Tips & Tricks

tips on how to choose the prfect stain for your hardwood floor
About Floors, Floor Care, How-to, Tips & Tricks

How to choose the right stain for your hardwood floor

Hardwood floors are a beautiful addition to any home. Their timeless and natural look has the power to brighten even the dullest of places. From white oak to Brazilian walnut hardwood floors offer a decent flooring choice for every taste and wallet. However, the species of hardwood isn’t the only thing to determine the appearance of the floor, the stain is just as important.

Not all floors stain the same way

Different wood species come with different natural characteristics. This doesn’t only determine their performance in a certain environment but also dictates how they absorb stain so that using the same stain on two different kinds of hardwood can lead to absolutely non-comparable results. The reason behind this is their contrasting hardness. Some harder woods are denser while others are more porous and soft. This makes it easier for the staining liquid to get into the pores.

To avoid any color inconsistency it’s important to test your stain prior to application. This will give you the advantage of knowing exactly what the stain of your choice will look like on your species of wood. At GC Flooring Pros we test sample spots for our customers to find the perfect match. We only use high-quality wood stains. Some of the colors you may choose from are listed on the DuraSeal website.


Doing a stain sample will help you get the stain color for your specific hardwood species just right without having to play the guessing game.

Stain makes the room

A room is like an organism, it’s an amalgamation of different goods with different purposes that function as one. Ideally, nothing’s out of place and every detail is carefully thought through.
The floor being one of the largest surfaces in a room can greatly affect the dynamics of the space. Wrong stain tone can not only clash with your décor but affect the quality of the time you spend in the room. But the right stain can tie the place together and make your stay more enjoyable. So before making a decision, consider how it will compliment everything else in the room including the wallpaper, furnishings as well as general style and accent colors.

The most popular colors these days are Ebony, Antique Brown, Provincial, Dark Walnut, Medium Brown, Weathered oak and some combinations. If you’re going for a lighter color we suggest using white oak rather than red oak.
To give your hardwood floor an even richer look we use polyurethane varnish.
Keep in mind that the type of polyurethane can affect the color of the stain after application so there is even more reason to do a stain test first. As a general rule, oil based polyurethane tends to darken the wood a bit but it’s slightly better at resisting scratches, moisture and heat when compared with the water-based alternative. Then again, applying a water-based poly won’t lead to any changes in tone and will preserve the wood’s natural tone. You also have to choose a matte, satin, semi-gloss, or gloss polyurethane. Matte and satin are becoming more trendy, we are seeing that wood floor conglomerates do not want as much sheen these days.

Even though choosing the right stain colors can be difficult, there is not much to worry about. With solid or even thicker engineered hardwood floors you can easily refinish them to give the flooring desired tone.
Meanwhile here are some tips to help you find the perfect stain color for your hardwood floors:

Light stain

A lighter stain can help make a dark room appear brighter and more spacious than it really is. If you have dark furniture, installing lighter hardwood with somewhat matching stain will create a beautiful contrast and help your decor stand out. By choosing a lighter stain, you won’t have to clean nearly as often as in the case with dark stained floors since dust is less visible on a lighter surface. However, light stains aren’t as good at hiding hardwood’s natural imperfections as its darker alternatives.
The contrast they create with darker

Medium stain

If you aren’t one for dramatic changes this is the stain for you.
While medium stain won’t really affect the overall colour scheme of the room, it will most certainly compliment many other wooden details in your decor and still help tie the room together. A medium stain is also a reasonable option if you haven’t decided on the look of the space yet and would like to keep as many options for wall & furniture colors open as possible.

Dark stain

Dark stained floors are elegant and will help ground your bright room nicely. The balance between darker bottom and lighter top parts of the room will make the space more inviting and help the accent colors in your interior stand out more. A darker stain is superior for hiding hardwood’s natural flaws but it falls short when dealing with inflicted imperfections like scratches. Pet hair and dust aren’t easy to hide either. In a word, if you have a dog or a small child or expect above average wear because of any other reason it’d be a safer bet to go with lighter stain.

What floor to install if you have a dog
About Floors, Tips & Tricks

What floor to install if you have a dog

Flooring advice for pet owners

If you are a devoted human to your four-legged friend, you’d want to choose the one flooring that best suits their needs, Preferably, besides offering good enough support (for your pet), it should be also durable and easy to clean (for your own sake).
In this blog, we have set out to help you on this hard but noble quest. To start it off, here are some general tips to help you select the best floor for your furry friend.

Pet nails are a menace

Pet nails can scratch or snag and this can damage some types of floor. So you need to find a solution that’s most resistant to this danger. ing more than others. Trimming nails is not a solution either. Blunt, broad-tipped nails can still gouge the sealer, creating long, shallow dents. Forget floor runners, you definitely don’t have as much power over your dog (even if you believe you do). So it’s better to match your floor to your pet and not the way around.

Bladder control is hard

Once your dog has been trained it’s very rare that you’ll have to face this problem but if your pup is young there is a good chance that it won’t make it outside every time to relieve itself. In addition to unpleasant odor pet urine can leave bad stains. Some types of floors are better at dealing with that than others.

Muddy paws are fun

All that dirt from running through puddles won’t just stay out. No matter how well-behaved your dog is, parts of it will definitely end up on your new floor. You have been warned./Consider yourself warned. So choose the floor that can be cleaned effectively without any fuss.

Dogs can have allergies too

Allergies are a huge topic when choosing a new floor, but rarely in regard to our pets. Sadly, dog allergies are real and could put your four-legged friend in danger. You might not know of any existing allergies if your dog’s never been in contact with the irritant before. That’s why you should test/observe how a certain flooring material affects your pet beforehand.
Still, most floor related allergies in dogs are a reaction to the floor cleaners and the chemicals they contain. Always use cleaning products that have been approved and are safe for your dog’s consumption. Because, you know, dogs like to lick everything.

Flooring Options

Woof, woof! Now that you’ve got an idea what to look for, we can move to selecting that one perfect floor for your little pup.

Vinyl

Vinyl has proven itself as the finest example of resilient flooring on the market today. It’s full of controversies and benefits. Even though it offers soft enough padding to enjoy walking around barefoot, most quietscratches and liquid spills don’t faze it. Vinyl doesn’t trap dust or allergens and all you’ll need to clean it is a simple mop and warm water. Vinyl also happens quietest flooring option after carpet, something dog owners will definitely come to appreciate.
The floors come in sheets and tiles as well as in all colours and patterns including different hardwood species and natural stone. Vinyl flooring is definitely a great alternative for those pet owners, who want to get hardwood floor but would like something more durable.

Pros & cons for human: Easy to clean, can mimic natural materials but real hardwood still looks better.
Pros & cons for dog: It’s soft and warm. No apparent cons.

Ceramic or natural stone tiles

Ceramic and natural stone tiles are hard surface floors that can match your pet’s claws pretty well. They don’t scratch as easily as other floors and if they do the scratches are barely visible and don’t really stand out from the natural pattern. You dog’s mishaps don’t pose any problem either since both products can endure liquid spills when sealed properly and can be cleaned easily. The glazed option with extra protective layer may keep the water out more efficiently but its slippery surface can be somewhat uncomfortable for your dog to walk on. Cold too unless your place has underfloor heating. If you go with tile or stone be sure to put down rugs throughout the house so your dog has plenty of space to relax.

Pros & cons for human: Scratch and waterproof as well as easy to maintain but colder and louder than other floors.
Pros & cons for dog: Less allergenic and pleasantly cool in the summer months. However too hard to sleep on without a rug, requires underfloor heating in the winter.

Laminate

Laminate floor is designed to resist scratches. Its impenetrable clear top layer keeps the high-quality image layer underneath well protected. Like vinyl, laminate can mimic an array of natural materials including wood.  A damp mop can go a long way when trying to keep your floor clean. However, that same wear layer that’s responsible for most of laminate’s advantages can be uncomfortable for your dog. It allows little to no grip and can lead to accidents, especially with older animals.
It’s also louder than natural stone or ceramic tiles. It will amplify your dog’s footsteps like no other solid floor. So if you are an owner of an energetic breed you might want to skip this one.
Laminate isn’t as hard as tile but not as soft as vinyl ether. For better comfort for your dog, you still might consider using rugs here and there.

Pros & cons for human: Easy to clean, can endure scratches but can be loud.
Pros & cons for dog: Warmer and more comfortable than tile but offers little to no traction at all.

Wood

Wood and sharp claws don’t go well together. Resisting scratches and spills isn’t most woods’ strong suite. Trimmed nails can still damage the sealer, leaving behind long shallow dents.
But if you absolutely have to have a wood floor, you could choose from these three options.

  • Go for the super-hard wood species
    Some wood species are naturally stronger than others. According to the Janka hardness test Brazilian Walnut, Hard Maple, Oak and Hickory floors have a better chance against your furry friend.
  • Get already distressed wood
    Get a hardwood floor that has been already distressed. That way you won’t notice any new scratches. If anything they’ll add to the character of your wood floor!
  • Try SoftPaws
    SoftPaws are applicable nail caps for dogs.They cover your dog’s nails to keep them blunt and harmless and protect your floors, doors and furniture from dreaded scratches.
How-to, Tips & Tricks

How to bring your old carpet flooring back to life

Carpet flooring is loved by kids and adults equally. It’s soft and comfortable and in addition to its flooring purposes, it gives you extra space where you can relax. Often it’s the one element of the interior that thighs the room together and makes space feel cozy.

But like any other flooring, it has to endure heavy everyday use including dirt, spills and even pet claws in some cases. All these can make your favourite carpet floor to lose its softness and become unattractive. Fortunately, there is a way to breathe new life into your worn out carpet. Here is how.

 

Trimming

Moving heavy furniture, velcros on your clothing or a curious four legged friend can lead to some threads becoming loose in your carpet making it look shabby. Unlike the popular belief, pulling the dislocated threads all the way won’t solve this problem, quite on the contrary it will only create a carpet run. To effectively get rid of snagging you will need to take a more direct approach … with a pair of sharp scissors. The simple solution to bringing your snagging carpet flooring back to life is to simply trim it.

 

Grooming

You’ll be amazed what a little grooming can do to your trampled carpet flooring.

Carpet rake – basically a rake with small plastic or metal teeth –  is a simple enough tool for everyone to use to make the flattened carpet in high frequented areas look like it was installed just yesterday. Just rake by applying slight pressure in the opposite direction of the pile and watch the magic happen. The results are usually quite impressive: a fluffier feel and fresher look.

 

Fluffing
A little fluffing goes a long way. Over the time, carpet fibres start to sag making your carpet flooring look unattractive and old. Not to worry though, just a sprinkling of warm water will improve your carpet’s beaten look. Spritz a little warm water onto the flattened area. Gently blow dry it while using your fingers or a hairpin to lightly comb the carpet fibres back into place. Don’t walk on the carpet before it’s fully dry.

 

Cleaning

Knowing how to clean your carpet right can save it years in the looks. The safest bet is to use the cleaning products your carpet manufacturer recommends. When dealing with stubborn spots and stains, don’t scrub the stain. For more effective removal lot from the outside of the stain toward the middle. Always use milder cleaners first and test it first on a part of the carpet that’s out of sight. You might think nothing can worsen your carpet’s look in the current state, but a bleached out spot is just as bad as any stain.

Alternatively, you can use baking soda powder to revive your carpet flooring. In addition to having great cleaning properties, baking soda will kill bacteria that nests deep in your carpet and get rid of any odours your soft floor might have. Completely cover your carpet with baking soda powder and use a brush to spread it in all directions. For the best result let it rest overnight. Simply vacuum the powder up the next morning.
Extra stubborn stains can be removed using shaving foam. Shaving foam is famous for being able to handle an array of stains, from grease to lipstick. Apply the shaving cream on the stained area. After 30 minutes wipe it up with a dry cloth. Enjoy your stainless carpet