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You’re Invited: Catonsville Arts and Crafts Festival 2013

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Please join us Saturday, September 8th, 2013 in the heart of Catonsville on Frederick Road in Maryland for the Arts and Crafts Festival.

Mercers and I will be at booth number 27 and will be hosting a flooring and interior design Q-n-A!  PLUS we’ll have a great drawing  for prizes such as area rugs and a free interior design consultation!  (Note: if you mention this blog post, I’ll get you a 2nd drawing entry for being a reader!)



Oh, and there will be other booths and activities, I mean it is a community festival after all!  The festival is from 10am till 5pm and there will be good food, fun, artists, weavers, carvers, and so much more!
As always, if there are any questions (or ideas), please let me know! Katlin@nullMercerCarpetOne.com Facebook.com/MercerCarpetOne Twitter.com/MercerFloors

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Time to Give Credit Where it’s Due

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Armstrong Alterna Athenian Travertine Honey Onyx
Ok, I have mentioned LVT (luxury vinyl tile) before.  But only briefly:

But considering how quickly this portion of the industry is growing (especially in the Central Maryland/Greater Baltimore area from what I have seen), the performance, and the styling, I really have not talked about it enough.

Armstrong Alterna North Terrace Terra/Clay

What is LVT?

LVT or Luxury Vinyl Tile is, to keep it simple, halfway between ceramic and vinyl.  Each tile is actually an individual tile and is made of a mix of limestone and vinyl.  So, you have the heft and durability of a ceramic but with some of the give and warmth of vinyl.  Armstrong’s Alterna LVT line has even been highly rated by the Consumer Reports!

Styling:

Armstrong Alterna Allegheny Slate Copper Mountain
Yes, believe it or not, the above picture is indeed vinyl.  Both Mannington and Armstrong take pictures of the actual piece they are trying to emulate and then randomize those pictures in the computer.  And of course, they only use naturally occurring colors so you have lots of flexibility with what you pair it with. 

Mannington Adura Cascade Rectangles Harbor Beige 

Most of the looks are going to be stone, however there are plenty of wood looks…

Mannington Adura Distinctive Plank Heritage Buckskin
And more abstract looks like stamped concrete and this read-like design…

Mannington Adura Linea Graphite
And considering the hundreds of options, you’re sure to find what you need!

Of course, the wood looks are going to come in planks of various widths but leaning to wards the 3 1/4″ wide planks and wider as is the current hardwood styling.  The tiles and abstract looks are going to come mostly in 16″x16″ tiles (which you’ll be surprised at how flexible that size is regarding the size of the room it goes in), though there are an increasing amount of other sizes available such as 12″x12″, 12″x24″, 8″x16″, and 8″x8″!

Performance:

With Lifetime Residential Wear Guarantees and what I’ve seen people try to do to these floors, I am willing to say that these floors require absolutely no worry.  
  1. Stain proof – the tiles themselves are non-porous so there is nothing for stains to grab onto.  (And if you decide to have them grouted, only acrylic grout is used which is almost completely non-porous itself!)
  2. Highly resistant to dents and scratches (and I have seen people try!)
  3. Guaranteed by the manufacturers not to wear out through normal traffic for as long as it is installed in your home.
  4. Water proof as anything comes – because of it’s non-porous nature, it cannot be damaged by a flood or leak.  Worst case scenario, the tiles will have to be glued back down if the glue loosens due to sitting water.
Now, there are currently only two manufacturers that I will personally recommend: Mannington and Armstrong.  There are others out there, but the performance history and customer service of those others isn’t up to my standards like Mannington’s and Armstrong’s are.  



Plus, both Mannington and Armstrong are American companies!  In fact, Mannington is still a family owned and managed company (in transition between the 5th or 6th generation, I believe).


Location:

But where would this be good in the home?  Typically people are looking towards kitchens and bathrooms due to the higher moisture content and wear and tear (yay!  I’m not the only clumsy cook!)  But I have also had clients choose it for entryways, basements, family rooms, recreational rooms, and hallways.  (In fact, thanks to Mannington’s new Adura Tread line, I have had someone choose to have it installed on a set of stairs!)

Mannington Adura Dockside Pier

So, if you have a space in your home that gets lots of traffic and oopsies, luxury vinyl tile like Mannington’s Adura and Armstrong’s Alterna would be a great option to consider (Pst! Both of those lines are currently 40% off at Mercer’s!).

Do you have a luxury vinyl tile in your home?  What is your take on it?  (I’d love to see before and after pictures!)

And, as always, if there are ANY questions, please let me know!

Have Fun!

Katlin Farrell
Flooring Consultant
Ellicott City, Maryland
O: 410-480-0087
As always, if there are any questions (or ideas), please let me know! Katlin@nullMercerCarpetOne.com Facebook.com/MercerCarpetOne Twitter.com/MercerFloors

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Porch.com (upcoming review announcement)

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Hello Everyone!  I thought I’d check in and let you know that in the next couple weeks I will be reviewing the new start-up website: Porch.com.



Why?  I received this not too long ago…

Katlin of Let’s Talk About Floors,

It is because of this (me being an influential blogger) that I would like to offer you an exclusive sneak peak of Porch, a new Internet start-up, that is creating a home improvement marketplace and social network. We connect homeowners, renters and design enthusiasts with over 1.4 million professionals. With $6.25M in funding under our belt and big guys from Facebook behind us, we are gearing up to launch in September. With our launch date fast approaching, we are starting to seek out key influencers in the blogger community to share early access of Porch, in hopes that you will use the site and give us any feedback you might have. 

Are you interested in trying out Porch? Let me know, I would love to give you early access to the site! 

Take care,
Lauren K.
Join us on the Porch!
Facebook: www.facebook.com/porchdotcom
Twitter: @PorchDotCom

So, it was very cool to get that.  I’m glad that so many people enjoy my blog, but when I received that I went ‘Really? You think I’m influential? Cool!’

But that isn’t the only reason, it also sounds like a potentially helpful website for those who are looking to work on remodeling projects of all sizes.  Per their ‘About Us’ page, Porch.com is “where neighbors and friends meet to share home professionals and projects they love.”  Sounds kinda like a social Angie’s List, which makes a lot of sense to me.  Paying for a membership to write and share reviews never computed with my brain.

Until I’m ready to post the review, have fun on their Pinterest Page!

As always, if there are any questions give me a shout at Katlin@nullMercerCarpetOne.com!
As always, if there are any questions (or ideas), please let me know! Katlin@nullMercerCarpetOne.com Facebook.com/MercerCarpetOne Twitter.com/MercerFloors

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Blog Spotlight: Kathy’s Remodeling Blog

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I recently stumbled upon this gem.  What really caught my eye is Kathy’s seemed frustration (that I share) with the cheep contractors and other ‘so-called professionals’ that we run into on a regular basis.  And she pulled together a helpful ‘quiz’ to help showcase the best choice.

So how do  you decide what to do? Ask yourself a few questions:


1. Is saving money the most important thing in life without exception?

If yes, choose Contractor Cheapo
If no, keep asking questions


2. Is having a high-quality project the most important thing in life without exception?

If yes, choose Contractor Artisan
If no, keep asking questions

3.  Is complaining about the faults of contractors a favorite pastime?

If yes, choose Contractor Cheapo
If no, keep asking questions

4. Is having a warm feeling from having the most considerate, thoughtful contractor important?

If yes, choose Contractor Artisan
If no, keep asking questions

Bottom line…”


This might be funny to watch, but do you want these guys working on your home?
I’d love to know your thoughts on this.  Do you have any stories you can share about your experience with Quality, Artisan work vs. Cost Focused work?

As always, if there is ever anything I can help with, give me a shout!

Warm Wishes,
As always, if there are any questions (or ideas), please let me know! Katlin@nullMercerCarpetOne.com Facebook.com/MercerCarpetOne Twitter.com/MercerFloors

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The Story Behind the Floor: Cork Flooring

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I am a lover of stories.  Always have been.  It probably started with my mom and grandfather who would read out loud to me before I could even play with phonics.  She used all of the voices and inflections that sucked you right into the story.  His rich voice made even the most dull poetry sound magical.


And yes that love has continued today even in my flooring world.  Sometimes it amazes me the richness of the stories behind the floor.  Today I want to tease you somewhat with the stories behind cork flooring.

Generational Family Project:

That’s right, I’m pulling in the family side of things (maybe I’m a bit biased).  When planting a cork tree (much like an olive tree), you’re planting for the next generations not your own as it takes approximately 50 years before you can harvest usable bark for various cork products (bottle stoppers, shoe soles, knife handles, floors, etc).


It’s considered a great investment because once active, cork trees can be harvested approximately every 10 years equaling a regular income for future generations.

Sustainable:

I’ve already mentioned how eco-friendly cork is (probably one of the ‘greenest’ options available), but here’s some more information.


First of all, they don’t harm the tree when harvesting it’s bark.  In fact, the trees are healthier for it (when harvested correctly, of course).


Second, most cork products (including flooring) is actually made from the leftover cork from making bottle stoppers for the wine industry!

AND, it also encourages sustainable forestry and business practices to support an unique eco-system!



But, of course, stories aren’t everything when it comes to what floor you choose.  Performance, beauty, and value are paramount.  Here are a few pictures of cork floors installed in homes to give you an idea of it’s aesthetic potential:


In regards to performance and value, check out this post and contact me with any and all questions!

Warm Wishes,

Katlin at Mercers
katlin@nullmercercarpetone.com
As always, if there are any questions (or ideas), please let me know! Katlin@nullMercerCarpetOne.com Facebook.com/MercerCarpetOne Twitter.com/MercerFloors

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