Luxurious wood floors make a distinctive statement in your home and add to a home’s overall charm. There are many choices available to you. Let us help you find “just the right thing.”
Many myths surround the use, care and maintenance of hardwood flooring. Let us help you “debunk” those misconceptions.
Myth 1: Wood should not be used in a kitchen.
Hardwood floors are built to withstand high traffic areas and require minimal maintenance. Kitchens are a popular choice for hardwood floors.
Myth 2: Wet mopping is a great way to clean a wood floor.
Definitely not. Water and wood do not mix. Water will cause the deterioration of the wood itself as well as the finish. Use maintenance products and procedures that will not harm your finish. Ask your salesperson about the best cleaner for your floor.
Myth 3: Hardwood floors should not scratch or dent.
Hardwood floors are durable enough to withstand daily life, but they can still scratch or dent if given enough applied pressure or resistance. High gloss floors will show more imperfections. Scratching and denting are not covered in manufacturer warranties.
Myth 4: High heel shoes will not damage a wood floor.
This is false. High heels and spike heels act as tiny hammers on hardwood floors and can leave little marks.
Myth 5: My wood floor is defective because it has warped or cupped.
Cupping is due to excess moisture or over drying and is considered job-site related. Plumbing leaks, moisture from the crawl space, basement & concrete slabs, and too high or too low relative humidity are common reasons.
Myth 6: If my wood floor changes colors or fades, it is because the wood or finish is defective.
Certain species of woods such as cherry wood can change color overtime. Occasionally move your furniture and rugs to allow exposure to light and air on covered areas. Eventually your entire floor will have even shading. Color change is a natural condition and is therefore not warranted by manufacturers.
Myth 7: If my wood floor shows gaps during winter months it is defective or poorly installed.
Air is dry in homes when heated during winter months. This causes the moisture to be released from the wood and causes shrinking. Shrinking can be reduced by installing a good humidifier and by maintaining indoor humidity levels of 35-55% and temperatures of 60-80 degrees F. Most gaps will close in the spring when the indoor environment gains moisture.
Myth 8: Kitchen floor cleaner with vinegar, ammonia, oil soaps, or abrasive cleaners are great products to use when cleaning my floor.
NEVER use these kinds of cleaners, as they can dull and damage your hardwood floors and void warranties. Use products safe for urethane finishes. Again, talk with your salesperson for the best options for your floor.
Myth 9: My floor has more color and grain variations than the store sample, so I must have received the wrong flooring.
Wood is a natural material therefore no two boards will be alike, much as no two leather hides are alike. Wood species are grown all over the world and in different growing conditions. Your floor is made up of hundreds to thousands of different pieces of wood making your floor unique and like no other.
Myth 10: All hardwood species and wood floors have the same hardness factor.
This is also false. All hardwood floors can scratch, dent or mar under varying conditions. The wood industry has created a scale to rate the resistance of wood to dents, mars and wear. The higher the number, the harder the species and the more resistant it will be.
Myth 11: It is always best to use my vacuum with a rotating brush to remove grit and debris from my wood floor.
Vacuuming will remove dirt and grit from your floor, but verify that you are only using a soft bristle or felt brush. A hard bristle brush/beater bar can scratch and damage your hardwood. Terry cloth or microfiber sweepers also work well.
Myth 12: My roller chairs should be okay and should not damage my wood floors.
The wood industry recommends barrel-type rollers made of non-marring rubber.
Myth 13: Tables, chairs and furniture should not scratch or dent my floor.
Wood is a natural material and can dent or scratch. Place adhesive felt furniture pads on the legs of all chairs, tables and all furniture to prevent damage to the floor’s surface.
Myth 14: Wood floors require a lot of time and effort to maintain them.
Minimal effort will keep your floors looking like new. Use only products for wood floors. Just spray and dry mop the floor.
Myth 15: Wormholes, mineral streaks and knots are defects in my wood.
Wood is a natural product and will have some characteristics from nature. Wormholes, mineral streaks and knots are all allowed in most grades of hardwood. If there is a board that you do not prefer, tell your installer so they can set it aside.
Myth 16: My wood flooring can be delivered and installed the same day.
Wood flooring needs to acclimate to the normal conditions in the home. This process typically takes 3-5 days, depending on the humidity and temperature of the residence. Temperatures of 60-80 degrees and a relative humidity of 35-55% is ideal. Leave the HVAC fan “on” to provide continuous air flow. Engineered wood floors require less time for acclimation.
Myth 17: Wood floors cannot be installed in a basement on a concrete floor.
Engineered wood that is constructed using the cross-grain ply construction work great on concrete floors. Engineered has less expansion and contraction and is very stable. Concrete floors should be tested for excessive levels of moisture over 3%. Most concrete installations, both glue down and floating, will require a moisture barrier.
Myth 18: Engineered floors are not real wood.
Engineered floors have a real hardwood veneer wear layer with a multi-layer cross grain construction, perfect for at-grade or below-grade cement installations. These can be sanded and refinished about 2 times.
Myth 19: I have radiant heat, so I can’t install a new wood floor.
Floating floors, laminate, and engineered wood work well over radiant heat. For solid wood, look for stability. It is important to follow the manufacturers guidelines for thermostat controls. Don’t exceed a temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit surface temperature.
Myth 20: The area is prone to moisture and/or high humidity, can I still have a wood floor?
In areas such as these, engineered would be the flooring of choice. However, tile or vinyl flooring may be best for these areas.
Myth 21: Will floors increase the value of my home?
The beauty of hardwood floors as well as the ease of maintenance is an investment that will add value to the enjoyment of your home and often will appeal to buyers.
Myth 22: Prefinished hardwood cannot be repaired.
Pre-finished boards can be replaced one at a time whereas wood that is finished on site can require more time and effort.