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Categories Hardwood

Varied-Width Hardwood Flooring Is So Popular Right Now

In the recent past, hardwood flooring trends valued uniformity. The floor was prized if the planks were all the same size and if the grain closely matched the neighboring planks. Many people wanted their flooring to look like a seamless piece of wood. This is not at all how floors used to look, nor is it the current trend. The current trend in hardwood flooring has trended towards older styles that are often found in antique homes, even dating back to the 19th century. In those homes, as much of a tree as possible was used to make the flooring. Therefore, you would end up with flooring planks of different widths and lengths because the crafters were trying to utilize as much of the tree as possible.

Varied-Width Flooring

In the early history of the United States and especially in low-income areas, the flooring was made from trees that were sourced locally. Therefore, the crafters were limited in the resources they could use to create the floor. That meant that they had to cut planks from every part of the tree, which led to planks that were different widths and lengths. Some were heartwood and most were sapwood; there was very little consistency. Now, that style of flooring has re-emerged as a trend.

Many people are choosing varied width flooring for their homes. Some are even using varied lengths of planks. There are several benefits to this. First, the floor looks great; it mirrors the classic look of antique homes. Also, it makes it much easier to find planks and to repair the floor.

Finding Floor Planks

If you’re looking for floor planks in a specific type of wood, specific finish, and specific size, you’re going to have very few options. That will lead to you spending more on your planks or having a much more difficult time finding the wood you need. Alternately, if you have a varied width and varied length floor, you can find just about any plank of the proper species of wood to repair your floor. You won’t be looking for wood that is a specific size; therefore, you’ll have far more options.

It will also be easier to source the original planks. Many companies offer surplus wood or damaged planks for a lowered price. However, that might not be a sufficient amount of wood to cover your floor. If you’re using planks of various widths and lengths, you can source discounted wood from a different supplier to get to the needed amount of wood.

Categories Hardwood

Explaining The Hand-Scraped Wood Trend

Textured hardwoods have grown in popularity over the years. They’ve become even more popular in the past few years and are poised to remain popular as the distressed wood trend continues. Distressed wood is designed to mimic antique reclaimed wood that has been weathered over the years. Of the different types of distressed and textured hardwood floors, the hand-scraped floors are some of the most attractive. They’ve grown very prominent lately.

What Are They?

Before the invention of sandpaper and other methods of smoothing wood, hardwood was still used in flooring. To get the wood smooth, a crafter would use a draw knife. This is a knife that has a handle on each end. The crafter draws the knife towards them, scraping up a thin layer of the wood. That leaves behind a smooth section of wood. However, since the crafter cannot scrape the wood each time with the exact same length, direction, and pressure, it creates an inconsistent appearance. The wood is full of what are often called “waves” because they look like tiny ocean waves in the surface of the wood.

The floor is drawn completely smooth while being dynamic and innovative. Every plank is different from all of the planks around it. It also creates the subtle appearance of an antique floor.

The Options

There are several options for hand scraped wood. The most common choices are authentic hand-scraped wood or machined wood. The machined wood is scraped by an automated process designed to mimic the hand-scraped wood. The result is exciting and attractive, but if you look closely, you’ll see that they are somewhat uniform. Because they’re scraped by a computer, they have to work on a pattern. The pattern will eventually repeat itself. In contrast, you could choose an authentic hand-scraped wood floor that is scraped by a professional. This will be authentic to the antique process but it will take longer and cost more.

Hand-scraped wood is available in many different types of wood and many different plank styles. Typically, hand-scraped wood works best with wide planks because wide planks are also correct to the period. A dark wood will show the scraping better and make it more prominent. A lighter wood will be more subtle. If you intend to refinish the wood at some point, you’ll likely ruin the hand scraping. You’ll have to have it scraped again, which could be expensive in the future.

Categories Hardwood

Why Are Wide Planks So Popular For Hardwood Floors?

Two features common to hardwood floors in the past 50 years have started to go by the wayside; those are skinny planks and uniform-width planks. In the past, almost every hardwood floor came with planks that were all about four to six inches wide. They were all of the same width as well. That’s not the case anymore. The most popular hardwood floors being produced now are wide plank hardwood floors with varied width planks. What does that mean?

Wide Planks

Typically, any hardwood flooring plank that is over six inches in width is considered a wide plank. These planks are more reminiscent of older styles of hardwood flooring. When local hardwood was the only way to create a reliable floor, as opposed to a luxury, the carpenters would cut the planks as wide as possible. Cutting wider planks meant that less work was needed to lay the floor. They were choosing to cut planks for construction purposes instead of aesthetic purposes. Paradoxically, those choices they made are now considered aesthetically pleasing.

In addition to cutting planks as wide as possible, carpenters of the past used as much of the tree as possible. That meant that the planks were not uniform.

Varied Width Planks

When hardwood floors were sourced only from local trees, the carpenters would attempt to use every bit of the tree. That meant they would cut the widest planks they could from the trunk. Then, they would cut smaller planks from other parts of the trunk and even from some of the larger branches. If there was a bend in the branch or the trunk, the plank would have to be cut before the bend. That meant that some planks would be wider than others. Also, the planks would all be different lengths.

Once again, this was a construction and function decision, not an aesthetic one. However, it’s so iconic of antique homes and barns that it has become a preferred aesthetic. For those reasons, varied width and wide plank hardwood floors are very trendy.

In addition to the size of the planks, different parts of a tree have different shades. For example, the heartwood is likely a darker and deeper color than the sapwood. Since the carpenters were using the entire tree, they would end up with planks of different widths, colors, and lengths. Those patchwork floors are very popular now. It’s expected to remain a hot trend for years to come.

Categories Hardwood

How to Safely Move Furniture On a Hardwood Floor

There are several ways that you can damage your hardwood floor by scratching it; one of the most common ways to scratch your floor is with furniture. When you’re moving furniture, you need to make sure that you’re protecting the hardwood floor. The heavier the furniture, the more likely it is to damage your floor. Also, furniture with wooden or metal legs is likely to harm your furniture. The best option is to lift your furniture, carry it to the new spot, and then set it down. However, that doesn’t protect you from all scratches.

Furniture Pads

There are two kinds of furniture pads. The furniture pads used for moving are heavy blankets that are designed to go around the furniture and underneath it; that protects the furniture itself form nicks and scratches in the moving process. Then there are furniture pads that go underneath the bottom of your furniture. For chairs and tables with legs, you can invest in little squares or circles of soft material. Typically, these furniture pads are felt because felt is soft but resilient. It will allow you to move items around on your hardwood floor without scratching the hardwood.

As long as the furniture is not too heavy, you can simply slide it across the floor on the furniture pads. Make sure that the pads are on all of the feet.

Area Rugs

You can also keep your hardwood sfe from bigger furniture with an area rug. Many people choose to put a rug down underneath bookcases, dressers, chests, and entertainment centers. Since these often don’t have feet, small squares of felt won’t’ suffice. You need to cover the entire bottom so that they stay stable. Therefore, it’s important to make sure the area rug completely covers the bottom of the furniture. If you want to move that furniture, you’ll likely need to flip the rug upside down so that the carpeted portion is down and the rubber backing is up. Then, you can slide the furniture across the hardwood.


If your furniture has wheels, you might be able to roll it across the hardwood; however, make sure that the wheels are a soft material such as polyurethane. You shouldn’t roll anything with hard plastic or metal wheels. They’ll scratch up your hardwood as well.

If you can, yous should always use a team to lift up your items and move them to their new locations. If that’s not possible, make sure you keep a buffer between the hardwood and the floor.

Categories Hardwood

The Trend Towards Textured Hardwood Floors

Hardwood flooring has been trending towards several different types of stains recently; most specifically, dark and cool stains are growing popular. There are also trends in the texture of the flooring itself. The most common hardwood flooring is simply a sanded and polished hardwood floor. These are smooth floors without blemishes. However, other textures have grown more common. The most common types of textures are two kinds that are reminiscent of older hardwood floors.

Hand-Scraped Floors

Before sandpaper and many mechanical processes, wooden floors were smoothed by hand. To smooth a floor by hand, a crafter would use a draw knife. A draw knife has a handle on both ends. The crafter would drag the knife across the surface of the wood. The sharp knife would scraped the wood smooth. However, the crafter could not create each draw with the exact same depth, length, and direction. That means that hand-scraped wooden floors have inconsistent patterns of smoothing. Many people find those patterns very attractive because they make your floor look like a classic floor built before mechanized production.

There are also two kinds of hand-scraped wooden floors. An authentic hand-scraped wooden floor is scraped by a professional who does it by hand. The alternative is one that is scraped by a machine that is designed to mimic authentic hand scraping. The machine scraping will be more uniform and regular than authentic hand scraping but it can effectively mimic the style.

Wire Brushed Floors

A wire-brushed floor is one that is scraped with a stiff-bristled wire brush. The brush scrapes away the surface wood and exposes the growth wood underneath. That means that the wood will take on more texture than a typical glossy finish. Furthermore, a brushed wooden floor will look more like reclaimed wood. Reclaimed wood is wood that has been used for a different purpose and has weathered over time. Then, the wood is used as flooring. To mimic that weathered, antique look, you could turn to a brushed floor.

As with scraped flooring, brushed flooring can be made by hand or by a machine. A hand-brushed floor will be more authentic and less uniform. A machined floor will be more uniform and look more like a weathered floor.

Both of these types of floor are very on-trend at the moment. They help create a classic and timeless look for your floor. They also pair very well with wide planks or varied-width floors.

The post The Trend Towards Textured Hardwood Floors appeared first on hardwood marketing.

Categories Hardwood

How to Prevent Moisture Damage When Cleaning Your Hardwood Floor

A hardwood floor is fairly easy to maintain; generally, you just need to sweep it from time to time. If you allow dust and dirt to accumulate, it can begin to scratch the surface of the wood. From time to time, you’ll need to also mop the floor or clean it with a mild detergent. You’ll need to clean up different types of spills or pet urine occasionally as well. There is a danger to mopping the floor, though. The biggest threat to your floor is going to be moisture; if moisture seeps into the pores of the wood, it can cause the wood to swell, warp, or grow mildew. To prevent that, you need to be careful.

Check the Finish

The first thing you should do is sweep the floor. While you are sweeping the floor, you should look for thin spots in your floor’s finish. The floor is likely finished with polyurethane, but it could also be oil or wax finished. You need to make sure that the protective layer is thick throughout the entire floor. Typically, you can do this by running a hand over the floor to feel the polyurethane coating or simply look at the floor under the light. Even a satin or matte finish will reflect light more than bare wood.

Wring the Mop Well

If you decide to mop the floor, you want to reduce the amount of standing water as much as possible. You can do this by wringing the mop very well before you apply it to the floor. Soak the mop in the bucket, wring it until the mop head is just damp, and then mop up the floor. Also, make sure that you are not using a very acidic cleaner. Make sure it is a mild cleaner designed for hardwood flooring. That will protect the coating on the floor.

Check For Cracks

You need to also check for anywhere that moisture can get under the hardwood planks. The planks, if they are solid planks, are set into a subfloor. That subfloor can trap moisture, leading to floor damage. The most common places for cracks are between different planks or where the plank meets the wall. Make sure that they have not warped or changed to the point that they no longer fit.

Use a Cleaner

If you want to reduce the amount of water on your floor as much as possible, you can use a cleaner instead of mopping. That will keep the amount of water to an absolute minimum.

The post How to Prevent Moisture Damage When Cleaning Your Hardwood Floor appeared first on hardwood marketing.

Categories Uncategorized

The Best Type of Hardwood Floor for the Kitchen

Hardwood flooring is generally considered to be completely inappropriate for the kitchen. However, that’s not actually the case. Wood itself is a fairly porous and absorbent material, which means that you need to be careful about moisture and heat in the kitchen. That does not mean that it can’t be done, though. In fact, hardwood floor that is properly maintained and treated can be as safe and effective as linoleum in the kitchen. You need to make sure you take a few steps and consider the best type of hardwood for your kitchen though.

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood is your best bet for the kitchen. One of the concerns about eh kitchen is the heat and humidity. The humidity can be absorbed by the planks of wood. The planks of wood will then start to cup, which is when the edges of the wood curve upwards. This is a problem with solid plank hardwoods, especially when they’re in a kitchen or basement. Engineered hardwood is made with layers of glued plies; the glue and the several layers help to keep that from happening. So, if you’re looking for the right hardwood flooring for your kitchen, consider engineered hardwood.

Engineered hardwood is also a great choice because they’re usually finished in the factor. The finish is applied with a machine. The finish on engineered hardwood is harder and more durable than the finish that is applied once it has been installed. That means engineered hardwood that is prefinished in the factory will be more durable and more waterproof.

Skinny Planks

To avoid cupping, you should also avoid wide plank hardwood. Wide plank hardwood flooring is a popular trend these days, but it is more susceptible to cupping. If you’re committed to wide plank flooring in the kitchen, it’s all the more important that you choose engineered hardwood. If you opt for skinny planks, you can likely choose solid hardwood instead of engineered wood.


You should also make sure to wax or polish your kitchen floor frequently. Polish is generally a urethane-based liquid that forms an extra layer of protection on the surface of your floor. That will prevent cupping, water absorption, and warping. You will likely need to apply the polish every three months for a solid plank hardwood and every six months for a prefinished engineered hardwood.

You can have hardwood in your kitchen. You just need to make sure you pick the right hardwood and maintain it properly.

Categories Hardwood

How to Repair Pet Scratches on Hardwood

It might not seem like it, but your pet’s claws might actually be harder than your wood flooring. That means that long pet claws can scratch your hardwood floor. If you have a large dog, she could actually create large gouges in the wood floor. There are certain ways to prevent that from happening. The simplest way to prevent that from happening is by choosing a very hard wood for your flooring. An exotic wood high on the janka hardness scale likely won’t scratch or dent when your pet walks on it. However, if you don’t have that option, you’ll need to keep your polyurethane finish in good shape to protect your floor. Finally, if the floor is scratched anyway, you still have options.

Sand and Refinish

If you want to actually repair the scratches, you’ll likely need to sand and refinish the floor in spots. Sand away the polyurethane and then sand down to the wood. Use a medium grit sandpaper to get through the polyurethane. Use a fine grit sandpaper to smooth out the wood. Clean up the sawdust with a damp cloth. Allow it to dry. Then, you’ll be able to apply polyurethane to fix the part you sanded.

If your flooring is stained, you’ll need to stain the sanded portion to match the other parts. It’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to match the color of the rest of the floor.

Wood Putty

In some cases, you might be able to use wood putty to repair the scratches. If the gouges are very deep, you’ll need to sand away teh polyurethane and then apply a wood filler. Sand it again. Then you can stain and refinish hardwood floors.

Categories Hardwood, Hardwood Refinshes

Do You Want Water-Based or Oil-Based Polyurethane For Your Hardwood Floors?

There are three typical types of hardwood flooring finish. There is shellac, polyurethane, and varnish. Shellac has fallen out of favor in many circles. There is a lively debate about polyurethane and varnish; however, the concern of this article is polyurethane. Polyurethane is the most common type of finish. It is essentially a liquid plastic that is either wholly synthetic or in a mixture with resin. It’s applied in a couple of coats and allowed to dry. Once it dries, it essentially creates a clear plastic cover over your floors. It is scratch-resistant, waterproof, and easy to clean. However, you still have another choice to make after you choose polyurethane. Do you want water-based or oil-based?

How Many Coats?

If you are having a professional touch up a small part of your hardwood flooring or you’re refinishing a room that is not often used, the number of coats isn’t as important. However, if you’re having the floors refinished in a busy part of the house, the number of coats is important. A water-based polyurethane goes on clear and dries enough to be coated again in about two hours. However, it requires several coats.

An oil-based polyurethane goes on with a slight amber tinge. It takes about six hours or more before another coat can be applied. However, far fewer coats are needed. Strictly based on the number of coats and the speed with which they can be applied, water-based polyurethane is the easier solution.

Which Looks Better?

As stated earlier, water-based polyurethane goes on clear, and oil-based polyurethane goes on with a slight amber tint. If you want to preserve your flooring exactly as it appears, then water-based is the best option. It goes on clear but will provide a little bit of depth to the color by reflecting the light.

On the other hand, certain types of wood benefit greatly from the slight amber hue of an oil-based polyurethane. The amber complements the natural tones of wood very well. Based on appearance, oil-based polyurethane is probably the winner.

What About Costs?

Water-based polyurethane generally costs about twice as much as oil-based. Considering that you’ll need to apply at least four coats of water-based poly compared to about two for oil-based, that means that it could actually cost more than double to use water-based.


In conclusion, water-based polyurethane goes on crystal clear, has low odor, and dries very quickly. Oil-based polyurethane gives a warm glow to wood, takes longer to dry, and has a strong odor. Water-based finishes also cost more. You should ask a professional and request samples of the two finishes applied to hardwood flooring.

Categories Uncategorized

he Costs Associated With Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring is loved by many homeowners, even though it is not always the least expensive option. Hardwood adds warmth and color to your home; it’s also very durable and versatile. A well-maintained hardwood floor should last you for a lifetime. Therefore, any price considerations should be considered in the context of the floor lasting for decades. Here are the price considerations.

Cost of the Hardwood Flooring

The hardwood flooring itself will be your first expense. There are about three tiers of flooring. Softwoods are the most affordable but also the most vulnerable to damage and moisture. If you’re looking for hardwood, you’ll start in the middle of the price range. For between about $5 and $10 per square foot, you can get teak, cherry, oak and similar woods. These are very versatile woods that can provide you with a quality floor. If you’re looking for something more rare and high end, you’ll probably pay closer to $8 to $14 per square foot. Fortunately, the installation costs don’t change for different types of hardwoods.

Installation Costs

Hardwood flooring installation will generally cost you about $5 to $10 per square foot. There are some specialists who can do it for less, and some that will provide more extensive services at higher costs. For example, you might be charged extra for removing the furniture from your home. Furthermore, you could incur extra costs associated with building a new subfloor, replacing existing joists, or disposing of your old flooring.

If you want to keep the installation costs as low as possible, you should consider moving the furniture yourself. Also, if you are capable, you should do some of the removal yourself. That will speed up the process as well as save you some money.

Engineered Hardwood Costs

The costs previously stated are typically those for solid hardwood and solid hardwood installation. The prices for engineered hardwood will fluctuate more than solid hardwood. Typically, it is less expensive to buy engineered hardwood. However, there is also more fluctuation in installation costs. Depending on the type of engineered product you choose, installing could be more or less than what it could cost to install solid hardwood.

The best way to know for sure is to measure your flooring and then talk with a specialist. The expert will be able to advise you on different amounts of money for different products and services. An inspection might also be necessary to determine the state of your subfloor.

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