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Classic Floor Designs Answers the Top 10 Questions about Hardwood Floors

Hardwood Floors Are More Popular Than Ever

If you love the idea of having hardwood floors in your home you’re not alone.  In fact, hardwood flooring is so popular, the wood flooring market is expected to register a growth rate of 4.8% from 2018 to 2024. Whether you’re making the switch to hardwood floors or wishing to revamp your existing flooring, the professionals at Classic Floor Design are here to help.

So you’re ready to get started, but you’re not sure what you’re looking for when it comes to the ins and outs of hardwood flooring options.  Here are 10 frequently asked questions we hear a lot related to installing or refinishing hardwood floors.

Which Wood Species Is Best?

Simply put, your personal preference will determine what the best option is for you. To achieve a cozier aesthetic, we recommend going with oak or hickory. If you’re more interested in establishing an open, airy atmosphere, maple or ash will do the trick. No matter your style, we’ll help steer you in the right direction.

Prefinished Vs. Unfinished: What’s The Difference?

Much like its name suggests, prefinished hardwood floors are sealed with multiple coats of finish in advance. Aluminum oxide, which is the second hardest substance after diamond, is included in the final coats to ensure optimal protection. Meanwhile, unfinished floors are finished after the installation. Aluminum oxide isn’t used because the particles within would sink to the bottom of the finish.

Can A Hardwood Floor Be Floated?

A floating hardwood floor refers to a floor that doesn’t need to be glued or nailed to the subfloor. Some prefer this method because it allows the wood floors to change based on the room’s humidity without buckling. A solid hardwood floor can’t be floated, but an engineered hardwood floor can.

Are Wood Floors Worth It?

As hardwood floor installation experts, we’re well aware of how beneficial this flooring solution can be. In addition to increasing the value of your home or building, wood floors are also easy to maintain. Best of all, they’re durable, customizable, and unlikely to cause an allergic reaction.

Will Pets Ruin The Hardwood?

Depending on the pet you have, you may want to consider a more durable hardwood floor. Bigger, more playful dogs will warrant more protection, while an outdoor cat won’t be much of a problem. We recommend using the Janka hardness test to determine what type of wood will hold up against your pet. Between this proven method and our industry insight, we’ll help you make the ideal selection.

How Do I Prevent Wood Floors From Fading?

Much like cheese, wood floors get better with age. In other words, while it’s essential to care for your hardwood floors, they do an excellent job preserving themselves. To increase their life span and prevent fading, periodically move furniture, rugs, etc. to limit their exposure to the sun.

Can A Hardwood Floor Be Installed Over A Concrete Slab?

Thinner wood floors can be installed over concrete, but standard wood floors shouldn’t be because excessive moisture can cause swelling and contracting. Engineered hardwood would also work because it’s less likely to expand and warp over concrete.

When’s The Best Time To Install Wood Floors?

Unless you’re building or restoring a home or property, any time is a good time to install wood floors. Otherwise, you’ll want to wait until the renovations are nearly complete before moving forward. Installing wood floors prematurely makes them more susceptible to damage.

To Sheen Or Not To Sheen?

Once again, this is entirely up to you. A gloss finish will deliver a shiny finished look and reflect the greatest amount of light. A semi-gloss finish will produce the same effects, but they’ll be subtler. For the lowest level of shine, a matte or satin finish will be your best bet.

How Much Do I Have To Order?

For your peace of mind, we suggest ordering about 10 percent more wood flooring than is needed. Ordering the exact amount is ill-advised because you’ll need extra to account for corners, stairs, doors, etc. By purchasing more than you need, you’ll have enough when it’s time to trim, cut, and fit the floors into your desired space. At Classic Floor Designs, we’ve mastered the art of hardwood installation. No matter your questions or concerns, we’re qualified to answer and address them. Give us a call today at 202-872-9860 to see how we can assist with your installation needs. If you prefer, you can also fill out our online form by following this link.

Five Tips for Your Floors During the Summer

As summer begins, people around the country are welcoming warmer weather. While your flooring may be down a few notches on your list of t0-do priorities, it’s still important to protect your floors from being damaged over the summer. Increasing heat and humidity accompanied by wear and tear can cause your floors serious harm. Below, we’ve compiled some tips to prevent that from happening.

Protect your Hardwood from Sunlight

UV rays can easily cause color deterioration in hardwood. Shutting your blinds, drapes, or shutters can keep your home cool and prevent UV damage. If your home has horizontal blinds, simply tilt them upwards. This directs the sunlight up towards your walls and ceilings instead of down on your hardwood floors. You can also use large area rugs in the parts of your home that are exposed to significant amounts of sunlight. 

Regulate Humidity

Wood responds to humidity by expanding and contracting. Failing to keep your home at a consistent level can cause your hardwood to warp. Keeping your home’s humidity level between 35% and 55% is a good practice. Using a dehumidifier may also be necessary in areas with natural high humidity, but otherwise, regulating your home’s temperature with air conditioning should be enough to keep your hardwood safe.

Use Doormats 

Homes typically see as much or more in and out traffic during the summer months. This leads to mud, dirt, and sand being easily tracked into your home. Even trace amounts being tracked in can damage the finish of your hardwood. A doormat conveniently located at all outside entrances is a simple way to prevent that from happening.

Vacuum and Sweep

As much as we try to avoid it, outside substances will undoubtedly make their way into your home. Consistent sweeping and vacuuming around your home can add years on the life of your floors. It’s important to follow a two step process: sweep with a broom, then vacuum the same areas, at least once a week.

Use the Right Cleaning Products 

Some products can strip your hardwood of its shine, damage the wood, and lead to faster aging. Harsh and damaging cleaning product chemicals will exacerbate the damage to your floors. Always make sure to do proper research on the products you use for your floor.

Contact Us

Contact us today to get in touch with a Classic Floor Designs expert. We are here to help make your next project come to life! 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.

Things to Avoid if You Have Hardwood Floor

The organic material in hardwood flooring makes it much more susceptible to damage than other floorings. Instead of focusing on what you can do to increase the longevity of your hardwood, look to what to avoid. In fact, it is often the most common of practices that can end up ruining your hardwood. Below, we have compiled a list of what to avoid in order to preserve the beauty of your hardwood for as long as possible!

  • Don’t wear your shoes in the house

This one may seem obvious, and a rule prohibiting this is already in place in many households. In addition to scuffs and scratches, moisture and dirt brought in by your shoes can seep into the floor, causing noticeable damage over time.

  • Don’t use harsh cleaners (including vinegar!)

Cleaners that are not specifically designed for wood flooring can cause serious damage. Many households report using vinegar to clean their wood floors, believing it is a natural alternative to the harmful chemicals found in synthetic cleaners. In reality, the acid present in vinegar will eat away at the protective finish covering your floor over time.

  • Carefully move furniture and appliances

Professional movers take moving client’s furniture very seriously. Any damage caused during the move will come right out of their pockets. Use the same caution they do by using felt pads or furniture straps when deciding to move any heavy furniture and appliances. Those dents and scratches are not easily fixed and can end up costing you big. After moving things around, always remember to use protective padding.

  • Don’t steam clean

Steam cleaning your hardwood can cause water damage and warping. Use a damp mop or cloth if necessary, but try to avoid any water contact unless necessary. A microfiber pad or dry mop pad such as a Swiffer will do fine for normal upkeep.

  • Don’t forget about the dog

Your dogs, as cute they may be, can cause a lot of damage to your hardwood floors. The only effort you can make to mitigate this is by keeping his or her nails trimmed. This will limit the scratching when the dogs run around the house. If you have a puppy, you’ll want to have house training done as soon as possible. A urine stain is one of the worst for the health of your floor.

  • Don’t forget to refinish

No matter how careful you are, the time will come for a refinishing. Reapplying a protective finish smooths out any imperfections and gives your hardwood its shine back.

Contact Us

Need help picking out your new hardwood flooring? Already have an idea in mind? Give us a call at (202) 872-9860 for a FREE consultation. Classic Floor Designs has over 40 years of experience in the Washington DC area, and we are proud to be a premier flooring expert for our clients. Let us get you started, call today!

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. 

 

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!

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 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.

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.