How Hardwood Flooring Beats Laminate

Hardwood Flooring Laminate

Flooring is a defining feature of a home. Hardwood flooring is inviting, beautiful and timeless. Laminate flooring (imitation hardwood) creates a look similar to wood. Need help choosing? There are several factors to consider. The following is a comparison of hardwood and laminate flooring to help you decide which is best for your home. 

What is hardwood flooring?

Each board of solid hardwood flooring is made from a single piece of hardwood that’s harvested from slow-growing trees. It’s dense and durable. The look depends upon the species of wood and the surface finish chosen. There are many options with different colours, stains and plank sizes.

What is laminate flooring?

Laminate is synthetic flooring. It’s made from melamine resin and fibre board material. It’s comprised of multiple layers, with the top layer featuring an imprinted image of wood that makes it appear similar to that of real wood. The end result is flooring that looks somewhat like hardwood. It’s available in a wide range of styles, patterns and colours. 

Which is right for your home?

There are many factors to consider when choosing between hardwood and laminate. 


  • Hardwood flooring’s natural texture and deep colours are beautiful, and appealing to many homeowners. Different types of wood, stains and finishes create an abundance of options. 
  • Laminate often looks like real wood, from a distance. Up close, the imitation is less than perfect. 

Size of planks:

  • Hardwood flooring planks vary from 1” to 3” to 6” to even 24” wide boards! 
  • Laminate planks can vary from less than 5” to 7” or more.


  • Hardwoods that are abundant (oak, maple, ash) are less expensive. More unique species (Brazilian cherry, teak, Brazilian walnut, acacia) have higher prices.
  • Laminate flooring can be purchased for a fraction of the cost of hardwood. 


  • Hardwood can last a lifetime! It does need to be protected from flooding. Scratching and wear mean it will periodically need to be recoated. If damage occurs, the floor can be sanded down and refinished. With proper care and refinishing, solid hardwood floors routinely last 100 years.
  • Laminate: Laminate flooring is moderately resistant to damage. Once scarred and/or abraded it will need to be replaced as it cannot be refinished or sanded. Laminate floors average about 15 to 25 years of life.

Comfort and Sound: 

  • Hardwood is hard underfoot and a bit noisy under heels and pet toenails. 
  • Laminate is somewhat soft underfoot but the hard plastic surface telegraphs the click of heels and pet toenails.

Water and Heat Resistance:

  • Hardwood can be damaged by standing water and floods. Too much heat causes boards to shrink and joints to open.
  • Laminate is water and stain-resistant, but water getting into the joints between planks can cause the edges and the fiberboard core to swell and chip.


  • Hardwood: Small imperfections and damage can be sanded and refinished, allowing it to last for years.
  • Laminate flooring is not easily repaired. Sometimes individual boards may be replaced but they may not match properly. 

Care and Cleaning:

  • Hardwood floors are simple to keep. Sweep or vacuum and damp mop with wood cleaner. No need to polish and/or wax.
  • Laminates are also easy. Vacuum or broom. Then damp mop with laminate floor cleaner. No waxing is necessary. 


  • Hardwood requires installation by professionals. Solid hardwood needs to be nailed or glued to the substrate. 
  • Laminate is favoured by DIYers as it is easy to install. Planks click together at the edges with no need for fasteners or glue. It floats over a thin layer of foam underlay.

The room in which you intend to install it:

  • Hardwood is perfect for low-traffic rooms (bedrooms, dining rooms, sitting rooms) but unsuitable for damp rooms (basement, bathroom). 
  • Laminate flooring works well in rooms with a lot of sunlight as it does not fade easily. It’s moisture resistant so works better in bathrooms than hardwood. Laminate flooring is recommended for areas that are regularly used by children and pets. 

Resale Value:

  • Hardwood: Realtors claim that hardwood flooring makes a home easier to sell and helps a house sell quickly. Though the ROI of flooring is difficult to measure, real estate experts estimate that homeowners recover approximately 106% of their costs by installing new hardwood floors in their home before selling.
  • Laminate:  Laminate flooring is well-known for its low maintenance and ability to withstand high amounts of traffic. It’s resistant to staining, indentation and scratches, making it one of the most popular pet and kid-friendly flooring options for homeowners. It’s essentially a hassle-proof flooring option for the modern family. High-quality laminate floor ranks below solid hardwood for resale value but laminate commands a higher resale value than vinyl flooring.


Both hardwood and laminate floors have their merits and pitfalls. Hardwood is more expensive but easier to repair, lasts a long time and boosts resale values. It’s a great investment. Laminate flooring is more affordable, quite durable, is easily installed but repairs often involve redoing the entire floor. Laminate flooring will never pass for real hardwood. Nothing approaches the beauty of an authentic hardwood floor! However, there are situations (pets and kids, damp conditions) in which laminate functions well. 

Looking for a selection of beautiful hardwood floors? Contact Smith Bros. Floors, one of Canada’s oldest hardwood flooring companies, family-owned and operated. We use industry-leading flooring and finishes because we want your flooring to last! With a tested crew of installers and finishers and a lifetime guarantee on workmanship and longevity, Smith Bros. quality cannot be beaten! We provide exemplary customer service, from site visit, to quote, to installation and follow-up. Call us at 403-255-7791 for a free consultation.

What are my Colour Options for Hardwood Flooring?

Colour Options

Hardwood flooring is a classic choice with timeless charm. Manufacturers of hardwood floors constantly improve and change their flooring to keep it interesting, trendy, up to date and able to withstand the challenges of modern living. Today’s flooring is not your parent’s wood floors! These floors come in a wide range of styles, sizes, finishes, species and colours. How do you know which hardwood colour options to choose? The following is information about the many choices to help you decide what is best for your home.

Natural and light tones: These classic hues are similar to those found in raw wood and show off the natural characteristics and beauty of the wood. Choosing natural tones sometimes means not using any stain at all. Finish these shades with a clear coat to enhance the appearance of the wood itself and protect it from wear and tear. 

  • White: White tones are a popular design trend and look great in a wide variety of locations. White ash flooring has a natural, subtle variation with dark knot holes visible letting the character of the wood shine. White oak brightens any room, allows for unlimited decorating options, fits any décor and creates a warm, comfortable home.
  • Blonde wood colour is a versatile choice and goes well with contemporary, traditional and rustic-style homes. It makes a room appear large and open, especially if you use large planks. Choose from oak, maple, bamboo and/or ash.
  • Honey: Flooring with honey-coloured tones adds warmth and richness to a room. It’s a great alternative to the more traditional golden tones, while still giving you a natural colour palette to work with. This flooring matches most interiors, creating an inviting atmosphere. Honey wood floors are light enough to give you many of the benefits of blonde wood (making your room look larger and more open) while providing the rich warmth that comes from a slightly darker tone. You can find honey wood floors in many popular wood species.
  • Caramel is a richer, warmer version of blonde wood, ideal for homeowners seeking an option that is easy to maintain and that will complement any décor. It’s the natural tone of many hardwood species and is easily available. Carmel is a classic, timeless hue.

Whitewashed and bleached: These flooring hues have become an increasingly popular hardwood flooring trend due to their clean and modern look. They bring a beachy feel to your home. The light stain enhances the beauty of the natural wood while making the flooring colour more consistent. They help a room feel fresh and modern. 

  • Whitewashed wood is a popular trend. It creates a rustic, farmhouse aesthetic; an artistic worn-out look with the darker wood peeking out from underneath. This flooring is matte and subtle. Whitewashed flooring makes your home look brighter, bigger and more relaxed.
  • Bleached wood pairs well with casual interior design, adding a light airy feel. It’s a great choice for both modern and farmhouse kitchens. This method works well with white and red oak, with the white oak creating a contemporary look and the red a more traditional style. 

Dark wood flooring has been popular among homeowners for centuries. It has a timeless and authentic feel, rich and full of character, making a space feel upscale and luxurious. From deep browns to black hues to dark reddish browns and even shades of grey, dark hardwood floors are elegant and sophisticated.

  • Browns: Dark brown hardwood flooring brings style and sophistication to your home. It pairs well with light bright interiors and suits most styles of homes, including rustic cottages and modern houses or apartments. It can be elegant, modern, rustic and/or wild, all while bringing warmth to your space. 
  • Black is trendy but can be difficult to maintain as it shows every scratch and speck of dust. Reserve this hue of hardwood flooring for low-traffic areas and homes with no pets or children. 
  • Grey is neutral and goes with any style of décor. It can be dark, light or have blue undertones. It can be highly patterned and textured. This hue hides dust, bumps and scratches and has a calming effect, making it ideal for rooms where you want to relax. Try a dark grey hardwood for a formal dining room or a light hue for a child’s bedroom. 
  • Greige is a combination of grey and beige, yielding a different shade than flat gray. It offers the minimalist feel of gray with the depth of beige. This hardwood hue can be used in any room. The rustic charm of this shade works for modern and contemporary households. Greige adds a fresh look to bedrooms and gives living rooms and entryways a feeling of luxury.
  • Rich red and red-brown: With a lot of colour variation, these tones become the focal point of a room. Keep the rest of the decor simple and your hardwood floor will give the space a style boost. 

Rustic: Reclaimed wood flooring has a natural patina as, over time, wood takes on a dark rich colour, depending on its environment and its use. Rustic flooring offers character that lets you use a wide range of other colours and wood tones in the room.

Hardwood flooring is versatile and comes in a range of styles, sizes, finishes, species, and colours. Wood flooring stains and textures have evolved and can be used to complement any interior design, architectural style, or colour palette. Have fun choosing the best colour(s) of hardwood flooring for your home!

Looking for quality hardwood flooring? Need help determining the best colour and style for your home? Interested in exceptional service and advice? Contact Smith Bros. Floors, one of Canada’s oldest hardwood flooring companies that is family-owned and operated. We use industry-leading flooring and finishes because we want your flooring to last! With a tested crew of installers and finishers and a lifetime guarantee on workmanship and longevity, Smith Bros. quality cannot be beaten! We provide exemplary customer service, from site visit, to quote, to installation and follow-up. Call us at 403-255-7791 for a free consultation.

How to Deal With Worn or Damaged Hardwood Floors

Damaged Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are durable and easy to maintain. However, eventually, they show gouges, scratches, discolouring and wear caused by high traffic, scraping furniture legs, pet claws, spills, UV exposure and/or high humidity. These imperfections detract from the beauty of the wood and increase the risk of further wear and tear. Many people assume that worn wood floors need to be completely sanded to look good again. That’s not necessarily true. Whole floor refinishing is messy, disruptive and costly and most hardwood flooring can endure only a few refinishings before it becomes brittle. So how can you stretch the time between refinishing projects? How can you repair those small worn areas? Spot treating is the answer. It’s a good alternative to whole floor refinishing. The following are some tips to help you deal with damaged hardwood floors and minor imperfections.

Know your finish: With many types of floor finishes available, it’s important to know which one was used on your floor so you can match it. Your flooring provider or a flooring specialist can help with the identification. There are several options:

  • Oil-based polyurethane
  • Water-based polyurethane
  • Wax coating
  • Varnish
  • Stain
  • Aluminum oxide coating

Clean: No matter what type of damage you’re dealing with, begin with a gentle but thorough clean. Remove all dust, hair and grime, using a vacuum or soft mop. Mix 2 to 4 drops of liquid soap in a quart of water and put it in a spray bottle. Lightly mist the areas requiring cleaning and rub with a microfiber mop/cloth. Then, lightly spray with fresh water and use a soft dry cloth to buff the floor. Avoid brooms, abrasive scrub pads and liquid cleaners.

The floor is scratched but the varnish is in place: There are many repair options for minor scratches based on the number and severity of marks. 

  • For only one or two small scratches, mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and olive oil in a small cup. Dab the mixture into the scratch. Leave it for the rest of the day. Then rub it out.
  • Small scratches that don’t penetrate the varnish can be handled with a wipe-on floor rejuvenator product available in most hardware stores or from a flooring specialist. These solutions hide surface scratching quite well. 
  • Camouflage small scratches with a walnut. Warm up the oil in the nut with your fingers, then rub into worn areas of the floor using small circular motions. Let the oil sit for a few minutes, then buff with a soft cloth. 
  • Coconut oil can also minimize scratch marks on unfinished or freshly sanded floors. Apply a thin coat of coconut oil with a brush or sponge, leave it for five minutes. Then buff with a soft cloth.
  • If the scratches are too deep for wipe-on products, try applying wax using a soft cloth. Wood wax can be clear, but also comes in common wood shades. If needed, use a plastic putty knife to force the wax into the scratch. Then remove the excess wax and buff the area. 
  • If your floor has a polyurethane finish, try a touch-up polyurethane repair kit. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Deeper scratches that penetrate the finish and the wood: 

  • Fill the scratch with wood filler that matches your floor (see a reputable wood flooring provider) and let dry. Fillers come in many colours and may need to be blended to match your floor exactly. Sand the scratch with 150 grit paper, then buff. 
  • Cover scratches with a wood stain that matches your floor. Use a Q-tip to remove any excess stain and let dry. 
  • Try stain markers and/or blending pencils. Apply to the scratch according to package directions, wipe away any excess, and allow to dry thoroughly.

Worn areas where the colour is gone: Rub a matching stain into the worn areas then coat with the varnish/finish originally used. 

Discolouration due to UV rays: 

  • Use a floor buffer with a 60 grid screen and run it over the area to remove the shine. Be careful to stop when the discoloration is gone. Vacuum the wood thoroughly. Use an 80 grid screen and repeat the buffing and vacuuming. Now use a 120 grit screen. Apply a stain that matches your floor. Let dry. Finish by applying the varnish/finish originally used on the floor. You may need more than one coat.
  • Alternatively, replace faded areas with new hardwood floorboards in the same colour, size and species as the original. 

To remove water stains: Use a stiff brush and minimal water to scrub the area. Wipe with a soft cloth and let dry. If you encounter mould, scrub with TSP. Gently sand using fine-grit sandpaper. Vacuum. Then wax/refinish the repaired area.  

Hardwood floors are renowned for their stunning, rustic aesthetic and they make a fabulous addition to any room. Though they are hard-wearing and durable, hardwood floors can succumb to scratches and the effects of heavy traffic. Before you resign yourself to the mess, disruption and expense of a full floor refinishing, try one of these simple repair techniques. The most suitable method depends on the type of floor, type of finish and type of damage your floorboards have endured. More severe damage might require the help of a professional flooring company.

Looking for quality wood flooring? Interested in exceptional service and advice? Contact Smith Bros. Floors, one of Canada’s oldest hardwood flooring companies; family-owned and operated. We use industry-leading flooring and finishes because we want your flooring to last! With a tested crew of installers and finishers and a lifetime guarantee on workmanship and longevity, Smith Bros. quality cannot be beaten! We provide exemplary customer service, from site visit, to quote, to installation and follow-up. Call us at 403-255-7791 for a free consultation.

Finding the Perfect Hardwood Match for Your Remodeling Project

Match Hardwood

Do you wish to expand the hardwood floors in your home to include new areas? Are sections of your hardwood flooring damaged and in need of replacement? Matching existing hardwood can be challenging and pose some problems. Don’t despair! With attention to detail and some professional help, it’s possible to match existing hardwood flooring. 

Factors to consider when matching hardwood flooring:

If you want a smooth transition between rooms and/or an undetectable replaced section of flooring, there are some factors that need to be considered.

Species, grade and finish:

Identify the species (red oak, white oak, maple, douglas fir, yellow pine, Brazilian cherry, merbau, santos mahogany, Ipe, purpleheart, wenge, ebony, etc.) and grade (select grade, No 1 Common, No 2 Common, Quartersawn, Rift, Millrun) of the wood used in your existing flooring. Determine if it was prefinished or finished on-site during installation. Consult a flooring professional. They’ll be able to identify the species, grade and finish of your current floors.

Condition of the existing floor:

Assess the damage to your flooring (water spots, pet stains, sun fading, peeling, gaps, cupped or crowning edges, buckling, scratches, cracks, wear & tear) to determine whether you’ll need to sand existing floors before attempting to match them. 

Age of the existing floor:

Age can change the colour of wood making it difficult to blend new and old flooring. Specialized staining/finishing processes may need to be implemented. Take a sample of your wood plank to your local flooring experts. They’ll compare the colour, texture and size to their hardwood samples.

Profile of the floor and subfloor:

Is the subfloor of the area where you’re installing new hardwood the same height as the subfloor of your existing hardwood flooring? If not, extra steps are needed to match the floors. The thickness of hardwood flooring boards is known as the profile. Profiles vary. What is the thickness of your current flooring? Picking new flooring that matches the existing thickness allows for a smooth and consistent look. Do you have engineered hardwood floors? These are more difficult to work with as sanding to match height is not an option. 

Width of the planks:

When looking to match existing hardwood floors, you need to know the exact width of your planks. Most homes are built with a standard 2 ¼ inch strip but hardwood flooring also comes in 3 ¼, 4 or 5-inch strips. Use a tape measure to determine what you have.


A flooring specialist can recommend replacement flooring that closely matches your current floor colour. For a perfect match, stripping and staining your current hardwood floors or staining the new flooring may be necessary. Have this done by a professional to ensure a seamless transition and a perfect custom colour. 

Consider not matching hardwood:

Floors next to each don’t have to match to work together. Contrasting floors can be beautiful and visually interesting. Sometimes it’s better to make a transition from one space to the next rather than matching. Darker hardwood floors (mahogany, walnut) look great next to lighter hardwood (white oak, maple, hickory). Transition strips (narrow pieces of wood that bridge the flooring seam between two rooms) adjust the height in doorways, allow you to change the direction of wood and help with colour changes.

Contemplate removing the old hardwood floor:

If you’re not attached to the existing flooring or the floor is worn and damaged, it may be worthwhile and cost-effective to remove the original flooring and start fresh. Sometimes a whole floor project is simpler and more affordable than matching and repairing. 

No matter how you decide to add hardwood flooring to your space, reach out to a flooring expert and professional installer. They can help you find the right species, grade, thickness, and colour to match your existing floor. They’ll guide you through the process and recommend solutions for your situation.


Looking to match an existing hardwood floor? Not sure if you should match or replace your flooring? Contact Smith Bros. Floors, one of Canada’s oldest flooring companies; family-owned and operated. We use industry-leading flooring and finishes because we want your flooring to last! With an experienced crew of installers and finishers and a lifetime guarantee on workmanship and longevity, Smith Bros. quality cannot be beaten! Call us at 403-255-7791 for a free consultation.

Choose the Right Flooring for Your Kitchen

Kitchen Flooring

Every room in your home deserves practical, durable, and beautiful flooring that suits your style. The kitchen is no exception. This room is the heart of the home, an important space for cooking, socializing, working and entertaining. It experiences a heap of foot traffic, many spills, frequent stains, temperature fluctuations and continual cleaning. You want the flooring in this room to be easy to maintain, comfortable to walk on and be able to last for years. Your kitchen floor has a big job to accomplish! So what is the best flooring for a kitchen? Which flooring choice meets your needs, goals and budget? The following is information about a variety of types, materials, colours, styles and textures available for your kitchen. The options are vast!

What should I consider when shopping for kitchen flooring?

  • Durability: Do you have children and/or pets? Do you spill sauce, drop pans and splash oil often? What type of wear and tear will your kitchen floor encounter? These questions help you decide the durability you require in your choice of flooring.
  • Style sense: Choose flooring that complements the style of your kitchen, whether it’s rustic, contemporary or country. Consider the colours, textures and patterns already present in the room in your walls, cabinets, and counters. 
  • Comfort: Look for flooring with a bit of softness and resilience. You want it to be comfortable to stand on for long periods.
  • Ease of cleaning: Kitchen floors get grimy! Choose a material that’s easy to clean as well as water and stain-resistant. 
  • Cost: Choose flooring that you can afford, taking into account delivery, installation, possible underlay and removal/disposal of the old floor. 

What types of flooring can I choose from?

Natural stone (granite/slate/marble) comes in a variety of colours and patterns and has plenty of character. It’s durable, long-lasting, easy to clean and not slippery. However, stone is pricey, expensive to repair when chipped and needs to be sealed following installation and re-sealed at regular intervals. With proper care stone is a beautiful and tough surface for your kitchen. Avoid limestone (tends to scratch) and travertine (is porous).

Porcelain tile comes glazed or unglazed. Glazed tiles come with a glass-like coating that can be made in any colour and can look like just about anything, including fabrics and marble.  Unglazed tiles have the natural earthy colour of the clays used to make them. Porcelain tiles are waterproof, durable, can handle just almost any stain and some are certified to be slip-resistant. However, installation is difficult (requiring specialized tools) and your subfloor must be completely level.  

Ceramic tiles are made from clay and baked to a finish. They’re available in a wide variety of styles, shapes, colours, and patterns. Ceramic tiles handle spills, splatters, and messes. However, the grout used with these tiles stains, so clean up spills quickly. Ceramic has the least amount of options as far as looks but it’s extremely durable and has the lowest price-point in the tile market. Installation is difficult and requires specialized tools and the subfloor must be completely level. The glazed pattern and/or colour on this tile can be chipped, revealing the natural colour beneath. 

Hardwood is warm, beautiful, stylish and comfortable underfoot. It never goes out of style! This flooring combines durability with low maintenance. Properly finished hardwood is water-resistant but spills should be wiped up immediately. Hardwood floors can be slippery but some styles have hand-scraped or distressed finishes that provide extra surface area for traction. This choice of flooring is reasonably expensive and must be installed over a plywood subfloor. Depending on the thickness of your hardwood, you can sand and refinish your floors for an updated look, no need to replace the whole floor. Reclaimed, recycled, and environmentally sustainable choices are also available.

Engineered wood has a veneer of real wood backed by a layer of plywood or high-density fiberboard, making the planks stable and the flooring less susceptible to humidity and temperature. It’s less expensive than hardwood, features a scratch-proof finish, is easy to clean, durable and can be refinished when you need a new look. However, it is susceptible to fading, dents and scratches easily and may contain toxic chemicals. Keep in mind that, because the wood layer is relatively thin, there is a limit to the number of times you can refinish it successfully. Nail, staple, glue or even float engineered wood floors. Installation is a breeze!

Cork is waterproof, resilient and gives when compressed, making it a comfortable choice for kitchen floors. It has a textured surface, offering some slip resistance and, since it is made from tree bark that grows back, it’s a sustainable material. Cork comes prefinished, but needs to be resealed every 3 to 4 years to help prevent scratches and stains. Cork is naturally resistant to mould, mildew and termites and repels dust, hair, and other small particles from its surface. Because it doesn’t off-gas or shed microfibers, cork floors promote higher indoor air quality. Cork is also a natural thermal and acoustic insulator, which means rooms with cork flooring are warm and quiet. It resists cracking and abrasions and is impermeable to gas and liquid. It can be installed on uneven surfaces or over existing flooring. This material has one of the longest lifespans of any kitchen flooring options, lasting up to 40 years with proper care and maintenance! 

Linoleum is another green kitchen flooring option. It’s made from renewable, biodegradable cork powder and linseed oil and has no harmful VOCs. It’s a resilient flooring that comes in many patterns and colours, is available in sheets, tiles and panels, stands up well to foot traffic and is moisture-resistant. However, it’s a bit susceptible to staining. Lino can be installed over virtually any flat, dry, clean surface. It’s inherently antibacterial and antistatic, making it hygienic and easy to clean. It feels soft and comfortable underfoot. Make sure the product you purchase has a protective coating to guard against scratches and spills.

Luxury vinyl is 100% synthetic and comes in sheets, tiles and planks. The base layer is usually fiberglass, coated with PVC and a plasticizer. The resultant flooring is printed and embossed with a surface print (stone, wood, many patterns). Over this are placed multiple wear layers with a no-wax polyurethane topping. Vinyl offers a variety of styles and colours for those on a budget. It’s waterproof, stain proof, feels slightly soft underfoot and deadens sound. You can peel and stick, glue (permanently), lock and float, or loose lay vinyl. It’s a tough, durable flooring solution and can last up to 20 years. However, vinyl has a tendency to warp to any particles left beneath during installation, is not biodegradable and heavy furniture can result in scuffs and gouges that are difficult to remove.

Laminate is similar to luxury vinyl planks in look and method of installation. However, its core is made from wood byproducts bonded with resins. The surface is a hard, transparent plastic layer that covers the printed design. Laminate floors are warm, water-resistant, scratch-resistant, durable, easy to install, come in a variety of finishes, a diverse range of styles, colours, and patterns and are inexpensive. Mimicking hardwood colours and patterns is one of the selling features of laminate. Hand-scraped, distressed, rustic, and reclaimed looks are available. Most laminate floors can be clicked together and either permanently installed (glued down) or floated over uneven subfloors. Laminate is very easy to clean and maintain. Because laminate is an image, you cannot refinish your floors. This means when it’s time for a change, you will need to buy all new flooring. Laminate doesn’t degrade well in landfills and some options are made with chemicals such as formaldehyde which can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs). 

Many feet pass through your kitchen! Your flooring is exposed to moisture, spills, heat and scratches. Because the kitchen is a coveted room, the flooring needs to match its esteem while standing up to its use. Consider your kitchen flooring options carefully before buying. Make sure your choice meets your needs, matches your style and fits in your budget. Then enjoy your new kitchen!

Looking for quality flooring for your kitchen? Contact Smith Bros. Floors, one of Canada’s oldest flooring companies; family-owned and operated. We use industry-leading flooring and finishes because we want your flooring to last! With a tested crew of installers and finishers and a lifetime guarantee on workmanship and longevity, Smith Bros. quality cannot be beaten! Call us at 403-255-7791 for a free consultation.

Pet-Friendly Flooring

Pet-Friendly Flooring

Your pet is a part of your family, loved and loving. 58% of Canadian households report owning at least one pet. You adore your pets but they can be hard on your floors; leaving scratches, shedding hair requiring frequent floor cleaning and having accidents that cause staining and persistent odours. What do you do when your pet wreaks havoc on your floors? What type of flooring will stand up to life with the animal member(s) of your family? The following is an overview of some of the most popular types of flooring and how well they do or don’t handle the daily presence of your furry friends.

  • Vinyl flooring is a great option for families with pets. Luxury vinyl tile and vinyl sheets are highly durable, long-lasting, and resistant to moisture, scratches, stains and dents. They hold up well against accidents and food/water bowl spills. Vinyl is easy to clean, easy to install and affordable. It will even soften the sound of pet nails and reduce skidding! 
  • Rigid core flooring combines the best attributes of many flooring products for the ultimate in dent, scratch and stain resistance. It’s a click-type plank vinyl flooring that doesn’t require any adhesives, is budget-friendly, comes in a wide range of styles and can realistically mimic the looks of both hardwood and tile. Rigid core flooring is waterproof making it perfect for water bowl spills and pets that are wet from the rain or a bath. 
  • Engineered tile: With engineered tile, you can achieve the authentic look and feel of traditional tile (stone or ceramic) with a scratch-resistant surface that is warmer and kinder to you and your pets. It is stain and soil repellent, easy to clean and absorbs sound. Wet or dry, it is slip-resistant, perfect for families with pets. 
  • Laminate flooring stands up against the scratches and stains of having a pet but is not typically fully waterproof. Moisture or puddles left to sit will be absorbed and may cause swelling and buckling. Laminate is not noise resistant and the slippery surface can be problematic for ageing pets.
  • Solid wood flooring: Excessive moisture will warp and ruin this flooring but it is resistant to surface moisture, spills and accidents. Waterproof options are available and provide some moisture protection. Hardwood is susceptible to scratches, may be difficult underfoot for pets and the typical dark colours show dander and pet hair. Though hardwood flooring may be sufficient for small pets, it is unlikely to withstand the wear and tear of large dogs. 
  • Engineered wood floors give you the best of both laminate and solid wood floors. The wear layer may be able to be sanded and refinished if scratches or spills become problematic. Choose a finish that has a “rustic” or distressed look. These styles already look worn, and any scratch marks will naturally blend in.
  • Cork flooring is a great choice for pet owners. It is antimicrobial, resistant to the development of bacterial growth, mold or other harmful allergens. It is scratch-resistant and sound-absorbing so cuts down on pet noises. Choose a lighter shade of cork flooring to minimize the look of any scratch marks. It requires little maintenance or daily upkeep and is an eco-friendly flooring that is good for the planet. 
  • Tile and stone flooring is water-resistant, stain-resistant and easy to clean. It can handle anything your pet throws its way. It is one of the best options when it comes to pet-friendly flooring. However, these floors are hard and cold making them uncomfortable for many pets. Make sure you provide soft area rugs or a pet bed somewhere in the house.
  • Bamboo flooring is extremely durable, stain-resistant and scratch-resistant. Choose a style that has a high hardness rating. Food and water spills or pet accidents won’t damage these floors. Plus, bamboo is very sustainable.


There are plenty of pet-friendly flooring options on the market. Even with a scratchy, furry, accident-prone pet at home, it’s possible to have beautiful floors. You just need to find the right type! 

Looking for quality flooring that can withstand the wear and tear of your pets? Contact Smith Bros. Floors, one of Canada’s oldest flooring companies; family-owned and operated. We use industry-leading flooring and finishes because we want your flooring to last! With a tested crew of installers and finishers and a lifetime guarantee on workmanship and longevity, Smith Bros. quality cannot be beaten! Call us at 403-255-7791 for a free consultation. 

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!