How to Compare Area Rugs: Know Quality When You See It

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Area rugs can be an extremely important part of your overall aesthetic in a room. It’s the area rug that tends to tie in all the colors in a room, provide a soft welcoming feeling, and soften sounds. If your rug is going to be central to your decor and the tone of your room, you should invest wisely. To do this, you’ll need to be able to successfully compare area rugs.

 

Rug Shape

When you compare area rugs, you’ll find quality differences show themselves in shape. Some square rugs are actually squares, while cheaper ones can be parallelograms or irregular rectangles. Some area rugs are round, and others are actually ovals that are trying really hard to be round. This in itself may only be a problem as much as it’s noticeable. But even if the imperfect shape is understated, it’s a sure sign of poor quality craftsmanship.

 

How it Lies

A high quality rug will lie flat. If it’s been rolled up a long time or up until recently, there may be some curl to it when you first see it, but this curl must be minimal and even. A rug that has irregular raised areas or wavy edges is not high quality. In fact, if it’s truly well-made, the rug seller wouldn’t store it rolled up for any length of time anyway. Always see a rug flat before buying it.

 

Compare Area Rugs Finishes

Rugs made with low quality fibers tend to be unnaturally shiny or bright, or unusually washed out for a new rug. When shopping, take note of the luster of high quality and high priced area rugs. Recognizing the natural finish and color saturation level of wool and other natural materials can help you determine what kind of fiber you’re looking at.

 

How the Area Rug is Made

There are many methods for making area rugs. Some are machine made and can last about 20 years, but there are hand tufted, hand knotted and flat woven rugs that can last much longer. Although handmade rugs are often less “perfect” they have character a machine made rug can never match.

 

Knots Per Inch

Comparing area rugs with designs in them, the ones with low knots per inch have more pixelated lines and designs. Higher knots per inch means the designs look smoother and the rug will also feel more dense. Not as course as a low knots-per-inch rug. You don’t usually have to ask about knots per inch because you can tell by observing density and the clarity of the pattern.

Knowing your rugs can help you find the right piece at the right price.

Carpet Traps Allergens

Your Rug Deserves Some Pampering

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DID YOU KNOW that a valuable area rug in your home is virtually crying out for some comfort?

When people start installing more hard floors in homes, the first thing many of them do is cover those floors with soft area rugs. Some of these rugs cost thousands of dollars, and they need their own special protection.

A rug pad designed and sized specially for your area rug (or rugs, if you are fortunate enough to have several in your home) is the protection they need and deserve.

Why go with a quality rug pad? Because they:

1.    Add cushioning and comfort for you

2.    Can add years to the life of a rug

3.    Protects the flooring beneath the rug

4.    Prevents the rug from slipping and you from falling!

Besides a rug pad, your area rug needs regular cleaning.

Don’t wait for your rug to cry out, “Please help!” It needs a pad of its own, right now. Give it the protection it needs, and enjoy that rug for many years to come. Contact Diablo Carpet and Flooring Restoration to have your rugs repaired or cleaned. 925-833-0408

Beware of the Moth Man

Do you know your Fabric?

The First Area Rug

Keeping Your New Hardwoods Lovely Despite Spills

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You’ve settled in with new luxury hardwood floors, your furnishing plans are complete, and you found the perfect new area rugs. Everything is coming together great, and life is good. This place looks awesome.

So that’s it, right? Your area rugs will keep your new floors perfect, and your duty is done? Sadly, no. Maintenance is important, and knowledge of potential problems is essential. There are still a few emergencies you may have waiting in the future.

 

Threats to Your Hardwood Floors

Recently, we have had a number of calls about pet damage to area rugs. A cat that won’t chuck it’s hairballs on the vinyl or tile, she goes to the area rugs for comfort when she’s in distress.  An older dog likes to lay on the rug and has difficulty making it outside to relieve himself. A puppy that keeps going back to the rugs when the owners aren’t not there to take her out. If you have pets, this is something you should be ready for.

But it’s not only pets. We all have accidents where we knock over a hot coffee or a cool glass of Merlot. It’s just a matter of time.

In any of these spills, the moisture is absorbed by the rug, goes through to the pad, and possibly leaks to the hardwood floors. How much moisture gets through all depends on how large the spill is and what kind of pad we’ve installed. You do have a pad, I trust?

 

There’s an Area Rug Spill, Now What?

When you discover moisture or a wet spill on an area rug that covers hardwood or any hard surface, here’s what to do, step by step:

  1. Start with blotting up the surface spill with a white/non colored towel or microfiber rag. Remember: don’t scrub & do avoid using spot removers until you know what caused the damage, what type of carpet fiber you have, and how far/deep the liquid has gone.
  2. Pull back the rug and pad to inspect for damage. You’ll need to check the hardwood flooring, the pad, and the area rug backing (the fabric on the bottom side).
  3. If there is moisture on the hardwood flooring, immediately remove the wetness and clean the floor. After the floor dries, lay down a dry undyed or white cotton towel and some plastic sheeting before laying down your protective pad.
  4. Lay down your pad and check the backing of the rug. Usually you can see where moisture has penetrated the rug and gone to the pad. Note the boundaries of the saturation and where they touch the pad.
  5. Now the pad. Depending upon the type of spill, you can use a corrective spotter on the pad, clean it, or replace it. Remember, what goes into the pad will likely penetrate, so be sure you protected the hardwood floor as previously suggested with a sheet of plastic.
  6. Congratulations! Now you’re ready to respond to the top surface damage on the area rug!

Before working on the area rug spill damage, you need to put a protective barrier between the rug and the pad, like a dry white cotton towel and plastic sheeting. Notice that this isn’t the barrier under the pad from earlier, now it’s time for a barrier over the pad!

  1. Blot the spill with a non-colored cloth or microfiber towel. Do not scrub. For added pressure, you can step on the towel with your heel.
  2. Keep exchanging your wet towels with new dry towels. Double or triple fold the towel for more absorption. Do this until you think you’ve gotten all the moisture you can out of it.
  3. If you have a wet-dry vacuum/shop vacuum, you can use it to assist with this cleaning/rinsing process. We don’t recommend using multipurpose wet vacuums unless you can control the amount of water being dispersed.
  4. When applying any spot removing agent, apply the solution to the towel and transfer it to the area rug. This may take several applications. With each application, repeat the above suggestion for blotting the moisture. Remember, control the moisture so it doesn’t cause further damage to the pad and your expensive flooring.
  5. Completely dry the area rug, pad, and hardwood flooring before putting them back together.  You can air dry, or accelerate drying with a fan. You can even use a blow dryer to speed this drying process. Remember, the lesson is to not trap moisture and further damage the hardwood flooring.

Get Help with Your Area Rug Spill

If this seems like a lot of work to you, you’re right. It is! Professional services are available to help guide you and even take care of maintenance situations for you. If you need more help, call a professional carpet and floor maintenance service company that is IICRC Certified, like Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration.

How to Care for Your Area Rug

Area rug cleaning and care

As hardwood floors have risen to equal popularity as home carpeting, area rug cleaning has become a more common need.  We all know to vacuum our carpets but what should we do to keep our area rugs clean?  Some are old, and made of finer materials than carpets.  Others utilize newer materials that have special cleaning requirements.

Always read the manufacturers cleaning requirements.  Following those guidelines will usually put you on the right track. If you don’t have instructions or can’t adhere to them, here are some tips for cleaning area rugs.

 

Oriental Rugs

Oriental rugs, especially traditional ones, are usually handmade, older, and need careful care.  A normal vacuum’s brushes are generally too harsh and can damage these rugs.  You can use an older vacuum with a beater bar and work with the vacuum attachments to avoid sucking up the fringes of the rug.  A common practice is to use a covering over the hose attachment to prevent sucking it up.  Nylon hosiery or a sheer cloth is usually the best type.

 

Alternatively, if your area rug is on the smaller side, you could utilize an old fashioned but effective method: hanging it outdoors and using a soft brush to clean it off.  Even if you do this, we recommend running a vacuum over the back of the rug as it can gather debris, and won’t be damaged by the vacuum.  It is recommended that you have the rug professionally cleaned annually, or every year and a half if it’s in a low traffic area.

 

Flat-Woven Rugs

These area rugs are usually very similar to carpeting.  It’s recommended that you clean the rug as often as you would vacuum other areas of your home.  You can hang it outdoors and clean it with a soft brush for smaller rugs, or even shake the dust outside if the rug is small enough.  A select few types of flat-woven rugs can be washed.  Read the manufacturer’s instructions, some may require you to hand wash them or put them in a bag when using a washing machine. It’s important to professionally clean flat-woven area rugs approximately annually or depending on the traffic volume.

 

Pile Rugs

If a pile rug is made of wool, then wet cleaning is preferred.  If your area rug is made of silk, then it should be washed with a dry method.  A simple technique to check if you’ll lose color while cleaning is to take a damp cloth and run it gently over the area rug.  If color transfers to the cloth then you know the area rug will lose color if you wet-clean it.

 

Shag Rugs

If you have a shag area rug then a canister vacuum works best.  Traditional upright vacuums will likely damage the shag loops.  Another effective tool for maintaining these area rugs is a carpet rake, as it could help detangle them.

 

Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration has been keeping Bay Area home flooring professionally clean and in beautiful condition. Please contact us today if you have any questions or would like us to professionally clean your area rug anywhere in San Ramon, Danville, Blackhawk, Alamo, Dublin, Pleasanton, or Walnut Creek.

4 Items You’re Probably Not Cleaning, But Should

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We like to think of ourselves as generally clean people, but there are areas for all of us that slip our minds when it comes to cleaning. Keeping a clean home or office is essential to good hygiene and health, but what are the areas you should be deep cleaning that you might be forgetting about?

Office Carpet

You might vacuum your office carpet on a regular basis, even daily. But that’s not enough  deep cleaning for the absorbent carpet surface because it accrues so much dust and dirt from traffic throughout the day. Unlike residential carpet, office carpet can be walked on (and spilled on) by hundreds of different users in a single day. This exposes the carpet to an astonishing volume of dirt, dust, grease, bacteria, and pathogens. Even vacuuming with a commercial strength vacuum is not enough to really cleanse office carpet.

It’s essential that you get deeper cleaning for your commercial carpet about twice a year. A professional commercial carpet cleaner can also inspect your office carpets and evaluate whether more frequent deep cleaning, stain removal, or odor removal is necessary. It’s helpful to enlist a carpet cleaning company for regularly scheduled deep office carpet cleaning. This means you don’t have to remember to arrange for office carpet cleaning, and it still happens on a regular schedule to keep your office carpets hygienic and germ-free.

Area Rugs

Homes and commercial spaces with hard floors have the benefit of being easy to clean and maintain. And hard floors like tile, hardwood, vinyl, and laminate can be tough on the feet and make the atmosphere colder. To add comfort, homeowners often place an area rug over hard floors. Of course, just like wall-to-wall carpeting, these area rugs become a magnet for dust, dirt, and germs.

Area rugs require special care to maintain their freshness and beauty without damaging them. Because area rugs are often made of delicate fibers and have other trims and special construction, many homeowners put off cleaning area rugs out of fear that they’ll damage them. Your professional carpet cleaner can provide expert deep cleaning for your area rugs to ensure they remain intact and beautiful. Otherwise, you can send your area rugs to the manufacturer for cleaning.

Grout And Tiles

Over time, dirt, germs, and mold accumulate in porous grout and can even form a film over or stain tiles. Because this process happens gradually, many business and homeowners don’t notice their tiles and grout becoming full of dirt and mold. While mopping tiles and grout can help to remove surface dirt and residue that’s accumulated over the course of the day, deeper cleaning is needed to really lift stains and ground-in dirt and mold from the grout. Professional tile and grout cleaning provides a deep lift to this long-standing dirt and mold, making your tiles and grout whiter and brighter than ever before.

Couches And Sofas

The couches and sofas in our home and office settings take a lot of wear. But how long has it been since you’ve given your couches, chairs, and sofas a thorough deep clean? Just like carpets and area rugs, soft furnishings like upholstered couches and sofas accumulate dust, dirt, grease, oil, hair, and skin flakes through the course of day-to-day use. And yet we often overlook these upholstered surfaces when it come to deep cleaning.

A good rule of thumb is to have professional upholstery cleaning as frequently as you get your carpets or area rugs professionally cleaned. This helps to remove all the built-up residues and potential pathogens from within the upholstery fibers.

To maintain real hygiene and cleanliness in your home and office, you don’t want to overlook these four items. Get help from your local professional cleaning company to keep your home spotless and healthy from top to bottom.

 

The Ultimate Floor Cleaning Guide for Tiles, Carpet, Hardwood, Vinyl, Laminate and More!

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Keeping floors clean, safe and hygienic is an essential part of home maintenance. But what’s the best way to clean the floors you have at home or in the office? Here we look at the ultimate guide to cleaning different flooring types to get the best results and outcome for your residential and commercial floors.

Carpet

Clean carpets are one of the defining features that add to a home or business’s appearance, safety and health. On the other hand, dirty carpets are not only unattractive, but can also be unsafe, worsening conditions such as allergies and asthma. Keeping your carpets cleaned should involve a three-pronged approach that includes regular vacuuming, professional carpet cleaning, and professional stain and odor removal.

  • Regular Vacuuming – Regular vacuuming is the first step in keeping your carpets clean and healthy from week to week. Regular vacuuming with a powerful vacuum cleaner helps to pick up dirt, dust and other debris from the floor, and diminishes the buildup of dust mites which can cause allergies. Vacuum once a week, going over the same patch of carpet 3-5 times to lift as much dirt as possible.
  • Professional Carpet Stain Removal – Understanding how to minimize the impact of stains when they first occur at home is a key skill to prevent carpet damage. Blot up as much of the stain excess as possible, you can attempt to remove stains yourself, but the safest bet is to call a professional carpet cleaner to do this for you. They can accurately analyze and diagnose your carpet fiber type, and provide the right stain removal treatment to restore your carpet’s appearance while protecting the carpet from damage.
  • Professional Carpet Cleaning – Professional carpet cleaning is recommended twice a year, to deep clean carpets and remove ingrained dirt, dust, stains, and allergens. If your business has carpet that receives high traffic, you may need to have your carpets professionally cleaned more often. Professional carpet cleaning removes dirt, bacteria, and pathogens, while also freshening carpet, removing odors, and leaving your carpets with a spotless appearance.
  • Professional Odor Removal – Even if your carpets look clean, they may not smell Unfortunately, pet accidents, smoke and cooking smells can seep deep into the carpet layers, lingering no matter how much vacuuming, air freshening and candle burning you do. That’s where professional carpet odor removal comes in. Professional carpet inspection can help to identify the odor problem and diagnose the best solution for fresh results.

Area Rugs

It’s not just wall-to-wall carpet that needs cleaning and maintenance – your area rugs need cleaning and care as well. The most important thing to remember about area rugs is that they are often delicate and composed of materials that need extra care. Each area rug is also unique, and cleaning needs to be tailored to the specific composition of the rug. Just like wall-to-wall carpet, area rugs can harbor dust mites, allergens and germs if not thoroughly cleaned. Area rugs can be kept clean through a combination of regular vacuuming and occasional professional cleaning.

  • Vacuuming – Vacuum your area rug on a regular basis in the same way you would vacuum your carpet. Take care with delicate trims and tassels to ensure they are not damaged by the vacuum cleaner.
  • Professional Area Rug Cleaning – Just like wall-to-wall carpet, area rugs can be professionally cleaned. This process is carefully and meticulously done in order to remove allergens, dust, and pathogens, while also protecting delicate fibers and dyes. In some cases, an area rug can only be cleaned ‘in plant’ to ensure they are specially handled and the dyes don’t run. Area rugs usually need to be inspected before cleaning, to ensure a correct and safe approach.

Hardwood

Hardwood floors are a stunning, classic option, and they are generally easy to keep clean. Hardwood floors are highly valued by homeowners, as with proper care, they can last for decades. Prolonging the life of your hardwood floors and keeping them in pristine condition involves checking your hardwood floor type with a flooring expert, regular cleaning, and occasional professional hardwood cleaning and refinishing.

  • Daily Sweeping – A quick sweep every day keeps your hardwood floors spotless and prevents excess dust and dirt collecting in cracks.
  • Weekly Mop/Vacuum – A weekly mop or vacuum helps to pick up all the extra dust and dirt you may have missed during the week. Check with your hardwood manufacturer or flooring expert about which technique is right for your floor, as some hardwood finishes benefit from a damp (not wet!) mop, while others are best to be vacuumed only. Ensure you have a hardwood fitting for your vacuum before you use it on hardwood floors, as a beater bar can damage your hardwood.
  • Professional Hardwood Floor Cleaning – Occasional professional hardwood floor cleaning protects your hardwoods floors and keeps them looking their best. Deep hardwood floor cleaning should always be done by a professional to prevent damage to floors. The best professional hardwood floor cleaning should involve no harsh chemicals, contain low VOCs and fumes, and be GREENGUARD Children & Schools SM Certified.
  • Sanding/Refinishing – Sanding and refinishing removes deep stains and restores the luster of your hardwood floors. As sanding takes some layers off your hardwood floors, you only need to do it every 3-5 years.

Tiles

Tile floors are attractive, durable and easy to clean, and there is a huge range of materials and designs to choose from to make your tile floors. While keeping grout clean is a priority for all types of tile floors, certain tile types might need other specific care as well.

  • Basic Tile Cleaning – Keep your tiles clean week to week by sweeping or vacuuming daily (without beater bar on the vacuum cleaner) and mopping weekly. Use a gentle detergent and chamois style mop to collect dust and dirt, rather than a sponge type mop that can push it into the grout.
  • Grout Cleaning – One of the most important aspects of clean tile floors is clean grout. Unlike most tiles, grout is porous, which means it readily absorbs dirt and dust and can stain more easily. Keeping grout clean can be a challenge as grout accumulates dirt and mold over time, and many household cleaning products only erode grout when ‘cleaning’ it. The best way to keep grout white and gleaming is to have grout professionally cleaned every 12-18 months. This professional grout cleaning treatment can lift ingrained dirt and deep stains out of grout while protecting grout and tiles, leaving outstanding results without the back breaking
  • Grout Sealing – After installation of tiles, or professional tile and grout cleaning, you should have your grout sealed. This offers the best protection to your grout, limiting the buildup of dirt and dust, and preventing stains affecting your grout.
  • Glazed/Polished Tiles – Glazed and polished tiles include glazed porcelain and ceramic tiles, as well as dense, polished stone or marble tiles. These tiles are usually highly water and stain resistant, and easy to clean as they don’t stain or absorb spills. Glazed and polished tiles can be cleaned with sweeping/mopping/ vacuuming weekly, and professional tile cleaning once a year.
  • Unglazed Tiles – Unglazed tiles tend to be ‘softer’, more absorbent and more porous, including unglazed ceramic tiles and some stone tiles. Because unglazed tiles absorb more spills, they are more likely to stain. Deep professional tile cleaning can lift stains, marks, and dirt out of unglazed tiles.
  • Slate/Stone Tiles – Certain types of stone tiles, such as slate, need to be sealed after installation for protection and water resistance. Sealing helps to prevent slate tiles being scratched or stained. Acid based cleaners can wear away at the slate, so use only gentle cleansers for your slate tiles.

Engineered Wood

Engineered wood provides the look, feel and performance of real wood, integrated with composite materials and a protective polyurethane coating. Engineered wood is easy to care for, durable and practical, and maintaining it is easy too.

  • Regular Sweeping/Damp Mop – Engineered wood floors are more moisture resistant than hardwood, thanks to their finish and high-quality plywood base. Use a cool, damp mop with gentle cleaning agents to wipe away dirt and dust, or a gentle sweep to clear away day to day debris. Never use harsh chemicals (including ammonia or vinegar) or steam on engineered wood floors.
  • Sanding/Refinishing – Some engineered wood floors can be sanded and finished, and some cannot. It’s important to check with your flooring manufacturer or a flooring expert before you attempt to do this. Because the wood layer on engineered wood floors is thinner, even if your floors can be refinished, it can only be a limited amount of times. In some cases, engineered wood flooring can benefit from professional wood floor cleaning, so speak to your local professional cleaning company for more details and an inspection.

Vinyl

Vinyl sheet has long been a popular form of resilient flooring that’s ideal for a range of settings in the home and the office. Luxury vinyl tile is a new innovation that accurately emulates the appearance, texture, and feel of other flooring types, including hardwood, stone, and tile for a fraction of the cost. High-quality vinyl is both water and stain resistant and easy to install, making it an increasingly popular choice for homeowners.

  • Regular Sweeping/Mopping – Regular sweeping removes dirt and grit from your vinyl floors before it gets ingrained. If you have no-wax vinyl, ensure you use a cleaner made specifically for no-wax floors. Older vinyl flooring may require waxing. Only use a damp mop, not a wet mop or a steam mop, and rinse floors well to remove soap residue.

Laminate

Laminate is a synthetic flooring composed of multiple layers of pressed wood or other synthetic products fused with a lamination process. The flooring emulates wood or sometimes stone with a photographic layer under the top protective wear layer. Laminate flooring is easy to clean, and with proper maintenance can last for years to come.

  • Regular Dusting/Sweeping/Vacuuming – Laminate can be kept clean on a regular basis with dust mopping, sweeping, or vacuuming without the beater bar. While you should avoid cleaning laminate with excess water or steam, you can use a specific laminate cleaner to remove tougher dirt and dust. Don’t spray cleaners directly onto laminate as this can stain, lightly spray on a damp cleaning cloth or mop instead.

Commercial Flooring

It’s not just at home that floors need to be kept clean and beautiful, it’s equally important for businesses to keep their floors clean and to the standard expected by their customers and their industry. It’s a good idea to outsource your commercial floor cleaning, whether that’s regular maintenance or professional deep cleaning. Most business owners don’t have the time or know how to clean their business space, and professional cleaning ensures a high-quality and safe result.

  • Floor type and Business Type – The best way to clean your commercial flooring really depends on the business type and your flooring type. Most businesses conduct light cleaning such as sweeping, vacuuming or mopping at least once daily.
  • Professional Commercial Carpet Cleaning – Carpets add comfort and warmth to business spaces, but they also need regular professional cleaning as they can quickly absorb stains and odors. Professional carpet cleaning may be recommended every 4-6 months, depending on the traffic received and the nature of your business.
  • Professional Commercial Hard Floor Cleaning – Hard floors such as tile, laminate, vinyl, and rubber are popular in commercial settings as they are stain resistant and easy to clean. In commercial settings, it is essential that these floors are anti-slip and treated correctly. Professional tile cleaning helps to remove germs, dirt, and mold from tiles and grout, while deep professional commercial floor cleaning treatments can be applied to other types of commercial hard flooring.

While incorrect cleaning can damage your floors, using the proper cleaning technique helps to create clean floors that look and smell better, and keep the users of the flooring safe and healthy. If you’re unsure about the right cleaning for your floors, talk to a floor cleaning professional to learn more or to book a thorough, professional floor cleaning.