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!
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 first get more involved in a remodeling project and start shopping for wood flooring options, you’re likely to come across the concept of floor grades.
Floors are graded based on standards initially laid out by the National Oak Flooring Manufacturers Association (NOFMA) to help maintain consistency in their quality. These standards, which are promoted by the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), are the ones used to grade basically all wood floors in the United States.
While there are certain standards that have to be met in order for wood to be used for things ranging from cabinets to frames, which are set by the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA), NOFMA standards put more emphasis on the characteristics of the wood in terms of appearance and different markings.
So when you’re comparing floor grades for the purposes of your hardwood flooring project, you’re essentially looking at a description of the floors characteristics.
4 Types of Hardwood Floor Grades
Understanding the unique characteristics about the different floor grades can help you make the right decision for your remodeling project. Let’s dive into the common types of floor grades and go over what makes them unique.
Here are the four levels of flooring as determined by the grading rules developed by NOFMA.
1. Clear Grade
As the name suggests, this is premium grade wood that is clear of any markings such as knots or burls. The color and grain is consistent between the boards, and since the wood of these boards is taken from the heart of the tree, it has a very smooth finish. For these reasons, clear grade wood is the most expensive, but if you’re going after a clean, classic look for your flooring project, this is your best bet.
2. Select Grade
Similar to clear grade, select grade will be mostly clear of any markings that can be perceived as imperfections, such as knots or burls. The difference is that select grade is cut from heartwood and sapwood, which means you’ll have more variation in the color and will likely notice differentiated patterns in the grain from board to board. Select grade is still relatively expensive, but is less costly than clear grade wood.
3. #1 Common
This grade of wood is a good mid-level option in terms of cost and appearance. While the coloring of this wood is very uniform, you may find some small knots, streaks, and other markings. This type of wood is best if you want a natural, organic appearance and aren’t too concerned with consistency in color between the boards.
4. #2 Common
This wood grade is basically a more textured version of #1 common grade wood. So, with #2 common grade wood, you’ll have a lot more markings like knots and burls, and will notice wide color variations and inconsistent grain patterns between the boards. These textures can make this option a great choice if you’re looking for the most natural and organic looking wood floor you can get.
An Overview of Floor Markings
The marks within hard wood floors are basically scars in the wood that occur naturally during the development of the tree that the wood was cut from.
Here are a few common marks you might find in your wood – particularly if you go with #1 or #1 common grade wood.
A knot is a dense, round spot in the wood that is a result of a branch or twig. In graded wood, only knots that don’t negatively affect the structure of the wood are permitted, so if you see a knot in your wood, it’s purely cosmetic.
Streaks are exactly what they sound like – long, thin, discolored lines in the wood. They’re often a result of mineral deposits that the tree extracted from the soil it was grown in.
Burls are a result of abnormal growth in the tree. In hardwood floor, this can be the cause of inconsistencies in the grain in the form of circular patterns.
How to Choose the Right Hardwood Floor Grade for your Project
With all this in mind, how do you choose the right floor grade for your project?
If you’re looking for a very clean, sleek look and have a pretty loose budget, clear grade is the way to go. This wood can be hard to find, however, because you can’t get a lot of it out of a single tree, so there just isn’t a lot of it available compared to other grades of wood. Select grade is a good alternative to clear grade if you don’t mind some color variations between the boards.
If you’re on a budget, or just want that natural, organic look in your wood floor, #1 or #2 custom would be great choices depending on the level of markings you’re okay with.
Does Higher Grade Wood Mean Higher Quality Wood?
It does sound like lower grade would mean lower quality, but this is a common misconception. The difference in grade has to do with the appearance of the wood – not the actual quality of it. Because of the more clear appearance, higher-grade wood is generally more expensive.
So, does a wood that’s clear of markings really mean that it’s better? That’s for you to decide! If you need any help choosing the right hardwood contact us!
Oak grade photo samples are taken from the NWFA website.
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.
“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.