Top 10 Myths About Hard Wood Flooring
Even though wood floors have gained in popularity over recent years due to their natural beauty and appeal, many people are still put off of considering them as a viable option due to many myths that abound about them. If you’ve been wondering whether some of the things you’ve heard about floors of this type are true or not, please consider the following list of the top ten myths associated with wood flooring.
*They are Expensive
While it’s true that there is usually more upfront costs associated with wood floors, they actually prove to be a low-cost flooring option. Because wood lasts for decades or longer when properly maintained, these types of floors can last a lifetime. This makes them rather cost-effective in the end. They also require less maintenance and fewer cleaning products and tools, reducing the lifetime cost associated with this type of flooring even more.
They Show Dust Easily
It is true that dust is a bit more visible on a sleek wood surface. However, this brings additional benefits with it. Dust and debris can be difficult to detect on carpeting and other popular floors. This means that it sticks around and poses an allergy risk to sensitive people. Dust on wood surfaces is usually more visible, but this allows for it to be noticed and properly removed promptly. This makes your home cleaner and your air quality better.
They Lack Warmth
Contrary to popular belief, a hardwood floor does not make a room appear cold. In fact, the opposite is true. The natural glow of a wood surface adds an element of warmth to the room in an aesthetic sense. However, it goes much deeper than appearances. Wood is also a natural insulator, making it easier to maintain warmer temperatures in your home during the winter.
They are Hard to Maintain
Wood is actually quite easy to care for, and flooring is no exception to this rule. A simple dust mop is often all that is needed to provide routine cleaning and removal of dust particles. If the floor has lost its shine, a high-quality cleaning product designed for wood surfaces can easily restore its luster.
They Deplete the Forests
Many flooring manufacturers use sustainable techniques that are designed to harvest wood in a manner that has the least environmental impact long-term. Since the floors last so long, they do not need to be replaced and end up costing less in terms of environmental impact than other flooring choices.
They are Not Durable
Some types of wood are definitely more durable than others. If you have young children or active pets, you can choose a harder wood that has more durability over time.
They are Not Real Wood
Engineered wood is still real wood. It is simply manufactured in a way that allows for multiple layers to be placed on top of one another. The end result is called a wood composite, but it is still genuine wood, not a man-made substitute.
They Aren’t a Good Option if You Plan to Move
On the contrary, wood flooring will add value to your home that others will appreciate. In many cases, the beautiful addition of this type of flooring will appeal to home buyers or even bring more money from the sale of your home.
They Scratch Easily
Wood is essentially the only material that can be repaired to like-new status if it becomes scratched. Man-made flooring does not provide this convenient option. While it’s true that softer types of wood may develop scratches on the surface of the wood more easily, these are quite easy to buff out and repair.
Polyurethane Floors are More Durable
Polyurethane floors are cheaper to purchase and install initially. However, they can become dented and damaged easily. Unlike wood counterparts, this damage is not easy to repair. In fact, parts of the flooring may need to be replaced entirely. This actually leads to a greater expense in the end. Additionally, polyurethane can be much more expensive to care for in the long run as well, adding to the overall cost associated with this type of flooring.
While they may involve more of an upfront expense than some other flooring options, hard wood floors can add a touch of practical elegance to your home. Hardwood floors provide a durable and gorgeous flooring option that you can proud to show off to family and friends. With careful planning and a skilled team of professional installers, hardwood floors can become one of the most beloved features of your home.
Should you refinish the hardwood floors hiding under your carpet?
If you watch home-improvement shows, you’ve no doubt noticed that the first thing renovators look at is flooring. Most of them start tearing up the carpet to see if there’s wood underneath. Carpet isn’t necessarily inferior to hardwood floors. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. If you’re facing this dilemma, our experts at Classic Floor Designs can help. Keep reading to learn more about your options before you decide between carpet or hardwoods.
Any remodel decision should start with your family’s living habits. Do you remove your shoes when you come in? Do you have a houseful of rambunctious kids? Are your pets house-trained? Do you eat dinner in your living area while watching TV?
If your family tends to track in dirt and frequently spill food or drinks, you’re probably better off with hardwood flooring. Spills wipe right up, so it’s almost impossible to stain.
One advantage to carpet, though, is the cushioning it provides. Parents of infants sometimes stick with carpet or buy plenty of rugs until their children are walking. Carpet muffles sound, so think about that if your upstairs bedrooms are occupied. Other noises, such as a dog’s bark or loud music, tend to reverberate from a wood floor. Too, carpet is warmer underfoot. That can be an advantage in cold climates.
Again, accessorizing wood with rugs resolves most of its drawbacks.
Many would argue that there’s nothing more beautiful than well-kept, gleaming hardwood floors. Wood does seem to be ever popular. Rarely has it gone in and out of vogue as some flooring materials have. For a classic look, it’s hard to beat. Carpet, on the other hand, comes in lovely colors, textures, and patterns. The right choice of carpet can anchor an entire room and lend an inviting warmth.
If your carpet has a plain pattern and is neutral in color, it won’t be difficult to redecorate rooms around it. A rich color or complex pattern, however, can pose problems when you want to buy new furniture or give the walls a fresh look. Carpet is somewhat limiting.
With hardwoods, depending on the finish, you typically have more freedom to change your color scheme or incorporate different patterns and textures into your decor. If you’re the type that quickly gets bored with the furniture arrangement, consider the ease with which felt-padded, heavy objects slide over hardwoods.
Quality carpets are made with better materials and last a lot longer than they used to, but the superior durability of wood cannot be denied. When properly maintained, hardwoods can take abuse for decades or even generations. Sanding down the surface erases any defects. Reapplying a stain or finish completely restores the wood to its original luster. This process can be periodically repeated for as long as you own your home.
Carpet, depending on the traffic at your house, must be replaced every five to seven years on average. The pile eventually wears down and stains inevitably mount up.
Some homeowners prefer carpet because it hides dirt. Others don’t like it for the very same reason.
Whether you go with carpet or wood, floors must be carefully maintained to preserve their appearance and prevent health hazards. Dust balls and pet hair are readily apparent on wood floors, so they require sweeping or dust-mopping at least every other day. Spills aren’t a problem, and even paint is easy to remove once it dries. Carpet should be vacuumed at least once a week to remove dirt and potentially harmful microorganisms. Spills should be promptly attended to, and professional cleaning is recommended at least once a year.
Carpet fibers, carpet padding, adhesives, wood sealants and wood finishes have all been made safer for families and pets in recent years. If you’re concerned about your family’s health, research flooring manufacturers to make sure that they comply with indoor air-quality requirements. Some carpets do contain allergens. Unlike carpet, which is made largely of petroleum, wood is a natural, sustainable, renewable material.
Carpet is undeniably less expensive than real wood. However, given the cost of replacing it every few years, wood might be a better long-term investment. Refinishing wood doesn’t cost as much as replacing carpet.
Do hardwoods add resale value to your home? Figures are hard to confirm, but many surveys of real estate agents indicate that they do. Also, in a poll conducted by USA Today, more than half of the potential home buyers surveyed expressed willingness to pay more for a house with hardwoods.
With any remodel, decisions about flooring are often the toughest. We hope that we’ve given you plenty to go on and we are happy to help.
If you’re planning on putting your home on the market soon and want to increase its value, the key is to pick home improvement, remodeling projects that give you the best return on investment. As a rule, aim for projects that earn back at least 90 percent of your investment but preferably 100 percent or more. These are some of the top recommendations for the best ROI.
Along with bathrooms, kitchens are the most expensive rooms from a structural perspective. When inspectors come to assess your home’s value, they can tell when money is invested and when cheap fixes are used. For the fairest ROI, don’t spend more than 10 percent of your home’s value on a kitchen remodeling project.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is investing in high-end designer wood cabinets. Tearing out and hanging new cabinets is a costly home improvement project. If your cabinets aren’t severely warped or damaged, you can refinish them and install new hardware. Granite countertops add value to a home. Appliances are also important. Ask a real estate agent about which appliances are better for your area. Some brands may raise a value more than others in a certain area. Some less expensive additions that add value are under-cabinet lights and pull-out pantries. Installing recessed lighting is also a good inexpensive way to add value.
When you live in a popular area, like Washington, D.C., a smartly planned bathroom renovation can earn back more than 100 percent of your investment. In today’s fast-paced world, fewer people have time to take baths. Install a glass walk-in shower instead of a prefabricated standard combination unit. Low-flush toilets are also a smart purchase.
Adding a second bathroom may be wise in some cases. If your home has more than two bedrooms and only one bathroom, opt to add an efficient second bathroom instead of renovating the current one. In some cases, it can increase the home’s overall value by five percent or more, which is a better average value than creating an additional bedroom.
Add A Bedroom
In a hot housing market, you may be able to top your investment by adding a bedroom. There are several ways to do this. You can make an attic bedroom or loft. Or, you can put a bedroom in your basement. If your basement and attic need a considerable amount of expensive work such as HVAC and wiring, an addition may only be a cost burden. However, you can turn a finished den or office into a bedroom. The presence of a closet is what distinguishes a regular room from a bedroom. Explore cost-saving options for adding a closet. Bedrooms add more resale value than all-purpose rooms without closets.
Install New Flooring
Although floors collect dirt and germs, they shouldn’t look dingy. If you have old carpeting, cracked tiles, or discolored and warped laminate flooring, upgrading your floor is an excellent investment when it’s time to sell. Hardwood flooring offers the biggest payoff. Check to see if there is existing hardwood flooring exposed or hiding under old carpeting, and consider having the wood refinished and adding a dustless finish to entice more buyers. Stone floors also add value to your home and are a coveted feature among many buyers. If you have a large budget, some exotic flooring options add a considerable amount of value as well.
When you have other areas of the home that need attention and you can’t afford a high-end stone or hardwood floor, consider ceramic tile or engineered hardwood. Both home improvement options are more affordable and add value.
Prioritize Home Improvement
While adding a bathroom or converting a den to a bedroom may be the best investments for some people, others would be better off avoiding such projects to address more serious issues. For buyers and inspectors, updated plumbing, roofing, heating, cooling and wiring are more important than an extra bedroom or a bathroom with a glass shower. If the roof needs to be replaced, make that a priority. Fix any serious problems or structural issues that are lowering your home’s value before you start thinking about remodeling the interior.
The best way to approach a pre-sale renovation is to inspect your home or have it professionally inspected. Make a list of what must be done, such as treating a termite problem or patching a newer but damaged roof. Next, make a list of prioritized home improvement tasks, and decide which ones fit your budget and offers the biggest payout.
Laundry rooms have been coming into their own in recent years, with more thought and design savvy being put into this workhorse space than ever. From farmhouse style to patterned tile, here are the top 10 trending features of the year so far, as measured by the number of people saving photos of them to their Houzz ideabooks. Are any of these in your own collection?
Tell us: What’s on your dream laundry room wish list?
Refinishing hardwood floors can seem like a daunting task that just is not worth the effort. However, if you have enough time and patience, you can achieve the beautiful floor of your dreams at a fraction of the cost.
This post will cover the time commitment it takes as well as the various steps that are involved in overhauling your hardwood flooring.
Before you go any further, keep in mind that remodeling your floors is the very last thing you want to do when you’re working on your house. It’s too easy to ruin all of your hard work with paint drips or accidental bumps and scratches from other projects.
What to Expect
First, it’s important to have a detailed plan to follow before you start on anything.
Step One: Refinishing Method
Step one should be deciding which refinishing route you want to take. If your floors are very worn, deeply scratched or damaged in any way, you should do a complete refinish. This requires more time and effort because you must sand all the way down to the bare wood, but the end result is worth the extra work.
If your floors have scratches, worn finish or dullness that is only cosmetic, you should be able to opt for the simpler process of screening. Screening only strips off the topmost layer of polyurethane coating, which should remove any unsightly wear and tear.
Step Two: Choosing a Polyurethane
Regardless of which option you take, you will need to decide whether you want an oil-based or water-based polyurethane.
Oil-based polyurethane does take longer, but it also lasts longer. Generally speaking, it will take about three to five days plus drying time to refinish a hardwood floor with this method. Expect to do one coat per day, because an oil-based product will need at least a full 24 hours to dry.
For water-based polyurethane, the entire process usually takes about two days. These products take far less time to dry, and in most cases, you can move furniture back into the room closer to the 48-hour mark.
These timelines are general estimates, though, so you will want to take into account things like square footage, how dark you want the initial stain to be and even the weather. Because wood is porous, things like dampness and humidity can affect absorption and dry time.
Step Three: Plan-Ahead Prep Tips
Many experts recommend that you remove your baseboards prior to staining and sanding your floors because they will inevitably get dinged and stained no matter how careful you are. If this isn’t possible, just keep in mind that you will need to go back through and touch up the baseboards once your flooring project is done.
It’s extremely important to seal off the room as much as you can to keep dust contained. It’s also easiest on you to plan this project during a time where the weather will be nice so you can open the windows to ventilate and speed the drying process.
Overall Time Commitment and Final Thoughts
While it depends on how dark you plan to stain your floors, which polyurethane you choose and other factors like the weather, you can still make at least a general estimate of how long the process will take from beginning to end.
For a beautiful finish that will last for many years to come, plan for the project to take five to seven days from beginning to end.
Keep in mind that, even though the floors are dry, you still need to take precautions. Furniture should have felt pads installed, pets should have their nails trimmed and no area rugs should be laid down for three to four weeks to allow the wood to “breathe” and cure properly.
Refinishing hardwood floors is a process that’s not overly complicated, but it is time-consuming. However, the end result will last for many years with proper care, so it is a wise investment of your time.
Ready to refinish your hardwood floors? Contact Us!
Wide-plank hardwood floors
If you are wanting to install hardwood floors in your small spaces, consider choosing planks instead of strips. Planks are wider than 3 inches, and wide-plank floors have planks of 5 inches or more. With wide planks, there are fewer seams, making the room look larger. Another trick is to install your planks adjacent to the longest wall in the room so the room itself will appear longer than it is.
Light vs. dark flooring in small spaces
Designers differ on whether or not people should stick with light-colored floors or if they can instead choose dark materials. Either can be used effectively as long as they are paired with the right color choices in walls and molding. If you choose walnut for your floors, you’ll want to choose to paint your walls in a cool color. Cooler colors tend to recede, which makes the room appear to visually expand. If you also add crown molding at the top of the walls, it can draw visitors’ eyes up, giving an added feeling of roominess.
Light-colored floors also work well to help rooms appear larger. Whether you choose a light-colored wood or a natural stone like travertine, the lightness of your material can reflect light to make your room appear larger. If you do choose to install natural stone tiles, selecting large tiles and avoiding using grout in between them may help to visually expand the floor and the room.
Use the same floor materials in adjacent rooms
You can increase the feel of roominess throughout your office or home by using the same floor materials throughout it. Spaces that are adjacent to your small room that have the same type of material used on their floors will give the impression that the rooms expand into one another, making all of them feel like they are larger.
Install floor materials on a diagonal
Another trick to make your small room appear larger is to install your flooring materials on a diagonal. This helps by giving a different perspective in order to expand the space. A diagonal pattern also creates added visual interest, drawing people’s eyes across the room’s expanse.
Avoid clutter and use the walls
Once you’ve chosen your floors, don’t clutter your small room. Use the minimum amount of furniture that you need in the space. If you are left without enough room to store your belongings, don’t forget about your walls. You can install shelves on the walls for the most effective use of the available space in your small room.
While small spaces can be challenging to decorate, you can use these tips to help your room look airier and larger than it is. Classic Floor Designs is available to help answer any questions you might have or to offer additional suggestions for choosing the floor materials that may work the best for your small rooms.