Use Your Stairs To Achieve Better Flow In Your Home

You may think of your home’s staircase as a way to get from one room to another, but it’s really much more than that. Your stairs have a significant impact on the way your home flows from area to area. So how do you figure out how to improve the flow of your home with your stairs? The answer may not be an easy one to come by, as figuring out which stair treatment goes best with what kind of flooring can be difficult. Luckily, there are solutions to common stair conundrums.

Upstairs Carpeting

When the upstairs in your home is carpeted, it’s important to create some sort of visual link on your stairway. In this case, carpeting the stairs is the best option. Not only will it allow for flow from your downstairs room to the upstairs, but it will also send a message to those who take the stairs that bedrooms are likely to be found there.

The Power of the Landing

Staircases that have landings provide a great opportunity to get creative. The landing can be used as a ‘transition spot’, where carpeted and bare stairs meet. So if your upstairs is carpeted, you could cover your staircase’s upper portion in seagrass carpet to the landing, and then continue with wood flooring below.

Leave them Bare

There’s no rule that says you have to carpet your stairs if your upstairs is carpeted. You can still create that all-important visual link by leaving your stairs bare. In this scenario, you’ll need to look down at the kind of flooring on your home’s lower level, and match the colour of your stairs to it. Then, all you’ll need to do to care for your stairs is to sweep them, which can be much easier than vacuuming them.

Install a Runner

If you’d rather not cover your entire stair with carpet, consider installing a carpet runner. These don’t cover the entire stair, leaving the edges exposed. You can highlight those edges by choosing a runner in the same shade as upstairs, but with trim in a contrasting colour to add lots of elegance.

You can also go really bold with your runner, choosing unusual patterns or a bright colour. Doing this will cause the edges of your stairs to act as the trim and cause eyes to gaze upward, which can also increase the perceived size of this area of your home.

Dress it up with a Runner

The runner is a very versatile product indeed. In homes with hard flooring only, installing a runner on the stairs will highlight this pathway to other areas in the home, and provide that visual link from upstairs to down by leaving stair edges exposed. As a bonus, the runner will also make your stairs better able to handle wear and tear.

If you Still Want Carpeted Stairs

If your home’s floors are bare but carpeting is what you desire, choose a carpet that has at least one colour in it that can be matched to the flooring in the rest of your home. You can also choose to make your stairway a kind of centrepiece by picking carpet in a bold colour or pattern.

Regardless of the option you’re considering, it’s a good idea to look at your stairs from their base and upward, as this will give you the best idea of what your future stair treatment will look like.

Easy Kitchen Floor Makeovers

The kitchen is the place where friends and family gather to prepare food, share experiences and catch up. With that in mind, you can give the look of your kitchen a boost without spending thousands of pounds on a complete remodel. How? By looking down at your floors.

By choosing new flooring for your kitchen, you can completely transform the look of this room and get it ready for entertaining in far less time than it would take to complete an entire remodel. The key to success is to choose flooring options that are practical.

What Will Your Kitchen Floor Endure?

Before you even start thinking about colour, pattern or texture, you need to think about the amount of use your kitchen gets. Is there a lot of foot traffic through your kitchen? This can be the case if your kitchen is open concept and is used as a pathway to other rooms in your home.

Hand in hand with foot traffic comes the likelihood of accidents in terms of spillage or impact damage. The more people who track their way through your kitchen, the higher the probability that spills and other mishaps will occur. Usually, vinyl flooring is the optimal choice for those looking to freshen up their kitchen floors.

A Wide Range of Choice

Vinyl flooring is available in two formats: as a roll, or in individual tiles. Regardless which is chosen, there is an incredible variety of colours and designs that are available. For example, thanks to products like Karndean wood-effect flooring, you can get all of the warmth and luxury of wood in a durable vinyl flooring product. In addition to great choices, you’ll also find that vinyl flooring comes with a decent warranty, giving you plenty of peace of mind.

Fitting Differences

The many benefits of using vinyl flooring in your kitchen are clear, but installation can be tricky if you haven’t installed this type of floor before. The most important thing to note is that vinyl flooring on a roll will have to be installed differently than individual vinyl tiles.

Installing Tiles

Tiles can be easier to install than flooring on a roll, but you will still need to measure, prepare and lay the tiles carefully. Your kitchen should be measured, and once you have a number, calculate in extra so that you will have additional tiles on hand should you need them. You’ll then need to prepare your kitchen floor by ensuring it is both dry and level, and that all old tiles have been removed.

Ensure the new tiles have sat in the room for at least 24 hours so that they are acclimatised. Then, locating the floor’s centre point, start laying tiles. It’s best to lay tiles dry first to get a good idea of fit. When you’re ready, your tiles can be laid from the centre of the floor after either spreading tile adhesive, or peeling off the backing.

Installing a Vinyl Roll

Just as with the tiles, your kitchen floor will need to be prepared for the laying of vinyl roll flooring. You’ll also need to measure the floor and make sure that you’ve added up to 100mm around flooring edges to ensure total coverage. Vinyl roll flooring will need about 48 hours to acclimatise. As you slowly unroll the flooring, ensure that the sheet’s longer side is parallel to your kitchen’s longest wall. Your flooring will lay flat in corners by cutting a triangle into the vinyl’s corners. Flooring should be laid and cut prior to adhering it to the floor.

Once laid, your flooring can be fixed into place with spray adhesive.

In addition to vinyl, laminate flooring can also be a great choice for kitchen floors. If you’ve decided on this route, it’s important to ensure that the laminate you choose for your kitchen matches the other laminate styles you may have installed elsewhere.

Give Your Tired Wood Floors a New Lease of Life

With so many experts saying so many things about what you should or shouldn’t do with your home, it can become difficult to know which are the best choices to make for you. However, what if you decided to go a completely different way? You can when you paint your floors.

Yes, it sounds like an easy decision to make. But really, your floors are one of the most expensive elements in your home, and so changing them is a big deal. However, if your wood floors are showing signs of wear or have been refinished many times over several years, a change might be in order.

Give Floors a Nautical Feel with Stripes

If your home has a room where the family goes to relax, such as a conservatory, this can be a great location to experiment with your painting skills. Stripes can add seaworthy style, especially when in navy and white. For a lighter look and feel, try alternating thick white stripes with grey ones. This style can work well in any room of your home.

Love Shabby Chic? Apply it to your Floors

If you can’t get enough of shabby chic, why not give that distressed look to your engineered wood floors? This requires a bit more work than just painting them, but the effects will be impressive. First, you must lightly sand your floorboards. Then, lightly roll on a layer of paint, leaving it to dry for a minimum of 24 hours. Then, bring the sander back out and run it with the grain lightly over your floorboards until a bit of wood shows underneath. To preserve the look, seal the floor with wax or lacquer.

The White and Dark of It

If you’re a novice floor painter, white is the colour for you. Not only is it the most worry-free colour to paint your floors, but it also makes a room much brighter, breezier happier space. Another great benefit of painting your floors white is that allows you to get creative and colourful with the other elements of the room. With walls and floor in white, you can explore your colourful side with boldly-hued accessories.

If your tastes lean more to the dramatic, then a darkly-painted floor may be your solution. Dark, rich colours on floors will add lots of contrast where walls are more lightly coloured. As well, using darker colours in high traffic areas like the kitchen will hide unsightly dirt and scratches.

Paint-on Tiles

Although this may take some time and experience to get right, another great way to add instant style to your floors is to give the illusion of tiles. You’ll save money and can let your creative side loose. Depending on how much time you have, the sky’s the limit to the kinds of patterns you can paint on your floor. Believe it or not, one of the simplest patterns to paint is the geometric chequerboard. You can accomplish this in avant-garde fashion by using two unusual colours, for example, raspberry and lemon.

The best thing about painting your floors is that it is inexpensive, no matter how many times you choose to do it. However, to ensure that your floor painting experience is a positive one, it may help to conduct some research beforehand. Then, test out your painting skills on an old piece of wood or in another rarely-used room. This will ensure you’re as prepared as possible to paint.

A Guide to Rug Placement for Every Room

Where it comes to the rugs in your home, you may not have thought much about their size or how they are placed in the room. Concentrating on these elements can make all of the difference, however. Read on to find out how appropriate rug placement can transform every room in your home.

In the Living Room

If you want to make your living room look bigger, the trick is to use a large rug. Which size is best? The most intense effect will occur when you use a rug that’s large enough to place a couch, chair and coffee table on. Using a tiny rug that only goes under your coffee table, for example, will only enhance the table.

This doesn’t mean that you have to try and pile everything in your living room onto your large rug, however. The trick is to place just the right number of items to draw the eye, but not so many as to make it look cluttered.

When placing furniture, ensure that at least the two front legs are on the rug. Ideally, all furniture legs should be resting on it, but this depends on whether the rug is large enough to accommodate them or not.

If the living room is a busy area of your home, consider a rug made from wool. This material is not only durable, but long-lasting, and is naturally stain and spill resistant as well.

In the Bedroom

Believe it or not, where you place your rug in the bedroom will also make a big difference. Your rug should be like a picture frame for whatever is placed on top of it, and so it’s important to ensure that you’ve left a gap between the outer wall and your rug of around a half metre. This gap, as well as the amount of visible carpet should be the same all the way round your bed and other furniture. Uneven amounts will throw off the room’s visual balance.

Your bedroom rug is best placed in such a way as to extend underneath your bedside tables, or so that the rug ends just before them. If your bedroom is a standard size, the most important thing is to create the illusion of more space. And this can be accomplished by ensuring that your bedroom rug disappears under the bed. If you have a queen-sized bed in a room of standard size, then an 8×10 rug will accomplish this nicely.

In the Dining Room

The size of rug you choose for the dining room is another important decision. One good rule of thumb is to ensure that your dining room rug is large enough that your dining chairs can rest comfortably on it, even when they are pulled out. You can ensure the right size of dining room rug by measuring your dining table, and then adding 60 centimetres to each of its sides.

Of course, you can go larger if you wish. If you decide on a very large rug for your dining room, the same rule applies here as in other rooms: your rug should act like a frame for whatever is placed on it. Therefore, you must ensure there is some space between your rug’s outer border and the floor.

The style of rug will be important as well, because the dining room is another area where spills can occur. These little accidents can be far more easily dealt with if there is a flat rug as opposed to a high pile rug on the floor, because flat rugs are generally easier to clean. And if you need to move quickly, your chairs will be far easier to move on a flat rug. Finally, flat rugs won’t show furniture marks as readily as higher piles.

When placed correctly, the right rug can do wonders not only for the spatial illusions it creates, but also for the furniture that rests on it.

Design your perfect rug here

Your Carpet’s Silent Killer

Your recent investment into carpeting for your home might mean that every room looks and feels like new. But a threat could be lurking which could cause the complete destruction of your brand new carpeting in just a few years’ time: the carpet beetle.

Otherwise known as the woolly bear and by its scientific name Anthrenus verbasci, the carpet beetle hatches in spring and early summer, feeding on the fibres it finds in carpeting and other materials like natural wool and the curtains in your home. Left to nature, a carpet beetle infestation can spread quickly throughout the home.

What Does a Carpet Beetle Look Like?

When in larval form, a carpet beetle is between 4 and 5 mm long, and has a hairy body with light and dark brown striping. At this stage, the carpet beetle’s front is narrower than its back, and can be identified by the three tufts on its rear abdomen, which it uses in defence.

The adult carpet beetle measures between 1, 7 and 3.5 mm long. The top of the beetle is scaled, with yellow-brown and white-brown colouring. Adults also have segmented antennae.

How Carpet Beetles Find their way Inside

While adult carpet beetles feed outdoors on nectar and pollen; the larvae tend to feed on foods found in the pantry such as animal food and seeds. Females will lay their eggs where an abundant food source for their larvae exists, and will enter the home through openings like doors and windows.

However, carpet beetles, due to their affinity for pollen and nectar can also enter a home via cut flowers and plants from the garden. Still others will live in animal nests, chimneys and walls and feed on insects and animals.

Bird nests are a common location for carpet beetles. If there is a tree located near an open window, it’s relatively easy for a carpet beetle to make their way into your home and your carpets.

Life Cycle and Fibre Preference

Carpet beetles can take up to three years to move from the larval to the adult stage. This is dependent on environmental conditions such as temperature and moisture. This means that, if larvae exist in your home, they have a lot of time as well as more than enough food such as carpet fibres and pantry items to sustain them.

Hatching in the spring as well as early summer, carpet beetles will continue to feed until they enter the dormant stage, which occurs just before the pupa stage in their development.

Carpet beetles in the larval stage prefer to dine on natural fibres like wool, from which many brands like Crucial Trading Carpets are made. However, they will also feed on synthetic fibres if these have been soiled by food, oil or perspiration.

When they mature and emerge between May and August, they cease to be a threat to carpets and other fibres, as the adult beetle’s diet is the nectar from flowers.

How To Eliminate Carpet Beetles

As long as it has been identified early enough and a thorough inspection conducted, carpet beetle infestations are relatively easy to treat. A full plan includes the application of a residual insecticide, along with regular vacuuming. For linens and clothing, dry cleaning and airing out is the recommended treatment.

It usually requires a few hours to spray a home for carpet beetles, and so it may be necessary to leave your home until the treated areas have dried.

Another way to rid yourself of carpet beetles is to prevent them. Checking lofts and eaves for abandoned nests and dead birds, and then removing them is one way to prevent an infestation. It can also help to ensure that any fluff or debris is cleared from carpeting, upholstery, shelves, floorboards and cupboards.

Laminate Flooring and Your Stairs

The nicer weather may have got you thinking about what you can change around your home. If you want to make a change without busting your budget, there is an effective way to do it: by revamping your stairs. The staircase is usually a home’s central feature, and by redesigning it, you can make a huge impact on how your home’s hallway or entrance looks.

Something Different: Laminate Flooring

Usually, carpet is chosen for staircases because it allows for added comfort as well as more grip for the elimination of slips. But laminate flooring is just as viable an option as carpeting for your staircase. Applying it to your staircase has several benefits:

A Fashionable Touch

Installing laminate flooring onto your stairs will give them a modern appearance, as well as help them look cleaner and more defined. But there are also other advantages. Laminate flooring on stairs means they will be far easier to clean. If anything is spilled, they need only be wiped with a damp cloth. Also, laminate is incredibly durable, and so will be able to handle the heavy foot traffic your stairs endure.

Lots of Options

Whatever your home’s colour scheme, there is very likely to be a laminate that goes with it. There are hundreds of colours to choose from, and just as many styles and finishes. You can make your stairs look like they’re made from virtually anything, including expensive wood, thanks to the options available with Karndean flooring.

To ensure that your flooring is safe for your staircase, it’s best to choose laminate with some texture that is matte in appearance.

Tips and information about Fitting Laminate on your Stairs

There are several ways to fit laminate onto stairs. It may be that professional installation is best for you if you haven’t done this particular kind of installation previously. Of course, you can certainly install laminate on your own, as long as you keep the following tips top of mind.

Parts of a Stair

By understanding the parts that make up a staircase, you can be better able to understand installation instructions.

The part of the stair you step on when ascending or descending is known as the tread. The piece which lies between the tread you’re on and the next step is known as the riser. The board at the side of the staircase that runs all the way up is called the stringer, and the stair nose is at the front of the tread, and usually overhangs the riser by approximately one inch.

Wait Before you Install

When installing any kind of laminate, it’s important to give it time to adjust to your home’s temperature and humidity. This will ensure that no contracting, expanding or warping of the laminate occurs. Once your flooring is in your home, you must unpack it and pile the flooring in an open and airy space for 48 hours.

Begin from the Top

When starting your installation, it’s a good idea to start at the top. Not only is this safer, but it will avoid you having to stand on newly-installed laminate. Also, by ending at the bottom you can keep away from the stairs until they’ve had time to settle.

Stair Overhang

One important consideration will be whether or not your stairs have an overhang, otherwise known as a stair nose. If they do, there are two options: you can either remove them altogether by cutting them off, or you can even up the space between the overhang and the riser by nailing a piece of plywood to the riser to fill up the space. Both of these options will need to be done before you begin installing your laminate.

The best idea before doing this kind of installation is to ensure that you are confident and sure about what you’re doing. If you aren’t, you can always call one of our local flooring experts to come and fit your laminate for you.

How To Renovate Without Knocking Down Your Walls

When you want a completely new look for one or more rooms in your home, you will likely think of renovations. However, knocking down walls and creating new rooms can be prohibitively expensive. Thankfully, there is another way to make an impact in your home, and that’s to renovate with flooring. With the right kind of flooring, you can not only help make a small room appear larger, but also give it the look and feel of a brand new room.

Carpet Tiles and Vinyl Flooring

One way to change the look of your room is to use carpet tiles. But it’s the size of those tiles which will make the difference. Choosing larger carpet tiles will increase the perceived square footage of the room. The same rule applies to vinyl floors. The larger the pattern, the larger the room will appear to be.

Dare to be Dark

If you wish to have wood or imitation wood flooring in your room, you might want to consider the benefits of going with a darker colour. Although it’s true that darker colours can make a space look smaller, this depends on where the dark colour is placed.

If dark wood flooring is paired with the right colour for the walls, dark flooring can add lots of drama and increase a room’s perceived size. Rich colours like those found in cherry and walnut work very well with paint in a cool shade. Even more perceived square footage will be the result if you choose to paint or add crown moulding in a lighter shade than that of your walls, as this will draw the eye upward.

Be Consistent

If the room you wish to renovate with flooring is next to another, using the same type of flooring in both rooms will add consistency and continuity, which can also make a room appear to be larger than it is. You might also wish to consider using the same design elements in the same colour scheme for both rooms, as this can also help with the perception of space.

Even if you need to change the type of flooring, you can still achieve continuity by choosing colours that are in the same range as what you selected for the other room.

Width and Direction

Another way to increase the size of a room is to increase the perception of its width. This can be done in two ways with real or engineered wood flooring as well as stone-look vinyl. First, you’ll want to choose pieces or planks that are as wide as possible. Wider pieces mean fewer seams between them. And fewer seams increases the perception of a more open pattern and thus, more space.

Narrow rooms can get an instant facelift by laying flooring planks parallel to the room’s longest wall. When flooring serves as the running board for a room, the room will appear to be longer, as the eye will be naturally drawn along the longest wall.

Laying flooring diagonally can also make a room appear to be larger. And the best thing is that this trick works for most types of flooring, whether wood, laminate or imitation stone vinyl. The eye is fooled into viewing the pattern in an unexpected way and from a different perspective. It also increases visual interest, something all homeowners hope to do with their renovations.

There is no way to increase a room’s actual size without knocking down a wall. The above tips are not only more affordable than a full-on renovation, but they will save you the hassle and cost of going out and purchasing new curtains and room accessories.

Carpet Tile Installation Tips

Carpet tiles continue to be an ideal alternative to traditional carpeting. Not only are carpet tiles easier to install, clean and wash than wall-to-wall Mayfield Carpets but they are also a great way to add lots of style to a room, thanks to the many colours and styles that are available. Carpet tiles are also incredibly versatile, due to their ability to be moved, removed and replaced, which is especially convenient if an accident occurs that ruins the carpeting. Instead of having to replace the carpet in the entire room, you only need to replace a few tiles.


Carpet tiles are ideal for anyone having a small budget and little or no traditional carpet installation experience who wishes to change up a room’s look. Even the most inexperienced homeowner can achieve complete installation of carpet tiles in under a day.

Step 1 – Getting the Square Footage

First of all, you’ll need to determine how many tiles you’ll require for your room. This will require getting the room’s square footage. To do this, you simply multiply the width of your room by its length. Then, consult your nearest carpeting store, where you can either try and determine how many tiles you’ll need on your own, or speak with an experienced installer to get the right number.

One great tip is to purchase more tiles than you need. This will allow you to have extras on hand should damage occur in the future.

Step 2 – Cleaning

Before installing flooring of any kind, the floor needs to be prepared. For the installation of carpet tiles, this means removing any old rugs or carpeting, moving any furniture completely out of the room and then vacuuming the floor to ensure that no dirt is left behind. This will leave you with a completely clean floor for your installation.

Step 3 – Decide on a Pattern and Locate the Room’s Centre

Who said that carpet tiles can’t be laid in a pattern? There are numerous potential patterns that your carpet tiles can take on, and the only limit is your imagination. If you’ve decided on a pattern, you will need to decide how you want it to look. Often, this will mean laying your tiles from the centre of the room. To find the centre, each wall will need to be measured and then divided by two. You can use a pencil to mark each wall’s halfway point. Then, take a chalk line and, from the mark you made on each wall, find out where the lines meet. This is the exact centre.

Step 4 – Placement

Look at the chalk like you just made, and then place your tile at the intersection of the two lines. Your tile should be evenly placed on both lines. To make sure everything is the way you want it, it’s a good idea not to adhere the tiles to the floor as yet. Instead, lay them out to confirm they are aligned correctly. Ensure they are fitted together tightly, and check for any arrows on the tiles, as this will indicate the direction in which they should be laid. Continue laying tiles in this direction until the last complete tile is laid.

Step 5 – Edge Fittings

The edges of your carpet tiles may require cutting to fit them properly at room’s edge. This can be done by flipping the tile upside down and then putting it underneath the last complete tile in a row, marking where the latter ends. Then, use a knife and carpenter’s square to cut the tile, and ensure you are cutting away from the floor and on a hard surface.

Step 6 – Final Installation

Once you’ve checked your pattern and the alignment of the individual tiles, it’s time to install them. Depending on the tiles you’ve chosen, all that may be needed is to remove the adhesive backing before fixing them to your floor. Others may require a bit more work to fix properly.

Before you know it, your room will have a completely different look with a stylish design that can be changed or easily replaced when you want something different or accidental damage has occurred.

Your Wood Floors and Underfloor Heating

One of the nicest ways to enhance any kind of real or engineered wood flooring is to install underfloor heating, but before doing so, it’s important to understand the two main underfloor types of heating that are available.

Wet and Dry Underfloor Heating

A wet underfloor heating system sees a pipe being installed underneath a floor, and then warm water being pumped around the pipe, which heats the floor. These systems work with the central heating system of a home.

A dry underfloor heating system involves the installation of an electric heating cable under a floor. When electricity is turned on, the cable produces heat.

More about Wet Underfloor Heating

A wet underfloor heating system is best for new builds or where a new extension is being built. This is because wet underfloor heating needs to be embedded into a floor. As well, it may require an adjustment to floor height. As well, this type of underfloor heating may require maintenance like boiler services, depending on the heat source.

Small areas of flooring where wet heating is desired can be installed by tapping into a local radiator. Larger areas needing wet heating will benefit more from a standalone system, which may require a larger boiler than what is currently present.

More about Dry Underfloor Heating

The dry underfloor heating system is best when you wish to add it to an existing floor. As well, dry underfloor heating works well when installed for the purpose of providing additional heat when an existing heat source has reached its capacity because no upgrading of the boiler is necessary.

Dry underfloor heating does not rely on any other heating system in a home, such as wet systems do. Once this kind of underfloor heating has been installed, no further service or maintenance is necessary.

Considerations for installing Underfloor heating with Wood Floors

When thinking about installing underfloor heating for the wood flooring in your Bedford home, you must remember that the floor material will be in very close proximity to the source of heat. During colder months when more heating will be required, this means your floors will receive continual heat exposure, essentially becoming a huge radiator. This can cause your flooring to become dry.

A direct correlation exists between the temperature of the air, the moisture content of the air and the moisture content of your floor. The relative humidity of the air as well as its temperature will have an impact on your flooring, and when combined with the amount of heat or humidity generated by your underfloor heating, will impact it even further.

The relative humidity in any home where underfloor heating is being installed for wood floors should be no less than 40%, and no more than 60%. Moisture content in walls is another important consideration; this number shouldn’t be higher than 8%.

The general operating environment of any wet or dry heating system should be between 18 and 24°C. As well, the interior must be free of any ingression of moisture due to leaks in windows and other common causes.

When installing any kind of underfloor heating with wood floors, it’s critical to fully commission and pressure test before the actual floor is fitted. As well, a heating system must be calibrated with the purpose of restricting the floor temperature to 27°C maximum.

Any wooden flooring installed over underfloor heating is required to be kiln dried to between 6 and 8% by British Standards 8201:2011. This is because the moisture of a wooden floor will drop in certain conditions of humidity and air temperature, which can place it at risk of damage.

Any wooden flooring having over 8% moisture content that is installed over underfloor heating will require additional water to be introduced to prevent the floor from drying out. Humidifiers can help to regulate relative humidity.