Category Archives: Updates

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!

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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

Ron Call’s Tip of the Week #009- Keep Your Furniture from Sliding Across the Floor

Tip of the Week
Friday, May 18, 2012
by Ron Call, your Urbanfloor guy

Ron Call, your Urbanfloor Guy

Last week I talked about how to protect your hardwood floors from being scratched by your furniture by using felt pads under the legs of chairs and tables.  As a follow up to that, do you have young kids in your home that like to use your couches as a trampoline?

Kids love to play and jump on furniture.  The problem is that when they jump from couch to couch they tend to slide around on the slick surface of the wood floor.  To prevent your furniture from sliding around after you place your felt pads under the feet, head out to your local hardware store.

There you will find rubber mesh material typically used to line cabinet drawers and shelves.  Cut them to fit under the legs of your furniture with a pair of scissors and place them under the legs of your couches or any other piece of furniture that you don’t want to easily be moved.  Now your kids can pretend to be the next Olympic champion or the next super avenger and furniture will stay in place.

Have flooring questions?  Need expert help?  Need expert advice?  Just Ask Ron HERE

Ron Call’s Tip of the Week #008- Protecting Your Hardwood Floors From Your Furniture

Ron Call, your Urbanfloor Guy

Tip of the Week #008
Friday, May 11, 2012
by Ron Call, have flooring questions or need advice?  Ask Ron HERE

Protect your new wood floor from your furniture.  Place felt pads under the legs of all your chairs and furniture that you will be sliding around or moving for cleaning and dusting.  You can purchase them at your Urbanfloor dealer or your local hardware store.  Watch my video and see just how simple it is to protect your floors.  This is something you should do immediately after your floor is installed before replacing your furniture.

Your Health and Hardwood Flooring

May 7, 2012
By Dan Simon

www.urbanfloor.com

Spring time is a beautiful time of the year.  Flowers blooming, leaves turning green, the smell of fresh cut grass and nice warm weather.  But for allergy and Asthma sufferers it can also be a miserable time of the year and the floors you have in your home can contribute to allergy season lasting in your house all year long.

While having carpet can offer comfort and warmth in your home it also traps in dirt and debris very easily as well as being a breeding ground for dust mites and bed bugs.

Yup, that’s right bed bugs don’t just live in your bed.  According to eHow Home“Although bed bugs are notorious for infesting bedding and mattress, these are not the only places that they live. It is not uncommon to find bed bugs in carpet as well. They will typically hide in places such as carpet during the day, and then make their way to the bed at night to feed on human blood. It is important to eliminate bed bugs from carpet in order to completely get rid of them in your home.”

If you have pets carpet also traps in pet hair and dander not to mention mold, mildew and spills can suck into carpet and the padding underneath like a sponge.  Every time you let your pets inside the house they can bring in dust and dirt from underneath their paws.   As they shed hair, pollen and other outdoor airborne elements that had stuck to their fur coat end up falling off and trapped in your carpet.  Let’s not forget that with pets also come fleas which can also live in your carpet and lay eggs very rapidly reproducing.  A female flea can produce 600 offspring in one month.  A flea’s life cycle from egg to larva to pupa to adult can be as short as 12 days or as long as 174 days, depending on temperature and humidity.

What if you have brand new carpet installed in your home that hasn’t had any foot traffic on it yet?  New carpet manufacturing uses synthetic materials and chemicals (that new carpet smell) which you are breathing in these fumes each time you are exposed.  Long term exposure to this can be hazardous to your health causing sinus and breathing problems.

Cigarette smoke also not only discolors your walls and ceilings but gets trapped into your carpet fibers causing a terrible stench in your home as well carcinogenic fumes that release back into the air every time you run a vacuum cleaner, your children are playing on the floor or you’re simply walking from room to room.

Carpets need to be cared for much more frequently than harder flooring surfaces.  The Carpet And Rug Institute recommends vacuuming your entire home at least twice a week.  If you have a larger home with a lot of surface space or a home with carpeted staircases this can be a very time consuming and a daunting task making it difficult to keep up a twice weekly schedule upkeep.  Plus every time you run the vacuum cleaner allergens and other harmful elements release back into the air you breathe.

In addition to vacuuming, your carpets need to cleaned on a regular basis.  RugDoctor recommends “as a general rule of thumb, the carpeting in a household containing two non-smoking adults should be cleaned once every six to twelve months. If those two people are smokers, on the other hand, the carpet will need to be cleaned once every four months instead. Similarly, if you have children or pets in your home, you will need to clean the carpeting at least once every six months. And, if you have both pets and children, you will likely need to clean your carpet once every three months in order to keep it in good shape.”

Between vacuuming and cleaning properly caring for your carpet can not only be labor intensive each week but also expensive each time you have it cleaned.

Hardwood floors are convenient to maintain and clean, making it easier to avoid the dust build-up that often occurs with carpets.  Cleaning up pet hair and spills is also more convenient with hardwood floors.

Hardwood floors require minimal maintenance in terms of effort, equipment and upkeep costs.  For example think about the difference in price between a mop versus a vacuum and regular carpet cleaning services.  Hardwood floors are also much more resistant to stains.

As mentioned above carpet is a constant source of dander, dust, lint, fur, mildew, mold, pollen, dust mites, bed bugs, fleas and other elements that can cause poor air quality and cleanliness.  Hardwood doesn’t hide these harmful elements – making for a healthier, easier to clean, safer living environment, especially for allergy sufferers.

So before making that final decision to invest in a hardwood floor or carpet remember to consider you and your family’s health.  Plus it’s way more fun to put on a pair of socks and slide across the floor.  You can’t do that with carpet!

 

Ron Call’s Tip of the Week #007- Do It Yourself Molding Installation

Tip of the Week #007
May 3, 2012
by Ron Call, your Urbanfloor guy

Ron Call, your Urbanfloor Guy

If you have decided to tackle your own flooring installation be sure and read up on the subject and watch my videos.  An otherwise perfect installation of the floor can be overshadowed by sloppy trim installation.  Transition moldings and base boards will make or break the final look of any job.

Transitions can be tricky especially when working with a concrete sub floor where nailing them down is not an option.  Most installers will use a good construction adhesive and blue painters tape to secure them in place while the adhesive cures.  When installing multiple pieces for example at a tile or stone transition where there are angles, like a fireplace or tile entry way the installer often finds the next day after the adhesive has cured that the pieces have shifted and have become misaligned or there are now gaps.

This often necessitates buying new moldings and starting over as removal at this point almost always results in breakage.  This is often caused by some one stepping on them before the adhesive has had time to fully cure or the trim piece was slightly bowed and lifted up off the floor and the tape could not hold it.

A simple method to prevent this is to purchase a $20.00 hot melt glue gun from your local hardware store.  When applying your construction adhesive leave a small area on both ends of each piece and a small spot in the middle of the channel where the glue is to be applied.  This is where you will place dollops of thermal plastic glue.

Apply the construction adhesive first, making sure your molding is cut properly. (Dry fit first) Then quickly place the hot melt glue in the three spots where there is no construction adhesive.  Quickly place the molding in place and hold in securely for about three minutes while the thermal plastic glue sets up.

The thermal plastic glue will hold the molding in place until the construction adhesive has had time to cure.  No need for blue tape and your job is complete and your molding look like they where done by a pro.  Now go enjoy your new floor.

Technology and Your Business- Are you Keeping up or Falling Behind?

April 30, 2012
By Dan Simon, Social Media Marketing Manager

Information…  Getting it, sharing it and distributing has changed over the years.  I remember as a kid watching ‘The Flintstones.’  The daily newspaper was chiseled in stone and you better duck for cover and not get hit in the head.

Because of technology we’re getting information at an alarmingly fast rate of speed with so many places to get it from that it seems like you’re swimming in an ocean hoping you make it to the right island so you don’t drown.

Back in the day you tore out a magazine page and brought it in to your hair stylist to show how you wanted to get your hair cut and styled.  Remember that embarrassing time when you walked into a record shop and when you wanted to know the name of the artist and song and you had to sing it to the store clerk in front of everyone?  For those of you in younger generations… yes that is how we gathered our favorite music… iTunes had not happened yet.

It’s a new frontier.  While you have to be high-touch you also need to be high-tech.  The personal touch is often forgotten because it’s very easy to automate technology and make it easier.  But no matter how much we become more advanced in tech, people still want to have that human touch.  Think about it…  do you like calling into your bank on the phone and having to deal with multiple automated menu-after-menu, push this number-push that?

Here is the point.  An old world way of building relationships with customers must collaborate with a new world way of high-tech.  Unavoidable and balance is key.

www.urbanfloor.com

An example of current relevant media and technology that can be used to personalize service with tech without taking the human aspect out. Enter:

iPad and Pinterest

As a dealer imagine this: Customer walks into your showroom.  Obviously you ask how you can help them.  You show them around to your various selections.  You have samples of wood species and brands… But your sales rep also can carry an iPad (or tablet) where they can show a flooring sample with an image of how it might look in an interior designed room.  And using Pinterest from your account and on a tablet you can feature flooring collections on-the-fly as they shop, walk and you consult.  Sometimes it is a challenge for clients to imagine floors in a home but if you can paint a picture it is easier to see potential.  This is an opportunity for personalized service while providing cutting-edge technology to give your customer total client care. 

As a homeowner imagine this: You walk into your local dealer with your iPad and your own Pinterest account.  Not only are you able to show your consultant exactly what you like from your tablet but you also have the ability to show other design ideas you love so that there is better understanding for what you want.  After all “a picture is worth a thousand words,” right?

Times are changing and how we do business is evolving rapidly.   Here is a story I heard years ago early in my career but remember to this day.  In business no matter how small, medium sized or fortune 500 large… the axe needs to be and must be sharpened to survive now and grow in the future…

“Rodger, a woodcutter, worked for a company for five years but never got a raise.  The company hired Bill and within a year he got a raise.  This caused resentment in Rodger and he went to his boss to talk about it.  The boss said, “You are still cutting the same number of trees you were cutting five years ago.  We are a result-oriented company and would be happy to give you a raise if your productivity goes up.”  Rodger went back, started hitting harder and putting in longer hours but he still wasn’t able to cut more trees.

He went back to his boss and told him his dilemma.  The boss told John to go talk to Bill. “  Maybe there is something Bill knows that you and l don’t.”  Rodger asked Bill how he managed to cut more trees.  Bill answered, “After every tree I cut, I take a break for two minutes and sharpen my axe.  When was the last time you sharpened your axe?”  This question hit home like a bullet and Rodger got his answer.”

 

Ron Call’s Tip of the Week #006- A Squeaky Hardwood Floor and Baby Powder?

Tip of the Week #006
April 27, 2012
by Ron Call, your Urbanfloor guy

Does your floor squeak when you walk on it?  Older nail down type installations are notorious for squeaking.  But floating floors and glued down installations can make noise as well.  Seasonal changes will make your floor expand and contract and certain times of year the squeaking may be worse.  Squeaks are caused by loose boards rubbing against one another or a nail or staple used to install your floor to the sub-floor may be rubbing against a joist as you walk.  If your squeaking is throughout your home you may want to contact your floor covering professional as face nailing or crawling under the floor in your crawl space may be required.

Ron Call, your Urbanfloor Guy

But if the noise is localized to just a couple areas and you can see the culprit boards rubbing against one another as you walk, try using a little baby powder.  That’s right, just a little sprinkle between the noisy boards may be all you need to eliminate the squeak.  What happens is the powder works its way down between the boards and acts like a lubricant thereby eliminating the squeak.  Only use a very small amount, just sprinkle the effected area and try and work the boards up and down.  This will allow the powder to work it’s way down between the planks.  Clean up any excess powder immediately with a vacuum and a damp cloth moistened with just enough water to remove any powder residue but not enough to allow moisture to get between the boards (Damp.  Water should not drip from cloth).  Then dry with a clean cloth.  Baby powder on your floor is very slippery and any left on your floor may cause you to lose your footing and fall.  If this does not work contact your floor covering professional.

Ron Call’s Tip of the Week #005- Man’s Best Friend and Your Hardwood Floors

Tip of the Week #005 
April 20, 2012
by Ron Call, your Urbanfloor guy

Ron Call, your Urbanfloor Guy

If you have dogs in your home especially large dogs it’s a good idea to have throw rugs strategically placed over your hardwood floors.  Place them under your coffee table, dining room table and if possible around the perimeter of your bed as well. 

Hardwood floors can be be pretty slick.  Just ask your 6 year old who likes to slide around in his socks.  Some dogs have a difficult time getting up off the wood floor when they are lying down and will extend their claws to try and get a better grip thereby digging their nails into the wood flooring causing scratches.  If your dog has his favorite place to lay down, place a throw rug down.  It will enhance the designer look of your home, make your dog’s life easier and it may save you the frustration of having to pay to have scratches fixed.

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