Wood floors add value to your residence at resale
time, not to mention it is a lifetime product. They increase in
value as your home does. Hardwood floor products are one of the
most sought after hard surface flooring in remolding and new home
easy to maintain:
Routine maintenance is a little
more than simple sweeping and vacuuming, always making sure your
hardwood floors are protected from moisture and heavy wear which
creates scratches. Preventive maintenance like area rugs, floor
protectors (on ALL furniture on your hardwood floors), and routine
maintenance with proper hardwood floor cleaner should always be
exercised (improper products can contribute to additional wear and
cause failure when recoating).
Wood floors are
Unlike most floor coverings, wood floors come from a natural
resource that is sustainable. Long gone are the days when timber
was cut down with little thought for the long term consequences on
the nation's forests. Today, most timber is cut from forests that
are carefully managed to ensure continued resources in the future.
According to U.S. Forest Service statistics, almost twice as much
hardwood timber Is added every year through new growth as is
harvested. Additionally, there is more standing hardwood timber
today than there was 50 years ago.
Wood floors are healthier:
The Environmental Protection
Agency has said that indoor air quality is one of our top health
threats. Installed in the home or office, wood floors help
contribute to a healthy living environment. Hard surface flooring
such as hardwood floors does not rap or harbor dust mites or
molds. That creates better air quality for all inhabitants, but
especially for the estimated 35 million Americans who suffer from
allergies. The hard surface of wood floors also helps avoid
artificial substances such as pesticides that can accumulate on
some floor coverings. A recent EPA study found that pesticides
used in gardens and homes accumulate on floors and other surfaces
in the home, but that wood floors greatly reduce the accumulation
of such toxins. Another concern for the home environment is the
off-gassing of toxins that results from some synthetic materials.
Any of these chemicals can potentially make people in the home
There is a tremendous
selection and variety: With the help of
modern technology, hardwood floors come in many sizes, styles,
colors, and species. These many choices can easily lead to a
lifetime of floor enjoyment.
Like all organic materials, each wood
species has its own unique character and quirks. To make it
more confusing, within each species there are many variations in
color, dimensional stability, grain, and hardness.
These variations can result in 2 different
logs from the same species being graded differently.
What is grading, you ask?
The lumber grade of your floor tells a lot
about it. For example, if you use
Select Grade flooring then you are using
flooring that has the most uniform color with no knots, and the
longest average length planks. Select grade flooring is also
referred to as Select, Clear, or First Grade flooring.
If you use Natural
Grade flooring, then your floor will have some color
variation, mineral coloring and small pin knots. Natural grade
flooring contains 10-20% rustic grade material. Lighter woods will
have a more drastic variation. Natural grade flooring is also
referred to as Natural, #1 Grade, Second Grade.
If you use Rustic
or Character Grade flooring, then your floor
will have larger tight knots and the most color variation. Rustic
grades may take longer to obtain. Rustic grade flooring is
also referred to as Character, #2 Grade, or Third Grade.
Another important aspect of wood to consider
when choosing a hardwood floor is the hardness or strength of the
particular wood that you are interested in. The table below rates each species.
The higher the number, the harder the wood.
Wood Hardness Scale
Educating yourself about
grades, industry standards, and individual wood properties will help
insure that you make a wise choice in choosing the wood floor that
is right for you.are happy with the final product.
Finished or Unfinished Wood Floors?
product is raw wood that has to be sanded and finished at the job
site. This can be a very dusty experience unless a dust
containment systems is used. Job site sanding and finishing can take
several days to over a week according to square footage, stains, and
number of coats of top finish. This process needs to be done after
ALL other trades have completed their work, allowing enough time to
complete the job such that
finishes can cure properly.
Maintaining these finish are very
important in providing a long life for your hardwood floor products.
The cost of this process can average from $2-$4 per square foot,
which includes sanding and three coats of finish, with additional
cost for prep (furniture and carpet removal), moldings and more
Prefinished: These products are produced in acrylic
impregnated, engineered and solids. They are becoming the main
stream of the "new" hardwood floor products. These tough new factory
finishes are one of the main reason why this type of hardwood floor
product is becoming more popular with home owners, builders and
architects alike. The other reason is the ease of installation
and the elimination of dusty sanding procedures. These products
can cost from $2-$7 per sqr. ft. not including installation cost,
prep, moldings and added accents, borders, and custom work.
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