How to Help Your Vinyl Flooring “Spring” to Life!

If you’ve read our previous piece, you’ll know that vinyl flooring boasts a wide range of benefits for home and property owners. Luxury Vinyl Tile is particularly popular amongst those looking for a more cost-effective, but equally stylish, alternative to hardwood. As we head into the warmer month and face the annual Edmonton snowmelt, here are a few spring cleaning tips to consider when caring for your vinyl floors.

Use Low Impact Cleaning Techniques

Vinyl tiling is hardy and able to withstand a wide variety of environmental stressors, making it an ideal choice for busy property owners. Even so, you’ll want to pay particular attention to your cleaning methods as the season change. Spring can be a particularly challenging season since melting snow means increased moisture in the home, as well as the presence of salt, sand, and grit from the outdoors. To maintain your floors, you’ll want to stay on top of a regular cleaning routine, as well as spot clean any spills or stains. Make sure to use gentle cleaning materials, such as microfiber cloths and avoid exposing your tiles to excess water. Regular sweeping, vacuuming (make sure you use the appropriate attachments), and mopping will help you prevent the build-up of grime as we head into the warmer months.

Think Natural When It Comes to Products

Due to their finish, vinyl tiles are not best suited to the use of most waxes and polishes, which leave a film behind and potentially damage the floor. Apple cider vinegar diluted in warm water is a great substitute for traditional soaps, and gently removes any build up without leaving a cloudy residue behind.

Prevention is Your Best Bet

The best way to avoid damage and staining is to keep dirt and moisture out of your home period. Adding floor mats at entry points as well as key transitional areas, removing shoes before you enter the home, and drying off your pet’s paws when they come inside will help you keep your home clean and your floors looking their best for the years to come.

Looking for the best flooring for your new home, renovation, or investment property? Our experts can help. Ashley Fine Floors has been serving the Edmonton area for over 25 years and is your first choice when it comes to flooring. Contact our team today to learn more!


Choosing Your Best Basement Flooring

Choosing basement flooring can be a tricky process, particularly if you live in a colder climate, or an area that encounters high moisture throughout the year (rainfall, snow, etc.). In our previous piece on basement renovations, our team identified a few key info bites to keep in mind if you’re considering finishing your basement this spring. To expand on the topic, and to help answer some frequently asked questions, we’ve compiled a few additional points to consider before your renovation. Check our expert advice below!

Choose Flooring That’s Equipped to Handle Basement Needs

We touched on a few of the unique needs of basements in our previous piece, but as a general rule of thumb, one of your main points of concern when it comes to finishing your basement is preventing moisture build-up and keeping the area properly insulated. The right flooring choice can go a long way towards accomplishing both objectives, keeping your space cozy and warm. While statement pieces like hardwood may look fantastic, their vulnerability to water and moisture makes them a less than ideal fit for basements (if you’re still set on a hardwood look, you might want to consider engineered hardwood or luxury vinyl tile instead). Your ideal flooring choice will take into account your foundation (typically concrete), and allow it to breathe to prevent the potential for mould build up.

Look for Options That Aren’t Glued Down

As we mentioned above, allowing your foundation to breathe is a key factor when it comes to stopping mould growth on its track. Choosing planks and tiles that “float” and click into place gives you the option of installing a moisture barrier underneath, making your flooring extra water resistant. Prime candidates for this kind of installation include:

These kinds of tiles give you plenty of style options, allowing your space to stay warm and protected from moisture.

Other Options

If you’re quite sure which long-term flooring solution is ideal for your home, interim options like applying an epoxy coat to your foundation can help to seal your current floor against water damage and bacteria. Floating options like those mentioned above can always be installed later on, giving you time to save up or select the perfect fit for your space. One thing to keep in mind about epoxy and other types of sealants is that, while they do offer protection against cracks, stains, and liquid damage, they offer very little regarding added insulation. If you’re hoping to keep your basement warmer, epoxy may not be a full-scale solution.

Learn more about basement renovations, the most up to date flooring options and more by speaking with a member of our team today!


Vinyl Plank Flooring Benefits

When it comes to selecting the right kind of flooring for your new home, rental unit, or renovation, knowing the pros and cons of your various options can help make the selection process easier. Vinyl planking is an exceptionally popular product for both our Calgary and Edmonton locations; to help show why so many of our individual and commercial customers choose vinyl planks, we’ve compiled a quick list of benefits to keep you in the know. Check out our list of pros below!

Cost Effective

If you’ve read our previous piece on 2017 Flooring Trends, you’ll know that one of the biggest selling features is the lower price point compared to hardwood features. If you’re looking to cover a large space or properties that may be exposed to higher than average wear and tear (rental or commercial units), vinyl planks can provide a stylish and durable look at a lower cost.

Moisture Resistant

Another benefit of vinyl tiles is their increased resistance to moisture, making them a viable option for boot rooms, basements, bathrooms, and kitchens. This is particularly beneficial to those of us living in climates that fluctuate greatly throughout the year, requiring our flooring to withstand the unique challenges presented by snow and rainfall.

Easy to Install and Repair

Compared to other flooring types, vinyl tiles are easy to install and can be placed on a variety of base surfaces, including concrete, tile, laminate, etc.

Long-Lasting, Low Maintenance

Luxury vinyl tiles require minimal upkeep and can be easily maintained with occasional sweeping and gentle mopping. Their water and heavy traffic resistance mean planks will stand up to tough conditions, saving you money in the long run.

Learn more about our flooring options by contacting a member of our team today!


Vinyl vs Linoleum: Quick Facts to Know

At Ashley Fine Floors, our experts are happy to help home, and property owners find the best flooring fit for their space. One of the topics we frequently discuss with customers is the difference between sheet vinyl and linoleum tiles, which, while similar, have many key attributes that help distinguish between the two. To help alleviate any confusion, check out our quick list of facts below!

Composition

Vinyl

Vinyl is manufactured using petroleum and other chemicals to create a pre-finished product.

Linoleum

Linoleum is made from biodegradable, eco-friendly materials including cork, tree resin, and wood. This may be the preferred option for customers looking for an environmentally conscious product.

Installation

Vinyl

Vinyl is easy to install, and due to its water resistant nature, requires no sealing or waxing. Simply peel and stick, or snap together! (Certain types of sheet vinyl may require more precise measurements than others)

Linoleum

Linoleum is also easy to install. However it does typically require a water sealant to be applied and for the seals between tiles to be thin, to prevent water from seeping through the cracks.

Maintenance

Vinyl

Vinyl is easy to maintain, requiring minimal sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming to keep its lustre.

Linoleum

Linoleum requires more upkeep compared to vinyl, but is still relatively easy to clean. When mopping, be careful to avoid harsh cleaners, as the surface can be sensitive to chemicals. Microfibre cloths and warm water are your best bet for basic cleaning.

Durability

Vinyl

Vinyl is a resilient material, with an average lifespan of anywhere between 10-20 years depending on traffic levels etc. Despite its durability, vinyl may not be the best fit for commercial properties, or spaces that need to handle heavy foot traffic.

Linoleum

The lifespan of linoleum products can be considerably longer than vinyl, average between 20-40 years. Highly durable, it may be suitable for certain commercial or industrial applications, and can withstand higher strain than its vinyl counterparts.

Both linoleum and vinyl provide property owners with a stylish, reliable option to outfit their space. To learn more about these two products, contact a member of our team today!


How to Waterproof Your Bathroom

Bathrooms are a vital part of any home or property. Due to their natural association with water, choosing the right kinds of tiling, flooring, and finishes are integral to ensuring your space stays in top shape for the long-haul. Ashley Fine Floors has a team of experts on hand to help you make sure your bathroom selections are moisture resistant, as well as stylish. To help answer a few basic questions, we’ve compiled a few of their top tips for bathroom waterproofing below.

Look Up!

It’s no surprise that you’ll want your shower area and sink space to be water friendly, but one area people tend to forget about when it comes to renovating their bathroom is the ceiling. Since hot air rises, your ceilings are subject to exposure quite a bit of condensation, so using waterproof paint and ensuring proper ventilation is present is crucial to avoid premature wear.

Check Your Walls

Much like your ceilings, moisture can cling to your walls, peeling away wallpaper and soaking through the paint to create a mildew or rotting hazard. Avoid these risks by making sure your walls have a moisture barrier behind them, and that walls are properly sealed to withstand steam and condensation

Install the Right Flooring

Finally, having the right kind of flooring materials will save you a lot of grief when it comes to maintenance and longevity. For most bathrooms, a moisture resistant vinyl or ceramic tile is your best bet to keep water out. You’ll also want to check your grouting to make sure there is no room for leaks etc.

The team at Ashley Fine Floors is here to help you with your bathroom flooring and tiling needs. To learn more about our services, contact us today!


Choosing the Best Flooring for Your Rental Unit

If you’ve part one (LINK) of our series of choosing the best flooring for your rental property, you’ll know that there are a few key considerations you need to have in mind when making your selection. You’ll want your floors to stand up to the demands of tenants, remain cost-effective, and meet the needs of each area of your unit. Below is a list of four flooring options, along with the pros and cons of each.

Vinyl Tile

Vinyl tile offers an incredibly diverse style range at a favourable price point for most property owners. Vinyl planks are easy to install, clean, and are water resistant. Moisture resistance makes installation suitable for bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens.

Challenges to keep in mind include the fact that vinyl can still rip and tear, and despite being water resistant, prolonged exposure to moisture may result in the growth of mould or mildew. Vinyl also lacks in the insulation category, meaning it may not do much to keep your space warm if you live in a colder environment.

Linoleum

Like vinyl tile, linoleum is affordable, easily cleaned, and quickly installed. As an bonus, linoleum is an eco-friendly product, making it a solid choice for environmentally conscious owners. However, drawbacks to the product include a lack of insulation quality and the potential to rip or tear if proper care isn’t taken when moving heavy objects etc.

Laminate

Laminate often draws the eye of property owners looking for the elegant finish of hardwood without the cost and need for constant refinishing. Laminate planks are easy to install, resistant to water and stains, and do not chip or dent easily, meaning they are a great fit for high traffic areas and family rentals.

The drawbacks to laminate are minimal but include a shorter lifespan than real hardwood as well as an inability for the product to be refinished. While it is moisture resistant, it is still not ideal for use in bathrooms or other areas of a property that will have regular exposure to considerable condensation.

Cork

Cork is a lesser thought of, but still a viable option for property owners looking to outfit their rental. Like linoleum, cork is a green product made of sustainable materials. It is an affordable option, costing considerably less than hardwood, and installation is uncomplicated. Also, cork’s natural absorption qualities make it a great option for dividing main floor and basement suites, and will also help to lock in some warmth during colder months.

The most prominent downside to cork is its susceptibility to water damage. Because of cork’s sponge-like quality, it’s important to make sure it’s not used in areas where a heavy moisture presence is likely, ruling out bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. Extra waterproofing measures are available, however, mitigating this inconvenience slightly.

To learn more about outfitting your rental units with the best flooring match, contact our team of experts today. We’re happy to help!


Ashley Fine Floors: Your Source for Flooring Repairs!

As repair and renovation season hits full stride, homeowners are constantly in search of the best ways to remedy or improve their various projects. Ashley Fine Floors is proud to offer full-time service repair and installation services for a variety of issues including:

  • New flooring installs
  • Carpet replacement
  • Damage inspection and repair for hardwood, vinyl, tile, and carpet flooring
  • Replacing grout
  • Linoleum repair
  • Insurance related repairs and more

In addition to these services, Ashley’s team of experts has extensive experience with designing and consulting for custom projects such as cabinet design, basement refurbishing, counter installations, or bathroom renos (we do tiling for showers and more!). We welcome seasoned DIYers, first-time homeowners, commercial property managers, and everyone in between. No matter what your style is, Ashley Fine Floors is pleased to partner with our customers to provide exceptional service. For all of your flooring needs this summer (and beyond), we welcome you to visit our Edmonton and Calgary showrooms any time, or to contact us for more information!


Signs of Carpet Rot: What to Look For and How to Treat It

Have you recently experienced a water leak in your home and are wondering if your carpet has sustained lasting damage? Moulding carpets pose significant health and structural damage if left untreated. Read on to learn how to spot the signs of carpet rot before it’s too late!

When should I be worried?

If your carpets are older, located in higher risk areas (basements, kitchens, bathrooms, etc.), or have been exposed to lots of moisture, it’s best to keep a careful eye on things to make sure you don’t fall victim to mould. As carpets age, and especially when located in the areas mentioned above, the fibres degrade, leaving the area more susceptible to water damage. The average lifespan for a high traffic area carpet is roughly seven years compared to 12 years or more for low traffic areas. If you’re coming to the tail end of these time periods, you’ve probably begun to notice some natural wear and tear. If things are seeming a little more lacklustre than expected, however, you may want to have things looked at.

Are there visible signs of mould?

Not to be confused with signs of accelerated ageing, sometimes certain types of fungus can become visible on the carpet surface after acute exposure to water or other contaminants. Depending on the source, you may be able to spot clean without needing to replace things completely. If you know for certain that the cause of your mould problem is containable (i.e. a piece of food that got discarded and forgotten and has since been removed), you can likely get away with cleaning the area with a portable cleaner and call it a day. A word of caution here: if you don’t know for sure that your mould source has been contained, or that it hasn’t penetrated past the surface, it’s best to take a deeper look.

Are your allergies out of control?

If you find your allergies are exceeding your typical seasonal reactions, carpet rot may be an option to consider, especially in homes with pets. Pet dander can work its way into fibres, making it harder to vacuum up. In addition, the dirt, dust, residual fecal matter, and moisture that cling to Fido’s paws can be particularly hard on carpet materials, making it critical to maintain best practices. Always wipe your pet’s paws before they run loose in the house to minimize the exposure to harmful particles that could lead to rot and decay.

Notice a particular smell that just won’t go away?

If there’s a lingering musty scent in the air even after a deep clean, especially in basements or bathrooms, you’re likely going to want to have your carpets evaluated. Mould spores carry a distinctive odor that is both distinct and dangerous. If you’ve noticed a smell hanging around, it’s better to be safe and contact professionals right away.

If you’ve noticed any of these signs in your home, Ashley Fine Floor’s experts can help. Contact us today and we’re happy to help you find the best solution!


Tips for Spotting Water Damage in Floors

Summer is just around the corner, and as most Albertans will know, our warmer months are notoriously unpredictable when it comes to rain and other sources of moisture. Unchecked standing water can lead to structural damage and mould growth, both of which cause significant headaches for homeowners. Learn how to spot the signs of water damage early on by following the steps below.

Look for any signs of water accumulation

Puddles, leaks, and other forms of water build up are one of the primary sources of long-term water damage to your home. Check around old appliances, pipes, kitchen and bathroom faucet, etc. to make sure you catch any moisture before it has a chance to sit. Do you best to dry any water spots, and take things a step further by exercising caution and minimizing the amount of liquid you use while cleaning. The less moisture your floors are exposed to on a regular basis, the better.

Be aware of any sudden odors

If you catch of whiff of a tell-tale musty scent in the air, there’s a sure bet that you’ve got a problem on hand. This applies in particular for lower levels of the home, where traffic may be less frequent, and leaks are more commonly left unnoticed. If you do notice a smell, rather than simply masking it, focus on identifying and correctly remedying the source. Failure to do so can lead to mould growth running rampant, which will cause much bigger issues in the future.

Discoloration

If you’ve noticed a change to the coloring of your finish, tiles, or even wood planks themselves, you’ve got a problem that needs to be dealt with swiftly. Common signs on laminate flooring are the appearance of brown, yellow, or copper spots that spread over time. Contact an expert quickly to have things evaluated and to hopefully circumvent the need for replacements.

Warping, sagging, buckling, or expanding

If there’s been a sudden change in texture to your floors, especially if they’re hardwood, there’s a solid chance this indicates a larger issue usually caused by water seeping through. Again, you’ll want to contact an expert as soon as possible since these problems typically manifest when water damage is in a more acute phase.

What do you do if you find damage?

The best thing to do, as mentioned above is get in contact with flooring experts sooner than later. Ashley’s team of floor care specialists can assist in the evaluation of water damage, drying out floors, and if necessary, full-scale replacements. Call us today to find out how we can help!


Keeping your Carpets Spring Clean Fresh Year Round

As part three of our ‘Spring Clean’ series, Ashley Fine Floors is pleased to offer our top tips for caring for the carpet in your home. As a carpet supplier for the Edmonton and Calgary areas, our staff our frequently asked how to best maintain products once they are installed in a customer’s home. To make sure your carpets stay fresh and free of mold or allergens, follow these easy steps!

Vacuum your highest traffic areas daily if possible

While it may seem like a bit of a chore, give your space a quick once over will work wonders to preventing the overall build-up of dirt, grime, dust and more. Again, you don’t have to worry about being overly meticulous, but every little bit helps. Plan to do a more thorough clean once a week, and a professional deep treatment every 12-18 months to promote the best longevity possible. If you have pets, you’ll want to get a vacuum that balances the need for a deep cleaner without being too abrasive to the carpet fibres themselves.

Book your deep clean well in advance, and to avoid the treated area anywhere from 8-24 hours

If you’re thinking of having your carpets cleaned during the typical peak season (hint: spring and fall), try to contact your cleaner well in advance. Cleaners book up fast, so being proactive is in your best interest. One other thing to keep in mind is that treated floors take the time to dry, meaning you’ll need to avoid the area while moisture evaporates.

Spot clean spills and stains as they happen

Staying on top spills and stains will help you avoid lasting damage. Use microfiber cloths and paper towels to mop up moisture and blot out stains. If your stain is of the trickier variety, you may need to enlist the help of a spot cleaner. In that case, follow the directions carefully, and use only the necessary amount to avoid accidental moisture build up carpet burns or other unfortunate mishaps. Remember to always blot stains and spills, not rub!

Use mats to prevent the tracking of mud and dirt

Prevention is the best treatment for any flooring. Placing area rugs or mats in key areas will help reduce the wear and tear on your carpet as well as trap pesky dirt particles before they hit your carpet. Remember to vacuum and shake this out regularly as well, or eventually, the trapped grit will migrate.

Want to learn more about having carpet installed in your home? Give us a call today!