Eco-friendly Hardwood Floors, for a Stylish and Sustainable Home

June 1, 2016

When it comes to renovating your space, we know that balancing the budget without sacrificing style is essential. Equally as important is the desire to reduce our environmental footprint by choosing sustainable building materials.

Living Room
Photo by Shaw Floors

Nowadays, eco-friendly flooring does not have to come at the expense of style. Increased demand from environmentally concerned homeowners means that healthier, more sustainable products are now available in a wide range of beautiful designer looks.

Living Room
Photo by Shaw Floors

We believe in providing high-quality, sustainable options, and our eco-friendly hardwood flooring is manufactured under these guidelines:

EnviroCore™, the high-density core board found in Shaw’s Epic products, is made from recycled post-industrial wood fiber and harvested from well-managed domestic forests, using 50% less newly harvested wood than conventional engineered flooring.

GREENGUARD Certification ensures that a product has met some of the world’s most rigorous and comprehensive standards for low emissions of volatile organic compounds into indoor air.

If you are committed to making the healthiest choices for your family and the environment, our eco-friendly flooring is ideal for a home that is both sustainable and stylish.

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Should You Consider Hardwood Floors For Your Homes Or Offices

March 6, 2014

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Should You Consider Hardwood Floors For Your Homes Or Offices?

Investing in hardwood flooring implies a significant investment that can turn out beneficial in the long run. Though there are sources suggesting that modern bamboo flooring is as effective as hardwood floors with a hardness rank comparable to oak, nothing beats hardwood floors when it comes to class, elegance and structural strength. Go further through the post in a bid to acquaint yourself with benefits of installing hardwood floor in your homes or offices.

You might as well be browsing a number of sites including Interior Design and in a bid to get a hang of the modern interior designing concepts and ideas. But before going in to details – know for a fact that the flooring would be counted as an integral part of the project and its only advisable that you acquaint yourself with its nitty-gritty.

Convenience of Installation and Easy Maintenance

Superior hardwood floors are engineered to offer a homogenous and steady fit. Those who have due experience in DIY flooring would hardly find it difficult to install it. It turns out to be a more sagacious investment than carpet as its color might start waning with time. Additionally, hardwood is considered to be hypoallergenic as it does not retain debris that can lead to or aggravate your allergies as carpet does. As it doesn’t retain dust you can settle for regular but easy cleaning processes including moping, vacuuming and drying.


No matter how diverse or unique your needs are, hardwood offers you variant choices in terms of appeal- styles, stains, species, colors, finish etc. In fact, it can safely be claimed that no two hardwood floors are the same. Additionally, wood is naturally equipped with versatile patterns.

It’s Healthy!

Hardwood flooring unmistakably makes for a healthy interior choice. It does not have embossing or grout lines that would allow pollen particles, dust, allergens or animal dander settle on it, thereby bolstering overall air quality. There are immediate health benefits associated with this attribute as the debris-free air in the house proves conducive for people with respiratory illnesses.

Problems and Solution

Cupping and buckling is a recurrent problem with hardwood. You need to ensure that you’re familiarizing yourself with these concepts before installing the hardwood in your home or office.

It’s phenomenon which refers to a malformation or warping process that is caused by absorption of humidity. Now, “how would your indoor flooring would be exposed to humidity?” Yes, it’s possible. There are several ways whereby the wood becomes vulnerable to moisture. Both the normal ground water saturation levels at your home or else the outdoor humidity levels in the geographical area you’re residing in, make for the standard sources of humidity. Additionally, if the burst water pipelines remain unattended to, for a considerable period of time, the internal structure of your home might be considerably damaged as well. Therefore, as a homeowner if you have noticed cupping or buckling in the floor, make sure you’re identifying the source of water and attending to it immediately.

Copyright © 2014

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What You Should Know About DIY Flooring

November 6, 2013

What You Should Know About DIY Flooring

So you think you are ready to take on a weekend warrior project? That green shag carpet in the den has got to go. Maybe it is the dingy, torn-up vinyl flooring in the kitchen. Before you even start ripping up your old floor, make sure you have the skills, knowledge and tools, or your weekend project could become expensive and cover a few weeks.

Replacing Worn Out Carpeting

Do it Yourself, DIY, Home Improvement, home remodeling, flooring supply, bathroom remodeling, shower remodeling

An experienced DIY enthusiast can rip out old carpet and install new carpeting. The job will be messy — it is amazing how much dirt settles under old carpet. You should put down new padding unless yours is in pristine shape. This project will be easier if you remove the old tack strips and install new tackles ones, as suggests. Allow the new carpet to acclimate to the temperature of your home for 24 hours before installation to prevent shrinking. You still need to use a stretcher to attach the carpet to the tackles strips.

Requirements for this project include the ability to lift and move a large roll of carpet. You will also need to be able to cut it correctly. One mistake can ruin an expensive project. Seam tape can be used for minor errors.

Laying New Wood Flooring

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The instructions on the box say the pieces just “snap together”. How much easier could it be? You need to read the part about the sub-floor, if the package even mentions it. Your sub-floor is the base you will be snapping your new floor to according to If your sub-floor is wavy, deteriorating or running off at a 30-degree slope, your new floor will look worse with every piece you install.

DIY requirements for this job? You really need more than average handyman skills. You need tools for cutting the flooring to fit as well as a power nailer. When you consider the expense of the materials, you should hire a professional. You can easily do some research online to find contractors in your area that fit your budget for the job.

Installing Vinyl Tile

Do it Yourself, DIY, Home Improvement, home remodeling, flooring supply, bathroom remodeling, shower remodeling

Twelve-inch peel and stick flooring can be installed in a weekend without rocket science skills. One critical aspect of the job is the condition of the floor you are applying the new tile to. If this floor is not even, your new floor will not be either. The tiles are inexpensive enough that one or two mistakes should not be too costly. However, if you plan on removing old flooring, make absolutely certain it does not contain asbestos.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns homeowners that older vinyl flooring may contain asbestos. You may not be able to tell just by looking at the tile — it may require testing. Asbestos is a mineral fiber that was frequently used in many building materials from the 1930s through the 1970s. If you are not sure whether asbestos was used, leave it alone.

To end up with a successful project, keep your tiles all going in the right direction. On the back of the tile, you will see an arrow. Each tile you lay needs to have the arrow going in the same direction. You also need to start with a very straight line, in the center of the room, and continue placing the tile straight, according to Do It Yourself. Adjustments and short pieces should occur at the edges of your room. If you work with plain tiles–those without extensive patterns–you will have better results. Save the mosaics for a professional.

Remember to not overestimate your skills when you want new flooring. Simple projects are not always simple. If you are investing a considerable amount of money into the materials, invest in a professional to install the floor. Spend your weekend relaxing while you watch someone else work.

Copyright © 2013

Article by Joanie Ogden

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Installing Hardwood Floors over Radiant Heated Sub Floors

January 26, 2010

Installing Hardwood Floors over Radiant Heated Sub Floors

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Installing Hardwood Floors over Radiant Heated Sub Floors

• Oak, Ash, Hickory, and Walnut species Engineered Hardwood products, > ½” thickness normally are approved for installation over radiant heated subfloors using either Adhered or Floating installation methods if applicable for the product.

• Nail or Staple Down installation methods are not recommended for Radiant Heated Sub Floors.

•  Engineered product constructions thinner than ½” will require review by the Hardwood manufacture before installation; along with a location registration and an acknowledgment letter, verifying that the project is approved and warranted.

Radiant Heating Systems used must be designed and controlled specifically for Hardwood flooring by the system manufacturer, and include an Outside Temperature Probe, and Surface Temperature Controls.

• The end consumer should be aware that minor gaping between wood planks during the heating season is a normal occurrence with hardwood flooring installed over radiant heated subfloors.

• Proper humidity controls within the home or business will help to minimize the natural wood reaction to seasonally changing climate conditions.

• Indoor climate should be maintained between 60-80° F and a relative humidity range of 35%-65%.

Adhere to the following guidelines for a successful installation :

• Newly installed water type radiant heated flooring systems should be in operational mode with the temperature set between 64° -72°F, for a minimum of 4 weeks to insure that all sub floor moisture has properly dried.

• Older water type radiant floor heat systems should be fully pressure tested, properly maintained, and set to a minimum of 64°F, for at least 4 days before flooring delivery; acclimation, or installation processes may begin.

• All radiant heating systems must be set to room temp. (A minimum of 64°F), for at least 4 days before flooring delivery; acclimation, or installation processes may begin.

• Always check wood sub floors to insure that the moisture content is less than 14% using an accurate wood moisture meter.

• Concrete sub floors must register “dry”, using a reliable concrete moisture meter.

• The pH level of concrete sub floors should register between 6 and 9, on a fourteen point pH scale.

• Sub floors must fully comply with these “dry” requirements before proceeding with the delivery, acclimation, or installation of the wood flooring at the job site.

• Regulate the job site to insure that the relative humidity is between 35% and 65%, and that temperature is between 60° and 80° F, throughout the flooring delivery, acclimation, installation and any required curing processes.

• Deliver and acclimate the engineered hardwood flooring, for at least 48 hours before installation begins.

• Install the hardwood flooring according to the instructions that pertain to the product.

• After completing the installation, do not change the radiant heat setting for 48 hrs.

• Throughout the life of the installation, 3 to 5 degree daily increments must be used when adjusting system temperature for either upward or lower adjustments; so that the hardwood flooring can adjust to the temperature changes in a gradual manner.

• Never raise the flooring surface temperature setting above 85 degrees Fahrenheit

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Laminate vs. Hardwood: Take it to the Floor

January 19, 2010

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It is the dilemma that has taken place in millions of homes across America and the globe: “I want a beautiful look for my home, but I also don’t have tons of money to spend.” There was a time when you couldn’t have your cake and eat it too. The emergence of laminate flooring for homes over the last twenty years has made that elegant look affordable. But what is the difference between laminate and hardwood flooring? Is one really better than the other? Let’s take a deeper look and see what we can find.

Hardwood flooring is, as the name implies, made of solid wood throughout. Flooring aficionados and decorators have always dinged hardwood for its susceptibility to moisture and it’s price. The flooring industry has an answer for this: Engineered hardwood flooring. Engineered hardwood flooring has a hardwood veneer surface constructed of cross-laminated layers of wood. By contrast, laminated flooring is a “picture” of wood that is attached to a fiberboard composite. This lies beneath a clear finish of melamine. This makes it much less expensive while giving it a similar look to hardwood. Before making your choice, there are four questions you should ask yourself.

What happens to it when it gets wet?

Traditional hardwood floors are very sensitive to changes in humidity and moisture. If you have pets that are not house-trained, you would do well to stay away from the hardwoods. I wouldn’t recommend them for kitchens, bathrooms, or anything below grade either. If you have a kitchen or bathroom that you just have to have hardwoods in, go with the engineered hardwood. It requires a moisture barrier to be laid down first, which eliminates this problem. Many, but not all, laminate floors are water resistant. This provides even more protection for your floor.
Winner: Laminates!

How easy is it to install?

Laminate floors are a project that most any do-it-yourselfer can handle on their own. They are installed as a floating floor, and many varieties simply click together and lock in place. Engineered hardwoods are not as easy to install, but can still be done by someone with a degree of skill. Professionals in most cases should install hardwoods. That being said, I know people who have installed hardwoods themselves and their floors look great. I guess it just depends on your confidence in that area.
Winner: Laminates!

How long will they last?

Both hardwoods and laminates are fairly long lasting. Hardwoods do tend to scratch and dent much easier than laminates. That means the claws of your dog or house cat, ferret, tiger, or any other pet will cause damage to your new floor. Laminates however are susceptible to chipping. Hardwoods can fade if placed in areas of direct sunlight. Laminates do not fade and are stain resistant. Hardwoods can be refinished to look like new again. Significant damage to laminates may require the entire floor to be replaced. Also, laminates are usually given about a 20-year life span. Because of the ability to refinish your hardwood floors, they can last you a lifetime.
Winner: Hardwoods!

How great will they look in my home?

Let me tell you this. I have had both, I have seen both, and I have installed both. I can tell you unequivocally that hardwoods look better. Maybe this is because laminate flooring is just a picture of wood. Maybe it is the fact that hardwoods allow for a variety of wood grain patterns while laminates repeat their pattern every five boards. Maybe it is the authentic “old- timey”: look. Whatever it is I would wager that if you surveyed ten people, nine of them would say that hardwoods look better. Winner: Hardwoods! And the champion is…neither. It is kind of a draw. Laminates are cheaper, slightly more durable and offer a similar look to hardwoods. However, hardwoods last much longer, increase the value of your home more, and look better than laminates. You should probably consider your budget, and what your long-term flooring needs are and make your choice. You really can’t go wrong either way.

Copyright © 2010

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The Choice is Yours-Helpful Hints for Selecting the Right Floor for Your Home

January 10, 2010

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“You can get with this, or you can get with that”. These are words to a famous rap song from the 90’s. It is also the reality of choosing flooring for your home. Depending on your style, type of home, geographical location, and size of your wallet, a myriad of flooring choices exist out there. I am here today to offer you some friendly advice from someone who has been there. I hope you learn something new, and that this wisdom helps you the next time you are searching for your flooring needs.

One thing you should consider when choosing flooring is what room you are planning to put the floor in. How many people will be traipsing through that area on a daily basis? If it is a high use area such as an entryway near your front or back door, you will probably want to go with a laminate type of flooring. For areas of comfort such as bedrooms, or a family room, carpet could be your best bet. Bathrooms do very well with tile flooring, although some laminates are also made for the bathroom. If the elegant look is what you are after, you may want to put hardwoods in most of the areas of your home. Each of these types has good points and bad. Let’s take a look at some of them now.

Laminate – The look of hardwood without all the hassle:

Laminate floors exist in many forms. They come in planks or in tiles. They can mimic everything from the look of oak hardwood flooring to that of a granite tile floor. Laminate floors are easy to install, and are very affordable. I have virtually zero handy-man skills and was able to install laminate floors throughout my home in a relatively short amount of time. Besides that, laminates are easier to care for than their hardwood brethren. You can couple them with area rugs for a great look. One word of caution of though: If your home is on a slab, laminate floors can be very cold in the winter. I live in the south so it isn’t so bad. If I lived in a cold climate I would think twice about installing these in large areas of my home. You can couple them with a radiant floor heating system and take care of this problem however. If you are looking to save time and money, go with laminate.

Hardwoods – Elegance and style to make your home beautiful:

If you want my humble opinion, there is no better looking floor you could put in your home than one made of hardwoods, particularly oak. However, with the good also comes the bad. These floors are typically some of the most expensive. They are subject to scratches and gouges fairly easily. They are not simple to install and require an advanced do-it-yourselfer or professional to install properly. However, they come in a wide array of finishes and styles that will add beauty and value to your home. So if you don’t mind investing the extra time and money, there is no better choice.

Carpet – The old standby is still great for many reasons:

Oh, I know what you are thinking. Carpet is full of allergens, horrible for the environment, and ugly. All I have to say about that is: not true, not true, and not true. Today’s new brands of carpet feature excellent styles. Carpet tile is a new phenomenon that offers versatility because it comes in squares that you can mix and match to create your own one-of-a-kind floor. Carpet tile is great as well because if you get a stain on one part of the carpet, you can just take up that tile and replace it with another one. Today’s carpet it also made from materials that are environmentally friendly including special polymers and even recycled bottles! Not only that, but the computer age has allowed for much more intricate pattern work in the design of the carpet. Carpet that keeps the allergens to a minimum is also possible. So, if you are looking for that comfy feel beneath your feet in your bedroom or when relaxing in the family room, you may want to look into some of these new carpeting options for your home.

So you see, carpet, hardwood, and laminate floors all have their high points and limitations. Depending on the size of your wallet, your handy-man skills, and even where you live, you can easily find something that will work for you. The important thing is that you pick the flooring that truly speaks to your tastes. Still, it’s good to know that lots of options exist.

Copyright © 2010

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