Whether you`re thinking about adding hardwood floors to your home or just need to take better care of the ones you have, now is the perfect time to put your wood floor knowledge to the test. Consider this your how-to manual on preserving hardwood floors.
It is really important that you properly prepare your subfloor before installation. If it has not been done correctly, it can cause your flooring to become damaged. The most important things to check are whether your subfloor is flat, level, clean and dry.
If you have a busy hallway or living space then something durable like Oak might suit you. Alternatively, for a quieter room, you could choose a more delicate wood, like Walnut.
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.
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.
If you need an excuse to shop, the one must-have decor item with hardwood flooring is a rug. It will perform double duty as a decorating piece and floor protector.