SVB Wood Floors Blog

Monthly Archives: December 2016

Which Flooring Option Will Give You the Best ROI?

In the past several decades, hardwood floors have replaced carpeting as the most desirable flooring option for homeowners. However, because wood floors don’t come cheap, some homeowners are left wondering if they’re worth the investment.

To clear the air, the experts at SVB Wood Floors are breaking down the benefits of three main types of flooring, as well as offering valuable insights on which has the best return on investment.

Related Read: The Best Time to Add Hardwood Floors during Your Remodeling Project

Option #1: Carpet

carpeted-living-room-ROI-SVB-Wood-floors-kcThere’s no question that a good quality carpet can be a lovely flooring choice, and with proper care, this option could last for several years. Unfortunately, there’s no absolute guarantee when it comes to the question of carpet longevity.

It depends on several factors including quality, traffic, and maintenance. It’s certainly possible for a high-quality, well-cared for carpet in a low-traffic area to last up to 20 years at $15-$20 per square yard, but the lifespan of carpeting cannot be absolutely determined.

Option #2: Tile

porcelain-tile-floors-ROI-SVB-Wood-Floors-kansas-cityPorcelain tile is generally denser than other types of tile, which means it typically has a longer life expectancy, and a good-quality porcelain tile floor can last for 20+ years. Since porcelain tile is so dense and the firing process so hot, porcelain tile ends up being as hard as granite. In addition, the color runs all the way through the tile, so fading is not an issue.

Although the tile itself is easy to clean, the grout is notoriously hard to maintain and keep looking fresh. However, porcelain tile is also a pricier option than other tiles — costing around $4-$12 per square foot installed. Plus,  installation is time-consuming, even for a professional.

Option #3: Hardwood Floors

hardwood-floors-ROI-SVB-wood-floors-kansas-cityQuality hardwood flooring has the longest lifespan of all other quality flooring materials, and with proper installation, maintenance, and refinishing, it can last a lifetime. Many old buildings still have hardwood floors that were originally installed over 100 years ago, so they’re definitely an investment you’d be wise to consider for your own home! Beautiful, classic, and highly desirable, wood flooring is hard to beat.

The most common hardwoods, such as oak, maple, walnut or cherry, cost an average of $5-$10 per square foot plus another $4-$8 for installation. Although this isn’t an inexpensive up-front investment, consider the fact that they may outlive you, and will increase the market value of your home substantially. According to Leslie Piper, Home Advisor’s consumer housing specialist, and a realtor herself, most buyers today want hardwood floors, and may pass up houses that don’t have them! Overall, hardwood flooring offers, by far, the best ROI for your money.

Want to learn more from the hardwood flooring experts? Call us at (816) 965-8655 or click the button below to schedule your free quote:

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12 Critical Questions to Ask before You Hire a Hardwood Flooring Contractor

choosing-a-wood-floor-contractor-SVB-wood-floors-kc

At SVB Wood Floors, we know that hiring the right contractor is critical in getting the home of your dreams. So what exactly should you look for in a hardwood floor contractor? The experts at SVB Wood Floors have created this checklist to help you make the most informed decision. Make sure to ask these 15 questions before you hire any hardwood flooring company:

1. Does the Contractor Have a Proper Business Liability Policy in Place?

Any legitimate wood flooring contractor should have a liability policy in place. SVB Wood Floor Service, Inc. carries a 2 million dollar general liability policy. We do not have any claims in our company history and a copy of this policy is also available upon request. We also maintain an active workers’ compensation policy and have had no claims in our company history. This policy is also available upon request.

 

2. Does the Contractor Use Subcontractors? If So, Do They Have Proper Insurance Policies?

Hiring a company that uses subcontractors means you may be unsure of their qualifications. At SVB Wood Floors, we don’t subcontract our work. All of our trusted technicians are in-house, uniformed personnel. Each crew has an assigned crew leader, who has been through multiple years of training, before being placed into this lead position.

 

3. Is the Contractor a Member of the NWFA (National Wood Flooring Association)?

The SVB team currently holds multiple certifications with the NWFA for installation, sanding and finishing, sales advising, environmental awareness, and craftsman degrees. Additionally, SVB’s owner, Steve Brattin, is a NWFA board member and holds positions on NWFA committees.

Related Read: SVB Wood Floors Wins 2016 Wood Floor of the Year Award from NWFA

 

4. What Industry Technical Training and Accreditation Have They Received?

In an industry that is constantly making advancements, it’s important to choose a contractor who values keeping up with the latest certifications and accreditations. SVB and its employees are certified with the Bona Certified Craftsman Program. Installation, sanding/finishing techniques, and skills are updated at annual Surfaces, Bona BCCP and NWFA conventions, along with other training classes offered throughout the year by these organizations.

 

5. What Kind of Warranty Does the Contractor Offer?

Hardwood flooring is a big investment, so make sure you choose a contractor who’s got your back. We offer a warranty for the period of one year for the materials and workmanship we supply. A copy of this warranty is available upon request.

 

6. Does the Contractor Offer Customer Care for the Life of Your Floor?

Sure, a contractor can get the job done, but are they qualified to maintain your floors beyond installation? SVB offers the following methods of care for the life of your floor.

 

7. Where Does the Contractor Obtain the Flooring Materials? What Steps Are Followed to Ensure the Flooring Is Acclimated Properly to Our Region?

Get to the source of your wood floors. It’s important that contractors know where materials come from and know how to properly acclimate them to our region. SVB obtains all of its materials from reputable mills and wholesalers who kiln dry and warehouse the product to meet the demands of the MO & KS climates. All wood flooring received by SVB is dated upon arrival and checked for proper moisture readings. The material is then stored in our warehouse to ensure it has been acclimated to the Midwest region and is ready for installation.

 

8. What Process Is Used for Dust Mitigation?

Nobody wants the stress of a dusty mess once your wood floors have been installed, which is why SVB uses a state-of-the-art dust extraction system which evacuates the dust from your home to our trailer-mounted Bona containment system.

These units are very powerful and generate 99.8% less dust than traditional methods, which makes the process much more convenient. Plus, with this state-of-the-art system, there is no need for sealing off doorways and you won’t be left cleaning dust particles for months to come.

 

9. Is the Exact Type of Stain and Finish Specified on the Estimate?

It’s important to have options, but even more important to have the highest quality options. SVB specifies the exact type of finishes available on all projects. All finishes are not created equal, and SVB only uses the best on the market, which is included in our price.

Related Read: Don’t Settle for Just Any Stain Color: All About SVB’s Process

 

10. Is the Moisture Content of the Materials and Relative Humidity of the Environment Logged and Monitored as Set Forth by the NWFA Guidelines?

SVB logs and monitors the moisture content of the wood when it is delivered and verifies that the materials are acclimated properly for your job site before installation begins. SVB also logs and monitors the relative humidity of your job site.

Related Read: Top Tips to Prevent Moisture from Damaging Your Hardwood Floors

 

11. Is the Contractor Willing to Compromise Acclimation to Accommodate Your Schedule?

Acclimation is a critical step in the process of installing hardwood floors. It lessens the chances of gapping and other problems down the road. While we do everything possible to meet our clients’ demands and deadlines, we will never compromise the acclimation process as it is a necessary step in the process and should not be skipped.

 

12. Does the Contractor Provide You with Cleaning Products and Cleaning Care Instructions?

SVB will provide you with a complete Bona Floor cleaning kit and care instructions at the end of your project. Also, we sell a variety of Bona cleaning and maintenance products and services to keep your floors looking their best for years to come. Each floor completed by SVB is registered and certified with the Bona Certified Craftsman Program.

Related Read: 8 Tips for Moving Heavy Objects without Scratching your Hardwood Floors

 

Make sure you do your homework before hiring a hardwood floor company to repair, refinish, or install your hardwood floors. Give us a call at (816) 965-8655 or schedule an appointment online today!

 

The Best Time to Add Hardwood Floors during Your Remodeling Project

hardwood floor remodeling projectA big remodeling project requires multiple steps and varying degrees of dust and debris, so how do you decide the order in which each element of the project should be completed? To help handle the chaos, the experts at SVB Wood Floors have a few tips on how to tackle your remodeling timeline.

Related Read: 3 Eye-Popping Hardwood Floor Design Trends for Your Home

First Things First

Where to start is often the easiest piece of the puzzle to solve. For example, if the project involves demolition, it’s pretty obvious that this should be the first thing to accomplish. Tearing down a wall, or removing cabinets in a kitchen are jobs that are going to be messy. After that, the sequence of events gets a little more confusing. In order to answer questions about the timeline of a project, let’s create a sample scenario:

Click here to learn why now is the perfect time for a wood floor facelift!

Kitchen/Dining Room Remodeling Timeline

You’ve decided to remodel the kitchen and adjoining dining room, a project that will require tearing out the kitchen floor, cabinets and countertops along with removing the existing dining room carpeting, adding new hardwood flooring in both rooms and repainting the rooms. Here’s the ideal remodeling project timeline for this scenario:

1. Remove kitchen countertops and cabinetry – This is probably one of the messiest parts of the project, and it’s necessary to get them out of the room first if the existing floor runs underneath them.

2. Remove the existing kitchen floor, revealing the sub-flooring.

3. Remove dining room carpeting.

4. Paint both rooms – It’s best to paint before installing new cabinets and countertops to avoid the need to cover them for painting.

5. Install new cabinets and countertops.

6. Last, but not least, have hardwood flooring installed and finished.

Why Wait to Install Your Hardwood Floors?

In almost any case, it’s wise to wait until the end of the project to install and finish your hardwood floors. The most important reasons for waiting are:

finished-kitchen-remodel-svb-wood-floors-kc1. Installing your new hardwood floors at the end of the project prevents damage from dust and debris or carpenters and other workers.

2. Once a new hardwood floor is finished, you’ll have to wait at least 30 days before laying anything like a protective painter’s tarp on top of them or you’ll risk “suffocating” the finish. It’s also very difficult and expensive to repair damage to a new finish, and there’s no saying if the repair will end up looking different from the rest of the floor!

With that being said, the need for small touch-ups is common after any remodeling project, however, you can avoid any major snafus by leaving the hardwood flooring part of the project for last. Not only will your project timeline be shorter, but this can also save you money!

Looking to add hardwood floors during your remodel? Call us at (816) 965-8655 or click the button below to schedule your free quote:

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Humidifier Tips for Hardwood Floor Owners

hygrometer for checking humidity for wood floorsWe all know that water pooling on your hardwood floors is a bad combination. But did you know that the humidity level, whether too high or low, in your home can also affect your wood floors?

The wood floor experts at SVB Wood Floors have a few tips about how to control the humidity in your home in order to maintain your beautiful wood floors.

Why Is Humidity Bad for Wood Floors?

Because wood is a porous material, it soaks up moisture which can damage it. Depending on how much moisture, and how long the hardwood floor is exposed to it, it can do irreparable damage.

The humidity levels in your home are extremely important for maintaining your wood floors because moisture loss causes wood to shrink and moisture absorption causes wood to swell. Here are some warning signs that suggest you may need some help with humidity.

Symptoms of Wood Floor Winter Humidity

Gap in Wood Floor

In the wintertime, the most common symptom you see in hardwood floors is gapping between the planks.

What happens is that, when we turn our furnaces on, the humidity level inside our homes plummets.

This causes the wood to shrink. Hardwood floors do not shrink consistently in all directions. When humidity levels decrease, the boards will shrink more from side to side than end to end.

Thus, the distance between the planks grows larger causing gaps. This also means that wider boards will shrink more than narrower boards.

Related Read: How to Keep Winter Weather From Destroying Your Hardwood Floors

Symptoms of Wood Floor Summer Humidity

Excess humidity in the summer can cause the wood planks to expand and press against each other. This increase in pressure can cause the boards to cup or become higher on the edges than in the center.

Just as in low humidity cases, the boards swell more from side to side than end to end. In extreme cases, the pressure can cause the boards to crack.

Related Read: 8 Ways You’re Destroying Your Hardwood Floors

What Should My Humidity Levels Be in my Home?

So what’s a safe humidity range for your wood floors?  Most experts agree that an ideal level of indoor humidity is around 45%, although anything between 35% and 55% is acceptable.

The relative humidity of indoor air during heating season can be as low as 10%-15%. To put that into context, consider that the average relative humidity in the Sahara Desert is 25%!

Think about that. Your home can be drier than the desert during the cold winter months! That’s not good for you and it’s definitely not good for your wood floors!

Humidifiers to the Rescue

It’s obvious that you need to add humidity to the air, and then control it to maintain an optimal level. Here are a few humidifier tips to help you do just that:

Get a Hygrometer

This device measures relative humidity, so that you can easily monitor humidity levels in your home. You can get one at your local hardware store.

Have a Humidifier Installed on Your HVAC System.

A humidistat that’s built into the unit will let you set humidity levels rather than leave it to chance. This is an ideal solution because it allows you to control humidity levels year-round so you can avoid damaging your wood floors with humidity levels that are too high in the summer.

Portable Humidifiers

Portable humidifiers aren’t as convenient as a whole-house system that’s integrated into your HVAC system, but they’re better than nothing. You’ll have to clean the moisture that may gather around them and refill them every few days and most manufacturers recommend using distilled water rather than tap water, which can cause mineral deposits that affect their efficiency.

If you’ve experienced a humidity-related problem with your wood floors and need advice on how to repair them, give us a call at (816) 965-8655 or click the button below and get your free quote:





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