Category Archives: News

Urbanfloor Hits Celebrity Circuit

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Thinking About Doing Your Own Carpet Demo?

Thinking About Doing Your Own Carpet Demo?
by Ron Call

In this day and age of trying to save a buck or two on your home remodel you may want to consider doing your own demo.  If you’re planning on installing your new flooring project soon, doing your own demo (removal of existing floor covering) may save you a few bucks.  Here is how you can Do-It-Yourself.  For this project we will assume that we will be installing a new floating wood project.

If you have an existing old carpet to tear out here is what you will need.

  1. Hammer
  2. Pry bar
  3. Floor scrapper
  4. Sharp utility knife
  5. Work gloves
  6. Safety glasses

First start in one corner of the room and then pull up the carpet off the tack strip.  Once you pulled up the corner, pull along one wall raising the carpet only as high as to release it from the tack strip pins.  If the carpet is down so tight that you cannot grip it to pull it up, try cutting a slit down through the top of the carpet in the corner large enough to get your hand underneath then pull it up.  Now go around the perimeter of the room pulling it up along the wall from corner to corner.  Once the carpet is released from the tack strip it’s time to start cutting the rug.

First cut the carpet at any doorway seams to separate one room from another.  Carpet is very heavy so you will want to cut the carpet in manageable size strips maybe four to six feet wide.  Then roll it up in individual pieces light enough to carry without hurting yourself.

Once the carpet is gone take your floor scrapper and remove the padding, it may be glued or stapled.  Wear your gloves! Staples are sharp and trust me I have the scars to prove it.  Once you have released the pad roll it up and dispose of properly.  Depending on where you live you may be able to recycle the padding and the carpet both, which will save you dump fees and possible pay for your gas as well.  I’ve gotten as much as $40.00 for a whole house worth of old nasty padding.

Now it’s time to tackle the wood tack strip around the perimeter of the room.  Grab your pry bar and hammer, put on your gloves and safety glasses.  Take the curved edge of the pry bar place it on the floor up against the tack strip right next to one of the nails that secures it to the floor.  Start at either end of the tack strip, now hit the pry bar down low by the floor with your hammer to dislodge the nail and raise up the tack strip.  Once the first nail pops up move to the next nail.  Do this around the entire room until all the tack strip is removed.  Dispose of carefully as tack strip pins are very sharp and very painful.  Double check the perimeter of the room for any tack strip nails that may have been left behind and remove them with your pry bar.

You do not want these nails under your new floor.  Scrap any glue residue from the pad off the floor or remove any staples.  Sweep the floor and call your flooring company and tell them you’re ready for your install.  It’s hard dirty work doing demo but if you have the time and inclination, you can save a nice chunk of change.  Depending on the size of the job the savings could be hundreds of dollars.  And nothing makes your installer happier than a floor that is ready for install.  Installers love to install, not so much doing demo…

If you ever need advice, guidance or have questions you can always get in touch with me under the “Ask Ron” section of our blog HERE.

You Get What You Pay For

You Get What You Pay For
by Ron Call

So I’m driving down the road today with my wife in the car coming back to San Diego from a business trip in LA.  I admit after a long 5 hours in the car I was a little grumpy.  And this radio advertisement comes on and tells me they sell their flooring at 80% off cost.  After I calmed down ranting and raving things like “sure 80% off a 100% mark up, bunch of lying so and so’s”!  My wife says don’t get mad about it just blog about it.  So anyway I’m calm now and collecting my thoughts.

Ron Call, your Urbanfloor Guy

Everyone needs to make a profit.  That’s how we all pay the bills right?  If no one could make a profit we’d all be poor living on dirt floors.  But 80% off?  Come on, next they will be selling stuff at what?  100% off?  Remember you get what you pay for.

I did an installation for a customer last month that is a perfect example of you get what you pay for.  I’m a licensed flooring contractor that works out of a small shop.  I am typically hired by retailers, interior designers and general contractors to do installations of the flooring that they sell.  Occasionally I’ll have a customer usually a referral where I’m asked to provide both the flooring and the installation.

So I head over to her house to meet with her and go over all the details.  I find out what type of flooring she wants, I figure out how much material that will be needed and what type of sub-floor she has (very important).  Because she lives upstairs in a condo, I also need to make sure for any sound proofing requirements.  She also lived right on the ocean which can bring a whole set of challenges in itself.  So I submitted my bid for labor which detailed exact square footage required, moldings, base boards, demo of the old floor etc., everything but the floor that she would eventually choose. We planned on me returning in a few days with samples of all the different types of flooring she was interested in.  A couple days later she called to say that she was putting things off for a couple weeks as her mom was ill.

Two weeks later she called me very excited that she had found the perfect bamboo floor at that large national discount chain.  (I won’t mention their name) but they constantly advertise on T.V. and have their signs hanging in baseball parks all over America.  I was a little disappointed that I didn’t sell her the floor myself but I was happy she was happy, and work is work.

So we scheduled the installation for two weeks later.  She scheduled her vacation time so she could be home during construction.  The plan was I would pick up the bamboo and deliver it, start the demo and prep which was extensive, then on day 4 after proper acclimation we would start putting down some wood.

Here’s where its starts getting a little sticky.  We pick up the bamboo and deliver it to the house up two flights of stairs and stack it in the dining room.  I open one of the boxes to verify the color and quality and to my shock and dismay it’s solid bamboo not engineered.  Which basically means it needs 10 -14 days acclimation not the standard 3 days for engineered products.  This customer’s home was one block from the ocean which means acclimation is hyper critical even for engineered products let alone a solid one.

I tell my customer the situation and I explain that we cannot start the install for two weeks.  She was beside herself telling me that she could not change her vacation time and what could I do.  I explained that without proper acclimation her floor would have no warrantee from the manufacturer.  And that from my experience, installing a solid floating floor without proper acclimation would almost surely fail and that I, in all good conscience could not install it.  So the job was rescheduled for 2 weeks later as the discount store did not have a similar engineered product in stock so we could not exchange it.  My customer thought she was getting a good deal saving what she thought was a few cents per square foot.

In the end she took 2 more weeks off work unpaid and I lost 2 weeks of work myself.  Between the both of us it cost us thousands of dollars.  I went to the see the store manager at the discount warehouse and he was no help at all.  I asked him if he qualified his customer’s to make sure that what he’s selling people is actually suitable for the application involved (he should have known she lived by the ocean and sold her engineered flooring).  He basically told me when a customer comes in and buys a floor that his sub-contractors don’t install he just sells the customer what they want.  Cash and carry, all he cared about was that he made the sale.

The purchase of new flooring in your home can be one of the most expensive purchases that you will ever make.  You need to make sure that you shop at a good retailer with experience and one who only utilizes good licensed contractors.

Some retailers don’t use sub contractors they use their own employees, which is fine as long as the retailer is themselves an experienced contractor.  There are many factors to consider when choosing new flooring and there are many things that need to be considered to ensure your flooring purchase is a good experience such as type of floor, environment, location of the home, sub floor, type of home (ie: single family, condo, apartment, mobile home or a high traffic business location), method of installation, type of floor, warrantee and the list goes on and on.  Sometimes when you’re trying to cut corners and save a few pennies it ends up costing you more in the end.  Remember you get what you pay for!

Xolcation Series

Xolcation

“XOLCATION” is an original web series executive produced and created by Eduardo Xol (pronounced soul), who is best known for his work as a member of the design team for the two-time Emmy award-winning international hit, “Extreme Makeover Home Edition.”  Eduardo continues to work in television, currently serving as a lifestyle expert on Utilisima, a Fox International Network reaching more than 21 million homes in 34 territories across the Americas and throughout the Balkans.

“XOLCATION” documents the renovation of a California weekend beach house belonging to celebrity couple Jennifer Finnigan and Jonathan Silverman. Eduardo assembled a special team of close friends and talented individuals for this project. The goal? To create a brand and product integrated web series that brings the “vacation at home” experience to an outdated living space, which is in much need of a facelift to truly become a home away from home to relax and enjoy as if on vacation.

The series begins with a special focus on the bathrooms and kitchen that quickly evolves into a much larger project. Eduardo’s inspiration for the renovation came from his first visit to Kohler, Wisconsin. When Eduardo began working with his clients, he decided to pitch the documentation of the project to KOHLER and “XOLCATION” was born.

This is the first complete renovation that Eduardo is fully in charge of since leaving “Extreme Makeover Home Edition”.  It gives the viewer a rare and intimate look at Eduardo’s life while getting valuable information about planning and executing a home renovation project of this magnitude.  “XOLCATION” is a hybrid of documented reality and produced entertainment. Kohler will be the main presenter of this web series and is co-producing the project with Eduardo’s production team at Eduardo Xol, Inc.

Eduardo’s cast for the web series includes his clients, Jennifer Finnigan and Jonathan Silverman. Finnigan is a three-time Emmy Award-winning actress, who next stars in the new David E. Kelly series “Monday Mornings” set to air on TNT.  While Silverman is best known for his film role in “Weekend at Bernie’s, he recently wrapped the movie “Self Storage” and stars in and directed National Lampoon’s “Another Dirty Movie”.

Eduardo’s on-camera cast also includes Dinah Leffert (Project Manager), Richard Morales (Communications Director), Trey Payment (Personal Assistant), K.C. Morgan (Design and Build Associate), Bryan Cooper (Lead Carpenter) and Daniel Lopez (General Contractor). Alexander Jeffrey, who is not seen on camera, serves as the Director of the web series.

View the official promo trailer here:

Prestige Oceanfront Resort Sooke, BC

Hyde Park Distribution is entirely 100% Canadian as well as being family-owned & operated, with industry expertise totaling more than 15 years in the hardwood business.  Owner Tom Neaves strives to deliver only the very best customer service and quality wood products 100% of the time.  As a well-respected figure within the lumber community, Tom knows his wood. (no pun intended) To learn more about Hyde Park or have questions, need guidance or inquiries you can connect with Tom or his helpful team HERE.

By: UrbanfloorDan

So this project was put in front of me by one of “the family” (Movie: The Godfather reference in case you didn’t catch it) Sergio Andrade who works exclusively with Hyde Park.  This hotel project really got me thinking.  I’ve traveled through many parts of the U.S., Europe, Asia and South America but I have never been to Canada!  I mean how long is a flight from L.A.?  Two… Two and half hours?  Shame on me!  Every time I see a photo or read an article about Canada it’s always a beautiful picture and a positive word.  The lush forests, clean cities, white powder snow and then when you hear about the people in Canada the only thing I ever hear is how nice people are… and that I’ve experienced first hand.  Hey, just cause I haven’t been there doesn’t mean Canadians don’t visit here.  I’ve met a few visitors here in L.A. and when doing some biz have chatted on the phone… always nice… “eh!”  I’m getting off course so getting back to the pictures I always see in Canada and how they’re always beautiful…  this hotel project by Hyde Park is no exception.

Birch Shadow shade/color from our Chiseled Edge Series within our Urban Lifestyle Collection was installed in the gorgeous Prestige Oceanfront Resort Sooke in British Columbia, Canada.

In BC, Canada “Prestige Hotels and Resorts is one of BC’s finest family owned chain of resorts, hotels and inns. With a passion for excellence and an uncompromising commitment to superior service, we invite visitors to experience beautiful British Columbia complemented by our unique brand of hospitality. Located throughout the Interior of British Columbia and on Vancouver Island, each resort, hotel and inn offers the opportunity for a truly unique regional experience.”

Our Birch Shadow wood planks undergo a dense stain treatment that transforms an ordinarily pale birch wood into a darker duskier look perfect for classic and contemporary settings.  It’s always a proud moment when you have a product that ads class and warmth to a client’s home but also available when you visit and travel.  Thank you Prestige and Hyde Park for including us in your customer’s luxury experience and all the great memories that Urbanfloor will be apart of right underneath every guest’s feet.  Enough of my blah, blah, blah…  See the results yourself.

Opulent Two Queen

 

Opulent King

 

One Bedroom Suite

 

What Does the LEED after my name mean?

Denise Colestock, LEED A.P. BD+C

Denise is one of the newest members of Team Urban and has a background in design and architecture with an emphasis in sustainable design.  In her free time she enjoys hiking, paddle boarding, traveling, reading, running and yoga- usually with her active toddler in tow.  Denise even has her own urban farm which satisfies her passion for local, healthy eating- and introducing her son early to nature in its purest form.

What Does the LEED after my name mean?

By Denise Colestock, LEED A.P. BD+C

As the newest member of the Urban Floor team, I am excited to share my knowledge and passion for sustainable design with our clients and colleagues.  The credentials after my name, LEED BD+C, mean that I am a LEED Accredited Professional and have passed an exam that allows me to design environmentally friendly buildings using strict codes and guidelines that lead to efficient buildings.

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is redefining the way our built environments are designed, constructed and operated.  Factors that are considered when creating a LEED building include sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.  This rating system can be used for commercial buildings as well as for residential homes and neighborhoods as a whole, and is constantly aimed at achieving high performance in human and environmental health.

With a background in design and architecture, I am excited to bring the latest news and trends to the Urban Floor team when it comes to flooring design and sustainable building technologies. To learn more about the LEED system, please visit www.usgbc.org.  Also feel free to contact me directly at denise@urbanfloor.com if you have any questions regarding environmentally friendly design.

Congratulations to Our Summer 2012 Apple Sweepstakes Winners

An “Apple a day” keeps the doctor away and for a few they now have an Apple in their home each day!  We ran a summertime sweepstakes from July 4, 2012 to August 31, 2012 on our Facebook page.

Grand Prize: 21.5″ 2.5Gh iMac ($1199 Value)

Second Prize: The New iPad3 16GB Wi-Fi ($499 Value)

Third Prize: 8GB iPod Touch ($199 Value)

In addition we also ran an Apple Trivia game on our Facebook page where participants answered a trivia question based on Apple company history for eight weeks leading up to the big day.  It was lot’s of fun for everyone and we have more in-store coming up.  Thank you to everyone that participated!

Here are the lucky winners on this round and big congrats!!!

August 31, 2012 Winners

 

Summer Facebook Sweepstakes 2012

Satisfy your APPLEtite! Take a bite from this Apple sweet sweepstakes on our Facebook page this summer for your chance to win one of three brand spankin’ new Apple products in your home! Enter HERE!

Visit us on Facebook to Play

 

Housing Market 180 According to Harvard Study

After several false starts, there is reason to believe that 2012 will mark the beginning of a true housing market recovery.  Sustained employment growth remains key, providing the stimulus for stronger household growth and bringing relief to some distressed homeowners.  Many rental markets have already turned the corner, giving a lift to multifamily construction but also eroding affordability for many low-income households.  While gaining ground, the homeowner market still faces multiple challenges.  If the broader economy weakens in the short term, the housing rebound could again stall…

Read More: HERE

Source: The Joint Center For Housing Studies For Harvard University

Ron Call’s Tip of the Week #010- Asbestos Safety When Installing Your Hardwood Floors

Tip of the Week
Saturday, May 26, 2012
by Ron Call, your Urbanfloor guy

Ron Call, your Urbanfloor Guy

DYI tip of the week.  If you’re planning on installing your own floor either gluing direct, nailing or using the floating method one thing you might not have considered especially if you have an older home built before the late 1980′s is asbestos.

A lot of these homes were originally built using base grade VAT (Vinyl Asbestos Tile) as a floor covering.  You may still be walking on it today, or it may be hidden under the carpet or vinyl flooring you are thinking about replacing.  In any case if the tiles on your floor are 9″ x 9″ or are secured by an adhesive that looks like black tar, there is a real good chance that it contains asbestos. Both the tiles and the adhesive may contain asbestos.

Asbestos is a known carcinogen that can cause cancer.  You should NOT attempt to remove or alter this tile or adhesive in any way.  It is against Federal Law and you may possibly contaminate your home.  The problem is not that it is in your home, as long as it remains undisturbed it will not cause any health concerns.  The problems can come from the improper removal and disposal.

If you were planning a glued direct method, you will need to find a certified asbestos abatement contractor to properly remove and dispose of the tile and the adhesive residue.  Even disposing of the tile in a regular land fill is against the law, so do not attempt to do this yourself.  You are risking your families health and major fines if you are caught.  Now if you find that you have this in your home you can still install your new floor without removal if you use the floating method.

If your floor is flat with in a tolerance (see the specs that came with your floor) just install right over the tiles. You can use a good self-leveling concrete patch to fill any low spots (just go right over the tiles).  If you have any high spots that need grinding, STOP and contact your certified asbestos abatement contractor.

If you improperly try to grind the high spots you WILL contaminate your home and put your family at risk.  If you are not sure if your flooring contains asbestos, for safety sake just assume that it does.  You can have it tested for about $50.00 depending on the area of the country you live in.  It is almost always impossible to tell the difference between VAT (Vinyl Asbestos Tile) and VCT (Vinyl Composite Tile).  If you have your certified abatement contractor remove the tiles and adhesive residue for you, be sure he gives you a Clean Air Certificate upon completion.  This will certify that your home is safe to occupy and the air safe to breath.  Once this is done install away…

Have questions about a project you’re working on?  Need advice?  For answers post a comment below or visit the Ask Ron page HERE

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