What Is An “Eco-Friendly” Hardwood Floor?

/ April 27, 2015

what is an eco-friendly hardwood floorBefore we dive into things, we must first establish a definition of the term “eco-friendly”. Eco-friendly could be broken down into two words: ecosystem and friendly. Our ecosystem is made up of humans, animals, plants, and living organisms that combine with the nonliving components such as air, water, fire, and soil.

A quick search on the Internet’s dictionaries will list this term as “not harmful to the environment” or a similar definition. In other words, being friendly to our ecosystem: “eco-friendly”.

Common Elements of “Eco-Friendly”

Every company will differ on this matter. But generally steps should be taken with our ecosystem in mind:

  • Conserving resources by using practices that do not exhaust an ecosystem’s resources.
  • Using chemicals that are known to be safe for living organisms.
  • Recycling materials (which helps conserve resources).
  • Biodegradability – meaning a product can be broken down naturally on its own without using a landfill (again, conserving space).

Well-Managed Forests

Urban Floor sources its raw materials – which in our case are wood that we use for the base of all of our floors – from ecologically well-managed forests. That sounds nice, who cares?

Well, let us explain. An ecologically well-managed forest is a forest that is very carefully planned out so that a forest’s trees are not exhausted without the possibility of having them regrow.

For example, a person or company could simply take over a forest, cut all of the trees down, and you would have a flat landscape when all said and done. That’s not ecological.

For a well-managed forest, there are strict selective cutting practices that allow enough time (several years – up to 30 or more) for trees to regrow. This is because after a tree is cut down, a new one is planted. We’re making it seem basic, but it’s a lot more complex than this – it takes a lot of careful management to make this happen efficiently and most importantly, ecologically.

Safe for Living Organisms?

In addition to being committed to ecosystem conservation, we’re equally as committed to the health of homeowners that use our product, as well as our own employees that engineer the products.

Urban Floor uses environmentally safe adhesives – and by that mean we mean safe to be around or live with. We meet the standards of California’s Air Resources Board’s formaldehyde emissions.

Backed by Facts

A 3rd party testing laboratory tested a variety of products and determined that less than .01 micrograms of emissions were present in our hardwood floors.

Also, all of our products are Phase 2 certified compliant. In layman’s terms, our products have met strict standards to ensure everyone around our products is happy and SAFE!

So yes, you could say Urban Floor does in fact provide “eco-friendly” hardwood floors. ☺

What Fun Activities Can I Do With My Children for Easter?

/ April 1, 2015

fun activities children easterWe love fun activities here at Urban Floor! Fun is what brings smiles to our faces, especially the little ones. That is why we are composing a small list of fun ideas that you can do with your children for Easter!

The Time-tested Traditional

It’s been around forever but painting Easter Eggs is an activity that has stood the test of time. Kits are commonly sold in the local grocery store and directions can be easily followed. We suggest setting up a small area outside to prevent the food coloring from hitting your floors during the process.

To add a little pizzazz, you can even buy a small sticker pack and stick your designs on the Eggs. Children always get a kick out of these. Or you can even buy a small paintbrush and some paint and let their creative side shine. Be sure to compliment them on their designs!

A Different Approach to Easter Egg Hunts

Easter Egg hunts are undoubtedly fun – especially since most families typically use the same eggs that they decorated on their own. However, we want to spice things up.

Glow in the dark.

That’s right! A glow in the dark Easter egg hunt to be performed outside during the night. Here’s what you need: plastic eggs and glow sticks. All you do is break the glow stick, place it into the plastic egg (you may need to tape it shut if it doesn’t budge) and that’s it!

Fancy A Little Gardening?

Here’s an idea we doubt you’ve heard of: your child’s own Easter garden. It’s very simple, too. All you need are one type of candy, some lollipops of your choice, and a patch of dirt in your backyard. Jellybeans are perfect.

Have your children plant some jellybeans in the backyard, have them water the patch, and then explain to them how overnight the jellybean will grow into something special. As they are sleeping, place the lollipop of your choice over their planted patches. When morning arrives, let them see the fruits (or candy) of their labor! They’ll be shocked and excited at the same time. Works like a charm.

We hope you enjoy our simple ideas – but most importantly, have a wonderful Easter with your friends and family. If you have an idea of your own, we’d love to hear it!

Urban Floor’s Position on the “60 Minutes” CBS Report – Safety First

/ March 17, 2015

urban floor safety first

Many worried hardwood floor owners are quickly beginning to rip up their floors without question due to an incident on “60 minutes” on CBS that exposed the truth behind hardwood floor giant Lumber Liquidators.

According to the report, the Laminate floors they offer did not comply with strict safety standards. The incident has gained so much attention – for good reason – it has affected many other hardwood floor distributors, including us, Urban Floor.

Urban Floor has always kept safety in mind from the very first day we opened our doors – simply put, it’s our top priority. We stand behind our products and those of us within the company that do have engineered or solid hardwood floors in our homes, of course, use Urban Floor.

The Culprit = Formaldehyde

The chemical that is culprit is known as formaldehyde and is used in glues that bind the boards together. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and studies have shown they can cause a host of problems including chronic respiratory illnesses and cancer when exposed in high doses and for long periods of time. This is why testing is performed – to make sure this carcinogen does not put consumers at risk.

We Don’t Offer Laminate

At Urban Floor, we’re 90% about engineered hardwood floors, with the other 10% focusing on our wonderful solid wood flooring collection – the Presidential Collection.

In the report that targeted Lumber Liquidators – laminate flooring was the focus. Laminate floors are made differently than both engineered and solid wood flooring. We do not sell laminate floors here at Urban Floor.

Urban Floor’s Products – The Facts

Yes, some of Urban Floor’s products are made in China as well as tested there; however, when they are shipped back to the United States we double check their safety using our own independent lab tests from third parties based here in America. The results must meet strict CARB II compliant standards. The test results for Urban Floor’s products may be viewed below.

View the results from several different floors across all of our Collections.

Safety is Always #1

We hope this information helps clear up any confusion – just in case you are questioning why you chose Urban Floor for your hardwood flooring needs. We love hardwood floors and we would not settle for anything less than a quality, thoroughly safety-tested product.

Fixing Dents, Scratches, and Gouges on Hardwood Floors

/ February 27, 2015

Our engineering team here at Urban Floor wanted to address a common question asked by many hardwood floor owners: how can I fix dents, gouges, and scratches that have accidentally occurred on my hardwood floors?

It’s a good question, and we can help you answer this professionally. First off, understand that in any case, hardwood floors CAN be repaired. The beauty of hardwood floors are that they are installed in boards and if a couple of boards have issues, then the worst case solution is to replace only the boards; something that isn’t as easy with carpet when things go awry.

Secondly, accidents will happen. Fallen objects, rambunctious children, sporadic movements from pets may accidentally result in unwanted scenarios. Luckily, there are DIY methods of correcting common accidents.

For Minor Scratches (Surface and Micro)

We have a small guide we have written in the past that can be found here.

However, a solution presented here that is not found in the guide above is the use of color coordinated stain pens. Surface scratches are minor blemishes on the top veneer of the hardwood floor.

Urban Floor’s personal recommendation for surface scratches:

MinWax Stain

We trust this brand because it is offered in many different shades and it works and is very easy to use. Their products can be found at their website, www.minwax.com.

Micro scratches penetrate the top finish and can be addressed easily with a cover up product to help fill in and mask the scratch.

Urban Floor’s personal recommendation for micro scratches:

repair hardwood floor dents scratches

BONA “cover-up” Products

Cal Flor “Scratch Away”

These 2 recommendations are top-notch and work like a charm for minor scratches.

For Dents + Gouges + Deep Scratches

A dent or a gouge is a flooring term used when actual hardwood floor has been removed.

Urban Floor’s personal recommendation for dents, gouges, and deep scratches:


Touch Up Solutions

Keep in mind that after several years of use, depending on foot traffic exposure, a polyurethane floor may begin to lose its luster and show signs of wear and tear. In this scenario, a re-coat may be necessary to restore its original beauty.

Urban Floor’s Hardwood Flooring Trend Watch 2015

/ February 11, 2015

Every year designers, contractors, builders, home buyers, etc. are all trying to figure out what the hottest hardwood flooring trends will be to help their clients select the best choices. Here at Urban Floor, we’re giving you what we believe what will stay in style and what may lose it’s shine (no pun intended, of course).

What’s In:

genuine handscraped floors

Dynasty from our Royal Court Collection is a great example of a genuine hand scraped floor!

The “Timeless” Choice

This word is thrown around a lot in the hardwood flooring industry, but typically always refers to selections that invigorate a room with a classical appeal. Typical classic flooring includes oak flooring options, as well as other traditional wood selections such as walnut or maple. You could say that consumers feel more at home with these options.

Genuine Distressed and Hand scraped Floors

It’s more than just the type of wood used to create a timeless appeal. You need to factor in flooring aspects such as distressed flooring and genuine hand scraped options. We specifically mention “genuine” as opposed to machine-based because genuine is the authentic way of producing a “timeless” appearance.

These subtle, detailed aspects make hardwood floors appear worn down over time, which is what the “classic, timeless appeal” is. A vintage look, if you will.

A benefit to the worn down look is that these types of floors do not require as much effort to maintain and will look better for a longer period of time. They are very practical for the average American family.

Kitchen Flooring

This was a hit last year and we feel it will carry over into this year as well. While we do not condone hardwood flooring in the kitchen for a variety of reasons, we can still acknowledge the fact that more and more families are beginning to prefer this to tile flooring.

What’s Out:

hardwood floor trend watch

Glossy may be out, but Matte is in!

Glossy Floors

Matte, or floors without as much shine, are quickly becoming the new standard for a few reasons:

1. Floors with more shine will reveal marks easier – therefore requiring more maintenance and cleaning to correct and of course no family has time for that.

2. Floors without as much shine are often described as warmer and more inviting than other options.

Narrow Planks/Strips

Gone are the days where hardwood floors were milled to specifications of no greater than 5-inches. Nowadays, 5-inches is the standard and this only seems to be increasing every year. This is why you will not see any boards less than 5-inches (with the exception of random width) in our flooring collections.

We speculate the reasoning for this is because wider planks have a tendency to make a room visually appear larger than it really is. Rooms feel more spacious. Wide plank floors work very well for living rooms, dining rooms, and master bedrooms.

In Conclusion

Trends come and go, some last, but most do not. This is all subjective preference based on our own experiences here at Urban Floor, as well as information we’ve collected from the industry.

urban floor pinterestNeed ideas regarding designs and decor? Our Pinterest may be able to guide you in the right direction!

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