Hardwood Floor Care, the Different Types and How they can Add Value and Class to Your Home
Why Hardwood Flooring Is A Good Investment
Hardwood floors have adorned some of the most elite houses and estates in history and still exude a sense of durability and traditional superiority when compared to manufactured floors. Hardwood floors bring the natural outdoors inside, and do not contain man-made chemicals in the wood itself. Installing hardwood flooring in your home is a true investment that will keep its value. There is an ageless quality about the natural color of hardwoods that guarantees your house never becomes outmoded because of its flooring.
Hardwood Floor Care - Cleaning
Dirt and dust is your hardwood floor’s worst enemy. Though there are many producers of hardwood floors to select from, and they all have their own rules for keeping your floor clean and grit-free, there are some basic rules you can follow to keep your floors looking good.
For Surface Finishes
Always use the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning products. Wipe up spills immediately with a damp cloth. For stubborn stains, lightly dampen a cloth with the recommended cleaner and apply directly to the stain. When the floor loses its luster and shine, it’s time to recoat.
For Wax Finishes
Dry mop regularly with an untreated dust mop. Follow the same instructions for spills. To remove water spots, use a fine steel wool and a small amount of mineral spirits. Floors should be cleaned, stripped and re-waxed once or twice a year depending on traffic.
Choosing Hardwood Flooring
Types of hardwood floors include:
1. Solid hardwood – generally made of one piece of wood either plain sawn, quarter sawn or rift sawn.
2. Engineered hardwood – this floor is more dimensionally stable and will fare better in areas that have high moisture content.
3. Long strip hardwood – this floor is engineered hardwood, with bigger and longer planks.
The warmth and beauty of wood flooring adds instant style and class to any home. Historic homes, with their attractively aged, wide-plank flooring are proof of wood’s sturdiness. Unless you’re lucky enough to have intact, old wood floors, you can buy antique “recycled” and “reclaimed” wood. Unfortunately, those on a budget may find recycled lumber to be out of their price range.
Generally hardwood floors come pre-finished, i.e. the manufacturer applies a finish at the factory. Choose a color that will accent your home and home furnishings. Lighter wood would be white ash, sugar maple or southern yellow pine. Darker colors are beech, birch, red oak, heart pine and mesquite. Of these, mesquite is the hardest and southern yellow pine the softest.
Hand scraped and distressed hardwood floors are becoming a popular choice
in today’s upscale homes and commercial buildings. Distressed hardwood
flooring is done by machine or by hand. True hand scraped is exactly that
– done by hand. Results vary widely based on the skill of the person
or persons doing the scraping. Hand scraped flooring is not cheap. The
cheaper machine made distressed hardwood flooring material can retail
for around $10 per square foot. You will pay $15 and up per square foot
for hand scraped.