East Coast Flooring & Interiors | 2680 Gateway Drive | Pompano Beach, FL 33069

Hypoallergenic Flooring to Stop Allergies in Their Tracks

It used to be that you could only stick to certain types of flooring if you had bad allergies. Prepare to breathe easier. With recent innovations in technology and global access to a wide range of materials, there are more options in hypoallergenic flooring than ever before. Now you can ensure your spaces are safe and suitable for those who suffer from allergies, asthma, and other breathing problems.

What are the best choices? Let’s take a look.

Hypoallergenic Flooring | East Coast Flooring & Interiors

 

Hardwood flooring

Hardwood flooring installation is still one of the most reliable in terms of keeping allergy triggers at bay — as long as you maintain your floors

properly. The imperfections of hardwood that give it its unique looks, texture, and character can also trap allergens. Simple cleaning will help remove them.

The best part of hardwood flooring is how easy it is to wipe away any spills and drips. As long as you’re cleaning them regularly with a broom and dry mop, these floors are an excellent choice for reducing sneezing, runny noses, and itchy eyes.

 

Bamboo flooring

There’s an even better option available: bamboo. Bamboo’s popularity has boomed in recent years. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to produce and so the prices have stayed reasonable. It comes in old-fashioned planks and modern floating installations. Durability is quite good; with care, bamboo flooring can last for decades.

Bamboo flooring used to be environmentally destructive, as bamboo forests are only located in certain places in the world. Today, American farms grow and maintain bamboo for flooring in controlled environments. In the US, bamboo flooring is most often sourced from American growers, while natural habitats halfway around the world are left undisturbed.

In fact, bamboo only takes three years to fully grow because it’s technically not a wood – it’s a grass! Compare this to trees that take anywhere between 50 and 100 years to grow, and the environmental impact of bamboo is relatively minimal.

Caution: some bamboo is made using formaldehyde, so ask for an emission-free bamboo.

 

Cork flooring

Folks don’t often think of cork as a hypoallergenic flooring alternative. You should! Cork tiles are made without killing the tree – bark is pulled from cork oak trees without damaging them. The tree itself renews the bark regularly. Cork’s chief advantage over bamboo is that it resists moisture better, which is great for those susceptible to mold and mildew. However, while cork is durable, but doesn’t quite have the lifespan of bamboo.

One of the best parts of cork is that it can be made to emulate a number of natural wood looks, or even particular designer colors. It also helps insulate a house and can have a soundproofing effect that’s even better than insulated hardwood.

 

Tile flooring

Tile flooring is still one of the best hypoallergenic flooring choices. Certain types like ceramic and porcelain go through a glazing process during production that makes them resistant to trapping allergens. Yet even if you choose a different tile choice, most options won’t accumulate allergens quickly and are easy to clean. Tile is enduring and, depending on the type you choose, can last for decades at the very least.

Grout in between tiles can accumulate allergens more quickly, so make sure you use an emission-free sealer on it.

 

Marmoleum flooring

Marmoleum is also called natural linoleum. This isn’t the linoleum of yesteryear, but rather a modern alternative that’s made from pulverized wood, flax oil, and linseed oil. The combination makes a surprisingly durable floor, rated at about 30 years, and one that resists the buildup of allergens.

 

 

Hypoallergenic Carpeting

Sometimes a space just feels best with carpeting. Traditionally, carpet has been the arch-nemesis of the allergy sufferer. Its fibers can trap a whole host of allergens and microbes. There are new materials and construction methods being used that allow for hypoallergenic carpeting that rejects microbe build-up. It can be a little pricey, but it’s well worth the investment if you want a carpeted space that’s also allergen free.

Carpet made from natural fibers such as jute, wool, and cotton also make a good choice, but are usually best as accents for a hardwood or tile floor. Entire spaces that use natural fibers can still trap dust and allergens.

Whatever your carpeting choice, a deep clean should be done at least once a year in order to dig up anything that’s been ground more deeply into the carpet. And, of course, add vacuuming to your list of weekly chores.

 

Cement flooring

While it’s not typically the first choice in many residences, there are spaces in some homes for which cement is suitable — and beautiful. Cement can be sealed so that nothing gets into the cracks. It’s easy to clean, though it won’t insulate nearly as well as the other choices listed here.

 

Discuss the many options with a trusted South Florida flooring contractor. Don’t just make a hypoallergenic choice without talking about installation, finishes, and sealers. If you communicate your specific needs to your contractor, they can point out additional elements that will help keep your home allergen free — and that can reduce emissions, including those from formaldehyde treated materials or those that contain VOCs.

 

This can help keep your home in the best possible shape for allergy sufferers and those with breathing difficulties for years to come. The goal isn’t just to make your home hypoallergenic today, but to make it easy for you to keep it that way for years on end.

Long-Term Benefits of Maintaining Your Commercial Flooring

It may seem like a pain at the end of the day, but maintaining your commercial flooring can be a great cost cutter in the long run. As a South Florida flooring contractor, we’ve pulled up some pretty worn planks and threadbare carpeting. We replace it with tough flooring that’ll last, but even so you’ve got to put a little work into keeping it looking great.

Maintain your commercial flooring | East Coast Flooring & Interiors

Soft Flooring

For soft flooring surfaces (VCT, linoleum), floor finish can help protect your floor from regular wear, as well as the grit and sand that’s dragged in from outdoors. This can significantly extend its lifespan. Keeping these floors well-finished will take a bit of time, but it’s ultimately less time-consuming than replacing gouged flooring — and a whole lot more cost-effective.

 

Carpeting

For carpeting, routine, thorough vacuuming is key. Grit can get ground into the fibers, wearing them down every time someone steps on that grit and works it back into the carpet. Carpets also have a tendency to trap allergens. There are newer, hypoallergenic carpets that avoid this, but for carpets that don’t fit this standard, vacuuming helps customers with allergies breathe easier.

 

Hard Flooring

Harder surfaces like wood, cement, and tile require less maintenance, but it’s still worthwhile to clean them. For wood, be careful about spills. Clean these up right away, since liquid can eventually warp wood and make it ill-fitting to its neighboring planks. Also keep your grout clean on tiled surfaces so that you don’t end up with grimy lines running across your floor.

 

Maintenance Makes the Store

There’s also nothing that gives a customer pause like a floor that’s falling apart. Whether it’s warped and creaking wood, chipped tile, or frayed, stained, and worn carpet, these are all signs that the space isn’t even cared for. If the space isn’t cared for, the customer won’t be – this is message.

 

Take it from a top South Florida flooring contractor: maintaining your commercial flooring saves you time, stress, and money while making your business more attractive and inviting.

The Psychology Behind your Commercial Flooring Installation

Different colors and patterns are highly suggestive to the human mind. When you are considering retail flooring options, or any commercial flooring installation, remember to think about what your choices will communicate to customers and visitors.

Commercial Flooring Installation | East Coast Flooring & Interiors

Bright colors can often evoke creativity and excitement, while darker colors give off an air of seriousness. Whites suggest cleanliness. So bright colors might fit a toy or games shop, while deeper shades are more appropriate for a law office, and whites suit a clinical setting. These are very broad examples, but they help to illustrate what colors and tones subconsciously suggest to us, and how they build our expectations, when we walk into new places.

 

It’s not just limited to colors, either. Have you ever noticed that when you enter a shop that sells crafts and handmade goods, the flooring is usually wood? This helps reinforce the idea that this is a homey, warm place. Many outdoors shops rely almost exclusively on wood flooring because it conveys the feeling of being in a more natural environment than if the floor were…say, cement.

 

For shops that want to go entirely green, recycled wood looks just as good and is just as strong as regular hardwood. Recycled carpet uses nylon fiber that is melted down from other carpets. The new nylon pellets are used to create new carpeting. This way you can proudly say your retail space is green, right down to the commercial flooring installation.

 

Patterns in carpet, tile, cement – these can all be used to guide the eye further into the store. Our brains like identifying patterns and then predicting how they’ll continue, so an interesting regular pattern can help us feel both reassured and more interested in a space. Don’t make things too busy, though. The eye can get overwhelmed, so keep things solid and predictable if you have a lot of small items on your shelves.

 

There is a wide range of exciting retail flooring options that can help induce customers into your space and then help them feel comfortable and engaged once they’re there.

How to Choose the Right Carpet for Your Hotel

Chose the Right Carpet for Your Hotel | East Coast Flooring & Interiors

As a hospitality flooring contractor in South Florida, we’ve helped design and and install a number of superb carpet choices for hotels. To choose the right carpet for your hotel, you have to consider a number of factors:

 

  1. Choose the construction of the carpet first. A carpet that will easily fray or is harder to clean won’t be suitable for a highly trafficked area. For these zones, choose carpeting that’s specifically designed for active use. A larger ounce carpet made from nylon fiber, with high wear-resistance, is the best choice for lobbies and hallways. For lesser used areas, you can choose more unique construction.
  2. Color and pattern is more flexible than ever before. You can mix construction and aesthetics very easily these days. Explore your options to create unique combinations of texture, fiber, and pattern. Don’t be afraid to be brave and make a statement with your hotel’s carpet.
  3. Balance cost with longevity. You can save costs by opting for olefin over nylon fiber, but nylon will generally hold up better – it won’t lose its “bounce” as quickly because it is more resistant to crushing over time.
  4. Talk to us about custom fits. We’ve done a number of creative combinations that fuse multiple types of flooring together in an artistic way. When you choose the right carpet for your hotel, the goal should be to twofold. Firstly, set the atmosphere of your hotel apart. Secondly, relax or excite your guests depending on what’s needed for a particular space. The right carpet selection can set your hotel space apart from a busier, louder world outside.
  5. Choose colors/patterns wisely.  Select colors that align with your brand identity and patterns that welcome guests. If you have a lot of decorative elements, for example, keep the carpet pattern simple so the eye won’t get overwhelmed. If your decorations are more sparse, be willing to make the carpet design more complex.

 

Experience can help with these and other suggestions when it is time to choose the right carpet for your hotel.

How to Take Care of Your Yacht Flooring Installation

If you want to get confused on the internet as quickly as possible, look up “teak maintenance.” You wouldn’t think maintaining yacht flooring installation would be such a fiery topic, but it’s warfare out there. Batten the hatches (which is one good tip for keeping your flooring dry) and avoid the fight. Maintaining your yacht flooring installation is much simpler than a lot of places out there would lead you to believe.

Yacht Flooring Installation | East Coast Flooring & Interiors
Trust the Wood

As top South Florida boat flooring professionals, we know there’s a reason teak is used on yachts. It is an extremely dense hardwood that naturally possesses very high amounts of oil and wax. Nature’s already perfected the ideal wood for a yacht, so you don’t have to bend over backwards trying to maintain it.

Teak hardwood is resistant to rot, so you can begin by trusting the choice of teak and not feeling like you have to fawn over it or over-care for it. The natural inclination is to oil it every chance you get, but this will quickly sap the look from the wood and render it dull and featureless. If you over-oil teak, it will begin to look oddly plastic in sunlight.

Teak is also resistant to fungal growth. Now, any wood can develop fungal growth if you leave it alone long enough. That’s just what wood does, especially in humid environments. This leads us to our most important point:

Use Your Yacht

In fact, the number one way to help maintain your teak is to use your yacht regularly. It’s a chore, we know.

All the oils in the world aren’t as useful as taking the yacht out, letting it get light, moving its parts around, and letting it get good airflow as it moves across the ocean.

Dirt builds up, so when you use your yacht, give it a good sweep now and then. South Florida boat flooring is exposed to a lot of rain and humidity, so extra moisture builds up. Wipe this up. Do basic cleaning as part of your regular maintenance routine. Yet above all, get the yacht moving. Air flow alone will take care of many basic problems.

Don’t Use High Pressure Hoses

Just don’t. Teak combines a variety of grains, ranging from hard to soft. A high pressure hose will blast away those soft grains. Additionally, you’ll get ugly little pits and lines very quickly in your deck.

If you have used a high pressure hose and you don’t know what to do because the deck’s already looking worse for the wear, relax, take a breath, and get someone who knows what they’re doing to sand that deck down again. This will level the surface back out, and the deck can be refinished from here.

For the same reason, stick to brushes with soft bristles when cleaning. Brushes with hard bristles will pick those soft grains out just like a high pressure hose will.

Be careful with acid-based cleaners as well. Always follow instructions, and preferably consult someone who’s dealt with yacht flooring installation before.

Cover Your Deck

The worst effects of weather can be mitigated by covering your deck. Don’t let it be an afterthought. A hard rain can cause many problems if the deck is directly exposed to it. Covering can sometimes feel like a hassle in the moment, but it can save you a much bigger problem down the road.

Similarly, sun can do a lot of damage to wood over time. Exposure to sun begins to fade the color of wood, and your finish will lose its luster this way. Rain or shine, cover your deck.

Wipe Up Food and Wine

Part of the appeal of yachts is how much fun you can have onboard. This said, splashed wine is one of the quickest ways to discolor a patch of wood. Oily and greasy foods will also make marks that are surprisingly difficult to eliminate, and organic matter (like the sandwich crust a messy guest leaves  behind) is the quickest way to introduce mold into the environment. Make sure the remnants of any outing are promptly cleaned.
But, remember, you don’t have to obsess over these things. A spill won’t ruin the wood in minutes. Just make sure at the end of the day that these things are cleaned off instead of left to sit there until the next time you take the yacht out. They cause problems over time, but won’t damage anything immediately.

Saltwater is Fine

Teak does well with salt water because of how the salinity discourages the growth of mold. You can use the deck hose to wash off the teak quickly. This is one more element that makes teak pretty easy to maintain.

Don’t Overdo It

Once more we’ll stress that a regularly used, well-cared for teak deck won’t need oil, sealants, or cleaners with an acid base. Teak can be allowed to age naturally and it will look beautiful with time.

This said, if you like the look of oils, the protection of sealants, or the effectiveness of acid based cleaners, you don’t have to avoid them. Everyone has their preference. Just make sure you follow the directions carefully. Consulting someone with experience is highly recommended. Above all, don’t overuse any of these products. Trust the wood. It took a long time growing to look so beautiful, and it will give you years of pleasure if you treat it right.

How to Choose the Right Flooring Contractor

How do you choose the right flooring contractor? Unless you have experience in construction and installing floors yourself, it may seem like one is as good as the next. Yet not all flooring companies follow the same rules, use the same standards of professionalism, or take the same care when it comes to your floor. Here are 6 ways you can make sure you get the best commercial flooring subcontractors in South Florida — and the best results.

Choose the right flooring contractor | East Coast Flooring & Interiors

 

  1. Verify that they are licensed and insured. Before they even come to your property to give you an estimate, ask them for these documents. They can send you copies via email, fax, or bring them when they come for the quote. If they aren’t both licensed and insured, don’t even waste your time meeting with them.

 

  1. Ensure that any subcontractor with whom they work carries both workers’ compensation and liability insurance. You don’t want to be held liable if one of their workers gets injured on the job.

 

  1. Have prospective contractors show you pictures of projects they’ve completed that are similar to the work you’d like them to do. When they show you these examples, ask them what problems they encountered and how they solved them.

 

  1. Meet with the person in charge of the job. You don’t want an estimate from one worker and the work from another. You can’t be sure what you’ve expressed to them in terms of requirements made it down that pipeline.

 

  1. Get references. These can help you double check that a flooring contractor does a good job. It can also help you figure out what potential problems there may be – especially problems outside of the installation itself. Don’t forget to look for online reviews too.

 

  1. Get multiple estimates, but don’t always go for the least expensive option. Floors last for a long time and they’re difficult to tear up and re-do if you’re unhappy with the job. Make sure to go with the most skilled flooring contractor.

When you choose the right flooring contractor, you’ll enjoy quality flooring for years to come.

Top 5 Ways to Keep your Commercial Carpet Installation Clean

It’s not as difficult as you might think to keep your commercial carpet installation clean. It just takes some care — and a few good tips to help you fight messes rather than make them worse. As a South Florida commercial flooring contractor, we’ve seen pristine carpets after a decade of use and beautiful carpets worn out after a few years of ill treatment.

Commercial Carpet Installation | East Coast Flooring & Interiors

Here are our top 5 ways of keeping your floors looking wonderful:

 

  1. Don’t rub stains. This spreads and grinds stains into carpet fibers. Rubbing will also wear away the fibers faster. Instead, blot the stain with cleaning solution and clean cloth. Work from the outside in so you don’t spread the stain outward. For most stains, you might be surprised to learn that shaving cream works wonders. After getting what you can up by blotting, apply shaving cream and let it sit for 30 minutes. For certain stains like beer and wine, club soda works well. As a finisher, a half-vinegar, half-water solution often does the trick.

 

  1. What if you get something stick on your shoe? It could be gum, a bit of road tar, or anything with adherent or glue that gets tracked in. Remember, don’t rub it!. Instead, use an ice cube to freeze it for 30 seconds or longer. Then use a utensil to lift it while cutting the carpet strands as close to the sticky material as you can.

 

  1. Grease poses another problem entirely. The best solution for this is dish-washing soap. This is designed to cut grease. But don’t apply the soap directly. Instead, mix a few drops in warm water. Put this in a spray bottle and apply it this way. Then blot. You’ll be amazed how well it cuts back grease.

 

  1. Hydrogen peroxide works wonders for many stains the other recommendations here don’t address. In particular, it’s good for picking up blood if someone cuts themselves in the workplace. Just be sure to take care of your employee’s or customer’s health before the carpet.

 

  1. Vacuum regularly to get the dirt and grit up. Dirt and grit wear away the fibers as people walk over it. Once in awhile, give the carpet a good deep clean. Steam cleaning will remove oil and grease build up that’s made it further into the carpet material, as well as picking up more deeply embedded dirt.

Keep your carpet looking its best — and it’s not a bad idea to keep shaving cream, club soda, ice, and vinegar handy!

The Best Type of Flooring for Restaurants

Choosing flooring for restaurants can be a challenge. These surfaces have to stand up to relentless foot traffic, spills, and the wheeling of carts. They have to provide grip so that customers don’t slip. They have to be attractive and appealing. They have to help reflect light so that the eating area isn’t too dark. When it comes to flooring for restaurants, concrete is a solid (pun intended) choice.

 

Flooring for Restaurants | East Coast Flooring & Interiors

 

Concrete and Care

Concrete is often the best commercial flooring installation for restaurants because it’s durable, affordable, and fits a variety of aesthetics.. A sealer is a must to help prevent anything from getting under the floor where you can’t access it. Concrete isn’t fire-and-forget either. You still need to care for it, especially in a restaurant environment. Luckily with concrete, that cleaning will go faster than with most other types of flooring.

 

Slip Resistance

For slip resistance, you can go one of two directions. Use additives so that the concrete has more ingrained texture, or intentionally texture the concrete in a unique way. Both are simple yet effective ways of giving a concrete floor grip and making it safe for servers and customers alike.

 

Replicate Other Looks

You can give concrete many different looks. Stamped or imprinted concrete is made to look like tile, a range of stones, or even wood. This is a great way of evoking the moods of other floors while retaining the advantages of concrete. Concrete can also be stained, engraved, and polished for a remarkable range of appearances.

 

Adding a Logo

Adding a stencil or logo is a great way of making a place feel more your own. If it’s one of the first things a customer sees when walking in the door, they’ll automatically associate the brand with the experience they have more closely. Just make sure not to overdo it. One logo at the main entrance is usually enough for a space. Concrete can be stenciled in intricate, detailed, and bright ways with ease.

Spring Cleaning: Best Ways to Clean Hardwood Floors

Best Ways to Clean Hardwood Floors | East Coast Flooring & Interiors

In the course of our duties as a residential hardwood flooring subcontractor, we’ve taken up a lot of floors in order to lay new ones. Some of the floors we’ve come across tells a sad tale. Hardwood can naturally last several decades: there are historic homes that have been graced by these surfaces for centuries. The key is proper care (and some love).  If you’re in the mood for spring cleaning, and preserving your investment, here are some of the best ways to clean hardwood floors.

 

Start by getting the dust and grit out. The natural imperfections that make hardwood beautiful can trap debris that mopping can sometimes grind in. Always start by sweeping or vacuuming, especially if any sand has been tracked into the home.

 

You’ll want to use a water-based, PH neutral cleaner for a finished floor. These are available at a range of stores that carry cleaning supplies. Wood Wash is a good choice. The reason you don’t want to use a higher PH cleaner (like a harsher soap) is that these will impact the floor’s finish. They’re also not as healthy for your skin. Pick up some distilled water for a streak-free look. Minerals in tap water can leave streaks on the floor, but distilled H20 avoids this.

 

You can do one of two things depending on the kind of time you have. You can damp mop the floor – this means wring the mop well so that it’s damp instead of dripping wet. Give an area two passes to dissolve the dirt and then pick it up. This is one of the best ways to clean hardwood floors.
If you have more time and you really want to make your floor beautiful, you can spray the cleaner over an area, using one rag to clean the floor and another to buff it dry. Don’t use a brush to scrub – this will damage the finish and scratch the wood. Hardwood floors are hardy, but still have to be treated well. Do this, and you can help your hardwood floor last for years. Decades. Centuries.

8 Things to Know Before Installing Luxury Vinyl Tile

Installing luxury vinyl tile | East Coast Flooring & Interiors

Installing luxury vinyl tile can be pretty straightforward, but you’ll want to keep several factors in mind when making your choice. As commercial luxury tile contractors in South Florida, we’ve installed a lot of beautiful luxury vinyl tile floors. We’ve also come across a few mistakes builder have made. Here are eight keys to remember before installing.

 

  1. The two best aspects of installing luxury vinyl tile are its low cost and ease of installation. This surface can even be installed over one previous floor layer. This can save you from ripping up an old floor. 
  2. Pay attention to durability. Luxury vinyl can last from 10 to 20 years. That’s still a wide range, so make sure you know the life expectancy of your top vinyl options.
  3. Surface protection is important. Luxury vinyl tile is a good cost saver, but this doesn’t mean you should skimp on protection. That extra surface layer can resist stains and scratches, making the floor look better for longer. It’s an easy way to extend the floor’s life.
  4. Consider your heavy-use areas. Specific-use areas like bedrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms are good choices for high-end vinyl. There’s a reason entrance rooms aren’t always included on these lists. If a floor’s going to get a lot of foot traffic, consider a urethane finish to protect the floor and extend its life.
  5. Just because luxury vinyl tile is resistant doesn’t mean it’s immune. You’ve still got to maintain it sensibly by wiping up spills quickly. Luckily, it’s easy to sweep and mop.
  6. Designs have come a long way. When installing luxury vinyl tile, consider emulating the look of stone or hardwood.
  7. Luxury vinyl tile can become sun-damaged over time. Close the curtains or blinds when you’re not home to help protect it.
  8. Repair is difficult on luxury vinyl tile, especially if it’s sheet vinyl. Therefore, take everything we say about protective layers and maintenance seriously. A few simple steps can make your flooring last years longer.