If you have hardwood floors in your home that have seen better days, you may be interested in refinishing them. Over time, especially in older houses, wooden floors begin to look less lively. The surface becomes uneven due to wear and tear from shoes or moving furniture. It can also lose some of the color it once had. For these reasons, many people choose to have floor refinishing done to their wooden floors.Continue reading
Heated floors have been around since the Romans fanned wood-burning fires under elevated marble floors. Fortunately for us, technology has come a long way, and heated floors are now available to anyone for much less hassle. With a new build, it’s easy to heat an entire house with a radiant heat system.
Certain types of heated floors are better as a supplemental heat source in your home, most commonly used in rooms such as bathrooms, basements, kitchens, and bedrooms—especially when the bedroom is above a garage or other unheated space. Whether using heated floors for the whole house or just certain rooms, they could arguably be one of the most luxurious additions you add and can be installed under many different types of wood floors.
If you have never experienced walking around barefoot in the cold of winter on a cozy, warm floor, you are indeed missing out! Take a look at what exactly heated floors are, how they work, and if adding them to a renovation or to your new build is right for you.
How Do Heated Floors Work?
Heated floors are an incredible heating system for your home, but how do they actually work? It’s a very simple concept, with the heat starting under the floors and rising, it feels warmer than heat being pushed in through the walls or ceiling. In more detail, since hot air rises, when you have heat, the air around the heat expands. When the heated air expands, it becomes less dense than the cooler air around it and then rises. When the heating system starts from under the floors, we get the benefit of feeling all of the heat rising, and there will be no cold drafts.
This can be seen with water as well. When there’s a less dense object, such as a log, the log then floats up to the denser water. When you heat under your floor, the hot air rises, thus helping to create a cozy warm home for you. This page offers a great visual of why heated floors work so well.
Typically, floor temperatures are set between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit but can be set as high as 104 degrees. Radiant floor heating systems often feel similar to the heat from the sun. Even when the air in the room is cooler, the warmth from the floor will help make you feel warmer. It’s similar to standing in the shade versus standing in the sun. It’s the same temperature, but you’re much warmer when you’re standing in the sun versus in the shade on a brisk day.
Pros and Cons of Radiant Heating
- Even heating—radiant floor heating systems heat the entire floor so there will always be an even temperature throughout the room or house, and no more cold drafts.
- Quiet—because there’s no air being forced through a duct system and no furnace that kicks on, radiant heating systems are very quiet.
- Fewer allergens—without a forced-air system, there are less dust and allergens being blown through the home.
- No maintenance—once your heated floors are installed, they don’t require a lot of maintenance.
- Energy-efficient—because the heated air from the radiant heat system rises up from under the floors, the heat is felt right away. There’s nowhere for the heat to escape. Even on a very cold day, having the heat right under your feet will keep you from needing to constantly raise the temperature.
- Replace Flooring—if you haven’t installed a radiant heat system during construction, your flooring will need to be replaced. Both hydronic and electric systems will require the current flooring to be removed before installation.
- Elevated floor—there are some thin systems available, as thin as ⅛ inch thick, but typically, a radiant heat system will raise your floor about a ½ inch. This can cause some issues when only some rooms of the house are being heated using this method.
- Cost—radiant heating systems are an investment up-front, but they do save in the long run, especially if you live in an area where the cost of electricity is high. Taking into consideration the cost of electricity versus the cost of installation will help determine if heated floors will be beneficial in your home and budget.
Electric vs. Hydronic
There are two popular options for radiant floor heating systems—electric, which is typically supplemental, and hydronic, which is usually designed to heat the whole house.
Electric radiant heating systems aren’t meant to be the only heat source in a home and are installed over the subfloor in a bed of thin-set mortar. The cables that are the heat source are often pre-attached to puzzle-like mats to allow for easy installation. If you’re pretty handy, you could do an install yourself, but it’s an easy project for a contractor, and you’ll ensure a quality job. Electric radiant heating systems heat up in 30 to 60 minutes so homeowners can turn them on and off as they need to help keep their heat costs down.
Hydronic radiant heating systems are typically designed to heat the entire house. Plastic tubing that holds water is heated to a temperature between 100 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit and circulated through that tubing under the floors throughout the house.
The most popular way to install the tubing is over subflooring and covered in thin-set mortar or with specially designed panels that hold the tubing or cables in place. These panels are then covered in cement or mortar.
Hydronic radiant heating is ideal for whole-house heating and should be installed during construction, as it can be difficult to add to a renovation that doesn’t already have the proper equipment. Because the hydronic radiant heat system requires pump lines, gas lines, and a broiler, it usually costs more up-front. However, the cost of heating with this system is generally lower when heating the entire house with the hydronic radiant heat system, even though the system takes longer to heat up and is usually kept on around the clock.
How Is It Installed?
In recent years, the installation of radiant heat flooring systems has been simplified. Some subflooring has become available with pre-fitted tubing channels. There are also pre-made panels with insulation, a vapor barrier, and a holding system for the tubing or cables. Your contractor will start by making sure the floor is level. They can then build up the floor with plywood and sleepers to the height needed.
Once the contractor installs the tubing or cables, a thin-set mortar is poured over the top to encapsulate the cables and help distribute the heat. When that has been leveled and dried, flooring can then be installed after acclimating to the conditions of the house.
Installing heated floors can be very rewarding for your day-to-day comfort. At Wall 2 Wall, we can help with construction or restoration needs. Please reach out to us with any questions you have about your hardwood floors. We are happy to help.
Hardwood floors are a beautiful addition to any home. Not only are they pleasing to look at, but they can be resurfaced many times, making them capable of lasting a long time. Hardwood is also a great environmental choice. Since wood is a renewable resource, there’s less strain on the environment.
To maintain a healthy and functional hardwood floor, you must manage the moisture levels in your home. Excess moisture can cause wood floors to warp and crack, and mold can grow under the wood panels if excess moisture isn’t removed quickly. A water spill on a hardwood floor could cause problems if not quickly cleaned up. Wall 2 Wall flooring experts will tell you the best methods to clean up a water spill on a hardwood floor.
What Happens When Hardwood Floors Have Excess Moisture?
Excess moisture can be very damaging to hardwood floors. High moisture levels can be caused by moisture captured underneath the floorboards or by excess air moisture above the flooring. High humidity in a home can be a seasonal issue that can resolve on its own as the seasons change. Moisture can also be caused by a spill on a hardwood floor. Whatever the cause, high moisture levels can cause some serious damage to hardwood flooring and need to be dealt with.
Hardwood floorboards can start cupping in response to excess moisture absorbed into the boards. Cupping is when the floorboards are raised at the edges and curve inward toward the center, causing a concave shape.
Cupping is due to the uneven moisture levels inside the floorboard. There’s a higher moisture content toward the bottom of the floorboard compared to the surface, which tends to dry faster due to exposure to air.
Crowning is another way hardwood floors show damage due to high moisture content. When moisture levels remain high for an extended period of time, the floorboards absorb the moisture to saturation, and that causes the floorboards to rise in the center, causing the center of the board to be higher than the edges. This is the opposite of cupping; crowning has a convex shape.
Buckling is a third way hardwood floors show moisture damage, but this is a very uncommon occurrence. Buckling is when the floorboards pull away from the subflooring underneath, leaving a few inches’ gap in-between the hardwood floorboards and the subflooring underneath. Buckling tends to happen when severe flooding has been left standing for an extended period of time. To fix a hardwood floor that has buckled, you’ll need to replace the damaged boards with new hardwood flooring. Contact Wall 2 Wall for help with any buckling issues with your hardwood floors.
What Is the Proper Way to Clean a Water Spill on Hardwood Floors?
Leaving a water spill sitting on a hardwood floor for an extended period of time risks damage to the floorboards. The water could be absorbed into the wood, causing either warping or discoloration or both. The longer the water is in contact with the hardwood flooring, the more it can be absorbed into the wood, causing further damage to your hardwood flooring.
Water can also leak into the cracks between the floorboards, causing moisture to absorb into the subflooring beneath the hardwood floorboards. There’s also a potential for mold growth, which can begin as little as two or three days after a water spill. The more quickly you clean up any water spill on your hardwood flooring the less risk of damage occurring to your floor. Cleaning up the water spill during the first 24 hours gives the flooring the best chance of survival.
Remove Furniture and Carpeting
To clean up the water spill, you first want to remove any furniture that could be in the way or could also be wet. If there’s any carpeting over your hardwood floor where the spill occurred, you should move the carpeting and any padding from the area as well.
Next, you want to remove any water from the hardwood floor. You can soak up the water with absorbent towels, or if there’s an excessive amount of water, you can use a wet vacuum used to suck up water. Even after the water is removed from the surface of the hardwood, there may still be water seeped underneath the floorboards. Keep vacuuming even after the surface water has been removed until you see that water is no longer being sucked up into the wet vacuum.
Disinfect to Prevent Mold Growth
Once all the water has been removed, clean the wood surface with a disinfectant that doesn’t produce suds. Be sure to use a cleaning brush that won’t scratch the wood surface. This will help prevent mold growth from all the moisture that was sitting on the hardwood. Then use the wet vacuum again to make sure all the moisture has been removed after disinfecting the area.
Use Dehumidifiers and Fans
Once the area has been completely wet vacuumed and disinfected, it’s best to leave a dehumidifier in the area to absorb any moisture that may still be lingering between the floorboards or underneath the flooring. You want to leave the dehumidifier running for at least 24 hours or longer for more severe spills.
You can supplement with running fans on the highest setting to help circulate the air. Leave any windows open at least a few inches to help vent any excess moisture from the room. If the air is extremely humid or if it’s raining outside, however, leave the windows closed during this process. You can even turn on your air conditioner to help dry out the air. However, don’t use heat to dry the air out, as this can add moisture to the air and promote mold growth.
Once the area is dry, check for any mold growth. You may also use a moisture testing meter to determine when the moisture has been fully removed from the wood. It may take several weeks to show no more moisture. If you have any water damage that needs an expert’s touch, contact Wall 2 Wall for assistance.
Hardwood flooring is one of the best flooring choices, as it will last a long time, and it can be resurfaced multiple times throughout its life span to stay looking fresh and new. The materials used to make hardwood flooring are renewable resources, which is a much healthier option for our environment than those made from nonrenewable resources.
Hardwood floors are both beautiful and functional, but there are some things to watch out for when installing hardwood floors. You want to make sure you know what goes under hardwood flooring. If you don’t add the correct materials underneath, you may have unwanted results. Whether you want to install a hardwood floor yourself or you would prefer to leave it to the professionals, Wall 2 Wall is here to help.
How to Protect Hardwood Floors from Beneath
Hardwood floors are a beautiful addition to any home, but they can transmit unwanted sound, and they are very reactive to moisture levels in the home. Before installing any hardwood floor, you must consider what goes under hardwood flooring. You can mitigate unwanted sounds, such as squeaks and audible footsteps, and avoid moisture damage by installing a well-secured subfloor and adding layers of material between the subflooring and the new hardwood floor.
A subfloor, which is usually made of wood panels, must be installed first, before any other layer, and you must also install what is called an underlayment. Underlayment is the layer of material that sits between the subfloor and the new hardwood flooring.
Subflooring is a layer of plywood or engineered wood that sits at the very bottom layer of the flooring. The subfloor is used as a structural layer to which you then attach the other layers. Regular plywood panels can be used, or ¾-inch tongue-and-groove plywood that is specifically meant for subflooring can be used instead. You can also use particleboard or oriented strand board (OSB). OSB is similar to particle board in that it’s also engineered wood, but it’s made by attaching strands of wood in a particular pattern with the use of adhesives.
Once you choose your subflooring materials, lay the panels down first, before any other layer is added. By securing a subfloor to the floor joists in your home, this can prevent squeaks that could occur after the new hardwood floors are installed. If you have an older subfloor already installed, you can safely install a new subfloor over the old one.
When installing a subfloor, it’s best to use screws as opposed to nails. Screws are more secure and stay in place better than nails. When attaching a subfloor with nails, you may end up with more movement over time, which can cause the floor to be squeaky.
Underlayment provides a moisture barrier to protect your newly installed hardwood floors from warping, cupping, or any other damage that could be caused by moisture rising from the subfloor. The underlayment also provides a sound barrier to help reduce footsteps and other squeaks when walking on the hardwood floor.
In addition, the underlayment can also provide a thermal layer of insulation to help maintain a comfortable temperature for walking on with bare feet. Though the subfloor provides a smooth surface to install a hardwood floor on, the underlayment helps add a layer over the subfloor to ensure a flat surface on which to install the hardwood floor panels.
Types of Underlayments
For humid climates, having a plastic sheet as an underlayment is a must. Even if you pair it with another moisture barrier, the plastic sheet will help keep condensation from warping your newly installed hardwood floors, and it will help prevent mildew from building up underneath.
You may also consider using a foam underlayment layer paired with the plastic sheet layer. Having a foam underlayment will help keep the installation of the wood panels nice and even. The foam also will act as thermal insulation and as a sound barrier, muting those pesky footsteps and squeaks throughout the home. If you pick lightweight foam, you will want to secure it with glue. When picking a foam layer, the denser the foam, the more costly the foam layer.
The most common form of underlayer is felt. Felt is a cost-effective layer that is easy to cut down to size and install as a homeowner. Felt also offers a moisture barrier and acts as insulation and soundproofing. Felt underlayments don’t need to be glued in place. The downside to using felt is that it doesn’t add any softness to the flooring.
Another cost-effective option is cork. Having a cork underlayment offers similar protection for less cost. Cork underlayments are very easy to work with, and they offer the best sound barrier. Since cork is has a natural antimicrobial feature, it will help to keep mildew and mold away as well. However, it isn’t the best choice as a moisture barrier. Cork won’t do well in areas of high moisture, such as bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and any area that may get wet.
There are other hard underlayment options that are specifically meant to act as sound barriers. You may also consider using a rubber layer, which acts as a moisture barrier and does offer some soundproofing, but it is a minimal sound barrier.
As you can see, there are numerous choices when it comes to picking your underlayments. Some are more DIY-friendly than others. There are also numerous types of subfloors, from concrete to plywood or engineered woods. When installing hardwood floors, be sure to measure accurately and add 10 percent to your measurements when buying materials to allow for measuring mistakes and miscuts. Do your research and pick which suits your home’s location best. If you prefer to leave it to the flooring experts, contact us at Wall 2 Wall Flooring.
Have you decided you want to add the timeless choice of hardwood flooring to your home? It’s likely you’ve been drawn in by the appeal of the added charm and value it can bring to a home. You aren’t alone. Returning to the beautiful and classic feel of hardwood flooring is something many homeowners find appealing. While we know there are some rock-star DIYers out there, at Wall 2 Wall, we realize others are leaning toward an installation service but don’t know what they should be considering. You are in luck. As experts, we can share some key things we think you should pay attention to and expect from a great wood floor installation service.
1. Picking Your Flooring
You are at the point where you’re fully committed to installing some wonderful hardwood floors and now it’s time to get down to the brass tacks and think about the details. The first step is to determine what kind of hardwood floor you want—and we don’t mean which type of wood. There are two types of wood flooring to choose from before you even think about wood type and color. They are hardwood and engineered hardwood.
Hardwood flooring is, as you can imagine, planks of solid hardwood through and through. It’s usually crafted of hardwood species such as oak, maple, and walnut. The benefit of this type of flooring is that it’s not only strong and sturdy, but with the proper care and maintenance, it can last a lifetime. This is due to its ability to be sanded and refinished many times throughout its life span to ensure a beautiful appearance and constant appeal.
Engineered hardwood is a popular alternative because it has similar qualities but at a reduced cost. This product is a thin layer of hardwood bonded on top of high-quality plywood. Because the thickness of the hardwood is substantially reduced in comparison to solid hardwood, however, it can only be sanded and refinished a handful of times. This could translate into a shorter life span of the floors—about 25 to 30 years—or longer periods of time between that newly finished floor look and when it dulls because of foot traffic, sunlight bleaching, and standard wear and tear. Each type has its benefits and challenges to consider.
2. Choosing a Contractor
Once you’ve picked your flooring, you can settle on the best contractor for your wood floor installation. Sometimes these two steps are reversed, as a contractor can give good insight into the types of floors that would be best suited for your home, style, and needs. Start by getting estimates on the size or square footage required for your space and for the total cost.
It’s important to ask questions to ensure you’re getting a service you can trust. Things to focus on when you receive an estimate is where they plan to prep and cut the wood. Is it inside your home? Do they seal off the rooms with plastic to protect the rest of the house? How do they handle baseboards? Knowing if your contractor can also assist in refinishing and repairing your floors down the road is also important for great wood floor installation service.
After contractors and flooring have been chosen, it’s time to pay attention to the work. Some things to look for to ensure you’re getting good service will be acclimation, subflooring, and after-installation care instructions.
Acclimation is the process by which your hardwood flooring accustomed to the conditions of your home and space. Specifically, it’s ensuring the wood finds equilibrium between the temperature and moisture content of the wood materials with the air of the space in which it’s being installed. Failure to take this step can result in your floors having excessive gaps, warping, or cupping after the installation is complete. While acclimation timelines vary by wood species and product, a minimum recommendation is three days.
This step is not always required for engineered hardwood, so check the guidelines for the flooring you’ve chosen.
Since hardwood flooring doesn’t just sit on top of air, it’s important that the wood floor installation service also checks and prepares the subflooring. This starts with ensuring the subflooring is clean of debris that could affect how well the boards fit together during installation. Your contractor should also check that the floors are dry. Excess moisture in the subflooring can cause your hardwood floors to expand too much after installation.
Lastly, they should ensure the subflooring is flat and there’s no sound when someone walks across it. If any areas squeak, they need to be replaced or fixed before installation begins. As with any major project, a good foundation is key.
5. Care Instructions
After all of the choices, preparation, and installation comes the finished product. While the excitement of having your newly completed floors may be a little distracting, make sure you understand this isn’t the end of the line. Every great wood floor installation service will follow up all their hard work with some education on how to care for your newly installed floors. This should include proper cleaning methods and frequency.
Since the type of hardwood flooring and species chosen can have an impact on your maintenance schedule, be sure to get this information. Engineered hardwood floors are not exempt. A big concern with upkeep is moisture control, and your contractor should discuss steps you can take to prevent damage.
Other standard recommendations from your installation service may include watching for wear and tear. They can point out some general indicators for when refinishing should be considered in the future. You as a homeowner can also take your own preventative measures and use felt pads under furniture corners so as not to scuff the wood. Area rugs are also a great form of protection but try to avoid ones that have rubber backs as they can leave permanent marks on the floor and even discolor the wood. There are other options for ensuring your rugs don’t slide, such as rug grippers.
If these five things have all been covered by your contractors, you should feel comfortable knowing you have a great wood floor installation service. For more information on hardwood floor services, Wall 2 Wall is available to assist you with questions and general recommendations.
No one wants to discover water damage to their home, especially when it has damaged hardwood flooring. Hardwood floor is a sturdy and visually appealing addition to any home, but when water damage has affected it, your floor can become unsightly, discolored, and even dangerous. Though experiencing water damage is discouraging, know that it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need to replace your flooring.
Wall 2 Wall Construction and Restoration has serviced both minor and major water damage to hardwood floors. From years of experience, professionals have seen that there are a few things that, if done, can decrease the amount of damage and work to prevent new damage from occurring. And there are ways to repair your floor without having to rip it all up and start from scratch.
Keep an eye open for signs of water damage, such as warped floors, discoloration, or mold and bacteria growth. If you can quickly notice when there has been water damage to your floors, you’ll be in a good position to handle repairs. Here are a few tips for how you can navigate repairs after water damage to your hardwood floors.
Remove Water Quickly
When water has penetrated your hardwood floors, your time to clear it of moisture efficiently is very limited. Because hardwood is such a porous substance, water seeps into it easily. When attempting hardwood floor repair after water damage, the first thing you want to do is remove the water as quickly as possible.
As soon as you notice your floor has been damaged by water, you should start attempting to dry it. Begin by using items like towels to suck up as much of the surface moisture as you can. The moisture sitting on top of the wood is slowly seeping into the underlying layers, and getting the surface moisture dried up helps to prevent further damage from occurring.
In this case, the faster you work, the better. Still, there’s probably a lot of underlying water that you’re unable to access. Water damage is usually much deeper than just the surface, but there are ways to fight against deeper damage.
Run Drying Equipment
After you’ve soaked up what was on the surface, there’s still work to do in order to attain dry wood, but you may need some equipment to do it properly. You may have items like heaters or dehumidifiers laying around the house, and these are the perfect solution for the next step of the drying process.
ehumidifiers are one of the best ways to suck up the extra moisture in your hardwood flooring when there’s been damage. They can work to remove the moisture from the wood as well as water from the air, and when put on their highest setting, can produce great results.
Once that moisture is taken out of the deepest layers of the wood, setting up a fan or heater in the room that the water damaged wood is in can further help to ensure it dries completely. Keep these machines on for at least 24 hours after discovering water damage to hardwood flooring. Don’t leave the dehumidifier running for too long, however. Here’s why.
Clean the Wood Thoroughly
Once you’ve removed as much water as possible, you’ll want to clean your hardwood floors thoroughly. The porous nature of your wood floor makes it more susceptible to dirt and other organic material penetrating it while it’s wet. This has the possibility of leading to the growth of mold. That’s why it’s best to give it a good clean after you’ve eliminated all the excess water.
When cleaning your floor, you should use a sturdy brush and a bucket of water that’s been mixed with disinfectant. The bucket of water should only be used as a place for you to soap up and rinse out your brush. Refrain from dumping any of that water onto the actual floor, as it could seep back into the floor and recreate the problem you’re trying to fix.
Once the floors are properly cleaned, follow up with one of your previous floor drying tactics like a fan or heater. You don’t want to leave the floor to dry on its own and possibly take in any more bacteria.
Find the Source
When you’re attempting to repair water-damaged hardwood floors, don’t get overly excited when you’ve properly cleaned up the mess. Unless the reason for the wood being water damaged was caused by you or something you know about, the cause of the water damage is probably unknown. Knowing what caused the damage is just as important as cleaning it up because it helps you to prevent it from happening again.
The first step you can take in finding the source of the water damage is to see where around the area that has been damaged the water could have come from. Is the damage right by the refrigerator? Is it by a pipe or a sewer line? Pinpoint exactly why there’s water damage, and you may find that you have an even bigger problem on your hands.
Water damage is a signal to you that perhaps a pipe has burst, that the dishwasher or fridge is leaking, or that your home is experiencing flooding. Identifying the reason for the water damage also lets you know what kind of water is being released into your home. Dray or black water, for instance, can contain harmful bacteria.
Call a Professional
After noticing water damage, your first idea will probably be to address it on your own. Water damage can become costly, especially when it affects your hardwood flooring, but your hardwood floor is an investment that you should protect. Do what you can to help your situation, but when your floor doesn’t seem to be taking well to at-home quick fixes, it’s best to call a professional, like Wall 2 Wall.
Some issues, such as long-term water damage or flooding, require a professional to service your floors. And calling a professional as soon as you discover water damage on your hardwood floor can increase your chances of having it repaired and not having to completely redo a room.
A hardwood floor is one of the most elegant upgrades you can give your home. A wood floor brings benefits both aesthetic and practical. Compared to a carpet, it’s easier to clean and longer-lasting, and it won’t trap allergens and bad smells in the way that carpet will. What’s more, a hardwood floor can have a profound effect on your home’s value: up to 2.5 percent, depending upon other factors. Since a hardwood floor doesn’t need to be replaced every few years the way carpeting does, you’ll easily find that the initial cost of installation pays for itself over the lifetime of the house.
Of course, installing wall-to-wall flooring is an art and science unto itself. Below, we offer our top five tips to ensure your home has a floor that can last generations.
Tip #1: Know What’s Involved
Attempting to install a hardwood floor yourself is not a job for a beginner. You should have a solid background in carpentry and know your way around the tools of the trade. Because installing wall-to-wall flooring requires extremely precise measurements—even a minor error can lead to serious problems with your floor—you shouldn’t try to undertake this job on your own unless you’re confident of your skills. You’ll also want to be sure you have the patience to undertake a task of this size. It’s a long and difficult job.
If you’ve considered all the above factors and have decided that you can handle the installation process on your own, great! If, on the other hand, you’ve decided you need the help of a professional, there’s no shame in that either. Contact Portland’s top hardwood flooring professionals at Wall 2 Wall and ask them for a quote for the job.
Tip #2: Choose the Right Materials
So you’ve decided you want to install a hardwood floor. Of course, that’s only the first of a series of decisions you’ll have to make. “Hardwood” can mean many different types of material, and you’ll need to decide exactly what’s best in your situation. While most people imagine that hardwood floors are always made from solid planks of oak, cherry, or other similar materials, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.
In fact, modern technology has led to advancement in the hardwood flooring world, just as it has in other areas of home design. For example, a popular and relatively new type of hardwood flooring is known as engineered flooring. These are planks covered with only a thin top layer of the hardwood of your choice, and it has a variety of advantages over other types of hardwood floors. In particular, engineered flooring can be installed directly onto concrete, without requiring the layers of plywood traditional floors have beneath them. This means that they can be installed essentially anywhere—and also that they can be installed over floors that have radiant heating systems.
Solid flooring still has advantages over other types, though. It can be sanded repeatedly and therefore can easily be refinished every few years, meaning it will stay in amazing shape for decades.
Besides these choices, you’ll have to make aesthetic choices as well. What type of wood do you prefer to have in your home? Oak, cherry, mahogany, or something else entirely? Oak is a popular choice, owing not only to its durability, but also to its ability to take stain well. If you prefer something with a darker finish, walnut is also an excellent choice, although it’s a little softer than oak.
Tip #3: Decide On the Size of the Wood Planks
As with any home improvement project, preparation is key when it comes to installing wall-to-wall flooring. You’ve settled on the material to use, but you have a few other important decisions to make. For example, what’s the width of the planks you want to use? Do you prefer wide planks or thin planks? Each has its own distinct advantages.
Thin planks—in the four- to six-inch range—are standard and a bit cheaper. Wide planks—seven inches or more—are considered to be a “luxury” feature that exudes a sense of elegance in the home. It’s more expensive than thin planks. Thinner planks also tend to warp less over time, although this can vary depending on other factors.
Tip #4: Consider How You’ll Install Your Floor
After you know all the details regarding what your floor will look like and what it will be constructed from, you’ll need to know how your floor will be installed. How the floor is installed depends a good bit on what it’s constructed from. Solid hardwood planks usually need to be nailed straight down onto the plywood beneath them. Engineered flooring can usually be glued down or even stapled into place.
Tip #5: Prepare Carefully Before You Begin
Once you’ve made all the decisions regarding installing your wall-to-wall flooring, you’ll need to actually begin ordering the materials. Begin with careful measurement of the rooms you’ll be installing the flooring in. Always order at least 5 percent more material than you actually need. This is to allow for cutting and a margin of error.
The next step you’ll have to take is rolling out your underlayment, should it be required, and then you’ll lay out the hardwood planks. Line the planks up parallel to the longest wall. If you’re nailing the floorboards down, you may have to drill holes in them first. With each step, take care that there are no large gaps between the planks of your floor, and then you can begin the job.
As with any massive building project, it helps if you have a few extra sets of hands to assist you. Ask friends or neighbors to help with the job. Of course, don’t be afraid to call a professional if you believe the job requires it.
Hardwood floors have been an absolute favorite for the last few decades, and at Wall 2 Wall, we know they aren’t going out of trend anytime soon. They’re known for durability, beauty, and quality. An absolute classic, hardwood floors are a sign of a well-built home. Being evergreen and versatile in function and design, they are unmatched and make houses feel like home.
However, even the most reliable flooring can give up sometimes. After all, everything has a shelf life, and you may need to get your flooring repaired from time to time. The key lies in knowing when your hardwood flooring is beyond the scope of repair.
As a homeowner, it’s vital to know this difference, but there’s no need to worry! At Wall 2 Wall, we’re all about providing you with the best consultation services at affordable prices, no matter the state of your floors.
So here’s a list of common indicators that suggest that your hardwood floors are beyond repair.
Structural instability can sometimes creep in unknowingly, and before you know it, the wooden planks and boards beneath your feet are shaking and moving, and you are caught in the middle of your own personal earthquake.
The reason why this problem is beyond the scope of repair is because of all the intensive fixing that you would need to do. In such cases, the overhaul work usually extends to the sub-floor and may cost a fortune.
Needless to say, it’s time to bid adieu to your hardwood floors because they are beyond repair and start looking for new options for yourself.
This is another common problem that plagues hardwood floors and requires homeowners to take precautions. Infestation by bugs or pests is a huge problem that can essentially spell a death sentence for your floors. The most common types of pests are termites and ants, both of which can eat away at your wood flooring.
Again, in such circumstances, the cost of pest control will be nearly equal to the amount you would spend on new floors. So it’s advisable for you to start evaluating your choices and probably consider replacing your hardwood floors.
Squeaks and Creaks
The most common sign that your hardwood floors have become old is when they start squeaking, creaking, and making noises that are generally not expected from a good-quality floor.
Everything comes with an expiration date, and your floor, which may boast durability and longevity, is bound to succumb to it too eventually.
The reason your floor starts making such noises is that, with time, your hardwood starts to expand and contract in such a manner that the individual planks start rubbing against each other, and the nails, which are holding the entire thing together, also start making contact. Usually, such squeaks and creaks can be fixed, but only temporarily because there’s only so much resealing and sanding that you can do.
Eventually, the noise will return, and when it does, it will be back with a vengeance. So it’s strongly advised that you get rid of what you presently have and start working on getting fresh, new flooring.
Multiple Refinishing Jobs
If you have had hardwood floors for a while now, then it would probably be right to guess that your floors have gone through the process of refinishing.
If this is the case, they may not respond as well to a second or third time around. Refinishing involves sanding the wooden planks down to a smooth surface again. This can only be done so far before the wood becomes too thin to support normal wear and tear and overall exposure to the elements. Once your floors reach this point, it’s time to look into getting something new and durable.
Mold isn’t necessarily an issue with old hardwood floors. It can, however, impact newer flooring due to high indoor humidity and accumulated moisture.
If you don’t get the mold cleaned in time, it can spread and affect the entire floor, damaging it beyond repair. Mold can also cause a serious threat to your health, and that’s, of course, a chance you shouldn’t take. From asthma to eye irritation and rashes, there are various issues that mold can cause. Be wise and replace the flooring before such health problems arise.
If you live closer to areas that are prone to floods or in contact with water due to excessive leakage, your hardwood floors may be in danger. Wondering why water damage takes place at all? It’s because your hardwood flooring absorbs the water instead of resisting it. The ideal moisture content in hardwood flooring should be around 6 to 12 percent, but once it crosses a 40 percent moisture content, be sure to replace the flooring, rather than face severe damage.
Once the water starts warping the wood, the foundation of your hardwood floors will be disturbed, making replacement necessary. The best advice to save money and time is to replace the hardwood flooring instead of going for a refinishing job, as the nails and mold can also start giving you issues.
Here are common signs that signify there’s water damage beyond repair:
- Staining and discoloration
- Buckling of the floor
- Lifting nails and floorboard
Home is always going to be a work in progress, whether it’s getting your floors sanded, polished, or even repaired—a homeowner’s work is never over. Don’t worry, at Wall 2 Wall, we’re here to help you with all your hardwood flooring needs.
From hardwood floor installation and refinishing to repair and restoration—Wall 2 Wall’s dedicated team of professionals comes with expert-level craftsmanship to offer you the best service at affordable prices.
With many years of experience on our side, we’ve established ourselves as the hardwood floor maestro that you can trust. So next time you need hardwood flooring installed or need your existing floors checked, contact us right away.
Selecting the proper flooring for your home is essential. This decision is paramount, as it will be the surface you are walking on in the many years to come, which means it must be durable, timeless, and attractive. Few options check all these boxes as well as hardwood flooring.
Installing, resurfacing, or restoring hardwood floors is also an investment, so when choosing between hardwood floor contractors in Portland, Oregon, you’ll want to be selective.
Ultimately, there’s no definitive way to know if you’ve gone with the best contractor for your hardwood flooring project until the job is done, but there are specific details you can look for that indicate you’re choosing a company that’s reputable and will get the job done as expected.
This is what you should look for before making your final decision:
Full-Service Hardwood Flooring Company
Not all companies that install hardwood floors are also adept at restoring older wood flooring, or even offer that service. However, even if you aren’t looking for this service, the added knowledge that company can provide you with will help you select the best option for your household.
For example, a full-service company will be best at knowing which types of wood are more likely to scratch and scuff, which shades and species are more likely to wear down first, and which one is the most resilient against kids, pets, moisture, and more.
You deserve a team of dedicated professionals who will take the extra time to provide you with their expertise and guide you in the best direction.
This is even truer if you’re looking to restore or refinish your hardwood flooring. While you might think the best way to have your wood floors looking like new is to request refinishing, you might really be better off with a restoration project.
Unless the company you select has experience in both and has a customer-focused approach, you may not be happy with the results once the job is complete.
Positive Online Reviews
Will good reviews guarantee a good outcome? No, but it will likely increase your odds. While no company is going to have a 100-percent-satisfaction record, when one can boast about its many satisfied customers, it’s worth taking note.
Similarly, negative reviews are important to read too. When choosing between hardwood floor contractors in Portland, Oregon, you may find that a company has nearly all positive reviews when it comes to water damage restoration but numerous complaints with staying on schedule for installations. Depending on the service you’re interested in, this could be a deciding factor as to whether or not this is the company for you.
Are online reviews a definitive source of excellence? Of course not, but they can be a great tiebreaker when deciding between two hardwood flooring contractors.
Proper Licensing & Insurance
All home contracting companies are required to meet specific state-mandated licensing and insurance requirements. Some even go beyond these requirements to ensure everyone is protected in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
Don’t hesitate to ask if the company you want to work with has the proper licenses and insurance. In fact, reputable companies will be glad that you asked and will gladly answer any questions you have on this topic.
This also shows that the company you’re interested in hiring isn’t just focused on itself and you, but also on its employees and their safety. This is a company with the right priorities and one that’s going to do the right thing by you when you choose to work together.
Clear, Educational Communication Style
When choosing between hardwood floor contractors in Portland, Oregon, you’ll come across a variety of personalities as you make your initial introductions. Take these first interactions into consideration.
When you called or emailed, was the company quick to connect with you, answer all your questions, explain the various services in detail, share which one might be best, and provide you with the information you needed to make an educated decision?
Or was it difficult to get ahold of someone, you felt rushed or unimportant, and you were left with more questions than answers?
These moments might seem unimportant, especially if the company came highly recommended or had excellent reviews, but it’s likely an indicator of how you can expect your communication to continue moving forward. While it might not be the sole deciding factor, it may play a big role when you’re whittling down your top choices.
Your Community Recommendations
Whose opinions do you trust? Your coworkers might be valuable resources, friends and acquaintances on Facebook might be a go-to for information, or maybe a relative knows everyone in town and is always tossing in her two cents.
While you might trust your relative the most, when looking for a hardwood floor contractor, spread your net wide. Ask around and see if the same few companies keep rolling off the tongue. If everyone you know, and even people you don’t, keep throwing out the same recommendation, this company is one you should place high on your list to vet for yourself.
No matter what others have to say, this is a personal decision and an investment you are making that will impact you for years to come. Don’t take it lightly and don’t rely on others alone. Trust your instincts and ask the right questions to determine which hardwood flooring company will best meet your needs.
It may take some time, but you’ll find a reputable, highly qualified contractor whose skills will wow you and leave you thankful for the time you put in before making a final decision.
Still looking for the right company in your neck of the woods? Go with Wall 2 Wall Hardwood Floors based here in Portland, Oregon.
Hardwood floors make for a beautiful addition to any home. They’re sturdy, visually appealing, and even have the possibility of increasing the value of your home. That is, if they stay in tip-top shape. Though worthwhile, we know that having hardwood floors is an investment. So when you notice your flooring is starting to shift, you may ask yourself if you should repair your warped hardwood floor, if it’ll be worth the cost, or if you can just let it go. There are many factors to consider when making a decision like this.
At Wall 2 Wall Hardwood Floors, we know that owning hardwood flooring can be costly, and it can be discouraging to see it not looking its best. Even the best hardwood floors can fall victim to warping, and these issues shouldn’t go unaddressed. Warped hardwood floor repair is necessary to avoid the need to completely replace your floor later on. It’s best to tackle these issues as soon as you notice them occurring so that you can maintain the health and appearance of your floor and keep your investment thriving for years to come.
To better understand the need for repairing your warped hardwood floor, it’s helpful to know what’s causing it to happen, what will happen if you don’t take action, and what the best solution is. We’re offering our knowledge because we know how stressful this process can be, and learning a little more about the situation will help you in making a decision.
Knowing why your floor is becoming warped is a good way to prevent it from happening again. It also helps you respond quickly when symptoms do occur. A hardwood floor becomes warped when there’s too much moisture in the wood. Humidity in the air is one possible cause for warping. As the seasons transition, the wood takes in the moisture from the air and then naturally releases it, depending on the level of humidity in the room. If the humidity level stays too high, like it often does in summer and spring months, the wood just continues to absorb the moisture in the air. This causes the nails and glue that keep the wood in place to become loose and allow separation and unwanted movement.
Noticing your wood is warping in the cooler months? Another issue could be that there’s water stuck somewhere underneath the floor. Leakage from pipes can stay undetected long enough to destroy your wood floors completely. This small exposure to water over a period of time can cause damage like large section warping. As the affected area grows, having warped hardwood floor repair becomes even more imperative.
The hardest part about preventing this from happening is that the cause is invisible. When there’s a leak underneath the surface, you can’t see it, just like you can’t see the humidity in the air. Having a professional take a look to diagnose the problem is the easiest way to make sure you’re taking the necessary steps in the future. But when the damage is already done, some form of action should be considered.
Not having your warped hardwood floor repaired can come with major consequences. Though a troubling appearance is a valid concern, this issue can also become a hazard to people who use the floor. Warped floors can turn dangerous quickly, and often times people notice the warping only after they’ve taken a tumble or have tripped because of it. If the warping is happening in an area with heavy foot traffic, this could turn into a safety issue that no one wants to deal with.
Left untreated, the floor will continue to rise and sink in areas and create more of these hazards. Small fixes done at home can temporarily solve the problem but aren’t always reliable. A small warp can require minimal treatment by a professional, but as the problem expands or shows up in other areas, you may end up having to replace a portion of your flooring. But that’s not the worst damage that warped hardwood floors can create. If continued to be left untreated, the warping in your floor has the potential to cause the floor to give way with little to no warning.
Another possible repercussion of not repairing your warped floor is water damage. A hardwood floor begins warping due to heavy water retention, and too much of that can lead to mold. Especially in the summer months, water damage left undetected can give mold the perfect environment to grow and multiply on the wood. This could all be happening on the surface that’s not visible to you. That mold can damage the wood significantly, which would lead to a full replacement, but that’s not all it can do. Undetected mold can also reduce the air quality of the room to unhealthy levels, further endangering the people around it.
If you’re having an issue with flooring in or around Portland, Oregon, you should consider warped hardwood floor repair by a professional in the area. Be proactive in keeping you and your loved ones safe from the dangers that come with leaving a warped floor unlooked at. Fixing this problem before it expands can prevent unnecessary injury and health hazards. Your hardwood floor has the potential to be an asset to your house for decades if it’s well taken care of. But like most things that stand the test of time, upkeep is needed occasionally. Give your floor the care it deserves by having someone with years of experience treat this problem.
A professional can determine what’s causing the warping in your hardwood floor. They can repair the problem and offer you tips on how to prevent it from happening again. At Wall 2 Wall Hardwood Floors, we’ll ensure that your floors are repaired correctly and that the cause of the problem is accurately addressed. Have your hardwood floor repaired by Wall 2 Wall, and we’ll have them looking as good as the day they were installed.