Hardwood flooring refers to any product made from wood that’s intended for use as interior or exterior flooring, both aesthetic or structural. Wood is an extremely popular choice as the main flooring material and is available in different varieties, shades, cuts, and types. Regardless of how you decide to use your hardwood flooring in your home, you’ll need to plan carefully in order to obtain the look you desire and to keep your hardwood flooring in good condition. Here are some of the most important factors you should consider when choosing hardwood flooring:
Scratches and scrapes are virtually inevitable with any type of flooring, but homeowners with hardwood flooring will have more trouble with scratches. When selecting a floor surface, always be sure to choose one that will prevent scuff marks. You can accomplish this by choosing a surface that’s slightly higher than your current floors, by tapping into the grain of the wood, or by using a wood polisher on existing floors. Remember, never sand new floors, especially before staining, as the sandpaper will damage the finish and the floor.
All types of wood flooring require proper protection from moisture in order to properly function and to last for years. Moisture can penetrate your wooden flooring at any point during its lifetime, so it’s necessary to make sure you properly maintain your wood floor throughout its life. To prevent moisture from seeping into your floor, you should always purchase a high quality vapor barrier that’s made of a thick, woven paper. Such a barrier will stop any moisture from penetrating deep into your wood flooring and will help it remain durable over many years.
Cupping, or “roofing with a pad” is another common method of protecting hardwood flooring from moisture. Cupping involves spraying a foam pad directly onto the hardwood flooring. The foam is highly absorbent, which means that it carries lots of moisture away from the floor. Over time, the pad will soak up most of the moisture that is initially sprayed, leaving your hardwood floor dry and clean.
When you do it yourself, be very careful not to apply too much pressure when lifting or cupping hardwood flooring. If you have not done this before, then you could cause major damage. You don’t want to ruin the wood board with too much pressure because this will also damage its ability to stay intact. Instead of applying too much pressure, use just enough to seal the edges of the hardwood flooring. Applying too much pressure can leave sharp edges, which could cause nicks and cuts in your hardwood flooring.
If you choose to hire a professional to install your wooden flooring, be sure to ask for a free hardwood flooring installation kit. These kits will include the wood boards, the protective coating and the padding underlayment. Ask if the kit includes the tools needed to finish the installation. Also ask the professional if they can install the planks on your own. Some woodworkers are able to work on small projects like this themselves.
After the installation is completed, make sure that you regularly clean the floor. Hardwood floors have little porous surfaces so liquids can penetrate through the surface and potentially ruin the floor. In order to prevent water damage, it is important to pay attention to the way that you wipe your hardwood floors. Do not wipe the floor with a damp cloth. Use a wet/dry vacuum with the brush attachment to clean the floor. You should also use a wood-approved deodorizer to avoid attracting dirt to the floor.
As with any type of flooring, hardwood flooring is available in a wide variety of color finishes. For example, there are several different natural color finishes, such as red oak or walnut. Many flooring companies also offer a variety of colors, such as chocolate brown, which can create a very rich texture for the room. With proper care and maintenance, durable hardwood flooring can provide years of quality enjoyment in your home.