3 Amazing Hardwood Flooring Designs

 

Hardwood floors are versatile in more than just color, width, finish, type, etc., they can also be modified in ways that you wouldn’t even imagine (or maybe you would?). Here at Urban Floor, we’ll let you in on 3 ideas that we’ve found to be quite… amazing.

Painting a Rug on Your Hardwood Floor

It sounds simple in concept, but it’s actually a skilled talent – just as any painting is. The difference? This one is done on your very own hardwood floors. The sole purpose of this is to add a permanent touch to specific areas of hardwood floors that perhaps could use a little more life. If pulled off correctly, a painted rug on your hardwood floors will appear as just that – a rug, BUT due to the glistening nature of wood floors, you can expect your “rug” to glisten with light when the sun comes out. It makes for a wonderful appearance.

hardwood flooring designs

Sourced from: http://www.thefauxpro.net

3D Painted Hardwood Floors

Daring? Absolutely. Really freaking cool? Most definitely! 3D art paintings on hardwood floors can actually make you believe what you’re seeing is truly happening. It’s intriguing how our mind perceives art when it’s seen from a certain angle.

We can dawn on this topic forever, but at the end of the day one thing remains: 3D painted hardwood floors are purely works of beauty. We’re betting about 99% of you would opt not to have such a work of art installed in your own home atop your hardwood floors, but we’re also betting that 99% of you could stare at this type of art for hours on end, completely immersing yourself into the artwork.

3d artwork hardwood flooring design

Sourced from:
http://www.themost10.com

Wood Puzzle Hardwood Flooring

This concept is another one of those ideas that triggers your “wow” response. It’s such a basic idea, yet so brilliant – the idea of installing your hardwood floors in the shape of puzzle pieces. It’s an idea that brings out the kid in you that’s been longing to come out. If you really wanted to take it a step further, you could opt to use different shaded puzzle pieces for a mind-blowing experience.

wood puzzle hardwood flooring design

Sourced from: http://www.prowoodfloors.com

If you are inspired enough to implement any of these ideas, then be sure to update us with any pictures you have! We would love to see these ideas in action.

 

Ever Wonder Exactly How Engineered Hardwood Floors Are Made?

 

Over here at Urban Floor, we’re big proponents of the engineered flooring movement. Here’s a question for you: What comes into your mind when you hear or see the word “engineer”?

Perhaps it’s something along the lines of man-made construction using skills, knowledge, and science? If so, this is exactly what we’re referring to when we say, “engineered hardwood floors” – hardwood floors that are constructed using skills, knowledge, and science to create a product tailored a specific way.

How Engineered Hardwood Floors Are Made

It all starts with beautiful trees that are carefully cut down, loaded, and sent to a factory where the engineering magic begins. There are a wide variety of tree species that engineered hardwood floors can be made from, each with varying degrees of strength!

First, the large chunks of tree must be de-barked using industrial machines for preparation. A question lurking in the wood flooring industry is what to do with the bark chippings from this mandatory process. So far the best use is for bark mulching – which is used for gardening and landscaping for various purposes. One example of bark mulch’s benefits is that it can hold in moisture for plants, effectively slowing down the time it takes for them to dry out.

After the trees have been debarked, it’s time to turn large chunks of solid wood into fine-engineered hardwood floor planks – the ones that are actually installed in your home. The tree is shaved into slices of real wood known as veneers. This veneer is what will be featured on the top of your engineered floor, giving it the hardwood appearance you seek. Below this veneer contains multiple layers of strategically placed plywood. It’s strategically placed because these plywood layers are stacked on top of each other in opposite direction. This is what gives engineered hardwood floors the benefits they have over solid hardwood flooring options: dimensionally stable and more resistant to changes in temperature and humidity reducing expansion, shrinking, and warping, as well as reducing the tendency of split wood.

The final step of the process ends at a finishing factory where your wood floors are prefinished with different sealants for added protection and longevity. Your engineered hardwood floor may also be sent through a distressing process that involves hand scraped finishes or wire brushed finishes for customizability-sake. It all depends on what you want your floor to look like – old, modern, exotic, etc. It then ends up carefully laid into your home (often by a professional), waiting to receive compliments from your family and friends.

engineered hardwood floors

The process of how engineered hardwood floors are made is truly fascinating. Hopefully you begin to see exactly why we love engineered hardwood flooring so much. Really though, we love all hardwood floors!

 

 

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

 

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

 

Protecting Your Hardwood Floors from Guests

 

It’s common for families and friends to get together for celebration. It’s also common for many homeowners with hardwood floors to realize how their guests have left the floors with scratches or spills.

Hardwood floors are very durable; especially engineered floors that are specifically made to handle guests. However, it’s hard to control what happens during an event. Follow our 4 tips below to ensure you are proactively protecting your hardwood floors from guests:

Rugs
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: rugs are hardwood floor’s best friends. The trick here is to strategically place any rugs in ‘hot spots’, or spots that will contain lots of foot traffic. You definitely want to place a rug right at the entrance for people to take their shoes off or wipe their shoes down. This also goes for any backdoor or side entrances where your guests may be going in and out.

Chairs
If you have any chairs, then you may want to consider adding some cushion to the bottom in case you have guests that decide to plop into the chair, with their weight causing the chair to move backwards, potentially scratching your floor. Depending on the type of chair, you will either need felt pads or chair glides. Both are easily attainable at your local hardware store.

Paper Towels
Chances are, a few minor spills will happen during your event. Keeping a sufficient stock of paper towels handy can save you anguish later on. In case a guest spills soda while pouring, a paper towel can quickly mop up the mess. Keep a few a rolls scattered in various spots throughout the house where you believe a spill is most likely to occur. If a larger spill happens, then it would be best to use a mop to clean your hardwood floors.

Outdoor Eating
If you’re overly stressing about your floors and weather permits, then you should consider having your guests eat outside to further reduce the likelihood of any damage or spills occurring. This will require you to have enough chairs and tables handy, as well as table covers, paper plates, and plastic utensils. Most importantly, make sure the trashcan is also placed outside.

We hope these tips help you in proactively keeping your hardwood floors looking sharp for any event you host. Above all make sure you enjoy the time you have with your family and friends!

Read more on how to prepare hardwood floors for you, your guests, and your family.

 

Hardwood Floor Trends of 2014

 

As professionals of hardwood floors, it’s important to stay on top of the latest hardwood floor trends. So what have hardwood floor consumers been raving about? Here’s what we’ve found:

Wide planks – Many consumers of hardwood flooring are starting to prefer planks as wide as 10 inches or higher! The new standard has been set to a width of 5 inches. Some may even say that 7 inches is the new standard. We can safely say that we are up to speed on this latest shift towards wider planks.

Exotic woods – Just the word ‘exotic’ brings out a feeling of awe. The thing about exotic woods is that they feature unusual grains and patterns that are completely natural. Examples of exotic woods include Acacia and Brazilian Cherry. Consumers of hardwood floors prefer this natural, wholesome look in their homes.

Engineered flooring – It’s no surprise that engineered flooring is still a strong hardwood floor trend as it’s an eco-friendly approach to hardwood floors as well as cost-effective. On top of this, engineered floors can be installed over concrete and below grade (unlike Solid flooring). In general, the trend towards ‘green’ products has been gaining growth for quite some time.

Dark colors – Hardwood floor enthusiasts are beginning to prefer bolder, darker colors such as dark brown, black, or auburn. Darker colors provide a more sophisticated, vintage appearance that can be very captivating. This isn’t to say that lighter colored floors are outdated. It’s all a matter of preference.

Wood walling (also called wood wall covering) – This is a recent phenomenon in which the walls of your house are replaced with hardwood flooring. It may sound very bizarre, but it’s catching ground. Again, it goes back to the whole idea of the natural look that provides homeowners with a sophisticated appearance that cannot be achieved through traditional white walls.

Head over to our Pinterest account for more ideas on hardwood floor trends & designs!

hardwood

 
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