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Categories Hardwood

Red versus White oak

Hardwood flooring is a popular flooring option across the country but especially in Georgia. Wood flooring is a great investment, appeals to almost all home buyers and is a timeless option. Over the last few years hardwood has grown even more popular with hardwoods being installed in all rooms of homes instead of just in common spaces. Two of the most common wood species used are White Oak and Red Oak. While the names sound like the only difference is the color there are actually lots of differences, some of which need a trained eye to see.

Many people assume red oak is a red hued wood and that white oak is a white hued wood but there is a lot more to the different species than just a different hue. Red oak does have a pinkish undertone and when unstained the pink can help you identify this species. Stains often cover these pink or red tones. If you leave red oak unstained you will see some of the red undertone under the stain, the red undertone is not overwhelmingly red and gives the wood a nice warmth. White oak is darker than red oak. The undertones of white oak are brown and yellow. 

The two species have unique grain patterns that help people identify the woods. Many experts use grain patterns to help them identify stained woods because the woods tones and colors cannot be relied on. Red oak has a strong grain pattern and is a more porous wood than white oak. The grains in red oak are very prominent while white oak has a smoother grain pattern. The grains in white oak are finer and less pronounced. White oak is a denser wood and has a higher janka scale rating. The Janka scale measures the hardness of wood- red oak is 1290 and white oak is 1360. The grain pattern in red oak does help hide scratches and dents. 

If you are installing new wood flooring into a home with no existing hardwood you can choose any species and any grade you want. When matching hardwood you will want to match both species and grade or the new floor will not blend into the old floor. Each species has its own grading rules but the main standards carry over between the different species. Different grades are determined by the characteristics of the planks including color, graining, blemishes and lengths. There are two commonly used grading systems – the NWFA grading standards and the NOFMA grading standards. 

Clear is the highest grade for wood flooring and is rarely used for solid hardwood. Clear grade does not allow for much variation in the wood and has very strict rules for blemishes, defects and marks. Clear grade is seen in manufactured hardwood products. To create a clear grade solid wood floor you will need to run so many different trees into flooring and sort through the planks. This grade is not cost effective and not commonly seen on a floor. 

Select is the highest grade that is commonly seen in flooring. Select has some color variation between sapwood and heartwood and allows for minimal character marks. Some character marks you will see in both red oak and white oak include small knots, mineral streaks and wormholes. Select grade wood gives your floor a nice consistent look without a lot of color variation. Select wood flooring has less waste than other grades and allows for longer length planks. 

First Grade is a very common option for homeowners and has more color variation that select but is still a beautiful option. First grade has more character like knots and mineral streaks and these can be larger than in select grade. 

Second grade is still a pretty common option, especially for homeowners looking for a more rustic look or who like the grain patterns. The color variations can be drastics and some of the character marks can be large and very noticeable. 

When choosing between red and white oak you are getting very comparable products in quality. The choice to use one of the other often comes down to aesthetics. White grain gives a more uniform look while red oak has beautiful grain patterns and character. No matter which you choose, both are great quality floors that will last years to come. The grade you choose is up to you and what level of character you are looking for in your floor. Ridgeline can help with the selection process and show you examples of different grades of each species. 

 

Categories Hardwood

Keeping your Floors Protected From the Christmas Tree

The holidays are fast approaching and you may have started thinking about all your decorating plans. If you have installed new hardwood flooring this year you may be thinking about how you can protect your hardwood floors from your christmas tree. Christmas trees pose a variety of threats to your hardwood including water, scratching and denting. While fake trees may not pose water damage they still can damage wood flooring. Protecting your floor from your christmas tree is easy if you take the right precautions. 

Real and fake trees are both a risk to your flooring. Hardwood is a sturdy material but Christmas trees can be very heavy and can really cause a lot of damage. Fake Christmas trees are especially heavy and the base puts a lot of tension into specific spots. Preventative measures are an important part of the process. Real trees can also leak sap which can cause further damage to your floor. The water that keeps a real tree from drying out can cause major damage to flooring if it’s allowed to leak onto the wood floors. 

Measure the Space

Before bringing your christmas tree inside start by measuring the space. Ensure the tree will fit where you are placing it both horizontally and vertically. The height may seem easy to visually measure but it’s best to take overall measurements to eliminate any adjusting inside. Mark the spot where you will place the tree to eliminate any dragging or sliding. Dragging and sliding are big causes of damage to hardwood flooring. 

Do not Slide The Tree

Avoid sliding the tree at all. Even with protective barriers under the tree base it’s best to place the tree not slide it into place. If anything has gotten under the soft protective barrier it will cause scratching. Some fake tree stands allow the centerpiece of the tree to reach the floor and can put a lot of tension in one spot. This can cause a big scratch. 

Place a Protective Barrier

Put a soft pad like a towel or bath mat between the stand and your christmas tree. If you are using a real tree you may want to consider a waterproof pan like a washer pan. These protective barriers can be hidden with a tree skirt and presents but make a huge difference in protecting your floor. Tree skirts can collect falling needles and any sap as well which makes this method extra helpful. 

Careful with Watering

If you have a real tree you will want to be extra careful with watering your tree. Real trees need water to ensure they do not get too dry but this can be a risk for your hardwood flooring. Water and wood flooring are arch enemies and spillage can cause warping and discoloring. If any water spills around the tree you need to clean it up quickly. 

Add Felt pads

Felt pads are a great option for under your christmas tree stand to add an extra layer of softness. These pads can reduce tension in a single spot and help to prevent dents and scratches. 

These easy steps can allow you to enjoy a beautiful christmas tree while still having beautiful hardwood floors. Before placing a christmas tree you will want to make sure your flooring is clean and ready. Debris under your protective mat can cause a lot of damage even though you took precautionary steps. If you happen to scratch your floor Ridgeline can help repair your wood flooring. 

 

Categories Hardwood

3 Reasons to Install New Hardwood Floors in 2022

Hardwood flooring is a great upgrade option for many homes. If you are considering upgrading your flooring in 2022 there are many good reasons to do so. Hardwood flooring is one of the most popular flooring types for many reasons, it is beautiful, versatile and renewable. Technology has come a long way in improving hardwood flooring and making it more durable with better quality topcoats. Hardwood flooring remains a widely used flooring option because of its ability to be repaired, changed and last years to come. 

Read More 3 Reasons to Install New Hardwood Floors in 2022

pets and hardwood floors
Categories Hardwood

Pets and Hardwood Floors

We all know the beauty of a hardwood floor but you may also have been told that pets and hardwood flooring don’t mix. While hardwood flooring may not be an ideal flooring for pets, but carpet, laminate, and a variety of other flooring types aren’t either, it can be a satisfactory choice as long as you take necessary precautions and care.

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Categories Hardwood

What Makes a Hardwood Floor Look Antique?

If you’re looking to remodel your existing hardwood floor or buy a new one that looks antique, there are some things you should be aware of. When you walk into a colonial or antebellum home like you tend to see here in the Atlanta area, the floor will have a certain look that can be difficult to identify. What makes the floor look the way it does and how can you replicate it?

Read More What Makes a Hardwood Floor Look Antique?

Categories Hardwood

Wide Plank Flooring: How Wide is Too Wide?

Wide plank flooring is a big trend and has been in style for a few years. A blank is any board that is wider than 3″ while boards under 3″ are referred to as strip flooring. Wide plank flooring has many different appealing qualities. It is not as common which is one of the reasons people like it but there are times when it is not the right flooring for a specific space.

Read More Wide Plank Flooring: How Wide is Too Wide?

Categories Hardwood

Homeowners Are Installing Hardwood Floor on Curved Stairs

If you have curved stairs in your home, you know how great they can look. They can provide movement and unique design opportunities for a home. However, if you have hardwood floor or want hardwood floor, you’ve probably been told that they can’t be done on hardwood flooring. You might have been told that it can be done but it will be very expensive. Either way, those are ideas from the past. Curved hardwood stair treads are very popular right now. As with every design trend, the demand has inspired many contractors to innovate new ways to meet the need.

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Wood flooring
Categories Hardwood, Laminate Floors, Tile

Hardwood, Laminate, Tile…Which surface is right for my home?

We have all been there. If you own a home, you have probably replaced a floor at one time or another. The decisions are many. Plus, in some instances, the decision could include a pretty hefty investment, both in time and money. What do you do? Which surface material is right for your project? We will talk about three of the most common choices for residential flooring in Alpharetta & Roswell. We will look at the pros and cons of each and hopefully help you decide which is right for you!

Read More Hardwood, Laminate, Tile…Which surface is right for my home?

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