Answers to Your Room Design Questions
Looking for advice from an expert? We can help you find the right design solution for your flooring project.
- Q: What materials are best to use in a room meant mainly for active kids?
Sturdy upholstery, easy to clean flooring, soft surfaces and no hard edges. When using carpet, consider looped pile or tightly twisted textures with Stain Resistance.
- Q: Does it matter what the carpet cushion looks like?
No. Once the carpet cushion is installed, you will never see it again. What is more important is how it performs.
- Q: What floor covering would be most practical in a bathroom?
Tile, vinyl and flooring that is slip resistant.
- Q: How do I transition different types of flooring from one room to another?
A threshold cover is used when there are height changes in the flooring. Consult with your flooring specialist about a more decorative transition that can be designed depending on your specific type of flooring.
- Q: How can I use flooring to make a room appear larger?
By installing tile on the "diagonal" and by selecting lighter colors that have a more consistent texture will visually increase the space.
- Q: When selecting vinyl flooring, what patterns should I avoid?
Vinyl flooring has come a long way...there are patterns which look very much like natural stone and even hardwood flooring. Rather than making a quick selection by thinking your options are limited, take your time and sit with your flooring specialist to choose one of the latest "designer" styles to complement your space.
- Q: Is there any difference between natural and synthetic fibers in regards to indoor air quality?
According to the Carpet and Rug Institute, no. All types of carpet have very low emission levels, regardless of whether they are natural or synthetic fibers.
- Q: What is the "new carpet" odor that sometimes is present after the installation?
This possible odor usually comes from 4-phenylcyclohexene (4-PC), a by-product of the latex binder used to hold the fibers and backing together reports the Carpet and Rug Institute. The odor is not harmful and will go away within a few days.
- Q: I have an allergy to natural latex. Will new carpet cause a problem for me?
The backing latex on broadloom carpet is not natural latex. The latex that bonds carpet fibers and the backing fabrics together is made from a synthetic latex, "SB latex" or styrene butadiene latex. SB latex is a synthetic, water emulsion made from compounds different from those found in natural latex. Latex allergies are the results of protein enzymes in natural latex. SB latex used in carpet does not cause the allergic, dermatological reaction associated with natural latex.
- Q: Will removing my carpet reduce my allergic symptoms?
No. Removing carpet will not reduce the number of airborne allergens that produce allergic reactions; in fact, removal of carpet may actually increase the amount of airborne allergen, because other surfaces do not offer the capability of holding allergen. Removing allergen materials from a carpet is as easy as regular vacuuming and routine cleaning.
- Q: What is Berber carpet?
While many people commonly refer to loop style carpets as Berber, the term Berber actually means a flecking of color that originates from the natural flecking found in wool.
- Q: I am interested in a carpet with a formal look, which styles should I consider?
A Saxony carpet with its plush velvet appearance would be the perfect carpet style to achieve your formal look. A pattern carpet can also add additional style to a formal room.
- Q: What type of carpet would be best for an active household?
Areas in the home that have high activity such as family rooms, hallways, stairs etc. would benefit from a durable carpet such as a textured, frieze, loop, berber, cut and loop or pattern. These styles will also help disguise the appearance of footprints. Be sure to also select a color that will minimize the appearance of dirt.
- Q: Will the color of my carpet look lighter or darker once it is installed in my home?
Typically, the color of your carpet will look lighter once it is installed. Most carpet selections are made from smaller carpet samples, so seeing the color in a large amount in an entire room or home will make it appear lighter. This is especially true if there are bare walls, windows and no furnishings.
- Q: What causes a carpet to shed?
The shedding that you are referring to results from the type of fiber used in the manufacturing of the carpet. Carpet that is manufactured with staple fiber has shorter fibers in the yarn and will shed for a short time depending on the amount of foot traffic and how often you vacuum. BCF or Bulked Continuous Fiber is the other type of fiber used in the manufacturing of carpet. In terms of durability there is little difference between the two. Wool is naturally a staple fiber; nylon and polyester can be either staple or BCF and olefin is usually BCF.
- Q: Can I put hardwood floors in my bathroom?
Hardwood floors are not recommended for high moisture areas such as a bathroom with a shower or tub.
- Q: Can a laminate floor be refinished?
- Q: What type of rug can I use on my vinyl floor?
Use a non-staining vinyl backed mat or woven rug that is color fast. Manufacturer’s labels will usually note if a rug is color fast. Rubber or latex backed mats are not recommended because they can permanently stain your floor.
- Q: If I drop something on my ceramic tile floor is it going to break the tile?
Ceramic tile is a very durable flooring product when installed correctly. What will most likely happen is the item you drop, a plate or glass, will break while the tile may just suffer a chip or crack.
- Q: Is porcelain tile more expensive than ceramic tile?
Yes. Porcelain tile is more expensive because it is a higher quality product. Porcelain is an extremely hard and non porous product. It has a water absorption rate of less than 0.5 percent making it very stain resistant.
- Q: Can I use a semi or high gloss ceramic tile on my kitchen countertop?
Yes, you can use a semi or high gloss ceramic tile on your countertop but be aware that scratches will be more visible with a semi or high gloss finish.
- Q: Can ceramic tiles be used outdoors?
Yes, but be sure to select a tile that is unglazed, frost proof and has an absorption rate of less than 0.5 percent. Unglazed tiles offer greater resistance to slippage.
- Q: Is it necessary to use a pad of some type under my area rug on my hardwood floor?
I would recommend using a breathable rug underlay that is specifically designed for use on hardwood floors. Typically, these come in mesh or grid patterns and will help “grip” your floor and hold the rug in place.
- Q: Should I seal my natural stone?
I strongly recommend that you seal all of your natural stone to provide maximum stain protection. Select a high quality penetrating/impregnating sealer. These sealers will provide a natural, no-sheen look and are good for interior and exterior use.
- Q: What does “COF” mean?
“COF” stands for Coefficient of Friction”. COF is a test used to measure the friction or slippage of a tile. The measurements are important factors to consider when evaluating a tile’s slip resistance. However, other factors can also affect slip resistance such as a person’s type of shoe, the degree of wear on that shoe and the presence of water or dirt on the tile’s surface.
- Q: Should I seal my grout?
Sealing your grout with a penetrating/impregnating grout sealer will help prevent moisture absorption that can cause stains. Sealing your grout will also make your regular cleanings easier. Grout sealer will need to be reapplied so check the manufacturer’s specific directions.
- Q: What is the difference between sanded and unsanded grout?
Sanded grout is used on tile with a grout joint width equal to or greater than 1/8 of an inch. Unsanded grout is used on tile with a grout joint width less than 1/8 of an inch and is recommended for use with polished natural stone products due to the narrow grout joints customarily preferred.
- Q: Is the quality of my carpet cushion really that important?
You may save on your initial carpet cushion purchase, but you’ll pay for it in the end by shortening the life of your carpet. Plus, you may be giving up some of the benefits that keep your investment looking and feeling good.
- Q: Is carpet cushion environmentally safe for my family and pets?
Most Carpet Cushions are made either from recycled materials or materials that are recyclable. And, many cushions meet the Carpet and Rug institutes Green Label for Indoor Air Quality, as they don’t emit hazardous levels of VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds). Some carpet cushions contain antimicrobial treatments to fight against environmental elements such as odor-causing mold, mildew and bacteria.
- Q: What type of carpet cushion should I choose for my high traffic areas such as stairs and hallways?
In areas of high traffic select a thinner more dense carpet cushion to better protect your carpet from wear and tear.
- Q: What type of carpet cushion should I choose for maximum comfort?
Consider a thicker, plusher carpet cushion for a luxurious feel in bedrooms, dens and living rooms, where comfort is a priority. Higher weight or higher density products will help your carpet look newer longer. And, many carpet cushions are available that combine the best of both worlds – durability and ultra-plush comfort.