1. The Importance Of Floor Prep

    The importance of floor prep cannot be understated. This is something that many flooring stores prefer to gloss over because it adds cost to a job. However this is a cost that must be calculated into your flooring project. I have never had a subfloor that did not need some kind of prep. At a minimum this means cleaning, scraping, removing old drywall mud, paint, staples, etc. A meticulous attitude in regards to preparing that subfloor is essential, or the finished floor will be compromised. But there are more critical things to look for in a subfloor.

    The most important element is making sure high and low spots are addressed and remedied. On a concrete slab, gentle highs or lows may not be noticeable. However more prominent bumps or ridges in the concrete are not uncommon. If we are installing a vinyl plank floor – a product with some flexibility that will conform to the subfloor, those ridges will show right through the floor. Furthermore they will put stress on the joints of planks which over time may break or separate. High spots in concrete can ground down with a diamond blade grinder – this is something we are always prepared to do. Low spots in concrete can be filled with a floor leveler. Typically expansion cuts or joints in concrete slabs allow the slab to lift or peak, causing the worst highs, so we will always look for this.

    In wood subfloors the same “peaking” or ridges occur between 4 x 8 panels of OSB or plywood. The proper way to install subfloor panels is with 1/8 inch expansion space between them. However this is rarely done. When the panels are butted together there is nowhere for the material to go when it expands, so it tends to push up at the seams. It is also common for subfloors to get wet from rains when a house is being built, before the roof is on and the house dryed in. Rarely are wood subfloors perfectly smooth or flat, and most are built with carpet in mind, which hides almost all imperfections. However for wood or hard surface floors those issues must be addressed. Typically this means going over the subfloor with a level and then sanding down the ridges and peaks in the panels.

    The most important element is making sure high and low spots are addressed and remedied. On a concrete slab, gentle highs or lows may not be noticeable. However more prominent bumps or ridges in the concrete are not uncommon. If we are installing a vinyl plank floor – a product with some flexibility that will conform to the subfloor, those ridges will show right through the floor. Furthermore they will put stress on the joints of planks which over time may break or separate. High spots in concrete can ground down with a diamond blade grinder – this is something we are always prepared to do. Low spots in concrete can be filled with a floor leveler. Typically expansion cuts or joints in concrete slabs allow the slab to lift or peak, causing the worst highs, so we will always look for this.

    The importance of floor prep cannot be understated. This is something that many flooring stores prefer to gloss over because it adds cost to a job. However this is a cost that must be calculated into your flooring project. I have never had a subfloor that did not need some kind of prep. At a minimum this means cleaning, scraping, removing old drywall mud, paint, staples, etc. A meticulous attitude in regards to preparing that subfloor is essential, or the finished floor will be compromised. But there are more critical things to look for in a subfloor.

  2. Custom wood medallions for that “WOW” factor!

    Adding custom wood medallions to your hardwood floor installation can be a stunning highlight to any room, but especially prominent places like entry ways, fouriers and lobbys. Wood medallions come in countless varieties of shapes, desgins and colors, often composed of many different varieties of woods. Many features of a design can be customized to match your specific floor more closely. For example, if once a desgin has been chosen, different parts of the design can be made from specific woods to match and tie into your new floor. If you are putting a dark walnut floor in your house, a medallion can be made with features out of dark walnut as well. Although there are many fabulous choices, even completely custom designs can be made into a wood medallion and inserted into your floor. We do not make the medallion designs ourselves, but we do install them. Our favorite place to go for wood medallions is Oshkosh Desgins (oshkoshdesigns.com) although there are other companies to choose from as well. You can order a wood medallion directly from Oshkosh, or we can order it for you.

    The medallion gets installed after your floor is installed – we router the exact shape of the medallion into your existing floor and set it in. Medallion thikness must therefore match the thickness of your flooring. For best matches to style, thickness and nature of your wood floor we advise you send a piece/board to Oshkosh prior to them makng your design, so they know what to match it to. Wood medallions can also be installed into existing older wood floors even years later, so it’s never to late to add that “pop” to your entry floor. Also, decorative borders can be made to accent your flooring installation, and even match your medallion in style and desgin. For more information on wood medallions, borders and decorative insert designs, please ask Desert Hardwood Flooring at 928-925-3084.