Refinishing Hardwood Floors Doesn’t Have to Be Messy

If your hardwood floors are scratched and dull, you can bring them back to their former beauty by refinishing them. One major drawback of refinishing wood floors is the dust that is produced. When you use a traditional floor sander, tiny dust particles will be emitted into the air, settling throughout your home or business. Because of this, home and business owners that want to refinish their floors must take substantial preparatory steps to minimize dust collecting on everything when they choose traditional floor sanding. Cleanup after your floors have been sanded can also be a nightmare. Fortunately, Classic Floor Designs offers dustless floor refinishing so that you can avoid the problems that the dust can otherwise cause.

What is dustless hardwood floor refinishing?

We use specialized equipment to refinish your hardwood floors without leaving behind a significant amount of dust. Our sanders are connected with special hoses to a powerful vacuum that is located on our trailers. As our professional refinishers sand your floors, the dust is sucked out of your home and into our trucks. This system can allow you to stay in your home or business while your floors are being sanded without worrying about breathing in the carcinogenic dust that can be produced during the process.

Benefits of no-dust refinishing

There are several benefits of choosing to refinish your floors with our no-dust system, including the following:

  • Less time preparing
  • Less time cleaning up
  • Better health

Before no-dust refinishing systems were available, people who wanted to sand their floors had to spend a significant amount of time preparing. They had to cover all of their furniture and stay elsewhere while the process was completed. Our system allows you to minimize the amount of preparation that you would otherwise need to complete. With the powerful vacuum technology, the dust is safely removed away from your home and your belongings, allowing you to stay in your home or business without having to cover everything.

Since most of the dust will be vacuumed directly out of your home or business and into our truck, there will also be much less time needed for cleaning up. In the past, people would find dust piling up for weeks after they had already cleaned after their floors were sanded. This is because sanding floors sends dust into your vents. From there, the dust may then be circulated and deposited throughout your home, allowing dust to continue settling everywhere for weeks.

Dust-free floor sanding is also much healthier for you, your family, your employees or your customers. Dust from sanding certain types of wood can be carcinogenic. Having high levels of dust in the air may also cause respiratory problems, allergic reactions or worsened asthma symptoms. Even if you leave your home during the sanding process or have the work completed while your business is closed, a lot of dust will still remain behind if you don’t use a dust-free floor refinishing process.

Added benefits for business owners

If you are a business owner who wants to refinish your floors, you will enjoy the added benefit of being able to continue working while the floors are being refinished. Without a dust-free sanding process, businesses have to close their doors while the work is being completed and during the cleanup process. They also have to cover and protect all of their furniture and office equipment to keep dust from getting in. With our system, you can continue to operate your business like you normally do, which can help you to continue making profits during the refinishing process.

Refinishing your existing hardwood floors doesn’t have to be a messy job. When you choose our system, you can enjoy beautiful results without the hassles involved with dust. To learn more about our dustless sanding and refinishing services, call Classic Floor Designs today.

Should Hardwood Floors Match Throughout the House?

If you are like many people who are thinking about installing new hardwood floors, you might have the idea that all of your floors should match. While some people think that they should match the floors throughout their homes for a sense of uniformity and space, it is unnecessary to do this. At Classic Floor Designs, we recommend that you consider mixing different types of wood on the floors throughout your house for a stunning result.

Choose wood grains according to your rooms’ locations and sizes

If you have rooms that face south or that are large, choosing a dark wood for your hardwood floors such as mahogany or Brazilian walnut can lend a luxurious feel. Smaller rooms work better when they have lighter wood grains. For small rooms, think about using lighter wood grains such as white oak, ash or maple.

When you are choosing hardwood flooring for a long hallway, make sure that you do not install it running parallel to the room’s length. This will make it appear narrower than if you install it in the other direction. If there is a doorway at the end of the hall that separates the spaces, you can choose to install wood running in a different direction or in a new grain to add interest. If there is no door separating the hall from the adjoining room, continue laying the flooring in the same pattern.

Separating rooms

If you want to install different wood grain floors in adjacent rooms, it can be easy to do so. You can simply separate them using wooden borders or T-moldings in the thresholds of the doors. You can also separate areas in large rooms with different grains of wood. This can be used to highlight specific areas and can be done well if you creatively use borders. You can try to create a border around the area with contrasting wood by using some of the wood grain from the adjoining space.

In a home with an open floor plan, using different types of hardwood floors can be used to set certain areas apart. For example, the entryway area might have wood floors that are installed in a parquet pattern while the rest of the floor is installed in straight lines. This can help you to set your entryway apart while also complementing your home’s design.

Why trying to match existing wood floors is difficult

If you are planning to install wood floors in only one area of your home, you may be tempted to try to match the floors that are installed in your other areas. This is very difficult to do because different series of the same types of wood flooring may be slightly mismatched in their tone. After the new flooring is installed, the difference may be apparent. Instead, try creating contrast and choose a new grain of wood that will complement what you have installed without matching it too closely.

If you are wanting to try to match the existing wood floors with your new flooring, you might want to instead consider sanding and refinishing all of them to match. Instead of going through the hassle of doing that, choosing a different type of floor or wood grain and selecting a border to separate the two can add to the look of your home.

While some people think that they have to use the same type of floors throughout their homes, choosing to mix different wood grains can make your home look more interesting. The experts at Classic Floor Designs can help you to choose the floors that will make your home stand out. Call us today to schedule your consultation so that you can begin the process of transforming your home into the beautiful place that you envision.

How to Make Your Hardwood Floors Last Longer

Hardwood floors make a stunning first impression, increase the value of your home and add warmth to any room. We know you want the beauty of your floors to last a long time without the need for refinishing, fixing or replacement, but we also recognize the challenge of cleaning and protecting hardwood.

Preventing damage to flooring is easy if you’re diligent and practice smart strategies. Start with these five tips to preserve the shine and prolong the life of every wood floor in your home.

Use the Right Cleaner

Before investing in a cleaner promising to restore shine and make wood floors glow, find out how it makes good on its promise. Many products rely on oils or waxes to provide shine. These produce an attractive effect but only serve to break down the finish of your floor over time, leading to the need for sanding and refinishing.

Instead of putting on a false shine, choose a cleaner formulated to remove dirt and reveal the natural beauty of the wood. Bona, Libman, Pledge, Method and other well-known names in home cleaning offer products just for hardwood. Choose a gentle, non-toxic formula, especially if you have pets or children who spend a lot of time in contact with the floor.

Develop a Regular Cleaning Regimen

Use your cleaner as part of a consistent routine designed to keep your hardwood flooring in top shape. Sweep up dirt and debris often to prevent scratches, and invest in a vacuum cleaner made for wood floors to lift the dirt brooms leave behind. Dry dust mops like Swiffer make it easier to reach into corners and grab dust bunnies under large pieces of furniture.

Keep a stash of soft cloths on hand to wipe up spills the moment they happen. Leaving water on the floor can lead to damage, and anything sticky will be difficult to remove if allowed to dry. Should an unidentifiable substance weld itself to your floor, spot clean with a minimal amount of liquid to remove it.

Mop the floor using a dry mop and your chosen cleaner to get rid of the rest of the dirt and grime. When you’re done, you should see the coveted shine for which hardwood floors are prized.

Say No to Shoes

Even if you’re obsessive about wiping your feet before heading indoors, your shoes are likely still holding onto dirt and debris. Routinely tracking these particles across wood floors can lead to scratches and scuffs in the finish. High heels are also problematic because the force focused on the concentrated surface of the heel can dent the wood.

To avoid both issues, remove your shoes the moment you come inside. Place a boot tray or rug by the door, and ask guests to help you preserve the floors by taking off their shoes when they visit. For a more attractive solution, consider investing in a bench with built-in storage cubbies for the shoes you wear most often.

Give Your Furniture a Soft Touch

Wood flooring looks great in the kitchen and dining area, but the constant scraping of chairs does no small amount of damage to the finish. Since you can’t expect everyone to remember to pick up their chairs instead of pushing them in or to maneuver themselves sideways to avoid pushing chairs back, invest in adhesive felt pads or gliders. These can be placed on the bottoms of kitchen chair legs or on the feet of small tables. You can also get more permanent gliders designed to be nailed in place so that they don’t slip off.

For larger furniture, consider snap-on felt glides. These not only protect your floors but also make moving couches and other big pieces easier when cleaning or rearranging.

Learn to Love Rugs and Mats

To protect wood flooring in high-traffic areas and in places where water or food is likely to be spilled, you need throw rugs, mats or runners. Put mats by the sink and near kitchen counters where the majority of food preparation takes place, and roll out runners in the places the family passes through the most. A welcome mat outside the door encourages everyone to wipe the bottoms of their shoes, and a small rug can be placed just inside to prevent errant dirt from winding up in the house. Remember to clean underneath all mats and rugs when caring for your floors to prevent debris from building up or backings from sticking.

Start practicing these preventative strategies the moment your new floors are installed, and you’ll enjoy beautiful hardwood for many years to come. If you’re ready to get started with an installation, contact one of our specialiststo learn more about your options and find just the right hardwood floors for your home.

2018 Flooring Trends

Hardwood floors are by far the biggest trend in home improvement projects in 2018. This year it is all about the type, style, and texture of the wood you put in your home. Kitchens and baths seem to be getting the most attention when it comes to installing new flooring.

Solid Wood Floors for Decades of Use

The laminate and engineered wood floors are less popular than solid wood floors this year. Whether you’re going to be living in your forever home or simply making improvements to help increase the return on investment, solid wood floors are on trend in 2018.  And, solid wood floors can last for more than 100 years when they are taken care of properly.

Wood Types Depend on Your Style

The type of wood you choose comes down to your taste and style. Oak and hickory are the most sought after hardwood floor types. Maple and birch are still a great option for people who want to keep a modern design. Not surprisingly, eco-friendly species like bamboo are also popular because they are sustainable and environmentally responsible as well as affordable and attractive.

Color is as Simple as Black and White … and Shades of Gray

This year, remodel colors run the gamut from black to white and gray. Super, bright white tones are just as popular as sleek, dark mahogany and ebony. Another favorite floor option is using cool gray tones. Whitewashing is back this year too. Neutral tones with clear finishes like coating bare wood is a popular option that gives you the ability to add a very different look in the future when you may want to refresh the space. Almost anything eco-friendly or helpful to the environment is desirable too. Reclaimed hardwood flooring was popular in 2017 and will be again in 2018.

Finishes Make the Floor

Super glossy floors are falling out of favor this year. Our designers suggest going with matte or satin finishes to get the look you see on your favorite home and remodeling shows. Oil floors are coming back with a vengeance because of the patina from years of aging. One of the biggest advantages of using oil finishes is that you can repair them easily with an additional coat of oil.

Planks Add Character

Parquet is an old trend that is seeing a revival in 2018. Chevron and herringbone patterns are very on-trend. Decorative and textured floors are seeing an uptick in sales too. The character of the floor is a big deal with knotty wood coming up the winner in floor trends.

Rustic in the Farmhouse Sense

Distressing the wood for existing floors is one of the most frequently requested projects this year. Taking it down to the bare wood and giving it a touch of class with the right stain or treatment is by far a welcome change. Letting the natural imperfections show through is one of the best ways you can get the farmhouse feel in your home.

Concise and Clean Lines

If you want to go to the other end of the spectrum with a minimalist design, Classic Floor Designs recommends longer planks of wood for your flooring. Fewer seams paired with classy lines enhance the charm in the room. Often this floor choice pairs best with the stark white or deep ebony colors.

(Seeming) Bigger is Usually Better

Wide planks make small rooms feel much bigger. Using wide planks in bathrooms brings a spa-like atmosphere and is trending in 2018. Event a small powder room can instantly feel roomier with a six-inch hardwood floor.

The best way to select a new floor for your home is to listen to your gut.  After all, you will be living with it! Choose patterns, colors, and textures that compliment the rooms you already love. Classic Floor Designs wants to help you find the right floor option for your home. To talk to one of our designers or to schedule a free consultation, please call us at 202-872-9860.

Top Tips to Protect Your Floors This Holiday Season

Tips to Protect Your Floors This Holiday Season
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but your hardwood floors might disagree if they could talk. The holidays are a great time for inviting over friends and family, which usually means lots of extra foot traffic, moving around furniture and inevitable spills.

We know that life is probably going to be busy and full of fun and festivities, so you probably won’t want to spend a lot of time worrying about the state of your beautiful flooring. To help put your mind at ease and minimize any potential damage, we’ve compiled a quick and simple list of tips to help save your hardwood, carpeting and laminate floors from the abundance of cheer that comes along with this time of year.

Doormats and Rugs

Doormats are your first line of defense when it comes to caring for your floors. Be sure to place heavy-duty mats on the inside and outside of all of your entrances to cut down on the dirt that gets tracked in by guests and family.

Strategically placing area rugs in high-traffic areas is also a great, stylish way to protect your hardwood floors. If you live in an area that is particularly prone to wet, snowy weather, it’s a good idea to have extra washable rugs placed near the doors for guests to knock off snow or mud before they come inside.

Remove Your Shoes

Most people naturally come home and take off their shoes first thing. This is a good habit to get into, especially if you’re hoping to keep your floors looking great for years to come. Though it may feel strange to ask at first, you should consider requesting that guests leave their shoes at the door, too.

To help facilitate this, there are a few things you can do. First, have everyone in your house get into the habit of leaving a pair of slippers by the main entrance so it’s easy to slip off shoes and put on slippers. Keep a boot tray and small shoe rack near the door as well. Wet or dirty shoes go into the boot tray, and other shoes go onto the shoe rack or into their respective bedrooms.

For guests, you can either let them know ahead of time to bring a pair of slippers, or you can keep a few pairs of washable “house shoes” near the door. These are not difficult to find, and they are not very expensive either. To eliminate any potential awkwardness, you can make it fun and hang a lighthearted sign on the door letting guests know to leave their shoes at the entrance.

Clean Up Regularly

This one is obvious, but extra traffic means extra cleaning. To cut down on the time you spend doing housework, you can go high-tech and invest in a small robot vacuum that will pick up debris and even spot-mop your floors. If that’s outside of your budget, consider keeping a dry mop in all of the main living spaces, and do a quick once-over anytime you’re walking through.

Invest in Furniture Pads

This is an especially useful tip if your home is mostly hardwood floors. Home improvement or flooring stores will carry a variety of soft, easy-to-apply furniture pads that can be placed on the bottoms of chair legs, table legs and anything you know will be getting pushed or pulled across the floor regularly. Padding these surfaces will not only allow the furniture to move more easily, but it will save your floors from any potential scraping or gouging.

Seal and Treat

For hardwood flooring, you should take the time to have your floors varnished if you haven’t already. A fresh layer of sealant will protect the wood from spills and stains.

Carpeted floors should be steam cleaned and protected with an anti-stain or liquid-repelling treatment. Not only will this save your carpets, but it will save you stress and headache when someone drops a glass of wine or the kids get a little too excited about their holiday treats.

Train Your Pets

It may take a little bit of time and patience, but training your animals to sit by the door while you wipe their paws is an invaluable trick for reducing the amount of cleaning you do and keeping your floors fresh.

In addition to this, you should keep your pet’s nails trimmed and blunted whenever possible. Long or sharp nails can scratch and gouge hardwood in no time. If you have cats, make sure there are plenty of places for them to scratch. Otherwise, your carpeted floors may suffer.

One Final Tip – Relax

Remember, the memories and joy of the season are much more important than keeping your floors pristine. Enjoy your holidays, and consult with our professionals if you have questions or need help with post-party floor cleaning.

Gray Hardwood Floors are Here to Stay

A well-designed room begins with the right flooring, and gray hardwood remains the perfect starting point for many home decors. We’ve received countless requests for this elegant option in recent years, and interest doesn’t seem to be slowing down. So, why are gray hardwood floors the foundation of choice for so many homeowners?

Gray: A Soothing Color Choice

For most, the home is a sanctuary. It’s where we go to relieve stress from the outside world and connect with the ones we love. Maybe that’s why so many of us crave the soothing look and feel of gray hardwood flooring. Its soft color works beautifully with mint green or sage, super-soft pink, pale yellow and other pastels for the ultimate in relaxing decor. Baseboards in cream create a natural, non-jarring transition from light-gray walls to slightly darker gray floors.

Lighten Up Your Home’s Interior

Gray wood flooring helps lighten any room. It can open up space visually, especially when paired with walls and furniture in shades of gray that are lighter than the flooring. The light color works wonders at creating an open feel in smaller living areas. And just as it makes a cramped room appear spacious and inviting, soft gray enhances the roomy feel of larger spaces.

The Influence of Scandinavian Design

Anyone who’s leafed through home decor magazines or browsed decorating websites has likely noticed a Scandinavian influence on interior design these days. Besides last year’s obsession with Hagge, a Danish concept roughly translated to coziness and an appreciation of life’s simple comforts, Scandinavian minimalism is still huge in American home design. The timeless appeal of Danish modern design helps explain why the streamlined, scaled-back look of mid-century interiors remains in-demand.

Gray Hardwood Flooring: a Versatile Choice

You don’t need a minimalist sensibility to fall in love with gray hardwood floors, though; their versatility is part of their charm. A gray hardwood floor looks just as much at home in a farmhouse-chic decor as it does in a contemporary or mid-century modern setting. Its color is reminiscent of metals, making it a good fit for industrial-style interiors. It also provides the perfect arena for playing with color in your accents and furniture. We’ve seen designs recently incorporating coral, orange, red and other bold color choices against a soft, airy backdrop of gray floors and walls.

The Natural Beauty of Gray Hardwood Flooring

Gray hardwood fits nicely into the architecture of older homes, but it also adds character to newer houses. Wide planks are a smart choice for this type of wood flooring. This style highlights the burls and other markings for a somewhat rustic appeal that brings warmth to any setting. These characteristics also make light scratches less noticeable — a boon to families with active households. Consider white oak in a gray-washed stain formulated for hardwoods, especially if your home has a vintage, rustic or shabby-chic aesthetic.

It’s easy to see why gray hardwood floors show no signs of waning in popularity. This type of flooring adapts to nearly any decorating style, from rustic and cozy to minimalist or industrial. It creates a sense of calm — something we seem to crave more than ever. As the new neutral of choice, it also gives you the freedom to express yourself through color and have fun with your decor. And its burls and markings bring the beauty of nature inside, adding character to cookie-cutter spaces or complementing a home’s existing charm. If you’re considering upgrading your home with this popular flooring choice, get expert guidance throughout the process from a company experienced in installing and maintaining these and other types of quality flooring.

2018 Home Design Trends

Your home is so much more than where you drop your keys at the end of the day. It is a sanctuary of peace from outside-world distractions, it is the inspiration for family gatherings and when properly outfitted it reflects your own fashion-forward style. At Classic Home Design, we took a glimpse at what will be coming down the interior design catwalk in 2018 to offer you insight into the freshest home design trends for the soon-approaching new year. Here are our top six picks.

#1 Use of Natural Elements

Photo Credit: Hopeasuo Flickr via Compfight cc

If your home is like ours, its chock-full of the latest tech gadgets that promise to make our lives easier. While these tools allow us to speed up our days, natural home design features can help to bring us down to earth a bit. The incorporation of organic materials such as wood, stone, and linen into our homes can serve to soothe and relax us and our house guests. In 2018, these materials will show up in designer interiors as striking stone accent walls, sustainable seagrass rugs or simple yet attractive hewn wood pots and planters. It’s all about capturing the hues and textures of nature and bringing them indoors to complement your home’s unique vibe.

#2 Neutrals Paired With Intense Colors

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We found that the upcoming year will bring greater dimension to neutrals. Go-to shades in beige, taupe and gray have traditionally served as backdrops for special architectural trim, pieces of art or other furnishings. In 2018, they are paired with intense colors that give interiors elements of surprise, contrast, and cheer. Top designers say that the saturated hues will show up on ceilings, furniture, and accessories. They recommend accents in vibrant jewel tones such as green, lapis blue and warm shades of red, gold and orange. The intense colors will primarily be found on accent pieces and ceilings that can be easily replaced or repainted if you ever grow weary of the color combinations.

#3 Modern Minimalism

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We have a sneaking suspicion that the trend toward modern minimalism was inspired in part by the sluggish economy of the last decade. However, its popularity has even spilled over into luxury markets. Designers are challenged to optimize interior spaces at posh addresses with furnishings that are beautiful, functional and in some instances multi-purpose. Modern architectural design is known for its simple, elegant angles and curves, and top designers in 2018 will play up these features by giving the spaces that they create a pleasing sense of frugal sophistication. Incorporating storage space into decorative pillars and archways is just one example of how designers implement the concept of modern minimalism.

#4 Painting Interior Doors Dark

Black Interior Door

White walls and ceilings can give rooms a sense of purity, which is like a blank canvas that is ready for something inspiring. We believe that the inspiration can be found in something as simple as a painted interior door. An all-white space looks crisp, but sometimes the human eye needs to see boundaries in contrasting colors to show the space’s scale and depth. That is why many designers rush to add a vivid ceiling color or a splash of checkerboard flooring to an otherwise all-white room. An interior door that is painted in black, charcoal or another dark hue can offer a contrast that equates to instant sophistication as it enhances other contrasting accents in a room such as elegant black and white photographs.

#5 Maple, Pine and Hickory Flooring a Hit in 2018

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A quality hardwood floor is a classic that seems to never go out of style. While homeowners love the durability, low-maintenance and hygienic nature of hardwood floors, designers are typically taken in by the material’s beauty and versatility. This is especially the case with growing trends toward maple, pine and hickory flooring. Maple hardwood flooring shows even grains, and most varieties are lighter in color than traditional oak flooring. The lighter shade of flooring often gives rooms an open, airy look that can enhance both contemporary and traditional decor. For homes that are inspired by the interiors of yesteryear, pine and hickory are excellent hardwood floor choices. These wood species offer enough grain variations, imperfections and knots to simulate the unrefined look of wood flooring in historic homes. Popular yet somewhat pricey finishes include wire-brushed and hand-scraped pine and hickory flooring.

#6 Use of Reclaimed Wood for Kitchen Island Kick-Plate


We know that the kitchen island is one of the busiest spots in many kitchens. It’s where spouses perch to communicate the highlights of their day and where little ones congregate to get help with homework while helping themselves to afternoon snacks. The material that covers the lower portion of the island must be durable enough to withstand countless kicks and scuffs. A top 2018 home interior trend is to use reclaimed wood to serve as a kitchen island kick plate. A wooden island kick plate can give your kitchen added warmth and character. Reclaimed wood that has a special story associated with it is not only an eco-friendly choice for your island, but it can also be an interesting conversation piece for guests.

Top 10 Myths About Hardwood Floors

When looking to make improvements to their home, many people consider the addition of a hardwood floor. Hardwood floors are both durable and beautiful, but there are many common myths that still exist about this particular flooring option. The following information is designed to set the record straight on ten common flooring myths regarding hardwood floors.

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?

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.

Lifestyle

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.

Aesthetics

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.

Versatility

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.

Durability

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.

Maintenance

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.

Environmental Considerations

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.

Cost

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.

 

Home Improvement Suggestions for the Biggest Payoff

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.

Kitchen Remodeling

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.

Bathroom Remodeling

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.

Photo Credit: ReBath of the Triangle/Triad/Wilmington Flickr via Compfight cc