The Best Types of Hardwood Flooring for Your Home

When it comes to choosing the right flooring for your home, hardwood is often the preferred choice due to its durability, timeless appeal, and the value it adds to your property. However, with so many types of hardwood flooring available, making a decision can be daunting. This guide will help you navigate the best options, taking into account factors such as aesthetics, durability, maintenance, and cost.

1. Oak: The Classic Choice

Why Choose Oak?
Oak is one of the most popular choices for hardwood flooring in the United States, and for good reason. It is incredibly durable, resists wear and tear, and has a beautiful grain that can complement a variety of home styles.

Red Oak: Known for its warm tones and prominent grain patterns.
White Oak: Offers a more subtle, smoother grain and is slightly harder than red oak.

Durable and long-lasting.
Available in a wide range of stains and finishes.
Readily available, making it more affordable.

Red oak can sometimes have a pinkish hue that may not be to everyone’s taste.

2. Maple: The Sleek and Modern Option

Why Choose Maple?
Maple is valued for its clean, light appearance, making it an excellent choice for contemporary or minimalist interiors.

Extremely hard and durable, even more so than oak.
Less porous, which means it’s more resistant to moisture and staining.
Light color can brighten up a room.

Limited grain pattern may not appeal to those who prefer a more rustic look.
Can be challenging to stain evenly.

3. Hickory: The Rustic Favorite

Why Choose Hickory?
Hickory’s distinctive grain pattern and color variations make it ideal for rustic and country-style homes. It’s one of the hardest woods available, making it highly durable.

Extremely hard and resilient.
Unique, bold grain patterns and color variations.
Excellent for high-traffic areas and families with pets.

Can be more expensive due to its hardness.
Bold patterns may not suit all interior styles.

4. Walnut: The Elegant Choice

Why Choose Walnut?
Walnut is synonymous with luxury and sophistication. Its rich, dark color and smooth, fine grain make it a favorite for high-end homes.

Deep, rich color adds warmth and elegance to any room.
Smooth grain provides a sleek, refined look.
Moderately hard, making it durable yet comfortable underfoot.

More susceptible to dents and scratches compared to harder woods.
Higher cost.

5. Cherry: The Warm and Rich Option

Why Choose Cherry?
Cherry wood is known for its beautiful, rich, reddish-brown color that deepens with age. It’s a softer wood, which means it can develop a unique patina over time.

Warm, rich tones that deepen and improve with age.
Smooth, fine grain.
Adds a sense of luxury and warmth to any room.

Softer and more prone to dents and scratches.
Can be more expensive.

6. Bamboo: The Eco-Friendly Alternative

Why Choose Bamboo?
While not technically hardwood, bamboo is a sustainable, eco-friendly option that offers the look and feel of traditional hardwood.

Environmentally friendly and renewable resource.
Highly durable and hard.
Unique, modern aesthetic.

Can be sensitive to moisture and humidity.
Limited color options.

Maintenance Tips for Hardwood Floors
Regardless of the type of hardwood you choose, proper maintenance is crucial to ensure its longevity. Here are some tips to keep your floors looking their best:

Regular Cleaning: Sweep or vacuum regularly to remove dirt and debris that can scratch the surface.
Use Rugs and Mats: Place rugs in high-traffic areas and mats at entrances to minimize wear and tear.
Control Humidity: Use a humidifier in dry climates and a dehumidifier in humid climates to prevent the wood from expanding or contracting.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Use gentle cleaners specifically designed for hardwood floors.

Choosing the best hardwood flooring for your home depends on your personal style, the level of foot traffic, and your budget. Oak and maple are great all-around choices, while hickory and walnut offer unique aesthetics and durability. Cherry adds warmth and elegance, and bamboo provides an eco-friendly alternative. With proper care, any of these hardwoods can enhance the beauty and value of your home for years to come.

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.

Photo Credit: Fred: Flickr via Compfight cc

Refinishing Hardwood Floors: DIY or Professional Help?

The great things about hardwood floors: they’re pleasing to the eye and very durable, meaning that if they start getting worn out, they probably don’t need to be replaced. All you need to do is refinish them in order to make them “pop” once more.

Now, we say “all you need to do”, but that should be taken with a word of caution. While it is possible to refinish your floors by yourself, experience is key here. A professional will know how to handle the process from start to finish, whereas someone who is inexperienced may skip some steps or do them improperly. A poor refinish can devalue your home rather than improve it!

A pro can take anywhere from two to five days to complete the task, adding time for complex jobs or poor weather that interferes with drying times. They will typically do one of two things: 1) they will rebuff the finish, or 2) they will sand and finish the floor. The downside to hiring a professional is, of course, the cost. Either of these two jobs can cost you anywhere between $1 and $4 per square foot of floor that needs to be done.

If you don’t want to shell out the money for a pro and you are supremely confident in your DIY ability, here’s what you can do to save some cash.

First of all, make sure you’ve purchased some high-quality dust masks or respirators. You will also need eye and ear protection (this process is messy and loud!). You can seal off doors and other rooms with plastic sheeting to prevent dust from escaping to other parts of the home.

If you’re going to buff the floor, you will need to rent a buffer and purchase about a gallon of floor finish. Make sure you test the buffer and the finish before committing to doing the whole area! Find a small, inconspicuous spot, buff out the old finish, then apply the new one. If it sticks, you’re in good shape.

If your intention is to sand and refinish the floor yourself, you’ll need to rent a drum sander and buy sandpaper, wood filler, and floor finish. We do not recommend using a drum sander unless you know what you’re doing with it, due to its tendency to gouge the floor if left in one spot for too long. Use progressively smaller grains of sandpaper as you go to get a nice, smooth surface.

Be smart about this process! We can’t emphasize enough that this is a job for somebody that at least has experience, if not formal job training. If you aren’t certain of your own ability, it is a lot cheaper to hire a pro than it is to have to redo everything after a mistake. Good luck!

-Kelly Dillon

Vacuuming 101

Plug it in. Turn it on. Vacuuming is really that easy, right?

Well, there might be just a bit more finesse to this routine chore including how, exactly, to vacuum those tricky shag rugs and how to get the perfect W cutline.

Check out this video to give you the inside scoop and become a vacuuming pro!

High Point Market Fall 2015

This event is THE event of the season for home design professionals – Showrooms cover 11.5 million square feet of event space and thousands of new products are introduced, this. Over 100 countries from all across the globe are represented, offering delightful diversity in design aesthetics throughout the show.

A not-to-be-missed gathering, High Point Market is the home décor destination of choice for many each year because according to High Point Market, “if you can’t find it in High Point…it probably doesn’t exist.”

To catch a glimpse of the wonderful variety of products, ideas and inspiration at this year’s show, take a look at this highlight reel:

Four Ways to Protect Your Floors This Winter

Winter brings harsh weather and with all that ice, snow and rain, our floors can take a beating.
Following these four guidelines will help keep your floors in great shape all the way through the season.

  • Line of Defense #1: Keep walkways and driveways clear of snow, ice and debris. The less there is to track in, the less there will be in the house.
  • Line of Defense #2: Invest in a good doormat. A mat with enough friction will remove sand, dirt and salt from guests’ and family members’ shoes. This has the added benefit of keeping your doorways dry and safe.
  • Line of Defense #3: Remove shoes. Even better than simply wiping feet is taking off all shoes at the door. A nice basket or bin can keep footwear organized.
  • Line of Defense #4: Vacuum and sweep floors regularly. It is unavoidable. Some dirt, salt and sand will inevitably be tracked into the house. Being diligent with cleaning will preserve the floor.

Serene Spaces

Our homes serve as our refuge from the world. The busy world continues outside as we arrive home at the end of each hectic day. We cross the threshold, kick off our shoes, and prepare to unwind.

Try these tips for building serenity and calm into your spaces:

  • Color definitely affects our mindset. Soothing colors include soft neutrals, verdant greens, calm blues, and pastels. Brighter colors such as purple or yellow can be calming, if they are tempered with a dose of gray.
  • Symmetry is calming. Asymmetrical placement of furnishings, light fixtures and art pieces keeps the mind unbalanced and wondering what to expect. Symmetry brings balance and allows for relaxation.
  • There is nothing like collapsing into softness at the end of a busy day. Fabrics, rugs, carpets, and pillows add texture and softness to our spaces. Upholstery feels cozy and rugs dampen the sound in a space with hard surface floors.
  • Sunny days uplift our spirits, and interior lighting is a factor when it’s time to unwind. Soft lighting, lamps with warm bulbs, and even candlelight help to bring serenity.

Let your home become your retreat from the world.

The Luxe of Leather

Everyday, we get to make a statement about who we are with our wardrobe choices. But our home design choices also say something about who we are.

If you want to make a bold statement, have you thought about leather floors? You surely wont be considered ordinary with gorgeous, rich leather flooring in your home!

The very same characteristics that draw you toward your favorite leather jacket, handbag, belt or shoes can be found in leather flooring. Choose from polished, waxed, or raw natural material that will add sophisticated unique texture and flair to your homes décor.

This is also an eco-friendly choice as leather flooring uses recycled products from upholstery, clothing, handbags and more.

There are so many ways to decorate with leather flooring due to its textures, hues and unique visual impact.

You can combine it with anything…use your own personal style and taste to create the space of your dreams using this innovative and durable flooring option!


Image Source: Houzz