Schmidt Custom Floors Show Beautiful Products That Are Sure To Please
A roof over our head may be a basic human right, but a beautiful floor from Schmidt Custom Floors is anything but basic. Flooring is one of those phases of construction where a house is truly transformed. Stepping foot through the door for the first time, the selections, the character, the comfort of being “home” are finally felt.
Today we’re excited to talk flooring with our friends and partners at Schmidt Custom Floors and tell you a little bit more about the products used in The Regency Hillcrest, as well as share what’s new in the world of surfaces. Tim Schmidt, the second-generation owner, as well as Nina Oechsner, Builder Sales/Design, are here to tell us all about it!
The Hillcrest Hardwood Flooring
The moment you walk into The Regency Hillcrest, your eyes will be drawn to the beautiful site-finished engineered white oak floors. But the wide plank design and rich stain is only a part of their charm.
“Most homeowners don’t realize that it isn’t just the species of wood that dictates the look, but also the saw cut used. The Hillcrest has a few variations of white oak planks, selected to match the desired character of each space. On the first floor, a rift & quarter sawn look helps the homeowners achieve a softer, more refined look, while the live sawn cuts found on the lower level provides a more casual and rustic look,” shares Nina.
She goes on to explain that the type of grade brings out different characters, variations, and knots. Another key element to the final appearance is the use of texture in the Hillcrest flooring. Each level uses a wire-brushed finish. “Wire brushing is added post milling. It encourages grain enhancement, helps the planks take the stain better, and deepens the surface texture of the floors,” Nina continues. The end result is a subtle, yet intriguing surface finish.
The engineered product used in the Hillcrest is superior as well. “Many people don’t understand that engineered hardwood is a better product than solid wood floors,” shares Tim. “Because they are less likely to be susceptible to contraction and expansion, engineered products don’t cup or crown over time, are able to be used in any application, are suitable for lower levels, and are excellent for over hydronic heating systems,” Tim adds.
Today’s engineered products are estimated to be about 80% more stable than solid wood floors. This product begins unfinished and the top layer of thick hardwood provides superior wearability. “One common misconception is that engineered products can’t be refinished. That’s simply not true. The products we use are high-quality, allowing homeowners to sand and refinish the surface multiple times throughout the life of the floor,” Tim concludes.
Installing Hardwood Floors
Floors by Schmidt are carefully and craftfully installed. It’s critical that the proper methods are used to prepare and install the floors, achieving strength and performance for years to come. Tim breaks the process down for us:
Acclimation – Everything starts in our climate-controlled warehouse. Flooring material must be acclimated to ensure the proper moisture levels prior to installing. This helps to prevent any shrinking, expanding, cupping, or crowning of the product. Moisture tests are performed to ensure conditions are just right prior to installation.
Preparation – Once onsite, Schmidt prepares the subfloors and checks for levelness. Any issues are corrected, and debris, drywall mud, and other elements are removed so that the substrate is prepared for the final product.
Installation – Type of flooring and substrate determines the exact installation method, but Tim points out how adhesives are used in the process. He explains that today’s products are strong, yet flexible, allowing for the appropriate amount of movement over time.
Buff or Sand – Depending upon the surface texture of the planks, hardwood floors are either buffed or sanded prior to finish. Special care must be taken not to lose the textures that were applied by wire brushing, scraping, or other distressing during this process.
Finish – So critical to the process, a floor’s finish brings out its true character. Schmidt Custom Floors shares their secrets of success next!
Achieving a Perfect Floor Finish
Experience and service in staining is what really sets Schmidt Custom Flooring apart. As a Regency partner, Schmidt knows that quality is hard work…and they are as picky as we are in achieving it!
What starts as a showroom visit develops into an art and science in your home. Working hand-in-hand with their sample and stain department, Schmidt will blend custom stains and finishes to help Regency clients achieve the perfect color. Because the options are endless, their team will provide a control sample and meet homeowners onsite at the job to ensure that the lighting, cabinetry, and woodwork match and that other elements of the design truly blend with the floor finishes. It’s a big choice, and Schmidt’s goal is to make it as easy as possible!
A innovative technique in floor finishing is called water popping. “Water popping allows us to achieve a much more dramatic depth of color,” Nina shares. “This surface preparation technique helps open up the grains with a light water process, allowing the stain to be accepted more readily into the plank,” she continues. The result is deeper, more consistent colors that homeowners love!
Schmidt Custom Floors completes the process by protecting the floor with a durable, commercial rated Loba finish.
Durability – Kids and Pets
There’s more life in a Regency home. That’s our motto. Fido is part of the family, kids will be kids, and life takes its toll. Schmidt Custom Flooring has a few tips on choosing the best products for kids, pets, and busy households.
Tip 1: Denser is Better – The harder the wood, the less inclined to scrape, dent, and ding as deep compared to a softer species. Hickory is one of the best native species of hardwoods, while exotic hardwoods provide even more options for durability. While not the hardest choice, Acacia is a popular choice in today’s durable flooring market.
Tip 2: Don’t forget the Finish – Even softer woods can be protected very well with a strong finish. Schmidt uses commercially rated products such as Loba to achieve strength and beauty for years to come.
Tip 3: Get Beneath the Surface – Surface finishes can be great, but products that penetrate the wood give homeowners the peace of mind when it comes to hiding blemishes. Oil finishes such as European hard waxes allow homeowners to touchup floors over time. As these finishes are burnished into the floor, a fine patina develops. Talk about aging gracefully!
When it comes to other flooring products, Schmidt shares that nylon carpeting is the best wearing man-made fiber, with wool wearing even better when it comes to a natural product. Laminate products are also a nice option for busy households because new lines added to the market now are waterproof and recent advancements in the look of these products provide attractive options for high traffic areas of the home.
Trends in Flooring
Timeless selections, current trends – whatever your cup of tea, Schmidt has you covered! They’ve shared a few trends with us that homeowners are loving in the world of flooring:
Gone with the Gray – The past few years grays were all the rage, but things are warming up again when it comes to floors
Au Natural – Homeowners are enjoying natural looks that appear almost like raw wood
Subtle, not Scraped – The hand scraped, deep textures of yesterday are giving way to lighter, more subtle textures such as denting, distressing, and wire brushing
Not your Mother’s Oak – Popular in previous decades, white oak is making a return with European detailing such as live sawn appearances and larger planks
The Bigger the Better – When it comes to tile, larger format reigns, providing clean lines for flooring, fireplaces, and countertops alike
Out With Stone – Natural stone products are fading, perhaps due to the extensive maintenance needed to protect and maintain their porous surfaces
Texture and Dimension – When it comes to carpet, cut & loop textures can create patterns that provide an added element of design to your room
Smart Floors – Believe it or not, technology has made its way to flooring. With sensors the size of credit cards installed under the surface, you can measure humidity and temperature straight from your smartphone, ensuring you have the best conditions possible
Regency & Schmidt Flooring
Before we close, we thought we’d share a little history on the Regency and Schmidt Custom Flooring friendship. With a 30+ year history of working together, Schmidt is another partner who falls into the three generations category…in fact, Jon, Wendy, and Tim went to school together!
The shared family culture of both companies is critical to their work together. Schmidt’s team of designers and installers is an extension of the Regency family. Providing a single point of contact for Regency customers, the hands-on nature of their work is built on trust, communications, and systems.
Tim shares, “Our partnership with Regency doesn’t just stop with immediate team – it extends to the relationships amongst subcontractors. In other builders’ job sites, our work isn’t always respected. Dents and dings occur, people don’t allow appropriate dry time before walking on the floors and the blue bootie rule isn’t always enforced. But Regency has built a culture of excellence where trade partners respect and admire each other’s workmanship, resulting in great working relationships.”
Tim, Nina, thank you for your hard work and for helping Regency bring truly unique flooring to our customers.
About Schmidt Custom Floors
Since 1968 Schmidt Custom Floors has built a reputation based on family, trust, communication, and the best in surfaces! They believe in designing a simple, yet memorable experience for clients that begins in their 10,000 square foot Waukesha showroom and lives on in homes for generations to come. As a one-stop-shop, all surface selections can be made at Schmidt including flooring, runners and rugs, vinyls, tile, and more.
They pride themselves on savvy business systems, critical installation methods, warranty, and service. Schmidt not only stays abreast of the newest products and innovations in the residential flooring market, but also is a leader in commercial flooring and sport floors.