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.
Hardwood Flooring Trends in 2017
What’s on trend for hardwood flooring in 2017? Our experts at Classic Floor Designs have suggestions for this year’s top trends: darker colors and wider dimensions. This is directly related to a desire to bring a natural look inside. Everyone has personal likes and a budget to follow. When you are contemplating a renovation that includes new hardwood floor ideas, here are a few that will be popular in the coming year.
Wide and Long Planks
Traditional hardwood flooring has long been available in narrow planks. Today’s flooring trends are seeing more size choices, and many people are opting for wider designs. Using wide and long planks will make a small space appear larger. The elongated lengths will provide a smoother look with fewer seams. Depending on desired results, these pieces can be installed vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.
To make a bold statement, it may be wise to choose hardwood with a dark stain. If you want some contemporary flair, consider an ebony color. For added sophistication, you may wish to select a rich red wood. Selecting dark walnut is a smart way to bring traditional elegance to your space as well.
Gray is Good
Gray is the hot hardwood flooring trend in 2017. It is a smart alternative to tan and other brown shades. It has seen great popularity on the West Coast, and it is spreading fast across the country. If your space is feeling old, gray hardwood is the ideal update. Since gray is available in a variety of tones, you can select one that works with your existing decor and that adds a modern feel.
The public is becoming more and more aware of environmental concerns, which has led consumers to search for eco-friendly flooring options. When you want a hardwood floor that is “greener” and beautiful, consider reclaimed wood. Reclaimed products are either reused or remanufactured and include material that has been sourced from old beams, barns, barrels, or similar items. Thanks to the various knots and grains, each piece offers unique beauty.
Authentic wood appearance is important for 2017 flooring. This means that the rustic look of maple and pine will be two of the most popular choices. If you want to create an antique vibe, distressed flooring will work well. Many hardwood pieces are being hand scraped by manufacturers to provide an aged and vintage look.
To brighten a space, 2017 is seeing flooring that goes beyond white-washing. Lime-washing is a whitening technique that began in Europe and involved the application of a water and lime mixture to bare wood. The end results are a soft and rustic appearance that brings a touch of brightness to your space. The modern way to achieve this look is with liming wax, which fades and ages the look of dark wood.
Traditional hardwood often has a high shine. However, trends are leaning toward a low-gloss appearance. The look brings a number of benefits. For instance, scratches are easier to hide, and dirt buildup is less noticeable. This is especially important in high traffic areas. Another reason that this type of finish is becoming popular is the authentic appearance that spotlights the wood’s natural color and texture.
Hardwood is a classic choice for both homes and corporate settings. At Classic Floor Designs, we are ready to share the top 2017 flooring trends with you. We are proud to offer some of the finest products that are made from high quality craftsmanship. No matter your needs, we will discuss some of the most popular items and will recommend something that will help your company get noticed from the ground up.
When it comes to flooring, you’d be hard-pressed to find something that is as timeless or attractive as hardwood. Although it’s among the most durable flooring options around, a hardwood floor of even the utmost quality requires regular maintenance to stay in tip-top shape. At Classic Floor Designs, we have lots of tricks for keeping hardwood floors looking like new. Check out 15 especially useful tips below.
1. Routine Cleaning
One of the best ways to keep a hardwood floor looking terrific is by simply keeping it as clear of dust and other debris as possible. Once or twice a week, thoroughly sweep the floor with a regular broom and then go over it again with a microfiber duster.
2. Take Care with Water
Water and wood don’t mix. When mopping your floor, use a lightly damp mop—not a soaking wet one. Never allow water to sit on your floor for extended periods of time.
3. Ward Off Dings and Scratches
Even the toughest hardwood floor can get pitted and scratched over time. Minimize this by having a shoes-off policy in your home. If you have pets, keep their nails trimmed. Keep felt pads under furniture legs. Whenever possible, lift and carry furniture instead of pushing or dragging it.
4. Act Quickly
When spills and other mishaps occur, act quickly. Sop up excess liquid right away, and then apply a floor cleaner that is specially formulated for the surface with a soft cloth. Have these supplies ready to go at a moment’s notice.
5. Eliminate Dents
Despite your best efforts, your hardwood floors may develop dents from time to time. Repair them by wetting the spot and then laying a dampened cloth over it. Rub a clothes iron on the high setting over the cloth in circular motions until the dent is gone.
6. Wipe Away Marker Stains
If permanent marker ends up on your floor, don’t despair. Both toothpaste and cologne work wonders for eliminating even the toughest marker stains. Gently apply either to the spot with a soft, dry cloth, and then wipe it clean with a damp cloth.
7. Clean Up Scuffs with Melamine Foam
Melamine foam, which is popularly known as Magic Eraser, works incredibly well at wiping away scuffs and other marks. Generic melamine foam is very affordable, so stock up to ensure that you can clean up stubborn marks when necessary.
8. Say Goodbye to Urine Stains
In addition to being unsightly, urine stains give hardwood floors unpleasant odors. Eliminate even old urine stains by pouring hydrogen peroxide directly onto the spot. Cover it with a hydrogen peroxide soaked cloth, and then cover that with plastic. Let it sit overnight, and then wipe it clean with a damp cloth.
9. Use Kitchen Items to Clean Big Marks
If you think that you need heavy-duty cleaner to eliminate that big, stubborn mark, think again. Mix equal parts canola oil and white vinegar, rub it on and then wipe it away with a damp cloth.
10. Restore a Fading Floor
If your hardwood flooring is less bright and vibrant than it used to be, a little lemon oil should do the trick. Rub down the entire floor with it and allow it to dry. You’ll be amazed by how much better it looks!
11. Bid Adieu to Scratches
Are your hardwood floors riddled with scratches? It’s nothing a little steel wool and sandpaper can’t help. For light scratches, use fine steel wool to gently work them away. Use lightweight sandpaper on deeper scratches. In both cases, finish up by rubbing mineral spirits in to smooth the surface.
12. Take Care of Cracks
During the winter, it’s not unusual for cracks to appear in hardwood. Wood expands when it’s warm and humid and shrinks when it’s cold and dry. The cracks should go away when warm, moist weather returns, but you can always run a humidifier to resolve it any time of year.
13. Clean Up Tape Residue
Sticky residue from tape, stickers and the like can be easily and gently cleaned away. Combine two tablespoons baking soda with 1/4 to 1/2 of a teaspoon of water. Spread the paste onto the residue, allow it to dry and then rub it away with a damp cloth.
14. Make a Natural Floor Cleaner
Clean your floors naturally and restore their sheen with black tea. Brew some up, dampen a clean cloth with it and wipe down your floors. The polyphenolic compounds in the tea inhibit microbial growth, so your floors will stay clean longer. The tannins in the tea add a lovely sheen.
15. De-Squeak Your Floor
Finally, if your floors look fine but sound terrible, there’s an easy way to eliminate squeaks. Use a paintbrush to work baby powder in between the floor joints. You can also use powdered graphite, which comes in a tube, to accomplish the same thing.
There you have it! By keeping these tips in mind, your hardwood flooring will continue to look as good as new for years to come. Check back with Classic Floor Designs for more helpful tips in the future!
Carpet and Carpet Tiles: Quiet, Affordable and Easy to Replace
Carpet is an affordable and versatile choice that can dampen noises and create a warm, inviting environment. Special carpeting designed for commercial applications and high-traffic areas is extremely durable and will last for years with proper care. Stain-resistant material can help preserve your floor’s overall appearance, but all carpeting will eventually need to be cleaned.
If you decide carpet is the best option for your corporate space, you may want to consider carpet tiles. When installed properly, they look exactly like rolled carpet, but they make it easier and less expensive to repair small areas. Today’s carpet and carpet tiles come in a wide array of patterns and styles so you can easily choose a design that matches your brand or sets the tone for your office.
Vinyl Flooring: Resilient, Comfortable and Affordable
Vinyl might not be the first material you think of when you consider the best flooring for commercial space, but it’s an option many businesses prefer. It can give you the same look that comes with ceramic tile or hardwood floors, but it’s more affordable, easier to install and absorbs noises fairly well.
Even when installed in high-traffic areas, vinyl flooring is easy to clean and maintain, and it retains its attractive appearance for an extended period of time. As a bonus, if you have employees that stand for most of their workday, vinyl flooring is more forgiving to the human body than harder materials. Many retail stores and hospitals are floored in vinyl.
Rubber Flooring: Provides Traction, Heat Resistance and Sound Absorption
Rubber is a viable option for hospitals, airports and restaurants as well as similar types of businesses. This commercial flooring option is perfect for high-traffic area because it’s durable and easy to maintain. Other benefits include:
- Comfortable to stand on
- Heat and water resistant
- Slip resistant
- Sound absorbent
- Available in multiple colors and textures
Hardwood Flooring: A Timeless, High-End Look that Always Makes a Good Impression
Hardwood flooring is more expensive upfront than many other options, and it does require maintenance to preserve its elegant appearance, but this type of flooring will last more than a lifetime with proper upkeep, and nothing sets a professional and successful tone quite like hardwood. If you are designing a commercial space for a law office, an advertising firm or a financial management company, hardwood flooring is an obvious choice.
New advancements in manufacturing have increased surface durability making this attractive material harder to mar or scratch than it used to be. You can find hardwood flooring made up of many different types of wood and in a variety of finishes from classic oak to rich cherry.
Laminate Flooring: Get the Look of Hardwood for a Lower Cost
As long as you choose a high-quality laminate, this commercial flooring option can provide you with a durable surface that looks almost exactly like hardwood flooring at a fraction of the cost. Today’s laminate can also give the appearance of stone, tiles or almost any other material. It’s easy and fast to install, simple to maintain and holds up well under heavy traffic. To make laminate flooring, the manufacturer presses multiple sheets of material together, then seals them with a protective coating that preserves the finish and gives laminate flooring a long life.
Hard Tiles: Ceramic, Glass, Slate, Marble or Granite
The options are virtually endless when you consider hard tiling for your office space. Depending on the material, the price can be relatively low or very expensive, but hard tiles are extremely durable, resist stains and can provide you with a very attractive look that will last. On the downside, hard tiling is exhausting to stand on for long periods of time.
What You Should Consider When Selecting the Best Flooring for Your Commercial Space
For the best outcome, consult with a flooring professional who specializes in corporate flooring to select the best materials for your office. Together, you should go over:
- Expected traffic level – Spaces like school hallways, shopping malls and museums require hard materials like granite, marble or concrete to stand up to years of constant traffic. However, if you operate a call center where employees come and go but few customers enter, you may be better off with softer, more affordable carpeting as your commercial flooring choice.
- Ease of repair – Some flooring like carpeting or vinyl will eventually need to be repaired or replaced. Consider how expensive it will be to repair, how long the repairs will take and how much the repairs will inconvenience your clients or employees before you make your final choice.
- Maintenance requirements – Different types of flooring have very different maintenance needs. Discuss whether you can do the maintenance yourself, if you will have to hire someone to do it for you and the average yearly cost of maintenance.
- Life expectancy – Ask how long each type of flooring is expected to last if it’s maintained properly. Carpeting generally has the lowed expected lifespan while hard tile and hardwoods have the longest.
- Components – Find out if any volatile chemicals or any other problematic materials were used to make each type of flooring. Some chemicals can have an impact on air quality or prevent you from recycling old flooring at the end of its life.
- The total cost to own – Just like buying a car, your overall cost to own will include more than the initial amount you pay to purchase your new flooring and have it installed. Include the cost to maintain and repair as well as life expectancy in your calculations. Don’t forget that upfront savings can cost you more in the long run.
If you need help choosing the best flooring for your corporate space, please give us a call. Our team of commercial flooring experts is ready and able to help.
#1 Eco-friendly Carpet Versions Available
Carpeting floors used to mean installing rolls of synthetic materials that were saturated with volatile organic compounds and other toxic chemicals that impair indoor air quality for years after initial installation. Also, health-harming flame retardants are usually found in the foam padding that lies beneath most conventional carpeting. More sustainable carpeting options are available to today’s homeowners. Eco-friendly carpeting materials include wool, wool and silk blends and sea grass. Wool, natural rubber and cotton are a few non-toxic padding choices. Even conventional carpeting materials trap dust and airborne allergens which would otherwise aggravate respiratory conditions. Homeowners can then remove the dust particles by vacuuming with a high-quality vacuum cleaner.
#2 Warmth and Insulation
Very few people enjoy placing their feet on cold, hard floors first thing in the morning. Those who have wall-to-wall carpeting installed do not have to subject themselves to this disagreeable way of preparing for a new day. Carpeting is warmer to the touch than hardwood, tile and stone. When paired with quality padding, it also provides floors with an extra insulating layer that reduces energy bills.
#3 Noise Reduction
The insulating benefits of wall-to-wall carpets also reduce noise levels throughout a home. When carpet is installed on second-story floors, the sounds of footsteps, stereos and television sets are dampened. This feature is particularly noticeable for households that have active children and pets.
#4 Available Colors
The color choices for carpets are nearly endless, and we’ve seen that some interior designers create signature fashion statements through the clever use of color. For instance, they can make large rooms look cozier and more inviting by using deeper hues for carpeting. Also, carpets that display accent colors against neutral backgrounds are on trend.
#5 Wide Choice of Patterns and Textures
We’ve also seen an uptick in professional interior decorators and do-it-yourself remodelers taking advantage of available pattern and texture options for carpeting to add drama to contemporary room designs. In these homes, subtle carpeting patterns coordinate with window covering and furniture fabrics. Designers also create upscale looks by using our textured carpets to provide a contrast for clean-line, modern furnishings.
Many families desire a home that exudes comfort and well-being for all who shelter there. Wall-to-wall carpet, which feels soft and luxurious to the touch, helps to provide that atmosphere. Our clients who have toddlers and small children who are just learning to walk often choose carpeting to cover all or part of their homes’ floors.
#7 The Price Is Right
Carpets can last up to 10 years if they are properly cleaned and maintained according to leading manufacturers of our quality brands. Carpeting installation is usually less expensive per square foot than installing hardwood floors. Also, installing hardwood flooring is more labor intensive than installing carpet throughout a home. While prices vary by region, carpeting can cost between $3 and $5 per square foot; hardwood floor installations cost between $9 and $12 per square foot.
#8 Low Maintenance
We’ve found that busy households need all the help that they can get when it comes to keeping their homes clean and neat. Carpeting is a relatively low-maintenance floor covering that usually requires only weekly vacuuming and yearly professional deep cleaning. Alternately, hardwood and laminate floors must be swept and mopped more often than carpeting. Families with small children and pets often need to sweep hardwood floors daily to maintain tidy homes.
#9 Slip Resistant
Many of our customers are caretakers for aging parents or grandparents as well as for their own children. This is often a contributing factor when they choose wall-to-wall carpet over other floor materials. Carpeting provides a slip resistant surface that reduces incidences of dangerous falls for elderly household members. Wall-to-wall carpets with thick piles are usually more difficult to navigate for those in wheelchairs; we recommend carpeting that has a thinner pile and quality padding to accommodate wheelchair use. The youngest of family members also benefit from floors that resist slips and cushion falls as they learn to walk and play at home.
#10 Excellent Manufacturer Warranties
Deciding to install wall-to-wall carpeting is a significant home improvement investment, and homeowners always want the assurance that they are purchasing the right product for their unique needs. Investigating product warranties often helps them in the decision-making process. Today’s wall-to-wall carpet warranties go beyond the basic wear warranty that just assures that carpets will not fall apart with normal use. Our clients can now get texture retention, fade resistance, soil resistance and stain resistance warranties.