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Types Wood Finish Sheen

Buffed floors with gloss finish applied

There are 3 levels of hardwood floor finish sheens: Satin, Semi-gloss, Gloss (from least shiny to most shiny).

The sheen measures how shiny or glossy your floor’s finish is. Different people have different preferences. The luster level is determined by how much light is reflected off the floor from a 60 degree angle (consistent with how the floors are viewed while someone is standing on them).

The glossier you go, the more light reflects off the floors. This in turn, shows more dirt/dust as well as imperfections in the floor.

It’s important to realize that different hardwood species will produce different sheen levels. Natural wood color or patina, as well as differences caused by open vs closed pore woods will produce subtle variances in the sheen level. The sheen level chosen is more of an aesthetic choice and does not impact the durability of the finish.

Hardwood sheen finishes

Satin has around 40% luster
Satin finish has some sheen, but doesn’t look too glossy. It give the room both a classic and contemporary feel. Satin finish shows the scratches, imperfections and the dirt less. So, it’s easier to clean and maintain, and, it tends to look newer longer.

Semi gloss has around 55% luster
For those that prefer shinier finishes, this is a good option. It’s shinier but not as impractical as a glossy finish.

Gloss has about 70% luster
You typically see gloss finish used on gym floors and bowling alleys, and some of the exotic hardwood use this finish as well. A gloss finish tends to show every spec of dust, every dent and lots of footprints. These types of floors tend to need to be cleaned more often and often require more frequent sandings.

What if you don’t like the current finish on your hardwood floor?
The good news is that you can usually do a buff and recoat to change the sheen level of your floor. This is easiest to do if you have a solid hardwood floor that was finished on site (rather than prefinished in a factory). It’s the top level of poly that will give the wood it’s shine and luster. So, if you want to go from semi gloss to satin, or vice versa, this is usually a fairly easy process.

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Hardwood Floors In Bathroom

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One way of turning your bathroom into more of a relaxation place than one to complete daily task, is putting hardwood floors. There are many factors to consider, but when done right the finished product will have you in love.

Usually hardwood floors don’t mix with high humidity environments as they will absorb it and cause cycles of swelling and shrinking that eventually will lead to damage.  Even more so if you have small kids that will not care to cause spillage when taking a shower or bath.

With a few extra precautions, wood floors can perform as well in bathrooms as they do everywhere else. And unlike most other bathroom flooring choices, wood floors can be periodically refinished and resealed, increasing their practicality.

A few months ago we were hired todo new installation of hardwood floors in a bathroom that had new tile on it. The homeowners loved the idea of the warm floors and decided to go with Red Oak 10” wide planks in Ebony stain.

After removing the tile Albert found that the subfloor was completely rotten and needed to be replaced, you can see in the “before” picture the black rotten area near the bathtub.  So a two day job turned into a 3 day labor intensive job.  After replacing the subfloor and doing the installation, the crew made it a point to fill cracks between the boards with wood putty to prevent water from seeping in between or under the boards; they also applied a couple more layers of oil-based polyurethane than we normally would have. You can see the finished floor in the “after” picture. The homeowners couldn’t be happier with their new floors. We followed up with them and they claim the floors are still as beautiful as the first day.

Take the plunge, you won’t be disappointed!

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Adding Design To Your Hardwood Floors

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There’s a lot to consider when choosing hardwood floors like budget, lifestyle, climate, and sustainability, just to name a few. Another consideration? Design.

Hardwood floors come in a wide variety of species and colors, but did you know you can use them to add a design that reflects your personality in your home, too? Floors make up a big portion of most budgets, so when homeowners remember to incorporate hardwood flooring ideas into the design, the options are endless!

So how do you pick the best design for your hardwood floors? In addition to functionality, here are a few things to consider:

  • Think about the space the floor will occupy and select a design that will complement the overall feel.
  • Find the center of the space and make that the focal point of the design. This will also be the spot from which you lay out your furniture and rugs, too.
  • Create symmetry by keeping imagining a line down the center of the space and balancing the design elements of the two sides.
  • Consider adding a border as a visual boundary or bridge between rooms.
  • Think about whether the basic design of the room or home is small, medium or large when selecting the design for the hardwood floors.

So where should you begin? Start by thinking about the overall feel you image for your room or home.

  • For traditional styles, oak and ash are very popular. In terms of finish, rich colors like mahogany or honey hues would be worth exploring.
  • For modern or contemporary styles, many homeowners gravitate toward maple or exotic hardwoods. In terms of finish, a sleek, high gloss, dark stained floor might be the best fit for you.
  • For a cozy or rustic style, hickory or cherry hardwoods are common. In terms of finish, you might want to look at antiqued or hand-scraped hardwoods which come in a variety of colors.

If you prefer contrasts, then consider a dark finish on your floors with light furniture or vice versa. You can also try to match your floors to other elements in your room.

Here are a few of the basic patterns to be familiar with when exploring hardwood flooring ideas:

  • Parquetry is a decorative geometric mosaic of wood developed by the French in the late 1600s that’s still common today.
  • Marquetry is an Italian-based form, also from the 16th century, that creates a mosaic pattern using curved or free flowing forms.
  • Herringbone, a V-shaped pattern found in twill fabrics, is also a popular design pattern.
  • Additional patterns include basket weave, brickwork and trellis designs.

Feel free to call us  for more ideas, we’d love to help you come up with hardwood flooring ideas perfect for your home.

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Hardwood Floor Maintenance And Care

Taking good care of your hardwood floors will maintain its beauty for years to come, and with today’s advances in wood flooring stains and finishes, it has never been easier to protect your investment. In fact, following a few simple steps will ensure your hardwood floors will look new for a long time:

  • Use a microfiber dusting pad to sweep your floors regularly.
  • Wipe up spills immediately with a slightly damped towel.
  • We recommend Bona Swedish Hardwood Floor Cleaner, spray directly on the floor or the microfiber pad.
  • Don’t use any of the following products (or similar) on your floors: ammonia based cleaners, acrylic finishes, wax based products, detergents, bleach, polishes and oil soaps, abrasive cleaning soaps or acidic materials such as vinegar.
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