Damp Mopping – The Way Experts Clean Their Wood Floors

 

damp mopping wood floors

Remember: Damp Mop.

Damp mopping is a very simple way of cleaning hardwood floors. It also happens to be a tried and true method that many experts believe is the most effective way in cleaning urethane finished wood floors on a day-to-day basis.

What Do You Have To Do?

Anyone can do it; all you need is a mop and some water. There are many different types of mops to choose from. Microfiber and/or sponge mops are popular choices for many.

Dirt and grit are the biggest enemies of a wood floor, so before you begin cleaning with a damp mop, remove any dirt and grit by sweeping with a soft broom, or vacuum (do not use a vacuum with a beater bar).

Fill up a bucket with water (NO SOAP), take your mop, dip it into the bucket of water, and – here’s the important part – make sure you squeeze any surplus water out of it. This gives you a damp mop that you can now use to glide over your hardwood floors with ease. There’s nothing fancy to it.

But What About Homemade Cleaning Solutions?

Many people claim specific do-it-yourself cleaning solutions that involve a host of different easily attainable products such as white vinegar, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, liquid dish-washing soap, and even black tea bags perform well on cleaning their wood floors. While some may swear by these methods, there’s no guarantee of these methods working in the long-term. People claim they help restore the shine of a finish, but it’s only short-term.

The issue experts have with these simple do-it-yourself cleaning methods is that they will in fact leave a nasty “dulling” residue on your hardwood floors. Solutions with vinegar and lemon juice contain acids that may harm a floor’s finish in the long-term.

Better To Be Safe Than Sorry

As the saying goes, “It’s better to be safe than sorry”. All you have to do is ask yourself if it’s worth the risk to put your trust into a hardwood floor cleaning solution that you found on the Internet.

Our best advice is to stick with the easiest solution of them all – a mop and some water (make sure it’s DAMP!)– and occasionally use cleaners such as Bona® as a “spot” remover when necessary. Always carefully follow cleaner manufacturer’s instructions.

 

Urban Floor: One of the Best in Price and Product Availability

 

best hardwood floor brandUrban Floor is proud to announce it’s latest achievement in the lovely world of hardwood flooring: we ranked in as one of the best hardwood floor brands of the year for two separate categories! The categories include both price and product availability.

The achievement comes from the release of an extensive market intelligence report performed by ReCo that is featured in a reputable hardwood flooring trade publication, Floor Covering Weekly.

We’re absolutely stoked over this news, because it shows that all of the hard work performed here at Urban Floor is beginning to show measurable progress that is truly made possible by you guys, our sincere customers who find true value in the solid and engineered hardwood floors that we proudly offer.

The same study also revealed that carpet still leads the market in flooring, but we like to believe it’s because people have not been given a chance to see the positive reasons in making the switch. That or many people are simply content with the carpeting they have had in their homes for multiple years.

Hardwood floors bring more than just value to your home, they bring a touch of beauty that is completely customizable to your own, personal taste. That is why we offer a broad selection of affordable flooring that’s widely available, because different people have different tastes and it’s important to make sure we offer a floor fit for anyone. We also plan on adding a new line of floors in the foreseeable future so stay tuned for it’s exciting release!

Again, we want to graciously thank our customers, fans, and those who have shown support since our beginning. Your support is an integral part in helping us bring the best quality hardwood floors into the homes of those that realize how the housing market is slowly shifting from carpet flooring to hardwood flooring.

 

Presidential Signature – A Unique Solid Hardwood Flooring Collection

 

solid hardwood flooringWe know July 4th is over, but why stop celebrating the birth of our wonderful nation? Better yet, why not highlight one of our solid hardwood flooring collections that perfectly commemorates an important moment in history?

Our Presidential Signature collection is the only solid hardwood flooring collection we offer and if you think about it, it makes sense. We named it after famous names that were responsible in the history and development of America as a nation. These individuals were strong-headed, ambitious, and fierce – all qualities that any President should have.

A Brief Snippet of History

Up first on the list of floors in our Presidential Signature collection is a light wood floor named Taft Maple, named after William Taft – the 27th U.S. President. Aside from being one of our Presidents, William Taft served as Chief Justice of the U.S. and – drumroll please – was the one who initially proposed the idea of an income tax.

The Jackson Oak line is named after none other than Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the U.S. Other than being president, his claim to fame comes from the fact that he was the man the Democratic Party formed around.

Franklin Pierce is the man behind the Pierce Oak solid hardwood floors. He was also the 14th President of the U.S. He became a brigadier general in the Army during the Mexican-American War. We like to call him, “Fierce Pierce”.

Our 4th line of solid floors in the Presidential collection, the Washington Oak, features a name everyone has heard of: George Washington. The 1st President of the U.S. also presided over an important convention that drafted our very own Constitution.

Our Adams Oak solid hardwood flooring line is named after John Adams, the 2nd President of the U.S. that many people may actually not be familiar with, which goes to show that generally most people never remember 2nd place. We’ll put this to the test: Spain won the World Cup in 2010, who was the runner-up? (Answer: Netherlands) Back on to Adams… he was actually an opponent of slavery and helped Thomas Jefferson draft the Declaration of Independence.

The Roosevelt Hickory line also brings about a familiar name in history: Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the U.S. His other claim to fame is the fact that he founded the Progressive Party (also known as the Bull Moose Party).

A little less known, but still very honorable is Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the U.S., who we name our Grant Maple solid hardwood floors after. Grant was a very fierce individual; he was the man who lead the Union (aka the North) over the Confederacy (aka the South) in the Civil War. Considering the North had won the war, you could say he filled his role well.

It’s good to save the best for last, right? That’s why last in our list is a name even people from outside of the U.S. are familiar with – none other than Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President and the man we proudly named our Lincoln Oak   line after.

We hope you learned a few tidbits of some of the most influential people in American history – it’s actually quite impressive.

See the whole Presidential Signature collection and other themed hardwood floors at yours truly, Urban Floor.

 

3 Amazing Hardwood Flooring Designs

 

Hardwood floors are versatile in more than just color, width, finish, type, etc., they can also be modified in ways that you wouldn’t even imagine (or maybe you would?). Here at Urban Floor, we’ll let you in on 3 ideas that we’ve found to be quite… amazing.

Painting a Rug on Your Hardwood Floor

It sounds simple in concept, but it’s actually a skilled talent – just as any painting is. The difference? This one is done on your very own hardwood floors. The sole purpose of this is to add a permanent touch to specific areas of hardwood floors that perhaps could use a little more life. If pulled off correctly, a painted rug on your hardwood floors will appear as just that – a rug, BUT due to the glistening nature of wood floors, you can expect your “rug” to glisten with light when the sun comes out. It makes for a wonderful appearance.

hardwood flooring designs

Sourced from: http://www.thefauxpro.net

3D Painted Hardwood Floors

Daring? Absolutely. Really freaking cool? Most definitely! 3D art paintings on hardwood floors can actually make you believe what you’re seeing is truly happening. It’s intriguing how our mind perceives art when it’s seen from a certain angle.

We can dawn on this topic forever, but at the end of the day one thing remains: 3D painted hardwood floors are purely works of beauty. We’re betting about 99% of you would opt not to have such a work of art installed in your own home atop your hardwood floors, but we’re also betting that 99% of you could stare at this type of art for hours on end, completely immersing yourself into the artwork.

3d artwork hardwood flooring design

Sourced from:
http://www.themost10.com

Wood Puzzle Hardwood Flooring

This concept is another one of those ideas that triggers your “wow” response. It’s such a basic idea, yet so brilliant – the idea of installing your hardwood floors in the shape of puzzle pieces. It’s an idea that brings out the kid in you that’s been longing to come out. If you really wanted to take it a step further, you could opt to use different shaded puzzle pieces for a mind-blowing experience.

wood puzzle hardwood flooring design

Sourced from: http://www.prowoodfloors.com

If you are inspired enough to implement any of these ideas, then be sure to update us with any pictures you have! We would love to see these ideas in action.

 

Ever Wonder Exactly How Engineered Hardwood Floors Are Made?

 

Over here at Urban Floor, we’re big proponents of the engineered flooring movement. Here’s a question for you: What comes into your mind when you hear or see the word “engineer”?

Perhaps it’s something along the lines of man-made construction using skills, knowledge, and science? If so, this is exactly what we’re referring to when we say, “engineered hardwood floors” – hardwood floors that are constructed using skills, knowledge, and science to create a product tailored a specific way.

How Engineered Hardwood Floors Are Made

It all starts with beautiful trees that are carefully cut down, loaded, and sent to a factory where the engineering magic begins. There are a wide variety of tree species that engineered hardwood floors can be made from, each with varying degrees of strength!

First, the large chunks of tree must be de-barked using industrial machines for preparation. A question lurking in the wood flooring industry is what to do with the bark chippings from this mandatory process. So far the best use is for bark mulching – which is used for gardening and landscaping for various purposes. One example of bark mulch’s benefits is that it can hold in moisture for plants, effectively slowing down the time it takes for them to dry out.

After the trees have been debarked, it’s time to turn large chunks of solid wood into fine-engineered hardwood floor planks – the ones that are actually installed in your home. The tree is shaved into slices of real wood known as veneers. This veneer is what will be featured on the top of your engineered floor, giving it the hardwood appearance you seek. Below this veneer contains multiple layers of strategically placed plywood. It’s strategically placed because these plywood layers are stacked on top of each other in opposite direction. This is what gives engineered hardwood floors the benefits they have over solid hardwood flooring options: dimensionally stable and more resistant to changes in temperature and humidity reducing expansion, shrinking, and warping, as well as reducing the tendency of split wood.

The final step of the process ends at a finishing factory where your wood floors are prefinished with different sealants for added protection and longevity. Your engineered hardwood floor may also be sent through a distressing process that involves hand scraped finishes or wire brushed finishes for customizability-sake. It all depends on what you want your floor to look like – old, modern, exotic, etc. It then ends up carefully laid into your home (often by a professional), waiting to receive compliments from your family and friends.

engineered hardwood floors

The process of how engineered hardwood floors are made is truly fascinating. Hopefully you begin to see exactly why we love engineered hardwood flooring so much. Really though, we love all hardwood floors!

 

 

Fun Floor of the Month: Rochester

 

Urban Floor would like to feature a brown hardwood floor that was carefully chosen for its perplexing wavy pattern and the fact that it reminds us of summertime, a season that is coming right around the corner! (June 21st for those wondering)

The Acacia Rochester engineered hardwood floor featured in the Urban Lifestyle collection is classified as a mild brown hardwood floor with a touch of red grain. This illuminating combination almost resembles a shade of sunny orange, hence why it reminds us of summer!

Rochester is a well-known, populated city located in New York. It’s actually a city that has been nicknamed “The Flower City”. We’d say that “Rochester” is a fitting name for a floor that we believe reminds us of the summer. A beautiful hardwood flooring choice only deserves to be named after a beautiful city.

The Acacia Rochester engineered floor is made of short-leaf premium acacia wood. Acacia wood is a species of wood known for its durability and strength. Just how strong is it? It ranks in with a 1750 on the Janka hardness test, which is a high ranking.

Colors invoke emotions and we at Urban Floor believe the Rochester wood floor’s color variation and wavy pattern promote positive vibes and energy. Put simply, it’s a brown hardwood floor that subconsciously brings out the “fun side” in anyone. What does this mean? Well, this means this floor would be an excellent companion for any parties. There’s no time for negativity during a party, or any fun event for that matter. Party on with the Rochester!

brown hardwood floor

 

Urban Floor Engineered Flooring Article Featured on the LA Daily News!

 

Engineered Flooring to Become New Leader in Hardwood Floor Market

engineered flooring

Very exciting times for us at Urban Floor with a new article that was covered in the LA Daily News on the topic of engineered flooring and how they have risen from the bottom to a fierce, reputable contender in the wood flooring industry.

Just how much of a contender are engineered hardwood floors? Well they currently hold just close to 50% of the total hardwood floor market, and will soon surpass solid hardwood flooring options as the market leader.

We’re strong believers in hardwood flooring options that keep the environment in mind, but options that also make sense. The benefits of engineered hardwood floors do outweigh other flooring options in many ways. Sure, solid hardwood flooring and laminate hardwood flooring have their benefits. Solid hardwood flooring can be refinished and re-sanded multiple times, while laminate flooring is typically the most cost-effective choice.

So back to making sense… just how does engineered flooring “make sense”? No brainer:

Environmentally conscious – for each square foot of solid hardwood veneer, you can make up to 24 square feet with engineered hardwood. Talk about saving trees.

Installation – Engineered hardwood can be installed in just about any place, including above concrete, which we believe is quite impressive. Now who would be installing hardwood over concrete? People who have basements that do not want carpet and do not enjoy walking over concrete.

Have it your way – The many different ways engineered hardwood floors are manufactured is truly amazing. Different sizes, colors, thicknesses, width, styles, patterns, you can customize your engineered hardwood the way you want it.

Basically, we love engineered hardwood floors, which is why many of our collections are indeed just that – engineered hardwood floors! Read the full article on why engineered hardwood floors are gaining market share.

 

Fun Activities with Hardwood Floors

 

The benefits of hardwood floors extend beyond the traditional things you’ve probably already heard of by now – air quality, low maintenance, a lot of variety to choose from, easy to clean, adds value to your house, etc.

We’re going to switch things up a bit by letting you in on a benefit that we’re willing to bet is vastly overlooked: fun activities to do on your hardwood floors. Of course, these activities we suggest are completely safe from damaging or ruining your hardwood floors as well as being kid-friendly.

Dance Away

Literally the absolute best activity to perform on your hardwood floors is to do exactly that: perform. The best way to go about this… soft socks. Chances are you’ve already attempted it at some point, either on your own hardwood floorsor someone else’s, but we recommend trying to replicate Michael Jackson’s outrageously famous “Moonwalk”. The Moonwalk isn’t for everybody, but it sure is fun to try.

In any event, you will definitely be able to channel your inner dance skills that have been longing to come out. Not to mention its great exercise. Throw some music on and practice away. Our only recommendation: make sure no one is looking.

Nerf Toys

Remember Nerf? You know, those toy foam darts that have been famous for several years? Well, Nerf guns are a great activity you and your kids can enjoy partaking in. Whether it be blasting each other with some of the latest and greatest Nerf guns or playing indoor basketball using their latest Cyber Hoop®, you’ll be sure to enjoy your time with the children. Just make sure the hardwood floors aren’t too slippery.

Also, if you need to move furniture out of the way in order to create a perfect line drive jam, then consider applying furniture padding in order to simply scoot your furniture out of the way. Sometimes you have to go the extra mile to score that 10/10 dunk.

We enjoy having fun every once in awhile. Fun is what keeps us alive and feeling refreshed. If you haven’t already, you should check out the fun video we made at Urban Floor with a fresh new take on the addictive tune that’s been going around known as #selfie, made popular by a group named The Chainsmokers. Enjoy the video and let us know any fun ideas you’ve encountered with your hardwood floors!

 

What’s the Deal with Hardwood Floors and Allergies?

 

Allergies are an issue that many Americans suffer from with symptoms ranging from mild to severe depending on the different seasons that come and go. The good news is that hardwood floors have been recommended by doctors and specialists as a way to combat the war between hardwood floors and allergies.

According to the AAFA (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America), hardwood floors are recommended for those suffering from both allergies and asthma. Better yet, doctors prefer hardwood flooring options installhardwood floors and allergiesed inside their own medical offices to minimize the chance of infectious germs and bacteria spreading around.

Why is this? It’s simple: because wood floors do not capture the dust, dander, pollen, and other allergy-causing substances that build up in your home. Dust mites feed off of carpet flooring, rugs, and other bedding options. This means they remain trapped in the carpet.

Carpet requires that you vacuum your room in order to suck the allergens out of it, which doesn’t even guarantee much, as dust mites could be deep within the carpet. If this is the case, then your vacuum cleaner won’t even be able to reach the dust mites. Effective carpet cleaning requires the use of a steam cleaner, which is a chore that not many people enjoy doing.

You shouldn’t be mistaken that hardwood floors will magically make your allergy-causing substances disappear. Dust, dander, pollen, and other allergens will still be present throughout your home but the difference is that natural hardwood floors are easier to clean and take care of. The bottom-line is that it’s easier to manage your dust problems with hardwood floors than it is with carpet.

It’s not just dust, dander, etc. that you should be worried about. Harmful fumes such as smoke are able to be trapped in carpet as well, something that doesn’t occur with hardwood flooring. Pet fur can also be trapped in carpet, leading to unwanted scenarios. Also, children who crawl along your floor will have increased exposure to the germs and bacteria that lurk within your home.

The goal of battling allergies is to minimize the amount of dust you are exposed to and hardwood floors are better at performing this task. It’s not uncommon to find someone who suffered from “random allergies” until they made the switch to wood flooring, when all of a sudden they weren’t having as many attacks.

Hardwood flooring offers more than just allergy benefits, read about the environmental benefits wood floors offer as well!

 

5 Ways To Prevent a Ruined Hardwood Floor

 

ruined hardwood floor

As we begin to see more and more families make the switch to hardwood flooring, we want to remind you of a few ways to keep yourself from the sight of a ruined hardwood floor.

1. Welcome Home

As you’re out and about throughout the day, your shoes pick up a handful of debris ranging from just normal everyday dirt to gum, and if you’re really unlucky – dog doo. The last thing you want is for this debris to catch your hardwood floors. This is why it is essential to add a welcome mat to the entrance of your home, giving you an efficient space to take your shoes off without adding in the extra chore of cleaning your floors.

2. Too Much Cleaning

Everything in life is about balance. While cleaning your wood floors is definitely a great habit to pick up, it can actually be damaging. Here’s the main reason why: too much water or solution. Dry mopping or dry-damp mops work best. The last thing you should do is blast your floors with a wet mop. The same goes for overdoing it with cleaning solutions.

Instead of cleaning the whole floor, perhaps stick to certain areas that appear filthier than others. Some people have tried steam cleaners (with some cleaners advertising a “wood flooring option”). Our advice – stay away from steam cleaners.

3. Here Comes The Sun

For those who live in cooler climates, this won’t affect you much. But for those of us stuck with lots of sunlight should highly consider investing in blinds, shades, drapes, and/or moving furniture around to distribute the sun equally throughout the room. Too much sunlight may damage hardwood floors, can dry out the finish, and cause discoloration.

4. Cushioning the Furniture

It’s nice to come home and throw yourself into a chair to relax. Sometimes, this results in unwanted scratches to your floors. An easy solution: furniture padding. You should spend no longer than an hour of your day searching for furniture pads to place under the corners of any furniture – couches, chairs, tables, etc. Chances are, your local hardware store will be carrying them.

5. Cat Scratch Fever

Pets are great companions, but your hardwood floors may have a different relationship with them. The biggest concern with pets is their nails. Their nails could leave small scratches, leaving you with a ruined hardwood floor. If pets could, they would probably trim their own nails like we humans do, but they can’t. When you begin to notice your pets’ nails becoming a little too long, then it’s time for a trimming. With some pets, this chore can be a real hassle. If that’s the case then look into a professional groomer who can also give them a nice bath, too!

 
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