Category Archives: Hardwood Floors

When Do Hardwood Floors Need to be Replaced?

Your choice of flooring sets the tone of your home, making it an integral part of your interior design scheme. One of the most commonly used types of flooring in homes is hardwood floors, which have become a hot favorite owing to its easy-to-clean nature, strength, and durability.

Hardwood floors are also favored due to the aesthetic appeal and elegance as they create a sense of warmth and comfort, making your home more welcoming. What’s more, as they add value to your home, they are considered to be long-term investments as well.

When Do Hardwood Floors Need to be Replaced, Wall2Wall

However, with time, your hardwood floor is bound to start deteriorating due to wear and tear at which time you’ll have to make a decision. Do you choose to refinish the wood or do you replace the flooring altogether? Here are seven signs that clearly indicate that your hardwood floor needs to be replaced:

1. Multiple Refinishing Jobs

If you’ve put off replacing your hardwood floor for a long, long time and always opted for refinishing it instead, it’s time you consider replacing it. There is a limit to refinishing and that depends on the quality of wood and the condition it’s in, but if it’s been a while, now may be the time.

Floors that are subject to multiple rounds of refinishing begin to give way leaving you with no other option than to replace them entirely. Even though replacement is the more expensive option, it is worth overhauling your entire floor rather than merely refinishing it for the umpteenth time.

2. Floor Movement

Gaps or movements in the wood floorboards occur due to seasonal changes. Come summer, your wood floor will expand a little. Then, when the humidity and heat drop in the winter, they will contract.

Floors that exhibit minor gaps can be taken care of with refinishing, but what happens when you notice wider gaps and movements between boards? If your floorboards are wiggling and gaps are noticeable, then you know it’s time for a replacement.

We don’t recommend filling gaps on your own because that is never a long-term solution. It is always advisable to call a hardwood flooring specialists to inspect the issue instead.

3. Damaged Subfloor

The subfloor is the permanent base of the finished flooring that makes it more stable. This layer can become damaged due to water leaks, termites, or just rot over time.

As this is the lower layer, it often gets overlooked, but if you notice symptoms such as squeaking in certain areas of the floor, sagging spots or even a musty odor, chances are your subfloor needs inspection.

As the foundation of your flooring system, damaged subfloors call for immediate attention and action in order to avoid further damage. In this instance, your wood floor will likely need to be replaced as well.

4. Water Damage

We all know water and wood don’t go well together, but sometimes, in spite of all the care you take, your hardwood floor is subjected to this type of damage.

We aren’t talking about the occasional water spills. True water damage is often caused pipe leakages, leaky roofs, toilet overflows, leaking house appliances, and other factors that lead to prolonged exposure to extreme moisture.

When wood comes in contact with water and goes unnoticed, the wood begins to expand and creates uneven surfaces over time.

You can tell the hardwood floor has been damaged by water if the floor appears to be cupped, swollen, or rotted. If you have tried everything to dry your floors but your problem still persists, it’s time to call a professional and get it replaced.

At Wall2Wall Hardwood Floors, we are known for providing fast and effective repair and replacement services, regardless of the extent of water damage and we’ll let you know our recommended solution upon inspection.

5. Aging Floors

How long has it been since you installed your hardwood floors? If a considerable amount of time has passed and you notice signs of aging, tiredness, discoloration or decay, you might want to consider floor replacement to update the look of your home.

Even though hardwood is a long-lasting material, it will start aging with time. As it’s subjected to wear and tear every day this will reflect on its appearance. So, don’t put up with faded and spongy hardwood floors, go for a floor replacement instead. You’ll be surprised how refreshed and updated your home will look and feel!

6. Lack of Time

Refinishing hardwood floors is a time-consuming and messy process. It requires all furniture to be set aside, keeping the floor untouched until the job is complete. So, if you don’t have time to waste, we suggest opting for a floor replacement, which is often a smoother, faster, and cleaner process.

Our team at Wall2Wall Hardwood Floors promises to treat the replacement with care, ensuring that the finished product is gorgeous and ready-to-use. Not just that, our services are also affordable and are designed to last.

7. Ready for a Change

Last but not the least, you don’t have to wait for your floor to show signs of damage in order to change things up.

Homes are always a work in progress and we all crave change once in a while. What you fancied five years ago might not hold true today, and that’s absolutely alright.

So, if you are bored with your hardwood flooring and wish to opt for different planks, a change in orientation, or even use a different type of wood, consider a complete replacement. It is sure to give your home a whole new look!

If you have noticed any of the above signs and think you should go for a hardwood floor replacement, contact us and our team of dedicated, friendly, and experienced professionals will be there to guide you on your hardwood flooring needs.

From planning, design, and installation, to remodeling, repair, and replacement, Wall2Wall Hardwood Flooring has access to the best methods and the longest lasting options coupled with excellent prices and unparalleled craftsmanship, leaving you with nothing but the best when it comes to hardwood flooring.

What To Do When You Notice Your Hardwood Floor is Warping

You’re settling in for a nice evening in with that new bingeable TV show that your coworkers keep talking about. The snacks are laid out, the couch cushions have been arranged perfectly, and you’ve told your friends not to bother you for the next eight or so hours.

What To Do When You Notice Your Hardwood Floor is Warping

You walk to the kitchen to get a drink, but as you stand in front of the fridge you notice something’s not quite right. Looking down, you see that your once elegant oak flooring has become warped and discolored. Tonight was supposed to be a relaxing evening; the last thing you want to think about is replacing hardwood floors.

Water can cause serious damage to wood without anyone catching it. When you do see it, you’ve got to act fast. Here are some tips on what to do if you notice your hardwood floor warping.

Find the Source

Before you even attempt to replace your hardwood floors, figure out exactly where the water is coming from. Repairing the damage is ultimately useless if you don’t take care of the root of the problem.

Hardwood floors don’t start warping because of a few spills here and there; you’re looking for a constant source of moisture creeping into the wood over a long period of time. Depending on where the damage is located, you should be able to pinpoint likely suspects.

If the damage is near a window or a door, you may be looking at a case of poor installation. The average homeowner might not even notice until the wetter part of the year, when heavy rainfall or snow leads to moisture seeping in through cracks in the seal. Older homes are particularly susceptible to outside water leakage, faulty installation or not.

Warping near a radiator or refrigerator can indicate an internal source of water. Depending on the appliance you’re looking at, it might be easy to tell. Radiators and water heaters have most of their piping exposed, making it a snap to look over the connections and see if anything is amiss. You’re in for more of a chore if you’re looking at a fridge or dishwasher, as most of those water sources are tucked away or hidden behind the appliance itself.

Many modern refrigerators have a convenient water dispensers built right into the door, allowing you to fill your glass with cool, filtered water. Should any of the piping in the dispenser or filter break or clog, you might be looking at a serious leak right in your own home.

Dishwashers can be an even bigger problem as drainage tubes can develop cracks after only a few years of use. If the tube is cheaply made, or if it’s not supported properly, you could be looking at a prolonged series of drips seeping into your floors.

Once you’ve found and repaired the source of the water, you can tackle the floors themselves.

Assess the Damage, then Determine What Needs to be Done

Depending on when you caught the damage, you might not have to just to completely replacing your hardwood floors. If you notice the warping early enough, or if it hasn’t progressed too far, you may have other options. Before you get in touch with your local hardwood specialists, get the lay of the land and figure out what you need to do.

Cupping and crowning are a common symptom of water damage. Moisture makes the wood expand, causing it to either rise up along the edge or the center of the boards. Sometimes all you need to do in order to restore the floor is to remove the source of water and let the floors dry out. If the warping is minor, the floor should shrink back down to it’s intended size and lie flat.

In other cases, it might be necessary to sand down the uneven edges and refinish the floor. While the process isn’t as extreme as ripping out the entire floor and replacing it, it is still pretty involved. Sanding, staining, and sealing all take time, and getting the floor back to how it used to look can be harder than you think.

The stain of your floor changes over time due to sun exposure, making matching the color tricky. Even if you get the stain to match, the edges between the old and new finish will still stand out. Sometimes the only way to get a cohesive floor is to sand and refinish the entire floor.

For serious damage, your only option is putting in new boards with the help of a professional with experience replacing hardwood floors. This person will be tasked with finding wood to best match the same kind and grain of wood, then make adjustments to match the hue and stain of the rest of the floor.

Matching the grain and hue of the floor, then seamlessly weaving it in to replace the damage planks requires skill and expertise. Homeowners within the greater Portland, Oregon area can rely on Wall2Wall Hardwoods for the help they need assessing and repairing the warping.

Be Prepared & Preventative What You Can

Replacing hardwood floors is enough to make you never want do it again. So, after your hardwood is back to its beautiful self, make sure to prevent water damage from happening again.

Keep an eye on potential sources for leaks. Be sure that any cracks in your doors or windows are tightly sealed before wet seasons, and be aware of any unintentional moisture being brought into the house by people.

Don’t let wet rain jackets drip on the floor all autumn long and use a shower mat to keep the bathroom floor from accumulating moisture. Check your appliances regularly for any cracks or leaks, and also proactively repairing any damage to pipes or tubing. All it takes is one steady drip over time to ruin your beautiful hardwood floors, so it’s up to you to be vigilant and nip the disaster in the bud.

But don’t worry. With some maintenance and a little foresight, your flooring will stay gorgeous for years to come!

The Best Hardwood Flooring Options When Durability Matters Most

Hardwood is one of the most popular choices for flooring, especially for homes with pets and children. It’s in high in demand not only for the variety of style options and maintenance accessibility, but also because of the durable nature.

The Best Hardwood Flooring Options When Durability Matters Most

If you plan on having a lot of traffic and activity on those floors, then durability may be a prime focus for you. Most will only have to purchase wood floors once because of its durability. Hardwood floors will also be less expensive to maintain in the long run because they will be able to avoid the scratches and dents that other floors can’t handle.

When durability matters most, you can rely on Wall2Wall for hardwood flooring in Portland to get the job done in a professional manner with customer service as the focus.

Hardwood floors can last a long time while still keeping their charm. Factors that do affect the durability of the wood are thickness, protective finish applied, and the construction of the core layers. You will also need to make sure that a professional installs the flooring for top quality performance.

Oak, maple, hickory and cherry are among the best hardwood flooring options. Below are some reasons why each one may work for you:

Oak

Oak is one of the most popular choices when durability is a priority. It appeals to families looking for strength and consistency.

Oak provides a superior performance and low maintenance. Sanding, refinishing, and touch ups are easy for the professional with oak floors. However, oak does also require a bigger financial investment.

In terms of style, oak wood may not be the best match in a modern home. It has a specific look and pronounced grain pattern that fits the looks of a restoration space.

There is also a difference between red oak and white oak. Contrary from their names, white oak is a darker wood than red oak.

White oak is also slightly harder than red oak. On the Janka Hardness Scale, white oak scores a 1360 while red oak scores a 1290. Both choices are excellent options for long-term durability, and your final decision will likely come down to what floor color you in your home.

Maple

Maple is one of the leading options for hardwood floors because of its light finish and durability. The harder varieties of maple, such as sugar maple or hard maple, are the most durable hardwoods and rate high on the Janka Hardness Test with scores of 1450.

Its subtle grain pattern works for different kinds of traffic from high activity spaces to formal, special event rooms. It also works for both condensed to larger spaces.

Maple does mainly come in its natural tone, so if you are looking for a specific look you will need to spend extra time to customize and stain the wood.

Its contemporary appeal, high durability and affordable price makes this one a fan favorite.

Cherry

While cherry wood is softer than oak, it is known to be one of the best woods for workability. Because of its flexibility, craftsmen love using cherry. It has a light texture that yields to knives much easier than other woods.

Cherry hardwood flooring produces a smooth finish and is also easier to maintain. The fine finish ranges from reddish brown to blonde and is commonly used for tables and cabinets.

Cherry wood also steams easily, making it popular for curved objects or floors. However, it does slightly expand and contract based on the humidity in the environment.

American cherry is softer than Brazilian cherry. The Brazilian cherry is more resistant to dents and scratches, with a Janka Hardness Scale rate of 2820 vs American’s 995.

Brazilian Cherry flooring is popular because of it’s bold, rich color. The high durability makes it one of the most recommended imported flooring options for installation in high traffic areas.

It is also one of the most resistant hardwoods to water. Water damage with hardwoods happens most when water seeps through between boards and gets trapped. When the installation is done right, water from spills or drainage is less likely to occur.

Hickory

Hickory is one of the hardest and most dense woods native to the U.S. This is a common option for those who like the natural hardwood feel and will rely on it for its strength.

The resistance makes it last longer through normal wear and tear compared to other woods. Hickory is also popular for those who live in humid climates as it less likely to warp comparative to other hardwood options.

If you plan on adding stain, you can rely on hickory to accept the stain well. It is, in fact, one of the easiest woods to apply wood stain to. This is for those who like hickory’s quiet grain and hardness, but plan on applying a different color variation to best match their living space.

Hickory has a light color that can lighten up any dark room. It is especially popular for those who have a light color scheme in a room and don’t want too much contrast between the floor and the rest of the room.

However, hickory is also one of the most difficult to install because of its different grain variations. Wall2Wall is the hardwood flooring in Portland company that can help you get the floors in place.

Choosing between oak, maple, cherry and hickory for your hardwood floor may all come down to the aesthetic of your space as these are all reliable and durable hardwoods to consider.

Look for hardwood flooring in Portland or a professional in your area to help install your floor as the techniques used in installation can also add to the longevity of the wood. A team can also help you choose which wood will be the best for your space all within the right budget.

When is the Best Time to Undertake Hardwood Floor Repair?

Hardwood floors are beautiful. They can make a home look warm, cozy, sophisticated, and value to your home if you’re thinking of selling.

But hardwood can be costly; it’s one of the most expensive flooring choices you can make for your home. If you decide to install hardwoods throughout your home, knowing when to undergo hardwood floor repair can save you money and increase the longevity in the years to come.

When is the Best Time to Undertake Hardwood Floor Repair

For many homeowners, adding hardwood is for investment purposes only. They understand hardwood adds value; they wouldn’t think of adding anything else.
If you are trying to sell your home, or have bought a house to flip after substantial renovations, putting in hardwood flooring before putting the for sale sign out on the lawn is a good idea. It will cost a bit upfront, but the return value on the resale of the home can be staggering. According to Realtor.com, more than half of homebuyers are willing to pay more for a home if it has hardwood floors.

But what if you just want to update your own home? When might be the best time to undertake hardwood floor repair?

If you are remodeling and buying new furniture, this is a perfect time to spruce up your flooring too. Refinishing hardwood can take a few weekends to complete if you’re doing it yourself. Regardless of who handles the project, a remodel of the interior of your home is ideal because you can time it so that the old furniture is gone before the installation takes place. Then once the flooring is in place and fully cured, the new furniture can come right in. Otherwise, you will have to find a place to store your current furniture while repairs are happening. This may involve making use of a shed or having to rent a storage unit for a month for the furniture.

What about the actual installation and timing of hardwood floor repair and installation?

There seem to be different schools of thought on this, with some experts leaning towards winter and others spring/summer. Hardwood floors naturally expand and shrink throughout the year depending on the humidity levels in the air, so where you live will play a large part on when you decide to do these repairs.

Gapping is the term used by industry experts when talking about humidity levels. You want to ensure a minimum amount of gapping between new floorboards, so timing is crucial. Humidity is the one element that will impact how the new flooring will settle and adjust.

Gapping occurs; it’s a fact of life. If you install your hardwood flooring in the summer, it may shrink the following winter. And if you install new flooring in the winter, it will expand and get tighter in the summer. While there are many opinions on the best time of year to install hardwood floors, professionals in the industry do all agree on this point—find the average humidity level in your home year-round to reduce contraction and minimize gapping.

The best results are achieved if the hardwood flooring is installed at an average humidity level. So a project that involves installing and repairing hardwood flooring isn’t something you decide on one weekend and then tackle the next. If you’re ready to add hardwood flooring to your home, spend some time researching and figuring out when humidity levels are average in your home: not too high and not too low. You’re looking for average. While not always needed, products that test humidity, hygrometers, are good tools to use to monitor these kinds of conditions. A decent hygrometer will run about seventy to 200 dollars, well worth the cost to avoid disasters with your flooring once it is installed.

Relative humidity should be at about 35 percent on the low side and 60 percent on the high side. Use this as your baseline. Also, consider getting a dehumidifier or air conditioner (depending on what it will take to manage humidity) to control the environment in your home. Once you sort out the humidity issue, you can pretty much do hardwood floor repairs any season, depending on where you live and the moisture levels in your home at that time.

You can also control gapping issues with the width of floorboards you select. Smaller floorboards will be more forgiving. Although these boards will contract and expand at the same rate, a 5-inch board will appear to contract and expand more than twice as much as a 2-inch board.

No matter what time of year you decide to install hardwood flooring, the most important thing is to bring the hardwood inside the home before installation to let it acclimate to the internal conditions. Ask your hardwood flooring provider or installer how much time is suitable for optimal result. We find an average of seven to fourteen days is usually best. Just don’t leave it in the garage or entryway; instead, place the hardwood will it reside in your home. This gives it a chance to condition to the area before you start the installation process.

You should also keep in mind the time of year you’re installing the hardwood and how much heating or cooling your home will endure throughout the process. Heating tends to dry the air while cooling tends to add in moisture. In the heart of the winter, you know your heater will be operating hours at a time. That might not be best for your new wood. While proper ventilation is important, it’s equally important not to let your HVAC equipment work overtime.

Doors will be open a lot because old flooring will be carried out and other materials brought in. On the flip side, if you do this in summer and temperatures are sweltering outside, and you have the air conditioning running, your AC bill might go up, and the unit will work overtime because doors will be opening and closing more than normal.

So remember, wood flooring should be installed when the home’s relative humidity is 35 percent to 60 percent, and the flooring should be acclimated for seven to fourteen days. Doors will be open a lot. Beyond these key factors, deciding when to install and repair hardwood flooring is really a personal preference.

5 Reasons to Restore Your Hardwood Floors

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

5 Reasons to Restore Your Hardwood Floors

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

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

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

Carpets are more expensive in the long run

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

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

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

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

Most old wood floors can be repaired

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

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

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

Restoring a hardwood floor can be relatively inexpensive

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

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

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

Antique floors bring charm and atmosphere to your home

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

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

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

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

Restoring your hardwood floor is an investment

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

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

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

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

Common Questions When Restoring Hardwood Floors

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

Common Questions When Restoring Hardwood Floors

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

Can I really change the color?

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

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

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

Should I sand or screen?

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

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

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

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

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

How do I fix the scratches in the floor?

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

How do I fix my warped or cupped wood?

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

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

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

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

The Most Popular Hardwood Floors Among Beaverton Residents

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

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

The Most Popular Hardwood Floors Among Beaverton Residents

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy hunting!

Hardwood Flooring: Should I Repair or Replace?

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

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

Hardwood Flooring Should I Repair or Replace

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6 Questions to Ask Before Installing Hardwood Floors

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

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

6 Questions to Ask Before Installing Hardwood Floors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Repair Damaged Hardwood Floors

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

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

How to Repair Damaged Hardwood Floors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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