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Will My New Flooring Be Green?

What’s Behind Certifications?

Clay Floors Certified Flooring Materials

As a conscious consumer, your first question asked before you buy any kind of flooring may be "Will my floor be Green?" Keith Clay Floors says it depends on the products you select. If you want to talk about green floors in general then lets discuss what our industry means when it says a product is "Green". Education about flooring is critical to you making the proper selection about a product you may want to use in your home, business, or institution. And it also may determine what floor you are required to provide per city code where you are constructing.

The flooring industry as a whole is no different on green certifications than any other; in fact it can be said that transparency and authenticity are becoming more important but are expected as well. From a food perspective you want to know where the food comes from, where the products are made, and the working conditions of the laborers involved as well. All industry public want to hold corporations and manufacturers to a high standard of accountability in the new age of social media, 24 hour news and the so called social responsibility. The hardwood flooring industry also faces the same scrutiny; and our customers do ask questions about the wood, where it comes from, if the products are sustainable, and if it could affect family health in any way. Keith Clay Floors, here in Dallas Texas agrees that being able to ensure quality, sustainability and flooring safety can come through third party testing and validation.

Clay Floors believes that third-party testing and certifications can prove that products meet the highest criteria. Certifications by third party issues:

  • Prove that manufacturers products meet the highest critera
  • Certified products reflect significan investment
  • There are common certifications in the flooring industry
  • Two certifications apply to the wood itself and address sustainable forestry practices (Forest Stewardship Council & Sustainable Forestry Initiative.)
  • Both of these certifications indicate the wood used to make the flooring was harvested sustainably.
  • Responsible forest management includes ideas such as protecting fragile ecosystems, respecting native cultures and economies, and restricting clear-cutting and pesticide use.
  • Foresters meeting these certifications are responsible for ensuring the wood really came from the forest that was certified.
  • For the flooring to be labeled with these certifications, the wood must follow a chain of custody all the way from forest to flooring.

Green Flooring Certifications - Clay FloorsFSC Certifications are stricter in terms of how much clear-cutting is allowed as well as use of pesticides. While most experts disagree on the advantages and disadvantages of the two certifications; FSC is harder to achieve, and  it's harder to find FSC-certified wood flooring. For both FSC and SFI certifications, they have online product databases to help locate their products.

If you go beyond certifying the wood itself, a certification like SCS Global's FloorScore; it's purpose will assure protection for installers and their customers during installation, the life of the product and the removal process by certifying that the product meets healthy emissions standards for indoor air quality.

What's Behind Certifications? Will these certifications increase the cost of the products?

Certifications and validations do increase the cost of the product. Each step of the process is an investment for manufacturers and foresters; and prove that these products truly do meet green standards. This evaluation gives the stamp of approval from an official source for builders and contractors alike.

"Third-party laboratory testing ensures that testing is unbiased and follows the specified testing method," says Jenilee Napalan, SCS Global flooring program manager.

Third-party organizations should do several things to ensure that, including maintaining separation between the certification body and the testing laboratory. This ensures all testing is done to meet standards and not to make a profit.

The time, effort and resources behind that SCS Global Flooring Program logo are extensive. The actual visible logo will confirm they meet the requirements of the Indoor Air Quality Product Performance Standard for Building Materials, CDPH/EHLB Standard Method V1.1 and California 01350. All materials and ingredients used in the manufacturing of the finished goods are tested, including adhesives, resins, particleboard cores and surface finishes.

Also, the manufacturing sites must undergo an on-site audit, and FloorScore certification requires annual re-evaluation of the certified products and the quality management system of the manufacturing sites. This is good news for you as a potential purchaser of a flooring product with the logo. and while many companies these days will tout their products' green qualities, the only way to be certain of environmental responsibility and providing customers with products that are safe for their health is to choose products with impartial certifications.

NWFA's RPP - NWFA's Responsible Procurement Program (RPP) is the wood flooring industry's response to the growing demand for products sourced from healthy, vibrant forests. The RPP provides progressive "tiers" that act like rungs on a ladder on which participants move gradually upward toward ever-higher levels of social and environmental performance. Participating manufacturers are held accountable through annual third-party audits to ensure the raw materials in their supply chains come from documented renewable sources. For more information, visit www.nwfa.org/rpp.aspx.

If you have more questions about green flooring of all types, please contact us here at Keith Clay Floors. World Class Craftsmanship. Reasonable Prices. This is our motto. Call us today and find out more about purchasing green flooring for your home, business, or institution. Call 972-463-6604 or 817-663-5235 today to request a quote, or submit the Request a Quote form on the home page.

Protect Your Hardwood Floors

Chairs and Furniture Can Be Floor Friendly

Clay Floors - Protect Your Floors

Clay Floors believes that Proper Floor Care is very important to every home, commercial installation, and institutional location to extend floor life and still be beautiful. For our clients, floor protection means a lot of attention is placed on protecting floors against outside contaminants and making sure everyone in the home and is aware of good floor-friendly habits. Establishing good habits can be adopted and extend the life of your hardwood floor in every location.

There are times when furniture, chair legs, table legs, might be overlooked as a source of hardwood floor damage. Most especially if the base of the legs that touch the floor are unprotected. It is very possible to gring grit and debris into the floor finish which results in scratches and gouges from heavier pieces of furniture for sure. No matter the location Clay Floors advises to make your furniture more floor friendly. Greater attention will save you expenses in floor refinishing over time, and can surely extend the life of whatever floor has furniture that is used on a daily basis.

Types of Furniture Protection:

  • The most popular form of chair leg protection is the chair glide or furniture pad. Easily obtained in your local grocery, quite simply, these are pads made of different types of material that are put on the bottoms of your chair legs. There are different types of chair glides, each offering different levels of cost and protection.
  • Tap-on/nail-on pads. These types of pads are very secure since they are attached to the furniture leg with either a small nail or screw.  These Tap-on pads can use different materials to make contact with your floor, depending on your floor type. Attention and care should be used with tap-on pads because if they are not properly installed, the nail or screw may be exposed to harm your floor.
  • Self-adhesive pads. These are peel and stick pads that can be found almost everywhere. They are typically made of felt or rubber and are the least expensive. However, the adhesive on these pads won’t last as long as tap-on or slip-on pads. If the furniture is in a room not used often they may last longer.
  • Slip-on pads. This style of pads are designed to fit over a chair leg and are often made of rubber or soft plastic. These won’t have a problem of falling off like a self-adhesive pad or have the potential to scratch your floor like a broken tap-on pad.

Does Floor Type Matter?

The answer is a resounding yes. Proper evaluation of the type of floor and pairing it with the proper protection is critical to elimination floor damage. While most chair glides and furniture pads are sold as universal pads for all floor types, Clay Floors invites consideration prior to installation for the floor type you have. If you have any particular questions about this, please don't hesitate to call us. Especially if you have just paid for a restoration of your existing floor.

There are many very generic  materials to make chair glides and furniture pads. Most fall into the categories of felt, rubber, cork, plastic and metal. Be especially careful with chair glides since they are made to help furniture move on the floor during a relocation. Choosing the wrong material with chair glides can also lead to floor damage.

General Guidlines:

  • Carpet. A harder material like steel or plastic work best.
  • Hard Floors (hardwood, ceramic tile). Felt and rubber pads will usually work best. If you will be using rubber, be weary of potential scuff marks. Make sure the felt is thick enough for even heavy furniture.
  • Soft floors (vinyl, rubber). You will discover that felt, rubber and plastic will usually work best.

Furniture Traffic Considerations Can Also Help

Much like evaluating foot traffic, how often your furniture moves can play a part in choosing the right type of furniture pad or chair glide. General rule of thumb is heavy pieces of furniture that won’t be moved at all may totally dictate a much wider range of furniture pads to choose from. Thick pieces of felt or rubber will work well with heavy furniture.

Considering dining rooms or kitchens, you understand that all those types of floors will have high furniture traffic. In this case it is critical to choose a felt pad; which may be your best option.  Plastic pads or glides will, depending on use, wear down over time, so be sure to check the life of your chair glides periodically. Don't forget about them.  Depending on your kitchen floor, rubber might need to be avoided for scuff marks.

In family rooms where most families have the most traffic daily, be sure to consider all couches and sofas carefully. How are they treated? Kids do jump on furniture, they can just plop down when they sit down after a long day, so remember actions can cause small movements.  So choose your furniture pad wisely. A rubber pad can do well in this scenario since it will help to restrict furniture movement.

DIY Options

Various chair glides and furniture pads can be purchased at your local home improvement store, other options are available if you want to minimize cost and make your own. Here are some suggestions if you are into the DIY person.  For all of these options, remember that using a hot glue gun is a great way to make sure that these materials won’t slip or fall off your furniture.

  • Old Carpet. Old scraps of carpet and rugs can be cut and placed on furniture legs. Making sure these pads are installed with the carpet-side touching the floor.
  • Felt Pads. While felt furniture pads can be store-bought, any thick felt will do nicely that you have available from your local fabric store. Cut the felt into the appropriate size and glue on.
  • Velcro. Remember to purchase industrial grade Velcro, and then to use the soft side of the Velcro (looped side) as an effective furniture pad.
  • Towels. Old towels can be cut into pads, making sure they are of appropriate thickness and trimmed properly.
  • Tennis Balls. Tennis balls that are slightly cut open can make good DIY slip-on pads if you don’t mind how they look on your floors.
  • Leather. Leather is another soft, durable material that can be made into a good furniture pad.

Whatever decision you decide to make on which type of pad you buy or make, please make sure that your furniture is level on the floor after it is applied. If it’s not, it is possible that the leg can scratch the finish or make gouges on your floors. Also remember to maintain a good cleaning routine to make sure your floors are clean and dirt-free. No matter how durable your furniture pads are, they won’t protect properly if your floors are dirty and full of sand, fillers and small rocks.

Keith Clay has been in business for 28 years serving Dallas, Frisco, Plano, Richardson and all Dallas Metroplex suburbs. We know wood floors and can answer any questions you may have. If you want the best job from a company of professionals, call us today. 972-463-6604. World Class Craftsmanship. Reasonable Prices.

Successful NWFA 2015 Expo Sees Big Growth

Dallas Bona Training Facility Continues To Push Ahead

Clay Floors - NWFA Wood Floor Expo

The passion with wood, flooring,  and making homes beautiful is something Clay Floors has enjoyed for over 25 years here in Dallas. This latest round of education at a local symposium here in Dallas included new products with the Bona Company on installation, new products out there and just keeping up with the industry. It's great news to see the industry as a whole provide this type of training to flooring professionals around the world.

Now moving on to the latest Wood Floor Expo in St. Louis, this Expo was state of the art, and the latest numbers are out about the NWFA Expo which took place in April. The 2015 National Wood Flooring Association Wood Flooring Expo April 28–May 1 in St. Louis was 15% larger the last year's Expo which was held in Nashville. It is a wonderful thing to see the growth and education focus with this years completion of the historic 30 year Expo.

If you are interested in the latest and greatest coming down the pipe all Videos from Expo can be viewed at www.nwfa.tv. This annual show, which sold out in February, had 29 more companies exhibiting on the trade show floor inside the Edward Jones Dome, home of the St. Louis Rams football team, than the previous Expo and 49 more exhibitors than the 2013 Expo. Of the companies on the show floor, 60 were first-time exhibitors. This was great news industry wide and at a time when business needs a big boost.

The great attendance held steady at last year’s historic levels; as the show continues to move forward with the industry demands. This year there were more than 20 hours of education, and day log NWFA Certified Professionals Symposiums, which took place the day before the Expo began. A great idea so everyone can see as much of the show as possible and still learn.

A total of 239 people registered for the NWFACP Symposium. It included three tracks of education, including a retail sales track that for the first time in Expo history provided wood flooring retail sales professionals with the opportunity to become NWFACP Certified Sales Advisors. This is historic and very well received.

“We are glad to see the upward trend is carrying forward, to see our members and Expo thriving together,” said Michael Martin, NWFA president and CEO, said in a statement. “Success depends on that. While NWFA serves its members to assist their growth, we could not do that well without the active support of our members all year long, and especially as attendees, exhibitors and sponsors at Expo.

Color Variations in Saltillo Tile

Individual Tiles Have Character

Why Are There Color Variations in Saltillo Tile?  Saltillo tile usually varies in colour and shape, however the majority range from in varying hues of reds, oranges and yellows. These beautiful floor tiles are shaped by pressing quarried clay with a wooden frame (super), or could be carving out the desired shape (regular). Depending on the raw tile's placement among other tiles at the time of firing, its colour ranges from yellow to a rich orange.  Since each piece of standard Saltillo tile is actually made individually by hand with no modern machinery involved, most pieces will have that individual character. The tile is primitive. There are irregularities. You will find small chips, cracks, and bumps. These imperfections merely add character and rustic quality to the floor. If you are lucky, you might even find a few animal footprints in your tile!  With regard to color, lets talk about process a little since this accounts for the major changes you may see from one firing to the next.  The tiles are stacked in the caves (kilns) on end which may slightly overlapp so they don't fall over. Then, before firing, the opening to the kiln is sealed with clay to prevent heat from escaping. The fire is started at the bottom of the cave and fuel is added to increase the heat until the proper temperature is reached. As you know, fire will not burn without oxygen, and at sometime during the firing process all of the available oxygen in the atmosphere in the cave is used up. At that point the flame then seeks the next available source of oxygen (which it finds in the form of iron oxide in the clay tile) and burns it, flashing the exposed surfaces of the tile. The light buff color in the tile is the area that was flashed; the peach color in the tile is the area, which is shielded from the flame by other tiles. You may hear many different stories about different types of fuel used in the firing of Saltillo tile. The original source of heat used for firing Saltillo tile was burning rubber tires. Most of the time, wood is now used to start the process. In the past few years, a variety of fuels have also been used, such as propane, diesel, crude petroleum, etc. The type of fuel used for firing does not directly affect the color of the tile. Heat is heat, much like a gas or electric stove.   The color of the tiles may vary somewhat due to:  Different ways the tile is stacked in the kiln.  The way in which the flame/heat is controlled inside the kiln.  Depending on if a color additive is added to the clay during the manufacturing process   Whether a slight  green hue is apparent from the firing process.  Regardless of your choice of Mexican tile, be it Saltillo, Mission, Talavera or other varieties, you can't beat these tiling options for creating a traditional, southwestern atmosphere in any room of your house. Our job is to provide a professional installation and then keep them beautiful.  Call us today for an estimate on installing, cleaning or restoring the Mexican Tile in your home or business. Keith Clay Floors is happy to assist you with any questions you may still have about Saltillo tile in general. Call us today, you will be so glad you did.  World Class Craftsmanship. Reasonable Prices. Call Today: 972-463-6604

Saltillo tile usually varies in color and shape, however the majority range from in varying hues of reds, oranges and yellows. These beautiful floor tiles are shaped by pressing quarried clay with a wooden frame (super), or could be carving out the desired shape (regular). Depending on the raw tile's placement among other tiles at the time of firing, its color ranges from yellow to a rich orange.

Since each piece of standard Saltillo tile is actually made individually by hand with no modern machinery involved, most pieces will have that individual character. The tile is primitive. There are irregularities. You will find small chips, cracks, and bumps. These imperfections merely add character and rustic quality to the floor. If you are lucky, you might even find a few animal footprints in your tile!

With regard to color, lets talk about process a little since this accounts for the major changes you may see from one firing to the next.  The tiles are stacked in the caves (kilns) on end which may slightly overlapp so they don't fall over. Then, before firing, the opening to the kiln is sealed with clay to prevent heat from escaping. The fire is started at the bottom of the cave and fuel is added to increase the heat until the proper temperature is reached. As you know, fire will not burn without oxygen, and at sometime during the firing process all of the available oxygen in the atmosphere in the cave is used up. At that point the flame then seeks the next available source of oxygen (which it finds in the form of iron oxide in the clay tile) and burns it, flashing the exposed surfaces of the tile. The light buff color in the tile is the area that was flashed; the peach color in the tile is the area, which is shielded from the flame by other tiles. You may hear many different stories about different types of fuel used in the firing of Saltillo tile. The original source of heat used for firing Saltillo tile was burning rubber tires. Most of the time, wood is now used to start the process. In the past few years, a variety of fuels have also been used, such as propane, diesel, crude petroleum, etc. The type of fuel used for firing does not directly affect the color of the tile. Heat is heat, much like a gas or electric stove.

The color of the tiles may vary somewhat due to:

  • Different ways the tile is stacked in the kiln.
  • The way in which the flame/heat is controlled inside the kiln.
  • Depending on if a color additive is added to the clay during the manufacturing process
  • Whether a slight  green hue is apparent from the firing process.

Regardless of your choice of Mexican tile, be it Saltillo, Mission, Talavera or other varieties, you can't beat these tiling options for creating a traditional, southwestern atmosphere in any room of your house. Our job is to provide a professional installation and then keep them beautiful.

Call us today for an estimate on installing, cleaning or restoring the Mexican Tile in your home or business. Keith Clay Floors is happy to assist you with any questions you may still have about Saltillo tile in general. Call us today, you will be so glad you did.

World Class Craftsmanship. Reasonable Prices.

Call Today: 972-463-6604

The Nature of Concrete Polishing

CPAA Standards Terms Help The Industry

Concrete Polished Floors By Clay Floors

Clay Floors Specializes in Concrete Polished Flooring.

Industry standards for Concrete Polished surfaces has been in existence for many many years. It is not surprising that new test methods exist to regulate the level of quality. According to CPAA, (Concrete Polishing Association of America) standards, terms and words clearly define what types of work are performed, and help in the education of the flooring industry and more importantly to you, our client. 

Gloss, clarity, haze, profile, and abrasion resistance are terms that apply to defining the different classifications of polish to the surface of the concrete. CPAA Standards believe that by applying these terms to the polishing process, our industry will help designers, architects, and consumers at large have an easy way to select their products instead of trying to purchase a process. Clay Floors understands that The Concrete Polishing Association of America Standards Committee, which reflects a cross-section of the concrete polishing industry, has reviewed test results determining that gloss, clarity, haze,profile, and abrasion resistance all have equal relevance in determining the final quality of the product produced by the polishing technician. This is really great news for you!

In the absence of a prescribed methodology for field measuring the quality of polished concrete, the CPAA and Clay Floors takes the following position in classifying the types of polished concrete and determining the standards of limits for quality for each classification as such. Changing a concrete floor surface can be done by any of the following methods:

  • Bonded abrasive polished concrete - This multi-step operation of mechanically grinding, honing, and polishing a concrete floor surfaces with bonded abrasives; will cut a concrete floor surface and refine each cut to the maximum potential. This is done to achieve a specified level of finished gloss as defined by the CPAA. What does this mean to you? You will have the most durable finish that requires the least amount of maintenance. We most always recommend this type of polishing.
  • Burnished polished concrete - This multi-step operation of mechanical friction-rubbing a concrete floor surface with or without waxes or resins will achieve a specified level of finished gloss as defined by the CPAA. This means if you choose this process, the finish requires more maintenance. While it may be less durable, a regular maintenance plan is recommended to keep the integrity of the floor intact over the course of the life of the floor.
  • Hybrid polished concrete - This multi-step operation; uses either standard grinding / polishing equipment, lightweight equipment, high speed burnishing equipment, or a combination of the above, to combine the mechanical grinding, honing, and polishing process. The friction rubbing process uses bonded abrasives, abrasive pads, or a combination of, to achieve the specified level of finished gloss as defined by the CPAA. For more specific information about the type of floor polishing we need to come out and take a look, then discuss with you your desired look.
  • Aggregate exposure type of surface -  This means grinding a concrete floor surface with bonded abrasives to achieve a specified level of exposed aggregate. Finished Gloss means processing a concrete floor surface to achieve a specified level of finished gloss; (flat [ground], satin [honed], semi polished, and highly polished). This is a measure in reflective clarity (DOI), and reflective sheen (specular gloss), and haze. Glossy finishes are classified as having different levels and varying degrees of reflective clarity and sheen.
  • Reflective Clarity - This speaks to the Visual Appearance. If you look at it from 5 feet above and perpendicular to a surface, the degree of sharpness and crispness of the reflection of overhead objects. If a measurement device is used, those numbers will indicate the distinctness of image on a scale if measured to ASTM standards.
  • Reflective Sheen - This also means visual appearance, but it is viewed at 20 feet from and at an angle to a surface, the degree of gloss reflected from a surface. If a measurement device is used, the numbers indicate the gloss at 60* if measured to ASTM standards. Haze, Surface Profile, and Abrasion Resistance, all can use measurement devices and the varying numbers should all be in keeping with ASTM standards.

Highly technical terms aside, Clay Floors can polish your concrete flooring. Using the correct accepted terms greatly enhances how we discuss with you as our client the nature of the look you want. For over 28 years, Clay Floors has made it our priority to meet your goals, stay on budget, and give you the look and feel you desire for polishing your concrete floor. And at the same time preserve your floor.

We invite you to call us today and find out more about how we can help you polish your concrete floor. Clay Floors specializes in polished concrete floors. Quality concrete polishing services to architects, facility owners, engineers and general contractors is what we do best. In addition to polished concrete, check out all our services on the home page of this website. We can even provide turn-key concrete polishing solutions for your new construction projects, reducing your risk and ensuring quality and satisfaction, every time. 

Our Craftsmanship is not just about the floor restoration, it's making sure you have a sustainable floor that is appreciated and enjoyed by each and every customer we provide these types of services for. 

Keith Clay has been in business for almost 28 years serving Dallas, Frisco, Plano, Richardson and all Dallas Metroplex suburbs. We know wood floors and can answer any questions you may have. If you want the best job from a company of professionals, call us today. 972-463-6604.

World Class Craftsmanship. Reasonable Prices.   

Keith Clay has been in business for 30 years serving Dallas, Frisco, Plano, Richardson and all Dallas Metroplex suburbs. We know wood floors and can answer any questions you may have. If you want the best job from a company of professionals, call us today. 972-463-6604.

Testimonials

""Keith Clay Floors came and consulted with us and advised that 18-inch ceramic tile would be a good solution for our needs. They came out and prepared the floor and laid the tile in one day, and grouted the next day."

-- Tom J.
   Frisco, TX"

Areas We Serve

Keith Clay has been in business for 30 years serving Dallas, Frisco, Plano, Richardson and all Dallas Metroplex suburbs. We know wood floors and can answer any questions you may have. If you want the best job from a company of professionals, call us today. 972-463-6604.