Archive for May, 2014

Things to Consider When Carpeting Stairs

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Carpet



Carpeting the stairs provides many benefits to the home especially if there are children involved. If you have decided to carpet your stairs, there are a few things that are helpful to know before you start in on the process.

Two Methods to Carpet the Stairs

The first thing to learn in the two

  • The Waterfall Method – A long piece of carpet covers the whole stair case from each riser and tread. 
  • The Cap and Band Method – A separate piece of carpet is used to cover each riser and tread.

How to get the right measurement for stair carpeting

  • The tread – The tread is the horizontal portion of the stairs. Measure the end of your tread from inner to outer. 
  • The riser – The riser is the vertical distance of one step to the next.

Add the tread and the riser measurements together then add 2 inches to the total. The additional 2 inches will allow cover for the edges and allows allowances for any bulges that the padding may offer. 

These are useful items to know when starting the process of carpeting your stairs.  If these seem confusing at all, the team at Dolphin Carpet and Tile are happy to answer any questions.


Reader’s Choice

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Floors, Hardwood

An Introduction to Natural Stone

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

What’s under your feet impacts life under your roof. The various floor coverings throughout your home influence interior beauty, design, décor, comfort, upkeep – life itself. From ancient monuments like the pyramids in Egypt and the majestic Greek and Roman temples, to the great civilizations of India and China, natural stone has been an important part of architecture throughout history.    Natural stone is strong and stable to live with. It exudes a rich, organic, beautiful surface and has a confident, timeless “presence” in any room. It is the world’s oldest building material — imagine its beauty and elegance in your new home or remodeling project.

  • process began millions of years ago, deep beneath the earth’s surface
  • combination of heat and pressure creates blocks of natural stone
  • types include granite, marble, travertine, limestone, and slate
  • the earth’s crust grows and erodes and pushes minerals up from its core, forming massive rock deposits, called “quarries”
  • quarries found in countries throughout the world such as Italy, China, Spain, India, Canada, Mexico and also here in the United States
  • more expensive than ceramic tile
  • requires more maintenance than ceramic
  • increases home value more than ceramic
  • large selection to choose from


Natural Stone Maintenance

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

In a way, Mother Nature has taken care of your natural stone flooring for millions of years. Now it’s your turn. Here’s what you need to know about caring for your beautiful natural stone today and maintaining its timeless look for many tomorrows. Plus, knowing what’s expected of you regarding upkeep can be a determining factor in which type of natural flooring you choose to buy. Get to know exactly how to take care of your natural stone investment and it will reward you and your home for many years to come. Time spent caring for your stone floors will help maintain its classic beauty and unique personality for years to come.

  • Use walk-off mats or area rugs on either side of exterior entrances.
  • Choose a mat with a non slip backing.
  • Mats need to be kept clean.
  • Sand, dirt and grit do the most damage to natural stone surfaces.
  • Floors should be dust mopped frequently
  • Damp mop your natural stone floor.
  • Do not use any acids with vinegar or household cleaners.
  • Do not use products that contain lemon juice, vinegar or other acids.
  • Avoid using products that contain abrasive cleaners, cleansers (dry or soft) or any ammonia-based cleaners.
  • Do not use retail grout cleaners, scouring powders or bathroom tub and tile cleaners on your stone.
  • Don’t mix bleach and ammonia.
  • Rinse the floor thoroughly and dry the surface with a soft, clean cloth.
  • Always blot spills immediately.
  •  Vacuum cleaner attachments are also useful for hard to reach areas.
  • To remove algae or moss from your stone in outdoor pool, patio or hot tub areas, flush with clear water and use a mild bleach solution.
  • Call on your local retailer to suggest specialty products designed for use on your stone floors.
  • It is your responsibility to properly maintain caulking in heavy water-use areas.
  • Take care when moving heavy objects across your stone floor.
  • Cover furniture and table legs with protectors to guard your floor against damage.
  • Each stone has different levels of susceptibility to staining.
  •  Sealing your stone is a must.
  • If you accidentally damage or stain your floor, products are available that may resolve your problem.


Natural Stone — Before You Buy, Read This!

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

In our last post we introduced what you need to know before buying natural stone.  Here’s the rest!


  • lines are typically filled depending on the stone tile itself
  • can be thinner than ceramic tile installations
  • can match, contrast or coordinate with your stone tile
  • will outline each tile creating a visual picture frame
  • to be less noticeable, select a grout that is close in color to the stone
  • contrasting grout color, either darker or lighter, will make the grout lines more visible and thereby will create a checkerboard effect
  • colors installed can be slightly different from the sample
  • even when the same color is used,  common to see slight differences between the grout in adjacent rooms
  • exact layouts, type of grout and grout joint widths are determined by our tile setter at the time of installation and are governed by the actual size and shape of the tile, and the exact dimensions of the areas to be covered


  • highly recommended
  • should be performed by  professionals
  • makes it less porous, more stain resistant, and protects the stone
  • different types of sealer
  • once flooring is installed, you are responsible for maintaining all caulked areas

Entire cost of ownership

The material “cost per square foot” of your stone flooring is just one component of the entire project cost. To ensure there are no surprises, and the stone you select fits within your overall project budget, be sure to ask us to calculate the total cost of your floor covering project. Here’s a list of potential additional expenses you may incur:

  1. furniture removal/replacement
  2. demolition/disposal of old floor covering
  3. sub-floor preparation
  4. product delivery
  5. stone installation
  6. materials required to complete the installation

In addition to the total project cost, you should also know the cost of annual cleanings to maintain the beauty and life of your new stone floor. Also, consult the manufacturer’s warranty and care guide for directions on how frequently the stone should be cleaned and the cost to clean it.


Natural Stone — Before You Buy, Read This! Part 1

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

Learn all you can before buying stone for your home. In this section we’ve laid down what we know and what you should consider before making your buying decision. Because knowledge about stone specifics and characteristics, about its traits and subtle differences, can be invaluable.  Choosing the best stone for your home is really about knowing the right combination of characteristics, aesthetics, performance and budget to best meet the needs of your lifestyle.

  • no two pieces are ever the same
  • natural characteristics: color, veining and markings, hardness and porosity
  • floor begins with giant pieces of stone that are mined from the earth
  • transported to factories where they are cut into thin slabs
  • each slab is different, displaying the affects of the physical course of its ancient history
  • each tile cut from the same slab might look completely different from the next
  • veining and crystallization may be abundant in one, yet non-existent in another
  • variations are to be expected and enjoyed
  • samples you view in the showroom can have completely different veining patterns or color variations compared to the stone we will install in your home
  • is not possible for you to hand select each tile of your natural stone
  • if you are concerned about the final appearance, work with a sales associate to preview a dye lot sample of the actual tile to be installed, prior to final installation
  • irregular markings, lines, veins and crystallization are not cracks or imperfections
  •  if you select a combination of natural stone products, of the same color and type of stone, they will not match
  • no natural stone tile will have a perfectly smooth surface
  • may be small chips or pits that may be apparent in different lighting
  • will vary more in thickness, squareness and length
  • once installed, it will not be a perfectly smooth surface from tile to tile
  • varies in hardness, which is the scratch resistance of a mineral
  • talc is the softest mineral and diamond is the hardest
  • consider what types of activities will be taking place where the stone is installed
  • do not install a soft, porous type of stone in a high traffic area


How Tile Is Made Part 2

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

5 classes:

Class 1: no foot traffic

  • interior wall applications only and not for the floor

Class 2: light traffic

  • interior wall applications and for residential bathroom flooring only

Class 3: light to moderate traffic

  • for residential floor and wall applications including bathrooms, kitchens, foyers, dining rooms and family rooms

Class 4: moderate to heavy traffic

  • residential, medium commercial and light industrial floor and wall applications including shopping malls, offices, restaurant dining rooms, showrooms and hallways

Class 5: heavy/extra heavy traffic

  • can be installed anywhere

Slip Resistance Rating

  • measured by its Coefficient of Friction (COF)
  • higher the COF the more slip resistant the tile
  •  important  for areas that get wet

Other ratings

  • scratch resistance
  • moisture absorption
  • chemical resistance
  • breaking strength


How Tile Is Made Part 1

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

Being familiar with ceramic tile construction helps you understand and evaluate its performance aspects: why certain ceramic tile floors wear better and longer. The main ingredients of ceramic tile and its general manufacturing process have not changed that much throughout the centuries.  All ceramic tiles are created from natural products extracted from the earth that are shaped into tiles and then fired in kilns at extremely high temperatures.

2 main types of tile construction:


  • from the side, see 2 layers
  • body – called the bisque
  • top layer – called the glaze
  • hard non-porous, impermeable surface after firing
  • more stain resistant than unglazed
  • easy to clean
  • consider for areas like the kitchen and baths


  • solid colored all the way through
  • do not have a top layer of glaze
  • referred to as through-body construction
  • no additional surface applications
  • more dense and durable than glazed
  • suitable for interior and exterior applications
  • good for areas with kids

There are 5 steps in the ceramic tile manufacturing process:


  • process begins with the mining of the raw materials
  • mixture composed of clay and minerals

Blending and Mixing

  • introduces mud into the mix
  • clay and mineral mixture blended and mixed into a semi-fine powder
  • water is added to form a wet slurry or mud-like consistency
  • the slurry is pumped into a large dryer
  • result- fine clay powder that feels like warm, fine sand


  • applies pressure to the process
  • clay is pressed or formed into a tile shape
  • pressed tiles are called green tiles
  • another method called extrusion-replaces the pressing step
  • extruded tiles-formed by forcing the clay through a mold versus pressing the tile
  • pressing is the more common method used today
  • after the green tiles are formed they are dried


If the tile is to remain unglazed it skips this step and goes directly to the firing kiln.

  • liquid is prepared from a glass derivative called frit and colored dyes
  • applied by a high-pressure spray or poured onto the tile


  • fired in the kiln at temperatures around 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit
  • monocoturra tile or single fired -tiles that are fired once after the glaze is applied
  • biocuttura or double fired- first fired after the green tile is dried and  fired again after the glaze is applied

Alternative- porcelain

  • made up of 50% feldspar
  • fired at a much higher temperature
  • harder and denser
  • high performance
  • low water absorption ratings of less than 0.5 percent
  • can be used for interior and exterior applications or commercial areas

After the finished tiles have been inspected for quality assurances, they are packaged, crated and ready to be shipped.


  • not all ceramic tile is suitable for each area of your home
  • tile on your kitchen backsplash may not be recommended for installation on the floor

Rating System

  • rating system provided
  • rating system found on samples or boxes
  • most common system rates ceramic tile abrasion resistance or the overall durability of the tile

Tile Maintenance

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

Sooner or later, time and traffic, life and living, will take its toll on any floor covering. Ceramic tile is no exception.But take heart, keeping your tile as clean and beautiful as its first days in your home just takes know-how. In fact, understanding the best methods to care for your ceramic flooring will help maintain its beauty and keep it close to its original condition. Plus, knowing what’s expected of you regarding upkeep can be a determining factor in which type of ceramic tile to purchase. Knowing how to care for and maintain your ceramic floor will help keep your investment beautiful, durable and a source of pride for years to come.

  • It’s important to sweep a tile floor regularly.
  • Use walk-off mats at all exterior entrances.
  • Remember to shake the mats often to remove the dirt.
  • Ceramic tile floors should be damp-mopped regularly using the manufacturer’s recommended grout and tile cleaners.
  • Textured tiles may require mild scrubbing with a soft brush or electric polisher/scrubber.
  • For soft water situations you may need to use an all-purpose cleaner.
  • Use cleaning products available from your local grocery store or flooring retailer for heavier cleaning tasks.
  • Consult the cleaning product’s instructions to make sure the cleaning product is compatible with your type of tile.
  • After cleaning, rinse well and wipe dry
  • Avoid using steel wool, scouring powders, or other abrasives.
  • Don’t use bleach or ammonia based cleaners.
  • Do not clean glazed tile with oil-based cleaners.
  • Try to clean up spills as quickly as possible.
  • Tile can crack under extreme force or pressure.
  • Take the proper precautions when moving heavy objects across your tile floor.
  • Cover furniture and table legs with protectors.
  • Keep extra tiles after the installation.
  • Areas exposed to water need to be caulked on a regular basis.
  • Seal your grout for added protection.
  • Grout colorants are available for stained, damaged or undesired colored grout.
  •  Consult the manufacturers’ recommendations.