- Why should I install hardwood in my home?
There are many, many benefits to hardwood flooring, but here are just a few:
-Hardwood is a great option for people with allergies or asthma, as it will not collect
dust, dander and bacteria the same way carpeting will.
-Hardwood floors are extremely easy to clean
-They will last you a lifetime, with proper care.
-Despite what most people think, hardwood is a sustainable resource. According to the
National Wood Flooring Association, “90 percent more wood is added annually in net growth
than is removed through harvest.”
-Hardwood will almost always increase the value of your home.
- What is the difference between Solid Hardwood and Engineered Hardwood?
A solid hardwood floor is just that, it consists of boards that are solid all the way through. These
floors are typically nailed down and can be installed at or above grade. Engineered hardwood
consists of a veneer of the wood species of your choice, over an engineered plywood base.
The top layer is often called the “wear layer” and comes in various thicknesses. Engineered
floors can be glued down, nailed down, or floated and are typically used if your installing in
a basement, over concrete, or over radiant heat systems, though they can be used in any
application. The engineered construction allows for a little more stability when it comes to
moisture and humidity issues.
- What is the difference between a Prefinished floor and a Site-Finished
Prefinished hardwood is finished in a factory with, usually, an aluminum oxide coating. This
finish is extremely strong. Often, there are different stylistic processes used on prefinished
floors such as handscraping and wire-brushing. One of the major benefits to a Prefinished
floor is the ease of the installation process. Because we do not have to sand and coat the
floor in your home, the process usually only takes a day or two, depending on the size and you
can walk on your floors immediately after installation. Prefinished floors will always have at
least a slightly beveled edge, and therefore, do not have a perfectly flat finish when installed.
Sometimes dirt and grit can get trapped in the cracks between boards. They can also be more
difficult to repair down the line.
Site-Finished hardwood is installed in your home, unfinished, and then sanded and coated with
finish on site. Usually, we use an oil-based Polyurethane coating. This process, with installation,
usually takes at least three days. In most cases, it will be about a week start to finish. Despite
taking a little more time to finish and causing a little bit more of a disruption, there are a
number of benefits to site-finished flooring. For one, the floors are sanded flat and coated on
the spot, so you will not have spaces in between the boards that can collect dirt in the same way
you do with prefinished flooring. Also, if you would like to do a custom border or design, site-
finished floors would be preferable, so that the different species of wood used can be sanded
to a consistent level. They are also a little easier to repair, as you don’t have to worry about
finding an exact match for replacement boards.
- • What’s the best way to clean a hardwood floor?
Contrary to popular belief, hardwood floors are very easy to clean. Floors should be regularly
swept or vacuumed (make sure you have a hardwood safe vacuum or attachement!) to get rid
of dirt and grit. You can mop your floor with a solution of water and white vinegar, or use a
specialty floor cleaning solution. We recommend Glitsa or Bona floor cleaners, and we sell them
in the store. You have to be very careful when choosing a cleaning solution for your floor and
most floor cleaners sold in average retail stores can actually dull or damage the finish on your
hardwood. The most important thing is to never saturate your floor with water and to wipe up
spills immediately. When you mop your floor, use a lightly damp mop, not a sopping wet one.
Never use an oil-based product, like Murphy’s Oil Soap, on your hardwood floors.
- What do I need to do to protect my floors?
There are a few things that you can, and should, do to protect your floors from damage. First,
try to get in the habit of taking your shoes off when you enter the house. Grit from the outside
on your shoes is one of the easiest ways to scratch up a floor. Placing area rugs and/or walk off
mats at all entrances is another way to prevent dirt from the outside from getting in. Second,
make your home a no-high-heels zone, if you can. High heel shoes, especially ones that have
not been well maintained, can seriously dent your flooring. Third, place felt pads or other floor
protectors on the bottom of all of your furniture. We sell some in the store, and for oddly
shaped items, you can find some good options at your local home-improvement store.
Chances are you will get some scratches in your floor over time. This is somewhat inevitable,
no matter how careful you are. If your floors are especially scratched up, it may be time to have
your floors refinished.
- How often should I have my floors refinished?
This definitely depends on the amount of traffic in your home. In general, floors a recoat will
last you 4-5 years and full sand and refinish 10-15. If you just have a slightly dulled finish or
a few minor scratches, a recoat is probably all you need. We can advise you as to which is a
- How do I know which species of wood is right for me?
A big part of choosing a wood species for your home will be the aesthetic properties of it.
Things to consider are the color and grain pattern. Certain woods can also be stained if you like
the grain pattern, but not the color. The other thing to think about is the hardness. Certain
species of wood are harder than others, and therefore a little less likely to scratch and dent.
Most exotic woods are very hard, as well as domestic woods like Maple and Hickory. If you
really love a softer wood, like Birch or Cherry, you may want to install those in lower traffic
areas, like a formal dining room.