My FLOR Story

[My FLOR carpet in our master bedroom]

Blogging for FLOR means I get to sift through beautiful images of carpet tiles weekly, and to be honest, I've always wondered what it would be like to install them in my own home. Luckily, I've been in the thick of a massive renovation for almost two years and when it came time to choose the carpet for our master bedroom, my husband and I jumped at the chance to utilize FLOR tiles.

First things first: I am not gifted in the realm of DIY. Sure, I have creative ideas swirling through my head, but the skill stops there. Rarely will you see my hands dirty unless my husband needs help, and in that case, you can find me complaining in the corner about how un-cute these work gloves are.

Kidding. Sort of.

But truth be told, installing FLOR tiles is my kind of DIY. The entire bedroom took maybe two hours, and that includes a 20 minute search for the FLOR dots I'd sworn I stored in the kitchen drawer (Hint: They were in the bathroom drawer. Oops.).

I thought it might be fun to walk you through our experience in the most honest way possible, so here goes!:

1. Make sure the surface you're using is clean, dry and dust-free.
2. Lay out your desired pattern and make any necessary cuts for walls, angles and/or baseboard trim. This was easy for us, because we chose a shaggy design without a pattern. We watched this video to learn how to trim each tile (so useful!).
3. Locate those FLOR dots and place them underneath each tile, sticky-side up. The goal is for each carpet tile to stick to one another, not to the floor surface.
4. Admire your handiwork.

It truly is that easy, and we love how quiet our master bedroom is now. Plus, should our lovable dogs have an accident on our floors, re-carpeting the entire bedroom is no longer a need.

Genius, easy and beautiful. Happy FLOR-ing!

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Carpet In the Kitchen: Yay Or Nay?

Since moving into our new apartment a few months ago, my partner Gregory and I have given the kitchen a fresh coat of paint, hung shelves, replaced old knobs and hinges, and really worked to make the space clean and bright … but there still exist a few glaring remnants of decades past. Chiefly among them is the vinyl flooring, a mottled mix of beige, cream, and yellow. It looks perpetually dingy and hurts my eyes just to think about it.

As renters on a budget, we aren't able to realize all of our decor dreams, but we are committed to making this our home for many years, which means doing something about the kitchen floor. For those who can't remove ugly flooring, there's always the option of covering them up. Gregory recently suggested FLOR tiles, thinking that they would be relatively economical and easy to lay down over the vinyl and around appliances and counters. We could certainly find something to suit our style among the range of colors and patterns.

Unfortunately, my reaction wasn't terribly positive. In fact, it was more along the lines of, "Ewww!" for I can't help but shudder at the idea of carpet in the kitchen. Wouldn't it get horribly dirty? I can't picture a carpet in the kitchen without seeing it covered in greasy oil stains, sticky cake crumbs, and tomato sauce splatters.

Yet, I know that carpet in the kitchen is not unheard of. There are several examples of it in the FLOR catalog, not to mention decor magazines and websites. Perhaps the key is to choose something in a dark color or pattern to disguise the inevitable stains? I do know that my feet would probably love a layer of carpet during those long hours of cooking and washing up. And anything would be better than that vinyl tile…

What do you think? Am I being overly concerned or rightfully wary? Do you have carpet in your kitchen?

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5 Eco-Friendly Ways To Clean a Carpet

It may not be exciting or glamorous, but carpet cleaning is one of those household chores I find immensely satisfying. Ahh, the joy of obliterating dirt, odors, and who-knows-what from beneath your feet and those of your guests, kids, and pets! Regular cleaning is also, of course, essential for maintaining the life and look of the carpet itself.

Yet many commercial cleaning products aren't so healthy, containing toxic chemicals that pollute the air and water and irritate sensitive skin and noses. Fortunately, there are plenty of greener ways to keep a beautiful carpet and home. From DIY stain removal to hiring a professional, here are five solutions for carpet cleaning with the environment and your personal health in mind.

  • Freshen with baking soda – The star of any green cleaning toolkit, baking soda is inexpensive, non-toxic, and actually eliminates odors rather than simply covering them up. To deodorize a carpet, lightly sprinkle with baking soda, let sit 10 minutes, and vacuum. Add a pinch of crushed, dried lavender buds to the baking soda for a pleasant, and totally natural, fragrance.
  • Lift stains with club soda – Believe it or not, this is one of those old-fashioned cleaning solutions that really works. To remove coffee, wine, mud, and other stains, cover the stain with a small amount of carbonated water, let it fizz for a few seconds, and blot with a clean, white cloth (avoid rubbing, which can ruin carpet fibers and set the stain in deeper). Repeat if necessary. Although this works best on fresh stains, it's worth a try on set-in stains. And since it's just water, there's no need to rinse it out like some products.
  • Steam clean with vinegar – Using a wet-cleaning machine? Instead of filling it with a commercial cleaning solution, which may be heavily fragranced and laden with chemicals, try vinegar. A solution of equal parts distilled white vinegar and warm water can lift stains, deodorize, and disinfect. Don't worry about the odor – it will dissipate once the carpet dries.
  • Dry clean with eco-friendly powders – The dry cleaning method consists of sprinkling an absorbent powder over the carpet, working it in by hand or machine, and then vacuuming thoroughly. For the health of the planet as well as yourself, your children, and pets, use a non-toxic, biodegradable cleaner such as FLOR Grab Dry with a hand scrubber or HOST dry powder and machines.
  • Hire a green professional – These days a lot of businesses advertise themselves as "green," but how can you know if the claims are true? Don't be afraid to ask questions and make sure they use cleaners that are non-toxic, low- or no-VOC, and biodegradable. Some cleaning services also use energy-efficient equipment and are mindful of water usage. Check out EarthTalk for good advice including names of national businesses and commonly-used cleaning solutions.

Note: Before using any carpet cleaning solution, be sure to follow manufacturer's instructions and test for colorfastness on a small, inconspicuous area.

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