Wood Flooring: Because Art Is Not Just For Walls

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By Joe Rocco, Owner of Artistic Floors by Design- Parker
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Considering a remodel can be an overwhelming decision-making process, from product quality and pricing to professionalism and reliability of contractors.

Ideally, you will receive the best value—excellent craftsmanship at the best prices. Realistically, you get what you pay for. As a wood flooring expert, one of my responsibilities is providing ideas and advice to homeowners during their remodeling project.

If you are reading this article, it is probably because you recognize and appreciate the many benefits of wood flooring. Wood floors are ecological (renewable and recyclable as a natural resource as well as allergen free), affordable (particularly in maintaining value over time), easy to maintain, and make your home uniquely beautiful, especially if you are considering installation of an exotic wood species, a detailed inlaid pattern, or an unusual color of stain or dye.

Did you know that a certified wood flooring professional can add design elements to your existing wood floor without a major remodel project? If you’re looking for a change, a certified professional can alter the look of your existing floor by cutting into it and customizing it with a strip or patterned border, a detailed medallion, or an inlay of stone or another material that enhances your home’s décor and style.

Here are just a few ideas to consider:

* A custom-made medallion in an entryway that incorporates wood, stone, marble, brass, or other metals to set off the space your guests first see when they enter your home. What about a wide border that surrounds and accentuates a beautiful area rug in your great room? An inlaid pattern in your dining room can call attention to the color and style of your table and chairs.

* Incorporating brushed nickel or stainless steel accents into your kitchen’s wood floor may harmonize the look of your appliances and cabinet hardware. Many newer homes are built with very open floor plans, so a border in a large room might seem awkward. However, an inlay in each corner of a large room would enhance the beauty of the open floor plan.

Some homeowners hesitate to add these details because they worry about resale value; however, I advise them that personalized styles of wood flooring are extremely popular as a way to set apart “tract” homes from their standard neighbors.

Our Parker-area neighbors and guests are impressed by the variation in colors, patterns, and species of the wood flooring in my family’s home. My wife and I appreciate the fact that art is not simply for our walls.

Your home can absolutely benefit from the timeless beauty and long-lasting value that wood flooring offers.  Estimates, ideas, and advice (including technical details such as acclimating wood, humidity levels, and maintenance) are provided to you at no charge.

Take advantage of my services to transform your house into the home of your dreams!

Here are some important things to investigate during the bidding process:

1. Not all product is the same! Contractors have a variety of options available to them that are not available to the public. For example, finishes that wood flooring professionals use are two-component waterborne polyurethanes (the best durability and VOC-compliant finishes available). Be sure to ask your contractor what type of finish they are using. If they say it’s an oil-based polyurethane, you aren’t getting the most durable, high-quality finish.

2. Not all trades must be licensed! However, the wood flooring industry sets quality standards as well as a strict code of ethics through the National Wood Flooring Association. Is your contractor a member? Have they continued their education at a trade school? Are they certified through the NWFA? Oftentimes, I hear my peers say, “I’ve been doing hardwood for more than 20 years, I know every trick in the book.” But how many of you want a job done the same way it was 20 years ago? Much has changed in the flooring industry from products to techniques.

3. When communicating, don’t rely on simply verbalizing your questions and concerns! Put them in writing and, if possible, show photos of the wood species you prefer. Don’t be afraid to ask for samples; many contractors have them on hand or can refer you to a showroom. Be aware that samples are still small! You might not see all of the color and grain variation in a sample.

Educate yourself and ask questions. Visit www.woodfloors.org, the NWFA’s consumer website.

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