Published at Tuesday, May 14th, 2019 - 08:51:31 AM. Hardwood Flooring. By Tristian Maillot.
Installation Advantages – One other advantage of engineered hardwood floors is that a floating install can be applied directly over vinyl or a concrete slab or any other existing material that is hard and level without the expense and necessity of a subfloor. Manufacturers recommend that a 4-6 mil vapor barrier be installed over the under-surface if moisture is likely to be a problem. Durable Coatings – Traditional finishing products are used on engineered hardwood floors, but other finishes are available that are much more durable than the products available for site application. Quality manufacturers apply 7-10 coats of aluminum oxide crystals or diamond dust to make the engineered hardwood finish harder than anything that could be applied on site or even purchased in a Home Depot. Engineered hardwood floors come with as much as a 25-year warranty.
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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