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!


Caring for Hardwood Floors

One of the most common questions we get from customers is how to care for their hardwood floors. Whether you’re looking at engineered or the more traditional solid variety, hardwood planks are a stylish addition to any home (learn more about selecting which type of hardwood works best for you here). Understandably, with the effort that goes into choosing the right brand, fit, and grain for your home, people want to make sure they’re equipped to take care of their new investment long term. Here are Ashley Fine Floors top tips for maintaining your hardwood floors!

Know what your finish is and clean accordingly

This is one of the first elements you’ll want to take into consideration before you clean. While all types of planks share common aspects, your finish can have a significant impact on what kinds of cleaning materials you should and shouldn’t use. Most new models have a polyurethane, urethane, or polyacrylic coating. These types of finishes are water and stain resistant, making them a little more durable, as well as water/stain resistant. If you have a shellac, lacquer, or varnish finish, however, you’ll need to exercise more caution to avoid eroding your finish or causing damage. Always do your homework ahead of time to avoid and unfortunate mishaps!

Be prepared to do a light clean often

Hardwood floors are easy to keep spotless, but a big part of maintaining the quality of your planks is consistent upkeep. Doing a gentle sweep with a microfibre mop will pick up dirt before it accumulates and saves you time in the long run. It’s also a good idea to do a once over with your vacuum (using a flooring friendly attachment) and quick mop weekly if you have the time.

Deep cleaning

Despite your best efforts, it’s inevitable that you’re going to have to do a more involved “cleanse” every once in a while. If you’ve kept on top of overall dirt and grimed build up, this should be easy, but there’s still a few pointers you’ll want to bear in mind. First and foremost, avoid any harsh chemicals or cleaning utensils that may damage your planks by eating through your finish or scratching the surface. Ideally, using a warm, lightly moistened microfiber cloth should help, but if you find that you need to use a cleaning agent, be sure to dilute the solution first. Spot clean any problem areas or stains, and always make sure you do your best wipe off any excess moisture to avoid the potential for warping or mould growth.

Hardwood floors are one of the number one ways to add value to your home. By following these tips, you should be able to keep them looking their best for the future. To learn more about these or other types of flooring, give us a call today!


Caring for Luxury Vinyl Tile

Spring Clean Season is in full swing. As homeowners consider renovations, expansions, and various DIY projects, maintaining your home’s floors is often at the front of mind. Whether you’re looking to care for a newer installation or give your long term flooring some TLC, Ashley Fine Floors is happy to offer some of our top tips on caring for Luxury Vinyl Tile.

What is Luxury Vinyl Tile?

Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) is a highly popular product on today’s market, allowing home and property owners to mimic the look of stone, ceramic, or hardwood flooring at a fraction of the cost. Design options are plentiful, and installation is a breeze, making the tile the ideal choice for a hassle-free upgrade.

How to care for your floors

Once your floors have put into place, maintenance is relatively easy. A little effort goes a long way, meaning that you won’t have to worry about spending hours on cleaning. Keep these points in mind, and your floors will uphold their lustre for years to come!

Use floor mats as the first line of defence

Stop the build up of dirt and grit before it starts by strategically placing mats at key entry points. Not only does this give the opportunity to “accessorize” your design, but it will go a long way towards preventing scratching and other damage.

Sweep Often

Giving your floors a quick sweep once a week is another solid line of defence when it comes to keeping your floors looking their best. While you’ll want to avoid using any brooms or cleaning instruments that are abrasive, putting in a few minutes here and there will give you great results in the long-term.

Treat your floors gently and use the right products

Just like abrasive cleaning tools should be avoided to prolong the life of your tile, making sure you use the right products on your floors can make a huge difference. Avoid harsh chemicals or heavy duty cleaners, and exercise caution when it comes to applying waxes. Clean spills quickly with a microfiber cloth to avoid staining and make sure you rinse thoroughly after washing to prevent soap residue.

Preserve sheen by double checking before you wax

As we said above, it’s important to use caution before applying wax to your floors. It may seem tempting to go for that ‘extra glossy’ glow, but if your tile isn’t compatible with wax, you could cause lasting damage. Always double check before applying, and even if your tile is wax friendly, use sparingly to avoid build up.

Using these tips when you clean will help your floors look their best through the years. To learn more about Luxury Vinyl Tile, or other types of flooring for your home, give us a call today!


Cork Vinyl Flooring

With vinyl flooring remaining a continuously popular staple on the market, Ashley Fine Floors has noticed a growing interest in corked backed vinyl flooring, particularly from our Calgary office. Corked backed flooring has some fantastic benefits for homeowners looking for a cost-effective way to update their living space. Read on to learn more about a few standout features of these unique products!

Built for high traffic areas

Corked backed vinyl has the standard durability of vinyl planks, meaning that they’re able to handle the wear and tear of heavy day to day use. As a bonus, the cushioning provided by the cork means that the flooring is a little gentler on joints for those frequently on their feet.

Waterproof, odor resistant, and antimicrobial

The composition of these planks make them a prime candidate from bathrooms, kitchens, mud rooms, and any other space prone to heavier moisture exposure. Cork’s natural antimicrobial properties help ward off mold and mildew, giving you peace of mind.

Sound dampening and heat insulating

Another added benefit of cork is its heightened ability to absorb sound, making your room less likely to echo, or for noise to cross over into other rooms. Cork also holds heat, meaning your toes will be a little less chilly on those cold winter mornings!

Easy to clean and maintain

The vinyl overlay means that planks are easy to install, and more importantly, have easy upkeep. Where hardwood has the concern of being less resistant to scuffs, dents and scratches, you can rest easy knowing that your floors up to every lifestyle when you choose cork backed vinyl. For this reason, may real estate agents tend to recommend this kind of flooring as a cheaper way to add longstanding value to your home.

If you’re looking at new flooring options for your home, cork backed vinyl is a fantastic option that offers both longevity and style. For more information, visit at us at our Edmonton or Calgary locations, or give us a call!


Calgary Flooring Trends 2017

With 2017 officially underway, the season’s trends and statement pieces are already starting to emerge on the market. The fine folks over at our Calgary locations would like the share two frontrunners that have begun to stand out, as well as a few tips for those looking to refresh or finish their home.

Hardwood

A timeless classic, hardwood continues to come out on top in the 2017 trends. Customers continue to enjoy the versatility and added value that both engineered and solid hardwood floors add to their home. Style wise, the industry is seeing a push towards a more rustic feel. Planks with blonde or gray tones are extremely popular amongst those looking to “open up” their space and add a lighter feel. Wide planks are on trend for the same reason, providing a chic modern look that helps rooms seem larger. Texture/grain wise, the “reclaimed wood” look continues to grow in popularity, with many customers looking for low sheen to ensure their hardwood captures a certain rustic charm.

For those looking to install hardwood for the first time, a couple of quick pointers to keep in mind are:

  • There are two types of hardwood, engineered and solid, to choose from. Solid planks are best suited to main floors and need specific conditions to be applied, whereas engineered is a little more versatile and may be placed over concrete, making it a good candidate condos, etc.
  • Hardwood and moisture don’t mix, meaning that you’ll want to avoid putting it in bathrooms. Most experts will also argue that kitchens and basements should be left alone as well, but if you’re dead set on putting hardwood in either, engineered is your best bet due to its ability to handle moisture better than solid planks.
  • Both require careful upkeep to maintain quality. Harsh chemicals, vacuums with a bristle attachment, and anything else that could scrape the surface should not be used.

Luxury Vinyl Tile/Laminate

Close behind hardwood, vinyl and laminate flooring continue to rise in preference. As a cheaper alternative to hardwood that can provide similar aesthetics, both laminate vinyl serve as an excellent way to stay in style on a budget. The push for vinyl and laminate to look as realistic as possible has driven fantastic results from manufacturers. Extensive colour and pattern options mean that it’s easy for customers to follow the above trends while enjoying the benefits of more flexible materials. The rustic look, wide planks, blonde and gray tones and a muted sheen are all on trend within the laminate/vinyl world. Those looking to add either vinyl or laminate flooring to their home will enjoy benefits beyond affordability including:

  • Quick installation
  • Durability and resistance to moisture
  • Easy upkeep

Whatever your style is, Ashley Fine Floors has an option for you. Contact us today to learn more about our products and how we can help you keep your home looking its best!


How to Properly Take Care of Your Carpet

Carpets, throw rugs and other soft floor coverings can add a lot to the ambiance and atmosphere of a house. They can add colour, texture, warmth and a sense of cozy hominess that hard floors can’t always provide. Even if you prefer hard floors, the occasional throw rug can help to protect your flooring and contribute to the general cleanliness of the house. Whether you’ve gone with full room carpeting or just a few rugs here and there, it’s important to give your carpets proper maintenance in order to keep them looking bright and clean. Here are some things you can do to care for your rugs.

Vacuum Regularly

This is a very simple way to keep your carpets in excellent condition. High traffic areas should be vacuumed daily, while the rest of the house should be vacuumed according to a regular schedule. Even lower traffic areas can become built up with dust and debris over time, and the longer it stays where it is, the deeper it will be ground into the carpet making it harder to remove. Make certain to use a high-quality vacuum cleaner and be careful to cover all exposed carpet, even if you have to move furniture, plants and throw rugs to do it.

Protect Trouble Spots

There’s something welcoming about a carpet that comes all the way up to the door, but that stretch of carpet can be a nightmare to keep clean. The same goes for the patch of carpet next to the kitchen floor, which is vulnerable to people unwittingly tracking spilled food out of the kitchen. If your dining room is carpeted, it is an obvious trouble spot. Make sure to protect these easily stained areas by putting down mats, adding throw rugs and cleaning regularly. You can also reduce the amount of dirt that is tracked in from outdoors by instituting a “no shoes in the house” rule, stopping dirt, mud and other debris at the door.

Take Care of Spills Immediately

Since carpets are (obviously) on the floor, the odds are good that anything you drop or spill will make its way down there no matter how careful you are. However, just because you’ve spilled something, it doesn’t mean it’s time to give up on your carpet. Blot out stains immediately, and vacuum up dry spills. Keep a bottle of spot cleaner on hand for when accidents happen. The sooner you get to work removing a stain, the greater chance you’ll have of eliminating it completely.

Start With Good Quality

High quality carpets are not only easier to maintain than poorly made floor coverings, they are so beautiful that you will want to spend the extra time it takes to keep them looking like new. Ashely Fine Floors sells gorgeous carpets, rugs and other flooring options to give your home the look you want. We also provide comprehensive instructions on how to care for all of our merchandise and are happy to answer any questions you might have. Let us help you make your home beautiful!

Contact us today!


The Right Way to Wash Your Walls | Edmonton & Calgary Home Maintenance Tips

Always Dust First

It’s important to always dust your walls before washing them to remove any excess dust and dirt particles. You can do this with a soft-bristled broom, dusting cloth or even a vacuum cleaner. If your broom has sharp, tough bristles attached to it, just tie an old cotton shirt or cloth around the bristles so you don’t scratch or damage your walls. Microfibre cloths are especially effective at removing clingy and hard-to-remove dust.

Use a Magic Eraser

Go over any spots on the wall (marker stains, crayon marks, dirt smudges or scuffs) with a Magic Eraser. Magic Erasers are inexpensive, and you can find them at any Wal-Mart, Target, etc., and they work, well, like magic! Just soak the magic eraser in water, squeeze it out, and then apply it to any scuff-marks or smudges on your walls. Just don’t rub so hard that you take off the paint. Light pressure is all you need. Just make sure you test it on an inconspicuous spot first.

Bottom to Top

After dusting and erasing smudges and marks, the next step is to actually get to washing. You can use anything from damp cloths and a bucket filled with general purpose cleaner to a box of wet Swiffer cloths for this step. The important thing is to wash your walls from bottom to top, not top to bottom. Washing your walls from bottom will prevent streaking, and thus save you a whole lot of extra work.

Dust the Base Boards

The last step is to take some dryer sheets and dust your baseboards. Dryer sheets will automatically pick up any leftover dust, hair and dirt, and they actually prevent all that dust and dirt from sticking to the baseboards in the future. That means that you won’t have to clean your baseboards very regularly, but they will remain looking clean and dust-free.

Once you get into the habit of washing your walls the right way, you’ll find that you spend less time cleaning and your walls stay cleaner longer. Win! Clean walls make colours appear brighter, floors appear shinier, and make your house look cleaner and more inviting.

Want to have low-maintenance flooring that also makes your home clean, bright and inviting? Check out our huge selection of affordable flooring options today.


How to Turn Your Deck into BBQ Central

Summer is here and it’s time to get grilling, but nowadays there is a bit more to throwing a fantastic BBQ than just firing up that old charcoal grill. BBQing is a way of living now! As a result, you need a grilling space that can do more than just heat up those hot dogs. If you want to throw the best BBQ in town this summer, then you need to deck out your deck.

Turn your deck into a space for entertaining as well as grilling

The best way to turn your deck into BBQ central is to extend your entertainment space to the outside. You don’t want to be outside grilling while the fun is happening inside. The “how” depends on the type of hosting you like doing. If you and your friends are big on music, you can equip your deck with outdoor speakers. If you are a sports fanatic—or a film fanatic—make sure you have a TV that can be relocated outdoors to make those get together’s extra fun.

How do you make your deck BBQ friendly?

Outdoor kitchens are the up-and-coming trend, but your deck doesn’t have to have a full-out kitchen to be comfortable. Focus on the necessities. Make sure you have a good grill, and a good spot for that grill, whether you prefer gas, propane, or charcoal. Next, make sure you have a table and chairs set up close enough to be able to chat while you are cooking—but make sure you still have room to cook without having to ask people to move too much.

Incorporating a counter space for food preparation into your deck can make the grilling experience a lot easier, and even if you don’t want to outfit your deck with a full outdoor kitchen, incorporating a mini fridge can help you keep meat cool enough to rule out any health concerns—and keep your drinks cool, too. Of course, if drinks are a main priority, it may be worthwhile to incorporate an outdoor bar into your BBQ setup. With some stools on the other side, it could bring the conversation closer while guaranteeing you have enough space to grill, and you could build a mini fridge right into the bar to ensure you always have cold drinks and plenty of ice nearby (especially since we all know nothing chases your guests away faster than warm beer).

Need some more design tips? Call us today!

 


The Benefits of Cork Flooring

We live in a world that is highly conscious about the concept of sustainability, especially when it comes to corporate practices and the products we use. This is why cork flooring is such a great option for the modern home owner.

Renewable resources
Cork wood is highly renewable, unlike other types of trees. Although trees do grow back and are technically a renewable resource, they take a long time to grow to a usable size. Cork trees are different and the wood is harvested differently, making them much more efficient and environmentally friendly as a building resource.
Cork is a particular kind of oak tree, and cork wood comes from the bark of that tree. At 25 years of age, a cork tree’s bark can be harvested without cutting down and killing the tree. The bark regenerates every 8 to 14 years, depending on the tree and where it is grown.

Eco-friendly
Prepping cork for the building industry does not require as much work as other woods do. On top of that, very little waste is produced in the process. This means a reduction in energy usage and a reduction in the manufacturer’s carbon footprint. What you may not realize is that cork flooring isn’t a primary by-product of cork oak trees, in fact, cork oak is primarily used to fashion wine bottle corks, with all the excess and trimmings being refined into cork flooring – this is why there is so little waste.

Let’s not forget comfort is king
Cork floors are naturally soft on the feet. The wood has a spongy quality to it, and this translates into a cushioned and comfortable flooring surface beneath your feet. Cork is available in a variety of shades too, so not only can you get genuinely comfortable flooring, you can find it in a variety of warm and inviting shades.

Don’t be fooled – soft can also mean strong
It may be soft on your feet, but cork flooring is very durable. The wood is impermeable to liquids and although a piece of furniture may leave a slight indentation on your cork flooring, the wood will bounce back and that indent will disappear all on its own. When properly maintained and cared for, cork floors can last up to 40 years.

The healthy choice
Cork is naturally resistant to mould, mildew and termites. It is not a product that gives off gasses as it ages and it will not shed and fibres that may make their way into the air. This is the perfect choice for any home where air quality is a top priority, or where a damp climate is normal.

Safety first
Cork is not considered a highly combustible wood. In a fire, cork is highly fire resistant and only prone to melting or burning at very high temperatures. When burnt or melted, cork releases less smoke and fewer toxins into the air than wood flooring alternatives like vinyl or laminate.

If you’ve been looking for an alternative flooring material, then you have found it. Cork is available in tiles and planks and in a large variety of colour options. If you are concerned about making environmentally friendly choices when building or renovating your home, cork is a natural decision with far-reaching and long-lasting benefits for your home and your family.

Call us today to discuss your flooring needs.


How to Get Your Spring Cleaning Started

Spring is that time of the year when the weather starts to get warm, the birds begin to sing, and you start to notice that your house is extremely cluttered. It can be a pain to even think about how to begin cleaning your home, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult task. If you are able to plan your spring cleaning before you start, it’s going to be much more organized and a lot less time-consuming.

If you have a hard time getting started on cleaning your home, here are some tips and tricks for getting the job done.

Make a list
Before you start your spring cleaning, it is important to figure out exactly what it is you want to do. Make a list of all of the important and neglected areas of your home that need a good scrubbing or decluttering. Maybe you need to purge some of your clothing (to make room for more, of course), or maybe you want to finally clean the gunk and dust off of your window sills. No matter the task, making a list of your chores is an easy way to keep track of what you want to do and what you’ve already done. Plus, it always feels great to cross a task off of your list!

Don’t end up anti-purging
When we decide we’re going to get rid of clutter and old things we may not necessarily need anymore, we go in with a strong motivation and a will to purge many of the items we no longer deem worthy for our home. However, when the time actually comes to start getting rid of things, we often find ourselves keeping almost everything. We somehow are able to find a use for that pen you got from the dentist five years ago, even though it no longer works. It’s a strange urge to want to keep useless things, but it happens. When you make a plan to purge, resist the urge to run the other way.

Bring a buddy
When you need to get rid of old things or clean up your space, recruit a buddy to help you. You can repay them with pizza and other tasty treats for their service. A friend can help you take that extra leap to get rid of things you no longer need (if worse comes to worse, they can literally pry it from your hands). They can tell you if a particular shirt no longer looks good on you. It’s extremely helpful.

When you need to get spring cleaning, the only way to get it done is to buckle down and make a solid plan. Make sure you go in prepared in order to achieve success. Your home will be clean and back to normal in no time!

Now that your home is nice and clean, you’re probably thinking about a fresh start! Why not start with new flooring? Ashley Fine Floors has the selection and service you need to affordably upgrade your flooring in Edmonton and Calgary. Contact us now!