Monday, December 28, 2009

Wood Celebrates Life

This post is a continuation of the blog I started before the Christmas madness set in.

This article is aptly called Wood Celebrates Life. As we look forward to the new year and new possibilities and beginnings, I say we should all celebrate life. Life has it's ups and downs - 2009 was definitely a year of downs for our family as we lost two very important people. These people touched my life like no one has or maybe will in the future. Our business also was not immune to the downs of the year either, as I'm sure other construction companies can attest to. But we have made it through and will continue to thrive and prosper through the new year! New year, new beginnings, LIFE!

Whether wood is in its natural state or in your home, wood records history, right down to those "marks of experience" wood picks up along the way. Life is in every piece of wood. When you think about it, life, including yours, is reflected in every piece of wood in your home. From the moment it starts growing and for all the time it's in use, wood has history in and on it... naturally spaced grains, growth rings and the color are all affected by the seasons and the minerals in the soil... character brought on by aging, weather and the environment.

A wood floor continues to celebrate life and living as it passes through the generations and each succeeding owner. There is a quiet grace about a wood floor that projects the universal sense of permanence that can never be diminished. Can another flooring do that after 30, 50, 100, 200 years or more?

Moreover, from the moment you, a family member or a guest steps through the door, a wood floor projects a truly warm welcome along with your personal sense of creativity, as reflected by the color, grain and size of the flooring pieces and the manner in which they are installed and finished. That uniqueness carries throughout the home and makes your design and your lifestyle an integrated whole, with every decor element working together.

Yes, life changes. People grow, enter and leave the family. Our tastes change, too, often with the times. A wood floor helps you celebrate those changes because it is versatile, so capable of immediately adapting its incredible, innate style to shifting home furnishings and evolving color and fabric palettes. It's so easy to maintain as you celebrate life, and it's so easy to decorate around. It may be only a change of the seasons, but consider this simple example. Winter into spring - away go the rugs, pillows, throws, heavy draperies - your floor is sparkling, dynamic and reflective of the new life in the spring. Your wood floor celebrates with you; it happens every season if you wish.

Designers look at a wood floor as a large, neutral palette, even with all its color, grain and texture. That's one reason wood is timeless. As one designer said, as you begin your plan, look at the floor like life, in broad strokes, for it is the floor that should be what you focus on first; from there, everything else in your scheme springs to life!


International Design Guide, Fabulous Wood Floors, a publication of the National Wood Flooring Association, 2009.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Now This is Exciting!

Hey, look at this - We're a favorite place on Google!!! How about that!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Green Flooring

For stylish flooring, you can't get much more environmentally friendly than wood. That's a bold statement, but true. The environmental responsibility applies not only to solid wood flooring, but also to engineered formats.

Let's start with the fact that the wood in your floor is completely renewable. Better yet, at least as much wood can be grown as is harvested. In fact, for every 100 trees harvested for wood flooring, 166 are planted. Because of responsible forestry practices, the number of trees standing in North America today exceeds that of the 1950's, and standing hardwood alone has increased by about 90 percent to nearly 328 billion cubic feet. Want more? Research by the Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials declares that solid wood flooring has less environmental impact than other flooring options it studied. Not only are most professionally managed forests in North America responsibly harvested, a growing number worldwide are, as well. Because only a specified percentage of trees are removed, the ecosystem remains intact.

From a manufacturing perspective as well, wood flooring is quite "green." Hardwood flooring uses less water and energy in manufacturing than other flooring alternatives.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Wood Story

Today's wood story starts with the fact that, contrary to popular belief, wood is quite affordable. Modern, efficient manufacturing techniques mean wood floor decor can become part of a home at any time, no longer optimally at the time the home is built. Wood flooring says "This home is built of quality." No other flooring type actually INCREASES in value over time and for a variety of reasons: The popularity of designing with wood continues to grow as people discover its timeless allure. Wood lasts and lasts, and it also develops its own character in the home. Like your best pearls or silverware, quality wood flooring takes on a patina that is unique to its environment - your home.

Wood is the most versatile floor covering there is. Professional designers will tell you that wood is a material superior to other manufactured substances in terms of its innate, natural beauty and prestige. And for practical considerations, such as ease of maintenance and long-term durability, and the ability of a wood floor to "give" a bit, making it easy on your feet when you walk on it.

If you think you know wood flooring, unless you are "in the business," chances are you aren't familiar with how far wood flooring has come in recent years. They're definitely not your grandmother's wood floors. Today there are more styles, colors, species, formats and finishes available to everyone, many of them carrying exotic names you've never heard of arriving all the time from far-flung corners of the world.

With the world marketplace constantly supplying new species in more styles and colors than ever, yours can be a floor that begins its journey in any part of the world and brings to your home four priceless qualities: Warmth, Beauty, Responsibility and Value.

International Design Guide: Fabulous Wood Floors, Publication of the NWFA, 2009, The Wood Story

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fabulous Wood Floors = Fabulous Information!

I recently received a copy of a new magazine called Fabulous Wood Floors. It's a publication from the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA). This magazine is FABULOUS! It's geared toward educating the customer about wood floors and all of their boundless possibilities. In the next few days, maybe even weeks, I will be taking excerpts out of the magazine and posting them on this blog. The information presented will enable wood flooring customers to make an educated decision regarding the type, style, species and function of wood floors.

The NWFA is an important resource for both the flooring professional and consumer. Their website is at or At these websites you can find all sorts of information including a search of all professional contractors and retailers in your area. If you're serious about installation of wood floors in your own home or business, check out the site and find a service provider that will answer all of your questions and do the job right the first time. Wood floors are an investment in your future and you want that investment placed in the right hands!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Importance of Hardwoods

The US House of Representatives recently recognized the importance of hardwoods, in H. Res. 81 the legislation recognizes the importance and sustainability of the United States hardwoods industry and urges that the United States hardwoods and the products derived from United States hardwoods be given full consideration in any program directed at constructing environmentally preferable commercial, public, or private buildings.

Representative Brad Ellsworth (D-IN) sponsored the legislation, which was supported by the Hardwood Federation, a coalition of more than 30 associations, including the National Wood Flooring Association, representing the interests of the United States hardwood industry.

The US hardwood industry employs millions of families throughout the country, representing thousands of jobs in nearly every state and hundreds of Congressional districts. This legislation recognizes the sustainability of United States hardwoods in a global marketplace that is giving increased emphasis on the procurement of hardwood from sustainable, legally harvested forests as a result of the US Lacey Act and an increased interest in green building.

Information from NWFA December 2009 The Log.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


It is so nice to hear the rain drops fall on the window sill. It's been much too long since the last rain, it feels very refreshing! I'm sure I wouldn't be feeling that way if I lived in Seattle or somewhere else that barely see's the sun light. Bring on the RAIN!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Brochure's Coming Soon...

I've been working hard trying to get some new business pamphlets out. I would like to show my new brochure, but am having difficulty trying to attach it. Does anyone know how I can attach a Microsoft Office Publisher file?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Best Preparation, Results in a Superior Installation!

We at Elliott Floor Covering, Inc. believe that if you skimp or cut corners on sub-floor preparation the finished product will be compromised. We will prepare the sub-floor to meet or exceed manufacturer's specifications, in order to give our clients the best possible finished product.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Character and Hardness of Wood.

Wood is a dynamic medium. Like all organic materials, it has character and quirks, responds to its environment, and changes over time. Because of its "personality", wood should be treated with understanding and a certain amount of care.

As a flooring material, wood is superior to vinyl or carpet, both practically and aesthetically. A solid wood floor is more that a covering; it adds strength and stability to the floor system. A one-inch thickness of wood has the same insulating value as 15 inches of concrete. Wood is durable and long-lasting - occasional sanding and refinishing essentially results in a brand-new floor. Wood floors don't retain mildew or absorb dust, simplifying cleaning. Perhaps the most appealing characteristics of wood flooring, though, are its attractive appearance and natural warmth. A beautiful wood floor can enliven a drab room, enhance any architectural style, complement furniture and design schemes, and add value to any home or building.

A combination of qualities should be considered when selecting a species for flooring: appearance related attributes such as texture, grain and color; as well as mechanical properties such as dimensional stability, durability, machinability and ease in finishing; and finally, availability and cost.

The following is a scale of relative hardness of selected wood flooring species based on the Janka Hardness Rating. The Janka (or side) hardness test measures the force required to embed a .444-inch steel ball to half its diameter into the wood. It is one of the best measures of the ability of a wood species to withstand denting and wear. A rating is not included for bamboo, as bamboo flooring varies greatly between different manufacturers' products and between vertical and horizontal construction. Likewise, a rating is not included for cork flooring. A higher number on the Janka scale indicates a harder wood species, while a lower number indicates a softer wood species. For example, Northern red oak, has a Janka hardness rating of 1290. Spotted gum, with a rating of 2473, is nearly twice as hard.

Walnut, Brazilian - 3680
Teak, Brazilian - 3540
Purpleheart - 2890
Cherry, Brazilian (jatoba) - 2820
Bubinga - 2690
Gum, spotted - 2473
Mesquite - 2345
Mahogany, santos - 2200
Gum, Sydney blue - 2023
Merbau - 1925
Jarrah - 1910
Hickory / Pecan - 1820
Padauk - 1725
Wenge - 1630
Maple, Brazilian - 1500
Sapele - 1500
Maple, hard - 1450
Cypress, Australian - 1375
Oak, white - 1360
Oak, Tasmanian - 1350
Ash, white - 1320
Beech - 1300
Oak, Northern red - 1290
Birch - 1260
Iroko - 1260
Pine, heart (antique) - 1225
Teak, Thai/Burmese - 1078
Walnut, American black - 1010
Cherry, black - 950
Pine, Southern yellow (longleaf) - 870
Pine, Southern yellow (loblolly/shortleaf) - 690
Douglas fir - 660

If you are in the market for wood flooring this scale can help you decide which flooring will suit your lifestyle. Contact one of our professional flooring designers and we can help you pick out the perfect wood flooring product for your home or business. Check out our website at for more information, or call (949) 279-8858 or (760)427-3933.

The preceding information come from the NWFA (National Wood Flooring Association) Technical Publication No. A200 - Wood Species Used in Wood Flooring, Revised Edition, 2004

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Maintenance of Wood Floors.

The enjoyment of wood flooring depends on some routine but minimal maintenance details. These include:
  • Sweep your floors or use a dust mop daily, but do not use a household dust treatment, as this may cause your floors to become slick or dull the finish.
  • Vacuum the floor regularly, as often as you would vacuum carpets.
  • Clean your floor's coated surface with a lightly dampened cloth using a recommended cleaning product, and according to the manufacturer's directions for use.
  • Never damp mop a wood floor. In all cases, use minimum water, because water causes deterioration of the wood itself, as well as the finish.
  • Buy a "floor care kit" that your installer or flooring retailer recommends instead of counting on a home-made remedy of vinegar and water to clean your floors. Different finishes have different maintenance requirements, and it's best to follow professional advice in this area.
  • Clean light stains by rubbing with a damp cloth.
  • Avoid using mops or cloths that leave excessive water on the floor. Never let a spill of water dry on the wood floor.
  • Control humidity levels by use of a dehumidifier or humidifier. You may need to add portable units in some rooms.
  • Have your floors recoated periodically as the finish shows wear.

For more detailed information relating to the maintenance of wood floors you may visit our website at and click on the MAINTENANCE tab.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Is Hardwood Flooring Right For Me?

Many consumers would prefer to put a wood floor in their home, but some issues might steer them to a different floor covering. Maybe the homeowner thinks that he/she is saving substantial amounts of money by choosing carpet. Or perhaps they think that wood floors won't stand up to the test of time with young children or pets. Read on to see the many benefits of adding hardwood floors to your home.

Many consumers take a glance at the price per square foot for a typical wood floor and immediately decide that whatever their floor will be, it won't be wood. Before you settle on carpet, vinyl or laminate because of cost, compare the longevity of the various products. While other products will most likely need to be replaced in 10 years or sooner, most wood floors will last the lifetime of the home. So the installation of wood flooring would turn into a long-term savings over other "disposable" flooring products.

Even if you are planning a move in the near future, wood flooring is a good investment. Real estate brochures often list the fact that the home has hardwood floors as one of the first benefits of the home. A survey of real estate professionals reveals that a home with wood flooring could sell faster and for a larger amount of money than a comparable home with any other type of flooring.

Some consumers believe that the maintenance of wood floors is difficult. Cleaning of wood floors is no more difficult than vacuuming or mopping. A maintenance schedule typically consists of sweeping up loose dirt and dust, and occasional cleaning with a recommended product by the manufacturer of the floor. Bona cleaners are a good choice for maintenance, they are easy to use, non-toxic and environmentally friendly.

The ease of cleaning a hardwood floor is not only a maintenance benefit, but a health benefit as well. Many consumers are not aware of the impact wood floors have on improving the home environment and quality of life; likewise, they are unaware of some of the health risks associated with carpeting and other synthetic materials. Allergists recommend that people with allergies live in an environment with wood floors, which do not hold dirt, dust mites and molds. Additionally, a study by the Environmental Protection Agency showed that pesticides from outdoors can be tracked into homes. These pesticides can be easily cleaned off of wood floors.

Wood floors are a healthy choice from a global perspective, as well. Wood is a natural resource that is replenishable, and most of today's timber comes from carefully managed forests that ensure a timber supply for the future. Being able to say that your floors are certified or reclaimed gives your home an additional environmental boost.

There are wood floors to go into any application in the home and to fit any decorating style and budget. Because of wood flooring's versatility, they can be installed to complement a room and make it appear bigger or wider. Unlike other floor covering choices, wood floors can be resanded and refinished to give a totally new look should the consumer's decor change. Best of all, wood floors never go out of style.

We hope that these points clear up any misconceptions regarding your floor covering choices. If you should have additional questions or concerns, you may contact one of our floor covering professionals at (949) 279-8858 or (760) 427-3933.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The History of Wood Flooring

For centuries, wood floors were the domain of only the wealthiest people in the world. Expert craftsmen labored for years on the same floor, meticulously cutting each intricate inlay or pattern by hand. The only other wood floors in existence were the rough, hand-hewn planks that formed the surface of some commoners' residences. Either way, each wood floor was the result of a painstaking hand-cutting process.

The wood flooring industry more closely resembling the one we know today began just before the turn of the 20th century. In 1885, the side-matcher was developed, creating flooring with a groove on one long side and a tongue on the other. This new milling allowed wood floors to be blind-nailed. The flooring was 7/8 inch thick, 2 1/2 or 3 1/4 inch wide, and most pieces were at least eight feet long. Thirteen years later, in 1898, the end matcher appeared. Until that point, all flooring ends of each piece had to be on joists, as subfloors were not commonly used.

As the 20th century began, several important changes occurred in the industry. The side-matcher could allow hollow-backing on the boards, making them lighter and allowing them to conform better to subfloors, which were beginning to be commonplace. Flooring dimensions slimmed down: 5/16 inch, square-edge flooring and 3/8 inch and 1/2 inch flooring were introduced, helping to decrease hefty freight charges. Central heating was coming on the scene and wreaking havoc with wood floors, but the advent of the dry kiln gave flooring a better chance to succeed in normal living conditions.

While flooring mills were burning their own waste to generate their own electricity and heat, installers in the field had nothing but their own physical strength and a few tools to get the job done - typically a hatchet, hand saw, hammer, pry bar, block plane and string. Perhaps the most labor-intensive aspect of the job was the scraping process. Instead of sanding the floor, men would go down on their knees and pull scraper blades across the floor. It didn't take long for floor men to find an easier way to smooth the floor, and in the 1920's, a machine scraper was invented.

With the advent of World War II, wood flooring production went into overdrive, with government flooring projects measured by the acre instead of the square foot. The 1940's also saw the introduction of the sanding machine, with power nailers and power saws introduced during the 1950's. Finishes changed and improved during this time as well, with lacquer coming on the scene.

Today, wood floors are not just for the wealthiest people in the world. The introduction of engineered and laminate flooring made wood floors accessible to most consumers. During the last couple of years the flooring industry has embraced green technology, not only in the wood floors being produced like bamboo and cork, but glues, stains and finishes applied to flooring.

(abridged version of "100 Years of Wood Flooring", Hardwood Floors magazine, February/March 2000)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Proper Preparation Results in a Superior Finished Product!

In theory, there is not much difference between a box of wood, a box of tile, a roll of carpet or a bucket of paint. In the wrong hands each one can be a mess, it the right hands the end result can be a work of art.

Friday, August 21, 2009

First try at Blogging!

Well, this is all new to me and really don't know how to do it - so bear with me while I catch up!