Hardwood floors are quite popular, and for good reason. They are both durable, and a classic look that can either update an old look or enrich a current one. Hardwood floors bring a great resale value to your home, and are easily at the top of the list of good flooring investments. Hardwood is quite expensive, so making this the flooring choice for your home should not be a decision made lightly. There are some problems that typically crop up before and after hardwood floors have been installed. For example, solid wood floors typically contract and expand with the changing season. The wider the width of your plank, the more pronounced that swelling and shrinkage will be. If you choose wider wooden planks for the aesthetics, be aware of the gaps that are common with this flooring choice.
Wood rarely stays looking the same as it did in the showroom unless you never enter that room. Wood gets dented and dinged up, regardless of the type of wood you’ve chosen. Some types show these dings and dents more clearly than others. The cheaper the wood, the softer it is, and the easier it is to get banged up. You can either choose to go with a higher quality wood, or if the look of lived in wood isn’t your thing, you can take a look at high quality laminate floors. These floors are very durable, and come in a surprising array of wood looking grains.
Aside from dings and dents, high gloss finished wood also will show smears and smudges if not cared for. Highly polished floors are quite enticing in the beauty they bring to a room, but if you’re not willing to give these floors the TLC they need to keep them smudge free, you may want to reconsider your choice.
Typically, we say that wood floors must be cared for with regular sweeping and care, however some owners think that steam cleaners or wet mops will further clean and disinfect the wood. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Steam cleaners are a great option for tile, but keep them away from your wood floors. Wet mops and steam cleaners will dull the finish of your floor and possibly damage it as well.
Lastly, remember wood is a natural product. There will be a period of oxidation in the first year your hardwood floors have been installed. The more lighting the floor is exposed to the darker the wood will become. Also, sometimes, if the room is rarely used, and the furniture is often never moved, the flooring color may vary. Keep these in mind when choosing hardwood floors.
We will help you decide what is best for your home; we understand the look you’re going for, and will help you choose the best options for your lifestyle. Just ask us to help you realize your vision!
As you know there are so many different types of flooring, not to mention the many different types of flooring just in hardwood! There are different sheens, shades, and finishes that must be taken into account for the look you are trying to achieve. You know you want hardwood floors, but how do you know what type is the best? Take these into consideration:
When it comes to finish, there are two types: factory and site finish. A site finish allows you to customize the floors on site; choosing the look you want for each floor or each room as you are designing it in real time. The possibilities offered are unlimited, and gives you an opportunity to truly make the floors of your own unique style. The disadvantage this however, is that as the flooring is being finished, it will be noisy and dusty in your home. If you are already in the process of remodeling you may already be prepared for this, but if you’re not, the dust and debris may be a hindrance to your daily activities. Also, once the floors are installed the finish must dry on-site as well, meaning, if you use that room on a daily basis, you will have to work around it, which may not be feasible depending on the design of your home’s layout.
Factory-finished wood floors are finished long before they reach your home. Although the choices are much more limited, the floors are installed with minimal dust and noise. Plus, after the floors are installed, you will be able to use the room immediately.
As far as sheen goes, it’s really a matter of preference. Some enjoy the look of Satin gloss finish (that offers the most shine) reflecting the most amount of light. Semi-gloss offers some shine and reflects some light, but is generally more muted. Satin or matte finishes reflect the least amount of light and are the most muted. Knowing the look you are going for (with or without the assistance of one of our designers) will help you in choosing the right sheen and finish for your room.
Have us help you decide how customized you want your floors to be, and the details associated with your choice. We will tailor the design according to your taste, the scope of the room and to your daily life activities. Choosing floors is a long term commitment; we will help you make the choice you’ll be happy with for a very long time!
Wide plank flooring is all the rage currently if you haven’t noticed from the home makeover shows and magazine spreads. This Old-World look makes you feel like you’re in a luxurious barn, or a pirate’s ship depending on your imagination, and is highly sought after. The wide planks come hand-scraped, distressed, and white-washed lending a warm feel to your industrial chic décor.
Traditional plank flooring s generally 6” wide or more, is hand scraped and has a slight gap between the board. These floors were originally sawed into shape at the mill, hand-scraped or planed and nailed down. This rough-hewn texture gives wood flooring an element missing from today’s wood floors making them seem more antique and natural.
Before purchasing a whole house worth of wide plank flooring, consider the price. This isn’t the sort of flooring you can choose from a showroom and take home. It’s a specialty item and requires a long lead time, not to mention, it’s also quite expensive. Also, although the wide gaps and uneven texture seem interesting, it may not fit your everyday life, especially if you have children.
There are alternatives to the traditional wide plank flooring if you like the look but don’t want the issues it brings. There are laminate flooring options that duplicate the material, making it a better option for a busy family.
Some things to consider before choosing wide plank flooring: Wider planks are more susceptible to shrinkage and swelling than narrower boards. Controlling your home’s humidity and temperature is important; choosing more solid woods such as western red cedar or teak will also help.
Lastly, when choosing the wood, be sure the dimensional change coefficient of the wood is lower than .00300. You can compare different kinds of wood based on this number to find the balance between the look you want and the stability you need.
Ask our professionals which type of wide plank would go best with your overall décor, your home’s needs, and the type of home you have. Wide plank flooring isn’t for every home, so be sure to discuss in detail your vision-we’ll do the rest!
Flooring is a dizzying array of choices; there are hardwood, bamboo, tile, ceramic, etc. It can be difficult to choose if you don’t already know what you want. But, if you do know what you want-say, Oak hardwood-your choice doesn’t end there! Did you know there are two different types of Oak?
Oak is a popular choice, especially in Northern Virginia; it’s readily available, affordable, and can be custom stained to your taste. The versatility and affordability makes it a great choice for your entire home, but which do you choose? How do you even make that choice?
If you already have oak floors in your home and want to add to them, you’ll want to match the stain. The stain can only be matched however, if you have the same type of oak, so start with finding out what kind of oak flooring you have if you don’t already know; after you’ve identified white or red, you can then choose your new flooring to match. Not only do you want your stain to match, you want the graining to match as well; choosing a new oak flooring to match the type you already have will make a difference. What if you don’t have the resources to find out whether you have red or white oak?
Well, red oak has a light pink tint to it and is slightly lighter than white oak. White oak (contrary to its name) is slightly browner, and tends to cast a darker, yellowish tone. When they’re stained, however, the difference becomes a little more subtle, especially with darker stains (making it more difficult to differentiate the two). With lighter stains, red oak takes on a redder undertone in its color.
White oak has a smoother look to it than red oak also. Whereas red oak has strong graining which helps hide scratches and dents, white oak’s smooth surface gives it a more polished look. White oak is also slightly more durable than red oak (on the Janka hardness scale, white oak performs at a 1360 and red oak at a 1290). Even though white oak is harder, as I mentioned it also shows scratches and dents more prevalently than red oak.
Generally speaking, red oak is common for stairs, banisters, and room transitions. If you are looking to renew or replace these areas, red oak is a good choice. White oak is more resistant to water than red oak due to its closed wood grain, making this type of oak a perfect choice for kitchens, bathrooms, foyers, and other transition rooms.
Of course there’s more to matching current hardwood with new oak flooring. If you aren’t certain what you already have, or what you want in your room, please contact one of our flooring professionals to help you make the best choice for your home!