Seeing Hardwood Floor Cracks? Here’s Why.

It seems that the cold spell has final broken.  Spring time is almost upon us.  Everyone with hardwood floors has seen cracks develop in their floors during the second half of this winter.
With the furnaces running as much as they have, the humidity level in most homes has been very low. It is inevitablewood floors that shrinkage will occur in natural building products.  Most homes in the Midwest will average around 50% humidity throughout the spring summer and fall.  When it dips down to the low 30s, 20s and even lower than that, it causes dimensional change in natural materials.  Cracks open up between boards, sometimes extreme to the point of needing repair. Spring will soon be upon us and the furnace will run no longer. Humidity levels will rise and those cracks will seem to disappear. It is important to keep an eye on the humidity level in your house especially if you have new wood floors. If they were installed during the dry winter time then they were acclimated to that climate, that humidity level. Slight increases in humidity or tolerable but large increases will inversely create problems. Expansion and contraction are normal with the change of seasons.
But with dramatic changes natural materials like wood floors can swell too much causing rippling, cupping affects. A day or two  of high humidity will not cause damage. A week or two can very well be too much. If high humidity readings are noticed, action should be taken immediately. Sometimes just creating airflow will help. Other times a dehumidifier is needed. In this situation an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. We at Just Around the Corner Flooring are here to help make your life a little easier.
Call us today for all your flooring needs!

Luxury Vinyl Planks, Laminate, or Real Wood- Which is Right for Your Home?

Are you considering luxury vinyl planks, laminate, or real hardwood flooring for your home? Choosing the right floors for your space can be a daunting task. Beyond personal style, there are several other factors that usually come into consideration. Gone are the stigmas that vinyl and laminate are ‘cheap’ options. Both are becoming increasingly popular in many applications. Hardwood has always been viewed as valuable. Which one is right for you? Let’s do a quick comparison to help you decide.

Just Around the Corner is committed to offering the latest flooring technologies to continue our goal of offering the very best family-friendly flooring to St. Louis homes and businesses. With so many options to choose from, it’s important to understand the benefits and differences between luxury vinyl planks (LVP), laminate, and real hardwood flooring.


The Durability Test

Durability is usually one of the biggest determining factors in choosing a flooring option. While wood floors are very beautiful, natural materials, they are not resistant to heavy traffic. Both laminate and LVP have better resistance to scratches and dents than real wood flooring. Each option, however, does have its own limitations.

Do you share residence with four-legged family members? While they bring us companionship and unconditional love, they can wreak havoc on our homes. Scratches and accidents can be damaging to hardwood floors. LVP and laminates can tolerate the wear larger dogs put on floors.

Another advantage of LVP is its ability to resist chipping. However, luxury vinyl products can be torn if a heavy object is drug across them. (It should be noted that a heavy object could potentially damage laminate floors as well.)

Do you have a sun-soaked room? Laminates are fade-resistant, whereas LVPs can experience some fading over time. The same can be said for wood floors. However, their ability to be refinished means you can restore the shine and finish without having to do a replacement.

Hardwood floors never need to be replaced, unless there is significant damage or rot. Most wood flooring can be refinished. Solid wood flooring can be refinished up to eight times, which in most cases will outlast the house.

The Liquids Test

Next to durability, most people choose LVP for its waterproof benefit. However, many laminates are now moisture-proof as well. In the liquids test, hardwoods are the least resistant to damage.

Basements, mudrooms, and bathrooms are all areas that benefit from LVP’s waterproof nature. In contrast, wood floors are better suited to areas where traffic is lighter and water is less of a concern.


The Style Test

Gone are the days of hoaky images ‘stamped’ on top of a piece of plastic or fiberboard. Technology has dramatically improved the look and feel of both laminates and LVP. Realistic wood grains and textures from oak, cherry, walnut, and many exotic species are available for you to choose from.

Wood floors can come prefinished in a variety of styles. They can come unfinished, allowing you to choose your stain color. They can be sawn in a variety of different plank sizes. There are also hand-scraped options for a natural, distressed look.

Laminates do feel warmer underfoot than LVP in some cases, and they are softer to walk on too. This makes laminates more popular in living rooms, bedrooms, and offices. Hardwoods, of course, offer a warm feeling as well.

Thinking of selling your home? Buyers tend to prefer laminate over LVP in most spaces. However, they are generally accepting (and appreciative if they’re smart) of luxury vinyl planks in kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. Wood floors, however, will generally bring the most value and buyer appreciation.

Arctic Frost

Arctic FrostThe Maintenence Test

If your laminate floors are not moisture-resistant, they should not be mopped. Harsh chemical cleaners are also not recommended. The best way to care for your laminate floors is to use cleaners specifically designed for laminate floors. We encourage our customers to always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Luxury vinyl planks are easy to mop, although waxy cleaners are not recommended, as they leave behind a residue. Harsh surfactants are not recommended either. Mop them using a mild cleaning solution. Again, the manufacturer is going to be your best resource for cleaning product recommendations.

Hardwood floors are incredibly easy to maintain. Sweeping and light polishing can bring back the gorgeous luster that makes hardwoods so attractive. We recommend cleaners specifically designed for wood floors. Terry cloths and microfiber mops are the correct tools for application and cleaning.

Have more questions on how to properly care for your floors? Our flooring experts are always happy to share their best tips and practices with you!

The Installation Test

While both laminate and LVP do take some finesse and skill to do well, they can be done by the DIY’er. Laminate and LVP come in a click-together design. LVP is also available in a peel and stick or glue-down form. Want to know why you’d use a glue-down? We’ve covered that in this blog.

When cutting edges, laminate requires the use of a saw. LVP can be cut with a utility knife (carefully!), or with a vinyl cutting tool. 

Hardwood floors are best installed or refinished by a flooring expert. At JATC, we take pride in caring for your home while we complete your install or refinish. Don’t take our word for it:

“Just Around the Corner was a pleasure to work with.  They did a superb job on my floors and made the process so much easier than I thought it would be. All of the staff are very professional, informative, polite and take pride in their work and the end result. The crew was always on time and always cleaned up after their work. I am so happy that I chose them for my flooring project. I have already recommended them to friends and family.”- Karen M.

Our installation professionals are craftsmen who are passionate about doing the job well. Contact us today for your FREE estimate.


The Final Answer

Whether you choose LVP, laminate or hardwood floors is not a matter of sacrificing quality or style. Although there are several determining factors, each product can bring your home back to life. New floors are a significant investment. At Just Around the Corner Family Flooring, we are here to listen to your wants and needs and offer you suggestions that are the best fit for you and your home.


When to Refinish or Replace Your Wood Floors


There’s nothing quite like the beauty, warmth and style of hardwood floors. However, they’re a floor that needs a little TLC every once in a while. Maybe your floors are worn from years of life lived on them. Maybe they’re damaged. Maybe you’ve peeled back the carpet in your new home, to discover hardwoods. How do you determine whether refinishing or replacing is the right choice? Continue reading »

How to Choose the Right Luxury Vinyl Product


Have you lost your love for your floors?  Are you on the hunt for a surface that stands up to the demands of a household or business, yet looks stylish? Luxury Vinyl Planks (LVP) are one of the hottest products in flooring right now, thanks to the versatility, durability and endless choices available to consumers.  But those endless choices can sometimes lead to undue stress. Continue reading »

The DIY’ers Guide to Choosing Luxury Vinyl Planks


Luxury Vinyl Planks are one of the hottest products in flooring right now, thanks to the versatility, durability and endless choices available to consumers. Installing luxury vinyl is also easier than other flooring options. There are a few questions you should ask yourself before determining if it’s the right choice for your flooring needs. Once that’s answered, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. With a few professional tips from our experts, you can feel proud of the work you’ve done. Continue reading »

We’re Celebrating 30 Years in Business And Offering 50% Off Luxury Vinyl Products

30 year anniversary

We’re commemorating 30 years of serving St. Louis families and business owners by offering 50% OFF our top-of-the-line Luxury Vinyl Flooring! Luxury Vinyl is gaining popularity due to its incredible durability, waterproof core, and a wide variety of styles to choose from. If you’re thinking about flooring, we’d like to offer some compelling reasons to act now.  Continue reading »

Another Happy Customer Of Just Around The Corner

We want to thank Lauren, a recent customer of Just Around The Corner for her feedback after we refinished her floors. She writes:

“I want to express how pleased I am with the refinishing of my hardwood floors and stairs. The outcome is amazing! This is something I have wanted to do for 20 years and finally got an opportunity to have it done. Choosing your team was the best decision I could have made. From the beginning with you coming out and talking to me about what I needed accomplished and explaining all my options, to Kevin and Mark doing the hard part and the young man that came to take care of damage done by my painters. Terry calling every evening to let me know what was going to happen the next day and what time I could expect the team to arrive was so appreciated. Rachel was so pleasant and professional, too. Thanks again for such a fantastic job. I love my “new” floors!”

Continue reading »