What to Look for in a Hardwood Flooring Specialist

hardwood floor maintenance kitchenSo you’ve made the decision to install hardwood flooring: great choice! Now comes the hard part: finding the right hardwood flooring specialist to install them. Not all contractors are created equal. They should have vast experience installing the type of hardwood flooring you want, backed by the credentials and skill that will give you peace of mind.

Here are some tips on what to look for in a hardwood flooring specialist.

Licensing, Bonding and Insurance

Not all states require flooring contractors to be licensed, but there are many that do. Texas does not require licensing. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t check into their background and track record by enlisting the help of the BBB or your local municipality. By the way, Designer Wood Flooring has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Your flooring contractor should be bonded and insured, which protects both parties against damage or injury while on your property. New flooring is a significant investment. Protect it by ensuring your flooring contractor holds the proper insurance policies.

Industry Accreditation

Accreditations from trade organizations are also a good sign of a reputable company. Designer Wood Flooring is a member of the National Wood Flooring Association, an international not-for-profit trade association representing all segments of the hardwood flooring industry. Memberships in these types of organizations show you that the contractors are serious about their work and take continuing education courses on a regular basis. This also shows contractors are held to higher industry standards for workmanship, work site conditions, and proper installation techniques.

Experience and References

When calling around for quotes, ask the flooring contractors about their background and experience in the field. Look for many years in business, preferably in the same town or location. This shows stability and customer loyalty.

Ask for references and don’t be afraid to call them. Any well-qualified flooring contractor won’t have any problem providing references for customers or a portfolio of recently-completed work. When you call the references, ask if they were satisfied with the work and whether they would hire that particular contractor again.

Ask About Price

Hardwood floors aren’t cheap. Naturally, you’re concerned about price. But making a decision based solely on cost is a mistake. Choosing the cheapest contractor usually results in the cheapest quality of work. Likewise, if you choose the high-end of the spectrum in terms of price, you could be getting ripped off.

Stick within the middle range, and ask what those prices entail. Get a full breakdown of all costs and timelines. And get a contact name and number to call whenever you have questions or concerns.

Contact Designer Wood Flooring

To learn more about our services and why we are the best choice for you, contact us or visit our showroom in Spring Branch. Our hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


How to Prevent Gaps in Your Hardwood Floors


Despite its species or hardness rating, wood is essentially an organic product made of fibers that will absorb nutrients and water. Those fibers are constantly changing their solidity, tension, and flexibility. That’s because trees by nature are designed to extend further into the atmosphere to gain as many nutrients as they can through their leaf systems.

The trunk of a tree is what regulates the flexibility of those interchanges. It’s due to this ongoing organic process of growth that the slats of your wood floors will expand and contract at a microscopic level. Wood is, after all, a living, breathing entity and it can be affected by the atmospheric conditions within your home. Those conditions can be impacted by anything from the outdoor temperature to number of occupants in the home to the efficiency of the HVAC system.

In winter, your wood floors will lose moisture, contract, and show gaps. It’s actually quite common. Let’s take a further look at tips during wood floor installation.

Preparation of Hardwoods

The finish of your hardwood floors not only enhances its appearance but it also protects it from future damage. This natural substance has a variety of rings, lines, patterns, and markings, which the finish will bring out. Your floors could be finished with any manner of:

  • Dyes
  • Stains
  • Colorants
  • Sealers
  • Fillers
  • Toners
  • Shade coats
  • Primers

In regards to possible gapping, hardwood finishes regulate the amount of moisture the wood is taking in and how much is expired into the air. To prevent gapping, the finish must have been applied expertly and efficiently.

Acclimating Hardwoods

When installing hardwood, you must allow the humidity and temperature of the wood to complement the ambient humidity and temperature of the home. Failing to achieve this balance could translate to post-installation problems. If the wood has a higher moisture content than the sub-floor does, it could contract later, leading to shrinking and gapping. If the wood is dryer than the air in your home, it could increase in size, leading to buckling and pressure on the border.

To acclimate your hardwood flooring:

  • Store it in the same room and on the same floor as where you plan to install it.
  • Keep your HVAC system at temperatures that are consistent with your daily routine.
  • Allow ample air flow by stacking the wood in a log cabin formation.
  • Acclimate the wood for seven to 10 days prior to installation.

In-Home Humidity

The humidity in your home is key to how much your floors will expand and contract. Make sure this factor is consistent to cut down on the chances of gapping and other changes. You can achieve this by reducing ventilation and adding moisture to the air via a humidifier.

When you take all of the above factors into consideration, you will not only ensure a smoother installation process but you will also decrease the possibility of expansion or contraction of the wood fibers. The end goal is to ensure your hardwood flooring lasts for the life of your home.

Contact Designer Wood Flooring

We can help you transform any room in your home with quality products that you can count on for years to come, whether you want pre-finished or unfinished hardwood flooring, or solid or engineered wood. Contact us now to learn more.




How to Add Texture and Character to Your Wood Floors

hardwood floor maintenance kitchen

Over the last several years, the trend has been moving far away from formal décor trends in hardwood flooring towards flooring boasting a homier, more lived-in look. Rustic chic is one style that’s been taking homes by storm. Adding greater texture and a slightly less pristine appearance to your floors is a great way to stand out, be unique, and offer a conversation piece into your daily living space.

From texturing to edging techniques, here’s how you can add character to your wood flooring. Bonus: you can also mask scratches, dents and imperfections while you’re at it.


If you like traditional and rustic looks, go with a hand-scraped look, which involves smoothing lumber by pulling a draw knife across the boards. The result? A sturdier floor thanks to the scraping away of the outside plank of softer wood to expose the harder grain beneath. Today’s planks are milled with machines, which means they’re much smoother and uniform than original Colonial homes were.

Now, people pay good money to have their smooth floors hand-scraped for a varied texture that’s handmade and unique to each plank. Many companies offer this technique through the use of machines, but there are artisan woodworkers out there who still perform this by hand.


This technique scrapes away the soft exterior of a plank to expose the harder grain beneath, just like hand-scraping. However, it’s not achieved through the use of a blade but rather with a wire-bristled brush. This method will expose the contours of the woodgrain to result in a rustic or lived-in effect. It’s great for high-traffic areas or if you have many children or pets; that’s because it can hide minor dents and scratches.


Through beveling, you can shape the edges of each plank by shaving the edge at a 45-degree angle. This will result in a “V” shape when the boards are pressed together, or, for a similar effect but with a “U” shape, a method called “pillowing,” can be done. The resulting square edges prevent dust and dirt from collecting in the seams; however, installation is more time consuming and difficult.

Distressing and Patina

If you’re looking for a new floor with an old look, try distressing or patina. Distressed floors recreate signs of wear through marking up of the surface through denting, chipping, scratching, and burning. Some people even choose to bore holes that resemble those of termites! Patina is a natural sheen that comes with age and wear, achieved more readily with minerals, chemicals, paints and UV rays.

Contact Designer Wood Flooring in San Antonio

To learn more about our hardwood floor services, including custom floors and inlays, contact us at 830-228-4866 or email us at designerwoodflooring@yahoo.com. Our showroom is in Spring Branch, TX, open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays by appointment.



| Categories: Flooring

How to Clean Tile Flooring

If you have ceramic tile flooring, you know how quickly it can show dirt and grime. Failing to keep up with cleaning and maintenance can leave your tile floors looking drab. This is especially true if you’re facing a tile installation or repair project. Keep those floors looking new with these smart cleaning techniques that address both your tiles and grout.

Sweep and Vacuum

Got glazed tile floors? Sweep or vacuum them regularly so they don’t get dull. Tiles may resist dirt, but sand and grit tend to dull glazed surfaces. Use a simple blend of mild detergent and clean water, then clean your floors gently with a rag or chamois – not a sponge mop. Those sponge type mops can push dirty water into the grout lines, making them even harder to clean. Change the water frequently while mopping, as dirty water will give you a cloudy floor, says Better Homes & Gardens.

Rid Your Floors of Residue

When your tiles start to look hazy, soapy residue is likely to blame. You can get rid of that film by using a nonabrasive all-purpose cleaner or a mild acidic substance such as fresh lemon juice. It’s OK to use this on ceramic tiles but don’t use this on marble. Rinse with clean water and dry with a lint-free cloth. If you have knee problems, use your foot to slide the cloth over the tiles.

If the tiles themselves are stained, different stains will require different cleaning techniques. For coffee, tea or juice stains, wash the tile with hot water and detergent, followed up with some blotting using hydrogen peroxide. If you have grease stains, wash them with a mixture of club soda and water, or choose a commercial floor cleaner. For stubborn ink stains, soak a cloth in diluted bleach and cover the stain, leaving it until the stain fades. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.

Cleaning the Grout

Your tiles can be gleaming but if your grout is dirty, the whole look is compromised. Grout gets so dirty so fast because it’s a porous material and tends to absorb grease, dirt and other stains. Nix the commercial cleaners and make your own paste of baking soda and water. Rub it into the stained grout, then let it sit for a few hours or even overnight. Scrub the stain with a stiff nylon brush, never metal, and repeat as needed. In order to prevent future stains, apply a silicone-based sealer to the grout.

Contact Designer Wood Flooring in San Antonio

Need new tile flooring or a repair of your existing tiles? Contact us at 830-228-4866 or email us at designerwoodflooring@yahoo.com. Our showroom is in Spring Branch, TX, open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays by appointment.





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Choosing the Best Wood Flooring for Small Spaces

Choose the right hardwood flooring.When decorating small spaces, you’ll need the same level of attention as if you were decorating a larger space. Yes, the basic rules of small space design apply to flooring, but you also need to consider how the wood species, color and width of your hardwood floors will fit into small-space principles. Here are some guidelines:


Small spaces are darker than larger, more open areas in general. However, this will vary from home to home. Take a look at how much natural lighting the room receives on a daily basis, as well as the light fixtures you have there. Note all dark corners, if any. Consider the entrance: is it bright and open? In general, lighter colored hardwood flooring is ideal for most small spaces but darker stained flooring can look wonderful in rooms with decent natural lighting.


Hardwood flooring is available in a variety of widths, from the standard plank to a wider type resembling historic floorboards. You may also want to consider decorative types such as parquet flooring constructed of short, narrow pieces of hardwood. You always want to minimize the amount of busy-ness in your small space, and wider planks often achieve that goal. Stay away from multiple colors, and consider proportion when balancing the size of your hardwood flooring planks.

You also don’t want to draw attention to the floor within smaller rooms. Upon entering the room, you want to appreciate the available space as a whole; with narrow boards or contrasting patterns, this tends to have the opposite effect.


Wood flooring comes in many different types of finishes, including:

  • Matte
  • Satin
  • Semi-gloss
  • High gloss

This is a highly personal decision that takes into account taste, style, the existing room décor and room size. Glossy finishes, for example, offer a dramatic appearance and look great against darker stain colors. Matte and satin are solid options for durability and tend to blend well within any room.

Textured hardwood flooring gives you a bit of a pattern for visual interest, but at the same time can soften the look of the floor, making it perfect for small spaces. That’s because the rustic texture will hide any imperfections and visually blend the seams for better uniformity.

When choosing wood flooring for your small space, it’s all about starting with what you like. Light colors add brightness to the room, while wider planks minimize chaos and distractions. But in the end, it’s your choice as to whether you go with a matte finish, textured product or darker vs. lighter color.

Contact Designer Wood Flooring in San Antonio

To learn more about the best wood flooring to fit your small space in San Antonio, contact us at  830-228-4866 or email us at designerwoodflooring@yahoo.com. Our showroom is in Spring Branch, TX, open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays by appointment.




| Categories: Flooring

Benefits of a Mobile Showroom

Check out our mobile showroom

Seeing is believing. Although so many people shop online, sometimes it’s best just to touch and feel something, looking at it with your own eyes. You can’t truly get a feel for something unless you see it in person. This is true with flooring as well, perhaps more so because this is a product you’ll have to live with for years to come.

Seeing flooring in a store is great, but seeing it on your own turf is even better! A mobile showroom is the ultimate in personal shopping, as it brings samples and information to YOU rather than the other way around. Determining which hardwood flooring is best for your home can seem impossible when you factor in all the hassles to get to the store, talk to a sales person, compare products and make a decision that will impact the value, functionality and aesthetics of your whole home.

That decision can’t be made lightly. That’s why there are so many benefits of having a mobile showroom come to you. Let’s go over a few of them.


With your busy schedule, you barely have time to pick up the kids from soccer practice and get to the grocery store – let alone carve out time to shop for flooring. With a mobile showroom, you just call for an in-home consultation and answer the door when the technicians show up. That’s about it. The rest is easy. You view the products, chat about which would be best for your needs and budget, and schedule the installation – all from the convenience of home.

Local Reliability

When you choose a local company with experience in wood floor installations throughout San Antonio and Southeast Texas, you get personalized attention with focused expertise. Your technicians know exactly how the fluctuations in Dallas weather can affect your flooring. While the wood is made from dead trees, it very much reacts to weather like it is alive. Just like humidity and high temperatures have an impact on your skin, the same thing happens to wood, contracting in cooler weather and expanding in warmer weather.

It doesn’t matter if you have solid, engineered or laminate wood floors, or if you have oak, mahogany or bamboo. Despite the installation method, all wood flooring absorbs or loses moisture as  conditions change within your home.


When a mobile showroom visits your home, you get a chance to meet the designers as well as the technicians who will install your flooring. You can get instant quotes on the spot, ask questions about the process and get an idea of the installation timeline.

Contact Designer Wood Flooring in Spring Branch TX

Here at Designer Wood Flooring, we have our very own mobile showroom to make your experience easier. To book a visit, contact us at 830-228-4866 in San Antonio or 409-201-1967 in Southeast Texas. You can also email us at designerwoodflooring@yahoo.com.



Benefits of Custom Shower Installation

Custom shower installation

Is your bathroom no longer meeting your needs? Are you outgrowing your space? Is your shower dated and unattractive? It’s time to give your shower a makeover with a custom tile installation. Sure, you’ve probably seen the commercials for the pre-made shower stalls that fit right over your existing tub. Looks pretty convenient, but we venture to say pretty boring as well! Why do you want your shower to look like a cookie cutter template for shower stalls all over the country?

Why Install a Custom Shower?

If you truly want to create your dream shower, you need to do it from scratch with the help of a professional skilled in original shower installations. The result is a one-of-a-kind showpiece that you can be proud of and that’s fully functional for total convenience. When you install a custom shower, you get a product that:

  • Increases your property value: According to Remodeling, you can recoup close to 60% of your costs when tackling a bathroom remodel…that number can go up even more if you install a custom tile shower.
  • Is available in many styles: The possibilities are virtually endless when it comes to choosing the colors, shapes and types of tiles, as well as fixtures, for your new shower.
  • Works with your lifestyle: Tile showers are easy to clean and easy to match the rest of your décor, plus they provide a functional aesthetic you can’t get with other types of showers. You have a wide range of features to choose from, including wide-format tiling and sleek glass designs.
  • Maximizes use of space: By installing a custom shower, you can work within small spaces or branch out to make the best use of space in a larger bathroom. You’re not limited by configurations when you go custom.
  • Offers a better resale appeal: If you plan on selling your home in the next few years, consider that a custom shower will appeal to a wider spectrum of buyers.
  • Can be customized to your needs: You are able to add the features that make your daily grooming routines easier, such as adding built-in benches, steam systems, ambient mirrors, anti-fog mirrors, linear drains and removable shower heads.

How We Can Help

Here at Designer Wood Flooring, we do so much more than hardwood — or even flooring for that matter. We also happen to be shower flooring installation experts. When you hire our highly-trained technicians, you can rest assured we stay on top of the latest trends, designs and installation techniques so you get the highest quality products backed by trusted materials.

Let us come up with a personalized design for you from start to finish. We do this by offering you a wide range of complementary colors, shapes, and styles to select from. Plus, if you want to go beyond the bathroom, you can choose from our many  tile installation and repair services that can enhance the rest of your home.

Contact Designer Wood Flooring in San Antonio

Ready to learn more? Start your project with a free estimate and consultation when you contact us at 830-228-4866 (San Antonio, TX) or 409-201-1967 (Southeast Texas), or email us at designerwoodflooring@yahoo.com. We bring 30 years of experience to the table when it comes to flooring and custom tile shower installations.








| Categories: Showers

What is the Best Wood Flooring for Kids and Pets in San Antonio?

best wood floors for pets and kids

With kids and pets underfoot, you know your flooring has to be up to the task of handling all that traffic. From pets’ claws to soccer cleats, from spilled milk to dropped toys, the wood flooring you choose in your high-traffic areas should be durable, long-lasting and ready for anything. You don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics, either. There are plenty of options out there they are tough and look good.

From finish to hardness, we’ll take a look at the best kinds of wood flooring to install when you have children and pets.

Pre-Finished Wood

Pre-finished engineered wood floors are ideal for managing households filled with children and pets. These types of floors usually feature aluminum oxide layers that lend the wood a harder, more durable finish, with a strong coatingthat stands up well to lots of action.

Handscraped Floors

Handscraped floors are a popular choice for their looks and durability, as they handle accidental damage very well. That’s because they already feature an imperfect beautythanks to an intentional distressed look. Your floors already look like they have been in use for a while, which means dents and scratches are hidden much more easily. Long dog nails and your daughter’s tap shoes are no match for this flooring!

Luxury Vinyl Plank Floors

While a bit softer underfoot than other hardwoods, luxury vinyl plank floors are easy to clean, plus they resist chipping, discoloration, fading and delamination. In addition, this flooring is more dimensionally-stable than its hardwood counterpart and will not shrink and expand depending on the humidity levels.

Light Colors

Light colors are great for hiding scratches and dents.Therefore, light blond hardwood flooring options are best for busy households, as opposed to dark stains and finishes that highlight any scratches that may occur.

Waterproof Wood Flooring

Designer Wood Flooring sells and installs American Aquawood’s waterproof wood flooring that resists water and makes clean-up easy. Heavy traffic…pets…kids…you name it, this flooring can handle it. This is real hardwood flooring that resists water while adding warmth, comfort, and hardwood texturefor visual appeal.

Matte Finishes

Matte finishes are better over glossy finishes because they tend to hide imperfections. High-gloss floors reveal abnormalities more readily over matte floors that mask scratches, scrapes and dents.

Janka Hardness

Floors with a high Janka Hardness Test are better suited for homeowners with pets and children. The Janka Rating measures the effect a dent has on specific flooring types, and puts this into a numerical rating. Brazilian hardwood floors tend to be the strongest; however, they’re not light in color. On the other hand, maple is strong and it comes in lighter colors.

The Janka number is useful in determining how well a wood withstands dents, dings, and wear and tear. It can also help installers predict the level of difficulty when they nail, screw, sand, or saw a particular wood species. Learn more about the Janka rating here.

Contact Designer Wood Flooring in San Antonio

To learn more about our versatile, durable wood flooring options in San Antonio, contact us at

830-228-4866 or email us at designerwoodflooring@yahoo.com. Our showroom is in Spring Branch, TX, open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays by appointment.

living room wood flooring

Replace or Refinish Your Hardwood Floors?

living room wooden flooring

hardwood floor maintenance kitchen

Are your hardwood floors worth saving? If yes, there are ways to get them looking like new. If not, it may be time to replace them. Either way, we’ll help you figure it out.

Hardwood floors are a great choice for homeowners, as they’re not only beautiful, but natural, hypoallergenic and long-lasting as well. In fact, hardwood floors are the benchmark of quality in any home. When they’re old, they still have a certain charm and history to them, even if they’re a little squeaky, stained and aging. If you have 50-year-old hardwood floors, it can be tough deciding to refinish them or replace them.


The bottom line lies in your preference. Do you like the look of new floors? Do you have money in the budget to install new hardwood? The issue here lies in your expectations. Even if you have very old hardwood floors and decide to refinish them, they won’t look like brand new wood floors no matter how much work you put into them. Many people prefer this. To others, the allure of something new and modern takes center stage.

Consider your preference, style and budget when wondering which option to go with. Just keep in mind that in 95 percent of cases, hardwood floors can be refinished. It’s just a matter of whether you want to or not.

Getting a Floor Face Lift

If you opt to salvage your floors, you’ll need to hire skilled contractors who do this for a living. Whether you want the whole floor refinished and sanded, or you need one section replaced, it’s tough to do this on your own because of the various factors involved.

Perhaps you have termite-damaged planks, insect-infested boards or de-laminated strips. You can replace these individual boards but it’s tough to match up the color, stain and grain. Yes, you can have your squeaky floors tightened and quieted thanks to some nails or dry lubricant. Yes, you can plug holes or patch damaged sections. But again, you’ll need an exact match in species, grain and cut, with colors that are feathered in by a professional so no demarcation lines result. This all takes an experienced hand.

And just because you start off wanting a refinish and sanding job doesn’t mean you ultimately have to go that route. If you have lots of stains due to pet urine, beverages or water marks, many professionals will come in and sand down your floor to the raw wood, then let you decide if you can live with the results. They can even apply the desired finish color to areas of question and again, let you decide if the result it acceptable. If not, you always have the option of removing and replacing the whole floor. 

When Replacement is Imminent

Not all floors are good candidates for refinishing or repair. According to HGTV, these include floors:

  • That have suffered fromextreme movement between the boards, which would affect the sanding and finish quality.
  • With substantial structural issues such as when the floor must be removed to be able to fix the subfloor.
  • That have been sanded too many times in the past.
  • With failing tongue and groove construction and exposed nails.

Contact Designer Wood Flooring in San Antonio

If you’re aren’t sure whether you want to refinish or replace your wood floors, contact us at 830-228-4866 (San Antonio, TX) or 409-201-1967 (Southeast Texas), or email us at designerwoodflooring@yahoo.com. Designer Wood Flooring would be happy to provide you with a free estimate.

living room wooden flooring

2018 Tile Trends


Installing tile in your kitchen or bathroomis a big investment, but one that pays off in terms of value, comfort and aesthetics. Taking on a renovation is a big deal. After all, kitchen and bathroom renovations are some of the most expensive you can take on. So it’s understandable that you don’t want to choose a tile floor that will go out of style in the next couple of years. Progressive styles can range from terracotta tile to parquet patterns, but the list is endless. Your best bet is to hire a professional skilled in tile installation and repair so you can enjoy your flooring for many years to come, without the hassle and stress of doing it yourself.

So, how do you know what’s hot and what’s not when it comes to tile flooring? Here are some trends to look forward to this year as you look to remodel select rooms.

Porcelain Planks

These are porcelain tiles that are designed to resemblenatural wood grains, becoming more popular as an attractive and durable floor trend. Best part is, you can incorporate the look of real wood into spaces that traditionally wouldn’t allow for real wood due to their abundance of moisture, such as in the bathroom, says The Family Handyman. Porcelain planks that resemble wood are great for many other reasons:

  • They don’t get scratched in heavy traffic areas (think kitchens) like real wood will.
  • It’s less expensive than authentic hardwood.
  • Porcelain is easier to match for colors and stains, as well as white washes and grays.

Large-Format Tile

With a trend that used to be all about small squares, today’s trend is moving toward a bigger array of sizes, shapes, materials and patterns. Large-format tiles in particular, available in 12″ x 24″ and 36″ x 36″ rather than the standard 12″ x 12″ tiles are becoming more popular. Not only do they look cool, they offer a larger surface area with fewer grout areas to clean. However, large-format tiles are heavy and require a perfectly-level substrate and a professional installer to get the project just right, says HGTV.

Marble-Look Tile

Now you can achieve the classic, timeless, elegant look of marble in a tile option. Mimicking the gorgeous look of a natural stone that’s been around for centuries at a fraction of the cost is a win-win for homeowners. Whereas natural marble is soft and porous, susceptible to dings and scratches, faux-marble tile is more durable, which makes it perfect for flooring.


Metallic tiles are sleek, cool and really trendy right now. They make nice complements to bathroom floors as well as accent walls, following the theme of utilizing new technologies to create looks that were previously impossible to achieve.

Aqua Tile

2018 is all about not blending in with the crowd. One way to do that is to tile your bathroom floor in a bright, vibrant, aqua.

Contact Designer Wood Flooring in San Antonio

For more insight into what’s trending in 2018, contact your trusted professional at Designer Wood Flooring. We would be happy to talk with you about possible styles on tile flooring as well as quote you a free estimate at no obligation. Please contact us at 830-228-4866 (San Antonio, TX) or 409-201-1967 (Southeast Texas), or email us at designerwoodflooring@yahoo.com to learn more.


| Categories: Flooring