Putting the Family in Family Room

7596084_SOne of the best ways to create family time is to create a family room that is warm and inviting for the entire family.  Furniture and flooring can go a long way to making the family room a place the entire family will want to hang out.

Starting on the floor, choose flooring that works for your family’s lifestyle.  Super high traffic areas like family rooms mean you’ll want a durable and stain resistant material. Given some activities like gaming and play in the family room mean sitting on the floor, you’ll want flooring that is also comfortable.  Stain-resistant carpet could be a good choice. So could wood floors or laminate flooring with the addition of an area rug in the seating area.  If you have pets, a wood or laminate floor might be the better choice than carpet.

Ample seating for watching movies, the big game or playing games is also key for a family friendly room. A mix of seating options is always a good idea. Sectional sofas or a pair of sofas in an L-shape creates a nice cozy arrangement for conversation and television watching. Portable seating like poufs, ottomans or stools can be moved around the room as needed, or stored out of the way.

Family photos on the walls and good storage to hide clutter are also good additions to a family room. Make the room inviting and you’ll find yourself and your family hanging out there more.

Carpet Cushion for Radiant Heat Flooring

Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 1.19.48 PMReader’s Question: What types of carpet cushion can be used with radiant heat flooring?

Answer:  The best carpet cushion to use in a radiant heat flooring application would have the lowest R-value possible.  Carpenter’s product that would be the best suited for heated flooring is the Emerald 1/4″ product.  It has a density of 8 pounds per cubit feet and is approximately a R-1.  There are some low profile rubber products that have R-values that would be alternative to bonded cushion.

Modern Flooring Trends

Are you now in the process of building your dream home? Are you thinking of giving your house a whole new look but do not know where to start? Well, here’s an idea. Did you know that changing your floors can do wonders for home? If you are contemplating on giving it a modern feel through your floors, read on and find out what’s trending on modern floors.

Hardwood:  It’s a very great choice for modern floors. There is a wide variety of plank sizes and colors to choose from. However, the trend today leans toward wider planks with darker and elegant colors. Although the traditional hardwoods like teak, walnut, mahogany, cherry, birch and oak are still popular options. You can also go for the distressed and hand scraped ones. Surprisingly, even exotic choices are great. If you want to go with the green revolution, you can opt for those salvaged hardwoods.

Carpet: It actually never goes out of style. They give a luxurious and comforting feeling to any room. However, unlike hardwood floors, you need to choose more neutral and earth tone colors for your carpet. Many modern homes use hardwood flooring in all rooms except the bedrooms or den where carpet feels wonderful underfoot.

Today’s Patterned Carpet

In the world of flooring, neutral colors dominate most carpet and hard surface flooring like woods, laminates, stone and tile.  While there are some homeowners and decorators who choose to do bright or deep colors for their carpet and flooring, the majority of us stick to the steadfast idea that neutral is best. You can always add bold color with an area rug or throw rug.

Neutral carpet is a builder’s favorite because it sets the tone for personalization on the walls and furnishings. But neutral carpet doesn’t have to all be the same type.  In fact, a trend for carpet right now is patterned like the one pictured here.  Low pile with a subtle texture can bring added life to a neutral carpet.  Geometrics, subtle stripes, dots and even vines add interest and texture to carpeting without adding color. Even more traditional Berber carpets have a subtle dot pattern that adds visual interest. Keeping the color neutral allows these patterns to stand out more.

Carpet tiles are also allowing people to use patterned carpet in their homes without the commitment of installed wall to wall carpeting.  These carpet tiles can be arranged to create runners, area rugs and even room sized carpets.  Of course, for durability and comfort, an installed carpet with a good pad is worth the investment. Investing in a good quality, stain-resistant neutral colored carpet with a subtle pattern is a good idea for your home and its resale potential.  Neutral doesn’t have to be boring with great texture and patterns available in today’s carpets.

Life’s Little Messes

25714482_SCheese puffs on the rug, dirty paw prints on the wood floors, juice spilled on the sofa… life’s little messes can happen throughout the house, and they do on a daily basis.  Having the right flooring and upholstery can help make sure life’s little messes can be easily cleaned up.  The perfect house that is never dirty or the perfect sofa that never has popcorn between the cushions might exist somewhere, but for the majority of us, it isn’t a reality. Homes and rooms are meant to be lived in and enjoyed. So eat your cheese puffs and let the dog into the house.

When shopping for carpet or area rugs, look for materials that are stain-resistant. Ask about stain fighting properties when purchasing your carpet and rugs. Wool is a natural stain-resistant material because of the natural oils in the wool yarn. Other types of carpet and rugs may be engineered or treated to fight stains.  To hide stains and dirt, look for rugs with deeper colors and complicated patterns.

For new upholstered furniture purchases, ask about stain fighting properties in the different upholstery options.  Some retailers offer a stain protection plan that will protect your investment with professional treatment of stains. Using outdoor upholstery indoors is a smart idea if you have kids or pets. Outdoor fabrics are designed to withstand moisture and dirt more than delicate fabrics.

Messes happen. This is a fact of life. Choosing the right flooring and upholstery means the little messes are no big deal.

Carpet Tiles – The DIY Carpet Solution

For years carpet tiles have been used in commercial applications from airports to the entryways of your local retail outlet. The reason why these are used in these environments is the fact that they are super easy to install and have shown great versatility in high traffic areas.  They are also very easy to remove if a tile were to become damaged which means less time and money spent repairing a floor.  But over the last decade, with the onslaught of the do-it-yourself movement, carpet tiles have started to make their ways into the residential market.  With this increase in residential use, carpet tiles have gone through some great technological changes and continue to do so today.   That brings us to the question of why choose floor carpet tiles over broadloom?  Let’s compare the two and shed some light on why.

As was stated earlier, over the last decade or so, many people have decided to do more and more home projects from flooring to home repair.  So, in turn, there became a need for a fast and easy way to carpet an entire room.  Broadloom carpet, which is the norm in most homes, typically requires a professional installer whereas carpet tiles squares can be installed with little to no skill.  Installation of carpet tiles has become so easy that manufacturers such as Milliken feature a sticky back tile that is a breeze to install.  Many other manufacturers offer sticky tape pads or something very similar to install the tiles in a residential setting.  This makes installing carpet in a room as easy as putting a puzzle together which can’t be said about broadloom.

Generally speaking, broadloom carpet is much cheaper than carpet tile squares due to the fact that broadloom is available at any large hardware retailer or at any mom and pop carpet store, which seem to be on every corner these days.  The shear fact that broadloom is everywhere, keeps the cost of the material low.  But carpet tiles, since inception, have decreased in cost overall closing the pricing gap that exists in the carpet market.   Much of this decrease is due to the fact that carpet tile are starting to become more prevalent in the market place and due to the many innovations that have made these tiles more efficient in material use and in design.  Most carpet tiles use more recycled material than broadloom and typically you will need less material to create the same effect, which could mean cost savings in the long run.

Another thing that has deterred the average consumer from purchasing carpet tiles has been the commercial look and feel many floor tiles have.  But over time, this has changed. Many carpet manufacturers have come out with residential lines that are not only more design friendly, but are plusher giving a more welcoming feel.  Many carpet tiles are not only used as flooring for a whole room, but are used as rugs that can be made truly unique.  The shear fact that you can create a floor that is particular to your space makes carpet tiles a perfect fit for someone looking to create a more individualistic look.  Whereas broadloom only offers you one pattern which in most instances is not very unique.

So as you can see, even though carpet tiles can be more costly than broadloom carpet, the fact that you can install the flooring yourself in a timely manner more than pays for itself.  Not only do you not have to hire an installer to put in the flooring but you can, in many instances, utilize the flooring immediately.  And with these floor carpet tiles having a low carbon footprint, you are not only helping out the environment today, but for tomorrow as well.  For more information about carpet tiles or if you would like to talk to an expert about your potential carpet project, please visit here.

Karastan Rugs and Carpets Receive Wool: Clean Air Certification

clean-air-woolKarastan has become the first company to carry the Wool: Clean Air Certified label on all of its wool carpets and rugs.

Products approved to carry the Wool: Clean Air Certified label are tested by a certified independent laboratory and must pass stringent VOC emission testing for 13 contaminants. In addition, the products are required to meet scientifically established testing standards that verify reductions of VOCs, including formaldehyde, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, in the indoor environment.

Wool: Clean Air Certified is an Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) program managed by Wools of New Zealand.

“Wool has incredible attributes that deserve to be recognized,” says Connie Berry, director of marketing for Karastan. “As the largest manufacturer of wool carpets and rugs in America, we applaud Wools of New Zealand for giving wool a greater voice. Solid scientific backing and high testing standards give the Wool: Clean Air Certified label impressive credibility that we are proud to carry on our products.”

The buildup of indoor air contaminants is a growing concern in residential as well as commercial interiors. Although many materials, including carpet, pass tests for minimum VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions, wool goes a giant step further by removing contaminants from the air and improving the health of the indoor environment.

“Wool is proven to significantly reduce indoor air contaminants within seven hours of installation and to keep contaminants out of the air for 30 years,” says Elise Demboski, executive director of North America for Wools of New Zealand. “Unfortunately, this unique attribute is overlooked since wool only represents 2 percent of the market. Through the Wool: Clean Air Certified program, we are bringing wool to the forefront where it will be noticed.”

In addition to meeting the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED point requirements, the certification also meets the standards for California Section 01350 and Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS).

Carpets and rugs containing a minimum of 50 percent wool are eligible for Wool: Clean Air certification. Product samples are submitted by platform, which is dependent upon backing and latex type. Every platform is fully retested on an annual basis to maintain the integrity of the Wool: Clean Air certification.

Published on: Tuesday, January 04, 2011 on www.talkfloor.com

Celebrity Floors

IS4086RF-00037423-001Celebrities looking for homes and flooring material generally fall into two categories. There are celebrities who focus on a high-style and expensive approach to their homes, and then the new breed of environmentally conscious celebrities such as Brad Pitt.

Style-focused celebrities look for hard-to-source flooring materials that and may need to be shipped from other countries. Equatorial hardwood floors such as Ebony or Brazilian Mahogany are well known high end floors. Natural stone floors such as Italian marble,  granite or limestone may be chosen for rooms prone to moisture. Handmade one-of-a-kind designer tiles are also options celebrities look for when choosing flooring suitable to their star status. Deep pile expensive handmade natural fiber carpeting is another flooring material used by celebrities.

Eco conscious celebrities look at more sustainable options for the flooring in their homes. They source material that is locally available that can be recycled and from a renewable resource. These celebrities look for rubber, cork or bamboo floors that look exotic yet are well known examples of green flooring materials. Sourcing floors locally is another way to help the environment.  The carpeting used by eco conscious celebrities is usually made from polyester that is spun from recycled PET bottles, or nylon carpeting that is continuously recyclable.

Flooring selected by celebrities varies depending on the style, taste and environmentally responsible attitudes of the individual celebrity!

Godfrey Hirst's Santorini Delivers Luxury, Fashion And Function

Santorini_FanShot-small

Godfrey Hirst Carpets USA, a Wools of New Zealand partner, is expanding its line of wool carpets with Santorini, a two-tone tufted loop pile style that carries the Wools of New Zealand brand for assured quality and performance. Introduced at Surfaces 2010, Santorini samples are now shipping to retailers across the country in time for the fall selling season.

A clean and crisp pattern, Santorini is given extra depth, uniqueness and versatility through the use of a solid yarn in combination with a stippled yarn, according Laurie Bray, Marketing Manager for Godfrey Hirst. Ten neutral colorways in earthtone combinations help form the nubby styles of this product offering.

Developed for residential environments, this classic berber is 12’ wide, in a 36 oz. construction that will provide functional luxury and understated fashion on residential floors and stairs.

For Atlanta-based Myers Carpet, Santorini is a welcome addition to its offering of Godfrey Hirst products, according to Chris Fonville. “Godfrey Hirst has been a great supplier for at least ten years,” Fonville says. “Santorini offers us an opportunity to sell our customers a good quality wool carpet in a great looking wool classic berber at a price that will certainly be welcomed by both the consumer and our sales staff.”

Myers Carpet has been in business for 50 years and in Atlanta for 24. Fonville adds, “We consider ourselves to be leaders in the southeast in natural fiber carpet. Branded Wools of New Zealand products give us a story to tell our customers, not only about the quality of the wool but also about the testing that guarantees performance. We explain the difference between Wools of New Zealand branded carpet and unbranded wool carpet. It’s important to us.”

For further information, please contact Godfrey Hirst Carpets at 800-480-7134 or visit their website at: www.godfreyhirstusa.com. If in Canada the website is: www.godfreyhirstcanada.com.

Wools of New Zealand Partners on Oil Spill Cleanup

woolsofnz-logoEvery little bit helps and when it comes to removing oil from water, wool has been shown to soak up 40 times its weight in oil, according to an online BBC News magazine article.

Wools of New Zealand put out a call that was answered by some of its U.S. carpet manufacturer partners to donate wool waste for use in the Gulf coast oil spill clean-up efforts. J. Mish, Woolshire, Woolen Resources and Creative Accents have all shipped wool waste material to Matter of Trust (matteroftrust.org), an organization that is warehousing the fiber and making them into booms.

“Wool is a highly efficient oil adsorbent (meaning the oil clings to the many tiny scales on every strand),” says Elise Demboski, executive director of Wools of New Zealand in North America. “It is natural, biodegradable, hydrophobic, buoyant and has large retaining capacity. This makes it much more effective for use in booms then typical polypropylene fillers,”

Wool has been called on before for this same purpose. As reported by BBC News,

New Zealand sent wool booms to the Persian Gulf during the first Iraq war in 1991. The wool booms successfully helped clean up the million tons of oil released by retreating Iraqi soldiers.

“I applaud our partners for donating their wool waste, which is typically sold or used to make recycled cushion,” shares Demboski. “Instead, they are shipping the wool, at their own expense, to warehouses in the Gulf of Mexico. The wool is joined by thousands of pounds of hair, fleece and feathers that will be turned into 25 miles of boom.

Wools of New Zealand partners are happy to help. “We didn’t think about it twice,” says Don Karlin, vice president of sales and marketing for J. Mish. “When Elise contacted us, we were able to ship 3,000 pounds of wool waste to the warehouse. This is a devastating situation and we want to help anyway we can.”

According to Lisa Gautier, president of Matter of Trust, the warehouses are now full and donations are being held until further notice. Matter of Trust volunteers are busy making booms that are being deployed in Florida and Alabama. Wools of New Zealand partners have been put on a call list and are standing by ready to help when there is a need for more wool.