“You can get with this, or you can get with that”. These are words to a famous rap song from the 90’s. It is also the reality of choosing flooring for your home. Depending on your style, type of home, geographical location, and size of your wallet, a myriad of flooring choices exist out there. I am here today to offer you some friendly advice from someone who has been there. I hope you learn something new, and that this wisdom helps you the next time you are searching for your flooring needs.
One thing you should consider when choosing flooring is what room you are planning to put the floor in. How many people will be traipsing through that area on a daily basis? If it is a high use area such as an entryway near your front or back door, you will probably want to go with a laminate type of flooring. For areas of comfort such as bedrooms, or a family room, carpet could be your best bet. Bathrooms do very well with tile flooring, although some laminates are also made for the bathroom. If the elegant look is what you are after, you may want to put hardwoods in most of the areas of your home. Each of these types has good points and bad. Let’s take a look at some of them now.
Laminate – The look of hardwood without all the hassle:
Laminate floors exist in many forms. They come in planks or in tiles. They can mimic everything from the look of oak hardwood flooring to that of a granite tile floor. Laminate floors are easy to install, and are very affordable. I have virtually zero handy-man skills and was able to install laminate floors throughout my home in a relatively short amount of time. Besides that, laminates are easier to care for than their hardwood brethren. You can couple them with area rugs for a great look. One word of caution of though: If your home is on a slab, laminate floors can be very cold in the winter. I live in the south so it isn’t so bad. If I lived in a cold climate I would think twice about installing these in large areas of my home. You can couple them with a radiant floor heating system and take care of this problem however. If you are looking to save time and money, go with laminate.
Hardwoods – Elegance and style to make your home beautiful:
If you want my humble opinion, there is no better looking floor you could put in your home than one made of hardwoods, particularly oak. However, with the good also comes the bad. These floors are typically some of the most expensive. They are subject to scratches and gouges fairly easily. They are not simple to install and require an advanced do-it-yourselfer or professional to install properly. However, they come in a wide array of finishes and styles that will add beauty and value to your home. So if you don’t mind investing the extra time and money, there is no better choice.
Carpet – The old standby is still great for many reasons:
Oh, I know what you are thinking. Carpet is full of allergens, horrible for the environment, and ugly. All I have to say about that is: not true, not true, and not true. Today’s new brands of carpet feature excellent styles. Carpet tile is a new phenomenon that offers versatility because it comes in squares that you can mix and match to create your own one-of-a-kind floor. Carpet tile is great as well because if you get a stain on one part of the carpet, you can just take up that tile and replace it with another one. Today’s carpet it also made from materials that are environmentally friendly including special polymers and even recycled bottles! Not only that, but the computer age has allowed for much more intricate pattern work in the design of the carpet. Carpet that keeps the allergens to a minimum is also possible. So, if you are looking for that comfy feel beneath your feet in your bedroom or when relaxing in the family room, you may want to look into some of these new carpeting options for your home.
So you see, carpet, hardwood, and laminate floors all have their high points and limitations. Depending on the size of your wallet, your handy-man skills, and even where you live, you can easily find something that will work for you. The important thing is that you pick the flooring that truly speaks to your tastes. Still, it’s good to know that lots of options exist.
Constructing Your Shower Using Blanke Aqua Shield Sheet WaterProofing Material and Ebbe Square Drain
Note: Unlike Vinyl, Chloraloy and Roll-On Liquid Waterproofing, Pre-Pitch will not be used in this application. Quick Pitch Kits(#XFS-101.2 and #EXT-103) with Quick Clips (#QC-109) will be the tools of choice.
1. Determine the size and shape of your shower including the Ebbe Drain and its location.
2. With the roughed-in 2 x 4 curb in place, measure the distances from the drain to the walls, curb and corners.
Note: Quick Pitch Extra Float Sticks #XFS-101.2 are 36″ in length. If the distances are greater, Quick Pitch Extended Float Sticks #EXT-103 kits will be required.
3. Starting in a corner, measure by 2–2 1/2 foot increments around the perimeter of the shower making sure a Float Stick will be positioned in each corner.
Note: The closer the Float Stick ends are to each other, the easier the screeding of the mud mixture will be.
4. After determining how many Float Sticks, both Standard and Extended, are necessary, you will need 2 Quick Clips (#QC-109) for every 36″ run.
5. To determine the quantity of Kirb Perfect #543 sections needed, measure in 30″ increments. Curb sections are 30″ and have dove tail connectors to attach to one another and will accommodate any length or angles.
6. To figure the liner size (Blanke Aqua Shield Sheet Water Proofing), measure the shower compartment length, width and wall height so the liner will go up the walls to the height of the ceiling or to where the tile ends and over the curb. Pre-formed inside and outside corners and Blanke Aqua Shield Banding are necessary and are available for this material, so be sure to figure all corners.
7. Once you have figured the kits and liner necessary for your Goof Proof Shower, you will need to figure the amount of bedding mud (mixture consist of 1 part Portland cement and 4 parts clean sand) necessary to fill the kits. Using the square footage of your shower floor, multiply by 9.5 lbs. per sq. ft. (i.e. 3 x 5 = 15 sq. ft. x 9.5 lbs. = 143 lbs.). This amount should accommodate all kits.
8. After all materials are gathered you will want to watch the instructional DVD a time or two to gain confidence in the steps necessary to complete you Goof Proof Shower.