Category Archives: Educational

What Does Greater Stability Mean?

By: Urbanfloor Dan

Urbanfloor Uses 8-Ply Cross Grain Construction With All Our Wood Planks

Engineered wood floors are real wood floors that are manufactured using three to nine layers of different wood veneers.  The sub layers can be of the same species, or of different species.  The grain of each layer runs in different directions, which makes it very stable.  This means that the wood will expand and contract less than solid wood flooring during fluctuations in humidity and temperature.  The top layer of engineered wood flooring consists of high-quality wood. While this type of flooring can be sanded and finished, it cannot be done as many times as solid wood flooring.  Engineered wood flooring can be installed above, on or below grade.

The instability of solid hardwood is usually moisture or heat related.  Under adverse conditions, solid hardwood floors can warp, cup, swell or split apart.  Engineered hardwood flooring overcomes these problems by constructing a multiple-ply plank which counteracts twisting and remains flat and intact.  This makes engineered hardwood flooring a better choice for installation over radiant heat sources, over concrete whether it’s below grade or above, and in rainy climates.

Eliminating the Confusion of Engineered Hardwood and Laminate Flooring

By: UrbanfloorDan

Soooooo yeah… it’s 10:27pm PST according to the bottom right corner of my laptop on a Monday night as I type this up.  I gotta admit I’m a a lil bit agitated.  You see I just spent the last 15 minutes or so using Google with the key words “Tomato Tomatoe Potato Patatoe” and quite frankly got some of the most annoying sites and answers on the planet that didn’t answer the question.  Why am I even asking that question when I’m writing a blog about a hardwood flooring topic you ask?  The answer is simple.  I’m an absolute crazy person and God bless Urbanfloor for giving me some creative freedom when I write so I can attempt to make this at the very least a bit interesting for you to read.

So after a bit of research tomato and potato are singular and tomatoes and potatoes are plural.  Although the confusion tends to take place on the plural spelling.  Dun, dun, dun!!!!  Surprise!

You see how confusion so easily can happen with a simple yet common fruit and vegetable spelling?  Proper communication is important isn’t it?  Such a common error in the English language.  I felt compelled to share the proper after my rather annoying internet research adventure.  Bare with me for a few seconds as we achieve enlightenment together.  Now we can all get a better sleep at night. ;)

Proper singular spelling: potato
Proper plural spelling: potatoes

Proper singular spelling: tomato
Proper plural spelling: tomatoes

In other words stop spelling tomato “tomatoe” and potato “potatoe.”  Get it?  Got it?  Good!  See all the trouble I go through for you guys?! ;)

So how does this fruit we love in our salads and this vegetable that makes the greatest tasting french fry at your favorite fast food joint relate to hardwood flooring you ask?  Many confuse “Laminate Wood” with “Laminate Floor.”  There’s a difference you ask?  Yep, you betcha!   If it hasn’t been made clear in the conversation already with your local flooring dealer which floors you’re looking at and “laminate” is in the discussion just ask “Is this Engineered Hardwood or Synthetic Laminate?”  Here’s the skinny on the two:

Laminate Floor (A.K.A. Floating Wood Tile)

Laminate

“A laminate floor may satisfy your needs when a solid hardwood floor has been eliminated as a feasible option. Laminate flooring is durable, scratch-resistant, and designed for high traffic areas. It is also very easy to maintain, with an attractive quality that separates it from other flooring options. But here is where it parts ways with both solid hardwood flooring and engineered hardwood flooring; laminate flooring is an imitation of real wood. Actually, it’s literally a photo of real wood, constructed with a top photographic layer laminated with an aluminum oxide finish. This finish gives laminate floors their rugged resistance to abrasion. Beneath the photograph or “décor” layer is layer of dense fiber board which is strong and serves as a good core. A bottom layer or “backing” will act as a stabilizer as well as providing moisture protection. So in very clear ways, laminate flooring is quite different from both solid hardwood flooring and engineered hardwood flooring. A solid hardwood floor is, of course, made completely of a natural hardwood species; an engineered hardwood floor has a single top layer of natural hardwood. So while both solid hardwood and engineered hardwood contain real hardwood species, a laminate floor contains no hardwood species at all. Technically then, if you have a laminate floor, you don’t have a hardwood floor.

Much like engineered hardwood floors, you can typically float laminate floors. But, you can’t glue laminates to a sub-floor, nor can you nail them down. A laminate floor requires an underlayment. Many lines of laminate floors have incorporated a tongue-and-groove design which makes it very easy to install, particularly if you’re not a professional.” (Source: BuildDirect University)

Engineered Hardwood

Urban Lifestyle Collect (Chiseled Edge Series) “Birch Shadow”

“If you were to ask which of the two options was closer to solid hardwood, the answer would be engineered hardwood flooring, simply because engineered hardwood contains a top layer of real hardwood. This top hardwood layer lends the floor an air of authenticity without the additional expense. The look and feel of solid hardwood is reflected in your flooring, but with an additional layer of either high density fiber or multiple layers of plywood underneath. This additional layer is what is called a core. The core in the engineered hardwood flooring gives you a considerable advantage in certain areas where solid hardwood would not be as suitable; for example, it is designed to reinforce the hardwood when it is exposed to humidity or other environmental factors which can damage solid hardwood.

You can float an engineered hardwood floor as well, unlike solid hardwood, with locking systems designed for an easier installation. There are some varieties of engineered hardwood flooring that can be glued down to a concrete sub-floor. The glue acts similarly to an underlayment to protect the flooring from temperature changes and moisture. Many types of engineered hardwood feature a locking system with a great deal of flexibility: you can put it down, and take it up when it’s time to move. Don’t try that with solid hardwood!”  (Source: BuildDirect University)

Hardwood Flooring Layout and Positioning

By: UrbanfloorDan

Ever see the reality T.V. show Top Chef on the Bravo Network?  Contestants are chefs from all over the country all competing until one of them is chosen as “Top Chef.”  One of the things they are judged on is the presentation of their prepared dish.  The appearance of a meal can make it look appetizing or not, right?  The way we wear our clothes also presents an appearance.  For example with me let’s just say I’m not exactly in the best shape in the tummy area so I like to wear black shirts to give a slimmer appearance.  For women you might wear heels to appear taller and make your legs look longer.

I remember when I was a kid back in the 80′s my mother was a real estate agent.  There was a number of techniques she would use to get a home sold.  Sometimes the homeowner kept a cluttered house.  She would have it cleaned up and organized for showing.  Sometimes my mother used prop companies and interior decorators to refurnish and decorate a home making it look like a model home.  On open houses on colder days sometimes she would bake fresh warm bread in the oven so the aroma spread throughout every room in the house giving a warm and cozy feel.  If you watch any of the real estate reality shows today these very techniques are still used today because appearance and presentation give the spaces a special look and feel which leads to the end result… getting the home sold in the quickest amount of time and at the highest asking price.

When you watch movies camera angles, set decoration and special effects aren’t always what they appear even though when we watch on the silver screen it can look so real.

That said your hardwood floors can create special effects, appearance, feeling and presentation by the position of the wood planks and layout when installed in your home.  There are a few ways this can be done.  Let’s take a look.

Length
If you want a room in your home to appear longer you may want to consider having your hardwood floor installed lengthwise.  Installation will be dependent on the house joist system.  Always consult with your licensed contractor prior to install.

Length

Parquet
This non-linear style can installed in various directions which can create a geometric design in your room.  There are a wide range of patterns that can be done.  Installation will be dependent on the house joist system.  Always consult with your licensed contractor prior to install.

Parquet

Diagonal
Installing the flooring at a diagonal angle can  offer you a room with a more stylish character and much less boxy feel.  Installation will be dependent on the house joist system.  Always consult with your licensed contractor prior to install.

Diagonal

Random Width Planks
By using 2 or 3 different sized wood plank strips you can break up the monotony rather than using all same size planks and give a little more variance and character in a room.  Installation will be dependent on the house joist system.  Always consult with your licensed contractor prior to install.

Random Width

What Does the LEED after my name mean?

Denise Colestock, LEED A.P. BD+C

Denise is one of the newest members of Team Urban and has a background in design and architecture with an emphasis in sustainable design.  In her free time she enjoys hiking, paddle boarding, traveling, reading, running and yoga- usually with her active toddler in tow.  Denise even has her own urban farm which satisfies her passion for local, healthy eating- and introducing her son early to nature in its purest form.

What Does the LEED after my name mean?

By Denise Colestock, LEED A.P. BD+C

As the newest member of the Urban Floor team, I am excited to share my knowledge and passion for sustainable design with our clients and colleagues.  The credentials after my name, LEED BD+C, mean that I am a LEED Accredited Professional and have passed an exam that allows me to design environmentally friendly buildings using strict codes and guidelines that lead to efficient buildings.

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is redefining the way our built environments are designed, constructed and operated.  Factors that are considered when creating a LEED building include sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.  This rating system can be used for commercial buildings as well as for residential homes and neighborhoods as a whole, and is constantly aimed at achieving high performance in human and environmental health.

With a background in design and architecture, I am excited to bring the latest news and trends to the Urban Floor team when it comes to flooring design and sustainable building technologies. To learn more about the LEED system, please visit www.usgbc.org.  Also feel free to contact me directly at denise@urbanfloor.com if you have any questions regarding environmentally friendly design.

Apple Company History from 2000- 2004

By Glen Sanford
Source: apple-history.com


The second half of 2000 was rocky for Apple. Slower sales (both for Apple and the industry as a whole), combined with a misunderstanding of the consumer market resulted in the first unprofitable quarter in three years. One factor in this decline was the G4 Cube, which sold poorly due primarily to its high price compared to Apple’s other products. Another factor was Apple’s decision to include DVD-ROM drives in their consumer and professional machines instead of CD-RW drives. As a result, Apple missed sales opportunities to customers who wanted to burn their own CDs. Apple began to rectify these problems in late 2000, when it cut prices on the entire PowerMac line. Apple took the next step in January of 2001, when it announced a new line of PowerMacs, with either CD-RW drives or a new “SuperDrive” which could read and write both CDs and DVDs. Apple also announced two new application: iDVD, a DVD-authoring program, and iTunes, which allowed users to encode and listen to MP3 songs, and then burn them to CDs.

All this was part of Apple’s new corporate strategy, developed in the face of a massive slow down in the Technology industry: Apple would take advantage of the explosion of personal electronic devices–CD-players, MP3 players, digital cameras, DVD-players, etc.–by building Mac-only applications that added value to those devices. Just as iMovie had added tremendous value to Digital Cameras, iDVD would add value to Digital Cameras and to DVD-players, and iTunes would add value to CD and MP3 players. It was Apple’s hope that making the Mac the “Digital Hub” of the new “Digital Lifestyle” would revitalize Apple’s sales and guarantee the long-term security of the company.

In May 2001, Steve Jobs announced that Apple would be…

Read the Full Story at apple-history.com

Disclaimer: Urbanfloor is not related or affiliated with Apple, Inc. and does not gain any monetary benefit by referring Apple products.  Recommendations are voluntary and solely based on our own experience. iMac, iPad, iPod Touch and Apple, Inc. are registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Apple Company History from 1997- 2000

By Glen Sanford
Source: apple-history.com

Steve Jobs in 2000

Jobs’ presence was known almost as quickly as NeXT was acquired. The degree of Jobs’ “expanded role” soon became quite clear. With no CEO and Apple Stock lower than it had been in 5 years, there were many decisions to be made, and not much time to make them. Jobs began to make striking changes in the structure of Apple, including the canceling of the Newton spin-off. (The Newton was discontinued several months later.) The time and place for the most ground breaking announcements, however, would be MacWorld Boston in August 1997.

Jobs, who by now was being referred to as “interim CEO,” made the keynote speech, and spoke of the company’s upcoming aggressive advertising campaign, upcoming new Macs, and Rhapsody. He also announced an almost entirely new Board of Directors, including Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle. But he saved the best for last. In a ground breaking decision, Jobs announced an alliance with Microsoft. In exchange for $150 million in Apple Stock, Microsoft and Apple would have a 5-year patent cross-license and, more importantly, a final settlement in the ongoing GUI argument. Microsoft agreed to pay an unreleased sum of additional funds to quiet the allegations that it had stolen Apple’s intellectual property in designing its Windows OS. Microsoft also announced that Office ’98, its popular office package, would be available for the Mac by years end.

These announcements gave Apple new life, but Jobs was not finished. There was one more big obstacle to tackle:

Read the Full Story at apple-history.com

 

Disclaimer: Urbanfloor is not related or affiliated with Apple, Inc. and does not gain any monetary benefit by referring Apple products.  Recommendations are voluntary and solely based on our own experience. iMac, iPad, iPod Touch and Apple, Inc. are registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Apple Company History from 1996-1997

By Glen Sanford
Source: apple-history.com

Gil Amelio & Steve Jobs

Amelio made a strong effort to bring Apple back to profitability, but his efforts would prove to be largely unsuccessful. Following his first 100 days as CEO, Amelio announced broad changes in the corporate structure of the company. The company was to be split into 7 separate divisions, each responsible for its own profit or loss. He has also made an effort to keep developers and customers better informed about the day-to-day affairs of the company. Although the company announced a staggering $740 million loss for Q1 1996, they brought that loss down to $33 million for Q2, beating all estimates by the best financial experts. In Q3 Apple profited nearly $30 million, again astounding financial experts, who had predicted a loss of as much. (Apple lost considerably more in Q4.)

In late december 1996, Apple made an industry-shattering announcement that…

Read the Full Story at apple-history.com

 

Disclaimer: Urbanfloor is not related or affiliated with Apple, Inc. and does not gain any monetary benefit by referring Apple products.  Recommendations are voluntary and solely based on our own experience. iMac, iPad, iPod Touch and Apple, Inc. are registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Apple Company History from 1993- 1996

By Glen Sanford
Source: apple-history.com

Michael Spindler

Spindler, by all accounts, was the wrong man for the job. A fairly impersonal man, Spindler’s office was nearly impossible to get into. However, in his two and a half years as CEO, Spindler oversaw several accomplishments.

In 1994 Apple announced the PowerMac family, the first Macs to be based on the PowerPC chip, an extremely fast processor co-developed with IBM and Motorola. The PowerPC processor allowed Macs to compete with, and in many cases surpass, the speed of Intel’s newer processors.

Spindler also decided to…

Read the Full Story at apple-history.com

 

Disclaimer: Urbanfloor is not related or affiliated with Apple, Inc. and does not gain any monetary benefit by referring Apple products.  Recommendations are voluntary and solely based on our own experience. iMac, iPad, iPod Touch and Apple, Inc. are registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Apple Company History from 1985- 1993

By Glen Sanford
Source: apple-history.com

Sculley became the de facto head of Apple in May 1985. Over the next few months, Apple was forced to lay off a fifth of its work force, some 1,200 employees. The company also posted its first quarterly loss. All this, and the resignation of Jobs, served to erode confidence in Sculley’s abilities as CEO of Apple.

At the same time, Sculley became locked in a battle with Microsoft’s Bill Gates over the introduction of Windows 1.0, which had many similarities to the Mac GUI. Gates finally agreed to sign a statement to the effect that Microsoft would not use Mac technology in Windows 1.0–it said nothing of future versions of Windows, and Gates’ lawyers made sure it was airtight. Apple had effectively lost exclusive rights to its interface design. This would prove to be an important document in future lawsuits between Apple and Microsoft, involving the Windows interface.

What brought Mac out of the hole were the twin introductions of the LaserWriter, the first affordable PostScript laser printer for the Mac, and PageMaker, one of the first Desktop Publishing programs ever. These two in tandem made the Mac an ideal solution for inexpensive publishing, and the Mac became an overnight success, again.

In 1987, Apple introduced the…
Read the Full Story at apple-history.com

 

Disclaimer: Urbanfloor is not related or affiliated with Apple, Inc. and does not gain any monetary benefit by referring Apple products.  Recommendations are voluntary and solely based on our own experience. iMac, iPad, iPod Touch and Apple, Inc. are registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Apple Company History from 1983- 1985

By Glen Sanford
Source: apple-history.com

Steve Jobs and John Sculley

Although a successful businessman, it soon became clear that Sculley did not know much about the computer industry. He and Jobs were at odds almost immediately. As the announcement of the Macintosh drew closer, Jobs went into hyperdrive. He worked hard to get developers to write programs for the upcoming machine–Jobs had realized that the Mac would ultimately be made or broken by the software industry.

On January 22nd, 1984, during the third quarter of the Super Bowl, Apple aired its infamous 60 second commercial (13.4 MB) introducing the…

Read the Full Story at apple-history.com

 

Disclaimer: Urbanfloor is not related or affiliated with Apple, Inc. and does not gain any monetary benefit by referring Apple products.  Recommendations are voluntary and solely based on our own experience. iMac, iPad, iPod Touch and Apple, Inc. are registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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