Archive for March, 2014

Carpet vs Wood Flooring: 6 Deciding Factors

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

50/50 photo of carpet and wood flooring

So you’ve decided to finally replace the floors in your home. Congratulations! Now, how do you decide if you want carpet, wood, or some of each? Both types of flooring have their pros and cons.

First, you have to understand the differences between solid wood and engineered wood flooring. (Laminate is a completely different type of floor.)

Solid wood is, as its name implies, a solid piece of one species of wood cut from a tree, usually 3/4” thick and 2”- 3” wide. It has been used in homes as flooring for hundreds of years. It is most often stained and sealed after it is installed in your home.

Engineered wood is a piece of plywood with (more…)

Carpet Buying Guide: All About Wool Carpet

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

sheep

Wool, used in rugs for centuries, is the only natural fiber used in wall to wall carpeting today. The sheep whose wool is used for carpet fiber are special breeds. The characteristics of their wool are different than wool used in clothing. Wool is scarce and therefore expensive. Many retailers don’t show wool carpet samples because it is beyond the budget for many people. It is common to see wool blended with other fibers, such as nylon or acrylic. This way, you still get the characteristics of a wool carpet but (more…)

Carpet Buying Guide: Know the Difference Between Carpet Fibers

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

wool carpet

As everyone knows, there is a lot to talk about when it comes to carpeting: usage, fibers, styles, patterns, etc.

Carpeting is used everywhere we live and work. You’ll find it in most homes, from the most basic cottage to glamorous homes regularly used to entertain many guests. You also see carpet throughout high-rise office buildings, convention centers, airports, and other large commercial installations. This article will focus on residential carpeting. Commercial applications are a separate story.

Carpeting brings quiet and warmth to any setting. Because it is an absorptive fabric, carpet reduces sound levels and makes a noisy room more quiet. Carpet also acts as insulation. It helps keep rooms warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. So carpeted floors are good in any climate. (more…)

How to Fix Carpet Holes from Weak Tuft Bind

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

When carpet yarns are tufted into the primary backing, they must be adhered to the backing or they will easily pull out. The tufts are glued to the backing with an adhesive compound using latex rubber as a binder. The general term for this compound is “latex.” Weak tuft bind results from improper application of the latex or a mis-formulation of the latex compound. The latex is applied using a roller the width of the carpet. Once the latex is applied, the carpet goes through an oven to cure the latex. Sometimes the roller that applies the latex to the primary backing puts on too thin a coat or skips an area and doesn’t apply any at all. Eventually, the tufts in these weak areas work loose and holes appear in the face of the carpet. (more…)

Know the Difference Between Wood Flooring Types

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

photo of wood flooring

Before I became a Certified Flooring Inspector, I did not realize that there are two types of wood flooring: solid wood and engineered wood floors. (Laminate is a hard surface type of flooring, but is not considered wood.)

Both types of wood flooring have certain things in common. Both can only be installed in an enclosed, temperature controlled environment. While wood flooring is not a living thing, it is (more…)

Carpet Defects: All About Carpet Cornrowing

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

With cornrowing, cut pile carpet lays down in irregular rows 1⁄2 to 2 inches apart. This is a severe type of texture change. Most people think it is ugly. Cornrowing always runs across the traffic flow, but it even happens in little-used rooms that are only vacuumed. You’ll sometimes see it when a door drags across the carpet pile. It usually happens with longer piles, more than 5⁄8 inch, and softer, fine denier yarns, especially low-density carpets with low gauge and stitch rates.

Despite years of research and testing, no one has figured out why some carpets cornrow and others don’t. It is generally agreed that because (more…)

Carpet Problems: Carpet Sprouts and Snags

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

carpet yarn sprout | carpet expert Glenn Revere

Carpet sprouts and snags are tufts that have worked themselves up so that they are higher than the surrounding pile.

Snags are face yarns, cut or loop, that have been pulled from the backing by something in the home. Snags are more common with loop piles. Vacuum cleaners with sharp corners or broken parts, pets, protruding nails from shoe heels, chair legs, and children can all pull out tufts and cause snags. Single snags should be clipped flush with (more…)

Inspection Safari: A Laminate Flooring Installation Gone Wrong

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

laminate flooring installation | carpet expert Glenn Revere

When you have a new floor installed in your home, whether carpet, wood, or laminate, you expect that floor to lay flat for as long as you keep the floor. But, sometimes floors will buckle or lift in spite of your expectations. Buckling, also called tenting or bridging, is always installation related.

I recently inspected a buckled laminate floor at the homeowners request that could be the poster child for improper installation.

There are general guidelines for installing laminate flooring. Each manufacturer varies the guidelines according to what will create the best installation for their product. The important thing is to read the installation requirements. They are always included in the box with the flooring. In fact, the instructions are the first thing you’ll see when you open the box.

In this case, the homeowner hired an installer from a newspaper ad. He did not ask the installer for references, either. Here’s what happened.

First, some background regarding laminate installations. (more…)