Choosing a Hardwood Floor
Hardwood floors give your home a warm, rich look and feel. Whether solid wood, or engineered, hardwood floors available today offer more durability and lower maintenance due to advanced finishing techniques. The true beauty of hardwood flooring lies in its natural character. From narrow strip floors to wide plank floors, there is a hardwood floor that matches every home’s décor. Narrow planks are typically used for a more formal, traditional style, while wide planks convey a more casual, contemporary relaxed feeling. For a creative and upscale look, mix widths.3″-4″-5″ is the most popular mix in the market today. You can also use different widths and species to feature a border in a room.
There is a wide variety of both domestic and exotic woods used in making hardwood floors. Some of the common species of wood found domestically include white oak, maple and cherry. They have less prominent grains and color variations. Hickory and red oak are also commonly used for hardwood flooring and offer a little more interest with more graining and color variations. Exotic hardwoods, such as Brazilian cherry, Tigerwood, and Santos mahogany offer unique grains, rich colors and high hardness ratings.
Color is a crucial design element, and it’s no different in flooring. Darker stains can make a large space feel cozier and a bit more traditional. Lighter colors make a room appear more casual. Stains can be used to change the color of natural wood allowing the characteristics of the natural wood color to show through. As a consumer, you must be prepared for the color to change over the life of the floor. Sometimes dramatically. This is a natural process that occurs from exposure to ultraviolet light. Tigerwood and Brazilian Cherry will become darker and redder with age.
When choosing a hardwood floor, the gloss level is should be considered. Some floors are available with a high gloss. These work well for a more modern and formal look however they are more likely to show footprints, scuff marks ad scratches. Low gloss floors work well if you are looking for a more casual look. Marks and scratches are much less noticeable on these floors. If you’ve got kids, pets or lots of traffic on your floors, you may want to consider a lower gloss finish for your hardwood floors.
You are only limited by your imagination.
Hardwood Care and Maintenance
One of the best investments you can make in your home is to install hardwood flooring. Doylestown, PA is home to Barb-Lin Carpet One Floor & Home. We want you to enjoy beautiful floors for years to come. As with any flooring, real wood will eventually show signs of wear, depending on your family’s size and lifestyle. By observing these precautions and using the manufacturer-recommended cleaning and maintenance program, you can expect years of beauty from your wood floor.
Water can dull the finish and permanently damage the floor. Never steam clean your hardwood floor or mop it with water. Don’t use any wax or cleaner that must be mixed with water, including oil, soap, or paste wax products. Avoid household cleaners containing lemon oil, tuning oil, or ammonia, as these products may damage your floor, resulting in the loss of your warranty.
To help eliminate fine particles of dirt and grit that can act like sandpaper on your floor, vacuum or sweep daily. Make sure the vacuum has a felt or brush head; do not use a vacuum with a beater bar unless it can be disabled. Ensure the vacuum’s wheels are clean, so they don’t damage the finish. Promptly clean spills using a soft cloth and Resista Floor Cleaner, or another manufacturer-recommended cleaning product. Be sure to keep your pet’s nails trimmed and paws clean of dirt, gravel, grease, and oil. Reduce scratches and dents by placing protective pads under furniture legs, and use a dolly and protective sheets of plywood when moving heavy furniture or appliances. Some items may be too heavy to move across a hardwood floor under any circumstances. In dry environments, a humidifier is suggested to prevent wood floors from excessively shrinking due to low humidity. Wood stoves and electric heat tend to create very dry conditions.
In damp environments, proper humidity levels can be maintained using an air conditioner or dehumidifier, or by periodically running your heating system during periods of high humidity in the summer. Relative humidity must be maintained within a normal range – wood flooring performs best in interior environments with relative humidity ranging from 30 to 50 percent and the temperature from 60 to 80 degrees. Exposure to sun and UV rays accelerates the oxidation and aging of wood and fabrics. This causes the stain and/or wood to fade and/or change color. To counteract this damage, periodically rearrange area rugs and furniture so the floor ages evenly. With these tips in mind, you can maintain the polished look of your hardwood flooring. Doylestown, PA homeowners should also visit the showroom at Barb-Lin Carpet One Floor & Home to learn more about maintaining or upgrading their flooring.
Caring for your hardwood floor is easy. Frequent sweeping or vacuuming (with soft attachments) to remove loose dirt and soil is generally all that is required.
The finish on hardwood floors provides greater resistance to everyday household scratches. Remember to use floor protectors under the feet of your furniture. If you have casters on furniture, make sure they are barrel-type wheels. When moving furniture use extra caution. Never drag furniture to a new location, always lift. Also be aware that certain shoe types like stiletto heels can damage hardwood because of the pressure exerted through them. And finally, if you have pets, remember to keep their nails trimmed.
Wood is a natural product and will react to changes in its environment. The cure is to minimize humidity changes. Hardwood flooring will expand and contract during seasonal temperature changes. All hardwood flooring products may experience slight separation between boards. In an effort to lend stability to your floor, a constant humidity and controlled temperature range is required. Direct sunlight can affect color so it’s a good idea to move furniture and area rugs periodically to allow for even color change. Natural exposure to sunlight will bring about changes in shading of any hardwood floor as it ages. Some exotic species will darken while others tend to lighten over time when exposed to natural and artificial light sources. Remember, hardwood is a natural product and develops a warm, beautiful aged look over the years if given the proper care.
Hardwood may have naturally occurring blemishes such as mineral streaks, small knots or grain variations. No two pieces of wood are the same and color variations may also occur.