Category Archives: Products

Presidential Signature – A Unique Solid Hardwood Flooring Collection

solid hardwood flooringWe know July 4th is over, but why stop celebrating the birth of our wonderful nation? Better yet, why not highlight one of our solid hardwood flooring collections that perfectly commemorates an important moment in history?

Our Presidential Signature collection is the only solid hardwood flooring collection we offer and if you think about it, it makes sense. We named it after famous names that were responsible in the history and development of America as a nation. These individuals were strong-headed, ambitious, and fierce – all qualities that any President should have.

A Brief Snippet of History

Up first on the list of floors in our Presidential Signature collection is a light wood floor named Taft Maple, named after William Taft – the 27th U.S. President. Aside from being one of our Presidents, William Taft served as Chief Justice of the U.S. and – drumroll please – was the one who initially proposed the idea of an income tax.

The Jackson Oak line is named after none other than Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the U.S. Other than being president, his claim to fame comes from the fact that he was the man the Democratic Party formed around.

Franklin Pierce is the man behind the Pierce Oak solid hardwood floors. He was also the 14th President of the U.S. He became a brigadier general in the Army during the Mexican-American War. We like to call him, “Fierce Pierce”.

Our 4th line of solid floors in the Presidential collection, the Washington Oak, features a name everyone has heard of: George Washington. The 1st President of the U.S. also presided over an important convention that drafted our very own Constitution.

Our Adams Oak solid hardwood flooring line is named after John Adams, the 2nd President of the U.S. that many people may actually not be familiar with, which goes to show that generally most people never remember 2nd place. We’ll put this to the test: Spain won the World Cup in 2010, who was the runner-up? (Answer: Netherlands) Back on to Adams… he was actually an opponent of slavery and helped Thomas Jefferson draft the Declaration of Independence.

The Roosevelt Hickory line also brings about a familiar name in history: Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the U.S. His other claim to fame is the fact that he founded the Progressive Party (also known as the Bull Moose Party).

A little less known, but still very honorable is Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the U.S., who we name our Grant Maple solid hardwood floors after. Grant was a very fierce individual; he was the man who lead the Union (aka the North) over the Confederacy (aka the South) in the Civil War. Considering the North had won the war, you could say he filled his role well.

It’s good to save the best for last, right? That’s why last in our list is a name even people from outside of the U.S. are familiar with – none other than Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President and the man we proudly named our Lincoln Oak   line after.

We hope you learned a few tidbits of some of the most influential people in American history – it’s actually quite impressive.

See the whole Presidential Signature collection and other themed hardwood floors at yours truly, Urban Floor.

Fun Floor of the Month: Rochester

Urban Floor would like to feature a brown hardwood floor that was carefully chosen for its perplexing wavy pattern and the fact that it reminds us of summertime, a season that is coming right around the corner! (June 21st for those wondering)

The Acacia Rochester engineered hardwood floor featured in the Urban Lifestyle collection is classified as a mild brown hardwood floor with a touch of red grain. This illuminating combination almost resembles a shade of sunny orange, hence why it reminds us of summer!

Rochester is a well-known, populated city located in New York. It’s actually a city that has been nicknamed “The Flower City”. We’d say that “Rochester” is a fitting name for a floor that we believe reminds us of the summer. A beautiful hardwood flooring choice only deserves to be named after a beautiful city.

The Acacia Rochester engineered floor is made of short-leaf premium acacia wood. Acacia wood is a species of wood known for its durability and strength. Just how strong is it? It ranks in with a 1750 on the Janka hardness test, which is a high ranking.

Colors invoke emotions and we at Urban Floor believe the Rochester wood floor’s color variation and wavy pattern promote positive vibes and energy. Put simply, it’s a brown hardwood floor that subconsciously brings out the “fun side” in anyone. What does this mean? Well, this means this floor would be an excellent companion for any parties. There’s no time for negativity during a party, or any fun event for that matter. Party on with the Rochester!

brown hardwood floor

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

How to Install a Hardwood Floor

DIY experts take us step-by-step to help install beautiful wood floors

Step 1: Choose the Boards

Choose the hardwood species and board widths for the room installation.

Step 2: Measure the Room

Measure the width and length of the room and multiply for the square footage. When ordering hardwood flooring, allow 10-15 percent extra for irregular boards and any cutting mistake.

Step 3: Check for a Squeaky Floor

Check the sub-floor. Minimum requirements are a 3/4″ plywood sub-floor. Make sure there are no squeaks in the floor. If there’s a squeak, screw a long drywall screw into the sub-floor and joist where the squeak occurs. Remove shoe-molding from the room and sweep and clean thoroughly.

Step 4: Roll Out the Vapor Barrier Paper

Roll out strips of vapor barrier paper, allowing at least a 4″ overlap and staple securely to the sub-floor. Use 15 pound tar paper or felt. It is relatively inexpensive (it’s approximately $12 a roll at a home improvement store). Mark with a pencil along the baseboards where the joists are located.

Step 5: Start Installation

Start the installation at the longest unobstructed wall. Remove the shoe molding, and snap a chalk line 3/8″ out from the baseboard (this allows for expansion in the hot, humid weather and contraction in the colder, drier weather of the hardwood flooring).

Step 6: Place the Boards

Begin by selecting a long board to start the first row. Pick one that is straight. Align the edge of the board with the chalk line and drill pilot holes down through the hardwood plank and into the sub-floor and joist. Face-nail each board at the point of every joist and set the nail with a nail-set. Face-nail the entire first row and remember to keep the board lengths random. It is important to face-nail the first row because the pneumatic nail can’t get down in there. It will hit the wall and the force would push the wood against the baseboard, which would lose the 3/8″ expansion and contraction.

It is important to lay the first boards perpendicular to the joists which are underneath. That is important because you want a nice solid anchor. Look at the subfloor to see which way the nails and seams ran. Try to go underneath the crawl space to see how they run.

Step 7: Hand-Nail the Rolls

After the first few rows have been installed, drill pilot holes down into the tongue of each board and hand-nail the rolls until there is enough clearance for the pneumatic nail gun.

Tip: Lay out a box of hardwood boards ahead of the installation to visualize lengths, wood grain and colors of the boards. When laying out the boards, keep in mind to never have the ends of boards in adjacent rows line up with each other. Keep the lengths random and at least 6″ in length.

Step 8: Staple the Boards

Using the pneumatic nail gun, place the gun lip over the edge of the board and strike firmly with the mallet, driving the staple into the tongue of the hardwood plank.

When installing up to a threshold, it is not critical to make cuts exact. Come back later after the floor has been installed and use a circular saw to cut across for a precise cut.

use pneumatic nail gun to staple tongue into plank

Step 9: Cutting the Baseboard

When cutting along the baseboards, select a piece that will fit in there and leave 10 or 12 inches more and cut it off. Use the other piece on the beginning of the next row. You don’t always have to get it in there real close and throw out the end piece. That will save some time and waste.

use cut off boards from one row to start next row

Step 10: Fill in the Gaps

Be sensitive to the way the ends fit together. One end has a tongue and the other end has a groove — this is called end matched. Make sure to always cut the wall end of the wood so that you do not cut off the groove that fits to the tongue. If that happens, that would result in a pretty big gap. Find a piece and lay it alongside the hole and flip it over. Make sure when you make the mark to cut off the wall side, not the room side. When you make the mark, butt it up against the baseboard and then mark at the end of that tongue. That will leave a 3/8″ gap for expansion and contraction when installing the piece.

Note: Before nailing, make sure to put at least two nails in every board. The rule of thumb is to place a nail every 10″ to 12″.

Step 11: Work Around Clearance Issue

As you near the opposite wall, clearance for the pneumatic nail gun again becomes an issue. Drill pilot holes and hand-nail the boards until there is no longer clearance for the drill and hammer. At that point, drill pilot holes down into the top of the boards and face-nail the boards, remembering to set the nails with a nail-set.

Tip: Use a pry bar and a few extra scraps of flooring to firmly seat the hardwood plank as you nail.

Step 12: Fit Last Board Into Place

If there’s a narrow gap for the last board, take a measurement and rip (cut length-wise) the last board to fit into place. Remember to leave a 3/8″ gap at the end wall for expansion and contraction space.

Step 13: Fill Holes With Wood Putty

Replace shoe molding in the room and putty all of the nail holes that have been face-nailed. Be sure to get wood putty that matches the floor. Fill the hole and wipe off the excess.

Step 14: Hardwood Floor Maintenance

Maintenance is easy for a pre-finished hardwood floor — keep grit off of the surface by sweeping regularly and use a flooring cleaning kit (alcohol-based) and spray on and wipe off with a damp cloth. Hardwood floors also help cut down on dust mites.

See more pictures and examples at http://bit.ly/129zwQu

How to Create a Built-in-Bookshelf

As we all know, flooring has numerous factors that complement color, shade, the type of wood, and more. Design, care, and maintenance are just a few aspects that go hand-in-hand with the flooring that you choose. Decoration and color are key factors to a wonderful, breathtaking room.  Sometimes these additions can become expensive. Why not create a decoration yourselfurl-10? Many might be thinking– where is my talent and money that must go into this process? No need to worry. Following a few steps will help create a decoration or addition that you have always wanted. Today we are going to discuss a popular trend that is seen in many living rooms and bedrooms..Built-in bookshelves! In my opinion, I believe these are great for show, and for also saving space on a regular bookshelf. The trick is a 12-step process that will bring you from scattered supplies to a magnificent creation. After-all, if you can read, you can build!

One,  you need to measure and cut the shelving. Measure the shelves in relation to the space you will be inserting them.  Cut the pieces of shelving and using a circular saw, cut out the kick-plate area on the bottom of the unit.

Two, you must cut rabbet joints into the ends of the top shelf, cutting straight across the shelf into 1/8’’ increments

Three,  “Mark the location for the center shelf, and use the pegboard as a template for drilling holes for adjustable shelves. Clamp the pegboard in place so that the first holes will be 4″ above and 4″ below the center shelf. Draw reference lines across the holes in the pegboard to help you keep the holes even. Drill holes 2″ from the edge in 2″ increments.”

Four, attach 1’’x 2’’ support blocks for the center shelf with glue and finish nails. “Drill and countersink pilot holes for the top of the bookshelf. Attach it with glue and 2″ wood screws. Apply wood glue to the support blocks for the center shelf, and set the shelf in position. Drill and countersink pilot holes in the side of the bookshelf, and attach the shelf with 2″ wood screws (Image 2). Be sure to drill the holes in an area that will be covered when the bookshelf is recessed into the wall”.

Five, attach support blocks for the bottom shelf with glue and nails

Six, Fasten the back panel with 1’’ brads to help the shelf stay square

Seven, “Attach 1″ x 2″ trim pieces to the side and bottom edges of the bookshelf with sixpenny nails and glue”.

Eight, “Drill and countersink pilot holes for the kick plate so the screw heads will be just below the surface of the wood. Attach the kick plate, then cover the screw heads with wood filler or spackling compound.”

Nine, remove any base molding from where the shelf will be placed

Ten, drill pilot holes through the back corner and into the wall studs—be careful not to drill through the inside of the bookshelf.

Eleven, “Measure and cut the nailer board and trim for the top of the bookshelf. Attach the nailer to the top of the shelf with sixpenny finish nails. Use finish nails to attach the trim”.

And finally, replace the baseboard trim and touch up any areas that need adjustment.

See photos and tips for guidance on http://bit.ly/12CHela

Urbanfloor Hits Celebrity Circuit

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To Base or Not to Base

To Base or Not to Base
by Ron Call

Often when people are looking to upgrade their homes with new hardwood or laminate flooring they often overlook the details like base boards and trims.  They will spend many hours shopping and comparing prices on the net or drive from store to store.  But they seldom give much consideration to the moldings.  You can purchase an inexpensive floor and install new base boards and the job will look awesome.  You can also install a high-end beautiful floor and remove and replace your existing base boards and if they don’t look good or they’re not wide enough to cover the required expansion gap you will be disappointed.

If your existing base board is in good shape and you want to keep it you have two choices:  1) You can remove it and replace it after the flooring is installed, or 2) You can leave it on the wall then leave the proper expansion gap between the floor and the base and cover it with quarter round or base shoe molding.  Either method works fine.  It’s all a matter of the final look you want.

Here are a couple photos of an install with just base and one with base board and quarter round.  It’s really up to you as to which method you choose.  Just be sure to figure the extra cost into your budget.  If you try and remove and replace the existing base board and a piece or two should break be sure that style is still available so you can purchase replacements.

Base Board Only

 

Base Board with Base Shoe Molding

 

Xolcation Series

Xolcation

“XOLCATION” is an original web series executive produced and created by Eduardo Xol (pronounced soul), who is best known for his work as a member of the design team for the two-time Emmy award-winning international hit, “Extreme Makeover Home Edition.”  Eduardo continues to work in television, currently serving as a lifestyle expert on Utilisima, a Fox International Network reaching more than 21 million homes in 34 territories across the Americas and throughout the Balkans.

“XOLCATION” documents the renovation of a California weekend beach house belonging to celebrity couple Jennifer Finnigan and Jonathan Silverman. Eduardo assembled a special team of close friends and talented individuals for this project. The goal? To create a brand and product integrated web series that brings the “vacation at home” experience to an outdated living space, which is in much need of a facelift to truly become a home away from home to relax and enjoy as if on vacation.

The series begins with a special focus on the bathrooms and kitchen that quickly evolves into a much larger project. Eduardo’s inspiration for the renovation came from his first visit to Kohler, Wisconsin. When Eduardo began working with his clients, he decided to pitch the documentation of the project to KOHLER and “XOLCATION” was born.

This is the first complete renovation that Eduardo is fully in charge of since leaving “Extreme Makeover Home Edition”.  It gives the viewer a rare and intimate look at Eduardo’s life while getting valuable information about planning and executing a home renovation project of this magnitude.  “XOLCATION” is a hybrid of documented reality and produced entertainment. Kohler will be the main presenter of this web series and is co-producing the project with Eduardo’s production team at Eduardo Xol, Inc.

Eduardo’s cast for the web series includes his clients, Jennifer Finnigan and Jonathan Silverman. Finnigan is a three-time Emmy Award-winning actress, who next stars in the new David E. Kelly series “Monday Mornings” set to air on TNT.  While Silverman is best known for his film role in “Weekend at Bernie’s, he recently wrapped the movie “Self Storage” and stars in and directed National Lampoon’s “Another Dirty Movie”.

Eduardo’s on-camera cast also includes Dinah Leffert (Project Manager), Richard Morales (Communications Director), Trey Payment (Personal Assistant), K.C. Morgan (Design and Build Associate), Bryan Cooper (Lead Carpenter) and Daniel Lopez (General Contractor). Alexander Jeffrey, who is not seen on camera, serves as the Director of the web series.

View the official promo trailer here:

50 Shades of Gray???

By: Denise Colestock, LEED A.P. BD+C, Urban Floor, San Diego Regional Account Executive

Welcome Home Collection (Birch- Ash Bark)

Okay, maybe not 50 shades of gray, but a few is what Urban Floor is looking at for our Urban Lifestyle collection.  It seems that designers and consumers are looking for wood floors in shades of gray for residential and commercial use.  And how can we ignore the trends?  We aren’t.  We have started the research and design phase of adding gray shades to our wood collections to make sure our clients find what they need and want.

We have been reviewing feedback from our dealers, designers and in-field representatives to make sure we find the shades that are right for our clients- popular grays and perhaps even some that inspire new ideas and trends.  We do have a gray in our Welcome Home Collection in Birch Ash Bark but we feel our clients need more choices when it comes to price, smooth, handscraped and wear layer thickness.

Staying on top of trends is important to Urban Floor, but so is traditional and classic design.  As we add style to our collections, you will not have to worry about losing the look that has always worked.  We strive to keep our clients satisfied and well-acquainted with our products.

Denise Colestock, LEED A.P. BD+C

Denise is an integral member of Team Urban and keeps Urbanfloor “fashion forward.”  She 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.  If you have any questions regarding environmentally friendly design you can contact Denise directly at denise@urbanfloor.com.

How Were Engineered Hardwood Floors Invented?

Prior to the second world war most homes in America had solid hardwood flooring.  Homes were built on raised wooden sub-floors which allowed for solid wood to be installed by nailing the planks into the sub-floor.

When World War II ended in 1945 all the young vets were coming back home.  They were getting married and starting families and so the building industry saw a spike in the demand for new homes.  New homes needed to be built quickly and inexpensively.  So as a result tract housing neighborhoods were developed and concrete slab foundations were developed as a new technology replacing raised wood sub-floors.

This created a problem for the hardwood flooring industry because you could not put solid wood directly on concrete.  So the need for new types of flooring grew in demand.  More homes were installing linoleum (today known as vinyl) and wall-to-wall carpet.

So the wood flooring industry which lost a tremendous amount of market share basically had to get together and come up with a hardwood floor that could be glued or floated directly on a concrete slab and be resistant to moisture… the Engineered Hardwood Floor was born.

Every Urbanfloor™ hardwood floor is constructed with 8-Ply cross grain construction for optimum strength and durability.

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