A well-fitted floor of any kind provides not only a basic function, but can help increase the value of your property. During home remodeling or renovation work it is common for property owners to consider new flooring. A popular option and the subject of this blog post is wood flooring, which is also one of the more complicated flooring to choose. So having decided that wood flooring is a possibility for your build, here are your options and valid points to take into account.
Point One – Not All Wood Flooring Are The Same:
There are two types of flooring that are made from real wood and each is suitable for commercial and residential properties. Both types look the same. Both cost the same. However, each is better than the other in one or two aspects. Your first decision is the type of flooring technology most suitable for your room. The options are:
Solid Wood Flooring – Made from complete natural wood, solid wood flooring are immensely popular due to their reputation. They are considered the stronger of the two with an expected service life of 50 to 100 years. However, their natural construction comes with a few drawbacks. The most obvious drawback is the size of each floorboard that is limited in size and the natural reaction of wood when the temperature changes. In cold conditions wood tends to contract and in hot conditions wood tends to expand. Solid wood flooring having been made from complete wood may react in such manner. For most property owners, the limited size of the floorboards will be the real drawback to bear in mind.
Strong Points – Durability of 50 to 100 years of service life. Will react well to many attempts of sanding and recoating (a process that can breath life into an old floor). Overall, solid wood is a very safe option for most properties.
Engineered Wood Flooring – These look precisely like solid wood flooring because the top layer (hardwood veneer layer) is made from real wood that varies in thickness. However, below the hardwood veneer layer lie three or four layers of MDF, Plywood and Softwood. Engineered wood floors are not as durable as solid, but still durable enough for most properties (around 25 years of service). Their varied construction means that the wood won’t contract or expand, to such an extent that engineered floors are fitting areas that might experience damp, moist or even wet conditions such as the bathroom areas or entire properties that are situated next to a water source.
Strong Points – Better suited for damp areas that may damage solid woods. It is easier to install using a number of new fitting methods such as ‘floating installation’. Engineered floors will not contract or expand during even the most significant temperature changes.
Point Two – Coating Plays A Huge Part In The Floor’s Longevity:
Whether you fit solid or engineered floors, each floorboard must be covered in a thin translucent layer that acts to seal the wood and provide basic protection. Often than not, property owners give only the decorative side of the coating their full attention, however it is important to bear in mind practicality and ease of maintenance when choosing the coating. Here are the most popular coatings:
Lacquer Based Coating – A layer that sits on the top of the wood, rather than sinks in to the wood. This makes lacquer a type of waterproof coating. Lacquer is essential for floorboards that are fitted in damp areas on engineered wood flooring. Maintenance in the shape of topping up with lacquer is required more frequently as the coating is quicker to wear-out.
Oil Based Coating – A layer that sinks into the wood, oil is the easiest to repair by simply adding more oil. It is the common replacement to wax that has been used in the past. When topping up with oil make sure not to create puddles that can damage the wood. This is achieved by using a brush (further reading is recommended before your first recoating).
UV Oil Based Coating – A layer that comes across as slightly glossy, thereby helping hide damage caused by wear and tear. It is similar in properties and care to normal oil.
Point Three – Understand How To Care For Wood Flooring:
Durability of wood flooring will heavily depend on your ability to care for the wood in the right manner. Clean it like any other floor you have and you will reduce its potential in no time.
Liquids cause the biggest damage to hardwood flooring and it only stand to reason that your prevention steps will take this fact into account. Liquids should quickly be dried and in the winter, doormats should be placed at the entrance to a room.
The second most common cause of damage is in fact damage to the surface of the floor (its finish / coating layer). To reduce such damage, consider placing furniture pads under heavy objects, never drag objects on the floor and top up the finish or coating layer when required.
As you already know, liquids should not come into contact with wood. However, to clean hardwood some degree of liquids is required, provided you follow the following steps:
1. Start by cleaning the room using a hoover (with a soft extension) or brush the room using a broom. This will remove fine grains of dust, but solids are unlikely to disappear.
2. Slightly soak a mop in mild temperature water (up-to hot temperature, but not boiling) so it becomes damp and spray a slight mist of water on the surface (use a diffuser spray available at all good hardware stores).
3. If the floor still shows persistent signs of dirt, you should use a dedicated flooring cleaner. Avoid using household items that are not wood specific as they may contain bleach and abrasive detergent.
If you have any questions, leave your comments below or contact Avalon Building & Decorating Contractors.