What One Needs to Know When Buying Prefinished Flooring

Manufacturers and dealers of Hardwood Floors don’t always inform the consumer of all the details when purchasing a Prefinished Hardwood Floor. Prior to year 2000 most of the manufacturers created Engineered Wood Floors with thick top veneers so that the consumer could refinish the floor a few times at an average of 15 year intervals. With the advent of Aluminium Oxide Polyurethane, (AO Poly for this discussion), in year 2000 thick top veneers no longer were a priority. This coating was warrantied for 25 years not to wear out. It could deluster in high traffic locations but not wear through to bare wood. Manufacturers decided that without the need for refinishing there was no need to pay for expensively thick finished veneers. They started manufacturing with thin top veneers. Although AO Poly does not wear it still dents and scratches like any other polyurethane and therefore needs to be refinished on the same schedule as site finished flooring. We are now at that 15 year time frame since the first AO Poly floors were installed and floor refinishers like myself are estimating these refinishes. The problem with these thinner veneers is there is not enough lumber to sand in many cases. AO Poly cannot be removed by sanding alone. It is so hard it dulls the sandpaper very quickly. To remove AO Poly one has to buff it off with diamond blades on a buffer plate. You can see that process under my “Refinishing” link in my website. I have pictures and discussion under “Removing Aluminium Oxide Polyurethane”. Once one scrapes the AO Poly off the floor then the sanding process can begin. Started the sanding process with  36 grit sandpaper to remove the scratches created by the diamond blades removes too much lumber from these thinner veneers. It is not practical or safe to  refinish these floors and therefore the homeowner is left with the decision of living with the floor or replacing. I have had to pass on many of these Engineered Floor refinishes and it is with regret to inform the potential client of their situation. Do not buy Engineered Floors unless there is a minimum of 3/16″ of top veneer. It is more imperative when the floor has a hand scraped finish as more lumber than normal has to be removed to get all the old finish off. In the long run buy smooth finished Hardwood floors whether they are Solid or Engineered Wood Floors. There is an upcharge to sand off AO Poly and an additional upcharge if they are hand scraped. Manufacturers and dealers of Hardwood Floors in most cases will not inform you of this information mostly due to ignorance or over marketing their products to make a sale.  Buyer’s beware!

Aluminium Oxide Polyurethane Changed the Wood Flooring Industry

In 1999 a new polyurethane was produced to apply in the manufacturing process of Engineered Hardwood Floors. It was named Aluminium Oxide Polyurethane. For this article I will just call it AO Poly as floor guys like to say. It literally changed our industry in regards to the job site finished floor market. AO Poly has a 25 year wear warranty unlike site finished oil and water based polyurethanes that have a one year warranty. All site finished polyurethanes have to be recoated on average every 5-7 years to keep the plastic film intact. Without the recoat worn areas will begin to show in high traffic locations like around the kitchen sink, entry and exit doors and walking paths. AO Poly will not wear in these same locations due to its chemical structure. Therefore one never needs to recoat the floor until one is tired of the color, dents or scratches that build over the years.

What has changed for the Hardwood floor Contractor is  the percentage of jobs that are site finished  vs prefinished in the factory. Before AO Poly most Hardwood Floor Contractors performed approximately 80% site finished to 20% Prefinished flooring. Now it is the other way around and Prefinished Hardwood Flooring is gaining ground over site finished yearly as the consumer begins to understand the benefits of AO Poly finished flooring. It means more installing and less finishing for the Hardwood Floor Contractor. More on this topic later……

Refinishing Hand Scraped Floors in Cedar City, UT

A former client selling their home wanted to refinish their solid Brazilian Cherry floors we put in 12 years ago. It was a beveled hand scraped floor but in order to modernize the home we sanded out the bevels and the hand scraping. Smooth floors are back in style with the design community. It takes a lot of sanding to get back to flat but it is worth it as many of the refinishes we are “tackling” are these older hand scraped floors. If you are interested in refinishing your hand scraped floor to remove the bevels and the texture contact me and I will give you a free estimate. My time is yours.

Greg Warren Hardwood Floors is located in Cedar City, UT.

Understanding Formaldehyde in Wood Floor Products

Formaldehyde in Wood Products Formaldehyde is used as an adhesive in most pressed and engineered wood products, including cabinets, shelving, furniture, plywood, and floor coverings. However, the level of formaldehyde emitted by these products can vary widely depending on the type of adhesive used, how much adhesive is present in the product, and how long ago the product was manufactured (formaldehyde emissions decline over time). Products like laminate flooring and cabinets that are made of press board, MDF or HDF, which are infused throughout with glue, tend to have higher formaldehyde emissions than products like plywood and engineered flooring, which are layers of natural wood glued together, containing far less adhesive. Adhesives that are high in formaldehyde are less expensive than low-formaldehyde or zero-formaldehyde adhesives. Some manufacturers and importers cut costs by using those higher formaldehyde adhesives. We don’t. Formaldehyde in wood products is impossible to avoid completely. All wood, even wood that is totally free of any glues or coatings, naturally emits some formaldehyde. That naturally occurring formaldehyde is one and the same chemical as that which is emitted by the adhesives. Some species of wood naturally emit more than others. Testing has shown that in some instances, pressed wood products made with formaldehyde adhesives may actually emit lower levels of formaldehyde than those made with formaldehyde-free adhesives. Most formaldehyde adhesives are cured with heat, which fl ashes off much of the formaldehyde from both the adhesive and the wood itself. Most formaldehyde-free wood adhesives are cured without heat, leaving all of the naturally occurring formaldehyde in the wood. For this reason, when assessing the potential health risk of a product, it’s most important to look at the actual product emissions after manufacturing and not the type of adhesive used. California Air Resources Board (CARB) Phase II Standard In 2012, the State of California took the unprecedented step of limiting the amount of formaldehyde that a wood product can legally emit to 0.05ppm. To put this in perspective, there was a time not long ago when the German E1 Standard (0.1ppm) was considered the gold standard even within the green building community. The CARB Phase II standard is now the strictest formaldehyde emissions standard in the world outside of Japan. We applaud it, not only because it protects our health, but also because it has leveled the playing field for companies who had always paid the extra cost to make sure our products were safe. Putting the Risks in Perspective There is no question that formaldehyde can be harmful. Some people, when exposed to formaldehyde at high levels, can experience watery eyes, burning sensations in the eyes and throat, nausea, and difficulty in breathing. Very high concentrations may trigger attacks in people with asthma. Chronic exposure at high levels has been shown to cause cancer in animals, and there is some evidence to suggest that chronic exposure at high levels may increase the risk of nasopharyngeal cancer in humans. According to the State of California, for most individuals, the lowest observed level of effects occurs at exposures ranging from 0.1 to 3.0 parts per million (ppm). OSHA sets guidelines for employee exposure to formaldehyde at much higher levels: 0.5ppm – 1.0ppm, depending on the timeframe.

Formaldehyde has received media attention over the years when certain products were found to have high levels of formaldehyde, such as urea formaldehyde insulation in the 1970’s, the FEMA trailers after Hurricane Katrina, and more recently, laminate fl ooring sold by a national retailer that was labeled as being CARB II compliant when in fact it was not. But it is important to put the risks posed by formaldehyde in wood products into perspective, and to realize how complicated it is to assess our total risk. Formaldehyde is everywhere in nature. It is a normal by-product of many natural processes, including digestion, decomposition, and the combustion of organic material. The human body emits significant amounts of formaldehyde when we exhale. Formaldehyde is also present in a wide range of other products that we use every day. Sources include gas and wood burning stoves, gas heaters, vehicle exhaust, tobacco smoke, glues, paints, cleaning products, preservatives, paper product coatings, cosmetics, insecticides, and permanent-press curtains and clothing. Consider these facts: • Every time a baby exhales, they emit approximately 500 times the proposed level of formaldehyde that is acceptable according to the EPA. • The World Health Organization has estimated that the average adult ingests nine times more formaldehyde each day from food than they inhale from all airborne sources combined. • The standard human body, through natural metabolic processes, generates and disposes of about 45,000 mg of formaldehyde every day. This means that a person would have to breath air from CARB Phase II particleboard for over 61 YEARS just to equal the amount that a body naturally generates and consumes in 24 hours. Despite these figures, we agree that it is important to limit the amount of formaldehyde added to our indoor environment by man-made products. At Reward Hardwood Flooring, we are committed to doing just that. Our Guarantee We strive for total customer satisfaction. Not only do we want you to be satisfied with the look and ease of installation of our flooring, we want you to have peace of mind. Rest assured that our flooring is as safe as it is attractive. All Reward Hardwood products easily meet the CARB Phase II standard, and while we are sometimes offered the opportunity to cut costs by using higher formaldehyde glues, we never do. Not only are our suppliers’ factories CARB Phase II certified, but we also take the extra step of conducting periodic tests on random samples from our inventory, which we send to certifi ed American test laboratories to confirm that we are consistently exceeding the CARB II standard. This added layer of safety has a cost, but you are worth it. At Reward Hardwood Flooring, we are 100% committed to protecting the health and well being of our customers.

Greg Warren Hardwood Floors is a Dealer of Reward Hardwood Floors. My business is located in Cedar City, UT.

Greg Warren, Inc. Awarded Best of Houzz 2016

 

Greg Warren Hardwood Floors of Cedar City, Utah

Awarded Best Of Houzz 2016

 Over 35 Million Monthly Unique Users Nominated Best Home Building,

Remodeling and Design Professionals in North America and Around the World

 Palo Alto, CA, January 12, 2016Greg Warren Hardwood Floors of Cedar City, UT  has won “Best Of Hardwood Floor Design” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The 37 year Hardwood Floor Dealer & Contractor  was chosen by the more than 35 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 35 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2015. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award. A “Best Of Houzz 2016” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of  their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

Greg Warren Hardwood Floors provides Hardwood Floors that last a Lifetime

For Design and/or Customer Service winners “Anyone building, remodeling or decorating looks to Houzz for the most talented and service-oriented professionals” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “We’re so pleased to recognize Greg Warren Hardwood Floors, voted one of our “Best Of Houzz” professionals by our enormous community of homeowners and design enthusiasts actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

Follow Greg Warren Hardwood Floors on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/pro/gregwarren/__public

 About Houzz

Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit houzz.com.