Category Archives: Floor It

FLOR

FLOR carpet tiles are a great DIY flooring product.  You can have some fun using their online FLORbuilder tool to design a totally custom look, and know you are supporting a company that is continually trying to push sustainability in their products and practices.  That’s hard to do with carpet that also needs to be durable for our pet, kid, winter boots filled homes.

FLOR tiles are made of nylon and natural fibers like wool, and the backings are a vinyl composite with up to 40% pre-consumer recycled content. GlasBac is a vinyl composite with up to 40% post-consumer recycled content.

Raw nylon and wool

FLOR’s ultimate goal is to exclusively use renewable and recycled raw materials. Their carpet tiles meet or exceed the Carpet & Rug Institute’s Green Label Plus standards for VOC emissions (Volatile Organic Compounds).  FLOR also has a pre-paid Return & Recycle Program to make recycling very easy, just remember to save the box they came in.  There is a one-year warranty on FLOR tiles, along with a 30 day money back guarantee.

We selected the DIY Faux Hide rug for the kids craft room in our studio.  The entire rug measures 6’7″ x 7’4″ and cost is $273.99.  Beyond some paint, this was the only thing we actually purchased for the room plus we get a nice little trade discount so it matched our very low budget.  It was so easy to install, probably took 20 minutes.  All of the tiles for this rug came as squares, so you need to cut the designated pieces to make the hide shapes. The backs are pre-numbered and outlined where you need to cut, just use a sharp utility knife.   Jack even helped (that’s his cute little feet).

the back is labeled with a number and pattern for cutting

All FLOR carpet tiles are connected with FLORdots (sticky dots), so no nails, padding, or glue. They can be moved around, cleaned or replaced easily. Though not recommended, we installed the rug on an uneven carpeted floor and haven’t had any issues with the tiles separating.  FLOR recommends only installing on a hard, smooth, clean surface – we would not ignore this if we were installing wall to wall tiles.

Flor DIY Faux Hide "sky" installed

Our one observation is that this rug sheds a lot right out of the box.   Especially when you are like me and become obsessed with continuing to rub your hands across it to see how much it really will shed.  You can see the fibers on the grey rug in our pic above. Disappointing since it is rated for heavy traffic… but after vacuuming a few times is seems to have calmed a bit. We will see if it continues to withstand the dancing feet of Mr. Jack and all of his friends. TBD. We have installed other FLOR carpet tiles for clients that have tight woven loops and those were very durable with no shedding issues, you just don’t get as much softness as with the cut fibers.

Maintenance:  The best part about FLOR is if you get a stain that you just can’t get rid of, you can replace that one tile rather than an entire carpet.  To keep your tiles looking great you should clean them annually with a hot water extractor or dry powder.  In case of spills, rinse and blot with cool water and allow to dry (do not scrub the area).  You can easily wash the tiles in your sink and re-apply the sticky dots.  Refer to FLOR’s site for more detailed information based on the fiber you select.  They do have cleaning kits available for purchase as well.

“custom” kitchen runner

modern graphic

playful area rug

Mag-Neat-O…love!

oh happy day

funky

What’s your favorite?  We have no local retailers who carry FLOR in this area, so come see us for samples.  And don’t go through non-FLOR retailers because you will pay more.

Go PATS!!!!!  Sorry…  I just had to. ❤

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CorkDotz by Modwalls

CorkDotz Penny Tiles by Modwalls are made of end cuts of cork stopper production in California.  An industrial by-product that otherwise would be thrown away.   Cork is a natural and renewable material that comes from the bark of an oak tree known as Quercus Suber – an evergreen that grows in areas bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

As a raw material, cork provides attributes that are great for the home including that it is extremely durable, water resistant, anti-microbial, slip-resistant, fire-resistant, easy to maintain, and provides great thermal and acoustic insulation. Meaning it would work well in pretty much any space of your home.

A material that will add warmth, texture, resiliency, and a little nature.  Great!

CorkDotz are a by-product of the wine stopper industry.

Modwalls is an online tile company, founded in 2005, whose goal was to design and stock modern tile products.  Their products are available for immediately delivery via their online website.  CorkDotz was recently featured in Do It Yourself Magazine by Better Homes and Gardens.

CorkDotz tile installation featured on the Modwalls blog

What do you need to know about installation/maintenance?

On a dry floor you should use a stronger adhesive, like a mastic.  On a wet floor you should use a modified latex thin set for adhesion, and finish with a sanded grout and minwax or other low VOC sealer for enhanced water resistance.

As with any wood product you should remove the tile from its packaging and let it acclimate to the room you are installing it in for a minimum of 48 hours before installation.  CorkDotz is sold by the square foot and comes in double sheets measuring 11.5 x 23.  Maintain your cork floor using a vacuum and/or damp mop with a mild wood floor cleaner or a solution of one part white vinegar and four parts water.

We think CorkDotz would be a perfect mud room floor and hope we get to install it in a project soon!

CorkDotz paired with a limestone tile and colorful fabric.


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Carlisle: Wide Plank Floors

“A floor is more than a surface to tread upon.  It is the foundation of one’s home. And when built under the expert care of a passionate craftsman using timber only found in the finest of forests it transcends architecture and approaches art.”

That’s from Carlisle…we wanted to learn more.

A little history, first.  Wide plank flooring is a classic material in colonial homes. Early settlers used wide long boards cut from the center of the tree (heartwood) because it was easier for installations, but also provided maximum durability. Many homes in New England still have their original hardwood floors, demonstrating this durability and timelessness.  Natural hardwood gets better with age and use as it develops its own natural patina, but can also be refinished as needed.

Originally founded as a small family-owned business, Carlisle has been creating wide plank floors for over 40 years.  Their corporate office is located in Stoddard, NH.  They place an important emphasis on aesthetics and durability by hand-selecting every board that goes into a project, and cutting these boards from fully matured heartwood (the densest vertical grain with least amount of moisture content) so that they will last the lifetime of your home. The wood is air dried for up to one year before it is kiln dried in smaller batches. The planks that go into your home have been carefully selected and handcrafted by skilled artisans in New England.

Carlisle reclaimed oak installed in Nantucket, MA (from Carlisle website)

Carlisle places a strong emphasis on their environmental practices.  Their reclaimed flooring line has received the FSC certification for 100% Post-Consumer Reclaimed Antique Wood, and their virgin wood comes exclusively from small, independent farmers.  They never contract with sawmills that clear cut trees.  Only 1 tree for every 5 acres is cleared, which allows trees to mature first as they should.  Carlisle’s wide planks come from the oldest trees and the oldest part of those trees.  When these mature trees are cut for timber, it allows the less mature timbers to grow.

Why is FSC important?  Forests provide us with clean water, fresh air, food, medicine, timber, paper, and so forth. They also provide for other plants and animals, as part of a greater ecosystem.  So we need to sustain them, and this is achieved by setting guidelines for responsible harvesting.  In some countries 80% of their timber is harvested illegally, so when you select FSC timber you know you are supporting responsible practices.

From an interior health perspective, hardwood flooring is an ideal material.  It is easy to maintain, and does not house allergens or bacteria.  Ensure you don’t negate all those positives by applying a finish or topcoat full of VOCs, or one that is going to completely alter the texture of your natural material and challenge your ability to refinish down the road if you so decide.

blue materials vignette

Our Carlisle favorite is their white oak with veiled white finish.  It has a very natural rustic feel, and comes in widths 6″, 8″ or 10″.  The average length is 7′.   A beautifully natural backdrop for vibrant pops of color throughout your space.

purple materials vignette

Carlisle offers a number of finishes and textures for its wide plank floors, as well as custom options.  So you can have fun creating your own custom floor.  Their stains and topcoats penetrate deep into the boards to create durability and resistance to scratches.

Regardless of who you source your hardwood flooring from, ask lots of questions about the types of finishes being applied to your wood, where it is coming from, and how it is being harvested.

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