Paige Guillaume Hardwood Flooring July 28, 2019 15:34:50
Maintenance: as you will soon discover, hardwood floors are very easy to clean and generally care for. The inherent properties of the wood make it resistant to dirt and stains such that they don`t stick to the floor. Most of what is needed is regular vacuuming and moping with a damp cloth or mop. In addition to this, unlike carpet, wood doesn`t fade and will retain its original color for a long time to come.
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.
Natural Hardwood Floors-Oak is the most prevalent hardwood species used for flooring, but a variety of other hardwoods like bamboo, maple, hickory and red cherry are also available. Natural hardwood flooring consist of solid 3/4 inch narrow, unfinished tongue and groove boards called strips (3-4 inches wide) or wider boards called planks (5-7 inches in width). Both board styles lay the same way but interior designers say that the wider planks, sometimes distressed, impart a more casual or country look to the decor.
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.
Solid hardwood flooring is milled from a single piece of lumber, and it is available either unfinished and prefinished. Unfinished hardwood flooring is sanded, stained, and coated onsite after installation. This method allows for custom stain colors to match a home`s décor, or simply to create a unique appearance. The downside to unfinished flooring is that there is often a considerable mess from sanding the flooring as well as fumes from the stain and urethane coatings. High quality contractors do have equipment that will minimize the dust from sanding process. They may also offer low VOC stains and water-based urethane coatings to reduce the fumes associated with oil-based products. This finishing process can be done multiple time in the future to restore the beauty of the floor as it wears over time. Solid hardwood flooring is best installed over a wood subflooring material as it is generally nailed or stapled to the subsurface. Always install solid wood flooring above grade as it is highly susceptible to moisture and may warp in damp areas.
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.