Monthly Archives: May 2014

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!

The Latest Hype: Matte Finish Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are known for their glossy, shiny, almost wet-looking appearance. A hardwood floor’s gloss comes from the amount of light that is reflected off of them, usually measured from a 60-degree angle; the angle at which you will most likely view hardwood floors if you are standing.

There’s a type of gloss finish that actually doesn’t have much gloss to it: matte. Matte finishes attempt one thing: to make hardwood floors seem as real as possible with a very small amount of shine. Matte finish hardwood floors are picking up some ground as consumers are craving a truly “natural”, clean feel to their homes. They give off the illusion of raw wood. There’s something about natural that makes us feel comfortable.

So how shiny, or not so shiny, is matte? Typically, a hardwood floor’s sheen level is measured by its luster, ranging from 0-100%. A hardwood floor’s luster is the amount of glow that is seen from reflected light. Here’s a comparison of various hardwood floor finishes:

High-Gloss = 75% or higher

Semi-Gloss = 55% – 70%

Satin = 30 – 50%

Matte = 1 – 20%

As you can see above, matte floors have the least amount of shine. Everyone has their preference as to what they want in their homes, but perhaps a few considerations should be made.

Matte finishes, and low-luster finishes in general, hide scratches, dirt and other imperfections much better than glossy floors. Matte finishes are more child- and pet friendly than high-gloss finishes because they don’t show as much dust, dirt, or footprints.

On the other hand, glossy finishes just seem too pretty to look at. They tend to be cleaned more often, but for good reason: because shiny floors look impressive. Glossy floors are capable of giving your home a boost to the “wow factor”.

If you’re interested in matte finish hardwood floors, look at our Villa Caprisi Collection, The Composer Collection and our Downtown Series within our Urban Lifestyle Collection. We also have our new Chene by Urban Floor Collection, coming soon… Stay Tuned!

matte finish hardwood floors

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