For basements and apartments with concrete subfloors, engineered flooring offers an installation advantage. Whereas solid wood is generally installed over one or two layers of plywood, which can raise the height of a floor and interfere with existing doors or marginally reduce ceiling height, engineered flooring can be glued directly to concrete, or over a soundproofing mat.
Traditionally, hardwood flooring came in thick planks of solid timber. Today, solid hardwood is still widely available, but many companies also offer engineered flooring—planks made with a thinner top layer of hardwood, bonded to other layers designed to prevent the floor from shifting during expansion and contraction cycles. All wood moves in three directions: There`s tangential, radial, and longitudinal movement.
Hardwood floors are a guaranteed way to add value and comfort to your home, but they require regular attention to keep them in pristine condition. The experts at Swiffer and the National Wood Flooring Association share their professional advice to ensure that those floors stand the test of time.
It is important that you also think about whether you want solid hardwood or engineered hardwood. Depending on how you want to lay the floor may make this decision for you. If you have underfloor heating or want to float your floor over an underlay then you will need to select an engineered hardwood.
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.
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.