FAQ’s about Hardwood Flooring
A. Hardwood flooring can provide you with the beauty of nature in the longest lasting flooring that you can buy. It also comes with a long term structural warranty (the warranty will vary according to style and brand), but can last many more years beyond the manufacturer’s warranty. Your choices are many, as you are free to choose from a variety of species of wood with many color variations and grain patterns. In addition, hardwood flooring is easy to maintain and clean and does not harbor dust or require professional cleaning and thus, has become a favorite choice of flooring for many.
Q. Do you recommend hardwood flooring for a kitchen?
A. Yes. Hardwood flooring is extremely durable, since during the manufacturing process the prefinished hardwood is coated with a protective finish. If you are concerned about spills, just make sure you clean up any accidents immediately to avoid any problems.
Q. Do you recommend hardwood flooring for a bathroom?
A. No. It is not recommended to install hardwood flooring in a bathroom, or any area where there is extended exposure to moisture and wet mopping. Manufacturers will not warranty any hardwood flooring installed in a bathroom due to constant steam and water being splashed on the floor during showers and baths, which could cause the hardwood to swell or warp. Hardwood flooring is acceptable for half baths, since there is no shower, but the manufacturer will not guarantee the flooring installed in any bathroom.
Q. Can hardwood flooring be installed in a basement?
A. Solid hardwood cannot be installed in a basement, below grade, due to the fact that solid hardwood cannot be floated over a concrete sub floor. It must be nailed to a wood sub floor. You may install laminate, engineered hardwood or LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile/ Vinyl Planks) in basements, if there is no apparent moisture issue, but it is recommended that you seal the concrete before installation to avoid any problems.
Q. Is hardwood flooring appropriate if you have inside dogs?
A. Yes. As long as the dogs are trained and the flooring isn’t exposed to constant wet mopping, due to accidents then there should be no issue. Certain types of hardwood are more scratch resistant than others, although no flooring is scratch proof. In addition, solid hardwood flooring is a natural product and can be refinished after years of wear to look brand new again, unlike laminate and vinyl, which are man made products.
Q. How do I clean my hardwood floors?
A. Hardwood floors are very easy to clean. You may use a Swiffer or dust mop to go over the floor or simply sweep or vacuum regularly to pick up any surface dust and dirt. To clean up a spill you may use a slightly damp mop, but avoid any excessive moisture. If you prefer to use a cleaning product, please make sure you use one that is recommended by the manufacturer for use on your particular type flooring. Never use wax-based cleaners on prefinished floors as they do not require waxing as in times past.
Q. How do I retain the beauty of hardwood floors?
A. Clean flooring regularly with dust mop to remove any dirt. Use doormats at all entrances to keep dirt and water from being tracked onto the floor. You may also incorporate the use of colorfast and scratch resistant throw rugs and floor protectors on furniture to minimize scratches. Avoid walking on hardwood with high heeled shoes to prevent indentations in the flooring. Immediately soak up any spills with a soft cloth then use a slightly damp mop or cloth to remove any sticky residue. Never use anything harsh or abrasive to clean a hardwood floor. Put a mat at the kitchen sink to protect the floor from water while doing dishes. Avoid direct exposure to sunlight for extended periods of time to prevent fading.
Q. What are the advantages of engineered hardwood flooring?
A. Engineered hardwood flooring can be installed in houses built on a concrete slab, because it can be floated or glued over the concrete sub-floor. It is less likely to expand and contract according to the seasons, due to its cross ply construction, making it a suitable choice in areas near water or with seasonal changes in air moisture. Engineered hardwood is also more scratch resistant.
Q. Do you recommend installing an unfinished hardwood floor and then staining it?
A. No. The unfinished hardwood flooring must be finished on site and would result in much more work and delays in using the room. There is also no way for you to duplicate the high quality durable finishes produced by the manufacturers, using UV rays to harden and cure the finishes. The prefinished hardwood has a very durable finish that cannot be duplicated at home.
Q. Where are the different types of moldings used?
A. Quarter Round – When installing hardwood, it is necessary to leave a gap for the flooring to expand and contract during different seasons. The quarter round molding is used around the bottom of the base board to conceal this gap. T Molding – This molding is used to transition from hardwood flooring to tile or other flooring and in doorways as the threshold. Stair nose – This molding is used to protect the edge of a stair step. Stair tread – This molding comes in one piece to cover the tread or horizontal part of the stair. Baby Threshold – This molding is used to transition from hardwood to carpet. Reducer – This molding is used to transition from hardwood flooring to vinyl or sub-floor.
Q. What is the difference in the grades of hardwood?
A. The lower the grade of hardwood flooring, the more you will find character flaws like knots, knot holes, streaks or rough spots and the warranty will be limited. The higher you go in grade of flooring, the lesser the amount of flaws you find and the warranty will cover more.
Q. What steps do I take to install hardwood flooring?
A. First, you must acclimate the flooring for no less than 72 hours. Make sure you read all of the manufacturer’s installation instructions for your flooring before installation. Then, begin with a flat, smooth sub-floor, free of any debris. Before you install your hardwood flooring, make sure you have checked each piece for any damage or defects. If there is only damage or defect on one end of the board, you can use it when you need to cut short pieces during installation. When installing the hardwood, use a piece of trim or wood between the mallet and the hardwood to tap the boards into place so that you don’t hit the boards directly causing damage to the hardwood. Make sure you have ordered an additional 7 to 10% in square footage of flooring when installing the flooring yourself, to allow for cuts and damaged or defective pieces. If you are using a professional installer, make sure you have ordered at least 5% in additional square footage of flooring for cuts and waste.
Q. How do you acclimate the hardwood flooring?
A. Place the flooring in the room where it is to be installed with the boxes open for 5 to 7 days to acclimate the flooring before it is installed.
Q. Why does the species of hardwood affect the durability of the flooring?
A. There is a Janka Hardness rating for all of the species of hardwood flooring that you can refer to for information on the hardness or softness of a hardwood. You might want to choose a hardwood with a high Janka Hardness rating for high traffic areas. While the hardness of the wood is a clear indication of the durability of the flooring, the quality of the surface finish can offset the softness of a particular wood. Prefinished hardwood flooring has up to ten coats of aluminum oxide for a protective finish. As such, a species of hardwood with a lower Janka Hardness rating can still be durable, due to the surface finish.
Q. What is a Janka Hardness Rating?
A. The Janka Hardness Rating is a scale that identifies the hardness of a specific species of wood. The higher numbers indicate the hardest woods and the lower numbers indicate the softer woods. Of course, the higher the number, the more durable the wood flooring will be, but you must also take into consideration the amount of coats and quality of the polyurethane finish and if it has been UV cured when considering the durability of the flooring.
For more information please contact us at 1-877-966-3983 or woodwudy.com.