The Great Flooring Debate: Should You Choose Carpet, Hardwood or Tiles?

Whether you’re building a new home, or remodeling an older house, choosing the right flooring for your home and your needs is one of the most important decisions. Flooring can be expensive, and you want it to last. If it’s unattractive, difficult to maintain or doesn’t perform the way you’d like it to, it’s really going to detract from the comfort and atmosphere of your home. When it comes to flooring choices, for most homeowners it boils down to carpet, hardwood or tiled floors. Should you go for the easy cleaning of tile, the comfort of carpet or the timeless beauty of hardwood? Here we look at the benefits and limitations, to help you find your ideal flooring choice.

Hardwood Floors

Hardwood flooring is one of the most popular choices because it’s stunning, durable and not too difficult to clean. One of the greatest priorities for homeowners when it comes to flooring is appearance. We want our floors to look good, both from when they are installed and as time goes by. This relies on how easy it is to clean the flooring, maintain its original condition and be resistant to wear and tear. In all of these conditions, hardwood floors fit the bill. Hardwood floors last for years, and professional hardwood floor cleaning can help to deep clean hardwood floors from time to time to maintain this stunning flooring in its optimal condition.

On the downside, hardwood flooring is the most expensive choice and represents an investment that is out of reach to many homeowners.

Tile Floors

Tiles can provide a huge versatility of applications and purposes, and many homeowners choose tiles for the floors and even the walls of kitchens and bathrooms. Tiles are water resistant and generally easy to clean, although they can sometimes stain and require professional tile cleaning or tile stain removal.

Tiles can also be used as an alternative to more expensive floors, with luxury vinyl floor tiles and other types of high quality tile providing the look of wood, stone or marble with less cost. There are a range of tile options to choose from to fit your needs and budget. However, one downside of tile floors is that their sheer hardness and durability can also make them harder on the human body for falls or long periods of standing.

Carpet

Carpet flooring has long been a popular choice for comfortable, cozy flooring, particularly in bedrooms and living areas. Although carpet can be prone to collecting dirt and stains, professional carpet cleaning and carpet stain removal can help to erase most of these. Keep an effective but gentle carpet cleaner on hand for when stains occur and contact your carpet cleaning service quickly in order to get the best carpet stain removal results.

Carpet is available in a range of types and colors to suit any décor, and also any budget. While keeping carpet clean can be a challenge in some households, there are not many floor coverings that can compare when it comes to the level of comfort that carpet offers, and many homeowners prefer this feel for personal spaces like bedrooms.

While choosing the right floor covering for your home is always going to involve investigation, research and assessment of your own needs and preferences, weighing the pros and cons between carpet, hardwood and tile is a great start for finding the perfect flooring for you.

 

The Move Towards Luxury Vinyl Tiles and What It Means for Flooring

While carpet, area rugs, hardwood floors and ceramic tile flooring have traditionally been some of the favorite flooring choices for homes and businesses, it’s clear that the trend for flooring is moving to a new and different kind of flooring. This move is demonstrated in the announcement from Shaw Industries, one of the largest carpet and rug manufacturers in the world, that they are moving away from area rug production to invest over $100 million in luxury vinyl tile (LVT) floors. Shaw Industries CEO Vance Bell says “The economics of the rug business today simply does not allow for future growth or encourage future investment,” indicating that the money in the flooring business has shifted from soft floor coverings, to cost efficient and appealing luxury vinyl tiles. But what are luxury vinyl floor tiles and what is the importance of these luxury tiles for homeowners and businesses?

What Are Luxury Vinyl Tiles?
Luxury vinyl tiles are resilient, hardworking and truly beautiful, however, they are not a premium product in the way stone, marble or granite flooring would be considered premium. In essence, LVT floors are imitators, designed to impersonate with a high level of accuracy the look and feel of a luxurious stone, marble, granite or wood floor, while actually being composed of vinyl.

Luxury vinyl tiles are the result of advanced computer technology that allows the production of a vinyl flooring that very closely matches not only the look, but the feeling of premium flooring choices like stone, marble and granite. The production of these vinyl tile squares involves a computer “seeing” and copying what real marble or granite luxury floor tiles look like, and then making a photographic replication of that image onto the vinyl floor tiles. This results in an incredibly realistic product, of much higher quality than flooring imitators of the past.

How Are Luxury Vinyl Tiles Used?

The quality of luxury vinyl tiles can vary depending on the compositions and the manufacturing country (manufacturers in Asia, the United States and Europe all have their own manufacturing procedures and technologies). Luxury Vinyl Tiles that are composed of 100% vinyl are often used in commercial flooring, and have an additional protective layer (the mil layer) added to the vinyl to enhance the durability in commercial settings.

Luxury vinyl floor tiles used in residential settings may not be 100% vinyl and may not have an extra mil layer. However, it’s important to ensure your vinyl tile floor has a sufficient mil layer in order to make it more durable and easy to clean.

How To Care for Luxury Vinyl Tile Floors?
LVT floors do not need to be sealed or finished and many manufacturers strongly recommend against this. LVT floors are resistant to spots, stains and moisture, and sealants and finishes will merely end up peeling off the floor with wear.

Luxury vinyl tile floors are prone to soiling over time however, and need targeted care to maintain their finish and beauty. A professional floor cleaner is best able to remove soiling and staining from luxury vinyl floors using a neutral cleaning solution and a wet/vac system to remove all moisture along with the soiling and dirt.
Of course when it comes to cleaning floors, prevention is better than cure, so using a ‘high-performance’ matting system to help keep LVT floors looking great can be very effective. These ‘high-performance’ mats last for many years and are more effective and durable than conventional mats. Having the right matting and seeking professional floor cleaning care for your luxury vinyl floors helps to retain their appearance and functionality.

For more information on luxury vinyl floor tiles and their care, contact Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration.

The Difference Between Carpet Fibers: What You Need To Know

Carpet offers a soft, comfortable and attractive flooring choice that is very popular in American homes, and there are a range of different synthetic and natural carpet fibers to choose from. Each carpet fiber type offers different characteristics and requires different methods of care and cleaning to provide beautiful results in your home. Here we take a closer look at 4 of the major carpet fiber choices available in the U.S., their strengths and weaknesses and how to clean your carpet fiber type more effectively and safely according to it’s characteristics.

Nylon

Nylon is one of the most popular choices of carpet fiber, with over 65% of the carpet in the U.S. being made from nylon. The advantages of nylon fiber carpet include its durability and performance, with resiliency that will allow it to spring back, and amazing abrasion resistance that gives a guarantee your nylon carpet will last longer than any other fiber. Nylon carpet fiber is also easy to clean. It hides dirt well, giving a spotless look and feel even between cleans, and responds very well to most professional cleaning methods and treatments, drying in no time and springing back to its original condition.

One of the issues with nylon carpets is that they are often acid dyed for their coloring, which can make them susceptible to issues with bleaching, fading and stains from acidic substances like urine and spilt drinks. A professional carpet cleaner can help to safely remove stains from nylon carpet and provide the ultimate care for this popular flooring choice.

Olefin (Polypropylene)

The demand for Olefin carpet fibers is one of the fastest growing today due to its low price. Because olefin is dyed before it’s made into a fiber, it’s extremely stain resistant to dye-related stains.  However, it is also made from oil based chemicals which makes it very susceptible to great and oil stains.  In fact, you should avoid having it in the dining room or hallways leading to the garage.  In addition, olefin is more crush and heat prone than other carpet fibers, and even the friction of furniture being dragged across it can be enough to cause damage.

It’s also very resistant to water, which makes it challenging to clean.   As a result, cleaning the carpet can be tricky and will require professional carpet cleaner to get them out.

Polyester

The popularity of polyester carpet goes up and down, however because of the beautiful color options available for this carpet and its relatively low cost it’s still frequently chosen today. Polyester carpets offer excellent stain and fade resistance, and it’s quick drying so it’s easy to clean.

However, polyester carpet is susceptible to crushing, pilling and shedding, and isn’t as resilient as other fibers. Oil based stains can really wreak havoc on this carpet fiber but it responds well to professional carpet cleaning and can even be enhanced by stain removal treatments.

Wool

Wool remains the premier and traditional favourite of carpet choices, but it’s price is out of reach for many. While the synthetics aim to mimic the qualities of wool, none can get all of them right, and wool retains high quality and performance for resilience, durability, color and response to cleaning.

However, wool is very expensive and requires maintenance, particularly mothproofing. It has a tendency to wear down as well as being slightly more prone to stains, so it’s ideal if wool carpet cleaning is conducted by professionals. Because wool can hold a lot of moisture it’s also prone to shrinking, as well as mold and mildew which can cause odors, so odor removal may also be necessary for wool carpets.

With this guide to 4 of the most popular carpet fibers, you can choose the right carpet for your home, and the most effective cleaning technique for your carpet choice.