How Long Do Hardwood Floors Last?

Hardwood floors is the most popular style of flooring for homeowners in the United States. The timeless look and feel add value and spirit to any home. However, the question of longevity always comes to mind before any hardwood installation. This article will provide insight on just that, while also exploring how to keep your new hardwood floor in top shape as time goes by.

Proper care = Longer life

With proper care and upkeep, hardwood floors can last a lifetime. Even if you do not take the best care of your floor, hardwood still blows carpet out of the water if you are looking for longevity. While carpet has to be completely replaced every ten or so years, hardwood only requires a refinishing or recoating after extensive and visible wear and tear. This could mean over a decade before you need to worry. To gauge how well you are taking care of your hardwood flooring, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I routinely clean my hardwood floors with the proper supplies?
  • Do I immediately clean up any spills?
  • Do you prevent your pets from scratching at or wearing down your floor?
  • Is your furniture properly padded to prevent indentations?

If you answered yes to these then you are in good shape! After installation, it is critical for the homeowner to take good care of the floor and treat it like the valuable asset it is.

When should I refinish?

Refinishing does not have to be a necessity. Many homeowners never refinish their hardwood, choosing to live with the sight of wear and tear. Depending on how much stress you put on your floor, it may be cheaper to go with a recoating than a full refinish. A recoating gives your hardwood that original “pop” it had when it was first installed. To keep that same new look, plan on a recoat every five or so years. Refinishing is recommended after over ten years. At that point floors with heavy traffic may begin to lose color or warp. If you still are not sure, you can always call Classic Floor Designs for a consultation.

Experienced Installers

Deciding who installs your floor is just as important as deciding the style and finish. If your hardwood is laid improperly, you could encounter premature wear and tear or even damage that could need professional repair. Classic Floor Designs has done work for the Oval Office of the White House, The Four Seasons Hotel, and the Masonic Temple in Baltimore. Rest assured that no matter how big or small the job is, we bring industry leading service and professionalism.

Contact Us

Get your vision started today! Let our 40 years of experience in the DC metropolitan area go to work for you. Call us at (202) 872-9860 for a FREE consultation on your homes future flooring. Whether it be hardwood, carpet, or tile, a professional at Classic Floor Designs will be there with you every step of the way.

2019 Hardwood Flooring Trends

When it comes to creating the vibe that you want, your flooring lays the foundation. Do you want to come home to a fresh, clean contemporary look? Are you a fan of the natural, rustic ambiance that infuses a space with the friendly warmth of a farmhouse? Would you rather create the kind of relaxed, coastal atmosphere that makes a beachcomber feel right at home? Hardwood is an ideal choice for any of these themes. In fact, hardwood flooring makes a great base for virtually any design scheme thanks to the multitude of design options that it offers. With so many possibilities, how will you use this material to transform your home? Exploring 2019’s hardwood flooring trends can help you figure that out.

A Triumph of Texture

Smooth wooden floors offer a classic, polished elegance, but the charming individuality of imperfection means that texture will continue to be a strong flooring trend in 2019. If you’re interested in installing a new hardwood floor, you’ll definitely want to consider popular floor textures. For example, hand-scraped hardwood flooring comes with long, ingrained scrapes that play up the natural color and texture of the material. The marks vary widely from plank to plank. This lack of uniformity makes it seem as if each piece was carefully handcrafted. The result is a delightful sense of uniqueness. Another option is distressed hardwood flooring, which has a somewhat historic feel. With imperfections like knots, scrapes, burns, wormholes, and various signs of wear and tear welcome, this flooring has a sense of hard-earned age that brings both character and a feel of enduring beauty to a space. Finally, wire-brushed hardwood flooring features thin scratches that offer hints of exposed wood. The subtlety and consistency of the marks produce a smoother, more understated texture that enlivens the flooring and hides dirt well.

Pattern Play

In terms of layout, innovative and even unconventional patterns will be among 2019’s hottest hardwood flooring trends. Planks that are longer and wider than their traditionally sized counterparts are sure to find favor with homeowners who want to make a room seem larger and more open. For those who want a slightly more daring look, mixed width hardwood floors weave together planks of varying widths. This pop of unpredictability draws the eye and treats it to a visually appealing surprise. A similar result can be achieved by mixing planks with light and dark tones. Do you prefer a more structured look? There are plenty of fun patterns to play with. Installing a hardwood floor diagonally gives the traditional layout a bold, modern edge. Alternately, chevron floors and herringbone floors bring planks together in a strict, angular pattern that is anything but boring.

Hardwood Floor Hues

What will 2019’s trends bring for hardwood flooring’s hues? Natural neutrals will be on-point. Already popular since it inevitably plays well with other colors and works beautifully in almost any design style, gray is expected to remain a go-to neutral in the new year. While smooth, silvery tones of gray are on the rise, rich, velvety charcoals are another great choice for new floors. Shades of off-white are also a popular pick. Hardwoods that are colored to match the textured warmth of French limestone or the natural glimmer of sea salt can bring an intriguing sense of depth that delights the eye. Of course, brown is a natural pick when it comes to wood. Rich, matte chocolate browns are a timeless choice that never goes out of style, but softer blondes are becoming increasingly popular among people who want a light, airy look underfoot.

Responsibility as a Selling Point

Increasingly, today’s consumers aren’t just worried about the appearance, durability or price tag of their new hardwood floor. They’re also concerned about its origin and its impact on the world around them. Responsibility is a major selling point in 2019. Environmentally responsible flooring options will be in-demand. In response, retailers and manufacturers are offering a variety of eco-friendly options, including recycled and reclaimed hardwood flooring. Sustainable materials like bamboo and cork provide an even wider range of possibilities for consumers who take pride in maximizing their style while minimizing the environmental impact of their choices. Social responsibility is another issue for many homeowners. For some, this means opting for homegrown products that are made in America, even if those products come at a higher cost. For others, this means buying from companies with corporate policies that they can appreciate and respect.

At Classic Floor Designs, we know flooring. We’ve been providing top-notch flooring products and services to homes and businesses in and around the Washington, D.C. area for more than 40 years. We’re always pleased to put our expertise to work for our clients. To learn more about flooring trends or explore our services, contact us today to arrange for a free design consultation.

Do Dark Hardwood Floors Make a Space Seem Smaller?

One of the most common fears of installing dark hardwood floors is that it may make spaces in your home seem smaller. While it is true that dark colors absorb light, it is possible to counteract this with your choice of décor. Our hardwood floor installation specialists are here to help you with planning your space, making sure your new hardwood flooring seamlessly meets your vision for any project. Here are a few things to consider while doing your own research on dark hardwood flooring:

Paint

Using a lighter shade of paint will open up your space to the eye and mitigate the impact of the dark flooring. Avoid using dark shades of paint unless you are planning on a lighter shade hardwood or other flooring material for your home. The one exception to this is a dark accent wall. Just a shade or two darker on one wall can trick the eye, making our brains think that wall is farther away. Gray paint is a very popular choice for this in home design today and has created great spaces paired with our selection of dark hardwood for past clients.

Lighting

Light fixtures and blinds are big players when it comes to the design and feel of your room. Natural lighting works beautifully with dark hardwood flooring by providing a perfect contrast. Go with shorter sheer blinds (or none at all) to bring light into the room. Pair this with a few fixtures or houseplants to bring that pop a room with darker floors often needs. Recessed lighting or pendant lights are also good when used in conjunction, or as alternatives, to natural lighting.

Rugs

A nice area rug with a lighter shade color scheme is a great way to give separation to the room. Make sure it does not cover the whole floor as its important to strike a balance between the floor, rug, and walls. Designer rugs have become favorite fixtures for modern home designers.

Furniture

Perhaps the biggest piece of the puzzle, furniture is the last step in completing your room. Glass is a fantastic accent for dark hardwood whether it be a coffee table, TV stand, or cabinet. It makes a big difference when compared to their wooden counterparts, and adds functionality with style.

Contact Us

Classic Floor Designs is proud to have worked on projects with clients such as The Four Seasons Hotel, the White House, The Erwin Gomez Salon & Spa, and the Baltimore Masonic Temple. We are confident in our ability to make your dream space come to life. Let us bring our 40+ years of experience right into your home today! Get started today and give us a call at (202) 872-9860 for a FREE consolation.

Hardwood Floor Installation: DIY Project, or Professional Installations Only?

Hardwood floors offer a sophisticated look for homeowners who live in the metropolitan areas around Washington D.C. and beyond.  Installing hardwood floors is a great way to enhance the market value of your property. Some homeowners have previous experience in working on their own homes, but there are many compelling reasons to hire this particular type of work out to a professional company instead. The services should be performed by skilled and experienced contractors who use industry standard tools and equipment to get the job done right the first time. This can reduce the likelihood of expensive errors that drive up the total installation cost. You can also benefit from the guarantees provided by the company. Consider the advantages of hiring a professional to install your perfect floor.

A professional installer is a person who has special training and experience in this industry. Even if you have some experience working on your own home, floor installations are still extremely tricky to do right the first time. Professional installers apply the highest standards when performing the work. This includes the use of specialty tools that are not readily available to the public. In addition, you will have fast access to a variety of experts who can inform you about the process every step of the way. This is an important benefit if you intend to use the same services on business properties. It is also helpful to have access to a showroom that contains a large selection of different types of hardwood. This can be the fun part for people who get excited about interior design for their living spaces. The different shades of hardwood can be browsed for your enjoyment. This also means that you can enjoy the benefits of customer service for your particular environment.

Avoid Mistakes, Get Professional Installations

Professional equipment is a lot more expensive than normal consumer supplies, and this drives up the cost. These floors require a variety of tools and techniques, and most people do not have the proper skills and equipment necessary to install the floors correctly. Remember that when you hire a professional, you are renting their equipment as well as their expertise. If you were to purchase similar equipment, you would also need to evaluate the total costs involved. You might not save as much money as you imagined by purchasing specialty supplies for the job. This can include sanders, buffers, air compressors, adhesives, hygrometers, and professional grade saws. The amount of equipment necessary can also raise the issue of what to do with the supplies after the job is finished. When you hire a professional floor installation company, they take care of the equipment costs, storage, and maintenance.

Mistakes can be costly, and this can drive up the total cost of the installation if something is done that requires a correction later in time. Professional floor installations can also be insured by the company who hired the worker to perform the job. This means that you can often get the work fixed if something goes wrong. This is another level of security that you can enjoy by working with a company instead of trying to do everything yourself. There are many common mistakes that are made when attempting to install hardwood flooring in a home. The space measurement tools can determine the accuracy of the installation, for example. The best solution is to hire professionals who understand the process and have the experience and training necessary to get the job done right the first time.

Professional, Expert Hardwood Floor Installers

Hiring a professional installer for your hardwood floors is highly recommended. Classic Floor Designs has decades of experience offering premium installation services to clients who have a variety of home layouts. This is an important point because expertise in this field only comes with experience. Professional installations can prevent problems in the future, and this will help you to avoid the expenses associated with correcting an installation that was not done correctly. This solution also allows you to enjoy peace of mind. Experts use special tools and equipment to ensure that the hardwood floor is professionally installed the first time.
Contact us for your free installation quote today!

What Type of Flooring do Home Buyers Prefer?

It is important to know what type of flooring home buyers are looking for in your area if you plan on selling your home. Preferences vary by room and locale, but nationally hardwood floors tend to be the most sought-after flooring in a home. Worried because your hardwood floors are old, or have a home covered in worn out carpet? We have you covered, and the cost of renovating may be less than you think. Follow this list to get a sense of what flooring needs to stay and what needs to go in your home.

Entryway

Arguably the most important of part of your house to consider when remodeling is the area right when you walk through the door. A potential homebuyer’s first impression can make or break the sale of your home. Old hardwood or worn out carpet not only turns buyers away but can severely impact the selling price of your home. Wood flooring in an entryway can make the area seem more spacious and cohesive. Even though this is an essential area to focus on, do not break the bank. Equally imperative rooms in the house like the kitchen and bedrooms must be included in your budget.

Kitchen

Tile remains a popular option for kitchens. However, especially in new constructions in the Washington DC metro area, hardwood is now the preferred style among home buyers. If you already have hardwood flooring in your kitchen, a simple restoration can make a world of difference for your kitchen’s appearance. Also, believe it or not, hardwood flooring is usually less expensive than tile. As one of the focal centers of a home, do not overlook the value your kitchen can add to your selling price.

Bedrooms

It’s a toss-up for carpet vs. hardwood flooring in the bedroom. Most simply prefer what they grew up with, but often that’s not enough to be a deal breaker. In fact, most people purchasing a home with previous owners will tear up carpet regardless. This has to do with the perception of the carpet being “dirty” or the presence of actual odors. A simple solution, if you have hardwood underneath the carpet, is to tear it up and refinish the hardwood. Even if you cannot afford to refinish, it is better than leaving old carpet in for the new owners to replace.

Basements

A lot of homes in the Washington DC area come with unfinished basements. This is usually either because of flooding or the sheer cost of a full renovation. Given the threat of moisture, hard flooring would seem like the ideal solution. However, this is far more expensive than installing carpet and may not even give you a significant return on investment. Not all home buyers have a need for a basement and may be content with simply using it as storage or a workshop. If you currently have a finished basement, consider replacing your existing carpet or refinishing the hardwood (if any damage is present). Those who are looking for a finished basement will highly appreciate it.

Contact Us

Get a FREE consultation. Give us a call at (202) 872-9860. You can trust that we know custom flooring. With 40+ years of experience, clients such as the White House, US Mint Building, Four Seasons Hotel, and awards from the National Flooring Association and the Washington Building Congress. Help us bring your vision to life by contacting us today.

 

 

The Most Popular Species of Hardwood Floors

When installed by expert professionals, a hardwood floor adds finesse to the space it graces. Among popular domestic hardwoods, a few species stand above other timbers, favored for their durability, decorative grain patterns, and complementary colors. Here are hardwoods adored by US homeowners, along with the flooring features for which they’re prized.

Oak

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.

Maple

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.

Ash

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.

Pine

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.

Solid Footing

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.

How to Clean Dog Urine from Your Floors

Whether you keep your dog inside at all times or you only let your pet in on special occasions, there is a possibility that an accident will occur on your floors. When this happens, point out the urine to your dog and show your dog where he is supposed to use the bathroom. Then, clean the area as soon as you can before it stains the carpet, hardwood, or other flooring material.

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

A product that is used on the face, underarms, and legs can also be used to clean dog urine from the floor. The foaming cream works best instead of the gel. You can rub the cream into carpet if needed. Creams with fragrance added can sometimes deter dogs from urinating in the same place as well. If you’re using the cream on hardwood floors or another hard surface, then you only need a small amount on the floor.

Using Laundry Detergent to Clean Up Dog Urine

A solution that will leave the floor with a pleasant scent while cleaning dog urine at the same time is powdered laundry detergent. Use the white laundry detergent instead of products that have colors in them. You can also sprinkle stain remover on the area so that the color of the urine won’t settle into the floor. Along with removing the urine, the detergent will remove the odor as well. Room deodorizers and fabric sprays also help with eliminating pet odors from urine. Baking Soda
If there is an area that has lingered for a long time after your dogs have urinated inside, then consider using baking soda. You can also mix it with either vinegar or peroxide. As the products combine together, they will lift the stain from the floor. Clean the surface with warm water after the stain has been removed. Don’t scrub the area with the baking soda because it could remove some of the color from the floor if you use a large amount or if you leave it on too long. If you use liquids with the baking soda, then make a paste with them instead of putting one product on the floor before the other for the best results.  Contact us for more tips and tricks to keep your floors looking like new!

Using Toothpaste to Clean Up Dog Urine

If you have plain white toothpaste, then you can use it to clean dog urine from your floors. It works on both hardwood floors as well as carpets. Put a small amount on a toothbrush, and scrub the area with enough water to make it look like a soapy consistency. This is an option that you have if you don’t want to stain your floor and if you don’t have anything else on hand to use at the moment.

Photo Credit: Fred: Flickr via Compfight cc

Hardwood Floors: How to Keep Yours Looking Like New

Do you have hardwood floors? If not, are you thinking about installing them? Hardwood can be more expensive than its counterparts, but it also lasts much longer and looks incredible! In fact, if you properly clean and maintain them, wood floors can last the lifetime of your home. This can rarely be said for its alternatives, such as carpet or linoleum. As an added plus, wood floors are a breeze to take care of. Here are a few tips to keep your floors looking like new for years to come.

No Shoes

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.

 

Long-term Maintenance

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.

Prevent Damage

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.

 

Pros and Cons of Finished vs. Unfinished Wood Flooring

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.

Photo Credit: retropc Flickr via Compfight cc

Are Your Hardwood Floors Worth Saving?

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.

Budgetary considerations

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.

Structural problems

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.