By Xarles Maurice. Hardwood Flooring. Published at Friday, May 17th, 2019 - 11:03:57 AM.
As mentioned earlier, installing hardwood floors is a significant investment which therefore requires proper maintenance to protect your investment and enjoy it for as long as possible. With that in mind, below are some helpful tips on hardwood flooring: Make sure you know your specific type of flooring and finish. You should also be sure to follow the specific manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and general maintenance. Do some research on how to care for your particular kind of finish. For example, paste wax should never be used on polyurethane finish. Sweeping hardwood floors with a soft broom on a regular basis naturally buffs the surface, therefore protecting it from scratches. Another obvious advantage of this is that it will keep the floor clean. Where possible, leave shoes at the door to avoid dragging extra dirt and grime onto the floor. If not, consider using rugs in high traffic areas such as hallways and entrances to keep feet clean. Remove any solid materials from the floor such as sand, grit and dirt among others. These materials are abrasive and can dull and even scratch the floor's finish. Use a dry towel to wipe spills and other messes from wood floors. Oils soaps should NEVER be used on hardwood floors. These oils will eventually build up and will dull the surface of the floor. In addition to this, it will make it difficult to refinish the floor whenever needed. Use a vacuum with a bare floor attachment. Such a vacuum easily removes dirt and dust without scratching or otherwise damaging the floor. Do not drag furniture across the floor when moving it. Instead, lift the furniture when moving it. Where dragging is inevitable, invest in a set of slip-mats. Where these are not available, lids from plastic food containers work just as well. Use only cleaners that have specifically been manufactured for use on hardwood floors. Do not substitute with linoleum, laminate or tile cleaners as these can cause the floor to become extra slippery. Use as little water as possible when cleaning wood floors. Wet spots should also be immediately wiped up after cleaning.
What is the structural and surface warranty? This is a very important part of choosing a hardwood floor. Anyone can put a 25, 30, or 40 year warranty on the finish of their product but the real question is; will they stand behind their warranty. Many large hardwood flooring manufacturers have warranties that are up to ten pages. When you read through the entire warranty and all of the exclusions it really gives the client the impression that there is actually no warranty at all. The problem is most consumers don't take the time to read the warranty and are shocked when they find out the issue they are having with the flooring is one of the ”exclusions”. Most warranties will say that there is an industry standard of 5% margin for error which means that when your entire floor is complete the manufacturer is allowed to have 5% of the boards defective. That means a finished floor of 1000 square feet would be allowed roughly 100 boards with any kind of defect.
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.
What is the moisture content of the flooring? Moisture content is a very important factor when installing hardwood flooring. You need the flooring to be at a proper moisture level for your home/interior climate which is typically between 6-9% moisture content. Installing hardwood flooring with a moisture content that is too high will cause spaces in the floor when the flooring dries out, and installing a hardwood floor that is too dry will result in cupping when the flooring picks up moisture. If the retailer selling you flooring does not have a moisture meter and can check the moisture for you then I would suggest you run. The majority of people selling hardwood flooring know very little about wood and moisture, if they don't even have a moisture meter, that is a sign that they are not professional and know nothing or very little about hardwood flooring and shouldn't be selling it.
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