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A Row House Restored

October 28, 2014

Deteriorated floor gets new life and attracts buyer just two days after completion

046A lot of people would have decided to tear out the floor and start over. But Interior Designer Jen Phillips was determined to do the right thing.

The pine floors in the historic, downtown Cincinnati row house were damaged by water and years of abuse. Sections of the subfloor were rotten. And as the work began, termite damage was quickly discovered.

Phillips, owner of Interior Renaissance, called in her experts and got the answer she was looking floor.

“The opinion of Schumacher & Co. Custom Hardwood Floors, which does the hardwood work at Carpetland Carpet One, was that we could replace only the bad subfloor and flooring, then use a special machine to sand and refinish the entire floor to make it all blend and look uniform,” Phillips recalls. (more…)

Installing the Natural Floor, Part 2

October 10, 2014

Managing flooring heights and ensuring floors contain no urea formaldehyde mean extra work on this job

012I made myself very clear on this project: All products would be proven to contain no added urea formaldehyde, and there would be no transitions.

The homeowner had selected three styles of cork flooring that were almost ½-inch in thickness; prefinished solid hardwood that was ¾-inch; and the tile, the first flooring to go in, was sitting at 1-1/16th inches in height once installed.

To complicate the job further, the cork was a floating floor, meaning that it does not get glued or nailed to the subfloor, which typically requires transitions, such as T-molding, where it meets up with other floors like tile and hardwood.

“This is not a problem,” I argued. “You know all the rules backward and forward, which means, you also know when and how you can break them.” (more…)

Installing the Natural Floor, Part 1

September 29, 2014

Air conditioning gets installed in the nick of time for proper moisture levels needed for hardwood and cork

003“The relative humidity is still reading 65 percent, Roy. Should we open or close the windows?”

Roy Young, quality control manager at Schumacher & Co. Custom Hardwood Floors, has been monitoring moisture levels at this new construction site for weeks. It’s part of his normal preparation for installing hardwood and cork floors.

“Don’t leave the windows open overnight or we’ll be sabotaged by night-time condensation,” he says. “The air conditioning is being installed tomorrow, and as long as that happens, we should be fine.”

Tomorrow will be just 24 hours before all the flooring is delivered to acclimate in the home for three days prior to installation. The moisture content in the subfloors has been measured and was fine, but the relative humidity has been climbing since the walls were painted. (more…)

Goodbye My House, Part 7

September 10, 2014

Once free to run outside a natural home, apartment life has rules some residents pooh-pooh

006You can tell a lot about a person by whether he or she cleans up after his or her dog.

Unlike the house I lived in for 15 years before moving here, there are rules one is supposed to follow at this apartment complex. Dogs have to be on leashes, and their owners are supposed to use the free, biodegradable “Poopy Pouch” bags to pick up after them.

My dog, who used to run freely on her own property, clearly considers this to be a violation of her privacy, and an undue restriction of her natural freedom. And some of the dog owners living here – the special people who don’t follow rules – seem to think the same way. (more…)

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PET Progress?

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Pushing the limits of polyester

Billions of plastic bottles are recycled into carpet each year. This video, from Mohawk Industries, shows us how it’s done.

Except in California, however, there are no recycling programs for polyester (PET) carpet, so these carpets, once used and discarded, are headed to landfills at an alarming rate. Despite the current challenges, the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE)  is working closely with carpet mills and recyclers to help develop sustainable end of life options for PET. And CARE reports that new innovations are coming for manufacturing PET carpet that can be easily recycled into new products.

Click here to learn more.


September 15, 2014 See All Videos

Featured Blogs

Singing Some Bamboo Blues

July 17, 2014

How can a floor that was supposed to be more stable start curling?

VGN-swatchQ: I have a vertical grain bamboo floor that I was told would be stronger and more stable than hardwood. After it was in for a few weeks, some of the boards started curling upward at the ends. I was told there was too much humidity in my home, so I turned off the humidifier.

Now, the boards are shrinking and leaving gaps. I am very disappointed because I did my research and purchased a brand that was supposed to be the leader in quality. Can you shed any light on whether this is a common problem or an isolated incident?

A: You are not alone. While I would not call your situation a common problem, it is not an isolated incident. (more…)

We Call It Gap Season

January 25, 2014

Wintertime’s dry air means special precautions for hardwood floors

030Q.  I had solid Red Oak select installed throughout my first floor last summer. It was sanded and  finished with low-VOC waterborne polyurethane on site. It was absolutely perfect.

But now that winter is here, there are spaces between the boards. Is it possible that I was sold inferior wood?

A. Gaps between floor boards are common in the wintertime. Your installer should have told you that you have to control the humidity in your home to prevent inordinate gapping. In fact, most hardwood manufacturers recommend maintaining your indoor environment at 40 to 60 percent humidity year-round. (more…)

Seam Scrutiny

June 3, 2013

Properly done, seams should not be an issue in linoleum installation

Forbo QA1Q. We are remodeling an older home and I was “sold” on Marmoleum, until I kept coming across questions about repairing seams which have buckled.

I want to use it in the bathroom floors, but I am really hesitant since reading all these questions about repairing the seams.

Have you had questions on this and/or how do you feel about using Marmoleum in the bathrooms?

Many thanks!

–  LM

Sequim, WA

A. Dear LM:

If you are using Marmoleum sheet goods that are installed by a contractor who is properly trained, you should have no problems with seams that need repair. (more…)

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