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.

Urban Floor – Now a Top Brand of Hardwood Flooring!

/ June 3, 2015

top brand hardwood flooring

Each year, the Reco marketing intelligence report is released by Wayman Group to reveal the list of top hardwood flooring companies. The results are then published in a reputable hardwood flooring publication, Floor Covering Weekly.

Last year, Urban Floor was selected as one of the top brands of hardwood flooring for both price and product availability.

This year (2015) Urban Floor was selected as one of the top brands of hardwood flooring for 5 different key attributes! The key attributes this year include:

  • Training
  • Advertising/Co-op
  • Product Availability
  • Merchandising Support
  • Service

To say we’re excited about this news would be an understatement. Like last year, we’re completely stoked over the news! It shows us objective results that we are able to measure from one year to the next helping us tweak areas that we could improve on. We take results seriously around here – as we should – to help bring quality, affordable hardwood floors to your home!

The Real Stars

In these reports, several hardwood flooring companies are brought into stardom under various categories. This year, we managed to rank in 3 additional categories from last year – a real improvement.

However, when we step back for a moment and dawn on our achievement, we begin to ask ourselves who the real stars really are.

The answer is clear: our loyal, sincere customers.

Without you, none of these achievements would be made possible. Without honest feedback from our customers, we wouldn’t know what decisions to make. We wouldn’t know what products to feature. Simply put, we wouldn’t know how to operate as a hardwood-flooring supplier.

With that said, we wanted to personally thank every single one of our fans for turning to Urban Floor for all of their hardwood flooring needs.

urban floor chuckYour support is an integral part in helping us continue to offer affordable hardwood floors (solid and engineered) that have brought smiles to many. For this, we cannot thank you enough.

We love giving away our mascot, UF Chuck. Follow us on Facebook for frequent chances to win your own as a small token of our appreciation!

Urban Floor Facebook

How To Series – Dealing With Seasonal Gapping

/ May 18, 2015

seasonal gapping how to hardwood floor

With summer approaching quickly, we wanted to cover an aspect of flooring that is perfectly natural – often referred to as “seasonal gapping”. Seasonal gapping involves both wintertime and summertime, where hardwood floors undergo changes that often tend to cause worry in consumers. Have no fear, Urban Floor is here.

Today we will teach you how to deal and prepare with year round seasonal gapping. But first, we’ll explain exactly what occurs during this process.

What Occurs During “Seasonal Gapping”?

To help you better understand this phenomenon, we’re going to use our skin as an example. When our own skin loses moisture, we become dried out. When we’re dried out, we’re more susceptible to cracked skin, etc. Hardwood floors are similar in this regard – however, a cracked floor due to severe lack of moisture is very rare.

What’s likely to happen in this scenario is your floors will lose moisture and then shrink in size – causing gaps. This typically occurs during winter when the weather is dry. These gaps tend to close up on their own during summertime when moisture is restored to the boards.

Wider boards will gap more than narrow boards, and some species will shrink less than others (e.g. a 5” Hickory will shrink more than a 5” oak plank). Also, Square edges will show more gaps than a beveled edge.

How To Deal With Seasonal Gapping

Now that we’ve briefly described this natural process, we’ll educate you on how to handle the situation.

In-Home HumidifiersHumidifiers keep the relative humidity (RH) levels in your home at an acceptable range enough to minimize seasonal gapping – 30-50%. The alternative is to accept the gaps and wait until summer for them to close up. We highly recommend investing in a humidifier for your hardwood floors.

Touch-up Pens – you may spot small patches of bare wood showing as a result of the contractions taking place. A color coordinated touch up pen can fill in the color while you wait for summer. See MinWax Touch Up Pens

Fillers – if the gaps are absolutely unacceptable, then filling them with an Adhesive Caulking (i.e. COLOR-RITE) could do the trick. They’re available in many colors and will fill the gaps up to ¼”. If you do not understand what to do, then let a professional take care of this for you.

Pro Tip: If your hardwood floors are in an environment with “humid summers” and “dry winters” with lots of foot traffic/movement, then it is BEST to leave the gaps alone and let the process carry its course.

Urban Floor’s Handpicked Personal Favorites!

/ May 5, 2015

Valentine’s Day may have come and go, but that shouldn’t stop the love from being spread. That is why Urban Floor went through every floor of every collection we offer and handpicked some of our personal favorites. Believe us, this task was NOT easy, as we don’t like playing favorites. However, if we absolutely had to choose 3 floors we love then here’s what we came up with.

Chianti – Featured in the Chéne Collection

oak hardwood floors

As we sifted through the collections, there was something about the Chianti floors that dazzled us. It stuck out. We’re guessing it’s because of its midnight dark color – something that demands your attention. But it could also be due to the fact that these floors contrast very, very well with the décor and furniture placed on top of it. Either way, it was the first one that got our attention – just look at it!

Honorable mentions on the eye-catching factor: Cello featured in the Driftwood Inspired Composer Orchestra Collection + Birch Coffee featured in the Welcome Home Collection.

Abruzzo – Featured in the Villa Caprisi Collection

white oak hardwood floor

We decided that WOW, we really love our Abruzzo hardwood floors. Something about it just sends us a powerful feeling of modern elegance. It’s the white oak that seals the deal – specifically the white over the oak (we do love oak ,though!). As humans, we’ve come to understand white is associated with purity or perfection. A few examples: a bride will wear white during her wedding or the clouds we see above us, or even The White House.

With that said, we do believe the Abruzzo floor to be a perfect choice!

Honorable mention: Grigio feature in our Chéne Collection – for the same reason, modern elegance.

Taft Maple – Featured in the Presidential Collection

solid hardwood floor

We may be all about engineered floors here at Urban Floor, but the truth is: we’re really just all about hardwood floors (maybe with the exception of laminate or vinyl, booo). But the Taft Maple is seriously a solid choice – no pun intended. It really gives off this wholesome, natural earthy feeling most likely because of its natural knots. The character of this floor resonates with us. If we really had to describe it, we’d say “down to Earth”.

Honorable mention: Hickory Natural featured in the Chiseled Edge series as part of our Urban Lifestyle Collection.

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