Categories Hardwood

Should I refinish or Replace My Hardwood Flooring?

If you have existing hardwood flooring that needs attention you may be wondering if you are better off to have it refinished or to just replace it. Refinishing and replacing both have their benefits and drawbacks and there is generally one option that is better for your flooring situation.

First, lets talk about what hardwood refinishing it. Refinishing your floor is when a layer is removed, sanded smooth and then a new finish coat is applied. This process can be done 4-5 times depending on the level of damage, the wear layer of the wood and additional factors. When the wood is sanded down to raw wood the imperfections like scratches, dents and marks are removed and the floor looks brand new again. Some stains cannot be removed so if your floor is badly stained this might be something to consider. Homeowners do have the option to add a stain to their flooring during this process to update the look.

When deciding whether to replace or refinish the biggest factor to consider is the condition of the existing floor. If it severely damaged, dented or marred it may not be a viable option for refinishing. If the floor is in good shape but has some common wear and tear it will likely be a great candidate for refinishing. Rot and water damage are two areas that are likely going to need to be replaced not refinished.

If you want to update the look of your home you will wanted to consider if a stain would do enough for you. If you want a totally different look like wider plank style, a different wood grain or other design idea you will need t consider replacing the floor.

A factor you made need to consider with the help of a flooring contractor is if the floor has been refinished previously and if it has enough wear layer remaining to be sanded again. Some older homes may have original flooring from the 1920s or even earlier, this is often the flooring that you find under carpet and cannot believe anyone covered it up. A professional can tell you if there is enough left to sand the floor again or if replacing is your only option.

Time may also be a factor you want to consider when deciding whether you would like to replace or refinish. If you have a lot of wood flooring that needs some attention and are considering a color change, some replacement boards for damaged areas and other steps to refinish the floor it could take a week while ripping the flooring out and installing new flooring may only take a few days. Some refinishing projects are faster than installs, it just depends on the circumstances. Also you will want to consider if you are reinstalling sand on site wood or if you would be installing engineered or prefinished.

Finally, budget is a big factor for most people. Refinishing generally is significantly cheaper than replacing. Some engineered products may be cheaper than a refinish but they likely would not boast the same quality and craftsmanship.

 

 

Categories Hardwood

Best Hardwood Flooring Options for Pet Owners

Pet owners often have a lot of questions about what flooring types will work best for their household. Dogs and cats have different affects on flooring types. Depending on the type of pets you have, and your family’s needs some flooring types may be better for you thank others.

A common question we get about wood flooring options is “What can I have that will look beautiful without scratching?”. It is possible to get beautiful wood flooring or wood look flooring that stands up to pets and other abuse. Engineered hardwood flooring is a durable beautiful option, wood look tile has become popular and there are lots of high-quality vinyl products that work great in households with pets. Vinyl flooring is popular because it is waterproof and makes cleaning up pet messes easy.

Carpet is a common option and can be good for pets because it does not scratch but does have some issue because it stains easily. Dogs will likely not do much damage to your carpets structure but may track mud in, have house breaking accidents or stain the carpet another way. Cats can be a bad combination with carpet because they may scratch the carpet and damage it. If you have allergies carpet is likely not a good choice. Pollen, dirt, and pet dander can all get trapped in the carpet and exasperate your allergies or asthma.

Laminate is another common choice of flooring. Many people like laminate because it is affordable, but it can scratch and stain. Depending on the quality of your laminate it may scratch and dent very easily. Also, laminate is made of synthetic products which can add more VOCs than other hard surface flooring. The gassing off period can be unhealthy for your pets.

Vinyl is another common option and its not the same vinyl your parents had installed. The luxury vinyl products are beautiful and look extremely high end. They are durable and waterproof which makes them a great option for a lot of people. Vinyl is also made of synthetic products and can have increased VOCs which you will want to consider. Formaldehyde is commonly found in these products.

Engineered hardwood flooring is one of the top choices for homes with pets. The finish coats that are used on engineered wood are extremely durable and are a great option for homes with pets. Homeowners also like that planks can be replaced as necessary with these types of flooring to ensure they can repair instead of replacing. Hardwood floors also are great for increasing the value of your home.

When choosing a flooring type, you will need to consider your lifestyle, the size of your pets, and any other factors that may affect your flooring. There are benefits and drawbacks to all flooring types and there are lots of varieties in each type of flooring to ensure you find something that meets your homes aesthetic.

There are some steps you can take to help keep your flooring in good shape with pets in your home. First you will want to make sure their water and food bowls are not set directly on the floor. The grit from the food and the moisture from the water can damage your floor. Second, keep litter boxes off the floor for the same reason, protecting your floor from debris is vital. Third, vacuum or sweep regularly. Removing dirt, grit and fur from the floor will keep the finish coat strong for a long time. Fourth, clean up any spills or accidents quickly. And finally, wipe your pets’ paws before they come in especially if they are dirty or wet.

Categories Hardwood

Best Ways to Clean Your Hardwood Floors

With your new hardwood floor installation, you want to make sure you are doing your very best to keep it in the best shape possible. As people have become more concerned with how they can maintain their home’s cleanliness, more people have wondered just what the best practices are when it comes to their hardwood. Getting your hardwood installed was a big decision, and you want to make sure you are protecting it as much as you can. Below, you’ll find an easy three step process to follow when it is time to clean your Colorado hardwood. We were able to use some infor from this article here for proper hardwood floor maintenance.

  1. The first step is to remove the largest particles (dust, pet hair, leaves brought in from outside, etc.) with a hardwood floor vacuum or by sweeping. In this step, it is important to only use a hardwood floor vacuum or a regular vacuum with the deactivated brush roll so that your flooring does not get scratched. Additionally, these types of vacuums tend to also have rubber wheels to prevent scratching as well.

 

In those high traffic areas of your home (think the kitchen, entryway, and hallway) it’s best to do this step once a day. While this might not be feasible all the time, the more frequently it’s able to occur, the better your hardwood will look in the long run – just remember the investment you made into your floor!

 

  1. The next step is to mop your Denver hardwood. It is up to you what type of cleaning solution you choose to use, just make sure that it is safe on hardwood floor installations! In fact, if you wanted to create a solution yourself, a simple mix of dish soap and water will suffice. Never shake this mixture but mix gently.

 

Rather than using a soaking wet mop to throw onto large sections of the floor, do small sections at a time with a damp mop. Not only will this dry quicker and allow you to use the room again sooner but will also protect the hardwood from getting soaked. When completing many things on your chore checklist in one day, clean the floors last so that they have time to dry before you need to walk on them again. Using too much water at once is quite possibly one of the worst things you can do for your flooring, as it can get in between the cracks in the wood and make it swell and warp underneath. Additionally, refrain from using any waxes or types of furniture sprays on your hardwood rather than a hardwood-recommended product. These will most likely void the warranty on your floors and will make them extremely slippery. To get your floors to dry faster, consider turning a fan on in the room.

 

  1. The last step is to take care of scratches or dullness. While a solution you provide for your floors often won’t be quite as good as a professional could do, it can be a good idea to do if your floors are still relatively new and there isn’t much damage to take care of. The longer it has been since your hardwood floor installation, the more scratches (and life!) happen. Knowing how to deal with them and minimize them is key. For some instances, using a liquid hardwood scratch concealer is a good, quick fix – simply follow the directions of the product you decide to use and let it dry!

 

Once your floor starts to look a little dull after a few years of heavy foot traffic, it is possible to restore a bit of that shine with a floor polish. Additionally, you can also use a floor wax to do the same thing while also cleaning them. If your floor is really starting to look worn, you might also consider refinishing it. This option we typically recommend leaving up to the experts as the flooring would need to be sanded and then have a new finish applied (sanding can create a lot of dust that most homeowners are not prepared for). If you’re not sure how to fix scratches or dullness – or simply don’t have the time – we encourage you to use a Colorado hardwood professional for the best results.

While these may seem like some very in-depth steps to follow, they become routine once you’ve followed them a few times! With the proper maintenance of your hardwood floors, you will be well on your way to enjoying them for many long years to come. Incorporating this cleaning regimen into your daily, weekly, and monthly chore list is a great way to keep your hardwood a priority in your home – and you should be able to tell a difference almost immediately. Another great way to cut down on the amount of dirt accumulating on your floors is by having some high-quality mats at all of your entrances. Taking off your shoes before you come inside is another way to reduce the dust and outside dirt from being tracked in, especially during stormy or snowy days when you are more likely to have wet shoes.

For those with animals, keeping your pets groomed with their nails cut is another preventative measure to maintain your floors. Taking the time to wipe your pet’s paws off before coming in from the outside will ensure dirt and mud aren’t tracked in. And lastly, keeping a mat underneath their water bowls will stop water from standing on the hardwood. Through only a few preventative steps, your hardwood is set up for a long healthy life! Because the actual installation of the hardwood has just as much impact as the maintenance of it, using a trusted hardwood installation company is crucial in the long run. If you are in need of new hardwood or simply have questions on the best way to take care of your new installation, feel free to give us a call! Being able to protect your floors is our favorite part about our business.

Categories Hardwood

Satin and Matte Are the Most Popular Hardwood Floor Sheens

When it comes to finishing a hardwood floor, gloss and semi-gloss have been the reigning champions for years. The choice for many homeowners has been between those two choices. Gloss is shiny and, when polished regularly, can look almost wet. Semi-gloss is shiny but not quite as ostentatious. Glossy is a way of making a statement; semi-gloss is sort of the standard look. However, that has been changing. Satin and matte are some of the most popular choices for new floors. There are reasons for that.

Aesthetic Reasons

For the most part, homeowners are choose satin and matte finishes for aesthetic reasons. Matte finishes look very good with distressed wood or with reclaimed wood. They also look great with a rustic look. A rustic, cabin look doesn’t quite lend itself to the highly polished look of gloss or semi-gloss. Satin finishes are not quite as flat as a matte finish. So, they could be something of a middle ground.

Satin and matte finishes lend themselves very well to dark floors as well. Dark floors are popular in hardwood floor trends. To capitalize on that, you could choose a matte finish for a gray or a whitewashed floor. That will give your floor a very 18th and 19th century look. Oftentimes, those floors were finished with wax or oil that breaks down over time. That’s why they often look unfinished or flat.

Practical Reasons

Homeowners are also choosing satin and matte for practical reasons. When your floor gets dirty, the dirt obscures some of the reflectiveness of the floor. That disruption is partially why your floor looks dusty when it is. Scratches do the same thing. Scratches from chair legs, dog claws, and other sources will mute a glossy finish. That is why a floor that is significantly scratched looks cloudy.

Satin and matte finishes don’t suffer from those conditions to nearly that extent. Matte finishes are already muted in terms of reflectiveness. So, dust and dirt won’t stand out very much. That’s not to say you’ll never need to clean your floor; obviously, you will have to keep it clean, but it won’t be as noticeable in between sweepings.

Scratches don’t show up as prominently either. Homeowners with dogs and cats are choosing satin and matte finishes so that they can go a little bit longer before they feel the need to refinish the floor.  These practical and aesthetic reasons are credited for the surge in flatter hardwood floor polishes.

There are many decisions to be made when installing or refinishing hardwood floors. Now you have another decision…matte or satin?

Categories Hardwood

True Black Is the Hottest Hardwood Flooring Trend

Interior design in general and hardwood flooring in specific are susceptible to going through different trends. Typically, what happens is some designer and/or company begins doing something new. Then, customers see it and start asking for it. Other companies begin imitating the style to please their customers. Soon, you have a full-blown trend. That’s what has happened with true black. For a long time, muted colors were very popular. Grays, tans, and browns grew in popularity for a long time. Greige became the most popular color for a while, as well. Greige is a blend of gray and beige. Finally, the trend has come to its fruition. True black is surging in popularity.

 

What is True Black?

 True black is exactly what it sounds like. True black is black that does not have influences from other colors. Black is thought of as one color, but in reality, it’s more of a spectrum of colors. There are cool blacks that trend towards very dark blues. There are warm blues that trend towards very dark red. True black, however, is completely black. It does not have any influences from other colors. It is the darkest possible color and the purest possible black. This is often achieved by several applications of true black stain.

True black began as a small movement, but it has been growing. Many customers are choosing true black for several reasons.

Why Choose True Black?

The first and most obvious reason to choose true black is because you want your floor to be black. Black goes well with just about any other color. You can offset your true black floor with bright colors on the walls and ceilings as well as bright furniture. You can also complement your true black with muted colors to create a generally muted look.

You can also choose true black for practical purposes. True black is often used when customers have damaged floors or when they have floors made of many different types of hardwood. Hardwoods, even the same species of hardwood from different batches, can be very diverse in their color and grain. If your floor planks don’t match, you can easily make them match by staining them true black. The richness of the stain will hide most differences. Furthermore, you can hide damage. For example, if the hardwood is scratched or stained, true black will cover those imperfections.

 

There are practical as well as aesthetic reasons that true black is the most popular hardwood flooring color for 2020. There are several exciting ways to get on this trend.

Categories Hardwood

Why Is It Called Barnwood If It Doesn’t Come From a Barn?

Reclaimed hardwood is very popular right now and has been for at least a decade. This is hardwood that has been used for one purpose and is then repurposed for use as hardwood flooring in a home. It could be hardwood flooring from a different home that is resold or could be something completely different. Whatever the case may be, the implication is typically that the wood has suffered from some weathering. The weathering is usually scratches, oil stains, milling marks, burns, and holes. Wood from barns is the iconic example of reclaimed hardwood. It has been exposed to the elements for years and years. Oftentimes, it was unfinished and exposed to the elements which amplifies the amount of weathering. So, barnwood is wood from barns. It’s also a classification of wood that simply looks like barnwood.

 

New Barnwood

 Barnwood doesn’t actually have to be from a barn anymore. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be reclaimed hardwood. It could be brand new wood that has been crafted to look as if it has been weathered. If you’re looking for this kind of wood, you can choose barnwood that is handcrafted or worked by a machine. That typically means that the wood is scraped and wire-brushed.

Scraping is a technique by which a draw knife is drawn over the wood. A draw knife is a knife with a handle on either side of it. The knife is then pulled over the surface of the wood to scrape away the layer of the surface. This is an older method for smoothing the wood. It smooths the wood but leaves behind a pattern of scrape marks. It was very common when hardwood floors were still processed by hand.

Wire brushing involves running a stiff-bristled metal brush over the wood. This scratches the wood in unique patterns. When done by hand, it creates unpredictable patterns through the wood. When done by machine, the patterns tend to be a little more uniform.

 

Buying Barnwood

 The easiest way to find barnwood is simply to buy it from a hardwood flooring supplier. Homeowners no longer have to go in search of old barns or antique homes undergoing remodeling. Now, barnwood can be bought brand new.  Many suppliers offer an option for what they call barnwood. Since there is no standard definition, each manufacturer will produce something slightly different. The basic contours will be the same, though.

Categories Hardwood

Satin and Matte Are the Most Popular Hardwood Floor Sheens

When it comes to finishing a hardwood floor, gloss and semi-gloss have been the reigning champions for years. The choice for many homeowners has been between those two choices. Gloss is shiny and, when polished regularly, can look almost wet. Semi-gloss is shiny but not quite as ostentatious. Glossy is a way of making a statement; semi-gloss is sort of the standard look. However, that has been changing. Satin and matte are some of the most popular choices for new floors. There are reasons for that.

 

Aesthetic Reasons

 For the most part, homeowners are choose satin and matte finishes for aesthetic reasons. Matte finishes look very good with distressed wood or with reclaimed wood. They also look great with a rustic look. A rustic, cabin look doesn’t quite lend itself to the highly polished look of gloss or semi-gloss. Satin finishes are not quite as flat as a matte finish. So, they could be something of a middle ground.

Satin and matte finishes lend themselves very well to dark floors as well. Dark floors are trending in popularity. To capitalize on that, you could choose a matte finish for a gray or a whitewashed floor. That will give your floor a very 18th and 19th century look. Oftentimes, those floors were finished with wax or oil that breaks down over time. That’s why they often look unfinished or flat.

 

Practical Reasons

 Homeowners are also choosing satin and matte for practical reasons. When your floor gets dirty, the dirt obscures some of the reflectiveness of the floor. That disruption is partially why your floor looks dusty when it is. Scratches do the same thing. Scratches from chair legs, dog claws, and other sources will mute a glossy finish. That is why a floor that is significantly scratched looks cloudy.

Satin and matte finishes don’t suffer from those conditions to nearly that extent. Matte finishes are already muted in terms of reflectiveness. So, dust and dirt won’t stand out very much. That’s not to say you’ll never need to clean your floor; obviously, you will have to keep it clean, but it won’t be as noticeable in between sweepings.

Scratches don’t show up as prominently either. Homeowners with dogs and cats are choosing satin and matte finishes so that they can go a little bit longer before they feel the need to refinish the floor.  These practical and aesthetic reasons are credited for the surge in flatter hardwood floor polishes.

Categories Hardwood

What is Whitewashing and Why is it Popular for Hardwood Floors?

For a very long time, whitewashing was the most popular and most affordable treatment for woods. Whitewashing forms a significant plot element in the adventures of the fictional character Tom Sawyer. It was how homeowners protected their wood from mold, mildew, and moisture. So, what is whitewashing? Why did it go out of favor, and why is it popular again?

 

What is Whitewashing?

 Whitewashing is similar to painting or finishing wood, but it’s different in a significant way. Whitewash is a mixture of lime and water. Lime is antibacterial, antimicrobial, and resists mold. To that end, homeowners would mix lime and water. They’d then apply that mixture to woods, especially wood that would be exposed to the elements. The mixture is called whitewash because it forms a chalky white liquid. The end result is a chalky white finish on wood. Those who have seen colonial houses from the Atlantic coast are likely familiar with the look of whitewashed hardwood floors. The porches on those classic homes were often whitewashed.

 

Why Did It Go Out of Favor?

 Whitewash fell out of favor for several different reasons. The simplest reason that whitewashing fell out of favor is that new products offered the ability to preserve wood in new ways. If everyone had a whitewashed hardwood floor, it became popular to have one that was finished differently. Also, whitewash has to be reapplied from time to time. Many people chose longer-lasting procedures.

 

Why Is It Popular Again?

 Whitewash is popular again for the reason that everything goes out of style and comes back in style. It was used as a necessity by homeowners for a very long time. When it was no longer a necessity, it fell out of favor. As such, it evokes the look of a certain time period. It is a classic look. Now, many homeowners want to recapture that classic, coastal look. If you want your home to look colonial and coastal, whitewashing the floor is a good way to create that look.

Furthermore, new processes have made whitewashing much easier to deal with. After the floor is whitewashed, you can then polyurethane it. Polyurethane is a liquid plastic that forms a protective shell over the floor. So, you won’t actually have to reapply the whitewash every few years as the homeowners used to. Now, you can whitewash it once and seal it. It will last for years and years with very little maintenance. It’s the look of a classic home with the ease of a modern one.

Categories Hardwood

Which Hardwood Floors Survive Dogs The Best?

If hardwood floors have any natural enemies, it is dogs and cats. Dogs are typically a little harder on floors than cats. They’re more likely to urinate on a hardwood floor, and they tend to be heavier. So, their claws dig a little bit harder into the hardwood floor. Those are the two big dangers from dogs: claws and urine. There are different woods that will hold up better than others; there are also ways to treat the wood to make it more resilient to dogs.

Harder Woods

Woods are ranked on the janka hardness scale. The scale measures the amount of force needed to press a metal ball halfway into the wood. It’s an odd way to measure but all you need to know is where the woods rank relative to others. White oak and red oak are generally around 1300 on the hardness scale. They are the most common woods used for American hardwood floors. For contrast, Brazilian cherry is 2820 on the scale. Brazilian ebony is near the top of the scale. It’s about 3692 on the scale.

For several reasons, imported hardwoods tend to be harder than domestic woods. So, if you’re looking for the wood most likely to stand up to your dog the longest, you should probably consider something imported. Hickory is typically 1820 on the hardness scale; it’s the hardest widely-available flooring wood produced in the United States.

Textured Finishes

Textured woods are a little easier on the dogs because they have something that they can grip as they walk around. Your dogs will be less likely to slide around on the floor trying to gain traction. Your dogs will likely appreciate that, but also, it will reduce the amount of scratching. Textured woods that have knots, burls, holes, and scrapes will also hide scratches better. If the hardwood is already finished in a rustic manner, a few more scratches won’t stand out.

Prefinished or Site-Finished?

Prefinished hardwood is finished in a factory with a heat-cured finish. It is a very thick and hard finish that will last a long time. A site-finished floor is typically finished with polyurethane that will scratch a little bit faster. However, it can be difficult or even impossible to sand and repair prefinished hardwood. Depending on the hardwood, it could be more hassle than it’s worth. A site-finished floor can be screened and refinished fairly easily.

The finish on the floor will also be what protects it from urine. These are a few of the things to consider when choosing a hardwood floor.

Categories Hardwood

Designers Are Installing Multiple Kinds of Hardwood in One Home

The most common method for installing a hardwood floor is to choose a type of hardwood that will cover your entire floor. If you want to have hardwood in your kitchen and your living room, you would likely choose the same type for both rooms. They would be stained and sealed the same as well. However, new trends have emerged of mixing hardwood floors for different rooms. For example, you might have a white oak in the kitchen and red oak in the living room. That trend grew for a while and has naturally evolved into mixing different hardwoods in the same room.

How Did It Start?

The trend of mixing different hardwoods in the same room began the way many trends begin; it began with people attempting to save money while staying stylish. Since wood is cut, shipped, and processed in batches, there will always be little bits of wood left over after each order. For example, if a white oak tree produces 500 square feet of wood planks and a customer orders 450 square feet of white oak, there will be 50 square feet left over. That’s not enough to cover more rooms. So, a supplier might sell that 50 square feet at a steep discount.

Customers would then buy that small amount of hardwood and mix it with odds and ends from other batches of hardwood.The result is an eclectic look of different woods in one room. The style also evokes the look of many older homes and cabins. Early American homeowners didn’t have the money to be picky about their choice of hardwood. So, these early homes often had floors that were patchworks of different hardwoods.

How Does It Work?

There are a couple of basic ways to employ this trend. You could create blocks of different wood on the floor. So, you would have a block of white oak, a block of hickory, a block of ebony, and so on. That is the patchwork look. It can be employed to great effect, especially if you have similar amounts of each kind of wood. The look is similar to a checkerboard.

Alternately, you can install the different types of wood in haphazard ways. Installing the wood on two different planks and attempting to keep two planks of the same wood from touching will create a more rustic look. It looks less intentional and more rustic, which is a trend in and of itself.

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