Category Archives: hand scraped hardwood

All Your Hardwood Floors Questions Answered

hardwood flooring questionsConsidering hardwood floors for your home? Or are you not sure what to expect from those hardwood floors you’ve inherited? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a few of the most common questions we hear about hardwood floors, and the answers you need to make a decision about whether hardwood floors are right for you, or the right way to take care of them.

Do wood floors darken or change color after they are installed?

They can. Depending on the product, your wood flooring can darken, lighten or change color over time. Because direct sunlight is the cause, furniture and rugs should be rearranged to make sure the color change is the same.

Is it normal for hardwood floors to scratch or dent?

handscraped woodHardwood does not mean ‘too hard to damage.’ Hardwood floors can scratch or dent. If you are worried about the scratches and dents being too noticeable, consider hand scraped hardwood floors which hide the scratches and dents that come with a busy household.

Hardwood floors also expand and contract with the humidity, so it is normal to have some small gaps in the floor when humidity is low, such as during winter. For the same reason, be selective about what rooms you install hardwood floors in. Rooms with high humidity, such as laundry rooms and bathrooms, are not ideal for hardwood floors.

How can I protect my wood floors?

wood floor cleaning tipsPut rugs by all exterior doors. An ounce of prevention goes a long way to keep your wood floors looking their best. Make sure you have rugs by all your exterior doors to keep the dirt, sand, water and other daily grit off your floors. That daily grit can scratch your floors or wear down the finish, making your job of keeping your wood floors (especially the finish) in peak shape.

Protect your wood floors from scratches. As long as we’re talking about preventative steps to keep your wood floors looking great, this is one of the cheapest, and most important, ways to protect your laminate and wood floors: felt pads. Make sure you have felt pads on the bottom of your chairs and furniture. Use caution (and soft padding underneath) when moving anything around to prevent scratches.

Wipe up water and spills immediately. A water spill on a wood floor can make any homeowner’s heart stop, and for good reason. Don’t let water damage or warp your wood or laminate floors. Keep paper towel or a rag handy so you can get that puddle of water cleaned up immediately.

How do I clean my wood floors?

Use regular maintenance to keep your floor clean. Sweep, dust mop or vacuum (most flooring manufacturers recommend using the wand attachment or a gentle vacuum) to clean up the small particles that can scratch and damage your floor.

Be VERY cautious when using a steam cleaner on your wood floors, or don’t use one at all. If you’ve watched TV, you’ve undoubtedly seen ads for steam cleaners. Steam cleaners are a great way to clean hard floors, and some ads suggest that steam is a great way to clean your wood floors. Their claim is contrary to the common knowledge that moisture and wood don’t mix, so we checked three of the most common wood flooring manufacturers and found that Armstrong, Mohawk and Shaw do not recommend that their customers use a steam cleaner of their wood products. Before purchasing a steam cleaner for cleaning your wood flooring, consult your manual to see if your warranty will be void if you use a steam cleaner.

Only use approved cleaners on your wood floors for deep cleaning. Wood floor cleaning is not a time to experiment. Some cleaners—even with common household ingredients—can damage your wood floor finish or the flooring itself. You’ve invested too much into your wood flooring to harm it on a whim. A few minutes of research can save you a lot of time, money and heart ache. If you don’t what kind of wood floor cleaner to use, ask the experts at Y’s Way via email, phone or through their Facebook page.

5 Questions to Ask BEFORE You Buy Flooring

It’s easy to fall in love with flooring. We understand, we’ve done it (yes, we’ll admit it!). However, when you have to have that particular kind of flooring, or look, without giving a second thought to how well that flooring fits your home and traffic patterns, you’re just setting yourself up for buyer’s remorse. So we’re here to help you avoid that love-at-first-sight-buyers-remorse flooring purchase. The first step is to ask 5 simple questions:

  • Is there a chance of a water spill (or many spills) in this room? An educated decision now can save you the headache of a warped floor later. Water can be your worst nightmare on laminate and wood floors, so a bit of planning now eliminates the hassle of replacement or repair. If you have a room where water may splash or form puddles, such as a bathroom, mudroom or kitchen, plan ahead. Consider vinyl plank flooring which has the look of wood, or any kind of tile floor which handles water like a pro. A room with the chance of a spill doesn’t mean you can’t get a wood floor—it just means being mindful of wiping up the water as soon as possible.
  • What kind of traffic does this room get? Is it a busy walk through? An area where your family plays, runs and tromps? Is it a room where your pet spends most of their time? Is the traffic that comes through full of mud, snow, sand and lord-knows-what-else? Use that knowledge to determine what kind of flooring would work in that particular area.
  • What kind of maintenance does this type of flooring need? You don’t want to purchase a floor, have it installed and then end up with damage because you don’t care or clean it properly. Find out what kind of cleaning and maintenance the floor needs, what products you need to purchase to keep it in great shape—and realistically how much of that maintenance you can take on.
  • What is my budget? If you have a small area that needs carpeting—a small office, hallway or bedroom—consider purchasing a carpet remnant. Because there is a limited supply, a carpet remnant is discounted. Know the square footage of the room you need flooring for and the price you can afford per square foot. Factor that into your purchase decision.
  • What is under the flooring? Are you installing radiant floor heating under the flooring? Read our post about what kinds of flooring work over radiant floor heating. Are you installing this flooring over a concrete slab, like in a basement? Here’s information on what floors work in basements. Sometimes knowing what is under the floor is just as important as knowing what is going to be on top of it. Make sure you mention what’s under your floor to your sales professional when you get to step two of your flooring purchase.

The second step is to ask the professionals. Stop in at Y’s Way Flooring in Watertown, Oconomowoc, or Lake Mills and ask them the hard questions: what would you recommend? What have you seen work in local homes? What is the price? What is the cost of installation? Once you’re confident you have the ideal flooring that looks good and works in your home, ask for a quote and schedule installation. The last step is to enjoy your flooring, free of buyer’s remorse, and know you made a great flooring purchase decision that works and looks great.

10 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

wood floorsIt’s time to set realistic New Year’s resolutions that you can (actually) stick to.  While everyone else is making plans for their new workout schedule or starting their diet, you’re looking for New Year’s resolutions that you can fulfill. Look around you. What better resolution to make than to improve the functionality or aesthetics of your home? Resolutions like:

  1. I will get my taxes done. The sooner you get your taxes done, the sooner you can get that tax rebate to get your carpets cleaned or replace the flooring in your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom…
  2. I will get my carpets cleaned. Even if you have a stain that you are sure can’t be cleaned, give it a try. Call the professionals and watch them get those carpets looking like new again—saving you the cost of new carpets and removing allergens from your carpets.
  3. I will not worry about water damage. Are you terrified of water hitting and damaging your wood floors? Replace those wood floors with vinyl plank flooring, which looks like wood but can withstand any water that spills.
  4. I will get new window coverings so my toddler sleeps in. Desperate for a good night’s sleep without your early morning toddler wake-up call? Have custom blinds installed in your toddler’s room that darken the room, look great and can give you the sleep you desire.
  5. I will house train my puppy. The sooner you finish house training, the sooner you can have those carpets cleaned or replaced and those stains gone forever.
  6. I will stop ignoring that nasty hallway. If the carpeting in your hallway is stained, or the wood flooring is buckling, look into a remnant.  Remnants are carpet that is left over and bargain priced. And while you can only buy what’s left on the remnant, it’s enough to replace the carpeting in your hallway, office or spare bedroom for a low price.
  7. I will finish my basement. Give your family another space for fun as a cold, wet Wisconsin winter sets in. Use our blog post to decide what kind of flooring works in your new basement space, and get the ball rolling on your new space.
  8. I will get my mudroom organized, and ready for nasty Wisconsin weather. Give your mudroom a face lift. Install new flooring that can handle sand, mud and snow.
  9. I will update my kitchen. Updating your kitchen doesn’t have to mean a complete overhaul. Update your countertops, and install a new backsplash for a new look. Once you’ve decided on your new countertop surfaces, choose a backsplash that fits your taste—and your budget.
  10. I will give my wood floor a face lift. Making your wood floors look new doesn’t always mean purchasing new wood flooring. Find out if your wood floor can be refinished so it looks like new again.

Studies have shown that only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually fulfill them. Don’t be like the 92%. Head over to Y’s Way Flooring today to start researching what floor works for your project, so you can get started—and get done—with your New Year’s resolution project.

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!

Steam Cleaners and Wood Floors: do they mix?

Trying to decide whether to clean your beautiful hardwoods with steam?

Trying to decide whether to clean your beautiful hardwoods with steam?

With the warm weather, heavy rain and mud being tracked into our houses, everyone’s looking for the best way to clean their wood floors. If you’ve watched TV, you’ve undoubtedly seen ads for steam cleaners. Steam cleaners are a great way to clean hard floors, and some ads suggest that steam is a great way to clean wood floors.

Their claim is contrary to the common knowledge that moisture and wood don’t mix, so we thought we’d give you resources that help you decide whether steam is the best way to clean your wood floors. We checked three of the most common wood flooring manufacturers and found that Armstrong, Mohawk and Shaw do not recommend that their customers use a steam cleaner of their wood products:

http://www.armstrong.com/flooring-blog/2011/11/22/using-steam-cleaners-on-wood-laminate-floors/

http://www.mohawkflooring.com/flooring-care-maintenance/hardwood-care.aspx

http://shawfloors.com/adx/aspx/adxGetMedia.aspx?DocID=2601

Before purchasing a steam cleaner for cleaning your wood flooring, consult your manual to see if your warranty will be void if you use a steam cleaner. If you’re still not sure, don’t be afraid to visit us at one of our three Y’s Way Flooring locations in Watertown, Lake Mills and Oconomowoc. We can help clear up any confusion about your warranty, and make recommendations that keep your floors clean.

What’s all the hype about hand scraped?

hand scraped flooring

Hand scraped flooring is durable, and great for Wisconsin homes where inevitable damage occurs.

handscraped flooring_lightHave you been drooling about hand scraped hardwoods on all the TV home décor shows? Or have you heard the term on a commercial and wondered what they were talking about?

We’ve got the answer! (Of course we do, we’re ‘Y’s’ about flooring!)

The answer actually dates back hundreds of years, when wood flooring was scraped with hand tools to make the boards smooth and even.

Fast forward to 2014, and the term “hand scraped” has taken on a whole new meaning. Instead of scraping floors to even them out, wood flooring manufacturers are scraping the wood to give them texture.

Why?

Two reasons:
1) Looks. Hand-scraped floors have a very worn and rich look that gives more dimension to a room that a traditional polished floor. Don’t get us wrong, we still love that polished look, but hand-scraped floors are different.
2) To blend in with the inevitable. Hand scraped flooring is great for homes with pets and kids, where, inevitably, something hard will be dropped that will dent the floor or a scratch is going to appear (I know—you’re thinking “that would never happen in my house!”).

What do you think about all the hype about hand scraped? Do you like the look?