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June 12, 2017
Don’t Let Your Floors Cup or Buckle This Summer
Beware of air moisture and don’t let your floors cup or buckle this summer, but if you have problems, JD Enterprise in Denver is ready to help you repair your floor. According to a Wood Floor Business article, your wood floor is affected by the moisture in the air. Air with a high moisture content (MC) or high relative humidity (RH) can cause wood to collect moisture, which causes it to expand. When this happens, your wood floor may become distorted, resulting in your floor cupping and buckling.
Buckling is when a plank has begun to separate from the sub-flooring. Cupping is when the edges of a plank begin to rise above the midsection. Crowning is when the midsection begins to swell above the edges.
To avoid this, there are some things you should know about summer moisture:
- Warming air lowers its relative humidity
- Cooling air raises the relative humidity
- Cooling air too much causes condensation
- Outside air contains moisture
How can you control moisture by choosing your wood flooring material and planning installation?
There are some things you can do to improve the moisture conditions of your wood floor including:
- Acclimate the flooring the right way
- Use narrower boards
- Choose stable species of wood
- Use quartersawn boards
- Choose approved vapor barrier membranes or system for concrete slabs
- Accept some gaps
- Use products that are good in high relative humidity environments
How does moisture in the air affect your wood flooring?
To control summer-related flooring expansion, let’s first examine the environmental control of summer moisture issues.
Relative Humidity-Most mornings start out cool and humid, often causing dew to form on your grass. By afternoon, the air warms, the relative humidity drops and the dew evaporates. However, at night the air cools again and the humidity goes up and dew forms.
The amount of water in the air remains about the same every day, but because of the relationship between temperature and relative humidity, when the temperature changes, the relative humidity changes.
Dew point-This tells the amount of water in the air. It is the temperature (which can vary according to the pressure and the humidity) below which water droplets begin to condense. The dew point is different in different locations. For example, on a typical summer day, the dew point may be near 45°F in the Southwest, 55°F in the Northwest, 65°F in the Northeast, and in the upper 70s along the Gulf Coast. In winter, the dew point temperatures can be well below freezing.
Building Temperatures-Of course, the inside temperature of the building with the wood floor is important also. Many buildings are air conditioned which create a cooler temperature inside than outside. The area under a building is often cooler than the inside the building. This cool soil keeps slabs, basements, and crawl spaces cool as well. Ductwork in basements or crawl spaces can also help keep those areas cool. The summer air is warm and humid but the indoor surfaces are cool.
Moisture can enter through a crawlspace or basement foundation walls, from exposed soil in a crawl space, or from activities in your home. Add that to the fact that cooling air raises the relative humidity and that creates some potential for problems with your hardwood floors.
Ventilation as a Moisture Source-Lots of people ventilate these spaces to try and control the moisture levels. Depending on where you live, the amount of moisture that needs to be removed in the summer will be different. But when warm outside summer air enters a house and cools, the relative humidity of that air increases. To get the relative humidity back down, the moisture needs to be removed. The more ventilation, the more moisture is going to get into the house.
So reducing ventilation can help remove moisture. Weatherization and home energy audits typically measure ventilation rates and can pinpoint leakage sites. Old windows are often major leakage sites, as are recessed lights, and other holes in ceilings and floors.
Warmer outside air requires more moisture removal. Higher ventilation rates require more moisture removal, and lower target indoor relative humidity levels require more moisture removal. Since the ventilation rate and moisture removal are connected, you should reduce ventilation rates before you try to remove moisture.
What are the best ways to avoid distortion to your wood?
According to the Wood Floor Business article, there are some ways to get rid of the moisture and protect your wood floor from cupping and buckling, including reducing ventilation, control water in crawl spaces or basements, add dehumidifiers, modify your AC system and of course, choose appropriate wood flooring.
Removing Moisture-Moisture is removed from indoor environments by ventilation and mechanical systems.
Ventilation-Ventilation with dry air can help dry out a house, but this air must be cold to be dry enough to be helpful. If the dew point is below 60 degrees, venting can assist in drying your house. If the dew point is above 60 degrees, then venting will just add moisture to your house. So except for some arid or cool parts of the country, venting to dry a house in the summer is not a good idea.
Mechanical Systems-So that leaves us to use mechanical systems like air conditioners or dehumidifiers.
Air Conditioning- A typical air conditioner uses about 25 percent of its energy to get rid of water from the air. A three-ton air conditioner can remove about nine pints of water per hour when it's running wide open. An air conditioner only removes moisture when it is running. A properly sized AC runs wide open about 1 percent of the year. The rest of the time, it won't remove nine pints per hour.
On a hot day, the AC may run 90 percent of the time in the afternoon, but only 10 percent of the time first thing in the morning. The outside dew point remains the same, so that means the same amount of moisture needs to removed in the morning and night to maintain the same indoor relative humidity.
But in the morning it may only remove one pint per hour because the air conditioner isn't running much. Once the indoor temperature is cool, the air conditioner shuts off. But moisture is removed only when the air conditioner runs. An oversized air conditioner can cool the house quickly, but because it doesn't run very long that means it doesn’t remove moisture very well.
Dehumidifiers- A central or whole-house dehumidifier is a good solution for humidity control in many buildings and homes. Good systems put close to 100 percent of their energy into removing moisture and can handle up to around 6.5 pints per hour, every hour, regardless of mild weather or cool mornings when an AC won't run very much.
Dehumidifiers will shut down when an air conditioner can handle the moisture loads. And since dehumidifiers turn on and off because of humidity levels, you don’t need an oversized air conditioner and you don’t have to leave the fan on.
You can try portable dehumidifiers but they’re not usually as effective. They don’t remove much more than about two pints per hour, and they often use more energy than a whole-house dehumidifier. They can help in one room, but that leaves humidity control lacking in the rest of the house.
Dehumidifiers are good in basements because the surfaces in basements are cool, and an air conditioner won't run much.
A unvented crawl space with a dehumidifier can be an efficient way of controlling humidity levels below wood floors that are over a crawl space.
We know that air with a high moisture content or high relative humidity can cause wood to collect moisture, which causes it to expand. If this happens, your wood floor may become distorted. Don’t let your floors cup or buckle this summer. But if anything happens, we can help. At JD Enterprise in Denver, our flooring experts can help you refinish, repair or replace your wood flooring. We’ve been in the Boulder since 2000 but we serve the entire Metro Denver, Boulder, and the Front Range of Colorado.
May 10, 2017
What’s Trending in Wood Flooring This Year?
What’s trending in wood flooring this year? Our wood flooring experts at JD Enterprise in Denver can help you make a great choice for your home. You want your new wood floors to look beautiful, durable, and stylish, so trust the experts to take your project from demolition (floor removal) to completion and work with your schedule. First, let’s start by deciding what kind of flooring you want. Below are some new ideas that you might want to consider.
According to a Home Flooring Pros article, wider and longer hardwood flooring planks are in, along with a more informal layout using different width planks. Wider planks give a unified look with fewer joint lines, which highlights the beauty of the knots and grain. There is a desire for hardwoods that have distinct hand-crafted finishes, such as hand-scraped and wire-brushed finishes. Gray tones are still popular, but there is a swing back to more natural and dark wood tones. Herringbone and chevron parquet designs are in for 2017.
From a Hardwood Floors Magazine article, the word is wider planks with gray tones and low sheen finishes are going to be popular. Advice on flooring from The Flooring Lady includes using affordable, local, sustainable flooring products. Local wood reclamation, like from old barns or found underneath old and outdated carpeting, is going to be sought after in 2017 as well as the choice of lighter wood flooring, like pine and cork, and lighter stains on wood flooring, because lighter color flooring goes with the bolder paint and wallpaper colors being used today.
The 2017 trend is away from traditional natural wood floor colors and more to the extreme bolder colors. Dark stains are popular, particularly in a home design with contrasting whites like in cabinets. However, be careful, sometimes very dark stains make your room look smaller and can show a dirty floor easier. Some colors you will see are espresso brown, almost black. In addition to the very dark, the very light, like extreme blonde wood floors, like in bamboo flooring will be popular. These lighter shades of wood make your rooms look bigger, brighter, and more open, and they can help hide the dirt.
But don’t think that gray is going to go away yet. Gray floors are the one except to the bolder is better trend for this year. Gray has almost become that go-to color classic that everyone likes and goes with everything. Now you will even see a lot of gray cabinets and gray walls, doors, and trim.
The texture of the installed wood flooring is an important design choice, in fact, in 2017, texture is a rather big deal. The popular earthy and natural hand-scraped hardwood floors show off the handcrafted and unique texture. Long, ingrained scrapes show in the finish, giving the floor a classic individual look. The process involved to get this hand-scraped look increases the flooring price but the look is exquisite and the floor will look like a million bucks. Some scraped wood flooring is not hand-scraped but instead are made to look that way from a machine. This is cheaper but the boards look similar and they do not offer the uniqueness of hand-scraped flooring.
Another type of texture for wood flooring is wire brushing to get that aged, rustic, and distressed look. This wood has been intentionally scratched to give it a cool, interesting style but it also hides new scratches and dings, and dirt and dust. The wire-brushed wood is a great choice for families with kids and pets.
Glossy finishes are out, so get ready to sand and recoat those existing floors. The new thing gaining fans is the matte finish. It has less shine and a more flat finish which can look more natural. A satin finish is somewhere between glossy about 40 percent and flat about 60 percent. It was the most popular flooring finish in 2016 and will continue to be a favorite in 2017. Satin is a safe choice to stay with a trending style for many years to come.
Layouts and Patterns
Yes, even the layouts and patterns of hardwood floors have trends. Two popular floor layout designs homeowners are having installed are herringbone and diagonal (angled) patterns. Today’s herringbone layouts use longer planks. The diagonal pattern is laid at an angle rather than straight on, offering a different, modern, and expensive looking design.
Size of Planks
Wider and longer planks are in. They make your rooms look bigger, modern, and elegant. This size seems to be the new classic. Another new trend is to mix the widths of the planks in the floors. This uses mixed widths, either in a pattern or randomly to give a visually unique but pleasing design.
Now we come to the types of flooring you can choose. The trend seems to be towards the warmer woods with character. For example, reclaimed wood flooring is in. It’s durable, unique, beautiful, and a great environmental choice because it uses old building materials being reused or recycled. Of course, the more popular it gets, the harder this type of wood is to find.
- Bamboo is on trend and is one of the strongest floors you can find. It has beautiful blonde colors and an interesting, unique look.
- One of the oldest flooring choices, Cork, has been a favorite for several years, making a resurgence because of it’s eco-friendly, joint-friendly, and resilient qualities.
- Engineered wood has a thin hardwood veneer layer on top of the plywood or high-density fiberboard (HDF). It can be easier to maintain and is a tough flooring for people with kids and pets but it still has a beautiful appearance.
It should also be mentioned that many homeowners are increasingly seeking out American grown and manufactured flooring instead of imported flooring.
So, what's trending in wood flooring this year? Well, as you can see, are a lot of stylish choices right now. Come visit us at JD Enterprise and we can talk you through choosing new wood floors, whether you go with something trendy right now or a more timeless look. JD Enterprise opened in Boulder in 2000 but we’ve grown to serve the entire Metro Denver, Boulder, and the Front Range of Colorado. We're owner-operated, so you'll know that you are receiving the attention you deserve.
April 24, 2017
What Does Hardwood Flooring Maintenance Entail?
Once you get a beautiful new floor installed by JD Enterprise in Denver, what does hardwood flooring maintenance entail? While it’s really not that difficult to keep your hardwood floor clean and in good shape, it is important for flooring longevity.
According to a National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) article, there are things you need to do to keep your hardwood flooring looking its best. Sweeping the floor with a soft bristle broom or using a dry microfiber mop should be done daily. Vacuum weekly with the bare floor setting and get rid of the dust between the floorboards. Every month you should clean the floor with a wood floor cleaning product. We can recommend one for you. Every three to five years you should have pros apply a maintenance coat on your wood floors. After ten to twenty years you may want to sand and refinish the floor to give it that wonderful new wood floor look again.
Do you use cleaning products for vinyl or tile floors on your wood floors?
No. Don’t use vinyl or tile cleaning products or self-polishing acrylic waxes on wood floors. These waxes make the wood floors slippery and dull. If that happens you may need to sand and refinish, which is a much bigger project.
What should you do to prevent scratches on wood floors?
If you use small rugs at your doorways it can prevent debris from scratching the floor. You may also want a rug by the kitchen sink. Stick-on felt protectors under the legs of furniture can help prevent scuffing and scratching but remember to replace them often. Shoes like high heels and sports cleats can damage your floor. Some people even take their shoes off at the door. Sliding heavy furniture when you have to move it causes scratches. Just find a friend to help you pick it up and move it.
How do you maintain your polyurethane or other surface finishes?
Always start with the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning. But generally, all you need to do is regularly dust mop, sweep, or vacuum. You may need to recoat your floor with a new finish if cleaning doesn’t restore the shine. The floors that get the most traffic may need a recoating more often. You should not wax a surface-finished floor, and don’t use any vinyl or tile floor care products on your wood flooring.
How do you keep your wax or penetrating stain finishes looking good?
You should dust mop or vacuum your floors. A buffer can help you keep the shine. If buffing doesn’t work, then try re-waxing. Always use a cleaner and liquid wax that’s made for wood floors. The wax should be applied evenly, let the floor dry, and then buff. Usually, you will only need to do this once or twice a year. Try not to over-wax a wood floor. Instead of re-waxing, just try buffing it. Apply the wax under furniture and other light traffic areas every other time you waxing.
Should a wood floor be damp-mopped or steam cleaned?
No. Don’t use a damp mop or steam to clean a wood floor. Moisture damages the floor and dulls your finish. Always wipe up any spills right away with a lightly dampened cloth.
What’s the best way to clean a discolored or soiled wax finish?
Discolored or dirty wax build-up needs a combination liquid cleaner and wax made for your wood floor. It should be a solvent and not water-based. Spread the liquid cleaner with a cloth or fine steel wool and remove the grime and old wax with gentle rubbing. Wipe the floor clean, let it dry for about 20 minutes, and then buff.
Come talk to our flooring experts at JD Enterprise in Denver about installing beautiful hardwood floors in your house and we will answer your questions about what does hardwood flooring maintenance entail? It’s really not that hard to keep your hardwood floor clean and in good shape.
April 11, 2017
The Best Wood Floors for Man’s Best Friend
At JD Enterprise in Denver, we know you love your dog and your wood floors, so we can advise you on the best wood floors for man’s best friend. With a few smart decisions, you can choose a wood floor that can withstand scratches from your dog’s claws.
It’s best to use solid wood over engineered wood because it is better quality and can also withstand more sanding than engineered floors.
Don’t choose softwoods like pine, fir, cedar, American walnut or American cherry. Softwoods are easier to dent and scratch. Hardwoods can stand up to high traffic from pets without getting damaged. You might want to choose Brazilian cherry, Brazilian walnut, hickory, red and white oaks or maple. The Janka hardness rating ranks the hardness of wood and its resistance to dents, scratches, and stresses. The higher the rating the more resistant the wood will be to pet damage.
A hand-scraped or distressed wood flooring with natural or stylized markings can help camouflage any imperfections of your floor. Rustic and natural distressed wood allows the dents and scratches to blend in.
You should look for woods with stronger graining. A pronounced grain texture helps hide the scratches. You might want to consider Red Oak and Hickory with Janka hardness ratings of 1290 and 1820 in order to mask any the dents and scrapes.
Have you thought about bamboo flooring? Bamboo is one of the hardest and most durable flooring types and a good one for dogs. It is also stain-resistant and an eco-friendly alternative to hardwood flooring because it grows quickly and is a highly renewable source of material. Strand-woven bamboo is the hardest. Avoid carbonized bamboo because it’s weaker.
Natural and light shades will make pet hair and dirt less visible. You might want to consider colors like beige to deep brown color as a great choice, particularly if your dog sheds a lot.
You can also choose low gloss and matte surface finishes for your hardwood floors. Oil and wax-based finishes can help hide dents and scratches but protect the floor from more damage by making a thick surface film on top.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Wood Floors
- Dry Your Dog: Before your dog comes into the house, dry them off to prevent dirt, grime, and moisture from ruining your floor.
- Clean Up After Your Dog: You can stop pet stains by quickly mopping up any accidental messes from your dog.
- Trim the Claws: You can help prevent scratches by trimming your dog’s nails or covering them with vinyl claw covers.
- Maintain Your Wood Floors: Beyond weekly cleaning, wood floors may need recoating and resurfacing to address scratch marks and bring back the shine.
Our flooring experts at JD Enterprise in Denver know your dog is a member of the family and we can help you choose the best wood floors for man’s best friend. We can offer some advice that will help you get a wood floor that can withstand scratches from your dog’s claws and is the most pet-friendly.
March 28, 2017
How to Choose the Right Hardwood Flooring for Your Home
Everyone wants a beautiful hardwood floor, and JD Enterprise in Denver is here to show you how to choose the right hardwood flooring for your home. You will have some decisions to make about your floor before you get started, like location, usage, subfloor, style, budget, appearance, stain, finish and test sample. Our flooring experts at JD Enterprise in Denver can help you look at all the options and make the best decisions for your home.
The first consideration is whether you want floors with solid wood or engineered wood. Solid wood is just that, solid, thick, planks of wood. Engineered wood has a veneer layer that rests on top of the plywood.
Think about how the floors will be used.
The considerations will be different if you live alone or the floor will not get much use, compared to a floor that will get use from kids and pets and large gatherings of people. A harder wood is better If you have a high-traffic house. You might also want to look at stains and finishes that can hide dents and scratches.
Examine the style of your home.
Take into consideration the style, fashion and look of your home when you choose your hardwood floor. What is the design and style of your cabinets, trim work, and door casings? What are the colors of your walls and the amount of natural light your room gets? These are important considerations when choosing the best floor for your home.
Take into account where the hardwood floor is located.
The location of the floor is a critical factor when learning how to choose the right hardwood flooring for your home.
A floor on the second story, which is called above grade, is different than a floor even with the outside ground level, which is called on grade. A floor that’s in the basement is referred to as below grade and has unique considerations.
For example, a solid wood floor should not go below grade, because the moisture from the ground can create issues. So, engineered wood might be recommended for your basement.
Consider the materials of the subfloor.
Find out what kind of subfloor you have. Do you have a concrete slab, plywood, and particleboard floor? Knowing this information will shape your decision on whether to install solid wood or engineered wood floors. Let’s take a look at the different types of subflooring.
- Concrete – As we mentioned earlier, if you have a concrete slab floor, like in your basement, the best floor will be made from engineered wood. However, you can still choose any type of wood, just in an engineered format. You can also decide how thick you want the veneer of the wood. If you go with a higher-end, thicker engineered wood usually performs just as well as solid woods and they are comparable in price.
If are determined to have solid wood, but you have a concrete floor, you can install plywood over the concrete. The cost of the plywood and installation usually push people toward engineered wood.
There is another way to get solid wood on a concrete slab floor if it’s on grade and not below grade like a basement, and that is to glue the wood down. The glue is so strong it is very permanent. To do that you will need completely flat boards which can be difficult in the longer plank lengths. Another downside is if you floor floods, pulling up the boards, because they have been glued down, is very hard. In addition, some people are very sensitive to the chemicals in the glue.
- Plywood – This is usually the type of subfloor most people are used to and it allows for the most choices with hardwood floors. You can nail solid wood on top of plywood or use engineered wood.
- Particleboard – This is like a cheaper version of plywood. It was used a lot as subfloor under carpet for homes built in the 1970s. You will need to take up the particleboard and put down plywood if you want hardwood, either solid or engineered wood, floors.
Compare price with benefits.
As you take a look at the price of different types of wood, you will need to think about what is most important to you and your family. Is it cost, maintenance or appearance.
Take a look at the cost between sold wood and engineered wood. Sometimes there isn’t that much difference. A basic oak flooring in different stains runs around $3.50 to $4 per square foot, compared to lower-end engineered floors cost about $2.50 to $3 per square foot. Of course, other types of wood can cost double that.
For maintenance, you may want to think about harder woods and certain stains that hold up better over time. A polyurethane finish can show dings and scratches more. Oil finishes help hide floor wear and tear and often last longer, but may cost more. If you floor has a veneer it is limited in how many times it can be sanded down and refinished.
There are so many different kinds of woods and finishes. You will want to find one that fits your home, your furnishings, and your preferences. Look at the color, tone, knots and grain pattern, and plank width and length.
Now the decision about the stains and finishes.
Your stain will add color to the wood flooring and a layer of protection. Stain or finish can usually be applied to almost any wood. What finish you use will affect the final look and maintenance, so choose wisely from a lower-sheen matte finish to a semi-gloss finish. You can also look at pre-finished wood because it will save you the time and effort of finishing the floors. Engineered wood usually comes pre-finished.
Test the stain and finish on a sample in your room.
Don’t rely on a photo or small sample to see how the color and finish will look. You should always stain and finish a small section of the floor to see what it really looks like in your room.
Are you ready for a beautiful hardwood floor? We can help you figure out how to choose the right hardwood flooring for your home. Our flooring experts at JD Enterprise in Denver is a full-service wood flooring company we install, repair, stain, and sand as well as create unique designs. We can help you in all aspects of your flooring choices.