Flooring Tips Blog

You might have a lot of questions about interior design, carpet installation, tile installation, and flooring in general. There is a lot to know to do any flooring job right.

This blog gives flooring tips for some of the most frequent questions we get from folks in Fort Collins and the surrounding area.

COMMON MYTHS, PRACTICES, AND TACTICS.  Have you ever seen an ad for free pad or discounted installation? How can they do this–is it really free? Of course not! They are still paying their installers, as well as pad, and so are you–the end consumer. Even though they quote you a price for the pad and carpet, these so-called “freebies” are still being included in that inflated carpet, pad, price. They may even over-estimate the amount of flooring that you do need. Getting a comparable Free Estimate from a company without such gimmicks is always a good thing to do.

Carpet Buyers Fiber Guide – Which Fiber is Right for Your Home

When you’re beginning to look at carpet, there is no best choice. It’s all about finding the right carpet for you. A big factor is going to be the type of fiber. So what are the different fiber types? I will include a simple breakdown of the most common fibers used in carpet, and how they each effects a carpets performance. When choosing a carpet it is important to take into considerations the area it will be installed, and what kinds of wear it is the most likely to see.

There are three main fiber types seen in carpet. The highest end is generally considered to be wool, though there are some drawbacks to wool carpet, its look and feel can’t be duplicated. Wool is eco-friendly, warm, resilient, and stain resistant. Nylon is a great fiber for many of the same reasons, and its resilience and durability can’t be beat. Nylon carpet will hold up well in high traffic areas, and look great for a long time. Polyester can be separated into a couple categories, there is the polyester carpet from the days of yore, which is known for its short life, but the polyester seen in carpets today is a much better quality. Today’s polyester’s soft hand is a wonderful quality sought after by many carpet buyers. Also in the polyester category, but not quite a polyester, is the Mohawk patented fiber Sonora, which claims many of the benefits of nylon, but with the hand and stain resistance of polyester.


Wool carpets, aren’t seen nearly as often as polyester or nylon. One of the biggest reasons for this is the price. Wool is expensive. There are benefits that may offset the expense though for anyone looking into wool though, wool helps air quality, is non-allergenic, and is all natural. It ages well and can even develop a beautiful patina as time passes, adding character that is unseen in other carpets. Wool is flame resistant without additional treatment, reducing the chemicals one is exposed to in the home. It can help regulate humidity, as well as act as additional insulation for your home reducing the need to heat and cool a home.

There are some downsides to wool of course. The price is certainly a major one. Another is that as an all-natural staple fiber, wool is more susceptible to fading in direct sunlight. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight should be avoided. On wool carpets without a moth-proofing treatment, regular vacuuming, and use of cedar to repel moths is a good idea as well. Stain removal is not difficult, but wool carpet manufacturers will usually provide a list of how to clean particular spills, as wool is sensitive to some chemical treatments that nylon and polyester are not. Overall wool is a beautiful, smart, yet pricey option. The downsides are few, but it’s probably not the best option for a budget conscious family, or for rooms with constant sunlight exposure.


Generally Nylon is considered the best choice for durability, and appearance retention. It is the most commonly used fiber for carpet, and because of that has a wide variety of style availability. Nylon is not as soft as polyester in general, but depending on the how it is manufactured, it can be very soft.   Nylon has a wide price range as well, making it an option for most budgets. The colorfastness and stain resistance varies slightly but is overall very good. Nylon is the most durable carpet one can put in their home. Lifetime warranties are common for Nylon carpet, as well as 15 to 20-year soil, stain, and texture retention warranties. Nylon yarn retains its shape extremely well and is not known to mat and crush over time, like a polyester is likely to do.

Though nylon is not as stain resistant or soft as a polyester, with different treatments such as Stainmaster, it can perform just as well in those areas. The fiber naturally holds up against matting and crushing extremely well. It is however more expensive than polyester. Nylon is perfect just about anywhere in a home, but the budget-conscious may want to steer toward polyester in low traffic areas of the home that may not need as much resistance to matting and crushing.


Soft, colorful, stain resistant, fade resistant, and at a fantastic price point. Families, and people looking at stain resistance, and price above durability, should look at polyester. Polyester can also be made of post-consumer goods, which makes it a good eco-conscious decision.  Polyester may be the best choice for a customer who likes to change around styles more frequently, polyester is available at prices that would not be nearly so big of a deal to replace after seven to ten years. It is also a great option for customers with pets, as polyester is naturally stain resistant, which makes pet messes much easier to clean.

Polyester is not known for its durability but is much better with new technology. Factors such as higher density and yarn twist per inch can help to prevent matting and crushing, and may increase the life of the carpet. Soiling is another factor that is better than polyester was in the past. However, oil stains or soiling is still worse for polyester, because it is a petroleum (oil) based polymer it attracts like substances such as oil. So grease and polyester carpet together should be avoided. Regular cleaning and vacuuming will help maintain the appearance of a polyester carpet over time.

Arizona Tile- Over Series!

Over Series- Walnut, Installed at Raintree Athletic Club.

Over Series- Walnut, Installed at Raintree Athletic Club.

Brinker’s recently installed a new floor in the Raintree Althetic Club locker Room. This is a tile plank called the Over series from Arizona Tile.  The Over series is a rectified color body porcelain tile that looks like wood and has greater than 40% recycled content. The infinite nuances of natural wood give body and soul to the Over series. Striking chromatic juxtapositions bring out the grain of the natural material and are reflected in this porcelain tile that looks like wood. The wood effect is taken to its extremes in a wonderful design, specially created with digital technology. Basic tones are enriched by the occasional strong color for unusual, bright and charming designs. The surface of the tile has some slight undulation. Over is available in four sizes and eight colors. The four sizes can be used to create numerous patterns. This series is suitable for residential and commercial applications. Because this material is a porcelain product, minimal maintenance is required.

Recommended Applications:

Commercial & Residential
Interior & Exterior
Floor & Wall
Tub Surrounds & Showers



Vinyl Tile: Durable, Warm, and Versatile Option, With Little to No Downside.

Here at Brinker’s we have Armstrong’s Alterna, as well as Mannington’s Adura. These are the next generation of luxury vinyl tile. They are groutable, realistic, and durable. Not to be confused sheet vinyl, or an ordinary luxury vinyl tile, both Adura, and Alterna bear much resemblance to traditional ceramic, porcelain, or stone tiles.

These products both include a wear layer which—like sheet vinyl—allows for easy maintenance, and protects against surface damage. The high definition image is similar to porcelain, or ceramic tile glazes. Each tile also varies, so that your floor won’t end up with a noticeable repeated pattern. The tile body is a limestone composite. This tile body provides structural strength and durability. These tiles are hard, and water resistant, and still slightly more flexible than other tiles, so much of the breaking and chipping that can be seen in traditional tiles is virtually eliminated. The tile body also provides a textured surface comparable to other tiles. A bonus is that these tiles can be laid with or without grout.

Down sides? We haven’t found any! So how do these tiles look? We’ll let you decide:

Calypso Shell

Calypso Mist Calypso Shell

Allegheny Slate

Allegheny Slate

Allegheny Slate



Tile Inspiration!

Small Bathroom Design Ideas and Inspiration
Just because your bathroom is small, doesn’t mean you have to limit your creativity. We have many options available to update your small bathroom to fit you aesthetic perfectly. It is so easy to begin decision making with restrictions or rules in place that may or not be necessary. These restrictions might keep you from getting exactly what you want out of the design, and may be worth reevaluating.

Small Tiles for a Small Room Are Not Always Necessary:
When designing around a small bathroom, many people forego large wall tiles, for fear that the space will seem more cramped, but large 18” x 18”, or 12” x 24” tiles can do just the opposite, reducing grout lines and creating a wall with a more cohesive, and less busy look. There is also the added bonus of fewer areas of Grout to Clean. Another option is to mix large and small tiles to add visual interest. Such as in these bathroom designs:

shower wall large and small


Creative uses for Liners and Mosaics:
Liners can add a pop of color, tie in the colors and looks in the rest of the bathroom, and add visual interest to a simple design. Many people use a section of a mosaic or a liner in the wall tile in their shower, but that is not the only option.
Mixing multiple liners and mosaics can create a layered look using the visible lines to create interest. Horizontal lines in a design can make a room seem calm and restful and balanced, and vertical lines conversely give a feeling of attentiveness and energy. Drama can be added to a room by using diagonal lines that can give a design movement and flow. Tile lends itself to the use of lines for an overall design, and these lines can be emphasized further by using one or more tiles, liners, or strips of a mosaic. Additionally these can be used as a backsplash or to top off tile wainscoting to create a cohesive design. Below are photographs of just a few of the creative uses of these tiles.

flordia tile backsplash houzzlivinghouse pebble walllowes mosaic designporch texture mixes

Natural and Rustic Looks using Pebble Mosaics and Wood Plank Tiles:
Trending tile right now are a lot of looks that bring a little of the outdoors in to your home. This can be seen in wood look planks, as well as pebble mosaics. Many plank sized tiles have also made a surge in popularity that still give a hint of wood look without being overwhelmingly rustic. The design possibilities are just beginning to be explored, and seem limitless with these looks.
In the last few years, just about every tile company has come out with a wood look, or several. These tiles vary greatly in length, width, and design; allowing you to use them in many settings, to personalize your own design. The planks can be laid on the floor or on walls, as a decorative border, full surface, or anything in between.
The pebble mosaics are another popular trend that can be used in many contexts. The highly textured surface has a fantastic visual appeal, and can add a striking level of simplicity and elegance to a back splash wall, or floor. For anyone interested in putting this in a shower floor, or desiring a flatter surface, most of the pebble mosaics come sliced—so that the tops are flat, and even—as well.
These can be used together or by themselves to create looks from rustic, to tropical, to simple elegance. Rather than belaboring the point further, I’ll move on to the photos of some of the magnificent design possibilities.

woodlootshowerpebblemat organic floor

Beautiful Back Splash

Random Brick Liner Back Splash

Whether your looking to remodel in the kitchen or bathroom, creativity is endless when it comes to back splash. The current eye-catching trend is installing random brick, metal, travertine, or glass from counter to cabinet. There are so many different styles, shapes, colors, and combinations for any decorating style.  Back Splash can be a budget friendly accent or the rooms focal point.

32 fl. oz. bottle of Quickstep cleaner available in store for $11.99


Developed to effortlessly and hygienically clean and maintain Quick•Step® floors


Bliss Indulgence Carpet

Bliss by Beaulieu introduced their new carpet line, Indulgence, earlier this year.  It is advertised as “The softest carpet with the ultimate performance.”  There is no reason to sacrifice durability for the soft texture that everyone loves in carpet.  The features of this carpet include:

  • PermaSoft Solution Dyed Nylon for stain and fade resistance
  • Scotchgard Protector by 3M to repel stains and soiling
  • Magic Fresh Treatment reduces household odors similar to how baking soda eliminates odors in a refrigerator
  • Wrinkle Guard Protection is a special backing on the carpet that will guarantee your carpet to stay flat
  • Bliss Serenity Guarantee is a warranty protection package that allows for peace-of-mind with your new carpet

If you are looking to install luxury carpet in your home, come and look at the new Bliss Indulgence line in our showroom today and “Indulge” yourself.

Mullican Hardwood Chalmette Collection On Sale for $4.59/SF

Mullican Hardwood, Chalmette Collection is hand scrapped from our finest oak, hickory, maple, and walnut to offer you a traditional old world motif in a 1/2″ thick engineered hardwood floor.  Chalmette comes in a 5″ widths for a custom look certain to bring a special warmth and charm to any room.  Chalmette is on sale now for $4.59/SF.  We offer 4 sculpted styles: Hickory Sunset Sand, Maple Brownstone, Provincial Hickory, and Autumn Maple.  Come to the showroom to see our samples and talk to our knowledgeable staff for more information.

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Fashion Forward Flooring

The newest trend in hard surface flooring is LARGE format tiles.  These tiles have been very popular in Europe over the past decade or so.  Now, they are making their way to the United States and becoming more widespread than ever!

If you are looking for a modern or contemporary look to update your home or business, a large format tile is the perfect hard surface to consider.  Almost every manufacturer we have in our showroom is carrying these styles, so tile flooring for any budget is now an option for everyone.  Sizes of large format tiles can be square (24″ x 24″, 36″ x 36″, 48″ x 48″) or they can be rectangular in form (18″ x 24″, 18″ x 36″, 24″ x 36″, etc.).  Our installers are well trained to install any type of tile so there is no reason to be weary of installing the latest trend in your space.

Come in to our showroom today to look at tile that we have to offer and we are positive you will be impressed with your experience.

Encouraging Creativity

Alterna tile has been very popular recently and for excellent reasons.  This Armstrong product is an engineered product with a limestone core and non-porous surface. They are highly resilient, easy to install, and easy to maintain.  Recently, Alterna added new size options to their line.  Now tiles are offered in 16″ x 16″, 12″ x 12″, 12″ x 24″, 8″ x 16″, and 8″x 8″.  The tiles can be grouted in a variety of cool and warm colors, or they can be installed without any grout.  Installation possibilities are endless with this material!  Making a statement of your style in your home has never been simpler or more budget friendly.  Learn more at www.armstrong.com/alterna or come into our showroom and see this great product for yourself today.