Tag Archives: Engineered

14 Tips for Engineered Flooring Care

Caring for your new engineered flooring is an important task to keep your floors looking great for years to come. Caring for engineered wood is very similar to caring for hardwood floors, but if you’re new to wood flooring, you may feel a little lost about which products to use and how to avoid damage during everyday use. Here are 14 tips to help you in caring for your engineered wood floors.

How to Care for Engineered Floors

  1. Most manufacturers recommend cleaning hardwood or solid engineered flooring with a damp mop or cloth only. If you find you need a little more cleaning power, purchase a cleaner made specifically for finished wood flooring. Remember, your engineered flooring is cared for mostly the same as you would for hardwood floors since the uppermost wear layer is comprised solely of hardwood.
  2. Always sweep or dust before you mop. Remove as much dirt and debris before mopping to avoid damaging your floors.
  3. Clean up spills as soon as possible. While engineered hardwood flooring is less susceptible to water damage than Solid hardwood flooring, prolonged exposure to liquids can result in damage.
  4. Use only a dry to damp mop or cloth for best results when cleaning.
  5. Protect your engineered floors from UV damage by pulling drapes or blinds during peak sunlight hours to shield your floors from direct sunlight.
  6. Place all houseplants and furniture on soft coasters or felt pads to avoid nicks and scratches.
  7. When cleaning your engineered hardwood flooring, wipe in the same direction as the wood grain for best results. This will help remove stubborn dirt from cracks and crevices in the flooring.
  8. You can choose to fill in nail marks created during installation by filling them with similarly colored wood putty. Simply wipe away any excess putty and gently clean the area with a small coat of urethane. Allow to dry for one hour.
  9. Sweeping or dusting your floors every day will help prevent a build up of dirt that will require hard scrubbing or cleaners to remove. Regular care is best for your engineered floors.
  10. Keep pets’ toenails trimmed and filed to avoid damaging your floors.
  11. Be sure to keep the moisture level of your home regulated year round to keep your engineered Hardwood floors looking great for years to come. Proper humidity control is essential for the long term upkeep of your floors.
  12. Hard water can leave a dulling effect on your engineered floors over time. Use softened water or special hardwood floor cleaners to remove this mineral buildup and restore a natural luster your flooring.
  13. Do not place electronics directly on your engineered hardwood floors. The heat generated from electronics can damage your flooring over time.
  14. Choose your engineered floor care products carefully. Be sure to read the entire label before using a product on your engineered floors. In general, if a product is safe for use on hardwood floors, it is safe for your engineered flooring.
  15. Caring for white plank floors may require a little extra TLC. Never bleach or use detergents containing bleach on your white plank engineered floors. To keep your floors white, avoid using well water (which may contain staining iron) and clean your floors daily.

Caring for your engineered flooring properly will ensure your floors stay beautiful for years. For more tips on caring for your new engineered floors, contact Urban Floor, the premier producer of engineered hardwood flooring since 2003.

Should I float, glue or nail down my new hardwood floor?

    Ron Call, Your Urbanfloor Guy

Ron Call’s humble beginning in the flooring industry started at age 18 as an apprentice in 1978.  Today Ron is a recognized leader amongst his peers and clients throughout the industry.  34 years later Ron is an expert in all floor covering products specializing in hardwood installation and refinishing and the owner of the very successful Harmony Flooring based out of San Diego serving the entire southern California region. Have questions?  Need Advise?  Visit the Ask Ron section of our blog or email him direct at askron@urbanfloor.com

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This is a question that I have been asked many times over the years. There are several factors to consider and each home, customer and product is different and so there is no one size fits all perfect answer. Some of the considerations are.

  1. Appearance
  2. Cost
  3. Sub floor type
  4. Home type ie: single family home, condo or even mobile home
  5. Manufacturers recommendations
  6. Feel and sound

Appearance is considered because even though you are installing the same floor in the same areas, using different methods will mean slight differences in a the look, sound and feel of you floor as well as the cost involved in the installation.  With the floating method of installation you will need to install transition moldings (T-moldings) in all doorways or openings between adjacent areas where the opening is less than 4 feet wide.  These little speed bumps as some of my customers like to call them can be a real deal breaker for some customers. They like the look of a continuous wood floor as it flows from one room to the next just like they remembered the wooden floors from their childhood homes. Other people don’t care and are fine with T moldings in their doorways. The reason you need a T molding separating these areas is because with a floating floor the edges are glued or locked together. And when the floor expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity it moves as one large monolithic piece of wood floating over the top of the padding and vapor barrier (hence the term floating floor). So the changes in temperature and humidity say in the kitchen would directly affect the function of you floor across the width of the house say in the back bedrooms. With a glued down or nailed down hardwood floor each plank is fastened directly to the subfloor and not to the adjacent plank so when one plank expands it does not necessarily affect the others planks. So T moldings are not required.

Cost is considered because we all love to save money. And each method involves different supplies, materials and installation time. The least expensive method is the floating floor as you save between $1.50 and $2.50 per square foot when taking into consideration the cost of glue/sealer and additional labor cost to install a glued down floor. A nailed down floor falls somewhere in the middle but is limited by the type of subfloor (must be plywood) and manufacturers recommendations (some floors cannot be nailed down successfully).

Subfloor type is considered as certain subfloors will accommodate any installation method but with others you will be limited. If you have a concrete slab on grade you may float or glue your floor but you cannot nail it down unless you first install ¾ inch plywood first which is done occasionally but it will significantly increase the cost of your new floor installation because you would be essentially installing two floors. The new plywood subfloor and then the new hardwood floor. On a plywood subfloor you may float, glue or nail down your new wood floor. On light weight concrete or gypsum floors like you have in a condo or apartment, floating your floor may be your only option depending on the softness and porosity of the subfloor. Nail down floors on lightweight concrete is not an option. And installing plywood first may be impossible if it’s a soft type gypsum floor. I do not recommend the glue down method for these floors either as you can never be certain of the hardness and the porosity of the subfloor. And with the tremendous pressures that can be exerted between the hardwood floor the glue and the subfloor, this could be a recipe for failure. Always consult your local installation professional for guidance as to which methods will work in your home.

Home type is considered because if you live in a condo or apartment type building you may be subject to the dreaded CCR’s. Home owner’s association rules that you agreed to when you moved in your building. Often they will require that hard surface floors like hardwood if allowed at all will need appropriate sound proofing underlayment. Be sure to follow these rules to the letter as I have seen some associations make people’s lives pretty miserable if the rules are not followed. Often they will require only certain brands of products or one’s that meet strict soundproofing thresholds IIC ratings. Sometimes they require the building superintendant to photograph the various stages of the installation to ensure compliance. And often you must submit your proposal to the board for approval before starting any work. So do not make any purchases of materials until you’re approved in writing by your association. This will save you much time and aggravation. Mobile homes can be done as well but pay close attention to leveling issues. Carpet can cover a lot of expensive problems that you may not be aware of.

Manufactures recommendations must always be followed as your warrantee is a big part of purchasing your new floor. You do not want to have you’re warrantee voided due to improper installation. Your flooring dealer will help you with these issues.

Feel and sound is a consideration in that nailed and glued down installations tend to sound a little more solid, and will have very little movement when you walk across the floor. Where as a floating installation will sound a little more hollow and the floor will have a little more movement because it is installed over a pad. If you tend be on your feet for long periods of time say in your kitchen, this may be a good thing as it will feel a little softer underfoot.

There is a lot to consider when deciding which method is best for you and your home. It all may seem a little daunting especially when it took you this long just to pick the right style and color for your home. Your local Urbanfloor dealer and installation professional will help you through the process. If I can help you in any way you can contact me here at the website “Ask Ron

 

Ron Call

Your UrbanFloor Guy.

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

Can the use of wood as a building material provide substantial economic and environmental benefits? You betcha it can!

Urbanfloor provides sustainable products by acquiring raw materials from ecologically well-managed forests and suppliers. 

The U.S.D.A. Forest Service recently released a report summarizing the scientific findings that support the environmental and economical benefits of using wood and wood products in green building construction.

According to the USDA Forest Service, “The use of forest products in the United States supports more than a million direct jobs and contributes more than $100 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product.  The sustainable use of wood products supports forests, jobs, national income, and a healthy environment.  It also contributes to green building by reducing environmental burdens with constructing, operating, and decommisioning many other types of buildings.”

So how can using wood products be better for our environment?

Let’s look at some facts from industry peers and published reports:

  • Using wood plays an important role in mitigating climate change and is a renewable resource.
  • Harvesting, transporting, manufacturing, and using wood in lumber and panel products contributes to reducing air emissions and greenhouse gases (GHG).
  • North American forests help with climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere however what many don’t know is using wood products continue to store carbon dioxide, keeping it out of the atmosphere in the first place and indefinitely.
  • Less environmental emissions to construct commercial and residential buildings using wood than using concrete and steel.
  • Fossil Fuel consumption which contributes to increased GHG emissions into the atmosphere and quantities of solid waste tend to be less in the manufacture process of wood products.
  • Over 100 years, net GHG emissions are 20%-50% less than alternative construction materials such as steel and concrete.

These are just a few examples but we don’t want to bore you with a huge list.  Take a look at the full USDA Forest Service report HERE

What are your opinions?  Leave us a comment and share your thoughts.

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