Tag Archives: Hardwood floors

Health benefits to having hardwood floors

Hardwood flooring never goes out of style. Since 1885, it continues to flourish in designing homes and establishments!

There are millions of reasons why you definitely want to choose hardwood flooring. First, they add elegance, charm and classic vibes in your home interiors. The natural colors and beautiful marks on the wood planks create this unique and inviting appeal to the eyes. Second, it requires low maintenance. Because hardwood floors are sealed with protective layers of finish, they are more stain resistant. Cleaning will never be easier! Third, they are sustainable. What better way of helping the environment than to cut emissions and support sustainable development? Wood flooring uses less water and are fit for recycling when being replaced. It definitely steps up the fight towards a greener environment.

red oak hardwood flooring
Red oak hardwood flooring ready to be installed

While there is a great number of reasons why we prefer hardwood floors, there is also a great number of health benefits in choosing it!

They improve indoor air quality.

Hardwood floors are carbon-neutral products. They are designed to take action in removing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Increasing carbon dioxide emissions is one of the rising human problems today. It continues to intensify as fossil fuel and other modern industries continue to flourish. With this detrimental problem, we humans can do something.

Even if hardwood floors are already manufactured, they continue to store up carbon during their service lives. Products which absorbs carbon from the air is a great help to maintain the balance between carbon and oxygen in the atmosphere. This can help in creating a good air quality. Instead of investing in carpets and other types of flooring which adds up to carbon emissions and bad air quality, wise buyers can lean on to hardwood flooring.

Research also shows that hardwood flooring greatly reduce the accumulation of toxins that improves indoor air quality. You are not only investing into a sound home, you are also investing to a greener environment. Cheers to going green and quality indoor air!

Hardwood flooring do not harbor allergens and microorganisms.

Allergens and harmful substances are found everywhere. They exist outdoors and indoors, affecting many people every day. While we can’t totally control allergens existing outdoors, we can minimize the presence of indoor allergens. Choosing hardwood floors is one of the best options. Wood floors decrease the accumulation of allergens over time because of the absence of fibers that traps substances. That’s why they’re known as “hypoallergenic”. This type of flooring can play a significant part in the lives of people who are infected with allergies and asthma.

According to Asthma UK, there are 5.4 million people with asthma in the UK, which means asthma affects one in every 11 people and one in five households. Every 10 seconds someone is having a potentially life-threatening asthma attack in the UK. Every day, the lives of three families are devastated by the death of a loved one due to an asthma attack. The situation is dire indeed but two thirds of these deaths are preventable.

On the other hand, asthma affects more than 24 million people in the U.S. – including more than 6 million children as reported by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

See, if we create better decisions in designing our homes, we can get away with severe and infuriating illnesses. So if you have thought of carpets as the best type of flooring, it is advisable to think again.

It attracts less dust and bacteria.

Researchers and scientists report that the exposure of children to microbes in the outdoors establishes stronger and more robust immune system in young children. A lot of people actually believe in this but what they tend to overlook is that overexposure to germs and bacteria will cost the health of a young one. Still and all, overexposure to bacteria and germs can lead to infections and diseases.

Loba Impact Oils

As much as we love to keep track of our kid’s hygiene, we also need to keep track of their environment. Creating a healthy and safe home is one secret to a healthy and happy family. This is supported by the fact that hardwood flooring does not collect huge pack of dusts and bacteria unlike carpets and other types of flooring.

When you have kids at home, it is very important to invest in a good type of flooring. Kids being kids, crawl their way out to anywhere. Kids also like to play in wide spaces like floors and backyards. Hence, they are exposed to a multifold number of dusts, bacteria, and irritants. Kids also like to suck their thumbs. Think of all those germs and bacteria being sucked by kids. They are literally covered with microbes when playing.

Hardwood flooring aside from being easier to clean, is also more resistant to dusts and other particles. It is a more sanitary option compared to other flooring types. So if you care for your kids and their health, hardwood flooring is the best option for you.

They are proven low in VOC finishes and adhesives.

Volatile organic compounds or VOCs are gases that are harmful to humans. Some health effects include eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, loss of coordination and nausea. They are found in paints, sprays, supplies, preservatives and many more manufactured products. These pose danger to human health.

The good news is that hardwood flooring is proven low in VOC finishes and adhesives. Hardwood flooring compared to other types of flooring like carpets, linoleum and vinyl flooring was found to have very minimal amounts of volatile organic compounds. It does not only prevent you from acquiring adverse illnesses, low VOC content also aids in creating better indoor air quality.

Protect your family with a health-friendly flooring!

“Design is a private, intimate process and you have to embrace the many twists and turns it takes to create an exciting, inspiring, but ultimately livable space”
– Kit Kemp

A good-looking home without proper home interiors is a lost in the long run. Choosing Hardwood flooring can assure a happy and healthy home for you and your loved ones!

7 reasons hardwood floors increase your homes value

7 Reasons Hardwood Floors Increase Home Value Compared to Vinyl and Laminate

There are a lot of factors in the value of the home. How big is it? Does it have a fireplace? Is it well maintained? Does it have a sizable backyard for the kids and pets to play in? All of these make a big difference in the value of a home.

And, one of the most important factors is right underneath your feet: hardwood flooring. Just think about it. Natural hardwood floors provide warmth, age, uniqueness, and style to all the central living spaces in your house. They draw attention from any potential homebuyer. Plus, for those who just want to add a piece of luxury to the home, hardwood flooring is where it’s at in home renovations!

So why don’t people switch to hardwood floors?
Unfortunately, most homeowners hesitate when it comes to the price tag. And when there are cheaper flooring options like vinyl and laminate out there that can mimic the aesthetic of hardwood flooring without the price, why make the investment?

But remember, it’s an INVESTMENT that’ll do wonders for increasing your home’s total value when you decide to sell. Just to prove it, here are 7 reasons hardwood floors increase home value when you’re renovating or selling your home!

Stain samples

7 Solid Reasons to Install Hardwood Floors

 

1. Nothing Compares to Natural Hardwood!
Technology has come a long way, but there’s nothing like natural aesthetics. Hardwood floors come from the trees of the earth. The beauty of the wood helps us stay in touch with the natural world. Every plank is one-of-a-kind, rich in beauty, and full of life.

On the other hand, vinyl and laminate flooring are man-made, artificially produced from synthetic materials like compressed petroleum and fiberboard. They’re made to mimic the look and feel of hardwood, but they can’t replace what we know and love from Mother Earth herself.

2. Every Hardwood Floor is Unique in Design & Texture
Another beauty of hardwood flooring comes from the unique texture and design. There are so many species of trees available for hardwood flooring! You can choose the plank width, pattern, texture, stain color, and more—so you have endless options when it comes to the looks, the price point, and the durability of your floors.

Vinyl and laminate also come in a variety of designs to compete with popular hardwood varieties. However, it is just an image or design. It may be comparable from a distance, but most people can distinguish between the real thing and a fake in a home.

3. Hardwood Floors Can Last Several Generations
Just like in nature, hardwood can last for several generations. Some homes from as far back as the 1800s still have glorious hardwood floorings that have only become more beautiful with age. And with proper maintenance and refurbishing, most hardwood floors can last a hundred or so years before needing to be replaced.

When you compare that to vinyl and laminate flooring, there’s just no contest. These cheaper alternatives can only last 5-10 years before needing to be replaced. They’re not made to sustain years of use and abuse. So, you’ll be paying more over the long haul if you expect to keep the home for many years to come.

4. Hardwoods Can Resist Damage and Maintain High Durability
This will ultimately depend on what species of wood you decide to use for your home. Certain woods like oak, maple and cherry are preferred because they are more impact resistant. But if you decide to go with a more exotic variety, then you may have to sacrifice durability for appearance. But in any case, you can refinish your floors to get them as good as new.

Vinyl and laminate often have a protective coating to prevent the surface from getting scuffed and scratched like hardwood. However, the coating isn’t as impact resistant. So once that coating is breached from a hard fall or scrape, you can’t undo the damage.

5. Home Renovations are Easy with Hardwoods
The most rewarding benefit of including hardwood floor to the interior design of your home is how easy it is to refurbish and refinish it. Hardwood flooring keeps its aesthetic even after you sand it down and add a new finish to it. So, even if it gets scuffed and scratched over the years, you can always repair it.

You can’t achieve the same effect with vinyl or laminate. Their hardwood design stays at the surface level. So once that becomes damaged beyond repair, it’s going to cost you a whole new floor to fix.

6. Stay Environmentally Friendly with Hardwood Floor Installation
Hardwood floors come from a reusable material—trees! Wood is biodegradable and won’t harm the environment if you discard it. It is also non-toxic and won’t off-gas any harmful chemicals into your home. Modern manufacturers produce wood in a sustainable, eco-friendly way.

The opposite can be said for vinyl and laminate flooring. Because they come from synthetic building materials, they don’t break down naturally as waste. They will fill up landfills for centuries to come. And worst of all, they can even give off volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can harm family, pets and the environment!

7. Guests and Future Home Buyers Can Tell the Difference!
And finally, no matter how much you try to replicate the look and feel of hardwood flooring, people will always tell the difference. Future homebuyers will always be willing to pay more for all-natural wood floors. It has so much more value attached to it both aesthetically and monetarily.

Vinyl and laminate may look great overall, and they do have their own benefits. However, they do next to nothing to increase the value of your home. In fact, they might even lower its net worth on the market!

Get New or Refinish your Hardwood Flooring
Looking for hardwood floor installation or refinishing? If you need an experienced, reliable crew in the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver area, Evergreen Hardwood Floors is here to help.

Get ahold of our contractors today at (604) 557-6738. Plus, you can follow our blog to learn other tips and tricks for your next home renovations project!

Hire a pro, it’s worth it!

Why you need to hire a pro

Just imagine that you have decided to rip out the old carpet or laminate in your home and install some nice hardwood floors.  You go through the process of finding and choosing a floor that you like.  Then you go through another process of choosing someone to install the floor.  Now you are really looking forward to the finished product!

hardwood flooring
What you expect

But you look around and notice a few mistakes in the install, some attempts to hide them, and then a few more and what is with that big hump in the middle of the living room! Uh oh!

Recently I had the (dis)pleaseasure of taking a look at a floor just like I’m describing,  it was clearly not done by professionals.

I’ll show you some pictures from the floor and describe what you are seeing.

Here they used filler to “hide” some gaps. Hardwood floors need expansion gaps all around the walls as the hardwood will move.  It expands and contracts as it takes in and releases moisture.  Not enough gaps will cause problems.

BUT these gaps should be covered by baseboard or mouldings.  This was not done here. They should have taken the extra time to remove the baseboards and undercut the doorway.  This would hide the needed expansion gaps and leave a clean install.

oak hardwood floors
Filler is not a substitute for craftsmanship
oak hardwood floors
SERIOUSLY?!
oak hardwood floors
Again, filler is used instead of doing a proper install

Some don’t remove the baseboards and this is perfectly fine if the flooring is installed properly.  Then the EVEN gaps are covered by a moulding.

hardwood floors
Using moulding to cover bad cuts

They tried to do that here BUT just on this one wall.  This must be done throughout the house, and the expansion gaps should be fairly even,  usually around 1/4″,  for it too look good.   What was done here was to hide some imperfections with moulding and then some with filler.  So this one wall with a shoe moulding really stood out, in a bad way.

 

A hardwood flooring install should be seamless.  Meaning there is no need for transitions, unless the hardwood is meeting another material, such as tile or carpet.  The flooring should have just continued on here, through the doorway.  Perhaps they added hardwood to this bedroom at a later date.  The solution for this would be to lace in new flooring into the existing, leaving a seamless transition. To be honest, I have no idea what anyone was thinking in the picture below.

hardwood floors
WRONG!

While it is hard to see in the picture, there was a very noticeable hump in this living room.  You may be able to tell with the light and shadows.

hardwood floors
Hump in the floor

This was due to not doing any sub floor prep. That would mean making sure the sub floor is flat and clean. Sub floor prep can make a huge improvement to any flooring installation.  Imagine walking over your newly installed floor and drastically dips into the corner of a room.  We would discuss any needed sub floor prep with you, and go over your options.

So while these examples are some of the worst work I’ve ever seen, it does highlight that fact that it is always good value to hire a pro.  Make sure that anyone you are hiring is a professional at what they do.  Flooring seems to get lumped in to a “so easy anyone can do it” category, but this post and other installs I’ve seen prove that having a professional handling your hardwood flooring project is well worth it.

So how do you do find a reputable professional?  Search online for reviews, pictures of their work, and meet with them.  Ask questions, they should be happy to answer questions you may have.

This will ensure that the work is done properly, and that it will look good for a long time.  Your floors should last as long as your home is standing.

 

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.