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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

Hiring an Installer for Your Hardwood Floor Installation

4 Oct Installation of all kinds of hardwood flooring

Is it time to replace your hardwood floor? Are you feeling overwhelmed by the process of choosing both a new hardwood flooring and a contractor / installer for the job? Don’t fret. Here are the steps you should take to ensure that you get the most cost-effective hardwood flooring for your budget as well as the most reliable wood floor installer in your area.

 

1. Research Hardwood Floor Installer or Hardwood Floor Installation

Too many homeowners immediately start calling installers without the least idea of the choices involved or what to look for in a hardwood flooring company. Some homeowners even cold-call hardwood floor installers from the phone book. You need to start your hardwood flooring project by familiarizing yourself with basic hardwood flooring installation considerations. You don’t need to become a certified wood floor installer. What you should do is make a list of informed questions to ask prospective hardwood floor contractors. Asking the questions below will help you learn which hardwood flooring is best for your home and will also help you to identify contractors with whom you can easily communicate.

Part of your research should also focus on the pros and cons for various  type of hardwood floors, such as solid hardwood floor, engineered hardwood floor or laminate and parquet flooring. To read more about types of hardwood floors, read this article about different types of hardwood floor . Finally, look for useful details, tips, and common problems associated with residential hardwood flooring. Know how to immediately spot water leaks that can cause water damage for example. Know what wood specie will be best for your preferred hardwood flooring stain, which kind of hardwood flooring  is easier and cheaper to install, but is still within your design and lifestyle preference . You should also find out everything you can about your old hardwood floor. When was it installed? What type of hardwood floor do you have? Is the sub floor leveled? Is there an existing  termite or water damage that needs t be address first? Knowledge is power.

Initial Questions to Ask Local Hardwood Floor Installer / Contractor

  • What type of hardwood floor is best for your local climate? Why?
  • What kind of wood floor would you choose for your home? Why?
  • Which method of hardwood floor installation is best for your home.
  • What type of hardwood flooring will  have the greatest potential to save you money and will be suitable for your lifestyle?
  • Is the hardwood flooring installer experienced, licensed, insured and bonded?
  • What type of hardwood floor services do they think they excel? Ask for referrals?

2. Solicit Estimates

These are just a few of the possible questions you might ask hardwood floor installer during preliminary phone conversations or face-to-face when you are soliciting estimates. By the time you solicit estimates, you should have a pretty good idea of the kind of hardwood floor you want. This way, you can make an apples-to-apples comparison of different estimates. Conventional wisdom suggests that you get at least three estimates.

Guidelines for Soliciting and Reviewing Estimates

  • Be wary of estimates that are significantly higher or lower than the rest. Go back and ask questions to determine the cause of this discrepancy. Make sure that you consider the following: Quality of materials that they will use (eg: brand and kind of wood flooring, finish and other materials), skill level of the hardwood floor installer, and the credibility of the hardwood floor contractor (are they licensed?)
  • Don’t assume that the lowest bid offers inferior quality or that the highest bid means superior quality. If you can’t identify which contractors are offering the best overall value, you need to do more research, talk to more previous customers, and ask more questions.
  • This is your last chance to change your mind. Don’t be afraid to solicit more estimates for different  hardwood flooring services.

3. Choose a Hardwood Floor Contractor, Sign a Service Contract

Once you’ve had a chance to talk to each of your prospective installers, it’s time to review the estimates and sign a service contract. Sometimes the right answer will jump out at you – one contractor in particular seemed to share your hardwood floor vision, philosophy, and budgetary constraints. Often, two contractors seem to make comparable offers with impeccable credentials. In this case, you may need to take a second look and split hairs. Just don’t underestimate the importance of communication; finding a contractor who is easy to communicate with is valuable in the long run. And don’t just read, but make sure you clearly understand the implications of the service contract.

Items a Service Contract Should Address

  • The length and terms of the labor warranty. Hardwood Floor manufacturers generally include product warranties, but these warranties may not mean much if problems result from the installation. A typical labor warranty may last two years, but you should make sure the product warranty will remain valid after the labor warranty has expired.
  • A payment schedule. Never pay for the entire project upfront. Generally speaking, payment should occur in installments and parallel the work as it is being completed.
  • Job Description. Service contracts should be indicative, clear and specific on what work will be done and which area would worked on and how much will be the total cost. Make sure that you are agreeing on a final price. You wouldn’t want any hidden charges jumping on you at the end of the installation process.
  • A timeline. Weather permitting, the service contract should lay out a schedule for the project. In particular, make sure the hardwood floor installer is responsible for any damage that occurs during the project. A reputable company should have means to protect your home while the hardwood floor is being installed.
Feel Free to Contact us for a Free On site Estimate – visit our website at http://www.custom-hardwood-flooring.com

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 Care For Solid Hardwood Floors

14 Nov

Solid hardwood floors are among the easiest to keep clean. Protect their warmth and character with simple, everyday cleaning techniques. It’s important to know how to prevent damage to your solid hardwood floors.
 Prevention
 DIRT and GRIT : Dirt, grit and sand are your hardwood floor’s worst enemies.They act like sandpaper on the finish, causing scratches, dents and dulling and finish wear. Place floor mats at entrances to trap dirt and prevent damage. WATER AND OTHER SPILLS : Standing water can warp a poorly finished hardwood floor and can damage the finish. Simply wipe up all spills as they happen. 
HARD CLEANERS : Avoid oil soaps. They can build up and create problems when it’s time to put a maintenance coat on the floor. Instead, neutral pH cleaners made specifically for wood floors are recommended.
 FURNITURE : Lift the furniture to move it — avoid dragging. Felt contacts under the legs will help prevent scratches. DENTS : Vacuum with a brush attachment — don’t use vacuums with beater bars. SUN : Direct sun can discolor your hardwood floor. Close curtains and blinds or add sheer drapes to protect from the sun’s intense UV rays. Regular Care SWEEP : Brooms with fine, exploded ends trap dust and grit effectively.  
VACUUM : Canister vacuums with special bare floor attachments are the surest way to get rid of all the dirt and dust.  
 DUST MOP : Use a good padded mop and a hardwood flooring cleaner— Spray the cleaner onto the floor and clean by mopping.

Protect your investment by doing proper maintenance.  To learn more about hardwood floors visit our website WWW.custom-hardwood-flooring.com

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