But choose carefully because some engineered floors have top layers so thin that they can`t be sanded and refinished in the future. Higher-quality products feature a thicker layer where you`re getting as much usable wood as you would out of a solid board.
Leave stilettos and tap shoes at the door to avoid puncturing the wood. While you`re at it, consider enforcing a no-shoe policy for all types of footwear to keep things extra clean.
It`s important to keep in mind that wood floors are natural and will be affected by the environment. While there`s no need to panic if you see some gaps develop between boards during dry seasons, if the wood doesn`t shrink back into place during humid seasons — July through August, then you should bring in a certified wood flooring professional to assess the separation.
Memorize this and your floors will stay in impeccable shape for a lifetime: dry first, wet second. Dry-cleaning or dry-tacking first is essential to prevent dirt from scratching the floor as you wet mop. If you don`t clean up that debris first, it`s essentially like dragging sandpaper across the floor.
The direction you choose to lay your wooden flooring is entirely up to you. It might be worth thinking about how you want the room to look though. Most people lay their floor lengthways according to the path of light coming from a window or door. This helps to highlight the natural beauty of you flooring as the light falls on the grain pattern.
There`s a whole spectrum of finishing products, says Jones, from penetrating oil to oil-like hybrids to site-finish polyurethanes to prefinished UV-cured urethane finishes. But to simplify, most finishes fall into one of two categories: oil or polyurethane.