By Cosette Binet. Hardwood Flooring. Published at Tuesday, May 14th, 2019 - 22:52:53 PM.
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.
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.
”Solid” hardwood flooring is traditionally cut from a log in an unfinished plank form with tongue and groove milled on all sides. Ranging from 5/16” to ¾” in thickness, ”solid” floors are typically available in various widths and lengths. Due to the sensitivity of natural ”solid” hardwood from humidity and moisture, natural solid wood floors are normally installed at or above ground level. The natural beauty of wood grains found in solid hardwoods is both appealing and alluring with finishes that may be completed upon installation in the home or factory finished with a pre-determined choice of unlimited finishes to select from. ”Solid” hardwood flooring is as one may expect the most expensive of all wood floor selections. It is not uncommon for ”solid” hardwood floors to exceed two to three times the cost over other floor selections and in most cases is out of reach of those on restricted budget guidelines. Available in a variety of North American wood species, ”solid” hardwood floors are noted for durability and overall beauty that will last a lifetime.
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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