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What You Need to Know about Hardwood Floors: An Interview with Jan Lehman of Standale Interiors and Standale Lumber

By Jan Lehman

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

We are affiliated with Standale Lumber, a 63 year old supplier of innovative building products to professional contractors and remodelers in West Michigan. Many of the builders who purchase our building products also use Standale Interiors for finishing's of flooring, cabinetry and countertops, furniture and accessories, blinds and window treatments and interior design and project coordination. Standale Interiors is an award winning showroom featuring all projects in different vignettes so the consumer can visualize how the products would look in his/her home.

What are the main factors people need to consider when it comes to choosing new hardwood flooring?

Where will the wood be installed (rooms, traffic)? What are your living habits (kids, animals, etc.)?

Wood Species

The species determines a floor's appearance and its durability. Each wood species has a unique look that's defined by its graining and other character marks like mineral streaks, burls, pin holes, and knots. Oak, for example, has well-defined variations in grain, while the graining in maple is more subtle.

Durability

Not all hardwoods are equally hard, so choose one that will deliver the durability level you need in your room. Hickory, oak, and maple have high hardness ratings that will provide extra durability.

Color

The color of your hardwood floor is based on the wood species and the stain applied to the wood. Staining adds color to enhance the natural look of the wood and reduce the amount of natural color variations. Darker floors will show more scratching and dust. Lighter colors hide more

Texture

  • Texture impacts the character of your floor and complements the design style of your room.
  • Smooth for a classic, timeless look
  • Distressed for a country or rustic look
  • Hand-Scraped for any style ? rustic to contemporary
  • What type(s) of hardwood floors work best for high-traffic areas (and why)?

    The types of hardwood flooring that work best for high traffic areas would be Hickory, Hard Maple, Oak, or Exotic Hardwoods. Hand-scraped or Distressed textures also help hide traffic. Many of the characteristics of question #2 play a part in determining the best floor for high traffic areas.

    What are some of the most popular hardwood floors for homeowners in Michigan?

    It is hard to say what the most popular hardwood flooring is because each project is unique and personal. In Michigan we tend to see more engineered flooring sole because it is a little more stable to accommodate the humidity changes that occur during our change of seasons.

    How are hardwood floors properly maintained so they last longer and still look good?

    Hardwood flooring should be swept with a microfiber cloth on a regular basis and using a recommended spray cleaner for higher traffic area and spot cleaning is recommended to keep the floor looking good. Avoiding excessive water on the products will help reduce finish problems.

    What advice do you have for someone who wants to install hardwood floors but has a limited budget?

    Hardwood flooring certainly adds value to a home and there are many different manufacturers and price points to fit into any budget. You should ask about your retailer about any closeouts or discontinued flooring that may be available as well--especially if it's a small area.

    What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

    Toll Free: 877-782-6325 Design appointments are recommended (info@standaleinteriors.com, www.standaleinteriors.com).

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    About The Author

    Jan has worked at Standale since 1986, starting in the furniture department with her...

    Phone: 877-782-6325

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