Categories
General Home Improvement Hardwood Flooring

Do Hardwood Floors Increase Home Value?


Every home is different, but most will agree that any type of flooring plays a huge role in the look and function of a house. While you may not pay much attention to it at first, you definitely notice when the flooring is bad. You might not think twice about bamboo hardwood flooring or oak hardwood flooring, but you’d definitely notice shag carpeting circa the 1980s or laminate and vinyl flooring like you had in college.

If you’re considering hardwood floors and wondering whether they’ll be a good investment for your home, we’ve outlined the research and included a few best practices to make sure you’re making the best decision for you and your family.

Are Hardwood Floors Worth the Money?

Because your return on investment depends so much upon the size of your home, your location and the type of flooring you choose, there isn’t a ton of data on the correlation between home value and flooring. In fact, it’s almost impossible to calculate an exact number. However, most research finds that overall, hardwood flooring will increase your home value. While in some places, hardwoods are still considered a “nice to have” for prospective buyers, in a lot of places, hardwood floors have become essential.

Realtor.com reports that the average ROI for installing hardwood floors can range anywhere from 70-80%, depending on location and flooring layout. Money.com also reports that hardwood floors can increase your home value by 3-5%.

Again, while these numbers may vary from house to house, it’s safe to say that hardwood floors will never decrease the value of your home, while carpeting could.

Why Are Hardwoods So Great, Anyway?

We know that hardwood flooring will increase the value of your home, but what if you’re not looking to sell your home any time soon? One of the benefits of hardwoods and what makes them so appealing to buyers goes far beyond aesthetics.

Yes, in our opinion hardwood floors are timeless and never go out of style. But perhaps the best feature of hardwoods is their durability. Hardwood floors are built to stand the test of time and that is why they remain the king of flooring. If you’re curious about the range of durability in hardwoods, check out our guide here.

Not only are hardwoods durable, but they’re also much easier to clean than carpets. If you have toddlers or pets, you know just how hard removing a stain from carpeting can be.

Final Thoughts

While hardwood flooring costs may be more upfront, it’s safe to say that the overall investment of hardwood flooring is worth it. Whether you’re hoping to sell your home down the line and know that buyers are expecting hardwood floors or looking to put roots down in your home and know hardwoods are more functional, hardwood floors beat the rest every time.

If you’re curious to learn more about the different types of hardwood floorings available, check out our post on the top flooring trends of 2020 or the main differences between solid and engineered hardwood.

Categories
Hardwood Flooring

The Top 3 Hardwood Flooring Trends from 2020

Hardwood floors are an interior design trend that has stood the test of time. Hardwood flooring dates back to the early 1600s and since then, has remained buyers’ preferred flooring when choosing a home. From its ability to increase your home value and stand up against the wear and tear of life, hardwood flooring has remained a classic.

Even so, trends within the hardwood flooring world have shifted over the years. As we approach a new year, we’re exploring what the biggest trends of 2020 were, what’s going out of style, and what we expect to stay.

Light Hardwood Flooring Trend

For many years, light flooring was seen as cheap and outdated. Not so in 2020, where we saw many homeowners embracing the brighter, airy nature of these lighter hardwood floors. Many describe these lighter tones as opening up their home more and even making many spaces feel larger.

First, we see the blond floor trend that gives homes a more contemporary feel. Most blond floors are made from bamboo, ash, maple, white oak and even red oak. While you may associate a sleeker look with a darker, matte wood, blonde floors prove that you can get that modern look from lighter hardwood as well.

Other trends in the lighter hardwood category were whitewashed and honey-wood floors. Whitewashed hardwood reminds us of a beachy, Southern California home while honey-colored floors feel cozier. While whitewashed wood shows more wear and tear, honey-finished floors are a timeless classic that’s going to be around for many years to come.
Lastly, one of the most popular light-washed hardwood flooring trends of 2020 was Scandinavian style floors. If you scoured Pinterest or Instagram this past year, you probably encountered these types of floors. Scandinavian floors generally have a wider plank and white finish, while still maintaining a natural feel. In general, Scandinavian interior design style is minimalist with natural elements mixed in – think whitewashed walls or brick. While not for everyone, it definitely had its moment this year.

Textured Flooring

In 2020, we saw textured flooring jump into the mix. Textured flooring is best described as when no two planks look the same. The most common textured flooring trends are hand scraped, wire brushed and distressed wood, which are often mistaken for one another.

Hand-scraped hardwood features long defined scrapes in the finish and can often make the wood look scuffed (in a good way). Handscraped hardwood allows for a lot of variation between the different planks and give floors more of a rustic and handcrafted look.
On the other hand, wire brushed hardwood looks a bit more subtle with smaller, intentional scratches. This can often result in the wood looking more distressed but still more uniform than others.

Lastly, distressed hardwood is usually mistaken for hand scraped hardwood. Both look weathered, but distressed hardwood generally more so. Think knots, scrapes and even burns. If you’re looking for a more aged and antique look, distressed hardwood is the way to go. Be careful when choosing distressed hardwood, however, because oftentimes this type of wood is done by a machine and ends up looking unnatural. The best way to get distressed hardwood is, you guessed it, let it happen naturally. If you don’t have the time, make sure you pick a flooring company that knows their stuff.

Herringbone and Other Pattern Trends

Not only is choosing the right type of hardwood important for your home but choosing the correct pattern is also a huge factor. 2020 saw an increase in herringbone patterns across many new builds and renovations. Homeowners were likely inspired by the influx of herringbone floors popping up over social media, which is why the trend was popular among younger people. Herringbone patterns tend to be pretty subjective, and we don’t expect the trend to last forever.

A few other popular patterns that popped up in 2020 included diagonal floors and mixed width flooring, both of which we don’t anticipate lasting long. Homeowners will likely be pretty divided on these trends, making the resale value questionable.

However, the last trend we can get behind is wide-planked hardwood flooring. Instead of traditional, thinner hardwood floor planks, homeowners really gravitated to wide-planked hardwood flooring in 2020. This trend tends to make the room look larger. Not only is this trend popular now, but we anticipate it’ll be popular for many years to come. These days, thin planks are often seen as outdated.

Final Thoughts

Remember, all of these trends are subjective. If you see a hardwood floor you really love, we encourage you to follow your gut! At the end of the day, you’re the one who will be living on the floors for years. As long as the hardwoods come from a reputable hardwood distributor (like us!) and you love them, then more power to you.

Categories
Hardwood Flooring Hardwood Maintenance

5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Your Hardwood Floors

When it comes to redecorating, one of the single most effective things you can do is update your flooring. Trading your old carpet for a beautiful hardwood floor can really add a splash of style to your space and instantly update the overall look and feel of your home.

But before you take the plunge and invest in hardwood flooring, it’s important that you understand the specific care requirements that come with them. Although timber flooring may seem like a low-maintenance option, a certain amount of TLC is required to keep it looking spick and span.

What’s more, you may have to throw out everything you know about cleaning too! It is all too common that those with wooden floors end up ruining them simply by cleaning them incorrectly.

While it may seem a daunting prospect to choose a flooring option that is a little temperamental, don’t reconsider just yet. All it takes is a little knowledge of how to clean your hardwood floors so you don’t make the mistake of inadvertently damaging your floors.

Here are five of the most common traps people fall into when cleaning their hardwood floors.

Using An Incorrect Vacuum Attachment

Unfortunately, not all suction tools were created equal. In reality, some vacuum attachments can have adverse effects on hardwood floors. Over time, an incorrect vacuum head can scratch wooden surfaces and leave more pesky spaces for dust or dirt to hide, all in all, making them harder to clean. In this case, definitely steer clear of any attachments that contain rotating brushes or a beater bar with stiff bristles, as these heads are too abrasive for soft wooden materials and will cause damage.

Alternatively, you should opt for an attachment which has a soft brush or felt component with less resistance. You could also consider using a vacuum with a lighter or smaller canister as these machines aren’t as heavy and are less likely to create dents or marks.

Mopping Wooden Floors As You Would Tiles

Wooden floorboards are porous, which means they absorb and hold moisture. So, it makes sense that using a wet mop to clean is a no-go when it comes to wooden flooring. The greatest risk you run into here is water seeping down into the floors and causing warping, movement, or swelling.

That said, you can still mop your floors, but it’s best to avoid mopping with a saturated brush. Instead, grab a mop that’s basically dry, or only slightly damp, to maintain that polished look. Your wood floors will thank you later!

Using Common Household Cleaners

Vinegar and ammonia-based cleaners are highly renowned in the household cleaning world, as they are known to be both cost-effective and versatile. However, using such products on hardwood floors is an absolute faux pas. While these products, will without a doubt eliminate debris or stains, they will also damage the wood’s finish by slowly eating away at the surface. 

Not only this, you should also avoid natural cleaning agents like baking soda and abrasive bottled sprays, as these cleaners will lessen the protective coating of your hardwood floors.

Opting for an oil-based cleaning product is your best bet. Oil-based cleaners are best for hardwood floors since they will not damage the wood’s appearance, prematurely age the wood, or diminish the protective surface.

If you’re unsure what cleaner to use, you should contact your flooring manufacturer who will be able to advise you on the best care instructions for your product. 

Excessive Amounts of Water Left On The Floors

Water is the enemy of hardwood flooring. Although it is impossible to avoid small spills here and there, it is important to note that excessive amounts of water can cause the wood to buckle. Not only this, exotic hardwood styles like Brazilian Cherry, Jarrah or Merbau could develop discolored patches as a result of water.

Neglecting Regular Hardwood Maintenance

After your hardwood floors are installed, you’re home free, right? Unfortunately, no! Wooden floors need long-term care to ensure they continue to look good as new. Most people don’t realize this, but sweeping regularly can not only eliminate dust but also extend the lifespan of the wood.

Also, if you begin to notice scratches here and there, it’s best to repair these floorboards as soon as you can. The sooner you attend to little problem areas, the easier the repair job will be; it’s the difference between buffing out a spot and sanding the entire board down to refinish. To this end, think about caring for your hardwood floors like you do lawn maintenance: regular mowing takes considerably less time, energy and money than tending to an overgrown jungle of weeds!

Categories
Hardwood Flooring

Top 6 Hardwood Flooring Trends to Consider for Your Next Renovation

When it comes to interior design, hardwood flooring will always be a timeless classic. Since this option never goes out of style and is highly versatile, hardwood floors are a great way to add value to your home and completely transform the feeling of any room, while also supporting an environmentally friendly resource.

So, to help you create the perfect look during your next home makeover, we have compiled a list of 6 of the hottest hardwood flooring trends right now.

1) Simplicity is Key

In terms of design, there is no doubting that less is more. This sentiment is especially true in the case of hardwood floors. At the moment, many designers are going back to basics, focusing on laying same-size planks in a unified direction, as opposed to multi-sized cuts or patterned lays. While this traditional placement offers a simple aesthetic, it also creates a sleek and clean appearance that will tie any room together. 

Furthermore, simplicity in your flooring allows for versatility when it comes to styling. The cleaner or simpler appearance of the floors, the more creative you can become with your décor. A simple floor pattern also enables you to easily switch up your furniture or other furnishings.

Although fun or unique patterns are intriguing they can also be quite distracting. Intricate floor designs can overwhelm a space and even make a room feel cluttered. Therefore, opting for a simple flooring pattern will actually expand the possibilities of your design.

2) Darker Toned Woods

Over the past few years, color trends have moved towards darker tones. It’s easy to see why this trend has emerged; darker colors look elegant and luxurious, creating an expensive feel. But that’s not all, dark woods provide a modern feel and are often easier to style than lighter tones, since darker tones will suit anything from dark furnishings to lighter kitchen cabinets. 

3) Whitewashed Floors

The whitewashed look is reminiscent of a Californian vibe and is now trending throughout the country. Creating a relaxed beachy look, this kind of flooring undergoes a bleaching or blanching process to strip-back the natural tone of the wood. But before you worry that you’ll end up ruining your boards, this process only places stain over the wood’s surface. The wood grain is still visible underneath the whitewash, so this color will not lose the charm of the natural material.

Whitewashed wood works to add brightness and create a feeling of openness, which means this type of wood is perfect for areas in which you want to create a more homely feel such as the kitchen or the living area.  As a more contemporary option, whitewash can help add some interest and personality to your home.

4) Distressed or Aged Look

The aged flooring style has been around for a while but has recently experienced a surge in popularity. To create the ‘slightly worn’ look this finish undergoes an artificial aging process. This style is perfect if you are wanting to create a rustic aesthetic as this finish accentuates a feeling of homeliness and warmth. 

5) Greige Wood Floors

A mix between gray and beige, it appears ‘greige’ is a popular flooring trend. This blended color captures the best of both worlds as it combines the minimalist feel of grey with the warmth of beige. It is fairly adaptable, pairing well with different décor styles and easily blending from indoor to outdoor kitchen and entertaining designs. Whether you’re after a more modern look or a rustic country style, greige is a highly complementary choice.

With its unique color, greige flooring can completely change the dynamic of a room. The light neutral tone of this wood can brighten an area and provide a comforting relaxing feeling.

6) High Variation Hardwood

If you’re looking for something a bit different, then check out high variation floors. With the range of flooring technology available, it’s now easier than ever to make your floor look truest to its original state. Essentially, high variation floors echo the sentiment that in nature, no two pieces of wood are the same. As such, manufacturers are now able to replicate this natural effect in their flooring.  Within your home, this varied look can work to combine aspects of modern and rustic designs.  

Whatever trend you decide to select, remember that hardwood floors are a lifetime investment. As they are highly versatile and adaptable, hardwood floors not only suit any lifestyle but also enhance the appearance of your home.  

Categories
Hardwood Flooring

Avoiding Common Mistakes When Purchasing Hardwood Floors

The experience of choosing a new type of flooring can be simultaneously exciting and stressful. Here are a few tips that will make your decision process easier:

Type of Flooring

The type of flooring you desire is one of your first considerations. Each type of wood is different. Some of the varieties include solid hardwood or engineered hardwood. The decision isn’t as easy as it may seem. Picking the flooring from style preference alone isn’t always the best way to go. Many other factors should be taken into consideration to avoid future problems with your floor.

Species

Certain wood species are more durable than others. Make sure that the floor you choose fits your lifestyle. Take into consideration the amount of traffic in your home as you wouldn’t want a softer type of wood in a home with heavy traffic. There are a countless number of styles and species to choose from so understanding the quality is vital.

Preparation

The type of flooring you choose will ultimately determine the preparation you must do prior to installation. Some floors can be easily installed whereas others need extra preparation which adds to your costs. However hardwood flooring offers an array of possibilities. You can install it almost anywhere, on any level of your home. There may be a few extra steps needed in certain circumstances depending on type of material you choose.

Limitations

When installing hardwood flooring it is essential to avoid rooms that have frequent changes in humidity. Most people would assume that the kitchen should be avoided because of constant exposure to water but actually installing solid hardwood flooring in the kitchen is fine. The reason is because water is not left on the floor, which would damage it. The situations that are problematic are bathrooms with shower or tub because the steam from the shower and the possibility of an overflowing tub could be disastrous. Laundry rooms also generate a lot of moist heat which would be very problematic for hardwood floors.

Installation

Although it is possible to install your solid hardwood flooring yourself, you should not attempt it without some guidance. The expert staff at MacDonald Hardwoods is available to come out to your home and measure the room for you. They will inform you of any special circumstances that may cause you problems with a self-install. If you do decide to install your solid hardwood flooring yourself, MacDonald Hardwoods provides training free of charge to its customers. They will explain all of the steps involved and they will be available to answer questions throughout process.

From beginning to end, the knowledge and expertise of the MacDonald Hardwoods staff is at your disposal. They can help you select a color, finish, texture and species of wood that matches your interior décor, your local climate, and your budget. In addition, they provide top-of-the-line cleaning products and supplies to keep your floors looking fabulous. MacDonald Hardwoods is a name you can trust. Come visit their showroom in downtown Denver.

2015 Macwoods Survey headerOur 2015 survey of designers might also help you in your hardwood journey.  Take a look and see what they recommend for new houses, remodels, houses with pets, and more.

Categories
Hardwood Flooring Under-Floor Heating

Can You Install Radiant Heat Under Wood Floors?

Imagine walking over heated wood floors on a cold winter night? Radiant heat is becoming more and more popular in residential heating. Most people are not aware of how radiant heat works. In fact, many people do not know that radiant heat can be installed under wood floors. If you would like to consider radiant heat for your home, there are a few issues to consider before making your final decision.

What is Radiant Heat?

Radiant heat is a system using electric coils or tubes of hot water underneath the flooring. Traditionally it has been used for tile floors but now it is also used with wood flooring. Heating floors is becoming increasingly popular due to the ease of warming up your entire home. One of the first objections raised by skeptics is that it will increase your electric bill. In reality, radiant heaters are very cost effective and those that have them installed noticed a slight decrease in their electric bills.

Do Radiant Heaters Really Warm Up A Floor?

Yes! This isn’t a fad or a limited-time promotion. Radiant heaters really do work and can warm your floor up to 85 degrees Fahrenheit! Some manufactures would recommend that you maintain a consistent temperature, ideally between 78 and 80 degrees. The type of wood flooring that you install over the radiant heat mechanism will ultimately determine your temperature guidelines.

Limitations

There are some limitations on the type of wood flooring that can be used with radiant heat. If you are considering radiant heat in your home, consult with experts to advise you which species are best suited for this application. Be sure to discuss how the thickness of the flooring will affect heating; how the natural shrinkage and swelling will affect your floors, and which types of wood are most stable when heated. This factor varies with wood species as well as the flooring manufacture.

Installing Wood Floors

If you choose to have radiant heat installed beneath your wood floors, the next step is planning the installation. Floating floors work best. It is recommended that you do not glue or nail down your wood floors. This would be affected by the heat in the near future and cause conflict in case of any repairs. Instead, aim for interlocking, floating floors. This will allow you to easily replace any floors in case of a damage.

Remember to always check with the manufacturer to ensure that the wood floor you are considering is compatible with radiant heat. Not all radiant heating systems will work with wood flooring. There are several radiant heating manufacturers so make sure you equip yourself with as much information as possible. While most radiant heating systems can be installed by the homeowner there are various technicalities to consider or you may opt to have it professionally installed.

Categories
Hardwood Flooring

Top 6 Hardwood Flooring Trends To Consider For Your Next Renovation 

 

When it comes to interior design, hardwood flooring will always be a timeless classic. Since this option never goes out of style and is highly versatile, hardwood floors are a great way to add value to your home and completely transform the feeling of any room, while also supporting an environmentally friendly resource.

 So, to help you create the perfect look during your next home makeover, we have compiled a list of 6 of the hottest hardwood flooring trends right now.

 

1)     Simplicity is Key

In terms of design, there is no doubting that less is more. This sentiment is especially true in the case of hardwood floors. At the moment, many designers are going back to basics, focusing on laying same-size planks in a unified direction, as opposed to multi-sized cuts or patterned lays. While this traditional placement offers a simple aesthetic, it also creates a sleek and clean appearance that will tie any room together. 

Furthermore, simplicity in your flooring allows for versatility when it comes to styling. The cleaner or simpler appearance of the floors, the more creative you can become with your décor. A simple floor pattern also enables you to easily switch up your furniture or other furnishings.

Although fun or unique patterns are intriguing they can also be quite distracting. Intricate floor designs can overwhelm a space and even make a room feel cluttered. Therefore, opting for a simple flooring pattern will actually expand the possibilities of your design.

 

2)     Darker Toned Woods

Over the past few years, color trends have moved towards darker tones. It’s easy to see why this trend has emerged; darker colors look elegant and luxurious, creating an expensive feel. But that’s not all, dark woods provide a modern feel and are often easier to style than lighter tones, since darker tones will suit anything from dark furnishings to lighter kitchen cabinets. 

 

3)     Whitewashed Floors

The whitewashed look is reminiscent of a Californian vibe and is now trending throughout the country. Creating a relaxed beachy look, this kind of flooring undergoes a bleaching or blanching process to strip-back the natural tone of the wood. But before you worry that you’ll end up ruining your boards, this process only places stain over the wood’s surface. The wood grain is still visible underneath the whitewash, so this color will not lose the charm of the natural material.

Whitewashed wood works to add brightness and create a feeling of openness, which means this type of wood is perfect for areas in which you want to create a more homely feel such as the kitchen or the living area.  As a more contemporary option, whitewash can help add some interest and personality to your home.

 

4)     Distressed or Aged Look

The aged flooring style has been around for a while but has recently experienced a surge in popularity. To create the ‘slightly worn’ look this finish undergoes an artificial aging process. This style is perfect if you are wanting to create a rustic aesthetic as this finish accentuates a feeling of homeliness and warmth. 

 

5)     Greige Wood Floors

A mix between gray and beige, it appears ‘greige’ is a popular flooring trend. This blended color captures the best of both worlds as it combines the minimalist feel of grey with the warmth of beige. It is fairly adaptable, pairing well with different décor styles and easily blending from indoor to outdoor kitchen and entertaining designs. Whether you’re after a more modern look or a rustic country style, greige is a highly complementary choice.

With its unique color, greige flooring can completely change the dynamic of a room. The light neutral tone of this wood can brighten an area and provide a comforting relaxing feeling.

 

6)     High Variation Hardwood

If you’re looking for something a bit different, then check out high variation floors. With the range of flooring technology available, it’s now easier than ever to make your floor look truest to its original state. Essentially, high variation floors echo the sentiment that in nature, no two pieces of wood are the same. As such, manufacturers are now able to replicate this natural effect in their flooring.  Within your home, this varied look can work to combine aspects of modern and rustic designs.  

Whatever trend you decide to select, remember that hardwood floors are a lifetime investment. As they are highly versatile and adaptable, hardwood floors not only suit any lifestyle but also enhance the appearance of your home.  

 

Categories
Hardwood Flooring Hardwood Maintenance

5  Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Your Hardwood Floors

When it comes to redecorating, one of the single most effective things you can do is update your flooring. Trading your old carpet for a beautiful hardwood floor can really add a splash of style to your space and instantly update the overall look and feel of your home.

But before you take the plunge and invest in hardwood flooring, it’s important that you understand the specific care requirements that come with them. Although timber flooring may seem like a low-maintenance option, a certain amount of TLC is required to keep it looking spick and span.

What’s more, you may have to throw out everything you know about cleaning too! It is all too common that those with wooden floors end up ruining them simply by cleaning them incorrectly.

While it may seem a daunting prospect to choose a flooring option that is a little temperamental, don’t reconsider just yet. All it takes is a little knowledge of how to clean your hardwood floors so you don’t make the mistake of inadvertently damaging your floors.

Here are five of the most common traps people fall into when cleaning their hardwood floors.

  1. Using An Incorrect Vacuum Attachment

Unfortunately, not all suction tools were created equal. In reality, some vacuum attachments can have adverse effects on hardwood floors. Over time, an incorrect vacuum head can scratch wooden surfaces and leave more pesky spaces for dust or dirt to hide, all in all, making them harder to clean. In this case, definitely steer clear of any attachments that contain rotating brushes or a beater bar with stiff bristles, as these heads are too abrasive for soft wooden materials and will cause damage.

Alternatively, you should opt for an attachment which has a soft brush or felt component with less resistance. You could also consider using a vacuum with a lighter or smaller canister as these machines aren’t as heavy and are less likely to create dents or marks.

  1. Mopping Wooden Floors As You Would Tiles

Wooden floorboards are porous, which means they absorb and hold moisture. So, it makes sense that using a wet mop to clean is a no-go when it comes to wooden flooring. The greatest risk you run into here is water seeping down into the floors and causing warping, movement, or swelling.

That said, you can still mop your floors, but it’s best to avoid mopping with a saturated brush. Instead, grab a mop that’s basically dry, or only slightly damp, to maintain that polished look. Your wood floors will thank you later!

  1. Using Common Household Cleaners

Vinegar and ammonia-based cleaners are highly renowned in the household cleaning world, as they are known to be both cost-effective and versatile. However, using such products on hardwood floors is an absolute faux pas. While these products, will without a doubt eliminate debris or stains, they will also damage the wood’s finish by slowly eating away at the surface. 

Not only this, you should also avoid natural cleaning agents like baking soda and abrasive bottled sprays, as these cleaners will lessen the protective coating of your hardwood floors.

Opting for an oil-based cleaning product is your best bet. Oil-based cleaners are best for hardwood floors since they will not damage the wood’s appearance, prematurely age the wood, or diminish the protective surface.

If you’re unsure what cleaner to use, you should contact your flooring manufacturer who will be able to advise you on the best care instructions for your product. 

  1. Excessive Amounts of Water Left On The Floors

Water is the enemy of hardwood flooring. Although it is impossible to avoid small spills here and there, it is important to note that excessive amounts of water can cause the wood to buckle. Not only this, exotic hardwood styles like Brazilian Cherry, Jarrah or Merbau could develop discolored patches as a result of water.

  1. Neglecting Regular Hardwood Maintenance

After your hardwood floors are installed, you’re home free, right? Unfortunately, no! Wooden floors need long-term care to ensure they continue to look good as new. Most people don’t realize this, but sweeping regularly can not only eliminate dust but also extend the lifespan of the wood.

Also, if you begin to notice scratches here and there, it’s best to repair these floorboards as soon as you can. The sooner you attend to little problem areas, the easier the repair job will be; it’s the difference between buffing out a spot and sanding the entire board down to refinish. To this end, think about caring for your hardwood floors like you do lawn maintenance: regular mowing takes considerably less time, energy and money than tending to an overgrown jungle of weeds!

Categories
Hardwood Flooring Hardwood Maintenance

6 Things You Need To Think About Before Installing Wooden Flooring

When it comes to remodeling your home, wooden flooring can beautifully transform your space like nothing else. That said, many people don’t fully understand the implications of their design choice when making it; namely that you can’t just pick any old wood and be done with it!

Choosing your flooring is a little more complex than just picking out the type you like the look of. But with a little knowledge under your belt, you’re sure to find a flooring option you love which is fit for purpose too.

Here are 6 things you need to think about before you choose your flooring. 

 

  1. Your Specific Circumstances

Depending on your living habits, your floor might take an awful beating, so it’s important to choose a wood that can withstand your lifestyle. Those with young children or pets, or those who have a lot of traffic through their house should opt for a hardier wood, like White Oak or Australian Cypress.

Likewise, if your floors barely see a high heel, paw or toy, then a softer wood like American Black Walnut or Beech are options for you. 

If you’re unsure of the durability of a specific wood, you can check out its Janka rating or discuss your options with a local flooring consultant who will be able to give you recommendations on suitable woods for your lifestyle.

 

  1. The Type Of Look You’re Going For

Once you’ve narrowed down your search by the wood strength, you need to consider the type of look you’re going for. While you may love one style in the showroom or online, you must think about how it will fit with your overall aesthetic; it may not have the desired effect in your space. 

As a rule of thumb, darker woods create a sophisticated edge and suit larger homes while lighter woods are great for a modern, fresh vibe.

It’s also really important to pick a wood that doesn’t clash with the cabinetry, fittings and overall style of your room. Taking home a sample piece of flooring can help you establish whether a certain wood type will work or not.

 

  1. The Lighting Inside Your Home

Design elements aside, lighting is another crucial factor in choosing a flooring option. Dark woods lend themselves to spaces that have a lot of natural light and lighter colored cabinets, trimwork and décor. Conversely, if you don’t have a lot of natural light and your design aesthetic is on the dark side, a lighter flooring can not only compliment your other design choices but also ensure the room doesn’t appear smaller than it actually is.

 

  1. General Maintenance And Upkeep

Hardwood flooring isn’t just set and forget. The upkeep of your floor is something you need to be aware of before installing it. When you install your floor, a protective coating will be applied to the surface to ensure the longevity of the boards, but over time this will fade, and you will need to recoat them. 

Although you won’t have to do this too often over the lifetime of your floors, the frequency in which you do this will depend upon how much wear your floors endure and how well you upkeep them in terms of day to day maintenance.

That said, general maintenance is generally quick and easy, but it’s something you must be diligent about. While vacuuming and sweeping should be part and parcel of your floor cleaning routine, mopping should not. Applying steam or excessive wetness to your floors can damage their finish so wiping up spills with a damp cloth as soon as they occur is essential. Any cleaning product you use on your floor should be fit for purpose. 

 

  1. Whether You Want To DIY

When it comes to installation, you have two options; to DIY or not! Obviously, professional installation will save you time and effort, but doing it yourself will undoubtedly save you money. Before you balk at the idea of installing your own flooring, it’s not as difficult as you may think. While it may seem a daunting prospect, with the right training and support (usually provided by your floor supplier), it can be a piece of cake! 

 

  1. The Most Important Thing To You

Essentially, choosing your wood comes down to you deciding what the most important factor is to you. By doing this, you can dramatically narrow down your search and pick the right wood for you quickly, rather than aimlessly wading through a myriad of options. You can spend hours trying to decide which way you should go and you’ll usually always have to compromise somewhere. Outlining your main requirement can really help you feel more comfortable in choosing a floor that doesn’t tick absolutely every box! 

If your main concern is budget, opt for a cheaper wood. If longevity and hardiness are paramount, choose a wood in line with this, and so on!

Happy wood hunting!

 

Categories
Hardwood Flooring Hardwood Maintenance

Best Maintenance Practices for Your Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors can be both visually pleasing and increase the value of your home; they are durable, add warmth to a room and offer great stain resistance. However, keeping your floors looking like new for years to come you will need to do some routine maintenance. The following practices will ensure that your hardwood floor will always look great.

How to Keep Your Floor Clean

Sand and dirt can scratch your hardwood floor, so it’s important to sweep, dust or vacuum your floor regularly. This will prevent sand and dirt from harming your floor. If you have children or pets who track in lots of sand and dirt, you may have to sweep or vacuum your floor every day. When vacuuming your floor, use the attachment or setting for bare floors. If you use the beater bar, it may scratch your hardwood floor.

Every week, you should wipe your hardwood floor with a damp mop or a clean cloth. This will help to clean any dirt that you missed when sweeping or vacuuming.

Periodically, you should clean your floor with a cleaner made specifically for hardwood floors. Never use soapy water or a wet mop on your hardwood floor.

Cleaning up Spills and Stains

Hardwood floors are very stain resistance, however, if you allow liquid to stay on a hardwood floor for an extended period, it may cause damage or stains. To prevent damage or staining, wipe up any spills immediately. Always use a clean soft cloth to prevent scratching of your floor.

If you have a tough stain like paint, ink, lipstick or oil, you can try cleaning the stain with acetone nail polish remover on a soft cloth. When you have removed all traces of the stain, be sure to clean the area with a clean cloth that is dampened with water.

If you get candle wax or gum on your hardwood floor, apply ice to harden the wax or gum. Then use an old credit card to scrape off the wax or gum. Once you have all of the gum or wax removed, you can clean the area with a clean cloth that is dampened with water.

Things You Should Avoid with Hardwood Floors

Only use cleaning products that are designed for hardwood floors. Do not use any type of abrasive like scrubbing pads or scouring powder. These can scratch and destroy your floor. Don’t use ammonia, bleach or oil on your floor because they could stain or discolor the floor.

If you have high traffic areas, like hallways or entryways, you may want to use floor protectors to prevent your hardwood floor from being scratched or scuffed. Don’t use rugs with a rubber backing because they may cause stains on the floor. They may also stick to the hardwood floor and leave behind residue that is very difficult to remove.

Place furniture pads under any heavy furniture and they will help prevent scratches and indentations from your furniture. If you move furniture take care not to slide it across the floor. Either pick up the furniture or place it on a piece of plywood or carpeting before you slide it across the floor.

Learn how to select the best hardwood floors for your home.