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3 weeks ago

What You Need to Know about Refinishing a Hardwood Floor

One of the best things about hardwood floors is they are designed to last a lifetime. Even when they are in serious disrepair, they can be made to look new again with a little refinishing work. If you’ve never done this kind of task before, here are some things you need to know.

 

Sanders

 

First, you’ll need to sand off the old stain and finish. Get a walk-behind floor sander, because it will be easier on your back and take less time than a hand sander. You don’t need to spend a lot of money for one because you can usually rent them at any equipment rental store.

 

You’ll also need a handheld sander, often called a power edge sander. This tool will reach in corners and along walls. Choose a sander that comes with a bag to hold the dust so that you have less cleanup and better air quality while you work. Of course, it is still important to wear safety goggles and a mask while you work.

 

Sandpaper

 

There are three basic grades of sandpaper. Coarse is what you use to take off the initial finish and to remove any imperfections in the wood. Medium is ideal for a second application, if necessary. Fine sandpaper is used for finishing. It smooths the wood so there are no splinters or rough areas.

If you have deep dents or damage to the wood, you can fill it with wood putty and allow it to dry. Then, use the fine sandpaper to sand it down smooth to match the rest of the floor.

 

Finish

 

Once you’ve finished sanding, you’ll need to clean the hardwood floor to remove all dust. The next step is applying the stain and finish. You can select the color stain that fits the rest of the room. You may prefer to leave the floor natural and just apply a clear finish. You have the option of polyurethane or varnish as well as a penetrating sealer. Each one comes with some benefits as well as disadvantages.

Polyurethane – this comes in either water- or oil-based and can darken the wood. It protects the wood in high-traffic areas as well as those where moisture may be an issue. The downside is it is more difficult to repair when scratched.

 

Varnish – this option can be glossy or matte, and it’s extremely durable. It is easy to repair, but it darkens with age.

 

Penetrating sealer – this product gives you a more natural finish and solid protection, but it’s less durable. It is easy to repair though.

 

Once you apply a coat, let it dry and apply at least one more coat. You’ll need to wait for at least 24 hours before you start moving furniture in or allowing heavy traffic.

 

Refinishing a hardwood floor can be a DIY project with the right equipment. Just make sure you allow enough time for the entire process. The final result will be worth the extra work involved.

 

Canada's premier hardwood flooring store. Proudly selling Hardwood Flooring in Toronto since 1977. We have hardwood, laminates, engineered, and exotic flooring; we also provide hardwood flooring installation.

 

3 weeks ago

What to Do When You Uncover Hardwood Floors

You’ve bought an old house, which has dingy carpet and broken tile on the floor. As you begin renovations, you’re pleased to discover that underneath is a hardwood floor. Now, all you have to do is pull up the old flooring and refinish the wood to have a brand new floor.

 

Remove the Old Floor

 

First, you will need to remove whatever is on top of the wood. Pulling up the carpet shouldn’t be too hard, but you may have to take up the padding as well. Tile may be more difficult, but you can break it

up. Just be careful that you don’t damage the wood.

 

One issue you may have to deal with is multiple layers. In a lot of these old homes, you’ll find three or four layers or even more on the floor before you get to the hardwood flooring. When this is the case, you may have to take up each one individually.

 

Clean up the Hardwood Floor

 

After you have removed all of the old flooring, you’ll need to clean up the hardwood. There may be bits of carpet or padding and glue attached to the wood that will need to be removed. Get a sander and lightly sand the floor to remove all imperfections.

 

If the wood has damage, such as dents, scratches or other problems, you may need to sand even more to ensure it’s smooth. You’ll want to finish with a high-grade sandpaper to make sure there are no

splinters in the wood.

 

Stain the Floor

 

Your next step is to stain the hardwood floor. If you want to keep it natural, you’ll probably still want to put a clear top coat on it to prevent water and spills from damaging the floor. You may need to use several coats of stain to get the color you want. It’s better to put multiple thin coats on the floor than one heavy coat.

 

You’ll also need to allow the stain to dry between coats, so be prepared for this project to take several hours. If you have never stained a floor before, make sure you schedule enough time when no one will need to walk on it.

 

One thing that is important to remember is that you can always lightly sand the floor again if you don’t like the color you choose. Most older floors were thick and made to last a lifetime. They can handle multiple sandings with no damage to the actual floor.

 

One of the most exciting finds for many homeowners is when they discover wood under the carpet or tile of their floors. Removing the flooring to uncover a hardwood floor can mean increased value for the property, especially after you have refinished it.

 

Just remember that true hardwood floors are usually easy to work with and hard to mess up. However, if you feel overwhelmed by the process, you can hire a professional to do the job for you.

 

Canada's premier hardwood flooring store. Proudly selling Hardwood Flooring in Toronto since 1977. We have hardwood, laminates, engineered, and exotic flooring; we also provide hardwood flooring installation.

2 months ago

The Good and Bad about Finished and Unfinished Hardwood Flooring

When it comes to hardwood flooring, you have two main options: finished and unfinished. Within these two categories, you have many other choices to make, but it all starts with whether you want a floor that is finished or unfinished. Both sides have their advantages, which can make it difficult to choose.

 

Why Choose Finished Hardwood Flooring

 

Buying a floor that is already prefinished will help you save money on your budget. Because the work was done at a facility instead of in your home, the cost is much less. You also enjoy the convenience of simply installing the floor and being ready to walk on it.

 

Another advantage is that there is not as much of a mess to clean up. No fumes from the stain means it is safer for your kids and pets.

 

A finished floor is ideal for any room, but especially for areas where there is a lot of traffic. It has a more durable finish, which can stand up to heavy use.

 

Why Choose Unfinished Hardwood Flooring

 

Unfinished floors also have something to offer. With unfinished wood, you have a better chance of matching it with other areas in your home that have wood floors. If you want to install wood floors through the entire home, unfinished wood helps to ensure a continuous look. Otherwise, you might end up with different shades that would look odd next to each other.

 

Not all finished wood materials come in every color. When you finish it yourself, you can choose the stain you want even if it isn’t available in a finished product.

Homes that are historical or have a unique architectural look may be hard to fit with a wood true to the original time. Instead of worrying about trying to find the perfect match, you can buy unfinished floors and locate the right stain.

 

DIY Floors

 

You’ll also want to consider who will be doing the installation. If you hire the work done by professionals, you’ll have to factor in the cost and time they must spend in your home.

On the other hand, you must figure in all the work involved if you plan to do the installation yourself.

While staining the floor isn’t too difficult, it will take time. You’ll have to fit it around your schedule and make sure everyone stays off the floor until it is finished.

 

Choosing the right floor for your home is a complex decision that starts with whether you will buy finished or unfinished floors. As you can see, there are a lot of factors to consider. If you aren’t sure which direction to go, talk to a hardwood flooring expert. They will ask the right questions and help you make the decision that is right for your budget, needs and lifestyle. And just remember, that this is the first of many questions you must answer when selecting the right floor for your home that will make you happy for years to come.

 

Canada's premier hardwood flooring store. Proudly selling Hardwood Flooring in Toronto since 1977. We have hardwood, laminates, engineered, and exotic flooring; we also provide hardwood flooring installation.

2 months ago

How to Make the Best Choice for Basement Hardwood Flooring

You may have heard the advice not to put a hardwood floor in a basement, but you just love the look. You want hardwood floors for your newly finished basement. While not always the right choice, there are times when it will work and options to make it safe.

 

Engineered Wood

 

The best option for the basement if you have your heart set on hardwood floors is engineered wood. This type of floor is made up of hardwood but it also has a fiberboard core which is dense. It is designed to hold up in areas with a higher moisture concentration than solid wood.

Even engineered wood can become damaged if the area has too much moisture. If you want to install this flooring in your basement, make sure you have a dehumidifier and monitor the moisture levels in

the room.

 

Engineered wood is also cheaper than solid hardwood, which makes it a more affordable option for this area. Talk to a hardwood flooring expert to decide on the best style and design.

 

Other Flooring Options

 

Several other options exist for basement floors, including laminate and vinyl. If the basement stays dry most of the time, these materials will work well for the rooms. Just make sure the subflooring is in excellent condition.

 

For those basements that don’t stay dry, your only options are concrete and stone because they can’t be damaged by moisture. Concrete is the least expensive and they can be stained to match your décor. To add warmth to the room, place an area rug on top of the concrete.

 

What to Avoid

 

The two worst flooring options for the basement are solid hardwood and carpet. Both of these materials should be saved for other areas of the home. Carpet is especially bad because it traps in moisture, causing mold and mildew to become problems.

 

If you like the feel of soft carpet under your feet, look at large area rugs that will cover most of the walkways and high traffic areas. They are easily removed and can be replaced for much less than the cost of carpet installation.

 

If you move into a home that has any other flooring in the basement other than concrete, you should inspect it to see if it should be replaced. As a rule, all carpet should be taken out, but It’s a must if the area shows signs of humidity and moisture.

If the basement becomes an area you don’t use or there are rooms that are closed off, make sure you check them regularly. If you go too long without a visual inspection, mold can take over and be costly to remove.

 

Finishing a basement means making a lot of decisions about how you will furnish and decorate it. You can’t treat this area like the rest of the house because of the high moisture content. Make sure you work with a professional who can help you choose the right flooring.

 

Canada's premier hardwood flooring store. Proudly selling Hardwood Flooring in Toronto since 1977. We have hardwood, laminates, engineered, and exotic flooring; we also provide hardwood flooring installation.

3 months ago

Top Hardwood Flooring Colors and Styles for 2017

While hardwood flooring never goes out of style, the colors and designs change with the times. One trend goes out and another one comes in. Anyone looking to add or update their floors will want to know what’s currently in style.

 

Light and Dark

 

Sometimes light hardwood is popular and other times it is dark shades. For 2017, both extremes are in style. Light shades are ideal for small rooms that need to look bigger or those that have a modern design. However, the trend is moving away from tans and yellows to cooler colors.

 

Dark shades hide flaws or scratches in the wood. They also disguise dirt and dust until you have time to clean. However, if you go too dark, like with ebony, it may actually accentuate the dirt or scratches.

 

Gray

 

Gray has become a well-loved shade for hardwood floors and other design elements. It doesn’t show any sign of stopping yet, and it adds a contemporary flair to a traditional flooring option. The trend for this year is a warmer shade, which blends in well with other pieces in the room. You can easily re-stain the floor if trends change without the expensive task of installing new floors.

 

Matte vs. Gloss

 

In recent years, you’ve probably seen countless homes with hardwood floors that look brand new with that high-gloss finish. It has such a high gloss that it looks wet. Well, that trend is going out of style in favor of a more matte finish. The matte look hides imperfections more easily and it just looks more practical. The upkeep isn’t as difficult either. If you don’t want to go all the way in the opposite direction, you can choose a satin look.

 

Wider Planks

 

The new planks don’t look a whole lot different than older versions, but they are about an inch wider. This difference isn’t all that noticeable, but it does mean fewer joints to join, and it creates a more unified look.

 

Patterned Wood

 

One of the newest trends for hardwood flooring is a patterned look. Large geometric patterns or herringbone give a different sense of style to a room. Often, the pattern doesn’t cover the whole floor but creates interest in the center or along the border. Many times, the pattern is made of variations of color in the wood. However, they may also showcase more vibrant shades, even primary colors to turn the floor into a focal point.

 

So, how do you know which of these color and style trends is right for you? You start with the look you like, but you also consider what works in your home as part of a complete design rather than just an individual style option. You can always talk to a design professional or hardwood flooring expert who will talk to you about current trends, home value and all of the design choices available to you. Take your time with the decision about what to put on your floor. It’s an investment that will last for years and even decades.

 

Canada's premier hardwood flooring store. Proudly selling Hardwood Flooring in Toronto since 1977. We have hardwood, laminates, engineered, and exotic flooring; we also provide hardwood flooring installation.

4 months ago

Moisture and Hardwood Flooring - What You Need to Know

Humidity impacts hardwood flooring regardless of where you live or where you have it installed in your house. It’s important to recognize this fact and know in what ways and how much moisture affects wood floors before you have them installed.

 

The Seasons

 

Even though your hardwood floors are inside the home, what’s going on outside plays a big part in what happens. Hot summers with high humidity can cause the wood to expand while the dry air in the winter causes them to contract. This action is normal for wood floors, but you can reduce the impact by installing humidity controls.

 

When the hardwood contracts in the winter, you may notice gaps between the boards. These are often slight and inconsequential. AS the temperature warms up, the gaps will disappear. To avoid the winter issues, use a humidifier and keep it above 40 percent.

 

In the summer, you have the danger of too much moisture causing the wood to bend around the edges. In severe situations, cracking can occur. To avoid this, keep the air conditioning on or use a dehumidifier.

Interior Factors

 

Besides the changing weather, other factors impact your hardwood flooring. If you install it in a bathroom, you’re going to deal with the humidity issue every time someone takes a shower. Before you choose to install a hardwood floor in any room, you should talk with an expert about the space. They can advise you on the best product and what steps you can take to avoid issues in the future.

The care of your floors will also impact how well they last. Avoid using a wet mop because even that much moisture can cause harm. Clean up a water spill quickly, and never leave wet or snowy boots to dry off on the floor.

 

Exotic wood floors require even more care because they are sensitive to moisture. You should talk to a floor professional about the care of the floor based on the type of wood you choose and where you live. Some products won’t be a good fit while others will adapt to your home.

 

Make sure you keep an eye on your basement or foundation as well as the plumbing system. Any leak can cause damage to a hardwood floor, especially if it results in flooding. If this happens, you will want a professional repairperson to look at your floors and determine what steps need to be taken to reduce the damage and prevent future problems.

 

Hardwood floors are a major investment for a homeowner. It’s important to take care of them so they can last a long time with no repairs or replacement. Moisture is wood’s number one enemy, so be prepared to do battle to keep your floors looking fabulous for as long as you own your home. If in doubt, talk to a professional hardwood flooring salesperson to find out what floor is best and what to do to keep it looking like new.

 

Canada's premier hardwood flooring store. Proudly selling Hardwood Flooring in Toronto since 1977. We have hardwood, laminates, engineered, and exotic flooring; we also provide hardwood flooring installation.

5 months ago

Dispelling the Myths about Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are a popular option with many homeowners today. However, some ideas have been generated about caring for this type of floor or about the material or other aspects of wood floors that just aren’t true. Separate fact from fiction so you know the truth about installing hardwood floors, caring for them and enjoying them.

 

Myth 1 – Hardwood floors are expensive

 

This is not completely a myth. Some hardwood flooring options are rather costly. However, they last longer than other flooring materials, which reduces their overall costs. Also, some material is less expensive than others, which is why it is important to shop around before making a final decision.

 

Myth 2 – Hardwood floors are difficult for upkeep

 

Wood floors are actually easy to care for. All you have to do is sweep them and wipe up spills. You can even wet mop them as long as you use only a damp mop and don’t allow water to stand on them. You don’t need a lot of fancy cleaners or polishes to keep your floors looking nice. In fact, they can do more

damage than good.

 

Myth 3 – Hardwood floors get dirtier than other flooring materials

 

Yes, hardwood floors show dirt easier than carpet or other materials, but the dirt is still there. In fact, wood is a better option because it doesn’t hide and harbor dirt, dust and mold. People with allergies find that hardwood floors are a healthier choice.

 

Myth 4 – Hardwood floors aren’t good in homes with pets or young children

 

Because kids and pets can be hard on floors, it’s often assumed that wood floors don’t mix well with them. The fact is you can find a more durable wood that holds up to heavy traffic and other issues better. You can also find a finish that minimizes wear and allows the floors to hold up to the typical family lifestyle.

 

Myth 5 – Hardwood floors can’t be installed in kitchens and bathrooms

 

It’s a common myth that you can’t put hardwood in rooms with high humidity and moisture. The truth is that you can do this if you choose the right kind of wood. Some woods are designed to hold up better in bathrooms or other areas where humidity levels are high. It’s a good idea to talk to a flooring expert to

discuss your options.

 

Myth 6 – Engineered wood is fake wood

 

Many people believe that choosing engineered wood means they are not getting real wood floors. Engineered wood is made up of real wood fibers combined with wood composites. They are made using multiple layers, which is why they are durable and long-lasting. In addition, engineered wood floors look the same as hardwood once they have been installed.

 

If you’re considering adding hardwood floors to your home, it’s important that you know the truth about the product. Understand what information is myth and what is fact, so you can make a good decision about what will work best for your space.

 

Canada's premier hardwood flooring store. Proudly selling Hardwood Flooring in Toronto since 1977. We have hardwood, laminates, engineered, and exotic flooring; we also provide hardwood flooring installation.