Monthly Archives: December 2016

Carpet: Things We Need To Know

Room Use

Be prepared for your dealer to ask some of the following questions:

  • How is the room going to be used?
  • Is there light or heavy room traffic in the room?
  • Is the room the center of activity for family or entertaining?
  • Is there direct access from outside?
What You Should Know:
By asking these questions, the dealer is trying to gauge which grade and style of carpet would work best for your home.

Try to give a detailed picture of your expectations for the carpet. Is it important that the carpet stand up to pets, running children and bustling activity? Or are you mainly concerned about how it will look and feel in a formal living room that doesn’t get a lot of use?

Color and Style

Typically, a dealer might ask:

  • How much use will the room get? (This is a consideration because a heavily used room may not be the best place to install white or very light-colored carpet.)
  • Are kids going to be playing down on the floor? Or is it a formal room that doesn’t get much use? (Again, lighter colors my create more maintenance but another factor the dealer is trying to consider is whether you should choose carpet made with BCF fiber like STAINMASTER® so that children playing on the floor will not find themselves covered in loose fibers shed from staple products.)
  • Is it a small room or a large room? (Smaller rooms can be made to feel larger by selecting a lighter colored carpet while larger rooms can be made to feel cozier by using a mid-to-darker colored carpet.)
  • What are the lighting conditions in the room? (Rooms with plenty of natural light will show the true color of the carpet while rooms on the north side of a house may need a lighter shade of carpet to keep them from feeling darker than they are.)
What You Should Know:
You should always remember to bring swatches of fabric from drapes and furniture, wallpaper samples, and paint chips with you when you are selecting carpet. That way you can consider a range of colors that will match your existing décor. Remember that color can also affect your mood. Warmer colors often make you feel energized while cooler tones provide a sense of calm.

When considering color, remember the lighting in the carpet store is not the same as the lighting conditions in your home. Ask the dealer if they have a lighting box in which to view the carpet, or ask if you can take a sample of the carpet home.

Cost

Typically, a dealer might ask:

  • Are you installing this carpet for the purposes of selling the home or are you re-decorating it for your enjoyment?
  • What is the size of the room to be carpeted?
What You Should Know:
The dealer is trying to determine what style of carpet you might be interested in. A home seller is going to want to select a neutral toned carpet in a simple style, like a cut pile texture. But a home owner who is re-decorating will want to explore the many varieties available to them. Either way, STAINMASTER® carpet is a good choice.

STAINMASTER® warranties are transferable to the new owner, a great selling tool, while home owners who will be living with their carpet selection will want the long-lasting durability and beauty of a STAINMASTER® carpet. Also, the dealer needs to know the approximate size of the area to be carpeted in order to give an estimate on total cost.

Come prepared with a rough estimate of the size of your room and the layout. Check out our handy Carpet Calculator if you need help measuring. When you’re ready to buy, the dealer will send a professional to take the final measurements.

Make sure that all cost estimates include padding, installation, seaming, stairs (if applicable), thresholds, the moving of furniture and the removal of old carpet or other flooring and materials.

Always make sure that you are selecting from the highest grade carpet you can afford. With STAINMASTER® carpet, the higher the grade, the more comprehensive the STAINMASTER® warranty will be. STAINMASTER®, a name you know and trust, only guarantees the finest, first quality carpet. Because of the patented technology that goes into it, and the company that stands behind it, your STAINMASTER® carpet will provide beauty and comfort for years to come.

Quality

While in the store, it may seem that many carpets look the same. But not all carpets perform the same. It’s the technology behind the carpet that makes a difference.

What You Should Know:
Only STAINMASTER® carpets offer the exclusive three-part system for lasting beauty:

6,6 Nylon Technology
With this patented fiber technology, STAINMASTER® carpets resist crushing, abrasive wear and color fading. The unique molecular structure of 6,6 nylon make it much more resilient than carpet fiber made from polyester, polypropylene and other types of nylon. Plus, this specially designed fiber keeps soil and stains from penetrating.

DuPont Advanced TEFLON® Protectant
This superior soil resistance technology enables SM carpet fibers to push dirt away, allowing it to be removed more easily with a vacuum cleaner. And the Stain Protection reduces the fibers ability to absorb liquids, greatly limiting its ability to become stained. This unique soil and stain protection lasts much longer than other carpets’ protection, which must be re-applied after each cleaning in order to maintain their warranties.

Anti-Static Technology
The fibers in every STAINMASTER® carpet contain a special carbon compound that act like thousands of tiny lighting rods, deflecting static shock for the life of the carpet. Most other carpets are sprayed with anti-static protection that can wear off with foot traffic and successive cleanings.

Why is anti-stat protection important? With our homes filled with expensive electronics these days, the last thing you want is to short circuit a computer or audio system simply by walking on your carpet and touching a device. Anti-stat protection offers peace of mind for homeowners where their electronic investments are concerned.

Labeling
At the store, you’ll see lots of labels from different mills and manufacturers. You might get confused as to what type of carpet you are looking at.

What You Should Know:
Look for the STAINMASTER® label on the back of the dealer’s sample. That’s the only way to guarantee a carpet that features STAINMASTER®’s comprehensive warranties, anti-static controls, resilient fibers and a carpet surface that actually repels dirt and soil.

Color Tips and Tricks

1. White and neutrals. One of the best ways to avoid color trends is of course to avoid wild colors altogether. A palette of pale neutrals is as close to time-proof as you can get, especially if you use a lot of classic white.

A neutral palette doesn’t have to be boring, either. Include rich textures (like woods and plush fabrics) and subtly different neutral shades to give a space life without introducing any dramatic hues that may or may not stand the test of time.

For a while now, stark ultrawhite has been the ultimate in fashion, but the tides are turning back to slightly warmer whites, and this can be expected to last for years to come. Cool and warm whites can suit whatever color scheme you might find yourself craving down the road, so they’re a safe bet either way for walls, cabinetry and other large surfaces.

2. Keep your cool. When you’re ready to dip your toe into some nonneutral hues, the best long-term bet is always going to be on the cooler side of the color spectrum — that is, greens, blues and blue-purples. Reds, red-violets, oranges and yellows, no matter the shade, will never be timeless the way their cooler counterparts are.

This may be because fiery colors feel more passionate and vivid, and therefore we tire of them more quickly. It’s hard to say definitively why, but hot hues always become a thing of the past much faster.

Specifically, shades of blue tend to be the most enduring of all the hues you can choose, with the color on the opposite side of the color wheel — orange — being the most associated with flash-in-the-pan trends.

This doesn’t mean, of course, that you should never dare to dabble in a hot hue again. But it does mean you may want to save reds and oranges for lower-commitment accent pieces, and look to cool hues for big-ticket items, as was done with the blue upholstery and orange accessories here.

A great aspect of blue in particular is that it works well tone-on-tone, with dark shades like navy and royal blue working well with lighter and brighter shades, complementary colors or simply one another.

3. Embrace opportunity. So, strict blue-on-blue isn’t for you? There are other ways to add dramatic colors without feeling like you’re stuck with yesterday’s trend down the road.

Take the opportunity to choose a risky hue for pieces that will naturally have to be replaced someday anyway. Items that receive a lot of wear and tear (sheets, towels, dishware and the like) are great starter items for trying out a bold color choice and seeing how it holds up.

Hardwood Fun Facts

Hardwood Floors: A History

Wood flooring was first recognized as a design /décor element for a living space in the late 1600s in France. Only the wealthiest people could afford solid-plank floors because they were handcrafted and very expensive.

In the 1700s and 1800s solid planks for floors were massive – 7/8″ thick, at least 8’ long and 2-1/2″ or 3-1/4″ wide. Some planks were 16’ long. They had to be massive because subfloors were not used and plank ends had to be nailed to joists.

Modern, machine-made hardwood flooring came into being in the 1880s with the invention of the side matcher. This was the beginning of strip hardwood flooring.

The invention of the electric sander in the mid-1920s meant that hardwood floors could be levelled and sanded more efficiently and with better quality. Previously, floors were scraped manually by dragging scraper blades across the floor.

In the 1940s, hardwood was still very labour intensive. It required professional installation, sanding, and two coats of shellac and wax (used until the 1950s, when changed to lacquer and polyurethane). Hardwood floors also had to be waxed on a weekly basis.

In the 1960s hardwood flooring took a huge hit when the U.S. Federal Government approved carpeting as part of a 30-year mortgage. Both homeowners and homebuilders turned away from expensive, labour intensive hardwood in favour of cheaper, easier and faster-to-install carpet. This was a major factor in the decline of the hardwood flooring industry until the mid-1980s.

Did you know?

The Janka hardness test measures the force required to embed a .444 inch steel ball to half its diameter in wood. The hardness is expressed numerically as the pounds per square inch of pressure required to sink the ball. The higher the number the harder the wood is. The Janka hardness test is done on both the side and end of the wood because hardness varies with the grain of the hardwood.

The Red Oak, which has a Janka rating of 1290, is the industry benchmark for comparing the relative hardness of different wood species.

Hardwood flooring adds to the value of both new and resale homes. In one national Canadian survey, 90% of real estate agents said homes with wood floors sell faster and for more money.

Solid ¾-inch boards can be refinished up to 10 times. Thinner ones can’t be sanded as much, but when topped with durable factory-applied coatings, they shouldn’t require frequent refinishing.

Longer strips mean fewer distracting end joints. To make a small room appear bigger, use shorter strips.

The harder the wood, the less prone it is to dents and gouges.

Some pre-finished solid-wood boards come with a 50-year warranty. With regular care, though, any solid-wood floor can easily last twice that long.