Happy New Year

Happy New Year to each of you!

We’ll be back in the saddle this week with LOTS going on. Stay tuned for fun flooring facts throughout 2008.

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Cleaning Marble

Q: We have marble flooring in our master bath, on which a cat has urinated in several places. It appears that the finish is gone and a residue is left, even after standard cleaning. Is there a way to clean and polish it without hiring a professional. It is such a small area.
Thanks

A: Typically with Marble a cleaning solution made of white vinegar and water (no more than 1 cup of vinegar per gallon of water) should remove the residue you are encountering. Wipe on with a towel then wipe away with a clean, dry towel. Ensure you do not leave any vinegar on the floor as it can etch into the floor over time if not wiped up. You could also look into a product called INTERCARE Stone Cleaner, which is a cleaner designed specifically for stone as the name suggests. After you have removed the residue or stain, then follow up with a stone specific polisher such as Marble Cream or Gold Plus Gloss Restorer (most of these can be found at stone or marble specialty retailers). This should get you back up to having a clean, beautiful marble surface.

New Floors in the New Year

Welcome to the New Year folks! Flooring, much like many other industries, sees new releases, products and even innovations each year. Much like cars, the new models begin rolling off the lines and for our first editorial of 2008 I wanted to address a common problem I deal with which revolves around the release of new floors – discontinued product.
With each year new floors are released, which means over time certain collections of flooring are inevitably discontinued. We get daily calls from folks looking for a product which has been discontinued. Whether because a plank or two was damaged or because they want to extend that floor into a new area, there is always that hope for a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.
The biggest dilemma with discontinued or soon to be discontinued items is that your average flooring retailer (and even the nation wide folks like iFLOOR) are never told when an item is going to be discontinued until all of the stock of that item is gone. Its terrible to think that flooring specialists won’t know such vital information until it is too late, but unfortunately it happens.
Throughout the year, manufacturers will choose which collections they are going to improve, replace or discontinue. Typically, as new changes in the industry occur (which is every year) certain collections become out dated and its time for an improvement. A good example here is QuickStep’s Eligna (which replaced the Uniclic Long Plank almost 2 years ago).
All the new floors get their first bit of exposure at a massive expo called Surfaces. All the names in the industry show up to show off all of their new lines of flooring and the new innovations in the industry.
The moral of the story here is simple: when your purchase a new floor, don’t be afraid to pick up some spare flooring especially with laminate or engineered flooring with a locking mechanism. These floors see revisions and changes more often. Should an accident occur which would call for replacing portions of a floor, you will have a small stock ready to fill your needs.
Even when you see the same product collection and color name available after a few years, there may have been a small redesign in the milling which makes it different enough to not match up precisely with your existing floor.
In the case where you need to replace existing flooring that is discontinued there are a few routes you can try, but as I have told several folks in the past, they’re long shots. First, look into local retailers which actively stock that particular manufacturer’s product. If this turns up as a dead end, look into places like Ebay or Craigslist. Sometimes folks who buy too much additional product will sell it later on via sites like this. If you find another dead end here, you can try to find similar products which will coordinate the floor, but keep in mind you can never truly match two different floors.
End all lesson here is try to pick up additional flooring when you first purchase it, this can save you a world of headaches in the future should an accident happen.