Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Before You Install Hardwood Floors...

When installing solid hardwood floors you should be careful to avoid installing them directly onto concrete slabs or below ground level because of moisture problems that may result. The problem with moisture is that it leaves unsightly gaps in the hardwood once it dries, typically during the winter months when heating tends to draw the moisture out of homes. During summer months when humidity and moisture are high you should notice that the wood once again expands, sometimes so much so that the wood planks may buckle or cup. Because of these issues you should also take great care to leave plenty of room for seasonal expansion.

For these types of floors, nail down installations tend to work best and regular care, maintenance, and refinishing can prolong the life of your floors. Typical hardwood floor material includes: ash, maple, red oak, and white oak.

Hardwood floors are usually divided into one of three categories being plank flooring, strip flooring and parquet flooring. Parquet style hardwood floors are also known as parquetry, and this is when the smaller pieces of timber are arranged in a geometrical fashion. The timber used can be all the same or different to create a more colorful effect. Hardwood floors that are laid in the strip flooring style are between 5/16 and ¾ of an inch thick and 1 ½ to 2 ¼ inches wide. Strip flooring is common in the bamboo hardwood floors that are popular today. The third style of flooring is the plank, and each board is anywhere from three to eight inches in width. This is a more traditional, heritage style flooring, but is also still a popular choice today.

If you would like a truly unique floor, consider hand-scraped hardwood floors. The crafting of these floors is considered by practitioners to be an art form. These floors work fabulously whether you are going for an ultra modern look or a rustic look so they should work in almost any décor. One word of caution, if you wish you to have hand-scraped hardwood floors in your home you should be prepared to pay a pretty penny for them. There are however machine made floors that have the look of hand scraping. These floors offer the look of hand-scraped floors at a more budget friendly price. Either way you will have a very nice floor in your home.

Each brand of hardwood flooring should come with its own care and washing suggestions. It is important to follow these for your specific hardwood flooring, regardless of what other people do. It is a great idea to vacuum the floor regularly to prevent a buildup of grime in the spaces between the boards, and try to use mats and rugs wherever possible.

Buying specially designed skid protectors for your furniture is also important, and if you do have a spill, it is best to wipe it up straight away so you don't damage the finish on the hardwood floors.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Hardwood Flooring vs Laminate - The Choice Is Yours

When it comes to Hardwood flooring vs laminate there is no right and wrong answer but depends on your own personal taste and situation. This article will take a look at both types of flooring but the ultimate decision is a personal one.

For some consumers you cannot beat the look of real hardwood flooring with its unique rich look with no two boards that look exactly the same. To them laminate flooring looks fake as the pattern repeats over and over but for other people the appearance is realistic hardly noticing that it is not the real thing.

Durability is an important issue when it comes to hardwood flooring vs laminate. Laminate flooring is extremely durable, hard to damage or dent, and very fade, water and stain resistant. This makes laminate floors a popular choice as they are easy to maintain. For some ease of maintenance can override a less than realistic appearance. Hardwood flooring requires daily and preventative maintenance to prevent it from getting scratched, dented or from fading.

Costs is another important consideration to consumers when it comes to hardwood flooring vs laminate. Hardwood floors are more costly than laminate floors but are known to increase your homes value. So an important consideration would be how long you intend to be in your home and will you realize the increase in value.

Longevity is another important consideration as to whether you want hardwood flooring vs laminate.
Hardwood flooring can be refinished again many times over therefore lasting for a lifetime and more. Laminate floors cannot be sanded or refinished if the top layer is worn.

Installation is easier with the tongue and groove system of laminate flooring whereas hardwood flooring is more difficult. Laminate floors can also be installed in any room in the house whereas hardwood should not be installed in bathrooms or basements due to problems with moisture.

Your decision on hardwood flooring vs laminate will come down to what is the most important component in your situation. For some it will come down to looks and for them nothing beats the beauty of real wood. For others it may come down to cost and ease of maintenance are the most important components whatever you decide the choice is yours.

Carol Coutts is a successful author who provides information regarding flooring via http://www.hardwoodlaminateflooringguide.com/laminate-flooring.html For more information on bamboo flooring, hardwood flooring, laminate floors, wood flooring, and cork flooring then check out http://www.hardwoodlaminateflooringguide.com/pergo-laminate-flooring.html

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Carol_Coutts

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cleaning Floor Hardwood Protection

Purchasing hardwood flooring was the easy part. The next step, and probably the trickier part, is keeping your hardwood floors clean and protected. The key to success is to do a little….often! That’s right, constant and consistent care to your hardwood floors is the best remedy to keep them beautiful and long lasting. Setting a plan to protect and clean your hardwood floors should be the first step once you have your hardwood floors installed. Here are some good protection and cleaning steps you might want to add to your hardwood floor care plan.

Protecting Your Hardwood Floor

Protecting your hardwood floors is by far the best practice to adhere to in order to keep it around for years to come. Most often, “we” are the reason for the problems we experience with our hardwood floors, simply because we fail to take proper care of the floor. To ensure your hardwood floors remain damage free, follow the simple steps below.

1. Place doormats outside of all entries to your home in order to trap debris.

2. Place carpet rugs inside the entrances to your home to trap dirt, sand, and other particles brought into your home that makes it past the doormats.

3. Place carpet rugs around sink areas, work areas and high traffic areas to trap debris and protect your hardwood floors from spills.

4. Do not wear high heals on hard wood floors (or if you do, make sure the heals are not damaged)

5. Keep all pet nails trimmed to avoid small scratches on hardwood floor.

6. Use wood floor protector covers under the legs of all furniture

7. Never drag furniture across wood flooring. (place a small carpet rug underneath the legs to resist scratching your hardwood floor)

Cleaning Your Hardwood Floor

Cleaning your hardwood floors can be easy and effortless, as long as you are consistent. To ensure the beauty of your hardwood floors follow the below steps:

1. Sweep, dust, or vacuum your hardwood floors daily. Dirt or sand particles can easily scratch the hardwood floor. (FULLER Treated Dust Mop)

2. Vacuum any carpet rugs weekly so that dirt or debris is not trapped below the rugs, scratching your hardwood floors.

3. Clean your hardwood floors weekly with a cleaning agent designed for hardwood floors. (FULLER Wood Floor Cleaner and Polisher)

4. Wipe up any water or other liquids spilled on your hardwood floors immediately.

5. Never use water to clean your hardwood floors.

6. Never use products that contain wax on your hardwood floors.

When protecting and cleaning hardwood floors, always keep in mind the old saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Spending a little bit of time daily and weekly on your hardwood floors will result in you never having to experience the “big problems” found in neglecting hardwood floors. Set forth a plan, a good plan to protect and clean your hardwood floors and follow that routine. And remember, a little bit of effort goes a long way.

by Vincent Platania

Stanley Home Products

In business since 1931, Stanley Home Products has been offering families high-quality personal care and household products for 75 years. Stanley Home Products personal care and home cleaning products are environmentally friendly.
Visit http://www.stanley-home-products.com.

Author Vincent Platania represents Stanley Home Products. In business since 1931, Stanley Home Products has been offering families high-quality personal care and household products for 75 years. Stanley Home Products personal care and home cleaning products are environmentally friendly. Visit http://www.stanley-home-products.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Platania_Vincent

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Laminate Hardwood Flooring - The Cheap And Best Way To Freshen Up The Room

If you like a total makeover to your home, redesigning it includes tapping its flooring as one priority. There are many options available but if you want rich, elegant, and warm, natural tone for the interior, hardwood flooring seems to be the best choice.

It has been popular amongst the households for centuries primarily because of the tough quality which lasts along with the house or establishment, and the elegant touch it provides. Even today, it is still one of the most sought-after methods when it comes to flooring applications.

Since not all can actually afford highly-expensive hardwood flooring, laminate type is one of the most popular because of its features, except the quality aspect, being the same with the hard wood but less the high-cost. Durability does not match with the authentic hardwood flooring, but laminate hardwood flooring provides the same genuine rich, elegant, and warm effect to the appearance.

All laminate floorings undergo the same processes which include layering different materials to form the product. Layering of materials include the top layer which is coated and applied with melamine resins for glossy and attractive finish; the second layer is made of paper printed of the pattern and design for that authentic hardwood effect; the core layer which has the most durable fiber board is the strength of the flooring; and the bottom layer is the material which provides stability for the entire flooring.

What are the advantages of using laminate hardwood floorings?

Laminate hardwood flooring is easy to install. Basic tools, equipment and the right flooring type are what a do-it-yourselfer would need for the job. The job can be handled by just practically anyone, so it would be a waste of time and money to hire someone to do it.

The second advantage is installed laminate hardwood flooring gives the look of an authentic hardwood. A hardwood, when installed, provides rich, warm, and classic tone for the interior and you can also have this with simulate laminate flooring.

Of course, laminate hardwood flooring is budget-friendly. You don't have to expect for the kind of quality and longevity that a real hardwood provides but this is one option most houses and business establishments are eyeing on, so why don't go have one for you as well.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bruce Hardwood Floors – How To Care For Them And Maintain Them

Bruce hardwood floors are among the best floors in the world and are available at flooring retailers all over the world. There is a difference in the quality of Bruce hardwood as good, better and best. This is simply the allowable character of the flooring. The good collection has the largest amount of character knots, mineral streaks and pinholes. Wood is a natural product so you will see differences in boards of every category, no matter quality of Bruce hardwood floors you have.

Whether you have Bruce hardwood floors or Bruce laminate flooring, you still have to give them the same amount of care. When you are washing Bruce wood floors, you can sweep or vacuum them. When washing them, make sure you use a damp mop and don’t use excessive amounts of water. The water could stain the Bruce hardwood and even with the durable laminate floors, using a lot of water could make the planks become uneven on the floor. Use a soft cloth to dry the floors and make sure that you do dry them thoroughly.

You cannot use scoring pads or abrasive cleaners on either Bruce hardwood floors or Bruce laminate flooring. This will mar the finish of the floor. The Bruce wood floors do have the coating needed to give the floors an exceptional shine, especially if you buy prefinished hardwood. If you use wax on these floors, instead of getting a better shine, you will mar the polyurethane coating. In the case of unfinished Bruce hardwood, once you have the floors installed then you do have to give them several coats of this protective coating, which dries to a gleaming shine.

Even with Bruce hardwood floors, you may notice dents occurring in the wood, especially in areas where you have heavy furniture. Even though hardwood does have a cell structure, like everything, if there is enough pressure, the hardwood will dent. Bruce wood floors also go through an aging process, which means the color will darken with age. If you have mats or rugs on the Bruce laminate flooring or the Bruce hardwood, you need to move it from time to time. Leaving the covering in place means that when you do move it, the area under the rug or mat will be lighter than the rest of the floor.

Simple everyday cleaning will keep your Bruce hardwood floors looking like new for a lifetime. If you accidentally spill something on the floors, you do have to wipe it up immediately. If you don’t, it will stain the floor and then you will have to find something to help you remove the stains from your Bruce hardwood floors. You don’t have to worry about this as much with Bruce laminate flooring, but if you have hardwood, you certainly do.

To find out more about Wood Flooring visit Peter's Website Wood Flooring Explained and find out about Bruce Hardwood Flooring and more, including Exotic Hardwood Floors, Wood Laminate Flooring and Refinishing Hardwood Floors

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Peter_Leigh

Saturday, December 20, 2008

For Style and Elegance go for Hardwood Flooring

When it comes to flooring there are plenty of options you can go for. You can get a nice carpet, or you can go for tiles and even laminated wood. But nothing comes even close to the style and elegance of a hardwood floor. One has to concede that hardwood floors are quite expensive when you compare it to the other options you have, but then again you get value for your money. There are a few qualities about hardwood flooring that sets it apart from the rest. We will discuss a few in the following section.

The Look

The look of a hardwood floor is just not comparable to any other floor. It gives you a feel of regality. The very fact that your house has hardwood flooring will let your visitor understand and appreciate the high tastes you enjoy. The great thing about hardwood flooring is that it looks great with almost all kinds of furniture. This feature allows you to decorate your room in whatever way you want and you can change the décor of the room whenever you feel like.

If you are installing hardwood floor, it is generally advisable that you go for some lighter shade of paint for your walls.

The Feel

Walking on hardwood floor gives you a feel, a firm and sturdy feel, which can’t be replicated in those synthetic laminated wood. This is something special and only those who have them in their house will know the difference.

The Sound

The strong resonance emanating from a hardwood floor is peculiar to it and adds to the regality of the whole thing. With carpets you don’t get any sound which is kind of dull and dead. With laminated floors there is just too much of sound and at times even a thick pad is used to soften the noise.

The Maintenance

Today’s surfacers and sealers have made the maintenance of hardwood floors as easy as it can get. It is almost as easy as maintaining a laminated floor apart from the fact that when laminated floors get damaged you might have to replace an entire plank. In case of hardwood floors little sanding would be enough.

And the best thing about hardwood floors is that, with proper maintenance, they can last for generations. So what you get is true value for money. And that gives you one more reason to go for hardwood flooring.

***You may use this article on your website as long as the two URLs are hyperlinked.

Tania Penwell provides information on hardwood flooring and other flooring topics for A1 Wood Flooring - your guide to caring for and finding beautiful wood floors.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tania_Penwell

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hardwood Flooring and Pre Finished Hardwood Floors

Anyone looking for hardwood floors will tell you that this is not a cheap home improvement task, there are many who look for a hardwood floor in order to install these in their house and by that increase the value of the property. No matter what are the reasons you are looking for hardwood flooring, you should know that the prices of hardwood change considerably and that some research can get you a long way in terms of costs, you should also always make sure that you are getting quality material.

The internet can either be a place of knowledge or a place of foolishness. It is not inherently bad and it is not inherently good. The people that make use of the internet are the ones that determine its purpose. This is why you have to be careful in using the internet to search for information about subjects such as hardwood flooring and pre finished hardwood floors.

People who search on the internet are looking for information to help them make decisions. If you are looking for information regarding hardwood flooring and pre finished hardwood floors on the internet, the chances are, you are planning to have some installed in your house. This means that you will be availing of a product and service. This means that you will be spending money. Of course, nobody wants to spend money needlessly. Nobody wants to throw money away.

Let’s face it: some people are willing to do anything for some cash. In the internet, when you look for hardwood flooring and pre finished hardwood floors, the chances are very high that you would find this company or the other just fighting to sell you some.

Don’t get me wrong, there are legitimate sites which would help you find the information on hardwood flooring and pre finished hardwood floors that you need. However, most of the sites out there are just advertisements trying to convince you to buy their product.

There are also sites which claim to have data regarding hardwood flooring and pre finished hardwood floors but actually do not. These sites are often paid by the click and thus, will say anything to get you to click a link. Whenever you are looking to buy a product on the internet, always make sure that you stay away from the sharks that will eat you alive.

There are certain sites which might claim to have some information about hardwood flooring and pre finished hardwood floors but in fact are just trying to get you to visit their site to install malware on your system. You might engage in a fully innocent search for hardwood flooring and pre finished hardwood floors and yet end up having your system crashed by some nerd with nothing better to do.

Hardwood Flooring is one upgrade that can change your whole house, with hard wood floors prices being very different from one place to another, you should educate yourself about the key things to look for when buying hardwood floors. Daniel Roshard writes home improvement tips and advice articles, learn about Hardwood Floors Costs and more buying tips at http://advice-tips.com the tips and advice portal.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Daniel_Roshard

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hardwood Versus Laminate Flooring - The Truth

Don’t be fooled! No matter what you have heard or people say nothing matches the richness of a real hardwood floor. Laminate flooring is a photograph of a hardwood floor laminated (glued) to a composite material made up of compressed paper and glue.

Laminate flooring does not look like real hardwood nor does it feel like real hardwood underfoot. No two hardwood floors are the same, grains vary on each and every board. It is the inherent imperfections in the lumber that creates the richness that can only be found by using hardwood flooring.

Why then has laminate flooring become so popular, you might ask? The reason is two fold. The first, cost per square foot for the material. Laminate flooring can be purchased for as little as $0.80 per sq. ft., with a top end price of $3.00 per sq. ft. The second reason is installation, laminate is very easy to install and can be done by most home handymen, it requires little in special tools (a power saw with a carbide tipped blade is really the only required tool). Laminate can be laid over any flat surface including carpeting, an underlay of thin foam is recommended to reduce floor movement, comfort and sound transmission. Even contracted out, a laminate floor, complete with foam underlay can be had for less than $3.00 a sq. ft.

A quality oak, tongue and grove hardwood flooring material will cost at least $4.00 a sq. ft. and some of the exotic hardwoods can take the cost to more than $20.00 a sq. ft. Installation will cost another $3.00 to $5.00 a sq. ft. Hardwood generally, should not be used below grade or on a concrete slab floor because of dampness rising from below the boards and producing a warping effect. Hardwood should be installed by a professional, to ensure that subtleties in grains and colors are taken into account as each board is laid. As well, on delivery of the hardwood boards some will be warped and it takes some expertise to straighten them during installation. Installation is usually accomplished using a tongue and grove nailing machine, either pneumatic or manual. Although this is a simplistic tool, it takes some practice to utilize it properly and not damage the hardwood boards during installation.

Falling in between hardwood and laminate (although it really is much closer to hardwood than laminate) is an “engineered hardwood floor”. An engineered hardwood is a piece of hardwood, anywhere form 1/16” to 3/16” glued to a plywood. The engineered floor can be floating, similar to laminate where it is not glued down to the sub-floor or it can be glued down. Engineered hardwood is approximately the same price per sq. ft. as regular hardwood the difference is in the cost of the installation. It is easier to install because the boards are all flat and there is usually a high grain and color consistency. Installation of an engineered hardwood floor is around $1.75 a sq. ft. The engineered hardwood can also be used below grade and on concrete slabs because it is the plywood that is in contact with the sub-floor rather than the hardwood itself.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Scratching the Surface of Scratches in Hardwood Floor

There is nothing more strikingly beautiful than to walk into a room with hardwood floors. The floor can set the tone for the entire room. Scratches in hardwood floor can detract from this beauty. The solution to these scratches may be easier than you think and it does not have to require a throw rug to cover up the scratches.

Causes of Those Unsightly Scratches

Obviously the easiest way to treat scratches in hardwood floor is to avoid getting them in the first place. Dust and dirt can dull a hardwood floor's finish and cause small scratches. Sweep your floor regularly and use a dust mop to collect the particles instead of simply spreading them around. A canister vacuum is a good investment as well, but do not use an upright vacuum with beater bars on your hardwood floor because it can cause damage to the floor.

Know You're Finish before You Start

The first thing to consider when you repair scratches in hardwood floor is the type of finish on the floor. If the floor has a wax finish the scratch will penetrate all the way into the wood. A floor with a surface finish is recognizable because the scratch will not have penetrated into the wood. Always work from the outside in when repairing scratches in hardwood floor.

Scratches in hardwood floor with a wax finish require waxing the area thoroughly. For instance, heel marks can be repaired by rubbing a small amount of wax in with fine steel wool and hand buffing to beautiful shine. If the scratch is in a hardwood floor with a surface finish the repair requires a touch-up kit made for urethane finishes that can be purchased at your local wood flooring retailer.

The Area Rug Solution

Sometimes the only solution to scratches in hardwood floor may seem to be an appropriately placed area rug to cover the scratches. If this is the solution you choose, be sure to use a rug with a backing that is safe for your hardwood floor. Sometimes the rubber backing on area rugs can react with the floor finish and cause discoloring to the floor. Wet rugs can also be detrimental to hardwood floors. Remove a rug if it is wet or dirty and be sure the rug is clean and dry before you replace it.

Hardwood floors can be very beautiful and require just a minimal amount of care to keep them looking beautiful. If a hardwood floor is not cared for properly, the damage can be very expensive and laborious to repair. These simple solutions can keep help prevent or repair scratches in hardwood floor and keep your floor looking beautiful for many years.

In many cases, refinishing your hardwood floors will increase the value of your home, not to mention, adding a style and flair to your home decor while you're there

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Christopher_W_Smith

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Need For A Hardwood Flooring In Your Home

Hardwood flooring can always be the greatest among the various things you do for the home. Hardwood floors have something special in them that give a unique feeling if you have ever seen a home with such floors.

Having hardwood floors is a great designing idea and is one of the most important tricks for improvement in the business and a great way of making a house look like a home. People looking for a new house in the market and haven't yet to any house with hardwood flooring can definitely opt for this. Homes that have good quality hardwood flooring would have a considerable increase in its value and also increases the number of potential buyers. Market has already proven that hardwood flooring is one of the major features while selling a house.

You have a vast range of selection to be made when it comes to selecting the hardwood flooring and hence this aids you in selecting the correct color you would want for each of your room and for the entire house. There is no question of compromise on the appearance of your floors as there is so much actuality or reality of textures and colors that it is easy to find the best for one's home.

Hardwood flooring of good quality will server the home for years. A warm and nice house can be set using these. People who love to construct their house as a friendly and warm place would always prefer hardwood flooring. Furniture made of wood and warmly colored walls and hardwood floors makes your home look good at any time and for any propose. The point to be considered here is the shade or pattern of wood you would want for your home.

Cleaning hardwood flooring is easy and in the recent years, lots of cleaning products have been developed exclusively for the purpose of cleaning hardwood. Wood collects no much dust, dirt and other stuff and the point to be considered is that hardwood would keep you house very clean and makes living easy if you have children and you are much worried about the quality of air in the home and the levels of dust in children's rooms.

Few points to be taken care of before one sets off to the market to purchase hardwood is the cost of the hardwood floors and the complete design that we get with them is an issue and however maintenance isn't a big issue. The only thing for sure is you would enjoy the uniqueness of having a hardwood floors and not only this in a very short span you will understand how living could have been in a place without these floorings.

Adam Peters use to write on floors and similar subjects for http://www.home-decorating-reviews.com A focused website that offers the best articles on installation hardwood flooring types and hardwood.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Adam_Peters

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hardwood Flooring Discounts - Getting The Best Value For Your Dollar

Hardwood flooring is now becoming a popular alternative to tile or concrete flooring in homes. One advantage of this type of flooring is that it provides a more natural look to any home. Developments in manufacturing processes have made hardwood flooring more affordable than it used to be. However, if you’re looking for more inexpensive hardwood flooring, it might be worth your while to check suppliers that offer hardwood flooring discount prices.

Many hardwood flooring suppliers offer their customers high-grade and branded types of flooring at a discounted price. You can get your flooring purchase discounted to as much as 70%, plus warranty on the item.

Wholesale hardwood suppliers can also give you discounts for bulk purchases, but they usually impose a minimum number of hardwood planks to purchase before they give you the cut-rate.

With the advent of discount selling for hardwood flooring, the commodity now competes closely with cheaper flooring types like bamboo and laminate flooring. Although the bamboo and laminate types are easier to install, nothing beats the durability and natural beauty of hardwood floors.

Once you have decided to get hardwood flooring for your home, you need to ask yourself a few questions:

1. How much money do you allocate for hardwood flooring?

2. Which kind of hardwood do you want to use? Oaks usually run from $3 to $4 per square foot, while maple costs $5 to $6. These are all regular prices, and you can save one or two dollars per square foot if you purchase discounted items. Wood boards with darker stains are usually more expensive than lighter ones. Timbers that are harder are quite pricey, but you have to bear in mind that hardwood flooring is a good long-term investment.

3. Where are you going to install the hardwood flooring? For sure, you cannot have hardwood flooring for your bathroom because water is hardwood’s greatest enemy. You also have to consider that areas with higher foot traffic might require a bit of effort and time for maintenance.

4. What are the colors of your walls and furniture? You wouldn’t want to buy hardwood flooring with a color that does not match those of your walls and furniture. Some hardwood varieties come in natural red or yellow, and you’ve got to watch out for these. If you pick hardwood in red or yellow, make sure that they complement the colors of fixtures that are already installed in your home. If you want neutral colors, you can choose hardwood in off-white, beige, black, or any shade of brown.

Before you buy hardwood flooring, look for resources that you can use to learn more about hardwood floors. Ask for flyers or brochures from your local hardwood dealers and evaluate the types of hardwood that they sell. You can also check the Internet for some helpful information like the hardness scale for certain wood flooring species. You can also compare hardwood flooring prices online.

Ernest Jarquio is a dedicated family man hopelessly addicted to do-it-yourself projects.

For more information, visit his website, where he discusses various subjects such as hardwood flooring discount, hand scraped hardwood flooring and unfinished hardwood flooring. Read various articles on the different aspects of hardwood, bamboo, laminate, tile and vinyl flooring.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ernest_Jarquio

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Everything You Need To Know About Refinishing Hardwood Floors

Refinishing hardwood flooring can be easy once you know how. It is not expensive and you do not have to spend hours sanding if you do not want to. There are other methods of doing it which keep the character of the flooring so try and research more if that appeals to you.

Refinishing hardwood flooring can be costly and time consuming but it is something that needs to be done. There are various stages which you need to complete when refinishing a hardwood floor and generally you need to know what you are doing before you can attempt any of them.

How to Successful Refinish a Hardwood Floor

Sanding is often one of the main things which people do when they refinish their hardwood floors. However, if you did a little research you would find that sanding destroys the character of the floor. Also if you think about it logically, when you sand down the hardwood flooring you are losing some of the wood as it chips off. This in turn means that the floor becomes thinner. Another disadvantage includes the fact that sanding can make a potentially big mess and the sand which comes off the flooring can make it hard to finish it off smoothly.

So you really should avoid sanding at all costs if you really want to look after your floor, but what other alternatives are there? Well there are some which are equally cost effective, which do not make a mess and which are incredibly simple to do!

The first thing that you need to do is make as many repairs to the floor as you need to. Over time hardwood flooring can chip and so you may need to either repair it or replace parts of it completely. If you do need to replace some of the flooring always ensure that you get the exact same one if possible or take along a sample of the flooring you are replacing and try and find the closest matching flooring to it. That way it will not look odd when you put it down. It might sound obvious but some people have put down the completely wrong color flooring and it has looked completely out of place and been a complete waste of money too.

Once you have replaced the ruined wood, the next step is to chemically refurnish the old floor using a mild Trisodium Phosphate. Be careful not to go over the new flooring as it does not need to be treated. Once it is all covered you will have to leave it for a day and then you will need to use a wax remover, again only on the older sections of wood and then leave again for another few days.

Overall it takes time to properly refinish hardwood flooring but it can be done and once you know how it is quite easy to do. Just ensure that you know what materials you need and get everything in before you start.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Waxing Hardwood Floors

Why you should wax your floors frequently.
How to wax floors and prepare for waxing. Different kinds of floor wax.

Many homeowners today prefer hardwood or other type of solid surface flooring to wall to wall carpeting. The initial appeal is the beauty of wood floor but the easy upkeep of wood floors is also a big factor. Lightly sweeping and dusting. along with an occasional waxing is about all wood floors require.

In comparison to heavy vacuuming and the necessity of steam cleaning at least once a year. caring for wood floors seems to be a breeze. If you apply a protective coating of wax to a wood floor. the wood will be preserved and stay cleaner and in good repair longer. Floor wax gives wood floors a beautiful glow and it also protects and maintains other types of floors such as linoleum. This gives the flooring a beautiful appearance that makes the home more attractive. Applying wax consistently will also protect the flooring from water and moisture damage. It can minimize the appearance of scratches. grooves and ridges in the flooring and prevent further such damage. The appeal of a clean. shiny. freshly waxed floor cannot be denied. Wax works to protect hardwood and other floors by reducing the abrasion they are exposed to. Grit and grime slide over the surface of a waxed floor instead of being ground in.

Floor wax can be purchased in three varieties: water based. solvent based and polymer. Some people are concerned about health problems in dealing with floor wax because it contains chemicals; some floor waxes even contain formaldehyde. The companies that make floor wax are aware of these concerns and have now started to make products that do not contain harsh chemicals and are environmentally safe to use. These types of waxes are becoming more commonly available. No-wax floors have become popular. not only because of the concerns about chemicals and the environment. but also because many families with two working partners do not have the time for too many household chores. But even no wax floors need to be cleaned frequently and. if damage occurs to the surface. they may have to be waxed anyway to add the protection that has been removed.

Waxing a floor is good for protecting the surface and also looks beautiful. but since wax builds up over time. it does need to be removed once in a while by stripping the floor. Wax removers also contain chemicals so they need to be used with caution. and anyone who is using them should understand what chemicals they are dealing with and protect themselves accordingly. Masks against fumes and gloves to handle the liquids may be necessary if you are going to take on this chore.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Why the Best Flooring Idea is to Install Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors have been around for hundreds of years. Wood floors were probably the first type of floor covering besides dirt. They can be one of the essential elements in designing your home. They offer a level of value and comfort no other flooring choice can. There are a number of benefits to owning and installing a hardwood floor.

One of the best things about hardwood floors is the lack of problem with regard to maintenance concerns. Because technology has allowed for the finish or stain of hardwood floors to require only sweeping for typical cleaning purposes, your floor will stay beautiful without the backbreaking scrubbing hardwood floors used to require. While the use of an appropriately recommended professional cleaning product will be required sometimes, a simple broom will take care of most of your cleaning concerns. It is important to note, though, you should never use anything on your hardwood floors that has not been manufacturer recommended. This helps to ensure your flooring will last a lifetime.

Durability means hardwood floors.

Another great reason to invest in hardwood floors is that they are environmentally friendly. Wood can not only be recycled, it is also a renewable source of material. Many of the products of yesterday like barns and old homes are recycled as hardwood floors. Moreover, wood products are incapable of harboring or collecting dust and other allergy particles. This means your family will suffer less risk of allergies or allergy induced medical conditions. Several health organizations endorse wood floors for people with health risks.

Additionally, hardwood floors are an excellent financial option. While some of the flooring is a bit more costly than the cheap alternative, hardwood maintains its value over time. It does not show the wear and tear that synthetic products do. This will only serve to increase your home's value in the long run.

There are many great reasons to invest in hardwood floors.

Finally, hardwood floors can come in a large range of shapes and sizes. In the past, there have been few choices in the hardwood floor market. Today's market, though, offers styles, colors, and species that will fit any decor. Hardwood floors make an excellent addition to any home.

Andrew Caxton contributes adding articles to a free online home decorating and interior designhow to install hardwood floors magazine. Your guide on home decorating and how to choose from hundreds of decorating ideas and tips. Andrew will inspire you to capture the look you want. Read further information on

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Andrew_Caxton

Friday, November 28, 2008

Bruce Hardwood Flooring – Buy From The Largest Hardwood Company In The World

Installing Bruce hardwood flooring on the floors of your home is one of the best investments that you can ever make. It will add to the ambiance of any room and increase the value of your home if you ever want to sell. Each grade of wood used in Bruce hardwood carries a warranty all its own. Choose from three grades of hardwood – Good, Better and Best – to have hardwood floors with knots and character. The Best grade in Bruce hardwood flooring is the most expensive, but it also has the best quality wood and the best warranty.

Even with Bruce hardwood flooring, you will see variations in the wood in each plank. This is what will give your hardwood floors the unique appearance that you want to achieve. This variation exists in all qualities of Bruce hardwood floors because no two boards are the same. You do have to be careful even with hardwood even though it is solid. If you place furniture with sharp edges on the flooring it will dent the hardwood. Bruce wood flooring also goes through a natural aging process so if you have an area covered with a rug, when you move it the floor underneath will be lighter in color. It is recommended that you do move rugs from time to time to prevent this discoloration from occurring.

Sometimes, people who have installed Bruce wood flooring in their homes hear popping sounds when they walk across the floors. This is not defect in the Bruce hardwood flooring and is perfectly natural, so there is no cause for alarm. All hardwood goes through a process called patina and it may be caused by an uneven subfloor under the Bruce hardwood floors. If you glue the hardwood planks in place, you do have to make sure that you use the trowels properly when applying the adhesive so that you have a perfectly uniform surface for the hardwood floors.

Although it is not recommended, you can have Bruce hardwood flooring in the bathroom of your home. This is because hardwood is not conducive to areas of the home where there is excessive moisture. The choice to use unfinished or prefinished Bruce wood flooring is a matter of personal taste. It depends on how much work you want to do to finish the floor yourself or how much time you want to spend on maintenance of the Bruce hardwood floors. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, so you can ask the Bruce experts for advice when you are selecting your hardwood flooring. Prefinished hardwood does have more advantages, such as longer finish warranties, uniform stain application in a factory setting and it is easier to keep clean.

If you want to install Bruce hardwood flooring in areas where there will be lots of traffic, the Dura Lustre Plus finish will allow you to do this without any worries. Bruce offers commercial finishes for its hardwood floors, but it doesn’t recommend using mats in doorways or in front of the kitchen sink. Bruce does not recommend that you wax Bruce wood floorings. To keep the natural shine of Bruce hardwood flooring all you have to do is wash it up with a water based cleaner for hardwood floors and give it an occasional buffing.

To find out more about Wood Flooring visit Peter's Website Wood Flooring Explained and find out about Bruce Hardwood Flooring and more, including Exotic Hardwood Floors, Wood Laminate Flooring, and Refinishing Hardwood Floors

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Peter_Crump

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Alternatives To Hardwood Floors

Marble tile floors are a practical, elegant alternative to hardwood flooring. Easy to maintain, they can enhance your interior and come in many styles and colors.

While researching types of flooring for your home you most certainly considered replacing your old carpets, but maybe you’re not convinced that trading the constant vacuuming for the waxing and sweeping of hardwood flooring is for you. This is why you may want to consider marble floor tiles.

When you start looking at the tiling options available, you will soon realize that there many variations to choose from, offering different colors, textures, shapes and sizes. Whether you select marble tiles with a rough or smooth finish and a simple or intricate pattern depends on your current home décor.

A number of companies will be happy to give you samples for you to take home so you can select a style, color and pattern that you can confidently match with your taste and interior. Once you have decided on a type of marble floor tile it is very important to measure the room that you want to cover precisely as marble floor tiles are generally sold by the square foot. You should always consider purchasing an additional square foot or two in case some tiles get damaged during the laying process. You can buy marble floor tiles from a large number of manufacturers as well as the larger home improvement stores.

Once your new flooring has been installed by a specialist, you need to make sure that you only use cleaners, sealers and polishers that were designed specifically for use on marble floor tile. Before you start cleaning, there are several things to think of.

First of all you need to give the area a good sweeping to remove any loose dirt. Then, after mixing the cleaning product according to instructions, ensure that you are using a clean, non-abrasive cloth or sponge to avoid scratching the surface. You should allow the floor to dry off before allowing foot traffic. This need not be followed by rinsing or wiping.

Marble tile floor is suitable for bathrooms, kitchens, hallways and foyers: it will last for a very long time with simple care and maintenance. It can also transform any uninteresting space into a great room. The initial purchase cost may seem quite high, especially for foreign sourced tiles, but if you invest a bit of time looking for a good deal you should be able to find a suitable supplier. Marble floor tile is a great option to consider if you are looking at replacing flooring or updating your home.

Published At: www.Isnare.com
Permanent Link: http://www.isnare.com/?aid=130533&ca=Home+Management

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Caring For Hardwood Floors

How to take care of hardwood floors by waxing them. How wax works to protect floors. Putting wax on no wax floors.

Today's popular hardwood floors are a great change from the wall to wall carpeting that was in style for so many years. A lot of people choose hardwood floors because they are so beautiful, but many homeowners today recognize that hardwood floors are just easier to take care of with just some dusting and an occasional application of wax.

If a coating of wax is applied periodically, the wood will remain well protected, since the wax seals and preserves it. It also gives it a beautiful, shining, clean look. Applying wax to hardwood floors, as well as to other flooring such as linoleum will ensure that it stays beautiful and always looks good in your decor. Wax creates a barrier to moisture, and therefore it protects hardwood floors from water and moisture damage. An added benefit of waxing your hardwood floors is that small nicks, scratches and ridges that occur with normal wear will be blended in and less noticeable. And, of course, there is nothing like the look of a beautiful, shiny wood floor.

Floor wax works to protect the wood floor by reducing the abrasion to it. The slipperiness of a waxed floor will allow dust, dirt and grit to slide over it, instead of being ground into it.

There are three main kinds of floor waxes: water based, polymer and solvent based. There is a concern about about how healthy it is to have one's family exposed to the chemicals contained in floor wax. Since many floor waxes have traditionally been made with a formaldehyde base, there is cause for concern. But many floor wax companies recognize the concern of families and businesses as well, and offer environmentally safe floor wax.

These concerns, as well as busy the busy schedules of today's homeowners have made the so called " no-wax" floors more and more popular. This is really a misnomer, because even if these types of floor don't need as much care as others, they will last longer and look better with regular care and a light coat of wax from time to time. Remember, the wax protects the flooring from scratches and other abrasions, so not coating it will lead it to be quickly worn down.

Even though wax protects our floors and makes them look lovely, there is a downside. Wax builds up over time and can leave a finish that is unattractive and yellowish. To properly care for your wood floors, you should periodically strip wood floors of the wax. Wax stripping products contain harsh chemicals, so be sure you follow instructions carefully and protect yourself and your family from any exposure.

Published At: www.Isnare.com
Permanent Link: http://www.isnare.com/?aid=129644&ca=Home+Management

Laminate Floors vs. Hardwood Floors: What's the Difference?

When you are shopping for flooring you should look for a flooring product that offers you the look, quality, durability and cost that works best for you. You can use these characteristics to compare laminate vs. hardwood floors. To start with you will want to look at the pros and cons of natural hardwood flooring.

Natural hardwood flooring has many pros that can be attributed to them. First they are very versatile. Hardwood floors can be finished to compliment just about any color palette. They can also be selected to compliment a roomÕs theme. For example you can choose mahogany wood planks to create an elegant look or you can select an oak or rustic pine to create a rustic look. Cleaning wood floors is also fairly easy. All you generally need to do is to sweep them, and then occasionally oil or wax them. The drawbacks of hardwood floors are that they are an expensive flooring option, they can be damaged by minimal amounts of water, they are susceptible to gauges, scratches and scuffing, and they are difficult to install and maintain.

Laminate flooring solves many of the drawbacks of owning a hardwood floor. Some of the advantages of laminate floors are: they cost less than hardwood floors, they are more durable than hardwood floors, they resist moist better than hardwood floors, and they are easier to install and maintain. While laminate floors have a lot of great characteristics there is a drawback to installing laminate floors. If you are going to sell your home in the near future potential buyers may not respond as well to laminate floors as they would to a hardwood floor.

No matter what type of flooring you decide to install in your home you should look at what type of warranty comes with it. You will want to look for a flooring product that offers a warranty that is at least 15 years. You will also want to read through the warranty to see what the warranty actually covers and what you have to do to use the warranty to fix potential flooring problems.

Is laminate flooring right for you? Find out more at LaminateFloorsCheap.com - your source for discount wood floors, do it yourself floor installation information and professional flooring advice. For more home decor and remodeling options visit the home and garden directory.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Sarah_Freeland

Choose the Perfect Hardwood Floor for Your Home

Choosing which hardwood to put on your floor can be one of the biggest decisions that you will face when building or renovating your home. There are many different and often difficult decisions to make for your floor. Some of them include: What thickness to go with? Non-finished, Pre-finished, or Engineered wood? How wide of a plank to go with? What will look the best with the doors, paint, cabinets, tile/carpets? What grade to choose? A great place to start is with a story board or samples of color and textures surrounding the floor.

Some of the benefits of hardwood flooring through out the home includes durability, a large variety, easy to maintain, hypo-allergenic, environmentally friendly, natural, stylish and eye pleasing, and worth every penny! With our health conscience society, people realize that carpet is a health hazard to the allergenic individual. Carpets collect dust, mites, bugs, and many other unclean things that are not good for the body. Hardwood flooring is definitely the floor to install.

Market trends towards choosing which hardwood floor is a consistently evolving process. The consumers of hardwood floors in North America only used to buy unfinished hardwood, now they are buying pre-finished hardwood, and slowly moving into the engineered hardwood floors. Much of this trend shifting comes from the supply and demand curve. As the prices of the higher end products come down, the demand goes up. Most everyone enjoys having the newest and brightest thing on the market and when affordability is a factory people want to buy the products.

So what is next for the Hardwood flooring industy? They have already come out with a blended choice of any tree out on the market to make a floor out of. These include Bamboo hardwood flooring, Cork hardwood flooring, etc. The bottom line is choosing the best hardwood flooring for your home is a difficult decision and needs to be thought out carefully. Consult with a professional in colors and textures and perhaps it will be and easier decision.

Ryan Neumann has online information and buyers guide websites that help consumers make wiser choices when shoping online. This particular website can be visited at http://www.flooring-laminate-hardwood.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ryan_Neumann

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Best Way Of Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are not particularly difficult to clean and they do not require extensive specialist equipment. Water and a mop as well as a broom and vacuum cleaner are all you really need to keep the floors looking clean and tidy.

Hardwood floors have become increasingly popular over the last few years and it is not difficult to see why. They are easy to manage, they look modern and they do tend to add a touch of sophistication to any home. However, whilst they may not need much management, they still need cleaning to some extent every single day!

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Some experts say that you should not clean hardwood floors with water but many people do and they find that they do not have any problems. The reason experts warn against it is because water can cause hardwood floors to expand and ruin over time if it is not dried up extremely quickly.

However, usually with a mop, water mixed with vinegar can make an excellent cleaning solution and as long as it is rinsed out thoroughly before being applied to the floor, it will not usually cause any problems. So, it is basically up to you what you want to use and if you would prefer to use a specialist cleaner then that is entirely your choice. However, if you are on a budget water and vinegar will work just as well.

All hardwood floors should be waxed at some point. This is because the wax keeps them protected and it also keeps the wood looking healthy too. It does not need to be done that often and in fact if it is done often, you may need to later invest in a product which removes excess wax!

Generally the main things you will need to clean a hardwood floor include:

• A broom
• A Mop
• A Vacuum Cleaner

The broom will be used usually a few times a day and the vacuum cleaner is there to Hoover up anything that is left behind. The mop will remove any stubborn stains and all will keep the floor looking clean and tidy.

Overall hardwood floors do not need much cleaning and they are certainly a lot easier than carpets to clean. You can find specialist hardwood floor cleaners from local handy stores as well as on the Internet. So, cleaning your hardwood floor should not be a problem though always remember to mop up any spills as soon as possible.

Published At: www.Isnare.com
Permanent Link: http://www.isnare.com/?aid=130284&ca=Home+Management

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What Should You Consider When Installing Hardwood Flooring

If you are contemplating adding hardwood floors to your home, you are making a rational decision. Any home improvement or addition would not be complete without installing hardwood flooring. There is no questioning the refinement and warmth they bring into your home. Its an investment worth making.

If you are contemplating installing hardwood flooring into your home, we've put together a couple of things you may want to glance over before you pull out the credit card:

Selection. While this may come as a pleasant surprise to many, there are now more options than ever when it comes to hardwood flooring. Take your time and decide on the wood and stains that you feel will best compliment your home and lifestyle.

Payment. If you want the installation of your hardwood floors done right, its best to be prepared to consider this an investment in your home. Consider visiting as many hardwood flooring stores as you can so you can get the best price for what you want. You may find that if you cannot afford to pay cash for the entire project, companies like Home Depot will offer to finance the job for you, often with no payments for several months. Be sure to read the fine print, as you may find that often, there is an expensive interest rate factored in if the full balance isn't paid in full. Of course, there is also credit cards and lines of credit that you can use, but watch out for high interest charges. Its usually best to plan ahead, create a budget, and pay it off either in cash, or before the interest rates kick in.

Sensibility. While I'm all in favor of having hardwood floors in every room, you have to take a minute and think about what rooms are suited for them. Does the room have high humidity? Is it water prone? If you even think that the answer is yes, then the room is not suited for hardwood floors.

Installation. Today you can find hardwood floors that are rather simple to install on floors that are absolutely flat. If you are fortunate enough to have these kinds of floors (most of us do not) it might be well worth the money to hire a professional flooring installer who has the skills to level your floors in the process.

Just remember that while installing hardwood floors is going to be expensive, think of it as an investment in your home that will continue to serve your family well for years to come. Its a fact that hardwood floors increase the value of your home, which is also something to consider if you are planning on moving.

Published At: www.Isnare.com
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Friday, November 21, 2008

Hardwood Has Homeowners Floored

Making the switch from vinyl, carpet and laminate to hardwood is not only a relatively easy task it’s a wise investment as well. Hardwood owes much of its popularity to its capacity to increase the value of homes. Results from a survey conducted by the National Wood Flooring Association indicate that 90% of realtors find that homes with wood flooring sell faster and for higher prices than houses without wood floors. Anita Howard, the organization’s Communications Director, says that 32% of realtors agree that it increased home prices by 2-5%, while 10% say that wood floors boost the value of homes by about 6-10% and about 2% of realtors say that it helps properties top the price of others in the area by more than 10%.

California real estate appraiser Charles Loo agrees that solid hardwood flooring, which has a higher perceived value, can increase the value of homes more than other flooring types could. Also an expert in construction, Loo talks from experience: “For the sale price on the homes I remodel and sell, I typically add a substantial amount to the asking price of the house...and I always get it...but then again, I live in one of the hottest real estate markets in the country. In Orange County where I live, I would say a quality hardwood floor can add about 50k to the sale price if, say, a good portion of the upstairs has been done with a quality hardwood floor.”

The enduring quality of wood is also among its many advantages over other flooring types. While carpet’s lifespan is pegged at about 10 years, wood floors can easily outlast the life of your home’s mortgage.

Looking at it from an environmental angle, wood is a sustainable flooring option. According to Howard, one of the hottest trends right now in home improvement is reclaiming wood. “You can take old wood (from old barns, warehouses, etc.) and make it new again”

In addition, Howard also points out that wood “promotes a healthier environment since it does not harbor allergens and microorganisms, which is a tremendous benefit to those who suffer from allergies and other air-borne illnesses.”

Another major benefit of installing hardwood floors is its aesthetic appeal. Aside from tying a room together, the wide range of species, colors and patterns available also offer endless design possibilities.

Published At: www.Isnare.com
Permanent Link: http://www.isnare.com/?aid=97129&ca=Home+Management

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hardwood Flooring: Little Known Aspects

Securing hardwood flooring for homes can be a great bonus. This ensures a fabulous looking floor that is durable and easy to maintain. The hardwood floors have the property of matching with the homes of the various styles and periods. Making use of hardwood flooring especially in the living rooms, dens, hallways and stairs can enhance the value of just any home.

Little known hardwood facts

There are some aspects of hardwood flooring which are little known. Learning about these will enable you to proceed with selecting hardwood flooring in a more competent manner. Some such facts are:

· Red oak is not the only choice of hardwood flooring material. You could be trying out hickory, cherry, walnut, white oak, maple or similar other hardwood varieties with placing equal reliability and trust. It is also true that the hardwood of imported species need not be a necessity. Native hardwoods can be equally good at the task of providing superior flooring material.

· Prefinished flooring is certainly more convenient and today with factory finished flooring that can be installed easily a whole lot of mess can be avoided. The prefinished flooring also makes it possible for each plank to be allowed to be moved independently with humidity changes at home. So, the seasonal separations that appear as cracks on the floor are less noticeable with prefinished hardwood floors.

· The natural colors of some hardwoods (like hickory, cherry or walnut) are beautiful enough to obviate the need to add any other color. So, these hardwoods can suitably be considered for the flooring purpose.

· The laminate hardwood flooring that is fast becoming popular nowadays may not possess all qualities of the real hardwood flooring. Thus even though it may be a little expensive it is always better to stick to the real thing rather than the imitations.

Considering lesser known hardwood pros and cons before purchasing

It may be noted that hardwoods may not always be the best material for all floors. They may be pretty noisy and get damaged by wetting. So, they are not to be used in a place like a bathroom that often remains wet. If there are pets in the room then too the hardwood floors may get affected- scratched by pet claws and dented. However, despite some such disadvantages of using the hardwood flooring it is true that on the whole hardwood floors prove to be a great boon and the hardwood stands as a popular and useful flooring material. So, what you need to do is get started and judiciously venture into procuring the right hardwood flooring.

Tania Penwell is an author who provides tips and information on hardwood flooring for A1 Wood Flooring - your online guide to wood flooring.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tania_Penwell

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Exotic Hardwood Floors

Beautiful floors can often make the difference between a nice home and a breathtaking one. Nothing can add to the aesthetics of your home like the natural beauty of exotic hardwood floors. Installing exotic hardwood floors to your home is also an excellent way to increase the value of your home. Installing hardwood flooring in your home provides a solid return on investment (ROI) of about 70-80 percent on average.

Exotic hardwood floors are made from hardwood species that are not found in the United States. They most commonly come from Australia, Africa, Brazil and Asia. Types of exotic hardwood floors include bamboo, eucalyptus, cork, Bolivian mahogany, Bolivian teak, Bolivian rosewood, Brazilian cherry, Brazilian walnut, Brazilian maple, and Brazilian koa.

Installing exotic hardwood floors is a project of low to moderate difficulty that many homeowner will be able to do themselves.

Exotic Hardwood Floors

First, you’ll want to decide where you want to install the exotic hardwood floors. Do you want to install them in the entire home or just in select rooms? Then measure the square footage you will need.

Once you know the square footage you will need, do some research online and in local home improvement stores to find the type of exotic hardwood you want and the best prices. When you find the type you want and a good price, buy however much you need. You’ll want to find out from the merchant what methods of installation are feasible with the particular type you buy.

After obtaining the hardwood, you are ready to begin installing it. There are 5 main installation methods. They are nail down, staple down, glue down, glue less, and floating.

Depending on the subflooring you have, concrete slab, wood, etc., some options may not be feasible. The quickest, easiest, and cleanest method is floating, but not all types of exotic hardwood floors can be installed in this method.

Installing exotic hardwood floors is a great way to dramatically increase the aesthetics and value of your home. The project is relatively simple and can be accomplished by most homeowners. There are virtually limitless combinations of installation methods and exotic hardwood species. With so many combinations, you’ll be able to find the right one to match your style.

This article was written by Jason Doane of http://www.reliableremodeler.com which provides Internet-based home improvement information and services. Offering homeowners a simple, quick, and free way to access, qualified home improvement remodeling contractors.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jason_Doane

Avoid Using Vinegar to Clean Hardwood Floors!

Have you recently installed a hardwood floor? Bear in mind that in order to keep the shine and new look on your hardwood floor, you'll have to clean it regularly and properly. You've probably heard some of the pros say that the best way to clean hardwood floors is to use chemical cleaning solutions.

They're right, of course, but these cleaning solutions are rather expensive; they'll eventually eat a hole through your pocket. In addition, they're also tricky to use. If you use too much, you can damage your hardwood floor; if you use too little, your hardwood floor will look pretty old soon.

Since these professional solutions are basically hard to use, a lot of people turn to folk remedies, such as using vinegar to clean hardwood floors. It is possible to clean hardwood floors with vinegar. In fact, using vinegar is an effective and efficient way of cleaning hardwood but only for the short run. After all, vinegar is cheap and it does work.

However, cleaning with vinegar can be damaging your hardwood floors in the long term. Vinegar is basically acidic; acidic substances tend to slowly chew through surfaces. Thus, when you use vinegar to clean hardwood floors on a regular basis, the vinegar will eventually damage the finish, giving the floors an uneven look. Vinegar won't drastically damage your hardwood floor's finish if you use it to clean your floor once or twice a year. However, it will cause your floor's quality to degrade if you repeatedly use vinegar for cleaning for two or more months.

In general, you should avoid using vinegar to clean hardwood floors frequently. That said, there are times when vinegar becomes a quick, inexpensive solution to cleaning problems. If you should ever run out of professional cleaning solutions or they are not readily available at stores, you can perhaps substitute vinegar just once or twice.

In case you have to use vinegar, don't use too much of it. And remember, you should only use vinegar as a hardwood cleaning solution whenever necessary and as infrequent as you possibly can. You may not want to spend all that money on expensive hardwood cleaning solutions, but carefully weight the consequences of using vinegar on your hardwood floor.

You may save money, but your hardwood floor sure isn't going to be shiny for long. In addition, make sure that the finish on your floor is strong so that it can withstand the effects of vinegar if you use it for cleaning.

Niv Orlian is an experienced Home Improvement Adviser who writes articles for his Flooring & Carpet Cleaning online guides.
Visit myflooringhelper.com to learn more about using Vinegar to Clean Hardwood Floors

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Niv_Orlian

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What You Need To Know When You Visit Your Hardwood Flooring Supplier

As you will discover when you visit your local hardwood flooring supplier, this type of flooring comes in a variety of materials as well as styles. But with a little bit of commonsense as well as shopping around you will soon find the perfect hardwood flooring for your home.

In this article we provide you with some steps that you will need to take to ensure that you choose the right kind of hardwood flooring for your home.

Step 1. You will need to determine in which areas of your home you want to install hardwood flooring.

Step 2. You now need to measure the room area and work out the square footage so that you purchase the right amount of flooring to carry out the installation.

Step 3. Look at the kind of sub floor you have and decide if you need to purchase any kind of insulation to go under which will then protect the flooring you are installing.

Step 4. You need to consider the type of hardwood flooring finish you wish to have. You can either go for pre-finished or unfinished hardwood flooring. Or if you want you may want to consider purchasing hand scraped hardwood flooring which will have a completely different feel and texture compared to the other types of hardwood flooring finishes previously mentioned.

Step 5. You will have to consider the wood coloring that will suit your requirements. One of the most popular types of hardwood flooring today is that produced from oak trees while maple and pine are often used as well.

Step 6. Start to check out the prices. You may even find that you can get hardwood flooring at a discount, which will help to reduce the costs that are usually quite high for hardwood flooring.

Step 7. When it comes time to make your purchase with your hardwood flooring supplier do not forget to purchase the other materials you will need for installing your flooring. You will also need to buy nails, glue and any other materials which will help to make the installation process easier for you or your flooring contractor.

By keeping these steps in mind when you purchase your hardwood flooring, you will have a better chance of buying the floor which will look beautiful in your home and will also add value to it.

Ernest Jarquio is a dedicated family man hopelessly addicted to do-it-yourself projects. For more information, visit his website, where he discusses various subjects such as your hardwood flooring supplier, hardwood flooring discount and hand scraped hardwood flooring. Read various articles on the different aspects of hardwood, bamboo, laminate, tile and vinyl flooring.

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Stripping Hardwood Floors - Bring Back the Shine to Your Floor

As hardwood floors age, they tend to lose some of their shine and texture. Their finishing coating also tends to decrease in color intensity over time. Stripping hardwood floors of old coating and applying new coating is one way to bring back their old shine and texture. In fact, stripping is a commonly used technique in restoring or refinishing hardwood floors. It is a less costly way than replacing the entire hardwood flooring.

At some point, however, you may have to weigh stripping vs sanding hardwood floors. Between stripping and sanding, the latter is a more complete and thorough process. In addition, sanding helps hardwood floors to last longer. On the downside, sanding is laborious and time consuming compared to stripping them. It is also a lot messier.

Sanding is also much more costly than stripping hardwood floors, not to mention you will have to rent hard-to-get tools specifically designed for sanding hardwood floors. For many people, the downsides of sanding far outweigh its upsides. Stripping, however, is comparatively inexpensive. Unlike sanding which takes several days, stripping would normally take less time and cleaning up is a lot easier and less messy.

For stripping hardwood floors, you'll need the following tools:

-thick, synthetic stripping pad

-wide scraper

-stripping solution

-wide putty knife

-clean, absorbent rags

-large, wide paint brush

If you have never stripped hardwood floors before, we recommend that you do a strip test on a small area on your hardwood floor, preferably a corner. Follow these steps:

1. Pour stripping solution on the area and using a wide paint brush, smudge the solution evenly across the area.

2. Allow the stripping solution to soak through the floor coating for about 30 minutes.

3. Scrape the coating using a scraper; it will come off easily if you allow ample time for the stripping solution to penetrate through the coating.

4. Wipe off excess stripping solution with a wet rag.

5. Wipe the stripped area dry immediately.

Niv Orlian is an experienced Home Improvement Adviser who writes articles for his Flooring & Carpet Cleaning online guides.

Visit myflooringhelper.com to learn more about Stripping Hardwood Floors

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Niv_Orlian

Monday, November 17, 2008

Differences between Engineered, Pre-finished, and Unfinished Hardwood Flooring

Traditionally Hardwood flooring has been viewed as the crème de la crème of flooring. Until the 1980’s if you had hardwood flooring, to a certain extent you were considered wealthy. Times change as does technology and this either brings prices down or up depending on the supply and demand of a product. In todays times, hardwood flooring can be found almost in every retail flooring store around.

Hardwood flooring is generally sold in only a couple varieties. Unfinished Hardwood, Pre-finished Hardwood, Engineered Hardwood.

Unfinished is the traditional product which was bought in a couple different woods, widths, and lengths. The tongue and groove design was laid and then sanded to get a smooth and even texture on the surface of the wood. Once the wood was sanded, it was then stained and lacquered which traditionally consumed a lot of labor. Time equals money and in the pre 80’s this was a very expensive process.

Pre finished has been on the market for many years now and is the most commonly used hardwood in homes. This flooring is unique where right after the manufacture cuts the tongue and groove, it sends the wood through the finishing sander and then to the spray booth where all pieces are finished. The time consuming labor processes involved in the sanding and staining/lacquered unfinished hardwood have bee replaced by machines which can produce at a higher level of efficiency than the human hand. The installation of the pre-finished hardwood flooring is a 1-2-3 step process. This flooring makes prices competitive with other flooring alternatives.

Engineered Hardwood is the newest product on the market and is becoming more popular. This product is unique where it is made from a new form of particle board with a veneer layer of your choice of hardwood on the top. This is then pre-finished and sold in stores. The unique aspect of this engineered hardwood is that it can be installed in basements and cooler/more moist environments where the pre-finished and unfinished hardwood cannot. Prices are slightly higher on the engineered hardwood but may come down as supply rises.

In conclusion, choosing which of the three to put on your floor depends on the look you are going for. Each product will give you a slightly different look in your home. If you needs are driven by economy, there is a lot of pre-finished hardwood flooring options on the market. If you are driven by the traditional look, unfinished hardwood flooring is a good option. But if you are driven by technology and flexibility, then Engineered hardwood is your best choice.

Ryan Neumann has online information and buyers guide websites that help consumers make wiser choices when shoping online. This particular website can be visited at http://www.flooring-laminate-hardwood.com/hardwood-flooring.html.

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