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Linoleum Vs. Luxury Vinyl

Added on August 14, 2015 by admin

    Have you seen it? Where has it gone? Why is it missing? Will we ever see it again?  I'm talking of course, about linoleum flooring. While flooring remodels are really moving these days, the use of linoleum seems to be a fading flooring option. It can still be found if searched for, and is being used in a few unexpected (and some expected) places, but luxury vinyl flooring is taking it's place very quickly.

    While linoleum is made of natural ingredients such as linseed oil, tree resin, wood, cork, and limestone, vinyl flooring is made of PVC resin, plasticizers (which is just a fancy way of saying liquids or gases that are used to increase a materials ability to be formed), and a few other materials that are dull to read about and boring to explain. While both products are man-made, one is made combining natural material and the other made using man made material. Which is better? That is solely a matter of opinion; however what I can tell you is this: linoleum is getting harder and harder to find in retail stores, and luxury vinyl products are flooding the market, and there are a few good reasons for that fact. 

    Most places that I find linoleum being used in are apartment complexes, commercial buildings, and new homes; which is funny to me since linoleum is a pretty difficult material to find for the average shopper. Luxury Vinyl, however, is being used in just about every setting, and can be found easily. Luxury Vinyl is being used in hospitals due to the ease of sanitation and comfort, in gymnasiums due to it's durability, in kitchens and bathrooms due to it's water resistance and design options, in commercial buildings due to it's resilience and competitive pricing, and is being used in any room in any home due to all of the above mentioned characteristics. Luxury Vinyl is taking floors all over America by storm.

    Before you think I'm making linoleum out to be the bad guy, there are some pro's and con's to linoleum that you should know. The first positive characteristic to linoleum is that it's durable. Play area's or high traffic area's, commercial building's; these are all good places for linoleum. Second, linoleum can be made to look like just about any other flooring material. Third, it's easy to clean. Fourth, it's affordable. Fifth, linoleum is fairly comfortable to walk on. Sixth, it's water and spill resistant. Lastly, linoleum can be installed fairly easily if you're looking to install it yourself. Unfortunately, there are a few discrepancies to these advantages. 

    First, as durable as linoleum is, if it tears in any given spot, the entire floor space that sheet covers must be replaced. Second, linoleum can be made to look like any other flooring material; the only thing is that no matter how close the picture looks to real hardwood floors or stone tiles, linoleum will still look like linoleum. Cleaning linoleum is simple, so there is  no draw back concerning that aspect; all you really need is hot water, and mild dish soap that doesn't have a lot of chemicals that can damage the floor. If you want to be more environmentally friendly, use white or apple cider vinegar and hot water. Next, although linoleum is affordable, there are other products on the market that are cost effective as well; also, while linoleum is comfy, have you ever actually walked on a luxury vinyl product? It's got to be one of the softest materials I've ever stepped foot on. Lastly, while linoleum is waterproof, it will still eventually begin to peel off the floor when installed in a bathroom, just because of repeated exposure to steam. Linoleum isn't a bad product, it's just not a great one either. 

    Luxury vinyl isn't a perfect flooring material, but it is perfect for a lot of people. First, luxury vinyl is extremely durable. While you might not want to install it in an ice skating rink, it's a durable flooring option that can withstand heavy traffic, and is good for not only residential purposes, but for commercial use as well. Second, luxury vinyl can be made to look like most flooring materials available; and the difference between luxury vinyl and linoleum is this aspect is that luxury vinyl, really does look just like the product it's made to look like. It's hard to tell the difference between real stone tile and luxury vinyl engineered to mimic stone tile without walking on them both (and the best part is; luxury vinyl is softer!). Next, luxury vinyl is as easy to clean as linoleum; use a neutral floor cleaner, a damp mop, and have at it; it's simple and painless. Finally, luxury vinyl is completely waterproof. Water will not damage it. Water won't get in-between any cracks and destroy your sub-floor when properly installed by our team; your floors won't peel off of the floor due to steam from a shower. When you're having luxury vinyl, you can put it almost anywhere. The only place I would deter you from is outside where the sun can discolor it. Again, this is not a flawless material; we just like it a lot.

    In fairness, there are a few con's. First, it's not as cheap as linoleum; but cheap is rarely ever the best solution for a long term flooring issue. Depending on the manufacturer and the wear layer, prices will vary; however, when you pay a little more, you get what you pay for. Karndean, Free Form, and Anderson are just a few manufacturers that have beautiful products. Second, you'll need furniture pads to make sure that when you're moving furniture, you don't gouge or lift the tile.  While this may not happen at all, (a tile popping up is supremely easy to fix, by the way) it's better to be safe than sorry. Even if you don't have or want luxury vinyl, furniture pads are always a good idea. Lastly, have a good day, because there are no more con's.

    If you're looking for linoleum, we can help you find it. If you're looking for luxury vinyl, we have it! So whatever you motivation or flooring desire, make the stop into, "Your one stop flooring center;" you'll be glad you did. 

 

Tile just got a whole lot bigger

Added on August 11, 2015 by admin

    Let's face it, what's modern today will be boring tomorrow, and what's boring tomorrow will be vintage soon after. Trends are always revolving; but there is one trend flooding the market that I think is going to stick around for a long time. It seems like the smallest idea that ends up making a big difference; it's simply big tiles. Not impressed? Keep reading and you might become interested.

    Average tile size in most homes in the U.S. are 12 x 12; and while that was the standard for years, too much tile can make even an open space seem cluttered, and consumers across the country have noticed. In today's market, you'll find tile in 12 x 24, 16 x 16, 18 x 18, 20 x 20, and even 24 x 24 inch measurements; leaving the average 12 x 12 shrinking in the background. 

    If you have the decreasingly average 12 x 12 tile flooring, you might have noticed how busy your floors may seem, even if they are simple, beautiful, and clean. This is due to the fact that the more tile you have in any given room, the more grout lines that room will have. The more grout lines a room has, the more enclosed that room will seem. In short, you will have a nice size room that seems a little small; and by today's demand for more open spaces, tile companies are beginning to produce tile collections that will help create that open space feel. That open space concept is the main drive for flooring companies to produce large tiles; the other benefits are just perks. However, you might not way to put a massive tile in a small laundry room or tiny bathroom; it won't look proportional; so be conscious of where you want these tiles installed. Also, beware of using a contrasting grout color. It will make the room you're having tile installed in look like a live in checkerboard.

    An additional way to encourage that open space appearance is to have tile installed in a diamond pattern. This will encourage that open feeling as you walk down a hall that will seem longer, as it opens into a great room that seems more spacious; due to not only the size of each tile, but also due to the angle that each tile lays. There is another caution I would like to bring up; if you're looking to visually enlarge your space with large floor tiles, you need to find a collection that has very little pattern to it. If there is too much pattern on the tile collection you've chosen, these visual effects you're trying to accomplish won't work. 

    The last benefit of having large tiles in your home that I'd like to point out, is that large floor tiles are easier to clean. There aren't as many joints (which are only the spaces between each tile) to fill with grout, leaving less grout lines to clean. This creates more of an even flow all around the room. I would stress to not compromise your floor's structural integrity by asking for small grout lines with large tiles. This will only cause cracked tiles and will be a waste of money. Also, since we're talking about cleanliness,you should know that Wall to Wall installers only use Laticrete Permacolor Stain Free Grout. This is a grout which is made with Microban, a product that prevents the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew, eliminating the major causes odors and stains. In short, having larger floor tiles; particularly installed by Wall to Wall; will not only look cleaner for a longer period of time due to less grout lines, but will stay cleaner longer because the grout we use won't let bacteria grow in your home, or stain your floors.

    After all is said and done, preferring large or small floor tiles is solely a matter of preference. It doesn't matter what I like, because everyone has their own opinion; and while I may have a floor that I love, my visiting family may not think the same way. The point I'm getting to is, if you're getting new flooring, make sure what you pick out is something that you like. So take a break out of your day, and swing into, "Your one stop flooring center."

 

Southern Hospitality

Added on July 30, 2015 by admin

    I've been thinking about character lately. Does Wall to Wall have any? What does it look like if we do? Who says we do, and why can you trust their word? SHOULD you trust their word? How can you, or anyone for that matter, trust a testimonial by a complete stranger? Well, just like the first time you took your first steps as a child, you just have to start to move forward; staggering legs and all.  

    Wall to Wall Flooring Specialists, Inc. is a company that's been in business for almost 13 years now. Our owners are flooring installers that worked in this industry for DECADES before they ever thought of entering into their own operation. We have the knowledge and experience you need to make your flooring renovation possible.  Once hidden in Apopka, now we're located in a bright space that's easy to spot from the road; and that in itself should tell you a little about us. We've been doing business with excellence and customer satisfaction to the point that we've been able to move to an ideal location, right off of West State Road 436 in Altamonte Springs, just a mile and a half East of I-4.

    We have a larger warehouse now; which means we can buy more product in bulk, at a lower cost, and cut our prices to the purchasing public. We now offer kitchen and bathroom renovations now. We're doing more flooring demolition projects through our sister company, Wall to Wall Flooring Removal and Rental Services. We've been thriving; and because of that, we're in the process of putting in place one more addition in showroom that will help solidify Wall to Wall in our surrounding communities. Find out what that is in the next few weeks!

    Now, I understand that just because we have a bigger space doesn't make us any better than any other flooring company out there. We strive to do things right at Wall to Wall, even if that means taking a loss just to save our integrity. I've seen this firsthand here. Our owners are men of their word; and that's something that's hard to find. If you wonder where Southern hospitality went in this state, swing in and talk to somebody; you'll find it here at Wall to Wall. We treat our customers the way that we would want to be treated, simply because that's who we are; so expect good things when you walk through our front doors. 

    Like every other small business owner, we need to make a profit, "...if you don't work, you don't eat;'' however, what I've noticed that is unlike other small businesses, we won't bash our competition. There are other good flooring companies out there; but there's only one Wall to Wall Flooring Specialists, Inc. We lower our prices to generate business, not raise them to make a quick buck; and doing business like that, for as long as we've been open, has gone a long way for us. We strive to generate a good reputation that will keep our doors open, customers happy, and contractors working; and we've been blessed in doing so.

    So if you're ever in the market for a flooring renovation, keep us in mind. We'd love to help you love your home, from Wall to Wall. 

 

Armstrong in the Vinyl game...

Added on July 24, 2015 by admin

    Since I've worked in the flooring industry, I've been able to notice different flooring company's strong points. Mirage makes a great hardwood product that is hard to beat. Mohawk is really moving to the forefront of the carpet industry with their revolutionary Smartstrand Forever Clean product. Happy Floors has several fantastic collections of full body porcelain tiles; and now Armstrong is putting in place a pretty impressive luxury vinyl product.
 
    I've written on Luxury Vinyl before, so I'll quickly review about the qualities of luxury vinyl products. First, luxury vinyl is 100% waterproof. Once fitted together, luxury vinyl doesn't let any water get through the cracks, simply because there are no cracks for any water to seep through. Second, luxury vinyl is extremely durable. It's soft enough to be comfortable, and can absorb a dumbbell being dropped on it without being permanently damaged. Third, it's hands down the easiest flooring product in the world to install. If you don't believe it, ask any flooring installer to see for yourself. Lastly, whether you want to install it yourself or have us do it for you, it's one of the least expensive flooring products to install. Armstrong's line of luxury vinyl has all of these characteristics, but it has a few more that make their product stand out.
 
    We sell a lot of luxury vinyl here at Wall to Wall. People love it, so we supply it; yet in all the vinyl fever, Armstrong has seemed to present a product that stands out. While most luxury vinyl floors are only perimeter glued and loose laid on the floor, Armstrong's luxury vinyl products are peel and stick; meaning you peel off the back of each piece, and stick it to the floor; so you don't need a trowel or perimeter glue. Some people will love this, and some people will shy away because they don't want to peel up one piece repeatedly if they make a mistake during installation; however, Armstrong's peel and stick loose lay luxury vinyl is made to be pulled up and put back in place repeatedly, if need be. The only factor that can really effect this product is whether the floor it's being laid on is clean or not. Sweep, mop, swiffer; whatever works for you; just make sure that the surface area the vinyl is being laid on is clean before install.
 
    The other factor that has made Armstrong's luxury vinyl stand out to me are the different styles they have. Like everyone, I have my own flooring preferences. I don't like too many options, and I don't care for designs that are too "busy," but this stuff looks fantastic. The styles are much different than what I've seen from other vinyl manufacturers, and even though every brand will have it's own particular selling point, this is a strong one for Armstrong; their product is stunning. Browsing images of their products online may give you an idea of their styles, but it just won't do them justice; and while I can tell you about my favorites all day long (like their Countryside Oak Gunstock that looks too real to believe, or their Concrete Structure Gotham City that has all the right color combinations for a modern space), unless you come in and see these products for yourself, you're not going to believe how great, or how real, a vinyl product can really look.
 
    Whether you're in the area or not, you're going to want to see these products. They're durable, beautiful, practical, and can go in just about any room you want; so don't put off your flooring project until you have some extra time; make the time for what's important. Let us help you get the ball rolling. Swing into, "Your one stop flooring center," today.

 

Love that new carpet smell...

Added on July 8, 2015 by admin

    A few months ago, I wrote about Mohawk Smartstrand Forever Clean Carpet. It's one of the best carpet's on today's market, and the facts to back that claim up are pretty solid. It's for this reason that, for the sake of this blog, assume that all the carpet mentioned is a Mohawk product.

    Have you ever entered a home with newly laid carpet? I wasn't lying in the title of this blog: I really do love that new carpet smell. It's just pleasant. You know that smell as soon as you enter a room where it's been laid; and as much as I love that smell, I love the FEEL of new carpet as well. It just feels good underfoot; soft and as cool as the temperature in your home, you can even take a nap on it and not be bothered. If you have Mohawk's memory foam underlying pad, it feels even better. Not only do you get the feel of Mohawks plush carpet underfoot, you have the chance to feel like your feet are walking on clouds every day. 

    Here at Wall to Wall, we stock several different Carpet Brands; Shaw, Beaulieu of America, Dixie Home, and Marshland to name a few, and most are making a product engineered the same way Mohawk's Smartstrand Forever Clean is, and they're doing a pretty great job; still, Mohawk seems to be taking the lead in the carpet industry. Their carpet has fantastic warranties, affordability, and stain resistance properties that have become revolutionary. Mohawk means business, and so do we. That's why we stock 6 colors of Mohawk's Smartstrand Forever Clean Carpet. It's hard to find a great deal on a great product, yet we offer just that, right here in Altamonte Springs.

    In our showroom, we are always selling hardwood, tile, carpet, laminate, vinyl, and even cork flooring. They are great products at great prices; and every flooring product has it's pro's and con's, but sometimes carpet is overlooked. We all go through a period where we want a "fresh" look. The fact is, after the current hardwood flooring trends have passed from "trendy" to "outdated," and tile has gone from "classic" to "antique,"  carpet will be the one constant lining the halls and bedrooms of newly constructed homes. 

    If your family is made up of a baby that's learning to walk, and a spouse who tends to drop things, chances are, tile is not for you. You might want to think about carpet. If you have a dog that likes to use the bathroom indoors, laminate probably isn't for you. If you really need a new floor and can't decide on the tile that looks like wood or the fashionable wood that new buyers may hate if you want to sell your home down the road, don't underestimate a good, soft carpet. 

    Our stock Mohawk Smartstrand Forever Clean is durable, plush, stain RESISTANT (that's right; not even bleach can discolor it. If you don't believe me, check out some videos on youtube.com and see for yourself!), it cleans 3x more efficiently than standard carpet, won't matt as easily as standard carpet, has 4 lifetime warranties, 3, 25 year warranties and is an affordable alternative to polyester or nylon carpets that won't last half as long. Mohawk Smartstrand Forever Clean is a product that is hard to beat; and it's for these reasons that it's our stock, go to carpet.

    When the store closes and our customers have gone home, you're the ones that have to be happy with the product that we provide. So check your options. Ask yourself what's going to be practical for your everyday life. Find something that you like. When you've done all that, swing into, "Your one stop flooring center."

 

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