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2 weeks 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.

 

2 weeks ago

5 Tips for Caring for Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are beautiful and add value to a home. They are also easy to upkeep if you know what to do and just as importantly, what not to do. Here are five tips to help you care for your floors to keep them looking like new.

 

1. An Ounce of Prevention

 

Preventing damage is worth more than fixing it when it comes to hardwood floors. The key is to anticipate issues before they occur. Some ways to do this include:

 

Place rugs in high-traffic areas

Put coasters or other protectors on furniture to prevent scratches

Keep pets off hardwood floors

Remove high-heeled shoes before walking on the hardwood floors

Place rugs around tables or where spills can happen

These steps help prevent scratches, dents and other damage that can be difficult to fix.

 

2. Avoid Water for Cleaning

 

Yes, you can use water to wipe up spills or to clean up dirt, but it’s a good idea not to use a mop that can spread a lot of water around. Don’t allow water to stand on your hardwood floors. The idea here is to use a damp mop and then to make sure the floor dries completely and quickly.

Water that is left standing on hardwood floors can seep into the wood and warp it. This is especially true in older homes with floors that are original to the house.

 

3. Sweep Often

 

Low maintenance doesn’t mean no maintenance. Use a vacuum or dry mop to remove dust at least twice a week or more often if needed. If you fail to dust your floors often, the debris will lessen the sheen on the floor, leaving it dull.

 

At the same time, you want to avoid using products that say they polish or shine hardwood. What happens is they create a buildup on the floor, which will actually hurt the look of the wood over time.

 

4. Keep It Cool

 

Keep the rooms where you have hardwood floors cooler. Set the thermostat between 60 and 80 degrees. More importantly, keep the humidity level around 30 to 50 percent. This helps prevent buckling or gaps in the hardwood planks. The problem is caused by both moisture in the air and excess heat.

 

Don’t worry if the room gets hotter or cooler for a short term. It’s only with prolonged temperature changes that the wood will be impacted.

 

5. Keep the Sun Out

 

Sunlight coming in through a window will fade your floors over time. The change is subtle and often not noticeable until you move furniture around and see the difference in shades.

To prevent the problem, close curtains during hours when sunlight is coming in directly through a window. You can open it up for more light once the sun has moved away.

 

These simple tips will help your hardwood floors continue looking like new. While wood flooring doesn’t require a lot of work, it does require you to pay attention to the needs of your floors to ensure they last a long time and still look fabulous.

 

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

The Different Types of Wood to Choose from for Your Hardwood Floor

While you may know about oak and walnut for hardwood floors, you may not be aware of all the choice of wood available. Even though each one is beautiful, not all of them will be right for your space or even your location. Whether you’re replacing hardwood floors in Toronto or building a new home in Montreal, you want the perfect wood for your floors.

 

Oak

 

One of the most durable types of wood available, oak has been the traditional choice in older homes. If you want to preserve the historical features of a house, this wood may be the choice. It’s also long-lasting and will be around for generations if it is taken care of. Within the oak category, you can find many variations. While oak tends to be lighter, you can find white oak and red oak, which provide unique shades.

 

Maple

 

Another popular choice for many generations, maple is lighter in weight but still long-lasting. It’s also often light in shade though you can stain it darker. The pattern in Canadian White Hard Maple are lighter, making it an ideal option in small rooms that need to appear larger.

 

Cherry

 

This wood has a rich color, making it ideal for formal living rooms, bedrooms and other special areas. While it has wide appeal, the dark tones are best suited to larger spaces. In a small room, the darker tones will make the area feel tight and cramped.

 

Bamboo

 

A modern option for wood floors, bamboo is light and informal. It appeal to many homeowners because it can fit in just about any space. Another reason it’s so popular is because it is an exotic wood, which makes it seem unique even though it’s seen in a lot of homes today.

 

Other Options

 

You can find many other species of wood for your home. For instance, Brazilian Cherry, Australian Cypress, Northern White Ash and African Pedauk are just a few options you may encounter when shopping for hardwood floors.

 

When choosing the best wood for your floor, the first consideration will be cost. Exotic woods are pricier than domestic wood. While this won’t matter as much in an entry, it could mean a big difference to the budget for a living room or the entire house.

 

You’ll also want to think about the tones.  A light wood will look and feel much different from dark tones. You’ll also find warm shades and cool shades, which will impact your overall theme. Don’t forget to think about other wood pieces in your room, such as a dining room table or the wood on the arms of a sofa. While you won’t necessarily want them to match, the different woods should complement each other.

 

If you aren’t sure which hardwood to choose for your floors, contact a reputable company or interior designer to guide you. They will know the best woods to choose to create a room you will enjoy for many years.

 

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

Don’t Forget the Details When Choosing Hardwood Flooring

When homeowners decide to install hardwood floors to their homes, they often focus on price and color. While these two aspects are important, several other components play a key role in whether your choice will look good. Pay attention to all of these details when selecting hardwood flooring for your home in Toronto, Montreal, Halifax or anywhere else.

 

Species of Wood

 

One of the first choices to make is which species of wood you want. Even if you have a particular species in mind, you may end up with a dozen choices. You can start out narrowing it down by domestic or exotic wood, which will impact your budget. Some species can tolerate humidity better while other species may be preferred with radiant heating or other features.

 

Grade

 

The grade of wood tells you the quality of it. Some species may come with multiple grades while others have none. It is often an indication of how many flaws or marks are on the wood.

 

Cut of the Wood

 

The cut has a major impact on moisture tolerance. There are three cuts, which include standard, quartered and riftsawn. These cuts refer to the angle the saw goes into the wood. Quartersawn is a harder wood, and it’s ideal for rooms which will have more moisture.

 

Pattern

 

This tells you what direction the floor will be laid, with the most common being plank or strips. Parquet is another type with many design options. The pattern is a big part of how your floor will look when it’s finished, so make sure you understand your options.

 

Dimensions

 

You’ll want to have the width and length of the floor measured and consider the thickness. These numbers could impact your floor because not all products are ideal for every type of installation.

 

Color

 

Color is one of the most important aspects of choosing a hardwood floor. You want something you like, but you also must consider how it will look with the rest of the design. For example, small rooms are better suited to light wood while dark tones bring a coziness to large rooms. You’ll also have to factor in how it matches with other wood products in the room, such as a dining room table or cabinet. Every board will not be the exact same shade because the boards come from different trees. You can ask for a

sample to look at and even take home and see how it matches up with your room.

 

With so many factors to consider, you may want to hire a designer to look at your home and help you decide which woods are best suited for your home. Remember that hardwood flooring is a major investment and you want to enjoy your final choice for many years to come. Don’t rush into a decision until you feel confident you have made the right one. The perfect wood floor will make you feel at home and welcome all of your guests into your home.

 

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

Decorating Tips for Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are a popular flooring option among many people today. They are known for their beauty and elegance, but it can be difficult to decorate the rest of the room around this feature. Here are some tips to help you incorporate hardwood floors into your design.

 

1. Know Your Style

 

The type of material you choose for your hardwood floors depends on the overall look you want to achieve. For example, traditional rooms often feature oak and ash floors. The style is classic and never goes out of style. You have the option of several stains.

If contemporary is more your style, maple is always a hit, or you can go with something a bit more exotic like tigerwood. Hickory and cherry lend themselves to the rustic look for a cozier feel. Walnut is a versatile option, which goes with just about anything.

 

2. Choose the Color

 

The finish you want for your hardwood floors is often the hardest aspect to select. You can contrast the floor with your furniture to bring the focus to both areas. The other option is to match the shades as closely as possible. A dark stain with high gloss is popular with contemporary designs while rich colors are more traditional. Think honey or mahogany.

People who like the rustic or antique look may want a floor that appears distressed, almost as if it is historic. Hand-scraped floors give off this impression, and you will want to avoid the high-gloss shine for

a more matte appearance.

 

3. Allow Flow

 

Let your hardwood flooring flow throughout your home by avoiding dividers from one room to the next.

Choose the same floor for all of your rooms, especially if you have an open floor plan. By using the same material throughout the space, you create a cohesive design, which is also easier to clean.

Don’t be afraid to use rugs in high-traffic areas or to add a bit of softness to the space. Rugs help define areas, such as sitting rooms, in an open floor plan. Choose a rug design that either blends in or provides a high contrast based on your personal style preferences. If you select a bold rug, keep furniture and other décor understated. You don’t want too many pieces vying for attention.

 

4. Add Light

 

Bring light into a room with hardwood floors to brighten up the room or to add warmth. Soft lighting will add to the cozy feel while bright natural light will make the space feel bigger. While more light is valuable to rooms with dark wood flooring to prevent the dark, dreary feel, it can enhance any space.

Don’t be afraid to have fun with your hardwood floors. Pair them with industrial elements or bold colors to create a contemporary space that you’ll love. Today’s designs allow you to create almost any look you want using this timeless feature. When decorating with hardwood floors, consider all of the design elements of the room to ensure a look that fits your style.

 

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

Choosing the Right Colour Hardwood for Your Floors

There are literally dozens of shades for hardwood floors. With so many variations, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. First, you should narrow your choices down by category – light or dark, warm or cool tones, so that the options available aren’t as overwhelming.

 

Room Size

 

One of the first considerations should be the size and layout of the room where you will be adding hardwood flooring. A small room needs light shades to feel bigger. If it has few windows or very little natural lighting, lighter tones will be preferred. Otherwise, you’ll have a room that feels dark and dreary.

Larger rooms have more options, and you can take advantage of the size to install rich, dark wood. High ceilings can also handle the dark floor. If your home has low ceilings, you’ll need both lighter walls and floors.

 

Consider Your Décor

 

The floor is just one element of your design, and you must consider other aspects. Decide on your wall color to ensure it complements your floors. If you choose a dark wall colour, you will want a lighter shade for the floor. The opposite is true as well.

 

You also want to ensure your floors don’t match the wood on your furniture. Select shades that complement or contrast each other.

 

Dark tones create a more formal and traditional look, while lighter shades add a contemporary, casual feel. Natural wood is better able to conceal scratches and dent.

 

The Big Picture

 

When adding hardwood to a home, you will probably want to lay the same flooring to the entire house if you can afford it. However, if you are only able to budget in one room at a time, you want to keep with the same colour for a more cohesive feel. It would look odd to have light wood floors in one room that runs into the next room with dark chestnut wood.

 

Perhaps the most important rule in choosing the right shade of wood for your floors is to go with what you like. No matter what the rules say, if you don’t like the look, you won’t be happy with the result. Since installing hardwood floors is an investment, you want to take the time to select the colour you want.

 

Another point to consider is the fact that you can sand and stain your floors a different colour as long as you work with real wood. Of course, going from light to dark is easier than the opposite direction, but it can be done.

 

If you aren’t sure what to select, and you’re afraid of making the wrong choice, contact a professional designer to help you. They can point out options that work with other design elements in your home, and help you avoid making a glaring mistake. In the end, the final decision will be yours.

Follow these tips when selecting the colour for your hardwood floors, and you’ll be sure to end up with a room you’ll love 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.

4 months ago

What You Should Understand about Estimates for Hardwood Flooring Costs

When you want to install hardwood floors in your home, you’ll visit a hardwood flooring store. You’ll pick out a style you like and provide details about the size of the room for installation. In some cases, a professional installer may even visit your home to find exact measurements. Before you make the purchase, you’ll be given a cost estimate for the flooring. It’s important to understand what this estimate includes and what it doesn’t.

 

Generally, a cost estimate has two basic components: materials and labor or services. The key to understanding your estimate is to know what is included under those broad categories and what may be an extra charge. When you know this information ahead of time, it prevents any unnecessary surprises at the end.

 

The Cost of Hardwood Flooring Materials

 

The materials will include the actual hardwood planks or boards needed to complete your space. It’s important to allow about 10 percent extra in materials to ensure you have enough. Most stores will do this automatically for you.

 

Also included is the subfloor or any underlayment needed in the installation. Trims and mouldings are part of materials along with the adhesive and any other items necessary. For the most part, this amount shouldn’t change much if any from the original estimate to the final charges as long as no boards are damaged or any unexpected problems don’t arise.

 

The Cost of Service

 

The labor or service cost is where you may notice changes. The reason for the difference between the estimate and final price often comes from included services vs. additional services. Some services that may or may not be automatically included in the labor charge include the following:

 

Removal of furniture and/or replacement after installation

Removal and/or disposal of previous flooring

Preparation of subfloor

Delivery of flooring materials

Actual installation

 

The issue with this category often comes from the first two items. Some companies include removing furniture and the old floor as part of their labor or service costs while others label them as add-ons. When they are add-ons, they incur additional charges other than primary labor cost.

 

To avoid a surprise, you should ask if this is part of the estimate or what the additional cost would be. Also find out if there is a limit on the number of pieces included in the cost of removal or if oversized pieces cost extra.

 

If you’re looking to save money and plan to do some of the work yourself, such as removing the old floor, you also want to find out if that will reduce the cost or if it’s automatically included regardless. You don’t want to do the extra work and discover you have to pay the charge anyway.

 

Make sure you understand what is included in your cost estimate for hardwood flooring in Toronto and elsewhere in Canada before you sign the contract for purchase. This way, you’ll avoid any payment shock once the floors have been installed in your home.

 

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

Tips for Choosing Prefinished or Unfinished Hardwood Floors

Decide to replace or add hardwood flooring to your home, and one of the decisions you’ll be faced with is whether to purchase prefinished or unfinished wood. Both options can work for you, but you do need to understand the difference before you make your selection.

 

What a Finish Does

 

The finish on hardwood floors is actually a top coat that protects the floor. It acts as a sealant to prevent damage that comes from spills and stains, moisture and just normal wear-and-tear. Floors designated as pre-finished have the finishing process completed while the planks are being manufactured. Floors labeled as unfinished or site-finished have the topcoat put on at your home.

 

Since the end result is the same, you may wonder at the difference and which one will work best for you. Here is a look at both options in more detail.

 

Prefinished Floors

 

Floors that have been finished at the factory are easy to install and take less on-site work. The finish is of the highest quality in a controlled environment. It’s longer lasting because of the aluminum oxide urethane coating that is deemed to be high performance. Ultraviolet light is used to cure the coating to the wood, which will preserve the color to prevent fading.

 

These floors are designed to be durable and not only last a lifetime but look good even years after installation. Many times, you’ll find hardwood flooring with warranties of up to 35 years. They are also resistant to scratches and stains.

 

Here are some other advantages:

 

Floors are ready for use with no curing time

No strong odors from finishing or dust from sanding

Can be sanded and refinished more than once

Manufacturer’s warranty covers against defects

Unfinished Floors

 

Unfinished floors are brought to the customer’s home and finished by the professional installers. These floors get two to three coats of the polyurethane sealant and cured by air drying. They aren’t as hard as finished floors, but they are often less expensive.

 

When the flooring and installing team arrive, the boards are sanded and stained prior to finishing. The entire process takes longer than with finished flooring, which can increase the total cost.

 

The advantages of choosing hardwood flooring in Toronto or other cities for your home include the following features:

 

Custom color choices to match your preference or existing décor

Some styles of hardwood and widths only come in unfinished options

Can be sanded and refinished as needed

An additional advantage is that you can install them yourself for cheaper than buying prefinished floors. You just have to know how to do the finishing work.

 

There is no right or wrong choice when selecting prefinished or unfinished floors. It depends on your personal preference or the project you have. For instance, you may prefer unfinished floors if you’re adding on a new room or completely renovating a space. If you are installing hardwood flooring in an existing space you’re using, prefinished may be a more convenient option.

 

Talk to a professional hardwood flooring expert to discuss your options and find the style of floor that best fits your needs.

 

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

Hardwood Flooring Awards 2016 and What You Can Do With Hardwood Flooring

Imagine an unlikely scene of an African oasis right in the middle of the United States Midwest. Springfield, Missouri to be precise. Claiming the rights as the winner of the Members’ Choice award, this home joined other award winners, including a famous Russian palace and public hall in Tajikistan.

 

These hardwood floor experts are true artists and members of the National Wood Flooring Association. A panel of experts judged the entries and announced the winners at the NWFA Wood Flooring Expo in Charlotte, NC, which was held in April.

 

An African Oasis in the Midwest

 

Archetypal Imagery Corp, which is a company based out of Bronx, NY crafted an unforgettable floor for a client. The African Queen as the home was referred to was a site to behold but still missing something. The project manager wanted something special for the dining room floor. In what seemed more fitting to a fictional story, the artist, VartanArutyunian awoke with a vision for his project of a Nile crocodile extending 17 feet. The scales would be fashioned of reclaimed walnut and white oak sapwood with a watchful eye made of jet black ebony.

 

The largest floor centerpiece was fitting inside a home filled with a 3,000-pound bronze elephant and statues of rhinos with chandeliers of kudu horns and lion mounts at full size. With the owner’s approval, the team began work in earnest with only two months to accomplish this massive task.

 

A Labor of Love

 

Attention to detail is what makes this crocodile stand out. The work began with a life-size sketch, which was then transferred to plywood. Thousands of pieces of wood were cut to create the scales. Larger scales along the tail were one inch squares while smaller pieces formed the rest of the body. Not only the size varied but the height as well to create a 3D impression. Black ebony was used for the eye and nails and came from the keys of old pianos.

 

A shadowing effect was created through a flame, which made the creature even more lifelike. Adding hardwax was the final step to add durability, and required the use of Q-tips for precise results.

 

While not every home will have an exhibit like this, hardwood floors can be used to create a focal piece that stands out. Hardwood flooring in Thornhill and other cities throughout Canada can easily be designed to make a statement. Rather than allowing them to blend in and be forgotten, bold designs ensure they garner compliments worthy of an award.

 

Anyone who would like to create something unique in their floors should speak with a hardwood flooring expert. They can learn about the latest trends as well as any unusual designs that are available. From something simple like contrasting planks to intricate designs, these floors can make a home feel special. Working with a professional ensures you get the results you want that fit your home and your lifestyle.

 

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.

6 months ago

How to Design Your Room Around Hardwood Floors

Perhaps you bought a home that contains beautiful hardwood floors or you just installed a new floor in your current home and want to update the rest of the décor. Decorating a room around your floors isn’t complicated, but you do want to follow a few rules to create a cohesive design that you will enjoy for years to come.

 

Dark Floors

 

Dark hardwood floors are an attractive option, but they can make a room feel small and dreary. How you decorate the space will depend on the size of the room and how much natural light comes in. Avoid heavy draperies and choose light airy curtains to create a more expansive feel.

Choose light furniture that contrasts with the dark floors. If you have a family, white or tan may not be the ideal choice, but you can go with khaki or grey. Add a lot of soft lighting throughout the space to make the room feel brighter.

 

Light Floors

 

If your floors feature a light pine or bamboo wood, you have a lot of options for decorating. You can continue that theme with everything else in the room, or you can add some contrast with dark furniture and accents. Just be careful you don’t darken the room too much or you’ll take away the brightness the floor adds to the space.

 

Don’t be afraid to bring in bold colors, especially dark blues, reds and deep greys. The contrast creates an unforgettable focal point to make your room stand out.

 

Contemporary Design

 

Many people have the idea that hardwood floors mean a country or rustic design, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Even if your floors have a country feel, you can modernize your space with contemporary furniture and accent pieces. A dark or very light hardwood design lends itself to an industrial feel. Consider using chrome and stainless steel as part of your theme for a modern look.

 

Purchase modern fixtures in brushed nickel, bronze or other materials. To avoid the country look, keep the lines of your furniture clean and simple. Avoid colors that tend to enhance the country look, instead sticking with neutrals and adding pops of color with primary shades like red or yellow.

 

Blending In

 

If you aren’t a fan of your hardwood floors but can’t afford to replace them, decorate around them so that they blend in to your design. Avoid stark contrasts that make the floor a focal point. Don’t be afraid to cover it up with a large area rug.

 

An even better idea is to check out the latest options in hardwood flooring. With engineered wood and other options, you might discover that replacing the floor is more affordable than you thought.

Learn how to work with your hardwood floors as you decorate to create a space you enjoy and one that exudes warmth and fits your personality. Whether your floors are modern or a historical part of the home, you can design a room around this feature.

 

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.