This page is designed to help you understand the differences and advantages of the wonderful range of woods and composite materials available today.
Why Wood Floors?
Wood floors are beautiful, easy to care for, and add tremendous resale value to your home. They also can cut down on allergens in the home. Hardwood flooring can truly make a statement about your style and tastes.
Are hardwood floors expensive? Is it cost-effective compared to other floor coverings?
While some hardwood flooring brands and species can be more expensive than others, hardwood flooring is quite cost-effective when considering the years of usage; beauty value hardwood flooring can bring to the home compared to some other types of flooring options.
What species and color should I choose?
Choosing the type of species and color for you hardwood flooring can be a task with so much to choose from. Remember to consider furniture, cabinetry, and decoration as well as wall coloring when choosing your flooring. Ultimately it depends on your personal style and taste.
Which rooms can I install a hardwood floor in my home?
Hardwood flooring can be installed in virtually any room in the house.
Engineered floor versus a solid hardwood product?
This greatly depends on the subfloor that the flooring will be installed on. Traditionally solid hardwood flooring is nailed or stapled to a plywood subfloor. While engineered wood is used for glue down and floating type applications over concrete slabs or with radiant heat floors.
What Is there an advantage engineered products over solid products?
Today’s engineered flooring products provide a durable, versatile, and easily installed product. Most engineered flooring can be sanded and refinished up to 4 times over the lifetime of the floor. Also for those wanting a wider plank floor engineered wood can provide the look without sacrificing structural quality.
What about prefinished versus unfinished?
For the average homeowner looking to improve or remodel their home, prefinished flooring can have distinctive advantages. Considering the time and mess that can be involved with an onsite finishing. Finish applied by machinery at a mill under strict guidelines and supervision is going to look better and last longer than a finish applied at the site. If you would like to custom stain your floors, or you are a contactor unfinished flooring can be less expensive to purchase.
What about installing wood in high traffic areas like kitchens?
As stated before with today’s factory finishes hardwood flooring is both durable as well as beautiful. Because hardwood flooring is easy to maintain it is ideal for high traffic areas.
Is there a difference between square-edge and eased-edge designs?
There is no real advantage or difference to either. Most unfinished come with square edges. Most prefinished come with eased or beveled edges.
Which installation method is best?
Again this will depend on the type of flooring to be installed the subfloor, moisture content, and humidity of the climate in which the floor is to be installed.
Which types of hardwood floors are best for in-floor radiant heating systems and are some wood species better for radiant systems than others?
Engineered is ideal for radiant heat. Also, quarter-sawn solid flooring can be used. The species does not make a difference, only manufacturing.
Are hardwood floors hard to maintain and can I damp mop them?
They are easy to maintain, a damp mop is not recommended. A broom and a Swiffer should be all you need.
Advantages of Hardwood Flooring
Step onto any wood floor and you’ll appreciate why hardwood flooring is one of the world’s most versatile floor coverings, not only do you get traditional beauty, but also practical advantages.
- Lasting good looks.
- Resists stains, including wine and food.
- Easy to clean.
- Fully restorable
- Hygienic & dust-free, especially good for allergy sufferers.
All wood floors have different grading as to their hardness and resistance to wear. The following relates to the hardness of each species, the higher the figure the greater the resistance to wear
- Maple – 4.8
- Ash – 4.0
- Beech – 3.8
- Oak – 3.7
- Red Oak – 3.7
- Cherry – 3.0
- Birch – 2.6
The Top Ten Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are wood floors suitable to be used in kitchens and bathrooms?
2. How do I look after my wood floor?
3. Do wood floors help with allergy sufferers?
4. How long do wood floors last?
5. Is reclaimed wood flooring suitable for my home/business?
6. Can wood floors be fitted over existing floorboards?
7. How long does it take to fit a wood floor in an average-sized room?
8. Are wood floors guaranteed?
9. I have pets will they damage a wood floor?
10. Which is the hardest wearing wood floor?
Are wood floors suitable to be used in kitchens and bathrooms?
Yes, wood floors are ideal for kitchen use because they are easy to keep clean. While hardwood flooring is not recommended for full baths it can make a nice accent in a half or guest bathroom.
How do I look after my wood floor?
Sweeping with a broom is great for keeping the floor free of dust and debris, also a disposable mop like swiffer is great for weekly upkeep, and area rug near outside entrances can keep dirt and grime to a minimum.
Do wood floors help with allergy sufferers?
Yes, unlike carpet which can trap and hold dust, pet dander and other allergens and odors hardwood floors do not.
How long do wood floors last?
With proper care and maintenance a hardwood floor can last a lifetime and beyond.
Is reclaimed wood flooring suitable for my home/business?
Reclaimed wood flooring can provide and unique flooring option for both home and business. Nail holes , bolt holes and other fastener marks can add interesting character to the wood. Reclaimed wood is often very dense and ideal for high traffic areas. It is also a great choice for the environmentally conscious.
Can wood floors be fitted over existing floorboards?
Yes, take caution to make sure door clearance is adjusted to fit.
How long does it take to install a wood floor in an average-sized room?
A prefinished hardwood floor in an average-sized room can take a day or two for an experienced installer. Unfinished flooring can take up a week or more to install and finish.
Are wood floors guaranteed?
Most prefinished floors come with some type of limited manufacturers warranty on the finish and structure.
I have pets will they damage a wood floor?
Small dogs and cats should have no effect on hardwood flooring, take caution to keep their claws trimmed. Larger dogs should be considered when selecting your species of floor.
Which is the hardest wearing wood floor?
Oaks, hickory, walnut, and teak are some of the hardest flooring types.
How to Buy Hardwood Flooring
Step1. Choose what areas the flooring will be installed.
Step2. Get an accurate measurement of those areas. Use the square footage calculator provided by your local shop to estimate your exact square footage. A waste percentage of 5 -10% is recommended.
Step3. Determine what type of subfloor that the flooring will be installed over.
Step4. Decide if you would like prefinished or unfinished flooring. Keep in mind that unfinished flooring requires more time to sand and finish the flooring after the installation.
Step5. Decide on the type of species, grade, stain color (if any), and width of the plank you would like.
Step6. Determine if you are going to hire a professional to do the installation or if you will do it yourself.
Step7. Do some comparison shopping to find the best possible product for your needs, style, and budget.
Step8. Once you’ve decided on what flooring you want, call, and order.
How to Care for Solid Hardwood Floors!
Solid hardwood floors repay a little care with a lifetime of value.
Protect Your Investment
Solid hardwood floors are among the easiest to keep clean. Protect their warmth and character with simple, everyday cleaning techniques. It’s important to know how to prevent damage to your solid hardwood floors.
DIRT and GRIT
Dirt, grit and sand are your hardwood floors worst enemies. They act like sandpaper on the finish, causing scratches, dents and dulling. Place floor mats at entrances to trap dirt and prevent damage
WATER AND OTHER SPILLS
Standing water can warp a poorly finished hardwood floor and can damage the finish. Simply wipe up all spills as they happen.
Avoid oil soaps. They can build up and create problems when it’s time to put a maintenance coat on the floor. Instead, neutral pH cleaners made specifically for wood floors are recommended.
Lift the furniture to move it — avoid dragging. Felt contacts under the legs will help prevent scratches.
Vacuum with a brush attachment — don’t use vacuums with beater bars.
Direct sun can discolor your hardwood floor. Close curtains and blinds or add sheer drapes to protect from the sun’s intense UV rays.
Brooms with fine, exploded ends trap dust and grit effectively.
Canister vacuums with special bare floor attachments are the surest way to get rid of all the dirt and dust.
Use a good dust mop — one with a 12- to 18- inch cotton head —- and a special dust mop treatment. Spray the treatment onto the mop head 12 to 24 hours before dust mopping.
Bamboo Flooring – Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I choose bamboo flooring over a hardwood floor?
Bamboo flooring is quickly becoming a very viable and popular alternative to traditional hardwood flooring. What makes bamboo so unique is that it’s not a hardwood at all it’s a grass that is made into flooring. Bamboo is very environmentally friendly, it grows to maturity in 5 years as opposed to the decades it takes for oak and other species of hardwood. Also bamboo is extremely versatile in its application it can be nailed, stapled, glued, or even floated. It can work in a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, or any room in the house.
What kind of finish does bamboo flooring use?
Bamboo has a 7 coat polyurethane aluminum oxide coating. It is sealed on both sides of the board for extra resistance to moisture.
How do I maintain my bamboo flooring?
The same way you would any hardwood floor.
Where does bamboo flooring come from?
The Peoples Republic of China.
What colors are available?
Both a natural blonde and carbonized. Carbonization is a boiling process, whereby the bamboo is heated to brown the natural sugars in the bamboo
How hard is bamboo flooring?
Bamboo is as hard as North American red oak, not bad for grass. When tested according to the standards of the National Wood Flooring Association Test (Janka Ball Hardness Test), it shows an average hardness of 1320 PSI,
Why has bamboo flooring recently become more and more popular?
Because it is inexpensive, versatile, environmentally sound very durable and most of all beautiful.