Published at Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 - 11:59:45 AM. Hardwood Flooring. By Taillefer Jolivet.
”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.
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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