Before You Install Hardwood Floors...
Often hardwood floors are mistakenly laid straight onto concrete foundations or on a floor that is lower than the ground. This is always an issue because of excess moisture, which results in unsightly spaces in boards when they dry out....
When installing solid hardwood floors you should be careful to avoid installing them directly onto concrete slabs or below ground level because of moisture problems that may result. The problem with moisture is that it leaves unsightly gaps in the hardwood once it dries, typically during the winter months when heating tends to draw the moisture out of homes. During summer months when humidity and moisture are high you should notice that the wood once again expands, sometimes so much so that the wood planks may buckle or cup. Because of these issues you should also take great care to leave plenty of room for seasonal expansion.
If this is unavoidable, you should install hardwood floors that are fixed in place with nails. Consistently following steps to ensure you get the longest life out of the floors and sanding them back and re-polishing them will also be essential, whether the floors are maple, bamboo, ash, white or red oak.
Hardwood floors are usually divided into one of three categories being plank flooring, strip flooring and parquet flooring. Parquet style hardwood floors are also known as parquetry, and this is when the smaller pieces of timber are arranged in a geometrical fashion. The timber used can be all the same or different to create a more colorful effect. Hardwood floors that are laid in the strip flooring style are between 5/16 and ¾ of an inch thick and 1 ½ to 2 ¼ inches wide. Strip flooring is common in the bamboo hardwood floors that are popular today. The third style of flooring is the plank, and each board is anywhere from three to eight inches in width. This is a more traditional, heritage style flooring, but is also still a popular choice today.
Another popular yet pricey option when shopping around for hardwood floors is the hand scraped style. They can create a very trendy touch to your home or have a more classic feel if you have a shabby chic, rustic style décor. They are an art form unto themselves, and for this reason, do not come cheap. However, if you can afford the extra cost, you will be rewarded with originality and class.
You should check with the manufacturer of your hardwood floors for specific cleaning and care instructions, as not all hardwood floors are created equal. You can use your vacuum over your hardwood floors regularly to help loosen and remove dust, dirt, grit, debris, and any small stones that may risk the finish of your floors.
Buying specially designed skid protectors for your furniture is also important, and if you do have a spill, it is best to wipe it up straight away so you don't damage the finish on the hardwood floors.
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