• Is It Time to Recoat Your Wood Floors?

    Recoating your wood floors in Phoenix protects your floors in between sanding sessions. It is a great way to preserve wood flooring so that the color, shine, and condition lasts for several years. How do you know when to recoat your wood floors though? Here are a few indications that it may be time to recoat your hardwood:

    • If your wood floors appear dull or on the verge of losing their shine and luster, then call your flooring contractor to recoat them. With a recoating session, your floors will look shiny and brand-new again.
    • If you recently moved into a new home and you are unsure of the true look and condition of the wood floors, then consider recoating them. Your flooring contractor can examine the floors while also protecting them with a new coat.
    • If your wood floors have gone without recoating or maintenance for over three years, then you may need a new coat. By recoating every three years or so, you will extend the life and look of your new floors.

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  • Things to Consider When Installing Wood Floors in Dry Climates

    “Wood floors can’t be installed in Arizona; it’s too dry!” This is something that we hear weekly at our showroom in Scottsdale . Then after some education about wood floors and our unique environment, the answer is of course, “Yes, you can!” I am sure that everyone has had similar experiences of misinformation. There are just some things that you need to pay close attention to in order to ensure success. It is really no different from installing in other regions. All regions have unique requirements for successful wood floor performance.

    I am not going to talk about humidifiers. Humidifiers require a separate article, and I am by no means an authority on them. I started my company, Blackhawk Floors, Inc., in 2001 and since then we have worked on more than 4,000 projects, of which we have had humidifiers in six of them. Three of which were museums. So for me to take the easy road and just tell the customer that they must have a humidifier is not going to be very profitable or realistic. I don’t have one in my own home. We have to find ways to successfully install wood floors in a dry climate.

    Acclimation
    Arizona is DRY. We do experience humidity, but it happens during our hottest time of the year when HVAC units are running nonstop pulling moisture from our air. This makes us relatively stable compared to other areas of the country that can range from virtually no relative humidity to 100 percent relative humidity seasonally. Phoenix averages 37 percent RH annually outside. And with the records that we have kept and documented at our home we have an average of 32 percent annually inside. The high we experience is in the mid-40s and the low is in the low 20s. The extremes happen for only a couple of weeks and then return to normal.

    I am telling you this to give you background on why we acclimate our wood floors the way we do. For the average home we want our wood floors to be between 6 and 6.3 percent moisture content. If we attain this MC percent before our install, then our floors will move very little throughout their life span.

    We always check RH percent and temperature at the time of our first visit to the home. This starts the acclimation process for us, and we now know what MC percent we have to achieve with the wood floor. The RH percent and temperature is checked again at the time of material delivery, and again before installation. This gives us an accurate picture of the home’s environment. This is the exact same process for engineered, solid, and all of the various species.

    Wood floors will move during environmental changes. Our job is to make sure it is in its “happy place” before install.

    Species
    Not all wood species enjoy a dry environment. This is much more prevalent when dealing with engineered wood floors, but some species don’t perform as well as others. In Arizona I have not found a solid wood floor that can’t be installed successfully with proper acclimation.

    With that said, you must educate your customer about the issues that can arise with their wood floor choice. The same as you would recommend that a customer with 100 pound dogs and four children maybe not choose American cherry. You might not recommend a 10” wide x long length hickory floor. You can install both of these floors, but you must explain in writing and in person the risks and benefits of their choices. Don’t be afraid to say, “No.” This is your responsibility to the customer and the industry.

    Engineered Versus Solid
    In Arizona, we have a predominantly slab market. So we install an immense amount of engineered flooring. Most of what we install is unfinished engineered. Once installed we treat it exactly the same as a solid unfinished wood floor. Some of the benefits are increased dimensional stability, no need for subfloor, and exceptional milling tolerances.

    As great as they are, some engineered floors just don’t handle the dry environment well. The failures are caused from many different issues. Some engineered floors fail due to the species or the way the product is constructed. Distress in the form of delamination, surface checking, and splitting are quite common.

    Bottom line is this: talk to your wood floor distributors and find out what is working and what is not. I promise they don’t want a claim or a failure any more than you will. A responsible distributor will not sell a product in a region in which it will not perform, and neither will a contractor.

    Wood floor maintenance is the same across the country. Educate your customer on how to take care of their wood floors. Let them know that they must maintain their home’s environment in order for their floors to perform. This includes not shutting off the air conditioning and heading for cooler weather in the summer. You would be surprised how many calls we get in the early fall complaining of gaps in floors.

    Yes, you can install wood floors in dry climates. Work with your distributors to understand the products you are installing, and work with your customers to understand their wood floors and their role in the successful performance of their floor. Build these relationships through communication and you will have many successful installations and many happy customers.

  • The Benefits of Deep Cleaning Your Hardwood Floors

    Hardwood floors do not require much maintenance, which makes them an ideal flooring option. However, there are some services—such as professional, deep cleanings—that will have an overall positive affect on the life, appearance, and function of your wooden flooring near Phoenix. Continue reading for a better look at the benefits you can experience with a deep cleaning of your hardwood floors .

    • One of the best benefits of deep cleaning your hardwood floors is the improved health of your home. By deep cleaning your wood floor, you can remove dust, dirt, and other allergens that can negatively affect your family’s health.
    • Routine cleaning is important to the daily maintenance of your wood floors, but it does not remove all of the dust and contaminants that collect deep in your floors. With a professional, deep cleaning, these contaminants will be removed, thus preserving and maintaining your floors for longer.
    • Deep cleanings can save you money in the long run by protecting your wood floor investment. Often, wood floors need to be sanded and refinished over time to return their luster and color. A deep cleaning, however, can return hardwood’s appearance for much less.

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  • Getting Your Home Ready for Wood Flooring Installation

    Before your wood floor installation near Phoenix , there are a few tasks to prepare your home. These tasks—such as moving furniture and occupying your children—will reduce your stress and help your flooring contractor perform a better installation. Let’s take a closer look at how to prepare your home for new wood floors. wood - floor - installation

    Move Furniture

    The first task before your wood floor installation is to remove all furniture from the area. Your installers may offer to move the furniture for you, but this may be an added charge, and it could extend the length of your installation. Ask your strongest friends to help move large furniture to other rooms prior to your appointment. Make sure that all movable furniture and décor is out of the area. After your flooring installation, use furniture pads and throw rugs to protect your new wood floors from furniture legs.

    Occupy Pets and Children

    If you have children or pets, then find a way to occupy them or even be out of the house during the installation. Pets can become scared by loud noises and strangers, so they should be put outside in a secure yard or safely confined in a quiet room far away from the installation. Children can become loud, curious, or upset about strangers and changes in the house. If possible, have a trustworthy babysitter or family member watch them away from the house or in a far room. Before pets or children walk on your new wood floors, ensure their feet are free of dirt that can scratch the wood.

    Protect Breakables

    During a wood floor installation, there will likely be a lot of banging, dust, and other disruptions. If you have any nearby breakables or art on the walls near the installation, then remove these. If they cannot be removed, then keep them protected with plastic or fabric sheets. Inform your flooring contractor about any concerns so that he can prepare his installation properly.

  • Planning Your Wood Flooring Showroom Visit

    When you decide to update your flooring with hardwood floors, one of your first stops should be a wood flooring showroom in Phoenix . This visit will be exciting and fill your imagination with new ideas and hardwoods to choose from. You can speak with knowledgeable staff about the design and installation process as well. To make your flooring showroom visit productive, keep these helpful tips in mind. show - room

    Come with Details

    Though it is not required, having details about your house and your wood flooring desires can make your showroom visit run smoothly and productively. You can bring a simple sketch of the room or house where you plan to install your new wood flooring. Include dimensions, window placements, and other features of the area you think are important. Consider the foot traffic of your intended space; is it likely to get wet, dirty, or scuffed? With these details, your flooring installer can direct you toward the right hardwood that can best suit the area.

    Come with Design Ideas

    Another helpful tool to bring to your showroom visit will be a specific design element of the area. If you have a current paint color or design scheme in place, then bring a color swatch or pictures to illustrate how the room looks. If you are doing a complete remodel, with new colors and design elements, then bring a couple preferred colors and pictures with you to the flooring showroom. Your design expert and hardwood installer can direct you toward the right hardwood floors that will complement the color and design ideas you desire.

    Come with Questions

    It never hurts to have a list of questions, especially in the beginning stages of your floor installation process. These questions might include information about different hardwood species or the cost of specific hardwood floors versus other flooring choices. Do not hesitate to ask your flooring store about installer qualifications and the installation process. These details and more are essential to know during your wood floor installation.