Disposable floors?!

Your hardwood floors should not be disposable!

We here at Evergreen Hardwood Floors are focused on a quality first approach. For the work that we do and the flooring we install. Unfortunately we are noticing an unfortunate trend around our area. Still perfectly good hardwood floors are being ripped out, then installing lesser quality hardwood flooring or even laminate.

There seems to be a lot of misinformation out there regarding the life expectancy of hardwood floors. Good quality hardwood floors should last as long as your home is standing.

The waste and environmental impact is enormous from this practice. The still useful flooring is just thrown into the landfill, where it sits and adds to the pile of garbage. Some of the new flooring installed, it may be hard to tell where your hardwood floors come from, without a lot of research.  Some overseas manufacturers have much lower environmental standards and sustainable logging practices are not a concern.
While this may help lower the price, this has a major impact on the worldwide environment but also the environment of your own home. We know you are concerned about the environment now and for future generations, so why not extend that to what goes in your own home!

Loba Impact Oils – 0% VOC

So what do you do if you have hardwood floors that are worn or out of date? We offer the option of refinishing your hardwood floors. With this practice, the environmental impact is much less. We remove as little as possible of your existing hardwood floors and then we build it up through the use of low VOC stain and finish coats. We are committed to always offering you the best options for your health that also have great durability and longevity for your hardwood floors.

The bonus of the refinishing process is that you can have a direct impact on how your flooring looks. The choices that you can make for regarding the colour of your floor are almost endless so we can really tap into what you want your home to look like!
So if your hardwood floors are looking out of date, within a few days we can get them looking modern again, and you can have a hand in the finished product.

Stain samples

Also, if you need to install new hardwood floors we can help you choose the best option for your home. We do our best to offer flooring from mills that are conscious of their environmental impact. Whether that’s an engineered or solid hardwood floor, we want you to love your floors for decades! We would not want you to go through all the inconvenience that come with a renovation, and then have to go through it again with ripping up your floors every few years. I know that may seem far off, but the years seem to fly by.

Contact us today, about your hardwood flooring project, and you may be surprised by the options available to you.

Moisture & your hardwood floors

Crowns are for your head, not your floors.

Recently I refinished a hardwood floor that previously had moisture issues that were not corrected properly, and it got me thinking about this subject.

The floor in question was crowned, where the center of every board bulges up.

hardwood floors

When the house was first built there was a moisture issue of some kind.  The floor then cupped, because the boards would swell from the intake of moisture, and then edges push against each other.  So the builder fixed the moisture issue and got the floor refinished, soon after.

Where I believe the issue happened was that the floor was refinished too soon.  The floor didn’t have time to stabilize the moisture content and lay back down.  So when they sanded it, it looked flat, but when the moisture stabilized later, the process of sanding had taken too much wood off the edges, so now the centers of the hardwood floor had more material and was crowned.

If they had left it longer and let the wood stabilize more, then refinished it, it would have been a flat floor.

This is not the only way your hardwood floor can get crowned.  If there is a difference in moisture within the board, this can happen as well.

Since this moisture issue was well in the past and the it had been stable for a long time, with our refinishing we were able to get the floor nice and flat.

Before&After maple hardwood floor

This was not the only reason the homeowner decided to get their floors refinished, as it was worn and due for an update.  We were  able to get a nice bright custom stain colour that opened up the space and that homeowners were very happy with.

The proper steps must be followed so the issues can be corrected once and for all.  This starts even before install, with proper moisture readings of the space and of the wood.  Allowing the floor to acclimate to the new environment is key.  Proper moisture control during and after install is very important as well.

So this was a good reminder that care needs to be taken with all aspects of a hardwood floor install and refinish.  From proper acclimatization,  and knowing the full history of the floor.

If you want anymore info on our services, contact Evergreen Hardwood Floors today.

Floors as unique as you are!

At Evergreen we finish a variety of floors and work with customers who have a variety of tastes and preference. We wanted to take some time and let you know about our favorite high quality products and how we can make your floors look as unique as you like.

 Loba – On Top!

Loba is the only German medium sized company producing only hardwood finish. Thus the quality is just there.

When the project calls for a finish on top of the floor we use their waterborne finish and sealer. Loba produces a superior product designed for commercial grade wear and tear yet affordable for households alike.  They are also low VOC or solvent, so they are non-toxic for you and your family.  They also dry fast so you can get moved back in sooner!

I love to use these products because they consistently look great and hold up well.  You will love them for the same reasons.

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Loba also makes a line of penetrating oils.  These are oils meant to be worked into the wood so the protection is IN the wood flooring, as opposed to on top with a water based finish.   This leaves your floor looking and feeling very natural and real.

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The depth of colour and grain from the floor is unique from any other floor finish.  It enhances the natural look and feel of any hardwood floor.  There are many options as well for the colour you may want.

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You can also create a layering effect with these penetrating oils, where you can have a base coat of one colour then a topcoat of a contrasting colour.

Loba Impact Oils
Loba Impact Oils

Also you can combine with a different water based stains and dyes. This is something unique to penetrating oils.   With Loba, depending on the exact finish system then you can top coat them with their water based finishes, if wanted.

I love the customization available, and you can find something truly unique for your home.

As you can tell there are many options for your home.

What are your thoughts? Have you found similar results or had any good/bad experiences with any of these? We are interested in your feedback. Leave a comment below and tell us your story!

10 Differences between Solid, Engineered and Laminate

One of the most important parts of flooring installation is deciding what type of hardwood is right for you. Before choosing solid wood, engineered wood, or laminate flooring it’s crucial to look at all the facts, so I have compiled the following list showing 10 differences in types of hardwood.

Click to navigate to a specific section:

Solid Hardwood

Engineered Hardwood

Laminate Hardwood

Solid Hardwood Floor:

Manufacturing:

It’s a bit more complicated than chop tree, saw planks, and nail down but roughly that is the point. Solid wood floors are typically comprised of a plank of wood with ‘tongue and groove’  sidesThese sides are used to interlock each plank with another.

Eco-Friendly:

Solid hardwood floors are 100% wood and all natural so they are extremely eco-friendly.

Stability:

Because it’s a natural product, hardwood flooring expands and contracts in response to seasonal change.

Characteristics:

The main characteristic of solid flooring is that it responds to air humidity variations. Also, solid hardwood emits a warm, classic, and inordinately valuable sense to a home.

Maintenance:

Solid hardwood floors are among the easiest to keep clean. The main things to do are: keep floor mats at entrances, wipe up an spills ASAP, don’t use oil soaps, use felt contacts on furniture, sweep and dry dust mop regularly.

Durability:

Both solid and engineered hardwood floors are very durable. Surface wear depends more on the finish of the flooring rather than on whether it’s solid or engineered.

Plank Size:

Since solid wood is more sensitive to moisture the plank size shouldn’t exceed 4¼”-5” wide. However, the exact size depends on the finish as well.

Appearance:

The appearance of solid hardwood flooring depends on many things such as wood species, specific grain and, of course, the stain you choose.

Installation:

Before installation the finished planks should sit in your home for a period of time to acclimate. To learn more about acclimation and why its very important click here. Afterwards, solid wood should be installed on or above grade and should be nailed down or stapled down. At Evergreen, we mainly focus on solid wood installation both for the quality and longevity of the product.

Engineered Hardwood Floor:

 

Manufacturing:

It all begins with 2-5 thin sheets of wood being laminated together in opposite directions (Cross-ply construction). Since engineered wood floors are comprised of several layers the finish of the top/visible layer can be completely different than the other layers.

Eco-Friendly:

As long as the adhesives used to bond the layers are non-toxic, engineered floors can be equally eco-friendly to solid hardwood.

Stability:

The advantage of cross-ply construction is that the layers of engineered floors counteract each other so seasonal changes are less of a problem.

Characteristics:

Engineered wood flooring has many of the same characteristics of solid flooring, except it maintains stability through seasonal humidity variations.

Maintenance:

The maintenance of engineered hardwood is the same as solid hardwood flooring.

Durability:

Both solid and engineered hardwood floors are very durable. Surface wear depends more on the finish of the flooring rather than on whether it’s solid or engineered.

Plank Size:

Engineered wood’s stability allow for a wider plank.

Appearance:

Since the top layer of engineered flooring is made of real wood there is virtually no difference from solid hardwood.

Installation:

Depending on construction, nail down, glue down or floating methods may be used.

Laminate Hardwood Floor:

Manufacturing:

With laminate flooring there are 4 basic layers: the balancing layer, the core layer, the pattern layer, and the wear layer. All layers are combined in a high-pressure, high-heat process to press them together. Once pressed they are cooled, and stacked and stored to acclimate.

Eco-Friendly:

Laminate flooring’s appearance is a high-definition photograph that provides the desired look without felling a tree, this being said, laminate flooring vary in glue and other bonding materials used that are not always eco-friendly.

Stability:

Laminate flooring does not expand or contract since it is not a natural product and so isn’t effected by seasonal changes. However, excessive moisture is still not good for it.

Characteristics:

Laminate floors are impact, scratch, and stain resistant.

Maintenance:

Do not use steam cleaners or wet mops on laminate floor. Use a damp cloth to blot up spills, and use nail polish remover on a clean cloth for tough spots.

Durability:

Laminate resists scratches, moisture, and wear and tear.

Plank Size:

There is no standard size for laminate flooring, every manufacturer produces dimensions based on product lines and plank styles.

Appearance:

Because laminate is made up of images of wood planks it may not look as close to the real thing, however laminate has come a long way over the years.

Installation:

Laminate is a fairly easy installation as it is installed using floating methods and can be laid down in almost any area of the home.

 

CONCLUSION

The best value is with having a solid hardwood floor.  The durability and longevity, is hard to beat, they can last the life of your home.  When it comes to pricing there are many factors including plank size, cost of materials, glues, and installation method.

Contact us for a free estimate on your hardwood flooring needs!

Tools of the hardwood flooring professional

Tools of the hardwood flooring trade

I wanted to provide a little insight into my trade after going to see a client who tried to refinish his own floors with some rented equipment.  Some things are fairly DIY safe but some are a little more complicated.  I liken it to car maintenance.  I have no formal training, but I do have wrenches, screwdrivers, and Youtube, so I can do oil changes and basic maintenance but should I take apart my transmission? That is a recipe for disaster, trust me.

Our friend finally gave up after about 2 1/2 days on his living room, and still not getting the results he wanted.  As a professional with the proper equipment, in that timeframe I would have already been finished that clients hardwood, and he would have his house back in order.

So just how does a professional belt sander help?  I’ll explain.

First, what do I use? I have a professional hardwood flooring sander that is called the Bona Belt or Big Momma as I like to call it. 

Hardwood floor refinishing
Refinishing an oak hardwood floor with a professional sander

It’s from Sweden and runs like a top.  It removes that old finish with ease and gets your floors nice and flat.  There are many different types of professional belt sander, they all look fairly similar, and one that is properly tuned up will do a great job.  I do proper maintenance, replace parts when needed and keep it free and clean of built up dust.

The rental machines are usually in pretty rough shape.  Kinda like a rental car or your own personal car.  Which one will you take better care of?

A sander that has been taken care of will run better and give you better performance, just like your car. This will affect how your hardwood floor will look.  A sander that has not been taken care of can leave an uneven floor which will not look good in any light, this is important.

Hardwood floor refinishing
You can see divots and stains left that this rental sander cannot get out.

The main difference between a pro and a rental is the power and weight. 

All pros should use 220V power, from your electric stove or dryer outlets.  That gives it the juice to power through all the tough coatings.  A rental sander uses 110V, which is from a normal outlet in your room.The other big difference is the weight.  The rental sander usually top out at 100 lbs, while my professional sander is around 200 lbs.  So that gives it the weight to  really bite into the floor and start removing those old coatings with ease and get your floor nice and flat.  This is important because if you don’t get it flat now it wont look as good when the finish goes on.

Hardwood floor refinishing
Another common type of rental floor sander, you can see the difference in size as compared to a professional sander.

Another big difference between pro equipment and rentals is the sandpaper. You may think that sandpaper is sandpaper, it all does the same thing.  I used to think the same way, but, some paper is better than others, especially for difficult floors.  A lot of new floors are coated with an aluminum oxide.  This can be difficult to remove with a smaller sander, with the wrong sandpaper.  You have to get very aggressive with it at the beginning.  But with a sandpaper that has been specifically designed to remove these finishes, it makes sure that the job will be a lot easier and faster.  Overall the floor will look better as well, because you didn’t have to get so aggressive with it, so there will be less scratches.

So those are the main differences in the types of sanding machines available.  One you can rent for yourself from a big box store, and use up your weekends working away.  Or you can hire one from us, Evergreen Hardwood Floors, that even comes with a hardwood flooring professional, with all the experience needed to do a quality job on your floor, and you can get your home back sooner.

Contact Evergreen Hardwood Floors if you would like to know more about our hardwood floor refinishing services.