This is a question I hear a lot from clients. Most of the time people are worried about refinishing being a dusty, smelly and toxic project in their home. There’s been many stories from the past of clouds of dust filling your home. Smelly toxic finishes being applied that fill your home with noxious fumes and force you out of your home. Also because of the off gassing these finishes were known to make you stay out of your home for long stretches of time so you couldn’t move back in for a week after. These are all a thing of the past.
Let’s talk about some advancements made in floor refinishing.
A vacuum is attached to every sander that will be on your floor. These catch 95%-98% of the dust
We vacuum the floor multiple times throughout the day
While vacuum systems are becoming more standard, what isn’t as well known is how well they work. They capture about 95% to 98% of the dust created from the sanders. Of course that means they do not catch 100% of the dust. So we vacuum the floors multiple times a day to capture any dust left on the floor. We can also put up some plastic around some sensitive sections, although this practice is hardly needed anymore. So those dust storms from refinishing you may have heard about are a thing of the past. We also do a final clean up and wipe down of any excessive dust from the project.
Advanced floor finishes
Non toxic, no more nasty fumes
The industry has definitely heard the client loud and clear and non toxic durable finishes are at the forefront. There are many options to choose from but it seems the standard now a days is water based finishes. You can get single component are two component finish if extreme durability is your need. These are all low VOC, non toxic and low odor. Also since they are water based they dry and cure much faster than finishes from the past.
So what you get are finishes that won’t stink up your home for a long amount of time and you can move your furniture back into place much quicker.
So through a few meaningful changes there has been a lot of progress made. The clouds of dust that find their way into every nook and cranny of your home are non existent nowadays. Your home being filled toxic fumes and not being able to be in your home for a week are long gone.
The truth is that with vacuum systems and water based finishes, you can live in home through out the whole project. Like any renovation project it will be nosy and somewhat inconvenient, so you may choose to leave your home but I never tell my clients that they have to leave. At the end your floors will look like new and you’ll have made a good investment into your home.
Anyone who is into interior design knows about hardwood flooring. They have always been popular, and they are here to stay. Modern homes seem incomplete without them, and more and more homeowners are upgrading their flooring to wood flooring.
Besides being timeless and elegant, these floors are an easy option for taking your interior design up a notch. They enhance the appearance of a home and look exquisite. Plus, they are pretty low-maintenance, too.
This article will unveil a total of eight reasons why hardwood flooring has taken interior designing by storm, but first, let’s have a little introduction.
What Are Hardwood Floors?
Usually, hardwood floorings use oak, maple, walnut, mahogany, hickory, ash, or other wood species since they are all pretty rigid and elegant. These are all slow-growing trees and hence develop a high degree of hardness that gives them their durability.
A skilled contractor will use suitable materials for their installation to combine wood planks and give the desired look. And talking of looks, hardwood floorings come in two basic shades:
Maple and oak are lightly colored woods and give very modern and minimalistic vibes to a décor. They brighten up the space and pair exceptionally well with sleek and contemporary furniture. Furthermore, they camouflage dust and scratches, making them ideal for families with kids or pets.
Dark flooring gives a rustic look, and designers usually recommend heavier and chunkier furniture with them. Hickory is the toughest of all dark flooring hardwoods. Walnut, mahogany, cherry are also excellent alternatives.
8 Reasons Why Hardwood Flooring Is So Popular
And now to answer the burning question. Why are hardwood floorings the must have for so many homes? Why do we rarely see any other kind of floor in modern homes now?
Whether someone buys a home for the first time or wants to redecorate their property, hardwood floorings are now almost compulsory. So, here are the top eight reasons that seem to increase their fame amongst homeowners.
They Look So Chic
There’s hardly any house where hardwood floorings look bad. They give the whole space an incredibly chic and modern look. With the natural wood texture and several shades of brown, white, and yellow in a single plank, these floorings are a sure-shot way of making a fine first impression of a designer’s skills.
Plus, there are a thousand wood species, colors, and textures to play with to achieve an interior design masterpiece. So any homeowners looking to revamp their décor, hardwood floorings are a shortcut to show poise!
2. They Go With Almost Any Theme
Scandinavian, modern, rustic, nautical, or vintage, there’s a type of wood that goes with every home décor theme a homeowner wants to try.
Lighter hardwood usually couples with modern, nautical, contemporary, and similar themes. In contrast, the darker shades are more suitable for a rustic look.
Moreover, their versatility allows experimenting with the home decor, furniture, curtains, and other accessories every once in a while. Their natural look doesn’t clash with any combination.
3. They Require Minimal Maintenance
What contributes the most to making these hardwood floors so famous among most homeowners is that they require very little care and maintenance. They usually only need a sweep, a vacuum cleaner, or a mop for cleaning and don’t need any hard scrubbing as carpets do.
Plus, they take spills, scratches, and moisture pretty well and are not easily damaged. Now that’s not something a lot of flooring styles can provide. Tiles, for instance, are somewhat fragile and hard to change once you don’t like the colour or style.. On the other hand, carpets are hard to clean and mostly retain stains even after a thorough cleaning. So if someone wants their flooring to last long without putting a lot of effort, hardwood flooring is the way to go.
4. They Are Economical
What? Now that’s something new!
No, hardwood is not the cheapest flooring option to go for, but it is undoubtedly economical in the longer run. Installing these floors will save maintenance costs since they don’t need much. Then, these floors are pretty rough and tough and can last a good amount of years. So there’s no chance of having to change them every few years. Lastly, even when they start wearing off their finish, they only need a touch-up or refinishing, not the whole replacement.
5. They’re An Investment
When people opt for hardwood flooring, they think of them as an investment in their house. When the said person wants to sell the house, they add the initial installation cost with a margin to benefit the house’s total cost.
Usually, homes with hardwood floors have more net worth than those without them. People also tend to like and buy houses with hardwood floorings. So they are a terrific way of adding value to one’s property.
6. They Can Change Colors
Yep, that’s right! A hardwood floor can easily change its color by simply being refinished. A homeowner has to hire a trustworthy contractor and let them know of their color in mind. The contractor will sand the floors and refinish them with the color and texture of choice.
So even after years of installing them, these floors can still be the most trending color.
7. They Affect A Room’s Vibe
An interior decorator can easily play with the feelings and vibes by adding a suitable shade of wooden flooring. Looking for a bright and lit-up room? Use a light, pale shade of wood. Want a cozy and snug feeling space? Install darker wooden planks with a warm hue.
Since the floor is the most visible surface of a room, it is bound to have the most effect on its appearance.
8. They Fit Into Many Color Palettes
Whether a designer prefers a neutral palette of whites and grays or likes bright contrasting shades of yellows and blues, the wood floors will complement any color. They can lay low and let the furniture or accessories shine through the space or be the most striking piece of the whole area. It all depends upon the designer’s imagination and skills.
They can shift the focus to the most artistic piece of design, whether it’s the flooring itself or some accessory in the room.
Methods Of Installation
There are tons of online tutorials for doing it yourself; however, hardwood floors are tricky to install and usually require the skills of an experienced professional. They are attached to the subfloor in one of the following methods;
The wood planks are nailed directly to the sub floor.
Flooring is attached to the sub floor with a full spread of glue. Glue is standard for engineered hardwood floor installation.
Glue and nail
This method is used at times depending on the width of the flooring boards, and if recommended by the manufacturer.
Nothing keeps the wood attached to the floor beneath; instead, only the wood board is glued together and placed in the room. Usually, a layer of padding lies between the floor and the wood to fill up the hollow space that traps moisture and produces unnecessary noise.
Modern interior designing trends and typical choices of homeowners have put hardwood floorings on top of the flooring choices across most homeowners. It is hard to find a modern house that doesn’t have a wooden floor.
These are easy to install, quick to clean, and effortless to maintain. And on top of that, they look phenomenal in almost every decor setting.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.