Category Archives: Home


Hardwood Floor Restoration and 5 More Home Upgrades for 2021

A new year is a time for a fresh start and to leave the past behind us. Out with the old, in with the new, right? As we wrap up 2020, many of us have never been more ready for that new start. If you’re looking for ways to spruce things up in 2021, a home upgrade could be just the thing to kick off the new year the right way.

Perhaps you recently purchased a home and want to renovate it to reflect your personal style. Or maybe you’ve spent much of this year working from home and want to update your new combined living-workspace. Either way, if you’re looking for some home renovation inspiration, you’ve come to the right place. We have a few ideas to help you get started with your 2021 home upgrade.

1. Restore Your Hardwood Floors

So maybe we’re a little biased when it comes to this one. But one of the reasons Wall 2 Wall is so committed to hardwood floor restoration is that we’ve seen firsthand the difference breathing new life into an old floor can make. No other type of flooring provides the same value that hardwood flooring does. It instantly upgrades the look of any home, lasts for decades, and is incredibly easy to maintain.

Not only does hardwood floor restoration have the potential to increase your home’s property value by up to 10 percent, but it also has many health benefits. For instance, hardwood flooring doesn’t trap germs or scents the way carpeting does. Cleaning your hardwood floors is as simple as a sweep of the broom because hardwood flooring doesn’t trap dust the way carpeting does either. Hardwood floor restoration is a quick, efficient way to add to the aesthetic and financial value of almost any home.

2. Add a Touch of Warmth

When you first walk into a home, you naturally want it to feel warm and inviting. But the touch of warmth we’re talking about will quite literally warm you up. If you want to start the new year off on the right foot, radiant floor heating can increase your family’s comfort level while decreasing your monthly energy bills.

With radiant heating, you have the option of installing a whole-home radiant heating system, or if you want to focus your upgrades on a specific area of the home, you can opt to install radiant heating in a single room, such as the bathroom or kitchen. Whatever you decide, it’s a quiet, effective, and efficient way to heat your home.

3. Go Hands-Free

The year 2020 has taught us many lessons. Wash our hands for at least 20 seconds, carry hand sanitizer with us when we’re on the go, and wear a mask when we can’t stay at least 6 feet apart. But we have to do more than just protect ourselves from the germs circulating in the outside world. We have to keep our families safe by cutting down on the germs inside our own homes.

Hardwood flooring is one way to cut back on germs and allergens that we track inside our homes.

Going hands-free is another way to live healthier. Eliminating the need for handles by installing touchless faucets in the kitchen and bathroom can greatly reduce the number of germs transmitted throughout our homes. This upgrade not only lends itself to a more streamlined, contemporary look, it also gives you another layer of protection for safeguarding your family’s overall health and well-being.

4. Implement Smart Technology

Home upgrades don’t have to cost thousands of dollars. It can be as simple as upgrading your home’s technology. From lighting to security cameras to window blinds, so much of your home can be automated.

Smart technology allows you to connect devices or appliances in your home to the internet. Then with the simple touch of a button, you can control these home features from virtually anywhere in your house.

Most of these upgrades are relatively inexpensive and make our everyday lives much more convenient. Imagine being able to disable your home security system from miles away or never having to get up to close the blinds. Take advantage of modern-day technology to save both time and energy. It will allow you more opportunities to focus on what’s really important in the new year.

5. Make Energy-Efficient Improvements

According to the Department of Energy, as much as 20 percent of your annual energy bill could be wasted on things like air leaks, drafts, or an HVAC system that’s past its prime. Essentially, your money is quite literally flying out the window.

But making energy improvements to your home, such as sealing air leaks and ducts, adding insulation, or upgrading household appliances can solve this problem. In fact, even something as simple as installing a programmable thermostat could help you save money on energy bills.

The best part is that these improvements often pay for themselves. If you’re not looking to make any major renovations, energy-efficient upgrades are a quick, easy way to modernize your home. You may even recoup your initial investment over time.

6. Create a Place for Relaxation

Okay, so this one is really up to you. Relaxation means different things to different people. Sometimes it means curling up with a good book. Other times, it means unwinding in a hot bubble bath after a long day. Whatever it means for you, 2020 has shown us is that we need to create a personal space where we can relax and decompress from life’s outside stresses.

So if you do enjoy a long, hot bath, turn your bathtub into a spa. If you enjoy the great outdoors, create a backyard oasis. The possibilities are endless.
The important thing to remember is that you need a space where you can feel calm and centered despite what’s going on in the outside world. You deserve a home that makes you feel relaxed and at ease. So keep that in mind when deciding which home upgrades to make in the new year.


5 Room Decor Tips to Complement Wood Floor Restoration

Did you just complete a wood floor restoration? Congratulations! We’re sure that it looks wonderful and makes your home feel brand new. However, if you really want to take your home to the next level, you will want to decorate your home to complement this new wood floor restoration. There are ways to decorate that add to your new floor, rather than simply exist next to it. You spent time and money on a wood floor restoration, so you want it to get its rightful attention.

Decorating your home to complement your wood floor restoration can be a fun experience. You can choose the styles that fit your personality and lifestyle.

One important thing to note is that when it comes to decorating around your new wood floor, keep the color of your flooring in mind, as this will influence the color of the pieces you’re looking for. Depending on whether it’s dark or light flooring, most likely, the opposite shade of furniture or décor will go best.

Here are five room decor tips to help complement wood floor restoration.

Mix Rather Than Match

With wood flooring, you may not want your typical wood furniture or at least too much of it. By mixing in different fabrics, styles, and textures, rather than matching, you’re complementing the floor and avoiding furniture that blends in with it. If you do still want to have some wooden pieces in your home, try picking a different color of wood, either darker or lighter than the flooring in your home. This will give the room a rustic feel while allowing both the floor and the pieces in your home to stand out on their own.

For instance, if you have traditional hardwood floors that are a single color, choose patterned material chairs that pop. If you want include wooden furniture in your décor, opt for pieces that are stained a color that contrasts nicely with your single-colored flooring.

Use Soft Fabrics

One way to balance the firmness of wood flooring is by using soft fabrics and area rugs to lighten the room. Materials like lambswool or sheepskin will add softness and contrast the hard surface of the wood floors. Plus, they’ll make you feel as though you’re walking on air and help keep your floors warm in the winter.

Another idea is to utilize airy textiles, whether that’s through cotton sheets on your bed or window treatments, such as a lightweight, cream-colored curtain.

Take Advantage of Natural Light

Natural light can make small homes look so much bigger, which is why it’s a good idea to use this to your advantage. If your home has dark wooden floors, you can pull light into a room. Some tricks for doing this are to have cabinets in a lighter color, paint your walls white or a similar light shade, or put down area rugs that are patterned rather than simply one color. Any of these will add nice accents to the room, while still allowing your wood floor restoration to be hit by the natural light and shine through.

Choose Furniture Coloring That Compliments Your Floors

As we mentioned above, depending on the color of your floor, you should have furniture that complements it rather than takes away from it. One good rule of thumb is that the darker your flooring, the lighter your furniture should be. Some good colors for you to choose from include white, cream, yellow, lavender, pastels, or muted shades of green, pink, and blue.

If you do incorporate wooden furniture into your home, you also need to be careful the color doesn’t clash with the color of your flooring. If you decide to avoid matching stains, a safer bet might be going for painted options, especially in tones of white or a muted yellow.
Furthermore, couches that are super plush and chairs that are light in color also make nice contrasts to dark-colored floors.

Take Advantage of Floor Decorations

Vases are a great floor decoration that will really complement your wood floor restoration. Color can have an impact here as well. If your floor is dark, then white, off-white, or cream-colored vases are the way to go. You don’t have to have plants in these vases. Instead, try flower arrangements (real or fake), feathers, light-up branches, or other embellishments. Depending on the other décor you have planned for the room, you could even leave the vase bare, and that might be enough.

Placing vases in the corners of a room can really help frame the room, but they can also be placed at the entrance of the room or next to different pieces of furniture.

In addition to vases, you can use different sculpture pieces to complement your floors. For dark floors, gray or grayish-purple sculptures, as well as other light colors, can really stand out.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are many ways to complement your wood floor restoration. Even though it’s important to keep the color of your flooring in mind when figuring, we understand that it might not be the best option for you. For example, if you have young children or messy pets living in your home with you, white or lighter-colored furniture might not be ideal. If this is the case, choose patterned items that have more than one color. It will better hide inevitable wear and tear, while still providing that pop you’re looking for.

At Wall 2 Wall Hardwoods, we understand that your wood floor restoration is both an investment for your family and a work of art. Choosing the right décor for your rooms will fully show it off. If you’re just getting started on your restoration or even if you’re partway through, give Wall 2 Wall a call and let us help your restored floor be the showpiece you’re hoping for.

5 Tips for Restoring Hardwood Floor Under Carpet

Whether you’ve just moved in or have lived in the same home for years, you might consider doing away with that old carpeting and upgrading to hardwood flooring, a more sustainable, hygienic, and elegant alternative that can raise the value and comfort of your home. Luckily, you may not need to sink thousands of dollars into replacing the current floors in your home. If you’re living in an older home built before the 1970s, odds are your wall-to-wall carpeting is already hiding a hardwood gem.

Most hardwood floors under carpets can be restored—at a much more reasonable cost and with less labor if you choose the right professional service. But if you’ve opted to restore your hardwood floors on your own, then you may have a challenging yet highly rewarding task ahead of you. And if you’re working with a limited budget, restoring the floors yourself may be the most practical approach. Here are five tips for restoring hardwood floors under carpets to help you meet your project goals.

Tip 1: Time Your Project for the Season

Considering the timing of your project should be the first step. The Pacific Northwest experiences the year’s highest levels of humidity from fall to early spring. Starting a project in these months will make it more difficult to repair and refinish hardwood flooring for a number of reasons, including poor indoor air circulation, which prevents the finishing chemicals from drying and curing in the proper amount of time.

Since any floor restoration project requires the work area to be totally clear, moving back and forth between rooms or in and out of the house can be inconvenient in cold, wet weather. You’ll also have to contend with not having access to that room (or the entire house) for three to five days. And bear in mind that the strong odors of the finishing chemicals can take several days to clear up after they’ve dried.

Consider planning your project from late spring through the summer, when the weather is drier. Small, one-room projects can take less than a week to complete—sometimes only a weekend. While larger projects, such as an entire house, will inevitably take longer. Nevertheless, the majority of your time will be spent cleaning up after the last step while preparing for the next.

Tip 2: Assess the Condition of Your Hardwood Floors

This goes without saying: you need to remove the carpeting to actually see the hardwood floors. It’s also important to remove any foam padding, glue, tack strips and spikes, and/or nails left over. Once cleared, every plank should be inspected for damage. Depending on the condition of your floors, you might have to invest more time and money in your project or contact a local professional service, such as Wall 2 Wall Hardwood Floors, if individual planks or the entire floor needs replacing.

Problems such as rampant wood rot, black mold, discoloration, and physical holes in the wood may be beyond the scope of your project. On the other hand, minor scrapes and scratches to the surface can usually be repaired by sanding and refinishing the wood.

In older homes, hardwood floors were typically sealed and coated with natural varnish or shellac. This is likely what’s protected your hardwood floor under the carpet for years. However, to restore your floor, you’ll need to sand down that top layer, otherwise, your finishing materials won’t adhere.

Tip 3: Handle Your Sander Properlywall-2-wall-5-tips-for-restoring-hardwood-floor-under-carpets

Depending on the size of your project, you may opt for either a random orbital sander or a drum sander. For restoring narrow spaces, such as hallways and entryways, or for completing smaller room projects, a random orbital sander may be the best option. But for larger projects, you’ll have to rent a drum sander.

Unless you have experience with a drum sander, you should avoid operating one without first consulting a rental company and researching the proper ways to handle it. Drum sanders vary in size and weight, but for room-length restoration projects, a typical drum sander weighs over a hundred pounds—and can seriously damage your floor if used improperly.

When operating a drum sander, don’t push, pull, or swing the sander like you would a vacuum or lawnmower. Doing so can cause you to leave deep scratches and grooves in your floor, known as “stop marks.” Avoid letting the sander idle in one place, as it will grind into the wood. Where the hardwood floor meets the wall, use an edger instead.

Tip 4: Take Care with Finishing

Before applying finish to your hardwood floor, you should clean up all the dust leftover from sanding. Use a heavy-duty shop vac to remove as much dust as possible. Then wipe the floor with a rag, preferably a tack cloth, soaked in mineral spirits to clear away any lingering dust and debris.

As the mineral spirits and finishing chemicals have strong, potentially harmful odors, it’s best to wear a respirator, gloves, and safety glasses. Always keep your area safe and well-ventilated.

Once you’ve applied the stain and allowed it to dry—often in two rapid coats to help bring out the color you want—it’s important to immediately seal the stain with a urethane coating. In-between applications, stir the urethane mix to prevent it from setting in its container. Typically, two coats (the second may be applied after the first has dried and been lightly sanded) should suffice. But for areas of heavy foot traffic, a third or fourth coat may be more practical.

Tip 5: When to Call a Professional

Restoring hardwood floors under carpeting is a time-consuming process, but it’s definitely DIY-possible. And there’s nothing like the sense of achievement you get when restoring the hardwood floors of your own home. Still … don’t be afraid to ask for help.

If your simple refinishing job turns into a massive floor replacement, that’s where a professional service has you covered. Consulting a hardwood floor restoration and construction company, such as Wall 2 Wall Hardwood Floors, can turn out to be a real time-, money-, and life-saver. Getting a professional estimate for your project can also help you weigh your DIY costs. Check out these services for restoring damaged floors and bringing them back to life.

What Are My Options for How to Keep Wood Floors Warm in Winter?

Are you hesitant about adding wood flooring to your home because you’re worried it’ll get too cold in the winter? At Wall 2 Wall Flooring, we understand this concern, as we have heard it from lots of hesitant customers. But what if we tell you this doesn’t have to be the case? There are options out there that you can take advantage of to keep your wood floors warm in the winter.

If what is stopping you from installing wood floors in your home is the worry of how to keep them–and your home—warm, it’s time to go ahead and have them installed. You can definitely keep wood floors warm. Here are some options for you to follow for how to keep wood floors warm in winter.

Install Radiant Heating Systems

Technology has advanced, and thanks to that, there are new options for keeping your wood floors warm during the colder months. With engineered hardwood flooring, you’ll be able to install a radiant heating system under your floors. Radiant heating supplies heat to the floor of your home via a direct heat source. This, in turn, heats the whole home. There are different methods of heating, such as air-heated, electric radiant floors, and hydronic heating, which is the most common.

Installing radiant heat under wood floors should be done by a professional to make sure that it’s done properly and safely and to ensure it will work with your hardwood floors. We urge you to call us today if you’re interested in adding radiant heating to your floors. We can explain the process to you, decide if it’s a viable option, discuss the best time to install this heating system, and determine which method will work best in your home.

Cover the Floor with an Area Rugwall-2-wall-what-are-my-options-for-how-to-keep-wood-floors-warm-in-winter

Not only will a rug add a pop of color and beautiful décor to your home, but it will also provide you with more heat during the winter. If there’s a specific area of your home that you and your family spend more time in than others, or if there’s a specific area of your home that simply gets colder than another area, putting a rug on the floor in that space will make a big difference. The warmth of the rug, especially if you choose a rug that’s heavier and plush, will add a nice contrast to the coolness of the hardwood.

Additionally, by using rugs, you can easily remove them in the warmer months and only use them when it becomes cold outside. If one of your biggest worries is walking on the cold floor, wearing fuzzy socks is an option too!

Check for Drafts

Be sure to check all your doors and windows for any possible drafts. If you find that there’s cold air coming in from one of these places, you can easily rectify it by using a draft guard, getting a sealer, or adding insulating weather strips to your doors and windows. Hardwood floors can’t get cold if cold air isn’t getting into your home. By preventing this from happening, you are keeping your floors warm and your house warmer too.

Change Your Curtains

Lighter curtains can be great for the warmer months, but in the winter months, it’s a good idea to change to heavier curtains. This is also a best practice even if you checked for drafts and you don’t have any. It is simply an extra layer of warmth. Choosing curtains that are triple-layered and interlined is a good choice.

It is important, though, to not always keep the curtains closed. Having them open during the day when the sun is at its strongest is a good way to take advantage of the natural warmth of the sun. Even in the winter months when it’s cold outside, the sunlight can bring warmth into your home, and this warmth can be absorbed by your floors for a warmer home.

Enter Your Home from a Different Door

This may sound like a strange option, but every time you open your door during the winter months, you’re letting cold air in. By opening up a door that leads to the main room you and your family spend a lot of time in, you make that room, and the hardwood floors in that room, even colder. If there’s another door you can come in and out of that doesn’t lead to a room you spend most of your time in, use that door more frequently. If you have a garage entrance, use that more than the front door. This will help keep cold from coming in and will help your hardwood floors stay warm.

Keeping your home warm in the colder winter months is important for so many reasons. It will reduce your energy costs, which will save you and your family money in the long run. It will also provide you with a more comfortable home environment. Who wants to be outside in the cold and then come in to cold too? Additionally, a cozy home is more welcoming to guests.

If you’re concerned about how to keep wood floors warm in the winter, we hope the above tips and tricks have reassured you and helped to convince you that wood floors are a good way to go. If you’re still worried, contact us. We’ll talk with you personally or come see your home and provide you with our recommendation for your home and your particular floors.

It’s very possible to keep wood floors warm in the winter. It just takes a couple of extra steps. From technology and décor to simply keeping the main door closed a bit more, the above options will help to keep your wood floors warm and your home warmer too.

Do I Need a Dehumidifier with My Hardwood Floor?

Installing a hardwood floor isn’t a small task. Many homeowners spend thousands of dollars on a new hardwood floor. Installation requires going through the process of design, moving furniture out of the way, staying off the newly installed floor for a few days, and then putting the furniture back after installation. The installation process takes a lot of time and effort. After the investment of time and money, keeping the hardwood floor in great condition is important. That leaves many wondering how to best protect their new investment.

Wood is a natural material that’s very reactive to changes in environmental conditions, such as moisture levels in the home. Many homeowners worry about having too much moisture for their new hardwood floors and will install a dehumidifier, thinking this is the best way to protect their floors from excess moisture for years to come. Controlling the moisture levels in the home will help preserve the life of your hardwood floors, but it’s a common misconception that a dehumidifier is the best solution to managing moisture levels in the home.

A Dehumidifier Is Actually a Bad Idea for Hardwood Floors

Have you ever experienced walking on a wood floor where every step you take makes the floor squeak? Or perhaps you avoid particular spots of your floor in the morning while the family sleeps to avoid that loud squeak with your step. Perhaps you find a new spot that squeaks, and as you look closer, you notice there are spaces showing between the floor panels. Or you notice some of the floorboards have started to bend and the edges may curve up or down. Cracks may have appeared in the floorboards.

Maybe you thought you’d avoided these issues by installing a dehumidifier to protect your hardwood floor from moisture, but you were actually mistaken. To keep your floors in shape—pun intended—you need to maintain a certain amount of humidity in your home, not eliminate it. It’s not a dehumidifier you need for your hardwood floors, but a whole-home humidifier. Here’s why humidity matters.

Relative Humidity Levels in the Homewall2wall-do-i-need-a-dehumidifier-with-my-hardwood-floor

Relative humidity is a way of describing how much moisture is in the air. If the relative humidity is 0 percent, the air is completely dry. If the relative humidity is 100 percent, there’s enough moisture in the air to produce dew or mist. The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) advises that relative humidity levels should range from 30 to 50 percent for the best performance and life span of hardwood floors. The NWFA estimates that approximately 90 percent of hardwood flooring failures are caused by relative humidity issues in the home.

Many wood flooring manufacturers will require homeowners to maintain a correct relative humidity in the home to keep their warranty active. Since wood is so reactive to temperature and humidity levels, it’s imperative to keep the humidity at the proper percentage.

What Happens When the Air Is Too Dry?

When air is dry, wood floorboards will shrink, which causes gaps to appear between the planks. This is normal behavior, and when the moisture levels rise, the floorboards will expand, filling the gaps. During more extreme changes, however, the wood panels become stressed. This weakens the wood, causing the panels to become more brittle. This brittle wood is more likely to crack and split, causing the finish to splinter, thus exposing the wood. This means the wood floor is no longer protected. These splits in the wood aren’t fixable, so to eliminate the damage, your floor will need to be replaced.

What Happens When the Air Is Too Humid?

When the air is too humid, the wood panels absorb excess moisture from the air, causing the panels to expand. When the humidity levels are too high in the home, cupping can occur to your floorboards. Cupping refers to the shape of the wood panel, as it resembles the shape of a cup. The floorboards bend, leaving the panel edges raised higher than the center of the panel.

Buckling is a more extreme reaction to excess moisture in the home. Buckling is when the floorboards expand past the gaps left for expansion, causing the floorboard to pull away from the subflooring. Cracks can appear with extreme moisture levels due to the pressure buildup from the wood panels expanding beyond the allowed gaps for expansion. The wood panels lose their structural integrity and cracks form.

Preventing Moisture Issues in the Home

You can help prevent structural issues with a hardwood floor in several ways. Making sure to leave expansion space around the perimeter of the floor during installation. Typically, baseboards cover the expansion space for aesthetic purposes. Maintaining proper humidity levels is also important in preventing the need for excessive expansion. By using a whole-home humidifier, you can more easily control the relative humidity in your home.

Using a hygrometer in the home allows you to be able to read the humidity levels. This will help you to know when an adjustment may need to be made to stay in the preferred relative humidity range. During the rainy season, avoid tracking water onto your floors by removing wet gear while on a protective layer such as a doormat. For cleaning, use a soft cloth that has been only lightly dampened with recommended floor cleaners.

Hardwood floors are an investment in your home. Their natural beauty adds to the aesthetics of your home. They’re durable but not invincible, and they do require regular care and maintenance. Natural wear and tear can cause the need for professional hardwood floor repairs.

Whether you’re looking for cosmetic repairs, such as fixing water stains or scratches, or more intricate repairs due to damage from lack of humidity control, such as cupping, buckling, gapping, squeaking, or even mold and water damage, Wall 2 Wall Hardwood Floors is here to help with your repair needs. The sooner you contact us for repair, the faster we can resolve the problem, which results in less damage and less costly repairs. For all of your hardwood floor repair needs in Portland, OR, contact Wall 2 Wall Hardwood Floors today.

Is Wood Flooring a Good Idea in Portland?

At Wall 2 Wall Construction & Restoration, we specialize in hardwood floor installation, repair, and refinishing. You could even say that installing hardwood flooring in Portland, Oregon, is our passion. We have been doing it for years. We’re experts at it. We have done it thousands of times. We offer incredible hardwood flooring, excellent prices, and craftsmanship that’s unparalleled. Simply putting it, we are the best when it comes to wood flooring in Portland.

But is wood flooring a good idea in Portland? The short answer is that, yes, it is. But let’s take a more in-depth look at that.

It’s Easy to Maintain and Safer

We ensure that we only use natural wood for your floors. Because of this, your floors will be much easier to clean and maintain. Hardwood floors don’t trap dust particles or debris. This means that if you want to clean your floors, a simple sweet usually suffices. Furthermore, if you go the extra step and add in a proper sealant, your floor will be borderline impermeable.

This is very different from choosing to carpet, as carpeting easily can trap germs, dust, dirt, and scents. In most cases, hardwood floors are already resistant to odors, germs, and debris. They also don’t trap moisture or allergens. This means that if you suffer from mold allergies, hardwood flooring is a great option for your home.

In addition to this, hardwood floors are eco-friendly and sustainable. They’re free of both volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and of formaldehyde. You may find a bit of volatile organic compounds in engineered wood or bamboo, but the amount is much less than found in carpets.

Financial Valuewall2wall-is-wood-flooring-a-good-idea-in-portland

When it comes to comparing the value of other flooring options in Portland, Oregon, to that of hardwood flooring, there really is no comparison. No other flooring matches the value that hardwood flooring will bring to your home. Why? Because hardwood flooring in Portland homes can increase the property value of the home by as much as 10 percent. Hardwood flooring adds both quality and appeal to your home. Both will help add value to your home.

Additionally, hardwood flooring shows up great in photographs, which is an important feature when the time comes to sell your home. Potential buyers will be looking at these photographers of your home and definitely take note of your beautiful floors. If the floors stand out, it can excite potential buyers and make them want to spend on your home. Plus, potential buyers like the idea of seeing “hardwood floors” in the description of any listing they’re reading.

Increased Variety

As different cuts bring out different aspects of wood, the options you can choose from are nearly endless. This means that you can select the best color, shape, design, and type of wood for your home, whatever your style is.

You can opt for the type of wood that best complements the paint colors and furniture you already have. If you’re starting from scratch, you can choose a floor that will go with any color scheme or type of furniture you may have in mind.

Some types of wood will show off the grain of the wood. Other types will include the imperfections, such as burls, that don’t even look like imperfections and instead will give your floors (and your home) even more character. And more characteristics of wood can come out and change with age, stains, and sealants.

Most Portland Homes Already Have It

If there’s currently carpeting in your home, there’s a chance that it was simply installed directly over a hardwood floor previously there. Most Portland homes were built either in the 1980s or earlier. For those older homes, there’s a chance that hardwood flooring was originally used.

Homes built in the 1950s or before that primarily used hardwood floors. If your home falls into this category, and carpet or laminate was simply laid over the original hardwood floors, then all you’ll need to do is peel back the more recent flooring and refinish the old hardwood floors—a service that we provide!

Refinishing old hardwood floors sounds tedious and time-consuming, and it can be, but in the end, it’s worth it. It’s less expensive than replacing floors altogether, so if you do have old hardwood floors hiding away in your Portland home, it’s in your best interest to take advantage of them.

Technology Has Advanced

Are you worried about hardwood flooring leaving your Portland home too cold, especially during the winter months? Technology has advanced, resulting in ways to combat this. With engineered hardwood flooring, you can install radiant heating systems right under your hardwood flooring. There are many perks to installing this type of heat system, as it doesn’t pump allergens throughout your house. Additionally, it helps save on energy costs, as it uses less electricity than other potential sources of heat. This can also help you save money in the long run.

You can also combat some of the chill by using a variety of area rugs throughout your home. This is a common option that allows homeowners to further show off their style, as rugs come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and designs—anything you can imagine.

If you’re thinking twice about whether hardwood flooring is a good idea in your Portland home, there’s no need to. If all of the above reasons still don’t have you fully convinced to go ahead and install that hardwood flooring, please give us a call. We’re happy to chat more with you and hear what your concerns and hesitations are.

If you’re ready to install hardwood flooring in your home, please call us for an estimate. Who knows, your home may already have hardwood flooring under your current carpeting, and then all you’ll need to do is refinish it. Regardless, if you’re looking to sell your home sometime in the future and want the best value possible for the sale, investing in hardwood flooring is the right decision.

5 Tips for Making Your Portland Hardwood Floor Last

As a homeowner, hardwood floors are one of the lowest maintenance flooring options you can select. And more importantly, they look amazing with nearly any design aesthetic. Regardless of whether you want your home to remind you of that French chateau you once visited, your favorite mountain-range escape, or a beach-side bungalow along the Pacific coast, you can find the hardwood to match the appeal you desire.

And, yes, while hardwood flooring is rather low maintenance, as you don’t have to lug out the vacuum for every dog hair that shows, nor get on hands and knees and dig crud out of tile grout, it still requires some commitment to keep your Portland hardwood floors looking like new.

Here are five tips we share with customers who want their floors looking like the day they were installed for many years to come:

1. Clean with Care5 Tips for Making Your Portland Hardwood Floor Last

Hardwood floors won’t show every scuff mark and stray hair, but they will wear down in time, so you still need to put in some effort to properly clean them. So sweep as often as you desire, and every once in a while do a little bit more.

On the “more” days, these are the additional steps you should take:

  1. Gently vacuum the floor to ensure every speck of dust and crumb has been removed.
  2. Mix together one cup of white vinegar and one tablespoon of olive oil into a water bottle filled with distilled water and then lightly spritz the concoction onto the floors.
  3. Use a sponge mop to clean each nook and cranny of the floor making sure to travel with the grain of the wood.
  4. Allow the floor to completely dry before buffing with a Portland hardwood floor buffer or microfiber cloth.

These added steps take time, and you’ll likely want to move aside the furniture during this deep clean, so it’s not recommended every weekend. But when you want to bring the shine back to your floor, this process is effective.

2. Take Off Your Shoes

As a guest entering someone’s home, you don’t always want the first thing you hear to be, “Please, take off your shoes.” And walking along hardwood floors with shoes on occasionally isn’t cause for alarm. However, if you really want to ensure your floors stay in tip-top shape, then you should take off your shoes.

Don’t let your child in dance class practice their tap routines on your Portland hardwood floors. Ask them to remove their soccer cleats before stepping foot in your abode. Even take off your own kicks at the end of the day.

Shoes don’t appear “that dirty” but are incidentally trampling in dust and dirt from outside. They are also causing scuff marks. Switch those clackity heels for socks or slippers that glide along the floor, and you’ll notice the difference over the years.

An everyday step to take to keep your hardwood flooring in its best shape is to simply remove your street shoes.

3. Avoid Direct Sunlight

Do you recall purchasing backyard lounge furniture at the beginning of the summer, only to realize that you need to replace the cushions before the next season because the color has already faded away? This fading is caused by the direct rays from the sun—almost like a reverse suntan. And the same can happen to your wood flooring.

While windows, shades, and curtains do provide protection, if you expose your floors to direct sunlight day after day, you’ll eventually notice this effect after a few years. It won’t be obvious. Instead, you’ll go to move your hutch slightly to the left only to realize that there’s a distinct line denoting where the sun did and didn’t hit the floor over time.

This doesn’t mean you need to be a shut-in and always have your blinds closed to the outside world, but do recognize that these outside influences will impact your inside aesthetic, and make adjustments as you see fit. One way to negate this problem is by rotating your furniture more frequently in the rooms that are exposed to the most direct sunlight.

4. Invest in a Whole-House Humidifier

In a perfect world, the humidity and temperature levels in your home would be consistent. This would not only benefit you and ensure you’re always comfortable in your home, but it could do wonders for your flooring.

Hardwood flooring shrinks and expands depending on the humidity in a room, much like curly hair. When it’s humid, the slats are at their maximum width, but they contract when the humid conditions abate. This contracting and expanding over the years can cause your flooring to warp. So if you want to limit this possibility, invest in a whole-house humidifier.

And not only will a humidifier help extend the life of your Portland hardwood floors, it’ll improve your seasonal allergy and asthma symptoms as well.

5. Opt for Harwood Restoration

An investment in hardwood flooring is an investment in your home. It’s not the cheapest flooring option, but it will look wonderful for many years to come with little effort on your part. However, everything fades and warps with time.

If you’ve invested in a property that has beautiful hardwood floors but they’ve seen better days, don’t give up entirely and jump to replacement. Instead, look into hardwood flooring restoration.

It doesn’t matter what the cause of destruction is, as we can tackle squeaks, gaps, stains, mold, buckling, warping, and more. No matter what flooring issue you face, restoration may be the best solution.

And hardwood flooring restoration is often more affordable than a complete replacement while allowing you to retain the originality of the home.

If you’ve done all you can to get your floors to look like new but are ready to consider restoration, reach out to the Wall 2 Wall team today.

4 Things to Consider Before Installing Radiant Heat Under Hardwood Floors

Imagine stepping onto your hardwood floors and having them be pleasantly warm. Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to wear socks inside? Or if you didn’t have to continually adjust the thermostat?

Radiant heating is an attractive option for many reasons. It’s quiet, energy efficient, and can even lower your utility bills. It offers a more uniform air temperature, which means you won’t have to use your traditional heating as much. Your whole home will feel more comfortable, with fewer drafts and cold spots. And when your feet are warmer, the rest of your body will feel warmer as well.

There are many benefits, but unlike some improvements to a home, this is something that needs a bit of thought and planning before installation. Here are some things to ask yourself if you’re considering installing radiant heat under your hardwood floors.

Is radiant heating the right choice for me and my home?

4 Things to Consider Before Installing Radiant Heat Under Hardwood FloorsThe idea of having warm floors all the time is very appealing. But it’s a major decision. And if you’re installing it in an existing home, it might mean your floor is taken apart for days, if not weeks. Be sure this is something you can live with before you get started.

Radiant heating is an especially good choice for certain home layouts. Homes with high ceilings or large rooms can benefit a lot. Traditional heating methods end up wasting a lot of energy in these houses, inefficiently blasting hot air from just a few vents. Why waste so much energy and money heating the air near your ceiling?

Radiant heating solves this problem by working against how hot air naturally rises. It concentrates warm air consistently in the lower portion of your room—where you live.

Of course, any room can benefit from radiant heat, not just ones with high ceilings or large rooms.

Your personal tastes in flooring are also important when deciding if radiant heat is right for you. Note that you wouldn’t want to install heaters under carpeting, which already acts as an insulator. While possible, it’s a very inefficient combination. But other materials, such as hardwood, stone, and tile, work much better with radiant heat systems. These flooring materials aren’t naturally insulated and can get cold, especially in the winter. Adding radiant heat will make them comfortable to walk on year-round.

What is the cost?

Radiant heat used to be a luxury only found in the top homes, as it was often expensive. Luckily, technology has evolved so that systems are easy to install and within reach financially for many homeowners. Still, installation is an extra cost, so you have to consider if it’s worth it before going ahead with it.

If you’re putting in a new floor, the cost will vary depending on what material you go with. Engineered wood averages $3 to $13 per square foot, while hardwood goes for $5 to $14 per square foot. To add radiant heat under hardwood floors, add another $4 to $6 for every square foot of flooring. And don’t forget to include labor costs from the company installing the floor and system. This will, of course, vary from company to company; at companies like Wall 2 Wall Hardwoods, you can contact them for an estimate.

To be assured of a good finished product, going with a reputable, experienced professional is your best option and worth the cost. They can help you assess your home and give you their advice on everything from materials to the best heating systems.

Will the type of hardwood I love work with radiant heating?

Do you have your heart set on a certain type of hardwood? Do you want to keep your current hardwood floor? Or are you currently looking at flooring samples and need help choosing?

No matter where you are in the process, know that while many hardwoods can work with radiant heat, there are types that you should avoid. So be sure to consider the wood you are using carefully.

Some woods, such as maple and pine, are more sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity levels. They are more likely to expand and contract according to changes in their environment. While these woods can work in some homes, they don’t work well when you add dry heat under the floor. When wood dries out, problems can occur over time, such as gaps between the boards. You chose hardwood floors because they are a beautiful and elegant addition to your home. You want them to last as long as possible.

So what should you choose?

Many woods are stable under fluctuating conditions, especially engineered hardwoods. A professional flooring technician is a great resource if you have questions, and they can recommend types of wood that work well with floor heating systems.

There are also ways that both you and your flooring expert can ensure your floor and your new heating system will work well together well into the future. Your technician can use methods such as installing a floating floor, which puts a little space between the wood and the heat. Your floor can also be held together with interlocking planks (rather than glue or nails) to allow you to more easily fix problems if they occur.

Once your floor is in, you can do your part to maintain it. Don’t let your floor heater exceed certain temperatures and monitor humidity levels to prevent the wood from drying out.

Should I retrofit or invest in updating my whole floor?

You’re in luck if you’re in the process of building your home right now or you’re updating your floor. It is easier to place radiant heat under your hardwood floor while it’s being installed. But don’t think that means you’re out of luck if you want to keep your current wood floors.

There are several different methods used to install floor heaters. They can be embedded into concrete and turned into an additional layer under your flooring. This works well for homes that are just being built.

Heating systems can also be installed dry, without having to pour another layer of concrete, which works if you want to keep the wood floor you already have.

Are you thinking about installing radiant heat under very old flooring? You may run into some issues. Your floors might be a type of wood that doesn’t work well with heating, or they might have warped or developed gaps between the boards over years of use. Definitely talk with a professional if you have your heart set on having both your old wood floors and radiant heating.

Think radiant heating is for you? Take the first step and come talk with a flooring consultant at Wall 2 Wall Hardwoods today.

5 Reasons To Install Hardwood Floors This Year

You love the carpet in your home, of course. After all, it’s been there since you got the place and you’ve already sunk countless hours of time into maintaining it; not to mention the money on cleaning products and maybe even replacement carpets. If you have pets in your home, then that cost was likely even higher. But if you are truly happy with your carpet, then perhaps all that time and money is worth it. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for an upgrade, perhaps it’s time to consider making the switch to hardwood floors.

Known for their durability, versatility, and timeless elegance, wood floors will change your home, and your life, for the better. Wall2Wall Hardwoods can provide that benefit for you if you’re ready to make the change.

Here are our top 5 reasons to install hardwood floors this year:

1. Hardwood Floors Can Last For a Very Long Time

When it comes to homebuilding, wood is one of the most versatile and durable materials you can use. When used for your floors, hardwood might just be the best material you can get. After all, your floor gets a great deal of use as it’s constantly being stepped on. It deals with heat during the summer and cold during the winter. It has to absorb spills and have heavy furniture placed upon it. Over the years, all of this can extract a heavy toll from even the hardiest floors.5 Reasons To Install Hardwood Floors This Year

Hardwood, however, can take it. It is actually extremely difficult to damage a hardwood floor; though, of course, it’s not impossible, and even hardwood floors can become damaged under adverse conditions. However, even if a hardwood floor is damaged, repairs are usually easy if you have a reputable wood reconstruction service on your side. A company like Wall2Wall can easily repair or replace a damaged portion of your floor without having to rip out and replace the whole thing. Often, that isn’t the case with carpets or other types of lower cost flooring.

2. Wood Floors Bring Health Benefits

Soon after you install the hardwood floors in your home, you may start to notice a variety of health benefits tied to the cleaner air. Other types of flooring, especially carpets, have a tendency to trap odors, pet dander, pollen, smoke, and other pollutants. Over time, these impurities can reenter the air inside your home and contribute to allergies and asthma, as well as being a cause of colds and other illnesses.

Once you install a wood floor, there will be no place for dust particles, dander, pollen, or germs to hide. As a result, the air quality in your home will immediately improve; this is especially true if you have pets. Cats and dogs constantly shed fur, which can quickly get lost inside of the fibers of a carpet; with a hardwood floor, you can just vacuum it right up.

3. Hardwood Flooring Equals Easy Cleaning

Speaking of vacuuming, that brings us to another wonderful advantage of hardwood floors: they’re phenomenally easy to clean. Of course, when you’re cleaning carpets, you’ll have to vacuum them several times a week and still may not get all of the toxins, pollutants, and irritants out. Occasionally, you’ll probably have to get a professional in to shampoo your carpet and every few years or so you’ll have to replace the carpet completely.

Cleaning a wood floor is nowhere near that complicated; all you have to do is grab a broom every once in a while and in a few minutes, your floor will be sparkling clean. To lengthen the life of your floor, you’ll occasionally need to pick up a wood floor cleaner and perform a more in-depth cleaning. Do this regularly and you’ll never need to have an expensive professional cleaning as you might with carpet.

4. You’ll Save Money With Hardwood Floors

One of the biggest concerns homeowners have when it comes to hardwood floors is the initial upfront cost. While it’s true that when you initially install hardwood floors they can be a little on the pricey end, but over the years you’ll actually save a bundle.

Think about it: if you head to a company like Wall2Wall Hardwoods, you’ll pay the cost of installation – which may not be as much as you expect – and then reap the benefits for years to come. As we have pointed out, hardwood floors are known for their extreme durability. They require minimal maintenance and only need to be replaced after generations of use. What will cost more, installing one hardwood floor every thirty years or new carpet every three to five years?

5. You May Even Make Money

Another great benefit of hardwood floors: they’ll actually boost the value of your home. There are many reasons for this; far too many to list here. But to name a few, hardwood floors actually improve the acoustics of your home; they’ll make for a quieter home with a great home theater. They don’t develop a smell over time in the way carpets do. They’re a sustainable resource, being made from wood, and therefore have an environmental benefit.

But, when it comes to boosting the value of your home, perhaps the greatest benefit is style. The reality is that the majority of flooring options have a tendency to go out of style after a scant few years. Carpet and tile come with manmade patterns which may appear to be trendy when you buy them, but when the time comes to sell the house, they’ll look drab and out of date. They can easily drag down the value of an otherwise terrific home.

Hardwood floors are exactly the opposite: they have a timeless appearance and a beauty that won’t fade fast. Hardwood floors have brought elegance to homes for centuries and there’s no sign they’ll go out of style anytime soon.

Loving Wall-2-Wall Hardwoods!

What can’t we say! These guys are the BEST! Flexible schedule, super kind, and best of all, quality work.

Thanks to John and Charles for being really flexible and giving us the best addition to our awesome remodel.  They gave us fir floors, stairs, trim and a Swedish finish to die for!

Fir is soft, but, for us, it symbolizes the PacNW.  They are warm and support us well :)

The Fletchers

hardwood floor restoration 

Let us show you how hardwood floor restoration and change your home.