Urban Floor’s Position on the “60 Minutes” CBS Report – Safety First

 

urban floor safety first

Many worried hardwood floor owners are quickly beginning to rip up their floors without question due to an incident on “60 minutes” on CBS that exposed the truth behind hardwood floor giant Lumber Liquidators.

According to the report, the Laminate floors they offer did not comply with strict safety standards. The incident has gained so much attention – for good reason – it has affected many other hardwood floor distributors, including us, Urban Floor.

Urban Floor has always kept safety in mind from the very first day we opened our doors – simply put, it’s our top priority. We stand behind our products and those of us within the company that do have engineered or solid hardwood floors in our homes, of course, use Urban Floor.

The Culprit = Formaldehyde

The chemical that is culprit is known as formaldehyde and is used in glues that bind the boards together. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and studies have shown they can cause a host of problems including chronic respiratory illnesses and cancer when exposed in high doses and for long periods of time. This is why testing is performed – to make sure this carcinogen does not put consumers at risk.

We Don’t Offer Laminate

At Urban Floor, we’re 90% about engineered hardwood floors, with the other 10% focusing on our wonderful solid wood flooring collection – the Presidential Collection.

In the report that targeted Lumber Liquidators – laminate flooring was the focus. Laminate floors are made differently than both engineered and solid wood flooring. We do not sell laminate floors here at Urban Floor.

Urban Floor’s Products – The Facts

Yes, some of Urban Floor’s products are made in China as well as tested there; however, when they are shipped back to the United States we double check their safety using our own independent lab tests from third parties based here in America. The results must meet strict CARB II compliant standards. The test results for Urban Floor’s products may be viewed below.

View the results from several different floors across all of our Collections.

Safety is Always #1

We hope this information helps clear up any confusion – just in case you are questioning why you chose Urban Floor for your hardwood flooring needs. We love hardwood floors and we would not settle for anything less than a quality, thoroughly safety-tested product.

 

Fixing Dents, Scratches, and Gouges on Hardwood Floors

 

Our engineering team here at Urban Floor wanted to address a common question asked by many hardwood floor owners: how can I fix dents, gouges, and scratches that have accidentally occurred on my hardwood floors?

It’s a good question, and we can help you answer this professionally. First off, understand that in any case, hardwood floors CAN be repaired. The beauty of hardwood floors are that they are installed in boards and if a couple of boards have issues, then the worst case solution is to replace only the boards; something that isn’t as easy with carpet when things go awry.

Secondly, accidents will happen. Fallen objects, rambunctious children, sporadic movements from pets may accidentally result in unwanted scenarios. Luckily, there are DIY methods of correcting common accidents.

For Minor Scratches (Surface and Micro)

We have a small guide we have written in the past that can be found here.

However, a solution presented here that is not found in the guide above is the use of color coordinated stain pens. Surface scratches are minor blemishes on the top veneer of the hardwood floor.

Urban Floor’s personal recommendation for surface scratches:

MinWax Stain

We trust this brand because it is offered in many different shades and it works and is very easy to use. Their products can be found at their website, www.minwax.com.

Micro scratches penetrate the top finish and can be addressed easily with a cover up product to help fill in and mask the scratch.

Urban Floor’s personal recommendation for micro scratches:

repair hardwood floor dents scratches

BONA “cover-up” Products

Cal Flor “Scratch Away”

These 2 recommendations are top-notch and work like a charm for minor scratches.

For Dents + Gouges + Deep Scratches

A dent or a gouge is a flooring term used when actual hardwood floor has been removed.

Urban Floor’s personal recommendation for dents, gouges, and deep scratches:

MinWax

Touch Up Solutions

Keep in mind that after several years of use, depending on foot traffic exposure, a polyurethane floor may begin to lose its luster and show signs of wear and tear. In this scenario, a re-coat may be necessary to restore its original beauty.

 

Urban Floor’s Hardwood Flooring Trend Watch 2015

 

Every year designers, contractors, builders, home buyers, etc. are all trying to figure out what the hottest hardwood flooring trends will be to help their clients select the best choices. Here at Urban Floor, we’re giving you what we believe what will stay in style and what may lose it’s shine (no pun intended, of course).

What’s In:

genuine handscraped floors

Dynasty from our Royal Court Collection is a great example of a genuine hand scraped floor!

The “Timeless” Choice

This word is thrown around a lot in the hardwood flooring industry, but typically always refers to selections that invigorate a room with a classical appeal. Typical classic flooring includes oak flooring options, as well as other traditional wood selections such as walnut or maple. You could say that consumers feel more at home with these options.

Genuine Distressed and Hand scraped Floors

It’s more than just the type of wood used to create a timeless appeal. You need to factor in flooring aspects such as distressed flooring and genuine hand scraped options. We specifically mention “genuine” as opposed to machine-based because genuine is the authentic way of producing a “timeless” appearance.

These subtle, detailed aspects make hardwood floors appear worn down over time, which is what the “classic, timeless appeal” is. A vintage look, if you will.

A benefit to the worn down look is that these types of floors do not require as much effort to maintain and will look better for a longer period of time. They are very practical for the average American family.

Kitchen Flooring

This was a hit last year and we feel it will carry over into this year as well. While we do not condone hardwood flooring in the kitchen for a variety of reasons, we can still acknowledge the fact that more and more families are beginning to prefer this to tile flooring.

What’s Out:

hardwood floor trend watch

Glossy may be out, but Matte is in!

Glossy Floors

Matte, or floors without as much shine, are quickly becoming the new standard for a few reasons:

1. Floors with more shine will reveal marks easier – therefore requiring more maintenance and cleaning to correct and of course no family has time for that.

2. Floors without as much shine are often described as warmer and more inviting than other options.

Narrow Planks/Strips

Gone are the days where hardwood floors were milled to specifications of no greater than 5-inches. Nowadays, 5-inches is the standard and this only seems to be increasing every year. This is why you will not see any boards less than 5-inches (with the exception of random width) in our flooring collections.

We speculate the reasoning for this is because wider planks have a tendency to make a room visually appear larger than it really is. Rooms feel more spacious. Wide plank floors work very well for living rooms, dining rooms, and master bedrooms.

In Conclusion

Trends come and go, some last, but most do not. This is all subjective preference based on our own experiences here at Urban Floor, as well as information we’ve collected from the industry.

urban floor pinterestNeed ideas regarding designs and decor? Our Pinterest may be able to guide you in the right direction!

 

Introducing 4 Exciting New Matte Hardwood Flooring Options by Urban Floor!

 

Composer Collection: Maestro

Of course we had to bring four new hardwood flooring choices to start off 2015! Without further ado, we want to present Urban Floor’s newest addition to an already existing family: Maestro – as part of the Composer Collection.

maestro matte hardwood floors

All 4 flooring choices were carefully considered. As one of the leaders in the hardwood flooring industry, it’s important to keep up with the latest trends, which is why we captured what’s hot and responded with this small collection of 4 floors that use finely selected European oak milled to widths of 10.5 inches.

Stravinsky

stravinky brown hardwood floors

Debussy

debussy light hardwood flooring

Vivaldi

wire brushed hardwood floors vivaldi

Strauss

kitchen hardwood floors strauss

The Finishing Touch: Matte

An upcoming trend is the desire for matte finishes. In a basic sense, matte just refers to a floor without much shine. All 4 of these new flooring options are equipped with a matte finishing done by oil experts, Osmo Oils. They source their oils and waxes from natural sources resulting in a product designed to not only enhance the natural beauty of wood, but to add strength and durability as well.

Keeping Up with the Kitchens

Kitchen flooring is also gaining a lot of ground. While we typically advise against kitchen flooring as water damage is always a strong possibility, we acknowledge the fact that flooring options are now equipped to handle “kitchen nightmares”. With a strong oil finish by Osmo Oils and a board thickness of 5/8” inches, you can count on the Maestro collection to get the job done. We even have specific shots showcasing both the Debussy and Strauss floors in a kitchen setting for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

View the specific details of the Composer Maestro collection (Maestro is at the very bottom).

 

Chuck Talk: The Best Rug Pads for Hardwood Floors

 

best safest rug pads to use on hardwood floorsWe emphasize area rugs quite often here at Urban Floor. The reason why is because area rugs truly are a hardwood floor’s best friend. The combination of the two makes for a unique personalized balance. If you’re interested in area rugs, then you’re going to want an appropriate rug pad to accompany it. Here’s the tricky part: it can often be difficult to choose the best, safe rug pad for hardwood floors.

Do I Even Need a Rug Pad?

Yes, you do need a rug pad and we’ll list the top reasons why:

Safety – this is the main reason why a rug pad should be a no brainer when purchasing an area rug. Picture a slip n’ slide. That’s what happens when you have an area rug without a rug pad underneath.

Floor Protection – simply put, rug pads offer protection from damage that may occur to your floors from the harsh abrasive backside of your area rug. It also helps protect against dents, color transfer and staining.

Expert Advice on Selecting the Right Rug Pad for Hardwood Floors

A rug pad’s job is basic: hold the area rug firmly in place, which will inevitably lead to prolonging its life and beauty.

Things to Keep in Mind:

• A rug pad for hardwood floors should not contain any glues, adhesives, chemicals, plastics, or PVC. These can stain or stick the surface – ruining your floors.

• The more dense and heavier your rug pad, the more protection you will receive from dents, etc.

Urban Floor’s Professional Recommendations

Natural Felt – A great choice for larger rugs. We recommend a 30oz to 40oz weighted rug pad if you go with the natural felt route. Make sure 100% natural felt is used.

Natural Rubber
– Perfect for smaller rugs and offer durability, stability, and grip. If thickness is an issue, then rubber pads work the best.

Combination of Rubber and Felt – An excellent choice for both durability and stability. Provides a non-slip grip, while adding cushioning for both large and small rugs.

 

Wide Plank Flooring 101: What The Hype is All About

 

For technicality sake, we must establish exactly what constitutes a “wide plank floor”. Floors have become wider and wider over the years as consumer tastes and preferences have gradually changed. With that said, there is no current set width that is required for a hardwood floor to be considered a “wide plank floor”. Some companies will say floors above 3 inches in width are considered “wide”, whereas another company may say a floor must be no smaller than 5-inches to be considered wide. The lowest width floor we offer at Urban Floor is 5-inches wide.

Learn wide plank floor widths by Urban Floor

View our collection of wide plank floors.

Wide Plank Flooring Pros

Install time – wide plank floors take up more room per square foot, so naturally it will take less time to fill a room with 7-inch boards as opposed to 3-inch boards. This allows for quicker installation periods, especially when handled by a professional.

Budget accommodating
– wide plank floors vary greatly in price. Random width flooring is a popular option that falls within most people’s budgets. However, wide plank flooring can become expensive if you want boards that exceed roughly 10-inches.

The illusion of more space
– wide planks create an illusion that the room you’re in feels larger than it really is. For some, this is a great way to liven up a room.

More characteristics
– hardwood floors contain natural characteristics. Knots, natural splits, mineral streaks, and other characteristics can be seen easier with wide plank flooring as more of the board is exposed. This is something you cannot get with carpet!

Wide Plank Flooring Cons

Wide boards have a tendency to shrink and expand simply because they do not have as many seams as narrower boards. This can make it difficult for those who live in environments that fluctuate in temperature often. However, engineered wide plank floors help combat this issue. Engineered wood floors are built to withstand fluctuating temperatures.

Wide plank floors are not as DIY-friendly as you would like. Unless you absolutely know what you’re doing, leave wide plank floor installation to the pros.

As far as “is there such a thing as floors that are too wide?”, well… that’s simply a matter of preference. You can have hardwood floor planks as wide as you can imagine, but price may be your barrier. Also, the wider the floors, the more likely for issues relating to fluctuating internal temperatures.

We love wide floors at Urban Floor. Almost all of our collections feature wide planks ranging from 5 to 11.5-inches wide. Our Chene Collection is a wonderful example, as well as many floors featured in the Villa Caprisi Collection. Our widest floor comes from our Composer Collection, boasting wide plank floors as wide as 11.5-inches per board. Most of our collections fall in the standard 7-inch width, which is what many consumers find an exceptionally nice balance in – especially when made using engineered hardwood.

 

Urban Floor Highlights of the Year – Looking Back at 2014

 

With the arrival of the New Year, it’s always nice to take a step back and reflect on important events that happened during the year. It allows you to see what achievements have been made, goals that have been met, etc. We can then use this information as a guide to direct us in becoming better the next year. Without further ado, Urban Floor would like to take you back in time to review our highlights of 2014.

#SELFIE Parody

Earlier in the year there was a viral song that went around known as #SELFIE by The Chainsmokers. We like to think we’re down–to-earth individuals over here at Urban Floor, hence why we decided to ride the train and create a parody of the video – it wasn’t necessarily “viral” but it did receive over a thousand views!

TOP BRAND OF THE YEAR!

best hardwood floor brandTowards the middle of the year, we were named one of the top brands of 2014 for two select categories: price and product availability. This was a huge highlight of 2014 for the whole team here at Urban Floor. It let us know that the hard work, time, and effort is paying off – similar to how it feels when you see results from hitting the gym after a few weeks!

Rowhouse Showdown – An Exciting New Show

rowhouse showdownAround the same time, we became promotional partners with A&E Television Network’s Rowhouse Showdown. This was an exciting opportunity for Urban Floor to get our name out there on a broad platform. The best part – some of our floors were actually used in the show!

Chêne by Urban Floor

chene european oak by urban floorDuring the summertime, we released a new line of engineered hardwood floors: the Chêne collection – a collection of fine European oak flooring. We’re very proud of its release, as it has been well received. European flooring truly a fantastic look!

New Youtube Videos to Highlight Collections

Come Fall, we were eager to showoff the newest videos that were added to our collections playlist on Youtube. These videos give a quick, simple rundown of what our flooring collections offer with plenty of visuals for you to soak up!

Giving Back to the Community

urban floor gives back to the communityTo close the year off, we’re proud to say we gave back to our community by hosting a charity event where tons of gifts were donated to a total of 27 families, as well as to the “Door of Hope” organization. What can we say… We love putting smiles on faces!

New Resolutions

All in all, it’s been a great year for everyone here at Urban Floor. We’re happy we can provide hardwood floor enthusiasts with quality-made hardwood floors from start to finish. It is always our goal to continue providing both quality flooring options and excellent service to our customers. Thank you for a great year!

Here’s to a wonderful new year from your friends at Urban Floor! :)

 

Real Christmas Trees and Hardwood Floors – Advice to Keep in Mind

 

Urban Floor advises hardwood floor owners prepare for real christmas trees and hardwood floorsChristmas trees are a wonderful addition to any home during the holiday season simply because they bring back many memories, as well as leave a fresh natural scent in your home. However, many hardwood floor owners are skeptical of placing a real Christmas tree on their luscious hardwood floors in fear of potential damage. Good news: you can sport a fresh, real Christmas tree with hardwood floors!

The potential damage from Christmas trees on hardwood floors will come from a few sources: the tree stand, tree sap, needles, or water. Follow Urban Floor’s advice to make sure no harm is done.

Initial Preparation

It is recommended that you purchase a tree stand mat (also called floor protectors), or use a folded towel or blanket, to create a soft base for the tree stand to relax on. This will save you from the possibility of scratches to your hardwood floors.

Pro tip: We suggest shaking as many of the needles out as you can before bringing the tree into your home. Followed by cleaning the area that your tree will be placed in.

Tree Skirts

Just as rugs are hardwood floor’s best friend, a tree skirt is a Christmas trees’ best friend. You can get fancy with this, but whether you use a tablecloth, plastic sheet, store-bought Christmas tree disposal kit, or something else just make sure you have a tree skirt under the tree to help catch falling needles, as well as prevent water or tree sap from seeping onto your floors.

Needle Management

Falling needles will not damage your floors, but if you or someone else steps on them and begins to drag them around, then there’s always a possibility of scratches.

Make sure you are sweeping any needles off your floor whenever you have the chance. We recommend using a broom over a vacuum to make sure your vacuum does not become damaged.

Pro tip: Have your guests leave their shoes at the door.

It takes a little bit of upkeep maintenance to house a beautiful Christmas tree whether you have hardwood floors or carpet, but it’s all worth it in the end.

We wanted to personally wish all of our readers and subscribers a wonderful Holiday season! Have fun, be safe, and stay smart. Happy Holidays from the team at Urban Floor!

 

Carpet to Hardwood Floors – Why Do People Switch?

 

Urban Floor's flooring 101 guide gives you everything you need to know in order to make the switch from carpet to hardwood floors

Let Urban Floor help you piece the puzzle together!

Some of us reading this article may already have hardwood floors – fist bump for you! Let us know if the reasons below were something you happened to consider when making the switch. For those still with carpet we’ll give you a quick, easy list of the top reasons why people switch over to hardwood flooring from carpet.

1. It’s More Preferred Over Carpet

You can say this is subjective but when you look at the many reasons why, then it’s easy to see why more and more people are flocking towards the change.

For one, hardwood floors offer more longevity over carpet – especially because of the ability to be refinished for a new appearance. Engineered hardwood floors are not able to be refinished as easily as solid, but certain engineered flooring options offer the ability to refinish at least one time, adding a considerable amount of longevity.

Secondly, they are easier to clean. Dirt and debris oftentimes become stuck deep within carpet, unable to effectively respond to vacuums. Over time, you have to steam clean your carpet in order to restore it back a healthy state. For hardwood floors, this isn’t the case. A simple damp mopping job goes a long way.

2. Hardwood Flooring Raises The Value of Your Property

This ties in directly because hardwood flooring is more preferred. Real estate property with hardwood flooring sells more often than property with carpet. A house may meet all of a buyer’s needs, except lack the hardwood-flooring component and it would still be a deal breaker. That’s how important hardwood flooring can be.

Don’t miss out on added property value by sticking with carpet. An investment in hardwood flooring may raise the value of your home to a price that returns your initial investment back to you and some.

3. Hardwood Floors are Better with Allergies

It’s safe to say a large majority of us suffer from allergies that come and go depending on a variety of factors throughout the year’s changing seasons. The bottom-line is that dust, dander, pollen, and other allergy-triggering substances are not trapped easily with hardwood flooring as they are with carpet.

Does this mean my allergy problems will fade? Perhaps. Hardwood floors do not guarantee an allergy-free environment, but because they are easier to clean and do not trap dust mites as easily as carpet – they help serve as a promising option to those who suffer, as noted by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

2015 is almost here… what’s your New Year’s Resolution? Maybe this year you can make it a goal to switch from carpet to hardwood flooring! :)

 

3 Wood Flooring Recommendations Perfect for Your Dining Room

 

With Thanksgiving here soon – we’re pretty excited to stuff our faces with great home cooked food including the usual culprits of turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauces, and of course the pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream. What’s one thing all of these have in common? They all end up in the dining room where guests and families begin to indulge. Urban Floor recommends it’s top 3 engineered wood flooring choices that are an excellent choice for your dining room.

1. Chianti

The Chianti hardwood floor is a great option for dining room flooring.

Dark wood flooring is especially popular these days, which brings us to our first recommendation: Chianti. This hardwood floor heightens your dining room experience with a warm, elegant feel perfect for family gatherings and events such as Thanksgiving.

Pro Tip: Area rugs are hardwood flooring’s best friend! They complement each other well. To add a little style or class to your dining room, consider an appropriate area rug to fit underneath your dining room table where you and your guests will be dining.

2. Messina

The Messina wood floor is perfect for the dining room.

Another European white oak suggestion that works very well for the dining room because of two simple aspects:

Dark wood
- it’s dark, but does not overwhelm.

Lacquer finish
– it also has a nice, smooth wire brushed finish topped with lacquer for excellent durability.

Durability is an aspect that should be considered for dining rooms as foot traffic generally flows in the dining room – not just for events, but because people often walk through this room to get to their kitchens.

3. Walnut Apache

Walnut Apache hardwood flooring works very well for the dining room.

Deviating a bit on this one, but the Walnut Apache is also an excellent hardwood flooring choice for dining rooms. It’s a dark brown hardwood floor that seeks to stand out with its semi-gloss stain. If you’re looking to really impress, then the Walnut Apache will certainly deliver. Its half-inch thickness also makes it perfect choice for hosting events – especially Thanksgiving dinner.

If you noticed, we stayed away from distressed or hand scraped flooring options as dining rooms are meant to impress. Of course, distressed and hand scraped wood floors are stylish in their own regard, but they do not come off as elegant or as “classy” as a nice European Oak, dark hardwood floor (with the exception of the Walnut Apache made from American Walnut and features a heavy scraped finish that appears more smooth than natural).

The one thing we’re all thankful for here at Urban Floor are our wonderful customers who appreciate the passion we have for exceptional hardwood flooring. Happy Thanksgiving!

 
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