Your recent investment into carpeting for your home might mean that every room looks and feels like new. But a threat could be lurking which could cause the complete destruction of your brand new carpeting in just a few years’ time: the carpet beetle.
Otherwise known as the woolly bear and by its scientific name Anthrenus verbasci, the carpet beetle hatches in spring and early summer, feeding on the fibres it finds in carpeting and other materials like natural wool and the curtains in your home. Left to nature, a carpet beetle infestation can spread quickly throughout the home.
What Does a Carpet Beetle Look Like?
When in larval form, a carpet beetle is between 4 and 5 mm long, and has a hairy body with light and dark brown striping. At this stage, the carpet beetle’s front is narrower than its back, and can be identified by the three tufts on its rear abdomen, which it uses in defence.
The adult carpet beetle measures between 1, 7 and 3.5 mm long. The top of the beetle is scaled, with yellow-brown and white-brown colouring. Adults also have segmented antennae.
How Carpet Beetles Find their way Inside
While adult carpet beetles feed outdoors on nectar and pollen; the larvae tend to feed on foods found in the pantry such as animal food and seeds. Females will lay their eggs where an abundant food source for their larvae exists, and will enter the home through openings like doors and windows.
However, carpet beetles, due to their affinity for pollen and nectar can also enter a home via cut flowers and plants from the garden. Still others will live in animal nests, chimneys and walls and feed on insects and animals.
Bird nests are a common location for carpet beetles. If there is a tree located near an open window, it’s relatively easy for a carpet beetle to make their way into your home and your carpets.
Life Cycle and Fibre Preference
Carpet beetles can take up to three years to move from the larval to the adult stage. This is dependent on environmental conditions such as temperature and moisture. This means that, if larvae exist in your home, they have a lot of time as well as more than enough food such as carpet fibres and pantry items to sustain them.
Hatching in the spring as well as early summer, carpet beetles will continue to feed until they enter the dormant stage, which occurs just before the pupa stage in their development.
Carpet beetles in the larval stage prefer to dine on natural fibres like wool, from which many brands like Crucial Trading Carpets are made. However, they will also feed on synthetic fibres if these have been soiled by food, oil or perspiration.
When they mature and emerge between May and August, they cease to be a threat to carpets and other fibres, as the adult beetle’s diet is the nectar from flowers.
How To Eliminate Carpet Beetles
As long as it has been identified early enough and a thorough inspection conducted, carpet beetle infestations are relatively easy to treat. A full plan includes the application of a residual insecticide, along with regular vacuuming. For linens and clothing, dry cleaning and airing out is the recommended treatment.
It usually requires a few hours to spray a home for carpet beetles, and so it may be necessary to leave your home until the treated areas have dried.
Another way to rid yourself of carpet beetles is to prevent them. Checking lofts and eaves for abandoned nests and dead birds, and then removing them is one way to prevent an infestation. It can also help to ensure that any fluff or debris is cleared from carpeting, upholstery, shelves, floorboards and cupboards.
The nicer weather may have got you thinking about what you can change around your home. If you want to make a change without busting your budget, there is an effective way to do it: by revamping your stairs. The staircase is usually a home’s central feature, and by redesigning it, you can make a huge impact on how your home’s hallway or entrance looks.
Something Different: Laminate Flooring
Usually, carpet is chosen for staircases because it allows for added comfort as well as more grip for the elimination of slips. But laminate flooring is just as viable an option as carpeting for your staircase. Applying it to your staircase has several benefits:
A Fashionable Touch
Installing laminate flooring onto your stairs will give them a modern appearance, as well as help them look cleaner and more defined. But there are also other advantages. Laminate flooring on stairs means they will be far easier to clean. If anything is spilled, they need only be wiped with a damp cloth. Also, laminate is incredibly durable, and so will be able to handle the heavy foot traffic your stairs endure.
Lots of Options
Whatever your home’s colour scheme, there is very likely to be a laminate that goes with it. There are hundreds of colours to choose from, and just as many styles and finishes. You can make your stairs look like they’re made from virtually anything, including expensive wood, thanks to the options available with Karndean flooring.
To ensure that your flooring is safe for your staircase, it’s best to choose laminate with some texture that is matte in appearance.
Tips and information about Fitting Laminate on your Stairs
There are several ways to fit laminate onto stairs. It may be that professional installation is best for you if you haven’t done this particular kind of installation previously. Of course, you can certainly install laminate on your own, as long as you keep the following tips top of mind.
Parts of a Stair
By understanding the parts that make up a staircase, you can be better able to understand installation instructions.
The part of the stair you step on when ascending or descending is known as the tread. The piece which lies between the tread you’re on and the next step is known as the riser. The board at the side of the staircase that runs all the way up is called the stringer, and the stair nose is at the front of the tread, and usually overhangs the riser by approximately one inch.
Wait Before you Install
When installing any kind of laminate, it’s important to give it time to adjust to your home’s temperature and humidity. This will ensure that no contracting, expanding or warping of the laminate occurs. Once your flooring is in your home, you must unpack it and pile the flooring in an open and airy space for 48 hours.
Begin from the Top
When starting your installation, it’s a good idea to start at the top. Not only is this safer, but it will avoid you having to stand on newly-installed laminate. Also, by ending at the bottom you can keep away from the stairs until they’ve had time to settle.
One important consideration will be whether or not your stairs have an overhang, otherwise known as a stair nose. If they do, there are two options: you can either remove them altogether by cutting them off, or you can even up the space between the overhang and the riser by nailing a piece of plywood to the riser to fill up the space. Both of these options will need to be done before you begin installing your laminate.
The best idea before doing this kind of installation is to ensure that you are confident and sure about what you’re doing. If you aren’t, you can always call one of our local flooring experts to come and fit your laminate for you.
When you want a completely new look for one or more rooms in your home, you will likely think of renovations. However, knocking down walls and creating new rooms can be prohibitively expensive. Thankfully, there is another way to make an impact in your home, and that’s to renovate with flooring. With the right kind of flooring, you can not only help make a small room appear larger, but also give it the look and feel of a brand new room.
Carpet Tiles and Vinyl Flooring
One way to change the look of your room is to use carpet tiles. But it’s the size of those tiles which will make the difference. Choosing larger carpet tiles will increase the perceived square footage of the room. The same rule applies to vinyl floors. The larger the pattern, the larger the room will appear to be.
Dare to be Dark
If you wish to have wood or imitation wood flooring in your room, you might want to consider the benefits of going with a darker colour. Although it’s true that darker colours can make a space look smaller, this depends on where the dark colour is placed.
If dark wood flooring is paired with the right colour for the walls, dark flooring can add lots of drama and increase a room’s perceived size. Rich colours like those found in cherry and walnut work very well with paint in a cool shade. Even more perceived square footage will be the result if you choose to paint or add crown moulding in a lighter shade than that of your walls, as this will draw the eye upward.
If the room you wish to renovate with flooring is next to another, using the same type of flooring in both rooms will add consistency and continuity, which can also make a room appear to be larger than it is. You might also wish to consider using the same design elements in the same colour scheme for both rooms, as this can also help with the perception of space.
Even if you need to change the type of flooring, you can still achieve continuity by choosing colours that are in the same range as what you selected for the other room.
Width and Direction
Another way to increase the size of a room is to increase the perception of its width. This can be done in two ways with real or engineered wood flooring as well as stone-look vinyl. First, you’ll want to choose pieces or planks that are as wide as possible. Wider pieces mean fewer seams between them. And fewer seams increases the perception of a more open pattern and thus, more space.
Narrow rooms can get an instant facelift by laying flooring planks parallel to the room’s longest wall. When flooring serves as the running board for a room, the room will appear to be longer, as the eye will be naturally drawn along the longest wall.
Laying flooring diagonally can also make a room appear to be larger. And the best thing is that this trick works for most types of flooring, whether wood, laminate or imitation stone vinyl. The eye is fooled into viewing the pattern in an unexpected way and from a different perspective. It also increases visual interest, something all homeowners hope to do with their renovations.
There is no way to increase a room’s actual size without knocking down a wall. The above tips are not only more affordable than a full-on renovation, but they will save you the hassle and cost of going out and purchasing new curtains and room accessories.
Carpet tiles continue to be an ideal alternative to traditional carpeting. Not only are carpet tiles easier to install, clean and wash than wall-to-wall Mayfield Carpets but they are also a great way to add lots of style to a room, thanks to the many colours and styles that are available. Carpet tiles are also incredibly versatile, due to their ability to be moved, removed and replaced, which is especially convenient if an accident occurs that ruins the carpeting. Instead of having to replace the carpet in the entire room, you only need to replace a few tiles.
Carpet tiles are ideal for anyone having a small budget and little or no traditional carpet installation experience who wishes to change up a room’s look. Even the most inexperienced homeowner can achieve complete installation of carpet tiles in under a day.
Step 1 – Getting the Square Footage
First of all, you’ll need to determine how many tiles you’ll require for your room. This will require getting the room’s square footage. To do this, you simply multiply the width of your room by its length. Then, consult your nearest carpeting store, where you can either try and determine how many tiles you’ll need on your own, or speak with an experienced installer to get the right number.
One great tip is to purchase more tiles than you need. This will allow you to have extras on hand should damage occur in the future.
Step 2 – Cleaning
Before installing flooring of any kind, the floor needs to be prepared. For the installation of carpet tiles, this means removing any old rugs or carpeting, moving any furniture completely out of the room and then vacuuming the floor to ensure that no dirt is left behind. This will leave you with a completely clean floor for your installation.
Step 3 – Decide on a Pattern and Locate the Room’s Centre
Who said that carpet tiles can’t be laid in a pattern? There are numerous potential patterns that your carpet tiles can take on, and the only limit is your imagination. If you’ve decided on a pattern, you will need to decide how you want it to look. Often, this will mean laying your tiles from the centre of the room. To find the centre, each wall will need to be measured and then divided by two. You can use a pencil to mark each wall’s halfway point. Then, take a chalk line and, from the mark you made on each wall, find out where the lines meet. This is the exact centre.
Step 4 – Placement
Look at the chalk like you just made, and then place your tile at the intersection of the two lines. Your tile should be evenly placed on both lines. To make sure everything is the way you want it, it’s a good idea not to adhere the tiles to the floor as yet. Instead, lay them out to confirm they are aligned correctly. Ensure they are fitted together tightly, and check for any arrows on the tiles, as this will indicate the direction in which they should be laid. Continue laying tiles in this direction until the last complete tile is laid.
Step 5 – Edge Fittings
The edges of your carpet tiles may require cutting to fit them properly at room’s edge. This can be done by flipping the tile upside down and then putting it underneath the last complete tile in a row, marking where the latter ends. Then, use a knife and carpenter’s square to cut the tile, and ensure you are cutting away from the floor and on a hard surface.
Step 6 – Final Installation
Once you’ve checked your pattern and the alignment of the individual tiles, it’s time to install them. Depending on the tiles you’ve chosen, all that may be needed is to remove the adhesive backing before fixing them to your floor. Others may require a bit more work to fix properly.
Before you know it, your room will have a completely different look with a stylish design that can be changed or easily replaced when you want something different or accidental damage has occurred.