What suits you better – Light Wood or Dark Wood?

Platinum Flooring Company

Hardwood flooring is perennially in style. It is akin to a blank canvas, on top of which your furnishings are the brush strokes. Just as artists carefully hand-select and prepare canvasses to their taste, you too need to exercise care and judgment when it comes to choosing your flooring. Different types of flooring can drastically change the atmosphere of your house depending on how well it gels with the walls and myriad furnishings your home accommodates. As daunting as it sounds, you need not be an interior designer to add beauty to your home. Below are some tips to help you decide on the look of your flooring.

  1. Let your current decor inspire you

Flooring doesn’t stand by itself. It has its context of walls, finishing’s, furniture and fittings. These furnishings ground your choice of wood so that the different parts of your house complement each other. This will create a seamless palette, making the sum greater than its parts. Furthermore, you can highlight select pieces in accent colors to draw attention to them.

  1. Choose a wood flooring style

If your furniture sports a more modern and contemporary look, sleek and highly polished floorboards can help bring out the sharpness of the curves or edges, serving to accentuate the mood. If you are looking for a more rustic, rugged and timeless look for your room, choose floor boards with more knots and grains. Darker boards with rich hues go beautifully with traditional homes whereas lighter, glossy boards can impart a chic ambiance.

  1. Choose a light or dark theme

Lighter colored flooring makes a house look more spacious whereas the dark flooring gives it a more dramatic feel with a more “quaint” feeling. For the same reasons, keep in mind the amount of natural light your house receives while deciding the color.

  1. Choose to complement or contrast

There are no hard and fast rules about what your flooring should look like. There are two routes you could go – you could choose to complement the existing furnishing or could choose to contrast it. Both options have the potential to make your home look dreamy, but remember that it is a balancing act. If everything looks the same around the house, you run the risk of having too much of a good thing. On the other hand, if there is too much contrast between the flooring, walls and furnishings, it might turn out too busy on the eye.

And finally, ask your friends and family what they think. You will find that it makes for a lively debate. For professional guidance and assistance call us today on (888)869-0663 or visit http://store.platinumflooringcompany.com.

Choosing a good wood finish

Platinum Flooring Company

You’ve spent hours and weeks sawing, planning and hammering. It is a complicated piece of wood work with joinery that slides in place like warm butter and the intricate, precise machining is top-notch. However you are confronted with one last head-scratcher. “What finish do I use?” We are often asked this very question and frustratingly, our answer is “It depends”.

There might be a type of finish that you like best but there is no telling if it’s right for your project. All finishes have strengths and weaknesses. A strength in one circumstance would be a weakness in another. For example, should the finish be chemical resistant or easy to repair? Do you want a surface that spreads an even sheen or do you want one that resists abrasion? Any choice you make is going to have one trade-off or the other. In this article we’ll discuss the six types of clear finishes and the circumstances in which they are best used.

  1. Drying oil

Drying oils include boiled linseed oil and tung oil. The great thing about these is that they are incredibly easy to apply. Since these cure too soft they tend to be damaged easily but on the other hand they are a breeze to repair. Because of the soft cure, they afford hardly any protection against moisture, chemicals and common wear and tear. Avoid using oils on furnishings that are used frequently.

  1. Varnish

Varnishes are applied with a brush, but some varieties allow for application with a cloth. Synthetic resins such as alkyd, phenolic and urethane come together to make varnishes. Although varnish cures in the same manner as the drying oils, it cures to be much more durable, the most durable in fact, coupled with strong resistance to water, heat, solvents and chemicals. However think twice before adding varnish to surfaces that require easy repair and to light woods. Varnish tends to add a light yellow cast.

  1. Oil/Varnish mixes

This combination offers the good sides of both ingredients. Similar to oils, it allows for easy application while also wielding some of the toughness of varnish. Since drying oils and varnish can be mixed, you can make your own by boiled linseed oil and oil-based varnish in equal parts. Increasing the proportion of varnish lends to greater durability and gloss. Although mixes are not as durable as varnish, it is more so than oils. You might want to keep it away from furnishings which face the everyday wear and tear.

  1. Lacquer

Applied by spray, lacquer gives a smooth and even finish that dries quickly. There are also “brushing” lacquers available which are significantly trickier to apply. Both the spraying and the brushing lacquers require a lacquer thinner for the cleanup process. It dries to give us a hard layer which is moderately resistant to abrasion, moisture and solvents. It is easily repairable since even old lacquer is soluble in thinner. Avoid using lacquer to finish furnishings which encounter high moisture levels and are handled roughly.

  1. Water-based finish

Although these finishes are easily applied, they dry so fast that they require you to rush in order to avoid brush marks. Being water-based, they release fewer odours than the types we’ve already discussed. These finishes are moderately durable but unlike lacquer, do not redissolve in any thinner or solvent, making them harder to repair. This type gives a clarity that is unmatched in that it beautifully preserves the features of lighter woods. A water-based finish is unsuitable in high moisture environments and where resistance to chemicals is necessary.

  1. Polyurethane

Polyurethane is a type of finish which mixes alkyd and polyurethane resins with different kinds of drying oils. It is made in a process that is different from the conventional oil/varnish mix in that heat is applied until all of the ingredients blend into each other. The resultant finish is tricky to apply and incredibly resistant to most kinds of damage, leaving people no other option but to use chemical strippers and to sand aggressively to remove it. It is highly recommended for any project where high wear resistance is needed and no repairs are expected. Daily abused items such as tables, chairs, wooden toys are ideally finished with polyurethane.

There is no “perfect” finish, only one that aligns with your needs and priorities. As with anything, choosing the right finish gets easier with experience. We at Platinum Flooring Company, Hayward, CA provide professional service and guidance for anything to do with hardwood flooring. For any queries call us today on (888)869-0663 or visit http://store.platinumflooringcompany.com.

The Difference Between American and European Oak

Platinum Flooring Company

As you shop for hardwood to adorn your floors, it fascinating to look at all the different species of woods with their plethora of shades and hues. Domestic or exotic, it is easy to get lost gazing at all the different kinds of whorls, grains and rings. On more than one occasion our patrons have found themselves intrigued by the subtle differences between American oak and European oak. While the similarities are many, they are not without their own set of distinct characteristics.

The first and most obvious difference lies in their source. American oak, also available as Red oak and White oak, is sourced predominantly from eastern North America. European oak on the other hand, is a hardwood native to large swathes of Europe such as England, Germany and France. Both of these varieties are classified as “White” oaks and many of these specimens are several centuries old.

Grain pattern
American oak is host to a larger grain and growth rings as compared to its European counterparts. If the grain pattern is straight and subtle, the board you’re looking at is probably American oak. On the other hand if it is wavy and distinctive, it is probably European oak.

Colour tone and variation
The colour tone of European oak tends to be ever so slightly darker than American oak. The tone of European oak also tends to be more consistent across boards while American oak can show great differences between boards. This can be attributed to the fact that there are several variations of American oak.

Ammonia fuming is a wood finishing process that darkens the wood while bringing out the grain pattern. European oak fumes rather well, turning from its usual golden honey colour to a rich walnut colour. American oaks, when fumed, give inconsistent results.

Finishing and refinishing
From a technical standpoint, there are differences in the techniques used to finish and refinish the wood. American oak requires a polyurethane finish whereas the European oak prefers a natural oil finish. As a polyurethane finish wears away and loses lustre, it needs to be sanded off and a fresh finish reapplied. A natural oil finishes don’t need to be sanded away; it only requires the regular application of maintenance oil in order to keep its integrity.

With this, we hope we’ve brought greater clarity to the distinguishing and unique characteristics of these two wonderful species. For further guidance, assistance or information give us a call on (888)869-0663 or visit our website platinumflooringcompany.com.

Can you change the color of hardwood flooring

Platinum Flooring Company

There are many reasons why one might want to change the color of hardwood flooring, practical or otherwise. A practical reason would be to get the old flooring to match some new flooring that is freshly laid down. Maybe you are just someone who loves to change things around every once in awhile, to keep up with the latest trends and such and such. The good news is that hardwood floors can be stained, restained or bleached as often as you can sand and refinish them. You can make it lighter, darker or even change the color tone to get a completely new look. Here is a quick guide on how to go about it.

1. Know your flooring

Solid hardwood flooring can be sanded and refinished multiple times over. It is very rarely the case that it is too thin and worn out (this takes a couple of decades at the least) to be sanded. Engineered hardwood however, can or can’t be refinished depending on the thickness of the top hardwood layer and also the way it was installed. Floating floors cannot be refinished. Wood is usually stained to make it darker. So the lighter the natural color of your wood, the greater the palette of stains for you to choose from.

2. Sanding

The hardwood flooring is sanded (typically up to 3 times) for it to be able to absorb and retain the stain for a longer lasting look. When the flooring is sanded, it essentially looks like new natural hardwood.

3. Staining

It is important to understand that every flooring is different based on the age, species and grade of the wood. A color chip or sample can never do justice as the stain will react differently to every flooring. Choose a wide range of stains and try out and sample each stain on your own flooring before settling on one.

4. Polyurethane coat
Adding a coat of Polyurethane is that last step to refinishing the flooring. Polyurethane comes in a variety of finishes (matte, glossy, semi glossy or satin) and can be chosen as per your personal predilection. Around 2 to 3 coats of polyurethane needs to be applied. Assuming that an oil based polyurethane is used, each coat takes 24 hours to dry, absorb better and last longer.

5. Lightening
Hardwood flooring can be made lighter by either whitewashing or bleaching the flooring. The lightest you are recommended to go is the natural color of the wood (i.e the color achieved after three sandings) because the bleach and whitewash often reacts with the resins and oils from the floor and can look blotchy.
Take note that it is very important to sand the flooring in order to change it’s color. If finished floors are painted or stained on top, the stain will peel off, look patchy and not last long.

We at Platinum Flooring Company, Hayward, CA provide professional service and guidance for anything related to hardwood flooring. For any queries regarding the refinishing of your flooring call us today on (888)869-0663 or visit http://store.platinumflooringcompany.com

Our Flooring Specialist

Platinum Flooring Company

It’s been years since our flooring was laid down and it has served us well. Since then it has lost much of its sheen and so the idea of getting it re-stained entered my mind. The idea sat there catching dust when I decided that I had stalled enough. I spoke to some friends and some strangers on the internet when the name Platinum Flooring Company was brought up. Not too long after, I spoke to Alex and Neil. I knew instantly that they knew what they were doing and felt reassured.

Alex and Neil were both with me through the initial consultation and follow ups. They were very knowledgeable about all the kinds of flooring and showed me a variety of stains based on my tastes. They were also very responsive over texts and phone and cleared any doubts that I had before settling for one color. Raz was our flooring specialist. We sampled the colors on my previously light colored wood and when I had made my choice, they began work on it. The entire process took a week, including the time it took to take apart the staircase to restrain it. They made sure that the inconvenience caused was kept to a minimum and were very understanding of our schedule. Raz worked late into the night throughout the week and finished everything on the dot. I am very particular about the nitty-gritty details and Raz was happy to accommodate all my fixations. Although I dropped by the house every now and again to check the progress made, Raz still kept me in the loop with regular texts and pictures. After the stain had settled in, some small areas showed up that needed touch ups, but they were attended to promptly.

Overall, I am more than happy with the result and would recommend Platinum Flooring Company to anyone who wants work done at an affordable price with a great customer experience.

How to clean up your hardwood floor after party

Platinum Flooring Company

Installing a beautiful new hardwood floor calls for a celebration. You decide you’re going to throw an amazing party complete with an indoor barbecue, fancy cocktails and some fun games to go along. But let’s admit it, your sleek hardwood floor is going to be the centre of attention and you can’t wait to see the look on everyone’s faces. In the heat of excitement, you forget what the aftermath of a party looks like. No matter how great a host you are, you realise that there’s always a non-trivial chance of drinks and food spilling on your  beloved floor. Your boss’ envious wife might walk all over it with those extra high heels from Paris and scratch the fresh polish. Grease, oil, lipstick, melted candle wax, chewing gum. What else is your floor going to encounter?

In this article we give you some tips to administer some post-party care for your flooring so that you can go ahead and throw a party the town is going to remember. Laminate flooring is pretty low-maintenance, so everything should be fine as long as you pick up or wipe any spillages promptly. Hardwood on the other hand, can be a tad-bit trickier. Here are some points to keep in mind so that your hardwood floor never loses its sheen.

  1. In any high-traffic area consider spreading a good rug that goes well with the flooring. Not only will it be a good addition to your home decor, it will save your flooring from potential scratches.
  2. Keep candles away at a good distance or height. Always ensure the candle is on a candle stand or a dish so the melting wax is kept away from the floor.
  3. Mop the floor going along the grain with a mop in smooth stroke. If your flooring is lacquered or shellacked, avoid using water as it can cause buckling and stain the flooring.
  4. Wipe the floor with a soft and absorbent cloth to remove any soapy residue.
  5. Do not use vacuum cleaners with hardheads.
  6. Before the party it might be good idea to add foam padding to any piece of furniture that moves a lot to avoid getting scratches on the floor.
  7. Hardwood Flooring cannot handle drinks and food spilled and lying there for a long time. Make sure it is wiped off immediately. It is good idea to keep a dry soft cloth available at a handy location.
  8. Do not clean the flooring with solutions that contain detergent, oil or bleach.

For further assistance and professional guidance call us today on (888)869-0663 or visit http://store.platinumflooringcompany.com.

Installing your hardwood flooring

Platinum Flooring Company

Installing Hardwood flooring is a large investment and with any large investment you want to make sure you do everything just right. The different options are quick to confuse. Solid wood or engineered? Is my subfloor suitable? What tools do I need? Here is a quick guide on how to go about with installing your hardwood flooring.

1.Choosing the wood

Hardwood flooring comes in both, solid and engineered variety. Solid wood gives a classic age-old look and lasts a very long time owing to the fact that it can be refinished and polished over and over. Its downside is that a wooden subfloor is a must and it also has a weak spot for moisture. Engineered wood on the other hand can even be utilised in high moisture areas such as the bathroom and basement and can be glued onto a perfectly flat and clean subfloor. Each of them have their own set of properties and pros and cons and must be chosen with good understanding of your needs and what is best suitable for the environment of your house.

2.Preparing for Installation

The installation techniques vary depending on the type of hardwood flooring that is chosen. Take the time to consider the effects of moisture on your chosen type of wood. It is advisable to let the wood sit in the room that it is going to be installed in for a period of three to five days. This helps the wood get adjusted to the moisture level in the room. All of the large tools that you will need, such as flooring nailers can be rented. Read through our detailed guide Guide to hardwood flooring Part 1 to get an understanding of both, the choices in wood and the installation techniques.

3.Installing the flooring

Here are the steps to be followed while installing the floor boards.

  • It is important that you understand the expansion distance of your chosen variety of wood. This information is usually provided by the manufacturer.
  • Make guide holes using the drill and then start nailing the wood planks down with a nail and hammer. The planks should be nailed 1-3 inches from the ends of the board and every 6 inches all the way down. Where there is enough space, use the floor nailer to nail down the boards.
  • Place each board, meticulously fitting the tongues into the grooves of the neighboring boards. Stagger each board vertically by six inches or so to get a nice interlocking effect on the boards.
  • Towards the edges of the floor, you’ll find yourself with inadequate space to place the boards properly with a mallet. A crowbar could be put to good use to wedge them snuggly into position.

4.Finishing touches

Once the flooring is installed, the baseboards can be added where the floor meets the wall and trims and transitions where it doesn’t. Choose a putty that is roughly the same color as your floorboards and fill in the holes where the nails went in.

Installing your own hardwood flooring can be hard work but at the same time, it can be a most rewarding experience. For professional guidance and assistance call us today on (888)869-0663 or visit http://store.platinumflooringcompany.com.

How to maintain Hardwood flooring in Summer?

Platinum Flooring Company

After months of cold winter and dark clouds, summer is what you’ve been waiting for all along. You cannot wait to bury those cardigans and thick coats and bask around in your house with the windows wide open, waking up to warm sunlight on your face. It’s perfect. But no matter how much you love it, summer brings with it pesky little problems of it’s own. Not everything can be protected with the SPF 50 sunblock you purchased for the beach. Harsh sunlight can be very damaging to everything from your skin, to plants, your wall color and even your hardwood flooring. So here are some quick tips you need to keep in mind to protect that glorious wooden wonder.

  1. Warm weather means the presence of higher levels of moisture and humidity that can make the most precisely fitted floorboards expand, cup or buckle. Investing in a dehumidifier for your house is a great idea especially in areas with high moisture content. Read more about Tale of Hardwood & Humidity in San Francisco by clicking here.
  2. Leaving windows open to breathe in the fresh air also brings along with it fine dust, sand and pebble particles that can scratch and ruin the shine of your flooring. Make sure you dust away any grime with a soft duster to avoid scratching.
  3. Vacuuming the flooring is the best option since it can reach the particles stuck between the boards too. Make sure the vacuum attachment used to clean it has no sharp edges that can scrape the flooring.
  4. It’s a good idea to keep floor mats outside the room with hardwood flooring to avoid the dirt and dust from entering inside.
  5. Direct sunlight can also cause the color and shine of the flooring to dull. Installing blinds or even sheer curtains can keep the sunlight streaming in and yet reduce its harmful effects.
  6. Attach felt pads to your furniture to prevent the wear and tear of the wood while moving things around.

While it is important to take measures to take care of your house, no season should be so harsh as to stop you from having fun. Being aware of these few points can take you a long way in maintaining your flooring this summer. For professional guidance and assistance call us today on (888)869-0663 or visit http://store.platinumflooringcompany.com.

Why you should consider going eco-friendly?

Platinum Flooring Company

Being eco-friendly is not a matter of just changing a particular habit like just eating organic vegetables or using chemical free cosmetics. “Going Green” is a frame of mind in which a person strives to reduce their negative impact on the environment. Eco-friendly not only has positive effects on the environment, but it means that your body is in contact with lesser chemicals, you digest wholesome food without bio-magnified toxins and you can breathe cleaner air. With this trend picking up steam, almost all major industries are looking at reducing their carbon footprints and shifting to greener ways of producing their products. The lumber industry is no exception. Professionals are now paying special attention to eco-friendly woods, such as bamboo and cork, and too recycled woods as well.

Our homes are a splitting image of our personalities and if you are conscious about eco-friendly products then for sure, you have thought of finding a substitute for every chemically loaded brick and mortar if not running away into the mountains to live in a tree house or cabin. We at Platinum Flooring Company, Hayward, CA are here to help. We offer the best flooring options and take pride in presenting to our customers the SLCC brand of eco-friendly flooring options. This beautiful collection of wood flooring boasts the highest standard of sustainability and exceptional durability. SLCC Wood Flooring is made in facilities with state-of-the-art technology, tastefully melding traditional woodworking techniques with the latest and greatest in manufacturing technology. The wood is sourced from forests that are properly maintained and are not in danger of depletion.

For professional guidance and assistance call us today on (888)869-0663 or visit http://store.platinumflooringcompany.com

How do I increase the value of my house?

Platinum Flooring Company

Remodelling is a great way to increase the worth of your house, whether you’re a new homeowner or old, and can pay off big dividends when the time comes to sell it. It’s hard to know where to start as you flip through the glossy pages of Architectural digest and the various other magazines. Stalking your favorite celebrity homes and dreaming up everything you ever wanted in your house is all well and good. But when you actually jot down the cost of each item, It’s time to choose one or maybe two out a hundred of those options, all of which you feel married to.

How exactly should one go about remodelling a house so it gives you the best returns? We have made a list of a few points you need to keep in mind to minimize the expenses and maximize the bang for your buck.

  1. Do it one room at a time.

Turns out, you can go overboard quickly if you start dreaming up the entire house. Doing it one room at a time makes you get used to the budget and time frame required for each one, making you smarter with each finished room. Choose the room that you use the most and choose a practical budget and timeline. Keep in mind the best feature of each room and accentuate those. For instance, if the room has a large airy window, you could highlight it by making a comfortable seating arrangement as a study/reading location to cash in on those positive vibes.

  1. Remodel the kitchen

Any realtor will tell you that houses with the best kitchens, sell like hotcakes. Invest in that beautiful steel counter you always wanted. Do a good paint and tile work, it hardly costs anything but adds to the beauty of the kitchen. Upgrade your appliances and invest in an elegant rack of pots and pans that hangs over the counter for that modern chic look. Add little touches like a cute little herb garden and metallic light switches and taps to go with the counter.

  1. Glamorize the bathroom

A beautiful house with a small, unclean bathroom with cracked tiles is definitely a no no, but an average house with a spotless bathroom and a welcoming shower system will have a long line of takers. Bathroom in a way sets the hygiene levels of the house and is very important for most home buyers. Invest in those heated floors, they attract buyers like nothing else, add that marble counter-top and some beautiful faucets. Bathrooms are no more just a functional room, they are like your go to spa after a stressful day at work.

  1. Your surroundings are important

Your house maybe spotless but it will not attract any buyers if it stands out in the middle of a shabby, unkempt garden or a littered sidewalk a pile of garbage dumped on either side. Make sure every part of your surroundings (that includes the side and the back) is kept clean and beautiful; accentuate the path to your house with plants, flowerbeds and some beautiful lamps. A tea table in the backyard or an amazing tree house adds character and charm to your house. Keeping the neighborhood clean is very important too. Organise a cleanliness drive and explain to your neighbors how a beautiful area can add a lot of value to all the houses.

  1. Remodel or sell?

Selling and buying a house comes at a huge price and the decision should be taken after a lot of thought. You have to keep in mind the price that your current house will fetch and fact that the buyer may ask you to redo the flooring, bathrooms or fix the walls before moving. Shifting to a new house means keeping in mind the cost of packing, moving and procuring a new house loan or insurance and also the invisible costs. If you have a good neighborhood with a great school and community, think of remodelling the house first.

Keeping these small points in mind will give you great returns in the long run. Remodelling is a nerve wracking and tedious job and yet a very satisfying experience. Make sure you make the best of it. For professional guidance and assistance call us today on (888)869-0663 or visit http://store.platinumflooringcompany.com.

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