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Misc

Wood Flooring. Why Choose Wood Flooring?

Wood Flooring Guide

 

Wood flooring is without doubt the most popular choice when it comes to installing a new flooring option.

Available in a wide range of hardwoods and softwoods, wood will last forever and needs little maintenance in order to keep its appeal and beauty.

A modern addition to today’s range of floors is laminate floors. Laminates have brought look-alike flooring options to consumers that may not be able to afford a real wood floor – and the good news is that they look great!

Many people discover an old wood floor underneath old carpet and wonder whether they can restore it to its former glory. The answer is almost always “Yes”, unless it is suffering from a serious rot problem or some form of boring beetle. Even then, it is always worth getting a second opinion from an expert before consigning your floor to the garbage tip.

If cost is a prime factor in the choice between laminate or solid wood, consider the fact that there is a ready market in second-hand flooring. This is available from specialist dealers or individuals who can’t spare the time and effort it takes to prepare an old wood floor. Nails may need to be removed and there may be a few bumps and dents in it – but if cost is an issue, don’t overlook it.

Another important issue you should consider when buying any new solid wood product is where it comes from. There are unfortunately suppliers who aren’t too bothered whether their supplies are purchased from sustainable resources or not, so always look for a properly accredited supplier. In the US the Forest Stewardship Council (fscus.org) offers certification that consumers can trust when it comes to purchasing timber products.

Some popular solid hardwood flooring are OakCherryMapleBamboo FlooringWalnutBeech and Ash.

For each of these flooring options there are different grades of floor available. Grading refers to the quality of a floor with regard to its color and graining appearance. Sometimes what you see in the supplier’s brochure isn’t quite what you get when the product is laid. You should always make sure that you are viewing at the showroom is what you will get at home, but always remember that wood is a natural product and no two pieces will be the same – one of the beauties of natural wood floor.

 

 

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Misc

Wood Floor Grading

Wood Floor Grading

Wood Floor Grading is carried out in the U.S. by The Wood Flooring Manufacturers Association (NOFMA). When deciding which hardwood floor you should invest in, a set of rules has been developed by this organization that is universally accepted and recognized within the industry. When you buy a floor that has been certified by NOFMA, you can be assured that your expectations regarding quality, appearance, and performance will be met.

The Association has been the official benchmark for grading of solid hardwood floors since 1909 and since 1999 has also included engineered floors in their wood floor grading rules. The following is an explanation of grading of hardwood flooring, covering the four basic quality standards of gradeconfigurationmoisture content and average length.

Unfinished Hardwood Flooring Grades

Wood floor grading is primarily concerned with the surface finish of the product. It is this that will determine how the finished article will look, after sanding and installation. Things like knots, mineral streaks and manufacturing marks are covered and timbers are categorized into four grades; NOFMA Clear, NOFMA Select, NOFMA No.1 Common and NOFMA No.2 Common. In order from best quality:

NOFMA Clear

Comprizing mainly of Heartwood, this grade has a minimum amount of discoloration and other marks and has a uniform surface finish, natural color variations excepted. Typical features are:

NOFMA Select

Showing a greater degree of coloration variation than Clear Grade, but with minimal knots and streaks.

NOFMA No.1 Common

Showing prominent color variations and various knots, streaks and other characters.

NOFMA No.2 Common

Showing prominent natural variation in color, with various manufacturing imperfections and obvious character marks.

Configuration

Covering timber plank width, thickness, tongue and groove fit and location and end plank squareness, these rules insure that your timber will fit together in a predictable manner and will not require excessive sanding or other work before final finishing.

Moisture Content

Insuring that timber is of a consistent moisture content, similar to that of installation site conditions, these standards aim to alleviate excessive movement of the timber after installation, by either contraction or expansion due to large differences in the natural state of the timber and natural site conditions.

Average Length

Standards to insure that there is adequate coverage, frequency of end joints, and therefore insure predictable installation of the product.

There are also wood floor grading standards that cover the cut of the timber. This is how the grain of the wood lies as the saw cuts through the log. There are three main cuts you should be aware of; plainquartered or riftsawn. the idea of the different cuts is to minimize expansion and contraction of the timber.

Plain sawn is where the timber is cut with the grain going across the width of the plank. This type will expand more across the width of the plank than quarter sawn. This method produces little waste and is therefore the most popular used today. Possibly as much as 80% of timber is cut using this method.

Quarter Sawn is cut with the grain going through the thickness of the plank. In theory, this cut should prevent the timber from expanding too much across the width of the plank and instead the plank will get thicker. This helps the floor by not bulging upwards as is possible with plain sawn. There is a greater yield from this cut than for riftsawn timber, but still it is a fairly uncommon type of cut. Probably 20% of timer is cut in this way.

Riftsawn timber should have all the same grain pattern through each plank, as they are cut in a radial pattern going around the log. This cutting method produces a lot of waste – riftsawn timber is rare these days.

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Misc

Wood Floor Cracking – What to do about it

Why is your Wood Floor cracking and what can be done about it?

Article Summary: Wood Floor Cracking. If you are about to fit a new wood floor, before reading this article I recommend you take a look at my article about acclimating timber flooring. If you have already fitted your wood floor and have problems with cracking – read on!
If you fitted the flooring yourself and have noticed cracking of the timber near the edges or joins, this is almost always because the wood has expanded. Unfortunately there isn’t really a cure once this has happened, other than to take a good hard look for any sources of moisture or damp and once fixed, sand, fill and reseal the timber floor surface if necessary. 
 
In some ways, when you install a hardwood floor, unless you have the perfect conditions in which to install it, after a while you are bound to get some sort of wood floor cracking. This is because of either expansion or contraction of the timber which will always happen, no matter how careful you are when installing. But there are things you can do to keep wood floor cracking to a minimum.

If you had the floor professionally fitted, ask a few pertinent questions. Did they properly acclimatize the timber? Did they take moisture readings of the sub floor? Was the timber dry when installed? What were the weather conditions when the timber was delivered? Were there other building works like concreting, painting or plastering taking place during installation (all these produce sources of moisture)? If you can be sure that at least one of these factors was present, call back your contractor and insist they put matters right.

I had reason to have a laminate floor re-laid recently when I managed to get an admission from the contractor that he “…was just told to fit the floor”. In other words he didn’t make any preliminary checks that the sub floor concrete slab was fit to take the laminate flooring. The contractor didn’t have a leg to stand on – he replaced the entire floor at substantial cost to himself, and I made absolutely sure that the end result was as perfect as possible before I paid him. It pays to keep an eye on your installers!

The reason that wood floors crack is basically either excessive moisture or drying out of the timber, but there is a little more to it than that. Modern planks are made to allow for uneven sub floors, if they weren’t just about every laminate and hardwood floor would creak. Unfortunately contractors these days have time constraints that prevent them from sometimes doing the right thing and leveling the sub floor first. That’s not an excuse – just a fact of life. So when boards expand, there is a lot of pressure built up along the top edge of the boards where they butt together. Eventually the timber has nowhere to go, and they split off.

If you notice your floor beginning to show signs of splitting, go out and buy/hire/borrow a dehumidifier. This will extract moisture from the air (and the floor), and should prevent and further damage while you look for the source of moisture, unless it’s a burst pipe.

When looking for sources of moisture ingress, check out some less obvious reasons. You may have a ducted heating with a split in the duct work. Hot air blowing on one area of flooring will dry it out too much and can cause cracking. If you have a fixed heat source that is underneath your floor, this will have the same effect. For a concrete slab, a moisture meter is indispensable and will track down the locality of moisture. Unfortunately this isn’t much use if the floor is already down.

Once you have found the source of the problem, either moisture or some drying mechanism, your only real alternative is to sand, fill and re-seal the floor. This is really the only alternative.

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Misc

Unfinished or Pre-finished Floors

Which Floor – Unfinished or Pre-finished Floors?

Article Summary: Pre-finished floors or unfinished? – There is hot debate on what constitutes the best type of wood flooring to buy. Here we give you the unbiased facts to enable you to make up your own mind. Be aware that all manufacturers will endorse the good points about their flooring products, but not dwell too much on any possible drawbacks that might exist. The fact is, there are good and bad points about both, so here they are:
Pre-finished Floors

All things being equal, pre-finished floors are undoubtedly quicker to install than unfinished, there is far less upheaval involved and the job should be less messy. Also, for the do-it-yourselfer, pre-finished floors are an easy project to tackle. However, be aware that site conditions must be good or the end product will suffer.

Be aware that with pre-finished floors you will always have a slight step between each individual board, this is largely concealed by a clever machining technique that makes a small beveled edge along the top edge. There will always be a gap between each board and this gap is notorious for collecting dirt. It is also an entryway for a floor’s biggest enemy – moisture. Any liquid spillages will be absorbed through the joins first. It is important to insure that your floor has been specially treated to guard against this. This major disadvantage is amplified in wet areas, like kitchens and bathrooms, and some manufacturers’ guarantees do not cover their flooring for these areas.

The most common finish available is a fairly standard semi-gloss which personally I like, but many people will prefer a different type. Although you can change the finish after installation, you might as well have gone for unfinished wood if this is the case. Also, the surface finish will never be as durable as an applied finish, so be prepared to see a few scratches appear quite quickly, depending on traffic.

Advantages

  • Quick to Install
  • Easy job for the D-I-Yer
  • Less mess
Disadvantages

  • Gap between boards is a dirt trap
  • Moisture ingress a problem
  • Standard semi-gloss finish
  • Sub floor preparation needs to be done very carefully

Unfinished Floors

Unfinished floors are undoubtedly harder to install and require more work to get a perfect finish. However, there are some real advantages that should be pointed out, such as the flooring being flat with no dirt and moisture-collecting groove between planks. Because of this, the floor in general does have a better look than its pre-finished counterpart. It is also easier to keep clean as there isn’t anywhere for small particles of dirt to accumulate. Any liquid spillage will not, if the surface fish has been applied carefully, penetrate the wood and is therefore easy to deal with. You are also free to choose any surface finish you want, rather than settle for the standard semi-gloss of pre-finished.

Advantages

  • Flat, smooth surface
  • No moisture or dirt traps
  • Looks better (if installed well)
  • Easy to keep clean
Disadvantages

  • Harder and more difficult to install
  • Probably more expensive

At some stage you will need to know about Refinishing Wood Floors and it is possible if the wood has not been seasoned properly you will need to deal with Wood Floor Cracking.

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Misc

Underfloor Heating – Under Floor Heating

Underfloor Heating Guide

Article Summary: Under Floor Heating is undoubtedly the best and most comfortable form of heating available. This article explains what it is and how you can benefit from fitting it in your home.

Hydronic underfloor heating works by embedding a continuous water pipe in a concrete slab underneath the floor covering. Because a much greater surface area is heated, the temperature of the floor surface is much less than a conventional radiant wall heater.

These two diagrams show the main difference between a conventional system and an under floor system. As you can see, because the conventional radiator system operates at much higher temperatures, all the heat rises rapidly to the ceiling while with the low temperature under floor heating system, heat rises much slower, resulting in a much more evenly distributed heat.

Another advantage of this type of system is the running cost – they are cheaper to run due to the fact that no energy is wasted. For hydronic systems, hot water can come from many sources; water heaters, wood boilers, heat pumps, or even solar water heaters.

People still get worried that pipes buried in concrete slabs will crack and leak. While that might have been true several decades ago, the modern variety of piping is made to withstand exposure to hot and cold water and being buried in concrete.

A house to be heated by this method is first split into zones and a plan is made of the layout of the piping. Each zone can then be separately heated or turned off completely when not in use, or special thermostatic control valves can be used to automatically control room temperatures, similar to that of conventional hydronic heating systems. the pipe is laid out similar to the diagram on our right:

A concrete slab is the perfect choice to complement under floor heating. Not only can you insulate the slab itself, by using insulation under the slab and – more importantly – around the slab perimeter, but you can utilise the heat retention qualities of the slab in conjunction with under floor heating. The amount of insulation will depend entirely on what part of the country you live because the ground temperature will obviously be different around the country. A slab thickness of between 4 to 6 inches (100-150mm) is ideal for this purpose.

Electric Underfloor Heating systems have the added advantage over the hydronic variety that they can’t leak and they are incredibly thin – about 3.5mm thick! They can be zoned like hydronic systems and can be easily retrofitted to older premises. Once fitted they are practically maintenance free and are more efficient than traditional radiator syatems. Under tiled or solid stone surfaces they are not only practical but they add a special feel that only under floor heating can give. One other advantage is that no space is lost on walls where radiators would once have been.

Distribution of heat in rooms heated with under floor heating systems is opposite to normal radiant systems. At feet level, if the temperature is around 72°F (22°C) then at head height the temperature will be around 66°F (19°C). Of course the temperature can be altered to suit your own preference, but the distribution stays the same and is opposite to that of ordinary hydronic radiator systems where your feet are always colder than your head.

To sum up the benefits of under floor heating systems:

  • Better heat distribution.
  • Warmer feet than head.
  • Zero maintenance.
  • No drafts as with radiators.
  • No wasted wall space
  • Reduces dust circulation.

Which one should you choose?

Well, each has its benefits and drawbacks. It really depends what the climate is like where you live. If you live a permanently cold climate that necessitates heating being turned on for long periods of time, then I would recommend hydronic under floor heating. Part of the reason is that because the heating pipes are buried relatively deeply in the concrete slab, you are heating up a large mass of concrete before that heat dissipates into the room. There is nothing wrong with this of course, unless you need a quicker responding system, i.e., electric.

Because electric systems are just under the surface, they are much quicker to respond to demands for heat. They are also much thinner than hydronic systems, and as mentioned above can be fitted to older properties. If electric cables do ever need repairing, it is also easier to locate a fault and hence reduce any damage that might be caused repairing it.

Installation and Running Costs. Vary enormously due to the fact that hydronic systems can use so many heat sources to heat water. If you have a large number of sunshine days but still need to run your heating, then solar heating can be very cheap to run. It is also worth considering the size of the room(s) you are heating. It would be foolish to install a hydronic heating system, for example, in a small bathroom. Here an electric system would be the obvious choice.

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Misc

The History of the Persian Carpet

Persian Carpet History

Article Summary: This is an article about the Persian Carpet. It is gives you a brief background of the history of Persian rugs and carpets, how and why they came to be made.

Although we don’t really have much of an idea when exactly carpet making began, we do know that there is a surviving rug, now known as the Pazyryk Rug, that is a type of knotted pile that has been dated to 500 B.C. From this example we can tell that rug making was already at quite an advanced stage even at this early time. Even though we now have modern advances that should improve the overall quality and longevity of rugs and carpets, things really haven’t changed all that much when we consider advancement in other areas.

As mentioned, the best known Persian rug is probably the so-called Pazyryk rug. It was specially made for a Scythian Prince by the name of Pazyryk, hence the name. Discovered by a Russian archaeologist by the name of Rudenko in 1947, the rug was unearthed in the Altai Mountains in Siberia. After the Prince’s burial tomb was ransacked by grave robbers and left uncovered for some 2500 years. It is interesting because it gives an insight into how Persian rugs were made in those ancient days.

Rugs that originate from the East are associated with a quality product. This is certainly true of today after thousands of years of development, but originally rugs were fairly basic pieces of cloth made more for clothing than for flooring. As these garments became more elaborate they began to take on a somewhat mythical character. It was soon realized that within the fabric of the cloth, stories could be told and captured, as well as creating beautiful pieces of art.

The introduction of carpets into Persia is probably attributable to Cyrus, who was impressed by the beauty and uniqueness of the carpets and rugs he found in the city of Babylon. The women of Persia had become skilled in the art of carpet making and were further encouraged by Cyrus, who lavished much praise on the craft.

It was around the period 1500 to 1700 that Persia was ruled by the so called Safavids. It is mainly from this period that various magnificent examples of Persian carpets are to be found preserved in museums around the world. It was during this period that whole industries were established around carpet manufacture and the ruler of the time, Shah Abbas encouraged the craft. It was in cities like Tabriz and especially Isfahan that the art was perfected. Here, carpets and rugs were created that had never been seen before, precious metals like gold and silver were incorporated into them to create true works of art. It was here that King Shah Abbas was mainly responsible for bringing the industry into the city of Isfahan, he held carpet makers in high esteem and carpet maker’s work became incorporated into the elaborate designs. Today the Persian carpet is still considered to be the best quality available.

After Nader Khan gained power in Persia around 1700, he unfortunately did not share the delights of Persian carpets and the craft dwindled in popularity. It was only carried out as a necessity by locals and the craft did not produce anything approaching the quality that had previously been made. Not until the 1800s did the craft once again gain in popularity during the rule of the Qajars. During this period many thousands of carpets were transported overseas to Europe and beyond, and the Persian carpet once again became a popular household item to own.

As time marched on, the Persian carpet was used by Kings and Queens around the world to add color and a point of difference to their residences. As these pieces were required to be as decorative and creative as possible, the craft began to attract skilled workers who toiled at perfecting the craft. Whereas today we may regard a cabinet maker as being a highly skilled and worthy member of society, the carpet maker was once held in similar regard.

As seaborne transportation improved and allowed traders to take new treasures around the globe, so the market place for these carpets increased, along with the demand for items that were representations of wealth and power. Probably the best known of all the British Kings to have purchased quality rugs and carpets was King Henry VIII. Paintings show him surrounded by rugs, carpets and drapes and it was he that was largely responsible for the growth in the carpet making industry in England.Today the Persian carpet still holds a place of high regard with owners, collectors and carpet makers. The trade is still widely carried out in Iran and many quality carpets are sold around the world each year.

 

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Misc

Terrazzo Flooring

Terrazzo Flooring

Terrazzo is an Italian word and Terrazzo flooring is made out of marble, granite, onyx and glass chips embedded in cement. The terrazzo is then cured, polished and cut into tiles. Terrazzo flooring is a type of mosaic flooring; it can also be used on walls, primarily in kitchens as a backsplash.

Not Just For The Rich!

Terrazzo, once used only by the affluent, is now widening in terms of popularity for flooring purposes. It is most often used in entryways, kitchens and public and commercial buildings. Due to its extreme durability, many homeowners are willing to pay more for terrazzo because they know that it is probably the only floor they will ever have to buy.

Terrazzo is quite unlike any other flooring. Because of the unique way that terrazzo flooring is made, every terrazzo floor that you might see will be different. There are no two floors that will be exactly alike, so there is no need to worry that your floor will look like your neighbors!

 
 
Flooring Fact


Terrazzo Floors can be heavy – always check the load bearing capacity of your sub-floor if you are fitting flooring above ground level.


All-Natural Substance

Terrazzo is made from a combination of marble or other stone pieces and a sand/cement mix. Its all-natural materials are one of the reasons that it lasts so long. Terrazzo is totally recyclable, making it environmentaly-friendly.

Suitability

Terrazzo is hypoallergenic and is water, (as long as it is sealed) and bacteria-resistant. For these reasons, it is most often used in kitchens, bathrooms, entryways and as flooring in commercial buildings.

Terrazzo tends to be very cold and hard underfoot. That is one reason that it is used mainly in commercial buildings and in places in residential homes that don’t require too much standing. It is a perfect recipient for underfloor heating.

Do-It-Yourself – Or Not!

Terrazzo flooring should only be installed by a professional. Terrazzo is made, poured and cured at the point of installation. The specialized installation process requires years of training to be able to perfect. There are a few companies that do sell a synthetic type of terrazzo tile, but it is not nearly as beautiful as the real thing. The synthetic versions are for homeowners that want the look of genuine terrazzo, but want to save on the high cost of installation.

When looking for a company to install your terrazzo, you should get several estimates. Below are some questions that you should ask when interviewing potential contractors:

1. How much will it cost?

2. How long will the installation take (actual installation + time to cure)?

3. Do you specialize in installing terrazzo?

4. When will I be able to walk on the floor?

5. What kind of guarantee do you offer?

6. What kind of warranty do you offer for repair?

Maintenance

A Terrazzo floor is one of the easiest types of flooring to maintain. You will need to lightly sweep the floor to remove visible debris. You don’t need to use harsh or abrasive cleansers to clean the floor; if you do, you run the risk of scratching any marble pieces. Simply use a damp mop to clean. If the floor is sealed properly, the water will not damage it.

Advantages/Disadvantages of Terrazzo Flooring

Advantages

  • Very durable material.
  • Water and heat resistant.
  • Nearly impenetrable
  • Lasts a lifetime
  • Low maintenance
Disadvantages

  • Relatively expensive.
  • Can be slippery if wet
  • Hard and cold underfoot
  • Requires professional installation
Categories
Misc

Terracotta Tile Flooring

Terracotta Tile Flooring

Terracotta tile flooring is among the most versatile type of floor tile on the market today. They are made primarily of clay and they add beauty and warmth to any room. For this reason they are a favorite among homeowners. Add to this the fact that terracotta tile flooring often looks better as it ages!

Terracotta tiles come in all shapes and sizes. Terracotta tiles are also versatile and durable enough to be used outdoors, on patios and driveways. They can enhance the curbside appeal of any home.

Materials

Terracotta tiles are made out of fired clay. No two terracotta tile floors look exactly alike. Color ranges from a light honey color to a deep red/brown.

Duribility

Terracotta tiles are beautiful in their natural state. However, they are very porous. In order to be durable and last longer, they need to be sealed, often more than once during the initial installation. Sealing can be rather tedious, so you may want to leave this to a professional, unless you are experienced.

Suitability

Terracotta tile flooring is very easy to keep clean once sealed. It is most often used in just about every area of the home, due to its versatility. Because it is very water resistant and also resistant to the elements, it can be used outside on patios and driveways.

Inside the home terracotta tiles are used in kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms and entryways. They are water, allergen and bacteria resistant, a plus for most homeowners. As mentioned before, they do have to be sealed to have these properties. As an added plus, terracotta tiles are very affordable.

Terracotta tile flooring is not as hard as other types of flooring, yet it is still durable. Additionally, it does not feel as cold underfoot. For these reasons, it is a favorite for use in kitchens and bathrooms.

Do It Yourself

Installing terracotta tile flooring is a moderately difficult task. We advise trying this yourself only if you are fairly experienced. This is because terracotta tiles can be over ½” thick, and will raise the floor above what it may have been before. Installing terracotta tiles usually amounts to a two-day job because of this reason. In addition, grouting needs to be done with precision, otherwise the floor will not look right.

If you feel that you have sufficient experience to install terracotta tiles, you should still make a trip to a home hardware store to get a quick refresher on installation.

Below are some tips on installing terracotta flooring:

1. Make sure the subfloor is clean, dry and SOLID

2. You can install terracotta tiles over a vinyl floor

3. If the existing floor is ceramic or any other type of tile, it will have to be removed; otherwise, the floor will be too high

4. Use a thin cement adhesive

5. When applying the adhesive, work with a small section of floor at a time, otherwise it will dry out too quickly

6. You need to allow the floor to dry at least 24 hours before grouting.

7. Use spacers when starting the grouting job

8. Apply sealant after curing has been completed about 2-3 weeks

Maintenance

Terracotta tiles are easy to maintain. Simply sweep the floor thoroughly and clean with a damp mop and mild household detergent. There are several cleaners on the market made especially for terracotta floors. From time to time, you may wish to use a grout cleaner, to keep the grout from darkening and looking dirty.

Advantages/Disadvantages of Terracotta Tiles

Advantages

  • Relatively durable material
  • Versatile
  • Looks better with age
  • Warm and inviting underfoot
  • Water, allergen and bacteria resistant
  • Inexpensive
  • Low maintenance
Categories
Misc

Stone Floors – Stone Flooring

Stone Flooring

Some of the most beautiful and perhaps the oldest type of floor covering are stone floors. It was the only known type of flooring in medieval times when resilient flooring or mosaic tiles simply did not exist. Even Cleopatra is known to have made extensive use of stone in her palace!

Why Is Stone So Popular?

There are as many numbers of reasons for its popularity as there are lovers of flooring! Add to that the countless variety of stones available all over this world. Here are some of the reasons that are most compelling to choose stone for your floor:

  • Completely natural patterns and colors, regardless of their variety, that enchants owners and the guests alike.
  • The cool feel. Stone loses heat faster than other flooring materials.
  • The exquisite finish of stone is virtually unmatched by any other flooring types. Larger stone slabs, when used, provide the look of a seamless floor. Stone flooring has a rich and expansive look.
  • Stone is very hygienic because it is smooth and non-porous. Stone is moisture and bacteria-resistant.
  • Stone is very easy to clean – simply wipe with a damp cloth or mop.
  • Most stone is scratch-proof.

Flooring Fact


All Stone Floors are heavy – always check the load bearing capacity of your sub-floor if you are fitting flooring above ground level.


Types of Popular Stones Used In Stone Flooring

There are countless varieties of stone used for flooring that are popular in every region of the country. However, there are some that are extremely popular because of their majestic look and wide variety of colors.

Marble: Marble is regarded as a royal stone by nearly everyone. Nearly every homeowner has secretly wished to have his/her home laid with marble flooring. Marble is chiefly made in India, Italy, and Egypt. Marble is composed of calcium carbonate and its colors and patterns are due to what is called “impurities”. Marble is among the softer stones …more.

Granite: Granite is perhaps the hardest stone of all, and is equally good looking. Granite finishes very well and is available in a wide variety of colors. The current rage in color is from jet black to light gray …more.

 
 
Limestone: This stone is a recent hit with many popular hotels and resorts. Even new corporate buildings prefer Limestone flooring. Limestone flooring has a shiny finish, and the colors available make it ideal for public establishments …more.

Sandstone: A close relative of Limestone, but usually with a more rustic finish, Sandstone is used to give a cool, slip free surface that is hard, durable and with a small amount of care and maintenance will last forever …more.

Slate: This stone flooring is perhaps the least expensive. It i

 It is easier to handle than the other types of stone flooring. Slate flooring is moisture-resistant, so it is good for bathrooms and basements. Your best bet is to use thin cut tiles if installing a slate tile floor in your home, because in slab form, as with the other types of stone flooring, slate flooring is very heavy …more.

Terrazzo: Terrazzo is a produced or manufactured finish whereby hard stone chippings (especially marble or granite) are mixed with concrete, and the concrete mixture is poured on site, similar to laying a concrete slab. When the concrete has set, the next stage is to grind the surface back then highly polish it to form a durable and unique surface finish. One thing about Terrazzo is that you will never see two floors exactly the same …more.

All stone flooring materials are available as slabs and tiles of different sizes, but the standard size for tiles is 2’ by 1’.

Six popular textures of stone flooring are:-

1. Honed texture with medium sheen

2. Polished texture which is the glossiest and smoothest surface finish

3. Flamed texture that is porous and has the roughest look

4. Semi-rough texture

5. Textured by sand blasting under high pressure with water

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Misc

Specialty Flooring – Types of Flooring

Specialty Flooring

In addition to the more common types of flooring materials, specialty flooring offers homeowners a wider choice for those looking for different ways of decorating their homes. Using non-standard flooring materials is one way to completely change the look of a room.

Why Consider Specialty Flooring?

Many people want their homes to look different to those of their neighbors’. Using non-standard flooring options such as discount bamboo flooring or applying a colored stain to your concrete floor is one way to do this. New technologies and techniques have made it possible to manipulate different materials to make viable flooring options. Now, the characteristics of certain types of materials can be made to really stand out and create stunning a stunning floor.

Common Types of Specialty Flooring

Concrete Flooring. Concrete flooring is now available in a variety of sizes, designs, patterns, textures and colors. Concrete can be quite heavy, so you must be careful during installation. There is a special chemical procedure for aging concrete so that it looks very beautiful and luxurious. Using concrete instead of another pricey material, such as marble or granite can save you quite a bit of money. Additionally, the rooms laid with concrete will look very unique…

Metal Flooring. Metal flooring has become very versatile. Not as popular as other types flooring material, it was once used only in commercial and industrial buildings. Difficult to install but virtually maintenance free, metal flooring can be manipulated to simulate bronze or brass. In addition, metal tiles can be interspersed with other types of flooring materials to make a very interesting and stunning floor…

Leather Flooring. Leather is not something that only your grandmother would have as a flooring material. Leather has an unmistakable rich and luxurious look. It is also relatively expensive, but the expense is well worth it. Leather tiles come in different colors, shades and textures so it is easily customizable to any room. Leather is also very soft and warm, making a leather floor very comfortable and inviting to walk on…