Tag: Inexpensive Wood Flooring (page 1 of 1)

Wood Plank Flooring, A Swedish Design Must Have – Part 1

Gustavian Trågsoffa, via Skona Hem

Wood floors are one of the most recognized design feature of the Swedish Gustavian look. Rustic planked wood is a top choice for flooring in the design industry. Wood floors are easy to maintain, and they are associated with the utmost quality and taste. Hardwood flooring will outlast carpet in any competition making it a smart investment.

If you have children or pets, carpet gets dirty. Pets that come in and out of the house bring dirt back into the home, and over time, the carpets become soiled. In this situation, carpeting only looks good after they are shampooed. While I am not here to beat up carpet, as there are many styles of carpet that are elegant choices, wood flooring maintains better over the years. Even if you decide to go with one of the less expensive wood alternatives, you are assured that this look is easier to maintain than carpet.

It wasn’t until the Baroque Era began, that wood flooring became an option for the home. Before 1625, most European houses continued to have dirt floors. Wealthy families utilized elm or oak boards which were held on joists.   Once wood floors gained popularity, it became known as a more affluent design choice.   Throughout the 17th and 18th century wood flooring flourished.  Solid wood plank flooring, was  installed in many homes, and many trend setting homes painted their floors.  Upscale homes installed the richer designs such as parquet and marquetry wood patterns. Wood flooring today is still the most desired flooring, surpassing stone flooring.

Gustavian Trågsoffa, via Skona Hem

 Gustavian Trågsoffa, via Skona Hem

Gustavian Trågsoffa, via Skona Hem

Gustavian Trågsoffa, via Skona Hem

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Vinyl Plank Flooring, A Swedish Design Must Have – Part 2

See this option at Home Depot

If you’re a do-it-yourself type of person who isn’t afraid of tackling renovations, then this is an article is a must-read if you are planning on replacing your flooring. Every home is under a budget when renovations come into play. If are a few inexpensive alternatives for the rich look of hardwood flooring.

Inexpensive Options For The Wood Floor Looks

Vinyl Plank “Peel and Stick” Flooring.

Vinyl wood plank floor is a rather new idea that has become popular in the last several years. Everyone is familiar with the “peel and stick tiles”, now they have come out with a “peel and stick plank” that replicates plank flooring.  If you want to save some money and install the flooring yourself, this might be an option to consider.

Pros For Vinyl Plank “Peel and Stick Flooring” 

All that is required to install theses floors is a utility knife with a sharp blade and a tape measure.   Peel-n-stick vinyl flooring means the adhesive has already been applied to the back of the vinyl, and all that’s required to install the vinyl plank is to peel off the protective paper and firmly press the plank in place.  Unlike wood flooring, vinyl wood plank floors don’t require a miter saw to complete the cuts around the room. Vinyl planks can be cut to the appropriate size with nothing more than a good utility knife and a metal ruler.

-Lowes Style Selections put together a very simple video guide of how to install the Peel & stick vinyl plank floor.  These tips will give you a professional look- Here

-In this video, a customer makes a video of how to install plank flooring.  What I love about this video is this customer is an every day person who hasn’t installed flooring before.  If you are considering buying this flooring, and are worried about how to install it, this video will put your mind at ease- Here

-One Ladies Kitchen Transformation here

Many companies have mimicked numerous varieties of wood in countless colors. The reason vinyl has become so popular is the material is durable and easy to clean, and anyone can install it. You can spill almost anything on the floor, and not worry if it will stain the flooring like you would with wood.

Traffic Master Vinyl Flooring Colors

Our floor has a large sheet of vinyl flooring that is meant to look like hardwood and it has held up quite well since we have lived in our home.  I could drag a large piece of furniture across the floor, and it likely wouldn’t  scratch like laminate would.

Large sheets of vinyl are pretty complicated to install for the average DIY homeowner, where as the individual planks make it easy for any homeowner to install with ease.   You could easily do a room over the weekend yourself, and I suppose you could haul these boxes home in your car compared to rolls of vinyl.

Protile 4″ x 36″ Vinyl Plank in White Wash -36.-Square Feet per Carton $47

On the Voices Yahoo Site, One Customer gives this product an in-depth review, here are some of the comments I found interesting:

“Seeing our strong interest but still sensing some hesitancy, the Home Depot employee told us that WalMart had been installing this flooring in upgrades to many of its stores. In fact, he suggested that we go visit our own local WalMart to see TrafficMaster Allure flooring in use – they had installed it a year ago. We went, we looked closely, and we were impressed. Regardless of what you think of WalMart as a flooring reference, you know that they get lots of people through their stores and the flooring they use has to hold up. The TrafficMaster Allure flooring looked great in WalMart.”

“While on the carport, several hundred dollars worth of Traffic Master Allure was subjected to two bouts of heavy rain that flooded our carport and soaked our boxes of wood vinyl flooring. We were very concerned that we had lost our flooring but we opened the ruined boxes and let the TrafficMaster vinyl planks air dry. Surprisingly, everything seemed to be fine. The vinyl wood planks dried perfectly, the adhesive was still plenty sticky, and there was no warping at all.”

 

“Cost-wise, at $2.39 a square foot, TrafficMaster Allure is about the same price as the average floor tile, comparable in price to Pergo laminate flooring and half the price of hardwood flooring. Additional cost savings can be found because it is entirely possible that you can install this flooring by yourself – even if you aren’t an experienced do-it-yourselfer. It is also much quicker to install time-wise than a tile floor. My only complaint would be in selection choices at the store. There were several color choices in stock at Home Depot and no one mentioned that even more choices were readily available online”

Not For Concrete, One Customers Experience

 

Cons For Peel and Stick Plank Flooring:

Apartment Therapy did up a post called “TrafficMaster Allure Vinyl Flooring” where they posted comments from a Home Depot employee left on their website. Check out the post and look over the dozens of comments left on the article, before purchasing the product.

1.  Peel and Stick Plank Flooring IS Not for Concrete Flooring.

This style of flooring is meant to be used in rooms that are normally kept at room temperature, (65 to 85 degrees). If you are thinking about using it in a basement, or sun room that are rather cold, then vinyl plank flooring is not for you.

On the Buzzillions website, the picture above shows Traffic Master flooring installed over concrete, and it looks horrible.  “I installed my Allure floor in Oct of 2008 over concrete floors (30 year old house, basement, previously I had carpet down with zero water issues) . In the spring of 2008 the below started. I can scrap up the glue and clean up the floor only to see the same thing happen again within 2weeks…. I’m planning to go to them to see what they can offer as a replacement

2. The Pattern Wears Off

Vinyl wood plank floors cannot be re-finished and have a relatively short life-span compare to solid wood floors.

Depending on the thickness, manufacturer, and foot traffic volume, vinyl wood plank floors might only last a short amount of time.  After the floor has reached the end of its life, it will have to be removed and a new floor installed.

Solid wood floors on the other hand afford the homeowner the ability to re-finish them several times, even allowing for the ability to change stain variations and colors as they re-decorate.

One customer leaves this comment:

I put it down in my kitchen over a smooth surface (vinyl sheet over plywood), but after a few years the edges turned white as well as several areas where the “wood” surface wore off leaving big areas of white. We use gentle cleaners and there are only a few people living in the house so it doesn’t get tons of traffic.  I love the product for the ease and look, but now I have to replace my floor after only a few years!”

3.  Look Closer, It Does Look Like Plastic.

Vinyl hardwood has become quite popular, because people want a nice look for less.  In our modern society, almost everything is faux, and many people are perfectly content with it. Many people aren’t snobs about their interior, and aren’t particular about the style of furniture, color schemes, matching drapery and so forth.  If you are a person that is rather particular, vinyl floor may bother you because it is plastic, and not real wood.  Vinyl isn’t cheap, and yet costs quite a bit of money, and it doesn’t even compare to real wood.  So if you think the faux look might bother you, I would suggest getting real wood.

Zoffany’s Wallpaper collection, Gustavus 

 Check Out ALL the colors from Hangzhou Enzo I/E Trading Co., Ltd.

 

 

Laminate Wood Flooring, A Swedish Design Must Have – Part 3

Find Durable Laminate Flooring Home Depot

Tundra Laminate Pine Effect Flooring From Ikea

Laminate Floors- Are They Worth The Money? Some would say heck yes!

Laminate flooring is a multi-layer, synthetic flooring product which simulates wood, marble, limestone and granite, using a photograph installed beneath a clear protective layer. This image closely resembles a natural material, but the difference becomes apparent upon close inspection. Common woods are available such as maple, oak and pine, and more exotic species, such as Brazilian cherry, mahogany and walnut can be purchased. Beneath the photographic layer is an inner core composed of melamine resin and fiberboard materials. Pergo® is the most popular brand of laminate flooring, although other manufacturers include DuPont® and Witex®.

Laminate can look nice as well, but also are subject to failure just like any product choice.  Here are a few disadvantages to the flooring.

– The biggest draw back to laminate is you cannot refinish it.  Dings add to the character of true wood floors, and often times people bang them with chains and gouge them to get the authentic feel of time worn wood floors.  One scratch in laminate floors and you simply cannot fix it.  You must be careful with high heels, kids toys, and moving of furniture to keep your floors in excellent condition.

– Extreme temperature changes can cause the boards to pull away from one another.

-Panels can push up against each other at the joints, creating un-level high points. This is common where the boards were not installed with sufficient expansion space.

– Warping and buckling issues are caused by high humidity or excessive surface moisture, or a lack of a sufficient moisture barrier. Hardwood floors, by contrast, are naturally more resistant to moisture damage, as they will swell and shrink to accommodate changes in moisture

-Mold will occur when excessive moisture is present. Mold is a serious threat to home owners and can cause permanent serious health concerns.

– Patterns sometimes don’t always match from package to package.  This can be very obvious and beyond the control of a consumer.

-The inner core can expand because it is made out of high-density fiberboard.  If you have any moisture issues, or even if you didn’t lay down a sufficient enough moisture barrier, your flooring will swell and fall apart.

-Formaldehyde-outgassing, which originates from the melamine resin in various laminate floors. Chemically sensitive individuals may have reactions to particular brands of laminate or vinyl flooring.

A customer leaves this comment about Traffic Master:

“My family got very ill after this product was installed in our house. Apparently it was off-gassing causing headaches, body aches, runny noses and more. When we called the manufacturer, they quickly arranged to have the floor removed and reimbursed us in full. Obviously we are not the first ones to have a health issue with this product. It should NOT BE SOLD!”

Laminate floors look great, and can be the ideal choice for nice exotic wood floors without the cost of wood  Many people want the high end looks, and this allows them to get the look for less than the real thing.

The glossy white “Markland” Flooring From Ikea has the glossiest, whitest, lacquered-look flooring you’re going to find.  Ikea gives you this look with no painting required.  The Markland lacquered rubber planks are more durable than a painted surface and will quickly freshen up your space in no time at all.
Swedish Interiors Using Oak Flooring

Kährs was granted a patent for a multi-layer wood flooring construction, producing the  world’s first engineered wood floor.  The construction has made flooring more stable and the raw material is utilized with greater environmental awareness.  Kährs features some beautiful Swedish Interior pictures using their flooring.  To obtain the classic Swedish style consider a oak flooring or ash wood flooring.  Ideally lighter woods are typically the style associated with Gustavian styled interiors.

Swedish Interiors Using Oak Flooring

Swedish Interiors Using Oak Flooring

Plywood Plank Flooring, A Swedish Design Must Have – Part 4

Pine Plywood | Design Build Love

I stumbled across a DIY trend out there where people are cutting their own “planks” out of plywood.  It seems rather unusual at first, but the results really surprised me.  You get the look of real wood flooring which you can sand, paint, stain, varnish, or white wash, for fractions of the cost.

“We tore up nasty old carpet, then cut grooves in the plywood that was under the carpet to replicate plank flooring with a skill saw – and used a dremel to get closer to the walls. This worked better than the router which was recommended in the web article I got this idea from. We stained and then did three coats of poly. Everyone’s amazed that this isn’t ‘real’ plank flooring! We varied the width of the planks, using a 2×4 as a guide.”

There are a couple of links I want to share that might move you in the direction of considering this look.

1.  Layers Of Learning Blog Flooring Transformation

Layers Of Learning Blog posted absolutely stunning photos of a room that they used plywood cut into 6″ strips of wood.

They mention in their article that plywood floors allowed them to transform their WHOLE house because of the low cost of the materials.  This certainly a reason to consider this option. Many people can only afford a couple rooms with the other options.  Plywood is so inexpensive, that you can do it yourself, and it is affordable.

Plywood gives you the option to cut wide planks with real grain.  For those of you who want the REAL thing, this would be an affordable way of getting the look for less.

Buying plywood allows you to do one room at a time.  It doesn’t matter if your project takes you a couple months to a year to complete, because plywood is practically the same from store to store.    The finishing process allows you to dent, distress, and apply paint or stain which unifies the space.

Another plus to plywood floors is if something is spilled on the floors, which ruins several boards, all they would have to do is rip up the damaged boards, and replace them with the same finishing paint, stain or varnish!

PLY Wood Floors By Layers Of Learning Blog

Here are some of their costs:

Living room – 20′x13′ which equals 260 square feet.

$13.97 each on 9 sheets of 11/32″ “CD” grade plywood = $125.73, See the rest of the break down on their blog Layers Of Learning Blog

Here are some of their tips to consider.

Don’t Buy the Premium Brand Of Plywood

“There are different grades of plywood. “A” grade is the nicest, it comes with one very clean and sanded side. This is not what we went with because, as the guy at Lowe’s said, we can sand it ourselves and save big $$$. A sheet of “A” grade plywood costs about $28 in our market, but a sheet of “C” grade plywood is only about $14.”

Let The Wood Adjust To The Temperature Of The Room 

” After the plywood is cut, stack it in the room where you’ll be laying it for a couple of days.”

2. Quarry Orchard Blog

Quarry Orchard Blog also put together a beautiful floor made from Plywood.  In their “Plywood To Plank Flooring Tutorial

They decided to tackle a redoing the room above their garage with a square footage of approximately 533.  They decided to go with 6 inch strips that were all 8 feet long.  They were shocked that it only took them an hour and 45 minutes to cut the sheets into the planks.

A Couple Tips From The Quarry Orchard Blog

– They started with the first board and squared it with the wall, leaving a 1/16 inch gap between the first board and the wall.

– Be sure to use a nail punch to make sure that the nails at least flush with the flooring.

– Clean up the look by being sure the nails are all in line and evenly spaced. Have a helper that can measure and mark the wood. They measured every 16 inches for each nail. Consider making a jig to help with the measuring and marking for where the nails are to go. This will enable you to line up the previous board and mark rather than measure for every single nail.

Check out the final pictures of this room!  What a transformation! 

A Break Down Of Their Material Costs:

16 sheets of 15/32 pine plywood @ $16.49 per sheet
9 gigantic tubes of Liquid Nail @ $4.75 each
10 lbs of cut nails (ordered from Tremont Nail Company) @ $69.63 (includes s&h)
4 gallons of Varathane polyurethane @ $37.46 per gallon
2 quarts of stain @ $9.99 each

3.  Tidbits From The Tremaynes Blog

For their stunning transformation they used 4×8 sheets of plywood; cut into 8 inch strips, and laid it like a regular hardwood floor.  They used an old nailgun, some pennies to space out the wood, for the old  farmhouse-style look.  The cost was $60.  Fabulous!!

4.  The Picklee Blog

About to open a shop in Newport, RI, store owner Jordan decided to tackle the outdated carpet flooring that came with the shop.  Being that the shop was a historic home built in the early 1700′s, she wanted something more period appropriate.

She decided to go with the standard 1/2″ thick 4′ x 8′ sheets at a cost of just under $20 each.   In order to have zero waste, she chose to have the boards cut into 8 inch by 8 foot lengths, giving her six planks per sheet of plywood.

When she got back to the shop, she laid them out, and sanded all rough edges and splinters, and decided to white wash them before nailing them down.  She mixed up 1/4 CeCe Caldwells Simply White Chalk Paint and 3/4 water.  She then used a roller attached to a broom handle to apply a coat of the white washed paint to all of the planks.

After all the planks were dry, her fiance Brett, started working on nailing the planks to the flooring.  They used Bostik flooring adhesive to the backs of the plywood planks, which were then laid into place and nailed into the floor.  Brett used 1 1/2″ nails and shot them in on an angle.  The nails were spaced out about every 12″, placing two all along either side of each plank.  Brett used a metal straight edge for a spacing guide, which gave the perfect distance between planks.  As Brett went on nailing down the boards, he used a table saw to cut some of them into different lengths so that the boards would have more of a staggered look.

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Painted Wood Flooring, A Swedish Design Must Have – Part 5

Onni Hotelli Kuvia Picture Credit Ranskalainenpatonki.blogspot

Painted wood floors are making a come back, and we believe that painted floors will become even more popular than we see today. In the past, finer homes installed decorative parquet floors and inlaid patterns. In the 17th and 18th century paint also was the means to create these decorative patterns on the floor, many which mimicked parquetry. Painted wood floors made it possible for more light to enter into the home, as the winter season in Sweden was quite dark. Rustic unfinished wood over time, darkens, and painting the wood just seemed like a practical approach of having a brighter home without spending a bundle.

Raw wood accepts paint so much nicer, and allows the paint to distress beautifully over time. Sanding wood, allows the paint to soak into the wood, compared to painting over varathane floors which may scratch easier with foot traffic. Homeowners with existing floors often have to carefully think carefully about how they go about re-finishing their wood floors,because the process can be pretty involved.   Refinishing wood floors can seem more labourous than painting, and often times it is. Sanding wood floors can be a time-consuming task.

There are a couple steps that cannot be skipped and we list them out below:

1. Prep

This involves removing your furniture from the room. Once you start belt sanding the floors, there will be dust everywhere. It can be a bit time consuming sealing off the house with drop cloths, or plastic tarp, but it is necessary for a great finish.

2. Sanding

The most time labourous part by far is sanding. Using a belt sander will kick up a ton of saw dust, and cleaning up the dust, which ends up everywhere becomes a tedious job. Sanding an entire floor can take up to 4 hours or several days depending on the size of the room.

Renting industrial professional tools saved my husband and I a lot of time when we refinished parquet floors in a rental in Virginia. Drum sanders are large machines that can handle large floors, and are very easy to operate. Drum Sanders can be rented at around $40 to $50 per day. I would highly recommend it than using a small scale sander that you can buy from a Hardware store.

Most homeowners choose to rent the specialty equipment and then purchase the more standard tools at their local hardware stores. Edge or orbital sanders are terrific for sanding the edges of the floor that the drum sanders cannot reach. A handheld power tool lets you tackle the tight corners, and are worth purchasing outright from Home Depot or Amazon. They allow you tools for additional furniture projects in the future.

3. Staining, or Painting

While everyone in the design community has their favorite paint brands, I would highly suggest going with a oil based paint. Oil holds up longer and has a tougher finish than any water based brands.

I would highly suggest sanding your room down to its bare wood, before painting. Painting over an existing paint is always possible, but the extra work pays off when the paint naturally distresses over time, which shows the wood through rather than an unsightly under color.

Sanding down to the natural wood also allows you to pickle the floors. White washed floors in my opinion are much nicer than painting the floors, because the wood gives the room a bit of depth and natural appeal.

In this post I show a photo of the Behr Wood Stain that is highly recommended. The stain is available in a number of colors, and evens out nicer than just paint that is mixed with water. Behr has a number of colors available that are off white, gray, beige that would work nicely with the Swedish interior schemes.  Mixing paint with a bit of water or stain work rather nicely.

Many people suggest applying paint with a professional paint brush which gives a smooth finish, rather than with a roller, which creates a stippled finish. Today you can purchase smooth rollers which can be used with extension pole to apply paint. Rollers are inexpensive ranging from $4 to $7 per pack. A pole will be anywhere from $5 to $40, depending on length and material.

You can choose a variety of different approaches with your paint choices….

If you decide to work with an existing painted floor, a great oil based primer is “Coverstain by Zinsser” This paint can be tinted almost any lighter color, dries very fast, and can be mixed with most other oil paints. Coverstain is in fact a primer that will adhere to almost anything, and would be a fantastic choice for the floors.

One gals review of Coverstain -“Zinsser oiled based primer is like gold

(Please note that Kilz or Coverstain primers should never be used on concrete floors. Go to Lowes or Home Depot, and buy stain or paint made just for concrete floors. Concrete stain doesn’t flake off on concrete like paint does)

As a top coat on your wood floors, you can purchase a Water-based polyurethane clear varnish, to seal in the tinted paint, or purchase water based, or oil based paint for your top coat. I have tinted this paint many shades of gray, blue, green and yellow. It is marvelous on furniture. This primer dries flat, allowing almost any other paint to be applied to it. It serves as your primer and your base paint, allowing you to just then seal the color in with a water based sealant.

If you are working with a previous painted floor, floors need to be sanded for the paint to stick properly. The worst is when you skip sanding, and the first time you move a furniture piece only to have the paint come off in sheets, or scratch. You will have regretted not sanding.

Sand first, and then paint the floors with a paint formulated for the flooring. We had painted our deck with paint formulated for the outside, and we are so glad we spent the extra money, because rain or snow, the paint hasn’t chipped.

4. Sealing

Polyurethane is an oil based sealant, that is NOT suggested for lighter colored paints. If you use this over your floors, in a week or a matter of days, the floors will have a tinge of yellow. You might then have to consider re-painting your white floors.

Polyurethane works perfect on unpainted wood, or on darker paint colors such as red, navy, black and so forth. A water based varnish is required for lighter based floor colors such as light gray, white, or cream.

You’ll have to wait 6 hours for each coat of polyurethane sealant to dry. It is recommended that most floors require at least 3 coats to achieve best results, and many professionals suggest 24 hours in between each coat of urethane.  It also takes up to 3 days before you can move furniture back into the room and walk on the floors again.

Onni Hotelli Kuvia Picture Credit Ranskalainenpatonki.blogspot

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