milk spilled from glass on oak wooden surface

Caring for your Resilient Flooring

Written by Dolphin Blogger on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Floors, Hardwood, Tile and Natural Stone, Vinyl

Congratulations! Your new resilient flooring is installed and looks beautiful! If the flooring you’ve recently installed new is RevWood, RevWood Plus, or SolidTech Luxury Vinyl Tile, from Mohawk Flooring, or Luxury Vinyl from COREtec, then you have resilient flooring.  This type of flooring is great for spaces where moisture is generally an issue. They are pretty simple to care for, but we have put together some easy tips + tricks to share with you on how to care and maintain them so that you can enjoy your beautiful flooring for many years to come!

Basic Maintenance + Care

To remove dust and loose particles from your RevWood + RevWood Plus flooring on a regular basis, use a soft bristle broom, a dust mop or a suction only vacuum cleaner.  Avoid a vacuum with a beater bar. For a slightly damp cleaning, apply Mohawk’s FloorCare Essentials RevWood Cleaner to a cotton or microfiber mop and wipe down your flooring.  We advise to avoid any wet-mop cleaning or using liquid cleaners.  Always remember to wipe up any excess water right away with a clean, dry cloth.

Wooden floors professional washing with mop in the room. Regular clean up. Maid cleans house.

A dry mop is one of the best ways to take care of resilient flooring.

With your Mohawk SolidTech Luxury Vinyl Tile flooring, you may use a soft bristle broom to remove loose dirt.  Go ahead and use a damp-mop when needed but be sure to use a nonabrasive floor cleaner.

Lastly, your COREtec Flooring should be swept, dust mopped or vacuumed on a regular basis.  An occasional damp mopping is also suggested.  Be sure to wipe down your flooring with a clean dry cloth right after though.  If any excessive water is left, your flooring could expand.

Damage Control

When you have new flooring, it’s always key to know what to do when damage or stains could occur.  For instance, with your RevWood floors, if one of your planks is beyond repairing, you can use the Quick-Step UniFix Tool to remove and replace a damaged plank, on your own, in just minutes!  If your flooring becomes stained for any reason, (paint, oil, tar or markers for example) you can use an acetone-base nail polish remover.  You can also use an acetone-based nail polish remover on COREtec flooring stains, like; nail polish, paint, dye and permanent markers.

When you have furry friends running around, toddlers spilling their cups, family get togethers getting messy…with any spills that happen, make sure to wipe them up immediately!  Do not allow any standing water to remain on your flooring though as this may loosen the adhesive.

dog on floor

We love our furry friends – but they can make some big messes!

Dos and Don’ts

Here are some quick do’s and don’ts to CARE for your new flooring:

  • DO add A Little Extra Protection! At each of the entrances of your home, place floor mats or doormats, so that they collect all of that dust, dirt, substances and moisture that can be tracked into your home and onto your new flooring!
  • DO use protective pads under the footing of any heavy furniture
  • DO use pieces of carpet face down under heavy objects to slide across your flooring
  • DO spot clean and wipe up any spills immediately
  • DON’T wear high heels on your resilient flooring
  • DON’T use wax or polish
  • DON’T try to refinish or sand your resilient flooring
  • DON’T flood your floor with water or cleaner
Closeup of child's bare feet standing in spilled milk on wood floor

Don’t cry over spilled milk! Wipe up those spills right away to minimize potential damage.

Avoid These Cleaning Methods

To keep your flooring in tip top shape, here are a few products NOT to use when cleaning your floors.

  • RevWood & RevWood Plus: avoid wax, polish, soaps, shine enhancers, varnish and oils. Do not apply any cleaners directly to RevWood and we recommend not using cleaning machines like spray mops or steam cleaners or mops.
  • SolidTech Luxury Vinyl Flooring: avoid using a vacuum with a beater bar.
  • COREtec: never use vinegar, acetone or lacquer thinner to clean.

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!

Do I Need to Seal My Stone Flooring?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

Natural stone is an expensive flooring product that undoubtedly requires special care. Perhaps the biggest challenge that homeowners face is determining whether they should seal their stone floors. According to flooring experts both stone and tile, products can benefit from sealing.

Just think. There are so many different elements that tend to cling to the surface and penetrate the grout on your flooring. From oil, water, dyes, and resins such materials can cause the quality of your flooring to disintegrate over time.

What Does Sealant Do

To best determine whether you should apply a Sealant over your floors it’s important to understand exactly what a sealant does. There are hundreds of products available on the market that have been created to both protect and enhance the beauty of floor products. Such products include waxes, finishes, color enhancers as well as sealers. Sealers work by tight sealing the surface of your floors against chemicals and other contaminants.

When should I apply the sealant to my floors?
A common misconception is that sealing stone flooring is the final step. However, the sealer should be applied before the finish. Most sealants aren’t vapored permeable which means that they are semi permanent.

Water based or solvent based sealant?
Yes, when shopping for an appropriate sealant you’ll find that you can select either a water it solvent based sealant. The type of product you choose is largely dependent on where your natural stone floors are installed. Water based sealers can’t be used in outside environments and aren’t really recommended for areas that attract a lot of moisture. Such sealants have a short protection span and are affected by exposure to the cold. Most solvent sealers allow for deeper penetration which means increased protection. Solvent Sealers are versatile and probably your safe option.

Impregnator Sealers

Impregnator also known as penetrating sealers don’t change the natural look if the stone. This type if sealant maybe maintains the quality of the finishing because scratches and scuffing don’t show up. Depending on the manufacturer and surface location you won’t have to seal your floor for as little as six months to ten years.

Flooring Options: Ceramic and Natural Stone Tiles

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

When it comes to selecting tile for your home, there are a lot of great choices out there. Two of the best types on the market today are ceramic and natural stone tiles. Here is a little more information on each variety of tile to assist you in choosing the best materials for your lifestyle.

Ceramic tile is pretty popular, and for good reason. Once sealed after installation it becomes water-, scratch- and stain-resistant. This material is divided into two categories: porcelain tile and non-porcelain tile. Both are created using the same method, but porcelain tile contains 50% feldspar, which is a mineral that crystallizes during the heating portion of the tile-making process, giving it a different appearance than it’s non-porcelain counterpart. Traditional ceramic tile, or non-porcelain tile, is made with red, white and/or brown clay, minus the feldspar. Both are available in glazed or unglazed versions. Glazed options include high-gloss, semi-gloss and matte.

Natural stone is also very popular, but each type differs in and water-, stain- and scratch-resistance. Some materials are also more high-maintenance than others. If you are considering a natural stone look in your home, educate yourself on the upkeep of each variety to be sure you are making the right decision. Natural stone options include: Granite, Limestone (Travertine being the popular choice), Marble and Slate. Granite is one of the best choices available since it can stand up to heavy use without causing damage once it has been polished. Its density makes it durable and it comes in a wide range of colors. Travertine with it’s beautiful earth tones is considered a little more delicate tiling option as it is softer and prone to scratches and staining if not properly maintained. Available in textured and polished versions, it is not recommended for use in high traffic areas. Marble is also a more high-maintenance natural stone choice as it is softer than granite as well, but with proper regular sealing can be enjoyed for a long time. Finally, slate is a great option for resistance to wear and tear as it dense like granite and extremely durable. Slate is naturally textured but can be smoothed down if you prefer.

Come down to our showroom today and let us help you pick the proper tiling material for your home today!

Repurpose a Shed Part 2: Just for You

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

In our last post we gave you a few ideas of ways to repurpose a shed into fun creative spaces for your kids. This week, let’s focus on you! Here are a couple great ways to carve out some space for only your interests.

 

Potting Shed

If you love gardening and don’t already have a place to store pots, tools, extra potting soil and everything else that goes along with your gardening interests, make yourself a potting shed! Add windows for natural lighting to provide a nurturing environment for baby plants. Even better if they provide a view out to the garden. Consider adding a cold frame on the outside of the shed to grow seedlings during the off-season. Add a potting table at standing height and large enough to have room for easy access to hand tools so you can work comfortably. Create space on a wall to hang larger tools so you can easily grab and go to work. Spend some time reading gardening blogs for more ideas on creating the perfect potting shed that will surely make your gardening pursuits more complete!

 

She Shed

This one might be our favorite idea. Everyone’s heard of “Man-Caves”, but now a new trend has emerged in a similar vein for women, called “She Sheds”. It’s about time, right? Maybe it was the tiny house movement that inspired women to begin creating their very own tiny home away from home. This space could be as simple or as involved as you like, perhaps you want it simple and serene for meditation or even a small yoga studio. 

Or maybe you want your space comfortable and homey, complete with snug furniture, house plants, books, coffee, all the comforts you enjoy. Chose wood-look tile for the floor to create an instant rustic space or an intricate mosaic for a one-of-a-kind get-away.

Don’t skimp on the outside either. Create a cute front porch, landscaping and a tile path back to the house. Again, a quick search on Pinterest will provide you with tons of inspiration!

 

Enjoy taking some time to dream about creating a new interesting space to nurture your interests and creativity. Let us know in the comments if you decide to repurpose a shed and feel free to ask us if you have any questions!

Repurpose a Shed Part 1: For the Kids

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

Imagine a scenario where you have freed up storage space because you just did a big reorganization and parted ways with stuff you no longer need. How fun would it be to have an entire shed cleared and free to repurpose into something more fun than storage? We spent some time imagining a few ways and wanted to share with you. In Part 1, we offer you three ideas specific to children. Part 2 will talk about creating spaces just for you.


Playhouse

What child wouldn’t want their own miniature house behind the house? The ways to convert a shed into a playhouse are seemingly endless. Just a quick search on Pinterest will make you want to get started right away!

 

Arts & Crafts Studio

If you and your family love arts and crafts but dislike a constant mess in your home, a crafting shed would be a great fit and a joy to create.


Photography Studio

Create a place for your budding miniature photographer to take their creativity to the next level and make a child’s photography studio! Go shopping together and pick out different backdrops at the fabric store. Pick wall papers and mount them on boards as another option for backdrops. You can teach them about lighting by buying some used-professional lighting and even get creative and make your own lighting diffusers and reflectors. They can photograph their friends and family, take still-life shots of their toys and their collections from nature. Provide labeled bins for their props and help them get set up with a way to order prints of their favorite shots.

 

Other things to consider for all options: Remember to include climate control so you and your children can comfortably play in all temperatures. Add windows for natural lighting. Add a tile floor for comfort that is also easy to clean and maintain.  Install window boxes for flowers — a great way to keep the outside of the shed looking as good as your home.

Stay tuned for Part 2 for some ways to convert this space into something just for you.

 

We’d love to hear from you in the comments if you’ve ever repurposed a shed, or plan on doing this someday!

All About Ceramic Tile

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

Ceramic tile has been around since ancient times and has been used in interior and exterior applications. There is something special about a natural product that maintains beauty and strength for decades and even centuries. The durability is displayed in historic homes and structures, for that should be appreciated. Find out what you need to know about this fantastic natural product.

Yes ceramic tile is a natural product that is made from clay, minerals and water. Different glazes provides much variety that ceramic tile has to offer. The tile has a ceramic coating that enhances the tile with a certain color. This allows many different color ways available in the same tile patterns. The texture and pattern is innate in the particular tile itself.

This floor option is durable and easy to maintain. It is easily cared for by being swept and mopped. There is no other maintenance needed. Because of the ease and versatility, it is perfect in homes with pets and children.  Ceramic tile does not hold on to odor, allergens or bacteria and adds peace of mind. There are different grade options for the glaze that give the tile it’s added stability to be stain and scratch resistant.  Visit our website to find out what grade option is right for your home and family.

From mosaic to backsplash, wall or floor tile, ceramic tile offers an array of options. The colors, patterns and textures are abundant. This natural product is also fireproof because it doesn’t burn at any temperature and therefore will not fuel any fire. It is also water resistant and will not be damaged by water.

This material has proven it’s vigilance over time and should be celebrated for that. If you desire a natural product in your home that can stand up to the test of time and life than ceramic tile is the perfect option for you. Check out our website to view different colors, textures and even highly decorative tiles that can provide almost any look that you can dream up!

About Natural Stone

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

 

Natural stone options that are available to you, is granite, marble, slate and limestone. This material is one of the oldest building materials and been around since ancient times. The aesthetic qualities are organic and beautiful. It is made under the earth’s surface over thousands and even millions of years.

Some things you need to consider when deciding to use natural stone is knowing that different patterns and variation will occur. What you order will not look exactly like the sample in the showroom. Typically each piece is unlike any other piece. This is important information to keep in mind when shopping for natural stone. This is not a negative though – think of each piece as being unique and different from any other piece. This is a positive attribute if you wish to have a unique look in your home that is not a material that will look just like the neighbor’s house. This material will add to the value of your home and it will create a timeless look.

Natural stone needs to be maintained regularly by sweeping and mopping because dirt and sand can be abrasive to the stone’s surface. Do not use harsh cleaning products on this material. It is best to use a broom to clean the dirt and sand from the surface and then clean with a mop and a little warm water. When moving furniture and other heavy items across stone flooring make sure the stone is protected by putting easy glide feet on the furniture that’s being moved. This natural material can be scratched and chipped under pressure.

Another wonderful location to decorate with natural stone – use the natural stone on the walls and around fireplace surrounds. This will give you the best of the beauty and timeless qualities of this amazing material! 

Stone and Ceramic Floors

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

With the vast array of tile options available to you when you are deciding on what type you want to install in your home, the choice can seem overwhelming. However, once you understand the basics of types of tile, you will find it is much easier to narrow down your choices to just a few that you want to investigate further in store.  Below are a few fundamentals.

 

Ceramic tile is manufactured from clay and comes in two varieties—traditional ceramic and porcelain ceramic. Traditional ceramic is made from white, red, and brown clay. Porcelain ceramic is also made of this clay but about half of the mixture is comprised of a white mineral called feldspar. It is a type of crystal that, when introduced to a mixture of clay before the kiln-drying process, melts the materials. You have plenty of glazing options for both types of ceramic tile and glaze can be useful, not only as a decision for your design, but also as a guard against scratching, staining and water absorption.

 

There are plenty of natural stone options available on the market as well and each has qualities that better qualify it for certain types of rooms. For example, granite is a good choice for kitchens and high traffic areas because of its durability. Once installed, granite will be highly scratch resistant and also able to withstand the wear and tear of a floor that sees a lot of foot trafficl. On the other hand, a natural stone like marble is going to have rich and beautiful vein detailing. Marble is very porous though, and so it does not serve as a practical flooring option for somewhere like the kitchen unless you are willing to put in the maintenance work necessary to keep it properly sealed.

 

Finally, you have the more exotic stone flooring such as travertine. Travertine is a type of limestone and this can offer your space a beautiful light look with its crystallized, earthy appearance.

 

Always be sure to inquire if the type of stone you purchase requires special maintenance and that it fits the environment in which it is to be installed. This way you match your needs with the right type of stone for the perfect floor for your home.  Representatives at Dolphin Carpet are always happy to answer any questions you may have about natural stone options or any floor covering!  Visit us, either at our showrooms or online!