Hardwood Flooring—an Investment in Beauty and Style That Pays for Itself

Hardwoods have distinct character—the beauty of the different grains, the tonal qualities, and yes, sometimes the exquisite flaws that makes each piece of wood special. A key benefit is that hardwood is a “forever floor” so it won’t need to be replaced every 10 to 12 years like carpeting or vinyl. Hardwood floors also work in sync with carpet and tile, should you choose to carpet the bedroom or have ceramic tile in the bathroom.

Studies have shown that homeowners who choose to install hardwoods tend to reap rewards on that investment when it is time to sell the home.

While hardwood is usually installed in living rooms, entry ways, hallways, dining rooms, and kitchens, the Malkin’s Flooring professionals are also seeing hardwood installed in non-traditional areas such as bedrooms, powder rooms, or utility rooms—due to the versatility and many design options.

Current Hardwood Fashion-Forward Styles

In hardwood flooring, the latest fashion is to use very long and wide planks as they make your room look bigger. These large planks look modern, elegant, and sophisticated in any room in the home. It’s a classic look that will pass the test of time.

The hardwood finish “trends” always bounce back and forth between gloss and matte, so this is why we guide many of our customers to satin finishes. Satin finishes will never go out of style, so you can be sure you made a wise investment.
We are also noticing that many families are mixing wood types and colors—for example, using a light oak on the floor combined with darker maple for cabinets or a decorative floor border. We believe this a perfect blend and adds character to the home.

While hardwood is clearly a forever floor, you can still change the look of your room or space with an area rug. This way, should you decide to paint or remodel your kitchen or bedroom, you don’t need to invest in totally new flooring, just a couple of new accent area rugs. And Malkin’s can custom-design rugs to meet your exact specifications.

Differences Between Solid and Engineered Hardwood

You have a choice when it comes to hardwood flooring, but many homeowners and businesses are not aware of it. They assume all hardwood flooring is solid—and this not the case. Malkin’s offers three options.

Solid hardwood—This flooring is typically ¾-inch-thick and is created from a single wood type or species. Homeowners have many choices—from the basic birch and oak to the more-costly maple or the most expensive and exotic species like Brazilian Cherry or Tiger Wood. These are the “Cadillac” of wood flooring.

Since wood is a natural product, it does expand and contract with the seasons, temperature, and humidity. It also requires a higher level of care.

Engineered hardwood—This flooring features a top surface of the desired wood type, however the backer boards feature layers of different types of wood applied in different directions, providing more dimensional stability. This product is usually a bit thinner than solid hardwood—from 3/8-inches to 9/16-inches—so installers need to be aware of the difference.

The different wood species and construction greatly reduces the amount of expansion and contraction for homeowners who may want a more forgiving hardwood floor.

Longstrip plank woods—Longstrip is an engineered flooring that typically features locking edges and ends, for an easy and fast installation. Longstrip plank can be installed in virtually any room, as it is a floating floor. Note: a floating floor is not attached to the subfloor, which allows it to be more easily replaced and can also be installed on top of most existing flooring surfaces.

Solid Hardwood Floors Demand Proper Care and Controlled Humidity

The most important thing to understand when selecting a hardwood floor is that wood is a natural product and it expands and contracts with the temperature and humidity levels in your home. This is the main reason why you will see cracking in hardwood floors—the proper humidity level was not maintained.

When you make an investment in hardwood, the experts at Malkin’s suggest purchasing and running a humidifier in the winter, and a dehumidifier in summer, as well as working to control the humidity with air conditioning. Ideally, you want a humidity level between 40 to 55 percent, with the temperature around 68 to 70 degrees. If you are one of those individuals who resists turning on the air conditioner until late July or August, hardwood may not be the best choice for you.

Expert Hardwood Flooring Installation Creates Our Raving Fans

Optimum performance from a hardwood floor comes down to proper installation and ongoing maintenance. The professionals at Malkin’s provide expert installation—whether you choose solid, engineered, or longstrip flooring. Our installers are trained to understand the specific techniques required for each installation, so you can be sure the job is performed correctly.

We also provide a one-year installation guarantee, which is very rare in this business. We are so certain you will be thrilled with your hard floor installation, that should anything go awry, we will come back and fix it, free of charge.

Diligent Hardwood Care and Maintenance Protects Your Floors

Fortunately for homeowners, maintaining hardwood is easier than it used to be, due to technological advances in the building of hardwood planks and improved finishing techniques. Here are a few common-sense tips for cleaning and general maintenance:

  • Hardwood floors and water don’t mix! When it gets wet, dry immediately using a soft, absorbent cotton cloth to absorb spills or any excess water.
  • Use a dry mop or sweeper to pick up dust and do this cleaning on a daily basis, if possible.
  • For more thorough cleaning, use a hard surface cleaning kit. Spray clean a small section and wipe immediately. Do not let the cleaner sit on the floor.
  • Do not use ammonia on your hardwood floors. In fact, don’t use any cleaner that is not specifically used by the manufacturer.
  • Install protector pads on all your furniture.
  • If you have pets, remember to trim their nails regularly.
  • Avoid walking on your wood floors with high heels—they can exert a tremendous amount of pressure and may leave dents.
  • Use a humidifier in winter to avoid excessive expansion and shrinkage of the wood.
  • Keep the doors and windows closed during the summer and run your air conditioner, along with a dehumidifier, to avoid excess humidity.
  • Use directional blinds to help prevent UV rays from changing the floor’s color.
  • If you use area rugs, move them on a regular basis to prevent normal discoloration, as that area of the floor has been protected from the sun.

Famous Hardwood Brands We Carry

Bamboo Hardwoods
Bella Cera
L.W. Mountain

Let Us Create a Raving Fan Out of You

Malkin’s offers such a wide selection of hardwood flooring colors, styles, and types, we know it can be difficult to decide which option is best. While the Internet can provide plenty of design inspiration, let the hardwood specialists at Malkin’s help you choose the ideal floor for to meet your lifestyle, tastes, and color scheme.

Stop in soon and tell us your flooring dreams—we will make them come true!

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