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La Mesa, CA, 91942
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HARDWOOD FLOORING: HOW DO YOU CHOOSE?

Sarah Moses

 When it comes to choosing the type of wood floor for your home, there's more to choose from than just the type (i.e. Oak, Cherry, Walnut, etc).  

 Our previous post highlighted some differences in hardwood, laminate, and luxury vinyl planking; however, this time we want to give you a deeper look inside the types of hardwood flooring - like natural wood, oiled wood, and engineered wood - that you can choose from and the recommended maintenance for each.

HARDWOOD:

It's hard to beat the look and feel of natural hardwood floors, though many new products give it a run for its money.   Hardwood flooring is constructed from all types of trees and can be domestic (from the US) or exotic (anywhere else in the world).  When choosing which species of wood you would like to install, it is important to consider the amount of traffic that area of your home handles and choose a wood based on its hardness rating (known as the Janka Rating).  This rating is decided by the amount of pressure and dings/dents the flooring is able to withstand.

Natural variances in wood are unavoidable and you should be aware prior to choosing your flooring and having it installed.  For example, when choosing a light oak floor, it is very possible that there will be some noticeably darker planks when your flooring arrives.  This is in no way a defect, but rather the natural coloring of the wood.  It's also important to take into account the color, grain and texture (some floors have a natural texture, while others are hand-scraped to apply a texture).  Of course, applying a stained finish to your wood floor will change the look and appearance of the wood.

INSTALLATION & MAINTENANCE

Hardwood can be nailed down or glued down, but is not able to be installed as a floating floor.  The length of the installation process depends on how much prep work needs to be completed and the amount of square footage being installed.  For example, if you are having 1200 ft of flooring installed and have other flooring that needs to be removed, it's possible that removal and prep could take a week, and then the installation process will begin.  The subfloor needs to be smoothed prior to installing the wood so that there are no uneven surfaces or transitions once the wood is in place.

 When selecting your hardwood floor, you have the choice of a finished or unfinished product.  A finished product already comes with a stain applied prior to installation.  If you choose to go with an unfinished product, you can have your installer apply a finish when the installation is completed, or you can apply one yourself.

It is important to note that prior to installation of your wood floor, the wood should be delivered to your home in order for the wood to acclimate.  Even in more stable climates like San Diego, wood needs to acclimate to the environment it is being placed in to prevent warping, expansion and other issues with it once installed. Because of the thickness of natural wood planks, solid hardwood floors are able to withstand four to five sand-and-finish procedures, which only need to be completed every 10 -15 years.

OILED WOOD FINISH

We’ve placed oiled wood into its own category because it takes a special product to give this hardwood flooring its own unique finish.  Because it is a natural hardwood, the tones of wood can vary and you shouldn't be surprised to find different color planks, even if you've chosen a lighter product.  What makes this product unique is the oil finish that is applied after the installation.  The oil becomes an integral part of the wood to help strengthen, seal, and protect it.

 INSTALLATION & MAINTENANCE

The installation process is similar to that of a non-oiled hardwood floor, and the timing will again depend upon how much prep work needs to be done and the amount of flooring being installed.  Oiled wood requires at least two coats of oil after it has been installed (although more can be applied if you desire a higher gloss finish).  Depending on the amount of use your floor gets, along with routine maintenance,  a new oil coating needs to be applied every year to two years.

Oiled hardwood floors can also be refinished, however with proper care and maintenance, they should not need to be finished often.  Check with the flooring manufacturer to determine which cleaning products are the best for the oiled wood you have chosen for your home.

ENGINEERED WOOD

The term “engineered” sometimes leads people to believe that this isn’t a real wood floor.  Engineered wood floors are most definitely still real wood; however they are created with a different process than solid hardwood floors. The natural wood planks are layered on top of wood composite, with the grains facing in different directions, strengthening the wood. 

INSTALLATION & MAINTENANCE

This type of flooring can be installed in a floating fashion, meaning that the planks connect to each other and don’t touch the subfloor underneath.  Typically, a sound underlayment is installed to make the floor more soundproof.  There is a limit to the amount of soundproofing available if this is installed on a 2nd story.

Engineered wood is not waterproof, so be cautious in the areas you decide to install this type of flooring.  This type of flooring can also be refinished, however it is not able to undergo as many treatments as solid hardwood.

Gorgeous Kitchen Flooring Options

Ryan Stecklair

Home kitchens are special spaces that require the right type of flooring materials. Beyond aesthetics, kitchen floors should be able to withstand foot traffic and constant spills and smudges. Below are five types of floors that can work well in this room:

Engineered Wood
Water is always in issue in kitchens and this is where engineered wood shines best. It is less vulnerable to moisture damage since it shrinks and expands less than its solid counterpart.

Travertine
Kitchens are busy places and so they require easy-to-maintain floors. Travertine is a great option since it only requires annual sealing, monthly wet moping, and dry sweeping a couple of times a week.

Slate
This beautiful stone provides style and function all at the same time. Irt is also easy to maintain since it only requires matte-finish product once a year.

Bamboo
This earthy number comes in a wide variety of patterns and sizes that can harmonize with any kitchen style. It can also be stained in an assortment of colors that can match any design sensibility. The best part of this is that this material is earth-friendly especially when paire with low-VOC emission products.

Reclaimed Wood
This flooring material has a lot of stories behind it. It can also be treated to lend a rustic feel to a room.

Factors to Consider when Choosing Wood Floors

Ryan Stecklair

Wood floors come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, color, grain, and hardness. This is why selecting the right type for a home can be a tricky experience for some. In order to make the floor selection process an easier one, here are some tips to follow:

First, remember that different locations in your home may require a different type of wood floor. These materials respond differently to moisture, foot traffic, and general wear and tear so what might be best for your bedroom may not be best for your patio. Remember that solid wood floors are sensitive to moisture and should not be installed on or below ground level.

It is also useful to consider whether or not the sub floor will jive well with the type of wood flooring.Remember that wood floors can be installed without much of a fuss over any surface (save for carpet) but there sometimes, there should be proper underlayment, a moisture barrier, and some repairs and leveling on the sub floor.

As far as hardness is concerned, there are two types to choose from: hard (sourced from deciduous trees like oak) and soft (sourced from coniferous trees like pine). Hardness varies among tree species and is rated accordingly. In general, hardwoods are less prone to scratching but can be more difficult to install while soft wood can be easier to work with but are more susceptible to wear and tear.

Finally, prices are often determined by the hardness of the wood as well as its availability. Locally sourced softwoods like pine can be bought at a lower price while imported hardwoods, especially those with higher ratings, can be more costly.

J+J Group Partners with APPA for Facilities Dive-in Workshop

Ryan Stecklair

J+J Flooring Group worked with APPA, a professional association of education facility managers, for the Facilities Drive-In Workshop. This event took place in March 31 at Kent State University in Ohio.

“Educational institutions have a tremendous opportunity today to drive positive financial and stakeholder outcomes by leveraging their brands and considering evidence-based design for their flooring selection,” said David Daughtrey, J+J Flooring Group’s director of business development for education. “This workshop will provide facility professionals the insight, tools and real-world examples they need to implement successful branding and evidence-based flooring specifications at their institutions.”

The workshop focused on strategic application to outcomes and student and faculty satisfaction in education facilities. There were sessions on branding as well as on evidence-based design in

In collaboration with APPA and Kent State University, J+J Flooring Group has developed a content focus that has strategic application to financial The primary session will address branding while the afternoon session will explore the emergence of “evidence-based design” in the product evaluation and selection process for commercial interiors.

Living Room Flooring

Ryan Stecklair

Living rooms are, without a doubt, the most social space in any household. Apart from being a communal area for recreation among family members, it is also where people tend to entertain their guests. That being said, there are certain considerations that home owners need to bear in mind when choosing the type of flooring for this room.

As a social space, living rooms have to exude comfort while maintaining its aesthetic appeal. Typical choices for flooring materials include natural hardwoods or slate tiles. There are also soft options including carpet and cork.

Color can also play a crucial role in tying together the vibe of a living room. Typical floor colors include Browns, tans, grays and amber hues together with white and off-white tiles.

Finally, ease of maintenance is also important to consider since living rooms are prone to heavy foot traffic. They are also susceptible to spills, stains, and smudges. For particularly big households, resilient flooring such as linoleum, vinyl, or even porcelain tiles is the ideal.

How to Install Vinyl on Existing Flooring

Ryan Stecklair

Vinyl tiles are one of the easiest and cheapest ways to spruce up tired-looking floors. The beauty of this material is that it can also be installed on top of existing flooring. However, homeowners must take this with a grain of salt since vinyl does not conceal imperfections from the existing flooring that well. A rule, smooth, seamless, or tightly seamed surfaces work better for this material.

Here’s how to install vinyl on existing flooring:

  1. Measure the center points of all four walls and snap a chalk line between the facing walls forming a cross.
  2. From the center point, begin laying tiles outwardly on any of the quadrants until you reach the wall. Don’t worry if there is a gap between the last tile and the wall.
  3. For the edges perpendicular to the wall, fill the gap by first laying a full tile across the gap and mark on the loose tile where the edge of the laid tiles fall.
  4. With a straight edge, draw a line between the two marks and then cut down the tile with a utility knife.
  5. You can then install this piece of tile. Repeat the process until all edges are filled.