Tips to Protect Your Hardwood Floors in Cold Weather

Even though we live in Georgia, the fall and winter seasons can bring some pretty low temperatures. The cooler weather and occasional snow storm or occurrence of inclement weather means it’s time to start thinking about how these  fall and winter conditions can affect your hardwood floors. Hardwood floors are natural, they react to the changes in the seasons in the same ways plants and trees do. Here are a few tips to make sure your hardwoods are protected during the fall and winter this year.

Some heating systems can drastically reduce the humidity level in your home. Make sure your home isn’t too dry as it can cause gapping in the planks of your hardwoods as well as cause checks in the wood. This drop in humidity can also affect the installation of your hardwood floors, so it is important to check the humidity prior to an installation if  you are planning to do it during the fall or winter season.

5'' Red Oak hand-rubbed oil finish

5” Red Oak hand-rubbed oil finish

Be mindful about snow, ice and water in general. Even though it doesn’t snow much in Georgia, it is important to make sure that no moisture of any kind is tracked onto the hardwoods. Excessive exposure to moisture can cause the wood to warp and weaken the treatment on the wood.

As the weather begins to change,  it is important to keep up with regular maintenance on your hardwood floors in order to maximize the lifetime of your investment.

Are you considering installing hardwoods or restoring you existing ones? Be sure to contact us for a free estimate on your current floors.

Tips for Maintaining Hardwood Floors in Your Kitchen

Hardwood floors are timeless and always in style. However, the use of hardwoods in rooms such as your kitchen and bathroom are new trends that can highlight your room in ways you might not have pictured. Ready to revamp the most popular room in your room? Here are some things to consider:

Your kitchen gets more foot traffic than probably any other room in your home. While hardwood floors are relatively low maintenance, it does require regular cleaning and care, make sure you can commit to caring for them so you can make the most out of your investment. hardwood floors in Woodstock

Once your floors are installed, utilize rugs and mats! This is a great way to prevent water damage from your sink, refrigerator, dishwasher or even you cat or dog’s water bowl.

Stick to the harder types of wood such as oak as they will hold up best under extreme foot traffic. Also be mindful of the stain you choose, lighter wood finishes tend to do best because they don’t show dust or crumbs as easily as darker finishes.

Water damage will destroy your floors so make sure you are checking all of your water features regularly for leaks.

Hardwood floors are a beautiful and timeless statement to any kitchen. Are you ready to get started on creating your dream kitchen? Contact us here to get started with a free estimate.

2014 Hardwood Flooring Trends

Hardwood floors are one of the greatest investments you can make in your home because they are timeless and always in style. This timelessness definitely allows for some more room to be trendy and show a little personality with your stain and style of hardwood flooring. Here are some of the most popular styles for 2014:

  • If you favor a more rustic style, wide planks might be the best choice for you. Wide plank hardwoods have fewer seams and come in a variety of wood types.Advanced Flooring Solutions
  • Interested in telling a story? Reclaimed pine will give that historic look while also looking very luxurious.
  • Maple Plank is very popular for it’s sleek yet warm look. Consider this type of flooring if you want to give your home a little added warmth.
  • Want to stand out? A Brazilian cherry wood is going to give your home a unique look. The varied colors in the grain will ensure that no two rooms look identical.
  • The Douglas fir has a striking look to its grain. This timeless yet unique style would be a great option for anyone considering a new hardwood floor installation.

The question isn’t whether or not you should install hardwood floors, it’s what style and finish is best for your style. For more information about installing or restoring hardwood floors in the Atlanta area, contact us today to set up an estimate.

Caring for your Hardwood Floors

Restoring or installing hardwood floors is a huge investment in your home. The look of hardwood floors is timeless and can be the centerpiece of any room, however, it may require a different kind of attention than other flooring types such as carpet.

  • Preventing scratches: No one wants their hardwood floors to get scratched, a great way to prevent this is by using rugs in heavily trafficked areas as well as using floor protectors under your tables and chairs. If you have little ones, you may want to consider trying to keep some of their toys in carpeted areas or on a rug to prevent accidental scratching.Tigerwood Hardwood Flooring
  • Removing marks: Before you start scrubbing your floors to remove a mark, consider the staining treatment you have on your floors. The type of stain on your floor will predetermine the methods you can use to clean. If you aren’t sure, consult with a professional so you don’t damage the floor.
  • The basics: When it comes to day-to-day care of your hardwood floors, a dust-treated mop and weekly vacuuming should do the trick. Be sure to address any spills immediately after they happen to prevent a mark from setting in. You should also avoid any ammonia based products that may damage the finish on your floors.

Caring for your hardwood floors is the best way to extend their quality before you need to restore them again. Not sure if it’s time to consider restoring your hardwood floors? Contact one of our professionals today to get a free estimate.

The Value of Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are a timeless and coveted feature to any homebuyer. Investing in either refinishing your hardwoods or installing new hardwood floors can yield one of the best Returns on Investment. Here are a few ways to leverage hardwood floors in the sale of your home.

If you’re considering selling your home, you might want to think about installing new hardwood floors20140205_144556 if you don’t have them already. While installing new carpet is an option as well, it will simply retain the resale value of your home rather than cause an increase in value. 

When considering installing hardwood floors, consider the rooms that are seen most by guests. Kitchens, dining rooms, living rooms and foyers are great places to start when you are thinking about making the investment. If you already have hardwood floors in those areas, the master bedroom/suite is another great place to consider.

If you have hardwood floors underneath carpet or vinyl flooring, definitely consider having them refinished for a boost in home sale value.

Adding to their aesthetic value, hardwood floors can be restained multiple times, while other flooring types such as carpet need to be replaced regularly particularly right before a home goes on the market. Hardwood floors also don’t harbor any allergens and are overall very low maintenance.

If you’re ready to install hardwood floors in your Woodstock home, contact us today!

Knowing When It’s Time to Repair or Replace Hardwood Floors

AFS singleOlder hardwood floors have some particular charm but do you know how to recognize the signs of damage? When is it time to have your hardwood floor repaired or should you be thinking about replacement?

When is Restoration Appropriate?

Restoring hardwood floors is a viable option but you have to assess the condition and the scope of the damage first. Here are some signs that your floor is in need of repairs:

  • Water soaks into the floor: Take a look at the most high-traffic areas of your hardwood floor. Drop some water there. Are the droplets staying on top or are they getting soaked into the wood? If the wood is absorbing liquid, you are in need of re-finishing.
  • Look at the wood itself. If the finish is worn out, there is some risk of wood damage. Your hardwood floor is in need of repairs if you notice cuts, stains, cracks and warping.
  • The floor level: Get on the ground and take a look at the hardwood floor level. Does the flooring appear wavy or uneven? Both of these are signs of some damage. Repairs may be necessary.

When should You Consider Hardwood Floor Replacements?

A number of hardwood floor problems can be fixed, if you pay careful attention to the condition of the wood and you introduce the necessary measures in a timely manner. Sooner or later, however, you will need to have the floor replaced. When is it time to start thinking about such a project?

  • Old floors that are covered with difficult to remove adhesive are much easier to replace than to repair.
  • Serious structural issues. Signs of subfloor damage will usually be indicative of serious structural issues. Refinishing will be far from the best option in such instances. Slats of wood that have shifted too much will be very difficult to get back in position.
  • Serious water damage is another major problem that will demand floor replacement. Peeling, cracking, excessive staining and serious distortion are all signs of wood damage caused by moisture. Professionals will advice you to have the floor replaced, if you are looking for the best outcome.

Hardwood floors can be maintained in good condition for a very long period of time. Recognizing the most common signs of damage, however, is the key to undertaking corrective measures that will save you a lot of money in the long run. If you’re interested in restoring your current hardwood floors or replacing your flooring, contact Advanced Flooring Solutions in Woodstock, Georgia today!

Using Underlayment for Hardwood Flooring

AFS singleWhen preparing for the installation of your new hardwood flooring, it is important to stop and consider which kind of underlayment to place beneath it. There are several factors that determine which underlayment to use for your flooring project, and finding the perfect fit for your sub floor and environment will ensure that you fully enjoy your new hardwood floor.

  • Moisture: It is important to consider the environment in which you will install your flooring. For example, if you are installing hardwood flooring in a potentially damp room, such as a basement, certain measures must be taken to ensure that moisture does not cause the hardwood to expand. Installing underlayment that will be an effective moisture barrier is crucial in damp environments.
  • Sound: Underlayment plays a key role in reducing noise transfer between rooms. If you would like to install hardwood floors in your band room, you might want to consider a sound-absorbent underlayment such as cork.
  • Sub Floor: In some cases, the material of your sub floor will determine the underlayment that is best to use for your project. For example, it would not be wise to install a moisture barrier over a wood sub floor. This would trap moisture in the sub floor and lead to mold and mildew concerns.

If would like to discuss underlayment options for you next hardwood flooring project, please contact us.

Matching Hardwood Floors with Your Kitchen Cabinets and Countertops

Kitchen Hardwood FlooringHardwood floors are one of the strongest trends in interior design and boost your home’s resale value. During remodeling, many homeowners face the design dilemma of their kitchen cabinets, countertops and hardwood floors. Should you match the wood, paint the cabinets to match the floor, or replace granite countertops with something else?

Complementary

Hardwood floors and kitchen cabinets should complement each other. Most professional interior designers discourage homeowners from trying to match wood between design elements. Flooring is always seen horizontally, so light plays across its surface differently from light on horizontal cabinet fronts. A better solution is to complement the colors, choosing from opposite sides of the color wheel. If your hardwood floor is a light, warm sugar maple, you can consider a darker, cool color for the cabinets.

Highlights

According to the National Wood Flooring Association, a rising trend in integrating hardwood floors is to incorporate non-wood elements in the floor, by adding stone or metallic inlays. If you have granite countertops, consider small accent pieces of matching granite in the floor, near doorways or as a decorative border. This ties the floor into the countertops and pulls the whole room together.

Mix it Up

The American Hardwood Information Center suggests mixing, not matching, woods in kitchens. You can successfully intermingle natural wood finishes with treated surfaces such as pickled wood, stains, and paint in light tones.

  • Avoid mixing highly figured grains, such as hickory and oak.
  • Dark tones anchor a large room, helping to pull it together; a small kitchen benefits from lighter cabinets.
  • Get large samples of any possible choices and live with them for a while.
  • Wood trim can match the perimeter cabinets, whether stained or painted.

Facing Budgets

Facing a limited budget with a need for a drastic remodel in the kitchen? Consider refacing the cabinets, rather than replacing them. Refacing allows the entire palette of color and wood choices, so the prevailing hardwood floor in the home can run right into the kitchen, giving an open feeling to your floor plan. Then reface the cabinets with new doors and new hardware in a complementary color to the floor.

Be Calm

Remember, after your bold interior design statement, you have to live with your choices. Avoid the temptation to turn every surface into a showpiece. If you use a hardwood floor with dramatic inlays of highly figured stone, choose a more neutral cabinet color.

If you have questions about finding the right hardwood floors for your home in Woodstock, Georgia, contact Advanced Flooring Solutions today. Simply fill out our quick and easy estimate form!

Image via Boa Franc

Prevent Furniture from Scratching Your Floors

furniture on wood floorsOne of the best things about hardwood floors is that they will last a lifetime. Of course, just because they are durable does not mean they are immune to dents and scratches. Some of the most common culprits for damage are pets and furniture. Of course, we have already discussed some of the ways to help prevent your pets from scratching your wood floors, and now we are going to give a couple tips on how to ensure your furniture is hardwood floor friendly.

  • Place your furniture on rugs. By doing so, you will eliminate the contact of the table and chairs and prevent any possibility for damage to occur.
  • Put pads on the bottom of the furniture. There are many different types of pads: stick on, tap on and slip on. All three of these will protect your floors from any furniture abrasions. The peel and stick on pads are the most common and usually least expensive, and they will do great for chairs, stools, ottomans and other furniture that is constantly moved around. Don’t necessarily think that just because it costs more it is more effective.

The basic principle is that you need some sort of material between the bottom of your furniture and your hardwood floors to prevent unwanted scratches and damage, and any protection is better than none at all. Contact us if you have any questions about the regular care and maintenance of hardwood floors or if you are interested in having them installed in your house.

Hardwood Floors vs. Carpet

hardwood floors in WoodstockWhen it comes to buying a new home or upgrading your current home, we want you to think of installing hardwood floors as the first thing on your must-have list. There are so many reasons for you to choose hardwoods, and in this blog post, we are going to cover a few of them:

  1. Improve air quality – Where carpet traps dirt, pollen, dust and other allergens, hardwood floors do not. In fact, the difference is so significant that the American Lung Association recommends hardwood floors to improve air quality.
  2. Easy to maintain – Carpets absorb liquids and are prone to stains. So, in order to clean them, you must not only vacuum regularly, but also go over with a heavy duty carpet cleaner on a regular basis. Even with this cleaning regime, your carpets may still not look pristine. Hardwood floors, on the other hand, are easy to maintain, only requiring regular sweeping/vacuuming.
  3. Added Value – Unlike carpet, hardwood floors add value to your home and make it more appealing to home buyers if ever you were to put it on the market.
  4. Durable – As long as the floors are properly maintained, and periodically refinished, they will never need to be replaced.
  5. Appearance – Wood floors are much more aesthetically pleasing than carpet, which is why it makes a house more sellable.

As you can see, there are numerous benefits to installing hardwood floors in your home. You may be turned off by the upfront cost, but when you take into account the added value to your home as well as the fact that you will never need new floors again, they are an extremely wise investment and you will come out ahead in the end.

If you are in need of hardwood floors in Woodstock and the surrounding areas, don’t hesitate to contact us for a flooring estimate.