Tag Archives: laminate flooring

What Floors are the Easiest to Clean?

This is a question I rarely hear while helping people decide which floorcovering is the right one for them. I will bring maintenance and cleaning into the discussion but it rarely seems to be a huge concern. Maintenance and floor care should be the first concern and color and aesthetics should follow. I have lived on many different flooring products and I believe that Ceramic or Porcelain Tile is the easiest and require the least amount of effort to maintain. Let’s look at different types of flooring and the maintenance involved.

How do we Clean Carpet?

We will tackle the hardest first. Carpet. Most people don’t even want to look at carpet because they are never taught how to care for it. If proper care and maintenance id followed for carpet it can be the greatest floor product. Abuse it, neglect it, and you will become frustrated and aggravated and change it out sooner then you should have. By price, carpet should be your most affordable option so a little extra cleaning by Professionals would be a wise investment. Your local ProSource Wholesale Floorcoverings Store probably has many Members that are the finest in their field when it comes to getting Carpet Cleaned or stubborn stains removed.  Also when purchasing new carpet, consider investing in a Prime Urethane Padding with a moisture proof barrier, this is some of the cheapest insurance you can take out on your new purchase.

It's nice to be able to sit on soft inviting, clean carpet.

It’s nice to be able to sit on soft inviting, clean carpet.

What about Pets?

Even with pets, proper cleaning makes carpet easier to live on

Even with pets, proper cleaning makes carpet easier to live on

General care

Regular vacuuming is the key to keeping carpet beautiful and new-looking – for heavy-traffic areas vacuum every day if possible and once a week for the rest of the carpet.

Many types of cleaners are available when needed, including dry cleaners, spray-on foam cleaners and wet shampoo. Whichever you choose, make sure it is made for carpets. Always test a cleaner on a small inconspicuous area of the carpet first. Avoid anything meant for hard surfaces such as wood or tile. When choosing a professional carpet cleaner, ask for a reference and/or a firm estimate.

Treating spills

Act immediately! Don’t let the spill set or it might never be removed. Remember these three steps:

Apply-a damp white paper towel soaked in a cleaning solution to the spot (see list of solutions below); never wet the carpet through to the backing.

Blot-press straight down with a white paper towel-DO NOT RUB; place a 1/2″ thick pad of white paper towels with a weight on top and leave overnight if necessary

Scrape-from the outside edge of the spot toward the center

Cleaning solutions to be used to treat spills include:

Detergent-mix 1/2 tsp. clear dishwashing detergent with one cup warm water

Pre-soak-mix 1 tsp. enzyme laundry product (such as Axion or Biz) with one cup water

Hydrogen peroxide-mix 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide (3% strength, available in drug stores) with 1 tsp. household ammonia. Use within two hours.

  • Ammonia-undiluted household ammonia
  • Dry powder cleaner
  • Dry cleaning solvent-non-oily, non-caustic type sold for garment spot removal (caution: may be flammable)

Again, test on a small inconspicuous area first.

When you know your specific stain and need extra help follow the guidance from this Stain Removal Guide. Using the proper method always produces the best result.

Ceramic or Porcelain Tile

Tile ~ So easy to keep even a child can do it.

Tile ~ So easy to keep even a child can do it.

How to clean Porcelain Tile:

Porcelain tile is resistant to germs and bacteria and it is also among the easiest of flooring materials to clean. You can clean your porcelain tile with a damp sponge mop. A solution of 1/4 cup of white vinegar to 2 gallons of water works best – allow time for drying. You can also sweep or vacuum.Although porcelain tile is by definition impervious, it is still possible for its surface to discolor. The following instructions explain how to clean porcelain tile surfaces.
Glazed Tile:
For glazed porcelain tiles, use the following instructions for general cleaning:

  • Sweep or vacuum loose dirt and dust from the floor. An untreated dry dust mop is recommended instead of a broom.
  • Mop the floor with a mild cleaning solution (do not use wax, oil-based, or abrasive cleaners).
  • Rinse the tile thoroughly with clean and clear water.
  • Drying is also recommended – to increase the shine and to prevent water spots.

Textured Tile:
A textured porcelain tile surface requires additional cleaning procedures. A standard wet-mopping will not effectively clean a textured surface. For cleaning textured surfaces, follow these instructions:

  • Sweep or vacuum dust and debris from the floor. When sweeping, use a soft-bristle broom and sweep in 2 directions. First follow the direction of the tile, and then sweep diagonally. This will ensure the removal of all foreign material that might be residing in the texture.
  • Saturate the tile with a neutral cleaning solution, such as vinegar, with hot water and stir. Allow the cleaning solution to remain on the floor 5 – 10 minutes. Scrub the floor with a brush; again using a two-direction method.
  • Rinse the floor with clean, clear water to remove the cleaning solution.
  • For high traffic locations, it is recommended to clean the floor at least once per day and wet mop at regular intervals.

Always Remember:

  • Do not clean porcelain tile flooring with ammonia or with cleaners that contain bleach and/or acid. Acid and ammonia based cleaners may modify grout color.
  • Do not use wax, oil-based, abrasive cleaners, or sealants.
  • Agents that contain any dyes or colors are not recommended.
  • Use rugs at entrances to prevent dirt and grit from being tracked onto the tile flooring from outdoors.
  • Do not use steel wool pads, because loose steel particles may create rust stains in the grout.

What about dirty or stained Grout Joints?

My favorite products for cleaning tile are made by: Custom Building Products. Your local ProSource should have access to all their products. They are very easy to use and by following their instructions you should be able to solve all your cleaning woes.

custom grout cleaner

STRIPPING OR HEAVY SOIL BUILDUP: Mix 1 part cleaner to 2 partswater.Apply solution to surface with mop or sponge. Allow to dwell 3 to 5minutes for cleaning, or 5 to 10 minutes when stripping waxes orfinishes. Agitate with synthetic mop, scrub brush, or scrub machine. Donot allow solution to dry on surface. Mop up dirty solution. Rinsethoroughly with clean water.

Laminate Floors

Laminate has been the rave for durable flooring for a long time now. Remember, dirt and dust are the enemy. The small particles will act like sandpaper between your feet and the flooring surface. A good dust mop and regular vacuuming will help keep your floors looking beautiful much longer then anything else you do.

Mannington Elmhurst Alabaster Laminate Flooring

Mannington Elmhurst Alabaster Laminate Flooring

How to clean Laminate Flooring:

  • Use a damp cloth to blot up spills as soon as they happen. Never allow liquids to stand on your floor.
  • For tough spots, such as oil, paint, markers, lipstick, ink, or tar, use acetone/nail polish remover on a clean white cloth, then wipe the area with a damp cloth to remove any remaining residue.
  • Sweep, dust, or vacuum the floor regularly with the hard floor attachment (not the beater bar) to prevent accumulation of dirt and grit that can scratch or dull the floor finish.
  • Periodically clean the floor with cleaning products made specifically for laminate floor care. For optimum results.
  • Do not wash or wet mop the floor with soap, water, oil-soap detergent, or any other liquid cleaning material. This could cause swelling, warping, delamination, and joint-line separation, and void the warranty.
  • Do not use steel wool, abrasive cleaners, or strong ammoniated or chlorinated type cleaners.
  • Do not use any type of buffing or polishing machine on your laminate floors.
  • For spots such as candle wax or chewing gum, harden the spot with ice and then gently scrape with a plastic scraper, such as a credit card. Be careful not to scratch the flooring surface. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
  • A more frequent dust-mopping or vacuuming schedule may be required in very sandy areas such as a beach home.
Armstrong's Canyon Slate - Available through your local ProSource

Armstrong’s Canyon Slate – Available through your local ProSource

Here are some ideas I borrowed from Armstrong to help keep your Laminate looking good for a long time.

The versatility of laminate flooring is what makes it a favorite with homeowners who want a beautiful floor that’s long-lasting and easy to clean. To get the performance you want from your laminate floor, follow these simple steps.

Routine cleaning for your laminate floor

  • Your scratch resistant laminate floor is extremely durable, but everyday dirt and grit could eventually lead to fine scratches that can dull the surface. Regularly dust mop or vacuum laminate flooring with a soft brush or wood floor attachment to pick up dust and grit. You can also use a slightly damp mop for spot cleaning.
  • Clean up liquid spills as soon as they occur with a cloth or sponge. Don’t allow excess liquids or wet areas – including your pet’s water bowl – to pool on the floor or they may stain or damage your floor’s protective wear layer.
  • For occasional thorough cleaning, use a well-squeezed mop dampened with Armstrong Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner or Bruce® Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner. A light mopping is all you need!
  • Don’t use soap-based detergents or “mop and shine” products as these can leave a dull film on the surface of your laminate floor.

Caring for your laminate floor

Your beautiful Armstrong laminate floor is extremely scratch- and impact-resistant, but it’s not indestructible. Maximize the durability of your laminate floor by following these care and maintenance tips.

  • Place a natural material mat or a mat that won’t fade or bleed color at outside entrances to collect tracked-in dirt and absorb excess moisture.
  • Use protective felt pads under furniture legs and appliances. As a general rule, the heavier the item, the wider the floor protector should be to prevent indentation.
  • Avoid wearing high heels or shoes with cleats on your laminate flooring, and keep your pets’ nails trimmed.
  • When moving furniture, don’t slide pieces across a laminate floor. If possible, carefully lift heavy items when repositioning them. Or use a wheeled dolly after first placing a clean sheet of smooth plywood or large, heavy cardboard over your laminate floor to protect it.
  • If you expect an area of your laminate floor will be subjected to heavier than normal foot traffic, use an area rug.
  • Occasionally, rearrange furniture to avoid indentation.
  • Make minor nicks or scratches disappear with a color-matched correction kit, such as Armstrong’s Laminate Floor Touch-Up Kit.
  • Be sure to check the manufacturer’s warranty for additional care instructions and recommendations.

As you can see, it doesn’t take much time or effort to ensure your beautiful laminate floor will look and perform its best year after year.

Resista Laminate has hundreds of patterns to choose from.

Resista Laminate has 5o Year Warranty

Affordable

At ProSource Wholesale Floorcoverings you will always pay less, see our Low Price Guarantee

I have $100 that says you can't beat our prices!

I have $100 that says you can’t beat our prices!

We have 7 Locations to serve you better:

Allen, Texas Phone – 972-521-5115

Austin, Texas Phone – 512-836-7888

North Dallas, Texas Phone – 972-250-4040

Dallas Market Center, Texas Phone – 214-742-3300

Fort Worth, Texas  Phone – 817-831-8181

Little Rock, Arkansas Phone –  501-758-0801

San Antonio, Texas Phone – 210-829-8290

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Filed under Cleaning, Cork, Hardwood, Kitchen, Laminate, Luxury Vinyl Tile, Natural Stone, Tile

Hardwood or Laminate?

Today the Laminate Industry has come a long way in making products that are more appealing then in the Days when Pergo first came to the United States in the early 1990’s. There are many options in thickness, style, sound, color, etc. So the dilemma I am constantly hearing is: “Which floor should I choose? Laminate or Hardwood?”

Today’s Laminate have a much more real look, feel and sound.

Armstrong: Sapele Long Plank - Wrought Iron 12.30 mm Laminate Wood Look

Armstrong:
Sapele Long Plank – Wrought Iron
12.30 mm Laminate Wood Look

Laminate has it’s place and I will usually show it if the budget dictates, and that isn’t always true the nicer looking laminates in the market are priced similar to hardwood. Another reason you might choose laminate is if you wanted a more “Green” Product. Laminate in most cases can be more environmentally friendly.

Check out these environmental facts about Laminate:

Laminate flooring is inherently eco-friendly but not all products make the cut. The NALFA certification seal is proof that a laminate floor is sustainable and is built with these qualities:

  • It’s made with natural resources like wood chip fiberboard
  • It’s recyclable
  • It’s free of air-damaging chemicals
  • It complies with formaldehyde emissions regulations for laminate flooring core board set forth by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) sections 93120-93120.12, title 17, of the California Code of Regulations
  • It is comprised of recycled content that may contribute points to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards for homes and businesses
  • It requires no special glues or adhesives during installation (eliminating VOCs) and no special cleaners for proper cleaning and maintenance (improving air quality)

Wood flooring is the most abundantly renewable flooring material available. Sustainable forest management makes it possible to harvest wood without any serious impact on the environment, because trees are a renewable resource that can be replaced time and time again.

Check out these environmental facts about Wood Floors:

  • Average annual net growth for hardwoods is greater than average annual removals (Source: US Department of Agriculture Forest Service)
  • Indoor air quality is better with wood floors (Source: US Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Wood is a carbon neutral product that produces oxygen during its growth cycle and stores carbon during its service life (Source: University of Wisconsin Wood Products Program Solid Wood Flooring Life Cycle Analysis)
  • Wood floors use less water and energy to produce than other flooring options (Source: University of Wisconsin Wood Products Program Solid Wood Flooring Life Cycle Analysis)
  • At the end of its service life, wood flooring can be burned as fuel or recycled (Source: University of Wisconsin Wood Products Program Solid Wood Flooring Life Cycle Analysis)
  • Wood floors last hundreds of years, so won’t need to be replaced as often as other flooring options (Source: National Association of Home Builders)
  • While it takes most hardwood trees 40-60 years to mature, the inventory planted today won’t be needed for 100-plus years (Source: National Wood Flooring Association)

You can learn more about the environmental benefits of wood floors by downloading a copy of the University of Wisconsin Wood Products Program Solid Wood Flooring Life Cycle Analysis

Hardwood gives much better re-sale value to your home. In today’s tough real estate market, sellers are looking for any edge they can find to help sell their home fast. For many sellers, hardwood flooring can help. Across the country, 99% of real estate agents agree that homes with hardwood floors are easier to sell. And, 90% agree that they sell for more money. In many cases a homeowner can double their return on investment by installing hardwood floors. You can’t get a much better bang for your buck than that. With today’s finishes the average lifespan of a hardwood floor is 30 years, so whether you are selling or plan to stay a while, hardwood is always the better option.

Armstrong: Acacia - Natural 4.72 in. Engineered Hardwood Plank

Armstrong:
Acacia – Natural
4.72 in. Engineered Hardwood Plank

So, what do we need to look at? Durability, dent resistance, wear layer, moisture resistance, they are all traits that might make us choose one over the other.

Laminate:

Laminate Flooring has four layers: a wear layer, a design layer, an inner core layer and a backing layer.

Wear layer – clear top layer that protects the floor from stains and fading
Design layer – a photographic image of wood, stone, brick or ceramic
Inner core – plastic resin that keeps the laminate stable and flat
Backing – creates a moisture barrier that protects the floor from warping

This layered construction makes laminate floors remarkably durable.

Engineered Hardwood:

Engineered wood floors are real wood floors that are manufactured using three to nine layers of different wood veneers. The sub layers can be of the same species, or of different species. The grain of each layer runs in different directions, which makes it very stable. This means that the wood will expand and contract less than solid wood flooring during fluctuations in humidity and temperature. The top layer of engineered wood flooring consists of high-quality wood. While this type of flooring can be sanded and finished, it cannot be done as many times as solid wood flooring. Engineered wood flooring can be installed above, on or below grade.

One of the most critical elements about either of these products is installation. Many products say DIY, and that sounds wonderful. Neither are any easier to install and I have installed both. Laminate is sold as easier for a Do-It Yourselfer, but I disagree. I found that gluing down my Hardwood floor was much easier then laying my floating laminate floor. to each his own I guess. If you are not up to the challenge and need a reputable company to install your laminate, ProSource Wholesale Floorcoverings has many Members that could assist you with your project and let you buy direct through their account.

To find out more about Laminate Flooring visit: North American Laminate Flooring Association

To find out more about Hardwood Flooring visit: The National Wood Flooring Association

We have 7 Locations to serve you better:

Allen, Texas Phone – 972-521-5115

Austin, Texas Phone – 512-836-7888

North Dallas, Texas Phone – 972-250-4040

Dallas Market Center, Texas Phone – 214-742-3300

Fort Worth, Texas  Phone – 817-831-8181

Little Rock, Arkansas Phone –  501-758-0801

San Antonio, Texas Phone – 210-829-8290

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Filed under Green Products, Hardwood, Laminate, Uncategorized

What are the best types of eco-friendly floor coverings?

Practicing safe environmental habits and exploring the new trend toward sustainability in flooring can be an excellent way for homeowners to enhance the values of their home. From laminate to cork and bamboo flooring, several sustainable flooring options exist that can be a great complement to the existing interior decor.

“The manufacture of laminate flooring doesn’t involve the harvesting of old-growth hardwoods like those found in tropical rainforests,” said Bill Dearing, president of the North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA). “Laminate provides the desired look, no matter how scarce, without depleting natural resources.”

What makes laminate flooring such a great option for homeowners looking to go green? According the NALFA, many laminate floors are made using pre-consumer recycled waste and require fewer raw materials during the manufacturing process than other floor coverings. Furthermore, laminate  often times doesn’t require installation using glue or an adhesive, which can reduce harmful emissions, and is also recyclable.

There are two types of laminate flooring – high pressure and direct pressure. While each type offers great resiliency, how it’s manufactured can impact the finished product. With high pressure laminate the materials are pressed at high temperatures of around 500 degrees to produce a cohesive floor covering.

Laminate flooring manufacturers construct direct pressure laminate differently, binding materials together at a lower temperature and using less pressure in the process. This can make direct pressure laminate a cost-effective alternative to high pressure laminate and an attractive option to homeowners who like the look and sustainability of laminate but want to avoid spending a great amount of money.

Another great flooring option for homeowners who want to use sustainable materials is bamboo, which is technically a form of grass and has regenerative abilities. Harder and more dent-resistant than wood, bamboo also offers a crisp aesthetic appeal that many homeowners are sure to find alluring, according to Elegant-floors.com.

Floor Trends Magazine reports that BAMBOO is found naturally in several areas throughout the world, however, the majority is imported into the United States from China, which pockets an estimated $10 to $15 billion annually from the industry.

Made from tree bark and resistant to moisture, CORK flooring can reduce a homeowner’s environmental impact and lend new-found elegance to interior decor. HouseLogic.com recommends treating this distinctive and richly-textured grain flooring type with a sealant every three to four years to prevent scratches, which could mar the beauty of this luxurious material.

SOURCE

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Filed under Bamboo, Cork, Laminate, Sustainalble Flooring