SVB Wood Floors Blog

Monthly Archives: February 2015

Fading Hardwood FlooringWood floors are one of the few flooring options that become more beautiful with age. Like all natural things that experience change over time, wood floors will experience subtle color changes as they age. This natural process is called patina and it adds to the beauty and character of the floor. Some species of wood fade to a lighter color and others darken over time. But some people prefer the original color of the wood. What causes wood floors to fade and what can you do to prevent it from happening? The wood floor experts at SVB Wood Floors have a few helpful tips to share to reduce the amount of fading you’ll see in your wood floors.

Causes of Fading Hardwood Floors

There are three main things that cause wood floors to fade. Sun, heat, and moisture. Moisture tends to be less worrisome as most homeowners know to keep moisture away from hardwood floors. The sun, however is unavoidable and it brings both light and heat with it. Unfortunately, no one wants to live in a dungeon with no light, so what are our options?

Tips for Reducing Wood Floor Exposure to Sunlight

The sun is no friend to wood floors. Ultraviolet light (UV) causes fading due to the light itself and infrared light (IR) causes fading due to the heat. So how do you reduce your floor’s exposure to sunlight? It all starts with the windows. Windows are the main source of sunlight in your home. There are several options to consider with windows.

New Windows – If you are replacing your windows, look for low-e glass. Low-e (low emissivity) glass will help reduce both UV and IR light.

Existing Windows – If you are not replacing your windows, you can look into window film. This thin coating applied to the inside of your windows will help to reduce both UV and IR light. While not as effective as Low-E glass

Window Coverings – This may be the simplest solution. Use blinds, drapes, or shutters to keep the sun out of your home. In the summer, this will have the added advantage of reducing solar gain and reducing your air conditioning bill.

The Finish Can Also Affect The Color of Your Floor over Time

The second factor that can cause wood floors to change color over time is what is added to them. The stain and the finish used will yield different results.

Staining – If you’re going to have your floors stained use a pigment based stain instead of a dye stain. Pigment stains are more colorfast than dyes and will hold their color longer.

Finish – Oil-based finishes will yellow over time, giving the floor a slightly amber appearance. In contrast, water-based finishes generally remain clear over time, minimizing long-term color changes.

What if my Floors Are Already Faded? 

Sometimes the problem is more obvious, especially if you had rugs that protected one area very well, but when you remove them, the difference is obvious. If the color difference is dramatic, then the only option you have to even the color back out is to sand and refinish the floor. If you do this, we suggest using some of the tips above to prevent them from fading as quickly the next time.

Call SVB Wood Floors if you need help with wood floor refinishing, repair, or installation at (913) 213-5187 or (816) 965-8655.

9 Simple Secrets to Keeping Your Hardwood Floors Looking Good

9 Hard Wood Floor PictureThere is nothing as beautiful as shiny, new hardwood floors. But how do you keep them that way? With kids, pets, guests, snow, rain, spills, high heel shoes, etc., how do you ensure your hardwood floors don’t end up looking dull and scratched? The wood floor experts at SVB Wood Floors have gathered a few secrets over the years that we would like to share with you. Incorporate most of these into your life and your floors should look great no matter what kind of crazy life you lead.

 

 

Take Off Shoes

You don’t necessarily have to make your guests do this, but if you can at least instill this in your family members, you will avoid a lot of wear and tear. Let’s face it, who’s usually running around your home? – you and your family members. And if your kids take their shoes off when they come inside, their friends will follow suit.

 

Trim Pet Claws

So, obviously, you can’t make Fido remove his shoes if he’s not wearing any. His claws, however, are something you can control. Make sure his toenails are kept trim to prevent them from scratching the floor.

 

Use Throw Rugs

Strategically placed throw rugs at doorways and in heavy traffic areas will greatly reduce dirt and grit that gets tracked inside by shoes. Grit is a hardwood floor’s worst enemy because if it is left on the floor, every single time someone steps in it, your floor suffers small scratches. These small scratches will add up and eventually make your floor dull. Make sure your rugs do not have rubber backing.

 

Sweep Often

Because dirt and grit are the worst offenders when it comes to scratching, sweeping fairly often (every couple of days) will really prevent any potentially scratchy items from building up. Keep a small sweeper or hand vacuum in a convenient place so this doesn’t become a burdensome task.

 

Spot Clean

There are usually places that tend to get dirtier faster. The floor in front of a door or in a foyer or the area in front of the stove or sink tend to get dirty quickly. Food, drips, footprints and more build up here because these areas are high-traffic and get used so often. Just a damp cloth can remove most visible dirt or sticky food, which will keep it from collecting dust and becoming more obvious.

 

Clean Wet Spills Quickly

Immediately wipe up any spills to prevent water damage and staining to the wood or finish. Use a soft, dry cloth to soak up liquids.

 

Protect

Taking off your shoes is a good first step as well as throw rugs at entryways. Also pad the feet of heavy or frequently moved furniture (kitchen chairs, barstools, etc.) with felt pads. Don’t forget to change these pads when they look dirty because they will pick up grit too over time. Never scoot a piece of furniture into place. Wait for someone else to help you lift and place it where it belongs.

 

Climate Control

Wood is a very porous material and it reacts to moisture levels. In the winter, your home gets very dry and this lack of moisture can cause wood planks to shrink creating unsightly gaps between boards. In severe cases, the wood can split. A humidifier will rectify this situation. In the summer, the opposite is true. Your home can contain too much humidity causing the planks to absorb moisture and cup (the edges rise higher than the center). It’s important to control humidity levels and it is best to keep your home between 35% to 55% humidity.

 

Related Read: Humidifier Tips for Hardwood Floor Owners

 

Patch

If your floor suffers a catastrophic injury, the good news is that if it has been badly damaged in one spot, you can remove the damaged boards and replace them as opposed to living with the damage or replacing the entire floor. This is one of the advantages of a wood floor and not something you could expect from non-hardwood flooring. The wood floor pros at SVB can repair your floor, match the color, and make it look as good as new.

 

Call SVB Wood Floors if you need help with wood floor care, repair, or installation at (913) 213-5187 or (816) 965-8655.

 

 

A Quick Brush Up on Wire Brushed Flooring

Wire Brushed Wood Floors PhotoThere are many different types of hardwood flooring and at SVB Wood Floors, we’re familiar with them all. One popular look we’ve seen an uptick in interest in lately is wire brushed wood floors. Here’s a little primer from SVB Wood Floors on wire brushed floors and what makes them unique.

 

What Is a Wire Brushed Wood Floor?

Wire brushing is a finishing technique that involves scraping the plank with a hard-bristled wire brush. The stiff bristles pull the soft grain from the growth ring off leaving the heartwood exposed. This results in a stronger emphasis on the grain of the wood and creates more texture and character. Some refer this as a “European” look. This gently weathered appearance has recently become sought after by designers, builders, and homeowners.

 

Why Wire Brushed Floors Are Popular

By removing the softer wood and leaving the more hard wood only, wire brushing creates a more durable surface. This surface also has more texture, which not only adds to its aesthetic appeal but provides a less slippery floor as well.

The surface has a rougher, earthier feel and can also withstand more wear and tear due to its hardness. Wire brushed floors are ideal for households with kids, pets, or high traffic in general.

 

Wood Floor Industry Trends Lean Toward Rustic Looks

The resurgence in popularity of this weathered, yet elegant look in wood floors follows a trend in the industry. The natural, rustic look is making a comeback and while there are much more extreme styles available including reclaimed wood, distressed wood, and hand scraped wood,

wire brushed floors provide a safe, middle ground for those who want to add a little character but maybe aren’t comfortable jumping into too much change at once.

 

Related Article: 5 Hardwood Floor Trends for 2015

 

Wire Brushed Wood Floors Timeless and Durable

Wire brushed floors made their debut about five years ago and experienced a lukewarm reception. But today, their popularity seems to be picking up steam. Wire brushed hardwood floors are ideal for spaces that would be prone to scratches or wear that would detract from a traditional smooth wood finish. If you’re looking for timeless style and long lasting beauty, check out wire brushed hardwood floors for your space.

 

Whether you need new hardwood floors, hardwood floor refinishing, or hardwood floor installation, call SVB Wood Floors at (913) 213-5187 or (816) 965-8655.

 

5 Hardwood Floor Trends for 2015

Wood Floor Trends 2015 PhotoThe hardwood flooring industry is constantly in flux when it comes to trends. It’s easiest to look at trends on an annual basis to help identify what is becoming more popular. At SVB Wood Floors, our design experts have identified some major wood floor trends for 2015. Here is a peek at the looks and products that seem to be gaining popularity coming into this new year.

 

 

Dark Colors – hardwood floors are definitely going to the dark side. From rich browns to deep ebony, these deeper hues are adding an upscale feel to the rooms they grace. Darker floors can be harder to keep clean as they show dirt and scratches more easily.

 

Natural Looks – woods like bamboo and reclaimed wood are both becoming increasingly popular. Both provide a unique look. Bamboo tends to be more exotic with interesting patterns within the wood. Reclaimed wood provides a rustic look and feel. Reclaimed wood with its rougher edges and uneven texture lends itself perfectly to the farmhouse look that is sought after. Cork is another more natural look. Cork is more comfortable to walk on as it is a bit softer than some traditional hardwoods. The good news is modern technology has made it stronger and more durable. Plus, cork floors are available in more colors than ever in the past.

Related Read: Why We Love the Reclaimed Wood Trend and You Should Too

 

Going Big – wider planks and longer planks are one of the latest crazes in hardwood floors. This trend seems to be strongest in high-end homes. Using these supersized planks makes the room appear larger and more spacious.

 

Shades of Gray – blame it on the book/movie, if you must, but in the wood floor industry you can find more than 50 shades of gray underfoot. Whatever the reason, gray is the new brown when it comes to hardwood floors. Look for more gray floors and gray stains.

 

Matte Finishes – shiny and polished finishes are losing ground to matte and satin finishes. The matte finish provides a warmer feel and also is more practical as it tends to look better longer, and shows dents, scratches and dirt less than semi-gloss or high-gloss finishes.

 

 

SVB Wood Floors stays on top of the latest trends in hardwood flooring so we can bring you the latest products and technology. If you need new hardwood floors, hardwood floor refinishing, or hardwood floor installation, we can help you decide which type of floor is best for your home. Call SVB Wood Floors at (913) 213-5187 or (816) 965-8655.