Articles in: Flooring

Meet The Material: Artificial Grass

Posted by: on May 10th, 2013 | One Comment

 

Image of a room with artificial grass as a wall covering on one wall

Image via Especiarias

 

Today’s artificial grass has grown leaps and bounds in terms of appearance, feel and composition. Whereas the earliest iterations of synthetic turf looked both cheap and plastic, the quality and variety of synthetic grasses available now has improved dramatically. You can get artificial grass that looks late-summer long or manicured, or get short turf grass in dark or light shades of green. And better still, it’ll never need mowing, aerating, watering or fertilizing.

Now, in truth, there has been more than a little disagreement over the growing use of artificial grass in residential landscaping. Many concerned about the environment argue that plastic grass is just another petroleum product that contributes to our growing global CO2 problem and will end up as more trash clogging landfills. Other environmentally conscious observers counter that the pollution caused by fertilizers, gas-powered mowers, trimmers, blowers and the like are far worse – not to mention the huge amounts of water needed to preserve these pristine natural lawns.

We’ll let you settle that debate among yourselves. Our only intent here is to perhaps alter your view about the possibilities for artificial grass, just like this incredible image from Especiarias did ours.

What is artificial grass? A man-made surface composed of polyethylene-blend fibers tufted onto a polypropylene backing, artificial grass is often called artificial turf, AstroTurf and synthetic or fake grass.

What are some of the cool properties of artificial grass? It looks like real grass, and with some of the most recent advances in the technology and manufacturing process of artificial grass, some of it even feels like natural grass. It’s also low maintenance, requires no watering, mowing or fertilizing, and is nearly impervious to the elements.

How is artificial grass used? Artificial grass has been used most often in arenas to cover athletic fields and for a variety of commercial applications such as flooring for event spaces.

What can you use artificial grass for? Anywhere or any way you might use natural grass, you can use artificial grass — as well as many other ways you may not have thought possible.

Not convinced? Check out the rest of this post.

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Meet the Material: Ceramic Tile

Posted by: on March 29th, 2013 | One Comment

 

Ceramic materials are some of the oldest manufacturing and art materials known to man. Some of the oldest human artifacts are pottery — a type of ceramic — produced some 27,000 years ago. That’s certainly a testament to the durability of the material.

Ceramic materials are used in all sorts of industrial and artistic settings, but the first ceramic material that might come to mind is the ceramic tile in your bathroom or kitchen.

And, as we can see in the image above of a wall covered in a beautiful ceramic tile by Merola, ceramic materials can be quite eye-catching as well as practical.

What are ceramics? Ceramics are non-metallic substances created through exposure to high heat and then cooling. When heated, these substances form crystalline structures at the molecular level, which make them rigid and strong.

What are some of the cool properties of ceramic? Ceramics can be molded into just about any shape you’d want, and after heating will remain rigid and durable. Ceramics can be good thermal and electrical insulators, and they don’t oxidize (rust). Add a glaze to ceramic tile, and it’s practically impervious to water. The glaze will also smooth out the surface to the point that teeny-tiny particles and microscopic critters such as bacteria don’t have much to hold on to. That’s why ceramics are used in places that need to be especially clean.

How is ceramic used? Let’s see … it’s rigid and durable. An electrical insulator. Doesn’t rust. Impervious to water. That sounds like a great material for the floors and walls of bathrooms and kitchens! That’s why ceramic tile is one of the most common uses of the material. Those same properties make ceramics good for dinner plates and other tableware. We are all familiar with ceramics as an artistic medium. And that’s not to mention the many high-tech uses, including semi-conductors, bio-medical implants, spark plugs, and even heat tiles on the Space Shuttles.

Take a look at how ceramic tile can be both beautiful and useful.

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Inspired: Outdoor Area Rugs

Posted by: on February 25th, 2013 | One Comment

Outdoor area rug inspiration board

It’s that time of year when we start to whip our outdoor spaces into tip-top shape. The cushions come out of the garage, the patio gets a good power washing, and we all wait patiently as the trees begin to sprout their greenery.

If you’re looking to upgrade your outdoor space this year, consider decorating it as you would your living room. We love the way outdoor area rugs can add softness and personality to your porch or patio. Here are a few of our favorite patterned outdoor rugs.

TOP ROW:

The Home Decorators Collection Persimmon Area Rug in cocoa has a modern outline of leaves and stems, swirling in a pattern that looks modern but still adds graphic interest.

The Espana Area Rug in charcoal makes a more dramatic statement with its dark gray and cream fretwork pattern. The lively pattern would pair perfectly with a brightly colored patio set and some colorful throw pillows.

“Elegant” may not be a word you often use to describe an outdoor space, but we love the soft, sophisticated pattern of the Trellis Area Rug. If you’re looking to create a comfortable but neutral space in your back yard, this rug would lend just the right feminine flair.

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Places: Rooms with Painted Floors

Posted by: on February 20th, 2013 | 7 Comments
A collage of images featuring rooms with painted floors

Images (clockwise) via Make, Coastal Living and Bloesem

 

Painted floors in the U.S. date back to the 18th century. With flooring options like carpets and rugs well beyond the budgets of most ordinary folks back then, they had to devise other ways to jazz up their wood flooring.

Well, the tradition of painted floors has taken quite a few colorful turns since those early days, ranging from the simple coat of paint that enlivens a kitchen or makes a bedroom sunnier, to more intricate stenciled-on designs that give rooms a more spacious, visually interesting feel.

If you’re intrigued by the idea of painting your floors, don’t be deterred because you don’t have hardwoods. You can do a ton of creative things with your vinyl, ceramic tile and concrete floors. We saw so many cool ideas for painted floors out there it was hard to choose just a few. Here are some we couldn’t help but share.

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Man Caves: Bachelor Pad Essentials

Posted by: on October 7th, 2012 | 4 Comments
Image of a loft space with a giant hammock net

Image via Jeremy Person

 

The very concept of the bachelor–the independent living single man–is a fairly new one. In fact, up until the 1600s, there wasn’t even a name for young, single men, and they were generally lumped into the same category with women, children and servants. And men in colonial America were divided into two groups: masters and dependents. Masters were men who had achieved a certain mastery over their lives and career, owned property and were generally contributing members of society. Dependents were sort of bro’s in training.

Today, guys are apt to be bachelors for longer than at any other period in our nation’s history. For you lucky bachelors, these are glorious times too, and your life may never again seem filled with such freedom and promise. You could actually have a hammock built into the floor if you wanted and no one would complain. So, we thought you might enjoy this as well as some more practical advice to help you in your mastery of the most important rooms in your new bachelor pad–the living room, bedroom, and the bath. So follow along, take notes, and if you learn nothing else, it should be this: Use nothing more than is needed. Keep it clean, simple and stylish.

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From the Forums: Choosing the Right Carpet Padding for Sound Reduction

Posted by: on August 31st, 2012 | Make A Comment
Tap dancing feet demonstrating the need for sound reducing carpet padding

What’s the IIC rating for this floor?

Apart from protecting your carpet and making the carpet feel cushy, carpet padding helps provide some sound proofing to the room. But what’s the best carpet pad when you’re looking for sound reduction?

Home Depot How-To Community member JarrettS was wondering about that when he posted a question about carpet padding on our How-To Forums. His online conversation with our DIY expert came up with an excellent recommendation, and it revealed a recommendation on what he shouldn’t do.

As JarrettS explained when he posted his question on the Forums, he was planning to lay new carpet in his co-op apartment, and good sound absorption was important to him. He had been researching carpet padding online, and wanted some expert advice on two products he had seen, including a ⅜-inch rubber carpet pad.

Home Depot associate Jay Harris, who posts on the Forums under the handle Ask_Mr_Jay, explained that the denser the carpet pad, the better it will be for sound absorption:

“The rubber padding that you posted from our website is a very decent pad for doing just that. We also have the Healthier Choice Platinum Plus Eco Pad that provides great sound absorption too, with an Impact Isolation Class (IIC) rating of 80. It also comes in at ⅜ inches thick, so it’s probably your nicest and thickest choice out of the pads available,” Jay wrote.

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Pergo Laminate Wood Accent Wall

Posted by: on August 21st, 2012 | 5 Comments

 

It’s often the surprising, unexpected details in a home that create the most lasting impression – like when you take a ordinary material, say laminate flooring, and use it to create a stunning focal point in a room of your home.

In this video, Home Depot associate Ryan shows you in step-by-step detail how the use simple Pergo laminate wood flooring to produce an accent wall that people won’t be able to stop talking about. Also, get a complete list of supplies needed to complete the project, including  Liquid Nails®, a caulking gun, and a nail gun and air compressor that you can buy or rent from The Home Depot.

You can get a little more information on this project, and you can ask questions about it on our online How-To Community Forums. That’s also where you can download printed instructions for this DIY wood laminate wall project.

Check out more DIY and home improvement videos on The Home Depot’s YouTube channel.

 

From the Forums: Fixing Pits and Cleaning Old Paint from a Terrazzo Floor

Posted by: on June 29th, 2012 | Make A Comment
screen shot of a video about how to repair terrazzo

PatInPaint made a whole video just for one Forums reader

 

Sometimes we find ourselves faced with a DIY project that’s the result of someone else’s mistakes, sloppy work, or questionable decisions. That’s pretty much was the situation facing Home Depot Forums member autumnfrigger when he visited The Home Depot’s online Community Forums to ask about removing dried paint from a terrazzo floor, and then repairing pits in the terrazzo.

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From the Forums: How to Create a Mosaic Tile Top for Your Patio Table

Posted by: on June 8th, 2012 | 34 Comments

 

a beautiful mosaic table top

 

Your patio table aspires to be more than just a place to set your drink while you grill burgers. It wants texture, color, and most of all, respect. Topping your patio table with a mosaic will do the trick. You can turn it into a stunning hand-made work of art, as artist Mark Hendricks did with the table we see above. But even a more modest mosaic of ready-made tiles will raise your patio table’s self esteem to a whole new level.

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to create a mosaic tile top for your patio table put together by Forums associate aboveaveragejoe. He posted these instructions on The Home Depot’s Community Forums in response to a question by a Forums member who goes by the handle tenthumbs. The glass top of tenthumb’s patio table had broken, and he/she wanted to replace it with a DIY mosaic top.

Here’s what aboveaveragejoe said to do:

How to make a mosaic tile top for your patio table

You can approach it two ways:

1. Use  pre-made stone or glass mosaic tiles

2. Make your own custom, one-of-a-kind mosaic tiles by hand!

No matter which way you choose, you’ll need to first install a secure base so that the tiles have a firm and permanent place to rest upon. This step is just as important as the tiles themselves, so it shouldn’t be overlooked.

Let’s get started!

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Meet the Material: Bamboo

Posted by: on March 28th, 2012 | Make A Comment

 

Bamboo helmet image

Image via Build Direct

 

What is bamboo? Bamboos are giant, woody grasses, members of the family Poaceae. The over 1,400 species of bamboos are further classified as being either woody or herbaceous. Woody bamboos have sturdy, resilient stems (also called culms), while herbaceous bamboos possess softer stems. [Wikipedia]

What are some of the cool properties of bamboo? Bamboos are among the fastest growing plants on earth – recorded growing up to 39 inches in a 24-hour period.

Bamboos are also considered the world’s most ancient grasses, dating back some 30 to 40 million years, according to Bamboo For Gardens. Capable of producing 35% more oxygen and absorbing 4 times the carbon dioxide of hardwood trees, bamboos are quite beneficial to the environment as well. [Bamboo Fencer]

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