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!


Laminate Flooring Winter Care

As those of us that live in colder climates will know, the winter months can be harsh on your property, especially when it comes to caring for your flooring. If you’ve read our previous blog on winter carpet maintenance you’ll know that snow and dirt present some unique challenges for homeowners. In this blog, we’ll highlight a few best practices to keep your laminate floors looking their best year round!

Moisture is a Chief Concern

With winter comes the dreaded trudge of melted snow and mud. Luckily, laminate’s composition means it’s already resistant to moisture build-up. Even so, to make sure your floors last as long as possible it’s important to minimize the presence of extra moisture in your home. You can do this by placing extra mats in high traffic entrance areas, taking off shoes as you come and go, and by immediately mopping up any sudden spills or puddles.

Protect Against Debris

Another challenge presented by cold weather is the presence of de-icing materials that have abrasive qualities that may damage your finish. Protect your floors against salt, sand, and grit by wiping your shoes before you enter your home, and by sweeping at least once a week. Regular cleaning prevents buildup and saves you the headache of further potential damage.

Avoid Exposure to the Elements

If you’re constantly coming and go from your house, there’s a chance that your flooring may experience negative effects from being exposed to cold air full of moisture. Over exposure to the elements can warp your laminate over time, meaning that it’s best to minimize the presence of cold air or sudden temperature changes when possible.

To learn more about caring for your floors and the benefits of laminate tiles, in particular, contact 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

With the rental market becoming a popular secondary source of income for property investors and owners, many first-time buyers find themselves tasked with the challenge of renovating their purchase to create a viable unit. Painting, plumbing, and all of the other aspects of a home renovation can be overwhelming without a clear guide to success. That’s why the team at Ashley Fine Floors has put together a two part list of things to consider when it comes to outfitting your rental properties with the best flooring options. Check out our top tips below:

3 Things to Consider Upfront

Before you get to work extensively planning your designs and layout, there are a few things you’ll want to have in mind from the start.

1. Rentals take more abuse than your typical property

As elegant as hardwood flooring may look, it may not be your best bet to stand up to the demands of tenant life. Rental properties are (unfortunately) subject to more wear and tear than the average abode. Planning ahead and choosing a flooring option that’s capable of withstanding the extra demand of tenants will save you time and money in the long run.

2. Remember your end objective

At the end of the day, the goal of a rental unit is to net a profit for the owner. Choose a flooring option that is not only stylish and durable, but also cost-effective for your space. Vinyl, laminate, and cork flooring all tend to be price friendly and able to withstand the high demands of rotating residents without the need for constant repair.

3. Understand the needs of each room

A key aspect of making sure your rental property is well-equipped is knowing the unique needs of each room. Bathrooms, kitchens, industrial spaces, and basements will have very different requirements then your typical living space. Be mindful of the necessity to waterproof and protect against other environmental hazards associated with the use of a certain space to prevent premature aging or damage.

Now that you know you a few of the basics to have in mind, part two will cover some more specific aspects of outfitting your rental unit. Stay tuned to learn more, or contact our team directly!


Winter Carpet Maintenance

Now that the cooler months have arrived it’s time for homeowners to consider the proper care for their carpets throughout the winter. Snow, dirt, and busy schedules can create wear and tear on even the best-kept surfaces. To avoid needing to replace your carpets earlier than usual, here are a few of our top tips for Winter Carpet Maintenance.

Place Mats Strategically

For rooms that will see higher daily traffic, it’s important to place mats at the entrance. Why? Mats will help you trap dirt and moisture before they can come into contact with your carpets. They’re also far easier to remove and clean, meaning you’ll spend less time on overall maintenance. For good measure, you’ll want to try and give your mats a good shake out/vacuum every other week, or as needed.

Shoes off!

It can be easy to forget to remove our shoes, especially when in a hurry. Taking those extra few seconds during the winter, however, can be a lifesaver for your floors. Salt, sand, dirt, and of course snow that are trapped in your tread can easily get buried in carpet fibres. Not only does that become tedious to remove, but where moisture is concerned, exposure can also lead to moulding or onset signs of carpet rot.

Amp up your care

Vacuuming may not be your favourite chore, but when it comes to extending the life of your carpet, it’s a must during the colder months. As we said, there’s a variety of different containments that could damage your flooring if left untreated. Try to double your typical vacuuming schedule. If you typically do bi-weekly, try to plan for once a week, etc. It’s also important to spot clean if you notice a trail of dirt being left behind.

Bonus tip:Notice a build up of road salt or sand? Fret not! You can treat it early on by mixing a 1-1 solution of water and white vinegar and misting it over the area (careful not to use too much. You want it moist, not soaked). From there, use a microfiber or terry cloth towel to gently blot the area, reabsorbing as much moisture as possible. Then, carefully rinse the area with warm water to remove any vinegar leftover and again, blot to absorb any moisture.

Plan to have your carpets professionally cleaned in the Spring

It’s a best practice to have your carpets professionally cleaned once a year to extend their lifetime, and most people opt to this in the Spring. That way all of the dirt and grime that may have accumulated during the winter is removed, leaving your carpet plush and like new! One thing to remember here is: book early! Many cleaners are booked months in advance, especially once the snow starts to melt. Thinking ahead will save you money, and avoid a potential headache.

Carpets are a fantastic way to keep your home warm and cozy in cooler temperatures. To learn more about what styles are best suited to your home, contact us today!


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!