5 Kitchen Wood Flooring Myths, Busted

Too many customers visit our showroom wishing they could put wood flooring in their kitchen but thinking they can’t. The myth that hardwood flooring can’t be used in the kitchen keeps many people from picking a beautiful and practical flooring option. Here are five of the myths we hear about wood flooring in the kitchen.

Myth: Flooring in the kitchen has to be waterproof.

Fact: This myth comes from the confusion between overall moisture levels and occasional spills. Kitchens will, of course, experience the occasional spill. Spills that are cleaned up immediately will not damage your hardwood floors. Limited water damage to hardwood flooring can usually be solved by replacing effected boards. If a tile is damaged, you will likely have to replace a large area, if not all, of the flooring. Some homeowners think they need “waterproof” flooring to protect against a flood. However, most types of flooring–including tile–will not hold up to a kitchen flood.

Myth: Hardwood is too hard to maintain in a kitchen.

IndusParquet .75 x 3 solid brazilian cherry Fact: All that is required for cleaning hardwood flooring is floor cleaner and a dry mop, along with a broom or vacuum. We do not recommend using any “refreshers” or wet mops to clean hardwood floors. Hardwood floors are as easy, if not easier, to maintain as other popular kitchen flooring types.

Myth: You need an extra “hard” flooring in a kitchen.

Fact: While a softer wood species, like walnut, is not recommended for high-traffic areas like the kitchen, all wood flooring will dent when heavy objects like pots and pans are dropped on it. Nearly any type of flooring you put in the kitchen will be damaged when hit with a heavy object. Like with limited water damage, single boards of wood flooring can often be replaced when dented. When tiles crack, replacing the cracked tile is much more involved and usually most costly.

Myth: Hardwood flooring in the kitchen needs to go under the cabinets.

Fact: As a rule, we do not install wood flooring under kitchen cabinets. The most obvious reason is that by installing under the cabinets, you’d be paying for square footage that you’ll never see. Some customers worry that they may change their cabinet layout and not have flooring under it anymore. However, any flooring that was under the cabinets will look very different from the rest of the flooring, since it wasn’t exposed to the same light. Plus, if there is water damage to the flooring, it is very difficult to repair any flooring that’s underneath the cabinets. Some kitchen contractors prefer to have the floors installed wall-to-wall before installing the cabinets to make the cabinet installation easier, but it is not necessary.

Myth: Hardwood is more expensive than tile.

Fact: While the product price is often higher for hardwood flooring than tile, installing tile is much more labor intensive. The total project cost is usually higher for installing tile.

Kitchen Hardwood Flooring Installations

Still not convinced wood floors are a great choice for the kitchen? Take a look at these photos of wood floors we installed in our customers’ kitchens.

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Want see more wood floors in the kitchen? See more on our Idea Board.

Spring Mirage Hardwood Flooring Rebate

Starting April 3rd, 2017, Mirage Floors is offering  a $0.50 per sq. ft. rebate on hardwood flooring purchases. The sale includes all species, colors, and widths of Mirage Classic, Mirage Engineered, and Mirage Lock products.

 

Dan Higgins Wood Flooring is a Mirage Floors Elite Maestro Dealer. As Elite Dealers, we provide the full range of Mirage products and services.

The rebate sale runs through May 27th, but our installation calendar is already filling up with customers who want to start their spring cleaning with new hardwood floors.

See our selection of Mirage Products in our showroom.

For more information, contact us.

For complete rules and information, visit Mirage’s Website.

5 Things to do Before You Shop for Flooring

When customers visit our showroom, they often say, “I don’t even know where to start!” Our sales staff is happy to help guide you through the process, but there are some steps you can take before you leave home to make shopping easier.

1: Take measurements

In order to get a proper job quote, a professional needs to visit your home to measure the areas and evaluate the work to be done. But you can get a better range of your project costs if you know how big the area is, since flooring is priced per square foot. Online calculators—or good old geometry—can help you measure the square footage of your rooms.

2: Identify the flooring you have

If you have flooring in your house you’re hoping to compliment with your new flooring, we’ll need to know what kind of flooring it is. It’s especially helpful if you have an extra board leftover from the previous installation or a piece cut off by your contractor. That way, we can compare the old flooring to our samples in the store. If you can’t bring a piece with you, knowing the species, board width, whether it’s solid or engineered wood, and whether it was prefinished or site-finished can help us narrow down so samples for you to take home and compare.

3: Check your subfloor

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The type of flooring you can install depends on the subfloor underneath it.

If you want to replace your current flooring, you need to know what you’ll be installing on: plywood? concrete? radiant heat? Some flooring types can only be installed on certain subfloor types, or the subfloor may need reinforcement. If you have carpet, you can usually lift up the corner to see what’s underneath. You can also up the vent cover and see the subfloor in the vent.

4: Watch the traffic

Take some time to observe the traffic patterns in your home. Where do the kids spend most of the time playing? Where does your dog like to run? These can help you determine what product is needed in which room. Some wood species and flooring types are more resilient than others and better for high traffic areas. Knowing where your high traffic areas will help you pick the best flooring for each room.

5: Plan to visit the showroom

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We have hundreds of samples in our showrooms in Medford and Sicklerville.

Many customers think the first step to shopping for hardwood flooring is to get an in-home estimate. However, it’s impossible to give a price for the job without knowing what product we’re installing. We have hundreds of samples in our showroom, so we don’t want to just pick a random product for you. We want to help you find the perfect product for your home.

Ready to start shopping? Visit our showroom.

Why We Hate Carpet

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When Dan Higgins started Dan Higgins Wood Flooring Warehouse in 1985, he sold hardwood floors and NOTHING else. We have expanded our product line a bit since then–we started carrying laminate and LVT flooring once they proved their muster in the marketplace. But one fact remains the same: we DO NOT want to sell you carpet. Here’s why:

It’s too much work for you.

If your family is anything like ours, your life includes messy kids, spilled drinks, family pets, dirty sport equipment, and more potential messes. Constantly worrying about stains and cleaning isn’t how we want you spending your free time. Carpet requires vacuuming, shampooing, and periodic professional cleaning–especially if you’re prone to allergies from dust mites and other allergens that get trapped in the carpet fibers. Hardwood, laminate, and LVT flooring require little maintenance and are easy to clean–a quick sweep or dry-mop with the appropriate cleaner will do the trick. We think you’ll be happier without the extra stress.

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Ugh. Too much work.

It doesn’t look good.

We think it’s time to leave the shag carpet in the past, and consumers agree. Carpet’s market share in the flooring industry has been steadily decreasing over the last decade while hardwood flooring has been increasing. A survey from USA Today found that 54% of home buyers are willing to pay more for homes with hardwood flooring. Today’s style is function, and consumers appreciate the beauty of hardwood flooring along with the low maintenance and lasting value.

It doesn’t last.

At Dan Higgins Wood Flooring, we believe in lifetime flooring solutions. We want to provide you with a floor that will add value to your home, not become another expense. Most carpet manufacturers only offer 10 year warranties. We offer a lifetime installation warranty, and most of our flooring products are warrantied for 25-50 years. Since we have worked in the South Jersey community since 1985, we want to sell and install flooring that we know our customers will be happy with for years to come.

Want to get rid of your carpet? Contact us.

Before & After: Old Barracks Museum

We’re lucky here in New Jersey that we are surrounded by American history. The Old Barracks Museum in Trenton is one of those historical gems. The Barracks were built in 1758 to house British soldiers during the French and Indian war. During the Revolutionary War, General George Washington and his troops crossed Delaware river to surprise the Hessian troops staying in the Barracks. Now, the Old Barracks Museum serves as an educational museum as well as an event space.

We installed Armstrong Prime Harvest 3/4″ x 5″ oak wood flooring in “Gunstock” in their Founder’s Room event space.

The newly renovated room looks great and will be home to many exciting events in the future.

 

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Photo courtesy of the Old Barracks

Thank you to the Old Barracks for use of their photos.

Renovating your space? Contact Dan Higgins Wood Flooring.

Before & After: Changing Colors

Our supervisor Anthony and his crew installed an IndusParquet 3/4″X 3″ solid Brazilian cherry flooring. Last year, we installed the same flooring for this customer in the next room. Here are the transitions between the rooms:

Yes, that is the SAME flooring product! Because wood is a natural product, it changes color over time as it exposed to light and oxidizes. Depending on the species of the wood, the wood may lighten, darken, or yellow over time. As you can see, Brazilian cherry is a very photosensitive species and darkens drastically after it’s installed. The new floors will eventually darken to the same color as the older flooring within the first year.

So that the floors light, darken, or yellow evenly, avoid keeping large area rugs or pieces of furniture on the floors during the first year, or move them around periodically to expose the areas underneath to sunlight. If you do end up with some light or dark patches, you can move the furniture or rug and the patch will, depending on the species of wood, “catch up” as it’s exposed to sunlight, so the color will be even again.

When shopping for flooring and comparing samples, ask how old the sample is and what colors changes should be expected. This is especially important for exotic species like Brazilian cherry, which change color drastically.

Have questions about flooring? Contact the experts at Dan Higgins Wood Flooring.

FAQs: Laminate & Luxury Vinyl Tile

Obviously, we’re big fans of hardwood flooring here at Dan Higgins Wood Flooring–we’ve been in the hardwood flooring business since 1985. However, we want every customer to have the best flooring solution for their home and budget, so we offer laminate and luxury vinyl tile flooring as alternatives to hardwood flooring. Laminate and luxury vinyl tile flooring are both gaining popularity in the floor covering industry. Here’s what you need to know:

What is laminate flooring?

Laminate flooring is a flooring product constructed by layering synthetic products and laminating them together. Laminate flooring contains a moisture-resistant backing layer, a fiberboard inner core, an image design layer, and a top wear layer.

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We installed this Armstrong Architectural Remnants Woodland Reclaim laminate flooring in “Old Original.”

What is luxury vinyl tile?

Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) is a flooring product made out a layer of vinyl backing, an image design layer, and a top wear layer. Luxury vinyl tile comes in varieties to imitate hardwood, stone, slate, and ceramic tile.

What is hybrid laminate flooring?

Hybrid laminate is made in layers and is installed the same way as laminate floor, but has the waterproof base of LVT. Hybrid laminates are new to the industry but are gaining popularity, with brands like COREtec (which we now carry) catching consumers’ attention.

Are laminate and LVT the same as engineered wood flooring?

No. Engineered wood flooring is real hardwood, made of layers of hardwood and plywood. Many laminate and LVT flooring products are made to look like wood, but they are made of synthetic materials.

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LVT is often used in industrial spaces because of its resistance to wear-and-tear. We installed this Berry Alloc DreamClick Pro LVT in “River Oak Natural” at the United Methodist Church in Medford, NJ.

Why would I get laminate or LVT instead of real wood floors?

Laminate and LVT flooring can be a good option for rooms with high or variable moisture. All flooring can be damaged by moisture, but hardwood expands and contracts with moisture more than laminate or LVT. Laminate flooring’s fiberboard core can be damaged by high moisture, like standing water in the bathroom, but LVT can withstand very high moisture and many LVT products are 100% waterproof.

Laminate and LVT are also generally low-maintenance and resistant to wear and tear. Customers with pets in the home sometimes prefer laminate and LVT flooring because they are more scratch-resistant than hardwood floors. Laminate and LVT flooring are also popular in office and industrial spaces.

Because laminate and LVT flooring have a printed design layer, they are produced in a variety of colors and designs. Sometimes it is more affordable to achieve a desired look–exotic wood, stone, etc.–with laminate or LVT than the real thing.

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Laminate flooring comes in a variety of designs and colors. Laminates and LVTs can sometimes achieve the “look” of more expensive products at a lower cost.

Do they look like real wood?

The image layer and the wear layer both impact how well the flooring is able to “pass” as wood. Technological innovations in printing and production have helped laminate and LVT flooring look more “real” than ever. High-end laminates and LVTs have very high quality photos on the image layer and are “embossed-in-register” so that the look and feel of the wear layer matches the “grain” of the image layer. However, some laminates and LVTs have designs and colors that are hard to achieve with hardwood, making it virtually impossible to match the look with real wood, even with custom staining.

To the extent you can measure how a floor “feels”, laminate feels more like walking on real wood than LVT since laminate flooring has the fiberboard core. However, they both feel artificial compared to walking on real wood, especially if installed by floating the floor instead of gluing it down.

At the end of the day, laminate and LVT flooring are synthetic and do not look or feel exactly like real hardwood.

Are they safe?

Laminate flooring got a bad reputation in March 2015 when a 60 Minutes investigation found that Lumber Liquidators-brand laminate flooring failed to meet the California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations for formaldehyde levels and was fraudulently labeled. However, laminate and LVT flooring from trusted brands that are independently certified to follow the CARB standards are safe for the home. Just make sure you’re not looking for the cheapest floor, but for brands that have a good reputation and follow government regulations.

Which costs more?

Laminate and LVT gained popularity as the cheaper alternatives to hardwood and ceramic flooring. However, like all flooring products, they vary in price and quality. Some higher-end laminate and LVT flooring products cost more than mid-range hardwood flooring. While laminate and LVT flooring provide more options for the price-conscious consumer, you don’t need to limit your search to laminate and LVT to find affordable options.

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Laminate flooring is made with tongue and groove planks that click together for installation.

How are they installed? Can I do it myself?

If you’re an experienced home improvement DIYer, laminate and LVT installations are both relatively easy DIY projects. Laminate flooring is produced as tongue and groove planks that can be clicked together and is installed as a floating floor. LVT often comes with adhesive already on the product. If the product requires you to supply and apply adhesive separately, the installation gets trickier. When installing flooring, it’s imperative to follow the manufacturer’s instructions so that the flooring will be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. If you don’t have much experience with DIY home improvements, it’s better to get an expert installation.

Which flooring is the best for my home?

The best floor for your home depends on so many factors, it’s best to consult an expert to help you evaluate your project and find the best product.

Contact the experts at Dan Higgins Wood Flooring