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.
Add felt protectors to furniture legs to help pick up debris and protect floors from scratches, says Brett Miller, an expert from the National Wood Flooring Association. Replace them as needed, as they`ll wear down and become less effective over time. For furniture that slides around often: kitchen and dining chairs, for example, replace the protectors every month.
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.
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.
If you have tongue and groove flooring then it is likely that you will need WPVA glue for the joints. And, if you are fixing your floor down, do you need glue or nails?
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.