Ralph's Blog

Area Rugs and Hardwood Floor Care

Posted on Wed, Aug 08, 2018 @ 08:08 AM

 

area rugs and hardwood floor care

After installing hardwood floors, taking proper care of them is imperative if you want them to last long. There are different ways to protect hardwood floors from traffic damage and the everyday wear and tear. One of those ways is using area rugs where needed. Let’s take a look at some things you need to pay attention to when shopping for an area rug, as well as why area rugs and hardwood floor care go hand in hand.

Hardwood Floor Protection with Area Rugs

In theory, area rugs protect your hardwood floors by taking the brunt of the daily traffic, furniture shuffling and the like. That’s all true — area rugs prevent sunlight damage, furniture scratches, debris, dust and water from outdoors, etc. You can choose runner rugs for the high-traffic areas such as hallways and entryways, oversized area rugs that would cover a larger area. However, there are a few things to consider other than size and color when shopping for an area rug.

Area Rug Materials for Hardwood Floors

You’ll want to focus on breathable materials such as wool, which is always a good choice. It’s durable and will absorb most of the damage that would otherwise be inflicted on your floors. The surface material is essential, but the backing of the rug will determine whether it’s a good fit or not. Since the backing will be the part that touches the floor, make sure you avoid rugs with a latex backing. The backing can trap moisture and residue can make the floor slippery underneath.

Non-Staining Area Rugs

Another thing to look out for is whether the area rug you chose is non-staining. If it isn’t, the first rainy day and dampness from outside could ruin your floors. By opting for non-staining area rugs, you ensure that the colors and dyes from the carpet won’t seep into your floors when the carpet gets wet or damp. Always read the label, because the manufacturer will usually put a warning if the color may run through the rug.

Area Rug Pads

Rug pads are used to keep area rugs in place and to protect hardwood flooring. Unfortunately, not all rug pads get the job done. A poor choice could cause serious harm to your hardwood floor finishes. Plastic pads can move and cause scratches when dirt gets under the pad Natural rubber and felt are better options, as they can keep your rugs in place without sticking to the floors.

 

With these tips, you’ll be able to keep your hardwood floors in great shape for a long time. If your hardwood floors need refinishing or renovation, come visit our showroom for a closer look at our offer!

Tags: custom hardwood flooring, engineered hardwood flooring, finishes, stains & textures, natural oils, caring for your hardwood floors

When Less Sheen Is More

Posted on Thu, Mar 10, 2016 @ 15:03 PM

Low-sheen hardwood flooring looks casual and hides wear and tear.Most people like things that are shiny.

Shiny new cars. Shiny jewelry. Shiny smiles.

But what about shiny hardwood floors?

Well, many people do like shiny, glossy hardwood floors, or what we call “floors with high sheen.” But shiny isn’t for everyone, and there’s undeniably a trend toward low-sheen matte finishes.

The increasing popularity of floors finished with natural oils has something to do with that. A natural oil finish has a very warm, natural appearance, with no “shine.” 

But the use of natural oils isn’t the only reason that low-sheen finishes have become so stylish. The low-sheen appearance is in tune with the broad trend toward natural-looking flooring, and even people selecting traditional finishes are going low-sheen.

It’s all a matter of personal taste, but some people want hardwood floors that are more casual than formal, and the formality created by a glossy sheen just isn’t for them.

Practical concerns also play a role. High-gloss and even semi-gloss floors will show wear and tear more than low-sheen floors. That’s because high-sheen floors look so elegant and “shiny” that any little scrape, ding, or dent will draw the eye, similar to the first scratch on a new car.

That’s no problem for hardwood floors that see little traffic. But a high-sheen floor in a heavily trafficked area will begin to look worn in the areas that see the heavy traffic. You’ll be able to see where people walk the most, such as by the front or back door (or the path to the kitchen!).

For people with children and/or indoor pets, a low-sheen finish is particularly appealing because the wear and tear they cause blends in so much better than it does with high-sheen floors. That means they can enjoy their flooring longer without having to refinish it!

To compare the “shininess” of various finishes, stop by our showroom. We’re not going to push low-sheen over high-sheen—they both have their place, and high-sheen floors can be absolutely gorgeous. But you will be able to compare and see the possibilities.

Whether for stylistic or practical reasons, low-sheen hardwood floors might be exactly the look you’re after.

Tags: hardwood flooring trends, picking the right floor for your lifestyle, finishes, stains & textures, natural oils

5 Reasons to Consider Natural Oil for Your Hardwood Floor

Posted on Sat, Oct 31, 2015 @ 08:10 AM


Natural oil finishes are staging a comeback as more homeowners seek natural and vintage looks for their hardwood floors. I say comeback because natural oils have been used for centuries to stain, protect and moisture-proof wood. Here are five reasons why you might want to consider natural oil for your next hardwood floor:

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1. They look great

One of my favorite things about natural oil is that as it penetrates the wood it enhances grain patterns and deepens the woods colors. In an interesting collision of science and art, natural oils soak into wood and bond with it at a molecular level, changing the woods composition but enhancing its texture and color. Over time natural oil also creates a patina which ages with the wood, so it never gets that worn-out look you can see with some surface finishes.

2. Great for high traffic zones

Natural oil finished floors show almost no scratches or wear marks because there is no glossy layer on top to be marked up. Dents and dings are more apparent in a floor with a high gloss finish.  

3. Easy to maintain

Natural oil floors are very forgiving and can be easily refreshed as needed. You can think of it kind of like waxing your car, as you simply need to re-apply the natural oils and let it dry. Spots can be easily touched up and worn spots gone over at any point without impacting uniformity. A high traffic area (kitchen) can be oiled more often than a low traffic area (bedroom).  This is something that a home owner can do without hiring a professional.

4. Environmentally and Family Safe

Oil finishes generally release fewer volatile organic compounds (V.O.C.s) than other finishes which is better for the environment and for your family. V.O.C. free options also exist. I have also seen it put that if sustainability is the new environmentally friendly then oil finished are about as friendly as you can get.

5. Cost

As with most things, you can spend more or less it suits your needs but in most cases finishing your floor with natural oils will not cost any more than any other finish. The more impactful savings is the lifetime value as you will need to “refinish” more frequently, but refinishing an oil finished floor is significantly less expensive than refinishing a floor with a polyurethane surface.


Natural Oil Finishes 101

  • 2 basic varieties: natural oil and hard wax oil

  • Typically use linseed and/or tung oil as a base

  • Can include soy, sunflower, china wood, safflower, hemp and other oils

  • Wax formulas can include carnuba, candellila resins or bee wax to enhance durability

  • Natural oils work by fortifying and sealing the wood fibers

  • Like a skin an oiled floor that is well cared for may last a lifetime and never need re-sanding



 

Tags: finishes, stains & textures, natural oils

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