A good understanding of what you should and should not expect from your wood flooring intallation will help insure your satisfaction with it.
You can expect that a hardwood floor is;
- Affordable: Wood floors add value to your residence at resale time, not to mention a lifetime product. A hardwood floor will increase in value as your home does, it is one of the most sought after hard surface flooring in remodeling and new home construction.
- 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 such as; area rugs, floor protectors (fitted on the bottom of all furniture placed on hardwood surfaces), and routine maintenance with proper hardwood floor cleaner should always be exercised (improper products can contribute to additional wear, may void your warranty, and cause failure when recoating.
- Ecologically Sound: 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. In fact, according to U.S. Forest Service statistics, almost twice as much hardwood timber is planted every year through new growth as is harvested. Additionally, there is more standing hardwood timber today than there was 50 years ago.
- Healthy: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated that indoor air quality is one of our top health threats. Installed in the home or elsewhere, wood floors help contribute to a healthy living environment. Hard surface flooring such as hardwood floors does not harbor dust mites or molds. This creates cleaner air quality for all inhabitants; especially the estimated 35 million North Americans who suffer allergies. The hard surface of wood assists in preventing artificial substances such as pesticides that can accumulate on floor coverings. A recent EPA study found that pesticides used in gardens and homes accumulate on floors and other surfaces in the home, however wood floors greatly reduce the accumulation of such toxins. Another concern for the home environment is the off-gassing of toxins that results from synthetic materials. Any of these chemicals can make people in the home chronically ill.
- A product that will remain functional and beautiful over it’s lifetime if properly maintained with regard to the type of top finish applied.
- Your floor will be as level and sound as the subfloor under it.
You should NOT expect;
- A table top finish. Each piece of hardwood flooring shows differently depending on it’s grain type ( plain or quartered ) making it virtually impossible to be a completely flat surface.
- A monochramatic floor. Wood, as a natural product varies from piece to piece. It is not fabricated, it is milled from a living tree and will have grain & color variations consistent with the grade and species selected.
- A floor that will not indent. In spite of the word ” hardwood “, hardwood flooring will indent under high heel traffic or other forms of abuse. Another myth is that the finish applied to hardwood floors will prevent dents.
- A floor without cracks between the boards. Although you new floor started out tight, as a natural product it will continue to absorb and release moisture. This natural process will cause the floor to expand and contract from season to season. The best enviroment your floor can live in is with a humidity between 35% and 55%.
- A squeak free floor. Although not always common, squeaks may come and go as a result of moisture or subfloor changes.
- Trim pieces and moldings may not match perfectly with your flooring. For best results, the board selected to run beside the molding should be hand picked to coordinate the two.
All floors should be inspected from a standing position and with normal lighting. Different light effects the appearance of grain, and finish showing absolutely any imperfections that may not be visible under normal lighting.