Tips For Staining Wood

Staining wood can transform the look of everything from fencing to decking. While wood can be beautiful in its natural state, staining can protect the wood and complement landscaping and other home design elements.

Staining can seem like a simple project, and that is often true. However, certain woods, such as pine, cherry, maple, and birch, can be difficult to stain. Boards with attractive grain patterns also can absorb stain differently, resulting in blotching and uneven tone.

Before beginning a staining project, it is important for homeowners to test the stain chosen on a sample piece of wood to see how the color and absorption turn out. This gives homeowners the chance to understand what they’re dealing with and time to make any necessary accommodations to achieve a more even look.
Tips For Staining Wood
Begin by gathering the necessary supplies. A pair of latex or vinyl gloves will protect your hands. Drop cloths will catch any drips or spills. Safety goggles and a dust mask provide protection if sanding is required prior to staining. If sanding is necessary, homeowners will need an orbital sander, hand sander and sandpaper. Start with the coarsest grit sandpaper and move to a higher grit for a smooth finish. Wood that is covered in paint may need to be stripped prior to sanding. Follow the directions carefully when using chemical strippers.

Natural bristle paint brushes are handy for oil-based stain applications. Synthetic paint brushes can apply water-based finishes. Many do-it-yourselfers find that foam brushes or paint pads are the most handy because they provide a smooth finish and there’s no need to clean up the brushes afterward.

Many professionals recommend using wood conditioners or pre-treaters so that the stain will not leave blotches on the wood. This is especially important for homeowners who determined their wood is prone to uneven color absorption. Allow the conditioner to dry according to product directions.

Stain should be applied so that it is evenly coated. Wipe off the excess to get the preferred color. Apply more stain as necessary to get the desired color. Many stains only offer color, so you’ll need to apply a finishing coat to protect the wood. Otherwise, look for a product that combines stain color and a finish to save time.

Remember to remove knobs, hinges, and handles from a piece before staining, as the stain may affect the color of any metal hardware and damage it.
 

Are you considering upgrading your existing floors with versatile and beautiful wood flooring? Contact Lininger Family Floor Covering in Chambersburg, PA today to review our wood flooring options.

Remove Pet Stains and Odors

Pet owners sometimes must contend with stains and odors. Some of these stains may be normal, while others might result from accidents.

Individuals may experience a trial-and-error period as new pets become acclimated to litter boxes or grow accustomed to relieving themselves outdoors. Pet owners must remain patient as young animals learn where and where not to relieve themselves.

Pets that are already trained may also suffer accidents as they grow older. PetMD says that urinary and fecal incontinence can afflict dogs of any age, but is most often experienced by middle-aged or senior dogs. Cats, too, can experience incontinence, which is most common in older cats and large cats, as age and size can make it challenging for cats to reach the litter box in time.
Remove Pet Stains and Odors
Accidents can be troubling, as they often result in stains and smells. Treating these issues to prevent damage to flooring and deter pets from thinking a particular area of the rug is their personal bathroom requires patience and trial and error. Upon discovering an accident, pet owners should blot up as much of the liquid as possible. The carpet cleaning experts at Chem-Dry advise putting a few drops of dish detergent and a little water on the area to absorb as much moisture as possible.

To treat old stains, sprinkle baking soda on the affected areas and allow it to sit overnight. Then spray the areas with white vinegar and let the two substances bubble to clean the area. Baking soda and vinegar can be an effective, homemade cleaning mixture if accidents are a frequent occurrence.

Pet owners also can purchase commercially produced enzymatic cleaners. Enzymes are proteins that help spark natural chemical reactions at the molecular level, and the enzymes in pet carpet care products attach themselves to the molecules that make up the urine and bacteria that feed on it (producing the foul odors), serving as a catalyst for their breakdown.

Stains from feces may take some more effort. Try to remove as much as possible without pushing the stain further into the carpet fibers. Use a stain removal product to help lift out the stain. This may take a few applications. Pet owners also may want to invest in carpet cleaners if accidents continue throughout training periods.

If urine has seeped into the floorboards or padding under the carpeting, carpeting may need to be replaced, particularly if the animal repeatedly visits the same spot to urinate. This is the best way to remove the scent and prevent future trouble.
 

If your carpet or flooring is beyond cleaning, it’s probably time to consider new carpet or replacing your existing floor. Contact Lininger Family Floor Covering in Chambersburg, PA today to review your flooring options.

Find and Maintain the Right Carpet for You

Carpets provide both practical and aesthetic appeal inside a home. In winter, carpets help keep homes warm, and the right color carpet can add to design schemes.

While rugs may have originated in the Far East, North America also has some rich carpet history. According to The Carpet and Rug Institute, the United States carpet industry began in 1791 when the first woven carpet mill opened in Philadelphia. Others soon followed suit. Tufted carpets and machine-powered manufacturing helped churn out yards upon yards of carpeting, making it a popular, affordable and common addition to homes, especially after the post-World War II housing boom.
Find and Maintain the Right Carpet for You
Carpeting remains a go-to flooring material in modern homes. In fact, many homes offer a blend of both carpeting in some rooms and different flooring choices in others.

Upon choosing carpet, it is important that homeowners follow some guidelines to prolong a carpet’s longevity and maintain its style. The following are some common carpeting dos and don’ts.

DO consider the room’s purpose and foot traffic before shopping for carpeting. Make a list of the attributes desired (e.g., soundproofing, easy care, high pile) and present these to the salesperson so he or she can help you make the best choice.

DON’T rush into flooring choices. Unlike paint colors, flooring materials are more permanent choices that are only updated every several years or more. Weigh all of your options before diving in.

DO consider conservative colors and styles. Neutral hues and patterns will blend better with furniture options. This means you can change furniture out and still keep the existing carpeting, which complements any new pieces. Also, if there’s a chance you might sell your home in the near future, buyers tend to look for a neutral color scheme they can make their own.

DON’T skimp on padding to save a few dollars on the carpet installation. The carpeting needs a solid foundation to last and look its best. Inadequate padding can lead to extra and noticeable wear and tear. Invest in a good foundation for the carpeting, like firm, dense padding in high-traffic areas.

DO become knowledgeable about different carpet styles, such as frieze, Berber, Saxony, textured, and more. This will help ensure you make the most educated decision.

DON’T purchase at the first store you visit. Shop around to investigate different pricing and specials. Also, consider the professionalism and expertise of the staff responsible for carpet installation. High-cost carpet may not look very good if it isn’t installed correctly.

DO stain-protect rugs and carpeting, which can help repel stains that would otherwise become permanent and can prolong the longevity of the flooring.

DON’T forget to vacuum carpets frequently to prevent ground-in dirt and debris.

DO pick textured carpets to conceal footprints and vacuum track marks.
 

Homeowners should consider as many variables as possible, including foot traffic in a given room, before installing carpeting in their homes. Contact Lininger Family Floor Covering in Chambersburg, PA today to discuss your next flooring project.

Make Floors Shine Like New

Flooring should last for years. The online home improvement resource HomeAdvisor estimates that the average cost of a flooring project ranges from $357 for vinyl or linoleum flooring to $4,240 for wood flooring. Homeowners investing in new flooring do not want to replace floors too frequently, and keeping floors looking like new takes effort and maintenance.

Sweep and clean

Restoring shine to flooring involves making sure the floor is clean. Dirt and grime can diminish the color and look of flooring. Homeowners are urged to use products designed for their particular flooring material, such as wood, laminate, stone, or vinyl. Products oftentimes are not interchangeable.

Begin by thoroughly sweeping or vacuuming the floor. Clean along all surfaces of the floor, including under furniture where dust and dirt tends to accumulate. Use the hard-floor setting on a vacuum to avoid having the brush rolls scratch or damage the flooring. Laminate can scratch easily and hardwood flooring is not impervious to dings and scratches. Quite often a dry mop or a static-charged mopping cloth effectively picks up debris left behind on many flooring surfaces.
Make Floors Shine Like New
Although many commercial cleaners can clean flooring, homemade mopping solutions are sometimes just as effective. Keep in mind that wood, laminate and vinyl should not be soaked in water. A little liquid can go a long way on these surfaces. Water and other liquids can seep between laminate and wood boards, potentially contributing to swelling and damage over time. Also, resist the urge to use too much soap. Soap can leave behind a residue that dulls the finish of the floor.

Vinegar-based solutions can work well on a wide variety of flooring types and help cut through any sticky residue left behind from cooking, cleaning and the activities of daily life. Many wood-flooring cleaners and polishes are oil-based to condition the wood in the process. Whenever making one’s own solution, test a small amount in an inconspicuous spot to make sure it will not damage the flooring.

Protection

Another way to prolong the life of flooring is to protect it from wear and tear. Removing shoes before walking indoors can help. Avoid high heels and athletic cleats, which can create divots in hardwood and some other types of flooring.

Place indoor and outdoor mats at the entrances of the home to catch any dirt that would be ground into the flooring. Furniture protectors will help prevent scratches from furniture feet while moving pieces around a room.
Remember to wipe up spills when they occur to prevent the formation of stains.
 

These steps can keep floors in top form and prevent premature aging or damage. Floors that are in especially bad shape may need professional restoration or replacement. Contact Lininger Family Floor Covering to review your options.

Antimicrobial Tiles Help Create Sanitary Spaces

Tile flooring can be a worthy addition to rooms with potential moisture issues or areas in a home that may routinely necessitate quick cleanup. Because they are not damaged by constant contact with water, tiled floors and walls are often found in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and entryways.
Antimicrobial Tiles Help Create Sanitary Spaces
Although tile is resilient, it is not impervious to the microorganisms that tend to proliferate in areas where moisture and humidity are commonplace. Microbes can grow rapidly in warm areas, especially if food is present. Mold or mildew issues also can become problematic seemingly overnight. But certain modifications can help homeowners alleviate the proliferation of microorganisms.

Various manufacturers have developed their own innovative tile that contributes to cleaner, and sometimes more eco-friendly, home environments. The application of certain treatments can make ceramic tiles even more impervious to water and moisture. Some tile may help reduce the spread of certain strains of bacteria, such as E. coli and staph, without requiring the application of potentially harsh chemical detergents. Others treatments may protect against yeast, molds and fungi that can cause stains and odors and result in the degradation of tile.

Antimicrobial products inhibit the growth of microorganisms and suppress their reproduction. For example, tiles with Microban® protection employ an antimicrobial agent built into the product during the manufacturing process. When microbes touch the product surface, the agent penetrates the cell wall of the microorganism. Other tiles are treated with micrometric particles of titanium dioxide (TiO2), which is activated by sunlight or artificial light. This causes a photocatalysis process, which is responsible for the product’s antipollution and bactericidal properties. Examples of TiO2-treated tiles include Active Clean Air & Antibacterial Ceramic™.

Antimicrobial ceramic tile can be advantageous in rooms where sanitation and hygiene are an utmost priority. This includes not only public places, but private residences. Worktops and floors where microbes can be transfered are particularly beneficial areas to install antimicrobial tile.

A potential side effect of antimicrobial tile is a reduction in reliance on harsh cleaning products. Although regular washing is recommended, residents may not need to use odoriferous or strong chemical cleaners to sanitize their homes. This helps improve indoor air quality and reduce the potential contamination of the environment from chemical runoff.

Homeowners thinking of installing antimicrobial tile in their homes can discuss their options with us during the planning stages. Contact Lininger Family Floor Covering to review your options.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Carpeting

When the time comes to choose flooring for their homes, homeowners may be overwhelmed by the vast array of options at their disposal. The choice between carpet and hardwood flooring, laminate or tile is a matter of personal preference. People have long extolled the virtues of hardwood flooring, but carpeting can be just as stylish and provides a host of other benefits as well.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Carpeting
Carpeting insulates rooms in the summer and winter, adding that extra level of protection against the elements. Carpeting also absorbs sound in a home. Many appreciate the warmth and cozy feeling of carpet, especially when stepping out of bed. Carpeting also can increase the level of safety at home. According to the Carpet and Rug Institute, carpeting makes areas of play safer and may also reduce the severity of an injury in the event of a fall.

Today, there are many different types of carpeting available. Selecting the right carpeting for a room comes down to identifying the level of traffic in a particular room, the attributes homeowners would like the carpet to have and any other needs that fit with their lifestyles. The following guidelines can make carpet shopping a bit easier.

Type of Carpeting

There are many different types of carpeting, some of which are best suited to certain situations. For example, plush and saxony carpets are better in low-traffic areas. These carpets may show footprints and also vacuum tracks and dirt, but they’re higher on the comfort spectrum than other types of carpet. Berber, which is more flat and dense, helps mask stains and tracks. It is durable in high-traffic areas. Textured carpets like frieze are cut from fibers of different heights, so they mask stains and are also softer on the feet than berber.

Padding

Padding can impact the way carpeting feels and how long it lasts. It isn’t always necessary to purchase the most expensive or thickest padding. However, it is wise to pick a pad that matches the type of carpeting you’re selecting and one that aligns with how you plan to use the room. You may be able to go with a thinner pad in low-traffic rooms and beneath dense carpeting like berber. In high-traffic rooms, choose a thicker, more durable padding. Padding prevents carpet backing and fibers from coming apart over time. It pays to invest in a padding that will last as well.

Installation

Contact the professionals at Lininger Family Floor Covering today! We will lay the carpeting in the correct manner so that it will look beautiful and maintain its durability for the life of the product.

New carpeting is a substantial investment that can last for many years when the right material is chosen and installed correctly.