Wood flooring is one of the most preferred types of flooring because of its exceptional durability. Although it inherently has a long life span, this flooring type needs proper installation and maintenance to stay in good condition and deliver maximum value for the money.
Explore this guide to find out why wood floors are so durable and how you can make them last even longer.
Why Wood Floors Are the Most Durable Type of Floors
When it comes to wood flooring, durability can mean several things, from longevity to moisture resistance. Wood flooring can vary greatly depending on the type of flooring, wood species, and finish. Explore the following presentation detailing the durability levels of different wood flooring types:
Solid Hardwood Flooring
The exceptional longevity, low maintenance, and easy reparability of solid hardwood flooring put it at the top of the list of durable flooring options. Although it’s one of the most expensive wood flooring options, it’s a worthwhile investment because it can significantly increase the resale value of your home. Hardwood flooring can be sanded, repaired, and returned to its original appearance, making it the ideal option for families with children and pets.
Solid wood flooring consists of pieces of hardwood typically attached with tongue-and-groove joints. Discover a range of wood species, such as red and white oak, hard maple, yellow birch, ash and walnut. You can find plenty of wood floor texture, pattern, and colour options available.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Outside of solid hardwood flooring, engineered hardwood flooring is generally the longest-lasting type of flooring. Typically, it has a life span ranging from 40 to 80 years. This flooring type can withstand moisture better than its traditional counterpart, making it a desirable choice for homeowners living in humid or rainy areas.
Engineered wood flooring has excellent moisture-resistant properties because of its multilayer composition. This flooring comprises two or more wood layers with grain patterns that run at right angles to one another. The layers get glued together with a hydraulic press and topped off with a veneer, varying in thickness from 1/8 inch to more than 1/4 inch. A thicker layer of veneer allows you to sand and refinish the floor multiple times.
Wooden Floors Maintenance and Cleaning
Proper cleaning and maintenance are the most effective ways to prevent costly wood floor repair or replacement. Follow the tips below to learn how to clean wood floors and keep them in optimal condition:
- Sweep with a soft-bristled, angled broom: A hard-bristled broom can cause damage to wood floor paint or finish, so it’s best to use a soft-bristled broom. Ideally, the broom should be angled so that you can sweep hard-to-reach crevices and corners. Also, try to sweep in the direction of the wood grain.
- Vacuum with a soft nozzle: If you plan to vacuum your wood flooring, make sure you use a smooth nozzle. A brush roll or beater bar can scuff or scrape your floors. You may also want to consider investing in a robot vacuum. This type of vacuum is generally gentler on your floors than a human-operated one. For the best results, choose a model designed for hardwood flooring.
- Mop with a microfiber flat-head mop: A flat-head mop with a microfiber pad or microfiber strings is the most suitable type of mop for hardwood flooring. Use a spray bottle to apply the necessary amount of hardwood floor cleaner, about 1/2 teaspoon for every 2 square feet of space. Then, mop in the direction of the grain. You don’t need to rinse or buff.
- Clean spills as soon as possible: If you see spilled liquid or sticky debris on your hardwood flooring, immediately remove it with a damp cloth and a small application of wood floor cleaner. Allowing spills to remain on the floor for a long time can cause the wood to split or cup.
- Use furniture pads: Putting furniture pads under the legs of your sofas, chairs, and tables is an inexpensive yet effective way to prevent scratches on your wood flooring.
- Refinish wood flooring every three to five years: Over time, your wood floors will begin to look dull and worn. You can keep your flooring looking fresh by giving it a new coat of finish once every three to five years.
Wood Floors Installation
You can either install wood flooring yourself or leave the task in the hands of professional installers. You may want to opt for professional installation because of the complexity and intricacy of the project. Any mistakes in preparing the subfloor or laying the floorboards can cause your new floors to squeak, bounce, or have gaps. If you plan to do it yourself, follow the steps below to ensure proper installation:
- Get rid of the old floor: Whether you currently have carpet, tile, or vinyl flooring, you have to remove the existing surface material and any previous flooring underneath it.
- Prepare the subfloor: Be careful not to damage the subfloor while getting rid of your current flooring. Ensure the subfloor is perfectly smooth, level, and clean before you start laying your new wood flooring. Even a slight gouge can leave your new flooring creaking or bouncing.
- Prepare the new flooring: Let your wood flooring rest inside your home for about 10 days before installation so that it can acclimate to your home’s temperature and humidity level.
- Lay the floorboards: The way you lay the first few boards will determine the overall installation quality. If set correctly, the rest of the installation is a matter of attaching one board to another. On the other hand, if improperly placed, your flooring may be uneven or have gaps. Since the layout of your home isn’t one big square, you have to precisely cut some boards so that they’ll fit perfectly around walls, doorways, and vents.
If you won’t settle for anything less than top-quality wood flooring, take a look at the selection of solid hardwood and engineered flooring available from all the manufacturers represented by Quebec Wood Export Bureau.
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