Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Great Flooring Debate: Should you put flooring beneath counters and appliances?

cabinet

Before you start remodeling your master bathroom or installing a brand new kitchen, you should first stop and ask yourself a question that has been puzzling people for years. Should you bother to lay hardwood flooring beneath your appliances and cabinetry, where nobody is going to see it?

Most folks will ponder that puzzle for only a few minutes before coming down on one of the argument or the other. But there are valid arguments to be made on both sides of the issue. So let’s have a look at what many home contractors and experienced homeowners and interior designers have to say.

 

Arguments for Complete Flooring

The general consensus among those who believe that yes, you should extend those beautiful hardwood floors even into unseen spaces, comes down to one major point. They feel that since nobody has a crystal ball to peek into the future, it’s always a good idea to leave yourself plenty of options later on down the road.

  • Let’s say, for example, that you skip the flooring beneath your kitchen counters. What happens years from now when you decide to upgrade that kitchen and rearrange the whole flow of the room?

 

  • Your choices are going to be dictated by whether or not you floored underneath those counters or appliances. If you did not, then when you move things around you’re inevitably going to wind up with big conspicuous blank spots where instead of polished hardwoods you have ugly plywood subflooring.

 

  • Had you gone the extra mile, then you would have wall-to-wall hardwoods. Your room would be a smooth canvas on which to draw up whatever kind of design configuration suits your style and taste.

Arguments against Flooring Underneath

That makes perfect sense. But other people will point out that flooring all the way underneath stoves, dishwashers, bathroom vanities, or kitchen cabinets is a total waste of money. They say it makes a whole lot more sense to omit those sections.

  • If you have 60 or 80 square feet of space occupied by counters and cabinets, for example, you can potentially save some cash to pay for the base moldings.

 

  • There is another reason you may want to go with cheap subflooring beneath those cabinets and counters. If you do not put your hardwoods underneath them, that makes it possible to install the heavy appliances and cabinetry first.

 

  • You don’t risk dragging a stove or heavy counter over the hardwoods and scratching or otherwise damaging them. Then install the floors cleanly, right up snug to the edge of your cabinets and they’ll look great and be a tight fit.

Perhaps the bigger question is what do you and your floor installer think is the best course of action? Have an in-depth discussion and let your flooring professional know your current vision as well as your long-term plans. Then crunch the numbers and pick the method that makes the most sense!

How to choose the best species for your flooring!

Choosing the right wood species for your hardwoods is an important decision, as it will affect the look and feel of your home for years to come. With over 60 unique flooring products to choose from, we are confident you will be able to find your perfect match, that special combination of style and function that will satisfy your eye, your conscience and your wallet.

Although there are many factors to consider — including the amount of traffic your floors will encounter, the room, furniture and walls where your new floor will be installed and of course your budget — your choice of wood will be essentially a creative one, based on your personal preference. Don’t be afraid to set practicality aside and go with a flooring that you just find irresistibly attractive. You will be more inclined to care for the wood and take the necessary preventative measures when you are dealing with a floor you adore on a daily basis.Hickory-Tumbleweed-TCH-412-HT-R-RGB

 

Let’s start by considering the amount of traffic your floor will sustain. Do you have children? Pets? A large family that is always coming and going? In this case, a harder, more durable wood that is not as susceptible to dents will be the best selection. If you would like to research this more in depth you can consult the Janka Hardness Rating, a scale that rates the different wood species according to their ability to withstand force. Brazilian Cherry, Santos Mahogany or Hickory are all excellent choices when it comes to a strong, resistant wood that will be slow to show scratches, wear or tear. The Chiseled Edge flooring is also a good option for a high traffic area. The chiseled marks reduce the visibility of most dentation and scratches (www.urbanfloor.com/Maple-Legacy.html). Our shades range from light to warm to dark and rich, so never feel you have to substitute function for aesthetics.

Brazilian-Cherry-Natural-EX-BC303-RNext let’s consider the walls and other furniture in your home. To highlight a dark mahogany desk for instance, it’s always best to select a light-colored flooring to establish contrast and create a dynamic interior design. Grain will also play into the equation. Do you desire a more streamlined, contemporary look? Then you may want to consider a few of our modern maple selections. If you plan on creating a distinctly rustic décor, oak and hickory might be the way to go!

Lastly, be sure to examine the wood samples in Birch Shadow Urbanfloor.comyour own home under your normal light conditions. Flooring you fancied in the showroom may not look the same once you get it into your natural habitat. Play around with natural and artificial lighting, making sure you will like your selection under all conditions.

For more assistance with choosing the right wood species for your home, feel free to contact us. We will be happy to answer your questions and help guide you as you enhance both your home’s value and appearance with the beauty of hardwood flooring.

 

Laminate flooring Vs. Hardwood flooring

What is Laminate flooring and how does it differ from hardwood Flooring?

With hundreds of different flooring product choices on the market, homeowners want to make informed decisions. One of the most common areas of confusion has to do with the difference between hardwood flooring and laminated flooring, oftentimes referred to as “laminated hardwood” or “Pergo”.

What is Laminated Flooring?

Laminate wood flooring is manmade flooring that usually contains a layers of compressed high density fiberboard (HDF), sandwiched between layers of synthetic material.

  • There is an outer layer, which is the actual laminated layer. It protects the material from normal wear and tear such as scuffing.

 

  • Beneath this thin layer is a highly realistic, high resolution photographic image of wood. The sole purpose of this layer is to create a visual illusion of actual wood.

 

  • Then comes an inner core of high-density fiberboard, made of fibers, compressed at high temperatures and fused together with chemical adhesive. This layer adds structural strength to this product.

 

  • Finally, at the bottom of the flooring where it contacts the subfloor, there is a backing that serves as a moisture barrier to prevent the floor from swelling and warping.

Laminate is fast and easy to install, and some of it simply snaps into place without nails or glues. But it is also much less stable than a hardwood floor, and offers none of the warm aesthetics of authentic wood.LaminateFlooring-300

Price versus Longevity

Laminated flooring is considerably cheaper than real hardwoods, which is its biggest selling feature. But when we’re talking about something that will become a permanent part of your home, it’s important to break down those financial calculations to make sure they take everything into account.

Let’s say, for example, that you’re building a house and you expect to live in for the rest of your life and then perhaps pass it on to your children. Many laminated floors can be expected to last 5 to 10 years. But hardwoods typically last a minimum of 75 years, and some of them have been around for centuries.

Maintenance and Repair

Meanwhile laminated flooring cannot be repaired, which greatly limits its sustainability. You may have no choice but to rip up the entire floor and replace it with something new. Do that two or three times and a cheap laminate floor may wind up costing twice as much as a real hardwood floor.

Real hardwood is much more durable, and can be repaired is necessary. Repair it, sand it, or if you desire, stain it to a different shade. The same hardwood floor can be used for generations as long as it’s well maintained.

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