Saturday, December 16, 2017
Home and Garden

Install wood floors to creates warm, inviting look

The appeal of glossy hardwood floors goes back centuries. The warmth of wood floors makes them a coveted design feature, and people who have wood floors work hard at keeping them looking good. Often when people move or make decorating changes in their interiors, or when floors get really dull and worn, they arrange for professionals to sand them to remove old finishes and then apply new ones. Installing wood floors, whether of new wood or reclaimed planks or antique wood, is a popular upgrade to houses, especially in living rooms, dining rooms and kitchens, as it's known to increase the resale value. | For centuries, most wood floors were given a wax finish, which requires regular maintenance and waxing as part of routine housekeeping. Some homes still continue that tradition. But for the past 50 years, the vast majority of wood floors in American homes have been topped with layers of polyurethane. The advantage of this is a nice, durable finish and the ease of maintenance mostly by simple vacuuming and dry mopping. | One alternative to solid hardwood floors is engineered hardwood, which is made with a top layer of hardwood and a core of crisscrossed layers of other woods. Engineered wood floors are known to be very stable, so they are a popular choice for areas with concrete subfloors or in basements. | The best feature of wood floors: They go with everything.

What's new?

Eco-friendly products More environmentally friendly finishes, such as water-based polyurethane coatings, have lower VOCs (potentially harmful Volatile Organic Compounds) than traditional oil-based products.

Faster-drying finishes Manufacturers are developing new technologies that use ultraviolet light to cure polyurethane finishes instantly, instead of longer waits during drying.

Care tips

Cleaning The majority of floors today are sealed with polyurethane, so waxing is not necessary and could actually damage your polyurethaned floors. Dust mopping or vacuuming is usually all they need. For light cleaning, use a special professional cleaner such as Squeaky wood floor cleaner for polyurethaned floors.

Beware of footwear hazards Keep pumps with worn heels or sports cleats off your wood floors, as they can dent them.

Trim pets' nails Scurrying dogs and cats can do serious damage to a wood finish. Keep scratches at bay with a regular clipping schedule.

Floor types

Sprigg Lynn is president of Universal Floors in Washington, which has been in business since 1953 refinishing, installing, restoring and custom detailing wood floors. We asked him to choose three types of hard-surface flooring popular among consumers.

Bamboo Recently bamboo, which is actually a grass, has been a popular alternative to hardwood flooring because of its environmentally friendly properties and affordable price. The look of bamboo plank floors is unique and the floors are durable and practical. $7 to $8 per square foot installed

Wide oak plank Choosing a floor made of 3-to 5-inch-wide oak planks assures you will see more of the beauty of the natural wood. A floor can be installed prefinished with polyurethane coating (with limited color selection). Unfinished planks can be custom-stained in any color from white to black. Multiple types of finishes are available. $9 to $10 per square foot installed

Hand-scraped wood Universal Floors offers an option called hand scraping that produces a floor that mimics the rich character of antique floors. Lynn calls it a "footworn look for people who don't want their floors to look like they came out of a box." The look evokes the warmth of centuries-old floors. It is achieved through careful scraping with custom tools. It can be coated with polyurethane, although some prefer a wax or tung oil finish to preserve the patina. $15 to $20 per square foot installed

Shop smart

If you have old wood floors that are looking dull and scratched, consider refinishing. If both the finish and stain are worn off into the grain of the wood, it has to be sanded before applying new coats of polyurethane or wax.

If you are shopping for new floors or thinking of restaining your old ones, consider the pros and cons of dark vs. light floors: Dark floors are dramatic but will show pet scratches and dust and can make a room appear smaller. Lighter floors have a timeless look and hide dirt better; plus, they never look trendy.

Buy some new doormats if you install new floors or refinish your old ones. If you keep a doormat in front of all the exterior doors to your house, it can help keep dirt from being brought in on everyone's shoes and wearing down your beautiful wood floors.

Comments
Hometown Pasco for Dec. 15

Hometown Pasco for Dec. 15

We want your news!Hometown Pasco is devoted to everyday life in our county, whether it’s snapshots from your family reunion, recreational sporting event, news from your last club meeting or just a few lines thanking someone for a job well done. You ...
Published: 12/13/17
Hometown Hernando for Dec. 15

Hometown Hernando for Dec. 15

We want your news!Hometown Hernando is devoted to everyday life in our county, whether it’s snapshots from your family reunion, recreational sporting event, news from your last club meeting or just a few lines thanking someone for a job well done. Y...
Published: 12/13/17
Timely Tendings: Beware of buying or gifting invasive plant species

Timely Tendings: Beware of buying or gifting invasive plant species

Beware of buying or gifting invasive plant speciesPlants make great gifts to give and receive. But .?.?. beware invasive species lurking in local garden centers or nurseries. Many invasive species are still commonly sold and if you plant them in your...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/12/17
Review: Amazon wants a key to your house. I did it. I regretted it.

Review: Amazon wants a key to your house. I did it. I regretted it.

I gave Amazon.com a key to go into my house and drop off packages when I’m not around. After two weeks, it turns out letting strangers in has been the least-troubling part of the experience.Once Amazon owned my door, I was the one locked into an all-...
Published: 12/08/17
Want the perfect Christmas tree? We asked an expert for help

Want the perfect Christmas tree? We asked an expert for help

Lights, ribbons, tinsel, flowers — how do you get that perfect look? We asked designer Ken Neddo of Classic Florals in St. Petersburg to help with this yearly decorating event.   * What do you see as the general trends in Christmas tree deco...
Published: 12/05/17
Timely Tendings: As holidays approach, find the right plants; keep an eye on edibles in the garden

Timely Tendings: As holidays approach, find the right plants; keep an eye on edibles in the garden

Get holiday plants: trees, poinsettias and cactiLiving Christmas trees are a fun, lasting way to celebrate the holiday season that can then be planted to provide a lifetime of enjoyment. Unfortunately a commonly sold plant for this is the Norfolk Isl...
Published: 12/01/17
Updated: 12/05/17
5 first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid

5 first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid

Thinking about buying your first home? Before you can unlock the door to homeownership, you have to take some important first steps. From finding the perfect location to financing your purchase, shopping for your first home has challenges that go bey...
Published: 11/30/17
Updated: 12/05/17
Hometown Hernando for Dec. 8

Hometown Hernando for Dec. 8

We want your news!Hometown Hernando is devoted to everyday life in our county, whether it’s snapshots from your family reunion, recreational sporting event, news from your last club meeting or just a few lines thanking someone for a job well done. Y...
Published: 11/29/17
Updated: 12/07/17
Plan and budget for a good return on your garden investment

Plan and budget for a good return on your garden investment

The first of the 2018 seed catalogs will be arriving soon in the mail, signaling the start of another growing season. Savvy vegetable gardeners pore over the pages while choosing plants and drafting budgets. Planning ahead provides healthier returns ...
Published: 11/28/17
Updated: 12/05/17
Diggin’ Florida Dirt: Gardeners share suggestions for holiday gifts

Diggin’ Florida Dirt: Gardeners share suggestions for holiday gifts

If I had to choose just one garden tool to be shipwrecked with on an uninhabited island, it would be my Felco 2 pruners. They clip anything up to about a half-inch diameter — even thicker when I push it, which I do.Even my daughter marveled when I qu...
Updated one month ago