If you have an active home with children or pets, you understand the struggle to keep your home, especially your floors, clean and in good condition. When considering new flooring, you may also be concerned about how safe your flooring will be for your family and pets. Let's take a look at some floor coverings that are all around child and pet-friendly.
When you have children, accidents happen. With rough-housing or running through the house, someone is bound to take a spill. Carpet is obviously an excellent choice for fall protection, but keeping carpet clean around children and pets can be a hassle. One trait that can help with this is choosing a carpet that is speckled, making it harder to see stains. Also, lighter neutrals like beiges and grays, rather than darker colors, will show more stains and spots.
If you’re looking for superior stain protection, an excellent carpet is Mohawk’s SmartStrand. SmartStrand Forever Clean has permanent, built-in “Nanoloc” stain and soil protection that won’t wear or wash off. It also features a zero percent moisture absorption rate to reduce odors and an exclusive All Pet Protection Warranty. SmartStrand is made from the only renewable carpet fiber, certified free of harmful substances, with exceptional durability and luxurious softness.
Dream Weaver also has a carpet line that is perfect for family homes. PureColor carpet features solution-dyed fiber, meaning the color penetrates all the way through the fibers so it won't fade, wear off, or stain. Dream Weaver’s PureColor also has built in soil and stain protection that is applied on the inside and outside of the fibers.
For hard surface flooring, many people are passing up wood for LVT or WPC products like COREtec from US Floors and SolidTech from Mohawk. While wood floors are often hard to maintain with pets and active families, this is no problem for LVT and WPC products. Wood and stone looks are available in a variety of shades and color patterns that are not only beautiful and realistic, but also very durable. They’re scratch and stain resistant and stand up to spills and moisture, allowing them to be installed in wet areas without any worry of damage. COREtec Plus has an attached cork backing that makes it quieter and warmer. SolidTech also has styles available with a premium urethane backing for sound, mold, and mildew resistance. With SolidTech’s “Uniclic MultiFit” technology, the floor planks lock together, creating a surface impenetrable by liquids, thus keeping moisture on the surface for easy cleanup.
Don’t let your lifestyle limit your flooring choices. With today’s advances in technology, it’s easier than ever to achieve the look and function you desire from your floors.
Contrary to popular belief, any kind of stone, ceramic, or porcelain tile isn’t waterproof, and neither is grout or mortar. If tile is installed in an area with heavy moisture, like the shower, it can take in moisture and develop mold and mildew. This is one reason why you can't install tile directly on your shower form. You need a shower bed. Let’s look at the traditional mud bed versus the Schluter Shower System.
Mud beds have been used for a long time, and they have some pros and cons. With the mud bed method, you can build your shower any size you want, but installation can be complicated and requires a lot more materials than Schluter shower kits. Cement board is generally used as backing and is relatively heavy and often harder to install. When forming the shower bed, a slope toward the shower drain must be made. If your installer doesn’t form the slope well enough, you can have issues like water collection and leakage, leading to mold and even rotting.
Schluter shower kits completely waterproof your space and are much simpler to install. The Schluter System uses Kerdi, a thin polyurethane sheet that's bonded between two sheets of polyester fleece, known as backing. Kerdi is much lighter and easier to handle when installing than cement board backing. The best thing about Kerdi is that when water soaks through your tile and mortar, it hits the Kerdi backing and slides right down to the drain. This keeps water from building up and causing mold and damage. With the Schluter System, you can customize your shower to any size with the Kerdi-Shower St fabricated foam tray. This tray has its own slope, leaving little room for installer error.
While the Schluter Shower System is more expensive than the mud bed method, it’s less expensive than replacing your shower in a few years because of water damage. Using the Schluter System will protect your investment and keep your bathroom beautiful.
Hardwood is a classic flooring choice. It rose in popularity in the 19th century and has since grown and evolved into many stylish colors, widths and finishes. When considering hardwood flooring for your home, you have two choices: Solid wood or engineered. So, what’s the difference?
For starters, solid hardwood comes in 3/4- inch thick planks of your chosen species. It can be bought factory-finished or unfinished; either way, it can be safely sanded and refinished up to three times. A couple of advantages to selecting unfinished wood are that it can be stained to match other wood in your home (such as kitchen cabinets or trim), and the sanding process makes it possible to achieve a true, square-edge profile.
Unfortunately, your solid hardwood is still a tree and is greatly affected by moisture. If you live in an area with high humidity or large temperature changes, you may run into some issues. Wood planks will expand and contract causing gaps in the joints when humidity is low and swelling or possibly “cupping” when humidity is high or the floor has been exposed to moisture. Cupping occurs when the planks expand, and the joints point upward because of lack of space. It’s usually easy to tell if your floor is cupping, but you can also run your foot horizontally across the planks and feel it. With solid hardwood, gaps and cupping are more likely when the width of the planks gets over 2 1/4 inches.
Engineered hardwood is much better equipped to handle moisture. With the cross-ply design, the effects of swelling are almost nonexistent. This is how it works: on top, you have the species or “wood wear layer” (such as oak, maple, etc.), then under that are several layers of wood stacked with each layer’s graining in the opposite direction of the layers above or below it. This layered design means that no one layer can grow or shrink too much in any direction because when they expand, they’re basically pushing in on each other, helping to keep their original size.
The cross-ply effect also allows you to have the wider planks that are in style right now, with little to no risk of cupping. Where solid hardwood can be installed only on or above grade, engineered hardwood can handle certain amounts of moisture from the subfloor and can be installed anywhere in the house—on, above or below grade, on concrete or plywood subfloors with glue, staples, or even by floating.
Ultimately, you need to choose the wood that you love and that works in your space. At Ted’s Abbey Carpet and Floor, our trained flooring consultants and installers will make sure you’re happy with your flooring for the life of your home!