Trusted Tips and Resources

Trusted Tips & Resources

Trusted Saskatoon Contractors K & S Contracting Share Information About Vermiculite Insulation

K & S Contracting specializes in foundation repair for homeowners across Saskatchewan, in addition, they also offer general contracting services to Saskatoon and surrounding area. In their latest Trusted Saskatoon contractor tip, K & S Contracting Trusted Saskatoon General Contractors and foundation specialists, discuss vermiculite insulation.

Vermiculite Insulation - What Is It?

If you have never seen vermiculite insulating an attic, it looks similar to little squares of coloured glass or little grey beads. Vermiculite is a naturally occurring mineral worldwide. When heated rapidly to high temperatures, this crystalline mineral expands into low density, accordion-like, golden brown strands. In fact, its worm-like shape is what gives vermiculite its name. The worms are broken into rectangular chunks about the size of the eraser on the end of a pencil. In addition to being light, vermiculite chunks are also absorbent and fire retardant. It also makes a good insulating material. 

Where Was It Used? 

Sold under various brand names, such as Zonolite Attic Insulation, the insulation came in big bags. Thousands of homeowners simply opened the bags and poured the vermiculite onto their attic floor and sometimes down exterior walls. It was generally not used in new construction.

When Was It Used?

Worldwide, vermiculite has been used in various industries as long ago as 1920. With the upsurge in homeownership during the baby boom, vermiculite insulation was a popular material in the 1950s and continued with the energy crisis into the late 1970s. In Canada, it was one of the insulating materials allowed under the Canadian Home Insulation Program from about 1976 to the mid-1980s. There have been some government provided grants offered to homeowners to increase insulation levels, reducing energy consumption. Worthwhile checking in to see what may be available. 

What Is The Problem?

The majority of the vermiculite used worldwide was from a mine in Libby, Montana, owned and operated since 1963 by W.R. Grace. The mine was closed in 1990. As well as being rich in vermiculite, this mine had the misfortune of having a deposit of tremolite, a type of asbestos. When the vermiculite was extracted, some tremolite came in with the mix. For Canadian use, the raw product from the Libby mine was shipped to Grace subsidiary F. Hyde processing plants in Montreal, St. Thomas, Ajax and Toronto, and Grant Industries in western Canada. At these plants, it was processed and sold as Zonolite.

What Is The Risk?

Asbestos minerals tend to separate into microscopic particles that become airborne and are easily inhaled. People exposed to asbestos in the workplace have developed several types of life-threatening diseases, including lung cancer. Workers in and around the Libby mine developed serious health problems. 

Like any hazards, length and intensity of exposure are major factors in the risk of asbestos-related respiratory illness. To assess the risk of asbestos exposure at a house, a sample of the vermiculite would need to be analyzed by a lab. Since most of the vermiculite used in Canada was taken from the Libby mine, the odds are quite good that there is asbestos in the vermiculite in Canadian attics.

The good news is that we don’t live in our attics. In addition, as long as it is undisturbed, neither the asbestos fibres bound up in the vermiculite chunks nor the dust will be released into the air. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in the U.S., “Most people who get asbestos-related diseases have been exposed to high levels of asbestos for a long time.” Lastly, most of the time the air in your house flows from the house into the attic, rather than into the house from the attic.

The bottom line is, like most household products that may contain asbestos, and there are many, doing nothing is often the best approach. Naturally, the risk of exposure increases with the amount of time spent in the attic.

Our Recommendations

If the attic or walls of a house contain vermiculite insulation, leave it alone. Avoid disturbing the material. Do not sweep it or vacuum it up. Do not store belongings in the attic.

If work is planned that involves these areas, for example installing pot-lights in a room below the attic, send a sample of the vermiculite to a private lab. Send several samples, and use a lab specializing in asbestos analysis. If it is found to contain asbestos, or if you just assume it does, precautions should be taken. The safest approach would be to have the insulation in the affected areas removed by a qualified environmental contractor.

For smaller jobs, it may be sufficient to isolate work areas with temporary barriers or enclosures to avoid spreading fibres, use disposable protective clothing, and use proper respiratory protection. An important note – disposable respirators or dust masks are not appropriate for asbestos. Again, it is best to consult a qualified contractor.

K & S Contracting is a Trusted Saskatoon General Contractor and foundation specialists

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Trusted Saskatoon Flooring Experts at Western Carpet One Design Your Home with Versatility in Mind

Western Carpet One Floor & Home is a locally owned and operated servicing Saskatoon and area since 1974. They are a full-service store offering no charge estimates and full installation on all flooring products. A newly expanded stunning showroom offers a comfortable shopping experience for every type of flooring. Whether it is Carpet, Hardwood, Ceramic Tile, Laminate flooring, Cork, Sheet vinyl or area rugs, you will find it at Western Carpet One Floor & Home a Trusted Saskatoon Flooring Store. In their latest Saskatoon flooring tip Western Carpet shares how they can help design your home.

To date, 2020 has put many things into perspective. The pandemic has caused many to reflect on how we live in and use our homes. Indeed, being catapulted into a new lifestyle—particularly when change happens quickly—really makes us question and evaluate the choices we have made.

Having a versatile home is more important now than ever. Life has been known to throw us curveballs, and adapting to them is nothing new. Whether it is an adult child who decides to now move back home, or a change in physical abilities as we age, there will always be surprises around every corner. For this reason, our homes need to remain adaptable, flexible and always functional, regardless of what life throws our way.

Building or remodelling a home that can evolve with you will maximize your property investment. An adaptable home is not only useful for the residents who currently live there (you!) but it also works wonders for the home's resale value when you choose to sell. Start by thinking about how your life can change over the next five, 10 or 15 years, and how your home can grow as you do.

Some of our clients ask us for permanent solutions to very temporary pain points that they experience during relatively short periods of their lives. A great example is young children. We often design spaces for families, and given that we also have families of our own, we understand the evolution of a growing child and the different stages that your home needs to cater to. The key is finding the right balance between what works now for your family and what will also still work for the family a few years down the road.

Multi-Functional Spare Room

Whether you’re living in a small condo or a five-bedroom home, maximizing your living area is always a smart move. For example, the guest bedroom. Do you host overnight stays often enough to warrant a dedicated room 365 days a year? Rather than giving up prime real estate for a room that will only be used twice a year, consider giving the space a dual purpose, such as a home-office-and-guest-room, all in one.

Bringing multi-function to the room will accommodate both occasional guests when they drop in, while offering year-round use for additional activities such as work, exercise, relaxation, crafts, sleeping, playing or storage.

Pro Tip: Murphy beds are one of our favorite multi-function pieces, and they've come a long way from the functional but aesthetically challenged design of the past. Modern styles offer both comfort and style, and can be easily integrated into custom cabinetry, seamlessly blending into the existing decor.

Forward-Thinking Bathroom

Adaptability means looking ahead to the future and anticipating the household's needs. For those who are reaching their retirement years and plan to age in place, the bathroom is ground zero for adaptation. Some thoughtful changes can bring peace of mind when elderly guests come to visit, or being prepared for when you might need a helping hand.

Contrary to popular belief, there are many ways to incorporate safety into a bathroom without making it look like something straight from a retirement home. Grab bars can be disguised as sleek towel bars. Instead of doorknobs, install levers. Flooring material can be selected for its non-slip properties. And barrier-free walk-in showers are actually aesthetically more pleasing than those with a sill.

Pro Tip: Consider integrated options such as safety features at the beginning of the construction process. For example, installing a grab bar horizontally instead of on a diagonal is only feasible if the wall is reinforced before it’s closed. Because studs are placed 16 inches apart, in order for an 18- or 24-inch grab bar to be secured to a stud, it usually has to be installed on an angle. Working with a design professional during the planning process will ensure your needs are factored into the design from the outset.

An evolving home is as much about having forethought as it is about creative flair and technical know-how. Working with a professional designer will ensure your needs are being met, both now and into the future.

Western Carpet One Floor & Home is a Trusted Saskatoon Flooring Store

Trusted Saskatoon Flooring Store Western Carpet One Share a Recent Project

Western Carpet One Floor & Home is a locally owned and operated servicing Saskatoon and area since 1974. They are a full-service store offering no charge estimates and full installation on all flooring products. A newly expanded stunning showroom offers a comfortable shopping experience for every type of flooring. Whether it is Carpet, Hardwood, Ceramic Tile, Laminate flooring, Cork, Sheet vinyl or area rugs, you will find it at Western Carpet One Floor & Home a Trusted Saskatoon Flooring Store. In their latest Saskatoon flooring tip Western Carpet shares a project that they did that was featured on the Karndean website.

The perfect mix of rustic and refined, the modern farmhouse trend has taken off over the last few years. Featuring clean, crisp lines and rustic elements throughout, you will find there are varieties of ways you can incorporate this design trend into your space. 

To help you get this look in your home, we have narrowed down our top four favourite features of the modern farmhouse look. As an added bonus, we had the pleasure of speaking with @farmhouseonfifth owner Kera Knight, and picked her brain on how she designed her home around this trend. From the striking white walls, to her light rustic floor, and everything in between, see how Kera displays our top four farmhouse features in her home.

Neutral Colour Palette

When designing your space to incorporate the modern farmhouse look, it is important to remember to stick to a neutral colour palette. Vibrant whites will add a touch of modernity, while rustic brown elements encapsulate the farmhouse feel. 
Kera chose our Karndean Washed Butternut design as the base of her home. Boasting a light hue with subtle grey undertones, this neutral floor compliments the modern farmhouse trend. Real butternut is soft, and hard to come by in its natural format, but our luxury vinyl Washed Butternut design is durable and can hold up to everyday wear and tear in a busy home.  Waterproof, durable, and most importantly, kid and pet friendly, our Washed Butternut visual not only suits this style with a refined rustic look, but will last a lifetime in Kera’s home. 

Mixed Materials Add Texture

While a neutral colour palette is key, mixing materials and textures is every designer's secret to adding warmth back into a space. Instead of leaving her exposed fireplace bricks their unfinished colour, Kera painted over them in a white shade to keep in tune with the neutral colour pallet. Atop the exposed white brick is a striking natural wood mantelpiece that becomes the focal point of the room. The mixture of light tones from the brick and warm browns from the wood adds visual interest to this space. An inexpensive way of incorporating texture into your space is with pillows, blankets, or accent chairs. Leather woven accent chairs, a cotton or linen sofa, and a cozy throw blanket creates depth and character. 

Touch of Nature

Adding natural touches doesn’t have to be expensive: an inexpensive option is greenery. In Kera’s space, the mixture of light, earthy tones from the exposed wood mantle and greenery placed atop emits a comforting feel as they symbolize our connection to nature. When selecting plant pots for your space, choose natural basket options made of wicker, or textured white stone pots. 

Shaker-style cabinetry

Shaker-style cabinets are a popular trend as they are versatile, and suit a multitude of interior styles. You may have seen them in kitchens, living rooms, and bathrooms alike. Kera’s white shaker style cabinets showcase the simplicity of modern design, while the recessed panelling and black hardware adds farmhouse charm. 

Western Carpet One Floor & Home is a Trusted Saskatoon Flooring Store

8 Reasons To Choose Carpet by Western Carpet One Trusted Saskatoon Flooring Experts

Western Carpet One Floor & Home is a locally owned and operated servicing Saskatoon and area since 1974. They are a full-service store offering no charge estimates and full installation on all flooring products. A newly expanded stunning showroom offers a comfortable shopping experience for every type of flooring. Whether it is Carpet, Hardwood, Ceramic Tile, Laminate flooring, Cork, Sheet vinyl or area rugs, you will find it at Western Carpet One Floor & Home a Trusted Saskatoon Flooring Store. In their latest Saskatoon flooring tip they share their expertise on choosing the right carpet for your home.  

Considering Carpet for your home?

 Today’s homeowners have a tremendous amount of striking, innovative flooring products to design with, including a multitude of hard surface options featuring hybrid constructions that can handle any room conditions. However, only one surface offers the inherent softness that we love to spend time on, dating back to our childhoods. That honor goes to the floor covering with US sales greater than the combined sales of all other flooring options: Carpet.

Whether you want added durability, stain resistance, sustainability, or style, you can use different fibers and carpet constructions to provide the desired comfort level and needed performance in your home. To show our appreciation for this top-selling surface, we present to you today our top 8 reasons to choose carpet!

1. Undeniable Softness

There’s no better feeling after a long day of work or family fun activities like stepping onto a plush, pristine carpet pile. If you have children, snuggling together on a soft carpet watching movies, reading books, and playing with toys, is what making memories is all about. Beyond the standard thick cut pile carpets, you can indulge in different carpet constructions for an even dreamier touch underfoot. In addition to the high-fashion appeal of Saxony, frieze, shag, and cable carpets, you will cherish their cloudlike textures every single night.

2Rich Color

Eye-catching carpet in your favorite rich color palette can truly help your home become an unforgettable, relaxing paradise. Modern yarn innovation and advanced color technology allow a carpet like Tigressá® Cherish to provide nature-inspired hues that will not fade over time. Similarly, Tigressa®SoftStyle is a premier nylon carpet with a unique fiber design that protects each fiber and allows for deeper, longer-lasting color.

3. Design Versatility

With a virtually unmatched selection of colors, patterns, and styles to design with, carpet allows homeowners to include exceptional softness in any room, from a relaxed vibe to an upscale feel. In fact, some carpet manufacturers even offer carpet color blends that you can create for a unique, soothing surface. The options are endless!

4. Stain Protection

Modern innovation means that you can have easy to clean carpet in a home with kids and pets, engineered for complete, permanent stain protection. A brand like Innovia Xtreme Clean™ features permanent pet-friendly technology designed to deny pet accidents from absorbing into the fiber and prevent pet-related odors completely! An option such as LEES® featuringUltra25 provides Ultra25® stain protection all the way through the carpet fiber for true peace of mind.

5. Customization

We all know that area rugs are perfect for instantly and easily adding a pop of color, pattern, texture, warmth, and softness, as well as protecting your floors underneath from wear-and-tear. If you have hard surface flooring, you can still choose carpet by creating a unique, custom area rug that matches your home décor exquisitely. Simply pick your favorite style of soft carpet and you can make sure your custom area rug is the perfect size for any room, space, or furniture layout.

6. Sound Insulation

When you combine soft carpet with your quality carpet pad choice, you create better sound insulation and noise reduction in your home. This can be an especially nifty feature if you have an active home with kids and pets, lessening the sound of boots, cleats, claws, and other assorted foot traffic! For best results, make sure to shop for a carpet pad that is purposefully engineered to absorb sound.  

7. Memory Foam

Actual carpet doesn’t technically feature memory foam (yes, the same as the mattresses and pillows we love!), but you can select memory foam carpet pad underneath for insanely cushioned floors. Perfect for luxuriously cozy bedrooms and living rooms, this cloud-like carpet pad softens every step while providing durability and extending the life of your carpet.

8. Eco-Friendly

Wool carpet has always been a renewable source for carpet, but today’s PET carpets can be sourced from recycled plastic bottles, thus diverting millions of pounds of bottles from landfills. These recycled carpet options are economical for families and are especially great choices for kid’s rooms and playrooms. In addition to answering the call for more environmentally-conscious options, carpet manufacturers have worked hard to decrease the presence of VOC’s in new carpet.

No matter what type of carpet you are ready to choose for your favorite room, explore our Healthier Living Flooring Installation System that uses exclusive HealthinEx® antimicrobial premium carpet cushion. You will receive industry-leading Double Wear and Double Texture Warranties on all carpet installed with our cushion!

Western Carpet One Floor & Home is a Trusted Saskatoon Flooring Store

Trusted Saskatoon Employment Agency Express Employment Share Tips On How To Build Employee Loyalty

Saskatoon’s only locally owned and operated staffing and recruitment agency, that offers a full scope of staffing and recruitment solutions from professional search and headhunting to temporary staffing. Express Employment Professionals allow clients to focus their efforts and time on being productive and doing what they do best – their business! Let their team focus on finding that right hire – that is what they do best! In their latest Saskatoon employment agency tip they share an article on building employee loyalty. 

Building Employee Loyalty. 

Maintaining a productive workforce is the key to having sustainable success in business. However, with companies adapting to the current economic climate due to closures and social distancing measures, keeping top talent can be difficult. Not only do organizations need to focus on recruiting methods when opening up this summer, they also need to develop best retention practices to ensure stability as the economy ramps back up in the third and fourth quarters.


And with the economy facing tremendous hurdles, one thing a company cannot afford to lose is its employees. According to a study by Employee Benefits News, the average cost of losing an employee is 33% of their annual salary. So, retention needs to remain a major focus.


One of the key measures to retaining workers is building employee loyalty. For businesses that furloughed workers amidst temporary closures, or had to lay off employees due to economic hardships, rebuilding loyalty is paramount to ramping up business efforts.


Enhance Employee Development Plans


Though some professional development plans may have been put on hold during these past few months, it’s more important than ever to pour energy back into your workforce. Employees want to work for a company that invests in their future. And the best way to do this is through education, cross-training or tuition subsidies to name a few.


According to a BlessingWhite study, most employees who were willing to quit their job cited lack of career opportunity, with 26% citing lack of growth opportunities. If your business doesn’t have the capital to invest in development now, what you do have is time and talent. An inexpensive way to utilize these tools is through mentoring programs and cross-training among employees. These are all great ways to engage your workforce and build excitement about their roles.


Continue to Create Culture


A company’s culture is the heartbeat of the organization. It ties everything within a business together, binding values, mission, work ethic, and environment. It is one of the most important tools a company has for retention and loyalty. In LinkedIn’s Workplace Culture report, 86% of Millennials say they would consider talking a pay cut to accept a position at a company with a mission and values that align with their own. And a Hays report found that 43% of workers are seeking a new job with culture being the main reason.


Employees want to work for a company they believe in and also work in an environment where they feel safe and secure. Your culture is your key to not only recruiting new talent this year but also retaining your current workforce.


Engage Your Employees through Empathy


If your business was forced to temporarily close or your workforce was required to work remotely during these past few months, you’re probably tasked with building re-entry plans to safely bring your team back to the workplace. While this will be a great time full of opportunity to increase production, it also may be a difficult time for your employees. They have developed new habits by adapting to the work-from-home environments and may have difficulty adjusting to the new normal. This can cause employee disengagement and emotional detachment. Because of this, empathetic leadership will be a major factor this year.


According to Businessolver, 93% of employees would stay with an empathetic employer while 82% would leave their position to work for a more empathetic company. Consider adopting a partial remote schedule so employees can easily adjust. Or offer new projects between teams to help create newness and excitement in the workplace. By understanding their needs and helping them through the transition, you will be able to not only build trust and engagement, but loyalty as well.


Express Employment Professionals allow clients to focus their efforts and time on being productive and doing what they do best – their business. Let their team focus on finding that right hire – that is what they do best!

Contact Hanif and the team today! Connecting employees with great companies like yours. 

'It's What They  Do'

Express Employment Saskatoon Your Trusted Saskatoon Headhunters and Employment Agency


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