real wood floors

8 Questions About Real Wood Floors Answered

Posted on Posted in Wood Floors

Real wood flooring is a great investment for your home, but there are a lot of questions associated with it. Let the Harman Hardwood experts help in deciphering what finish to choose, the amount of wood needed, and how to care for your real wood floors.

Is Solid Or Engineered Hardwood Better?

Solid wood flooring is one solid piece of wood. The thickness of solid hardwood can vary, but is usually between ¾” and 5/16”. One of the benefits of solid hardwood floors is that they can be sanded and refinished many times. Engineered wood floors, on the other hand, are also made out of real wood, but are composed of multiple ply layers with a wood veneer on top. Each layer of wood has grains running in perpendicular directions, making engineered hardwood very stable, sturdy, and more resistant to fluctuations in humidity and temperature. Engineered floors can also be glued or nailed directly onto the subfloor. While most varieties can be sanded, engineered flooring can’t be refinished as many times as solid wood floor.

Why Am I Being Told To Order More Wood Than I Need?

As a rule, flooring manufacturers recommend ordering 10% more wood than the size of the room. Wood flooring is cut to fit the exact space, and once cut, small scraps may not be re-used. The cutting removes the end groove, which inhibits the board from adjoining with another board. Some rooms with odd angles or stairs may require slightly more than 10%, while some rooms may require less than 10%. Harman Hardwood can help you determine how much wood to order for your space.

Why Are Some Wood Floors Shiny And Some Not?

The shine of the floor will depend on its finish. Gloss finishes are the shiniest and reflect the most light. Semi-gloss finishes offer some shine, and satin or matte finishes will offer the least shine. All sheens provide the same amount of protection for wood floors, but small scratches are more noticeable on high gloss floors.

Is Factory Or Site Finished Better?

Choosing the right finish method will depend on how custom you want your floors to look. A site finished floor sees the finish applied in the room where the flooring is installed. With a site finished floor, the owner can completely customize the stain and sheen of their flooring. A site-finished floor allows for unlimited customizable possibilities for the homeowner. An on-site finish, however, creates quite a bit of disruption in the home. Dust and debris are commonplace and a containment system is often used when applying on on-site finish. A site finished floor will also need time to completely dry before anyone can walk on the floor.

Factory finished wood floors have their finish applied at the factory, meaning less dust, debris, and zero dry time. Factory finished floors come in a variety of shades and sheens, but aren’t as customizable as site finished floors.

How Do I Keep My Real Wood Floors Looking New?

Hardwood floors should be cleaned regularly, using either a vacuum, broom, or dust mop. Avoid using water or steam on the wood, as the moisture can dull the finish, or even begin to deteriorate the wood after long periods of time.

Whenever spills occur, clean them immediately with a dry or slightly damp cloth. If your floors begin to look dull, use a wood floor cleaner recommended by your installer to renew the luster. Be sure to only use products that are compatible with your floor.

Can Scratches Or Stains on Real Wood Floors Be Repaired?

When the surface becomes scratched or worn, hardwoods can be sanded and refinished to look brand new. Hardwood is a great investment for your home because it rarely has to be replaced. It’s not unusual to find a 100-200 year old home with its original hardwood still intact.

What’s The Best Way To Clean My Wood Floors?

Dust mopping, sweeping, and vacuuming are the best way to keep your wood floors clean. Avoid using a wet mop or steam mop on wood floors, as the moisture can damage the floors over time.

Does Wood Flooring Help People With Allergies?

Yes! Due to the nature of wood floors, allergens can’t find a permanent home in hardwood and are easily removed with dusting or cleaning. Hardwoods also do not contain chemicals common in carpets that cause sinus and breathing problems.

Ready To Invest In Real Hardwood Flooring?

Test out our Hardwood Wizard to find the right type of hardwood for you or request a quote from our hardwood specialists.