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8 min read

Installing and Maintaining a Bamboo Floor

By: Karine Dutemple


8 min read

Installing and Maintaining a Bamboo Floor

By: Karine Dutemple

FlooringInterior renovationsInstalling and Maintaining a Bamboo Floor

Both durable and resistant, bamboo flooring is an interesting alternative to hardwood. Even though it’s attracting more and more attention and gaining in popularity, we have to outline how important it is to take some precautions concerning its installation to be able to benefit from its qualities.

Obviously, to take full advantage of a new bamboo flooring, you also need to be able to maintain it properly. In this article, we will share tips about the installation and maintenance of a bamboo floor.

Installing a bamboo floor  

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The search for a high-quality product 

First of all, know that buying a bamboo floor will require you to exercise caution. Indeed, you need to know that the quality of this material can vary widely, notably because of the way it is harvested, which can be done too early in some cases. Due to the fact that it doesn’t always have enough time to reach its full maturity, it could be less resistant and of lower quality. Knowing this fact, it is especially important to be wary of bamboo flooring that is sold at low prices.

Moreover, to ensure that you are buying a high-quality product, be sure to purchase a material that has an FSC certification. This seal indicates that the material adheres to a set of fifty factors that exist to ensure the quality of the material, as well as a harvesting practice that is respectful of the plant’s maturation period, as well as the absence of pesticide use. Lastly, because of its composition, a product without formaldehyde should be preferred.

Is this the right choice for you?

Although you could initially be seduced by the look of this material, remind yourself that it might not be the one you need for your project. Indeed, it’s worth noting that a bamboo flooring does not resist well to moisture and when it reaches a high level of humidity it may tend to get deformed or warped. In addition, too much moisture may cause your flooring material or the glue used to install it to rot.

Before moving forward with the purchase of a new bamboo floor, make sure to test the level of moisture of your subfloor. If the latter is wood, the level of humidity should not exceed 12% whereas, for a concrete subfloor, the humidity should not exceed 75%. If you notice areas marked by the presence of mould in the room or if previous tests are inconclusive, it would be better to change your plans.

The preliminary stages of your project

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1) Removing the existing floor

Let’s begin the explanation of the installation process for this type of floor by mentioning that you should remove the existing floor, whether it’s a solid material or a carpet. Also, if you have mouldings, remove them with care to avoid damaging them and to be able to put them back in place at the very end. Obviously, furniture must have been removed beforehand.

2) Make sure your floor is level

This is absolutely necessary to ensure an effective installation process of your bamboo flooring. Once your entire floor is removed, vacuum it to remove any dust. Also, take a close look at your floor to remove any stain that may be on it. To do this, use a long level (measuring tool) and check the level of your floor in more than one place. If your floor is not level and the difference is more than 5 mm for 3m, then it’s essential to remedy the situation.

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But how can you do it, specifically? The process to follow will depend on the type of subfloor that you have. If the latter is made of concrete, you should use a concrete grinder to level the sections that are too high and a concrete repair mortar to lift up the sections that are too low.

Your subfloor is made of wood? Then, you will have to sand the boards that are too high and replace the boards that are too low.

3) Calculate the dimensions of your floor

To buy the right amount of materials, measure in square meters the dimensions of the floor you wish to cover. Expect to buy 5% more than you need for your project in order to have a margin of error.

4) Wait for the ideal temperature

As we already mentioned previously, bamboo is pretty sensitive to temperature changes. For this reason, it is recommended to start the installation process when the temperature has been constant for two consecutive days and is between 16 and 21 degrees. Regarding the humidity level, it should be between 40% and 60%.

Once you reach the right level of humidity and temperature, store the packages of floorboards in the room for 3 days. This way, your floor will be adapted to the temperature of the room and you will greatly limit the probability to see your floor being deformed. Be careful not to leave the boards on the floor, but to place them on a table.

Installing a wood floor if your subfloor is in concrete

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If your subfloor is made of concrete, this may slightly lengthen the process leading to the installation of your bamboo flooring. Indeed, because it would be impossible to nail floorboards on concrete, you will have to install wood flooring on concrete before moving forward with the installation of your bamboo flooring.

Installing a bamboo flooring

For the installation process, make sure to leave a margin of 1.25 cm between your slats and the wall to avoid any problem if the floor ends up warping. To maintain the same spacing throughout the project, don’t hesitate to use spacing holds.

You should begin the installation by laying the first floorboards in-line. Make sure they are in a perpendicular position in relation to the direction of the joists. You will have to trim the last floorboard of your first line so that it fits the length of your floor. The remaining piece should be used to start the second row.

Once this step is completed, drill holes in the floorboards that are in the first line, but do not secure them immediately. Remember that the holes must be smaller than the diameter of the nail. This way, you can prevent your floorboards from cracking or deforming. The angle to be respected when nailing is 50 degrees from the board's edge. This will allow for the next row to hide the nails on the previous floorboard.

To nail floorboard, it’s essential to take some precautions to avoid cracking the wood. Therefore, you have to leave a 10 cm space from the wall before nailing, while also respecting a 25 cm spacing between the nails. When nailing the boards, exercise caution regarding the amount of pressure applied with your nailing gun. If it’s too high, you’ll crack your floorboards.

Lastly, make sure to use 18-gauge nails and remember to always nail on the strip of the floorboard while respecting the nailing angle that was previously mentioned.

To keep the floorboards close enough to each other, use a rubber mallet and bang on the edge of each one of them. Of course, the floorboards in your last row may not be the right width, which is why you’ll need to trim them using a circular saw.

What you need to do to have an even floor

Let’s keep in mind that the colour of your slats won't necessarily be the same from one package to another. Therefore, it’s recommended to avoid finishing one box before moving on to the other. Instead, you should open all the packages and draw into each one of them to mix the shades and avoid creating colour sections on your floor.

Do you wish to learn more about other eco-friendly renovation materials? Read our article 10 green home renovation materials.

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Maintaining your bamboo flooring

How to clean your bamboo flooring

To clean your bamboo flooring, it’s best to avoid cleaning with a large amount of water. Indeed, this may damage the floor’s lustre and make it disappear. It’s best to use a microfiber broom or vacuum cleaner to remove small particles from the floor.

You can still use a mixture of water and dish soap to clean your bamboo floor if you wish, as long as the mop you are using is completely wrung out.  Rinse with as little water as possible for cleaning and be sure to dry the floor afterwards.

Not only is it nice and pleasant to have a clean floor, but it also prevents small particles like grains of sand from scratching your bamboo flooring. Although the scratches may be minor, their accumulation will inevitably make them visible. This is why it is also strongly advised to place a carpet in a lobby.

What to do in case of a stain?

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If you notice a stain on your bamboo floor, wipe it off quickly. While this may be a recommendation that applies to all floors, it is of particular importance for bamboo flooring. Because it is a porous material, the liquid will tend to seep quickly into it.

When it comes to oil or grease stains, a good quality black soap should allow you to remove them. All you have to do is apply it to the stains and gently rub it with a soft cloth in circular motions.

For ink stains, soak a soft cloth with acetone and rub it on the stain. Be aware, however, that the protective varnish on your floor will be altered and that you will have no choice but to refinish it. Don't forget to rinse and dry the floor after detaching it.

What about wine stains on busy evenings? In order to remove them, a cloth soaked in diluted vinegar will do just fine. As for mould stains, be aware that a little ammonia mixed with soapy water will be of great help to you. Finally, as a precaution, put small pieces of felt under the legs of your chairs and furniture to prevent them from marking the ground while on the move.

A little tip to restore the lustre of your floor

Have you noticed that your bamboo floor has lost its lustre and that it looks a little dull? To make it shine again, prepare a mixture of hot water, a tablespoon of turpentine and a tablespoon of flaxseed oil. This blend will restore your floor to its former lustre and charm in no time!

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Last modified 2023-03-27

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8 min read 22 Mar 2023

A Practical Guide to Painting a Garage Floor

Are you hoping to paint over your garage floor but unsure how to go about it? What type of paint should you buy? How should it be applied? What are the best products available on the market and their pricing? Rest assured, you’ve come to the right place! In the following section, discover all of our tips and tricks to successfully paint over your garage floor. Advantages of Garage Floor Paint Source: Canva Painting over your garage floor is a long-term investment that holds numerous advantages, both in terms of functionality and aesthetics. First, it protects your floor and prevents dust, mud, and grease from embedding into it. The paint coating the surface actually helps fill in the little cracks caused by repeated car and pedestrian traffic. Moreover, the paint coating on the floor renders the surface stronger and able to withstand impacts, which in turn increases its durability. It also facilitates maintenance by making the surface easier to wash. 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Polyurethane Paint Polyurethane paints are designed specifically to coat floors and are great for high-traffic areas. If you often pull your vehicles in and out of the garage, polyurethane paint is your best bet. It has similar properties to that of epoxy but with a glossier finish. Also, some of these coatings have anti-slip properties and make very good garage resins. Polyurethane paint is highly resistant to scratches, impacts, oil, grease, etc. It adheres well to surfaces and maintains its colour beautifully. Moreover, it has a glossy finish that gives your floor a clean and shiny look. This product is also valued for its wide range of colours to suit all preferences. It's super easy to clean and can be done with a pressure washer. Alkyd Urethane Paint Alkyd urethane paint, just like the above two mentioned solutions, is resistant, which makes it perfect as a ground coating. This type of paint is a solution that has both the virtues of acrylic paint and glycerin. 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Don’t forget to clean the space outside the garage before working to prevent dead leaves and other debris from flying in. Leave the windows and doors of your garage wide open to facilitate airflow. 2- Clean the floor This step will guarantee the product’s hold on the soon-to-be painted surface. Proceed by thoroughly cleaning the floor. Remove all traces of oil or grease with a rag. Grab a broom and start sweeping up all of the dirt. Spray a solvent or soap all over the concrete surface and allow 20 to 30 minutes for the product to work. Then, with a heavy-duty broom, scrub the concrete vigorously to remove all stains embedded into the surface. Before the surface dries, rinse the ground with a pressure washer. Remove the excess water with a mop and let the surface dry. 3 - Apply a primer Come to this step, apply a primer as a base coat before adding a top coat. This will protect the finish and extend its service life. 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9 min read 16 Mar 2023

How to Clean Laminate Floors Using White Vinegar

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Soak the cloth in the solution and handwash the stained areas. While cleaning, use a different clean cloth to dry the floor. You could also use a sponge to scrub the tough stains. Another option would be to: Add the same mixture to a spray bottle and spray it all over the stained areas before scrubbing with a cloth. Use the less abrasive side of a sponge to properly scrub the area, rinse with lukewarm water, and dry with a different clean cloth. Mix 3 teaspoons white vinegar and 500 ml distilled water in a mop’s water reservoir. Avoid oversteaming the floor. Lift the mop off the floor before steaming to limit the impact. Then, dry the floor with a different clean cloth. 3- Clean with vinegar and vegetable oil Mix 2 cups white vinegar and 2 cups preferred vegetable oil in a spray bottle. Shake the solution thoroughly. Spray this solution over any stains on the floor and scrub using a cloth or, alternatively, use a clean mop for more convenience. Afterwards, dry the surface with a different cloth, wiping in circular motions. Plan for a backup solution in case the water becomes rancid. Otherwise, you can: Prepare an orange vinegar solution. Fill a glass jar with fresh orange peels. Add white vinegar, and stop 3 cm from the brim. Close the lid and allow the mixture to sit for 1 to 2 weeks. Then, filter and keep it in a spray bottle. Clean your floors as above mentioned, with a solution containing ¼ cup orange vinegar and 8 L water. Prepare a floor finish with ¼ cup olive oil, ⅓ white vinegar, 1 L lukewarm water, and a few drop of essential oils. Mix well and use to polish the floors. You can also use a damp mop or cloth. Lastly, use a clean rag to dry the floor, wiping in circular motions. Use a solution of Castille soap and vinegar. Mix ¼ cup Castille soap, ⅛ white vinegar, and 4 L water. Add a few drops of essential oils, and mix thoroughly. Then, wipe the floor with the solution and thoroughly dry with a clean rag. Next, add ¼ cup baking soda to clean soiled areas. Once clean, rinse the floor with clean water and dry it with a different, clean rag. 4- Homemade recipe using liquid dish soap This easy-to-make, homemade cleaner recipe will revamp your flooring. Not only will it remove stains, but it’ll also give it its former sheen. It only takes a few minutes to make. To 3 parts water, add 1 part vinegar, and 1 spritz of liquid dish soap. Thoroughly mix the ingredients in a spray bottle, then spray the just-made solution on the floor, and wipe clean with a slightly damp microfibre mop. Are you looking for experts for your flooring project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! More Tips to Clean and Maintain Your Laminate Floors Source: Canva Besides white vinegar solutions, there are other products that can be used to effectively clean a laminate floor. Let’s take a more in-depth look at a few. Microfibre dust mop The microfibre dust mop is the go-to tool to effortlessly clean just about any type of flooring. It’ll clean just about anything, from dust, to pet hair, and even the tiniest of particles. Its swivelling head allows for speedy and efficient cleaning. Additionally, its shape means even the most hard-to-access areas can be reached, like beneath tables and chairs. The microfibre dust mop doesn’t need much water, which is perfect for laminate floors since they easily warp when exposed to excess moisture. It’s rather easy to use—lightly dampen the mop and no detergent is needed. Once the floor has been cleaned, run a dry cloth over the surface to absorb the moisture left behind. Household black soap If your laminate floor is especially dirty and smeared in tough stains, you can use black soap to efficiently remove all dirt. Simply add a few drops on a slightly dampened microfibre mop and run it over the surface. Then, no need to rinse your laminate floor, just wipe it dry. You can use Marseille soap instead of using household black soap, which too is a really good laminate floor cleaner. It’s also super simple to use. Add it to water and go about your cleaning routine. Wax milk Wax milk, made of Carnauba wax, is a natural and effective product suitable for cleaning and maintaining the shiny appearance of laminate floors. To use, apply a thin layer of wax milk using a microfibre mop. Best Ways to Restore Your Floor’s Shine Source: Canva There’s nothing more annoying than a dirty, lacklustre floor. However, fear not, as maintaining a shiny and appealing laminate floor is within reach with the help of these few tips: Mop regularly The simplest way to maintain a shiny laminate floor is to make it a routine to mop or sweep its surface regularly. This effectively cleans the surface and eliminates minor stains. When dealing with newly installed flooring, opt for a warm water clean to preserve its sheen for as long as possible. However, be cautious to avoid excessive water usage while washing, as this can potentially damage the parquet. Use specially-designed products for tough stains When dealing with tough stains, avoid vigorously scrubbing laminate floors. Doing so could weaken and damage it. Instead, use specially-made floor cleaning products. Make sure to pick a cleaner that’s suited to your household’s situation since some products are rather aggressive. Apply a floor shine refresher It’s near impossible to prevent your floor from wearing with time. However, there are ways to restore its shine by applying a layer of floor shine refresher. True to its name, this product is specifically designed to revamp flooring. Simply apply it periodically to restore your floor’s former sheen. For optimal results, we suggest applying it every 6 months. Protect your floors Laminate floors are a type of flooring that’s especially fragile and delicate. It’s especially prone to showing footsteps and reacting to the slightest furniture shift. As such, it’s important to protect its surface to ensure longevity. As a method of protection, you can add little felt stickers to the bottom of your furniture. The latter will act as a buffer between your furniture and the flooring. As for the aesthetics of it all, fear not, as there’s a variety of felt sticker designs available, each more aesthetically pleasing than the next. The choice is yours! Does white vinegar damage flooring? Source: Canva White vinegar, when used correctly, won’t damage your flooring. It has quite the opposite effect in fact: it degreases, deep cleans, and adds shine. However, avoid using pure vinegar on flooring. Dilute it in water first to eliminate any risk of damaging the surfaces. Also, avoid cleaning with vinegar on a daily or weekly basis. It’s best to simply use on occasion. Precautionary Measures for Cleaning Wood Floors Don’t leave stagnant water on the flooring after cleaning, as it could alter the resin. Avoid using an abrasive scrub brush on this type of flooring, as it could scratch the surface. Instead, use a mop or microfibre dust mop. Wring out the mop thoroughly, as excessive moisture can be detrimental to this type of flooring, causing the material to warp and wear. Avoid letting vinegar sit on the surface for too long; promptly wipe off the cleaned surface.

11 min read 14 Jun 2023

The Unique Look of Outdoor Tiles

Tiles suit just about every surface, from kitchen to bathroom, floor to ceiling. Nowadays, they’re also a popular choice for backyards. To achieve a clean, refined look, tiles can be used to embellish porches, surround pools, and revamp flat roofs to design a scenic rooftop terrace. As far as current trends are concerned, outdoor ceramic tiles are used to stylishly revamp backyards. After years spent admiring Mediterranean courtyards from afar, you can now tile your yard with materials specifically designed to withstand our harsh Canadian winters. The Different Types of Outdoor Tiles Source: Canva Natural stone, porcelain, faux wood…outdoor tiles are available in countless shapes, all of which are aesthetically pleasing. With the myriad of options out there, one can go about designing the exact setting they had in mind. Tiles, with their distinctive looks, suit just about any and all architectural styles. So, without further ado, here’s a selection of outdoor tiles to consider. Outdoor Porcelain Tiles This type of tile is quickly becoming the go-to product favoured by high-end outdoor setting industry experts who, with reason, consider porcelain tiles the best option for their clients seeking a unique look, yet refuse to cut corners in terms of design. These tiles are luxurious and comfortable to tread on barefoot, conveying an absolutely contemporary look, thus swiftly transforming outdoor living spaces. Noteworthy: MSI Stone ULC Niagara Frost floor tiles. These 12-inch x 12-inch tiles can be laid on walls and floors, and adequately resist frost. What’s the difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles? While outdoor ceramic tiles are much talked about, the majority of tiles laid in backyards are made with porcelain. They’re much more solid compared to ceramic tiles, considering they’re baked at higher temperatures, and made with sandstone, ceramic, and clay. Therefore, they’re more resistant to harsh weather conditions. For these reasons, they might just be the best option in terms of outdoor tiles. Not only can porcelain tiles withstand Canada’s harsh weather, but such tiles offer near-endless possibilities where pavers once had limitations. Faux Wood Outdoor Tiles Source: Canva Faux wood tiles are perfect to convey a Scandinavian- and rustic-inspired setting, while also suiting a Zen vibe for undeniable appeal. Glazed stoneware tiles are rather great in terms of value for money while also being low maintenance. These tiles are also available in a natural stone-like finish. Noteworthy: The Treverkview Collection, made in Italy, captures the timeless appeal of oak in four classic shades. These tiles perfectly replicate the effect of wood flooring due to its length-wise shape and realistic veining to convey a natural and cozy look. Retails for $7.99 per sq. ft. Natural Stone Tiles Natural stone tiles have a raw granite finish which isn’t likely to wear anytime soon. Ideally used in high foot traffic areas, they can withstand scratches and are low maintenance. Noteworthy: Enigma tiles, more specifically Artic Marble, with its polished finish conveying a standout outdoor living space. Retails for $10.05 per sq. ft. Slate Tiles We especially appreciate the appeal of slate due to its rich, golden, rust-coloured, green, or blue shades. Slate is timeless, always worthwhile, and valued as flooring, but also for outdoor fireplaces. Its use opens the door to a lot of possibilities and adds indescribable appeal to just about any architectural style. Its natural look withstands wear and seamlessly blends in with any patio furniture colour. Noteworthy: MSI tiles since they’re particularly easy to install, interlocking seamlessly. This type of quality tile allows for a professional-looking, super-refined result. We especially like its natural-like, split-face finish that reveals subtle, varied shades. Retails for $12.48 per sq. ft. Also noteworthy: Slate Montauk tiles. This collection of Brazilian slate is available in several tile formats, with a texture that’s both subtle and elegant. Retail starts at $6.99 per sq. ft. Wall Tiles Source: Canva Wall tiles are a new alternative to conventional wall treatments. They’re easy to clean, with a ton of options when it comes to finishes and colours, which is undeniably contributing to its success. Noteworthy: LifeProof wall and floor tiles in Quartzite or Revere Wood finishes. Retail starts at $3.54 per sq. ft. Anti-Slip Outdoor Tiles These tiles are 50% more slip-proof than slip-resistant tiles found on the market, which makes for a wise choice for all non-covered outdoor surfaces and those edging around a pound. These tiles are also water-, stain-, and scratch-resistant—they’re perfectly suited for bustling households. They’re also low maintenance. Therefore, you can make the most of their use, without safety concerns. Noteworthy: LifeProof range of products given its varied finishes: faux wood, natural stone effect, polished concrete, etc. This quality product is anti-slip, and blends the look of stone, the authenticity of quartzite, and the durability of porcelain. Retail starts at $3.54 per sq. ft. Especially noteworthy: The stunning hexagonal mosaic tiles with a quartzite finish from LifeProof. Retails for $7.22 per 10-inch x 12-inch tile. NOTE: Avoid very light shades like beige in especially sun-drenched areas as the tile could have an unpleasant glare. Are you looking for a general contractor for your renovation project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! The Benefits of Backyard Outdoor Tiles Source: Canva In all honesty, your outdoor space is on display for all to see. For those who are invited into your backyard, it serves as a sneak peek of what your indoor space holds. If you enjoy stunning guests, outdoor tiles are an excellent alternative to conventional landscaping options. Here’s a list of outdoor tile benefits: Designs that transcend one’s imagination Whether modern, traditional, or rustic in style, and regardless of the aesthetic you’re seeking for your project, outdoor tiles are a great option to consider. These tiles are prestigious and of noteworthy quality, and facilitate a seamless transition between your home and backyard. Impressive durability Contrary to popular belief, outdoor tiles are far from fragile. Designed to meet stringent manufacturing standards and tailored to their intended environment, these tiles are made with sturdy and resilient materials, effectively withstanding physical impacts and bad weather. Wear-resistant Made with durable materials like porcelain and natural stone, outdoor tiles are suited for high foot traffic areas, while also resistant to scratches that may have been caused by patio furniture or furry, four-legged friends. Lastly, the sun has no power over them. These tiles don’t lighten, darken, or fade over time; they maintain their beautiful finish. Safe option Source: Canva Porcelain stoneware is among the most used materials to manufacture outdoor tiles. Not only is it solid, but it also has the added benefit of having a non-slip surface, which limits the risks of accidents. Go for anti-slip (unpolished) tiles. A damp or snow-covered outdoor living space can quickly turn into a makeshift ice rink! Withstand sudden temperature changes Tiles intended for outdoor use have to be especially well-suited to the elements. Therefore, choose products that can withstand very cold temperatures, snow build-up, intense sunshine, and sudden temperature changes. Some types of tiles have the added benefit of withstanding even the most extreme weather conditions. Surprisingly low maintenance A lot of outdoor flooring options are rather difficult to upkeep. Some products need to be repainted, while others stain easily. Some will be overrun by weeds, while others will deteriorate as soon as a treatment is delayed or its surface is improperly maintained. Outdoor tile surfaces can be easily cleaned and don’t require any particular upkeep. A quick mopping using a bit of soapy water is all that’s needed to restore their gloss. A long-term investment At first glance, porcelain tiles exude an air of luxury—evident not only by the looks of them but, at times, by their accompanying price tags. Yet, among the range of products retailed, options cater to all budgets. Also, note that by doing your research, you may be able to benefit from a few worthwhile deals. However, beware of skimping on quality and make sure the product chosen is truly suited for its intended use. No matter the product you choose, outdoor tiles are durable, which makes for a worthy investment. How to Lay Outdoor Tiles Source: Canva Step 1: Check the water runoff Start by ensuring that there’s a 1.5° slope in place, facilitating effective rainwater drainage. Step 2: Clean The section of the yard that will be tiled must be clean and devoid of any irregularities. Preparation may include eventually levelling the ground, applying a layer of bitumen prior to pouring the slab or stabilizing the yard. Step 3: Tile layout This step consists of aligning a tile against the wall, and from that point, drawing a parallel line. Then, draw a perpendicular line to that line, at the centre of the wall. Now, proceed to lay your tiles, starting with the first set of tiles lined up against the wall, following the marked angle, and continuing with a second set along the perpendicular line. OUR TIP: At the risk of ending up with an irregular linear path, don’t start tiling at one of the corners. Step 4: Adhesive Mix the adhesive to obtain a uniform mixture. Carefully lay your tile and secure it with a rubber mallet. Insert tile spacers between each tile to configure the grout joints. This ensures there’s ample space between each tile to accommodate expansion joints for temperature variations. OUR TIP: Use a premium polymer-modified tile mortar. The latter is both robust and supple, therefore less likely to crack when exposed to bad weather. Tile mortar used for indoor tiling is clearly not made for outdoor use, especially when considering Canada’s harsh climate. Step 5: Grout joints Once the tiles are laid, wait a day before grouting. Spread the mortar using a margin float while ensuring the gaps over the entire tile surface are properly filled. Then, clean the surface using a damp sponge. PRO TIP: If you’ve chosen rectangular-shaped tiles, there are more options available to you. You can lay your tiles perpendicular or parallel to the house. But you can also offset each tile by half, or you can design an aesthetic edging. Outdoor Tiling FAQ Source: Canva When should you install outdoor tiles? If you’ve already laid tiles indoors, needless to say, it’s a craft that requires accuracy. Note that installing outdoor tiles happens to be a bit more of a complex undertaking, and since installer rates can be quite steep, you may be tempted toward the DIY route for this one! Prior to installing the outdoor tiles, you first must ensure the mortar base or structure is solid. Outdoors, one has to account for water infiltration and plan for an appropriate drainage solution. You also have to pick the right day to undertake such a project. As Yanick Dupré, of Dupré Carrelage, mentioned, “Outdoor tiling should be done in temperatures above 10 degrees Celsius [for the mortar, Ed.], and shielded from bad weather.” Furthermore, avoid especially humid or sunny days. Due to the particular makings of adhesive, avoid installing tiles under the beating sun. Favour slightly overcast days since direct sun exposure may have negative repercussions on the adhesive. If working in a shaded area isn’t an option, consider using patio umbrellas or tiling during a period of the day when the sun isn’t beating down as hard. TIP: The more experienced tradesperson will confirm the following: large-format tiles are easier to install compared to small-sized tiles. And, it so happens oversized tiles are all the rage! Look for 24-inch x 24-inch tiles or even 32-inch x 32-inch. How should you clean outdoor tiles? One of the biggest advantages of outdoor tiles is their low maintenance factor. As such, most often, you’ll simply need to clean the tiles using a damp cloth or mop and soapy water. Over time, your patio may need a deep clean, that is, after a few memorable barbecues or as a result of darkened grout joints. In such cases, opt for specially-made outdoor tile cleaning products. Here are several tips to effectively tackle tough stains and prevent dirt from lodging between the tiles. In a litre of warm water, mix half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of white vinegar. Add a cap of household black soap and scrub the stained areas. Rinse with clean water. Use a pressure washer, gently so as to not damage the surface of the tiles. Add bleach and a cup of salt to the lukewarm water and scrub vigorously. Rinse with clean water. To bleach the grout joints, add half a litre of warm water, half a cup of white vinegar, and half a cup of lemon juice, then give the surface a good scrubbing. Mix baking soda with a bit of water to obtain a paste. Apply to the tiles and rinse with clean water. To clean an oil stain, pour citric acid on the affected area and allow it to take effect for 30 minutes before cleaning. To successfully clean a cement stain, use white vinegar. To effectively clean a paint or ink stain, soap a cloth in rubbing alcohol and scrub. For lodged dirt, try pouring potato water onto the surface! OUR TIP: Avoid cleaning outdoor tiles with strippers or household cleaners with high levels of hydrofluoric acid. Also, steer clear of oily products that could potentially leave a film on the tiles.

8 min read 24 May 2023

Wall and Floor Tile Materials

Tiles are crafted with different materials. Having a clear understanding of said materials means choosing aesthetic and hard-wearing wall and floor coverings. Here are 6 of the most used types of tiles, whether indoors or outdoors. What are the different types of tile materials? Source: Canva Yanick Dupré, Dupré Carrelage Inc., mentioned that tiles are effectively made using many different types of materials: Aluminum; Ceramic; Terracotta; Glass (enamel and glass paste); Natural stone; Cement. 1. Aluminum tiles Aluminum is a luminous tile material that reflects light, thus enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the room in question. It’s perfect as a kitchen backsplash or to protect the area right beneath your range hood, said material is increasingly used inside. Average cost: $5 - $16/sq. ft. 2. Ceramic tiles Tile materials that are best known as “ceramics” are plentiful: Sandstone; Tin-glazed; Natural terracotta. These can be added during the manufacturing process: Quartz; Kaolin (China clay); Feldspar. Clay is what gives tiles their final shape and volume. Materials such as quartz and feldspar then add strength and uniformity to it. Essentially, there are two types of ceramic tiles: Red body tiles; White body tiles. Red body tiles are made up of fibre-rich clay. The latter is both cost-effective and extremely porous. To the extent that, if red clay tiles were to be laid outside, they would shatter at the first frost. White body tiles aren’t much less porous. Their white clay or kaolin base simply allows for a high-end and resilient tiling, especially to impacts when dual-fired (first without enamelling, then a second time with enamelling). Average cost: $3 - $25/sq. ft. So, does this mean that ceramic tiles can't be laid both indoors and outdoors? Actually, no. That's where porcelain stoneware ceramic tiles come in. Porcelain Stoneware Among porcelain stoneware, two types can be distinguished: full-body ceramic stoneware and glazed ceramic stoneware. In both cases, the tiles are: Especially resistant to impacts; Highly resilient; Impervious to chemicals; Non-abrasive; Impervious to cracking when frozen over. The only difference is that the former has a similar-coloured surface to that of a biscuit porcelain, while the latter is heat-coated with a layer of enamel. Finally, "stretched" sandstone tiles consist of stoneware that has been stretched rather than pressed during the manufacturing process. Laying stretched stoneware is generally done directly on the ground, whether indoors or outdoors, provided the porous nature of the product allows it. 3. Terracotta tiles Source: Canva Made of clay and sand, terracotta tiles get their pale yellow to dark brown colour from the earth. Terracotta is among those highly porous materials used for tiling. Once the tiles have been laid, and before the tiles are grouted, a hydrophobic treatment should be applied to the surface. A waterproofing agent is then added to fully protect the tiles. Terracotta has many interesting qualities: Moisture resistant Easy maintenance; Doesn’t feel cold to the touch; Ideal for indoor or outdoor use; Anti-slip. However, while terracotta is easy to lay indoors and outdoors, whether on walls or floors, certain types of terracotta are especially susceptible to impacts. As is the case with glazed terracotta, and should be limited to wall installations (bathroom, kitchen backsplash, etc.). Average cost: $20 - $30/sq. ft. 4. Glass tiles Glass tiles are made up of two materials: Glass pastes; Enamels. Glass pastes are tiny, iridescent, plain or metallic tiles that are glued together to make mosaics. Their main benefit is that they're highly resistant to impact, heat, and scratches even. Unlike terracotta or natural stone, glass mosaics don't require any water or chemical treatments. Glass tiles are easy to clean and ideal to fit in with the lines and curves of any surface, making them the perfect finishing touch in any kitchen or bathroom. Another glass medium could be Émaux de Briare tiles, which can be installed indoors and outdoors. They're wear-, shock-, and UV-resistant, fully impervious to chemicals, and waterproof. By adding a flux to the mixture of calcine, crystalline rock, and sand, the resulting enamel becomes more easily vitrified and tinted during the firing process. Since they're extremely thin, they can be glued directly onto an existing floor. It's the exact opposite approach to natural stone tiles, which we’ll now delve into. Average cost: $10 - $60/sq. ft. 5. Natural stone tiles Natural stone tiles are smooth and raw, with white, black, brown, or blue nuances, thus lending the space in question a unique, charming look. Whether inside or outside, natural stones adorn both floors and walls, with two major advantages: Wear- and impact-resistance; Don’t fade over time. The only downside to using natural stones is their maintenance and weight. Laying natural stone tiles not only requires the use of a hydrophobic treatment to render the porous surface water-repellent but also regular maintenance to preserve its gloss. This is especially important for highly porous limestone. Without crystallization treatment, such tiles are stain- and scratch-prone. Natural stone tiles are thicker than tiles made of other materials and are typically between 0.8 to 2 inches thick. Hence, they’re made heavier to provide identical mechanical resistance. As such, when picking out your tiles, if you land on natural stone tiles, note whether: The tiles add too much height to the floor; And if they can withstand the intended load. Once you’ve answered these questions, you can choose the tile material that you prefer: Igneous rock (granite, basalt, porphyry); Sedimentary rock (sandstone, travertine, white rock); Schist (slate); Metamorphic rock (marble). Average cost: $5 - $30/sq. ft. 6. Cement tiles Cement tiles are made from mortar and pigmented marble powder, and are now trending again. Like natural stones and ceramics, cement needs to be well protected by a triple-action treatment: Hydrophobic; Waterproof; Oil-repellent. Although wax is also used during this treatment, never clean your cement tiles with bleach or acidic household products. The only acidic product you can apply to cement is one that can remove any leftover laitance from the installation process. One last piece of advice: If you notice signs of efflorescence on the tiles you were shipped as a result of laitance during the in-plant drying process, all you have to do is gently sand the tiles with water to remove the efflorescence. All you need is sandpaper. Average cost: $5 - $20/sq. ft. Are you looking for experts for your flooring project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! Best Tile Options Source: Canva Choosing the right material depends on the room you want to tile. Tiling materials come in all sizes and styles: Enamelled or glazed ceramic; Aged or bumpy material; Pearlescent colour; Contemporary factor; etc. Indoor tiles Ceramic tiles; Mosaic; "Stretched” sandstone; Terracotta; Glass tiles; Natural stone tiles; Tin-glazed. Outdoor tiles Porcelain stoneware; Terracotta; Glass; Cement; Natural stone tiles. Tiling Ideas Source: Canva Wall treatment Tiles can be laid in several areas throughout a home. However, wall tiling is mainly done in wet areas (bathrooms and kitchens). It protects walls and makes them easy to clean. However, you can also lay tiles outdoors, notably along your patio, swimming pool, or on walls specially designed to create a lounge area. Bear in mind that ceramics can also be used to design beautiful mosaics. Floor tiles In a home, certain areas must have easy-to-clean flooring. Notably in the kitchen, in which cooking and food splatters are a daily occurrence (especially if you have young children). Tiles aren't merely an ally when it comes to cleaning, they're also a durable flooring material, even in high-traffic areas (kitchen, stairs, entryway, basement, etc.). For outdoor use, tiles can be laid across your patio or walkway. Your garage and driveway can also be tiled. And many materials have the mechanical strength to withstand the load of a car. What’s the best bathroom tile? Source: Canva Porcelain stoneware is the perfect material to tile your bathroom since it meets one crucial requirement: it's easy to clean. After all, hygiene is the most important aspect of a bathroom, to prevent germ proliferation and mould growth. In this respect, porcelain stoneware comes out on top. Not only can it be easily cleaned, but it's also really hard-wearing. And, because it’s available in a wide range of formats and sizes, porcelain stoneware can be adapted to all bathroom sizes. What’s the best tile size for a bathroom? Some industry experts still recommend using small tiles for smaller-sized bathrooms. However, it's simply outdated wisdom. It's merely a preconceived notion that large tiles weigh down smaller bathrooms. It’s quite the opposite, really. Large tiles convey a feeling of spaciousness that small tile surfaces lack. So, why is this belief that small tiles are best for smaller bathrooms? This trend can be traced back to long ago when large tiles were first developed. It was customary to lay small tiles in the bathroom, especially as large tiles required specific cuts for the patterns to be aesthetically pleasing. Let your imagination run wild, choose tiles of various sizes and of different colours, whether as borders or murals, laid straight, at 45°, herringbone or offset. That said, choose and lay your tiles as you wish.

8 min read 04 Apr 2023

A Quick and Easy Build with Floor Trusses

Back in the day, dimension stock was the material of choice used to build floor systems. However, through the years, building techniques have significantly evolved to allow for innovative engineered wood products on the market, such as floor trusses. These can be shaped in various ways and are especially valued for their many advantages by building professionals. What are floor trusses? Source: Canva Floor trusses are a product of engineered wood used as a dimension stock alternative. They’re designed to support static and dynamic loads imposed on floor systems. In other words, they’re load-bearing floor parts. Spanning anywhere from 9 ¼" to 24" tall, trusses limit the use of beams, bearing walls, and columns. They facilitate installation and allow for a 2 ½" or 3 ½" nailing surface. Also, floor trusses are designed to ensure mechanical systems such as plumbing, electrical wiring, and heating can be routed through the width of the floor. Trusses can be fitted on all floor levels, whether it's a ground floor, upper floor, basement floor, rooftop terrace or crawl space floor. Although floor trusses are typically shipped individually, some manufacturers will package them in pre-assembled floor sections. They can even include plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) structural sheathing. Types of Floor Trusses and Their Advantages Source: Canva There are two types of floor trusses: I-joist and open-web trusses. Both types are commonly used as part of lightweight, wood-frame floor system construction. However, each has specific characteristics and advantages that we’ll delve into in the following section. The I-Joist The I-Joist is made up of two parallel, finger-jointed flanges of lumber that are typically manufactured from 2x3 and 2x4 composite wood (LVL, LSL). The web is a 3/8” to 7/16” thick OSB panel that joins the two flanges. The latter are glued to the web’s width, thereby making an I-shape thanks to a patented assembly method. For clarity, the web is the vertical part of a joist. I-joist floor trusses can be manufactured in various lengths, grades, and depths to cater to all spans. The most commonly used depths are 9 ½”, 11 7/8”, 14”, 16”, and up to 24”. As for length, it typically ranges between 12’ and 36’. However, lengths can reach 48 feet or even more sometimes. There are many advantages to using I-joist floor trusses. In fact, this product’s large web provides a nailing and glueing surface for the structural floor sheathing. Another advantage is that its shape gives it great strength-to-weight and quality-for-price ratios. Drill holes can be made according to the manufacturer’s instructions to allow pipes and ducts through, particularly in the middle third of the span where the shear resistance is low. Another benefit that can be said of the I-joist floor truss is that it can be cut to exact specifications. However, note that though it’s a material that offers building flexibility, floor trusses do, at times, require rim boards and face mount joist hangers. On top of that, they need blocking panels, made of I-joist sections, mid-span between the floor trusses. Its installation does require more time and is more technical than that of the open-web wood trusses. The Open-Web Wood Trusses Source: Canva Open-web wood trusses are made with two lumber flanges that are often linked with diagonal webs and available in a triangular shape that reduces the quantity of lumber required while also having interesting and precise mechanical properties. These are made with 2x3 or 2x4 chords that are laid flat to have a large nailing surface for the structural floor sheathing. The advantage of this type of floor trusses over that of I-joists is that it allows for plenty of space for the building’s services to pass through the diagonal web openings. As a matter of fact, the trusses are made with strategically placed tunnels and openings to facilitate household plumbing, electrical wiring, or ventilation duct installations. These trusses are also available in a range of spans, depths, and lengths. They can be laid against the upper chord, which limits the number of joist hangers needed and conceals the trusses within the structure. Most manufacturers offer various models that can be adapted on-site thanks to their web ends (end posts), which allows the builders once on-site to adjust the trusses perfectly. The open-web truss is a great alternative to more expensive, lightweight steel structures. The truss’ lightweight renders it easy to manoeuvre and install. Moreover, its installation process is rather quick compared to that of standard floor joists. Another advantage of the open-web floor system, one can note the innovative building techniques used to enhance the strength and efficiency of the floor trusses. Also, their interior triangular structure is a considerable asset since it reinforces the floor system against long-term damage like floor squeaking or deflection. It’s best to choose open-web floor trusses that are tailored made and done so according to the National Building Code of Canada and vibration measurement, control, and standards. There are two types of open-web floor trusses that are most commonly used for commercial constructions: open-web metal-pin connected trusses and open-web wood joists. What’s the maximum span of trusses? There is a wide range of depths available on the market. Here are some of the most sought-after measurements: 241 mm (9 ½ in); 302 mm (11 7/8 in); 318 mm (12 ½ in); 356 mm (14 in); 406 mm (16 in); 457 mm (18 in); 508 mm (20 in); 559 mm (22 in); 610 mm (24 in). Lumber floor trusses can reach spans that range between 6.1 m and 7.62 m, so 20 and 25 ft respectively. However, they can measure beyond the 9 m (30 ft) mark depending on the dimensions and type of wood used for the chords and bearing loads. To create a truss diaphragm (solid sheet), lumber floor trusses are used with structural floor sheathing, like plywood or oriented strand board. They can be shipped individually or in pre-assembled floor sections. Do you have a floor renovation project in mind? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! How to Install Floor Trusses Source: Canva Before installing your floor trusses, you absolutely must choose the right materials. Choose according to the use you want to make of your floor. We recommend favouring sturdy materials if it’s intended for a living space. However, opt for lighter materials when it concerns less frequented areas like an attic. Here’s a bit of information to help you understand how floor trusses are installed. Note that the steps detailed below are solely for reference purposes. It's entirely dependent on your contractor to adapt them according to the specificities of your construction project site. Step 1: Level load-bearing walls and mark off the layout of the trusses Before doing anything, make sure that the walls supporting the joists are horizontal and level. To do so, measure all sides, both length and depth. If necessary, lay a base course to then get a horizontal, level surface. Once that’s done, allow it to dry before moving on to the next step. Step 2: Install floor joists Laying the floor joists is done according to a plan elaborated by computer software by taking into account the load-bearing ability of the floor trusses. To begin, square the house’s perimeter to ensure it’s 90 degrees. Then, go forth by laying the floor joists according to the markings. Using a tape measure, determine the layout of the floor joists based on the blueprint. Then, unfurl a layer of foam sealant to achieve a capillary break between the footing and concrete. Now proceed by installing your joists. Make sure the hanger face mounts are well screwed into the joists as indicated on the plan. Then, spread construction glue on the hangers to prevent cracking as the joists are affixed. Properly screw in the joists where needed and fasten the rim joists according to the manufacturer's instructions. Once the floor joists are secured, stabilize them by fastening pieces of lumber between them. For longer areas, some construction requires steel beams. A few installation recommendations Avoid cutting, grooving, or drilling into open-web lumber joist chords and connectors. Aside from the adjustable end post that can be cut on-site to then obtain the desired joist length. Avoid loading the joists beyond the structural design loads, even if only temporarily. Make sure concentrated loads are applied where needed and according to the blueprint. Follow the installation details provided for double joists to ensure there’s an equal load distribution between the two. Remember to secure the brace trusses to prevent the floor from tipping or moving sideways. The building contractor must be sure that the non-load-bearing walls aren't transferring loads from the upper floors. The trusses shouldn't be left in areas that are permanently exposed to the elements. They should be stored in a dry environment. Floor Truss Pricing Examples Source: Canva The cost of building a floor truss system varies depending on the type of truss chosen, as well as its composition. That said, it’s best to inquire with manufacturers to be sure of the exact cost of the material suited to your needs. Here are a few examples of different brands of joists available on the Eastern seaboard: TRIFORCE: This brand specializes in timber open joists (open-web design), which are made according to the National Building Code of Canada in terms of vibration and sound transfer performance and fire resistance. The TRIFORCE open joist is a high-end product that offers excellent floor system performance. Vulcraft joists: These are made with steel according to the latest edition of the CAN/CSA S-16 standard. Whether it’s a standard, composite, or girder joist, this brand has a complete line of joists that’s a sure value added to your structure. Lanoix et Jeanson’s trimmable wooden joists: These are ideal if you want a sturdy floor, devoid of creaking. They have the added benefit of making the system installation easier.

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