Hardwood is a natural product and will inevitably expand and contract with changes in heat and humidity. By letting you hardwood flooring acclimatising to your home, you are reducing the risk of damage to the wood once installed.
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.
The reason you need to do this is to give your hardwood flooring space to expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity. If you fail to leave an expansion gap your flooring will have no space to expand and can easily become damaged.
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.
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.
But not all hardwood flooring is created equal, and selecting a product isn`t simply a matter of choosing a preferred color. A range of other factors can have an impact on both aesthetics and performance.