Wednesday, 6 February 2008

How to Install Cork Flooring

Benefits of Installing Cork Floors

Cork is not always the most obvious choice when thinking about having flooring installed in your home. Typically people tend to think of installing laminate, oak or carpeting. When people think about cork, they don't think "oh, what a great flooring choice." The think "oh yeah, that's what you put in wine bottles or you use it as a pin board." As unlikely as it may seem, installing cork flooring can be one of the best things you can do. There are so many reasons to buy this type of flooring such as insulation benefits, friendly on the environment and is ideal for those who are allergic to dust mites.

One benefit of having flooring of this type is the insulation qualities. Energy bills continue to rise well above the rate of inflation so it's important to make sure you're home is as well insuallated as possible. This will help keep the heat inside your home and not let it escape. However, it's all about keeping your home warm in the winter, it's great for the hot summer months as it helps keep your home cool.

It's not just heat insulation cork can help with, installing cork floors will mean that noise will be insulated too. Cork flooring is soft so sounds get absorbed and prevents the sounds from being carried about your property. If you live in an apartment, your neighbors will be especially pleased that you have cork installed because they won't have to be woken by you clumping about in the middle of the night when you get up to go to the toilet or if you have friends round.
For those eco warriors, let's face it many of us are that way inclined, you'll be glad to know that installing cork flooring is great for wildlife. Cork is mainly grown in Mediterranean countries such as Italy and Portugal. The problem is that the cork producers are having a really hard time of it in recent years. Most cork is used in the production of wine stoppers and so many wine makers are choosing plastic or screw tops. This is leaving cork producers in a very difficult situation. They need the cork oak trees to make a living but at the moment this is very difficult for them.

Cork oak trees are an amazing habitat for an enormous array of birds and animals. The particularly interesting thing about cork oaks is that they can live for many hundreds of years even although their bark is being stripped off. It's because of this that the trees don't need to be felled so create the perfect habitat for vulture, lynx, deer and many other animals.

Because people aren't buying cork in the same quantities are previously, many producers feel that they have no other option but to remove the cork oak trees. Either by uprooting them or burning them. This is devastating news for wildlife that call the forests home.

Another reason for installing cork floors instead of carpeting is the fact it is so perfect for allergy sufferers. People who are allergic to dust mites are advised to avoid installing carpeting because they hold the dust and the dust mites. Hard flooring such as cork, laminate and bamboo are much better.

One of the things that may put you off installing cork floors is that you're worried about the durability of them. Don't worry, they can more than tolerate everyday life and people walking over it. Just make sure to ask about the protective coating that has been applied. Cork floors which have had several layers acrylic, urethane or wax should be guaranteed to last for 15 years. Some people in the trade maintain that urethane is the best choice.

People love to have a choice when they are buying anything. The only problem is that when we are faced with too many choices we tend to get overwhelmed. This may be the problem you face when thinking about having cork flooring installed. There are many colors to choose from and some even have the most amazing paterns running through them. You'd be forgiven for thinking you are looking at marble!

When buying cork flooring, ask the sales assistant what the density is as this directly affects the durability. Look for cork floors with a density of at least 30 pounds per cubic foot. The thickness should also be at least 3/16 inch.

When comparing cork flooring, you'll need to think about whether you want tiles or "floating floors." If you have a perfectly smooth surface to lay the floors on then tiles are perfectly acceptable. If on the otherhand your floor is a bit uneven or lumpy then floating floors are the best choice.

When is comes to actually installing the cork flooring, you shouldn't have too much difficulty if you are fairly experience with DIY. When you take delivery of the cork flooring, make sure you unwrap the cellophane and allow the flooring to breath and adjust to the temperature and humidity of the room. After three days you should be ready to install your flooring. The reason for doing this is that cork expands and contracts with heat and cold.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

How to Install Marble Flooring in Your Home

Why Should You Install Marble Flooring

If you can be bothered to look up the dictionary you'll see that the definition of marble is a hard crystalline metamorphic limestone. It's not really the most inspiring of descriptions when you're thinking about a type of floor to install in your home. However as we all know, marble is one of the most beautiful and luxurious materials you can ever wish for.

Even the Ancient Romans who are known for their love or lavish lifestyles couldn't get enough marble when building their villas, palaces and churches. We might not be quite as keen on marble as the Romans once were but that's not so say you can't have it in your home. If you like the idea of having your own little Roman bath house then installing marble flooring will allow you to do that without necessarily looking kitsch. Plus you don't have to have the bank balance of a Roman emperor to afford it either.

What are the Benefits of Installing Marble Flooring?

Although marble is absolutely sumptuous, there's more to installing marble flooring in your home than just appearance. There are many colours and patterns to choose from so whatever color scheme you have in your home, you will would to be able to find some marble to match.

Because marble is a hard surface, you don't have to worry about any asthmatics or allergy sufferers in your family. Marble is great for keeping your home dust free. Of course, dust contains dust mites and it's their droppings that people are often allergic. Marble is certainly a much better choice compared to carpeting which holds dust.

If you are the sort of person who loves to show off their home and see the look of jealousy on people's faces you will certainly get this reaction if you install marble flooring in your home.

If you decide to install marble in your home, you will also benefit from being able to increase the desirability of your home and also its value. I mean, who would prefer crappy old vinyl when you can have marble. It isn't rocket science!

Cost of Installing Marble Flooring

If you are doing a lot of work in your home with the view of selling for a good profit you need to make sure that the cost of marble will be worth it. After all, you need to treat it like a business.

Marble installed in the home will always increase the value of your property. What you need to decide for yourself is whether it is enough to make a profit. You will find that marble can be expensive with the price of the tiles alone ranging from $3-$10 or more. If you are going to spend money on your home, the best places to spend it are on your kitchen and bathroom. These are the two rooms in the house which have been proven to help property prices increase.

Caring for Marble Flooring After You Have Installed It

Because of its sheer beauty, you want to make sure that you look after it the best you possibly can. There is no point on installing marble flooring to increase the value of your home, if you're just going to mess it up. Make sure you avoid cleaning marble with harsh abrasives and never ever go over it with a heavy duty power hose. All you need is a damp cloth or mop to clean away surface dirt. If you find any debris on the floor, remove it immediately to prevent any scratches.

You will also need to use a sealant every couple of years in areas that get a lot of wear. You will keep your marble flooring looking in tip top condition just following the advice above.

How to Install Concrete Floors

Installing Concrete Flooring

Everyone knows that concrete flooring exists. You see it all the time in commercial premises such as warehouses and car garages. But would anyone every dare to install concrete flooring in their own homes? Surely not! I mean people install bamboo, laminate, carpeting, cork and hardwood. Not concrete. Well, actually they do and you may well be pleasantly surprises. By installing concrete flooring you'll be able to enjoy many benefits associated with it.

You won't fully understand how wonderful concrete is as a flooring material until you see it up close and personal so to speak. If you can see it in someone's house this will give you a really good idea of how it will look. However you might just have to view it in a flooring showroom instead. This is not ideal but hopefully you'll have the imagination to visualize it in your own home with your own d├ęcor. There is no need to worry about people thinking they are stepping into a builder's yard. Concrete flooring will actually look really stylish and your friends will probably even be jealous that they didn't think of it first. You can have your concrete flooring painted basically any color you desire. There is no need to opt for boring old grey.

As you know, when people think of concrete they think of the color grey and don't think ever of installing it in a residential property. Concrete is usually pretty ugly and only used because it is cheap and can withstand much abuse. However they type people install in their own homes is nothing like this at all. You can quite easily create a very warm and cosy feel. I know it may sound absurd but it's very true.

Because concrete is often used outside, this mean that it's about the most durable type of flooring you could possibly have installed in your home. You can be pretty abusive with it and do things you might not consider doing with other flooring types. You can even drag furniture about and not worry. And if you have workmen traipsing about in their steel toe-capped boots you don't need to fret. Concrete is often used in these very circumstances remember.

If you have children who love to run about and generally not care about your lovely new floor, then installing concrete is the ideal solution. Because flooring is generally expensive you don't want to have to keep replacing it every couple of years.

If you lead a very busy life, you really don't want to clean your home any more than you have to. Installing concrete flooring is a great for this because it doesn't require vacuuming. All you need is a mop or a cloth to wipe up any dirt or spillage. For any allergy sufferers in the house concrete is great because it doesn't hold onto dust and dust mites. Carpeting is the worst type of flooring you can install because of this.

If you though that concrete flooring was ugly and you never even contemplated installing it in your home you will probably want to think twice about this. Concrete can work great in any setting in your home, even kitchens bathrooms and loving rooms. It needn't be boring either as you can select from a vast selection of colors.

How to Install Rubber Flooring

Installing Rubber Flooring

You might think the only flooring types on the market are wood, laminate, carpet and perhaps a couple more. However there is actually a huge amount of flooring about that you can choose from. You may never have thought about it before, but rubber flooring can be a great choice for flooring in your home.

If you are one of these people who are concerned about the environment and are looking for ways to help reduce your impact on the world, look out for recycled rubber flooring. It is often made out of recycled car tires which is great because so many tires end up in landfill or dumped at the side of the road.

In saying that, not all rubber flooring is recycled so make sure before you actually make your purchase.

Benefits of Installing Rubber Flooring

Because rubber flooring is so durable it can stand up to considerable abuse. This makes is ideal for installing in areas where a lot of people walk such as a porch, kitchen or hall.

Rubber flooring is a natural shock absorber making it more comfortable to walk on. If there is a room in your house where you have to spend a lot of time on your feet, rubber is an ideal flooring choice.

Because garages can be very messy and dirty places rubber is great in these conditions. Also if there are heavy tools being used you don't have to worry about them being dropped. If you do drop heavy objects on the rubber floors, there is no need to worry as rubber is very resilient.

If you are lucky enough to own your own home gym, installing rubber flooring in this room makes a lot of sense. If you accidentally drop one of your weights, the rubber will absorb the shock. It's also great for noise and shock-absorbing qualities so is great on the knees, legs and feet.

Having family pets can be a wonderful thing but sometimes their claws can make a lot of damage to your floors. This makes rubber a great choice. You can also install it into a kennel floor.

Sometimes people complain about flooring colors being boring. This doesn't have to be the case with rubber as it comes in a multitude of colors and textures. Even the fussiest of client should find something to suit their tastes.

Many people suffer from allergies mainly because of dust mites. Dust mites tend to adhere more to carpeting because of the fibers. However with hard flooring like rubber, cork and wood you don't have this problem.

Installing rubber floors into your home doesn't need to cost much either. It's only about $2 which is incredibly cheap for flooring.

Once you have installed you rubber flooring keeping it clean is a synch. Simply follow the manufacturer's instructions and you'll be fine. There will be certain care instructions you need to follow other than that just use common sense. If you do something as simple as using the wrong cleaners you could unwittingly void your warranty. Simple sweeping and vacuuming along with mild cleaners are all that you really need to maintain the flooring.