How to Clean Your Hardwood Floors

How to Clean Your Hardwood Floors - Smith Bros Floors - Hardwood Floors Calgary - Featured Image

Life happens on top of our floors. All the spilled milk, broken glass, shifting furniture, and doggy piles tend to end up down there. So while we’re practicing our TikTok dances and training our new quarantine buddy, Rufus, our floors are taking on the day each and every day. For homes with hardwood flooring, cleaning can look a little different than with carpet or vinyl. This week we are going to share some tips and tricks on how to keep your hardwood floors strong and shining through everything you and your family can throw at it.


Daily Considerations

You don’t need to be sweeping or mopping your hardwood every single day. In fact, we recommend that you don’t! Instead, lean into these good habits:

  • Clean up spills as soon as they happen. Even an unattended ice cube left to sit can slip in between the slats and do damage.
  • Use carpets or rugs in areas with the most potential for debris. For example, if your front entrance is hardwood, put down a rug where people can step directly onto and take off their shoes. It will also ensure that the outside elements don’t get routinely dragged across the floor.
  • Use floor protectors under furniture. Not only does this protect from scuffs, but will reduce the chances of an indentation in the wood forming over time.


Weekly Tidy

  • What You’ll Need: A cleaning tool such as a soft-bristled angled broom, microfibre dust mop, or vacuum with soft bristles. If using a vacuum, make sure it will not damage your floors. In most cases, that means taking off the beater bar attachment.

Once you have your chosen tool, get to work sweeping or vacuuming that dust and debris away. When sweeping, always go with the grain so you don’t end up shoving down debris in between the wooden slats. If your floors see a lot of traffic, it may be best to double up on methods. For example, give the room a good sweep and then come in with the vacuum afterwards to clean up any remaining dog hair, dirt, or other debris.


Deep Clean

  • What You’ll Need: A trusted liquid floor cleaner. Different hardwood finishes will require different care. Using DIY cleaners like vinegar and baking soda can actually strip the finishing on some floors. Instead, check with the manufacturer or installer for specific cleaners. If you can’t reach out to those sources, make sure to use a cleaner designed for hardwood floors. Vinyl and lino cleaners won’t be as effective and may end up causing damage.


Before you get on your hands and knees and start scrubbing, grab the broom or vacuum that you use for your regular clean and give the floors a good once-over. If debris is left on the ground and you skip to the next step, you are just going to drag it around instead of really cleaning. When your floors have been thoroughly swept, saturate a mop or rag in the cleaning solution. Wring it out until it is damp but not soaking wet. Mop the floor with the cleaner. Rinse mop with clean water, wringing it out as before, then go over the floor again to soak up all the cleaner. Wipe up excess water on the floor with a clean, dry towel.

If you’ve followed all these tips and your floors are still looking dull, scratched, or stained, they may need to be refinished. After several years and the included wear and tear, cleaning will be less and less effective. This is a perfectly normal progression over time. Simply call the experts at Smith Bros to have your floors refinished and looking like new again!

Parquet Flooring: A Modern Take on a Classic Art Form

Parquet Flooring: A Modern Take on a Classic Art Form - Smith Bros Floors - Hardwood Floors Calgary - Featured Image

Back in the 1960s, parquet flooring was all the rage. It seemed every kitchen, den, and dining room was outfitted with these geometric-style floors. Over time, the trends shifted and parquet flooring fell out of favour with home and business owners. That is, until now. Canadian homes and businesses have suddenly seen a resurgence in this age-old style. In this article, we are going to explore a bit about the history of parquet floors and why more and more Canadians are choosing to invest in them.


A Prestigious Beginning

Parquet flooring was first used hundreds of years ago in France. In the mid-1600s, marble flooring was the norm for wealthy households. Although beautiful, these stone floors needed to be washed regularly. Over time, the moisture would settle in the cracks and slip to the joists underneath, causing them to rot. It was because of this that artisans of the 17th century switched from marble slabs to wooden geometric patterns. Wooden floors were much easier to clean and lasted longer. Crafting those patterns, however, was intricate and time-consuming work, so it was a luxury reserved for the extremely wealthy. To this day, parquet flooring can be seen in such historical monuments such as the Palace of Versailles.


A Surprising Reinvention

Parquet flooring wasn’t just used inside homes, in fact, the NBA began to use these floors on their basketball courts starting with the Boston Arena in 1946. That particular floor has since been cut up and reintegrated into the new TD Garden court.  Later on, in the 1960s and 70s, manufacturers began to produce inexpensive, thin parquet tiles. That’s why every mid-century home seems to be covered in parquetry; it was a popular and affordable choice for homeowners.


Beneficial & Beautiful

Nowadays parquet flooring is starting to experience something of a resurgence. Homeowners who want unique-looking hardwood floors are rediscovering the beauty of geometric designs. Manufacturers such as Woodline Parquetry are rising to the challenge by producing a wide range of styles that vary from traditional to modern and even minimalistic. Despite their sometimes complex design, parquet floors are easier to install than their plank counterparts since they do not need to be nailed down and typically come pre-finished.

Parquetry is an art form that has been appreciated and improved upon for centuries. Bold, beautiful, and unique, these floors truly make a statement wherever they are installed. If you’re curious if parquet flooring is right for your space, contact our team of experts today to book a consultation!

Update Regarding COVID-19

Smith Bros. Floors Ltd.

Smith Bros. Floors has modified procedures to safely continue to meet our customers needs. As we are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Calgary, we are taking precautionary measures with our staff and equipment to ensure we comply with governmental health agencies recommendations.

We have implemented daily sanitization measures to our office, equipment, tools, vehicles and staff.  Our office/showroom staff has been be reduced to one person at a time and our hours have been cut back to Mon – Fri, 8:00am – 3:00pm and Sat 10:00am – 3:00pm.

Our management and supervisory staff will be working mostly from home, coming into the office only when necessary in keeping with our posted cleanliness and distancing rules. We are still receiving materials from suppliers using modified pick up and delivery and will be able to meet our commitments.

Based on these actions and the guidance shared by the Public Health Agency of Canada we feel confident in keeping our staff working in the field. As this is an evolving situation, we are closely monitoring any changes to this assessment and will share any updates. We will continue to base our actions on recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada and relevant local authorities, always with the health and safety of our staff, customers and communities as our utmost priority.

Kind regards,

Paul Smith

4 Signs Your Hardwood Floors Need to be Refinished

4 Signs Your Hardwood Floors Need to be Refinished - Smith Bros Floors - Hardwood Flooring Experts Calgary - Featured Image

Hardwood floors are known to be durable, beautiful, and timeless. But like any feature in your home, they need a little love every once in a while to maintain that gorgeous finish. But how do you know when to get them refinished? Our 35 years of experience has taught us that sometimes the answer is in plain sight. Here are four simple ways to tell if your hardwood floors need to be refinished.


Water Damage

You need to act quickly when water damage occurs. Standing water or a leak can be disastrous to hardwood floors. If this ever happens, you won’t only need to dry the floors, but you’ll likely need to refinish them as well. There are a lot of nooks and crannies for water to slip into, causing warps or even mold growth.


Big Gouges or Chips

Over time, deep scratches can turn into gouges and suddenly you’re finding wood chips on your floor. Holes in your hardwood aren’t just unsightly, they are an opening to the surrounding wood. Water and debris can build up in these spaces, breaking down the wood and eating away at the stain. Furthermore, these can begin to splinter. Splintered wood can hurt your family, pets, and guests.



This sign occurs over time as well, though it can be more subtle than chips and gouges. There are two main types of discolouration to watch out for. The first is when your floors start to turn gray. This happens when the polyurethane coating starts to wear down and the floors experience water damage. The second is sun damage. For living rooms with great big bay windows, this can be the biggest threat. Faded floorboards are a huge red flag.


A Shift in Your Style

Hardwood floors often last longer than your personal preferences. Styles change, and refinishing is the perfect way to update your hardwood flooring. In many cases, you won’t need to completely replace them in order to do this. A simple sanding and refinishing could just do the trick!


Keep an eye on these four major warning signs to know when your hardwood floors need some extra love. Once you begin to see the faded areas and deep gouges, it’s time to call in the professionals. Contact us today for an estimate!

Benefits of Having Your Hardwood Floors Professionally Installed

Smith Bros. Floors Ltd.

Hardwood floors are the perfect addition to any residential space. They look great, increase the resale value of the home, and last years longer than other flooring options. Homeowners who are renovating may be tempted to cut costs by installing hardwood themselves, however this type of flooring is anything but a DIY project. Smith Bros, for example, draws on over a century of training and professional installation experience. That kind of background is not something a few online videos could ever compete with.

The Devil in the Details

Laying down boards may not seem so complicated at first, but a closer look at the project and you’ll notice there are a plethora of considerations before installation can even begin. For example, there needs to be a space for the new floor. Will you install directly over top of the old one or tear it out? Will you need to remove baseboards and moldings? How will your doors fit over top of the new hardwood floor? Professional installers are well aware of each of these challenges and their unique solutions. They will be able to determine measurements and account for all those details their training has taught them to consider.

Special Considerations

While the above issues are ones you may encounter in any floor installation project, hardwood has some unique characteristics. A professional installer will need to acclimate the wood to your home. This process can take as little as one day, up to three or four weeks depending on the product and site conditions. Skipping this step could cause permanent cupping or cracking. Humidity has a huge part to play in the acclimation process, so the installer will need to ensure the area is climate controlled and free of furniture.

The Finishing Touches

There is still work to do once the subfloor and hardwood flooring has been installed. All of the old flooring needs to be disposed, baseboards need to be put back, and the area cleaned. A professional will know how to safely add these finishing touches and get rid of the waste properly. This is also when they will teach you how to care for your new flooring. From here on, you now have an invaluable resource for any questions you may have about the hardwood floors.

When you have your hardwood floors professionally installed, you know exactly what you’re getting. Don’t take a chance on a botched DIY project. Take advantage of these benefits by having your hardwood floors professionally installed. Get an estimate for your home today!

Things to Consider When It’s Time for New Floors

Smith Bros. Floors Ltd.

A well-maintained hardwood floor can last your home a lifetime. Eventually, however, there’s only so much resurfacing, maintenance, and repairs that can be done before it’s finally time for a replacement. If that time has come for you, there are a few things you should keep in mind!

Knowing the Signs

In order to be sure that you’re in need of a replacement, it’s a good idea to try and spot some of the most common symptoms. You may remember some of these from our blog on the differences between replacement and refinish. As always, structural problems are what you should look for first. Subfloor damage or creaking and movement due to gaps are issues that can’t be properly alleviated with a refinish, especially if you’ve had many refinishes over the years. The same can be said for widespread damage due to water or pests.

Knowing What You Want

You’re probably aware of what your limitations might be due to subfloor type, heating system, and other factors. However, there are other questions that come up in the replacement process. Do you want to maintain the old look, or explore new species to change the feeling of your interior? Do you want to add value to your home in the long term? If so, sticking with solid or engineered hardwood rather than switching a laminate floor is definitely advisable. Thinking of prefinished flooring? This is great in terms of time-efficiency and cost, but if aesthetics are your priority, you’ll get more variety of options and a flush evenness between planks with a floor sanded and finished on site.

Knowing the Right Installer

Replacing your flooring, particularly if you have lots of space in your home, can seem like an intimidating endeavour. However, with the right hardwood professionals by your side, it shouldn’t be! Your installation expert will always be able to assist in finding the right floor for your tastes and budget. Not only could that replacement take less time than a refinish, but the work of a true hardwood expert will ensure only the best longevity for your new floor.

Is it time to give your hardwood flooring the complete overhaul? You’ve come to the right place. With nearly a century of experience, quality, and integrity, Smith Bros. can provide you with new floors that will transform the look of your home. To get started, get in touch with us at (403) 917-0847 today!

Acclimation: Knowing Your Interior Environment

Smith Bros. Floors Ltd.

Many of the most important factors at play in caring for your floor are categorized as aspects of your interior environment. This is one of several reasons why temperature, humidity, and the concept of acclimation are so important!

Your Floors and Their Environment

As you may know, the process of choosing the right wood flooring type for an interior involves considering a number of conditions, including what type of heating is implemented in your home and what your local climate is like. High-traffic activity due to pets, family, or friends might be the first thing on your mind, but temperature and moisture are critical too. As such, it’s important to look out for these factors just as attentively as you’d watch out for big spills or stiletto heels!

What’s Acclimation?

The term “acclimation” can have slightly different meanings depending on context. More broadly, it refers to making sure the heat and humidity of a room is optimal to the longevity of the solid hardwood flooring inside it. More specifically, it also refers to the process of leaving hardwood planks on site for a period of time, allowing their grain structure to adjust to their surrounding conditions. There are differing opinions in the industry regarding when and to what extent the latter process is necessary, but the effect of room humidity and heat on the integrity of solid hardwood (and the importance of keeping an eye on these conditions) is common knowledge.

The Right Conditions

While there are exceptions, a general guideline you can use is to keep humidity within a range of 40% to 60%, while temperature should fall within a range of 15 to 26 degrees Celsius. However, with certain exotic species, things get a bit more particular, so be sure to check with your retailer or installer. If you find humidity getting a bit excessive during some days of summer, a dehumidifier can serve to avoid expansion and cupping. Conversely, humidifying your interior during particularly dry winter days can alleviate contraction. With attention and care, your beautiful floors will stay in their optimal condition for years!

Have further questions on the unique needs of your flooring and conditions of your interior? Smith Bros. would be more than happy to answer them! To make sure your floors are being cared for properly, give us a call at (403) 917-0847 today!

Supplier Spotlight: Vintage Hardwood Flooring

Smith Bros. Floors Ltd.

Keeping our clients informed on the sources of our products is one of our favorite ways to both remain transparent as a business and promote the best business practices in hardwood flooring. So far, our Supplier Spotlight series has covered many dedicated vendors including Wide Plank, Kentwood, and TORLYS. Next up is Toronto’s Vintage Hardwood Flooring!

Experience and Innovation

The growth and development of Vintage Hardwood Flooring as a company illustrates a history of experience from the ground up. Stepping into the business in 1989, Vintage worked tirelessly to earn the respect of clients across Ontario. After working with unfinished strip flooring for five years, Vintage began to supply material to a prefinishing company in 1994. With a move into the 70,000 square foot facility it now calls home, Vintage invested in only the most sophisticated prefinishing resources available, switching to exclusive manufacture of prefinished flooring material. In the years since, they’ve expanded to become one of North America’s top prefinished flooring suppliers.

Prefinished Floors for Any Interior

One of the first things you’ll notice about Vintage is the striking amount of variety among their selection. The product lines — Pioneered, Crafted, Solid Sawn, Northern Solid Sawn, and U-LOC — offer both domestic and exotic floors of varying grades and colors. Glue or nail-down applications are available, giving you the flexibility you need to complete your interior with exactly the tone and quality that you want. Their website will allow you to browse these selections and examine detailed specifications of each hardwood type to find the one that’s right for you, including maintenance tips and the levels of your home for which the flooring is suitable.

Naturally Green

Like many of our suppliers, a big part of Vintage Hardwood’s commitment to great service is an understanding of eco-friendly material sourcing. Their Pioneered product line offers a beautiful selection of FSC-certified maple and red oak. From vibrant rustic tones like the Maple Vienna or Morocco to the darker hues of the Red Oak Pewter or Cocoa, Vintage is able to provide its retailers with flooring types to match all tastes without compromising the health of our forests. For their unshakable commitment to quality and integrity, we stand by Vintage Hardwood Flooring!

If you’re looking for a beautiful prefinished floor to complete your home, call us at (403) 917-0847 to find out which Vintage products we can provide for you!

Key Associations: The NWFA

Smith Bros. Floors Ltd.

In addition to doing business with only the best suppliers in the industry, Smith Bros. is proud to be affiliated some of the most reputable flooring, building, and hardwood associations in North America. For this week’s blog, we’d like to introduce you to the National Wood Flooring Association, a leading non-profit organization in our trade!

Who They Are

The National Wood Flooring association works to foster unity, collaboration, and promotion between professionals and businesses in wood flooring all across North America. They represent everyone from manufacturers and distributors to retailers and consultants. As such, the NWFA is recognized as one of the largest associations in wood flooring, distinguished by their focus on a wide range of efforts in helping their members both succeed and uphold the highest economic and environmental standards.

What They Stand For

What sets the NWFA apart as a trade association is their involvement in several different interests that drive our industry forward. These include education, research, certification, environmental advocacy, and beyond. The non-profit Education and Research Foundation, for instance, selects and funds research and education projects that are aimed toward improving supply chain efficiency and awareness. Their NOFMA standards program has served as one of wood flooring’s most respected quality certifications for over a century. When it comes to environmental standards, the NWFA’s Responsible Procurement Program provides participating professionals and businesses with a firm and innovative framework for environmentally and socially responsible forestry.

What It Means to Be a Member

As a member of the NWFA, Smith Bros. is pleased to be at the forefront of the industry, adhering to the most up-to-date standards of integrity and responsibility. The right certifications can make all the difference as we work to perfect our craft. At the end of the day it all goes toward providing our clients with the highest quality service and expertise available. From industry connections to the latest insights into how our trade is advancing every day, being part of this pioneering association ensures that we can offer you only the best experience in enhancing the floors of your beautiful home!

Have questions regarding our certifications and associations? The Smith Bros. team is all about honesty! Call us at (403) 917-0847 today to learn more about how we strive to serve you best!

Supplier Spotlight: TORLYS

Smith Bros. Floors Ltd.

If you’re looking for an affordable DIY approach to flooring while maintaining high quality and beauty throughout your interior, floating floors offer this and more. These happen to be a specialty of Mississauga-based flooring company TORLYS, this month’s featured supplier!

The Freedom of Floating

If your home or commercial space is in need of gorgeous flooring to complement the rest of your interior without the use of adhesives or nails, their Uniclic-jointed planks are a top-of-the-line choice. Not only are they simple to install on a wide range of subfloor types, you will also save time and money in maintenance. Do-it-yourself repairs, replacements, or floor relocations are as easy as it gets. Through their selection, you’ll have access to only the highest quality prefinished engineered planks in hardwood, laminate, cork, and leather.

Diverse Applications

TORLYS pride themselves in offering flooring solutions for many applications. If you are a homeowner feeling limited by your particular subfloor, don’t worry! Whether it’s wood framing, concrete, or gypcrete, installation of TORLYS’ floating floors is no problem. They’ll even provide you with a radiant heat warranty and sound transference and restriction rates. The same philosophy of flexibility and quality applies to business owners wanting to create a truly beautiful floor for their commercial space. TORLYS is also one of the most trusted supplies for esteemed builders across Canada and were voted BILD Supplier of the Year in 2011.

Staying Eco-Smart

Of course, a flooring supplier without the deepest regard for our planet is hardly one to be trusted. That’s why TORLYS strives to complement their industry experience and skill with only the most responsible practices. Not only do their Uniclic floors require zero harmful chemicals or dusty processes to install, they also meet some of the highest indoor air quality standards in the world. This, along with the use of recycled materials, wood sourced from responsibly managed forests, and LEED certification add up to a flooring supplier with skill, an eye for quality, and a commitment to the environment. Check out their website for more on what they have to offer

Thanks to our many excellent suppliers, Smith Bros. is proud to provide you with a diverse range of beautiful and eco-conscious flooring solutions for your interior. To find out which products will best meet your needs, give us a call at (403) 917-0847 today!