Hardwood flooring has been a staple in home design for centuries. It’s often chosen for its timeless appeal, warm color variations, and ability to coordinate with just about any décor. Over the last few years, however, hardwood has gotten some negative press as new flooring categories such as luxury vinyl have emerged. It’s time to debunk a few of the most popular myths about hardwood.
It’s High Maintenance.
With today’s topical hardwood finishes, waxing is no longer necessary. All that’s really required to keep hardwood in shape is regular sweeping or vacuuming and mopping. For a deeper clean, utilize a hardwood cleaner like Bona with a dry mop. Quickly clean up spills and utilize door mats and pet mats under food dishes.
While the initial investment in hardwood may be more than other flooring types like luxury vinyl, hardwood is going to last for centuries if properly maintained. Hardwood floors also increase your home’s value, so you get more return on your investment should you decide to sell your home. In addition, the development of engineered hardwood has led to more affordable options in wood floors.
Engineered Wood Isn’t Real Wood.
Engineered wood floors are indeed real wood. They are constructed of a finished wood veneer attached to a layered substrate of wood plies. Although all wood is affected by moisture, engineered wood is less susceptible to seasonal shrinking and swelling. In addition, engineered is more flexible than solid, allowing it to be installed directly over concrete sub floors and even sometimes over existing flooring.
All Hardwood is the Same.
There are numerous species of hardwood from traditional oak and cherry to more exotic woods like acacia and bamboo. Each species carries its own variants in color, shades, texture and strength. These unique characteristics are displayed in both solid and engineered wood. Manufacturers are even able to add distressed features such as hatching, etching, and wire brushing to engineered wood to give it an aged, natural appearance.
It Scratches Easily.
As mentioned above, some species of wood are harder than others. The Janka test determines the hardness of wood, and your flooring advisor can use it to help you determine which wood is best for your home. The harder the wood, the harder it is to scratch. In addition, many varieties are available with scratch-resistant finishes. Most surface scratches can be easily repaired, and you can take precautions to minimize every-day scratching. Keep pets’ nails trimmed, and utilized pads under chairs and furniture.
We hope these tips have helped you in your search for hardwood floors. Don’t let common myths deter you from purchasing the hardwood floors you’ve always wanted. Give us a call, and one of our flooring advisors will be happy to assist you selecting your dream floors! 256-231-0008.
2020 was quite a year, to say the least. With more of us at home, it has become prime time for home improvements. Are you ready to refresh your home with new floors? Take a look at what’s trending in the flooring world for 2021.
Engineered hardwood has always been a favorite for its brilliant finishes, colors, textures, and layered construction that resists weathering. Over the years, color trends have run the gamut from blondes to ebonies. This year, we’re seeing more middle-of-the-road (or Goldilocks) shades take center stage. These wood stains are “just right” for any decor from modern to rustic. In addition, interest is added to neutral shades with textured planks and laying wood in patterns like chevron, herringbone, or on a diagonal. Wood borders and framing are also rising in popularity.
One of the biggest trends this year has actually been around a very long time: terra cotta tiles. The variations, colors, and patterns in terra cotta are unparalleled and give fabulous European flare to entryways, mud rooms, and kitchens. Along these same lines, vintage or graphic-patterned tiles add old-world charm or an unexpected twist to contemporary décor. Also in line with patterned tile is tile laid in patterns: basic, solid-colored tile that is laid in stripes, chevron, diamonds, herringbone, etc.
Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP)
LVP or “waterproof floors” are the hottest flooring category today. These floors can go anywhere in your home, from basement to bedroom, without any worry of messes or moisture. LVP is easy to install and clean and comes in a variety of wood and tile looks. LVP is continuing to evolve into wider and longer planks with textures and features making them more realistic-looking than ever.
Carpet continues to be a design staple in people’s homes. At the forefront for 2021 are natural, sustainable fibers like wool, sisal, and jute. Earthy and jewel tones that evoke thoughts of nature and warmth are popular. Bold colors, bright patterns, and a sense of maximalism add pizzazz and style to even neutral decor. Plush textures like velvet and chunky loops give a space a cozy sense of comfort and fun.
Whatever flooring you’re looking for this year, we’ve got it at Ted’s Abbey Carpet and Floor. Give us a call for a free in-home consultation! 256-231-0008.
Gone are the days of your traditional 2 ¼” solid hardwood planks in Gunstock or Butterscotch! Of course, many people still love this traditional solid hardwood, but today’s wider hardwood planks are where it’s at! Why is wider getting so much attention? Let’s take a look.
Wide planks are generally thought of as those that are three inches in width or wider. Whether you choose engineered or solid wood, there is quite a variety of species, finishes, and colors from which to choose. Many flooring collections often pair wide planks with other widths for a custom, random-width look. Wider planks also mean easier and faster installation so you get to enjoy your new floors sooner!
The main attraction with wider planks is the character of the wood. Wider means there is more area to showcase knots, grains, colors, and textures inherent in the wood. While these features are often suggestive of rustic or traditional decor, they can actually lend a warm and cozy vibe to any style, whether it be farmhouse or contemporary. For those that prefer more clean lines, smoother varieties are available as well.
Wide planks have also become popular with the rise of open floor plans. They work very well in vast, open spaces for creating a sense of grandeur. While narrow planks often make a room look busy, wide planks create a more clean, harmonious look. You can certainly install wide planks in smaller rooms, but be careful not to choose a plank so wide that it’s disproportionate and overpowers the space.
As far as cost, wide planks are available in both premium solid woods and engineered varieties in every shade ranging from blondes to darks. This variety along with easier installation helps keep cost down. Keep in mind, though, that the cost often gets steeper as the plank width approaches 10 inches or more.
Are you ready to widen your perspective? Give us a call for a free in-home estimate! 256.231.0008 or visit shopabbey.com.
Open floor plans continue to remain a popular interior design element. They allow for a seamless flow throughout a home and lend themselves well to a feeling of unity, conversation, and fellowship with family and friends. Whether you have a home with a large, open space or a smaller home that is cozier, the right use of flooring can open up your design.
One way to achieve this is by installing the same flooring throughout your space. For some, this may seem unusual because we are often accustomed to tile in the kitchen and bath, hardwood in the living room and hall, and carpet in the bedrooms. Good flooring choices to take throughout the whole house are LVT (luxury vinyl tile or plank), WPC (wood polymer composite), and sheet vinyl. These flooring choices, depending on brand, are either waterproof or water resistant and very durable, making it possible for them to be installed anywhere in the home. Each of these products are also able to be installed without transitions, thus creating a continuous flow. In addition, these products all come in wood or tile looks, perfect for whatever design you’re going for.
Tile is also an excellent flooring choice that can literally be installed anywhere in your home. Today’s gorgeous, stylish wood-look varieties go with any décor from rustic to modern. The options are pretty much endless with tile, whether you’re looking for a natural stone look, classic design, or something sleek and bold. Tile is easy to clean and maintain, no matter where it’s installed.
Laminate and hardwood also lend themselves well to open, common areas of the home, with certain considerations. Engineered hardwood is a better choice than solid if being installed in potential wet areas like kitchens. Any spills or leaks should be cleaned up quickly, and you should only use a damp mop when cleaning. Many types of laminate now come with water resistant properties, but care should also be taken in not exposing laminate to large amounts of liquid. We do not recommend laminate or hardwood for bathrooms, but they’re great for the main living areas of a home.
So, our takeaway tips are:
Hardwood flooring is one of the most popular floor coverings on the market. The classic wood look has always been a buyer’s favorite, and now there’s more than one way to get that wood look in your home.
Laminate, sheet vinyl, LVT, WPC and even tile are all stepping up their games in wood-look styles and durability. With these new players out there, why does real hardwood remain on top?
One reason real wood remains popular is aesthetics. Many floorings come very close to duplicating the textures, stains, and characteristics of real hardwood, but they’re still not the real deal. Home owners know this and often lean toward hardwood for their home because of the beauty and resale value it adds.
As far as your options with hardwood, there are solid and engineered planks. Plank sizes can range from 2-1/4 inch to 6-inch planks giving you a variety of looks, including the popular random-width category which mixes plank sizes. Solid hardwood can be stained and refinished many times, while with engineered hardwood, you may only be able to refinish it once. Also depending on your climate, you may need to take into consideration the size of your planks and which hardwood type is less or more susceptible to swelling and shrinking. To learn more about hardwood types, including climate effects, check out this post.
These are just a few reasons why hardwood floors remain a very popular and sought-after flooring. So, if your considering hardwood floors or maybe have discovered your home has been hiding them under some other flooring, consider the benefits of wood floors and the beauty and value they bring.
LVT, WPC and laminate flooring are durable and come in many different hardwood and stone looks that make any space look beautiful. But is flooring just for floors? Not necessarily. Let's look at some ways to think outside the box with you flooring.
You might have recently had flooring installed, and you have some extra left over. What are you supposed to do with it? Don't underestimate the style and texture a wood or stone-look accent wall can bring to a space. In addition, wood planked ceilings are stunning and easy to achieve with lightweight materials like LVT, WPC, and laminate. Hardwood can also be used for ceilings and accent walls, but it’s just a bit more labor-intensive because of the weight of the wood (want to make sure it’s secure to your surface).
If you don’t have enough excess flooring for an accent wall, what else can you do with it? Wood or stone-look picture or mirror frames are a stylish and easy way to use up those extra pieces. How about a wood plank headboard? Since LVT, WPC, and laminate are lightweight and very durable, they’re easy to work with and can be used almost anywhere. You can use those extra pieces on the walls in other ways too like funky wall art or floating shelves. LVT, WPC, laminate, and even tile are perfect for covering shelves and tables, giving them a stylish wood or stone look. Another benefit to using that extra flooring to make accents in your space is that it draws the look of your space together with the color and texture of your floors.
Maybe you've already had your floors installed and have extra flooring, or maybe you’re about to buy new flooring. Either way, don't forget the other uses for the leftovers that can really draw your space together and make it unique.
Hardwood floors have a natural beauty that's hard to beat. In order to retain that beauty, hardwood must be protected from water and maintained properly. Let's take a look at some tips to keep your hardwood floors looking like new.
When it comes to mopping, never mop hardwoods with water or use cleaners that contain detergents, oils, ammonia, or polishes and waxes. Vacuuming for general cleaning is fine, but be sure to use your hard surface setting on your vacuum. Make sure your vacuum has either a felt pad on the bottom or a brush, and be careful when pulling your vacuum so the wheels don’t scratch the wood.
Hardwood isn’t waterproof and is susceptible to swelling, so be sure to clean up wet spills as quickly as possible. Use a clean, soft cloth; if needed, the cloth can be slightly damp but be sure to wipe dry immediately. When more than just sweeping is needed, the best products to use are those made for your flooring. One product that is safe and effective is Bona’s hardwood cleaner. Bona’s hardwood cleaner can be bought in single bottles or in a kit that contains a “Swiffer” style mop.
This kind of mop is ideal for hardwood floors because it’s a very dry mop, and the cleaner dries in only a few minutes. Bona’s hardwood cleaner won’t leave a residue or film like some cleaners. Bona is an environmentally responsible product with an effective, yet non-toxic formulation, guaranteeing its safety to use around the home.
All hardwood, especially the exotic ones, will darken over time with exposure to sunlight. This is a natural occurrence in wood. It’s recommended that you occasionally rearranged the furniture in your living space so your hardwood floors can darken evenly. Don't forget to rearrange your rugs and floor mats as well. If you live in an area with high humidity, you may want to use a dehumidifier to reduce swelling in your hardwood floors.
Other useful tips:
* Don't wear shoes, such as stiletto heels, that can scratch your hardwood floors.
* Use protective pads under tables and chairs.
* Use mats at any entrance doors.
* If you have pets, be sure to keep their nails and claws trimmed.
The rustic look is a very popular décor style and for good reason. The look feels homey and welcoming with an aged style. You don't have to live on a farm or in a cabin in the woods to have a beautiful, rustic home. Follow these design tips to bring this style into any space.
Garage sales and thrift stores are great places for finding furniture and treasures that can be repurposed. You can easily turn an old window into a picture frame or even a table top with a new coat of paint, some sanding, and a little hardware. For more window ideas click HERE. Find an older-looking piece, such as a dresser, and paint it a creamy white or beige, and then stand it down to create a gently-worn look. If you prefer a pop of color, you can use just about any color you like if used correctly. The most important thing to do when using a bright color such as red or turquoise is to sand off some of the color, making it look worn. For more inspiration, click HERE. A little paint and a sander make it easy to turn something into a beautiful rustic piece.
Other rustic touches are old clocks and woven baskets for storage. Textures are another quality of the rustic look, like old metal, rope, burlap and maybe one of the most important, wood. Another key component is the color pallet: creamy whites, beiges, and browns are the primary colors of the rustic look. If you’re looking for even more projects and décor ideas, check out our Farmhouse Pinterest Board.
Your floors will be an important factor to your rustic-style home. There are a variety of rustic, weathered looks available in hardwood, LVT, WPC, tile and laminate. The color of wood flooring you will use depends a lot on the color of wood used in the furniture in your home. Do you want to coordinate or contrast? Many hard surface floorings come with aged features like wire brushing and distressing in any color from black to blonde. In addition, there are many selections in rustic, wood-look tile that make it difficult to tell tile from wood.
When designing your rustic home, don't be afraid to bargain hunt and break out the sander. Keep your colors rustic by giving the surface a worn look. Find flooring with distressed features and a color that complements your décor. Before long, you’ll have your whole design put together and can enjoy the farmhouse life!
Hardwood is a classic flooring choice. It rose in popularity in the 19th century and has since grown and evolved into many stylish colors, widths and finishes. When considering hardwood flooring for your home, you have two choices: Solid wood or engineered. So, what’s the difference?
For starters, solid hardwood comes in 3/4- inch thick planks of your chosen species. It can be bought factory-finished or unfinished; either way, it can be safely sanded and refinished up to three times. A couple of advantages to selecting unfinished wood are that it can be stained to match other wood in your home (such as kitchen cabinets or trim), and the sanding process makes it possible to achieve a true, square-edge profile.
Unfortunately, your solid hardwood is still a tree and is greatly affected by moisture. If you live in an area with high humidity or large temperature changes, you may run into some issues. Wood planks will expand and contract causing gaps in the joints when humidity is low and swelling or possibly “cupping” when humidity is high or the floor has been exposed to moisture. Cupping occurs when the planks expand, and the joints point upward because of lack of space. It’s usually easy to tell if your floor is cupping, but you can also run your foot horizontally across the planks and feel it. With solid hardwood, gaps and cupping are more likely when the width of the planks gets over 2 1/4 inches.
Engineered hardwood is much better equipped to handle moisture. With the cross-ply design, the effects of swelling are almost nonexistent. This is how it works: on top, you have the species or “wood wear layer” (such as oak, maple, etc.), then under that are several layers of wood stacked with each layer’s graining in the opposite direction of the layers above or below it. This layered design means that no one layer can grow or shrink too much in any direction because when they expand, they’re basically pushing in on each other, helping to keep their original size.
The cross-ply effect also allows you to have the wider planks that are in style right now, with little to no risk of cupping. Where solid hardwood can be installed only on or above grade, engineered hardwood can handle certain amounts of moisture from the subfloor and can be installed anywhere in the house—on, above or below grade, on concrete or plywood subfloors with glue, staples, or even by floating.
Ultimately, you need to choose the wood that you love and that works in your space. At Ted’s Abbey Carpet and Floor, our trained flooring consultants and installers will make sure you’re happy with your flooring for the life of your home!