March 2014

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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