Published at Monday, May 13th, 2019 - 06:58:36 AM. Hardwood Flooring. By Stephanie Vigier.
In order for the investment in new hardwood floors to last a lifetime, it is crucial to understand the differences in solid and engineered hardwood flooring. Several factors must be considered to select the best option for each unique situation. Homeowners can feel good about choosing their hardwood flooring if they learn a few basics first. Solid Hardwood Flooring – Solid hardwood flooring is milled from a single piece of lumber, and it is available either unfinished and prefinished. Unfinished hardwood flooring is sanded, stained, and coated onsite after installation. This method allows for custom stain colors to match a home's decor, or simply to create a unique appearance. The downside to unfinished flooring is that there is often a considerable mess from sanding the flooring as well as fumes from the stain and urethane coatings. High quality contractors do have equipment that will minimize the dust from sanding process. They may also offer low VOC stains and water-based urethane coatings to reduce the fumes associated with oil-based products. This finishing process can be done multiple time in the future to restore the beauty of the floor as it wears over time. Solid hardwood flooring is best installed over a wood subflooring material as it is generally nailed or stapled to the subsurface. Always install solid wood flooring above grade as it is highly susceptible to moisture and may warp in damp areas.
Care and Maintenance – Exotic hardwood floors, like domestic hardwood floors, require little maintenance to uphold their luster. Wipe spills immediately and limit any exposure to water. Regularly dust and sweep to reduce the risk of dirt buildup. Only use mild solvents specifically designed for hardwood floors, making sure to avoid harsh abrasives and scouring pads. A natural cleaner of equal parts white vinegar and water usually works best, but you must be sure to dry the floor completely when finished cleaning. Always use caution when moving large pieces of furniture or heavy equipment across the floor. Although exotic hardwoods are durable and tough, they still have limits and will scratch and dent when too much weight is scraped the wrong way across the floor. Furniture coasters and lifting straps can help protect the life of your floor. Many varieties of exotic wood floors are photosensitive, so avoid leaving them unprotected in direct sunlight as they may change color over time. Close curtains and blinds when possible and use rugs in areas that could be affected.
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