Hardwood Bargains Flooring Blog

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22Mar
22Mar

When it comes to choosing what material they want to use for their floors, many homeowners go with wood. This comes as no surprise, since wood boasts a beautiful and timeless aesthetic that complements pretty much any type of interior design. It’s also quite durable and easy to maintain. However, there are some things that you’ll want to do in order to ensure that the wood keeps its gorgeous appearance over time. The following are a few tips to help you maintain your wood floor and prevent possible damage:

  • Choose the proper finish – There are a lot of finishes available for your wood flooring, including softwood finishes, such as sealers and stains, and hardwood finishes, which include polyurethane wood finish and wax. The proper finish will help your wood floor keep its color and sheen.

  • Sweep regularly – Don’t let dust and dirt collect on your wood floors. The buildup of dust and dirt can end up scratching the surface of the wood.

  • Don’t use water to clean – Using water to clean wood floors is a mistake many people make. Water can cause damage to wood over the long term, resulting in potential warping of boards. Always clean up water spills immediately.

  • Avoid household cleaning products – Don’t use bleach or ammonia to clean your wood floors, as these products will damage the finish. Only usecleaning products that are specifically designed for wood.

  • Use entry mats – To prevent damage near your entrance and exits, place entry mats on the floor.

  • Use area rugs – You may want to put down an area rug or two in the places that experience the heaviest foot traffic around your home, such as parts of the living room and the hallways.

  • Use felt pads – Furniture tends to shift as it’s used. To avoid your furniture scratching up your wood when this happens, place felt pads underneath the feet of tables and chairs.

  • Use blinds or curtains – Exposure to sunlight over a long period of time will bleach parts of your wood floors, causing unattractive, discolored splotches.

  • Take off your shoes – If possible, have all residents and guests remove their shoes before walking on your wood floors.

Keep these tips in mind to ensure your wood floors remain as beautiful as ever.

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19Jan
19Jan

Homes built in a predominately colder climate must make some sacrifices or alterations to ensure their functionality isn't compromised. For instance every single air gap should be filled in, double paned windows are recommended, and even backup heating plans should be explored. One thing that many homeowners might not be aware of is that a home's flooring is affected by extreme cold temperatures as well. If you live in or plan on moving to a colder climate region be prepared to examine these flooring choices.

Carpet

Carpet is a nice choice for winter flooring as it has minimal expansion and contraction and serves as a nice temperature barrier. The main issue with installing hardwood flooring in a cold climate home is that when temperatures drop the wood contracts which can leave large gaps around the edges of walls. Putting the wood too close to the wall when installing to account for the contraction will cause the wood to buckle in the warm weather as it expands. Carpet on the other hand is tacked into place and stretched when installing. The only real downfall to carpet is the fact that it is more susceptible to damage from snow and mud tracked in.

 

Vinyl plank flooring in a home

Vinyl Plank Flooring

A material that provides all the benefits of carpet but with increased durability is vinyl plank flooring. It is perhaps the best choice for cold climates because it is durable, waterproof, stylish, and has insulating properties. Vinyl plank flooring is engineered to look like wood but doesn't expand and contract as oak or maple would. The plank design is installed in a floating manner so it can move with temperature changes unlike a vinyl sheet that will become brittle and crack in extreme cold. The foam pad underneath the vinyl plank serves as extra insulation and the surface won't be damaged by snow and mud.

 

 

Rubber

Rubber flooring like that found in gyms is an outside the box approach to colder climate flooring. Rubber is most likely used in a cold garage as a barrier against the concrete slab but can also provide the same benefits in a basement. Rubber doesn't grow or shrink noticeably with the temperature changes and for the most part is weather proof.

Slate / Granite Tiles

Tiles such as ceramic or porcelain aren't very good conductors of heat and are very fragile in extreme cold so wouldn't be a very good option in a cabin that isn't heated year round. Granite and stone on the other hand are often used in outdoor flooring and are more durable when used in the home, especially with an underfloor heater installed underneath. Slate and granite tiles can be manufactured to be frost-free and can have an absorption rate of 0-5% but unfortunately are very costly to install. Homeowners have enough to worry about when the temperatures start to submarine but the preservation of the house's flooring doesn't necessarily have to be one of them.

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Posted in: Flooring FAQ

07Jan
07Jan

For many people there's nothing more relaxing after a stressful day than a calming glass (or three) of red wine. If Calgon can't take you away Merlot sure can. Unfortunately Cabernet Sauvignon on a carpet isn't a very good match but you might also be surprised to learn that red wine spilled on a hardwood floor can also cause damage. Something so enjoyable and calming as a glass of wine doesn't need to induce stress if spilled on a hardwood floor as long as you follow these tips in a timely manner.

 

red wine spill on a hardwood floor 

Photo Credit: Jason Samson

 

Blot Up the Wine

When the wine is spilled the damage is done but you now want to do two things – soak up the wine and prevent further damage. The obvious first step is to clean up the wine so it doesn't stain any further but this step requires caution. You'll want to soak up the wine with a wet paper towel but don't wipe it or rub it as this can extend the stain and send it deeper into the wood.

 

Try and Clean the Area

Once the wine has been soaked up the next step is to try and remove it from the wood. The most available household object that most people will have handy is bleach but there are a few different components that can be tried:

Bleach – diluted bleach will soak the red wine from the wood but may make it lighter while doing so. When pouring the bleach on the wood confine it mostly to the stained area and keep a watchful eye that it doesn't fade the wood too much before wiping it up in 45 minutes to an hour. Bleach is a slightly more risky option and should be a last resort if other cleaning techniques won't budge the stain.

Oil Soap – a trusted oil soap like Murphy's can be mixed with water and scrubbed on the floor surface to hopefully lift the red wine stain.

Baking Soda Paste – baking soda mixed with mineral oil forms a thick paste that can sometimes lift a stain from a hardwood floor. Coat the paste on the stain for about 40 minutes and remove it with a dry cloth.

You can also get more cleaning tips from our blog here. It's important to use proper care when applying these cleaning solutions and if possible spread them to as few adjacent wood floor boards as possible in case they need to be removed.

 

red wine stain on a hardwood floor
Photo Credit: Phillip Taylor

 

Sanding and Re-staining

It's possible that none of the cleaning methods will remove the stain so the next approach is up to the homeowner. A red wine stain might not be as noticeable with a darker material like on acacia wood flooring and in other instances a well placed rug or moving a table can cover the mark. Other times it might be necessary to sand off the stain and the surrounding area and trying to bleed the color of the boards together.

 

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Posted in: Flooring FAQ

05Jan
05Jan

For the most part installing hardwood flooring is pretty simple. Whether you're laying down tongue and groove planks that lock into each other or nailing down hardwood boards to the floor, as long as the first row is laid evenly the job is really self-explanatory. One thing that even experienced floor layers struggle at times with though is which direction to lay the planks because there are options and suggestions that vary from house to house. 

 

Recommended: Perpendicular to Floor Joists

One of the big problems seen with hardwood floors, especially longer planks, is the fact that they have a tendency to dip and bow when walked across. This is mostly due to the fact of being installed parallel with the floor joists instead of perpendicular. When the planks are laid perpendicularly they have an extra support below every 16” on center which leaves very little chance of bowing or dipping. We've seen a number of people try and buck this trend because they think the sub-floor underneath offers enough support but the results are usually pretty tacky. Nothing destroys the allure of a hardwood like dipping and bowing. If your basement is is unfinished you'll be able to look up and see which direction the floor joists are going otherwise try and use a stud finder or peel up a portion of the subfloor.

 

Room with hardwood flooring

 

Where Does Your Main Entrance Face?

The most important thing you want when laying hardwood planks is the extra support of laying them perpendicular to the floor joists. If you have spacers as extra support in the floor joists the second desired way of laying the planks is based on the main entrance of the home. When walking in the door, planks that run perpendicularly do a better job of creating busy space. Also boards that are laid parallel to the line of sight tend to drift the eyes away from the room instead of focusing upon it.  If your floor joists aren't a factor, go with the main entrance plan of attack. 

 

In Bedrooms and Separate Rooms    

In smaller rooms or ones separated by doors and transitioned flooring you want to make rooms seem bigger. The way you can accomplish this is by running the hardwood in the same direction of the longest wall. This allows you to do longer installation runs and is optically satisfying.

 

With Long and Wide Hallways

 If possible, take any hallways into account when deciphering the orientation of the floor direction. Planks that install with the length of the hallway are much easier to install and prevent the choppy look of many small boards in a row perpendicularly.

 

For Unconventional Rooms or Desired Unique Styling

 Room with diagonal flooring slats

Photo Credit: Allen Harris 


It definitely requires a lot of additional cutting but laying floors diagonally is a way you can add unique styling to a room. With a 45° orientation the boards will still hit floor joists while also creating a more cozy look to a small or boxy room.

 

If possible, always go with the structurally sound way to install the floor as sagging is a much harder fix than breaking up sight lines with a rug.

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02Jan
02Jan

There are a number of factors that add to the allure of installing a hardwood floor in your home. For one they are perhaps the most stylish and luxurious addition to any room, adding versatility to a kitchen, dining room, living room, or bedroom. Hardwood floors are also very neutral meaning they fit in with almost any design décor. Wood floors are easy to maintain and finally are very durable. In regards to durability though, even though the hardwoods will stand up to a number of nicks and scratches, there are times when they do become dented from supporting a heavy bookcase or just everyday damage. Luckily you can restore the return on your investment with these easy ways to repair dents in hardwood floors.

 

What is a Dent?

 It's important to differentiate between a dent and a scratch when finding your repair solution. A dent is actually an impression into the wood floor that is causing material to be removed usually caused by something heavy like a piano setting on it for a long period of time. A scratch is just an imperfection on the surface of the floor that can usually be removed with a solid buffing or polishing.

 

Dented Flooring
Photo Credit: Huffington Post

 

Filling a Gouge with Wood Putty

 Wood putty is a handy material that can be used to fill in gouges in a hardwood floor. The putty should be available from any local hardware store but in a variety of colors for different wood types and stains. Ideally you'll have a scrap piece of flooring that you could bring with you but the final looks will depend on how closely you can match to the existing color.

 Using the wood putty is rather simple once you've found the correct color. Simply use your finger to apply it and pack it into the dent. After this some people choose to let the putty set overnight to pack in or just wipe the excess away with a damp rag. Depending on the size of the indentation the putty can be left as is or sanded, stained over, and covered with protection such as polyurethane.

 

Removing a Dent With Steam

 In most cases the wood putty will be noticeable if you're looking for it. You can choose to restore the wood to its original glory by pulling the dent out with steam. This is very much a hit or miss process that involves first sanding the surrounding area down to remove the polyurethane coating. Next use clean white cotton pieces about the size of the dent and place them in the gouge. Take an iron on the highest setting and place it on the cotton for about 5 minutes. Check and see if the dent is gone or has improved and then repeat the process until it disappears. What happens when you apply water and then steam is that the fibers of the wood first soak up moisture and then expand to their original shape with the heat. The reason you have to keep continuing the process is because the wood needs to soak up more moisture to have 'fuel' to expand. After the dent is returned to flush it's then best to let the floor dry for awhile before sanding with a fine grit and then applying a protective coat of wax.

 Hopefully the processes will help remove the dent without having to remove any of the floor boards.

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Posted in: Flooring FAQ

29Aug
29Aug

Sometimes, some of the most favorited looks are the classic, traditional looks that have been around for years. Below are some of our favorite traditional design ideas for wood flooring:

Photo Courtesy of Less Than Perfect Life Of Bliss

Photo Courtesy of The Remodelista

Photo Courtesy of Bellacor

Photo Courtesy of Herlong Architects

 

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27Aug
27Aug

Placing mirrors in strategic places is a common method for making a small space look bigger. But there's only so much mirrors can do, so what other illusory design tricks can you try?

Flooring Plays A Role

Turns out your choice of flooring affects a room's perceived size, so if you want to make a space seem bigger, consider installing hardwood flooring composed of wide planks instead of strips. Boards fewer than three inches wide create a lot of seams, making the room look busy and confined, whereas wider boards result in a smooth and open surface.

It's All In The Layout

If you want to elongate the room, locate the longest wall and lay out the boards parallel to it. This method will make a space seem much longer than it actually is. However, if the room is horizontally cramped, avoid placing the boards lengthwise. If you want something different, you can also choose to go diagonal. This pattern draws the eye for from one far corner to another, leaving the impression that the room is wide.

Dark Is Beautiful

What about color? You may think that dark hardwood constricts a space, but it actually has the opposite effect. The secret lies in the color of the walls. Dark hardwood like acacia or walnut opens up a room when the walls, molding, and trim are painted in a light, cool color. This combination works because cool colors recede while warm colors advance. Visually, the room expands as the walls seem to move further to the sides and the floor takes center stage.

Proper Maintenance Goes a Long Way

Lastly, always keep your hardwood floor shiny and clean. Reflective surfaces create the perception of a bigger space (which is precisely the reason why mirrors are so popular as home decor to begin with), and hardwood floors are no exception.

When expanding a room isn't practical, you can still rely on interior design to make the space seem bigger. Ultimately, size is in the eye of the beholder.

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25Aug
25Aug

Although your guest room isn't used everyday, it should be an inviting space where visitors to your home feel comfortable. With some creative interior design ideas, you can turn this room into a glamorous retreat your guests will love.

Inviting Wall Colors

You can quickly give your guest room some extra appeal by changing the paint color on the walls. With thousands of colors to choose from, narrow your choices to those that complement the rest of your home. For a comfortable, relaxing feel, select a light, cool color like mint, sky blue or periwinkle and use linens and accessories in soft shades of ivory, brown or gray. For a dramatic look, choose a deeper paint shade like crimson, cobalt or emerald. Use linens in complementary, softer hues and add touches of silver, gold or black for glam accents.

Hardwood Floors

Hardwood flooring adds timeless character and elegance to your home, providing a beautiful backdrop for a guest room. You can choose from a wide variety of colors and finishes in solid wood, engineered, laminate, and vinyl wood flooring. If you're looking for more of a tranquil guest room, go with white oak, maple, or bamboo floors. For a richer, more luxurious feel, go with deeper shades of walnut or Brazilian cherry. Add dramatic touches with an exotic wood like natural Russian elm that provides visual interest and grain variations.

Accent Pillows

Accent pillows come in a variety of fabrics. For a subtle, sophisticated look, select solid color accent pillows in cotton, linen, or silk with fringe or tassels. You can also use novelty pillows that have special shapes and fun fabrics for a touch of fun.

Natural Lighting

To create a comfortable, inviting atmosphere in your guest room, provide a good balance of ambient, task, and accent lighting. Windows provide natural lighting and warmth. Ambient lighting and overhead lighting, like recessed lights, tracks lights, chandelier and pendants, should provide uniform illumination without glare. Task lighting like table or desk lamps and wall-mounted reading lights are perfect for brightening up a specific area, while accent lighting used to spotlight art or accessories creates drama and visual interest.

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14Aug
14Aug

If the hallway in your home is like that in most others, it is one busy place – and probably the busiest, next to your kitchen. As people come and go and plunk bags, purses and briefcases in their wake, your hallway takes a pounding. And if you have kids or dogs? They compound the activity and stress on your floor.

In calmer moments, your hallway offers two prime opportunities: to give guests a warm, inviting feeling as they enter and a last chance to look around and revel in your home's ambiance as they leave.

If you want to give your hallway a makeover, your choice of flooring has to achieve many goals at once. So what type of flooring can champion the cause? Without a doubt: hardwood flooring.

Consider the many advantages hardwood floors offer:

  • They exude unrivaled warmth and beauty. With a large variety of colors, grains, designs and patterns to choose from, your only difficulty may be settling on only one that appeals to you. Unlike other flooring options, hardwood floors never go out of style.

  • They complement any decor. From traditional to contemporary and from classic to shabby-chic, hardwood floors are at home anywhere. And they'll stand out, even if you choose to soften them with area rugs.

  • They are profoundly strong and durable, making them ideal for high-traffic areas.

  • Even when the very worst happens – hardwood floors gets scraped or dented – the damaged area can be safely sanded, smoothed and refinished. You won't face a wholesale replacement, like with other types of flooring.

  • They are blissfully low-maintenance – requiring only regular sweeping or vacuuming and no more than a damp mop to keep them looking lustrous. And because hardwood floors don't trap dust, pollen, allergens and airborne particles like carpet, they're an especially healthy choice for allergy and asthma sufferers.

  • They result in better, more uniform acoustics and fewer sound vibrations in a home.

  • They're a wise investment; they will instantly increase the value of your home. No one quibbles over the value of hardwood flooring. (And who would dare after adding up all these benefits?)

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13Aug
13Aug

There are a lot of reasons to choose laminate flooring over other options. Not only is it cheaper and easier to install than traditional hardwood or tile flooring, it is also more durable and just as breathtaking as the alternatives.

Laminate panels come in many different styles, including mock stone and wood, as well as different widths, thicknesses and finishes. For this reason, it is important to consider all of your options before settling on your laminate flooring purchase. Aspects you should take into account include price, style, location, and traffic volume.

The Price of Laminate Flooring

Laminate is a very affordable flooring option compared to hard wood, tile, stone, or carpet. Because it is more durable and stain-resistant than the other choices, laminate flooring is an investment that will generate a high return and low depreciation rate. Starting at as little as $1.99 per square foot, laminate flooring is a great way to update your home without breaking the bank.

Styles of Laminate Flooring

To choose the style that best fits your home, begin your research early. Keep a notebook containing color swatches, furniture photos, art and potential flooring designs. As a general rule of thumb, it's usually best to keep floors in bathrooms, mudrooms, and kitchens light-colored to brighten up these work areas, whereas darker colors should be used in bedrooms, dens or sitting areas to make the rooms feel more relaxed. The furniture and wall art in these rooms should pair well with the color of the flooring.

Choosing Laminate Flooring Based on Location

Aside from planning an inviting color scheme that includes your flooring, understanding the location of the would-be laminate is also important. For example, areas that experience high levels of moisture (kitchens and bathrooms, for example) should feature laminate flooring with a water-resistant core. Though these types of flooring are typically a bit more expensive than others, protecting your subfloor from moisture build-upand thus toxic mold and structural damagewill be worth it in the end.

Laminate Flooring for High-Traffic Areas

Types of laminate flooring come in different grades that measure their ability to withstand abrasions, the lowest of which is AC1/21. This kind of laminate is cheaper to manufacture and thus costs less to purchase, but it doesn’t hold up well in high-traffic areas like hallways and entryways. Though laminate with a low rating is suitable for bedrooms and closets, areas of the home that are subjected to a lot of traffic need laminate with a rating of at least AC3/23.

Flooring is often the first thing people notice upon entering a home. Make sure your new flooring gives the right impression to guests by being clean, attractive, durable and well-coordinated with the rest of your décor.

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13Aug
13Aug

Keeping hardwood flooring clean can be a tricky challenge. Unlike with carpet, dust and dirt has nowhere to hide on hardwood floors. With hardwood flooring comes the responsibility of keeping it clean to maintain its shine and luster. Below are a few handy ideas for keeping your hardwood floors looking their best:

1. Buy Rugs

Rugs are absolutely necessary when it comes to making sure your floors look top-notch. Tiny particles, like dirt, can act as sandpaper and scratch your wood. Put a rug in every entryway of your home and ask guests to wipe their feet as they enter your house.

2. Don’t Use A Wet Mop To Clean

Excessive water can cause wood to expand, creating cracks and splinters on your floors. Try using a slightly damp mop instead.

3. Sweep Regularly

By sweeping your wood floors regularly, you can remove large particles that might scratch the floor if caught underneath a mop. Vacuuming is another great choice to pick up dirt and grime.

4. Use A Cleaning Product Meant For Wood Floors

This means no bleach, ammonia, abrasive cleaners, or furniture polish. Not only will these products severely damage your floors, they could potentially void your warranty. Use products that are solely designed for your wood floor’s finish.

5. Buff Dry With Terry Cloth Towel

This step is optional, but after mopping, drying with a terrycloth towel will absorb all water and give your wood floors a beautiful sheen.

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12Aug
12Aug

Solid wood flooring is the ultimate addition to any home. Not only does it possess the beauty of natural wood, but it’s all natural from top to bottom. Essentially, it is similar to any other plank of lumber, sawn directly off the log with no additional materials added. Below, we will introduce you to the basics of solid wood flooring, a long-time popular choice among homeowners.

Finished vs. Unfinished

When it comes to solid wood flooring, you have two options: prefinished wood and unfinished wood. In general, unfinished wood flooring is cheaper than prefinished, but the former does require finishing in your own home. If you’re not into sanding, staining, and sealing, prefinished flooring might be the right choice for you.

Hardness

When choosing a solid wood floor, it’s important to take note of the hardness of each wood species. Solid woods like Brazilian cherry, acacia, and oak are extremely hard choices, while pine and fir are softer woods. Because solid wood floors are made solely from wood and no other materials, the Janka Hardness ranking is extremely important.

Durability

The best part about solid wood floors (Engineered also) is that even if they endure damage, it is easy to fix any plank with simple sanding and refinishing - a luxury that’s not available with options like laminate wood floors.

Solid wood flooring offers a sophistication and beauty that no other type of flooring can offer. This classic choice is the perfect addition to any home, with sustainability and durability that lasts for decades.


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11Aug
11Aug

We recently met with a customer who was planning on renovating his living room. The walls were painted, the furniture was picked out, and all he needed was new wood flooring that gave off a rustic style while maintaining a clean and sleek look. This customer ultimately decided on hickory hardwood flooring because its natural grain patterns and distinct markings went with the cozy look he wanted. Hickory wood floors are becoming increasingly popular in the design world, and for a good reason!

Hardness

Hickory wood floors score a whopping 1820 on the Janka Hardness Scale, making them one of the hardest options on the market. This makes hickory flooring perfect for dogs, kids, and heavy traffic areas.

Distinct Look

Hickory floors offer a unique, rustic look. Swirly grain patterns, distinct knots, and pockmarks give this rusted brown and light blonde wood a traditional, homey style that is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s home interiors.

Our Selection

We offer a wide range of styles of hickory hardwood flooring. From dark chocolate stains to light, natural colors, our selection cannot be beaten. The floors come in both natural and stained finishes that can tie your room together. Our hickory hardwood flooring prices start as low as $1.49 per square foot.

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01Aug
01Aug

As you may have noticed, wood walling is a HUGE trend in the design industry as of late. It’s easy enough to install yourself, allowing you to spice up any room on a budget. Below is the complete guide to the wood walling from Hardwood Bargains.

What Is it?

Our wood walling products are self stick, interlocking planks that remain flat and can stick against any flat surface, like a wall or ceiling. The best part about this walling is that most of our floors can easily be installed on your walls or ceilings, letting your creative juices flow when it comes to wood choice!

How Easy Is It To Install?

Our featured walling planks have interlocking planks with an easy to peel, adhesive strip on the back. Without glue or nails to hold each plank in place, installation is a breeze. All you need to install are a level, saw, and measuring tape.

How Much Walling Do I Need?

To determine how much hardwood walling you need, simply determine the area (length x width) of the wall or ceiling you plan on installing the walling on and add an extra 5% for waste cuts.

Can I Hang Things On The Walling?

You sure can! Our favorite way to hang photos or artwork on your wood walling is with adhesive hangers. These types of hangers allow you to hang your artwork without damaging your walls with nails or screws. Depending on the weight of what you choose to hang, another option is double sided tape.

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31Jul
31Jul

Before taking the dive into homeownership, people shopping for homes consider millions of factors, especially when it comes to interior features. Many people are willing to spend thousands of dollars to achieve the home of their dreams. Below are some of the top 6 features most people are willing to spend extra for:

1. A Fireplace

A fireplace adds a cozy feel to any room. More and more real estate agents are suggesting that fireplaces will become increasingly popular as people turn away from TV and more on tablets.

2. A Home Less Than 5 Years Old

The simple fact here is that people want a newer home. Something to keep in mind is that maintenance costs are considerably lower in new homes compared to older homes.

3. Stainless Steel Appliances

Stainless steel appliances are incredibly trendy right now and more and more people are drawn to their sleek look.

4. Hardwood Floors

Hardwood flooring has a variety of advantages including a traditional beautiful style and low maintenance. More than 28% of homeowners say that hardwood flooring is “very important” when looking for a home.

5. Granite Countertops

In today’s generation, there has been a huge emphasis on having a beautiful kitchen and granite countertops help achieve that look. Not only are they incredibly durable, they add a unique beauty to any kitchen or bathroom.

6. Central Air-Conditioning

In older homes, this may not be an option. In a recent survey, nearly seven out of 10 homeowners said they would be willing to shell out more than $2000 on central air conditioning.

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30Jul
30Jul

While most people find the allure in harder woods, softwood flooring is still a durable and beautiful option for any home. But the question always remains: why would you install a less durable flooring?

The Janka Hardness Scale is one of the most utilized tools in the hardwood flooring industry. The scale, which determines the wood’s durability, measures the force required to embed a .444 inch steel ball to half its diameter into a particular species of wood. The higher the rating on the Janka Scale, the harder the wood.

Truth be told, much of a floor’s durability depends on its finish, not necessarily the species of wood. Enough coats of a finish on any floor will help withstand it from scratches and dents.

This means soft wood floors are a strong contender for your home.

Just because their Janka rating is low doesn’t mean they can’t withstand normal foot traffic. Common types of soft woods are Hevea, Walnut, Birch, and Pine. Not only are these woods beautiful, they’re more inclined to take on an aged, traditional character due to their species type.

One thing to remember with softer woods is that they may not be the best fit for really high traffic areas, like an entryway or a kitchen. While a strong finish protects the surface of your floor, a floor’s finish wears away over time if you do not maintain it. When a finish wears away, it makes your softer woods more susceptible to the wear and tear of daily life. If you choose a softer wood floor, the key to maintaining its look and sheen is to keep up with its finish every few years.

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25Jul
25Jul

Hardwood floors are the best choice for homeowners with pets. Not only are they easy to clean, they don’t provide hiding spots for pet dander and fleas like carpets do. However, as much as we love our furry friends, their long nails, puppy teeth, and ability to track dirt through your house can do a number on your hardwood floors. To keep damage at bay, there are several things to keep in mind with your pooch:

Focus On Housetraining

If your dog goes indoors, immediately clean up the accident, wipe the floor down, and let it dry thoroughly. Accidents happen, but the ammonia in pet urine can discolor your wood floors and leave a funky smell.

Trimming Nails

It’s important to keep your pet’s nails short to prevent deep scratches on your floors. This is especially important with larger breeds as they will exert more pressure on your floors.  

Sweep Often

Sweeping on a frequent basis is key to maintaining the finish on your hardwood floors. Dogs can easily track dirt and hair through the house and it acts as sandpaper, harming your floors finish and dulling its shine.

Install An Extra Hard Floor

While hardwood floors are an excellent choice for homeowners with pets, certain types of species are harder than others. Select a floor like Acacia or Brazilian Cherry that have a higher rating on the Janka Hardness Scale for even further scratch prevention.

Rugs

Lastly, lay down rugs in high traffic areas to prevent any future wears on the finish. Area rugs can not only add a stylish look to any room, they prevent claw marks and scratches from appearing on your hardwood floor’s surface.


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24Jul
24Jul

Regardless of the wood species you choose for your flooring, a finish is required. A finish provides your floor with a protective top coat that seals your wood floors from the everyday damage that comes from traffic, moisture, and stains. A finish also accentuates your floors natural beauty by highlighting the wood’s natural characteristics. When purchasing your floors, you’ll have the option of choose between prefinished or unfinished wood. Here’s a breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages to both:

Advantages to Prefinished Hardwood Floors

Prefinished wood floors are the best if cost and convenience are major players in your decision. Their protective coat is applied at the factory under controlled conditions and in the ideal environment for drying and curing. Prefinished wood floors take less time to install since they come pre-sanded and pre-finished. You won’t have to deal with the toxic fumes in your home, which is always a plus.

Advantages to Unfinished Hardwood Floors

Many people opt to purchase unfinished wood floors because the planks arrive to your home in their natural state, allowing you to sand, stain, and finish the way you want to. With unfinished flooring, it’s much easier to match to your existing hardwood flooring than by purchasing prefinished floors. You have the ability to do custom staining, which is ideal for anyone looking to achieve a unique look in their home.

Both types of flooring have a lot to offer to any home. Prefinished wood floors allow you to enjoy your flooring immediately without dealing with harsh chemical smells and hard work on your end while unfinished floors give you the ability to achieve a very custom and unique look.

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23Jul
23Jul

For most homeowners, making the leap into hardwood flooring is not an easy task. Going through a renovation process can be a difficult one, especially if you don’t know where to begin in the process. Most people know they like the look of hardwood floors, but don’t know what type of flooring is best for their home or how much flooring they should even buy. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the most common frequently asked questions our customers come to us with before buying their floors.

What is the difference between solid wood, laminate, and engineered wood flooring?

In simple terms, solid wood floors are just what they say they are--solid wood. The entire board is made up of a plank from a species of wood. Engineered wood floors, on the other hand, only have a top layer of solid wood. The rest of the board is made of fibers from waste woods that are fused together in a high pressure manufacturing process. Laminate floors are made to look like wood, but are actually made up of synthetic materials

What is the hardest flooring I can buy?

The Janka Scale does a great job of rating floors on how hard they are. We created a breakdown here that helps you determine which floor is best for each room in your home based on their hardness. Of the options we carry, Brazilian Cherry, Strand Woven Bamboo, and Acacia wood floors are some of the hardest and most durable options to choose from.

How much hardwood flooring do I need to buy?

A simple, but efficient calculation you should go buy is this: square footage + 5-10% of your square footage for waste cuts.

What does Handscraped mean?

This popular style of handscraped wood flooring basically means the floors are designed to have the look of an older style flooring, scraped by hand. These floors are made to look like they have a bit of wear, but still have a modern finish to protect the floor.

What types of rooms are best for wood floors?

We generally think just about every room in your home can work well with hardwood floors! However, be sure to speak with a professional if you are thinking about wood floors for rooms with fluctuating humidity like bathrooms and basements. As a general rule, solid wood is more apt to expand than engineered and laminate floors.

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18Jul
18Jul

After spending money on flooring that are supposed to be perfectly flat, nothing is more annoying than stumbling over a bump in your beautiful hardwood flooring. Now what?

The procedure for fixing a warped wood floor really depends on the size of the bump. These tips are intended to help bumps of all sizes; however, a professional flooring contractor may be necessary for larger warps.

1. Fixing A Tiny Warp

If your wood is still rather pliable (like a solid wood), try wetting the area and placing a heavy object, like a cinderblock, on top. Leave it there for a few days and check to see if the warp is gone. If the warp is still there, you may have a bigger problem on your hands.

2. Sanding

If you know that the source of your warping comes from humidity changes or a water spill and not an underlying leak, then sanding the solid wood floor might be a good option. This requires an aggressive sanding technique that may cost a floor up to ¼ inch of its thickness.

3. A Replacement Job

If your warp is on the medium to large scale, you may have to do a replacement job. Carefully remove the warped plank and fix any underlying issues that may have been caused by a water leak. Replace it with a new plank of the same species, color, and size. Nail down and secure the wood boards using the same installation technique.

To avoid warped floors, choosing a laminate or engineered wood floor might be a better option over solid wood. Solid woods expand and contract with humidity changes and water leaks, affecting the shape of your boards. Laminate and engineered woods are manufactured to resist humidity changes, leaving them the same size forever. And of course, be sure to investigate any and all reasons why your floor might be warped. A water leak may lead to mold damage under your floors and you may not realize it.

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16Jul
16Jul

Your bedroom should be your oasis--a place to rest and relax. It’s important to make your bedroom a space you enjoy and seek for comfort, not a boring place to sleep. There are plenty of fun ideas out there for fun bedroom decorations, but some of our favorite are these cool bedroom floors. Some ideas for wooden floors for bedrooms range from painted floors to reclaimed wood. Hardwood flooring in these rooms can make any space unique.

 

Photos Courtesy of Home Decoration Ideas, Blogger, Tapja, Decoist, and Best Home Designs

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15Jul
15Jul

In today’s home renovation world, it’s becoming easier to choose eco-friendly options for flooring. There are many green flooring options, especially hardwood flooring, that reduce the use of renewable materials thereby protecting earth. From sustainable flooring choices like Bamboo or Eucalyptus to the type of finish better suited for the environment, the eco-friendly possibilities are endless.

Sustainable Wood Floor Options

There are a variety of hardwood flooring options when it comes to going green. Floors like Bamboo are made from grass materials, not wood, which grow more rapidly than trees. These materials are bonded together in a high pressure, high heat manufacturing process that actually makes them some of the hardest floors on the market.

Other great green flooring options are engineered wood floors. Engineered hardwood flooring is also manufactured in a high pressure process made of waste woods, with a thin layer of solid wood is added on top. So not only do these floors look great, they are made with renewable materials.

Earth-Friendly Finishes

Finishes are vital to the look and durability of your floors. While no floor finish is 100% environmentally responsible, you have plenty of options to choose from if you are looking for a finish with no petroleum or only natural ingredients. The easiest aspect to focus on in terms of an environmentally finish is the VOC content. A VOC stands for volatile organic compound and emit toxic chemicals in the air.

However, it’s smart to remember that just because a solvent doesn’t emit VOCs, it doesn’t always mean it’s harmless. In general, water-based finishes tend to have the lowest VOC levels. Read labels and ask questions. With so many finishes on the market, it’s important to read labels and ask questions.

Hardwood Bargains’ Commitment

Hardwood Bargains is committed to helping save our environment. We have partnered with the American Forest Foundation, the nation’s oldest non-profit forest conservation organization. We pledge to replant two trees for every tree used in our sold products. We hope to set a standard for consciousness and concern for other companies in how we impact the environment. In addition to this partnership, we offer products that are inherently eco-friendly, like our engineered wood flooring and formaldehyde-free finishes.

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03Jul
03Jul

Carpets Are Home To Dust Mites And Other Triggers

We know it’s gross to think about, but carpet flooring is the ideal environment for dust mites. These little bugs are one of the worst enemies for people with allergies. They’re too small to be seen with the naked eye, but hide in carpets, bedding, and other cushions. In these places, they excrete waste products that trigger your allergies. Carpet also traps dirt, pet dander, and other airborne triggers. Though these allergens can be decreased with frequent vacuuming, they never fully disappear.

How Wood Floors Can Help

Since wood flooring is a sleek surface, dust mites have nowhere to hide. They cannot burrow themselves deep down and release waste products. Bare hardwood flooring is the easiest way to keep free of dust mites, pet dander, and other triggers. However, it is important to note that synthetic flooring like laminate initially releases VOCs that can worsen your allergies, so it is best to stick to a natural, organic product.

That said, hardwood flooring is a logical choice for those who are particularly sensitive to dust allergens. It is still recommended that you clean your wood floors regularly so that dust does not become airborne. And it is always recommended that you keep your air filters clean to reduce dust allergens.

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02Jul
02Jul

More and more homeowners are turning to wood floors for the main flooring option in their homes. In fact, MSN Real Estate reports that carpet is essentially dead. It goes on to say that in a recent survey, hardwood flooring boosted home sales as much as 6%. So whether you have a fixer upper or are just looking to beautify your space, adding hardwood flooring in your living room is a great way to add a unique charm to any room. Below are some of our favorite living room looks:

Photo Courtesy of HGTV

Photo Courtesy of HGTV

Photo Courtesy of Houzz

Photo Courtesy of Houzz

Photo Courtesy of BHG

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01Jul
01Jul

Many homeowners are confused on just how much wood they need for their renovation project. This handy calculator will help you figure out exactly how much it will cost to redo the flooring in any room. Simply add 5%-10% of square footage for waste cuts to the rooms square footage and multiply it by the price of wood per square foot. Don’t forget to add in the costs of installation supplies, baseboards, and door thresholds.

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27Jun
27Jun

One of our most favorite design trends right now is the contrasting look of white cabinets and dark floors in kitchens. The stark difference gives each and every room a modern and clean look. Below are some of our favorite rooms following this trend:

Photo Courtesy of BHG

Photo Courtesy of BHG

Photo Courtesy of BHG

Photo Courtesy of Houzz

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26Jun
26Jun

While a squeaky floor may be good for alerting you of missed curfews, they rarely have any upsides. In fact, a sneaky floor can be quite annoying if not taken care of properly. Squeaky floors often occur after a home settles or your flooring has been exposed to humidity changes and is susceptible to growing and shrinking. As you walk across your floors, the planks rub together and slide against nail shafts producing an obnoxious noise. Another reason your floors are squeaking may be because your subflooring is loose. The good news is that it is fairly simple to silence any squeak in a matter of minutes if you know these tricks:

Repairs From Below

If your floor is above a crawl space or a basement, going below to make the repairs is easy. Begin by having someone walk across the floor above. Pinpoint the exact spot the floor is squeaking and gently tap a thin wood shim coated in carpenter's glue in the space between the joist and subfloor. You want to fill the gap and remove any give the floor might have.

Repairs On The Surface

The trick here is silencing the floors without damaging the finished flooring. After locating the squeaky spot, bore a 3/32 in pilot hole through your flooring. Attach a depth-control fixture over the pivot hole and drive the screw down until it bottoms out. Next, fill the pilot hole with tinted wood putty. After it dries, lightly sand the putty off. Another option that has worked for some is to lubricate your floorboards by sweeping talcum powder between boards.

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25Jun
25Jun

The difference between laminate flooring and solid wood flooring has become quite a hot topic in the design and renovating worlds. While both floors have their pros and cons, many homeowners are unsure as to which floor better suits their lifestyle and budget. Below we’ve broken down just about everything you need to know to make an informed decision:

What Are They Made Of?

Laminate flooring is made of many layers of synthetic flooring product. Its top layer is designed to look like real wood; however, the core inner layer is primarily made of melamine resin and fiberboard material. Solid wood flooring are made of planks produced from single pieces of wood.

Appearances

It is usually fairly easy to tell the differences between the aesthetics of solid wood and laminate flooring. Solid wood is typically characterized by a variation of the wood grain. No two solid wood floor planks will look the same. Laminate flooring usually has a predesigned wood grain pattern that imitates the look of real, solid wood. Generally, laminate flooring patterns are repeated every five boards.

Durability

This part is tricky. The durability of solid flooring depends on the species. Softer woods like Pine and Fir are more susceptible to dents and scratches because they have a low ranking on the Janka Hardness Scale. Wood species like Brazilian Cherry and Acacia have higher rankings and are extremely tough and can withstand heavy foot traffic. Also, a solid wood’s finish always adds a variation in its durability.

Since the outer layer of most laminate flooring is made by bounding melamine resins and aluminum oxides at extreme heat and pressures, the surface is often much harder than solid wood. Because of this manufacturing process, laminate floors are also much more resistant to moisture damage.

Eco-Friendliness

Solid wood floors are made of 100% real product, as they are made from single pieces of real wood. Laminate floors, on the other hand, are created in a process that bonds composite materials so the floor itself is far from natural and organic.

Price Point

Laminate is typically 30-70% cheaper than solid wood floors. However, solid wood floors have a much longer lifespan than laminate floors--it is said that laminate flooring lasts no longer than 20 years. So in the end, you’ll get more bang for your buck with solid wood floors.

While both flooring types have its benefits and drawbacks, both are good options for any home. Be sure to take into account your own family, budget, and lifestyle before selecting any type of flooring.

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20Jun
20Jun

Jennifer Aniston has always been known for her chic, all-American girl vibe and her cozy rental home exudes that personality to a T. She and actor boyfriend Justin Theroux have been renting a 1,700 square foot, 2 bedroom home in Hollywood Hills for $17,500 a month. The gorgeous single family house contains built-ins, multiple fireplaces, a pool and spa, vaulted ceilings, cozy vintage furnishings, wood floors, and a garden. If you’re interested on making this your permanent home, it’s on the market for $2.995 million.

 

 

 Photos Courtesy of Huffington Post

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19Jun
19Jun

Meet Jeff, a Hardwood Bargains customer from our Pasadena showroom. His favorite thing about our store is our competitive pricing. At first he was hesitant, but after going home and doing his research, he found that no other store could compare!

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18Jun
18Jun

Stenciling and painting wood floors have become a hot new trend in the design world. While we personally love the sheer beauty of a natural wood, stenciling or painting your hardwood flooring can add allure and personality to your space. Below are a few steps to take if you want to add drama to your wood floors.

Photo Courtesy of Chairloom 

You have a few options when it comes to creating a stencil for your floors. One popular method is to create a large stencil out of corrugated cardboard or thick paper. Cut out your stencil and laminate it to keep it from absorbing the moisture from the paint. In the example above, each stencil measures 5 feet by 5 feet. Another popular method is to tape off sections of your floor and using that as a stencil.

No matter your method, precise measurements are key for both taping and stencil placement so that your floor stenciling looks uniform. Carefully use a roller to apply paint or stain and let dry for 2 to 3 days. When complete, apply a layer of polyurethane across all flooring to seal in and finish your design.

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13Jun
13Jun

The bathroom is widely known as one of the most difficult rooms to find flooring for. Carpet is often out of the question and there’s sometimes a worry that wood will expand due to humidity changes. Luckily, we’re here to help you make an informed decision about some great wood flooring options for your bathroom.

Putting tile around your tub and using engineered wood floor for the rest helps give you the best of both worlds. It’s no secret that moisture and wood floors don’t mix well, but engineered wood is a great option for bathrooms because it is designed to prevent expansion. In this bathroom, the tile offers a surface near the tub that helps catch water before it gets to the wood.

Courtest of BHG

We love the idea of an engineered oak floor in a bathroom without a shower. Showers let off a lot of steam, adding extra moisture into the room and its floors. By just having a large bathtub, less steam is able to escape into your wood, making your floors last for years to come.

Courtest of BHG

This bathroom is like an oasis, with a vanity area opening up into a bathroom that holds a traditional claw foot tub. We love the contrasting looks of dark wood and white fixtures. It adds a fresh, clean look that every bathroom should strive for.

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12Jun
12Jun

The newest trend in interior design is to have a floor that stands out from the standard carpet. Many DIYers are turning to unusual creations for their floor style designs to give their homes a little something special. Below we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite out of the box wood floor ideas:

Photos Courtesy of Apartment Therapy, Better Homes and Gardens, and Trendir

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11Jun
11Jun

Courtesy of Fresh Home

If you’re looking to renovate your kitchen, you’re probably thinking about which type of flooring would work best. The kitchen is the central meeting point for most homes and so gets a lot of traffic in addition to cooking mishaps. This means that carpet if out of the question (can you imagine trying to get spaghetti sauce and cookie dough out of Berber?). Wood floors present great options for kitchen flooring because there are many types and species that can stand up to dogs, kids, spills, and scrapes. Here are our top choices:

Oak

Oak wood floors never go out of style. They seem to be one of the most popular wood floors for kitchens and it’s easy to understand why. This species comes in a wide range of finishes and grain designs to complement many looks. It scores a 1290 on the Janka Hardness Scale making it a tough floor for any kitchen.

Maple

Maple is another species that is growing increasingly popular in design trends. This species is noted for its light colors, unique grain designs, and swirl patterns. Maple wood floors rank around 1400 on the Janka Scale, meaning it’s durable enough withstand everything that goes on in the kitchen—the room in your home that everyone seems to be in.

Brazilian Cherry

Brazilian Cherry hardwood flooring ranks among the toughest solid wood floors out there. Its deep red-brown tones with dark streaking is a great choice for kitchens because it easily disguises dirt and dust and it scores a 2350 on the Janka Scale. With such a high ranking, Brazilian Cherry wood floors are ultra-strong and can withstand heavy traffic.

Acacia

Acacia wood floors can easily be recognized due to their unique color variations and grain patterns. Many decorators and homeowners alike choose Acacia for its renowned durability and ability to complement any and all home décor. Acacia wood floors are great for kitchens because of the wide color variations and ability to stand up to dirt, dents, and scratches.

Bamboo

Bamboo wood floors are created to withstand moisture and high traffic areas. The manufacturing process binds bamboo strands together in a high pressure way that creates one of the most durable floors on the market. With a Janka rating of over 3000, these wood floors are built to withstand the heavy foot traffic in your kitchen.

These are all excellent options for wood floors in your kitchen. When selecting a floor, no matter the species, be sure your choice has a solid water-based or polyurethane finish on the outside to repel scratches and dents and moisture that makes its way into the kitchen. Stay away from oil-based finishes because they sometimes fade, making touch ups on high traffic floors difficult to do. Hardwood flooring in the kitchen is ideal if you seek a durable floor that has unmatched style and warmth.

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06Jun
06Jun

All over Pinterest, message boards, and social media are recipes for all natural floor cleaning tips and tricks. While we are partial to floor care products, we know sometimes a homemade solution is just the ticket, especially when you’re on a budget. Our recipe below is simply made of water and vinegar!

Instructions:

  • Mix ¼ cup of white vinegar with 4 cups of water.

  • Add into a spray bottle and squirt on your floor.

We recommend squirting on the floor and mopping up with a damp wood floor mop. Dry with a microfiber towel or let air dry.

How simple and budget-friendly is that?

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05Jun
05Jun

When you think of a comfortable living room, what do you think of? Is it your big TV? What about your plush sofa? Maybe your recliner? Your living room should serve as a relaxing oasis and you need the right additions to help make it just that. In this post, we’ll go over the five elements that make up a comfortable living room.

1. Natural Lighting

Every room needs a bit of natural sunlight to brighten the space and lift the spirits. Try opening your blinds or curtains and letting the sun shine in for a cozier space. At night, try out accent or lamp lighting. These lighting additions dimly light the room, adding a comfortable look to any area.

Photo Courtesy of HK Standard

2. A Cozy Sofa

The sofa is usually the star of the room, so why not make it plush and relaxing for you and your guests to enjoy? The key to a cozy room heavily focuses on this piece of furniture. A large plush sectional or a Lawson-style sofa embodies a sense of coziness and  invites you to sit down and kick your feet up.

3. Fluffy Pillows

In addition to your cozy couch, you’ll need some unique accessories to add depth and warmth. Fluffy pillows are a great way to make your couch or chair more comfortable without compromising the look or style. Choosing fun designs or your favorite colors help add your unique personality to a portion of your space.

Photo Courtesy of Bloc Now

4. Traditional Wood Floors

Wood floors add a certain level of comfort that no other floor can bring by adding a classic, traditional touch. In a variety of styles, widths, species, and colors, the possibilities are endless. Grain designs and deep tones add a unique feel that carpet or tile cannot achieve.

5. An Inviting Area Rug

Now of course we don’t want you to cover up your beautiful wood floors, but a large area rug adds more depth to your living space and adds a warm place for your feet to land. An area rug ties a room together and unites all of its elements into one cohesive area.

Photo Courtesy of Fresh Home

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04Jun
04Jun

Reclaimed wood is all the rage in today’s interior design blogs and magazines. Anywhere from tables to wood floors, reclaimed wood brings elegance with a vintage feel to your home. We’re especially loving the trend of reclaimed wood floors as they are a great way to use recycled wood in a new, stylish way. Below are some of our most favorite reclaimed wood floor looks:

Photos Courtesy of Houzz

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02Jun
02Jun

If you don’t know who Nate Berkus is, you’re in for an exciting introduction. Originally showcased on the Oprah Winfrey show as special guest offering design advice to viewers and surprise home makeovers, Nate Berkus has grown into a TV and design icon. He runs the Chicago interior design firm Nate Berkus Associates, has starred in his own TV show, has written several popular interior design books, and even has his own line of stylish home collections at Target. Needless to say, the guy has taken the interior design industry by storm.

Nate Berkus's Posh Apartment and Wood Floors

Source: Architectural Digest 

As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Berkus has mastered the art of creating a welcoming space that blends both chicness and elegance all into one thoughtful space. In his true to form style, he has executed possibly one of the toughest remodels of them all—his own home. The 19th-century Greenwich Village building, purchased in 2011, overlooks the Hudson River and offered the key elements he had always dreamed for in a house, but was lacking the feeling of home.

Source: Architectural Digest 

Berkus knew he wanted to decorate in a way that reflected his past and offered a story to tell the moment someone entered his home. Among some of the major alterations to the space were floor renovations so that white-oak ran throughout, the addition of glass-and-metal room partitions, and a complete remodel of the upper level to become a skylit dressing room.

Source: Architectural Digest 

Source: Architectural Digest 

.Berkus decided to add clever fixes to accommodate his construction schedule, as well as to keep some of the original charm he fell in love with in the first place. He kept the existing countertops and cabinets in the kitchen and spruced them up with fresh lacquered paint, detailed models, and new hardware. The walls received beautiful treatments of grass cloth and new paint colors to give a more open, airy vibe. His stairway became the focal point of his entry way with a dramatic new steel banister. Sophisticated tweaks under a strict renovation schedule is what Nate Berkus is all about.

Source: Architectural Digest 

Source: Architectural Digest 

Keeping with his reflective decorating theme, Berkus opted to keep some of his cherished items that he had collected over time to bring into his new home. “I am surrounded by memories of what I’ve done, where I’ve been, and whom I’ve loved,” Berkus says. His theme of personal history is strewn throughout his house, giving him the ease of always feeling at home.

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13May
13May

Choosing the right flooring for your home is one of the biggest decisions a homeowner can make. Beyond the simple aesthetic looks of each choice, it is important to take lifestyle into consideration. Do you take your shoes off at the door when you walk in? Are your pets housetrained? Does the room get a lot of foot traffic? All are important questions to consider before making a flooring choice. Both carpet and wood are great flooring options and work well with any type of décor and lifestyle. There is a lot to consider when searching for the right type of floor for your home, so we’ve broken down what you need to know about the differences in carpet and hardwood floors.

Pricing

With wood floors, expect to pay between $2-$15 per square foot, depending on the type of species, with installation costs ranging $2-$3 per square foot. If you are planning on removing old carpet and replacing it with hardwood floors, you will need to factor in a removal fee as well. Carpet prices usually fall between $3-$4 per square foot and that includes installation and padding. In the end, hardwood flooring proves to be almost 3 times more expensive than carpet.

Cleaning

There are stark differences in the cleanliness of carpet and wood. Carpet attracts more dirt and debris, allowing stains to soak in and settle permanently. With hardwood flooring, debris and dust are very noticeable, meaning it easier to clean and maintain than carpet. However, carpet also disguises dirt and dust, allowing you to go for longer periods without vacuuming. In addition, any liquid spill on hardwood flooring can easily be wiped up with a damp towel, while liquids in carpet are challenging to clean up and can have lasting stains. If you are looking for something easy to clean and maintain, hardwood is the way to go.

What Will You Use Your Room For?

This is probably the biggest factor to consider when selecting floors for your home. Carpets provide a soft, cushioned surface and provides a level of quietness, while hardwood flooring is great for high traffic areas due to its hardness. Consider what type of traffic your particular room experiences. For example, hardwood in the kitchen or near the front door is a good option due to its hardness and cleanliness. Carpet may be a good option for rooms that do not experience a lot of traffic and won’t be exposed to a lot of dirt and debris. It is important to also consider the humidity of your room. Hardwood flooring expands in more humid air, so bathrooms and basements are not ideal for wood floors.

Design Standpoint

Designers are leaning more and more towards the trend of hardwood flooring. It provides a level of sophistication and sleekness that you can’t find anywhere else. In fact, more and more real estate agents are encouraging homeowners to upgrade their flooring to wood floors to help sell their homes. With wood floors, there is a wide variety of species, colors, and styles to choose from. In addition, a wood floor’ look can completely be changed with a simple area rug. However, many homeowners like the softness and cozy feel that carpeting has to offer. There is also a wide variety of colors, styles, designs, and more with carpet. That said, more and more homeowners and designers alike are turning to the timeless look of hardwood flooring due to classic look and resale value.

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29Apr
29Apr

 

Ever wonder just how hard a certain species of wood is? With the Janka Hardness Scale, you can see how resistant a certain species of wood is to denting and wear. It is the measure of the forced required to push a small steel ball with an 11.28 millimeter diameter a certain distance into the wood. On the Janka Scale, higher numbers indicate harder wood, while lower numbers indicate softer wood.

In residential homes, a Janka rating around 1,000 or above is suitable, depending on the type of traffic your rooms encounter. For homes with children and pets, a 1,200 and above ranking is recommended. Options like Brazilian Cherry, Acacia, and Songwood are great options for living rooms, kitchens, entryways, and children’s rooms because they have higher rankings, which means harder floors. Species like Walnut, Hevea, and Fir are softer, but still durable choices. These types of floors are better suited for rooms that have low traffic, like dining rooms and formal living rooms.  

Flooring species that are strand woven rank highest on the Janka Scale due to the high pressure manufacturing process. Species like Bamboo  are actually made of grass, not wood. Their strands are interwoven with hard resin and other excess flooring materials in a high pressure process that makes them one of the hardest wood floors on the market. Not only are they incredibly durable, the use of extremely renewable materials makes them a great eco-friendly flooring option.

It’s also important to note that the same type of wood from different regions around the world can render different ratings on the Janka Scale. For example, Brazilian Cherry wood is much harder than an American Cherry due to the changes in climate and other environmental factors. It’s important to always check where the species comes from on the Janka Scale to determine if it is the right flooring for your home.

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23Apr
23Apr

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again—hardwood flooring truly changes the look and feel of a home. Not only does it add a more traditional, open atmosphere to a room, real estate agents are now saying hardwood flooring boost home sale prices by as much as 6%. There has been a movement towards hard surfaced floors, and for a good reason. Wood floors are easy to maintain, match most decors, last much longer than carpets, and are overall eco-friendly options. Below are 5 reasons why hardwood flooring should be your next investment.

1. It Works Great For High Traffic Areas

Hardwood flooring bases its hardness off of the Janka Hardness Scale. This scale measures the hardness and durability of each species of wood and gives it a rating from 0 to 4000. Most hardwood flooring on the market falls between 800 and 3800, with one of the hardest  being Brazilian Cherry and Chestnut species and the softest being Pine and Fir species. Anything with a Janka rating about 1200 is great for high traffic areas because it will not dent or scratch easily.

2. It Is Easy To Clean

With hardwood flooring, knocking over a glass of wine is never a problem. All you need is a damp cloth to clean up spills. There are plenty of options for floor care supplies. Hardwood flooring is able to withstand dirt, dust, and grime much better than carpet ever could. Its surface is easy to sweep or wipe clean and maintaining its shine and luster is a breeze.  Carpets can trap dirt, hair, and even contain allergens, making it nearly impossible to keep clean.

3. It Increases the Value of Your Home

In a recent survey by the National Wood Flooring Association, 82 percent of realtors polled  said homes with hardwood flooring sell faster and often, for more money. Wood floors are timeless, which means they match most décor and give off an aura of traditional appeal. In addition, hardwood flooring often opens up a room, giving the illusion of more space, which is appealing to home buyers.

4. It Lasts For Decades

Wood floors are made to last. From the way they are designed to the way they are installed, they are created to withstand traffic, dirt, kids, pets, weather changes and more. Wood floors with a Janka Hardness Scaled rating of 1200 or more are especially durable. They are resistant to most scratches and dents. If something were to happen to the surface of your floor, refinishing is easy. Simply sanding and adding a new finish can make the floors look brand new.

5. It Is Eco-Friendly

Wood flooring is made from natural, renewable sources. Trees can be replanted over and over again. In fact, options like laminate and engineered floors are mostly made from wood products and other renewable materials, meaning fewer trees are cut down in the process. Options like stranded Bamboo flooring use Bamboo grass that is manufactured with high pressure and bonding materials to make an incredibly tough and durable flooring. In fact, Hardwood Bargains is committed to replanting trees, and with our Tree Replanting Program, we plant 2 trees for every one cut down for our floors.

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24Mar
24Mar

 (Image courtesy of Imperial Flooring)

When it comes to pets, the last thing you want them to do is to ruin the brand new floor you just had laid down. Unless you’re prepared to declaw your furry friend, you’re going to have to adjust your floor to your pet, not the pet to your floor. While most flooring is hard enough to take on scratches and dents, claws can still penetrate the sealer coat, creating scratches and divots over time. To keep your hardwood floors looking as good as the day you installed them, we recommend going with the following durable floor species.

Brazilian

This wood ranks as the hardest wood on the Janka Hardness Scale. Options like Brazilian Cherry or Brazilian Walnut from South America are much harder than their North American counterparts. Colors range in deep, brownish-red tones with black streaks that darken over time. You can buy Brazilian wood floors in both solid wood and engineered wood planks. Both options are long lasting, durable wood floors that can withstand Fido’s scratches.

Strand Woven Bamboo

While bamboo isn’t actually made out of real wood, its interwoven grass strands with hard resin give it many physical similarities to wood. Strand Woven Bamboo (or stranded bamboo) ranks around 3,000 on the Janka Hardness Scale, making it one of the toughest flooring options out there. In addition to being an excellent choice for high traffic areas, stranded bamboo is very eco-friendly due to its material being such a highly renewable source.

Acacia

Acacia wood is one of the most popular flooring choices out there. Its distinctive grain patterns and color variations make Acacia flooring a match for almost any room in your home. With a Janka Hardness Scale rating of close to 2400, these floors can handle the wear and tear of your pet. While Acacia Flooring tends to be on the pricier side, the cost is worth the durability it brings.

These three species are excellent choices for homeowners with pets. Their lasting durability and hardness prevent scrapes, scratches, and dents for years to come. Woods like pine and fir are poor choices for homes with pets, due to their low ranking on the Janka Hardness Scale. Essentially, any floor that ranks under 1200 on the Janka scale should not be considered for pets. Other tips for maintaining a great looking floor with a pet is to lay down a mat under your pet’s drinking bowl so water doesn’t harm the floors, clean pet urine with warm water and vinegar instead of harsh chemicals, and trim your pets claws regularly to prevent scratching.

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17Mar
17Mar

Whether you’re a new homeowner or an experienced contractor, selecting the perfect wood flooring for any home can be a daunting challenge. With so many species on the market, choosing the right flooring to match your lifestyle, home décor, and budget can be overwhelming. Below is a breakdown of our most popular flooring species with insight as to what each species brings to the table in terms of color ranges, prices, and hardness.

Maple

Maple wood floors are popular due to their light color. This means these floors can come in a wide range of finishes. The delicate pattern of the maple wood is due to the maple tree’s straight grain; however, knots and other pattern variations add an interesting touch to your hardwood flooring. On average, maple floor species score around 1400 on the Janka Hardness Scale, making them a hard and durable floor, great for high traffic areas.

maple floors

Walnut

Walnut is a luxurious species with chocolate and amber undertones and complex grain patterns. This type of flooring is perfect for traditional rooms or complementing existing décor or furniture. There is often color variation from board to board due to the variation in its sapwood, creating a unique, rustic look. American walnut wood is traditionally softer than Brazilian walnut wood, which rates an astounding 3680 on the Janka Hardness Scale. The Brazilian walnut is excellent for heavy traffic wears, while the American walnut flooring is better suited for rooms that do not see a lot of foot traffic.

Oak

Oak wood flooring is undoubtedly the most popular hardwood flooring choice. This wood comes in a wide range of finishes, suitable for any home. Oak hardwood flooring scores a rating of 1290 on the Janka Hardness Scale, making it an ideal flooring type for high traffic areas. This tough floor resists dents and scratches and is perfect for kids and pets. The oak species has a distinct grain pattern that adds texture and detail to any room.

Oak floor

Acacia

Engineered Acacia hardwood floors can easily be recognized by its distinctive swirling grains and exquisite color variations. The impact chisel distressing techniques applied to Acacia wood provides a variety of looks that can complement any home décor. Acacia wood is one of the toughest and most durable wood flooring species out there. With a whopping 2400 rating on the Janka Hardness Scale, Acacia flooring is excellent for high traffic areas that are prone to dents and scratches. 

Acacia

Bamboo

Bamboo is becoming an increasingly popular flooring choice due to its price, durability, eco-friendliness, and ease of maintenance. As you may know, bamboo flooring is made out of grass, not wood. By applying extreme heat and pressure, manufacturers are able to bind the woven strands of the bamboo and transform it into a hard, stylish, green product perfect for any home. Strand woven bamboo flooring measures a 2800 on the Janka Hardness Scale, making it one of the hardest floors on the market.

Hickory

Hickory wood floors are divided into two groups: true hickory and pecan hickory. These two groups vary greatly in color, from red-brown to blond, as well as in grain patterns and knot markings. Since hickory is one of the more versatile floors on the market, customers can choose from both stained and natural finishes that gives floors a rustic feeling that can’t be matched. Hickory hardwood flooring rates 1820 on the Janka Hardness Scale, making this one of the hardest North American wood species.

Brazilian Cherry

Brazilian Cherry hardwood floors, also known as Jatoba, carries a wide variety of unique brown-red tones with black streaking, which darken into a deep red color as the floor ages in your home. Not only is this type of flooring one of the most durable in the world, with a rating of 2350 on the Janka Hardness Scale, it has also been proven to be very resistant to termites and rotting. Brazilian Cherry wood flooring is a great option for high traffic area homes as well as commercial uses.

Birch

Birch hardwood floors have a distinct look that features whimsical grain patterns and a variety of color options. Whether you’re looking to brighten your home with a creamy Birch floor or go dramatic with a deep, complex color, Birch floors add unique and vibrant feels to any room. With a Janka rating of 1260, Birch floors are great for kids and pets and can withhold medium to high level traffic.

Birch

Eucalyptus

If you’re looking for a more eco-friendly option for your home, Eucalyptus wood flooring is an excellent choice. With color choices ranging from creamy light woods with gray undertones to rich chocolates, Eucalyptus flooring is a sensible choice that can match any décor. This species of wood has a rating of 1125 on the Janka Hardness Scale, making it 20x harder than many other types of wood floors and great for high traffic areas prone to dents and scratches. An adding bonus is that Eucalyptus flooring is often half the price of traditional wood flooring due to the trees rapid renewability. 

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03Mar
03Mar

When installing hardwood flooring in your home, flooring experts recommend that you buy 7 - 10% extra wood for waste cuts. Of course, not all of that wood is going to be used, leaving you with some leftovers. Don’t let those boxes clutter your garage for an indefinite amount of time; put those leftover planks to use with these 3 cost-effective ideas that can add a unique flair to your home.

1. Make a tabletop

Looking to jazz up your kitchen table? This is a fun DIY project that can be done over the course of a weekend. Depending on the look you want, this project works for both square and rounded tables. Begin by trimming planks to desired length and width. Next, prep the pieces together to ensure all planks align for the desired look. Using wood glue, work quickly to piece the planks together. Have a wet paper towel on hand to wipe away any excess glue. Use bar clamps to hold the tabletop together for at least 24 hours. Once completely dry, use a scraper and sander to smooth away any excess glue. This is the final step for square tables. Add trimming if desire. For a more round shape, use a router and circle jig to shape.

 Tabletop

(Photo courtesy of My Repurposed Life)

2. Install them as wainscoting

Perfect for a smaller room, leftover wood planks can be used as wainscoting.  Wainscoting adds a unique, classic design to any room. Begin by removing baseboards and trimming planks to desired width and length. Some may like the look of the wood untouched and others may want the wood a certain color of paint. If painting, allow 3-4 days for drying before gluing and nailing to the wall. Attach to the wall using a level and a construction adhesive like Liquid Nails. Using a stud finder, locate and mark all studs in the area you plan on adding wainscoting. Squeeze adhesive to the back of a plank and attach it to the wall. Nail at a 45 degree angle through the tongue to a stud. Repeat this process until you reach your desired look. Reinstall the baseboard and attach trim if desired.

Wainscoting (Photo Courtesy of Show Room Remodeling)

3. Cover a ceiling or accent wall

More and more homes today are featuring solid wood walls or ceilings as a unique architectural design element. Accent walls or ceilings add a focal point in any space. The tools you will need for this project are a leftover wood planks, jigsaw, screwdriver, nail gun with brad nails, and Liquid Nails glue with caulking gun. Start by measuring the ceiling or wall you plan on attaching planks to. Using a stud finder, locate all studs. Mark all of these studs horizontally and vertically, making a reference grid on your wall or ceiling. Next, rack your boards to get a general idea of where they will go. You will more than likely need to cut some of the planks to fit into the space. Now it is time to start gluing onto the wall or ceiling. Squirt the Liquid Nails onto the back of the board and attach to the wall or ceiling, starting at an edge. Once glued down, use a nail gun to nail the boards through the tongue at a 45 degree angle to a stud. Repeat these steps with the rest of the boards. You may have to cut pieces down to fit. Use a mallet to gently tap each board as close as possible to the adjoining board. Add baseboards or molding as desired.

 

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06Feb
06Feb

Engineered hardwood flooring has quickly become the most popular type of wood flooring on the market. This type of flooring is actual real wood that has been applied to a plywood or ply base. Homeowners now typically prefer engineered wood flooring over laminate, vinyl planks, and even some solid woods because of its unsurpassed stability and durability. The plied (applied) base stabilizes the wood, keeping it from growing or buckling over the years. With over 70% of sales going to engineered wood flooring this past year here at Hardwood Bargains, we knew our customers could benefit with a step by step guide to installing this type of quality flooring in their own home.

Engineered Hardwood Floors

Step 1: Choose the right wood for your lifestyle

Consider your own family and lifestyle when choosing a hardwood floor. Species like cherry are generally softer words. They’re still durable, but may be more prone to dents. Species like Acacia are going to be harder and can tolerate more roughness. Be sure to consider the traffic that goes through your home and base your search off of that. On average, engineered wood floors are priced at around $3.39/square foot. To estimate how much flooring to buy, calculate the square footage of the room you plan on flooring and add a 7% waste allowance for cuts, trims, etc. Our floor finder can help you find the right floor for your home.

Step 2: Prep work

Prepping your wood and concrete floor is the most crucial step in the installation process. Start by letting your newly purchased flooring acclimate in open boxes in the room you plan on installing the flooring for about 2-3 days. This allows the flooring to match the humidity of the room. The moisture in the wood needs to be within 3 percentage points of other existing wood based material in your home. Avoid storing flooring in basements because it could absorb extra moisture, causing it to shrink when it acclimates to the room you’re installing it in.

Determine what supplies you need. Take inventory of what you have and what you need to buy. Supplies typically needed in the installation of engineered wood floors are a basic saw, miter saw, jig saw, tape measure, straight edge, builders felt or tar paper based off of the square footage of the room, rubber mallet, and flooring stapler or nail gun. All supplies can be found in-store and online at Hardwood Bargains.

Lastly and most importantly, make sure your concrete slab is clean and flat. Sweep away anything off the floor, clean off paint or drywall residue, and use a belt sander to level and smooth the surface. Ensuring that the floor is flat is key. To do this, sweep a 10-foot straightedge across the floor. Make sure there is no deviation of 3/16th of an inch. Mark the floor wherever light shows underneath the edge, then level the floors with a sander or by filling depressions with an acceptable product you can nail to. It is very critical that your floors are level before laying any of the pieces down.

Step 3: The Installation

The first thing you will to do is undercut door jambs casings. This will allow your flooring to slip underneath easily. To do this, place a scrap of your newly purchased flooring in front of the door casing and slowly saw across the casing so the wood planks can slide under. Do this around all doorways in the room. Remember to dust or vacuum immediately after to ensure a clean work surface.

Next, you’ll want to roll out builders felt or tar paper. These products form a moisture barrier that prevents any moisture from potentially contacting the flooring and rotting the underside of the wood. Run it in the same direction as your new flooring, typically, in line with the longest wall. Close the edges of the paper or felt as close together as possible and staple down each edge every 4 or 5 feet. Trim it to be within a ½ inch of the walls. Be sure to tap down any poorly set staples to ensure a flat floor.

Now you’re ready to start laying the planks. Start in a corner, along the longest wall in the room. Most engineered wood floors are tongue and groove, so they piece together very easily. You’ll want to place ½ in spacers against the wall and its adjacent wall to create an expansion gap to prevent any buckling of the wood. These spacers will also make installing baseboards easier. When installing a nail down floor, the tongue side has to face out. The floor gun adheres the plank by driving a staple or nail at a 45 degree angle through the top of the tongue and into the sub-floor. This is called “blind nailing”.

Using a pneumatic flooring stapler or a brad nail gun loaded with 1 ½ in brad nails, nail or staple down each plank every 6 to 8 inches and within 1 inch of the wall. Continue running rows of the planks, varying lengths as you go to create various staggering seams. Remember to check tongue alignment as you go. Most floor installers offset end joints by at least 12 inches from those in the first course.  The further apart, the better. When you eventually get to the other side of the room, you will need to use a finisher nailer to lock these boards because the stapler will not fit against the wall.

Lastly, remove all spacers and reinstall the baseboards. Be sure to vacuum the floors and fill all nail holes with wood putty.

Step 4: The Care and Maintenance Of Your Engineered Wood Floors

Keep your engineered hardwood flooring vacuumed or swept on a daily basis. This prevents any dirt or debris from getting in between the planks, or worse, scratching the surface of the wood. Though engineered wood flooring is extremely resistant to moisture, excessive liquid can damage any type of flooring. Avoid wax based cleaners and harsh detergents. Hardwood Bargains offers an array of quality wood cleaners that help protect and maintain the surface of your new wood floors.

 

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27Jan
27Jan

Purchasing a wood floor can be a complicated process, especially if it is your first time.  There are so many industry-specific terms and unique products that salespeople talk about, that a lack of understanding those terms could possibly prevent you from making the right choice for your wood flooring project.  One of these products that we get asked about a lot here in our showroom is Aluminum Oxide; what is it? And how does it protect the wood?

Aluminum Oxide Handscraped Natural Hickory

Aluminum Oxide, also known as Alumina, is a chemical compound of aluminum and oxygen, and is commonly used in the production of aluminum metal.  The overall hardness, insoluble nature, and an extremely high melting point make Aluminum Oxide essential in a number of applications including electrical insulation, composite fibers, and medical applications such as joint and hip replacements.

Aluminum Oxide Hand Scraped Chocolate Hickory

It is also utilized in finishes for hardwood flooring; at the factory level, coats of polyurethane are applied to the wood, and aluminum oxide particles are added, increasing the strength and durability of the finish.  Adding the compound will increase the resistance to scratches, as well general wear and tear.  Many manufacturers have begun to use it, and finish warranties have increased by as much as 15-25 years as a result.  With aluminum oxide finished floors, clean up and floor maintenance is simple and straightforward, overall hardness and scratch resistance are increased, and you get a beautiful, timeless, and durable hardwood floor that you and your family can enjoy for years to come.

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20Jan
20Jan

As an online retailer of quality, yet affordable hardwood flooring, we knew we needed to step back and offer a commitment to sustainability to not only our customers, but our earth as well. By partnering with American Forests for the Global Releaf forest restoration program, we’ve made the commitment to replant two trees for each tree used in our sold products.

 American Forest Foundation Logo

American Forests protects and restores urban and rural forests. Founded in 1875, it is the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the country. It serves as a catalyst for thousands of forest ecosystem restoration products and public education efforts each year. Since 1990, American Forests has planted more than 40 million trees throughout the US.

Here at Hardwood Bargains, we hope our green business practices set a new standard in the renovation industry. In addition to our tree replanting program, we offer other eco-friendly practices in our day-to-day operations. We specialize in engineered wood flooring products, which are inherently more eco-friendly because they use fewer resources from the environment. All products are made formaldehyde-free, which makes for better air quality and helps those with respiratory issues.

Forest Foundation

“Hardwood Bargains makes a concerted effort to be green every day and we encourage our consumers and colleagues to do the same,” Mike Nowotarski, co-owner of Hardwood Bargains, said.

Overall, the installation of wood floors is gentler on the environment due to its sustainability compared to carpeting or other flooring materials.  For certain installations, we offer a floating installation that uses recycled foam underlayment that is produced from recycled tires.

Beautiful Wood Floors

Our team is committed to supporting the reforestation of trees and creating a sustainable, eco-friendly practice. Every member on our team is extremely knowledgeable and can assist you to determine the best products and installation methods for your home and health. Visit us today and check out some of our eco-friendly floors .

 

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26Nov
26Nov

One of the questions that we get asked daily here daily at Hardwood Bargains is about the hardness of our floors. Consumers want to know what species of wood is the most resistant to dents and scratches.

The first thing you should know is that while some floors are much harder than others, all of them are susceptible to dents when a lot of pressure is applied. Hardwood flooring industry uses the Janka hardness scale to determine the strength of various floors. The Janka scale measures the force that is required to embed a 0.444” steel ball into the wood to half the ball’s diameter, leaving an indentation in the wood. The results of the test are stated in a pound – force per square inch (psi) measurement.

Just to give you an idea, a 6000 lb. elephant exerts a pressure of 75 psi as it walks while a 100 lb. woman wearing high heels can be exerting a pressure of over 1500 psi as she places all of her weight on one heel.

Here is a list of the performance of the floors found on HardwoodBargains.com on the Janka hardness test:

  • Stand-woven Bamboo and Eucalyptus 3000 psi
  • Brazilian Cherry 2350 psi
  • Acacia 2200 psi
  • Tigerwood 1850 psi
  • Hickory 1820 psi
  • European White Oak 1360 psi
  • Red Oak 1290 psi
  • Birch 1260 psi
  • Walnut 1010 psi

As you can see, there is a big difference in hardness between various species of hardwood. It takes mores than twice the amount of pressure to dent an acacia floor as it does to dent a walnut hardwood floor.

Unlike solid and engineered hardwood floors, laminate floors do not have Janka ratings. Laminate floors are made out of high density fiberboard (HDF) or medium density fiberboard (MDF) and are not actually comprised of any real hardwood. The durability of laminate can be assessed by its AC rating. European Producers of Laminate Flooring (EPLF) developed several tests that measure factors like resistance to burning and susceptibility to denting, in order to determine the durability of all laminate flooring. All laminate floors are assigned a score from 1 to 5 based on their performance on EPLF tests. A floor with an AC1 rating is suitable for light home use, while a floor with an AC5 rating will be able to hold up in a commercial location with heavy traffic.

It is always a good idea to consider the durability and hardness of floors when making your hardwood flooring decision.

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02Oct
02Oct

Whether you’re in the early stages of a home or business renovation, or you’ve begun construction on your new dream home, selecting beautiful wood flooring will both enhance the look of your space and increase the value.  However, many homeowners often have a hard time deciding whether to have wood flooring in the kitchen or not.  Below, we will tell you why installing wood flooring in your kitchen is a great idea.

Design

Looking through home improvement magazines and websites, you can’t help but notice a lot of designers utilizing wood flooring throughout the kitchen areas.  Wood flooring brings a warmth and distinction to your kitchen that is often lacking in materials like tile, linoleum, or vinyl.  With more and more new homes utilizing open concept floor plans, the use of multiple flooring materials on the same level is quickly being phased out. One consistent floor material throughout connects the design elements more effectively by uniting spaces. Not to mention, it will also remove the need for transitional pieces of molding, which can be an expensive eyesore.

Durability

Wood flooring has long been considered one of the most durable, long lasting options for flooring.  The concept of kitchen use has just started gaining popularity with today’s homeowner. However, bringing wood flooring into an area with plumbing no doubt creates new ways of addressing a common wood flooring concern: moisture.  Spills are going to happen in every area of the home, especially in the kitchen, and a simple rug or mat near the high traffic areas (such as in front of the sink) can prevent most issues with spills and moisture easily. Additionally, most installers will not install wood flooring under the dishwasher, giving you extra protection against moisture and humidity created by the appliance.  By following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance program, your wood floor can easily outlast tile and linoleum by decades.  

Daily Advantages

Tile and ceramic floors have been shown to be tougher on joints, affecting knees and backs negatively, while wood floors provide a natural give, particularly in places where standing still for long periods of time occur such as the kitchen.  Another issue that plagues tile use is the continuous cleaning of the grout, where dirt and spills can accumulate, which will require more extensive maintenance and cleaning.  Unlike vinyl, linoleum, or even slate/tile, hardwood flooring never goes out of style, allowing the value of your home to increase.

The kitchen is truly the heart of the home. Whether it is for a quick weeknight dinner or large holiday gathering, the kitchen remains the main hub for activity.  Having a beautiful wood floor that lasts a lifetime will bring not only peace of mind, but also a warm and regal look that other materials cannot.

Donny Ross is part of the sales team at Hardwood Bargains, and has over 3 years of experience in wood flooring sales and installation.  In his free time he enjoys live music, watching Florida State football, and living an active lifestyle in Austin, TX.


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02Oct
02Oct

In recent years interior designers all across the world have fallen in love with acacia hardwood floors. Designers are always searching for a new style of flooring that will work with different styles of furniture and they have truly found it with acacia hardwood floors. Coming in various plank widths, different colors and shines, acacia floors allow the designers the flexibility to make the right choice for every customer. A wide plank, oil finished, hand scrapped acacia hardwood floor creates a warm and rustic atmosphere inside the customer’s homes while a narrower plank, with a shinier aluminum oxide finish and a smooth surface allow the designers to achieve a more formal feel.

Extremely hard and very durable, acacia wood floors are a perfect choice for customers looking for that unique designer look at a reasonable price. Designers love the color variation and elaborate grain patterns that can be seen throughout the flooring. Each plank looking different than the next.

Acacia, also known as the thorn tree can be found growing in Australia, Africa, South America and the tropical parts of Asia. The Janka hardness scale measures the resistance of various species of wood to denting. A small pellet is pressed into the wood to determine how much force is required to embed the pellet half way. Registering at 2300 psi on the JANKA scale, acacia is 55% harder than European white oak, 23% harder than hickory and 90% harder than carbonized bamboo flooring, making it one of the most durable floors on market.

Due to the high variation in the grain and knot pattern of acacia hardwood floors, designers are able to pair it with both light and dark cabinets inside their customer’s homes. The rich texture of the acacia also pairs extremely well with various distressing practices that add warmth and character to the home.

The competitive pricing, durability and stylistic flexibility of acacia hardwood floors have propelled them to their extreme popularity with interior designers everywhere. More and more designers are recommending acacia hardwood floors to their customers instead of old classics like hickory and European oak. Please call one of our representatives today to learn which acacia wood floor will be a great fit for your home.

Edward has been in the home improvement industry for 5 years. A big fan of UCLA football and basketball.


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