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    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

    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.


    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 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.

    Categories Hardwood

    The 5 Most Commonly Imported Hardwoods for Flooring

    Wood used in the United States that is from trees in the United States is known as domestic wood. Wood that is imported from other countries is known as exotic wood. Domestic wood is by far the most popular choice for hardwood flooring. It is less expensive than exotic wood and oftentimes has a wider range of options. However, exotic woods offer many advantages over domestic woods. That’s why some of them are very popular. Woods from Africa and Brazil are very popular for flooring.

    1 – Brazilian Walnut

    Brazilian walnut is one of the most popular imported woods. The species of tree is from Brazil originally and that is where much of the wood is found, but it can also be imported from other tropical countries. Brazilian walnut is very popular because it has a deep, rich color with a very unique grain. It’s also popular because it’s one of the hardest woods widely available. A very hard wood is popular for people who have dogs or who want their wood to last a very long time. A hard wood is less likely to get scratched up by pet claws or by moving furniture.

    2 – Thai/Burmese Teak

    Sourced from southeast Asia, this teak is one of the most durable woods you can find. It is a very dense wood with small pores and a natural oil that makes it resistant to moisture. Teak is not likely to rot in wet conditions. It’s also unlikely to mold or mildew. That’s why it is used widely in the manufacture of boats and ship docks. It’s also great for hardwood floors, especially ones that are installed in basements, ground floors, or porches.

    3 – Bubinga

    Bubinga is a wood imported from Africa. It ranges in color from a light straw color to a deep reddish-brown that is almost purple or black. It’s slightly harder than domestic white oak. Also, it is resistant to most types of decay and pests. Some reports indicate that bubinga is moderately resistant to boring pests and termites.

    4 – Brazilian Cherry

    Sourced from Brazil and other tropical climates, this species of cherry is a very unique wood. It has a very uniform and prominent grain. Also, the color ranges from a very pale tan to a deep cherry red.

    5 – Mahogany

    Mahogany is actually indigenous to the Americas, but is more commonly found south of the United States. It is known for being a very dark color and having a very straight grain. If you are looking for a floor that is dark and dramatic, mahogany is a good choice.

    Categories Hardwood

    Should You Scrape Your Wood Floors?

    These days, refinishing a floor almost always means walking behind a large orbital sander until you’ve buffed your floor down to the bare wood. Then, you will mop on polyurethane and wait days for it to finish curing. This is a very efficient process that works for many newer floors. However, if you have nold floor, that might not be the best process. Older hardwood floors are not finished with polyurethane but are, instead, waxed or oiled. If that’s the case, and if you want to preserve the aged patina of the wood, you should consider scraping it.

    Scraping The Finish

    Scraping the hardwood floor is perfect for old floors for a number of reasons. For one, it will actually enhance the look of your hardwood because the scraping will not be completely uniform. Since it won’t be completely uniform, the light will hit the different places on your floor differently. That will enhance the patina of age and antiquity. Secondly, scraping will not take very much wood off the surface of your floor. Therefore, the patina will be preserved. That’s in contrast to a big orbital sander that will take off all of the imperfections as well as the stain.

    How to Scrape

    To scrape an old finish, you’ll need a few tools. You need mineral spirits, clean cloths, and a scraper. You can use a draw knife, a cabinet scraper, or even a putty knife. Either one will give you the control you need. The goal is to scrape up the old varnish or wax without actually scraping the wood. You’ll inevitably get some wood as you’re scraping, but try to avoid that. Work by pushing the scraper away from you so that you don’t slip and hurt yourself. Always scrape with the grain of the wood, never against it. Work in sections, methodically moving across the floor.

    After a while, you will notice that the scraper is doing more sliding than scraping. That means that it’s time to get a new scraper blade. You might feel it starting to dig in instead of scraping; that’s also an indication you need a new blade.

    If you’re having serious trouble getting the finish up, you can soften it with a chemical like paint thinner or mineral spirits. That should make it easier to pry up the old finish. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to vacuum or sweep away any scraps of old varnish and wood. Clean the floor, and you’re ready to refinish it.

    Categories Hardwood

    Ways to Heat Your Hardwood Floor

    Hardwood floors are exceptional in a great many ways. They look great, they provide warmth and comfort, and they’re timeless. They’re easy to clean as well. There are so many things that hardwood floors do well. One thing that they do not do well is insulate. Hardwood floors are made from thin planks of wood that do not trap much heat. If you’ve stepped onto an uninsulated hardwood floor in the middle of the night, you know how cold they can get. Heat transfer can be expensive as well as uncomfortable. That’s why many hardwood floors have insulated subfloors underneath them. However, that amount of heat transfer can be used to your advantage.

    Radiant Heating

    Lately, the trend in home heating has been radiant heating. The traditional way to heat a home is by heating up the air with more warm air. That’s not terribly efficient because air is not a good conductor of heat, nor is it a good insulator. That’s why you have to constantly reheat your home to keep it warm. Conversely, a radiant heating system is installed under your floor. That system heats up the floor. The warm floor travels through carpets, tiles, and furniture. Wood flooring, carpets, bookcases, and such are much better at holding onto heat than the air is. That means they’ll stay warm for longer and help to warm your home.

    There are a few concerns with installing radiant heating underneath your hardwood floor though.

    Hardwood Floor Concerns

    The chief concern about installing radiant heating under your floor is the warping of the hardwood. Since hardwoods are still porous, they tend to absorb heat and moisture. When it is warm and moist, the hardwood expands. When it’s cold and dry, the hardwood contracts. Therefore, it’s a little bit of a concern to heat the wood directly. Negative effects are addressed in two different manners.

    First, a non-insulated layer is often installed between the heating elements and the floor. That keeps the wood from being heated directly. Secondly, the floor is typically not heated beyond 80 degrees Fahrenheit. At those temperatures, you’re pretty much free from warping concerns. Unless it’s a very high heat, heat alone will not warp your hardwood floors. You would also need to have moisture. Keep your floor dry and the humidity level at a reasonable level, and you have nothing to worry about.

    Radiant heating has been proven to be an effective and affordable way to heat your home.

    Categories Hardwood

    The Trend Towards Textured Hardwood Floors

    Hardwood flooring has been trending towards several different types of stains recently; most specifically, dark and cool stains are growing popular. There are also trends in the texture of the flooring itself. The most common hardwood flooring is simply a sanded and polished hardwood floor. These are smooth floors without blemishes. However, other textures have grown more common. The most common types of textures are two kinds that are reminiscent of older hardwood floors.

    Hand-Scraped Floors

    Before sandpaper and many mechanical processes, wooden floors were smoothed by hand. To smooth a floor by hand, a crafter would use a draw knife. A draw knife has a handle on both ends. The crafter would drag the knife across the surface of the wood. The sharp knife would scraped the wood smooth. However, the crafter could not create each draw with the exact same depth, length, and direction. That means that hand-scraped wooden floors have inconsistent patterns of smoothing. Many people find those patterns very attractive because they make your floor look like a classic floor built before mechanized production.

    There are also two kinds of hand-scraped wooden floors. An authentic hand-scraped wooden floor is scraped by a professional who does it by hand. The alternative is one that is scraped by a machine that is designed to mimic authentic hand scraping. The machine scraping will be more uniform and regular than authentic hand scraping but it can effectively mimic the style.

    Wire Brushed Floors

    A wire-brushed floor is one that is scraped with a stiff-bristled wire brush. The brush scrapes away the surface wood and exposes the growth wood underneath. That means that the wood will take on more texture than a typical glossy finish. Furthermore, a brushed wooden floor will look more like reclaimed wood. Reclaimed wood is wood that has been used for a different purpose and has weathered over time. Then, the wood is used as flooring. To mimic that weathered, antique look, you could turn to a brushed floor.

    As with scraped flooring, brushed flooring can be made by hand or by a machine. A hand-brushed floor will be more authentic and less uniform. A machined floor will be more uniform and look more like a weathered floor.

    Both of these types of floor are very on-trend at the moment. They help create a classic and timeless look for your floor. They also pair very well with wide planks or varied-width floors.

    The post The Trend Towards Textured Hardwood Floors appeared first on hardwood marketing.

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