By Eugene Maury. Hardwood Flooring. Published at Sunday, May 12th, 2019 - 21:48:47 PM.
How durable is the finish? Durability is probably the most important things to consider when purchasing a prefinished hardwood floor. The finish is what you are actually walking on and must be very durable to have a beautiful lasting floor for years to come. Many imported prefinished floors have very little durability and the finish can be taken off with a few swipes of 150 grit sandpaper. When buying hardwood there are a few ways to test the finish: one would be to take 150 grit sandpaper and rub the finish to see if the finish will come off and two would be to firmly press the edge of a coin against the finish, a quality finish will dent but not come off. Quality manufacturers will have aluminum oxide or better yet titanium oxide hardeners in the finish. Many offshore manufactured products will say they have aluminum oxide in them but actually do not. To test if a hardwood floor has aluminum oxide in the finish simply put the sample in your microwave and if it sparks, it does indeed have aluminum oxide in the finish. I know that may seem a little strange but it's something worth checking because hardwood flooring is a big investment and you want to know the durability of the finish.
Knowing how to clean hardwood floors is important because the bane of hardwood is dirt and grit, which will scratch and mark the floor if not removed promptly. As well, dust is seen more easily on wood floors than it is on linoleum or on carpet, especially in the sunlight and especially if the floor has a dark stain. Hardwood floor care, therefore, means sweeping and dusting regularly – once a week, at least, and after any event that leaves dirt and grit behind. Regular household dusting and cleaning products will cause damage, however, and you must use only products specifically designed for hardwood. Vacuuming is preferable to sweeping because it allows the dirt and dust to be pulled from between the boards, but use a vacuum with a bare floor attachment, not a beater bar, which can damage the wood.
Choosing the correct hardwood floor wax is best determined by the composition of the hardwood material installed. Using an unapproved wax with harsh cleaners creates counter- productive results damaging hardwood flooring material surfaces, of which may become permanent. All floor waxes and cleaners are not designed for all wood floors. New wood floors are often sealed with urethane, polyurethane or polyacrylic sealers designed to protect the top finished surface. Application of an inappropriate or unapproved hardwood wax/cleaner combination will damage the manufacturer applied sealer dulling the luster, leaving steaks that are clearly noticeable. Seek out professional experienced advice when selecting a hardwood floor wax and cleaner designed to protect and beautify the particular hardwood material installed prior to application of any such substance.
Dog hair is another aspect to consider. If you have a particularly hairy dog, it is now (more than ever) time to stay on top of grooming your dog. Regular baths and the use of de-shedding brushes like a Mars comb are perfect for this. Sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping regularly will keep the dog hair up. Dog hair can get in between the boards and snag on just about everything. Keeping your dog properly groomed regularly will help cut down on this. But the fact that you have to face is that a dog is completely covered with hair, whether long or short. That hair is going to get shed around the house regularly and it is going to be a lot more visible on a hardwood floor. Another issue to consider is the kind of hardwood flooring that you are installing. A lot of pre-fab tongue-and-groove-type flooring have gaps between the pieces. Not huge gaps, some are rather subtle, but there is a gap nonetheless. This gap is going to potentially get filled with doggie dirt and funk. Get hardwood with the smallest gaps possible between your boards. In your consideration of the hardwood that you are getting, you also want to make sure that it is a hardwood that can be refinished. That way you can have it buffed regularly.
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