General Facts about Hardwood Flooring
When shopping for Wood Floors, remember this
is a life long product of natural beauty and durability. Other positive
aspect of wood flooring: its affordability, easy to maintain, environmental
soundness, and they are healthy for you, not to mention the wide
variety and selection. From Its sustainable source to its healthy
qualities indoors, wood flooring makes a smart choice for the world's
environment and the environment in your own home.
Wood Floors are:
Affordable: Wood floors add value to your residence at resale
time, not to mention it is a lifetime product. They increase in
value as your home does. Hardwood floor products are one of the
most sought after hard surface flooring in remolding and new home
Easy to Maintain: Routine maintenance is a little more than simple
sweeping and vacuuming, always making sure your hardwood floors
are protected from moisture and heavy wear which creates scratches.
Preventive maintenance like area rugs, floor protectors (on ALL
furniture on your hardwood floors), and routine maintenance with
proper hardwood floor cleaner should always be exercised (improper
products can contribute to additional wear, may VOID your warranty,
and cause failure when recoating. Always read the manufacturers
care instructions and maintenance instructions. Most companies
post this information on their website. You can also see this information
on our Installing Hardwood Flooring page.
Healthy: Hardwood Flooring is a much healthier alternative than
other flooring. Because they can be cleaned easier and do not collect
dust and allergins. Installed in the home or elsewhere, wood floors
help contribute to a healthy
environment. That creates better air
quality for all inhabitants, but especially for the estimated 35
million Americans who suffer from allergies. The hard surface of
wood floors also helps avoid artificial substances such as pesticides
that can accumulate on some floor coverings. Many other floorings
lock in damaging substances. Another concern for the home environment
is the off-gassing of toxins that
from some synthetic materials.
Any of these chemicals can make people in the home chronically
Are wood floors expensive?
Hardwood floors are very competitively price and represent an
excellent value when compared to other flooring options. Hardwood
floors never have to be replaced and will enhance or even increase
the value of your home should you decide to sell. When compared
to other flooring products, hardwood floors provide long-lasting
value, as Real Wood Floors are "Beauty that last a lifetime".
Is it cost-effective to select wood flooring over less costly
According to the National Wood Flooring Association
(NWFA) & Residential
real estate agents, say homes with wood floors hold their value
better, sell faster, and fetch higher prices, according to a
recent nationwide survey commissioned by the trade organization.
What species and color should I choose?
There are several species, colors and grain variations to consider.
Other than the walls, the floor represents the largest expanse
of color or pattern in a room. Your floor should complement the
fabrics, furnishings and accessories already present in the space,
as well as enhancing the unique personality of the room as a whole.
The most popular color : red oak natural, maple natural running
second, but with today's eclectic decoration styles, anything goes.
Darker colors - Formal or traditional interiors,
Lighter colors - country, casual and contemporary settings. There
are many choices when selecting the right floor for the rooms in
your home. There are several many species, colors and grain variations
to consider. See Wood Floor Species, Grades & Cuts
Which rooms can I install a wood floor in my home?
Any room except a full bath. With the variety of products available
and a choice of installation options, hardwood flooring can now
be installed in any room of the home. The only consideration is
whether the floor will be installed on-, above- or below-grade.
For example, because of potential moisture problems, solid hardwood
is not recommended for installations below grade, such as in a
basement. Engineered products, which are inherently dimensionally
stable, are better choices for this type of area. All types of
wood can be installed on- or above-grade.
Does wood flooring go well with most design styles?
Yes. In a recent survey commissioned by the NWFA, more than three-quarters
of interior designers find that wood flooring works well with many
decorating styles. "It's the most versatile floor covering
there is," says one designer. "Wood goes with contemporary
and traditional and everything in between." Designers rated
natural materials as superior to man-made materials in beauty,
prestige, style, maintenance, and durability. A variety of woods
and finishes are available to complement the decor and style of
any room. Oak and maple are the most popular woods, but some homeowners
are investing in exotics such as Brazilian cherry and Purple heart.
Engineered floor versus a solid wood product?
Engineered products, available in Planks, Strips are manufactured
of hardwood using a cross-directional laminated construction (3
to 5 layers), with a top layer of premium hardwood. This construction
counteracts the natural tendency of wood to expand and contract
with seasonal changes in temperature and humidity, making engineered
products inherently dimensionally stable. Solid products, available
in Planks, Strips or Parquet, are manufactured from a solid piece
What Is there an advantage engineered products over solid products?
Yes. In general, engineered products can be installed in any room
in the home, whether on-grade, below-grade or above-grade. Engineered
products can be nailed down, glued-down or stapled down, depending
upon the situation. Engineered products, can be glued down, stapled
down or some can be “floated” over most subfloors without
the use of nails or adhesives, making it ideal for remodeling.
Solid products are not recommended for below grade installations
and must be nailed down or glued down.( See installation procedures
Should I use a prefinished versus unfinished?
More nad more of hardwood flooring sold today is prefinished.
Factory finished with many coats of UV-cured polyurethane or aluminum
oxide are applied. These factory finishes are tough and durable.
Installing a prefinished floor eliminates the time, the dust and
the odors associated with the on-site sanding and finishing of
an unfinished product. A prefinished floor can be installed in
a day. An unfinished flooring installation may require twice as
much time for the same area.
What about installing wood in high traffic areas like kitchens?
The urethane finishes on most new wood floors stand up to water
and traffic, bringing wood flooring into bathrooms, kitchens, and
other higher-stress areas. These finishes resist wear and stains
better than other finishes and require no stripping, no buffing
and no waxing. High traffic areas include exterior doorways, hallways,
mud rooms, and the areas in front of the sink, stove and refrigerator.
To protect the floor just inside exterior doorways, use walk-off
mats or small rugs to catch tracked-in dirt and grime. Place small
rugs or mats at other high traffic locations. Watch for grit or
pebbles that might be brought in on waffle soles of athletic shoes
and collect these with a hand-held cordless vac. This should be
done a regular basis.
Is there a difference between square-edge and eased-edge designs?
Yes. With a square edge, the sides of each plank or strip are
square. An eased edge, more commonly known as a beveled or micro-beveled
edge, features a slight angle on the top edge of the plank or strip.
An eased edge can help mask slight subfloor imperfections, and
can be felt if walking on the floor in bare feet.
Which installation method is best?
The method used for your hardwood installation will depend upon
the type of product you have chosen, where the flooring will be
installed and the type of subfloor. Nail down, glue down & floating
are the three type of installation. For instance, if you are remodeling
your kitchen, some products can be “floated” over most
subfloors, including vinyl or ceramic tile, eliminating the mess
and cost of tearing up the existing floor and installing a subfloor.
Engineered products, which are dimensionally stable, are ideal
for basements and can be nailed, glued or stapled down. Engineered
products are also good in climates that have a lot of moisture.
They are mold stable in these situtions. Either read the specific
manufactures instructions, or contact a certified flooring installer
to find which product is best for your home and climate conditions.
Which types of wood floors are best for in-floor radiant heating
systems and are some wood species better for radiant systems than
Engineered hardwood floors--in planks, strips are the best floors
to use with radiant heating systems. These floors are manufactured
of hardwood using a three-ply or five-ply laminated construction,
making them inherently dimensionally stable. This means they are
less susceptible to changes in temperature and humidity. Of the
engineered flooring options, with a floating installation as the
best choice, because it can be "floated" over the subfloor,
without the use of nails or adhesives for a permanent installation.
It is important to note that when installing any hardwood floor
over a radiant heating system, the maximum temperature of the subfloor
should never exceed 80º (F). For the correct water temperature
inside the heating pipes, refer to your manufacturer's guidelines.
Oak is an ideal species for in-floor radiant systems. We also
recommend ash and merbau. We do not recommend that you use maple
or pecan for an in-floor radiant heat system. If you have a question
about your species choice see Radiant Heat & Wood Floors.
Are wood floors hard to maintain? Can I damp-mop my floor?
No. A hardwood floor usually has a polyurethane finish. This finish
gives the floor a tough, durable and smooth no-wax surface that
and easy-care. See Maintenance and Do's & Don'ts for your wood
floor. DO NOT damp mop - Water and wood do not mix. Maintenance
kits can be purchased from your retailer or contractor. Most Importantly
- also read the specific manufacturers' maintenance instructions.
You need to do this in order for the manufacturer to honor their