Friday, 27 July 2012

Stacked Stone

For Fireplaces & Feature Walls

Are you looking for a way to add "pop" or a touch of class to a room?  Do you have an outdated fireplace or would you like to build a new fireplace into a feature wall, but are unsure how to finish it?  We have a simple solution for you.  "Stacked Stone Panels".  

These panels are usually made of natural stone like quartzite or slate.  Those are installed similar to the process of  installing wall tile, and usually do not require grouting, therefore are not recommended for wet areas.  In most cases, with the proper preparation, they can go over existing tile or brick.  They are beautiful and reasonably priced.  There are several colours, styles and name brands to choose from.

There are others that are similar to a tile, and are ceramic or porcelain.  Some can be installed in dry areas without grout, or with grout in wet areas:

So, if you are looking for a great way to add value, warmth and comfort to your home, try some stone or stone looking panels.   

Friday, 13 July 2012

Friday's Fabulous Flooring Feature #3

Carpet and Health

Carpet Health Facts that will surprise you!

Fact: Carpet keeps allergens from becoming airborne.

Carpet keeps allergen-causing substances from becoming airborne by holding these substances tightly.  This minimises their level in the breathing zone.  This means less exposure potential.  The airborne allergens fall to the carpet, and the carpet acts like a filter to hold them until you vacuum, thereby refreshing the filter-like properties of the carpet to allow more material to be removed from the air.  Vacuuming carpet once or twice a week removes allergens, including dust mite feces - a known source of allergen. In order to minimise re-suspending allergens it is important to use a vacuum cleaner or central system with a HEPA filter.

The proof:

Dr. Alan Luedtke conducted a study, & created this review: Carpet and Airborne Allergens, A Literature Review.  This review refers to his study results, aimed at determining the effect of routine vacuuming.  The findings indicate frequent vacuum cleaning, even for a short period of time, significantly reduces house dust and mite allergen levels in carpets.  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studies prove the effectiveness of carpet in reducing airborne particles.

Fact: There is no link between carpet usage and the incidence of asthma or allergies.

 Recent studies show there is no link between the increase in asthma or allergies and carpet usage.  

The Proof:

 Scientists at the Swedish Institute of Fibre and Polymer Research conducted a 10 year study.  They found that while the use of carpet in Sweden had steadily decreased since 1975, the occurrences of allergic reactions in the general population had greatly increased.

Fact: Mould can occur on any surface.

 Mould growth can occur on any surface when moisture is present, and is not properly maintained. Mould exists ONLY where there is excess moisture and dirt, coupled with poor cleaning and maintenance habits.   Repairing water leaks, and controlling humidity can greatly offset the potential for mould to grow.

The Proof:

HOST/Racine Industries conducted a study where six Florida schools were checked for indoor air problems triggered by high humidity and reduced ventilation.  The cause of the mould growing in the schools was determined to be dirty ducts combined with  plumbing leaks onto ceiling tiles, thus releasing millions of spores into the air.  The research showed that mould is not associated with a particular surface such as carpet.

Fact: Formaldehyde is not used in the production of new carpet.

Formaldehyde is not used in the carpet manufacturing process; it is therefore not emitted from new carpet.

The Proof:

An  published article  in the American Textile Chemist and Colourists Journal in 1989, stated that research conducted by the School of Textile Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, under Dr. Wayne Tincher and other researchers, dispelled this widely-held myth.

Fact: Latex used in carpet is synthetic.

The latex that holds the fibres and backing together in carpet is synthetic.  Synthetic latex is not associated with the allergic reactions to natural latex, which are caused by the proteins found in natural latex.

The Proof:

The materials found in carpet is made primarily of the same innocuous materials found in clothing and other everyday fabrics, including polypropylene and nylon.

Fact: Carpet does not present a risk of indoor air quality (IAQ) problems.

The results of an extensive toxicological assessment of components and emissions from carpet concluded that the chemicals in carpet “present no health risks of public health concern.” Regular vacuuming can remove allergens in carpet.
Did you know that most new interior furnishings and building materials emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for a period of time? New carpet VOCs dissipate within 48 hours or less with good ventilation.  These emissions are among the lowest of any household’s indoor furnishings.  Choosing CCI Green Label approved carpet will also minimise other IAQ concerns.  This can also help when selecting household products and furnishings.

The Proof:

The Study:  "Safety Assessment of Components of and Emissions from Carpets".  The Institute conducting the study: Environ Corporation of Arlington, Virginia, in 1994.  The conclusion:  There is no reason to believe that the chemicals found in carpet present any health risk of public concern. 

Friday, 6 July 2012

Friday's Fabulous Flooring Feature #2


Are you trying to go green?  Is choosing an environmentally friendly floor important to you?  If your answer is yes to either of these questions, then Marmoleum is your answer.  

Not many people know that Marmoleum is the original marbleised linoleum floor product and has been around for over 150 years!

Marmoleum is great for commercial applications, as well as residential applications.  
It is available in:
sheet form:

tile form:

click tiles:

and comes complete with some fun borders & corners to choose.

Marmoleum is made with all natural ingredients:  
  • Wood Flour:  from timber grown in controlled forests, where every tree felled is replaced
  • Linseed Oil: which comes from flax seeds 
  • Pine rosins:  (pine pitch or gum) which is mixed with the linseed oil for flexibility
  • Jute fibres:  woven for the backing
  • Cork:  for the backing of the "click" version
The adhesives used to install Marmoleum are environmentally friendly, and contain no solvents and meet low VOC requirements.

Marmoleum has a natural anti-static property so dust mites and dirt will not stick to it, and bacteria will not grow on it.  

The recommended regular maintenance and cleaning, after the floor finish has been applied, consists of sweeping, dust mopping, and vacuuming.  For tougher stains we have an environmentally friendly Marmoleum cleaner, that you can dispose of down the drain without worry.  

So if you are looking for that environmentally friendly floor, with fabulous fun ideas, check out Forbo Marmoleum at Superior Tile.  2-218 Industrial Park Cres.,  Sault Ste. Marie, ON.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Selling Your Home?

Are you planning on selling your home in the near future?  If so, there are some upgrades you can do to help it to sell faster.

Did you know upgrading your floor coverings with quality floorings, will help resale value, as well as make for a quicker sale?  If the flooring is fresh and new, and of decent quality, most buyers will not change it, and they are happy that they don't have to.  If your flooring is tired, dated or worn out, all that potential buyers see is work and more money.  First time home buyers are on limited budgets, and they really want to move in without spending too much.    Buyers can also see when you have "cheaped out", so be careful.  Choose a floor that suits your house, and neighbourhood without breaking the bank.  Choose something that is medium priced for that product.  If you know that you are selling in the near future, don't pick the cheapest, and don't pick the most expensive floor covering.  

It is important to choose neutral tones of greys or beige, to go with many type of decor.  Trendy colours can date your house, and potentially make it harder to sell.  Remember, you can never go wrong with hardwood, and tile.  Just try to not make it too personal, and be sure it is easy to maintain. 

Shop around.  A knowledgeable sales staff means they have lots of experience, they believe in the products they sell, and would probably put the products in their homes.  Ask questions, lots of questions.  

  • Who makes this?  
  • What type of material is it made from? 
  • Where is it made? 
  • How long does it take to come in when I place my order?  
  • What is the guarantee?  
  • Can you give me a written contract/quote for an install?  
  • How long have you been in business?   
  • "Which product would you, or do you have in your house?"  
  • Do you have experienced installers?  (Remember, the most experienced installers probably work at a flooring establishment.)  
  • Do you guarantee your installation? 
  • How long will it be for an installation?  (Also remember, if someone is available tomorrow to install, and someone else is booking 2 months in advance, ask yourself why are they so slow, and they so busy?  hmmmmm) -

 Take your time.  Start shopping 3-4 months in advance so you can research and so you don't rush into something you will regret.  It will also allow for possible backorders, which could mean an extra week or 2, and you can have a couple of more months to put more money aside for the project.  

So, if a house sale is in your future, it pays to spend a few thousand dollars now, to make your sale go much quicker.  A slow sale, just means you are loosing money every month.  Good luck with your sale!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Friday's Fabulous Flooring Feature #1

There are so many choices of flooring products out there, we thought we would help make the choice easier by featuring a flooring product or name brand every Friday.  

Todays Feature:  Duraceramic By Congoleum

Duraceramic is a Limestone composite resilient tile with a Congoleum vinyl type of surface.  It is Scotchguarded for extra protection against spills and stains.  

There are many styles to choose from, including marble looks, polished concrete, slate, stone, woods and many more.  
It has an excellent Lifelong Limited Warranty, guaranteeing that it will not wear out, will be free of manufacturing defects, will not fade, and will not stain.

Duraceramic is a DIY'er's dream.  It is easy to install, and the only tools you need are a straight edge, and a utility knife.  Be sure to purchase the "installation kit", it just helps to make your life so much easier.  

Some of the FEATURES of Duraceramic are:  
~It is warmer than tile, due to the Congoleum surface
~It is thinner than tile so the transition in between different flooring products, and under doorways is less.  This is also an advantage if you have limited space above a fridge, or under a dishwasher.
~It is very durable - Take note that the sub floor must have no movement, and be reinforced if necessary
~It can be installed with grout for a real tile look, or without grout for that seamless look
~It can be a floating floor
~Can be installed on, above, or below grade

They have a GREAT website to choose your style, and there is a "Room Designer" on the site where you can choose your floor, with different grout colours, or no grout, choose your paint colours, choose your cabinet colour, save your designs, and you can even upload a picture of your space to customise.
 Go check it out

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Tile Countertops

Welcome to our first post!

We have so much information to share, so I will just get to it.

Are you thinking about making a tile countertop?  Todays beautiful porcelain tiles can be easily mistaken for natural stone.  They can look so much like marble and granite that even experts can be fooled.

The advantages of choosing porcelain are: 
1.)  Unlike natural stones, porcelain tiles are not porous and do not require sealing
2.)  Many of these tiles come in several sizes: 
~ usually they are available in a large 12"x24" size, which is perfect for countertops. 
This means less grout, and a modern large tile format;
~ 12"x12" tiles are convenient and easy to handle

So, how do we finish the edges of a tile countertop so it looks professional?
Answer:  Schluter Systems!

Schluter is a company that makes all of the trim pieces that you will ever need for tile.

Schluter Rondec Step

There are 2 variations of the "Rondec Step":  
One is a solid metal edging, with the metal of your choice: 
Chrome, Brushed Chrome, Satin Nickel, Brushed Nickel, Satin Copper, Satin Brass, Brushed Brass, Oil Rubbed Bronze.
The other choice is available in the same finish choices, but has a slot to insert the tile on the fascia part of the edging. You can use the same tile as the counter top, or choose a complementary tile. 

There are inside and outside corners available to make perfect corners.

So, weather you prefer a porcelain or a natural stone, a small tile or a large tile, the trim pieces are the most important parts of the whole look of the finished job.