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
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What is a reactive? No, we aren’t talking about how I reacted to Aaron Rodgers going out in the first game of the 2018 season. I definitely reacted to that! I was like NOOOO!!! Here we go again, another year of the backup QB play. But low and behold here comes Aaron back in the second half and leads the packers to a great come from behind victory! Sorry I got a little side tracked here. Reactives, what are they and how do they affect wood flooring? Lets dive in and talk a little more about this topic.
What is a reactive, and how does it work?
Like its name suggests, reactives need something contained in the wood to react with. These naturally occurring substances in hardwood are called tannins. An interesting fact is that tannins have been used in many different industries. Originally, tannins were extracted from hardwoods and used in the tanning process of animal hides. It is also what can give wine a bitter taste as they use oak barrels to store the wine in during the fermentation process. In the hardwood industry, a reactive is a component, that when applied to a hardwood floors, reacts with the naturally occurring tannins that are present in the wood to acheive various effects.
Do they work on all wood species?
Because tannin levels in the wood determine the change in appearance when using a reactive, not all hardwoods will respond the same way. Reactives have a profound affect on hardwoods like white oak, but have very little to no affect on woods like pine or maple. However, hardwoods that have low levels of tannins can be pretreated with tannic acid, or something as simple as earl grey tea, which have high levels of tannins, so that reactives will have a greater affect on the wood.
What are the effects of reactives on hardwood?
The effects of reactives can be quite profound, especially when applying to hardwood like white oak. Tannin levels can vary board by board so there is a large range of variability even within the same species of wood. This variability will cause some pieces of wood to change to a really dark grey and yet others won’t change much at all. Other external factors that contribute to the effects of a reactive can be the soil quality in which a particular tree was grown, and also the reactive product itself. Some manufactures have their own reactive products like Rubio Monocoat’s Smoke and Fume, which each have very distinct effects. Or, using a little chemistry, we are capable of making our own reactive, namely iron acetate, using steel wool and vinegar.
Will it work on my existing floor?
Reactives can work on your existing floors, but can be greatly affected by the type of finish and cleaners that were previously used on the floor. Some finishes can neutralize the tannins in the wood, which can cause certain areas of a floor to appear splotchy. These areas will need to be touched up with some color to make them blend in. So, the overall answer is yes it will work but there are things to consider when thinking about having it done.
As you can see having us use reactives on your floor opens up many colors possibilities and layers of colors. To learn more about color possibilities you will want to go read a blog post we did on that! Read more
Have you ever noticed how changing the color of a room can drastically change the feel and appearance of that room. As a kid I remember when my mom told me that I could paint the color the wall in my room any color I wanted. I remember how exciting that was! It’s like that when you get to change the color of hardwood floor. That is one of the beauties of hardwood flooring is that no matter how old it is you can have it refinished and change the color of it. There’s many different ways and techniques that you can do to change the color of you your hardwood floors. Unlike tile, Carpet, laminate, luxury vinyl, and other hard surfaces. Hardwood is also a renewable source and we like to utilize a lot of eco-friendly green certified products to ensure that the environment and us are safe as possible. So let’s dive into a few different color topics.
How to choose the right stain colors?
So we’re gonna go over this real briefly but one of the questions is how do you choose the right stain color for the room that you want to have refinished. So a lot of it goes into a little bit deeper than just trim paint color you have to look at the choice of the stain color or the flooring color as just a small part of the over all interior feel that you want. So when we look at helping customers choose a color for their hardwood floors. we try to get a feel for what the space is going to be once it’s fully furnished. So overall you want to take the whole space Decour paint color trim crêpe Paris accent pillows all of these different things into consideration when you’re choosing the right color for your hardwood floors.
Stain samples. There’s many different ways of choosing a stain sample and here are a few of them. Having just a sample board of hardwood with the stain color on it is one option. Looking at pictures of furnished rooms with the same species of wood is another option. Stain fans which are generally a small Venere peace with the stain color on it another option is to visit house HO stain samples. There’s many different ways of choosing stain sample and here are a few of them. Having just a sample board of hardwood with the stain color on it is one option. Looking at pictures of furnished rooms with the same species of wood is another option. Stain fans which are generally a small veneer piece with the stain color on it another option is to visit house Houzz or Pinterest for stain or color ideas. We prefer to do the stain samples directly on the species of wood in your home. We found that wow the sample boards are a good idea they’re not necessarily accurate. One depending upon the species of wood you can drastically change if the floor is aged. Let’s take for example maple flooring. Depending upon the age of the maple how much sun exposure can change what the flooring looks like overtime so this can drastically change the color of the stain that is applied.
Light floors to dark?
Yes light floors can be changed to dark this generally requires a floor to be refinished but it is not something that cannot be done.
Dark floors to light?
This is a little bit more difficult depending upon the species of all the wood and how it sanded. If the floor is water popped and let’s see it’s maple sometimes the dark can penetrate very far down into the wood floor and this can require additional sanding to remove the color especially when going light.
Stain vs Natural?
There are benefits to stand or colored hardwood compared to natural. Now if you have a rustic home like a log cabin or cabin in general a natural rustic floor can look very elegant in that space. But if you have more of a colonial or a traditional type house you probably don’t want to do something rustic because that style isn’t going to fit so you could go with a little bit less lower grade of flooring and have it stained and get a really rich lock to the floor. So to stay in or keep it natural depends upon what the space looks like and the feel.
Dying a Floor
Dying a wood floor is a process of introducing a pigment that can changes the base color of the wood. It allow us to then do stain over top. This adds another depth of color and can also make certain woods be more consistent in color. Floors that don’t accept stain very well like maple and birch. Dying the floor can get it to be much more consistent in color.
Reactives are different chemicals that get applied to the floor and react in different ways with the natural tendencies of the wood. They can cause some pretty cool and dramatic effects in wood.
Changing the original color of wood can be challenging. Even if you try dye and or stain the color, if prominent can still show through strong. Like brazilian cherry, mahogany have a very strong red tone. What the bleach does is remove the color from the wood by chemical reaction. The downside to bleaching is that it does break down the wood fibers and makes the wood not as hard.
These are just a few things to consider when adding color to your wood floors. It can change a space and make it feel more inviting modern classic contemporary all of these can be achieved just by changing the color of your flooring and this is one thing that I just absolutely love about hardwood flooring and just how even after floor that’s 100 years old it can be transformed into this beautiful floor that that just sets off an old house. Or even if it’s a 10-year-old house and the floor is a little dated or you wanna update it just changing having the floor refinishing changing the color of it whether it’s a stain dies all of these different things can just drastically make the room feel so many different ways. The sky is the limit when it comes to color with your hardwood floors!
Installing hardwood flooring is one of the best ways to renovate your home, update the look and style of a room or your entire house, and increase the value of your property. But just because wood floors are great in one room doesn’t mean they’ll work in another, and it’s important to install wisely. The bathroom is one example of a room that isn’t suited for hardwood floors, and the main reason for this is moisture. That being said, hardwood can work in powder rooms and half bathrooms, because these rooms don’t have the same high level of humidity as full baths.
Wood is a living material that can absorb moisture, and as it absorbs and dries out, it expands and contracts. When this happens repeatedly with the flooring, it can cause warping and buckling, and that’s not something that you want to happen to your hardwood floor. The bathroom is one of the most high-humidity rooms in the house because of steam from the shower and bathtub, which is the main reason why hardwood isn’t recommended in the bathroom.
The bathroom is also a high-traffic room in the house, and when you combine this with the beating your floor takes from sink and shower water, you’ll realize why you might want to opt for an alternate flooring material. Whether it’s the kids sloshing around in the tub, you having your morning shower, or even just brushing your teeth before bed, bathroom floors often have water splashed on them, and this can lead to water damage that requires regular maintenance and repairs to combat rot and mold. As such, you’ll want to choose a bathroom flooring material that’s more water resistant and more dimensionally stable.
Although it’s a good rule of thumb to avoid hardwood in the bathroom because of the potential for water damage and rot, you might be able to get away with installing wood floors in half baths and powder rooms. These rooms are suited for wood floors because they don’t have showers and tubs, which are responsible for the majority of the humidity in a bathroom. However, to avoid water and moisture damage, it’s essential to keep the bathroom well-ventilated, clean up spills immediately, and use rugs or mats to protect the floor.
Hardwood floors look great, they feel nice on your feet, and they can increase the value of your home, so it’s easy to see why many homeowners are tempted to install this type of flooring in every room possible. But hardwood isn’t ideal in all situations, and high-humidity bathrooms are one place where you’re better off going with another flooring material or choosing engineered wood instead. But if you’re really keen on natural hardwood floors, you can install them in half baths and powder rooms that don’t have showers, as long as you take care to keep them clean and dry.
Looking at your current interior styling, you decide that you want to make a change. So, you obtain samples to assist you in creating a theme, to ensure that everything goes together. But wait! The hardwood flooring has such a prominent color that you think it’s too difficult to do anything with. What should you do? Rip it out?
Before the floors where refinished
We recently worked with a client in Green Bay, WI, who had the same dilemma. We first had them find some pictures of floors that they really liked. (A great way to do this is to search on Houzz and create boards, and then share them with your contractor.) We were then able to get a feel and idea of what they were looking for. We were able to come up with a custom process and color, needed to create that one-of-a-kind color for them. We then started our refinishing process to remove the old coating and to expose the grain of the wood. The floor had previously been finished with a product that amber’s over time. Because this floor was getting stained, extra sanding steps were required to ensure that the scratch marks were gone. In this extra step, we went around the perimeter of the room to remove any scratch marks left by the edger. Then we followed that up with the Lagler Trio, in order to blend all the edges together with the field. Because of the tight grain pattern of Brazilian Cherry, the wood needs to be conditioned with water to open the grain. Once the hardwood is conditioned, it needs to dry.
Preparing the floor for stain
(One battle we have as wood flooring professionals is that wood and water don’t mix too well and can cause issues, because water and solvents can get trapped in the wood cells if not given enough time and air movement to completely evaporate and dry.)
Stained and ready for sealer
Then, we started to stain the hardwood with our custom stain color. Once that was allowed to dry, we applied a sealer to lock in the color and block any oil that naturally occurs in Brazilian Cherry. Most exotic woods are very oily, and that adds another element to finishing exotic woods. Once the sealer had dried, we applied two coats of a waterborne commercial finish. We used a commercial finish because it has better adhesion properties and would be less affected by the oily nature of the wood flooring in this job. This is just one of the many things that can be achieved by a wood flooring artisan. If you want a custom floor color, contact us. We’d love to talk with you and show you how our craftsmen can create the masterpiece that’ll wow you!
It is a common occurrence to be afflicted by allergies. Most of us suffer from “allergy season” during the peaks of the season but many of us can continue to experience symptoms throughout the year due to dust, pollen, animal dander, and the like having settled into our homes regardless of how relentless we may be with cleaning.
Signature Flooring offers a hypoallergenic solution that not only aids in the removal of stubborn allergens from your home, but also makes your home look clean and welcoming.
If you, your significant other, a child, or a frequent visitor (like your mother) has allergies it is best to avoid carpeting. This type of flooring tends to retain more allergens from dirt, dust, mold, pollen, and pet dander because of all the available space it can hide in.
Even through regular cleaning, simply vacuuming your carpeting may not be removing all of the allergens. They can get embedded into your carpeting with foot traffic. A carpet cleaner can also have negative effects towards allergen removal since carpet retains moisture which assists in the development of mold and mildew.
Parents are often seeking alternative flooring options for their children since children spend so much time crawling around on the floor getting into mischief that can be unavoidable no matter how many precautions are taken. This is why having hypoallergenic flooring options are so crucial; parents can help their little ones minimize exposure to harmful bacteria, germs, or mold by installing wood floors.
Meet Hardwood Flooring
Wood flooring is an excellent hypoallergenic solution for your home. Wood floors became a popular option for kitchens because of the hypoallergenic benefits and how fast and easy it is to clean and maintain even heavy-use flooring. This trend has continued to spread throughout the home for the same reason. Many homes now feature hardwood flooring throughout which enriches the look and feel. What once began in the kitchen now warms the environment of bedrooms to living rooms and beyond.
So, how does hardwood flooring prevent the effects of allergens?
Since hardwood has a smooth, flat surface allergens do not get trapped or settle into the material. Regular cleaning maintenance to help combat any allergens requires little more than sweeping with a soft bristle broom, or vacuuming with a soft floor attachment if your wood floor includes a beveled edge that could collect debris. You also should clean your floors periodically with a professional wood floor-cleaning product, which we will discuss either before or after installation. Doing so will help remove any bacteria that could have developed due to food debris or spills.
For more information on wood flooring maintenance check out our Refinishing Guide.
Contact us today for a personal consultation on your hypoallergenic hardwood flooring options.
Each job has a different challenge to it. Come follow us on this project as we take you from start to finish on this hardwood flooring project. In this part, we’ll take you through the installation process and why thsee specific products were needed in order to insure a great end result. There’s more that goes into installing a floor than just placing a board down and nailing it.
We were recently called to take a look at a floor in Green Bay, WI. The homeowner had removed the old carpet from this bedroom and hall. He wanted the floors refinished and stained a medium color. The floors had been carpeted for years and were in desperate need of being refinished. The finish that was on the floor was orange and the wood wasn’t able to shine through and be the star of the room.
This customer wanted the maple flooring stained. Staining maple can be done with the right expertise. We’ve stained maple floors and they turn out very consistent in color. To help the customer choose colors, we do one of two things. We either use a sample board which has three color samples on it, or we do the samples on the floor like we did for this job. This gives the customer realistic color options from which to choose.
The color this client chose was Special Walnut. This color looks really sharp on maple flooring, giving it a warm, brownish tone. With the warm colors on the walls and the white trim, this floor really “pops,” making this bedroom and hall a very warm, inviting space.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss an upcoming wood floor project, feel free to contact us. We’d be more than happy to talk with you.
“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, WI
Remember how excited you were when you picked out your new prefinished floor? Remember how you waited patiently for the project to begin and how excited you were to see the beautiful prefinished hardwood floor being installed? Now, some time has passed, and your floors are not as beautiful as you once remembered them to be. You do some research, and much to your dismay, you arrive at the conclusion that your floors cannot be site-finished without having them completely refinished.
Scenarios such as this are the reason why staying up to date on the latest products is very important to us at Signature Custom Flooring. By staying up to date, we can better meet the needs of you, our customer. The hardwood floor that you thought was ruined can be recoated. Using advanced products, Signature Custom Flooring can apply a commercial grade finish over any prefinished wood floor (as long as the finish is properly adhered to the boards) and make it look like new again.
One of the first things Signature Custom Flooring will do during this process is to check an area of the prefinished wood floor to make sure the finish is properly adhered. We’ll do this by using the “cross hatch” method. This method is performed by taking a knife and making two to four horizontal and vertical marks on the floor. Next, we will take a piece of tape and apply it to the cross hatched area, making sure the finished system will work on your floor. Once we determine that the finish is adhered well to the floor, we are ready to begin the sandless process of restoring your hardwood floor to its original beauty.
After making sure the floors are ready for the sandless process, Signature Custom Flooring will vacuum the floor to make sure it is free of debris. We will then clean the floor using a specialized cleaner to remove any contaminants that might be on the hardwood floor. When the floor is clean, it is ready for the contact product to be applied. The contact product will burn through the finish to create a bond with the wood. The next step is to apply a coat of a two- component commercial finish. There are a couple of reasons why we use a two-component commercial finish. First, the two products applied together create a very strong bond; and second, this type of application will be more comparable to the current finish on your floor.
Now that the whole process is complete, your hardwood floor once again looks like new!
If you’re not sure how to clean or protect your floors, we have you covered with these great article on cleaning and protecting your floors. Signature Custom Flooring can help you determine if your floor is in need of this process. If you would like us to bring your hardwood floors back to their original life, contact us at (920)279-7871 or [email protected]
There are many reasons to purchase an area rug when you have hardwood flooring. Aside from the obvious benefits of keeping your floors looking healthy and spectacular, there’s also the practical benefit of the area rug providing comfort and cushion for you on the hard surface. The most important reason for using an area rug, though, is that it is a great way to add character and extra color to any room! Review these tips for selecting the perfect area rug that will be best for your hardwood floor.
One of the most important things to look for in an area rug is making sure it is non-staining. For a rug to be non-staining, the color or dyes contained in the rug will not run or bleed through onto your hardwood floors when they become damp. In most cases, the rug’s manufacturer will put a warning on the rug that indicates that the color may run through the rug if it is wet, so it is extremely important to read the label before purchasing any area rug for your floor.
Wool has been the staple for rugs for decades and, to this day, still is because it is the best fiber for rugs due to its long lasting durability. Additionally, the back of the rug is equally important because that is the part that will touch the nice hardwood floor. The worst kind of backing for your floor would be a rug with a latex backing. Latex does not allow for circulation, and it will trap moisture or gases that will warp your hardwood floor and ruin the finish. The rug you choose should be breathable. A rug with a woven backing is most ideal because it allows for airflow.
Different Rugs for Different Needs
One of the most popular uses of an area rug on a hardwood floor is for protection from furniture scratches, UV rays or sunlight that will change your floor’s color, or other situations that could cause damage. In addition area rugs can also protect your floor from dust and debris that is brought in from the outside. However, you will want to make sure you clean these rugs regularly because the dirt can make its way underneath your rug and scratch your beautiful hardwood floor. During the winter months, your rug will protect your floor from snow and moisture if you clean and dry your rug on a regular basis.
Consequences of Using an Area Rug
It is true that area rugs can protect your floor and make your room look spectacular, but one unforeseen consequence of using an area rug is the marks left behind over years of sunlight exposure. Depending on the amount of sunlight exposure and the type of wood and finish of your floor, you will see marks left behind.
In this photo, this maple floor had a rug over it for 10 years, and because maple changes so much over time due to UV rays, there is still evidence (the darker toned is significantly noticeable) where the rug was versus where the maple floor was exposed.
Area Rug Pads – Yay or Nay?
Some area rugs come with a backing that already holds the rug in place on your floor, so you may think you don’t need an area rug pad. But, most times, these backings still don’t offer enough support for the rug, and it will begin to slide around on your floor and cause damage. This may indicate that you need a rug pad, but there are a few things to consider before you purchase rug pads:
Verify your floor’s factory hardwood type. While a large percentage of hardwood floors are finished with polyurethane, floor trends are starting to shift towards acrylic, lacquered or luxury vinyl. If you have a one of the three latter types, avoid plastic or PVC rug pads, which will, more often than not, have negative results on finishes that aren’t polyurethane.
There are rugs pads you should look for. Felt and natural rubber rug pads offer great cushioning and they ensure your rug won’t slip around on your floor. Felt can be great for cushioning, but felt pads don’t work well for smaller rugs because they won’t have the same gripping strength as natural rubber pads. Natural rubber pads have excellent longevity and the best gripping strength, and they are safe to use on any type of floor or finish.
Rug pads you should avoid at all costs. Any rug pad that has adhesives will hold your rug in place, but these pads are terrible for your floors. Additionally, PVC or plastic pads can ruin your hardwood floors from discoloration. Lastly, avoid synthetic rubber pads, but they can and will leave marks on your wood that will require sanding and resealing to restore your floors back to their original beauty.
Selecting the right area rug will maintain your amazing hardwood floors and make your home look great, but there can be some consequences with selecting a rug to cover your floors When you are choosing your rug, keep these tips in mind and your floors will continue looking liking new.
Hardwood flooring trends tend to go in a circle, what was in will be out of style but will be back in style completing the style circle. A couple of current trends I’m seeing are
-wide plank floors
-dark stained hardwood
-penetrating oil finish
Wide Plank Hardwood Floors
what is considered a plank? Any hardwood strip that is wider than 3in is considered a plank. People love the look of wide planks because the grain pattern really shows up in certain species of wood like Ash, Oak, Hickory.
It’s great in large rooms because there are less board lines breaking up the sight line giving it a much nicer flow . It also just looks really cool to have a very wide piece of wood down and justmarvel and all the interesting characteristics of the wood.
Dark Stained Floors
Dark stained floors have been gaining a lot of popularity over the last couple of years. One Pearson told me that floor colors follow the way people feel about the economy, when it’s not doing so well they want there floors to be dark and when it’s doing great they want it lighter, not sure how much stock I put into that but I just found it interesting.Lately I’ve stained Hickory, Red Oak, White Oak and a lot of Maple. Dark floors tend to look great when there is a contrast between the floor and the trim. One floor I did was an old Maple floor that got finished with black Magic Oil 2k and the trim was white, which really gave it a stunning contrast.
It has been popular over in Europe for 20+ years. Where just a little slow on catching up with trends. Some of the benefits as to why people like penetrating oil are
-low VOC(volatile organic compound)
-color and finish all in one
-hand rubbed oil look
Most penetrating oils are made from natural oils which make them very low odor(voc) less harmful to people with allergies because there is no harmful smell.
Hand Rubbed Oil Look
Hand rubbed oil look looks like an older floor that has been rubbed with oil which soaks down into the grain of the wood giving it this beautiful natural matte finish
Fast Turn Around
Most penetrating oils have a very quick turn around, un-like a lot of the typical film finishes(meaning it creates a film on top of the wood and not soaking in) that require you wait 2-3 days before you can move stuff back into the area that’s been refinished. Most penetrating oils cure very fast and you can move furniture back in anywhere from 12-24hrs after the hardwood floor has been completed, making it great for people who want a fast turn around.
If you need more flooring ideas for your next project a couple of places I’d go for ideas is Pintrest or Houzz. You can find some great flooring ideas on either of those sites.
“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
Now, before we get going, I’m going to admit that I’m a pretty big dog lover, so my point of view may be a little biased. They say that your dog is just an extension of its owners personality, and I can definitely attest to that. However, your furry friend doesn’t mean that you can’t […]
Learn how to maintain and protect your hardwood floor, as well as how often it should be refinished.