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Hardwood Pallets Are Perfect For Mudroom Floors

If you are looking for a unique floor for a mudroom or a laundry room, you might think that hardwood is not feasible. Hardwood floors are particularly susceptible to damage from moisture and dirt. Obviously, whatever you track in through a mudroom will likely have moisture and dirt. However, hardwood pallets could create the perfect, unique floor for a mudroom or a laundry room. Hardwood pallets are affordable, versatile, and incredibly resilient. 

Hardwood Pallets

Many pallets are made from softwood and designed for one-time use. However, certain industries use hardwood pallets. You can likely find hardwood pallets from a company that works with European suppliers. Hardwood pallets are commonly used for furniture shipments, motorcycle parts shipments, and car parts shipments. If you’re looking for pallets, there are websites and suppliers that will sell used ones. You also might be able to find ones at local stores. If you are sourcing them from local stores, make sure you ask them about their pallets. If they’re in a dumpster, they’re likely free but you should still ask before you pull things out of a dumpster you don’t own. If they’re stacked up behind the building, definitely ask. You might have to pay for them, but they’ll likely be cheaper than pallets from a retailer. 

Dismantle the Pallets

You can dismantle pallets in one of two ways; you can pull the nails out, or you can cut them apart. If you want to preserve as much wood as possible, you’ll need to pull each nail out of the pallet before using it as flooring. If you want to be quick about it, cut them into planks and discard the parts with nails in them. 

Making Your Floor

Since you’re making a hardwood floor for a mudroom, you won’t need as much preparation as you might for a living space. If you already have a plywood subfloor, you just need to line up your pallet planks to cover the floor. Nail them down with a hammer or a nail gun. A sink on a nail gun will press the head of the nail below the surface of the wood. A punch and a hammer will also do the same thing. 

Contact an Experienced Flooring Company in Alpharetta

Once you’ve got them nailed down, you’re done. Pallets are rough-hewn which means that they’ll be somewhat rough on the surface. That could be perfect for a mudroom since that will help scrape dirt off your shoes before you get to the rest of the house. If you want a smoother finish, sand them down with medium-grit sandpaper. Leaving them unfinished should suffice for a mudroom or a laundry room.

Categories Hardwood

Do I Need to Wax My Harwood Floor?

Hardwood floors don’t require very much maintenance. With some sweeping or vacuuming, they can look great and perform great for years. However, from time to time, you’ll need to do a little more upkeep. Over time, the floor can start to look dull, cloudy, and dented. Floors look cloudy because of hundreds of tiny scratches. Sliding furniture, pet claws, and hard-soled shoes can scratch the finish. That will eventually make the floor look faded. Floors can look dull if the finish coat on them starts to wear away. Dents arise from heavy furniture, hard shoes, and pet claws as well. 

If you have a hardwood floor, you’ve likely seen hardwood flooring wax and considered if you need it. Hardwood wax is not for all kinds of floors, though. 

Which Floors?

Most floors now are finished with a layer of polyurethane. You should never put hardwood floor wax on a polyurethane floor. That can make the floor slippery, cloudy, and can complicate the process of reapplying the polyurethane. For polyurethane floors, you’ll likely use a floor polish. Obviously, you should pick one that is designed for polyurethaned floors. That’s because wax provides a coat that sits on top of the wood, which is the same thing that polyurethane is. 

You should wax floors that have been treated with penetrating seals such as oil, shellac, lacquer, or varnish. These finishes penetrate the pores of the wood. So, they’ll also need something on top of the wood to keep it protected. Also, you can wax an unfinished floor. 

What Does It Do?

Wax forms a waterproof seal on top of your floor, which will increase its resistance to staining. It will also decrease the likelihood that moisture will seep into the wood, which can cause buckling and cupping. 

Wax will also hide some of the minor scuffs and scratches. These superficial blemishes are noticeable because they don’t reflect light as much as the unblemished wood. A layer of wax will help them blend better with the unblemished wood. 

Wax also protects the stain and the finish on the wood itself. Stains and oils can wear away due to UV light and through daily use. Providing a physical barrier between your feet and the oil will help the oil last longer. 

Contact an Experienced Hardwood Floor Company in Roswell

Lastly, wax can look great. A clear coat of wax will provide a glossy topcoat on your floor. You can also choose a colored wax, most of which are available in colors of natural wood. That will deepen and enhance the look of your floor. Sometimes, however, the wax just won’t do the job and you’ll need the help of a refinishing company, that’s where we come in. Contact us today for a free quote!

Categories Hardwood

Skinny Plank Flooring Is Trending

For the past few years, wide plank hardwood flooring has been trending. It’s been popular with many different homeowners and only growing in popularity. However, it’s now being challenged by its polar opposite: skinny plank. Wide plank flooring is typically defined by planks that are over six inches wide. Four to six inches is about the standard plank width. Now, many homeowners are choosing to go with skinny planks. Skinny planks are usually two to four inches wide. Why would they be choosing this width? 

Durability

Hardwood flooring is susceptible to damage from moisture. When the wood itself absorbs moisture, the edges tend to curl up. That is known as cupping. When the floor bends asymmetrically, it’s known as buckling. Lastly, a floor can also bulge, which is when the center rises higher than the edges. All of these can be caused by moisture. The rigidity of the wood will resist this distortion. Much as longer boards are weakest in the middle, wider boards are also weakest in the middle. So, a wider plank hardwood floor is more susceptible to distortion from moisture. If you want to avoid that, you could choose skinny planks. 

They’re especially popular in basement apartments and attic lofts. Basements and attics experience the widest range of humidity and temperature swings. Skinny planks could be ideal for those applications. 

Aesthetics

Some people just like the way skinny planks look. Paradoxically, they achieve something of a similar effect to wide planks. Wide planks create a more unified look to the floor because they have fewer lines. Skinny planks have so many lines that it creates a unified look. The busy look of the floor sort of blends together into one canvas. 

Installation

Installation of a skinny plank hardwood floor will likely take longer than a standard width or a wide plank floor. Each plank has to be nailed down. So, if you need to cover 120 inches of floor width with planks that are two inches wide, you’ll need 60 planks. You would only need maybe ten planks of a wide floor. That’s six times as much nailing. However, they can be simpler to install in rooms that are not easy rectangles. If the room has several tight corners or an odd shape, it’s easier to cut skinny planks to fit against the wall. Each plank will need to be cut much less to accomodate for odd shapes. 

Categories Uncategorized

How Engineered Hardwood Flooring Is Engineered

There are two basic kinds of hardwood flooring, engineered and solid. Solid hardwood flooring is just solid planks of wood. Engineered hardwood, however, is made from multiple layers of wood that are pressed together. Engineered hardwood has some advantages over solid hardwood. They stem from the way it is manufactured. Here is how engineered hardwood is engineered.

Layers

Engineered hardwood is typically made from three to twelve different layers of wood. The middle layers are typically made of a cheap hardwood or a soft plywood. These inner core layers are basically filler layers that add thickness to the planks without adding much weight or expense. They also have the tongue and groove system cut along the edges of the boards. The top layer of the wood is usually the thickest individual layer; this is the hardwood layer that has the actual hardwood that you want to buy. The veneer layer is visible on top of the wood.

The very bottom layer is often a vapor layer. The vapor layer is waterproof or absorbent, depending on the type of engineered plank. The layer will prevent moisture from seeping into the wood.

All of these layers are typically cross-layered, which means that they are laid in such a way that the grains are perpendicular to one another. That creates a stronger plank. The layers are glued together and then pressed in a machine.

Finally, the wood is stained and sealed at the factory. Typically, engineered hardwood is prefinished; that means that the company that produces it uses a UV-cured finish that is baked onto the wood.

Advantages

Engineered hardwood flooring has three distinct advantages. For one, it is very quick to install. You do not need to stain or finish engineered hardwood. It’s already stained and finished; you just need to lay it. Secondly, engineered hardwood is resistant to warping. It does not absorb moisture as easily as solid hardwood. That means that it will resist cupping even in humid environments. Finally, engineered hardwood doesn’t need a subfloor. It can be installed as a floating floor. Each individual plank connects to the ones around it but they’re not nailed down Engineered hardwood is available in just about every type of hardwood. You can often find hard-to-find hardwoods as engineered planks since much less of the wood is required. Only the veneer layer will be in the rare hardwood.  All of these factors make engineered hardwood a solid choice.

Categories Uncategorized

How Engineered Hardwood Flooring Is Engineered

There are two basic kinds of hardwood flooring, engineered and solid. Solid hardwood flooring is just solid planks of wood. Engineered hardwood, however, is made from multiple layers of wood that are pressed together. Engineered hardwood has some advantages over solid hardwood. They stem from the way it is manufactured. Here is how engineered hardwood is engineered.

Layers

Engineered hardwood is typically made from three to twelve different layers of wood. The middle layers are typically made of a cheap hardwood or a soft plywood. These inner core layers are basically filler layers that add thickness to the planks without adding much weight or expense. They also have the tongue and groove system cut along the edges of the boards. The top layer of the wood is usually the thickest individual layer; this is the hardwood layer that has the actual hardwood that you want to buy. The veneer layer is visible on top of the wood.

The very bottom layer is often a vapor layer. The vapor layer is waterproof or absorbent, depending on the type of engineered plank. The layer will prevent moisture from seeping into the wood.

All of these layers are typically cross-layered, which means that they are laid in such a way that the grains are perpendicular to one another. That creates a stronger plank. The layers are glued together and then pressed in a machine.

Finally, the wood is stained and sealed at the factory. Typically, engineered hardwood is prefinished; that means that the company that produces it uses a UV-cured finish that is baked onto the wood.

Advantages

Engineered hardwood flooring has three distinct advantages. For one, it is very quick to install. You do not need to stain or finish engineered hardwood. It’s already stained and finished; you just need to lay it. Secondly, engineered hardwood is resistant to warping. It does not absorb moisture as easily as solid hardwood. That means that it will resist cupping even in humid environments. Finally, engineered hardwood doesn’t need a subfloor. It can be installed as a floating floor. Each individual plank connects to the ones around it but they’re not nailed down Engineered hardwood is available in just about every type of hardwood. You can often find hard-to-find hardwoods as engineered planks since much less of the wood is required. Only the veneer layer will be in the rare hardwood.  All of these factors make engineered hardwood a solid choice.

Categories Hardwood

Hardwood Flooring Planks Are Getting Wider and Wider

For a very long time, hardwood flooring planks were all about the same. They were between three and six inches wide, they were about 12 inches long, and they were finished with a semi-gloss polyurethane. Current trends are changing all of that. If you have been browsing social media or hardwood flooring suppliers, you’ve likely noticed that hardwood flooring planks are trending wider and wider. Most suppliers offer what they called a “wide plank.” The definition of a wide plank differs based on the manufacturer, but typically, anything over six inches is considered wide plank. Ten inches is a pretty common width but 18 inches is not unheard of. The trend has historical roots as well as practical purposes.

 

Historical Roots

 In the second half of the 20th century, most hardwood was sourced from far away. It was transported by ship or by truck and then machined in a factory. That meant that you could pick basically any hardwood from anywhere in the world that you could afford. Before that era, homeowners had to source their hardwood from nearby. Hardwood flooring typically came from no further than a few days on a train. Sometimes, trees within walking distance were felled. That greatly limited the options.

On top of that, the trees had to be felled and milled by hand. Cutting two six-inch wide planks takes about twice as much work as cutting one 12-inch plank. So, crafters would cut the planks about as wide as each individual tree trunk would allow. That reduced the amount of work that had to be done. It also limited the amount of time spent installing them. For those reasons, many old homes have wide hardwood flooring planks.

 

Practical Reasons

 In addition to the historical reasons for wide-plank hardwood flooring, there are practical reasons. Wide hardwood flooring planks will mean that each room has fewer planks. The reduced number of planks reduces the seams in the floor; that means that smaller rooms will look larger. The seams of multiple planks and the changing grain from one plank to the next creates visual noise. That subtly makes a room look more cluttered. A more seamless appearance can reduce that effect.

Wider planks have fewer places where moisture can creep around and under the floor as well. That makes wide planks ideal for bathrooms, entryways, and kitchens. Anywhere that might regularly get wet could be a good candidate for a wide plank floor.

Categories Uncategorized

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) in Commercial Spaces

Commercial flooring takes a beating…at least the business owners hope they do. That means lots and lots of foot traffic moving through their storefronts, showrooms and office spaces daily. If you consider the old saying, “you only get one chance to make a first impression”, it’s imperative that your floors always look great.

There are many choices available when it comes to selecting a commercial floor covering. Regardless of your choice, the new floor must be attractive, durable and affordable. Luxury Vinyl Tile, or LVT, is becoming more popular with commercial applications for exactly these three reasons.

LVT is Attractive

LVT can be made to look like ceramic, stone or even wood floors, depending on what you’re looking for. The product looks incredibly natural featuring surface textures that even feel like the natural surface you might expect on the original product material. LVT provides a “warmth” previously unseen in commercial spaces.

Luxury Vinyl Tile is Durable

Using luxury vinyl products cuts down on your maintenance costs. These floors don’t scratch or experience water damage like real wood, while still giving the perception of authenticity associated with hardwood. It’s not uncommon to see vinyl floors now in major shopping centers, hospitals and office buildings.

And Don’t Forget About Affordable!

Nothing will ever look and feel like real hardwood. However, when considering the use in a commercial space, spending 2 to 3 times more for hardwood versus LVT is hard to ignore. The savings you realize by using a vinyl product can go toward other aspects of your business, or you can take that much needed vacation! Regardless how you use the savings, it’s undeniable that LVT is a far more cost-effective way to cover a large area of flooring.

Interested in LVT installation in Roswell or Alpharetta? Contact Ridgeline Floors today and we’ll provide you a free consultation and answer any questions you may have.

Categories Hardwood

Why Is It Called Barnwood If It Doesn’t Come From a Barn?

Reclaimed hardwood is very popular right now and has been for at least a decade. This is hardwood that has been used for one purpose and is then repurposed for use as hardwood flooring in a home. It could be hardwood flooring from a different home that is resold or could be something completely different. Whatever the case may be, the implication is typically that the wood has suffered from some weathering. The weathering is usually scratches, oil stains, milling marks, burns, and holes. Wood from barns is the iconic example of reclaimed hardwood. It has been exposed to the elements for years and years. Oftentimes, it was unfinished and exposed to the elements which amplifies the amount of weathering. So, barnwood is wood from barns. It’s also a classification of wood that simply looks like barnwood.

 

New Barnwood

 Barnwood doesn’t actually have to be from a barn anymore. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be reclaimed hardwood. It could be brand new wood that has been crafted to look as if it has been weathered. If you’re looking for this kind of wood, you can choose barnwood that is handcrafted or worked by a machine. That typically means that the wood is scraped and wire-brushed.

Scraping is a technique by which a draw knife is drawn over the wood. A draw knife is a knife with a handle on either side of it. The knife is then pulled over the surface of the wood to scrape away the layer of the surface. This is an older method for smoothing the wood. It smooths the wood but leaves behind a pattern of scrape marks. It was very common when hardwood floors were still processed by hand.

Wire brushing involves running a stiff-bristled metal brush over the wood. This scratches the wood in unique patterns. When done by hand, it creates unpredictable patterns through the wood. When done by machine, the patterns tend to be a little more uniform.

 

Buying Barnwood

 The easiest way to find barnwood is simply to buy it from a hardwood flooring supplier. Homeowners no longer have to go in search of old barns or antique homes undergoing remodeling. Now, barnwood can be bought brand new.  Many suppliers offer an option for what they call barnwood. Since there is no standard definition, each manufacturer will produce something slightly different. The basic contours will be the same, though.

Categories Uncategorized

New Floors Are Being Inspired by Old Wine Cellars

It’s no secret that rustic hardwood flooring is trending all over the world. Rustic looks are trending in more than just flooring as well. Homeowners are looking for different sources of inspiration for their floors. Wine cellars are providing the sort of inspiration that many homeowners are looking for. More specifically, old European cellar floors are the inspiration.

Old European Cellars

Wine and fruit cellars have been in use for hundreds of years; they predate refrigerators and other ways of preserving food. To preserve food and wine, Europeans would dig their cellars into the ground. The ground would act as the insulation to keep things cool. They had dirt floors though. As the homeowners expanded the cellars and made them more permanent, they would often lay down wooden floors. Businesses that received lots of wine and fruit would also make permanent cellars.

Instead of buying hardwood for use as the flooring, the dirt floor would be covered with the wood from the wine and fruit crates. The wine and fruit crates would be disassembled and then laid as wooden flooring. The wood was often unfinished. Also, it was stamped with shipping information and company information. Oftentimes, this information was burned into the wood.

So, the result was a rough sawn wooden floor with burned-in stamps. The look is very distinct, and many find it very attractive. Those cellars were also popular in New England and other colder parts of the United States. The look is still fairly distinctly European.

Recreating the Look

There are a couple of ways to recreate the look of the old European cellars. The most authentic method is to find wine and fruit crates. Fruit and wine are still shipped in wooden crates in many instances; thus, you can often find them secondhand. However, some of the newer crates are softwood. You definitely want hardwood to create the best possible floor.

If you want to make the process easier and more straightforward, you can buy hardwood designed to create the cellar look. The companies supply hardwood planks that are finished and stained to look rustic. They’re also burned with shipping information to fully recreate the look. These floors look great in kitchens and in homes with rustic decor. Also, many bars are utilizing the look to mimic European pubs of the era before refrigeration. Whether you choose authentic crate wood or a recreation, you will have a unique and interesting hardwood floor.

Categories Uncategorized

How to Determine What Species of Wood Floor You Have

If you’ve just bought a new home or you’re simply curious, it can be difficult to figure out what kind of wood floor you have. There are dozens of different species of hardwood used for flooring, and many of them look similar. To find the type you have, you are going to need to some investigating. It’s advisable to start with the least-invasive process and move towards more invasive methods.

Start With an Internet Search

You should start with an internet search of the most common types of hardwood flooring. In the United States, they are going to be domestic woods such as hickory, oak, walnut, and maple. If you know when the flooring was installed, that could help you as well. Hardwood flooring goes through trends. So, there’s a good chance the floor in your home is one of the popular choices from the year it was installed.

Pull up high-resolution photos of the different types of wood and lay them on your floor. Compare the grain and focus less on the color. Focusing on the color could be misleading because many hardwood floors are stained. A white oak can easily be stained to look like cherry. The grain will be distinctive, though.

Ask For Advice

There are many experts who can identify a hardwood floor simply by looking at it. You should take high-resolution photos of your floor. Be sure to get a good representation of the color and the grain. Post those on some hardwood flooring forums or post them on social media and tag hardwood flooring experts. Many of them will be happy to identify it for you.

Don’t Forget Hardness

Hardness is a good way of ruling out different types of wood. For example, if you can dent it with your thumbnail, then you can rule out any hardwood; that’s a softwood. If your dog or cat scratches the floor with its claws, that will rule out any hardwood softer than oak.

Sand the Wood

If you absolutely have to, you can also sand the wood to get down to the bare wood. Some types of wood have similar grains, and you’ll need to see the color to know which wood they are. The color can only be determined by sanding past the finish and removing the top layer of stain. That will expose the raw wood and give you an idea of what you’re looking at.

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