Wednesday, 24 April 2013

When Carpet needs to be Tougher than Tough

We work with a youth club for teenagers so you can imagine the wear and tear the flooring gets. They used to have a wooden floor which was great for being tough, sturdy and easy to clean but there were problems. The noise was a real issue, the sound just echoed and bounced around the room, you couldn't hear yourself think, and with a mix of kids wanting to do different things, it was hard on those who wanted to chat or do a craft project in peace when others were doing a noisier activity. It also wasn't great from a health and safety perspective; as much as you tell the kids not to run around and to be careful there were often tumbles and a fall on wood can be quite nasty. There was one incident when someone spilt a drink on the floor. It wasn't cleaned up quick enough and another child slipped on it and fractured their wrist. Of course you don't want kids getting hurt, but it also puts you in danger of being sued by an angry parent who thinks their child has been hurt due to your negligence.

It was this incident that made the club organisers decide that something needed to be done. They'd recently had a fund raising event and so we decided that new flooring would be a good use for the money raised.  They looked into lino but were worried both about it getting scratched and looking unsightly, and it becoming torn and being difficult to repair and a tripping hazard. They had kind of dismissed carpet as not being hard wearing enough, but after seaking to us about tough flooring solutions they decided upon commercial contract carpeting. They read that it is used in busy offices, healthcare environments, and hotels, but when they saw that it was also used in schools they knew it would be ideal. If it could stand up to several hundred kids walking over it every day, then it would be fine for their lot! 

They talked through the youth club's needs until we fully understood their requirements. They chose a nice dark blue carpet. They had their new carpet fitted which didn't take long at all; it was all done and dusted within an hour or so. 

Their Feedback...  

"Well it's been amazing. A year later and it still looks like new. It's so easy to clean, spills seem to sit on the surface rather than soaking into the pile. It's very tough and hard wearing, but is soft enough to sit on. The main benefit has been the noise reduction though. It's like a different building which is great for the kids, and also for the sanity of the staff!"

BirchCarpets' photostream

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See the Birch Carpets team in action! Our Flickr galleries are packed full of photos from the team... More to follow.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

A Quick Guide to Adhesives

Wondering which adhesive is right for your job? Our quick guide may help you decide:

Acrylic / Resin: great for PVC and most types of modern flooring

Bitumen: A tar like material with a high degree of moisture resistance, which is ideal for damp-proof membranes, tiles, wood blocks and mosaics.

Epoxy Resin: This is ideal for environments such as conservatories, wet rooms such as bathrooms, showers and kitchens and exterior installations.

Polyurethane: Great for wooden floors, thanks to its ability to bond rapidly.

Polyvinyl: Used commonly for close fitting joints in timber and laminate flooring.

Tackifier: Ideal adhesive for carpets, this is designed to increase the tackiness of an adhesive.

Water Based: To avoid odours and flammability common with chemical adhesives, many different types of adhesive are now water based.

If you would like to learn more about choosing the right adhesive for your carpets please visit the adhesiveadvice section on our website.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Giving your Office a Makeover

You work hard in your office, and you can be forgiven for just not noticing what it looks like to anyone coming in from the outside. When you're busy running a business it's easy to overlook the office d├ęcor and anything other than a quick clean and tidy can seem like a low priority, but if you have clients coming to your premises, creating a good impression really is important. You'll also feel more professional and find it easier to concentrate on your work if your office is smart, clean and tidy. Your staff will appreciate a more pleasant working environment too.

So why not invest some time into giving your office a makeover. Pick a time when you'll be causing the least disruption to your staff. Perhaps over a bank holiday weekend or during the Easter or Christmas holidays. A fresh coat of paint is cheap and gives a good result, the rooms will instantly look cleaner and brighter. A new carpet will also make a huge difference, good quality hard wearing commercial carpet tiles will be a good investment as they won't need replacing any time soon and it won't wear away and look scruffy. There are all sorts of great colours and patterns to choose from, and you can also opt for a stain resistant carpet. With your new carpet and walls you'll already see a massive difference.

Next consider your office furniture. If it's looking old and tired and you can afford to do so, new furniture will give your office a truly new look, however if you can't afford new furniture you could consider second hand furniture, or give that which you've already got a revamp with a coat of spray paint.

The layout of your office is important too. Position your desks so there aren't a lot of exposed wires trailing across the floor. In older buildings there can often be a lack of plug sockets, hailing back to the days before people had a whole host of electronic gadgets. If you suffer from this problem, it could be worth calling out an electrician to add in some new electrical sockets. It's not a huge job, and it won't be too much inconvenience if you've already got the room clear for your decorating and re-carpeting.

Perhaps you would like to create a little relaxation space or a meeting space within your office. This can be achieved easily in a small corner. Some nicely framed prints on the wall will add colour and interest to the room, and some potted plants. Choose fake ones if you know you'll forget to water them or if you don't get a lot of natural lighting in your office.