Give your home a refreshed look and feel with a refinish.Learn More
Hardwood flooring creates a warm, welcoming environment for your home.Learn More
Some floors just need a recoating to revitalize their beauty.Learn More
We can make the new flooring blend in and leave a flawless, uniform finish.Learn More
Why choose Signature Custom Flooring
Have you been dreaming of new hardwood floors or refinishing your old ones? Maybe you have spent some time researching, looking at pictures and even posting them on Pinterest…
And now you need a flooring guru to see you through your hardwood journey.
That’s where we come in.
We’re a small, artisan hardwood flooring shop ran by our owner, Aaron. And he loves to help folks just like you make their hardwood dreams come true.
So what sets us apart?
Superior customer service
As a small business, we truly care about our customers and are willing to go above and beyond to make sure they have the best flooring experience possible.
And Aaron really prides himself on giving his customers a personalized experience and that go-the-extra-mile customer service.
What exactly does this mean?
It means that Aaron will be the one talking to you on the phone, and the one that comes out to your home to get to know you and your hardwood hopes and dreams. He’s also the guy who’s going to be making customized recommendations as to what hardwood flooring options are best for you and your space.
You see, other companies might send someone else out to do all of this for you, which means you might not get the highest-quality person in your home.
And you don’t want that for your hardwood.
After all, hardwood can be a big investment– totally worth it, though! (You can find out more about why hardwood is the way to go here.) So make sure your floors are exactly what you’ve been dreaming of. This means picking the right hardwood flooring shop to collaborate with is of the utmost importance.
You should be comfortable with your contractor and feel like they’re a good fit for you and your hardwood project.
Excellent customer service also means that you never have to feel overwhelmed during the process.
You’ve probably heard from friends and family that a flooring renovation can be a hassle.
We know this because we’ve seen it and heard it all before…
Which is why we offer the best support possible so you can rest assured that you’ll have a positive experience and one of the best hardwood flooring specialist out there helping you and working with you every step of the way.
The truth is you would be hard-pressed to find the same level of consideration, experience and customer service from other flooring companies. Especially big box stores.
When deciding on a hardwood expert, it’s important for you to look at their work and their certifications. Both will aid in choosing the perfect flooring shop for the job and will also help ensure that you’ll receive top-notch work.
We encourage you to ask questions about certifications and look at before and after photos for any retailer you are considering.
What kind of certifications should your contractor have?
Well there are different certifications so you will need to figure out which particular certifications you would like your flooring guru to have.
At Signature Custom Flooring, we offer both NWFA certified and Bona certified craftsmanship.
What’s NWFA certified craftsmanship mean?
Well it’s like a college diploma in hardwood floors. It takes years and high-quality work to gain this certification. But unlike a diploma, NWFA Certification can be taken away. So if the work doesn’t meet precise standards for quality workmanship, you won’t be able to maintain the certification.
It also requires continuing education, ensuring that your NWFA craftsman is skilled at the latest practices and is achieved by passing both written and hands-on tests.
What does A Bona Certified Craftsman offer?
Bona Certified Craftsmen get rigorous hands-on training, offers a 5-star advantage (which is like an insurance policy for your floors), and are trained to give you environmentally friendly choices as well as a dust-free (you can find out more about dust containment here) sanding options.
Certified NWFA and Bona craftsmanship mean that you can expect a great experience, stunning floors, a clean worksite, and the highest standards of craftsmanship available.
That we can promise.
Wide selection of hardwood flooring options
Are you looking for an unforgettable experience with the opportunity to make your hardwood floors into more of an art project than a home improvement one?
If yes, then we’re here for you.
This means we offer flooring possibilities that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. And we’ll give you some of the most unique, beautifully customized flooring options out there.
We can do this because we offer local hardwood choices AND the option to tailor them to look exactly like you want with different textures, finishes, and stains.
Maybe you want oak floors because they are local and you like everything about the floors, but you want them a little lighter. We can stain (or dye them) them to make them the color you want (or even add some texture for a little extra customization).
Or you already have exotic wood floors in your house and they have ambered over time due to the naturally occurring oils in the wood. But you really like the look of grey wood. Do you have to replace your floors?
We can refinish them and color them grey to get rid of the amber color and create a whole new and truly unique look, no problem.
Just because you already have hardwood floors in your house doesn’t mean that you have to keep the same color, finish or even texture.
Deep down we really see ourselves as artists. We take pride in giving you one-of-a-kind gorgeous hardwood floors. As Aaron always likes to say,
“Wood flooring is our art and your floors are our canvas.”
Imagine coming home to those beautiful custom floors you’ve been drooling over.
Get your complimentary consultation for custom floors in your house today by calling 920-279-7871
Hardwood Floor Installation
Another thing we feel that really sets us apart is the fact that Aaron personally does all of our installations himself.
It’s can be hard to find an owner of a hardwood flooring store that will be there for the initial consultation and throughout the entire process until the installation is complete.
A lot of professional hardwood flooring retailers usually work with a professional installer, but not at Signature Custom Flooring.
We have our own professional installer in the form of a do-it-all owner and artist.
And Aaron will make sure that your house and floors are properly prepped for the installation. This will ensure acclimation so your floorboards don’t cup or even worse, separate.
You can see there are serious potential risks of poor hardwood installation. But you never have to worry about that with us because we’ll make sure everything is done to the highest standard, leaving you mess and worry-free.
Just a quick, mention-worthy note here: people seem to wonder if a job is too big for a small shop.
And the answer we always tell our customers is, there’s absolutely no need to worry about this as Aaron has done jobs as big as 4,000 square feet (yep, you read that right).
So not only is there no concern with how big your project is, but you can rest assured that your floors are in great hands with Aaron.
Plus he loves a good challenge.
So if you would like a free personalized consultation, click here and find out how Aaron can turn your home into the space that will have you (and everyone else) swooning.
Ok, great! But what happens after I sign up for a consultation?
We will get back in touch with you to set up a time to come out to look at your space. We will spend 30-90 minutes meeting with you in your home, sharing wood samples and showing you our work.
We will also take humidity readings to determine the best wood for your home, and tell you our suggestions. Then we will send you a detailed proposal covering all the discussed options and plans.
How Much Does It Cost?
Pricing depends on several factors like the service you choose, the wood you select, square footage of your floors and more. To give you an accurate estimate and a range of options and customized ideas, please call or request a free consultation here or check out our blog on hardwood refinishing cost and tips.
We may not be the cheapest option, but we strive to be the absolute best.
Quality over anything else, always.
Lastly, supporting local businesses means supporting the community.
Shop local has definitely become a buzz-term lately…
You can’t go anywhere these days without hearing, “shop local”,
But really, why shop local?
Well besides it being the more economical and environmentally friendly option, it’s also a great way to support your local community and economy.
When you shop at big stores, your money is going to just that– a big store. But when you go with a local, your money is supporting a local business owner and your money also stays in the community and the economy.
And local businesses often source products from regional manufacturers and distributors, which means that customers can rest easy knowing that they are supporting the American industry and their community by shopping local.
When considering your next home improvement project, consider if you would be happier supporting a local business and receiving the personalized experience that only they can offer.
It’s not just about the economy (although that’s a great reason), but also about what kind of hardwood flooring adventure would you like to have?
Because with the right hardwood flooring shop, it will be just that– a pleasant and exciting adventure.
Still wondering if we’re the right hardwood flooring expert for you?
Take a look at some of our work.
We’ve done over hundreds (well closer to 1,000 than 100, but you get the point) of hardwood flooring project and yes, you guessed it– Aaron was the one leading the way on every. single. one.
And we’ve worked with all types of wood with a wide variety of expected outcomes, and we also get the job done with super satisfied customers.
You can check out some of our awesome reviews on Houzz here.
Your happiness and satisfaction (and stunning floors) really are our priority. So if you’re looking for handcrafted luxury flooring…
Look no further.
Now you can hop back on Pinterest and start digging out all those photos of your “perfect floors” and give us a call to get your complimentary consultation today.
We look forward to working with you to make your hardwood dreams a reality.
We have been seeing a lot about luxury vinyl plank flooring lately…
However, we’ve also noticed another trend– companies not selling it.
Vinyl flooring has been around in places like offices, restaurants and commercial spaces for a while.
And now we are seeing a big shift of luxury vinyl trending in homes. The champions of luxury vinyl planks say it’s a good alternative to hardwood flooring.
But what they aren’t telling you is that luxury vinyl flooring is not as sustainable or as economical as people think. And even worse, according to a study at Duke University, it can be hazardous to your health. Yep, you read that right (but more on that later).
So what exactly is luxury vinyl flooring and how does it work?
While there are variations of luxury vinyl flooring, depending on the type and brand, the above picture shows you the main layers that go into some luxury vinyl plank flooring.
In short, It’s flooring that’s made up of multiple layers of different materials that can help aid in its design which can look and even feel like hardwood.
There are two types of luxury vinyl plank flooring: Engineered vinyl planks (EVP) & luxury vinyl planks (LVP)
Luxury vinyl planks (LVP) are individual pieces of vinyl that come in different grades, offering varying levels of design options.
Engineered vinyl planks (EVP) are engineered in layers and are a segment of luxury vinyl flooring. From top to bottom the layers go from vinyl, high-density core board and is usually attached to a cork bottom.
So what do both LVP and EVP have in common?
While they offer a realistic look and sometimes feel of real hardwood, they ALL contain a variant of plastic, which is not safe for your home or the environment.
But what exactly constitutes “real” hardwood?
According to the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), real wood is a:
“hard fibrous material that forms from the main substance of the trunk or branches and beneath the bark of a tree. [And] a wood floor is any flooring product that contains real wood as the top-most, wearable surface of the floor.”
There are two main types of hardwood floors: Solid wood flooring & engineered wood flooring
Solid wood flooring is a solid piece of wood from top to bottom.
Engineered wood flooring is normally multiple wood veneers or slats of wood glued together, but you can rest assured they are real wood from top to bottom.
So why are luxury vinyl floors trending?
Vinyl plank flooring can be resilient to heavy foot traffic and can achieve a similar look and feel to other styles of flooring like hardwood.
Plus the proponents of vinyl say it’s easy to install and can be resilient against dings and dents.
Classic, never-goes-out-style hardwood offers the same benefits.
And while vinyl is promoted as being resilient, repairs can be a nightmare if you should need them depending on the installation method. Once vinyl flooring is laid, it’s hard to repair and will usually have to be replaced.
Whereas with hardwood, there is always the option to refinish and restain. Here are some endless color possibilities of hardwood for some inspiration!
Plus luxury vinyl floors don’t come close to offering the lifespan of what hardwood offers. We are talking about a lifetime with hardwood compared to the 10-20 years that you might get with vinyl flooring.
So why install luxury vinyl when hardwood could last up to 100 years, is cost effective and eco-friendly?
And those are just a few reasons why hardwood is a better choice, but check out more reasons why hardwood is the way to go here.
Now let’s dive a little deeper and get into the not so eco-friendly and costly truth behind what goes into the production, ingredients, installation, and disposal of vinyl flooring.
First up, the production of vinyl flooring
Dioxins, which are carcinogen bioaccumulative toxins, are created and emitted into the air, affecting the environment during the production process of vinyl flooring.
Furthermore, these toxins not only linger in the air but also travel, infiltrating our air, and affecting our health and the health of animals for hundreds of surrounding miles.
So not only the animals are being affected by this carcinogen, but also the plant life. So in short, your food is also being affected! Just some brain food for you to chew on.
The second thing to consider is the Ingredients of vinyl flooring.
One of the main ingredients in luxury vinyl plank flooring is petroleum! Petroleum is a nonrenewable resource that should be avoided if you are concerned with the impact on the environment.
Moreover, these floors also consist largely of polyvinyl chloride known as (PVC). And unfortunately, this is one of the most environmentally detrimental materials produced and has been classified as a human carcinogen. Plus there isn’t a completely safe way to manufacture or dispose of PVC.
Vinyl can also contain many different types of phthalates which can leach into our water and food supply and many of them are considered cancer-causing materials. We have also seen studies that suggest that luxury vinyl flooring may also contain ethylene dichloride, mercury, and other chemicals that are unsafe and have been banned from children’s products and other consumer goods.
The third is luxury vinyl floor installation.
Are there still health and environmental concerns after installation?
You bet ya!
Due to the chemicals used in the production of these floors. They will often continue to admit Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOC) in the air even after they are installed in your home. Making them not only environmentally harmful but also unsafe for you and your family.
Besides chemicals used in the productions of these floors that continue to be an issue post-installation, some adhesives used to install these floors are also a cause for concern. Vinyl floors can be installed with an adhesive containing asbestos. Asbestos can also lead to the release of Volatile Organic Chemicals into the air of your home long after installation.
And while some luxury vinyl plank floor manufacturers are trying to reduce the amount of harmful chemicals in vinyl, many have not been able to because chemical manufacturers are not required to reveal proprietary ingredients in their products making it almost impossible to determine which products still include hazardous chemicals.
Worth it? Probably not!
After all, can you really put a price on you, your family and the environment’s safety and health?
And lastly, can vinyl plank flooring be recycled or is it biodegradable?
So let’s say you’ve had these luxury vinyl plank floors for a couple of years. And now, seeing that they aren’t exactly what you thought, you are considering new flooring.
And now they must be disposed of. . .
What happens to them? Can they be recycled?
Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to recycle vinyl flooring. Furthermore, these floors are not biodegradable and will end up just sitting in a waste factory oftentimes for many more years than they were actually used as flooring.
So don’t be fooled!
This picture may look like hardwood flooring but it’s not. This is luxury vinyl flooring.
And this so-called “luxury” comes at a huge cost to you and an even greater to the environment!
So think twice before you vinyl.
How to know if your flooring is safe and sustainable?
The Environmental Working Group has a great flooring guide to help get you on the right track. Your personal health and what is best for the environment are of utmost importance.
So now that we know hardwood is a safer, more sustainable and more economical option, what are some good hardwood alternatives to luxury vinyl plank flooring?
Timber is one of the most energy efficient materials available due to it being the product of solar energy, making hardwood one of the most sustainable options for flooring. But if you are looking to go that extra mile for that good-for-the-environment option. You have a few options.
The first is reclaimed hardwood flooring. What is reclaimed hardwood flooring, you ask? Well, it’s just lumber that has been previously used for other things such as old wood that was once a barn. It basically upcycling old lumber into hardwood flooring.
And if something like reclaimed wood doesn’t tickle your fancy, then you can always go for something rustic like hickory. Hickory is a good sustainable option because it’s local to Wisconsin, and it’s also a hard and dense wood that holds up well over time. It’s homey feel and unique grain patterns make it a favorite flooring option.
When it comes to the environment, hardwood is one of the best options out there.
But what about for you and your family?
Are some types of hardwood more “safe” than others?
Most hardwood is going to be safe from a chemical and toxin standpoint, unlike vinyl planks.
But what’s important to note is that you need to pick low-VOC options.
Using coating on your floors such as natural oils and hard waxes are not only safe, but they also offer a variety of benefits, giving you the ultimate safe-flooring without sacrificing style, durability or finishing options.
Pretty cool, huh?
Some of these options include:
Hard wax which offers a transparent, durable, silky gloss finish. It also seals the pores of the wood helping your floors repel water and dirt.
Pure Oil such as tung and linseed oil penetrates deep into the wood and hardens. This gives you well-sealed, water-resistant floors with a low-sheen matte finish that brings out the grain and texture of your hardwood.
And if you still need some info on “safe” flooring, the Environmental Working Group has some great pointers:
-Choose hardwood flooring
-Make sure your hardwood is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified
-Choose low-VOC wood stains, sealants and finishings
-Avoid using any glue or adhesives that are not environmentally friendly
-Look for GreenGuard certified products
All these tips will help keep your home and family happy and healthy.
Most hardwood is going to last for years and would be considered economical compared to something like vinyl floors that have a much shorter lifespan.
However, there are a few things to consider if you are looking to save some money on hardwood.
First, usually domestic and local hardwood is going to be cheaper. The trick is to find something that is local and will hold up, meaning it will probably be a harder wood. You can find more information about the hardness of each type of wood by checking out the Janka hardness scale.
But really, your best option is to talk to your local hardwood flooring expert. They will always be the ones to advise you on the best options for what you’re looking for.
The truth is you can scour the internet for hours, but really it’s just easiest to ask an expert and get a free quote.
At the end of the day, vinyl flooring may seem like the cheaper alternative, and easier to install to create a hardwood-like look. However, vinyl just doesn’t offer the longevity that hardwood does, and it’s definitely not as safe, sustainable or economical as hardwood.
Hardwood flooring is an investment that stands the test of time. And remember, hardwood will add value to your home, is durable and offers the flexibility to alter and refinish your floors over and over again.
So if you’re looking for a cost-effective, long-lasting, safe, and an environmentally friendly flooring option, good old fashioned HARDWOOD is the way to go.
Happy (hardwood) flooring!
It’s 2019, so what’s the big flooring trend? High quality hardwood of course. And from an interior design standpoint, they are as timeless and trendy as ever. If you’re looking to add value to your home, make an environmentally friendly flooring decision or create a warm environment, hardwood flooring might be the best option out there.
Want to know more about why, click here!
Here are some of the hottest hardwood trends you can expect in 2019
#1. Let’s get wide!
Over the past ten or so years, people are getting wide and funky with their hardwood. Wide hardwood width trends include planks up to 7 inches wide. Yep, you heard that right, 7 inches wide. And honestly, the outcome looks pretty darn trendy.
And guess what? It’s making a big comeback this year! These wide planks make your space appear and feel more spacious so if you’re wanting to make a space look bigger, wide is the way.
#2. Not into wide, what about mixed width wood floors?
Looking to make a unique statement with your floors? Well, mixed width wood is a great way to do that.
Talk about a conversation starter?
I’m not sure about you, but I haven’t seen these floors in a lot of people’s homes, but they are starting to really make their mark.
And another really neat thing about mixed width?
It was originally created to utilize all the cuts of the entire tree in the most efficient way so there is less waste. Plus you get an authentic and natural feel with the added benefit of being environmentally conscious.
Sounds like a great way to go to me!
#3. A new day for GREY!
Grey refinishing gives your hardwood a fresh, clean and modern take on traditional hardwood.
Grey may be one of the hottest trending hardwood colors right now. However, it’s not the easiest to create. So make sure you take the time and research flooring professionals who specialize in this. Click here, for an article to guide you the right direction.
#4. White Wash more than your denim
White washing is back in! You see this trend everywhere from your jeans to your floors. Taking it back to the 80’s– with some upgrades. This trend is extreme to some, but for those looking for something different or that “beachy” vibe, white wash is a great option. It’s also versatile and can look classy, but also edgy at the same time. For more white wash inspiration check these out!
#5. Environmentally conscious decisions are trending!
There are a lot of options when it comes to environmentally conscious flooring. Sealing or finishing your hardwood floors with something like polyurethanes is a quickly evolving trend of using natural oils, and it gives you all the environmentally friendly options you could want.
For example oils such as soy, sunflower, hemp or safflower oil combined with resin waxes such as bees or carnuba wax can have a positive environmental effect, making your floors more durable with a duller finish, while leaving the texture and color untainted. Plus they look fab. For more on oil finishes check this out!
#6. Wire brushing – the modern distressed look.
Wire brushing is a modern technique that is just what it sounds like. A wire brush will be brushed over the wood which enhances its natural character and exposing the growth rings, making it easy to conceal damage throughout the life of the floor. Pretty cool, huh?
While the old school style of distressed wood was a bit rougher – bumpy with lots of grooves. Wire brushing leaves a smoother finish while maintaining some of that oh-so-wanted texture.
Why wire brushing? Well besides its unique look, it also brushes away any soft wood, leaving behind only the hardest wood. So you can expect durable and trendy, European-style flooring for years to come.
#7. Finish on site
On-site prefinishing is proving to be the popular preference these days. It gives a cleaner more seamless look compared to the pre-finished floors which can often leave behind drips, streaks, and stripes from the wood stain.
And no one has time for that.
Factory finished hardwoods often leave behind less than desirable imperfections. Keep this in mind when browsing options. You may not be able to note the difference when holding a single plank in your hand, however it will be obvious once the hardwood is laid across your floor.
#8. Matte and Satin finish for a natural look
Glimmer and gloss are out while satin and matte finishes are trending. These finishes are both in fashion and functional. They are also easier to clean and look newer longer, as opposed to a semi-gloss or glossy finish which doesn’t stand a chance against dust and scratches.
But for some, matte floors can look a little too dull.
But not to worry because a satin finish will give you that perfect balance of matte and semi-gloss.
Feel free to drool over the below picture of stunning Walnut hardwood with no stain and a satin finish!
#9. Contrast is trending – Dark & Light
On one side of the spectrum, dark wood floors are trending for esthetic reasons.Hardwood floor stain color trends have been going darker and darker over the years. But…We are also seeing a rise in light flooring as well. The stark contrast of light, almost white, hardwood is really upping its game for its functional benefit of being easier to keep clean and maintain. So will you join the dark side or the light side? Both will look sharp! Your choice.
#10. Choose floors that last a lifetime
Solid hardwood is trending on the 2019 flooring scene. Not only is it the popular choice, but it’s also a smart one. While there are cheaper alternative choices, none of them offer the lasting durability of 100+ years that solid hardwood does.
Who doesn’t want floors that will last a lifetime?
And another benefit of going with solid hardwood is that they allow for you to sand refinish and make color changes as much you desire. Seeing that these floors will likely be with you for a long time, you might want to make some changes as your style and trends change. And with solid hardwood that’s never an issue. They make it possible to shift with the times and cater to your preferences.
Durable, long-lasting and always customizable? Sounds like a winner to me.
11. Keep it simple, stay on trend.
Current design trends in hardwood floors offer a simple aesthetic. Sticking to same size planks all laid in the same direction versus pattern lays or multi-sized cuts. Clean and sleek is the intention behind this current trend in hardwood.
Simpler floors allow for an aesthetically cleaner and less distracted space, allowing you to get more creative with the rest of your decor.
Funky floor patterns are fun but can also be distracting and even make a room look and feel cluttered. Perhaps it is best to leave the funk for your throw pillows and curtains, as those are a bit easier to change.
12. White Oak is in for hardwood floor trends 2019
So just a quick note here, White Oak is actually a little bit darker with more brown and yellow undertones, while Red Oak is a little lighter with more pink undertones.
But either way, it seems more consumers are preferring the refined and more modern look of White Oak over the former popular option of Red Oak. And for good reason. Not only does it look stellar but White Oak is more water resistant. YAY! No need to worry about spills.
Also, going with White Oak also allows for a wider spectrum of staining options. Greys and white washes will take quite well to White Oak.
Check out this beautiful light-washed White Oak floor.
And White Oak is a 1360 on the Janka hardness scale versus Red Oak being a 1290, which makes it a bit more resilient when it comes to wear, dings or dents.
#13. Hardwood everywhere, every room – that is what’s trending in hardwood flooring!
Over the past ten or so years the use of hardwood has spilled over all areas of the house. And this is trending because, well, it’s stylish and looks chic!
Long gone are the days of tile and other common flooring options.
Plus hardwood is durable, cost-effective and will open up your space. Why would you not want that in every room of your home? So you want hardwood in every space in your home?No problem! Hardwood in hallways is also trending. Allowing the hardwood to spill into the hallway as well as other rooms creates a much sought-after uniform feel for your flooring, as well as making upkeep seamless and faster.
Think about it…Less time plus easy cleaning! No need to have a closet full of different cleaning gadgets and products. Having hardwood floors throughout your house makes it a one-and-done process.
#14. High Variation Wood Floors
One of my favorite trends of 2019….
I give you high variation hardwood. As you can see, it’s stunning but also unique.
The trend comes from wanting a high variation in color like we see in nature. In nature, no two pieces of wood look the same, so now you can replicate that natural variation with your floors.
But the really cool part? There are different types of high variation floors.
While most high variation hardwood stick with similar color palettes, some are now starting to mix different colors and hues together.
I personally love the beautiful photo below of high variation floors with a mix of light and grey color wood.
It gives you a modem, yet rustic look.
So if you are looking for something a little different, then check into high variation. They are beautiful and versatile– the perfect combo.
#15 So what’s the latest trend in hardwood floors? – The educated consumer!
Which cut is best, or what grade do I want?
Nowadays with the wealth of information available online, consumers know that want and how to ask for it. Back in the day, most people didn’t know how to research and make informed decisions about hardwood floors without going into a store to talk to someone.
So what’s trendy now?
Doing your research and educating yourself, while consulting your local hardwood flooring guru.
Check out the photo below to learn about different cuts of hardwood and click here to learn more about different grades of hardwood.
Now that you are in the know with the hottest hardwood flooring trends of 2019. You are ready to make decisions for every room. Taking the warmth of hardwood from your kitchen, through the hallway, into the living room and in any or every area of your house. Open it up with wider planks, get funky with white wash, or keep it clean with lighter stains.
Your options are endless – happy flooring!
WHY HARDWOOD FLOORING MATTERS!
Think about it, flooring is important. It is what you will walk on, clean, and dance across for years to come. It’s one of the first impressions of your home. If you are on the journey of deciding what kind of options would be the best for your space, I’m sure you have already noticed there is a world of options. Feeling a little overwhelmed by it all? Those feelings are totally justifiable. However, none of the options are quite as versatile or stand the test of time like real wood floors.
After some serious cyber legwork, we have gathered all the information you need to know about everything hardwood.
And we know researching is daunting and can be overwhelming, which is why we have put together our comprehensive guide to hardwood flooring.
So here are the top 10 reasons why real hardwood is the way to go!
Environmentally speaking, hardwood is your best option. The minimal usage of raw materials, natural resources, and energy used in the production of hardwood makes it one of the most earth-friendly options. Hardwood is also a natural insulator which helps you save on your electric bill. An environmentally conscious act plus saving money? YES, please!
2. Longevity of a Real Wood Floor
“Floors like this are built to last!” Now that’s something you want to hear when making your flooring investment. Built to last is exactly what you will get when you go with real hardwood flooring for your space. Classic hardwood is so durable that it’s most likely to last longer than you will live, as some can last for up to hundreds of years. What about those that don’t last for 100’s of years? Well depending on the thickness and kind of wood, they can last for 20-80 years, giving you decades of warm, beautiful floors. That being said, accidents happen. And if they do, it’s good to know that hardwood floors are quite resilient and the repairs are usually easy and manageable. To keep your floors in mint condition for as long as possible, it is recommended to do a “maintenance coat” every five to seven years (in some cases it may be sooner). This will keep you from having to sand them or mess with them more often than you need to.
Here are some great tips on how to protect your hardwood flooring.
3. The Strength and Durability of Hardwood Floors
Let’s face it, we all can’t be as delicate as a flower or move as gracefully as a ballerina. But not to worry because this isn’t an issue when you have quality wood flooring. These floors can handle your heavy footed steps, your kid’s stomping tantrums and the, not-so-carefully moved furniture when you get into rearranging mode. Other floors do not have the same high-density level of hardwoods. This naturally durable material allows you to rid yourself of worrying about dings and dents. Some of the hardest wood flooring options include: Hickory, Brazilian, and Kempas wood. Check this out for more on different kind of wood and hardness ratings.
4. Keep it clean! Go with hardwood for easy maintenance.
With hardwood floors, keeping it clean is a breeze. The last thing you want is complicated and laborious chores added to your to-do list. And these days there’s a whole world of mops and cleaning products out there to keep your wood floors in tip-top shape. To keep your hardwood floors clean all you need is a daily sweep to get all the dirt and grit off, and then a deep cleaning with a good wood cleaner every week or so. Or perhaps you are more of a vacuum person, in which case check out these options. Just be prepared for unforeseen messes and spills that you may have to clean up more often.
Also, maintenance for hardwood is pretty simple as well. Over time the floors may begin to look a bit dulled out. But not to worry. It’s nothing a fresh coat of wood floor finish can’t fix. Easy peasy!
5. Hardwood Flooring is Stylish and Versatile
Hardwood flooring can be classic, but they are also stylish and versatile. And there are so many options out there for you to express yourself through the many styles and options of flooring. I say “many styles”, but really that is an understatement. There are literally hundreds of options to choose from whether you are putting in fresh floors, or refinishing old ones. And now there are more color options than ever before. You can completely change the style of your home just by slapping a new stain on old floors for an affordable facelift to any room in the house. Colors aside, there are a slew of options when it comes to types of wood, densities, and cuts as well. There are even options for the eco-conscious consumer with the ability to use reclaimed hardwood. Pretty cool, huh? There are so many options to choose from.
6. Hardwood Flooring is Classic and Ageless
You know that warm, homey feeling you get when you walk into a space with hardwood flooring? Yeah, that feeling does not expire. Imagine beautiful hardwood flooring with a nice rug right in front of the fireplace. How much more cozy can you get?
Plus hardwood floors add a notable and classic feel to any home or space. You just don’t get the same level of class and longevity with carpet, laminate flooring, vinyl planks or other flooring options. Think about it, carpet that has been worn out and needs to be torn up, or vinyl flooring that has been dented and battered and needs to be replaced. Dings and dents in hardwood flooring tend to simply add a welcoming and homey feel. However, if that isn’t your style, those blemishes can be sanded and refinished time and time again. No need to tear up a carpet or install a whole new floor. Check out this beautiful classic home and see for yourself the timeless appeal of hardwood floors.
7. Hardwood is here to stay
Hardwood never goes out of style. But do you know what kind of flooring did? Almost every other kind! Let’s get real, that shag carpeting was groovy, but it’s time passed.
Hardwood flooring became an option in 1885 with the invention of the side matcher. But it has been a flooring staple since the early 1900s when it first became popular. So I think it is safe to say that hardwood floors are not just a fad, but they are here to stay. Click here, to see the styles that are trending now in the world of hardwood.
8. You will never be bored with your flooring again
It’s not tile, it’s better! Unlike other kinds of flooring, hardwood floors do not have to be a one and done scenario. You can lay down fresh floors, take them for a spin for a couple years and then start over on a blank canvas by sanding the floors down. This allows you to start fresh, redesign and customize as often as you want. And now there are infinite color palette options, meaning you can have a whole new floor without having to pull up or reinstall anything. It’s one of the easiest and most affordable ways to get the look of a new flooring– without actually having to get new flooring.
9. Hardwood Flooring is a Practical Investment
Hardwood flooring is a great choice for more than these reasons. According to the (NWFA), the National Wood Flooring Association, U.S. real estate agents agree that hardwood floors are the way to go. Stating that 99% of agents say a home with hardwood floors is easier to sell.
As a Realtor, I love wood floors! Especially refinished old or reclaimed hardwood. In my opinion, there is no other flooring choice more beautiful. Hardwood floors not only add a touch of elegance to your home, but a great deal of warmth and character. They also add value to your home. It is a great investment and can actually become a strong resale argument, exceeding the initial installation cost of the floors. It also enables a faster sale and brings higher prices at the time of resale. When it comes time for you to sell your home, buyers will pay more for a house with hardwood. Many home buyers don’t want somebody else’s carpet. They see used carpet as a petri dish that is going to provoke their allergy symptoms or have bad smells associated with pets. Most buyers would plan on replacing carpets, which is why they will pay more for a house that already has hardwood floors. Because it’s a feature sought out, wood flooring may even help sell your house faster. Also, one of the primary benefits of wood flooring is its versatility to adapt to almost every interior design theme in your home. No matter how often you are inspired to change the decor, the floors will always look great and fit your desired theme. It’s hard to go wrong with this flooring choice.–Daniel Wessel Coldwell Banker
“Most of the buyers I work with in today’s market are looking to see if there are wood floors under carpets in older homes and are willing to pay more for a home that has wood floors, unless they’re in poor condition. My advice to Seller’s when listing, regardless of the age of their home, is that in order to maximize their net proceeds on a sale, they have to tackle buyer objections and provide the WOW factor up front. You only get one chance at making a first impression, so offering flooring allowances or putting your home on the market without addressing wood floors needing a little love will most certainly mean several thousand dollars less in your pocket at closing. The return on investment for this type of updating prior to listing is one of the highest for sellers. Refinished or replacing worn carpet with new hardwoods is as profitable in the end as replacing appliances, refreshing rooms with paint, and tweaking kitchens and bathrooms with some modern updates.” – Lora Bladow, REALTOR®, RE/MAX Excel
Also, one of the primary benefits of wood flooring is its versatility to adapt to almost every interior design theme in your home. No matter how often you are inspired to change the decor, the floors will always look great and fit your desired theme. It’s hard to go wrong with this flooring choice.
But if you are looking for your forever home, hardwood is still a great investment. Inevitably your floors will need to be serviced. But repairs aren’t really an option with flooring such as carpet, laminate, linoleum, tile or vinyl. They will usually need to be ripped up and more often than not, end up in the trash. But you can fix hardwood floors quite easily with some minor repairs and stain, making hardwood a much more sustainable and affordable investment.
10. Installing Hardwood Flooring Promotes Healthier Living
Your floors make up the largest surface area of your home. That’s a lot of space to accumulate dust, germs and other harmful allergens. Unlike carpeting that traps those harmful pollutants, having hardwood floors help keep the air in your home clean and clear of dust, dirt, pet dander and allergens. Unfortunately, carpeting is problematic if you have pets or suffer from allergies or asthma. In fact, some doctors recommend hardwood for those with allergies or asthma. And let’s get real, you should listen to your doctor!
OK! Now that you are convinced that hardwood floors are the way to go, I bet you are wondering…
WHAT COMES NEXT?
Now you get to dive into the world of options.
I know this part can be overwhelming, but don’t worry because you won’t have to do all the research alone because we have put together a comprehensive, hardwood quick-guide below just for you. Here we are going to give some information on your options including:
Different kinds of wood flooring:
Unfinished Wood: For those who like to start with a blank canvas. Unfinished hardwood lets you start fresh and make it your own.
Pre-finished: On the contrary, this is the pick and install option for those that are looking for something that is ready to go. Choose your already-finished wood, install, and presto!
For environmentalist – recycle, reduce, reuse. This wood comes from old flooring, beams and used lumber.
Solid Wood flooring: One solid strong piece. Each of these boards is made from a piece of lumber.
Acrylic Impregnated: This is a great choice for a commercial space. One of the more impenetrable options. Due to the acrylic injection, this type of flooring is extremely hard and water resistant.
Engineered: Engineered wood flooring is made up of a thin slice of hardwood stacked on top of a high-quality piece of plywood. The thickness of engineered wood ranges from about 3/8’’ – 3/4’’ inch.
Distressed: If you like the old time look, but don’t have the time to put in. This is the floor for you. Distressed floors are intentionally dinged, dented and faded. Made to look older and worn in.
Hand Scraped: Add texture and a worn feel to your floors. These floors are exactly what they sound like. Ridges, lines, and grooves are hand scraped into floors to add a desired effect and feel.
Bleached: These floors are dyed and lightened in order to achieve sought after colors for your floors.
For more on hardwood floor finishes, check this out!
Grades of hardwood:
Above is a photo showing different grades of wood flooring. When referring to the grade of the hardwood, we are referring to the number of natural hardwood characteristics the wood maintains.
Characteristics such as knots, mineral streaks, and wood tone variations. It is simply a matter of preference. If you are partial to a more uniform appearance of the wood you might go with the clear grade, whereas the common grade options offer more character and variation in the panels. For more on grades of hardwood check this out!
Cuts of hardwood:
The most common method for cutting wood is the plain sawn method, giving your wood a timeless look. Using the plain sawn method you yield the most product with as little waste as possible. The quarter sawn is perhaps the most unique method as well as the least common. This method creates a vertical grain pattern that is seldom used in hardwood flooring. In keeping with the rare cuts, rift sawn provides a very minimalistic, modern look to the wood. Lastly, live sawn is one of the oldest methods of sawing lumber. With this method, you see grains from plain, quarter, rift sawn in live sawn techniques.
Choosing the kind of hardwood for your space:
Now it’s time to pick the kind of wood you are going to use. There are the two main categories to consider. On one hand you have your classic domestic hardwoods like Oak hardwood and on the other hand, you have exotic hardwoods like Santos.
Other options for keeping it classic include:
Go exotic with:
Just to name a few…
Now off you go …
You now know your options and the reasons why hardwood is a great way to go. You are ready to go have some fun. Play around with your options.
Do you want solid hardwood floors or engineered hardwood? What about dark brown or light brown? Do you fancy Oak flooring or something more exotic like Ipe?
Start looking at great resources like this one and make some decisions for your own unique space and style.
For more answered questions about hardwood flooring, click here
Let the (flooring) magic begin, and cheers to creating memories on your hardwood floors for years to come!
When you’re in the business of installing and refinishing wood floors, you see a lot of commonly made mistakes among homeowners. Homeowners who, nine out of ten times, just lacked the proper knowledge and education to make a great decision when given the choice. The comfort you see in a customer when you tell him or her that you’ve had experience helping that same mistake before is immediate. We like to stay proactive, however.
Here are 4 common hardwood flooring mistakes made by homeowners and how to avoid them:
Just like any aspect of homeownership, buying the right material is crucial to making sure your hardwood floor lasts. Different floors are going to respond differently to things like pets (which we did a whole blog on here), mobile furniture (another blog), and even wear and tear from kids.
If you have large dogs, for example, a harder wood is going to be more scratch resistant than a softer wood. Likewise, a lighter wood with long graining will be less likely to show any scratches that are picked up.
If the floor is in a high-traffic area of the house, and especially if you have kids, a low-traction, glossy finish can be a quick road to owie town. It’s also more likely to show scratches should they occur in the course of play.
If you already have a glossy floor in such an area, finding an area rug that complements your room will help minimize the risk of injury to both children and floor alike (we wrote a blog about finding great area rugs here).
Image credit to Mount Pleasant Granary
At one point in his or her life, everybody has made the choice to save a few bucks over looking into something long term. It’s like when you’re out of high school and buy the 1987 Oldsmobile Omega with 130,000 miles on it instead of leasing or making payments on a newer, low-mileage Camry.
The two words “under budget” are some of the best in the world. What’s better than finishing a huge project and surprising yourself by having money left over, or a shorter financing term? If “under budget” are the best two words related to home projects, then “cutting corners” are their evil twin separated at birth and waiting to destroy your home and your finances.
Really really evil twin. Image credit to Jerry Thompson
Saving money is a great goal, it’s one that should be sought after when taking on home improvement projects. Doing these projects over and over again teaches you that there are ways to save money, and then there are ways to cut corners. Cutting corners with your hardwood floor could take many different shapes. It could mean:
Or any other way that prioritizes immediate savings over long term reliability and value
With your flooring, cutting corners can cost more than it ever saved. Let’s take a look at the examples above:
Hardwood flooring is a great element that can absolutely define a room. It’s not the only element, however. A fairly common mistake we see made by homeowners is not considering the whole picture of the destination room and connected rooms when installing or refinishing a floor.
Matching material, finish, graining, etc choices to the decor and style of the room is important. Just as important, is making sure the flooring will be cohesive to the type present in connected rooms or flooring areas.
While the consequences of this mistake are a lot less apparent than the previous two, failure to create a cohesive flooring experience can cause the floor to be taken for granted. When your flooring is coordinated and cohesive, it prompts an emotional reaction that can have just as much impact on a home sale as a committed realtor.
You can see what we mean by emotional reaction. Image credit to Boa Franc
In the old days, keeping wood floors looking nice and polished meant regularly applying a coat of wax. Thanks to advancements in flooring, modern wood floors are treated either an oil-based or a water-based polyurethane.
This means that waxing floors is no longer necessary.
How could it be a mistake to double down on the shine, though? Even if they have a fancy coat of polyurethane, surely it can’t harm them to put a coat of wax on during monthly house cleaning and maintenance?
Actually it can and it does. Wax degrades the polyurethane coating on modern wood flooring. While the intent for waxing a coated floor is great (keeping up the beautiful look you installed your hardwood floor), it’s actually decreasing the life of the surface protectant and cutting down the time before your floor needs to be refinished.
It’s tempting to wax and do something for upkeep, but modern floors are best cleaned with a oil or wax free cleaning solution and nothing more.
If you have further questions about avoiding mistakes with keeping up your hardwood floor, be sure to contact us today!
Your new hardwood floor is going to be used by your entire family. As anybody with a pet knows, that definitely extends beyond the human members of the household. You may be thinking that it’s one or the other. Do I get to add my beautiful dream floor to the kitchen, or do I get to make a “practical” choice and go with the marble look tile?
Yes, the beauty of hardwood floors includes a little extra care than linoleum or carpeting would, but it doesn’t mean you have to throw out this striking option in favor of what may seem to be a more pragmatic choice.
Millions of people every year live with great looking hardwood floors while sharing their homes with four-legged friends. Here are some tips to help ensure that your hardwood floors stays in its beautiful natural condition regardless of paw traffic.
1. Cats are pretty much harmless – If your companion is of the feline, rather than canine variety, you will likely not need to heed this advice. In most cases, cats are too light to do the kind of damage that a dog can do in the form of scratches.
2. Their urine on the other hand…not so much – That’s not to say anything about urine, however. Urine, even when cleaned up within a few minutes of impact, can still permeate your new wood floor – staining it and adding an unpleasant odor.
3. The hardness of the wood determines scratch resistance – As opposed to soft wood floors, like pine, fir, black cherry, teak or black walnut,, a strong hardwood is always going to stand up better to any attempted scratching. A wood like a white oak, a Brazilian Cherry or a hard maple is going to give the best guarantee against scratches.
Really worried about scratching? A super hardwood like a fossilized bamboo hits 5000 on the Janka Wood Floor Hardness Rating Scale, meaning you can pretty much ice skate on it (not actually, we’re just saying it’s really really hard).
4. Other factors can help too, however… – While harder woods will stand up better to Fido’s claws, there are other factors that can also help minimize the visibility of any scratches that may still persist.
5. …like the color of the wood… – It’s no secret lighter colored woods are going to do a better job hiding scratches. It doesn’t have anything to do with the wood itself, but rather a much lower contrast between the color of the plank and the lighter scratched color.
6. …the finish of the wood… – When floors with a glossy finish catch the light, they reflect every imperfection about the wood back up at the person seeing it. It’s like a spotlight on any imperfection that your floor may have gained through its natural use. Matte finishes always look better and do a great job to hit the mute button on any scratches they may have picked up. Additionally, matte finish floors look great, provide a natural appearance and work with a variety of decorating styles.
7. …pre-finished vs site-finished wood… – Whether your floor was prefinished (that is, it arrived to your home already finished) or finished on-site can also make a difference in its ability to resist wear and tear marks. Prefinished wood flooring is usually finished with aluminum oxide (the sand in sandpaper), meaning it has a better chance of taking the claw from your canine friend and not looking any worse for the wear.
8. …and a stronger grain of wood will all hide scratches. – Hardwood floors with more prominent grains also do a better job camouflaging any scratches or other use marks. If your floor is to be in a high traffic area, and especially if that traffic is coming four-legs-at-a-time, you may want to consider looking at a wood with a stronger grain.
9. When it doubt, distressed wood flooring is a great option -Buy pre-scratched. Okay, it’s not actually scratched, but distressed and handscraped floors are really popular right now. They add warmth and provide a shabby look that has become central to many persistent decorating styles. Additionally, any scratches your family, or your pets contribute wont look out of place at all.
10. Finally, treat Lucy or Julian to a regular canine manicure – Make sure to keep your dog’s nails trimmed neatly to avoid any unnecessary scratching risks. Not only will it keep your beautiful hardwood floors looking nice as new for years, but a day at the spa is a great way to thank your furry friend for always being there for you.
If you have any questions about taking care of your hardwood floor, contact us today.
As one of the most important elements of interior design, flooring can completely change the look of an entire room. While premium flooring can objectively increase your home’s value, the right style of flooring could make the difference between a home buyer falling in love, or giving your realtor the classic “We’ll call you when we’re ready…”
As passionate as we are about hardwood’s durability and elegance, we like to take a moment at the beginning of every year to let you know what is going to be popular! Knowing what the market is loving lets you give your home the most updated look possible, and make it more attractive to buyers down the road.
Here are the big trends to look out for as we move into 2016
Dark hardwood flooring
Dark wood floors will always be at the top of this list. Especially in our part of the country, dark floors manage to do the difficult task of providing both sophistication and warmth. In addition to being warm and inviting, dark wood floors contrast beautifully with light colored furniture and walls.
Because the grain on a dark floor is hidden, it allows you to create extra texture with your furniture or decorative rugs.
If you want a small space to appear larger, however, a high contrast between walls and floors will provide definite horizontal lines. These lines will harshly outline the room and could highlight it’s size.
Another drawback to dark wood floors is their expository nature. The darker the wood floor, the greater it will show dust, footprints and scratches. This can mean some extra work, but for an inviting and distinguished look, nothing beats a dark brown or black wood floor.
Wide hardwood planks
Gone are the days of the 2 ¼” strip flooring. A trend that will continue to grow into 2016 is flooring with wide planks (up to 6”).
Planks of this size make a room look larger, and when finished properly provide a more rustic aesthetic which correlates to other interior design trends.
With their larger size, and smaller number of planks needed, each individual one gets to showcase its grain. When site finished, they create quite the aesthetic.
Wide planks pair perfectly with the next trend, which has also been on the rise lately and is only expected to get hotter in 2016.
Neutral and natural hardwoods
While dark woods will certainly remain the favorite throughout 2016, we have to say grays and muted brown woods are giving them a run for their money. These woods bring a modern clean lens to the seeming unstoppable trend of vintage interior design.
At home among both rustic and industrial aesthetics, you may have seen some wide-planked gray woods recently in a hip coffee shop, or boutique clothing store.
These wood colors communicate the natural and sustainable side of wood flooring, and provide a blank palette to which to match colors warm or cold.
This gray wood floor is the perfect choice for the modern and distinct sitting room pictured.
Born in the USA
Living in the United States means that we’re surrounded by a wide range of incredible trees. American producers have been manufacturing wood floors since colonization in the 17th century. The United States produces an amazing variety of hardwoods used in flooring like hickory, pine, birch, red oak, maple, walnut, cherry and other highly desirable materials.
As many people are becoming more and more interested in supporting their friends and neighbors by shopping American-made, wood flooring has given them the option to do so while getting a superior quality product.
With dark hardwoods being the most popular, and top of our trends list for 2016, shoppers can expect to have multiple options to both get the fashionable floor they want, and support American industry while doing so.
State of the Floors 2016
In 2016 customers will have even more ways to educate themselves, shop for and buy flooring than ever before. Yet, one trend that only grows every year is the desire to work with great people doing great work.
Hardwood flooring is no exception. Whether it’s tried and true materials like dark oak hardwoods, or the brave new world that is rustic gray wire-brushed finished flooring, buying the best floor for your home is the hottest trend in the market.
And a trend we don’t see going away any time soon.
For a personal consultation on your hardwood flooring options, contact us today.
“Aaron from Signature Custom Flooring did a breath taking job on putting Ash hardwood floors in our kitchen and dining room and 2 hallways. We would highly recommend Aaron for any project one would have concerning hardwood flooring. He is truly Professional! What an amazing man to work with. We are overwhelmingly pleased! Thanks Signature Custom Flooring for a job well done!”
– Anna Stratton, Hartford
“After seeing the bad shape my floors were in I was doubtful they would ever look “amazing”, but Signature Custom Flooring did a fantastic job!!! I would absolutely recommend hiring Aaron. I’ll for sure recommend him to anyone that needs their floors done.”
– Robert Orde, Green Bay
“Aaron did a beautiful job on our floors. After 15 years, they were in need of refinishing. Aaron restored the original beauty of the maple floors and suggested a water-based finish instead of the oil-based. No more gold floors!!! We also appreciate that there was virtually no dust to clean up. Great job Aaron. Thank you for making our floors beautiful again.”
– Lisa Paul, Oshkosh
“Aaron is an incredibly hard worker with incredible expertise on hardwood flooring. I had NO idea the amount of information out there on species of wood, finishes, etc. and Aaron was so helpful in explaining it all and making sure we got the floor we really had cooked up in our imagination. We could not be happier! The price was great, the service was fantastic and we got exactly what we wanted. I would recommend Aaron to anyone!”
– Nicole Waltemath, Oshkosh
Learn how to maintain and protect your hardwood floor, as well as how often it should be refinished.