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Transitioning from Conventional to Green Cleaning

If you’ve recently finished a renovation of your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or living room and you’re eager to maintain the pristine appeal of your new flooring, you’ve likely scoured the internet for the best cleaning rituals possible that will allow your home to stand the test of time.

Rather than using harsh and abrasive chemicals that could damage the quality of your floors, you should embrace green cleaning methods across your domicile. Washing and scrubbing with all-natural products won’t just save you from being exposed to noxious fumes and the unsavory side effects of potent antiseptic compounds – it will also help you retain your floor’s natural luster!

Like with conventional cleaners, some all-natural mixtures work better on certain kinds of materials than others. If you recently installed hardwood floors in your home, one effective way to bring out the shine in your floors is by boiling two tea bags in water, then using the antioxidant-laden water to scrub away grime and disinfect the area.

When it comes to sloughing away dirt from laminate floors, you may be in luck. Laminate flooring is already a great choice for those looking to go eco-friendly – not only can laminate replicate the look of real stone and wood without using this vital natural resource, but it can also be made from recyclable materials, reports the North American Laminate Flooring Association.

“Laminate flooring has a wealth of green advantages, and products certified to NALFA’s sustainability standard are being used in growing numbers because of them,” said NALFA president Bill Dearing.

According to NALFA, the composition of laminate floors are only one aspect of their green appeal. While the cores of laminate are typically comprised of 74 percent pre-consumer recycled waste, the installation process is actually where laminate really can excel. Many installers can select floating laminate flooring for homeowners, which removes the need to adhere the flooring with glue or adhesives to the subfloor.

If you’re wondering how to clean laminate floors, you need look no further! Distilled white vinegar is a versatile choice for green cleaning and can help remove scuffs, stains or other discolorations in the flooring when mixed with water. In addition, Borax, which is often sold in the laundry aisle of local grocery stores, contains powerful disinfectant components and may be excellent for highly trafficked areas.

Lastly, if you want to add a little fragrance to your dwelling, essential oils like clove or lavender can be great. Simply dip a cotton ball with the oil and leave it in a musty area of your home, like a spare bathroom or basement. You’ll be amazed at how enduring the scent will be!



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Teragren’s Bamboo now Certified USDA BioPreferred


With a growing number of consumers, design professionals and builders seeking ways to incorporate “green” products into their home design projects, the Teragren company is an experienced partner and valuable resource.

Teragren was founded in 1994 (under the name of “TimberGrass”), and have been committed to developing and manufacturing beautiful bamboo products that:

· Reduce dependence on dwindling timber resources
· Rely on renewable-resource materials
· Adhere to stringent, environmentally sensitive specifications
· Promote green building
· Help neutralize the company’s environmental footprint

As a pioneer in the bamboo flooring industry, Teragren has championed strict environmental standards. They’ve worked with the U.S. Green Building Council to promote its LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™, a system that has become the national standard. Because bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource, all of our products contribute to LEED® v3 certification under MR Credit 6: Rapidly Renewable Materials. All Teragren traditional bamboo flooring, panel and veneer products made with our proprietary no-added-urea-formaldehyde adhesive, and our formaldehyde-free bamboo countertops/table tops, comply with IEQ Credit 4.4: Low-Emitting Materials—Composite Wood and Agrifiber Products. Teragren Portfolio and Synergy™ solid-strip strand bamboo flooring, stair parts and trim, as well as our strand panels and veneer qualify for LEED® v3 IEQ Credit 4.4 because they are manufactured using a phenol-formaldehyde adhesive that emits an average of 0.01 ppm of formaldehyde.


Teragren delivers peace of mind by complying with the highest quality, environmental, and health standards. Their floors were first in the industry to earn FloorScore®-certification, the highest air quality standard in the world. The FloorScore® program rigorously tests products for 78 different VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). Certified products qualify for use in high performance schools and offices and are recognized as contributing to good indoor air quality in order to ensure human health. All Teragren floors qualify for IEQ Credit 4.3: Low-Emitting Materials—Flooring Systems. Teragren Bamboo has earned the USDA Certified Biobased Product Label for its complete line of bamboo building products, the company announced. The USDA Certified Biobased Product Label verifies that the products’ amount of renewable biobased ingredients meets or exceeds prescribed USDA levels. Biobased products are goods composed in whole or in significant part of agricultural, forestry, or marine materials.

Teragren’s USDA BioPreferred program was created to promote the increased purchase and use of biobased products which are expected to reduce petroleum consumption, increase the use of renewable resources, better manage the carbon cycle, and may contribute to reducing adverse environmental and health impacts.

“We are very excited that our products have tested at such a high biobased content, and are looking forward to proudly displaying the USDA BioPreferred label on all of our products going forward” said Teragren president Mike Boshart. The label is estimated to be on certified Teragren products and available to consumers by early 2013.



Related Posts on ProSource going Green

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Filed under Announcements, Bamboo, Hardwood, Sustainalble Flooring

October Sales Event Kick-Off Begins Monday!


ProSource kitchen & bath beats the competition with…

One-stop shopping
You will find everything you need to create a stunning and functional living or work space that your clients will love in one easy-to-shop Showroom.


Better quality products
ProSource features solid, all-wood cabinets with standard dovetail drawers and top-quality countertops. All products are first-quality made to withstand modern living.

Bigger product selection
In addition to leading national brands that you and your clients know and trust, we also offer high quality private brands that your clients will not find outside ProSource.


Low wholesale prices
Why pay retail? ProSource Wholesale makes your project easier and more affordable. Trade Professional Members save up to 30% off every day!

Free expert design services
ProSource designers can assist you with any budget range and provide recommendations for cabinets, counters, hardware, flooring and backsplashes. Initial designs are absolutely free.


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Tile News: Porcelain vs. Ceramic


Tile terminology can be confusing. Most types of tiles are made from clay or a mixture of clay and other materials.  They are then kiln-fired. The larger classification of “ceramic tiles” can be split into two groups: 1) porcelain tiles and 2) non-porcelain tiles. These non-porcelain tiles are frequently referred to as “ceramic tiles” by themselves, separate from porcelain tiles.  While porcelain tiles technically are a subset of ceramics, they are often referred to as porcelains because they are denser, stronger and more durable tile flooring.


Ceramic Tiles are generally made from red or white clay fired in a kiln. They are almost always finished with a durable glaze which carries the color and pattern. They can be naturally colored and left unglazed (like terra cotta) or they can have highly stylized and designed surfaces that are glazed.  They can be glazed in a high gloss or matte finish. These tiles are used in both wall tile and floor tile applications.  They are softer and easier to cut than porcelain, and usually carry a PEI 0 to 3 rating (see below). Ceramic tiles are usually suitable for very light to moderate traffic and generally have a relatively high water absorption rating making them less frost resistant. They tend to be more prone to wear and chipping than porcelain tiles.  And, because they often red or white underneath, when they do chip, it tends to show more.

Porcelain Tiles are a newer tile form that are extremely popular among residential and commercial flooring projects. They are generally made by the dust pressed method from porcelain clays and fired at much higher temperatures than ceramic tiles. This process makes porcelain tile more dense, less porous, much harder and less prone to moisture and stain absorption than ceramic tiles. For these reasons, most porcelain tiles are suitable for both indoor and outdoor installation. Porcelain tiles usually have a much lower water absorption rate (less than 0.5%) than non-porcelain tiles making them frost resistant or frost-proof.


PEI stands for Porcelain Enamel Institute

This rating acts as a universal meter to rank porcelain tile in its application and use.

Class 1:  No foot traffic.  Wall use only

Class 2:  Light traffic.  Bathroom wall and floor applications

Class 3:  Light to moderate traffic.  Walls, counter tops and floors normal foot traffic

Class 4:  Moderate to heavy traffic.  Good for all residential applications as well as medium commercial and light institutional

Class 5:  Heavy to extra heavy traffic.  All residential and all commercial and institutional use.

Full body porcelain tiles carry the color and pattern through the entire thickness of the tile making them virtually impervious to wear and are suitable for any application from residential to the highest traffic commercial or industrial applications. Porcelain tiles are available in matte, unglazed or a high polished finish.  They tend to look more authentic to natural stone products.

Overall choosing a tile floor is always contingent on pattern, color, and price. Homeowners please consider the application and the potential foot traffic your prospective new floor will experience. At ProSource, we house over 20,000 flooring samples in each of our showrooms, so stop in today and take tour of our amazing tile selection!



Filed under Natural Stone, Special Events, Tile


Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of U.S. homeowners have rugs in their homes. That’s no surprise since area rugs can change a room from cold and unfinished to warm and stylishly complete. Area rugs have many functions. They can make a room appear larger, create an intimate seating area, keep feet warm on hard surface floors, minimize noise levels, complete a design scheme as well as many other functions. It is hard to set “rules” for area rug sizes since there are no standard room sizes with exact furniture placement. Use the advice below as a general guideline to get you started. The final decision should be based on how the room looks and feels when the rug is put into place.

Choosing the right pattern can be as important as choosing the right size. If you have a solid color sofa, painted walls rather than patterned wallpaper and minimal patterns in the room, a patterned area rug can tie all of the other colors in the room together giving you a whole new look for the room. If your room has patterned walls, patterned upholstery and other focal points, but the floors still need warmth, an area rug with a less detailed pattern or even a solid rug with a border might be the best choice.

How do you choose the right size to achieve the look you want?

Take into consideration the edges and corners of the area rug being a trip hazard.
The proper type of rug pad should always be used depending on the type of flooring under the rug. Failure to use the proper type of rug padding can do permanent damage to the floors because the backing can scratch the floors. Choosing the right type of rug pad, whether it be on top of wood, tile or carpet will be safer for your floors and keep your area rug from “walking” or “crawling”. Also, be sure that your rug is properly secured to the floor so that no one trips over the rug. Rug pad also helps the rug wear better, absorb the impact of body weight and noise and make vacuuming easier.

  • Rugs come with and without fringes. This is personal preference, depending if the option is offered for the rug. There are different styles and lengths of fringe for area rugs ranging from short (that stays in place) to long (that doesn’t always stay perfectly in place). Care should be taken when vacuuming an area rug with fringe.
  • Area rugs should be rotated at least once a year if the floors underneath are subject to fading. This will ensure even aging of the floors under the rug.

Living Room

Under the coffee table – typically a 4×6 or 6×9 area rug will work best here. This application will work best if your area rug is going over carpet or is being used to bring a conversation area in closer for a more intimate feel. The entire coffee table should fit on the area rug and be as close to the same length as the furniture as possible.
Covering most of the floor – if you have a large room with hard surface floors and are trying to warm the entire room or address acoustic issues, an oversized area rug might be the best solution. If the seating pieces are positioned comfortably in the center of the room and a walk way is desired around the perimeter of the room be sure that all of the furniture fits on the area rug.
It is optional if you want the back feet of the sofa on the area rug. All 4 chair legs of chairs that can be picked up and repositioned should always be on the area rug so that a guest is not unbalanced while seated.

Dining Room

Plan to purchase an area rug that will not only accommodate the size of the table with all of the leaves inserted, but also cover the space that is required when the chairs are pulled out to seat someone. It can be uncomfortable to sit in a chair with the front legs on the rug and the back legs are off the rug, especially if you try to adjust the chair forward. Most dining room tables need an area rug that is at least 8’ wide.
If you do not use the dining room very often and plan to use the leaves even less, you can purchase a smaller rug that accommodates the smallest size of the table without the leaves, but still keep the position of the chairs into consideration.
The size of the room and ratio to the size of the rug is important because if the room is significantly larger than the table and chairs, then you will definitely want a larger rug. If the room is smaller and the table and chairs take up most of the room a rug that is sized for all of the leaves may overwhelm the room.
A simple guideline is to measure the length and the width of the table and add 4’ to each measurement.


One of the benefits of having an area rug in a bedroom with hard surface floors is the warmth of your feet hitting the floor in the morning. In this case, the area rug should cover the area of the bed as well as the nightstands. This should give your feet plenty of landing room while keeping the nightstands level.
Another opinion is that the rug should extend 18″ past the edge of the bed for a king or queen size bed and 12″ for a full or twin size bed. The rug can certainly extend more, but should not be less than these guidelines. Area rugs can also be used in the sitting area of a bedroom to create a cozy space. Another option is to “scatter rugs” throughout the room. One could be placed in the seating area and another at the foot of the bed.


  • Area rugs can make a hallway quieter and warmer. They should cover as much of the length of the hallway without intruding into the traffic area.
  • The rug should be contained in the hallway and not intrude into the next room. You don’t want to find yourself partly on and partly off an area rug in a room.
  • This can be a great area to choose a colorful patterned rug because it will do a better job of hiding dirt and traffic, it can give life to an area that typically doesn’t have a lot of color or pattern and can set the tone/color palette for the rooms off the hallway.

Foyers/Entry ways

A general consideration is to leave a minimum of 18″-24″ of space from the area rug to the wall. This is helpful especially when trying to place an area rug in an entry way. For small foyers, a smaller amount of space can be considered, for example 8″.
Walk off mats should be placed outside. The interior rug should be for decorative purposes and secondary to the exterior rug for catching dirt.
Don’t forget about round rugs in the entry. Like a round eating table, a round rug can be a very inviting first impression.

Regular Maintenance and Care Suggestions

The first thing we recommend is that you purchase a pad to put underneath your rug. This will keep your rug from sliding around, which can cause premature wear, and will help retain its original appearance longer.

Second, rotate your rug periodically. Over the years, set traffic or sunlight patterns can cause fading or uneven wear on a rug that isn’t occasionally rotated.

Vacuuming is the best way to remove every-day dirt and dust. (Special care should be taken in the fringe area as vacuuming with a beater bar can catch and pull the fringe, causing separation.) In the first year after bringing home your new rug, we recommend vacuuming at least two or three times a week to remove the excess fuzz that accumulates on the rug surface. This fuzzing is perfectly normal and in no way shortens the life of the rug. It is merely the result of loose fibers created during the weaving process.

After the first year, how often you should vacuum depends on how much traffic there is over the rug. In highly traveled areas, you may need to vacuum as often as once a day to keep soil from accumulating.

Immediate Action on Spills

Natural wool fiber sheds liquid spills, so quick action offers the chance of preventing a stain. The following action will help you prevent stains from setting in.

  1. Never rub a spill. You will only force the spill deeper into the fibers and possibly ruin the nap of your carpet.
  2. Except for latex paint spills, remove any solids using a spoon or blunt knife. Work from the edge of the stain inward, scraping in the direction of the pile whenever possible. Latex paint, which solidifies on rubbing, should be rinsed with large amounts of water, then gently blotted with white paper towels or napkins.
  3. Press absorbent white paper (paper towels, tissue, napkins, etc.) gently on the stain and repeat until as much moisture as possible is absorbed.
  4. Try to remove any residual stain with a little lukewarm (not hot) water containing a small amount of carpet shampoo or mild dish-washing liquid and pure white vinegar.
  5. If water fails, the next step is solvent. *Before attempting to clean, always test the effect of the solvent by applying a few drops to an unseen area of the rug, then blotting with a clean white tissue or paper towel. Any solvent must be used sparingly, and according to manufacturer’s suggestions.
  6. Apply the solvent directly on the stain and work gently with a spoon handle. Blot out quickly and gently with absorbent white paper until as much moisture as possible is absorbed. Repeat the process until the stain is removed, never over wetting the stain. This can cause rings on your rug, and some solvents can damage the latex-coated backings.
  7. If it is not possible to use solvent, greasy stains may be removed by placing an absorbent white paper on the stain and ironing the paper for a few seconds. This will soften the grease, which is then absorbed by the paper.
  8. Never walk on a moist area of your rug, as this can distort the pile. A hairdryer can be used to accelerate drying of moist spots
  9. Always Check the solvent manufacturer’s label for possible toxicity and hazards.

Your floors will usually be the foundation for your design. An authentic hand made area rug can visually integrate or harmonize diverse elements in any decor or can re-energize a room.

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Tips for Low Cost Remodeling


The economy may be steadily showing signs of improvement, but for many budge conscious homeowners, setting aside the funds necessary for a wide-scale renovation may be unrealistic. However, with a few of these tips, it may be easier to prioritize the projects that should happen now from those that can wait until better financial times.

The first thing a homeowner should ask is whether a project needs to happen immediately, or whether it can wait. If there’s a pressing issue like a defunct heating system or structural error in the house, these should take precedence. However, if a homeowner has no immediate need for renovation but simply wants to improve the appearance of his or her domicile, there are many ways to do so without breaking the bank.


Increase efficiency, not size.
If you can reorganize and equip your kitchen for maximum utility, you may not need to blow out the walls to gain square footage. Start by replacing space–hogging shelves with cabinet–height pullout drawers 8 inches wide, containing racks for canned goods and other items. “You’re getting three or more horizontal planes where you might otherwise get only one,” says Louis Smith Jr., an architect with Meier Group, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. You could easily shell out a few thousand to outfit cabinets with upgrades like dividers, pull–out pot trays, and lazy Susans, but you’ll save many times that amount by skipping the addition you thought you needed.
*Cost to expand kitchen by 200 square feet: $48,000 to $95,000
Cost of super–efficient, custom–designed cabinets: $35,000
SAVED: Up to $60,000

ImageDo your own demo.
Knocking down may not be as costly as rebuilding, but you can still shave dollars by doing some of the demolition yourself—as long as you proceed with care. “If a homeowner wants to demo a deck, well, I am sure they can handle that,” says Michael Winn, owner of Winn Design, in Virginia. “But when it comes to interior spaces, I would dissuade them from doing it unless they have done it before.” The reason: A reckless wrecker might unwittingly take out a load–bearing wall or, worse still, plunge a reciprocating saw into live wiring or pressurized plumbing. (For tips on how to do demo right, see our October 2005 feature, “Before You Construct, You Have to Destruct.”)
Cost to demo a 200–square–foot deck yourself: $450 (Dumpster rental and parking permit)
Cost for a pro: $1,000
SAVED: $550

ImageMake sweat equity count.
Unless you’ve got loads of time (and expertise) to spend on your project, the best way to add sweat equity is up front, by handling your own demolition, or at the back end, by doing some of the finish work yourself. “If you want to save money, dig in and start helping out,” says Tom Silva. “You can insulate, you can paint, you can sand.” Or better still, he says, help with cleanup every day. “Instead of paying someone to pick up sawdust off the floor, put your money into the time it takes to trim the window properly,” he advises.
Cost for construction crew to handle cleanup: $200 per day
Cost to do it yourself: $0
SAVED: About 3 to 5 percent of the overall job cost

Plan with stock sizes in mind.
“Ask yourself, ‘Why am I building something 10 feet wide if plywood comes in 4–foot–wide sheets?'” says Lisa Stacholy, of LKS Architects, in Atlanta. The same applies to stock windows and doors: Use manufacturers’ off–the–shelf dimensions from the outset and you will save the premiums of custom fabrication. Cost of custom doors: $1,500—$2,500
Cost of standard doors: $500–$800
SAVED: Up to $2,000

Use Home Equity to Finance your Flooring & Cabinets

If you are thinking about using home equity for something, consider the consequences first. Your home equity is one of your most valuable assets as a homeowner. You could do many different things with your home equity, but not all of them are a wise investment. Once you use your home equity it may take several years to get it back

One of the best things that you could possibly do with your home equity funds is to improve your home. When you use the money from the equity of your home to actually improve the home, you will be creating even more equity. When you do this, make sure that you are using the majority of the funds for projects that add value. Buying new curtains is not going to increase the value of your house. Adding a room onto the house will add value.

When you are deciding what to do to your house, keep an eye out for permanent changes to the structure. When you put in hardwood flooring, update the cabinets, and add on rooms, you are improving the house as a whole. When you get new carpet or drapes, you are just making it look nicer. While other things can make your house more enjoyable while you live in it, they may not actually add value. Therefore, try to put your focus on projects that actually add value.



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Happy Floors + Hello Kitty


Although she was created in Japan, Hello Kitty lives in London, England. Hello Kitty was the creation of Shintaro Tsuji, a Japanese businessman who, remembering his lonely orphanage childhood, wanted to create a character that could be viewed as a companion and friend. She was named after one of Alice’s cats in the book, Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll.

She made her first appearance on a coin purse in Japan in 1974. The Hello Kitty line has since developed licensing arrangements worth more than $1 billion a year in sales! Hello Kitty is now sold in 60 countries.

Among the 50,000 Hello Kitty products on the market are glasses, hairpins, lockets, bras, alarm clocks, sanitary napkins, eyelash curlers, baby biscuits, toilet paper, fishcakes, frozen jelly, prunes, bicycles, perfume, fax machines, garbage cans, panties, spatulas, motorcycles, cell phone cases, tea towels, dolls and toasters that spit out Hello Kitty imprinted toast.

And now there’s Tile. Happy Floors is the licensed distributor for Hello Kitty wall tile and ProSource Wholesale Flooring has the exclusive. Happy Floors is a nationwide distributor of porcelain tile. In general ceramic / porcelain tiles are inherently green because they do not contain VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds), are low maintenance, and have a long life cycle.

Happy Floors is a USGBC member and offers certified products to help projects earn LEED points.

The US Green Buildings Council (USGBC) is one organization that helps set guidelines for building green. The USGBC has established LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) as a reference guide. “LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building project meets the highest green building and performance measures. All certified projects receive a LEED plaque, which is the nationally recognized symbol demonstrating that a building is environmentally responsible, profitable and a healthy place to live and work.” www.usgbc.org.

It is important to note that individual tile products can not be LEED certified but that tile ultimately helps a finished building earn LEED points.

Contact your nearest ProSource showroom to view the new Hello Kitty Tile Collection from Happy Floors. The design possibilities are endless!



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Filed under Special Promotions, Tile, Uncategorized