Hardwood Flooring Textures

Texture is a great way to enhance the character of your home. Choosing the right hardwood floor texture and color is essential to the overall design of your space, whether you’re renovating your powder room or making the switch from carpet to hardwood in the living area. There are five main hardwood textures that can help set the tone for your desired look: smooth, distressed, wire brushed, hand scraped, and heavy scraped.

Smooth

This sleek style has very minimal ridging and highlights the grain of the wood itself. One of the most popular wood flooring options, smooth gives flooring a satiny finish that is perfect for any space but is especially fitting for modern or minimalistic designs. With the lack of heavy texture, smooth hardwood tends to highlight dents and scrapes more so than the other texture styles, therefore it is best suited for low traffic areas.

Distressed

On the opposite end of the spectrum, distressed hardwood gives the charm of a floor that is antiqued without the years of wear. This style gives any room a sense of history and depth. Perfect for more rustic or industrial styles, distressed gives any room character and warmth with the bonus of masking any potential dings or mishaps.

Wire Brushed

If you are looking for a more traditional style, wire brushed is the perfect choice. Created by scraping the surface of the wood with metal bristles, this technique brings out the natural grain and creates a harder surface that can withstand everyday living. The groves and elongated pattern create interest that stands out above hand scraped yet is more subdued than distressed.

Hand Scraped

This texture, while slightly less uniform than wire brushed, tends to camouflage any wear and tear on the floor itself. Despite a more textured surface, hand scraped does not collect more dirt or dust than a traditional smooth hardwood and cleaning is relatively easy. Hand scraped allows for an aged texture that gives a more natural look and is easily combined with several different styles.

Heavy Scraped

Heavy scraped is the definition of texture. This style varies from plank to plank and is either scraped by hand or machine, made to appear old-world. The grooves woven throughout the planks allows for increased visual interest, especially in larger spaces. Heavy scraped is perfect for the high traffic areas of the home such as the living room, blending in any marks or scratches naturally and extending the life of your floor.

Whichever floor you are researching, make sure to check out different samples for your space to see which looks best in various lighting. It is important to note that with some textures of hardwood, not all samples are going to be identical to the plank. Happy shopping!

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Bark up the right tree

So which Oak is right for you? The growing popularity of European Oak has people wondering what to buy for their home. European Oak is a beautiful floor and extremely versatile. But what are the differences between the two oaks?
American oak flooring typically has much larger grain and growth rings in its boards and a much lighter tone compared to European Oak Flooring. Due to the amount of different variations there are of American Oak, the boards also tend to have more of a color variation across them.
European Oak is typically light to dark brown in color and is a particularly hard, strong, and heavy wood. One of the major benefits of European Oak is that it doesn’t expand and contract to any great extent. It is a sought after flooring option because it is so hard wearing as well as stunningly good looking. Because the sap wood in European Oak tress is relatively thin, you can typically expect to find long lengths and wide widths.

Another significant difference is that American Oak is generally prefinished or site finished with a polyurethane finish. This would need to be sanded down and refinished if there are significant scratches. European Oak on the other hand is usually finished with a natural oil finish. An oil finish penetrates the wood fibers to harden them while not altering the natural beauty of the wood. With no visible film on the surface. They are easy to care for and are repairable. An oiled floor never needs to be sanded, only regular applications of a maintenance oil are necessary to nourish the wood and bring the luster back.

In addition, the oak can be installed as a wall covering too. It warms up a room and adds texture and interest to a plain wall. Consider it instead of wall paper, paint, or tile.

Visit EF Marburger Fine Flooring for details!

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Which wood would I buy?

With the growing popularity of hardwood flooring comes the increasing confusion regarding the right type of hardwood for your home. There are now so many choices available that selecting the perfect wood floor has become challenging. There are several different types of species, stains, finishes, thicknesses, widths, and treatments that can make any homeowner want to postpone their flooring project.

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Up For Sale

Spring is a perfect time for putting your house on the market if you are thinking about moving.

The flowers are in bloom and your lawn is coming back to life. Here is how to refresh the interior:

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Backsplash On The Back Burner

We have just what you need to get your backsplash selected and installed.

Backsplashes can be one of the most challenging remodeling projects that homeowners have to finalize. It is often the last ingredient to completing your beautiful kitchen remodel. It needs to complement the cabinets, the countertop, the flooring, the paint, and the appliances. Plus there are thousands of choices out there that can make a relatively simple task turn into a recipe for disaster. Choosing the wrong backsplash can spoil a beautiful kitchen and can turn into a kitchen nightmare.

When selecting a backsplash, bring your kitchen components with you. Cabinet and countertop samples and paint swatches will help tremendously. Also, bring a picture of your kitchen. That will help our designers get a feel for what is involved. Come prepared with some ideas of what you want your backsplash to feel like. Sleek and modern, traditional and cozy, old world rustic? If you have a small kitchen look at glass or metals that will bring a reflective quality to the room. This will make it appear larger. If it is a larger kitchen, you can add more pattern or different shapes. Also, decide if you want your backsplash to be the focal point or just fade into the background. A common mistake is for homeowners to think their countertop is too busy for a unique backsplash. While this can be true, even a busy countertop can be paired with an interesting product if they coordinate. While white subway tile is classy and timeless, perhaps try something a little more exciting. After all, the backsplash is the jewelry of the kitchen. The materials for backsplash, whether it is glass, stone, or ceramic fluctuate in price similar to jewelry. Deciding what you want to spend on your backsplash can help narrow down selections.

Do not try to install it on your own unless you are a professional tile installer. There are a lot of intricate cuts around outlets, windows, cabinets that require skill. In addition, many of the types of tile that are installed on backspashes are very difficult to cut. Certain types of glass require certain tools or the glass will chip or shatter. Let the professional handle that last step.

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Puppy Playground

Puppies are a wonderful way to get through the winter blahs. Happy, energetic, and adorable…puppies can bring sunshine to any dreary day.

However, they can also wreak havoc on your flooring.

Here are some methods to aid in keeping your floors safe and your sanity intact.
Shaw flooring recommends the following procedures to remove pet urine on carpet.

Shaw Recommendations

Following these guidelines will definitely help preserve the life of the carpet. If you think you are going to get a puppy- it will help even more to install Shaw’s Life Happens Waterproof carpet in your puppy’s play area. Most puppies hang out in the family room with their best friends to play and run around.

With Life Happens carpet you do not need to worry about puppy accidents. This carpet innovation is a revolutionary protection that covers the entire product from face fiber to backing. This means that liquids are prevented from soaking in to the pad or subfloor. The carpet also combats odors within 30 minutes or less! Check out the website.

In addition, keep your puppy’s nails trimmed. This is a great way to get him comfortable with nail trimming and will protect your flooring. Keep food and water bowls somewhere that won’t damage the floor. Puppies tend to play in their water bowl so if it is on hardwood you will want to move it to another location. Utilize door mats and rugs so when your puppy comes in from the rain and snow, he doesn’t slide all over your floor leaving scratches.

Lastly, deter the puppy from chewing at carpet or furniture. Give him a chew toy or spray a no chew deterrent recommended by your local pet store.
Have fun with your puppy and remember that he will not be a puppy forever.

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Do the water proof flooring options hold water???

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The latest news in flooring options has leaked out…Waterproof flooring, also known as WPC.

The “w” stands for wood, but the fact is the majority of WPC-type products entering the market today do not contain wood. WPC is a composite material made of thermoplastics, calcium carbonate and wood flour. Extruded as a core material, it is marketed as being waterproof, rigid and dimensionally stable. They can also be called enhanced vinyl plank, engineered luxury vinyl flooring and waterproof vinyl.

The designs are as unique and beautiful as natural wood and stone.
WPC is perfect for bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, dining rooms, and kid’s rooms.

Coretec was the original creator and there have been several to trickle in such as Armstrong Luxe. More manufacturers will be flooding the market with this game changing innovation as well. Shaw Floors, for example, brands its Floorté as enhanced vinyl plank with an “improved formulation” that gives it greater density than WPC. Mannington’s new Adura Max is an enhanced vinyl plank the company is touting as the “quietest product on the market.”

Another waterproof option that has floated in is Shaw’s LifeGuard carpet. It has a complete waterproof backing attached. Ideal for pets, kids, and everyday life. LifeGuard is a carpet protection system that covers the entire product, from face fiber to backing, according to the company.

Carpets featuring LifeGuard are treated with Shaw’s patented R2X Stain and Soil Resistance Protection, while a patented 100% thermoplastic commercial-grade backing provides a moisture barrier that is highly resistant to liquids soaking into the carpet padding and sub-floor. It has a soft and luxurious feel as well.
So it seems that the waterproof flooring options are here to stay. So get on board and check them out!

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Inside Out

 

Design your home to embrace the outdoors throughout the entire year.  Aside from having plants and flower arrangements in your home, incorporate the textured look of split face stone on a backsplash and the earthy appeal of porcelain pavers on your floor. The advantage to porcelain pavers is that it can be carried into a four seasons room and exterior deck or patio. Even in harsh winters, porcelain can be used in both interior and exterior applications to create continuity from the inside to the outside of your home.  Typically people will use similar colors to the exterior of their home. Gray and cream limestone should be coupled with a neutral  gray pallet that is complimentary. If you have a home that displays red brick or warm colored exterior stone then utilize a warmer earthier porcelain consisting of beige or orange.  Maintenance is a breeze for a kitchen floor with porcelain pavers.

Other elements that will facilitate this design concept is to have big comfy patio furniture to mimic your interior such as chaise lounges and pillows. Exterior rugs are another great accessory to add to an outdoor room or patio. Music and exterior string lighting are also exceptional tools to create ambiance. In addition, bring outdoor traits inside your home such as glass vases filled with pebbles, decorative lanterns, sun dials and wall fountains. Wide plank hardwood flooring with a rustic appearance installed in the other rooms of your home will further establish a sense of the outdoors.

The primary goal is to create an atmosphere to relax from the daily stresses of our lives.

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Summer Humidity: How to Protect Your Hardwood Floors

Though summer is a fun, warm, typically happy season, there’s one thing that can be unbearable: the summer heat. And, depending where you live in the United States, the humidity is even worse. High humidity, like heat, tends to badly affect certain things, some of them can be found in your home. Wood flooring, for example, can be damaged with too low or too high humidity.

Regardless of where a wood floor is installed, humidity control is necessary. RH levels change throughout the course of a season, month and even in a single day. Protecting a wood floor means controlling humidity so it remains within the manufacturer’s recommended range all year long.

While the specifications sound intimidating at first, homeowners and installers should keep in mind that there is nowhere in the country that humidity in the home cannot be improved. However, the exact solution for maintaining proper RH varies depending on the region.

In most cases, wood floor damage is a matter of too much moisture at one point in the year and too little at another time. The most severe damage to wood flooring occurs from moisture changes: The wood expanding when it absorbs water and then contracting when dry air pulls it out. When severe enough, it’s a chronic and abusive process for a wood floor.

However, not all homeowners face the same challenges when it comes to controlling humidity, so solutions for whole-home humidity control vary. The size and age of a house, its foundation (basement, crawlspace or slab) and even the daily routines of family members can influence how much moisture is in the air. During times of the year when too much humidity is the problem, a whole-home dehumidifier is the best solution. High-capacity dehumidifiers are able to control moisture levels in every room, protecting a wood floor regardless of what level of the house it is on.

In climates where the furnace runs during the dry months, an evaporative humidifier is usually enough to keep humidity within acceptable ranges. This appliance distributes water onto a panel, and the moisture is then carried through the house as the furnace distributes heat.

For homeowners in the arid western climates, a dehumidifier is rarely, if ever, needed, but humidification is, and there are now humidification options that can battle some of the driest air. While evaporative humidifiers are popular across much of the country, they need air flow from a furnace to distribute moisture. Since homeowners in the desert often don’t run a furnace, it’s difficult to supply buildings with the immense amount of moisture needed to stay near manufacturers’ recommended ranges. In these areas, steam humidification is a solution. With steam, moisture can be introduced to the air year-round, even when there is a need to cool the home.

So how you can prevent potential damage? Check the humidity levels in the rooms where you have your hardwood floors installed using a humidistat or a hydrometer – they’re both available in hardware stores or home centers. If the humidity levels are beyond the 35% – 55% range, then make adjustments. If the levels are too high, use a dehumidifier or turn up the air conditioning. Either will lower the humidity levels. If you need to raise the humidity level, try a humidifier to boost the overall moisture in the room.

By maintaining the humidity levels in your home, you will help to ensure your floor remains covered by our warranties and keep it in shape to perform its best.

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