Tips For Maintaining Your Wooden Flooring

There aren’t many homes where wooden flooring would look out of place; they’re versatile, beautiful and can make even the smallest of rooms look larger. Keeping them in great condition, however, can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s where these tips come in, and if you follow them closely your wooden floors could double in life expectancy.

Pounce on spills as soon as they happen

wooden flooring

It’s impossible to just stop spillages from happening, so instead make sure you’re prepared for them and attack the spills as soon as they occur. Every second they go untreated, the wooden floor will absorb more and more of it and the finish will be dulled even further; if that spill dries up, then that will result in some long-term damage. A cloth or cotton mop is perfect for avoiding this.

Vacuum with care

Vacuuming is great to suck up deep resting dirt that brushes or cloths wouldn’t normally get, but if used incorrectly, they can do more bad than good. The beater bar (also known as a bristle bar) is the rotating brush section at the bottom of some vacuums that can rotate thousands of times per minute. This is ideal for a carpet, as it can be very effective at dragging up dirt.

However, for a wooden floor, it can rapidly dull the woods finish and take months off its life span. Instead, either use a vacuum without a beater bar or switch the mode to Hard Floor, if that is an option available to you.

Use mats at entrances

floor mat

Think about everything that could be on the pavement outside your home; glass, faeces, hard stones, so on. These can all get captured in the grooves of your shoes, and dragged into your home. Grass and mud might be a nuisance to clean up, but stones and glass could cause some serious damage to your wooden floor. To cut this down, tough mats at the entrances to your home and rooms are perfect for collecting this dirt and debris.

Better yet, you could take a page out of Asian culture and remove your shoes as you enter. While mats are effective, it doesn’t get more effective than taking your shoes off completely.

Follow the grain

To keep your wooden floors looking as good as possible for as long as possible, we also recommend following the grain of the wood when you clean. Sweeps and strokes going in the same direction of the wood means you won’t disrupt the grain too much, and the protective layer will be kept intact for longer.

Keep that mop (relatively) dry

A very common mistake when it comes to cleaning wood floors is using too much water. It might sound counter-intuitive, but your mop should be almost dry when you use it and only slightly damp at the touch. Similar to the first tip that mentioned how bad spills were for your wood, too much water means the wood will absorb some of it; which can lead to the warping of the wood or a ruined finish.

Let us know in the comments below if you have any other tips for looking after wooden floors!

Author bio: Criterion Flooring are wood flooring experts who specialize in the restoration and installation of wood floors. They also supply and install Oak, Bordeaux, Laminate and Alternative Floors.

Laminate Floors: Tips to Choose, Benefits and More

The world of interior designing is highly unstable as new trends are constantly introduced and adopted by people all over the world. There are several types of wall features, upholstery patterns, seating arrangements as well as flooring options to choose from for your home to make it look stunning. All you have to do is make sure that the overall look is in harmony and the different elements do not look incongruent when viewed as a whole.

Laminate Floor

Recently, laminate floor options have become popular globally. These are also preferred by DIY interior designing enthusiasts as well as by the professionals. This is because these types of floors are extremely easy to work with and can be installed easily as well. Before delving into some of the major benefits of laminate flooring, let’s look at what exactly it is and how to pick the right type.

What Are Laminate Floors?

These are made from several layers of synthetic products such as plastic or engineered wood which are placed on top of each other in layers. The layers are attached to each other by the process of “lamination” and this is how these floors get the name. These floors are specifically designed to be aesthetic and affordable at the same time and offer several options to choose from. There are four distinct layers of a laminated floor:


  • The bottom-most layer is called the backer layer and it provides support and stability to the entire structure.
  • Above this is core layer which gives the laminate structure and makes it dent-resistant.
  • On top of core layer is the décor layer that creates the look of tile, stone, or wood. A printed image does this.
  • Lastly, the top-most wear layer keeps the floor resistant to scratches and protects it from stains, making it easy to clean. This layer contains aluminium oxide.

How to Choose the Right Type of Laminate Flooring?

  • Just like any other interior designing project, an important thing that you need to decide upon is the budget. This will help you determine the type of laminate floor, quality, and other related aspects. Things like how long you expect the flooring to last and how much area it is supposed to cover can be considered when settling a budget.
  • Most laminate floors are easy to install and can also be done without professional help. If you plan to install the floor yourself, make sure that you mention this to the dealer. There are several types of laminate floors that can be installed easily due to their durable interlocking system. These are also more durable.
  • Lastly, the look of the floor design must go well with the rest of the interior décor. For instance, a natural wood pattern will go perfectly if the overall theme of the room includes natural elements. On the other hand, the same floor will look out of place if the room is filled with elegant and minimalistic décor.

Laminate Floors

Benefits of Using Laminate Flooring

The main reason why people are using laminate floors popularly is because they are extremely durable and come in a variety of price ranges to choose from. Installing them is an easy feat and the overall look is parallel to none.

An important thing to consider when deciding flooring types is its cleaning and maintenance requirements. You can maximize the returns on your laminate floor investment by making sure that it stays new and damage-free even after several years of use. Firstly, make sure that the cleaning solution you use is specifically for laminate floors. Secondly, it is recommended that you don’t slide heavy furniture on the surface of the floor as this can cause scratches or cracks. Carpets or rugs can be used wherever possible to keep the surface protected.

Author Bio

Zac Ferry is a good experience writer, blogger and social media promoter by providing valuable information which help readers to get more ideas. Follow him on Google+ and Twitter.

Hardwood or Laminate: Which Flooring Is Right for Your Lifestyle?

wood flooring

If you’re tired of carpeting and ready to upgrade your floors to wood or laminate, a quick trip to the nearest flooring store can leave you confused and discouraged. Here’s a quick guide to the pros and cons of both hardwood and laminate flooring to help you choose the right floor for your home.


Hardwood floors are classic, and because wood is a natural product, no two boards look the same. This means no two floors will look exactly the same, and the variances in grain and color will give your floor a unique appearance. That being said, because the floor is made of wood, it will expand and contract — so over time, you will probably see small gaps between some boards. Note that if you’re buying a home, these gaps are natural and not a defect in the flooring itself.

Laminate, on the other hand, is a man-made material, and each plank is uniform in color and grain. This gives the floor a less unique look since there is no variance in the pattern. Because laminate is made to snap together and seal, it will not gap between planks the way real wood does. Laminate is also available in a wide variety of patterns, including some that mimic tile or stone.


Hardwood and laminate are both long-lasting floors, but hardwood typically scratches more easily than laminate. This means if you have pets running through or kids racing toy cars, hardwood flooryou will see the wear-and-tear in the traffic areas. Laminate has a hard coating which can withstand a beating, so you won’t see as much damage from heavy use. On the other hand, hardwood floors may be refinished several times, but if laminate is heavily damaged, the entire plank must be replaced — if you have matching planks.


While cost varies widely by manufacturer and style, hardwood is typically quite a bit more expensive than laminate. If you plan on selling your home in the near future, hardwood flooring is the most coveted by home buyers and is the only flooring that increases a home’s resale value.


Laminate flooring is a perfect project for the experienced do-it-yourself homeowner, as long as the room is fairly square and you’re not resurfacing steps or odd-shaped areas such as a laminate flooringkitchen island. Hardwood, on the other hand, is best left to professionals when it comes to installation, especially when considering the initial investment of materials.


If you’re adding “green” living to the decision process, laminate has a slight edge over hardwood because wood, of course, comes from trees and reduces the forests of the world. Laminate isn’t totally innocent, though, as it is man-made and contains plastic and other ingredients which can be detrimental to our environment.


Better quality laminate flooring can last for decades, while hardwood floors can outlast the life of your home. The key factor in both cases is to check the warranty carefully and to make sure the manufacturer is reputable. A 50-year guarantee means nothing if the company goes out of business in two years, and a great deal on either product doesn’t mean much if the material is flawed or cheaply made.

When you’re looking at new flooring, keep the big picture in mind. Make sure the floor you choose is right for your lifestyle rather than picking the one that looks best in the store or the one the salesperson recommends. Remember, you’re the one who will have to live with your choice!

5 Tips When Picking Wood Flooring

wood floors

Sorry, folks, the carpet versus wood flooring was only the beginning of your decision-making process, not the end of it. Although settling that debate provides a clear direction for moving forward, there are still many questions to answer before you purchase.

Need a few tips on how to pick the wood floor of your dreams? Keep these five factors in mind as you weigh your options.

1. Location

If you’re picking out wood flooring, chances are you already have a room in mind. However, you may not realize the room in question will play a big role in determining your flooring.

Solid wood has many perks. It’s a classic and beautiful upgrade, hypoallergenic and capable of lasting for decades. Unfortunately, it doesn’t pair well with water. That means if you’re renovating a bathroom or basement, solid wood is not a good choice. The moisture found in underground rooms and water closets can damage or warp solid hardwood floors.

If you want the look of hardwood in a high-moisture space, your best bet is engineered wood. A top veneer provides you with the aesthetic you desire, but the plywood core makes it more durable in moist environments. (Durable, but not impervious, so you still want to wipe up spills as soon as possible.)

Engineered wood can also be laid over radiant floor heating and concrete subfloors, whereas solid wood works best over a plywood subfloor.

2. Installation

wood flooringDo you plan to hire out your installation or DIY? Many factors — time, money, experience — will determine which route you will take, but it’s important to have a rough idea of where your skill set and the materials meet.

Engineered hardwood offers easy-to-install options like a tongue-and-groove option. Simply match the tongue to the groove and snap the planks in place. Of course, this still takes some skill with a saw and the patience to do it right. The upside is that you can float this flooring over existing material — tile, plywood, concrete — which makes for far less prep work.

Solid wood needs a plywood subfloor, which may mean more work if you have particle board or damaged subfloor. Preparing the subfloor for hardwood will either mean more money to the pros or more DIY hours for the homeowner.

3. Cost

Cost is often the biggest determining factor in any renovation. As you can see from above, it’s important to factor installation into your budget. Just don’t make the mistake of assuming engineered wood will automatically be cheaper.

Many oak options are close in price to engineered wood. And although the plywood core cuts costs, an exotic veneer choice can drive up the price of engineered wood.

Don’t forget to factor in longevity. Solid wood has a proven track record, when properly maintained. It can withstand numerous sandings and refinishings, while engineered wood’s thin veneer means your repair attempts are limited.

4. Style

Between engineered and solid options, there is a wood floor to match every style from rustic to modern, historically accurate to eclectic, farmhouse to shabby chic.wood flooring design

Several factors contribute to a wood’s style. You’ll want to consider board width; thin strips can make a space seem larger, whereas wide planks can evoke a cozy, rustic feel. Color can come from natural variations in species or from a bevy of stain options available at your local hardware store. Finally, you can select finishes that range between the rough and weathered finish of reclaimed wood or the polished lacquer of engineered planks.

5. Lifestyle

Do you have pets? Children? Is it a high-traffic area? Are you clumsy? Before selecting your flooring, it’s good to give some consideration to your lifestyle.

Solid wood is rated on a Janka scale. Essentially, a BB is driven into the wood and the rating reflects the wood’s hardness and durability. While you likely want to avoid the softest woods, like the poorly performing Douglas Fir, you don’t necessarily want to jump straight to the hardest options. Not only are they more difficult to work with, they also tend to be the most expensive.

Again, it’s important to remember solid wood can be sanded and refinished multiple times. A great middle-of-the-scale option like red oak offers decent durability for an equally decent price, and any damage (aside from flood or fire) can easily be sanded away.

If your options still feel too overwhelming, get an expert involved. They can help answer any of your lingering questions about design, durability, cost or installation.

AUTHOR BIO: Ali is a tea-sipping writer who focuses on healthy and sustainable living via her family blog Homey Improvements. She was born and raised in Alaska and dabbles in Pilates and is a princess for hire for kid’s parties.

Top Flooring Trends for 2014

Happy New Year Home Improvers!

barrelsAfter the holidays, most of us home improvement enthusiasts will be busily planning our property to do list for the coming year. But for homeowners that want to keep up with and introduce the latest trends to the home before their neighbours, what does the near future have in store for our flooring?

We have compiled the hottest flooring trends for 2014 so get creative this year and craft a stylish and striking home in the process.

Reclaimed Barrels and Wood

When it comes to flooring 2014, it is all about sustainability and nothing says eco-friendly like using reclaimed and reconditioned barrels as your floor covering. Each barrel has been fully recycled with the markings of old wine names and distant vineyards creating a bespoke vintage finale to your newly decorated living space or kitchen area.

Reclaimed wood is also a beautiful hardwood trend to take advantage of and, this trend in particular, is certain to last from this season to the next.

Non-Toxic Cork

Another highly sustainable option is the non-toxic cork, in spite of many of us thinking of cork as a material reserved for pinboards and traditional bottle stoppers. This type of flooring is derived directly from the cork oak tree, which cultivates easily and can be harvested continually without damaging the environment or yield.

The cork is treated using eco-conscious materials and methods and, despite not being homeowners’ first choice for flooring in previous years, cork flooring has some excellent qualities that are certain to put this green material in high demand during the next year. Cork is a great insulator and even has a level of soundproofing that many flooring products lack. In addition to this, cork flooring is truly beautiful and is great for homes where individuals suffer from allergies due to its hypoallergenic nature.


Looking for a wooden floor covering with a difference? Then bamboo flooring may just be the trend for you! Bamboo is available in a horizontal, vertical or strand woven application, which provides a hardened finish for high traffic areas. The highly engineered stand woven flooring is actually twice as durable as traditional bamboo flooring. In addition to this, bamboo flooring is available in a range of stunning finishes, from natural blonde tones to black and chocolate colours. Avoid installing bamboo in moisture-prone rooms, this type of wood is particularly porous and will expand in the face of high humidity.

Polished Concrete

Polished concrete has been a firm favourite on the interior design scene for the past few years and 2014 sees this firm and fashionable favourite return. Polished concrete flooring offers the perfect cocktail of durability and style to transform any room in your home. Concrete is also an extremely versatile material and polished flooring is available in a number of decorative finishes.

Due to its popularity in recent years, polished concrete has become quite expensive, installation is also costly as it requires specially skilled tradespeople to achieve the seamless look this type of flooring is renowned for.

This post was written by Brittany Thorley from Readymix Concrete. She is an avid home improvement blogger and actively shares her expertise on flooring and other home improvement topics.

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