Types of Flooring
All wood flooring regardless of width or length that is one piece of wood from top to bottom is considered solid flooring. Solid flooring is a great way to customize your floor. Here are some features of a solid wood floor.
- 3/4" thick, one piece of wood from top to bottom
- Sand and finish on site
- Variety of stains and finishes
- Wide choice of wood species
- Easy care
- Can be re-sanded several times
This type of flooring is also linear, but the material is much wider, ranging from 3" to 7". Plank flooring gives a rustic or country look depending upon the type of finish used.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Laminated flooring is a wood-flooring product that consists of layers of wood pressed together. Many species and colors are available. Most laminated wood flooring products are finished at the factory. Here are some features of laminated wood floors.
- 3-ply or 5-ply layers of wood wood pressed together
- Quicker installation process
- Variety of stains and finishes
- Glue to most level subfloors-cement and plywood
- Floating installations available on some products
Antique and Recycled Wood
Reused existing flooring and beams. In the last twenty years, a whole industry has grown to recover existing wood suitable for flooring.
These finishes make wood floor care easy. An existing wood floor that has been waxed or oiled needs to be sanded down to bare wood before a polyurethane finish can be applied. Polyurethane is available in high gloss, satin, or matte. The older polyurethane finishes would yellow fairly quickly; today's finishes don't yellow as readily for those who prefer the antique look of a rich amber finish, oil-modified polyurethane may be the answer. Three coats of polyurethane create a good, protective layer.
Improved technology has made many water-based finishes as durable as oil- or alcohol-based finishes. Water-based finishes create fewer environmental problems. Many people prefer the clear appearance of a water-based finish; it's the finish of choice for pastel and other light-colored floors.
Bell points out that the wear is in the finish, not the wood. Taking proper care of the finish will reduce the number of times you need to refinish the floor.
Don't wax or oil a polyurethane finish. If you apply a maintenance coat every two to five years, you'll more than likely not have to sand and refinish your hardwood floor for twenty or more years. Bell says that sanding and refinishing are best left to the experts. Do-it-yourselfers will be better off installing hardwood floors rather than tackling the sanding and refinishing.
Immediately blot spills with a damp cloth, but don't wet mop or use excessive amounts of water. Mats at doorways help reduce the amount of tracked-in dirt, and area rugs are recommended for high-traffic areas. A couple of times a week, vacuum or sweep the floor, and once a month, damp mop with a hardwood floor cleaner, then dry the surface with a clean terry cloth towel. Don't pour the cleaner directly on the floor.
Don't use waxes, oil soaps or polishes, commercial cleaners made for vinyl or ceramic surfaces, or ammonia; however, we recommend Bell Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner for periodical cleaning. Excessive sunlight can cause surface checking or changes in the color of the finish. Close drapes or shades to protect the floor from direct sunlight.
Walking exerts about 8,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. That amount of pressure applied to a floor by way of a high heel without a protective cap or a sharp nail or stone caught in a shoe sole can damage any floor surface. Make it a practice to check your shoes before entering a room with hardwood floors.
Protect the floor with a masonite panel placed smooth side down before you move heavy appliances. Put felt or ceramic pads on furniture legs.
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