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Mercer Blog

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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7 Hot Home Design Styles Trending on Pintrest

People nowadays are taking home design inspiration from many sources and, as of early February 2015, these are the styles that are trending and helping them take house or apartment and make it their home:

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You Are Invited: BOGO – 1 Day Only


And you’re invited!

“Mercer offered fantastic savings, a fun atmosphere, and food was delicious! As always, Mercer takes great care of their customers. If you host this event again, please include us on your invitation list!” ~ Carol & Chuck W.

Please join us on Thursday, July 25th for food, drink, giveaways, prizes, and a fantastic sale!

Yup, I’m serious!  Rumor has it that I will be able to offer all flooring with a Buy One Get One Free*!  Plus, I know I have access to up to 48 month no interest financing*!

Space is limited and this event is showing to be very popular, so reserve your spot now!  I also highly recommend setting up a pre-measure and product selection time prior to the event.  That way you’re able to get the most of the event (including the delicious refreshments we’ll be providing)!

While I’m still learning all of the details of the sale, I do know that absolutely all floor covering in my showroom will be on sale!  That includes carpet, hardwood, ceramic, mosaics, stone, rugs, bamboo, cork, luxury vinyl, and more!

Oh, and be sure to mention this invitation, because I have a free gift for each of my readers who takes advantage!

Have Fun,

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

*Contact me for complete details!
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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12 Things You Should Know About Hardwood Sand-n-Finishing


Sometimes there is just no way to hide it.  Your hardwood just needs a face lift.

But, like anything else, there are many ways to skin a cat.  And you need to know what to look for for your home.

12: Your hardwood actually might not need a full sand and finish.

Wait, hold up!  It’s scratched and dented!  What do you mean it might not need to be sanded and refinished?!

Ask yourself how hold your floor is.  Then ask yourself about the life expectancy of the wear layer (look at the warranty).  If it was installed 10 years or less and has at least a 20 year warranty, the wear layer provides top notch protection.

Now take a look at the scratches.  Find the worst one.  Can you see raw hardwood there?   Or are the dents bad enough to be a visual irritant?  Is there any color discoloration or slight warping from water damage (only minor damage can be repaired, usually it needs to be replaced)?

If you say ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, you probably need a sand-n-finish.  If your answers are ‘no’ look into a screen-n-finish or buff and refinish (where the wear layer is roughed up with a sander and a new wear layer is applied top the top and the actual wood isn’t touched).

And I would always ask a hardwood flooring professional to take a look to see what they would suggest!

11: Quarter round and shoe molding cannot be refinished.

And it shouldn’t be.  First of all, hand-sanding your trims is very time consuming and would make the cost rocket sky high; save that for railings, door way trims, and other decorative wood moldings.  Second, it might not be 100% hardwood.  Many flooring contractors cut cost by using laminate trims (by the way, Mercers uses only 100% true hardwood trims and transitions unless otherwise specified).

So,  in addition to the square foot cost of actually sanding, staining, and refinishing your hardwood, keep in mind the cost of replacing your shoe molding.

10: You may or may not have to replace your wooden transitions.

In most cases, a wooden transition can be sanded and refinished by a skilled craftsman.  The rare occasions where they would need to be replaced include if it is actually a laminated piece or if it is so badly damaged that you would want a new one anyway.  This is also a great time to upgrade from metal transitions to wooden ones!

9: Engineered hardwoods can indeed be sanded and refinished.

It is a huge misconception that engineered hardwood cannot be sanded-n-finished.  As long as you have one that is a mid quality floor or higher, you should have no problem.  If you are unsure of the quality or if you’re living on actual engineered hardwood or a laminate, have an expert take a look.

9: This is a great time to get a new look.

If you’re doing a full sand and refinish, why not think about doing a new color?

And, if you wanted, a skilled craftsman could custom create and use a stencil to create a medallion or other design for that extra something.

7: Ask how many times the crew will sand and cut.

Hold on, what’s cutting?  That’s when the sand and finish crew changes the level of the sand paper being used.  Most crews sand and cut two times.  While the highly skilled and attentive (including Mercer’s crew) cut three times because it reduces the appearance of sand marks on the floor.

6: Ask how the crew prepares the home for the sand-n-finish process.

Who will move what?  If the crew moves furniture, where will they put it?  Will they contract a storage pod for you if needed?  Will they use plastic to protect neighboring areas from the inevitable dust?

A quality crew will offer to move pieces of furniture that take two or more people and will probably ask you to move smaller items and breakables.  If a crew is experienced and attentive, they will offer to contract a storage pod for larger projects.  And any attentive crew that knows that they’re doing will ‘tent’ off connecting areas of your home to minimize the amount of dust escaping the area with plastic.

5: Ask if the crew hand sand the edges.

The answer should most definitely be yes because it creates a much cleaner look!

4: Ask if the crew uses a stain sealant.

Again, the answer should most definitely be yes.  This protects the stain and keeps it from moving when applying the wear layer.  Attentive crews will also use tongue oil in the stain to enhance the color.

3: Ask about the number of layers to be applied.

Most crews apply two.  Quality crews (such as Mercer’s) apply three AND take a few extra steps to make sure you get the best end product possible:

  • wait for it to completely dry
  • gently buff before applying the next layer

2: Ask about the quality of wear layer used.

Don’t allow anyone to do work who uses products from discount stores or large box stores.  Quality crews will get their products from specialty places where they can get products of high commercial grade with the lowest VOC’s (air born pollutants).  Mercer’s crew only uses commercial grade products that are top notch quality and the lowest VOC’s possible.

1: Talk to me for a 30% discount on your sand-n-finish project!

Yup, that’s right, if you are thinking about doing a sand and refinish, give me a shout.  I’ll give you a  30% discount on the sand-n-finish.  Contact me for complete details: katlin@nullmercercarpetone.com – 410-480-0087.

Have fun and let me know if there are any questions!

Warm Wishes,
Katlin Farrell
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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