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Category Archives: Hardwood

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.

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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 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 Hardwood

Should I Repair or Replace my Water Damaged Floor?

Water and hardwood flooring are not a good match. Mopping up water quickly usually helps but sometimes there are plumbing emergencies that must be dealt with. Hardwood flooring can be repaired when damaged by water but sometimes the damaged flooring will need to be replaced. Severe water damage can rarely be salvaged without expert help.

Wood is an organic material and can only resist water for a small period of time. Removing the source of water quickly is important to prevent damage. If a pipe breaks or leaks your floor may be adversely affected and damaged.

  • Signs your floor is water damaged-
  • Staining or discoloring
  • Cupping and buckling
  • Floorboards are lifting especially at the ends
  • Mold
  • Popping nails

Hardwood flooring typically has a moisture level of between 6 and 12 percent but when it is damaged it can raise to as high as 40 percent. The amount of time water is on the floor will affect how much is is damaged. The floor can then be dried to help reduce the moisture. A hardwood flooring installer should be consulted about this.

Determining if you need to replace or repair the floor depends on a few factors. The amount of time the floor was exposed to water is one of the big factors. Also the type of flooring is a factor, engineered and solid hardwood can withstand a different level of moisture. The severity of the water damage is a big factor, if the subfloor has been penetrated you will likely need to replace the floor.

Minor damage can often be repaired and a few boards replaced but in severe cases the whole floor will need to be replaced. Call a hardwood flooring expert in your area if you have any questions. They’ll be happy to help you repair or replace the affected areas.

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