How to Clean Dog Urine from Your Floors

Whether you keep your dog inside at all times or you only let your pet in on special occasions, there is a possibility that an accident will occur on your floors. When this happens, point out the urine to your dog and show your dog where he is supposed to use the bathroom. Then, clean the area as soon as you can before it stains the carpet, hardwood, or other flooring material.

Using Vinegar to Clean Up Dog Urine

Although it might leave a scent behind, white vinegar can be very useful in removing dog urine from any kind of floor, especially carpet. The vinegar also removes the pet odor that is left behind and can deter animals from urinating in those same places again. Use warm water and soap on the area first before spraying vinegar on the area. Avoid using apple cider vinegar because it could stain the floor.

Using Shaving Cream to Clean Up Dog Urine

A product that is used on the face, underarms, and legs can also be used to clean dog urine from the floor. The foaming cream works best instead of the gel. You can rub the cream into carpet if needed. Creams with fragrance added can sometimes deter dogs from urinating in the same place as well. If you’re using the cream on hardwood floors or another hard surface, then you only need a small amount on the floor.

Using Laundry Detergent to Clean Up Dog Urine

A solution that will leave the floor with a pleasant scent while cleaning dog urine at the same time is powdered laundry detergent. Use the white laundry detergent instead of products that have colors in them. You can also sprinkle stain remover on the area so that the color of the urine won’t settle into the floor. Along with removing the urine, the detergent will remove the odor as well. Room deodorizers and fabric sprays also help with eliminating pet odors from urine. Baking Soda
If there is an area that has lingered for a long time after your dogs have urinated inside, then consider using baking soda. You can also mix it with either vinegar or peroxide. As the products combine together, they will lift the stain from the floor. Clean the surface with warm water after the stain has been removed. Don’t scrub the area with the baking soda because it could remove some of the color from the floor if you use a large amount or if you leave it on too long. If you use liquids with the baking soda, then make a paste with them instead of putting one product on the floor before the other for the best results.  Contact us for more tips and tricks to keep your floors looking like new!

Using Toothpaste to Clean Up Dog Urine

If you have plain white toothpaste, then you can use it to clean dog urine from your floors. It works on both hardwood floors as well as carpets. Put a small amount on a toothbrush, and scrub the area with enough water to make it look like a soapy consistency. This is an option that you have if you don’t want to stain your floor and if you don’t have anything else on hand to use at the moment.

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Hardwood Floors: How to Keep Yours Looking Like New

Do you have hardwood floors? If not, are you thinking about installing them? Hardwood can be more expensive than its counterparts, but it also lasts much longer and looks incredible! In fact, if you properly clean and maintain them, wood floors can last the lifetime of your home. This can rarely be said for its alternatives, such as carpet or linoleum. As an added plus, wood floors are a breeze to take care of. Here are a few tips to keep your floors looking like new for years to come.

No Shoes

When it comes to walking, shoes are a great invention. They cause a great deal of wear and tear on your floors, however. Therefore, it might be a good idea to leave the shoes at the door. Some people are okay with a no shoes in the house rule while others prefer to wear shoes wherever they go. If you prefer to wear shoes in the house, just know that it will cause extra wear on your floors and will likely make them a little more difficult to keep looking new. Dirt and grime carried in on shoes can leave an abrasive layer on your floors that can scratch them or leave them looking dull. If you prefer not to enforce a no-shoes rule, just make sure you keep those floors clean on a regular basis.

Keep it Clean

All hardwood floors are not created equal, and neither are the products designed for cleaning floors. Whether your hardwood flooring is unfinished, waxed, or oiled, read all the labels on a cleaning product before you use it to make sure it is safe to use on your floors. Once you have settled on the best cleaning product, wood floors can be simple to keep looking great. A simple sweep and mop is generally all that is required. Make sure to mop up spills as quickly as possible. Spills are never good to let sit on any type of flooring, but it can cause particular wear and damage to the hardwood.

Buff the Scuffs

Scuffs can occur on your floors for a variety of reasons, and they are a simple fact of life when it comes to hardwood. The good news is they are easier to get rid of than most people think. You may need to try different methods to remove a scuff, but they are not permanent and can easily be banished!

  • Dampen the corner of a soft cloth and rub it over the area. This may be enough to gently remove the scuff from your floor. Dry the area with the dry part of the cloth once you have removed the scuff.
  • Lightly dab the area with a damp sponge or cloth. Rub the area with a pencil eraser, then use the sponge again to wipe away the eraser debris. Wipe dry.
  • Buff away the scuff with a tennis ball! This surprising technique works like a charm on some scuffs. Simply rub the tennis ball over the area and watch the scuff disappear. The fabric on the tennis ball is abrasive enough to buff away the scuff, but it is gentle enough that it won’t harm your floor.
  • For tough scuffs, wipe the area with a damp cloth and dry. Mix a tablespoon of olive oil with a tablespoon of vinegar and pour a small amount of the solution on the scuff. Let it sit overnight. Dry the area with a soft cloth the next morning.

 

Long-term Maintenance

For the long haul, you should add a maintenance coat to your floors every three to five years to keep it looking like new. The particular type of coat you use will depend on your style of wood flooring.

Prevent Damage

While you can’t prevent eventual wear and tear on your floors, you can lessen the damage with a few simple tricks.

  • Prevent scratches and scrapes on your floors by placing felt protectors under chair legs and other furniture. Many people tend to overlook the application of felt protectors, but they can save years of wear and tear on your floors. Just make sure to replace them if they become detached or worn thin.
  • Use rugs in high-traffic areas to help keep the floors clean. Rugs are great when they are used properly. Make sure you wash the rugs on a regular basis or they will do nothing more than look pretty and scatter dust. You should also always use a rug pad underneath to ensure the rug doesn’t stick to the floor and leave a residue when it is removed.
  • Protect your floors from the sun. As much as you may love the bright sunlight streaming through your window, it can discolor your floors over time. Blinds, curtains, or other window treatments are suggested to keep your floors from being discolored by sunlight. You can also use a protective UV coating on your floors for an added level of protection.

Hardwood floors are one of the classic floor designs that add beauty and elegance to any home. Keep yours looking new with these simple tips from Classic Floor Designs.

 

Pros and Cons of Finished vs. Unfinished Wood Flooring

Originally, hardwood flooring was available only as bare planks. After the unfinished planks were installed, the entire surface would be finished with stain and a polyurethane treatment. Now, you have more choices. Wood flooring is also available with factory-applied finishes. This type of finished flooring is durable and often comes with a long warranty. If you’re wondering which option is best for you, learn about the pros and cons of each so that you can choose the right one for your project.

Do You Want To Walk On Your Floors Right Away?

When opting for finished wood panels, you can use the room as soon as the planks are installed. However, unfinished wood must be sanded and finished after it is installed. Some water-based polyurethane finishes dry quickly, but they may take several days or weeks to cure. You won’t want to set up your furniture or walk on the floor with shoes until the finish has cured.

You’ll be able to detect an odor from the polyurethane until it has completely cured. That can be a nuisance for those who are living in the home during this time. You won’t have to deal with a chemical smell if you install flooring that has already been stained and sealed.

Finishing hardwood on site may also produce dust that can settle throughout the building. Using factory-finished floor planks prevents this from happening. If you decide to have us install bare hardwood or refinish your floors, however, rest assured that Classic Floor Designs use a no-dust refinishing system that safely removes particles so that you can stay in your home. Our dustless system also cuts down on post-installation cleanup time.

If you’re installing flooring in a new construction or large-scale project, you might prefer using unfinished wood. Contractors often prefer to finish the floors last so that they don’t get scuffed or damaged by tools, work boots or grit.

Do You Want The Widest Range Of Finishes Available?

Although prefinished wood flooring comes in a wide variety of finishes, it doesn’t compare to the customization that you can achieve from finishing bare planks. As long as the flooring is made from solid hardwood, it’s possible to sand down prefabricated planks to reveal the grain underneath, allowing the finish to be customized. However, the factory topcoat is so durable that this can be a time-consuming process. Sanding down prefinished hardwood thins it out, and you can only do so a few times before compromising the integrity of the material.

When it comes to repairing damage, it’s easier to touch up a small section of site-finished floors than prefabricated planks. You’ll be able to refinish it with the same materials, and the repaired area will be more likely to match the rest of the floor. If you’re trying to redo the flooring in one room to harmonize with the rest of the home, you might get a better match with unfinished wood.

Do You Require Maximum Durability?

While both types of flooring are incredibly resilient, prefabricated wood floor planks are usually more resistant to stains, water damage, and discolorations. In short, the treatment used on factory-finished hardwood is easier to maintain than the treatment used on site, and it lasts longer. A warranty on a floor that’s finished on site might last up to five years. On the other hand, prefinished wood is often warranted for up to 25 years or even a lifetime.

All hardwood will develop scratches and indentations over time, especially in high-traffic areas. If you have kids or pets, you might be able to keep factory-finished wood floors looking new for a longer period of time than on-site-finished options.

Is A Smooth, Seamless Finish Important To You?

Unfinished wood flooring is sanded after it is installed. This helps to produce an even surface even if the subflooring is irregular. It also flattens out the seams between the boards. If you’re going for a glossy, mirror-slick finish, you probably won’t be able to achieve your goal with factory-finished boards.

Factory-finished wood planks are typically beveled, or slightly rounded, at the edges. This produces a marked seam when they lie against one another. These grooves can collect dirt and moisture.

When it comes to choosing the right type of wood floors for your project, your budget might dictate the ultimate decision. Although factory-finished wood is usually more expensive per plank, the cost of the finishing materials eventually bumps up the cost of bare hardwood installation. Plus, various species of wood have different costs.

If you are still on the fence, the experts at Classic Floor Designs can help you weigh the pros and cons of the different types of flooring so that you can enjoy your home for years to come. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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Are Your Hardwood Floors Worth Saving?

Northern Virginia and the Washington DC metropolitan area are filled with beautiful, historic homes. If you live in one of these homes and have old hardwood floors, you might wonder whether it is better for you to restore them or to replace them. Whether you should restore your existing hardwood floors or get new flooring installed will depend on several different factors, including your budget, the condition of your floors and whether you like their look and style.

Budgetary considerations

Generally, it’s more expensive to install new hardwood floors than to refinish the ones that you already have. Buying new wooden flooring requires removing the old floors and disposing of them, which include a price tag. There will also be labor costs involved with cutting the flooring to fit around doorways and walls. If you have some boards that are stained or damaged, to save money, you can opt to replace only the damaged sections and then refinish your hardwood floors so that they look as good as new. Wood floors can be matched so that the replaced sections will blend in seamlessly.

The condition of your existing floors and their age

Hardwood floors may be refinished around five to seven times during their lifespans. If your floors have been refinished repeatedly over time, they may be too worn to save. If you are able to see the tongue between the boards where they fit together, you will likely need to replace your floors. You should also consider replacing your floors if they do not seem sturdy or have too much bounce. Certain types of wood, like pine, are softer and are may become less sturdy as time passes. If your floors are simply scratched up, you may choose to have them refinished instead of buying new floors.

Structural problems

If you have structural problems that need repair, you will likely have to opt for new wooden floors. For example, if the floor supports are damaged or you need a new subfloor, you will have to get new floors installed; these types of repairs require the old floors to be removed.

Wanting a different wood species

Most historic homes in the DC area have oak floors. To update the look or if you desire a different wood species such as cherry, you might choose to have new floors installed. To change the color of your floors, however, you may not need to invest in new floors. Sanding and staining can easily change the color of your flooring, alleviating the need to replace them altogether.

Change the width or direction of your floorboards

Many older homes have oak floors that are 2-1/4 inches wide. Wider planks are more popular and on-trend now. If you want to have wider planks that are 5 to 7 inches wide, the only way you can get them is to get new floors installed. Similarly, if you want to change the direction that the boards run, you will need to replace the floors.

Time and mess considerations

If you are pressed for time, replacing your floors typically takes less time than refinishing them. Floor replacements also do not generate as much of a mess. However, it is also possible to refinish your floors with a minimal mess when you use dustless floor refinishing. Classic Floor Designs has a dustless refinishing system that vacuums all of the dust away from the inside of your home into our truck so that the mess is minimal.

Deciding whether to refinish your existing floors or to install new ones will depend on your preferences, budget, time constraints and the condition of your existing floors. To learn more about refinishing your existing floors or replacing them, contact Classic Floor Designs today.

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.