Install a Laminate Floor to be Proud Of

If the floors in your home are less than brag-worthy, don’t feel you must hide them with carpet. Laminate floors can take your rooms to the next level, and you won’t need professional help to do it. Here’s how.

Let Your Flooring Feel at Home

To avoid unpleasant surprises, give your laminate flooring a chance to adjust to your home’s specific atmospheric conditions. Remove any plastic, lay the boxes on the floor with plenty of air space around each and let them acclimate for 48 hours.

Prepare the Room

Clean the old floor thoroughly and remove the base molding. Each door jamb will need a trim to allow the flooring to fit underneath. Using a piece of the laminate as a guide, mark its thickness on each jamb with a pencil, making sure your lines are level. Cut along the marks with a coping saw. When the floor is completely dry, install a vapor barrier following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Lay the First Row

All flooring looks best when laid parallel to the longest wall, so that’s the place to start. To leave room for your floor to expand and contract, place ½-inch spacers at one-foot intervals along the wall. Now, lay your first row of planks up against the spacers with the groove facing the wall.

Lay the Subsequent Rows

Each following row must be installed with staggered end joints. The length to which the first plank in each row is cut must ensure an offset of six to eight inches between its joints and those of the previous row. Never let the end joints line up between the rows, for this will look bad and weaken your floor.

Matching the groove of the current row to the tongue of the previous row, tap each piece snugly into place. Be sure that all planks fit together tightly without any gaps.

The Last Row

Before laying the last row, install ½ inch spacers against the final wall as you did with the first row. Now, unless you’re really lucky, you’re going to have to rip the last row of planks to fit. To mark the width correctly, lay each plank to be ripped directly on top of a plank in the next-to-last row. Top both planks with a third plank that is pressed against the spacers. Draw a line along the edge of the third plank to mark the cutting line on the second plank. Rip the second plank along the line and install it.

Finishing Up

Remove all spacers and replace the base molding. Install thresholds in each door to ease the transition between your new flooring and that in adjoining rooms. Now, invite the neighbors in to admire your laminate floor.

8 Reasons To Choose Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineered wood flooring has been around for a while, but its often misunderstood and many people don’t know much about it. It’s actually a great option for flooring. Here are eight reasons why!

1. Most engineered wood flooring require no gluing and are simple for any DIYer to install, which will result in thousands of dollars saved. The cost of installing solid wood flooring can cost as much as the wood itself.

2. They are prefinished — this means no sanding and no stinky chemicals and no waiting for days before moving back into the house, which is the case with solid wood flooring. Just install the engineered wood floor planks and then you’re done.

3. They can be laid on top of any type of subfloor, including wood subfloors and dry concrete slabs. No matter what kind of subfloor your home is, this type of wood flooring is sure to be a good fit.

4. They have a higher resistance to humidity as compared to solid wood flooring. High moisture levels can cause damage to hardwood flooring over time, while engineered flooring will fare just fine in the same conditions. This quality also makes them a suitable choice for basements, which is often prone to dampness and flooding.

5. They are stable – they are less likely to wrap or vary in width or length, like solid wood flooring is known to be.

6. They can be sanded and refinished if they need to be. The amount of times they can be refinished depends on the thickness of the real wood that is on the top of the flooring. High quality engineered flooring can be refinished four to five times.

7. Laminate flooring, carpet, and tiles will not increase the value of your home, while wood flooring will.

8. Suffering from allergies? Wood flooring are recommended by doctors for people with allergies because they don’t hold in dust and other allergens.

With the beauty of solid wood flooring but without its extra maintenance and difficult installation, engineered wood flooring is a great option that everyone should seriously consider when making a decision on flooring for their home.

Refinish Hardwood Floors

Over time, hardwood floors become worn and dingy losing the luster of earlier years. Softer hardwood floors are particularly susceptible to scratches and pitting. The good news is that anyone can refinish hardwood floors with a little elbow grease, time and the right tools.

Project Preparation

The tools required for refinishing floors can be rented or purchased. For most people, renting a floor sander, shop vacuum and edger is more practical than buying these items. It is always recommended that you ask for a demonstration of tools to be rented so that you fully understand how to use them before embarking on the project.

Sandpaper, wood stain, gloves, a wide broom, rollers, rags, dust mask and floor wax or polyurethane are the items needed to complete the project. Sandpaper of varying grades should be purchased for different stages of the job. The sandpaper will be rotated as the project progresses.

Before the sanding begins, inspect the floor for nails, tacks or any carpet staples that might rip the sandpaper. Hammer down any nails that are not flush with the wood. Remove any carpet tacks or staples found.

Sanding

Start the project with the heaviest grade sandpaper. Switch grades of sandpaper after completing the initial sanding of the first layer. When using a sander, go with the grade in even strokes. Focus on removing scratches or pits in the finish. Be careful that you don’t leave the sander in any spot for too long. Turn the machine off instead of leaving it running. This prevents over sanding and uneven floor surfaces.

Staining

Use a shop vac to remove debris and dust after sanding. A tack rack or broom should be used to remove all dust before proceeding to staining. A clean rag is best for applying stain. Test the stain color by applying some stain to a small piece of the floor in a closet or other out of the way area.

Stain dries in about five minutes. If the desired color is attained, then go ahead and apply the stain to the rest of the floor. Use a rag to apply the stain. To achieve a darker color, a brush can be used. A second coat can be added if necessary.

Finish

Before applying a polyurethane finish, the floor should be dry. A brush or roller is recommended to leave a smooth finish. Drying takes up to three hours. Multiple coats can be applied as desired.

Hardwood Flooring Cost

Hardwood flooring is a great way to enhance a home and make it look more updated. In addition to looking great, it also an easy and relatively inexpensive way in which to increase the value of the home and make it more likely to sell than homes with carpet. Hardwood flooring is also easy to care for and gives a beautiful and classic room to any room it is installed in. There are many different styles and colors of hardwood floors available, with a variety of price ranges to fit any budget.

The price of hardwood flooring is calculated per square foot. Price of hardwood flooring is influenced by the size of the area it is being installed, the brand, as well as the quality. Higher quality flooring that offers a longer warranty and is built to last for years may be more expensive at first, but may require less maintenance and will look beautiful for longer than cheaper flooring. Designer flooring will have a higher cost, as will exotic wood flooring and special order hardwood. Prices for hardwood flooring can range from $1.00 per square foot, up to $5 or more per square foot for special ordered flooring.

With hardwood flooring, there is something available for anyone on any type of budget. Those who are looking to purchase hardwood flooring should also consider the warranty period available, as well as the quality, as opposed to just purchasing the cheapest flooring that they find. They will also want to pick a color that will go beautifully with the decor of the space that it will be installed in.

In addition to the cost of the flooring, other materials such as glue, nails and transition pieces will also have to be figured into the budget. The cost of labor will also add more to the price of just the flooring. Many people choose to install the flooring themselves to save on labor, but those who are inexperience with laying hardwood should enlist the help of a professional to ensure that it is done properly.

Hardwood flooring offers a traditional and classic look that can help any home look more beautiful. It is an inexpensive way to update the entire look of a home, often being much cheaper than other renovations. Anyone who wants to give their house a quick makeover may want to consider having hardwood flooring installed in their homes.

Wood Flooring Types

Introduction
Wood floors add a warmth and beauty to a house that will last for years to come. Wood floors add not only character to a house, but value as well. A house with wood flooring is frequently worth much more on the market than a house with vinyl or linoleum flooring. Making the right selection from the wide variety of wood flooring types available can be a little overwhelming, which is why we’re going to take a look at the two most common wood flooring types and see how they compare with one another.

Solid Wood Flooring
The first of the wood flooring types is solid wood flooring. Like you would expect from the name, solid wood flooring is made completely of wood, top to bottom. The best part about solid wood flooring is that it can be sanded many times during its lifespan, as most wood floors are between a quarter inch and three quarters of an inch thick. Whether you wanted to sand your floor and refinish it because of damage to the floor or because you wanted to update the look of your home, sanding and refinishing a solid wood floor can be done multiple times. The downside to solid wood flooring is that it tends to expand and contract with changing weather patterns. Additionally, you cannot install solid wood flooring below the ground level of your house.

Engineered Wood Flooring
The second of the wood flooring types is engineered wood flooring. An engineered wood floor is usually made up of several layers of wood, which can be of the same species or differing species of trees. An engineered wood floor is made of real wood just like solid wood flooring, but the grain of each layer runs in a different direction, making engineered wood flooring much more stable than standard solid wood floors. Because of this improved stability, engineered wood floors can be installed below the ground level of your home, so you can create a beautiful, warm room in the basement, in the attic, or anywhere in between the two levels. The one downside to engineered wood floors is that they can’t be sanded and refinished as many times as solid wood flooring, so extra care is required.

The Bottom Line
While solid wood flooring is less stable and costs more than engineered wood flooring, it is generally considered the superior option. However, engineered wood flooring is sometimes the better option, particularly if you live in an area with rapid climate changes or where most of your floors are below ground level.

Understanding Bamboo Flooring Pros and Cons

Bamboo is a highly-popular type of flooring material. While it is similar to wood, bamboo is really a type of grass. There are several bamboo flooring pros and cons. Here are some facts about this material to help consumers make an informed decision.

Because of its environmentally-friendly nature, bamboo has become popular. Unlike hardwoods, bamboo is sustainable. Bamboo takes about three to five years to reach full maturity. Hardwoods are slow growing and can take a hundred years to mature. However, due to an increase in popularity, land is cleared to make room to grow bamboo. Despite being fast growing, some farmers use chemical pesticides to facilitate its growth. Also, some of the adhesives used in production may contain formaldehyde.

Pricing is another benefit of bamboo. Bamboo tends to be far less expensive than stone or hardwood flooring options. Even though the cost is less expensive, the production process involved in making the flooring can create variations in price. Because maintaining bamboo does not require much, maintenance costs are minimal.

The durability of bamboo depends on the type of bamboo flooring. Engineered and shredded bamboo floors are the most durable types of flooring. Engineered bamboo is created by pressing natural bamboo to the surface of plywood. This technique allows the floor to better handle humidity and increases its lifespan. Shredded bamboo is created by shredding bamboo, mixing it with adhesive and pressure heated it.

Durability is a selling point of natural bamboo. However, natural bamboo is very soft and can be compared to soft woods. It is easily scratched and does not have the lifespan of hardwood. The color variation also affects the durability. The darker bamboo flooring is less durable. Darker wood undergoes a heat process to achieve its color. This process makes the wood soft. Natural-colored bamboo is the most durable.

Bamboo has a unique appearance and comes in a variety of shades. Unfortunately, the appearance of bamboo can be easily damaged. Direct sunlight can bleach the floor. The floor is resistant to moisture. However, any spill should be cleaned up quickly to prevent the wood from warping. An advantage to bamboo is that is easy to clean. Its appearance can be maintained weekly by sweeping and damp mopping.

Bamboo is a unique flooring option. It has many benefits that include sustainability and costs. However, there are disadvantages to this flooring option. Understanding bamboo flooring pros and cons can help consumers make a choice that best suits their needs and lifestyle.

The Benefits of Dark Hardwood Floors

When it comes to the flooring in our home, there are so many great options to take into consideration. From basic linoleum to wood floors, carpet and ceramic tile, the options are endless. Though each type of flooring is great for a different room in our home, there is always a type of flooring that can make a room pop and add more character.

Now, if you’re thinking about getting some dark hardwood floors in your home, here are some reasons to consider doing so:

Nice touch: If you’re looking to add a nice touch to a room in your home, dark hardwood floors can be all you need. When you have nice wood floors in your home, you can usually make the room feel larger and add a nice accent rug to add some texture, color and a nice pattern to the room. When we add a nice rug to our hardwood floor, we can make a room become more lively and colorful.

Match furniture: Dark hardwood floors are also nice to add when we have dark furniture in the rooms of our home. For example, if you have nice dark wood end tables or even bedroom furniture, dark hardwood floors can really bring out the color and make the room look more appealing. Nicely finished wood floors always draw attention and make a room look fancier.

Kitchen: One of the most popular places to add dark hardwood floors is in the kitchen. When we’re in the kitchen, we like the area to be as clean as possible and look as neat as possible. With hardwood floors, we can create a nice space and even match the wood flooring with the cupboards in our kitchen. Not to mention, if your kitchen is one of the first rooms you notice when you walk in your home, this is a great place for wood flooring, as it creates a nice entrance and overall visual point.

Fewer markings: Though the options for wood flooring are endless, choosing the right color is important. Now when it comes to the darker wood floors, we can benefit from the fact that we will notice fewer scratch marks, cracks or even scuffs. Darker floors tend to look better and look nicer for longer periods of time.

As you can see, there are some great reasons to consider getting dark hardwood floors in your home. From adding wood floors to your bedroom to even adding them to match your kitchen cupboards, wood flooring always makes a room feel cleaner and appear to be more appealing.

Brazilian Walnut Hardwood Floors Add Class and Style to Any Decor

Kid-friendly and Better Homes and Gardens worthy make Brazilian walnut hardwood floors a superb floor covering choice. Imagine the rich, classic hues in dark brown that will add an air of class to any room while at the same time keeping your living space warm and inviting.

Hardwood floors are considered a preferred floor covering for many and Brazilian walnut is especially durable, second only to stone and known throughout the industry for its longevity. If you need a floor covering that will be hearty enough for your busy and hectic lifestyle yet beautiful enough for your life preferences and superior taste, this is the flooring to consider. The chocolate tones of Brazilian walnut are décor friendly lending a neutral feel that blends well with other neutral tones while showing off your splashes of color in a big way. Your floor covering using Brazilian walnut will be the perfect canvas from which to let your decorating dreams come to life.

Brazilian walnut, also known as Ipe, is a popular choice for decking, as well, because of its natural ability to repel insects, pests and mold. If you are in the market to spruce up your outdoor living space or maybe create one, this may be a perfect option for you. Think of the possibilities for a screened-in porch, sunroom, or hot tub area.

Maintaining your floor covering could not be easier. Sweeping or vacuuming your Brazilian walnut floors will keep them looking fresh and promptly cleaning up any moisture or spills will prevent damage to the wood. Your home improvement store will have the full details on how to care for your beautiful new flooring so that it will look wonderful for years to come.

Whether you are building a new home or updating your current décor, utilizing Brazilian walnut hardwood floors will insure a floor covering that will stand the test of time during every season of your life; through the pitter-patter of little feet right up to the need for low maintenance in your retirement years. This floor covering is well worth the consideration and investment and will be a true enhancement to any home and life.

How to Choose Hickory Hardwood Flooring

Hickory hardwood flooring can add a great look to many homes. While hickory hardwood flooring may seem expensive, there are several benefits for hardwood floor ownership. A hardwood floor is more durable than a carpet flooring. In addition, a hardwood floor will help increase the value of many homes. While hardwood will cost several times more than a false hardwood flooring, it’s a valuable investment for many homeowners and individuals.

One of the most common types of flooring found in modern homes is false wood flooring. False wood flooring is made from a combination of particle board, plastic resin and paper. A thin layer of paper with a printed wood design is glued onto a piece of particle board. While this may simulate the appearance of wood inside a home, it can create an overall-poor appearance. In addition, many types of hardwood flooring that are made from particle board are subject to water damage. A small amount of moisture can damage a false hardwood flooring over time.

Hardwood floors can also be refinished if they are damaged. While it’s impossible to refurbish a damaged carpet or particle board flooring, it’s possible to renovate a damaged hardwood floor to like-new appearance. It’s relatively simple to renovate many types of hardwood flooring. Most true hardwood floors can be renovated by sanding off all the existing paint. After sanding the paint off the surface of a hardwood floor, it’s possible to repaint a flooring. While this will reduce the thickness of a hardwood floor, it allows homeowners to enjoy the appearance of new flooring inside a home.

There are several ways that homeowners can save money when installing a new hardwood floor inside a home. Since hardwood is a very durable material, it’s often possible to reuse old wood from an existing home. Old hardwood from a home can be installed with ease inside a new home. This is a great way to save money while ensuring a beautiful look inside a home. In addition, recycling old hardwood flooring is a great way to protect the environment. By recycling old hardwood, it’s possible to reduce the number of trees that are cut down for new hardwood floors. This can help ensure a green planet for one’s self and for one’s children.

There are several steps that homeowners must take when installing a hardwood floor. It’s important to install a vapor barrier between the floor and the hardwood floor. A vapor barrier is usually made from a piece of plastic or other waterproof material. Since a hardwood floor is often installed on concrete, it can experience water damage over time. The porous surface of concrete can allow water vapor from the ground to seep into the hardwood floor. This may result in the expansion of a hardwood floor. This will result in buckling or discoloration of hardwood floor.

A vapor barrier isn’t necessary for a hardwood floor on the second story of a home. Since the second story floor isn’t near the ground, it is unlikely to experience ground vapor.

Black Hardwood Flooring For Your Home

For years everyone has loved homes with hardwood flooring. Not only is the flooring durable but it also increases the value of your home. Today there are many choices of hardwood flooring including black hardwood flooring. Black hardwood flooring can be purchased in walnut, maple, birch, oak and hickory. The grain in all of these different types of wood is beautiful and can be shined for perfection and gives your home the most elegant of floors.

Hardwood floors stand the test of time and is a great flooring for a family with pets and children. It does not hold dust and is great for anyone who has allergies rather than installing carpet. It is cool in the summer and warm in the winter and gives your home the appeal that you want.

Black hardwood flooring can be found in most home improvement stores. You can also check and compare prices at a store that carries flooring only. If you choose to have it installed, you will find qualified workers who will do a good job laying your floor. Also, you can compare pricing from company to company to get the best price for your flooring. Black flooring is great to install in your kitchen and dining room as it is very easy to keep clean. Dark flooring does not fade as other choices of light wood may do. Dark flooring gives your home a look of elegance and a feel of warmth.

If you are thinking about installing hardwood floors in your home, speak to a specialist. They can show you all the choices of black flooring to help you make your decision of which one you would like to choose. A flooring specialist has knowledge he can share with you to make your decision an easy one. Flooring stores has someone who is willing to help you make your decision and is available to get your floors installed for you. If you are planning to install the floors yourself, he will also be able to advise you on what supplies you will need and be there if you should have any questions installing black flooring yourself. Take the time to educate yourself so you will be confident on your choice and will enjoy your floors once they are installed.