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Why you should switch from carpet to wood

The idea of switching your flooring from carpet to hardwood flooring is a popular one and for good reason. Carpet is often a cheaper product but has some major drawbacks. Hardwood is a better choice for a lot of reasons.

Carpets can collect dirt and stain. Spilling liquids on carpets is easy to do but hard to clean. Soaking up the liquid, shampooing or scrubbing the carpet is a lot of work. While some liquids can be easily removed from carpet there are some liquids that can be really difficult to remove from carpet like wine or koolaid. Carpets also need to be cleaned professionally once or twice a year which can be an expense.

Hardwood floors need much less maintenance and can be cleaned up much more easily. They need vacuuming, dust mopping and occasional mopping. Hardwoods look clean with little effort and don’t trap smells or stains like carpet.

Carpets also wear out. When people walk on your carpet it can start to get matted town and create a wear pattern. Traffic patterns are a common occurrence on carpet and can make it look dated and worn. There isn’t much you can do to remedy a traffic pattern because they are the result of worn carpet fibers and pad. When carpet gets worn it has to be replaced. Carpet can also get wrinkles which requires a professional to re-stretch and fix.

Wood floors handle foot traffic better than carpet. Wood flooring can last 10 years on average before it needs to be professional cleaned or refinished. After refinishing the wood will have another 10 years of maintenance free use. Solid hardwood can be refinished multiple times which makes it economical and practical. The look of hardwood can be changed with different stains and finishes.

Carpet is not ideal for people with allergies. Allergens like pet dander and dust mites can live in your carpet. The carpet fibers and carpet pad can trap the allergens and make it very challenging to remove with a vacuum. Hardwood flooring does not trap allergens which is great for allergy sufferers.

Finally, adding hardwood flooring to your home is a great update over carpet. Hardwood flooring can add value and style to a room. Hardwood is beautiful, durable and has great longevity. Hardwood is generally more expensive at installation than carpet but has the ability to be resurfaced. Hardwood flooring is a classy update to your home and can be a true statement piece.




Categories Hardwood

French Oak Hardwood Flooring

Oak flooring is one of the most popular wood choices in the United States and for good reason. Oak is durable, easy to work with and easy to obtain. American oak fits into two categories- red oak and white oak. Both of these choices are popular and durable. Oak is great because it can be stained and the oil content of the wood doesn’t interfere with the finish. White oak is denser than red oak and has a higher janka rating. Both are grown in many states in the US as well as south central canada.

White Oak and Red oak have different color and graining patterns. White oak has a tighter graining pattern and it is darker than red oak. White oak can have some pinkish hues but it is generally more brown/gray in color. Red oak has a more prominent grain and it more linear and open than the graining pattern of white oak. Red oak has some brown hues but also has a pinkish/red to it.

Another commonly used oak is a European oak. European oak is commonly used in Germany, England and France – when installing hardwood floors. It can also be called english oak or French Oak. The janka rating of european oak is the same as white oak. The geographical difference changes the look of the wood and it has different color, graining and hues than american oaks. The grain pattern is generally softer and waiver. European oaks have a darker color with a warm brown town.

The milling of European oak is also different and it is sought after because of the longer lengths and wider planks. These trees grow differently and the sapwood is wider and thicker than the heartwood. THe sapwood is where you get clearer wood so the wider sapwood allows you to get pieces that are clearer at wider widths.

European oak is processed differently than American oak. The wood is live-sawn which means the log of the tree is cut right through from the front to the back. The live-sawn process allows the different cuts of hardwood to be incorporated in this type of cut. THe flooring will have the natural graining showing through and creates a very stable floor. American oak is cut with three different sawing methods- rift, quartered, and plain

European oak or French oak is a beautiful option and has a unique look. The wide planks are very popular and french oak is growing in popularity for good reason.

Categories Hardwood

The Best Hardwood Options for Homes with Dogs

Hardwood flooring is not invincible but there are some choices that will work better with dogs than others. There are lot of hardwood flooring products on the market these days and you may be curious if one is better choice for pet owners than others. We will go over all the different flooring choices and help you understand the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Site Finished and Prefinished Hardwood Flooring-

Prefinished floors and site finished hardwood are both durable solid wood. Some prefinished hardwood flooring includes an aluminum oxide finish which is very durable and can be more durable than a site finished coating. Aluminum oxide finish include flecks of aluminum oxide which helps to create a very strong wear layer. Also prefinished flooring is likely UV finished. UV finished products can be added on site but not all companies offer it. UV coats are fully cured immediately which is a big benefit. Prefinished flooring has a slight edge over site finished flooring in the scratching department.

Color- THe color of the hardwood may not prevent scratching but it may be able to help hide it. Lighter wood with more grain patterns like oak can help camouflage scratching and some dents which is something pet owners should pay attention to. The surface texture of the wood is also something to consider. A hand scraped floor can be great for hiding scratches because the surface is already textured and it will be less noticable.

When looking at engineered wood you may want to look for acrylic impregnated engineered hardwood flooring. This wear layer can help increase the durability on engineered products making it a great option for pet owners. The pores of the wear layer are injected with acrylic finish to help strengthen the wear layer. These engineered products have less room for movement which helps with dents and scratching. Engineered products can be a great choice for pet owners.

The species of hardwood you choose can also help with scratch resistance. Some hardwood flooring materials are harder than others because of the type of wood they are. American cherry is considered a softwood species while brazilian walnut is an incredibly hard wood. The Janka Hardness rating is used to rank wood species on their relative hardness. Both exotic and domestic woods are tested. Maple and hickory are both great options because they are light in color and have a higher hardness level then some other woods.

In the end there are a lot of options for hardwood flooring in pet friendly homes. Keeping your dog’s nails short, reserving play time for outside and keeping water dishes off the floor are all steps that can help protect your floor from your dog and keep it beautiful for years to come.

Categories Hardwood

Orientation of the Wood Floor

If you are are planning a hardwood update to your home you may be thinking about some of the details like the orientation of the floor. The direction your hardwood flooring is installed relies on a few factors. While you may see hardwood flooring running in all different directions in a showroom or commercial space there are some factors that have to be taken into consideration within your home.

The factors that affect the installation direction of hardwood flooring include the installation method, visual aesthetics and the structural integrity. A contractor is a great resource for choosing the best direction for installation based on these factors.

The subfloor is something that must be considered for the direction of the flooring as well as the method of installation. Concrete subfloors require different installation methods than a plywood subfloor. Concrete floors have little effect on the direction of installation for your flooring. If the flooring will be installed over plywood there is more to consider. First the flooring will probably be installed with the nail down method. Then the floor joists will be considered the flooring will likely run perpendicular to the floor joist. There are exceptions and was around this but this is the general rule of thumb.

When choosing the direction based on visual aesthetics there are more factors to consider. The general rule is to run the planks into the front entry way to create a sense of openness and flow to the home. Hallways should have the planks running with the hallway. Directional changes with the home should be avoided because they affect the flow of the space. If you want to define a space you can alter the direction of the flooring to create the feeling of a divide, this technique is used in some dining spaces or studies. Depending on the design of a home an angled installation can even be utilized. It is all dependent on the look you want.

While structural integrity should be considered first the orientation of the wood becomes a big design element. Flooring can really change a space and talking with your contractor

Categories Hardwood

Reducing Gapping in your Hardwood Flooring

Regardless of what flooring specifies of wood you have it is important to remember that wood is an organic product and is affected by the water present in the wood at any given time. The fibers within the food are constantly changing because of the solidity, flexibility and tension of the fibers.

The conditions in your home are constantly changing and can have an affect on the wood in your home. The outdoor temperature, the HVAC system in your home and the tightness of your home can all affect your wood. Changes are commonly seen in hardwood flooring during the winter because of the heating system. The wood loses moisture during the winter which causes it to contract and create gaps.

Acclimating the hardwood is a big part of preventing gapping. Allowing the hardwood to match the ambient humidity and temperatures of your home before installation is vital. If there is a difference between the moisture content in the sub-floor and the flooring is is more likely to cause shrinking and gapping or even buckling in some situations. The duration of the acclimation process varies based on the season, air tightness of your home and the local weather.

In home humidity factors are also a big element in gapping. The humidity of your home is most likely to cause expansion and contraction in your hardwood. Keeping the temperature and humidity constant can best decrease the risk of gapping. A humidifier is a great way to keep the moisture level in your home higher during the drier months.

Gapping is not the end of the world but by acclimation and humidity control you can keep your gapping to a minimum.

Categories Hardwood

Caring for Hardwood Floors – 3 Easy Tips

Hardwood floor care is not complicated but there is a lot of conflicting advice out there. Hardwood is an investment and caring for it properly extends its life span and beauty. These three easy tips will keep your floor in good shape for years to come.

1- Clean the Floors Regularly
Hardwood flooring is pretty easy to maintain but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need regular cleaning and care. You will need a few cleaning tools and regular maintenance to keep your floors looking good and help extend the lifespan of your flooring.

You will want to keep the indoor environment stable to best protect your flooring, the indoor temperature should be between 60-80 degrees and the relative humidity should be between 30-50% all year. The floors should be cleaned regularly to remove debris. Sweeping, vacuuming or dust mopping are all options for regularly cleaning your floors. When needed you will want to clean your hardwood with an approved floor cleaner. The manufacture of the finish or pre-finished wood may have suggested a specific cleaner that works best with their product. Remember to never wet-mop your floors. Wet-mopping can damage the floors finish and cause wood to cup.

2- Protect the Floor Against Pets
Hardwood is great option for homes with pets but there are some measures you will want to take to protect the floor. Keeping your dogs nails trimmed is a vital step to preventing scratching on the floor. Also keeping dog water bowls of the wood or on a mat to protect the floor is important as well.

3- Prevent rug backing from scratching or discoloring the floor with a floor protector
When adding rugs to your home you will want to choose rugs with a natural backing instead of a synthetic backing. Synthetic backings can damage and discolor wood flooring. There are floor pads you can purchase that create a barrier between synthetic backing rugs and the floor if you cannot find a rug with a natural backing.

Similar to the backing of a rug you will want to added non-abrasive felt-backed pads or floor protectors under furniture. Rubber or plastic backed products can trap moisture and discolor the floor.

These three simple maintenance tips can protect your floor and help increase the longevity of your investment.

Categories Hardwood

How to fix Hardwood floor scratches

While hardwood flooring is durable it can scratch. Pets, animals and other factors can cause scratches. There are some options that can help treat scratches and repair small imperfections without a drastic measures like refinishing the floor. *Please note: some “scratches” are not scratches and are depressions in the wood and can only be fixed with a refinish of the floor.

Surface scratches-

Very light scratches can be repaired with a good cleaningproduct. If you have a prefinished floor you will need to ensure that the products are compatible with your floor. Next you will thoroughly clean the area  with a micro-fiber towel. This will get any dirt out of the scratch and possibly make it not visible from a standing position.

Deep Narrow Scratches-

If the scratch has penetrated the stain and finish layer and is exposing bare wood you can likely make the scratch look better. A stain pen or stain product can help conceal the different color of the natural wood. This technique wont conceal the dip or imperfection from the scratch but will make it less noticeable.

Wider scratches or gouges can be difficult to cover without professional help. A patch can help make the gouge less noticeable. This process will require more products like wood filler, sandpaper, and finish product. This process will not be flawless but can help to make a wide gouge from a distance.

If a scratch cant be fixed with these options a professional can help. A buff and coat is an option for a surface scratches and doesn’t take much time. A refinish will remove deeper scratches, dents and other imperfections.

Categories Hardwood

Carpet Vs. Hardwood Flooring Debate – Choose Hardwood!

If you are considering and new flooring and looking to weigh the odds between carpet and hardwood we are here to help you figure out the best option.

Carpet is a classic flooring option that is soft under foot and great for families with small children. One area that concerns a lot of homeowners is the allergens, mold and mildew that can be concerning. A carpeting system includes backing, padding an glues. These products can emit VOCs which can be detrimental to your health. Consistent, deep cleaning of the carpet will not solve the problem. Also dust mites, mold, dirt and other contaminants can infiltrate the floor and cause additional issues. Lingering odors and must smells are a sign of concern.

Carpets also need to be replaced every 10 years. Even with proper care carpet needs to be replaced regularly. Over time signs of wear in high traffic areas will begin to show and the padding will lose its support. Signs of wear include matting, color fading and wrinkling.

Hardwood floors can last a lifetime. Hardwood floors when properly maintained can last 100 years or more. Maintenance starts with cleaning floors properly. Sweeping the floors regularly helps to keep dirt and dust off the floor. A professional deep cleaning every once in a while is also a great way to keep your floors extra clean.

Hardwood flooring also yields higher sale prices. The National Association of Realtors’ 2015 Remodeling Impact Report stated that hardwood is one of the top features homeowners are looking for. Additionally, 54% of buyers surveyed said that are willing to spend thousands more if a home has hardwood flooring. The NWFA also did a study saying the 82% of Realtors have seen hardwood flooring help a home sell faster and for more money.

If a homeowner is considering hardwood for their home it can have health benefits and financial benefits.

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