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Living Room Flooring Ideas

living room

The living room is often the focal point of any residential space: it’s where the family gathers to spend time together, it’s where you entertain guests, and it is often one of the largest spaces in the home. Therefore, it’s important that you do your homework when selecting a flooring option for it. You need to take into consideration such things as the style of house, how much money you have to work with, sustainability, and the overall look you are trying to accomplish. Here are four of our favorite flooring ideas and why you may wish to consider them for your own needs:

  • Wood. It looks great, adds substantial resale value to the home, and requires very little in terms of care (usually a simple vacuuming is enough to keep it clean for long periods of time). The drawbacks are few, but include cost ($3 to $12 per square foot) and the occasional need for refinishing if installed in a high-traffic area.
  • Tile. It is generally quite durable and resistant to scratching, comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and is water resistant. Like wood, it is easy to maintain and shouldn’t often need more than a vacuuming to clean. The cons of tile: it can be cold to your feet and on the off chance that they start to crack or disintegrate, they can be difficult to repair.
  • Carpet. Always a great go-to option for old or new homes, it makes any space look soft and cozy. It is easy to walk on and simple to install (even over old floor!). The costs vary depending on quality, ranging from $2 to $5 per square foot. The only problem you’re likely to run into with carpet is that it stains easily and needs more constant maintenance to stay looking good. Carpets need to be vacuumed regularly and occasionally steam-cleaned.
  • Cork. It’s environmentally friendly, warm, feels wonderful, and absorbs sound so you don’t have to worry about making too much noise by walking on it. Again, the costs vary depending on quality, but you will most likely be looking at somewhere between $2 and $8 per square foot of space. Be warned: since cork is a natural material, it can be prone to fading in direct sunlight and can swell substantially if it gets too wet.

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Asbestos Floor Tiles: What You Should Know

asbestos tiles

Asbestos flooring was a popular installation of choice up until the 1980s, with it being used most predominantly from the 1920 to the 1960s. Therefore, on many older models of home, it is still fairly common. Now, having asbestos tiles in your own home is no cause for alarm, but it definitely does pay to be able to identify and remove them if necessary. As is the case in many situations such as this, your number one choice is to have a professional remove them for you, but if you wish to take them out yourself, here’s how to do it safely.

Firstly, you need to know how to identify asbestos tiles. There are a few handy tips you can use:

  • If the building was made between 1920 and 1960, you have a higher chance of finding asbestos tiles. Take a look into your home’s history.
  • Asbestos tiles came in three sizes: 9”x9”, 12”x12”, and 18”x18”. Measure the tiles and see if they fall within this range.
  • Make sure that you handle disintegrating tiles with care. Intact tiles shouldn’t be an issue and can even be left in place if they are covered with other flooring materials.
  • Asphalt was a primary ingredient in asbestos tile manufacturing, and the oil from it can discolor floor tiles. If your tiles show discoloration, they might contain asbestos.

If you have successfully identified asbestos tiles in your home, you have two options: cover them up or take them out. Concrete and rubber-backed carpeting is the way to go If you wish to cover them. If you want to pull them up, follow these steps:

  • Seal off the work area by closing doors, windows, and air vents.
  • Always wear a respirator, safety goggles, and thick clothing including boots.
  • Try to keep the floor space wet to minimize airborne asbestos particles.
  • Use either a floor scraper or a flat shovel to pry the tiles out of the floor.
  • Place the removed tiles in specially-made asbestos bags and make sure that the bag is properly sealed shut.
  • Upon completion, mop the area where you were working.
  • Dispose of the bags in an appropriate landfill. Keep in mind that not all landfills are equipped to handle asbestos, so check with them ahead of time before driving out there.

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