All About Carpets Blog


June 15th, 2015

INSPECTION SAFARI: My New Wood Floors Are Scratched!

Image of Scratched Wood Flooring

Wood floors scratch. That is a fact of life. All wood floors are stained and then a protective finish is applied over the stain. Unfinished wood floors are stained after installation. Then the protective coat is applied. Once installed, factory finished wood floors are ready to use. While these finishes are hard, they are not scratch-proof. And you’ll notice the scratches more with darker colors and less with lighter colors.
I recently inspected a factory finished solid bamboo floor. The consumers, who had self-installed the wood in a hallway and bedroom, complained to the retailer that the walnut finish scratches too easily.
This older home was located in the dusty backcountry. The family sold turkey and chicken eggs from their front yard.
The couple had purchased and installed a light colored bamboo flooring for the living and family rooms a few years ago. They love the look of the hard surface. When they decided to replace the carpet in the hallway and bedroom, they discovered that this particular bamboo floor is no longer available. So after much searching, they decided to buy and install the dark wood floor that I was commissioned to examine.
I noticed many installation related problems, including the fact that they “floated” the floor rather than attaching it to the subfloor, as was required. However, none of the installation problems had anything to do with the scratching.
The floor was badly scratched through the finish in the bedroom near a dresser and the floor of the bed. The consumer stated that the dresser legs have felt pads to protect the floor. The bed rollers are a hard plastic. She further stated that they were “very careful” when they put the furniture back once the installation was finished so that they would not scratch the wood.
I took an uninstalled board out of a box to examine the finish. An improperly cured factory finish will peel off. Sometimes a thumbnail scraped across the board scratches it. Sometimes a plastic putty knife will damage the finish. Sometimes painters tape will pull off the finish. I was unable to scratch the finish of this board using any of these methods.
I noticed that the scratches went through the finish into the light colored wood below the stain. From the location and shapes of the scratches, it was obvious to me that soothing had been dragged across the floor. Careful observation made its apparent that the felt pads under the dresser were full of grit and sand. The plastic wheels on the bed were also damaged by grit.
It was obvious to me that there was nothing wrong with the finish of this solid bamboo floor. The type of deep scratching that I observed amounted to abuse. Any wood floor would scratch under similar conditions.
You must be especially careful to protect darker wood finishes against scratching. I have even seen toenails from a large, active dog badly scratch a dark wood floor.

October 9th, 2014

Carpet Care: How to Remove Halloween Carpet Stains

 

halloween pumpkins

I thought it’d be seasonally appropriate to provide some how-to help on removing Halloween carpet stains (e.g. fake blood, hard candy, makeup and more).

Here are some articles I found to help you keep your carpets clean this Halloween!

How to Remove Hard Candy from Carpet

How to Remove Candy, Makeup and Chocolate from Carpet

How to Clean Carpet Stains: Fake Blood, Pumpkin, Candle Wax and More

I hope you have a safe and festive holiday…and that you’re able to keep your carpets clean. Read the rest of this entry »

October 7th, 2014

How to Find and Hire a Certified Flooring Inspector

I belong to an association of flooring inspection professionals called N.I.C.F.I. or the National Institute of Certified Floorcovering Inspectors. I wanted to pass along some thoughts to you regarding this extraordinary group and its role in the flooring industry.

Like any industry, the people in the overall flooring business range from mediocre to excellent. Within this industry, there are several hundred flooring inspectors. I am here to tell you that the approximately 135 NICFI members are the best in their field.

In order to be a Certified Flooring Inspector, we must first have some type of flooring experience. Then, at our own expense, we are required to take multi-day, out-of-town classes sanctioned by one of several certification bodies and pass tests in whichever area of expertise interests us: carpet, laminate, wood, ceramic tile, resilient, or any combinations. After passing these in-depth tests, Read the rest of this entry »

October 2nd, 2014

Carpet Problems and Solutions: Carpet High Lines

carpet high lines | Glenn Revere

Carpeting is made using one of two methods: tufting or weaving. Almost all of the residential carpet sold today is made by tufting. Tufting machines are basically giant sewing machines. Instead of a single needle, 800-1,000 computer controlled needles stitch carpet yarns across a backing material to form the carpet. The needles are set to control the height of the carpet pile. Sometimes a single needle stitches a row of yarn that is too long. Cut pile carpets are carefully sheared after tufting in order to assure a smooth, even pile surface. Even so, a high row or high line can show up after a carpet is installed. If the high row is bent over and buried in the carpet pile, the line may take days or weeks to appear after the carpet has been repeatedly vacuumed. Tufting high lines always run lengthwise. Read the rest of this entry »

September 30th, 2014

How to Find the Best Vacuum Cleaner

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 Read the rest of this entry »

September 25th, 2014

Carpet Care: Is It Possible to Vacuum Too Much?

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. Read the rest of this entry »

September 23rd, 2014

Carpet Care: How Often Should I Vacuum?

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 Read the rest of this entry »

September 18th, 2014

Causes of Squeaky Laminate Flooring

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. Read the rest of this entry »

September 16th, 2014

Inspection Safari: A Bamboo Flooring Installation Gone Wrong

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!

Read the rest of this entry »

September 11th, 2014

Laminate Wood Flooring: Weirdest Flooring Inspection Ever!

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 Read the rest of this entry »