Category Archives: Hardwood Floors

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What Are Floor Refinishing Services?

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.

Construction and restoration companies like Wall 2 Wall are able to bring your wood floors back to life with floor refinishing. With a few floor refinishing services, your wood floors can look just as good, if not better, than the day they were installed. They can also be better protected from damage that may occur in the future. If you’ve been considering whether or not floor refinishing services are the right choice for your home or business, here is a closer look at the process.

Sanding

One of the first services completed when floor refinishing is requested is sanding. Sanding is the process of scratching down layers of wood until they’re smooth to the touch. They also make each plank of wood the same height as the others and get rid of imperfections. Having each of your wood planks be even with the others is the best way to ensure that they look uniform when your services are completed.

Having a professional complete the sanding portion of your refinish comes with many benefits, one being that you don’t have to invest or rent a high-grade sanding machine. For large projects such as floor refinishing, you’ll need a lot more than just a few pieces of sandpaper. Professionals like Wall 2 Wall have a progression of grits to choose from to best meet the needs of your specific wood flooring. They also have machinery that can sand down your floors at an even rate, to prevent any gouging. During this process, professionals will often sand the floor multiple times using different grits to get the desired look and feel.

Dust Removal

One of the most annoying aspects of sanding is the mess it leaves behind. All of that wood being sanded down doesn’t disappear but is usually dispersed into the air of your home, where it settles in all sorts of places. Professionals typically have a dust removal attachment with their sanding equipment to significantly decrease the amount of sanded wood left in your home after this work is completed. This allows them to move on to the next step more quickly.

Still, not all of the dust may be caught in the dust removal attachment, which is why professionals will follow up their sanding with sweeping or vacuuming to ensure all the dust is completely gone before they move on.

Re-Staining

Another reason that sanding is a helpful part of the refinishing process is that it can get rid of any old stain that the wood was previously treated with. This makes it easier for the wood to absorb the new stain, which is the next refinishing service that will be completed. Staining on top of old stain can make the finished product look uneven and discolored in certain areas. A freshly sanded surface is the perfect canvas for re-staining in the color of your choosing.

Professionals are able to stain your wood with almost any colored wood stain you can imagine. The sanding process leaves the floor much lighter than it probably was before, leaving it open to the possibility of re-staining with a lighter option. Though the process is pretty straightforward, there are techniques used by professionals to ensure that the finished product looks uniform. Applying it in the direction of the wood grain and working in small sections are just a few of the techniques often used by professionals during re-staining. With the right people on your team, you should be left with your ideal-colored flooring when this step is completed, but that doesn’t mean the job is done.

Re-Coating

After your hardwood floor is your desired color, the next step is to bring the floor back to life. The re-coating process gives the floor a newness and shine that you’d imagine you’d get from brand new hardwood flooring. When re-coating is done, a new layer of floor finish is applied, which then needs around 24 hours to completely dry. This is best done after sanding and re-staining are done because the floor will already be even and will have a better chance of being able to accept the finish into its surface.

Re-coating is also a popular option for people whose floors are not badly damaged to begin with and aren’t in need of the previous two services. Small imperfections like scratches can be improved with this process, and the floor can still end up looking brand new afterward. It’s a great option for people who just want to liven up their flooring and don’t need or want to change the staining.

Sealing

Once the previous steps are completed, it’s of great importance to make sure that all of that work wasn’t done for nothing. Sealing ensures that the work completed is protected from potential hazards. Having your wood floors sealed can protect your paint finish from things like stains and scratches. A good sealant can also prevent the wood from drying out and looking the way it did when you wanted to have floor refinishing completed initially.

Professional Assistance

When you want your floors to look professionally done, you’ll want to make sure you enlist the help of a company with years of experience and well-trained staff. The staff at Wall 2 Wall can your floor refinishing in the Portland, Oregon, area while working with you along the way to ensure your satisfaction. You can receive a free estimate, along with any advice or suggestions upon request. Contact Wall 2 Wall today to take the next steps to have your floors refinished.

How Does a Contractor Install Heated Floors with Hardwood?

 

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

Pros

  •       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.

Cons

  •       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?What Can I Do About My Cold Hardwood Floors

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.

Water on Hardwood Floor

What To Do If You Spill Water on Hardwood Floor?

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.

Cupping

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

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

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.

Remove Water

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.

What Goes Under Hardwood Flooring?

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

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

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

Plastic

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.

Foam

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.

Felt

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.

Cork

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.

Other

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.

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5 Things to Expect from Great Wood Floor Installation Service

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.

3. Acclimation

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.

4. Subflooring

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.

5 Tips for Installing Hardwood Flooring Wall to Wall

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 Floorwall-2-wall-5-tips-for-installing-hardwood-flooring-wall-to-wall

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.

Choosing Between Hardwood Floor Contractors in Portland Oregon

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 CompanyChoosing Between Hardwood Floor Contractors in Portland Oregon

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.

Should I Repair My Warped Hardwood Floor?

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.

Cause

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.

Should I Repair My Warped Hardwood FloorNoticing 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.

Repercussions

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.

Solution

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.

What Services Are Available for Beaverton Hardwood Floors?

You are planning to renovate your home, and with everything from windows to kitchen cabinets getting a facelift, why should your floors be left behind? You might have walked into your existing house and accepted the plain-Jane flooring, but now is your chance to give it an upgrade.

Flooring matters—you need to select a flooring type that enhances the overall aesthetic of your house, while also being practical.

What Services Are Available for Beaverton Hardwood FloorsDid you know that hardwood flooring has always been and continues to remain the top choice for homeowners? We aren’t surprised, considering the elegance and warmth it adds to any space. Not only that, it adds value to your home, is durable, improves air quality—as it doesn’t trap dust and allergens like carpets—and most of all, is versatile enough to adapt to any décor theme.

In spite of its long list of benefits, people do get apprehensive about installing hardwood floors considering the “care and maintenance” it requires. Hardwood floors do require you to be careful while cleaning, such as regular sweeping and less-regular mopping, but that’s no reason to disregard them. After all, what’s a little work if you’re getting this timeless addition in your house?

If you’re wondering how to deal with this type of flooring, here are five services available for Beaverton hardwood floors that will have you covered:

Floor Planning

Hardwood floors are not your regular floors that can be installed in a jiffy. They require meticulous measuring, planning, and foresight before the contractor can get down to the job. It’s an intimidating process, but it gets easier to plan when you know the right factors to consider. It’s always helpful to begin by consulting a professional.

Beyond the beauty of these floors, you’ll want to consider aspects like your family’s lifestyle, the space available, the existing décor, and the rooms you need this flooring installed in, to name a few things.

Hardwood floors come in various light and dark shades and are made of different materials (natural hardwood and engineered wood) in various finishes.

You can work with hardwood floor experts who can help plan the entire setup out while keeping your budget, lifestyle, and preferences in mind.

Installation

You might think installing hardwood floors can be another of your fun DIY activities, but do you really want to take the risk with these costly floors?

It’s certainly not easy to cut these planks of wood, join them together, and laminate them for the perfect finish. It involves a lot of time and physical labor and is best left to the hands of experts.

Find the right hardwood floor contractor and let them give you an estimate after measuring your house. It’s important to assess a couple of contractors before you outsource the work. The hardwood floor company needs to be experienced, trained, and have the right tools.

Do your online research, go through reviews, and speak to friends and neighbors to make a well-informed decision.

Water Damage Repair

“What if my hardwood floor gets damaged due to a plumbing leak?”—this is a logical worry to have because wood and water don’t go well together. Be it a flood, leakage, or water spills, Beaverton hardwood floors are susceptible to water damage.

It’s a frustrating situation and can leave you wondering if your floor will ever get back to its original condition. Well, the good news is that you can call hardwood floor specialists who can perform fast and efficient services to rescue your floors.

The key is to work on the problem as soon as you notice it because the prolonged effect of water just damages the wood even further. So let the experts identify and resolve the water source, replace the damaged hardwood floor, and uniformly refinish it.

Refinishing

Just like everything else, even hardwood floors are subject to wear and tear, and over time start to look faded, discolored, and lifeless. At such times, you can bring your old floors back to life by getting them refinished.

Refinishing includes sanding, re-staining, re-coating, and sealing, giving you bright and good-as-new hardwood floors. In fact, if you have a change of mind and wish to change the color, you can also get that done during the refinishing process. Refinishing also increases the lifespan of your hardwood floors and is a sound investment to make.

So if your floor appears dry or grimy or has scratches or stains, you must get hardwood floor specialists to refinish it for you.

Repair & Restoration

It’s true that hardwood floors are long-lasting and durable, but what happens when it gets severely damaged due to acid stains, water damage, floor burns, or your pets? There might also be instances when you would notice your hardwood floor to be buckling or warping, which refers to a portion of the hardwood floor being slightly raised.

At such times, a refinishing process won’t help revive your hardwood floors. This is when you’ll need to call an expert to repair or restore those floors to get its charm back.

Another time when hardwood floor restoration is the answer is when you are looking to sell your house. If you have done multiple refinishing jobs or your floor appears tired, it’s a good idea to do a restoration in order to increase the resale value of your house.

While managing hardwood floors might seem like work, there is a solution for every problem you come across. So don’t let your concerns discourage you from being proud owners of lovely hardwood floors that make your space beautiful.

If you’re wondering who you can call to help you with your Beaverton hardwood floor service needs, Wall 2 Wall Hardwood Floors is the perfect go-to company. We are a full-service hardwood flooring company and are proud of our team of dedicated professionals. With advanced techniques, unparalleled craftsmanship, and superior service at excellent prices, working with Wall 2 Wall is sure to give you complete peace of mind.

5 Reasons to Choose Hardwood Floor Refinishing in Portland

If you’ve purchased a home in Portland or looking to remodel your current abode, you may be considering hardwood floor refinishing. This is an excellent way to maintain the features of the classic floors you have, while making them look appealing and more functional for daily living.

You may be considering the do-it-yourself approach. This is practical for many reasons, the major one being that it will save you a considerable amount of money. However, if it’s not a task you have experience with, hardwood floor refinishing in Portland is likely something that is best left to the professionals.

Here are five reasons to choose hardwood floor refinishing in Portland, and to defer to the experts:

1. Remove Scratches

It’s inevitable that your hardwood floors will get scratched up. It might be caused by your family members pushing their chairs closer to the dining room table, or maybe it happens when you’re rearranging the furniture. Maybe a heel scratches against the surface or your child is skateboarding in the house. Or, very commonly, a pet could cause damage. Either way, it’s inevitable that scratches will happen, so as an owner of hardwood floors, you accept that it happens.

However, you don’t have to just accept the scratches. Instead, you can enlist your local hardwood floor refinishers to restore your floors back to their natural, beautiful state and smooth away the scratches. This will allow you to regain the household aesthetic you initially fell in love with, and you won’t have to shell out as much money as you would if replacing the flooring.

5 Reasons to Choose Hardwood Floor Refinishing in Portland

2. Shine Those Planks Up

Just like the scratches, your hardwood floors weren’t always so dull. They once nearly glimmered in the sunlight and looked so clean and so fresh. But now they look as worn as your home is old.

You’re likely used to the dull flooring by now, or maybe you weren’t living in the house when the floors were new and don’t realize what a difference a refinishing could make. But a hardwood floor upgrade might be exactly what you need if you notice your hardwood flooring has dulled.

Consider hardwood floor refinishing in Portland to restore your floors to their former glory, and enjoy the makeover for many years to come.

3. A Deep Cleaning Just Didn’t Work

If your hardwood flooring looks like it’s seen better days, then it’s time to do something. However, the question that often arises is, what’s the logical next step? If convenience and funds are top of mind, many homeowners start with a deep clean before moving forward with anything else. And this is the perfect place to start.

Begin by sweeping up any dust and dirt that has accumulated. Then use a hardwood floor–friendly vacuum and suction up leftover dirt, particularly smaller particles that may have snuck between the floorboards. Next, gently mop the area using a microfiber cloth and hardwood-specific cleaner to get a good shine and true, deep clean.

Your floors are likely looking much better already, but are they as nice as you want them to appear?

If the answer is no, then you’ll want to move onto the next step.

4. A New DIY Finish Isn’t the Answer

Even if you’re set on restoring your hardwood floors, you still might not be ready to pass the task on to professionals. So the other option would be to refinish the flooring yourself.

Start by deciding if you’re going to sand it first. If this is your plan, you can rent a sanding machine from a hardware store and put in the work before refinishing the floors. Beware, though, this process isn’t as easy as it looks or sounds.

If this is where you’re headed, it may be in your best interest to just call in the professionals. What you pay for the service will greatly outweigh the time and effort you’d put in if you’ve never undertaken a project like this.

With that said, if you’re not sure, and the floors don’t seem too worn, then refinishing without sanding could be your next step. Look for a hardwood floor renewal or restorer kit at your local hardwood store, and make sure to take note if it is a glossy or satin finish. This small decision could be the difference between loving or abhorring the results.

5. You Adore Your Flooring, But It Needs Attention

“They don’t make ’em like they used to,” is a saying you’ve probably heard and said more times than you can count. And, truthfully, in many instances, it’s simply accurate.

While you’d be delighted by new hardwood floors, if that’s the route you need to venture down, you might still be admiring the classic features of your old hardwood. Maybe it just needs some TLC. If that’s the case, then professional refinishing is the answer.

There are some elements you won’t be able to resolve on your own. If your flooring has deep scratches or widening gaps between the planks, this is not a DIY situation. At this point, it’s best to hand the baton off to someone who knows more than you and who can create the look you want.

Close your eyes and picture the hardwood in your home. What is its current state? Does it “spark joy,” as Marie Kondo would say? Or do you want a change, an upgrade?

If the answer is the latter, what does the new flooring looking like? And, just as importantly, is that something you can realistically achieve without assistance from others?

You have an opportunity to elevate your space. And by creating a more welcoming, vibrant home, it will also improve your mood and overall wellbeing, and you’ll be even more excited at the end of the day to come home and live in your space.

Is this a feeling you’re ready for? If so, then have a hardwood floor specialist from Wall 2 Wall assess your current flooring and determine what is needed to reach your household goals.