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 share 6 Basement Ideas and Design Inspiration


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 finished basement ideas.

Basements can be tough rooms to decorate. They usually just turn into a random storage place with boxes, unused items and holiday decorations. Let's change that and make it a room you would actually enjoy living in. Here are some of our favorite basement design ideas:

Basement Idea #1: Playroom

If you have younger children a playroom is the perfect basement design idea for your home. Keeping all of their toys and games out of the way and in a neat and organized fashion creates a great use of your finished basement space.

Basement Idea #2: Game Room, Bar, or Theater

If you have older kids a game room or home theater may be a more functional basement design idea. A game room and theater is not only going to be fun for the kids but for you and any guests that come as well. These ideas are ways for you, your friends and family to enjoy themselves, relax and let out some stress. A game room doesn't have to consist of much. It can be as simple as a pool or Foosball table. Having a bar close to your game room would be a perfect place to entertain and enjoy each other's company. With a large screen with comfy seating right in the same area you will be all set to let loose, watch a movie, and play some games.

Basement Idea #3: Wine Cellar

If you are an avid wine lover, then this finished basement design idea is the one for you. Having a place to house your wine collection is a great way to make use of your basement space. Wine can take up a lot of room if you have enough of it, that is why having a way to store them all like with class refrigerated cabinets or wine racks will certainly come in handy.

Basement Idea #4: Home Office

Do you work from home but are lacking a dedicated room? Or do you simply need a quieter space to keep up with household bills? If your answer is yes, then a home office is the deal basement design idea for your home. A corner space allows you to get creative with your basement office design, while a nearby filing cabinet keeps all your paperwork hidden and organized.

Basement Idea #5: Home Gym

If you are someone who works out you may want to invest in your own personal gym. Finished basements typically offer ample space making it the ideal place for large pieces of exercise equipment and allowing for room to move freely no matter what type of workout you prefer.

Basement Idea #6: In-Law Suite

If you are someone who has your in-laws or guests over regularly but are currently limited on space, converting your basement into a in-law suite would be the best way to use that space.


 


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



Trusted Saskatoon Flooring Pros at Western Carpet One Explain Why Choose Stain-Resistant Carpet


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 why you should have stain-resistant carpet.

2020’s top flooring trends are all about combining both style and practicality. After all, what better way to enhance the look and feel of your home than by choosing products that work well with your life and your design goals? By incorporating both together, you’ll be happier, you’ll have more time, and you’ll fall more in love every day with your next flooring investment.




With improving technologies and ever-changing styles, it may seem like there are tons of products to choose from, but there’s one top option that never goes out of style: comfortable, functional carpet. We’ve put together a list of the top reasons why stain-resistant carpet could be just what you’re looking for this year. 


Stain Resistant Carpet and Tough Spills:

One of the many reasons why stain-resistant carpet is increasingly popular is because of its ability to handle nearly any spill, stain, or accident. While there’s no telling when or where a mishap will occur, you can bet that stain-resistant carpet will have your back. Mud tracked in from a guest’s shoes, babies throwing their cheerios on the ground, and dropping a glass of milk won’t wreak havoc when you choose one of our stain-resistant carpets. Unlike in year’s past where a liquid spill would mean a lifetime stain or a professional steam cleaning required, today’s carpet will be ready for whenever life happens – just one of the many reasons to opt for stain-resistant carpet this year! 


Durability of Stain Resistant Carpet:

Not only is stain-resistant carpet prepared for your life as far as spills and stains, but it’s also ready to take on the tough wear and tear of foot traffic, kids, and pets. With extra-durable fibers that are built-in to carpet from our exclusive brand, Relax, it’s…Lees®, you can trust that your home is ready for the most demanding days you’ve ever experienced. Days where puppies, babies, and teenagers make messes all at the same time won’t stand a chance against taking down these stain-resistant carpets. 


Low-maintenance Stain Resistant Carpet:

Who wants to spend hours taking care of a home? When you have other plans for the day, keeping your home in tip-top shape should be quick and easy. Consider stain-resistant carpets because they are low-maintenance, easy to clean, and provide effortless beauty to your space without the excessive cleaning routine. Thanks to the added stain-resistance in these carpets, you’ll be able to clean up spills that sit on top of the surface, rather than having to scrub deep into the fibers and carpet backing below. This makes for a simple cleaning regimen that won’t leave you exhausted at the end of a long day. 


Soft Stain Resistant Carpet:

Because stain-resistant carpet is a soft-surface flooring material, you can expect that it will add warmth, comfort, and luxury to any room. With added softness like the exclusive Innovia Xtreme Clean™ Dream technology, you’ll feel cozy and comfy in any room you install carpet. Your feet will thank you for a soft place to land at the beginning or end of any day, and your home may even experience improved energy efficiency. In the colder months, you won’t have to worry about wearing slippers or socks, as your soft stain resistant carpet will ensure that your floors are just as warm as they need to be. 


Stylish Designs:

While it’s true that stain-resistant carpet provides the practicality that most homes need, it’s also true that the available designs are made to complement nearly any design style. From modern, eclectic styles to bold, bright designs and everything in between, you may be surprised to find that you can achieve the design you’ve always dreamed of while also increasing the functionality of your home. You no longer have to choose between one or the other–you can get both!


Versatility of Installation:

Unlike when carpet first came out into the flooring world, today’s carpet can be installed in a multitude of areas. Because stain-resistant carpets are equipped with stain-fighting technology, increased durability, and impressive strength, they can be installed as not only a feature room flooring but also a whole-home solution. Living rooms, bedrooms, hallways, staircases, dining rooms, and offices are just a few examples of where stain-resistant carpet could be perfect for your home. Do you have a playroom for your young children? You can teach them how to crawl and walk on carpet, allowing them to experience a soft place to land, and you can do it all without worrying about what will happen if they spill their milk, which is seemingly inevitable! 


Finding ways to create a space that reflects not only your design goals, but also the needs of you, your family, and your pets, is increasingly important in today’s world. When it comes to selecting just one product, we recommend taking a look at your home’s activity levels, your desired look, and the features that you need out of your flooring. Stain-resistant carpet checks many of the most-needed boxes for homes that want to stay stylish, while also contributing to the overall warmth, visual appeal and practicality of a home. So, what is the best stain-resistant carpet for your home? Check out our exclusive brands, Relax, it’s Lees® and Innovia Touch Xtreme Clean™ to get a glimpse of the beauty and efficiency you could have in your space. 

 


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



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



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