The Beauty of a DIY Project

In early 2000, a once used acronym reappeared and later on even became the name of a channel that millions watch.  DIY.  DIY stands for “Do it Yourself”.   The attitude of a Do it Yourself is such that he/she will seek out the knowledge necessary to do a specific task (such as install carpet tile) versus paying an installer out of convenience.  DIY also promotes the idea that we are all capable of far more than we realize, and it’s no longer uncommon to walk into our neighbor’s house and lay eyes on a beautiful hardwood or laminate floor that they themselves installed.  All it takes to be a DIY’r is the willingness to learn, to accept trial and error and to have patience.  

In the floor covering industry, there are many things that consumers are able to easily install and save themselves a ton of money.   However, it is important to note a few things before considering a project:

  • Does the manufacturer of the product you are installing require it to be installed by a professional to validate the warranty? If so, stop here and consult a professional.
  • View the manufacturer’s web site for installation videos.  Most all have them available for use plus a consumer line for technical questions.  Do you feel a comfort level compatible with being able to install the product?
  • Do you want to install carpet?  While there are situations where this can be done, we never recommend installing wall to wall carpet to a DIY’r. (Carpet tiles, yes, but not wall to wall)   The reason for this is that the ability to install carpet is an art that is learned over time which cannot be learned in a weekend or in a short time span. You are almost guaranteed disaster if you attempt this, so leave installing your wall to wall carpet to the professionals.

Here is a listing of flooring products that many consumers have successfully installed in their homes over the years:

Mannington Introduces New Laminate Line

Mannington Longwood

Mannington Longwood

In response to market demand mixed with a bit of European influence, the design team at Mannington produced a large scale laminate designed to give an impression that only this laminate can.  Developed with a standard size of  80.63″ x 7.87″, you will find no other like it on the market.

The Longwood collection features Mannington’s new Mlock locking system which helps to simplify the installation process for your DIY job. 

This product is currently available in 2 patterns, Brazilia and Aberdeen, with 6 available colors.

Mannington Longwood

Mannington Longwood

For more information on this product, visit Mannington.com

The Care and Maintenance of Your New Hardwood Floor

Maintaining your hardwood floor is easier than ever with new technologies in surfaces as well as the wide variety of cleaners made available.   Below are some tips on how to keep your hardwood looking its best for years to come:

  1. Use the appropriate cleaner.   If a product does not state on the bottle that it will safely clean hardwood, then chances are you will take a gamble using it. Manufacturers widely recommend the Bona brand cleaners, mops, and accessories to safely clean your floor.
  2. Did someone accidentally spill something?   Never allow a spill to dry on its own as this can cause surface cracking or buckling.
  3. Cleated shoes and high heeled shoes are not for hardwood.  Even the slightest of women can exert 2000-3000 pounds per square inch of pressure on to the surface of your floor causing indentations.
  4. Use rugs where water is likely to splatter such as in front of the kitchen sink or at entryways where someone is likely to come in from the rain.
  5. Make sure to use floor protectors on the legs of all furniture.   These should create a buffer between the floor and the hardwood preventing indentations from the movement of the furniture.
  6. If you are having a lot of issues with heavy shrinkage in the winter, use a humidifier to reduce this effect by adding moisture to the air.
  7. Vacuum your floors regularly.  Use only vacuum cleaners that have the option to clean hard surfaces, as only these will safely stow away the beater bar bristles.
  8. Never let your home fall outside the range of 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit.  Keep the air conditioner or heater running when appropriate to maintain these levels.
  9. Use walk off mats on the outside of all entryway doors.  This will prevent grit and dirt from coming in to your home and scratching the surface of your hardwood.
  10. Use window treatments.  Most all hardwood is UV treated to prevent dramatic darkening or fading, but naturally this will occur overtime. Keep the sun’s rays away from your floor or diffuse them through a curtain to keep the color of your floor looking uniform.

A Bit of Advice on Hardwood Floor Installation

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood Flooring

For those of you with a crawl space, it’s time to make a trip outside. Fully inspect the ground beneath your home to assess the moisture content of the soil.  Do you have any areas that are wet or any pools of water?   If you have either of these issues, you must correct these before you can move forward with your hardwood installation.  Not addressing problems such as these before you install the hardwood can result in cupping later on, which is a condition caused by the wood remaining damp on the underside but not on the top.

Once all problems are corrected, most manufacturers suggest that all crawl spaces have no less than a 6 mil polyethylene plastic sheeting placed on the ground beneath the house to prevent the wood being affected by the natural ground moisture.  Many newer homes will already have these due to building codes, but if your home is older chances are you do not have one.

Homes with concrete foundations will undergo a different battery of pre-installation tests in regards to the foundation.   Concrete is mixed and placed with the requirement of water, and this also must escape as the concrete ages. How rapidly this occurs is determined largely by vapor pressure in both the slab and the air over the slab, as well as conditions below the slab.

Make sure your installer performs these tests before installation begins:

Perform a moisture test on concrete slabs by taping 7-10 18″x18″ pieces of plastic to your subfloor in different areas. Wait a period of at least 18 hours, and if condensation develops, you will need to take steps to seal your concrete before installation.  Another way to test the slab is to use a moisture meter, which is available for purchase at most any hardware store. (Acceptable moisture levels are 14% or less)

Other tests to be performed by the installer are:

Calcium Chloride – Should not exceed 3 lbs per 24 hrs per 1000 square feet of area

Radiant Heating Calcium Chloride – Should not exceed 1.5 lbs per 24 hrs per 1000 square feet of area.

pH reading of the slab–An acceptable pH reading is between 6–9 on the pH scale.

DO NOT INSTALL your hardwood floor on a concrete slab if you receive high readings on your Calcium Chloride and pH test. You will need to purchase a specific sealer in order to correct the humidity and calcium levels within your concrete slab.

Testing your hardwood and home climate

Wood flooring will perform best when the interior environment of your home is controlled with a relative humidity between 30-50 percent and the temperature 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit.  Outside of these ranges, wood can dramatically shrink or expand and can cause permanent damage to your home.  Relative humidity meters are available at most any hardware store for very little money, so take the time to pick one up before installation day.

The final test to make sure is done before installation, is to test the moisture in your pre-acclimated wood.  Again your installer should have a moisture meter to measure this.   The wood itself must be between 6 and 9 percent moisture and no more on the inside.  If the wood has not acclimated and is higher or lower (while stored inside your home) to this percentage, you will need to wait until it reaches the required percentage.

One final note:  Some cupping and crowning is a natural part of ownership of hardwood, and not all cases indicate issues with your home.

For more information, please visit The National Wood Flooring Association’s web site.

The Magic Behind Beaulieu’s Magic Fresh® Carpet

Jasmine

Jasmine

In the summer of 2009,  Beaulieu of America released the findings of an independent lab test (Centaur Technologies in Calhoun, Ga) that revealed they had truly found a way to add odor-destroying power to their carpet.   The test was conducted as a blind smell test with a series carpet samples treated with Magic Fresh® and another series of untreated carpet samples, all equally exposed to the same amount of pet urine to evaluate the odor controlling abilities of Magic Fresh®.

Right away several men and women were asked to judge the strength of the odor several times over a period of two days.  Air quality tests were also ran concurrently to assess the presence of pet urine in the air. The results were amazing at day two for the carpets treated with Magic Fresh®.  The Magic Fresh® samples exhibited a dramatic decline in the air ammonia levels, as well as became undetectable to the participants of the smell test. 

10 percent Ammonia solution to use as the product for the smell test

10 percent Ammonia solution to use as the product for the smell test

Sure this looks good on paper, but does it really work?   I decided to do my own test, using Touch of Heaven II from our private Beaulieu line up, and in all fairness, another quality Beaulieu of America product from our line up called Key Largo.  I obtained a 10 percent Ammonia solution to use as the product for the smell test, and I will check immediately after I apply the solution, 24 hours after I apply the solution and 48 hours after application.

Touch of Heaven II

Touch of Heaven II

Immediately following application of the ammonia solution, I checked to see if there would be any apparent difference in odor between Touch of Heaven II and the Key Largo samples.  (Keep in mind that while Key Largo is also a high quality product, it does not have the Magic Fresh technology as the Touch of Heaven II does.)    At this point the odor being emitted from each is quite strong, and there is no apparent difference between the two at this time.

Key Largo

Key Largo

24 hours later….

The smell of ammonia is not as strong on either of the carpet swatches, but Touch of Heaven II shows absolutely no sign of the ammonia odor whatsoever. 

48 hours later….

48 Hours Later

48 Hours Later

After two days the ammonia smell was still noticeable (barely) on the Key Largo sample and hasn’t been detectable since the first 24 hours on the Touch of Heaven II swatch.   This product does in fact work, and would be an excellent consideration for anyone with a busy household, or anyone with a smoker in the family.   This carpet has also shown to significantly neutralize the odor from cigarettes and cigars, and is so powerful that it will even negate air fresheners. 

Visit our web site at GeorgiaCarpet.com, and look for carpets made with the Magic Fresh  odor system, and try this test for yourself.  Some of our best sellers include:

Touch of Heaven I and II

Dreams Come True I and II

For more information regarding Magic Fresh, also visit Beaulieu of America.

$100 Coupon – Anderson All American Flooring Sale!

Anderson™ carries only the finest woods from around the world, but it’s truly the unique brands and designs that create lasting impressions. Homes have the power to inspire, engage and enamor, and with the right wood from Anderson, yours can do the same.

$100 Anderson Hardwood Flooring Coupon

$100 Anderson Hardwood Flooring Coupon

Click Here To Register For Your $100 Coupon For All Anderson and Virginia Vintage Products
Offer Valid October 1 – December 1, 2010 Limit One Per Household

Are you in the market for new carpet?

In today’s market, there are hundreds if not thousands of different options available for consumers interested in re-carpeting their home.  This process can be very overwhelming at first, but once you have a general idea of what’s available and what type will best suit your needs, the process then becomes very easy. The options are vast as are the color choices so you are almost guaranteed to find a suitable option that fits your taste and your budget.

Currently offered in the marketplace are three main types of residential carpeting: Cut pile, loop pile (berber), and cut loop.   (There are a few others, but we will stick with these for now.)  So what exactly is each of these and how do they compare?

Frieze Carpet

Frieze Carpet

 

Cut pile carpeting

Available in an endless array of colors, cut pile carpet is the most commonly used carpet type in American homes today.  The carpet industry has three ‘textures’ of cut pile carpet available, described as plush, textured saxony, and frieze. Plush (which is also called a velvet), has a dense and uniform appearance, which you would choose if you were looking for a more formal application such as a dining room or bedroom. You may recall the popularity of this carpet in the 80’s when visible vacuum marks were a must. The texture

Textured Carpet

Textured Carpet or Plush Carpet

 of a saxony is more random and irregular, and has a place most anywhere in a home.  Frieze is the least formal of these three and has a ‘curly’ characteristic to it.   This look is obtained from highly twisted yarn, and because of this, a higher durability is achieved.

 
 
 

Berber Carpet

Berber Carpet

Berber carpeting

This carpet style comes in a level loop or multi level loop option (to create pattern), and is constructed of a thicker yarn than you will see in other types to heighten durability. This carpet is best suited for areas that are informal such as family rooms, children’s bedrooms or playrooms, but can also make a beautiful change to most any room of your home with berber.  However, one important issue worth mentioning about this type is that seaming can be a task for even the most seasoned installer.  Because of the short nap and thicker yarn it contains, seams will be more likely to show in most cases but in varying degrees of intensity.

Cut Loop/Cut uncut/ carpeting

If you’re looking for a way to add personality and character to your floor, this type of carpeting just might be for you.  Cut loop carpeting

Vine Pattern Carpet

Vine Pattern Carpet

comes in a large variety of patterns consisting of everything from your basic square to large luxurious vine patterns or even animal patterns if you’re looking to create a more edgy/modern look.   Generally these carpets are made of higher yarn qualities (which we will discuss later on) and for this reason the durability is generally quite high for this category. 

So you’ve made your decision about what look/type you’re going for, what should you consider next?

Put Color In It’s Place!

Put color In It's Place!

Put color In It's Place!

Finding the right color for your floor covering is often the most enjoyable part of the purchase process.   With today’s wide range of colors offered by the manufacturers, you are almost sure to find the color that fits your design.  But just how important is your color decision in terms of staining, wear or even your overall health and mood?   The answers just might surprise you. 

Today’s average American household has 2 adults, 1.14 children, 1.7 dogs and 2.2 cats.  Traffic is constantly flowing through our homes and inevitably dirt and stains appear on carpet over time as a result.   Lessening the impact of accidents and overall dirt can easily be achieved by simply adjusting the color that you choose.     For example, if you are re-carpeting your family room, a very light color may not be the best idea especially if it is located right off of an entrance to your home.  However, a bedroom is an excellent place for lighter shades, and since these rooms are used less, the carpet will keep its clean appearance much longer.    One might think that simply putting a very dark color in the busiest rooms is the answer, however a new problem develops.   Lint.   From the clothing we wear to the curtains that hang on the wall, lint continuously is dispersed into the air and onto your floor and will be visible.  So for busy rooms, opt for more mid range tones versus the extremes.

Color and Mood

If you want to create a specific mood in your room, you may have already done a little bit of research on color.   It’s proven that colors can make us happy, sad, energetic, peaceful, calm, angry or relaxed.  Take a look at the illustration below to see a quick overview of how your color choices for your home may affect your mood.

Color Mood Chart

Color Mood Chart

We all have natural reactions to the colors around us.   Warm colors which include red, orange and yellow, evoke emotions ranging from feelings of warmth and comfort to feelings of anger and hostility.  Cool colors are located on the blue side of the spectrum and include blue, purple and green. These colors are often perceived as calm colors, but certain hues can invoke feelings of sadness or depression.  Take the time to study this important aspect of home design to get the most out of your purchase. 

For more information on color and your home, visit About.com or for recommended reading, “Colors for your Every Mood” by Leatrice Eiseman is an excellent source for more in depth information.

Stainmaster Carpet vs Untreated Polyester Carpet

Today Cynthia Kidder with Invista, used the “Cherry Drink Mix” test on Stainmaster Carpet and untreated Polyester Carpet. As you can see in the photos . . . the cherry drink beads up on the top of the Stainmaster Carpet, and soaks in on untreated polyester carpet, even all the way to the backing as shown in the last photo. A paper towel was used to clean up both samples. For additional cleaning instructions visit the Stainmaster® stain removal guide.

Stainmaster® Carpet outperforms polyester carpet and stands up to the toughest soiling, repellency, and durability conditions found in the home.

STAINMASTER® carpet is the better performing carpet that lasts. Carpet is too important an investment to leave to chance. Not all carpets perform the same. With STAINMASTER® carpet you know you made a confident purchase decision. Find your beautiful new Stainmaster® Carpet today, that will still be beautiful tomorrow… Always Stylish, Always Beautiful!

Stainmaster Carpet vs Unbranded Polyester Carpet

Removing Cherry Drink Mix

Stainmaster Carpet vs Unbranded Polyester Carpet

Removes easily from the Stainmaster Carpet

Stainmaster Carpet vs Unbranded Polyester Carpet

Cherry Drink did not go through to the back on the Stainmaster Carpet

Stainmaster Carpet vs Unbranded Polyester Carpet

the Polyester Carpet sample soaked through to the backing