Traditional Hardwood Vs Engineered: What You Need To Know

Hardwood floors are often seen as the ultimate luxury by homeowners looking to elevate their space and add value to their property. Fully of timeless elegance and style, hardwood flooring give your home an undeniable flair and serves as a worthwhile investment. If you’re considering adding hardwood to your space, check out a few basic facts below.

Engineered Vs. Traditional

An important aspect you’ll want to keep in mind as you begin your search for the best fit for your home is that there are two kinds of planks available: solid (or traditional) and engineered. While both look stunning, there are slight differences you should be aware of.

Solid Hardwood is crafted from a single piece of wood and thicker than its engineered counterpart. This thickness helps allow for resanding over the years, which keeps the planks looking fresh and eliminates minor wear and tear. Solid hardwood is fairly durable, but is particularly vulnerable to water damage, scratches, and shrinking and expanding due to humidity exposure.

Engineered Hardwood is comprised of several layers of high-quality plywood that are fused together, then coated with a hardwood veneer. The finished product is slightly thinner than traditional planks and only allows for planks to be renamed a few times. Contrastingly, engineered hardwood is less susceptible to humidity fluctuations and has more flexibility when it comes to where it can be placed in the home, including over concrete or radiant heating.

Which Works Best?

When it comes to deciding on any flooring materials, it’s always best to keep the unique needs of your space in mind. Depending on the area you’re looking to finish, there are a wide variety of factors to consider, including:

  • Purpose of the space
  • Environmental challenges
  • Exposure to moisture and humidity
  • Potential external damaging factors

It’s also important to bear in mind that while solid hardwood may be more expensive upfront, the ability to resand multiple times will grant extra longevity, whereas engineered hardwood may allow you to outfit more rooms in your home.

Have more questions about Hardwood? Ashley Fine Floors is your first choice team of flooring experts in the Capital region. Contact our team today to learn more.


Six Hardwood Flooring Issues You Need To Keep An Eye Out For

Hardwood floors are a stunning and classic addition to any house. Full of natural warmth and charm, hardwood can help elevate your space with a timeless elegance that’s sure to create the perfect sense of home! Knowing how to care for your floors will help extend the life of your planks and ensure they look fresh for the years to come. It’s also important to be aware of issues that may arise over time or with improper installation. Below are six common issues to keep an eye for.

1. Abnormal Gaps

While all hardwood planks will have some degree of spacing between them, gaps that are too large, or even too small, can cause significant problems over time. Being spaced too far apart may leave your planks susceptible to water damage, whereas planks that are too close to one another may lead to warping or cracking. If you believe your flooring has inconsistent gaps, you should have it evaluated as soon as possible.

2. Cupping/Warping

Typically caused by water damage or prolonged exposure to moisture, cupping and warping refers to the slight sag or contortion of your planks. This is a particularly serious issue, because left untreated, the damage may be irreversible and even allow dangerous mould to develop.

3. Buckling

When wood flooring because moist, or are placed in a way that does not accommodate the natural shrinking and expanding of planks during the seasons, buckling can occur. Buckling can cause serious damage to your flooring if left unchecked, and should be evaluated early on.

4. Peeling Finish

Over time, you may find that the finish of your floors begins wear away and peel. To fix this issue, sanding and refinishing may be your best option.

5. Excessive Signs Of Wear

Without proper care, your hardwood can show progressive signs of age that leave it vulnerable to further damage. Scuffs, dents, chips and more should be kept in check and effort should be made to prevent abrasion from occurring in the first place.

6. Stains

There are typically two types of stains that can occur on wood surfaces: those that rest on top of the floor finish and that can be removed with a gentle cleanser, and those that have moved deep enough that they require sanding to eliminate. Stay on top of dirt and grim build up, as well as mopping up any spills to reduce your risks of stains.

Want to learn more about caring for hardwood floors or integrating them into your home? Contact our team in Edmonton today!


​Discover Your Perfect Hardwood Floor Solution

If you’re looking to add elegance and charm to your home, hardwood flooring is the ultimate luxury when it comes to style. Refined and timeless, hardwood can transform the overall look, feel, and aesthetic of your space instantly. If you’re considering adding hardwood to your home, and are wondering what the difference between different kinds are, the team at Ashley Fine Floors is here to help! Learn more about the difference between engineered and traditional hardwood, as well as a few basic care tips below!

To Follow Tradition Or Try Something New

One of the most common questions homeowners have when they begin to delve into the world of hardwood is the difference between traditional and engineered hardwood.

As the name suggests, Traditional Hardwood is crafted from a single plank of wood, and designed to be thick enough to allow for multiple re-sandings over decades. Solid hardwood is durable, but can be vulnerable to scratches as well as shrinking and expanding due to humidity exposure.

Engineered Hardwood is made from several layers of melted plywood that are coated with a hardwood veneer. The planks are slightly thinner than solid hardwood and therefore can only be sanded a few times, but are less susceptible to humidity fluctuations. Engineered hardwood can also be placed in areas where traditional hardwood is ill-suited, such as over concrete foundations or radiant heating.

When it comes to making your decision, it’s important to consider your overall budget (engineered hardwood is sometimes slightly cheaper), how long you would like your floors to last before the need to be sanded or replaced, and if you would like more peace of mind where moisture is concerned.

General Care

In terms of overall maintenance, hardwood does tend to require a little more care and awareness than other materials to keep its lustre. That being said, with some foresight you can easily settle into a routine that makes it simple to stay on top of cleaning. A few basic rules to keep in mind are:

  • Be cautious of anything that may lead to scratches: heavy furniture being moved, walking in high heels, and a build up of dirt and debris.
  • Clean spills and liquids immediately
  • Shelter your floors from prolonged exposure to direct sunlight or heat
  • Be diligent with any cleaners you use. Always make sure they are hardwood approved!

With the right guidance and planning, hardwood floors can be the perfect addition to any home. Learn more about hardwood and what best suits your space by contacting Ashley Fine Floors today!


Your Timeline for Flawless Hardwood Floor Care

Hardwood floors are a beautiful statement piece that can add style, elegance, and value to your home. With the proper care, hardwood can last for quite a while, giving you plenty of opportunity to enjoy their lustre. Learn how to maximize the life of your floors with our timeline of maintenance and TLC below!

Start Off On The Right Foot

Regardless of whether you choose engineered hardwood flooring or traditional hardwood, installing flooring is an investment. Give your planks the best chance for a long life by planning ahead from day one. Factors you’ll want to keep in mind, as well as best practices include:

  • Consider installing hardwood in rooms that do not receive direct sunlight for the majority of the day (which can discolour and warp your planks over time), or adding in curtains to provide some shelter.
  • Use caution when moving furniture. If possible, add felt protectors to the legs of your couches, chairs, tables, and more to help avoid accidental scratches.
  • Add additional protection (and sound absorption!) to your space by including a stylish throw rug to areas prone to heavy foot traffic.
  • Use caution when selecting cleaning products and ensure that the label clearly states that it is suitable for use on hardwood floors. Ideally, with regular upkeep, you should only need warm water and a gentle mop.
  • Remove outdoor shoes prior to walking across your floors to minimize the introduction of dirt and debris to your home.

Weekly And Monthly

While hardwood floors don’t typically require a large amount of maintenance and upkeep to maintain their sheen, regularly sweeping and occasional mopping will help prevent the build up of dirt and grime over time. Remember to use only hardwood approved cleaning products, as well as gentle cleaning tools to avoid stripping the natural protective layer off your floors, or causing scratches.

Yearly

Expect to see some natural changes in your flooring throughout the year, especially if you live in an area like Alberta, where the various temperature shifts between season can lead to the planks shrinking and expanding. If you notice visible signs of warping or damage, however, you’ll want to consult an expert immediately.

Later On

Regular care and cleaning will help keep your floors in ideal condition. Stay diligent and your floors will keep their lustre for years to come!

With the right care, hardwood floors can be the perfect long lasting addition to your home. Contact Ashley Fine Floors to learn more today!


The Beginners Guide to Traditional and Engineered Hardwood

Looking to add a touch of timeless elegance to your home and increase your property value? Hardwood flooring demands attention and holds an undeniably classic style that is sure to enhance your home. If you’re contemplating making the investment of hardwood floors, before are a few fast facts you’ll want to keep in mind.

There Are Two Different Kinds

Despite being sold under the “hardwood umbrella” there are two distinct types of planks available on the market: solid and engineered.

Solid (or Traditional) Hardwood is made of a single piece of wood, and is thick enough to allow for multiple resandings over the years. Solid hardwood is durable, but can be vulnerable to scratches and shrinking and expanding due to humidity exposure.

Engineered Hardwood is crafted from several layers of high-quality plywood that are melded together and then coated with a hardwood veneer. Slightly less thick than traditional hardwood and therefore only able to be sanded a few times, engineered hardwood is less susceptible to humidity fluctuations and can be placed in areas where traditional hardwood cannot such as over concrete or radiant heating.

Which To Choose?

As with any kind of flooring, both traditional and engineered hardwood have unique benefits. While traditional hardwood may be a little more expensive upfront, the ability to be sanded multiple times gives extra longevity and the thickness of the boards certainly makes them sturdy. Contrastingly, engineered hardwood is a little more flexible in its placement and can afford the same style in rooms that you may not be able to place traditional planks.

At Ashley Fine Floors, we carry the leading brands for both traditional and hardwood flooring. Visit our store or chat with our experts now to learn more about which type of planking is best suited for your space!


Caring for newly-installed Hardwood

Planning on treating yourself to a brand new Hardwood floor, but wondering how you can best care for your new investment? We can help! As a leading supplier and installer of hardwood planks in the Edmonton area, the experts at Ashley Fine Floors are here to help you protect your purchase. Read on to learn about early care of newly installed hardwood below!

Know what works best for the wood you’ve selected

While there are common aspects fo caring for hardwood planks, certain varieties may have unique needs or requirements depending on the finish and grain of your flooring. Knowing exactly what your floors need will help you use the right products and techniques from the start.

Be aware of the challenges of your space

Despite its durability, hardwood can be vulnerable to certain environmental factors that you’ll want to keep in mind to prolong the life of your planks. If your room has prolonged exposure to sunlight, or may experience humidity fluctuations during seasonal shifts, it may be ideal to consider adding a throw rug or curtains to help avoid sun bleaching or moisture build up.

Careful with furniture and heavy objects

If your hardwood is in dining area or room with lots of furniture, you’ll want to be very mindful of exercising caution when moving things around. Adding felt pads to the feet of chairs and tables to avoid scratches, dents, and dings.

Gentle cleaning

When it comes to cleaning your hardwood, gentle is the keyword you want to have in mind. Avoid using anything abrasive, and always check to make sure any solution you’re using is designed specifically for your flooring. Never use harsh substances like vinegar, avoid flooding your space, and stay aware from any product that you are not sure of.

Be diligent

Hardwood floors don’t require a lot of maintenance, but routine sweeping and vacuuming will help prevent dirt and grime from building up. This protects your planks in the long term as well, and will make sure you get the most out of your beautiful floors!

Learn more about caring for hardwood by following our blog and by contacting our team today!


What’s the Scoop on Hardwood Floors?

Are you a fan of the rustic charm of hardwood flooring? If so, you’re not alone! Hardwood flooring has long been a favourite of interior designers, homeowners, and those seeking to give their space a timeless feel. Learn more about the perks of both engineered and traditional hardwood below!

Simple and Elegant

There’s no denying the warmth and comfort wood floors bring to a room. Often used to make an area feel more spacious and inviting, hardwood lends itself to a unique elegance that is sure to give that “wow” factor for years to come.

Versatile

The natural simplicity of hardwood makes it a stylists dream with it comes to tying together a room. Ashley Fine Floors carries a wide variety of colours, grains, and plank sizes to make customizing your installation even easier.

Reliable

Hardwood floors are sturdy, and with the proper care (more on that below), will last for a considerable of time before they need to be refinished or replaced. As a result, wood floors can often increase your overall property value.

Easy to Maintain

Caring for hardwood doesn’t need to be a chore. Regular sweeping, light mopping, and the occasional gentle scrub with a designated cleaner will keep your floors looking their best.

Looking to learn more about Hardwood? Contact our team of experts today!


When to Replace Your Hardwood Floors

Do you know how to tell if your hardwood floors are in need of replacing? Despite being durable and a stunning visual piece in your home, even the strongest hardwood planks will need to be replaced over time. Whether you’ve been residing in your home for decades, or have acquired a new property, here are a few telltale signs you might need to consider replacing your flooring in the near future.

Water Damage

Hardwood, especially solid planking, is vulnerable to moisture. Prolonged exposure to spills, leaks, or other forms of liquid can result in visible warping, staining, and lead to the potential of mould growth if left untreated. If you spot signs of water damage, there’s a strong chance you may need to replace at least a portion of your floor, so you’ll want to have a professional evaluate the situation as soon as possible to minimize spreading.

Signs of Decay

As hardwood begins to age, it’s not uncommon for signs of decay to slowly creep in. If your floorboards seem to feel a little more bouncy or spring-like as you step, you’ve found a sure sign that you’re due for a replacement. Other common signs of decay can include buckling, cracking and peeling.

Age

While age isn’t a default indication of when your planks need to be replaced, it can be a helpful deciding factor. The older the flooring is, the more likely it is that replacing is a better option than refinishing. Why? Refinishing can be helpful to reseal younger boards and treat small chips and scratches, but over time, constant refinishing can actually lead to more strain on hardwood overall. If your flooring has been in place for multiple decades, it’s probably time to start fresh.

To Refinish or Replace

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to shy away from the idea of replacing their hardwood floors due to the perceived cost of the process. While it can be costly to lay new flooring down (depending on the materials used and amount of space to be covered), in many ways, replacement can actually be preferable to refinishing. Not only is it much faster, but fresh planks have a brand new lifespan that, with proper care, can save you money in the long term. New flooring is also a fantastic way to boost property value and refresh the whole home.

Are your floors in need of a refresh? Ashley Fine Floors can help! Contact our team today to learn more!


Hardwood Floor Winter Maintenance

Hardwood flooring is a year-round classic touch to any home. The elegant and refined finish of both traditional and engineered planks brings an extra value to your property, and provide a sturdy foundation for your day to day activities. With the colder months upon us, hardwood maintenance becomes a staple topic of conversation for the flooring experts at both our Calgary and Edmonton locations. To help answer a few of the most frequently asked questions we’ve compiled a list of tips for those who currently have hardwood in their homes, or for those who might be considering adding hardwood floors in the near future. Check out our top advice below!

Place Mats at Entry-Points and High Traffic Areas

One of the biggest culprits when it comes to wear and tear on your flooring, regardless of the season, is the tracking in of dirt and and debris. This becomes particularly detrimental when there’s snow and excess moisture in the picture. Placing mats strategically will help to absorb any excess liquid and stop water from tracking through your home.

Mop Up Puddles and Spills Immediately

As we mentioned, excess moisture is a seasonal challenge that can cause sizeable damage to your flooring if left unattended. Tending to any snow melt or tracked in moisture on the spot will prevent it from spreading or seeing into your floorboards, circumventing any damage or mould issues.

Watch Your Use of Salt

For those of us living in colder climates, salt can be a staple when it comes to tackling ice. Unfortunately, salt and other melting agents can cause harm to your finish, meaning that you may want to look into more natural solutions like sand or fertilizer. Regardless of what you use to handle the thaw/freeze season, a standard best practice is to make sure you wipe your shoes each time you enter your home.

Regular Sweeping Goes a Long Way

Just as salt may cause harm to your flooring, dirt, grit, and mud caused by snow melt can be a source of deterioration as well. Sweeping weekly, and mopping regularly with a gentle, microfibre cloth, will go a long way towards ensuring your floors stay it top shape for the future.

Want to learn more about caring for Hardwood floors, contact our team today!


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!