The Great Indoors


What does waterproof really mean for floors that are guaranteed waterproof?  It means that even in standing water, these floors will not absorb, swell, discolor, or delaminate.  These floors are usually a composite core of stone, pvc, and polymers that will not be affected by high moisture environments.  The top layer is an LVT (luxury vinyl tile or plank) with a vinyl or urethane style wear layer, and many have an attached water proof backing of either natural cork or synthetic closed cell foam.  Many manufactures offer this style of flooring for residential and commercial use.  The color and style options are endless. 

When selecting a flooring like this, look for the wear layer thickness, usually measured in mils, and the corresponding warranty for traffic and wear.  Thinner wear layers at 6mil are only suitable for light residential traffic.   12mil and 20mil is good for normal to heavy residential traffic and light to medium commercial use.  Even heavier wear layers are becoming available for severe commercial  traffic.     Even with heavy wear layers and great warranties, no floor is bullet-proof.  Some care is required to prevent scuffs, marring and scratches.  Felt pads under all chair legs and furniture feet are a great way to prevent scratches and rolling chair pads are a must under any chair with casters.  

Floating installation means that the planks or tiles have a locking system down each side and end and will not require adhesives.   Some have the attached pad with a rigid core, some are without this cushion.  Rolls of LVT cushion (much denser and thinner than any laminate or carpet cushion), may be used under floating LVT flooring and are purchased separately.  As this type of flooring is no susceptible to moisture, these attached or rolls of cushion serve only one main purpose: sound dampening.  Uneven subfloors can leave voids under a floating floor that can cause it to flex excessively (weaking the locking system), and cause a hollow sound when walking over them.  Look for attached cushion planks for the quietest floors. 

This type of installation is a fantastic DIY project as it requires few tools.   


If you have frozen pipes and can not get water to run this morning, whether you are on a well or on Municipal water source, you need to cut off the water to the house. Cut off the pump in the well house, or cut off the valve at the street (whatever applies). If there is a burst pipe, inside your home, and the pipes thaw with pressure behind them, it can cause major water damage to your flooring, baseboards, furniture and even your structure. There will still be water inside the lines that could drain out, but this is manageable and so much less than if the water continues to pump. EDIT: Open the faucet to the cold water inside to relieve pressure as it thaws.

Are you having a problem with your wood floors yellowing? It's a common problem for many and it may not be the poly-urethane finish alone. It may be time to look at your cleaners. Are you using an oil based cleaner, or a citrus oil based cleaner? These types of cleaners actually can chemically break down and soften your finish which causes dullness and noticable yellowing. It may be time to switch to good-old fashioned vinegar and water. If an unpleasant thought of pickles comes to mind with vinegar, then there are oil-free hardwood cleaners on the market that will do the job, too.

Carpet or Hard-surface flooring for allergy relief?
This debate is still raging and there are studies to support both sides of the issue.  Doctors and experts agree that airborne allergens for Asthmatic patients is the number one cause of immediate symptoms.  The argument goes around and around as to which will help people with allergies in the home on a day to day living.  Some say removal of the carpet and going to a hard surface flooring will reduce allergens since the fibers can hold fine particulates, including dust, dust mites, mold, and animal dander.  Some say that going to hardsurface flooring may not be best because it won't hold all the fine particulates at ground level keeping those fine dust and other particules airborne where it is likely to be ingested.  From that perspective, they say carpet is better because it catches and holds those fine particules and keeps them from being airborne.  

It may be the real issue here is maintenance.  The real question for real people is: can the floor you select hold up to your lifestyle and does it help you in the long run?  Sure, products are "greener" now, and they have better indoor air quality ratings than ever before, but they are still products that you use every day and their functions are the same as they have always look great, hold up to your use, and to be low maintenance.  

If you just can't give up on the soft cushy, toe-crunching goodness that is carpet...or you just love your hardwood floors and would be sick to cover them.....and you have allergies....don't lose heart, you can still have them, and stay healthier too.  Regular maintenance is key.  Vacuuming those carpets and cleaning them regularly will remove the allergens that are caught in the fibers. Dust mopping your hard surface flooring with a lightly moistened microfiber cloth will keep dust disturbed as little as possible so it can be removed.  Now, we can all breathe easier!  Ahhh.

The latest technology in Soft-Touch fibers for carpets has come to The Great Indoors, Inc!  We are pleased to announce that these filament PET polyester fibers are beautifully colored, available in many styles, as well as Indoor Air Quality safe, stain resistant for easy cleaning, and best of all, have the latest in anti-microbial and odor neutralizing technology.  Beauty and comfort......made practical for today's busy households!

Handscraped hardwoods are now available in solid and engineered styles.  This allows for hardwoods to be installed on wood subfloors and concrete substrates giving you more options for your home. Want that perfect hardwood color to match from the basement level man-cave to the main level of your home?  Now you can!

 We are now offering Heat Welded commercial vinyl for the medical and food service industry!   Heat welded seaming is different from chemical welded or sealed seams as it merges the two separate edges into one continuous, impervious, surface.  It is preferred for surgical rooms, commercial kitchens, and any area that requires the cleanest flooring.

Porcelain vs. Ceramic  What is the difference?
There are many styles, colors, and pricings in both ceramic and porcelain, but the real difference is in the slip. Slip? Slip is the liquid mixture that makes up the tile, before it is fired (heated to 1800F to 2200F) taking it from mud to a hard tile.  Porcelain slip is very fine and fired hotter than ceramic tile slip making the finished product extremely dense.  Ceramic tile is fired at a lower temperature making it a less dense finished product.  What does this mean for you?  Water absorption.  The more dense the tile, the less space that water molecules have to get inside the tile.  This means that if you were to install a frost resistant porcelain tile outside, near a pool or on a patio, moisture would not be able to penetrate the tile and it would stay adhered to the substrate without cracking.  Ceramic tile is only rated for interior use because it absorbs too much moisture for outdoor use.  The reason this can cause problems is that when water freezes, it swells.  Once moisture creeps into the "pores" of a ceramic tile and then freezes, the tiles shatter, crack, and separate from the substrate.  
Porcelain tiles are also great for commercial interiors due to their density making them ideal for heavy traffic and possible exposure to harsh chemicals without sacrificing style.

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