American Oak is generally prefinished or site finished with a polyurethane finish. This would need to be sanded down and refinished if there are significant scratches. European Oak on the other hand is usually finished with a natural oil finish. An oil finish penetrates the wood fibers to harden them while not altering the natural beauty of the wood. With no visible film on the surface. They are easy to care for and are repairable. An oiled floor never needs to be sanded, only regular applications of a maintenance oil are necessary to nourish the wood and bring the luster back.

In addition, the oak can be installed as a wall covering too. It warms up a room and adds texture and interest to a plain wall. Consider it instead of wall paper, paint, or tile.

Visit EF Marburger Fine Flooring for details!

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Which wood would I buy?

With the growing popularity of hardwood flooring comes the increasing confusion regarding the right type of hardwood for your home. There are now so many choices available that selecting the perfect wood floor has become challenging. There are several different types of species, stains, finishes, thicknesses, widths, and treatments that can make any homeowner want to postpone their flooring project.

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Up For Sale

Spring is a perfect time for putting your house on the market if you are thinking about moving.

The flowers are in bloom and your lawn is coming back to life. Here is how to refresh the interior:

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Backsplash On The Back Burner

We have just what you need to get your backsplash selected and installed.

Backsplashes can be one of the most challenging remodeling projects that homeowners have to finalize. It is often the last ingredient to completing your beautiful kitchen remodel. It needs to complement the cabinets, the countertop, the flooring, the paint, and the appliances. Plus there are thousands of choices out there that can make a relatively simple task turn into a recipe for disaster. Choosing the wrong backsplash can spoil a beautiful kitchen and can turn into a kitchen nightmare.

When selecting a backsplash, bring your kitchen components with you. Cabinet and countertop samples and paint swatches will help tremendously. Also, bring a picture of your kitchen. That will help our designers get a feel for what is involved. Come prepared with some ideas of what you want your backsplash to feel like. Sleek and modern, traditional and cozy, old world rustic? If you have a small kitchen look at glass or metals that will bring a reflective quality to the room. This will make it appear larger. If it is a larger kitchen, you can add more pattern or different shapes. Also, decide if you want your backsplash to be the focal point or just fade into the background. A common mistake is for homeowners to think their countertop is too busy for a unique backsplash. While this can be true, even a busy countertop can be paired with an interesting product if they coordinate. While white subway tile is classy and timeless, perhaps try something a little more exciting. After all, the backsplash is the jewelry of the kitchen. The materials for backsplash, whether it is glass, stone, or ceramic fluctuate in price similar to jewelry. Deciding what you want to spend on your backsplash can help narrow down selections.

Do not try to install it on your own unless you are a professional tile installer. There are a lot of intricate cuts around outlets, windows, cabinets that require skill. In addition, many of the types of tile that are installed on backspashes are very difficult to cut. Certain types of glass require certain tools or the glass will chip or shatter. Let the professional handle that last step.

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Puppy Playground

Puppies are a wonderful way to get through the winter blahs. Happy, energetic, and adorable…puppies can bring sunshine to any dreary day.

However, they can also wreak havoc on your flooring.

Here are some methods to aid in keeping your floors safe and your sanity intact.
Shaw flooring recommends the following procedures to remove pet urine on carpet.

Shaw Recommendations

Following these guidelines will definitely help preserve the life of the carpet. If you think you are going to get a puppy- it will help even more to install Shaw’s Life Happens Waterproof carpet in your puppy’s play area. Most puppies hang out in the family room with their best friends to play and run around.

With Life Happens carpet you do not need to worry about puppy accidents. This carpet innovation is a revolutionary protection that covers the entire product from face fiber to backing. This means that liquids are prevented from soaking in to the pad or subfloor. The carpet also combats odors within 30 minutes or less! Check out the website.

In addition, keep your puppy’s nails trimmed. This is a great way to get him comfortable with nail trimming and will protect your flooring. Keep food and water bowls somewhere that won’t damage the floor. Puppies tend to play in their water bowl so if it is on hardwood you will want to move it to another location. Utilize door mats and rugs so when your puppy comes in from the rain and snow, he doesn’t slide all over your floor leaving scratches.

Lastly, deter the puppy from chewing at carpet or furniture. Give him a chew toy or spray a no chew deterrent recommended by your local pet store.
Have fun with your puppy and remember that he will not be a puppy forever.

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Do the water proof flooring options hold water???

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The latest news in flooring options has leaked out…Waterproof flooring, also known as WPC.

The “w” stands for wood, but the fact is the majority of WPC-type products entering the market today do not contain wood. WPC is a composite material made of thermoplastics, calcium carbonate and wood flour. Extruded as a core material, it is marketed as being waterproof, rigid and dimensionally stable. They can also be called enhanced vinyl plank, engineered luxury vinyl flooring and waterproof vinyl.

The designs are as unique and beautiful as natural wood and stone.
WPC is perfect for bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, dining rooms, and kid’s rooms.

Coretec was the original creator and there have been several to trickle in such as Armstrong Luxe. More manufacturers will be flooding the market with this game changing innovation as well. Shaw Floors, for example, brands its Floorté as enhanced vinyl plank with an “improved formulation” that gives it greater density than WPC. Mannington’s new Adura Max is an enhanced vinyl plank the company is touting as the “quietest product on the market.”

Another waterproof option that has floated in is Shaw’s LifeGuard carpet. It has a complete waterproof backing attached. Ideal for pets, kids, and everyday life. LifeGuard is a carpet protection system that covers the entire product, from face fiber to backing, according to the company.

Carpets featuring LifeGuard are treated with Shaw’s patented R2X Stain and Soil Resistance Protection, while a patented 100% thermoplastic commercial-grade backing provides a moisture barrier that is highly resistant to liquids soaking into the carpet padding and sub-floor. It has a soft and luxurious feel as well.
So it seems that the waterproof flooring options are here to stay. So get on board and check them out!

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Inside Out

 

Design your home to embrace the outdoors throughout the entire year.  Aside from having plants and flower arrangements in your home, incorporate the textured look of split face stone on a backsplash and the earthy appeal of porcelain pavers on your floor. The advantage to porcelain pavers is that it can be carried into a four seasons room and exterior deck or patio. Even in harsh winters, porcelain can be used in both interior and exterior applications to create continuity from the inside to the outside of your home.  Typically people will use similar colors to the exterior of their home. Gray and cream limestone should be coupled with a neutral  gray pallet that is complimentary. If you have a home that displays red brick or warm colored exterior stone then utilize a warmer earthier porcelain consisting of beige or orange.  Maintenance is a breeze for a kitchen floor with porcelain pavers.

Other elements that will facilitate this design concept is to have big comfy patio furniture to mimic your interior such as chaise lounges and pillows. Exterior rugs are another great accessory to add to an outdoor room or patio. Music and exterior string lighting are also exceptional tools to create ambiance. In addition, bring outdoor traits inside your home such as glass vases filled with pebbles, decorative lanterns, sun dials and wall fountains. Wide plank hardwood flooring with a rustic appearance installed in the other rooms of your home will further establish a sense of the outdoors.

The primary goal is to create an atmosphere to relax from the daily stresses of our lives.

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Summer Humidity: How to Protect Your Hardwood Floors

Though summer is a fun, warm, typically happy season, there’s one thing that can be unbearable: the summer heat. And, depending where you live in the United States, the humidity is even worse. High humidity, like heat, tends to badly affect certain things, some of them can be found in your home. Wood flooring, for example, can be damaged with too low or too high humidity.

Regardless of where a wood floor is installed, humidity control is necessary. RH levels change throughout the course of a season, month and even in a single day. Protecting a wood floor means controlling humidity so it remains within the manufacturer’s recommended range all year long.

While the specifications sound intimidating at first, homeowners and installers should keep in mind that there is nowhere in the country that humidity in the home cannot be improved. However, the exact solution for maintaining proper RH varies depending on the region.

In most cases, wood floor damage is a matter of too much moisture at one point in the year and too little at another time. The most severe damage to wood flooring occurs from moisture changes: The wood expanding when it absorbs water and then contracting when dry air pulls it out. When severe enough, it’s a chronic and abusive process for a wood floor.

However, not all homeowners face the same challenges when it comes to controlling humidity, so solutions for whole-home humidity control vary. The size and age of a house, its foundation (basement, crawlspace or slab) and even the daily routines of family members can influence how much moisture is in the air. During times of the year when too much humidity is the problem, a whole-home dehumidifier is the best solution. High-capacity dehumidifiers are able to control moisture levels in every room, protecting a wood floor regardless of what level of the house it is on.

In climates where the furnace runs during the dry months, an evaporative humidifier is usually enough to keep humidity within acceptable ranges. This appliance distributes water onto a panel, and the moisture is then carried through the house as the furnace distributes heat.

For homeowners in the arid western climates, a dehumidifier is rarely, if ever, needed, but humidification is, and there are now humidification options that can battle some of the driest air. While evaporative humidifiers are popular across much of the country, they need air flow from a furnace to distribute moisture. Since homeowners in the desert often don’t run a furnace, it’s difficult to supply buildings with the immense amount of moisture needed to stay near manufacturers’ recommended ranges. In these areas, steam humidification is a solution. With steam, moisture can be introduced to the air year-round, even when there is a need to cool the home.

So how you can prevent potential damage? Check the humidity levels in the rooms where you have your hardwood floors installed using a humidistat or a hydrometer – they’re both available in hardware stores or home centers. If the humidity levels are beyond the 35% – 55% range, then make adjustments. If the levels are too high, use a dehumidifier or turn up the air conditioning. Either will lower the humidity levels. If you need to raise the humidity level, try a humidifier to boost the overall moisture in the room.

By maintaining the humidity levels in your home, you will help to ensure your floor remains covered by our warranties and keep it in shape to perform its best.

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Getting Your Floors Ready for the Holidays

You have enough on your plate during the holiday season. If you are hosting parties and having people over, there is added stress to make sure your food and home are picture-perfect. And a part of it involves giving some attention to your floors. The regular vacuuming is good, but it does nothing for stains, scratches, snags and other unsightly blemishes. Here are a few tips and a handy checklist on how to ensure that your floors sparkle and shine like new on the day of your event (and that white socks stay white!)

Hardwood and Laminatehome-products-32

Over time, hardwood and laminate may become dull, scratched and covered in grime, especially if you tend to wear shoes indoors. However, not all damage to your hardwood or laminate floors is permanent. If you are not sure where to start or which cleaning products to use, you are always welcome to speak with our project managers.

  • Vacuum thoroughly
  • Apply a cleaner recommended for your type of flooring and finish
  • You may need to use some elbow grease on tough spots
  • If the finish looks too worn-out, consider hiring a professional to refinish your hardwood floors. You shouldn’t need to ever refinish laminate flooring.

Vinyl and Ceramic Tile

Vinyl and ceramic tile are some of the most practical and easiest to maintain types of flooring. But they have their own drawbacks as well. The presence of grout lines on tile flooring and some vinyl tiles. Grout lines create grooves and a grippy surface where dirt tends to get stuck. Mopping tile flooring often has limited results, because a mop pushes the dirt into the grout grooves. If you don’t get the clean look and feel after mopping your vinyl or tile floors, you might need professional tile cleaning.

Carpet

If you’ve maintained your carpet in pristine shape, vacuuming may be all you need to clean it. However, most of us can’t use the words “pristine” and “carpet” in the same sentence. Kids, pets, friends and the chaos of daily living take a toll on even the best carpets. If your carpet looks like its seen better days, consider the following:

  • Treat stains individually to lessen their visibility
  • Push in the snags and stop unraveling fibers by trimming
  • Have the carpet re-stretched if it appears to have loosened or wrinkled.
  • Hire a professional cleaning company

FlooringDon’t Forget to:

  • Clean the baseboards.
  • Brush your pets to reduce shedding and the need to vacuum frequently.
  • Have welcome mats on both sides of the door to catch dirt from visitors’ shoes.
  • If you are not permitting shoes indoors, set up a large enough area where folks can leave their shoes and provide slippers for those who want them.

 

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