Tag Archives: Flooring

Environmental Benefits of Hardwood Floors

Many people are attracted to wood floors because of their elegant and quality appearance. They are a beautiful addition to a home and they are also an eco-friendly choice. Wood flooring is environmentally friendly.

Wood is a carbon neutral product and provides oxygen during its life cycle.

Indoor air quality is greatly improved when wood floors are present and installed correctly.

Production of wood flooring saves natural resources because they use less water and energy than other materials.

Another great benefit of wood flooring is that it can most definitely be recycled or burned as fuel. This is not the case for various other flooring options.

Aside from looking wonderful in a home, wood floors are truly the best option when deciding on an eco-friendly material. They last for decades and do not need to be replaced frequently, if ever! Who would have thought those beautiful wood floors you step on every day could be helping the environment? url-14

Engineered Wood Flooring and its Benefits

Ever wonder about engineered hardwood? The fact is, it’s actually real hardwood!  There are many benefits of choosing an engineered product.  To help you understand the basics, engineered hardwoods are made up of layers that are “glued together in a cross-grain construction.” It is stronger than a piece of solid wood and can be installed direct to concrete.  The top layer of the hardwood “provides the most uniform color and the most resistance to seasonal expansion.” If concerned about the environmental factors of your flooring, engineered hardwood has beneficial aspects when it comes to the Earth.  It uses half as many trees as solid wood floors and takes less water and url-25energy to produce than other flooring options.

If considering engineered wood flooring for your home, the main question you might ask is: What’s the advantage of using an Engineered wood floor over a Solid nail down floor? The answer is simple.

“Engineered hardwood floors can be installed in areas where there is slightly higher relative humidity levels. Engineered wood flooring being more stable is a great choice to use in summer homes where the heat is turned lower when no one is there. Because manufacturing engineered flooring does not waste valuable prized wood below its wear layer, purchasing engineered flooring also helps conserve our forests.”

Water Damage: How to Prevent and Fix

We all love the look of newly installed wood floors. Of course there is maintenance that goes into keeping your floors quality, but what happens when water damage becomes an issue? If there is major damage, like a flood, the floor may need to be replaced. This can obviously be highly expensive. At the site of damage, remove the wood so that the sub-floor is visible. Drying it outside is the next step. In minor cases, it is important to act immediately by cleaning any spills by using towels. No matter how major the accident is, dehumidifiers and open windows can hwater-damage-hardwood-floorelp ventilate the room to prevent the damage to begin with.

Experts speak upon the easiest ways to dry your flooring

-The easiest way to dry out the top of the floor is to buy or rent large fans and point them down to the floor.

-Keep the AC on if you have it, but open windows next to the floor area about 2 inches.

-The excess moisture has to go somewhere, even with air conditioning.

-Now more importantly, below the floor in the basement, you also need to have large industrial fans pointed up to where the water has come through.

-If you happen to have a finished ceiling below the floor, you might also consider cutting a neat (and repairable) square in the drywall.

-This is so the fans can better dry the under side of the subfloor.

-It would help if a few holes were drilled up into the subfloor where the leak began, to make sure a puddle of water is not sitting between the floors.

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There are other simple things you can do to prevent water damage in the first place.

“Use entrance mats- Sometimes dirt that accidently grinds into floors can accumulate water and moisture” which can cause long-lasting damage that might ultimately go un-noticed.

“Clear your floors regularly- Soft brush vacuum cleaners help prevent scratches” and there are many mild wood flooring cleaning products that are gentle on your floors.

“Choose your wood products wisely- Oil soaps are known to damage certain floors.” You wouldn’t want to cause more damage than the problem itself!

“Wax coating can help seal out moisture”’

Elegant-Floors

The important thing to know is that one must act immediately upon any noticeable water damage. Some floors can even collapse if the problem is not attended to. Re-coating and finishing the floor is important when going from damaged goods to a newly defined wood floor!

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How Your Floors Reflect Your Style

What better way to start a fresh year than to re-design a room to match your wood floors?  The correct flooring and texture go hand in hand with the interior design of your home. It has much to do with the layout, feel of your home, and the style that you wish to have. Wood flooring has become a very popular, modern trend that many have become fond of as an addition to their homes.

Design sets a sense of style that catches an eye when entering a room.  In order to choose your perfect hardwood flooring, design is the first step that factors into your transformation. It is ultimately the most important decision when it comes to choosing the correct flooring.

In fact, your own inspiration is what sets the decision making process.  Start with a plan.  How would your room look in order for you to be content with it when you walk in? Ask yourself a few more questions. What objects in your home inspire your lifestyle? Do you enjoy a modern look? A contemporary one? Or are you more traditional when it comes to the comfort of your home? Of course, there are many more factors that go into the decisions of creating your newly designed room.  Considerations include the size of the room, color of the walls, and the idea that the colors must complement each other for the final product to be beautiful. It is important to remember the color of your floors should not match perfectly with your walls or furniture. Diversity is key, but it should also be done tastefully. The color of your wood floor can be light, natural, or a darker stain. It is all up to your own preference.

Sofa-and-wooden-floor-in-living-room“In terms of a traditional look, dark wood floors suggest a formal appearance. Lighter colored walls as well as floral accessories accent the room greatly”.

Luanne Kelchner

Quotes from experts can be inspiring as well.  Holly is a design expert who has a love for art, design, and architecture.

“The wood flooring in a home is a critical part of the perfect design. It should be a canvas or a place to start for the overall picture that a quality designer will create. It should not be the focal point but a back drop.”

Remember, plenty of design magazines and books have even more visual tips to help create your perfect home.  When your interior style changes, there are many things you can do to re-arrange the look of your home.  Furniture and accessories say it all when a change of heart occurs!

 

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.

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