What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hard Flooring in the New House

One of the biggest selling features for our new house was the complete absence of carpeting.  Years ago my allergist was adamant that we should remove all carpeting from our house.  Carpets are horrid breeding grounds for dust mites.  There are three work around with the first being removing carpeting entirely.  The second is using a pesticide that is mite specific but this is not the best solution as it can cause allergic reactions as well as introducing a toxic chemical into your home.  The third solution that will not work in warm locations is to let the indoor air temperature drop below 50°F for at least a 24 hour period.  This will cause a kill-off of dust mites reducing their numbers.  Do a thorough vacuuming immediately to remove the dead dust mites.  The important thing to remember is keeping the dust mite population down reduces the amount of dust mite feces which is the actual allergen.

ceramic tile flooring
The previous homeowners installed higher end ceramic tile in the entrance, part of the family room and both bathrooms.  The upper bathroom is a marbled dark hunter green (pictured) and the lower bathroom is a marbled deep burgundy.  The entrance is a beige textured tile while the family room is a greyish blue textured ceramic tile.  Not pictured and not related to the flooring, the kitchen countertop and backsplash are also tiled in terrazzo tile.

Ceramic tile is extremely easy to care for.  According to our ex-BIL who was a flooring installer the only thing that should be used on ceramic tile flooring a a solution of vinegar and water.  Vinegar has antibiotic properties and cleans as well as expensive cleaners without leaving any cloudy film.  It also neutralizes household odours so it freshens the air while cleaning the floors.  In our last house when I was getting the house ready for showing I would wipe down the shiny ceramic floor in the kitchen with rubbing alcohol for a sparkly finish.  All the tile at the new house is textured so I will just use vinegar and water or my Bissell steam mop.

marble tile flooring
I am not a huge fan of smooth, shiny floors in kitchens because they tend to me a slip and fall hazard.  The floor in our new kitchen is marble tile and oh my gosh, I love it!  It is rich and luxurious feeling.  Dirt and sand can scratch marble tile flooring so I'm using an electric broom daily.  Really though this is nothing new as kitchen floors usually need to be swept or vacuumed daily.  I'm rather particular about my kitchen floors, wiping up spills as they happen and cleaning daily.  I kept the dustbuster handy in my last kitchen to keep any crumbs off the floor as part of rodent control.  Marble is a porous stone so harsh chemical cannot be used on it.  It is important to use pH-neutral cleaners so no vinegar, alcohol and many of the commercial cleaners.  Spills should be cleaned up to prevent staining as well.  I will be using my Bissell steam mop for cleaning the marble flooring.

laminate flooring
All five bedrooms, living/dining rooms, part of the family room and staircase are laminate wood flooring. [ We aren't using all five bedrooms as bedrooms - one is an office, one a dart room, one a pantry, one a guest room and one the master bedroom.]  Laminate wood flooring is very easy to care for with the primary concern being over wetting.  There is no way I could use my Bissell steam mop on the laminate flooring.   I bought a light mop device that I can put my own solution into.  So far I have been using a dust mop daily which really is not as much work as it sounds.  It takes me less that 10 minutes and is good exercise.  I've cleaned the floors a couple of times using the light mop.

The nice thing about having no carpeting is ease of cleaning as well as the reduction of a major allergen.  The scary part is realizing all that dust and daily living particles was going into your carpeting.  While we may use a throw rug or two during the winter and definitely an entrance mat there will be no carpeting in our house.  I'm loving it!

Garden Gnome