Thunder White Granite Flooring In 2019?

Should You Consider Thunder White Granite (or a Look-Alike) Flooring In 2019

If you spend any time at all watching the inspirational home decorating shows on cable television, you know that designers frequently choose to install thunder white granite to create beautiful indoor spaces. Indeed, from countertops to floor tiles, granite has become a go-to option for homeowners who are seeking an elegant and long-lasting material for a home makeover. Keep reading about the advantages and disadvantages of granite and whether it best meets your needs.

 

The basics of granite

The most important thing to understand when you’re looking at a granite tile is that it began life as a rock. Geologists know that granite is an igneous rock characterized by crystals that were formed deep beneath the surface of the Earth. Granite is typically made up of quartz and feldspar.

Much of the granite offered for sale in the United States comes from quarries in Brazil and China. Thunder white granite originates in India. Of course, before appearing in decorating showrooms, granite tiles and countertops go through an extensive cutting and polishing process.

 

Benefits of granite

There’s a reason that granite has evolved from a material found mainly in high-end houses to one that features in homes throughout the United States. Granite is a popular flooring choice because it packs a bundle of benefits into each sealed tile. Some of the primary perks include

  • Moisture resistant
  • Scratch and scuff resistant
  • Stain resistant
  • Long lifespan
  • Each slab of granite is unique
  • A wide variety of color choices
  • Affordable for a range of budgets

 

Downsides of granite flooring

Although granite has many beautiful features, it also has significant disadvantages. Before you place an order for enough thunder white granite to tile your entire house, you’ll need to make sure that granite fits your lifestyle. Here are the typical less desirable aspects to decorating with granite tile floors

  • Slippery surface
  • Lack of cushion makes standing on it uncomfortable
  • Might be too heavy for your existing subfloor
  • Can feel cold to the touch
  • Requires periodic resealing
  • More costly than other terrific floor choices

 

Terrific alternatives to granite

If you love the look of granite tile but you’re put off by things like the (1) price, (2) weight, and (3) maintenance needs, we suggest that you check into alternative flooring options that provide the look of granite tile without the problems. Modern (1) vinyl, (2) laminates and (3) ceramic tiles closely mimic the look of authentic stone while being softer on your wallet and often requiring less routine maintenance.

Along with being cost-effective, manufactured products like (1) vinyl, (2) ceramic and porcelain tiles, and (3) laminate are terrific flooring options as they offer

  • Durability
  • Longevity
  • Color and pattern choice
  • Easy installation
  • Simple maintenance
  • Moisture resistance

 

Lastly, with so many outstanding options available, you’re sure to find an affordable material that matches your (1) budget, (2) personal style, and (3) flooring requirements. So, if your spirit sings when you fantasize about decorating with thunder white granite floors in your home, you don’t need to worry about finding the ideal material to fit your needs.

Tim Hogan’s Flooring carries an extensive selection of the best flooring products available on the market today. Contact us for information about our affordable, high-quality flooring options.

Hardwood vs Softwood: What’s the Best Option for You?

So you’ve decided to get rid of that worn or dingy floor and replace it with wood flooring.

Congratulations! Great choice.

Wood is classic, stylish and functional. But it’s important to know that not all woods are the same. Aside from having to decide how big the planks will be and what “color” wood you want, there’s an even bigger question.

What kind of wood will you choose? Yep. It’s the whole hardwood vs softwood quandary. And it’s an important one because it will be the basis for the other choices.

The Battle of Hardwood vs Softwood

Okay, it’s not so much a battle as gaining a simple understanding of the differences. One is not better than the other. But one will be better for you.

It depends on your specific needs.

So let’s take a look at the differences.

Origin 

In terms of timber used around the word, softwood accounts for about 80% of it.

Softwood comes from gymnosperm trees. These are trees with needles or cones, such as pine or spruce. These are faster growing trees and some are expressly grown for the timber industry.

Meanwhile, hardwood comes from angiosperm trees which, in nature, outnumber gymnosperm trees. These trees have broad leaves and flowers. Examples of hardwood trees are walnut, maple and oak.

Density

The denser wood is, the stronger it will be. So how is density determined?

Not to go all technical on you, but the wood density – also known as specific gravity (SG) – is a physical property of wood that is a guide to the ease of drying the wood, as well as an index of weight.

It comes down to the ratio of the weight of a body to the weight of an equal volume of water. Wood density is usually based on the volume of the wood at some specified percentage of moisture content and its weight when oven dried to a moisture content of 12%.

It is assigned a numeric value which represents the wood’s density as compared to that of water, which is 1.0. Most softwoods have an SG of less than 1.0. That means they can float on water.

If that’s too confusing, then just remember this. Generally speaking, the more dense the wood, the slower the drying rate will be. In the past, this meant a higher likelihood of developing defects during drying.

But lumber manufacturers now kiln dry wood with an understanding of these different wood densities to ensure that the final product will perform to specifications. Even so, it’s important to understand that wood density can cause differences in flooring performance.

In general, hardwoods have a higher density than softwoods – which makes them stronger. Mahogany and teak are among the most dense. But one of the lowest density woods is balsa, and it’s considered a “soft” hardwood.

Meanwhile, softwoods tend to have lower density. Cedar is among the lowest. But just as there are soft hardwoods, so too are there hard softwoods. Softwoods like juniper and yew are fairly dense. For softwoods, at least.

So you can’t judge on density alone.

Durability

It would make sense, then, that the more dense a wood, the more durable it will be. And this is mostly true.

Hardwoods are typically considered more durable than softwoods. So if you’re looking for floors that will need to endure heavy traffic, you’ll probably want to go with hardwoods. Plus, they’ll last longer.

Then again, if you want something that’s going to be a little more forgiving underfoot, you may want to choose a softwood. Although they’re prone to scratches and dings, they are more resilient.

The finish you choose will also impact a wood’s durability.

If your wood floor isn’t going to see a lot of foot traffic, you could stain and seal a softwood to increase its durability. It’s still going to be prone to imperfections, but it will also last longer.

In the case of hardwoods, they typically come pre-finished.

Appearance

If you take a gander at a hardwood under a microscope, you’ll notice a lot of pores. This has to do with how water is transported through the tree.

Water transport is done in a completely different way in softwood trees. Thus, they lack pores.

Why are we telling you this?

Because it’s the pores in hardwoods that give them their prominent and well-defined grain patterns. They also boast a range of colors from dark browns and reds all the way to (almost) white.

Meanwhile, softwoods tend to have less pronounced grain patterns and generally come is yellowish of light red colors.

Installation

Hardwood floors are easier to install than softwoods. They also take well to sanding.

When installing softwood floors though, sanding machines can quickly create low spots, so the surface may only withstand a single sanding. Also, softwood floors are easily dinged and dented so anything that’s accidentally dropped or spilled during the installation process could mar the floor.

Now, it is possible to use softwoods as a subfloor beneath hardwood flooring top surface layers. This will result in floors that provide more spring in the step.

But this choice relies on expert installation. Installers must leave enough room between the softwood planks for expansion due to fluctuations in the subfloor’s moisture content. This is especially crucial when softwood plank subfloors are going to be sandwiched underneath ¼” plywood and hardwood flooring.

Cost

Since hardwoods are usually denser and more durable, they come with a higher price tag. But the beautiful grain, deeper colors and staying power are often worth it. Especially in rooms like kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms and bedrooms where the foot traffic is high.

Then again, if you’re making the investment for wood floors in a room that just doesn’t get as much use, then a softwood floor finished and stained could last just as long. And it won’t cost as much.

Which Choice Is Right for You?

As you can see, the hardwood vs softwood conundrum doesn’t have just one clear-cut solution.

But regardless of which you choose, you simply can’t go wrong with adding wood flooring to your home. So if you want some additional expert flooring advice, please contact us today.

We’ll point you in the right direction.

6 Tips to Choose the Best Types of Floor Tiles for Every Room of the House

When you update a room’s flooring, it can feel like you’re getting a whole new room. If you make the wrong choice, though, the excitement of a new look will fade in a hurry.

As popular as tile flooring is, there are countless types of floor tiles to choose from, from ceramic tile to porcelain and more. While that gives you the selection to choose the perfect tile for each room, it means you’ll need to take more shopping time to make the right choice.

So how do you find that one tile that fits your room like a glove? Start with these tips:

Tips for Choosing Between Types of Floor Tiles

Getting up to speed about various types of floor tiles can help you narrow your search. Start with these tips:

1. Read Up on Hardness

Floor tile might be decorative but it also has to stand up to your home’s activity. One easy way to find tiles that are up to the task is to check their tile hardness rating.

The Porcelain Enamel Institute, or PEI, has an easy-to-use rating scale. It ranges from 1-5. Tiles with a PEI rating of one are the least durable, and they’re only suited to walls rather than floors. The higher the PEI rating, the more traffic a tile can withstand.

It’s also important to think about the type of traffic your home has. If you have kids or pets, it’s best to go with a higher PEI rating for your tile. While twos and threes may be fine for your home’s bathrooms, a four or five is best for busy areas like kitchens and hallways.

2. Find Out How Porous Each Tile Is

On top of hardness, each type of tile also has a different amount of water it will absorb. If a tile absorbs too much water over time, it may not last as long.

Think about where your tile will and how much moisture it may encounter. In bathrooms, in particular, you should use tile with as little porosity as possible.

Keep in mind that how porous a tile is will also impact how stain-resistant it is. Porous tiles will stain in a hurry because they’ll absorb some of the spill. This tends to make them a poor fit for kitchens and dining rooms.

3. Consider Your Tiling Plan

A great way to customize your flooring is to create a design with your tiles. Perhaps you’ll lay them in diagonal lines or have a unique pattern. As you shop for tile with a design in mind, ask yourself: how many tiles will I or an installer need to cut for this pattern?

As durable as harder tiles are, they’re more difficult to cut. This is a key consideration as you decide between porcelain and ceramic tiles, for instance. Porcelain tiles are far harder than ceramic.

As you shop, you should discuss your plans with a knowledgeable professional who knows what the job will entail.

4. Look At a Sample In the Room

If possible, get samples of the tiles you’re considering. Bring them home and put them in the room where they would be laid.

In many cases, it’s hard to envision how a material or a color will look in the room. The lighting will affect the tile’s appearance as well. Looking at samples will help you find the perfect tile that complements your walls, furniture, and more.

5. Learn About COFs

The Ceramic Tile Institute has a way to measure how much friction a tile has. This is called the coefficient of friction, or COF. You might see a specific number or you may see a term alone.

The CTI has three categories: slip-resistant, conditionally slip-resistant, and questionable. A slip-resistant tile has a COF of 0.6 or higher. A questionable COF is 0.5 or less.

In general, of course, the more friction a tile has, the safer it will be in your home. It’s most important to pay attention to COFs in bathrooms and other rooms with high moisture, though.

In some cases, a tile may not have natural slip resistance but you can get a coating that adds some friction.

6. Consider Less Traditional Tile Looks

The world of floor tile has opened up to include a larger variety of looks and styles. One popular option is to choose a tile that looks like hardwood. It tends to be more durable than hardwood and easier to keep up as well.

Another common choice, especially in modern homes, is a tile that looks like concrete. It offers an urban, industrial look with the easy upkeep of tile.

7. Keep Your Budget in Mind

Of course, every home improvement needs to fit into your budget, and some tiles are more economical than others. For instance, while they’re less durable, ceramic tiles are often less expensive than porcelain tiles.

Make sure you find out the square footage you need before you start shopping. Ask about any installation fees and the costs for grout, backer board, and other materials. This lets you gauge how much you can afford to spend per square foot of tile.

As you shop, don’t forget to look for flooring specials as well. You might be able to get a higher quality of tile within your budget.

8. Factor In the Maintenance

Another important factor to consider is how easy a tile is to maintain. For instance, the more porous a tile is, the more often you’ll need to clean it. If your cleaning time is limited, be sure to ask a professional for low-maintenance types of tile.

Finding Your Perfect Floor Tiles

It’s always exciting to make improvements to your home and take pride in the way it looks. Don’t let an overwhelming selection of tile take the wind out of your sails. The tips above can help you understand the different types of floor tiles, narrow your search, and end of up a beautiful result.

If you’re ready to start shopping, reach out to our flooring experts for professional guidance.

7 Reasons a Carpeted Floor is Better than Hardwood

The American public has fallen in love with hardwood flooring over the course of the last decade or so. Studies have shown that about 90 percent of real estate agents believe that homes that have hardwood floors in them end up fetching more money in the end.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should go ahead and install hardwood in your home simply because it’s become so popular. There are actually more than a few reasons to consider installing carpeting in your home instead.

There are a ton of benefits that you’ll get to enjoy when you have a carpeted floor installed in your home. Let’s check out the 7 reasons why you should consider carpeting over hardwood flooring today.

1. A Carpeted Floor Will Add a Sense of Style to Any Room

If you flip through the pages of just about any home design magazine these days, you’ll no doubt come across lots of photos of hardwood flooring. Hardwood flooring is viewed as the most stylish flooring option at the moment.

But it’s important to remember that a carpeted floor can also add a sense of style to a room. You can make a room feel more elegant simply by choosing the right carpeting. You can also make it feel more comfortable by adding carpet to it.

There are even all kinds of patterned carpets can make a room feel luxurious if you play your cards right.

You shouldn’t just assume that installing hardwood flooring in a room is going to make it look better. You should also think about how carpeting could potentially bring out the best in it.

2. It Will Prove to Be Plenty Comfortable When You Walk, Sit, or Lay on It

Hardwood flooring will look great when it’s installed in your home. But how will it feel?

Chances are, you won’t always feel comfortable when you’re walking, sitting, or laying on it. Hardwood floors won’t provide you with much cushioning at all, which will leave you feeling stiff and sore if you spend a lot of time on it.

A carpeted floor, by comparison, will be exponentially more comfortable than hardwood floors. Whether you’re walking around on your carpeting or laying down on it to watch a movie, you’ll be impressed with the comfort level of a carpet.

You will get to spend a lot of long days and nights basking in the comfort that your carpeting will provide for you and your family.

3. It Will Make Your Home Feel Warmer

Does your home always feel cold in the wintertime? If you have hardwood flooring, it could be because your floors aren’t providing your home with the insulation it needs.

Carpeting, on the other hand, will give your home’s insulation a boost and trap warm air inside more effectively than hardwood flooring will.

Both carpeting itself and the carpet padding underneath of it will insulate your home and make it feel warmer than it would without carpeting. It’s just another reason why installing a carpeted floor makes perfect sense.

4. It Will Trap Allergens That Could Cause Respiratory Issues

There is an ongoing debate taking place over whether hardwood flooring or carpeting is better for those who suffer from respiratory issues. Some people say carpeting makes those issues worse, while others say it can actually cut down on the side effects of the issues.

The truth is that it really all depends on how effectively you clean your carpets.

Carpeting can trap allergens from the air that would otherwise cause you respiratory issues. By doing this, they can eliminate those issues and help you breathe better.

You just need to be sure to clean your carpets on a regular basis to prevent those allergens from making their way back into the air. As long as you do this, a carpeted floor can actually be better for those with respiratory issues than hardwood flooring.

5. It Will Quiet Your Home Down and Make It More Peaceful

If you don’t have carpeting in your home, it can get very noisy. Sounds can bounce off hardwood flooring and make your home noisier than it has to be.

You won’t face this problem when you have a carpeted floor installed. Carpeting can actually muffle sounds and prevent echoing from taking place inside of a home.

By putting a carpet down, you can make your home more peaceful overall and prevent noise from taking a toll on it.

6. It Will Make Your Home Safer for Everyone

Do you have kids who are constantly running around inside of your home? If so, carpeting is going to prove to be significantly safer for them than hardwood flooring.

All it takes is one fall on a hardwood floor for a child to sustain an injury. When a child falls on carpeting, though, there’s a good chance they’ll be back up and on their feet again in an instant.

Carpeted floors are also safer for the elderly and those who have mobility issues. They can stop people from injuring themselves badly in the event of a fall.

7. It Will Typically Cost You Less to Install Than Hardwood Flooring

There are some types of carpeting that can actually cost you more to install than hardwood flooring.

But in general, you’ll save a lot of money when you choose carpeting over hardwood flooring. The carpeting itself will cost less than hardwood flooring materials, and the installation will usually be just a fraction of the price of hardwood installation.

If cost is a major concern of yours, you’ll get a much more affordable price on carpeting than you would on hardwood flooring.

Install a New Carpeted Floor in Your Home Today

Does a new carpeted floor sound like the right move for your home?

We would love to show you some of the carpeting options that you have. You will quickly see why carpeting is still popular among many homeowners in spite of the rise of hardwood flooring.

Read our blog to find out some of the other differences between all of the different types of flooring.

What is The Best Flooring for High-Traffic Areas?

Installing new floors in a home project can be a big investment. Yet it’s one that can increase our home’s value when done right.

So when it comes to the high-traffic areas in our homes, we want to make sure our investment will last for years to come. That’s why finding the best flooring for high-traffic areas is so important.

But how are you to know which flooring would be best? Are there features that you should look for when deciding which will work for your project?

There are actually several options to choose from, for any need and budget. Let’s look at the top choices of flooring that will stand up beautifully in your high-traffic areas.

Engineered and Solid Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring is an incredibly popular choice for homes these days. And if you’re one that loves it as well but thinks it’s out of the question on high-traffic floors – think again.

Hardwood can be known for collecting scratches and dings. But if you choose a hardwood that is pre-finished with a protectant, or a species of wood that is strong and has a high hardness rating, you’ll have a durable hardwood floor.

However, if the area will be subjected to excessively heavy use, meaning lots of dogs, regular high heel traffic, grit and sand from the outdoors, there may be better options. There are other flooring choices that look like wood but can still give you the stronger durability to stand up to the added abuse.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring has the look of hardwood, but much more durable without the high price. It can also replicate the look of stone, tile, and other types of flooring to go with any decor.

A laminate floor with a thick layer of melamine resin works the best in high-traffic areas. Look for options ranging from 12mm to 15mm in thickness.

And as far as bang for the buck, laminate flooring is one of the least expensive options when it comes to high-traffic flooring. It’s easy to install and is known to last for 20 years or more.

Tile Flooring

Tile flooring has been a durable choice for quite a long time. In fact, it comes with a hardness rating to help consumers know exactly what they’re getting.

The PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) rating ranges on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the hardest. For high-traffic areas, anything rated a 4 or 5 would work best.

And because hardwood flooring is so popular, but not ideal in all high-traffic areas, you can get tile flooring that looks like hardwood. The wood look and durability in one – the best of both worlds.

Natural Stone Flooring

There’s nothing like the look of natural stone. The beauty and timelessness of it is worth every penny it may cost.

But not all stone is ideal for high-traffic areas. Make sure to look for stronger varieties of stone, such as sandstone, granite, marble, or limestone.

You also need to make sure you have a subfloor that can handle the weight of the stone. Older homes or aging structures may have shifting foundations which could make for some expensive problems down the road.

Concrete Flooring

While concrete flooring may sound “cold” or harsh, it’s actually anything but. Gone are the days of it looking like a sidewalk. There are now many options to make a concrete floor look amazing and more expensive than it actually is.

Some of the treatments that can be applied to a concrete floor are acid-stain, tints, etching, and stamping.

Depending on the look you’re going for, one or a combination of treatments can make your concrete floor look like natural stone, tiles, flagstone pavers, or any other number of options.

And above all else, you know you’re getting a strong, durable flooring that is easy on the budget as well.

Vinyl and Linoleum Flooring

Vinyl and Linoleum are great options when both moisture and high-traffic areas come together.

They are also super easy on the pocketbook as well! One of the least expensive options you can find.

Both materials come in sheets or tiles, making them easy to install in no time flat. Plus, they are extremely easy to maintain. A sweep and a wipe down is all that is needed to keep its appearance.

But if you’re looking from something a little fancier, look no further than luxury vinyl tiles. These tiles snap easily together like laminate. Some can even be used with grout, making them look even more like real tiles than ever!

Other Things to Consider

Just because a particular flooring works well in high-traffic areas doesn’t mean it will be the best choice for your high-traffic area.

There are other factors to consider when making sure you get a long-wearing, resilient flooring for your needs.

Property Value

The fair market value of a property should be considered when determining which flooring to go with. You don’t want to over or under improve with the type of flooring you install.

High-end homes should have a high-end floor. Whereas a rental needs something that can take a lot of abuse and not be expensive to replace if needed.

Location

Also, consider the geographical and physical location of a property.

Is there a lot of moisture? A lot of sand and dirt? How about extreme cold or dryness?

All of these elements should play a factor when choosing your flooring. Pick one that will stand up nicely under whatever conditions there may be.

Knowing the Best Flooring for High-Traffic Areas Make Your Decisions Easier

When you know the best flooring for high-traffic areas, you can focus your attention on deciding which one will fit your needs and budget the best.

That way you will have peace of mind in knowing your money will be invested in a product that will last and look great for a long time to come.

Have questions or are ready to install that high-traffic flooring in your property? Contact us today!