Friday, 31 July 2009

Hardwood Floor Refinishing - For The Faint Of Heart

Are your beautiful hardwood floors not so beautiful anymore? Maybe they just need a refinishing job. It can be a daunting task, but here are some ideas to make it a little easier.

If your hardwood floors are in dire need of refinishing, get a few estimates from professionals. You may be surprised at the figures. You'll want to sit down when they tell you it will cost you $1200 to have your living room redone. You could carpet over it for less, but doesn't carpeting over beautiful hardwood floors seem, well, wrong?

Contrary to what you may have heard, the finish doesn't take days and days to dry. It’s quite simple actually. Go to your favorite local home improvement store, Lowe’s, Menard’s, Home Depot or other. Rent a sander. You'll need a drum sander, a belt sander or both. They will explain to you how to use the machine and tell you what kind of sand paper to purchase. They will also tell you what kind of stain and finish to get. Make sure you also pick up some dust masks because you will have saw dust everywhere.

The sanders are very easy to use. They're a bit on the loud side. The key is to keep it moving at all times. Do not stop or you will get a divot in your wood. Think of it like a clothes iron. You need to keep it moving or you will burn your clothes. Same deal with the sander. It creates a lot of heat and you will burn or dent your floors if you hesitate in one place too long.

You will feel like a Zamboni driver smoothing out your surface. Word of caution, you do need to maintain control of the machine at all times. It is self propelled, like a lawn mower or a basset hound on a leash. When you power it up, hold on to the machine tightly. Don't be afraid of it and after a few passes, you'll start to even have fun.

First you need to remove the old finish, base coat, color, and top coat. You may opt to forgo the color (stain) and just use the nature color of the wood. You will still need to apply a finish to it.

There are basically two types of floor finishes: one is oil-based and the other is water-based polyurethane. Oil-based is available in a satin, semi-gloss or gloss finish. Satin works well on floors because it hides small flaws and lets the natural beauty of the wood show without a bright shine. Oil-based also produces a warm amber look that gives you the traditional glow of wood floors. Water-based polyurethane dries clear and resists yellowing. Water-based also dries quicker.

Make sure you let each coat thoroughly dry before applying the next; same as you would nail polish. Give your floor at least 24-36 hours before moving furniture back on it. It will continue to harden in the first couple of weeks.

Don't be overwhelmed. Instead of looking at refinishing your hardwood floors as a humungous job, look at it as giving your room a manicure, one step at a time. You'll also save yourself as much as $1,000 by doing it yourself.

Tag : floor,hardwood floor,floor refinishing,floor tiles,wood floor

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Cleaning Bamboo Flooring - Simple Yet Effective Techniques

Now more than ever, bamboo flooring is becoming more popular because it provides homeowners with a relatively low-maintenance option to other types of wood flooring. This type of flooring is able to save a significant amount of time and many people are now looking to it for home remodeling projects. Whether a homeowner or someone looking to remodel, there are some simple things that can help make it easier for cleaning bamboo flooring.

First, if nothing else, make sure to avoid letting water sit on top of the flooring. This is similar to wood flooring and although bamboo flooring is generally resistant to moisture, this does not mean that it absorbs moisture without showing some side effects. You can use a damp cloth or mop to wipe it but avoid anything that might be sopping wet. Beyond avoiding a lot of water on the surface, a simple broom or vacuum will go a long way. Simple sweeping or using the extra attachment to collect dust and particles will keep the floor clean (and pleasing to the eye!)

One important thing to note is that a bamboo floor should not be cleaned with the same cleaners that are used on other surfaces like wood or even man-made materials like tile. The bamboo will not react well to the chemicals that are in the cleaners and will probably take some of the shine off of the floor. On a related note, standard waxes and other polishes that are appropriate for wood floors will not work well on bamboo floors.

Lastly, there are some other things that you can do to keep your floor looking good. First, try to avoid wearing high heels or other items that can leave small dents in the floor. Similarly, if you need to move around heavy things on the floor, place small pads underneath the legs of chairs, sofas, or tables, as these have the potential to leave scratches or other damage on the floor.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Bamboo Flooring Cost - The Benefits Far Outweigh the Actual Costs!

Remodeling the home can be a great way to increase the value of your home and one of the things you may want to consider is to refinish an older floor or to even consider putting in a new floor. One of the types of floors that has grown in popularity is bamboo flooring. While there are a variety of reasons to choose this type of flooring, cost is an important consideration. Bamboo flooring has been heralded as a reasonably priced alternative to traditional wood flooring. Part of this is because bamboo grows much faster than most trees and as a result, can be harvested and turned over sooner.

Since it can grow faster than a traditional tree, it qualifies as a "green" material. By being able to replace itself at a more rapid pace, farmers are able to take advantage of this and grow more product. For buyers, it means that bamboo flooring is also typically priced lower than many other types of high-end flooring. More importantly, it also means that homeowners who are interested in remodeling can look to bamboo as an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional tree flooring.

In addition, bamboo can be installed with more ease than most wood flooring. This can be important if you are trying to calculate how much it may cost to install flooring, as labor costs can often eat up a significant portion of your budget. Additionally, bamboo flooring tends to require lower maintenance, which will save both time and money. By handling moisture better than many other materials, it will save money over time by requiring less preventative care. Its ability to resist many insects, also means less money spent on fumigation and other extraneous costs. Overall, a bamboo floor can provide a great alternative to other materials!

Tag : floor,flooring,bamboo flooring,wood floor,hardwood floor

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Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Bamboo Flooring Pros and Cons - The Advantages and Disadvantages

Due to its charming appeal bamboo flooring is rapidly becoming popular. Bamboo flooring looks more attractive due to the presence of marks created at the nodes of the bamboos which have a bit darker color than other parts. Though bamboo flooring can be a great choice for many people, it always pays to study the advantages and disadvantages associated with them before you go for one.

Points in favor of bamboo flooring:

Tough and long lasting : Even though bamboo is not solid due to the hole inside, it is quite sturdy and tough. Compared to other hardwoods bamboo is tougher. It does not wear out easily and scratches and holes are not easily created on bamboos.

Damp proof : Bamboo does not absorb moistures and spills can not damage it easily. As such for the floors of kitchens and bathrooms it is preferred to other hardwoods.

Nature friendly : Use of bamboos is quite preferable from the point of view of nature friendliness. The trees from which we obtain hardwoods take almost 50 to 100 years to mature while a mature bamboo can be obtained within 5 to 7 years. Moreover bamboos can be grown to get regular supply of it thereby saving a lot of trees in the nature from being cut.

Can be cleaned easily : Bamboo floors can be kept clean without much effort just by sweeping daily and using a mop once in a week.

Arguments against bamboo flooring : Floating of bamboo floors sometimes turns out to be almost impossible as such before installation of bamboo flooring the restrictions associated with it must be studied.

Some people have witnessed that bamboo floors break down quite easily than other hardwood floor. Before you go for bamboo flooring you must consider its pros and cons so that you can make a well thought out decision.

However, the people who use bamboo floors have generally found that bamboo hardwood floors can be kept cleaned easily, can be installed easily and are eye-catching and tougher than other hardwood flooring materials. Bamboo floors are being preferred by more and more people as they last quite longer than other hardwood floors. The number of people opting for bamboo hardwood flooring is rising day by day and this trend is expected to continue in future.

Tag : floor,bamboo flooring,flooring,floor tiles,hardwood floor,bamboo hardwood

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Floor Tiles - Cover Your Home

Are you considering on having some Floor Tiles installed in your home? Well, that is a rather great choice. It is elegant, economical, and best of all, efficient and easy to clean. There are a few things you may need to keep in mind when selecting tiles to be installed for you to have the best outcome there could possibly be in this sort of flooring. There are different kinds of Floor Tiles; the most common ones are made from porcelain, ceramic or stone.

First off, you must be able to distinguish Floor Tiles from wall tiles. They make look exactly the same and you may get inclined to the design of wall tiles as they often have great designs. You must always keep in mind that having wall tiles installed on your floor may look great but may not be safe and may not withstand the same amount of wear and tear of a floor over a wall. Floor Tiles are thicker and are often given a finish which is greater in safety to walk on.

Cleaning is a breeze when it comes to Floor Tiles; especially if it was finished with gloss and treatment. You can mop it and sweep it as you please without having to worry about the stains or liquids to set in. If your concern is the possibility of scratches on the surface due to the weight of the fixtures and furniture in the room, you could always use non-slip and scratch free tapes on the base of the furniture so you can move it freely without having to worry about damaging the surface or hiding furniture marks.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Tips to Keep Your Bamboo Floor Clean and Beautiful Forever

Once we install a bamboo floor in our home or office, the next thing to think about is how to keep it clean. Compared to traditional wooden floor, bamboo floor takes very less effort to keep it maintained. However, one should know how to keep the beauty and strength of the floor intact for a long time with little effort. The main issues associated with the cleaning of bamboo floor are dust, shoe-marks, stains and scratches. There are several types of cleaning equipment and agents available for cleaning the floor.

Even a little bit of dust on the floor affects the beauty and glow of the floor. Especially, if the floor is of dark color, dust particles are easily visible. Therefore, it is very essential to remove the dust from time to time. People should always keep door-mat, clean the mat regularly and try to keep the floor dry. Even a little moisture on the floor leads the dust to stay there only and eventually leave dirty marks.

The second factor responsible for making dirt and scratches on the floor are the shoes. Some types of shoes are not suitable for wearing on bamboo floor. Some shoes with the design on the bottom for extra grip may lead to accumulation of dirt and mud inside the sole. High-heels shoes leave scratch marks on the floor, which is the dirtiest mark and can not be removed. To avoid any damage to our bamboo floor we have to ensure than our shoes are either removed outside or properly cleaned before entering the floor.

Stain is the next big issue, which may damage the floor if not taken care of at a right time. Any kind of stain should be removed at a sight with the help of specialty equipment and a stain removing solution suitable for bamboo floor. We should use soft clothe or a little wet mop to clean such stains otherwise cleaning vigorously with a hard substance may only end up leaving scratch marks on the floor making it look even dirtier.

When it comes to the scratches on the floor, furniture plays an important role. Moving heavy furniture here and there carelessly is an invitation to big, ugly scratches on the floor. We should try to avoid unnecessary movements of the tables and sofas to keep the problem away in the first instance. Or if we find moving furniture as a part of cleaning, then we can put small piece of a pad or cardboard or have furniture with small wheels so that they can easily slide without harming the floor.

Ultimately, we need to follow the instructions given by the supplier for proper cleaning of the floor using proper equipment and solutions. We should strictly avoid some cleaning agents like wax or non-alkaline cleaners to keep our bamboo floor clean and even more beautiful forever.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Floor Tiles - How to Effectively Install Them

If your house is new or is under renovation, you will definitely need to install new tiles for your floor to give it a fresh and elegant look. And a well-planned design and good installation have an important part in completing this project. Think about this, you may spend large sum of money for buying tiles with nice designs, however, if you installed them incorrectly, they will just look cheaper than they are really worth. So, you really have to pay extra attention with installing your floor tiles at home.

If you want to achieve the best look for your home, keep these things in mind when installing floor tile:

1. Be sure that you have a rough draft of the tiling pattern to use. When preparing the rough draft, use the actual dimensions of the tiles and the area to be tiled. After you have estimated the required number of tiles needed, add a few more in case there will be breakage during the installation process.

2. Next, make certain that the area to be tiled is clean. You can also level the floor first by cementing the floor. Leveling the floor will avert any tile breakage when they are already in place. Or another option to level the floor is to place plywood on the floor and then mount the tiles on them.

3. Once you have set everything up and you're ready to lay the tiles, begin in the middle of the room and continue laying the tiles down in the direction of the walls.

4. When you realized that the tile is too big to fit in a particular space, you can simply cut them using a tile cutter.

Lastly, after you have laid all the tiles, you must seal all the joints between the floor tiles. This will prevent stains and dirt from getting in the tile spaces. If you will follow these tips, you will definitely achieve your desired look for that particular space.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Choosing the Right Kitchen Flooring

Kitchen flooring may not offer as good of investment as when you are redoing your cabinets or counter tops. However, it is still an important factor when remodeling any kitchen project. There are some important things that you need to consider before taking on any project for deciding what material you want to use.

When you're working in and around the kitchen preparing a meal for the family - you may be prone to drop heavy cans, knives, bowls, or other sharp utensils and objects that may cause damage to your kitchen flooring.

You may want to consider some type of laminate surface that is done in section so that if you do damage a small section you can replace it easily. You may want to consult the people who are selling you the product on how successful people are with replacing small sections of the certain flooring that you're considering.

The other option to replace sine section would be to do a simple repair. Again you would want to consult with the manufacturer or the company that your purchase in the product from to find out what types of repair materials and how difficult the project will be.

If you remember back a few years to the 60s and 70s many homes would have the builder install indoor outdoor carpet in them. The idea was that this carpet surface could be cleaned up easily or vacuumed - it would also create a warmer feeling to bare or stocking feet. However it wasn't long before people started having moisture problems and stains were always a problem when dropping food on the indoor outdoor kitchen flooring

Sunday, 12 July 2009

The Benefits of Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo flooring is gaining much popularity all around the world since it is cheap, elegant and environment friendly. Let's now look at some points to think about why one should consider using bamboo flooring for his home and what is it that you need to look for while installing it.

You find bamboo which is a kind of grass in most of the areas of Southeast Asia from where it is exported for converting it into flooring. Before it turns out into a material for flooring, it is treated thoroughly so that you can remove all the bugs and insects which might have been in it and also to strengthen the bamboo and make it more durable.

In a period of four to five years, a bamboo grows to maturity and not only this, once harvested it regenerates itself. This is very unlike to other trees that need so many years before they can gives us enough material that can made use for any purpose.

Bamboo flooring can be found in different colors of your choice however many of the well-known colors would be the ones that are close to wood so that we can give the same effect of coziness and warmth. Bamboo flooring is very cheap since it is available very easily and it the re-growth rate is also fast and hence can be afforded by anyone. But, one should get a minimum warranty for 15-20 years on the bamboo flooring since it is much durable and can be maintained easily.

Not only that the amount to be spent on bamboo flooring is less, it also has different qualities and types available. You get for what you pay and therefore don't scrimp on the floors if you wish to have them last for a least of 20 years. Look around and research for best deals on the best quality of available bamboo flooring in the market.

Helpful Tips

When you invest for your home specially for your floors, it is necessary to take all the required measures to make sure you get the right product and hence you need not deals with replacing the floors or repairing it which would cost you both money and time. Performing a little research would take you a long way and give a long term peace of mind at the end.

Searching online would be the best place to start with your research. However, if you buy online, make sure that you don't end up paying a lot for shipping charges. You might also be not able to see things actually or feel the quality and color of the bamboo till the point it comes to your door. Bamboo flooring would be the future in terms of budget, looks and very importantly making sure you have a safe and clean environment for many generations to come. So, the bamboo decorating ideas outlined here for your home or office should be very welcome as well as trendy.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Seven Steps to Installing Hardwood Laminate Flooring

Once you have all your tools, acclimatized your bamboo hardwood laminate flooring boards and have a perfectly level sub floor, you are ready to start installing your laminate floor. The main seven steps to doing this are:

1. Determine what direction the laminate boards will lay. Usually if there is a great deal of light coming from outside through a door or window, the planks lay in a direction away from the light.

2. The first board laid with one end against a wall and one side against an adjacent wall. Place plastic spacers that come with the boards between the board and the walls. When finished laying the bamboo laminate flooring, these will be removed and the space will give the flooring room to expand if necessary.

3. Fit the end of a second board into the the end of the first board, again placing spacers between it's side and the wall. Use the hammering tool you will have received with the boards to lightly hammer each board into the next. Continue to do this until there is not enough room to place a board between the end of the last board and the approaching wall. Measure the distance between the end of the last board and the approaching wall and cut a board to this length (less the size of a spacer). Then place this cut down board into the end of the last board laid and place spacers at the end of the newly laid board and between it and the wall. There's your first row laid.

4. Use the off cut from the last bamboo laminate board as the first board of the next row, if the off cut is long enough. If it is not long enough, then start the second row with a standard board beginning from the end that you finished the first row with. The aim here is to have the ends of the boards in each row staggered so that they do not line up.

5. Use aluminium mouldings to finish off boards that end in a doorway leading outside or into another room that has a different floor covering. These can usually be bought at your bamboo hardwood laminate flooring retailer. Similarly, you can use moulding to connect laminate flooring in doorways between rooms where both rooms have laminate flooring. Alternatively, you can continue the same boards from one room into another but this can be tricky. Sometimes it requires shaving down the tongue in a tongue and groove system so that a board on one side of the door will easily slide straight into a board on the other side. Note that the only way to do this is to have both boards running along the doorway, not through it.

6. Continue with this until the entire floor has been covered with bamboo hardwood laminate boards. Then remove the spacers.

7. If you already have skirting boards and the flooring has been laid up to them, then you will use moulding to cover the gap between the flooring and the skirting boards. Otherwise if the flooring has been laid up to the bottom of the walls, then you will now install skirting boards to cover the gap.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Things to Know If You Want to Install Tile Flooring

Tiles can add a fresh twist to an old, boring floor. There are practical tips, however, on how to install tile flooring properly. Below are some of these practical tips.

1. Making Cuts On the Cutter Board

You need to know how to do this because you will need to cut tiles unless your floor is the perfect size for the tiles that you have. More often than not, there will be spaces in which the regular tile cannot fit in.

2. Cutting Around Faucets, Jams and Wall Plugs

People might get scared about doing this task but once you see it being done, you will realize that you can do it as well. Self tile flooring is usually a home improvement project so that means there are faucets and wall plugs already in place.

3. Using the Tile Nippers

Learning how to use tile nippers will literary cut down on the job time in half. This is a critical tool that you need to learn how to use because failure to do so might ruin your tile flooring project.

4. Installing Backer-Board

The backer board is an extremely important part of the tiling process. It may seem easy to perform because all you have to do is to hammer it down on the floor. However, there are a lot of do's and dont's on how to do this process and knowing these things will save you from having to uproot anything off the floor.

Not knowing how to do the previously mentioned things when you want to install tile flooring might lead you to a lot of broken tiles and wasted money.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

The Type and Design of Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is very helpful to make whichever concept of home become more appealing and looking great. There are many benefits of utilizing this flooring which create several homeowners are turning into this kind of flooring. This flooring will assist you to find the look and feel of the hardwood flooring, ease of care, ease of installation, and also it has the aesthetic appeal.

Laminate flooring installation is by far simple and easy, without a lot of needed preparation work.

This easy and simple installation technique is probably one of the most interesting points of flooring. It only needs a few hand devices and a little understanding of how to use them. Unlike lots of other types of flooring, the laminate flooring installation doesn't require whichever gluing. On one occasion this kind of flooring is in place, it can be utilized directly. It is also simply sweeping off the dirt and wiping off a few left over fingerprints. The floor is then ready to add appeal and warmth into the room.

The quality of laminate flooring is quite great and its cost is running from the cheapest. If you desire to use the best materials of it, it means that you will pay more money for it and also get the best quality of flooring.

Picking the Right Floor for Your Room

The design and type of the flooring can be found to fit into any decor of your room. You can get lots of colors and wood patterns, from light to dark wood patterns to lots of of the newest and brightest colors.

Its reasonable price and its stability are become the most interesting points of laminate flooring. The outer layer, which is the most discernible portion of the floor, is laminated onto the top layer of the substructure. People are more likely to utilize this type of flooring since they realize that they will acquire lots of benefits from it.