Hardwood Floors

Fight of the Finishes 150 150 Johnathan

Fight of the Finishes

Taking proper care of your hardwood floors involves refinishing every ten years or so. How often you need to refinish your floors and the process involved depends on which of the two compounds you choose to put down; Oil-based polyurethane(poly) or water-based poly. Each type of poly has different pros and cons and can be the best for a given situation. They have different Oil-based polyurethaneprice points, should be applied to different floors, and take different amounts of time to dry. Depending on how important each of these facets is to your specific situation, you may want to choose oil or water based poly to refinish your floors.

 

The Comparison

First, and maybe most importantly, water-based polyurethane is two to three times more expensive than oil based poly. It has fewer VOCs (volatile organic compounds), smells less, and is clear. The higher price point is amplified by the fact that you need more layers of the poly to protect your floor, thanks to the more watery composition. Whether or not you’re getting what you pay for is really determined by how important the advantages of water-based poly are to you.

Water-based polyurethaneThe entire process of applying water-based polyurethane to your floor takes far less time than its oil-based counterpart. Up to four coats of water-based poly can be applied in one day, whilst oil based poly can be only be applied once every 24 hours. Another 24 is needed before you can walk on your newly refinished floors with socks on. The wait is quite worth it, however, since generally oil-based poly is more durable and lasts longer. It takes a top of the line water poly (the Bona brand is often cited) to compete.

 

The Choice

The type of wood floor you have is the other important factor to take into account. When deciding between refinishing products, oil-based polyurethane slightly yellows with age over time, while water goes on clear. For a majority of wood products the yellowing is rather indistinguishable, but for maplewood or white/grey washed floors I would highly recommend using water-based poly.

In general, I would recommend going withan oil-based polyurethane. The overall refinishing quality and durability are much higher. For specific situations, however, I would say to go with water-poly. If you own a business and closing shop for more than a day or two is a serious hit, then go with the quick option. The same goes for very light colored wood floors; oil would yellow over time which can look pretty gross. Like I said earlier, there isn’t a right or wrong answer every time. Figure out your situation and make the most informed call! We’ll be there to help no matter which one you pick.

 

Can I Change the Color of my Hardwood Floors? 150 150 Johnathan

Can I Change the Color of my Hardwood Floors?

Many homeowners are delighted to hear that the answer is “yes, you can” to this question. The variety of hardwood options available to you depends on the floor in your home. Lighter woods such as pine, oak, and maple can be stained a wider array of colors. The natural color of the wood is the lightest you can go without bleaching or whitewashing your floors.

 

How To:

Sanding HardwoodThere is a process of course. There’s always a process. In order to recolor your hardwood floors, you’ll need to sand them before refinishing them. Using a glaze is an easier alternative to refinishing but should only be done if the sanding/refinishing process is simply not possible for you. To apply a glaze, you’ll skip the sanding and simply run a buffer over the floor to prepare it. This process is called “screening.” The resulting color is more difficult to predict because it will be a mixture of the glaze and the already-present stain. It also doesn’t last nearly as long as a proper refinish, peeling off after a while and leaving ugly marks in its wake.

Sanding the floor takes off the existing stain and finish, giving you the natural wood to work with. Sanding also gives a perfectly smooth surface that can propely accept the later applications of polyurethane and maybe a stain. A stain will allow you to darken the color of the wood to exactly what you want. After the stain, apply water or oil-based pol;yurethane to refinish your hardwood floors. Check out my article on which poly may be best for your situation here.

How light or dark you decide to go with this process is entirely up to you. It’s poissible to stain your floors as dark as you want to go, or perhaps whitewash your floors to get them lighter than their natural color. What you decide to do depends on the rest of your decor and what you’re feeling, but the moral of the story is that with the right supplies and professionals, your hardwood floor can be as light or dark as you want it to be!

Carpet or Hardwood? 150 150 Johnathan

Carpet or Hardwood?

New homeowner? Or simply remodeling and taking a second look at those old floors? I know this choice is one of the hardest to make when it comes to making your dream home look like, well, your dreams. Because everyone’s needs are different, I can’t just straight up tell you the best option to put under your feet. However, I may be able to point you in the right direction. The two most popular flooring choices are hardwood and carpet, so we’ll focus on those two. The other kinds of flooring will most certainly get their time in the spotlight in another segment. Let’s begin!

 

Soft Carpet

Monet FloorsAh, carpet. Soft, comfortable, and warm. A favorite for many, you’ll find carpet covering the bottom of a majority of homes. It’s quite the popular pick for a few reasons, primarily of which is the comfort. Carpet is soft under bare feet, which has major upsoides. Not only do you not need to wear a pair of slippers to comfortably exit your bed in the morning, but dropping your phone on the way out isn’t a death sentence for your wallet. Carpet’s soft texture is not only comfortable but safe as well. It can cushion falls and drops while providing a pretty safe space for small animals or children.

It’s also nice and quiet. NRC means Noise Reduction Coefficient, and can be used to describe how much noise carpet absorbs. Most carpets have an NRC of around .35, meaning 35% of most sounds is absorbed and not reflected, resulting in a quieter home for both you and your upstairs/downstairs neighbors. For rooms where a high schooler may be learning/practicing the drums, I’d recommend carpet over the almost perfectly sound reflective hardwood.

Unfortunately, carpet isn’t all upside. You knew this was coming, right? It can get pretty dirty comparablee to hardwood. A simple sweep every day does a majority of the cleaning work when it comes to your wood floors. Carpet, on the other hand, needs vacuuming and shampooing and even then sometimes not everything is out. Carpet also stains a lot more easily from spills/pet urine than most hardwoods. Depending on the allergies of the people in your home, this can be a problem, or at least something that requires a lot of maintenance.

 

Hardwood

Hardwood floors make a huge statement in your home. They are often seen as high end, luxurious, and bold. Flooring your home with all-natural hardwood is also great for the environment.Monet Floors Trees can be replanted and are a naturally occurring resource. A majority of carpet is made from petroleum; a very limited and very unnatural material. Hardwood floors can be refinished after damage simply by sanding down past the damage and reapplying the stain. This longevity is appealing to many people, making a hardwood floor installment a decades-long investment with the proper care.

At the end of the day, both options are extremely valid for different situations. Check us out if you’ve made any kind of decision! Carpet is much cheaper and easier but also requires more work to keep clean. Hardwood is impressive and timeless but is also a bit more of a financial investment. In the future, I’ll be writing about specific rooms of the house, but hopefully this is enough food for thought until then.

Hardwood floors Need Lovin’ Too 150 150 Johnathan

Hardwood floors Need Lovin’ Too

5 Easy Tips to Care for your Hardwood floors

how-to-clean-hardwoodAs robust, sleek, and strong as hardwood floors can appear at first glance, they need to be dutifully cared for to keep all those adjectives relevant for as long as possible. From small scratches and dulling to widening gaps, issues can plague your beautiful wooden floors if you don’t provide the proper hardwood care and maintenance. Here’s an easy list of do’s and don’ts to keep your floors fancy.

Do: Throw a rug in front of each entrance to your home. Even the smallest amount of dirt, twigs, or just general debris stuck to your shoes will scratch at the floor over time. A rug at the door and an easy stomp when you come in from outside will do a surprising amount to prevent those tiny accumulated scratches from ruining the sheen on your lovely wood floors.

Don’t: Wear high heels or cleats on your wood floor. The math here is actually pretty simple. Sure human beings only weigh one or two hundred pounds, but that weight applies more pressure than we think when it’s all focused on our feet. The multiplication gets even crazier when we focus even further onto the fine needle points that are high heels or sports cleats. We’re talking thousands of pounds of pressure per square inch; definitely not something you want on your hardwood floors. Tiny dents can form, and over time they’ll turn into something larger and quite visible. Leave them at the door, next to the rugs!

Hardwood Floors Do: Wipe up any liquid spills immediately. Water and wood are a bad combination, this much is some pretty common knowledge. Any amount of water sitting on the wood for even a short period of time can soak in and immediately start causing some damage. Stains don’t look great and neither does your wood buckling. Let’s not even mention the extreme case of rotting wood! I can sneak a Don’t in this category too, as it’s pretty relaxed. Don’t steam clean or wet mop your wood floors. Water is such a bad idea.

Anyway, that’s all for this week. Keep those wood floors looking lovely, and check in every week for more easy care tips! For more information contact us directly!