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Featured Product: Chicago Brix Tile

We recently received a rack for this new Chicago Brix series tile!

photo credit: Ceramic Tile Works

photo credit: Ceramic Tile Works

Better than brick, the Chicago collection was inspired by the brick that has become synonymous with the proud heritage of the Windy City. From the speakeasies and restaurants that lined Rush Street during the Prohibition Era to the gritty manufacturing centers of the west side, Chicago recreates the authentic look and feel of vintage Chicago brick in a porcelain tile series.

True Chicago brick has become an extremely precious and highly sought-after architectural feature, but genuine brick can be difficult to locate and prohibitively expensive. The Chicago collection perfectly captures this vintage look in a porcelain tile, and is ideal for floors, driveways, feature walls, and patio decks.

 

photo credit: Ceramic Tile Works

photo credit: Ceramic Tile Works

 

7% of 4″ x 8″ field tile has the “Chicago” stamp.  Additonal city-stamped field tile available in a City Mix deco set.  The City Mix set is a random selection of the 26 city-stamped designs available.

Stocked in a variety of sizes including a 9.5” x 11” hexagon.  -Ceramic Tile Works

 

photo credit: Ceramic Tile Works

photo credit: Ceramic Tile Works

This unique tile is sure to be a hit for bar areas, home entertainment rooms, rooms with a rustic feel, and loft apartments. There are several colors to choose from.

Stop by today to see it in person, it just might be what you were looking for!

 

 

 

October Recipe- Pumpkin Raisin Flaxseed Muffins

pumpkin

 

Its fall and pumpkins are EVERYWHERE!! The air is getting chilly and the frost is starting to come. We are looking forward to the smells of baked goods and warm treats!

Here is an amazing recipe from Ashley so that you can get your pumpkin fix in a healthy way and best of all its so easy to make!

Pumpkin Raisin Flax Muffins

  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. allspice
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 ¾ cups pumpkin pureé
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup walnuts

 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine flour, flax, baking powder, spices, and maple syrup in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. In another medium-sized bowl, combine pumpkin, egg, milk, water, vanilla, and coconut oil, and beat with a whisk until smooth.
  3. Slowly pour pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir from the bottom of the bowl until the dry ingredients are all moistened. Add raisins and walnuts.
  4. Spoon batter into muffin cups greased with virgin coconut oil or butter. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.

 

pumpkin muffin

Safety Tips- October

fire safety

 

First of all, just want to remind you that Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday November 2nd- so don’t forget to set your clocks back one hour!

This is also a good time to check your smoke detectors and change the batteries.

In the event of a fire, having your smoke detector working properly can save your life. They are the single most important means or preventing fire fatalities by providing an early warning signal. They are inexpensive and easy to install. You should have one on every level of your home, including the basement.

Smoke detectors should be checked monthly and the batteries changed yearly unless it starts making a ‘chirping’ noise, which indicates that the battery needs to be changed now. A helpful tip is to write (with a sharpie) the date that you installed the new battery right on the battery, that way you won’t have to question how old they are.

And, like most electrical devices, smoke detectors wear out. You should follow the manufacturers recommendations for the time frame on getting a new unit. Another helpful tip is to write the date you installed the new unit and the date that you should replace it right on the back of the smoke detector.


And this Halloween- don’t forget these helpful tips to keep our little goblins and ghosts safe:

halloween safety

 

For drivers:

  • Slow down in residential areas.
  • Obey ALL traffic signs and signals.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly.
  • Keep a close look out for kids darting out without looking.

For children and teens:

  • Travel only in familiar areas.
  • Pin a piece of paper with a name, address and phone number on younger childrens clothes.
  • Inspect all candy before eating.
  • Never enter a home or apartment building without an adult.

For everyone:

  • Remove tools, ladders, toys and other breakable items from steps, lawns and porches.
  • Keep jack-o’-lanterns with candles away from areas where costumes may brush against the flame.
  • Look for costumes with flame-resistant labels.
  • Use flashlights during trick-or-treat walks.

We hope you have a safe and happy Halloween!!

Product Feature: Fiberfloor

Perhaps Fiberfloor is a term you have never heard before. It sounds like some hippy-dippy-something-or-other, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not! But, what is it then?

Fiberfloor 38122

Fiberfloor 38122

Fiberfloor by Tarkett is the latest in resilient sheet goods flooring and is replacing the traditional felt-backed vinyl floors that we have seen for years. Its made with woven fiberglass, foam and resilient wear layers.

from: Tarkettna.com

from: Tarkettna.com

 

Its durable and looks great! In fact, Tarkett states that Fiberfloor will “stand up to real-life water, moisture, scuffs, scratches and indentations” which means that it is a perfect flooring choice for today’s busy families!

Here are some other Special Features (from http://www.tarkettna.com)

  • Warm, quiet and comfortable
  • Hypoallergenic, and certified asthma and allergy friendly™
  • Wear-scuff-scratch-indentation resistant
  • Water-moisture-mold-and mildew resistant
  • Stain resistant and easy to clean
  • Lifetime, 15- and 10-year limited warranties
  • Phthalate-free construction

And, these days, everyone is concerned about indoor air quality, you want to know that you are installing a product that is not going to be toxic to you and your family. Studies have shown that people spend an average of 93% of their time indoors! Fiberfloor is certified allergy and asthma friendly by The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the oldest and largest not-for-profit asthma and allergy patient advocacy organization in the world.  Fiberfloor is currently the only flooring product to pass their rigorous requirements and obtain this certification. To learn more about this click on the link here.

 

fiberfloor 14192

Fiberfloor 14192

To customize your buying experience, Tarkett has a feature on their website called residential visualizer, where you can upload a photo and see your room with the floor you are considering! This is a great option and takes the stress of making a mistake by not knowing what the end product will look like.

Fiberfloor 01123

Fiberfloor 01123

Best of all, as with most resilient flooring types, maintenance is simple! (from http://www.tarkettna.com)

  • Sweep or vacuum regularly to remove dirt and grit that can abrade or scratch your new floor
  • Wipe up all spills promptly and thoroughly with a damp cloth or mop.
  • Wash your floor using SureShine® Cleaner or a suitable mild detergent
  • Mats and Rugs: Non-staining mats are helpful in removing harmful grit at entryways and can help prolong the life of your floor

Visit www.tarkettna.com for more info.

 

Safety Tips- September

With summer coming to a close and schools starting back up again its a great time to think about transportation safety. Here are some great tips direct from The National Safety Council with ways to keep kids safe.

Transportation Safety

Whether children walk, ride their bicycle or take the bus to school, it is extremely important that they take proper safety precautions. Here are some tips to make sure your child safely travels to school.

Walking to school

Review your family’s walking safety rules.

  • Walk on the sidewalk, if one is available. When on a street with no sidewalk, walk facing the traffic.
  • Before you cross the street, stop and look left, right and left again to see if cars are coming.
  • Never dart out in front of a parked car.
  • Practice walking to school with your child. Cross streets at crosswalks when available.

Riding a bicycle to school

Make sure your child always wears his/her helmet when leaving the house.

Make sure helmet is fitted and secured properly.

Teach your children the rules of the road.

  • Ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, and in a single file.
  • Come to a complete stop before crossing the street. Walk bike across street.

Riding the bus to school

Go to the bus stop with your child to teach them the proper way to get on and off the bus.

Make sure your children stand six feet away (or 3 giant steps) from the curb.

If your child and you need to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the side of the road until you are 10 feet ahead of the bus. You always should be able to see the bus driver, and the bus driver always should be able to see you.

School Safety

Many school-related injuries are completely preventable. Follow these steps to ensure your child’s safety at school.

Preventing backpack-related injuries

Chose a backpack for your child carefully. It should have ergonomically designed features to enhance safety and comfort.

Don’t overstuff a backpack; it should weigh no more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.

  • For example, a child that weighs 60 pounds should carry a backpack no heavier than 12 pounds.

Ask your children to use both straps when wearing their backpack to evenly distribute the weight on their shoulders.

Preventing playground-related injuries

Encourage your child to use playgrounds with a soft surface. Avoid playgrounds with concrete surfaces, as they are too hard if your child falls.

Children under the age of four should use climbing equipment with assistance and adult supervision, and watch older children when they’re climbing, especially on monkey bars.

 

Please visit The National Safety Council for more great safety tips!

Care & Maintenance of Tile and Stone

Proper cleaning and maintenance is an important component to sustain the life of your tile and/ or natural stone. Because tile and natural stone have different cleaning  requirements, I am going to break them down separately.

photo credit: Mohawk Flooring

photo credit: Mohawk Flooring

Basic maintenance for Ceramic, Porcelain and Glass Tiles:

Regular sweeping or vacuuming to remove dust or debris is critical, especially in high traffic areas like mud rooms and entry ways. Good quality entry and exit mats/ rugs are a good idea and will help protect your floor from premature wear. Its also a good idea to have mats/ rugs at heavy pivot locations, such as in front of your kitchen sink or stove.

Cleaning with a damp mop once per week using a cleaner specified for use with tile, following the cleaner manufacturers instructions. Preferably a non-oil, non-animal fat, and non-soap based cleaner, these components may cause problems due to residues left behind in the cleaning process, which can trap in dirt. Routine cleaners should never contain acids, vinegar, chlorines or ammonia, as these chemicals can damage and discolor the grout and/ or the surface of the tile. The cleaning products available will vary depending on the application, amount of traffic and the use. The product chosen should also be compatible with cleaning the grout joints at the same time.

For glass tiles: For routine cleaning, use any non-abrasive cleaning compound recommended for either glass or tile and follow the same guidelines as above.

photo credit: Ceramic Tile Works

photo credit: Ceramic Tile Works

Basic Maintenance for Natural Stone Tiles:

Natural stone has a delicate chemical composition and may interact strangely with cleaning solutions that are not specifically formulated for use with them. They are also more porous by nature and require a different maintenance program than traditional ceramic tile. For this reason, many of the cleaners acceptable for use on ceramic tile can stain, damage or dull stone.

Dirt and dust can scratch the surface of stone, therefore, stone floors should be vacuumed or dust mopped frequently. The same basic maintenance structure as above should be applied but a neutral pH cleaner specific to the stone type should be used. The cleaner should not contain acid or bleach- even a light solution of vinegar and water will etch and eventually damage the stone. A neutral pH cleaner that will not affect existing sealer or coating is recommended.

Protecting your stone is important and a sealer is recommended. There are 2 types- penetrating and color enhancing.

  • Penetrating/impregnating stone sealers have no-sheen and provide a natural look and can be water-based or solvent-based.
  • Stone enhancer sealers are a no-sheen/ low- sheen, penetrating/impregnating sealer formulated to darken and enrich the natural color and beauty of the stone. They can also rejuvenate and improve the appearance of worn and weathered stone.

Note that if the sealer is applied after the stone is installed they will also darken the color of grout joints. Most quality sealers of this type are rated to protect the stone for several years but you will need to check the manufacturers recommendations that are listed on the bottle.

Grout Maintenance:

Most tile installations use a cement type grout. Its a good idea to seal this type of grout after installation to prevent staining and should be sealed with a penetrating/impregnating grout sealer (often called grout sealers and is a different product than the natural stone sealer). Follow the instructions on the bottle on how to apply it, typically you brush it on just the grout joints. The sealer should not change the natural color of the grout, but will prevent the penetration of moisture, simplify maintenance, and help prevent staining or discoloration. Grout can be sealed approximately 30 days after installation. You may need to reapply the sealer on an annual basis depending on the sealer quality, traffic patterns, and maintenance routine.

Grout needs to be cleaned periodically to remove any surface build-up. When heavy duty grout cleaning is required, you will need to use a professional strength tile and grout cleaner that is capable of removing grease, soap scum, body oil, mildew stains, algae, and synthetic or acrylic waxes from the grout joints. Be sure your use a product that contains non-polluting chemicals and has low VOC levels. This type of product can be purchased from most home improvement centers.