Ralph's Blog

Internet Surfing and Hardwood Floors...Gnarly Dude!

Posted on Thu, Jun 26, 2014 @ 16:06 PM

While surfing the Internet recently, I came across an article from a website of a popular home decorating channel. I had a really good chuckle while reading it.

It reminded me why the phrase “I found it on the Internet, so it must be true” is so hilarious. There's so much false information on the internet -- even from supposedly reputable sources -- that you just have to laugh. 

My curiosity for how other professionals guide homeowners in the selection of hardwood floors is what led me to this site. While reviewing options, species, widths, colors, finishes, etc., I found a lot of misinformation.

The bad info that stood out the most was the statement that exotic woods are typically not as durable as domestic woods. Where'd that come from?

Santos Mahogany

Think of Brazilian cherry, which is quite popular these days. If you have ever had the pleasure of living on a Brazilian hardwood floors, you would know firsthand that they're extremely hard and wear very, very well.

All species have their place, even a wood as soft as American cherry (although still in the “hardwood” category) is absolutely lovely in a master bedroom or a formal dining room where traffic is typically light. The grain has a soft, elegant look that is truly stunning. If you fall in love with this look but require a more durable type of hardwood, then Santos Mahogany would be a great alternative. It is similar in appearance and is more than twice as hard.

And it's not just Brazilian cherry and Santos Mahogany. If you look at the ranking of the hardest woods in the world (the Janka scale), you'll see that exotic hardwoods dominate the top of the list.

Expert hardwood floor professionals, like the ones at Ralph’s Hardwood Floors, know wood. They know how durable it is, how it will change over time, and how it functions in different environments. They will get to know your lifestyle and make solid recommendations based on almost 50 years of experience in the hardwood floor industry.  

Tags: types of hardwood used in flooring

Is your floor a diamond in the rough?

Posted on Sat, Jun 14, 2014 @ 09:06 AM

City Center Before     City Center After

Before                         After

*Although these are not photos of the floor discussed here, this was another floor that had a similar tranformation after re-sanding and refinishing.

Scratches, gouges, dents, and discolorations in worn hardwood floors can leave homeowners very ready for a change.

But I advise homeowners to slow down before they decide to rip out those old floors. Underneath the wear and tear, they may already have the flooring they’re dreaming about.

I remember early in my career at Ralph’s Hardwoods Floors. I was a sander, and I arrived at a project to find a floor with an ugly orange tint—a sure sign of a floor surface that’s very old, long in need of re-sanding.

I figured it was an approximately 100-year–old maple floor. I was glad the homeowner had decided to re-sand it, because I knew we could make it look great.

But then I started noticing something unusual. Once I began sanding down into the wood, every other board was darker than the other. Eagerly, I kept sanding, filled with excitement. Each stroke revealed more, and I soon realized that I was dealing with a highly distinctive floor of alternating maple and cherry planks.

There was a hidden treasure beneath all that dirt and grime—a diamond in the rough! I felt like an archaeologist uncovering a historic site.

After sanding, we finished the floor with a natural color. When we were done: Wow!

It wasn’t just a great-looking hardwood floor. It was one of the most beautiful floors I’ve ever seen.

Needless to say, the homeowners were ecstatic. They loved the look as much as I did, and they were elated to have a floor that wasn’t commonplace.

Of course, that was an extreme example, which is why it still sticks in my mind. Nonetheless, that “wow” moment happens all the time when we re-sand floors.

Homeowners are usually astonished when they see the valuable flooring that’s been under the surface, just waiting to be brought to life. By removing the surface damage, an old, worn floor can suddenly look new and fresh, with the natural beauty of the wood drawing the eye as intended.

You can even change to a completely new look, which we can easily accomplish during the finishing of the sanded floors. You don’t have to get new flooring to change a certain color, sheen, etc., that you no longer like. We love nothing more than revitalizing a worn floor to make it look just like the picture in a customer’s head.

In almost all cases, when we’re done with a re-sanding/refinishing project, we hear the comment: “I can’t believe it’s the same floor.”

Considering the relatively low cost of re-sanding and refinishing compared to new flooring and installation, homeowners are especially pleased. They certainly act as if they’ve discovered a hidden treasure!

Tags: restoring hardwood floors, the value of hardwood floors, stories, remodeling

Come Join The Fun!!!

Posted on Sat, Jun 07, 2014 @ 08:06 AM

Summertime in small town America, oh the memories!!! Today you can experience the fun for yourself. Come out and experience Family Daze in Black Creek, Wisconsin. There is a parade at 11:30 with tons of food, games for the kids, and fun, fun, fun!!! If you are from the area, you have probably driven through our little town on your way up north. The charm of a small town is something I appreciate, as my roots are there. Some of my favorite places in Black Creek are Wagner's Market, Black Creek Garden & Gift, and of course, Ralph's Hardwood Floors!

If you are looking for something to do today, come out and join the fun. Here are a few photos from last year's parade. 

Parade Floatdescribe the imagedescribe the imagedescribe the image

From top left, this is our float from last year. Followed by the very hot (and drooling) adorable Newfoundlands. Lastly the owner of Black Creek Gardens & Gifts, who loaned us plants for our float, along with the owner of Ralph's Hardwood Floors.

Were you raised in a small town? What is your favorite memory?

Tags: Ralph's news & events

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