Best Flooring Options for Dogs & Cats

Written by Dolphin Blogger on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Carpet, Family, Floors, Hints, Tips and Advice, Tile and Natural Stone, Tips and Advice, Vinyl

If you’re a pet-owner, you’re probably already all too familiar with the wear and tear that our furry friends can cause to your home over time. Scratches, stains, odors and dirt are all common pet-caused hassles that can be especially damaging to floors.

That’s why many pet-owners, whether they’re building or remodeling a home, are cautious about what type of flooring they choose to install in the areas in which their pets live with them.

Before you begin your search, there are 4 common concerns that pet owners should consider when searching for flooring for their next project.

  1. Scratch resistance: How well does the floor resist scratches and other marks, commonly caused by dogs’ nails as they walk around?
  2. Damage resistance: Does the floor have a natural resistance to damage from things like pet urine and other accidents?
  3. Traction & comfort: Does the surface of the floor allow pets to move, walk, run, sit and lay safely and comfortably?
  4. Durability & ease of cleaning: How easy is it to regularly clean the floor and return it to its original look?

So, with all of that in mind, which types of flooring fit the bill? You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that you have a lot of options when it comes to pet-friendly flooring.

Modern innovations have led to pet-focused technologies and warranties across the entire spectrum of flooring categories. We’ll dive into each one and give you our top product recommendations.

dog sleeping on carpet

Pictured: Mohawk SmartStrand Forever Clean carpeting, available at Dolphin Carpet & Tile.

Pet-friendly carpet 

Many people prefer soft, warm carpet in their bedrooms, but it’s probably not your first thought when you’re trying to pick flooring for a home with pets.

Carpet is a soft place to lay, but it can be tough to clean and is prone to easy wear and tear. If you do opt for carpet, consider keeping it in low-traffic areas (such as bedrooms) where your pets don’t spend much time.

To help prevent staining in the event of inevitable accidents, we recommend these two very solid pet-friendly carpeting options:

  • Mohawk SmartStrand Forever Clean: This carpet’s innovative fibers feature built-in protection from spills and stains, with 0% absorption. On top of that, Mohawk’s All Pet Protection & Warranty that covers all types of pets and accidents, all the time.
  • Shaw Carpet with LifeGuard: Shaw’s cleanest carpet features a spill-proof backing that will help you contain all of your pets’ little messes and accidents. It’s protected from soil for quick & easy cleanup, and stays clean for healthier living at home.

Pet-friendly tile

Tile is well-suited to homes with pets in the family. Its hard surface and dense makeup makes tile extremely durable and resistant to scratches from toenails.

Note that this isn’t true for all types of tile – specifically, you should avoid installing soft, porous stones such as marble. These are damaged far more easily than other types of stone or glazed ceramic tile.

Tile is also very easy to clean, as soil and pet hair sits on the surface. A routine sweeping, dusting or gentle vacuuming will pick up most solid debris. Wet mop as soon as spills or accidents occur, and you’ll be able to keep your tile looking and smelling as fresh and clean as the day you bought it.

The only significant drawback to having tile in a home with pets is that the surface is relatively cold and hard in comparison to most other types of flooring. You can solve this by laying down area rugs throughout your space, or a soft dog or cat bed or cushion.

puppy dog sleeping on coretec flooring

Pictured: COREtec by US Floors, available at Dolphin Carpet & Tile.

Pet-friendly vinyl flooring

Vinyl is arguably the ideal choice for pet-friendly flooring. The list of benefits is long. For example, vinyl flooring:

  • Is extremely affordable compared to other flooring options
  • Can be installed anywhere in the home, on, above or below grade
  • Offers great traction with realistic wood textures
  • Comes in a variety of beautiful, natural designs that mimic wood and tile
  • Is easy to clean and resistant to scratches and stains
  • Does not trap or release allergens into the air
  • Is comfortable and quiet underfoot

The main potential drawback to vinyl flooring is that it can be susceptible to water or other liquid damage. However, modern innovation has led to a number of waterproof vinyl options that are well-suited to homes with pets. Our top recommendations are:

  • Mohawk SolidTech: This brand was specifically designed with busy family life in mind, and to withstand kids and pets running around. It’s 100% waterproof and easy to clean thanks to an engineered finish that also makes it resistant to stains, scuffs and dents. Install SolidTech in bathrooms or basements where real wood cannot hold up.
  • COREtec by US Floors: Made with a 1005 waterproof core, each COREtec plank can handle spills, muddy footprints and more without ever warping or buckling – regardless of how wet they get! The cork underlayment also blocks out noise and insulates your home, making it a comfortable surface upon which pets can lay.
a girl and her dog on RevWood

Pictured: Mohawk RevWood, available at Dolphin Carpet & Tile.

Pet-friendly laminate flooring 

Laminate is similar to vinyl in many ways. It looks like hardwood, is easy to clean, and it resists water and scratches well.

One drawback to laminate are that it often has a slippery surface that isn’t great for soft paws. You can avoid this by choosing a laminate with a scraped or textured surface. These floors are beautiful and are especially good for active or older dogs.

One product that fits the bill is the new Mohawk RevWood+. It’s made with natural wood, but is also completely waterproof. Affordable, durable, resistant to all types of damage and wear, and easily installed with click & lock joints, RevWood+ is a terrific option for pet owners who want the look and feel of real hardwood floors without the risk.

Now until October 18th, 2018, save up to $1,000 on Flooring for All Pets at Dolphin Carpet & Tile. Special financing is available!

Choosing the right flooring for your home gym

Written by Dolphin Blogger on . Posted in Area Rugs, Carpet, Design and Decorating, Floors, Hardwood, Hints, Tips and Advice, Tile and Natural Stone, Tips and Advice, Vinyl

Looking to furnish your home gym with just the right flooring?

Having home gym can be a great way to save time & money – it’s always open when you want it to be, and it’s a space to work on your fitness in private.

If you’re considering designing a home gym of your own, or simply looking to spruce up your current gym with new flooring, then you’ll want to choose floors that are just the right combination of safe and functional.

There are many options for gym floors, each with pros and cons.  You can tile a gym floor, put down industrial carpet, or even lay hardwood.  Your decision should be based on your space, the type of equipment you use, and how you want your space to fit into the overall design of your home.

Before you make a decision, consider the safety, durability, functionality & maintenance of different gym flooring options so you don’t have to take a leap of faith with your decision.

Safety

When you think about safety, consider the types of exercises are you going to be doing, how experienced you are, and the type of equipment that will be going into your space.

Carpet is one option. A rubber-soled cross-trainer shoe will have a sufficient amount of traction on a carpet surface, greatly lowering your chances of a tumble. Furthermore, the natural cushion of carpeting provides just enough of a barrier between your equipment and the ground to prevent damage.

Be sure to choose a carpet with a lower pile – too much cushion could also result in injury. Commercial or industrial carpet would be your best bet.

There are various hard surface flooring types that we also recommend. Hardwood, laminate & luxury vinyl all  offers a bit of give and can be easier to keep clean. They also feature an attractive, inviting look. You can pair wood flooring with rubber-soled rugs & mats that will grip the floor and give certain areas in your home gym a bit more cushion.

Durability

When considering the durability factor, you have options.

Carpeting provides just enough give in case a piece of heavy equipment is dropped, making it a solid choice. Tile, though durable as well, is also hard and rigid. One slip can cause a serious crack in the flooring, it may not be suited for spaces where you’ll be doing heavier weight training.

Typically your best option is a type of flooring that holds up to lots of movement and deals well with stains. A carpet with a thicker yarn construction will be able to hold up against the pounding and accumulation of sweat that’s inevitable when you’re getting your fitness on! You can also choose from a variety of luxury vinyl tile and laminate options that are designed specifically to resist stains of all kinds!

Both vinyl & laminate flooring are available in attractive wood looks that will give your home gym the warm and welcoming vibe you need to get motivated to sweat!

Functionality

Whether your exercise routine consists of cardio, weight training or calisthenics, you need to consider the functionality of your flooring. Carpet, unlike tile, is inviting. If your program requires you to get down onto the floor it has just enough cushion and support to provide some comfort.

Traditional ceramic can be cold, it is most certainly hard, and is generally much less inviting. A gym space should be a welcoming space to encourage you to work out often. Instead, opt for a softer laminate or luxury vinyl tile in the warm look of natural stone or hardwood.

You may also see real hardwood in your fitness center for aerobics classes, but this type of surface tends to wear easily and could require a special sub-flooring for safety, which adds to your overall cost.

Maintenance

After you have made your choice in flooring, maintaining the cleanliness will ensure an enjoyable fitness space.

To keep bacteria buildup to a minimum, start with a quality dust mop & vacuum cleaner. Weekly cleaning will stave off the accumulation of dust, especially if your routine includes exercises performed on the floor. Be sure to address the nooks and crannies in and around gym equipment as these hard to reach areas tend to accumulate the most amount of dust.

If you go with carpet, shampooing is a less frequent but equally important option. This will also keep any unwanted smells and stains from taking away from the overall experience of working out at home.

Conclusion

When it comes to furnishing your home gym, a carpet with a very short pile is definitely our top recommendation flooring for you. It is safe, durable, functional and relatively easy to maintain. If you’d prefer a hard surface, try a laminate, vinyl or hardwood paired with mats & rugs throughout the room. We carry all types of carpet, hardwood & area rug options to suit your fitness needs!

Removing Candy Stains from Carpet

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Carpet

Kids, Candy & Carpet Stains

If you have children or care for them on a regular basis, chances are that they’ve had a treat or two after their lunch or dinner. While they may have sat dutifully at the table like you asked them to for the main meal, if their dessert is more portable they’re usually out of there and already on the go. This may not be that big of an issue but once you step away from the main eating area you risk making a mess in a different part of the house. Children are magnets for messes when it comes to food-related spills and stains so it probably isn’t a surprise when you find spots on your carpet here and there that have been visited by the Candy Fairy. It’s bright, it’s sticky and it’s not as easily removed as you were hoping. What to do now? Here are a few tips to help you get that solid sugar off your carpets.

Tackling the large pieces is first on your list. It will be easier to get deeper into the fibers once you have cleared away all the debris first. It is very important that you use cold water for this process. Warm or hot water will only cause the sugar to stain the carpet even more and it will set. Just as you would clean your dark clothing with cold water, do the same with the candy. Let the water dissolve the pieces for several minutes and then gently pull the larger bits away from your carpet fibers. For stubborn pieces, you can try scraping them away with a kitchen utensil. Once you’ve done all you can with the larger parts, you can start treating the stain itself.

As far as cleaners go, the gentler the better. You don’t want to have to use anything harsh on your carpet and risk creating a new stain while trying to remove the old stain. A great choice would be a gentle carpet cleaner or one that is formulated to clean pet odors and stains. This is especially helpful as it will be safer chemical-wise for children and pets while it is drying. Use your carpet cleaner as directed on the package. If you need just a little more help to bring the stain up, moisten a cloth with white vinegar and blot the carpet gently.

If the stain is stubborn and won’t pull up, a citrus cleaner can be employed. Spot test a section of the carpet that is out of the way to be sure that it will not damage the material. Once you’ve lifted the stain, blot it with a dry towel and let it air dry.

What You Need to Know about Carpet

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Carpet

If you are considering adding carpet to your home, you need to read this. Many areas of the home can benefit from the warmth and comfort of carpet. This read will help you decide if carpet is the right choice for your home and family!

Carpet can help keep a home warmer in the colder months. It provides a level of comfort that is great for sitting on the floor and playing with children. Small children in the household will benefit from carpet when they are crawling or just learning to walk. This material is soft when little ones fall down, it also can prevent less injuries from falling.

Not only can children benefit from carpet. Elderly people can get better traction when walking on carpet. They too can be better protected if they slip and fall on this material. Carpet is a good choice when a home has individuals that have difficulty walking.

Allergens, dust and pollens that are floating around in the air are actually trapped into carpet fibers. Once the carpet has been vacuumed those particles are removed. This material is a great option for individuals that are prone to air borne allergens.

Buffering sound is one of carpet’s best qualities. The sound is absorbed by carpet fibers and the carpet pad beneath. This makes it a great choice for homes with multiple levels, as the sound does not travel as easily from one floor to another. Using carpet on stairs makes foot traffic less noisy too.

There is no need to worry about spills and stains. Many different stain resistant treatments can be applied to carpets in order to prevent stains from soaking in. Before you have carpet installed ask us about stain resistant treatment options. This is a must for families with children, pets or both!

With all the benefits and varieties of carpet, surely there is an area in your home that will benefit from carpet. Ask us about any questions, concerns or needs you may have. We will be able to help you decide what carpet is right for you and your family!

Questions for Your Carpet!

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Carpet

If you are just getting started in the process it can be hard to imagine what details you need to pay attention to, what questions you need to ask yourself, and where to even begin. There are four important questions to ask yourself when choosing a new carpet for your home that will help guide you to your perfect floor.

 

Be prepared to answer these questions when you first head to our store. These will help us to pinpoint your specific needs and this will allow us to show you the most appropriate options for your specific situation. The first question typically asked regards the amount of foot traffic and use will the room sees. This is important in determining what colors will work for your home—lighter carpets will not hold up as well if they are getting constant foot traffic.

 

Another question you may be asked is about the size of the room. Perhaps if the room is on the smaller side, a lighter carpet will help make the space feel bigger. Conversely, if you have a very large room a carpet with a darker color could help make it feel more inviting and warm. 

 

And finally, you will hear the question of the lighting in the space that is to be carpeted. This is important because if your space is a room that doesn’t get much natural light, you may consider getting carpet that is a shade lighter than you envision. Without natural light, any carpet will seem darker than it does in the store. 

 

Once you know the answer to these questions you are prepared to come in and speak with a customer service partner who will help you understand which carpets are right for you. Remember to ask us for samples to bring home as the lighting in the our store will not be the same as the lighting in your own home. You’ll want to bring them back with you to see how they look at home. Visit our website or visit us in one of our stores so we can help you with all of your flooring needs.

Removing Pumpkin Stains from Carpet

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Carpet

It is almost pumpkin carving time! We all know that carving a real pumpkin is fun and messy; which is why kids love it! If you happen to end up with a pumpkin stain on your carpet, we have the answer. Find out how to remove pumpkin stains in the safest way possible.

Act fast! The faster a stain is treated, will result in removing all of the soil. When a stain sits, the fibers will absorb the stain and harden. Making it much more difficult to remove.

A detergent solution is the best place to start if you act fast:

Mix ¼ Teaspoon of clear dishwashing detergent per 1 cup of lukewarm water. Rinse the solution a few times to make sure the detergent has been removed. Any leftover residue will attract dirt and cause that spot to soil much faster than the rest of the carpet.

For tougher stains, try a vinegar solution:

Mix 1 cup of white vinegar per 2 cups of water. Acid solution in the vinegar helps to lower the alkalinity of detergent or alkaline spills. This application can also be used if you are having trouble rinsing a detergent solution.

For set in stains try an ammonia solution:

Mix 1 tablespoon of household ammonia per 1 cup of water. When using this solution, make sure to test a small area before applying mix to the stain. Ammonia can cause a color change in the carpet fibers.

Feel free to ask us any questions you may have about pumpkin and carpet!  Until then, have fun carving those great faces!

 

Cleaning Spills From the Harvest Panini

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Carpet

Last time we posted about our delicious Harvest Panini. But what happens when your panini’s grease stains your carpet by accident or an unexpected drop of your sandwich gets food residue on your carpet? Anything can happen, especially if you are eating with your children. If you act quickly, there are methods to clean up the stain that will lessen the chances that your carpet is permanently stained. Most importantly, do not delay in treating the stain. Trying to finish your sandwich and telling yourself that you will clean the spot later on only increases the chance that your spot will be permanent.

 

First you will want to blot liquids with a dry, white cloth or paper towels. Remove any solid food that is left with a spoon or similar object. After this, vacuum the area to fully lift any food debris left over. Next you will want to pretest any spot removal solution you are about to use in an inconspicuous area if you haven not already. 

 

Next, apply the solution to the affected area and gently work the solution in from the outside of the stain inwards gently. Don’t rub the spot into the carpet! That will only damage the carpet itself. Let the solution work on the area for a few minutes and then blot. If the spot remains repeat this step as many times as necessary. Be patient, some stains require more than one application to lift the stain.

 

After you have removed the stain, use cold water to rinse the area. If you notice after the rinse that there is still some residue, try applying more spot removal solution and repeating. Rinse again with cold water and blot dry with a clean cloth until you have removed all of the moisture in the area. 

 

Hopefully following these steps will help save your carpet from that accident! Now, head back to that kitchen and make yourself a new Harvest Panini—you’ve certainly earned it!

The Perfect Carpet

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Carpet

Finding the perfect carpet can be a daunting task. There are so many textures and colors and patters and materials out there, it’s enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed. But you have all of the knowledge you need to make the best decision already, based on your needs and your preferences. Just read on for some guidance and before you know it you will know what is best for you and your home!

 

A great first place to start is to think about what kind of needs you will have over time. If your family is larger and you foresee tipped juice cups and lots of running around causing wear and tear you will want to start with your first decision which is what type of rug would be best. Perhaps instead, you are single and want a carpet that might not hold up to wear and tear like other carpets, but doesn’t need to because of your lifestyle…you might have more options available.

 

Once you know what type of carpet you are looking for you can get to the fun part—what colors you will use in your new space! There are several things to keep in mind when choosing your colors. As with painting your walls, lighter colors will open up your room and create the optical illusion of more space. This is a great choice if you want to keep the tone of the design airy or if you are laying down your new carpet a room that is on the smaller side. Conversely, if you want to create a more intimate setting to your room or want a more cozy feel to your design, then you might choose from darker carpeting that will tie it all together. 

 

Finally, keep in mind that when your carpet is installed in your home, it will look different than it did when you purchased it in the store.  This is because the light in the store will not match the lighting in your home. It is a good idea to ask if you can bring a sample home to observe this change.  You can also take advantage of our Shop At Home program.

 

These are situations that the consultants at Dolphin Carpet & Tile are ready to help you overcome.  Armed with this knowledge, come on in to our store and we will help you find the carpet that’s right for you!

Home Floor Options – Quick Guide To the 6 Styles of Carpet

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Carpet

If you are new to the world of carpet, this quick guide should help you choose the right kind of carpet for you and your home.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask us at Dolphin Carpet!

Plush / Saxony: This type of carpet is quite luxurious because it appears smooth, velvety, and soft. It is ideally suited to rooms where formality, elegance, and traditional design schemes are the priority. The yarns are all identical with a uniform twist and finish of the yarn so it gives a polished appearance despite being a textural feature in the room. Plush carpet looks best when vacuumed consistently so be sure you don’t mind doing so at least a couple of times per week.

Frieze: This type of carpet is wonderful for high-traffic areas and it can be used in most rooms. Its durability is due to the strands of yarn having a high twist level. If you look closely you’ll note that this tight twist actually causes it to curl over at the end, which helps protect it. The visual result is an interesting appearance that is a bit knobby looking, and a carpet that wears very well. Frieze also offers a lot of versatility because can be purchased in several pile heights.

Textured: This carpet is very well suited to casual room décor goals. It is popular in part because it’s has an attractive two-tone color blend that is the result of alternating twists of yarn. It also springs back nicely, so if visible footprints or vacuum tracks bother you you’ll like the way it resists imprints. Textured carpet is often used in high traffic areas such as family rooms and children’s rooms. 

Cable: Constructed of long, thick yarn, this carpet style is quite pretty. It’s noted for being very comfortable to walk on as well. It’s an ideal choice for a bedroom because it’s best used in low traffic areas where people are often barefoot. Excessive wear due to traffic and shoes can crush it and cause it to matte so be particular about where you use it.

Cut & Loop (aka Patterned): This carpet style features both cut and looped yarns. Using two different yarns results in what appears to be a pattern. This is because the two yarns have different surface textures. The presence of the two textures, along with the fact that this is a low loft carpet, makes it a great choice for wearing well under heavy traffic and camouflaging stains. Patterns range from things like casual geometric designs to elegant botanical designs.  

Looped: Also known as Berber carpet, this style of carpet uses large, bulky yarns. The yarns are manufactured with single or multiple level loop construction. Each individual loop is actually visible and it is these loops that make it so durable. It’s great for hiding traffic patterns. The most common fibers used to make looped carpet are olefin and nylon, although other blends are available as well. 

How to Treat a Great Barbecue Recipe Stain

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Carpet

In our previous post, we gave you one of our favorite barbecue recipes.  Since family barbecues are supposed to be relaxing events, this might help, because accidents happen!

This and a great number of tips on stains can be found on our Floor Care page.

How to treat a sauce stain in 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.

Detergent Solution – Mix one fourth (1/4) teaspoon of a liquid dishwashing detergent per one (1) cup of lukewarm water. NEVER USE A STRONGER CONCENTRATION! Thorough rinsing is necessary to remove detergent residues that may cause rapid soiling. It may be necessary to rinse with warm water several times to completely remove residues. (See Residue Precautions.) Care should be used in selecting a detergent. Never use a laundry detergent of any type, because laundry detergents may contain optical brighteners (flourescent dyes) that dye the fiber. Do not select an automatic dishwashing detergent because many contain bleaching agents that destroy dyes and some fibers.

Vinegar Solution – Mix one (1) cup of white vinegar per two (2) cups of water. White vinegar is a 5% acetic acid solution. It is used most often to lower the alkalinity caused by detergent solutions or alkaline spills.

Warm Water – Lukewarm tap water should be used in most cases to rinse the cleaning solutions from the fiber. Failure to completely rinse the solutions from the fiber may cause accelerated soiling.

Ammonia Solution – Mix one (1) tablespoon of household ammonia per cup of water. Please note: Be aware that ammonia, if used improperly, can cause a color change. Be sure to test a hidden area.

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.