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.