Floor BEFORE – or – AFTER

The general Cabinets, Floor or Wall Painting -Before-Or-After question is one that plagues many home owners. In a particular scenario you may suggest Installation of the floor first, followed by cabinet & appliance installation and finally the painting job. The process might be easier, but wouldn’t be the right one.

So the question still remains unanswered, Which to install first Cabinets or Floor? This discussion is probably one of the most often disagreed upon subjects with wooden flooring.

Install Cabinets, First!

A wooden floor has to be free to expand and contract with seasonal changes in humidity, and it can’t do that with heavy cabinets resting on top of it. That’s not the only problem: The floor installation team would have a tough time cutting out the strips that extend under the cabinets in case you ever planning to replace the flooring.You would not only be spending money on a surface you’ll never see, but you would also be increasing the risk of scratching your new floor if you install the cabinets after the floor has been installed. Those are all good reasons to lay floor after the cabinets & appliances are in.

But in a scenario where you are shifting into a new home and need to install the flooring first, don’t worry Platinum Flooring company has formalized a technique that will avoid some of the problems we just described above. So here is how we would go about it:

  • We would put all the base cabinets in place
  • Then mark a line on the subfloor corresponding to the front edge of the toekick.
  • Now remove the cabinets and screw a plywood filler piece to the subfloor about ½ inch inside the lines, which would be under the cabinets.
  • This plywood filler piece should be ideally 2 inches wide and about 1/8 inch thicker than the total thickness of the flooring (which would also include any vapor barrier or cushion)
  • Now screw a strip of the same thickness to the floor next to the wall and then install the new flooring.
  • Finally, install the cabinets on both strips and attach the toekicks.
  • Now your flooring would be able to expand and contract beneath the toekick without revealing a gap.

However, having seen these situations numerous times we’ve found more damage is incurred to floors when the cabinets are installed afterwards.

A Few Words on Painting Before Flooring or Flooring Before Painting?

One off-shoot for the above stated question is whether one should paint the home interiors before installing floors or vice a versa. Dripping paint on pre-finished wood flooring, isn’t fun? While dripping paint on your newly installed carpets would be disastrous!

Painting your home interior after the floor installation has several advantages to offer. The colors of your installed floor along with the chosen colors for the ceiling and walls have a strong impact on how one would experience the room. Depending on the choice and combinations you make, you can change the specific style and aesthetics of the room.

For example:

Light-colored floors will always make a room more airy and look optically larger. Moreover, light tints give a room a clean, rustic and timeless look.
Light wooden floors well- balanced with darker furniture make for a surprising combination.

Whereas dark floors are ideal to create contrast. They coalesce well with light walls or with other dark colors used to add a note or as accessories.
Too many dark colors will produce a somber effect at the expense of the overall atmosphere. Hence it is advisable to add a few striking accessories in the interior.

 

Floor Installers

Success with Challenging Art forms

Platinum Flooring Company

Curved walls, Stone Hearth and decorative borders are showing up everywhere. Although these art forms are aesthetically pleasing, they are also considered as challenging art forms for flooring installers.

From a practical point of view, bringing out a seamless flow from wood to walls for such an art work is a challenging job. We at Platinum Flooring encounter such challenges quite often and with our experience and knowledgeable team of skilled professionals, we work towards overcoming such installation challenges.

A key consideration to successfully installing hardwood floor near these art forms is to match the installation method with the type of flooring being installed.

To understand the case better, let us discuss one of our recent installations where we underwent a similar challenge.

Project Brief:

The homeowners choose a Solid Acacia Walnut Hardwood Floor to be installed in their new home.  With all the curved walls, the stone hearth and decorative border, we knew we had some high detail work to accomplish.

(Representation of the living room, not an actual image)

Installation Methods used to overcome the challenges

Decorative Borders

With detailed layout management, our installation team made sure the decorative border in their living room floor was centered and square.

Fireplace Hearths

Installing hardwood moldings around fireplace hearths has never been an attractive solution for covering up those gaps. You may find some suggestions on scribing, or cutting and fitting each plank next to a hearth. This can be a very time consuming job that often calls for cutting many pieces two and three times to get the perfect fit. But the best and uncommon technique to bring out a seamless flow near your fireplace hearth is ‘Undercutting the hearth’. As this technique requires skills and thorough knowledge of materials not many installers go ahead with it. For our project we choose to go ahead with the  undercutting of the fireplace to achieve the desired seamless flow from the wood to the stone.To undercut the fireplace we made use of a diamond tipped blade as we had to cut through some of the stone of the fireplace hearth.

Banister

Another challenging task after the fireplace was their banister. To cut and match the radius of their banister, we had to make use of a jigsaw and router to shape the curve. We also added a four inch decorative base molding to their ten inch baseboards that gave a mesmerizing, elegant look to match their home décor style.

Tools you would require:

  • Chopsaw
  • Tablesaw
  • Circular saw
  • Reciprocal saw
  • Multi tool
  • Undercut saw
  • Tapping blocks
  • Flooring straps
  • Adjustable spacers
  • Angle grinder
  • Razor
  • Scraper
  • Floor scraper
  • Spud bar
  • Flat bar
  • Crowbar
  • Jigsaw
  • Stare
  • Doctor levels
  • Trowels
hardwood floors and humidity

Tale of Hardwood Floors and Humidity in San Francisco

Platinum Flooring Company

Summer days are here in San Francisco and that means a whole lot of fun activities must be already on your to do list from berry picking, ice cream, swimming, hiking, windsurfing, sailing and more.  So with the plans to enjoy the weather with hiking, windsurfing, swimming and sailing, you have one more activity to add to your to do list this summer.

Summer in San Francisco brings along humidity. In case you have a wooden flooring in your place, be aware humidity is the number one antagonist of wood.  Do remember that wooden floors naturally expand when moisture is present and shrink when there is no moisture, and every wooden floor endures some contraction and expansion as we go through our seasonal changes.

With Platinum Floorings first-hand experience of working with wooden floors, we have penned down some tips which would help you protect your stunning wooden floor from humidity during summers.

Checking the humidity levels in the rooms where your hardwood floors installed using a humidistat or a hydrometer. Allow us to explain why?

Incase of high humidity level

Incase during midsummer when changes in humidity level increasing are high, monitoring the humidity level in your room is of utmost priority. If at any point the humidity level hits above 55%, the chances of moisture to seep into the wood would increase exponentially.  Too much moisture and the floor boards could begin to swell. This swelling can create pressure between the boards, which can cause the boards to warp or cup. This is true for both solid hardwoods and engineered hardwoods. Remember, while engineered hardwoods tend to be more stable than solid hardwoods, they are still susceptible to moisture.

Incase of low humidity level

While high moisture levels can damage your alluring wooden floor, low moisture level can also cause problems to your floor.

If the humidity level in the rooms where your wooden floors are installed drops below 35%, chances of the wood to dry out would increase, which, in turn, could weaken the wood, causing the wooden floor to splinter or could lead the floor to ‘check’ i.e. split the floor along the grain, causing damage to the finishing of the floor which can cause a hindrance during regular maintenance.

So now you would question what is the optimum humidity level to be maintained to help your wooden floor live long. Maintaining a humidity level between 25% – 30% would help stabilize your wooden floor dimensionally. In order to meet these requirements, use an air humidifier during the dry season, and use an air conditioner to maintain acceptable humidity during humid summers. We recommend buying a combined digital temperature/moisture meter in order to monitor indoor conditions all year round.

Enjoy Summer Soiree with Special Platinum Flooring Hardwood Caring & Maintenance Tips!

Pros And Cons Of Laminate Flooring

Cabinets over Laminate Flooring

Platinum Flooring Company

Platinum Flooring has been on the floors for over 10 years now and often we are asked “What flooring type would suit my high traffic kitchen zone? Is laminate flooring the right choice for my kitchen? ”

From the sales blurb perspective laminate flooring is the perfect choice for every room? But is it really the right choice for every corner of the house? Platinum Flooring based on its experience has penned down pros and cons of installing laminate flooring in your kitchen.

As mentioned in our laminate flooring maintenance guide published on our website, the prime benefits of laminate flooring are affordability, ease of installation on any base and low maintenance. Incase of owners looking for cheaper flooring options, laminate flooring is advised for high traffic zones of the home as its easy to clean and care for because of the thick and clear wear layers that cover the surface of the flooring.

Pros And Cons Of Laminate Flooring

So getting to the pros and cons of installing laminate flooring in your kitchen.  The simplest answer to this is laminate can be installed in the kitchen, and actually works quite well.  The Major concern of owners while installing floors in their kitchen area is Water Damage.

Water is a bad thing for most of the floor types.  Even ceramic and porcelain tiles, as water resistant as they are, they have water absorption limits.  If water stays on ceramic tile long enough, it’s inevitable that the tile will absorb water.  The only perfectly impermeable kitchen floor available at present is sheet resilient flooring (sheet vinyl) because vinyl  in itself is non-porous in nature and it has practically no seams.

There are two possible ways in which you can get your laminate wet:  from ordinary use or from a catastrophic event.  Ordinary use means that you slosh water out of the pan onto the floor and quickly mop it up.  Catastrophic event means that your dishwasher water supply pipe leaks and you don’t discover the mess for next 2-3 days.

Platinum Flooring with its team of engineers have designed technique’s to help avoid damage to your laminate flooring caused by water.

  1. Sealed Surface:  In most of the cases the top of your laminate flooring is sealed with the wear layer and the bottom is coated, edges are raw and thus prone to soaking up water.  While a properly installed laminate floor has seams on the top that are so tight that they are practically non-existent while the perimeter is covered with baseboards or quarter-round.  Theoretically, water won’t even reach the core.
  2. Core Is Pretty Good Against Water:  One frequent blow against laminate is that it is engineered wood and not “real wood.”  The fact that it’s “engineered wood” acts for its strength.  Lignocellulosic fibers are combined with a synthetic resin which act as a bonding agent in-case of laminate. The addition of these non-organic resins help promote dimensional stability to your laminate flooring.  In other words, the bonding agents help the core of the laminate maintain its shape–to a certain degree–when exposed to water. To test this theory, we conducted a small practical analysis, we cut a small piece of laminate to expose the raw core by soaking it in water.  Even after two hours, we had an unswollen laminate core and the top layers were still intact, i.e. they did not de-laminate.

Wood Species to create contemporary flooring style for your home

Platinum Flooring Company

Dark wood flooring, pendant lights and crisp white molding are the simple and minimalist description to your contemporary style home.

Choosing the right wooden flooring type and the right color tone to match your contemporary home décor style could be a daunting task. Our décor specialists at Platinum Flooring Company have identified some of the popular wood floor type along with trending, color tone to help you choose the right products for your dream home.

Classic Style – Contemporary, modish and versatile

Brown – Brown has always been the in vogue color for contemporary home décor style from choosing furniture to wood flooring. But to make your task even tougher brown in itself has over 200 subtly different shades to choose from.

As platinum team would like to put it

“Any room, Any style, Any eon, dark wood floor just works”

While choosing the right color tone and product for your wooden flooring, the key would be to match the right shade of brown with the primary colors that make up majority of your furnishing.

For example:

  • A medium warm toned brown, to name a few products from our catalogue would be Kahrs – OAK BREEZE, Reward – Camino Collection – Maple Natural Camino, Urban Floor – Downtown Series Collection – Oak Chicago will get along well with gold, cream and peachy tones of furnishing.

  • Darker Chocolaty brown, to name a few products from our catalogue would be Kahrs – Walnut Atlanta Golden Brown, Armstrong – BIRCH COBBLER BROWN, Armstrong – BIRCH COVENTRY BROWN etc will go well with greens, olives, taupes or quirky tones of furnishing.

Natural / Beige – Natural / beige tone features natural character and imperfection style of décor. This is another tone which goes with any home décor look.

The look that goes best with natural / beige tone of flooring is simple, minimalistic and functional. As these tones come in several different shades within this group, ranging from rosy pink hints to ochre base notes. It is advisable to take samples before you finalize on any particular shade.  Natural / Beige tone gives you 2 different options in home décor styling

Homogeneous look

As mentioned earlier natural / beige tone blends well with the available neutral furnishing to offer a harmonious and cozy environment for your home.

For example: : Tropical – Solid Oak Natural, Everbright Acacia Natural, Lauzon – Ambience Collection – Cherry Natural etc, some of the products from our catalogue can blend with the same tone of wooden furnishing or fittings in your room.

Quirky / chirpy style

It is also true that homogeneous look can get a bit boring, especially for next generation homes. So you can also break up the neutrals by adding quirky furnishing accessories and lovely colorful textured fabrics.

Yellow / Tan – The final color tone group which can be considered while exploring contemporary, classic or modish home décor styles are color tones from Yellow / Tan group.

There is an enormous range of options in Oaks like Lauzon – Ambience Collection – Red Oak, Monarch Plank – Windsor Collection – European Oak Nottingham, DM flooring – Royal Oak Tera Cotta etc  which dominate this group with its inherent yellow tints followed by golden tones in maple like Somerset Specialty Collection Solid Maple,  American Guild – Historical Elements – Plymouth Hull Maple, CA Classic – Versailles Collection – Maple Surf and finally lighter walnuts like Tropical Borneo Coll. Exotic Walnut Cognac, CA classic – Reserve Collection – Carmel Valley Walnut, Amazon – BRAZILIAN WALNUT – NATURAL etc for their tawny tones.

Warm wooden tones and rustic styles match well with this color tone group.

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Hayward, CA 94545

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