Categories Hardwood

Purple Hardwood Floors Are a Hot New Trend

On design blogs, hardwood floors tend to all look pretty similar. There are some truly stunning hardwood floors, but they tend to range from light brown to dark brown. Most of them are made from domestic hardwoods that look great when stained. However, every once in awhile, you might come across a floor that truly stands out. One of the most striking colors you’ll likely see is purple. Purple hardwood floors are still fairly rare, but they’re growing in popularity. There are two ways to achieve a purple floor; you can choose purple wood, or you can stain it. Staining hardwood it is fairly straightforward. It’s just a matter of choosing the color of purple you would like. Purple woods are available for hardwood flooring, though. 

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Categories Hardwood

Hardwood Floor Makes it Easier to Sell Your Home

It is conventional wisdom that hardwood floors will increase the resale value of your home and also make it easier to sell your home. Is that true? While it is difficult to gauge because the housing market is subject to fluctuate and every home sale is subject to dozens of different mitigating factors, it does seem to be true that hardwood floors increase your home’s value. The first factor in the calculations is a return on investment (ROI). 

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Categories Hardwood

Do Hardwood Planks Need To Be Acclimated?

The amount of moisture in the air is known as humidity. Everywhere you go, the humidity is going to be slightly different. That means that the humidity in the Pacific Northwest is different than the humidity in the Southeast. It also means that the humidity in your house is different than the humidity outside or even in your neighbor’s house. It’s influenced by your HVAC system, your house size, house shape, insulation, and much more.

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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.

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