• Total Care For Your Hardwood Floors

    Cleaning Your Hardwood Floors

    Wood floors bring a sense of aesthetic appeal to your home that other kinds of flooring cannot, but this comes at the cost of additional maintenance requirements. For your hardwood floor to keep its appeal, you need to keep it in shape. You have to be careful when cleaning your hardwood floors so that you don’t damage your investment. The good news is that you don’t need any special wood floor cleaners to get the job done .

    You need to help your hardwood floors retain their cosmetic flair, but doing so is easy enough. Start by sweeping your floors daily, using an angled broom so dirt and debris don’t scratch up the wood. Use a small hand broom to sweep the pile into a dustpan. Pay extra attention to corners when you mop, as this is where buildup tends to occur. Dry mop your floor with a shine mop to make sure you’ve gotten all the lingering dirt and give your hardwood a nice shine.

    These videos will give you a more detailed description of how to effectively clean your hardwood floors. For professional hardwood floor deep cleaning in Phoenix, give us a call today.

     

    Create a Maintenance Timeline

    There are some tasks that you should perform on a routine basis and some that you only need to worry about on a monthly or annual basis. If you’re interested in wooden flooring, here’s some advice for creating a maintenance timeline for your floors:clean - floors

    Daily and Weekly Tasks

    There are certain tasks that you’ll have to stay on top of more than others when it comes to your hardwood floors. It’s a good idea to give your floors a nice sweep every day or so, or you could use a dust mop. You should also remember to vacuum your floors on a weekly basis. These 2 simple tasks will remove debris from your wood floors, which can help you avoid scuffs that can take away from your floor’s aesthetic appeal. Regular sweeping, dust mopping, and vacuuming can help keep your hardwood floors in shape.

    Monthly Responsibilities

    Not all maintenance responsibilities need to occur every day of the week. Every month or so, you should use a wood flooring cleaner to spruce up your flooring. If you’re wondering what kind of cleaner to use, you can always talk to your wood flooring professional. Stay away from harsh chemicals that might damage your flooring and threaten your family’s health. Safe, environmentally-friendly cleaners will keep your wood floors healthy and aesthetically pleasing.

    Occasional Duties

    Some wood floor maintenance tasks only need to be performed every couple of years. Remember to add a maintenance coat to your wood floors every 3 to 5 years. You should also have the professionals sand and refinish your flooring every couple of decades. Performing these tasks will set you up for success and help to elongate the working life of your flooring. You won’t have to deal with this kind of maintenance often, but don’t forget when the time comes.

     

    Beating Buildup on Your Wood Floors

    Buildup can take away from the aesthetic appeal of your home, and your wood floors might be at risk. If you want to conquer buildup and maintain your cosmetic appeal, use a mixture of white vinegar and warm water to regularly clean your wooden floors. All you need is a couple of capfuls of white vinegar and a couple of gallons of warm water. Be sure to mop the floor in the right direction—go along with the grain rather than against it. You should also take care of excess moisture so it doesn’t cause a mold problem.

    Wood floors in are easy to clean, but they can suffer from buildup if you don’t offer them enough maintenance. It’s not impossible to make your wooden flooring last , however, if you stay consistent with your upkeep. Check out this video clip for tips on beating buildup on wood floors.

     

    Make Your Floor Really Shine

    In addition to your weekly cleaning routine, consider scheduling a professional deep clean periodically to keep your beautiful wood floors looking like new. For some helpful tips on cleaning your floors and keeping them shiny, you can watch this featured video.

    This homeowner prefers to make her own hardwood floor cleaner solution by adding one cup of distilled white vinegar to a spray bottle, and then filling the rest of the bottle with water. Lightly spritz this natural cleanser on the floor as you mop it. About once per month, add a tablespoon of olive oil to your cleanser to keep the wooden flooring shiny and well-conditioned.

     

    How to Prevent Scratches on Your Hardwood Floors

    Many people choose hardwood flooring because it is beautiful, durable, and should last for many years. If you want to keep your wooden flooring in top shape for as long as possible, think about how you can protect it from scratches. There are a handful of ways you can do this, from using area rugs to keeping pets out of certain rooms. If you’re planning on doing some rearranging, be careful when you move your furniture. Read ahead for more tips on preventing scratches on your wood flooring.hardwood - floors

    Use Area Rugs

    Wood floors are known for their durability and hardness, but not all species of wood are equally tough. No matter how hard your wood floors are, you should do your best to protect them from scratches. Area rugs can come in handy in this case. You can place an area rug by your entranceway or mudroom, lay one across your hallway, or even use one as a centerpiece for your living room. This will break up the wear and tear and give your hardwood flooring a bit of a break, reducing the chance of scratches.

    Consider Your Pets

    Fido might be part of the family, but his nails can be harmful to your wood flooring. If you want to preserve your investment for as long as you can, consider keeping your pets off your hardwood floors. This is easier to do when only 1 or 2 rooms in the house have wood floors, and sometimes it’s not practical. If that’s the case, you should remember to clip your dog’s or cat’s nails on a regular basis to avoid scratching.

    Be Careful with Furniture

    If you’re looking to change the feeling of your living space, you might get the itch to rearrange your furniture. Be extremely careful not to drag the legs of your furniture across your hardwood flooring when you do this. Lift your tables, sofas, and armchairs, and walk them to their new location. It’s also a good idea to put furniture pads on the bottom of the legs so they don’t dig into your floors.

    How Pet Owners Can Protect Their Wood Flooring

    Wood floors are an investment that future generations will enjoy. They’re also incredibly durable, but if you have pets, you’ll need to take some extra precautions to prevent lasting damage from urine stains and scratches.

    pet - floor

    Clean pet messes as quickly as possible.

    Your hardwood floor is protected by a coat of finish that can resist some exposure to moisture like pet urine. If you can wipe up puddles promptly, you shouldn’t notice any lasting damage to the planks. Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible to catch a pet in the act of urinating inside. If you come across a puddle that might have been there for a while, wipe up what you can and then spray the area with vinegar to neutralize the ammonia and prevent further damage.

    Replace damaged planks.

    If you don’t notice dog or cat urine right away, and it remains on the floor, it will become increasingly corrosive. The urine will corrode the finish and reach the wood itself. This can cause more serious damage that requires professional repair services. In many cases, it’s possible for a flooring contractor to extract individual sections of the floor that have sustained permanent damage. The contractor can then add new planks that match the surrounding floor.

    Trim your pet’s toenails regularly.

    Scratches and deeper gouges in the floor are other common concerns of pet parents with hardwood floors. Perhaps the most effective way to prevent significant damage is to keep your pet’s toenails trimmed. It can be tricky to trim an energetic cat’s nails. Consider taking your kitty to the vet for regular trims. Don’t forget about trimming the nails of small animals like rabbits and guinea pigs, as they need plenty of exercise outside their cages.

    Place area rugs and mats in strategic locations.

    Place some large mats at entrances, and position area rugs in places where your dog or cat regularly runs. If your dog runs to the front door to greet you, place a runner in the hall.

    Refinish and recoat the floors.

    If scratches do accumulate on your floor, you can schedule professional refinishing and recoating. Ask the contractor to use a tough finish that offers some resistance to your pet’s nails.

    When you talk to a flooring contractor, discuss your concerns. He or she will help you find the best flooring choices for your family.

     

    Reviving Your Hardwood Floors with Recoating

    Hardwood flooring might be the most beautiful aspect of your interior design. If you want to keep it alive and well for as long as possible, you might want to consider recoating your hardwood. This can be a quick process that improves the value of your home, and it can even make your household healthier and safer for you and your family. Continue to find out what you need to know about reviving hardwood floors with recoating.wood - floors

    The Time It Takes

    As appealing as hardwood floors can be, they won’t last forever. Fortunately, recoating your wood floors doesn’t take long at all. You can even recoat your wood flooring in as little as a day’s time. This can be a great convenience if you need to get your flooring back into shape for an upcoming party or gathering. If you’re wondering how long it will take to revive your hardwood floors, make sure to talk to the experts and let them know about your needs. A 1-day recoat process can be especially convenient if you’re trying to sell your home over a short period of time.

    How It Helps Your Home

    Having beautiful wood flooring is important, but you should also make sure your floors are safe. When you use the right type of finish, you can rest assured that your wood floor will hold onto its color and revitalize the look of your space. Certain types of finishes can even dry in just a couple of days, allowing you to start enjoying your new flooring as soon as possible.

    Protection of Your Health

    Reviving your hardwood floors with recoating can be great for the aesthetics of your house, but it can help to bolster your health as well. You don’t even necessarily need to leave the area when your wood flooring experts come to refinish your floors. This can be extremely helpful, especially if you have young children or pets. Recoating your wood floor doesn’t produce many VOCs, so you shouldn’t have much to worry about when you revitalize your living space. Contact us today for professional floor recoating in Phoenix.

  • A Look at the Benefits of Professional Hardwood Deep Cleaning

    When you have hardwood floors in Phoenix, daily cleaning can keep them looking great in the short term, but over the years, dirt and debris can build up and make your floors look dull. Fortunately, professional hardwood deep cleaning can revive your floors and make them look like new.

    Professional hardwood cleaning removes the dirt and debris that ends up deep within your wood floors that you can’t clean away with your usual cleaning routine. During this day-long process, a team of wood flooring professionals will strip away the contaminants that are affecting the appearance of your floors to restore their shine. Cleaning is done with non-toxic, water-based products, so they are safe for your family as well as your wood flooring. Having periodic professional hardwood deep cleaning services will extend the life of your flooring and ensure it looks its best for many years to come.

    Professional hardwood deep cleaning can revive your floors

  • How Traditional Floor Refinishing Compromises Your Health

    Homeowners in Phoenix often choose hardwood flooring because carpeting can harbor dust mites. Carpeting is also difficult to thoroughly clean, which is problematic for homeowners with pets or children. For these reasons, wood flooring is healthier, although there are potential risks with traditional wood floor refinishing. Heavy-duty floor sanders can effectively scrub out scratches, but the airborne particles that result from the process can compromise your respiratory health.

    Some people suffer allergic reactions upon breathing in airborne wood particles. The dust can also trigger asthma attacks, especially if the wood flooring is comprised of Western red cedar planks. The wood dust can get into the eyes, causing irritation and more serious eye injuries, like corneal abrasions. If there are substantial quantities of wood dust, it can even contribute to house fires and explosions. For these reasons, consider looking for a professional floor refinisher who can use a dust containment unit. These systems virtually eliminate airborne wood dust in your home.

    Hardwood flooring is far easier to clean compared to traditional floor finishing like carpeting

  • Comparing Engineered and Vinyl Plank Wood Flooring

    When it’s time to choose new flooring for your home, there are plenty of options to consider. It’s hard to beat genuine hardwood flooring because of its aesthetic appeal, longevity, and home resale value. But if you’re interested in keeping the cost down, you can still get the look of real wood with either engineered hardwood floors or vinyl plank flooring. Talk to a flooring contractor about your preferences. Engineered hardwood floors or vinyl plank flooring is cheaper and gives the look of real wood

    Materials and Construction

    The first notable differences between engineered hardwood floors and vinyl planks are their composition. Engineered wood is manufactured in layers. High-quality plywood usually comprises the core, with a layer of real wood veneer on top. Because the plank isn’t completely hardwood, it’s less of an investment than 100% real hardwood floors. Vinyl plank floors are manufactured from colored PVC chips. The manufacturer can create planks of varying thicknesses, colors, and patterns. Vinyl floors have come a long way over the years. Luxury vinyl is thicker, looks genuine, and even sports a texture that can mimic the feel of real wood.

    Beauty and Versatility

    Engineered wood and vinyl planks are comparable in terms of aesthetic appeal. Visit a flooring showroom to see which material you prefer. You can find either material in varying shades from light to dark. Their versatility is similar, as well. However, because engineered planks do contain some real hardwood, they are susceptible to the effects of humidity and temperature fluctuations, just like solid hardwood. Vinyl planks, on the other hand, are completely resistant to moisture, and will not expand and contract with temperature changes. This makes them an ideal choice for renovating bathrooms and kitchens, and for finishing basements.

    Softness and Hardness

    Thanks to the top layer of real wood, engineered planks will have a similar hardness and resistance as solid hardwood. Vinyl planks are slightly softer and bouncier. This isn’t a significant difference—you probably wouldn’t notice it if you walk on a vinyl floor for just a few minutes. But if you’re spending all day chasing after your kids, your feet will appreciate the slight “give” of vinyl planks.

  • Making Hardwood Floors Shine

    Hardwood floors add character to homes, and they’re very easy to care for. In addition to your weekly cleaning routine, consider scheduling a professional deep clean periodically to keep your beautiful wood floors looking like new. For some helpful tips on cleaning your floors and keeping them shiny, you can watch this featured video and read our comprehensive article on how to care for your hardwood floors.

    This homeowner prefers to make her own hardwood floor cleaner solution by adding one cup of distilled white vinegar to a spray bottle, and then filling the rest of the bottle with water. Lightly spritz this natural cleanser on the floor as you mop it. About once per month, add a tablespoon of olive oil to your cleanser to keep the wooden flooring shiny and well-conditioned.

  • Increase Your Peace and Quiet with Cork Flooring

    Everybody deserves to enjoy their rest and relaxation when they come home from a long day of work, and many people need peace and quiet in order to do so. If it’s time for a new floor installation and you’d like a flooring material that can help you stay in your happy place, consider cork flooring in Phoenix. Unlike hardwood flooring, cork flooring is extremely quiet. Keep reading to see how you can increase your peace and quiet when you go with cork flooring.

    Cork is a unique material in that much of its composition is made of air. This means that it has natural noise reduction properties, which can make it the perfect choice when it comes to enjoying a quiet home. Cork flooring comes in tiles and planks, and it can be used in just about any room in the house. Every step that you take on your cork planks or tiles will be muted, and even a coffee mug falling from your hand to the floor will be all but silent on impact. The soft and comfortable texture of the cork will also contribute to your peace, and you can expect each step you take to be quiet.

    Unlike hardwood flooring, cork flooring has natural noise reduction properties

  • Stomp Out These Myths About Engineered Wood Flooring

    You can’t believe everything you hear, which is why you should do some research and separate fact from fiction. Many myths surround engineered hardwood flooring near Phoenix, but myths aren’t necessarily factual. If you’re considering this type of flooring for your home , you should find out what’s true and what isn’t before you decide. You might have heard that it doesn’t look convincing, has minimal applications, or sacrifices durability for affordability. Continue reading and stomp out these myths about engineered wood flooring. Engineered wood flooring is durable, versatile and resists humidity

    Myth: Engineered wood flooring looks fake.

    Engineered hardwood floors are not the same as solid hardwood floors, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not made of real wood. The difference between engineered and solid hardwood is that solid hardwood flooring is real natural wood all the way through. Engineered hardwood is a convenient alternative that uses a natural hardwood veneer on top of a different type of wooden core. This means that the uppermost layer of the floor—which is what you will see—will be made of the hardwood of your choice. Since you will see natural hardwood whether the flooring is solid or a veneer, it will not look fake either way.

    Myth: You can’t use it everywhere.

    There are certain spaces that lend themselves to engineered wood, but this type of flooring can be installed anywhere you want. Engineered hardwood may be more appropriate for certain situations than many of its alternatives. This flooring option resists humidity, and it remains stable when the seasons change. This type of flooring is an incredibly versatile choice, and it can be installed either above grade or below.

    Myth: It’s not durable.

    While it’s true that engineered hardwood flooring is the affordable option, that doesn’t mean it sacrifices durability. Wooden floors are designed to last for a substantial amount of time, which is one of the primary reasons people go for this kind of material. You can also finish and refinish your floors, which can help them last for several decades. With the right maintenance, you can enjoy your investment for a generation or more.

  • Board Replacement Techniques

    One of the advantages of wood as a flooring option is that it can be renewed to look new again. There are times, however, when this can be a challenge. One example is when there is a single board, or several, that cannot be touched up or repaired. In these cases, the damaged boards must be replaced. This article will focus on nail down or glue down board replacements. Floating floor board replacements will be covered in a future issue.

    Board replacement is a valuable service you can provide for your customers. It
    is a specialized skill that will increase your marketability.

    The most important consideration for board replacements is locating a replacement piece of flooring. It must be the same species, width, length, thickness, profile, color, finish and cut as the original flooring material. For factory finished or engineered flooring, make sure to identify and locate replacement material prior to cutting into the floor.

    Once the material is secured, you must ensure the replacement product has been properly acclimated to the environment. The acclimation process will vary depending on the product and the job site.

    As part of the acclimation process, take moisture readings of the existing flooring and the new flooring. These two readings should be no more than 2 percent different from each other.

    Before you make any cuts, make sure that you are aware of radiant heat systems that may be installed below the flooring. For easy identification, you can tape off the board that is to be replaced. To protect the unaffected flooring, apply 3-6 runs of tape along the edges of the base plate of the circular saw and set the depth to the thickness of the flooring.

    The first cut you make should be parallel with the length of the board about 1/2” from the edge, end to end.

    Your second cut should be about 1/2” from the edge on the opposite side of the board.
    The third cut you make should be across the center of the board at an angle. To make extraction of the material easier, make a fourth angled cut that is parallel to the third cut. You should have split the ends of the two parallel cuts where the circular blade left uncut material.

    You should be able to remove the center piece of the cut board easily. Use a sharp wood chisel to remove any remaining pieces of board, being careful not to damage any adjoining boards.

    Remove any remaining fasteners and adhesive from the subfloor. When possible, try to leave the original underlayment material intact. If removal is necessary, replace it with a similar material to maintain the vapor retarding membrane. Clean all debris from the replacement area.

    Measure the replacement area and cut the replacement flooring to length, removing the tongue on the butt-end of the board. Cut off the bottom groove side of the replacement board on the butt-end, as well as along the run of the board.

    You may need to chamfer, or back-bevel, the underside of the board where the groove was removed to allow the piece to fit into the opening without damaging adjoining boards or adjust the thickness of the board with factory finished or previously sanded floors. Dry-fit the piece and make adjustments as necessary.

    Apply a quick-setting adhesive, such as epoxy or carpenter’s wood glue, to the tongues of the adjoining boards. For glue down floors, replace the glue on the subfloor as was previously existing, same trowel notch and spread rate. Carefully insert the new board into place, using a wood block and mallet if necessary. Clean the entire area surrounding the repaired board and ensure the repair is complete.

    Board replacement is a valuable service that is especially desirable when working on historical floors. Whether the board replacement is happening on a nailed floor, a glued floor, or a floated floor, the process may be similar and will be a specialized skill that will enhance your business.

    You can learn more about board replacement techniques from the NWFA’s Installation Guidelines, by attending NWFA training events, and by engaging with NWFA University. For more information, contact the NWFA at 800-422-4556 or visit NWFA.org .

  • Moisture Meters for Wood Floor Installation and Sand and Finish – Part 2

    In my first blog, I talked about starting your documentation and moisture testing procedures. In this edition, I will talk about moisture testing and documentation from delivery of product to installation.

    Now I have already delivered my material to a stable job site and it is acclimating, all I have to do is wait. Experience has given me a good idea about how long a particular species will take before it is ready for installation based on its original moisture content and where it needs to be for installation in the environment.

    I will usually check the product one week before installation. This gives me a buffer and helps me accommodate a product that is not acclimating very quickly. When at the job site, again I check the environment with a thermo-hygrometer and document the readings. It is not uncommon for me to use a jobsite monitoring device or data logger (Meter #4). This is a tool that stays on-site and can remotely send job site conditions to my email. This is especially helpful on new construction sites when the general contractor is telling you that the air has been on and in reality, it is 95 °F in the house.

    Once the wood is acclimated, we are ready for demo of the existing flooring. Once this is completed, I will walk the entire project looking for any signs of old water damage or moisture. On a wood subfloor, I will also randomly check the subfloor with a wood moisture meter, or if concrete I will use a concrete moisture meter (Meter #5). This concrete meter only gives me a qualitative number! Meaning that it does not give me any actual values, but it will help me determine whether to install or not. This test does give me the ability to check the moisture content of areas known to be dry because of relative humidity tests, which is a quantitative test, against areas of possible past or present moisture damage. If I have a high reading from the concrete moisture meter, then I need to evaluate whether a relative humidity test needs to be done to confirm the accurate moisture content.

    Now that I am installing, I need to determine if I am going to be installing any wood flooring monitoring devices/data loggers (Meter #6). This is a device that is installed in the floor and will remain in the floor. It will give us accurate moisture content of the floor and in some cases the subfloor. These can be pricy, and some of my customers love them, but honestly, most don’t think it is worth the money. There are some floors where I just don’t give the customer a choice. It is peace of mind for me! After all, these are my floors.

    I will continue to monitor the job site conditions throughout the installation. If the conditions fall out of acceptable ranges, then the homeowner/builder will get an email. In the email, I will document the readings and reiterate the necessity for this floor to remain in its “happy place.”

    Now that the floor is installed, we will let the floor settle for a week or two and come back for our sand and finish and our final part.

  • Creating a Focal Point with Wood for Your Walls

    If you want an ideal interior design, you can’t just focus on a couple of aspects of your space. You will need to look at the space as a whole, which means you shouldn’t just rely on your wood floors in Phoenix to get your point across. Wood walls can add to your look and tie your design together, especially when it comes to traditional or cabin styled homes. Read ahead and pick up a few tips on creating a focal point with wood for your walls.

    Wood is not just for your floors. If you love the look of your wooden flooring, then you might want to consider wooden walls as well. This type of interior design tends to work particularly well in ranches and log cabins, but it is versatile enough to fit well in a range of situations. You don’t need to cover every wall in wood, but wooden walls come with a natural beauty that you might not be able to get by any other means. Wood walls can also serve as a focal point for your guests to admire, and they can be placed in just about any room in the house.

    Wooden walls, in addition to wooden flooring, are suitable for cabin-styled homes