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Wood Floor & Stair Refinishing

Give your home a refreshed look and feel with a refinish.

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New Wood Floor Installation

Hardwood flooring creates a warm, welcoming environment for your home.

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Hardwood Floor Recoating

Some floors just need a recoating to revitalize their beauty.

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Hardwood Floor Repairs

We can make the new flooring blend in and leave a flawless, uniform finish.

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Decorating with Hardwood Floors

 

1 - Featured Image

 

Hardwood floors are renowned for their timeless beauty and effortless elegance. If you have installed them, or chosen a house with them, you know the kind of distinction they can make in a room!

 

Most wood floors will be pretty simple to clean and maintain. What’s not as common knowledge as the care, however, is how to decorate to accommodate this piece of artwork between your walls!

 

The truth is that decorating with hardwood floors can be difficult. Whereas carpet is easier to match to paint or complement with fabrics, wood floors add a dimension which may not be as easy to effectively integrate into a room’s decor.

 

What goes with wood floors?

 

We hear this question asked frequently. For an answer, we have good news and bad news. The bad news is that there’s no easy answer – unlike carpeting, decorating with wood flooring means more than matching color. Unlike linoleum or tile, wood flooring demands harmony with accents like furniture, fabrics, and density of decor.

 

2 - Well-Decorated Room Wood Floor

 Image credit to Flickr

 

Wood flooring falls right in between the simplicity of finding matching colors for carpeting and the open palette that linoleum provides. Adding to that, the huge variety in colors, types of wood, grain and plank-width means even more differences to factor in when decorating.

 

So what is the good news?

 

The good news is that decorating for wood floors does give you some liberty and is actually more intuitive than you may think. In fact, you may notice that I didn’t say “wood flooring demands matching accents like furniture, fabrics and density of decor,” but harmony with them.

 

In fact, one of the worst pieces of advice for decorating is to find wood furniture and accents that only match your wood floor. You may find this advice in a Good Housekeeping magazine from the 1980s, but you won’t talk to a single modern interior decorator who would recommend it.

 

So in many ways you’re free to find the kind of furniture and accents you like.

 

Wood floor decorating tips

 

Adjust the contrast

 

We’re not just talking about light-colored and dark-colored woods. Creating high contrast rooms using polished, wood textures and rustic accents is a trend that we’re a huge fan of right now. It gives the whole room a weighted, solid feel without appearing overly ornate.

 

One thing to keep an eye out for, however, is the undertone of the wood. Every wood has an undertone color with a bias toward warm or cool. We’re going to time travel to 7th grade art here and post a picture of a spectrum showing what colors are considered warm and which are considered cool.

 

3 - Cool Colors to Warm Spectrum

 0 is cold and 1000 and hot. At 500, your color (or undertone in this case) is neutral.

 

Wood tones should be of the same bias in a room, even if their color is different. It’s worth noting that some woods have neutral bias. Rustic woods, and/or woods in a gray-brown tone can usually be combined with either warm or cool undertones.

 

4 - Neutral Gray Wood

 

Remember when we talked about identifying wood? In line with that criteria, matching similar grain patterns will unify accents with your floor while also drawing attention the care you’ve put into creating a dynamic room full of varying tones.

 

It can be easy to get carried away. The final constraint we will put on this wide open tip is that you should limit your room to two or three wood tones.

 

Avoid the borderlands

 

In open concept homes, flooring that changes without a doorway is jarring and, to be frank, usually not aesthetically appealing. As open concept is a trend that doesn’t seem to be disappearing any time soon, make sure floors are either broken up by a door or not creating a border between carpet/wood, wood/linoleum, etc.

 

Consistent flooring is also a lot easier to clean!

 

Add color and softness

 

Hardwood flooring is beautiful and elegant and dynamic and many other positive adjectives. We love it! It does, however, make it easy for a room to become cold and hard if it’s weight is left imbalanced.

 

Adding warm fabrics will help keep the room neutral or balanced and not looking too sterile. Unless of course, you’re looking for that Scandinavian design – then by all means!

 

Color that pops will also make your rooms energetic and exciting. In line with our first tip, the contrast between the gravity of a wood floor and a bright accent or piece of furniture can add a layer of interest to a room that many strive to achieve.

 

5 - Comparison

 These two images show the same apartment. The top – having very little thought put into the decor and thus appearing cold and unwelcoming. The bottom – featuring soft tones and wood with similar undertones to the floor.

 

You want everybody to see and admire your beautiful hardwood floor. That being said, rugs are a great way to soften any room. They also make the room more pet friendly and can tie fabric colors to your floor. Win-win-win if you ask us!

 

Allow light to decide

 

Make sure you plan for light! Natural light can be a powerful ally in balancing heavy dark wood floors. On the other side, it can demand further effort into balancing lighter hardwoods.

 

Thinking about the type and amount of light coming into the room can help guide what accents/window treatments/furniture should be used to make the room a complete picture that highlights (no pun intended) your hardwood flooring.

 6 - Light in Room

 Image Credit to Wikimedia Commons

 

Have fun

 

Remember to express yourself. No matter what you’ve seen in magazines or even read in this article, the best decorated rooms are the ones in which you feel the most at home. Your wood floor gives you plenty of options, so own it!

 

It’s a blank canvas waiting for your brush.

 

Conclusion

 

Decorating with hardwood floors may seem daunting, but it’s an adventure! It means finding unique items and balancing characteristics inherent in the wood floor with which you’ve already fallen in love.

 

It can take awhile to find all of the right accents, furniture, window treatments, bedding, appliances, etc. When you do, however, you will see that the most show-stopping rooms out there have one thing in common – a great foundation.

 

If you have any questions about your hardwood floor, we would love to help you out. Contact us today!

 

 Featured image credit to Flickr

All About UV Cured Hardwood Flooring

 

When it comes to projects like installing or refinishing hardwood flooring, it’s not uncommon for customers to underestimate how much time the process will take. Everybody’s short on time, right? Your home needs to be ready to entertain in 17 hours, or your office will be fully functional tomorrow and definitely needs a floor by then.

 

Until recently, site-finished hardwood flooring meant waiting upwards of 36 hours for a floor to be finished and then days for it to cure fully.

 

This isn’t a problem for the concert hall that only opens Thursday, Friday, Saturday, but for a business that can’t afford that much downtime, it is simply unsatisfactory.

 

Enter UV-cured hardwood flooring

 

UV curing is a process where concentrated ultraviolet (UV) light is applied to a treated hardwood floor to cure the finish. You may have heard of ultraviolet light before. The main source of ultraviolet light is the sun.

 

Using the power of the sun to cure hardwood floors is the closest we get to calling ourselves mad flooring scientists.

 

UV hardwood floor curing consists of applying a special UV water-based finish to the floor. Then a machine, which looks a little bit like a buffer, is pulled over the flooring. This machine has a light that exposes the finished flooring to concentrated ultraviolet light.

 

UV curing hardwood floor

The machine in action.

 

What you wind up with, is a great-looking floor in half the time it would usually take to cure a standard site-finished floor. Oh, I’m sorry, did I say half? What I actually meant was about 5% of the time traditional site-finished flooring takes to cure.

 

Benefits of UV-cured hardwood flooring

 

This technology is a complete game-changer for the flooring industry. A floor treated and cured with uv takes about 1 – 2 hours to cure. When you compare this to the traditional 36 hours (to multiple days), you see how this is like moving from the Flintstones run-along stone roller to a Range Rover.

 

2 - Beard

 Pictured: A beard that was grown waiting for traditional site-finished hardwood floor to cure

 

The speed benefit is especially useful for businesses that can’t afford downtime. Think about a bar that needs to have a successful happy hour every day to stay open, a VFW hall that serves free meals to veterans every night, or a hospital wing that has patients and equipment being wheeled through 24/7.

 

Asking these businesses to close, or partially close, for 30+ hours (and weeks to cure) just doesn’t work. They need a process that’s restorative and fast.

 

“So it’s fast,” you may be thinking “but I run a dance hall. We’re only open Friday nights and Sunday afternoons. Why would I need UV flooring?”

 

The benefits of UV flooring go beyond just speed.

 

It’s natural to equate a quick process with an incomplete process. In our business, quick fixes often mean thousands of dollars and many more hours of work down the road. Think of wallpaper. It’s easy to just paint over it, but down the road the paper begins to peel or tear and you end up having to rip it off and paint the wall underneath anyway.

 

We mean it when we say UV flooring is a game changer, though.

 

Not only are hardwood floors finished and cured with UV as durable as traditionally finished and cured floors, they are actually MORE durable. In fact, until its recent commercial availability, UV finishing and curing was used primarily for professional athletics and industries that required strong and wear-resistant flooring. So not only does UV give you a treated floor faster, but it gives you a stronger floor as well.

 

3 - AmwayCourtHardwoodFlooring
So when you throw a piece of garbage into your trashcan from accross the room, you’re even closer to playing professional basketball.

 

Finally, hardwood floors treated and cured with UV don’t give off volatile organic compounds (VOCs) making this process the best choice for your household health and the environment.

 

In every way, these floors are superior to traditional cured and treated ones. It’s like the technology was made by Daft Punk – Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger.

 

The future of flooring

 

You may have read our post “Hardwood Flooring Trends to Look Out For in 2016.” We talked about many of the color, texture and plank-width options that we thought would be huge (and are already proving to be correct).

 

For us, the future of flooring in 2016 and beyond means installing great looking natural finishes and easier access to site-finished flooring with the breakthrough of UV flooring. Ultraviolet flooring opens up possibilities for any type of business or home to have a beautiful site-finished hardwood floor without significant downtime.

 

If you can’t tell, we really appreciate and advocate this technology. For more information about UV finished and cured hardwood flooring or to request an estimate, contact us today!

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.

 

 

One of the best things about wood flooring, as opposed to other options, is the opportunity it gives a homeowner to inject his or her personality into a room. Unlike carpeting, where you can basically choose a color to show off your taste (you could, theoretically, go with the long fiber shag if you’re wanting to communicate your love for the 1970s), wood flooring lets you choose color, hardness, grain type, plank size, and finish.

Another great way that wood flooring can be accented to reflect a homeowner’s tastes or preferences is through implementing wood floor inlays, medallions or parquets. These elements add a flair and design that commands attention and disrupts the lateral flow of traditional wood flooring.

In short, they look incredible.

 

0 - Inlay Floor Border

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2 - Medallion at Bottom of Stairs

 

These flooring elements are crafted by artisans and installed by professionals to provide rooms an exotic look. Although implementation may vary based on the preferences of the individual, there are three categories of wood floor inlays.

1. Borders

Wood floor borders are one of the more common inlaying techniques. They usually run around the perimeter of a wood floor (often installed 6 – 10 inches from the wall) and can range from a basic high-contrast wood tone stripe to a more intricate pattern with 3-dimensional illusory effects.

3 - Basic Floor Border

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This basic floor border adds a distinctive and minimalistic look

 

4 - DynamicLaser

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This intricate border pattern brings a high level of energy. Image credit to Dynamic Laser Co

Wood floor borders have been popular choices for homes looking for a luxury wood floor look since the turn of the century. Wood floor borders are great in large rooms with classic, ornamental decor.

2. Medallions

Have you ever taken a look at your area rug and wondered if there was a better option out there? Medallions are an elegant alternative to an area rug’s dominance as the centerpiece of a wood floor.

Wood floor medallions feature designs and patterns that are meant to act as solitary pieces of artwork. They are often custom-made by the homeowner, and will occasionally reflect interests, decorating themes, or lodge memberships. Radial/Circular patterns tend to the be the most common with the compass rose taking the cake for most-widely implemented.

 

5 - Compass Rose Medallion

 Medallions can be used in conjunction with wood floor borders, or by themselves. Unlike floor borders, that usually work best in large room areas, medallions can be in smaller hallways and landing areas to great effect.

 

6 - Hallway Medallion

Medallion being installed in hallway. Image credit to Wendy Owens on Flickr

 

 

7 - Rose Farm Inlays

 Image credit to Rose Farm Inlays

If you’re considering medallion installation, your options are wide open. Patterns and colors can be custom crafted for the unique look your room is seeking to achieve. Medallions are versatile elements that manage to make a room look refined and distinguished regardless of their specific designs.

3. Parquet flooring

Although the word parquet may be associated with tennis courts, it is also a method of flooring that can affect a variety of interior decorating styles and make your floor an exciting conversation piece.

Parquetry (the term given to the process and product associated with parquet flooring) means cutting different-toned and grained wood veneer into geometric shapes and combinging them for a decorative mosaic effect.

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Parquet flooring is a very old art that dates back three or four centuries. If you’ve ever toured old European castles like Versailles, you’ve seen plenty of parquet flooring.

9 - Parquet at Versailles

These days it can be used with a variety of deocrating styles to give a floor a 3-dimensional look. It’s also the easiest form of flooring inlay to install – taking on a more similar installation method to tile than other forms of wood flooring.

Parquet is a unique and popular choice for decorative wood flooring. In fact, scouring Pinterest for parquet flooring turns up boards with names like “Parquet Lust”, “Perfect Parquet” and “Parquet <3”

Herringbone is the far-and-away most popular parquet pattern, although like any other wood flooring element, the beauty is in the customization.

Thinking about having a wood floor inlay installed? Our history in Oshkosh, Omro, the Fox Cities and Beyond has given us experience to help you make your signature, custom flooring decision. Contact us today

Scratched hardwood

 

When you’re in the business of installing and refinishing wood floors, you see a lot of commonly made mistakes among homeowners. Homeowners who, nine out of ten times, just lacked the proper knowledge and education to make a great decision when given the choice. The comfort you see in a customer when you tell him or her that you’ve had experience helping that same mistake before is immediate. We like to stay proactive, however.

 

Here are 4 common hardwood flooring mistakes made by homeowners and how to avoid them:

 

1. Choosing the wrong hardwood or finish

Just like any aspect of homeownership, buying the right material is crucial to making sure your hardwood floor lasts. Different floors are going to respond differently to things like pets (which we did a whole blog on here), mobile furniture (another blog), and even wear and tear from kids.

 

If you have large dogs, for example, a harder wood is going to be more scratch resistant than a softer wood. Likewise, a lighter wood with long graining will be less likely to show any scratches that are picked up. 

 

If the floor is in a high-traffic area of the house, and especially if you have kids, a low-traction, glossy finish can be a quick road to owie town. It’s also more likely to show scratches should they occur in the course of play.

 

If you already have a glossy floor in such an area, finding an area rug that complements your room will help minimize the risk of injury to both children and floor alike (we wrote a blog about finding great area rugs here). 

 

Area_Rug

 Image credit to Mount Pleasant Granary

 

2. Cutting corners

 

At one point in his or her life, everybody has made the choice to save a few bucks over looking into something long term. It’s like when you’re out of high school and buy the 1987 Oldsmobile Omega with 130,000 miles on it instead of leasing or making payments on a newer, low-mileage Camry. 

 

The two words “under budget” are some of the best in the world. What’s better than finishing a huge project and surprising yourself by having money left over, or a shorter financing term? If “under budget” are the best two words related to home projects, then “cutting corners” are their evil twin separated at birth and waiting to destroy your home and your finances.

 

Scratched_Floor_2

 Really really evil twin. Image credit to Jerry Thompson

 

Saving money is a great goal, it’s one that should be sought after when taking on home improvement projects. Doing these projects over and over again teaches you that there are ways to save money, and then there are ways to cut corners. Cutting corners with your hardwood floor could take many different shapes. It could mean:

 

1. Hiring a contractor who doesn’t properly certify his or her work
2. Buying cheap materials
3. Attempting to take on too much work yourself

 

Or any other way that prioritizes immediate savings over long term reliability and value

 

With your flooring, cutting corners can cost more than it ever saved. Let’s take a look at the examples above:

 

1. Your contractor didn’t guarantee materials or workmanship and you noticed your floor is beginning to pull up on the ends following a humid summer. You try and call him, but the number he gave you is no longer in service. Searching his business on Google reveals a flimsy LLC and an overall 2 star review. Avoid this by always hiring a flooring specialist who certifies his or her work.
2. Many cheap materials actually give off chemical vapors as they age. These emissions have been at the center of cancer studies and are proven to be triggers to those with allergies and asthma. The floor may have cost a couple hundred dollars less, but it’s literally making everybody in the house sick. Avoid this by researching materials and consulting with your flooring specialist. If a price seems too good to be true – it may be.
3. While the “maple look laminate” floor tiles were billed as “easy installation” on the hardware store tag, you find the Paradise Valley Oak hardwood planks you picked up to be anything but. Installing hardwood floors is an involved process for trained contractors. Although it saves money to avoid finding one, the time your floor is out of commission and risk of damaging materials or flooring makes it a pretty sizable gamble. Avoid this by working with a flooring specialist for hardwood floor installation or refinishing. 

 

 

3. Not thinking about the big picture in your room/home

 

Hardwood flooring is a great element that can absolutely define a room. It’s not the only element, however. A fairly common mistake we see made by homeowners is not considering the whole picture of the destination room and connected rooms when installing or refinishing a floor.

 

Matching material, finish, graining, etc choices to the decor and style of the room is important. Just as important, is making sure the flooring will be cohesive to the type present in connected rooms or flooring areas. 

 

While the consequences of this mistake are a lot less apparent than the previous two, failure to create a cohesive flooring experience can cause the floor to be taken for granted. When your flooring is coordinated and cohesive, it prompts an emotional reaction that can have just as much impact on a home sale as a committed realtor.

Expressive_Wood_Floor_Interior

You can see what we mean by emotional reaction. Image credit to Boa Franc

 

4. Waxing

 

In the old days, keeping wood floors looking nice and polished meant regularly applying a coat of wax. Thanks to advancements in flooring, modern wood floors are treated either an oil-based or a water-based polyurethane.

 

This means that waxing floors is no longer necessary.

 

How could it be a mistake to double down on the shine, though? Even if they have a fancy coat of polyurethane, surely it can’t harm them to put a coat of wax on during monthly house cleaning and maintenance?

 

Actually it can and it does. Wax degrades the polyurethane coating on modern wood flooring. While the intent for waxing a coated floor is great (keeping up the beautiful look you installed your hardwood floor), it’s actually decreasing the life of the surface protectant and cutting down the time before your floor needs to be refinished.

 

It’s tempting to wax and do something for upkeep, but modern floors are best cleaned with a oil or wax free cleaning solution and nothing more. 

 

If you have further questions about avoiding mistakes with keeping up your hardwood floor, be sure to contact us today!

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Hardwood flooring has been the most universally desirable choice for floors almost as long as floors have been a thing. The variety of tones, textures and levels of hardness combined with the wide availability of lumber in North America have made hardwood flooring a choice many homebuyers and builders don’t even need to think about when selecting a floor.

 

In addition to its objective qualities, hardwood flooring can elicit a range of emotions as well. An enchanting white oak makes you feel open and calm about your living space. A luxurious black walnut gives you a feeling of refinement and elegance that few other floors can match. Or maybe you want the warmth and coziness that a caramel bamboo provides.

 

Many homebuyers factor these feelings the house gives them into their decision to purchase or not. While you may be able to explain in vivid detail how the flooring makes you feel, the type of wood that actually makes up your distinguished living room, or your airy kitchen may not be as easy to explain.

 

Visual identification

 

Unlike roofing, counter tops or architectural and design elements, you can’t really tell what kind of wood you have just by looking at it. At least not without a few caveats. 

 

First and foremost, you must have a sample of the wood that allows you to see the end of the planks. Without such a sample, it’s going to be very difficult and impossible even to identify the type of wood you have. 

 

The end of the plank is the unfished area that is made visible when a plank is cut laterally.

 

Solid wood looks like real wood

 

Because the visible portion of the wood floor on top of the planks can be finished and stained in a variety of ways, the real wood is going to be what you see on the end of the planks. If you can spot visible end-grain along this edge (that is natural-looking wood grain composed of rings and consistent running wood lines). 

 

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End-grain visible on Black Locust Wood Species

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Particle or composite board

You can see in the images above that the bottom image looks very familiar to anybody who has ever put together a piece of Ikea or Sauder furniture. It’s that messy, sawdusty wood that feels like it could fall apart if not held together by the thin veneers. It’s not a terrible choice for wood flooring, but it is not solid wood.

 

If the wood appears real, it may still have a veneer on it. The best way to identify veneers is to keep an eye out for repeated patterns in the wood.

 

Okay, so I have a solid wood sample. What’s next?

 

Next is figuring out the color of the wood and the grain. If your wood sample and flooring was stained, you may have to plane the sample in order to see the color of the grain. Likewise, if the wood has a patina on it (or natural discoloration that takes place as a wood surface ages), you will need to sand the sample down and see the way the wood appears.

 

Because a number of different woods may have similar colors, discovering the color of the wood will not provide an immediate answer, but it will help you narrow it down.  Certain wood colors like black or red are an exception, being almost immediately indicative of uniquely colored solid wood varieties (ebony and padauk respectively – though you’d probably know if you had one of these floors as it would have added a couple of ten thousands to the price of your home).

 

It’s all about finding patterns

 

 

image 

 

 

So color alone is not likely to help us identify wood. The other key factor is looking at the grain on the wood’s surface. Just like the supposedly vain pursuit of trying to figure out the secret to the stock market, we’re looking for patterns here (we’ll get it someday)!

 

Oak is one of the most common hardwood flooring materials. It’s durable, sufficiently hard and widely available. Oak is almost instant recognizable for it’s open and porous grain texture. This large open grain texture has made oak a preferred choice for unfinished rustic appearances. 

 

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If the wood grain is smooth and lacks the rough texture, it’s probably a softer wood. Certain varieties of wood like lacewood or sycamore will be almost instantly recognizable by their grain.

 

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How was the wood cut?

 

Depending on the wood species and lumber producer, wood is sawn in different ways. The two most popular ways to saw and cut a plank of wood are plain and quarter sawing. Plainsawn wood is cut tangentially to the raw lumber whereas quartersawn is cut radially.

 

Illustrated below, the two methods can make the same sample of wood look very different.

 

image

 

A – Quartersawn (notice the lateral graining) B – Plainsawn (notice the rings and running lines). 

 

Knowing how to spot the difference will prevent misidentification.

 

Blessed are those who have not seen

 

As has been made clear, visual identification only goes so far with hardwood. There are two other big elements that should help you narrow your wood sample down to a possible list of final contenders.

 

Weight/Density

 

The rule of thumb is that harder hardwoods (like Oak and Mahogany) will be heavier and more dense than softer hardwoods (like Pine). You can calculate the volume of your sample by measuring it’s height/width/depth in centimeters and multiplying them. Next, place your sample on a kitchen scale. Measure in grams and place the grams over the volume.

 

You should wind up with a number like 9.575g / 25 cc (cubic centimeters). If you divide this, you will find you get the number .383 g / 1 cc or .383 g/cc.

 

Next you can reference this handy chart and try and find the closest match. In this case, it’s buckeye yellow that comes in at .383 g/cc. Buckeye is not a common flooring material and a quick Google search confirms it looks nothing like my sample, so I would keep trying to find close numbers and letting their physical appearance confirm or deny our hypotheses.

 

Hardness

 

Finally testing the hardness by trying to scratch the sample with various items should prove whether or not the wood is a hardwood or a softwood (softwood will scratch easily with less hard items like glass or aluminum, hardwood will take harder metals like iron to scratch). 

 

Again using this data, you can reference a chart like the Janka Hardwood Test to help narrow down your guess based on the physical appearance.

 

That sounds like a lot of science

 

It is actually a lot of science. It takes a pretty scientific approach to identify a species of wood out of the entire beautiful and diverse spectrum. If science and algebra aren’t strong suits for you (and believe me, you’re not alone). You can always contact us at Signature Custom Flooring for more information and an experienced investigation!

 

Contact us today

Your new hardwood floor is going to be used by your entire family. As anybody with a pet knows, that definitely extends beyond the human members of the household. You may be thinking that it’s one or the other. Do I get to add my beautiful dream floor to the kitchen, or do I get to make a “practical” choice and go with the marble look tile? 

Yes, the beauty of hardwood floors includes a little extra care than linoleum or carpeting would, but it doesn’t mean you have to throw out this striking option in favor of what may seem to be a more pragmatic choice.

Millions of people every year live with great looking hardwood floors while sharing their homes with four-legged friends. Here are some tips to help ensure that your hardwood floors stays in its beautiful natural condition regardless of paw traffic.

 

1. Cats are pretty much harmless – If your companion is of the feline, rather than canine variety, you will likely not need to heed this advice. In most cases, cats are too light to do the kind of damage that a dog can do in the form of scratches.

 

2. Their urine on the other hand…not so much – That’s not to say anything about urine, however. Urine, even when cleaned up within a few minutes of impact, can still permeate your new wood floor – staining it and adding an unpleasant odor.

 

3. The hardness of the wood determines scratch resistance – As opposed to soft wood floors, like pine, fir, black cherry, teak or black walnut,, a strong hardwood is always going to stand up better to any attempted scratching. A wood like a white oak, a Brazilian Cherry or a hard maple is going to give the best guarantee against scratches. 

Black Dog

Really worried about scratching? A super hardwood like a fossilized bamboo hits 5000 on the Janka Wood Floor Hardness Rating Scale, meaning you can pretty much ice skate on it (not actually, we’re just saying it’s really really hard).

 

4. Other factors can help too, however… – While harder woods will stand up better to Fido’s claws, there are other factors that can also help minimize the visibility of any scratches that may still persist.

 

5. …like the color of the wood… – It’s no secret lighter colored woods are going to do a better job hiding scratches. It doesn’t have anything to do with the wood itself, but rather a much lower contrast between the color of the plank and the lighter scratched color.

 

Maple

 

6. …the finish of the wood… – When floors with a glossy finish catch the light, they reflect every imperfection about the wood back up at the person seeing it. It’s like a spotlight on any imperfection that your floor may have gained through its natural use. Matte finishes always look better and do a great job to hit the mute button on any scratches they may have picked up. Additionally, matte finish floors look great, provide a natural appearance and work with a variety of decorating styles.

 

7. …pre-finished vs site-finished wood… – Whether your floor was prefinished (that is, it arrived to your home already finished) or finished on-site can also make a difference in its ability to resist wear and tear marks. Prefinished wood flooring is usually finished with aluminum oxide (the sand in sandpaper), meaning it has a better chance of taking the claw from your canine friend and not looking any worse for the wear.

 

8. …and a stronger grain of wood will all hide scratches. – Hardwood floors with more prominent grains also do a better job camouflaging any scratches or other use marks. If your floor is to be in a high traffic area, and especially if that traffic is coming four-legs-at-a-time, you may want to consider looking at a wood with a stronger grain.

 

9. When it doubt, distressed wood flooring is a great option -Buy pre-scratched. Okay, it’s not actually scratched, but distressed and handscraped  floors are really popular right now. They add warmth and provide a shabby look that has become central to many persistent decorating styles. Additionally, any scratches your family, or your pets contribute wont look out of place at all. 

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10. Finally, treat Lucy or Julian to a regular canine manicure – Make sure to keep your dog’s nails trimmed neatly to avoid any unnecessary scratching risks. Not only will it keep your beautiful hardwood floors looking nice as new for years, but a day at the spa is a great way to thank your furry friend for always being there for you.

If you have any questions about taking care of your hardwood floor, contact us today.

 

When you’re looking to buy something new, like a car or house,what’s one thing you look for?  It’s trying to find a car or house that’s unique, that doesn’t look like it was “made with a cookie cutter.” Well, the same thing goes for hardwood flooring. There are many different ways that a hardwood floor can be customized to make it a “one-of-a-kind” floor. One way is by using a method known as “hand scraping.” Hand scraping is an artistic way of making your floor stand out from all the others.

 The process of hand scraping a floor is very labor-intensive work, but the end result is “art” you can walk on. When we hand scrape a wood floor, whether it’s a new floor or one that needs to be refinished, it still requires us to sand it like it’s going to be finished the normal way. The reason for this is that the floor needs to have a flat surface before we begin.

imageOnce the sanding process has been completed, it’s time to start hand scraping. Now, when I said it’s a very labor-intensive process, I meant it! All the work is just like it sounds — handscraping. There are a couple of different scrapers that can be used for this process. One scraper has a hook on the blade, which gives a deeper scrape to the floor. Another scraper, that has a smaller blade with no hook, can be used to give your floor the appearance of how it was done before there were sanders. On this job, we’ll be using the scraper with the hook blade. Now that we know which scraper we’ll be using, we need to make sure the blades are nice and sharp and that we have plenty to eat!Yes, I said eat! Hand scraping is quite a workout! So, now that we have all the food ready and blades sharp, we’re ready to start. We begin by starting against a wall and hand scraping the floor from one wall to the other side, making sure that we have the whole floor scraped. This process is repeated until the floor is completely hand scraped. There are a lot of wood scrapings from doing a floor, and by a lot, I mean a “mountain” of wood shavings!

Once we’re done scraping the floor, we need to do a final sanding of the floor to smooth out any rough spots. This mayrequire some hand sanding, because of the irregularity from hand scraping.

Now that the sanding is complete, it’s time to finish the floor. There are a couple of different finishes which can be applied to the wood floor– normal film finish or penetrating oil, which is my favorite on hand scraped floors. On this particular floor, we used a ceramic fortified water- based finish. In order to make sure the floor has some texture from scraping, we used a different applicator to make sure the finish completely covered the floor. 

Now that the floor is complete, it has a great texture and feel from the hand scraping.

 Hand scraping is just one of the few artistic options that can be used to customize your floor. To find out how we can give your floor the unique look you desire, contact us today!image

As one of the most important elements of interior design, flooring can completely change the look of an entire room. While premium flooring can objectively increase your home’s value, the right style of flooring could make the difference between a home buyer falling in love, or giving your realtor the classic “We’ll call you when we’re ready…”

As passionate as we are about hardwood’s durability and elegance, we like to take a moment at the beginning of every year to let you know what is going to be popular! Knowing what the market is loving lets you give your home the most updated look possible, and make it more attractive to buyers down the road.

Here are the big trends to look out for as we move into 2016

 

Dark hardwood flooring

Dark wood floors will always be at the top of this list. Especially in our part of the country, dark floors manage to do the difficult task of providing both sophistication and warmth. In addition to being warm and inviting, dark wood floors contrast beautifully with light colored furniture and walls.

Because the grain on a dark floor is hidden, it allows you to create extra texture with your furniture or decorative rugs.

If you want a small space to appear larger, however, a high contrast between walls and floors will provide definite horizontal lines. These lines will harshly outline the room and could highlight it’s size.

Another drawback to dark wood floors is their expository nature. The darker the wood floor, the greater it will show dust, footprints and scratches. This can mean some extra work, but for an inviting and distinguished look, nothing beats a dark brown or black wood floor.

 

Wide hardwood planks

Gone are the days of the 2 ¼” strip flooring. A trend that will continue to grow into 2016 is flooring with wide planks (up to 6”).

Planks of this size make a room look larger, and when finished properly provide a more rustic aesthetic which correlates to other interior design trends.

With their larger size, and smaller number of planks needed, each individual one gets to showcase its grain. When site finished, they create quite the aesthetic.

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Narrow strip flooring may come around again, but we wouldn’t put our money on it being soon.

 

Wide planks pair perfectly with the next trend, which has also been on the rise lately and is only expected to get hotter in 2016.

 

Neutral and natural hardwoods

While dark woods will certainly remain the favorite throughout 2016, we have to say grays and muted brown woods are giving them a run for their money. These woods bring a modern clean lens to the seeming unstoppable trend of vintage interior design.

At home among both rustic and industrial aesthetics, you may have seen some wide-planked gray woods recently in a hip coffee shop, or boutique clothing store.

These wood colors communicate the natural and sustainable side of wood flooring, and provide a blank palette to which to match colors warm or cold.

 Picture 1

This gray wood floor is the perfect choice for the modern and distinct sitting room pictured.

 

Born in the USA

Living in the United States means that we’re surrounded by a wide range of incredible trees. American producers have been manufacturing wood floors since colonization in the 17th century. The United States produces an amazing variety of hardwoods used in flooring like hickory, pine, birch, red oak, maple, walnut, cherry and other highly desirable materials.

As many people are becoming more and more interested in supporting their friends and neighbors by shopping American-made, wood flooring has given them the option to do so while getting a superior quality product.

With dark hardwoods being the most popular, and top of our trends list for 2016, shoppers can expect to have multiple options to both get the fashionable floor they want, and support American industry while doing so.

 

State of the Floors 2016

In 2016 customers will have even more ways to educate themselves, shop for and buy flooring than ever before. Yet, one trend that only grows every year is the desire to work with great people doing great work.

Hardwood flooring is no exception. Whether it’s tried and true materials like dark oak hardwoods, or the brave new world that is rustic gray wire-brushed finished flooring, buying the best floor for your home is the hottest trend in the market.

And a trend we don’t see going away any time soon.

For a personal consultation on your hardwood flooring options, contact us today.

 

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 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.

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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]

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Posted by Aaron Schaalma on Sep 07, 2018

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 […]

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