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.
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.
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.
Hardwood floors are durable and natural, come in a variety of species, are hypoallergenic and easy to maintain. When well maintained these floors can last a hundred years.
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.
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.