1. engineered hardwood hickory floor

    Still Suffering from Allergies? Consider Replacing Your Carpet!

    It seems like these days “allergy season” is an ever expanding time table, not just just confined to release of Juniper pollen. Whether you have asthma or just seasonal allergies, you are probably painfully aware of this.

    One Culprit: Carpeting

    One place to look for how to mitigate allergies is in your very home. Why? Because dust, pollen and allergies can be trapped inside your home and continue to make you suffer even after the worst of the season has passed. Probably the worst offender in this arena is your carpeting.

    Carpeting and the padding underneath it hold a world of micro-particles that even regular cleaning can’t remove. Carpet tends to trap and hold pollen, dust, pet hair and dander, and more elements that over time settle down into the fibers and very base or backing of the carpet. Even new hypo-allergenic carpet begins to trap and hold allergens and dust immediately after it’s installation. Also, carpet and especially carpet padding disintegrates over time from constant foot traffic, leaving a thick powdery residue under the carpet and padding that cannot be removed by carpet cleaning. This powder also affects your air quality. Carpet has traditionally been the cheapest flooring to install, but in the long run it can actually be more expensive, as regular cleaning and the cost of replacing it can ad up. But real cost is to your health.

    The Solution: Hard Surface Flooring

    The term “ hard surface” flooring refers to wood, laminate, vinyl plank or tile flooring. These flooring surfaces provide a much more durable and easy to clean and maintain floor that can still be accented by area rugs and runners. And most importantly these floor surfaces don’t trap pollen and dust, or require professional cleaning every year. We will look briefly at each of these areas.

    Wood Flooring

    There are several types of wood flooring, but the most common and popular is referred to as engineered wood flooring. This is wood planking composed of layers of different woods, with the top layer being the finished hardwood surface visible to the eye. Engineered wood flooring is more stable and affordable than the older generation of solid wood planks, and is pre-finished with a superior strength coating that is typically warranteed 25-50 years. Real wood flooring is both beautiful and practical, and ads more value to a home than any other type of flooring you can install.

    Laminate Flooring

    Laminate flooring is most commonly known as “pergo,” which is actually just a brand name. Laminate planks are composed of a highly compressed fiberboard core on top of which is the surface wear layer, imprinted to look like wood. Think the toughness of your old formica counter top but with a wood appearance. This flooring has come a long way over the years. It is very affordable, very practical, and has been designed to look and feel closer to real wood than every before.

    Vinyl Plank Flooring

    This relatively new generation of plank flooring has all of the benefits of laminate while eliminating some drawbacks. Namely it is a completely waterproof plank that is impervious to spills, floods, pet stains, pet nails and other events. It also has a very dense, rigid core that absorbs sound under foot more than laminate does. Besides all that it looks fabulous, and so is rapidly taking over the laminate market.

    Tile Flooring

    Tile’s greatest quality is its durability. For this reason it is still immensely popular in bathrooms and laundry rooms. Although it is often installed throughout new homes for affordability reasons, many people find an excess of tile too cold and hard underfoot, and prefer warmer and more resilient hard surfaces like wood or vinyl plank flooring.

    For more questions about wood, laminate or waterproof vinyl plank flooring please contact Desert Hardwood Flooring at (928) 925-3084 or visit www.DesertHardwoodFlooring.com/contact

    Sylvan Incao is the owner and lead installer of Desert Hardwood Flooring, and a Prescott resident since 1992. Desert Hardwood Flooring is a small craftsmanship-oriented company focusing on quality workmanship and attention to detail in the arena of hardwood flooring and other hard surface flooring. Their showroom is located at 115 E. Goodwin St. Suite A, in downtown Prescott and is by appointment only.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.