Adding a Stair Runner to Your Home

If your home has a wooden staircase, you may consider adding a stair runner. This is carpeting for your stairs. Literally, it’s carpeting that “runs up the stairs.” Most people don’t think about adding carpeting to stairs; however, it can be a dramatic improvement for your home.

Stair runners are a great addition for many reasons. First, they can quiet the noise that comes from creaky wooden stairs. It also makes stairs warmer when walking on with bare feet. Runners also provide more traction when going up and down. Wood can be slippery, especially if it’s dusty. With carpeting on the stairs, you are less likely to slip and fall.

Runners on stairs also protect the hardwood flooring. Although hardwood is durable, it can get scuff marks and scratches, especially when there is a lot of traffic on them. By covering with carpeting, you can protect the area of the stairs used for walking, helping them last longer.

A stair runner allows homeowners to add beauty and elegance to their stairs. Runners come in numerous colors, styles and patterns, so each homeowner can show their unique personality. Rather than covering the entire staircase with carpeting, a stair runner covers the main area in the middle while still allowing some of the hardwood floor to be seen. So, you can still showcase the hardwood stairs while protecting them and adding style.

Installing a runner on a straight staircase is a relatively easy project, even for a novice do-it-yourselfer. Winding staircases are definitely more challenging. They can still be done with expert instructions or you can hire professionals to handle the job.

A stair runner can be purchased from most carpeting stores. They can either be purchased as a pre-made runner, or some carpeting stores will allow you to choose a piece of carpeting and they will cut and bind it for you. Pre-made runners typically have a field, or main pattern, in the center along with a border on each side. If you have one made, most carpeting stores have remnants in stock that can be used for the job.

You can consult a professional from the carpeting store to know how to accurately measure for the stair runner. This is especially important if you have a winding staircase. If the store has professionals who are going to install it, most likely they will come to your house to take measurements and then come back to install the runner once it’s ready.

Adding a stair runner to your home’s staircase can be money well spent. It can add luxury, safety and protection to your stairs so they will last for many years to come.

The Benefits of Using Quality Paving Tiles In Winter

During the winter months it could often get very cold in your house. Depending on which paving tiles you use, they can retain heat to keep you warm so that you don’t have to continuously find a blanket or a jersey to cover yourself. Remember to use a heater to heat up the room first which can heat the floor surface. These are the benefits of using quality paving tiles in winter.

Most manufacturers have instructions and guidelines on when to install paving tiles during the different seasons of the year. It is obviously not advisable to install them when it is raining. Rather wait for a day when it is dry to ensure that the proper installation takes place. The higher the quality of the tiles, the less you have to worry about fluctuating temperatures. Most items contract when exposed to coldness and it has to be able to withstand the changing temperature as soon as it gets warmer. Quality paving tiles will not crack because are they manufactured with this factor in mind. Furthermore, they are designed specifically for either indoor or outdoor use.

Quality paving tiles should not scratch or get damaged after they have been installed. Outdoor paving tiles need this feature the most. The flooring should be able to hold any traffic, whether it is walking or driving and for many years to come.

Not only are paving tiles useful for winter but if they can withstand cold temperatures, they should also be able to withstand warm temperatures. This means that they won’t have to be replaced every season or every time winter returns. This will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Other options such as ceramic tiles are sealed to avoid dust and other tiny particles from embedding themselves in the material. They would do well in winter but also in the spring or autumn when many tiny particles, such as pollen, could give you sinus problems.

The most important factors to consider when getting quality paving tiles installed are to check that it can hold up to any drastic temperature changes as well as constant foot traffic. They need to be durable and reliable in order for them to last a long time. You could consider options such as cladding and patio tiles which are decorative and enhance the overall appearance of your home, thus creating more value for your property.

The Paving Warehouse & Wonder Rock, masters in the art of simulated rock, are no ordinary stone masoners. The Paving Warehouse is South Africa’s leading manufacturer of simulated rock, with applications both indoors and outdoors, each stone cast is a classic.

Painting Ceramic Floor Tiles

When your ceramic flooring begins to look dreary and dull you can bring the brightness back by painting them. Looking at your floor, you might feel that this is a challenging task because paint will not stick well with the slick, shiny surface of the flooring. To make the task less challenging you will just need to put in a little extra effort to prepare the ceramic flooring so painting it will be much easier.

Important things that you need to keep in mind is that you should clean your floor before you start the painting process, make sure that you pick out a paint that is suitable for your ceramic flooring, and then after the job is done you apply a protective finish. The first thing that you need to do is check out the entire floor and apply grout to any cracks. Now you have to let the floor stay untouched for forty-eight hours to allow it to “cure.” After forty-eight hours, you can start to clean your floor of all the soil, molds, and grease that have accumulated there. Use a brush and abrasive cleaners to scrub the floors. For washing, use a mixture of equal parts water and ammonia. If the tiles have a glossy surface you will have to use sandpaper on they to make the surface a little rough so the paint will stick. Make sure that after you have sanded the floor tiles you get up all the dust.

Now you are ready to use primer on your ceramic flooring. You can use either a shellac-based or an oil-based primer. Make sure that you read the manufacture’s guidelines before you apply them. You will usually need two coats of primer. Apply one layer and let it dry completely before applying the second coat. After the second coat dries, rub sandpaper lightly over the primer to remove any primer lumps that have formed.

The best two paints to use on ceramic flooring is either high-gloss or semi-gloss paint that is oil-based. The reason that oil-based is better is that they not only give a better finish but also are not damaged by moister. Start painting in the corners and areas near the wall using a brush. You will usually need several coats of paint before you get the result that you were looking for. Make sure that each coat is dried completely before you apply another coat. The paint will require at least fourteen days to dry up so you will need to keep it undisturbed and then you will need to apply a floor finish.

Sheen Level for Hardwood Flooring

Are you getting new hardwood floors or looking to have your current floors refinished? Then you are probably wondering if you should go with a matte finish or a higher gloss finish. First, you need to understand the difference in sheen levels for hardwood flooring so you are able to decide on the best finish for your home.

Sheen level, or gloss, is an optical term that describes the ability of a surface to reflect light. The higher the sheen level, the more it directly reflects light, and the lower the sheen level, the more the surface absorbs and diffuses the light. Sheen level is normally measured at a 60 degree angle, which is the equivalent to looking at the surface while standing up. The sheen calculation is then derived by the amount of reflection from the finish.

It is important to note that not all hardwoods will produce the same sheen level. Natural wood color and differences between open and closed grained woods will create subtle and unique variations in the resulting sheen level. Also, sheen level is simply an aesthetic choice: it does not affect the durability of the finish.

The traditional belief was that shiny or high gloss flooring was more attractive; however, there is now a trend moving toward more low-gloss floors due to the benefits they provide. Still, there are advantages for all sheen levels and some of it comes down to personal preference. Here are some basic explanations of the different sheen levels.


A matte finish is the best at offering an authentic representation of a wood floor look without a finish. There is little noticeable sheen in these finishes making them easier to maintain and clean. Scratches and dents do not show as prominently as they do on higher sheen floors. Wear and tear on these floors is also less noticeable, making this a great option for families with children or pets. It also seems to mask dust buildup and footprints much better than the higher gloss counterparts.


Satin finish levels, also referred to as low luster or low gloss, are most often used by prefinished flooring manufacturers or professionals who finish floors on site. A satin finish tends to highlight the color and texture of the wood more than a reflective finish. It has more shine than a matte finish while still hiding dust, footprints and most scratches.

Semi Gloss

A semi gloss finish falls in between satin and high gloss. It will reflect more light; therefore, accentuating imperfections and dust.

High Gloss

High gloss finishes offer an elegant appearance. These finish types are more common in commercial settings and can be seen on basketball courts, bowling lanes and gymnasiums. This finish will tend to highlight imperfections including dust if not cleaned often. Footprints from bare feet will also be visible on this type of finish. A high gloss floor will show wear more quickly in high traffic areas as opposed to the other three finishes.

So, depending on the space where you will be finishing the hardwood floors, your lifestyle and your preference, you can choose the sheen level that will provide the look you desire. If you want your floor to shine and don’t mind frequent cleaning, you can go with a higher gloss finish. Whereas, if you have children or pets and your floors will take some abuse, you may decide a matte or satin finish would be best for you.

Wood Finishes – The Secrets Shared by Floor Sanders

Any wood floor is individual as the grain pattern, the way in which it is laid and its colouration will create a unique floor. This is further added to as the service of floor sanding creates a truly distinctive and individual appearance.

Floor sanding is an ever-evolving provision that continuously changes. New techniques, product formulations and technology allows professionals to remain at the cutting edge of their service. These adaptations also allow the best and long-lasting finish.

Secret one considers the fact that your chosen professional should be armed with a range of in-depth information about wood finishes and how best to advise you when considering your options. Foot traffic, temperature, location, wood type and other details should all form part of the decision-making process.

Secret two looks at the fact that different finishes offer varying appearances. It may be that you are looking to match your wooden flooring to your existing d├ęcor or you may already have a vision of how you would like it to look. Best-served professionals offer an entirely bespoke re-finishing service to create a floor that matches your individual requirements.

Secret three considers the usage of any room where you are looking to apply a wood finish. Different options provide varying levels of durability and the application process will dictate the absorption.

Secret four discusses the different types of wood finishes available and consists of varnishes, stains, lacquers, oils, waxes and dyes. It may come as a surprise that there is such a wide variation and each and every product offers their own individual pros and cons. It is imperative that the correct product is selected to ensure the overall success of the job.

Secret five considers the application of a wood finish. A top tip is to work with the grain pattern of the wood boards that you are working with. The grain will be enhanced and the boards are less likely to appear streaky or uneven.

Secret six provides an insight into why a finish is required. A wood floor that is left unfinished will inevitably experience more wear, damage and as a result could need expensive replacement. A floor that is finished will offer resistance against moisture changes, foot fall and spillages. A protected floor will stand the test of time and will therefore offer cost-effectiveness.

Wood finishes are fascinating products and time invested in considering the appropriate finish for your job will inevitably offer a superior result. Request advice, seek to find the best products and care for your floor in the correct way. Floor sanders will offer this comprehensive service and your wooden floor will be transformed.