Why You Want Clean Carpet

Photo: Shaw Floors

Photo: Shaw Floors

Have you ever noticed that only a few days after cleaning, you can see dust everywhere, settled on glass tabletops and the like? Dust happens. Household dust carries bacteria, dander, mold spores, germs and pollen. To add to the flurry of grime, your family, friends, pets and even that open window bring in fresh dirt all the time. A lot of it is settling on your carpet.

Between longer work days, time-consuming commutes, and kids’ activities that keep the calendar full, who has time to worry about cleaning the carpet? Today, we’re spending less time on household tasks, yet we still expect excellent results. Lucky for us, carpet-cleaning products, methods and equipment are improving all the time. Cleaning carpet may seem like more of a chore than dusting a coffee table, but properly cleaning and maintaining your carpet makes all the difference in the world.

How often do you clean your carpet?

Source: Carpet and Rug Institute

Domestic Vs. Exotic Hardwoods

Photo: Bona

Photo: Bona

When it comes to choosing the right wood for your floors, you must consider the differences between domestic and exotic wood. Each type has its own benefits and strengths. Domestic and exotic hardwood lumber bring together a wide range of aesthetic and practical considerations when choosing your hardwood floor. They all vary with different characteristics like color, hardness and availability.

Domestic Hardwoods

Domestic hardwoods refer to any and all species found in North America like Oak, Birch, Maple and American Cherry. Domestic hardwood flooring is considered to have a warmer, more traditional appearance.

Exotic Hardwoods

Exotic hardwoods are species found around the world, usually coming from the more tropical areas. Some common exotic species are Brazilian Cherry, Brazilian Walnut (Ipe), Purple Heart and Australian Cypress. Exotic hardwood flooring is considered to have a more striking appearance, giving off a more contemporary/modern look.

Color Change

The natural change in color of all wood species over time is a process caused by oxidation and exposure to light over time. This can happen on finished and unfinished wood and varies by species as to whether it darkens or lightens in color. Exotic hardwoods such as Brazilian Cherry may change color very rapidly and drastically while a domestic hardwood like Red Oak may be much slower with minimal changes in color variation. Check with your floor care professional to get a better idea of what to expect when your floors age.

Hardness

A wood floor is only as hard as the species of wood that is installed and not determined by the finish topcoat. Domestic hardwoods are softer than most exotic species, ranking in the low-medium range in hardness. Exotic hardwoods are harder and denser than domestic wood. However, it is important to remember that hardness is not the only factor when considering a durable floor. With modern industry practices, both types of wood will provide you with a floor that will last a lifetime.

Availability

When it comes to domestic vs. exotic hardwood flooring, availability can become a key issue. The availability of species will depend heavily on specific trends in your area. Because of availability issues, some exotic hardwoods may only come in specific sizes and cuts. Generally, some people choose domestic hardwood flooring over exotic to support sustainable practices and local jobs.

Source: Bona

 

Take Care of Glazed Ceramic Tile

Photo: daltile

Photo: daltile

Contaminants and spills on a glazed ceramic tile are, generally, easier to clean than most other unglazed ceramic and porcelain surfaces.

Glazed tile products should be cleaned routinely with an all-purpose, low VOC household or commercial cleaner. The product chosen should also be grout joint cleaning compatible. The type of product may vary depending on the tile application and use. A multipurpose spray cleaner, which removes soap scum, hard water deposits, and mildew designed for every day use, can be used on wall tile areas in residential baths and showers.

The entire area should be cleaned and scrubbed with cleaner solution through the use of a cotton mop, cloth, sponge or non-metallic brush. The entire area should be rinsed with clean water to remove any cleaning solution residue. Remember that you should sweep or vacuum floor areas prior to cleaning to remove any dust or debris. Routine cleaners should never contain hazardous or polluting products including, but not limited to acids or ammonia. Acids can damage the grout and the glazed surface of the tile, and ammonia can discolor the grout.

Unglazed tile should be cleaned routinely with concentrated tile cleaners that have a neutral pH for safe regular use. These cleaners are better suited at removing grease, oils and normal spills from unglazed products. Again these products will vary depending on the application, amount of traffic and the use. The product chosen should also be compatible with cleaning the grout joints at the same time.

Source: daltile