Hardwood FlooringNEWS-BLOG

DECIDING WHICH WOOD FLOORING COMPANY BEST SUITS YOUR NEEDS

 

Make Sure You Can Accurately Compare Estimates

All flooring contractors you’re considering for either installing or repairing hardwood floors need to provide you with written estimates in costs, steps involved and materials.

Do not consider verbal estimates or agreements. Never!  

With the estimates in hand,  you can now compare each contractors price, the steps they will take to perform and complete the job plus their allotted timeline.

Get Everything In writing

After you decide which contractor you feel most comfortable hiring, you’ll want to draw up a contract. Verify that the contract lists the specific products the contractor intends to use as well as the specific installation methods.

Do not be shy about adding a penalty clause to the contract if the job is not completed to the agreed time frame.

Split Your Payments

Paying a contractor the full amount upfront could is rarely done. It’s common to give an initial 30% deposit and another 30% when all the materials arrive at your location. With the job’s completion you should pay the final amount due, the 40% balance.

Check The Contractor’s References

Any flooring contractor worth their salt will have happy customers. Ask to speak to at least three former customers. These customers should be a mix of recent and older customers. This will give you a better overview of the contractor’s quality of work. If at all possible, ask the former customers to send photographs of their hardwood floors.

Check Insurance Policies And  Business Licenses

You want to make sure the contractor is on the level. Ask to see their business license and declaration (“dec”) page from their insurance policy.Also inquire as to whether the contractor’s workers are employees or sub-contractors.

 Avoid The Big Box Stores

While the Big Box stores will typically be the cheapest option in your area, you have to remember the old adage “you get what you pay for. The salesperson, for all you know, may have little to no experience with hardwood floors.

Professional hardwood floor contractors and installers — especially ones certified by NWFA — are far more knowledgeable and experienced. The NWFA is dedicated to training and educating wood floor professionals. A professional and experienced hardwood floor installer should be able to give you professional results and offer advice in case any questions arise after installation.

sand and refinish hardwood mountian view
Mountain View – family room, 450 square square feet, sand and refinish with medium-brown stain and 3 coats semi-water base finish.

Tips In Choosing Which Hardwood Flooring Is Best For Your Home or Office

The Different Types of Wood Flooring

Hardwood floors have unmatched natural beauty and go with any decor — modern, traditional, country. Wood flooring is a great choice for all room, although kitchens and basements might not be ideal.

 

Unfinished or Finished?

Unfinished hardwood flooring is the best choice if you have custom stain applied before the last finish; it’s also ideal or if you want to color-match existing flooring. After your hardwood flooring is installed and stained, several coats of protective finish are applied to your wood flooring. Prefinished hardwood flooring arrives from the factory  sanded and sealed, so the  installation process is quick. There are no odors and VOCs from finishing on-site and your floor is fine to walk on immediately.

Solid or Engineered?

Solid hardwood flooring is 100 percent wood and comes 5/8 to 3/4 inches thick. Because it’s solid wood, it can be sanded and refinished numerous times. Engineered hardwood flooring is a veneer of real wood adhered to a few layers of wood underneath, like plywood. Engineered offers excellent stability over time. It good choice for rooms  of your home, including below-grade basements. Typically, engineered hardwood flooring can only be sanded and refinished once or twice during its lifetime.

 

What Species Is Best?

The best hardwood floors are made with wood species that are readily available and quite hard. Oak flooring, maple flooring and cherry flooring are all good choices. Other species include bamboo (which is actually a grass), walnut, ash and mahogany. You’ll pay a more price for more exotic species, such as teak, jarrah and mesquite. Check to make sure the hardwood flooring you choose comes from sustainably harvested forests.

Another option is reclaimed hardwood flooring, which you can find at salvage yards. It likely has some signs of wear and age, but you’ll pay about half what it would cost for comparable new flooring. If they don’t have what you’re looking for (and you have the time), ask to be put on a waiting list. Salvage flooring is an especially good choice if you’re renovating an older house.

Have Questions about Hardwood Floor Repairs or New Wood Flooring Installation?

Call Elegant Floors:  (408) 773-8624 | Email us at: teri@elegant-floors.com    |  https://elegant-floors.com/

 

After wood flooring repairs
                              Los Altos Hills residential 2,500 square feet total refinish: stair assembly w/paint aid baseboard; living room.

                                       Los Altos Hills: Brazilian cherry adds elegance to any room.

Should I Wax My Hardwood Floors?

Be A Little Cautious Before Waxing Your Hardwood Floors

 

Hardwood flooring installed before the 1970s often required wax applications to ensure floors were well-protected and retained their lustrous appearance. Most modern hardwood flooring has a protective polyurethane or urethane/acrylic topcoat that provides a layer of protection against damage and wear and tear; floors with these finishes should not be waxed.

 

Make sure wax won’t damage your hardwood floors by selecting a product that’s specially formulated for wood flooring. Sweep, dust and clean your floor surface completely before you wax, or tiny dirt and dust particles will get trapped below the freshly waxed surface.

 

Paste Wax

Select a paste wax from your local hardware or home goods store. The brand doesn’t make much difference as long as it’s specifically designed for hardwood floors and is compatible with your floor finish. Apply a small clump of paste wax with a cheesecloth or a white terrycloth rag and rub the compound into the floor. It helps to follow the grain of wood on wooden floor planks as you rub, or use a circular motion for square or patterned wood floors. Allow the wax to dry, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Buff the floors by hand with a dry pad, or use a dry-pad buffing machine.

 

Liquid Wax

Opt for a liquid hardwood floor wax if you don’t want or need to use as much elbow grease. A liquid-wax application is often easier because you don’t have to rub as much and spend more of your time spreading the substance evenly across the floor… Use terrycloth to ensure the wax sufficiently covers all the nooks and crannies in the floor’s surface. Rub in a linear fashion and follow any grains in the wood. Buff the floors once the wax has dried.

 

Follow Basic Protocol

Never use vinyl or linoleum floor waxes on hardwood floors as these waxes may contain potent chemicals that could damage your floors. Avoid abrasives and other cleaning products that might harm the natural wood characteristics that have a urethane finish

 

Consult a local flooring dealer or installer/refinisher Elegant Floors of Sunnyvale, if you aren’t sure whether wax could damage your wood flooring.

 

Call: (408) 773- 8624 | https://elegant-floors.com/

Elegant Floors Has Been Serving The South Bay Since 1996 “With 25 Years Experience, We’ve Learned A Few Things Along The Way”

The old adage, “There’s no substitute for experience,” has never been more applicable than for those companies who are involved in the construction improvement industry.

As a hardwood flooring contractor/company for both residential and commercial segments,  Elegant Floors has always prided itself in getting jobs done correctly, i.e., performing the workmanship to spec, and when possible provide beyond-expectations workmanship.      

The pros at Elegant Floors learned early on that even the seemingly smallest mistake — wood floor sanding, staining, refinishing and installation   — can result in major problems. And any “major problem” in this industry almost always translates to expense overages, in time and materials.     

Within the wood flooring industry, there’s always been a continuous learning curve both in product and application. So if one were to a choose fairly new flooring company over Elegant Floors, there’s  really no comparing the two companies’ abilities.

With 25 years of hands-on experience, Elegant Floors is better able to offer options and choices so they can meet the expecting results  that the client has in mind, than new-ish flooring company. And, in fact, exceeding expectations is really the company’s number 1 goal.

The industry is constantly changing, like most other industries, and selections, applications, prices and affordability change. For instance the trends have gone from unfinished floors to refinished floors; from laminate floors  to luxury vinyl floors. So with experience gained over time, Elegant Floors can consider all the factors  that will produce the best results toward the homeowner’s or commercial customer’s expectation.

Comparing EF to a Newer Floor Company

Simply put the more time you spend doing something and the more situations you encounter, the better advice you’re are able to share with the client; you’re able to guide them with what they’re looking for in making the optimum material choice in product while staying within their budget.

Please Contact Us With Questions or If You’d Like a Free Estimate: (408) 773- 8624                                                   https://elegant-floors.com/      |    teri@elegant-floors.com

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After wood flooring refinishing Family room, Sunnyvale.

The Big Decision: Is It Better To Refinish Hardwood Floors Or Replace Them With New hardwood?

Well this depends on a number of factors including the condition/age of your hardwood, how much  you like your current hardwood and what your budget looks like.

Generally, it should almost always cost less to refinish your hardwood floors than replace them.  Aside, from the new-wood expense If you replace them, you’ll also be paying for the labor involved in pulling up and hauling away your existing wood flooring.

If you plan on refinishing the floors but sections of your hardwood are damaged (pet stains or minor water stains), these boards can be replaced when your floor is refinished.  Even if you replace some portions and refinish the vast majority of your wood floors, it will still be less costly then replacing the entire wood flooring

So, even though is less expensive the refinish than replace your hardwood flooring, there are times when it makes good  sense to go with new hardwood flooring.

  1. If your floors are extremely old — 100 years — and worn, and have been refinished many times, it may be time for a new floor. 

2)  If you can see the “tongue” where the boards fit together, it’s probably time for a new floor.

3)  If your floors are rather bouncy and/or don’t seem very sturdy, it’s time for a new floor.

4) Holiday Gatherings: It you’ve suddenly decided to plan on hosting holiday parties and your wood floors are a “mess,” replacing the floors will usually take less time than refinishing them.

Refinishing can be  time consuming,  especially  if you’re home is fully furnished, and have furniture everywhere.

When it comes to deciding refinish or replace your hardwood floors, you want to consult with an expert wood flooring contractor, like Scott from Elegant Floors. Give him a call and he’ll be happy to come out to your home for a free consultation . Scotts will also provide you with free estimates for refinishing or the sales and installation of new wood floors:

Tel: (408) 773- 8624  | https://elegant-floors.com/

After wood flooring repairs
Becautifull new red oak flooring  installed in this modern dining room of this Palo Alto residence.

 

Your Home’s Entryway Stairs: Hardwood Flooring Vs Carpet — Part 2

Part 2

CARPET VS HARDWOOD HEALTH

Some natural carpets made wool, jute, seagrass and sisal have less of an impact on home health and the environment compared to synthetic carpeting. Wool and other natural fibers are renewable and break down quickly without defiling the home or the domain.

By contrast, most synthetic carpets are made with petroleum, which is non-renewable and breaks down unevenly, giving off explosive organic compounds (VOCs) as it wears over time.

Hardwood is sustainable material, particularly if steps are taken to ensure conscientious harvesting and planting of trees. Homeowners can find a wide range  hardwood flooring that lend to healthy options that are kid and pet-friendly and contain no harsh chemicals.

CARPET VS HARDWOOD DURABILITY

In terms of strength and resilience  hardwood flooring is the hands-down winner. Hardwood floors that consist of hardwearing materials that can last 50 to 100 years if maintained as they should be. Carpets, typically only last as long as the quality of the material. Fundamental grade carpets typically will last 5 to 10 years before they need to be swapped out, while higher-quality carpets can last from to 10 to 15 years.

WHY CHOOSE HARDWOOD FLOORS VS CARPET?

After much debate, the decision to choose either carpet or hardwood floors is really up to one’s preference. It’s quite common to find carpet in bedrooms because people enjoy a softer, warmer surface for one’s bare feet. With a spacious house of say  two or three stories, carpet can also help in minimizing noise. However, when you look at the overall cost, maintenance, durability and home health associated with hardwood floors vs carpet, there’s no question that quality hardwood flooring is the the best choice.

  Carpeted stairs

                                What is your preference between hardwood stairs or carpeted stairs?

Choosing Your Home Entryway Stairs: Hardwood Flooring or Carpet – Part 1

Carpet vs hardwood floors: It’s a popular topic in the flooring industry that’s subject to much debate and opinion. And when the subject is stairs, the debate is no different. There’s not right or wrong. For some it’s a matter of style. For some it’s maintenance, while for others it’s cost; and with others it might be safety. Still, there’s always thought about added value to ones home.

Style: What is the overall floor plan of your house? Is it a mix of carpet and hardwood? Or is it mostly carpeting and you would like to add hardwood stairs? Not only will those hardwood stairs add a whole new look to your home, but it just might inspire you to continue with more new interior additions such as adding hardwood to your entry so it matches and compliments your stairs.

Comparing Costs: If your current stairs carpet needs replacing, pulling the old carpet and installing new will definitely cost less than the overall expense of hardwood floor stairs.

Comparing Maintenance Costs:White oak hardwood stairs.                                                                           White Oak Flooring 

 

Carpeted stairs
Carpeted Stairs

In short, hardwood flooring is much simpler to clean and maintain compared to carpeting. Hardwood floors can be swept or damp-mopped to clean dust, spills, surface stains, and other debris. We suggest using a quality mop with warm water with a touch of a mild dish soap, Ivory, Dawn, Ivory or Palmolive

It’s a hard task to maintain the like-new shape of carpet because of dust, dirt, and allergens become trapped within the fibers over time. For this reason, it’s important that carpet is vacuumed regularly to help free these particles. However, some stains can be far more taxing to remove, often times requiring deep shampoo cleaning or special chemicals and treatments.

It might best to a have a professional clean them yearly. While certain types of pretreated and synthetic fiber carpets are designed to resist stains, hardwood flooring is arguably easier to maintain in the long run.

To Be Continued

What Rooms Should Not Not Have Hardwood Flooring Installed?

If you are dealing with an honest hardwood flooring contractor and/or a showroom store, they should not be trying trying and steer you into 100 percent wood flooring for your entire house.

Forget The Laundry Room
Wood floors don’t belong in your laundry room. When you consider the potential damage to wooden floors from leaks, pools of water and spilled detergent, go with flooring that is more water resistant. Stay away from wood and go with a sturdy option like tile instead, even water-resistant LVT.

Forget the Foyer
Do you really want dirt and sand are constantly being tracked in? Think of water and moisture from wet shoes and your hardwood flooring entryway will quickly go south!

The Bathroom Floors
Do not be tempted to have hardwood bathroom flooring. Bad idea!Hardwood flooring really is a horrific match for bathrooms. It’s not secret that moisture can cause major damage to hardwood floors over time. Things like steamy showers and spills can prematurely age wood floors and creating damage.

For immediate destruction to wood flooring an overflowing toilet could quickly happen spell the end for your wood floors. There is also the threat of mold. Wood flooring is especially a poor choice in a bathroom if you have a household with younger children. An option like tile is a much better choice because of the way it is capable of handling moisture.

What About the Kitchen?
Hardwood has a place in every home, but definitely not every room. Forget thinking about wooden flooring in the kitchen. Like the bathroom, leaking faucets, broken pipes and dishwashers will certainly cause permanent damage to your wood flooring.Consider engineered flooring, LVT. It resists moisture better than solid hardwood. And it looks like hardwood!

Waterproof LVT (luxury vinyl tile) tile is not only smart choice your for kitchen but a beautiful choice too!

What’s the Difference Between Red Oak Flooring and White Oak Flooring?

Oak flooring is the most favorite tree strain use for hardwood flooring. And with good reason – oak is easily available, affordable, hardy and stunningly exquisite What some people don’t know is there are two different genus of oak flooring readily available – red oak and white oak.

If you’re planning on having new hardwood flooring installed either species will generally work out just fine. The wood you select may depend on the end-use and color you have in mind for the room’s overall look. Both are strong and rank high on the Janka hardness listing. The biggest difference between the costs of red oak flooring and white oak flooring may vary a little depending on regions. However, costs are generally the same

So, what are the biggest differences between red oak and white oak flooring?
Grain. Red oak can have a stronger grain pattern, with more variation. White oak has a smoother, more uniform appearance. Some folks preference might be the strong graining of red oak – both for the appearance and because the strong graining does hide scratches and dents quite well. Others prefer the cleaner simpler visuals that white oak is known for.

Matching Existing Stairs. If you are intent on matching current stairs, knowing what wood they is imperative in planning your decision which hardwood to purchase. Typically, you will want an exact match any flooring to the stairs they will be butted into. Mind you that Red oak is more common in stair treads, saddles, banisters and other transitions than white oak. And chance are, If you already have oak stairs, they’re probably red oak. However, if you are building new stair treads or replacing the old, choose whichever oak species you’re more passionate about.

Red oak or white oak, they’re both beautiful, you will not lose from choosing one oak over the other. When one gazes at oak flooring, the warmth and elegance just draws you in. 

For all your new, hardwood flooring needs and installation or repairs, call 25-year family-owned Elegant Floors of Sunnyvale and the entire South Bay: (408) 773-8624. https://elegant-floors.com/

https://elegant-floors.com/
Red oak hardwood flooring.
White oak solid hardwood flooring.
White oak solid hardwood flooring.

Repairing Wood Flooring with Termite Damage

If you notice something awry with your wood flooring, there could be a big problems with termites.

Termite damage is not always apparent, but there are certain signals in your wood floors you don’t want to ignore. Known as the silent destroyer, termites generally consume  dead wood from the inside out. Termites weaken the inner structure of wood causing uncommon sounds when walking on them 

Hardwoods weakened by termites can also creak or squeak due to movement between loose planks, or because the subfloor and supports are compromised.

Floors that sag and buckle, have loose boards, small holes, or crumbling wood also indicate possible termite damage. A termite infestation can become very dangerous when the destruction causes floors or other parts of the house to collapse, and it’s imperative that you call a pest control specialist as soon as possible once you determine that you have termites to prevent any further damage to your home.

After your termite problem has been taken care of by the pest control specialist, give Elegant Floors a call so we can assess the damage. If you would like us to completely replace your flooring with new boards or try and save your existing flooring by performing repairs, we’ll let you know what’s feasible.   

Repairing hardwood floors with termite damage, is pretty straightforward, as long  there’s no foundation issues.  There may be some boards where the depth of the damage is not that deep. In that case, we would then us wood filler then sand and refinish.  Where the termite damage  excessive we’ll need to replace boards. We’ll pull the boards that need replacing and  install new planks then sand and refinish.

For more information and free estimates please call: (408) 773-8624

   teri@elegant-floors.com   | elegant-floors.com   

If you notice something awry with your wood flooring, there could be a big problems with termites.

Termite damage is not always apparent, but there are certain signals in your wood floors you don’t want to ignore. Known as the silent destroyer, termites generally consume  dead wood from the inside out. Termites weaken the inner structure of wood causing uncommon sounds when walking on them 

Hardwoods weakened by termites can also creak or squeak due to movement between loose planks, or because the subfloor and supports are compromised.

Floors that sag and buckle, have loose boards, small holes, or crumbling wood also indicate possible termite damage. A termite infestation can become very dangerous when the destruction causes floors or other parts of the house to collapse, and it’s imperative that you call a pest control specialist as soon as possible once you determine that you have termites to prevent any further damage to your home.

After your termite problem has been taken care of by the pest control specialist, give Elegant Floors a call so we can assess the damage. If you would like us to completely replace your flooring with new boards or try and save your existing flooring by performing repairs, we’ll let you know what’s feasible.   

Repairing hardwood floors with termite damage, is pretty straightforward, as long  there’s no foundation issues.  There may be some boards where the depth of the damage is not that deep. In that case, we would then us wood filler then sand and refinish.  Where the termite damage  excessive we’ll need to replace boards. We’ll pull the boards that need replacing and  install new planks then sand and refinish.

For more information and free estimates please call: (408) 773-8624

teri@elegant-floors.com   | elegant-floors.com   

BEFORE – San Jose residential: Family room and bedroom entryway floors in need of termite repairs and refinishing.
After repair and refinishing wood flooring.
“After” photo of repair and refinishing San Jose living room.