Things to Consider When Choosing the Hardwood Flooring

Category : Flooring

Hardwood Flooring

Things to Consider When Choosing the Hardwood Flooring

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Hardwood is a beautiful flooring option with a variety of species, colours, widths, and finishes. If you are thinking about hardwood for your home there are a few things to consider to make sure you choose the right type for your family and lifestyle.

1. Solid vs. Engineered

Solid hardwood is just as it sounds, a solid plank of wood through and through. Typically, solid hardwood is ¾” thick and comes in widths up to 5”. In Alberta’s dry climate, when going wider than 3½ inches wide it is advised to go with an engineered product that is more structurally stable. A couple of advantages of solid hardwood include the durability and ability to be refinished multiple times. The main disadvantage of solid hardwood is that it is less dimensionally stable than engineered hardwood and is more susceptible to humidity causing it to expand with high moisture levels and shrink with low levels of humidity. Finally, solid products can only be installed above grade (not in basements), should not be installed in high moisture areas like bathrooms, must be nailed or stapled not floated, and cannot be used in areas with in-floor heat.

Also, Check- https://riverbendinteriors.com/flooring/5-reasons-choose-luxury-vinyl-plank-flooring/

Engineered hardwood has a real hardwood veneer with a cross-layered core of plywood creating a more stable product than solid hardwood. Engineered hardwood is available in different thicknesses up to ¾” and widths ranging from 3” to 9”, however products wider than 6” require a more specialized and costly installation such as glue assist. Unlike solid hardwood, engineered hardwood can be installed below grade, over radiant heat (most species), and can be stapled, nailed, glued or floated. Not all engineered hardwoods are manufactured equally and some inexpensive options are more likely to have issues such as delaminating and checking.

2. Humidity and Temperature

Hardwood is susceptible to changes in humidity and temperature in your home causing it to expand and contract. Alberta is very dry and experiences temperatures from -40°C during the winter and +30°C during the summer. Engineered hardwood is designed to mediate the expansion and contraction of the wood when there are fluctuations in humidity and temperature, however, it is still important to maintain a temperature of 18°-24°C and humidity at 35-55% at all times. It is also important to acclimate your hardwood to your home’s environment prior to installation. Excessive heat or dryness can cause boards to gap or split while excessive humidity can cause cupping. Damage resulting from humidity or temperature will not be covered under your hardwood warranty.

3. Sheen and Colour

When selecting hardwood the sheen level is also something to consider. It used to be that hardwood always had a glossy finish, however, new introductions come in semi-gloss, matte, and brushed finishes. Glossy and semi-gloss finishes have the most sheen and reflect the lightest while matte and brushed finishes have little to no sheen and light reflection. Glossy and semi-gloss hardwood tends to show minor scratches and wear more readily while matte and brushed hardwood helps hide the wear and tear of a busy household.

Whether solid or engineered, hardwood is available in a multitude of colours. Dark hardwood can create a cozy ambiance in medium to large areas, however, in smaller spaces it can make a room appear smaller. Dark stains also show foot traffic, scratches and dirt more readily causing many homeowners to opt for a medium, light or natural stain. Medium stains help to bring out the natural grain of the wood while lighter stains can make space appear larger. A natural finished hardwood is just a clear stain and allows the beauty of the wood to really show through.

4. Wood Species

Each species of wood has its own colour tone, grain pattern, hardness, and physical properties. Domestic hardwood such as Red Oak, White Oak, Hickory, and Maple tend to have a lighter colour tone unless stained, while woods like Walnut or Acacia have a naturally darker colour.

Colour variation and grain patterns can be quite strong as with Red Oak, Hickory and Acacia, moderate as with White Oak and Walnut, or very clean as with Maple. Depending on the look you are going for, stronger grains and colour variation tend to be busier especially in narrower boards while cleaner grains and less colour variation are more uniform.

Walnut is a relatively soft hardwood that is less susceptible to changes in humidity but is more likely to dent. Red Oak is the benchmark for hardness and performs very well in Alberta’s dry climate. White Oak is similar to Red Oak but is harder and is also a stable and durable choice. Harder than White Oak, Maple is another durable option that resists scratches and dents but can shrink and expand with changes in humidity. Hickory and Acacia are hardier species and are more sensitive to low levels of humidity which can result in shrinking and even cracking of the boards.

Conclusion

It’s important to know that cost is always a factor and the hardwood flooring industry has had an influx of inexpensive choices. Unfortunately, these less expensive hardwood options have resulted in poor quality and disappointed homeowners. Dealing with a company that is knowledgeable, committed to quality, environmental responsibility, and fair pricing will ensure that your floor not only looks beautiful but performs for years to come.

Carpet for Your Home

How to Choose the Right Carpet for Your Home

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Your flooring says a lot about your home and choosing the right carpet can be tricky. Carpet is still the warmest, quietest and has the most toe appeal in bedrooms and basements and is the safest option for stairs. There are several things to consider when looking at the carpet, such as the type of fibre used to construct, the resistance to stains and soil, and the style and colour of the carpet. Riverbend Interiors Floors & Decor has the knowledge and experience to help you pick out the ideal carpet for your space.

Carpet Fibres

Depending on your lifestyle, if you have pets and/or children, or if you have a lot of foot traffic/visitors in your home, the type of fibre used to manufacture carpet is an important consideration. Always make sure you are comparing apples to apples when looking at the performance and price of any carpet. For example, a high-quality polyester carpet may perform better than low-quality nylon and high-quality nylon may perform better than low-quality wool.

Nylon

Nylon is one of the longest wearing fibres used to manufacture today’s carpets and is a great option for busy families and homes with pets. The molecular structure of Nylon offers resiliency in high traffic areas that allows the fibres to bounce back and resists compaction or “trafficking” in areas such as hallways and stairs. While not as naturally stain-resistant as a polyester carpet, most carpets on the market today are treated to protect from stains. If you are looking for a carpet to perform well over time, Nylon is the fibre of choice.

Polyester

Polyester can be a more economical choice if you are working on a tighter budget and works well in homes with less foot traffic. Some polyester carpets are manufactured from recycled plastics such as pop bottles and therefore offer an environmental advantage. Polyester carpet’s greatest attributes are in its softness and stain resistance. Overall, polyester does not tend to perform as well as nylon or wool.

Wool

Wool is a natural fibre that is renewable and sustainable and is often chosen as an investment in your home. Its greatest properties are that it is fire retardant, naturally, soil-resistant (microscopic scales of a wool fibre help prevent dirt from getting embedded in the carpet) and is resilient to foot traffic. Wool is also highly absorbent which can make it more prone to staining but can also help control humidity levels within the home. There also wool blends available that offer the benefits of wool with the stain resistance of polyester.

Stain and Soil Resistance

Staining occurs when a spill is absorbed into the fibre where there are voids in the dye of the carpet and causes a discoloration of the carpet. This is most common in carpets that are dyed after production. Solution-dyed carpets that are coloured prior to manufacturing are not as prone to staining as there are no voids in the colour of the fibre. Soiling, on the other hand, results from particles sticking to residues (such as cleaning products, oils or spills) and causing a build-up which makes your carpet look dirty over time.

Polyester is the most stain resistant fibre on the market as it is hydrophobic and does not allow spills to absorb into the fibre. Nylon and wool are more absorbent than polyester which can make them more prone to staining, however, most carpets are treated during manufacturing to protect from stains. Regardless of the type of carpet, it is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s care and maintenance instructions regarding vacuuming, steam cleaning and stain removal.

Carpet Style and Colour

The style of carpet you choose should reflect not just your design tastes but also how you live in your home. The style and colour play a large part in the longevity of your carpet. Make sure you take a few samples home to see how they look in your space.

Loop Pile

Loop pile carpet, often referred to as Berber, is constructed by forming loops with the fibre and securing to the backing of the carpet. Loop pile carpets are a durable option as they are structurally less susceptible to trafficking and allow easier clean up of spills. If vacuum cleaner marks drive you crazy, Berber carpet is your best option. The main concern with loop construction is the possibility of a loop being pulled by dragging furniture or from pets. Berber style carpets are also not as soft underfoot as a cut pile or cut and loop construction.

Cut Pile

Cut pile carpets are constructed as a loop style but the loops are cut off to achieve a different look and feel. Cut pile is softest underfoot and is still the most popular style of carpet. Depending on the length, density, and twist of the fibres a cut pile carpet will generally show foot traffic more readily as the fibres lay down when walked on. A short, dense and tight twist cut pile will wear better than a loose shag style carpet.

Cut and Loop

Cut and loop carpeting is a blend of the two styles and can create beautiful geometric or abstract patterns. This type of carpet provides the durability of a loop and softness of a cut pile while offering a more unique appearance. The greatest drawback of the cut and loop is that the fibres wear differently, and the cut pile can obscure the pattern making it look worn in high traffic areas.

Colour

Colour is important in achieving the right look within your home but there are a few things to think about. Your carpet colour should “play nicely” with other elements in the home such as millwork (railings, casings and baseboards) furniture and paint colour. A lighter colour carpet can make a room appear larger but also shows staining and soiling more readily; A dark carpet hides staining but shows lint and dust in between vacuuming. Carpet doesn’t have to be a solid colour either, many new styles are available in a fleck which incorporates two or more colours. Flecks can add visual interest and are good at hiding lint and dust.

Conclusion

Carpet is an element of your home that is not easily changed. The most important point is to make sure the carpet you choose is suitable for your family’s needs and lifestyle. Finally, every carpet comes with a manufacturers warranty and care and maintenance instructions, make sure to review and follow this information to maintain your warranty and enjoy your carpet for years to come.

5 Reasons to Choose Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

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With so many flooring options and information available, it’s hard to decide what’s right for your space. Whether you’re building a new home, renovating your existing home, or developing commercial space, Riverbend Interiors Floors & Décor has the selection and expertise to help you choose the floor that’s right for you.

One of the greatest innovations in flooring in the last five years is luxury vinyl plank flooring. Vinyl flooring offers the appearance of hardwood or tile without its cost and maintenance. Luxury vinyl is available in a “drop” type product or a “click” option. It will not expand and contract like hardwood and stands up to heavy traffic spaces. Luxury vinyl plank is waterproof, easy to install, durable and repairable. The wide pattern selections allow you to install it almost anywhere.

1. Waterproof

Vinyl plank and tile are manufactured with a vinyl or plastic core, often reinforced with a fibreglass layer for increased stability, and is not susceptible to water. Vinyl flooring can be installed in kitchens, bathrooms, and mudrooms, as well as front and back entryways. You no longer need to worry about water damage from appliances and plumbing fixtures, or wet traffic coming in and out. For busy homes with pets and kids, this is the ideal floor for you.

2. Easy Installation

Whether you choose professional installation or to Do-It-Yourself, vinyl plank and tile are designed to be installed over any flat and dry surface including concrete, tile, linoleum, hardwood or plywood. Installation doesn’t require any fancy tools. With minimal floor preparation, vinyl plank and tile are easy, and less costly, to install yourself. Of course, you can choose to have it installed by our qualified team of professionals. If you install it yourself, our team makes sure you have everything you need to succeed.

3. Durable and Repairable

Featuring poly-urethane UV coated wear layers rated for commercial use, vinyl plank flooring is one of the toughest products on the market. Let’s face it, kids and pets are hard on your home. Dropped toys, birthday parties, spilled juice, excited puppy moments, and heavy traffic all take their toll. Vinyl plank is designed to resist damage and is easy to clean and care for, giving you peace of mind to enjoy your home without worry. One of the best features of this product is that if you do happen to damage a plank, it can be easily removed and replaced with a new plank.

4. Versatile

The stable core construction of vinyl plank flooring will not expand and contract like hardwood or laminate. It is a great choice for your cabin, sunroom, and travel trailer. The superior stability of vinyl plank also eliminates the need for transitions pieces, allowing a seamless passage from room to room. Multiple textures and finishing options make it a good option for stairs and can be customized into stair nosing, for a higher-end look.

5. Selection

This kind of flooring comes in a huge selection of patterns, colours, widths, and textures. This allows you to achieve the optimal design for any space. Digital graphics and embossing technology of vinyl plank add a range of textures designed to replicate the look of real wood or stone. Whether you are after a modern contemporary look, classic traditional, or a rustic, country aesthetic, Riverbend Interiors has the options to make your dream flooring a reality.

Riverbend Interiors Floors & Décor has selection, expertise and professional installers to make your renovation project go smoothly. Make your home the home of your dreams. Go ahead with your Do-It-Yourself projects, or have your flooring professionally installed. Riverbend Interiors provides free detailed estimates and offers a price match guarantee, so you can feel confident you’re getting the best value. With quality flooring options in all price ranges, you can complete your project on time and on budget.

Our shop local guarantee means we will match any competitor’s price on identical products.  If we don’t have the products you’re looking for we’ll gladly search the market for it.  With over 25 years of experience in the industry, we’ll also be glad to explain how you get what you pay for with quality products and installations.

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