Monthly Archives: August 2014

Give your Wood Floors a Second Chance

wood floor_with inlayIf your wood floor has seen better days (or has been beat up on better days when kids and pets were running about), don’t start playing taps just yet. You don’t have to get a memorial stone or order a dumpster. Give those wood floors new life by repairing and refinishing them.

  • Prep your house for the repairing and refinishing process. Clear the room of all furniture. Cover doorways around the room with a plastic sheeting to confine the dust.
  • Quiet that floor down! Start with repair. If your floors are creaky or have boards missing, contact an expert that can fix the creak and add matching boards to create a seamless, quiet floor. Your expert might tell you it’s time to replace those floors with new wood flooring (and if you have to put in a new floor, consider prefinished floors so you don’t have to deal with the dust!).
  • Sand it down. Rent a sander or hire a floor expert to sand down or screen your floors. If your floors are a candidate for screening, go for it. Screening your floors does not involve the dust, while still giving your floors a new look.
  • Apply the perfect finish. Work with a flooring expert to choose the color that works with the décor of your home. You might also want to consider your lifestyle when choosing the stain as well—dark floors tend to show pet hair more, while light floors show stains. These may be the floors that were in your grandmother’s house, but we guarantee your grandmother did not have the colors and options that come with today’s solid hardwood floors. Solid hardwood floors come in a variety of finishes that allow you to bring out as much of the wood grain as you want.
  • Sit back and enjoy. Enjoy the benefits of a repaired, beautiful wood floor.

If you can’t save your floors, don’t despair. Talking to the experts and a good hardwood flooring installer can give you new flooring with the look you desire—along with all the advantages of a wood floor.

Why wood floors?

Start your wood floor research here, and enjoy the benefits of wood later!

Start your wood floor research here, and enjoy the benefits of wood later!

Hand-scraped. Engineered hardwood. Oak. Bamboo. Cherry. Dark. Light. There are so many beautiful wood flooring options that can enhance your décor, but there are reasons beyond looks that make wood floors an excellent option for any home. It may not be the start of school yet, but let’s put on our glasses and research our wood flooring facts and advantages:

  • Durability. Want long lasting? These floors can take it and make it for a long time. Some wood floors have even celebrated century birthdays. If you have kids and pets, hand-scraped floors can hide the wear and tear that come with an active household, and laminate wood floors are known for their durability. When solid wood floors or engineered hardwood do scratch or fade, they can be refinished and look like new—for a long, long time.
  • Easy to clean. Forget about pulling that heavy vacuum cleaner out. Don’t invest in a carpet cleaner. Wood floors are easy to clean and require few cleaning products. Beware of steam cleaning your wood floors, though, as there are some definite reasons to proceed with caution.
  • Ideal for allergy sufferers. Because they are easy to clean, it’s easy to clear the dust out of your home—a clear advantage for those allergic to dust and dust mites. Carpet can also work well for allergy sufferers, but they need a deep clean on a regular basis.
  • Eco-friendly. Bamboo and cork flooring, for example, are a renewable resource. Unlike other woods, cork is not harvested and the bark grows back in less than a decade. Bamboo is also considered a green product.
  • Warmth. Hardwood floors can not only bring a warm and cozy look to your home, but engineered hardwood and laminate can also be installed over radiant heating. Radiant heating is energy efficient and gives any room an even heat, along with other practical advantages.
  • Increase the value of your home. Because of all the advantages listed above, wood floors are highly sought after by buyers and can increase the value of your home.

Wood flooring is not invincible (watch out when humidity and water are involved!), but they are great option for any home. Choosing the option and price that’s right for your home and lifestyle takes a little homework, but the benefits (and look!) are well worth the research. And just like school, don’t forget to ask for help if you need it!

What kind of floors work with radiant heating?

If you're installing radiant heating, you have many flooring options.

If you’re installing radiant heating, you’ve got lots of flooring options.

Ever felt warm flooring under your feet? In addition to feeling warm and wonderful, radiant heating also is an excellent source of heating for rooms where traditional ducting cannot be run—or where you don’t want to deal with the inconvenience of a duct.

Radiant heating is more energy efficient than baseboard heating, and doesn’t lose energy through heat loss like forced air systems. For people who suffer from allergies, radiant heating is a welcome alternate heating source because it doesn’t circulate allergens like traditional forced air systems.

Whether you’re building or retrofitting a home to take advantage of this even-heating, energy efficient and allergy-friendly form of warmth, you need to choose what kind of flooring to lay over the radiant heating. Fortunately, you have great options that come in a variety of textures and colors, thanks to advances in flooring and subflooring technologies:

  1. Carpet. That soft and cozy flooring not cozy enough? When installing carpet over radiant heating, don’t mess around. Talk to the experts to make sure that you use the right pad and carpeting so you can take full advantage of the heating potential of your radiant heating system.
  2. Laminate. Think beyond laminate wood flooring. Laminate flooring comes in a variety of styles, and can have the look of stone, tile or even concrete. Whatever the look, laminate flooring is a floating floor, meaning it can be installed over a radiant heating system. Laminate is also extremely durable, and can handle any active household’s wear and tear (that means you, kids and pets!).
  3. Tile—any kind! If you are laying a tile that can be cold to your toes, such as porcelain tile, radiant flooring is your answer. Tile conducts heat naturally, leaving you with an even heat that is easy-to-clean and mildew resistant. Tile is also one of the easiest floors to install over radiant flooring.
  4. Engineered hardwood. With the look of real wood and the floating floor properties of laminate, engineered hardwood is an ideal floor for homeowners that want real wood floors and the warmth of radiant heating.

If you’re considering radiant heating, make sure you consult the experts to make sure you select the right flooring that amplifies the warmth of your radiant flooring. Then, sit back—or lie down—and enjoy the warmth of your cozy, warm, energy efficient floor.