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Category Archives: hardwood flooring

Hardwood Flooring: Living Room Design Inspirations

Hardwood Flooring: Living Room Design Inspirations

Can’t decide which type of flooring will work well with your dream living room design? 

Hardwood floors give life to any design that you have in mind. Whether you’re going for a contemporary or a rustic-themed living room, there’s a right type of hardwood flooring to match.

Find inspiration in these photos of 5 gorgeous living rooms with hardwoord floors.


Work some contrast on your walls, flooring, and furniture. This elegant living room balances dark wood furniture with a light hardwood floor, neutral walls, big windows, and plenty of browns.


Exude a homey, country-style vibe in your home with untreated hardwood flooring, wood furniture, and creative use of earth colors. Sunlight beaming in and casting light on the floor complements the cozy ambiance.


Hardwood flooring does not only go well with a rustic theme – it works great with a contemporary living room too. A dark hardwood floor completes the chic and modern look of this living room along with padded walls, minimalist furniture, and dark tones with accent colors.


This living room works with the gray color palette. The dark hardwood flooring brings out the gray color combinations and serves as a good background to highlight the color design. Dark hardwood floors work well with other color palettes too, especially the lighter hues.


If you want to work with muted colors, hardwood flooring will serve as a great canvas. The flooring in this living room pieces together the subtle look and the simple, modest design.

For more design inspirations, continue reading here:





The Practical Guide to Buying Bamboo Flooring

The Practical Guide to Buying Bamboo Flooring


Bamboo flooring has seen a marked increase in sales in recent years. It’s a constant favorite of those with allergies or with children, people who prefer flooring with easy maintenance requirements, and those who love its unique and exotic look. A lot of people also appreciate how its use is friendly for the environment. However, to maximize the benefits of bamboo flooring you need to buy bamboo flooring properly.

Here are some tips to help you out.

  1. Quality. Ostensibly, the quality of the bamboo flooring is defined by its grade. The “Grade A” flooring is made from fully mature bamboo. It is more durable and its look is more consistent. The “Grade B” comes from bamboo that hasn’t matured yet, and it may be weaker, less durable and have less consistent coloring.

Unfortunately, these designations are entirely arbitrary, so what’s Grade A for one dealer may be Grade B for another. You therefore need to check the overall reputation of the seller to gauge the quality of the bamboo flooring accurately.

The warranty is another sign of its quality, and the best ones will offer long warranties for defects, delamination, and premature wearing of the topcoat finish. On average, the warranty for structural damage for home use ranges from 10 to 25 years, while the warranty for the finish is 5 to 10 years.

  1. Costs. Bamboo flooring may come in solid-bamboo planks, which require a more time consuming installation process involving nails and staples. These planks may cost anywhere from $3 to $4 per square foot.

Engineered planks are installed with the floating floor process, and it goes much easier and faster. The price of engineered planks ranges from $3 to $7 per square foot.

If you’re going to have the installation done for you, then the costs will increase as well. Some special steps may require additional fees, such as moving your furniture, removing your old floor covering, preparing your subfloor against unevenness, and the use of special accessories for installation. So you better break down the cost of the installation and see how much each service costs.

  1. Types of bamboo flooring. Bamboo flooring may also be categorized by the way the bamboo slices are laminated together. If it is vertical, then you have narrow strips with a smooth and uniform look. Horizontal bamboo flooring uses wider bamboo planks, which show more of the natural features and growth patterns of the bamboo. The strand-woven bamboo flooring is extremely durable and strong, and comparable to the hardness of Brazilian Cherry hardwood in the Janka Hardness Scale. It also offers the most consistent look.bsmboo-flooring-types bamboo-flooring-types-
  2. Color choices. This depends mostly on your preferences. Bamboo can be stained for a wide range of options for colors and hues. With direct print bamboo, you get the benefits of bamboo but the appearance of other woods such as cherry and oak. It may also be carbonized to create a darker hue, but this is very easy to scratch or dent.


Your best bet is to buy from a reputable seller who can answer all your questions regarding bamboo flooring pros and cons clearly and completely, so that you know what you’re getting and how much you’re paying. With such a seller, you can get the beautiful and durable bamboo flooring you need at a reasonable cost.

Bamboo Pricing factor: Surface Treatment

Often the price of bamboo materials will be heavily influenced by the type of UV coating that is applied to the surface. Low quality materials will often have only two or three coats applied to the surface. However the ideal is to have the floor coated at least six or seven times on all six sides of the plank to prevent moisture penetration. Aluminum oxide is considered to be one of the highest quality finishes available.

Pros, Cons, Care and average price of bamboo flooring


  • More quickly renewable resource than wood
  • Strong
  • Clean, contemporary sensibility


  • May darken or fade when exposed to sunlight
  • Should not be left wet


  • Place walk-off mats at entries to catch dirt; frequently shake mats.
  • Place protective pads on the bottoms of chair and table legs.
  • Regularly sweep or dust-mop the floor, or use a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar.
  • Use only cleaners recommended by the flooring manufacturer.


  • $4-$8 per square foot, installed


Is Bamboo Flooring a Fad?

Is Bamboo Flooring a Fad?


A story posted on the New York Time asks the question:

Is Bamboo Flooring a Good Idea or Just a Fad?

There are plenty of fads in the design world but bamboo flooring seems different. It is increasingly being used in both remodeling and new construction because it makes practical sense.

Bamboo is popular with some designers because of its sleek appearance. It is “more subtle, less ‘knotty’ ” than other wood, said Roger Ferris, an architect in Westport, Conn. “It’s not something you’re typically used to seeing. That makes it really suitable for contemporary and modern design schemes.”

Click here for the full article

For more information on bamboo flooring and installation

The Janka Hardness Scale

The Janka Hardness Scale


When evaluating hardwood flooring, one metric in the flooring industry to consider is the Janka Hardness Scale. This is the rating in which hardwood flooring is tested to measure it’s quality or durability.



The test is done by driving a steel ball into the wood. The ball is pressed until it reaches half of its diameter. Janka is a measurement of the pressure it takes to do it.



The video below shows the Janka hardness test in action on bamboo flooring


So for example, American walnut and American cherry are very soft on the janka rating
Whereas Brazilian cherry and Brazilian walnut are going to be extremely hard on the janka rating
Make sure you know this before you buy your next hardwood floor


When Is It Time To Refinish Your Hardwood Floors?

When Is It Time To Refinish Your Hardwood Floors?


Refinishing your hardwood floors is one of the least expensive ways to improve and change the look of your home. It is especially impactful if you have hardwood underneath your carpet and/or if you change the stain color.

To some extent, this is a personal choice as to when you refinish your hardwood floors. I certainly have customers who are very particular and like their floors in tip top condition; I have others that have let their floors go for 20-30 years, so there is a wide range. On average, most customers will sand & refinish their floors every 10 yrs or so – potentially sooner if you have a busy household with lots of kids and pets; potentially longer if you/your kids take your shoes off in the house.

Refinishing your hardwood often costs less than most customers think – I love doing these free flooring estimates because I always feel like I’m delivering good news – here’s an inexpensive way that we can greatly improve the look of your home…and, it’s less than you thought it would be!

For those of you not familiar with the process, it is a bit long and messy, so this is often why people put it off. First, you sand the floors – you take off the first couple of layers (including the current stain color), so you are left with raw unfinished wood. Usually, you do 3 cuts (each one with finer sanding grains) so the floors are smooth. Then, you apply stain (or leave natural) and let it dry 24 hours. You then add on 2-3 coats of polyurethane letting each coat dry for 24 hrs (and you screen it in between coats so the poly will stick better). Women – for those that get manicures, it’s basically the same process to make sure your nail polish stays on longer.

During this time, you can not walk on the floors and ALL furniture needs to be moved out of the rooms. This is where the complications lie.


So, when is the best time to refinish your hardwood floors?

1. Before you move in. By far, this is the best time to refinish hardwood since there’s no furniture and no disruption of living nor the smell. So, if you know someone moving into a new home and considering this, tell them to do it NOW (before they move in) and not later. It’s also less expensive if the room is empty (no cost for moving furniture).

2. If you already live in your Charlotte or Lake Norman home, then try to refinish the floors while you are away. This is a must do if it involves steps or sections leading to the bedrooms – remember you can’t walk on them for 4-5 days. You also avoid the smell this way. Alternatively, you could stay with family or friends.

3. If you are selling your home, try to refinish before you sell. If your hardwood floors are in bad shape, it’s a reflection of how well the house your house is maintained. Doing this project before the house is listed is a very smart investment and believe me you will get your return on it. It will help your house sell faster and a higher value. If it’s not done, potential buyers know they will need to do it and they will think it’s more expensive than it really is and hold back that amount in what they are willing to pay for the home. Again, you may consider doing this while you’re away. Or, if you’ve already moved, now is a perfect time for it.

How Does the “Feel” of Engineered Wood Compare with That of Solid Wood?

Are you planning to install new floors in your home and you cannot decide between engineered wood and solid wood?

Would you like to know what the difference between them at a sensorial level, rather than just regarding their properties? The best way to find out how engineered wood feels compared with solid wood is to get up close and down right friendly with a few planks of the two materials in one of our local flooring stores.

However, the devil hides in the details, and differences may appear in terms of feel of movement, dimensional stability, thickness and texture. Therefore, knowing a few things about the manufacturing technique of both materials, about their properties and their behavior throughout the year is the best way to realize what the differences are and how these differences may influence the feel.

Manufacturing Differences

Engineered hardwood usually consists of at least 2 layers, with the top one made of wood veneer. Manufacturing standards impose a top layer thickness of 2 to 4 mm, but, usually, the thicker the top layer is, the closer the resemblance between the feel of engineered and that of solid wood is. As for the lower layers, they are usually made of HDF, plywood or solid wood. The layers are pressure bonded to one another. The profiles available are either click locking or tongue-and-groove.

Manufactured from single wood pieces, solid wood planks usually have a thickness of ¾” and the most used profile for installation is tongue-and-groove.


Engineered hardwood has been proven to have minimal movement and maintain dimensional stability even in high humidity conditions. To prevent noticeable seasonal gapping and reduce movement, the average annual humidity level indoors should be somewhere between 40 and 65% throughout the year.

Solid hardwood, on the other hand, as a natural product, responds to the variations in the air humidity levels. If you want to avoid noticeable seasonal gapping and reduce movement, the average annual humidity level indoors should be somewhere between 45 and 55%.

As a result, in homes with high humidity levels and high temperature fluctuations, stepping on engineered hardwood floors will feel safer, steadier than stepping on solid wood floors.

Dimensional Stability

The lower layers of engineered hardwood ensure a better internal balance, reducing the possibility for twisting and warping to occur. Movement is minimal throughout the seasons, the flooring maintaining its dimensional stability. As a result, in homes where humidity and temperatures fluctuate significantly throughout the year, engineered wood is preferable to solid wood.

During humid and warm summers, solid wood often expands. During dry and cold winters, it often contracts. If you cannot keep the humidity levels and the temperature in the rooms where you want the new floors installed under control, minor cupping or gapping may occur.

This means that engineered floors may feel smoother, steadier and more even than solid wood floors in homes with higher humidity levels and fluctuating temperatures.

Design and Looks

Leaving differences that fluctuating temperatures and high humidity may bring about aside, engineered wood flooring usually looks and feels just like solid wood flooring. This is due to the fact that its top layer consists of real wood lamellas, with the same aspect, feel and texture as that of solid wood flooring.

More than that, both types of flooring come in the same range of stains and finishes, so they look the same. It is important to note, however, that, unlike site-finished solid wood flooring, prefinished engineered flooring has a microbevel on its four sides.

In proper temperature and humidity conditions, engineered hardwood and solid wood floors look and feel the same, so, choosing one over the other should be a matter of costs and practical considerations.

Mohawk Hardwood Flooring Review


Let’s take a good look at why we use Mohawk Hardwood Flooring

Once it comes to stylish and durable flooring, no one beats Mohawk Hardwood Flooring. With a wide range of elegantly designed and crafted flooring products to choose from, your living area can be transformed into a gorgeous place. The company stands out because of its innovative practices and ingenious art work.

Why only Mohawk Hardwood Flooring?

Soil, spills, oil and stain are the common issues faced by customers using hardwood flooring and these have been addressed through the Scotchgard Protector Advance Repel Technology. The surface is abrasion resistant and you get a 50 years guarantee for it so the floors would look new and trendy for a life time. The texture and style is custom made, incorporating ArmorMax Finish techniques. The development of glue free boarding is a revolutionary step that adds convenience and environment friendly traditions. This innovation has made Mohawk Hardwood Flooring particularly popular for do it yourself work.

Product Range

With an established reputation in top quality carpeting products, Mohawk Hardwood Flooring has seen great success in hard flooring variety too. The range is quite extensive and includes solid wood as well as engineered flooring tiles. Here is a brief overview of the popular lines in production:-

1. Revival Collection. This collection has two distinct features, namely use of domestic wood like Maple, Cherry, Ash and Click Lock technology that makes these floorings glue less. These are cheaper, faster to apply and easy to maintain and carry a lifelong warranty about the glue strength.

2. Lineage Collection. This range is popular because of trendy oak wood imparting traditional elegance to the floors. It also includes numerous designs and sizes of engineered wood flooring that is suitably colored and reasonably priced.

3. Rarity Collection. It is based on exotic wood species from the world and Artiquity Collection is an emerging success. It is offered in both the solid as well engineered tiles and textures.

4. Strand Woven Bamboo. With double the strength of oak floors, this is an exotic choice that is durable and breath-taking. The manufacturing process is environment friendly and the color choice is strikingly similar to the natural textures.

Many Problems, One Solution

The expertise of Mohawk Hardwood Flooring are not restricted to hard wood flooring alone as they also market products related to carpeting and wall decorations. The services are not limited to mere provision of attractive designs but their customer care goes a step further in interacting with the clients so as to understand the requirement and recommend the best possible combination and installing procedure. They also look after repairing any damages in the already installed floorings and are your one stop for all sort of interior needs.

Mohawk Hardwood Flooring has excelled because of its superior product range and competent customer care services. They have been trusted not to compromise on quality and style and their products look better for longer periods of time.

How Does Flooring Affect My Home Value

The type of flooring question is one we hear a lot as it relates to the impact on home values. Recently flooring expert and owner of Above Board Flooring in Charlotte, NC and Mooresville, NC Andrew Linford touched on this topic in the video below.

While there many types of flooring to choose from for your home that look great and will last a very long time, hardwood flooring offers the greatest increase in your homes value. Home appraisers consider hardwood flooring an upgrade option to any home.

Other flooring options that are highly desirable for looks, wear and value is tile. Today’s tile flooring can range to fit most any budget and is a great choice for any area of the house. The type of type you use does make a difference. Like most flooring products, tile flooring varies in price. Tile thickness, water absorption and wear rating, scratch resistance and C.O.F (Coefficient of Friction) rating all factor into the value of the tile installation and home value.

When we look at flooring on a value scale, vinyl flooring is more of a base flooring consideration. However, with so many design options AND considering your lifestyle options, vinyl flooring offers an affordable way to give your home a visual upgrade.

Here’s a good overview from HGTV

HGTV logo

If you have questions about which flooring choice can best improve your homes value, give us a call. We offer a free no hassle estimate. We will not be beat on quality and price.

What Makes the Grade in Timber?

What Makes the Grade in Timber?

Many people dream of a beautiful wooden floor and imagine that it will look exactly like the sample they see in a store or on an online website. But wood is a natural material and can be extremely variable. The fact that it is so variable is part of its charm, of course. Even cut and polished timber planks from the same type of tree – even from the same stand within a forest – can vary.

Fixing Your Squeaky Hardwood Floors

Fixing Your Squeaky Hardwood Floors

You are sneaking into the kitchen for a midnight snack and suddenly the floor squeaks loudly as you take a step. Snack attack fail! What can be done to fix those squeaky hardwood floors?

What Causes the Squeak?

There are several reasons why a hardwood floor will squeak. Simply put, wood rubbing on wood is causing the squeak. One type of creak comes from a “side-to-side” squeaking in which two flooring planks are rubbing because they have expanded and are competing for space. Hardwood flooring contractors will often use a material that will naturally contract and expand based on the humidity and temperature in the room. However, if they do not have enough room to expand they could end up rubbing.

Sometimes hardwoods are just not nailed down properly which causes the boards to rub.

Additionally, some squeaks develop between the flooring and the subfloor. This is one is more difficult to fix. Insure that your flooring installer uses a quality underlay material when they install your hardwoods. This will help reduce this problem.

Another cause may be that the cross bracing has been install improperly. The one-by-threes should be positioned beneath the subfloor in an X pattern. Sometimes these braces can be placed too closely together and can rub.

Locating the exact cause can sometimes require a trial-and-error approach.

How to Fix the Squeak

For the “side-to-side” squeaking caused by the expansion of the boards, there is an easy solution. Powdered graphite can be applied generously over the seam to help eliminate the creaking. As you apply the powdered graphite, place a rag over the area that is squeaking and work the powder into the crack over and over until it has penetrated and quiets the squeak. This may require a few applications. Simply clean up the excess graphite with a damp cloth.

To fix the squeaking due to the braces in the subfloor, you can sand or chisel them down if you are able to see and reach them. If the subflooring isn’t accessible it becomes more difficult to fix this kind of squeak. Nails can be shot through the floor into the subfloor. Screws can also be used and would provide an even stronger hold. Any nail holes can be concealed with a filler in a color that matches your flooring. The whole floor can then be sanded and refinished—or you can just sand and refinish the holes.

If after all of these attempts, your floor is still squeaking in an inaccessible area, then you have two choices: either tear the flooring up to get to the source of the squeak or live with the squeak.

Above all, you need to be sure to hire a reputable flooring installer that will circumvent these problems with quality flooring installation.

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About Us

Above Board Flooring is Charlotte North Carolina's leading flooring expert. Learn More About Us

Mecklenburg County Towns and Neighborhoods we service:

South Charlotte:
Including Ballentyne, Matthews, Mint Hill & Indian Trail:
The Arboretum on Pineville-Matthews Road,Ayrsley in the Southwest corner of Charlotte, Ballantyne off Johnston road near South Carolina, Barclay Downs by the SouthPark Mall, Beverly Woods by Park Road in South Park, Carmel Village by Carmel Road, Blakeney near Ballantyne neighborhoods, Chantilly around Plaza-Midwood, Cotswold, Dilworth, Landsdowne, Madison Park by E Woodlawn Road and Park Road, Myers Park, Nations Ford,Parkdale, Piper Glen, Quail Hollow, SouthPark, Steele Creek

North Charlotte:
Derita, Highland Creek, NoDa, University City, Northlake, Hidden Valley, Pleasant Grove, Croft, Newell

Lake Norman, NC:
Including Mooresville, Huntersville, Davidson, Cornelius, Troutman, Statesville, Sherrils Ford and Denver , NC

The Peninsula,The Point, River Run,Birkdale, The Hamptons, Govenors Island, Alexander Island, Wynfield, MacAulay, The Farms, Northstone, Skybrook, Antiquity, Sailview, Norman Pointe

West Charlotte:
Ashley Park, Berry Hill, Biddleville, Lincoln Heights, Oakview Terrace, Paw Creek, Shuffletown area, Thomasboro/Hoskins, Wesley Heights, Mountain Island Village,Yorkmount Park

East Charlotte:
Eastland, Grier Heights, Plaza-Midwood, Sherwood Forest, Hickory Grove, Hickory Ridge, Idlewild, Oakhurst, Reedy Creek, Shamrock, Sardis Woods, Stonehaven, Center City,

Charlotte, NC Location
10100 Park Cedar Dr.
Charlotte, NC 28210

Mooresville, NC Location
836 Williamson Rd.
Mooresville, NC 28117

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