Protect Your Oiled Floors

Photo: Monarch

Photo: Monarch

Treatment with wood oil is very popular as it brings out the same beautiful look that many exotic wood species have. Wood floors treated with oil bring out the wood’s natural character and warmth. Wood oil doesn’t give any direct protection against wear but helps to repel water. It’s a good idea to think about which rooms are suitable for oiled wood floors.

It can be difficult to see and feel the difference between an oiled wood floor and a waxed wood floor. A waxed wood floor is softer and a little more slippery than oiled wood floors.

Things to think about when you dust and clean your oiled wood floor:

Protecting your oiled floors is simple. By routinely cleaning, you remove dust and dirt before they scratch and dull the surface, or wear away the floor.

Always keep water to a minimum when cleaning your oiled wood floors. If you spill (food or drinks), wipe up immediately to prevent any permanent damage or staining.

Sweep or vacuum your oiled floors as often as needed.

Don’t use ”all-purpose” cleaners on your oiled floors as they tend to leave a dull residue and you end up using too much water, which is damaging to your oiled floors.

Things to think about when you maintain your oiled wood floor:

Use a special oil product for maintaining and protecting your oiled floors.

If you have laid an oiled floor in an area where there is a high risk of spilling water, like in a kitchen, apply oil refresher to add a layer of protection and increase the life of your new floors.

The oil refresher can be applied as needed but usually a few times a year. Always make sure the wood floor is cleaned before re-applying.

Source: Bona

Choose Your Hardwood Floor Sheen

Lauzon FlooringWhen you buy a hardwood floor, you deserve to love every little detail. Choosing your floor’s sheen—also referred to as luster or gloss level—is one such detail. This decision can make a big difference in the overall look of your room.

What is sheen?

Sheen, luster, or gloss level, is an optical term that describes a surface’s ability to reflect light. The higher the gloss level, the more directly it reflects light, and the lower the gloss level, the more the surface absorbs and diffuses the light. For example, there is no such thing as a 100 percent gloss floor, but if there were, it would be as reflective as a mirror!

Gloss level is normally measured at a 60-degree angle with a gloss meter, which is the equivalent to looking at the surface while standing up. The gloss level calculation is then derived by the amount of reflection from the finish. The gloss meter compares this value with the black-glass standard, which has a defined refractive index of 100 “gloss units.

The glossier you go, the more light reflects off the floors. This in turn, shows more dirt and dust as well as imperfections in the hardwood floor.

Good to know!

It’s important to realize that different hardwood species—and textures—will produce different gloss levels. Natural wood color or patina, as well as differences caused by open- vs. closed-grain woods, and texture will produce subtle variances in the gloss level.

Picking a gloss level is more of an aesthetic choice and does not impact the durability of the finish. However, over time foot traffic will dull most hardwood floor finishes and create visible traffic patterns. With its superior anti-wear properties, Lauzon’s Titanium finish will maintain the luster of your hardwood floor over time, so you won’t see foot traffic on any of our sheen levels.

Source: Lauzon

What’s the Best Way to Clean Hardwood Floors?

Hardwood Floor PhotoAvoid Water and Vinegar to Best Clean Hardwood Floors

Looking for the best way to clean hardwood floors? What may work for some parts of your home might not be the perfect match for your floors. Finding an effective way to get the best clean for your hardwood floors is an important step in effective hardwood floor care.

Avoid Cleaning with White Vinegar and Water for Hardwood Floors

For many people looking for a quick and easy DIY cleaning solution, nothing beats vinegar and water. Cleaning with vinegar and water is cheap, safe for the environment and generally does a great job at cleaning many items in your home.

Just don’t use vinegar and water to clean hardwood floors.

Using vinegar and water as a homemade hardwood floor cleaning solution can have a negative effect on your hardwood floor. It’s important to remember that when you clean your hardwood floors, you aren’t actually cleaning the wood—you are cleaning the chemical finish on the wood. The finish is the protective layer of your hardwood floors.

Since vinegar is an acid, it will actually break down the finish on the surface of your floor, and over time it will reduce the shine and leave a dull appearance. Using vinegar and water to clean floors can also lead to an excessive amount of water on the floor, which can cause swelling and discoloration.

The Best Way to Clean Hardwood Floors

When it’s time to clean your floors, here are some hardwood floor cleaning tips to remember:

  • Prep your floor for cleaning by sweeping or dust-mopping to get rid of large particles of dirt and debris.
  • Use a pH neutral cleaner that will be gentle on your hardwood floors.
  • Use a fine spray mist to clean your floor in sections. Avoid putting too much liquid on your floors.
  • Use a microfiber mop to clean. Traditional mops can work, but they can leave excess water on your floors.

When looking for the best way to clean hardwood floors, skip using white vinegar and water to clean your floors. Using a specially formulated hardwood floor care cleaner is a smart way to maintain the beauty and look of your floors.

Source: Bona

 

Which Hardwood Texture Suits Your Style?

Lauzon FlooringThe texture of a hardwood floor can add a lot to a décor. It can accentuate the elegance or add to the warmth of a more casual setting. A variety of hardwood flooring textures are available on the market.

Smooth. Nature’s Classic Elegance, Expressed Simply

A very delicate sanding gives wood a silky texture with classic allure while highlighting the grain. Smooth is a timeless texture that is still the most popular in hardwood flooring.

Open Grain. The Uniqueness of Wood Shines Through

Every wood species is unique, and this is what makes the material so warm and rich. A species’ cellular structure influences its appearance and, in some cases, its texture as a hardwood floor.

Open-grain hardwood species, such as Oak and Hickory, are “ring-porous.” This means they have large pores that are easily visible to the naked eye. Open-grain woods may appear coarser than closed-grain woods because the surface isn’t as smooth. When the wood is sawn, the pores are split, creating beautiful little rifts and valleys. This open-grain pattern stands out even more when dark stain is applied, but is still noticeable with lighter shades.

Hand Scraped. Uniquely Perfect Imperfection

Hand Scraped texture, sometime called “Wave,” ranges from subtle to extreme, and from repetitive to more authentic pattern, depending on the method used and the desired result.

One common way to produce a Hand Scraped texture is to use automated machines. When the wood is milled, the machines skim the surface of the boards, creating rows of depressions within the wood’s surface. Gouging and/or sanding wheels with varying rotations, depths, and sizes are selected depending on the desired results. Machine scraping usually lead to a more repetitive and noticeable pattern.

Remember that each manufacturer has its own Hand Scraped process, so one manufacturer’s Hand Scraped flooring will look different from the others’. Plus you should NOT expect your delivered flooring to look exactly like the small sample you saw at a flooring retail store. The beauty of real hand scraped flooring is that it’s meant to look antiqued, so no two pieces will be exactly the same.

While this texture is ideal for rustic décors, it also creates a nice contrast in modern rooms and adds casual appeal to traditional settings.

Wire Brushed. Distinctive yet Discreet

Like Hand Scraped hardwood floors, Wire Brushed floors, sometime called Wirebrushed, Etched or Distressed, can range from moderate to extreme in texture.

To create this texture, the wood is delicately brushed with steel bristles, opening the grain, removing the soft portion of the top of the wood plank, leaving the hardest wood and revealing a subtle scuffed effect. It’s a warm, natural texture you can see and feel that accentuates contrasts in color and masks the effects of daily traffic.

Source: Lauzon Flooring

 

 

 

Partnering for a Cause

What began as the sponsorship of the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway has evolved into a multi-faceted program for St. Jude and Shaw Floors and its dealer network. Now, Shaw’s Carpet Cushion for St. Jude raises money with every purchase.

St. Jude works to find cures for children fighting childhood cancer around the world. Watch this brief video to learn more about Shaw’s involvement with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital today.

Give Your Living Room a Personality of its Own

Photo: Shaw Floors

Photo: Shaw Floors

A living room can become a welcoming space to both family and visitors with the simple addition of special details. Much like the distinctive grain of hardwood flooring  it’s the details that give a room a personality of its own.

When a living room is a long rectangle, the shape can be used as an advantage. Arranging the space into two squares, with bookshelves or a sofa table placed as dividers, will break up the area naturally. Using different rugs also divides the floor into distinct sections.

In cases when a formal style works best for a particular room, the room design should be symmetrical. Or, home decorators can try a modified symmetry by having two identical sofas face each other but place different lamps or side tables alongside them.

Good Traffic Flow

The right mix and arrangement of pieces creates a room design that has a comfortable traffic flow between furnishings.

Achieving correct balance is particularly important in a large room where people gather. If there’s too much space between furniture pieces, the room will have a chilly atmosphere. Push furnishings too close and the look may be too cluttered.

A fireplace may serve as a focal point with an equally weighty piece of furniture – such as a large bookcase or hutch – to counteract it across the room. Having two loveseats face each other in front of the fireplace is often more inviting than placing one long sofa along a wall. Or, two easy chairs can face a sofa, with a small table and a lamp for reading set between them.

Scale is also a concern in home design, because large pieces will fill blocks of space better than small furniture, which could become dwarfed by a large area.

Color Coordination

To keep a classic look in a large room, the fabrics on a sofa and a loveseat can be different as long as they coordinate well in colors and patterns. Homeowners may use furniture already in the home by upgrading some pieces with new upholstery or slipcovers that can be changed seasonally.

The answer is to separate the space into several conversation areas, but linked by colors and complementary patterns and solids. The result will be a comfortable place for both everyday use and entertaining guests.

Source: Anderson Floors

 

The Benefits of Hard-Wax Oil

The rich patina of each floor is only enhanced with age and use; the more it is walked on, the more beautiful it becomes.

Hard-Wax Oil FlooringEmbracing an entirely different custom in a unique way is a great way to break from tradition. Despite the American market’s strong affinity for polyurethane-finished floors, hard-wax oiled floors have been the standard in Europe for centuries. By bringing European-inspired floors to customers in the United States, the design community and hardwood professionals have been abuzz with excitement at the possibilities that come with hard-wax oiled hardwoods.

In Europe, there are hard-wax oiled floors in public spaces that have been installed for 30 to 50 years. A well-maintained oiled floor will actually get better with time as the actual color of the floor will become more distinct over time.

All-Natural Ingredients

Hard-wax oil is made from all-natural ingredients. These natural oils penetrate deep into the wood fibers to protect from within, while the moisture-repelling waxes remain on the surface to create an appealing matte finish and protective layer. Hard-wax oil nourishes and protects the wood while preserving its natural look, which is often lost with the higher luster of polyurethane finishes.

Minimal Maintenance Required

Repairs on hard-wax oiled floors are quite simple with minimal maintenance required. Spots and scratches can be minimized and often eliminated with buffing and a small application of the same oil. With proper care, a hard-wax oil floor will last for years. By comparison, polyurethane finishes are commonly used to create a thick film on the surface of the wood. While extremely durable, repairs can be difficult because the finish does not bond chemically to previous layers and grips only where the surface has been thoroughly abraded. Thus, these floors will typically need to be sanded and refinished over time.

In summary, a natural oiled floor provides a warmth and refinement that is difficult to achieve with modern day acrylic or polyurethane coatings. The rich patina of each floor is only enhanced with age and use; the more it is walked on, the more beautiful it becomes.