Category Archives: Products

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.

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)

Prestige Oceanfront Resort Sooke, BC

Hyde Park Distribution is entirely 100% Canadian as well as being family-owned & operated, with industry expertise totaling more than 15 years in the hardwood business.  Owner Tom Neaves strives to deliver only the very best customer service and quality wood products 100% of the time.  As a well-respected figure within the lumber community, Tom knows his wood. (no pun intended) To learn more about Hyde Park or have questions, need guidance or inquiries you can connect with Tom or his helpful team HERE.

By: UrbanfloorDan

So this project was put in front of me by one of “the family” (Movie: The Godfather reference in case you didn’t catch it) Sergio Andrade who works exclusively with Hyde Park.  This hotel project really got me thinking.  I’ve traveled through many parts of the U.S., Europe, Asia and South America but I have never been to Canada!  I mean how long is a flight from L.A.?  Two… Two and half hours?  Shame on me!  Every time I see a photo or read an article about Canada it’s always a beautiful picture and a positive word.  The lush forests, clean cities, white powder snow and then when you hear about the people in Canada the only thing I ever hear is how nice people are… and that I’ve experienced first hand.  Hey, just cause I haven’t been there doesn’t mean Canadians don’t visit here.  I’ve met a few visitors here in L.A. and when doing some biz have chatted on the phone… always nice… “eh!”  I’m getting off course so getting back to the pictures I always see in Canada and how they’re always beautiful…  this hotel project by Hyde Park is no exception.

Birch Shadow shade/color from our Chiseled Edge Series within our Urban Lifestyle Collection was installed in the gorgeous Prestige Oceanfront Resort Sooke in British Columbia, Canada.

In BC, Canada “Prestige Hotels and Resorts is one of BC’s finest family owned chain of resorts, hotels and inns. With a passion for excellence and an uncompromising commitment to superior service, we invite visitors to experience beautiful British Columbia complemented by our unique brand of hospitality. Located throughout the Interior of British Columbia and on Vancouver Island, each resort, hotel and inn offers the opportunity for a truly unique regional experience.”

Our Birch Shadow wood planks undergo a dense stain treatment that transforms an ordinarily pale birch wood into a darker duskier look perfect for classic and contemporary settings.  It’s always a proud moment when you have a product that ads class and warmth to a client’s home but also available when you visit and travel.  Thank you Prestige and Hyde Park for including us in your customer’s luxury experience and all the great memories that Urbanfloor will be apart of right underneath every guest’s feet.  Enough of my blah, blah, blah…  See the results yourself.

Opulent Two Queen

 

Opulent King

 

One Bedroom Suite

 

Visiting the Lazio Region of Italy

Thursday, June 7, 2012
by Dan Simon

The Lazio Region of Italy is located in the central area of the Italian peninsula and is the divide between the north and the south.  The west coast of this region overlooks the Tyrrhenian Sea.  Since the country of Italy is commonly known as the shape of a boot…  to get an idea of its geographic location just look down at your leg and it would be located just above and below your knee.  The name Lazio (pronounced ‘lattsjo) comes from the Latin, LATIUM.  Lazio is divided into five Provinces – Frosinone (FR), Latina (LT), Rieti (RT), Roma (RM), and Viterbo (VT).

Lazio Region and Provinces

The Lazio region is rich in culture and history perhaps most famously for being the center of the Roman Empire as well it is the world center of the Catholic religion home to the Vatican. The foundation of ancient Rome begins in the 8th century BC.  Outside of Rome this region is mostly plains and hills with a mountain region located in the Province of Rieti.

More than have the population of the entire region live in or around the city of Rome.  Lazio is the third most populated and the second richest region of Italy.  Rome has pioneered many engineering feats that have been the foundation of the technologies we benefit from today.  The area has inspired countless motion pictures like Gladiator.

There is no argument that can be made how much this region has influenced and inspired the world for centuries and that influence has even stretched to Urbanfloor and our Villa Caprisi Collection and hence the name ‘Lazio’  as the name of one of the 8-colors in this collection.  To view photos and get more details simply visit HERE.

Introducing Our Brand New ‘Downtown Series’

Great news everyone!  We just launched a new series of flooring in our Urban Lifestyle Collection called the ‘Downtown Series’ and it is made from one of the most beautiful woods in the world, Acacia which combines a wide blend of rich colors and unusual grain patterns in each plank.

It is available in four colors.  Both in genuine Handscraped or a smooth texture and is sure to bring uniqueness and sophistication into any home or office.

Can we get a  drum roll please?  Introducing the brand new Downtown Series:

Albany:  Mid Brown with warm, creamy grain tones. Smooth Texture.

Albany

Broadway:  Mid Brown with warm, creamy grain tones. Genuine hand- scraped finish with mild chattermarks.

Broadway

Manhattan:  Dark Chocolate with milk chocolate grain tones. Genuine hand- scraped finish with mild chattermarks.

Manhattan

Rochester:  Mid Brown with a hint of red grain tones. Smooth Texture.

Rochester

Who’s being sent to Italy?

So have you ever been to McDonald’s when they do the Monopoly game promotion and ever think to yourself… does anyone ever actually win these contests?

In a previous blog under the Contests section we announced a dealer contest at the Surfaces 2012 trade show at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in viva Las Vegas, NV.  Dealers at the show could visit our booth and enter into a drawing to win a trip for two to Rome, Italy.  The motivation for the trip was to promote our newest collection Villa Caprisi with an Italian inspired design using brushed European Oak.

Talk is cheap and people want to see it to believe it right?  So here you go.  This is the winner of our Win a Trip to Italy drawing at the Surfaces 2012 trades show:

Shawn Zand of Best Floor from Anaheim, CA

Congratulations to Shawn Zand of Best Floor from Anaheim, CA for being the lucky winner of our Trip for Two to Italy at the Surfaces 2012 Expo!

So you see, people really do win these “thingies” called contests.  Who knows maybe you’re next!  Make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and our website for the latest and the greatest.

Tweet: @urbanfloor
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Site: www.urbanfloor.com

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