Q: What is the difference between Solid wood floors and Engineered wood floors?
Solid wood floors are exactly what the name implies, it is a solid piece of wood from top to bottom. Solid wood floors can be used in any room as long as it is above ground. One of the benefits for using solid wood flooring is that it can be sanded and refinished many times. When it comes to finishing you can choose the color tone on site to go with the feel and look of the room where the wood floors are being installed. Sometimes, special installation techniques are required to install a solid floor over a slab foundation.
Engineered wood floors are real wood floors that are manufactured using multiple layers of wood veneers. Engineered wood floors can be nailed or stapled to a wood subfloor or glued down to a wood or concrete subfloor. Engineered wood floor can be installed in any room. However, moisture tests must be taken to verify the moisture conditions of the slab before installation of ANY wood floor. Some Engineered wood floors can be sanded and refinished 2-3 times.
Q: How do I know what is the best floor finish to use on my wood floors? What sheen level should I choose?A:
Oil base polyurethane – Most common finish used and very durable. Has a slight “amber” effect on the color of floor. Has odor while drying. 24 – 48 hour cure.
Water base polyurethane – Low odor, No amber effect on floor color, durable 24-hour cure.
European oil finish – most “natural” looking finish. Easily repaired. Can be polished 24 – 72-hour cure.
UV cured finish – Most durable. No amber effect on floor color Immediately cured ready for foot traffic.
When it comes to gloss level, it is up to the client choice. Here are the three options that are available.
- High gloss: It is very bright, smooth finish that tends to highlight marks or scratches of any kind more visible.
- Semi-gloss: It is a medium bright finish that standard for prefinished hardwood floors.
- Low gloss: This one is the most popular, low gloss finish minimizes the appearance of scratches and marks. It will make you hardwood floors have a new look in a longer period of time.
- European oil finishes always have a very low sheen.
Q: What is the best way to clean my hardwood floors?A:
Hammonds Wood Floors recommend any cleaner approved by the manufacturer.
Pallmann products are used to clean and maintain your floors in many cases. Pallmann has products like Pallmann Hardwood floor cleaner that is a weekly cleaning.
WOCA oil finish recommends their soap be used to maintain their finish.
We recommend what NOT to use.
- Do not use a steamer
- Mop’n glo
- Murphy’s oil soap
They do promise to add sheen to your floors temporarily, however they can contaminate the existing finish and create bonding problems with future finish coats. This will create a haze look and the only way to fix it is by re-sanding and refinishing the entire room.
Q: How can I protect my wood floors from my furniture?A:
We recommend using felt protectors or furniture glides under all the furniture. Felt protectors will protect you wood floors and will make it easy to move furniture around. For office type chairs we recommend changing the original casters from the chair and replace them with polyurethane wheel caster.
Q: What are the things to look out for that can damage hardwood floors?A:
Excessive water, incorrect soap and sand are wood floors enemies. Don’t use a wet mop or commercial soaps. Use a damp cloth to remove sand or water and vacuuming regularly.
Also the humidity level in your home is extremely important in your home before, during and after installation. To avoid stressing your floor, you should always keep the average relative humidity level between 50 – 55%. This is accomplished with normal use of your HVAC system. NOTE – Homes built with foamed floors, walls, ceilings are consistently lower in RH than other homes. Floors used in these “foamed” houses require acclimating the floor to a lower moisture content. We can check and verify proper moisture content and RH with our moisture meters.
Q: How do I protect my wood floors from pets?A:
There are several things you can do to minimize pets damaging your floors. Place scatter rugs at all doors to minimize the amount of dirt and grit being tracked in. Now for pets scratching your floor, we recommend trimming your pet’s nails regularly. If a pet urinates on the wood floor clean it with a damp cloth as soon as you can. Leaving unattended urine spots will give a dark stain on the wood floors.
Q: What can I do to protect my hard wood floors from water and moisture?A:
There are many things can cause water or moisture to damage your hard wood floors.
One of the reasons that can cause water and moisture damage is your GUTTERS. Not maintaining your gutters either it being dirty and clogged or broken gutters can cause the water to go down into your foundation and being absorbed by your concrete slab. Over time moisture is created under your home and damaging your beautiful hard wood floors.
You want your gutters and downspout to work properly so the water goes away from your home and not in your home.
What will happen if excess of moisture is exposed to your hard wood floors:
- It will cause expansion to your wood floors.
- Buckling flooring board
- Glue failure that will make the boards loose from the subfloor
Tips on maintaining you gutters and downspouts
- Clean gutters twice a year. Usually during spring and all time once the leaves have fallen.
- Check downspouts to make sure they do not have clogs or if they are damaged.
- On a rainy day check which gutter is not following water properly. This is how you will find what gutter or downspouts need to be attended.
- Adding an extension to your downspout to 4 or 5 feet will make a big difference. This will keep water going away from your home instead of in your foundation.
- Maintenance on your landscaping will also help. Make sure the ground slopes down and away from your home. This will stop a “pool” being created around your home.