Selecting a Hardwood Floor Installer – What Questions to Ask

/ July 17, 2015

selecting right hardwood floor installer
Hardwood flooring remains one of the best investments you can make in your home. However, in order to get the most value out of your hardwood floors – you must choose a hardwood floor installer who knows how to perform the service the right way.

How Do I Know if The Installer Is Installing My Floors Correctly?

If you are not equipped with the knowledge to understand hardwood floor installation, then you’ve come to the right place. We know what to look for and what questions you should be asking in order to gauge just how professional your potential hardwood floor installers are.

#1: Is the installer you are considering licensed?

Licensed hardwood floor installers understand the techniques that are necessary to avoid future claims and issues.

#2: Do they understand the importance of preparing the subfloor?

The industry standard is that subfloors should be clean, flat, and dry. This means no on-site job debris or anything else that may interfere with adhesion. Subfloors incorrectly prepared could result in a handful of problems later on. This is a very important step your contractors should be paying attention to.

#3: Do they understand the importance of controlling moisture levels in your subfloors?

When humidity levels are high, moisture levels will elevate. When moisture levels rise, you begin to have floors expanding. When it begins to dry out, they begin to shrink. This process is natural. However, by factoring this in at the start of installation you can prepare for it.

Optimal hardwood floor installation should only happen when the subfloor has picked up the excessive moisture and then swelled. This allows for enough space for the floors to expand and contract naturally avoiding any future damage.

In short, your contractors should be leaving enough expansion area for the floors.

#4 Tool Evaluation

Moisture meters. To factor in moisture levels, a tool known as a moisture meter is used to help. If your installer shows up without this tool, it’s a bad sign.

High RPM saws. These are necessary for providing clean cuts that do not have the potential in damaging your floors.

Air compressors. You must have the right air compressor to make sure the finishing touches on your hardwood floors are on point.

Nails & Fasteners. You should see quite a bit of nails or fasteners because a common mistake contractors make is not using enough fasteners. In other words, they’re trying to cut corners.

Measurement tools. If your contractors begin installing without spending time to accurately measure and lay everything out, then problems may arise.

It takes time to properly install hardwood floors. Licensed contractors are your best bet as they are required to know and understand the trade in order to obtain their license. By simply knowing what to expect, you can help yourself weed out those contractors that may be trying to cut corners, which doesn’t benefit you or your beautiful hardwood floors.

Correctly Coordinating Cabinetry with Your Hardwood Floors

/ July 8, 2015

When’s the last time you saw an example of alliteration? Sorry, back on topic: cabinetry. It’s beginning to be a common trend: matching your hardwood floors with the cabinetry around them, or vice versa. Truth is, this actually works out to be very stylish! The trick is finding the correct ways to coordinate them.

coordinating cabinetry hardwood floors


Contrasting is almost always a go-to option when it comes to designing anything. If you can’t think up something royal and you’ve spent many hours trying to find the right combination then it’s time to take a break, settle down, and look into the magical art of contrast. There are various ways to utilize contrasting, which we touch on below.

Color Wheel

If you have access to a color wheel (they can also be found online) you can use it to your advantage. Take the color of your hardwood floors or cabinet, find it on the color wheel, and see what colors are adjacent to the one you’ve chosen or directly across from what you have chosen. The color you see is what you should select!

Hue Got It!

Here’s a little 101 before we dive into our explanation.

Hue = basic color
Shade = basic color with black added
Tone = basic color with gray added

So here’s the deal. Start with a hue as a base color and then when it comes to your cabinets, begin looking at different shades and tones of that color to see how well they work. Pick the best combination you like! It will help complement everything.

Monkey See, Monkey Do

In other words, whichever hue, shade, or tone your hardwood floors are find the EXACT same color and then apply it to your cabinets. It’s the easiest approach that doesn’t require extensive mental work to figure out. ☺

So whether you decide to contrast, mix things up, or stay the same – we’re sure you will find a combination that meets your tastes and we hope our guide has narrowed your selection down.

We also offer a small guide on selecting the right wall color to match your hardwood floors.

Selecting the Best Wall Color for Your Hardwood Flooring

/ June 29, 2015

best wall color match hardwood floorFinding the right wall color to match your newly placed, beautiful hardwood floors can be a daunting task for many. We understand this, which is why we’re giving you a few interior design tips in order to help you select the best matched wall color for your hardwood floors.

Playing it Safe – The Neutral Approach

Sometimes you just want something easy that you know will work with anything and guess what – that option does in fact exist. They’re called neutral colors and aren’t meant to make any bold statements – yet still provide an appropriate style that can be appreciated.

Despite what the color or hue of your hardwood floor is, these wall colors are sure to mesh very well:

  • White
  • Ivory
  • Cream
  • Tan
  • Taupe

Bold Looks – Contrast

For those looking to make bold statements with both walls and floors that stand out, then you’ll need to find contrasting colors. The best advice is to find out what undertone your hardwood flooring is (if you don’t know, call your hardwood floor distributor/salesman and they will tell you) and then use a color wheel to find the exact opposite color.

For example, say your hardwood flooring has red orange undertones (i.e. Rochester), then a color such as blue-gray will work very well.

matching wall color example

The Rochester – Can you spot the red orange undertones?

A rule of thumb here is if it’s a warm color, then contrast it with a cool color. Simple enough, no?

Center of Attention – All Eyes on The Floor

Sometimes you want to purposefully place more eyes and attention on your floors over all other décor in the room. Contrasting could work well for this, but we have a better suggestion: selecting a color based on intensity.

What we mean is if say you have dark wood floors and want to maintain attention on the floors, then you’ll want to choose a lighter color such as light gold, pale blue, or peach. It’s not a contrast that would put emphasis on both the floors and the walls. It’s a design technique used to keep your floor center stage.

Pro tip: You should never be afraid to ask for someone’s opinion on a design idea you have as it will help you narrow your choices down by exposing you to different perspectives.

Why is Oak Popular in Hardwood Flooring?

/ June 22, 2015

oak popular hardwood floor species

An example of oak flooring.

If you’ve ever shopped around for hardwood floors, you may have noticed one thing: the presence of oak. It begs the question, “Exactly why is oak such a popular choice for hardwood floors?” Great question. We’ll educate you as to why oak hardwood floors are popular.

Why Oak is the Most Popular Hardwood Floor Type in the US

Character – oak is known for its character and board length, especially European oak as featured in our Chéne collection. What we mean by character are the knots, streaks, and other natural flooring features unique to the tree the floor came from.

A great example of this is our Shiraz floor as part of our Chéne collection.
european oak flooring

Versatility – what we mean by this is that oak is a very traditional, timeless look. As such, it tends to work very well with many décor styles from modern to classic. It’s difficult to find a combination or décor pattern that does not go well with oak.

Abnormalities – because oak has a natural strong grain pattern, it is able to mask abnormalities such as scratches, dents, nicks and other small flooring mishaps better than other flooring types.

Urban Floor’s Guide to Small Scratches and Dents.

Janka Rating – the Janka hardness test is used to measure the hardness of wood floors. Our white oak floors have been rated at 1360. While it isn’t the highest measurement as compared to Brazilian Cherry (2820) it certainly is strong enough to handle moderate to high foot traffic.

Added Home Value – Homebuyers enjoy properties that have features they know will sell. One of those features? Hardwood floors, specifically oak. Why oak? Because they know it’s popular!

Read more about how hardwood floors add value to your home.

Will Oak Flooring Ever Lose Its Shine?

Trends come and go all of the time, but we believe oak flooring is here to stay and will always be regarded as a go-to choice for hardwood floor consumers. However, you shouldn’t count other flooring types out. Maple, birch, and hickory options are also popular choices and offer their own set of benefits.

Trends are still being set for 2015, but if you’re curious as to what was hot in 2014, then view our post on what homebuyers preferred.

Hardwood Flooring in Restaurants

/ June 11, 2015

hardwood floor restaurantsTruth is, most upscale restaurants have ditched the carpet, curtains, and tablecloths. They have now moved towards hardwood floors, high ceilings, and linen-free tables. Is this the new standard? Not necessarily, it all depends on your restaurant. However, a majority of restaurants could seriously benefit from hardwood floors.

Hardwood flooring comes in many shapes and sizes. There are many modern elegant hardwood floors perfect for the restaurant scene.

Elements of an excellent restaurant hardwood floor:

  • Withstands heavy foot traffic (very important).
  • Matte finish to help prevent slips and falls.
  • Easy to maintain.

A subtle perk to hardwood floors in restaurants is the added noise volume. With hardwood floors, restaurants may experience more noise than with other selections – resulting in an environment that encourages patrons to interact more with each other.

Urban Floor’s Personal Restaurant Hardwood Floor Recommendation

Any engineered hardwood floor in our Composer Collection. Why?

Durability – all hardwood floors in our Composer Collection are wired brushed and sand blasted meaning all soft parts of the wood have been brushed away. The only part left is the hard part of the wood!

On top of this all floors in our Composer Collection come with a professional UV cured natural oil finish from Klumpp Coatings® or Osmo oils®. You will not have to worry about heavy foot traffic with either of these professional finishes.

Maintenance – All of our floors in our Composer Collection are easy to maintain.

With spot cleaning and spot re-oiling capabilities, restaurants will never have to suspend its operations for floor maintenance. A regular cleaning and periodic oiling is all that is needed to keep the floor looking brand new.

Slip and Fall Prevention – Floors in our Composer Collection are matte finish, meaning they are not glossy and prone to slip and fall accidents. This is perfect for any patrons who may dawn more formal wear including heels.

Selection Variety – Our Composer Collection also features various designs and colors to select from including light colored options, darker hued floors, filled and unfilled knots, natural splits, mineral streaks, and bowtie inlays. Simply put, there’s a floor that will meet any restaurant’s needs.

The Composer Collection offers both durability and superior craftsmanship resulting in engineered hardwood floors that are perfect for restaurants and will impress patrons.

Plugin from the creators ofBrindes Personalizados :: More at PlulzWordpress Plugins