Categories Hardwood

Swiffers and hardwood floors

People often ask if Swiffers can be used on hardwood flooring. Cleaning and caring for hardwood flooring with the products recommended by the manufacturer of the floor or flooring finish is very important. Engineered or prefinished flooring need different care than a solid wood flooring. Swiffer products like dry sweepers are likely safe for any floor but the wet jet products may take further research. 

The dry swiffer sweeper clothes are a good option for easily removing dirt and dust from the floor. Many people with pets find that these options are ideal for dealing with pet hair. When using a dry cloth you will need to be careful to change the cloth if it becomes too soiled and to make sure large debris is not picked up and dragged along the floor. These larger debris can cause scratches and premature wear on the floor. 

Many prefinished and engineered floors can be cleaned with the wet swiffer products. Unfinished, oiled and waxed floors cannot be cleaned with the wet swiffer products. Floors that have manufacturer instructions for cleaning should always adhere to these instructions. The manufacturer instructions for cleaning are often tied to the warranty and can void warranties if the wrong cleaner is used 

Swiffer products work very well. The Good Housekeeping Research Institute or GHRI did some testing with the swiffer WetJet products and found that they cleaned tough spills of wooden floors with ease. When choosing a swiffer system you do need to look for ones specifically designed for wood flooring, the cleaning solution in the other types can be too harsh for wood floor finish, 

The ease of use with the swiffer system is part of its appeal. Many homeowners find that the maintenance for hardwood floors is easy to keep up with a safe mopping kit like the swiffer. Maintenance on hardwood has improved over the last few years as finishes have improved and cleaning products like the swiffer have made it even easier. The process of cleaning with a swiffer is very easy to follow. 

Dry dusting with the swiffer dry system should be performed daily. This process keeps hair, plague, pollen, allergens and even dust particles from building up on the floors. When dirt and other debris build up on hardwood flooring they can cause premature wear to the floor. Swiffering daily to remove debris before they build up can help protect the floor from premature damage.

Vacuum weekly for even better cleaning. The dry system from swiffer works great but the vacuum works better for removing dirt that has gotten into cracks and bevels in the flooring. The corners and board lines can be hard to get with the swiffer so using the vacuum weekly can keep the floor looking great.

Finally, mop weekly after vacuuming. Spot mopping for spills is a great way to keep the floor looking great between cleanings. Weekly mopping should never be done with a wet mop but instead with a system like the swiffer WetJet spray mop or a microfiber mop. Mopping removes stuck on dirt, water spots and other contaminants that’s vacuuming can’t. When choosing a mop you will need to find one specifically designed for wood floors. The wooden floor solutions protect the finish while still removing dirt, dust and other contaminants. 

Swiffers work great on smooth finish but do not generally work on floors with more texture. Unfinished flooring, flooring with band saw marks and reclaimed wood are often not smooth enough for a swiffer and will snag the clothes rather than allowing them to glide over the surface. Swiffers also work great for tile flooring, vinyl flooring and laminate flooring. 

The swiffer system is a great way to simplify maintaining your hardwood floors. Always check first with your manufacturer to ensure the swiffer products are safe for your floor. Maintaining hardwood doesn’t stop at cleaning your floors. Buffing and coating and refinishing your hardwood floors are all parts of the maintenance process. Colorado hardwood can help with your floor finishing process whether it’s a new install, refinish or buff and coat. Call today to discuss your project with our highly trained team.

Categories Hardwood

Can engineered hardwood flooring be refinished?

Flooring installers are often asked if engineered flooring can be refinished. This cannot be answered with a simple yes or no, the reality is it’s complicated. Many engineered hardwood floors can be finished but not all of them. 

Engineered hardwood flooring is a specific section of the flooring market that is created from a natural wood veneer with an engineered structure for the rest of the flooring. Engineered flooring is made of two primary layers but many homeowners never see anything beyond the veneer layer. The veneer is the top layer and is made up of naturally wood and is often a very thin layer. The second layer is a plywood or similar material that may be made up of several plys or layers. The layers go in opposite directions which creates a stronger underlayment. Engineered hardwood is often great as resisting cupping and warping. 

Many engineered hardwood floors can be refinished but not all of them. Many engineered hardwood floors have a top layer that is too thin to refinish. The wear layer of engineered flooring is between 3mm and 7mm. When refinishing hardwood 1mm is often removed. Each refinish makes the floor thinner and eliminates the chance for additional refinishes. Depending on how thick the floor is there are different amounts of refinishes that can be performed. The general rule is that you can get one less refinish than the amount of millimeters the wear layer is, for example, a 5mm wear layer can be finished 4 times. 

When working with a contractor for new engineered floors they will likely advise you to choose a material with at least 2 mm of top layer veneer. A material with at least a few refinishes is ideal and gives your floor a longer life span. 

When sanding an engineered floor the finish and special texture are removed which can change the overall look of the floor. Wire brushing, hand scraping and unique finishes do not penetrate below the surface and buffing or sanding the floors will remove these features. 

When sanding a floor the top layer of the floor is removed to remove imperfections like scratches and dents. This process allows for the flooring finish to be replaced with a beautiful even coat. Stain can be applied during a refinishing, allowing the owner to change the color of the floor. 

The bevel is another aspect to consider when refinishing flooring. Bevels are also called micro bevels are a feature of prefinished flooring, allowing for some imperfections between boards. Since the flooring is not being sanded on site the bevel allows for uneven heights to be concealed. The depth of the bevel can impact the refinishing process and if you are looking to get rid of this bevel you may need to sand more off the surface of the floor. The preference of bevel vs no bevel is strictly about aesthetics and does not impact the structure or use of the floor. 

Engineered is a popular flooring type for a variety of reasons. Many people find engineering more appealing because of the accessibility, realistic look and the eco-friendliness of many of the lines. Engineered flooring is not made of a solid plank and this allows for some faster growing species to be utilized for the underlayer of the flooring. The style of engineered flooring is another big factor in its popularity. Many customers find that they look the look and feel of engineered flooring over solid wood because of the finish options and texturing options. Engineered flooring is unique and has more variation in color and grain when compared to LVP or laminate. The veneer is natural wood so it gives the look of real wood graining without any repeating textures or patterns.

Engineered flooring is also great at moisture resistance and can withstand more temperature fluctuations than solid wood flooring. The core in the flooring does impact the moisture resistances and ability to withstand humidity variations. The moisture resistance also allows for installation in nearly any room. Customers utilized engineered flooring in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and basements. Many homeowners lean towards engineered flooring because it’s DIY friendly. Most engineered products can be installed easily without prior experience because of the interlocking system. 

Engineered flooring is a great option for many people and there are a lot of great benefits of engineered hardwood flooring. Depending on your lifestyle and the material you may find that this flooring type can last many decades. The maintenance and surface layer depth both impact the lifespace of your flooring. If you are curious if your engineered flooring can be refinished we would love to take a look. Our team can help verify if your flooring has the appropriate wearlayer for refinishing. Call Colorado Hardwoods today to set up your free in-home consultation.

Categories Hardwood

How to Find a Quality Hardwood Contractor

Hardwood flooring is a large investment and selecting the right contractor can be an intimidating process. If you are ready to have hardwood flooring installed in your home there are a lot of things you will want to look for in your hardwood contractor to ensure you get a quality finished product. Like any service provider you will want to meet with a few estimators to see what different options they have, the knowledge they share and any other aspects you may need to consider. With any service you get what you pay for and this rings true for hardwood flooring as well. Choosing the lowest cost estimate may mean you are sacrificing quality and craftsmanship. 

When hiring a contractor there are some key points to consider and discuss with the estimator to ensure they are the right fit for your project. We have outlined some key points below to help make the process easier. 

 

  1. Discuss any licensing and liability insurance with your contractor. Any contractor you are hiring should have the necessary licensing for the state and all necessary insurance. While none of us are hoping a project will go wrong, insurance makes it much less worrisome if things happen to go wrong. A properly insured contractor protects you from any injury that may happen in your home and protects you from damage that may be caused if an accident occurs. 
  2. All contractors should also have workers compensation coverage for employees. When working with a contractor that does not have employees they may not have this type of coverage. Employers are required to have workers compensation insurance to protect injured workers and to cover their medical expenses and missed time if an injury does take place. This coverage helps to protect homeowners from lawsuits as well. 
  3. Ask your hardwood contractor for certifications like an NWFA certification. The National Wood Floor Association is an organization that certifies contractors for installation and other aspects of wood flooring finishing and can give you extra confidence in a flooring contractor. Not all contractors are NWFA certified but this is a great option for narrowing down contractors. The NWFA requires continuing education to keep up on these certifications so you know your contractor is up to date on the latest in the flooring industry. 
  4. Quality contractors measure and record moisture levels in the wood and subfloor. These measurements are used to ensure wood has acclimated properly to your home for a quality installation. The NWFA has measurement guidelines for relative humidity, floor moisture content and subfloor moisture content. These measurements are vital before installation to ensure the wood wont shift, cup or gap excessively. If you are installing a prefinished or engineered floor these measurements can help with warranty claims down the line. Acclimation of wood flooring is a non-negotiable part of your project and should be something your contractor does. Wood flooring needs to be in your home at least a week before installation and retested for moisture content before installation to ensure its ready to be installed. 
  5. Warranties are often a sign of a quality contractor. If your contractor offers a warranty on their work it often means they are willing to back up their work if something goes wrong. Many contactors offer different warranties for installation versus refinishing and the estimator should be able to discuss these differences with you. When investing as much money as you will in a hardwood flooring installation a warranty can help make the process feel less scary. 
  6. References are one of the best ways to find a quality contractor. The input you receive from other customers is very informative and can really help you to find the right contractor for your project. Many contractors will give you a list of references that you can call to hear how their project went. Online reviews are also a good option, we recommend making sure you read the response and don’t just trust the star rating. Many customers are unhappy about small issues and give one star ratings which unfairly affect the contractor. Read the response to the review and see if the contractor offered a reasonable response and remedy to the issue. Ask friends and family for recommendations as well. The BBB, Angie’s list and Yelp are also great options for finding feedback about your contractor. 
  7. When choosing a contractor you will want to talk to them about different aspects of their jobs like dust control, clean up, timeline and other details. Dust control is a huge factor when choosing a contractor because dust is such a big part of the finish process. Installing new flooring is messy and the methods of protecting your home are important for your overall experience. Baseboards are also an important part of the flooring installation and you will want to talk to your contractor about how they handle the baseboards. Finally the length of the job, if something to discuss. Some contractors may say they can get the job done faster than others and you may want to ask how or why. Depending on the company you use the timeline may fluctuate because a different crew comes in for finishing or because of the amount of manpower on the job site. 
  8. Payment structure is another factor to consider. Most contractors do not ask for payment in full before your project begins and this can be a red flag. If your contractor asks for money in full before they start you may end up getting scammed. Most reputable contractors ask for a downpayment to hold your project date and purchase your materials and the remainder at the end of the project. 

 

Hardwood flooring is a huge investment in your home and something to be excited about. Looking for a contractor doesn’t have to be a scary process when you know what to ask and what red flags to look for. Choosing the right contractor for your project can yield better quality results at a fair price. Colorado Hardwood is here to help with any hardwood flooring project you have. If you are ready to talk to a fair and trusted contractor call us today. 

 

Categories Hardwood

Can Hardwood Go in the Basement?

Hardwood flooring is a wildly popular flooring type because it is both beautiful and durable. Homeowners love the elevated feeling of hardwood and how it makes your room look elegant and put together with minimal effort. While hardwood flooring is a great option it can be a challenging flooring type for basements. Basements come with a variety of different challenges but the concrete slab is the biggest concern for hardwood flooring. Water damage is much more common in the basement and hardwood and water are not friends. If you choose to install hardwood flooring below grade there are some extra steps and maintenance needs you will need to consider. Vapor barriers on the concrete and below the concrete are very important if you are considering concrete below grade. Additionally many people choose to add a sump pump to help remove any water. 

Basement flooring needs proper preparation to work with different floor types. The concrete slab needs to be properly installed and in good condition before flooring can be added. When the slab was poured a layer of porous fill should be added to the aggregate bed to help mitigate groundwater and allow for drainage. Ground water should run away from the home with proper grading or with the help of a sump pump basin. Many homeowners choose to add radiant heating before installing flooring on concrete slab to help counteract the cooling effect of the concrete especially in winter. If you are considering radiant heating the flexible tubing system may need to be installed before the concrete is poured. 

Concrete slabs need time to cure before flooring can be installed. The minimum time frame is 30 days but you will want to test the humidity of the slab before adding flooring to ensure it’s dry and ready. A vapor barrier is a necessary part of this process and should be added below the subfloor. A liquid vapor barrier can be rolled onto the concrete to create an extra layer of moisture protection. This liquid vapor barrier acts as an extra barrier for any moisture seepage. Vapor barriers are important when concrete is fresh and still wet but also remains integral because moisture can seep up into the concrete over time. 

There are a variety of different vapor barriers on the market including PVC, roofing felt and polyethylene sheets. The vapor barrier should be under the layers of insulation to prevent heat from leaching through the walls. Polyethylene is a new vapor barrier product and works with lots of different flooring types including laminate, tile, linoleum carpet and wood flooring. Polyethylene can resist mold, mildew and fungus and lots of moisture intrusion.  

After preparing the basement for flooring you will have to research the right flooring for below grade. Many manufacturers do not recommend hardwood for basements because of the higher moisture content but some have specific installation instructions. Laminate flooring is often recommended for below grade because of the core and its improved stability. Engineered hardwood is also on a more stable core and can work well in basements. Solid hardwood can be installed in basements but does have more susceptibility to water damage and moisture mitigation should be a top priority. 

While you can install whatever flooring you want in your basement there are some materials that perform better than others. If you are unsure what the best option is for your basement floor, a flooring contractor is a great resource. Colorado Hardwood is here to help and can meet with you to discuss flooring options including laminate, engineered and solid wood flooring. We can also discuss installation options and methods for mitigating moisture more effectively. 

 

Categories Hardwood, Hardwood Refinshes

Six Important Facts about Hardwood Refinishing

Refinishing hardwood floors gives them a much needed facelift and can make the floors look brand new again. The process of refinishing is cheaper than replacing the floor and is better for the environment. Woods natural variations can be highlighted and revealed during a refinishing and the ability to repair and refinish is part of the appeal of having hardwood flooring. Modern manufacturing has come a long way but still cannot replicate the beauty and feel of solid wood flooring. If you have considered refinishing your hardwood floors there are some things you need to know. 

#1 – Cleaning and restoring hardwood floors to their original beauty takes a lot of work. While the process may seem simple and straightforward there are factors you may not have considered. Repairs are a big factor that can impact the final outcome of your floor. Repairs often require a contractor to replace a few boards. Wood is a natural project and can be hard to match perfectly. Deep scratches and stains for pet accidents and other factors can be hard to remove without impacting the integrity of the floor. Every floor is unique and each refinishing requires unique steps to tackle the specific needs of your floor. 

#2– Preparing the floor takes a lot of work. It may seem that your flooring project is moving slowly in the beginning but preparing the space is labor and time intensive. Everything needs to be removed from the floor and all remaining decor will be exposed to dust and debris related to sanding the floor. Door ways, hall ways, and vents are often covered to cut down on dust in rooms that are not being refinished. The floor itself needs preparation as well, mopping and sweeping the floor are needed to ensure the floor is ready for sanding. 

#3– Gaps are not repaired during refinishing. Sanding your floor will not fill existing gaps, it can improve them some but these are part of the structure of the floor and cannot be fixed with refinishing alone. Most gaps in a floor are seasonal and filling them can cause issues when the seasonal gapping disappears. Gapping is not always a bad thing and is often just a part of normal seasonal shifts in humidity. 

#4– Refinishies are a great time to change the color of your floor. When your floor has been sanded down to raw wood you can stain the floor a new color. Stains are a great way to change the look of your floor without replacing the floors. Stain comes in a variety of different colors which allows you to choose the perfect option for your home. Stain doesn’t mean you have to darken the floor, you can also make the floor lighter during this process.Many homeowners find that they didn’t know the true color of their wood until it was sanded down because of the aged finish on top. 

#5– Plan to touch up your base after a refinish. Sanding and refinishing hardwood required heavy duty machines and even the most careful customer is likely to ding a baseboard or get a spot of stain or finish on the base. Contractors should be cautious in your home but it’s a good idea to have your base painted after refinishing. If you are planning to replace your base let your contractor know, they can remove the base during the sanding to allow them to work closer to the walls. Many homeowners find that their base looks dingy after a refinish because it no longer matches the refinished floors. 

#6 Finish makes a huge difference. Choosing a finish for your floor is an important part of the process and different finishes can create a different look. Oil based finish often looks more traditional but can amber and cause your floor to look dated over time. Water based may look thin to many home owners because it doesn’t have the thick look oil based finishes do but still offers the same protection. The sheen level also makes a huge impact on the look of your floor. Contractors are a wealth of knowledge on flooring finishes and can help choose the right finish for your floor. 

Refinishing hardwood floors is a great way to make your floors look beautiful again without breaking the bank. Colorado Hardwood would love to meet with you and discuss refinishing your floor. Call us today to set up a free in-home consultation. 

Categories Hardwood Refinshes

Should You Replace Your Floors Or Refinish?

Flooring can be a great way to improve the look of your home. Flooring is a permanent part of your home and maintaining it properly is crucial to keeping it functional and beautiful. Wood flooring can go years without major maintenance but eventually it will be time to decide if your floors need to be refinished or replaced. We can help you determine if it’s time to replace or refinish your floors. 

Benefits of Refinishing a floor

Refinishing hardwood flooring is a great way to change the look of your floor including the texture and color of the floor. If there are damaged or warped areas in the floor you may opt to replace the heavily damaged boards and refinish the rest of the flooring. 

Refinishing floors is a more affordable option over replacing the floors entirely. Working with a flooring professional is an important part of the refinishing process and they can advise you on the need to replace versus refinish the existing flooring. 

Drawbacks of Refinishing Floors

Refinishing hardwood flooring can be a time-consuming process. The sanding process can be messy and if your contractor does not have good dust containment your home can turn into a snowglobe. Trained professionals know how to handle the chemicals used in the refinishing process. When these flammable chemicals are put in the wrong hands the results can be catastrophic. Additionally these chemicals can be finicky and if used by an amature the results can be less than ideal. 

If you are looking for a budget friendly option for refreshing your flooring, refinishing may be the ticket. The refinishing process can be intrusive into your space but often takes less time than a full install. Our team is happy to help inspect your floor and advise if refinishing is an option for your flooring. 

Benefits of New Hardwood Floors

There are many advantages to having hardwood flooring installed in your home, wood flooring is a timeless flooring option and can be incredibly elegant. Wood works in any design style including contemporary, rustic and even modern designs. There are so many different wood types you can choose from including oak, hickory, cherry, beech and even exotic wood species. Some homeowners choose softer species like pine or bamboo, these floors need to be cared for properly to ensure they can last a lifetime. 

Hardwood flooring is durable and when properly maintained can go years without being refinished. Many experts recommend having your floors refinished every 10 years to ensure they look beautiful and are well protected. When hardwood floors are cared for and properly maintained they can last well over 100 years. 

One of the big advantages of wood flooring is the reduction in allergens. If anyone in your family has respiratory issues or allergies you may want to consider wood flooring, hardwood doesn’t collect dust and allergens the way carpet does. Hardwood is versatile and can lend itself to any design style. Hardwood is a great option to add value to your home. If you are planning to sell your home you will find that hardwood floors add to the value of your home. 

Drawbacks of New Hardwood Floors

While the beauty of hardwood floors is undeniable the cost is not in everyone’s budget. Hardwood flooring can be expensive to install. Additionally hardwood is susceptible to scratching and if you have pets you may find that your floor scratches more quickly than you would like. Refinishing can remove these scratches but that adds to the cost of the floor. 

Another disadvantage of hardwood is the susceptibility to moisture damage. Hardwood can cup or crown if moisture is allowed to soak into the floor. Spills should be wiped up quickly to prevent damage. Creaks are another issue some people find with hardwood flooring. Gaps can be filled and joists can be shimmed to reduce creaks but they may not be entirely eliminated. 

When considering the options of installing hardwood floors it can be easy to get caught up in the cons but it’s important to remember all flooring options have drawbacks. When hardwood is cared for properly it can last years to come. 

We would love to chat with you about the options for your existing floor or a new floor. Many homeowners are unaware that a refinish allows them to change the color and sheen of the floor making refinishing even more appealing. Contact Colorado Hardwood today for your free in-home estimate. 

 

Consider engineered hardwood for basements
Categories Uncategorized

Engineered Hardwood is a Great Option for Basements

Adding more living space to your home can be as simple as converting your basement or garage into an apartment or office. The job is even easier if the garage or basement is already climate controlled. Hardwood flooring can go a long way towards making it feel like an actual room of your house. However, you should be careful about adding hardwood floor to a basement apartment. Basements, especially ones that are partially underground, are susceptible to wild fluctuations in humidity and temperature. They’re also more likely to flood. That flooding can come from storms or even from plumbing issues. Whatever the case may be, you need to pick the hardwood that is most likely to resist damage from moisture and temperature. That hardwood is engineered hardwood.

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Pickleball is just one use for your newly resurfaced tennis court!
Categories Athletic Floors, Tennis Courts

Tennis Court Resurfacing: Is it Time?

Colorado Hardwood Floors has expanded and added tennis court resurfacing to their athletic division. As a tennis court resurfacing and repair contractor, Colorado Hardwood Floors can assist with a huge variety of projects ranging from adding new game lines to a full surface with a fresh top coat and all new game lines. We utilize a tennis court surface material ideally designed to be slip resistance and spin responsive for an ideal playing surface. 

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Have fun and get in shape with a home tennis court!
Categories Athletic Floors, Tennis Courts

Why You Should Have Your Own Tennis Court!

Home tennis courts are not only a fun addition to your home but come with other great benefits as well. Adding a tennis court to your backyard can be easily customized to meet your interests and needs. Additionally these courts can have great impacts on the value of your home. One of the biggest benefits people find for having a home tennis court is never having to wait for your block of tennis court time, you can play whenever you want!

Read More Why You Should Have Your Own Tennis Court!

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