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6 benefits of Cork flooring as an option for your home or office.

Cork flooring consists of a natural and renewable material that’s harvested from the bark of cork oak trees. Cork Flooring has sustained durability, an increased selection of looks, and eco-friendly appeal. Here are some reasons why you should consider cork flooring as a viable option for your home or office.

Safety
Cork will only melt or ignite at incredibly high temperatures. In the event of a combustion, cork generates less smoke and releases far less toxic material than composite flooring options such as vinyl or laminate.

Comfort
Cork flooring is easier on your feet because it allows for some give when under pressure. It also contains more insulation, which can lead to a warmer home.This is a strong factor to consider, especially for those who live in cold-weather states like Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Durability
Cork resists cracking and abrasions and holds up incredibly well against liquids. Cork also has the ability to retain its pristine form when furniture has been placed on it, so there won’t be any indent marks from furniture. When properly maintained, cork flooring can last a lifetime.

Practicality
The pattern and color of cork are able to penetrate the wear on the material, so your floor will always retain its durability and appearance, and will last far longer than other comfort materials like carpet.

 

Variety
Cork is available in tiles and planks in different styles, colors, and sizes. What was once only available in bulletin board style, cork planks can now create a seamless looking floor, while tile can provide an incredibly unique look by having alternative colors and patterns.

Health
Cork material is naturally resistant to mold, mildew, and is antimicrobial. The air quality in your home will benefit tremendously because cork flooring doesn’t shed any microfibers like other floor covers which also provide the same amount of warmth on your feet.

Cork has a considerably less environmental impact on the ecosystem. The manufacturing process for cork generates almost no waste and the leftover materials are constantly being reused and bound together. Cork Oak Trees do not need to be cut down to harvest the bark which is used for producing cork floors.

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Choosing the right polish that Will Look Amazing on Your Floor

Choosing the right polish is crucial as it will not only determine how much maintenance your floors will need, but can also drastically change the look of them. From the traditional to the uber modern, here are five excellent choices to consider.Whether you are planning to install flooring for the first time or just looking to refinish existing floors, there are some different hardwood finishes to consider.
Hardwood Finish #1: Wax

Wax is essentially the granddaddy of all hardwood finishes as it is the coating that has been used the longest. While it is not as durable as modern poly finishes, it gives your floors a muted, organic feel as opposed to the high-gloss of most modern finishes. Since wax can be reapplied in small areas, it is the most low-maintenance type of finish over the short haul. But, it is more high-maintenance in the long run as it will need to be refinished more often.
Note: If you decide to switch from a wax finish to a polyurethane finish, the wax will need to be entirely removed before the poly finish can be applied.

Hardwood Finish #2: Acid-Cured (Swedish)

Often considered the Lamborghini of floor finishes, acid cured finishes are a professional-only floor polish. While they are supposed to be one of the hardiest floor finishes, they are also the most expensive, running between $3.75 to $5 per square foot. While they tend to dry quickly (in around 2 hours), they can take up to 60 days to fully cure. After about three days it is safe to walk on but can take up to two weeks to cure enough to lay furniture on and up to 60 days to put rugs back down so carpet fibers don’t become stuck in the finish.

 

Hardwood Finish #3: Penetrating Oil Sealer

Oil sealers are another more traditional finish, like wax. Oil is easy to apply but is not as durable as a poly finish. It also has a mellower sheen than poly finishes,so it’s a good alternative for those that like the look of wax, but not the labor of applying it. Since the oil penetrates the wood, it can also deepen the color,giving your floor a rich, beautiful finish.
Hardwood Finish #4: Moisture-Cured Urethane

Moisture-cured urethane is considered one of the hardest finishes available, but also has one of the highest VOC’s. Because it dries so fast, it’s difficult to apply,so it’s not recommended for DIY’ers. Also, because of the high VOC’s – which means fumes can last for weeks – respirators and proper ventilation are must-haves during application; you will also need to plan on vacating your home for at least two weeks following application.

Hardwood Finish #5: Polyurethane

There are two types of polyurethane to choose from: water based and oil based. Water based poly is more expensive but dries much more quickly and is easy to apply.

Water based poly is also low odor and low VOC, while oil based poly has a strong smell and high VOC but also is far more durable. Water-based poly also has an excellent reputation for being far more eco-friendly than oil based and also dries clear, where oil-based poly dries with a slight amber tint. If you want a high-gloss, durable, long-lasting finish, then either oil or water-based poly is probably your best option.

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How to design your perfect outdoor space

Designing an outside kitchen or an entertainment area has its own design challenges; the natural elements, product durability, and your overall design goals all come into play. Fortunately, there are a ton of options available to help you design that perfect outdoor space.

One design trend we absolutely love is the seamless integration of your interior and exterior living areas. Blurring the lines from one to the other maximizes the look of your design while achieving a strong cohesive point of view. Choosing complimentary products or those that work in both interior and exterior applications is the key.

Many porcelain lines have both interior and exterior options. For example, Landstone has tile for inside and the same colors in a grip finish for outside use. Cross Wood and Vesuvius have similar choices with the added benefit of 2CM porcelain paving options.

There are some additional challenges involved when selecting countertops for exterior applications. The Impact of ambient hot and cold temperatures and the influence of UV light are added factors to consider in addition to scratch & heat resistance, absorption ratio and overall durability. For this reason, engineered quarts and many recycled glass countertops are not recommended for exterior installations due to the resin used in the manufacturing process which will yellow in UV light and extreme heat conditions. Natural stone and other manmade products are popular countertop choices.

For flooring, there are a number of natural stone and porcelain options. When choosing natural stone select tiles in the same color tone. For example, a polished or honed corsica cream marble pared with a brushed shells reef coral stone blends together to create a consistent color palate. Another option, it to choose a natural stone available in multiple finishes, such as polished, honed, leathered or brushed. Remember natural stone allows you to customize your order. So if you find that perfect stone, you can always special order it in the finish of your choice.

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Should I install hardwood floors myself or pay someone to do it?

Installing hardwood floors is not as easy as taking a staple gun and connecting boards together. The process is much more complicated. And in certain conditions and climates, it can add an extra layer of difficulty.

Here are a few things to consider first and foremost.

Why We Recommend Against Installing Hardwood Floors Yourself

1. The raw materials are not as easy to replace in case you make a mistake.

Unlike painting a wall, or replacing your kitchen cabinets, the raw materials of hardwood floors are expensive. This means that if you decide to take the task upon yourself and run into a mistake along the way requiring you to use another board, you’ll be making costly mistakes.

2. Special tools are required.

You’re going to need a lot more than just a hammer and nail to get the job done. Many power and hand tools are required for a successful installation of hardwood floors. Just to give you an idea, here’s a list of tools required on the job:

• Saws of all types for getting the right dimensions of boards and planks
• Hygrometers for testing moisture levels – very important• Staplers
• Sanders
• Glue adhesives
• Floor leveling tools
• Air compressors

• Knee pads to prevent wear and tear on your knees
• Nail guns
• Buffers
• Adhesive removers & glue adhesives

Many other tools are required; this is just a basic list of what’s needed. Chances are, you won’t really be saving much money in the long run if you decide to install hardwood floors yourself, but lack all of the necessary tools.

3. Extra working knowledge is required.

If you’re literally working from scratch without having any prior knowledge of either hardwood floors or installation projects in general, then the likelihood of making a costly mistake along the way will be very high. We don’t recommend this be a project you decide to challenge yourself on, unless you truly know what you are doing.

You’ll need to know information such as how to center rooms, how much space should be left for gaps, how do I work around closets, fireplaces, staircases, etc.

By leaving the entire job to a professional, you’ll be certain to have the job done well & correctly from the start. If any mistakes happen, it’s on the professional to correct them on their own dime.Tsianfan industry has a team dedicated to providing you with the most cost effective solutions for design and manufacturing wood flooring display rack.More info ,please click our website:flooringdisplaystand.com

The three phases of flooring installation

There are basically three phases to a flooring installation :phase one, floor prep;phase two,installation of the floor; phase three, the finishing details, are the most important.

Phase 1
Phase one, floor prep, means making sure your substrate is clean, flat and dry. This is critical to any installation. For soft surfaces, making sure you have backed up or replaced any loose tack strip or old metals will make your carpet job smooth and relatively stress-free. There is nothing more frustrating when you are power-stretching carpet than to have popping tack strip.

For hard surface installations, not properly flattening, sealing and prepping your floor is usually the difference between being a pro and a weekend warrior. If while working on a floating install, you feel like you’re walking on a trampoline, then you probably left your 10’ straight edge at home. At this point you better stop what you’re doing, go home and get it. Pull up what you have done and fix it now, as fixing it later will take much more time and cost much more money.

Phase 2
Phase two is the actual installation of the floor. Sure, it looks pretty easy when you watch them do it on the DIY channel, which is why so many homeowner’s attempt to do it themselves. How hard can it be, right? Well, what they don’t realize is when you are paying for a quality installation, you are really paying for an excellent job not just in phase two, the install, but phases one (floor prep) and phase three (finishing details).

Phase 3
Properly installed base boards, quarter round, base shoe, T-moldings,  scribe moldings and other trims will make the difference , and set you apart from the DIYers. If you really want to set yourself apart from other installers, learn to stain and finish your own trims.

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Cause of Squeaky Floors

Squeaks are a common issue with hardwood flooring and have a number of causes. Squeaks can occur between the hardwood flooring and the subfloor or even between the subfloor and the floor joists. Solid wood floor joists can shrink ¼”. If the subfloor isn’t glued properly to the floor joist, it can create a gap between the subfloor and the floor joist and cause a squeak.
Why a subfloor matters for hardwood flooring

A subfloor, especially OSB can shrink when exposed to a dry environment, which is quite common above main heat ducts. This causes the subfloor to loosen its grip on the fastener. This is especially the case if the subfloor has been exposed to moisture prior to installation, because the subfloor would have expanded and then shrunk excessively.

Another cause of squeaks is an uneven or unlevel subfloor. If there is a dip in the subfloor, the wood flooring may not bend and contour to the subfloor and the fasteners may not hold properly. The void between the hardwood flooring and the subfloor at this section may create deflection and cause a squeak.

What cupping and settling does for squeaks in hardwood flooring

Squeaks can also occur in a hardwood floor that has cupped and then settled back down. When the floor cups, the boards edges are raised, which loosens the fasteners making them less effective and creating movement between the hardwood flooring and the subfloor.

Lack of fasteners in hardwood flooring

The most obvious cause of squeaks is a lack of fasteners. If an installer runs out of fasteners in a section of the floor or if there is an inadequate number of fasteners, there will be squeaks. When the wood flooring naturally shrinks and expands, it requires an adequate amount of fasteners to hold it in place of it will become loose and squeak. None of this is to be confused with the “Snap, Crackle, Pop” effect that occurs in every brand new hardwood floor.

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