By Tyson Villard. Hardwood Flooring. Published at Wednesday, May 15th, 2019 - 00:22:26 AM.
With an impressive durability and unique appearances, exotic hardwoods are an excellent choice for the homeowner who wants the durability of hardwood but wants something a little different at the same time. Exotic hardwoods offer a variety of colorations and patterns that are not commonly seen in domestic hardwood flooring. Learn more about what makes a wood floor exotic, the durability they offer, and how to care for your exotic wood flooring. What Are Exotic Hardwoods? An exotic hardwood is defined as any type of wood found outside of the United States that is imported into the country. Brazil, Australia, Africa and countries in the Far East offer a large variety of woods not native to the U.S. There are over 100 species of trees that are considered exotic to North America and offer a distinctive and visually striking appearance that differs from standard American hardwood floors. Exotic hardwood floors, like standard hardwood floors, are manufactured in both solid hardwood and engineered assortments. Solid hardwood is a single slat of wood; engineered wood is a sandwich of laminated wood with real hardwood veneer on the top layer.
Cost for engineered hardwood flooring is based on the thickness of the substrate or layers of plywood material that comprises the overall composition and the selection of the finished top layer. With thicknesses varying from ¼” to 9/16”, with the most common thickness of 3/8” to ½” selected, engineered wood floors average $3.25 per square foot depending on thickness and selection of finished surface, professionally installed. Significant savings are noticeable when installed by the homeowner, reducing overall costs to approximately $2.00 per square foot which can add up to significant savings depending on the overall size of the room. With basic mechanical ability and use of standard installation tools, a hardwood floor can easily be easily installed over a weekend with satisfaction that boost even the most sublime egos. Regardless of selection, natural hardwood or engineered wood floors offer intrinsic value to any home with active lifestyles increasing the overall value of the home substantially. Hardwood floors add elegance and beauty to any interior room of the home with a high traffic pattern requiring less maintenance while maintaining the overall beauty within.
Hardness Rating – All wood is subject to the Janka Hardness Rating scale to detect its strength. This hardness test measures the force required to embed a.444 inch steel ball to half its diameter into the wood. The Janka Rating is the industry standard for assessing the ability of various wood species to endure pressure and determine the energy needed to nail and/or saw the wood. Tests performed by the U.S. Forestry Lab indicate that most exotic woods are frequently more durable than other types of hardwoods. Brazilian Teak, for example, has a rating of 3,540, which makes it perfect to handle the abuse of large families with indoor pets. African Mahogany has a rating of 830, and is more likely to be damaged by heavy traffic and scuffed by your pet's nails.
When a more in-depth cleaning is required, use a cleaning method appropriate to the finish on your floor. If your floor has a glossy finish, it means that polyurethane, or a water-based urethane, or a similar finish has been used to form a protective barrier over the hardwood. If it has a matte finish, it means that the floor is protected with a penetrating seal of oil and/or wax. On neither of these finishes is water an acceptable cleaning agent, but both of them can accept a surface, damp-mop cleaning, which means the mop is not wet but only damp to the touch. You are cleaning only the surface and not using enough water to penetrate even the oiled-and-waxed hardwood. When using a damp mop on oil and waxed hardwood, you can add a little neutral ph hardwood floor cleaner to the water before dipping the mop into it. A floor with a protective glossy barrier can accept a generic hardwood floor cleaner providing it doesn't contain any wax or oil.
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