Types of Flooring

Flooring Fairfield NJ is one of the hardest-working surfaces in your home. Grit-covered shoes grind dirt into it, raincoats drip on it, and heavy cans crash onto it.


But some floors stand up to dents and moisture better than others. And some are hypoallergenic, resisting the buildup of allergens like dander, pollen and mold.

Wood floors are classic and versatile, adding a timeless appeal to any room. They can be customized to suit your design style and are available in a variety of colors, grains and species. Solid hardwoods are hygroscopic, meaning they expand and contract with changes in moisture. If exposed to too much water, the boards can warp and become damaged. This is why it is important to keep humidity in mind when choosing a hardwood floor.

When choosing a solid wood floor, consider the demands it will need to endure, such as foot traffic and pet activity. Each type of hardwood is given a Janka hardness rating that determines how well it will resist dents and scratches. The hardest domestic woods are hickory and oak, while softwoods like southern yellow pine have lower ratings.

Other options include cherry, birch and maple. These hardwoods have a lighter color and may have a more intricate grain pattern. They also tend to show scratches and dents less than other types of wood. When selecting your solid wood floor, it is also important to consider the finish and stain you want to use. You can choose to have the surface brushed for a more distressed look or apply a hand-scraping technique to create an antique finish.

Engineered wood flooring is a good alternative to solid hardwood, as it is more durable and can withstand more wear and tear. This type of flooring is made up of several layers. The core layer is constructed of a fiberboard material that contains wood byproducts, and over this is a design layer that has been printed to look like either hardwood or another type of material. This layer is then protected by a clear wear layer that offers good resistance to scratching and stains.

Solid wood is generally installed at or above grade, although it can be laid over existing flooring. It is not recommended for a basement or any area that will be exposed to standing water, as the wood can swell and warp. Solid wood can be installed over radiant heating, but it is important to use a vapor barrier to prevent condensation from building up under the floor.


Carpet is a warm, comfortable flooring option that can add texture, softness and color to a room. It’s also durable and offers thermal insulating properties, keeping rooms warmer and conserving energy. It’s also a good sound absorbing material, ideal for households with active kids or pets. The type of carpet you choose depends on your needs and tastes; there are many fiber, texture, color, style and padding options to choose from.

The different types of carpet are differentiated by the way the fibers are looped or tufted together. The tufting process can be done on a loom or by a tufting machine, with both methods providing different results. The primary and secondary backings of a carpet are made from synthetic or natural materials. Backings help to hold the fibers in place, as well as provide additional comfort and durability.

Among the most popular options for carpet fibers are nylon, polyester and polypropylene/olefin. These manmade fibers are heat-treated, allowing them to resist staining and other damage. These fibers are available in a wide range of colors and patterns to complement any design aesthetic. Another option is wool, a natural fiber that’s dyed to create vibrant, enduring hues. However, because of its expense and delicate nature, pure wool carpet is often blended with synthetic fibers for added strength and longevity.

Cut-pile carpets have short, tightly wound fibers that are dense and hardwearing. These are ideal for high-traffic areas as they can withstand wear and tear, stains and dirt. The tufts are generally bent to hide footprints and vacuum marks, making them a great choice for hallways and stairs.

Other types of cut-pile carpet are frieze, which has twisted fibers that stand straight up to form an elegant, textural surface. Its durability makes it an excellent option for high-traffic and commercial areas. Other styles include saxony, which has long fibers that are kinked and curl erratically to make for a luxurious, fuzzy surface. It’s also highly resistant to stains and can hold color for years.

The face weight of a carpet refers to the amount of fiber that’s on the surface. A higher face weight tends to be more durable, but it’s important to consider the fiber type, texture and color when choosing your floor.


Tile is one of the most versatile decorative flooring materials. From traditional ceramic and porcelain to stone, cement and even metals, tile flooring is able to add a wide range of colors, textures and sizes to your home. From linen-textured sage greens to modern geometric shapes, there is certainly a style and color of tile that will suit you and your decor. Tile is also hardwearing, water-resistant and can withstand high levels of traffic and humidity.

Traditionally tile is manufactured by baking or ‘firing’ clays in a kiln. The most popular type of tile for flooring is ceramic, which is available in a huge variety of colors and designs. Ceramic tiles are generally less expensive than other types of flooring tile but do have a tendency to crack and chip. They may also need to be sealed and resealed periodically to protect from staining, as they are relatively porous.

A more durable option is natural stone tile. Marble, slate, granite and travertine are all examples of natural stone tiles which can be used for flooring. Natural stone tiles are harder and more durable than ceramic, but their natural beauty can also make them vulnerable to scratches and stains. As well as needing regular resealing, natural stone tiles are typically more expensive than ceramic tiles.

Other tile options include cement, which is extremely durable but can be cold and unyielding on the feet. Mosaic is another option which combines different kinds of tiles to create patterns and a distinctive look. Mosaic tiles are usually made from glass, porcelain and glazed ceramics as well as natural and precious stones.

Carpet tiles are a great choice for busy homes as they can be laid individually and are easy to replace. They are also a good choice for those with pets as they can hide accidents easily and be easily cleaned. Carpet tiles have been used in airports since the ’50s and are very durable, making them perfect for areas of your home that will see a lot of foot traffic. They are also easy to clean and water-resistant and can withstand a good amount of humidity.


Updating the floors in your home can be a costly and labor-intensive project. Manufactured options like vinyl make it possible to create the look of pricey hardwood or stone tile without these hassles. These flooring products are durable, easy to clean and come in a range of styles and colors. Wood-look vinyl planks and tiles can be as long as three to four feet and offer realism that belies their vinyl construction. Many of these newer products also feature special coatings and embedded wear layers that protect against germs and bacteria.

There are several different types of vinyl flooring: sheet vinyl, vinyl tile and luxury vinyl tile (LVT). Each type features a different installation method, surface texture and backing. Sheet vinyl features a waterproof layer of phthalate-free PVC bonded to a fiberglass cushion and a high-resolution printed design layer that resembles wood, marble and stone. This type of flooring can be installed with full glue-down or by “floating” over an underlayment.

Vinyl tile and LVT are similar, but they have a thicker core that makes them more rigid than traditional vinyl. These products are often a floating floor and can be installed with or without adhesive, depending on the brand and installation technique. This flooring is available with a no-wax, vinyl no-wax or urethane finish that requires periodic polishing to maintain luster.

These flooring products are a great choice for bathrooms and kitchens where spills and moisture are common. They are also affordable and practical for children’s rooms and play areas, where crayon scribbles can be easily wiped away.

Some vinyl flooring comes with an interlocking system that allows for a quick and DIY-friendly installation. With the right tools, this is a job that even some novice installers can tackle. Other types of vinyl are glued to the subfloor with a trowel-applied adhesive or can be “floated” over an underlayment. It is important to acclimate the floor and prep the area before installing any type of vinyl flooring, as the process can take some time. It’s also a good idea to have the work done by a professional.

A Few Accommodation Tips For The Frugal Traveler

Because of all the steps involved in planning and executing a trip, opportunities for setbacks and frustration abound. However, by planning ahead, you can eliminate your frustrations and sail through your next trip with ease. Just follow the smart travel tips given in this article for a headache-free trip.

If you are traveling to another country brush up on that country’s laws. Some foreign countries have laws that you might view as a little strange or not expect. As a precaution, it is always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the laws specific to the place you are visiting.

If you’re purchasing souvenirs as gifts while traveling, be creative. You can use a local newspaper as gift wrap to give it a special touch. This works especially well if the newspaper is in a foreign language or has photographs. Other low-cost souvenir gifts, include matchbooks, coasters and clean napkins.

When traveling overseas, hang on to your reciepts for credit card purchases. When you file them, date them and note the purpose of the purchase. When you get home, you have an easy way to reconcile your statement with the money you spent. This will make it much easier to spot any fraudulent charges.

Instead of putting your liquids in a plastic bag to prevent them from leaking, try unscrewing the lid and putting a piece of plastic from a grocery bag over the top and screwing the lid on over it. While a zip-lock bag will prevent spills from ruining things, this method will prevent things from spilling in the first place.

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, travel can be frustrating, but whether you are a first-timer or a seasoned traveler, the travel tips given in this article will help you get through your next trip with minimal stress. By planning ahead and keeping these tips in mind, you will have all the tools for frustration-free travel.

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Radon Testing – How to Find Out If Your Home Has High Radon Levels

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that can lead to lung cancer. Testing your home for radon is the only way to know if you have elevated levels of this poisonous substance.

Radon Testing

Radon Testing Colorado Springs can be conducted by professionals or with a do-it-yourself kit. When performing a test, make sure to follow the directions carefully.

Radon is a radioactive gas that can increase your risk of lung cancer. It comes from the ground and moves through soil, entering homes through cracks in the foundation. It can also seep through water systems from wells. Radon levels can vary greatly between different areas of the country. Some homes are more prone to high levels of radon than others. The EPA maintains a map showing radon levels in different parts of the country.

Radon testing is the only way to know whether your home has elevated radon levels. The EPA recommends that you test for radon in the lowest livable level of your home, including basements. This includes rooms that are currently occupied or easily be remodeled into living space, such as a bedroom or family room. It is recommended that you test this area because radon concentrations tend to be highest in these areas.

Test kits can be purchased at hardware stores and online retailers. A kit usually consists of an active charcoal-based detector and can be sent to a laboratory for analysis. There are also specialized detectors that measure the amount of radiation passing through a house’s walls. These devices are typically used when a real estate transaction is involved. It is important to read the tester’s instructions carefully so that you can accurately interpret the results of your radon test.

Short-term tests (2-7 days) should not be conducted during unusually severe weather. Heavy precipitation and powerful storms can lead to temporary high spikes in indoor radon levels.

A long-term test (90+ days) is the preferred method of determining a home’s year-round average radon level. It is also the preferred test for new construction, as it allows you to determine your building’s radon levels before you move in.

The longer duration of a long-term test is more reflective of the way you live in your home, including weather conditions and ventilation habits. For this reason, a long-term test is usually a follow-up to a short-term test and is rarely used as an initial measurement.

Regardless of the type of test you choose, it is important to take your radon level seriously. If the EPA’s action level of 4 pCi/L is exceeded, it is strongly recommended that you seek a solution for your home. Fortunately, radon levels can be reduced with simple and cost effective measures.

How does radon get into your home?

Radon is a gas released from uranium in the soil, which can enter homes through cracks in walls or gaps around pipes and other openings. It can also be introduced into homes that use ground water for their water supply. This type of water is more likely to contain radon than other types of water such as lakes, rivers and reservoirs.

Some building materials like concrete and wallboard give off radon, but usually not at levels high enough to be dangerous. It is also possible to get radon from your work environment, such as mining or using phosphate fertilizers, but again this is usually not dangerous at the levels you would be exposed to in your home.

Short-term tests can be conducted any time of year, but are more accurate during the heating season when people spend more time indoors. Long-term tests should include both the heating and non-heating seasons. It is important to read and follow the test kit instructions carefully. It is best to test the lowest level of the house where people normally spend the most time, such as the basement. If the weather is poor during the testing period, such as severe rain or wind, it can affect results. If a short-term test shows that radon levels are elevated at a specific point in time, such as during a rainstorm, it is important to know how much rain fell on the day of the test, so that you can determine whether your results are valid or skewed.

When conducting a short-term test, it is important to close all windows and doors except for those used for normal entry and exit. It is also a good idea to turn off any fans that re-circulate air, such as furnaces and central AC systems. It is recommended to conduct the test in the winter, since radon levels tend to be higher in the summer.

The best way to test for radon is to use a long-term radon detector, which monitors your home for over 90 days and gives you an average annual exposure. These are available from state radon offices and many online retailers. They are often more expensive than charcoal canisters, but more accurate and simpler to operate. They use alpha track or a similar detector, which measures how much radon your home is absorbing.

What is the EPA’s action level for radon?

There is no “safe” level of radon exposure; all radon concentrations pose some risk. However, EPA recommends that homes be fixed when long-term indoor exposure averages 4 picocuries per cubic meter (pCi/L). One pCi is equal to 12,672 radioactive disintegrations of radon per minute in the air.

The EPA estimates that radon in homes contributes to 21,000 lung cancer deaths annually. This compares to an estimated 18,000 deaths from tobacco smoke and about 53,000 deaths from traffic accidents each year. The EPA advises that all homes should be tested. If a home has high levels of radon, it can be reduced by methods such as active soil depressurization.

Since radon is invisible, there is no way to tell if a home has elevated levels without testing. There are several types of radon testing kits available from hardware stores and some pharmacies. The kits can be used for short term or long term testing. When using a kit, it is important to follow the directions carefully. These include ensuring that the test is conducted in an area of the house not obstructed by doors and windows, and that it is not during a period of heavy heating or cooling in the home.

Short term tests should not be done in conjunction with any occupants in the home, since they may affect the results. The results of the radon test can be affected by changing weather conditions, such as wind or rain. In addition, the radon test should not be performed during any renovation activities that might cause dust or other debris to be kicked up into the air.

In 1986, the EPA recommended that mitigation be considered when indoor radon concentrations exceed 2 pCi/L. This action level was chosen based in part on cost benefit analysis, and in part because at lower concentrations measurement devices are less sensitive and prone to false negative errors. Today, research shows that radon concentrations below 4 pCi/L can be achieved in most homes through mitigation.

International radon exposure guidelines recommend that the intervention level for radon be set at about 10 mSv per year (ICRP 1993b). This is similar to the current EPA recommendation for indoor radon, but reflects the different occupancy factor between work and home.

How can I test my home for radon?

Many hardware and home improvement stores sell do-it-yourself radon test kits. These kits measure radon levels over a period of days and send the results to a lab for analysis. Homeowners can also hire state-certified radon testing professionals to perform the tests. Some states offer a list of qualified contractors on their websites.

The best time of year to conduct a short-term test is during the heating season. During the test, doors and windows should be closed except for air vents and exhaust fans. The test should be conducted in the lowest level of the home that is regularly occupied, usually the basement. The test should not be conducted during severe storms or periods of unusually high winds.

EPA-approved long-term radon test kits measure radon levels over a much longer time frame, between 90 and 365 days. These kits are typically used as a follow up measurement after a moderately elevated radon level is found with a short-term test. They are less expensive than short-term tests and can be purchased online or from your state radon office.

A long-term test kit consists of a polycarbonate sheet that is placed in the basement or lowest living level of your home, raised three feet off the ground. The sheet collects alpha particles emitted from radon and is then sent to a lab for analysis. The lab can measure the number of alpha tracks and determine your home’s average annual radon exposure.

Radon levels in homes can vary widely. Even homes located in the same neighborhood can have different radon levels. Homeowners should test their home for radon regularly, especially if they live in an area with a high risk of radon exposure.

Home and business owners can test their property by using a radon test kit or by hiring a certified radon tester. Most home inspectors, particularly those who work in radon-prone areas, offer radon testing as an added service.

Regardless of the method used to test, the homeowner should take immediate action if a short-term test result exceeds EPA’s 4 pCi/L action level. Taking a long-term test or a series of short-term tests is often recommended before implementing any radon mitigation activities.


Best Wood Floor Materials

Hardwood floors are a timeless choice that can fit into a range of interior styles. The texture you choose can also dramatically affect the look of your wood floors.

If your household has kids and pets, consider choosing a hard species that can stand up to high activity — hickory and oak are among the most durable options.


Walnut is a rich and dark wood that works well with any design style. It’s a durable choice for any room in the house, and it can stand up to heavy traffic. It’s also relatively easy to maintain and can be refinished when needed. It has a beautiful and unique grain pattern that adds interest to a space. It’s a great option for those who want a traditional look or something with more character and warmth.

While walnut has a lot to offer, it is important to consider its pros and cons before making a decision. For example, it’s not as durable as oak or hickory. It also doesn’t hide scratches as well as other types of wood flooring. Additionally, it may not hold up to the weight of a large furniture piece like a dresser or a buffet.

Another thing to keep in mind is that walnut tends to be more expensive than other types of hardwood floors. This is largely due to the fact that it’s a more rare and exotic species of wood. However, the beauty of walnut floors can often make up for this additional cost.

If you’re interested in a similar wood but don’t want to pay for an exotic walnut floor, consider domestic ash. This durable and attractive hardwood is what baseball bats and axe handles are made of, so it can handle a lot of wear and tear. It has a fine, straight grain and offers a wide range of color tones from light tan to grayish brown.

Regardless of which type of wood you choose, hardwood floors are a smart investment for any home. They can last for generations and are a great way to increase the resale value of your property. Additionally, they’re one of the top features that potential buyers look for when looking at homes. So, if you’re considering upgrading your home with a new wood floor, be sure to check out our wide selection of quality products and styles! Then, you can be confident that your investment will pay off when it comes time to sell.


If you’re looking for a wood floor that is strong and rugged, hickory is the perfect choice. This domestic hardwood has a higher Janka hardness rating than any other species used for wood plank flooring in the United States. It is also known for its dramatic color variation and mineral streaks that give it a natural, rugged appearance. It is very durable, and it can withstand the heavy use of busy households.

Hickory is available in a wide variety of color tones, including cool and warm shades. Its grain pattern is very distinctive, with a straight to wavy grain. It is full of natural character, with plenty of knots, mineral streaks, and color variation. Hickory floors are very versatile and can complement many different styles of decor.

In terms of maintenance, hickory is less expensive than oak and can withstand a greater range of activities. Oak, however, has a lower Janka rating and is more susceptible to dents and scratches than hickory. It is best to choose a hard wood like hickory for active households with children and pets.

The strength and durability of hickory makes it an excellent choice for high traffic areas. It will be able to hold up to heavy foot traffic and frequent activity, unlike softer woods such as pine or ash. It will not dent or scratch as easily as a soft wood, and it is much less prone to the damage that can happen when furniture is dropped on a hardwood floor.

Another benefit of hickory is that it is less sensitive to moisture than other domestic hardwoods. This is important to keep in mind, especially if you live in a humid area or have a sunroom where the humidity fluctuates greatly. It is best to invest in a pinless wood moisture meter like Wagner’s Orion to check for any problems before and during installation.

It is also important to remember that hickory is not as resistant to mold and water as some other domestic woods, so it might not be ideal for kitchens or bathrooms. However, you can usually find engineered hickory that has been treated to be moisture resistant for those rooms in your home.


Maple is one of the more common hardwoods and can be found in homes throughout the country. Its light, creamy color lends itself to a wide range of styles and colors, but it also holds up well under pressure from furniture. It’s a great choice for high-traffic areas, since it resists dents and scratches better than some other hard woods. Maple also has a beautiful grain pattern that masks dings and scuffs, making it a good option for households with kids or pets.

Oak is another popular hardwood flooring species that’s very durable. Its neutral color can be stained to match any decor, and its fine, subdued grain is easier to stain than some other types of hardwood. However, oak can be prone to splintering and may need extra care when moving furniture or cleaning the floors.

Cherry is similar to oak in terms of durability, but it’s a bit more expensive and less readily available. Its warm tone leans slightly red or orange and can be stained to match a variety of design styles. However, like walnut and hickory, cherry can be more susceptible to dents and scratches than some other hard woods.

Another great alternative to hickory or oak is walnut, which can be found in both domestic and exotic varieties of wood flooring. It has a rich, dark hue that complements many historical and midcentury design schemes and is extremely durable. However, it isn’t as easy to stain as some other hardwoods and tends to be more expensive than oak.

Lauzon is one of the few companies that offers wood floors made from a variety of different species, including walnut and maple. They stock a hundred unique hardwood floor products spread across several collections and have narrow and wide plank options along with various texture styles. Additionally, they don’t use any VOC-releasing finishing liquids and are committed to environmental sustainability. They also work directly with local mills to cut out the middleman, potentially saving their customers money and providing a more transparent process. In addition, they offer a range of custom options such as hand-scraped and hand-planed finishes.


Ash wood floors are a great option for homeowners who want durability in their kitchen. It is known for its strength, and it holds up well to moderate amounts of foot traffic without scratching or dents. It also has a distinct color and grain pattern that works well with most stain colors. Another benefit of this hardwood is that it has a higher Janka hardness score than oak, beech, and heart pine. This means it is harder than most domestic woods and can stand up to heavier furniture better.

Like many other hardwoods, ash is available in both solid and engineered planks. Solid wood floors have a natural beauty that pairs well with almost any design style. They are durable and can last for generations if properly cared for. They can also be sanded and refinished to keep them looking new. However, solid wood is more susceptible to moisture and dimensional changes than engineered wood flooring.

While not as common as other types of hardwood, birch wood is a unique choice that has a light color and distinctive grain pattern. It also has a high Janka hardness rating and is incredibly durable. It is also a renewable resource, making it a greener option than some other hardwoods.

Other domestic wood options include white oak, beech, red birch, and southern yellow pine. Each of these wood species has their own unique characteristics that make them a good choice for different types of wood floors.

Another option is to use reclaimed wood in your kitchen. Reclaimed wood has a rich history that can add character and charm to any room. It is often cheaper than new wood floors and can be more environmentally friendly. It is important to remember that reclaimed wood floors can contain nail holes, cracks, and other imperfections that may not be desirable for some homeowners.

Choosing the right wood floor for your home is a personal choice that should take into account all of your needs and desires. There are many factors to consider, from the type of wood to the stains and textures that will be used.