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12 February, 2014

How to maintain and clean hardwood floors ...

Wood floors are a long-lasting, wear-resistant alternative to other types of flooring. It is helpful to know the proper way to clean them, whether you are thinking about installing a wood floor or already have them in your home.

Determine: the finish Your floor's sealing will govern the most effective way to keep it clean and in good condition. Find a small section of the floor that is not easily visible, perhaps behind a door, so you can run some tests to determine the generic finishing. First, apply a few drops of rubbing alcohol. If the finish starts to soften and becomes sticky, you have a shellac finish. You can also try scratching the floor with a coin. If this causes the finish to flake, the floor is probably shellac or varnish. If the area crumbles instead when you scrape, you have a urethane or polyurethane finish. If you apply a small amount of paint remover to the floor and the finish bubbles, it is probably a urethane finish. In a new spot, apply two drops of water. If white spots appear within 10 minutes, your floor has a wax finish. You can also check for wax finishes by wiping a drop of mineral oil and seeing if the cloth has a yellowish-brown stain.

Cleaning: According to the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), polyurethane-finished floors require regular cleaning using a dust mop, broom or vacuum. Do not wax a floor with surface finishing. Sweeping or vacuuming wood floors at least once a week to remove dust and dirt from the surface. Standing water can cause damage and discoloration to the floors, you should avoid cleaning them with a wet-mop, Instead, wipe up all spills immediately with a dry or slightly dampened towel. For particularly grimy or dirty spots, use a hardwood floor cleaner that contains alcohol or vinegar. Avoid cleaners that contain oils, They will basically leave a greasy film over your entire floor that will show every single footstep and smudge, and you'll have a really difficult time getting your floors to look pretty again.

Maintaining: Prevent scratches by placing soft felt or protector pads under the legs of all furniture. This is especially important when you move heavy pieces of furniture across the floor. Use curtains, blinds or other window treatments to provide shade for your floors and prevent sun damage. Floor mats will catch dirt before it has a chance to make it to your floor, so place them at every entryway. Use rugs to protect places on which water may easily be splashed, like in front of the kitchen or bathroom sink. Make sure the mats and rugs are made for wood floors, as certain types may damage your floor.If cleaning your polyurethane-finished floor does not restore the shine, you may need to re-coat the floor. Severe damage may require that the floors be sanded and refinished. Waxed floors should be buffed to restore their shine.

09 June, 2014

Choosing right color flooring? ...

(Hard surface or Carpet): One of the biggest if not the biggest purchase a person can make in a lifetime is their home. That home is their refuge; but it is more than that; a person’s home is a reflection of them; in every way. That’s why it is vitally important that the right choices are made when decorating. Decorating isn’t about just hanging a few pictures and putting the furniture in the right places. Decorating begins with choosing the correct color of paint and the correct color of flooring. The floor of your home sets the tone of your entire home; and each room can have a different type or color of flooring depending upon what the mood that the owner wants to portray. Most people overlook the importance of the proper floor covering. Sometimes they just pick a neutral color of carpet and have it installed. But even if you’re not aiming to make a showpiece of your home the color of your neutral carpet can and does make a difference. In very general terms when it comes to carpet; dark colors tend to shrink a room, while lighter colors make it look larger. But if you are putting your carpet into a highly trafficked room you do not want to go with a lighter color. Not only will your light colored carpet develop traffic lanes but it will be victim to spills and hence stains. If you are set on that light color in that high traffic room, plastic runners or carpeted runners are an option. Runners can protect a carpet from much of the staining process. Carpet does come in more than just neutral colors. It can come in a variety of colors that can take an ordinary room and make it into something very extraordinary. Brightly colored carpets are best kept to game rooms or sun rooms. When using bright carpet it is best to either make the walls a neutral color or have a room with many windows. Both options will showcase your carpet to its best advantage. Deep rich colors like burgundy, forest green or cobalt blue are best used in studies or family areas were the impression of warmth, comfort and safety are the goal. Again wall color and texture can be used to augment your choice in carpet color. It is best to stick with rich wood colors or accent walls to best display such sumptuously colored carpet. Carpet however is not the only way to add color and accent to your floors. Wood flooring is also a very viable and a more durable option. Contrary to popular belief, wood does come in colors. They are generally not bright colors but there are some few exceptions. As with carpet choosing the color of the wood can change a room from an ordinary living space to a favorite room where the family wants to gather. Unlike carpet, wood flooring tends to enlarge a room simply because of the way that the wood is cut and then laid in long lines. It also tends to lengthen a room and it is here that the width of the planks comes into play. The effects of wood flooring is accentuated by the color. As I said wood does come in color. For instance instead of putting in rich burgundy carpet into your den try installing cherry wood. It is a warm color of chocolate cherries and gives a room a very inviting feeling. For a large entrance room where there is a lot of traffic; try using knotty pine. This wood has a multiple of hues, with dark knots inserted randomly into the generally blond wood; it naturally hides mud and scuffs. If you are looking for a cultured look then use either medium or dark oak. Oak has long thin lines that straighten a room and both the medium and dark colors bring a refined air to any room. The lighter color of oak is a good choice for a room that is leaning towards a cleaner or sterile look, such as a dining room. In any dining room using a light color wood gives it a very light and clean look. Wood gives you a choice that carpet cannot give you. If you have a large room that needs a very special atmosphere then tiger wood is the right choice here. It is colored just as it sounds; like a tiger. It has uneven light or dark stripes, depending upon your own personal view. This wood needs a large room to truly come to life, but when it does, it brings the room with it. There are rooms in your home that simply cannot be covered in carpet or wood. These areas require tile. Tile comes in as many colors as carpet and if you are using clay tile the colors can be customized. Kitchens and bathrooms are the areas that are generally given tile. But not all Kitchens or bathrooms are the same. Large open kitchens can be given a medium colored tile with accent pieces or even a mural piece in the center. Slightly darker colors can be employed in very bright kitchens. Edging a larger kitchen with a darker color tile will frame the kitchen which can be a good thing if the kitchen joins the dining room or the living area. It’s akin to erecting an invisible wall. Smaller kitchens need to stay away from breaking up a solid light color that helps them look larger. Bathrooms also look better with lighter colors, but in bathrooms it is common to use some brighter accents like yellows or bright blues to add a cheeriness to an otherwise dark room. Try to stay away from using one color to tile the floor and another to tile the walls. Stick with the same color and change the texture or use accent design tiles if you want to break it up. In any room floor coloring choices are almost unlimited. Choosing the right color will transform any room.