Hardwood floors add a beautiful, elegant, natural element to any home. In addition, they add value to your home and are popular in the resale home market. Advances in technology have led to hardwood floors looking better, lasting longer, and easier to care for than ever. Below are some more reasons why to choose hardwood floors.
Hardwood floors trap fewer allergens including dust, pollen, and dust mites than alternative flooring types. It is recommended by the American Lung Association to improve air quality.
Increased home value: Hardwood floors can last a lifetime and are always in style.
Maintained properly, wood flooring should never have to be replaced.
Hardwood flooring is timeless. It enhances the warmth of any home as it captures the heat and radiates it, and its natural colors blend with the decor of any room.
Hardwood floors can be re-finished to hide damage such as gouges.
Easy to Maintain
To keep them in good shape and looking new, normal care such as sweeping or vacuuming with a soft broom or vacuum is generally all that is required. To maintain its luster, use the manufacturers recommended cleaner with a dry mop and a terry cloth cover.
Types of Hardwood
Advances in wood flooring during the past few years mean that you now can have wood flooring anywhere in your home or business. Where you want to put it, however, will determine the type of wood flooring you can use.
There are two types of wood floors available on the market today: Solid and Engineered.
Solid wood flooring is exactly what the name implies: a solid piece of wood from top to bottom. The thickness of solid wood flooring can vary, but generally ranges from ¾” to 5/16”. One of the many benefits of solid wood flooring is that it can be sanded and refinished many times. Solid wood flooring can be installed above or on grade.
Engineered wood floors are real wood floors that are manufactured using three to nine layers of different wood veneers. The sub layers can be of the same species, or of different species. The grain of each layer runs in different directions, which makes it very stable. This means that the wood will expand and contract less than solid wood flooring during fluctuations in humidity and temperature. The top layer of engineered wood flooring consists of high-quality wood. While this type of flooring can be sanded and finished, it cannot be done as many times as solid wood flooring. Engineered wood flooring can be installed above, on or below grade.
What to Expect from Your Installation
Once you’ve decided to install a wood floor, you may wonder what will happen next. Knowing what to expect before, and after the work takes place will help ensure a high-quality job.
Before work begins, remove all furnishings, draperies, paintings, and other items from the room.
Put felt pads on the bottoms of any furniture to minimize scratches and dents. Place rugs at all entrances, avoiding those with rubber backs, which can discolor your floor. Avoid walking on your floors with cleats or high heels.
Keep in mind that no two floor boards will be identical. Variations in appearance are completely normal. As your floor ages, some color change can occur. This also is normal, but can be minimized by limiting exposure to direct sunlight, and periodically moving furniture and rugs. Seasonal humidity change may cause the wood to expand and contract. Cracks are normal and will appear and disappear between floor boards during seasons of high and low humidity. Flooring inspectors recommend inspecting the floor from a standing position in normal lighting to identify irregularities.
Finally, keep your wood floors looking their best by properly maintaining them. Maintain fluctuations in home relative humidity to 10 to 20 percent. Use a cleaning product recommended for your floors and use it regularly to keep them looking beautiful for years to come.