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Category Archives: Hardwood

Categories Hardwood

What Option is Best for Basement Flooring?

Basements are notorious for having problems with moisture, including occasional floods, particularly in rainy and snowy climates. These damp conditions can make certain flooring options less suitable and eliminate some hard surface options entirely. While carpet is a cost-effective choice for basement flooring, it tends to have a shorter lifespan and doesn’t hold up well in the event of a flood compared to many hard surface options. On the other hand, hard surface flooring such as tile, luxury vinyl plank (LVP), and certain laminates are highly resistant to moisture and flooding problems. Additionally, mold is a major concern with wet flooring, but using moisture-resistant flooring can help prevent mold issues.

When selecting flooring for your basement, it’s important to consider the intended purpose of the space. Whether you plan to use it for storage, as a hangout area, or any other function, your choice of flooring can greatly impact its functionality and appearance. Epoxy coatings are excellent options for storage spaces and even bar areas. They are easy to maintain but lack the comfort underfoot that other flooring options provide, as they do not have any cushioning or padding.

For a more polished and finished look in your basement, there are various alternatives that work well. Luxury vinyl, tiles, and even certain hardwood options can all be suitable choices. These flooring options offer a range of styles and aesthetics to complement your basement, while still providing durability and functionality.

Luxury vinyl flooring is indeed an excellent option for basements, as it offers versatility and durability for various uses. Whether you plan to incorporate a wet bar, bathroom, laundry room, or other functional areas in your basement, luxury vinyl can meet your needs. It is designed to resist spills and staining, making it well-suited to withstand the typical challenges encountered in basements.

Luxury vinyl flooring also provides a wide range of style options to suit your preferences. It can convincingly mimic the appearance of tile, stone, or hardwood, allowing you to achieve the desired aesthetic for your basement. The planks can feature distressing, textured surfaces, and gray tones, providing additional design possibilities. Regardless of the specific look you desire, luxury vinyl flooring offers numerous options to choose from.

In terms of installation, luxury vinyl can be either clicked together or glued down. This flexibility allows for different installation methods depending on your preference and the requirements of your basement.

Luxury vinyl flooring provides exceptional durability while offering the aesthetic appeal of hardwood flooring. Thanks to advancements in technology, texture can be added to luxury vinyl, enhancing both its visual appearance and tactile experience. Certain options even feature hand-scraped textures that closely resemble solid hardwood.

One advantage of vinyl plank flooring is its ease of repair compared to hardwood or tile. If a specific area of the flooring gets damaged, it can be more straightforward to replace or repair the affected section without needing to replace the entire floor. This feature adds convenience and cost-effectiveness to maintenance and repairs.

Many customers are pleasantly surprised by the realistic look and feel of luxury vinyl products available on the market today. The improved design and manufacturing techniques have allowed luxury vinyl to closely mimic the appearance and texture of natural hardwood, creating a high-quality flooring option that meets both aesthetic and functional requirements.

Tile flooring offers a wide range of styles and colors, allowing homeowners to find the perfect fit for their needs and preferences. One of the key advantages of tile is its minimal cleaning and maintenance requirements, making it a highly practical flooring option. However, it’s worth noting that tile can feel cold on the feet, especially in basements where temperatures tend to be cooler than the rest of the house.

Despite the potential coldness, tile can contribute to creating a unique and stylish look, catering to various design styles. It offers versatility in achieving the desired aesthetic for your basement. Additionally, if you wish to enhance the comfort of your tile flooring, radiant heat can be installed, making the basement feel more inviting by providing warmth from below.

It’s important to mention that tile installation can be challenging, particularly on concrete floors commonly found in basements. It is recommended to rely on the expertise of professionals to ensure proper installation and avoid potential issues. Their knowledge and experience will help achieve the desired results while minimizing the risk of complications.

Solid hardwood flooring poses challenges in basements due to moisture issues. It is crucial to consult professional installers who can provide recommendations and assess whether your basement is suitable for solid hardwood installation. Moisture is a significant factor to consider, as high levels of ground moisture and humidity can quickly lead to cupping or buckling of solid hardwood. Moisture mitigation measures such as the use of poly, plywood, or vapor barriers are necessary to protect the hardwood from moisture intrusion. Roll-on vapor barriers are particularly effective in safeguarding the hardwood flooring.

An excellent alternative to solid hardwood in basement settings is engineered hardwood flooring. Engineered hardwood is more adaptable and forgiving in these environments. It can be installed directly on cement slabs, providing greater flexibility. Engineered hardwood offers multiple installation options, including glue-down, click-together, or floating installation methods. With a wide variety of widths, colors, thicknesses, and styles available, engineered hardwood can provide the desired look and feel of hardwood flooring while being more stable and resistant to moisture-related issues in basements.

Laminate flooring is a highly suitable option for basements, with many manufacturers now offering water-resistant variants. Laminate is often a cost-effective flooring choice that provides excellent value. It is designed to replicate the appearance of different hardwood species and comes in a wide range of styles and looks. Whatever hardwood aesthetic you desire, there is likely a laminate option that will meet your needs.

When selecting a flooring option for your basement, it’s important to consider your specific requirements and the moisture levels present. Each flooring type has its own advantages and considerations, and choosing the right one depends on factors such as budget, style preference, and the environment in your basement.

Categories Hardwood

All about RIFT AND QUARTER Wood Flooring

Are you curious about rift and quartered flooring? There are various ways to cut wood flooring, and the milling method used can affect both the appearance and durability of the flooring. In addition to the plain sawn method, rift and quartered are also popular methods of cutting wood from a log to create unique and beautiful flooring. The boards produced from rift and quartered cuts offer distinct advantages. 

Understanding the growth patterns of trees is helpful in comprehending how these cuts work and how they impact the look of the boards, which is often determined by the way the growth rings are cut.

Rift Sawn Wood Flooring

Rift sawn wood flooring is cut to create a straight, vertical grain pattern in each plank. The angle of the cut is typically between 30 and 60°, which can yield different patterns and a quarter sawn board. The resulting grain pattern is narrow, uniform, and consistent. There are several advantages to using rift sawn boards.

First, rift sawn wood is highly durable, and the vertical grain pattern means the wood will expand and contract less. This makes it a good choice for wider planks, which can be more unstable than narrower ones.

Second, rift sawn boards are cut in such a way as to avoid the medullary rays, which can impact durability. These rays affect how moisture and other elements penetrate the wood, and avoiding them can help prevent warping and splitting.

Finally, if you’re looking for a uniform grain pattern, rift sawn flooring is an excellent option. The grain pattern is modern and streamlined, making it a popular choice for contemporary homes.

Quarter Sawn Wood Flooring

Quarter sawn wood flooring is produced by cutting the wood at a 90° angle through the growth rings, creating a distinctive grain pattern that is both aesthetically pleasing and durable. The cut of a quarter sawn board allows it to expand and contract in the thickness of the plank, rather than in width, which helps to prevent seasonal gapping and cupping.

The beauty of quarter sawn wood flooring is in its unique grain pattern. The medullary rays, which are the tree’s nutrient system that runs from the core outward, create a ribbon-like pattern that is visible only in quarter sawn cuts. While these patterns may occasionally appear in other cuts, they are guaranteed to be present in a quarter sawn floor.

In addition to its durability and beauty, quarter sawn wood flooring also has a high resistance to moisture and warping. This is because the medullary rays run perpendicular to the face of the board, which makes it less likely to warp or twist when exposed to moisture or changes in temperature.

Another advantage of quarter sawn flooring is that it is more stable and less prone to cupping or crowning. This is because quarter sawn boards have a more uniform grain pattern and a straighter grain, which helps to distribute stress and tension evenly throughout the board.

While quarter sawn flooring can be more expensive than other cuts, it is often worth the investment for those seeking a high-quality, unique, and durable flooring option. With proper care and maintenance, quarter sawn wood flooring can last for many years and add value and beauty to a home or space.

Rift and Quartered Flooring

Rift and quartered flooring are often sold together rather than as distinct options. This is because these cuts are very similar and it would be labor-intensive to remove one from a batch of freshly milled flooring. Typically, these cuts come from the same log, so separating them would require a manual process that would be time-consuming and costly. Additionally, offering these cuts as separate options would result in significant price increases due to the reduced yield in rift and quartered compared to plain sawn. Creating a rift or quartered only floor would also generate significant waste. By mixing these two methods of milling, the price point can remain affordable, and waste can be minimized.

Rift and quarter sawn wood flooring are two options that create beautiful green patterns and have a variety of advantages. If you’re specifically interested in the unique beauty of quarter sawn flooring, you may still find that a rift and quartered floor meets your needs. Both cuts offer durability and stability, as well as the distinct grain patterns that can add both function and beauty to any floor. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of your project.

Categories Hardwood

WOOD VS. VINYL

When deciding on flooring options for your home, there are many choices to consider. Two commonly chosen flooring options are wood and luxury vinyl flooring. While both have advantages and disadvantages, understanding the details of these types of flooring can help homeowners make an informed decision when selecting their new flooring.

Wood Floors

Wood floors have been a popular flooring choice for centuries because of their durability and beauty. There are several different types of wood flooring available, including solid unfinished, solid prefinished, and engineered. In addition to the types of wood flooring, there are also various styles and species to choose from.

Solid hardwood flooring is made up of a single plank of wood that is cut to a thickness of ¾”. This material is available in various widths and species. However, if the plank width is too wide, the hardwood can become unstable. Nonetheless, most installers have developed methods to install wide plank flooring to prevent excessive shrinkage due to humidity fluctuations. Many people believe that hardwood flooring is an expensive option, but when you consider all the costs, it can be an economical and eco-friendly choice. The species of wood and finishing process affect the price. Solid hardwood is a classic option that provides a long-lasting and beautiful flooring choice.

Engineered hardwood flooring is a popular option that consists of multiple layers, with a wood veneer on the top. The thickness of the product is an important factor to consider, as it affects the quality and cost of the flooring. The top layer is made of the actual wood species, while the core can be made of a variety of materials such as engineered plywood, OSB, or HDF. The thickness and width of the plank can vary depending on the product, with some options including a balancing layer to prevent seasonal movement and create stability. Many engineered flooring products offer wide planks up to nine or 12 inches.

Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Luxury vinyl flooring, also known as LVT (luxury vinyl tile) or LVP (luxury vinyl plank), is a type of flooring that can mimic the look of wood or tile. It is composed of several layers including vinyl layers, a cork layer (usually made of PVC or stone composite), and a film layer that provides the desired visual appearance. This film layer can be designed to look like ceramic tile, natural wood, or any other desired pattern.

One of the main benefits of luxury vinyl flooring is its exceptional durability. It is resistant to stains, dents, and scratches, making it a great choice for high-traffic areas. Additionally, it is water-resistant, which makes it an excellent flooring option for bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.

Vinyl flooring is a versatile option that comes in different profiles and can be installed using a click-locking system. The flooring often comes with an attached underlayment, making it easy to install. As long as the surface is level, it’s possible to install vinyl flooring without having to remove the previous flooring.

Differences between LVP and Wood floors

There are various factors that can influence a homeowner’s choice between luxury vinyl and wood flooring, and one of the key differences is appearance. The look of luxury vinyl and wood flooring can be quite different, and certain design styles may lend themselves better to one or the other. Wood flooring has a warm and natural appearance that can add a sense of comfort to a home, while luxury vinyl is highly designed and can fit well with certain aesthetics, but may feel less authentic or natural due to not being a natural material. However, the authenticity of real wood flooring is unmatched by other flooring types.

Durability is another factor that can sway a homeowner’s decision. The level of wear resistance is important, and wood floors are susceptible to damage such as staining, denting, and scratching. While hardwood can be restored through refinishing, it is not as resilient as luxury vinyl flooring. On the other hand, luxury vinyl is excellent at resisting scratches, dents, and stains, but it cannot be resurfaced in the same way that hardwood can.

When it comes to choosing flooring, water resistance, cost, maintenance, and installation method are important factors to consider. Wood flooring is not water-resistant and may not be suitable for high-moisture rooms like the bathroom or laundry room. On the other hand, luxury vinyl is water-resistant and works well in wet areas. In terms of cost, luxury vinyl is generally less expensive to produce and can be replicated easily. However, while wood flooring may have a higher upfront cost, it can be more economical in the long run due to its longevity. Maintenance is also a key consideration, as wood flooring can be refinished but may require more upkeep than luxury vinyl. When it comes to installation, both luxury vinyl and hardwood can be installed as floating floors, but wood flooring can also be nailed or glued down. Ultimately, homeowners should consider their specific needs and preferences to determine which flooring option is right for them.

Maintaining hardwood flooring requires regular sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping. Over time, it may also require refinishing, typically every 10 to 15 years. On the other hand, luxury vinyl flooring does not require refinishing, but it still needs to be cleaned regularly by sweeping and mopping.

When choosing between these two flooring options, it’s also important to consider their environmental impact. Hardwood is a natural material and many mills offer sustainable harvesting practices to ensure forests are managed responsibly. Additionally, most of the log is utilized to prevent waste. In contrast, luxury vinyl is synthetic and does not biodegrade. For environmentally conscious homeowners, this may make luxury vinyl flooring a less appealing option.

Selecting the right type of flooring can be a difficult decision, as personal preferences and unique needs are the determining factors. Often, people have a natural inclination towards one type of flooring over another, which can make the process easier. However, both types of flooring have their own advantages and disadvantages, making it challenging to make a final decision. To find the best option, it is important to identify the flooring that meets your requirements and fits your desired look. While there is no such thing as a perfect flooring, there are options available that cater to everyone’s needs.

 

Categories Hardwood

Rugs & Hardwood Floors

To protect your hardwood floors, it’s a good idea to place rugs in high-traffic areas, but you must choose the right rug to avoid causing damage. Hardwood floors are a valuable investment that can be damaged by scratches, water, and sunlight. Wool rugs are an excellent option for durability, and natural fiber rugs such as jute, bamboo, sea grass, and coir are also great choices for protecting your floors. Hide and leather rugs can add texture to your space, but they are best suited for smaller areas. Silk rugs are delicate and require extra care, while cotton rugs are eco-friendly but prone to fading and staining. Choosing the right underlayment is also important, as certain types can scratch or discolor the surface. Rug pads, stain protectants, and rug grippers are good options to keep your rug in place without damaging the hardwood. Avoid using adhesive and rug tape, which can harm your floors.

Rugs offer many benefits for a home, such as protecting floors from heavy furniture, providing cushioning, and reducing noise. They can also help insulate colder rooms and add warmth. However, it’s crucial to avoid using rubber rug pads, which can dull the finish of your hardwood floors over time, and PVC pads, which can also be damaging.

When selecting a rug, it’s important to consider factors such as the material, texture, and size. You’ll want to choose a rug that complements your decor and provides adequate protection for your floors. Additionally, make sure to clean your rug regularly and follow the manufacturer’s care instructions to prevent any damage.

In summary, adding rugs to your hardwood floors is a great way to protect your investment and add style to your home. By choosing the right rug and underlayment, you can enjoy the benefits of a beautiful, functional space for years to come.

It’s also important to note that different areas of your home may require different types of rugs. For example, high-traffic areas like entryways and hallways may benefit from durable, easy-to-clean rugs like wool or natural fiber rugs. On the other hand, low-traffic areas like bedrooms may be better suited for softer, more delicate rugs like hide or silk.

In addition to protecting your floors, rugs can also be used to create a focal point in a room or tie together different design elements. You can use rugs to add color, texture, and pattern to your space, and they can be easily swapped out to update the look of a room.

When it comes to placement, consider the size and shape of your rug in relation to the furniture in the room. A rug that is too small or too large can make a space feel unbalanced or cramped. In general, it’s best to choose a rug that allows furniture to sit partially on it, such as a rug that extends at least 18 inches beyond the edges of a sofa or armchair.

In conclusion, adding a rug to your hardwood floors can be a great way to protect them and add style to your home. By choosing the right rug and underlayment, and considering factors like material, texture, and size, you can enjoy a beautiful, functional space for years to come.

Categories Hardwood

A Guide to Choosing the Best Hardwood

Wood flooring is a great option for a variety of reasons. Wood flooring is beautiful, goes well with everything and can fit any style home. Wood flooring comes in a variety of types including laminate, reclaimed, solid, prefinished and engineered. Wood flooring adds warmth to the house and the natural texture creates an inviting feeling. Faux and real wood flooring both create a warm inviting feel but the choice between the two often depends on the homeowners lifestyle and preferences. 

Basics on Solid Wood

Solid wood flooring comes in a wide variety and offers so many more options than most flooring types. Some of the most common species for hardwood include maple and oak but there are also options like pine, fir, ipe and other exotics. The unique characteristic and look of each species is part of the appeal of solid wood flooring and allows you to choose a species that meets your personal preferences. Looking at different species before choosing one for your home allows you to determine what option you like for your home. Solid hardwood flooring is ¾ inch thick while some engineered products are thinner. The thickness of the solid wood is what gives it the ability to be resurfaced or refinished. Solid wood is a great option for homeowners because it can be repaired and refinished. Refinishing allows the hardwood to come back to its original sheen and flatness, this is a unique feature of solid hardwood and makes a huge impact in the lifetime cost of hardwood floors. Different species of hardwood have different hardness levels or janka scores. Solid hardwood is not a DIY project and requires speciality equipment and skills. 

Basics on Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood is a manufacturer product that includes three or four layers of wood glued together to create a single plank. The flooring includes a real wood veneer on the top layer that can be stained and finished to your specifications. Engineered wood veneers can be thick enough to refinish but not always. Many engineered wood floors can be buffed which allows you to add a new coat of finish which covers up some wear, damage and scuffs. The installation method for engineered hardwood can be DIY friendly with a click and lock system while other options have a tongue and groove installation which needs glue and nails for installation. 

Engineered hardwood is great for any part of the house including kitchens, bedrooms and living spaces. Engineered hardwood can better resist warping and works better in basements and bathrooms than solid hardwood. The increased stability that comes with engineered hardwood is one reason homeowners lean towards engineered hardwood over solid hardwood. Engineered flooring looks more realistic because of the solid wood veneer and many homeowners prefer the look over laminate. 

Oak 

Oak is a classic option for hardwood flooring. Oak has been popular for many years and comes in a few varieties which allows you to find a color that meets your design needs. Red and White oak are both popular flooring options that yield different looks. Red oak has a red undertone while white oak has more of a green or yellow undertone. Oak flooring stains well allowing you to change the hue to whatever option meets your design needs. The grain patterns of red and white oak are similar and offer a long straight grain. Based on the grading of oak you may find more color variations.

Brazilian Cherry

Brazilian cherry is one of the most common exotic flooring options. Brazilian cherry is a classic beautiful option that is warm and elegant. Brazilian cherry  hardwood is dense and has a great janka rating. The color palette of brazilian cherry changes over time and it will warm up overtime. 

Walnut

Walnut is another popular choice for hardwood floors but it is not for everyone. Walnut is a soft flooring option and isn’t ideal for homes with pets and children. The deep rich hues of walnut is what draws so many people to this option.  American walnut flooring is soft but Brazilian walnut flooring is hard and works great for homes with pets and children. 

In the end choosing the right hardwood product for your home is based on preference and needs. The right hardwood flooring material for you isn’t always the right choice for your neighbor. Hardwood is a classic beautiful option that adds value to your home. The durability and renewability of hardwood flooring makes it a great option for most homeowners. Ridgeline can help you with species research as well as grading and other specifics. Ridgeline would love to discuss your flooring project, call today for a free in-home estimate.

Categories Hardwood

What you need to know about hardwood installation

Solid hardwood is a great investment in yours\ home and a timeless flooring choice. Hardwood is one of the most classic flooring options and can add a level of elegance in class to any space. There are things to know about hardwood before your flooring is installed and we will cover many of those today. Hardwood is suitable for almost any space and can increase the value and enjoyment of your home.

The cost associated with hardwood flooring ranges greatly based on the species, installer, and even the time of year. The size of the job will also affect the cost. Talk with your installer about the material you’re getting before the project begins. Ask about the species, width, and thickness of the material. Make sure when you get bids that you compare like materials, If a quote comes in much lower than the other bids you may want to discuss what material is being used for that bid to ensure you are comparing apples to apples. Solid three-quarter inch thick hardwood is the standard in the industry. Installation methods can also vary by installers and should be discussed to ensure you are getting a high quality installation. Gluing, nailing, or floating floors are all options, but the manufacturer’s recommendations should be followed.

 

  1. Consider what rooms you are installing flooring it. While hardwood can go in most rooms. It is not ideal in rooms that are subjected to increased moisture levels. Kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms are not ideal places for hardwood flooring because of the moisture. This does not mean you cannot have hardwood in these rooms, but it needs to be cared for more intently. Living room, dining room, and bedrooms are all ideal for wood flooring.
  2. Consider the options for installation methods. The method of insulation is impacted by the type of space, type of material, and other present factors. engineered. Hardwood may need glue or be installed as a floating floor. Other engineered products can be nailed or staple down, the installation methods are often dictated by manufacturer guidelines. Floating floors are not as common, but can be utilized in proper settings. Three-quarter inch hardwood flooring often is installed with nails or staples, but glue assist may be necessary based on the subfloor or width of the plank. All of these methods of insulation are accepted and yield great results. The method utilized is dependent on the material used.
  3. When considering a DIY project, there are a lot of factors that need to be considered. The method of installation, tools, required, and material being used are all things to consider before taking on a DIY project. The cost of the material plus installation can feel high, but when you factor in installation materials, time and equipment rentals, a professional may be the more cost-effective option. Installing flooring may seem DIY friendly but there are many factors to consider. Step-by-step instructions often do not include instructions for cutting around design features in the home, like fireplaces, stairwells, moldings. Additionally, installing flooring is hard on the knees and back and not an ideal DIY project for most people.
  4. Subfloor preparation includes removal of old flooring preparation of any existing subfloor. The removal of old flooring ranges in difficulty from carpet to tile. Removing old flooring is a laborious project and requires a dumpster or a dump trailer to haul away the debris. The subfloor should be cleaned before the new flooring. Humidity levels should be tested to ensure the wood will not be damaged by the moisture in the subfloor. If you were laying new flooring underlayment should be put down first. 
  5. Allow time for acclamation. Hardwood flooring needs to adjust to the moisture levels in the home. The humidity and temperature of the home will balance the words to the house overtime. This can take a few days and many organizations recommend a week of acclamation. The acclamation process is not something to skip. Acclamation can impact the quality of the installation of the flooring.
  6. Always follow manufacturer recommendations. When installing an engineered or prefinished flooring, the recommendations in the box should be taken seriously. If you are installing a three-quarter inch solid you should follow NWFA guidelines. These guidelines and manufacturer installation requirements are well tested to ensure a quality installation that will last many years using the right materials, like nails and glue, protect the floor from movement and create the most ideal installation scenario. Manufacturer guidelines should also be followed for finishes and stains. These materials are often sold only to professionals because of the risk when using them and the skill level needed to create a high-quality finished product
  7. Maintaining newly installed hardwood is easier than you may imagine. The floors should be cleaned regularly to protect them from scratches and dents. Vacuum or sweep the floors daily, spot clean and mop weekly. Never wet mop wood flooring but instead use a microfiber mop and spray bottle to clean the floors. Protect the floor from scratching by installing soft pads under chairs, adding rugs to high traffic areas and doorways and removing your shoes before entering your home. 

Hardwood floors are a great investment in your home and a great way to add class and elegance to any room. If you are ready to discuss your hardwood flooring project Ridgeline would love to work with you. Ridgeline can assist with a variety of different materials including engineered hardwood flooring, prefinished hardwood flooring and solid hardwood floors. We would love to meet with you to discuss your hardwood flooring project today, call for a free in-home consultation. 

 

Categories Hardwood

Cleaning Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring not only looks great, it’s also easy to clean and maintain. The ability to clean and care for hardwood in just a few steps is part of why it’s such an appealing flooring option for many homeowners. Hardwood needs to be dry mopped or vacuumed regularly but beyond that there isn’t much care needed. Mopping is only necessary occasionally and many homeowners find that they can spot clean their floors. 

 Cleaning Methods

Cleaning your floors with these methods can protect your floor from damage and keep your floors looking good for years to come. We recommend dry mopping or vacuuming your floors regularly. A microfiber dry mop or a vacuum without a beater bar work great. When choosing a cleaning product for mopping you will want to read the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning products. Never use any oil soap cleaners, waxes or cleaning solutions with vinegar, these cleaning materials can cause the floor to become slippery or damage the finishes.

Spot Cleaning

Spot cleaning is another great method for keeping your hardwood floors looking good. Wiping up liquid spills immediately is good for the health of your hardwood flooring but also helps them look better, water spots cna make your flooring look dirty or clouded. Spots can be cleaned up with a soft cloth and hardwood cleaning solution. Rubbing the spot that is dirty with the cloth in a gentle manner is best for removing dirty, grease and other surface stains. Spots like chewing gum and wax can be harder to remove but some people find that ice helps to break the bond between the spot and the floor. 

Maintenance tips

Maintaining your hardwood flooring is much more than just cleaning. Protecting your hardwood from damage is one of the most important parts of hardwood maintenance. Rugs are a great barrier from damage and can be utilized in high traffic areas like children’s play areas, hallways and entryways. It’s recommended that you move rugs periodically to prevent sun bleaching. Doormats are vital to eliminating dirt and debris in the home which can wreck floors. Furniture is a big cause of damage and protective pads should be out on chair legs, table legs and other furniture to prevent damage. Trimming pets nails is another great way to keep your floors looking great. High heels are also a big cause of damage to hardwood flooring.  Finally, cleaning up debris and dirt on a regular basis is a great way to protect your floors from damage. 

What to Avoid

Steam mops, harsh cleaners and wet mopping are all things to avoid. Steam mops can damage the flooring by injecting too much moisture into the wood. While it may seem like the steam could not penetrate the flooring finish it can make its way through the finish and into the boards causing discoloration and other issues. Harsh cleaners can cause the finish to dull and wear prematurely. Harsh cleaners may be used occasionally but only under expert supervision and often this is done when preparing for a recoat which will mend any damage to the finish. Wet mopping is another moisture issue and can actually cause the floor to cup and warp. Dry mops are easy to use and yield great results. Most manufacturers have specific instructions about this kind of care and can advise you on what tools are safe for their flooring and what to avoid. 

Cleaning and caring for hardwood takes little more effort than carpet but is a great investment in your home and looks beautiful for years to come. Many homeowners are surprised to find that they do not need to wax or buff their floors regularly to maintain their beauty. Hardwood floors have a bad rap for being hard to maintain but as flooring finishes and technology improved this became less of a reality. 

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. 

 

hardwood floor installation
Categories Hardwood

3 Reasons to Install New Hardwood Floors in 2022

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

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