Old growth hardwoods are procured from urban tree-cycling programs, must-cuts, and selected sustainable forests to create an unparalleled mixture of majestic grain characterIn reclaimed + old-growth wood referring to the ring pattern… and vibrant detail.
Solid hardwood floors are made of planks milled from a single piece of timber. Solid hardwood floors were originally used for structural purposes, being installed perpendicular to the wooden support beams of a building known as joistsA structural element of the building process that is meant t… or bearers. With the increased use of concrete as a subfloor in some parts of the world, engineered wood flooring has gained some popularity. However, solid wood floors are still common and popular. Solid wood floors have a thicker wear surface and can be sanded and finished more times than an engineered wood floor. It is not uncommon for homes in New England, Eastern Canada, USA, and Europe to have the original solid wood floor still in use today.
Solid wood manufacturing
Solid wood flooring is milled from a single piece of timber that is kiln or air dried before sawing. Depending on the desired look of the floor, the timber can be cut in three ways: flat-sawn, quarter-sawn, and rift-sawn. The timber is cut to the desired dimensions and either packed unfinished for a site-finished installation or finished at the factory. The moisture content at the time of manufacturing is carefully controlled to ensure the product does not warp during transport and storage.
A number of proprietary features for solid wood floors are available. Many solid planks of wood come with grooves cut into the back of the wood that runs the length of each plank, often called ‘absorption strips,’ that are intended to reduce cupping. Solid wood floors are mostly manufactured .75 inches (19 mm) thick with a tongue-and-groove for installation.
What is the difference between hardwood and laminate?
When considering a new floor for your home, most people end up weighing the options of whether to go with hardwood or laminate. Understanding everything that sets these two apart can appear to be difficult at first. To benefit you we created this simple guide comparing hardwood to laminate and showing the pros and cons of each type of flooring in terms of look & feel, expected lifetime, maintenance + repair, and environmental impact.
Hardwood flooring is more eco-friendly, easier to repair, lasts a lot longer, looks and feels more natural and interesting compared to laminate flooring which takes less intensive maintenance, is less susceptible to damage from moisture & temperature changes, has a harder, slightly more durable surface and is manufactured with chemicals like melamine & aluminum oxide that are harmful to the environment…
Basic differences between hardwood and laminate flooring
Laminate is a synthetic flooring material consisting of multiple layers that is manufactured to look like actual wood. Laminate flooring is mostly made up of melamine resin and fiber board at its core and the outer layer is then texture and finished to appear to be the real thing.
Engineered reclaimedFound and rescued from an unused source. hardwood flooring is real wood planks either cross-laid layers of solid wood with a pre-finished or natural solid wood lamella top-layer or cut, routed and planed solid wood with a tongue and groove feature to aid installation.
Hardwood preserves the unique texture and appearance of the original timber it was cut from while laminate is just an imitation, some higher end laminate flooring may be able to fool the casual onlooker but there are more differences than just look and feel.
Comparing the visual aspects of laminate and hardwood flooring
Comparing hardwood to laminate visually is night and day, even to the untrained eye. While laminate flooring uses predefined patterns that repeat every 5 boards using an imprinting method it is easy for anyone to notice the pattern, opposed to hardwood, especially reclaimed hardwood flooring where textures, colors, widths, lengths, and character can change wildly from plank to plank.
The expected lifetime of laminate and hardwood floors
How long a floor will last depends on traffic and maintenance mostly.
Most laminate flooring is created by binding melamine resin and aluminum oxide at high pressures and extreme temperatures making it harder in most cases than natural wood in addition to being more resistant to moisture, fading and staining.
It takes on average about 20 years or more for a family to wear down the finish on a laminate floor, a relatively short period compared to hardwood flooring.
Laminate can’t be sanded and refinished, rather after accumulating significant wear & tear, dents + scratches, eventually, the flooring will be completely destroyed.
Authentic hardwood floors can last a lifetime or even a few lifetimes if properly cared for. 40 – 80 years on average for well-maintained floors and then you’re only required to refinish rather than replace.
One of the main reasons we’re in the business we’re in is because of the resilience of hardwood flooring, engineered reclaimed hardwood will be softer than pressurized composite surfaces, as a result, it can dent, scratch more easily and be more susceptible to moisture and temperature fluctuations. A significant perk is that a damaged wood floor can be spot repaired by simply sanding and refinishing the affected area whereas damaged laminate would need to be replaced, creating more waste and higher costs.
Different finishes on hardwood offer certain advantages where reclaimed stressed woods with a natural finish will allow dents, scratches, and stains to blend into the look while the look of a laminate floor could be ruined by something simple like a stain or severe dent/scratch damage.
Once it does come time to replace an old hardwood floor, unlike laminate flooring, the materials can be recycled/reclaimed or even disposed of without harming the environment.
The effects of moisture on hardwood & laminate flooring
Wood breathes, it’s an organic material that came from a living source. As such it responds naturally to fluctuations in temperatures and moisture in the air. Depending on the materials temperatures and moisture should be controlled within certain ranges recommended by the manufacturer. Laminate is less susceptible to humidity changes and temperature fluctuations and as a result, is more commonly found in bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.
Maintaining Hardwood Floors VS. Laminate
Maintaining a laminate floor is simple, sweep + mop regularly and be careful not to drag furniture around to prevent scratches. Hardwood flooring on the other requires a little extra elbow grease. Take care to use special cleaners on your hardwood flooring and try to avoid generic household surface cleaners unless cleared by the flooring material supplier/manufacturer.
Hardwood floors can stand Coca-Cola or red wine a spill here and there but try not to let it sit too long just in case and similar to laminate sweep and mop regularly as well as avoid scratches and dent when moving heavier furniture.
Repairing hardwood flooring compared to laminate
If you are lucky enough to have a floating laminate floor that snaps together rather than one created by gluing the pieces down you may be able to replace individual planks that have been stained, scratched, dented or otherwise maimed. New planks may not match the existing/surrounding flooring with wear and tear, exposure to sunlight and/or age leaving the possibility for them stick out more than the damage did. You won’t be able to sand or refinish laminate flooring either since the wood texture is often printed, painted or even pressed onto the resin like surface, once it’s worn out it’s done and it could mean replacing the entire floor.
Hardwood flooring is far easier to repair than laminate even 200-year-old reclaimed flooring can be restored to a likable, useable finish. Some spot damage may only require a wire brush and some finishing oil, other repairs may take a little sanding, some wood filler, staining, and/or refinishing. Small pieces can even be cut out and replaced if needed and whole planks could be removed and repaired or replaced.
Hardwood floors are more forgiving and have more options for repair and restoration in the long run. This is one of the key reasons we have materials to source for our reclaimed wood flooring products and it’s why the life expectancy of hardwood VS laminate favors hardwood so strongly.
The environmental impact of laminate floors VS. hardwood
Our reclaimed hardwood isn’t just environmentally friendly, it’s sourced from barns, cabins, and outbuildings where the material would have otherwise been disposed of in some other way. So not only are we using 100% eco-friendly organic material to create beautiful hardwood flooring for homes and offices we are taking the material out of a situation where it might have gone to waste and putting it to good use.
New hardwood flooring manufacturers produce flooring using eco-friendly methods, keeping solid wood flooring 100% organic and multi-layered engineered flooring mostly organic, adhering to strict standards for producing flooring that contains no harmful VOC emissions and uses adhesives that are formaldehyde free.
Laminate flooring, in contrast, is far from organic being that it is created by fusing different synthetic composites and harmful chemicals using extreme heat and tremendous pressure. Large volumes of cheap toxic glues and adhesives, some of which contain formaldehyde and other life-threatening chemicals and materials that continue to exhaust toxic gasses into the air long after installation, potentially adversely affecting the health of the home’s inhabitants. Once disposed of the laminate material continues to break down expose the environment to these toxic chemicals contaminating the food, water, and air.
You may have been on the fence about solid, engineered, reclaimed and laminate flooring before, hopefully, our guide has given you the insight needed to determine the best option for your dwelling and can act as a reference in the future for your friends, neighbors, and family. Feel free to share and discuss.
A new hardwood floor can add a lot of beauty and value to your home, but what are the chances this new floor will survive once introduced to your dog or cat? With accidents and rough housing, there are huge opportunities for your beloved pet to ruin your new investment. Ultimately, though, can it be done? Can pets and hardwood flooring co-exist peacefully?
The answer: yes. Millions of homeowners with pets are able to enjoy all the benefits of hardwood flooring without having to stress about man’s best friend destroying them. If you have ever owned a dog, you know the routine. Accidents happen, nails rip into fabrics or hard surfaces looking for traction, eating areas turn into disaster areas fast, etc. All of which can wreak havoc on a hardwood floor. The acid in animal urine or vomit can damage the finish and the wood floor boards. Large, active dogs with long, sharp nails digging into hardwood can cause scratches and dents. Spilled food or water, when left for extended periods of time, can seep into hardwood plank seams and lead to unsightly water damage.
The good news is that there are easy solutions to rectify these problems and keep your new hardwood floor looking its best. Having a smooth surface like Hardwood Flooring has actually makes the job of cleaning up after pets a lot easier than carpet, which can harbor a multitude of germs and urine that can go unnoticed and soak through the carpet into the pad making it difficult or impossible to remove.
Accidents can be prevented with proper training of your dog, and in the meantime training pads can be put down inside in places your dog is prone to having accidents. These training pads should have an absorbent surface and a plastic backing, preventing any liquids from traveling through the pad to the hardwood. If any accident on the hardwood does occur, make sure to clean it up right away.
To prevent scratches on your hardwood flooring, make sure your dog’s nails are routinely clipped and trimmed. This is especially important with larger breeds, as they will exert more pressure on the hardwood if they are running around or playing inside. Keep mats near doors leading to outside. It’s obviously a bit much to expect your dog to wipe it’s feet when entering your home, but the mat will help lessen the transfer of outside debris, which can also scratch your hardwood.
Some dogs are messier eaters than other, but most have a tendency to leave behind at least some sort of evidence that they’ve been there. Simple solutions include using a heavy, stable bowl for water to prevent spillage and having a durable, waterproof mat under food and water bowls to protect the hardwood underneath. Mats made of materials like rubber will also help to keep bowls from moving around, which could cause water spillage or scratching of the hardwood.
Cats are seldom any problem with hardwood flooring as they are just too light to cause much damage at all due to nails. Accidents in terms of vomiting up their food or urination on hardwood, should obviously be cleaned up right away. Additionally, all of the above tips can also be applied (to a lesser degree) to your feline friend.
Millions of people already live with pets and hardwood floors just fine, it just takes a bit more care and a few preventative measures but, ultimately, you can keep both your pets and your beloved hardwood flooring with minimal stress.
The Best Hardwood Flooring Options for Homes with Dogs
Although no real hardwood floor is invincible, there are certain specifications you may want to keep in mind when it comes to choosing a hardwood floor for your pet friendly home.
Site Finished vs. Pre-finished Hardwood Flooring. When you opt for a prefinished hardwood floor, you’re getting a major benefit over unfinished hardwood flooring, which is finished onsite—a harder, more durable finish. Most of the major manufacturers of hardwood flooring these days use an Aluminum Oxide finish. This includes minuscule flecks of aluminum oxide (which is what sand paper is made of) inserted into a layer of the finish, creating a stronger surface coating. Additionally, manufacturers are able to cure prefinished hardwood planks under UV lights, hardening the coats of finish even more. This gives prefinished hardwood flooring a bit of an edge over site finished flooring in the scratch department.
Coloring. The color of the new hardwood flooring won’t prevent scratching from dogs’ nails, but it will work in your favor to more easily hide scratches and dents. Lighter wood species with a fair amount of graining like oak has will have a tendency to camouflage scratches and dents, so they are a lot less noticeable than they would be on a wood species with little or no grain or a dark stained hardwood floor.
Surface Texture. Much like the coloring of your hardwood floor, surface texture can also help to hide scratches or dents caused by pets in your home. Handscraped flooring is becoming popular in homes across the nation for the warmth and character it adds to a room, but since the surface is already textured, appearance of scratches and dents become minimized as compared to those on a smooth surface hardwood floor.
Acrylic Impregnated Engineered Hardwood Flooring. Most manufacturers offer a standard wear layer, as described in this All About Wear Layers article. There are, however, some manufacturers that go a step further in durability and offer wear layers that are Acrylic Impregnated. This basically means that all those pores you’d find in a standard wear layer of just wood are injected with an acrylic finish. When something heavy is dropped on a hardwood floor, a dent occurs because these natural pores of the wood are simply filled with air. When the pores are filled, as with the Acrylic Impregnated engineered flooring, there’s no room in the pores for movement, so dents are severely minimized. You can find an acrylic impregnated wear layer with the Armstrong Performance Plus Lock & Fold engineered flooring.
Hardwood Wood Species. Different wood species used in the production of hardwood flooring offer different hardnesses. There are incredibly soft wood species, like American Cherry; and at the other end of the spectrum, there are incredibly hard wood species, like Brazilian Walnut. The hardness of a wood species will determine how drastic a dent will be if something hits the surface of the wood. The Janka Hardness Rating ranks each wood species on a scale and includes most wood species, both domestic and exotic. Because American Cherry is one of the softest wood species available, it’s not recommended to be used in areas with heavier traffic (including areas where active pets may wander). We’ve found that natural Maple offers both a beneficial light color (as mentioned previously) and the hardness needed (1450 Janka Rating) to stand up to busy households with pets. Other light colored and hard wood species you may want to consider are Hickory or Amendoim.
Engineered wood, also called mass timber, composite wood, man-made wood, or manufactured board, includes a range of derivative wood products which are manufactured by binding or fixing the strands, particles, fibres, or veneers or boards of wood, together with adhesives, or other methods of fixation to form composite material. The panels vary in size but can range upwards of 64 by 8 feet (20m x 2.4m) and in the case of CLT can be of any thickness from a few inches to 16 inches or more.  These products are engineered to precise design specifications which are tested to meet national or international standards. Engineered wood products are used in a variety of applications, from home construction to commercial buildings to industrial products. The products can be used for joists and beams that replace steel in many building projects. The term Mass Timber describes a group of building materials that can replace concrete assemblies. 
Typically, engineered wood products are made from the same hardwoods and softwoods used to manufacture lumber. Sawmill scraps and other wood waste can be used for engineered wood composed of wood particles or fibers, but whole logs are usually used for veneers, such as plywood, MDF or particle board. Some engineered wood products, like oriented strand board (OSB), can use trees from the poplar family, a common but non-structural species.
Alternatively, it is also possible to manufacture similar engineered bamboo from bamboo; and similar engineered cellulosic products from other lignin-containing materials such as rye straw, wheat straw, rice straw, hemp stalks, kenaf stalks, or sugar cane residue, in which case they contain no actual wood but rather vegetable fibers.
Floating Hardwood Floors – Advantages and Disadvantages
A floating hardwood is very similar to engineered hardwood flooring, and it actually floats on the supplementary floor. This flooring material is installed using the snap and lock technique. Floating floor planks are connected to each other like a jigsaw puzzle. A reliable floating floor has 3-7 layers of wood similar to plywood that makes its amazingly stable and strong.
Floating hardwood floors manufacturing mechanism divides it into two variations:
Sliced Cut Veneer – In this method the hardwood layer is sliced like typical timber that displays finer graining. This method is very expensive. However the advantage it has is that it displays the true look of wood graining.
Rotary Cut Veneer – In this method the hardwood is peeled from the log with the help of big lathes. This method displays a wilder graining to the floating floor.
Advantages of Installing Floating Hardwood Floors
This flooring material is extremely sturdy and strong because of its composition that consists of 7 layers of wood.
This material is ideal for use in areas where there is extreme humidity changes as it can expand and contract conveniently.
Floating floor boards are connected to each other using the tongue and groove mechanism or glue making it a single unit. So expansion or contraction happens as a whole on the floor.
This material is also extremely resistant to moisture and can be installed even in your basement where there are chances for a high moisture atmosphere.
Floating floor can be installed in any area of your home. This flooring material is available in a wide range of colors, patterns and designs.
Depending on the thickness of the flooring, it can be refinished and sanded professionally over the life span of the floor.
This flooring material saves the time and mess to search for a carpenter as it can be effortlessly installed by you.
Floating floor has longevity and lasts a lifetime. It is very convenient to install because of its tongue and groove mechanism. This mechanism provides a secure and tight fit for the flooring without any gaps in between.
Disadvantages of Floating Hardwood Floors
This flooring material is comparatively thinner and light as it floats on the secondary floor.
The resale value of your property tends to reduce compared to traditionally mortared or nailed tile or hardwood.
Floating floor enables you to get the amazing appearance of solid hardwood. It presents you the beauty and warmth of genuine hardwood under your foot.
Appalachian AntiqueAnything of a certain age such that it is coveted for having… Hardwoods reclaimed wood flooring will show signs of wear over time depending on sight conditions, amount of traffic and type of use. Ultimately, owner understanding and observation of the flooring condition over time will dictate the care and maintenance program. By observing a few precautions and setting up a regular cleaning routine and maintenance program, you can expect years of beauty form your TerraMai reclaimed wood flooring. For everyday general maintenance of oil and poly finished flooring, keep the floor as free from dust, dirt, and grit as possible. Dirt and grit are the primary cause of a dull finish and abrasions to both the finish and the wood. The following are examples of the reasonable and necessary maintenance and care you are expected to perform. They are not intended to be an exclusive list.
Everyday food and liquid spills should be promptly cleaned with a soft cloth, lightly dampened cloth if needed. Please see appropriate care and maintenance products listed below for routine use. Treated dust mops, commercially made hardwood floor cleaners and commercial waxes are not recommended.
Sweep, dust mop, vacuum or wipe the floor with a slightly dampened rag as needed or at least once per week. Use only a vacuum type appropriate for wood flooring. Brooms should be soft-bristle types. The dustpan should be a ‘soft’ plastic type.
Use caution when applying water to wood flooring – excessive water will damage wood flooring. Do not wet-mop a wood floor. Standing water can dull the finish, damage the wood and cause discoloration. Excessive water can penetrate between planks and cause damage to both the floor and subfloor.
Do not use hardwood flooring cleaning machines or steam cleaners. Do not use 2-in-1 cleaners with polish that may contain acrylics or urethane polish to restore gloss. Do not use oil soaps, liquid or paste wax products or other industrial cleaners that contain citrus oils, lemon oil, tung oil, silicon or ammonia.
Doormats or rugs on either side of all entry/exit doors are recommended. Grit and dirt tracked onto the floor is the most common cause of damage. Area rugs are also suggested for heavy traffic areas.
Do not use rubber, foam-back, or plastic mats as they may discolor the floor. To prevent slippage of area rugs, use a quality vinyl rug underlay. Area rugs should be moved occasionally as they block sunlight, which alters the color of the floor over time.
Protect bottoms of chairs, tables, couches, cabinets, and other heavy objects with felt glides. Clean and/or replace the glides on a regular basis, as they may become embedded with dirt and grit over time.
When moving heavy furniture or appliances, use extra caution to avoid scratching, indentations, and gouging. Some objects may be too heavy to be moved across a hardwood floor under any circumstances. Certain types of casters may damage hardwood flooring.
High-heel shoes will damage wood floors and finishes. Spike or stiletto high-heel shoes, especially those in poor repair, will cause denting and related damage to hardwood floors due to the extremely high compressive force they generate. Such footwear can produce dynamic loads in excess of 1,000 pounds per square inch, even when worn by someone of slight or average build.
Exposure to the sun and its UV rays accelerates the oxidation and aging of wood. This can cause the stain and/or wood to fade and/or to change color. We recommend that you rearrange rugs and furniture periodically so the floor ages evenly.
As a general rule, a humidity level of 30-to-50 percent and a temperature range of 60° to 80°F is recommended for wood flooring. Use a humidifier in dry conditions or dehumidifier in damp conditions. In some climates, the ideal humidity range may be 5% higher or lower.
Do not allow the environment where your wood floor resides to experience rapid fluctuations in temperature or relative humidity. Do not turn off HVAC systems or reduce heat or AC too drastically when on vacation or when leaving the space for extended periods of time.
WOOD FLOORING LONG-TERM CARE & MAINTENANCE:
The degree of wear and damage to both the finish and the wood vary dramatically from one installation to another depending on the amount of foot traffic, type of foot traffic, sun exposure, furniture movement, exposure to moisture and many other factors. A wood flooring professional with first-hand knowledge of the installation is best able to advise on long-term maintenance and refinishing.
Timing to refinish a wood floor with a polyurethane finish will depend upon usage, exposure and various other use factors. Ultimately, a polyurethane floor should be refinished before any activity wears through the poly topcoat exposing the raw wood beneath. Some flooring professionals recommend a recoat every two years to keep floors looking vibrant and to ensure the proper amount of finish is protecting the floor at all times. Typically, it is inadvisable to spot finish a polyurethane finished floor as it is difficult to blend any repair areas into the surrounding areas. If some portions of the floor are showing wear, refinishing the entire floor (or room) will yield more visually favorable results. For light traffic residential use, a properly monitored and maintained polyurethane finish can last a lifetime.
Polyurethane finished floors do need to be sanded prior to refinishing.
In order to comply with the Appalachian Antique Hardwoods’ warranty it is required that Rubio oil finish products are used.
Surface scratches, dents, and stains can be spot treated by rubbing a small amount of Rubio oil into the area and buffing it with a cotton cloth until the affected area blends with the surrounding floor.
The timing for a complete Rubio oil recoat varies greatly from one installation to another and is based on the original oil finish. Extreme heavy use may require a recoat every several months while it may be many years for light traffic installations to need a recoat. When the surface feels too dry or rough, or begins to look starved, it is time for a recoat. Recoating should be done prior to the finish wearing off.
Oil finished floors do not typically need to be sanded prior to recoating.
CARE & MAINTENANCE PRODUCTS:
For a polyurethane finish, we recommend cleaning products specifically designed for polyurethane. Here are 2 suggestions: The wood flooring finish company Bona provides a complete line of industry-standard care and maintenance products designed for polyurethane finishes. Aero-Green 4220 from Hi-Lite Solutions is also an eco-friendly and effective cleaning product.
For an oil finish, it is REQUIRED to use Rubio products in order to comply with Appalachian Antique Hardwoods’ warranty. The wood finish company Rubio, provides high-quality, zero-VOC and low-VOC care and maintenance products designed specifically for Rubio oil finishes.
A NOTE ON FIRE RETARDANT:
Fire retardants are not recommended for flooring or exterior use unless approved for application on the back side of the material. Materials treated with fire retardant and finished with oil or water-based polyurethane will become cloudy with moisture contact. Care should be taken to avoid contact with moisture for wall paneling, cladding and ceiling applications that have fire retardant.
There’s not a ton of data on the correlation between home value and hardwood floors, but the data that is available says the increase in home value can be up to 2.5%, according to realtor.com.
Some buyers’ eyes grow wide when they see a home with hardwood floors, but in certain areas, it’s become the norm. If you’re the last one in your neighborhood to update the floors, do so before you sell.
You don’t want your house’s perceived value to drop when the only distinguishing factor between your house and the one for sale down the street is hardwood floors. That could significantly impact how much a buyer will pay.
How do flooring updates affect resale value?
Adding hardwood floors to a house won’t make or break the value, though.
There are plenty of houses with the original hardwood floors — and the original gaudy paint and tiled countertops.
What makes or breaks the value that the hardwood floors add is the design and type of hardwood, and the updates in the rest of the house.
The pattern and direction in which the planks of wood are placed can add or detract from the appeal. If you have short planks placed in a herringbone or cross pattern, it can look dated. Similarly, if you have the planks all going in one direction, that makes the room feel tighter, that can also be an issue.
Talk to a flooring expert and a local expert real estate agent to help you design the perfect pattern and direction for your house.
Order of Operations
Before installing hardwood throughout, consider a kitchen or bathroom update. The kitchen and bathroom are the two rooms in the house that add the most value. No amount of hardwood flooring will cover up a dated kitchen or bathrooms.
Get the biggest bang for your buck by adding some paint, replacing countertops and appliances, and re-doing the shower/bath. From there decide if it’s within your budget to add some hardwood floors to your living room or dining room. At that point, the value will just continue to increase.
What is the ROI for hardwood floors?
It should be clear that adding hardwood floors to a house will increase the value, given the house supports it. But what’s the return on investment for adding hardwood floors?
According to Professional Builder, the ROI for hardwood floors lands somewhere between 70% and 80%. That means if you spend $20,000 on hardwood floors (2,000 square feet at $10 per square foot), you can expect to see between $14,000 and $16,000 reflected in the sale price of your home. Again, these numbers depend on the other aspects of the house and type and design of the hardwood floors.
If you don’t plan on selling right away, however, the return on investment could be even bigger.
Are hardwood floors worth it?
Hardwood floors can add up to 2.5% to your home’s value. Many buyers love seeing hardwood flooring, but to make a dent in the value, the rest of the house needs to have updates, too.
You can expect to see between a 70-80% ROI on your hardwood floors, but the best ROI comes as you enjoy the low-cost upkeep of the floors.
If you’re looking for a great way to increase your home value before a sale, hardwood flooring may not be the best way to go. Depending on the value of your home, installing vinyl or laminate could raise your house value to the same price for a lower cost.
Wood is an organic product that is made of fibers, and therefore it is constantly absorbing nutrients and water. Due to this ebb and flow, wooden floors can occasionally have issues with gapping.
The fibers and structure of wood makes it to where a tree naturally extends itself into the atmosphere so that it will be able to better gain nutrients through it’s leaf system. The trunk of the tree is what regulates this process. This entire process is what makes a tree a living, organic entity. This also means that the slats of wood in your floor are also expanding and contracting.
The conditions of the atmosphere in your home can be affected by numerous variations such as the temperature outside, the number of people living in the home, tightness of the house, and the efficiency of your HVAC. As Winter approaches, and in combination with your heating system, the wood in your house tends to lose moisture, and contract. Due to this, gaps in your hardwood flooring can begin to appear. This is especially common in regions that are normally very dry.
Preparation of Hardwoods
Once a hardwood slat is cut to the accurate dimensions, then the preparation of the surface begins.
The finish not only serves as a way to enhance the appearance, but it also protects the piece of wood from possible damage in the future.
Being a natural substance, the wood’s rings, lines, distinct markings, and patterns all contribute to its initial appearance.
In terms of its relationship to possible gapping, a hardwood finish will regulate the amount of moisture being taken in by the wood and the amount being expired into the air of your home. Therefore, to prevent gapping, it is vital that the finish was completed with skill and applied with efficiency.
Acclimating a Hardwood
A key component of installing a hardwood in your home is allowing the humidity and temperature of the wood to match the ambient humidity and temperature of your house. Should you fail to achieve this equilibrium between the wood and the atmosphere in your home, you may experience some problems after installation. If the wood you are installing has a higher moisture content than the sub-floor, it may contract after installation and cause shrinking and gapping. If the wood is dryer than the atmosphere of your home, then it may increase in size causing buckling and pressure against the outside border of the installation area.
Follow these steps in acclimating your hardwood flooring:
Store the hardwood in the same room and on the same floor as the installation location.
Operate your HVAC system at temperatures consistent with your daily routine.
To speed up the process, stacking in a log cabin formation is recommended to allow ample airflow.
Acclimating durations may change based on local weather conditions, the season of the year, and the tightness of your home. However, a good rule of thumb is to acclimate the hardwood for at least 7-10 days before installation.
Home Humidity Factors
The humidity in your home is the primary factor in the expansion and contraction of the hardwood you are installing. Therefore, keeping this factor constant will decrease the chances of issues arising during and after the installation.
Follow these guidelines in creating a correct atmosphere for the installation and life of your hardwood floor:
Reduce ventilation. When air is brought from the outside of the home through ventilation channels, the air is then heated and consequently loses its relative humidity. Essentially, relative humidity drops in proportion to the amount of constant ventilation in the home. This calls for the weatherization of the home, sealing cracks, sealing old windows, etc.
Add Moisture. Moisture is added to indoor environments from normal household activities and use. However, it is recommended that the relative humidity of your home be maintained between 35-55%. Where conditions require it, a humidifier is usually the solution. Generally speaking, a residential humidifying system will produce enough moisture to keep the relative humidity (RH) within acceptable ranges.
Considering all these above-mentioned factors will make the installation go smoothly, decrease the possible expanding or contracting of wood fibers after installation, and allow your hardwood flooring to last for the life of your home.
Dragging or pushing furniture across a floor when moving or redecorating is the most common way to damage a hardwood floor. It might be faster than finding someone to help you move your furniture, but it’s not worth the risk of scuffing up your hardwood floors. If at all possible, pick furniture up off the wooden floor to move it. This will probably require you to get some sort of moving buddy, but protecting your wood floor is definitely worth it.
What are some ways to prevent scoff marks from furniture?
Use An Area Rug
One way to help prevent scratching or gouging is to use an area rug. By keeping all of your furniture on top of a rug, you’ll easily avoid scratches and damage to the wood flooring. In addition to preserving your hardwood floor, you can also add some style to your room or with a colorful rug. For the best size, placement, and material for your rug, check out How to Protect Wood Floors With Area Rugs.
You can add even more protection by using a rug pad under the area rug. Make sure the backing of your pad material is safe to use on your wood floors so it doesn’t cause yellowing or additional scratching. To learn how to prolong the life of your rug and wood floors, see Why You Need a Rug Pad.
Use Furniture Pads
If a moving buddy isn’t available, use furniture pads. Furniture and glider pads help cushion the feet or corners of furniture and raise them slightly off the floor. You’ll see them made of felt, cork, and rubber. Felt pads even allow the furniture to be moved around, so it doesn’t have to be lifted or put on wheels. If you have chairs that sit on wood floor, stick felt pads to all their feet; if they shift a bit when people sit down or stand up, the feet won’t scratch the floor. Cut up blankets, quilts, or clothing to create your own pads for the feet of your furniture.
Check Furniture Feet Before Placement
Regularly check old furniture feet and always check new furniture before placing it on your hardwood floor. If the feet have become worn and rough, you may want to do some light sanding with sandpaper sheets or a palm tool to make sure they won’t scuff the flooring.
Consider Furniture With Wheels
Picking furniture with wheels, such as cabinets or entertainment units, is an option. The wheels will make it easier to move the furniture from room to room when you want to redecorate. However, the wrong kind of wheels can still leave marks, so try to get non-marking rubber wheels or ball wheels. Be sure to clean the wheels regularly, as dirt or debris that may adhere to them can cause scratches when the wheels are rolled across the floor.
Out of all the spaces in your home that take a beating, your wood floors probably gets the worst treatment. Between the dust, soot, dirt, mud and grit, most floors are in a constant state of uncleanliness. Let’s not even get started on what your pet drags in!
Every ounce of this is forced in between the boards and under the polyurethane finish. After all of this, the solution to the problem can even end up being worse than the problem itself.
“Too much water, any amount of steam!” says Brett Miller, a technical expert at the National Wood Flooring Association. Other no-no’s: strong vinegar or baking soda solutions that can degrade polyurethane, and “glow” enhancers that sound as if they would work on your hair.
As Miller and other experts like to stress, properly cleaned floors are not hard to obtain, especially if you stay ahead of the game. Put down tough-bristled mats, park gritty boots and shoes at the door, sweep, dry-mop, or vacuum often, and when the floor looks dull, get into all the nooks and corners with a damp mop and a neutral solution. So, how do you work to have clean and healthy floors?
Do this –
As with most things in life, your floors need preventative maintenance. Choosing a soft-bristled broom that is angled can help you get into the corners. Just make sure that it it wide enough to get the job done quickly! You can always vacuum your floors with a soft floor nozzle as well. Things like carpet beaters and brush rolls can damage the finish. Purchasing a robot vac is a great idea, as it can get the work finished for you. Just make sure to shop for one that won’t get itself stuck in a corner, only to end up needing to be charged again. Rid your floor of dust and pet hair by using a microfiber mop head that utilizes a positive electric charge.
What to do if your floor looks dingy
Damp-mop with a flat-head mop and microfiber pad or a microfiber string mop that has been thoroughly wrung out. Move with the grain, and control the amount of cleaning solution by using a spray bottle, aiming for a heavy mist or gentle squirt of about a half teaspoon per 2 square feet. No need to rinse. No need to buff either, but cloth diapers and soft socks do work well here.
What not to do
Letting it go. In most households, wood floors should be cleaned at least four to six times a year.
Ignoring wet or sticky spills. They won’t go away on their own. Did an ice cube just shoot under the table? Go get it.
Bringing on the heavy equipment. You can damage the finish by attacking with a broom meant for the garage or a floor-cleaning machine designed for tougher flooring.
Applying the wrong product. Experts say Murphy Oil Soap can leave a residue on polyurethane. Paste wax simply makes it slippery. As for acrylic polishes that claim to remove the glow while putting more on? They can dull polyurethane—just remove the grime and it will shine.
Flooding the zone. Standing water and overly wet mops shoot moisture between boards and through tiny tears in the finish that form when wood shrinks and expands with the weather. Over time, moisture can damage the wood.
Steam cleaning. Never on wood. Save it for tile, linoleum, and vinyl.
Rated 5 out of 5
August 8, 2022
You, Tom, and Tracy went above and beyond for me on this project and I have told everyone I could. I could not have asked for anything better my friend. I was able to design and build the exact vision of my dream house thanks to AAH. You have to come see it once the garage doors and appliances are in.
Rated 5 out of 5
April 28, 2021
Appalachian Antique Hardwoods is well known locally for their attention to detail, beautiful hardwoods and the personal service given to each customer. A very sweet family business that we would recommend.
Stephen, Sheila & Cordell Allen
Rated 5 out of 5
April 26, 2021
Excellent to work with. High quality product, on time delivery.
Rated 5 out of 5
April 23, 2021
After hiring a less expensive company to supply barn wood and beams in a barn addition I realized I had made a mistake in hiring them. After six months and no progress, one unkempt promise after another, I went another direction. I had talked to Appalachian Antique Hardwood originally, so I called them again. They immediately came out and hit every milestone and delivered the completed project three days before Christmas, and still hit my deadline. The quality of the workmanship was great. I would highly recommend them.
Rated 5 out of 5
April 20, 2021
I have installed thousands of sqft of their reclaimed hardwood flooring and it has been beautiful every time