Category Archives: News

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.

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!

Urban Floor’s Simple Hardwood Floor Buying Guide

simple hardwood floor buying guide by Urban FloorWhen it comes to modern hardwood floors, there are so many varieties, designs, colors, finishes, styles, installation options, etc. to choose from that it can be quite overwhelming to newcomers or even current hardwood floor owners who are looking for a fresh change. This is why your hardwood flooring experts at Urban Floor have created a simple hardwood floor buying guide for you to follow when selecting a type of hardwood floor.

3 Q’s

1st question: where are you planning on installing your hardwood floors?

This will help you determine the type of hardwood floor you should select. If you are having hardwood floor installed over concrete, then you will want to purchase engineered hardwood floors because they are specifically made to be installed in areas where other options cannot physically deliver on.

2nd question: do you live in an environment subjected to moisture?

Environments subjected to varying degrees of moisture change (i.e. living near a beach/basements) should be taken into consideration. If you live in a high moisture environment, then engineered hardwood floors would be a better option as they are strategically engineered to handle shifts in moisture. Moisture can cause hardwood floors to warp and this is limited with engineered floors.

hardwood floor foot traffic3rd question: will you be having people in your home often? Hosting events?

If yes, then you will want to consider hardwood floors that offer excellent protection against foot traffic. Hand scraped engineered hardwood floors offer durable protection from foot traffic as they are made to resemble floors that look worn. One thing to look for regarding foot traffic is the thickness of the floors. The higher the thickness, the better it will handle foot traffic. For example, ¾-inches of hardwood is much stronger than 5/16-inches.

Tip: The Janka Rating of a hardwood floor will also give you insight into how strong a wood floor is.

That’s a Wrap

From answering these 3 questions, you’ll be able to narrow your choices down. Everything else is about aesthetics and appearance, which is entirely subjective to each individual and you may have to play around with many samples until you find a specific floor that suits your style.

Work with your hardwood floor salesman to further narrow down your options and be sure to ask them certain questions that can be found in another one of our simple guides. View the guide here.

Go Behind the Scenes with Urban Floor

Are you one of those “visual learners” that would rather watch a video than read text? We don’t blame you, which is why we have proudly made a set of 5 new videos that aim at enhancing our user’s browsing experience.

We take you a little behind the scenes at what goes on here at Urban Floor and the values we stand by, as well as elaborately describing certain collections that we take pride in because of rigorous effort to obtain some of the most sought after ecologically sourced woods, on top of delicate craftsmanship that leaves no room for error. It sounds like a mouthful, but that’s what we’re all about here at Urban Floor – true quality.

What’s even better? We’re affordable! We were just recently voted in as one of the top hardwood flooring brands for both product availability (we have a wide variety) and of course, price.

So what are you waiting for? Be sure to check out our short videos made specifically for you. And by short we mean less than 3 minutes.

What Urban Floor is All About

A Truly Diverse Collection, Urban Lifestyle

A Popular Collection, Royal Court

An Artistic Collection, Composer

Our Newest Collection, Chêne

Instructional Videos Also Offered

In case you’re looking for a quick, short video on how to clean your hardwood floors, then be sure to take a look at our care & maintenance videos all offered on our Youtube channel. Of course, these videos also will not exceed 3 minutes because nobody has time for any video that lasts more than 3 minutes, right?

You’ll find a simple collection of short videos that tackle some of the most common hardwood flooring questions including moving furniture on wood floors, removing minor marks, cleaning your floors, as well as other topics. Who knows… you may learn something in less than 3 minutes!

Urban Floor is Proudly Featured on Reality TV Series Rowhouse Showdown!

rowhouse showdown

Image provided by Rowhouse Showdown cast member, Kathy Kuo.

What is Rowhouse Showdown?

Rowhouse Showdown is an exciting new reality TV series that features a well-known renovation expert and the show’s host, Carter Oosterhouse, who has renovated roughly 500 homes. Carter has been featured in other home-makeover shows such as Trading Spaces and Million Dollar Rooms.

The show is actually a contest that consists of three separate teams competing against each other to see which team can renovate a house the best. The show takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio, using rundown homes in distressed neighborhoods for the teams to compete with.

Have You Seen Our Floors Yet?

If you have been tuning in to the shows on Wednesday nights and have a sharp eye, then you’ll be able to notice some of the engineered hardwood flooring – by your very own Urban Floor – that has been used in the show. We’ll give you a few seconds to guess… did you guess the Downtown Series (located in the Urban Lifestyle Collection) or Royal Court Collection? If so, then we’re going to have to call you the real winner of the show!

Eco-Friendly Living

The show’s host, Carter, is a huge fanatic of eco-friendly living – something we love here at Urban Floor! This is why we source our raw materials from ecologically well-managed forests and suppliers.

In a blog post featured on GLAMOUR, Carter was interviewed and asked: “Are there any easy little ways everyone can be more eco-friendly at home that people might not have considered?” In short, he suggested that people compost more often. You can read the whole interview with Carter for more tips on eco-friendly practices on their blog.

If you’re in to shows involving home makeovers or renovating homes, then you’ll definitely enjoy Rowhouse Showdown! You can find the show featured on the FYI Television Network on Wednesday nights starting at 8ET/9PT.

Let us know on our Facebook or Twitter if you were able to spot our beautiful hardwood floors! We’d love to hear from you.

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