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How To Install Hardwood Floors

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By Alisanne Gicquel. Hardwood Flooring. Published at Sunday, May 19th, 2019 - 06:15:55 AM.

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.

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.

What does the supplier recommend for acclimation? I know you must have heard someone say ”the flooring must sit in your home for two weeks prior to installation”. This is a very general statement and in most cases will do more harm than good for your hardwood floor. If you did this in a new home and it sat in the home while they were drywalling, painting, the wood would be so damp by the time you installed it that you would just be asking for trouble. The fact is a new home will have 1000 to 2000 gallons of water that will be oozing out of the home the first two years. If your flooring is sitting in the home before it is installed it will absorb all of that moisture. If you are having the flooring sit in your home you will want to make sure it is stored in normal living conditions to avoid it from drying out too much or picking up too much moisture. In some cases, a seasonal dwelling, you may want to have the hardwood flooring absorb the moisture before it is installed. If the home is always a high humidity environment then you want the wood to pick up moisture so it can be normal living conditions for that particular environment. You want to have a hygrometer to measure the humidity in your home before the installation and monitor your humidity after to ensure your home is in the proper humidity range to avoid issues with your flooring.

Engineered floors are very similar to ”solid” floors and in most cases are not easily distinguishable from natural hardwood when installed correctly. Engineered wood floors are comprised of multiple layers of plywood substrate with a top layer of actual hardwood. With varying degrees of thickness of the plywood substrate from two to ten ply (plywood layers); engineered floors are less expensive than natural hardwood surfaces while providing beauty and elegance to any interior room of the home.


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