Great Hardwood Floor Ideas

Here are our ideas about hardwood floors. First of all don’t underestimate the power of a hardwood floor in your house to improve it. Like a fine piece of furniture, wood flooring increases in value and becomes more beautiful with time. In a national survey, 90 percent of real estate agents said that houses with wood flooring sell faster and for more money.

Unlike many floor coverings, wood floors can last the lifetime of the building in which they are installed. Home owners who want them to last that long, however, should note the number one enemy of a hardwood floor: moisture. Wood floors naturally expand when moisture is present and shrink when it is not. Whether the reactions are a problem or not depends on the severity of the situation. So, do make sure that you maintain your house well and be sure to avoid damp occurring in the area of you very special wood floor.

If you have recently moved into an old house with hardwood floors throughout you may find that the only problem is that they are old and that they really should be refinished. But, if you cannot immediately find the time and/or money to do that there are water-based clear finishes that will make it glossy again. If you are going to sand and re-finish later, then this might be something to consider. One coat will ‘get you by’ for now.

If with your hard wood floor you want the perfect floor to complement your original style and unique taste. Whether you’re searching for something in particular or waiting to be stunned by he look of you house. We suggest that many people do like Bruce Hardwood floors. They offer premium hardwood flooring designed to keep up with your family’s lifestyle. Bruce says that it offers the largest selection of colors and styles in wood flooring, and that these are virtually care-free finishes and come with their assurance of quality.

Hardwood floors are readily available from other manufacturers as well that are incredibly beautiful, highly durable and extremely affordable. And as an added bonus, they’re natural and safe for the environment.

Hardwood Floors is also the name of an official magazine of the NWFA. It is distributed free of charge to NWFA members and other qualified wood flooring professionals upon request. We understand that it is the only magazine serving the hardwood flooring industry exclusively. It is published seven times a year, and is sent to more than 24,000 hardwood flooring professionals throughout the world, including contractors, dealers, distributors, manufacturers, builders, architects and other industry professionals.

It includes an annual Resource Book which they say is the ultimate guide to companies and products in the wood flooring industry. A searchable version of the Resource Book is available online.

Embarking on the search for just the right flooring for your home can become daunting. But if you want hardwood flooring ideas just think of plush, luxurious carpets in thousands of hues and patterns. Consider the hand crafted beauty of exotic and domestic hard woods in hand-scraped, distressed and smooth surfaces. There’s also the diverse styles and durability of laminate flooring.

Also, do not forget the richness of ceramic tiles. Put these choices together from so many choices available at good stores and for every room in your home you can express your unique ideas express and your personal style against the ageless backdrop of a beautiful wood floor.

The 4 Guarantees of Wood Flooring

Expectations are extremely important with large purchase items like flooring. This is especially true with hardwood floors. There is no question that a new hardwood floor will add a dimension of beauty and warmth to your home. Many consumers don’t know that wood flooring has some unique characteristics that make it not the perfect choice for everyone. This article is by no means meant to discourage you from buying a hardwood floor, but you do need to take into consideration these four little known facts about hardwood floors before making a purchase:

1) Wood Floors are Guaranteed to Scratch

There are various finishes that manufacturers put on wood flooring to make them more scratch resistant. The most popular finish these days is Aluminum Oxide. Wood flooring also typically comes with a wear warranty from 5 to 50 years in length. Wear warranties, however, usually only guarantee that a wood’s veneer won’t wear completely through. There are no anti-scratch warranties in the wood flooring business. All wood floors, no matter the finish treatment or quality of the wood, will be susceptible to surface scratching. With that being said, make sure you prepare your home for a wood floor before the installation. It’s a good idea to use furniture protectors, floor mats, and area rugs to guard your wood floors from scratches. Also, you might want to consider installing tile in your entry ways, since it’s the area where the heaviest traffic usually occurs. If there are large pets or children in the house, you may want to consider looking at a laminate floor, which is much more resistant to scratches.

2) Wood Floors are Guaranteed to Indent

Wood floors are by no means a soft product, but they may be susceptible to denting from heavy use or drops. No wood flooring is dent-proof, but different species of wood do have different degrees of hardness. The Janka Test is used to measure the hardness of a species of wood. Using this test, wood species are given a score based upon the force required to embed a steel ball into the wood. It is said that the higher the score, the better the species of wood is at withstanding denting and wear. Northern Red Oak, the most common species of wood used in flooring, is the standard to which all other species are measured against. It has a score of 1290. There are species of wood that score over 3000 on this test, and while they may wear better with everyday use, they still will probably dent if something heavy like a hammer or can of food is dropped on the wood. If you are really concerned with your floors ability to withstand indentations, you do have other options. There are “wood-look” high-pressure laminate and porcelain products that are much more resistant to pressure and wear. In addition, a distressed or hand scraped wood floor will do a better job at hiding dents and other wear on your floor.

3) Wood Floors are Guaranteed to Age

Aging with most floor coverings typically relates to how a floor loses its luster over time due to wear and tear on the floor. If I were to say, “Your carpet has aged”, you would think it was time to get new carpet. However, one of most unique attributes of wood flooring is its ability to actually look better with age. Wood floors already come with a lot of natural character and beauty. With proper maintenance, normal use and traffic should just increase the beautiful character of your wood floor. A real wood floor can also be refinished to restore its original luster and shine. This is something that can’t be done on wood-look products like laminate, vinyl and porcelain.

These are all nice attributes, but what I really want to touch on in this section is the photo-sensitivity of wood flooring. Wood tends to change color over time when exposed to sunlight. In fact, some wood floors can take up to a year and a half to mature into full color. Other floor coverings, on the other hand, might be vulnerable to fading or discoloring when exposed to prolonged sunlight. So while sunlight makes other floor coverings look older overtime, it beautifies wood floors, allowing them to reach their true color. This is an important attribute for consumers to know, because a freshly-laid wood floor might not always look like the sample you saw in the showroom, which has been allowed to reach its full color.

Consumers also must be conscientious about moving their area rugs and furniture periodically to avoid discolorations. Exotic hardwoods and hardwoods with a natural finish on them tend to be the most photosensitive. Most hardwoods darken and become bolder over time, but some woods like Santos Mahogany actually get lighter from sunlight. If you are really concerned about sunlight’s affect on your floor, purchase a hardwood that has been colored with a darker stain or purchase a species like Northern Red Oak which is a less photosensitive species.

4) Wood Floors are Guaranteed to be Affected by Moisture

Wood floors are extremely sensitive to moisture. That includes changes in surface moisture, subfloor moisture, and humidity. Damages from moisture related problems can result in wood planks cracking, cupping, or buckling. It is important to hire an expert installation team that is familiar with wood and its reaction to moisture. Proper maintenance by the consumer is equally important. Standing water should be wiped up immediately, and the wood floor should be kept in a climate-controlled environment.

One way to combat the effects of moisture on your floor is to choose an engineered wood floor. Engineered wood flooring is a much better choice over a solid, because its construction adds dimensional stability to the planks. The layers of plywood under the veneer are laid cross-ways, reducing the wood’s ability to expand and contract along the grains when there is a change in moisture levels.

Professional Decorative Hardwood Floor Treatments and Wood Finish Ideas for Your Hardwood Floor

The majority of people who want to renovate their old hardwood floors do it because of the appreciation qualities of raw wood materials from the warmth of the hardwood floors tone and the pattern of the wood floors grain. By using different wood finishing treatments you can create just about any look and feel for your hardwood floors. If you appreciate the wood floor and would like to save those qualities doing the least as possible with your hardwood floor treatment, then researching will help. If you would like a seamless appearance, the gaps in the wood floor can be filled with wood glue or putty with sawdust. This will allow you to blend the seams and stay with the same basic color tone and still remain flexible for natural floor movement.

The next step would be to simply use wood sealant. This will provide a water resistant coat and give protection for your hardwood floor, which will allow floor maintenance to be easier. Wood finishing treatments need to be done before sealing the floor. Any decorated or painted wood floors usually require up to five coats of a protective wood varnish. With this procedure you will require no use of the area for a considerable time. And lastly, always read manufacturers recommendations, as they will vary from each other.

Hardwood floor bleaching and tinting

One of the easiest ways that you can change the look of your hardwood floor would be bleaching or tinting to darken or to lighten your basic wood floor tone. By lightening the woods color you could transform an old hardwood floor to a beautiful elegant pristine finish which will blend into contemporary furnishings a lot easier. A lot of old hardwood floors were made out of pine which will give you a warm honey color when you seal it. However in some circumstances the sealed Pinewood will give the glaring and brash look which is an effect that certain types of wood sealants will exaggerate, especially if the sealant contains polyurethane which will in time start to yellow. Bleaching hardwood knocks back the warmth of the pine to the point it begins to resemble a hardwood floor with a more classy appearance. Bleaching hardwood is very extreme as it removes most of the color out of the wood floor. Another alternative to bleaching is using a water-based pigmented varnish. This product will give you the similar effect, but is more expensive than the bleaching.

Lightening alternative for a hardwood floor

Hardwood flooring may be significantly lightened using a process called pickling. The process of this effect is made by rubbing white paint in the grain of the hardwood. You can use any white paint manufacturer, pickling wax or even gessol may achieve this appearance. For pine, diluting the white paint would be the best. If the floor is oak hardwood, the pickling effect is a process of first darkening your wood using a stain, ammonia or pigment. This technique will give you the weathered appearance with the pickling sinking into the wood grain. In order to get a pale pickled oak floor appearance you may bleach a hardwood first. In some wood floor Decor situations you may want to have the natural tone of the hardwood deepened. You have a choice of several tinted varnishes, stains, wood dyes on the market with wood floor color choices which range from mahogany to oak that will give your hardwood floor the seasoned appearance. You can also use these products in some spot applications where you have some new hardwood floor planks that are replacing some old wood floor pieces. Normally not using this type of wood floor treatment will leave the new wood planks to stand out more than the rest of the hardwood. If you need to distress new wood floorboards, you can also apply a darker stain, then slightly bleach and stain again.