Wood Flooring

November 19, 2005
wood flooring
Wood floors aren’t just for gyms and dance floors, they also are for your home. Hardwood floors last longer than softwood floors, and hard wood flooring is versatile and durable. Cleaning your wood floors reduces the frequency of refinishing them. Look into installing wood floors for your home.

Wood is not just for burning in your stove. Using wood as flooring throughout your home can add warmth and value too.


Wood is divided into two categories softwood and hardwood. Hardwood is better suited to flooring, but softwood such as pine, can be used satisfactorily. Hardwood tends to come from deciduous tress such as oak, maple, cherry, and mahogany, while softwood comes from evergreens, such as pines and spruces, and fast growing trees, like poplar.

    In flooring hardwood is used and can be an excellent choice for numerous reasons:

  • Adds warmth and value to your home
  • Easy maintenance
  • Eases allergy suffering
  • Finish options
    There are however some disadvantages to wood flooring:

  • Water can damage your floor and cause warping
  • It can get scratched
  • High installation cost

Wood floors can be solid, laminated, or engineered wood and can be purchased in both unfinished and pre-finished states. There are also different installation methods that can are used. Nailing or stapling is commonly used for installing solid wood and engineered flooring. Gluing is used for both engineered and laminated flooring, gluing the edges so the planks effectively form one large surface. Another installation option is known as floating, where the flooring in installed so that it moves independently above the sub-floor; floating floors can be glued or clicked together, and sometimes float over a pad placed on the sub-floor. Floating floors can be installed over sub-floors made of concrete, plywood or OSB (oriented strand board), vinyl, linoleum or tiles.
When choosing your wood floor, you can choose from prefinished or unfinished flooring. Prefinished wood floors have been finished using a water- or oil-based finish and are fully functioning once installed. Unfinished floors not only take longer to install, because they have to be sanded and coated after being laid, but also is messier because of dust and odors when being sanded and finished.
The hardness of wood is determined using the Janka hardness test. Brazilian fir wood (0060) is the softest wood and Brazilian Ebony (3692) is one of the hardest. In flooring, hardwood is better than softwood since it can so easily be damaged.
Wood flooring has been used throughout history and continues to be the case today. But the early 1970s did see a decline in the use of wood floors, with carpet becoming very popular. Since the 1980s, wood floors have made a steady come back and today are among the most popular choices in flooring.
Wood floors can be expensive and without the correct care and maintenance can become dull and unattractive. Solid wood flooring that is mistreated may need frequent refinishing. Spills and standing water can warp and crack the wood and its finishes.
Choosing your wood flooring is the first step. Grain, texture, and color should be considered as part of making your choice. Another important decision that you will have to make is on the finish, choosing a pre-finished floor will save time and a lot of cleaning. Unfinished floors however, have the advantage of being getting a smooth surface during the sanding phase of the finish. Wood floors can be installed in any room, but extra care must be taken in wet rooms, such as bathrooms and laundries. Dust and allergens sink into carpet, but with wood floors they remain on the surface so can easily be removed helping to promote a healtyh home.
In order to get the best value from your wooden floors proper care, installation and maintenance are required. A dry or damp mop, rather than a wet mop, can be used to clean wood floors. Vacuuming should be a regular occurrence to get the grit that scratches the surface. Using furniture glides will help prevent scratches, as will the strategic placement of rugs around the house. And if your wood floor does get scratched there tips abound on hiding scratches and scrapes.
Wood floors can get stained too. Bleach and other harsh detergents should be avoided because they damage the finish and the wood itself. Consult your manufacturer’s guidelines for the best care. If your wood floors are properly cared for and maintained they will last a lifetime. And also check out these tips for removing stains from wood floors.
Another bonus is that wood floors are versatile and can add warmth to any room. Solid flooring can be refinished and changed more readily than tile or carpet, which often have to be removed in order to change the appearance of a room. Once sanded, solid wood floors can be resealed or stained and sealed. Wood floors can also be painted with patterns, like rugs or game boards, to add a fresh look to a tired-looking floor. Prior to painting wood floors, the old finish needs to be removed. And be sure to “varnish” the paint with several coats so that it wears well.
So you see, a wood floor really is an investment in your home. When you tire of the look, you don’t need to rip it up, all you have to do is refinish your it, And don’t forget, wood floors also your home’s value. Don’t you think its time you started look at wood as more than just fuel for your stove?

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