Archive for the ‘Hardwood Floors’ Category

All About Laminate: The Best Qualities of Laminate Flooring

Learning Everything There is to Love about Laminate Floors

While there are dozens of flooring options to choose from today, it may seem at times that certain types of flooring specialize in only one or two worthy features. Some are extremely durable but also pretty difficult to install. Some feel great underfoot but are hard to keep clean. Others are economically priced but do not offer a wide range of styles, and a few kinds are environmentally friendly but not family friendly. In these flooring situations, it seems that you have to choose your preferred characteristic and settle on the rest.

However, there is a flooring alternative that does not place homeowners in such a compromising position. This flooring material is both durable and stylish while still being easy to afford, easy to install, easy to clean, and easy on the environment. It may sound too good to be true, but this is the reality of laminate flooring. The winning qualities of laminate flooring designate it as an outstanding flooring choice for any home, and Speedy Floor Removal is here to share more about these winning qualities of laminate flooring with you.

The Best Qualities of Laminate Flooring


With a core of high-density fiberboard, laminate floors are exceptionably durable and resistant to wear and tear. In fact, laminate floors are virtually immune to stains, spills, and scuffs, and they can actually be five times more scratch resistant than hardwood floors. Therefore, laminate floors can look just as elegant as hardwood without instilling nearly as much worry in homeowners. Laminate floors are even sealed with a tough melamine wear layer, so they can last longer than hardwood, vinyl, or carpet all while remaining impervious to cats, dogs, kids, and high heels. Additionally, most laminate flooring comes with extensive warranties that supply protection against fading and moisture damage. You can install laminate floors just about anywhere in your house: they work great in bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, dining rooms, playrooms, and entryways. If you need a durable floor that does not demand much maintenance, laminate floors are the ideal choice that can handle all of your high-traffic areas.


Laminate flooring comes in a significant variety of styles, colors, and patterns, so the design possibilities with laminate are practically limitless. Laminate stands as such a versatile flooring type because of its composition: laminate planks or tiles are made of layers of plywood or compressed fiber backing topped off with a photograph covered with a plastic coating. The fact that realistic photography is incorporated into this flooring means that laminate can be visually indistinguishable from real wood as well as stone, ceramic tile, and stained concrete. The technology of laminate flooring enables you to imitate most any kind of flooring in your home for a much lower price. Furthermore, the feel of laminate is a major plus: its soft, warm surface provides a corresponding experience underfoot to hardwood and an improved experience over ceramic or stone tile.


Laminate is certainly one of the cheaper flooring options available today. With a lower price point than hardwood for an extremely similar look and feel, it affords considerable value to hardwood lovers. Laminate is also a particularly economical option when buyers consider its durability and longevity as well.


Most types of laminate flooring can be floated over the existing floor, which literally makes installation a snap. Without the use of glue, nails, or staples, floating floors involve individual planks that lock together with a tongue and groove system that joins securely while avoiding the need for attachment to the subfloor beneath. Tearing out old floors is unnecessary because laminate flooring can lie directly above dry concrete, wooden subfloors, and many other non-textile flooring types. A low clearance space height also enables laminate flooring to more easily enter older homes with thicker floors. The simplicity of installation that laminate flooring allows saves homeowners a lot of time and money and creates a flooring type that can be uninstalled and replaced in a quick and uncomplicated manner.


As laminate floors are so resistant to most kinds of damage, they are easy to clean and maintain. Laminate floors can be cleaned with a vacuum, a damp cloth, and most household cleaners. Removing stains is simple with laminate flooring: even heavy marks and stains wipe away with acetone or other solvents containing alcohol. Cleaning and keeping laminate is definitely not a hassle with its low maintenance material: the unique surface of laminate avoids the need for waxing or varnishing. With their hard, smooth exterior, laminate floors do not allow dust to accumulate the way that carpet fibers do, so they are actually a hypoallergenic flooring choice that is safe for people with allergies as they preserve healthy indoor air quality. In order to protect your laminate floors from dents and scratches, place felt protectors or nylon pads under your heavy furniture and replace hard plastic rollers with soft rubber rollers.


Finally, laminate flooring is environmentally friendly because it is made from recycled materials such as wood and wood byproducts and therefore does not require the harvesting of rare or endangered trees.

All About Floors: Speedy Floor Removal

With all of these attractive attributes, laminate flooring is the complete package in the field of flooring solutions. This sizable list of endless benefits should put laminate flooring high on your list of options for your next flooring project. Whenever you are ready to install new flooring in your home, contact Speedy Floor Removal. We can help you prepare your house for the incoming material with our floor removal and floor flattening services, and we can also assist you in locating exceptional flooring products at area flooring stores. There is so much to love about laminate, so start moving toward your perfect new floors today with Speedy Floor Removal!

The Speedy Way to Clean and Maintain Your Hardwood Floors

Cleaning and Maintaining Your Hardwood Floors: Part 2

As we learned in Part 1 of this blog series, understanding the specifics of cleaning and maintaining solid hardwood is critical for homeowners with any amount of this hardwood flooring in their home. Hardwood flooring is an excellent and enduring addition to your house, but in order to preserve its pristine condition, homeowners must take particular maintenance measures that cater to hardwood directly. Therefore, in this second installation of The Speedy Way to Clean and Maintain Your Hardwood Floors, Speedy Floor Removal will reveal how to maintain hardwood floors by sharing the three most important maintenance rules to follow, as well as the top nine most essential hardwood flooring maintenance tips.

Maintaining Your Hardwood Floors

Maintenance Rules

In order to learn how to maintain hardwood floors, the three most important maintenance rules to follow are:

  1. Wipe up spills immediately. Do not allow water to stand on the wood for any length of time.
  2. Sweep or vacuum often. Ground-in dirt can destroy wood floors. Vacuum, sweep, or dust mop hardwood floors at least once a week. If using a vacuum, make sure that the vacuum head has a brush or felt on it, or use the wand attachment; do not use a vacuum with beater bars or hard heads. To dust mop hardwood floors, use a damp, flat mop with a microfiber head that will effectively collect dust and hair.
  3. Choose the right rug. Some carpeting or rugs can stain the wood or affect the finish.

Adhering to these rules should enable you to keep your hardwood floor in exceptional shape for years. However, these other simple maintenance suggestions are also well worth your time and energy if you are really hoping to guard your investment in your wood floors. Some will mean simple additions to your home, like area rugs and entrance mats. Others can quickly become an effortless habit, such as taking your shoes off before you walk on your wood. And several of these tips need only be done on random, more rare occasions, such as when you are moving furniture.

Maintenance Tips

  1. To help keep your wood from warping, maintain a relative humidity between 35% and 55% in your home.
  2. To preserve the natural color and brilliance of your wood floors, protect them from direct sunlight with curtains, blinds, and rugs.
  3. To keep your wood floors cleaner with less work, place interior and exterior doormats on both sides of entrances. These should prevent a good amount of dirt and moisture from being tracked onto the floors.
  4. Place rugs made of breathable material near sources of moisture, such as kitchen sinks, in order to prevent moisture entrapment. Do not use mats with rubber, foam, or plastic backs, as these may capture moisture and consequently discolor the wood.
  5. Place runners and area rugs with slip-resistant backings in heavily trafficked areas and at all pivot points in order to protect parts of the wood flooring that would suffer wear and tear more quickly. To make sure that the wood under these rugs continue to match the surrounding sections, move the rugs around occasionally.
  6. If you have pets, keep their nails trimmed in order to stop their footsteps from scratching the wood.
  7. Eliminate dents and dings in your floors by leaving shoes at the door and not walking on the wood with high heels, heeltaps, or sharp objects protruding from shoes.
  8. In rainy weather, be sure to remove wet shoes and dripping coats somewhere other than on the wood floors if possible. Otherwise, remove wet items on a mat or towel and do not let them sit on the wood floors when wet.
  9. Avoid rolling, dragging, or pushing heavy furniture and appliances across your wood floor so as to stop any unnecessary abuse. Use appliance lifts or plywood hardboard if necessary to move large objects, and position furniture leg protector pads under all furniture legs. Replace any hard, narrow rollers on your furniture with wide rubber ones.

Speedy Help For Hardwood Floors

Combining these important maintenance tips with our practical cleaning tips will effectively empower homeowners with hardwood floors to protect the ageless, attractive, and advantageous qualities of their floors for years to come. To revisit those cleaning tips for hardwood floors, visit last month’s blog, and to learn about how Speedy Floor Removal can help prepare your home for fantastic hardwood floors, contact us today!

The Speedy Way to Clean and Maintain Your Hardwood Floors

Cleaning and Maintaining Your Hardwood Floors: Part 1

At Speedy Floor Removal, we have already stated our opinions on solid hardwood floors, but we will say them again: hardwood floors bring timeless, traditional, and natural beauty to your home. Hardwood floors add to the aesthetic appeal as well as the monetary value of a house, and though it is a very long-established flooring option, hardwood flooring is still as fashionable as ever.

With all of hardwood’s great qualities, it is easy to fall in love with this flooring option, but in order to make your adoring relationship with your hardwood floors last, some upkeep is required. As a natural product chemically altered to fit into your home, solid hardwood has very specific cleaning and maintenance needs that will retain all of the original luster and luxury of your flooring if followed properly, but which will cause all of that wonder to slowly slip away if not followed.

Therefore, understanding each particular cleaning and maintenance step for solid hardwood is critical for homeowners with any amount of this classic flooring in their house. Speedy Floor Removal wants to prepare hardwood flooring homeowners to be able to protect their investment and promote their style for as long as possible, so we have supplied every essential cleaning and maintaining tip for hardwood flooring that homeowners could ever need. We will reveal these tips in this two part blog series, and this first part will discuss how to clean your hardwood floors. So, whether you and your hardwood flooring are at home in North Central Florida or anywhere else in America, stick with us to find out how to give your distinctive real wood floors all of the TLC they deserve!

Cleaning Your Hardwood Floors:

When it comes to cleaning your hardwood floors, it is important to recall how your hardwood floors are sealed because it is the finish, not the wood type, that determines how you should clean your floors.

There are three different types of finishes that your hardwood floor may have. These finish types are:

  • Surface-sealed floors: new wood floors are usually sealed with urethane, polyurethane, or polyacrylic, and these types of seals render the floor mostly stain and water damage resistant. Surface sealed floors are fairly easy to care for and clean.
  • Penetrating-seal-treated and oil-treated floors: a penetrating soil or an oil finish soaks into the grain of the wood and hardens. Penetrating seal-treated or oil-treated are a bit more delicate and must be pampered with liquid or paste wax.
  • Lacquered, shellacked, varnished, or untreated floors: These types of finishes are technically considered surface finishes, but floors covered with lacquers, shellacs, or varnishes are not as resistant to moisture, spills, wear, and tear as other surface-sealed floors are. Therefore, floors with these finishes should be treated as carefully as penetrating-seal-treated or oil-treated floors.

Tip from Today: to quickly determine which type of finish is on your floor, rub your finger across the hardwood. Floors treated with a penetrating seal, oil finish, lacquer, shellac, or varnish will leave a smudge. Surface-sealed floors will not.

Cleaning Surface-Sealed Hardwood Floors:

To clean surface-sealed floors, heed the following advice:

  • Do not use the following products on your surface-sealed floors, as they will leave behind residue, scratches, or a dull finish:
    • Furniture sprays
    • Oils
    • Waxes
    • Straight ammonia
    • Alkaline products
    • Abrasive cleaners
  • Use soap and water to get a great clean without jeopardizing your floor’s warranty. Floor cleaning products recommended by the floor finisher should work as well, but those may be more expensive. Water alone or water and vinegar will leave your floors looking dingy and will not be as effective at removing buildup.
  • Sweep daily if possible. Mop at least once a week.
  • When mopping, make sure the mop is damp and not dripping, as any amount of standing water is bad for hardwood floors. After dipping the mop in a bucket of cleaning solution, wring it out completely, and follow the wood grain with your strokes. Replace the cleaning solution when the water gets dirty, and rinse the entire surface with clean water after applying the cleaning solution.

Specific problems with your surface-sealed wood floors only require simple solutions. The following recommendations should help you overcome them:

  • Erase scuffmarks with some baking soda on a damp sponge.
  • Use a commercial cleaner to address food, water, and grease stains.
  • Wait for the seasons to change to see your hairline cracks disappear. These cracks should close up during the summer months when the air is not so dry, or a humidifier can help as well.
  • Recoat your floor with one or two additional layers of sealer after a light sanding to restore shine. Complete this process every five to seven years.

Cleaning Hardwood Floors with All Other Finishes or Untreated Hardwood Floors:

These directions apply to cleaning and caring for untreated floors or floors treated with penetrating seals, oils, lacquer, shellac, or varnish:

  • Do not use the following waxes on your hardwood floors:
    • Furniture wax: leaves the floors too slick
    • One-step wax: traps dirt
    • Acrylic or water-based waxes: turn the floors white
  • Use a stripper recommended by the floor manufacturer, a commercial product from the hardware store, or mineral spirits to remove old wax buildup.
  • Protect your hardwood floors with liquid wax or paste wax.
  • Do NOT use a damp mop on your waxed floors.
  • Vacuum and sweep these wood floors often.
  • Once or twice a year, apply a fresh coat of wax after stripping away the old coat. Spot-wax in between in dull areas if necessary.
  • To wax your floor:
    • Remove the old wax by following the instructions of a commercial stripper or by rubbing mineral spirits into the wood and wiping off with a soft, clean cloth.
    • Apply a thin coat of wax when the floor has dried. Use an applicator for liquid wax or a cloth for paste wax. Add another thin coat after the first coat dries for more protection.
    • Buff the floor in the direction of the wood grain with a cloth or a rented buffing machine.

Minor issues with your untreated, penetrating-seal-treated, oil-treated, lacquered, shellacked, or varnished floors can be resolved with these easy answers:

  • Remove white water spots by rubbing the area in a circular motion with a small amount of mineral spirits added to an extra fine steel wool pad.
  • Buff away heel marks with a small amount of wax applied to an extra fine steel wood pad and rubbed in a circular motion over the area.
  • Take away food stains by wiping the surface with a damp cloth, then rubbing the area dry and waxing. Work from the outside edge toward the center to eliminate the stain.

Maintaining Your Hardwood Floors:

To learn how to maintain your solid wood floors treated with any type of sealer or finish, revisit Speedy Floor Removal’s blog next month for more essential information on taking care of your wonderful hardwood! For more information how Speedy Floor Removal can help you secure an amazing new hardwood floor for your home, contact us today!

The Hottest New Flooring Trend: Wood Plank Tile

The Many Wonders of Wood Plank Tiles

In order to best serve the flooring needs of North Central Florida, Speedy Floor Removal wants to continue to share the best information and the latest trends in flooring. One flooring trend in particular that has recently skyrocketed in popularity is wood plank tile, which is ceramic or porcelain tile that imitates the look of real wood floors. Traditional wood flooring has long embodied a classic, sophisticated, and luxurious look, but particular qualities of hardwood flooring make it impractical or impossible for certain rooms in the home or regions in the world.

In our blog about hardwood and engineered wood flooring, Speedy Floor Removal discussed the struggle with real hardwood flooring that living in Florida produces. Hardwood flooring is difficult to maintain in Florida because of the high humidity levels of the state’s climate. Hardwood flooring does not do well in moist environments, which is why it is not recommended for bathrooms and kitchens; yet in Florida, hardwood flooring is not recommended for the near-sea level ground floor at all due to the dangers of flooding and rapid mold growth.Therefore, tile flooring is a much better option for states with sea water wafting through the air like Florida, but until now, opting for tile floors meant sacrificing the timeless and stylish look of real wood.

Thankfully, the latest advancements in manufacturing technology enables the wood floor-loving homeowners of the South to obtain their dream flooring look without having to move out of state or go to floor care extremes. This fresh new approach to flooring combines the best of both the tile flooring and hardwood flooring worlds and provides an alternative that many will find more advantageous than the real thing.

Knowing how quickly Florida homeowners embrace the idea of wood plank tile once they learn of it, Speedy Floor Removal wants to share the many benefits of going with the decorating flow by installing wood plank tile floors in your home.

The Pros of Wood Plank Tile

Looks Exactly Like Real Wood

The quality of imitation from certain flooring brands that make wood plank tile can actually be quite astounding: wood plank tile can look so much like real wood to the naked eye that you have to touch it to know the difference. Highly developed technology like digital imaging and inkjet printing equips tile manufacturers to add the details that make the forgery seem more genuine, such as grain, distress, knots, shading variations, hand scraped textures, and glossy finishes. Wood plank tile can pretend to be any type of wood: cherry, acacia, walnut, reclaimed wood, driftwood, petrified wood, etc. Therefore, you can receive all of the beauty and style of classic wood floors while achieving all of the durability, versatility, and simplicity of tile floors.

Wood plank tile

Another advancement that improves the real look of fake wood tiles is the change in sizing. Tiles are no longer limited to the conventional sizes of yesterday. Instead, they can now be made into long rectangular shapes called planks, and this innovation enables them to take on the look of wood with even more realism. With technology and manufactures working so hard to generate tile that looks like wood, homeowners need to remember to maintain the illusion by choosing the correct grout color. When installing wood plank tiles, go for a grout color that matches the tone of the wood as well as possible so as not to throw off the intended look and feel. For darker wood floors, choose a dark grout color rather than a light one, and vice versa, or your “wood” floors will just look funny.

More Durable Than Real Wood

Real wood floors are lovely and can look nice for a long time, but when certain elements such as large animals, little children, and a few pairs of high heels are added to an environment with wood floors, their presence can cause wood floors to really suffer. Therefore, tiles floors can offer superior functionality to households in which these elements are permanent features. While real hardwood floors have their merits of being soft and warm, many people feel that tile floors are more durable all around. Tiles floors are definitely not as prone to dent, scratch, warp, crack, or chip as real hardwood floors. They seem to be harder and stronger in the long run, so some people find them easier to preserve over time.

Porcelain tile is generally considered to be stronger than ceramic; as it is fired at extremely high temperatures, porcelain tile manages to be especially hard and durable. Wood plank tile is actually so enduring that it will probably last even longer than your personal style preferences: you may want to change it before it even needs to go. If tile floors do endure damage, undoing it is also a bit easier than the usual repair process for hardwood floors. A single tile or multiple tiles can be replaced without having to rip up the entire floor, and for upkeep, instead of resurfacing, refinishing, and resealing a real wood floor every few years, maintaining a tile floor simply involves putting down a new layer of sealer every three to five years to keep moisture from getting into the grout.

More Versatile Than Real Wood

In certain rooms, real wood flooring really elevates the overall level of flair and distinction of the space; however, in other rooms, hardwood flooring is not even an option. Real hardwood flooring does not do well in rooms with excessive amounts of moisture, such as the bathroom and kitchen, as water that seeps deep into the layers of wood will not dry out easily and can harbor major mold growth. Also, as captivating as wood flooring can be, glistening in the natural glow of a well-lit living room, dining room, or sunroom boasting oversized windows, ages of exposure to sunlight can cause that rich, organic beauty to fade over time. Therefore, tile flooring that emulates wood is much more versatile than actual wood because it really can go in any room and withstand unmonitored amounts of moisture or sunlight. Wood plank tiles can get really wet while serving as a backsplash, and these tiles can also get really warm when used with underfloor radiant heating.

Wood plank tile also works much better for accent walls than real wood. Another popular application of wood plank tile is extending the look from floor to ceiling, and the creation of this commanding design feature is better served by tile because when placed against the wall, wood plank tiles will not snag linens or upholstery, nor will they leave homeowners fearing the old lead paint or toxins from wood pallets. Therefore, wood plank tile is the way to go when hoping to literally take the effect of wood up a notch.

More Customizable Than Real Wood

Tile already affords a greater range of color, design, and pattern options than real wood flooring, and wood plank tiles are no different. With wood plank tiles, the signatures colors of different types of wood are much more accessible, and particular wood patterns such as herringbone and parquet are easier to achieve as well. As wood plank tiles can be made in many different sizes, the variations in plank sizes can be mixed and matched to create previously unattainable, original looks. Wood plank tiles now come in even bigger sizes — some as large as one meter by three meters — and this quality allows homeowners to bring more refined luxury into their spaces.

More Sustainable and Less Costly Overall Than Real Wood

Wood plank tile is especially eco-friendly, as millions of trees do not have to be cut down in order to put the forest outside under your feet inside. Wood plank tile floors provide the cozy and welcoming look of wood without harming a single tree. While the initial purchasing price of wood plank tiles can be comparable to that of real hardwood flooring, the cost of labor for tile is less, as the tile installation process is not as intensive as the wood flooring installation process, and maintenance costs of tile are lower than those of wood as well. Also, with the amount of realism that technology can achieve with wood plank tiles, homeowners can get the look of more expensive and exotic woods for a much more reasonable price with tile.

Better For Florida Than Real Wood

Finally, the most significant reason why Florida residents should consider choosing wood plank tiles over real wood floors is that tile simply fairs better in Florida’s subtropical and tropical climates. As previously stated, wood plank tiles withstand moisture better than real wood, which means Florida homeowners can recreate the facade of real wood on the lower levels of the house without having to fear mold overwhelming the floor over time. Also, as Speedy Floor Removal revealed in our blog about tile floors, wood plank tile would keep Florida residents cooler in the summer rather than adding to the sweat-inducing heat. Whether Florida residents use these reasons alone to decide to install wood plank tile or simply add them to the list of other pros wood plank tiles have going for them, it would be unwise for Florida residents to ignore these truths completely when making a major flooring decision.

Speedy Floor Removal’s Prep for Wood Plank Tiles

While all of the benefits of wood plank tiles position this novel flooring invention as strong competition to real wood flooring, there is one factor for which North Central Florida residents need to be prepared in order to make the dream of wood plank tiles a reality in their houses. In the process of installing wood plank tiles, homeowners need to ensure that their floors are perfectly flat in order to accommodate the fact that unlike real wood floors, wood plank tiles cannot be leveled out by sanding after they are placed. If the floors do not follow the maximum allowable variation of one-eighth of an inch in a space of ten feet, the insufficiently flat space will magnify the truth that the crown, or the middle section, of a wood plank tile is higher than the outside sections. If homeowners plan to offset their wood plank tiles in order to more convincingly replicate the look of real wood floors, a floor that is not perfectly flat will destroy the resemblance with gaps occurring in the offset sections.

Most floors are not quite flat enough nowadays, but Speedy Floor Removal can solve that problem with our floor flattening services. Our floor flattening services remove high spots from the slab and save time and money on bags of leveler. Our ability to flatten floors completely by leveling out every section results in better installation, as the new flooring will adhere directly to the concrete slab instead of another leveler or coating. Therefore, if you are determined to add all of these flooring pros to your home, contact Speedy Floor Removal to get your floors as flat as they need to be to showcase the wonders of wood plank tiles.