By Rush Le Goff. Hardwood Flooring. Published at Sunday, May 12th, 2019 - 03:17:24 AM.
What does the supplier recommend for acclimation? I know you must have heard someone say ”the flooring must sit in your home for two weeks prior to installation”. This is a very general statement and in most cases will do more harm than good for your hardwood floor. If you did this in a new home and it sat in the home while they were drywalling, painting, the wood would be so damp by the time you installed it that you would just be asking for trouble. The fact is a new home will have 1000 to 2000 gallons of water that will be oozing out of the home the first two years. If your flooring is sitting in the home before it is installed it will absorb all of that moisture. If you are having the flooring sit in your home you will want to make sure it is stored in normal living conditions to avoid it from drying out too much or picking up too much moisture. In some cases, a seasonal dwelling, you may want to have the hardwood flooring absorb the moisture before it is installed. If the home is always a high humidity environment then you want the wood to pick up moisture so it can be normal living conditions for that particular environment. You want to have a hygrometer to measure the humidity in your home before the installation and monitor your humidity after to ensure your home is in the proper humidity range to avoid issues with your flooring.
What is the average length of the flooring boards? The question of the average board lengths is one that is not commonly asked when it comes to hardwood flooring. It is something not a lot of people think about until it is brought up. The longer the average length of the floor the better the floor looks especially in large rooms. One foot and two foot lengths produce a very choppy and unattractive floor. The box size is not the only way to tell what the average length is; you can have an 8' box with all short pieces in it. Many offshore manufactured products are in four foot boxes with will definitely ensure you are getting a floor with very short lengths. It is not only offshore products that have short lengths but many North American made products as well. One very high end Canadian manufacturer has an average length of 27-29” in their 3-1/4” Select and Better Red Oak.
For most people the number one concern for flooring isn't the price of purchase but more about the cost of its maintenance. The cost of preserving a solid floor over engineered hardwood flooring equates to a combination of time, labor and money. Solid hardwood flooring needs special care to keep their luster and appearance. Natural wood scratches, fades with age and is prone to warping and even mold should it be exposed to water and moisture for extended periods. After a few years, when the natural wood has weathered a bit, it will be necessary to have the floors resurfaced. This usually involves sanding the wood surface and then re-staining. Unfortunately natural solid wood floors, because of environmental regulations, can't be layered with a coat of polyurethane which could protect it from scratches. Engineered floors is pre-coated which makes it more resistant to scratches and provides for greater longevity. Because engineered flooring is still made with real natural wood, it can be resurfaced if it becomes deeply scratched and its' construction allows it to be used in more highly trafficked areas that may be susceptible to moisture and heat like the kitchen or bathroom. Unlike natural hardwood, engineered flooring would warp or cup when exposed to these elements. This type of flooring is constructed so that their inner core is laid in opposite directions making it immune to atmospheric assaults that would normally cause it to enlarge or shrink creating all kinds of problems.
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.
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