Tag Archives: Hardwood Flooring

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!

How to choose the best species for your flooring!

Choosing the right wood species for your hardwoods is an important decision, as it will affect the look and feel of your home for years to come. With over 60 unique flooring products to choose from, we are confident you will be able to find your perfect match, that special combination of style and function that will satisfy your eye, your conscience and your wallet.

Although there are many factors to consider — including the amount of traffic your floors will encounter, the room, furniture and walls where your new floor will be installed and of course your budget — your choice of wood will be essentially a creative one, based on your personal preference. Don’t be afraid to set practicality aside and go with a flooring that you just find irresistibly attractive. You will be more inclined to care for the wood and take the necessary preventative measures when you are dealing with a floor you adore on a daily basis.Hickory-Tumbleweed-TCH-412-HT-R-RGB

 

Let’s start by considering the amount of traffic your floor will sustain. Do you have children? Pets? A large family that is always coming and going? In this case, a harder, more durable wood that is not as susceptible to dents will be the best selection. If you would like to research this more in depth you can consult the Janka Hardness Rating, a scale that rates the different wood species according to their ability to withstand force. Brazilian Cherry, Santos Mahogany or Hickory are all excellent choices when it comes to a strong, resistant wood that will be slow to show scratches, wear or tear. The Chiseled Edge flooring is also a good option for a high traffic area. The chiseled marks reduce the visibility of most dentation and scratches (www.urbanfloor.com/Maple-Legacy.html). Our shades range from light to warm to dark and rich, so never feel you have to substitute function for aesthetics.

Brazilian-Cherry-Natural-EX-BC303-RNext let’s consider the walls and other furniture in your home. To highlight a dark mahogany desk for instance, it’s always best to select a light-colored flooring to establish contrast and create a dynamic interior design. Grain will also play into the equation. Do you desire a more streamlined, contemporary look? Then you may want to consider a few of our modern maple selections. If you plan on creating a distinctly rustic décor, oak and hickory might be the way to go!

Lastly, be sure to examine the wood samples in Birch Shadow Urbanfloor.comyour own home under your normal light conditions. Flooring you fancied in the showroom may not look the same once you get it into your natural habitat. Play around with natural and artificial lighting, making sure you will like your selection under all conditions.

For more assistance with choosing the right wood species for your home, feel free to contact us. We will be happy to answer your questions and help guide you as you enhance both your home’s value and appearance with the beauty of hardwood flooring.

 

Hardwood floors add value to your house

Why Hardwood Flooring Adds Value to Homes

These days the inventory of available homes is enormous, and that gives buyers a diverse selection of inventory. Home sellers need to distinguish themselves from the herd, and that can be a difficult challenge. But paying close attention to important details can pay big dividends.

When selecting your flooring, for example, there are many interesting choices and possibilities. Hardwoods may be the way to go, however, because they have attributes that set them apart in attractive ways that often make them a bottom-line asset. Hardwood flooring not only enhances the beauty, ambience, and quality of life in a home, for instance, but it can be a dynamic facilitator of faster sales at better prices.

 

Return on Investment

Adding-Value-To-Your-Home-e1338351026288According to an article published on CNN/Money, adding hardwood floors also tends to boost the resale value of a home in the same way that adding a fireplace or extra room does.

Of course conventional wisdom tells us that the best dollar-for-dollar returns usually come from creating an extra bathroom or remodeling and upgrading the kitchen. Hardwoods can play a contributing role in that regard, too, though, because many of today’s hardwood flooring products have the finish and durability to make them perfectly compatible with kitchens and bathrooms.

Less Time on the Market

As a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker commented in a professional forum on Realtor.com, “Hardwood floors enhance the chances of your house selling faster. It will compete better with the inventory of ‘like’ properties.” But there is more to the idea of a quick sale than meets the eye. Real estate professionals often use “time on the market” (the number of days it takes for the property to sell) as a guiding metric.

In healthy market cycles, for example, that timeframe is typically six or seven weeks. Data from the National Association of Realtors confirms that when the market was booming back in 2004 the median selling time shrank to just four weeks. But during the real estate recession that followed the average time on the market ballooned to ten weeks, while prices plummeted nearly 13 percent. So if hardwood flooring can speed up a sale, it means that it has the potential to be the difference between a house that sells as if it’s a bull market and one that languishes for months on end without a nibble.

Search Engine Parameters

Meanwhile one of the most convincing arguments for hardwood flooring happens to be one of the most often overlooked. Buyers don’t want to waste time touring homes that do not meet their criteria, so they tend to be quite specific about the features and amenities they want. They’ll search the MLS listings, for instance, using strict parameters. Not surprisingly, “hardwood floors” is one of the most popular search terms used today.

You may have a wonderful home with dynamite curb appeal. But if it doesn’t have hardwood flooring it may never even show up in a buyer or Realtor search that specifies hardwoods. You’ll remain hidden below the radar, while other homes in your neighborhood generate plenty of buzz and positive interest.

Value-Adding Characteristics

Even when buyers do not ask for hardwood floors, however, they tend to respond favorably when they encounter them in a home. They immediately feel that the builder or homeowner did not cut corners just to save money. Hardwoods are indicative of custom homes, for example, and instantly convey finer taste and enduring elegance.

By the same token, the presence of wall-to-wall carpeting or comparable generic types of flooring can be a telltale sign that saving a few dollars was more important than investing in durable quality and sustainable aesthetics.

Choose wisely and carefully, based on your own unique personal tastes and preferences. But don’t forget to factor in the influence that excellent hardwood flooring may have on your home’s value and marketability.

Refinishing Your Hardwood Floor

url-73The first step to refinishing your hardwood flooring is deciding whether your project needs a complete refinishing job.  If the floor is clearly damaged from flooding or stains, you may need to repair before refinishing. Remember that your floors need to be at least 3/4’’ thick. To avoid sanding down to the sub-floor, check with a professional if your floor is thinner than ¾.’’ Realize that if your floor is slightly thinner, it may not be able to be refinished. Pay close attention to the flooring beneath the hardwood. If there is a floor covering underneath, remove the old floor first.

Home improvement jobs take a lot of preparation, analyzing, and time before beginning the work. The floor must be cleaned and sanded properly in order to start the refinishing process. Make sure everything is cleared out of the room. Remove all furniture and closet items and cover all light fixtures. Next, remove shoe moulding by wedging a pry bar between the moulding and the wall. Place a block of wood behind a bar to prevent damage. Seal the door with masking tape in order to close off the room from the rest of your space. Lastly, vacuum the floor to remove dirt.

Now it’s time for sanding! A drum sander is the perfect tool to use. Most of the time these tools can be rented. A few tips for using this are:

  • Step 1
    • Begin sanding in the center of the room. Sand with the grain from one end of the room to the other, overlapping passes by an inch or two. Repeat the procedure on the other half of the room. Sand the entire center portion of the floor.
  • Step 2
    • After the main portion of the floor has been sanded with the drum sander, hand-sand or use an edge sander to sand areas where the drum sander did not reach. Use the same grit sandpaper you used with the drum sander. You may need to hand-sand or use a detail sander to reach the corners.
  • Step 3
    • When the entire floor is finished, vacuum and repeat the entire process using smaller grit (larger number) sandpaper with each pass.
  • Step 4
    • Finish by sanding the entire floor with 120 grit sandpaper.
  • Step 5
    • After the last sanding, vacuum once more and wipe with a dry cloth or tack cloth

Staining your floor

You can apply a clear sealer to your newly refinished floor or apply a stain, water- or oil-based. Some stains require more than one coat with a sanding between. Remember to keep the furniture out of the room until the floor is completely dry. After the floor is dry, reinstall the shoe moulding. To get the best finish, buff the floor after staining or sealing.

Why Choose Hardwood?

Let’s get basic! Why not? You’re on our page because you might be considering installing wood flooring into your home. Awesome thought. Now let’s learn a little about how wood floors can benefit your home, family, and life! First off, wood floors reveal a sense of elegance when entering a home. They immediately project comfort and style along with a right-at-home feeling.  Because wood floors are natural, they bring a positive environmental factor right into your home.  A great thing about wood floors is that there are so many styles to choose from to match any type of décor.  Every different type of wood has a unique style, design, texture, and color. The options are almost limitless when it comes to customizing your dream floor. Because hardwood is top-notch quality, your home will always stay beautiful as long as the right maintenance is put into keeping your floors the same quality as if they were just bought!

Hardwood lasts for decades. There is no doubt that it reminds sustainable for many years. It is fairly easy to maintain also. Dust mopping on a regular basis will keep your floors looking new as well as the occasional approved cleanser. For those who love to go green, wood flooring has tremendous environmental benefits. Wood floors use less water and energy to produce than other possible flooring options such as laminate or tile. Although they last hundreds of years, the flooring can be recycled! Indoor air quality is even improved when hardwood is installed. Your health will begin to see benefits from your wood floor too. Dust, mold, mites, and dirt build up on carpets, irritating colds, allergies, and other health problems. Allergy sufferers find many pros when it comes to wood floors because of the improvement in air quality.We all know wood flooring is quite an investment. Even though this is true, it is ultimately a great long term investment because it increases the value of your property and adds a beautiful charm to the overall feeling and appearance of your home.
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Picking the Perfect Area Rug for Your Flooring

A bedroom is a place to call your sanctuary. To have the most comforting satisfaction, most people want their decorations and flooring to be just right. Hardwood flooring of course adds elegance and style, especially to a bedroom. It can also add value to your home! Before you make a decision about what kind of flooring best suits you and your style, consider how long you plan on staying in a certain spot (as flooring can be expensive), consider design trends that match with the flooring you choose, and also be aware that it is perfectly okay to design your home  by using area rugs that complement the room’s theme. These come in a variety of sizes, styles, and colors. If placing an area rug on top of your wood floor, remember that hardwood has many benefits such as quality and durability. This means that you do not want to take away the beauty of your hardwood floors by choosing the wrong area rug. A few simple steps will help you find the perfect rug to fit your style.

1. Measure. Of course you need to know what size rug you need to fit the space you are looking to place it. The key idea is to find a rug that does not cover the entire floor, but to leave enough space to be able to see the beautiful wood.

2. Style says it all.  First recognize the color of your floors. The color of the rug and color of the floors should contrast each other. Also, consider those objects around you. What color are the walls? What does your furniture look like? For lighter furniture and cherry wood floors, a traditional area rug would look perfect. These kinds of rugs show many patterns such as diamonds or flowers.

3. Texture is important too! You want to feel comfortable when walking on your brand new area rug. A woven texture tends to be rough, a braided texture is more relaxed and soft, and a bamboo texture is rough.

Final tip: Padding prevents the rug from sliding which is perfect for it to stay in place. The padding should be an inch shorter than the rug itself.

 

 

How to Install a Hardwood Floor

DIY experts take us step-by-step to help install beautiful wood floors

Step 1: Choose the Boards

Choose the hardwood species and board widths for the room installation.

Step 2: Measure the Room

Measure the width and length of the room and multiply for the square footage. When ordering hardwood flooring, allow 10-15 percent extra for irregular boards and any cutting mistake.

Step 3: Check for a Squeaky Floor

Check the sub-floor. Minimum requirements are a 3/4″ plywood sub-floor. Make sure there are no squeaks in the floor. If there’s a squeak, screw a long drywall screw into the sub-floor and joist where the squeak occurs. Remove shoe-molding from the room and sweep and clean thoroughly.

Step 4: Roll Out the Vapor Barrier Paper

Roll out strips of vapor barrier paper, allowing at least a 4″ overlap and staple securely to the sub-floor. Use 15 pound tar paper or felt. It is relatively inexpensive (it’s approximately $12 a roll at a home improvement store). Mark with a pencil along the baseboards where the joists are located.

Step 5: Start Installation

Start the installation at the longest unobstructed wall. Remove the shoe molding, and snap a chalk line 3/8″ out from the baseboard (this allows for expansion in the hot, humid weather and contraction in the colder, drier weather of the hardwood flooring).

Step 6: Place the Boards

Begin by selecting a long board to start the first row. Pick one that is straight. Align the edge of the board with the chalk line and drill pilot holes down through the hardwood plank and into the sub-floor and joist. Face-nail each board at the point of every joist and set the nail with a nail-set. Face-nail the entire first row and remember to keep the board lengths random. It is important to face-nail the first row because the pneumatic nail can’t get down in there. It will hit the wall and the force would push the wood against the baseboard, which would lose the 3/8″ expansion and contraction.

It is important to lay the first boards perpendicular to the joists which are underneath. That is important because you want a nice solid anchor. Look at the subfloor to see which way the nails and seams ran. Try to go underneath the crawl space to see how they run.

Step 7: Hand-Nail the Rolls

After the first few rows have been installed, drill pilot holes down into the tongue of each board and hand-nail the rolls until there is enough clearance for the pneumatic nail gun.

Tip: Lay out a box of hardwood boards ahead of the installation to visualize lengths, wood grain and colors of the boards. When laying out the boards, keep in mind to never have the ends of boards in adjacent rows line up with each other. Keep the lengths random and at least 6″ in length.

Step 8: Staple the Boards

Using the pneumatic nail gun, place the gun lip over the edge of the board and strike firmly with the mallet, driving the staple into the tongue of the hardwood plank.

When installing up to a threshold, it is not critical to make cuts exact. Come back later after the floor has been installed and use a circular saw to cut across for a precise cut.

use pneumatic nail gun to staple tongue into plank

Step 9: Cutting the Baseboard

When cutting along the baseboards, select a piece that will fit in there and leave 10 or 12 inches more and cut it off. Use the other piece on the beginning of the next row. You don’t always have to get it in there real close and throw out the end piece. That will save some time and waste.

use cut off boards from one row to start next row

Step 10: Fill in the Gaps

Be sensitive to the way the ends fit together. One end has a tongue and the other end has a groove — this is called end matched. Make sure to always cut the wall end of the wood so that you do not cut off the groove that fits to the tongue. If that happens, that would result in a pretty big gap. Find a piece and lay it alongside the hole and flip it over. Make sure when you make the mark to cut off the wall side, not the room side. When you make the mark, butt it up against the baseboard and then mark at the end of that tongue. That will leave a 3/8″ gap for expansion and contraction when installing the piece.

Note: Before nailing, make sure to put at least two nails in every board. The rule of thumb is to place a nail every 10″ to 12″.

Step 11: Work Around Clearance Issue

As you near the opposite wall, clearance for the pneumatic nail gun again becomes an issue. Drill pilot holes and hand-nail the boards until there is no longer clearance for the drill and hammer. At that point, drill pilot holes down into the top of the boards and face-nail the boards, remembering to set the nails with a nail-set.

Tip: Use a pry bar and a few extra scraps of flooring to firmly seat the hardwood plank as you nail.

Step 12: Fit Last Board Into Place

If there’s a narrow gap for the last board, take a measurement and rip (cut length-wise) the last board to fit into place. Remember to leave a 3/8″ gap at the end wall for expansion and contraction space.

Step 13: Fill Holes With Wood Putty

Replace shoe molding in the room and putty all of the nail holes that have been face-nailed. Be sure to get wood putty that matches the floor. Fill the hole and wipe off the excess.

Step 14: Hardwood Floor Maintenance

Maintenance is easy for a pre-finished hardwood floor — keep grit off of the surface by sweeping regularly and use a flooring cleaning kit (alcohol-based) and spray on and wipe off with a damp cloth. Hardwood floors also help cut down on dust mites.

See more pictures and examples at http://bit.ly/129zwQu

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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.

Your Health and Hardwood Flooring

May 7, 2012
By Dan Simon

www.urbanfloor.com

Spring time is a beautiful time of the year.  Flowers blooming, leaves turning green, the smell of fresh cut grass and nice warm weather.  But for allergy and Asthma sufferers it can also be a miserable time of the year and the floors you have in your home can contribute to allergy season lasting in your house all year long.

While having carpet can offer comfort and warmth in your home it also traps in dirt and debris very easily as well as being a breeding ground for dust mites and bed bugs.

Yup, that’s right bed bugs don’t just live in your bed.  According to eHow Home“Although bed bugs are notorious for infesting bedding and mattress, these are not the only places that they live. It is not uncommon to find bed bugs in carpet as well. They will typically hide in places such as carpet during the day, and then make their way to the bed at night to feed on human blood. It is important to eliminate bed bugs from carpet in order to completely get rid of them in your home.”

If you have pets carpet also traps in pet hair and dander not to mention mold, mildew and spills can suck into carpet and the padding underneath like a sponge.  Every time you let your pets inside the house they can bring in dust and dirt from underneath their paws.   As they shed hair, pollen and other outdoor airborne elements that had stuck to their fur coat end up falling off and trapped in your carpet.  Let’s not forget that with pets also come fleas which can also live in your carpet and lay eggs very rapidly reproducing.  A female flea can produce 600 offspring in one month.  A flea’s life cycle from egg to larva to pupa to adult can be as short as 12 days or as long as 174 days, depending on temperature and humidity.

What if you have brand new carpet installed in your home that hasn’t had any foot traffic on it yet?  New carpet manufacturing uses synthetic materials and chemicals (that new carpet smell) which you are breathing in these fumes each time you are exposed.  Long term exposure to this can be hazardous to your health causing sinus and breathing problems.

Cigarette smoke also not only discolors your walls and ceilings but gets trapped into your carpet fibers causing a terrible stench in your home as well carcinogenic fumes that release back into the air every time you run a vacuum cleaner, your children are playing on the floor or you’re simply walking from room to room.

Carpets need to be cared for much more frequently than harder flooring surfaces.  The Carpet And Rug Institute recommends vacuuming your entire home at least twice a week.  If you have a larger home with a lot of surface space or a home with carpeted staircases this can be a very time consuming and a daunting task making it difficult to keep up a twice weekly schedule upkeep.  Plus every time you run the vacuum cleaner allergens and other harmful elements release back into the air you breathe.

In addition to vacuuming, your carpets need to cleaned on a regular basis.  RugDoctor recommends “as a general rule of thumb, the carpeting in a household containing two non-smoking adults should be cleaned once every six to twelve months. If those two people are smokers, on the other hand, the carpet will need to be cleaned once every four months instead. Similarly, if you have children or pets in your home, you will need to clean the carpeting at least once every six months. And, if you have both pets and children, you will likely need to clean your carpet once every three months in order to keep it in good shape.”

Between vacuuming and cleaning properly caring for your carpet can not only be labor intensive each week but also expensive each time you have it cleaned.

Hardwood floors are convenient to maintain and clean, making it easier to avoid the dust build-up that often occurs with carpets.  Cleaning up pet hair and spills is also more convenient with hardwood floors.

Hardwood floors require minimal maintenance in terms of effort, equipment and upkeep costs.  For example think about the difference in price between a mop versus a vacuum and regular carpet cleaning services.  Hardwood floors are also much more resistant to stains.

As mentioned above carpet is a constant source of dander, dust, lint, fur, mildew, mold, pollen, dust mites, bed bugs, fleas and other elements that can cause poor air quality and cleanliness.  Hardwood doesn’t hide these harmful elements – making for a healthier, easier to clean, safer living environment, especially for allergy sufferers.

So before making that final decision to invest in a hardwood floor or carpet remember to consider you and your family’s health.  Plus it’s way more fun to put on a pair of socks and slide across the floor.  You can’t do that with carpet!

 

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