Friday, May 3, 2013

If this isn't true, I don't know what is. Here is some good advise from a fellow contractor. Click on the following article for more information.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Ask The Experts: Engineered Hardwood Flooring vs. Solid Hardwood

There are lots of questions about the different kinds of hardwood flooring that are on the market.  Which is which, what makes them different, and which is best for your house.
Jim answers a few of these questions in our first Ask The Experts post.

There are many kinds of wood flooring materials on the market.  What are the main differences between an engineered product and a solid one?  Aren't they both "hardwood flooring"?  

A solid hardwood floor product refers to a solid plank of wood from a particular species.
An engineered hardwood floor product refers to one in which the top layer, or wear layer, as it’s called is the wood of the desired species and below that are three (3) or more layers of staggered plywood pressed together to form the planks.
In contrast to these two solid products, a laminate is actually a picture of the desired type of wood imposed onto a board.  This is what give a laminate it’s uniformity, whereas solid products are more varied in grain and color, as a tree in nature would be.

I’ve heard that hardwood flooring cannot go in all homes.  Is either engineered hardwood flooring or solid hardwood flooring more sensitive to environmental conditions?

Definitely.  Wood floors expand and contract over the course of the year.  Solid flooring is extremely sensitive to the moisture levels of the subfloor. Because it is a totally natural product, it absorbs moisture from the environment and needs time to acclimate.  This process can take up to six (6) months sometimes!  Concrete subfloors hold a lot of moisture and this needs to be properly evaluated by an expert to ensure appropriate levels.  A solid plank is also not truly straight, requiring it to be nailed down.  As you can imagine, this is VERY difficult to do on a concrete subfloor.  An engineered product on the other hand, is much more stable because the amount of “natural” wood included is less, usually pre-acclimated, is truly straight and capable of being glued down onto a concrete subfloor.
Putting a solid product over concrete IS possible, but costly.  Not only does additional work needs to be done to the subfloor to accommodate this, the type of plank used is shorter making the job more labor intensive.  Other factors need to be accounted for when installing hardwood flooring, too, even the grade the home is on is important.

Pic courtesy of
Are both types of flooring equally as durable and require the same care?

Both are durable.  Hardwood flooring is one of the most durable types of flooring you can get.  Solid hardwood flooring will typically require sanding and finishing and can carry a guarantee usually for 10 – 15 years.  Engineered products will usually come prefinished, meaning the finish will be baked on at the factory and will be harder.  These hardwood floor products usually will carry a guarantee of about 25 – 30 years.  Care is the same for both types.  Using a manufacturer recommended cleaner, such as Bona, is best.
We strive to give the customer the best product that will also give them the best longevity.  We want to install it correctly, the first time, so you are happy with your home!  We want to do all the necessary evaluation beforehand to guide you to the product that best fits your home and your decor!
If you are considering investing in the beauty of wood flooring in your home, please call us for a FREE in-home consultation to answer all your questions.  Elliott Floor Covering happily serves all of southern California.
Call Jason at (949) 279-8858 or Jim at (760) 427-3933 for an appointment!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sanding and Finishing - Clear Up Confusion About Maintenance

This is an excellent article regarding maintenance of hardwood floors.  Click on the link below to see the whole story.
Sanding and Finishing - Clear Up Confusion About Maintenance
Q: Can I use one of those steam cleaners advertised on TV on my wood floor? Everyone has seen the commercials showing a steam cleaner magically sanitizing, disinfecting, deodorizing, and cleaning a wood floor. But that doesn’t mean that wood flooring manufacturers or finish manufacturers think steam cleaners are appropriate for a wood floor; in fact, some have begun to specifically mention steam cleaners in their list of don’ts. Inspectors are also starting to come across floors that appear to have been destroyed by repeated steam cleaner use. Peeling finish, whitening finish and cloudy finish are just some of the side effects being reported by people looking at floors after steam cleaning. In general, the oft-repeated industry saying “Water and wood don’t mix” holds true. Unless the wood flooring or finish manufacturer says it’s OK, it’s safest to assume steam cleaning is a no-no on a wood floor.

Q: I read that a good wood floor cleaner is vinegar with water; is that OK? Vinegar and water used to be a typical recommendation for cleaning wood floors with a urethane type of finish. These days, however, most manufacturers recommend cleaners that are specifically formulated for wood floor finishes; in fact, vinegar is acidic, and using too much could damage the finish. People who insist on still using vinegar should use plain vinegar—not apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar or any other type, which could leave a sticky residue on the floor. 

Q: I keep hearing that I should find out which maintenance products are recommended by the finish manufacturer. But I have no idea whose finish is on our wood floors. What should I use? The vast majority of wood floors around today, whether they were finished on-site or are factory-finished, have some sort of urethane-type finish. For those finishes, a cleaner recommended by any major wood floor finish or wood floor manufacturer should be just fine. A safe bet is to stop by a local wood flooring retailer and find out what they recommend and sell for use on wood floors.  Not all maintenance products that are labeled for use on wood floors are recommended by major finish and wood flooring manufacturers. (In fact, some may even void your floor’s warranty.) For one reason, see below.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Little LOVE from the WFCA!

Last year we did a small pro-bono job for the WFCA (World Floor Covering Association) headquarters in Anaheim, CA. Here is their very nice thank you letter.

We love to hear comments about our work!  Do you have any you'd like to share, we'd love to hear about your experience with our company.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ever Wonder Where Your Hardwood Floor Comes From?

These days, wood flooring can literally bring the world to your feet, thanks to the speed of transportation, industrialization and global commerce.  And with all that comes an endless rainbow of wood colors, grains and textures, all of them unique characteristics that make each of the species in the wood flooring portfolio unique themselves.  Further enhancing the character of the species you select are steps we humans take, such as the manner and size in which each board is cut, processsed and finished.

When we talk about "species" we are simply defining the kind of wood your floor is made from.  In the case of the multi-ply engineered variety, that's the top layer you see.  It is the species that determines everything from color to grain to hardness.  Regardless of the species, it's best to begin with what kind of look you want.  Hardwoods are typically deciduous trees, meaning they have broad leaves that fall, leaving the tree bare during the winter.  There are hundreds of hardwood varieties just in North America, and more than 1,600 worldwide.