Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Bamboo - The Complete Story

Many people may think they'll buy bamboo and then pat themselves on the back and say "I just saved the earth." However, nothing is that easy. If you really care about the environment and want a durable floor, then you will have to really dig for information. One easy rule is, if the information is not readily available, then the Bamboo is probably not manufactured to standards that make it a truly "green" product.

About Bamboo

Unlike North American hardwood that is cut and milled, Bamboo is processed. It is crushed and then glued together. In that process, there are many pitfalls. 

Maturity: Why is Bamboo the number one complaint item for denting and scratching? Because, it has been harvested too early and the Lignum has not matured to a hardness that makes it "hardwood like." Bamboo grows very fast, but it needs maturing and often in the rush for profits, many manufacturers harvest too early. A minimum of 6 to 10 years is the required time for Bamboo to mature. Bargain priced Bamboo is always a clue. 

Chemicals: Formaldehyde is used in the adhesives that bind the Bamboo into flooring. There are strict manufacturing tolerances for the use of adhesives, but unfortunately there are many Asian mills that do not adhere to these standards. If they do, that information is generally published on the box or in a brochure. A mill that follows the rules will generally be proud of it's adherence to these standards. 

Natural or Carbonized: In the normal Bamboo, the natural is harder than the carbonized. With Strand Woven Bamboo, both colors are commercially rated. 

Satisfaction: Because of the high complaints, Floors for Less avoids the regular bamboo in the horizontal or vertical grain look. Plus, many of these standard Bamboos only come in 36" planks. We think it makes too much of a "brick" like appearance. We prefer the Strand Woven Bamboo. This is a Bamboo that is totally shredded so there are very few of the "knuckles" left in the board. The great benefit of this Bamboo is; it is commercially rated and also comes in 72" boards! Strand Woven Bamboo is the very best! 

Bamboo Flooring

Do your research first. When done right, Bamboo is a floor you can be proud of and will deliver long lasting beauty and satisfaction. One final cautionary note: Due to the extreme hardness of Strand Woven Bamboo, this floor will cup, or swell and shrink more than American species. Wisconsin has some of the most extreme climate changes, from hot and humid to very dry. Wood, especially very hard wood, reacts to these climate changes. 

If you are buying Bamboo solely for it's environmental impact, there are better choices out there. North American Hardwood and specifically Wisconsin manufactured hardwoods are even better "green" products! You can checkout all of our Wisconsin green flooring products on our website:

For all your flooring needs, contact the BEST flooring company in Madison, WI

1017 Applegate Rd., Suite 200
Madison, WI 53713
Phone: 608-442-1200

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

4 Strategies for Long Lasting Carpet

With the right care and maintenance, you can keep your Madison, Wisconsin carpet looking great for years! If you stay on top of it, cleaning it can be easier than you might think. All it takes is a good vacuum, the right cleaning products and a little know-how. Check out these strategies for keeping your carpet looking great from!

1. Get Rid of Dirt.

Dirt acts like a thousand little blades cutting the fibers of your carpet. When you walk across a dirty carpet, you grind these dirt particles against the fibers, creating tiny nicks. Also, when first scratches the fibers, it dulls the sheen. This is why high-traffic areas appear duller than the rest of the carpet. Over time, this process mats the fibers down and makes them stain more easily. Try these tips to keep your carpet as dirt-free as possible:
  • Vacuum entrances and high-traffic areas twice a week and everywhere else at least once a week. Frequent vacuuming will reduce soil buildup. 
  • Suction power is cut in half when there's a dirty bag, dirt cup or filter. The main reason bagless vacuums stop working is that the filters aren't changed often enough. Be sure to replace or wash filters every 3 months and replace vacuum bags when they're 3/4 full. 
  • Vacuum slow enough to get out as much dirt as possible and go over high-traffic areas more than once. 
  • Use doormats inside and out to keep dirt off the carpet. Coarse-textured mats outside your doors remove soil, while water-absorbent mats inside prevent wet shoes on the carpeting. 

2. Hire a Professional Carpet Cleaner.

While you can easily rent a machine to clean the carpet yourself, it is important to have your carpets professionally cleaned every once in awhile. When done correctly, this process deep cleans the carpet and doesn't leave behind a soap residue. A rented carpet cleaner will remove the surface dirt, but doesn't get that deep clean that you need to remove allergens, dust and greasy residues. The best strategy for keeping your carpets clean is to do-it-yourself most of the time, but hire a professional every 12 to 18 months.

3. Do Some DIY Cleaning.

Since hiring a professional carpet cleaner can be costly, the next-best thing is to rent or buy a machine and do-it-yourself. This approach can be effective if you understand how to use the machine properly. Hurrying through a cleaning will leave soap residue, a soaked carpet and a pad that can mold or mildew easily. Make sure that you clean the carpet before it becomes really dirty. How often the cleaning needs to be done, depends on the kind of carpet traffic you have, for example kids or pets. If you wait until the carpet is filthy, cleaning it will be much more difficult, take longer and probably cost more. Be sure to vacuum before and after cleaning the carpets. You may want to pre-treat any stains or high-traffic areas. Before cleaning you will also want to remove or elevate your furniture. When you are done cleaning, be sure to let the carpet dry thoroughly before walking on it and replacing the furniture.      

4. Clean Stains Right Away.

If you treat a stain immediately, there is a 99% chance you can remove it. The longer a stain reacts chemically with the carpeting, the harder it is to remove. Try removing the stain with water first; press a clean, dry, white cloth over the stain to absorb the spill. Don't dig or scoop food spills as that can work the stain into the carpet. If there are solids on top of the stain, use a spoon or dull knife to carefully scrape the food toward the middle of the stain and up into a while towel. You also do not want to rub or scrub as that will damage the fibers, creating a fuzzy area. Be patient gently working water into the spill and blotting it inward. If water alone does not work, try a white vinegar and water solution or club soda before trying any commercial cleaning products. Some commercial products can cause carpet to get dirty faster or damage the carpet's color and texture, so be sure to test a small, inconspicuous area before using one.  

If you're carpet has reached the end of it's life, Floors for Less can hook you up with some brand new carpet! We emphasize service, knowledge and the ability to help you get started. Good Madison flooring at a great price adds to the beauty and value of your home. Stop by the showroom today to take a look at what we have to offer!

For all your flooring needs, contact the BEST flooring company in Madison, WI

1017 Applegate Rd., Suite 200
Madison, WI 53713
Phone: 608-442-1200

Friday, April 10, 2015

4 Ways to Reuse Old Hardwood Flooring

So you've decided to replace your hardwood flooring in Madison, Wisconsin. It's out with the old and in with the new. Rather than just throwing out the old hardwood flooring, consider your options. One option would be to take it to a recycling center. However, if you're feeling a little creative, consider one of these great projects for reusing your old hardwood flooring.

1. Build Wooden Furniture. 

Whether you're a professional woodworker or just a DIYer, there are many projects, simple to hard for you to try. Depending on how much old flooring you have, you could make a simple cabinet to put in the hall, a dresser for the bedroom or a island for your kitchen. Check out for some inspiration on a project for your home!

2. Reface Your Cabinets. 

One of the most effective ways to recycle your hardwood flooring would be to reface or clad your kitchen or bathroom cabinets. Many times it's not practical to replace all the cabinetry in a room, so refacing the current ones might be the best solution for getting that different look you want.

3. Create Wooden Artwork & Decor 

If you don't have enough old hardwood flooring to create a piece of furniture or reface your cabinets, consider creating smaller decor pieces or artwork. A simple, yet resourseful way to use the wood would be to create frames for mirrors or windows. You could also create shelves or storage crates. The possibilities are endless!

4. Make Wooden Toys. 

Reclaimed wood is also the perfect material for making simple toys for your kids. If you search online, you will find tons of ideas from wooden trains to ride-on wooden horses. Even if you know very little about carpentry, there's a project out there for you. There are hundreds of DIY craft projects with step-by-step instructions.

At Floors for Less, we can help you find the perfect flooring to replace those old hardwood floors. We emphasize service, knowledge and the ability to help you get started. We have significant experience in the flooring industry. Stop by our showroom to find good Madison flooring at a great price!

For all your flooring needs, contact the BEST flooring company in Madison, WI

1017 Applegate Rd., Suite 200
Madison, WI 53713
Phone: 608-442-1200