Archive for September, 2014

How to Find the Best Vacuum Cleaner

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

There are a lot of variables to selecting the “right” vacuum. You can’t buy a vacuum based on price alone. So, how do you find a vacuum that works well with your carpet?

The independent Carpet and Rug Institute tests all types of vacuums. The CRI does not accept money from vacuum manufacturers. Their only aim is to independently help you find the correct vacuum for your needs. You can go to their home page at www.carpet-rug.org. Then click on Residential Customers, then Cleaning and Maintenance, then Seal of Approval Products, and select Vacuums. The Institute has a long list of approved, efficient machines with links to the manufacturers’ websites.

In general, the Institute has found that upright vacuums outperform tank-type or canisters, even when (more…)

Carpet Care: Is It Possible to Vacuum Too Much?

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Q: Is it possible to vacuum too much?

Answer: I’m often asked if a carpet can be vacuumed too much. Today’s synthetic fabrics are made to be vacuumed. Many maintain their appearance only by vacuuming. Normally, most vacuums work well with most kinds of fabrics, but some heavy duty machines teamed with delicate fibers such as wool or soft, fine nylon can cause problems. Strong motors and stiff brushes can distort cut-pile patterns and make Berber-type looped fabrics look fuzzy or stringy. A vacuum brush that is soft to medium in stiffness is the safest for most carpets. If your vacuum has adjustable brushes, it is also better to set the brushes higher rather than lower. You should feel little resistance against the carpet when you vacuum. Some manufacturers suggest that it is better for the brushes to barely touch the pile. This prevents you from beating the carpet to death. (more…)

Carpet Care: How Often Should I Vacuum?

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

I often get asked by clients and friends: How often should I vacuum? Well, here’s the answer.

It is recommended that under average household conditions (four people, one pet), a carpet should be vacuumed at least twice a week — once lightly, once thoroughly.

A light vacuuming means two to three forward and back overlapping passes of the machine in each of the high-traffic areas, with one pass in the low traffic areas.

Regular vacuuming is probably the single most helpful thing a person can do to (more…)

Causes of Squeaky Laminate Flooring

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Several months ago, I blogged about a squeaky laminate installation. Numerous in-home and installation errors had caused the floating floor to squeak and snap when walked upon.

I recently inspected a squeaking floating laminate floor. The installers had returned after the initial installation because the homeowner complained about all the noise. They pulled up the new floor and floated (leveled) the concrete slab underneath. When they reinstalled the laminate, they made sure the expansion gaps between the walls and the laminate were to specifications. But the floor still squeaked, so I was called out to see what was wrong. (more…)

Inspection Safari: A Bamboo Flooring Installation Gone Wrong

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

As an independent, certified flooring inspector, I am commissioned by various parties to look at flooring complaints. Manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and consumers all call me in regards to flooring problems. Many of the “industry” calls are for “routine” inspections. When a consumer calls me, I know the inspection will be anything but routine.

On today’s Flooring Inspection Safari, I take you to a family’s newly remodeled second floor condominium. The family had updated it in advance of the birth of their first child. They wanted to complete all the work, including new engineered bamboo flooring throughout their home, before the baby came home. Sometimes things just don’t go according to plan!

(more…)

Laminate Wood Flooring: Weirdest Flooring Inspection Ever!

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

hardwoord flooring box | carpet expert Glenn Revere

I’ve been inspecting flooring for a long time — 40 years! — and I thought I’d seen it all. Or at least, most everything. But this particular inspection really took the cake.

I’d been contacted by a major manufacturer to look at some of their wood flooring. The complaint was “floor falling apart”. There was a note attached that said they couldn’t find any warranty information for this product, sold and installed in 2005. They sent me their inspection form for wood/engineered wood flooring.

I made an appointment with the homeowner to inspect this complaint. When I arrived, I asked to see the “defective” wood floor. Mr. X said, “You are standing on it!” When I looked down, I saw a laminate floor.

Now, a lot of people think a laminate floor is the same thing as a wood floor. But they are made from completely different materials and (more…)

DIY Laminate Flooring Installation Dangers: Plank Gaps

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

laminate flooring installation plank gaps

Many of you enjoy doing things DIY (Do It Yourself). You have as much fun in a hardware store as some people have in a shoe department. And for those who truly enjoy DIY, the flooring industry has many ways for you to have fun. One of the most poplar segments is installing your own “floating” floors. You buy the tools you need, read the instructions that come with the flooring, and have a good old time. But wait, there’s more. There’s more you need to know that might not be included in the flooring installation instructions, that is.

When you buy a particular product, you’ll have no idea what kind of installation instructions are inside the box. Some manufacturers include instructions that are barely more than pictographs. They are a “universal” language meant to be used in multiple countries with diverse languages. You follow pictures, not words. Needless to say, some things always get lost in “translation.” (more…)

Carpet Installation Tip: Always Hire Certified Flooring Installers

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Like any other craft, carpet installers’ skills vary widely. Installers learn their craft by starting as apprentices with a crew. An apprentice might only take up the old carpet and carry tools at first, but slowly learns by watching the others perform their jobs. In this way, the apprentice learns to become an installer.

But hold on! What if the apprentice learns bad installation techniques?

The apprentice doesn’t know any difference between bad and good installations. I have seen apprentices learn from installers who have been doing things the wrong way for thirty years. How do you know that the crew who shows up to install your carpet (after you worked so hard to haul out the furniture!) knows what they’re doing? How do you know that the head of your installation crew wasn’t yesterday’s apprentice? (Note: A lot of retailers hire the lowest bidder and don’t even bother to check the finished job — until there’s a complaint!)

The answer is: always hire a (more…)

Cleaning Laminate Floors Without Streaks

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

laminate flooring streaks | Glenn Revere

Every new product — whether it is a computer, ceiling fan, toaster, or flooring — has certain care and maintenance requirements. Manufacturers always include a “care guide” with their warranty information. When you buy new flooring — laminate, carpet, vinyl, wood, stone, or tile — read and follow these instructions. If you don’t, your new flooring won’t look its best or last as long as it should. And ignoring the care guide could void your warranty! This sounds simple, but often the care guidelines are not followed. (more…)