Navigation

Discount Flooring Blog

Mar 27, 2013
Category: General
Posted by: DiscountFlooring

Due to the numerous available flooring options and the functionality of each, it is often difficult to select the right material for your Chicago area home. Many homeowners choose to install hardwood flooring because it increases the home’s value, while providing a sophisticated, aesthetic quality to the interior space. With a wide selection of available hardwood flooring options, there is one likely suited for your style and taste.

Today’s Chicago area homeowners have a wide array of flooring options to select from that include laminate flooring and bamboo, along with engineered flooring and solid hardwoods that comes both pre-finished and on-site finished. Every homeowner can redesign their home’s interior decor with wood to offer a level of warmth and comfort in most any style.

 

Solid Hardwood Flooring

There are significant benefits to installing solid wood flooring in your Chicago home. Offering an impressive resistance to wear and tear, solid wood can be refinished every 10 to 20 years and lasts for well over a century of hard use. Solid wood flooring is available in both pre-finished and raw formats. The pre-finished flooring holds up extremely well due to its controlled-environment manufacturing, especially when compared to on-site finishes.

The warranty for pre-finished hardwood flooring is offered through the manufacturer and not the installer. There are significant advantages to both pre-finished (reduced installation costs, time and dust) and on-site finishes (more customized choices and up to 40% reduced cost). Solid wood flooring is not a good option for damp spaces including basements. Some manufacturers offer reclaimed solid wood planking that can provide an additional patina to the finished product when sealed.

Engineered Wood Flooring

Constructed with a thin veneer of real hardwood, or bamboo, glued over durable, structural plywood, engineered wood flooring can usually be refinished up to three times. It is considered the ideal choice for installing wood floors below grade, including basements and other damp environments. With a quick installation time, it is available in pre-finished, protective coated choices, and a variety of stain colors.

Engineered hardwood flooring can be installed in various ways in the Chicago area, including nailed or stapled into the substrate, much like solid hardwood. Additionally, it has the ability to be glued onto the substrate. Some brands of engineered wood are available with a “click and locked” option where each piece snaps in the place – eliminating the need for staples, glue or nails.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is not a true wood option, although it provides a simulated aesthetic appearance. Laminate flooring is actually a photograph of wood that is synthetically applied to its backing and then sealed for protection. As an inexpensive option to traditional solid or engineered wood flooring, laminate wood is highly resistant to moisture, damage, wear and tear, fading and scratches.

Offered in a huge array of simulated wood grain planks, laminate flooring is usually sold with an extensive warranty against damage, along with wear and tear. Usually manufactured with tongue and groove construction, most laminates typically snap together to create a floating unified piece that rests on padding over the substrate. With easy maintenance and a high level of fade and stain resistance, laminate is an affordable solution for Chicago area homes on a limited budget.

Bamboo Flooring

As one of the most durable, natural substances used in Chicago homes, bamboo flooring is made from a renewable resource that is extremely durable and resistant to water damage. As an eco-friendly alternative to traditional hardwood flooring, bamboo is actually a perennial grass that has the ability to grow significantly faster than other vegetation around the world.

In terms of dimensional stability, no other flooring is as durable or hard as bamboo. The product is far less likely to contract and expand in extreme environmental changes when compared to other hardwood flooring options. However, it still has high vulnerability to abrasives, liquids, humidity, heat and sunlight. As an environmentally friendly solution, bamboo is extremely attractive and durable when properly finished.

Considerations

Based on the interior design, and your specific style, it is imperative to consider the wood species before selecting hardwood flooring. With a wide assortment of varieties harvested around the world, each species has its own unique properties that can offer a contemporary or classic style to your home’s interior.

Other options to consider before selecting the right hardwood flooring for your Chicago home include determining whether it will be installed over a radiant heating system, concrete floor or in an area that experiences high humidity. The subfloor underneath hardwood flooring should maintain a temperature of 80°F or less, at all times. Flooring installed over concrete substrates or in areas that experience high humidity should be engineered flooring or laminate flooring installed over a vapor barrier covered substrate.

Taking the time to fully consider all of the best available flooring options in the Chicago area is critical to achieving the look you desire. Any professionally installed flooring option from a reputable manufacturer will increase the value of your home.

 

Mar 6, 2013
Category: General
Posted by: DiscountFlooring

Now that is time to install your new hardwood floor in your Naperville home, you will need to know what to expect during the preparation process. Once the entire floor has been fully prepared, the remaining process of finishing the floor decking should go smooth and efficiently, without producing any undesirable surprises. Through proper preparation, you, your family and your Naperville home will experience less stress.

 

The Preparation Process

 

Installing a new hardwood floor is all about the details and preparing it correctly. There are essential steps to floor preparation that include:

 

  • A Subfloor Inspection – You will need to determine that your subfloor is constructed with enough rigidity to handle the weight of a new hardwood floor. The substrate should be level or at least flat. The substrate must be an adequate material and not particleboard. Heavy-duty grooved plywood, or OSB (oriented strand board), works as a good substrate for a hardwood floor.

 

  • Installation of the Floor – There are four specific ways of installing a hardwood floor to the deck that include a nail down, stapled down, glue down, or a floating floor. Each option is unique and has its own characteristics that include:

 

  • Nail Down – A nail down floor is generally used with three-quarter inch solid wood planking. It requires 2-inch nail cleats that are hammered into the subfloor.

 

  • Stapled Down – Staples are often used to hold down a new hardwood floor. A pneumatic (air-powered) hammer requires 1 ½” inch to 2” staples that are shot into the underlayment subfloor.

 

  • Glue Down – Using the manufacturer’s recommended adhesive or mastic, a trowel is used to glue the new hardwood flooring to the underlayment subfloor. Many parquet floors and engineered wood flooring products are glued down.

 

  • Floating Floor – As a method to mechanically fasten the entire flooring system to itself, and not as a part of the subfloor, a floating floor installed over moisture-barrier padding is an effective solution to protecting against encroaching moisture, while reducing the transmission of noise.

 

If you have an existing Naperville home, you will need to consider exactly how to get rid of the old floor coverings, whether it is carpeting, hardwood floors, vinyl, linoleum or other materials. The existing baseboard will most likely need to be removed, and replaced with a new product. The doors, door jams, molding and casing will all need to be considered when installing a new hardwood floor.

Feb 18, 2013
Category: General
Posted by: DiscountFlooring

What Is Engineered Hardwood Flooring?


Manufactured with a solid core of hardwood, HDF (high-density fiberboard) or plywood, engineered flooring is fabricated in nearly every hardwood species. The product is engineered by adding a top layer of veneer of any variety of hardwood to provide flooring with the natural characteristics of wood with a greater stability against heat and moisture, over traditional hardwood floors made from a solid piece.

Engineered Hardwood Benefits

Many homeowners in the Wheaton area install engineered hardwood because of its durability when installed in basements, the main floor, or upstairs. Offering greater stability and versatility over a laminate or solid hardwood material, engineered hardwood flooring works well over various substrates including concrete subfloors, in basements or anywhere that dampness is a problem.

Engineered hardwood floors work well over radiant heat systems and will not buckle, cup or shrink like traditional solid hardwoods. They also work well in the kitchen and bathroom areas and are highly resistant to moisture. With the ability to install at grade level, above grade or below grade, engineered hardwood floors are for the best flooring options in Wheaton and the surrounding area.

 

The Layers

 

Constructing the engineered flooring in multiple layers provides greater stability against adverse conditions. Traditional solid hardwood flooring can easily split apart, swell, cup or warp. Alternatively, engineered hardwood flooring is often manufactured using multiple-plied planking. Some are constructed with up to seven layers. The top veneer hardwood layer is the same identical genuine hardwood as those constructed with solid planking.

Pre-Finished and Sanded

Typically, traditional solid hardwood flooring requires sanding, staining and sealing which can take days if not weeks to complete. Alternatively, numerous engineered flooring manufacturers pre-finish the top layer of each flooring piece. Already completely sanded, stained and finished (sealed) the floor can be used once it has been laid. Additionally, dings and scratches can be removed with limited sanding and refinishing. Contingent on the thickness of the top layer veneer, the floor can be sanded and refinished up to three times, over the course of its lifespan.

Installing engineered flooring in the Wheaton area can prove to be a valuable investment to homeowners. While the option of engineered flooring is more expensive than installing laminate, it is often less expensive than the cost of installing solid wood planking. It offers significantly better value to the home and can be installed as a nail-down floor, a glue-down floor, or one that floats over the existing substrate.

Feb 4, 2013
Category: General
Posted by: DiscountFlooring

Hardwood Flooring Options – Prefinished vs. Site Finished Floors


Many Naperville homeowners install hardwood floors that are already pre-finished with a factory-applied stain and polyurethane coating. These products offer significant benefits over traditional site-finished flooring that requires a substantial amount of installing, sanding and staining before the final protective polyurethane coating can be applied.

Ease of Installation

Bringing the flooring materials to the site completely pre-finished makes for easy installation in any Naperville home. The pre-finished flooring will not emit heavy chemical fumes, create messy dust, or require long drying times before the floor can be used and enjoyed.

A Better Finish

Having the ability to apply and dry the staining and polyurethane finishes in a controlled factory environment produces a higher quality hardwood floor. Numerous manufacturers will lay down up to seven layers of high performance aluminum oxide polyurethane finish coats and let them dry with ultraviolet lights as a way to maximize the curing process of the urethane coating. This process allows stronger color preservation and a more durable finish, as compared to on-site finished floors.

 

Off-Site Finishing

 

The natural, beautiful sheen of a pre-finished floor can only be achieved when the boards are cut, stained and sealed at the manufacturing plant. The listed benefits of the pre-finished floor include:

 

  • Consistency – Once flooring is manufactured in a controlled environment, there is more consistency to the overall quality of the staining and finish.

 

  • Easy Maintenance – With thicker layers of polyurethane coating, pre-finished floors offer easier maintenance than site-finished flooring.

 

  • No Odor – With the entire manufacturing process controlled off-site, there are no emitted odors into the Naperville home, during and after installation.

 

  • Quick Installation – Without the need to sand, stain and add a finish coat of polyurethane to the product, pre-finished flooring greatly minimizes any inconvenience to the Naperville homeowner.

 

  • No Drying Time – With no drying time involved on-site, a pre-finished floor can be utilized immediately once the quick installation process is complete.

 

  • Additional Warranties – Numerous pre-finished flooring manufacturers offer a warranty specifically guaranteeing the wear and tear of their product.

 

Site-Finished Floors

Hardwood floors that are site-finished require the installation of unfinished, raw tongue-and-groove planks. Heavy equipment will be utilized in the home to completely sand the flooring materials until the top layer is smooth. After removing the sawdust created by sanding, the floor will be stained and coated with a polyurethane finish. Drying time requires days before walking or moving furniture is allowed.

Pre-finished hardwood flooring is a great alternative solution to on-site finishing and one that can quickly transform any Naperville home. Available in a variety of textures, species and colors, pre-finished flooring can create a customized, unique look instantly.

 

 

 

Jan 31, 2013
Category: General
Posted by: DiscountFlooring

Why Naperville Area Homeowners Install Popular Eco-Friendly Floors

Installing green flooring, or eco-friendly floors, in the Naperville area can make a dramatic impact on the interior environment of the home along with its ability to be recycled, reused or reincorporated at the end of its lifespan. Many eco-friendly floors are built from natural and renewable materials or finished with biodegradable products. Many of these materials include:

  • Cork – The product is harvested from the cork oak tree bark typically found in the Mediterranean. The material is not harvested from trees that are felled, but instead, the renewable cork bark will completely grow back within 2 to 3 years.
  • Reclaimed Hardwood – Reclaimed wood and salvaged wood flooring make beautiful eco-friendly flooring options, and serve as a way to make responsible stewardship decisions that utilize reclaimed materials.
  • Bamboo – This highly durable, fully sustainable and renewable product reaches full maturity in less than five years, making it an ideal solution for a hard surface flooring option.
  • Wool Carpets – Fabricated from a natural resource, wool along with other natural materials including jute, cotton and sisal, make the ideal eco-friendly choice.
  • Linoleum – This product is not at all synthetic, but is manufactured from linseed oil, tree resins, wood flour, pigments, cork dust, and ground limestone.

 

Aside from the decision to install eco-friendly floors in a Naperville area home because it is good for the environment, many products will not emit harmful or toxic substances that could create damage to the health of household members, and the environment. Many products are manufactured or finished with no VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that are easily released into the interior’s environment.

Hypoallergenic

Many flooring products including bamboo and cork are constructed with green flooring materials that will not attract dander, pollen, dirt and dust, or any other harmful allergen. Hypoallergenic flooring materials will decrease the potential for allergic attacks or other serious respiratory issues that often arise with traditional floors installed in the Naperville area.

Biodegradable

Many types of green flooring are 100% recyclable, and can be reused or transformed into other products, at the end of its natural life cycle. Many green flooring products are easy to maintain and clean. Void of any formaldehyde resins, which can lead to nausea, breathing problems and throat burning sensations, green eco-friendly flooring is the ideal choice for individuals that struggle with respiratory issues.

Installing sustainable, beautiful and healthy hardwood flooring in your Naperville home is the ideal choice for every eco-conscious homeowner. With a large assortment of products from numerous manufacturers, the renewable, green flooring options offer versatility, longevity, uniqueness, and a strong return on investment.

Jan 30, 2013
Category: General
Posted by: DiscountFlooring

 

The Cost of Installing Hardwood Floors in Naperville area  Naperville and area homeowners have numerous options when selecting the best material in the installation of a new hardwood floor.

The choice of materials will have a dramatic impact on the cost of the hardwood floor you select.

With a little research, you can get a complete idea of how much each floor will cost when installed in your Naperville home.

Existing Floor Removal

There are specific factors to determine the total cost of installing a hardwood floor. The floor installation is just part of the process. Numerous factors are involved, which often include the removal costs of the existing floor (if applicable). Any tile flooring, wood flooring, carpeting, laminate, linoleum or vinyl flooring will most likely need to be removed, ripped up or thrown away.

Preparing the Floor

The contractor that will be installing the new hardwood flooring must fully prepare the substrate, or the subflooring below. The subfloor must be level before the installation process of the hardwood floor can commence. To bring the subfloor up to level might require an additional underlayment, which will add to the cost of the final product.

Installing the Hardwood Floor

The contractor that is installing a hardwood floor will usually charge per square foot for labor and materials. Additionally, they will add another 10% of material to the job calculated as waste. The additional materials are used to ensure there is enough wood flooring material available after cuts have been made to accommodate the size and shape of the room or rooms.

Pre-Finished or Site-Finished

One of the biggest factors in determining the cost of installing a hardwood floor in your Naperville home is if the project involves pre-finished material, or flooring that will be finished on-site. Pre-finished materials are more durable and stable, with significantly more layers of polyurethane protection.

The material is brought to the site completely finished, and needs only to be cut and installed in your Naperville home. Alternatively, on-site finished hardwood flooring requires substantial amounts of sanding and vacuuming, along with staining before multiple coats of polyurethane can be applied. Drying time is extensive, sometimes requiring days.

There is no drying time necessary in pre-finished materials.  In the end, a professional can offer a formula of determining exactly how much installing hardwood floors in your Naperville home will cost. Adding charm and warmth to your rooms, the installation of a wood floor can range from $8 – $14 per square foot, and even higher, based on the materials you select.

Contact Quality Discount Flooring today for your Free Estimate!