Wood Floor Sheens: Which Is Better?

Photo: Shaw Floors

Some wood floor sheens are shiny and some are not. Is one type of sheen better than the other?

It really is a matter of preference. If you choose to install a site-finished floor, you can choose any sheen that you like. Gloss finishes offer the most shine, and will reflect the most light. Semi-gloss finishes offer some shine, and will reflect some light. Satin or matte finishes offer the least shine, and will reflect the least light.

Generally speaking, the less sheen, the less you will notice small scratches and other wear that is normal with wood floors. If you choose to install a factory-finished floor, you will be limited to the sheen available for the material you select. All sheens will offer the same protection for your floor, so it truly is a matter of which look you like best.

Source: National Wood Flooring Association

Partnering for a Cause

What began as the sponsorship of the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway has evolved into a multi-faceted program for St. Jude and Shaw Floors and its dealer network. Now, Shaw’s Carpet Cushion for St. Jude raises money with every purchase.

St. Jude works to find cures for children fighting childhood cancer around the world. Watch this brief video to learn more about Shaw’s involvement with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital today.

Give Your Living Room a Personality of its Own

Photo: Shaw Floors

Photo: Shaw Floors

A living room can become a welcoming space to both family and visitors with the simple addition of special details. Much like the distinctive grain of hardwood flooring  it’s the details that give a room a personality of its own.

When a living room is a long rectangle, the shape can be used as an advantage. Arranging the space into two squares, with bookshelves or a sofa table placed as dividers, will break up the area naturally. Using different rugs also divides the floor into distinct sections.

In cases when a formal style works best for a particular room, the room design should be symmetrical. Or, home decorators can try a modified symmetry by having two identical sofas face each other but place different lamps or side tables alongside them.

Good Traffic Flow

The right mix and arrangement of pieces creates a room design that has a comfortable traffic flow between furnishings.

Achieving correct balance is particularly important in a large room where people gather. If there’s too much space between furniture pieces, the room will have a chilly atmosphere. Push furnishings too close and the look may be too cluttered.

A fireplace may serve as a focal point with an equally weighty piece of furniture – such as a large bookcase or hutch – to counteract it across the room. Having two loveseats face each other in front of the fireplace is often more inviting than placing one long sofa along a wall. Or, two easy chairs can face a sofa, with a small table and a lamp for reading set between them.

Scale is also a concern in home design, because large pieces will fill blocks of space better than small furniture, which could become dwarfed by a large area.

Color Coordination

To keep a classic look in a large room, the fabrics on a sofa and a loveseat can be different as long as they coordinate well in colors and patterns. Homeowners may use furniture already in the home by upgrading some pieces with new upholstery or slipcovers that can be changed seasonally.

The answer is to separate the space into several conversation areas, but linked by colors and complementary patterns and solids. The result will be a comfortable place for both everyday use and entertaining guests.

Source: Anderson Floors

 

Long, Narrow Space? Try These Tips

Photo: Shaw Floors

Photo: Shaw Floors

In a long room, a balanced look can be achieved by painting one of the walls at the long end a much darker shade of the room’s main color. Doing that will create the impression that the darker wall is closer and make the space seem more uniform in shape.

For homeowners who like to bring the outdoors inside for their decor, a series of shelves displaying house plants will create the same focus as a darker accent color on a far wall. The same effect can be created with a book-lined wall or floor-to-ceiling shelves filled with collectibles. These approaches will also add texture to the home design.

If colors are kept in proportions that are nearly equal between walls, draperies and upholstery, there’s less chance that one color will dominate the room. Accessories in bright colors can be used to complement furnishings, or darker colors may be chosen for area rugs to anchor the room without overpowering the overall space.

Plan Seating First

One good thing about a lengthy space is that it lends itself to different activity areas. It helps to plan out seating areas first and arrange other pieces around sofas and chairs. Then while kids play in one designated zone, their parents can stretch out to relax on the sofa elsewhere in the room.

Using small rugs to break up the sections, while leaving some flooring exposed between them, is an effective way to separate the zones. To make a relaxation zone more cozy, it helps to face a sofa away from more active areas and make the separation as a “getaway” spot more pronounced.

Differentiating sections of a room can also be accomplished by using partial dividers that allow one to see the whole space from end to end. The open design atmosphere is enhanced when shelves have no backing, which allows the room to be seen beyond the items on display.

Source: Anderson Floors

 

How to get Red Wine out of Carpet

Photo: Shaw FloorsAccidents can happen. Here are some tips on how to get red wine out of your carpet.

  • Apply detergent solution (1/4 teaspoon clear hand dishwashing soap and 1 cup warm water) with a damp towel; leave on for three to five minutes (blot, don’t rub).
  • If stain is not removed, apply a hydrogen peroxide/ammonia solution (1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide and 1 teaspoon household ammonia) and let stand for two to three hours under a weighted sheet of plastic wrap (repeat as needed).
  • Once removal is complete, apply white vinegar to neutralize the area, then water with a damp towel to rinse.
  • Blot, then finish with a weighted pad of white paper towels.

Always rinse with water and blot dry as the last procedure.

Techniques:

  • Apply – Apply all liquids to a clean white (not printed) towel or paper towel and use to dampen carpet. Never wet a carpet through to the backing.
  • Blot – Press straight down with a pad of clean white paper towels – never rub. Rubbing alters carpet texture. Then in a final blotting, leave 1/2″ of paper towels on spot overnight with a weight.
  • Weight – A weight 1/2″ pad of white paper towels, left overnight, will absorb the last traces of liquid and foreign materials. Make sure the weighted object is colorfast and will not bleed onto the carpet.
  • Rinse – Apply water to a white towel or paper towel; blot, don’t rub.

Solutions:

  • Ammonia – Undiluted, unscented, clear (not sudsy) household ammonia.
  • Detergent – Mix 1/4 teaspoon clear, see-through hand dish-washing detergent with 1 cup warm water.
  • Hydrogen peroxide/ammonia – 1 teaspoon undiluted, unscented, clear (not sudsy) household ammonia. Use within 22 hours of mixing.

Source: Shaw Floors

 

Fiber: Carpet’s Basic Ingredient

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Photo: Shaw Floors

The four basic fibers used in carpets today all have their individual strengths. Your ultimate choice will be determined by the characteristics that are most important to you.

Although some carpets are made of blends, most are made entirely of one of the following four fibers:

Nylon

Nylon is more expensive than other synthetic carpet fibers and has been the most commonly used carpet fiber since the early 1960s. In overall performance characteristics, nylon is the most versatile of all fibers, providing excellent flexibility in creating a variety of carpet styles. Nylon can be found in a wide range of both cut pile and loop pile styles. It is durable, resilient, and receptive to dyeing for color versatility and uniformity; many new nylon yarn systems are also exceptionally soft. Though not inherently stain resistant, most nylon carpets are treated with stain-resist carpet treatment for protection against household spills and stains.

Polypropylene (also called Olefin)

Since 1980, the use of polypropylene carpet fibers has grown dramatically. Unlike the other fiber types, polypropylene will not absorb water and must therefore be solution dyed (pigmented) to impart color. Solution dyeing is a pigmentation process in which color is actually built into the fiber when it is formed, or extruded, thereby becoming an inherent part that cannot be removed from the fiber. The color will not fade, even when exposed to intense sunlight, bleaches, atmospheric contaminants, or other harsh chemicals or elements. However, since it is not as resilient as other fibers, polypropylene is normally used in loop pile constructions in which there is less need for superior resiliency.

Polyester

Polyester offers exceptional softness and color clarity, and it is also naturally stain and fade resistant. While polyester is not as inherently resilient as nylon, carpets made of polyester fiber will perform well if appropriately constructed. Carpets of polyester are generally available only in cut pile styles and are usually less expensive than nylon in comparable weights.

Wool

The preeminent natural fiber and used in the manufacture of carpets and rugs longer than any other fiber. In fact, the weaving of wool carpets has been traced back to 3,000 B.C., and wool rugs and carpets have been prized as objects of beauty and prestige ever since. Wool does not have the stain and abrasion resistance of some of the man-made fibers, but it has an enduring quality, and many wool carpets and rugs are said to “age gracefully.” Soft underfoot, wool also offers the somewhat intangible consideration of prestige. However, wool carpets are considerably more expensive than most synthetic carpets and represent less than 1 percent of all broadloom carpets sold.

A number of carpet styles utilize a fiber blend, such as nylon and polypropylene. The blending of fiber types to form the carpet yarn is designed to combine the beneficial characteristics of each fiber, such as the resiliency of nylon and fade resistance of polypropylene.

While these descriptions outline basic characteristics of different fibers, how the fiber is processed and fabricated – the construction – is more of a determining factor of a carpet’s performance potential.

Source: Tuftex Carpets