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Hardwood Flooring Trends in 2017

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.

Darker Stains

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.

Reclaimed Wood

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.

Vintage Style

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.

Updated White-Wash

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.

Less Gloss

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.

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Keep Your Hardwood Floors Looking Their Best with These 15 Hacks

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!

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Tips for Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Hardwood flooring enhances the appearance of any room in your home, but these rugged surfaces represent a big investment. Like any investment, you want to be sure that you get the highest returns possible. When it comes to flooring, proper cleaning of hardwood determines your ability to enjoy their beauty for many years without worrying about damage or repairs.

Here at Classic Floor Designs, we recommend a regular cleaning regimen to maintain the original appearance of your hardwood floors. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about what products to use, what methods to avoid and how often to clean. We hope that these tips will help clear up any confusion and guide you in preserving the floors you love.

Know Your Floor Type
There are two types of wood flooring: solid and engineered. Both offer the beautiful appearance that makes hardwood so attractive, but the materials differ slightly when it comes to routine cleaning and long-term care.

Solid floors are made from single pieces of hardwood that are generally about three-quarters of an inch thick. Most come finished with a protective coating that creates a reflective “high gloss” look. Solid wood is available in many common and exotic varieties that can be sanded and refinished up to ten times over the life of the floor.

Engineered flooring is pieced together from three to five layers of high- or medium-density fiberboard with a thin hardwood veneer on top. Because of the minimal amount of hardwood used, these floors can only undergo one to two rounds of refinishing. However, they tend to be more durable than solid floors when it comes to handling high foot traffic and varying levels of humidity.

Invest in Mats and Rugs
Preventative maintenance cuts down on the amount of dirt and grime that comes in contact with your floors. Place a heavy-duty mat outside your front door for people to wipe their shoes on, and position another mat just inside the threshold. Have visitors and family members remove their shoes before stepping inside. Use a boot or shoe tray to keep footwear organized and away from the wood surface.

Area rugs are perfect for high-traffic spots or rooms where kids spend a lot of time. Rugs keep messes off the floor and are generally easier to clean than the wood itself. Use rugs with backings to reduce the risk of slipping, but make sure that the backing material is something that won’t damage the floor.

Grab a Broom
Quick cleaning on a daily, bi-weekly or weekly basis can be done using a soft-bristled broom and a dustpan. This removes superficial dirt before it becomes ingrained in the floor surface. Small brooms and handheld vacuums are useful for cleaning in corners. To get rid of even more dust and debris, try a sweeper that uses electrostatic dust cloths. Pay special attention to areas where dirt is most likely to build up, such as the kitchen, the front hallway and the bathroom.

Take Care With the Vacuum Cleaner
Opinions differ on how often you should vacuum hardwood floors. For high-traffic areas, daily vacuuming may be necessary to remove deeper dirt. In other rooms, bi-weekly or weekly vacuuming should suffice.

One thing that everyone agrees on is to never use a beater bar. The harsh bristles can damage the finish and leave it looking dull. Instead, use the hardwood floor setting or a floor brush attachment to lift away dirt. Electric brooms are also gentle enough to use for frequent cleaning. Don’t be tempted by the “deeper clean” that floor buffers claim to offer. The abrasive pads can ruin the surface of the wood.

Be Smart About Deep Cleaning
Even with preventative maintenance and routine cleaning, wood flooring still winds up with grime, oil and stubborn dirt on its surface. That’s why it’s important to clean the floor more aggressively once or twice a year. However, you have to use the correct kind of cleaning products and tools. Your goal should be to leave no standing water at all and avoid harsh substances that can scratch or dull the finish.

The best cleaning solutions are mild and include mixtures of dish soap and water; a solution of water, olive oil and lemon juice; hot water and borax; and lukewarm black tea. Apply your chosen cleaner using a damp mop by dipping the mop into the solution and wringing it out until it’s almost dry. Finish off by buffing the floor with a towel. Alternatively, you can place the cleaner in a spray bottle and mist the floor as you go.

Never use any of the following cleaning methods or solutions on a wood floor:

• Wet mopping
• Steam cleaning
• Vinegar solutions
• Ammonia-based cleaners
• Furniture polish
• Wax- or oil-based cleaners

All of these can cause damage or result in slick floors that pose a hazard to you and your family.

Spot Cleaning
Diligence in regular cleaning will prevent the most serious messes, but it’s impossible to completely avoid scuffs, marks and spots. If you discover any blemishes on your wood floor, sprinkle the area with baking soda and clean it with a damp sponge. The dirt should lift right off.

Drips, spills, sticky streaks and food that can dry onto the floor should be cleaned up immediately. If you miss something and find an unidentifiable substance stuck to the wood, use a cleaner formulated to remove tough dirt and wipe with a gentle cloth. Deep stains and spots may require sanding and refinishing to remove.

Following these tips may seem like a lot of work, but it’s worth the effort when it comes to maintaining your hardwood floors. As you begin to incorporate each step into your regular cleaning regimen, you’ll see the true beauty of the wood begin to shine through. All it takes to continue enjoying that beauty is to devote a little extra time each day to proper floor care. In our opinion, it’s time well spent.

 

Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/38906013@N05/3577027339/”>Revolution Mills</a> via <a href=”http://compfight.com”>Compfight</a> <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/help/general/#147″>cc</a>

Household Color to Go with Hardwood

Unless you’re going with a completely eclectic design, decorating your interior living space is all about adhering to a theme (and indeed, eclectic designs can be considered a theme in of themselves). Many times, a theme has a lot to do with color: the floors, the paintings, the furniture, and so on. So with that in mind, what are the best color options to match your hardwood flooring with your walls? In this article, we will talk about the easiest and best ways to make your living space really mesh between the walls and floors.

The great thing about wood, other than its elegance and its ease of maintenance, is that there is a wide abundance of colors to choose from. There is no such thing as a “standard” color of wood floor: you can pick from a wide variety of tree species, undertones, and stains. Indeed, there are so many options that it can even be overwhelming when trying to match a floor to a wall, but that’s what we’re here for!

The simplest thing you can do to coordinate color between the floor and wall is to pick a neutral tone of paint for the walls. Virtually any color of wood pairs nicely with a neutral wall (white is a very popular option). Even mixed wood floors will do well when put against a neutral background, allowing you a bit of creative freedom when it comes to installation. If you’re worried about the space not having enough personality, throw in some colorful furniture and/or rugs to make it vibrant.

For some people, however, neutral colors are boring. So many people have white or similarly-colored walls, so perhaps you want to break the mold and do something off-kilter. Perhaps you should consider choosing a wall shade comparable to your floorboards. If your wood has golden or reddish undertones going for it, paint your walls a warm color as a complement. Orange flooring pairs nicely with rust-colored or terracotta walls, and rich, red woods look gorgeous next to a wine or burgundy paint. Pair gray or ashen woods with cool colors like blue or green.

Now, what if you want to take it one step farther and go for an off-the-wall, bold look? That’s simple, as well: play up the contrast. Find out what shade of wood you have, look opposite the color wheel, and bam, there’s the color of your walls. As an example, if your wood has a warm color like orange or gold, paint the walls a cool blue or gray. Both surfaces end up popping when you go with such a paint scheme, so don’t be afraid to experiment!

What colors do you like on your walls?

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Flooring 101: History of Floors, Pt. 1

If you have a computer, possess an internet connection, and are reading this article right now, chances are very high that you have some type of flooring that isn’t just a bunch of dirt. You may have carpet, hardwood, tile, vinyl, linoleum, cork, or any combination of the above. It’s no surprise that we have an abundance of options that are available for use in our home flooring designs. However, this was not always the case. Where do floors even come from? Who had the idea to actually put floors down in their homes? In this article, we go way back to explore the foundations (pun intended) of flooring throughout world history.

In early human civilization, a floor was usually just the dirt contained within the walls and ceilings of a residence. The most advanced humans got for a good long while was to strew hay, straw, and cow dung across the surface. This would get packed down after use, solidifying into a cement-like material. In early European, some peasants would actually spread mint across these dirt floors to make the room smell more pleasant.

The ancient Egyptians are the first people we can pinpoint that used stone floors. It wasn’t long before they were using the stone not only as a practical flooring surface, but also an artistic medium. This is where we got such artwork as tiles and mosaics. Stone flooring continued into the modern day, with the Greeks using oblong stones and pebbles in their work and the Romans learning how to use stone floors to heat their living spaces by lighting fires under the rooms.

During the middle ages, we saw the rise of wooden flooring. To begin with, the planks were rough and asymmetrical. Over time, the planks were sanded and smoothed. Varnishes and stains were created to add to the floors’ longevity. Carpets and rugs began to spring up across the globe, with rugs being developed by the Romans and perfected by the Persians (modern-day Iran). Carpets can be traced back to the Chinese Sung Dynasty throughout the 10th to 13th centuries. These wonders found their way back to Europe, due in no small part to explorers such as Marco Polo’s adventures eastward.

Stay tuned for our next installment in the history of floors!

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The Best Time to Refinish Your Floors

hardwood refinish

Ideally, you have your hardwood floors refinished before you actually move into the home. The reasons are simple: number one, you can’t walk on the floors the entire time they’re being refinished, number two, you need to move all of the furniture out of the space before it gets done, and three, it usually costs less since you can conceivably do it all in one go.

However, not everyone has the luxury of not already living in the home they are trying to refinish. If you must get this project done while you are actually living in the home, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • You can sand and refinish at any point during the year as long you keep the indoor temperature between 65 and 75 degrees.
  • During the hot summer months, especially August, the drying process for the refinishing can take longer. This is largely due to the humidity that summer brings with it. Of course, if you can vacate the home for a week or two, then it shouldn’t make that much of a difference anyways.
  • The biggest mistake that people make when scheduling their floor refinishings is not allowing enough time for it to be done. Refinishing an entire home can take anywhere from 7 to 9 days before you can put furniture back onto the floors. This process takes even longer if you have to have carpet removed or a lot of furniture taken out of the space.

Because of the last reason, make sure you are planning well in advance when to get this whole process done. If you’re moving into a new home, plan on staying in your old home for an additional week or so. If necessary, you can also delay the moving of all of your furniture and crash in the basement until the project is complete.

If you absolutely must be living in the home while scheduling a refinishing, no worries: just be aware that it will likely take more time and cost you a bit more inconvenience. Best of luck!

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Living Room Flooring Ideas

living room

The living room is often the focal point of any residential space: it’s where the family gathers to spend time together, it’s where you entertain guests, and it is often one of the largest spaces in the home. Therefore, it’s important that you do your homework when selecting a flooring option for it. You need to take into consideration such things as the style of house, how much money you have to work with, sustainability, and the overall look you are trying to accomplish. Here are four of our favorite flooring ideas and why you may wish to consider them for your own needs:

  • Wood. It looks great, adds substantial resale value to the home, and requires very little in terms of care (usually a simple vacuuming is enough to keep it clean for long periods of time). The drawbacks are few, but include cost ($3 to $12 per square foot) and the occasional need for refinishing if installed in a high-traffic area.
  • Tile. It is generally quite durable and resistant to scratching, comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and is water resistant. Like wood, it is easy to maintain and shouldn’t often need more than a vacuuming to clean. The cons of tile: it can be cold to your feet and on the off chance that they start to crack or disintegrate, they can be difficult to repair.
  • Carpet. Always a great go-to option for old or new homes, it makes any space look soft and cozy. It is easy to walk on and simple to install (even over old floor!). The costs vary depending on quality, ranging from $2 to $5 per square foot. The only problem you’re likely to run into with carpet is that it stains easily and needs more constant maintenance to stay looking good. Carpets need to be vacuumed regularly and occasionally steam-cleaned.
  • Cork. It’s environmentally friendly, warm, feels wonderful, and absorbs sound so you don’t have to worry about making too much noise by walking on it. Again, the costs vary depending on quality, but you will most likely be looking at somewhere between $2 and $8 per square foot of space. Be warned: since cork is a natural material, it can be prone to fading in direct sunlight and can swell substantially if it gets too wet.

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Cold Weather Tips for Hardwood Floors

cold weather

If you have installed hardwood flooring in your home, you are likely aware that it is a living, breathing type of floor that swells and shrinks according to changes in temperature. Keeping that in mind, here are a few tips that you can use to help maintain your floor during the cold winter season.

  • Keep the level of moisture entering your home as minimal as possible. Everyone likes to go out and play in the snow, but your boots capture lots of moisture that can prove destructive to your hardwood. Make sure you clean your boots off outside if you can on a mat, and then on an indoor mat. Once you’ve finished drying them off, knock off all of the snow salt that has accumulated on them to prevent scratches on your floors.
  • Keep a mop or rags beside your front door at all times, especially if you regularly leave the house throughout the day. If your front door is continually opened and closed, you increase the chances of snow entering the home and damaging the floor. If snow does get inside, don’t wait for it to melt: mop or soak it up as quickly as possible.
  • If you have a fireplace in your home, now is the time you’re probably thinking about using it: it will keep the house warm and comfortable during even the coldest weather. However, be careful that you aren’t using it excessively: keeping a wood fire burning without any humidity in the home will make the air very dry and potentially damaging to your hardwood floors. If you want to maintain atmospheric humidity, you can keep a water kettle boiling above the fire to help.
  • Make sure that you know just how old your hardwood floor is. If it is getting up there in years, it may be time to add another layer of protection to it. Clean off the surface, sand it, and paint a coat of epoxy or polyurethane over the whole area.

Don’t let the winter ruin your home’s beautiful hardwood; take action as soon as you can to prevent damage!

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