5 Reasons to Restore Your Hardwood Floors

The floors in your home are among its most important features. While on an average day you probably don’t give them much thought, they have a huge impact both upon your home’s aesthetic appeal and upon your quality of life. The condition of your floor can tie directly into the temperature of your home and even to the health of the residents there. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a floor that’s in a good state of repair.

5 Reasons to Restore Your Hardwood Floors

Many people find keeping their floor in good condition to be a daunting task, however, carpets can be ruined by spills, stains, pets, cigarette smoke, and any number of other things, requiring regular costly replacements. For many rooms, hardwood floors are a much better option, but replacing a wooden floor can be extremely costly.

If you live in an older home that is already equipped with hardwood floors, why replace them at all? Often, simply restoring them is your best option. With the help of the specialists at Wall2Wall Flooring, you can render your old floor good as new.

Here are five reasons why restoring your existing hardwood floors is your best option:

Carpets are more expensive in the long run

While at first glance it may seem cheaper to simply have your hardwood floor replaced with carpeting, over time it will actually be the hardwood floor that saves you money.

Carpets need to be cleaned regularly; they can absorb smoke, pollen, pet dander and other allergens and become a breeding ground for disease-causing bacteria and viruses. For this reason, carpets need to be regularly cleaned. For you, that will mean a lot of work vacuuming and it will also mean you’ll need to undertake the costly project of shampooing your carpet or having it cleaned professionally every once in a while.

Then, after a few years of foot traffic and general wear and tear, your carpet will need to be replaced.

On the other hand, a properly maintained wood floor can last for generations without requiring replacement, and the regular cleaning won’t require anything more costly than a mop and some soap.

Most old wood floors can be repaired

We’ve already touted the benefits of wood flooring over carpeting, and if you’re looking to have a new floor installed, you could do a lot worse than hardwood. But if you’re living in a home that already boasts an old wood floor, you are often better off simply restoring it.

Over the years, there are many problems that can arise with a wood floor. Changes in the humidity in the air can cause the wood to warp and buckle, while stains can occur from spills or pet urine. While these are damaging to the floor, they are nothing a certified specialist like Wall2Wall Flooring cannot fix.

Repairing and restoring a wood floor is usually a lot less costly than replacing it and with a little care, you can bring out the beauty that was always there in your old wood floor.

Restoring a hardwood floor can be relatively inexpensive

If you have a beautiful hardwood floor that just needs a little care to be brought out, you are usually not looking at a huge expense. While the cost will vary depending on the work that needs to be done, hardwood floors are extremely strong and durable and often, repairs will be minor.

For example, a floor can be scratched up and no longer appear aesthetically pleasing, but still have an extremely strong foundation. Repairing those scratches requires expert care – over-sanding them even slightly can ruin the floor – so you’ll need to bring in an expert, but with the help of someone knowledgeable and who has the right equipment, you are not necessarily looking at a huge project.

The same applies to many other problems that hardwood floors can develop over time. Even bigger problems, such as the floor buckling and warping, can be addressed by experienced professionals at a company such as Wall2Wall Flooring.

Antique floors bring charm and atmosphere to your home

There’s something about an old wood floor that brings a sense of timeless style to a home. While it’s certainly possible to have elegant carpeting or sleek modern bamboo flooring too, nothing can match the classic charm of an old hardwood floor.

Today’s homeowners are looking to reclaim that rustic feel that many modern homes just don’t have, however nice they may be. They’re looking for a natural appearance to their floor, with knotholes and streaks and a pleasant dark finish.

Many people pay a lot of money to have this installed in their homes, but some people are already walking around on a potentially gorgeous antique floor and don’t even know it!

If you already have a hardwood floor in your home, you should take advantage of it. Bring in an expert from Wall2Wall Flooring and have them evaluate your old wood floor.

Restoring your hardwood floor is an investment

With the wide array of benefits it can bring into your home, restoring your hardwood floor already seems like a great idea. But the prospect of having a gorgeous floor is further sweetened by the idea that it’s an investment.

Having a high-quality wooden floor will boost the resale value of your home; for merely the cost of a few repairs and some refinishing, you’ll render your home a lot more attractive to potential buyers should you decide to sell.

Hardwood flooring, will also save you a lot of money on cleaning and repair costs due to how easy and durable it is. So, whether you hold onto your home or decide to sell it, you’ll be seeing returns on your hardwood floor investment right away.

Contact the floor restoration specialists at Wall2Wall Flooring and get your hardwood floor looking better than ever!

Common Questions When Restoring Hardwood Floors

You might feel both excited and overwhelmed once you decide to refinish your once-beautiful hardwood floors. Hardwood is an excellent choice for flooring because it looks elegant and refined, and yet is one of the easiest types of flooring to maintain and even alter.

Common Questions When Restoring Hardwood Floors

This article will address some of the questions that may occur as you ready yourself for the rewarding task of refinishing your hardwood floors.

Can I really change the color?

Yes! You actually have the option to make your floors redder, darker, and more gold and choose from a variety of colors in these ranges. First, the floors are sanded until they look new and raw, ready to absorb the applied stains properly.

Then, the stain you’ve chosen is applied. You can choose stains that are rich mahoganies, deep ebonies, medium walnuts and chestnuts, and light golds. Be sure to check the full range available and keep in mind that different wood types will accept stains differently, depending on the species, the grade of your wood, and how old your wood is.

It helps to test the stain on a section of your floor across a few boards, so that you can see how it would look once your hardwood floors are redone and make the most informed decision prior to settling on a new color.

Should I sand or screen?

If you’re changing the color, then you should sand. Don’t look for shortcuts to avoid sanding because it will definitely look unnatural if you attempt stains without standing. But if the damage on your hardwood floors is only shallow, there’s no need to sand it all the way down.

If the hardwood has only lost some of itsluster, all you really need to do is recoat. This is true especially if you have a laminated floor. Solid wood can be sanded over and over again, but laminated floors have only a thin layer of wood that you definitely don’t want to chip away. In either case, if you only have a few scratches, recoating instead of sanding will be less time consuming and more cost-effective.

How do I prevent my gloss or sheen from becoming uneven?

When restoring the hardwood floor, you may notice that your gloss or sheen is uneven and want to correct it. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to preventing unevenness with gloss or shine, but here are two options.

To avoid unevenness with the sheen, make sure that there is proper ventilation in the room, as too much humidity can trap water between the finish and the floor, which prevents it from drying properly. Apply the sheen during a day that is not too humid, and, to facilitate this process, open the windows and turn on your fans to circulate the air. To ensure an even coating on the gloss, all you have to do is make sure that the wood is sanded properly, and the problem is avoided entirely.

How do I fix the scratches in the floor?

Scratches are inevitable for hardwood floors over the years due to furniture being moved around, objects accidentally falling, or simply from walking. No matter how careful you are about taking care of your flooring scratches are bound to happen. To fix this there are three solutions: cover them by rearranging the furniture, sand the floor lightly and using an iota of finish, or for deep scratches, a wax filler stick can solve it. This can be found in any hardware store.

How do I fix my warped or cupped wood?

One of the biggest threats to wood is moisture. Excess moisture can cause wood to curl up, or what is known as warping or cupping. Spotting this can be difficult, and often it is recommended to call in a professional to examine the wood. Some stuff you can do to fix this on your own is to find the source of the moisture. See if there are any leaks in your home that are around the warping wood or if the weather caused it. If you have poor window seals, it is possible that humid air is cupping the wood. Often, fixing the source of the problem is enough to cause the wood to revert to its natural state; this usually works for small instances of warpage. For larger warps, you must replace it with flooring that is the exact size and length as the wood around it. Do this quickly, since if this gets ignored for too long you will need to call in a professional to fix the problem rather than fixing it yourself.

What are these black stains? Where did they originate? How do I fix it?

Take three guesses. That’s right, it’s moisture again, a very common culprit for damage on hardwood floors. The black stains you are seeing are actually “black mold” which thrives in environments with excess moisture. Once it makes an appearance, it can spread across your floors, damaging them all in the process. To stop it from spreading, open your windows and circulate the air in the room to remove any excess moisture. The next step would be to apply bleach to the source, which will kill any mold spores and stop the mold from multiplying. Lastly, add baking soda to it to neutralize any remaining organisms in the area. Once this is done, restoration is simple, as all you would need to do is use 120-grain sandpaper and sand it down, then apply the stain to the wood and voila; the problem is gone.

Hopefully, that answers some of the questions and enlightens the situations that may arise when you are restoring your hardwood floor. This is not a comprehensive list, so when in doubt, consult with a professional who can provide you with some personalized suggestions for wood restoration and some general solutions to the problems that customers frequently encounter. They’ll help you with the confidence and peace-of-mind to tackle nearly any problem that comes your way!

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.

Steps to Take if You Notice Hardwood Floor Water Damage

Having a hardwood floor is one of the best ways to bring an elegant aesthetic to your home and boost its value. Hardwood, when properly cared for, can last for many years, unlike alternative options such as carpeting, which will need to be deep cleaned and replaced more regularly. Alternatively, hardwood floors are very low-maintenance, requiring only a little bit of soapy water and a mop to clean most of the time. As a result, they are a perfect investment in most homes.

Nevertheless, hardwood floors do have their own requirements for care and you will need to put in a bit of effort to make sure they stay in good shape. One thing that hardwood floors are sensitive to is water damage. This article will help you to identify water damage and, if it occurs, take steps to repair it while preventing further harm.

Steps to Take if You Notice Hardwood Floor Water Damage

How To Identify Hardwood Floor Water Damage

Hardwood floors, while extremely durable, are also quite vulnerable to moisture. You need not have a flood for water damage to occur. Sometimes, all it takes is an imbalance between the moisture in the air and the moisture in the wood. That’s why you should always keep an eye out for the signs of water damage, even if you don’t think it’s something you necessarily have to worry about.

The Signs

One of the most telltale signs of hardwood floor water damage is known as cupping. This is what happens when moisture causes the wood to expand, pushing the boards together and deforming them in the center. This leads to the edges of the board being higher than the center. This can occur when you have spills and can also occur from moisture imbalances in the wood.

Another sign of hardwood floor water damage is called crowning and is essentially the opposite of cupping. While cupping occurs when the edges of the boards are higher than the center, crowning occurs when the boards, being pushed together as a result of expansion caused by moisture, raise up in the center. If either cupping or crowning is left unchecked, it can lead to buckling, which is when the boards actually begin to lift off of the subfloor, causing a great deal of damage to your hardwood floor.

Other signs include the floor cracking, the boards separating, or the wood becoming weak and soft. If any of these signs occur, you have hardwood floor water damage and must take steps to prevent further damage and fix what has already occurred.

Preventing Further Damage

The first thing you will have to do if you notice hardwood floor water damage is to halt the spread of the damage. To do that, you will need to figure out of source of the moisture that is harming your floor. This can be a leak, a spill, a floor installed over a concrete slab that was not fully dried, or often simply an imbalance between the moisture in the air and the moisture in the wood. If this is the case, diagnosing the problem will not be as simple as just finding out where a pipe is leaking. You will need to procure a moisture meter, which is a type of device used to read the amount of water in the wood. You will also need to check the relative humidity (RH) in the air and compare the two. If the humidity in the air is higher than the moisture on the floor, that extra water could be causing the hardwood boards to warp and split. If this is the case, you will need to correct the moisture imbalance. This may require an inspection of your HVAC system. Problems with your heating and cooling system can lead to problems with your wood floor. You may need to install a dehumidifier in your home in order to get the excess moisture out of the air. If the air is too dry, causing the wood to dry out and shrink, you can install a humidifier into your furnace. If you take regular take care to inspect the moisture in the air and in the water, it will go a long way toward preventing further water damage.

Repairing Hardwood Water Damage

Chances are, by the time you have noticed hardwood water damage in your home, it has already caused some real problems in your floor. While this is bad, there are steps you can take to fix this damage, with the necessary repairs depending on what type of damage has occurred. If you notice signs of crowning, this can be repaired by simply sanding the floor back to normal after removing the source of the moisture on your floor. You will have to clear out the entire room, vacuum away all debris and set down plastic covering to catch the sawdust.

You can then carefully sand down the crowned boards very carefully with a fine grain of sandpaper. Sanding can also help to fix cupping damage although if the floor is sanded excessively without removing the source of the damage it can ruin the hardwood floor. If you notice that your wood floors are buckling, you may have to remove and replace some of the hardwood planks if they have become too warped to be salvaged. If the damage has proceeded too far, you may have to replace your hardwood floor entirely, which is why it is important to identify and solve problems as quickly as possible.

Further Information

If your floor is damaged, or you suspect that it may become damaged, you can often take steps to solve this problem on your own. However, often you may need to seek the help of an experienced professional flooring company who can fix most of your problems for you. If your home is in the Portland, Oregon area, Wall2Wall Hardwoods is an excellent resource for diagnosing, repairing and preventing hardwood floor water damage. Contact us if you suspect you may be dealing with a problem related to moisture in your floor.

6 Reasons to Choose Hardwood Floor Refinishing

Hardwood floors are a classic and timeless addition to any home or business. But over time, your hardwood flooring can start to look a little dull, a little worn, a little dingy.

That’s also what gives hardwood floors their advantage.

Unlike other types of flooring, when you install a quality hardwood, you can refinish it and make it look just like new. But we know refinishing can be a daunting task to try and tackle on your own. That’s why here in Portland, we make hardwood floor refinishing easy.

Don’t be afraid to unlock the beauty that’s been hiding behind those dingy wood floors currently installed throughout your home. When you know what to expect from a hardwood floor refinishing project, you’re going to realize just how easy the entire process is.

If you are doing other construction or remodeling work, remember that hardwood refinishing comes last. And since all of the furniture will need to be removed from the space for several days, consider the space unusable for that period of time.

Even then, extra care should be given to your new floors to avoid scratching and give the refinishing a chance to settle in.6 Reasons to Choose Hardwood Floor Refinishing

Why should now be the time you have your hardwood floors refinished?

Protecting Your Investment
Wood by itself can be vulnerable to all you dish out during a normal day. Think for a moment of all your floors endure:

-Elements from the outside blowing in every time you open a door
-Foot traffic both barefoot and in shoes
-Moisture from daily activities
-Scratches as you push and pull things across the floor
-Sunlight as it filters in through the windows
-Heat and cold depending on the day

Without a protective coating, wood can succumb to these daily activities quite easily. Part of the finishes job is to protect hardwood from normal wear and tear.

Once your hardwoods are scratched or have gaps between the planks, it can allow moisture in and lead to a long list of potential problems. Warping of the wood can occur in many ways, including cupping, crowning, or gaping. By refinishing the wood on a timely basis, you can prevent problems from occurring before they begin.

Updating Your Style
Have you ever walked into a home or commercial location and immediately felt the decor was dated? Trends come and go. While heavy wood paneling and trim was once the in-thing, it changed to a cleaner, simpler look over time. And just when everything was painted and lightened, darker woods came back into fashion.

Styles come and go as time progresses. Operating out of a commercial space that seems outdated can hurt business regardless of the quality of your products or services. Having a home that isn’t up to date can leave you tired and depressed.

It’s not the hardwood that’s out of date; it’s the finish. And hardwood floor refinishing is one of the easiest ways to bring your decor back up with the trends. And because of today’s technology, you have a wide array of choices to choose from. Do you prefer light or dark stain? A flat or a gloss level finish? Refinishing is an easy way of getting just the look you’re going for.

Damage From Furniture
No matter how careful you are, hardwoods are always susceptible to damage. Tiny grains of dirt can be trapped under your shoes and cause scratches over the surface. Furniture can dig deeper into the grain of the wood. And when you mix in other things like moisture, it’s almost inevitable your hardwood floors will acquire some damage over time.

While there are products on the market that can help mask damage, they won’t solve the problem. They may cover the problem up for a period of time, but eventually, you’ll have to have the floors refinished to bring them up to a new appearance once again.

Heavy Traffic
One of the biggest hardships to a hardwood floor is foot traffic. In your home, your floors can experience everything from children playing with toys to shoes dragging in dirt and moisture from outside, to pets digging in with their nails. With commercial locations, the damage from foot traffic only intensifies.

It’s the constant back and forth movements that cause the biggest problems. How many times do you shuffle between the sink and the stove when you cook your meals? How many times do you relax as a family in your living space? How many times per day do you let your pets in from outside? All of that can add up to a lot of damage to your wood floors.

Moving Into A New Space
There’s nothing like moving into a new space. Prior to moving in is the best time to have your hardwood floors refinished. Before you move in your furniture, you can fully customize your look by selecting the right color and gloss levels to match your incoming decor.

If you’re moving into a new-to-you home, starting with a clean slate means your home will be as up-to-date as possible. It will ensure longevity with your flooring, meaning you won’t have to worry about it again for many years to come.

This also works for remodels and renovations. Are you adding a new room to your home? Are you remodeling your kitchen, or renovating an entire level of your home? After all the construction work is done, refinish the hardwood to finish the look and feel of the project from the floor up.

Longevity
Every scratch, dent, and mark that makes it through to the hardwood shortens the life of the wood. The more damaged the wood is, the less likely it can be saved from needing replacement.

Refinishing extends the life of your hardwood floors. It can save you the money associated with having to replace the individual planks. It can also keep your floors looking great for decades after treatment.

Hardwood floor refinishing is a home remodeling project that takes time, but it’s well worth the wait. A refinished floor can brighten any room in your home. It can take an old dingy floor and make it look new once again.

If you’re ready to add new life to your room, consider refinishing your floors today. We’re here to help answer any questions you may have.

Hardwood Flooring or Carpet: What’s Best For You?

Close your eyes and picture walking into your home. Do you envision the glow of shining hardwood flooring reflecting light and beckoning you to walk through or, the cushion of a fresh carpet comforting your every step? And going to the next room, and the next, are you seeing the hardwood flooring or feeling carpet? It’s a decision to be made for most rooms in your home and like any home decorating decision, one that may be factored concerning design, cost, function, durability and possibly home resale value.

ALLERGIES

One of the first questions to ask yourself is, do you have allergies? If so, hardwood flooring may be an important consideration for you. Carpets, whether deep pile or tighter weave, are known to trap dust mite allergens, pet dander and pollen, whereas hardwood flooring can be thoroughly cleaned.

Hardwood Flooring or Carpet (1)

Like hardwood flooring, other bare surface materials (tile, laminate, etc.) can be washed both with water and a cleaning solution enabling the homeowner to protect themselves and others from the effects of allergens. Carpets themselves may also be the culprit you are reacting to, from the material (wool or otherwise) or the dye, stain protection or other chemicals used in processing.

PETS

Likewise, one of the many concerns of pet owners can be the maintenance of cleaning up after them. This is in many ways a double-edged sword: carpet may potentially mask pet hair or fur, but it can also trap said shedding and impact allergies if not regularly vacuumed and shampooed. On the flip side, shedding of pet hair or fur on hardwood flooring may be more visible and require regular vacuuming and/or sweeping.

MAINTENANCE

Another concern with pets and flooring may be the potential for scratches or other damage. Would the hardwood flooring or carpet be in a room that is highly trafficked and an active play space for you and your pet? Or, are you looking at select rooms such as dining rooms and bedrooms where activities may be more limited? If the pet activity will be limited in a particular room, then the concerns should be less. You may still consider if you have a pet that vomits often, has incontinence, etc., as this can be damaging to hardwood flooring if exposed regularly and for longer periods of time. But if the room may be off limits to your pet, or not often used, this is less of a concern.

ENVIRONMENT

Is your home warm? Cool? Well insulated? How is the sun exposure? These may be additional factors to consider regarding the choice of hardwood flooring versus carpet in your home. For the best preservation of natural hardwood flooring, you wouldn’t want the room to be exposed to direct sun for long periods of time every day, always, without making some adjustments.

It’s generally recommended that rooms with hardwood flooring only receive a moderate level of sun daily. Furniture and rugs should be rotated periodically to allow for even exposure in different areas of the room. Prolonged direct sun exposure could result in fading of stain or natural color, and acceleration of the oxidation of the wood. This is not to say that all woods will have this problem, but this is generally less of a concern for carpeted rooms. Carpeted rooms may still benefit from the occasional furniture rotation so that heavy pieces don’t leave permanent indentations in the pile, or the risk of stains at areas more often exposed to potential spills. But carpet can be beneficial in a room that is drafty, holding the temperature level and potentially contributing to reduced energy costs.

NOISE

Hardwood flooring will often amplify the ambient noise in a room, while carpet, in general, will absorb sound. Noise can, of course, be leveled to some degree by walking in socks, slipper or barefoot, and by adding draperies, furnishings, area rugs and other room accessories.

Depending on the room in your home where you are deciding between hardwood flooring and carpet, this may be a factor of consideration. Perhaps hearing the “click clack” of heels down the main hallway is soothing or provides you with a level of security knowing that someone is coming or going? Consider the layout of your home and in which rooms you may be looking to install hardwood flooring or carpet. Is the room in question next to one where you may want or need more quiet, such as a nursery, home office, or your master suite? This may factor into your decision to install carpet or hardwood flooring into a room.

COST & DURABILITY

Any home renovation project, from a “simple” room refresh to a gut renovation, should have a budget. In theory, you are weighing the attributes of the changes you’ll make to your home, considering the aesthetic value you’re putting into the home, the opportunity for energy saving, property value increase, etc. But what does the actual cost of a project mean to you? How long are you looking to get out of the change? If installing hardwood flooring, you are making an investment that could be considered timeless, as hardwood flooring can often be sanded and re-stained years later. Often chips or scratches can be buffed out and may even be considered part of solidifying the character of the boards.

Conversely, carpeting may have a more limited lifespan depending upon a variety of factors. The pile, the color, the padding, and installation may all impact the longevity of carpet. A quick web search offers a range of life expectancy, anywhere from 3-5 years for a plush carpet in a home with 2-5 residents, to up to 10 years if a more forgiving color, weave and treatment (such as not wearing shoes on carpets, regular vacuuming and cleaning), and consideration for the placement. Carpeting in the main entryway may wear much faster than carpeting in the guest bedroom, for example.

DESIGN

For some, design will be at the top of the list, for others, a factor decided by evaluating each of the above considerations. Design may still win out in your decision-making process for one or all rooms. Hardwood flooring will range in color, texture, type, and size, while carpet can vary by these same factors and more. The price for hardwood flooring versus carpet can also run on par when you consider the grade of material, origin, installation, etc.

The decision to install hardwood flooring or carpet in your home may not be an easy one, with many factors to think about, but through thoughtful consideration, you will decide what’s best for you; hardwood flooring or carpet.

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!