June 2014

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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