Archive for March, 2014

How Carpet is Made Part 1

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Carpet

Knowing how carpet is made can be very advantageous. Knowing the different materials that make up various carpets also helps you understand and evaluate their performance aspects: why certain carpets are easier to install, why some wear better, longer, and why others are easier to care for and clean. It can also make you a smarter shopper.


  • thicker is not always better
  • tight twist in each yarn is better than loose and frayed
  • firm and dense pile means quality
  • the more backing seen, the less dense and durable
  • high traffic areas need lower profiles to avoid matting and crushing

Step 1: Fiber

  • basic material of makeup
  • 90% is synthetic fiber
  • rest is natural fiber, mostly wool

Synthetic Fibers

  • made up of one of three materials: nylon, polypropylene or polyester
  • created by chemical processes from oil and natural gas


  • 75% is made of nylon
  • performs the best overall
  • leader in: appearance retention, fade and heat resistance, soil and stain resistance, color and styling
  • highest performance nylon is Type 6.6 for more resistant to stain penetration


  • next most common material is polypropylene
  • introduced in the late 1950’s in Italy
  • BCF represents more than 35% of all fibers
  • not as resilient or resistant to abrasion as nylon
  • naturally stain and fade resistant
  • naturally resistance to moisture
  • more limited range of color options
  • most often used in loop pile constructions


  • third type of material is polyester
  • introduced to the carpet industry in the mid 1960’s
  • well accepted for bulkiness, color clarity, and good stain and fade resistance
  • not as resilient as nylon
  • can be a good performer


  • Mohawk makes from plastic bottles
  • plastic is collected, separated by color, and then ground and melted
  • used to manufacture the PET carpet fiber
  • carpets made by Mohawk of PET staple fiber made from 100% recycled material
  • great color clarity, stain resistance, durability
  • keeps over 3 billion bottles out of landfills


  • made with DuPont Sonora polymer
  • DuPont and Mohawk make this fiber into carpet
  • SmartStrand with DuPont Sorona is continuous filament fiber
  • eliminates shedding
  • highly stain resistant and durable
  • 40% of the fiber made from corn by products


  • The above three materials make up the majority of synthetic fibers.
  • The other type of fiber used in carpet construction is staple fiber.
  • While some synthetics are used in the creation of staple fibers, the original staple fiber used in the making of carpet is wool.
  • The wool used in today’s carpet comes primarily from New Zealand, Argentina, and the United Kingdom.
  • Since wool is a natural fiber, it ranges in color from off-white to black, with many earthen tones between.
  • Wool doesn’t stand up to abrasion and moisture as well as synthetics, it cleans well and is known to age gracefully.
  • Wool is the most expensive carpet fiber, and represents less than one percent of the U.S. carpet market.


  • considered a type of carpet construction
  • actually comes from the name of a group of North African sheepherders called the Berbers
  • Berbers produced coarse wool, with color flecks in their yarns


Introducing Carpet

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Carpet

Carpet is an ancient but beautiful idea. Modern carpet traces its roots to ancient times, when cultures passed hand-tying and knotting skills from generation to generation. The Sixteenth Century brought merchant adventurers and explorers home to Europe and with them the awareness and desire for rich textiles and rugs from the East. It wasn’t long before the appreciation of textile floor coverings took off, came to America, and became one of the most fundamental and beautiful parts of our modern home interior. Carpet continues to be popular for many reasons.


Primary flooring choice

  • relatively inexpensive
  • comfortable underfoot
  • easier to install and replace
  • fashion options to meet every style and décor’
  • warmer, softer and quieter

Carpet advantages

  • soft under foot
  • easy on kids knees
  • quieter than hard surfaces floors
  • wide variety of colors, tones and hues
  • easy to decorate with
  • hides sub-floor irregularities
  • can go over a variety of substrates
  • can go on all grade levels
  • economical and installation costs less than hard surface


Vinyl Maintenance

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tips and Advice, Vinyl

Flooring, no matter how new or beautiful, is meant to be walked upon. Vinyl flooring is no exception. Time and the onslaught of foot traffic will most certainly take its toll. But take heart, keeping your vinyl flooring as beautiful and inviting as the day it was installed just requires a little knowledge. So, check out the following advice and be a little smarter about smart and stylish vinyl flooring.

New vinyl floors are extremely durable and long lasting, but like any floor covering they still need regular maintenance to stay looking like new. Follow these general guidelines for vinyl flooring. For more detailed information always refer to the manufacturer’s written floor care procedures. You can’t avoid wear on your vinyl flooring, but knowing how to care for and maintain it can keep you floor in beautiful condition and make it a source of pride for years to come.

  • For the first 24 hours after your new vinyl floor is installed, protect all the seamed areas.
  • Keep the room at 68° F or greater for at least 2 days after installation.
  • Do not roll heavy objects directly on to a newly installed vinyl floor for at least 5 days.
  • Allow 5 days before thoroughly washing your floor.
  • Lay plywood down before moving heavy objects.
  • Check the condition of rollers and casters before use.
  • Protect your vinyl floor by covering the legs of furniture with felt protectors.
  • Remove dust, sand and grit particles.
  • Don’t use a vacuum with a beater bar.
  • Rinse the floor thoroughly with fresh water after cleaning
  • Place non-staining, walk-off mats or rugs at every outside entry to your room.
  • Be sure to avoid using rubber-backed mats or rugs.
  • Use rugs specially designed for vinyl floors.
  • For spots or spills, wipe them up immediately.
  • Make sure the floor’s manufacturer recommends the cleaner you are using.
  • Avoid using abrasive scrubbing tools.
  • Never use abrasive cleaners, soaps, paste waxes, or solvents on your vinyl floor.
  • If you purchased a PVC vinyl floor you should consider placing 2-3 coats of the manufacturer’s recommended floor polish on the floor immediately.
  • Cover open seams immediately.
  • If your floor gets a cut or gouge in it, cover the area immediately and call your flooring professional.
  • Urethane floors finish can darken over time.
  • For more maintenance information specific to your vinyl flooring, remember to consult the manufacturers’ recommendations.


Green Tips

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

The extent that you participate in the growing green movement is a personal preference. There are so many different ways to contribute to saving the planet. The more savvy you can be about products/services you use, the better. Today is the day you can start by changing 5 things in your life, then adding more next week until you find yourself as green as you can be!

Weigh the issues and understand your role in the big picture

1. Avoid ozone-depleting chemicals in mechanical equipment and insulation.

  • CFCs have largely been phased out, but their primary replacements—HCFCs– also damage the ozone layer and should be avoided where possible.
  • Reclaim CFCs when servicing or disposing of equipment and, if possible, take CFC based foam insulation to a recycler who can capture CFCs.

2. Use durable products and materials.

  • Because manufacturing is very energy-intensive, a product that lasts longer or requires less maintenance usually saves energy.
  • Durable products also contribute less to our solid waste problems.

3. Choose low-maintenance building materials.

  • Where possible, select building materials that will require little maintenance (painting, re-treatment, waterproofing, etc.), or whose maintenance will have minimal environmental impact.

4. Choose building materials with low embodied energy.

  • One estimate of the relative energy intensity of various materials (by weight) is as follows: Lumber = 1, Brick = 2, Cement = 2, Glass = 3, Fiberglass = 7, Steel = 8, Plastic = 30, Aluminum = 80 — source: Building and Environment vol. 17 no. 1

5. Buy locally produced building materials.

  • Transportation is costly in both energy use and pollution generation. Look for locally produced materials to replace products imported to your area.

6. Use building products made from recycled materials.

  • Reduce landfill pressure and save natural resources by using salvaged materials: lumber, millwork, certain plumbing fixtures, and hardware, for example.
  • Make sure these materials are safe, and don’t sacrifice energy efficiency or water efficiency by reusing old windows or toilets.

7. Use salvaged building materials when possible.

  • Reduce landfill pressure and save natural resources by using salvaged materials: lumber, millwork, certain plumbing fixtures, and hardware, for example.
  • Make sure these materials are safe (test for lead paint and asbestos).
  • Don’t sacrifice energy efficiency or water efficiency by reusing old windows or toilets.

8. Seek responsible wood supplies.

  • Use lumber from independently certified well-managed forests.
  • Avoid lumber products produced from old growth timber when acceptable alternative exist. Engineered wood can be substituted for old growth Douglas fir, for example.
  • Don’t buy tropical hardwoods unless the seller can document that the wood comes from well managed forests.

9. Avoid materials that will off gas pollutants.

  • Solvent based finishes, adhesives, carpeting, particleboard, and many other building products release formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds into the air. These chemicals can affect workers’ and occupants’ health as well as contribute to smog and ground level ozone pollution outside.

10. Minimize use of pressure-treated lumber.

  • Use detailing that will prevent soil contact and rot.
  • Where possible, use alternatives such as recycled plastic lumber.
  • Take measure to protect workers when cutting and handling pressure treated wood, and never burn scraps.

11. Minimize packaging waste.

  • Avoid excessive packaging, such as plastic-wrapped plumbing fixtures or fasteners that aren’t available in bulk. Tell your supplier why you are avoiding over-packaged products. Keep in mind, however, that some products must be carefully packaged to prevent damage and resulting waste.

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Vinyl Flooring – An Introduction

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Floors

That’s why our goal is to provide you with quality resilient flooring products that offer a positive and lasting effect on your home. Products that beautify your home, enhance décor, meet your specific comfort, performance and budget needs, are easy to care for, and stand the test of time. To help achieve our goal, we’ve created a library of resilient flooring knowledge, style choices, shopping tips, buying considerations and upkeep dos and don’ts. It’s all conveniently contained in this section of our website.

Resilient floors

  • have some “give” or elasticity when you walk across them
  • often used in kitchens and baths
  • resistant to moisture
  • wide variety of colors and textures
  • easy to keep clean
  • main enemy is grit or sand
  • completely customize your floor by mixing contrasting colors patchwork style, creating medallions or curved cuts
  • some resilient floors are vinyl but not all vinyl floors are resilient

2 types of vinyl flooring: sheet vinyl and luxury vinyl tile (LVT)


  • all the advantages of vinyl
  • available in a wide array of colors
  • can look good anywhere
  • spare tiles can be kept on hand to repair worn areas
  • opens up unlimited possibilities for creating unique patterns

Vinyl flooring

  • no other flooring offers the selection, styling, ease of maintenance and value
  • can realistically mimic the look of ceramic, stone and wood grain
  • linoleum is not a resilient flooring

Natural Stone Flooring – Installation

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Floors

Use a professional

  • this type of floor is heavy, difficult work
  • it’s labor intensive and extremely exacting
  • not for the do-it-yourselfer
  • installing stone flooring is a skill that is developed through years of experience 


  • prepare the substrate
  • cement subfloors can apply the mortar directly to it to lay the tile
  • wood subfloors require a CBU (cement backer unit)
  • movement in the substrate material can sometimes occur
  • for example, water penetrating the grout and/or freezing and thawing temperatures can sometimes cause tile to rise, crack or chip
  • area gets measured
  • snap chalk lines for an accurate layout
  • determine which pieces of tile will need to be cut to fit the area
  • tiles that need to be cut are measured and marked with a pencil
  • then use a wet saw with a diamond blade to cut through
  • begin setting the tile
  • thinset mortar, which is a cement-based adhesive, is applied to the surface with a trowel
  • tile then placed into the thinset and pressed firmly into place
  • imperfections in your subfloor will require differing amounts of mortar to be applied
  • this installation, known as a medium bed installation, is more time consuming and costly

Grout, wedge or butter

  • depending on the type of tilemay be installed with narrow grout joints
  • larger area – wedges or spacers may be used  to maintain consistent spacing
  • installers may also back butter the back of the tile with thinset mortar to strengthen the bond


  • after tiles are set and the thinset mortar has fully cured,  joints are filled with grout
  • sanded and un-sanded grouts are used
  • type of grout used is determined by the tile, grout joint and width
  • mixture is spread over the tiled area to fill in all the joints
  • sponge is used to remove excess grout from the surface of the tile

Before installation day

  • relocate furniture
  • empty china cabinets and closets
  • consider removal and disposal of old floorcovering
  • remove it yourself and leave 1 day before install
  • moldings and baseboards need to be removed for stone installation
  • installers not responsible for damage or breakage due to dry or brittle wood
  • painted baseboards, woodwork and paint may need retouching ( this is your responsibility)
  • existing sub floor may need to be prepared to receive the stone

Door plan

  • possibility that doors may not clear the new floor and swing free
  • installers may remove doors and re-hang for an additional cost.
  • for clearance issues, arrange for a qualified carpenter to shave or cut down


  • waste will be produced
  • waste collected and disposed of by installers at an additional cost

Installation day

  • be home and available
  • be prepared for questions
  • presence insures the right wood is installed in the right areas
  • exact time of arrival cannot be guaranteed, only a time frame


  • installers use tools and techniques that can be hazardous
  • make sure that children and pets are out of the work area
  • follow through with a walk-thru
  • prior to completion-walk thru to ask questions and be clear on any final details

After installation day

  • established good ventilation for 48 to 72 hours
  • be prepared


How Natural Stone Flooring is Made

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Floors

In this section we explain how a stone is manufactured. This information can be very advantageous because it enables you to understand stone from the beginning and evaluate its performance aspects: why certain stone floors wear better and longer. Plus, perhaps most important, understanding how a stone floor is created can help you better determine the value of stone keep you inside the borders of your budget.

  • blocks of stone are cut from earth with diamond studded, high speed equipment
  • diamond wire cutting system revolutionized the extraction process
  1. blocks then moved to a processing plant
  2. then cut into slabs
  3. takes 2 days for a saw to cut a 20 ton block of stone
  4. sent through a polishing machine for the finish
  5. finishes range from rough, rustic texture to mirrored polish
  6. slab is calibrated to uniform thickness
  7. customized for specific installations
  8. edges shaped and polished
  9. for tiles, slabs are just cut down
  10. polished with a different machine than slabs
  11. tiles packaged, shipped and stored (vertically only)

Manufactured Stone

  • also called Agglomerate Stone
  • synthetic stone made from natural stone chips
  • suspended in a binder such as cement, epoxy resins or polyester
  • popular types  made mostly of quartz
  • natural quartz gives depth, strength and consistency
  • offers look of natural stone but can be more cost-effective
  • available in a wide array of colors from neutrals to brights
  • scratch resistant but not scratch proof
  • doesn’t require sealing because it’s non-porous
  • highly resistant to staining, very hygienic and maintenance free
  • four times the flexural strength of granite, less chance of chipping or cracking
  • can be used in many applications, including flooring,

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