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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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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

How To Buy Hardwood Floors

5 Nov

 

Hardwood Floor Refinishing and Installation Los Angeles

How To Buy Hardwood Floors.

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