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Flooring restoration and replacement at The Transept was mindful of the historic character of St. John’s Church IMG_0434 Transept1There is a natural appeal to something that can be restored instead of replaced. So the second floor of The Transept building in downtown Cincinnati, where the original pine floor was patched with materials salvaged onsite, gets extra points. Formerly St. John’s Church, built in 1814, The Transept is now a grand venue for weddings, special gatherings, receptions and meetings – brought to Cincinnati by Funky’s Catering.

Couple turns former Anderson Township barn into spectacular natural home [caption id="attachment_4423" align="alignleft" width="168"]After After[/caption] It started with a vision: Preserve the spacious serenity.  Restore and transform the barn into the grand centerpiece. Gaze out from any window and feel the tranquility of sprawling pastures, a winding creek and the natural acoustics of wildlife and waterfalls. Instead of a collective group of neighboring farmers ready to hoist the beams and hammer the nails, it took 18 months of intense focus by Karen and Jerry Whitney who, all the while, lived in a trailer on the property. [caption id="attachment_4438" align="alignleft" width="210"]Before Before[/caption] "It’s sustainable,” Karen says. “It was the natural thing to do, and it has paid off in the way the home looks and feels. Coming home from work is like entering a spa or a retreat.”

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.

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.

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.

Demand will mean more product selection, but can your retailer tell you what standards a product meets? 053 “Renee, Renee, Renee. This is fabulous!” Friends are in awe when they walk into Renee’s new master bathroom, one of many rooms she is remodeling in her newly purchased Indian Hill home, just northeast of Cincinnati, OH. This room used a perfect balance of both textured and smooth surfaces. Line patterns within the porcelain tile are the perfect upscale-spa backdrop for the sleek lines of the bathtub, shower enclosure and plumbing fixtures.

Carpet recycling industry sees dramatic rise in this non-recyclable carpet fiber SAMSUNGWe like to tout our diligence in carpet recycling, particularly when Natural Interiors® affiliates divert 2 million pounds of carpet from landfills annually in Greater Cincinnati alone. But it’s possible that we are painting a somewhat rosier picture than reality allows. Yes, post- consumer carpet recycling has grown into a successful industry over the past decade.  But this national business success is focused largely around nylon, and to a lesser extent, polypropylene. Unfortunately, 30 percent  of carpet sent to recyclers this year will be made of polyester (PET). That’s up from 4 percent in 2007. PET is not recyclable because, unlike nylon, there are not products of value that PET can be turned into.

Water-based stains offer better indoor-air quality and a different aesthetic, but applying them requires an experienced professional There is a critical question you should put to your hardwood flooring contractor if you are planning to finish your floor with a water-based stain: Does he know how to apply it? The question is easily overlooked. Most of us would assume this knowledge is a given. But applying water-based stain requires a different technique than what is used with traditional oil-based products. And so can applying a water-based polyurethane over the water-based stain. If you try to use these stains like traditional products, you most likely will not be happy with the final appearance of your floor. And you will face the costs of refinishing in order to fix it.

Luxury Vinyl Tile’s realistic patterning and glue-less installation boost demand despite uncertain “green” product attributes A floor does not have to be natural to look natural. And the new natural looks of a number of luxury vinyl tile (LVT) brands – coupled with glue-less installation options -- are noticeably boosting LVT sales. Newer, self-locking installation systems do not require adhesives for installation, and replication improvements mean fabulous imitations of wood, ceramic and other patterns. You don’t need adhesive to install these products. So the products much easier to install and repair, they are more indoor-air friendly, and they’re water-resistant, too.

Natural oil hardwood flooring finishes gain popularity as consumers get more familiar with product benefits Some would say that using plant-based oils to finish a hardwood floor is unique. Not the norm, the road less-traveled and, possibly not suited for standing up to high traffic. But with the number of customers who are beginning to ask about oil or low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) floor finishes, I would have to say that a trend is emerging. And floors that are standing up to customers and spilled drinks in a downtown Cincinnati bar where the floor was finished with plant-based oil last fall is debunking doubt about durability.