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HOW TO CARE AND MAINTAIN HARDWOOD FLOORING

12 Aug hardwood floor refinishing los angeles

Hardwood floors are easy to clean and maintain. When proper care and maintenance is observed, the beauty and value of your wood flooring can be enjoyed much longer. Here are a few key points on taking care and maintaining your hardwood flooring.

hardwood floor care and maintenance guide

Professional Hardwood Floor Contractor

 CARE AND CLEANING

We recommend that you regularly sweep, dry mop and vacuum your floor with a soft brush attachment to avoid the accumulation of grit and dust on the surface. Any conditioning or stain removal from your floor should be performed using products specially formulated for use on pre-finished hardwood floors.

HUMIDITY

As wood is a natural fiber, changes in the level of humidity of the room, in which you have installed your hardwood floor, will cause it to shrink or expand. The humidity level must be kept at a normalized level (between 40% and 60%). This can be easily accomplished through the use of an appropriate ventilation and humidification system or dehumidification system. Most regions of Canada will need a humidifier in the winter months.

SUNLIGHT

The color or stain of your hardwood floor will mature with time and exposure to sunlight. This will cause it to change color. Any area rug, which blocks out light, should therefore be shifted on a regular basis to keep the color of your floor more uniform.

LIQUIDS AND SPILLS

All liquids and spills should be wiped off as soon as possible in order to prevent any possible damage. Ensure that a dry paper towel or terrycloth is used after clean up to ensure no liquid remains. You may consider using area rugs to protect susceptible areas (around kitchen sink, at exterior entrances etc.) If a spill occurs please remember to check under the mat to ensure that no water is trapped and that there is no moisture touching the floor. Do not wet mop your floor. Standing water can harm or warp your floor.

PROTECTION

Abrasive dirt such as sand, street dirt and cat litter can damage any hardwood floor regardless of the strength of the finish. Regularly sweep and vacuum with a soft brush attachment do not use a vacuum with a beater bar as found in most upright models. In addition, you can help protect your floor by using entrance mats and area rugs in high-risk areas such at entrances and doorways. When cleaning, remember to clean under the edges of rugs as it is a common place for trapped debris. Shake mats regularly to ensure no trapped debris. For rug pads choose 100% non-solvent based rubber, an untreated natural fiber such as wool or jute, or 1/4” chopped urethane. Do not use sticky or tacky backers. The plasticizers they use can attack and discolor finish. These same plasticizers may also be present in the backers of some rugs. In kitchens, use area rugs in high spill locations and at workstations.

Cotton is generally the best fabric since it easily washed; do not use rug backers in a kitchen area. Check all items that come in contact with the floor. Not only should felt pads be placed under the legs of the furniture standing on your floor but the felt pads should be cleaned regularly and checked for wear every 6 months in order to reduce the risk of damaging your floor. Wearing high heels should be avoided on your hardwood floor. The tremendous pressure exerted by the tip can dent and scratch the surface.

Moving furniture across a floor can scratch and damage the flooring. If you must move heavy pieces of furniture (refrigerator, piano, love seat, etc.) never slide them directly on the flooring. Instead, place a piece of carpet face down between the furniture legs and the flooring and pull on the carpet to move the furniture. By doing so, you will prevent damage to your flooring. Chairs with rollers should have wide rollers installed and a protective pad placed beneath large enough to cover the area it will be used. The area covered by the pad must be cleaned on a regular basis. Children’s toys should be checked as a source for dents and scratches. Pets with sharp nails can certainly cause scratches as well as a source of water spots on floors. Please keep their nails trimmed.

CHOICE OF CLEANERS AND APPLICATORS

Although many hardwood flooring cleaners are advertised as suitable for pre-finished flooring the results can be extremely

Hardwood Floor Installer and Refinishig

Regular moping and vacuuming of hardwood floors helps prevent scratches and wear.

damaging to the finish or leave your flooring looking hazy. An easy way to test you cleaner is to try it on a mirror or glass to see if a residue is left.

ISSUES WITH SOME CLEANERS

• Ammonia – Is too harsh and can discolor wood.

• Vinegar – Is an acid that can etch the finish and create dulling Liquid polishes Have a wax type material which shines and leaves a contaminating film on the floor

• Household dust treatments – Leaves a slick and waxy residue Household cleaners Have strong detergents and may harm the finish and leave a residue or contaminating film behind

•Any product that instructions say mop and bucket – Introduce water to the flooring, which can be catastrophic to the flooring Steam cleaners, this is currently the most damaging product on the market to clean your flooring with. The introduction of heat and steam cannot only crack flooring but the introduction of water is very damaging to the finish

• A product with a combination reservoir spray and mop – Introduces liquid directly to the flooring and can remain in the micro-bevel and cause damage if the spray is not fine enough.

The recommended method of cleaning is a combination of Sweeping & Vacuuming and the use of a Bona prefinished hardwood flooring cleaner sprayed on a microfiber dry mop. The microfiber pad is machine washable; however, we recommend avoiding the use of bleach, fabric softener, and dryer sheets when washing as it can potential cause a residue or damage on your flooring. They can be washed up to 300 times.

If you have any additional questions about the use of certain products or the general care and maintenance procedures applicable for hardwood floors feel free to give us a call or visit our web site at www.custom-hardwood-flooring.com

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Top 10 Hardwood Flooring Trends

4 Jun Hardwood Flooring

The Best Flooring and Hottest Styles for Every Room, Including Kitchens

As homeowners search for new hardwood flooring, it’s clear what is uppermost in their minds: Authenticity. An appealing look or style is not enough. While consumers are certainly concerned about a floor’s durability and value, they want something of substance even more. They choose hardwood because it reveals much about their taste, values, and what is important to them. They want something authentic.
All that from flooring? Yes.
These Top 10 hardwood flooring trends are not driven by mere fashion or some longing to keep up with the next-door neighbors. Instead, this Top 10 reflects the desire of homeowner to bring the art of nature into their homes so they can enjoy authentic natural beauty.

1. Authenticity

This is the Big Kahuna of flooring trends today—and for good reason. In this era of smarter and smarter phones, reality TV “stars,” and constant change, where do we find equilibrium and calm? Many of us look to nature and the appeal of slower times.

Authenticity is behind a desire for floors that take inspiration from the past, charms us, or help us live lives more attuned to nature. It leads to these choices in flooring showrooms:

• Wide-plank, handscraped, distressed floors. These replicate historical flooring, going back to early America.

• Exotics. These are unusual tree species from all over the world.

• Bamboo and cork. Though not hardwoods, these are also products of nature. No trees need to cut down to produce these sustainable products.

Each tells a story about you and your values. Your most cherished value is history, rare beauty, or the environment.

2. Handscrape Hardwood Flooring

Through the 1800s, finish surfaces for hardwood floors were commonly worked by hand with draw knives. These were simple flat blades attached to two handles. By pulling toward him or herself, the crafter could scrape thin layers of wood off a piece of lumber, slowly smoothing the top surface. Inevitable, scraping marks were left behind, proving for generations to come that a piece of wood had been worked by hand.

Handscrape marks are commonly seen in flooring reclaimed from old structures. These signs from another time tell a story about craftsmanship that is now replicated by today’s flooring manufacturers who have planks handscraped in a similar manner to get the look and feel of salvaged historical lumber.

These beauty marks authentically reproduce a genuine look from the past. Today’s handscraped floors are also distinctive to walk on barefoot. With each step, homeowners will feel slight variations in the surface—their feet feeling the evidence of a crafter’s skills.

3. Wide-Width Wood Planks

The next time you are walking through a building from the 1800s, look at how wide the floor planks are. Instead of the 2-inch to 3-inch widths common today, earlier floors were 5 to 8 inches wide—and more—depending on the species of wood.

The reason is easy to understand. Trees were much more mature when cut in earlier times, which meant they were also thicker. Most of the old-growth trees are gone or protected from harvest now. So trees for flooring are thinner and wide planks rarer.

However, 4- to 5-inch planks offer more authentic beauty than thinner slices. So manufacturers are finding ways to offer this wider lumber. These create a look that is more leisurely and languid. This is a hat-tip to less-hurried time.

4. Distressed Wood Flooring

Those who lived through the distressed-wood trend of the 1970s can relax. Today’s distressed doesn’t go overboard; it merely replicates the look seen from use and age of authentic, reclaimed flooring.

This second coming of distressed wood actually has its roots in the early 1990s when reclaiming flooring from old warehouses and commercial buildings emerged as a hot niche market. Those structures, built in the 1800s and early 1900s, offered a wealth of old-growth lumber, marked by decades of rough use. The gouges, nail holes, stains, slices, and saw marks were scars of authenticity.

By their interest in authentic distinguishing features that had pounded earlier flooring, homeowners today are showing their admiration for an era when skill rather than electronic technology was king.

5. Exotic Hardwood Floors

Exotic hardwoods appeal to a different sense of authenticity. What wins the heart here is the art of nature. How is it that trees can offer such elegance in form and still function so well as flooring? What a marvel.

There is the bold striping of tigerwood, the depth of Brazilian cherry, the rich beauty of teak. There are looks for every taste.

In addition to these authentic woods, manufacturers are also inventing ways to cut, bake and dye woods to mimic many of the exotics. This allows homeowners to obtain the look they want without endangering wood species in this country or abroad.

6. Harder Finishes

Admiring a new hardwood floor, you gaze at its natural beauty, alluring color, intricate graining and depth of shine. It’s so good to walk on wood—except you are not really walking on wood. The work surface that you tread is actually a clear finish that’s been formulated for toughness, sprayed on wood and baked to a hard-as-nails finish.

State-of-the-art factory finish clear urethane finishes are salted with aluminum oxide—microscopic metal crystals—to increase durability. Several coats are sprayed on and dried under ultraviolet lighting. The finish is about 10 times harder than is possible with a site-finished floor. With prefinished, you’ll also avoid the odorous off-gassing, labor and the time required for finishing a floor in place.

The moment after prefinished flooring is installed, it can be walked on. Instant gratification.

7. Engineered Wood Floors

Conventional wisdom promotes solid wood flooring because it can be sanded and refinished repeatedly. Sounds impressive, but when was the last time you sanded and refinished a floor? Safe bet that the answer is, “Never, with no plans to start.”

Unless you plan on living in the same house for 10 to 15 years or more, engineered wood is usually a better answer. Engineered floors are constructed of 3 or more thin sheets or “plies” of wood cross laminated together to form a single stable plank. Each plank is made like a sandwich, with stable, low-cost woods providing the foundation and the prettiest, more costly showpiece woods as the top surface.

Most engineered flooring comes pre-finished and goes down with relative ease. Fix it in place with nails, staples or glue. It can even be installed as a “floating” floor, a very quick way to put a floor in place. Regardless of the method for holding it down, these floors offer the beauty of solid wood without the price. They are more likely to be replaced than refinished (though many can be sanded and re-coated)—emphasizing their use as a design element in your house rather than a feature you may feel you have to endure.  Plus, because they are dimensionally stable, engineered wood, unlike solid wood, can be installed below grade.

8. Sustainability: Cork, Bamboo and Others

Concern for the environment shapes the way we live, the laws we follow, and what we value. Hardwood flooring is a big part of this discussion for homeowners who want to play a part in preserving the world’s natural beauty.

The days of clear-cutting forests to produce lumber are fading as manufacturers turn to managed forests, tree farms, engineered flooring and different woods for the supply of raw material. If you want a hardwood exotic, you may wind up with a sustainable domestic species—probably oak—that has been finished to mimic the look of an exotic. Or you might choose bamboo or cork, which offer performance similar to hardwood, but without the need to cut down even a farmed tree. Instead, bamboo is a grass that regrows after it is cut. Cork is made from tree bark, which regenerates.

Concern for forests and the environment are making an impact on how wood flooring is produced. Governments, environmental groups and industry leaders are adopting certification programs and tracking systems to validate the sustainability of wood supplies.

9. Color

Hardwood flooring doesn’t have to be a sea of brown. Widely available finish colors include an amazing array of whites, browns, blacks, greys, and reds. Not enough? Purchase unfinished flooring and stain it with in any of a rainbow of colors.

Color choices allow floors to better serve interior style as a full partner. Why should colors be limited to walls? Colorful flooring, in turn, allows for rooms that authentically express the desires, style sense, personality and idiosyncrasies of the homeowner or designer. This trend can be summed up as “I want it the way I want it.” You can certainly have it.

10. Value

To some manufacturers, retailers, and even customers, value means getting flooring at the lowest price possible. But that misses the mark. You may save a few dollars on the purchase, but that will prove foolish savings if you are constantly spending on maintenance, repair and replacement over time.

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood Flooring installation and refinishing Los Angeles and neighboring cities.

Value is getting the highest quality product at the best price. To do that, look for manufacturers who are committed to product performance. Look for brand names from companies who aggressively improve their product and back their products with warranties. Real value comes at a cost—but so does buying strictly on price.

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Happy Holidays from Our Custom Hardwood Flooring family!

25 Dec

We only Have gratitude and appreciation for all the blessings we have received this Year. Our heartfelt thanks to all our hardwood floor customers,Clienteles, Suppliers, fellow contractors and friends. The trust and opportunity you’ve all given us only makes us want to do things better!

Whether we did hardwood floor installation, custom staining, water damage / scratch repair or wood floor Sanding, buffing refinishing for you; Rest assured that we strived for perfection. Every measure was taken to make sure that you are 100% happy with the result. Each job was treated like, it’s our very own hardwood floor that we are working on.

In this coming year, we once again commit ourselves to continue providing the greater Los Angeles area and its surrounding communities, with the best professional hardwood floor services as we have been doing since 1994.

Custom hardwood flooring is looking forward to be at your service. In this holiday season, we wish you and your family peace, good health, love and happiness. Have A Wonderful Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!
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Custom Hardwood Flooring LA

TYPES OF HARDWOOD FLOORING

4 Oct

Laminated flooring - Engineered hardwood floor

Wood Flooring adds beauty and value to your home. With so many options to choose from, we would like to help make that decision easier by offering some basic information about your wood flooring options. The main choices include:

Solid Hardwood Flooring
A solid piece of hardwood, generally cut into 3/4″ thick planks. Recommended for above ground; not recommended for concrete slabs. Solid Hardwood flooring comes unfinished, which is then installed and finished on-site; or pre-finished, which is completely finished at the factory with several coats of durable finish, before it’s ever delivered to your home, then simply nailed down. So, if you have decided on this option, now just figure out your what type of finish you want, of the many options. Another choice to consider with solid hardwood flooring, is whether to go with pre-finished flooring, factory finished; or unfinished flooring, which is sanded and finished on site.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring
These are several plies of wood that are glued and laminated together to form a wood plank. Range in thickness from 1/4″ to just over a half inch. Can be installed almost anywhere in your home, including over concrete.

Long strip Hardwood Flooring
These are engineered floors, but with a longer and wider plank, which allows the top layer to show 2 or 3 rows of thin hardwood strips.

Exotic Hardwood Flooring
Different hardwood specie from around the World. Not found in North America, these hardwood come from Australia, Africa, Brazil and the Far East. Exotic hardwoods offer unique wood grain and coloration  Many exotic floors are available in and in solid hardwood planks as well.
Wood flooring is offered in a variety of sizes.Their thickness generally ranges from 1/4″ up to 3/4″ for most solid hardwood. The width varies from 1″ on up to about 6″, with the most common sizes being 2-1/4″ and 3″. Each size will give a different look to your floor, so your decision should be based on your desired outcome and look you wish to achieve.

When considering the type of hardwood flooring you would want to use, it is recommended to consult an experienced hardwood flooring contractor. Doing so will provide you with the peace of mind that you will get a satisfying result in the end.

 

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Los Angeles Hardwood Floor Refinishing and Installation

1 Oct

Los Angeles Hardwood Floor Refinishing and Installation

We refinish and install hardwood floors in residential and commercial establishment since 1994. Hardwood Floor Los Angeles custom staining, sanding and buffing, wood floor repair and restoration.

Refinishing Hardwood Floor

1 Oct

Hardwood Floor Refinishing Los Angeles

While some hardwood flooring can be purchased pre-finished, the majority must be sanded and finished once installation is completed. Newly installed hardwood floor that requires finishing allows more room for you to apply your personal preference, specially when it comes to the stain or type of finish that you would want to be used.

Finishing hardwood floor requires some specialized skills and power tools. These primary pieces of floor finishing equipment include the drum sander for sanding hardwood floor, power edger used to sand the areas that the drum sander can not reach, like the edges of the room, and the floor polisher used for applying the finish and/or stain.

 

Floor Preparation

    It is recommended to apply the finish to the hardwood floor on the last part of any construction project. In this way other work traffic of workers won’t mar the finish. Wall coverings should be in place and painting completed except for a final coat on the base molding. Floors must be swept clean immediately before sanding.

 

Sandin

    When Finishing a hardwood floor, sanding should be done first. This process gives the floor a fine finish, removes imperfections and preps the wood floor for the application of stain and/or polyurethane finish. Drum type sander is used for heavy sanding operation. A floor polisher with a floor sanding abrasive disc is used. The experience and sanding technique of the hardwood flooring technician determines the quality of the outcome of the finish. If the wrong grit is used for the type of wood species you have, the finishing process could get affected. 

 

Staining Hardwood Floor

     A custom stain can be applied to the hardwood floor during the finishing process. This will allow you to determine what shade or color do prefer for your hardwood flooring. Different type of wood gives off certain characteristic when being stained and finished. For example, Cherry hardwood takes light reddish stain well, generally no filler is needed for this type of wood and it imitates mahogany very well . On the other hand, Maple hardwood stains well in lighter colors, takes fine finish and no fillers is needed. Make sure that your hardwood floor technician helps you figure out what stain will work best with the type of hardwood you have.

 

Finishing Hardwood Floors

    There are properties and method of application that needs to be considered when finishing hardwood floors. Determine first the type of finish appropriate for the type of wood specie you have. Most finish are applied with a high quality brush or lambs wool applicator. A sealer is applied first. Some seals produce satisfactory results with one coat but most manufacturers recommend two coats or one coat plus a special top dressing. Surface finishes are then applied. There are different types of polyurethane finish. The oil modified polyurethanes and moisture cured polyurethane. Make sure that the sealer and top coat finish being used on your hardwood floor are compatible. Consult your hardwood floor contractor for further details. 

Different Kinds of Wood Floor Finishes 

9 Mar

hardwood floor refinishing los angeles

Application of polyurethane finish

When choosing the right type of finish for your wood floors, consider your lifestyle and maintenance preferences. All wood floors will require routine maintenance, such as sweeping or dust mopping, to keep them looking beautiful and new, but different wood flooring finishes will have a big impact on how you care for your floor long-term, as well as how your floor will look in the years to come.

Surface finishes are very popular because they are durable, water-resistant, and require minimal maintenance. Surface finishes are blends of synthetic resins. These finishes most often are referred to as urethane or polyurethanes, and remain on the surface of the wood to form a protective coating.

There are several types of surface finishes available: water-based, oil-based, acid-cured, and moisture-cured.
Water-based finishes appear clear and will resist turning yellow over time. They have a mild odor when applied, and will dry in two to three hours. Water-based finishes are very durable.
Oil-based finishes appear amber in color. They have a moderate odor when applied, and will dry in about eight hours. Oil-based finishes are very durable.
Acid-cured finishes appear clear to slightly amber. They have a strong odor when applied, and will dry in about two to three hours. Acid-cured finishes are extremely durable.
Moisture-cured finishes appear clear to amber. They have a strong odor when applied, and will dry in about two to three hours in humid conditions. Moisture-cured finishes are extremely durable and are more moisture-resistant than other surface finishes.
Wax finishes soak into the pores of the wood and harden to form a protective penetrating seal, which will appear low luster and amber in color. They have a mild odor when applied, and will dry in a variable amount of time depending on the type of wax used and the job-site conditions. Wax finishes are durable, but will show spots from water and other contaminates.
Acrylic impregnated finishes are injected into the wood to create a super-hard, extremely durable floor. Acrylic impregnated finishes rarely are used in residential applications. They most often are used in very high traffic areas in commercial settings such as malls and restaurants.

Consult a professional hardwood flooring technician to help you decide on what kind of finish is best for your floors. Call us at 1-888-844-6624 for a free on site estimate.

Watch “Los Angeles Hardwood Floor – Refinishing and Installation of Wood Flooring” on YouTube

11 Dec

Maintaining Hardwood Floors

10 Dec Hardwood Floor Refinishing and Installation Los Angeles

Image Stains makes your hardwood floor look bad. Removing it can be a simple process or a lengthy one that involves sanding and refinishing the entire floor. To determine how to remove the stain, factors like the condition of the floor, the nature of the stain and the length of time the stain has been on the hardwood floor should be considered.

Instructions

1. Assess the condition of your floor. If your hardwood floor is new and is sealed well, the stain may be only on the surface and hasn’t reached the wood. In this case, chemical removal should work. If your hardwood floors are older and the seal has worn off or down, you might need to strip and sand the floors for stain removal, and then refinish and seal them.

2. Determine the nature of the stain. Choose a cleaning product that works best with the stain on the hardwood. If the stain was caused by alcohol, candy or other non-greasy foods, fruit, ink, lipstick, nail polish or shoe polish, mix a few drops of a mild dish detergent into a bucket of warm water. Rub the stain with a soft cloth wet with the solution.

3. Use cold water, or cold water mixed with a little ammonia, to remove a stains caused by blood, grease or iodine. Rub the stain with a soft cloth dampened with the cold water or the ammonia and water mix. If this does not remove the stain, saturate the cloth, spread it out on top of the stain and let it sit until the stain vanishes.

4. Eliminate urine stains on hardwood floors. Scrub with a cloth wet soaked in hot water and some scouring powder if the stain is fresh. If the urine stain is old, mix liquid bleach in with your hot water. Use 1 part bleach to 10 parts hot water. Rinse the area with clear bleach after the stains are removed.

When all fails, call a professional hardwood floor specialist who is experienced in sanding and refinishing hardwood floors. In this way you are assured that the stains from your hardwood floor will be removed and the beauty of your floor will be restored. A good and professional hardwood floor repairs are very hard to come by. You must research on the credibility and know how of the hardwood flooring company you are hiring. It is also equally important that they are a  licensed contractor and comes with a good clientele recommendation. Schedule an appointment with their technician so they can give you a professional assessment of your floor. Image

Environmental Benefits of Wood Floor

18 Nov

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Environmental Benefits of Wood Floors.

Wood flooring is the most abundantly renewable flooring material available. Sustainable forest management makes it possible to harvest wood without any serious impact on the environment, because trees are a renewable resource that can be replaced time and time again.

• Average annual net growth for hardwoods is greater than average annual removals (Source: US Department of Agriculture Forest Service)
• Indoor air quality is better with wood floors (Source: US Environmental Protection Agency)
• Wood is a carbon neutral product that produces oxygen during its growth cycle and stores carbon during its service life (Source: University of Wisconsin Wood Products Program Solid Wood Flooring Life Cycle Analysis)
• Wood floors use less water and energy to produce than other flooring options (Source: University of Wisconsin Wood Products Program Solid Wood Flooring Life Cycle Analysis)
• At the end of its service life, wood flooring can be burned as fuel or recycled (Source: University of Wisconsin Wood Products Program Solid Wood Flooring Life Cycle Analysis)
• Wood floors last hundreds of years, so won’t need to be replaced as often as other flooring options (Source: National Association of Home Builders)
• While it takes most hardwood trees 40-60 years to mature, the inventory planted today won’t be needed for 100-plus years (Source: National Wood Flooring Association)
Make a Healthier and Smarter Choice in Improving Your Home. Call Now for your Free In Home Estimate.
CALL TOLL FREE: 1-888-844-6624
or visit our website at www.custom-hardwood-flooring.com
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