By Cosette Binet. Hardwood Flooring. Published at Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 - 05:37:38 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.
This kind of flooring is installed by nailing it to a subfloor of plywood or OSB. Natural hardwood floors are finished in place by sanding the boards to a uniform thickness and coating them with a sealer. When the sealer wears off and the surface darkens, the floor can be sanded and refinished, usually from 5-7 times, or until a nail becomes visible. The life expectancy of natural 3/4 hardwood flooring is about 100 years. Installing natural hardwood flooring is labor intensive and time consuming. Laying down, sanding and sealing a hardwood floor usually takes several days. Installation time can be reduced with pre-finished hardwood flooring which eliminates the application and drying time of the finish and sealer. Pre-finished flooring is usually more wear resistant because the manufacturer can apply more durable coatings in a controlled factory environment. Homeowners should also consider that on site finishing will emit noxious VOCs into the house environment.
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.
Finishing – Most hardwood floors are sold with some form of factory finish. These consist of protective coats of polyurethane, aluminum oxide, or a combination of both, that are applied to protect the wood from wear and tear. The latest available factory finishes have been formulated to make hardwood flooring more scratch-resistant. In case you purchased unfinished flooring, it will still need to undergo finishing once the floors are installed. However, the quality of the finishing will not be as good as if it were finished in a factory.
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