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.