Archive for February, 2014

Green Flooring Part 2

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Floors

Installation

  • Use adhesives with low VOC’s
  • Choose water based finishes over solvent based
  • Acceptable adhesives are listed here: http://www.greenhomeguide.com

Adhesives

Adhesives are just as important to consider when purchasing flooring as the flooring itself. Adhesives with harmful toxins can damage indoor air quality by giving off harmful gasses.
Tips for Adhesives:

  • Choose low VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds)
  • Do not contain formaldehyde
  • Qualify for the Carpet and Rug Institutes Indoor Air Quality green label
  • Once installed, floors still give off gas compounds
  • Less durable floors have to be replaced more often
  • High maintenance floors use more harsh chemicals
  • Consider floors that don’t have to be refinished

Green Flooring Part 1

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Floors


Green flooring is any flooring that is sustainable, eco-friendly, contains recycled content, is recyclable, leaves a small carbon footprint or has low VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compound). There are different degrees of green when referring to different types of flooring.



Cork

  • Better than a renewable resource because it is a harvested resource (only the bark is harvested from the tree)
  • A recycled product because cork floors are made from the waste cork that makes wine stoppers.
  • A law in the 1930’s called “The 9 Year Law” was passed to keep cork from being harvested any sooner than every 9 years. The tree has to reach 60 cm in circumference before it can be harvested. The first harvest from a cork tree can only occur at age 25.
  • The tree is not destroyed or damaged when harvesting cork.
  • To complete the environmentally sound process, water based finishes and adhesives should be used.



Bamboo

  • Bamboo is a rapidly renewing resource that matures in three years
  • It regenerates without need for replanting
  • It also requires minimal fertilization or pesticides
  • There currently is no FSC certified bamboo so it is important to see what you can confirm about the bamboo you are interested in before purchasing.





Carpet

  • According to the Carpet and Rug Institute: The carpet industry is minimizing carpet’s impact on the environment through the new “3 Rs” which stand for reduce, reuse and recycle.  When carpet reaches the end of its long life, it is reused to make new carpet or is recycled into a variety of products, ranging from roofing shingles and railroad ties to automotive parts.
  • Factors that determine if carpet is “green”: carpet fibers, toxics content, dye, VOC emissions, and recycled content.
  • The Green Label and Green Label Plus from the Carpet and Rug Institute ensure that customers are purchasing among the lowest emitting carpet, adhesive and cushion products on the market.





Stone

There is no clear data on the impact of using stone as a building material on the environment; when the data is collected it will contain information on water and energy consumption, yields from raw materials, recyclability  and other measures that are considered in life cycle assessments, energy used in transportation, processing and selling the material.

  • Stone does have the following features:
  • It’s a natural product
  • It has an enduring life cycle so it doesn’t have to be replaced
  • Ease of care and maintenance
  • Recyclable
  • Quarry and manufacturing use best practices
  • Can be reclaimed





Hardwood

  • Natural Resource
  • Renewable
  • Recyclable
  • Suitable for a “healthy home” environment
  • Forests are managed for replanting





Linoleum 

  • Made from all natural materials
  • The natural raw materials used to create Linoleum are available in abundance: linseed oil, rosin, wood flour, cork flour, ecologically responsible pigments and jute.
  • These raw materials are harvested or extracted with relatively little energy consumption. The main energy resource for the process is the sun. The plants and trees that supply linoleum’s raw materials also contribute to the production of oxygen and the subsequent reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, thus reducing the amount of greenhouse gasses present in the atmosphere.
  • Can be recycled
  • The energy obtained from incinerating linoleum is roughly equivalent to or even more than that which is used in production.
  • Linoleum can be safely added to landfill refuse sites, where natural decomposition takes place. Linoleum is fully biodegradable and does not release harmful substances or gases such as chlorine and dioxins.
  • Adhesives are 100% solvent free and meet all low VOC requirements
  • Does not require maintenance from harmful chemicals
  • Linoleum contains virtually no trace of toxic material and is naturally beneficial to air quality.





Ceramic Tile

  • Rarely release emissions
  • Some contain recycled content
  • Long lasting and not replaced frequently
  • Requires little maintenance
  • Value is unclear due to it’s weight causing more fuel during transportation







Carpet Cushion

The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) has established the Green Label program to test for VOCs in cushion used under carpet.  This program helps you choose low-emission cushion. You can identify these products by looking for the program’s green and white seal. These products are continuously monitored to ensure that they maintain compliance.
Cushion products are characterized as prime polyurethane, bonded polyurethane, mechanically frothed polyurethane, rubber-hair, rubber–jute, synthetic fiber, resinated or coated synthetic fiber, rubber and rubberized polyurethane.
Cushions are tested for total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), formaldehyde and 4-phenylcyclohexine (4-PCH).
Carpet cushion can be:

  • Made from100% recycled bonded cushion from polyurethane foam or 100% recycled content in Rebond Carpet Cushion, a bonded polyurethane product
  • Made with 97% recycled rubber for carpet underlayment
  • Made with no CFC’s, latex or chemical additives
  • Made with 100% recycled tire rubber carpet pad.  Withstands temperatures from 40 to 120 degrees.  Free of toxic materials such as PCB, mercury, and formaldehyde
  • Made from ground tire scrap rubber granules bonded with latex and 92% recycled tire rubber

 

Blank Slate

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Hints, Tips and Advice, Tips and Advice

2408982_SStarting from scratch with a blank slate is a luxury many of us don’t have unless we’ve recently moved or are building a new house. Some people might have an extra room that isn’t being used, but most likely an extra space is spoken for in our homes. But imagine if you did have an empty room in your home—a blank slate. What would you do?

Imagine having an empty room with just wood floors and neutral walls. Would you turn this space into a playroom for the kids? A home office? Home theater? Gym? In-law suite? It can be fun to imagine starting from scratch and designing a space from the floor up. Or, it can be daunting.

Sometimes in decorating and interior design we get too caught up in the possibilities and the what-ifs that we fail to move forward. Decisions can be scary. This is why new builders often present design packages where flooring, cabinets, counters, knobs and pulls are all grouped together so you don’t have to make too many decisions and be overwhelmed.

If you do have a blank slate in your home, first decide how you will use the space. Then build from there. You might want to replace the carpet with hardwood or add carpet. You might want to add built-ins for storage or extra ceiling lighting for tasks. Wall color and window treatments can be inspired by the activities that will go on in the room or an area rug or object. Start slow, but keep moving forward. Once you know how you’ll use the room, design decisions should start falling into place.

Create a Jewel Box Bathroom

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Bathroom, Design and Decorating, Kitchen and Bath, Tile and Natural Stone

DSC_0067Every room in your home deserves your design attention. One often ignored space is the small guest bath. It’s time to open your eyes to the possibilities this room offers.

To begin, consider this room as an opportunity to experiment with a look, color or style that seems too daring for one of the other rooms in your home. This room also gives you a chance to spend more per square foot than other rooms – the space is so small that the overall cost of a more expensive choice won’t break your budget.

How about stepping over to the specialty tile section? Trim tile and backsplashes can really liven up a small bath. For flooring, even a high-end option will only cost a few hundred dollars. Consider a pedestal sink – the extra visible floor makes the room feel larger.

Choose a unique and coordinating mirror and light fixture. If your taste is modern, find something avant garde to catch the eye. For a more traditional look, don’t be afraid to use a small crystal chandelier in this room – maybe something with a light that will create a pattern on the walls.

Remember to keep everything focused and coordinated. Eclectic is not the best style choice for this small a space. You might want to consider one special accessory to make the bath feel extra special. Turn your boring bath into something special, with the jewel box approach.

How to Remove Chewing Gum from Carpet

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Carpet, Floors, Hints, Tips and Advice, Tips and Advice

14768658_SHave you ever had chewing gum stuck in your hair? In the worst cases you can cut the gum out of your hair, but have you ever gotten gum stuck in your carpet? It’s not such a good idea to cut the gum out of your carpet because unlike your hair, the carpet won’t grow back!

Below are some tips about how to remove chewing gum from your carpet:

Solvent – A non-flammable spot removal solution, or dry cleaning type solvent, is preferred. Exercise caution when using a solvent. Never pour it directly onto the carpet or allow it to reach the backing, because it can damage the latex that holds the primary and secondary backings together. Acceptable solvents include Carbona®, Energine®, K2R®, Goof-Off®, etc.

When in doubt, you can always call a Professional – Professional cleaners have the ability and the equipment to use more aggressive cleaning solutions to remove stubborn spills. Always consider consulting a professional cleaner regarding any spot removal question. The Carpet and Rug Institute – 1-800-882-8846

If you happened to have already had this problem and now have a hole in your carpet, we can talk about a replacement!