Hardwood Flooring

white oak vs red oak flooring - flooring fireplace and piano
About Floors, Blog, Hardwood Flooring, Red Oak, White Oak

Hardwood Flooring Showdown: White Oak vs Red Oak Flooring

There are several types of oak flooring, but the two we get asked about the most are white oak vs red oak flooring. The two types of oak flooring are very similar in appearance, but it can sometimes be confusing when trying to determine which type of oak is right for your home.  

When the differences do arise, however, most people find that their decision is easily made by weighing all factors and determining which option suits them best based on specific points.

Here, we’ll go over each of these two types. We’ll include pros and cons, color, grain pattern, hardness, how well it matches, water resistance, and costs so you can make the best decision for your home or business flooring needs.

white oak vs red oak flooring white oak flooring

The Flooring Facts Of Red Oak

While both red oak and white oak are great flooring choices, there are some things that may make you want to choose one over the other. We’ll start with red oak.

Color

Red oak flooring is typically sold in two different colors: reddish-brown and grayish brown. The color of the wood is mostly uniform, but there can be small darker areas that are more commonly found in reddish-brown.

Grain Pattern

The grain pattern of red oak flooring is very distinct and usually has a larger variation in the shade of brown than white oak. The pattern is much more prevalent in grayish-brown red oak than in reddish-brown. Red oak also has a tendency to have a much more random pattern than white oak with a lot of variation throughout the planks.

Hardness

Red oak is not as hard as white oak and is known to dent slightly easier, especially when paired with high heels. It does maintain its durability and should not chip or scratch, though it can become damaged if enough force is applied.

According to the Janka scale, red oak is rated at 1,290. This scale is based on the force required to push a steel ball to half the depth of the wood’s width.

Matching Existing Wood

Red oak is a darker red/brown and has a more random grain pattern, so it can be difficult to match other woods.  To get the best match possible,  it’s recommended to get samples.

Water Resistance

Red oak is fairly resistant to water with the proper preparation, which makes it a great flooring choice for kitchens and powder rooms. However, it is not recommended to install red oak in a bathroom with a shower or tub, or over radiant heat as this may cause the wood to warp.

white oak vs red oak flooring - red oak flooring

The Flooring Facts Of White Oak

Now that we’ve gone over some of the red oak facts, let’s go over what makes white oak a good choice as well. Like red oak, white oak is a great flooring choice for those looking for something hard-wearing and durable.

Color

White oak flooring is usually sold in three different colors: light tan, medium brown, and grayish tan. The color of wood can vary greatly within the same planks, so it’s recommended to get samples if possible.

Grain Patterns

White oak has more subtle variations of color and the grain pattern is much more uniform. Instead of having a darker shade in certain areas, white oak has an earthy tone that can sometimes have a grayish hue.

The grain pattern is also more readily visible in the light tan, medium brown, and grayish tan shades of white oak.

Hardness

White oak is considered to be harder than red oak, so it can be less susceptible to denting than red oak. White oak rates 1,360 on the Janka scale, so just a bit higher than its red oak counterpart.

Matching Existing Wood

White oak is a lighter color and has a more uniform grain pattern, so it can be easier to match other woods. However, white oak may have more variation within the same planks than red oak does. As always, it’s best to get a sample.

Water Resistance

White oak is fairly resistant to water and can even be installed in areas with radiant heat, making it a solid choice for bathrooms and kitchens.

Recap: Pros And Cons of White Oak vs Red Oak Flooring

Hardness: Red oak flooring is known to be a bit softer than white oak flooring.  Due to this, red oak is not as recommended for high traffic or other areas that are prone to damage.  White oak flooring is better suited for those areas.

Coloring And Grain Patterns: While red oak has a tendency to show footprints, dust, and other abrasions more readily than its white oak counterpart because of the coloring, however, the more random grain also tends to hide any nicks or scratches a bit better.

Water Resistance: As far as water resistance goes, white oak flooring is slightly more resistant to water and has a tighter grain pattern than red oak, making these qualities desirable in areas where humidity or water could be present.  

Takeaway

While some people choose hardwood flooring based solely on appearance, you should now have a better understanding of the real differences between red oak and white oak.

If you’re trying to decide which one to go with for your next hardwood flooring installation, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Which areas do you plan on installing the floors in?
  2. What is your budget?
  3. Do you need something that’s more resistant to water or humidity?
  4. What is the style of your home?

If you need help deciding, we’re happy to help. We also have a great supply of both red oak and white oak flooring for your needs. Get in touch with us today.

hardwood flooring in a bathroom
Bathroom Flooring, About Floors, Blog, Hardwood Flooring, House Renovation, Interior Design, Tips & Tricks

Can You Use Hardwood Flooring in A Bathroom?

The hardwood flooring in your bathroom can make a huge impact on the appearance and feel of your space. But you may be wondering if hardwood is right for your situation.

If you’re considering hardwood floors for a bathroom, keep these things in mind:

  • hardwoods are more susceptible to water damage
  • hardwoods may require more time and money spent on waterproofing and sealing than other types of flooring
  • hardwoods may need periodic refinishing to maintain their beauty.

But they offer a great deal of visual appeal and beautiful flooring for years on end if they’re done right.

Overall, we recommend not using hardwood flooring in bathrooms that have a shower or tub and using them with caution and preparation in powder rooms. Read on to learn more.

Hardwood Flooring In A Bathroom Can Add Elegance And Class

The appeal of hardwood floors is hard to argue with. They add a touch of elegance and class to any room. And if you’re looking for that spa-like feeling in your bathroom, hardwood floors may be just what you need.

In fact, hardwood floors are so desirable in a home that they have been shown to increase property values by up to 10%. Another interesting study by the National Association of Realtors has shown that homes with hardwood floors can sell for an average of $5,000 more than homes without. So if you are looking at the installation of hardwood floors from an investment standpoint, it would be hard to go wrong.

However, before making your decision, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of this type of flooring, especially in an area notorious for moisture.

Hardwoods Are Susceptible To Water Damage

One of the main drawbacks to hardwood flooring in a bathroom is that it is more susceptible to water damage than other types of flooring. If your bathroom is not properly sealed with polyurethane, you may find yourself with buckled and warped floors before too long.

In addition, if water does get on your hardwoods, it can cause them to swell and even rot. This is why we do not recommend hardwood floors in a bathroom that contains a shower or bath.

A hardwood floor can be damaged by water from a number of sources, including:

  • splashing or spilling on the hardwood surface itself
  • flooding caused by clogging in pipes and drains
  • condensation that forms under tiles or slabs

However, the most common problem in a bathroom setting is when water is left to stand on the hardwood surface for a long period of time from tub and shower use.

This can lead to stains and warped boards, which will eventually cause other problems for your home. 

While we don’t recommend using hardwood in a full bathroom, if you are choosing to do so, there are many different types of hardwoods available now that resist moisture a little better than traditional hardwoods like oak or maple wood. More on that below.

Hardwoods Require Proper Waterproofing 

The costs of waterproofing hardwood flooring are also something to consider.

In general, hardwood floors are naturally water-resistant. However, if your bathroom has a hardwood floor, it’s likely that the room will become wet from time to time as a result of splashing or spills on the hardwood surface. We suggest cleaning up spills immediately when they happen and not leaving puddles on the hardwood.

Polyurethane seals the wood and helps make it waterproof. It also serves as a protective coating that hardwood floors need to maintain their beauty and durability over time.

These sealers can be applied by professional hardwood flooring companies or you could choose one of the many water-based polyurethane products available at your local home improvement store and do it yourself.

Hardwoods May Need Periodic Refinishing To Maintain Their Beauty

A hardwood floor that is properly maintained and has a high-quality finish can last for up to 20 years or more before it needs to be refinished. However, if you care for your floors correctly, they will last much longer.

Refinishing hardwood floors is a big job, but it can be worth it to keep your floor looking beautiful for years to come. The basic steps to hardwood floor refinishing are:

  • sand hardwood floors with a special sander
  • apply hardwood flooring stain, if desired
  • finish by applying hardwood floor protective coating

If done correctly, this process can take anywhere from four to eight hours per room depending on the size of your space and how many coats are needed to get an even coat.

What Are The Best Wood Options for Waterproof Hardwood Floors?

Hardwoods that are the least susceptible to water damage are often hardwoods that are naturally more water-resistant. These hardwood floors may include:

  • Maple (hard, durable).
  • Hickory (very hard and dense). 
  • Red Oak Wood Flooring (moderately hard but still more resistant to water than most other types of wood flooring)

What About Engineered Hardwoods For Water Resistance?

Engineered hardwoods are great for water resistance because they are constructed from hardwood planks with a veneer of hardwood on top. The hardwood veneer provides the durability that is necessary for high-moisture areas like bathrooms, while engineered hardwoods can help you save money because they require less finishing and sealing than solid wood floors do.

 

Getting Help With Your Hardwood Floor Purchase

Hardwood flooring is a popular and beautiful choice for many homeowners, but it can also be difficult to choose the right style. There are so many different types of hardwood floors with so many different looks! You have to consider cost, durability, color, and finish when making your selection.

That’s why it can be helpful to get expert advice when choosing hardwood flooring for your home. A professional hardwood flooring company can help you select the right type of wood and the right finish for your specific needs and preferences. They can also give you a quote on how much the installation will cost.

GC Flooring Pros is here to help you make the best decision possible by providing you with professional advice, guidance, and recommendations based on your unique needs. We’re happy to answer any questions about our products or services at any time during your purchase process. Our experts are always available via phone call or email whenever you need them!

If you are in the Dallas, TX area and you would like hardwood flooring installed in your home, we can help with any hardwood style or finish that appeals to you. Request an in-house estimate today!

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About Floors, Blog, Hardwood Flooring, House Renovation

Is Engineered Wood the Answer to Sustainable Wood Flooring?

Sustainable living is one of the most important topics in the modern age. Studies show that as much as 77% of the population wants to learn how to live more sustainably. Unfortunately, many of us simply don’t know where to start.

The good news is that sustainable living can start in the home – specifically, your wood flooring! If you’re a member of that 77%, we’re here to help you understand engineered wood and how it benefits the environment. 

Read on to find out why you should use it for your next sustainable wood flooring.

 

What Is Engineered Wood?

As the name suggests, engineered wood has been artificially given structure. Manufacturers will press together woods of several different types to create this beautiful, hardy flooring material. 

Typically, engineered wood will have a layer of plywood with a veneer of a chosen hardwood. This combination provides the aesthetic a designer would like while also providing the sustainability, hardiness, and cost of engineered wood.

 

What Are Some Sustainable Wood Flooring Examples?

Sustainable wood flooring is any type of wood flooring better for the environment because it either uses reclaimed wood or utilizes much less of the tree per wood plank than your average solid hardwood.

Here are some examples typically used for engineered wood flooring: 

  • Hickory 
  • Pecan 
  • Oak
  • Maple

These four options for engineered wood flooring are more sustainable than the traditional solid hardwood, and all are great options.

 

Differences Between Hardwood and Engineered Wood

Despite having similar construction purposes, there are plenty of differences between hardwood and engineered wood.

Construction

Hardwood consists entirely of a single piece of wood – oak, maple, or others. This piece is then cut to fit the purposes needed. Engineered wood is, instead, made of multiple different tree pieces.

The difference is visible with a cross-section of the wood. Rather than seeing a uniform type of wood as you would with hardwood, you see several different types.

Hardiness

Many assume that engineered wood is weaker and less durable than hardwood. However, engineered wood is just as sturdy as hardwood – even sturdier in some cases due to its resistance to warping.

Hardwood is especially damaged by moisture, but this isn’t as much of an issue with engineered wood. Due to being made up of several layers of different wood, engineered wood can resist water much better. 

 

Why Is Engineered Wood Better for the Environment?

Engineered wood is an excellent sustainable wood flooring choice when competing with hardwood. Consider some of the following as some of the best benefits of using engineered wood over hardwood.

More Sustainable

As we talked about above, the most important feature of engineered wood is that it’s significantly more sustainable in its farming and construction. 

With engineered wood, there’s a much smaller environmental impact. Many manufacturers will use wood from recycling suppliers, especially to create the plywood beneath. Doing so keeps trees in the ground and helps to limit deforestation.

Low Pollutant Generation

The processing of hardwood is another source of environmental damage. It is especially prevalent when it comes to making the veneer. For hardwood, cutting the veneer can create a significant amount of sawdust, waste wood, and consume more fuel.

The engineered wood process cuts the veneer instead, as cutting into a composite doesn’t always go well. This process creates much less sawdust and pollutants, wastes less wood, and uses less fuel. It also is much quicker.

 

Styles of Engineered Wood

Another fantastic benefit of engineered wood is how customizable it is. There are plenty of designs that engineered wood can use, given that it’s artificially formed!

Plank Flooring

The most common – and easiest to work with – is wooden planks. By doing so, you can install the planks in whatever orientation you prefer. You can also stagger and switch lengths to provide a design or pattern in the wood.

Sheet Flooring

Some flooring is made in a single large instalment. Such a design can be more difficult to replace but can give a smoother and more uniform appearance than others.

Chevron Flooring

Chevron flooring is a bit more complicated but certain to impress. Placing the wood down in smaller diagonal cuts provides a V pattern across the floor. While installation can be more intense, this is a classic and beautiful look that engineered wood can easily create. 

 

Switching to Engineered Wood Flooring

If you’ve been looking into a more environmentally-friendly housing design, you should look into engineered sustainable wood flooring today! It’s a great way to cut down on costs while also cutting down your carbon footprint. The strength and flexibility of engineered wood in combination with its excellent green qualities for the environment make it an easy choice over hardwood.

Please feel free to contact us for more information on sustainable wood floors. You can also browse our website to learn more about all of our wood flooring options.

GC Flooring Pros
Floor Care, About Floors, Blog, Hand Scraped Wood Flooring, Hardwood Flooring, How-to, Interior Design, Tips & Tricks

Four steps to expect during the Hardwood Floor Installation process

White Oak Hardwood Flooring

 

Are you considering a flooring upgrade in your home? If you don’t know where to start or feel overwhelmed by the various design, grain, and color choices, take a deep breath because you have come to the right place!  At GC Flooring Pros, we will walk with you throughout the entire process, and to give you a heads up, here are four steps that we follow during the hardwood floor installation process, so you know what to expect:

STEP 1: Free In-Home Consultation

Once we set up an appointment, we offer a complimentary in-home consultation. It’s important that we hear your preferences as to the type and style of floors you’re wanting, and so that we can see your space, wall and cabinet colors etc in order that we can offer you the best options to enhance your home. We will also measure the rooms to give you the estimate and bring some different flooring samples. We offer several wood species, plank widths, stain colors, patterns, and designs and typically will bring the most popular choices to start.

STEP 2: Room Preparation

Once you’ve ordered the floors from GC Flooring Pros, and prior to the installation, we will inform you when our expert installers will be coming so that you have ample time to remove all furniture, draperies/curtains, rugs, paintings and all other items from the room. We do offer furniture removal and replacement services which can be discussed at the initial consult.

STEP 3: Installation

During the installation, your home becomes a construction site, so it will inevitably be noisy and disruptive and dusty. It is also advisable to cover up any furniture in nearby rooms, to avoid debris and dust. If we have installed pre-finished floors, you won’t need to go to step 4, and at this time either you or we would proceed to moving your furniture back into your home.

STEP 4: Staining Your Floors

If we have installed unfinished floors, we will then sand, stain, and put polyurethane down. Once the finish is dried, you or we can move your furniture back. We suggest using felt pads under the furniture pieces, to minimize scratches and dents onto your new floors. You can walk on your new finished floors, 48 hours after the last coat of polyurthane has been applied.

Now that you’re aware of the 4 step process of installing hardwood floors in your home, if you have specific questions or would like a complimentary in-home consultation, contact GC Flooring Pros today! We look forward to making your dream floor designs, come alive!

Hardwood Flooring Trends in 2019

     GC Flooring Pros

 

Hardwood flooring is trending to be the most popular style of flooring that homeowners choose. There are several key benefits and characteristics of real wood floors: it’s timeless, comfortable, warm and attractive.

Real wood flooring makes a house a home. Homeowners choose hardwood flooring for their resilience, character and the increased value it brings to their home as floors provide a stunning backdrop to your space. If your home is on the market, the beautiful, stand out hardwood floors have a way of impressing prospective buyers.

Because hardwood flooring is a prominent feature of your home, we’ve listed a few trends that we’re seeing in 2019 that have longevity:

  • Cooler, Darker Colors: There’s a definite move away from warm tones (reds, yellow and red/brown undertones). Grey is the new, versatile “it” color and it shows no signs of slowing down. It’s neutral tones open up the many possibilities of working palettes around it and pairing its hardwood color with other elements of the room can really bring the whole look of your space together. The new “Greige” (grey+beige) color is in demand and creates a minimalist feel with the warmth of beige.
  • Elongated Tiles, Wider Planks: Planks that are 6-8” wide and 24’-48” long. This size lends to a comfortable, casual aesthetic. The wider planks also make older homes look more rustic and lend to the farmhouse appeal. In modern homes, the wide planks give it an elevated, contemporary feel.
  • White Oak – Oak accounts for approximately 80% of hardwood flooring in the USA. White Oak is a perfect choice for those wanting a minimalistic, modern look but still retaining character and beauty. Another benefit is that White Oak is easy to maintain and more water resistant than its counterpart, red oak.
  • Hardwood Cuts – More and more customers are seeing the value in rifted or quarter-sawn wood. Its linear pattern immediately draws you in and rifted hardwood expands more and contracts less, making it a great choice for those highly traffic areas such as the kitchen and living room.

If you’re looking to add or upgrade your Hardwood flooring in your home, contact GC Flooring Pros for a free in-home consultation. Click here to get started today, on elevating your home.

GC Flooring Pros
About Floors, Blog, Floor Care, Hand Scraped Wood Flooring, Hardwood Flooring, House Renovation, Recommended Blog, Tips & Tricks

Hand Scraped Hardwood Flooring

Hand Scraped Hardwood Flooring

Hand scraped hardwood flooring is a very popular choice for homeowners who are looking to upgrade the design and beauty of their homes. Hand scraped wood has a beautiful, natural texture that brings out the wood’s natural aesthetic beauty and creates a classic, timeless atmosphere of warmth and character. Hand scraped hardwood flooring also has a unique look.

What Is Hand Scraped Hardwood Flooring

Hand scraped is actually just another way to describe hand-sanded floors. Hand-sanding is the process of using heavy-duty sandpaper to wear away at the floor’s surface until it is smooth, and level. Hand scraped hardwood floors are a fairly recent development in the flooring industry, but they have become a favorite for many homeowners over the past decade. Hand-sanded floors fit seamlessly with casual contemporary or shabby chic decor schemes, but their hand scraped texture makes them well suited to formal traditional settings as well

Hand scraped hardwood floors are a current trend that leaves distinct grooves and marks on a floor, giving a room warmth, history, and personality. By opting for hand scraped hardwoods, homeowners can make their brand-new floors look like they’re 100 years old. This style of flooring goes well in any type of home

The surface texture of hand scraped wood (also known as hand sculptured wood) brings out the wood floor’s natural aesthetic beauty and creates a classic, timeless atmosphere of warmth and character. With varying patterns from plank to plank, your home will stand out and be the welcoming space you will want to come home to!

The surface texture of hand scraped wood (also known as hand sculptured wood) brings out the wood floor’s natural aesthetic beauty and creates a classic, timeless atmosphere of warmth and character. With varying patterns from plank to plank, your home will stand out and be the welcoming space you will want to come home to!

At GC Flooring Pros, we will assist you throughout the entire process of selection (from our numerous styles, species, and colors), installation, and provide you with the tools to care for your hand scraped wood floors so they maintain their beauty and life for years to come.

Contact us today for your free in-home consultation. Let’s get started on that upgrade today!

GC FLooring Pros
About Floors, Blog, Hardwood Flooring

How To Choose The Right Hardwood Flooring Species

If you are thinking about choosing a hardwood floor for your home chances are you are looking for a durable flooring option. The durability of any wood floor depends on its hardness.
The harder the floor is the better can it resist scratching and wear-related damage.
However, whatever the name might suggest, not all hardwood is hard. Some woods are harder than others. How do you find out which one is right for you? Fear not, we’ve got you covered!

How hard is hardwood really?

The hardness of wood is determined by how much pressure it can withstand. The Janka Hardness Test measures the hardness of different wood species and classifies them by the results. During the testing, a steel ball with an 11.28-millimeter diameter is pressed into the wood to half the ball’s diameter. This creates a circular indention in the wood with an area of 100 square millimeters. The amount of force spent on the task is measured in pounds-force (lbf) or newtons (N). The more force this procedure requires the stronger is the wood species. Because the testing is done on the surface of the plank and the force is applied horizontally to the wood’s grain it’s possible to also determine side hardness.
To get reliable results the wood used in the test has been air-dried to a 12% moisture content.
The Janka Hardness test also gives insight into how well a particular wood can take on dents and daily wear.

Because of the different characteristics of various wood species, the difference between wood hardnesses is substantial.
The softest hardwood ever tested by the Janka hardness test is Cuipo and can withstand no more than 22-pound force. Australian Buloke is the strongest wood on the list. With 5060 pound force, it’s well above some of the most famous exotic woods like Brazilian Walnut and Bolivian Cherry. It’s almost twice as strong as Red Mahogany and Southern Chestnut and three times stronger than the ever-so-popular flooring choice of Americans – Hickory.

Testing and collecting data is one thing but successfully applying the results to your next remodeling project is another thing. Knowing in advance what to expect from certain wood species will make it easier for you to choose the right kind of floor for your home.

What is the optimal hardness your desired wood species should have?

As long as you are installing a floor for residential use there is little chance you’d need something from the top of the Janka Hardness list. The most popular wood species used for home flooring purposes are usually of medium strength. Red Oak, White Oak or Maple are some of the most popular domestic flooring choices across North America. Most of the domestic wood species tend to be of a lighter color unless stained or otherwise distressed.
Exotic woods come usually in more colors and differ from board to board. Their grain pattern is also more unusual and less continuous than in the case of domestic wood. This unique look has caused a massive spike in exotic wood floor sales in the last decade in the US. Most exotic wood species are also harder and consequently more durable than standard domestic wood species.

However, hardness isn’t always good. Most of us install a hardwood floor to avoid the trouble of removing and installing a new one years later. Solid hardwood floors can be sanded and refinished up to five times. But sanding and refinishing a truly hard hardwood floor isn’t all that easy. Because of the strong built most hard floors require very precise work and could splinter. This is also the reason why exotic wood species are more expensive to treat and require a specialist who has experience in the matter.

Domestic Hardwood Species

Red Oak

1290 lbf

Red Oak is somewhat the classic flooring choice. It’s so popular that every other wood is measured against its hardness and durability. The species usually has average to heavy graining with moderate color variations. The color of a Red oak floor can be anywhere from creamy pinks to light reds all the way to darker tones like shades of brown. Unlike white oak that has more earthly colored undertones (browns and greys), red oak is known for its more pinkish appearance.

Maple

1450 lbf

This wood species is native to the northern regions of the US and Canada. Maple hardwood is mostly of a faint white color that might slightly vary from board to board. The continuity of tone throughout the board depends on the grade of the wood. Maple flooring can contain minimal to a lot of brownish/black mineral streaks. The higher the grade is the least marks of this kind occur. Maple graining (sometimes straight lines, other times curly patterns) is so fine that oftentimes it goes unnoticed. “Birdseye” graining is also characteristic of maple. Birdseye is a distinctive pattern that resembles tiny eyes and is common in many wood species. Even though maple hardwood is mostly known as a very hardwood species, it contains areas that have softer structures. This can sometimes lead to the uneven color distribution when staining the floor. To avoid blotchiness it’s recommended to use a liquid wood conditioner prior to applying a stain to your maple floor.

Hickory

1820 lbf

Hickory is one of the hardest species of wood that’s native to North America. Because of the great variety of color and unique graining, it’s one of the widely used woods too.
Coloring for Hickory hardwood flooring can range from creamy whites to medium browns and even to darker browns. To get the most out of the unique grain variation of Hickory it’s common to cut it in 5″ and wider planks.

Exotic Hardwood Species

Brazilian Cherry

2820 lbf

Brazilian Cherry is an exotic wood species known for its extreme color variations. Also known as Jatoba, it’s on the top of the Janka hardness rating. When installed it created a beautiful reddish/brown pattern with reddish/blonde highlights and occasionally deep red selections.
Unlike many flooring alternatives that tend to fade when exposed to the sun, Brazilian Cherry gets richer and darkens with exposure to light. The unique graining also plays a role in creating an interesting and inviting environment.

Santos Mahogany

2200 lbf

This hardwood species is the second-most popular choice among the exotic kind. Compared to Brazilian Cherry, the most popular exotic wood on the market, the tone of this wood remains mostly homogenous throughout the plank. The color variation ranges from medium brownish/orange to dark brown. Santos Mahogany hardwood has a wavy grain that incorporates an open pattern. Just like Brazilian Cherry, when exposed to light Santos Mahogany will become richer.

Bamboo

Unlike other woods bamboo doesn’t have a set Janka hardness rating. The hardness of bamboo depends on the harvesting time. Cheaper bamboo has usually been harvested earlier than more expensive grass and is less hard.

tips on how to choose the prfect stain for your hardwood floor
About Floors, Blog, Floor Care, Hardwood Flooring, How-to, Recommended Blog, 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.

stain test e1499630700931
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.

is it worth the money to install hardwood flooring
About Floors, Blog, Hardwood Flooring

Is installing hardwood flooring worth the money?

Hardwood is one of the most popular natural materials available for flooring purposes. Solid and engineered hardwood floors both can successfully transform any space into a more warm and welcoming environment. Praised for its beauty and richness it also possessed impressive durability capabilities.
Despite being more expensive than most alternative flooring options, hardwood’s ability to be refinished is a convincing argument for many who are looking to install a new floor.

But really, how far can you stretch your hardwood floor’s life? And is it worth it at all?

How much does new hardwood flooring cost?

There are dozens of different hardwood floors available on the market and the prices vary just as much. As a rule, the grade of the wood is one of the biggest factors to determine the price. Higher the grade more expensive the floor. Hardwood of the highest grade comes in a longer boards has no blemishes and is a uniform color. The cheapest hardwood is the least “tame”, it’s rich with knots and blemishes and shows the raw character through the mixed color. The boards of this grade also tend to be as short as 24”.
The species of the wood, as well as your location, also play a significant role in determining the price for your hardwood floor installation. The rare types of wood like Sakura or Kempas tend to be more expensive than Maple or Oak which are more common in the US.
Typically, flooring suppliers quote the cost for installing a hardwood floor on a square-foot basis. The price for a lower to upper-grade hardwood varies between $4-8. Prefinished floors cost on average $2 more than unfinished.
There are other costs to consider In addition to what you pay for the floor itself. The price for installation varies depending on whether the floor needs to be nailed down, glued to the subfloor, or floated. Laying hardwood in a smaller room can also get more pricey since a lot of complicated trimming needs to be done to ideally fit the boards to your room’s borders and around other tightly located obstacles. There are also expenses that have little to do with the actual flooring, including delivery, moving furniture, and preparing the subfloor.

How durable is Hardwood really?

Both engineered and solid hardwood are durable flooring options. Even though they are built differently – solid wood is made from a single wood board while engineered hardwood is a composite product – the surface layer is in both cases real wood and has similar resistance to wear.
Density plays a big role in hardwood’s durability and is directly proportional to the floor’s hardness. Unlike what the name implies, not all hardwood floors are hard. Some are soft enough to get scratched. According to the Janka hardness test, which is used to measure how well different woods can withstand pressure, most hardwood species used for flooring purposes are of average hardness. Hickory, for example, can take 1820 lbf, most types of maple around 1400 lbf, white oak 1360 lbf and red oak 1290 lbf.

How much does refinishing cost?

The cost of refinishing hardwood floors varies based on floor material, floor condition, used equipment and the length of required labour. Usually, a 100 square feet room can be refinished in about 4-5 hours. The average price to refinish hardwood floors lies between $1.50 – $5.00 per square foot. This excludes the more exotic types of hardwood. They are difficult to work with and require extra care when being sanded. Some exotic floors can easily burnish due to their hardness if not treated carefully. Others leave dust behind that can harm people’s health and should be treated by an experienced flooring professional who will take adequate measures when working on such floor. These demands for extra care makes refinishing exotic wood more expensive.

How often can you refinish your floor?

The thicker the floor the more times can it be refinished. On average, solid hardwood floors can be refinished up to 5 times. Engineered hardwood floors with a wear layer of 2mm or thicker can be sanded and refinished as well.
However, thickness isn’t the only factor to be concerned with when refinishing your floor. Who does the work is just as important. Refinishing a floor means sanding off the top layer full scratches and blemishes to reveal new wood underneath and then re-applying color treatments and seal. More precise sanding will leave you with a thicker board and prolong your hardwood floors life.