Category Archives: Home

Four-poster bed in bedroom with wood floors and rugs and blue paneling, decorated in blues.

5 Options When Your Hardwood Floor Is Cold

Your beautiful hardwood floors have been installed and they look lovely. They’re easy to clean, easy to maintain, and make your house look like a home. However, you may have installed these floors in the summer and didn’t think about what they would be like in the winter.

What may be pleasantly cool in the summer may be uncomfortable in the winter. While this isn’t necessarily a problem, it is an annoyance. There may be more than one factor at play here as well, so you might have to approach this problem from multiple angles.

At Wall 2 Wall, we are experts in hardwood flooring and have some tips to help keep your home comfortable. Here are five practical options for you when your hardwood floor is cold.

1. Rugs

Putting a rug down under any heavy furniture is a good idea anyway. This way, the feet of your bed, the legs of chairs, and the bottoms of dressers won’t leave scratches or marks on your hardwood. Check out small rugs that can make a path from your bedside to the bathroom, rugs that brighten up an entryway or a hallway, or rugs that pop as a color accent for your living room or den. This won’t fix any issues with your floors themselves but will make your feet a lot more comfortable. And it may be all you need to get you through the coldest months.

If you find the perfect fabric or mat that you’d like to make into a rug, make sure it has a non-slip back. You can easily pick up a non-slip rug pad or make your own by breaking out your hot glue gun.

2. Insulation

If your home is older or if you haven’t thought about your attic insulation very often in the years since you moved in, updating the insulation could be a game-changer in many ways. For starters, it’ll help keep the heat your furnace produces from escaping through your roof. Maintaining that heated air will warm your entire home and help keep the chill of your hardwood floors.

Insulation doesn’t only keep your home warm in the winter—it also keeps your home cool in the summer by insulating against the sun beating down on your house. Making sure your insulation is in good order will make the ambient temperature in your home more comfortable no matter what weather you experience. There is also the added benefit that good insulation will also save you some money as your home becomes more energy efficient.

Also, if you have a vented crawl space in your attic or your basement, make sure those areas are well insulated as well. This will prevent cold air from entering and flowing through your vents. However, do not seal these vents if you have water leaks or other sources of moisture in these spaces. You don’t want to trap the moisture in because that will lead to mold and mildew. Call a professional for assistance.

3. Weatherproof

If you notice that your hardwood floors are cold only in particular areas or in specific rooms, it could be that you simply have an air circulation or a weatherproofing issue. One thing you could do to solve this issue is purchase air deflectors. These are plastic devices you can attach to your heating grates. The warm air will deflect to the areas that need them most, instead of losing the heat against the wall or right out a window.

Maybe you’ve put a piece of furniture over one of these vents. In the summer, it may not matter much, but in the winter, maybe the heat is being lost in a cabinet or side table or under a chair or behind a couch. Walk around barefoot on one of those chilly days and see if you could benefit from this quick and easy addition to your heating vents.

Speaking of windows, since heat vents and registers are often placed right below windows you want to make sure your heat isn’t simply being sucked out through your windows. If your windows are older or not weatherproofed, they could be losing heat easily. Make sure your weatherproofing is in good shape and not dried or cracked. You can also put plastic over your windows during the coldest months to keep the warm air in and cold air out.

4. Turn on Your Ceiling Fan

This may seem counter-intuitive, but hear us out. Warm air rises and cold air sinks. But even the tallest of us can’t enjoy the warm air that’s sitting on the ceiling. Here’s a trick you can use all winter long. Most ceiling fans have a switch that will turn your fan to run in reverse—it’s usually located just below the blades. This function will create an updraft. The warm air that has risen to the ceiling will be pushed back down toward the floor. Your rooms will all be warmer, and your floors won’t be as chilly. Make sure that your fan is on the lowest setting—this works best with a gentle breeze.

This is something you can add to your annual winterizing list and then turn it back to the regular setting when the weather turns warm again. If you’re unsure if your fan is running the correct direction for the temperature you want, just know that “forward” is counter-clockwise (for cold) and “reverse” is clockwise (for warm).

5. A Smart Thermostat

Cranking the heat up to 80 degrees in the midwinter won’t solve your cold floor problem. In fact, it may not warm up your floors at all and actually cause some other problems. Natural wood flooring reacts to the humidity in its environment and can change shape depending on the moisture in the air. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re used to a damp climate most of the year. When you turn the heat up for days on end, the natural humidity in the air gets cooked out and the air becomes very dry. This is when you are most likely to see floorboards that warp or cup.

Fixing a floor that is warped or is cupping is as easy as restoring balance within your home, either by turning the heat down or by using a humidifier. But prolonged dryness or moisture could cause permanent damage

Part of this can be mitigated with a smart thermostat. Look for the kind that offers zoned heating. This breaks your home into areas that need higher temperatures and those that don’t so you don’t have the unpleasant experience of walking into one room into a wall of heat while freezing in the next room over.

Hand vacuuming hardwood floor.

5 Tips to Help You Maintain Your Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors add a beautiful look and upscale feel to a home. A newly installed hardwood floor or recently renovated hardwood floor, however, is a costly investment in your property, and it requires some extra care when considering how to clean and maintain it. Whether you have installed solid wood, engineered wood, or even reclaimed wood flooring, the maintenance of your wood floors will be similar. Regular cleanings and upkeep will keep your hardwood floors looking pristine and add years of life to your home investment.

Each season brings different obstacles for your hardwood floors. During the winter months, you will be battling ice melt that gets tracked in on shoes and furry paws. Ice melt can eat away at unprotected wood flooring, and it should be removed promptly. The fall and spring months are wetter, and with family and friends tracking in wet leaves and mud, your wood floors will need to be regularly dried to prevent warping and mildew buildup. During the summer months, you may battle dripping swimsuits loaded with chlorine and saltwater after a day at the beach or pool, and that chlorinated or salty water will need to be cleaned up regularly to help maintain hardwood floors.

The experts at Wall 2 Wall Hardwood Floors offer some pro tips on how to keep your hardwood floors healthy and lasting for years to come.

1. Dry Mop and Vacuum Hardwood Floors Weekly

Leaving dirt that is carried in on shoes and furry paws on a hardwood floor can cause unwanted scratches. The debris acts as sandpaper, and as it’s walked on and spread across the hardwood floors, it will cause scratches that build up over time to make your floor look dull and scuffed up. By dry-mopping your floors weekly, you can prolong the bright glow of your hardwood floor. You can sweep with a traditional broom or, even better, use a microfiber cloth that will cling to the debris and remove any dust and allergens more easily.

Weekly vacuuming is important as well, as the suction can help remove the debris that has built up in between the floorboards. When using a vacuum on your hardwood floors, make sure to put the vacuum on the hard floor setting, which will switch off the bristles so they don’t scratch up your floors as you push the vacuum across the floor. Alternatively, you can use the non-bristle attachment that is meant for hardwood floors if your vacuum comes with one.

2. Clean Wood Floors With Wood Floor Cleaner Monthly

Dry mopping and vacuuming your floors are great ways to remove dust, but there is also debris buildup that happens over time that can slowly eat away at your hardwood floors. Cleaning your hardwood floors regularly with a wood cleaner recommended by your flooring manufacturer is an important step in keeping your wood floors in great shape.

Not all wood floor cleaners are meant for all hardwood floors. Depending on the finish on your flooring, your floors may require a certain type of cleaner. Check with your manufacturer to determine which is best to use on your floor. Most hardwood floors will do best with a floor cleaner that has a neutral pH. It is best to avoid floor cleaners with harsh chemicals when cleaning any type of hardwood floor.

When you have found the right cleaning product for your floors, make sure to use a damp cloth or mop to clean the floors, and avoid using too much water. Using too much water can cause your floorboards to warp and bow. Also, avoid steam cleaning your wood floors for the same reasons, as it can make your wood floorboards swell and cup.

3. Wipe Up Spills Immediately

Wood floors are very reactive to moisture, and so if there is a spill on your hardwood floor, it’s recommended to wipe up any wet spill quickly. Leaving moisture on a hardwood floor will cause the wood floorboards to swell, and they could warp and become misshapen over time, causing potential tripping hazards and unsightly warped flooring. Leaving wet spills on hardwood floors can also cause staining that can be difficult to remove.

To effectively clean up any wet spill on your hardwood floors, it’s best to use a dry or slightly damp cloth to wipe up the spill right away. This will avoid any moisture leaking in between the floorboards or into the wood, which will avoid any potential for swelling floorboards from the spill.

4. Use Furniture Pads on Furniture and Trim Pets’ Nails Regularly

Scratches can be difficult to remove once they are found on your hardwood floors. To maintain the good condition hardwood floors, it is recommended to use furniture pads on the bottoms of your chairs and heavy furniture. If the furniture is on the heavier side, it’s best to use a wider furniture pad to help spread out the weight. Consider attaching the furniture pads to your chairs, couches, tables, and any furniture that may be heavy or that you may move across the floor regularly.

Your pets’ nails can also cause scuffs and scratches on your hardwood floors. Keep your pets’ nails trimmed to avoid unwanted wear and tear on your hardwood floors.

5. Polish or Wax Your Hardwood Floors Twice a Year

Polishing your hardwood floors can help add a sheen to the wood and can also help extend the life of your flooring, making it a worthy task. Before polishing your floors, it’s a good idea to first dry mop the floor to remove any dust or debris. It’s also a good idea to vacuum your hardwood floors to remove any debris that may have built up between the floorboards. When choosing a floor polish, make sure it is a water-based polish to avoid any harsh chemical buildup.

If you are looking to refinish your hardwood floors or are interested in the installation or restoration of hardwood floors, contact the hardwood floor experts at Wall 2 Wall Hardwood.

Yorkshire terrier sitting on hardwood flooring in home.

5 Benefits of Hardwood Flooring in Portland Oregon

There isn’t much that’s homier or more inviting than walking into a space that has hardwood flooring. There is an instant sense of being connected to nature, and there are numerous benefits to having hardwood flooring installed, some that are based on aesthetics and durability and some that are more in line with health benefits and decreased chemical exposure. And let’s not forget that having hardwood floors can also be regarded as a long-term investment in the home’s overall value. Here are the top five benefits of having hardwood flooring in your Portland, Oregon, home.

1. There Are Many Varieties of Wood

If it’s your first time considering the installation of hardwood in your home, you might be surprised to learn just how many options you have. While there are numerous species of trees in the wild, not all are ideal for use as flooring material in homes. That said, the selection you will have to choose from is quite large, and the first thing you’ll want to decide on is the color of wood you would like under your feet.

Considering your budget and what is available to you, you will be able to select a wood that appeals to both your personal taste and what supports your pocketbook. Down the road, you can also opt to stain the wood floors should you desire a change in color, and you can even mix-and-match wood types in order to mix up the aesthetic at home.

These are just a few of the wood types available:

  • Teak
  • Hickory
  • Walnut
  • Cherry
  • Cypress
  • Tigerwood
  • Red oak
  • White oak
  • Mahogany

Depending on the design you have in mind for your home, you may discover that one wood type works better in the living room, dining room, and kitchen, while there’s another that goes better in the bedrooms. Due to the fact that each plank has different lines and shades, adding wood flooring to your home will always give your home a unique look and feel.

2. Wood Provides a Cleaner, Healthier Environment

Unlike carpet (which collects dust and spores and can provide a breeding ground for small parasites like fleas), hardwood flooring won’t trap allergens or dander. It doesn’t cater to mold or other annoying or harmful microscopic particles that undermine the health and well-being of the residents of the house. Having wood floors allows anything that does fall, such as hairs and dust, to be easily cleaned, and it keeps the air cleaner than that of a home with carpet.

This is especially true for families with babies and small children. Babies spend the majority of their time crawling on the floor, and having wood floors keeps young children much healthier. With carpets, babies are subject to more respiratory disruption (by way of dander, dust, allergens, and even chemical exposure through the microfibers of the carpet and the color treatment), which can negatively impact their long-term health. Woods offer a healthier and more natural environment on which to crawl, play, and live. Wood is a non-toxic material that is also easier to clean, and more natural products can be used to keep woods looking their best.

3. Laying Down Wood Floors Is a Long-Term Investment

As with anything new, the better you take care of it, the longer it will last. Right off the bat, wood floors add an appealing look and feel to a home, but it is also a stronger and more durable material. When taken care of properly and consistently, you’re looking at increasing and maintaining the value of the house or apartment.

One of the key things to consider when selecting which type of wood to put in the home is your budget. What can you afford to put in and what can you afford to care for over time? Just like there are different colors and types of wood, there are varying options for every budget. Choosing the right wood for your home is both an intentional and invaluable investment in the home’s long-term worth and resale value. Homes that have wood floors tend to sell faster, and the perception around wood floors is generally a more positive one.

4. Wood Floors Last Longer

If you’ve ever seen faux wood floors or laminate, it’s likely that you’ve noticed the marks and dings in the surface covering. In theory, wood floors can develop nicks in the material, but the restoration of real wood floors is much easier than that replacing laminate or carpet. There is no need to rip out a whole section because there’s a small area of damage. Wood floors are remarkably durable.

Even as wood ages, it does so gracefully. The look stays strong, and even though you might choose to have it refinished and given an extra sheen, the strength and quality remain, even if the initial shine fades away. Wood flooring comes from nature, so it’s both of organic origin and has survived the test of time. If you’re looking for a way to build your Portland, Oregon, home more sustainably, hardwood flooring is the way to go.

5. It Is Easy to Install

As with anything that you want done well, it’s important to hire a trained and qualified professional. Because of the nature of laying planks properly and tightly, commissioning professionals like Wall 2 Wall Construction and Restoration can make all the difference in your construction experience and the finished look of the project. Once the hardwood floors are in, it’s important to keep them in good shape through regular cleaning and wiping up water spills so the wood stays strong and dry and can continue to bring together the look of your home.

For any of your Portland, Oregon, hardwood flooring questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Wall 2 Wall.

Hardwood flooring with multicolored confetti.

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.

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Large modern living room with high ceiling, soft yellow walls, and fireplace.

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.