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5 Unique and Beautiful Hardwood Floors

With so many beautiful woods available, hardwood floors can be so much more than Oak or Jatoba (Brazilian Cherry).  Here are some of the newest pieces I have seen recently that seem to be catching on!

Unique Hardwood #1: Birch

mixed width birch hardwood floor
This is a beautiful hardwood with a subtle, graceful grain and a soft glow in its color.  Birch is sustainably forested and domestic to the U.S.A. enabling you to get an ‘exotic’ look without breaking the bank and threatening the rain-forests. Since it is quickly growing in popularity, I’m seeing many wood floor manufacturers pick it up for multiple types of styles including French Bleeds (the edges of the planks are stained almost black to create an aged look), Mixed Width (shown above), Wide Plank (5″ to 9″), and more! If this is a wood floor that you are interested in, take a look at our French Quarter 3″/5″/7″, Noble House, and Biscayne Bay elite discounted birch hardwoods!

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How to Care for Brazilian Cherry (a.k.a. Jatoba) and Other Exotic Looking Hardwoods

You just had to do it didn’t you?  You choose that beautiful hardwood with that rich, dark red coloring and shiny finish.  And, now you’re wondering how you’re going to keep it looking that beautiful because the darn thing shows everything!  Well, to be completely honest and tell you what you don’t want to hear, you chose a floor that is going to need more maintenance than others.  But I have some tips to help make it a little easier on you to keep it looking nice.

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American Proud


Armstrong Floors has introduced a brand new line that I am really excited about: American Scrape.

It is a collection of solid and engineered domestic hickory and oak hardwood floors all sustainably sourced from our wonderful Appalachian forests.

Each one has been specifically crafted to celebrate the wonderful, natural beauty of the USA.

All are gently hand scraped and distressed for the sense of history and worry free living.

And each one has a higher gloss level, enabling you to dress the floor up or down depending on the style needed in the room.

The styling isn’t the only thing that Armstrong focused on in extreme detail.  They also took great care to protect the hardwood’s natural beauty with their toughest protective wear layer that they are willing to stand behind with a Lifetime Residential Warranty and a 10 (that’s right, TEN) Year Commercial Warranty (unheard of with hardwood flooring)!

Plus, using the proceeds from this line, Armstrong will provide hardwood and luxury vinyl tile flooring for 30-35 homes for veterans and their families through Homes for Our Troops!

I’d love to give you a personalized tour of the line!  Let me know when you’d like to see it.  And, of course, if there are any questions, give me a shout!

Have Fun,

Katlin Farrell
Mercer Floor and Home
Office: 410-480-0087
10155 Baltimore National Pike
Ellicott City Maryland 21042

As always, if there are any questions (or ideas), please let me know! Katlin@nullMercerCarpetOne.com Facebook.com/MercerCarpetOne Twitter.com/MercerFloors

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[My Work] Hardwood+


I thought that you might like to see a few pictures of projects that I have been able to help with and today let’s focus on my hardwood projects.

natural clear oak wide plank select better engineered

oak hardwood natural wide plank clear select better engineered

The above are pictures of a new natural oak hardwood floor that I helped a client in Hunt Valley choose for their new condo.  It is a select and better grade which means that it has the least amount of variation, mineral streaks, and knots possible in an oak floor.

maple hardwood clear select better plank solid

maple plank clear select better solid hardwood

Take a look at the clear, cherry stained maple plank hardwood in the images above that I helped a client in Eldersburg with.  Maple naturally has very soft graining and while stain tends to even out variation, with the higher sheen of the finish it brings it out a bit more.

handscraped hickory wide plank hardwood engineered floor

What do you think of the above hand-scraped, wide plank hickory hardwood?  I helped a Catonsville client choose this hardwood floor for their new home.  They really liked the richness of the dark stain, the forgiveness of the hand-scraping, and the uniqueness of the wide planks and diagonal installation.  What do you think?

rustic tavern grade birch plank natural hardwood

rustic birch hardwood plank tavern cabin grade natural

What a great way to have a statement floor!  I helped this Ellicott City client choose this natural birch wood flooring.  They really liked the variation of the tavern grade (most variation possible) as well as the brightness it provides to the room.

dark stained tigerwood exotic plank hardwood floor

exotic tigerwood hardwood plank dark stained

A client in Clarksville loved the sophisticated richness of this dark stained tigerwood hardwood floor.  The heavy variation of tigerwood is smoothed out greatly with the dark chocolate stain and the high sheen dresses up the floor like a grand piano dresses up a parlor.

staircase stairway stair refacing railing white spindle

oak stairs railing white spindles custom stairway staircase stair

stair estate railing spindle bullnose custom stairway staircase oak natural white

A Columbia client is thrilled with her new wood custom staircase, railing system, and runner.  Even a  couple weeks after installation she said that she couldn’t believe it was hers.

stained acacia handscraped wide plank hardwood engineered

rustic handscraped hardwood dark stained acacia engineered

exotic acacia hardwood rustic dark stained handscraped

And my personal favorite of this series, the handscraped, wide plank acacia hardwood that a client in Clarksville chose for their 1st floor.  They preferred the smoother and richer look of the darker stain to the high variation of the natural and loved the forgiveness that the hand-scraping provided.

What do you think of these floors?  Do you have any hardwood pictures to share?

Best Wishes,
Katlin Farrell, Flooring Design Consultant
As always, if there are any questions (or ideas), please let me know! Katlin@nullMercerCarpetOne.com Facebook.com/MercerCarpetOne Twitter.com/MercerFloors

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The Story Behind the Floor: Cork Flooring


I am a lover of stories.  Always have been.  It probably started with my mom and grandfather who would read out loud to me before I could even play with phonics.  She used all of the voices and inflections that sucked you right into the story.  His rich voice made even the most dull poetry sound magical.

And yes that love has continued today even in my flooring world.  Sometimes it amazes me the richness of the stories behind the floor.  Today I want to tease you somewhat with the stories behind cork flooring.

Generational Family Project:

That’s right, I’m pulling in the family side of things (maybe I’m a bit biased).  When planting a cork tree (much like an olive tree), you’re planting for the next generations not your own as it takes approximately 50 years before you can harvest usable bark for various cork products (bottle stoppers, shoe soles, knife handles, floors, etc).

It’s considered a great investment because once active, cork trees can be harvested approximately every 10 years equaling a regular income for future generations.


I’ve already mentioned how eco-friendly cork is (probably one of the ‘greenest’ options available), but here’s some more information.

First of all, they don’t harm the tree when harvesting it’s bark.  In fact, the trees are healthier for it (when harvested correctly, of course).

Second, most cork products (including flooring) is actually made from the leftover cork from making bottle stoppers for the wine industry!

AND, it also encourages sustainable forestry and business practices to support an unique eco-system!

But, of course, stories aren’t everything when it comes to what floor you choose.  Performance, beauty, and value are paramount.  Here are a few pictures of cork floors installed in homes to give you an idea of it’s aesthetic potential:

In regards to performance and value, check out this post and contact me with any and all questions!

Warm Wishes,

Katlin at Mercers
As always, if there are any questions (or ideas), please let me know! Katlin@nullMercerCarpetOne.com Facebook.com/MercerCarpetOne Twitter.com/MercerFloors

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