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Archives: August 2015

I claim to reclaim!

Added on August 28, 2015 by admin

    In 1887, a young, 23 year old, married man, bought a plot of land in Northern Georgia. He and his 20 year old pregnant wife set out to establish their home, and the man began the process of building what ends up becoming a beautiful, two story home. Next, he built a barn to house the grain, cattle, and crops they grew on their acre of property. Wanting to keep their animals free to roam, the headstrong husband built a fence around the border of their property. As he built their property, the couple built their family. They had three wonderful children., and one by one, they all married and moved to establish their own families the same way their parents did. As time passes and the couple slowly aged, the the work load became too much for them to bear, and the once seemingly impervious husband, fell off the roof of the barn he had built. Overwhelmed and unable to hire a farm hand, the wife who became a widow couldn't keep up with the demands of farming, caring for the animals, cleaning her empty two story home, and keeping up with the maintenance issues that the barn and house had. Old and alone, this unfortunate woman had to make a difficult choice: was she to let the bank take the home she's had so many fond memories in? Should she struggle bring the aging property back to life and risk her own health? Or does she move in with her oldest son and daughter in law? As tears ran down her face, she decided to begin packing up as much as she could; heirlooms, pictures, china plates that belonged to her mother; everything she could. Then, in a flash, the house was empty. Decades passed. Weeds and bushes surrounding this once gem of a home grew uncontrollably, and each structure continued to be worn away. Eventually, the house was accidentally discovered. The hiker who stumbled across it made a few phone calls, and the property that was once a diamond in the rough, had a purpose again.

    If this story were real, the wood used to make the home, the barn, and the fence would be recycled and used to make a reclaimed wood floor. Some may say that a piece of history is being destroyed, but let me ask a question: would you rather that a 100 year old, abandoned home be torn down and the remnants be turned into mulch? Or would you rather have a piece of history be shared with another family? That is, in essence, what happens when a reclaimed floor is manufactured. You might see the nail holes that were made when one particular piece of wood you're walking on was used to build a beam in someone's factory; or if the floor was made from wine barrels, you might see the name of the bottling company on one of the wood planks. Each piece of wood tells it's own story, making the floor that each plank combines to create, truly unique. This isn't tree bulldozing and factory manufacturing. It's restoring a painting. You might be able to copy the picture of that painting and put it anywhere you want, but it takes time and care to restore something to it's original beauty. In a similar way, reclaimed wood floors will have the characteristics of what it was originally used for, and they will be restored to their original beauty.  I'm not "green fanatic," but to me, this sounds like a great idea.

    While this process may not be the final answer to the world's pollution problems, re-using materials that have already been harvested definitely helps. If we can recycle paper, plastic, and glass, we can recycle wood. I would like to pose a question, however: who in the world had the idea to break down and re-use wood homes and barns to make a flooring product? I mean honestly, who saw an old barn and thought to themselves, "Now that would look just perfect if it were on my floor at home,"? Whoever it was must have to love their craft and be an expert in the flooring or recycling industry; not to mention have a fantastic group of people working with them to help accomplish that fantastic feat, no matter what industry they are in.

   After all is said and done, the choice, as always, is up to you. Wall to Wall isn't a company that forces anything down anyone's throat, let alone the idea of recycling; but we do recycle here. The carpet and padding we remove from our customers homes is given to a company that recycles them; utilizing their materials and transforming them into other products, instead of letting them sit in a landfill. So if you're looking for "green" material, look no further; and if you're not, we have the right material for you too. Located in Altamonte Springs, we're here to help you get what you're looking for; so stop into Wall to Wall Flooring Specialists, Inc, "Your one stop flooring center."

 

"Who wants a (back) splash?"

Added on August 21, 2015 by admin

    If you remember centuries back into the 60's, you might recall a trend that started to take America by storm; the back splash. While I'm not old enough to remember who made the first one or where the idea came from, I do know this: back splashes are making waves in people's homes all over the country, and throughout the world. Why would such a thing be so popular? I can honestly say with great assurance, I can ask somebody....

    Just because I live in a certain level of ignorance to the reason for a particular item's popularity, doesn't mean that I have nothing to say on the matter; in fact, it's just the opposite. Back splashes are a nice touch to any home. Whether you have a standard mosaic or a funky design, back splashes can help give off the feel that you're looking for in your home; bringing everything together to the last detail. While the name itself gives the definition of what a back splash really is and how it should be used, don't underestimate the appeal these can have on even an already up-beat home. A "splash" of color in the background of it's setting, back splashes are selling like hotcakes. You can consider a yellow tie on a grey suit a back splash, or white wall tires on an 1960's corvette. Back splashes just add to the appeal of something by giving off a little character. 

    Primarily found in kitchens and used as borders in bathroom showers, back splashes help to create a unique feel to any home they are installed in. There are different companies that produce quality products, and while many products are similar, there are enough options to choose from, that even picky people will have a hard time sorting through them. There are variations between natural stone and glass, natural stone with glass and stainless steel (which is my favorite), all stone mosaics, colored glass mosaics, subway tiles, subway tiles with beveled edge back splashes, brick back splashes (these would look great in a rustic, country style kitchen), and many more to choose from. When did back splashes start making waves? I couldn't tell you; but they are popular, they are going to be around for a while, and we have a variety to choose from.

    When it comes to an intense project like a kitchen or bathroom renovation, most rarely want to add anything new into the mix; and when somebody does start to mention an addition, the first thing that I think of is, "Great. How much is this going to cost me?" While a not unreasonable reaction, it may be a bit narrow minded. Think about it, how often do you re-tile your bathroom, or replace old cabinets? It happens only a very few times in our lives; and thankfully so; but if you're spending the money more an overhaul like a kitchen or bathroom, back splashes aren't going to break the bank, and they'll look beautiful.

    Lastly, I'd just like to say that if you've already got a bathroom you love, leave it alone. If you have a kitchen that is perfect the way it is, don't try to fix what isn't broken; but if you think that there's room for more, give Wall to Wall a call. We'll work with you to the best of our ability. We'll show you what we have, let you look around, and if we can help you in your search for that missing piece in your home, we will. So swing into our showroom and take a look around. Wall to Wall, "Your one stop flooring center."

 

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."

 

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