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    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.

    Categories Hardwood

    Explaining the Natural Grade Hardwood Flooring Trend

    Natural grade flooring is a prominent trend that has been growing in the previous few months. The move towards natural grade flooring is consistent with other trends towards more natural and rustic looking flooring. Other similar trends are moves towards wide planks, reclaimed wood, and hand-scraped wood. A natural grade floor is one that is made from many different grades of wood, which means that it will more closely mimic the natural state of the wood.

    Explaining the Wood Grades

    Wood flooring tends to come in four different grades. Clear grade is the finest and most uniform grade of wood. In this grade, the wood grain is tight and understated. There are no imperfections, knots, mineral streaks, or worm holes in the wood. These planks are basically flawless. The next grade is select grade. A select grade wood plank is close to a clear grade but it will have some differences in wood tone and coloring. The grain might be more pronounced and little more irregular.

    The next two grades are common grades one and two. Common grade two has the most imperfections, color variations, inconsistencies, mineral marks, and wormholes. It is a very irregular wood that lacks almost any consistency. To create a natural grade hardwood floor, all four of these grades are mixed together.

    Natural Grade Flooring

    When manufacturers mix together all four of these grades of wood, they create something that more closely resembles an entire tree. A tree is made up of many different kinds of wood, affected by all kinds of outside influences, and greatly altered by the way it grew. That means that the hardwood flooring of the past was very inconsistent; it was what would now be called natural grade.

    Manufacturers in the past used every part of a tree, which means that they would use multiple grades. If you want your flooring to look more classic and timeless, you should consider natural grade flooring.

    Versatility

    Natural grade flooring is also more diverse than higher grades. They are easier to repair because there is already a significant amount of inconsistency in the wood. That means that replacing a damaged plank with a mismatched plank won’t stand out too terribly. Furthermore, you’ll be able to mix and match widths and lengths to give it an even more authentic look.

    The natural grade flooring trend has also led to some less expensive floors because more of a tree can be used. Also, some parts of the tree that were previously thought undesirable are being used in great-looking floors.

    The post Explaining the Natural Grade Hardwood Flooring Trend appeared first on hardwood marketing.

    Categories Hardwood

    Should You Buy Cabin Grade Hardwood Flooring or Factory Seconds?

    Hardwood flooring is separated into several different categories that will tell you a lot about the quality and the appearance of the wood. The highest grade of hardwood flooring is typically called select grade. Select grade hardwood flooring has a fairly uniform grain pattern, consistent coloring, very few blemishes, and no knots. That makes it the highest grade for flooring and used in some of the nicest floors. However, that uniformity also lacks some character. Furthermore, it will be the most expensive flooring option you can find. However, if you want to save money, you have options. There are several other grades of hardwood flooring. The lowest grade is typically “factory seconds.” There is no standardization to the grades of hardwood flooring, so many producers will conflate “factory seconds” and “cabin grade.”

    What is Cabin Grade?

    Cabin grade is named thus because it was deemed only appropriate for creating the floors of sheds, cabins, and other utilitarian purposes. Therefore, it’s also called utility grade. Utility or cabin grade wood will have several different blemishes, marks, burns, splits, and more. Cabin grade planks are typically much shorter than select grade or higher grades of wood. They’re also going to be in many irregular lengths and widths. You’ll have a hard time finding two boards that look the saem or are the same size. Cabin grade wood will have serious inconsistencies in color as well, even if the wood is all from the same species.

    Trees have several different types of wood that have many different colors. Wood can also become discolored due to factory processes that accidentally burn the wood, applying the wrong stain, or an improperly mixed stain. Furthermore, the wood can become discolored due to mold, mildew, or just moisture; this wood often turns grayish and is called swamp wood.

    What About Factory Seconds?

    Factory seconds are sometimes the same thing as cabin or utility grade. In other cases, factory seconds are even lower grade than cabin grade. Factory seconds will have mismatched colors, swamp wood, factory defects, sander burns, cracks, chips, and severely mis-milled boards. When the two grades are differentiated, the difference is usually that cabin grade wood might be cosmetically inconsistent but it will produce a solid floor. Factory seconds, on the other hand, might not produce a stable floor.

    If you’re choosing factory seconds, you should make sure you order much more than you need. You will likely end up with about 20% waste with cabin grade and even higher waste with factory seconds.

    The post Should You Buy Cabin Grade Hardwood Flooring or Factory Seconds? appeared first on hardwood marketing.

    Categories Hardwood

    What You Need to Know About Bamboo

    When you are searching for different types of hardwood flooring, you’ll likely see something popping up that’s not actually hardwood floor. That would be bamboo. Bamboo is not even a wood. It is a grass that grows very quickly. It can be used to create flooring that looks and feels like hardwood flooring; that’s why it is often included in the ranks of hardwood floors. So, if you’re looking for a hardwood floor, should you consider bamboo floor?

    The Hardness

    Wood tends to be ranked on the janka hardness scale. The janka hardness scale is useful in terms of flooring because it helps you determine how resilient it will be. For example, a soft wood like pine can be scratched with a fingernail. That means that chairs sliding around, pet claws, and high heels can scratch the flooring. Therefore, the floor will not last very longer in pristine condition before you need to have it repaired or replaced. Alternately, an incredibly hard wood will last for a very long time. So, where does bamboo rank against hardwoods?

    For context, a white oak hardwood floor has a hardness rating of 1360 on the janka hardness scale. That puts it near the middle of hardnesses for flooring woods. The way the bamboo is processed and how it is woven will affect the hardness but it begins around 1650 on the hardness scale. It can get as hard as 5150 on the hardness scale. That means that most bamboo is harder than an oak floor.

    How it is Processed

    How the bamboo is processed will determine how hard it is. Since bamboo is a grass, it is processed differently than wood. Typically, a wooden plank is simply cut from a large tree trunk. That is the method for a solid plank hardwood. For bamboo, the different strains of grass are flattened and then woven together like wicker. They’re then pressed into a single board. If they’re woven and pressed horizontally, they won’t be as hard as bamboo woven and pressed vertically. Alternately, the strands can be actually woven in criss-crossing sections. That will create the hardest possible planks.

    The woven bamboo flooring planks are the ones that can be as hard as 5150 on the janka hardness scale.

    The major drawback of bamboo is that it has fairly uniform grain that looks something like tiger stripes and not like wood grain. That’s why many people still choose hardwood instead of bamboo.

    Categories Hardwood

    What is Live Edge Flooring?

    There are various trends that ebb and flow in interior design and construction circles. For a long time, wood was the main building material in just about every culture in the world. Over time, newer materials replaced wood in many applications. However, people have begun moving back towards the timeless and classic style of wood. Wood evokes warmth and home when you see it used for flooring, countertops, tables, and much more. There has been another trend that has emerged as well; that is the trend towards live edge wood.

    What is Live Edge?

    The processing of a tree is fairly simple. The tree is cut down and transported to a mill. It might be allowed to dry as a whole tree or it might be cut first. Either way, it is then cut into boards. It can be cut in many different ways, but it is cut into planks. The planks are cut into perfect rectangles with square edges. They’re packaged, shipped, and sold. Live edge wood is wood that skips one of those steps.

    Instead of cutting the boards into perfect rectangles with square edges, live edge planks have edges that are not actually altered. They’re kept in the same state as they were when the tree was cut down. It’s called live edge because it is the same edge the wood had when it was alive. Many people have chosen to use live edge for flooring.

    Live Edge Flooring

    Live edge flooring is the use of thin planks of wood for hardwood flooring but using live edge wood planks. The planks do not have regular square edges that fit together nicely. Instead, they’re uneven and unpredictable. That’s why they’re so popular. They look rustic, classic, and dynamic. They look like the flooring that was used in antique log cabins, plantation homes, and homes from older eras. There are some concerns about live edge flooring.

    Since live edge flooring does not fit together like puzzle pieces, there are gaps between the different planks of wood. If you’re thinking of installing live edge flooring, you’ll have to consider some kind of subfloor that you can use. The subfloor could be a different type of wood.

    Live edge flooring is one of the most reliable ways to create a unique and dynamic floor. It is timeless, rustic, and classic. You should seriously consider a live edge floor if you are replacing your floor.

    Categories Hardwood

    5 Steps for Drying a Wet Hardwood Floor

    Moisture is the enemy of your hardwood floor. When the floor stays wet for too long or when moisture seeps between the floorboards, you can have a whole host of problems. A moist hardwood floor can expand and begin cupping, which is when the boards begin to warp. Also, mold and mildew can grow beneath the boards. All of this can lead to a floor in desperate need of repair or even replacement. Here is what to do when your floor is wet.

    1 – Dry The Surface Quickly

    When water is spilled on your floor, instead of water rising from underneath, you need to attempt to dry the floor as quickly as possible. Typically, water needs time to penetrate the wood or work its way between the floorboards. If you can clean it up quickly, the polyurethane coating on the floor will usually be enough to fight off most moisture.

    2 – Consider Fans and Dehumidifiers

    For water to evaporate, it needs to come into contact with drier air. The drier the air, the faster the water will evaporate. Therefore, a dehumidifier will dry the air in a room, allowing for faster evaporation. Moving air, such as with a fan, will also speed up the drying process. If that doesn’t work to dry the floor in a few days, you will need to move to more drastic measures.

    3 – Remove a Floorboard

    In addition to needing dry air to evaporate, water also needs somewhere to go. Therefore, if the moisture has soaked into the subfloor underneath the hardwood floor, you won’t be able to dry it without giving it somewhere to go. You have a couple of options of this. You can remove some of the baseboards trimming the edges of each room. That will expose a little bit of the subfloor and give the water somewhere to evaporate. Alternately, you can remove one or two of the planks of your hardwood floor. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to use the dehumidifiers and fans to dry it faster.

    4 – Consider Desiccants

    Desiccants are materials that pull moisture out of the surrounding atmosphere. They’re used to keep packaged materials dry. In an industrial setting, they can also be used to remove moisture from your home or floor. You might need to rent a desiccant dehumidifier from a local hardware store.

    5 – Don’t Forget About Mold

    Mold is a serious problem any time a dark area is allowed to stay moist for too long. If your floor has been moist for more than a day or so, you’ll need to apply a chemical that will retard the mold.

    Categories Hardwood

    All About Walnut Flooring

    Walnut hardwood flooring is a popular look for many reasons. The beautiful rich color of the flooring is one of the reasons it has become so popular. Like all wood species there are pros and cons of walnut.

    There are two different types of walnut flooring; American Walnut and Brazilian Walnut. American walnut is called a variety of different names. It is commonly called black walnut, american black walnut, north american walnut or gunwood. American walnut is mostly harvested from the central United States and has a janka scale rating of 1010. It has a white sapwood and dark chocolaty heartwood with a variety of grain variations. Brazilian walnut is commonly called lapacho or ipe. Brazilian walnut is harvested in Brazil and the lesser antilles. The wood has a dark tone and a janka scale rating of 3684, much harder than American Walnut.

    Pros and Cons of Walnut Flooring

    Pros-

    • Beautiful and warm
    • Fits the style of many homes
    • American walnut is a renewable resource and an eco-friendly option.
    • Durable and can be resanded
    • The natural color helps to cover some scratching and dents
    • Ideal for radiant heating because of natural stability

    Cons-

    • American walnut is relatively soft and can mark, scratch or dent easily
    • Not ideal in homes with children or pets
    • Can show traffic patterns easily because of darkness or the wood
    • Darker hues can make a room feel smaller

    Walnut is a beautiful flooring option and can really complete the look of your room. Choosing between wood species can be challenging but in the end there is no wrong choice when it comes to hardwood flooring. Peak floors is able to help you through the hardwood flooring installation process. Please give us a call!

    Categories Hardwood

    The different grades of Red Oak Hardwood

    When looking at hardwood flooring you may have heard talk about grades. Hardwood flooring is graded based on the characteristics present in the wood. Red oak has its own specific rules for grading, we will explain the difference in all the grades below. Some grades have more than one name for the same level which can be confusing. Your hardwood installer should know which of the different grades will work for your design tastes!

    Clear- The highest grade of red oak is the clear grain. Clear grade wood is cut and harvested from the heartwood or innermost wood of the tree. Knots, wormholes and color variations are at the absolute minimum or are non existent in this grade of wood. Graining is prominent and gives the wood a clean overall look. These pieces are picked carefully by the mill and all the elements of the milling process are done precisely.

    Select and Better– Select and better wood is milled from the sapwood. These bundles often include some clear pieces. There are essentially no knots or wormholes but there are some present. Graining appearance is strong and there is a slight color variation between the heartwood and sapwood. You typically do not need to use wood filler or wood putty in these grades.

    Number One Common– No. 1 Common has more variation and discrepancies than the other gradings. There are knots and wormholes but not an excessive amount. There is also color variation and the color is not as uniform as the clear of select gradings. There will be lighter and darker boards and even a combination of colors on the same board.

    Number Two Common– No. 2 Common has a lot of light and dark color variations from the use of both heartwood and sapwood. There are a lot of worm holes and knots and the floor may have a more rustic appearance.

    Number three common and shorts are two additional grading types but are generally not recommended.

    The grading of the floor will not affect the overall quality of your floor. These gradings are just related to the aesthetics of the food and do not affect the hardness of the wood. You may see some difference in the milling but not the overall hardness or quality. With proper care (hardwood cleaning) and maintenance any grade of red oak will last a lifetime.

    Categories Hardwood

    Surface Texture in Hardwood Floors


    When looking at different hardwood flooring samples you may wonder what the different surface textures mean. Hardwood flooring texture can add a lot of style and dimension to your flooring. Smooth, hand scraped, wire brushed and distressed are some of the textures you can get on some wood products like prefinished flooring or engineered flooring.

    The most popular hardwood flooring texture is smooth. Smooth texture floors are sanded flat and then finished. This texture can be done on site finished or factory finished products. The smooth surface is elegant and uniform and looks great on dark stained woods. The smoother hardwood flooring textures can show dents, scratches and other blemishes more readily but for some lifestyles this is not a concern.

    Handscraped hardwood flooring is becoming very popular. The level of texture can be very subtle or range to a more extreme level of texture. Handscraped hardwood flooring adds a warm feeling and makes the room feel lived-in. The more texture the boards feature the more scratches and dents can be hidden. The texture of handscraped floor can help mask wear and tear while still being beautiful. Virginia Vintage, Armstrong Gatsby Hand Sculpted, Mannington Inverness Hand Sculpted

    Distressed or antiqued wood if another texture method for hardwood flooring. Distress marks are added to the floor like dents, blackening of the edges, burn marks or other texture methods added. Distressed flooring can be ideal for homes with pets and high traffic usage. The distressed look will help camouflage wear on your floor.

    Wire Brushed wood falls between smooth and hand scraped texture. The wire brushing process is when the floor finish is lightly scraped with a wire brush to create long or linear streaks. The wire brush texture will highlight the linear grain patterns and can create a more interesting look to oak flooring. Wire Brushed products add a nice amount of texture without feeling like they are rustic.

    In some engineered or prefinished product lines these methods are combined to create a beautiful texture and style. The different texture methods add to the wood and can create a unique feel to your flooring.

    Categories Hardwood

    Homeowner Expectations with Hardwood Flooring-

    Hardwood flooring has been the standard for beautiful flooring for decades because of the unique grain patterns and beautiful colors but also because of the value and reliability. The decision to install hardwood can be still be hard for some homeowners and it is a costly endeavor.

    The value is a big factor for a lot of homeowners. While the cost of adding hardwood may be high but there is a lot of value in adding hardwood flooring. Homeowners are generally willing to invest in their home if they feel like the item will add value to their home and wood floors are a great option in this scenario. Premium hardwood products can add a lot of style to a home and a lot of value. There are a lot of different hardwood products on the market and a wide variety of price points available.

    Reliability

    Reliability draws a lot of homeowners to hardwood flooring. Hardwood flooring offers good quality and reliability in a beautiful product. Many hardwood mills or manufacturers have been around for decades and have great dependability. Well known hardwood brands that produce prefinished or engineered products are also know for the reliability. Many of the prefinished or engineered flooring products include a warranty that helps to guarantee the reliability of the product. Milling standards also help to guarantee the reliability of the product.

    Appearance

    The appearance of hardwood flooring is one of the biggest products benefits. Hardwood is beautiful, unique and timeless. While it is important to remember wood is a natural product and will have natural characteristics. Wood flooring comes in a variety of species and can be stained and coated to create the perfect fit for your home.

    Hardwood flooring brings a lot to a homeowners and can bring joy and beauty for decades to come. Hardwood flooring is an investment but with a great return.

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