Should You Choose Laminate or Hardwood Flooring?

Shaw Floors Laminate

With today’s technology, laminate flooring is a strong alternative to hardwood. While the look of laminate and hardwood flooring may be similar, knowing the differences between laminate and hardwood flooring will help you make the best choice for your home and budget.

Here are some quick comparisons.

Laminate Flooring

Construction. Wood materials are pressed together to make a plank. The top layer is a photographic layer made to mimic various surfaces like wood and stone. It can be installed in basements.
Cost. Less expensive
Repair. Minor scratches can be repaired, but new flooring needs to be installed for major repairs. Since laminate is made of composite wood, it cannot be refinished.
Lifespan. Average of 15-25 years

Hardwood Flooring

Construction. This flooring is made of solid wood. The look of the wood comes from the natural state of the wood itself. The grain and color are unique. Installation of hardwood flooring below-grade is not recommended.
Cost. More expensive
Repair. Minor and major damage can be repaired. Hardwood floors can be refinished multiple times throughout their life.
Lifespan. 100+ years

Cleaning Hardwood Floors and Laminate Floors

Even though the materials vary, cleaning hardwood and laminate flooring is basically the same. You’ll want to set up a maintenance routine of daily dust mopping, weekly cleaning with a vacuum/wet mop and a deep clean/polish every few months or as needed. A proper maintenance plan will help keep your floors looking great for as long as you own your floors.
Source: Bona

Design With Light

We all know how light affects our moods. What if you could design with light, preserve your fantastic view and protect your floors from harmful UV rays? We say “No Problem!”

Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

Photo: Shaw Floors

Some allergens are more common outdoors, like pollen and mold spores, while others are more common indoors, like dust mites and animal dander. All allergen sources, however, can be present anywhere at any time. And because the cost of air-borne allergy-related illnesses can be staggering – up to $17.5 billion in health care costs and more than 6 million work and school days lost each year – it is in your best interest to prevent and minimize allergy triggers whenever possible.

While outdoor allergens can be hard to control, there are ways to minimize the impact of allergens that occur indoors. Frequent dusting, vacuuming and washing will minimize many indoor allergens, but these activities also can stir them up as well. One way to prevent allergens altogether is to eliminate many of the areas where they can gather. Flooring is one example.

Flooring is one area of the indoor environment where the amount of indoor allergens can be controlled. Certain types of flooring, such as carpet, are simply better gathering places for allergens. Small microorganisms, pollen, dust, dust mites, mold, animal dander, and other substances tend to accumulate in carpet fibers. Other flooring types, such as wood, tend to minimize the accumulation of allergens because there are no fibers to trap these substances. Taking steps to minimize these kinds of allergens can result in improved indoor air quality.

When it comes to flooring, the Environmental Protection Agency finds that hardwood floors improve indoor air quality. This is because hardwood floors do not harbor microorganisms or pesticides that can be tracked in from outdoors. In addition, hardwood floors also minimize the accumulation of dust, mold and animal dander. Both of these findings result in improved indoor air quality.

Revitalize Your Hardwood Floors

Clean floors last. It’s best to clean rooms from the top down so that any dust and debris won’t find their way onto a newly-cleaned floor.
Dry mop/dust floors. Use a microfiber dusting cloth or a vacuum to remove the initial layer of dust and debris on floors. If you are using a vacuum, avoid using the beater bar so the vacuum’s brush doesn’t damage the floor.
Spray mop floors. Use a cleaning solution designed for your floor type. Avoid DIY vinegar solutions or steam mopping your floors since they both can damage your floor’s finish leaving it to look dull and cloudy. If your mop doesn’t have a spray function, fill your cleaning solution in a spray bottle and spray floors a bit at a time to avoid an excess amount of liquid on your floors.
Apply a new coat of polish. Now that your floors are clean and dry, applying a coat of polish is a great way to revitalize your floor’s finish. A coat of polish can even out a floor’s look, filling in any small scratches and adding a new protective layer on top of your floor.

Here are some tips that can help protect your floors even more.

  • Use floor mats and area rugs to protect high traffic areas. If using mats and rugs, try to get rugs and mats with a natural rubber backing since some materials can discolor floors after extended use.
  • Protect floors from sun damage. Rearrange furniture or use curtains to protect floors from fading and UV damage.
  • Protect furniture legs with appropriate pads and covers. Felt or rubber pads can help avoid scratches from accidental dragging of furniture on your floors.
  • The best way to revitalize your floors is with a deep clean. A good deep clean can get into the seams of the floor where normal spray mopping can’t.

Source: Bona

Shaw Floors Introduces 2019 Color of the Year

Shaw Floors has announced a full palette of colors for its 2019 Color of the Year: Whisper. The palette of five hushed neutrals will be embodied in Shaw’s 2019 hard and soft surface product introductions.

Whisper features five colors: Glacier Ice, Clay, Blush, Mist, and Dusty Lilac. Infused with a dusty softness, the approachable palette provides the neutrals consumers love with subtle pastel undertones for interest, beauty and variety. The colors are easy to integrate into a home’s design scheme and may be used alone in a space or together as a palette.

“With Whisper, we’ve moved away from our obsession with grays and are embracing colors that inject a calm, inviting serenity into the home,” said Pam Rainey, ASID, IIDA, Shaw Floors’ vice president of product design. “The palette conveys an ethereal, dreamlike environment where we can find peace and relaxation.”

Shaw Floors will launch new products in 2019 that not only coordinate with the Whisper palette, but embody the colors as well. Alongside the products, the brand will release a selection of design themes that showcase the palette in various ways.

The Importance of Vacuuming

The most important step in caring for your carpet is vacuuming it thoroughly and frequently. This is particularly true in high-traffic areas. Walking on soiled carpet allows the soil particles to work their way below the surface of the pile where they are far more difficult to remove and can damage the carpet fibers. Frequent vacuuming removes these particles from the surface before problems occur.

For rooms with light traffic, vacuum the carpet traffic lanes twice weekly and the entire area once weekly. In areas with heavy traffic, vacuum the carpet traffic lanes daily and the entire area twice weekly. Up to three passes of the machine will suffice for light soiling, but five to seven passes are necessary for heavily soiled areas. Change the vacuuming direction occasionally to help stand the pile upright and reduce matting.

Extend the life of your carpet with a quality vacuum
An inexpensive machine may remove surface dirt but will not effectively remove the hidden dirt and particles embedded in the pile. Invest in a good vacuum cleaner to get the dirt you can’t see and prolong the beauty and life of your carpet. To ensure that your vacuum will conform to the highest industry standards, make sure that your vacuum cleaner is certified through the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Seal of Approval/Green Label Vacuum Cleaner Program. Visit www.carpet-rug.org for details.

Select the best vacuum for your type of carpet
Shaw Floors recommends using vacuums with a rotating brush or combination beater/brush bar that agitates the carpet pile and mechanically loosens soil for removal. Carpet with thick loop pile construction, particularly wool and wool-blend styles, may be sensitive to brushing or rubbing of the pile surface and may become fuzzy. In addition, shag (or cabled) styles with long pile yarns tend to wrap around the rotating brushes causing damage to the yarn. For these products, Shaw recommends a suction-only vacuum or a vacuum with an adjustable brush lifted away from the carpet so it does not agitate the pile. Be sure to test a vacuum with a beater/brush bar in an inconspicuous location before regular use, to make sure it doesn’t produce excessive fuzzing.

Source: Shaw Floors