Hardwood Flooring: Everything You Need to Know

Hardwood is the most popular flooring option in the United States for a reason. Its durability, beauty, and versatility instantly make your home look great. Hardwood is highly sought after by home-owners and potential home buyers, and offers a look and feel that other types of flooring simply cannot provide. There’s more to simpling picking a type of hardwood for your home. The options available to homeowners may turn out to be a taller task than previously imagined. Here are a few things you should know before making the leap to a hardwood home.

Two types of hardwood floorboards

Solid hardwood 

Each board of solid hardwood is made from a single piece of wood. It has a beautiful appearance but comes with some drawbacks. The single piece of wood will expand and contract based on temperature and humidity in the room it’s been placed. Avoid installing solid hardwood in a basement or kitchen as it may be damaged easily. The hardwood flooring will also need to be acclimated.

Engineered hardwood

Engineered hardwood is made up of several pieces of wood, bonded together in layers. This allows for a much simpler, and cheaper, installation. Engineered hardwood will not expand and contract due to temperature and humidity 

Finishes and species  

Two huge considerations for new flooring in any home is the finish and the species of wood. Popular options for wood species include oak, birch, cherry, maple, bamboo, walnut, and hickory. When it comes to your floors finish, you can opt for a factory finish or site finish.

A factory finish will limit your options, but the installation will be much faster and less expensive than a site finish. The world is your oyster with a site finish, but the drying and curing process could take days or weeks. For a brand-new home, this is a more popular option. For a renovation, which is usually time-sensitive, a factory finish usually makes the most sense.

Other considerations

Check out other articles on our blog for tips and tricks on hardwood care, flooring trends for 2020, and signs that it’s time to replace or refinish your hardwood flooring. We cover refinishing, remodeling, and more!

Contact Us

Classic Floor Designs has been Washington DC’s premier flooring source for over 40 years. Our experts are here to help you tackle your project no matter the size or scope, and we are proud to have earned the trust and respect of our clients when it comes to hardwood. Call us at (202) 872-9860 to schedule your FREE consultation. Let us help make your flooring dreams become reality today!

Five Signs It’s Time to Refinish Your Hardwood Floors

Hardwood flooring is a beautiful addition to any home and certainly adds a lot of value, but it’s no secret that its value decreases over time. Proper care and maintenance can extend the life of your hardwood floors, but how do know when the time has come to hire a professional to refinish your hardwood floors? Here are the top five signs to look for! 

Water damage 

Water is no friend to your hardwood floors. Quick spills in the kitchen or dining room are usually no big deal, but we’ve all had the problem of catching a leak or spill a little too late. For severe cases, such as a storm causing a large leak, a professional service should come in as soon as possible to attempt to save the wood from buckling or warping. A dark stain may be all that’s leftover for a less severe case. Nevertheless, whether it be extensive water damage or just a few stains, a full or partial refinishing is worth a look at.

Extensive scratches 

This is most common in homes with pets. Large dogs may seem like the most likely culprit, but smaller animals, like cats, can also damage your hardwood. Dragging furniture over your hardwood is another common way for scratches to appear. Most scratches only impact the stain and not the actual wood itself, making this strictly a cosmetic issue. Sanding and restaining may be all that’s required, but deeper or extensive scratches may call for a refinishing. 

Sun discoloration

Natural light is considered a desirable feature of a home, though your hardwood would disagree. Sun exposure can damage your hardwood flooring over time. Reapplying stain to discolored areas is only a temporary fix. Classic Floor Designs recommends a full refinish when the damage becomes too noticeable. 

Some boards are turning gray

You may be wondering why some of your hardwood is turning gray. As the polyurethane wears off, your hardwood absorbs water much more easily. Water dragged in by your shoes, spilled drinks, or even water from cleaning products during normal maintenance, all speed up this process. If not addressed, the wood will eventually turn black. Refinishing is the only way to fix this issue.

Change in style 

A refinish is a perfect opportunity to change the style of your flooring. If you have been pondering a change and have damage or discoloration, refinishing your hardwood floors kills two birds with one stone. Especially if you are putting your home on the market, a new style can be the perfect way to increase the value of your home to potential buyers.

Contact Us

Think it’s time to refinish your hardwood floors? Give us a call at (202) 872-9860 for a FREE consultation with one of our flooring experts! With over 40 years of experience, we are proud to be one of the most trusted names in flooring in the DC metropolitan area. Our team can help with your new construction, home improvement, restoration or maintenance project. 

 

Flooring Trends for 2020

The past several years have proven to be pivotal in the design and architecture world, and 2020 will be no different. Whether you are planning a renovation for your current home, remodeling to put your home on the market, or just laying out options for your next move, staying on top of the hottest flooring trends will help guide your decision.

Sustainability

Protecting the environment has become an increasing priority among households in the United States. While you may not immediately associate flooring with sustainability, there is a whole subcategory of “green flooring.” Reclaimed hardwood, wool, and bamboo are the most in-style options on the market heading into 2020.

Grey and Neutral Palettes

This trend has been popular for the past several years and it will not be headed anywhere soon. What started as more of a palette for walls or fabrics now includes flooring.  New homes increasingly feature neutral colored hardwood flooring. The look has been associated with elegance and style, and can serve as a great selling point for your home.

Unique Patterns

It is not often a home’s hardwood stands out as unique. Custom patterns for hardwood flooring is becoming a popular option in new homes across the country. Playing around with new color schemes and patterns provides your home with a one-of-a-kind look, leaving a lasting impression with guests and potential home buyers.

Hybrid Flooring

Most homes have different flooring depending on the room. Stone tile for the bathroom, hardwood for the living and dining room, carpet for bedrooms. Consider incorporating various types flooring to accentuate spaces such as the entrance to your home or your living room. If designed properly, this will bring fresh life into your home.

Contact Us

Classic Floor Designs has over 40 years of flooring and design experience in the Washington DC metro area. As industry leaders, you can trust our flooring experts are up to date on all flooring trends heading into 2020.  Our designers are ready to give you a FREE in-store consultation today! Just call (202) 872-9860 and a representative will be ready to get your new flooring project underway.

 

Top ten ways to make your house look “expensive.”

Many homeowners today desire a home-space that looks and feels luxurious but don’t want to sacrifice their hard-earned money on a costly renovation or redesign. Classic Floor Designs has some tips and tricks to accomplish a more expensive-looking house on a budget.

1. Give the illusion of higher ceilings

It’s easier than you think. Consider raising your window treatments or hanging your curtains closer to the ceiling. Either will give the illusion of height. Painting your ceiling a lighter color than your walls, if you haven’t already, makes the space feel brighter and larger too.

2. Bring in a large area rug

Small rugs can end up dwarfing the size of your room. Instead, opt for an area rug that will make the space feel larger and airier. A bigger rug does not have to be any more expensive or less durable than a small rug.

3. Hang art on the walls

An undecorated wall can make a space feel cheap and barren. There are plenty of inexpensive ways to get art on the walls. Professional photos and picture frame deals are very easy to find online; just a few pieces of art in each room go a long way in making your home feel richer.

4. Update old fixtures

A common feature that often gets overlooked is old fixtures which can keep a home stuck in a previous decade. Door knobs, light switches, and outlets are relatively inexpensive details that can give your home a high-end feel once updated.

5. Put in a backsplash

A backsplash can light up a space at a low cost. These are great for kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.

6. Add some mirrors

When placed correctly, mirrors make a space seem more spacious and inviting. The pleasing aesthetic a mirror brings can increase the perceived value of the room it’s in.

7. Use bookshelves for more than books

A bookshelf doesn’t need to look like it belongs in a 19th century library. Use it as the perfect space to add some photos and interesting trinkets and bring some life to the room. A basic rule of thumb: one-third books, one-third accessories, and one-third empty space per shelf.

8. Add a statement piece

Depending on how you want to budget, splurging on a rug, dining room table, or sofa might not be a bad idea. If it’s the right fit, that one piece can be all you need, just surround it with less expensive accessories.

9. Incorporate texture

Focusing on one texture will dull the style of your home. Incorporating a variety of woods, metals, glass, and woven material will create a collected look if properly placed.

10. Simplify

Adding too many items to a room can come off as tacky. Focus on simplifying the space by paring things down. Giving items space to breath will let them shine.

Contact Us

With over 40 years of experience, Classic Floor Designs provides hardwood floors, wool and nylon carpet, carpet, area rugs, leather, cork, exotics, and green flooring services to residential flooring, commercial flooring and government clients in the DC area. Our design experts are happy to provide a free in-store design consultation for all your flooring needs.

How to Acclimate Hardwood Flooring

Making the switch to hardwood flooring is an exciting move. It’s a timeless flooring option, and its wide range of styles can complement almost any space. However, replacing your old flooring with hardwood involves a few steps and time. If this is your first time dealing with hardwood installation, you may not be familiar with hardwood acclimation. This is an essential step in the installation process and can result in serious damage if overlooked.

Acclimation is the process of allowing the wood to reach its equilibrium moisture content in normal living conditions. Proceeding with installation without completing this process may result in excessive expansion, shrinkage, distortion, or structural damage.

It is extremely important to follow the steps below after the delivery of hardwood to your home.

  1. Between 5 to 10 days ahead of time, make sure the humidity and temperature inside your home are at normal levels. The heating or air conditioning must be running consistently in the 5 days leading up to delivery.
  2. Make sure the hardwood is stored in an enclosed space upon arrival. Storing them in your garage or shed will not accurately represent the normal conditions inside your home.
  3. Open the boxes and lay them flat in the respective rooms of installation. You want to ensure they are exposed to as much air as possible. Although more laborious, you can also lay the hardwood out as you are going to install them. This saves time during installation and speeds up the acclimation process.
  4. Generally, you will want to wait for 7 to 10 days before installation, but acclimation varies depending on the species of wood. The manufacturer will provide their own steps for acclimation, so be sure to follow those for maximum precision.

If professionals are installing the hardwood flooring for you, they will be sure to double-check the moisture con. Whether you plan on a self-install or otherwise, we would love to help you out! Call us today at (202) 872-9860 for a FREE consultation, or stop by our DC showroom anytime Monday-Friday 10am-5pm. tent when they arrive. If you plan on doing the installation yourself, you’ll want to purchase a moisture meter. Sudden swings in humidity among other factors could have impacted the acclamation process, so always check even if you followed the directions to a T.

Contact us for assistance!

Classic Floor Designs has over 40 years of experience in the Washington DC area. We take pride in our quality selection of hardwood flooring, and our experts who help make clients visions become reality

 

 

Is It Better to Repair Scratches in Hardwood Flooring Yourself or Let the Experts?

Wondering if you should refinish your hardwood flooring yourself or bring in flooring professionals to fix scratches and more is not an uncommon situation to be in. Contrary to what a quick Google search may tell you, the pros of a self-refinish do not outweigh the cons of hiring a professional. We’ve compiled a quick list of problems our clients have run into when they’ve attempted a DIY (Do-it-yourself) refinish for their hardwood flooring.

Lower Quality Finished Product

You gather all the materials needed, watch hours of tutorials on fixing scratches in your hardwood flooring on YouTube, maybe ask a couple of friends to tag along, and now you are finally ready to get started. Unless one of your buddies is a professional carpenter, you’re already at a disadvantage. Just watching a few hours of videos doesn’t make you a professional. You are bound to run into problems, especially if this is your first time refinishing hardwood. These problems, however minor they may seem, tend to stack up.

The machine experts use to refinish floors can cost upwards of $20,000. Even a higher end machine, rented from a hardware store such as Home Depot, can’t measure up to what a professional would bring to the job. Calculate the cost of all equipment you may need, including goggles, masks, gloves, and knee pads, and you may already be better off hiring flooring professionals. Keep in mind that any mistakes made by a hired professional be corrected at no extra cost to you, while any damage you cause yourself will come right out of your pocket.

The Finish Will Not Last as Long

 Sanding scratches out of your floor is a delicate art. If any error occurs during the process, the stain and polyurethane may not adhere properly. This could put the longevity of your finish at risk, limiting its lifespan to only two to four years. Using a professional service, you can expect your finish to last seven to ten years. Any cost saving you thought you had, could be lost.

It Will Take Longer

Someone with experience will obviously complete a task faster than someone without it. Flooring professionals typically take around a day to sand and refinish 1,000 square feet of hardwood. Homeowners attempting to do it on their own could take three to five times longer. After adding in the cost of renting equipment, you may start to wish you had put that money toward hiring professionals.

Verdict: Hire a Professional

We get it. The cost of refinishing and fixing scratches in your floor can be daunting and it is natural to have a DIY, cost-saving mindset. But the truth is, we’ve heard one too many horror stories from clients who initially tried to do it themselves. Give us a call for a completely free consultation at (202) 872-9860. Classic Floor Designs has over 40 years experience in the DC metro area and would love to put that experience to work for your next hardwood flooring project.

 

 

The Best Flooring for Your Condo

The flooring in your condo may not fit your aesthetic.  Old carpet or worn out hardwood will not satisfy most of us.  You may be surprised to hear that a simple renovation or replacement of your flooring can increase the value of your house by far more than the cost of service. And even if you are not putting your condo on the market, never settle for a style that doesn’t suit you. Join us as we will go over different types of flooring available for your space.

Hardwood

Hardwood is the most desirable, but also the most expensive flooring. For those with hardwood flooring that is getting old and looking dingy, consider a finishing or restoration. Popular types of hardwood flooring include Oak, Hickory, Maple, and Bamboo. Once installed, hardwood is known for its durability and transformative effect on the space. Whether its purpose is a powerful selling-point or revamping the flooring you have always dreamed of, let us help you every step of the way.

Carpet

Although falling in popularity to hardwood, carpet remains a great option for your condo. Many chose to install hardwood in areas like the kitchen and living room while having carpet installed in their bedrooms and dens. Carpet also serves as a noise dampener, so many high-rise condos may require carpeting at least in certain parts of the flooring. With so many colors and styles to choose from, feel free to contact us for a specialist who can help you find exactly what you need.

Cork

Cork is an under-rated material for flooring. Its unique look can make your space stand out from others with its unique texture and feel. Cork, even more so than carpet, provides sound absorption. The final product is a tough, sustainable, water-resistant, resilient floor.

Stone and Tile

Stone and tile work great in kitchens and bathrooms. They are extremely durable, easy to clean, and provide a great accent to appliances. Condos in areas with warmer climates have increasingly laid down stone and tile throughout the entire space, opting for a simpler look with an area rug or two laid down. Stone and tile repel heat, as opposed to carpet, which absorbs it.

Leather

Leather is another under-rated flooring option that is becoming popular for spaces that are exposed to little sunlight. Unlike hardwood floors, wear and tear on leather floors can give it an enhanced appeal. It works well in spaces that blend living rooms and kitchens together, as well as bedrooms. You will be surprised at the magnificent patterns leather flooring can provide.

Contact Us for Your Condo Flooring

Classic Floor Designs employs specialists for all the types of flooring listed above. With 40+ years of flooring experience in the DC metropolitan area, we will make sure your vision for your condo comes to fruition. Even if you are in an exploratory phase of your planning, call us at (202) 872-9860 for a FREE consultation!

Hardwood Flooring In Your Kitchen? Definitely.

Homeowners with tile or laminate flooring in their kitchen can often be scared to make a switch
to hardwood flooring. After all, there is a lot that happens in a kitchen that can cause damage to
any type of flooring. And given the cost and high quality of hardwood, many do not want to risk
losing their investment over a few dropped eggshells. This article should put your concerns to rest.
Below, we will go over some benefits of making the switch to hardwood!

Style

Hardwood is increasingly popular in kitchens around the country. Almost all new kitchen
designs featured on social media, blog posts, and house makeover shows feature hardwood
flooring in the kitchen. Modern design style pushes seamless transitions from room to room, and
with most modern housing having hardwood throughout the home it makes perfect sense to why
modern designers go for that look. At the end of the day, you simply will not get that timeless
look and feel in artificial flooring.

Durability

One of the biggest concerns people have is the potential for water damage. It is no shock that tile
is the more water resistant flooring option for your kitchen, but hardwood is not too far behind. If
your hardwood has been properly installed and coated, any spill that is cleaned up quickly will
be no problem. Only spills that have been left sitting for an abnormally long period of time can
damage the wood. Make sure to check out our blog post about maintaining your hardwood floors
for some tips and tricks. In addition, a hardwood’s durability depends on the species of wood.
Make sure to bring this up with our experts when selecting your hardwood!

Versatility

Hardwood can match any design you have in your home currently. Whether it be contemporary.
modern, or even a traditional farmhouse kitchen remodel, there will be a style of hardwood that
fits the spirit of the room.

Contact Us

Ready to get going? Even if you are having a hard time envisioning that switch to hardwood
flooring, you contact us today at (202)-872-9860 for a FREE consultation! With over 40 years of
experience, work done for clients such as the White House, Four Seasons, and Café Milano, you
can trust that our specialists are some of the best in the industry. No job is too big or too small!

Spring Cleaning Your Floors

It’s that time of year again! Even if you have been doing regular upkeep of your floors over those winter months, a good deep clean will keep your floors in tip-top shape. Save yourself time and money by following a weekly cleaning regimen! This article will give you some tips on how to freshen up your hardwood, carpet, and tile.

Hardwood

A weekly sweeping or vacuuming of your hardwood floors should be enough to keep it nice. Make sure you are getting to any excess dirt or spillage immediately to prevent long term damage. For your spring cleaning, we would recommend breaking out a mop and some hardwood flooring cleaner. This can be an arduous task for those of you with hardwood in most rooms of your house or apartment, but it will be well worth it. Steps like these can go a long way in delaying an expensive replacement or refinishing that comes with age.

Carpet 

The same weekly vacuuming rule applies to your carpet floors, as well as an even bigger emphasis on immediately getting to dirt and stains. Many people forget to upkeep their carpets and end up paying hundreds of dollars for steam cleaning or thousands for replacement before its necessary. Plan on steam cleaning your carpet about once a year to make it last. You can get away with waiting longer, but also remember that renting a steamer or buying your own can be a cheaper alternative.

Tile

Tile may be one of the easier types of flooring to clean, but it is still just as important to keep it clean. Mold and mildew are big threats to your tile floors, particularly in damp places in your home like a bathroom or mud room. A weekly mopping of this space prevents build up and keeps tile from losing its coloring. Avoid using steam mops or detergent/soap as these can damage the flooring.

Beyond Repair?

 No matter how much time you put into keeping your flooring pristine, there comes a time to get a replacement or call in the professionals. At Classic Floor Designs, our team has over 40 years of experience in the Washington DC area. If you think its time to replace or refinish your flooring, give us a call at (202) 872-9860 for a FREE consultation!

 

 

 

How to Choose the Best Area Rug

While we often overlook rugs in our everyday spaces, they play a huge role in the look and feel of the room. And it’s no easy decision to pick one out, especially if you already have your furniture in place. Size, texture, color, pattern, and shape are not the only things to keep in mind during your search. Here are some tips on picking out that perfect rug.

Functionality

How will this rug be used? Rugs have a different purpose depending on the room, whether it be a living room, bedroom, den, office, etcetera. You might want to go for more glamour in a highly visible room such as your living room, while a bedroom might be a place for a comfier rug. And never forget about color! That white rug is the perfect fit until a flimsy glass of wine or toddler gets to it.

Proportions

Attempting to fit a rug to an entire room can dwarf the space. Instead, try and fit the rug to a more confined space like the seating area in a living room. This allows the rug to “anchor” the room. A good example of this is a round rug. Placing the seating area around the edges of the rug can create an aesthetically pleasing, while also practical, style. As far as a rule of thumb? Most follow Lohnes’ rule: choose a rug that is two feet shorter than the smallest wall in the room.

Layering

If you haven’t built up your room yet, it’s a great idea to start with a rug. Pick a rich color like burgundy or indigo to start, then build from there. It becomes more of a challenge to place a rug in a space currently without one, but that’s a perfect excuse to call in the experts. In fact, we offer a free in-store design consultation. So if designing a room isn’t one of your strong suits, you have nothing to fear, and it may turn out to be much easier than you think.

Feel

It is very important to come in to see and feel a rug in person before buying. You will never know if you love a rug until you see it in person, can feel the texture for yourself, and envision it in your home. The area rugs we offer include flat weave, hand-knotted Tibetan, skin rugs, needlepoint, and oriental. Each is unique, and we can guarantee you’ll find one that works great with your space. And you want to make the right choice the first time by going to a quality rug dealer. After all, this is something you will have to see and interact with on a daily basis.

Contact Us

Our showroom is conveniently located in Washington D.C. Call us at (202) 872-9860 to set up your FREE in-store designer consultation today!