Wood is an incredible material! It adds warmth and beauty to just about everything, including floors. A unique aspect of wood is its durability. In the Iowa City area there are wood floors well over 140 years old that still look amazing. Of course they are still fairly new compared to the floors that are many hundreds of years old. Obviously, at some point, all these floors were install new.
So where do we begin with your project? Because there are so many different species and grades of wood this may seem like a daunting task. But be assured we can chose the best product for you. First, what is the style you’re trying to create? Is it the warmth of oak or the sleek style of maple? Perhaps it’s the unique look of an imported wood like Jatoba or Brushbox. Will a floor finished on site be best or will prefinished work better? Will a solid wood floor be best or engineered? Whatever the case, we can help to get the best product for your needs.
Next comes the actual installation. For a floor to last centuries it has to be installed properly. That includes appropriate site conditions, proper acclimation, vapor barriers, fasteners and adhesives. Careful attention is given to all these areas. The end result is a floor that will perform reliably year after year.
We service the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids area and provide free consultations. Let’s chat about your next project!
What should I expect when my floors are being done?
Knowing what to expect before, during, and after the work takes place will help ensure a high-quality job.
Before work begins, remove all furnishings, draperies, paintings, and other items from the room. For new installations, the wood will need to acclimate, which will vary from two days to two weeks.
If your floors are being sanded, finished or refinished, be prepared for some noise and disruption. Dust containment systems can minimize debris, but no system is 100% effective, so cover any items that you want to keep dust-free. When the finish is applied, stay off your floors until it has dried. The time required will vary depending on the type of finish used.
After the finish has dried, put felt pads on the bottoms of any furniture to minimize scratches and dents. Place scatter rugs at all entrances, avoiding those with rubber backs, which can discolor your floor. Avoid walking on your floors with cleats or high heels in disrepair.
Keep in mind that no two floor boards will be identical. Variations in appearance are completely normal. As your floor ages, some color change can occur. This also is normal, but can be minimized by limiting exposure to direct sunlight, and periodically moving furniture and rugs. Cracks are normal as well, and will appear and disappear between floor boards during seasons of high and low humidity. Generally, anything less than the width of a dime is considered normal, and will correct itself as seasons change. Flooring inspectors recommend inspecting the floor from a standing position in normal lighting to identify irregularities.
Finally, keep your wood floors looking their best by properly maintaining them. Use a cleaning product recommended for your floors and use it regularly to keep them looking beautiful for years to come.
There are so many species of wood. How should a customer select one?
Choosing a species of wood involves more than selecting a color to match décor. Both decorators and installers should be aware of the basic facts about wood species. Other appearance-related attributes are important for designers too, such as texture, grain, and color. Installers will want to consider mechanical properties like dimensional stability, machinablity, and ease in finishing. And any specifier will need to consider availability and cost.
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Does wood flooring go well with most design styles?
Yes. In a recent survey commissioned by the NWFA, more than three-quarters of interior designers find that wood flooring works well with many decorating styles. “It’s the most versatile floor covering there is,” says one designer. “Wood goes with contemporary and traditional and everything in between.” Designers rated natural materials as superior to man-made materials in beauty, prestige, style, maintenance, and durability. A variety of woods and finishes are available to complement the decor and style of any room. Oak and maple are the most popular woods, but some homeowners are investing in exotics such as Brazilian cherry and Purpleheart.
Is it durable enough for a kitchen, or work space?
Yes. Specifiers and clients are discovering what basketball players have always known: wood flooring can take a pounding and still look beautiful. The urethane finishes on most new wood floors stand up to water and traffic, bringing wood flooring into kitchens, and other higher-stress areas. These finishes resist wear and stains better than other finishes and require no stripping, no buffing and no waxing.
Is recycled wood flooring available?
Yes. Wood salvaged from a variety of sources, including old barns and factories, is a popular high-end design trend. Wood recovered from riverbeds is another growing segment of the wood flooring industry. Logs that sank during logging operations years ago are being recovered by a number of companies and used to create truly unique flooring. Today’s only significant source for heartwood from long-leaf pine is through reclaimed timbers from warehouses and factories constructed during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Chestnut, hemlock, poplar, walnut, and cypress are other options.