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[Industry Spy] “Stranded” Leather Flooring

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No, I’m not kidding…there is such thing as leather flooring.  And it is actually VERY durable!


What they do is take previously used leather…

  • Leather belts
  • BMW leather seats
  • Leather shoes
  • Leather jackets
  • Leather upholstery
And recycle them into a highly durable floor suitable for even heavy traffic commercial situations.


They take the leather, grind it down (like they strand bamboo), mix it with resin, and bake under high pressure and heat. 


It’s available in 7″ wide planks (like hardwood) or tiles and can be either glued down or floated.


The flooring comes available in multiple different textures (smooth, distressed, and alligator texture) and many good neutral colors.  Plus, the manufacture will also create custom sizes, textures, and colors.

Oh!  And look at this!


Tiles are also available with stitching around the edges!  And yes, they also can cover walls!


Some of the benefits include…
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • High Durability
  • Very Unique Look
  • Sound Absorption
  • Warm Feel Underfoot
  • Easy to Maintain
  • Able to Install over Radiant Heat
  • Custom Options Available

And, you’re in luck, because Mercers is now carrying this new and unique flooring option!  Plus, it isn’t nearly as pricey as one would think.  Give me a shout out if this might be an option for you.

Also, if there are any questions, please let me know.  The comment section is below and, if you would like a quick and direct response, email is best (Katlin@nullMercerCarpetOne.com).

What do you think about leather flooring?  Do you think it’ll be the next big thing?  Is it for you?
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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Have You Ever Thought About Cork Floors?

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I just realized that the only time I’ve posted about cork flooring is when I told you that Martha Stewart put it in her kitchen! Am I totally loosing it or what?


Well, now that I think of it, you’re probably thinking that I’ve completely lost it by even thinking cork can be made into a good floor covering option.  I mean, come on, isn’t that what they make cork boards out of?


Yup, we’re talking about the same ingredient here!  And, no, I’m not going crazy.  Cork is a great option for a floor!  Did you know there is a cork floor in the Library of Congress?


And, thankfully, there are many different design options than this…


or this…


Like isn’t this room stunning?

Or this one?


But what about the durability?  What if I told you there was a beautiful cork floor available that was backed by a Lifetime (for as long as you have it in your home) Residential Warranty and a 5 Year Light/Medium Commercial Warranty?


I’m not kidding. Almada Cork by USFloors is that high of a quality (and still less costly than many hardwoods)!  I bet I have your attention now, right?

Now, why would you possibly want cork in your home over…

  • carpet?
  • hardwood/laminate/bamboo?
  • ceramic/porcelain/stone?
  • vinyl?
Here are just some of the unique benefits of cork.
  1. Softer underfoot – because of the resiliency of cork you have a much softer floor underfoot.  This increases the comfort (and safety if you’re thinking about a children’s rec room or a kitchen).
  2. Highly sustainable – when harvested, the tree is not harmed at all and will be able to produce again very quickly PLUS all cork floors are actually made from the left over cork from the wine bottling industry.
  3. Very healthy – remember that Almada cork I told you about from USFloors? That holds a v.3 LEED rating and the highest Greenguard certification.
  4. Bug repelling – insects such as mites and termites (not to mention mold) really don’t like this floor.
  5. Fire resistant – due to its natural waxy characteristic (Suberin), it is very difficult to burn cork and when it does combust it doesn’t release any harmful gasses.
  6. Insulation – because of the pockets of air trapped by the unique cell structure of the cork, it is the best hard surface floor for insulation. If you like the look of hardwood/bamboo and other benefits of hard surfaces but are concerned about warmth and insulation, take a look at cork. The average R value (measure of insulation) of carpet is 1.4 and the average R value of cork is 1.2 while the average R value of hardwood/bamboo is 0.7 and ceramic is 0.25. This same property helps the floor feel warmer underfoot (or cooler in the warm months) and helps insulate against sound (hence why it is often used for music and entertainment rooms).

But where can cork be used? Anywhere in a home (restaurants also like it!)  Due to its durability it can be placed in high traffic areas of the home such as the kitchen.  And due to its high moisture resistance (remember, they use it to seal wine bottles!) it can also be used in half baths (we’re cautious about showers and bathtubs though a sheet of cork would be a good option), mudrooms, utility rooms, and entryways.


So, what are your thoughts?  Is cork an option for you?
Oh, and so you know about it’s popularity in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States (especially Central Maryland/the greater Baltimore region); I have now worked with 5 people who were considering a cork floor since November 2011!  Two of those clients have already had it installed (and it looks beautiful, they are completely thrilled), one just started her project but is dead set on cork, and the other two are between cork and hardwood.

If there are any questions, please feel free to leave a comment, call me at the office (410-480-0087), or send me an email 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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[Did You Know] That Martha Stewart Put Cork Flooring in her Kitchen?

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Yes, she did!  A local member of Carpet One International was able to help her choose and install her brand new cork flooring.




What have you heard about cork flooring?  Did you know it’s also in the Library of Congress?
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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[Commercial Column] All About LEED Certifications

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You’ve probably heard about LEED certification in the building and architectural industries.  But what is it?

According to the U.S. Green Building Council, it is “an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most.” 



These metrics include…
  • location
  • energy efficiency
  • materials and resources used, and how they were used
  • indoor environmental quality
  • what methods are used to educate the owners/users of the building on being environmentally responsible
  • innovative design
  • water efficiency
  • plus the region where the building is has it’s own priorities that are taken into consideration
And LEED certifications don’t only apply to commercial buildings, they can be awarded to residential homes as well.  Below are the types of construction that are eligible to earn LEED points.
  • commercial interiors
  • schools
  • homes
  • existing buildings
  • new construction
There are also multiple levels of certifications based off how many points are achieved out of the possible 110:
  • You need a minimum of 40 points to be Certified
  • It takes 50-59 points to be Silver Certified
  • To be Gold Certified, you need 60-79 points
  • Platinum Certification requires 80+ points
On the Real Life LEED blog, a post with lists of where you can find national and local incentives for becoming LEED certified.  Here are some that you might find interesting…
  • Baltimore County provides tax credits for new residential and commercial buildings that earn at least a Silver LEED Certification
  • Howard County has done the same as Baltimore County, plus existing buildings who achieve at least a Silver Certification receive their own tax credit
(Source for County Incentives – USGBC)

Whew, so that was a huge information dump!  Hopefully I didn’t bore you.  What are your thoughts on LEED Certification?  Have you worked on a project that earned a Certification?  Are you thinking of incorporating it into future projects?

Since this post didn’t have as many pictures as I typically include, here are some cool pictures of projects that have already received their LEED certification.  (Source: Google Image search.)




What did you think of the pictures?  Do you have any that you’d like to share?
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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Floors with Benefits

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Please help us further customize our offerings and customer service with this quick (single question) poll.  All answers are anonymous.



 
Thanks!
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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