Published at Sunday, May 12th, 2019 - 05:21:09 AM. Hardwood Flooring. By Odette Grenier.
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.
How durable is the finish? Durability is probably the most important things to consider when purchasing a prefinished hardwood floor. The finish is what you are actually walking on and must be very durable to have a beautiful lasting floor for years to come. Many imported prefinished floors have very little durability and the finish can be taken off with a few swipes of 150 grit sandpaper. When buying hardwood there are a few ways to test the finish: one would be to take 150 grit sandpaper and rub the finish to see if the finish will come off and two would be to firmly press the edge of a coin against the finish, a quality finish will dent but not come off. Quality manufacturers will have aluminum oxide or better yet titanium oxide hardeners in the finish. Many offshore manufactured products will say they have aluminum oxide in them but actually do not. To test if a hardwood floor has aluminum oxide in the finish simply put the sample in your microwave and if it sparks, it does indeed have aluminum oxide in the finish. I know that may seem a little strange but it's something worth checking because hardwood flooring is a big investment and you want to know the durability of the finish.
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