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How to Prepare your Hardwood Floors for Gatherings

As we look forward to hosting gatherings throughout the year, it is important to consider how extra foot traffic may affect your hardwood floor. Although there are several ways that your floor may be damaged, there are an equal number of preventative measures that can help you keep your mind on the party. Let’s walk through some of the ways you can protect your floors during parties.

Slipper Gallery

If you find that some guests hesitate to remove their shoes in your home, you might try making it part of your party theme. By providing a shoe rack full of new slippers of many different styles and colors, your guests will embrace the practice and enjoy the gesture. You might even offer the slippers as gifts as a memento of your party.


Investing in a few runners to place in high traffic areas will considerably decrease scuffs and scratches. These can be easily rolled up and stowed away or they can be used year-round to accent your home décor. Large area rugs can also add color and design and brighten up a room while protecting your hardwood flooring.


For rainy days when the kids leave umbrellas on the floor or snowy days when people or pets track slush into the house, it is helpful to have heavy rugs and towels at your entryways. Removing your shoes on a rug will prevent excess moisture from damaging your floors. If any type of moisture is left on the floors, it may cause dark stains. Some substances, such as rock salt, can ruin the finish itself.


Although it may seem like a good idea to wax your floor before a gathering, it will actually make it more slippery and increase the likelihood that drinks or food may be spilled. A dry mop should be sufficient to keep your floors free of debris. In case an accident should occur, be sure to leave tissues or napkins on around to make it easier to wipe up any spills immediately.


Take time to enjoy yourself at your gatherings. When you prepare in advance, you can trust that your hardwood floors will survive. Your friends at MacDonald Hardwoods are happy to recommend cleaning products and supplies or offer advice about repairing or replacing your floor. For the best prefinished hardwood floors in the Greater Denver area, visit MacDonald Hardwoods.

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Water and Hardwood Flooring

Where does wood come from? Trees of course. What do trees need to grow? Sunlight, water and soil. If any of these elements is absent, the tree will not survive. If water is so critical to the survival of a tree, why should it be avoided with hardwood flooring?

Well, let’s think about the cycles an oak tree goes through. Every year, new growth pops out in the spring; it continues to grow throughout the summer; its leaves change color and fall in autumn (due to declining sunlight), and then it becomes dormant during the winter.

In each of these stages, the needs of the tree are a little bit different. When it is growing, it needs more nutrients than when it is dormant. Like any living thing, its needs change gradually over time.

One reason we like to use wood in our homes is because it creates a feeling of natural warmth. Although the material is no longer living, it does continue to respond to changes in temperature and humidity. When wood swells, our doors become harder to open and close and the spaces between planks of flooring are reduced. When wood contracts, the spaces between the planks become more pronounced. The degree to which the wood swells or contracts depends on the local climate and the type of wood.

How does this relate to the rooms in our home? We want to avoid using wood flooring in rooms where significant changes in temperature and humidity occur. Although we are constantly using water in the kitchen – increasing the chance that the floor will become wet – it is not risky to install a wood floor in the kitchen. If there is a spill in the kitchen it will likely be cleaned up quickly. We are most attentive to the use of water in the kitchen then we are in other rooms where plumbing is present.

If we do not usually spill water in the laundry room, why is it strongly discouraged to use wood flooring there? The laundry room is a small enclosed space and the level of humidity fluctuates with each load. For example, the average family may clean 5 loads of laundry in a week. At least one of those loads will be washed in hot water and probably several will be washed in warm water. The steam from the hot water will greatly increase the humidity in the room and the effects of the warm water will be amplified because it is an enclosed space.

Bathrooms are the most common rooms that wood floor enthusiasts may risk using wood flooring, even if they understand the risks. If the bathroom is a half-bath, meaning it does not have a shower or tub, a wood floor would not be at risk. If however, there is a tub or shower, wood flooring should be avoided. The reason is that it is possible that the tub could overflow onto the floor at some point and the steam from the shower or tub would greatly impact the humidity in this small enclosed space. Taking household size into account when planning your space is an important step to determining what kind of flooring is best.

What happens if wood flooring becomes completely saturated? It depends on how much water is spilled and how long it is left untreated. The local climate and type of wood are also factors, but to a lesser extent.  The worst case would be that the wood would bow, split and crack because of the sudden change in humidity. It also may cause a stain without harming the integrity of the wood. If it were to split, that portion of the flooring would need to be replaced. Depending on how recently it was installed, it may be difficult or impossible to match. If it were stained, it may require refinishing or replacing the entire floor.

With the investment of time and effort that goes into installing hardwood flooring, it makes sense to avoid using it in rooms that are small enclosed spaces where the temperature and humidity changes rapidly and often. For more inside information about hardwood flooring, contact our customer service staff at MacDonald Hardwoods at 303.625.9780.

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Which Wood Flooring is Best for Me?

If you are considering hardwood floors for your home, the first question you need to decide upon the overall look you want to create. Will your floor be the focal point of the room or will it provide an elegant backdrop for decorative rugs and artwork? Will the overall theme be traditional, contemporary, or rustic? Let’s take a few moments to explore the possibilities that wood flooring provides.

Before the 1950’s, homeowners installing wood flooring only had a few choices of wood and finish. This traditional look created one consistent color and texture; this is an appearance that provides an attractive background for decorative accessories and furniture.

We now have many other options available. There are colored whitewash finishes, rustic distressed woods, woods with naturally alternating tones producing a striped appearance, natural looks from blonde to ebony finishes, textured woods, and multiple levels of sheen. The possibilities seem endless.

When you come to us, our team will walk you through the selection process. You don’t need to figure out which option will work all on your own. Speaking from many years of experience, we will answer your questions and help you decide which type of flooring will best fit your needs. Our only goal is your complete satisfaction.

Because we live in Colorado, we need to choose types of wood that will tolerate the extreme dryness of our climate and altitude. There are some woods, such as bamboo and acacia that are very susceptible to shrinkage and often crack and split in this environment. We strongly recommend against using these woods here.

For nearly 20 years we’ve been the sole local distributor of Rocky Mountain Dry, a natural red oak that is precision milled and dried in White Lake, Wisconsin. The water content in this wood is reduced to the bare minimum, 4.5%. This process prepares it for the local climate and makes any seasonal shrinking or swelling almost undetectable. It is hands-down the best wood flooring for Colorado. Rocky Mountain Dry is available in four traditional finishes: Blanca (clear coat, light color), Cimarron (golden), Paonia (gunstock), and Russet (dark red-toned brown). It comes 3/4” thick at widths of 2-1/4” and 3-1/4”.

If you are looking for a less traditional look, the Tigerwood has been very popular lately. It has a boldly striped appearance that would be more likely to hide incidental scratches from shoes or pets. Brazilian Cherry offers a distinctive red tone, for homeowners who are looking for their wood floor to add color to the room. You may also want to consider engineered flooring, which consists of a layer of solid hardwood with layers of backing that alternate in direction, adding to the overall strength and stability of the wood.

If you would like to install your hardwood floor yourself, MacDonald Hardwood is here to teach you how. In addition to our instructional DVD “You Can Do It,” we provide our customers with instructional classes and unlimited follow-up support. The exact time it will take to install a prefinished floor depends on the size of the room and the skill of the installer but most people can install 200-300 sq ft each day.

If you would like to see the possibilities that exist, stop by MacDonald Hardwoods. Once we’ve helped you narrow down your coices, we’ll give you a few samples to take home. Seeing the prefinished wood samples in the lighting and décor of your home can be very helpful when trying to decide which way to go. You can also check out some of the choices professional designers are making in our 2015 customer preference survey.

A hardwood floor is a great investment, and it is an element that will last longer than any other improvement you could make. Let us help you make the best hardwood flooring decision for your home.

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Considering Hardwood Flooring?

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When you are looking for ways to enhance the look and feel of your home, hardwood flooring is one of the best investments you can make. Its popularity has never waned. In a recent survey of designers from across the country, nearly 85% indicated that, when a change of flooring is called for, they prefer to make the change to hardwood.  Like a good friend, hardwood stays with you throughout every stage of life. Its look can be changed to match the latest design trends and each room can be transformed overnight with the addition of a new rug, furniture, and accessories. You can’t help but feel warmth and comfort surrounded by this source of natural beauty.

Compared to carpet, hardwood flooring has many advantages. Although the initial cost of hardwood floor installation may be more than standard carpet, it will not have to be replaced every 10-15 years. If the carpet color and style is used as a design element of the décor, it could be replaced even sooner. Anyone with children or pets knows that carpeting can be easily stained or damaged by normal family activity. Allergy sufferers are strongly advised to avoid having carpet in their homes because it is a wonderland for dust mites and other prominent allergens.

Linoleum and vinyl flooring are easy to care for and less expensive than hardwood but they are also much less attractive. Depending on the quality, the color of the vinyl may be affected by certain household cleaners. Sunlight and cleaners are known to cause the color to fade as well. Because it is pliable, any sharp object dropped on the floor may be able to pierce it and jeopardize integrity of the entire floor. A small cut could allow water to seep beneath the flooring and cause several other problems. This could also happen if the edges are not properly sealed during installation.

Tile flooring is durable, long-lasting, and stain-resistant. It is also expensive. Anyone who has stood on tile floors for several hours at a time can attest to the physical strain this hard surface places on the body. Wood is softer and has some give so it is much more comfortable for active environments.  The overall look and feel of tile is cold. Whether it is a snowy winter night or the height of summer with the air conditioning chilling the air, tile flooring will remain cool and feel unpleasant. Another major concern is the cost and time required to change the tile when remodeling.

Hardwood flooring is very versatile. Any décor will come alive when it is built on a foundation of wood. The many species available encompass a vast number of colors and texture. Patterns, borders, and medallions are other elements that can enhance the design of your interior. On the other hand, a neutral mid-tone stain can accommodate the desire for style changes that normally occur over time. A quality hardwood floor can be easily refinished to change the color and sheen. Rugs and other complementary elements will only complement the natural beauty of the wood. It really has no disadvantages.

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Hardwood Flooring, It’s Good for Your Health

If you are among the 35 million Americans who are allergic to dust mites and pet dander, you may already be aware that a good way to limit your exposure is to replace the carpet in your home with hardwood flooring.

A house with wooden floors and rugs will contain only a tenth of the dust that a carpeted house contains. The hard surface of wood floors greatly reduces the accumulation of allergens in your home, compared to carpet, which keeps you and your family members happy and healthy.

Allergens and Irritants

The main irritants that pollute our indoor air quality are allergens and toxic chemicals. Dust mites, pet dander and pesticides constitute the largest portion of irritants that stand between us and optimal wellness.

–       Dust mites are tiny spider-like creatures that cannot be seen with the naked eye. They eat exfoliated skin and live in carpet, mattresses, and upholstered furniture.  A mite’s life cycle lasts only a few months, transitioning from egg to adult within a matter of weeks. It is their waste products that cause the allergic reactions.

–       Pesticides used in gardens and homes accumulate on floors and other surfaces in the home. A recent EPA study found that the accumulation of such toxins on hard surface flooring is significantly less than other types of flooring.

–       Pet dander is shed from dogs and cats. These allergens are very strong and maintain their potency for months, adhering to walls, clothing and other surfaces, even travelling with people to places where the pets have never been.

Complementary Solutions

Every part of the cleaning regimen that is recommended to properly maintain your hardwood floors is also a crucial step in reducing the allergens in your home. In fact, natural wood oils often have a strongly anti-bacterial action.

–       Replacing all carpeting, especially in the bedroom (where you spend one-third of your time) will significantly reduce the available safe-havens for allergens.

–       Wood floors do not trap and accumulate concentrations of harmful chemicals and fumes, nor do they become homes for unpleasant parasites.

–       Washing rugs with hot water, at least 130°F, will kill dust mites.

–       Using a dehumidifier or air conditioner to maintain relative humidity at 50% or below is good for your hardwood floors and, makes the environment undesirable for dust mites.

–       Cleaning the floors with a microfiber mop, instead of traditional cleaning methods, has been recommended by the EPA as an environmental best practice for healthcare facilities.

The beauty of hardwood floors has long been a favorite of homeowners. Whether you choose the look of pronounced rustic lines or a subtly background blend, the attraction to natural elements is overwhelming.

The stains and finishes available provide a wide array of colors and styles. Each choice can add to the beauty of your home while making it a healthier environment with significantly fewer allergens and irritants. It seems so simple. It’s the natural choice – hardwood flooring.

For more information about how you can be happier and healthier, contact MacDonald Hardwoods.

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