Thursday, November 28, 2013

Available Tile Choices - Travertine

The Benefits of Travertine Tile

Another elegant natural stone material that makes a great floor covering is travertine. This stone, when used in a home can increase, not only the appeal, but also the value of a home. Although it is one of the more expensive floor coverings, many home owners choose this beautiful stone to decorate kitchens or bathrooms. Here are a few reasons why this natural stone surface material might be a good choice for you.

One benefit that we just alluded to is that travertine adds value to the home in the eyes of both the home owner and many potential home buyers. For many reasons, travertine is a relatively safe material. One property that qualifies it as a safe floor covering is that, compared to its lower priced counterparts, it has better grip. Travertine is a natural stone and is porous whereas ceramic tile, for example, is smooth and can become very slippery when wet. Compared to carpeting, it is less conducive to allergies, because it is a hard surface.

Other benefits of travertine flooring are more of a question of taste and maintenance. For example, ceramic tile is more of a fashion material because the tile manufacturers change the designs and patterns every few years. Now some people might think that this is a good thing because who wants to have the same tile as everyone else? However, these changes in the designs 'date' the older styles and even if the flooring is newer looking, the style and pattern of the tile itself gives away its age.

Finally, travertine flooring stacks up well against natural hardwood since termites really do not have an appetite for stone like they do wood. So, there is no need to worry about the little pests devouring your floors.

So, if you are willing to shell out a bit more cash for this higher-end material, it can prove to be a great, timeless surface in your home.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Available Tile Choices - Limestone

Limestone Tile and Its Properties

The next flooring material that we will consider in our series of hard surface flooring posts is limestone.

This natural stone may have some properties that some would consider to be drawbacks, but it is considered to be an elegant choice for flooring. While limestone is a hard material compared to other types of flooring, it is actually a relatively soft material compared to other natural stones. Additionally, limestone is porous and can absorb spills and stain if not properly treated periodically. For that reason, it is recommended that it be sealed every few years to maintain its naturally stylish look.

Since limestone is a soft stone, it is sometimes shaped or carved to add character to design of the room. Like many other flooring materials, limestone can be found in a range of colors, making it an appealing choice for a variety of decorating styles.

In summary, although limestone like other materials has disadvantages, it also has some strong benefits. These outstanding pluses make it a regular choice in upscale designs and construction.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Available Tile Choices - Slate

Slate Tile Flooring and Its Properties

If you are looking for a floor that is strong, long lasting, and has natural beauty, slate might just be the material for you. This durable material withstands heavy traffic and is strong enough to endure harsh weather conditions. As a result, it is great for indoor or outdoor use.

Since slate is a such a durable, rugged, and versatile material, it might be tempting to think of it in limited designs or only for rustic looking designs. However, slate flooring is available in a variety of colors. This means that slate can be incorporated into many designs relatively easily.

Slate, like all other substances that are used for flooring, does have some disadvantages, among which are the cost of the installation. All-in-all, slate can be a great, long-lasting material that rugged, yet stylish.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Available Tile Choices - Marble

Characteristics of Marble Tile

The second natural stone material that we need to consider is the luxuriant Marble. Like granite, marble is an elegant material that is durable and beautiful. It has a very distinct appeal and an unmistakable look that seems to never go out of style.

There are marble floors that were installed hundreds of years ago that remain today. One reason for this, is that marble is very strong and durable - being naturally stain and damage resistant. Another reason for the long life span of marble flooring is the timeless beauty and the variety of the material's color and pattern.

Overall, marble floors not the lowest price material for flooring. However, many feel that it is a material that provides great value over the long term.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Available Tile Choices - Granite

Properties of Natural Stone - Granite

Granite is a very hard stone by nature so it is easy to slip into the thinking that it is tough but not very appealing. That thinking would be inaccurate because there are a variety of colors and patterns available.

This diversity in appearance means that you do not have to compromise on looks just to get a long lasting floor covering. Even after years of wear the stone is very attractive and retains its unique look. While other hard surfaces age in such a way that they look worn and faded, granite does not suffer from these weak points. Rather, it holds its beauty and shows wear at a slower rate - making it attractive for a longer period.

Granite is an easy material to maintain when sealed properly and the appropriate cleaning agents are applied to the material as directed.

Overall, if you are seeking a durable, yet elegant material that is sure to last for many years, you might consider granite.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Natural Stone Tile Choices

Rocks, they are everywhere. Yet, many people have found that natural stones make very attractive and durable floor covering solutions. In the next few posts of this tile flooring series, we will take a look at a variety of natural stone materials and consider the pros and cons of each type of stone. 

However, there are some characteristics that the whole group of materials share. We will take a brief look at these characteristics in this post.

Benefits and Characteristics of Natural Stone Tile

One of the biggest benefits of natural stone as a floor covering, is the distinct, unique beauty that is evident in every piece. Whether you are drawn to the rugged, durable look of slate or the smooth, clean look of marble, you can appreciate that a floor constructed from a natural material has the potential for creating a completely personalized look. This characteristic of natural stone flooring allows it to be used for custom designs and remodels.

In addition to the distinctive looks that can be achieved with a natural stone floor covering, the material is relatively easy to maintain compared to other kinds of hard surfaces. Its durability is also a benefit that makes natural stone a desirable surface.

In the next few posts, we will look at some different natural stone materials and discuss the properties of these.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Available Tile Choices - Porcelain

In a previous discussion in this series of posts we looked at ceramic tile flooring and some of its qualities. In this discussion, we will take a look at porcelain tile and see how it compares and measures up to its counterpart.

Porcelain Tile Properties

If you read the post covering the ceramic tile properties, you have already seen some of the advantages to porcelain tile as compared with other hard floor covering materials. porcelain is actually a kind of ceramic material that carries some additional benefits. One of the most prominent features that cause people to go with porcelain tile is that it can be used outside and is not subject to moisture retention and cracking like its non-porcelain ceramic counterpart.

While porcelain tile is less prone to breaking from temperature change, that does mean that it is not as inexpensive as the tile option we previously discussed. Additionally, porcelain material is more difficult to install than regular ceramic tile. A big reason for this is that specific tools are needed to cut porcelain tile and this makes the install process a bit more challenging.

The durability of porcelain flooring is not to be confused with a plain, drab appearance. Porcelain can match the beauty and appearance of hardwood flooring without the maintenance and care that is required for genuine wood. This blend of durability combined with an attractive, wood-like appearance makes porcelain a definite choice for many.

In the end, if your set on a ceramic floor covering that is resistant to temperature change or you are seeking a wood floor that is durable and easy to care for, and you do not mind paying a bit more, then porcelain might be the way to go.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Available Tile Choices - Ceramic

This post is the first in a series of posts that will cover a variety of materials used to make tile flooring. The material that we will discuss here is ceramic. Our consideration of ceramic tile will include characteristics of the material.

Characteristics of Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile has many properties that make it a unique choice for anyone looking to install a hard surface as a floor covering. The variety of colors and patterns available make ceramic tile an appealing option. Having a number of color, texture, and pattern choices allows for flexibility when decorating a new or existing home.

Another benefit to choosing ceramic tile is the ease of installation. For many reasons, this material makes installation easier than tiles made from other materials. Additionally, the Internet has many do-it-yourself instructional videos and written tutorials to help newbies with the install. Along with the potential for reducing the labor costs by doing the install oneself, the cost of ceramic tile is often times much lower than other materials.

No material is perfect for everyone. They all have disadvantages and ceramic tile is no exception. One thing to keep in mind when deciding on whether to use ceramic tile flooring is whether the floor is going to be indoor or outdoor. Because of its porous nature, ceramic tile is not a good choice for outdoor use. It can retain moisture and crack under extreme temperature changes.

Finally, ceramic tile can also become slippery if the surface gets wet. This could be a safety concern if the floor will be exposed to moisture. Often times this disadvantage can be overcome by using a rug or floor mat in traffic paths.

Overall, ceramic tile is a popular floor covering material and is used very frequently in kitchens and baths. The ability to install this kind of flooring without the need for a lot of specialized tools makes it a reasonable choice for many do-it-yourself projects.

 Regular cleaning of ceramic tile is recommended and if you would like to know more please feel free to give us a call or contact us through our web site.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Available Tile Choices - Series

 Tile Flooring Series - A Look at Tile Choices

In this series, we will be taking a look at a variety of tile materials. In individual posts, we will be discussing pros and cons of each material. The materials we will be posting on include:
  • Ceramic
  • Porcelain
  • Natural Stone
    • Granite
    • Marble
    • Limestone
    • Travertine
    • Slate
As you can see above, some of these tile materials fall into a common group of natural stone. Each of these materials will be considered one at a time. However, there may be a post describing the natural stone group as a whole.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Carpet Research Resources - IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification)

In this post, we will consider the third resource for finding information regarding carpet. The first post discussed a resource for general information about carpeting while the second post, featured a resource that can help in additional aspects of carpet information including choosing carpet, cleaning carpet, and Eco-friendly carpeting. This post will focus on a resource that can help you make decisions regarding carpet care professionals.

After you have spent the time, money, and effort choosing and purchasing your new carpeting or rug, you will probably want to know how to keep it in its best condition and get the most wear with the longest life possible. If so, that is where the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) can help.

As the name suggests, the IICRC specializes in certifying carpet cleaning professionals so you do not have to wonder if the individual that is cleaning your carpet or rug is qualified. This can be important since there are some companies out there that aren't completely honest about the fees involved with their services. In fact, to help make consumers aware of the danger, we recently wrote about the tactics that some carpet cleaners use to run up the price.

If you would like to learn more about the IICRC, be sure to check out their web site.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Carpet Research Resources - CRI (Carpet & Rug Institute)

Recently, we wrote a post about a resource that many people are familiar with for learning more about carpet - Wikipedia. Continuing along the trail of good resources for information regarding carpeting, we thought we would provide a couple of more resources that many might find helpful. We will consider one in this post and the other in the next.

One resource for carpet is the CRI (Carpet & Rug Institute). Regardless of the kind of research, whether commercial or residential, you will find areas of the site designed to provide information about it. The CRI provides information on:
  • Carpet Types
  • Carpet Research
  • Rugs
  • The Carpet Industry
  • Carpet Care and Maintenance Tips
So if you are looking for information about carpeting, one of the first places you will no doubt want to look is the CRI.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Carpet Research Resources - Wiki

For consumers, knowing what products are available is important in the decision making process.
but, where does a person go to find information that can help them to choose the right carpet for a specific area or room?

One place that can provide a good deal of information on carpet is Wikipedia. Most people are probably familiar with this online collection. One nice thing about this resource is that it is a result of contributions by a diverse group of individuals and the reader can get a variety of perspectives.

So if you are wanting a variety of information from a variety of sources, the free encyclopedia might be a good place to try.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Dust Mite Fight - Using the Right Vacuum

Last but certainly not least in our consideration of general household tips that can be used to battle dust mites is using a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter.

If you are wondering why this is an important thing to consider, there are two big reasons. 1) HEPA filters trap small particles that may affect allergy sufferers and dust mites certainly fit that description. 2) HEPA filters are tested and carry documentation right on them so you can see exactly how effective the filter is and to what degree it removes the targeted particles.

In addition to using the proper kind of vacuum, regular vacuuming is also recommended.

This series of posts has attempted to provide readers with some suggestions on how to control dust mites in the home. However, these practices have not been mentioned or recommended as a replacement to regularly having your carpets and upholstery cleaned by a professional. Rather, using these suggestions in conjunction with the regular professional cleaning will ensure that you are doing everything in your might to win the fight against dust mites.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dust Mite Fight - The Dryer The Better

keeping the moisture level low is a practice that can keep dust mites from thriving. As counter-intuitive as that may seem, taking this step will help you in the 'dust mite fight'. Why is that the case? Well, dust mites prefer warm, moist environments, so if you can eliminate moisture in your home, then the conditions are not favorable for the enemy to thrive. So, what can be done to contribute to this dryer atmosphere?

One big thing that you can do to try to keep the moisture at bay is to utilize a dehumidifier in your home. These appliances remove the moisture from the air. This can be an effective way to remove dampness not just from one area specifically, but to keep all areas of a particular room dry. The dry air makes it more difficult for mites to live.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dust Mite Fight - Keep Stuffed Toys Clean

In this series of posts, we are talking about practices that you can take to help with combating dust mites in your home. These regular methods for prevention in addition to regularly having your carpet cleaned by a professional carpet care company can be very effective.

In the last post we talked about the need to keep bed clothing protected and clean by washing and drying them in temperatures higher than 130 degrees along with covering them up appropriately while using them. Here we will briefly consider other items that regularly accompany your young ones that can be overlooked if not specifically mentioned.

Many children have a favorite stuffed toy that they prefer or perhaps yours is not so picky and just likes having something soft to 'cuddle with'. As result, your youngster might spend just as much time with there eyes ears, and nose against a stuffed toy as they do against their bedding. Since this is the case, the cleaning of these childhood favorites is just as necessary as as it is with there bedding.

However, not all stuffed toys are washable. Choosing washable stuffed toys for your little tykes will allow you to keep them clean and unappealing to mites.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Dust Mite Fight - Keep Bedding Clean and Covered

In this series on how to fight dust mites, we are considering a few practical steps that families can take in order to combat the effects of dust mites. While one way that we will discuss in a later post has to do with carpet care, our specialty, there are some other locations in your home that need to be given consideration. In the last post, we took a brief look at the need for bedding that is allergy resistant. However, just having hypo-allergenic bedding is not all you can do to protect you home from dust mites.

How you take care of the bedding can also work to alleviate the effects of these irritating microscopic pests. There are covers for pillows, mattresses, and box springs that can be used to prevent dust mites from taking over the bed.

Additionally, washing your pillow cases, sheets, blankets and mattress pads in hot temperatures assist with eliminating mites that may be in the bedding. The key is the heat so drying the bed clothes in temperatures higher than 130 degrees are beneficial.

These basic laundering and covering methods can go a long way toward helping with dust mite prevention.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Dust Mite Fight - Hypo Allergenic Bed Clothes

There are  a few key places that dust mites can lurk in your home in addition to the carpeting. Knowing these areas and taking some action to make conditions unfavorable for the little nuisance the better your family will literally feel.

One of these additional locations is the bed. Dust mites can live in bedding that provides a proper climate. One of the precautions that you can take is to use hypo-allergenic bed clothes and bedding. There are a number of locations on the internet that offer this kind of bedding. Making sure that the materials the bedding is construct of is not conducive to dust mite multiplication can be beneficial and you might be surprised at just how many companies are providing hypo-allergenic bedding. There are even crib mattresses that can be purchased that are made from materials that can help you in your efforts to ward off this 'micro-nemesis'.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Fight Against Dust Mites

While most have never seen these little (microscopic) pests, many have observed the effects of them in one way or another. Whether you or a family member suffers from allergies, how dust mites affect your home can be noticed by the response of the human body. Some of the detectable symptoms are:
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy, red or watery eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat
  • Postnasal drip
  • Cough
  • Facial pressure and pain
  • Swollen, blue-colored skin under your eyes
  • In a child, frequent upward rubbing of the nose
With a list of symptoms like that, you might be thinking how to protect your family from these icky little critters. In the next few posts we will consider some tips that you can employ to help combat the uncomfortable effects of the dreaded dust mite pest.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

5 Questions to Ask Your Carpet Cleaner

Choosing a carpet cleaning professional to clean your carpets is a decision that you need to make based on information and not just based on first impressions. Making that decision can be easier if  you learn a bit about the company and its process first. A good way to learn this is to find out how the company or its representative answers the following questions:
  1. What method of carpet cleaning do you recommend for my needs?
  2. What training or experience do you have?
  3. Are your technicians members of the IICRC?
  4. Are you insured?
  5. Do you have a guarantee?
These questions might seem simple on the surface, but you might be surprised at how many customers forget to ask or just don't know to ask. Besides finding out the skill level of the person that will be handling this service for you, you will also be learning about the individual. These types of conversations can go a long way toward your getting to know the service provider.

We have provided a great deal of answers to common questions on our official web site. Don't wait until you need your carpet cleaned to begin choosing a company to care for your carpet, rugs, or upholstery, jot our number down now and give us call. Then when you are ready for a cleaning, you won't have questions about what you are getting in a carpet cleaning company.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Beware of Unscrupulous Sales Tactics

A while back I wrote a blog post discussing three reasons you should not choose carpet cleaners on price alone and one of those reasons was the topic we are hear discussing. Bait and switch tactics consist of different specifics, but no matter how they vary, each has a common purpose - lure you in with a low price and change the details implied to increase the cost of your bill.

Cheap Carpet Cleaning Comes at a Price

We have all seen the ads or coupons in newspapers or magazines offering a great deal on carpet cleaning. In fact, some of those specials appear to be too good to be true. This article is meant to point to out a specific tactic that unscrupulous carpet cleaners use that make their offers 'to good to be true'.

How this tactic works is the customer schedules an appointment to have the carpet cleaned for the advertised price. However once the 'service technician' arrives, the customer discovers that the coupon does not apply to their specific job. That is when the selling starts based on different rates. these charge can climb rather quickly to a price that is very different from the price you originally saw advertised.

Services do vary and it is possible that you could prefer services in addition to the ones that come with an advertised price, but be on the lookout for a ridiculously low price in an ad. Many of those ads advertise prices that simply cannot be met if a carpet is cleaned appropriately.

So if you want a professional carpet cleaning service and you live in the Branson or Kimberling City area, contact Lakes Area Carpet Care for more information.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Why the End of Summer Can Be a Good Time to Have Your Carpet Cleaned

Many people wonder what time of the year is the best time to have carpets cleaned. The simple answer to that question is, “Any time can be the right time to have them cleaned, depending on your individual circumstances.” In this article, I will consider why summer’s end is a good time for many people to have this necessary service performed.

Summer is a very active time of the year. The kids are out of school, the family is busy with all kinds of events and social functions. Also, entertaining in the home is often times ramped up in the summer time. With the increase of activity, there is often times more traffic in and out of the home and with more traffic, there comes more dirt. Furthermore, when everyone is busy the time needed to thoroughly clean after every occasion is just not there. This mark of the summer season is one of the reasons some choose to have the carpets cleaned at summer’s end.

Since it is recommended that carpets be cleaned regularly, many choose this time of the year as one of the times to have their carpets cleaned. Since the children go back to school at the conclusion of the summer, it can be easier to keep traffic off the freshly-cleaned floors according to the recommended 8-12 hours following a carpet cleaning.

There are other times of the year that can also be good times to have carpets cleaned, but if you have a busy summer schedule, a nice way to wrap up your summer activity is with a good, thorough carpet cleaning.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Inexpensive Home Decor Project - Rearrange

Perhaps one of the least expensive home improvements that can be made is the re-purposing of current furniture. With just a little creativity, you can change the presentation of your home simply by moving the items around or changing the functionality of one item into that of another item all-together.

For example, one person that had an old wooden bench that was being used outside for seating grew tired of it serving as a bench. They decided that they would move it into the house and use it for a decorative piece to add to the appearance.

Some furniture may not need to have its purpose changed, it might just need to be relocated. By placing furniture in a certain arrangement, you can create the impression of more or less space. It is even possible to make one area into two areas without the need for walls. Moving your furniture around regularly has another benefit. If you  have carpeting, moving the furniture will allow your carpeting to wear more evenly and you may even lengthen its life. Incidentally, if you are rearranging the furniture in your home, that would be the perfect time to have your home's carpet cleaned.

By using this technique of changing your home's appearance, or by combining it with one or more of the other ideas we've mentioned in previous posts like adding crown molding or painting, you can give your home a makeover for a really low price.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Inexpensive Home Decor Project - New Fixtures

Another inexpensive home decor project that can add to the appearance of your home is adding new fixtures or updating the exiting fixtures.

Can you improve the quality of the lighting fixtures? Many times a new home will have bargain priced lighting. Whether this is because people do not notice or they do not want to spring for the added fees, the light fixtures in a home can have an impact on the room.

What about adding ceiling fans? Ceiling fans also can add to a room's overall appearance. Additionally, ceiling fans can contribute to other aspects of the homes appearance and operating costs. Utilizing fans can keep the temperature in the room stable by circulating cool or warm air. The temperature of the room contributes to the room's 'appearance'. And who knows, maybe you will even save a few bucks on energy costs as well.

So keep your eyes open for a great deal on home fixtures. If you can get your hands on lighting that is on clearance, it can be translated into a home decor project for cheap.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Inexpensive Home Decor Project - Crown Molding

The first post in our series covering inexpensive home decor projects that we wanted to share is one that can truly make a difference in the appearance of your home without requiring special knowledge or extensive experience as a carpenter.

Crown Molding

This home decor technique is simple, yet effective and can create a dramatic change in the appearance of the room in which it is installed. Crown molding enables one's eye to clearly distinguish the borders where ceilings and walls may be similar in color. In rooms where the walls contrast with the ceiling, crown molding bridges the gap between the two and adds a complimentary piece of decor to the room.

Crown molding comes in a variety of materials and an array of designs. It can be purchased in strips and with a few tools that many home already have, can be installed relatively easily with very basic skills.

Further more, it is fairly easy to find instructions for installing it by browsing the internet. In fact, one set of such instructions can be found here:

Friday, August 23, 2013

Inexpensive Home Decor Project - Painting

Another great, inexpensive home decor project is painting. Applying a fresh coat of paint to the walls can really renew the appearance of the home. Fresh paint covers up hand prints, smudges and small chips in the paint. While these blemishes might not draw attention individually, they can collectively make an impression without being readily noticeable.

Painting Techniques

Just adding a new coat of paint can make a difference, but there are also other painting techniques that can improve your home's appearance. Some of these techniques include:

  • Murals - if you have an artistic side, this one might appeal to you
  • Faux Painting - this is the technique of painting that appears to be a texture
  • Stencils - this technique can be great for kids rooms or inspirational messages in strategic locations
You might be saying to yourself, "I don't know anything about painting". Take heart! You can get a lot of tutoring online in the form of how to paint web pages and even videos. And if you are willing to splurge, you can always pay someone else to do the actual work.

Whatever the case, painting can be an inexpensive home decor project that can improve your home's appearance.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Inexpensive Home Decor Project - Wall Tile Decor

One inexpensive method for decorating your home is tile. Although tile is an excellent material for use as a floor covering, it also is a great way to decorate your walls as well as other areas of the house. Using a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors you can create a nice accent in a kitchen, bathroom, or other location where a hard surface and some color can jazz up the space.

Using tiling as a back splash is an inexpensive way to create interest. And while bright colors might be right up your alley, the tiling does not have to be strong, primary colors to add beauty to a kitchen.

Another space that might benefit from tile as a decorative solution is the fireplace. often times fireplaces are already constructed using tile or stone. Just because the fireplace was built using stone or tile does not mean that you cannot add some color or texture to breath some life into the room.

So whether you are in the market for a kitchen update or getting ideas for a fireplace hearth, tiles can be an inexpensive and lean option.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Inexpensive Home Decor Projects Series

We realize that carpet and upholstery cleaning is only a small part of all that goes into keeping your home feeling like a true home. That's one reason why we decided on the following topic for our LACC blog:

Throughout the rest of the month of August, we will be briefly sharing some ideas for doing some simple decor in the home that are effective and inexpensive.

These home decor techniques are not extensive, involved tasks that require a great deal of skill and/or experience. So keep an eye out for each of these techniques and we hope you will see one that you can use to freshen up your home.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Three Reasons You Should Not Choose a Carpet Cleaner on Price Alone

One of the biggest factors for many people when trying to decide on a carpet cleaning company is the price. This is for good reason, no one wants to pay more than they need to for a service. However, when it comes to making a decision on carpet cleaning professionals, there are other factors that need to be kept in mind. Here are three factors that can affect the price of the service. 


Bait and Switch Tactics

The first reason to avoid choosing a carpet cleaner on price alone is that some companies use low prices to get you hire them and then once they are at your home or business, they begin trying sell you more services or products. Remember the old saying, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 


Reputation and Customer Service

Another important aspect of choosing a carpet cleaner is the company’s choice of service policies. Prices might be low, but how is the service. Do they have a guarantee of some kind? If a business is willing to guarantee the work performed, they are showing that they are confident in their ability to do a great job. What about their reputation? If the company you are considering has been in business for many years, then you may know someone that has made use of their services. This can be a valuable resource to you. Consider asking around to get an idea of the reputation of each carpet cleaner you consider hiring. 


Cleaning Methods and Equipment Quality Varies

There are a variety of methods that are used to clean carpeting. Since this is the case, it is wise to get some clarification on what type of cleaning methods each company uses. Some cleaning methods do not get your carpeting as clean as others do. This differentiation can affect the price. Additionally, cleaning equipment comes in a variety of forms and not all machinery is the same in quality or performance. Professional cleaning machines are more costly than other machines and as a result, they can cause variations in prices.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Questions to Ask a Carpet Cleaner You Are Considering

It seems simple enough, call a carpet cleaning company and ask for the price so you will know what it is going to cost. Yet there are other factors to consider when hiring someone to clean your carpets. Here are some things you might want to ask when interviewing a company fro hire.

What method of carpet cleaning do you use? There is more than one way to clean a carpet  and each method has advantages. You want to be sure that you are aware of the method used and ask appropriate questions to determine if your objective will be met.

What training have you had in cleaning carpets? Listening closely to the answer to this question can help you to determine whether the 'specialist' has the skills necessary to accomplish your goal.

What certifications do you possess? A professional that has been certified is one that has been educated in the proper areas and will be more familiar with the best practices of the industry. This is a great question to ask any carpet cleaner you are considering hiring.

What sort of a guarantee do you provide? If the company offers a guarantee, you are most likely not going to need to use it. However, if a company will not guarantee the service it provides, it means that they do not have confidence in their technicians. Be sure to ask this question.

So, although it may seem easy to choose a carpet cleaning company, the reality is that your conversation while interviewing potential professionals can shine some light on what you are actually getting.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Evironmentally Safe Flooring Choices - Tile

In a previous post, I explained that I am writing a series of floor covering posts in which I will be discussing environmentally safe flooring options and in the last post I talked about the factors that make stone flooring a green choice for protecting the environment. Here I will discuss some of the things to consider when choosing tile as a floor covering material.

Tile flooring can be made up a variety of materials. To gauge the degree of environmental friendliness, the buyer needs to know what is in the tile. You will want to be sure to research the materials that comprise the flooring so that you can make an educated decision regarding the company and the product.

If you are wondering what types of things can contribute to the 'green index' of the tile, here are some ideas I found on a web site that sells tile flooring:

One aspect of environmentally friendly tile flooring is the process of manufacturing the tile. Gaining as much information as you can on the the manufacturing process can help you to see if the end product is something you would choose to use in your project.

An additional aspect of measuring the tile's 'friendliness' to the environment is the material itself. There are many substances that can be added to the 'mix'. Knowing what materials are used in the tile's construction an help you decide which tile to choose for your home or business. For example, is the tile constructed of partly recycled material? If so, what material was used?

As with many of the substances that I have considered in this series of posts, tile comes in a variety of kinds and the more information you have about the process and the substances as well as the rate at which the material is replenished, the more comfortable you will be with your decision.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What to Consider When Choosing a Carpet Cleaner - Trustworthiness

One of the most important things to consider when choosing a carpet cleaning professional is the reputation of the company. This is not always easy to determine. However, there are some indicating factors that you can look at to help you get a feel for the degree of trust you can feel toward the company.

The Company's History Can Foster Trust

While history alone does not necessarily reveal the degree of trust you can invest in your carpet cleaning service, it is a good indication of how long that particular company has been performing the service. The company's history can give an indication of how long the company has been in business. Additionally, you may be able to determine if the carpet cleaner has been working in your area or if they have recently started serving your neighbors.

If the company has been in business for a number of years, most likely you can find a friend or family member that has heard of or even used the services of the company you are considering. This can be a valuable resource to you in making your decision.

Advertising Can Play a Part

If the carpet cleaning company advertises through television or print, the message conveyed in the ad can ad a sense of security or throw up a red flag. If marketing message is solely focused on price and that price sounds extremely low compared to other pricing you are familiar with, you may want to beware. Often times companies will use a low price to get into the home and then the team will try to sell additional services or even worse, change the deal altogether. Our official web site features a news video that demonstrates bait and switch tactics being done in one area.

Up front pricing that may seem like higher prices could end up costing less in the long run and a company that is honest with you about pricing will most likely be honest about other aspects of the service.

In conclusion, when choosing a carpet cleaning company, make sure you have a good indication of what the company is focused on and if they have a history of treating customers honestly.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Evironmentally Safe Flooring Choices - Stone

As mentioned in a previous post, I am writing a series of floor covering posts in which I will discuss floor coverings that are safe for the environment. In the last post I talked about bamboo flooring and in this post, I will discuss some of the environmentally friendly benefits of stone.

When it comes to Eco-friendly flooring, you readily think of stone as a material that ranks up toward the top of the list, then again, you may not know the specific reasons why that may be the case. A quick look at a list of items to consider when contemplating environmentally friendly building materials will show that stone has some important factors mentioned on that list. Here are things to keep in mind about stone flooring.


No doubt that the durability of stone contributes to its popularity with many which may play a part in its being listed as one of the ten natural building materials in this list. After all, stone has existed for countless years even prior to its being installed in a home as a floor covering.  Additionally, the material is hard and that makes it durable as well. Since it is so long lasting, stone floors do not require replacing as frequently which translates into a green benefit.

All Natural Material

Another factor that makes the stone flooring choice appealing to those that are concerned about the environment is the rate at which it is regenerated. Since stone is a natural material it is being replenished regularly and does not require manufacturing plants. True, it does need to be harvested, but it stands to reason that processing a natural material would require less resources than producing and then processing a comparable material.

Another point that contributes to benefit of stone being a natural material is that is already earth friendly, since it is technically part of the planet and is easily cleaned without the need for harsh chemicals. Your choice of sealer is an important contributor to how environmentally friendly your stone flooring will ultimately be. Consider using a low toxic sealer.

Temperature Efficiency

Stone is a material that acts as a thermal mass when used in the proper manner. This technique used in building can result in heating and cooling efficiency increases which leads to not only a cost savings but also to a savings in resources.

In closing, stone is a material that can be used as an effective tool for offsetting the use of resources that are not so environmentally friendly. Its durability, and efficiency are properties that enhance the appeal of this natural material.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Evironmentally Safe Flooring Choices - Bamboo

As mentioned in a previous post, I am writing a series of floor covering posts in which I will discuss floor coverings that are safer for the environment. In the last post I talked about techniques that manufacturers are using to decrease the environmental footprint of their vinyl flooring and in this post, I will discuss the material Bamboo.

Bamboo is an environmentally friendly floor covering for two primary reasons. Namely regeneration and carbon absorption. Bamboo, after it is established, can grow new shoots every year. Additionally, it can grow at a rate of 1 foot per day! This fast regeneration rate means that more floors can be produced with fewer plants. 

As for carbon absorption, bamboo absorbs more carbon dioxide than trees and it produces more oxygen. These characteristics mean that bamboo contributes less to the greenhouse effect and are more Eco friendly than trees. 

These key aspects, as well as the visual appeal of the material, itself can be a huge factor for many.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Evironmentally Safe Flooring Choices - Vinyl

As mentioned in a previous post, I am writing a series of floor covering posts in which I will discuss floor coverings that are safer for the environment. In the last post I covered cork and in this post, I will discuss vinyl.

Some may think that the possibility of an environmentally friendly vinyl flooring is out of the question. This post will provide some information that will allow you to decide whether vinyl floor covering is a viable choice for you.

What makes it a challenge? Well there are multiple things that make vinyl flooring more difficult to produce in an earth friendly manner. many would think of the material itself. Being a form of PVC, vinyl coverings contain chemicals that are difficult to dispose of in an environmentally friendly manner.  Another aspect that makes vinyl flooring a challenge to the environment is that it has to be bonded to the sub-floor with an adhesive. These bonding agents also can be environmentally unsafe.

What that means is that to increase the safety index of vinyl flooring, one would need to lower the factors in the material and then figure out a way to minimize waste so that less of these chemicals get to a point that they can affect the earth. 

You may be surprised to learn of some of the advancements that are being made in these areas. Here is an article from a flooring dealer that explains some of those methodologies of making vinyl flooring safer.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Evironmentally Safe Flooring Choices - Cork

As mentioned in a previous post, I am writing a series of floor covering posts in which I will discuss floor coverings that are safer for the environment. In the last post I covered carpeting and in this post, I will discuss cork.

Cork Flooring

Perhaps the biggest reason that cork flooring is environmentally friendly is that it is renewable. Cork is harvested from trees that can be stripped of their bark without suffering damage. Once the bark is removed, the tree is left for 7 to 9 years to replenish the resource naturally. After this 9 year waiting period is complete, the tree is ready to be stripped again. Thus, the cork is renewable.

Additionally, any left over cork that is remaining after the stripping of the bark is used as well. The smaller pieces are collected and made into tiles that can also be used for floor covering.

These 'green' benefits are not the only reason that people choose cork for covering their floors. some non-environmental advantages to cork is that it comfortable to the bare feet, it is hypo-allergenic, and is fire resistant. These added benefits along with the unique look make cork flooring an attractive choice that carries much more appeal than just protecting the environment.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Evironmentally Safe Flooring Choices - Carpeting

As mentioned in the previous post, I am kicking off a series of floor covering posts in which I will discuss how to locate floor coverings that are safer for the environment. I'll give you three guesses as to the first material.


Shopping for 'green' carpeting does not have to be a big event. With a few simple guidelines you can find the perfect carpeting that is environmentally safe and a durable, lasting addition to your home.

Specifics can be daunting when you want to locate an environmentally friendly carpeting. Rather than going through the detailed list of what to look for, it might be more beneficial to just cover the certifications to look for and what those certifications mean for you, the purchaser.
  • Global Organic Textile Standard
    • Directly quoted from their web site:
Our mission is the development, implementation, verification, protection and promotion of the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).  This standard stipulates requirements throughout the supply chain for both ecology and labour conditions in textile and apparel manufacturing using organically produced raw materials. Organic production is based on a system of farming that maintains and replenishes soil fertility without the use of toxic, persistent pesticides and fertilizers. In addition, organic production relies on adequate animal husbandry and excludes genetic modification. | Visit the site
  • Scientific Certification Systems
    • The site from this body makes the following statement:
We partner with companies, government agencies, and stakeholders worldwide to identify and drive practices, policies and processes that advance the goals of sustainable development and give innovators a competitive advantage. Working with capable leaders across the forestry, green building, energy, agricultural, fisheries, and consumer products sectors, we proudly provide services in every corner of the earth. These services are enabling policy-makers, procurement officers, company decision-makers and consumers to make informed decisions based on the highest level of environmental, ethical and quality accountability. | Visit the site
  • Carpet and Rug Institute
    • And this organization has this to say about their efforts:
CRI applies science to make carpet better and last longer. CRI works with its member companies, allies in the field, independent testing laboratories and government agencies to continually improve its best practices in product improvement, environmental responsibility and customer care. The result of this pursuit of excellence means that CRI exceeds industry standards and meets customer expectations. | Visit the site
 In short, keep an eye open for labels that specify an approval of one or more of the above organizations and you will be on your way to improving the environment.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Evironmentally Safe Flooring Choices One by One

Green Floor Covering Types
 Two things seem to be available in abundance. 1) Individuals wanting to protect the environment. 2) Floor covering materials. With so many choices out there for both of these groups, I thought it would make a great topic for a blog post. So, In the next few days I am going to be sharing some tips. These tips will discuss a couple of main concepts.

The first type of information is finding floor coverings that are environmentally friendly. The second is what information you may want to consider when making your decision. Each new post will be for a specific type of floor covering. Here are the listed types of covering materials this series will consider (not necessarily in this order):

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Common Carpet Questions

We regularly get questions about carpeting, carpet cleaning, and related topics. Some of the questions we often get are listed below, if you would like to get the answer to one or more of these questions why not check out our FAQ page on our web site?

Here are some common questions people ask:

  • How much time will it take to clean my carpet? 
  • Will water ruin my carpet?  
  • How much time will it take for my carpet to dry?  
  • I've heard that cleaning makes my carpet soil faster, so why have it cleaned?
  • Do I need to move my furniture before the cleaning crew arrives? 
  • Do I need to remain home while my carpet is being cleaned? 
  • Will the cleaning agents used to clean my carpet harm my children or pets?
  • How much time do I have to wait after cleaning to let my children or pets on the carpet? 
  • Is it possible to have both my area rug and the carpet that it sits on cleaned at the same time? 
  • What should I do in the event that the stains that were cleaned reappear? 
  • Do you guarantee customer satisfaction?
If you do not find your question listed here, why not give us a call?

Monday, July 8, 2013

3 Reasons You Might Need to Replace Your Carpet

Reasons for replacing your carpeting vary. One reason some decide to change the carpet in their home is because they have grown tired of the color or texture of it. Others choose to replace the existing carpet in a newly purchased home, condo or business because you prefer a different color or type. However, there is a time when changing out your carpeting is needed due to more than just style. In this post I will cover three reasons why it might be time to replace your existing carpeting.

Accidental Damage

As the saying goes, "accidents happen", and carpeting is often times the place at which accidents occur. From pet stains to spilled drinks, carpeting can take a pretty heavy "beating". Some stains cannot be removed and some can. Even cleaning carpet stains repeatedly can add to the damage of your carpet if it is not carried out cautiously and in the appropriate manner. Taking preventative steps to protect your carpeting can go a long way in making it last longer.

Wear and Tear

Over time - and in specific areas of your home or business - you will find that the carpeting gets traveled more frequently. These high traffic areas can wear down faster than other parts of the room. The pile may become packed down or even begin to wear through. Using a rug over the areas that receive more traffic than others might prevent the wear and tear, yet the weight can still crush the carpet underneath and cause the pile to become packed down.

Old Age

Even if you prevent stains and minimized the traffic on your carpet, it will still eventually need to be replaced. This is because carpet and the padding underneath, like everything else, ages. Over time, even with regular professional carpet cleaning, the carpet will lose its 'springy' full feel and the padding can begin to stiffen and crack.

In closing then, your carpeting will most likely be subjected to damage, normal wear, and age to one degree or another. Each situation will depend on how strongly each of these affect your carpet.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Pros and Cons of Loop Pile Carpeting

Advantages and Disadvantages of Loop Pile Carpets

When looking to replace carpet or add carpet to a room in your home, you may discover that there are a number of options when it comes to selecting a carpet that suits your specific needs.

In a previous post, I discussed the pros and cons of cut pile carpet types. I am going to continue the consideration of benefits one can expect from various carpet styles. This post will focus on the loop pile  group. If you are not familiar with the different types of carpeting as specified by the pile, you might find it helpful to take a look at my post discussing the various carpet types.

Loop pile carpets are generally talked about as a group because each of the three kinds - Berber, Level-Loop, and Multi-Level Loop - carry similar benefits.
Loop pile carpet is somewhat traffic resistant and it is not as subject to crushing under foot. Because of its loop, vacuum marks are not as noticeable and if the right pattern is chosen carefully, it can hide spots and marks.

Berber carpet differs from the Level-Loop and Multi-Level Loop in that it is constructed with one continuous thread from beginning to end. This construction feature can be a problem if a tuft gets pulled because it can cause a run along the whole length of the carpet. Because Berber's fibers are tighter packed, it can be more difficult to clean and vacuum and because it is not a Plush carpet it may not feel as comfortable on the toes.

All in all, Loop pile carpeting is a nice choice for traffic areas and is becoming more and more popular. If you are seeking a carpet that is relatively durable yet attractive appearance, it might be the right choice.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Are You Allergic to Carpet?

Is Carpeting Allergenic?

That is a fair question and one that should be taken seriously because it can be a health factor for several years since the average wear of carpeting is between five and ten years according to some researchers. So, should you be concerned about carpet allergies?

The short answer to that question is yes. Being concerned about allergies only makes sense, however, some might be surprised at what causes the allergy problems.

Carpeting by itself is, for the most part made from the same materials that clothing is constructed from. Materials such as nylon and polyester. These substances are inert and most people wear them fairly regularly. However, the substances that people are allergic to get trapped in the carpet fibers and can irritate allergies. Yet, there are ways to control and minimize these allergens.

Carpeting is often treated with chemicals designed to adversely affect the particles that many people are allergic to. By asking about low VOC carpet you can reduce the amount of allergy-aggravating gases that can develop from carpet chemicals over time. And don't forget the other chemicals that can contribute to your discomfort and ask about alternative kinds of glues and padding substances.

Choose a material that is effective at controlling allergy aggravating substances. Nylon is the most effective material for this. However, you might want to stay clear of other fibers that are not as allergen repellent.

Above all, be sure to regularly vacuum your carpet and you might look into a HEPA filter. And of course, have a professional clean your carpet regularly to get the tougher stuff that you will miss with a regular vacuuming routine.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Cut Pile Carpeting Benefits

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cut Pile Carpet

To say that there are across-the-board advantages to cut pile carpeting would not be accurate. Just like there are many different 'grades' of equipment and service, there is also a variety of quality in carpet. Even within a specific grade of carpeting there will exist variance from type to type. These variances, depending on how each person views them, are what can be viewed as advantages and disadvantages.

I my previous post, I covered a simple breakdown of carpeting types and described the various aspects of a standard carpet. This post will consider the carpets of the cut pile family and mention very briefly some of the features that people are drawn to according to the carpet type.


The first carpet type of the cut pile carpet type that we will consider is Saxony. Saxony cut pile carpet is often described as 'lush' by those that describe it. By lush we mean that the carpet feels plentiful and substantial to the feet. This comfortable feeling is considered an advantage when the feel of the carpet is the priority. Keep in mind though that there is always a trade off. And the sacrifice here is durability. However, for some that is a trade that is well worth it.


This cut pile carpet is a hardy, or tough type of carpet. In general, it is shorter than other types and because of this tendency, a disadvantage to the Frieze would be that it is not as appealing to the senses as the Saxony that we mentioned in the previous section. However, it is more durable than other types of cut pile carpet and because of the way the yarn is twisted, foot prints are less noticeable on a Frieze.


These carpets are very soft. Hence, the term plush. The fibers in a Plush carpet are lightly twisted to contribute the 'soft' factor and like the Saxony, Plush carpeting carries the disadvantage of being delicate - even more delicate than the Saxony. The advantage though, is that it is extremely soft to the touch and is a pleasure to stand on.


Like the Frieze carpet, Textured carpet is a durable floor covering that is versatile too. Because the pile is shorter and densely packed, it, like the Frieze carpet hides foot traffic very well, yet is elegant and classical. These advantages make the Textured cut pile carpet very popular.

So there you have it. A brief description of the various kinds of cut pile carpets
and what to consider in the way of advantages if you are thinking of choosing a new carpet for your home. No matter what carpet you choose, it will last longer with regular cleaning and care. But as we have discussed, some are more durable than others while the comfort factor may be something you want to consider.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Carpet Types Simplified

Understanding Carpet Types

Often times, people think of carpeting in terms of how it looks or how it feels on the feet. In the carpet industry though, carpeting is classified in terms of its construction. This post will serve to breakdown the carpet types into groups. Each carpet type has specific features and setbacks associated with it. However, these details will be covered in later posts on a style-by-style basis.

Carpeting has two basic parts. First, the 'pile'. Pile is the part of the carpet you see and feel. Second, the 'backing'. Backing is part of the carpet that the pile is attached to and is what is attached to the floor during the installation process. Carpeting is generally classified by its pile type and then sub-classed accordingly.
  • Loop Pile
    • Level-Loop
    • Multi-level Loop
    • Berber
  • Cut Pile
    • Saxony
    • Plush
    • Friezé
    • Textured
  • Cut-Loop Pile
From the breakdown list above you can see the three main pile types. A loop pile has yarn that is looped at the visible end. The cut pile is a carpet with the loops cut so that the ends are straight. And finally the cut and loop pile is one that has both kinds of ends on the yarn.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Carpet Care Blog

Carpeting, Tile, Upholstery, and Rug Information

The purpose of this post is to say hello to everyone that will choose to follow the information in this blog. The site will be a companion to our main website which talks about some of our services. Some of these services include:
Since our specialty is to help you keep your walking surfaces in tip top shape, this site will provide tips and education information that can assist you in choosing, installing, and learning about the various surfaces in your home or business.

Thanks for tuning in and supporting this blog with links and references in your facebook accounts and tweets (twitter posts).!