Laminate Flooring Compared to Hardwood Flooring

by Sorin Giurca on September 29, 2017

Laminate Flooring is Often the Choice for Reno/Tahoe HomeownersLaminate Flooring

Laminate flooring allows you to own the look and feel of hardwood floors, without as much outlay. Many homeowners here in the Reno/Tahoe area are taking advantage of the exceptional affordability and flexibility that laminate flooring provides.

With that in mind, I would like to discuss some of the advantages laminates offer by answering a few of the questions I usually hear from people on the subject.

How What is It and How Does It Compare to Hardwood Flooring?

Laminate flooring is a multi-layer, pressed wood flooring product. Laminate flooring simulates wood or tile with a photographic layer under a clear protective layer. There are some pros and cons to consider, and this article includes a chart comparing laminate flooring to hardwood flooring. In general, laminate flooring has a 10 year lifespan and cannot be refinished, whereas hardwood floors can last for many years and be refinished multiple times.

How Do You Clean Laminates?

Caring for a laminate flooring is pretty much the same as with natural hardwood floors. Just sweep or vacuum regularly, damp mop as necessary, and wipe up spills promptly with a sponge or cloth. In some cases a special laminate cleaning product is recommended. I’ve blogged about hardwood floor cleaning in detail. Just remember to avoid soap-based detergents and abrasive cleaners.

Are Area Rugs Advisable with Laminate Flooring?

Now that the weather here is turning a bit colder here in Northern Nevada, that’s a question I’m hearing a lot. Area rugs work fine over laminate flooring. Just be careful not to use rugs which may have abrasive backing on them to keep them from slipping. Instead, look for backings made of  Felt, Rubber, Latex, Polypropylene, or anything soft.

Is Laminate Flooring Alright Over a Concrete sub-floor?

With very few exceptions, laminates can be installed over any well prepared sub-floor, which is why it is sometimes referred to as a “floating” floor. Even existing wood, ceramic tile, vinyl sheet, and carpeting, as well as concrete. If you want your laminate installed over existing carpeting for additional insulation, the carpet should be completely adhered, no more than 1/4″ thick, and installed over a suspended wood sub-floor.

Does Laminate Flooring Work in the Kitchen & Bathroom?

As long as you have a clean, dry, flat, structurally sound sub-floor, and the planks are tight against each other, we can install laminates in pretty much every room in your home. Just like hardwood flooring, however, it will not withstand puddles of water.

What About Over Radiant Heating Elements?

As long as the heating system is embedded in the concrete slab or is under your wood sub-floor (and does not exceed 85 degrees), you’re good to go. We won’t install laminate over a floating radiant heat system or the “mat” style heaters, which sit right on the surface of the sub-floor.  The heating surface cannot touch your laminate flooring, you understand.

Are They a Good Choice for Families With Pets?

Today’s laminates are very durable; designed to stand up to the normal scratches and scuffs of living. As with natural hardwood floors of course, it’s always smart to keep your pet’s nails trimmed. But yes, laminates are an excellent choice for pet owners.

When Can You Install My New Laminate Flooring?

So that’s MY favorite question. Artisan Hardwood Floors is available to install your new laminate flooring, rain or snow or shine. One of the benefits of working indoors. Please contact me right away, so we can discuss your options and schedule.

Sorin Giurca

Master Craftsman, Owner


Hardwood Floor Finishing | Reno, Sparks,Tahoe, NV

by Sorin Giurca on August 28, 2017

Hardwood Floor Finishing and Refinishing

hardwood floor finishing

Hardwood floor finishing and refinishing here in the Reno/Tahoe area may not be as labor intensive as installation, but the process is just as exacting. A wide variety of coatings and finishes are available for you to take advantage of, depending on your needs and taste. It’s important to note that many of these finishes are hazardous, as well as difficult to mix and apply. Those kinds of finishes are only available to licensed professional flooring contractors.

Today I’d like to discuss a few of the more popular products used in hardwood floor finishing, to give you a better idea of what you may want to do in your home or office. As well as cover the most important step in the entire process:

Preparation for Hardwood Finishing

It bears repeating, preparation is the single most important step in hardwood floor finishing. If any of these steps are skipped or not performed well, the end result can be disastrous.

First, remove all furnishings and draperies must be removed from the rooms to be refinished. Then, all of the floor level moldings must be carefully removed without gouging the walls or floor. It’s best to remove all of the floor level electrical face plates too. Outlets, light switches and vent ducts should be masked off as well, because keeping sawdust from infiltrating those can save you a lot of headaches in the future.

The floor must be vacuumed or swept thoroughly. There shouldn’t be anything to see but bare floor. Then a drum sander is used to remove the old finish, leaving behind a completely smooth floor. An edging sander or hand sanding block works best near the walls, preventing damage to your wallboard.

The Swedish Finish

The Swedish finish is an alcohol-based hardwood floor finishing product, popular for its durability and ease of maintenance. There is very little cleaning, waxing or buffing required. The one key disadvantages to the Swedish finish however, is the odor caused by volatile substances within the product. You may need to vacate your home for up to four weeks after the hardwood floor finishing is applied. Some manufacturers say their Swedish finish can take as long as 90 days to completely cure.

Water Based

Water-based hardwood finishes are eco-friendly, and becoming increasingly popular. They lack the volatile compounds of most commercial products used for hardwood floor finishing. Two-component water-based finishes can be more expensive than one-component varieties, but they are also more durable. Three coats of a water-based hardwood floor finish will work as well and last as long as two coats of Swedish finish. Non-catalyzed hardwood floor finishes can also be used, they dry quickly and have the durability of water-based coatings while delivering the rich warmth of polyurethane hardwood floor finishing.

Oil Based

Oil based finishes are the oldest, most trusted product in hardwood floor finishing. It is a cost effective means of bringing out the exceptional beauty of your hardwood floors, in a way that other finishes can only try to capture. Your hardwood flooring absorbs the oils, resulting in a vibrant enriching of the grains and natural patterns in the wood. Oil based finishes can however sometimes yellow the overall appearance, which some people consider undesirable. Oil-based finishes and stains are available in a variety of colors which allow you to customize your floors to match your personal sense of style and decor.  Best of all, you can walk you oil based finished floors a scant 24 hours after application. But do bear in mind they can take up to two weeks to fully cure.

Professionally Finished

Of course, the very best way to ensure your hardwood floor finishing or refinishing here in the Reno/Tahoe area is perfect, is to hire an artist to perform the job. That’s where Artisan Hardwood Floors comes in. We are masters at bringing out the natural beauty and luster of your hardwood floors, and we are certified to use and apply every product available.

Why don’t you contact me right now while the idea is fresh in your mind?

Sorin Giurca

Artisan & Owner

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Hardwood Floor History in America

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Hardwood Floor Messes | Reno, Tahoe, NV

April 24, 2017

Hardwood Floor Messes Don’t Need To Be a Nightmare Hardwood floor messes need dealing with immediately, and they often show up unexpectedly, no matter how much we try to avoid them. Extending the life and luster of our wood flooring simply requires we deal with these accidents as they happen in our Reno/Tahoe homes. I’ve made […]

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Dogs and Hardwood Floors? Reno, Tahoe, NV

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Dogs are a Popular Question for Hardwood Floor Installers “We want hardwood floors, but we own a gorgeous <Large Dog Breed of Choice> and he weighs 100 pounds. When considering dogs and hardwood floors, what would be the right kind of hardwood floor for a big dog like ours?” If you live in the Reno/Tahoe area […]

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Hardwood Flooring Styles – Reno, Tahoe, NV

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Trends Come and Go, Hardwood Flooring Styles are Forever The most popular hardwood flooring styles will never go out of vogue. Hardwood flooring, like clothing, is part commodity, part fashion statement. The hardwood flooring you install in your Reno/Tahoe home is both an expression of your personal style, and a statement of your character. When guests […]

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Choosing the Right Hardwood Floor Color for your Reno/Tahoe Home

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Hardwood floor colors are available in so many varieties today, there is no doubt a product is available to match your idea of style. However, while being creative about your hardwood floor color is absolutely encouraged, there are still a few important guidelines to pay heed to should you want to avoid making a hardwood […]

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Hardwood Floor Humidity Problems – Reno/Tahoe

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Hardwood Floor Humidity Problems Require Solutions, Especially in the Reno/Tahoe Area The humidity in your home should average between 40 and 60 percent. If your home fluctuates beyond either of those numbers, hardwood floor humidity problems, like cupping and buckling, will only become greater over time. Being a natural product, hardwood floors can develop humidity […]

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