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Categories Hardwood

Is It a Good Idea to Install Hardwood in Your Kitchen?

Two design trends are converging to make hardwood flooring very popular for kitchens. If you are browsing through social media or design blogs, you’ve likely noticed that many of the kitchens have replaced stone or tile with hardwood. So, why is that? For one, the farmhouse style has grown in popularity over the past few years. It is now trendy to introduce rustic looks into your home. You see this with distressed wood cabinets and repurposed furniture. Also, design is trending towards seamless transitions from one room to another. The open floor plan trend means that the flooring in the living room should seamlessly shift into flooring for the kitchen. Since hardwood flooring has long been popular in other rooms, an open floor plan means that hardwood should be installed in the kitchen. Is it a good idea?

 

Water on the Floor

 Many homeowners are worried about water on their floor if they have a hardwood floor. However, this might be something of an overblown fear. It’s actually not very common to spill large amounts of water on your floor. Spills do happen in the kitchen, but you can generally clean them up pretty easily with a mop or a towel. For the most part, a hardwood floor will be pretty waterproof as long as you clean up the spill pretty quickly. If you allow water to sit on the floor for hours, it will eventually seep into crevices.

The most water spills near the sink where it might splatter as you wash dishes or prepare food. Putting down a soft mat near the sink will remedy that.

 

Wear and Tear

 A soft mat by the sink will also alleviate one of the other large concerns about having hardwood in the kitchen. Your kitchen actually gets more foot traffic than maybe any other room in your house. That’s definitely true about the area by your sink. That tends to be where you wash dishes and prepare food. So you’ll be standing there for possibly hundreds of hours each year. That will wear down the finish on the wood and the wood itself. You can solve this with a soft waterproof mat designed to be by the sink. That will also make it much more comfortable when you have to stand for extended periods of time.

Hardwood flooring is a great choice for your kitchen for many reasons. It looks great, the upkeep is fairly simple, and it can actually make working in the kitchen more comfortable.

Categories Hardwood

Why Are Floating Floors Easier to Install?

There are two basic kinds of hardwood flooring that you can install in your home. You can mount your hardwood floor to a subfloor; the subfloor is typically a layer of plywood. A floating hardwood floor is one that is not attached to the subfloor at all. The individual planks are attached to one another but not the subfloor and thus are said to float. A floating floor has to be designed for that purpose.

 

Which Floors Can Float?

 In most cases, a solid hardwood floor must be attached to a subfloor. The floating floors are typically made from engineered hardwood. Engineered hardwood planks are made of layers of plywood or fibreboard that are then covered with a veneer of hardwood. The surface is a thin layer of the hardwood that you would like for your floor; underneath it are backing layers. There can also be a vapor barrier on the bottom that prevents moisture from creeping up into the floor. Since they are engineered, they can be rigid and stable on their own. Thus, they do not need a subfloor.

Also, they’re typically tongue and groove style. One side of each board has a tongue that protrudes. The other side has a groove that fits a tongue. You connect one piece to the next like a puzzle piece. The floor then sits on top of the existing floor or a subfloor.

 

Why Are They Easier to Install?

 Floating floors are typically easier to install because you have more diverse options for your subfloor. For example, if you are renovating your garage to be an apartment, you might want to create a more comfortable floor. Garage floors are typically made of concrete. Instead of installing a wooden subfloor on the concrete, a floating floor can go right over the existing floor. That will also help somewhat with insulation.

Furthermore, hardwood is trending in kitchens. Tile and linoleum have long been the preferred floors for kitchens. If you want to install solid hardwood in a kitchen, you’ll need to rip up the tile or linoleum. If you want to install a floating floor, you just need to clean the tile and install the floating floor.

Many homeowners or business owners find that they can install their own floating floor, whereas they might need a professional for a solid floor. It’s also easier to remove and replace damaged planks in a floating floor.

Categories Hardwood

Random Width Hardwood Floors Are Trending

Most hardwood floors are made from planks of the exact same width and length. There are a few standard widths, but most of them are two or three inches. In the past, that wasn’t he case. Floors were not made in standard widths for a couple of reasons. They were not standard width because they were not made in factories but instead were cut by hand. Furthermore, they used every part of the available tree. Therefore, if you could not cut wooden planks of the same width, you would just use boards of different widths. That’s the most environmentally-friendly and economic option. It’s also one that has been growing in popularity recently because it mimics the style of old hardwood floors. Here’s how to get on trend.

Sourcing Your Planks

There are many different ways to source your random-width hardwood planks. Some hardwood flooring suppliers sell planks as sets of random-width planks. These are planks that are typically all cut during the same batch. Therefore, their color will be the same, and they’ll be the same quality. If you want boards of different widths but not necessarily any other variation, this is your best option.

If you don’t care about keeping the color completely consistent or if you intend to stain it a deep color, you can choose wood from different batches. That’s a good way to save money as well. For example, if you buy different widths of white oak from different batches, you can shop around for the best deals. Sometimes, companies will sell surplus planks or slightly irregular planks that don’t form a full batch. So, there likely won’t be enough wood to cover your entire floor. You’ll need to buy different batches of wood to cover your entire floor.

Installing the Planks

The greatest difficulty with random-width hardwood flooring is measuring the flooring. It can be difficult to determine how many planks you’ll need. The easiest way is to separate the wood into batches of different widths. Then, measure your floor. That will tell you how much horizontal space you need to cover. Then, you can add up the widths of the different planks to determine how many you need to cover the floor. You might need to cut one of the planks to make it fit against the wall.

You can install the planks in a pattern if you have enough of each kind of plank to cover your floor. Alternately, you could install them randomly. If you do that, make sure you don’t cluster the same widths together.

Categories Hardwood

Random Width Hardwood Floors Are Trending

Most hardwood floors are made from planks of the exact same width and length. There are a few standard widths, but most of them are two or three inches. In the past, that wasn’t he case. Floors were not made in standard widths for a couple of reasons. They were not standard width because they were not made in factories but instead were cut by hand. Furthermore, they used every part of the available tree. Therefore, if you could not cut wooden planks of the same width, you would just use boards of different widths. That’s the most environmentally-friendly and economic option. It’s also one that has been growing in popularity recently because it mimics the style of old hardwood floors. Here’s how to get on trend.

Sourcing Your Planks

There are many different ways to source your random-width hardwood planks. Some hardwood flooring suppliers sell planks as sets of random-width planks. These are planks that are typically all cut during the same batch. Therefore, their color will be the same, and they’ll be the same quality. If you want boards of different widths but not necessarily any other variation, this is your best option.

If you don’t care about keeping the color completely consistent or if you intend to stain it a deep color, you can choose wood from different batches. That’s a good way to save money as well. For example, if you buy different widths of white oak from different batches, you can shop around for the best deals. Sometimes, companies will sell surplus planks or slightly irregular planks that don’t form a full batch. So, there likely won’t be enough wood to cover your entire floor. You’ll need to buy different batches of wood to cover your entire floor.

Installing the Planks

The greatest difficulty with random-width hardwood flooring is measuring the flooring. It can be difficult to determine how many planks you’ll need. The easiest way is to separate the wood into batches of different widths. Then, measure your floor. That will tell you how much horizontal space you need to cover. Then, you can add up the widths of the different planks to determine how many you need to cover the floor. You might need to cut one of the planks to make it fit against the wall.

You can install the planks in a pattern if you have enough of each kind of plank to cover your floor. Alternately, you could install them randomly. If you do that, make sure you don’t cluster the same widths together.

Categories Hardwood

How to Find an Eco-Friendly Hardwood Floor

A hardwood floor is one of the most diverse and sought-after floors you can choose for your home or office. They were ubiquitous for decades. Now, there are many alternatives to hardwood floors. Many of these types of floors, such as vinyl, attempt to recreate the look and feel of hardwood. One of the reasons many people choose alternatives to hardwood is the effect on the environment. Trees are technically a renewable resource but they are not always harvested in a sustainable way. For example, a red oak can take about twenty years to reach maturity and forty years to reach its full height. So, if a company harvests red oak irresponsibly, they could deforest an entire region for decades. That’s not considered sustainable. Fortunately, there’s a way to know if your hardwood floor is sustainable.

Forest Stewardship Council

The Forest Stewardship Council is an international organization that sets standards for how to sustainably harvest forest products such as wood, sap, and plant matter. They also monitor different forests to gauge how they’re being treated. If you are looking for a hardwood floor that is sustainably source and eco-friendly, you should look for the Forest Stewardship Council seal.

How It Works

There are several different axes on which the Forest Stewardship Council analyzes harvesting. Red oak can take decades to grow to its full height. So, sustainably sourcing oak means that the company is cutting down trees in a way that actually encourages new growth. For example, an older tree that has grown to its full height will have a wide canopy that blocks out a lot of the light that would hit the forest floor. That will stunt the growth of newer, smaller trees. Therefore, cutting down trees with wide canopies can actually help new trees grow.

Furthermore, trees that have died or are dying can negatively affect the other trees. They can spread disease, encourage fungal growth, and even knock down healthier trees when they fall. Harvesting these doomed trees is a great way to improve the health of the forest.

Many companies often offset their tree harvesting as well. If a company harvests cherry wood from a forest, they might plant an equivalent number of trees in a different part of the forest. Alternately, they can buy offsets from other companies which means that a second company will plant trees to offset the trees they harvest.

These are a few of the ways that sustainable hardwoods are sourced; sustainability is one of the hottest trends in the 21st century.

Categories Hardwood

Good Sources of Reclaimed Hardwood For Your Flooring

Reclaimed hardwood is the hottest trend in flooring. Reclaimed hardwood can mean that the wood comes from a floor in a different building. The flooring is then reclaimed and used for your floor. It can also mean that the flooring was not originally flooring material. That could mean that i twas barn siding, roof beams, or even uncut lumber. There are several reasons that reclaimed wood is popular. It is popular because it is environmentally friendly; also, it looks great.

Sinker Logs

Sinker logs are logs that fell off a ship years ago and have been underwater ever since. They’re basically driftwood but uncut lumber. In the past, the only way to ship logs across long distances was to ship them through the water. Sometimes, logs would fall off the barges, and it was not financially feasible to get them back on the barge. They sat in the water for decades before being dredged up. Since they spent decades in an oxygen-free environment, the wood has aged in ways that are impossible to replicate. The patina of a sinker log penetrates through all of the flooring planks in incredibly beautiful ways. Sinker logs can be expensive, but they’re worth every penny.

Hardwood Siding

Hardwood siding is another great source of wood for your floors. Many barns and outbuildings now are constructed of pine or other softwoods from a local hardware store. In the past, they were constructed from whichever wood could be sourced from nearby. That means many barns and other buildings that were built decades ago were built with local hardwoods. They are weathered and distressed in attractive ways. Some of the best reclaimed hardwood floors come from walls and roofs of buildings that were exposed to the elements for years.

Reclaimed Floors

The simplest way to find a reclaimed floor is simply by repurposing an existing floor. You can find old floors if you keep an eye out in your neighborhood for people who are remodeling their homes. Also, look through online classifieds for people offering hardwood flooring. Even if the flooring needs to be repaired, it will cost you much less than a new floor. Also, no trees will be cut down to create the floor.

Reclaimed floors can be used as they are for their weathered and distressed look. They can also be sanded and refinished to look like new. Using them as they are is an aesthetic choice. Sanding and refinishing them is a environmental decision; they’re both great options.

Categories Hardwood

What Is an Ombre Wood Floor?

If you spend a lot of time online, especially on social media, you’ve likely seen the trend among women towards ombre hair. The term “ombre” generally applies to a color that gradually fades out or fades to another color. So, ombre hair might start out red at the roots and fade to white at the tips or vice versa. The trend has been spreading to different areas of design and fashion as well; one of those areas is flooring. Many people are deciding to introduce ombre hardwood to their homes. How would you do this if each plank of wood only comes in one color?

Creating an Ombre Floor

There are several different ways to create an ombre floor for your home or office. One of the simplest ways is to buy a single batch of hardwood flooring planks sufficient to cover your entire floor; then, you would have the professionals stain them in a gradually changing shade. This can be achieved by adding progressively more paint thinner or water to the stain as it is applied across the floor. The other option is to incorporate planks of different colors as you lay the floor; that’s the most popular option.

The more shades of planks you choose, the more gradual the ombre. For example, you might want to move from ebony that moves to a white oak. So, you would then decide how gradually you want to make the change. You probably need at least five different shades of wood to make the color move gradually. Fewer than that will likely result in a floor that simply looks separated into three different sections.

Laying the Floor

Laying the floor is fairly simple, you separate the planks into their different categories and then lay them. The most important aspect is the place where you move from one color to the next. The best way to create a smooth transition from one color to the next is by creating an uneven line. If you keep the line between colors uneven, it will create a less clear demarcation. That’s a great way to create an ombre floor; if you plan ahead, you might even be able to pull it off with only three colors.

Ombre floors are not very common at the moment but they will grow in popularity in coming years. They’re a great way to create an interesting floor that doesn’t require more work than laying a floor of a single color.

Categories Hardwood

Some Unconventional Places to Find Hardwood Flooring

Finding a hardwood floor at a great price is not always easy. Sometimes, the wood that you find is out of your price range. If you find wood in your price range, it might not be the right color, wood species, or in the right amount. That’s why many people are turning to less conventional hardwood sources for their flooring. A few examples are basketball courts, bowling alleys, and racquetball courts. Many of the older varieties of these surfaces, and some of the current ones, are made from quality hardwoods.

Basketball Courts

Basketball was invented in the early 1920s as an indoor sport that kids could play when it was too cold to play outside. The floor at that original YMCA was a maple floor. That wood was treated as standard and is still used to this day. Most hardwood basketball courts are made of planks of maple.

If you see a school, church, or a YMCA remodeling, you should ask if they’re remodeling their basketball court. If so, you should ask what they are doing with the wood from the court. Oftentimes, they’ll just be throwing it away. You should ask for it. Even if you pay for it, you’ll likely pay less than you would for an equivalent amount of new maple. There are over 4,000 square feet in a basketball court; so, that is a lot of wood.

There are also other woods used in hardwood court construction. Rubberwood from rubber trees that no longer produce sap is a common source of ecologically friendly courts. Also, less expensive hardwoods are often used.

Bowling Lanes

A bowling lane is typically 63 feet long. It is made of 41 feet of pine and 22 feet of maple. If you’re repurposing the wood for your own flooring, you should focus on the maple. Maple is a solid hardwood that makes a great floor. Each bowling lane will yield you about 60 square feet of quality maple.

Racquetball Courts

A racquetball court often has a maple floor much like a basketball court. In fact, they’re often build beside basketball courts and feature just an extension of the same floor. A racquetball court is 40 feet by 20 feet. Therefore, every racquetball court yields 800 square feet of finished maple.

Maple is the most popular hardwood used for sports largely because it was the wood used in YMCA gyms of the past. Some gyms, especially those in churches and schools, use different hardwoods. Whatever the case may be, they’re great sources for large amounts of hardwood.

Categories Hardwood

Some Unconventional Places to Find Hardwood Flooring

Finding a hardwood floor at a great price is not always easy. Sometimes, the wood that you find is out of your price range. If you find wood in your price range, it might not be the right color, wood species, or in the right amount. That’s why many people are turning to less conventional hardwood sources for their flooring. A few examples are basketball courts, bowling alleys, and racquetball courts. Many of the older varieties of these surfaces, and some of the current ones, are made from quality hardwoods.

Basketball Courts

Basketball was invented in the early 1920s as an indoor sport that kids could play when it was too cold to play outside. The floor at that original YMCA was a maple floor. That wood was treated as standard and is still used to this day. Most hardwood basketball courts are made of planks of maple.

If you see a school, church, or a YMCA remodeling, you should ask if they’re remodeling their basketball court. If so, you should ask what they are doing with the wood from the court. Oftentimes, they’ll just be throwing it away. You should ask for it. Even if you pay for it, you’ll likely pay less than you would for an equivalent amount of new maple. There are over 4,000 square feet in a basketball court; so, that is a lot of wood.

There are also other woods used in hardwood court construction. Rubberwood from rubber trees that no longer produce sap is a common source of ecologically friendly courts. Also, less expensive hardwoods are often used.

Bowling Lanes

A bowling lane is typically 63 feet long. It is made of 41 feet of pine and 22 feet of maple. If you’re repurposing the wood for your own flooring, you should focus on the maple. Maple is a solid hardwood that makes a great floor. Each bowling lane will yield you about 60 square feet of quality maple.

Racquetball Courts

A racquetball court often has a maple floor much like a basketball court. In fact, they’re often build beside basketball courts and feature just an extension of the same floor. A racquetball court is 40 feet by 20 feet. Therefore, every racquetball court yields 800 square feet of finished maple.

Maple is the most popular hardwood used for sports largely because it was the wood used in YMCA gyms of the past. Some gyms, especially those in churches and schools, use different hardwoods. Whatever the case may be, they’re great sources for large amounts of hardwood.

Categories Hardwood

Unnatural Wood Colors That Are Popular Right Now

The most popular hardwood flooring colors are still the natural tones of the wood. Even domestic hardwoods such as oak come in a wide range of colors. Some experts list oak as available in 12 different distinct colors; that doesn’t even include common staining colors. However, there is a trend towards more unnatural colors that is growing. The trend towards unnatural colors comes in two basic varieties; there are those who choose vibrant versions of natural colors. For example, bright red is growing in popularity. Certain woods come in red but a bright red is obviously not natural. The other choice that some are making is completely unnatural colors such as royal blue or teal.

Oranges and Reds

Oranges and reds can run the gamut from colors that are subtle and understated to incredibly bold, bright colors. The choice is yours. Oranges and reds are warm colors that often occur in nature. That means they work really well with traditional and classic home decor schemes. They’re not going to be the colors you might choose for a contemporary, modern home, though. The warm colors are very inviting and pair well with walls in cooler colors. For example, a pale blue hallway might look nice with a deep amber or copper tone for the floor. A deeper orange or red also gives you many options for how you would like to decorate the space because the floor will not draw much attention.

Blues

Oranges and reds might be understated and subtle; blues are definitely not. Blue is already a very rare color in nature. Therefore, it will always draw the eye. Furthermore, it is a very rare wood that comes in any shades of blue. That means that a blue hardwood floor will stand out as bold and striking even if it’s only a lightly colored floor. Many are choosing a deep blue for their flooring. The blue will look very unnatural and unique. It also lends itself very well to a contemporary and modern look.

Much of the contemporary and modern style involves stainless steel, glass, and other metals. Those are all cold materials. They pair very well with cool colors such as blue.

Greens

Greens are popular because green is a common color for wood that has been weathered. Pale greens or dark shades of green can lend a weathered look to a hardwood floor and pair very well with a distressed look.

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