Archive for July, 2010

Advice on Granite Tile Counter Tops – Reader Question

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Ceramic / Porcelain Tile, Installation, Reader Question


Reader Question:

I am thinking of replacing my old counter tops with a granite tile, which I know would be cheaper than solid granite. What installation advice do you have?

Answer:

Thank you for your question! You are right that granite tiles can save you money versus a solid slab of granite. Things to keep in mind are making sure that your cabinet base is strong enough to hold the weight of the stone, be sure to have a plan for the front edge whether it be cut pieces of granite, wood or other decorative trim and use a thin grout line in order to make the finished product look as much like a slab as you can. Natural stone is still an investment, so if you plan to install yourself, the best advice we can give is to measure twice before cutting!

You may enjoy coming to one of our Pete the Pro seminars for additional installation tips. Please let us know if you would like more details on a seminar in your area.

Steam Cleaning Your Carpet

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Carpet

Now that you’re ready to clean your carpets, you have to ask yourself two questions. 1. Do you steam clean or dry clean? 2. Do you have the cleaning done professionally or do it yourself?

Steam cleaning, when it’s done well is probably the best process—and the one most often recommended by carpet manufacturers. Being “done well” includes several factors: the water is hot enough, the technician is well trained (best if he’s IICRC Certified), his truck- mounted equipment is in good working order—particularly the vacuum, and the cleaning agents are the correct ones for your carpet. A correctly operating truck-mounted vacuum will reclaim about 95% of the moisture from the cleaning process. This significantly increases soil removal and reduces drying time.

You probably don’t want to try steam cleaning on your own. Most of the home maintenance tools you can buy or rent are unable to generate enough heat, power or suction to really clean your carpet—despite how aggressively they are marketed by their manufacturers. For spot cleaning, they may work well; for a true deep extraction cleaning, invest in a professional cleaner, operating with a truck mounted unit that truly produces steam. For steam to actually reach your carpet, the water must reach about 250 degrees at its source!

It is imperative that all the cleaning agents are well-rinsed and removed—and that in the process, the carpet does not get too wet. Too much water can cause backing separation or leave wrinkles in your carpet. Cleaner residues, if not removed, will accelerate future soiling. You don’t want that!

Take care of your carpet and you will be pleased with the longterm results.

Making the Right Design Choice – Part 2

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice

Are you ready to make the final flooring and design decisions for your home? If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Studies show that making decisions among many options is hard for most people, and the more choices, the harder the process. Here are a couple of suggestions to make your final decisions less stressful and more fun.

How many options have you narrowed your choices down to? Are you looking at more than six? More than eight? Ten? Twelve? Don’t be hard on yourself. Manufacturers have provided us with so many wonderful options, and how can you expect to get to a final decision when you can’t even see them all at once? This is a perfect time for an approach called divide and decide. Take all of your possibles and separate them into groups of two. Now, eliminate one out of each set. Don’t think about the other groups – don’t even look at them. Just tackle one set of two at a time.

Get your salesperson to hide your rejections quickly so you can’t look back. With one round, you have cut your choices in half. You may want to do this again with the ones that are left, until you have narrowed down the options to two or three – a much more manageable number.

Now that you are down to just a few choices, here’s another approach to discover your real preference. Instead of choosing the one you want, eliminate the one you want the least. This shift in thinking can really help you make the final decision. The one you can’t leave is the right choice for you.

You may also find it helpful to visit our website and start narrowing down your choices before you even see your first sample!

Join Us for Our Tent Sale!

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Sales and Promotions

It’s that time of year again! It’s our 23rd annual tent sale. Now through July 26, 2010 you can enjoy savings on all types of name brand flooring. Don’t miss out! (click on the image for a larger view)

Making the Right Design Choice – Part 1

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

A flooring showroom can be exciting, but also a little intimidating when making your design choices. How about considering a couple of tactics to make your decision process easier and less stressful?

One simple step you can take is to narrow down your options before even walking into the store. Have you decided what kind or kinds of flooring you want in your space? Take the same approach you take when shopping for clothes. If you know you need a pair of jeans, it’s easier to ignore the other options and focus only on the denim.

If you feel you don’t know enough to make a decision, start your shopping expedition by sitting down with us and getting help defining your flooring needs. Take advantage of our expertise to define your flooring categories and determine your budget. Instantly, you have eliminated choices that aren’t right for you.

Once you decide, stay focused on your choices and don’t let yourself get distracted with the other options that you have already eliminated. Make your life easier and your decision process more fun by taking this simple first step.

One thing that might help is using our product catalogs to get ideas! Just click here and then choose the product category you are interested in. Each section has it’s own product catalog.

First Impressions: Creating a Wow Entryway

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Ceramic / Porcelain Tile, Design and Decorating

People talk about the importance of first impressions with how we look, but the same is true for our homes. It takes two seconds for people to form an opinion of someone they’ve just met, so it’s logical that visitors form opinions of our house before they even get through our front door. Take the open door test. What do people see when they first step into your home? Is your entryway just a pathway to the living room? Or does it stand alone as a powerful first impression?

Flooring is an effective tool to set the stage for your home. One option is to choose flooring that’s different from the rest of your space to separate your entryway from the main part of your home. Tile or stone provides a strong and effective contrast to carpeting. If your home has wood floors, consider an inlaid wood medallion. Stone medallions and border listellos – inlaid tile and stone decorative trims – also create a beautiful opening.

Even on a budget, selecting a different tile or stone layout or a contrasting color makes your foyer stand out. Come in and talk to one of our salespeople to spark your creativity and build a strong first impression for your home. You can also get started by browsing our product catalogs here or looking at our inspiration gallery here.

Wool Carpet Maintenance Tips

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Carpet, Wool Carpet

You stepped out and bought the most luxurious (and expensive) carpet you could find for your home. Now you’re concerned with how to best care for and maintain this new investment. The first and best thing you can do is insure you have a good vacuum cleaner—and use it—regularly!

One of the most common fears about having wool carpet is protecting it against that “mother of all stains,” red wine. Not only red wine, but any water-based spill, can be dealt with pretty easily. One thing you do not want to do is pour white wine on the spill as an urban legend suggests. That wastes good white wine and does nothing for your red wine spill.

Attack the spill immediately by soaking up as much of it as possible with a clean, white, absorbent cloth or paper. Start at the outside of the stain and work your way towards the center. BLOT rather than rub the spill. If you can still see the stain after blotting and rinsing with clean water (still blotting), use a spot remover designed for water-based stains on wool carpet. You will know you’re safe using a product with the WoolSafe® label. Do not use regular detergents, as they tend to leave a filmy residue that will cause rapid resoiling at the spot.

For oil-based stains, use a good dry cleaning solvent designed for wool. Remember that most wool garments recommend dry cleaning, so you can feel safe using such a solvent on your carpet. Just use it sparingly as the solvent can damage your carpet’s backing.

To read a previous post on wool carpet, please click here.

Nylon Carpet Maintenance Tips

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Carpet

Several items, handled well can significantly protect your new carpet. The first is to see from your carpet manufacturer’s warranty what they require. Some insist upon regular professional steam extraction to validate their warranty.

Studies show that the first 4-6 steps from outside bring as much as 80% of the soil to your floor. Proper walkoff and entry mats will significantly mitigate this issue.

Regular vacuuming (daily in traffic areas), too often overlooked, is of primary importance in keeping your carpet looking good. The best vacuum cleaners have powerful suction and strong beater bars. This enables the greatest removal of soil particles, which have sharp edges that can cut and abrade the yarn, causing a crushed or matted look.

Every 12-24 months, your carpets should be deep cleaned by professional hot water extraction. Don’t attempt this with home models as they typically lack the power and suction either to clean or to remove the water.

Finally, address any spills or spots immediately. Water based spills need to be blotted with a clean, absorbent cloth, starting from the outside and working to the center. Use a neutral pH spot remover and rinse to remove any residue. Dry the spot well and vacuum before walking on the affected area.

On oil-based stains, completely cover the stain or spill with baking soda, baby powder or cornstarch. Allow this to sit overnight and vacuum well in the morning. If there is still a shadow of the stain, repeat this process, then follow the above instructions for water-based stains.

We hope this helps you understand more about how to maintain your nylon carpet.