Ralph's Blog

What Matters Most When Selecting Customized Hardwood Flooring?

Posted on Thu, Feb 21, 2019 @ 07:02 AM

Visiting a high-quality hardwood floor company's showroom is the way to find what you want.

New hardwood flooring is a thing of beauty, and even more so when it fits with the look and feel of your interior design and existing decor. For homeowners who understand the importance of matching hardwood floors to a particular style that fulfills their vision, customized hardwood flooring is often the best choice.

Appearance vs. Your Needs

Many homeowners stop looking when they find hardwood flooring that has the appearance they like. That decision is perfectly valid if the flooring also happens to be the right fit for their lifestyle.

However, there are cases when it isn’t the right fit. For example, even though you’ve fallen in love with the look of a certain wood species, if it’s a relatively soft wood, it might be a better option to try a harder, more durable type of wood that can be customized to create the look you want.

If you have children or pets (or both), there will likely be plenty of foot traffic that a softer hardwood floor might not be able to withstand very well.  A flooring professional will know what to recommend to you, based on the expected amount of activity the flooring will experience.

One option to conceal any future dents or scratches is a hand-scraped or wire-brushed floor. If you are not entrenched to a smooth finish, these rustically textured floors can be an excellent selection.

Customizing to Your Needs

Fortunately, you have many options when it comes to the appearance of your floor. Staining and finishing methods allow for a high level of customization. You can seamlessly match your floors to your interior design—getting both the look you want and a floor suitable to your lifestyle.

You can have a floor that you’ll be happy with for many years to come!

It’s our mission to provide only the best quality flooring for our customers, and we take great care in helping you pick what is right for you. We’re knowledgeable, experienced specialists who can walk you through the process of choosing customized flooring. Visit our showroom to see what we can offer.

Tags: hardwood floor options, hardwood floors and interior design, picking the right floor for your lifestyle, custom hardwood flooring

Do Hardwood Floors Make a Home More Valuable?

Posted on Sat, Feb 16, 2019 @ 08:02 AM

Most home buyers love to see hardwood floors in a home they're considering.

I’m often asked, “How much will hardwood flooring add to the value of my home?”

My answer is, “There are too many variables to know for sure.”

When home buyers are deciding how much they’re willing to pay, they’re considering so many things that it’s impossible to isolate the impact of the hardwood flooring. I’ve seen estimates that hardwood floors can increase the sales price by as much as 2.5%, but any estimate is just a guess.

However, I can say this with certainty: If you talk to Realtors, most of them will tell you that hardwood floors help a lot when selling a home.

Pushing up the sales price is just one aspect of that. From what I’ve seen, probably the biggest advantage is that hardwood floors help homes sell faster.

Home buyers have come to expect hardwood flooring in homes. Carpeting is a turn-off for many buyers, particularly younger ones. To be move-in ready, they want hardwood floors that don’t need refinishing.

Beautiful, immaculate hardwood floors also make prospective buyers say “Wow!” The floors set a positive tone for their whole impression of the home.

For these reasons, if a seller’s hardwood floors don’t look fresh, Realtors suggest refinishing (and re-sanding if necessary).

If there’s carpeting in a home, with hardwood flooring underneath, tearing out the carpet and restoring the floor is also a smart move. And even if there’s only sub-flooring underneath the carpeting, installing new hardwood floors might make sense in some markets and price ranges.

I’m proud to say that one piece of anecdotal evidence I have about the value of hardwood floors is the fact that a Realtor once included “Hardwood floors by Ralph’s” in a home’s description for the Multiple Listing Services (MLS).

So, while I can’t put an exact number on how much value hardwood floors add to a home when it’s sold, I can say that hardwood floors often increase the sales price and usually help a home sell faster, which typically is financially advantageous.

But I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that the greatest value of hardwood floors is the enjoyment they bring while you’re living in your home. If you’re ready to sell immediately, then it’s a non-issue, but if you’re looking at future financial benefits as a justification for the cost of hardwood floors, don’t forget to factor in their value to you now.

Image courtesy of American Advisors Group, Creative Commons

Tags: remodeling, why choose hardwood floors?, restoring hardwood floors

Why Choose Engineered Hardwood Flooring?

Posted on Thu, Feb 14, 2019 @ 07:02 AM

The best engineered hardwood flooring looks beautiful and performs great.

Hardwood flooring is a popular choice among homeowners because of its longevity and unique, beautiful appearance. But in the past, homeowners who wanted hardwood floors in their homes had only one good option: solid plank flooring.

Solid plank was costly, yet there were no decent alternatives. Engineered hardwood flooring, in most cases, didn’t have the necessary quality, appearance, and longevity to replace it.

This is no longer the case. Engineered hardwood has become a viable alternative to solid planks.

What Is Engineered Flooring?

The difference between engineered and solid plank hardwood flooring is in the composition. As its name suggests, solid plank hardwood consists of a single piece of timber. Engineered hardwood flooring is made of less-expensive layers of wood topped with a layer of hardwood.

A main benefit of engineered hardwood flooring is stability in high-moisture conditions. The layers of wood below the surface layer run in opposing directions, which makes engineered hardwood more stable than solid planks. That’s why it’s ideal for installing over a concrete slab, in below-ground rooms, and over radiant heating systems.

Engineered hardwood flooring of the past had many disadvantages, however. The top layer was usually made too thin, so you could not sand it more than once, if even that. What’s more, if the veneer was rotary-peeled, it often didn’t have the appearance of solid plank hardwood.

The Quality Engineered Hardwood Flooring of Today

Engineered hardwood flooring isn’t only for high-moisture conditions anymore. With today’s quality products, the top layer is thick enough to be sanded and refinished, which significantly increases the longevity of the flooring.

The sawn-cut veneer used now can be much thicker than the 3 mm that sliced veneer and rotary-peeled veneer are typically limited to. Additionally, sawn-cut veneer is cut in the same way as solid plank flooring, so it looks as good as the solid plank hardwood flooring.

Is Engineered Hardwood Flooring Replacing Solid Plank Hardwood Flooring?

A wide variety of prefinished styles are available as engineered hardwood flooring, or you can have the engineered flooring site-finished. So you can create custom floors the same as you would with solid plank flooring. But this doesn’t mean that engineered flooring will replace solid plank flooring — it’s merely a matter of preference. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages.

Talk to a hardwood specialist to decide what would be the best option for your home and tastes. At Ralph’s, we’re proud to offer both solid plank and engineered hardwood flooring, and we’ll be happy to help you decide on the right choice for you. Visit our showroom to see what we can offer!

Photo Courtesy of Boa-Franc,Creative Commons.

Tags: hardwood floor options, engineered hardwood flooring

The Advantages of Site-Finished Hardwood Floors

Posted on Fri, Feb 08, 2019 @ 08:02 AM

Site-finished hardwood flooring is ideal for homeowners with homeowners looking for a specific look.

Choosing to install hardwood floors is only the beginning of the decision-making process when it comes to flooring. There’s a multitude of other decisions you have to make, regarding the type of hardwood, species, grain, color, and finish—all of which impact the final look of your new flooring.

One of the most important decisions is the one between site-finished and prefinished hardwood floors. Both have their advantages. Like any other decision, what you choose will depend on your budget and the factors that are most important to you. Let’s take a look at the advantages of site-finished hardwood floors.

More Options

If customization is significant to you, site-finished hardwood floor might be the better option. One of the main benefits of site-finished floors is that they can be made precisely to your preferences. When it comes to creating the right stain and sheen, a skilled artisan can do it on site. Site-finished flooring appeals to homeowners who have a specific design idea and feel that prefinished options would be too limiting.

Easier to Match With Existing Floors

If you’re looking to match your new flooring with existing floors or weave it into a room, you may have to invest in site-finished flooring, which can be matched with your existing floors on the spot.

With prefinished floors, you may not be able to find the exact type of stain and finish you want. Even with the same product that you purchased before, there could be slight variations in the color between different batches of prefinished flooring.

Ultimately, what you choose will depend on your preferences. Prefinished floors have improved in quality and can be the perfect choice for many homeowners. However, with site-finished floors coming from a high-quality installer like Ralph’s, you’ll be getting the benefits that prefinished floors don’t possess. Visit our showroom to see what we can do for you.

Tags: hardwood floor options, hardwood floors and interior design, finishes, stains & textures, custom hardwood flooring

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