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!