We believe that assuring our customers long term satisfaction with their purchase is an important part of our business. We constantly strive to select merchandise and materials which will give you the best value and most satisfactory service. As with other products, quality and durability usually vary with price, but the information in this booklet can lengthen the life of merchandise from any price range.
This information is presented to help you obtain the best and longest service from your home furnishings investment.
UPHOLSTERED FURNITURE BUYING GUIDE
Wear: As a consumer you can choose furniture upholstered in thousands of fabrics made from many natural or synthetic fibers. The "best" fabric depends on the use that an item will receive. A heavily used "family room" or "TV chair" usually requires a long wearing, practical fabric. A less heavily used, more decorative, living room chair may give greater overall satisfaction in a more beautiful but less durable fabric.
Among the best fabric choices for durability are nubby textured tweeds, tightly woven friezes, and leather. Heavy grade corduroys, velvets. and microfiber suedes also wear well, but may show crushing or characteristic "shading." This shading or light and dark areas of pile surface results from differing levels of light reflection depending on the direction the pile is facing. On new pile fabric pieces, the pile is very uniform and shading is usually visible where panels of fabric curve around the piece, or when one cushion is reversed. When the piece is first used, some areas of pile will be bent and set in different directions, causing light or dark areas or marks to appear. Although these areas can be steamed and brushed back in the direction of the surrounding pile, it is better to just continue to use the piece until the pile crush is randomized into a normal velvet "patina." High strength fibers such as nylon polyester or olefin also increase fabric durability.
Price itself is not a good indication of durability, as some expensive "decorator fabrics" are woven more for appearance than for wear. Loosely woven patterned or textured fabrics often wear unevenly and tend to pull apart more easily at seams. Your sales person can usually assist you in comparing the relative durability of different fabrics. Welted seams, which are important to the attractiveness of many styles, will also wear more rapidly at contact points, and should be selected with caution for heavily used pieces.
Fading: Almost all fabrics and leathers will fade to some extent and should be protected from sunlight and strong chemicals. Print fabrics may lighten on the seat cushions due to wear as well as fading. Green, blue and red dyes are more sensitive to sun fading.
Shifting: Shifting of welding or seam lines on cushions is normal, and can be corrected by opening - but not removing - the zippered cover, and pulling the fabric back into alignment from both the inside and outside. Reversing cushions regularly helps reduce shifting, which is caused by friction of the fabric against the cushion core.
Stain Resistance: Most upholstery fabrics can now be covered with protective finishes to repel stains and olefin fabrics have high natural stain resistance. Even the resistant fabrics, however are susceptible to certain stains, dyes, bleaches and acids. Spills should be immediately removed from all fabrics. The stain repellent finishes are not permanent and will gradually wear off.
Stain Removal: All excess liquid should be blotted up. Water based stains should be blotted with a clean, damp (but not wet) cloth. Mild detergent solutions or foam upholstery cleaners may help. Always pretest for bleeding and shrinkage on a hidden area and don’t use water on rayon or natural fabrics. For larger or resistant stains, consult a professional upholstery cleaner.
Regular Care: Upholstery should be kept clean with regular vacuuming and light brushing. Never use a stiff fiber or metal brush. If cushions are reversible, reverse them regularly when cleaning. Cushion covers should not be removed and should never be removed and washed or dry cleaned.
Vinyl Fabrics: Plastics require special treatment. Although durable and stain resistant, the vinyl fabrics can be damaged by contact with oils or solvents. Oils, including body oil, should be removed regularly by washing with a preservative vinyl cleaner. If oils remain on vinyl, particularly on less expensive grades, it will harden and may eventually crack. Solvents such as nail polish, nail polish remover, paint thinners, tar, etc., may also dissolve or permanently stain vinyl. There is no guarantee on vinyl plastics against damage caused by oils, solvents or heat. Light colored vinyl, with printed grain textures will lighten in heavy wear areas as the printed overlay wears down. The "glove soft" plastics are more resistant to oils but are intentionally softer and thus more subject to cuts and abrasions.
Leathers: Upholstery leathers should be cleaned only with a damp cloth and a mild soap or upholstery grade leather cleaner. Non-finished "full aniline" or "naked" leathers will stain very easily and can fade very rapidly with ultraviolet light exposure.
Relaxed Upholstery Styles: Many of today's most popular upholstery styles are designed to have a casual, relaxed, slip cover like appearance. To achieve this look the designer may use loose, over sized, cushion covers, loose fabric panels, and deep unlined skirts which drape and fold. Many manufacturers also use soft un-backed or "washed" fabrics along with extra soft foam or thick fiber fill cushioning. With use, these styles will quickly become even more relaxed in appearance with wrinkles and folds in the fabric and a loose, comfortable shape to the cushions. If this is not the long term appearance you are seeking, please select an different more tightly structured style. Because the materials and tailoring are designed to create the relaxed look, these characteristics are considered normal and expected, and are NOT covered by manufacture or store warranties. Although some of these characteristics can be partially modified, there would be an additional modification charge for any added materials or labor.
WOOD FURNITURE BUYING GUIDE
Periodic dusting with a soft cloth, in the direction of the grain, will keep your wood furniture beautiful for many years. If a polished look is desired, use a good brand of furniture polish or wax. Avoid polishes containing silicone which may change the wood surface and reduce its lasting beauty. Although most wood furniture is protected by synthetic finishes, which resist water and alcohol damage, spills should be removed as soon as possible. Oil finish pieces should be periodically re-oiled with a polyurethane oil, such as Watco.
Furniture finishes can soften and be damaged by contact with solvents such as nail polish remover or strong cleaners such as "spray and wash" or dishwashing detergents. Vinyl plastic materials should never be placed in contact with finished wood surfaces because softening and imprinting will occur.
Because of its natural characteristics, slight swelling or warping will occur in wood components with changes in humidity. Wooden table leaves for example, should be stored under conditions similar to the table to prevent warping. Stain or paint finishes can fade, and prolonged exposure to sunlight should be avoided. Water will penetrate even finished wood surfaces and may cause whitening or separation of the finish and swelling or blistering of the wood surface.
Plastic laminate tops on tables and other items should be cleaned with a mild detergent solution. Abrasives, or polishes may change the surface texture or make it uneven. Sharp or abrasive items can scratch the toughest laminates. Exposure to water will swell the wooden core material.
Dining chairs are designed to be used with all four legs on the floor. Leaning back in chairs may result in joint failure or weakness. Breakage from excessive stress or misuse is not covered under warranty.
For maximum life, two sided innerspring mattresses should be turned over once a month for the first 6 months - then once every 3 months. Never bend, fold, or stand on edge of an innerspring mattress, since permanent damage may occur. Single sided mattresses should be rotated from end to end every 6 months. Foam mattresses don’t require turning, but can be damaged by sharp folding. Don’t move a large mattress by its handles, as they may pull out, and are not warranted.
A slight surface depression will usually occur in the area of the mattress where a person regularly lies, particularly with a "pillow top" or floating coil mattress. It usually will not affect the mattress’ comfort or performance. A mattress should always be used with a foundation of similar quality and age. The firmer a mattress is to begin with, the longer it will stay firm.
Solvents or cleaning fluid should not be used in cleaning mattresses as it may harden or dissolve the foam. A damp cloth or foam upholstery cleaner may be used for cleaning but mattresses or box springs should not be soaked.
Mattresses and box springs are guaranteed against manufacturing defects by the manufacturers for varying periods, depending on their quality. Check the mattress label or ask your sales person for specific guarantee information. Minor "body impressions" on softer top mattresses are normal, and are usually not covered by manufacturer warranties.
Flotation or air mattress cells are normally warranted only against manufacturing defects or leakage at welded seams. Any leakage location should be identified by the customer when bringing in a unit for exchange, and damage or splits in non-seam locations should be repaired with a vinyl patch kit.
As with upholstery fabrics, carpet should be selected for its wearability as well as its appearance. No carpet fiber, natural or synthetic, is perfect. Each of the fibers has particular advantages and disadvantages that should be matched to the combination of wearability, cleanability, style and price range you desire.
Regular Care: Carpeting, particularly in a high traffic area, receives harder wear than any other fabric product, and deserves good care if it is to give maximum service. Carpeting should be thoroughly vacuumed at least once a week to remove surface soil and grit. More frequent vacuuming is desirable in higher traffic areas. Use of a good upright vacuum with brushes and beater bar will minimize crushing and matting. The brush should be adjusted to a height that allows it to lightly comb the carpet pile.
Appearance Changes: Foot traffic, which causes the majority of soiling, also produces a physical change of the face yarns. As pointed out by the American Carpet Institute’s Technical Committee, "…Changes of carpet appearance due to change of texture, without significant fiber loss, take place from the start of the carpet service."
This is a normal occurrence and may be in the form of pile crushing, fuzzing or "blooming." The fiber and construction of the carpet determines the type and amount of distortion. To minimize changes in appearance, rearrange furniture where possible, to change the traffic pattern in the room. Throw rugs can be used to reduce wear in very high traffic areas, such as doorways, halls and in front of heavily used chairs.
Shedding or fluffing: These are common in new carpet, and result from loose bits of excess fiber working to the surface. This excess fiber will be eliminated by repeated vacuuming.
Sprouts: Sprouts or loose strands of carpet yarn should be cut off even with the length of the pile. If a long length of loop pile yarn is accidentally pulled loose, it can usually be re-tufted for a nominal charge.
Pilling: Pilling is little balls of fiber that sometimes form on the surface of smooth pile carpeting. They look like spiders and are called "pills." They are long fibers which have one end anchored tightly in the pile, while the other end has worn loose. The loose ends of many fibers then become tangled. On most carpets, the "pills" are broken off and can be picked up by vacuuming, but some fibers such as nylon may be so strong that they cannot be easily broken. The "pills" may either be pulled off or pulled up and the fibers cut loose.
Shampooing: Professional cleaning is recommended when needed to rejuvenate the carpet pile. Cleaning removes oily soil from the fibers which cannot be removed by regular vacuuming. It is important to select a cleaning process that does not wet the carpet backing and removes all detergent residue, since the residue can cause rapid re-soiling.
Wood Flooring: Wood floors must be protected from water and should be installed and maintained only with non-waterbase materials. Some wear, scratching, and minor splintering, especially on coarse grain woods, is normal on wood flooring. A good wood flooring protective finish should be applied regularly.
Seams and installation issues: Seam locations on wall to wall installation of almost any carpet will be slightly visible when your eye knows where to look for them. Loop pile or fine plush pile carpets will usually have the most visible seams, particularly when lighted by low angled daylight from windows or glass doors.
Mini blinds, fabric shades and other modern window coverings are intended for light duty residential use and may not be suitable for some applications. We do not recommend or warranty pull cord blinds or shades over 5’ high or 6’ wide. Window coverings are guaranteed against manufacturing defects by the manufacturers.
Our store warranties are in addition to each manufacturer’s product warranty, and provide secondary service coverage. Our warranty and almost all manufacturer’s warranties cover engineering, material or manufacturing defects, rather than normal wearing or aging of the product resulting from use. All items we carry, unless specified for commercial use, are engineered and warranted for normal residential use only. Items which receive heavy use or regular use by individuals over 250 pounds, will have shorter lives, and are not generally warranted against breakage or other damage even within the warranty period.