Urban Floor Outlines Important Wood Flooring Terminology

 

The hardwood flooring industry is filled with jargon, or terminology, that is used to explain various aspects of wood floors. To keep you from scratching your head trying to make sense of it all, we’ve comprised a list of the popular terms that customers will often see describing the characteristics of our hardwood floors.

Hand-scraped: the term, “hand-scraped”, is often used to describe a wood floor that features characteristics of older style floors that are scraped by hand. Features of hand-scraped hardwood floors may include gentle waves and scrapes. They are popular with active families.

Distressed: this term is used when boards are intentionally created with imperfections such as dents, scratches, and other surface damage to give off the appearance of a worn look. It adds a very wholesome, natural look that many hardwood floor owners are fond of.

wood flooring terminology

Our Lambrusco is a great example of a wire-brushed floor!

Wire-brushed: used to describe a floor that had its soft grains hollowed out by using wire brush, leaving only the hard grains for a weathered, rustic effect. It’s actually a distressing technique that also gives boards a timeworn look.

Prefinished: used to describe floors that have already been sanded, stained, and finished inside of a manufacturing plant as opposed to site-finished where the same process in done during the installation, or on-site, inside of a customer’s home.

Engineered: as opposed to solid, engineered is a type of multi-layered flooring that is “engineered” a specific way inside of a manufacturing plant and features distinct advantages over solid wood flooring. Only the top part of the board, known as the veneer, is made of solid hardwood. Engineered flooring is more stable and has lower susceptibility against temperature and moisture swings.

Bevel Edge: each plank, or board, features different types of edges that connect two pieces together. Beveled edges feature grooves, as opposed to square edges, also known as regular edges, that meet each board squarely. Beveled edges allow for easier maintenance. Micro-beveled edges, also known as eased edges or kissed edges, are very similar except the grooves in the planks are smaller (i.e. the bevel is smaller) and are not as pronounced as beveled edges. Kissed edges can also hide minor irregularities such as plank height.

Knot: these show where branches were once joined to the actual tree. They are typically dark, round, and hard.

Finish: there are many types of finishes that exist, but they all refer to the protective coating that is applied to the floor. A common finish applied to wood floors is polyurethane, which is a clear durable finish.

Smoked: hardwood floors that have been intentionally darkened during the drying process.

Species: this refers to the type of tree the hardwood planks were milled from. Common species you may have seen on our engineered hardwood flooring website include oak, hickory, and maple. Hardwood floors all begin with a species of wood – this is where the magic happens.

If you want even more information – with pictures as well – then visit our Flooring 101 section!

 

Beginner’s Guide to Removing Minor Burn Marks from Hardwood Floors

 
removing burn marks hardwood floors

Always take care of your floors, even if you have to sand a bit!

Objects fall, accidents happen… it’s near impossible to keep hardwood floors from suffering minor damage as the years progress. Hardwood floors are built to withstand everyday pressure from our feet, large house pets, and the occasional house party thrown, but sudden accidents often leave hardwood floor owners frantically searching for a way to reverse the mistake.

Nicks and scratches are the usual culprits that wind up leaving hardwood floor owners frustrated, but – believe it or not – burn marks happen as well. Burn marks on hardwood floors are usually the result of ironing clothes on an ironing board, cigarettes, cigars, candles, hot coal from hookah, cooking mishaps, and other culprits that vary in the amount of damage done.

Determining The Damage Done

For a quick and easy way to determine how deep the burn mark is, you can take any utility or pocketknife and gently use the tip of the knife to carefully scrape (with the grain of the wood) away the burned wood. This will give you an idea of how bad the damage is as well as remove some of the char. If you determine the damage looks or seems to be worse than minor, then stop there and seek out a professional who can replace the board. You don’t want to risk ruining your floors any further.

The Sandman

If you decide that the burn mark is in fact minor, then you can begin to work it out yourself. To remove minor burn marks on hardwood floors, you’re going to have to begin sanding the accidental scorch out of your floor. This can be done with sandpaper. 80-120 grit sandpaper should be enough to sand out a minor mark. You may want to look into a sander that can be purchased for a reasonable price at any home improvement store. This will speed up the process greatly… just remember to sand WITH the grain!

Finishing Up

After sanding out all or most of the mark, you are going to have to refinish that part of the wood so that it looks new again. There may still be residual char present, at which point you can use a dry paintbrush to clear any of this away. Next, buy some tung oil. This can also be purchased from any home improvement store. Use a clean towel to apply this oil over the affected area. Wipe away any excess oil with a separate damp cloth. Finally, apply a certified hardwood floor polish that will add the shine back into your floors. We recommend using Bona® products.

Did You Know… ?

Some burn marks actually add a handful of character to a hardwood floor. Before panicking, take a step back and see exactly how the burn mark appears in relation to the rest of the décor in the room. Maybe it doesn’t look as bad as you had initially imagined?

If you liked this article, then view our other post on removing nicks and scratches from hardwood floors!

 

What Hardwood Flooring Trends Do Homebuyers Prefer (2014)?

 

It is common for hardwood flooring trends to change often, with consumer’s tastes and preferences differing in many ways to the point where it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is a reputable majority finds true satisfaction in.

Urban Floor
wants to give you a few pointers on what homebuyer’s preferences are – mainly based on hardwood flooring trends that have been picked up on this year. One thing we know for sure is that hardwood floors are quickly becoming the new standard of flooring in homes – over carpet that is!

Brown Is The New Black

These days, it’s hard to go wrong with hardwood floors that contain brown. Homebuyers are enthusiastic about brown floors mainly because they are easier to match furniture and other surrounding décor with – perhaps something that is highly attractive to first time homebuyers who feel swamped with many important decisions.

Brown floors also manage to give off a wholly “natural” look that is hard to emulate using other shades. Many hardwood floors we offer feature natural grain patterns, unfilled knots, and a hand-scraped finish that adds to a floor’s natural, authentic touch. A nice light beige hardwood floor will complement any house well. The whole idea of “natural” is something that has been taking off for some time now – not just in hardwood floors, but other areas such as the foods we consume.

Satin Finishes

Homebuyers are beginning to prefer satin finishes to shiny, glossy finishes. Glossy finishes do not give off the “natural” feel that consumers are looking for – natural is important! Glossy finishes have a tendency to show dirt, footprints, and other imperfections, as well as require more upkeep and maintenance over satin finishes.

Did You Say… Kitchen Flooring?

Tile used to be the automatic, go-to choice for kitchen flooring, but surprisingly homebuyers have gradually begun the shift from tile flooring to hardwood flooring; largely in part because many home and décor magazine feature this style.

The reasons why? Because hardwood flooring is easier on your feet, adds more style to your kitchen, matches cabinets well (this depends on the colors of the cabinets), makes your kitchen appear larger than it really is, is easier to clean, and happens to be very competitive in pricing in comparison to tile.

At the end of the day, a homebuyer will select a hardwood floor they believe fits their needs. Urban Floor is always trying to keep up with the latest trends so that we can provide our sincere customers with the necessary options they need in order to make an informed, well thought out decision.

homebuyers hardwood flooring preferences

The Empire, featured in our Royal Court Collection, looks great in kitchens!

 

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.

 

Urban Floor Releases Brand New Hardwood Flooring Line

 

Urban Floor is proud to unveil its recent addition to our beautiful collection of hardwood floors: Chêne. Urban Floor now offers 90 spectacular hardwood floors to choose from, spanned across 8 different themed collections.

The release of the Chêne flooring line is a great way to celebrate the recent news of Urban Floor ranking in as one of the top hardwood flooring brands for both price and product availability.

Chêne By Urban Floor – European Oak Hardwood Flooring

chene european oak by urban floor

The brand new collection boasts 7 different selections to choose from that vary in shade: ranging from very light to very dark depending on your preferences. We’re certain that anyone interested will find a flooring choice that perfectly accompanies any existing furniture and colors within your home.

We’re huge advocates of engineered hardwood flooring, and our Chêne new hardwood-flooring line fits the bill. Engineered hardwood floors offer benefits that other flooring choices simply cannot provide.

Plank size is certainly something to consider in selecting a hardwood floor and we took a middle ground approach by carefully crafting the Chêne hardwood floors to feature 7.5-inch wide planks.

All of the Chêne hardwood floors are wire-brushed meaning an industrial grade wire-brush is used to selectively remove the soft grains of a wood’s surface, leaving the hard grains showing. This creates a luminous rustic texture that reveals a hardwood floor’s inner beauty – it’s grain, streaks, grooves, and knots.

The flooring collection is also constructed using fine European Oak, which happens to be one of the most popular wood species used in our culture. European Oak is known for its rich design and functionality – using a special technique that results in a product featuring wider planks and tighter grain patterns.

Whether you’re browsing our new Chêne oak flooring collection or one of our other timeless collections, we’re sure you will find a hardwood floor that exceeds your expectations on both quality and value.

Happy Flooring from Urban Floor!

 

Damp Mopping – The Way Experts Clean Their Wood Floors

 

damp mopping wood floors

Remember: Damp Mop.

Damp mopping is a very simple way of cleaning hardwood floors. It also happens to be a tried and true method that many experts believe is the most effective way in cleaning urethane finished wood floors on a day-to-day basis.

What Do You Have To Do?

Anyone can do it; all you need is a mop and some water. There are many different types of mops to choose from. Microfiber and/or sponge mops are popular choices for many.

Dirt and grit are the biggest enemies of a wood floor, so before you begin cleaning with a damp mop, remove any dirt and grit by sweeping with a soft broom, or vacuum (do not use a vacuum with a beater bar).

Fill up a bucket with water (NO SOAP), take your mop, dip it into the bucket of water, and – here’s the important part – make sure you squeeze any surplus water out of it. This gives you a damp mop that you can now use to glide over your hardwood floors with ease. There’s nothing fancy to it.

But What About Homemade Cleaning Solutions?

Many people claim specific do-it-yourself cleaning solutions that involve a host of different easily attainable products such as white vinegar, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, liquid dish-washing soap, and even black tea bags perform well on cleaning their wood floors. While some may swear by these methods, there’s no guarantee of these methods working in the long-term. People claim they help restore the shine of a finish, but it’s only short-term.

The issue experts have with these simple do-it-yourself cleaning methods is that they will in fact leave a nasty “dulling” residue on your hardwood floors. Solutions with vinegar and lemon juice contain acids that may harm a floor’s finish in the long-term.

Better To Be Safe Than Sorry

As the saying goes, “It’s better to be safe than sorry”. All you have to do is ask yourself if it’s worth the risk to put your trust into a hardwood floor cleaning solution that you found on the Internet.

Our best advice is to stick with the easiest solution of them all – a mop and some water (make sure it’s DAMP!)– and occasionally use cleaners such as Bona® as a “spot” remover when necessary. Always carefully follow cleaner manufacturer’s instructions.

 

Urban Floor: One of the Best in Price and Product Availability

 

best hardwood floor brandUrban Floor is proud to announce it’s latest achievement in the lovely world of hardwood flooring: we ranked in as one of the best hardwood floor brands of the year for two separate categories! The categories include both price and product availability.

The achievement comes from the release of an extensive market intelligence report performed by ReCo that is featured in a reputable hardwood flooring trade publication, Floor Covering Weekly.

We’re absolutely stoked over this news, because it shows that all of the hard work performed here at Urban Floor is beginning to show measurable progress that is truly made possible by you guys, our sincere customers who find true value in the solid and engineered hardwood floors that we proudly offer.

The same study also revealed that carpet still leads the market in flooring, but we like to believe it’s because people have not been given a chance to see the positive reasons in making the switch. That or many people are simply content with the carpeting they have had in their homes for multiple years.

Hardwood floors bring more than just value to your home, they bring a touch of beauty that is completely customizable to your own, personal taste. That is why we offer a broad selection of affordable flooring that’s widely available, because different people have different tastes and it’s important to make sure we offer a floor fit for anyone. We also plan on adding a new line of floors in the foreseeable future so stay tuned for it’s exciting release!

Again, we want to graciously thank our customers, fans, and those who have shown support since our beginning. Your support is an integral part in helping us bring the best quality hardwood floors into the homes of those that realize how the housing market is slowly shifting from carpet flooring to hardwood flooring.

 

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.

 

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!

 

 
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