Tag Archives: hardwood

Hardwood Floors and Humidity

Hardwood Floors & HumidityWater and wood floors is never a good combination. Wood floors are porous and absorb moisture. That’s why it’s important to watch the humidity level in your home. The humidity level, whether too high or too low, of your home can affect your wood floors. So how do you know if you have a humidity problem and what’s the magic humidity level?

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 Not Enough Humidity in Winter

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 Too Much Humidity in Summer

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.

Summer is usually not as big of a problem as winter. As long as you run your air conditioner, it will remove excess humidity from the air. Winter is when we see the worst problems with a lack of humidity. 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 Put Moisture Back in the Air

Your home needs extra humidity in the winter, but how do you add it and control it to maintain an optimal level. Here are a few humidifier tips to help you do just that:

Purchase a Hygrometer

This device measures relative humidity so that you can easily monitor humidity levels in your home. It will tell you when your humidity is too low so you know you need more moisture to keep your wood floors (and furniture and woodwork) healthy. It is inexpensive and you can pick one up 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 or too low in the winter.

Portable Humidifiers

While portable humidifiers aren’t as convenient as a whole-house system that’s integrated into your HVAC system, they’re better than nothing. You’ll have to clean the moisture that may gather around them and refill them every few days. Most manufacturers recommend using distilled water rather than tap water which can cause mineral deposits that affect the humidifier’s 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 contact us online to get your free quote.

Keep Your Hardwood Floors Scratch Free with These 10 Moving Tips

Keep Floors Scratch FreeNo one likes to move heavy objects like furniture and refrigerators, but sometimes, it just has to be done. Unfortunately, many times moving heavy items results in terrible scratches on hardwood floors. At SVB Wood Floors, we get hardwood floor repair calls all the time when homeowners scratch their floors while moving furniture. Next time you’re in a pinch and need to move something heavy, use these tips:

1. Clean It Up

One of the most common mistakes homeowners make is moving furniture before cleaning their floors. Sure it’s a pain, but it will save you some grief later. Small pieces of gravel and even general dust buildup under your furniture can wreak havoc if caught between a heavy piece of furniture and the floor. Always sweep your floors and make sure there is no grit especially in the pathway you will be using.

2. Move Furniture Slowly

It may sound silly, but don’t be in a hurry when moving heavy objects. If it slides off of its padding, damage can happen fast. It’s best to keep a close eye on the part that is on the floor to avoid damage. If something feels or sounds off, you can stop easily and reduce any scratches that may have started.

3. Never Drag Furniture

First things first, if you can avoid dragging furniture, do. If it can be lifted and moved, it is always safer for your hardwood floor. But sometimes you don’t have the luxury of a burly friend or the time to find additional help. If lifting is out of the question, be very careful when dragging or sliding. Always make sure there is a cushion of some sort between the furniture and the floor.

4. Lighten the Load

First things first: shed the weight. If you have a heavy object, you’ll want to make it as light as possible before making the move. For instance, remove the drawers from dressers or the contents from your refrigerator or the books and knickknacks from your bookshelves.

Additionally, if you have a piece with a mirror attached, take the time to unscrew a few screws and set the mirror aside to avoid potential damage and some seriously bad luck. Not only will removing drawers and other objects make the piece lighter, but it will also prevent them from sliding out and hurting your hardwood floors and toes.

5. Soften the Surface When Sliding

Once again, this should be a no-brainer, but always put something soft between the floor and the object. Choose something that will easily move across the floor like folded towels, thick moving blankets, small area rugs or carpet remnants with the fuzzy side toward the wood floor.

One thing to remember, if you do choose to use rugs or carpet leftovers, make sure to shake them out to avoid any grit or debris. Also, avoid using cardboard as it can be abrasive and leave dull spots.

Related Read: How to Protect Wood Floors from Paws, Claws, and In-Laws

6. Try It on Its Side

If it’s not too big or heavy, consider laying the object on its side or back to slide it. Make sure it is on something soft and easily slidable, but extra thick and durable for the added surface area that’s needing to be covered.

Distributing the weight over a larger area will reduce the chance of scratching. This will also put less stress on the object’s legs if it has them. Just be careful to watch the corners and legs when you lift it back up to its upright position. (We suggest having help for this option.)

7. Get Some Gliders

If you haven’t used these yet, you’re gonna love ‘em. These special pads, called gliders, fit under your furniture and make moving heavy objects a breeze. There are tons of nifty options online that come in different sizes and variety packs, and all at great prices! These are reusable and super convenient if you’ve been known to do a little feng shui rearranging from time to time.

8. Refrigerator Trick

Refrigerators are notorious for scratching hardwood floors. When installing a refrigerator, we suggest laying two pieces of hardboard just in front of where the back wheels will be when it is in its final position, slide it back into place on the boards, and then carefully lean it backward to remove the boards.

9. Don’t Trust the Wheels

Always be careful of wheels. They tend to give us a bit too much confidence. Just because a piece is on wheels, doesn’t mean that those wheels won’t scratch or dent your wood floors. Wheels can also get stuck in a sideways position and not roll at all, but rather scrape the floor. Place a piece of 1/4” thick hardboard on your floor and roll the wheels over it.

10. Don’t Use Dollies with Hard Rubber Wheels

Dollies are great for moving heavy objects, but certain kinds can be a nightmare for your hardwood floors. If you use a dolly, make sure it has inflatable rubber wheels, not hard rubber. Hard rubber wheels, plus the weight of the object, can create the perfect storm for dents and damage.

We hope these tips help keep your hardwood floors looking great. If you accidentally damage your wood floors, give us a call and our experts can make them look new again.

 

Call us at (816) 965-8655 for wood floor repairs. If you’d like to learn more ways to keep your hardwood looking great, download our free guide below:

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SVB Introduces a Better Way to Shop for Wood Floors

KC Wood Floors Design GalleryIf you haven’t visited our new gallery-style showroom in Grandview, Missouri, you’re in for a treat. It’s not like other wood floor showrooms. It features large samples of wood floors hung gallery-style in an open and spacious setting that allows you to get a better feel for the look of a particular type of floor.

Customer-Centric Design

One of the best things about hardwood floors is that they are timeless both in style and endurance. With proper care, they can last for centuries. That’s why choosing a wood floor is not a decision you want to rush. You want to be able to see what the floor will look like in your home. You want to see more than a five-inch square of it to decide. That’s the inspiration behind the new showroom design.

We wanted to create a space that allows customers to really get a feel for different wood varieties, stains, styles, and finishes. We took a very customer-centric focus. We didn’t want it to look like the typical wood floor showroom with small spaces crammed with tiny samples. We wanted a relaxing, spacious environment where people could take their time making a decision on a wood floor they will be thrilled with for years to come.

Relax and Enjoy Choosing Your New Wood Floor

The showroom is over 5,000 square feet. The large gallery room is surrounded by offices, a large conference room, and a full kitchen. The sample sizes are much larger and much more representative of the way it will look in your home. You’ll really like how we organized our sample room too…by price point so it’s easy to stay within your budget. Our customers really appreciate how easy and convenient we’ve made it to shop for wood floors.

Come to visit our new showroom located at 4200 Main Street in Grandview, MO. If you need a new wood floor installed or an existing wood floor refinished, call us at (816) 965-8655 to schedule a free, in-home estimate or contact us online.

The One Secret to Installing a Wood Floor in a Finished Basement

Finishing a basement is one of the most popular home renovation projects among homeowners in the U.S. It’s no wonder because basements house a large amount of unused space that can be turned into a wide variety of options to fit your lifestyle. With a basement renovation, it’s possible to add a family room, an extra bedroom, a bathroom, recreation room, home gym, home office, toy room, craft room, or just about anything you desire.

Wood Floors On Finished BasementRelated Read: The Best Time to Add Hardwood Floors during Your Remodeling Project

A key part of your basement renovation is choosing a great flooring option – something that will look great, be comfortable, and work on a concrete base, where moisture can sometimes be an issue.

If you thought hardwood floors weren’t an option, because of excess moisture, we have great news for you! For homeowners who love solid hardwood floors, we have a solution – engineered wood floors.  

What Are Engineered Wood Floors?

Engineered wood floors are designed for use in places where moisture cannot be controlled, such as on a concrete slab. As opposed to a solid piece of wood, which will warp when exposed to moisture, engineered wood planks are composed of multiple layers of wood that are glued, pressed, heated, and then covered with a thin veneer of wood on top. This process makes the flooring less susceptible to warping. An engineered hardwood floor looks every bit as beautiful as a solid hardwood floor and is typically pre-finished and ready to use right after installation is completed.

Engineered Wood Floors Cost Less Than Solid Wood Floors

Another benefit is that engineered wood is less expensive than solid wood because less expensive woods are used for the lower layers. Some engineered floors with a thin veneer typically cannot be refinished, however, many modern engineered wood floors are made with a thicker veneer that makes refinishing possible. If you’re looking to add the warmth of wood floors to your basement, without risking moisture damage, engineered wood floors are a great option.

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

Why Install a Moisture Barrier to Wood Floors?

Engineered wood floors should be installed over a moisture barrier and underlayment. Humidity levels below ground are too inconsistent to risk skipping the extra protection afforded by a moisture barrier. There are glue-down options that are designed to protect the finished floor from fluctuating moisture levels below the finished floor. An even better option is to have them professionally installed.

With all of the beautifully engineered hardwood flooring choices on the market today and professional installation methods that include a moisture barrier and underlayment, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy the beauty of a hardwood floor in your new basement living space!

SVB Wood Floor is Kansas City’s premier custom hardwood specialists and we’d love to add you to our list of satisfied customers! For more information give us a call at (816) 965-8655 or get a free quote now!

Wood Floor Do's & Don'ts

4 Design Tricks to Make Your Wood Floor Unique

Choosing new hardwood flooring for your home is an exciting step in the home renovation process. Perhaps you’ve already made those crucial decisions regarding species, size and finish, but now it’s time to talk design. If you’re looking for a simple way to dial up the wow in your wood floor, consider the angles. Check out these four examples of floors that refuse to follow the straight and narrow and by doing so, create some unexpected drama.

Take a Different Angle with Diagonal Wood Floors

Diagonal Wood Floors

It’s amazing how much energy is added to a wood floor simply by shifting the angle it is laid out in. Instead of following the natural line of the wall, these planks are installed at a 45º angle to it. Sleek and simple, this design element adds breadth to your room by drawing your attention out to the corners. It creates interest without being busy or overpowering, which means it can be the perfect choice for those who want to focus the attention on other design aspects of a room. This classic pattern deserves far more credit than it receives.

Chevron Wood Floors Refuse to Be Ignored

Chevron Wood Floors

The chevron design uses a series of angle cuts to form a consistent “V” pattern. This “V” pattern is then repeated, which creates a stunning 3D effect. In addition, it has the ability to make a smaller room appear larger, plus you’ll appreciate the longevity obtained from its high structural integrity. A beautiful, yet simple pattern, a chevron wood flooring design is an ideal choice for anyone looking to make a statement.

Herringbone Wood Floors Zig While Others Zag

Herringbone Wood Floors

Often confused with chevron, herringbone is similar in that a “V” pattern is also achieved, though no angled cuts are present. The square edges simply butt together creating a timeless, symmetrical zigzag design which has made a name for itself all over the world. Though better suited to larger rooms, with its many small boards tightly woven together, the herringbone pattern also has superior structural stability due to its precise dimensions and alignment.

Mixing Wood and Tile Really Packs a Punch

Tile and HardWood Mix

The design is simple, but the effect is breathtaking. Mixing square tiles with long planks of wood at an unexpected angle creates a dynamic design that will have eyes turning and tongues wagging. With so many tile and wood options, the design possibilities are endless!

At SVB Wood Floors, we love the challenge of working with interesting patterns and making your dream floors come to life. If you have an idea you’d like to try to make your floors really unique, we’re all ears!


Contact us online or give us a call at (816) 965-8655 for more information, or visit our gallery for more great design ideas.

 

Top 4 Reasons to Replace Carpet with Hardwood Floors

Have you been considering switching from carpet to hardwood floors? You are not alone! While carpet has been a favorite for many decades and is lower in cost to install, there are many pitfalls that homeowners have to consider before officially committing to a carpet.

Don’t stick with carpet! Here are our four reasons to replace carpet with hardwood floors from SVB:

Reason #1: Carpets Collect Dirt and Stains

Did you spill on your carpet? Great… now you have to soak up the mess, pat it dry and go through the bothersome process of scrubbing your carpet or shampooing it clean. You may even have to call in a professional for particularly bad stains like wine, Koolaid, or grease/tar. And don’t forget the expense of having your carpets cleaned annually (or more often with lighter colors). But, if you don’t, your carpet will look nasty.

In contrast, hardwood floors are easy to take care of. All you need to do is weekly vacuuming and dust mopping. You will consistently have beautiful (and clean!) looking floors always. No disgusting stains and smells from carpet!

Tip: We recommend vacuums with a floor-brush attachment or an electric broom to avoid damaging the wood. For a deeper clean, use a slightly dampened rag mop or good old-fashioned sponge with diluted wood cleaner to remove pesky allergens, dirt, and other irritants in a flash.

Reason #2: Carpets Get Worn

We’ve all seen it; those paths in the carpet where people walk the most and have matted it down just a bit more than the surrounding areas. They’re called traffic patterns, and once they’re there, there is not much that can be done to fix them. They are the result of years of foot traffic that has worn down the carpet fibers as well as the pad below. When this happens, there’s no other solution than replacing the carpet. Carpets can also develop large wrinkles near these patterns that require hiring a professional to restretch the carpet.

Wood floors, however, hold up to foot traffic much better. The average wood floor lasts ten years before it needs any maintenance like professional cleaning or refinishing. When refinished, it will last another ten years or so. Solid hardwood floors can be refinished many times, the color and finish can be changed as well to keep your home up to date.

AllergiesReason #3: You Can’t Escape Your Allergies

Your carpet can easily become a magnet for allergens like dust mites, pet dander – and even mold spores – which can irritate your immune system. These pesky allergens can get trapped within carpet fibers and even down in the pad and are difficult to get rid of completely. If you are tired of the constant yuck feeling of allergies, installing hardwood floors in your home reduces allergens that are lurking beneath your feet.

Reason #4: Update Your Home

Do you watch HGTV and admire the beautiful hardwood floors? Or are you preparing to put your home on the market? Hardwood floors are popular due to their beauty, durability, longevity, and versatility. While initially a little pricier than carpet, hardwood flooring is a worthwhile investment in the long run because it lasts so much longer than carpet. Toss out your pesky, dated carpet and transform your living space with hardwood floors that make a statement.

Ready for a change? Read what to expect during a wood floor installation. To swap out your carpet for hardwood floors, contact us online or give us a call at (816) 965-8655 to schedule your free consultation.

Wood Floor Do's & Don'ts

Cleaning Your Carpets before the Holidays? Don’t Forget Your Wood Floors

Yes, now you can have your wood floors professionally refreshed as easily as you have your carpets cleaned. It’s called hardwood floor recoating and it renews your hardwood floor’s shine and luster without the cost and inconvenience of refinishing.

Wood Floor Recoating For HolidaysRecoating Only Takes a Few Hours

We can make your hardwood floor look new in just a few hours. Our recoat system removes the dirt and grime that build up over several years of everyday use dulling your once beautiful wood floors. We use Bona’s professional strength, non-toxic, hardwood floor cleaner concentrate which is formulated to be safe and effective on all hardwood floors that are coated with a clear, unwaxed finish. The process is minimally invasive and the results are phenomenal.

Remove Dirt, Grime and Surface Scratches without Refinishing

Often, the scuffs on your hardwood flooring are actually caused by a layer of dirt and grime that naturally gathers on your flooring over time. There’s a good chance a simple recoat treatment is all you need: A few hours of work, two days to rest, and you can move your furniture right back over hardwood that looks brand new. If you have damage like deep gouges or scrapes, refinishing may be a better choice as recoating will only clean grime and remove light scratches from the surface.

Give Your Wood Floor A Facelift

If you thought refinishing was your only option, think again. Recoating may be exactly what you need to renew your floor for several years. We recommend recoating about every three to five years depending on foot traffic conditions. If you’re not sure which process is right for your floors, give us a call and we can take a look and recommend the best treatment.

Make your hardwood floors look like new this holiday without the hassle of sanding and refinishing. Give SVB Wood Floors a call at (816) 965-8655 or click the button below to get your free quote:

 

SVB-schedule-free-wood-floor-quote-online

Best Hardwood Floors for Dogs

hardwood floors for dogsYou should never have to choose between your family “fur baby” and beautiful hardwood floors. We offer a variety of hardwood flooring that complement the hectic lifestyle of having a dog.

When looking for hardwood flooring that is a fit for an increased amount of wear and tear, it is important to factor in the following characteristics: hardness, glossiness, and color.

What You Need to Know About the Best Hardwood Floors for Dogs

A quick word:

  • A hardwood floor’s degree of hardness is determined by the Janka Hardness Scale
  • Choose floors with a lighter shade to better hide any light damage caused by your dog
  • It is best not to apply a gloss finish to your floors because scratches will easily show
  • Make sure to keep your dog’s nails trimmed

If you are worried about scratches and stains, here are some of the best hardwood floors for dogs from hardest to softest:

Why Hickory Is Great for Homes with Dogs

Hickory, which has a Janka score of 1,820, is an ideal choice because of its strong graining and distinct variants in hues. This flooring option is great for pet owners because the floor boards already vary from one another, therefore any imperfections as a result of your dog’s nails won’t take away from its beautiful appearance.

Not a Fan of Hickory? Try Hard Maple Flooring

If you are looking for something that is more consistent in appearance than Hickory, we recommend maple wood flooring. Maple has a Janka rating of 1,450 or higher and provides beautiful and stable flooring for your home, giving you the perfect combination of envy-worthy floors and dependable strength.

Related Read: How to Protect Hardwood Floors from Dogs

Consider White Oak for Your Next Flooring Project

White Oak has a Janka Hardness Score of 1,360, meaning that the floor is in the middle — not too soft, but also not the hardest wood available on the market. White Oak is one of our top choices for homeowners with dogs because of its strong grain, or texture, which is ideal for pet owners.

Rustic-Inspired Wired Brush Distressed Floors

Wired brush distressed hardwood flooring looks similar to wood floors that have been reclaimed and updated, while still keeping its original appearance. This type of wood is an excellent option, because the inevitable scratches from your dog will not take away from the beauty of the wood. To maintain this look, we brush away the soft portion of the wood to expose the grain, enhancing the definition and character of each plank. By doing this, the wood is more durable since the harder portion of the planks become exposed.

Learn more about Wired Brush Distressed in 3 Must-Have Wood Flooring Trends

 

Call SVB Wood Floors at (816) 965-8655 and one of our hardwood flooring experts will help you choose the perfect wood floor that you and Fido will both love. Wood Floor Do's & Don'ts