Like many of the world’s most beautiful treasures, the history of patterned cement tiles, or mosaicos hidralico, as they are known in many colonial districts of Latin America, is up for debate. Some think Mexico was the first Latin American country to make them (and Cuba the second), having arrived in Central America through European trade routes. Meanwhile, Spain and France are duking it out for the title of first nation to make them worldwide. Whatever the case, there are a few things of which we can be certain. First, these elegant and vibrant tiles can be found across the globe, from Nicaragua and Brazil to Turkey and India. Secondly, they’re seeing a resurgence in the United States. The colorful and durable tiles were used in outdoor spaces in historic coastal estates in California and Florida in the US in the ’30s and ’40s, but now we’re seeing them in cities, in restaurants and bars, and applied in fresh ways like climbing up the wall behind a fireplace or mixed and matched on a hallway floor. Find out more…
When it’s time to upgrade the home, consider wood flooring. The cost of wood floor installation can be high, but most of these expenses can be avoided when homeowners install floors. Here are a few tips to achieve a beautiful wood floor through professional installation.
Preparing the Floor
Many people think they can start laying the floor once the old flooring is removed, but there’s a little more to it than that. In addition to removing the old flooring, the baseboards should also be removed. If there are door frames in the room, the Preparation of the floor for wood installation is essentialframes must be shortened by the height of your floor. Either remove the sides of the frame and cut them down with a saw, or use a Dremel rotary tool with a special attachment to cut the doorjamb in place.
The next step is to go over the floor carefully. Look for staples, nails that are not countersunk or spots that squeak. The best time to fix squeaks in the floor is now because few screws in the loose area will stop squeaks and groans. Raised nails should be hammered in fully or removed.
Once the floor is clean and smooth, it is time to lay rosin paper. Overlap paper edges by four inches, and hold the paper in place by going across it with a staple gun. Make sure all staples are completely flush with the floor.
Slow and Easy Wins the Race
The goal with the wood floor isn’t to finish in record time. The goal is to have a floor that looks professionally installed. This means being patient with the installation. Be a perfectionist when choosing boards. Look for flaws, wormholes, splinters, damaged tongues or grooves and any other damage. If there is something about a board that isn’t attractive, it should be set to the side.
All seams must be carefully staggered across the floor. Make sure there is at least four inches between seams to create a strong floor. Before choosing a board, look at the seams a few rows back to maintain attractive spacing.
The All-Important Gap
A quarter-inch gap is required all the way around the floor. Wood will expand slightly and contract again over the course of the year. If the expansion gap is not present, the floor could buckle and be ruined.
Cutting the End Boards
At the end of a row, installers measure the space and cut a board to fit. Be sure to allow for the gap when measuring, and check all measurements twice. Mark the board to ensure that the right end is cut. Remember that a working tongue or groove on the floor side is required to secure the board, so the cut should always be on the wall side.
Wood flooring endows your home with old-world charm and grace. It lasts for generations if properly cared for and allowed to age beautifully. Another great feature of hardwood flooring is that it is natural and environment-friendly.
Humanity has used timber to lay floors for hundreds of years, and the flooring continues to remain in style, impervious to trends. Wooden floors have a timeless appeal, which cannot be said of any other kind of flooring.
There are many advantages to a wood floor. Apart from increasing the aesthetic appeal of your house, it also fetches you a higher price at the time of selling it.
Wood floors do not require meticulous maintenance, but they cannot take care of themselves. You need to be careful and avoid damaging friction, and also adopt wood-safe cleaning practices.
Here are a few tips to help you maintain your wood flooring and ensure it lasts forever.
It’s Important to Know Your Flooring
The maintenance procedures and the cleaning methods are determined by the type of flooring and the kind of finish used on it. Wax polish cannot be used to rejuvenate polyurethane, shellac or varnish finishes. Wax makes these floors slippery and adversely affects their finish. There are specific polishes that can be used on polyurethane floors. General-purpose polishes are available which can be used after testing the results on a small insignificant patch on the floor. Ensure the polish does not peel off or harm the natural finish of the floor. Make sure you check with the dealer or manufacturer for user instructions.
Keep Away the Moisture
Water is the biggest enemy of hardwood floors. Water ruins the finish of your floor and makes it dull. If the floor remains wet and damp for long, the moisture will seep into the wood and stain it. The damage caused is irreversible and you will find it difficult to regain the lost looks. Avoid wet-mopping and do not clean your floor with water or other liquids. You can use a slightly damp mop for wiping a wood floor clean of fine dust. But make sure the floor is immediately dried and does not retain any moisture. You can switch on the ceiling fan or the air-conditioner to speed up drying. So, the best way to go about cleaning your wood floors is to vacuum and sweep them regularly.
VIDEO: Cleaning Floors : Cleaning Solutions for Wood Floors
Regular Care Goes a Long Way
As in the case of carpets, dust and dirt can cause trouble for wood flooring. When you walk over the floor, the dust caught underfoot causes damaging friction, mimicking the action of sandpaper. It grates away at the floor surface and slowly wears through the finish. Regular vacuuming removes dust, dirt and sand from the floor surface. Ensure you use suitable attachments for the vacuum and that do not scratch or damage the finish. You can also sweep your floor clean with a soft-bristled broom.
Watch Chemical Spills
Hair spray and furniture polish are harmful to wood flooring. If they spill on the surface, immediately wipe off with a slightly damp cloth. If you want more thorough cleaning, dilute a pH-neutral cleaning liquid (like dishwasher liquid) and gently scrub the surface clean. Wipe with a dry towel immediately.
Say No to Oil
Oil soaps and liquid/paste waxes should be avoided too. When you use cleaning agents containing oil, residue is left on the floor surface which alters and affects the floor polish. Harsh chemical cleaners and ammonia-based products should be avoided.
Make Your Home a Safe Haven for the Floors
Sunlight: Wood floors are affected by exposure to harsh sunlight. You know that UV rays are harmful for your skin, but they can also cause discoloration of wooden floors. Window blinds and sheer curtains help filter the sun’s rays and protect the floor from direct and harsh sunlight. You can also put in area rugs in places where there is too much of exposure to sunlight.
Stop Dirt in Its Tracks
Make sure you place high quality doormats at the entrance and exit points of your house. This will prevent dirt, dust, oil and other corrosive substances from being tracked in from the outside. Also place thick mats or rugs over spots where there is probability of heavy traffic or constant pressure, like in the hallways, the area around kitchen sink and stove, and in the living areas.
Wood floors are easy to maintain, and have a soothing and calming influence on your family. With proper and timely care, you can help your wood flooring remain cozy, warm and inviting forever.
Furnishings and accessories in whites, creams and pastel tones can act as a great complement to natural look materials. This styling positions natural materials as the hero within your home and allows the natural tones and textures to act as the aesthetic focal point. Read More Here: http://www.beaumont-tiles.com.au/Tile-DIY-Info/Blog/ID/200/House-Rules-Bring-The-Outside-In-With-Natural-Look-Tile
Is Tile That Looks Like Wood Flooring Really That Great?
Of course some of the advantages that are touted with regard to wood looking ceramic tiles are debatable, namely that it is better for underfloor radiant heating, easier to find in larger plank widths, generally cheaper and easier to clean. Read More Here: http://www.homeflooringpros.com/blog-guides/the-definitive-guide-to-ceramic-tiles-that-look-like-wood/
VIDEO:Tip to Removing/Uninstalling Pergo Flooring
Higher Standard Tile and Stone: PHOTOS Click Here
Is Porcelain & Ceramic Tile Right for Me?
Most porcelain and ceramic tile is hard-wearing and easy to maintain over the long term. This means that you’ll likely only be doing the job of installing it once over the course of owning your home or office. The colors don’t fade, and you’ll be pleased to know that it has hypoallergenic qualities. No need to worry about pets, spills, or wear and tear! Read More Here: http://learn.builddirect.com/flooring/porcelain-ceramic-tile-right/
Strand Woven Bamboo Flooring – Which is the Better Installation Method, Nail Down or Glue?
For those who love the idea of installing a hardwood floor in their home but want to be a little greener in their choice of new flooring bamboo is the perfect choice. Strand woven bamboo flooring is even more appealing to many people as the weave not only adds extra strength to an already very tough flooring material but a very attractive and unique appearance as well. Read More Here: http://www.tilecenterblog.com/2012/11/strand-woven-bamboo-flooring-%E2%80%93-which-is-the-better-installation-method-nail-down-or-glue/