Hardwood Flooring Tips

5 Steps To Protect Your Hardwood Floors From Disaster

Protect Your Hardwood Floors From DisasterHardwood floors have been the preferred choice for many home owners over the past 50 years and even longer. For a time carpeting and parkay flooring or laminates provided a lot of competition, however hardwood flooring remains the top choice of many home owners. There can be a considerable investment in flooring and most people will want to protect their floors so that they remain pristine and last many years. After all you spent thousands of dollars installing hardwood floors in your home, so why not make it last even if it is just for resale value.

Protect Your Hardwood Floors

There are a number of steps you can take to protect your floor and they are all easy common sense things to do. Here they are.

  • Avoid using Murphy’s Oil Soap
  • Use a Dry Swiffer and not a Wet Swiffer
  • Protect your Floor with Area Rugs In High Traffic Areas
  • Use Floor Mats in areas which might get Wet
  • Use Floor Pads to Move Furniture

Bonus

  • Use Felt Pads to Support all Furniture

Avoid using Murphy’s Oil Soap

Murphy’s oil soap is great for furniture , however if you use it on hardwood flooring it will gradually build up a coating or residue on your floors leaving them looking dull and lifeless. Keep your floors looking shiny and new by using a dry swiffer and vacuum often.

Use a Dry Swiffer and not a Wet Swiffer

Wet Swiffers have chemicals in them which interact with the coating on your hardwood floors. Over time the urethane will break down and not only no longer protect your floor, it will look dull and lifeless as well. Using a dry swiffer is far better as well as vacuuming often.  Be careful that your vacuum does not mark your floor also as you drag it across the floor to get at various areas of your home.

Protect your Hardwood Floors with Area Rugs In High Traffic Areas

High traffic areas such as hallways, entrances to rooms and entrances from outdoors to the inside will take their toll on your hardwood floors. You can protect these areas simply by placing area rugs on the floors in these spots. Entrances are particularly bad for hardwood floors. Grit and sometimes water will be tracked in and will quickly damage your floor if not protected by a rug or mat of some kind.

Use Floor Mats in areas which might get Wet

Kitchens and entrance areas are particularly bad for water to get on your floors. You can protect your floor with mats or area rugs. Many people will avoid using hardwood in these areas for that reason alone. But if you do have hardwood in your entrance area for example, you can prolong the life of the floor for many years by protecting it with a mat for people to step on when they come in from outside. Same thing in the kitchen around the sink or the stove. These are typical areas were water and other liquids are spilled. Protect these areas with  small mats that compliment your decor.

Use Floor Pads to Move Furniture

Moving furniture is always tricky. The best plan is to carry it so that it does not touch the floor. If you cannot carry it, use felt pads or a clean rug to slide it along the floor. Make sure your floor is clean and void of all grit or packaging material. Even small pieces of grit or staples from the packaging can dig gouges into the floor leaving unsightly marks.

We added a bonus step to protecting your floor!

Use Felt Pads to Support all Furniture

All furniture supported by some kind of foot, is going to leave a mark over time on your floor. the best way to protect your floor is to place felt pads under the feet of all chairs, couches and tables so that they will not mark your floor. these pads can be purchased in various sizes and some are also adhesive so that they will stick to the bottom of a chair when you move the chair around.

All of these 5 steps including the 6th bonus step are easy to implement and will protect your floors for many years, while maintaining your investment as well as the resale value of your home. They are inexpensive and easy to add. Also the various area rugs you put in place will add to the decor of your home as well!

 


Hardwood Flooring Basics

Hardwood Flooring BasicsHardwood flooring adds warmth and beauty to your home. Real estate agents will tell you that houses with hardwood flooring will sell for more easily and will sell faster than houses without hardwood floors. They always say that you never get out of your house what you invest in it in terms of additions and upgrades. However hardwood floors could be the one exception. Most people today would prefer hardwood flooring in their homes for many reasons. We will cover some of the the Hardwood Flooring Basics in this post.

Hardwood Flooring Basics – Low Maintenance

Hardwood floors are not high maintenance. In fact they are less maintenance than rug floors and do not get near as dirty. If you have allergies, switching to a hardwood floor will make a huge difference for you, especially if you install a central vacuum system that has the exhaust outside of the home. The finishes are tough and of course like everything in your home, you need to take care of your floors. They will last for many years!

Regarding the environment, wood is actually much better than using rugs for your floors.  Wood is also a good choice for allergy sufferers since its surface doesn’t collect dust, dander and other allergens. Would can be regrown in the forest and it lasts for many years with proper care.

Types and Styles of Hardwood Floors

There are many types and styles of wood floors and many types of wood can be used in them. The most common styles are:

  • Strip – A floor made up of wood strips averaging 2″ in width. Strip flooring is ideal for small rooms as it makes the room seem larger than it actually is. Place the strips with the grain running lengthwise to make small rooms look even larger.
  • Plank – Plank flooring uses larger wood boards ranging from 3″to 6″ in width. Same thing applies in terms of direction to run the planks.
  • Parquet – This popular style is made up of wooden pieces that combine to create an attractive pattern. The simplest parquet pattern is a 6″ x 6″ checkerboard design, but there is really no limit to how complex a parquet floor pattern can become.

Wood floors can be protected by a transparent varnish that lets the wood’s natural tint show through or they can be stained any color you like to compliment any decor scheme. Over 50 different species of woods are used in wood flooring, including familiar domestic woods such as Pine, Oak, and Maple as well as more exotic woods like Bamboo, Mesquite and Teak. All of these woods vary in hardness and wear resistance, so consider the traffic patterns where they will be installed.

With all the flooring options available for the homeowner to consider, wood flooring remains a very popular choice. They’re more affordable than you might think.  with the increasing cost of oil and other materials, wall to wall rugs are coming close to the same costs as hardwood flooring. They maintain their beauty and value as time goes by. As the expression goes, “It’s the wood that makes it good!”

Maintaining Your Hardwood Floor

A hardwood floor will last many years if maintained properly. Always remove your outdoor shoes before walking on your floor. Leave them at the entrance to your home and have a mat to step on when you come in from outside. This mat will trap all kinds of loose particles and grit that could scratch your flooring.

Vacuum often, at least once a week to remove all dirt and grit that could scratch your floor. If you feel that a lot of grit is being tracked into your home from outside, vacuum these areas more often. Pets can bring a lot of dander, pollen and dirt into the home if they are outside a lot.

Install a central vacuum with the exhaust outside to remove all dust particles, even the fine  ones to reduce the dust in your home and also to reduce the impact on allergies if someone in your family suffers from allergies.

With proper care your flooring will last many years without the need to refinish your hardwood floors.

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Protecting Your Hardwood Floors

Protecting Your Hardwood FloorsYou have just moved in to a new home with hardwood floors or perhaps just installed a new hardwood floor. You are still recovering from the invoice and paying for this floor that makes you home look great and even increases the value of the home. Now is the time to decide that you are going to protect this investment and make sure that it stays looking great for a long time! All it takes is a few simple steps to maintain your floor, protect your investment and keep your home looking great for many years.

Protecting Your Hardwood Floors

Do not use Murphy’s Oil Soap.

Murphy’s oil works great on wooden furniture, but don’t make the mistake of using it on your hardwood floors. Your floors should already be sealed and varithaned. Adding Murphy’s oil will not enhance the already great look your floor has. You won’t notice anything wrong after applying it once, but if used consistently, residue will build up and leave your floor with a dull appearance.

Do not use a Wet Swiffer.

A Dry Swiffer is great for collecting dust, dirt, and pet hair from your floors, and it is also less abrasive than a traditional tub vacuum cleaner. Central vacuum are better in that you can vacuum with a head that is suitable for hardwood floors. However, a Wet Swiffer can cause major long-term damage. The chemicals in the cleaning solution can break down the urethane finish on your floor and leave it dull, faded, and lifeless. A full sanding and re-coating of your floor will be required to bring back its original luster.

Place area rugs anywhere that are high traffic areas.

Prime high traffic areas are in front of the refrigerator, by the dishwasher, and near any sinks. Also hallways, in front of the couch and on the stairs are all high traffic areas. Make sure that the floor is protected in any spot that is susceptible to minor leaks and water spills. A small pool of water can quickly destroy your floor.

Use floor mats at entrance locations.

These are  spots where people step on the hardwood directly after being outside. In addition to protecting against wet or muddy footprints, floor mats will help collect any sharp or abrasive materials stuck in the treads of shoes. Add a shoe mat if there is moisture on your shoes as well to collect any water and grit that may be dragged in with your shoes. This step will help prevent accidental scraping or scratching of the hardwood.

Use felt pads when moving furniture.

Always lift the furniture off the ground to move it  instead of sliding it across your hardwood floor. If the furniture is too heavy and you must use felt pads make sure that they are free of any debris that could scratch the floor. The smallest stones or pieces of grit can scratch and gauge your floor leaving a lasting mark.

If you know of other approaches to protecting your floors please leave us a comment. We assume that everyone removes their shoes before entering their home, however not everyone subscribes to this habit.  Each time you enter your home you track in small particles of grit that will act as sandpaper on your floor each time you walk across it. This will quickly scratch your floors and remove the shine from them. If you insist on wearing your shoes, vacuum often. You should vacuum often to protect your floors especially near entrance areas and high traffic areas. You might even put down area rugs to protect your floors even further.


Hardwood Floor Selection Tips

Five  Basic Tips When Selecting Hardwood Flooring

Timeless beauty, clean lines, strength and durability as well as the ease of cleaning and the classic look make hardwood flooring the perfect choice for your home. Home buyers are looking for hardwood floors as a first choice these days. You will add a lot of value to the home by installing hardwood floors especially if you plan to sell. Here are a few hardwood floor selection tips.

No matter what your personal style is, there is a flooring choice for you because of Hardwood Floor Selection Tipsthe unlimited selection available. But before you rush out shopping for your hardwood flooring, keep these tips in mind.

Before you head off to the renovation stores, measure the rooms that you plan to cover with hardwood flooring. If you decide to also place hardwood on the stairs, measure these as well. Stairs are generally more expensive than flooring due to the extra cutting and shaping that is required. This is especially true of stairs that are curved which require a great deal more custom work to prepare the risers.

Hardwood Floor Selection Tips

Set a budget for yourself. Having a wide variety of flooring to choose from is great, but the downside is that it is easy to get overwhelmed quickly, and this makes you very susceptible to overspending. Remember to balance style with quality with your budget when you make your final choice.

Tip #1 – Hardwood in Appropriate Rooms

You will be wise to match the room with your choice of flooring, whether hardwood or otherwise. Many people place hardwood flooring in kitchens, only to regret it due to damage from dropped dishes, moisture from spilled items and generally increased traffic. Also for example, do not try to put hardwood flooring in a bathroom, due to the high levels of moisture a bathroom receives.

Tip #2 – Color of Wood

Different areas of the house demand different types of wood. For example, wood floors that have very light or very dark finishes typically do not fare well in the kitchen. If you want a bright home, dark wood will not accomplish this for you. It may give your home a more rich look, however it will be darker than you may prefer.

Tip #3 – Hardwood Floor Finish

Choose a hardwood flooring that has an appropriate finish to match your lifestyle. A sitting room that is seldom used will let you get away with a lighter finish. However a hallway or living room will get continual traffic and requires a choice that offers a tougher finish that can stand up to a lot of wear and tear. Once you make a choice you may also want to carry this forward into the rest of the home.

Tip #4 Floor Installation

Consider installation – doing it yourself or having a professional installer do it for you? Many people successfully install their own flooring, but only after they have done their homework. Many renovation stores will offer installation courses for those about to install hardwood flooring. It is often easier to hire a professional, but do you due diligence when selecting a hardwood flooring installer. You will want to be sure that it will be installed correctly.

Tip #5 – Choosing the color

Choosing the color and style of the floor can be the fun part. Choose a hardwood that fits your personal taste and your lifestyle. The comparatively high cost of the flooring and installation demands choosing a wood that will not go out of style quickly. This last point is very important. Selecting a current fad can be detrimental to your home’s value and make it difficult to sell. Select color and style of hardwood flooring that will appeal to a wide audience of potential home buyers and colors that are easier to match with furniture.

These are five basic tips that may help many people when they are embarking on the selection of flooring. Once you have hardwood you will wonder why you ever considered carpet in the first place!

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