Monday, 23 March 2009

All About Heart Pine Flooring

Although "Heart Pine flooring" is a description that's used widely to describe a floor that's generally associated with antique & reclaimed wood, a good deal of misunderstanding prevails. While flooring of Antique Heart Pine has been a revered choice of builders for centuries, few people understand the diversity in the classifications of pine and descriptions can be confusing when purchasing Heart Pine Flooring today.

So what exactly is it and what's the difference between Antique Heart Pine, "New" HeartPine and regular pine?

Read to find out:

Where Does Heart Pine Come From?

First of all, all wood species contain "heartwood," not just pine, but that's where most misunderstanding begins.

It is the innermost of 4 layers in the cross section of a tree:

The first layer is Bark, the 2nd is the Cambium (typically a thin green layer under the bark), the 3rd is the Sapwood, or growing section within the tree which is most susceptible to decay, and the 4th most inner layer is the "heartwood," which is actually no longer a living tree component though more resistant to decay, and usually much darker in color .

But all "heartwood" is not equal, especially when we're talking about "Pine" heartwood. And With prices ranging from $4 - $15 per sq. ft. for Antique Reclaimed, you'd best be sure you know what you are getting.

Just know that just because pine comes from an old building or is dragged from a river, that doesn't make it "HeartPine." But what is referred to as "HeartPine" does not have to be reclaimed or centuries old either. Many pines have local names and many wood dealers will use the pine name that they feel will sell their product. You may hear it called Southern Yellow Pine, Antique Yellow Pine, or just Heart Pine. It can be the "heartwood" of any of a number of pines and should be more appropriately called "New" Heart Pine.

The pine wood which is most prized, what we refer to here as Antique Heart Pine, once called "The King's Pine" when this country was still owned by England, is specifically the Long-leaf pine which grew in the southeast, was notoriously slow-growing, and the 300-500 yr old trees were for the most part eliminated by overharvesting by 1910. Some 2nd & 3rd generation growth stands can still be cut today, but there's just not much heart to go after, as the trees haven't had the time to grow very large. The virgin stands of heart pine are gone forever and the wood from them can be recovered only from old buildings, factories and homes built over 100 years ago that are now being deconstructed.


Whether more beautiful or more practical is a challenging question to ask. It's also one of the most durable wood floors available, rivaled only by red oak, and a floor whose tight grain patterns and deep hued coloration grows richer in color as it ages and continues to add beauty and value to homes graced with this very special reclaimed wood. It's also a "green" building material, there are often stories associated with it, and its quality, strength and stability has been sought after by craftsmen for generations.


When you're paying $4 - $15/sq. ft., it's certainly a disadvantage if there's any uncertainty about the product you're actually paying for. Particularly when choosing higher quality Antique Heart Pine Floor, you'll want to be certain your supplier is as knowledgeable as he'd like you to think that he is.

Heart Pine Flooring in Homes

For over 200 years, heartpine has been used as a durable, long lasting building material in homes and buildings. The longleaf pine was the virgin growth tree of choice along the lower elevations from Maryland to Texas. Slaves with pit saws, and with water powered sawmills in later years, helped early Americans utilize this termite and rot resistant building material in their homes.

Longleaf pine was an extremely important part of the Industrial Revolution. Because of their tremendous strength, timbers could span 25 feet distances and hold up thick heart pine floors that supported the buildings machines. Today, most of those factories and mills are in poor shape, if they are still standing at all. They are now being torn down, but in many cases the heart pine can be reclaimed and reused for beautiful flooring, stair parts, doors, cabinets, and millwork in fine homes being built and renovated today.

Heart pine flooring is best acquired from a lumber mill whose focus is antique lumber. If you prefer vintage wood flooring or antique wood flooring, a lumber mill that specializes in reclaimed lumber and sustainable wood flooring options would be your best bet. Whole Log Lumber specializes in both. This lumber mill/wood floor manufacturer has been providing quality heart pine flooring, antique wood flooring, and vintage lumber supplies, to deserving homes across the nation since 1984

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Friday, 20 March 2009

How to Fit Laminate and Wooden Floors Easily

Laminate floors or wood effect floors are increasingly more popular these days as more and more people prefer a nice clean natural look in their living spaces. Apart from this there are the additional advantages that laminate or wood effect flooring is easy to manage and clean. If you spill a mug of coffee on a nice light coloured carpet then this could spell disaster as it may be difficult to remove any stains or damage that has been caused. However, should the same happen with laminate wood effect flooring, it is simply a case of getting the mop out and mopping it.

Preparing To Lay A Laminate Wooden Floor

Preparation is the key to laying a wooden floor successfully. Before you even consider laying the floor, you must totally prepare the surface that it is to be laid on ensuring it is as level as possible with any protrusions such as nails etc, being removed prior. Many people lay laminate wooden flooring and do not get the required results simply because their preparation was wrong. Once your surface is ready for fitting you can then proceed to start the first part of laying your new wooden floor.

The Correct Underlay Is Essential

For your floor to be right it will be necessary to put down an underlay for your laminate wooded floor to lie on. You can purchase the underlay from where you bought your flooring or any DIY store such as B and Q etc. Don't try to skimp on using any old type of underlay as it will simply not produce the desired results. The underlay you use will I n most case be made out of foam, come in a roll and be anywhere between 2 to 3 mm thick. You then lay this out in sections as you proceed to fit the wooden floor.

If you are fitting you new wooden floor onto a solid floor such as concrete, you must use a suitable DPM (damp proof membrane) to assist with any possible moisture or damp issues below. Either use a purpose made DPM from your local builders merchants or buy an underlay that combines a DPM with it.

Laying The Wooden Floor

Start fitting the floor from the left side of the room and lay the boards so that the tongue is facing the wall. This will make it simple to fix the next board in place when you need to join on to it. Leave an expansion gap between the wall and first row of boards and once the first row is in place, prepare to lay the second row of boards. Lay the boards in a staggered fashion, starting the next row with say a half of board instead of a full one. That way it you won't be able to see an obvious line on the floor when walking into the room and should any natural expansion take place, it will be less difficult to pick out any discrepancies. Apart from all of this, staggered joints are aesthetically better to look at. Depending on the manufacturer of your wooden floor, you may need to fit one whole row of boards and the lift the whole row In place before joining or butting up to the previous row. You will have instructional details to advise more on this.

Continue to fit the floor with the same staggering method until the whole floor is covered. Any untrue angles or final pieces to be cut may need to be scribed to fit. Remember to leave an expansion gap all around the perimeter or the laminate wooden flooring. This gap will be covered by any new skirting board you are putting on or edge beading.

Kirk Smith's company 4K Construction are professional builders from Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom. Please visit 4K Constructions Builders Talk for professional help and advice on construction, DIY, and all aspects of building.

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Let Your Carpet Or Floor Live Longer!

Have you placed glass or plastic chair mats below your chairs to protect your carpet or your lovely hardwood flooring? Have you used spiked mats or wired the chair mats so that they will not move while you move your chair? If so, you may have doomed your carpets and hardwood floor and created the right environment for an early demise.

How is this you ask? When you place plastic or glass mats on a carpet you prevent the air from freely circulating under them. The carpet may not wear out as you roll your chair, but it will be short lived because it is not freely aired! The plastic or glass mat will trap gases beneath the carpet and cause discoloration of the carpet. Regularly moving your desk and lifting the glass mats may help you air the carpet but the amount of work involved will surely be cause for putting this unwelcome task off.

Secondly, if you place chair mats which are fitted with “spikes” under your chair, they cannot be easily moved. Even if you meticulously clean the surrounding carpet, over the years the colors of the carpet will dim and fade. However, the carpet below the chair mat will remain untouched and will not fade. Soon you will have a piece of carpet which does not match with the rest of carpeting in the room. What do you do? This problem could be alleviated by using a chair mat that was simple to reposition and clean under.

And often, plastic mats tend to abrade the fine finishes used on hardwood floors. Unless equipped with proper backings, the plastic mats tend to conform to any material they are placed over, making a full size backing material mandatory to protect the floor.

The newest type of chair mats now available are made from high density wood products and come in a number of wood grained finishes such as oak, mahogany, walnut and cherry. These finish options will match with all kinds of d├ęcor and give you the very functionality you are looking for in rolling comfort and flooring protection without the disadvantages already mentioned. The chair mats come in several shapes and sizes and are padded with rubber to provide it with the necessary flooring protection and still avoid unwanted movement of the mat during use. As they are not fitted with spikes, or wired in place, they can be lifted and carpets or floors cleaned and aired regularly. They can be easily be repositioned to ensure that the wear and tear of the carpet or floor is in synchronization with the wear and tear of the carpet or floor elsewhere in the room. These wooden chair mats can also be relocated along with other furniture of the room to an entirely different position without incurring huge expenses of relaying carpets or redoing the floors! The choice is yours!

About the Author
SuccessImage supplies high-end furnishing accessories such as wood laminate chair mats and desk mats for executive and home offices alike.

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Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Laminate Flooring Cost Saving Tips

Laminate flooring is perhaps one of the hottest new trends out on the market these days. You have a large variety of colors and styles to choose from - making this a very attractive choice. This article will take a look at a couple of suggestions you might look at, if you're on a tight budget.

If you have a certain look and feel you are after but you just simply cannot afford to purchase high-quality stuff. You can find some great bargains by checking around at your local home improvement stores or you're flooring supply stores. If you catch them at the right time, they may be having blowout sales.

Make A Few Phone Calls

One of the keys to finding really good sales is not to watch your paper for the next great deal. Because then everybody else will be aware of the deal and you may lose out. What you need to do is actually make contact with the stores and talk to the management or owners and see when they might have some overstock product that they want to close out or get rid of.

Overstock Material Rules

The great thing about laminate flooring is that it is not too pricey to start with. If you go with a medium grade quality material - You might often be surprised at how many stores have returned items or overstock that they simply just need to close out and will sell it at or near their cost in order to get rid of the extra material.

Not As Much Selection

Although you may not be able to be as picky in the styles that you choose from when you're looking at overstock material, I think you'll find that the savings in most laminate flooring products is substantial and well work, taking a chance with.

For more information on flooring try visiting - a website that specializes in providing helpful flooring tips, advice and resources to include Laminate Flooring and more

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Saturday, 14 March 2009

How To Properly Care Bamboo Floor

There are many kinds of materials that for producing flooring cover, they cloud be wood, vinyl, rubber, etc. Bamboo is also one of the materials that home owner use as flooring materials because bamboo provides soft feeling when you step on it. More importantly bamboo floor will make your room looks clean and give natural atmosphere as well as pleasant look. However, bamboo floor need intensive care because bamboo is very sensitive to condition around them so that’s why they are not very popular among home owner. However, with its advantages, if you can maintain them properly, bamboo floor is good kind of material that used as flooring materials.

Firstly, be careful of dust. Bamboo floor will look unpleasant even though there is just a little amount of dust on the floor. The most suitable way we can reduce amount of dust on bamboo floor is to provide mat at the doorway, so visitor can clean their shoes and feet before entering the room. However, you have to make sure that you choose a good quality mat and it must be well in dust catching and the mat should also be cleaned easily. Buy a mat that is able to catch some extra agent like oil will be very useful because the ordinary type of mat could not sweep oil stain that your visitor may bring from outside. The other important thing about dust mat is you have to clean the mat as often as you can. It will be wasted if you have a good quality mat but you never clean it or clean it not often enough. Imagine that if you not clean the mat often, dust will accumulated in the mat and when new visitor step on the mat, they will bring dust back into the room and of course, it is not good for your bamboo floor.

Secondly are the types of shoes that you wear. Some types of shoes are not friendly with bamboo floor as they will make a lot of scratch to the floor. Especially high-heels shoes, boots, and shoes with cleats, these type shoes and make extreme damage to the bamboo floor. In case if you must walk on bamboo floor with these shoes. In order to reduce damage that may happened to the floor, you have to check carefully whether you have small piece of rocks, pebbles stick on the shoes, if so, you have to get rid of them all before entering the room.

Thirdly, in case there are some stains, spills on the floor, you have to clean them as quickly as you can. If you leave these spills too long, they will be very difficult to clean. Moreover, use only a lightly damp mop or soft cloth to clean your bamboo floor using too wet mop the floor will make the floor has exceed moisture and eventually cause fungus on the bamboo texture and this is very difficult to clean.

Fourthly, protect the floor from scratch made by heavy furniture. Texture of bamboo is soft so they are very sensitive. In order to protect bamboo floor from scratch, you have to place protective pads at the bottom of all furniture that used in the room. However, again, you have to make sure that all pads are always in good condition. Avoid dragging heavy furniture on bamboo floor, although you have already installed protective pads on them because the weight of furniture some may cause scratches.

Last but not least, you have to clean bamboo floor according to the manufacturer’s suggestion, which generally you must not use wax or non-alkaline floor cleaning products and they most important thing is you have to keep the floor free from water and moisture, which can generate fungus on the floor.

About the Author
Cherdkiat Taesookavat is an architect, providing information and directories about home decor, please visit Bamboo Flooring

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Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Floor Globes – A Beautiful Fixture That Is Sure To Please

It has happened to the best decorators around. You know, that empty looking space in the living room where nothing seems to fit. It is just this void that takes away from the overall look of the space, but there is a way to fill it up with something that would actually enhance your space. And, that way is with floor globes, which are indoor fixtures that are extremely pleasing to the eye.

The beauty of floor globes comes from their design and the many gorgeous materials that they can be crafted from. This design will usually feature a round sphere that sits on some time of base or pedestal. They generally will sit from three to three and a half feet off the ground, making it easy to bend over and look at them. Some of the different materials that they can be crafted from include wood, acrylic, glass, gemstones and other stones, along with metals like silver and gold. Each has a spectacular appearance and creates a fixture that is almost like a small piece of artwork.

Since floor globes have such a fantastic look to them, one would really be a lovely addition to any room throughout your space. Like, that living room that has an empty spot, or you could even use it as the decorative focal point in the room where you have everything else built up around it. Another nice choice for one would be a home office, or even a work office, as a great way to really give the room a professional look. Other ideas for where you could put one include any den, bedroom, recreational room, and even a dining room as nice decorative accents.

Along with being beautiful, floor globes are also extremely practical since they are an accurate 3-D representation of the earth. They depict everything, including continents, bodies of water, mountain ranges, counties, states, and cities. So, one would be a nice tool to teach your kids about geography and all the important geographical locations. Plus, you can even get ones that are raised relief where the mountain ranges are actually raised up off the globe. They feel like little bumps, making it easy for you to tell the difference between the regular flat space and those that have mountains on them.

For a fast and easy way to check out floor globes and the wide variety that are available, instead of heading to the local department store, just hit the internet. Through online shopping, you can compare prices and products in not time, making it a breeze for you to find exactly what you are looking for.

So, if you are stumped as to how to fill up that empty space in your living room, there is a simple solution to the problem, which are floor globes. They are stunning indoor fixtures and one would definitely enhance the look of your living room, or any room throughout your home for that matter. Get one today, because when you are complement on your decorating style, you will be glad that you did.

About the Author
Jesse Akre, owner of several unique home design sites gives comments on world globes and gemstone globes. Click: earth globe.

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Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Sub-Floor Inspection

For any type of boards as a sub-floor, be sure to nail down any loose boards. Eliminate any squeaks you find by nailing or screwing the boards into place. It may be necessary to reinforce underlying joists in order to remove all squeaks.

Make sure that the moisture of the sub-floor will not be a problem. This is the main cause for hardwood floor failure. It is very important that the sub-floor be continuously dry throughout the year. There should be no more than a 5% moisture content variance between the sub-floor and the hardwood flooring.

Making sure that the site is level is also very important. Generally, a maximum tolerance of 3/16" over a distance of 10 ft. is a good rule of thumb to go by. You can fill in any low lying portions with an underlay structure or some type of compound material. If you use a compound material, be sure to let this substance dry completely before continuing on to the rest of the project.

Finally, before moving on to the next portion of your project, carefully clean the sub-floor. You should scrape, grind or sand any debris and foreign material from the floor. Be sure to sweep up all debris and remove from the work area.

Wood Floor Plank Installation

Now that you've got the site prepared, it's time to lay down some wood flooring! You'll want to determine the direction in which the flooring will be laid. Usually, the flooring planks will be laid perpendicular to the joist, which generally means they will run parallel to the longer wall. If you are unsure about which way the joist is positioned, do be sure to ascertain this information. As they say, "better safe than sorry".

If more than a day has passed since your sub-floor inspection, go ahead and give the area another sweeping t o be sure it is clean and ready to go. Snap a chalk line at a distance of one plank width plus an additional inch. So for a 3 inch plank, this would be 3 inches from the starting wall. In staple or nail installations, the tongue edge should touch the chalk line, with the grooved edge facing the starting wall. In a glue installation, this would be reversed.

Start by placing a row of planks along the chalk line, leaving the inch gap around the perimeter for expansion of the wood floor.

Secure the first row of planks with finishing nails. Nails should be placed about 2 inches from the ends of the planks, 1-1/2 inch from the groove and also at each 10-12 inches along the length of each wood plank. As you go along, don't forget to leave that same inch gap on all side of the wood floor.

For a nice finish, use a center punch to counter sink the nails and then fill the holes with a matching wood putty or filler. For the first row of boards, pre-drill holes directly through the plank tongues at a 45 degree angle.

As you lay the planks, it is a good idea to take planks from several different boxes to ensure an even selection of different lengths. The ends of each plank should always be more than 6 inches from the end of he neighboring plank.

The last row will have to be tapped into place using a tapping board. Do not use a rubber mallet, as the focused force can easily chip or crack the planks.

That's the gist of how to install wood floor planks. There are a variety of manufacturers, as well as styles, colors widths and finishes of flooring to choose from. Take a look at your local flooring store or an online retailer to get some ideas about the available styles and you're on your way!

About The Author:
Alphonso has been working in the home remodeling industry for last 5 years. Take advantage of his experience and written material on flooring ideas at his website at

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Installing Hardwood Flooring Over Concrete and Wood Sub Floors

Expansion & Contraction of Hardwood Flooring

"The flooring shop said to leave 10mm for solid wood floor expansion at the the boards are lifting off the floor." Ill informed advice like this often leads to floor problems. Many flooring sales people unfamiliar with solid wood flooring assume expansion is the same as laminate flooring. In reality that 10mm is not enough for solid wood flooring.

What Is An Expansion Area? Why Do We Need It?

Expansion areas are spaces left around the perimeter of rooms, against fixed objects such as columns, thresholds, hearths, skirting boards, and other stationary items built or secured into the framing structure of the home. Even though Hardwood flooring used is no longer living and breathing it still reacts to moisture changes in the environment. The cells in the solid wood will take on or absorb moisture when the relative humidity is high, or when exposed to water. Expansion takes place, and the hardwood grows, for lack of a clearer term, across the grain (width) of the plank (see below, not all will react this way). Conversely when air moisture levels decrease, moisture content evaporates, shrinking of the solid wood will occur.

When we say spaces, they are defined as installing the hardwood flooring up to and away from the fixed objects. For example; "we recommend at least 15mm small to medium area-18mm expansion on larger areas at the skirting board or wall if new skirting to be fitted."

Hardwood flooring can react to the presence of moisture. In the dry winter heating months, moisture can leave the wood flooring causing the floor to contract slightly in size, which can leave slight gaps between each floor board. In the summer months when the humidity is higher, the hardwood flooring will expand and the gaps will disappear. If there is too much moisture in the subfloor it will cause the wood planks to cup, or buckle. Nearly all problems related to hardwood flooring are due to improper installation and sub floor preparation. This is why it is important when installing hardwood flooring that you follow the correct recommended installation methods by the manufacturer.

Direct Glue Installations

A direct glue installation requires the use of a flooring adhesive applied directly onto the subfloor (never directly apply to the boards). This method can be used on concrete and wooden subfloors. When done correctly this is the most stable method for fitting solid wood flooring as the elastic flooring adhesive allows the floor to expand and contract with no problems.

If you are laying over a concrete subfloor you will first need checked the concrete moisture, if the floor has a moisture content of over 4% then either wait until the sub floor dries to meet this level or use an appropriate moisture barrier, we recommend Sika Mb Primer to ensure no damp rises up into your new floor.

Also note that new concrete slabs require a minimum of 60 days drying time before covering them with a wood floor.

All Concrete sub-floors must be dry, smooth, level and free of structural defects. If the concrete sub floor is uneven we recommend using sika latex self leveling compound to level the subfloor. The concrete must also be free of contaminants i.e. paint, oil, wax grease, dirt and curing compounds (the reason for this is that you need the self leveling compound to bond to the sub floor).These may be removed chemically or mechanically as your local hardware store and they will sell you the correct floor cleaner, but do not use solvent-based strippers under any circumstances. The use of residual solvents can create problems with the bonding of flooring adhesives. It is important to ensure a proper bond between the adhesives and concrete and wood panels.

If you have a wooden subfloor you will need to lay a plywood base over the existing floor boards (we recommend using 4mm -6mm exterior grade plywood and screw down every 15cm along the edges and at 20cm intervals throughout the rest of the board using the 1 inch deck screws) before installation, this will then give you a smooth and level surface for you to install you hardwood flooring onto.

You will need to leave a 15mm expansion gap around the perimeter of the room for large areas over 6 meters in length we recommend 18mm expansion gap. To maintain this gap during installation spacers are provided in the kits. After you have installed the hardwood floor you can cover this expansion gap with scotia or new skirting boards The 15mm expansion gap also needs to be left in doorways where the hardwood floor follows through from one room to another we sell on this website a full range of door profiles available to match your floor.

Nailed Down Installations

Nailed down installation is the traditional way to install hardwood floors and can be done either directly onto wooden subfloor or on a concrete subfloor with the use of battens. When fixing battens onto concrete you will need a power-actuated nailer to drive through the battens and fix directly into the concrete, firstly lay out polyethylene moisture sheet then plywood over the battens to create a new sub floor. We recommend 12mm exterior grade plywood and 2inch x 4inch battens. Lay battens around perimeter at ½ inch from the wall, leave ¼ inch gap at each end. Position the first batten so its centre is 16 inches from the outside edge of the perimeter batten. Lay out the remaining battens across the area 16 inch intervals. Always check you battens are level using a level gauge you may need to use cedar shims to level out dips in the concrete, slide the shims under the battens until level. (If in doubt we recommend consulting a professional fitter for this method).

Wooden Subfloor

Hardwood floors can be nailed into existing wooden subfloors such as floorboards or plywood but not into chipboard floors as these are not strong enough to hold the nails. The floorboards must be in good condition and level if not it is advisable to lay 6mm exterior grade plywood down first.

To avoid creaking, check over the subfloor and securely fasten any loose floorboards. For added soundproofing it is also advisable to use a standard foam underlay.

When you nail down a solid wood floor you use a Porta Nailer to drive a nail at a 30 degree angle through the tongue and into the subfloor. Porta Nailers can be hired from any good hire shop but are expensive to buy.

Again you will need to leave a 15mm expansion gap around the perimeter of the room. To maintain this gap during installation spacers are provided in the installation kits.

After you have installed the floor you can cover this expansion gap with scotia or new skirting boards.The 15mm expansion gap also needs to be left in doorways where the floor follows through from one room to another; we sell full range of door profiles available to match your floor on this website.


When ordering your new floor we recommend you allow for some wastage due to cuts a professional fitter would add on an extra 2%-5% of flooring needed to finish a job. We recommend non professional fitter should add on 5%-10%.
for futher information visit our website where you can also buy the wood flooring online at

Great Hardwood Floor Ideas

Here are our ideas about hardwood floors. First of all don't underestimate the power of a hardwood floor in your house to improve it. Like a fine piece of furniture, wood flooring increases in value and becomes more beautiful with time. In a national survey, 90 percent of real estate agents said that houses with wood flooring sell faster and for more money.

Unlike many floor coverings, wood floors can last the lifetime of the building in which they are installed. Home owners who want them to last that long, however, should note the number one enemy of a hardwood floor: moisture. Wood floors naturally expand when moisture is present and shrink when it is not. Whether the reactions are a problem or not depends on the severity of the situation. So, do make sure that you maintain your house well and be sure to avoid damp occurring in the area of you very special wood floor.

If you have recently moved into an old house with hardwood floors throughout you may find that the only problem is that they are old and that they really should be refinished. But, if you cannot immediately find the time and/or money to do that there are water-based clear finishes that will make it glossy again. If you are going to sand and re-finish later, then this might be something to consider. One coat will 'get you by' for now.

If with your hard wood floor you want the perfect floor to complement your original style and unique taste. Whether you're searching for something in particular or waiting to be stunned by he look of you house. We suggest that many people do like Bruce Hardwood floors. They offer premium hardwood flooring designed to keep up with your family's lifestyle. Bruce says that it offers the largest selection of colors and styles in wood flooring, and that these are virtually care-free finishes and come with their assurance of quality.

Hardwood floors are readily available from other manufacturers as well that are incredibly beautiful, highly durable and extremely affordable. And as an added bonus, they're natural and safe for the environment.

Hardwood Floors is also the name of an official magazine of the NWFA. It is distributed free of charge to NWFA members and other qualified wood flooring professionals upon request. We understand that it is the only magazine serving the hardwood flooring industry exclusively. It is published seven times a year, and is sent to more than 24,000 hardwood flooring professionals throughout the world, including contractors, dealers, distributors, manufacturers, builders, architects and other industry professionals.

It includes an annual Resource Book which they say is the ultimate guide to companies and products in the wood flooring industry. A searchable version of the Resource Book is available online.

Embarking on the search for just the right flooring for your home can become daunting. But if you want hardwood flooring ideas just think of plush, luxurious carpets in thousands of hues and patterns. Consider the hand crafted beauty of exotic and domestic hard woods in hand-scraped, distressed and smooth surfaces. There's also the diverse styles and durability of laminate flooring.

Also, do not forget the richness of ceramic tiles. Put these choices together from so many choices available at good stores and for every room in your home you can express your unique ideas express and your personal style against the ageless backdrop of a beautiful wood floor.

Steve Evans is a fan of hardwood floors visit the Hardwood Floors 'How to' website now for more information and additional ideas.

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Friday, 6 March 2009

Your Guide on Using Laminate Flooring With an Underfloor Heating System

Under floor heating is growing in popularity as a great way to heat your home evenly and effectively. Not only does an under floor heating system free up valuable wall space in smaller homes, but it is economical to run and inexpensive to install. Under floor heating is also more effective as a heating option as heat rises, so why not allow it to emanate from the floor and up into your rooms naturally?

The great part about under floor heating is that it is invisible and it can be installed under almost every type of floor covering, including carpets, tiles, timber and laminate flooring. Not only does this give you more space but it allows you to remove bulky or unsightly heaters and also gives you a more even quality of heat that rises gently from the floor.

Anyone wanting to install under floor heating in a home should be aware that your floor needs to be insulated properly so that the heat can flow up into the room rather than down. Floor heating can be one of the most comfortable ways to heat your home, gently warming your home throughout. Under floor insulation doesn't need to be thick and bulky, in fact more modern solutions to under floor insulation are only millimetres thick.

Carbon heating film designed to be installed as an under floor system beneath laminate flooring is an extremely effective heating system, so you could completely replace unsightly radiators or other noisy, draughty heating solutions.

The ingenious basis behind the carbon under floor heating system is the successful implementation of several components. A thin specially-made insulation layer is installed on your floors first, followed by installing the carbon elements. A moisture barrier is then laid to protect both the carbon elements and your laminate flooring. These combined components are no more than a few millimetres thick and are designed to replace the usual underlay that would normally be laid beneath laminate flooring. You control your under floor heating system by way of a digital thermostat so you can control the ambient temperature in your rooms with a push of a button.

The amazing design of the heating element means that it can be cut to suit any room and even be laid around corners. The only restriction you have is that you can't cut the heating element itself, but the mat that forms the structure of the heating system can be shaped to suit your room size.

You can install your heating system on either timber or concrete flooring easily, so along with the stunning finish of your timber laminate flooring makes your home the perfect low maintenance home. Under floor carbon laminate heating systems don't require maintenance every season like other heaters and your laminate flooring is very easy to care for.

Timber laminate under floor heating systems are incredibly energy efficient and can be very economical to run compared with other heating units and are completely silent when operating. These systems are highly recommended for asthma sufferers or those afflicted by allergies.

Derek Rogers is a freelance writer who represents a number of UK businesses. For a wide range of flooring, he recommends Completely Flooring, one of the UK's leading suppliers of Laminate Flooring.

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Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Tips on Laying Laminate Flooring on an Uneven Surface

Laminate flooring has become a remarkably popular flooring option for many homeowners not only because of its stylish finish but also because of its low maintenance quality. Laminate timber flooring is amazingly durable, is available in such a wide variety of styles, colours and finishes that it is easy to find one that suits any taste or decor.

Laminate flooring is simply a plank of composite wood with a layer of resin on top that has been imprinted to appear like a real timber finish. Laminate timber flooring is much cheaper than hardwood timbers and requires less maintenance to keep up its great appearance.

Most laminate flooring systems are relatively simple to install using its simple tongue-and-groove locking system. As this flooring is usually a floating floor system, this means it's connected to each other plank, but not attached to your walls or floors. It is vitally important when you are planning to install your own laminate flooring to prepare the floor surface correctly before you lay your flooring.

If you have existing flooring already installed, remove it completely. If you previously had carpet, then pull it up and dispose of this and the old underlay padding beneath it. Take particular care to remove any tack strips around the edges of the room that would have secured the old carpet in place. Some floors may need to be scraped back to remove any excess padding or other items stuck to the floor.

Be sure to clean the floor thoroughly, either with a vacuum or a stiff bristled broom. Once the floor is clean and clear of debris you will be better positioned to determine if the floor is even or not.

When installing laminate timber flooring, it is important you create a floor surface that is as even as possible. Laminate is quite thin, so any imperfections or bumps will be noticeable beneath your flooring. Without taking adequate care to level the sub floor beneath your floating floors, you may find the floorboards may dip or bow in areas that are uneven.

If you have a concrete floor and you notice that the surface is uneven or pitted with holes or other imperfections, you can skim on a layer of thin set to create a flatter surface. This thin set is like a very fine gypsum underlayment that you simply pump over your existing floor and level out using a spirit level to ensure your screed layer is evenly spread across the floor. Once this has set, you will be left with a very smooth level surface that will be ideal to install your laminate onto.

However if you have a plywood subfloor, you may need to spend some time repairing any damaged sections you find in the plywood. Plywood can absorb moisture and break down over time, which then causes the damaged section to bulge, creating an obvious bump in your floor. In order to repair sections of plywood subflooring, you may need to cut out the damaged section and replace with new plywood.

Derek Rogers is a freelance writer who represents a number of UK businesses. For tips on installing your flooring, he recommends Completely Flooring, one of the UK's leading suppliers of Laminate Flooring.

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Sunday, 1 March 2009

Marble Flooring Could Be the Difference in Making the Sale

Marble flooring may just be one of the best closers for any business. If you have ever walked into a lobby of any prestigious company the one thing you'll notice is that they usually have a very elegant look about them. Just imagine walking into a company where you plan to do business and everything looks shabby; especially the floor.

Although it may cost you a little bit more to install marble flooring in your lobby or entry way - it is a very durable finish and speaks volumes about your company. This does not necessarily apply just to the big companies either. If you own a small or medium-sized company, you might be able to gain a winning edge over your competition if you have an entrance that says you're about quality.

If you make a good first impression on them - You may be able to close the sale much quicker and easier than you would have expected. Marble flooring is a surface that you will have to get professionally maintained if you are installing it into a lobby or hallway.

If you're thinking about marble flooring as a possibility you might want to go around and visit some of the larger offices in your area and ask them who their contractor is or who did the flooring work. It won't hurt to also think about yourself as the customers when you walk into these various buildings, and see if you don't notice just a little bit different feeling when you step on that floor and see just how solid and beautiful it looks.

For more information on flooring try visiting, a website that specializes in providing helpful flooring tips, advice and resources to include Marble Flooring and more.

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