Cleaning Natural Stone Tile


Cleaning Natural Stone TileThe contractors have gone home, and your house is finally put back together after installing new stone flooring. Now the question is, what do I know about cleaning natural stone tile?

If you have natural stone in your house, you may be intimidated by the care of it. Since natural stone comes from natural materials, it does act differently than other hard floors. There are some things you should remember when cleaning and caring for your travertine, slate, granite, or marble.

Removing Dirt & Stains from Stone Flooring

Dirt is your number one enemy. Dirt, sand and dust grind under your shoes and into the floor, gradually “sanding” the protective finish off. Avoid this by putting rugs near all the doors, dust mopping the floor often, and keeping the floor clean in general.

Enemy number two with stone floors is staining. The porous nature of the stone causes it to absorb liquids like urine and red wine and to cause staining that is almost impossible to get out. Avoid this by mopping up messes as soon as possible after the spill.

After sweeping or dusting the floor, mopping helps get what was left behind. Using the cleaner you have chosen or a mild dish soap and warm water, mop your floor with a soft mop. Then, rinse the entire surface with water alone. Allow it to dry. Be careful, wet stone (especially granite and marble) is very slippery.

Stone Floor Cleaner Products

Look for the right cleaning agent. Some stone, like granite, slate, sandstone, quartzite, are SILICEOUS. Siliceous stone is very durable, and you can use a mildly acidic cleaner on it. Marble, travertine and limestone is CALCAREOUS. These stones are not as durable, and you should avoid any cleaner that is acidic. Check the bottle of any stone cleaner to see which stone types it is safest for, and consult with a professional to find the right cleaners for your floor type.

Sealing Stone Floor Tiles

Get it re-sealed. Natural stone needs to be sealed before use, and that sealer can wear thin and get permeated by use. Once it wears off, your stone will start to get stained and scratched, sometimes beyond repair. Get your stone sealed every three years by a professional. The cost of this varies, but you can expect to pay about $1-2 per square foot. This will extend the life and beauty of your stone dramatically.

Repairing Natural Stone Floor Tiles

Get it repaired. Sometimes your flooring will become uneven or cracked. If there are cracks or unevenness in the tiles, dirt will collect and be hard to get rid of. Have a flooring contractor come and fix the damage as soon as possible after you notice the crack or raised tile.

Make sure it’s installed correctly. A bad install will lead to cracking and lifting tiles, which means excess dirt collection and eventually, the need to reinstall the entire floor. Avoid this costly repair by hiring the right contractor in the first place.

Caring for your stone floor takes a little research and some time, but if you do the work, you will enjoy your stone for years to come. It’s one of the most beautiful and durable flooring types in the world, and because it’s natural, it’s always one of a kind.

How-To DIY Ceramic Tile Removal + Tools Needed

DIY ceramic tile removalAre you ready for new flooring? Do you have outdated old tile that you hate, but you are terrified of tearing it out?

While removing old tile is not for the faint of heart, with some elbow grease, a few simple tools and some know-how, your diy ceramic tile removal project will be finished in no time.

  1. Remove any appliances or fixtures that will get in the way of removing the tile. Usually your toilet will be installed over tile and dishwashers are often installed over tile. Obviously your refrigerator will need to be moved out. Make sure you have someone to help you.
  2. You will need a starting point, a place where you can put the pry bar under the tile and pull it up. Usually there will be an edge somewhere when you remove the appliances or fixtures, but if not, you will have to break the tile with a hammer to something heavy. Remember to be careful if you are dealing with a plywood subfloor. You don’t want to have to make repairs there.
  3. Start prying up the tile. By now you should know for sure whether or not there is flooring installed underneath the existing tile. Sometimes you will see an underlayment like mortarboard. You can try to salvage this if you want, but often it needs to be removed. Keep a container nearby for disposal of the old tile. A good tip is to make it a medium to small container so you can resist the urge to put too much in the container. Tile is very heavy and it will be easy to make the container impossible to lift.
  4. When all the tile and damaged underlayment is removed, it’s time to clean and prep the floor for new flooring. Whether it’s carpet, hardwood or new tile, the floor will need to be smooth, level, and clean.

As you labor to remove your ugly old tile, remember to be safe. Wear protective goggles since shards of tile or other material can fly up as you work. Wear gloves and shoes that cover your toes, preferably steel toed boots.

Also, make sure you have the right tile removal tools. A pry bar and a good sledgehammer will be very useful to you. Have a stiff broom and sturdy dustpan nearby for cleanup as you go.

This will be very messy. Dust and debris will be everywhere. If you are prone to asthma or bronchial problems, you should wear a mask and keep your windows open, if possible.

Good luck, and happy flooring!


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It’s our job to know exactly how to remove tile quickly. Give us a call if you get stuck, and we’ll give you a hand.

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Vinyl Plank Flooring vs Laminate For Your Bathroom

Bathroom Vinyl Plank Flooring vs Laminate

Flooring Options to Consider for your Next Bathroom Remodel

When looking for new flooring for your bathrooms, you may find yourself wandering the flooring aisle of your local home improvement store, lost in all the options.

Hardwood, tile, luxury vinyl plank, vinyl sheet flooring, and so many other flooring types can be overwhelming. But the two types that are often compared are luxury vinyl planks and wood laminate flooring. They are both lower in cost than traditional hardwood and mimic the look of a real hardwood.

When comparing vinyl plank flooring vs laminate for the bathroom, we look at three different considerations, durability, look and feel, and ease of installation.

Durability of Laminate and Luxury Vinyl

Laminate is made of fiberboard, which is wood pulp that has been glued together into planks. The visible portion of each plank is just a thin layer of printed material, usually in a hardwood print. So, this flooring acts like wood. It is not a great idea to use it in bathrooms. If a plumbing fixture leaks without immediate cleanup, it will warp, and unlike hardwood, will not be fixable. You can’t resurface or sand laminate without losing that decorate laminated layer and ruining it.

Luxury vinyl is another story. Luxury vinyl planks are a relatively new product, but it’s become very popular for use in many different environments. Even commercial spaces can use this flooring without fear of it needing to be replaced in a year. It’s very durable and it doesn’t react to exposure to water. It doesn’t warp or mold and for this reason, it’s an excellent choice for a bathroom.

Look and Feel

Laminate, since it’s made from wood fiber, actually feels more like wood flooring than vinyl. This might not be a good thing, though. Wood is louder, more hollow sounding, and can be annoying in some environments. Also, there are usually more options for styles in laminate, giving you more options that may be more visually appealing to you.

Vinyl is a lot quieter than laminate. The feel resembles a ceramic tile, but most people don’t notice the difference because the luxury vinyl plank looks very convincingly like wood. In a bathroom, however, where people are often barefoot, this should be a consideration.

Ease of Installation

Laminate is pretty easy to install. Like wood, you need a chop saw to cut the pieces to fit and sometimes it needs to be nailed down. You can also glue it down and some products are meant to be “floating” so, no need to glue or nail. But, since laminate is thick and rigid, the subfloor needs to be very level and smooth. If it’s not, the flooring will tilt and crack and eventually look bad.

Vinyl often comes in “click-in” planks which are meant to be installed as a floating floor. You don’t need glue or nails and, even better, it stands up to a little unevenness. However, because it’s flexible, all vinyl will eventually fall into the grooves or uneven areas in the floor, so the subfloor should be pretty smooth. Large cracks or bumps will show after some time.

Our Vote

For bathrooms, luxury vinyl is a much better option. You don’t have to worry about someone overflowing the bathtub or a pipe bursting and ruining your floor, not to mention the mold that comes when water sits on organic materials. For other areas of the home, laminate may be a better fit, but luxury vinyl planks in any print would be your superior choice for the bathroom.



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Starting your next flooring project with Gainey Flooring Solutions is easy, just three steps:

  1. Select your flooring materials | This includes a design consultation to discuss what materials are best for durability and cost, popular plank sizes or colors, and flooring showrooms to visit.
  2. Starting your project | The project starts with the installation quote, the job costs from floor prep to transitions. If the materials were purchased from our preferred flooring showrooms we’ll deliver your materials.
  3. Project complete | We stand behind our work and offer homeowners a full 2 year warranty.

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2017 Wood Flooring Trends to Follow

2017 Wood Flooring Trends to Watch this Year

2017 Wood Flooring TrendsWood floors have been used for hundreds of years in homes all over the world. It’s not uncommon to walk into a 100 year old home and see hardwood floors in good condition. Today, hardwood is still an excellent choice, and there are many more options than ever before.

From hardwood floor stain colors to the most popular flooring in new homes, here are some of the hardwood floor trends for 2017.

Renewable Flooring

Pine and cork are trees that grow relatively quickly, making them more renewable. The wood is softer, but many people don’t mind a more distressed look on the floor. Cork is resistant to fire and very lightweight. Pine is great because it can be cut, stained or painted to achieve pretty much any look.

Popular Hardwood Floor Stain Colors: Gray and Honey

Gray wood floors are extremely trendy right now. This look can be achieved by either using a gray stain or paint. Make sure, if you choose this route, that you like the plank size and type of wood you choose.

When the trend fades you can refinish the floors to meet the next trend. Lighter honey colored stains are also popular, following the midcentury modern style.

Most Popular Flooring in New Homes

While this flooring product is not actually wood, it’s an extremely popular option if you aren’t sold on natural wood. It’s cheaper, easier to install and more durable than hardwood. One drawback to vinyl is that it’s basically printed in the factory on each plank. This means that there will be a pattern repeat. This flooring has to be installed carefully to avoid an annoying visual repeat effect.

Repurposed Wood Floors

This option can be pricey, but it’s more environmentally friendly than new hardwood. Repurposed wood comes from older homes, factories, or even barns. It can also be challenging to install because of warping or splitting. Make sure you hire a good contractor to do this work.

Hand Scraped or Wire Brushed Engineered Wood

Engineered wood flooring offers more flexibility in terms of texture. The hand scraped trend has been around for a long time, but it’s still a very popular option. Engineered wood is less susceptible to warping in a flood and is a little more durable than traditional hardwood. If this flooring is damaged, however, it can’t be refinished.


Looking to start a new wood floor remodel in your home?

Contact Bruce at Gainey Flooring Solutions to get a free in-home consultation. You’ll get expert advice on popular hardwood flooring options, and what it will take to turn your flooring into a trendy masterpiece.

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Flooring Types Explained- From Cost to Durability [Video]

Flooring Types Explained- What You Need to Know, From Cost to Durability

Flooring Types ExplainedChoosing flooring for your home is a major decision that can take quite a bit of time and energy, not to mention stress. Flooring can be pretty expensive, and if the final product isn’t what you expected, you will either be spending even more money to fix it or living with it and regretting it every time you walk on it. Doing your research before pulling the trigger can spare you the headache of making a mistake. Here are some of the more popular flooring materials and some considerations.

The Difference Between Ceramic and Porcelain Tile

People often want to know the difference between ceramic and porcelain. Both are made from clay and fired in a kiln and both are extremely durable and quite affordable. The clay used in porcelain is more refined, which makes it slightly more durable and offers more variety in design styles. But, porcelain is more expensive, running about $11.00 per square foot installed for mid-range quality, while ceramic is about $8.00.

Durability of Tile

Because these flooring types are water resistant and durable, they are excellent for pets and small children and clean easily. Also, in a flood situation these floors only need to be dried out and mopped up. In terms of comfort, tile is hard and somewhat cold, so a few carpets thrown over living spaces go a long way to warm up a space. Also, grout lines need to be well sealed in order to prevent rapid soiling.

Floor Tile Placement & Patterns

Flooring Layout Ideas + Materials for A Flooring Remodel from Gainey Flooring on Vimeo.

Currently there are many styles available in tile. Wood look tile offers the durability and water resistance of tile with the warm appearance of wood. This style is very popular today, and is a great option for many homes. It comes in a variety of finishes and sizes and can be laid in a herringbone pattern to add visual interest. Tile comes in a variety of modern styles and sizes as well. Some patterns can mimic the look of marble or travertine, which look great in a modern or contemporary style interior.

Pros and Cons of Hardwood

It’s not uncommon to go into homes that are 50 years old and find hardwood floors in good condition. While wood has a reputation for being slightly less durable than other flooring options, it tends to age well. Plus, it’s possible to resurface hardwoods and make them look new, as long as the wear is minimal. Another benefit is that, since it’s a natural product, there will not be a pattern repeat, which would inevitably be found on even the highest quality manufactured product.

Hardwood Flooring Costs

Hardwood flooring may be available for as low as $4.00 a foot, but installation can be up to $8.00 a foot, so cost is a significant factor. Also, if there is ever a flood that is not cleaned up immediately, you will be making a claim on your homeowner’s insurance, because the affected hardwood will definitely need to be replaced.

Best Interior Styles for Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood looks great in traditional homes in nearly any variety. Farmhouse, cottage, Victorian, and provincial style interiors are well suited for the conventional layout and colors of hardwood.

The Affordability of Carpet

Carpet is usually the most affordable option, depending on the grade of carpet you choose. Mid-range quality carpet can cost $25-$30 per square yard, installed. Be careful in estimating costs and room sizes with carpet, since carpet is almost always measured in yards, not feet. There are nine feet in one square yard.

Carpet is great for living areas because it’s soft. If you like to play board games on the floor, it’s less comfortable to sit on hardwood or stone. Also, it’s generally recommended to choose a high quality pad for comfort and because the new carpet will last longer and save money in the long run.

Why Choose Natural Stone?

Slate, travertine, and marble are some of the materials that fall into the natural stone category. All natural stone needs to be sealed every two to five years to preserve the stone’s surface and stain resistance. This can be quite an inconvenience down the road, not to mention costly at an average of $4.00 per foot. Initially natural stone is comparable in cost to manufactured tile at about $11.00 per foot installed, though the cost of resealing should be considered. Like hardwood, natural stone will not have a pattern repeat. Sometimes a pattern repeat can be distracting, depending on how it is installed. Again, this flooring will be very hard and cold, so figure area rugs into your total budget.

Choosing and Installing Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

There are many types of flooring made from vinyl, but a major trend currently is luxury vinyl planks. These planks usually mimic the look and texture of wood, are easy to install, and are durable and water proof. This type of flooring is often found even in commercial installations because it holds up well to heavy traffic. It can even be installed over tile as long as the floor is leveled with a skim coat of thin set. As a bonus, you may be able to install it yourself!

Vinyl Plank Flooring and Your Budget

Luxury vinyl is relatively affordable, depending on the type, and costs less to install. On average it costs about $5 per square foot, including materials, to install this type of flooring. However, the cheaper the price per square foot, the shorter the pattern repeat. Printed knots or whorls in the planks will show up more often and can be distracting. So choose a mid-range product if possible.

Best Interior Styles for Luxury Vinyl

Wood look vinyl planks look great anywhere that hardwood would be stylistically appropriate. However, this flooring comes in different styles as well, including more modern colors and patterns. There is an option for nearly every interior in this material, from cabins.

Final Tips for Your Flooring Remodel Project

As you venture into home construction or remodeling, one of the most important considerations in terms of comfort and style is the flooring you choose. Be sure to take your time and don’t be pressured to choose something you don’t love. Hire reputable contractors and buy materials from a supplier who cares about you and your outcome. Ask family and friends who they have used, browse reviews online, and ask a lot of questions. Good luck and enjoy your beautiful new flooring!

Hazards Beneath Your Feet

What does healthy flooring mean, and how is flooring unsafe for my family?

Providing healthy flooring choices for your customers can be very tricky. Even “green options” aren’t always so healthful.

Bamboo, for example, is made from a fast growing & sustainable resource, but it’s also frequently produced with dangerous adhesives.

Hardwood such as oak is routinely sealed with oil based polyurethane, a respiratory irritant.

Carpet acts as a reservoir that collects allergens, dust mites, mold & animal dander. Even vacuuming & steam cleaning doesn’t fully remove all these contaminants.

Certain Laminate has been found to use formaldehyde glues or resins that are high in VOC’s (volatile Organic compounds). These compounds are linked to respiratory illnesses and can cause headaches & dizziness.

The best and most prudent way to find the right “healthy floor” for your home is doing appropriate and thorough research online yourself. Check through the manufacturers specs relating to all the “VOC’s” listed as well as the additives in that product. I suggest buying brands that use no- or low VOC adhesives.

Unfortunately, It’s not always safe to count on the info you receive from the installer or retailer on these important details.


Primary Choices for Green Flooring Alternatives with No Health Risks

Porcelain Tile is an Excellent choice due to its durability, extreme low maintenance, reasonable cost & no adverse health risks.


Natural stone (travertine/marble/slate)

Natural stone (travertine/marble/slate) is also an excellent choice and much more affordable than past years. It doesn’t attract dust or mites making it hygienic & non-allergenic. Very durable with a long lasting appeal. Will need sealing every 2-3 years for protection.


Engineered Wood

Engineered Wood is an excellent choice as a timeless upgrade. It is solid, stable & warmer than tile/stone. Also helps reduce demand on forests by using leftover wood scraps. Typically has low VOC’s.



Bamboo is a good choice for its soothing/warm look & renewable “green” qualities, but I’ve found more issues in AZ with gapping & buckling if not acclimated and installed professionally.

It also typically needs resins in the manufacturing process which can emit off-gases.



Cork is a good choice as another durable and renewable flooring option. It is soft, well insulated, easy on the feet/legs with great acoustic properties. Check for VOC levels. I find its probably the least desirable, from an appearance & resale perspective.


LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile/Plank)

LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile/Plank) is the hottest trend in the flooring industry. It mimics the appearance of natural materials. It’s design, low maintenance and performance is great.

Be careful of material content, Also I’ve not installed very much do to the stigma of “vinyl products.


All of these products really create the atmosphere in your home and give it its identity. Choosing the best choice for you & your family comes by doing the research to ensure safe indoor air quality.

It is equally as important to work with a licensed, bonded & insure professional flooring contractor. Getting the deal or lowest price, rarely provides you the best long term value and security.

Continue the conversation, call Gainey Flooring 602-989-8255 to talk about healthy alternatives to use on your next project