Published at Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 - 09:25:01 AM. Hardwood Flooring. By Lyle Ferre.
Engineered Hardwood Floors – Engineered hardwood floors are a laminate built from multiple ply layers with a thick hardwood veneer wear layer on top. The veneer layer is available in almost any exotic hardwood species with exotic color and grain patterns. Engineered hardwood floors are more resistant to moisture than natural wood flooring, which adds to their appeal because they can be installed in damp regions of the country and in basements with relatively high humidity levels. Some brands of engineered hardwood floors have a thin wear layer that can be recoated but you cannot sand the floor to stain it or completely refinish it. These less expensive brands have an expected average life span of 30-40 years depending on usage patterns. Other brands and styles have much thicker wear layers (5/32 inches) that can be sanded and refinished up to as many as 5 times with an average expected life span of from 60-80 years. Thicker wear layers are sawn from the log whereas thinner layers are scraped or sliced. High tech glue is the bonding agent.
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.
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