Harder Finishes

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Admiring a new hardwood floor, you gaze at its natural beauty, alluring color, intricate graining and depth of shine. It’s so good to walk on wood—except you are not really walking on wood. The work surface that you tread is actually a clear finish that’s been formulated for toughness, sprayed on wood and baked to a hard-as-nails finish.

State-of-the-art factory finish clear urethane finishes are salted with aluminum oxide—microscopic metal crystals—to increase durability. Several coats are sprayed on and dried under ultraviolet lighting. The finish is about 10 times harder than is possible with a site-finished floor. With prefinished, you’ll also avoid the odorous off-gassing, labor and the time required for finishing a floor in place.

The moment after prefinished flooring is installed, it can be walked on. Instant gratification.

Engineered Wood Floors

Conventional wisdom promotes solid wood flooring because it can be sanded and refinished repeatedly. Sounds impressive, but when was the last time you sanded and refinished a floor? Safe bet that the answer is, “Never, with no plans to start.”

Unless you plan on living in the same house for 10 to 15 years or more, engineered wood is usually a better answer. Engineered floors are constructed of 3 or more thin sheets or “plies” of wood cross laminated together to form a single stable plank. Each plank is made like a sandwich, with stable, low-cost woods providing the foundation and the prettiest, more costly showpiece woods as the top surface.

Most engineered flooring comes pre-finished and goes down with relative ease. Fix it in place with nails, staples or glue. It can even be installed as a “floating” floor, a very quick way to put a floor in place. Regardless of the method for holding it down, these floors offer the beauty of solid wood without the price. They are more likely to be replaced than refinished (though many can be sanded and re-coated)—emphasizing their use as a design element in your house rather than a feature you may feel you have to endure.  Plus, because they are dimensionally stable, engineered wood, unlike solid wood, can be installed below grade.

Sustainability: Cork, Bamboo and Others

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Concern for the environment shapes the way we live, the laws we follow, and what we value. Hardwood flooring is a big part of this discussion for homeowners who want to play a part in preserving the world’s natural beauty.

The days of clear-cutting forests to produce lumber are fading as manufacturers turn to managed forests, tree farms, engineered flooring and different woods for the supply of raw material. If you want a hardwood exotic, you may wind up with a sustainable domestic species—probably oak—that has been finished to mimic the look of an exotic. Or you might choose bamboo or cork, which offer performance similar to hardwood, but without the need to cut down even a farmed tree. Instead, bamboo is a grass that regrows after it is cut. Cork is made from tree bark, which regenerates.

Concern for forests and the environment are making an impact on how wood flooring is produced. Governments, environmental groups and industry leaders are adopting certification programs and tracking systems to validate the sustainability of wood supplies.

For more information and choices please visit our “Thinking Green” page.

Color

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Hardwood flooring doesn’t have to be a sea of brown. Widely available finish colors include an amazing array of whites, browns, blacks, greys, and reds. Not enough? Purchase unfinished flooring and stain it with in any of a rainbow of colors.

Color choices allow floors to better serve interior style as a full partner. Why should colors be limited to walls? Colorful flooring, in turn, allows for rooms that authentically express the desires, style sense, personality and idiosyncrasies of the homeowner or designer.

This trend can be summed up as “I want it the way I want it.” You can certainly have it.

Value

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To some manufacturers, retailers, and even customers, value means getting flooring at the lowest price possible. But that misses the mark. You may save a few dollars on the purchase, but that will prove foolish savings if you are constantly spending on maintenance, repair and replacement over time.

Value is getting the highest quality product at the best price. To do that, look for manufacturers who are committed to product performance. Look for brand names from companies who aggressively improve their product and back their products with warranties. Real value comes at a cost—but so does buying strictly on price.

Backsplashes

Kitchen backsplashes of easy to maintain tile or stone will complement your new countertops. Work with our professional Interior Designer to create a customized backsplash for your home. Wholesale Flooring Services offers a diverse selection of products including ceramic, stone, metal and glass. That along with our installation expertise your kitchen will be transformed.

Stone

For centuries Marble and stone have been used for floors and walls. Its beauty lies in its wide range of natural color variations and eye-catching veining, giving it “movement.” Because of its versatility and strength, these surfaces were once only found in public buildings, now they dress the most stylish of homes!

Stone Flooring Facts, Review & Guide

It’s beautiful. It’s evocative. It’s natural solid stone flooring — 300 million years in the making! 

Stone floors offer something no other flooring can: history. Architects and designers since the beginning of civilization have used natural stone for their most important works. In countries around the world, stone has long been the accepted choice for cathedrals, monuments, museums, houses of government and, of course, homes.

One might say it’s an ancient idea. About 2630 B.C., Pharaoh Djoser’s Step Pyramid rose up out of the Egyptian countryside. It was the largest building of its time and much of it was made of stone. This was a tomb meant to last forever and, by constructing it from stone, it has indeed outlasted the mud-brick commonly used in inferior pyramids. It’s chief architect, Imhotep, is credited with inventing stone architecture.

There are three basic types of rock from which we carve out stone floors:

Travertine and limestone are examples of sedimentary stone. Granite is an example of igneous stone.  Slate and marble are examples of metamorphic stone.

Stone flooring has long been considered the flooring material of choice for the privileged and elite. Think castles and palaces. But that is no longer the case. Advances in technology have helped make the labor-intensive process much more affordable and that savings has been passed on to modern day consumers. Since your home is your castle, why not consider stone floors?

Stone’s path to your home begins in a quarry. Large blocks of stone are cut from the earth and transported to a processing plant. Did you know that stone is just a rock until it’s been quarried?  Only after cutting is it called stone. The blocks are cut into slabs. The slabs then go to a fabricator to be cut again, shaped and polished.

Today, natural stone quarries can be found throughout the world, including Italy, China, Spain, India, Canada, Mexico and right here in the good old US of A.

Among the many advantages of stone is one very practical one. Natural stone flooring will virtually always increase your home’s resale value. And unlike other types of flooring (but like a good wine), it improves with age.

While most of the information in this section refers to natural stone, there is an alternative called Manufactured Stone (or Agglomerate Stone). It’s a synthetic stone product that can be used for flooring and is typically less expensive than natural stone.

Porcelain

PORCELAIN TILE is both harder and stronger than regular ceramic tile, so its performance is better – it resists staining and offers superior wear resistance.  Natural porcelain tile enhances your home both inside and out and can be used on floors, walls, shower stalls, countertops, etc.  Wholesale Flooring Services’ porcelain offers a selection of decorative accents to help you customize your décor.

Tile, Natural Stone and Slab

natural stone flooring, natural stone counters, tile floors, tile counters, slab flooring, slab countertops

natural stone flooring, natural stone counters, tile floors, tile counters, slab flooring, slab countertops

We stock all popular types of tiles in the categories listed below. Please view our tile and stone vendors to view our selection.

Resistance
PEI Rating. Tiles have different PEI (hardness) ratings which should be taken into consideration when making your selection. We would be pleased to assist you.

Types
Glazed – This is the most common type used for today’s floors and walls in both residential & commercial applications. The advantages:

  • Resistant to stains
  • Resistant to scratches
  • Fire resistant
  • Not faded by sunlight
  • Resistant to slipping
  • Easy to keep clean

Unglazed – No glazing or coating is applied to this type of tile. Colors are uniform throughout the tiles which results in a durability that resists the effects of heavily trafficked areas.