Thursday, April 19, 2012

Earth Day 2012 Engineered Wood Floors: Green Flooring Options by simpleFLOORS

Hardwood flooring products are not usually considered to be green flooring choices. Environmentally-conscious buyers now have a choice – engineered wood flooring by simpleFLOORS. 

Engineered wood is constructed using a veneer, or surface layer, of the desired wood, which is bonded to more layers of softer, renewable woods like pine, balsa and poplar. This manufacturing technique is better for the environment because it reduces harvesting of slower-growing hardwood forests.

Engineered wood also lasts longer than many solid woods because it is more resistant to climate and humidity changes. Flooring that lasts longer ensures that less wood will be needed to meet demand.

Inspired by classic modern design, the Vintage Couture engineered wood collection by simpleFLOORS adorns both traditional and modern interiors with "perfect imperfection". Authentic hand-scraped floors are available in much-acclaimed natural species sourced from around the planet, including American Cherry, Black Walnut, True Teak, African Walnut, Brazilian Cherry and Hickory.

simpleFLOORS also uses sustainable cork underlay with most flooring installations, as it offers excellent durability and sound-dampening properties.

Earth-friendly engineered wood floors by simpleFLOORS . . . ecologically sustainable hardwood flooring options for Earth Day 2012.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Earth Day 2012 Bamboo Hardwood Floors: Sustainable Flooring Options by simpleFLOORS




Bamboo flooring is a great Earth-friendly alternative to hardwood flooring.  Bamboo flooring is naturally anti-bacterial, water-resistant and made from fast-growing, renewable bamboo, which requires only 4 to 6 years to reach maturity. Hardwood trees can take 60 to 100 years to reach maturity.  Bamboo is technically a grass, yet is strong and durable like hardwood and makes an ideal replacement.

Bamboo Flooring is a perfect option for those who appreciate beauty, longevity and environmental sustainability. Rated harder than red oak, new pre-finished bamboo floors from simpleFLOORS offer easy installation and ease of cleaning with a no-wax surface.

simpleFLOORS features eco-friendly renewable bamboo flooring in a variety of styles and colors, including the new Strand Woven Bamboo Java SeriesWith a wide range of color to compliment any d├ęcor, these unique floors are hand-scraped for a rustic, textured feel and appearance.

simpleFLOOR’s Strand Woven Java Series is extremely durable due to bamboo’s high Janka rating, combined with 8 coats of Aluminum Oxide finish.  simpleFLOORS uses European Dyno adhesives during manufacturing, which is free of components classified as hazardous to the environment. There are no solvents, heavy metals, formaldehydes or bactericides used during manufacturing.

These floors are commercially-rated yet can be installed in many environments. Premium Green Strand Woven bamboo floors can be cut, installed or sanded like conventional solid hardwood floors. Due in part to its inherent dimensional stability, Strand Woven flooring can be glued directly down over concrete, nailed or floated.

simpleFLOORS also uses sustainable cork underlay with most flooring installations, as it offers excellent durability and sound-dampening properties.

Earth-friendly strand-woven bamboo floors by simpleFLOORS . . . ecologically sustainable hardwood flooring options for Earth Day 2012.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Earth Day 2012 Eco-Friendly Cork Hardwood Floors: Sustainable Flooring Options by simpleFLOORS




Sustainability has become a popular topic for Earth Day 2012 as people search for earth-friendly products, including eco-friendly flooring for their homes.  Bamboo floors have long been a first choice for many environmentally-conscious people because they are harvested from renewable bamboo forests around the world, but floors made out of cork are gaining momentum as the “other” green floor.

Cork flooring products are viewed as an earth-friendly flooring choice primarily because no trees are harmed in the manufacturing process.  Cork is harvested from the bark of cork oak trees across Southern Europe without harming the tree’s health.  Cork trees can be harvested every 9-12 years by simply peeling the bark from the trees, leaving the tree unharmed.  It has been reported that some of the trees used to make cork flooring products are over 200 years old.

Recent advances in cork manufacturing now enable simpleFLOORS to offer a wide variety of colors and patterns, including eight different style choices of earth-friendly cork flooring.  Cork offers the look of a hardwood floor with a much softer and warmer feel, and is often used in kitchen spaces because dishes and glasses have a much better chance of surviving a fall.  People also like cork floors in the kitchen area because a knife dropped with the point down may stick into the floor but will not cause permanent damage, as cork is known to “self-heal”.  The resilient nature of cork also helps if there are small children around, as cork flooring is much softer for a falling child than a hard ceramic tile floor.
Cork is also good for use in places where people will be standing for long periods of time.  A properly constructed cork floor is much gentler on the user’s leg joints, making it a perfect flooring choice for work rooms, artist studios or child’s playroom.

The cork floors that simpleFLOORS sells are designed to be installed using a floating, click-lock system, which means that glue does not need to be used for installing the flooring.  No glue means fewer chemicals, which results in an even more environmentally-safe floor.

simpleFLOORS also uses sustainable cork underlay with most flooring installations, as it offers excellent durability and sound-dampening properties.
Earth-friendly cork hardwood floors by simpleFLOORS . . . ecologically sustainable hardwood flooring options for Earth Day 2012.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Flooring Underlayment - The Scoop

Flooring underlayment - the scoop!

I had another customer today ask me about underlayment... some of the common questions are:
1. Do I need underlayment?
2. Does it really matter which underlayment I get?
3. Why do I need a good underlayment if I am going over concrete and there is no one below me?

We decided at our Seattle store to put together a "cheat sheet" for our customers (homeowners and contractors) that outline the different underlayments we carry, and their features... as well as our comments and favorites listed.

Underlayment Options
When you are using a floating flooring product (whether it be wood, laminate, cork, or bamboo) you will need an underlayment. If you are going over a concrete subfloor you will also need a vapor barrier (a 6mil plastic). You will lay down the vapor barrier if necessary, tape the seams, then lay down your underlayment. There are multiple underlayments available, and the higher end ones will absorb more sound and vibration and make your floor sound more solid. This is true on both wooden or concrete subfloors. Low end underlayments will still cover your warranty but tend toward a more hollow or "clicky/tap-dance" sound when you walk on your floor.

6mm Cork (A close second for Favorite Category) $.97/sf
Natural cork underlay provide exceptional sound reduction capabilities in addition to insulation and comfort underfoot. The cork is harvested from the bark of the Cork Oak tree without harm to the tree. An environmentally friendly option for naturally healthy living. Cork quiets both hardwood and laminate floors.
· Environmentally friendly option
· Meets condo requirements
· Sound Performance: STC 52 - 66
3mm Cork $.68/sf
Natural cork underlay provide exceptional sound reduction capabilities in addition to insulation and comfort underfoot. The cork is harvested from the bark of the Cork Oak tree without harm to the tree. An environmentally friendly option for naturally healthy living. Cork quiets both hardwood and laminate floors.
· Environmentally friendly option
Redux® Acoustical Reduction (Simple Floors employee Favorite) $.50/sf
Our best foam rubber underlayment. Redux can be used in both commercial and residential applications. Redux reduces same room foot traffic noise as well as reduces sound transmission to adjacent rooms and lower levels. Redux is for use under both engineered wood floors, laminate and cork floating floors. Specifically for use with the floating floor installation method, Redux provides a quieter surface by absorbing under floor vibration.2.5mm thickness
· Mold and mildew resistant as well as non allergenic
· Sound Performance: STC 55

Royal Walker® $.59/sf
A premium underlayment developed to reduce noise transmission for use under both hardwood and laminate floors. The unique engineering of this underlay allow it to interact with the floor system itself in a manner that produces a sound similar to that of traditional wood flooring.
· Exceeds recommended moisture permeability ratings for installation over concrete slabs
· Sound Performance: STC 53

Silver series 3 in 1 (Moderate) $.32/sf
The silver series 3 in 1 is a mid level laminate and hardwood flooring underlay. The silver series offers moderate sound absorption for laminate and hardwood flooring. The higher density 2mm thick foam comes with an foil moisture barrier backing. No additional moisture barrier is needed when using The Silver Series. This underlay is for use over both wooden or concrete subfloors. The foil on this underlayment also adds insulating properties.
2 in 1 Combo Foam Film (Low end) $.24/sf
The 2 in 1 Combo Foam Film is the standard laminate floating floor underlay. The 2 in 1 Combo foam film can also be used under solid or engineered real hardwood floors as well. The 2 in 1 is a 2mm thick foam with a pre-attached moisture barrier. This underlay can be used over both wooden or concrete subfloors.


Note - This blog article was initially published a few years ago but there are so many new people in our company that we are re-posting it. We also received great feedback from our customers about this "cheat sheet". Let us know at seattle@simplefloors.com if you would like us to mail you a copy!
Original posting here

Monday, April 9, 2012

Before and After 3 - Strand woven bamboo flooring


Here is the final photo in the Before and After series of the customer who recently had us install the strand woven bamboo flooring in their Seattle home. As you can see, the zebrano raw bamboo looks fantastic! The strand woven bamboo is a great product to use on stairs as it is extremely durable and holds up to high traffic in homes and is often used for commercial applications.

Check out all the strand woven options by clicking here!


Why choose our strand woven bamboo?
  • No additives: there is a difference. Premium Green Strand woven is produced exclusively using European Dyno brand adhesives. The adhesives are free of components classified as hazardous to the environment. No solvents, heavy metals, or bactericides were used in the making of this floor. This strand woven floor meets or exceeds European Union (more strict than U.S. regulations) Formaldehyde requirements.
  • Environmentally friendly. From the bamboo itself, to the low-emission glues utilized, Premium Green Bamboo floors are created with minimal environmental impact. There isn't a flooring available with lower environmental impact.
  • Hardness. The hardest bamboo floor you can buy. Premium Green Strand woven exotic series has nearly twice the hardness rating of oak or a standard bamboo floor.
  • Timeless Style. The style of the Strand Woven series is unmatched. The color and style complement any interior theme. A practical hardwood flooring option with beauty that will impress your most discerning guests. The look of an expensive exotic flooring option at a price that fits any budget.
  • Durability. Strand Woven Bamboo offers a Hardness rating (3000 PSI) twice that of other bamboo species and flooring such as Oak and Maple. The moisture stability of the product allows for flexible installation methods such as direct glue down over concrete, traditional nail down on wood, or floating installation. Install the Strand Woven bamboo in virtually any room in your house. With both the natural and carbonized or zebrano versions, the color on the surface is the same color all the way to the core. This means if dents or gouges do occur, they are less noticeable and easier to repair.
  • Finishing Touch. The level of sheen is satin glow. The 11 step finishing process, in which 8 coats of German manufactured Treffic aluminum oxide Finish are applied, achieves the finest finish available. Each layer is individually cured with Ultra Violet light. Beautiful finish depth combined with abrasion- and scratch-resistance and no-wax easy daily maintenance results. Top-quality materials and exacting construction standards ensure the lasting performance of Premium Green Bamboo floors.
  • Certified. The factory is ISO 9000 certified. Not only does this mean production of a quality product but a quality product consistently, time after time.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Before and After 2 - Strand woven bamboo flooring



Before and After 2 - Strand woven bamboo flooring

Here is some additional photos showing the new bamboo flooring in a Seattle home. This customer sent us multiple before and after photos showing us how the strand zebrano bamboo really changed the look and feel of their whole home.

The flooring was set at a diagonal to add further dimension to the look. You can notice none of the cupboards or hardware have changed, yet the whole room looks totally different.
Strand woven bamboo works really well in high traffic areas such as a kitchen. It holds up really well to water compared to other flooring and is very easy to maintain.

Click here to check out the full collection!


FAQ's about strand woven bamboo
Q. Why does the Premium Green Strand Woven Bamboo Collection look different? I can't even tell it's bamboo!
A. With this collection the cane is harvested and Bamboo pieces are thrashed, woven, bundled, and pressed into a dense compact block. The visual this creates is that of an exotic hardwood species.

Q. Is this harder than regular bamboo?
A. Nearly twice as hard. The official Janka hardness rating is 3000 pounds per square inch. This is as hard as many Brazilian species.

Q. Is it available in stained colors?
A. Yes, We have both stained and handscraped strand woven bamboo options now available

Q. Is it pre-finished? Do we have to apply anything to the surface once installed?
A. It is pre-finished. No additional applications are needed.

Q. What is the warranty and who warranties it?
A. It is a triple warranty. A Lifetime Structure, 55yr defect and 25yr Finish/wear warranty. Premium Green, a U.S based manufacturer, backs the warranty.

Q. Does the strand woven version have floor and stair trim, or do we just use regular bamboo trim?
A. We stock a complete line of floor and stair trim for the Premium Green Strand Woven Collection. See the specific color quote page for all of the available matching trim options.

Q. Does this floor require any special care?
A. No special care needed. You do not even have to wax this floor. Just your regular weekly cleaning.



Saturday, April 7, 2012

Breathe A Little Easier This Spring!

I recently made a move into a beautiful rental home in Sacramento, CA. The owner of this home was going to replace the old carpet with new carpet but with very little convincing - he allowed me to replace it with laminate flooring instead.

Flooring is one of the most important things in my life for two very different reasons. #1 I've always been in the flooring industry and love it. #2 I have respiratory issues; allergies, dust mites, pets... any of this sound familiar?

When I was a child with asthma the doctors told my parents, "take the carpet out of her room, she spends at least 8 hours breathing the dirt and particles that stay in her carpeted flooring". If you have ever removed a carpet and seen the dirt that is trapped underneath it, you know exactly what I am talking about.  After a while my parents had our entire house "de-carpeted" and we were living on beautiful solid surfaces. Durable and easy to clean hardwood and laminate floors. This is what drew me to SimpleFloors, our focus is only on beautiful hard surface flooring. SimpleFloors runs the gamut from eco-friendly bamboo and cork, responsible exotic wood, 3/4 solid wood, engineered hardwood, and laminated floors.

If you have allergies like me and are looking for a solution, try solid surface flooring. In addition to the flooring as long as your allergies are not mold related you might try these particular types of plants. Besides being beautiful these plants are known for their ability to clean the air from some chemicals that can trigger respiratory issues.  


English Ivy
Bamboo Palm
Lady Palm
Peace Lily







  
We chose the Masterpiece Cedar for our new flooring, its nearly 1/2 inch thick (12mm) and the boards are varied in length. With a good underlayment - it has the look, feel, and sound of a hardwood floor. I highly recommend!

Click here to see more about Masterpiece Cedar

Strand Woven Bamboo Flooring Before and After - Living Room



One of our customers in Seattle sent us some fantastic before and after photos of home - they really love the strand woven zebrano charred that they chose and said "if these photos don't help sell your floors, then nothing will!"

The strand woven bamboo they chose really highlights their existing furniture, cabinets, and design of the home. No other design changes were made except having new bamboo flooring installed.