Bona Deep Clean System

Bona
We want to help you keep your floor looking great. You don’t want have your floor refinished every year, you want to refinish your floor every 3-6 years. To help maintain your floor so that it looks great longer between refinishes, we recommend using the Bona Deep Clean System and the Bona Pro Series. The Bona Pro Series has many different products to help you maintain your hardwood and the finish so they look new for years to come.

Bona 2
Hardwood Floor Mop
The Hardwood Floor Mop takes easy cleaning to the next level. It combines Bona’s high quality, no residue cleaner with a durable, premium spray mop and washable Microfiber Pads. It is quick and easy, safe for hardwood and has a durable, ergonomic design.
Hardwood Floor Care Kit
If you don’t want to get the Hardwood Floor Mop, a good substitute is the Hardwood Floor Care Kit. It is a regular mop, not the spray mop. It still combines the Hardwood Floor Cleaner with the Washable Microfiber Pads, is quick and easy and is safe for your hardwood floor.
Microfiber Pads
There are three different Microfiber Pads to be used with either the Hardwood Floor Map or the Hardwood Floor Care Kit. Each type of Microfiber Pad is machine washable and reusable over 300 times. They are made of special microfiber materials that will not scratch your floors. The first is the Microfiber Cleaning Pad, which his used with the Hardwood Floor Cleaner. It offers superior cleaning performance and no dulling residue. The second is the Microfiber Applicator Pad, which is used with the Hardwood Refresher. It offers easy application and a professional, durable finish. The third is the Microfiber Dusting Pad, which creates an electrostatic charge that attracts and traps dust, pollen, pet hair, and other allergens.
Hardwood Floor Cleaner
The Hardwood Floor Cleaner is a professional strength, non-toxic, waterborne cleaner that is formulated for all types of hardwood floors coated with a clear, unwaxed, polyurethane finish. This cleaner is environmentally friendly and it leaves no residue and will not dull your floors finish. It is pH neutral and non-flammable. Follow the instructions on the bottle to best use this product.
Hardwood Floor Refresher
The Hardwood Floor Refresher provides a clear, highly durable gloss to polyurethane finished wood floors that are dull, worn, scratched, or show signs of wear. This Refresher is a non-toxic, waterborne formula restores the beauty of your wood floors, leaves no build-up and is recoatable. To use, remove all furniture, rugs, etc…from your hardwood floor. Then follow the instructions on the bottle to make your floors look brand new in between refinishes.
Natural Oil Floor Cleaner System
The Natural Oil Floor Cleaner System is for your natural penetrating oiled floors, not on polyurethane treated floors. The Natural Oil Floor Cleaner System uses the Natural Oil Floor Cleaner, which is specially formulated for use on hardwood floors treated with a penetrating oil. It is pH neutral, nonflammable, non-toxic and biodegradable. To apply the Natural Oil Floor Cleaner, you can use the Hardwood Floor Mop or Floor Care Kit.
The Bona Deep Clean System is a great system to keep your floors looking great with very little work on your part. All it takes is regularly, quick maintenance each day by sweeping or dusting your floors and then regular cleaning with the Hardwood Floor or Natural Oil Floor Cleaners. If you have any questions about how to use these products or where to purchase them, please feel free to call or email us and we will answer all of your questions.

*Pictures courtesy of www.bona.com

Carpet Fiber Comparison

Patterned Carpet

Patterned Carpet

Carpets come in many different fibers and styles. Knowing what kind of use and traffic your carpet will be receiving determines the type of fiber you will want. Carpet has four main fibers: Nylon, PET Polyester, Triexta, and Polypropylene (Olefin). Other fibers are available depending on the manufacturer, such as Wool, Acrylic, Cotton, and Rayon. We will focus on the four main fibers in today’s article and see the pros and cons of each fiber.
Nylon: $$$
Nylon is a very versatile fabric; it can be used to create a variety of carpet styles (cuts), colors and textures. Nylon has excellent flexibility and can be cut and colored in a way that appeals to anyone. Nylon is a very resilient fiber, durable in high traffic areas, and resistant to abrasion, crushing, dirt and mildew. A con of Nylon is that it is not inherently resistant to static and stains. Nylon has to get stain-resist and static-resist treatments and it is recommended to have the carpet professionally cleaned every 18 months, to ensure the carpet treatments haven’t degraded.
PET Polyester: $$
PET Polyester is best used in low to medium traffic areas. Polyester is a little more susceptible to crushing and abrasion. If the Polyester is properly twisted and tufted, it becomes a much stronger carpet. Polyester is exceptionally soft and absorbs color very well, providing very good color clarity. Colors in Polyester are more vivid and long-lasting than in other fibers. Polyester is naturally stain resistant and have a higher stain resistance than other fibers. It is non-allergenic and it sheds moisture and resists moths and mildew. A con of Polyester is that if it isn’t constructed properly, it becomes more susceptible to pilling, shedding, and oil-based stains.
Triexta Polyester: $$$
Triexta is a stronger polyester than the PET Polyester. It has better colorfastness and clean-ability features than the PET Polyester as well. Triexta has natural stain resistance for most stains. Oil-based stains will be harder to remove than other stains. Triexta is especially durable when it is made in a shag construction, competing with Nylon in resisting crushing and abrasions. A con of Triexta is the silk version of Triexta is difficult to vacuum with older style vacuums that have rotating brushes that are not adjustable. When considering Triexta, be sure to ask your carpet dealer how it will react to your vacuum.
Polypropylene (Olefin): $
Polypropylene or Olefin is one of the most affordable carpet fibers available, it is a relatively inexpensive fiber. Polypropylene is best used in low to medium traffic areas. Polypropylene is naturally stain resistant and it goes through a solution dyeing process to build in the color. This process makes the color inherent to the fiber, which means that it will not fade, even when exposed to sunlight, bleaches, harsh chemicals or elements, etc… A con of Polypropylene is it is highly susceptible to crushing and abrasion unless it is in low loops.
Each of the carpet fibers comes with their perks and drawbacks. It all depends on where you are wanting the carpet and what it is being used for. Give us a call for your free in-home consultation and we will help you choose the right carpet for your needs.

Extending Carpet life

Extending Carpet life

-Choose a good pad

-Use doormats in and outside of exterior door/garage (removes excess debris.  Course rug out side, finer rug inside.

-Vacuum regularly-removes debris before getting caked into the carpet.

-Maintain your vacuum-better suctions when bag is less than half full (bagless, empty by half full.  Make sure brushes are soft, if not, replace them-they will pull at the carpet fibers.

-Steam clean yearly, more with pets and children-don’t wait for carpet to be visibly soiled. once oils from everyday life settles, it attracts dirt.  Once the dirt settles on the oils, a vacuum cannot pick them up.  Helps with crushing and matting as well.  If you wait until you can see it, the damage is done, so do regularly.

-Retreat carpet with stain and soil resistant products-carpets that come with it will wear off.  Have reapplied to help with stair and soil resistance.

-Removes spots quickly!-the longer it sits the more damage it does.

-Rotate furniture to give carpet a rest- move furniture, change traffic pattern, helps with crushing the piles. Use protectors under legs to distribute weight

-Protect when moving furniture-cardboard, plywood, moving discs, gliders,

-Reduce periods of direct sunlight (blinds and window treatments, avoid long hours or prolonged periods of direct sunlight.  Lighter color in sunnier rooms)

Caring for Berber

Caring for Berber

berber

The unique look and style of Berber carpets is what attracted you to them.  But did you know that because of those traits, your cleaning routine may need to change a little bit?

As cultural norm swings from synthetic fibers to natural materials, problems with carpet wear and damage is becoming more of an issue. While the damage can be repaired, it will never look as good as new.  In fact, more and more carpet mills are adding to their warranty stipulation with natural fibers.

Natural fibers and materials need to be treated differently than synthetic materials.  Synthetic materials are made to last.  They can take the wear and tear of hard vacuum bristle that pull at the carpet fibers and chip off the dirt latched on.  All those vacuums you see and read about that get the dirt deep down are using aggressive beater bars and hard bristles to push and pull the carpet fibers to get deep down dirt.

With natural fibers and materials, you need a vacuum with soft, long bristles or suction only.  The long, softer bristle gently sweep the carpet and gently pulls up the hair and in while the powerful suction get most of the deep down cleaning, without pushing and pulling on the carpet.

 

The vacuum you choose for your Berber carpet is essential to its longevity!  Do not use a vacuum with a rotating brush, beater bar or hard bristle!  It will pull and snag the fibers and break them or pull them right off the backing.  Berber is delicate.  It’s like brushing your hair with a fine tined mulching fork.  You need a high suction vacuum that does not have a brush, has a brush that can be turned off or has a very soft brush. Miele vacuums are most often recommended for Berber carpeting.  Here are a few specific recommendations:

Miele Delphi S2

Miele Earth S5

SEBO C3

SEBO K3

SEBO X4

SEBO Felix with optional wool/berber brush installed

Dyson DC22 Motorhead

Dyson multi-floor vacuum

 

Spills, accident, pet issues, to name a few, happen.  That is life.  But prevention and time play a big key in keeping the carpet looking great.  If you see a spill, or something involving a liquid, through some baking soda on it.  After 20 seconds, vacuum it up.  The baking soda absorbs the moisture.  Repeat until the baking soda absorb all the moisture, stops clumping.  Gently blot any excess moisture.

If you didn’t see the stain occur and it has dried, it’s time to break out the stain remover.  Use your favorite, but be sure that it is suitable for natural fibers.  Make sure there is no verbiage on staining or synthetics only.  You can also use good old water and vinegar at a 5:1 ratio (h20=5, vinegar=1).  Always test a small inconspicuous area of the carpet when trying a new product (homemade or store bought), just to make sure there is no discoloration or other issues.   If there is, don’t use.  Also remember not to use too much.  We often see examples of people who clean one spot so well, the rest of the carpet looked a mess!

Toilet Fizzies

Toilet Fizzies

Freshen things fast with toilet fizzies that clean and eliminate smells. And (ahem) this solution is much better than lighting a match. Personalize with your favorite scents and your bathroom will be the best-smelling spot in your home. Stash in a cute container on your commode and simply drop in a small fizzy when needed.
Read on for the directions.

What You’ll Need:

1 cup baking soda
1/4 cup citric acid
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide
15 to 20 drops essential oil
Sheet pan
Parchment paper
Measuring spoons
Spray bottle (optional)
Directions:

Add the baking soda to a mixing bowl and use a fork to break up any clumps. Baking soda naturally cleans and eliminates icky odors, making it the perfect base for the fizzies. Add the citric acid, or powdered produce preservative, which you can find near the canning supplies at your local grocery store, and give things a stir. The citric acid adds the oomph to these cleaners.

In a small glass, mix together the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, which work together to help clean your commode. Now drop by drop, add the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide to the baking soda. If you add the liquid all at once, you’ll have a huge mess due to the reaction between the baking soda and citric acid!

Now add the essential oil and gently mix. Any fragrance works wonderfully, but something fresh like wintergreen, lemongrass, or lavender leaves a wonderful lingering scent.
Use a one-half teaspoon to scoop and mold the mixture into small half rounds and then tap onto a parchment-covered sheet pan. You can spritz the rounds with equal parts vinegar and water to create a crust, which helps hold them together. Let dry for at least four hours or overnight.

Place the dried fizzies in a sealable glass jar and keep next to your commode, making sure to stick on a label so they aren’t mistaken for breath mints! The next time things get smelly, after flushing, drop in a tablet and you’ll love how things freshen up in no time.

Makes around 30 small fizzies.

Courtesy of http://www.savvysugar.com/

Choosing Tile

February 14th, 2014

Thinking about remodeling a kitchen or bath? Tile is one of the most favorite design materials for both kitchen and bathroom renovation. With so many choices on the market, how do you choose what to use? There are many pros and cons to each product and a lot depends on personal taste, but there might be a few things to take into consideration when choosing what product to use for your project. Here are the main types of tile and pros and cons for each.

Ceramic

ceramic

Price range: $

Ceramic is made primarily of clay mixed with various minerals and water. This composition is then processed with heat to create the solidified product. Since ceramic material is porous, the top surface is usually sealed with a glaze. The glazed surface is referred to as the design surface and can be made to look like almost anything: wood, natural stone, and even murals using digital print technology. Ceramic is probably the most commonly used tile product as it is (in most cases) the most budget friendly choice and is very versatile in that it can mimic the look of other higher-end products.

Porcelain

porcelin

Price range $-$$

Porcelain is very similar in composition and look to ceramic except for the primary ingredient in the composition of true porcelain tile is finely-ground sand. Unlike ceramic, processing of the porcelain composition involves pressure and extremely high temperature. The end result is a denser product. Because of this, it is stronger than its ceramic counterpart. However, that hardness does make it a little more challenging to install. Porcelain tile requires special tools for cutting and shaping. The average do-it-yourselfer would not typically have these tools and may not be experienced enough to use them if they were rented or purchased.

Natural Stone

stone

Price range: $$$

Natural stone tile comes in a range of varieties such as travertine, marble, limestone, granite, slate, and onyx. While from a design standpoint, the variegated coloring and texture of natural stone cannot be exactly duplicated by man made products such as porcelain, ceramic, or even glass. It should be noted, though, that despite their look-appeal, natural stones do have their drawbacks. Most natural stones are porous, thus need to be sealed and/or polished on a regular basis. Natural stones are also more easily cracked, scratched and are not always resistant to high temperatures such as those from hot kitchen pots. While travertine, marble, and limestone may be suitable for bathroom applications, it is not generally recommended in kitchen areas as it can be volatile to acidic ingredients found in many food items.

Glass

glass

Price range: $$$-$$$$

Glass tiles are most commonly used in mosaic form (smaller tiles bound together with a mesh backing). While glass mosaics allow you to be creative with your tile design, i.e., stripes and inlays, they are most commonly used for smaller “accent” areas due to the nature of more grout with the smaller tile as well as its propensity to be “too much” if used in a larger space. However, in shower/tub surrounds, fireplaces, and backsplashes it can be highly appealing due to its versatility of design options. Man-made glass composition tiles, which can be made into a larger format, are also gaining popularity in recent years, although they are not technically a new product. They offer a very contemporary or modern look with the durability and maintenance you would expect from a glass, however, for many homeowners the high cost of such a product can be a drawback.

So as you can see, there many options for tile when choosing for a remodeling project. If you keep in mind what look you are wanting to achieve from a design standpoint, what kind of use the tile will get, and the budget of what you can spend, you are sure to find a tile that is right for your project. As always if you are needing the experience and know-how of a professional to help with anything design or product related, don’t hesitate to call US Floors Direct.

Do my floors need to be re-sanded or will a resurfacing to put another coat of finish over the top of existing do the trick?

Hardwood floors have proven to be a timeless, and beautiful yet durable surface in home décor. We are often asked to look at hardwood floors that have become, worn, dull, scratched, or other damage that has affected the beauty of this flooring surface. Most other flooring surfaces that would fit this description would have to be replaced. True hardwood flooring in many cases however can be either resurfaced or re-sanded to be brought back to life. Resurfacing also known as a screen and coat or maintenance coat is simply; lightly abrading of the top coat or finish and applying a new layer or layers over the top. Re-sanding is the process of taking hardwood flooring back down to raw wood in attempt to sand deep enough into the wood itself to remove scratches, dirt, and other damage that might have occurred over time.

When hardwood flooring is finished a clear protective coating is applied over the top which enhances the color and beauty and acts as a wear layer. Over time even the hardest of finishes can wear down. If properly maintained with regular sweeping, vacuuming, cleaning and proper resurfacing to keep the protective coating in good condition a hardwood floor may never have to be re-sanded. What we see however is that in many cases the floor is allowed to go a little too long and then only re-sanding can rectify the damage caused.

When trying to determine if a resurfacing is appropriate or the floor needs to be re-sanded. Go to the highest traffic areas or entrance areas of the area. Look for dull spots or areas that might be damaged. If there are areas where the floor is very dull and you can see a greying effect in the grain, then the finish has been completely removed and dirt is being ground into the wood itself. Often the first indication of this is in the softer parts of the grain and will follow the grain pattern. See picture below. Look closely at scratches to try and determine if they have penetrated the finish and are into the wood itself. Feel across the boards, especially at entrance areas or in front of appliances, sinks or toilets. If there is bowing or cupping at these areas a sanding and sometimes board replacement is the only way to resolve those issues.

One of the main issues with resurfacing a hardwood floor that really needs to be sanded is that often time’s people believe that if a new coat of finish is put over the top it might not resolve the issues but at least make it look better. Our experience is that it’s actually in most cases quite the opposite. Applying a new coat of finish over the top of worn or scratched areas actually can emphasize or magnify the damage and become more of an eye sore then before. Our best recommendation is to have a flooring professional come out and inspect your flooring every 2-3 years and help determine if it’s time to re-coat. The quicker you get to the issue the longer your floors will last looking beautifully.