Do you have children or pets? If so, consider oak flooring, graciously withstanding romps and stomps and resisting scratches. Similar to the flavor of fine wine, the color of oak becomes richer with time. The character of reclaimed oak testifies to this benefit. Another strength of oak is that it stains evenly, showcasing a wide variety of tints, from clean white to chocolate brown. The swirly grain patterns are classy, whether you like the uniformity of prime grade or the knotty “beauty marks” of character grade.
You can also choose from two species of oak, named for the color of their barks. Each wood has distinct advantages. White oak flooring is honey brown, while red has a pinkish hue. Red oak has a stronger grain than white, so it hides scratches and dents a bit better.
On the other hand, the tiger-striped grain of white oak is smoother and more consistent than red. On the Janka Hardness Scale, which rates durability, white oak supersedes red. But, whether you take a shine to red or white oak, both types are affordably priced.
If you prefer simplistic yet elegant decor, maple is an ideal option. The grain pattern is smooth and low-key, although occasional flecks and mineral streaks add visual interest. Light in color, the wood has a bright, clean, and expansive ambiance. Maple wood is super-strong, ranking higher than oak on the Janka Scale. Its range of hues includes blonde, light cream, and beige, often with a reddish tint. Since the wood isn’t very porous, staining is challenging, best done professionally. Many homeowners choose to let the natural beauty of maple prevail, protected with a clear sealant finish.
Over time, maple acquires a faint yellow tone. A coating of strong polyurethane prevents scratches from otherwise showing. Rubber soles can leave heel marks, remedied with an eraser and buffing. Since maple is so durable, denting is rare.
Like many hardwoods, maple reacts to fluctuating humidity, with temporary swelling and shrinking, and sometimes, warping or cracks. Wood shifting can be avoided by choosing engineered flooring. Despite its glamorous aura, maple is reasonably priced, approximating the cost of oak.
Possessing a light hue, this hardwood is airy like maple, but with a standout grain. When sourced from sapwood, ash can be creamy white or golden brown. Made of heartwood, the color is typically light tan. Ash is notable for its straight grain pattern and slightly springy feel. Similar to oak flooring, ash can handle heavy traffic. Additionally, being shock-resistant, ash is perfect in kitchens and family rooms, where objects are frequently dropped. Since water is highly visible on its surface, accidental slips and slides are less likely. Plus, the elastic nature of ash suits areas subject to radiant heat and high humidity.
Like oak, ash absorbs stains well. However, its natural color is so pleasing, you may wish to preserve it, with a protective, clear finish.
Do you favor a rustic look? If so, you’ll love pine flooring, with its abundant knots, pinholes, and prominent grain. Occupying the low end of the Janka Scale, pine is technically a “softwood.” Though this term gives a cushy image, the wood isn’t actually soft, just impressionable, reflecting household activity over time. Still, many homeowners find that a few dents and dings make their rooms more welcoming. Plus, the patina that emerges with use gives the flooring a homey glow. While yielding to impact, pine flooring is durable and long-lasting, especially when finished with polyurethane sealant. You can also opt for heart pine, stronger than southern yellow pine. Or, use pine flooring in areas where traffic is moderate, such as a home office.
With a vast color palette, pine is available in white blonde, honey gold, deep brown, and reddish mahogany. The wood stains beautifully and resists humidity. Another advantage of pine is that it’s highly economical.
At Classic Floor Designs, our stateside clients include the White House, US Mint Building, and Four Seasons Hotel. Our work has earned awards from the National Flooring Association and the Washington Building Congress. Overseas, we’ve installed flooring for ambassador homes in Belgium, Germany, and France.Among choice hardwood flooring options, oak, maple, ash, and pine are homeowner top picks. However, these are just a few of the high-performance woods from our broad selection. To launch the fulfillment of YOUR vision, call us for a free consultation at (202) 872-9860.
With 40+ years in custom flooring, you can stand on our solid reputation – for years to come.
Using Vinegar to Clean Up Dog Urine
Although it might leave a scent behind, white vinegar can be very useful in removing dog urine from any kind of floor, especially carpet. The vinegar also removes the pet odor that is left behind and can deter animals from urinating in those same places again. Use warm water and soap on the area first before spraying vinegar on the area. Avoid using apple cider vinegar because it could stain the floor.
Using Shaving Cream to Clean Up Dog Urine
Using Laundry Detergent to Clean Up Dog Urine
Using Toothpaste to Clean Up Dog Urine
When it comes to walking, shoes are a great invention. They cause a great deal of wear and tear on your floors, however. Therefore, it might be a good idea to leave the shoes at the door. Some people are okay with a no shoes in the house rule while others prefer to wear shoes wherever they go. If you prefer to wear shoes in the house, just know that it will cause extra wear on your floors and will likely make them a little more difficult to keep looking new. Dirt and grime carried in on shoes can leave an abrasive layer on your floors that can scratch them or leave them looking dull. If you prefer not to enforce a no-shoes rule, just make sure you keep those floors clean on a regular basis.
Keep it Clean
All hardwood floors are not created equal, and neither are the products designed for cleaning floors. Whether your hardwood flooring is unfinished, waxed, or oiled, read all the labels on a cleaning product before you use it to make sure it is safe to use on your floors. Once you have settled on the best cleaning product, wood floors can be simple to keep looking great. A simple sweep and mop is generally all that is required. Make sure to mop up spills as quickly as possible. Spills are never good to let sit on any type of flooring, but it can cause particular wear and damage to the hardwood.
Buff the Scuffs
Scuffs can occur on your floors for a variety of reasons, and they are a simple fact of life when it comes to hardwood. The good news is they are easier to get rid of than most people think. You may need to try different methods to remove a scuff, but they are not permanent and can easily be banished!
- Dampen the corner of a soft cloth and rub it over the area. This may be enough to gently remove the scuff from your floor. Dry the area with the dry part of the cloth once you have removed the scuff.
- Lightly dab the area with a damp sponge or cloth. Rub the area with a pencil eraser, then use the sponge again to wipe away the eraser debris. Wipe dry.
- Buff away the scuff with a tennis ball! This surprising technique works like a charm on some scuffs. Simply rub the tennis ball over the area and watch the scuff disappear. The fabric on the tennis ball is abrasive enough to buff away the scuff, but it is gentle enough that it won’t harm your floor.
- For tough scuffs, wipe the area with a damp cloth and dry. Mix a tablespoon of olive oil with a tablespoon of vinegar and pour a small amount of the solution on the scuff. Let it sit overnight. Dry the area with a soft cloth the next morning.
For the long haul, you should add a maintenance coat to your floors every three to five years to keep it looking like new. The particular type of coat you use will depend on your style of wood flooring.
While you can’t prevent eventual wear and tear on your floors, you can lessen the damage with a few simple tricks.
- Prevent scratches and scrapes on your floors by placing felt protectors under chair legs and other furniture. Many people tend to overlook the application of felt protectors, but they can save years of wear and tear on your floors. Just make sure to replace them if they become detached or worn thin.
- Use rugs in high-traffic areas to help keep the floors clean. Rugs are great when they are used properly. Make sure you wash the rugs on a regular basis or they will do nothing more than look pretty and scatter dust. You should also always use a rug pad underneath to ensure the rug doesn’t stick to the floor and leave a residue when it is removed.
- Protect your floors from the sun. As much as you may love the bright sunlight streaming through your window, it can discolor your floors over time. Blinds, curtains, or other window treatments are suggested to keep your floors from being discolored by sunlight. You can also use a protective UV coating on your floors for an added level of protection.
Hardwood floors are one of the classic floor designs that add beauty and elegance to any home. Keep yours looking new with these simple tips from Classic Floor Designs.
Originally, hardwood flooring was available only as bare planks. After the unfinished planks were installed, the entire surface would be finished with stain and a polyurethane treatment. Now, you have more choices. Wood flooring is also available with factory-applied finishes. This type of finished flooring is durable and often comes with a long warranty. If you’re wondering which option is best for you, learn about the pros and cons of each so that you can choose the right one for your project.
Do You Want To Walk On Your Floors Right Away?
When opting for finished wood panels, you can use the room as soon as the planks are installed. However, unfinished wood must be sanded and finished after it is installed. Some water-based polyurethane finishes dry quickly, but they may take several days or weeks to cure. You won’t want to set up your furniture or walk on the floor with shoes until the finish has cured.
You’ll be able to detect an odor from the polyurethane until it has completely cured. That can be a nuisance for those who are living in the home during this time. You won’t have to deal with a chemical smell if you install flooring that has already been stained and sealed.
Finishing hardwood on site may also produce dust that can settle throughout the building. Using factory-finished floor planks prevents this from happening. If you decide to have us install bare hardwood or refinish your floors, however, rest assured that Classic Floor Designs use a no-dust refinishing system that safely removes particles so that you can stay in your home. Our dustless system also cuts down on post-installation cleanup time.
If you’re installing flooring in a new construction or large-scale project, you might prefer using unfinished wood. Contractors often prefer to finish the floors last so that they don’t get scuffed or damaged by tools, work boots or grit.
Do You Want The Widest Range Of Finishes Available?
Although prefinished wood flooring comes in a wide variety of finishes, it doesn’t compare to the customization that you can achieve from finishing bare planks. As long as the flooring is made from solid hardwood, it’s possible to sand down prefabricated planks to reveal the grain underneath, allowing the finish to be customized. However, the factory topcoat is so durable that this can be a time-consuming process. Sanding down prefinished hardwood thins it out, and you can only do so a few times before compromising the integrity of the material.
When it comes to repairing damage, it’s easier to touch up a small section of site-finished floors than prefabricated planks. You’ll be able to refinish it with the same materials, and the repaired area will be more likely to match the rest of the floor. If you’re trying to redo the flooring in one room to harmonize with the rest of the home, you might get a better match with unfinished wood.
Do You Require Maximum Durability?
While both types of flooring are incredibly resilient, prefabricated wood floor planks are usually more resistant to stains, water damage, and discolorations. In short, the treatment used on factory-finished hardwood is easier to maintain than the treatment used on site, and it lasts longer. A warranty on a floor that’s finished on site might last up to five years. On the other hand, prefinished wood is often warranted for up to 25 years or even a lifetime.
All hardwood will develop scratches and indentations over time, especially in high-traffic areas. If you have kids or pets, you might be able to keep factory-finished wood floors looking new for a longer period of time than on-site-finished options.
Is A Smooth, Seamless Finish Important To You?
Unfinished wood flooring is sanded after it is installed. This helps to produce an even surface even if the subflooring is irregular. It also flattens out the seams between the boards. If you’re going for a glossy, mirror-slick finish, you probably won’t be able to achieve your goal with factory-finished boards.
Factory-finished wood planks are typically beveled, or slightly rounded, at the edges. This produces a marked seam when they lie against one another. These grooves can collect dirt and moisture.
When it comes to choosing the right type of wood floors for your project, your budget might dictate the ultimate decision. Although factory-finished wood is usually more expensive per plank, the cost of the finishing materials eventually bumps up the cost of bare hardwood installation. Plus, various species of wood have different costs.
If you are still on the fence, the experts at Classic Floor Designs can help you weigh the pros and cons of the different types of flooring so that you can enjoy your home for years to come. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Northern Virginia and the Washington DC metropolitan area are filled with beautiful, historic homes. If you live in one of these homes and have old hardwood floors, you might wonder whether it is better for you to restore them or to replace them. Whether you should restore your existing hardwood floors or get new flooring installed will depend on several different factors, including your budget, the condition of your floors and whether you like their look and style.
Generally, it’s more expensive to install new hardwood floors than to refinish the ones that you already have. Buying new wooden flooring requires removing the old floors and disposing of them, which include a price tag. There will also be labor costs involved with cutting the flooring to fit around doorways and walls. If you have some boards that are stained or damaged, to save money, you can opt to replace only the damaged sections and then refinish your hardwood floors so that they look as good as new. Wood floors can be matched so that the replaced sections will blend in seamlessly.
The condition of your existing floors and their age
Hardwood floors may be refinished around five to seven times during their lifespans. If your floors have been refinished repeatedly over time, they may be too worn to save. If you are able to see the tongue between the boards where they fit together, you will likely need to replace your floors. You should also consider replacing your floors if they do not seem sturdy or have too much bounce. Certain types of wood, like pine, are softer and are may become less sturdy as time passes. If your floors are simply scratched up, you may choose to have them refinished instead of buying new floors.
If you have structural problems that need repair, you will likely have to opt for new wooden floors. For example, if the floor supports are damaged or you need a new subfloor, you will have to get new floors installed; these types of repairs require the old floors to be removed.
Wanting a different wood species
Most historic homes in the DC area have oak floors. To update the look or if you desire a different wood species such as cherry, you might choose to have new floors installed. To change the color of your floors, however, you may not need to invest in new floors. Sanding and staining can easily change the color of your flooring, alleviating the need to replace them altogether.
Change the width or direction of your floorboards
Many older homes have oak floors that are 2-1/4 inches wide. Wider planks are more popular and on-trend now. If you want to have wider planks that are 5 to 7 inches wide, the only way you can get them is to get new floors installed. Similarly, if you want to change the direction that the boards run, you will need to replace the floors.
Time and mess considerations
If you are pressed for time, replacing your floors typically takes less time than refinishing them. Floor replacements also do not generate as much of a mess. However, it is also possible to refinish your floors with a minimal mess when you use dustless floor refinishing. Classic Floor Designs has a dustless refinishing system that vacuums all of the dust away from the inside of your home into our truck so that the mess is minimal.
Deciding whether to refinish your existing floors or to install new ones will depend on your preferences, budget, time constraints and the condition of your existing floors. To learn more about refinishing your existing floors or replacing them, contact Classic Floor Designs today.
What is dustless hardwood floor refinishing?
We use specialized equipment to refinish your hardwood floors without leaving behind a significant amount of dust. Our sanders are connected with special hoses to a powerful vacuum that is located on our trailers. As our professional refinishers sand your floors, the dust is sucked out of your home and into our trucks. This system can allow you to stay in your home or business while your floors are being sanded without worrying about breathing in the carcinogenic dust that can be produced during the process.
Benefits of no-dust refinishing
There are several benefits of choosing to refinish your floors with our no-dust system, including the following:
- Less time preparing
- Less time cleaning up
- Better health
Before no-dust refinishing systems were available, people who wanted to sand their floors had to spend a significant amount of time preparing. They had to cover all of their furniture and stay elsewhere while the process was completed. Our system allows you to minimize the amount of preparation that you would otherwise need to complete. With the powerful vacuum technology, the dust is safely removed away from your home and your belongings, allowing you to stay in your home or business without having to cover everything.
Since most of the dust will be vacuumed directly out of your home or business and into our truck, there will also be much less time needed for cleaning up. In the past, people would find dust piling up for weeks after they had already cleaned after their floors were sanded. This is because sanding floors sends dust into your vents. From there, the dust may then be circulated and deposited throughout your home, allowing dust to continue settling everywhere for weeks.
Dust-free floor sanding is also much healthier for you, your family, your employees or your customers. Dust from sanding certain types of wood can be carcinogenic. Having high levels of dust in the air may also cause respiratory problems, allergic reactions or worsened asthma symptoms. Even if you leave your home during the sanding process or have the work completed while your business is closed, a lot of dust will still remain behind if you don’t use a dust-free floor refinishing process.
Added benefits for business owners
If you are a business owner who wants to refinish your floors, you will enjoy the added benefit of being able to continue working while the floors are being refinished. Without a dust-free sanding process, businesses have to close their doors while the work is being completed and during the cleanup process. They also have to cover and protect all of their furniture and office equipment to keep dust from getting in. With our system, you can continue to operate your business like you normally do, which can help you to continue making profits during the refinishing process.
Refinishing your existing hardwood floors doesn’t have to be a messy job. When you choose our system, you can enjoy beautiful results without the hassles involved with dust. To learn more about our dustless sanding and refinishing services, call Classic Floor Designs today.