Caring for Hardwood Floors

One of the most common questions we get from customers is how to care for their hardwood floors. Whether you’re looking at engineered or the more traditional solid variety, hardwood planks are a stylish addition to any home (learn more about selecting which type of hardwood works best for you here). Understandably, with the effort that goes into choosing the right brand, fit, and grain for your home, people want to make sure they’re equipped to take care of their new investment long term. Here are Ashley Fine Floors top tips for maintaining your hardwood floors!

Know what your finish is and clean accordingly

This is one of the first elements you’ll want to take into consideration before you clean. While all types of planks share common aspects, your finish can have a significant impact on what kinds of cleaning materials you should and shouldn’t use. Most new models have a polyurethane, urethane, or polyacrylic coating. These types of finishes are water and stain resistant, making them a little more durable, as well as water/stain resistant. If you have a shellac, lacquer, or varnish finish, however, you’ll need to exercise more caution to avoid eroding your finish or causing damage. Always do your homework ahead of time to avoid and unfortunate mishaps!

Be prepared to do a light clean often

Hardwood floors are easy to keep spotless, but a big part of maintaining the quality of your planks is consistent upkeep. Doing a gentle sweep with a microfibre mop will pick up dirt before it accumulates and saves you time in the long run. It’s also a good idea to do a once over with your vacuum (using a flooring friendly attachment) and quick mop weekly if you have the time.

Deep cleaning

Despite your best efforts, it’s inevitable that you’re going to have to do a more involved “cleanse” every once in a while. If you’ve kept on top of overall dirt and grimed build up, this should be easy, but there’s still a few pointers you’ll want to bear in mind. First and foremost, avoid any harsh chemicals or cleaning utensils that may damage your planks by eating through your finish or scratching the surface. Ideally, using a warm, lightly moistened microfiber cloth should help, but if you find that you need to use a cleaning agent, be sure to dilute the solution first. Spot clean any problem areas or stains, and always make sure you do your best wipe off any excess moisture to avoid the potential for warping or mould growth.

Hardwood floors are one of the number one ways to add value to your home. By following these tips, you should be able to keep them looking their best for the future. To learn more about these or other types of flooring, give us a call today!


​Hardwood Floor Installation: A Timeless Enhancement to Your Home

With renovation season just around the corner, many homeowners are beginning to plan upcoming projects and find themselves seeking information on both products and professional service providers. Replacing the flooring in your home can seem a particularly daunting task without the proper resources. We at Ashley Fine Floors would like to assist you in your search by providing some basic information explaining the difference between hardwood types, and how you can best decide which is suited for the space you have in mind.

Why Choose Hardwood

While it’s fair to say that there’s no shortage of options when it comes to flooring variety, hardwood installation remains a classic and elegant way to compliment your home’s natural aesthetic. Not only is it a stunning visual piece, but the practical nature of its durability and versatility make hardwood a smart addition to almost every home. Whether you’re considering replacing outdated carpeting, choosing the finishing touches of a new build, or looking for the best option to add resell value to your property, homeowners can easily find an option that suits their needs.

Among the various benefits of hardwood installation is the ease of placement, high quality looks and results, quick cleaning methods, as well as convenience for those with allergies. We take pride in making the process as easy as possible for customers. With our top notch contractors, the installation process is a breeze. Our consultants will help you narrow down choices to select the right fit for your home, then we’ll help you prepare for installation by giving you all the information to make sure you’re prepped for the big day.

Once in place, your new floor will be long lasting and easy to maintain. For those looking to eliminate time spent cleaning, this can be a huge a plus. Dusting can easily be done with microfibre cloths, a floor brush attachment on your vacuum, or even with electrostatic clothes available at the dollar store. For more in depth cleaning to remove build up, simply wipe the surface with a soft clean cloth (never use anything with an abrasive quality to avoid scuffing), lightly damp to the touch. Be sure to wipe away any excess water, and you’re good to go!

Ease of cleaning means that bacteria and dander build up is significantly reduced, making hardwood an excellent choice for those sensitive to environmental allergens. While we do recommend that those with pets be careful in their selection (surfaces can be subject to some wear and tear from constant contact with nails), cleaning up hair or muddy tracks is much faster in comparison to other surfaces.

Selecting the Right Hardwood for Your Home

With all of this in mind, the question often comes down to what kind of hardwood works best for a customer’s needs. Solid hardwood is a standard favourite, with long lasting durability and the ability to sand when a refinish is needed. Solid hardwood is best suited for main floor purposes (as it is more sensitive to heat and moisture), and comes in a variety of different wood options ranging from maple to parquet.

For those looking for flooring options for a basement, kitchen or bathroom installation, engineered hardwood provides a moisture resistant element that makes it easy to have the same elegant finish on any level of your home The ability to be placed over radiant heating makes it easy for your home to stay stylish and warm during colder months. Application over poured concrete finishes in the basement is possible, making it easy for your media centre, entertaining area or private escape to become a finished reality. Like solid hardwood, engineered hardwood comes in a variety of different wood options.

No matter what your job entails, Ashley Fine Floors has a hardwood option for you and is ready to help you get started with peace of mind. Contact us now to connect with either our Edmonton or Calgary locations, and to start planning your dream project today!


How to Get Your Spring Cleaning Started

Spring is that time of the year when the weather starts to get warm, the birds begin to sing, and you start to notice that your house is extremely cluttered. It can be a pain to even think about how to begin cleaning your home, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult task. If you are able to plan your spring cleaning before you start, it’s going to be much more organized and a lot less time-consuming.

If you have a hard time getting started on cleaning your home, here are some tips and tricks for getting the job done.

Make a list
Before you start your spring cleaning, it is important to figure out exactly what it is you want to do. Make a list of all of the important and neglected areas of your home that need a good scrubbing or decluttering. Maybe you need to purge some of your clothing (to make room for more, of course), or maybe you want to finally clean the gunk and dust off of your window sills. No matter the task, making a list of your chores is an easy way to keep track of what you want to do and what you’ve already done. Plus, it always feels great to cross a task off of your list!

Don’t end up anti-purging
When we decide we’re going to get rid of clutter and old things we may not necessarily need anymore, we go in with a strong motivation and a will to purge many of the items we no longer deem worthy for our home. However, when the time actually comes to start getting rid of things, we often find ourselves keeping almost everything. We somehow are able to find a use for that pen you got from the dentist five years ago, even though it no longer works. It’s a strange urge to want to keep useless things, but it happens. When you make a plan to purge, resist the urge to run the other way.

Bring a buddy
When you need to get rid of old things or clean up your space, recruit a buddy to help you. You can repay them with pizza and other tasty treats for their service. A friend can help you take that extra leap to get rid of things you no longer need (if worse comes to worse, they can literally pry it from your hands). They can tell you if a particular shirt no longer looks good on you. It’s extremely helpful.

When you need to get spring cleaning, the only way to get it done is to buckle down and make a solid plan. Make sure you go in prepared in order to achieve success. Your home will be clean and back to normal in no time!

Now that your home is nice and clean, you’re probably thinking about a fresh start! Why not start with new flooring? Ashley Fine Floors has the selection and service you need to affordably upgrade your flooring in Edmonton and Calgary. Contact us now!


How to Properly Clean Hardwood Floors | Edmonton & Calgary

 

Hardwood floors are some of the most beautiful and natural enhancements we can have in our homes, and they require maintenance to keep them looking their best. This maintenance starts with proper cleaning. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to safety clean this valuable type of flooring.

Please note that there is a great variety of hardwood flooring available and each comes with manufacturer’s instructions on proper care and maintenance. This guide is for general use only and does not replace the cleaning and care manual provided by the manufacturer.

  1. Start with a Sweep

The first and most important thing to do when you are cleaning hardwood floors is to start with a solid sweep. Taking a soft bristle broom to your hardwood floors will get rid of the bigger dirt particles and other things that can get in the way of the later steps.  Vacuuming with a soft brush, but without the roller brush that’s designed for carpets, can make this quick work, but a traditional broom and dustpan will do just as good a job.

  1. Mop Up Remaining Dust

Once the sweeping is finished and all those larger pieces are gone, it’s time to focus on the tiny dust particles and pieces that sweeping leaves behind. The best way to clean up this dust is with a mop, water, and some cleaner. Combine the cleaner and water in a bucket as per the instructions, and soak up the concoction with a mop. Be sure to wring out the mop as much as possible before wiping the floor, a technique that’s sometimes referred to as “dry mopping.” Be sure to get into all the corners and crevices possible, and take care not to step where you’ve mopped, since that will leave noticeable marks.

  1. Use Some Elbow Grease

The above two steps will get rid of almost all the usual dirt and dust that accumulates on hardwood floors, but sometimes a deep cleaning is necessary. Hardwood has a tendency to attract grime, oil, and other tough-to-clean substances that the sweeping and mopping simply can’t clean up effectively. That’s where some good, old fashioned scrubbing comes in handy. Get some specialty hardwood cleaner, read the instructions, and don’t be afraid to get on your hands and knees to scrub out those tough spots. Be careful to use only soft cloths, no rough brushes, since you can scrub off the protective varnish on your hardwood and expose it to further damage. Be sure to rinse off the cleaner with some clean water after you’ve finished and don’t leave a pool of water on the floor.

It’s best to avoid hardened substances like dried ketchup on your flooring by wiping up spills as soon as they happen. If you don’t, you risk scratching and discoloring your floors.

Once your hardwood floor is clean, it’s important to practice regular maintenance to keep it looking its best. This includes having professionals varnish your floors every few years, and using preventative maintenance tactics, like placing rugs in traffic-heavy areas and monitoring the humidity in the room.

Contact Us for more information on our Hardwood flooring in Edmonton or Calgary.


Things to Consider when Choosing New Flooring

When it comes to flooring, there are a lot of different factors to consider, from where it’s going to what it’s made of. Choosing the right flooring can be a daunting experience, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, flooring can be a fun and exciting experience, one where you can create a whole new feel for a space and make an investment into your future. If you’re looking for new flooring, here are some tips to help make the decision-making process much easier.

  1. Set a Budget

The first thing anyone needs to do is set a budget. You do this before you’ve looked at different flooring types, before you’ve priced out installers, maybe even before you’ve decided you need new flooring. Without a carefully planned budget, your flooring experience can, and most likely will, go off the rails. The reason being that flooring can get very expensive very quickly, so it’s important to know your financial limits. Be realistic with your budget and available funds before you head out looking at new floors. That way, you can be happy with the final product without worrying about your financial future.

  1. Think About the Space

Different flooring works best in different spaces, and different spaces have different demands on your flooring. A kitchen, for example, needs to be durable and easy-to-clean because it’s a place with lots of messes and lots of traffic. Bathrooms need to be waterproof and tactile because the floors experience a lot of water and a lot of people stepping onto those same wet floors. When looking at flooring, it’s important to balance the right look with the needs of the space, and never compromise on the practical in favour of an aesthetic choice. The best flooring for you will balance both, and it’s sure to be around if you’re willing to have patience and take the time to look.

  1. Get the Right Look

While aesthetics aren’t as important as practical qualities, that doesn’t mean your floors can’t look good. When you’re hunting around for new flooring, be sure to think about what you want the space to look like, either as it is or with future renovation projects in mind. A beautiful white carpet may match your furniture now, for example, but if you’re getting a new couch, it’s best to think about what carpet will look best. The same goes for kitchen flooring and appliances, and bedrooms and bedroom sets. Finding something that’s complementary and beautiful will be a fun way to think about how your space looks, now and into the future.

When it comes to floors, there’s a lot of things to consider, but that doesn’t mean the experience has to be overwhelming. Be sure to think about your budget first, then your practical needs. Finally, be sure to get something that looks great. It may seem like a balancing act, but our flooring experts at Ashley Fine Floors can help you pick the perfect flooring for your budget and vision.