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5 home decoration apps that you need to try

5 home decoration apps that you need to trySmart phones come in handy in almost every aspect of our lives these days and home decoration is no exception. Here we list five of our favourite apps that can help you to spruce up your home.

Pinterest
Pinterest is used by millions of people to find inspiration. From fashion and food to clever interior design ideas, it’s a great source of unique and interesting ideas. If you struggle to visualise what colours and textures may work well together, Pinterest is a good place to start.

SnapShop
If you’re in the market for new furniture then this app is a must-have. SnapShop takes the guess work out of measurement. To get started you simply take a photo of each room in your home. Then when you find a piece of furniture that you like you simply snap it and the app works out whether or not it will fit in your room, and around your current furniture by overlaying it.

MagicPlan
Available on both iPhone and Android operating systems, MagicPlan is a one stop shop for floor plans. Using your camera you can measure the dimensions of each room in your home and create an accurate floor plan that can be kept in your pocket and brought out when you need to make a purchase of say new furniture or flooring for a room.

Color Capture
Ever seen a shade of paint somewhere that you’ve fallen in love with but not had any idea what the name of the colour is? This app can help. Color Capture matches colour from your chosen photograph and then suggests paint options to match. It will also suggest other colours which it thinks may nicely complement the one you have chosen.

iHandy Carpenter
If you come up short when it comes to a tool box then this app could be your best new friend. Instead of spending money on tools that you might never use again this app gives you some of the most commonly used measuring tools you might need such as surface levels, steel rulers and plumb bobs.

While all of these apps are useful they can only take you so far. If you’re looking for new flooring in your home then look no further than Lincolnshire Flooring. Our team can guide you through the entire process of carpet or floor fitting from site surveys and measuring services to selecting and installing a wonderful new floor. To find out more please call us on 01522 524374 or call in at our showroom on Outer Circle Road, Lincoln – Monday to Saturday.

Keep your carpet in mind when choosing a vacuum cleaner

Lincolnshire Flooring_Pillar 11_Blog_3When it comes to carpets, you get what you pay for. While carpets are available to match most budgets, a good quality and long lasting carpet will cost you more money than a poorer quality one that isn’t likely to last as long. With this in mind, it’s important that you find ways to preserve it so that you don’t have to fork out for either repairs, professional cleaning or even worse – replacing the carpet entirely before you’ve had plenty of use out of it.

While enforcing a ‘no shoes’ policy and having welcome mats and rugs are all good ways to prevent your carpet becoming dirty, you will still need to give it a regular clean - and that’s where a vacuum cleaner becomes your best friend. Invented in 1901 by David T. Kennedy, vacuum cleaners are one of the key home cleaning appliances in any home and are continually changing with new and exciting features.

Choosing a vacuum cleaner
When it comes to choosing a vacuum cleaner you usually have two key options – upright vacuums or cylinder vacuums. Upright vacuum cleaners are operated by pushing them in front of you; they have a wide brush bar that scrapes through the fibres of your carpet lifting up any dirt and debris which it sucks straight up into a bag or canister (which need to be regularly changed). A cylinder vacuum is a small cleaner which has the hose and cylinder as two separate parts joined by a pipe; it drags behind you as you move along. A cylinder vacuum operates in a similar way to the upright vacuum but is more mobile and generally smaller – they also tend to be slightly more affordable than an upright vacuum cleaner.

In terms of what is best for your carpet it does depend to some extent on the scenario and there are certain features in vacuums that you should look out for depending on your circumstances. For example if you have carpet in a room that has lots of furniture then you should opt for a cleaner which has a swivelling head, as this will help you get around chair legs and tables. Or if you have pets then you might want to look for a vacuum that has a powerful suction with rotating brushes which will help drag up pet hair that is very light, or deeply lodged. However, if your carpet is particularly delicate then you should avoid a powerful suction as you may be at risk of pulling at the threads. If this happens then you can neatly cut the thread with scissors. However, you can only do this so many times before the carpet becomes damaged.

Key takeaways:

1 – Regular cleaning can extend the life of your carpet

2 – Brush bars are effective in dislodging dirt from your carpet

3 – Pet hair can be dislodged with high suction

4 – Be wary of using high suction on delicate carpets and rugs

For more tips on cleaning your floors, please read our guide on how to maintain and clean your floors and carpets.

4 ways to spruce up your office

space-desk-office-hero-7065What does your office say about your business? Whether you like it or not the appearance of your business headquarters has a profound effect. Not only does it make an impression for better or worse on customers and clients but it also deeply affects the morale of your employees. Precisely why forward thinking companies like Google put such an emphasis on creating inspiring work environments. However, mini-golf, rooftop gardens and sleeping pods don’t suit everyone and your business may benefit from some rather more subtle touches. Here are four ways to make a positive impact on your office space.

1 – Bring the outdoors in

Studies show that making room for plants and flowers in your office can have an impact on their stress levels, helping them to relax. A study conducted by NGI Australia showed that staff who had plants placed in their office showed reductions in levels of stress and negative feelings of a magnitude of 30 to 60% in a period over three months – quite a significant finding. They claimed reductions in tension, anxiety, depression, dejection, anger, hostility and fatigue – all emotions that most businesses would agree are harmful to productivity!

2 – Ditch traditional office furniture

It’s fairly common knowledge now that remaining sedentary at a desk is no good for our employees. A recent Loughborough University study found that when compared with people who work away from office environments, those of us hunched over desks have a 112 per cent increase in risk of diabetes and we are twice as likely to have a heart attack. No one wants their employee’s health to suffer from their job, which is why many businesses are finding ways to keep their employees healthy from height adjustable desks, to treadmill desks and active chairs shaped differently to promote good posture.

3 – Light it up

Good lighting is another key to raising the productivity of your employees. A work space that is dingy and dim, or equally is too bright and artificial will be off putting to your employees. Try to make the most of the natural light in your office and consider light colour schemes which create a sense of spaciousness in your office.

4 – From the ground up

Finally, one of the best ways to spruce up a tired looking office is to have new flooring installed. Whether replacing that old threadbare carpet, or installing a timeless hardwood flooring, changing what’s beneath your feet can have a big impact on both employees and clients visiting your office. However, it’s important to not only consider the visual aspect of your flooring choices but also to think about how easy it is to clean, how resistant it is to scratches, how well it dampens sound, how long it lasts and of course how much it costs.

If your offices are looking tired and in need of a refresh then you should seek advice from flooring professionals. Here at Lincolnshire Flooring we have been installing commercial floor coverings for over 50 years. For a no obligation quotation please call us on 01522 524374 or take a further look around our website for more information: http://www.lincolnshireflooring.co.uk/commercial/.

Tips for tackling carpet mould

Adobe Spark (9)Carpet mould is a real nuisance, ruining fabric and posing health risks in our homes. What’s more, by the time we identify carpet mould it’s already spread far and wide. Here we will look at some of the ways we can spot carpet mould, deal with it and mitigate further outbreaks in the future.

Mould is a dangerous fungus which breeds in moist conditions and clings to the fine fabrics of carpets. Once mould has attached itself to fabrics it is difficult to remove, however that is not the only problem. Mould is dangerous for our health and inhalation of fungus spores can be damaging, particularly for those with underlying respiratory conditions such as asthma, or those with weak immune systems such as the young or elderly.

In dark or moist areas mould can begin to multiply very quickly and before you know it can destroy your furnishings, ruining your carpet but also working its way across furniture, clothes, walls and other areas of your home given the chance. This is why it’s important to not only deal with mould as soon as you spot it but also find ways to prevent it from every occurring.

Mould develops in moist and humid environments so you need to try and prevent both those things. A common cause of mould in carpets is when a carpet comes into contact with liquid and it is not properly dried. Left to its own devices wet carpet fibres become a perfect breeding ground for mould fungus. So, if your carpet becomes wet then you need to dry it quickly and keep the area well ventilated. Try to avoid drying clothes in carpeted areas as the condensation can also encourage mould growth if the room is not properly ventilated.

Prevention is the best cure but if you’ve failed to stop mould from occurring then you need to know how to deal with it. The process of removing mould from your carpet can be quite complex and you might want to first consider either replacing the carpet or hiring a professional cleaning company to take care of it for you. However if you want to tackle the job yourself then these are some steps that you can follow which require little training.

First of all it’s important to remember that mould spores can be dangerous to our health so always wear protective clothing including facemasks, particularly if you have repertory problems. Before you get to work be sure to close all the doors of the affected room but open windows, as this allows proper ventilation but stops the mould fungus from travelling around your house extending the problem further.

If the weather is bright and sunny then you can take up your carpet and leave it outside to dry out. Alternatively pull the carpet up in affected areas and try and dry or remove any areas which are damaged. Now brush as much debris from surface of the carpet as you can and consider using a steam cleaner. Now scrub both sides of the carpet thoroughly before leaving it to dry out. A few hours later come back and apply an anti-fungal solution which will help to destroy the fungus in your carpet. Now once this has dried apply an anti-mould spray on both sides of the carpet and allow it to dry out once again. This deep cleaning should help to eliminate the mould but if you notice your mould is continuing to come back then you may need to take further action. It could be that there is a leak causing the carpet to become too wet, or it might be that the mould spores are simply too settled in to be removed and a new carpet is required.

For more tips and advice on carpet maintenance, cleaning and suitability please visit our blog. Alternatively visit us at our showroom on Outer Circle Road, Lincoln or call us now on 01522 524374 to speak to one of our team.

HELP! my wooden floor is squeaking!

clip_image002Are squeaky floorboards keeping you awake at night? Here we look at a few fast fixes to put your mind at ease.

Wooden flooring is porous in nature which means that it absorbs moisture. With time this added moisture can cause the flooring to expand by swelling. Then, when the moisture leaves, it causes the flooring to shrink. This in turn can cause gaps between floorboards which pockets of air can travel through, causing a ‘squeak’ when weight is pressed on them. But how do you put a stop to it?

WD-40
WD-40 is the traditional go-to product for squeaky hinges but it works for floorboards too. To get started you must find the offending floorboard that’s making the noise. What you’ll notice is that there is a slight gap between the joining of the offending floor board and one of the floor boards either side. If you think you might have more than one squeaky floorboard then walk around your entire room and mark down with chalk or pencil the floorboards which are causing you problems. Now simply spray your WD-40 into the gap and begin pressing down on the floorboards to allow it to seep into the crack. Then just wipe it down to get rid of any excess fluid and repeat the whole process as necessary as you walk around your room.

Baking Soda & Baby Powder
You shouldn’t have to replace your flooring just because it’s beginning to squeak at you. Solid wood flooring isn’t the cheapest of flooring but it is long lasting and robust provided you care for it properly. If you don’t have any WD-40 to hand then you can also use powdered substances like baking soda, talcum powder and baby powder to fill the crack. Simply follow the instructions above, being sure to wipe away any excess powder afterwards. Be careful not to use a vacuum on it too soon afterwards because you’ll likely undo all your hard work.

More permanent fixes
If you find that simply lubricating the gaps between your floorboards isn’t doing the track then there are some longer lasting repairs that you can undertake that fall short of replacing your flooring. Look for a gap between the joist and the subfloor and insert a wooden shim until it feels nice and tight. You can also try inserting wood screws from below which are fixed through the sub floor and just below the surface of the finished flooring.

For more tips on cleaning and maintaining your floors, please read our free guide on how to maintain and clean your floors and carpets.

The dos and don’ts of choosing flooring for a conservatory

For many people, the modern conservatory is the perfect way to create more space in your home without the need for relocation, providing you with a perfect place to soak up the sun in the warmer months of the year. What’s more, in 60% of cases you don’t require planning permission to have one built and they can add a great deal of value to your property if executed properly.

When it comes to the flooring in your conservatory, it’s important that you think carefully about which option you choose. Wooden flooring is one of the most attractive and timeless types of flooring out there but sadly it’s not always the best option for a conservatory setting. This is because the heat in a conservatory can fluctuate from hot to cold which spells bad news for wooden floors.  Under the stress of temperature fluctuations wood will naturally expand and contract which can eventually lead to cracking and warping, ruining your wonderful flooring. If you have your heart set on the rustic beauty of a wooden floor then your best bet is to opt for an engineered wooden floor instead which closely mimics the look and feel of a wooden floor but has less of the vulnerabilities that make wooden flooring unsuitable for a conservatory.

Carpet is a popular option throughout our homes and is suited to almost every room in the home and the conservatory is no different. Carpets might be tougher to clean but they are comfortable and warm which might make it more likely for your conservatory to get usage in the colder months of the year as it will hold the heat much better than some other types of flooring. The only downside for choosing carpet in a conservatory is that carpet fibres can show up dirt quite easily. Because of this you might want to have a doormat to catch any debris on the way in and out.

Vinyl flooring is another popular option for home owners – due in part to its low maintenance properties. Vinyl flooring just needs a good sweep or dry mop, so you don’t have to worry about treading in soil and dirt from the garden as you can just wipe it away. However, that said vinyl flooring can be susceptible to strong sunshine so think carefully before you place it in a south facing conservatory.

Another type of flooring which you might consider for a conservatory is that of laminate flooring. Laminate flooring is easy to clean, available in a wide range of different styles and is a cost effective choice. While laminate flooring is a good option for conservatories, particularly if you are trying to save money, it is important not to skimp too much on the cost. Quality laminate flooring is less likely to fade in the abundance of sunlight that your conservatory receives and should come with a long warrantee.
  
Our team at Lincolnshire Flooring can help you to find the perfect type of flooring for your conservatory. For help and advice please call us on 01522 524374 or visit us at our show room on Outer Circle Road, Lincoln.

Why good quality flooring is important for buy-to-let properties

Buying property in order to let it out has grown in popularity in recent years, spurred on by a healthy rental market with increasing demand for homes and only a limited supply of them available. Many people are now turning to letting property as a way of investing for their futures, ensuring that they can live comfortably in their later years. Those who have found success with buy-to-let properties have even begun purchasing more property and turning their secondary earner into a full-time career.

However, the process of buying property to let it is not always simple and it is rare for a landlord to make it through the experience without a few headaches along the way. From troublesome tenants to confusing health and safety regulations and expensive agency fees, there are lots of things to get your head around.

A key part of preparing your buy-to-let property is deciding how you will furnish and decorate it. It’s important to narrow down who exactly your target market is. If you make your property too neutral then you run the risk of appealing to nobody, so it’s important to have an idea of the type of tenant you would like.

Flooring options
When it comes to choosing flooring for a buy-to-let property you need to think carefully. A light carpet may well make a room seem large and sterile, but it is likely to cost you a lot of money in the long run. Carpeted flooring is not necessarily a bad choice for a rental property but those with a light colour palette are more likely to need replacing. The fibres of the carpet will show dirt more easily and are tougher to remove stains from so overtime may begin to look very dirty. While as a homeowner you might take extra caution to look after a light coloured carpet, a tenant might not always be so cautious. So, instead of choosing light colours like white or magnolia, you should opt for shades of brown and grey which might be a little bit more forgiving to spillages of food or drink.

Another aspect that is important to consider is the cost of your flooring. While it is important not to overspend on your property, you should know that choosing flooring that is cheap may come back to bite you in the behind. You may end up forking out for new flooring on a regular basis, something that will become tiresome particularly if you own a property where there is a high turnover of tenants such as in student accommodation. Instead, it might be better to opt for mid-range flooring which will last longer, require little maintenance and be highly durable.

Here at Lincolnshire Flooring we regularly source flooring for landlords of buy-to-let properties and can advise you on the best types of flooring available to you within your budget. For more advice call us on 01522 524 374 or visit us at our showroom on Outer Circle Road, Lincoln, LN2 4HU.