Category Archives: Services

The Most Popular Hardwood Floors Among Beaverton Residents

Choosing your hardwood flooring can be a tedious task. There are a number of options to consider if you’re looking for Beaverton hardwood floors. Each option provides a distinct characteristic that makes it unique, so you need to know your priorities to make an informed decision.

One option Beaverton residents often consider is distressed wide planks. Growing in popularity, this comes in a variety of wood types. Its popularity is based on its beauty and the fact that it has fewer seems. If you’re looking for that rustic look with your Beaverton hardwood floors, this is the option for you.

The Most Popular Hardwood Floors Among Beaverton Residents

For people who want a touch of history incorporated into their homes, reclaimed pine could be an option for you. It comes from historical buildings and you can even check to see if your contractor has some native materials you can use. This is certainly an eco-friendly solution and it provides a luxurious look as well. This is a fine choice for Beaverton residents to consider.

Maple plank brings warmth to a room and it also contrasts well if you have black and white mosaic tile on your walls. One area this could work well in is a powder room without a shower. We wouldn’t recommend this for a full bathroom as maple doesn’t hold up well when wet. Again, this choice would be ideal in a half-bath or another room where the floors are not often saturated.

If you’re searching for wood floors and want a style that mixes well with pretty much anything, red oak might be your best bet. Reddish tones lend well to its beauty, and its signature quality is resistance to wear and tear. This makes red oak a great choice for frequently trafficked areas, such as your living room or dining room.

If you’re looking to add the look of luxury to your home, think about ebonized hardwood. This has a dark and opaque look that complements a lot of styles. It really stands out if it’s located in a neutral space. These dark hardwoods, which include oak, cherry, and walnut, create a sleek look that is truly beautiful. That will make any room look top-notch.

Are you looking for something exotic for your flooring? If so, consider Brazilian cherry. The multitude of colors gives this eccentric floor a mosaic-type look, which is truly unique. Aside from the fact that it looks beautiful, these floors are known to be sturdy and most importantly, they’re considered affordable. Saving money while making a big decision like this shouldn’t be the be the only consideration, but it’s certainly an important factor to consider when deciding which type of flooring to go with.

If you’re looking for another budget-friendly option, you can go with eucalyptus hardwood flooring. This brings a high-style feel to your space and it is also becoming more popular. It’s considered an eco-friendly option, which certainly is an added benefit, and if you pair this flooring with some white furnishings, your home or office will become the epitome of elegance. If that’s what you’re looking for in your choice for Beaverton hardwood floors, then this is obviously the best choice for you.

Many people want their floors to bring a comforting feeling to the area, and for that, douglas fir is a good choice. This brand of hardwood flooring makes your home seem very inviting to visitors, and the stain in the fir showcases the grain’s detail, which is quite beautiful. This could work in family rooms or dens, as well as various other places in your home.

Now, what are the trends indicating as we move into 2018? Darker and cooler tones seem to be on the upswing in popularity. People often make this decision because darker floors are known to be easier to maintain. Their lighter counterparts certainly show more, which forces homeowners to clean and maintain them on a much more frequent basis. There are many blends of colors that work for the darker floor plan and you can consult with your contractor to see what works best for you.

Also on the rise is gray flooring. This isn’t only in wood, but also tile that looks like hardwood. Refinishing your hardwood floors in gray is no easy task and if that’s something you’re looking to consider, be sure to let a professional do it. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, this is a good task to avoid because you may end up calling someone to clean up the mess you made anyway. Just avoid the headache and do the job right.

Another stylish choice that’s growing in popularity is flooring with a matte finish. This is quite a change from the formerly-trendy glossy finishes, which are no longer as popular as they used to be. If you are looking to accentuate the natural look of the wood, this could be a good decision to make. Matte finish does not reflect as much light as its glossy counterpart, and a big bonus is it does not show as much dirt, debris, and damage as glossy. It seems to be the clear-cut better choice moving forward.

To know what decision is best for you it’s highly recommended you consult with the professionals and have an idea in mind of what you’re looking for. If you desire true elegance, strictly comfort, or something else, that can affect which choice is best to make. Have a conversation with your contractor, and if they’re good at what they do, they should be able to make recommendations as to what types of flooring are best for both you and your family.

At the end of the day, you want to make the right decision that lasts for years. That means putting in research and time because if you don’t put in the necessary dedication, you could be back looking into flooring alternatives sooner than you think.

Happy hunting!

Hardwood Flooring: Should I Repair or Replace?

When you experience issues with your hardwood flooring in Portland, deciding what’s next is quite complicated. On one hand, it’s easy to just assume that the flooring needs to be replaced, but why would you spend the money when maybe it’s not really necessary? Sometimes, depending on what’s wrong with the floor, repairs can be made. However, if the repair is only a temporary fix, then you will have to weigh the best decision that works for you and your family, both logistically and financially.

All hardwood flooring will eventually show signs of general wear and tear. These could include some light-colored patches, as well as slight separation between the boards. Stains and scratches also happen often, especially if you have pets or little kids frequently running around. Stains, if cleaned quickly, shouldn’t be a problem in most cases, but if you don’t address them immediately, you could have a lingering problem on your hands. These stains could cause permanent damage, which could have been avoided if you acted quicker.

Hardwood Flooring Should I Repair or Replace

Burns also leave marks but are significantly less common. This occurs most often from someone dropping a hot frying pan or baking sheet. These incidences could leave noticeable burn marks, which is not the most visually appealing thing for a homeowner to see. Did you know that an acid-based nail polish remover or fruit juice can also eat away at your flooring finish? This can also happen with bleach.

Now that you know some of the most common causes that would prompt repair, let’s discuss this further.

When problems arise, it’s time to call on a skilled contractor to salvage and refinish floors. Such instances include termite-damaged planks, insect-infested boards or delaminated strips. These can be replaced, as long as there are not so many. If the problem is rampant throughout your hardwood flooring, you may want to consider giving a hardwood flooring Portland expert a call to consider your options, which ultimately may lead to replacement.

We often have to deal with the damage caused by our furry friends. Dogs like to mark their territory, and that could lead to urine stains on your hardwood. These effects could be minimized with stain or you can cover them with a rug. Of course, if the scent from the urine remains, your dog may be likely to urinate on the rug as well. It’s obviously helpful to have your dog trained to go outside, but accidents happen. Make sure your dog knows he/she did something wrong, and the negative reinforcement could help prevent it from happening again.

Small stains and scratches can be taken care of yourself, should you so choose. Your first step is to clean your floor with an abrasive hardwood cleaning agent. You’ll probably have to go to the hardware store to find that, unless you have it on hand. Then you use steel wool to eliminate the stain or scratch. If the stain or scratch is substantial, you might be better off leaving it to the professionals.

Sometimes the replacement and repair costs don’t cost much different. Especially if you’re doing the work yourself, it takes a while and is labor-intensive. It’s also quite messy, so you need to take extra precautions to protect your valuables. Also, the drying of the floors could take considerable time, so if you factor in all that we’ve mentioned, plus the cost of your time, you may not have saved much money at all if you think about it.

Floors with extreme movement between the boards are a candidate for replacement. We advise against trying to repair these because the movement will affect the sanding and the finish, which does not serve your floor well. You want the job to be done right if you’re getting a repair. In this case, you can run into considerable issues. Obviously, if there are substantial structural issues, replacement is a no-brainer. This is a safety hazard, and you don’t want to risk injury or worse just to save a few bucks. Call a hardwood flooring Portland expert to come and do the work so you and your family can thrive in a comfortable environment with a safe floor.

Also, if you have had your floors refinished multiple times over a long period of time, it might just be time for a new floor. Ultimately, if you are repeating the process over and over, the price far outweighs the reward. Save the money and get a new floor, that way your aggravation should subside for many years to come.

Replacing a floor is most often more expensive than refinishing a floor. Carpeting the area can be quite extensive too, but again, there are varying factors that help you decide what decision is best for you. If you’re looking to change your look altogether, then maybe going to carpet is the logical decision to make. If you enjoy your hardwood floors, and the damage is minimal, have a flooring Portland expert come and make the fixes. If they are beyond repair, then taking the leap to replace them altogether with new hardwood flooring could be best for you. Again, if you’d want a consensus, bring in a couple of experts to give you their opinion. If they all are in agreement, you should rely on their years of knowledge. Ultimately, while they’re looking to have you hire them, they’re also looking to do a good job and have you recommend them to your family and friends for years to come.

Ultimately, you and your family, based on your specific circumstance, need to put your heads together and think about what’s best, from a safety perspective and a money perspective. If you’re unsure of any facet of your decision, do yourself a favor and call a hardwood flooring Portland expert like us. We’ll advise you on what the best decision is, and you can finally make a decision and get to work.

6 Questions to Ask Before Installing Hardwood Floors

When it comes time to replace your flooring, hardwood is a preferred material to choose from. It will enhance the look of your home and add a sense of elegance and warmth that other types of flooring simply can’t provide.

It’s also versatile, low maintenance, durable, and cost-effective. It’s also really good with acoustics, so if you’re musically inclined, this is definitely the preferred choice for you. Hardwood is a favorite choice for homeowners as it can help to raise the value of your home. If you come to a point where you’re going to sell your home, studies have shown that prospective home buyers certainly value a natural hardwood look as opposed to carpet.

6 Questions to Ask Before Installing Hardwood Floors

However, there are questions you should ask potential contractors before installing hardwood floors in your home. Here are a few to get you started on the search.

First, what’s the best type of hardwood flooring for your home? While contractors may have a range of opinions on this, various types of hardwood offer an array of attributes for you to enjoy. And, the type of subfloor you have can be a factor on which choice you want to make.

Different species of wood, such as hickory and maple, offer various designs and performance values. For example, Hickory floors don’t absorb water the way other types of wood do, so they can be easily mopped. As for maple, it’s known to be the most affordable and easiest to maintain. Like any substantial purchase, the potential contractor should be able to weigh the pros and cons of each option with you before you start installing hardwood floors. Make sure you do some research on your own too and be prepared with questions. That way, you can make the best decision for you and your family in the long run.

Next, ask about the validity of the company you are thinking about working with. By that I mean you should vet the contractor. Make sure they are licensed and insured. Heaven forbid an accident were to happen during work, they should be covered on their end. If you don’t ask these questions up front, you could be liable in the wake of an accident. The last thing you need is a personal injury lawsuit on your hands when all you were looking for was to install hardwood floors.

Also, ask for references and call them before committing to any work with the contractors you’re considering. Also, go online and do a search. If you find negative stories, ask the company about your concerns. Remember, there are two sides to every story. But, at the end of the day, if you don’t find yourself completely comfortable with the contractor, they probably aren’t the best fit to be installing hardwood floors in your home.

Ask about the cost. When we say that, we mean all of the costs. Sometimes, contractors charge for an estimate. You should know that ahead of time. Depending on the scope of the project, a lot of furniture may need to be moved to accommodate the work. Is there a cost associated with that? What about the old flooring? How does that get disposed and who pays for that? A true professional who’s been operating for a long time should know how to present the cost. Nobody likes being surprised with hidden fees. If a contractor comes across as secretive, move on and instead work with a company who is upfront about the cost of the project you request.

Ask what your warranty covers, and make sure to have those details before a company begins installing your hardwood floors. Different companies offer different protections, and you need to make sure you’re covered in the event something goes wrong. While some companies offer ten-year warranties, others offer a shorter timeframe with an option to buy additional time.

Also, remember that these contractors want your business, and it’s a competitive work environment. You may be able to negotiate some costs associated with the warranty.

Ask about the required timeframe. While each project differs, contractors should be able to provide you with a rough estimate, as there are factors, such as Mother Nature, which can delay work. Before installing hardwood floors, they should detail exactly what work will be performed and when each aspect of your project will be completed. And, once started, if any surprises should arise altering the timeline, they should keep you informed.

Make sure to ask about matching mold and trim. While this may or may not be an aspect of your project, homeowners often opt to replace their trim when their floors are replaced. For this reasons, it could also be a great opportunity to update your molding as well. While you may hear people use these terms interchangeably, trim is found near the bottom of the wall and often hides any sliver gaps between your flooring and your wall, while molding, often called crown molding, appears at the top of your wall, touching your ceiling.

While some companies are simply flooring experts, they will often replace your trim as well. However, if trim or molding is not their area of expertise, they should at least be able to direct you to another recommended company who will be able to complete this next step for you.

The bottom line is you need to ask questions when speaking with a potential contractor before they are selected to install your hardwood floors. This list should include how long the project is going to take, the costs associated with the work, and references surrounding previous work.

You’re about to make a rather large, important purchase and you want to make sure everything goes down without a hitch. If you put in the time and effort now, you will soon have a home with brand new hardwood flooring that you and your family will enjoy for years to come.

How to Repair Damaged Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are generally a very popular choice for use in the home, whether that means a house, apartment, or condominium. Often times the hardwood floors are used for cosmetic purposes because the occupant of the property simply prefers the way they look. However, hardwood floors can also be preferable because they do not often require as much work to put in and take out as carpets.

If hardwood floors are your preference, though, and your hardwood floors get damaged, it is extremely important that you attend to that damage and fix it right away. You want to avoid at all costs seeing this damage becoming disastrous and permanently ruining the look and texture of your floor. When it comes to how to repair damaged hardwood floors, there are several things you need to know.

How to Repair Damaged Hardwood Floors

(1) Make appropriate replacements – one thing you will likely need to do when it comes to how to repair hardwood floors is replacing chipboards, a task best completed with a circular saw. Likewise, if you have to replace old square-edged boards, they do not have interlocking edges so they are relatively easy to switch out, but you need to make sure you are extra careful in evading damage to pipes and cables underneath where you are working. Use a pencil to outline the damaged area and use a pry bar to raise the board up and avoid it falling and causing damage below.

Make sure the wood is held up securely and then mark the new material for the replacement board and cut it to size with the saw. Once you have the new board appropriately sized, lay it in where the damaged wood was and nail it into place. If you need to remove tongue and groove boards, you will need to cut through them to do so.

Once again, you are best served using a circular saw and must go out of your way to avoid damaging anything below. Cutting through any concealed nails could be tricky, so a nail cutting blade could come in handy for that. The saw should be used to cut straight through the damaged wood to and once again, a pry bar should be used to hold that wood up and keep it from doing damage below. Use a chisel to remove the tongue from the new wood and cut it to the exact size specifications that you need. It won’t be possible to nail this wood in regularly, so instead, you will need to fill the holes in with finish nails.

(2) There is more than one way to cut wood – If you are looking to learn how to repair damaged hardwood floors, it is imperative that you understand there is more than one way to cut the wood you are using for replacement. You can cut standard up-down or left-right, but if you want to remove smaller sections of wood in a more precise way, you can accomplish this best by cutting across the grain, though you must keep in mind that this could result in small cuts on the edges of pieces of wood that were directly next to the piece you are cutting through.

(3) Length and width need to be precise – No matter how you cut the wood you are using to replace the damaged wood, you have to remember that the dimensions of the new wood have to match the dimensions of the old wood exactly. If the new wood and old would do not match dimension wise, you will be looking at a situation where the new piece either will not fit at all or will not fit properly, which would make your floor potentially dangerous to walk on not to mention cosmetically undesirable.

This also applies to filling gaps in wood, because if those gaps are not filled with wood that is exactly the correct size, it could cause drafts and make the floor look improper. To fill the gaps properly, the best tools to use are a hammer to drive the wood into place and superglue on both sides to ensure the sides of the wood stick in place as well. Once the wood is nailed and glued in, you can use finish to smooth it out and help it blend in properly with the rest of the floor.

(4) All wood must be secure – Whether it is the old wood you are replacing or the new wood you are installing, it cannot be emphasized enough how important it is to ensure that all wood is secure at all times. If you are removing old wood, you can typically remove it with a pry bar and steady it, but that has to be done so as to avoid any damage below. Likewise, when laying in the new wood, it must be nailed down and secured, because if it is loose, the board can cause damage to property below or to any person who happens to walk on it at an inopportune time.

You must also tread lightly when it comes to pieces of wood that are exposed or sticking out. Being careful with how you remove a piece of exposed wood is crucial because it is very easy to hurt yourself when taking it out. Injuries can range from a simple splinter to a board through the eye, to a head injury if the loose or exposed wood pops up and hits you. In addition to safety concerns, aesthetically, you want to do everything in your power to use wood that matches the original on your floor. Being able to use replacement wood that is identical to the original means it is guaranteed to fit if sized properly and will look right if put in place of the old wood.

If you are unable to find wood that matches the original, however, it may be possible to coat the replacement wood in a way that would help it blend in with the original wood.

Can I Add Radiant Heating Under My Hardwood Floors?


Having radiant heating in your floors can be a lifesaver during the cold winter months. Instead of feeling chilled from your feet up as you attempt to walk to the restroom in the middle of the night, you could feel the pleasant heat that emanates directly from your floor and keeps you warm. It is not only a method of heating the floors of the home, but can actually warm up the entire house and save you a good deal of money on energy costs.

How does radiant heating work?

Can I Add Radiant Heating Under My Hardwood Floors-Radiant heating is a method of supplying heat directly to the floor of your home. It is called “radiant” heat because that is how the heat reaches you: it radiates directly from the heat source, much like it does when you feel the heat of your oven from the other side of your kitchen.

This can have a number of advantages over other heat sources; for example, many people find it to be better than air heating because it doesn’t pump allergens all around the house. It is also a good way to save on energy costs as it tends to use less electricity than other heat sources. It can often make use of other energy sources than electricity as well; gas-powered boilers and solar powered water heaters can also be used, for example. Radiant heating can be installed in ceilings and walls, but can be especially effective when installed in floors. It will warm the air that circulates through the house and helps keep your home warm and cozy.

Methods of heating

There are several types of radiant heating that you can have installed in your home. Air-heated radiant floors, which are not really recommended due to their lack of efficiency, electric radiant floors, which usually work by way of electric tiles built into the floor. This method of heating the floor has its own set of advantages and disadvantages as well. It can be expensive in terms of electrical costs, although it’s possible to charge the concrete floor with heat during the off hours so that it doesn’t draw any further power during the peak heating times.

The most popular method of radiant heating is known as hydronic heating. It provides heat by pumping heated water through tubing that is set underneath the floor. It is an excellent, and relatively inexpensive method of heating the home.

When you are considering installing radiant heating, you should consider the method of heating, the installation costs, and the type of floor you have in your home. Installation costs depend on what type of heating you want to use, and what kind of floor you have in your home. Traditionally, radiant heating was really only used for tile floors, but recently, it has become popular in other types of floors as well.

Can I use radiant heating under hardwood floors?

Hardwood floors have many advantages of their own; they are the best option for allergy sufferers because they are so easy to clean and leave dust, pollen and pet dander nowhere to hide. They also last a very long time if properly cared for. If you want to install radiant heating but have hardwood floors, don’t worry! It is actually possible to add radiant heating under your hardwood floor. However, there are a few considerations you will have to make.

Most problems that people experience with their hardwood floors are caused by moisture; improper heating methods can exacerbate these problems. Modern technology, however, has largely made these problems go away. You will have to take the type of wood that you have into consideration. The most popular American hardwood floor materials, such as cherry, oak, ash, maple, hickory, and walnut, will work just fine when you install radiant heating. However, floors made of tropical wood or extremely old floors may have problems when radiant heating is installed.

Other considerations are the width of the wood; narrow floorboards are best. For maximum effectiveness the floorboards should be no wider than approximately three inches. If you must use wider planks, use quarter-sawn wood and try to make use of thinner floorboards as well. Floorboards of around three-eighths of an inch thick conduct heat the best.

Installing radiant heat under hardwood floors

The challenge when installing radiant heat under hardwood floors comes from the fact that wood naturally expands when there is moisture in the air. Since humidity affects wood so much, and the heating in your home affects humidity, you’ll have to take care not to install your radiant heating system during a particularly humid time of year. You may have to install the heating system first and wait a few weeks to lay the floorboards over it.

Once the installation has taken place, you should care for your wood floor in much the same way as you always would. Periodically test the humidity, and make sure the air doesn’t become so humid that the floor will expand and buckle. You can refinish your floor the same way that you would without a heating system underneath. Regular care and maintenance of your floor are crucial, whether or not you have installed a radiant heating system.

Further tips

It’s a good idea to have a trustworthy installation service for any hardwood floor project. As a wood floor can be subject to certain problems, it’s absolutely crucial to get it installed correctly. In the Portland area, our staff at Wall2Wall can take care of any large installation project that you have, including placing a floor over a radiant heating system. We will also help you select the perfect type of wood to use for your budget, aesthetics and other considerations, such as heating systems, as well as instruct you on how to care for it afterward. If you do face any later problems with your hardwood floors, we can also help you correct them. Good luck with your hardwood floor installation project!

Restore or Replace Hardwood Floors: What to Consider

There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when deciding whether you want to restore or replace your hardwood floors. Some people choose to simply refinish the hardwood they have, which could be cheaper than a complete revamp, but if there is a considerable amount of wear and tear, that may not be the best option because it simply may not have the desired effect. To find out what the best option is, you may want to consult with a wood floor refinishing Portland expert.

Before you make your decision on what you want to do moving forward, Angie’s List suggests assessing your current situation and asking yourself a few questions. First, is your floor beyond repair? If the floor is damaged and worn, then it’s best to just replace the wood floor, but if there is minor wear and tear, a restoration job could be the perfect remedy.

You need to have many conversations with the wood floor refinishing Portland experts and ask them what they recommend. Compare prices around the business, and ask friends for referrals as well. Once you find a solution and price that you’re comfortable with, you can move forward in peace.

Restore or Replace Hardwood FloorsWatch out for subfloor issues. If there are structural issues, refinishing is not an ideal option because the cost of wood floor refinishing companies in Portland will be high. You’re better off doing a full replacement. The same would go for water damage. “When you lift up the edge of the carpeting and you see evidence of cupping on the edges of the planks, peeling or cracking or any buckling, replace the flooring,” Angie’s List concurs.

Also, consider that a wood floor can only handle a certain number of refinishings. After a few times, replacing the hardwood is simply your only option. Make sure to share all history of previous floor refinishings with your wood floor refinishing Portland expert.

According to HGTV, “Almost all old floors can be salvaged and refinished by skilled contractors.” This includes bug-infested planks or boards and delaminated strips. Again, if the problem is widespread, replacing may still be the best option. The refinishing option only comes into play if the areas of concern are of limited supply.

As you may know, replacing an antique floor could cost a lot more than refinishing it. You have to combine the cost of removal, installation, and labor, which could add up. A properly maintained wood floor can last 20-30 years if taken care of the right way. In that time, it can be sanded or refinished six or seven times, which costs significantly less than a full upheaval of the floor.

You need to consider what your immediate priorities are before deciding whether to refinish or restore your hardwood floors. If it’s price that’s the number one priority, then refinish the floor. Nine times out of 10, that’s the cheaper option. A floor can only be refinished a certain number of times and have its desired effect. If you’re worried about the look of the floor, refinishing is probably your best bet as well.

If you want to make more particular changes to the composition of the floor, related to the direction of the planks or the consistency of the material, you will have to go all in on a full replacement. This may surprise you, but refinishing a floor sometimes takes much more time than a full replacement, so if time is of the essence, a full revamp may be in the cards. It takes more time because the process is extensive and requires various specific tools.

Quality and age go hand in hand. If you want a top quality floor, sometimes you won’t get that with refinishing, especially if it’s been done to the floor several times in the past. Similarly, if the floor is really old, sometimes it’s just too worn to refinish, making hardwood floor replacement the only option. says that if you see the tongue where the boards fit together or if the boards are rather bouncy and don’t seem sturdy, it’s time for a new floor. This, seemingly, happens more often with pine floors because they are considerably softer. If you want to change the species of wood, you should consider replacing the hardwood as well.

You can also replace part of the floor, which is obviously cheaper than a complete revamp, and then refinish the rest. This may lead to more work in the future when the refinished portion eventually becomes worn, but it will save a considerable amount of money up front.

Not only should you consider the immediate cost, but consider the return you’re getting on your investment. Obviously, with a complete revamp, you get a solid investment because the floor will last longer. So, in the long term, you may save money on costs that will inevitably arise with a floor that’s been restored. According to Owners, “homeowners who are replacing or installing new hardwood floors can expect a return of about two times the cost of the project.” That means, if you can afford the upfront cost, or work something out with your contractor to spread out a few payments over time, it could be beneficial in the long run.

You will want to consult with several wood floor refinishing Portland experts to find out what the best option is for you and your family. Depending on your priorities and your available budget, you can make the best decision regarding whether to refinish or replace your hardwood floor. Whichever option you choose, if you live in the Portland area, consider us at Wall2Wall. We specialize in new hardwood flooring installation, restoration projects, as well as repairs.

How to Remove . . . From Wood Floors

From the appliances to the flooring we install in our homes, styles and trends change over time. Imagine having to live with avocado green appliances in your kitchen forever?

Even with our flooring choices, our opinions have changed every generation. A few decades ago, hardwood floors became old and outdated. Carpeting was a modern invention that everyone had to have. So homeowners rushed to install wall-to-wall carpets, bringing warmth and plushness under their feet.

It didn’t take long before we began ripping out the carpets with our bare hands, finding beautiful hardwood underneath. We loved it. We craved it. It became the in thing. And there it remains, even today.

Wood floors are a mainstay throughout Portland area homes. From small condos to large single family homes, wood floors add beauty and warmth to the ambiance and decor. And with so many choices available, the possibilities are endless.

The only question is, what best matches your lifestyle?

How to Remove . . . From Wood FloorsYou can choose site-installed hardwood floors and create a customized look throughout your home. You can select factory-finished wood flooring for a personalized look that is incredibly resistant to surface scratches. You can find a variety of finishes that protect your floor from the everyday activities that make up your life: from aluminum oxide to UV-cured urethane, with finish warranties that offer years of protection.

Yet, it’s also important to understand that wood floors will require work. And no matter how you live or how many people you have moving throughout your home each day, accidents happen. You will spill water on occasion. You will find a scratch here and there. Then, what do you do?

Let’s start with the biggest enemy to your wood floor: scratches. If you have hardwood installed in your home, accumulating scratches is inevitable, no matter how careful you are. Scratches can be caused by a variety of things, including furniture, pets, and tracking small rocks in from outside.

While repairing scratched hardwood can be relatively easy, it depends on how deep the scratch lies.

For a shallow scratch, start by cleaning the affected area with a clean, soft rag. Wipe it down gently to remove excess dirt and debris from the scratch itself. Then dampen a rag with a wood stain marker that matches your wood floor coloring. Fold a clean rag to ensure you have a few layers to work with. Shake the wood stain marker and dab the point onto the cloth 10 to 15 times to saturate the area with the wood stain. Then rub the stain into the scratch. Focus in on getting the stain evenly throughout the scratch, rubbing in circles to achieve an even application. This method works better than applying it directly, as that can make the scratch darker than the rest of the floor.

If the scratch impacts the protective coating of the wood floor, use a soft rag and a small amount of hardwood floor cleaner to remove dirt and debris from the area. Rinse off the cleaner by using another rag with water, removing all cleaner from the area. Let dry before moving on.

When dry, use a small tipped brush to apply a protective finish to the area. You can use a sealant, shellac, or polyurethane varnish to seal in the impacted area. Consulting with a professional may be beneficial to ensure your wood floors aren’t further damaged in the process.

For deep scratches and gouges, start by cleaning the affected area. To reach the scratch, you will have to remove the protective layer before you can fix the scratch. Using sandpaper, or a scouring pad with mineral spirits, gently rub the area to expose the scratch.

Fill the scratch with a small amount of wood filler that is a similar color to your wood floors. Use your finger to work the wood filler into the scratch, spreading it in all directions to avoid air bubbles. Be sure to use wood filler instead of wood putty, as wood putty doesn’t take stain the same way and will affect your ability for matching your floor’s color. Wipe off excess filler and allow to dry. Sand to ensure it is level with the rest of your floor, moving in all directions to give it a natural feel. Wipe away dust. Then seal the patched area with a thin layer of the same sealer used on the rest of the wood flooring. Allow drying before any traffic is allowed on the surface.

If you have any questions about the process, it may be better to allow a professional to repair your floor to ensure consistency and keep all warranties valid.

Common Household Items
While scratches are the most common problems that will impact your hardwood floors, there are many items throughout your house that when dropped, can create potential problems. The faster you work to correct the affected area, the less the problem will have a chance to set and take hold.

Chewing gum – rather than trying to pry or scrape it off, cool the gum by filling a plastic bag with ice and placing it over the gum until it is brittle enough to crumble. Then remove with a plastic scraper, avoiding pulling the finish with it.

Crayon or candle wax – If you have a wax or penetrating finish, place a brown paper bag over the wax or crayon and heat with an iron until the bag absorbs the stain. If you have a varnish or polyurethane finish, use a cleaner designed for hardwood floor finishes.

Dried milk or food stains – If you have a wax or penetrating finish, gently rub with a damp cloth until the stain is gone. Reapply wax as necessary. With a varnish or polyurethane finish, use a cleaner designed for the wood finish.

Grease or oil stains – If you have a wax or penetrating finish, saturate a cotton cloth with hydrogen peroxide and place it over the stain. Saturate a second cloth with ammonia and place in on top of the first. Let dry in between and repeat as necessary. With a varnish or polyurethane finish, use a cleaner designed for the wood finish.

Water stains or white spots – If you have a wax or penetrating finish, rub with steel wool dipped in wax. If the stain or spot remains, follow by lightly sanding with sandpaper. Follow up with steel wool dipped in mineral spirits. Apply stain to match original color once dry. Wax and buff. With a varnish or polyurethane finish, use a cleaner designed for the wood finish.

Mold or mildew – With all types of finishes, use a cleaner designed for the wood finish. Sand and refinish the areas where the mold or mildew impacted beneath the surface. Apply finish as needed.

Are your hardwood floors in top shape?

How to Choose the Right Hardwood Floor for Your Home

When deciding to renovate your home, one of the biggest decisions you will make is what to do about your floors. While it is certainly acceptable to opt for carpeting, there is no denying that nothing can truly outdo beautiful hardwood floor refinishing in Portland.

If you do choose to do hardwood floor refinishing in your Portland home, however, you must keep in mind that there are many important decisions that go along with it. What type of wood is best to use? Do you want solid or engineered wood? Do you prefer prefinished or unfinished and would you rather have oil-based or water-based polyurethane?

While there are quite a few types of hardwood you can use, oak flooring is far and away the most popular. There are many reasons for this, most notably its incredible durability. Not only do oak floors hold up remarkably well structurally, they also look great visually for an amazingly long period of time.

It also offers attractive grain patterns while lending itself well to a wide variety of staining and coloring options, which result in superior aesthetics. It is also widely available, so prices are competitive and it is resistant to most insects and fungus, resulting in little money needed for future repairs.

How to Choose the Right Hardwood Floor for Your HomeWalnut is another strong option due to its sturdiness and excellent aesthetic features. It is highly resistant to water and mold damage, and like oak, walnut is unaffected by most insects. The dark grains that hide dirt is a favorable feature, as is the fact that it is easy to install, so some homeowners may decide to save money and opt for self-installation.

The downside of walnut flooring is it tends to be more expensive than most other types of wood, though a well-installed walnut floor could add quite a bit to the overall monetary value of the home.

In North America, other quality choices of wood for your floor include cherry, hickory, maple, and ash, and the best choice is simply a matter of personal preference.

So when it comes to hardwood floor refinishing in Portland, is it best to go with solid wood or engineered? That, too, largely depends on what your preference is and what your home requires.

Solid hardwood floors are made from thick pieces of solid wood that can be sanded down or refinished at virtually any point in time. Being that solid wood expands and contracts based on temperature and moisture, it is generally recommended only for use at or above ground level. It is also for this reason that it is wise to leave a gap between the wall and floor to accommodate the swelling that can occur from the changes in moisture and temperature.

Whereas solid wood is generally very difficult to install, engineered hardwood can be installed fairly easily in most areas of the home, and unlike solid wood, it is thin and largely resistant to heat and moisture. It also tends to be a cheaper option than solid hardwood and is less likely to wear down from outside conditions, making it a preferred option for below-ground level construction. Unlike solid wood, engineered wood can go on top of concrete. However, engineered wood is much thinner than solid wood, which can be a disadvantage since it usually cannot be sanded down or refinished in the future.

One of the most important, but often overlooked, aspects of hardwood floor refinishing in Portland is whether you choose prefinished or unfinished wood. There are advantages to both, so once again, this largely comes down to a matter of personal preference and what works best in your particular home.

Prefinished wood flooring offers the benefit of knowing exactly what you are getting since the finish has already been applied and so its appearance is already a given. It also takes less time to install because time does not need to be spent on color or sealant and it is generally less expensive because factory finish saves on labor costs. Further, prefinished tends to be more durable, especially in areas where temperature and humidity can fluctuate, so it would make especially good sense to use it with a basement or anything below-ground.

While it can be more labor intensive and costly to use, the major draw of unfinished wood is the customization factor. If you already have hardwood flooring in your home and need to create an exact match for an adjacent piece, unfinished flooring is the way to go. In addition, there is a greater degree of control over what the wood will ultimately look and feel like because the stain will be tailored to your wishes and the wood itself will be sanded after being nailed down, which can produce a smoother surface.

Hardwood floor refinishing in Portland would not be complete, however, without choosing between oil-based and water-based polyurethanes to finish the floor. Both offer quality protection, but there are some differences worth taking note.

Water-based polyurethanes have minimal odor with a clear finish. The process is relatively quick as it requires a coating every two hours, so it can theoretically be done in a single day. The downside is that it may not look as full and rich as oil-based polyurethanes and tends to cost significantly more as well.

The cheaper price of the oil-based polyurethanes can be attractive, but if time is of the essence, oil-based is not the way to go since you must wait five hours in between each coat and 12 hours after the final coating. It also produces a strong odor, which is not present in water-based polyurethanes.

While there are many different aspects to hardwood floor refinishing in Portland, each one is uniquely important, and as such, should always be tailored to the needs of the individual homeowner. There is no uniform answer to what is best and while there are pros and cons to each step of hardwood floor refinishing, only the homeowner can truly make the “right” decision.

Top Ways to Protect Your Hardwoood Floors

There are many things people can do to ensure that their hardwood floors have a long and luxuriousTop Ways to Protect Your Hardwoood Floors lifetime. Whether it’s certain precautions to take or scheduled maintenance, there are plenty of steps you can take to keep your hardwood floors in tip-top shape.

One simple idea includes stopping dirt at the door. You probably don’t regularly consider this, but grit getting stuck on the bottom of your shoes is a finish-killer. Keep a doormat by the front and back doors, and ask people to take off their shoes. High-heels and soccer cleats are also hardwood floor killers as they can actually dent the floors, so make them no-no shoes in your home.

Here’s some other suggestions:

  • Prevent Scratches: Put felt pads on the bottom of your furniture legs. Don’t forget about your canine companions. Keeping dogs’ nails clipped can prevent long-term damage to your hardwood floors as well.
  • Keep it Clean: Sounds simple, right? Not so much. Make sure you are an avid vacuumer, and follow up by mopping with a moist microfiber pad. Also, if there’s a spill, don’t panic. Just promptly wipe it up, or else you risk water warping boards or damaging the finish.
  • Renew the Finish: Is your surface getting dull? Don’t fret as a light sanding and fresh coats of polyurethane should help. If you do this every few years, dullness should not be a problem long-term.
  • Beware of Build-up: There are certain cleaners you should watch out for, especially ones that include ammonia, vinegar, wax, polish or oil soaps. Any of these can dull a top-coat and cause refinishing issues down the road. If you’re not sure if a cleaner is good, spray your window with it and let it dry. If it leaves any residue, junk it.

While chair-glides and furniture pads can be purchased at any home improvement store, Bona has some do-it-yourself suggestions for people who are looking at a cost-saving alternative that’s still effective.

This includes:

  1. Old Carpet. Old scraps of carpet can be cut and placed on furniture legs. Make sure these pads are installed with the carpet-side touching the floor.
  2. Felt Pads. While felt furniture pads can be store-bought, any thick felt will do nicely. Cut the felt into the appropriate size and glue on.
  3. Velcro. If you have industrial grade Velcro, use the soft side of the Velcro (looped side) as an effective furniture pad.
  4. Towels. Old towels can be cut into pads, making sure they are of appropriate thickness.
  5. Tennis Balls. Tennis balls that are slightly cut open can make good DIY slip-on pads if you don’t mind how they look on your furniture.
  6. Leather. Leather is another soft, durable material that can be made into a good furniture pad.

There’s also steps you can take proactively to protect against any long-term issues with your hardwood flooring.

Protect your investment from moisture damage.
When you think of moisture damage, you probably first think of flooding or large spills. While this is possible and should be dealt with promptly, moisture damage can also stem from climate changes related to the humidity levels in your home in the summer. You should ensure your home is kept at a reasonable level for air conditioning and humidity control throughout the season.

In the winter, when the air is dryer, heat can cause the opposite effect and cause wood to pull apart at seams of planks. Once again, if you keep humidity levels constant throughout the area where your wooden floors are laid, there shouldn’t be any issues.

Beware of any changes in your hardwood flooring.It’s a phrase you’re familiar with since childhood, but it applies true. If you see something, say something. Since hardwood is made from natural products, expansion and contraction is natural. When your flooring raises and dips in areas unnaturally, this is called cupping, which is caused by humidity, a plumbing leak or sitting water. You should investigate the root of the issue before your floor is ruined. For areas cupping over long periods of time, entire plank replacement is the likely solution, and possibly more than one plank.

Either way, in a case like this, get an expert into your home before a small problem becomes a major disaster.

How do I keep my hardwood floor looking shiny?
This is an age-old question, but the solution is actually quite simple. There are several products, theories and suggestions for how should keep hardwood floors looking shiny and fantastic, but water and vinegar sprayed on a sponge mop will get the job done. It also protects your finish without stripping, which is pivotal.

Nobody wants to ruin their floors, but if you do any of these, your floors will have a very short lifespan. Call below the “what not to do guide” on handling your hardwood floors.

Animal/Pet Urine Stains
You hate them as much as your floors do! The key is to clean them up before they dry, but too often these stains are only discovered after carpet or rugs have been moved. Your best defense is early detection.

Pet Bowls
Unless your dog is incredibly dainty, water bowls pose a potential long-term water damage risk. Your best protection is prevention. In this case it means making sure that the water bowls are not on hardwood flooring or have something under the bowls to catch drips and spills.

Mopping Your Floors with Water
Hardwood floors and water simply don’t mix. In fact, water should be removed ASAP and never added when cleaning.

Failure to Keep Dirt/Debris off the Floor
This is about more than not just being a slob, it has to do with the long-term care of your hardwood floor. Yes, floors will get dirty, but as hardwood floor owners we need to do our best to prevent dirt. Use welcome mats at doors and keep those mats clean.

The bottom line? Take care of your hardwood floors. It’s not that difficult. With a little tender, love and care, and maybe some money from time to time, your floors will last you a very long time.

Most Common Problems When Restoring Hardwood Floors

hardwood floor restoration

Hardwood floors are an elegant and long-lasting feature in your home that have a variety of practical benefits as well. They are much easier to clean than carpets, they are environmentally friendly and sustainable, and they are generally low-maintenance. With these advantages, many homeowners are choosing to have hardwood floors installed in homes both new and old.

Some homeowners even discover that they had hard hardwood floors all along, hidden under their carpets! If you have a newly discovered hardwood floor or want to restore an old one, you will have to keep a few things in mind. Here are a few of the most common problems that come with hardwood floor restoration:

An uneven gloss or sheen
A well-kept hardwood floor will have a distinctive luster to it, having been polished to a high shine. This gloss comes from the finish, which is applied after the floor has been sanded and polished. If the shine is uneven, the most likely cause is the failure of the finish to cure properly. When you have your finish applied, make sure that there is proper ventilation in the room. Too much humidity in your house can cause water to be trapped between the finish and the floor, preventing it from drying properly. To keep this from happening, make sure you apply your finish on a day that is not too humid; you can open windows and turn on fans to get the air circulating in order to facilitate this. If you do notice that your floor isn’t shining the way you would like, you may have to have the floor sanded again and the finish reapplied.

Black mold stains
Another problem caused by humidity is mold growth. Excessive moisture in the floorboard will create ideal conditions for mold to thrive; it can then spread, leaving unsightly stains across your wood floor. Just as with the previous problem, the first step is attempting to remove the moisture from the atmosphere. Open windows and fans will help a great deal with this process. Next, you can kill the mold spores by applying wood bleach to the stained areas. After you have applied the bleach, use baking soda to neutralize it before you take the next steps in restoring your floor. The bleach will raise up the wood, so in order to remove the stains you will need to lightly sand it back down. Using a 120-grit sandpaper is usually the best choice for this. Then you can reapply a new stain to the area to leave it good as new.

Cupping or warping
Here is another problem caused by moisture. Are you sensing a pattern yet? Changes in the humidity level can also cause your floorboards to change shape. If the sides of the floorboards curl up, this is known as cupping. This can sometimes be subtle and require the trained eye of a professional to notice. Other times, it can be very dramatic and even pose a safety hazard to people living in the house. If the damage has become too extensive, then you may need to replace the floor completely. It’s a good idea to have a professional assess your floor and make recommendations regarding the refinishing of it; they can catch small problems that might otherwise be missed. The first thing you will want to do if you see your wood floor warping or cupping is locate the source of the moisture. While it may be caused by weather, there may also be another source of moisture in your home. Make sure you don’t have any leaks in your plumbing or poor seals in your windows that are letting in humid air. A moisture meter can also be used to test the levels of humidity in the floorboards themselves. You can check this against a chart which will tell you the acceptable moisture content for your floor. Removing the source of the moisture can often help your floors go back to normal, but if not, you may need to take steps to have them fixed or replaced.

Scratches in the floor
Refinishing your hardwood floor involves sanding it, and this process must be undertaken with great care. Too much sanding can damage the floor; too little can leave it rough and make it impossible for it to accept a new finish. Even if you treat your wood floor with the utmost care, scratches will accumulate over the years through normal wear and tear. There are a few ways to deal with a scratched floor; a simple wood marker may be able to cover them, or a light sanding followed by a small amount of finish can help as well. Deeper scratches may require the use of a wax filler stick, which you can purchase at your local hardware store.

If you are thinking about hardwood floor restoration, it’s a good idea to have a professional come take a look. They can often discover problems and issues you may not see and help you to repair them. Since a wood floor can last for many years and save you money over the cost of carpet, this should be considered a sound investment in your home’s future.