Considerations for your new Hardwood Floor
Why choose hardwood?
Hardwood flooring is undeniably the ultimate in floor covering. It is not only the most aesthetically pleasing but it also affords the opportunity to express one’s personal tastes.
This is the most desirable and longest lasting choice and a great investment in your home’s overall value. Hardwood flooring is the perfect marriage of practicality and elegance, and it imparts a feeling of warmth and Old World charm. The bonus? This type of flooring enhances any genre of home décor, and it will never go out of style.
Choices in dimensions and finishes
Strip flooring consists of wood planks ranging from 1 ½ inches through 2 ½ inches in the traditional look, while plank flooring ranges from 3 to 8 inches.
One of the most sought after appearances today is that of hand-scraped hardwood. It replicates wood that is well worn and centuries old, adding character and charm to the room.
“Distressed” wood finishes offer the look of wear and age, adding an authentic feel to your space. Wire brushed hardwood has a less obvious appearance of wear. Both the hand-scraped and wire brushed hardwood have a beautiful urethane finish.
Choosing the type of wood
Always consider the hardness of the wood to be appropriate for the area for which it is intended. Hardness is determined by the “Janka” rating, the amount of pressure required to press a ball bearing to its midpoint through a piece of wood.
This determines the wood’s ability to resist dents, wear and moisture. For example, a yellow pine has a rating of 420 pounds of pressure while the pressure required on harder woods extends to as much as 4500 pounds. Installing harder woods in heavy traffic areas insures less maintenance and longer life.
Although hardwood has an extremely long lifespan, it does require a certain amount of care. Hardwoods expand and contract. They must not be exposed to temperatures for any period of time over 90 degrees or below freezing or they could buckle.
Hardwood floors will scratch if they are mistreated. For example, a high heal or hard sole shoes can damage wood floors. Furniture must have floor protectors under the feet.
Avoid subjecting the floor to water for extended periods. The wood absorbs the water over time and will discolor or warp. Use throw rugs to cover the heaviest traffic areas and to add warmth and character to your space.
Keeping this in mind and your hardwood flooring will look elegant for decades to come.