FAQ: What Questions to Ask a Hardwood Floor Salesperson?

/ October 6, 2014

questions to ask hardwood floor salesperson, hardwood floor faqYou’ve just made the decision to purchase hardwood floors for your home – a decision that you may have lost sleep over (we certainly hope not!). Simply put, hardwood floors add value to your home so with that alone we are inclined to say you made a great choice!

The issue now is that there are still plenty of answers that you seek in regards to your new found flooring choice. To help save you time on finding the right questions to ask, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions many newcomers have for their hardwood floor salesperson.

Should I get solid or engineered hardwood floors?

There’s a fair amount of differences between solid hardwood floors and engineered hardwood floors. Having a salesperson compare and contrast their positives and negatives will give you a better insight into selecting a floor that best suits your needs.

Does wood species matter? If so, what’s best for me?

Yes, wood species does indeed matter. Your salesperson will suggest an appropriate species of wood depending on what colors you are seeking, the style you want, and of course, your budget. A great salesperson will be able to explain the subtle design differences between dark, medium, light, and exotic woods.

What do I do about my pets? Are they bad for hardwood floors?

If this is a concern, then your hardwood floor salesperson will help you select a wood species that is known for it’s durability and hardness. These aspects are measured using a method known as the janka hardness test.

How much gloss or shine do I want in my floors?

Your floor salesman should be able to explain the advantages and disadvantages of hardwood floors that shine more than others. Hardwood floors come in 4 types: Glossy, Semi-Gloss, Satin, and Matte. They are all referred to as the floor’s “sheen”.

Do my floors come with a warranty?

Have your salesperson explain to you the warranty that your floors come with. Quality floors are typically backed by solid warranties. Be sure to read the terms and conditions as well to make sure you understand everything, if you don’t then you’ll have a chance to ask your salesperson.

Don’t be alarmed about ordering slightly more square feet than what’s required.

Your salesperson will most likely be ordering more square feet than what your area actually offers. For instance, if you’re looking to cover 1,000 square feet and your salesperson suggests ordering 1,100 square feet then don’t be alarmed. It’s a general rule in hardwood floor installation to order 10% more than what’s necessary.

How long will it take to install my hardwood floors?

After selecting a hardwood floor, be sure to ask your salesperson this question as it will give them a chance to explain everything you will be getting in your floor such as factory-finish or site-finished floors, wood species, and what you should do in preparation for a job that could take several days for a quality installation.

Why can’t I just install the hardwood floors myself?

Of course your salesperson is going to want to push for having his or her company install the hardwood floors for you, but it goes beyond just making coin. Simply put, hardwood floors are not as easy to install as it may seem. Unless you have previous experience working with hardwood floor installation, it’s best to leave a professional to handle the job – especially since they have access to the right tools.

The switch to hardwood floors should be a fun experience for you! It’s similar to revamping your wardrobe with new clothes for a completely different look, feel, and experience. Get as many answers as you can to make the process as seamless as possible.

Happy Flooring from Urban Floor!

Urban Floor Outlines Important Wood Flooring Terminology

/ September 26, 2014

The hardwood flooring industry is filled with jargon, or terminology, that is used to explain various aspects of wood floors. To keep you from scratching your head trying to make sense of it all, we’ve comprised a list of the popular terms that customers will often see describing the characteristics of our hardwood floors.

Hand-scraped: the term, “hand-scraped”, is often used to describe a wood floor that features characteristics of older style floors that are scraped by hand. Features of hand-scraped hardwood floors may include gentle waves and scrapes. They are popular with active families.

Distressed: this term is used when boards are intentionally created with imperfections such as dents, scratches, and other surface damage to give off the appearance of a worn look. It adds a very wholesome, natural look that many hardwood floor owners are fond of.

wood flooring terminology

Our Lambrusco is a great example of a wire-brushed floor!

Wire-brushed: used to describe a floor that had its soft grains hollowed out by using wire brush, leaving only the hard grains for a weathered, rustic effect. It’s actually a distressing technique that also gives boards a timeworn look.

Prefinished: used to describe floors that have already been sanded, stained, and finished inside of a manufacturing plant as opposed to site-finished where the same process in done during the installation, or on-site, inside of a customer’s home.

Engineered: as opposed to solid, engineered is a type of multi-layered flooring that is “engineered” a specific way inside of a manufacturing plant and features distinct advantages over solid wood flooring. Only the top part of the board, known as the veneer, is made of solid hardwood. Engineered flooring is more stable and has lower susceptibility against temperature and moisture swings.

Bevel Edge: each plank, or board, features different types of edges that connect two pieces together. Beveled edges feature grooves, as opposed to square edges, also known as regular edges, that meet each board squarely. Beveled edges allow for easier maintenance. Micro-beveled edges, also known as eased edges or kissed edges, are very similar except the grooves in the planks are smaller (i.e. the bevel is smaller) and are not as pronounced as beveled edges. Kissed edges can also hide minor irregularities such as plank height.

Knot: these show where branches were once joined to the actual tree. They are typically dark, round, and hard.

Finish: there are many types of finishes that exist, but they all refer to the protective coating that is applied to the floor. A common finish applied to wood floors is polyurethane, which is a clear durable finish.

Smoked: hardwood floors that have been intentionally darkened during the drying process.

Species: this refers to the type of tree the hardwood planks were milled from. Common species you may have seen on our engineered hardwood flooring website include oak, hickory, and maple. Hardwood floors all begin with a species of wood – this is where the magic happens.

If you want even more information – with pictures as well – then visit our Flooring 101 section!

Beginner’s Guide to Removing Minor Burn Marks from Hardwood Floors

/ September 23, 2014
removing burn marks hardwood floors

Always take care of your floors, even if you have to sand a bit!

Objects fall, accidents happen… it’s near impossible to keep hardwood floors from suffering minor damage as the years progress. Hardwood floors are built to withstand everyday pressure from our feet, large house pets, and the occasional house party thrown, but sudden accidents often leave hardwood floor owners frantically searching for a way to reverse the mistake.

Nicks and scratches are the usual culprits that wind up leaving hardwood floor owners frustrated, but – believe it or not – burn marks happen as well. Burn marks on hardwood floors are usually the result of ironing clothes on an ironing board, cigarettes, cigars, candles, hot coal from hookah, cooking mishaps, and other culprits that vary in the amount of damage done.

Determining The Damage Done

For a quick and easy way to determine how deep the burn mark is, you can take any utility or pocketknife and gently use the tip of the knife to carefully scrape (with the grain of the wood) away the burned wood. This will give you an idea of how bad the damage is as well as remove some of the char. If you determine the damage looks or seems to be worse than minor, then stop there and seek out a professional who can replace the board. You don’t want to risk ruining your floors any further.

The Sandman

If you decide that the burn mark is in fact minor, then you can begin to work it out yourself. To remove minor burn marks on hardwood floors, you’re going to have to begin sanding the accidental scorch out of your floor. This can be done with sandpaper. 80-120 grit sandpaper should be enough to sand out a minor mark. You may want to look into a sander that can be purchased for a reasonable price at any home improvement store. This will speed up the process greatly… just remember to sand WITH the grain!

Finishing Up

After sanding out all or most of the mark, you are going to have to refinish that part of the wood so that it looks new again. There may still be residual char present, at which point you can use a dry paintbrush to clear any of this away. Next, buy some tung oil. This can also be purchased from any home improvement store. Use a clean towel to apply this oil over the affected area. Wipe away any excess oil with a separate damp cloth. Finally, apply a certified hardwood floor polish that will add the shine back into your floors. We recommend using Bona® products.

Did You Know… ?

Some burn marks actually add a handful of character to a hardwood floor. Before panicking, take a step back and see exactly how the burn mark appears in relation to the rest of the décor in the room. Maybe it doesn’t look as bad as you had initially imagined?

If you liked this article, then view our other post on removing nicks and scratches from hardwood floors!

What Hardwood Flooring Trends Do Homebuyers Prefer (2014)?

/ September 4, 2014

It is common for hardwood flooring trends to change often, with consumer’s tastes and preferences differing in many ways to the point where it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is a reputable majority finds true satisfaction in.

Urban Floor
wants to give you a few pointers on what homebuyer’s preferences are – mainly based on hardwood flooring trends that have been picked up on this year. One thing we know for sure is that hardwood floors are quickly becoming the new standard of flooring in homes – over carpet that is!

Brown Is The New Black

These days, it’s hard to go wrong with hardwood floors that contain brown. Homebuyers are enthusiastic about brown floors mainly because they are easier to match furniture and other surrounding décor with – perhaps something that is highly attractive to first time homebuyers who feel swamped with many important decisions.

Brown floors also manage to give off a wholly “natural” look that is hard to emulate using other shades. Many hardwood floors we offer feature natural grain patterns, unfilled knots, and a hand-scraped finish that adds to a floor’s natural, authentic touch. A nice light beige hardwood floor will complement any house well. The whole idea of “natural” is something that has been taking off for some time now – not just in hardwood floors, but other areas such as the foods we consume.

Satin Finishes

Homebuyers are beginning to prefer satin finishes to shiny, glossy finishes. Glossy finishes do not give off the “natural” feel that consumers are looking for – natural is important! Glossy finishes have a tendency to show dirt, footprints, and other imperfections, as well as require more upkeep and maintenance over satin finishes.

Did You Say… Kitchen Flooring?

Tile used to be the automatic, go-to choice for kitchen flooring, but surprisingly homebuyers have gradually begun the shift from tile flooring to hardwood flooring; largely in part because many home and décor magazine feature this style.

The reasons why? Because hardwood flooring is easier on your feet, adds more style to your kitchen, matches cabinets well (this depends on the colors of the cabinets), makes your kitchen appear larger than it really is, is easier to clean, and happens to be very competitive in pricing in comparison to tile.

At the end of the day, a homebuyer will select a hardwood floor they believe fits their needs. Urban Floor is always trying to keep up with the latest trends so that we can provide our sincere customers with the necessary options they need in order to make an informed, well thought out decision.

homebuyers hardwood flooring preferences

The Empire, featured in our Royal Court Collection, looks great in kitchens!

Urban Floor is Proudly Featured on Reality TV Series Rowhouse Showdown!

/ August 29, 2014
rowhouse showdown

Image provided by Rowhouse Showdown cast member, Kathy Kuo.

What is Rowhouse Showdown?

Rowhouse Showdown is an exciting new reality TV series that features a well-known renovation expert and the show’s host, Carter Oosterhouse, who has renovated roughly 500 homes. Carter has been featured in other home-makeover shows such as Trading Spaces and Million Dollar Rooms.

The show is actually a contest that consists of three separate teams competing against each other to see which team can renovate a house the best. The show takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio, using rundown homes in distressed neighborhoods for the teams to compete with.

Have You Seen Our Floors Yet?

If you have been tuning in to the shows on Wednesday nights and have a sharp eye, then you’ll be able to notice some of the engineered hardwood flooring – by your very own Urban Floor – that has been used in the show. We’ll give you a few seconds to guess… did you guess the Downtown Series (located in the Urban Lifestyle Collection) or Royal Court Collection? If so, then we’re going to have to call you the real winner of the show!

Eco-Friendly Living

The show’s host, Carter, is a huge fanatic of eco-friendly living – something we love here at Urban Floor! This is why we source our raw materials from ecologically well-managed forests and suppliers.

In a blog post featured on GLAMOUR, Carter was interviewed and asked: “Are there any easy little ways everyone can be more eco-friendly at home that people might not have considered?” In short, he suggested that people compost more often. You can read the whole interview with Carter for more tips on eco-friendly practices on their blog.

If you’re in to shows involving home makeovers or renovating homes, then you’ll definitely enjoy Rowhouse Showdown! You can find the show featured on the FYI Television Network on Wednesday nights starting at 8ET/9PT.

Let us know on our Facebook or Twitter if you were able to spot our beautiful hardwood floors! We’d love to hear from you.

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