THE STYLE AND BENEFITS OF HARDWOOD FLOORING
Hardwood floors add a timeless beauty and warmth to your home. They say this is my home, not just another house. They are a reflection of who you are and your personal style. They are welcoming and inviting and can complement any décor. Hardwood flooring will not only add value to your home but may last as long as your home itself.
The finishes on hardwood flooring have improved dramatically. No longer do you need to wax them periodically. Typically, today’s hardwood floors offer numerous coats of durable urethane sealers that not only are hard, but are scratch and scuff resistant.
There are now many different species of wood to choose from. Not just North American woods, but exotics from all over the world. This variety and the variety of colors allow you to create a look that is uniquely yours and at a price you can afford.
Durable, timeless, warm, low maintenance and an endless choice of styles and colors make hardwood floors a great choice for your home.
Hardwood floors are extremely durable and will last a lifetime with you choose the right product for your lifestyle. Your flooring expert will guide you to the right choice if you share information about what room you are planning to install the floor in, do you have kids or pets, etc.
Pre-finished, or manufacturer-finished, hardwood floors typically offer 6-10 layers of UV cured layers of polyurethane which is very hard and tough. Many factories are now adding Aluminum Oxide to the urethane for additional protection against abrasion and wear. There are several other technologies available that offer added protection against wear and abrasion. Again, ask your flooring expert to explain the difference. Site-finished hardwoods are also extremely durable, although not as much as those finished at the factory.
Finally, the hardness of the wood you choose will also affect its performance. A softer wood like pine is more likely to dent than a hard wood like oak.
To sum it up, hardwood floors are one of the most durable, long lasting products you can put in you home if properly maintained.
There are two types of construction in hardwood flooring, solid and engineered.
Solid hardwood is 100% solid wood, it can be nailed or stapled to a wooden sub floor above grade. It is not recommended for installation on concrete because it is susceptible to expansion in high moisture areas and will shrink in high temps and high heat applications.
Engineered hardwood is also 100% wood that is manufactured from 3, 5 or 7 thin sheets of plies of wood that are stacked on top of each other in opposite directions then glued with high pressure. This process is called Cross-Ply construction that, when finished, makes the product dimensionally-stable. The advantage of cross-ply construction is it will not grow in high moisture conditions or shrink in low humidity or high heat conditions. You can install on or above grade on wood and on concrete sub floors.
Edge detail is the way the sides and ends of the planks are cut. They can include beveled, square, eased and micro bevel. The different edge details will have a dramatic effect on the look of your new floor. For example if you want the look of a furniture finish, the square edge would give you that look. If you are looking for a more casual effect, a beveled edge would be a good choice.
Hardness is also a factor when determining which species of wood to select for your new floor. With the many different species available today, each has its own rating, which will determine how well the floor will react to wear. The method used here is the Janka Hardness test.
Picking the right species for your new floor is very important for how the floor is going to wear in different traffic conditions.
Maintaining your hardwood floors is now easier than ever. Remember dirt, grit, dust particles, and water are enemies of hardwood floors. Just follow these basic guidelines:
- Never wax your floors. Wax will dull the finish.
- Sweep regularly with a broom or vacuum with a vacuum that does not have a beater bar or brush. Dirt and grit can cause scratches to the finish.
- Door mats provide a first line of defense and prevent dirt and grit from being tracked onto your floors.
- Excessive water causes wood to expand and swell and eventually crack. It could also possibly break the glue seal with the sub floor. Wipe up spills quickly. Do not mop with excessive amounts of water.
- Only use manufacturer recommended cleaners to clean your floors. Typical household cleaners will dull the finish and reduce the performance of your floors.
- Add leg protectors to all furniture.