Published at Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019 - 10:20:06 AM. Hardwood Flooring. By Jean Baptiste Prost.
In a home with shabby hardwood floors, the biggest improvement you can make is to refinish the floors. Begin by making any necessary repairs, and then removing all the furniture and drapes and sealing the vents and registers in the room so that you won't spread dust throughout the house. Sanding floors is easiest to do with a drum sander and an edging machine for the sides and corners of the room. You can rent these machines, and it is a good idea to rent a buffer or floor polisher at the same time. Plan to make three passes with your sanding equipment, using increasingly finer sandpaper each time. Vacuum carefully and pick up every bit of fine dust and grit with tacking cloths. All dust and dirt must be removed. You can now apply a stain if you wish or you can leave the natural color and design of the wood – such as the popular oak, maple, or cherry – to be displayed. Polish and clean the dust and dirt from the floor again, and then apply your sealer – a polyurethane or a water-based urethane that provides a protective barrier, or oil and wax, which penetrates the wood and protects from within. Carefully read all the information accompanying each product, follow the safety advice, and apply as many coats of stain or sealer as suggested by the manufacturer of the products you are using.
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.
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