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Hardwood Flooring Guide

Video | How to clean your hardwood flooring January 17 2016, 0 Comments


Video | Proper Hardwood Flooring Installation January 17 2016, 0 Comments


Best Hardwood Flooring for Dogs December 09 2015, 0 Comments

    <----- Click here for full printable PDF with detailed pictures. 

  <----- Click this link to watch a video on this topic

Dog Friendly Wood Flooring

You love the look of hardwood floors, but you have a dog. Hardwood flooring is out of the question, right? Luckily, that’s not the case. Your pet can live in harmony with your hardwood flooring. You just have to be sure to select a hardwood floor that will be pet friendly.

The hardness of the actual wood you are using for your hardwood flooring is very important. Harder wood species will be less likely to dent and scratch than softer woods. Some wood species to avoid would be North American walnut and cherry. Hardness of the wood alone isn’t the only factor to consider when choosing a pet friendly hardwood floor. No matter how hard the wood, it will still dent and scratch. In addition to hardness, there are several other factors to consider.

Choose a Rustic Hardwood Flooring 

Rustic Wide Plank Flooring for Pets

It is enevitable that your hardwood floor is going to get damaged with normal wear and tear. The key is to choose a hardwood floor that is already rustic, so those dents and scratches will add to the character of the hardwood floor. On a perfect floor, dents and scratches will be more noticeable and will look like defects and take away from the overall appearance of the hardwood flooring.

Opt for a Lower Sheen Finish Hardwood Floor

A glossy finish will magnify each and every dent and scratch in your hardwood floor. Although lower sheen finishes don’t eliminate dents and scratches, it will make them less noticeable. This higher the sheen level, the more this damage will be magnified in your floor, this is especially the case with dark shiny floors. For more information on the different sheen levels Gaylord Hardwood Flooring offer watch our YouTube Video “Different Sheen Levels on Hardwood Flooring.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9r5kimT64k. In addition to a lower sheen finish, we also offer specialty finishing options that will make your hardwood flooring very pet friendly.

Distressed Wire Brushed Hardwood Flooring 

Rustic Flooring for Dogs

Before the flooring is stained and finished, it runs through
a large wire brush. This wire brush tears out the softer fibres in the wood providing a more textured surface. The combination of removing the softer wood fibres and the texture makes this hardwood flooring extremely durable and low maintenance. The wire brushing really helps display the unique patterns and medullary rays found in quarter sawn and live sawn oak. We only finish the distressed in our Matte finish. Finishing the distressed in a higher sheen makes it look like plastic. The distressed is very versatile, because depending on the stain colour and grade of flooring, it can work in any setting. The best part about the distressed finish is that it is already textured so dents and scratches only add to the look of the floor.

For more information on our distressed finish watch our YouTube video titled “Wire Brushed Distressed Hardwood Flooring.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agOu0CdDVpw

Two-Pass Finish Hardwood Flooring Finish

The two-pass finish is very unique. All of the boards are stained entirely black and then refinished and stained a different colour. This provides and incredible rustic look which is especially popular in wide plank floors. On species with very little grain like maple, the two-pass mostly just turns the bevels of the boards black which really showcases the boards width. On species with grain like oak and hickory, the black stain also highlights the grain patterns in the wood by turning it black. On our live sawn white oak, the two-pass finish does an incredible job of bringing out the unique grain features like the medullary rays. On two-pass floors we also offer the option of having “nail holes” put in your flooring. Before we stain the wood black, we hit the surface randomly with a pin hammer. These marks soak in the black stain giving the appearance of nail holes or worm holes. The two-pass can also be done with a white base instead of black like in our champagne and beachsand floors.

For more information on our Two-Pass finish, check out our YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agOu0CdDVpw

 


Acclimation of Wood Flooring December 09 2015, 0 Comments

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  <----- Click this link to watch a video on this topic

Only Trust the Experts in the Hardwood Flooring Industry 

When discussing delivery and installation dates with clients, they are almost always under the impression that the wood flooring must sit in their home before installation. We’ve all heard someone in the flooring industry say the wood flooring must sit in the home to acclimate for a period of time before installation. There are all different answers from 5 days to 2 weeks or more. This is an old myth from back before wood flooring was properly kiln dried. The wood flooring needed to sit in the home to actually dry out. Wood flooring is kiln dried between 6- 9% moisture content which is the optimum moisture level for a home with normal living conditions.

Myth of Hardwood Flooring Acclimation 

In most cases, having the wood flooring sit on site before installation will cause far more harm than good. Take for instance, a new home. The wood flooring will be the driest product in the home and will absorb the surrounding moisture like a sponge. New homes have thousands of gallons of moisture trapped inside creating a very humid environment.

For a real understanding of where this moisture is, check out our "Wet Houses" page. 

If wood flooring sits on a new home construction site with a relative humidity of 70%, it can easily start cupping inside the boxes within 48 hours. If the wood flooring is in the home while it is being painted, or drywalled, the cupping within the boxes can happen even faster. Drywall mudding and painting can account for over 200 gallons of moisture in a new home. It is all airborne humidity and can create an environment with a humidity level over 90%. Hardwood Flooring cannot sit on site while wet trades are working. Also, since wood flooring is a natural product and each piece is different, the boards will not all shrink and expand the same way. Having a board wider on one end or having each board a different width will make for a difficult installation.

For more information on Width Variations, check out our "Width Variation in Hardwood Flooring" page. 

If the wood absorbs moisture on site before it is installed, it will shrink excessively when the home is dry or reaches normal living conditions.


In the Northeast, we have a very unique climate. It is hot and humid in the summer and cold and dry in the winter. Acclimating your flooring too much to either of these seasons can cause permanent damage to your hardwood flooring. If your wood flooring sits in your home too long in the winter and dries out, it will expand and permanently cup in the summer or when the home reaches normal living conditions.

This is why it is typically best to install your hardwood flooring right away. Our warehouse is climate controlled to a relative humidity of 40% which is the optimum humidity level for your hardwood flooring. The moisture content of your hardwood flooring will be between 6-9% which corresponds to a relative humidity level between 30-50%. You do not want the relative humidity in your house to go outside this range, not only for the health of your flooring but for your own health.

Of course, there are situations where wood flooring will need to acclimate. If we are delivering our wood flooring to a very dry region like Alberta or Arizona, we will want the wood to acclimate. The normal living conditions in these areas are on the drier end of our recommended humidity range so the wood flooring will need to dry out before installation. If the wood flooring is installed right away, when it eventually dries out, there will be gaps in the flooring. If the wood flooring is to be installed in higher humidity coastal regions, the wood will need to absorb moisture before installation. If the wood is installed too dry, when it picks up moisture from the higher humidity environment it will expand and could cause permanent cupping. The goal is to acclimate the wood to whatever the normal living conditions are and ensure the wood flooring moisture content is within 2% of the subfloor moisture content.

Every situation is unique, and may or may not require acclimation. If someone at a flooring store tells you how long you should acclimate your flooring for without knowing your situation, they have a lot to learn when it comes to the important relationship between wood flooring and moisture. If you have a cottage that is not heated in the winter; a crawl space; a structure on piers; or any situation that may not be considered normal, please contact us at info@gaylordhardwoodflooring.com for more detailed information on acclimation.


Is Solid Wood Flooring Suitable for Kitchens? May 29 2015, 0 Comments

This is a question we always get! The answer is simple, yes. Since the majority of new homes are built with an open concept and the kitchen is a substantial part of that open concept. It would not be ecstatically pleasing to have a separate floor for your kitchen, and in some cases could be a tripping hazard, where the two floors are not the exact same height. In addition, hardwood flooring is much more enjoyable to walk on, as it is warmer than ceramic tile. 

Hardwood Flooring in Kitchens

With that being said, there are some hardwood flooring options you may not want to install in your kitchen. Any floor that is dark and shiny is likely a poor candidate for your kitchen. These dark hardwood floors will show absolutely every dent and scratch, and be difficult to maintain in a kitchen. For a little more information check out our video on the "Downsides to Dark Hardwood Flooring". 

Best Options for Hardwood Flooring in Kitchens 

Your best option would be flooring that has a lower sheen, as lower sheen's on hardwood flooring are easier to maintain and show little imperfections. The absolute best option would be a rustic hardwood flooring that has our two-pass or distressed flooring finish. This is ideal as any marks end up blending in with the floor. However, there are so many options, this is just a start. For more information and our best advice on hardwood flooring for busy households and pets check out this video on "Hardwood Flooring for Dogs". 

Kitchen Hardwood Flooring

Water damage is a simple concern for those putting hardwood flooring in their kitchen. As long as you wipe up your everyday spills, your hardwood flooring shouldn't have any issues. There are a few scenarios where your floor could be damaged in your kitchen, but these are very rare. We had a client who was away for the entire winter in Florida and had a dishwasher leak. As a result, they had some damage to their hardwood floor. However, this would cause serious damage to any floor covering. Overall, the beauty of hardwood flooring flowing throughout your kitchen outweighs the potential for harm. Rosemary in the Gaylord household is cooking 24/7, and hasn't had any problems with her hardwood floor. 


The History of Hardwood Flooring May 27 2015, 0 Comments

This day in age, hardwood is considered to be one of the most popular flooring options. With so many species to choose from, there is a hardwood floor that can complement just about any living space. Hardwood floorings combination of timeless style and longevity make it a no brainer for most home owners. But when did it all begin? At what point did hardwood flooring first make its appearance in the pages of history? To understand the evolution of hardwood, we must start long before these pages were written. 

The use of wood as a building material dates back to before recorded history. Crude shelters were made using little more than twigs or branches and heavier timbers for stronger structures. Everything from houses, boats, large ships and tools were built using various types of wood species. Wherever it was readily available, wood served as a valuable resource for humanity’s survival and technological progress. Using wood as a structural building material was much more prevalent in northern climates where larger trees were in great abundance. Wood provided ancient people with the most basic of needs, a means to make fire in order stay warm and cook food. 

The Rise of Wide Plank Hardwood flooring 

From known historical records, it wasn’t until the Middle Ages that hardwood began to show up as a flooring material. Most houses by that time still primarily used beaten earth as the main flooring material. This type of flooring required visitors to wipe their shoes on a mat before entering the home in order to prevent the earth from getting muddy or dusty, depending on the weather. If the home owners of the time were wealthy enough to have a second floor, it would have been fitted with wooden joists and then large planks sometimes up to 2 feet in width would be strewn across them. The wood species used for this was most commonly Oak or Elm. 

  Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring

Once North and South America was discovered, along with its seemingly endless supply of old growth forests, the use of wood for flooring became commonplace among the settlers living throughout the colonies. It was in such great abundance that using any other material for common housing was simply impractical. Hardwood floors at that time were mainly built using slow growth pine. Due to the immense size of slow growth trees, it was possible to produce very large sawn planks. They were not sanded or finished like what we find today, they were simply polished smooth by the feet of generations of colonists. Solid planks for these floors were typically 7/8′′ thick, at least 8’ in length. Some planks were even up to 16’ long. They had to be massive as the subfloors were not used and plank ends had to be nailed to joists. Planks were often as wide as they could be, which resulted in no common standard widths.

By (1625-1714) wooden floors began to take on a more elegant flare, introducing French Parquetry and Marquetry flooring patterns. Intricate designs were cut by hand and laid with contrasting colored species of wood. Regardless of the pattern in which they were laid, these floors were typically hand scrapped, scrubbed with sand, stained and polished. This style of flooring required skilled craftsman and painstaking hard labor. These types of hardwood floors were only found in the homes of Royalty and most affluent of the time. It wasn’t uncommon for lower classes to attempt imitating these floors by painting flooring planks with various designs. 

In the early 19th century more and more Parquet patterns began to emerge, yet still only in the richest of homes. There were many types of patterns for the panels that make up a luxury wood parquet floor. Three of the most popular were Chantilly, Aremberg and Monticello. Examples of some of these patterns are shown below. 

Parquet Flooring Patterns

Eventually the industrial age brought machinery for the finer milling of lumber. The development of steam and electric power during this period led to growth in the need for better housing and subsequent demand for even more wood flooring material. Oak quickly became the specie of choice due to its availability, cost, easy machining, strength ,and beauty. With the expanding demand and vast increase in world commerce, the use of different domestic hardwoods, as well as exotic imported species, began to quickly evolve. 

The hardwood flooring industry resembling the one we know today began just before the turn of the 20th century. In 1885, the side-matcher was developed, creating flooring with a tongue on one long side and a groove on the other. This allowed wood floors to be blind-nailed, which provided a more elegant look free from visible nail holes. 

The technology quickly progressed, bringing better and better milling options and providing easier installation. Then the central heating system was introduced and began wreaking havoc with hardwood floors. The invention of the dry kiln gave flooring a better chance to succeed in normal living conditions. Despite this small setback, wood flooring was still,by far, the most popular option. 

Crash of the Hardwood Flooring Industry 

However, the hardwood flooring industry boom was short lived. As a result of the industrial revolution along with ever-changing design trends, new flooring options became available (carpet, resilient flooring such as ceramic, stone, tile and bare concrete) and gave the hardwood flooring industry some real competition, and demand for each option began to fluctuate immensely. 

Shortly after the crash of the twenties, the use of cheaper flooring materials such as carpet started growing in popularity. Producing carpet was significantly less expensive then wood flooring and most people just couldn’t afford hardwood, not to mention the cost involved in keeping a site finished hardwood floor polished and shined. Prior to the crash of the twenties, carpet could only be found in homes of the wealthy, but with synthetic materials becoming much cheaper to produce, carpet seemed the most appealing option. A combination of changing lifestyles, changing housing construction methods, high maintenance for hardwood, cheaper alternatives and too much job-site time for hardwood installation and finishing, all contributed to the crash of the wood flooring industry in the mid-1960s. By the 1970’s carpet was everywhere, even in the least expensive homes. Hardwood flooring then found its way into the higher priced custom home market. 

In 1966, the U.S. Federal Housing Authority approved carpeting as part of a 30-year mortgage. Both homeowners and homebuilders turned away from expensive, labor intensive hardwood in favor of cheaper, easier, and faster-to-install carpet. This was a major factor in the decline of the hardwood flooring industry until the mid-1980s. 

The industry bottomed out in the 1982 recession, when only 75 million board feet was shipped. 

A renewed awareness about hardwood helped the industry rebound in the mid 1980s. By the 1990s, wood flooring manufacturers introduced higher quality prefinished hardwood flooring, with more stains and finishes available than ever before. The advent of water-based urethanes made finishing easier, and consumers had more options to choose from. These included; traditional hardwood, prefinished hardwood, engineered hardwood, solid hardwood, floating hardwood, nail-down hardwood, glue-down hardwood, and exotic hardwoods from around the world. With all of these new hardwood options available it was finally possible to install hardwood affordably. Concrete subfloors could now have pre-finished engineered hardwood installed above them, which gave people even more reason to choose hardwood as a flooring material in their homes. 

Hardwood flooring adds to the value of both new and resale homes. In one national Canadian survey, 90% of real estate agents said homes with wood floors sell faster and for more money. Hardwood flooring is good for your health and the environment. 

Custom Gaylord Hardwood Flooring

Despite the major decline of the hardwood industry throughout the 20th century, hardwood flooring has made an astonishing comeback and remains the preferred choice by most home owners, perhaps more so now than ever before. Hardwood is durable and is considered a solid investment. They literally last for decades or generations, providing homes with natural warmth and timeless beauty. 

 

Author: Steve Ruth 

Gaylord Hardwood Flooring 

Parquet Picture Credit: Jay Hardwood Floor Service 


Gaylord Hardwood Flooring Showroom in Tweed, Ontario April 20 2015, 0 Comments

[Video] Virtual Tour Gaylord Hardwood Flooring Tweed, Ontario, Canada 



Written by David Gaylord.
Visit us at: www.gaylordhardwoodflooring.com
228 Victoria St. N. Tweed, Ontario Canada

Songs to Help Inspire your Interior Design Ideas February 26 2015, 0 Comments

This song brings you back to your roots. Whether you are from the countryside or heart of the city, this song will bring out your childhood. Do me a favor... give someone from home a call. They will certainly appreciate it. This song is by far my favorite on this list. When this song comes on in one of our Ontario hardwood flooring showrooms customers seem to light up. This tune will make you want to cozy up to your fireplace and admire your new home decor.

3 Bedroom Design Ideas You'll Love! February 03 2015, 0 Comments

Bedroom Design Ideas coming to life can help tell your story! Make sure to follow our simple guide to make your bedroom perfect for you. We want to make it as simple as possible to be your own "interior designer". This guide lists three trendy bedroom design ideas you can implement in the snap of your fingers.

Contrasting Your Hardwood Flooring with Your Home Decor February 02 2015, 0 Comments

Home Decor and Hardwood Flooring 

A common misperception about hardwood flooring and decor

When clients come into our showroom to purchase their hardwood floor, a very common mindset they have is that everything has to match. Not only in the construction and design industry is the term “match” commonly used when figuring out what elements and features will go into a project. We all seem to have this preconception about everything having to match or at least be in the same colour tones and/or colour family in order to look good.

It is unfortunately very easy to let this concept dominate our mindset, especially when it comes to home renovating or any design project for that matter. We often think that in order for a space to not look chaotic or unbalanced that certain elements should all match together.

Achieving contrast in your hardwood flooring

A concept people often forget about is achieving a contrast. Contrast, when achieved properly, can create just as beautiful of an outcome as a space that contains elements that are all in the same color tones. It all depends how the elements of the space are composed together.

Just because the flooring for example does not “match” the furniture in the space does not mean it won’t look great. The important thing to remember is to select a floor that will go with everything and either compliment, contrast or balance out the other finishes, furnishings and materials of the space.

This is not to say however that redesigning an interior environment is as simple as coordinating materials selections and purchasing them. In fact, it is quite the opposite. There are many elements to consider when undergoing a renovation or a new build.

This is why hiring a professional such as an interior designer or interior decorator is a great way to get the project going in the right direction. With the knowledge of our sales consultants and the expertise of a designer or decorator, you can rest assured that your hardwood floor will not only match or go with your home, it will stand out in every room and get the attention it deserves.

 

 


Hardwood Flooring Design Ideas From The International Surfaces Event January 27 2015, 0 Comments

The Gaylord brothers had a chance to visit The International Surfaces Event at Mandalay Bay Casino and Convention Center. The show is the leading floor coverings, stone, and tile industry event, which happens once a year. Some people think flooring is boring! Not at #TiseWest. This post will go over some of the flooring trends David and Greg Gaylord found at the event. Advice from top designers and flooring professionals. 

The Know How about Picking the Right Hardwood Floor January 26 2015, 0 Comments

Picking the Right Hardwood Flooring

Treating the floor as more than just the cherry on top of the sundae

Sometimes when clients come into our showroom looking to redo their floors, they do not always know where to begin.

One of the common concerns they have and questions they ask us is “Well, what if the floor doesn’t match my furniture?”

In a lot of home renovations or even new builds, a trend that is becoming more and more popular is for people to install hardwood throughout the entire house. This means that not only will the flooring be a part of every room in the home, it will inevitably turn into an important feature that can define the character and style represented in the home. This is why a high quality hardwood floor that will last over time is a big investment that requires careful selection.

Furthermore, once a client has decided they want to install hardwood throughout the entire house, this is a big decision seeing as once the floor is put down, it is much tougher to pull it out and replace it as opposed to switching it out like furniture.

"Hardwood Flooring Can Last a Lifetime" 

 

By keeping this in mind, clients should envision their new floor as a character defining feature and element they love. It should not just be seen as the finishing touch or accessory that brings the room together but more so like the canvas for the artwork. Investing the money in a good quality hardwood floor that has the right stain and finish for the project, leaves the door open for unlimited possibilities when designing the rest of the home.

Lastly, you should really consider the maintenance of each type of floor.