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!


Basement Renovations: Focus on Flooring

Basement renovations remain one of the biggest -both in popularity and project scale- trends for homeowners to tackle. A properly finished basement can become the perfect extra space in your home, with endless options for use. Whether you’re looking to create the perfect play area, media room, home office or something a little more unique, there are a few basic tips to keep in mind while planning your project. Read on to find out how can be prepared, especially when it comes to picking out the right flooring!

Set your budget early on

If you’ve already read our blog on bathroom renovations, you know that budgeting is an important part of the home improvement process.  Setting a firm budget allows you to align your expectations and limitations from the start. As we also discussed in the bathroom piece, it’s important to make sure your final number allows for some wiggle room needed for unexpected last minute expenses. Basement renos tend to be on the pricier and trickier side (depending on what you’re doing), so allowing for a larger cushion is always a good idea.

Check for any sources of moisture

Addressing moisture buildup from wear and tear, foundation cracks, piping/plumbing problems and more is going to be one of your first orders of business, particularly if you’re planning on installing any flooring. Water damage is a frequent culprit that inspires the need for renovation, but it can also be one of your biggest challenges if left untended. Make sure you thoroughly inspect both the interior and exterior of the property (help from a professional is always a safe bet) to identify any sources of exposure and have them taken care of before going any further.

Make sure your plans are up to code

Once you’re sure that your basement is dry and ready to go, your next step is to ensure that any work requiring wiring or any other significant installation is up to code. Additions like heated flooring can be a fantastic investment, but it’s best to have a professional make sure everything is in order before you purchase.

Know your flooring needs

A properly floored basement can be a source of warmth, insulation, and provide a stylish finish to your ideal space. There are a variety of options available, each with their pros and cons depending on your particular circumstances. Below are a few of the most inquired about flooring methods, along with some things to take into consideration for each:

                Hardwood

Hardwood comes in two types, traditional or engineered. Most professionals will avoid the use of traditional wood for basements due to the product’s sensitivity to moisture and temperature changes (which those of us in Calgary in Edmonton are all too familiar with). Those set on a hardwood finish are best off looking at engineered planks, which are more resistant to moisture and sudden changes in temperature. For the best results long term, hardwood may not be your ideal solution.

                Carpet

Carpet can be an excellent way to keep your floors warm and finish your basement in a cost-effective manner. Some people may associate carpet with the shag style that became prevalent in the 70’s, but no need to worry…today’s options are much more refined! Along with being wallet friendly, carpet is easy to install, relatively low-key for maintenance, and different types of versatile options for everyone.

                Luxury Vinyl Tile

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) is one of the most popular and heavily requested items in both our Edmonton and Calgary locations. As a much cheaper alternative to hardwood that offers the same appearance (along with many other options), vinyl tiles are an exceptional option for those looking to finish their basement. If you’re worried about keeping your toes warm in the winter, fear not. LVT can safely be installed over heated flooring.

No matter what flooring method you choose, making sure you have a reliable professional on hand to complete the install is a vital piece of your project. At Ashley Fine Floors, we cover the whole process, right from providing materials to installation. Learn more about how we can help you with your remodel today by giving us a call!


Bathroom Renos: Top Tips for Success!

Spring is officially here, and eager home renovators are hard at work planning their upcoming projects for the season. Bathroom renovations are one of the top choices for homeowners looking to add value to their property. Bathrooms are typically smaller than other spaces being considered and in theory, cost less than kitchen or basement remodel. They do, however, present a unique set of circumstances to account for. If you’re planning to do sprucing up this season, here are a few tips to keep in mind both before and during your project.

Have a plan before you start

Just like any other project, the best place to start is with a solid plan. Whether you’re an experienced DIY’er or undertaking your first big reno, you’ll want a blueprint to reference as things to progress to make sure everything is on track. If you want to go the extra step, consider meeting with a professional to have them go over and assist you in developing your plan. It may seem costly upfront, but in the long run, you stand to save money, time, and the frustration of having to recalculate when the unexpected happens.

Have a firm budget with built-in flex

Speaking of the unexpected, life’s little detours are something you need to keep in mind while deciding your budget. While you need to have a set final number in mind (because let’s be honest, it’s easy to get distracted by all the new gadgets and designs out there), it’s also wise to build a little wiggle room into that overall spend to account for unplanned expenses. Figure out what your absolute highest amount is, and set your “ideal” cut-off a little below so when push comes to shove, you’re not breaking the bank to get things finished. A word of caution: the word flex is relative. It’s designed to give you the room to bend when needed. That said, your bathroom is an essential part of your daily life, so if you find something you absolutely can’t live without, try meeting with a professional to determine the most cost-effective way to keep both your heart and wallet happy!

Expect to work with your existing plumbing

Unless you plan on doing some heavy-duty remodelling (complete with a hefty price tag), you’ll be working around your home’s current plumbing structure and will need to account for that in your design.

Have a plan to combat moisture and mould build up

One of the unique challenges to a bathroom renovation project is taking into account the moisture that the room is constantly exposed to. Showers, baths, and even washing hands mean that water is a real consideration when it comes to materials. Mould can be a danger with the wrong setup, and health concerns aside, there’s nothing worse than having to tear up and redo your project within a few years because of poor planning the first time around. Work with a company well versed in providing a variety of materials to suit your needs. Ashley Fine Floors, for example, proudly offers all sorts of solutions for our homeowners. From full-tile walk-in showers, steam shower setup, and total waterproofing, we happily work alongside our customers to make sure their project is set up for success! Knowing the products used are suited for longevity gives you peace of mind, and ensures your investment is sound.

If you’re in the Edmonton or Calgary area and are planning a bathroom remodel, give us a call today! One of our experts will be happy to help you find the best solution for your home!


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!


​Hardwood Floor Installation: A Timeless Enhancement to Your Home

With renovation season just around the corner, many homeowners are beginning to plan upcoming projects and find themselves seeking information on both products and professional service providers. Replacing the flooring in your home can seem a particularly daunting task without the proper resources. We at Ashley Fine Floors would like to assist you in your search by providing some basic information explaining the difference between hardwood types, and how you can best decide which is suited for the space you have in mind.

Why Choose Hardwood

While it’s fair to say that there’s no shortage of options when it comes to flooring variety, hardwood installation remains a classic and elegant way to compliment your home’s natural aesthetic. Not only is it a stunning visual piece, but the practical nature of its durability and versatility make hardwood a smart addition to almost every home. Whether you’re considering replacing outdated carpeting, choosing the finishing touches of a new build, or looking for the best option to add resell value to your property, homeowners can easily find an option that suits their needs.

Among the various benefits of hardwood installation is the ease of placement, high quality looks and results, quick cleaning methods, as well as convenience for those with allergies. We take pride in making the process as easy as possible for customers. With our top notch contractors, the installation process is a breeze. Our consultants will help you narrow down choices to select the right fit for your home, then we’ll help you prepare for installation by giving you all the information to make sure you’re prepped for the big day.

Once in place, your new floor will be long lasting and easy to maintain. For those looking to eliminate time spent cleaning, this can be a huge a plus. Dusting can easily be done with microfibre cloths, a floor brush attachment on your vacuum, or even with electrostatic clothes available at the dollar store. For more in depth cleaning to remove build up, simply wipe the surface with a soft clean cloth (never use anything with an abrasive quality to avoid scuffing), lightly damp to the touch. Be sure to wipe away any excess water, and you’re good to go!

Ease of cleaning means that bacteria and dander build up is significantly reduced, making hardwood an excellent choice for those sensitive to environmental allergens. While we do recommend that those with pets be careful in their selection (surfaces can be subject to some wear and tear from constant contact with nails), cleaning up hair or muddy tracks is much faster in comparison to other surfaces.

Selecting the Right Hardwood for Your Home

With all of this in mind, the question often comes down to what kind of hardwood works best for a customer’s needs. Solid hardwood is a standard favourite, with long lasting durability and the ability to sand when a refinish is needed. Solid hardwood is best suited for main floor purposes (as it is more sensitive to heat and moisture), and comes in a variety of different wood options ranging from maple to parquet.

For those looking for flooring options for a basement, kitchen or bathroom installation, engineered hardwood provides a moisture resistant element that makes it easy to have the same elegant finish on any level of your home The ability to be placed over radiant heating makes it easy for your home to stay stylish and warm during colder months. Application over poured concrete finishes in the basement is possible, making it easy for your media centre, entertaining area or private escape to become a finished reality. Like solid hardwood, engineered hardwood comes in a variety of different wood options.

No matter what your job entails, Ashley Fine Floors has a hardwood option for you and is ready to help you get started with peace of mind. Contact us now to connect with either our Edmonton or Calgary locations, and to start planning your dream project today!


How Luxury Vinyl Tile Can Be Your Secret Weapon When it Comes to Style and Durability

Did you know that there’s a flooring style that allows you have the elegance of hardwood, ceramic, or stone at a fraction of the cost? Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) gives you just that, as well of the benefit of being durable,a natural sound barrier and a great option for those that are looking for an option that’s more forgiving on their joints. This lesser known luxurious option is low maintenance, easy to install, and capable of adhering to existing surfaces.

A blend of linoleum and laminate, LVT truly offers home and business owners the best of both worlds. Suitable for high traffic areas that are prone to exposure to moisture, it’s resistance to dents, scuffs, and stains makes it fantastic alternative for customers looking for a versatile solution to fit their space. Luxury vinyl tile allows you to customize your look without breaking the bank. Whether you’re looking for a muted, inviting, or refined aesthetic, your flooring needs can easily be met by this fantastic product.

Maintenance is simple. Grouting will resist cracking, as well as disguise initial dirt build up. To clean, merely damp mop or vacuum with a soft bristle floor attachment as needed. Avoid soap based detergents, excessive water, or abrasive cleaners that may unintentionally scratch or tear the tile. Installation is equally painless, leaving you with a

To find out more about Luxury Vinyl Tiles and how they can best suited for both professional contractors and DIY renovation projects, contact us today!


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!


How to Stop Your Floors From Being Bleached by the Sun

Hardwood floors are much like our own skin: when exposed to UV light from the sun, floors can be damaged and change colour. Some hardwood can actually benefit from a little exposure to the sun’s rays, but too much and they’ll start to fade, or bleach. Depending on the wood used on your floors, you’ll need to employ some simple tricks to help avoid hardwood bleaching. Here are just some of the ways to protect your hardwood floors from the sun’s harmful rays.

  1. Use a UV Inhibitor Finish

There are many different kinds of finishes on the market for hardwood floors, and an increasing number of them have UV inhibitors. These special chemical compounds act like sunscreen for your hardwood, providing a layer of protection that stops the effects of UV light. When you are finishing your hardwood, (something that should be done regularly) be sure to use a finish with these compounds. It’s one of the simplest and most comprehensive ways to stop bleaching.

  1. Think About Your Windows

Your windows are the reason UV light is hitting your floor, so why not look at the source and work from there? You can do at least three things with your windows to help protect your floors from bleaching:

Replace them: Windows that don’t filter out UV light will not protect your floors, so you may want to start with replacing your windows with models that stop UV light. This can be quite expensive, but it’s well worth the investment since they’ll also help your home stay more energy efficient.

Cover them up: Window coverings are the simplest solution for protecting your hardwood, but this can be inconsistent. Some window coverings can be programmed to close during the heat of the day, stopping light when you’re not home to do it yourself. Either way, you should have window coverings that can block the sun out entirely.

Give the windows their own finish: If you can’t afford to replace your windows, or your windows just need some maintenance instead of complete replacement, try applying a UV resistant film. This film adds an extra invisible layer of UV protection that can help stop bleaching.

  1. Rugs

If you have high traffic areas that seem to get a lot of direct sunlight, put a rug over the floor in that spot. This will stop uneven discoloration while visually breaking up the hardwood. Area rugs can help keep your hardwood floors protected from regular wear and tear and UV bleaching, so they’re a good idea in almost every circumstance.

Hardwood floors have remained popular for a number of reasons, but a major one is their easy maintenance. Compared to carpet, hardwood can be easier to clean, but only if you do it right. To help protect against sun bleaching, be sure to use the right products when finishing, then ensure your windows are keeping UV light to a minimum.

At Ashley Fine Floors, we have a number of fine hardwoods and area rugs that will elevate your home’s look. We even have specialty woods that will deepen in colour when exposed to sunlight. Be sure to contact us today for your next hardwood flooring project.

 

 


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.