Author: Natural Interiors

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 contractor we hired determined 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.

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. So, we decided on a modified transition.

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. Should we open or close the windows?” In preparing to install hardwood flooring, we have been monitoring moisture levels at this new construction site for weeks. It’s part of our normal preparation for installing hardwood and cork floors. “Don’t leave the windows open overnight or we’ll be sabotaged by night-time condensation,” our quality-control manager 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.

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.

Carpet padding can now be held to the same standard as carpet for indoor-air quality

green-labelAt last, a moment many of us have been waiting for has arrived.  A testing program is now available for carpet padding that will actually ensure it does not emit unhealthful levels of chemicals.

A lot of people think we already have this through the CRI Green Label program for testing pad.  But the CRI Green Label Plus program that is used for carpet is far more stringent, and soon, we will be able to look for this label on carpet padding, too.

The Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI) and the Carpet Cushion Council announced earlier this week that the Green Label Plus program is being opened up to pad manufacturers.

 "This offers cushion manufacturers the opportunity to qualify their products according to these more stringent standards and provide additional assurance for consumers concerned about indoor-air quality or potential VOC emissions," a CRI spokesman told TalkFloor.

Weigh all the finishing options before selecting grey hardwood flooring

007By definition, grey is: Of a neutral tone, intermediate between black and white. It has no hue and reflects and transmits only a little light.

This line from the dictionary does little to explain the dramatic, contemporary looks grey flooring can create in a room.  But discerning homeowners  frequently are choosing it for their walls and floors in everything from tile to hardwood.

The grey porcelain tile photos in the post are from a bathroom with a zero-entry shower. The shades of grey and white throughout the room are a popular look.

Backyard deer-feeder adds unmatchable natural touch, felt throughout this home’s interior

026Porcelain tile flooring – one style for the kitchen and laundry room, another for the foyer and bathrooms  – offers clean lines and extreme durability.

It blends seamlessly with the hand-scraped, prefinished hardwood flooring, which has been used to replace carpet in the dining room.

Triexta carpet – made from corn-based fuel – softens the family room, which is filled with natural light, thanks to large windows there, and in the adjoining foyer.  Standing there, something tells you to look again, out of the double glass doors in the family room.

Designer Rosemary Storie found the perfect hardwood floor to showcase the furniture and artwork she loves

195“This is how you do it.” Rosemary Storie, an Anderson Township, OH, designer, never suggests that her clients spend a lot of money to accomplish logical goals. Instead, she shows them how to make use of simple objects, sometimes objects they already have.

Take, for example, the table in her newly remodeled kitchen. Storie, owner of Southern Interiors, made it from a planter she bought at a home center, then added a glass top.

“Creating the perfect aesthetic means thought and creativity, not necessarily running out and spending a lot of money,” Storie says.

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. But 36 to 50 is better if you want to prevent mold growth.

009For some homeowners, the perfect porcelain tile doesn’t look like tile at all At first glance, this floor looks like hardwood. It does on second glance, too, which often is not the case with vinyl wood-look products. Even upon third inspection, most people don’t imagine that this floor is porcelain tile. This look is increasing interest in a product that already was popular because of its durability and ease of care and maintenance.