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Home Contractors

Solid As a Rock – Bamboo Solid Flooring

In terms of hardness and durability, bamboo flooring is solid as a rock, or at least as solid as maple and even more so than oak. The durability of this stalky grass can’t be understated.
Bamboo is not a true hardwood, but is actually a beautiful grassy stalk plant. The stalks are hollow and once processed for use, extremely durable for use as flooring.
Bamboo solid flooring is not in itself a true statement because bamboo flooring is only available in manufactured planks or laminated planks for installation. However, that shouldn’t detract homeowners from considering this magnificent wood for their next home remodeling venture.
In today’s world where everyone’s concern is the environment and maintaining its resources, bamboo is one of the best choices that could be made for flooring.
Not only does bamboo grow to astounding heights, fifty feet or more, it does so in as little as five years. This is unheard of when thinking of hardwood trees that are the typical flooring choices, such as Oak, Maple or Cedar.
Hardwood flooring made from these woods is partially responsible for deforestation that is becoming rampant worldwide. Destroying the forests for its wood is displacing animals and is partially responsible for global warming. Bamboo has none of these effects.
The durability of bamboo can be seen in its resistance to denting. In tests, it holds up as well as Maple and better than Oak. Adding a top coat will help to prevent scratching and make the flooring even more durable.
This durability is an excellent reason for choosing bamboo for practically any room. The only rooms that should not have bamboo floors are those with that have exposure to a lot of moisture, like bathrooms or steam rooms.
Even though bamboo is a water resistant material, over a period of time the moisture can cause the boards to warp and possibly void any warranty that the floor might have.
Coloring
Not only is bamboo solid as a rock, it’s as pretty as a gem. Natural bamboo with only a clear coating is a thing of beauty without any help from paints and stains.
However, if coloring is desired, the flooring can be purchased with stain to match whatever color the owner desires.
Another option for coloring a bamboo floor is to purchase bamboo that has been carbonized. This process changes the natural lightness of the floor to a darker color.
In contrast to stains, this colorization goes all the way through the wood rather than just on the top. The downside to carbonizing bamboo is that it does lower its hardness factor somewhat.
All in all, bamboo flooring is a solid choice that homeowners will be happy to show their friends and neighbors. It also adds value to the home in the event it is ever sold. Mother nature will be appreciative as well.…

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Bathroom Renovations

Make Maple Flooring Part of Your Home

Maple flooring has numerous benefits for homeowners looking for a new floor – not least its sturdiness and aesthetic appeal.
The maple tree comes in many different types with varying wood grain patterns and is perhaps best known for being the source of that Canadian favourite, maple syrup.
However, it is the maple wood itself that tends to attract attention from those looking to update their homes.
Maple is usually relatively light in colour, but its markings can be significantly darker – making for a particularly striking appearance.
The wood is also very strong, meaning that homeowners can be confident they are investing in flooring that will last for years.
So what are the different types of flooring that are available? As well as being able to choose from various types of wood grain, buyers can select from solid maple flooring, engineered wood maple flooring and laminate maple flooring.
Homeowners wanting a truly authentic floor should opt for the solid flooring. While this requires regular maintenance, there is little doubt that having a genuine wood floor can be a great asset to any home.
You choose from different types of solid maple flooring, such as nature, select and rustic with surfaces ranging from oiled and lacquered to unfinished.
Meanwhile, engineered wood flooring is a great option for homeowners wanting an especially sturdy floor. This product is made from several layers fused together for extra strength and also benefits from being less vulnerable to shrinking and expanding than hardwood flooring.
Lastly, laminate flooring could be the perfect choice for those who love the look of maple wood but do not have the budget to pay for solid flooring or engineered wood flooring.
This type of flooring can be both practical and relatively cheap, as you are unlikely to be as concerned about sustaining damage to a laminate floor as you would if it was a solid wooden floor.
As you can see, there’s much to think about when choosing flooring for your home – but with so many options available, it’s likely you’ll be able to find the right product for you.…

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Home Improvement Contractors

Versatility: From Dance Floor to Athletic Flooring

If you operate a dance studio and are looking for addition revenue streams, you might consider opening your space for other purposes, such as aerobics, pilates, yoga and more. The latter two in particular are done on the floor, which requires some “give;” fitness flooring may be just the answer.
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It is true that many such exercises are done with the use of soft mats; however, sprung flooring such as specialty athletic flooring can add that extra bit of safety and comfort.
Like better dance flooring, athletic flooring has at least two hard layers with a soft, cushioning layer in between. This is known as a “sprung” floor; the middle layer offers a little “give” that is much easier on the joints when it comes to repetitive movements that involve stepping and jumping.
On the other hand, such specialty fitness flooring differs from dance floors in how slippery it is. While a ballroom dance floor should be slippery to a degree so as to allow dancers to “glide,” this is something that is not so desirable when it comes to athletic flooring. This characteristic is known as “speed;” a high-speed wooden dance floor has a type of urethane finish that allows a fair amount of slip. For sports however, such as an aerobic floor or yoga flooring, it’s better to have a low-speed finish that allows for more grip.
Durability
Yoga floors as well aerobic flooring also require durability in order to stand up to frequent use. Better athletic flooring is made from hardwood, such as ash, birch or especially maple. Such natural hardwood fitness flooring offers an aesthetic value as well; the attractive grain and warm tones provide visual appeal in rooms where they are used.
Another popular choice is the “marly” topping. This is a type of vinyl surface that is economical and extremely durable, able to stand up well to all kinds of dance and most types of athletic activities for many years.
Versatile
Sprung wood athletic flooring does not need to be permanently installed in one large mass. In fact, one can purchase yoga floor and other types of fitness flooring in various sized panels that can be configured to fit almost any room – and unlike permanent dance, athletic and yoga flooring, can be removed and stored when not in use, adding greater flexibility for a dance or aerobics studio.
Such portable dance and sport-activity floors are an excellent investment that can pay for itself in only a few years by offering more to clients.…

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Renovation Contractor

Pre-Finished Flooring Makes Life Easy

Looking to add a stunning hardwood floor to your home? There are a lot of options out there, from the cut of the wood to the grade, to the type of wood itself. You’ll have a lot of possibilities waiting for you from the moment you begin looking. Examining all the different types of flooring can be fun. You’ll get to envision your home with any number of different colors and grains. But another thing to keep in mind is whether or not to simply buy the wood and finish it later or opt for the easier option of purchasing pre-finished flooring.
Pre-finished flooring saves you the added time and money it can take to finish your own floor. Likewise, the options for the finish on the wood can vary greatly, giving you plenty to choose from. You’ll be able to see the wood in its already finished form rather than pondering at the hardware store later whether or not this or that finish will look good on your new floor. This is going to be your floor for many years to come – it is a much better idea to see what it will look like beforehand rather than picking a finish you think will look great, only to realize once you’re done that it doesn’t look quite like you’d hoped.
A pre-finished floor gives you great quality as well because you’ll know that the entire piece of wood has been given a thorough coating of a specific finish. You’ll find all sorts of finishes, such as high quality factory pre-finishes that include 6-sided Ultra Violet cured top coats with ceramic components that give the flooring added durability. Choosing wood that is pre-finished means all you have to worry about is staining the wood. Even then, you may decide to skip staining and enjoy the natural color of the wood through its finish.
If you do decide to stain pre-finished wood, feel free to ask to see examples of pieces that have been done in different stains so you can see how they’ll look in their finished form. Suppliers can even do custom color matching for you, which means in the end all you’ll have to worry about is installing it in your home. For even more options, ask them what other options they can offer, such as a “French Bleed” which is a glazing technique that can really highlight texturing and more for a great antique look!…

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Basement Renovations

Vinyl Tile Flooring – The Challenge

If you’ve ever tried to install vinyl tile, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say, “It’s not as easy as it looks”. While vinyl tile is a very good flooring choice, it’s good looking, very sturdy, warmer on the feet then regular tile (ceramic), and can be installed without a rigid subfloor (unlike ceramic). When installed and sealed properly, it can last for years, giving a warm welcoming look to any mudroom, basement, or laundry room.
Now let’s talk about the installation process. First of all, you must have the floor perfectly flat, no exceptions. The vinyl floor melds itself to the existing floor, whether that floor is flat, or bumpy and uneven. Once you have the floor perfect, then you’ve got to make sure you’re able to put all the glue down, only to have to leave the job for a few hours, so you can come back and finally install the tile. After the vinyl tile has been installed, you need to rent a roller to press it tight to the floor, than clean all the dirt and grime that may have accumulated during the installation process. Now you’re ready to seal the tile. Going over it twice is recommended. Mop the solution on, wait for it to dry, mop the solution on again; finished.
I remember my first experience with vinyl floor tile. I had just purchased a house with some other family members with the intention of fixing it up and selling it, in other words “a quick flip”. The laundry room in my basement of my house really needed some sprucing up, so we decided to install vinyl tile. Good idea, poor execution. First off, we didn’t realize that by just mixing the floor leveler to a wet/soupy consistency, instead of a hard paste consistency, that we could save a lot of head and back ache. As well, I’m sure the floor would have come out a lot smoother in the end.
Now the installation; we had purchased the house on October 15th and we were planning on a three and a half month time frame to flip it. This left us to finish the job right in the middle of Christmas holidays, not a good decision. It ended up that we had to start the flooring on Christmas Eve morning and finish up Christmas afternoon. Not a great way to spend your Christmas holidays. The good news is that it turned out great, at first.
Unfortunately with time, we found out where we hadn’t leveled the floor as well as we should have, the water softeners salt didn’t help matters either. But our biggest problem was when I was away the next winter (yes, I decided to keep it in the end), there was a flood in the backyard that found its way into the back door, and down the steps into the laundry room. Did that ever make a mess! After that, the tiles were never the same and a lot of the glue now does not stick properly to the floor. Fortunately the floor still looks good; it just pops and crackles in certain spots when you walk on it.
So the moral of this story is, always look before you leap. Or, make sure you know a products limits, strengths and weaknesses before you install it. Not that the vinyl tile is necessary a bad choice for that application, I just think that there are better products for that room. I guess I’ll chalk it up to another lesson learned.…

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Remodel Kitchen

Retail Flooring – Key Considerations

The retail environment is a difficult one to design for. High volume traffic in and out of a store means that practicality must a strong consideration in any designer’s mind. However, most retail stores thrive by creating a strongly defined brand, rather than strictly selling products. The design of a retail space can actually have quite an impact on the success of the shop, and ultimately, its profits. We look at how to blend the practical and aesthetic considerations for retail flooring.
The Retail Branding Environment
Most retail stores would stay in best shape when designed with beautiful counters, tiled floors, and unscratchable stainless steel fittings. However, without the distinction of image (which is actually what draws consumers to one retail store over another), price would be the only distinguishing factor. We’d soon end up with a monopoly in every retail sector! Store design materials need to be chosen for their potential to create a unique environment – and when it comes to retail flooring, carpet tiles are the medium that offers the greatest number of avenues for customisation.
Customer navigation
Every retail store is set out differently – some with aisles, some with scattered stand-alone displays, some with an empty centre and products around the walls; any combination or permutation of these is possible. Carpet tiles offer the opportunity to help direct customers around the store, without saying a word. Carpet tiles can also be used alongside hard flooring to distinguish particular areas. Strong or contrasting colours in shop carpet can highlight walkways, and draw particular attention to specials racks or new season items.
Maintain a fresh new look for longer
The look of a retail environment reflects strongly on the customer’s perceived value of the products. Using commercial carpet tiles in retail interior design means that the high traffic areas can be replaced as needed, creating a fresh look with only a fraction of the cost of replacing the entire floor.
Occupational Health and Safety Issues
OHS is always a consideration for interior designers, as owners and facility managers have it at the forefront of their minds. Vinyl or wood flooring, and especially tiles, create a vastly increased risk of either customers or staff injuring themselves from slips and falls – and increasing the potential for damage when it does happen. For insurance and liability purposes, carpet tiles are an excellent choice.
Carpet tiles also create vastly improved air quality in retail stores, compared with hard flooring. Carpet tiles help trap dust and allergens until they can be safely vacuumed away; hard flooring means that allergens continually circulate.
Noise absorption and underfoot comfort
When a customer steps into the retail environment, they need to feel that they have the space to comfortably explore the range. One component of that feeling of space is the amount of ambient noise in a store. Carpet has been shown to be ten times more effective than any other flooring type in reducing airborne noise.
The staff in a retail environment will be spending much of their time on their feet, also. The underfoot comfort that shop carpet provides can help preserve both health and a feeling of wellbeing for retail staff.…

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Kitchen Remodel

Tiles Are Easy to Mix in a Mosaico Terrace Flooring

This is a real story. My little and cozy roof apartment, the highest apartment of the building, was keeping water on the floor when it rained.

This terrace is like a pocket open-space on which our apartment runs towards the sides of the condo. It looks south and the sun is present since 12 am until dusk. I had never thought of making another floor pavement until one night the rain began to fall and to cover it all.

The people living under our apartment claimed about all the rain that had gone through their ceiling and definitely falling from our floor oust standing over their living room.

So I had this great idea! I went tiles shopping and found some 2ND choice beauty earth colors tiles.

They were so rare and smooth! And, I could break them with a hard tool. Easy as breaking an egg!

So, something came to my mind, the beautiful Mexican floors I had seen so many times and that I loved so much. It was so simple. I will give you some hints that you may develop according to your floor size. First of all, look for tiles in colors you like and a good 2ND choice that fits your budget. Three colors could be OK.

Then:

buy enough cement glue, asked the guy at the shop for quantities per square feet

measure well the extreme sides of your terrace and divide it by the length of the tiles you bought

arrange a pathway of tiles (mixing colors if you wish) along the extremes of your floor (it will look like a frame border)

once you have all the floor extreme sides covered with the tiles, then begin to measure the distance between each extreme border to see how much space you have in the center

Until know, you are making just an “essay” of the floor pavement without sticking the new tiles t the old ones.A�

inside the space left between the borders, begin to put the tiles in a circle separating them like 20 centimeters one from the other

mix their colors and just rotate them a little so they follow the circle ring

now you have the size of the Mexican ring done with tiles, swinging on the circle

put some tiles, of all colors,inside thick towel. Take a hammer and give a hard stroke on the towel

open the towel and take the pieces out, dividing them by size and throwing out those that lost some pieces in their borders due to the stroke. Set them aside

Now, you will be able to enjoy doing the Mexican floor.A�

First begin from the circle.

Be sure that the circle is in the right middle of all the space left between the borders of tiles on the extreme of your floor space

Put some glue under the tile and apply it well to the pavement.

Do this with each single tile of the circle until you get a round form.

Calculate well space left between the circle and the extreme tiles to see whether it might be possible to do another “frame” (square) around the circle. It would be a tiles square between the circle and the borders.

Do the square, alternating colors and applying glue under the new tiles. Remember it will take some time for it to dry.

It is time now to make the borders, except the bottom side of the floor, that extreme on which you will be walking back and forth. Make as above along the sides of the pavement. It will be a square or rectangle as for your pavement’s size. Remember the tiles we had broken?A�

Now it gets fun!

You will be filling all spaces left with those little pieces of the same colors of the tiles. And once you have covered all the pavement, now it is the time for throwing the plaster.

One day of sunny temperature of two days of windy or cloudy time will make it! It will be your pride when inviting friends! We will meet for making the table that looks like the floor! It just depends on whether you liked this idea!

Good luck! Have fun!…