Considering Doing Some DIY Tiling?

During home renovation or remodelling, one tempting money-saving DIY job that people consider is laying tile. Laying tile is something that can look easier than it actually is and a tough call on whether or not to leave it to a professional. If this is something you are considering, here are a few tips on gauging the difficulty level of the job, to help you decide.

Consider the area you be tiling:

Easier Areas to Tile:
• Dry areas
• Floors
• Decorative rather than functional backsplashes
• Tiles in the 4”-12” range are easier to manage
• Ceramic and porcelain

Harder Areas to Tile:
• Wet Areas
• Walls
• Small/mosaic tiles
• Stone tiles- which will be heavier and more difficult to cut


If you decide to go DIY, first try it in a discreet, seldom seen place to get some practice in. Additional tips are to use pre-mixed mortar, having a good subfloor and using plastic tile spacers to impose the correct distance between tiles.

5 Eco-Friendly Flooring Options

As people adopt a more sustainable mindset in their everyday lives, one way to contribute is considering eco-friendly options when it is time to replace flooring. If your floors are looking worn and it is time to make a change, here are some of the best options for a ‘greener’ flooring approach.

1. Bamboo- is technically a grass but can be worked into hard-wearing floorboards and looks similar to natural hardwood but takes a quarter of the time to grow compared to hardwood trees.

2. Cork- comes from the bark of the cork oak tree which is harvested without harming the trees then ground up, compressed and formed into sheets bonded with resins.

3. Reclaimed Wood- is timber that has been salvaged from another property and can be reused.

4. Reclaimed Tiles- are an excellent option of tiles that can be purchased and reused and can range from simple to ornate encaustic designs.

5. Linoleum- is made from natural linseed oil and woodflour. It may seem ‘retro’ but is having a massive comeback with a large range of choices in patterns and designs. It even includes marble, stone-look and flecked patterns.

Whilst oak and pine are not necessarily considered one of the most eco-friendly options, they are significantly better to use rather than rare or exotic hardwoods which are much slower growing and more difficult to replace.

Stone Flooring, Yea or Nay?

Stone flooring is an elegant and timeless option that has its own natural beauty and variation. Stone flooring is quite durable and relatively easy to maintain. When considering if it is right for you, consider this:

Pros
• Stone can tolerate heavy foot traffic
• Stone is pretty easy to clean and is not an allergen or dust trap
• Stone adds value to your home, whilst giving it a one-of-a-kind feel as each stone is unique

Cons
• Some types of stone will need to be sealed with a sealing agent and regular treatments to prevent damage from liquids
• Stone can be more costly than other options
• Some stones are more brittle and more easily chipped
• Natural deviations of the stones could produce the risk of running out of matching pieces before job completion
• Some polished stones are easily scratched

The most commonly used types of stone are marble, granite, slate, travertine and engineered stone.

Pros and cons of tile flooring

Tile flooring is generally used in kitchens and bathrooms due to how hard-wearing and long-lasting it is, but you can also place tile flooring in other rooms such as living rooms and dining rooms. Although tile flooring has a lot of benefits and looks stunning, they do have some cons. We have put together a list of the pros and cons of tile flooring.

Pros

– Water-resistant – tile flooring is highly water-resistant due to a top protective layer placed on tiles. They are also stain-resistant and temperature resistant.
– Easy to maintain – tile flooring is one of the easiest types of flooring to maintain and clean.
– Durability – floor tiles are known for their durability and long life span.

Cons

– Cold – floor tiles do not absorb or retain any heat which means they can get quite cold during the winter months.
– Slippery – floor tiles due to the material and the top protective layer, can become quite slippery when wet.
– Cost – floor tiles generally cost more for materials and installation than other flooring options.

Benefits of carpeting stairs

Recently there has been an outburst of people deciding to rip up carpet on their stairs and opt for painted stairs with carpet tiles but there are some downsides to removing your carpet and not replacing with carpet again.

Carpeting your stairs come with a few benefits so it is always worth considering these before you decide to bare your stairs.

1. Aesthetic appeal – you may find when pulling up your stair carpet that the structure underneath isn’t perfect or could have chips or damage. This will be more common in older homes. If you do decide to paint over the overall look may not look very good if the stairs are not in good condition.

2. Noise – without carpet on your stairs you will hear people or pets coming up or down your stairs. The cushioning of underlay and carpet diminishes loud noises from heavy feet.

3. Safety – a fall down carpeted stairs is less likely to cause so many bruises or damage due to the cushioning effect of carpet.

Reasons why you shouldn’t hire a carpet cleaning machine

There are many different reasons why you would hire a carpet cleaner such as spillages, general dirt, pet accidents, or odour but there are also many reasons why you shouldn’t. Sometimes the task of carpet cleaning should be left to the professionals but why?

1. Cost – many supermarkets or hardware stores have carpet cleaners that you can hire out for 24 hours or longer. Generally, these are hired out as reasonable prices but you then have to add the cost of specialist carpet detergent, your time spent collecting the carpet cleaner, time spent actually using the machine, and returning to the shop. When you total this all up it can come to well over £50 which is the same if not more it would cost you to hire in a professional.

2. Permanent damage – you are not an expert in cleaning carpets, you could easily use the wrong cleaning detergent which could ruin your carpet. Another issue is using too much water this could potentially leave your carpets damp and ruin them.

3. Equipment – the machines you can hire will not compete with specialist carpet cleaners used by the professionals. Those stains that you’re trying to remove may need more power than the machines you can hire.

Kitchen flooring

The kitchen is a room which endures heavy use and is prone to more spillage, therefore a kitchen requires a durable and hard-wearing flooring to withstand heavy foot traffic which is also easy to keep clean without enduring damage from liquids and food.

Flooring in general has come a long way over the years and there is now much more choice. We’ve compiled a list of flooring that is suitable for a kitchen.

• Laminate flooring – this is the perfect flooring choice for those of you with kitchens that are prone to spillages, its very easy to clean and keep looking its best. It comes in a huge variety of different colours and patterns but you should choose a higher AC rating of laminate to ensure it is durable enough for heavy foot traffic.

• Luxury Vinyl – this flooring is also an excellent choice for kitchens as its water-resistant properties mean that the floor will be easy to clean. Luxury vinyl is very durable which means it’s able to resist the wear and tear of a busy kitchen while maintaining its aesthetic.

• Solid Wood Kitchen Flooring – for those of you who prefer a more traditional looking kitchen, solid wood is a great option. Solid wood flooring gives any kitchen a wow factor and is very hard-wearing.

Pairing a rug with solid oak

Solid oak flooring really does pair perfectly with a rug. You can choose a classic design like Aztec or Tudor, or perhaps a more contemporary faux fur rug, but whatever look you decide on, a rug can add a touch of cosiness and comfort to your solid flooring. Oak may be extremely beautiful and durable, but it doesn’t give home a great deal of comfort, yet many homeowners do not want to ruin the look by adding lengths of carpet, so a rug is a wise option. Whether you have mahogany oak, light oak or something in-between, there are so many colours and styles of rugs to choose between nowadays, so take your time to find one that will look beautiful in your home. It’s important to make sure you choose a rug that matches the character and feel of your property, so let’s say you have a cottage bungalow in the country, a thick sheepskin rug would be a lovely addition to your classic oak floor.

Why your carpet should complement your walls

Many interior designers are fixated on furniture and wall colours but some do not give flooring the time of day. In most homes in the UK, a soft natural carpet is added to most of the key areas in the house, apart from kitchens and bathrooms and those houses that have classic slate or oak flooring. There are certain things you need to take into account when choosing a carpet though, and one of those is the colour of the wall. We feel the wall colour should complement the colour of your carpet and vice versa. Let’s say you have grey walls and your aim was to create a minimalistic room, you don’t want to be adding colour to your carpet, you need to choose a shade that complements the wall colour such as a shade of grey, a shade of brown or even a more pale colour. Adding a bold colour would work against the grey colour of the wall, and it will leave your home looking a tad dated!

Basics of carpet cleaning

The best way to keep your carpets looking newer for longer, is to keep them well maintained and cleaned regularly. Carpets should be cleaned as frequently as needed. That said, once a week should be a minimum even if there is no visible dirt. We have outlined the three main ways to keep your carpets clean and well maintained:

Stains- Stubborn stains can ruin a carpets appearance instantly, that’s why cleaning a spillage as soon as it has happened is so vital. Leaving a stain on a carpet for a long period of time will only make it harder or even impossible to remove.

Vacuuming- Sounds cliché, but it really is that simple. As we have mentioned this should be done once a week as a minimum, but can be more frequent if needed. If you have thick piled carpets, make sure your vacuum is powerful enough to clear the deeper dirt.

Professional- Hiring a profession every 6 months to a year to give your carpets a deep clean will help to reduce allergens, and also improve the cleanliness of your home.