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!

Limestone Tile for the Home

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Floors, Tile and Natural Stone

If you are a homeowner, you want nothing but the best when it comes to decorating your home. To give the interior of your house an exemplary look, the best thing that can set the theme and mood for your house is the flooring. When it comes to flooring, homeowners can choose from granite tiles, marble tiles, and ceramic tiles, but there is something in limestone tile that sets it apart from the other types of tiles making it a highly popular choice for home flooring.

Limestone has its own unique and natural qualities that make it stand out among the other types of tile flooring and one of them is its natural shine which gives a space a luxurious look. Since limestone is found in bodies of water, a few impurities like fossils are found in it, which gives limestone its variety of shades and textures. Some of the colors that are available for limestone include earthy tones of green and brown, blue, and grey.

Limestone also gained its popularity because of its durability, so it can be used in any room in the house since it can stand up to heavy traffic. Homeowners use it in the kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom without worrying about damage as it has a very hard surface and can even resist extreme temperatures.

It is also the most hygienic flooring since it doesn’t allow the growth of bacteria and mold which is bad for your health.

Limestone tiles are indeed the perfect choice for flooring if you want to bring luxury and elegance to your home.

Penny Wise

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

The old saying “penny wise and pound foolish” can certainly be applied to home decorating. Putting your budget and money towards investments is wiser than skimping on the big decorative elements and splurging on trendy accents.  When it comes to decorating or remodeling it is important to be more pound wise and penny foolish.

Decorating and designing your home can be a costly endeavor. Whatever budget you have for decorating, putting your money where it counts and will make the biggest impact is key.  Flooring and furniture are two areas where money spent can be a good investment.

Buying the best quality flooring, whether you prefer carpet or tile, is an investment that should last for years in your home. Furniture purchases are the same.  A well constructed sofa or chair, a good quality mattress and bed frame, can last for years of use without showing its age.

Upholstery and rugs are two more important places to spend money.  Invest in durable materials and good quality that can stand up to the wear and tear of everyday living in your home. Accent fabrics and pillows can be trendier as they are easier and less expensive to replace.

Follow the trends with accents and inexpensive DIY projects that can emulate more expensive items. Pillows, decorative objects, and paint for the walls can transform a tired décor without spending a great deal of money.  Save your pennies for the big expenses and investment pieces that will last you for years.

Taking Care of Cork Flooring

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

Cork flooring is a very popular option these days. Cork floors are gorgeous, environmentally friendly floors, hypoallergenic and incredibly durable. However, they do require proper care and maintenance so that they stay looking good for years.

Here are a few tips on how to take care of your cork floors:

  1. Perform regular maintenance – sweep your floors often to pick up dirt and dust.
  2. Prevent fading – over a period of time sun exposure can cause your floors to fade. Be sure to install curtains, blinds or a window tint to block direct sunlight.
  3. Protect – lift, don’t drag furniture across your floors. Place felt pads under all furniture to prevent scuffs.
  4. Mop –damp mop your cork floors weekly. Remember that cork is absorbent, which means it can easily be stained from spills. All spills should be wiped up as soon as possible. Do not use abrasive cleaners or solvents, especially those that contain glycerin. These products can harm the finish making it impossible to refinish. A neutral PH detergent (PH of 6-8) should be used to clean cork floors either with a wrung out sponge or misted over the floor and damp mopped.

Cork floors are one of the easiest floors to maintain. If you follow our tips on keeping them clean they will continue to look beautiful for years and years.

Flooring – Details Underfoot

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Floors

In design, like life, it is the little things that count. A row of tassel trim on a pillow. A stripe on a rug that coordinates with the sofa and the curtains. These small details are what separate good design from excellent design. Having an eye for detail in a room from floor to ceiling will make the room feel polished and put together, even if it was not decorated by a pro.

Take this wood floor for example. The dark band of inlay or stain creates a border around the room’s perimeter that draws attention to the shape of the room and the architectural details. The stripe also adds an extra bit of design to the room that turns a beautiful wood floor into something even more special.

Adding these little design touches on the floor is a great way to draw the eye around the space. Inlaid or stained patterns can be done on wood floors. Tile floors could have a pattern or a random accent tile; something that is common in traditional white hexagonal tile floors that have a random pattern of black tiles. A solid colored area rug with a contrasting color on the edging or a sisal rug with colored banding are other examples of small design touches for flooring that can have big impacts.

When adding the finishing touches to a room design, don’t forget the floor. Floors are typically 30% of a room and a great place to add special design touches and details.

White Carpet and Furniture with Kids and Pets?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Carpet, Family, Floors

Does the idea of white shag carpet in a house with kids or pets make you shudder? Many people avoid white carpets and white furniture when they have kids and pets. If you have the perfect children and the perfect pets who never spill or track in dirt, you might be fine with all white carpet or furniture. Is white really off limits for the rest of us? With today’s high tech fabrics and stain protectors, white can once again be a choice for furniture and flooring, even with those messy pets and kids.

Taking off shoes and avoiding tracking in dirt and water from outside is a good habit to get into for any flooring. Preventing the dirt from being brought into the home will put you ahead of the game when it comes to battling dirt. Blotting and treating spills and stains as they happen is also a good habit to get into whatever your carpet or flooring. Home steamers and steam cleaners are more readily available and more effective.

If you love the look of white furniture, consider slipcovers. White cotton slipcovers can be custom made or bought premade in a variety of sizes and styles. If you make a custom slipcover yourself or have it made by an upholsterer, you will get the best fit for your sofa or chair. You can choose a slipcover with a skirt that is box pleated, ruffled or straight; or one that does not have a skirt and exposes the legs.

Faux Stone Floors

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Floors, Vinyl

Faux stone floors are a wonderful way to get the look of stone at a budget friendly price.

The floor pictured here has the look of a marble harlequin pattern floor. Is it marble? Or is it faux stone? It is difficult to tell the difference without being able to touch and feel the floor.

Faux stone floors have come a long way in the last few years. There are faux stone tiles made from porcelain or ceramic as well as vinyl. Each of these materials has its own unique characteristics but amazingly can imitate the look of stone to fool most eyes. Ceramic tiles can be created that even have the small pockmarks of travertine as well as the look of slate and other stones. Porcelain and ceramic tiles will also give the cool feeling underfoot of real stone.

Vinyl faux stone tile can give you the look of stone without the budget expense of real stone. Today’s vinyl floors are very different from your mother or grandmother’s vinyl kitchen floor. Faux stone vinyl tiles can even have some of the texture of real stone even if they don’t have the cool stone feel. Vinyl tiles are also a great project for homeowners who want to change the look of a bathroom or mudroom floor in a hurry.