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Our showroom offers a full-service customer experience complete with room-size samples of domestic and exotic species of hardwood flooring. Showroom associates are highly trained industry experts and are available to assist with all parts of the installation process..

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CHOOSING THE BEST HARDWOOD FLOORING FOR YOU

By admin @ Oct 12, 2017

It can be overwhelming when it comes to choosing hardwood flooring. Not only are there numerous hardwood species, there are also unlimited stain color variations to choose from. Making virtually countless options for your hardwood flooring .That being said, let’s focus on one basic aspect as a starting point.

Most people start with the color they want their flooring to be, but we feel it best to start with the hardwood flooring species that will best fit your project. Choosing the correct hardwood will assist in the long-term performance of your floors. Although there are multiple factors to consider regarding the environment where the flooring will be installed, a great starting point is the purpose of the floor. For example, if the flooring is being installed in a gymnasium or dance studio it is best to use a harder wood such as maple. These harder species are denser and have a tighter grain which will hold up better to daily wear and tear. For a residential hardwood floor installation that will see low traffic or less wear and tear, you could go with a softer wood such as walnut which is less dense.

For a further explanation and comparison of harder woods vs softer woods see the previous blog post regarding the JANKA scale. Because each individual’s needs and specifications are unique we suggest visiting our showroom to talk with one of our hardwood flooring experts about your specific project.

The Janka Scale

By admin @ Sep 29, 2017

Most of us have heard the term harder wood and softer wood when it comes to hardwood flooring. But how are each of these wood species of wood determined to be harder or softer? In comes the Janka Scale which is used to measure the hardness of both domestic hardwood and exotic hardwood species. In 1906 Gabriel Janka, an Austrian wood researcher, invented the scale by creating the test we still use today. This test is performed by determining the force required to embed a .444-inch steel ball half way into the wood.


Image from The National Wood Flooring Association

The Janka Scale starts at zero and goes up to 4000. The softest wood would be a zero rating and the hardest wood would be a rating of 4000. Although the scale does not have any woods at the zero rating or the 4000 rating because these woods would be too soft to function as a good flooring and too hard to mill for flooring. See the below scale taken from the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) which uses Northern Red Oak as a base value since it is a common flooring choice in homes and buildings today.

So how does this ultimately relate to your hardwood flooring project? If your living environment involves the high probability of a child, just for example, dropping items on your floor it might be best to use a flooring that is rated higher on the Janka Scale. For image and relatability purposes replace the steel ball used in the test with a heavy chair being tipped over and imagine the dent it may leave in your floor. As we recommend in all our posts, visit our showroom to discuss your specific project and we can work together to determine the right hardwood flooring for you.

What is Engineered Hardwood Flooring

By Trisha @ Oct 14, 2016

What is Engineered Hardwood

One of the most common questions we get when it comes to Engineered wood is “is it real hardwood or is it a laminate?” The answer is yes, there is a layer of real hardwood on top of a multi-ply core. However, the key word there is LAYER, only the top layer is real hardwood. So how does it compare to solid wood? Engineered hardwood floors have vastly improved over the past 20 years making them look like a solid plank hardwood floor when they are installed professionally. In a broad comparison the difference is seen in the side by side diagram below. Solid wood is exactly that, a solid plank of Hardwood typically 3/4” thick. Compared to Engineered Hardwood which is still typically 3/4” thick, but only the top layer is actual wood.

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Aside from that broad comparison there is not a strait forward answer to this question, because not all engineered hardwoods are created equal. The layer of solid wood can be so thin (.6mm or less) that it can never be sanded and refinished, but the thicker layers of hardwood (2mm to 6mm) can also be thick enough to sand and refinish sometimes even multiple times. (http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/574877/list/when-to-use-engineered-wood-floors)

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These are both Engineered Hardwood floor samples, yet notice the differences in both the thickness of solid hardwood layer and the thickness of the multi-ply core. Again, not all engineered woods are created equal. We recommend that if you are interested in the cost savings of engineered wood come into our showroom so we can show you all the different options. It is important to be educated when you choose any hardwood floor. Let us answer all your questions so you select the right hardwood floors that you will love for years.

Caring for your hardwood floors

By Trisha @ Sep 26, 2016

Caring for your hardwood floors

Proper care and maintenance is vital for the longevity of your hardwood floors. If you clean protect and maintain your floors with appropriate products your floors can last years before needing to be refinished. Be cautious about advertised floor cleaners and refinishing products. Not all cleaners are created equal when it comes to hardwood. Appropriate Maintenance, Floor Care Products and Chair Glides are available at our Showroom.

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Dirt, grit, and sand are woods biggest enemies, they act like sandpaper on the finish, creating scratches and dulling the shine.  Place floor mats or rugs at entrances to catch these particles.  Rubber backing on rugs will not harm floors unless they have PVC in them.  Rugs which include PVC on the label can cause discoloration of the floor. Rug pads should be made of 100% rubber, 100% vinyl or felt.  We recommend Rugpadusa.com, they have a variety of choices and sizes.

To further prevent nicks and scratches, avoid dragging furniture across the floor when moving it, lift it instead.  Place felt contacts or chair glides under the legs of chairs and tables and use rubber wheels on any rolling chairs. Also avoid shoes with exposed nails or women’s stiletto heels as they will dent any hardwood or vinyl floor, chip ceramic tile, and puncture carpet and pad.

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Believe it or not sunlight can cause discoloration over time.  Close your curtains and blinds when direct sunlight falls on your floors to protect them from intense UV rays. Keep in mind that different climates also affect your flooring. Hardwood expands and contracts with heat and moisture. In Utah specifically you may notice small gaps forming between your wood planks during the winter months due to the heat produced from forced air furnaces. During the summer months these gaps usually close again when you turn your air conditioners back on.

For regular maintenance of wood floors, we advise using a broom with fine, exploded ends to trap dust and grit or dust mop with a 12” to 24” inch cotton or microfiber head.  Do not use a mop treatment when dust mopping. When damp mopping your floor use only water and neutral-pH cleaners made specifically for hardwood floors.  We recommend Woodwise Hardwood Floor Cleaner. Never use products that may leave an oil or wax residue as this may cause adhesion problems when maintenance coats of finish are applied. Always mix water and cleaner in a bucket or sink first.  Water or standing liquids can warp or damage your hardwood floors, therefor you never want to pour water or cleaners directly onto the wood floor. Dip a soft cloth or rag mop into the mixture, wring thoroughly and apply to the floor.  Premixed cleaner in spray bottles can be used for quick touch-ups. You can pick up any of the recommended floor cleaners or mops at our showroom.

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To keep your hardwood floors as beautiful as the day they were finished, clean maintain and protect your floors as we suggest. If you have questions or concerns about your hardwood floors, we are available Monday – Friday 8-5 to answer any questions you may have.

 

 

           

 

 

Taking Hardwood Flooring To New Heights

By Trisha @ Jun 25, 2016

Taking Hardwood Flooring To New Heights

KT Hardwoods has joined the latest craze of plank walls. We have seen them in all the popular magazines, HGTV shows, and in all the new homes. They are being used as accent walls in nursery’s and offices, and pretty much any possible room. They seem to fit in any style home when just the right hardwood planks are used. There is much more to installing a plank wall than simply nailing wood to an existing wall. Each type of wood reacts differently based on climate and surfaces, therefor it needs to be installed accordingly.

 

As an example KT recently installed reclaimed barn wood on multiple walls in the One Gateway Office Building in Downtown Salt Lake City. They even tried something new and wrapped the planter box in the entrance, it is fabulous to say the least.

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one gateway plank wall

It was no easy task getting these walls and planter boxes to look this way, but Deric and Remy (two of our long term pros) spent countless hours measuring, cutting, ripping, mitering, and installing each and every individual plank to the metal wall. Because of code enforcement we were unable to install plywood on the wall to nail the hardwood boards to, so we had to adapt. Deric and Remy screwed each individual board into the metal studs that were used to frame the wall. Achieving the seamless look on the corners of the walls and box required numerous meticulous cuts.

reclaimed barn wood planter box

reclaimed barn wood planter box

 

These fabulous walls go beyond the feature wall and planter box in the entrance. KT also installed wrapped barn wood walls extending from the main floor up to the second floor, appearing as though it is one wall running up through the floor. This creation gives the lobby a larger and seamless appearance. The wall ties in beautifully with the industrial metal bar table and furniture throughout the office building. The reclaimed barn wood is the perfect choice to give what would be a cold and plain industrial office, just the right touch of warmth and character.

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reclaimed barn wood plank wall

reclaimed barn wood wrapped plank wall

 

Choosing the right wood for plank walls is like choosing the right wood for your floor. Just as hiring a custom hardwood flooring professional to install the appropriate wood the correct way on the floor, a professional should also be hired to install the appropriate wood the correct way on any walls. Hardwood floors are no longer just for the floors; we are taking them to new heights. 

 

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