Wool carpets are sustainable, chemical-free, and non-toxic.
09 60 00 Flooring
Selecting the proper floor finish can be a difficult task for any project, especially educational facilities. Almost every school you enter today has a cafeteria or multipurpose room that functions as an eating area. The eating area is usually equipped with cafeteria tables that have attached seating. These tables are large, can weigh several hundred pounds, and can contribute to damaging the selected flooring material. If sheet vinyl flooring was selected, the vinyl would become dented and/or compressed at each table leg location. Sheet vinyl does not have the have compressive strength to withstand such high point loads. In just a short period of time, the entire floor would become visibly scared and unattractive. Vinyl composite tiles would have the compressive strength to withstand the weight of the tables. However, over an extended period of time, the tiles expand and contract, allowing dirt and grease to accumulate in the joints. Virtually impossible to remove, the dirt and grease quickly become noticeable. Ceramic tile is another viable option, but can become a slip hazard when wet. Also, the grout will stain with repeated exposure to liquid, dirt and food.
For years, design shows have been busy emptying the world’s quarries of as much granite as possible in the name of kitchen countertops. The harvesting of stone, as well as its shipping and processing, can leave a significant environmental footprint. A small number of companies, such as Cold Spring Granite (which has architectural, memorial, and residential products), prioritize sustainability. Meanwhile, green manufacturers have been coming up with a number of attractive and highly functional alternatives.
These are lessons learned from installing laminate flooring in my own home, along with my wife and a few friends. Laminate flooring is a relatively new and innovative product, well suited for home owners and do-it-yourself individuals who are looking for a weekend project. Fitting that description, my wife and I started our quest to redo our 12'-0" x 18'-0" family room.
Wood flooring is a long-lasting, aesthetically pleasing, and affordable interior floor covering. According to the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), "In a national survey of real estate agents, 90% said that houses with wood flooring sell faster and for higher prices than houses without wood floors." That being the case, who wouldn't want a wood floor? Prior to racing out and purchasing wood flooring, we need to understand what is available and keep in mind that all wood floors are not created equal.
Laminate flooring has become a very popular choice for do-it-yourselfers due to the fact that it’s economical, durable, and easy to install. Several varieties of laminate wood flooring are available, offering consumers a vast array of aesthetic choices. Most laminate flooring products share similar characteristics: a pressed wood base; a durable, adhered laminate finish; and a self-locking tongue and groove system. These systems typically do not require fasteners or adhesives – they just lock into place, basically “floating” above the subfloor. Join the At Home channel host, Jeff Wilson, for a tutorial on installing a laminate floor.
Laminate flooring is a product that represents the most significant change in floor covering materials in the last twenty five years, and its history has been an interesting one. This type of material can be traced to Sweden in the early 1980's. It was originally developed as a possible use for high pressure melamine. Early versions of the product had a base composed of several layers of resin impregnated paper which were pressed together under high pressure. This created a highly wear-resistant composite material. A decorative top sheet was then applied to the base, and the completed composite material was glued onto a carrier material and cut into sections.
Resilient flooring refers to a type of material that has "give" as weight compresses its surface, and "return" (to its original surface profile) after the weight has been removed. Common types of resilient flooring are made from materials like rubber, linoleum, cork, asphalt, and vinyl.
Terrazzo, derived from the Italian word "terrace," is thought to have been first put to use in 15th century Venice. A vast amount of terrazzo remains in Italy's ancient architecture from this time period, supporting this assumption; however, archaeologists have also discovered the use of a matrix and marble chip flooring system used in Turkey that may be as much as 10,000 years old. Italian craftsmen historically used discarded marble chips to create floors on exterior terraces around their homes. The marble chips were embedded in clay, and when the clay dried, the surface of the flooring was ground down, making it smooth and durable.
One of the greatest causes of personnel injury in commercial buildings and private residences are slips and falls. Creating safe floors with the application of a slip-resistant treatment greatly reduces the potential for personnel injury.
Bamboo flooring is an attractive floor material manufactured from the bamboo plant. The majority of the flooring material used is from the "moso" species harvested from natural and plantation groves in China and other areas of Asia.
Cork is one of the more beautiful and comfortable floor materials available. Cork is harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree typically found in the Mediterranean countries of Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco.
In architectural terms, the wall base is a band of material covering the lowest part of a wall. Its purpose is to cover the joint between the vertical wall surface and the horizontal floor surface. The base also protects a wall from the abuse of vacuum and other cleaning machines, as well as from the damage caused by foot traffic and furniture.
Resinous flooring consists of a combination of chemicals in a solution used as a floor treatment. This combination of chemicals, which are mixed together just before application to the surface of the floor, will create a stronger and more durable finished floor surface.
Carpeting is a decorative sheet or tile floor covering that is both practical and versatile. Used in both residential and commercial buildings, carpeting accounts for more than half of all floor covering installed each year. Carpeting was originally known as "rugs," which were commonly used on walls and tables. They were not typically used as a floor covering until the 18th century. The word carpet can be traced to the Armenian “karpet,” “kar” meaning to knot or stitch. Early hand tied and knotted rugs were spun from plant fibers and the sheared wool or hair of sheep and goats. Weaving of carpets started prior to the 1600's and flourished through the 1700's. Carpet manufacturing today mixes old methods and new innovation, providing a low cost floor covering with significant design flexibility and relatively low maintenance, which also insulates for sound and temperature.