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Categories Tile

The Difference Between Ceramic and Porcelain Tile and the Best Uses for Each

When a person is looking to add new tile or replace old tile in their home there are many different types to choose from. The main two are ceramic and porcelain. One might ask, what are the major differences between the two types of tile? Is there a cost difference between the two? Is one more durable than the other? Is it easier to install one tile over the other?

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tile is actually a ceramic, but ceramic tile is not always porcelain. When they classify a ceramic tile “porcelain” it is because the tile meets certain criteria to be classified as porcelain or ceramic. One of the biggest qualifiers that determine porcelain is its water absorption rate, a ceramic tile that has an absorption rate of 0.5% or less. If the tile does not meet these criteria then it is considered ceramic. 

There is definitely a cost difference between the two tiles. If a person is on a budget then you might want to look for ceramic tiles instead of the higher quality porcelain. Be careful though because if you cut corners for cost savings now you might cost yourself more in the long run. In areas where there is going to be more moisture like the bathroom or kitchen, you might want to spend the extra to be safe down the road. 

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is not typically a tile you want to use outside for a couple of reasons. One reason is it is more susceptible to cracking due to weather changes. Partially because it absorbs more moisture and when the weather changes it expands and contracts to cause more stress on the tile. Also if a ceramic tile is chipped or damaged the color is different throughout the tile. Damage is more noticeable when comparing it to a damaged porcelain tile. When a porcelain tile is chipped the color is consistent throughout the entire tile. Therefore the damage is almost invisible.

Contact an Experienced Tile Company in Roswell

When you are installing ceramic or porcelain tiles it can be tricky to do if you don’t have the proper tools and knowledge of working with the product. Ceramic tiles are much easier to cut if you have little experience working with tiles. If you do happen to break a ceramic tile the cost is negligible compared to breaking a porcelain tile. A professional tile installer in Roswell should be used to put your porcelain tiles in, because of the difficulty cutting this tile. Porcelain is more brittle and can be damaged if cutting isn’t done correctly. Best to leave the cutting to the professionals. 

Categories Hardwood

Is Reclaimed Wood Right for your Home?

When looking for a new look for your home a popular option is going with reclaimed wood. People are going with this look for many different reasons. A few of them are: because it looks good, using reclaimed wood is more sustainable, reclaimed wood can be harder, and the uniqueness of the wood.

You can use reclaimed wood for every part of your home. You can use it for furniture, wall covering, ceilings, flooring and even accent art. How do you know if it will be the right look for you? There are many different places that you can go to get a virtual look at what the reclaimed wood would look like in your home.

What to Look For in Reclaimed Wood

Be careful when looking for reclaimed wood. If you source the wood yourself beware of mold, moisture, and bugs. Certain molds can be extremely dangerous for you and your families health. Especially if you already have a compromised respiratory system. Not all reclaimed wood is going to be dry, if you are truly going out and getting old reclaimed wood from its source then it has usually been exposed to the elements and is likely to have a higher moisture level. You can check this by purchasing a moisture meter at a local wood crafting store or some hardware stores. Also if your re-purposed wood has been in the elements then it has also been exposed to little critters too. The last thing you want to do is bring in little house guests (bugs). You never know what is hiding inside old wood.

Where to Get It

It might not be a bad idea to go to a local hardwood flooring store and see if they have any reclaimed wood that they have checked for all of these common problems. When they source their reclaimed wood they will usually kiln dry it and increase the temperature to make sure all tiny pests are eliminated. They can also check for pieces that are rotting and treat the rest of the wood so you won’t have to worry about future issues. A hardwood covering business also can install these pieces of reclaimed wood in a fraction of the time that you as a homeowner can. They will also know how to ensure that you get the best look, for the place in your home that you want to put your reclaimed wood. They can send out a professional designer and help you match your home with the look you are searching for. 

Work with a Local Hardwood Flooring Company

Using a local hardwood floor company ensures you get the best possible outcome. Ask about their experience with reclaimed wood. Also, ask them about the functionality of using it in your home. Your house may not be a good candidate for reclaimed wood.

Categories Hardwood

You Could Be Hurting Your Hardwood Flooring Without Realizing It

Hardwood floors look great and last for a very long time with minimal upkeep. However, some homeowners are attempting to maintain their hardwood floors in ways that actually might be damaging the floor. Here are a few common mistakes that you might be making with your hardwood floors. 

Not Sweeping Often Enough

Every time you walk in and out of your house, you track in small amounts of dirt. Dirt, sand, and other tiny abrasive materials are oftentimes harder than the wood itself. So, when you walk around on them, you’re dragging them across the surface of the wood. Much like sandpaper scrapes the wood, loose bits of dirt can do the same. Sweeping regularly will keep them from scratching your floor over time. 

Not Using The Hardwood Vacuuming Attachment

Your vacuum might have a bare floor setting, but that’s likely for tile and stone. It’s not designed for hardwood flooring. The beater bar that spins in your vacuum can actually scratch the floor’s finish and eventually, it will scratch the wood itself. If you want to vacuum your floor instead of sweeping it, buy a vacuum that has a hardwood flooring attachment. 

Mopping Too Much

Water is the biggest culprit in lasting damage to a hardwood floor. If you mop your floor as you would a tile or stone floor, you could be leaving way too much water on the floor. If you want to deep clean your floor with a mop, use a slightly damp mop, and then dry it up immediately. You can dry the floor with towels or with strong fans aimed across the surface of the floor. 

Hard Shoes

Hard-soled shoes can scratch your floor because they might be harder than the floor itself. High heels are the worst because they concentrate so much force on a tiny area. The shoe’s heel doesn’t even have to be harder than the wood to dent the wood because of the amount of weight applied across a tiny surface area. It’s best to wait until you’re out of the house to put on heels. 

Harsh Cleaners

Oil-based cleaning solutions can leave a film behind on your floor, which will make the floor look dull before its time. Acidic cleaners such as vinegar often react with the finish on your floors. It can eat away at polyurethane, making it thinner, spotty, and cloudy. Other harsh chemicals can stain the wood and eat away at the finish. Use a mild cleaner, and make sure you dry it completely.

Utilize a Trusted Hardwood Company in Marietta

Even if you do your best to avoid these things or if you’ve been doing these things for years and your floors are past the point of no return, you can trust the team at Ridgeline Floors to use their hardwood expertise to refinish and bring new life to your floors. Contact us today for your free quote.

Categories Uncategorized

Hardwood Pallets Are Perfect For Mudroom Floors

If you are looking for a unique floor for a mudroom or a laundry room, you might think that hardwood is not feasible. Hardwood floors are particularly susceptible to damage from moisture and dirt. Obviously, whatever you track in through a mudroom will likely have moisture and dirt. However, hardwood pallets could create the perfect, unique floor for a mudroom or a laundry room. Hardwood pallets are affordable, versatile, and incredibly resilient. 

Hardwood Pallets

Many pallets are made from softwood and designed for one-time use. However, certain industries use hardwood pallets. You can likely find hardwood pallets from a company that works with European suppliers. Hardwood pallets are commonly used for furniture shipments, motorcycle parts shipments, and car parts shipments. If you’re looking for pallets, there are websites and suppliers that will sell used ones. You also might be able to find ones at local stores. If you are sourcing them from local stores, make sure you ask them about their pallets. If they’re in a dumpster, they’re likely free but you should still ask before you pull things out of a dumpster you don’t own. If they’re stacked up behind the building, definitely ask. You might have to pay for them, but they’ll likely be cheaper than pallets from a retailer. 

Dismantle the Pallets

You can dismantle pallets in one of two ways; you can pull the nails out, or you can cut them apart. If you want to preserve as much wood as possible, you’ll need to pull each nail out of the pallet before using it as flooring. If you want to be quick about it, cut them into planks and discard the parts with nails in them. 

Making Your Floor

Since you’re making a hardwood floor for a mudroom, you won’t need as much preparation as you might for a living space. If you already have a plywood subfloor, you just need to line up your pallet planks to cover the floor. Nail them down with a hammer or a nail gun. A sink on a nail gun will press the head of the nail below the surface of the wood. A punch and a hammer will also do the same thing. 

Contact an Experienced Flooring Company in Alpharetta

Once you’ve got them nailed down, you’re done. Pallets are rough-hewn which means that they’ll be somewhat rough on the surface. That could be perfect for a mudroom since that will help scrape dirt off your shoes before you get to the rest of the house. If you want a smoother finish, sand them down with medium-grit sandpaper. Leaving them unfinished should suffice for a mudroom or a laundry room.

Categories Hardwood

Do I Need to Wax My Harwood Floor?

Hardwood floors don’t require very much maintenance. With some sweeping or vacuuming, they can look great and perform great for years. However, from time to time, you’ll need to do a little more upkeep. Over time, the floor can start to look dull, cloudy, and dented. Floors look cloudy because of hundreds of tiny scratches. Sliding furniture, pet claws, and hard-soled shoes can scratch the finish. That will eventually make the floor look faded. Floors can look dull if the finish coat on them starts to wear away. Dents arise from heavy furniture, hard shoes, and pet claws as well. 

If you have a hardwood floor, you’ve likely seen hardwood flooring wax and considered if you need it. Hardwood wax is not for all kinds of floors, though. 

Which Floors?

Most floors now are finished with a layer of polyurethane. You should never put hardwood floor wax on a polyurethane floor. That can make the floor slippery, cloudy, and can complicate the process of reapplying the polyurethane. For polyurethane floors, you’ll likely use a floor polish. Obviously, you should pick one that is designed for polyurethaned floors. That’s because wax provides a coat that sits on top of the wood, which is the same thing that polyurethane is. 

You should wax floors that have been treated with penetrating seals such as oil, shellac, lacquer, or varnish. These finishes penetrate the pores of the wood. So, they’ll also need something on top of the wood to keep it protected. Also, you can wax an unfinished floor. 

What Does It Do?

Wax forms a waterproof seal on top of your floor, which will increase its resistance to staining. It will also decrease the likelihood that moisture will seep into the wood, which can cause buckling and cupping. 

Wax will also hide some of the minor scuffs and scratches. These superficial blemishes are noticeable because they don’t reflect light as much as the unblemished wood. A layer of wax will help them blend better with the unblemished wood. 

Wax also protects the stain and the finish on the wood itself. Stains and oils can wear away due to UV light and through daily use. Providing a physical barrier between your feet and the oil will help the oil last longer. 

Contact an Experienced Hardwood Floor Company in Roswell

Lastly, wax can look great. A clear coat of wax will provide a glossy topcoat on your floor. You can also choose a colored wax, most of which are available in colors of natural wood. That will deepen and enhance the look of your floor. Sometimes, however, the wax just won’t do the job and you’ll need the help of a refinishing company, that’s where we come in. Contact us today for a free quote!

Categories Hardwood

Skinny Plank Flooring Is Trending

For the past few years, wide plank hardwood flooring has been trending. It’s been popular with many different homeowners and only growing in popularity. However, it’s now being challenged by its polar opposite: skinny plank. Wide plank flooring is typically defined by planks that are over six inches wide. Four to six inches is about the standard plank width. Now, many homeowners are choosing to go with skinny planks. Skinny planks are usually two to four inches wide. Why would they be choosing this width? 

Durability

Hardwood flooring is susceptible to damage from moisture. When the wood itself absorbs moisture, the edges tend to curl up. That is known as cupping. When the floor bends asymmetrically, it’s known as buckling. Lastly, a floor can also bulge, which is when the center rises higher than the edges. All of these can be caused by moisture. The rigidity of the wood will resist this distortion. Much as longer boards are weakest in the middle, wider boards are also weakest in the middle. So, a wider plank hardwood floor is more susceptible to distortion from moisture. If you want to avoid that, you could choose skinny planks. 

They’re especially popular in basement apartments and attic lofts. Basements and attics experience the widest range of humidity and temperature swings. Skinny planks could be ideal for those applications. 

Aesthetics

Some people just like the way skinny planks look. Paradoxically, they achieve something of a similar effect to wide planks. Wide planks create a more unified look to the floor because they have fewer lines. Skinny planks have so many lines that it creates a unified look. The busy look of the floor sort of blends together into one canvas. 

Installation

Installation of a skinny plank hardwood floor will likely take longer than a standard width or a wide plank floor. Each plank has to be nailed down. So, if you need to cover 120 inches of floor width with planks that are two inches wide, you’ll need 60 planks. You would only need maybe ten planks of a wide floor. That’s six times as much nailing. However, they can be simpler to install in rooms that are not easy rectangles. If the room has several tight corners or an odd shape, it’s easier to cut skinny planks to fit against the wall. Each plank will need to be cut much less to accomodate for odd shapes. 

Categories Uncategorized

How Engineered Hardwood Flooring Is Engineered

There are two basic kinds of hardwood flooring, engineered and solid. Solid hardwood flooring is just solid planks of wood. Engineered hardwood, however, is made from multiple layers of wood that are pressed together. Engineered hardwood has some advantages over solid hardwood. They stem from the way it is manufactured. Here is how engineered hardwood is engineered.

Layers

Engineered hardwood is typically made from three to twelve different layers of wood. The middle layers are typically made of a cheap hardwood or a soft plywood. These inner core layers are basically filler layers that add thickness to the planks without adding much weight or expense. They also have the tongue and groove system cut along the edges of the boards. The top layer of the wood is usually the thickest individual layer; this is the hardwood layer that has the actual hardwood that you want to buy. The veneer layer is visible on top of the wood.

The very bottom layer is often a vapor layer. The vapor layer is waterproof or absorbent, depending on the type of engineered plank. The layer will prevent moisture from seeping into the wood.

All of these layers are typically cross-layered, which means that they are laid in such a way that the grains are perpendicular to one another. That creates a stronger plank. The layers are glued together and then pressed in a machine.

Finally, the wood is stained and sealed at the factory. Typically, engineered hardwood is prefinished; that means that the company that produces it uses a UV-cured finish that is baked onto the wood.

Advantages

Engineered hardwood flooring has three distinct advantages. For one, it is very quick to install. You do not need to stain or finish engineered hardwood. It’s already stained and finished; you just need to lay it. Secondly, engineered hardwood is resistant to warping. It does not absorb moisture as easily as solid hardwood. That means that it will resist cupping even in humid environments. Finally, engineered hardwood doesn’t need a subfloor. It can be installed as a floating floor. Each individual plank connects to the ones around it but they’re not nailed down Engineered hardwood is available in just about every type of hardwood. You can often find hard-to-find hardwoods as engineered planks since much less of the wood is required. Only the veneer layer will be in the rare hardwood.  All of these factors make engineered hardwood a solid choice.

Categories Uncategorized

How Engineered Hardwood Flooring Is Engineered

There are two basic kinds of hardwood flooring, engineered and solid. Solid hardwood flooring is just solid planks of wood. Engineered hardwood, however, is made from multiple layers of wood that are pressed together. Engineered hardwood has some advantages over solid hardwood. They stem from the way it is manufactured. Here is how engineered hardwood is engineered.

Layers

Engineered hardwood is typically made from three to twelve different layers of wood. The middle layers are typically made of a cheap hardwood or a soft plywood. These inner core layers are basically filler layers that add thickness to the planks without adding much weight or expense. They also have the tongue and groove system cut along the edges of the boards. The top layer of the wood is usually the thickest individual layer; this is the hardwood layer that has the actual hardwood that you want to buy. The veneer layer is visible on top of the wood.

The very bottom layer is often a vapor layer. The vapor layer is waterproof or absorbent, depending on the type of engineered plank. The layer will prevent moisture from seeping into the wood.

All of these layers are typically cross-layered, which means that they are laid in such a way that the grains are perpendicular to one another. That creates a stronger plank. The layers are glued together and then pressed in a machine.

Finally, the wood is stained and sealed at the factory. Typically, engineered hardwood is prefinished; that means that the company that produces it uses a UV-cured finish that is baked onto the wood.

Advantages

Engineered hardwood flooring has three distinct advantages. For one, it is very quick to install. You do not need to stain or finish engineered hardwood. It’s already stained and finished; you just need to lay it. Secondly, engineered hardwood is resistant to warping. It does not absorb moisture as easily as solid hardwood. That means that it will resist cupping even in humid environments. Finally, engineered hardwood doesn’t need a subfloor. It can be installed as a floating floor. Each individual plank connects to the ones around it but they’re not nailed down Engineered hardwood is available in just about every type of hardwood. You can often find hard-to-find hardwoods as engineered planks since much less of the wood is required. Only the veneer layer will be in the rare hardwood.  All of these factors make engineered hardwood a solid choice.

Categories Hardwood

Hardwood Flooring Planks Are Getting Wider and Wider

For a very long time, hardwood flooring planks were all about the same. They were between three and six inches wide, they were about 12 inches long, and they were finished with a semi-gloss polyurethane. Current trends are changing all of that. If you have been browsing social media or hardwood flooring suppliers, you’ve likely noticed that hardwood flooring planks are trending wider and wider. Most suppliers offer what they called a “wide plank.” The definition of a wide plank differs based on the manufacturer, but typically, anything over six inches is considered wide plank. Ten inches is a pretty common width but 18 inches is not unheard of. The trend has historical roots as well as practical purposes.

 

Historical Roots

 In the second half of the 20th century, most hardwood was sourced from far away. It was transported by ship or by truck and then machined in a factory. That meant that you could pick basically any hardwood from anywhere in the world that you could afford. Before that era, homeowners had to source their hardwood from nearby. Hardwood flooring typically came from no further than a few days on a train. Sometimes, trees within walking distance were felled. That greatly limited the options.

On top of that, the trees had to be felled and milled by hand. Cutting two six-inch wide planks takes about twice as much work as cutting one 12-inch plank. So, crafters would cut the planks about as wide as each individual tree trunk would allow. That reduced the amount of work that had to be done. It also limited the amount of time spent installing them. For those reasons, many old homes have wide hardwood flooring planks.

 

Practical Reasons

 In addition to the historical reasons for wide-plank hardwood flooring, there are practical reasons. Wide hardwood flooring planks will mean that each room has fewer planks. The reduced number of planks reduces the seams in the floor; that means that smaller rooms will look larger. The seams of multiple planks and the changing grain from one plank to the next creates visual noise. That subtly makes a room look more cluttered. A more seamless appearance can reduce that effect.

Wider planks have fewer places where moisture can creep around and under the floor as well. That makes wide planks ideal for bathrooms, entryways, and kitchens. Anywhere that might regularly get wet could be a good candidate for a wide plank floor.

Categories Uncategorized

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) in Commercial Spaces

Commercial flooring takes a beating…at least the business owners hope they do. That means lots and lots of foot traffic moving through their storefronts, showrooms and office spaces daily. If you consider the old saying, “you only get one chance to make a first impression”, it’s imperative that your floors always look great.

There are many choices available when it comes to selecting a commercial floor covering. Regardless of your choice, the new floor must be attractive, durable and affordable. Luxury Vinyl Tile, or LVT, is becoming more popular with commercial applications for exactly these three reasons.

LVT is Attractive

LVT can be made to look like ceramic, stone or even wood floors, depending on what you’re looking for. The product looks incredibly natural featuring surface textures that even feel like the natural surface you might expect on the original product material. LVT provides a “warmth” previously unseen in commercial spaces.

Luxury Vinyl Tile is Durable

Using luxury vinyl products cuts down on your maintenance costs. These floors don’t scratch or experience water damage like real wood, while still giving the perception of authenticity associated with hardwood. It’s not uncommon to see vinyl floors now in major shopping centers, hospitals and office buildings.

And Don’t Forget About Affordable!

Nothing will ever look and feel like real hardwood. However, when considering the use in a commercial space, spending 2 to 3 times more for hardwood versus LVT is hard to ignore. The savings you realize by using a vinyl product can go toward other aspects of your business, or you can take that much needed vacation! Regardless how you use the savings, it’s undeniable that LVT is a far more cost-effective way to cover a large area of flooring.

Interested in LVT installation in Roswell or Alpharetta? Contact Ridgeline Floors today and we’ll provide you a free consultation and answer any questions you may have.

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