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

 

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!

Organizing in 2014

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

21329088_SIs your New Years resolution to have a more organized house this year? You’ve taken down the tree, put away the ornaments and dealt with all the gift-wrapping supplies. Dealing with the holiday clutter is a great start. Now you can concentrate on keeping the rest of the house clean and organized for the entire year. Here is a simple way to start the process.

When you leave a room look for items that do not belong. Don’t be lazy. Pick those items up and put them away. This is a good habit for everyone in the family to get used to.

Sort and read the mail everyday. Recycle the junk and then deal with bills and other correspondence appropriately. Note – this does not mean leave them in a pile. There are fun organizational tools that you can use to separate these items.

Clean the kitchen and the bathroom. Do not leave a sink of dirty dishes to be dealt with every morning. Instead make sure the pots and pans are scrubbed and the dishwasher is turned on before you go to bed. Likewise, don’t leave makeup all over the bathroom counter. Put it away. Do a daily wipe down of the countertops and sinks in both your kitchen and your bathroom.

Sweep the floors. If you have wood floors you should probably be doing that anyway. This will really help and there are many tools out there that make sweeping a breeze.

Finally, when you do the laundry don’t let your clothes hang out in the basket.  Hang them up!

At the end of a long day we are tired, but if you get in the habit of doing these few simple things your house will be more organized and you will feel better.

Child Proofing Your Living Room

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

15896966_SCreating a livable room that can work for both children and adults takes some clever thinking. Sometimes you think it is easier to safety proof the child than it is the living room.  If helmets, bubble wrap and packing peanuts are not your idea of a happy child or a happy room, there are other solutions to make your living room or family room child safe.

If you have both a living room and a family room, you might want to follow the age old tradition of making the living room off limits for little family members.  The formal living room is beginning to disappear from new construction where we are seeing more open living and large family rooms. Combining living rooms and family rooms into one space means you’ll need to figure out a way to coexist in the space with the kids. Find furniture that is durable for the kids yet stylish enough for adults.

Coexisting in a family room with kids doesn’t mean that you abdicate all design to be for the kids. This is your room and your home too.  Look for stylish and durable materials for upholstery and floor that are kid friendly. Washable slipcovers are a mother’s best friend when it comes to decorating a room used by children.  Carpet squares that can be individually swapped out are another great product in kid zones.  Spills and spots can be treated instantly and easily on materials and carpets that are stain resistant. Make sure your upholstery and carpet choices have stain resistant labeling.

Nutzo for Terrazzo

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Floors, Uncategorized

18877503_MWhat’s Terrazzo? 

Terrazzo is one of the most elegant and versatile surfaces in the world.  If you’ve ever been to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, or George Washington’s home in Mt. Vernon, you’ve already walked on terrazzo floors.  Terrazzo floors at the Hoover Dam include inlays that are a tribute to Native Americans.  Many high-end custom homes in Florida, especially those built in the 1950s and 60s, also feature terrazzo floors.

There are two kinds of terrazzo floors, concrete and epoxy-based.  Authentic, Old World style terrazzo consists of chips of marble or glass embedded in concrete and then polished to a high sheen, and can be used in either interior or exterior surfaces.  Because it uses recycled stone and marble materials, concrete terrazzo is environmentally friendly.  Contemporary terrazzo is epoxy based, and while less expensive, can only be used in interior surfaces.  Another option is rustic terrazzo, which has a rough and textured appearance so that it can be used in exterior spaces.  In addition to floors, terrazzo surfaces can also be used for kitchen and bath countertops, as well as shower walls.

Why Terrazzo?

Terrazzo will give your home the look and feel of a palace, or a mansion from another time.  It’s not for the faint of heart; installing it is a complex process, but the results are worth it! If you are looking for surfaces that are among the most glamorous and unique in the world, consider terrazzo.

Advantages of Terrazzo:

  • Shine: You can literally see yourself in terrazzo floors, they are so clear.
  • Durability
  • Virtually maintenance-free if used in the proper environment
  • Unique, individual, one of a kind surface that truly makes your home a palace.
  • Terrazzo makes your countertops and floors a true work of art…impossible to duplicate.

Tips for Summer Floor Care at the Beach

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

15151123_SBringing the outdoors in is what a home at the beach is all about, isn’t it?  A beach house is for family and friends to relax and enjoy, especially in summer, when life moves at a slower pace.  How do you draw the line between encouraging vacationers to enjoy themselves and entering into the spirit of summer, versus becoming the “enforcer” spoiling other’s summer fun?    No one likes to clean up messes at the beach!  Here’s a few tips to help make summer at the beach a little easier, and keep your beach house in great shape for future vacations:

  • Scatter floor mats at multiple locations on the way in and out of the house – as many as possible.  Multiple mats provide more opportunities to collect sand BEFORE it gets in the house, especially for kids who may be tempted to walk inside with sandy feet!
  • Outdoor hoses and showers:  Encourage guests and family members to get in the habit of rinsing off feet and flip flops before entering the house.  Besides, it’s fun to spray cold water on your feet after a hot day at the beach!
  • Provide separate “indoor” versus  “outdoor” towels and beach blankets.
  • Offer an area either immediately outside, or directly inside the front door for beach shoes to be left before entering the main living area.  Remind guests to leave clean indoor footwear to be retrieved and worn upon entering the home.
  • Vacuum carpeted areas and shake out area rugs frequently…even with all of the above precautions, it’s amazing how much sand still gets tracked in.
  • Make outdoor porch areas as appealing as possible.  When guests eat, drink and play in outdoor living areas, that means more sand stays outside and there’s less work for you!

Hardwood Basics

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Floors, Hardwood, Hints, Tips and Advice, Tips and Advice, Uncategorized

4861971_SHardwood flooring has been trending in home design for the last few years and can even add value to your home.  We have decided to put together some information and a few tips we think you should know about the different styles and if hardwood is a material that fits your lifestyle.

  • The Location: Consider where the hardwood is going to be installed inside your home.  The location may change the grade or type of wood you choose.
  • Species: Common wood species are red oak, white, oak, maple, cherry, white ask, hickory, or pecan.  Each wood species has a specific grain and texture to it.
  • Color: Each species will have several colors and finish choices for you to decide on.  We suggest picking a color of wood that best fits your lifestyle and coordinates well with furniture pieces you already have.  Darker wood is more formal compared to lighter wood.
  • Finishes: There are many different finishes you can have on your floors.  Lower gloss levels are better suited for more active areas because dirt and scratches are harder to see versus higher gloss finishes.
  • Width Terms: “Strips” are narrower board widths and work well in smaller areas to help make a room look larger.  “Planks” are wider board widths that work well in a larger space.
  • Hardness Wood Rating: Wood is rated based on the Janka Hardness Test.  Basically, the higher the rating, the harder the wood is.

These items are a quick overview of some of the terms or questions you might have when it comes to purchasing your hardwood.  We hope these tips and information helps you in your decision-making.  For more information on hardwood, please visit our website.  If you would like to learn more about specific hardwood flooring topics, leave us a comment below and we’ll be sure to address them in a future post.

How to Showcase Your Floor With Tile Patterns

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Floors, Hints, Tips and Advice, Kitchen and Bath, Tile and Natural Stone, Tips and Advice

There are so many choices when it comes to designing and laying floor tile.  So how do you determine what pattern and style is best for your space?  Is your space small, large, narrow or wide? These are all things to keep in mind when choosing a tile design.

Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 2.49.55 PM Diagonal: Tiles are set at a 45% angle. This type of design makes a room look larger and longer. If you choose this design make sure you buy extra tiles (approx. 15% more) because of the angles and cuts more material is usually needed.

Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 2.50.11 PMStraight lay: This is the most common way of laying tile and looks good in any room. This is an easier design needing less cuts and material.

Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 2.48.16 PMHerringbone. This pattern is very stylish and adds an elegant visual texture to any floor and will make a short hallway look longer.  To spice up the bathroom use this pattern on the wall installing to “chair rail” level. Framing the pattern with brick size tiles going vertical is a great finishing touch

Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 2.53.15 PMModular: This design has three of more different size tiles to form a pattern. If using more than one type of tile be sure they all share the same thickness.

Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 2.50.31 PMBrick:  Using a brick pattern with ceramic or the real deal, “brick”, is one of the easiest patterns to install and can be more economical.  This pattern looks great in a kitchen, use on the floors or as a backsplash.

For an added “pop” use a smaller accent tile such as a square or diamond. These can be placed randomly throughout your design. When choosing a grout color pick something that has the same tones as your tile. You may want to lean towards a darker color, which can be easier to keep clean. Most flooring retailers have displays in their show rooms so you can shop and compare!

How to Care for Natural Stone Floors

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Floors, Tile and Natural Stone, Tips and Advice, Website Tools

Natural stone flooring is may be more of an investment but nothing can surpass the beauty and richness of its natural features.  Natural stone is durable and adds value to your home.  They’ll last as long, if not longer, than your house as love as they’re cared for properly.  To prolong the life and maintain the natural glow and beauty of natural stone, it deserves to be given utmost care and maintenance.

Care for Natural Stone Floors

  • Sand, dust and dirt cause the most damage to stone floors, but there’s an easy fix! Use a dry dust mop or broom to sweep the floors frequently.  If you find vacuuming the floors easier, make sure it doesn’t have a beater bar.
  • Application of stone sealant is also recommended to protect natural stones as it repels oil and water.
  • Take preventative measures and place walk off mats at every entry of the home to help keep the dirt outside.  Area rugs can also help maintain the flooring.  Keep the mats and area rugs clean so they can keep as much dirt off of the floors as possible.
  • Be sure to clean up spills immediately.  You can use a neutral pH detergent and warm water to clean up spills or for periodic cleaning.  After cleaning, make sure you really rinse the floor so you don’t leave excess soap that causes streaking.
  • Finally, avoid any products that have abrasive cleaners or acids.

It’s always a good idea to know the porosity of the stone flooring because some tend to be more susceptible to staining than others.

Stone flooring is an investment and should be given care. By following some of the tips mentioned above, natural stone can be long lasting and serve its purpose to give your home a sparkling beauty.  The photo above was created by our Virtual Room Designer and you can have some fun by designing your own room!