Carpet & Rugs
Buying Tips for Carpet
Carpet remains the popular choice for comfort, warmth and ease of decorating. Your choice will depend on the style and performance you are looking for. Formal settings often call for single tone, softer, cut pile products or pattern carpet designed specifically for formal settings. For all around performance nylon is generally the best choice. However, polypropylene offers good stain, fade and abrasion resistance at very reasonable prices. Wool tends to be the more prestigious choice at higher price points. Informal settings call for more casual styles, often in multi-color. Popular product selections are Berbers, Shags, Friezes and certain pattern carpets. Multi-color products help hide soil in active areas and as before mentioned, nylon provides the best all round performance. For commercial installations, loop construction tends to be the popular choice. In recent years carpet tiles have become popular. Regardless of your choice, we’ve done it all in Rochester.
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Buying Tips for Hardwood Flooring in Rochester NY
Factory Finish vs. Custom Sand & Finish on Site
You should feel comfortable with either choice. However, factory finishing offers many nice advantages. Factory finished flooring is inspected for defects at the mill so you receive first choice every time. On-site finishing depends on the quality of the workmanship that day.
Factory finished flooring usually installs more quickly and without the dust and odors that are involved with on-site finishing. However, even though factory finished flooring comes in a variety of colors, on-site finishing allows for closer color match with existing woodwork or cabinets.
Both factory finishes and on-site finishes are available in either high gloss or matte. Both types have exciting new finishes developed with space age technology. These finishes are not like grandma’s old wood floors because they require no waxing.
Engineered products install where no solid hardwood dares to go
Prior to the development of engineered hardwood flooring, hardwood products could not be installed on slab or in your basement without a special subfloor system. Now you can enjoy real hardwood flooring in those areas without all that fuss and expense. A special cross-ply construction eliminates the problem of expansion and contraction usually associated with solid hardwood.
Don’t become overly concerned with thinner or thicker top wood layers associated with engineered products because it’s the finish you are walking on. Generally speaking you won’t need to re-sand and finish these products; just re-coat them unless you need to change the color.
Special considerations when selecting hardwood flooring
Direct sunlight can affect the color of hardwood stains, therefore closing curtains or shades during peak periods will reduce damage. Area rugs left in place for extended periods of time may expose a shading difference once they are removed from the remainder of the floor.
Large pets with sharp toenails can also damage even the best finishes.
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Buying Tips for Vinyl Flooring
The new generation of vinyl floors have new finishes, different construction and new types of backing. They are designed for better wear, clearer pattern definition, and easier to maintain and install. Manufacturers have gone primarily to cushioned products with wider widths to reduce the number of seams. New innovations in backing have made the today’s cushion vinyl floors more resistant to rips, tears and back staining. Most residential sheet flooring offer no-wax performance and a wide variety of colors and patterns–more than any other flooring product and generally speaking, cushion vinyl flooring is the most economical of all flooring choices.
Some products are designed to help you reduce subfloor preparation costs
Next to ceramic tile, vinyl flooring installation demands properly prepared subflooring. Most cushion vinyl products are thin and when they are installed with a full spread of adhesive over a poorly prepared subfloor, irregularities can telegraph through. New products designed for perimeter or loose lay installation will greatly reduce the effects of subfloor irregularities while lowering subfloor preparation costs. In fact, many of these products can be installed over you existing flooring.
Luxury Vinyl Products
Manufacturer’s have raised vinyl flooring to a whole new level when it comes to luxury vinyl product offerings. New technologies have led to greater realism in design and structures every bit as rugged as older inlaid products, and all of this without giving up the easy no-wax maintenance that is desired.
Special considerations when choosing sheet vinyl flooring
Beware of asphalt driveways as asphalt can react to certain conditions and transfer into the vinyl resulting in permanent staining. Be careful when moving or dragging heavy objects across the cushioned flooring as it often results in permanent damage to the surface.
Ceramic & Porcelain
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Buying Tips for Ceramic & Porcelain Tile
The correct subfloor structure is critical to performance
Ceramic tile, more than any other form of flooring, requires the proper subfloor system and setting materials. A double subfloor system with the total thickness of 1-1/4″, over floor joists 16″ on center is required. The top subfloor layer should be exterior grade plywood or an underlayment specifically designed for ceramic tile installation like cementous backerboard.
Special setting materials are available which will allow ceramic tile installations over existing floors that are solid and already meet the above requirements. Failure to provide a sturdy base can cause grout to crack and release or tile to crack.
Although many ceramic tiles look the same, there are quality differences
The quality of raw materials, the firing process, and the sophistication of glazing applications that create realism will determine the quality of the finished product. These quality differences are often reflected in the price.
Selecting the right surface glaze is an important step when selecting floor tile
Floor tiles are rated for glaze wear and slip resistance, which are important factors to consider. Glaze ratings should exceed 3 for residential applications with the exception of bath areas that can use tiles rated 2. Tiles with a slip resistant rating of 0.5 or better should work well in most indoor residential applications.
Use caution when selecting tile for installations outdoors. Unglazed quarry tiles, tiles with heavily textured surfaces, or porcelain paver tiles, all with slip resistant ratings of 0.6 or greater are possibilities. They must also be frost resistant.
Request the best in setting materials
New latex modified mortars and grouts provide better strength while also allowing greater flexibility.
Dropping objects on ceramic tile–particularly heavy ones–can chip even the best tiles.