Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Maple Hardwood Flooring - 3 Things You Must Know Before Shopping

Maple hardwood flooring has been a well kept secret in the floorcovering industry. It presents a beauty that is hard to beat if you are looking for a lighter, natural, and bright colored hardwood. Maple may not be one of the hardest wood species used for floors, with a Janka rating around 1450, but if it can hold up on a basketball court, it should do well in your home shouldn't it? There are several things to consider when shopping for Maple hardwood floors.

1. Will you have the Maple wood flooring installed over a concrete or wood sub floor? By knowing this, you can decide whether you need a solid construction or if you can use an engineered designed product. A solid construction Maple floor can only be installed on a wood subfloor. An engineered design can be installed over wood or concrete.

2. Do you want a superior factory finish or are you willing to sacrifice a better finish for the perfect color? A factory finish will provide many more years of wear and luster versus a custom in home finish and stain. Of course if you're looking at Maple, you're probably in love with the light, natural color, so the factory prefinished look should be a perfect fit for your room or home design.

3. Do you want to shop locally or online? A local, independent hardwood flooring dealer can offer a pleasant shopping experience with Maple wood floor samples you can see in their showroom. An online wholesaler or retailer will probably have better prices than the local retailer. Most online dealers offer free samples as well and usually sales tax is avoided by shipping out of state which offsets shipping charges. It's a decision you will have to make and one you will need to be comfortable with.

Monday, August 17, 2009

An Introduction to Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring is made from all natural timber and is offered in two different states: unfinished and pre-finished. Unfinished is when the wood arrives in it's natural state and it is sanded and finished on site when you receive it. However, these days it is much more common for this wood to simply be finished in the factory so it will be shipped to you ready to install. This wood will be either solid or engineered by one of three processes: rotary peel, sliced peel, and dry solid sawed. This article will provide a brief explanation of each of these topics.

When purchasing hardwood flooring, one of your first decisions will be to choose between solid and engineered wood. Solid woods often come in planks that are 3/4 of an inch thick. This type may be installed by nailing it down onto the wood sub floors. One thing to keep in mind however is that it is very susceptible to the effects of moisture and extreme temperatures, which often causes it to expand or contract. Engineered hardwood flooring uses layers of wood veneer instead of the single plank that is used in solid. This veneer will range in thickness. Ultimately this makes it less susceptible to temperature and moisture.

It is quite interesting how engineered hardwood flooring is created which is by three different methods, rotary peel, sliced peel, and dry solid sawed. The rotary peel method is accomplished by boiling the wood in water. Afterward the wood is peeled away with a blade creating a veneer which is then pressed flat. These rotary peeled woods seem to have plywood like appearance when it comes to the grain. One downside to this type is that it is more prone to warp back into its original shape.

The next method by which engineered hardwood flooring is created is the sliced peel method. This process is quite similar to that used in the rotary peel method, but the manner of slicing the wood is different. Here it is sliced from the end of the log instead of the rotary fashion. After this it pretty much follows the same process as in rotary peel. There are a few differences in the finished product however. For one thing, it does not have a plywood appearance and it is not as prone to warp.

Finally, there is the dry solid sawed method of preparing hardwood flooring. Here instead of boiling the logs they are instead kept in an area of low humidity so that the moisture is dried out from the wood cells. This style has the same appearance of solid wood flooring and doesn't feature any problems whatsoever when it comes to warping.

When it comes to choosing the type of hardwood flooring to install in your home, the decision is ultimately up to you. Each of the different types listed above has its own pros and cons, so weigh them carefully before buying.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

5 Types Of Hardwood Floors Popular Today

There are types of hardwood floors that look good in virtually every type of room. Before choosing a type of hardwood floor to install in a room, you need to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of the various types. There are currently five popular hardwood flooring types. When you know the hardwood flooring types that are popular today, you will be able to make a choice you will be happy with for years to come.

- Types of Hardwood floors: Prefinished

Prefinished hardwood floors have quickly become the most popular type of hardwood flooring. They are easy to buy and completely ready for installation. Purchasing is just a matter of finding a wood grain and finish that matches your home. In most cases, for installation, all you have to do is lay the floor panels down and make a few cuts to fit them as you reach the wall with each row of paneling. This is by far the easiest among the types of hardwood floors to install.

- Types of Hardwood Floors: Unfinished

When you put your floor together with unfinished hardwood, it is left to you to manually handle the finishing process. This means you will need to sand, buffer, stain, and coat the hardwood floor after you install it. This is a big time and labor disadvantage from the prefinished floor.

But there are reasons why you may prefer an unfinished hardwood floor installation. One of the best reasons for installing this type of floor is if you are planning on selling the building soon. You can then have the new tenants choose the color that matches their needs or desires before finishing the wood. If you install prefinished wood in such a scenario, you would face a choice of losing a customer or reinstalling the wood floor.

- Types of Hardwood Floors: Solid Wood

This was a popular hardwood floor type until recently. It is very hard to install and to remove. You can find the lumber for solid wood floors in the form of either parquet, plank, or strip. Strip is the easiest to install by far, but those looking for ease would do better with one of the other types of hardwood floors.

- Types of Hardwood Floors: Engineered Wood

Engineered wood is made out of multiple layers of veneer. These layers of wood are glued together with high quality glue. This design makes them very sturdy, as they benefit from the grains and features of each layer of veneer. Also, this allows you to use one wood at the surface to match your house, and higher quality woods make up the lower veneer layers.

For example, if you want a house full of birch furniture, you can have the surface layer of the floor made of birch, with sturdy oak layers supporting the floor. This combination would give you the durability of oak with the beauty of birch.

Engineered wood flooring can also handle a wider variety of climates. They are much more immune than the previously mentioned hardwood floor types to humidity, spills, and temperature extremes. This is why engineered wood floors are often recommended for basements where water is often prevalent.

- Types of Hardwood Floors: Acrylic Impregnated Wood

Acrylic impregnated wood floors are similar to prefinished floors, except that they are built with a special new process. The coloring and acrylic are put into the wood planks' pores under high pressure. The floor planks that result are very durable. These floors do not get as easily scratched as the other hardwood floor. They do really well in busy places and with frequent furniture moves. They are also much more resistant to climate extremes than the other types of hardwood floors.

Tag : hardwood,hardwood floors,cheap hardwood flooring

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

5 Tips for Choosing the Best Hickory Hardwood Floors

When it comes time to purchase and install the best hickory hard floors for your home or office needs, it is time to get some advice on what choices are best for you. The deciding factor is what you will want in the look, feel, and lifespan of your hardwood flooring. Knowing what you are looking for before hand, will save you countless wasted hours, and make for a cherished hardwood floor that will last a lifetime.

1. Finished or unfinished. When you are choosing your initial hardwood flooring, it is best to know if you want finished or unfinished planks. Finished planks are already smoothed, and often time finished planks are already stained. This does save you some time, and it can often save the installer a little money. However, many people choose the unfinished planks for their hickory hardwood floors because they get to choose the stain and finish after the installation.

2. The truth is in the size. When you are choosing hickory hardwood floors, you should consider the width of the planks. Common widths are between 4 inches and 6 inches, and increments in between. The wider planks may give the installer a shorter project time, but many people choose the less wide plank because it gives more stability and a better look to the end product.

3. Dark or light wood. This is forever the conundrum of hickory hardwood floors. Is a dark finish or a light finish preferred? Well, this is actually one of the true personal choices given the installer. The only true benefit of choosing a dark over a light is that dark wood tens to show signs of wear and tear better. However, many people prefer the beauty of the lighter, more natural finish to their hickory hardwood floors.

4. Engineered or natural. There are benefits to both types of flooring. Usually, most people choose engineered because it will not be as susceptible to moisture. This is great for moisture rich and humid areas. Since natural hardwood floors tend to breathe more, engineered flooring does not buckle or warp as easily. However, many people see natural flooring as the best and only option. Natural flooring can be installed carefully to make room for the natural breathing.

5. Finding the right manufacturer. There are quite a few manufacturers that will offer hickory hardwood floors. Finding the right one is a journey best completed before you even step into a store. Doing some quick searches within these informational pages will provide a lot of useful suggestions in finding the right manufacturer for your hardwood flooring needs. Of course, there are many opinions, but finding the truth in those opinions can be difficult. Go by your best judgment and no one else's. This will make you happy with your purchase, and give your hickory hardwood floor the longest lifespan possible.

Choosing hickory hardwood floors for your home or office is a beautiful decision made with knowledge and compassion. You get all the benefits of our experience to make your purchase as smooth as possible. Following these useful tips may not answer all of your questions, but it sure will give you a positive start on your hardwood flooring need

Tag : hardwood,hardwood floors,cheap hardwood flooring

Friday, July 31, 2009

Engineered Hardwood Flooring - Designed to Provide Great Flooring Stability

Have you ever wondered what engineered hardwood flooring is? It is flooring that is made up of a core of hardwood, plywood or HDF that has a top layer of hardwood veneer that is glued to the surface of the core. You can find engineered hardwood flooring in just about any species of hardwood. The end product has the natural characteristics of the hardwood you selected instead of just a photographic layer. This engineered product has been designed to provide the flooring with greater stability, especially in areas of moisture or heat that would pose a problem for conventional solid hardwood flooring.

The difference between a laminate flooring, solid hardwood flooring and engineered hardwood flooring is this: a laminate core floor is usually made of High Density Fiber or HDF. The top layer is a photographic layer that mimics the appearance of the product it is replicating. This can be wood, vinyl, or tile for example. This product is usually about 3/8 inch thick and has a tongue and groove locking system that doesnt use glue. This enables you to install and reinstall the flooring several times if you wish. A laminate is the least expensive of flooring options.

Solid hardwood is the natural wood species throughout the whole flooring. This too usually comes with a tongue and groove installation. A solid hardwood floor has good sanding and refinishing capabilities. It tends to be more expensive, and solid hardwood flooring has limitations to where it can be installed due to moisture or heat issues.

Engineered hardwood flooring usually has three or more core layers. The more layers you have, the greater the stability you can expect. The core layers of engineered hardwood flooring can be made of plywood, high density fiberboard or hardwood. The best part of engineered hardwood flooring is that is does not destroy the natural warmth and beauty of a traditional solid hardwood floor. The top layer is the same genuine hardwood you would have in solid hardwood flooring.

You can add the warmth and grace of more expensive solid hardwood flooring at a fraction of the cost when you decide to use engineered hardwood flooring. With all the money you save, you may want to think about remodeling the rest of your home.

Tag : hardwood,hardwood flooring,cheap hardwood flooring,hardwood design

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Choosing Discount Hardwood Flooring

If you've priced hardwood flooring and feel you'll never be able to afford the elegant floors that you want for your home, now's the time to take heart. There may be a way that you can reconcile your dreams with your budget, and that's by looking for discount hardwood flooring. Although there are some really cheap wood flooring materials on the market, those aren't what we're discussing here. We're talking about real, solid hardwoods at great prices. This is flooring you can use anywhere in your home where it can be nailed or stapled to the existing floor or laid over a concrete floor. You'll be able to give all the rooms in your home an awesome new look without resorting to cheaper laminates or breaking your bank account.

Some discount floors have sliced wood veneer which will give you the same designs and colors that you can get with solid hardwoods. The veneer on these floors is applied to solid hardwood backings to give the floor durability. You will also be able to find laminate floors designed to look like hardwoods that will last just as long as solid hardwoods do, because they are also made using hardwood backings. Since hardwoods are known for expanding and contracting well in heat and cold, this makes the discount floors appropriate for use in all climates.

Even though discount flooring is less expensive to buy, it is still manufactured to exacting standards. For example, all cheap hardwood flooring is precision-spaced to allow for flexibility in the planks. This is done by taking an aluminum spine and stamping it onto each piece of laminate flooring precisely 1.5 mm apart.

Discount hardwoods come in both pre-finished and unfinished woods. Although many people prefer pre-finished flooring, because they don't want the big job of finishing it, others prefer to finish their floors their own way and opt for the unfinished type. There are many wood choices in discount flooring as well as a variety of different stains so that you can have the floor that will perfectly accent the decor in your home. While you won't have a choice of pre-finished or unfinished with laminate flooring, you will still be able to choose from many different colors.

In this world of increasing costs, decreasing spending power, and the threat of foreclosures, homeowners everywhere are looking for bargains in materials to renovate their homes. Discount hardwood floors and laminates are becoming popular options since they look great for less cost. Laminate flooring is made by putting a piece of fiberboard between two pieces of melamine. It will give you the look of hardwoods at a fraction of the cost. You will also be able to find discount hardwoods that have been embossed in the factory to give them a texture like the grain of real wood. Your floors will look gorgeous, and no one will ever know that you got them at a discount.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hardwood Floors - Its All About Beauty, Warmth And Individuality!

Are you considering a home improvement project? Is seems that time of the year when everyone is working on some home improvement project or another. These projects can range from a fresh coat of paint to major change. One of the surest ways of improving the look of your home is through the use of hardwood floors. There is such a variety of hardwood floors that there is bound to be an option that fits every budget.

A number of the older homes have hardwood floors under the carpeting. Wall to wall carpeting covered many hardwood floors in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Carpeting was considered more energy efficient as well as more comfortable than hardwood floors.

The trend is now to restore hardwood floors in older homes and to install this flooring option in newer homes. Part of the trend of going back to hardwood floors started with the research that links carpeting to allergies to dust, mold and other particles that can get trapped in carpets. When you have hardwood floors it is much easier to get rid of these allergy causing culprits. In the past people also considered blemishes in hardwood floors a reason to cover them up, today these blemishes are seen as part of the natural beauty of hardwood floors. The natural blemishes are what distinguish the natural hardwood floors from the products that resemble wood.

Many of the new homes that are going with hardwood floors are installing heated flooring. This is popular in geographical areas that experience cold winters. The heating elements are installed under the hardwood floors. Some of the heat is electric and others get their heat through a hot water system. This can be a very nice option in bedroom areas, so that you do not step out of bed onto a cold floor. It also reduces your energy costs.

The installation of hardwood floors adds usefulness to the home. When carpeting is used its color usually dictates the color scheme for the room. With hardwood floors the color scheme can be changed by the use of area rugs. It is much more suitable and cheaper to replace an area carpet than wall to wall carpeting.

Many of the laminate flooring options that are available are a less costly alternative to hardwood floors. The higher quality laminates look like wood and are more resistant to scratch marks. The installation system used in laminate flooring allows you to place it over the existing floor. This helps save time and expense. Many people find that they can follow the step by step instructions and install the flooring themselves.

Another alternative to saving cost on hardwood floors is to purchase flooring that has been removed during a changing project. Remodeling contractors often have materials for sale that they remove from homes that they are working on. The contractor will often sell the materials rather than having to pay for their disposal. This allows for the recycling of hardwood floors from one home to another.

Tag : hardwood,hardwood floors,cheap hardwood flooring

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hardwood Floors - Hot Tips To Save You Money

There are many types of hardwood floorings available in the marketplace today. So how do you know which kind of hardwood flooring will be the right one for you? And hardwood floors offer an incredible array of aesthetic options, too.

Although plush carpeting is an easy alternative to floor decorations, many home decorators are now setting a new trend with beautiful hardwood flooring. There are many reasons to go with hardwood floors, such as the permanent value they add to your home, the easy care and easy cleaning, great style and durability and they're natural and safe for the environment too.

The cost can vary depending on whether or not you can find discounts or can buy it wholesale. If you know a building contractor or hardwood floor contractor, they may be able to help you get a nice discount where they buy their materials even if you do it yourself. Installing hardwood flooring in your home should be considered a long-term investment that will hold its value, or even increase the resale value of your home, well surpassing the installation cost of the hardwood floors.

After all wood is wood, and what can be more ecologically clean than natural wood planks after very little chemical processing? For the healthy minded, there are much lower levels of chemical emissions from natural wood products. The cost of hardwood flooring depends on what type you choose.

Many of the hardwood flooring retailers and manufacturers offer good discounts if you have a lot of square footage. If you're thinking about a do-it-yourself project and you're handy with tools, you can learn how to install hardwood flooring with a few of the proper tools like sanders, nailers, or nail guns, etc. which you can easily rent or borrow. Some of the most popular hardwood floor manufacturers include Bruce, Shaw, Mohawk, Mannington and Armstrong.

When shopping for new wood flooring you want to check for special discounts or coupons from the many retailers and manufacturers both online and offline. Many people are now installing hardwood floors in their kitchen too and they can also be installed over concrete. Your new flooring may need a few refinishing, sanding and finish coats over the years. When you consider that carpets and vinyl floors will need to be replaced at least three or four times in that same time period, the long run costs of hardwood flooring seem very economical.

Besides the floor coverings that have been traditionally used in the past, there are now many new styles and materials of flooring to choose from that can definitely add to the style of any room. Hardwoods can give a room an expensive and high quality finish that's usually only connected to higher-end apartments and designer homes. But first of all you need to find a reputable hardwood floor company to help design and create the type of flooring that you want, unless you're experienced enough to forge ahead..

Most hardwood floors almost never need replacement and can add thousands of dollars to the value of any home. And hardwood flooring is the healthiest choice for interior living, especially if you have children in the home.

And with today's advanced wood flooring stains and finishes, cleaning your wood floors has never been easier. If you're looking for a great way to improve the look, the durability and the value of your home, hardwood floors are definitely the way to go. And wood is a wonderful natural resource that is both renewable and recyclable.

Tag : hardwood,hardwood floors,discount hardwood flooring

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Laminate Sucks, Hardwood Rules

The debate has been raging for ages. Many people believe that a laminate floor is a better option than a hardwood floor. Others also known as "smart people" believe that a hardwood floor is a better option.

Laminate is an extremely versatile substance. People used it back in the 70's as countertop coverings. It developed over the years in many forms. It can resemble stone, marble, tile, or more commonly, wood. This is the most common appearance of laminate today. The actual term laminate does not refer to the physical material that constitutes the majority of the paneling, only the protective top layer.

Advantages of laminate include durability, and ease of installation. Normal laminate planks are two to three times longer than their hardwood counterparts. This is because the synthetic material can be created at almost any size. Unlike authentic hardwood, there are no real size limitations. Another benefit of laminate surfacing is that it can be installed on concrete and other surfaces that are difficult for hardwood installation.

Hardwood floors are on the opposite end of the spectrum. They are not new. People have been using hardwood floors ever since they were able to erect wood cabins hundreds of years ago. It's not easy to install either. Unless you have a high skill set, installing it on your own can be troublesome. Because they come from limited material (trees) they are more expensive than synthetic laminate. However, scarcity creates value. If you have real authentic hardwood floors in your house, its value will increase. This can't be said for laminate.

Hardwood floors are also more aesthetically appealing. All other surfaces are imitations. Ultimately you can't beat the real thing. There are many arguments that support installing laminate including ease of installation, and low price. However, the long term value of this shortcut pales in comparison to that of a hardwood floor.

Tag : hardwood,hardwood flooring,laminate,cheap hardwood

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hardwood Flooring - Something That Lasts For Years

These days, more and more people are switching over to hardwood flooring because of the advantages it offers. In the following paragraphs, we shall throw some light on the reasons why such floors are better than their counterparts. So, let's start off.

Cost-effective proposition - The installation cost of these floors is quite high as a bit of refurbishing, sanding and finishing coats are required. However, in the long run, such floors turn out to be a cost-effective proposition. They are highly durable, resilient, sturdy and versatile.

Inestimable colors and designs - Another feature of hardwood flooring is that they are available in a vast variety of colors and designs. From red oak, red birch, maple and bamboo to walnut, hickory, white oak and American cherry; the choices are quite expansive. You will surely find ideal flooring that will give your home an elegant, modish, sophisticated and stunning look.

Absolutely eco-friendly - As these floors are made entirely of wood, a renewable resource, therefore they are completely environmental-friendly. Moreover, unlike other kinds of floors, hardwood floorings do not emit harmful chemical emissions. Hence, they are safe for everyone.

Idyllic for people suffering from allergies - these floors are good for people who suffer from allergies or asthma. They do not allow dust, pollens and other irritants to accumulate and keep the home environment neat and clean.

Easy to maintain - The primary benefit of hardwood flooring is that it is easily maintainable and repairable. As dirt cannot penetrate and accumulate, for this reason, lots of scrubbing and cleaning is not required. Additionally, you don't have to take the help of professional cleaners to get your flooring cleaned. In the case of accidental spills, you just have to wipe off with a clean cloth; no chemical cleaners or shampoos are required.

Tag : hardwood,hardwood flooring,discount hardwood,hardwood floor installation,flooring

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hardwood Floors VS Laminate Flooring

When it comes to wood flooring, there are tons of products to choose from. You have your hard wood, laminate, and parquet. My family has been in the flooring business for 30 years and knows what is a good quality floor. We specialize in hard wood for the Houston area. We also install laminate and parquet.

When you go with a hard wood floor, you are investing in something that is going to last a life time. Not only can you re sand your floors for a different look, you can also repair damaged boards easier. The most common problem with wood floors is water damage, from sinks, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. With hardwood floors installed it is possible to bring out the grain in the wood and make them more visible. Also, the risk of damage to the floor is less.

When laminate or parquet is put in a box at the factory, you are getting the finished product. This product has already been stained and finished. From the factory to the shelves, there are mistakes that can be made, which can not be altered. If you have ever seen these pre-finished floors, then you know that it's only about 1/4" thick. There is no re-sanding that can be done ever.

Most products I see are only warranted for 20 - 25 years and some less than that. If you want wood flooring that is going to look great and last then you need to install hardwood floors. It may be more expensive, but the joy and longevity that hardwood gives you is second to none.

If you are selling a house then look into getting hardwood floors! It might be the deciding verdict when it comes to selling a home or not.

Tag :hardwood,hardwood flooring,laminate,hardwood floor installation

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Trends in Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood floors are a beautiful and distinctive way to add a luxurious sense to your home. In today's housing market, more and more people are looking to improve the overall look and feel of their homes instead of selling them. Homeowners are finding that hardwood floors offer a unique way of accomplishing a stunningly fresh décor that gives their home a whole new appearance.

In the past, there wasn't much in the way of options for hardwood flooring. It was sold either with a natural lacquer finish or with a darker lacquer color to add a little richness to the look of the room. However, today's hardwood flooring is available in a variety of stains and colors. Some of the options available are cherry, nutmeg, caramel and cinnamon. The color stain is applied to the hardwood before the finish, or colored with lacquer to produce a richer color while still showing the natural grain of the wood.

Some designers and homeowners prefer a more vibrant and colorful room. Hardwood can also be tinted green, yellow, red, blue, purple - just about any color - to complement the other colors in the room to create a truly distinctive and unique look.

The manufacturing process for hardwood flooring has also changed over the years. The way each piece of wood is manufactured and handled has an effect on how it will look on your floor. Some woods, such as maple, come in different styles with unique graining like birds eye maple, which has the small knot rings that looks like eyes, or tiger mark maple, which has stripes of graining resembling tiger stripes. Quarter-sawn wood like oak has graining that runs vertical and makes for a more durable and resilient wood.

A manufacturer may use special treatments or use different pieces of wood to create a one of a kind look. The lower grade hardwood contains a high number of knots and streaks, but can be perfect for achieving a country or rustic look. You can select hardwoods that have been hand-distressed for a more worn, lived-in look. If you'd prefer a darker look, you can consider hardwood styles that have been naturally darkened through a steaming process.

Homeowners have easy access to types of wood from all over the world, from South America to Europe, Africa, Russia, the United States and Canada. These different species of woods can offer unique colors, patterns and textures to a room and will add an original and unique touch to your home.

Hardwood floors can be an attractive addition to any home. Familiarize yourself with the latest trends in hardwood flooring and you'll be able to create a beautiful room with your own unique style that expresses your personality and individuality.

Tag : Hardwood,Flooring,Hardwood Flooring

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hardwood Floors: Maintaining Their Beauty And Shine

Hardwood floors may be the crowning glory of every home they grace. With a little care and effort, you can ensure that your wood floors will last a lifetime and provide you with elegance, style, and sophistication. Knowing what type of finish you have is important to ensure that you are protecting and maintaining your investment. It may be a Polyurethane covering or a wax finish. You need to know the type of finish your floor has so you can choose the proper cleaners and polishers for your floor.

No matter what type of finish your floor has one rule remains the same. Water is most damaging to hardwood floors. There is just no getting around it, if water penetrates the surface finish of your floor and works its way into the boards, your floor will be damaged. Therefore, it is recommended that you use a slightly damp mop when cleaning your hardwood floors. A slightly damp mop will effectively clean the surface of your floor without allowing the water to penetrate through the finish. A very high glossy sheen on your wood floor means that it has a Polyurethane finish. If the floor looks matte, then it is a wax or oil based finish. There are specific hardwood floor cleaners designed for both finishes so make sure that you use an appropriately based cleaner.

Dusting and vacuuming are vitally important to maintaining the beauty and shine of your floor. Dirt can work its way into the crevices of your floor and cause damage. By dust mopping and vacuuming you can keep the high gloss appearance of your finish with out investing too much effort, time, or money. Using a soft brush attachment or a dust mop will pick up loose debris and dirt and protect your floor from damage. On average, expect to dust your floors weekly and when there are unexpected messes.

You should also protect your floors from surface damage. High heels, animal claws, and the legs of heavy furniture may all pose a threat to the shine of your floor. Unfortunately, they are also sources for gouges and permanent scuff marks as well. Protect your floor by placing area or throw rugs in high traffic areas, making sure that people don't wear high heels on the floor, and by adding furniture pads to the bottom of your furniture, chairs, and table legs. If you have pets that will be spending time walking on your floors, make sure that their claws are properly trimmed to prevent them from scratching the wood surface. By taking these precautions and using a commercially prepared floor cleaner and polisher designed for your floor's finish, you can ensure that your floors will provide you with a lifetime of excellence, beauty, and shine.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Brazilian Cherry Hardwood Flooring - Everything You Need to Know Before You Buy

Brazilian Cherry Hardwood Flooring has become the latest trend in the hard surface flooring industry. If you're considering buying a Brazilian Cherry Floor, you're making a wise choice. However, before you hop on the web to purchase your new floors you might want to know a little more about this great flooring and the various options you will have.

• Brazilian Cherry Hardwood Flooring can create a warm and casual look or a very formal style for your room. It will depend on the rest of the décor you have. Brazilian Cherry is a very versatile style and can transform a room with the right touch.
• Brazilian Cherry wood is one of the hardest, most dense woods on the Janka Scale ( an industry standard for wood hardness) and scores over 2800 out of 4000 for hardness. It will be very resistant against dents compared to most other wood species.
• Stained versus Unstained is a choice you will have to make. You can purchase Brazilian Cherry in both a natural, unstained version as well as a stained finish. Both will have a protected top coating but the stained may give you a more formal look if that's what you are after.
• This unique floor comes in various widths. Typically you will see options between 3" and 7" wide planks. Any of these are great selections. It will depend on the look you are trying to set for the area.
• Cherry Hardwood floors also come in both the solid and engineered forms. The solid option may give you a few more refinishes over the life of the wood (but probably not enough to really matter that much). The engineered option will give you an extra bonus against excess moisture or humidity versus solid.
• This flooring is available in all installation options. Depending on the type you choose, it may be nail down, glue down, or floating floor style (which is great for installation over concrete subfloors or slabs).

When shopping, be sure to keep in mind that this species of wood can sometimes darken over its life span. Brazilian Cherry can be bought locally or over the web. Furthermore, most flooring distributors will gladly send a no charge sample for you to view. One last tip is to buy an extra box or two if your budget will allow. In case you were ever able to need to repair a spot in the floor, these extra pieces will come in handy down the road.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Natural Elegance With Bruce Hardwood Flooring

Bruce Hardwood Flooring is one of the most highly-reputed makers of natural- looking hardwood floors on the market. They offer a full line of beautiful, elegant hardwood flooring materials that are sure to fit into the décor of your home and add a great deal of class and style. One of their strongest selling points is that they manage to create flooring the looks both authentic and natural but with all the easy-care features of modern hardwood flooring.

What Makes Bruce Hardwood Flooring the Best?

Going by reputation alone, you'll find that Bruce has become a front runner in the field of premium hardwood floors. Manufactured from only the best of woods, Bruce floors somehow manage to look natural yet elegant at the same time. The company works hard to ensure that their products live up to the standards of their company motto which is "Warmth, Beauty, and Individuality".

By visiting the Bruce website you'll not only get to see the selection of lovely floors they have available, but you'll also find the tools that will let you see how the different types of flooring materials will look in your own home. You'll be able to upload photos of your home and then "install" different floors in the photographs so that you can see what any room in your house would look like with that flooring. How awesome is that?

The Bruce Hardwood flooring website provides a database of carefully-selected installers and contractors that the company believes meet their standards for installing your floors for you. They also offer a selection of hardwood flooring packages designed for the do-it-yourselfer that come with detailed instructions and installation advice. Keep in mind, however, that professional installation is still recommended.

The website also advises that you not consider hardwood floors for kitchens and bathrooms. Although it will provide years of beautiful service in all other rooms in your house, these two rooms have too much moisture and temperatures that vary a great deal which will shorten the longevity of hardwoods. If you make sure to give your Bruce floors regular care and maintenance, they will be a beautiful addition to your home for many years to come in any of your other rooms, however.

You'll find that the Bruce Hardwood Flooring website is full of handy information which can help you find nearby stores that sell their products and to help you maintain the beauty of your floors after they're installed. One recommendation that is made there is that you should never use abrasive substances or water on your hardwood floors. Although they might make your floors look nice for the short-term, in the long run they can cause damage which will shorten the life of your floors.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hardwood Flooring - Refinishing Or Replacing

Wood has long since been a prime material in home construction that continues to be popular for that unsurpassed appeal and durability that affords just any home a welcoming feel. Hardwood flooring is among these house features that give that timeless beauty and one common dilemma faced in time by New York homeowners is whether to replace or reface. Whether in Long Island, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Manhattan, or Queens; it would be favorable to meticulously compare the pros and cons of refinishing or replacing hardwood flooring.

As time goes by, your hardwood flooring would start to look worn and this will mark a decision to make. To help you out in deciding, here are the key elements to look into when comparing refinishing versus replacing:


Obviously, as replacement of hardwood flooring will require another set of materials plus contractor labor for installation this project would cost more in terms of time and money. Refinishing on the other hand would just need the works of a qualified contractor, or tools and expertise on your part if you decide to go head on with the hardwood refinishing project. This makes refinishing a more economical solution than replacing.


With hardwood flooring, durability is never a question as the material has proven to last lifetimes. However, the key to ensure durability whether when refinishing or replacing lies in the craftsmanship of your hired contractor. So if you want to enjoy the beauty and warmth that this type of flooring offers for good long years, let a qualified contractor handle the project if you are not one and does not have what it takes to finish the job properly.

As a Solution

When homeowners decide on refinishing or replacing their hardwood flooring, it is not just because of the traffic wear and scratches. Other concerns such as wanting a darker color can bring in a whole new set of issues. But even this can be solved by refinishing as the project may include tinting of your preferred color.

Refinishing can be economical but it may not always be the perfect solution for your hardwood flooring needs. Here are several instances when replacement is a required:

* wanting a lighter color, different grain, or pattern;
* facing water damages caused by flooding or other incidents. Severe water damages may be indicated by bulging, warping or buckling of the wood flooring.

But as replacement of your entire floor can be very expensive and can pose a huge job, carefully consider whether to refinish or replace. Even with damages, there are still ways to salvage the floor and refinish but still get to the root of the problem such as stains and molds. Some structural damages may not always mean that the replacement of the entire hardwood flooring is necessary.

Hardwood flooring is among the most durable and longest lasting floor options. Before deciding which project to undertake, it pays to consult with experts on which project would best serve as the solution to your current floor problem.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Refinish Hardwood Floors - Critically Important Steps to Help You

Hardwood floors that are installed in your home may need finishes or coatings. You need to ensure that you apply finish to this type of flooring so that the luster and splendor can be restored. However, there are ways or steps that you can apply in order to perfectly put the right finish to your floors. This article will guide you on these steps.

Before you start the process of finishing your hardwood, you will need to put in place the necessary tools needed for the job. You can get them from the local hardware stores around you or even order them online. The tools are floor finish (water-based or oil based), rough and fine sand paper, cleaning towels, dust masks, floor sanders, finishing brushes, protective goggles and vacuum that has an attachment for host.

Now, the steps to finishing your hardwood floor begin with you preventing the spread of dust to interfere with your finishing work. You can close all the air vents around your work place. You can start sanding your floors from one corner of the room. This will enable you to manage your working space. Sanding the hardwood floors in from the middle of the room may eventually give you more stress. Still on sanding, ensure that you sand the floors in the wood grain direction.

Whenever the sand paper you are applying gets dull, ensure that you replace it with a new one. Continue the sanding of the floor until your wood floor is looking smooth, nice and natural. After sanding, you can now apply the wood finish to the floor.

Start the finishing with even strokes from the finishing brush. You must begin the finishing from one part of the room so that you will have an exit point. In the process of applying the finish, evenly work out lumps in the floor finish with the brush so that it doesn't get dry with them.

After applying the finish with the brush, you can leave the room for several hours to get dry. These are the steps that will help you to finish your hardwood floors very perfectly. You may not need to hire the services of a professional for these steps.

Using Vinegar To Clean Hardwood Floors

Often, we are asked, "How do I clean hardwood floors"? Now I would like to tell you that hardwood floors can last a lifetime if properly taken care of. Using vinegar to clean hardwood floors is a good cheap solution to keep your wood surface looking good. Yes, preventative maintenance is the best solution. Be sure to dust mop and vacuum floors regularly to keep dirt from accumulating and scratching the floor.

This is an easy and cheap floor cleaning alternative. Try mixing 1/2 cup of white vinegar to 1 gallon of warm water. This method of using vinegar to clean hardwood floors is an easy and safe solution to keeping your floor looking its best. Be cautious what you put on your wood surface as oils or furniture polish can make a floor very slippery.

It’s the frugal homemaker’s best-kept secret to use this natural chemical for cleaning the home, and can be used in many ways, including cleaning hardwood floors.

Vinegar is an acidic liquid that is used in a variety of ways, from flavoring salad dressings to in our case cleaning hardwood floors. Normally, all that's needed is a damp mop cleanup to keep them looking great. However, if you want a deeper clean, that takes care of allergens, bacteria and more you may want to consider purchasing a portable steam cleaner that's made for hardwood floors.

The Bissell Steam Mop Bare Floor Steam Cleaner is a light weight steam mop that's easy to use. Its long power cord helps you reach the entire floor and the specially designed handle reduces "mopping stress". It comes equipped with two terry cloth cleaning pads, and features a clear plastic filter so you know when it's time for a change.

Hardwood floors require regular care to maintain their warm and beautiful appearance. Careful cleaning is an important consideration, as traditional mopping methods used on linoleum will ruin your hardwood flooring. White vinegar can become a homeowner's best friend for cleaning purposes. This natural disinfectant is safe on to use on nearly any surface is is especially well suited to hardwood floors. The distinct smell associated with vinegar evaporates after the liquid dries, leaving a clean and scent-free floor.

Sweep and dry mop the floors. It is important to remove as much loose dust and dirt from the floors as possible before you begin mopping.

This article is provided for entertainment purposes and we accept no liability for the content. Always test a very small area first to check for damage before applying any method.

By: Steve Evans

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Installing Hardwood Laminate Flooring - 4 Steps to Prepare

When looking at installing hardwood laminate flooring, there are 4 main steps you need to follow in preparation:

1. Get everything you will need from your laminate flooring supplier before you start. These things include the laminate flooring boards themselves. These usually come in packs of 5 or 10. It's always worth buying one or two more packs than you calculate you will need because you will make mistakes. Next you'll need underlay that often comes in several different thicknesses. This helps make up the difference if there are small dips in your subfloor and cushion the laminate flooring as it sits on the subfloor. If you are laying the subfloor on concrete or another porous surface that can get damp, you will need to buy a plastic waterproof barrier to lay directly on the subfloor to protect the underlay and the new floor. You also need to obtain a set of tools from the laminate flooring supplier including spacers and Z shaped tool for knocking the laminate flooring boards together. Finally you need to get any moulding or skirting boards, along with doorway connectors.

2. Get your tools together back home. Tools required for installing hardwood laminate flooring include a hand saw for cutting them to length; a tape measure; a knife for cutting the underlay; a mitre box or mitre power drop saw for cutting 45 degree angles on the moulding or skirting boards. This is so that they have professional joins in the corners; Nails or liquid nails to glue the skirting boards to the walls.

3. Place the hardwood laminate boards in the rooms where they will be installed to acclimatize them to the humidity and temperature of the rooms. In this way, they will hopefully do most of their expansion or contraction before you install them.

4. Check the level of your subfloor and read the manufacturer's instructions as to what they recommend the level of the subfloor to be. For example, you may need to have no more than 3/16 inch difference in the subfloor over a yards length of laminate floor. If there are any places on the subfloor that have more than that, then you will need to buy a levelling compound from your local hardware store. This can come ready made in a bucket that you pour onto the subfloor. You then trowel it so that it appears even and then leave it and it will self level. Once it has set, you are ready to install hardwood laminate flooring.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Old World Style Hardwood Floors - Important Tips to Help You

The heading of this article refers to one of Oregon's providers of high quality hardwood floors. Hardwood types of floors are very popular and can make your home look elegant. You can buy your flooring needs from Old World Wood Floors. This company provides you with quality hardwood flooring. This article will give you an overview of the Old World Wood floors.

If you are searching for hardwood floor information on the Internet, you may possibly stumble upon the Old World wood floors company. The distinctive services they provide include designing wood flooring as well as sanding, refinishing, and installations of hardwood floors for clients. Your needs for hardwood types of flooring, such as installations and repairs are readily incorporated into the services provided by this company.

This company is a prominent member of the National Wood Flooring Association. Also, the company is displayed in the cover of popular magazines like the Hardwood Floors magazine. This emphasizes how popular and prominent this company is in terms of hardwood flooring provisions.

If you must buy the right type of hardwood floors that will give you the best in terms of beauty and elegance it's always a very good idea to take your time and research the various types and the makers. This is mostly because not every type of hardwood flooring is good. And yes, you need to ensure that the maker of the particular one you want are not only experienced like the Old World wood floor company but also reputable.

But Where Can I Read More Specific And HELPFUL Hardwood Floors Tips? No problem there. Click to read Why You Absolutely Need Hardwood Floors and lots of interesting and helpful articles, including specific tips on How To Get The Best Hardwood Floors to help you answer your most frequently asked questions on this topic!

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Maintaining the Beauty of Hardwood Floors

"Let us all admit it. Floors mainly give and add beauty to one’s abode. And mostly today, home owners wanted to give their flooring the best shot, for it complement to the aesthetic appeal that the home could bring. Saying this, people who owned hardwood floors in California were doing everything just to maintain the elegance of hardwood floors!

Just like the hardwood flooring in Los Angeles CA, homeowners mostly say that the hardwood floor in CA gives a perfect and striking beauty to every house. With its classy and natural style, hardwood floors have been always a choice for most homeowners. These hardwood floors are also durable if they are guided with proper care and maintenance. Quality hardwood can even last for a decade if well maintained.

Hardwood floors should be cared properly because improper care can cause a floor to be warped, scratched, and it can also cause the floor to be dull looking. We can say that those hardwood floors are durable enough, but no matter how tough or strong the finish looks there are still factors that can damage your flooring. Just like dirt, moist, and etc, they can be like sandpapers that spoil the beauty of your flooring.

And here are the tips to maintain the beauty of your hardwood floors.


Keep them clean and dry. This is very important because like hardwood floors in Los Angeles CA, they can be prone to water and dirt damage, and you just cannot use any kind of cleaner on your hardwoods.

And some commit a big mistake on this task. Some hardwood floor owners thought that wiping their floors with wet mops in good. But this is the exact contrary. It is advisable to vacuum your floors frequently.

Another cleaning belief in hardwood floors pertains to oil soaps. Others thought that again, this helps in cleaning hardwood. But then again, this is not true. Oil soaps are not recommended for hardwoods because they can cause build up that causes you problems when the floor needs to be refinished and will just leave your floors looking dull. When you already notice a build up of dirt it is advisable for you to buy a product made specifically for hardwoods and you should only use it only as recommended by the floor’s manufacturer to avoid miscalculations.

Damages: Scuffs and Scrapes…

House pets may damage your hardwood floors with their nails. Oftentimes, animals have this habit of digging into the surface upon which they are walking. We cannot ask them not to do that, (I hope so!) so to avoid this, we should keep our pets’ nails trimmed.

We should also protect our floors to protect them from everyday wear and tear. Even though we say that these hardwood floors are finished, it is still prone to damage. That is why we must do our part to keep its elegance. Use rugs to those areas of extremely high traffic to minimize damage and scuffing.

We can make use of these advices and we can make sure that hardwood flooring repairs will also be minimized."

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hardwood Flooring Characteristics - It's All Personal Taste

Which look do you want? Here are some of the more common woods and the look they will give you once they're laid.

Oak Flooring: Oak has a heavier grain throughout it than most other wood flooring products. This gives your room a more rustic aura with its mixture of 'tiger' or 'waterfall' markings. This is a very popular floor in North America. 3 inch or 5 inch width, this floor comes in a variety of colors and hues. This is NOT the floor for you if you want a custom, 'nobody else has this on the block' look.

When going with an oak, I prefer the Northern hardwoods in Nth America. It's a lot colder in the north so the trees grow slower and are harder with a much tighter grain than non-northern trees. Try to avoid exotic Asian woods (unless this is what you really want) as the tropical environment in Asia with its humidity and moisture has woods grow very fast but are softer and light sensitive. Oak flooring also has a low to medium shade variation. This means you won't find too much difference in color between one board and another.

Maple Flooring: This gives a very contemporary look with its clean lines and very light grain. Maples can be stained to fit almost any color..from natural white to sun burnt reds to almost black. These woods are quite hard (2300 PSI) and don't have the natural graining an oak floor has. Some like this clean look; others feel it resembles laminates too closely than genuine woods. Maples are a great choice particularly if you select a darker color but don't want the 'business' of a traditional oak floor. A maple floor's color variation is very low to low.

Hickory Flooring: The hardest of the main group, hickory has naturally occurring mineral streaks, knots and birthmarks that give the wood a deep character. If you like random, naturally occuring patterns in your floor, hickory is a great choice. Its color variance is high to extreme, often having one board almost milky in color and the next grey! There is nothing wrong with the wood; this is how God made it. It's supposed to look like that! It gives the room a rustic, warm feeling and if you want a custom looking floor and don't mind the large color variance, a hickory floor is a perfect choice.

Cherry & Walnut Flooring: Probably the most striking and beautiful floors around. They have a lot of waterfall movement to them and the stained woods are exceptionally eye-catchy. Since they are very soft, be very careful before deciding on one of these floors. When laid, these floors exude a luxurious and expensive look.

Pine Flooring: Also soft with the unmistakable 'zebra' lines running through the floor. Since they are very heavy in vertical line movement, they give an exotic appearance combined with their naturally occurring dark knotholes. Go with this floor if you're modeling a room. But keep away if you have a zoo.

So select your hardwood floor that fits your lifestyle first then narrow the colors down. You'll be a much happier hardwood floor owner.

Tyler is a writer for Best Hardwood Floors, which is a shopping guide on buying hardwood floors, we help you buy the right hardwood floors for your home.

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Refinishing Your Hardwood Floors As A Alternative To Replacement

Refinishing your hardwood floors is an excellent alternative to replacing them with engineered or snap together products. It’s also very cost effective and can turn out to be the best investment for the future value of your home. If you are ambitious, you can take on this project yourself by renting the equipment required, and having patience and some time to do the job. If not, there are many professional refinishers available in most areas that can be used to do a speedy, efficient job. Get an estimate from a professional in any case. It can be very satisfying to know how much money you are saving if you do the job yourself.

It’s actually not that difficult to refinish a wood floor yourself. You’ll need a drum or belt sander and multiple grades of sandpaper to go with it. You can rent the sander from your local hardware store, and most likely, they can suggest the grades of sandpaper you will require. Standard grade is about 20, but you may need up to 100 to get gouges and real rough spots out. Be sure to also obtain dust masks for you face, or a respirator, as you will be generating lots of wood and finish dust. You might want to isolate the room you are doing away from other rooms in your house with plastic sheeting. Ventilation in the work area is a must. You have removed all the furniture and wall hangings like paintings from the room, right?

Before you start sanding, check the floor for any nails, staples or tacks that may be protruding above the surface. These things can tear up your sandpaper quickly and even ruin the sander belt or disk if they are not removed. The key to good sanding is to keep the sander moving and go with the wood grain, not across it. If you stop while the sander is running, you may produce a gouge or burn in that area. You should also consider wearing ear protection while doing this job. These sanders are loud. Don’t wear very loose fitting clothing that may get caught by the sander. Gloves are very helpful as well.

After your finished sanding, clean the area extremely well by first sweeping up with a broom, then a shop vac and finally a damp mop. Let the floor dry and settle overnight. Damp mop again the next morning and allow to dry a few more hours.

What type of finish did you decide on? Three coats are usually required, the base coat, the color (if used) and the top coat for durability. Pick from an oil based or polyurethane, water based finish. If you select an oil based finish, you need to decide if you want a satin, semi gloss or gloss finish. A satin oil based finish, just like a semi gloss or flat wall paint, hide blemishes better. Water based products dry much more quickly and resist any yellowing that might occur. PLEASE pick a corner and try your stain selection BEFORE you finish the entire floor. I can’t stress this enough. If you are satisfied with the results, you can apply the stain to the rest of the floor using a brush or roller and evening it out with a clean soft rag. Be sure to let the coats dry according to the manufacturer’s directions. Remember, again, ventilation is REQUIRED for you and your room.

Refinishing is a means to increase durability of your floor and enhance its appearance, and is a three-stage process of sanding, staining, and finishing that CAN be done yourself.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Types of Hardwood Floors - Popular Ones You Should Use Today

Have you heard so much about hardwood floors and now want to install one in your home? If yes, then you need to read the remaining part of this article to know about the popular types of hardwood floors you will see people going for.

The first type of hardwood you will see is called the "Solid Wood". This wood is very hard and it takes more effort to get it installed or removed. Solid woods are made into strip, plank or parquet. You can use any of these types to install in your home.

The second popular type of hardwood floors you may want to go for is known as "Engineered Wood". This type of wood is made of layers of veneer. They are sturdy and come in different designs. They are made of a combination of superior woods and inferior woods. An important feature of engineered hardwood is that it can withstand different weather conditions and can also withstand spills, humidity and extreme temperature.

The third type hardwood floors that people go for now is "Acrylic Impregnated wood floor". This type of hardwood is made of coloring and acrylic put on the planks. The structure of this flooring makes it difficult to get scratched. This is perfect flooring for places that are very busy.

The fourth type of hardwood floors you may want to go for is referred to as "Prefinished Hardwood Floor". This type of floor is ready to be installed when you buy it. You don't have to undergo much stress in the installation of this type.

The final type of hardwood floor is referred to as "Unfinished Hardwood". You will need to complete the finishing process on your own if you opt for this hardwood. This means that after you have installed it, you will need to do the buffering, sanding, coating and staining of the wood.

These are some types of hardwood floors you may want to consider when you decide to install one for your home or office.

But Where Can I Read LATEST and BEST Hardwood Floors Tips?

Cheap Solid Hardwood Floors

Removing Carpet from Hardwood Floors

You will be surprised how highly helpful these links will be if you click on them right away.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Instructions On How To Install Floating Hardwood Floor Panels

Have you ever wondered how to install hardwood floor panels to make your home beautiful inside? There are many methods of installing hardwood flooring currently in use. One of the best do it yourself hardwood floors is the floating hardwood floor. The term floating doesn't refer to a floor that is sitting in liquid. Floating means that, while the floor is fastened to itself, it is not fastened down to the subsurface.

A floating hardwood floor has some disadvantages you should be aware of before proceeding with your installation. These floors will sometimes feel like you're walking on a bubble. And, each bubble you step on will have a creaky sound.

On the other hand, those bubbles give the floor a much softer feel than a well-fastened hardwood floor. And, the floating floor is much easier to maintain. Best of all, it is one of the cheapest types of hardwood floors to install.

Before continuing with the installation of a floating hardwood floor, we highly recommend that you consider using oak as your hardwood floor material. Oak looks beautiful and provides lasting durability.

-Tools Needed to Install a Floating Hardwood Floor

Broom and Dust Pan - It is important to keep everything clean as you go. It is particularly important to keep the saw dust out from under and between your panels where it can really throw things off kilter. If it gets in there, there is no way to get it out without the very difficult process of hardware floor disassembly.

Carpenter's Crayon - You'll have to cut up your panels to make them fit in the corners and make them go around objects that cannot be removed from the room having the hardwood floor installed. You may also want to use your carpenter's crayon to mark a layout pattern of where to place your flooring panels.

Circular Saw - Your saw is what you will use as you cut along the lines you drew with your carpenters crayon.

Claw hammer - In most places, you will use a rubber mallet to help push the boards together, but in those places near the wall where you don't have enough room to swing the mallet, you can use the claw hammer to fit them together.

Cushioning Surface - You can make your floating hardwood floor feel even softer to the feet with the use of a cushioning surface under the floor. You would be shocked by the difference between a floor with the surface and a floor without the surface if you could try the two side by side.

Cutter Knife - The cutter knife comes in handy in more places than you would expect as you work on your floor. But the main reason we recommend this tool is so that you can make minor cuts on the panel ends when you just can't quite make them fit together.

Glue - Floating hardwood floors aren't supposed to be glued together. However, you might find you get better results if you just put a bit of glue at the end of each panel as you connect them. Of course, this will mean you'll need to be very careful not to get any glue on your floor surface.

Nails - You will need to nail the floating floor to the wall strips. It may help to use a drill to do pilot holes to prevent the wood from splitting, but if you're a gambler, you can just hammer these nails in without pilot holes. Most people do that anyways.

Rubber Mallet - The rubber mallet is what you use to fit the panels together at the joints. However, you need to be very careful not to hit the panels too hard and damage the panel surfaces.

-Preparing to Install Floating Hardwood Floor Panels

Before you install your floating hardwood floor panels, you need to get your cushioning sheet installed. You can use your cutter knife to make it fit. Some people find that making it into many small pieces is much more manageable than trying to fit a large piece in the room. These pieces should be laid in the same direction as your panel rows.

One of the nice parts of using a cushioning sheet is that debris on the sheet or lumps in the surface below it have a less dramatic effect on the floor. However, you should still try to get all of these straightened out to the extent you can see them.

For debris, just use your broom and dust pan to remove them. It's not such a big of a one-time task when you consider the implications are pretty close to permanent if you fail to remove them.

-Installing a Floating Hardwood Floor

1.Place your first panel in the corner with the ends with a cavity in them towards the walls.

2.Put a little bit of glue in the cavity of the next panel.

3.Attach the next panel to the first panel quickly after step two.

4.You may need to work with the rubber mallet gently to ensure that the two panels come together snuggly. If the wall gets in the way of the rubber mallet, you can use your claw hammer to nudge it in place.

5.Continue this until you get to the end of the row where you will need to mark off the excess length of your last panel with the carpenter's crayon. Then cut the panel to fit using the circular saw.

6.Use the remaining piece of the panel to start the next row of hardwood.

7.If you are using the glue, as in step two, you'll need to be careful to get the entire adhesive off of each row as you complete it or it may do permanent damage to the hardwood surface.

8.Make sure you fit your entire pieces well, especially the last corner piece. If you have fit everything together just right, your floor will be much more stable. And, it will look better after the next step.

9.Now you go around all of the room walls and place the wall strips. You should nail these strips to the wall and to the floor. This will stabilize your floor. This will also make the edges of your new floor look better.

-How to Install Floating Hardwood Floor - Clean Up

As with any big woodworking project, you can expect to have a mess as you go. There are such debris as saw dust, cut splinters, glue spots, and more. While you were trying to clean as you went, you should really do a final inspection and cleaning at the completion of the project. You don't want any saw dust or wood chips scraping across your new floor before you even get to admire its smooth shine.

After your floor has had a day to settle you can clean it with a mildly wet mop to get everything else up that you might have missed. You need to dry the floor up right away after mopping, of course. Otherwise, your wood will swell and lumps will form.

-Hindsight Tips for Installing Your Floating Hardwood Floor

You do not need to be terribly careful with the cushioning sheets. Don't spend all day trying to get exact measurements. As long as there are no major overlaps or separations between them, your floor should be just fine.

When you are working with your hardwood panels, it is important not to rush. You should not be moving on and placing another panel until the current panel is completely and firmly connected to the other panels. But be very careful when using the rubber mallet and other tools on the panels not to cause surface damage.

The surfaces are quite fragile when they are not yet anchored in place. It is very hard to go back and fix later if you missed a panel early in the installation process.

Be careful when measuring your panels for cutting at the end of the row that you are marking off the right part of your panel for cutting. One of the most common mistakes is to have the panel backwards while measuring it and then end up with the wrong pieces being the lengths you need. Save yourself some time and be careful.

-Feeling Good after You Install Your Floating Hardwood Floor

You have saved a lot of money by installing a floating hardwood floor yourself. And, if you don't like it, you've chosen one of the easiest hardwood floors to replace. But, of course you like it.

Hardwood floors look great. And, your new floating hardwood floor feels great too with its cushioning surface. Your neighbor's glued down floor may not creak much, but your neighbor's feet don't feel like they're floating when he walks on his floor.

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