Archive for the ‘Hardwood’ Category
For a while, I’ve been thinking about building my dream basement, aka “man cave.” In my dream basement, the walls will be adorned with pictures of my sports heroes, and the centerpiece will be a very large, flat-screen television. A nice leather recliner and a pool table can also be found in this dream of mine. Now about the floor… In finished basements, I have seen everything from industrial carpet to vinyl tile to laminate. It never dawned on me that installing an authentic hardwood floor in a basement would be a viable option, but that’s what I discovered when I started working in Customer Service for Armstrong. Let me share what I know about hardwood options for your basement.
Since 2011 has come to a close, “trend-spotting” for 2012 has moved into full gear. This is when designers like me are looking for flooring trends for the year. What’s hot? What colors are in – which are out? Typically, the first quarter of each year is the time when trade shows related to flooring are in full swing – both domestic and international. This is where we find out about new products and show many of our own. In fact, most of the new flooring products you will see in 2012 are being developed and finalized as I type this blog post. It’s exciting to see the floor styles that will be coming to your local flooring store soon!
It’s that time of year again. The newspaper’s filled with “Black Friday” sales and everyone is planning their shopping strategy – the holiday season is upon us. For many, this means gathering together with family and friends. If you’re hosting a get-together, making sure your home looks its best is likely one of your top priorities. For the hardwood or laminate owner, this often begs the question, “Is it okay for me to use a steam cleaner on my floor?” As a customer service technician, I get asked this question a lot. The short answer is no! Read on to find out why.
|Let me create a scenario for you and see if this sounds familiar:|
|•||You have flooring that absolutely needs to be replaced.|
|•||Your furniture tends to be more of a contemporary styling.|
|•||You definitely want hardwood flooring.|
What flooring would you choose?
Working in the flooring industry, I would often hear people say that they want solid hardwood for their floors because they want real wood. When I would suggest engineered hardwood as another option, I would get the response, “That’s not real wood.” Well, actually, it is. Engineered hardwood is real wood – it’s just constructed differently.
Texture is quickly becoming the new “color.” By that I mean color has always been the main driver for people looking for a hardwood floor, but over the last few years, texture has been overtaking color as the new driver. The reason behind that trend is that texture stimulates our senses with tactile and visual elements.
Hand-scraped hardwood floors are a good example of how popular texture is with floor shoppers. There is a big demand for hand-scraped hardwood floors in the U.S. Geographic areas around the country have various desires. In California, the hand-scraped hardwoods are sculptural and undulating with minimal character. In the Southwest, the hand-scraped look is much more rustic and features heavy graining, knots and mineral streaks. And the Northeast seems to just be discovering the hand-scraped phenomenon, and their desire is somewhere in the middle.
I used to work in an office with The Scientist. Not A Scientist, The Scientist. That was his nickname, which he earned by virtue of the way he made decisions: every option was fully analyzed, every possible consequence projected into the future. He spent more time choosing a big-screen TV than most people spend choosing a home. I secretly admired his rigor, but never, ever, ever approached purchases with anything like that degree of discipline. I’m pretty sure this is true for most people. A lot more of us get a quick sense of the options, and we move on to: “Yeah, I get the general picture. That’s all I really need to know.”
When we’re buying flooring, we have some values – things we care about – that help guide us. For a lot of people, sustainability (centered around ecological and environmental health) values are somewhere on that list. But unless you are The Scientist, you may not be sure about the facts and your choices. There have been attempts to give consumers confidence that they are purchasing sustainable flooring – green certifications of various types. FSC certification, from the Forestry Stewardship Council, is supposed to help. But then you might hear some news report that only muddles things further. Take, for example, the recent story about the Gibson Guitar factory in Nashville being raided by the feds, and shut down, for importing non-sustainably sourced tropical wood, except the Gibson people say it is FSC certified…all of which makes my point – either you are The Scientist, or you are confused. more ►
The answer is “yes” if the hardwood floor is a Bruce Lock & Fold hardwood floor. There are several key factors that separate the Bruce Lock & Fold hardwood installation method from others. The ease of installation, fewer costs associated with the installation, and a stunning visual are all reasons why this may be the perfect option for your next home renovation.
First, allow me to delve into the Lock & Fold installation method. There are three basic ways of installing hardwood floors. The first is to fasten the material down. This is normally done with nails or staples. The second method is a full spread glue-down. This involves using a trowel and a tub of adhesive. Finally, you have a “floating” method. This is the method for our Lock & Fold installation. Our Lock & Fold method acts like a puzzle. Each piece locks into the pieces surrounding it. Therefore, there is no need to use any staples or adhesives.
To get started, roll out an underlayment pad over your subfloor. Once this is done, you can begin installing your hardwood floor piece by piece. It really is that easy. Since the Bruce Lock & Fold floors “float,” the floor sits on top of the pad, rather than being adhered or fastened down. The versatility of this installation method also allows it to be installed directly over various existing floors. For further details on how to install hardwood floors like Bruce Lock & Fold hardwood floors, visit Armstrong’s DIY Center.
Recently, a consumer on one of our social media sites asked for advice on finding a floor. She said she wanted an Armstrong floor in a specific color. That was all the information she gave us. Now, we make more than 2,000 different flooring options under four different brand names, and many of those floors are available in the color she requested. We told her we needed to know a little more before we made any recommendations.
Finding the right floor for your home can be overwhelming at times – there are so many choices. That’s because there are so many consumers with different tastes and different decorating styles! To help you – and our social customer – find a floor, let me offer a few thoughts.
When you’re looking for an Armstrong floor, first consider what type of floor you’re looking for. Armstrong makes hardwood, luxury vinyl, vinyl sheet and tile, laminate and linoleum. Below is a description of each of our flooring options and their benefits. more ►
You’ve been thinking about installing a new floor in your (pick one): dining room, kitchen, bathroom or living room for years. So, what’s really holding you back from walking into a flooring store or home center and picking out the floor you want?
Wondering if the floor you want will hold up to the kids and the dog? Concerned the floor that looks great in a picture won’t look the same in your home? Or is it cost? While buying a floor isn’t like replacing the roof, it is a significant investment for most homeowners. Let’s explore the cost of a new floor in more detail.
How do you know if you can afford the floor you want? Start with an estimate – a fast and simple estimate you can do yourself using our Project Estimator. The Project Estimator tool is easy to use, and it will give you a good idea about how much your entire flooring project will cost – from removing the existing floor to replacing the subfloor and installing the new floor. more ►