Spring Floor Care Tips for Carpet Owners

Ready to Kiss Winter Goodbye?

So are we! Spring is just around the corner, and as the weather heats up, your flooring is bound to experience a few changes of its own during the transition. Whether you’ve been patiently waiting for the snow to melt before beginning your home renovations, or are simply looking to care for your existing floors, Ashley Fine Floors is here to help.

Springtime can be a wonderful time of year, but for those unprepared, it can be particularly hard on your carpets. Carpets can be a fantastic way to bring life into your space, with a wide selection of patterns, depths, and textures available. They also help insulate your home against the cold, and provide a soft surface to tread on year-round. Learn how to prepare and protect your flooring against the strains of spring below!

Prevention is Your Friend

The best way to protect your carpets against the elements is to protect them from coming in contact in the first place. Place mats around your key entry points and transition areas around the home, and make sure you remove any soiled footing that may carry excess moisture and grit in from the outdoors.

Act Quickly When It Comes to Moisture

Even the most durable carpets are vulnerable when it comes to water damage. If left untended to, water spots can eventually lead to mould, which presents a danger to the health of residents. Prevent risks and unsightly stains by gently blotting excess water with paper towels, microfiber cloths, or using a portable carpet cleaner if you have one.

Pay Attention to Your Nose…Really!

Do you find yourself sniffling more often? Are your family members sneezing and coughing, or waking up feeling congested? It could be a sign that it’s time to give your carpets a proper refresh with a deep clean. Even if you’ve been diligent with your vacuuming, most carpeting will benefit from professional cleaning every 6 months. Professional equipment will be able to reach deeper than other cleaners and will use a safe amount of moisture (and subsequently avoid mould build up) to remove deeply seated dirt and grime. You’ll also find your surface will be plusher, and any lingering odors should be eliminated.

Looking to add some style to your home or office? Ashley Fine Floors has a wide selection of popular carpet brands, including Beaulieu, Lexmark, and Kraus to meet your flooring needs. Contact us today to learn more!


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!


Spring Cleaning Your Laminate Floors

Spring is just around the corner, and as those of us in more temperate climates will know, the shifting of seasons tends to bring unpredictable weather changes. These sudden fluctuations between warm and cold, extra moisture in the air, and the influx of dirt and grit can put additional strain on your floor without the proper precautions. At Ashley Fine Floors we carry a wide range of flooring options, including the widely popular Beaulieu and Richmond laminate lines. With laminate being such valuable option for homeowners wanting style on a wallet-friendly price point, we’ve compiled a few tips for protecting your flooring during the spring. Check out our guide below!

Tend to Any ‘Seasonal Debris’ Promptly

As the snow melts, the presence of moisture, salt, sand, and other winter staples becomes hard to avoid in your home. Prevent your floors from buckling, warping, or gaining unsightly stains by placing mats at each entrance to your home as well as in high traffic “transition areas” (i.e. garage to mudroom or living room to kitchen). You’ll also want to be quick to mop up any puddles, and to gently remove any salt or dirt marks with a damp microfiber cloth. Avoid the use of any abrasive cleaning tools, as they may scratch or damage your finish.

Invest in Soap-Free Cleaners

While laminate flooring is durable and meant to withstand most stressors, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the right treatments when cleaning. Steer clear of using excess water when mopping, as well as soaps, waxes, or polishes that leave behind a residue; not only will these products typically give you a streaky finish, but they may damage the sealing of the flooring itself.

Spot Cleaning and Regular ‘Quick Sweeps’ Go a Long Way

Laminate floors are low maintenance, but the best way to enhance the longevity of your product is routine upkeep. Spot cleaning any spills, taking a few minutes to sweep up dirt, pet dander, and giving things a quick wipe down every so often will keep your floors in optimal shape between deep cleans. When it comes to a more thorough clean, try a microfiber cloth or mop soaked in hot water, making sure you wring out any excess liquid.

Following these tips will keep your laminate looking fresh and ready for spring. Learn more about the benefits of laminate flooring, as well as our other flooring options, including hardwood and carpeting by contacting our team today!


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!