1 month ago

What You Need to Know When Shopping for Hardwood Flooring

Take a look at a few hardwood flooring samples, and you may feel overwhelmed. There is a lot to consider when installing hardwood floors for the first time or upgrading from your current selection. It’s easy to get confused when the sales person starts talking. Here are a few essential things you need to know before you start shopping for a new hardwood floor.

 

Know the Difference

 

One of the first things you need to know before you start shopping is that just because it looks like wood, it doesn’t mean it is wood. There are also two different categories of wood. First, there’s hardwood flooring, which is a solid piece of wood cut into a strip or plank to be laid on the subfloor.

Engineered wood is made up of real wood along with a plywood base. This type of flooring is ideal for use in bathrooms and kitchens or anywhere moisture may accumulate.

 

Modern laminate flooring can be made to look like wood, but it’s just a piece of printed paper that is attached to fiberboard covered by a clear layer. It’s less expensive than hardwood, but it isn’t real wood.

 

Understand Wood Species

 

You’ll see all kinds of options for wood floors, including the well-known oak and maple. However, other types of wood use these terms, but they can be misleading. For instance, Brazilian Cherry isn’t really cherry wood at all. It’s jatoba wood. Australian Cypress is really pine wood. Tasmanian Oak is eucalyptus wood rather than a type of oak.

 

Another popular option in hardwood flooring is bamboo. A lot of modern homes contain this type of flooring, but it is really just a grass found in tropical regions rather than a true wood. It’s still a beautiful choice, but you should be aware that it has some significant differences from hardwood. For one thing, it may have a shorter life than oak or cherry.

 

Prefinished vs. Unfinished

 

When you shop for hardwood flooring, you will find the option of either buying prefinished wood or unfinished wood. Unfinished wood flooring is cheaper because it hasn’t been finished. You will need to have it sanded and sealed once it has been installed.

 

There are two primary benefits for choosing unfinished wood flooring. First, it is less expensive as long as you can do the staining yourself. Second, it’s often easier to match with your existing floor or with other features in the home.

 

Prefinished wood may be the best option if you don’t know how to install it yourself or do the staining. It’s also ready to be walked on as soon as it’s installed. This type of flooring often has multiple coats of stain for long-lasting design.

 

If you’re ready to buy hardwood flooring for your home, make sure you understand the differences in products. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and even find out if you can take a sample home and see how it looks in your home before you commit to a purchase.

 

Canada's premier hardwood flooring store. Proudly selling Hardwood Flooring in Toronto since 1977. We have hardwood, laminates, engineered, and exotic flooring; we also provide hardwood flooring installation.

1 month ago

The Benefits of Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring is a popular option for many homeowners today. If you aren’t convinced it’s right for you, consider all of the benefits you’ll enjoy with this flooring choice. In spite of the cost of purchase and installation, you’ll discover the positives far outweigh any potential negatives.

 

Long-lasting Durability

 

A hardwood floor can last as long as your home. Once you install it, you may never have to worry about replacing it again. Compare that to carpet that may last 10 or 15 years, but often looks worn after just a few. Tile can get damaged and need to be replaced, but damages on a hardwood floor can often be repaired. In fact, you’ll see houses over 100 years old with the original floor still intact.

 

Changing with the Trends

 

Home design trends come and go, and what once was popular is soon outdated. However, hardwood floors can evolve with the trend. Buy a light floor because it’s in style. When the trend turns toward darker stains, just refinish your floor with a darker option. When it turns back to a lighter color, all you have to do is sand it down and stain it with something trendy.

 

A Healthier Choice

 

Hardwood floors don’t trap allergens like carpet. They aren’t toxic to your kids and pets either. All you have to do is clean them as directed and your floors will be allergen-free.

 

A Greener Option

 

This type of flooring is free of carbon and has no emissions. Hardwood is the green option, especially if you buy from companies that focus on sustainability. In fact, a report from 2008 showed that the amount of American timberland has doubled in the last 50 years.

 

Easy Maintenance

 

It doesn’t take a lot of work to care for hardwood floors. Just a damp mop or vacuum for everyday cleaning and your floors will look beautiful. You may want to refinish them every so often, especially if you have high-gloss floors. If your floors have that distressed look, they won’t even show dents and scratches.

 

Numerous Options

 

There are so many types of wood and colors to choose from that you’re sure to find the perfect one for you. Easily match the wood to something you already have in your home or a design theme you want. You can either start with the floor or let it be your last choice to redesign a room.

 

DIY Installation

 

Depending on the type of flooring your choose and your level of DIY skills, you may be able to cut costs by installing the floor on your own. If not, you probably know someone who can help you with the work.

With so many reasons to choose hardwood flooring over other floor options, there’s no reason to say no. Just stop by a flooring store and pick up a few samples that you like to begin your project. Don’t hesitate to ask questions to ensure you get a floor that you will enjoy for years to come.

 

Canada's premier hardwood flooring store. Proudly selling Hardwood Flooring in Toronto since 1977. We have hardwood, laminates, engineered, and exotic flooring; we also provide hardwood flooring installation.

 

2 months ago

How to Make Your Hardwood Floor the Focal Point of a Room

Most of the time, a floor is the forgotten part of a house. You walk on it, but seldom think about what it looks like. Only when it’s worn and beginning to show age do you focus on your floors. However, with a beautiful hardwood floor, you may want to make it the center of attention.

 

Choose the Right Finish

 

One of the most important decisions you will make if you install a new hardwood floor is whether you want dark, light or in between for the finish. A dark floor looks elegant and modern, but it can make a small room feel cramped. A lighter wood is more traditional, and it can make a room feel more spacious.

 

You’ll also want to consider how the floor relates to your wood trim around the windows and door or any crown molding in the room. Think about what other wood is in the space, such as with furniture. You want to ensure it either complements or contrasts what is already in place.

 

Paint the Floor

 

If you are looking for a thoroughly modern look to a room, painting the floor is one way to achieve it. You can go bold with primary colors or add a lighter touch with pastels. Painted floors draw attention. Just make sure you don’t have other aspects of the room competing with the bold floor.

For instance, you may want the rest of the room to be a neutral shade with just a few pops of color that go along with the floor design. You don’t want to paint bold floors and walls, too.

 

A Floor with a Design

 

Instead of just painting the floor a solid color, you can create a design. Select something simple like a checkboard pattern or stripes. Another option is to paint a design just in the middle of the room which looks like an area rug. You can also go more elaborate with intricate shapes or pictures.

 

You can find stencils that make it easy to create elegant or fun images even if you don’t consider yourself artistic. Of course, the work doesn’t have to be perfect to create something that will impress guests. The key is to create a floor that is as unique as you are.

 

Ideally, you can start with your floor and design the rest of the room around it. However, if this is not an option, you can look at what you already have in place and find a look for your floor that will complement it. Just remember that if you don’t like the look of your hardwood floor, you can always sand it down and start over.

 

Don’t let your floor be a forgotten part of your home. Instead, make it stand out as a focal point. Your floor can be a highlight of the room, ensuring that everyone who comes in will notice it and complement you on your impeccable taste.

 

Canada's premier hardwood flooring store. Proudly selling Hardwood Flooring in Toronto since 1977. We have hardwood, laminates, engineered, and exotic flooring; we also provide hardwood flooring installation.

2 months ago

Discussing Hardwood vs. Engineered Wood for Floors

An ongoing debate is whether you should use hardwood or engineered wood for your floors. Some experts say there is nothing like real hardwood to add value and style to a home. Others say that with modern engineered wood, no one will be able to tell the difference. Here is how the two types of wood flooring stack up.

 

Hardwood Flooring

 

Solid hardwood is made up of just one piece of wood. It can expand or contract with the changes in humidity levels. You will often see baseboards and molding around the edges to compensate for the movement in the floor.

 

When installing hardwood, you’ll want to make sure you use a plywood subfloor or install it over an existing hardwood floor. It is also best to keep it above grade, which means not in a basement. Putting solid hardwood in a basement increases the likelihood of damage from moisture.

 

Engineered Wood Flooring

 

Engineered wood is real wood. It’s just several layers of wood that are constructed together from wood fibers and bonded to hold up to climate changes. This type of wood does not contract or expand because it doesn’t respond to changes in humidity.

 

Engineered wood can be installed anywhere in the house. So, if you like the idea of a wood floor in the kitchen or bathroom, engineered wood is the best option. It works well in basements and elsewhere throughout the house. It can also be installed directly over concrete.

 

Installation

 

Both types of flooring are best left to the experts for installation. However, if you choose the floating installation that is found with engineered wood floors, you may be able to handle the project yourself. Just remember that you want the floor to look good and last a long time, so it is often worth the extra cost to have the pros install.

 

Maintenance

 

Both types of flooring can be refinished. However, solid hardwood can be sanded down and refinished more times because it is thicker. This type of wood is designed to last a lifetime and longer. You’ll find hardwood floors in homes that are well over a century old. No other flooring will last that long.

Both types of flooring will require upkeep to ensure they keep looking good. You’ll have to be aware of heavy traffic areas and the potential for scratches and dents.

 

Cost

 

Solid hardwood floors are also often the most expensive flooring option for initial cost. However, when you factor in the number of years you can have this floor in your home, the costs go down. Engineered wood can also be long-lasting, but you may not be able to refinish it as often.

 

Both types of flooring can add value to your home, with solid hardwood adding the most value in many cases. In the end, it may come down to where you want to install the wood floor and which option your prefer. Always discuss your situation with a hardwood flooring expert to get results that you will be happy with.

 

Canada's premier hardwood flooring store. Proudly selling Hardwood Flooring in Toronto since 1977. We have hardwood, laminates, engineered, and exotic flooring; we also provide hardwood flooring installation.

3 months ago

What You Need to Know about Refinishing a Hardwood Floor

One of the best things about hardwood floors is they are designed to last a lifetime. Even when they are in serious disrepair, they can be made to look new again with a little refinishing work. If you’ve never done this kind of task before, here are some things you need to know.

 

Sanders

 

First, you’ll need to sand off the old stain and finish. Get a walk-behind floor sander, because it will be easier on your back and take less time than a hand sander. You don’t need to spend a lot of money for one because you can usually rent them at any equipment rental store.

 

You’ll also need a handheld sander, often called a power edge sander. This tool will reach in corners and along walls. Choose a sander that comes with a bag to hold the dust so that you have less cleanup and better air quality while you work. Of course, it is still important to wear safety goggles and a mask while you work.

 

Sandpaper

 

There are three basic grades of sandpaper. Coarse is what you use to take off the initial finish and to remove any imperfections in the wood. Medium is ideal for a second application, if necessary. Fine sandpaper is used for finishing. It smooths the wood so there are no splinters or rough areas.

If you have deep dents or damage to the wood, you can fill it with wood putty and allow it to dry. Then, use the fine sandpaper to sand it down smooth to match the rest of the floor.

 

Finish

 

Once you’ve finished sanding, you’ll need to clean the hardwood floor to remove all dust. The next step is applying the stain and finish. You can select the color stain that fits the rest of the room. You may prefer to leave the floor natural and just apply a clear finish. You have the option of polyurethane or varnish as well as a penetrating sealer. Each one comes with some benefits as well as disadvantages.

Polyurethane – this comes in either water- or oil-based and can darken the wood. It protects the wood in high-traffic areas as well as those where moisture may be an issue. The downside is it is more difficult to repair when scratched.

 

Varnish – this option can be glossy or matte, and it’s extremely durable. It is easy to repair, but it darkens with age.

 

Penetrating sealer – this product gives you a more natural finish and solid protection, but it’s less durable. It is easy to repair though.

 

Once you apply a coat, let it dry and apply at least one more coat. You’ll need to wait for at least 24 hours before you start moving furniture in or allowing heavy traffic.

 

Refinishing a hardwood floor can be a DIY project with the right equipment. Just make sure you allow enough time for the entire process. The final result will be worth the extra work involved.

 

Canada's premier hardwood flooring store. Proudly selling Hardwood Flooring in Toronto since 1977. We have hardwood, laminates, engineered, and exotic flooring; we also provide hardwood flooring installation.

 

3 months ago

What to Do When You Uncover Hardwood Floors

You’ve bought an old house, which has dingy carpet and broken tile on the floor. As you begin renovations, you’re pleased to discover that underneath is a hardwood floor. Now, all you have to do is pull up the old flooring and refinish the wood to have a brand new floor.

 

Remove the Old Floor

 

First, you will need to remove whatever is on top of the wood. Pulling up the carpet shouldn’t be too hard, but you may have to take up the padding as well. Tile may be more difficult, but you can break it

up. Just be careful that you don’t damage the wood.

 

One issue you may have to deal with is multiple layers. In a lot of these old homes, you’ll find three or four layers or even more on the floor before you get to the hardwood flooring. When this is the case, you may have to take up each one individually.

 

Clean up the Hardwood Floor

 

After you have removed all of the old flooring, you’ll need to clean up the hardwood. There may be bits of carpet or padding and glue attached to the wood that will need to be removed. Get a sander and lightly sand the floor to remove all imperfections.

 

If the wood has damage, such as dents, scratches or other problems, you may need to sand even more to ensure it’s smooth. You’ll want to finish with a high-grade sandpaper to make sure there are no

splinters in the wood.

 

Stain the Floor

 

Your next step is to stain the hardwood floor. If you want to keep it natural, you’ll probably still want to put a clear top coat on it to prevent water and spills from damaging the floor. You may need to use several coats of stain to get the color you want. It’s better to put multiple thin coats on the floor than one heavy coat.

 

You’ll also need to allow the stain to dry between coats, so be prepared for this project to take several hours. If you have never stained a floor before, make sure you schedule enough time when no one will need to walk on it.

 

One thing that is important to remember is that you can always lightly sand the floor again if you don’t like the color you choose. Most older floors were thick and made to last a lifetime. They can handle multiple sandings with no damage to the actual floor.

 

One of the most exciting finds for many homeowners is when they discover wood under the carpet or tile of their floors. Removing the flooring to uncover a hardwood floor can mean increased value for the property, especially after you have refinished it.

 

Just remember that true hardwood floors are usually easy to work with and hard to mess up. However, if you feel overwhelmed by the process, you can hire a professional to do the job for you.

 

Canada's premier hardwood flooring store. Proudly selling Hardwood Flooring in Toronto since 1977. We have hardwood, laminates, engineered, and exotic flooring; we also provide hardwood flooring installation.

4 months ago

The Good and Bad about Finished and Unfinished Hardwood Flooring

When it comes to hardwood flooring, you have two main options: finished and unfinished. Within these two categories, you have many other choices to make, but it all starts with whether you want a floor that is finished or unfinished. Both sides have their advantages, which can make it difficult to choose.

 

Why Choose Finished Hardwood Flooring

 

Buying a floor that is already prefinished will help you save money on your budget. Because the work was done at a facility instead of in your home, the cost is much less. You also enjoy the convenience of simply installing the floor and being ready to walk on it.

 

Another advantage is that there is not as much of a mess to clean up. No fumes from the stain means it is safer for your kids and pets.

 

A finished floor is ideal for any room, but especially for areas where there is a lot of traffic. It has a more durable finish, which can stand up to heavy use.

 

Why Choose Unfinished Hardwood Flooring

 

Unfinished floors also have something to offer. With unfinished wood, you have a better chance of matching it with other areas in your home that have wood floors. If you want to install wood floors through the entire home, unfinished wood helps to ensure a continuous look. Otherwise, you might end up with different shades that would look odd next to each other.

 

Not all finished wood materials come in every color. When you finish it yourself, you can choose the stain you want even if it isn’t available in a finished product.

Homes that are historical or have a unique architectural look may be hard to fit with a wood true to the original time. Instead of worrying about trying to find the perfect match, you can buy unfinished floors and locate the right stain.

 

DIY Floors

 

You’ll also want to consider who will be doing the installation. If you hire the work done by professionals, you’ll have to factor in the cost and time they must spend in your home.

On the other hand, you must figure in all the work involved if you plan to do the installation yourself.

While staining the floor isn’t too difficult, it will take time. You’ll have to fit it around your schedule and make sure everyone stays off the floor until it is finished.

 

Choosing the right floor for your home is a complex decision that starts with whether you will buy finished or unfinished floors. As you can see, there are a lot of factors to consider. If you aren’t sure which direction to go, talk to a hardwood flooring expert. They will ask the right questions and help you make the decision that is right for your budget, needs and lifestyle. And just remember, that this is the first of many questions you must answer when selecting the right floor for your home that will make you happy for years to come.

 

Canada's premier hardwood flooring store. Proudly selling Hardwood Flooring in Toronto since 1977. We have hardwood, laminates, engineered, and exotic flooring; we also provide hardwood flooring installation.