Hardwood Flooring Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the most durable hardwood floor available?
A. It is the hardness of the floor that will give the best indication of durability. Refer to the Janka Hardness rating chart for a true indication of hardness for a selected hardwood species.
Q. What is the difference between your prefinished and unfinished flooring?
A. Pre-finished flooring is solid hardwood flooring that comes already sanded, sealed, and ready to nail into place. Unfinished floors come as bare wood that get installed, and then stained any color you wish and then sealed.
Q. Can a hardwood floor be floated?
A. Solid hardwood cannot be floated. Engineered hardwood or bamboo however, is made with a locking tongue and grove that can floated on top of an underlayment.
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Q. How do I acclimate my hardwood floor?
A. Let the flooring acclimate for 4 to 5 days, with boxes opened and laid flat in the room where the flooring is to be installed. If you are in an area with high humidity, you may need to install some humidity controls like a humidifier or dehumidifier.
Q. How does moisture affect my hardwood flooring?
A. Excessive moisture can lead to numerous changes to your floor, such as cupping, buckling or cracking. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you do not use water to clean your floors.
Q. Do I need a moisture barrier if it is above grade?
A. Yes. We always use a silicon vapor paper as our moisture barrier between the hardwood flooring and the wood subfloor to prevent any moisture from getting to the floor.
Q. What are some potential moisture problems I should look out for?
A. Cupping and crowning are caused when water is trapped between the wood floor and the subfloor. When this imbalance in moisture occurs, it is essential that the boards dry evenly; if not, cupping or crowning can appear.
Q. What is the best way to clean my floors?
A. The best way to maintain your floor is to sweep, dust mop and/or vacuum the floors regularly. Hardwood floors also clean easily with a Swiffer or similar type dry mop. You should avoid excessive moisture.
Q. Can I use commercial cleaner?
A. Yes. However, for prefinished floors, always use manufacturer-recommended cleaners. For unfinished floors, finished at the job site, refer to the recommendation of the floor finish manufacturer. Do not use wax based cleaners.
Q. How do I handle stubborn stains?
A. For stubborn stains, apply the manufacturer’s recommended cleaner to a soft cloth and scrub the desired area. Repeat if necessary. Do not use wax based cleaners.
Q. Can I apply a wax finish to my prefinished floors?
A. No. You should never apply wax finish to your surface type finishes.
Q. The floor beneath my rug is lighter than the exposed floor, what can I do?
A. It is normal for hardwood floors that are exposed to sunlight to lighten over a period of time. To eliminate the obvious tone differences, it is best to rotate rugs and furniture so that the flooring gets an equal amount of sun exposure. Any differences in light exposure will eventually fade away.
Q. How can I better protect my floor from early finish wear?
A. It is a good idea to implement a regular cleaning routine, as well at the use of throw rugs and felt or plastic floor protectors on furniture.
Q. When ordering hardwood flooring how much extra should I order to allow for waste?
A. As a rule of thumb, add 7% to 10% for waste and cuts depending on your skill level and the layout of the area.
Q. What are the different moldings and how are they applied?
A. (Multiple - see below)
- Quarter Round molding is used to hide the expansion gap left around walls during installation.
- T molding is used as a threshold in doorways or as a transition strip where the hardwood flooring meets floor or carpet of similar height. T moldings can also be used to change the direction in which the floor is laid.
- Reducer molding is used as a transition from the height of the sub-floor to the height of the hardwood floor.
- Stair nosing is used to cover the front edge of a stair tread or step. If used on a stair, flooring is installed behind the stair nosing to cover the horizontal part (the tread) of the stair.
- Stair tread molding is a one-piece molding used to entirely cover the structural stair tread.
Q. Can I install hardwood flooring in a bathroom?
A. Hardwood floors can be installed in a bathroom. Since water can affect hardwood floors harshly, it is probably not the best idea to have it installed in a full bathroom, but you should be ok in a half bath with a floor mat.
Q. How do I maintain my hardwood flooring?
A. In order to maximize the durability and beauty of your hardwood flooring, we recommend the following practices as part of your floor’s normal care and maintenance:
1. Place doormats or rugs at entrances to collect moisture, sand, grit and other potentially damaging substances from being tracked onto your hardwood floor.
2. Dust mop or vacuum with a soft accessory to keep your bamboo floor clean from dust, dirt or grit. Hardwood flooring cleans easily with a Swiffer or similar type dry mop.
3. For sticky spots, use a soft damp cloth to gently scrub the floor. If necessary, use a generic hardwood floor cleaner. Do not use steel wool or other abrasive scouring pads.
4. Do not use harsh detergents, abrasive cleansers, or corrosive chemicals to clean your bamboo floor.
5. Avoid excessive water. Use mats in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room to protect against spills. If a spill occurs, blot it up immediately with a dry cloth or slightly damp mop.
6. Use only colorfast and non-scratch carpeting or pads on your hardwood floor.
7. Protect the floor from furniture legs and do not walk on the floor with high-heeled shoes.
8. Although hardwood flooring has effective UV inhibitors in its pre-finish, it is recommended that it not be exposed to direct sunlight for long periods.
Q. Where can I install hardwood flooring?
A. Hardwood flooring is an extremely durable flooring product. It can be installed in virtually any room of your home that is above ground. There are several locations that are not recommended for hardwood flooring. Because hardwood flooring is a natural flooring product it is not recommended that it be installed in wet locations such as bathrooms, washrooms, saunas, enclosed porches or verandas, or anywhere that may require wet-mopping. Extended exposure to moisture of this type may cause your hardwood flooring to warp, swell or crack.
Q. What are the benefits of hardwood flooring?
A. Hardwood flooring is one of the most popular types of residential flooring. Here are a few reasons why you should choose a hardwood floor:
1. Solid hardwood offers a variety of grain patterns, natural color variations, and the beauty of a natural material
2. Hardwood floors are easy to clean.
3. Hardwood floors are ideal for allergy sufferers as they do not promote dust or harbor dust mites.
4. Hardwood flooring is longest-lasting and typically comes with a warranty.
Q. How do I get my hardwood floor to look like it did when it was new?
A. There are products that can be applied to prefinished urethane floors that will renew the floor back to its original appearance. Use only manufacturer recommended products.
Q. Can I expect my floor to have color variations?
A. Yes. Hardwood flooring is a natural product. Therefore, you should expect there will be natural color variations in the wood. Although lower grades of flooring will have a larger number of character blemishes, you can expect color variations in all grades.
Q. Should I use unfinished or prefinished hardwood?
A. Both choices have their advantages. If you are trying to match to an existing hardwood floor, you may want to go with an unfinished floor so it can be stained to match. However, this will mean finishing will be done onsite, resulting in more noise, dust and delays in using the room. Prefinished floors, on the other hand, are already finished. This means you will get the convenience of not
having to shut down the room while you finish the floor onsite.
Q. What is the difference between Select and Better, Mill Run and Rustic grades?
A. The difference between the various product lines is simply the amount of allowable character. For example, you'll find the most amount of character knots, mineral streaks, pin holes, etc. in the Good collection. As you step up in grade, the warranties are expanded and grading is enhanced.
Q. Will my prefinished floor have a beveled edge?
A. Yes. All of our prefinished hardwood floors have a micro-bevel edge to eliminate uneven joints between strips of hardwood. This tight micro-beveled edge also prevents the finish from pooling up at the edges of the boards during the finishing process, resulting in a nicer, cleaner finish.