Types of Wood Floors

Photo Courtesy: Bona

Photo Courtesy: Bona

Advances in wood flooring during the past few years mean that you now can have wood flooring anywhere in your home or business. Where you want to put it, however, will determine the type of wood flooring you can use.

Unfinished and Factory Finished Wood Flooring
All wood flooring requires a finish. This is a protective coat that seals your floor against every-day wear.

You can buy unfinished wood flooring, and your installer will sand the wood and apply the finish on the job site. There are several finish options available. If you are looking for a specific color or need to match existing flooring, this option may suit your needs better.

Also available for purchase is factory-finished wood flooring, where the finish was applied at the manufacturer. This type of flooring has become as widely available as unfinished wood flooring. These floors require less time to install because the sanding and finishing process has already happened. The floors are ready to walk on immediately following the installation and have a harder surface.

Talk to your installer or retailer about what options best suit your lifestyle and needs.

Solid and Engineered Wood Flooring
Solid wood flooring is exactly what the name implies: a solid piece of wood from top to bottom. The thickness of solid wood flooring can vary, but generally ranges from ¾” to 5/16”.

One of the many benefits of solid wood flooring is that it can be sanded and refinished many times. Solid wood flooring can be installed above or on grade.

Engineered wood floors are real wood floors that are manufactured using three to nine layers of different wood veneers. The sub layers can be of the same species, or of different species. The grain of each layer runs in different directions, which makes it very stable. This means that the wood will expand and contract less than solid wood flooring during fluctuations in humidity and temperature.

The top layer of engineered wood flooring consists of high-quality wood. While this type of flooring can be sanded and finished, it cannot be done as many times as solid wood flooring. Engineered wood flooring can be installed above, on or below grade.

Source: National Wood Flooring Association

What You Should Know Before Buying Carpet

Shaw CarpetYou’ve decided on buying new carpet, but you want to shop smart. You already know how carpet is made and the difference between carpet styles, but what else is there to know before you buy? Lots.

Here are some buying carpet tips to give you the upper hand on what will soon be under your feet!

Carpet Seams

Unless your room is narrower than 15 feet, you’re going to have seams. Most carpet comes in widths of 12 feet and 15 feet — and on occasion, 13 feet. The degree of visibility of your seams depends on the texture and color you choose, as well as the lighting and furniture placement in your room.

Bending

When you carpet your stairs, its backing may show on the bends. And if it’s a looped carpet, it can snag — especially at the seams or transitions. Check the Carpet Care section for information on how to properly care for looped carpet.

Nap (Pile Shading)

A carpet’s nap runs in a single direction, making pile reversal or the shading you see from a vacuum trail, completely normal for most cut pile styles. If you’re not a fan of this, window treatments and furniture placement can minimize the effect.

Quality

Let’s face it. You get what you pay for. If you want your carpet to have a great pile density and tighter twist construction (which leads to improved durability), then you’re going to want to go with a higher quality (and more expensive) product. New carpet adds value to any home, so it’s an investment worth making.

Color

Carpet covers a large part of any room, so it’s vital that you consider some basic rules when selecting its color. First off, know that once your carpet is installed, it’s going to look lighter in color than the sample you saw in the store. Don’t ask us why, that’s just the way it is — kinda like losing a sock in the dryer.

Next, recognize that color can affect the apparent size of a room. Call it a visual illusion or a trick of the light, but lighter carpet makes a room look larger and darker colors make a room look smaller and more intimate.

If you like to redecorate often or plan to move soon, go neutral. It’s much easier to imagine furniture in a room that is decorated with neutral colors.

Stains

It’s going to happen, no matter how long you hold out from sipping wine or munching on chips and salsa in your freshly carpeted room. Stain protection is an important consideration when buying carpet. Products come with various levels of protection and warranties. As the quality of a carpet increases, so does its stain protection level and warranty coverage.

Carpet Cushion

Padding or cushion is the layer of spongy material between carpet and floor. It’s the padding — not the carpet — that determines whether the carpet feels good or great under your feet.

A quality padding can help preserve a carpet’s look and can extend its life and comfort by providing tougher protection against wear and tear.

Padding is sold using quality specifications, not color specifications. The color of the sample you see in the store may not be the same color as what’s installed in your home.

Source: World Floor Covering Association

Wood Flooring Has Lowest Environmental Impact

Photo Courtesy: Bona

Photo Courtesy: Bona

Wood flooring is the most abundantly renewable flooring material available. The U.S. Forest Service states that the annual net growth for hardwoods is greater than the average annual removal rate. This means that trees are growing faster than they are being used today.

In addition, wood remains the largest carbon sink on land for CO2 emissions, as well as one of the major sources of oxygen, comprising the air we breathe. Wood floors also use less water and energy to produce and can be burned as fuel or recycled at the end of its life cycle, making it an extremely sustainable product. They not only bring beauty and value to a home, but they last hundreds of years and are easier to maintain that most other flooring options.

Discover why hardwood floors are the most sustainable flooring option for your home. One popular and very sustainable trend in flooring today is reclaiming wood from old barns, factories, warehouses, landfills or even river bottoms to use for wood flooring. This type of wood is extremely unique and possesses a certain history that makes it charming and somewhat enchanting with variations in character, color and mineral variations.

Not only is the irregularity of the wood attractive, but it is much more dimensionally stable than new hardwood flooring. The lifespan of the reclaimed wood has exposed it to air for many years and makes it less susceptible to changes in humidity that could cause swelling or shrinking.

So, reduce your impact on the environment, protect your family from poor indoor air quality and enjoy your beautiful hardwood floors!

Source: National Wood Flooring Association