Hardwood floors provide an ideal backdrop for almost any decorating style, and are renowned for their warmth and elegance. When maintained properly, wood floors can last more than 20 years and their beauty often increased with age. If you’re looking for easy to maintain flooring that adds value and charm to your home, hardwood is an excellent choice.
There are two main types of wood flooring: solid hardwood and engineered hardwood. Both are made from real wood, but are manufactured differently.
Solid hardwood is milled from solid lumber and works well in almost any room. This type of wood flooring can be sanded and refinished to maintain its natural beauty. Solid hardwood is not suitable for below grade installations.
Engineered hardwood flooring combines a tough real hardwood surface with underlying multiple layers of wood product. Its gross grained and heat compressed layers make it remarkably strong and more resistant to moisture which makes it stable for our Northern climate. As a result, it can be used in below, on or above grade locations.
To preserve the beauty of hardwood flooring over many years, use a prefinished hardwood floor cleaner as directed by the manufacturer instructions. Consider installing a hygrometer to control your homes humidity. Relative humidity needs to be maintained between 35% and 55%.
When choosing your hardwood floor, look at the finishes available and be sure to choose the right finish for your decor and lifestyle. Hardwood flooring is usually finished with a polyurethane coating to give it a rich look and offer a protective surface. The standard polyurethane finishes are semi-gloss, satin and matte. Semi-gloss finishes provide a high shine, whereas a satin finish offers a medium shine. When choosing a matte finish, you will find that your floor will not offer any shine. It is more practical for pets, children and higher traffic areas.
Homeowners with hardwood floors are often concerned with the damage that can happen during the winter season. Without proper care, winter’s harsh elements such as slush, snow and salt, can dull the finish of hardwood floors and can even cause gapping and warping. It is almost impossible to avoid the winter elements. After all, what would the season be without building a snowman or sledding? Rather than missing out on winter fun, here are a couple of simple steps to help protect your floors this winter.
Catching slush and snow with good quality mats at the door is the best way to avoid damage. It is important to keep these mats as clean and dry as possible. It is a good idea to invest in a second mat that you can use while drying the other, thus keeping your floor protected at all times. If your kids enjoy playing outside it is good to get them into the habit of taking off all of their wet gear as soon as they enter the house so that no water is tracked throughout the house. Always keep soft towels and a wet dry vacuum on hand in case you need to get rid of any water right away.
For more information on a new hardwood floor for your home, visit us at Pierce Florcraft in our 3700 square foot showroom located at 1141 Roland Street.