Published at Monday, May 20th, 2019 - 04:12:31 AM. Hardwood Flooring. By Bernadette Pelissier.
For most people the number one concern for flooring isn't the price of purchase but more about the cost of its maintenance. The cost of preserving a solid floor over engineered hardwood flooring equates to a combination of time, labor and money. Solid hardwood flooring needs special care to keep their luster and appearance. Natural wood scratches, fades with age and is prone to warping and even mold should it be exposed to water and moisture for extended periods. After a few years, when the natural wood has weathered a bit, it will be necessary to have the floors resurfaced. This usually involves sanding the wood surface and then re-staining. Unfortunately natural solid wood floors, because of environmental regulations, can't be layered with a coat of polyurethane which could protect it from scratches. Engineered floors is pre-coated which makes it more resistant to scratches and provides for greater longevity. Because engineered flooring is still made with real natural wood, it can be resurfaced if it becomes deeply scratched and its' construction allows it to be used in more highly trafficked areas that may be susceptible to moisture and heat like the kitchen or bathroom. Unlike natural hardwood, engineered flooring would warp or cup when exposed to these elements. This type of flooring is constructed so that their inner core is laid in opposite directions making it immune to atmospheric assaults that would normally cause it to enlarge or shrink creating all kinds of problems.
As mentioned earlier, installing hardwood floors is a significant investment which therefore requires proper maintenance to protect your investment and enjoy it for as long as possible. With that in mind, below are some helpful tips on hardwood flooring: Make sure you know your specific type of flooring and finish. You should also be sure to follow the specific manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and general maintenance. Do some research on how to care for your particular kind of finish. For example, paste wax should never be used on polyurethane finish. Sweeping hardwood floors with a soft broom on a regular basis naturally buffs the surface, therefore protecting it from scratches. Another obvious advantage of this is that it will keep the floor clean. Where possible, leave shoes at the door to avoid dragging extra dirt and grime onto the floor. If not, consider using rugs in high traffic areas such as hallways and entrances to keep feet clean. Remove any solid materials from the floor such as sand, grit and dirt among others. These materials are abrasive and can dull and even scratch the floor's finish. Use a dry towel to wipe spills and other messes from wood floors. Oils soaps should NEVER be used on hardwood floors. These oils will eventually build up and will dull the surface of the floor. In addition to this, it will make it difficult to refinish the floor whenever needed. Use a vacuum with a bare floor attachment. Such a vacuum easily removes dirt and dust without scratching or otherwise damaging the floor. Do not drag furniture across the floor when moving it. Instead, lift the furniture when moving it. Where dragging is inevitable, invest in a set of slip-mats. Where these are not available, lids from plastic food containers work just as well. Use only cleaners that have specifically been manufactured for use on hardwood floors. Do not substitute with linoleum, laminate or tile cleaners as these can cause the floor to become extra slippery. Use as little water as possible when cleaning wood floors. Wet spots should also be immediately wiped up after cleaning.
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