Tag Archives: Urban Floor

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.

Laminate flooring Vs. Hardwood flooring

What is Laminate flooring and how does it differ from hardwood Flooring?

With hundreds of different flooring product choices on the market, homeowners want to make informed decisions. One of the most common areas of confusion has to do with the difference between hardwood flooring and laminated flooring, oftentimes referred to as “laminated hardwood” or “Pergo”.

What is Laminated Flooring?

Laminate wood flooring is manmade flooring that usually contains a layers of compressed high density fiberboard (HDF), sandwiched between layers of synthetic material.

  • There is an outer layer, which is the actual laminated layer. It protects the material from normal wear and tear such as scuffing.

 

  • Beneath this thin layer is a highly realistic, high resolution photographic image of wood. The sole purpose of this layer is to create a visual illusion of actual wood.

 

  • Then comes an inner core of high-density fiberboard, made of fibers, compressed at high temperatures and fused together with chemical adhesive. This layer adds structural strength to this product.

 

  • Finally, at the bottom of the flooring where it contacts the subfloor, there is a backing that serves as a moisture barrier to prevent the floor from swelling and warping.

Laminate is fast and easy to install, and some of it simply snaps into place without nails or glues. But it is also much less stable than a hardwood floor, and offers none of the warm aesthetics of authentic wood.LaminateFlooring-300

Price versus Longevity

Laminated flooring is considerably cheaper than real hardwoods, which is its biggest selling feature. But when we’re talking about something that will become a permanent part of your home, it’s important to break down those financial calculations to make sure they take everything into account.

Let’s say, for example, that you’re building a house and you expect to live in for the rest of your life and then perhaps pass it on to your children. Many laminated floors can be expected to last 5 to 10 years. But hardwoods typically last a minimum of 75 years, and some of them have been around for centuries.

Maintenance and Repair

Meanwhile laminated flooring cannot be repaired, which greatly limits its sustainability. You may have no choice but to rip up the entire floor and replace it with something new. Do that two or three times and a cheap laminate floor may wind up costing twice as much as a real hardwood floor.

Real hardwood is much more durable, and can be repaired is necessary. Repair it, sand it, or if you desire, stain it to a different shade. The same hardwood floor can be used for generations as long as it’s well maintained.

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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.

Technology and Your Business- Are you Keeping up or Falling Behind?

April 30, 2012
By Dan Simon, Social Media Marketing Manager

Information…  Getting it, sharing it and distributing has changed over the years.  I remember as a kid watching ‘The Flintstones.’  The daily newspaper was chiseled in stone and you better duck for cover and not get hit in the head.

Because of technology we’re getting information at an alarmingly fast rate of speed with so many places to get it from that it seems like you’re swimming in an ocean hoping you make it to the right island so you don’t drown.

Back in the day you tore out a magazine page and brought it in to your hair stylist to show how you wanted to get your hair cut and styled.  Remember that embarrassing time when you walked into a record shop and when you wanted to know the name of the artist and song and you had to sing it to the store clerk in front of everyone?  For those of you in younger generations… yes that is how we gathered our favorite music… iTunes had not happened yet.

It’s a new frontier.  While you have to be high-touch you also need to be high-tech.  The personal touch is often forgotten because it’s very easy to automate technology and make it easier.  But no matter how much we become more advanced in tech, people still want to have that human touch.  Think about it…  do you like calling into your bank on the phone and having to deal with multiple automated menu-after-menu, push this number-push that?

Here is the point.  An old world way of building relationships with customers must collaborate with a new world way of high-tech.  Unavoidable and balance is key.

www.urbanfloor.com

An example of current relevant media and technology that can be used to personalize service with tech without taking the human aspect out. Enter:

iPad and Pinterest

As a dealer imagine this: Customer walks into your showroom.  Obviously you ask how you can help them.  You show them around to your various selections.  You have samples of wood species and brands… But your sales rep also can carry an iPad (or tablet) where they can show a flooring sample with an image of how it might look in an interior designed room.  And using Pinterest from your account and on a tablet you can feature flooring collections on-the-fly as they shop, walk and you consult.  Sometimes it is a challenge for clients to imagine floors in a home but if you can paint a picture it is easier to see potential.  This is an opportunity for personalized service while providing cutting-edge technology to give your customer total client care. 

As a homeowner imagine this: You walk into your local dealer with your iPad and your own Pinterest account.  Not only are you able to show your consultant exactly what you like from your tablet but you also have the ability to show other design ideas you love so that there is better understanding for what you want.  After all “a picture is worth a thousand words,” right?

Times are changing and how we do business is evolving rapidly.   Here is a story I heard years ago early in my career but remember to this day.  In business no matter how small, medium sized or fortune 500 large… the axe needs to be and must be sharpened to survive now and grow in the future…

“Rodger, a woodcutter, worked for a company for five years but never got a raise.  The company hired Bill and within a year he got a raise.  This caused resentment in Rodger and he went to his boss to talk about it.  The boss said, “You are still cutting the same number of trees you were cutting five years ago.  We are a result-oriented company and would be happy to give you a raise if your productivity goes up.”  Rodger went back, started hitting harder and putting in longer hours but he still wasn’t able to cut more trees.

He went back to his boss and told him his dilemma.  The boss told John to go talk to Bill. ”  Maybe there is something Bill knows that you and l don’t.”  Rodger asked Bill how he managed to cut more trees.  Bill answered, “After every tree I cut, I take a break for two minutes and sharpen my axe.  When was the last time you sharpened your axe?”  This question hit home like a bullet and Rodger got his answer.”

 

Lacquer vs. Oil Finish

And in this corner we have Lacquer Finish and in this corner Oil Finish.  How do you know who to put your money on for the fight?  It is an investment!  Loosing money certainly isn’t fun.  So let’s get down to the stats!

So which is going to have the knock out punch?  Let’s start with understanding each opponent.

Oil Finish:
1) An Oil Finish doesn’t create the resiliency needed to protect against dents and scratches.
2) Oil needs to be refinished every 12 months which could severl hundred or even thousands of dollars each year.
3) Once the Oil finish wears off it leaves it leaves no protection to the floor allowing moisture to seep in and soak up into the wood flooring.

Lacquer Finish:
1) Resilient and durable protecting against dents and scratches.
2) Does not require any annual maintenance.
3) Gives a barrier for accidental spills. (You do need to wipe it up quickly though)

Have Questions?

Tweet: @urbanfloor
Like: /urbanfloor
Site: www.urbanfloor.com

Who’s being sent to Italy?

So have you ever been to McDonald’s when they do the Monopoly game promotion and ever think to yourself… does anyone ever actually win these contests?

In a previous blog under the Contests section we announced a dealer contest at the Surfaces 2012 trade show at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in viva Las Vegas, NV.  Dealers at the show could visit our booth and enter into a drawing to win a trip for two to Rome, Italy.  The motivation for the trip was to promote our newest collection Villa Caprisi with an Italian inspired design using brushed European Oak.

Talk is cheap and people want to see it to believe it right?  So here you go.  This is the winner of our Win a Trip to Italy drawing at the Surfaces 2012 trades show:

Shawn Zand of Best Floor from Anaheim, CA

Congratulations to Shawn Zand of Best Floor from Anaheim, CA for being the lucky winner of our Trip for Two to Italy at the Surfaces 2012 Expo!

So you see, people really do win these “thingies” called contests.  Who knows maybe you’re next!  Make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and our website for the latest and the greatest.

Tweet: @urbanfloor
Like: /urbanfloor
Site: www.urbanfloor.com

Urbanfloor Introduces Ron Call at Surfaces 2012

Ron Call, "Your Urbanfloor Guy" Host & Spokesperson

At this years Surfaces 2012 Expo held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV we will be introducing you to Ron Call “Your Urbanfloor Guy.”  Ron will be making his appearance at the show on Wednesday the 25th from 8am-5pm.   Which is also the same day we announce the winner of our Win a Trip for Two to Italy for one of our lucky dealers that enter our drawing during the show.  Full details HERE

Over the last few months we have been producing a series of educational how-to videos that include Care & Maintenance, Installation, Product Tours and general advice on when it comes to hardwood flooring.  Ron Call is our company host, spokesperson and industry expert that you see appearing on Urbanfloor Media that is in ongoing development.  See our YouTube Channel HERE 

In addition we are developing an “Ask Ron” page on our blog site.  This is going to be an excellent way to get in touch with Ron directly and get advice, ask technical questions no matter how complex or simple they maybe.  Ron knows best.

So you may be thinking who is this Ron guy anyway?

Originally from Boston, Massachusetts Ron Call comes from a military family background.  He has lived all over the U.S. as his family was stationed to various bases.  He settled in San Diego County in 1974 and hasn’t left since.

His 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 business named Harmony Flooring based out of San Diego serving the entire southern California region.  Harmony Flooring’s motto “Music for your feet” stems from the fact that Ron is not only a topflight professional contractor but a world class musician as well.

Ron is a songwriter and plays multiple instruments including harmonica, guitar and bass.  When he isn’t laying down floors he is passionate about music and enjoys his free time as one of the members of the power trio “V Child.”  Ron has recorded and played with numerous Grammy winners and Grammy nominees and is no stranger to the limelight.  When asked what propels him in his remarkable life his answer is always his beautiful wife and two children.  We’re proud to introduce you to Ron Call, our Urban Floor Guy.

Is it Okay to Use Lacquer Thinner on Finished Flooring?

One of our customers wrote in to us with quite the dilemma:

“we have the hickory sunset hand scraped finish wood flooring, the installer used lacquer thinner to wipe up a certain area. the finish now looks and feels different in that area. is there a way to correct this problem? help please!!!!!”

Hickory Sunset from our Handscraped Series in the Urban Lifestyle Collection

 

We’re leaving out the name to protect the innocent but thought this was an important tidbit of info to share with ya’ll.

Lacquer thinner should NEVER be used on finished flooring, because it will strip the top coat and there really isn’t a way to get the poly urethane top coat back to match the other wood planks once it’s gone.  The only way to fix this is to replace the damaged planks with new ones.

When you are a contracted installer it’s tough to admit error especially when there is money at stake but this is where a code of solid business ethics comes into play and you “man-up” to responsibility and learn so it never happens again.  If an installer makes a mistake they should guarentee their work.  If they make a mistake they should fix it.  As consumers we don’t always know best which is why we hire professionals to do certain jobs in the first place right?  We depend on their advice and expertise.

This is a particular case where an installer was at fault not the end user.  Just remember when it comes to your hardwood flooring the Urbanfloor website has a great FAQ page with a plethora of info and right here on our blog site we have a tab called ‘Ask Ron‘ where you can ask any question you have to Ron Call “Your Urbanfloor Guy.”  Ron has over 30 years of experience specializing as a flooring contractor.  If you’re ever in doubt, have installation questions, what you should prepare for when gettng new floors or best practices for taking care of your hardwood flooring… Just Ask Ron.

 

When in Rome…

Do as the Romans Do.   And now one of our valuable dealers will win a trip for two to Rome, Italy to do as they do!

Look for our Villa Caprisi display at the show.

The big Surfaces 2012 trade show is upon us  and we would like to invite all dealers to visit us at the show.  Our newest collection, Villa Caprisi is a fine European Oak with Italian design inspiration.  And that inspiration inspired us to create this trip to Rome. The tagline for Villa Caprisi is “A Touch of Italy at Your Feet” and now…  a touch of Italy will literally be at someone’s feet for one lucky winner and their guest.

During the show we are offering our Urban Floor dealers a chance to win a free round trip to Rome, Italy.  The trip includes 5 nights at  a first class hotel and airfare for two people.  This “topnotch” trip has a value close to $5,000 with the winner being selected during the show.

To enter, the dealer needs to register at the Urbanfloor booth, #B3239 – Floor B,  in the Bayside Hall.  We’re in a 50′ x 50′ space. You can’t miss us.  A map of the show floor plan with our location is available: here

Make sure you read the official rules and Qualifications below.

For further details, visit our booth at Surfaces or call your representative.

Win a Free Trip to Italy for Two

Official Rules & General Information:

To Qualify: Every order placed at Surfaces (minimum 1 full pallet required for entry) gets an automatic entry. In addition every pallet order placed and paid in full at surfaces will get an additional entry (1 additional entry per pallet). Entrant fills out an entry form which will then be placed into the drawing box. On Wednesday January 25th 2012 at 4:00 pm the winning entry form will be drawn by an independent agent. Winner must be present.  If potential winner is not present at time of drawing an alternative drawing will be made. (A two minute claim time will be allowed.) Winning entry is subject to verification by proper photo identification.

Terms & Conditions: Entry constitutes permission to use winner’s name, likeness, photographs & testimonials for promotional purposes including posting of such information on sponsors Website. Sponsors are not responsible for damaged, late, illegible, incomplete or misdirected entries. Entry constitutes agreement to hold the sponsors & their affiliated entities, employees, agents harmless; from physical injury, damages, liabilities, losses & expenses arising out of this give away. Applicable taxes, if any, are the sole responsibility of the winner.

Grow, Grow, Grow!

We were born to grow and build. Even with Lego® when we were kids.

 

According to USA.gov, the United States government’s official web portal, the most popular New Year’s resolutions are:

  1. Drink Less Alcohol
  2. Eat Healthy Food
  3. Get a Better Education
  4. Get a Better Job
  5. Get Fit 
  6. Lose Weight
  7. Manage Debt
  8. Manage Stress
  9. Quit Smoking
  10. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
  11. Save Money
  12. Take a Trip
  13. Volunteer to Help Others

What are your New Year’s resolutions?  How are you going to grow in 2012 to be a better person, a better company, a better coach, a better mom or dad, a better friend, a better husband or wife, a better cook in the kitchen, a better mentor, a better…  a better whomever you are and whatever you do.

I ran across a quote from the late Jim Rohn that said “I used to say I will take care of you if you will take care of me.  Now I say I will take care of me for you if you will take care of you for me.”

A friend of mine posted this blog on facebook from the Harvard Business Review which provoked me to type this up.  We all see year after year the standard resolutions for the new year.  They’re basically the same each year.  The question is how can you grow and stand out from the crowd and not just be the same? Food for thought.

At the end of the day we all deal with life.  It’s an up and down roller coaster!  Don’t let your highs be too high or your lows too low.  High or low is gonna happen no matter what!  How you react to any situation is the outcome of any situation.  Balance is key.

Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.  All of us at Urban Floor wish you a loving and prosperous 2012!  Work, work and work at your best with passion!  Happy New Year 2012!  Whoever you are and whatever you do…  be your BEST!

Personally and professionally strive to Grow, Grow, Grow!

PS.  This blog had nothing to do with flooring and Urban Floor is a flooring company.  So here is a shameless promotion plug: Urban Floor  hehe *wink*wink* ;)

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